It is believed by many that the ruler (god) over this world/age(eon) is Satan, and Satan also is believed to have the power over death as well (part 2).
There are several portions of scripture that would have many to believe that another force is in control, ruling the world/age/eon we live in. Ephesians 6:12 give many the impression that this is so, when it plainly states we wrestle against these forces, not a ruler over the world. There are four sections of scripture that I would like to deal with, and possibly clear up this confusion about who is in charge, verses that have caused some confusion concerning the ruler of this world/age(eon).
They are 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, John 16:11, John 12:31-32, and 1 John 5:19.
I use several translations, only because I believe none of them are 100% accurate, and many biases from the translators filter into their translations (i.e. pet doctrines). So in order to find the deeper truths we must put aside our human influences, which one could be, and I believe is, the many faulty translations we now have, as they can be more deceptive than a false teacher at times. You may agree or disagree with what I just said, it is only my observation and opinion concerning translations.
THE RULER/ruler AND GOD/ god OF THIS WORLD/AGE (EON)
From the four portions of scripture mentioned above, three deal with the Ruler/ruler or God/god of this world, that cause many to believe it is the Devil/Satan=(accuser/adversary) who is the god/ruler of this world, and will quote all the above as proof. Here are these verses taken from the NASB and KJV, as well as a few other versions, (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 is also a proof text used by many for the god of this world, but the word "world" is mistranslated, it should be age (eon), so I will deal with it later in this article).
1 JOHN 5:19
"We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one." (NIV) note: "in control" has been added.
"We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the Evil one." (Weymouth) note: Weymouth translates evil-Evil, causing the reader to believe the Devil is the evil one John is speaking of.
"We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." (NASB) note: "in the power of" has been added.
"And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness." (KJV)
A fellow I knew, when quoting the above verse, would place this power over the world, "in the lap of." He would quote it: "The world lies in the lap of the wicked one (the Devil)." It can be seen from the above that no where do we read "in the lap of ." The fellow added it to bolster his belief that the world (system) is in the control of the Devil/Satan, to the point that it sits in his lap for easy manipulation. Did others do the same to prove what "they" believed was fact, that the Devil controls the world?
Here is the verse from the CLNT:
"We are aware that we are of God, and the whole world is lying in the wicked one."
In the CLNT "one" is in light face type, meaning, that it is not in the originals we have. Why Knoch placed "one" in the verse can only be attributed to his personal bias believing the Devil is in control of the world, as do the other translators with their personal bias. In spite of Knoch's addition of "one", I am so grateful for the CLNT for this reason, we can often see what is supposed to be there, and what is not supposed to be there. The translators of the KJV got it right, they simply omitted the word "one," as did Young in his translation, Darby has it in parentheses.
Jesus tells us where this wickedness can be found:
"For from inside, out of the heart of men, are going out evil reasonings, prostitutions, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, wickedness, guile, wantonness, a wicked eye, calumny, pride, imprudence. All these wicked inside things are going out; and those are contaminating the man." (Mark 7:21-22)
Paul, in 2 Thessalonians tells who practice this wickedness:
"Furthermore, pray, brethren, concerning us, that the word of the Lord may race and be glorified, according as it is with you also, and that we should be rescued from abnormal and wicked men (humans), for not for all is the faith. Yet faithful is the Lord, Who will be establishing you and guarding you from the wicked one." (1 Thessalonians 3:1-3)
The word "one" is in lite typeface, so it has been added. Many point to this and tell us the wicked one here, is the same wicked one in other verses, yet, Paul here is telling the believer, that, abnormal and wicked humans are the wicked we should be guarding ourselves from, and Jesus tells us where it is found, in our own hearts.
"And concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged."
"Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." (KJV)
Now from the Dabhar:
"Now concerning judgment, the archbeing of this cosmos has been judged."
(Young's and Rotherham's have ruler of this world).
Now let's look at John 16:11 from the CLNT. I'll go back to verse 8 so we have some
"Now if I should be gone, I will send him(holy spirit) to you. And, coming, that will be
exposing the world concerning sin and concerning righteousness and concerning judging: concerning sin, indeed, seeing that they are not believing in Me; yet concerning righteousness, seeing that I am going away to My Father, and no longer are you beholding Me; yet concerning judging, seeing that the Chief of this world has been judged."
Knoch makes it very clear who the Chief of this world is; Christ.
