that Paul's power encounter with the
sorcerer Bar-Jesus, or Elymas on Cyprus
involved a territorial spirit.
But the spirit is unnamed and there is nothing specific in the text that would either force such a conclusion or deny it (see Acts 13:6-12).
Such is also the situation when Paul cast the spirit of divination out of the slave girl in Philippi (see Acts 16:16-24). I have a strong suspicion that it was a territorial spirit, but no conclusive proof.
The story of Paul's ministry in Ephesus is different. Here we do have the name of the ruling spirit, Diana (her Roman name), or Artemis (her Greek name) of the Ephesians.
Talbot School of Theology's Clinton E. Arnold is a New Testament Scholar who has specialized in the book of Ephesians and who helps us see the spiritual warfare implications of the epistle. He laments,
"Few N.T. scholars have referred to the Artemis cult as
relevant to the teaching on the hostile 'powers' ".
He feels that attempting to understand the principalities and powers in Ephesians apart from the cult of Artemis is a mistake.
One reason I agree with Arnold is that leaders of the city of Ephesus itself became so upset by the ministry of the apostle Paul that they feared the goddess Diana's temple would be despised and her magnificence destroyed (see Acts 19:27).
They boasted that "all Asia and the world" worships her (v. 27).
The city clerk proclaimed,
"Who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is
temple guardian of the great goddess Diana, and of the
image which fell down from Zeus?" (see Acts 19:35).
Clinton Arnold's historical research confirms that Artemis was worshiped in Colossae, Laodicea, Hierapolis and throughout Asia.
Artemis' power was awesome. Arnold says,
"One undisputed characteristic of the Ephesian Artemis
is the unsurpassed cosmic power attributed to her."
He says that because of her supra-natural powers..
"she could intercede between her followers and the cruel
fate which plagued them."
She wore the signs of the zodiac around her neck and "possessed an authority and power superior to that of astrological fate."
(Google image and emphasis added)