The god of this World
After the fall of man, the devil became the god of this world. Man bestowed this office on him, and it is an office he continues to hold today. This is seen in Genesis when God confronted the devil immediately following the fall of man.
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
Dust refers to the dust of the earth, and it is a figurative reference to the senses realm, the physical realm, the realm of the five senses. You eat to be nourished. Dust, referring to the senses realm, nourishes and sustains the devil. This makes sense because as the god of this world he controls the authority and dominion of the world - it is his meat, it is what sustains him. Here in Genesis, God is acknowledging the devil's new position as the god of this world. However, God was not particularly happy with this change in leadership over his earth, and he came up with a plan to sort things out.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Here God promised a redeemer, the seed of the woman, who would bruise the devil's head, or crush his skull as the original scripture implies. This was realised when God raised Jesus Christ from the dead and sat him at his own right hand, accomplishing man's redemption. Since that time, the devil's existence has been drawing to a close. Jesus Christ dealt a mortal blow to his skull, and at some point in the future he will be destroyed permanently. In the meantime, however, he is still the god of this world and we had better respect that because he has the right to exert all his influence, authority, power, and dominion to further his agendas. So who is this god? It was the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ that fully exposed him. Look at how emphatically his will is expressed here:
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
As the god of this world, the devil is passionately committed to concealing God's word by distracting people with the things of the world. He does not like being out in the open where we can see him so he hides behind the senses realm. It is only the word that reveals who he is, so he designs the world to choke light from people's lives so they remain without knowledge of the truth. The devil is good at what he does too. He was once the archangel of light, second in command in heaven, full of wisdom and beauty, perfect in all his ways, so don't underestimate him. Don't underestimate those who work for him either, they can be startlingly committed to their god.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
Being so evil, the devil can't expose his true nature or no one would worship him, not even his illuminated ones. God protects us from the devil when we know his word and live accordingly. Why do you think God had his word written in the first place? Because he was bored? No, it was for us, it was so we could understand spiritual matters.
1 Corinthians 12:1
Now concerning spiritual gifts, [pneumatikos - spiritual matters] brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
If God's word exposes the devil, how then does the devil hide himself? How does he conceal himself and his true nature from those who unwittingly, and not so unwittingly work for him? Through the world of which he is god, that's how. Clues to the nature of who runs the courses of the world are all over the word. It isn't as if God wants us ignorant of these things.
1 John 2:15
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Is the world crooked and perverse? Oh, yes. Jesus Christ frequently taught his disciples about the nature of the world.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Those who stand for the true God find themselves very much in direct opposition to the world. If God's people do not know the word, they are not going to get very far in life.
1 John 2:16
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
The term world here obviously doesn't refer to the physical earth, rather it represents its words, its concepts, and its political and religious systems. In 1 John 2:15 and 16, the word world is used five times. Two of those uses clearly document that the things of the world are not of the true God. This obviously is not referring to beautiful plants and animals, but rather to the political, religious, and social agendas being promoted behind the scenes, such as the love of money, the lust for possessions, churches, religions and other distasteful things. These worldly pursuits are designed to choke the light of God's word from people, and they are very effective.
2 Corinthians 4:3,4
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
We live in a world of darkness and confusion, a world unable to find its way. Those of us who know the truth have the privilege to bring light to the world so people can see. The devil, the god of this world, does not want people to see that light, so he does his best to snuff it out. He does this through the systems, the courses of the world.
The world is accustomed to living in shadows. The world has no understanding of what is going on behind the scenes. The god of this world does this by conditioning people with illusions and lies from the time they are born. Perhaps his greatest deception has been to convince mankind that he does not exist. This is the work of a master illusionist, a master magician, a master sorcerer.
Have you ever been to a magician's show? It's quite a spectacle. The magician comes out in his cape, waves his little magic wand and his show dazzles the crowds. His aim is to distract the audience with glitter and movement to keep them from seeing his sleight of hand, what he is really doing behind the scenes. People are awestruck by what looks convincing, but is in fact an illusion. The devil does the same with the things of the world. He is a master magician, a master illusionist. He keeps the world distracted with glitter and movement, and herein lies the power behind words and concepts. Without a true standard of truth, the devil has access to people's minds and hearts through the words and concepts of his world. The world's media churns out his words and concepts relentlessly so that they are widely accepted as truth. These words and concepts often seem appealing because many of those who teach, endorse, and promote them are extremely passionate about what they do. However, when accepted and practiced, these words and ideals of the god of this world do nothing but fulfil his agendas of stealing, killing, and destroying.
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God [above the star, God]: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?
These verses refer to a certain king who lived during those times, but the deeper reference is directed towards the god he worshipped, the power behind the man. It is the devil who made this world a spiritual wilderness, and he does it through men who do his bidding. The book of Job contains a vivid description of the devil.
Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?
Man may have got to the moon, but he is never going to cast a fishing lure into the Deep and catch the devil.
Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?
His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal.
One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.
They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered.
By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.
Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron.
His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.
In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him.
Here is the dragon, the devil, the god of this world for those with eyes to see. What gives him joy? Our sorrow. The more pain, sorrow, misery, suffering, and death he can inflict on us, the more joy he has. That is his meat, that is what sustains him. This is the god of this world.
Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.
It is difficult to begin to comprehend the heart of the devil.
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
In the book of Acts, the Apostle Paul recalled the purpose of his ministry in carrying out the works of Jesus Christ.
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
It says here to open their eyes. Figuratively, eyes represent people's understanding. People's eyes are closed due to the influences of the dragon, the god of this world. The world promotes the opposite of what the word teaches. The world tirelessly advertises social, political, economic, religious, and environmental agendas that blind men's minds to spiritual realities. These agendas blur perceptions and break down the very morals and ethics that would keep us protected. As the god of this world, the devil pushes his agendas of stealing, killing, and destroying from behind the scenes through the world's media, as well as environmental, religious and political movements. Make no mistake, the world is under bad management.
Chapter 15 - How we got the Bible