Wicked Spirits in High Places

Ephesians 6:12, Principalities/rulers/authorities…powers/authorities/rulers/potentates/magistrates…rulers of the darkness of this world/world rulers of this darkness /worldly prince, a power paramount in the world…spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.In the demonic realms of darkness, there exist hierarchies of authority even as there are the same in Elohim’s kingdom. 

The Scriptures reveal that there are territorial demonic spirits over nations like Tyre and Persia, even as Michael the archangel was over Israel. The evil territorial demons are the spirit behind the governments of those nations, and they influence the leaders of those nations. They are also behind big business and big religious systems. For example, Satan himself is behind the Babylon the Great New World Order, and he will eventually possess the beast leader of that system (Rev 13:2). 

There are also demonic powers that exercise power over people and placing people in bondage through addictions (drugs, alcohol, pornography, sex, power, money, witchcraft).

Rulers of darkness keep men blinded in spiritual darkness. They operate in the shadows and men from the light of the truth. They are in charge of secret doctrines, hidden knowledge and ritual practices.

Wicked spirits in heavenly realms influence humans in high positions of authority (e.g. government, religious, business) who are at the top of hierarchial human institutions. The highest evil spirits will influence the highest human authorities. The higher up the human hierarchy one goes, the more evil and powerful the spirits and the more wickedness that occurs. This was the case in Ezekiel 8 when YHVH took the prophet on a tour of the temple. The deeper into the temple Ezekiel when (or the higher up the hierarchial ladder YHVH took him) the greater the spiritual darkness and evil acts that were being committed.


On the Origin of Demons

Matthew 17:21, This kind [of demon]. There are different kinds of demons that influence humans. The Testimony of Yeshua speaks of being “possessed with a demon” or “demons,”  “vexed with a demon,” or “severely possessed with a demon” (Matt 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; Mark 1:32; 5:15, 16, 18; Luke 8:36; John 10:21).

All these ideas are expressed by the Greek word daimonizomai meaning “to be under the power of or possessed by a demon, or demonized.”

There are levels of demonization. The Bible reveals that demons can influence humans (e.g. from fiery darts of Satan shot at the saints by which he attempts to influence them [Eph 6:16], by lying to humans [1 Kgs 22:22–23], through unclean spirits [e.g. Matt 12:43; Mark 1:23, 26; 3:30] and by literally living in or possessing a person. The latter is the most extreme form of demonization.

In this passage, a demon lived inside of a child (v. 18), and when Yeshua rebuked the demon, it came out of the child. When a person is possessed with a demon, prayer and fasting may be necessary on the part of the deliverer to cast out the demon. This is because the deliverer has, to one degree or another, himself been weakened spiritually by faithlessness and perverseness and therefore lacks the spiritual power and faith to cast out the demon (vv. 17, 22), or because he has been negatively influenced by those around him who are this way (v. 17), and thus has been weakened by his spiritual environment. This is why Yeshua, at times, had to put the spiritually weak and faithless people out of the room before healing a sick person (Mark 5:40).

Prayer and fasting energizes a person spiritually by afflicting the soul (the mind, will and emotions) and forcing it into conformity with the word, will and Spirit of Elohim through which one gains the spiritual power to accomplish supernatural feats such as  casting out demons.

When Yeshua speaks of “this kind” of demon (v. 18). What did he mean? What kind of demon? The Bible reveals that there are various levels and types of evil, satanic spirits (e.g. Eph 6:12). The Book of 1 Enoch teaches and second temple Jewish sages based on this that demons were the disembodied spirits of the nephilim (see Gen 6:2–4), who after their human bodies died continued to live (as ghost-like figures) roaming in search of a body (human or animal) or object to possess (1 Enoch 15:8–10). This may be what Yeshua is referring to here.

