Thomas Cosmades




(Daniel 7:27; Ephesians 6:12; II Thessalonians 2:7)

By Thomas Cosmades


A most sublime and resplendent title of God the Father and his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is mentioned nine times in the book of Revelation: (1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7, 14; 19:6, 15; 21:22).  It appears nowhere else in the New Testament except in II Corinthians 6:18 in a quotation from II Samuel 7:8 and Amos 3:13.  It is a composite name, i.e. the Ruler of all, the Almighty, he who holds everything in his control.  This name corresponds to El Shaddai.  Against this exalted appellation we have a contemptible reference in Ephesians 6:12 used for Satan and his demonic hosts: “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers (cosmocrators) of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  The plural designation, i.e. cosmocrators, constitutes an acute contrast to the name Pantocrator in singular form.  This majestic title is sneered at by the combined demonic forces and world leaders who control the system of our planet. 

 In Ephesians we are presented with a four-fold description of satanic power which is engaged in combating Christ and his church in unrelenting onslaught.  Every believer is called to fight against this tenacious army of Satan.  There are two further designations of Satan in this context, ‘the prince of this world’ (John 12:3) and ‘the god of the present age’ (II Corinthians 4:4).  The chief commander of this coterie charging against the company of Christ’s believers has intensified his onslaught beyond all imagination.  The tenacious army of Satan relentlessly attacks the Church of Jesus Christ.

 The ferocious foe encountered by the Church across the span of the universe is not mere Islamic terrorism, Hindu extremism, secular postulation, or whatever.  It is the mobilized forces controlling the current campaign of hatred against the Lord Jesus Christ and his church on earth.  It is the ongoing offensive of the cosmocrators who steer their predatory aggression.  Their despicable inspiration emanates from that awful ‘mystery of iniquity’ (II Thess. 2:7).  This hostility will work its way up to the ghastly act of the ejection of the three frogs (Rev. 16:13, 14).

 The far-reaching operation of the evil forces should not surprise us at all.  Everything has its antecedence in God’s sovereign and permissive design.  The inexorable offensive against Christ and his church has been the resolute course throughout history, discernibly reaching its pinnacle in our time.  It began with the adamant resistance to Jesus Christ during his life on earth, culminating at Golgotha’s hill.  Following the Lord’s triumphant ascension it switched to his body which he left on earth.  The intensifying hatred has been going on with the same savagery for twenty centuries. In these perilous times, it is approaching its apex in all ruthlessness.  Draconian attacks targeting the Church are seen everywhere.  The onslaught is directed against Christ’s great commission to evangelize. Lies are also fabricated concerning the belief of the Church.  The endless attack varies from harsh imprisonments to torture and merciless killings.

 The uncompromising Church of Jesus Christ is caught in an implacable war: “Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein!  But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!” (Revelation 12:12).  While the Church triumphant is enjoying the bliss of glorification with the Savior, the Church militant on earth is enduring merciless attacks from the cosmocrators.  The Church must be aware that the determined forces of spiritual wickedness are loose and subservient to their master: “None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (I Corinthians 2:8).  All human agencies controlled by the archenemy and his cosmocrators are ignorant of the true nature of their vicious acts.  Their warped minds and stony hearts are convinced that what they passionately do constitutes service to God: “They will put you out of the synagogues; indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God” (John 16:2).

 This sad reality carries our thoughts to the ten-horned beast coming out of the sea in Daniel’s vision (cf. 7:7, 11, 23, 16).  It differed from the first three and is representative of the cosmocrators.  It has claim over the whole world.  Students of eschatology will be quick to respond that his appearance is in the future.  There can be no denial, however, that his influence is seen and felt all over today.  Daniel mentions the prince of the kingdom of Persia and of Greece (cf. 10:13, 20).  Could there not be other princes controlling various kingdoms, religions and cultures in our depraved world?  These cosmocrators’ sole aim is to combat all truth and trample justice.  Consider the fierce oppression against Christ and his church worldwide.  There is a prince behind them all, masterminded by the archenemy Satan, who has mobilized his invisible cosmocrators with the fearful machination to induce nations to fight against Christ and his church.  In our misguided world governed by adverse forces, all opposing God and his only Son, the ‘mystery of iniquity’ is at work.  It finds fertile ground in all nations, whether in democratic states or harsh dictatorial ones, such as North Korea.

 Daniel is carrying his readers beyond the visible potentates emanating from unseen powers.  One can study the ‘mystery’ concept both in Daniel ‘raz’ nine times, and ‘mysterion’ in Ephesians six times.  The cosmocrators of the present world are carrying on their unrelenting battle between heaven and earth.  Christ’s believers everywhere are lifting that well-known cry in Psalms: “O LORD, how long?” (cf. 13:1-3; 44:23-26; 79:5; 80:4; 89:40). The reply to this anguishing pathos comes down in Ephesians 6:10: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”  Following this consolation, the Apostle Paul is familiarizing believers with the equipment necessary to fight the unceasing, ruthless battle of which victory has already been procured. Triumph has already been achieved on Calvary’s Cross and at the Empty Tomb.  “Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities and powers subject to him” (I Peter 3:22).

 Daniel takes us to the ultimate eschatological fulfillment.  This quotation comes from the translation of Theodotion a revision of the LXX in the second century A.D. generally accepted as the accurate wording.  And the kingdom and authority and majesty of the kingdoms under the entire heaven are given to the saints of the Most High.  And his kingdom is everlasting, and all the principalities will serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:27).  Here we see the victorious conclusion of the war described in Ephesians 6:12.  How well this truth harmonizes with that well-known exaltation in Revelation: “Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.’” (11:15). 

 Through the instrumentality of the cosmocrators the enemy is striving to prevent his own destined crash. But his vicious struggle will backfire, just as his desperate attempt to thwart Calvary did.  We face the most determined enemy who was brazen enough to contest the mighty Pantocrator himself.  “but that in the days of the trumpet call to be sounded by the seventh angel, the mystery of God, as he announced to his servants the prophets, should be fulfilled…The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying ‘It is done!’” (Rev. 10:7; 16:17).  The reassurance of the inspired Word is, “He has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth” (Ephesians 1:9, 10).

 Rejoice then in triumph: “After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying…‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Pantocrator reigns.  Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory…’” (Rev. 19:1a, 6b, 7a).



Thomas Cosmades








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