Governments Can Give Their Authority to Demonic-Backed Beings
The Antichrist will receive his political authority from the ten kings. Much like Hitler did prior to World War II; the Antichrist will rise to rule legally and will use government to legislate terror with the authority of men which will continue unabated until the full force of God’s wrath is poured out.
The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings of the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (Rev 17:12-13)
Demonic Beings can give Their Authority to Others
As in the case of the temptation of Jesus and the beast giving authority to the false prophet, authority can be delegated from Satan. That the devil could offer his authority to Jesus means that he had authority to give. Jesus did gain that authority by His work on the cross, and Satan thought he could trick Jesus into taking a shortcut. There is a divine order to delegating authority and Christ gained all authority by taking the little authority that Satan had. The devil retained some of his authority as seen in passages to be discussed in subsequent sections in this chapter, but in the end it is God who is the real and ultimate authority.
And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” (Luke 4:6)
And he (the False Prophet) was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. (Revelation 13:5)
Both Angelic and Demonic Beings are referred to as Authorities (Powers)
The principalities and powers in Ephesians 3:10 are the holy angels which Paul wants his gospel message to be made known. They are powerful and have been delegated authority by God the Father, and yet did not understand the nature of the Church. The Church thus becomes a teaching tool for the angels.
…to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:10)
We are told of different levels of delegated authority amongst the evil angels in Ephesians 6:12. The principalities are literally the first ones or the leaders and the powers are authorities, the demons of Satan at a lower level, in the kingdom of the air. The rulers are world-leaders, thus demons operating on earth as opposed to the atmosphere. The heavenly places are not the dwelling place of the throne room inhabited by the holy angels (a different Greek word is used for that realm), but the lower atmosphere of the earth. Each demon has a different level of operation, and thus, a different level of authority.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
The power of darkness is a power of spiritual darkness and ignorance of the things of God. It is in direct opposition to the work of God and its mission was to hold man in its grip. But that grip was loosened by the completed work on the Cross.
When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not, try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness. (Luke 22:53)
In Ephesians 2:2 we learn of the dominion of Satan. The Greek word for prince refers to the first in a list of persons or things. In this verse it refers to Satan as the top authority in his kingdom. Power is the Greek word we have been studying, exousia, and refers to the demons of Satan. The air in the Greek is the lower, denser atmosphere where humans live. Satan is thus the authority on earth in the sense that he is allowed to operate for a limited time here with us mortals and his power is also limited to earth. It is important to understand that in no way does Satan hold a position of authority over God; authority is allowed. We will look at this farther in passages later in this Chapter.
In which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 2:2)