The Berean Expositor
Volume 9 - Page 85 of 138
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#34. "The World, the Flesh, and the Devil" (Eph. 2: 2, 3).
pp. 145 - 150
The Scripture not only teaches us that our life before salvation may be described as a
walk "according to the age of this world", it also shows the power that is at work in the
sons of disobedience; the world is looked upon as a kingdom, over which there rules a
prince, his title as given in this passage is, "the prince of the authority of the air". The
word translated "prince" is archõn, and indicates one who is first in authority, and so a
prince. It is used of the rulers of the synagogue (Luke 8: 41), and of the rulers of the
Jews (Luke 24: 20; John 3: 1). The title is used by Stephen with reference to Moses
(Acts 7: 27, the A.V. of Exod. 2: 14 reading, "a prince and a judge"). Satan is spoken of
as the prince of the demons (Matt. 9: 34; 12: 24, see verses 26-27), whilst verse 28
places the Spirit of God against the prince of the demons. Three times do we read in
John's Gospel of "the prince of this world", viz., "Now is the judgment of this world:
now shall the prince of this world be cast out"; "the prince of this world cometh and hath
nothing in Me"; "the prince of this world is judged" (John 12: 31; 14: 30; 16: 11).
The last reference where this word occurs is suggestive and cheering, "Jesus Christ. . . .
the prince of the kings of the earth".
A cognate of archõn comes in Eph. 1: 21 where it is rendered "principality", while
the word "power" of the same verse is the word authority, rendered "power" in A.V. of
Eph. 2: 2. The prince here spoken of is "the prince of the authority of the air". This is a
strange title, and it seems to show that Satan, at present, has his seat of government in the
air, and because of this the air does not escape the final judgments and raptured saints are
to "meet the Lord in the air". To us, who are still flesh and blood, the air seems to be
unsuited as a permanent abode, yet when we remember that we are dealing with spirit
powers, we remember also that our objections are no longer valid. The conflict of the
believer is described in Eph. 6:; it is not directed against "flesh and blood", but
"principalities, authorities, world-holders of this darkness, spiritual wickedness in the
heavenlies", shows that rule and dominion over this world and its darkness is exercised
by those who are not flesh and blood, but who are mighty powers in the heavenlies; the
prince of these powers is also the prince of this world, and the god of this age.
Eph. 2: is not alone in speaking of the state of unconversion as that of the dominion
of Satan. The apostle, receiving an epitome of his ministry, in Acts 26: 18 speaks of
the turning "from the authority of Satan unto God". Again in Col. 1: 13 the apostle
speaks of being delivered "from the authority of darkness", and in 2: 15 he speaks of
Christ having "spoiled principalities and authorities" by the cross. Something of the
meaning of the title, "prince of the authority of the air", may be gathered from Rev. 11: 6,
where the witnesses are said to have authority to shut heaven, and to turn the waters to
blood; or again in Rev. 13: 2, where it is written that the dragon gave to the beast "his
power, and his throne, and his great authority". Whatever the dread authority be that is
spoken of in Eph. 2: 2, it is wielded by a spirit, who is a mighty energizing power in the
sons of disobedience.