What are Elemental Spirits?

In Colossians, Paul tells believers that Jesus Christ can set us free from the domination of elemental spirits.

Col 2;8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

The words 'See to it' clearly shows that each one of us have to take personal responsibility for whether the spirits we contact are The Holy Spirit or the elemental spirits!

1 John 4:1 warns us to 'Test the spirits whether they are of God.'

These two Scriptures alone strongly confirm to us that there are other spirits as well as The Holy Spirit.

So, what are elemental spirits?

The Four basic elements of the world are said to be controlled by powerful spirits. Some would say that this is God, but, in fact, these spirits are fallen angels under the control of Satan. They gain dominion or control over the human race as they are wittingly or unwittingly incorporated into an individual's or a nation's culture.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, one of Satan’s claims was that He had been given the power and glory of all that Jesus could see from the mountain where they stood. This was simply a lie and Jesus told him the truth, that all things belonged to God.

Most eastern religions and philosophies, as well as western occult religions like Spiritism, Theosophy, Witchcraft, Satanism, Astrology and the New Age movement, have beliefs connected with the basic belief of Elementalism. These elements are: Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. Yes, God created all these elements but the idea that they have spiritual power and control of any sort that we should experience, is pagan animism and idolatry and certainly not Biblical.

We must remember that the Bible clearly shows that these spiritual powers are in fact a part of a real kingdom (Colossians 1:13) 'the Dominion of Darkness', and Satan is their ruler.

Ephesians 6;12 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.

As born again believers, the text in Colossians explains that we are set free from these spiritual powers. This is all part of the Good News concerning what Christ has done for us.


The threat of terrorism that we see today isn't just about guns and bombs. There is also an active and subtle spiritual terrorism that is overtaking the world and the church by stealth. Jesus, in the parable of the tares, speaks of wheat and tares growing together. This is the state of the church today. Good doctrine has been infiltrated and distorted, as deceiving spirits give false teaching and deceptive new age practices are introduced. Very few Christians are bothering to 'test the spirits' to discern whether these 'spiritual' manifestations or techniques are of God or not.

One subtle area where Christians can open themselves up to deceiving spirits is through the rapidly expanding Alternative Medicine market. Most alternative health therapies have no scientific basis for their power or effectiveness and when they do actually deliver a better result than the 30-40% placebo effect, we need to ask the question 'where does their power come from'? Just a little internet research will soon show you that most of them claim mystical or ancient spiritual powers. This should set alarm bells ringing, but too many christians are in denial. 

Did you know, for instance, that Yoga, Feng-shui, Reiki, Shiatsu, Reflexology and Acupuncture, are about aligning the body’s supposed psychic energy with cosmic forces? The feel-good buzz they give you is potent, but it is spiritually and physically destructive. 

It doesn't make pleasant reading, but the truth is that the Church today is full of therapies that are, in fact, channelling healing power from spirits. We have opened ourselves right up to elemental spirits from the Kingdom of Darkness. Satan has well and truly disguised himself as an angel of light!

Some churches are actively encouraging their members to use practices and ceremonies that come from other religions, such as Yoga style mantra meditation, and the tunnel of fire ceremony even though we know that they are designed specifically to open people's souls to familiar spirits and foreign gods.


Imitation is said to be the greatest form of flattery. Nothing thrills the powers of darkness more than to see Christians applying it’s pagan practices in the Church and in their lives. 

The Kingdom of Darkness can and does copy all the spiritual gifts that Paul describes in Corinthians, and few are bothering to test spiritual gifts to see if they really are from God. People manifesting the supernatural can thrive in our churches today without submitting to Biblical Church authority or discernment. 

Bear in mind that it is your responsibly to make sure that you test which spirits you allow into your life!

Too many people think we can mix the Kingdom of Darkness and the Kingdom of Light without serious consequences. Beware! The Scriptures make it clear that there can be no fellowship between darkness and light.

Remember that discernment is not asking the question 'does it work'? 

The question should be 'where does it's power come from'?

Jesus is soon returning to this world and he will give his holy angels the command to separate the wheat from the tares. The latter will be gathered in bundles to be burnt. The final Judgement and Victory will be His.

Martyn Cunnington

ref. The Amplified New Testament 

© Martyn Cunnington revised 2021