The Devil Is “the Ruler of the World”
ARE you shocked at the statement that the Devil is “the ruler of the world,” that he is the ruler of the nations of Christendom as well as of all other nations of the world? Perhaps you believe sincerely that man’s Creator holds that position. It is true that all mankind are accountable to God, but the Devil is the one who is using the nations to do his bidding. Consider the facts.
The fruitage of the Creator’s holy spirit is, according to his written Word, “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control.” (Gal. 5:22, 23) Is this the fruitage that the nations have been producing? Look at the sanguinary record they have established just since 1914—over 35 million persons killed in two world wars, not to mention the dead from many smaller wars. Consider the frightful brutality that man has shown to man in such places as Nazi and Communist concentration camps. Look at the vicious murders and other crimes reported daily in the newspapers, and consider the general collapse of good moral standards. Is this the fruitage of God’s spirit, or is it instead the type of fruitage to be expected from a world ruled by the Devil?
Of course, there are persons who refuse to believe that the Devil even exists. Their attitude might be compared with that of certain American public officials who, at one time, refused to believe in the existence of the notorious Mafia or Cosa Nostra. Their disbelief facilitated the operations of that crime syndicate. The same is true with Satan the Devil. One of his most effective weapons is to induce people to believe that he does not exist. Notwithstanding the disbelief of prominent men of the world, God’s inspired Word testifies that the Devil does exist and is, in fact, the ruler of this world. Jesus Christ himself spoke of the Devil as “the ruler of the world,” as recorded at John 14:30, and said that this ruler had no hold on him. This in itself shows that “the ruler of the world” could not be Jesus’ Father, man’s Creator. Consider also the Scriptural account about the occasion when Satan the Devil offered Jesus Christ all the kingdoms of the world in return for worship. He could make such an offer because he was their ruler.—Matt. 4:8, 9.
Regarding this wicked spirit creature who made himself the chief slanderer of Jehovah God, the Bible states that he “was a manslayer when he began, and he did not stand fast in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaks the lie, he speaks according to his own disposition, because he is a liar and the father of the lie.” (John 8:44) Does not the world show the same traits? Murders in the cities, slayings on battlefields, lies at international peace tables all reflect his traits.
USES INNOCENT-APPEARING FRONTS
That the Devil would hide behind a front of respectability just as is done by the leaders of the Cosa Nostra crime syndicate is to be logically expected. Those underworld bosses appear in the eyes of the public as respectable businessmen, operating legitimate businesses, but under their outward appearances they carry on their vile deeds and widespread illegal activities that are detrimental to the public. This practice of working behind a respectable front is pursued expertly by the Devil, who is the master of deception.
What better way can he deceive people and get them to serve him unwittingly than by using a respectable religious front that outwardly appears to be good and enlightening? According to this pattern of deception, he has used religions in Christendom that appear on the surface to be Christian but that are involved in many unscriptural practices and have made themselves a part of his worldwide system of things. This they have done contrary to the fact that Jesus Christ said that true Christians would keep separate from the world, even as he did.—John 17:16; Matt. 7:22, 23.
Supposedly Christian religions have been involved in fiendish inquisitions, ruthless massacres and savage wars. Whose influence is manifested by such actions—that of Jesus Christ, who commanded his followers to love one another, or that of the Devil? What about religious leaders who undermine faith in the written Word of Jehovah God by claiming that it is filled with myths? What about those who go so far as to say that God is dead? Is this not the sort of thing to be expected from “the ruler of the world,” who is a constant slanderer of man’s Creator?
That the Devil would, as the master of deception, mislead people by religions that outwardly claim to serve the true God was foretold in the Bible at 2 Corinthians 11:13-15, where it says: “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself keeps transforming himself into an angel of light. It is therefore nothing great if his ministers also keep transforming themselves into ministers of righteousness.”
The “ruler of the world,” who is also called “the god of this system of things,” is shown by the Bible to be the great blinder of men’s minds with respect to the King of God’s kingdom, Jesus Christ. That kingdom is mankind’s only certain hope for righteous rulers and permanent peace, but the Devil does not want people to trust in it. (Isa. 9:6, 7; Dan. 2:44) God’s Word states at 2 Corinthians 4:4: “The god of this system of things has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, that the illumination of the glorious good news about the Christ, who is the image of God, might not shine through.” Who else could this god be but the Devil?—Eph. 2:2; 2 Thess. 2:9, 10.
Do not reason that there are only a few misguided ones who are in the power of the Devil. As god and ruler of the world his influence affects the majority of mankind. The Bible testifies to this at 1 John 5:19 by saying that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.” And Revelation 12:9 says that he is “misleading the entire inhabited earth.” That the Devil’s influence is earth-wide is evident from the general thinking, actions and immoral traits of the world.
Are you so different from the majority of mankind that you can say that they are serving the Devil but that you are serving the true God? There is a people who are that different, and everyone knows they are different and no part of the world. They are Jehovah’s witnesses. They refuse to serve the god of this system of things and to come under his influence. They are, like the apostle Paul, going to the people of the world “to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God.” (Acts 26:18) They are happy to help people break free from the master deceiver so as to serve the great Giver of life, Jehovah God. The conducting of free home Bible studies is one way they do this. When they call at your door, invite them in and ask them about God’s marvelous purposes for mankind.