With regard to the origin of demons, the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia under the articles entitles “Demonology” states,

The speculation regarding the nature and origin of these demons and their leaders led as early as the second pre-Christian century, in those fragments preserved under the name of the Book of Enoch, to the story of the fall of the angels (Enoch, vii.-viii.; lxix.). Like Beelzebub, or Lucifer (Isa. xiv. 12; compare Slavonic Enoch, xxix. 4), two hundred ‘Irin or “watchers” fell, attracted by the beauty of the daughters of men (Gen. vi. 4); only tradition obviously differed as to the leader of the rebellious host, whether it was Azazel or Shamazai. At any rate, they acknowledged the supremacy of Satan (liii. 3, liv. 6), though occasionally many satans are mentioned (xl. 7 et al.), and these fallen angels became “the evil spirits” (xv. 8, xix. 19) who taught mankind all the arts of deception, witchcraft, and sin (vii.-viii., lxix.). But their children, the offspring of this mixture of an earthly and a celestial race, became, when slain, the hybrid race of disembodiedspirits or demons doing the work of destruction until the Day of Judgment (xvi. 1).


The Spirits in Prison, the Resurrection of Yeshua and Baptism

1 Peter 3:19–22, Spirits. From the context of this passage, these were demonic spirits (Gr. pneuma), not human spirits, since in verse 21 Peter refers to humans by the Greek word psuche­­—in English, souls. Demons are not souls and don’t have souls; rather, the Bible refers to demons as lying, evil or unclean spirits (e.g. 1 Kgs 22:22; 23; Acts 19:15, 16; Luke 4:33; 8:29; 9:42).

Preached to the spirits in prison. Did Yeshua preach to the spirits in prison while he was dead? No. Verse 18 states that Yeshua was put to death, was then quickened or made alive by the Spirit (i.e. was resurrected from the grave), and then, in the spirit, he went to preach to the spirits in prison. Yeshua preached to the angelic spirits who rebelled in Noah’s time after he was resurrected from the dead. In that prison, which Peter refers to as tartaroo (2 Pet 2:4 cp. Jude 6), these evil spirits await Elohim’s final judgment (Jude 6).

Likely, Yeshua went there to inform these evil spirits that despite his resurrections and offering of salvation for human sinners, there is no redemption for them for the evil deeds they committed as recorded in Gen 6:2. Interestingly, the Book of Enoch reveals that these same demons appealed their sentence in times past, but to no avail (1 Enoch 6:4; 13:12–3; 14:4–5).

This passage ends in verse 22 with Yeshua taking his position victoriously at the right hand of Elohim above angels, principalities and powers. In other words, Yeshua has overcome all the evil plans and machinations of Satan and his evil spirits to subvert Elohim’s plan of redemption for man resulting in the glorification of man. By the context of this passage, Peter has Gen 6:2 in view and the sin of the rebellious angels and their attempt to corrupt and to subvert humanity both physically and spiritually. By Yeshua’s resurrection and his victory over sin, death, hell and the grave, he has defeated all the enemy’s plans.

Prison. (Gr. phulake) There are no instances in the Bible of disobedient human souls being placed in an other-worldly prison (Gr. phulake). On the other hand, Satan is bound in a prison (Gr. phulake) for a thousand years during the millennium (Rev 20:7).

1 Peter 3:19, Baptism. This passage is equating baptism with a pledge of loyalty to the risen Savior. In the cosmic struggle between good and evil, between Satan and Elohim as specifically noted in the larger context of this passage as regards the sins of the angelic “sons of Elohim” in Gen 6:2, baptism is the public oath a new believer takes in favor of Elohim and against Satan. This is why the baptism ritual in the early Christian church included a renunciation of Satan (and his minions) and involved literally turning one’s back on the setting sun and facing the rising sun. This wasn’t an act of sun worship, but an acknowledgement of Yeshua, the Creator of the sun who is the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2) and whose face shines like the sun (Rev 1:16) and who is the spiritual light of the world (John 8:12; 1:1–9), and who came to dispel the spiritual darkness (John 1:1–9) introduced into this world by Satan at the tree of knowledge (Gen 3) and by those angels that rebelled against Elohim and attempted to corrupt humanity both physically and spiritually (Gen 6:1–6; Jude 6; 2 Pet 2:4).