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What are the Cosmic Powers and How Can They Be Reconciled To Jesus?

A Theological Question. 

This is a question that has bothered me for some time and I don’t  have an answer.   We see in Scripture two contrasting images of spiritual powers, especially of rulers and authorities. The majority of references to these principalities and powers are negative: they are arrayed against the people of earth, bringing them into subjection and oppression. They are spiritual “hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.”  They exist as having legal authority to accuse and condemn human beings for their sins. Believers are in a spiritual struggle against them. And when Christ comes again, he will destroy every hostile authority and power. 

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 (archas) and authorities (exousias) and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” (

Colossians 2:14–15, ESV)

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers (archas), against the authorities(exousias), against the cosmic powers (kosmokratoras) over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil (ponarias)in the heavenly places.

(Ephesians 6:12,ESV)
angels fighting in the heavenlies
Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding on Pexels.com

Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule (arche) and every authority (exuousian) and power. (dunamis) For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

(1 Corinthians 15:24–25, ESV)

Yet in Colossians, it says these rulers and authorities were created through Christ and for him, and through the sacrifice of Jesus, these powers are to be reconciled to him.  How can they be reconciled if they are evil (wicked) and are opposed to the people of earth? There is no redemption for the angels who have fallen. How can these spiritual forces be reconciled and destroyed at the same time? 

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones (thronoi) or dominions (kyriotes)  or rulers (archai) or authorities (exousia)—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

(Colossians 1:16–20, ESV)

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