The Rulers of the Darkness of this World 

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)

Ephesians 6:12 unveils the real enemy of humanity and divinity: a host of evil spirits in the heavenly places. Paul describes this sobering demonic militia with four distinct but interrelated phrases. We will focus on the third phrase in this devotional—the rulers of the darkness of the world.

Although the KJV translation reads the rulers of the darkness of this world, the proper translation of the Greek text is the world rulers of this darkness (see newer translations such as the Amplified Bible). First, it makes evident that invisible evil spirits rule the world in the heavenlies: just as there are leaders of the various nations, evil spirits rule different nations and different aspects of life on earth. For example, scripture calls Satan the prince and god of this world (John 14:30, 2 Corinthians 4:4). 

These evil world rulers rule over this darkness. The darkness is the sin, hostility against God, evil, wickedness, suffering, bondage, etc. In 1 John 5:19, John says, “the whole world lieth in wickedness. Note that these evil powers have their headquarters in the heavenlies but work on the earth. For example, Paul says, “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not (2 Corinthians 4:4 KJV). He identifies one major sphere of operation of these world rulers: people’s minds.

So, there is a host of invisible evil powers ruling over the nations and over various aspects of life: politics, idolatry, sexual immorality, finance, entertainment, culture, addictions, etc.


Can you see why each nation, for instance, has a physical and a demonic ruler? (See Daniel 10:20).

Apply the Word

The world cannot understand or accept these truths; they are foolishness or meaningless to them. For the unsaved, demons are fairies, spooky friends, or imaginary creatures from Hollywood studios. God’s warnings against demons and anything to do with demons are unmistakable throughout the scriptures. Beware of the world rulers of this darkness.


Ask the Father to make us more spiritually discerning these days. 

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