When Christ was judged, and made to be a sin offering (2 Corinthians 5:21), there was no sin found in Him (1 John 3:5), this is why He is called the Chief of this world:
"For for this were you called, seeing that Christ also suffered for your sakes, leaving you a copy, that you should be following up in the footprints of Him Who does no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth; Who, being reviled, reviled not again; suffering, threatened not, yet gave it over to Him Who is judging justly, Who Himself carries up our sins in His body on to the pole, that, coming away from sins, we should be living for righteousness; by Whose welt you were healed. For you were as straying sheep, but now you turned back to the Shepherd and Supervisor of your souls." (1 Peter 2:21-25)
Christ, the Chief of this world, had to be tried in all respects like us, and found innocent, without sin. It was proof that He is the Son of God, and He, only, was able to take away Sin, so not only do we look to Him as an example, we look to Him as a help, as we struggle through our lives, knowing that:
"We have not a Chief Priest not able to sympathize with our infirmities, but One Who has been tried in all respects like us, apart from sin. We may be coming, then, with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may be obtaining mercy and finding grace for opportune help." (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Those who believe that the Devil/Satan is the god/ruler of this world, this portion of scripture must cause some concern, as we will read that the chief of this world is cast out, the exact opposite of what many believe to be the truth, that being the Devil/Satan is alive and well and ruling in the affairs of this world, and has been ever since the Garden, and isn't leaving for quite some time.
"Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself" (NASB)
Most versions say the same, with minor differences. Some say "prince" of this world, and one; Weymouth, capitalizes Prince, and the NLT removes prince/ruler, and adds Satan.
The question that has to be asked is: who was cast out? As I said, most believe the Devil/Satan is still here running the world's affairs, so is this once again the translators bias' taking front and center, with their belief that the Devil/Satan is running the show, but how, if he is cast out.
Peter wrote of the Stone that was rejected (cast out):
"Because of this it is included in the scripture: Lo! I am laying in Zion a corner capstone, chosen, held in honor, and he who is believing on it may by no means be disgraced. To you, then, who are believing, is the honor, yet to the unbelieving: A Stone which is rejected by the builders, this came to be for the head of the corner, and a stumbling stone and a snare rock; who are stumbling also at the word, being stubborn, to which they were appointed also." (1 Peter 2:6-8) See also; 1 Peter 2:4, Mark12:10, Matthew 21:42. As well as where Jesus was taken to to be crucified (Hebrews 13:10-14)
John 12:31-32 from the CLNT
"Now is the judging of this world. Now shall the Chief of this world be cast out. And I, if I should be exalted out of the earth, shall be drawing all to Myself."
Jesus here is referring to Himself as the Chief of this world, as the context reveals. He is referring to himself in the third person, something He did quite often (John 7:18, 9:37 would be two examples). It is the world that is doing the judging "now is the judging of this world", and they did judge and cast out the Chief of this world (Christ), and because of their casting Him out He did go to the cross, which in turn brought conciliation to the world on God's side, and eventually conciliation on our side and salvation to all.
"Through Him to reconcile all to Him (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens." (Colossians 1:20)
"And should be reconciling both in one body to God through the cross, killing the enmity in it." (Ephesians 2:16)
No where do we read that a Devil/Satan has been given the office of ruler or god of the world, or the Chief of this world. Those titles belong to Christ, not anyone, or anything else.
Also, why would Jesus pray to His Father:
"I have given them Thy word. And the world hates them, for they are not of the world, according as I am not of the world. I am not asking that Thou shouldst be taking them away out of the world, but that Thou shouldst be keeping them from the wicked one (Added, not in the originals). Of the world they are not, according as I am not of the world. Hallow them by Thy truth. Thy word is truth. According as Thou dost dispatch Me into the world, I also dispatch them into the world." (John 17:14-18)
Once again, "one" has been added to infer something, or someone, that just isn't true. The world hates them because they are not of this world, they are righteous, the world is wicked in comparison, and Jesus prayed that they be kept in the world, so that the world may know His truth.
2 CORINTHIANS 4:3-4
"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (NASB)
"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." (KJV)
"Now, if our evangel is covered, also, it is covered in those who are perishing, in whom the god of this eon blinds the apprehensions of the unbelieving so that the illumination of the evangel of the glory of Christ, Who is the Image of the invisible God, does not irradiate them." (CLNT)
Well that seems pretty conclusive, or does it. Has God handed this eon (or world as the KJV, NASB translate it) over to another god, a god who many infer is Satan/Devil, and placed him over the eon(s) that were made by God through Christ?
"Through Whom (Christ Jesus) He (God) also makes the eons" (Hebrews 1:2)
Remember this portion of scripture was written after the resurrection of Jesus Christ Who made the claim:
"Given to Me was all authority in heaven and on earth." (Matthew 28:18)
Here are the verses from 2 Corinthians from the Dabhar translation:
"But if also our well-announcement is one being veiled, so it is one being
veiled from those being wholly loosened away, in whom the God of this eon
blinds the unfaithing ones into the not radiating of the enlightenment of
the well-announcement of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."
