1 Spirit of Antichrist – Part 1

“The spirit of the antichrist” is a phrase which is unique to the epistles of the Apostle John. He identifies this spirit as an attitude, or a disposition, which is established in the spiritual realm and is fostered by a spiritual entity. Even so, this attitude is propagated through mortal individuals. This spirit of antichrist poses a grave threat to every Christian. It actively undermines the foundations of Christianity and is conditioning the world for its future acceptance of the individual known as “the Antichrist.” Regretably, this spirit has been overshadowed by its coming namesake. Christians may be quick to study the individual known as Antichrist, but they are often slower to commit serious study to this spirit. It is the spirit of antichrist that characterizes the mindset of Satan and his followers. As such, it is of paramount importance that we be capable of identifying this enemy spirit. In this chapter we will discover that Scripture provides us with seventy-six characteristics and five specific litmus tests for identifying the spirit of antichrist.

 

We are bombarded by this spirit on a daily basis. Careful observation reveals it lurking behind several of the most influential areas of current events. It may be a surprise to learn that the spirit of antichrist rests not only in the foundations of Darwinian evolution and the homosexual movement, but even in such areas as technology and popular Christianity. However, before we delve into a study of the spirit of antichrist in current events, we must be certain that we can both clearly define and identify this spirit.

 

As Christians, we have been commissioned to serve as Christ’s representatives on Earth (2 Cor. 5:20). In fact, the very term “Christian” means “little Christ,” or “Christ-like.” According to Romans 8:9, every Christian has the Spirit of Christ living in him; therefore, our struggle with the spirit of antichrist penetrates to the very core of our spiritual battle. Its goal is the antithesis of Christ’s goal for His church. For a Christian to embrace both the Spirit of Christ and the spirit of antichrist is inconsistent with the life to which Christ has called him.*[1] These spirits are continually at war with one another. This is what we read in Galatians 5:16–17, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”

 

In studying this subject, it is important to first realize that the spirit of antichrist is not confined to only one individual. This is what the Apostle John teaches in 1 John 2:18, “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” The spirit of antichrist is an attitude which is established in the spiritual realm and manifested in the physical realm. Many spend their efforts targeting specific industries and organizations, secret societies, individuals, or religions as culprits for the evil within the world. The spirit of antichrist does not originate from David Rockefeller, George Soros, the Bankers, Free Masons, the Illuminati, the United Nations, Zionism, Satanism, Hollywood, or any number of other common targets. Instead, we are dealing with principalities, powers, rulers, and spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12). We are dealing with demonic powers within Satan’s realm. Individuals, industries, organizations, secret societies, etc. can wield great influence in the spread and acceptance of the spirit of antichrist, but ultimately they are mere pawns.

 

The spirit of antichrist characterizes the mindset of our spiritual opponents as a whole. In other words, the spirit of antichrist is the agenda and goal of our adversary. It is an attitude which finds its origin in none other than Satan himself. This is made apparent when we read in Revelation 13:4 that it is he who will empower the individual who is so characterized by this spirit that he bears its namesake.*[2]

 

Satan is credited by God as the one chiefly responsible for leading the world astray and setting it against God. This is the plain teaching of Revelation 12:9 which says, “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” It was Satan who first set himself against God, and it is Satan who is most responsible for causing others to join in his defiance of God.

 

Satan, who is also called “the devil,” “the dragon” and “that ancient serpent” in Revelation 12:9, deceived one–third of the angels of heaven into leaving their posts and pledging their allegiance to him (Rev. 12:3–4).*[3] Eventually Satan will lead these angels in a violent assault against heaven’s gates. Revelation 12:7 says, “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back,”

 

Note that Scripture not only identifies Satan as being responsible for the fall of the angels, but he is also credited as their commander. In order to distinguish these traitorous angels from those who remain faithful to God, Christians commonly refer to the fallen angels by the Greek title “daimonion,” or “demon.” These demons continue to fight for Satan on his behalf. Today the fallen angels are merely executing Satan’s master plan. In Ephesians 6:11–12, the Apostle Paul teaches that it is Satan, called “the Devil,” who is responsible for engineering the strategy of the demons:

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

These rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, and forces of evil are all contrasted against that which is flesh and blood. As such, these are not human forces, but are titles for spiritual powers who fight against us. According to Ephesians 6:11–12, these demons execute Satan’s schemes.

