The Course of this World
Now it is time to look more closely at how the devil conducts his business. Ephesians 2:2 talks about the course of this world.
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
What is the course of this world? It is how the devil moves in the senses realm. If we can understand how he moves within the framework of the five senses, things will become clearer for us when it comes to making decisions that affect our lives and the lives of others. While going through this, always remember that our fight is not against flesh and blood.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Flesh and blood is a figurative reference to the senses realm. Our fight isn't against the senses realm, but against the spiritual powers working through people from behind the scenes. With that in mind, we can now dispel a few smoke screens so we can see more clearly what is going on around us. We have already gained many clues and it is time to put things together.
We'll begin by studying the arrest, the illegal trials, and the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. Between his arrest and his execution, Jesus Christ endured unparalleled evil and brutality. Remember, he did this willingly. He went through this for you and me. He laid down his life freely by his choice, it was not taken from him against his will.
From his arrest until his death was a period of about forty hours, during which time he was beaten to a pulp as prophesied in Isaiah. What makes this so poignant is that Jesus Christ knew it was coming throughout his ministry. He would have known this verse in Isaiah by heart, and he would have known it referred to him.
As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
His visage, his form, his physical body was marred more than any other human being that has ever lived. He knew he was going to be beaten more than any man in the history of the world, before or since. He was beaten so badly, his physical body no longer resembled that of a human being and he knew ahead of time that he would have to go through it. He wasn't God, he was a man, subject to like passions just as we are. How would you have felt knowing such cruelty and death was coming? He went through it for you.
And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
It was men who tortured, whipped, beat and murdered Jesus Christ, but how did the god of this world orchestrate it? How did the devil move the courses of the world to get it done?
At the time of the crucifixion, there was no sovereign nation of Israel. Palestine, which included Judea, had been occupied and governed by the Romans since 63 BC. As an occupying force, the Romans permitted the Judeans to practice their religion and law under the direction of the Sanhedrin, the seventy man ruling body of Judaism. Thus there were two sophisticated legal systems in operation during Jesus Christ's ministry, one Judean and one Roman. The devil used the existing governmental and religious systems in place at the time by working through those with the political and religious power to execute this heinous crime.
Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews [Judeans] took Jesus, and bound him,
And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.
Annas and Caiaphas were both most likely members of the Sanhedrin. Even though the Romans had deposed Annas, the Judeans considered him high priest for life. His influence with the Romans was evident by their appointment of his son-in-law Caiaphas to replace him as high priest. The Judeans revered Annas much as Roman Catholics revere the pope today.
In his book, The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Alfred Edershiem states that the Annas family derived their chief source of income from selling sacrifices in the temple, the very practice Jesus had condemned three days earlier when he drove the merchants and their animals out. This was obviously a big part of what stirred such dark emotional hatreds within Annas and Caiaphas. Jesus Christ taught the truth and that affected their income. The love of money is the root of all evil, and pity help anyone who messes with the income of evil men. Paul encountered a similar problem at Ephesus from the silversmiths who made money by selling shrines dedicated to Diana of the Ephesians.
And the same time there arose no small stir about that way.
For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.
Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth.
And when they heard these sayings, they were full of wrath, and cried out, saying, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
And the whole city was filled with confusion: and having caught Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel, they rushed with one accord into the theatre.
And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.
And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.
Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
Men stirred up this riot, men who loved money more than truth. We can safely deduce then that the god of this world ensures that men who love money are promoted to high political and religious office.
A man with no accurate understanding of God's word generally views his life according to whatever material possessions he has acquired. The more property he has, the more complete he feels his life has become. Expensive villas, fast cars, and good suits make him feel successful and fulfilled. They represent what he has made of himself. Those who don't have as much as others feel somehow inferior, and so they are enticed onto the devil's treadmill to try to accumulate some stuff of their own. As born again believers, do our lives consist of what we own? Jesus Christ answered that very question.
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Our lives do not consist of the abundance of things that we own. When man views his life according to what he owns, he is on the devil's treadmill, what is commonly referred to as the rat race.
1 Timothy 6:6
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
The secret to living in godly contentment, is to be content with having all our need met, which God promises to supply.
1 Timothy 6:7,8
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Food and raiment would obviously include somewhere comfortable to live. In other words, with plenty to eat, nice clothes to wear, and somewhere comfortable to live, we should be content.
