Ephesians 6:12

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 heavenly places.
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Clement Of Alexandria

AD 215
Videlicet qui peccant. "Quoniam nobis est colluctatio non ad versus camem et sanguinere, sed ad versus spiritalia.". "But if one should captiously say, And how is it possible for feeble flesh to resist the energies and spirits of the Powers?. Has called "the day here nocturnal "as I suppose, on account of "the world-rulers of this darkness; ". Angels and gods are spectators; and the contest, embracing all the varied exercises, is "not against flesh and blood" ...
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Cyprian of Carthage

AD 258
Wherefore put on the whole armour, that ye may be able to withstand in the most evil day, that when ye have done all ye may stand; having your loins girt about with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one; and the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.". Le armour of God, that ye may be able to resist in the most evil day; that when ye have accomplished all, ye may stand, having your loins girt in the truth of the Gospel, putting on the breastplate of righteousness, and having your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; in all things taking the shield of faith, in which ye may extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Flesh and blood, which may either signify temptations of the flesh, or raised by mortal men. Principalities and powers; i.e. devils, or apostate angels, who before their fall were in such ranks of spirits, and who are permitted to rule over the wicked in this world of darkness. By which we are to understand the fallen angels. For as by nature, and from their creation, they were the governors of this corporeal world, and were deprived of this their power on account of their pride, they received it (though limited by certain restrictions) in order to tempt man. Rulers of the world of this darkness. By these are meant the devils who exercise their power and authority in our inferior and dark atmosphere, by raising winds, storms, tempests, by darkness may be understood the wicked, in whom Satan reigns as in a citadel. Our inferior world is called dark and misty in comparison of the world above, which is always bright, serene, and clear. Our atmosphere is called the cloudy and dark heavenly...

Ignatius of Antioch

AD 108
"For we wrestle not against blood and flesh, but against principalities and powers, and against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places."
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Irenaeus of Lyons

AD 202
To Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send "spiritual wickednesses"
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AD 420
The battle is not against flesh and blood or ordinary temptations. The scene is the war of flesh against spirit. We are being incited to become entrapped in the works of the flesh. … But this is not merely a physical temptation. It is not merely the inward struggle against flesh and blood as such. Rather Satan has cleverly transformed himself into an angel of light. He is striving to persuade us to regard him as a messenger of goodness. This is how he throws his full might into the struggle. He employs deceptive signs and lying omens. He sets before us every possible ruse of evil. Then, when he has so ensnared us that we trust him, he says to us, “Thus says the Lord.” This is not flesh and blood deceiving us. It is not a typical human temptation. It is the work of principalities and powers, the ruler of darkness and spiritual wickedness. . ...


AD 420
“Hosts of wickedness in heavenly places?” This does not mean that demons dwell in heaven but that the air above has received this name, as birds who fly through the air are called “fowls of heaven.” … It is indeed impious to suppose that the spirits of wickedness in the heavens occupy the same heaven of which God says, “It is my throne.” . ...
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AD 420
We have elsewhere read the expression world rulers nowhere in the Old or the New Testament—only here. Paul the apostle employs this name because it was necessary for him, in addressing the Ephesians, to apply new terms to new and invisible subjects. .
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Having stimulated them by the character of the conflict, he next goes on to arouse them also by the prizes set before them. For what is his argument? Having said that the enemies are fierce, he adds further, that they despoil us of vast blessings. What are these? The conflict lies in the heavenlies; the struggle is not about riches, not about glory, but about our being enslaved. And thus is the enmity irreconcilable. The strife and the conflict are fiercer when for vast interests at stake; for the expression in the heavenlies is equivalent to, for the heavenly things. It is not that they may gain anything by the conquest, but that they may despoil us. As if one were to say, In what does the contract lie? In gold. The word in, means, in behalf of; the word in, also means, on account of. Observe how the power of the enemy startles us; how it makes us all circumspection, to know that the hazard is on behalf of vast interests, and the victory for the sake of great rewards. For he is doing ...

Methodius of Olympus

AD 311
For being made after the image of the Only-begotten, as I said, it has an unsurpassable beauty, and therefore evil spirits. "for we wrestle not against flesh and blood; "
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Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Of what use are two gods to me, when the discipline is but one? If there must be two, I mean to follow Him who was the first to teach the lesson. But as our struggle lies against "the rulers of this world". does he not show that all the things which he mentions after the devil's name really belong to the devil-"the principalities and the powers, and the tillers of the darkness of this world". sorrow, from which they also derive the birth of the angels, and demons, and all the wicked spirits. Yet they affirm that the devil is the work of the Demiurge, and they call him Munditenens. But ours are other thews and other sinews, just as our contests withal are other; we whose "wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the world's ...

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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