 

Just as Satan is responsible for causing the fall of the angels, so also he is responsible for causing the fall of the human race. It was Satan who encouraged mankind to act in defiance of God, thus joining with him in his fight against the Most High. Genesis 3:1–6 recounts this story. Keep in mind that Satan is identified in Revelation 12:9 as “that ancient serpent:”

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 

 

Today Satan continues to lead men in defiance of God. We are warned that he is like a prowling lion looking for opportunities to lead men further into sin (1 Peter 5:8). Moreover, we are told that Satan is so consumed with this spirit of defiance that he will never cease his efforts. Even after losing his entire kingdom to Christ in the battle of the ages, and after being chained in the bottomless pit for one thousand years, Satan will still deceive and incite rebellion when provided the opportunity (Rev. 20:7–8).

 

Jesus called Satan the father of all lies in John 8:44:

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

As such, Satan is the original cause behind the lie that one can stand against Christ and be successful, and he has been spreading this lie since the Genesis account. Satan is the root source of the spirit of antichrist. It was he who gave birth to this spirit—or mindset—and it is he who spreads this lie through the aid of anyone who is allied with him.

 

Since Satan’s influence and power are great, many make the mistake of considering Satan to be God’s opposite. They elevate and credit him with a form of omniscience, omnipresence, and near omnipotence. However, Satan is not God’s opposite. He is a creation of God. Satan was created an angel, and he remains an angel today—albeit a fallen one. C. S. Lewis correctly says that Satan is not God’s opposite; he is Michael’s opposite.*[4] Unlike God, Satan is not all-powerful, all-knowing, or all-present. Satan is a finite creation with very definite limitations. Because of this, he relies upon many others to assist him in his goals. These minions are those who have allied themselves with Satan in his rebellion against God, and they exist in both the physical and the spiritual realm.

 

Jesus declares in Matthew 12:30 that there are only two sides in this spiritual war, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Anyone—human or angel—who is not united with Christ is united with Satan. There is no neutral or middle ground. There is no third party. Everyone has chosen a side. Either he has submitted himself unto God, or he is actively rebelling against God.

 

Satan is called the god of this world in 2 Corinthians 4:4. This is because Satan deceived Adam as the representative head of mankind into joining him. As such, Satan has been granted authority over the kingdoms of the world (Luke 4:5–6). Everyone who is born into this world is born into the kingdom of Satan. However, those who are spiritually re-born into Christ’s kingdom are freed from Satan’s authority. Colossians 2:13–15 declares:

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities [these are titles for spiritual powers] and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

 

This is the reason Christians are called to separate from the mindset of the world. The world is subject to the authority of Satan. How can anyone fight for someone if he has the mindset of that person’s enemy? We cannot think like Satan and effectively fight for God. James 4:4 warns us, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

 

Everyone who does not unite himself with Christ through faith chooses automatically to instead unite himself with Satan (John 3:18). As such, he is assisting Satan in his goal of establishing and furthering the spirit of antichrist on earth. Because the spirit of antichrist is the mindset of Satan, anyone who is united with Satan necessarily promotes Satan’s mindset and agenda of constructing an environment and atmosphere which is dominated by the spirit of anti-Christ. There are no exceptions. This is why Jesus specified in Matthew 12:30 that everyone is an active participant in the war. If an individual is not actively working to assist Christ in His ministry, he is actively working to disrupt Christ’s ministry.

 

There are no passive onlookers in the spiritual war. Not everyone may realize the ways in which they are helping Satan further this spirit, but ignorance does not change this reality. Each and every individual is waging war. Either he is waging war for God, or he is waging war for Satan.

 

It is important to realize that Satan’s forces are united in their efforts. There is no such thing as “good” demons battling “evil” demons. There is no white magic battling against black magic. Any apparent infighting amongst the forces of Satan is merely an illusion to further his ultimate goal of establishing the spirit of antichrist on earth. Jesus Himself declares that Satan’s house is not divided against itself in Mark 3:23–26:

And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end.”

 

Satan is the mastermind behind all false religions. Therefore, any warring between these religious sects is merely the will and desire of Satan. Demonically controlled organizations which reveal the “truth” about the evil of other organizations are merely revealing what Satan wants the public to see, in the manner in which he wants them to see it. Often there are factors and motivations which will never be fully known here on earth. Evil never battles evil in any way which will cause true harm to itself. Rather, everything is specially calculated to further the goals consistent with the spirit of antichrist.

 

In a sense, it is as if earth is a giant cosmic chess board. Sometimes Satan must sacrifice a pawn to save his queen. Given the scale of this conflict, it can be difficult for us to envision the big picture, but it is important that we realize how complex Satan’s methods truly are. Our culture tends to imagine the inner workings of Satan’s command by picturing a horned monster shouting commands at sniveling little demons. In reality, Satan’s forces attempt to mimic the organization and structure that God Himself created among the ranks of His holy angels. Satan does not want mankind to understand how real, complex, and important the order of the spiritual realm truly is. Therefore, he is satisfied when our culture represents angels as effeminate winged creatures who fly around helplessly watching humanity turn its back upon God. If he can relegate angels and demons to cartoonish caricatures portraying inefficiency and weakness, then he eliminates the urgency in the minds of people to identify and resist his forces.

 

To begin breaking down our misconceptions about the organization and structure of angels and fallen angels, it is helpful to realize that the term “angel” is used in a general sense to refer to any spiritual power who is not God. Scripture affords the possibility that there may be many races among the angels. We read about angels who look like men (Dan. 10:5Heb. 13:2), others who look like a combination of animals (Eze. 1:5–11), and angels with six wings and eyes covering their entire body (Rev. 4:8). Also, Scripture specifically refers to Cherubim and Seraphim angels (Isa. 6:2, 6Gen. 3:24). These titles may be classifications of responsibility, or they may identify distinct races.

 

We have no means of understanding angels beyond what is provided us in Scripture. Some have postulated that these different races of angels are actually all one single race which has the ability to transform its appearance. Others believe the descriptions are nothing more than symbolism. While there is no strong Biblical basis for these opinions, they are an attempt to account for the varying depictions of angels in Scripture without accepting the idea of angelic races, choosing instead to believe that “angel” refers to one single life form. However, the more natural understanding of these passages indicate that the term “angel” is a general title just as “animal” or “human” are general titles which encompass a great deal of variety. Of course, “angel” is not the only title used in Scripture to depict spiritual powers who are not God. Jude uses the title “glorious ones” in Jude 1:8:

Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”

This provides insight into the nature of angels. They are glorious beings. Surprisingly, Jude uses this term specifically of Satan. Jude, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, illustrates the foolishness of humans who would blaspheme the glorious ones by recalling that Michael—himself a glorious being—did not blaspheme the glorious being, Satan. We must not lose sight of the fact that fallen angels are still angels. They are still glorious creatures. Fallen angels are not twisted monstrosities. Rather, they still appear as glorious beings who can be confused with God’s righteous angels of light. 2 Corinthians 11:14 says, “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

 

The second step in breaking down our misconceptions is to recognize the variety of ranks among the angels—both fallen and unfallen. Within the general class of “angel,” Scripture reveals a hierarchal system of authority. Colossians 1:16 says, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” God’s system of hierarchy among the angels is mirrored by mankind in his systems of authority. Most likely, this is why God uses the same terms to define classifications of authority among humans, holy angels, and fallen angels alike.

 

Scripture does not provide us with every classification of spiritual power. Nevertheless, we are presented with five lists identifying what appear to be the key classifications of angelic beings that we encounter. These lists are included in Appendix A.2. The titles of these classifications lend us insight into their authority and spheres of influence. By comparing these titles against authorities in the physical realm who bear the same titles, we can speculate as to the specific ways in which the angels in these classifications may exercise their authority:

Thrones (Thronos) [Col. 1:16]*[5]

Thronos means “throne,” “a stately seat,” or “a potentate.”[6] This carries the idea of chief or final authority.*[7] As such, it is reasonable to believe that this classification is a title for the spiritual king over a nation or an empire.

King (Basileus) [Rev. 9:11]*[8]

Basileus means “a sovereign,” or “king.”[9] This is very likely the same classification as thronos—a spiritual king over a nation, empire, or group of subjects.*[10]

Dominions (Kuriotes) [Col. 1:16, Eph. 1:21; 2 Pet. 2:10]*[11]*[12]*[13]

Kuriotes means “rulers,” “dominion,” or “government.”[14] According to Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, it denotes lordship.[15] Kuriotes likely refers to angels who rule or oversee vast spheres of influence in the world. This may be a government, but it also may be such things as Hollywood, the music industry, or the pornography industry. These are areas of influence which are vastly powerful. They wield widespread influence and hold great authority and control over others.

Archangel (Archaggelos) [Jude 1:9]*[16]

Archaggelos means “archangel,” or “a chief angel.”[17] It is possible that “archangel” is a title for one single angel who has authority over all other angels.*[18]

Great/Chief Prince (Ri’shon Sar) [Dan. 10:13]*[19]

This title is comprised of two words. Ri’shon means “first, in place, time, or rank,”[20] and sar means “prince,” “a head person (of any rank or class),” “captain,” “chief,” “general,” “lord,” “governor,” “master,” or “ruler.”[21] These definitions give a clear picture of a ruler over rulers.

Rulers (Arche / Archon) [Col. 1:16; Eph. 1:21; 6:12; 1 Peter 3:22]*[22]*[23]*[24]*[25]

Arche means “principality,” “chief,” or “magistrate.”[26] Arche are most likely the same as the archons who are princes. The definition of “principality” is “a state ruled by a prince, usually a relatively small state or a state that falls within a larger state such as an empire.” Arche are rulers underneath the authority of the ri’shon sar (Chief Princes). Given that the ri’shon sar command authority over entire nations and empires, arche may have authority over provinces, states, cities, and towns. The arche wield great power and influence underneath the authority of the ri’shon sar.

Authorities (Exousia) [Col. 1:16; Eph. 1:21; 6:12; 1 Pet. 3:22]*[27]*[28]*[29]*[30]

Exousia means “power,” “authority,” “jurisdiction,” or “right.”[31] This word carries the idea of a right or legitimate claim over something.*[32] Exousia are those angels who have a claim to power over a particular sphere of influence. An example of this might be seen in the idea of selling one’s soul to the devil. Exousia are then given a rightful claim over the individual.

Cosmic Powers Over this Present Darkness (Kosmokrator) [Eph. 6:12]*[33]

Kosmokrator is our abbreviated title for “Rulers of the Darkness of this World.” The complete title is comprised of several words. Kosmokrator means “a world ruler.”[34] Skatos means “obscurity,” or “darkness.”[35] And aion means “age,” or “course.” Thus, a kosmokrator is literally a ruler over the darkness of this age. This may be such darkness as world hunger, eugenics, war, and slavery. These are vast and oppressive evils which govern the course of this age.

Spiritual Forces of Evil in the Heavenly Places (Poneria) [Eph. 6:12]*[36]

Poneria is our abbreviated title for “Spiritual Forces of Wickedness in High Places.” The complete title is comprised of several words. Pneumatikos means “non-carnal,” “ethereal,” “supernatural,” or “(daemonically) a spirit.”[37] Poneria means “depravity,” “malice,” “plots,” “sins,” “iniquity,” or “wickedness.”[38] And Epouranios means “above the sky,” “celestial,” “heavenly,” or “high.”[39] Poneria is what generally comes to mind when we today think about demons. They are spiritual forces responsible for inciting and overseeing such things as rape, murder, incest, and theft. Poneria are responsible for instigating many of those things which our minds conjure when we think of wickedness and evil.

Powers (Dunamis) [Eph. 1:21; Rom. 8:38; 1 Pet. 3:22]*[40]*[41]*[42]

Dunamis means “miraculous power,” “strength,” “mighty (wonderful) work,” “force,” “(worker of) miracle,” or “ability.”[43] Dunamis are those angels responsible for many of the supernatural feats which are difficult to explain. They are likely what are considered ghosts or poltergeists. The Dunamis are those angels who empower witches and sorcerers, and Eastern mystics.

Angels (Aggelos) [Rom. 8:38; 1 Peter 3:22]*[44]*[45]

Aggelos means “angel,” or “messenger.”[46] This term most often occurs as a general reference to spiritual powers other than God. Therefore, as a specific classification, the definition “messenger” is preferred over “angel.” Aggelos are messengers. It is likely they who are responsible for automatic writing, communication with the dead, psychic prophecies, and alien messages.

 

The above list is not exhaustive. Most likely there are further classifications of spiritual powers which have not been provided us. Ephesians 1:21 says, “[F]ar above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (emphasis added) Not every classification has been named for us, but it is not necessary that we know everything about every classification of spiritual forces. We have been given enough explanation so as not to be surprised by the interaction of the spiritual with the physical.

 

When we recognize that an entire class of fallen angels are focused upon performing miraculous feats, we should not be surprised that Christians encounter lying signs and wonders. Christians should exercise caution before accepting all healings, speaking in tongues, and being slain in the spirit as the workings of the Holy Spirit. When we test these spirits, we may find that dunamis fallen angels are truly responsible for many such miraculous feats. Likewise, many dreams, visions, prophecies, and automatic writing may truly be the workings of evil aggelos (fallen messenger angels) rather than the Holy Spirit.

 

God did not give us this knowledge of the spiritual realm without reason. Rather, equipped with the understanding that the spiritual realm is complex and highly organized, we can better prepare ourselves for battle. Our enemy is efficient and well prepared to wage war in many different ways. Consequently, some battles will be greater than others. In some cases, exousia may have legitimate claim to power over individuals or organizations. In some cases, we may be struggling with a fallen angel of great and wide-spread authority.*[47]*[48] In any case, spiritual warfare is very real. Satan exists, and he is driven by the spirit of antichrist. Moreover, Satan commands a highly organized spiritual force who share his mindset. Once again, this mindset is none other than the spirit of antichrist. It is a mindset which sets itself in rebellion against Christ. The stakes are high, and Satan has not rashly engaged the God of the universe and His creation in spiritual war. Rather, Satan and his forces are well prepared and organized. This is why it is imperative that we too prepare ourselves by properly equipping ourselves with the spiritual armor of God in order that we might be adequately prepared to stand our ground against our enemy (Eph. 6:10–18).

 


  1. Just because an individual is a Christian who possesses the Holy Spirit does not mean that he is incapable of following after the spirit of antichrist. Rather, Galatians 5 indicates that there is a teeter-totter effect between the two spirits. When the Holy Spirit is given greater control over an individual’s life, the spirit of antichrist’s influence is diminished, and vice versa. Consequently, a person cannot fully embrace both spirits. The embrace of one comes at the expense of the other.
  2. In Revelation 13:4, Satan is referred to as “the dragon”—a title which is established in Revelation 12:9—and Antichrist is referred to as “the beast.” This title for the Antichrist comes from Daniel chapter 7.
  3. In Scripture, angels are often symbolized by stars. As an example, consider Job 38:4 and 7 which says, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. … when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” In Hebrew poetry, the second line clarifies and emphasizes the first line. Thus, the sons of God are referred to as the morning stars who witnessed and celebrated the creation of the earth.
  4. “Satan, the leader or dictator of devils, is the opposite, not of God, but of Michael.” (Lewis, The Screwtape Letters 6.)
  5. Colossians 1:16: For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones [thronos] or dominions [kuriotes] or rulers [arche] or authorities [exousia]—all things were created through him and for him.
  6. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G2362, 47.
  7. The word thronos is often used in Scripture to depict God's authority as ruler (Matt. 5:34; Acts 7:49), and it is also used of humans to identify their authority to rule or judge (Matt. 19:28; Luke 1:32). It is generally used in relation to governments or judging. It could be that the Prince of Persia, the Prince of Greece, and the Chief Prince of Israel in the book of Daniel are examples of this spiritual potentate classified as thronos. We read about these princes—who are most likely all Chief Princes—in Daniel 10:13, 20–21 and 12:1. These Chief Princes appear to be thronos in that they are granted spiritual sovereignty over entire civilizations. It does not follow that every Chief Prince is a thronos, as not every Chief Prince is necessarily potentate over a nation. Nevertheless, the book of Daniel indicates that some angels may be classified as both a Chief Prince and a thronos.
  8. Revelation 9:11: They have as king [basileus] over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.
  9. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G935, 21.
  10. Like thronos, basileus carries the idea of a potentate and is used to depict the authority of God as King (1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 17:14) as well as humans as king over subjects and territories (Matt. 14:9; 1 Peter 2:13, 17).
  11. See footnote 5.
  12. Ephesians 1:21: [F]ar above all rule [arche] and authority [exousia] and power [dunamis] and dominion [kuriotes], and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
  13. 2 Peter 2:10: [A]nd especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority [exousia]. Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones,
  14. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G2963, 58.
  15. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 181.
  16. Jude 1:9: But when the archangel [archaggelos] Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.”
  17. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G743, 18.
  18. There is controversy over whether archaggelos is a single entity or a classification encompassing several angels. The KJV rendering of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 speaks of archaggelos in singular terms, indicating that it may be a classification relegated to only one angel, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” The NET Bible also translates this verse with the definite article “the.” According to the translator’s notes, “Neither noun in the phrase (ἐν φωνῇ ἀρχαγγέλου, “with the voice of the archangel”) has the article in keeping with Apollonius’ Canon. Since ἀρχάγγελος (archangelos) is most likely monadic, both nouns are translated as definite in keeping with Apollonius’ Corollary (see ExSyn 250–51)” (NET Bible, Footnote 20, 2311.). Michael is the only angel in Scripture who is granted the title archaggelos (Jude 1:9). Nevertheless, to be fair, it is possible that archaggelos in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is not referencing the voice of the archangel Michael, but rather the pre-incarnate title of Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, Jesus was commonly referred to as the “Angel of the Lord” who serves as the captain of the Lord’s hosts (Josh. 5:14–15). Thus, 1 Thessalonians could refer to Jesus’ position as the chief ruler of the angels. Archaggelos may also be the New Testament title for “Chief Prince.” We know that Michael is an archangel (Jude 1:9), and we know that he is a Chief Prince (Dan. 10:13). Michael is the Chief Prince over the nation of Israel, however, according to Revelation 12:7, Michael is also the commander over the angelic army that battles Satan and his angels. As such, it could be that Michael is a Chief Prince over the nation of Israel, but he is also the archangel who rules over all other angels.
  19. Daniel 10:13: The prince [sar] of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days, but Michael, one of the chief [ri’shon] princes [sar], came to help me, for I was left there with the kings of Persia,
  20. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #H7223, 140.
  21. Ibid, #H8269, 160.
  22. See footnote 5.
  23. See footnote 12.
  24. Ephesians 6:12: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers [arche], against the authorities [exousia], against the cosmic powers over this present darkness [kosmokrator], against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places [poneria].
  25. 1 Peter 3:22: [W]ho has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels [aggelos], authorities [exousia], and powers [dunamis] having been subjected to him.
  26. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G746, 18.
  27. See footnote 5.
  28. See footnote 12.
  29. See footnote 24.
  30. See footnote 25.
  31. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G1849, 38.
  32. Revelation 9:3–5 provides great insight into this term, “Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power [exousia] like the power of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone.” These demonic entities from the bottomless pit are granted power over something in particular.
  33. See footnote 24.
  34. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G2888, 56.
  35. Ibid, #G4655, 88.
  36. See footnote 24.
  37. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G4152, 78.
  38. Ibid, #G4189, 79.
  39. Ibid, #G2032, 41.
  40. See footnote 12.
  41. Romans 8:38: For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels [aggelos] nor rulers [arche], nor things present nor things to come, nor powers [dunamis],
  42. See footnote 25.
  43. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G1411, 30.
  44. See footnote 41.
  45. See footnote 25.
  46. Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #G32, 5.
  47. Consider the prophet Daniel. When he prayed to God asking for wisdom, he was living in a realm of spiritual darkness controlled by the ri’shon sar of Persia. Consequently, God’s answer to his prayers was hindered (Daniel 10:12–14).
  48. In Mark 9:17–29, Jesus taught His disciples that not every spiritual battle can be fought in the same way. Some battles require more diligence or a greater mastery of the Word of God. Some battles require that we pray for greater spiritual re-enforcements to help us break the enemy’s authority. It is important that we understand this lest we be too quick to give up. With Christ, all things are possible, but spiritual victory is not always easy, immediate, or even ours.

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