This isn't to say that being rich is necessarily evil, not at all, Job was the richest man in the world in his day. Solomon was rich beyond imagination. It is our attitude that is important. Do we love money more than we love God? Do we allow our ethics and morals to be corrupted in the pursuit of money, and the property, power, and worldly prestige that brings? If we're not living in godly contentment, we have been seduced by the world, like Annas and Caiaphas, who were willing to commit murder to protect their illegal money making rackets. Annas and Caiaphas loved money more than anything else in life, and when the source of their income was threatened by Jesus Christ, the hatreds that burned within them drove them to murder.
Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews [Judeans], that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
Although the Romans had given Caiaphas the legal authority and power, Annas still wielded the influence. Both are referred to as high priests in the gospel records. After his arrest, Jesus appeared first before Annas.
The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.
Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews [Judeans] always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.
And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?
Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
The words struck with the palm of his hand can mean to beat repeatedly with a heavy wooden rod. The word smitest means to skin, to flay, or scourge, and scourge means to flog. This was a brutal and illegal act perpetrated by the religious authorities of the time. Things have not changed much in the last 2000 years.
After this short trial, they took Jesus to Caiaphas and the other religious leaders, including the Sanhedrin, for a more formal proceeding than the first. It was late at night.
And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Conducting legal proceedings late at night was illegal. Intentionally seeking false witnesses was illegal. Remember this excerpt taken from the oaths a jesuit swears when he is accepted into the order?
I do now denounce and disown any allegiance as due to any heretical king, prince or State, named Protestant or Liberal, or obedience to any of their laws, magistrates or officers.
These religious men were comfortable committing criminal acts. This is another clue in our search.
Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
Then did they spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands,
Under Judean law, blasphemy was indeed punishable by death. Bullinger's Lexicon and Concordance defines the word smote in verse 67 as to rap or strike with a stick or to beat with rods or to scourge. They hit Jesus repeatedly on the head with thin, flexible whip like canes which would wrap around his face, cutting the flesh. The hatred that burned within these men is indescribable. Remember, these were the top religious authorities, the church leaders perpetrating these crimes.
Note that not one person at this trial voiced surprise or concern that laws were being broken. This was well-oiled criminal machinery at work, and the top gangsters - for gangsters they were, involved in all sorts of illegal and immoral money making rackets - were wearing religious robes. More clues.
The following morning, they brought Jesus to trial a third time and asked the same questions. This third trial was a pretence, a spectacle merely to keep the Romans happy, giving his trials a faςade of legality. Even so, the religious leaders managed to break yet another law because they convicted Jesus on his own testimony, which interestingly enough was illegal. After this third and final illegal Judean trial, they dragged him before the Romans.
And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.
Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?
Annas would have been instrumental in formulating the strategy to have Jesus crucified, including the crimes laid against him. He knew Pilate would refuse to accept blasphemy as a legitimate criminal charge, so the next verse lists the actual charges brought against Jesus.
And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.
The first charge, perverting the nation, is sedition, treason under Roman law. Forbidding to give tribute to Caesar is tax evasion. The third charge was claiming to be Christ, a king. Pilate knew that the first two charges were related to the third, that all were entirely religious in nature, and didn't want to get involved. Notice there is no mention of blasphemy in the charges.
Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
The Roman governor found no crime worthy of death had been committed, and set his heart on freeing the man. Pilate appealed several times to the Judeans to allow him to let Jesus go. He even went so far as to make the Judeans choose between him and Barabbas, a terrorist and murderer. The religious hierarchy incited the people to choose Barabbas.
But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
Here is yet another clue to how the devil works within the courses of the world to bring his devices to pass. It says the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitude. Annas and Caiaphas didn't go down into the crowd themselves and do this, they organised it, they orchestrated it. Annas and Caiaphas were obviously extremely powerful and influential. There is organisation at work here behind the scenes. This is how the devil moves the courses of the world.
So what was this organisation that Annas and Caiaphas controlled? It was a secret society, an organisation that worked behind the scenes, out of the glare of the public eye. In 21st Century language, they controlled freemasonry. Their subordinates infiltrated the crowd and swayed opinion towards Barabbas by shouting down those who put their hands up for Jesus. Threats of retaliation and other forms of domestic terrorism would no doubt have been levelled at anyone daring to stand against the will of Annas and Caiaphas. Fear of reprisals and violence would have silenced the crowd, leaving the loud-mouthed masonic minority to shout for Barabbas and sway the multitude.
When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
More events are recorded in God's word about what happened in Jerusalem on the 13th of Nisan, 28 AD, than of any other day in history, and there is much we can learn, not only about the actual events, but also of the powers working behind the scenes that orchestrated this most heinous of all crimes.