Could these translators be any more opposite?
As we read above the god of this eon/age is believed by many of the translators to be Satan/Devil, the Dabhar translation tells us the opposite, yet we read from Paul that the one who deceives these people from believing the truths from the scriptures is not "The Devil."
"For God locks up all together in stubbornness, that He should be merciful to all." (Romans 11:32)
"And therefore God will be sending them an operation of deception, for them to believe the falsehood, that all may be judged who do not believe the truth, but delight in injustice. (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)
And from Jesus quoting from Isaiah:
"Therefore they could not believe, seeing that Isaiah said again that He has blinded their eyes and callouses their heart, lest they may be perceiving with their eyes, and should be apprehending with their heart, and may be turning about, and I shall be healing them." (John 12:39-40)
There are several more places in the Old Testament, and New, where God is said to deceive, or blind (Jeremiah 4:10, 20:7, 2 Kings 19:10, Isaiah 37:10, Romans 11:25, Matthew 13:11, Romans 9:18, etc.)
From the above we should consider that it is not a Devil/Satan that is the god/ruler of this world/age(eon). In the Old Testament we read that God is the Ruler and God of the world and all ages. Has He now relinquished His rule and God-ship over the world to whom many believe is God's, and man's greatest adversary. I don't believe so, and I believe the scriptures bear that out.
"The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it." (Psalm 24:1)
"The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all." (Psalms 103:19)
"Now to the King of the eons, the incorruptible, invisible, only, and wise God, be honor and glory for the eons of the eons! Amen!" (1 Timothy 1:17)
"Now to Him Who is able to guard you from tripping, and to stand you flawless in sight of His glory, in exultation, to the only God, our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, might and authority before the entire eon, now, as well as for all the eons. Amen!" (Jude 24-25)
AGAIN FROM JOHN
"I am writing to you, little children, seeing that your sins have been forgiven you through His name. I am writing to you, fathers, seeing that you know Him Who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, youths, seeing that you have conquered the wicked "one" (added, not in original). I write to you, little children, seeing that you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, seeing that you know Him Who is from the beginning. I write to you, youths, seeing that you are strong and the word of God is remaining in you, and you have conquered the wicked "one" (added, not in original). Be not loving the world, neither that which is in the world. If ever anyone is loving the world, the love of the Father is not in him, for everything that is in the world, the desire of the flesh, and the desire of the eyes, and the ostentation of living, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world is passing by, and its desire, yet he who is doing the will of God is remaining for the eon." (1 John 2:12-17)
It is the world system that is wicked, and that is passing away. And the One Who controls these things is God, through Christ, not Satan/Devil. No power has been given to another. God is moving all things forward to the time when the worlds system will be no more, and all will become the kingdom of our Lord:
"And the seventh messenger trumpets. And loud voices occurred in heaven, saying, The kingdom of this world became our Lord's and His Christ's, and He shall be reigning for the eons of the eons! Amen!" And the twenty-four elders who are sitting on their thrones before God fall on their faces and worship God, saying, "We are thanking Thee, Lord God Almighty, Who art and Who wast, for Thou hast taken Thy great power and dost reign. And the nations are angered, and Thy indignation came, and the era for the dead to be judged, and to give their wages to Thy slaves, the prophets, and to the saints and to those fearing Thy name, the small and the great, and to blight those who are blighting the earth." (Revelation 11:15-18)
The nations are angered because they thought they were in control of all things, but the psalmist knew the truth:
"Arise, O God, judge the earth. For it is You who possesses all the nations" (Psalm 82:8)
It is believed by many when the adversary tempted Jesus with the kingdoms of the world, as if they were in its power:
"Again the Adversary (not a proper noun, should read adversary: Rotherham's) takes Him along into a very high mountain, and is showing Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, "All these to you will I be giving, if ever, falling down, you should be worshiping me." (Matthew 4:8-9)
How could Satan/Devil offer something he did not have?
And what glory do the kingdoms of the world have over God's coming kingdom?
Would this adversary really believe that Jesus would forsake all for temporary kingdoms, the One Who knew what was to come:
"In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will shatter all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself stand forever." (Daniel 2:44)
"Blessed be You, O Yahweh, Elohim of our father Israel, from the eon and until the eon. Yours, O Yahweh, are greatness, mastery, beauty, permanence and splendor,
indeed, everything in the heavens and ion the earth. Yours, O Yahweh, is the kingship, lifting Yourself up as Head over all." (1 Chronicles 29:10-11) CLOT
It is beyond the scope of this article to go into the temptation, and who really tempted Jesus, as well as Who sets up these kings and kingdoms (Daniel 4:17, 4:32), but only to prove that no one or nothing has the power over, is the god of, or rules the world and its kingdoms other than God, and Christ.