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Actually, demons, devils, evil spirits and dark angels are synonymous, although ghosts can be evil too, but are not included here..  Evil spirits are not random entities.  They are well-organized.  The apostles of the first century church well knew that Satan runs a well-organized government massive in numbers, and bent on the destruction of mankind.  Satan’s horde3s are not scattered and in disarray.   They are united and well-trained.  There is no love among demons and hate and pride rule their actions, but when it comes to destroying mankind, and especially Christians, they are united in purpose.

            Colossians 2:15 and Ephesians 6:12 tell us that Satan divides his kingdom into areas of control called principalities and spiritual wickedness in high places.  They control the affairs of this world and those that rule on earth (the ground) are called rulers of the darkness of this world.  This worldwide organization permeates every area of the earth.  Satan has assigned strong men to control every geographical area of the world, every nation, city, town, village, neighborhood, church, family and individual.  For instance, Greed may rule over America and parts of Europe and the Far East.  Poverty may rule in other areas, and Witchcraft over another.  Violence and murder rule over certain areas such as the Middle East.  Sexual lust rules over many areas of the world.  We don’t know the exact borders of each principality, but we know they exist. 

One story I heard from Brother Frank Hammond tells of a missionary who was passing out Bible tracts and attempting to convert people in a town in which the main road that divided the town was actually the border between Paraguay and Brazil.  When he was on the Brazil side of the street, people accepted the tracts and listened to the Word willingly.  When he crossed over to the Paraguay side, people were hostile and unwilling to listen to the Word of God.  Amazingly, he tried to approach one woman on the Paraguay side and she utterly refused to accept a tract.  But when she crossed over to the Brazil side of the street, he approached her again and she willingly accepted the tract.  Later, the missionary found that the churches on the Brazil side had been praying and binding up Satan’s strong men over their area and the churches on the Paraguay side had not. 

The Bible says that when Jesus cast out the devils in the Gadarean man of Mark 5:10, the devils begged Him not to send them out of the country.  Demons possess extreme jealousy for one another and will fight and tear at each other, given the opportunity.  In a region in which their chain of command terminates, as in a different principality or area of control in which they were not assigned, they often find themselves weakened and fearful of attack from demons in the other principality.  This may explain why the anointing on missionaries seems higher whenever they travel abroad.  Even demon oppression waxes and wanes, according to the area .  Very often, this same missionary who wrought many miracles abroad and healed terminal diseases, cannot seem to get rid of simple headaches in his home country.  Of course, the anointing of God will be on a Christian when he ministers within the calling of God on his life.


            Satan appoints strong men or ruler spirits over every principality or area of control.  These “princes” of Satan’s kingdom are called “spiritual wickedness in high places” that rule from the mid-heavens or atmosphere around the world.  The apostle Paul distinguishes between “the rulers of the darkness of this world” that operate on the ground, and “spiritual wickedness in high places” that operate from the atmosphere around the 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.”  Eph. 6:12.  

Satan’s strong men operate in the mid-heavens (earth being the first heaven and God’s realm being the third heaven.  “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell:” God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.  And I knew such a man, whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)  How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”   2 Co. 12:2-4. 

Satan is called the prince of the power of the air because his strong men operate from invisible thrones in the atmosphere around the earth.  “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.”  Eph. 2:2. 

Satan’s strong men in the mid-heavens control the spirits that operate on the ground and in people.  Commands and strategies for the control of each specific area, nation, etc., are passed down from thrones in the mid-heavens to the rulers of the darkness of this world that carry out these orders on the ground.  There is an hierarchy or chain of command.  The descending order of ruling spirits starts at the top and descends down to a ruler spirit in the bodies of persons.  This reminds us of a natural army where the commanding generals have high-ranking officers directly under them and who carry out the general’s commands and strategies by issuing orders to the next lower in command, such as a regimental command, then down to the battalion level, then down to the company level, the platoon level, squad level and finally to the individual soldier. 

Demons in the mid-heavens fly back and forth between earth and the mid-heavens or send messengers that have wings and appear large and powerful.  As with humans, the guy at the very top will not usually waste his time to bother with the demons at the bottom and will use those under his command.  The strong men can be compared to generals, colonels and lieutenant colonels.  The next level can be compared to majors and captains.  The ones on earth or “in the trenches” are the sergeants, corporals and privates.  This is only an example.

Howard Pittman describes many of  these demons in his books entitled “Demons – An Eyewitness Account,” and “Placebo.”  Satan considers these huge demons the princes of his kingdom – the elite of his kingdom.  These elite ones rule purely because of their strength.  The strongest represent the highest in rank and so on down the line.  Extreme jealousy between demons exists and they utterly hate each other.  Satan rules over them by terror and fear.  They dare not stop out of line, lest Satan metes out some cruel and horrible punishment upon them.  They constantly squabble and vie among themselves for recognition and power, much the same as mankind fighting among themselves for recognition and power.  Pride and power manifest everywhere in Satan’s kingdom and on earth where humans are controlled by demons.  Just as human rulers on earth are often arrogant, Satan’s princes are very proud and vindictive and will punish their underlings for their failures. 

Brother Pittman was a guest speaker in our church three years in a row back in the late 1980’s.  He died on an operating table and came back to life hours later.  In the meanwhile, angels of the Lord took him into the spiritual realm where he saw five major strong men that will rule the world at the end of the age.  He named Greed, Sexual Lust, Military spirits, Witchcraft, and a spirit that God did not allow him to recall.  Brother Pittman calls it the “Mystery” spirit. 

We will discuss this subject further in my next article.


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