What are these “spiritual forces” Paul speaks about in Ephesians 6 which people attribute spiritual warfare with?
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.
Firstly appreciate the words “this present darkness”. Again note this.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
“Evil day” not evil days.
We note that the warfare which Paul spoke about is not in our “present” but in their “present”. I have also pointed out to you “darkness” in the letters refer to “blindness” as “in the dark”, a reference to the elements of the Law.
Now see this.
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—
That was in the ESV. Now the NIV.
Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:
Now if you read this
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.
This clearly points to the abolishing of the Law and the Old Covenant on the cross.
Now let’s look at Colossians 2:20 in the NKJV.
Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—
Note how “spirits” and “spiritual forces” are translated here: “basic principles”.
Now look here.
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.
But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?
Now the ESV:
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more?
Note again the “principles” here refer to the Law.
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
So when you see this.
2 Peter 3:12
as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.
“The elements” here is also referring to the Law. The “heavens” here the Temple where the Law was practiced.
That Temple was consumed by fire in AD70.
2 Peter 3:10
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
The day of the Lord is the “evil day” mentioned in Ephesians 6. It has also nothing to do with Gentiles.
1 Thessalonians 2:14
For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews….
1 Thessalonians 2:15-16
who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets and also drove us out.
They displease God and are hostile to everyone in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit.
The wrath of God has come upon them at last.
That’s how the “evil day” or the “day of the Lord” happened.
So do note these events happened in AD70. There are not in our “present” but theirs. The war is over.
Enjoy the victory.