This is still how riots are fomented today. Hard core groups of masons, communists, call them what you like, those doing the bidding of the jesuits, infiltrate demonstrations and incite protesters to riot. Demonstrations are in fact usually organised solely for the intent of starting riots. When demonstrations turn into riots, government resolve crumbles and breaks. Terrorism works, and the jesuits know that. The threat of violence and rioting keeps our politicians afraid. More than likely, Barabbas was a member of the same masonic order headed by Annas and Caiaphas. They probably supported Barabbas and financed him behind the scenes in his murderous terror campaigns.
The primary motivating force behind the murder of Jesus Christ was the love of money. Obviously, the devil didn't give a damn about the money Annas and Caiaphas were making, but he used their love of their money to push them emotionally to orchestrate the murder of Jesus Christ. The love of money is still the motivating factor that drives world terrorism and social unrest today. You can call them Maoists or freedom fighters or whatever you like, but communism and terrorism, including so-called Muslim terrorism, are political weapons wielded by the vatican. Oh yes, it isn't Muslims behind Arab terrorism, they also have their traitors. Arafat was a communist and it was the KGB who founded the PLO.
Only organisations as sophisticated and powerful as International masonry, which includes the Knights of Malta, have the power to enact religious and political acts of the magnitude of the murder of the Lord Jesus Christ. Annas and Caiaphas would have been the jesuits of their day controlling the 33rd degree masons if you please, and it was that authority that allowed them to foment and orchestrate this crime through the political and religious systems of that day. This is still how the devil moves the courses of the world in the 21st Century.
One day king Ahab decided he wanted a new vineyard. Only it was not for sale.
1 Kings 21:1-3
And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.
And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.
Naboth lived by the old testament law given by Moses, in which it was forbidden to sell the land God had blessed him with. Naboth was obviously a believer, a disciple, one who put God's word before money. This gives us an indication then as to why the devil would want to target him. Ahab however loved money, in this case a valuable property, more than he loved God. It was Ahab's love of possessions that was the means with which the devil would move the courses of the world to get his bidding done. The love of money is a spiritual lever.
1 Kings 21:4
And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.
One can only imagine the emotional darkness swirling through Ahab here. He obviously wasn't living in godly contentment, and the devil was at work through Ahab's dark emotions. Then just at the right time, Jezebel his wife, one of the slimiest bitches of all time, crept in.
1 Kings 21:5-7
But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?
And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.
And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
The god of this world now goes to work fomenting emotions in Jezebel. You are seeing here firsthand how the courses of this world operate. This is how the devil gets things done. He wants Naboth dead, and the love of money is how he is orchestrating the systems of the world to get the deed done.
1 Kings 21:8
So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.
Now wait a minute. Obviously, Jezebel wasn't sending these letters through regular channels or regular post. If she had sent any of these letters to the wrong men, Naboth would have been warned, and she would have been at risk of criminal proceedings. She is putting something into operation here behind the scenes. There is some secret organisation at work here within the political framework. Masonry goes back a long way.
1 Kings 21:9-16
And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:
And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.
And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.
They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.
And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.
Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.
And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
As with the murder of the Lord Jesus Christ, the murder of Naboth was the work of the god of this world. Ahab may have got his vineyard, but the god of this world got what he wanted done, and that was the whole point. Not in vain does the word say that the love of money is the root of all evil. Note also that Jezebel and Ahab were very much leaders in the church of Baal at that time.
1 Kings 18:19
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.
It is no different today than it was in Jesus' day, and it is no different to how it was back in the days of Ahab. Are people today wrongly convicted in court and sent to prison because prosecutors lie? Yes, they are. Our soldiers are sent to prison for killing our enemies. The enemy is among us and they protect their own at our expense. The more the jesuits and the masons take control, the more treacherous our politicians, our judiciary, and our other civil leaders become.
It was no different in the days of Ezekiel either. God showed Ezekiel by revelation what was going on inside the temple.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.
And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.
And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.
And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.
Hooded robes and chanting? Incense and religious ritual? What is this but a masonic meeting of religious nuts? The religious leaders of the vatican are the god of this world's hierarchy in the 21st Century. From them, the devil's agendas are filtered down behind the scenes through secret societies and freemasonry until it is manifested, brought into being, through the political and religious systems of the world.
The god of this world is formidable. However, when God raised his son the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, the devil was defeated.
Chapter 30 - Christ and Christmas