Satan’s army of demons is highly organized, for believers struggle “against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12). The Greek construction, using the word translated “against” repeatedly, separates each category of demonic beings—rulers, powers, forces of darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness. “Rulers” and “powers” obviously refer to demons who have high ranks in the satanic hierarchy.
Perhaps “world forces” refers to demons who have infiltrated the political structure of the world and are influencing decisions from behind the scenes. “Darkness” speaks of hell. In Matthew 8:12, Christ called it “outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
From Scriptures we can read that there is an unseen spiritual global conspiracy involving demons in high places, and many humans and earthly organizations are unwitting participants in it. The Old Testament says that the gods of the nations are demons (cf. Ps. 96:5; 1 Cor. 10:19-20). In 1 John 5:19, John said, “The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4), and so he controls much of what occurs in the events of this world.
And, as has also, been pointed out, Satan’s control is not only over demons and men, but also over the earth itself, which he gained in his warfare with the one to whom God committed it. All things were placed under the feet of Adam, the whole earth being in subjection to him. But he did not retain this exalted position of power and authority, for he himself fell under subjection to the devil. And with him the dominion passed under the same control. This world became the possession of Satan at the fall of man, and thus became the home of the great revolt against the government of heaven.