God’s Word Is Alive
The World Jesus Would Not Pray For
THE night before his death, Jesus prayed: “I make request concerning them [his disciples]; I make request, not concerning the world.” (John 17:9) Earlier that night Jesus spoke about “the ruler of this world.” The Bible identifies this ruler as Satan the Devil, “the god of this system of things [who] has blinded the minds of the unbelievers.”—John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4.
But what is this world that is ruled by Satan and that Jesus would not pray for? It is this organized human society that exists apart from or outside of God’s visible organization. Satan’s world organization is made up, in particular, of three closely connected parts.
First, there is false religion, represented in the Bible as a bloodguilty prostitute named “Babylon the Great.” That this prostitute represents a religious system is shown by the Bible’s statement that by means of her “spiritistic practice all the nations were misled.” (Revelation 18:23) This bad woman is described as “sitting upon a scarlet-colored wild beast . . . that had seven heads and ten horns.”—Revelation 17:3.
A second important part of Satan’s world organization is the political governments, which are represented in the Bible by beasts. (Daniel 8:20, 21) That the beastlike governments of the world receive their power from Satan is shown by a vision written down by the apostle John: “I saw a wild beast ascending out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads . . . And the dragon [Satan the Devil] gave to the beast its power.”—Revelation 13:1, 2; 12:9.
A third prominent part of Satan’s world organization is the greedy and oppressive commercial system. It is represented in the Bible by “traveling merchants.” The “traveling merchants” stand at a distance and mourn when Babylon the Great is destroyed.—Revelation 18:11, 15.
Further identifying Satan’s world are the loose living and immoral ways to be found there. For this reason both the apostles Paul and Peter warned Christians to avoid the bad practices of people of the nations. (Ephesians 4:17-19; 1 Peter 4:3, 4) The things around which the people of this organized human society build their lives are “the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the showy display of one’s means of life.”—1 John 2:15, 16.
In keeping with Jesus’ words about his followers, “they are no part of the world, just as I am no part of the world,” Christians today will exercise care to avoid being part of Satan’s world. (John 17:16) They will not take any part in its corrupt religion and politics, or in its dishonest business practices. They will avoid its immoral way of life.
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