What are the principalities and powers the Bible talks about?

Principalities and powers are two names or titles given to spiritual forces, along with authorities, and rulers. Depending on the version of the Bible being used, the words “principalities” and “powers” occur more or less frequently. The King James Version and its derivatives (NKJV, MKJV) use the words principalities and powers most frequently. These spiritual forces are mentioned in six different Scripture passages.

The first occurrence is in Romans 8:37-39. In this passage, Paul makes the point that there is nothing in heaven or earth that can separate believers from God’s love. Principalities and powers are included in the list of things that are unable to separate us from God. In this context, principalities and powers can mean demonic forces themselves, or the false prophets and teachers empowered by demonic forces to come against the truth and deceive us. In either case, the passage is clear that they will not succeed.

The second occurrence is in Colossians 1:16, which says that principalities and powers are among the created beings, made by God for His purposes. The fact that God made and sustains the very enemies that rebel against Him is a mind-boggling reality that may never be fully clear to us. He is the King, and has a purpose for everything—even for evil principalities and powers (Proverbs 16:4; Daniel 4:35; Isaiah 46:10-11).

Again in Colossians, we see that principalities and powers have been defeated and shamed by Jesus Christ’s work on the cross (Colossians 2:15). The verse says they have been “disarmed” and that Jesus “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Colossians 2:15 NIV). Satan’s goal has always been to steal the affections of mankind from God, and to then destroy His beloved creation. But Jesus made it possible for all who believe to be reconciled to God—apart from the law, and in spite of any and all sins by which Satan has tempted them (Romans 3:21-28).

Two more references to principalities and powers are found in Ephesians. The first passage talks about the heavenly powers and authorities, who see the church, Christ’s body, advancing through the world and understand something about God’s wisdom by what they see (Ephesians 3:10-11). This concept is seen again in 1 Peter 1:12, as Peter speaks of the gospel as something “into which angels long to look.” These principalities and powers are holy, good, and powerful, and they love to see the display of God’s work and wisdom on the earth. Conversely, the unholy principalities and powers are unhappy to see God’s work and wisdom through humanity, and they struggle against us to defeat us (Ephesians 6:12). That being so, they will not win. As Martin Luther’s famous hymn, A Mighty Fortress, says: The Prince of Darkness Grim / We tremble not for him / His rage will not endure / For lo, his doom is sure / one little Word shall fell him (Romans 16:20; Revelation 20:10).

The last reference in the Bible to principalities and powers is in Titus 3:1. This is a reference to earthly authorities and governments, who are ultimately placed over us by God’s will. We are told to submit to governments out of respect for the God who ordained their rule over us. Rebellion against earthly authority brings judgment (Romans 13:2).

The Bible Says:

  • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6)
  • And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. (Acts 2:17)
  • And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
  • Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also (John 14:1-3)
  • For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)
  • But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33)
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:28-29)
  • Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12)
  • Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:15)
  • And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12)
  • For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation.(2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT)
  • Pray This Prayer if You Would Like to Receive Jesus

    "Dear God, Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, to die for me. Thank You, Jesus, that because You suffered and died in my Place. I can be completely forgiven of all my sins and have eternal life with you forever. Forgive me for everything I have done that is not Your will and Your way for my life. Cleanse me with Your forgiveness so that I can be free of all guilt, shame, and any sense of failure. I believe that after You were crucified, You rose from the dead and now live in the hearts of all who receive You. I believe “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). I receive Your love and Your life – . You to live in me today by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Help live in a way that is always pleasing in Your sight so that I can all You created me to be. All glory be to Your name and “let the God of my salvation be exalted” (Psalm 18:46). “Lord, I thank You for Your love and Your mercy, thank You, Lord, for the word that has reached my heart today. I ask for Your forgiveness. Forgive me. Wash me with Your precious blood. Write my name in the Book of Life. Accept me as Your child, Lord. Right now, I forgive anyone that I had not been able to forgive. I renounce to my lack of forgiveness. I renounce all things that have hindered Your flow, and I ask You to transform me and to fill me with Your presence every day. Thank You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

  • Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God
  • In God We Trust, Pray Hard, Keep Watch, Stand Firm - Love God, Live Crucified, Serve Others, Share Christ, Show Grace, Shun sin, Stay Pure Be Holy, Walk Humbly, Act Justly - Bear Fruit, Obey Christ, Get Wisdom - Fear God, Fight evil, Forgive all Help the Poor, Equip the Saints, Preach the Gospel, Praise the Lord, Protect the Innocent - Be Ready, Finish Strong & Overcome ! ! ! Souls, Souls, Souls for Jesus!
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