Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, declares that this world has a god. Who would be the god of this world? Jesus declared that this world provokes him, for their works are evil (John 7:7). He also declares that this world is from below, and that he is from above; and he argues that the Jews are of this world (John 8:23). John tells us not to love this world, nor the things of this world, for the one who loves this world the love of the Father is not in him, for three things in this world: the desire of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are things of this world, and do not come from the Father, but from the world (1 John 2:15-16). Saint James declares that Christians who are friends of this world are adulterers and make themselves enemies of God (James 4:4). “The devil, leading him up on a high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. The devil said to him, ‘I will give you all this authority, and their glory, for it has been delivered to me; and I give it to whomever I want. If you therefore will worship before me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Get behind me Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve him only”’” (Luke 4:5-8). Jesus did not deny Satan’s declaration; only cast him out. It looks like the devil is the god of this world. But the very Satan said to Jesus that the kingdoms of this world had been handed to him; and it is obvious that the god of this world was who handed the world to Satan; for God, the Father of Jesus Christ, would never do this.
Jesus declared: “All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is, except the Father, and who the Father is, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son desires to reveal him” (Luke 10:22). Look at the difference: The Father delivered all things in the hands of the Son, and Satan affirms that someone has delivered to him all the kingdoms of this world, and this one was not the Father. And this one that has delivered all the kingdoms of this world to Satan was the same that submitted all creation to a regimen of vanity and slavery to corruption (Rom. 8:20-21). This one that submitted all creation is not Satan, for he is considered a god, and Satan has sinned and lied since the beginning (1 John 3:8; John 8:44).
God, the Father, does not have any connections with this world, and his kingdom is not of this world. The texts that prove this are: 2 Tim. 4:18; 1 Pet. 1:3-4; John 14:1-3. And there is a complete disconnect between this world and God the Father (1 Tim. 6:16; John 1:18).
The Father sent Jesus to save the condemned and captives of this world (John 3:16-17). And the price of the prince of this world was the life of the Son of God the Father (1 Pet. 1:18-19; 1 Cor. 6:19-20). Jesus bought us; and we that believed are taken from the powers of darkness (demonic powers), and are taken into the kingdom of God (Col. 1:12-13). Paul refers to this powers in this way: “…in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest” (Eph. 2:2-3). Jesus came to this world with the only purpose of saving the sinners (Gal. 1:4). But Jesus has nothing to do with this world (John 8:23; John 17:13-16). The god of this world is a personality that is very connected to it, and has a lot of power.
- This powerful being established his kingdom in this world. He said to the people of Israel: “You shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:6).
- This powerful being has his offspring generated by the flesh in this world. He said: “You are the children of Jehovah your God: you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead” (Deut. 14:1). The children of Jehovah are not born of the Holy Spirit. This new birth came only when Jesus became flesh (John 3:3-6). Those born of the flesh are not children of God the Father (John 1:12-13).
- The inheritance of Jehovah to his children is in this world, the land of Canaan, more exactly, the Palestine, which was promised to Abraham and his offspring with an oath, as an eternal possession (Gen. 17:8). And the very Abram did not believe Jehovah, for by faith he believed in the celestial Jerusalem (Heb. 11:8-10).
- The capital of the kingdom of Jehovah is the Jerusalem of the earth, which belonged to the Jebusees (2 Sam. 5:6-7). This is the Jerusalem of this world, where Jehovah lives (Esra 2:68; 1 Chr. 23:25; Ps. 68:16; Ps. 132:13-14; Ps. 135:21). This was the dream of Jehovah (Ex. 15:17-18). Paul declares that the two Jerusalem are two different inheritances (Gal. 4:21-26; Gal. 4:30-31). We see that Abraham is the father of the faith because he chose the true Jerusalem and not the false one (Gal. 3:6-9).
- Jehovah himself declares that this world and the men of this world belong to him (Ps. 24:1).
- Jehovah also rules over the nations of this world (Ps. 47:7-8; Ps. 22:28; 96:10; 99:1).
- Jehovah elects the kings of this world: the good ones and the bad ones. “The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men” (Dan. 4:17). Jehovah delivered all the kingdoms under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, cruel and wicked king that destroyed Jerusalem and burnt the temple where Jehovah dwelled with fire (Jer. 27:5-8). Judah was taken captive, and the famine there was such, that pious women ate their own children (Lam. 4:10).
- We cannot deny it. The god of this world, to whom Paul refers in 2 Cor. 4:4, is Jehovah, and he has so much power, that he blinds Christians so completely, that they worship him as if he were the true god.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira