6 Classes of Angelic (Demonic) Beings

6 Classes of Angelic (Demonic) Beings

The four words in v. 21a translated "rule," "authority," "power," and "dominion" are among six typical Pauline terms for demonic spirits found in Eph. 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Col. 1:16; 2:10,15; Rom. 8:38. Does this imply there are six classes or categories of angelic (demonic) beings?

1)             principalities/rulers (arche) - a ruler must have someone or something over which to exercise dominion (Eph. 1:21; 3:10; 6:12; Col. 1:16; 2:10; Rom. 8:38).

2)             authorities (exousia) - again, authority, by definition, demands a subordinate (Eph. 1:21; 3:10; Col. 1:16).

3)             powers (dunamis) - Eph. 1:21; Rom. 8:38. In Mark 9:29 Jesus refers to a type of demon that "cannot come out but by prayer and fasting." The point seems to be that some demons are stronger and more powerful than others. Hence, there is implied a hierarchy or differentiation based on spiritual strength.

4)             dominions (kuriotetos) - again, "lordship" or "dominion" over what, whom, and where (Eph. 1:21; Col. 1:16)?

5)             thrones (thronoi) - used of angels only in Col. 1:16.

6)             world rulers (kosmokratoras) - used only in Eph. 6:12.