An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 100 of 297
The word translated 'principality' is the Greek arche which occurs in
the New Testament some 56 times, and is translated thus:
first estate
(margin principality)
first (adj.)
Let us examine the way in which these words are used in Scripture.
The earthly shadow of spirit rule
Beginning at the bottom of the scale, we read in Titus 3:1:
'Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey
magistrates, to be ready to every good work'.
Here it should be noted the word 'power' translates
the Greek exousia, and should be rendered by the word 'authority' to avoid
confusion, the word 'power' rightly translates the Greek dunamis (dynamic,
dynamo, etc.).  In Romans 13:1 we have a parallel passage which reads:
'Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.  For there is no
power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God'.
It has been suggested that these passages refer solely
to the spiritual rulers in the Church, but the contextual reference to
'vengeance', and bearing a 'sword', to being revengers 'to execute wrath'
(Rom. 12:19; 13:4) are not applicable to the bishops, elders or deacons in
the early church.  The apostle spoke of using a 'rod' as a disciplinary
measure, but never a 'sword' (1 Cor. 4:21).  A parallel passage is found in 1
Peter 2:13,14 where the 'king' is said to be 'supreme', where governors are
sent from the king for the 'punishment' (same word 'revenge' Rom. 13:4) of
evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well (even as Rom. 13:3 says,
'thou shalt have praise of the same').  However faulty and failing earthly
government may be, it stands written:
'By Me kings reign, and princes decree justice.  By Me princes rule,
and nobles, even all the judges of the earth' (Prov. 8:15,16).
These passages are valuable, in that they reveal that earthly delegated
authority is a reflection of the higher rule of 'angel, principality and
power', and they are not independent of each other.  The book of Daniel draws
the veil in chapter 10, to reveal that there were angelic 'princes' in Greece
and Persia, one of which was mighty enough to hold back for twenty-one days a
messenger from heaven, whose sight was so terrible that Daniel fell on his
face, and a great quaking fell upon the men who were with him.
'The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days:
but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I
remained there with the kings of Persia'.
'And now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I
am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come ... there is none