January 3, 2014
II Corinthians 4:3, 4
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
One of the funniest movies I ever saw is a 2001 comedy, The Rat Race. The plot is a lot like the 1963 comedy, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. In both movies, competing teams – randomly selected in the later film – vie to retrieve a treasure hundreds of miles away. The antics they go through as they race to the prize kept me in stitches for almost two hours!
I thought about the title to that 1963 movie – It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – after reading an article on the recent bombings in Volgograd, Russia, the thought came to my mind, “It’s a crazy world out there!” But then the following thought occured, “No, it’s not a crazy world! It’s a very ordered and logical world considering who is pulling the societal strings!”
Who is pulling the strings of society? He is identified in what Paul wrote in II Corinthians 4:3 and 4 (KJV)
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
I chose the King James Version over the New King James Version because the Greek word ai-o-nos – translated ‘of this age’ (NKJV), is translated ‘of this world’ in the KJV. And I think this is a more fitting description of his dominion even if the NKJV has the better translation!
Who is the “…god of this world…”? It is none other than the devil himself! And if you examine his personality according to the Bible, it is best summed up in what the Lord Jesus said in John 10:10: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” Also in John 8:44, Jesus describes him thus: “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” Isaiah 14:14 (NIV) quotes Satan as saying, “I will make myself like the Most High.” According to II Thessalonians 2:4, He “…opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
He is also called…
• “…the ruler of the demons.” – Matthew 12:24
• “…the wicked one…” – Matthew 13:19
• “…Belial…” (Hebrew – meaning ‘worthless’) – II Coriinthians 6:156:15
• “…Abaddon…Apollyon…” (Hebrew and Greek – meaning ‘destroyer’) –
• “…the accuser of our brethren…” – Revelation 12:10
…and a lot of other negative titles!
With all these descriptive characteristics being true, is it any wonder that the world is in such a mess? But remember, it is a planned and well-ordered mess! So don’t blame God if things don’t go as you please! Blame the devil! Oppose him in the power of Jesus Christ and stand strong! (Ephesians 6:10 through 18).
There are 21 blogs from May 6th through June 21st, 2013 called Know Your Enemy that delve into the subject of Satan, his characteristics, his tactics, his army of demons, our battle against him and them, and our victory as Christians in this war against the evil one. Check out this more complete study!
If God is all powerful, why does He allow the devil to be in charge of this world system? It is an age-old question that has defied a complete and simple answer for centuries! But believers in the Lord Jesus Christ can rest assured in this: God is showing His almighty power and victory over evil – and He will show it forth for all creation to see! It is not yet seen except by faith! But when it is over and done, it will be so apparent!
In the meantime, Christians live in enemy territory! We are to live wisely and gently as we tread through this hostile world, “…wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” (Matthew 10:16). And hang on tightly to this promise written by Saint Paul in Romans 16:20: “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”
“…thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ…”!!!
(I Corinthians 15:57). Keep on living in victory!