THE WORLD LIES UNDER THE EVIL ONE
“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19 NKJV)
As the crown of God’s creation, man was placed on the earth to exercise unlimited dominion over all the works of God’s hands (Psa. 8:5-6). God entirely gave the earth to man to replenish, subdue and manage (Gen. 1:28).
The Scripture states, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’S; But the earth He has given to the children of men.” (Psa. 115:16 NKJV).
Sadly, Adam (the first man) gave his God-given dominion to be the ruler on earth to the devil by choosing to obey the devil’s voice rather than God’s voice (Luke 4:6).
The Lord Jesus took away the devil’s dominion to reign freely on earth when He judged and defeated him through His death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead.
Paul aptly states this truth in his epistle.
Colossians 2:15 – MNT
15 Principalities and powers he disarmed and openly displayed them as his trophies, when he triumphed over them in the cross.
Every believer in Christ shares in Christ’s total victory and authority over the devil, the evil one. The devil has no authority over those under the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 5:18-19).
Although the devil still prowls around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, the truth is that the devil has been defeated and judged by Christ.
The Scripture states that “the ruler of this world is judged.” (John 16:11 NKJV).
However, the complete sentence of the devil’s judgment has not been carried out against him. This will happen at the close of the ages.
John writes about the devil’s judgment in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 20:10 – NKJV
10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
While the devil is waiting for the day of final and complete execution of his judgment, he is presently actively operating in the world, “having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Rev. 12:12 NKJV).
Before the great day of his final judgment and destruction, the devil is still the god, ruler, or prince of the world (the mass of ungodly men and their affairs).
While the devil does not wield any power, authority, or dominion over the believers in Christ, yet he wields unlimited power, authority, or dominion over the unbelievers.
John aptly states this truth.
1 John 5:19 – NKJV
19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
What are the consequences or implications of the world (that is, the ungodly multitude and their affairs) being under the dominion, control, or sway of the devil, the evil or wicked one?
Let us consider some.
First, the course of this world is determined and directed by the devil:
The thoughts, emotions, and actions of those who are not under the authority or Lordship of Jesus Christ are mostly inspired, directed, influenced, or controlled by the devil, the prince of this world. The devil is the source of the ways, fashions, modes, styles, or music of this world.
The Scripture reveals that the course of this world is according to “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” (Eph. 2:2 NKJV).
This is why Paul admonishes believers not to be conformed to this world.
Romans 12:2 – RSV
2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
The ungodly or unregenerate are slaves or captives of the devil (Rom. 6:16, 1 John 3:8). They have yielded themselves to the devil to obey him and do his desires. The Lord Jesus said concerning them, “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do…” (John 8:34).
Therefore, it is natural or normal for the unbelievers to think, speak or act like the devil, conducting themselves in the lusts of the flesh.
Any believer who is thinking, speaking, or acting like the unbelievers has simply yielded himself as a slave to the devil, for “you are that one’s slaves whom you obey…” (Rom. 6:16 NKJV).
Second, the world is destitute of the truth:
The Scripture describes the devil (the god of this world) as “the father of lies” who “does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44 NKJV).
This is why the world (the ungodly multitude) hates, rejects, and resists the truth. The world is always seeking to suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18).
The Scripture describes the unregenerate as those “who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” (Rom. 1:25 NKJV).
The ungodly are destitute of the truth because they refuse to believe in Christ Jesus (John 14:6, 1 Tim. 6:5).
When you turn your ears away from the truth, the Scripture warns that you will “be turned aside to fables.” (2 Tim. 4:4 NKJV).
The Scripture states that because the ungodly “did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thess. 2:10-12 NKJV).
Knowing that the world is destitute of the truth, every believer must be careful not to believe, embrace or live by the world’s lies. Today, many believers have departed from the faith because they gave heed to the lies of the god of this world.
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1 Timothy 4:1-3 – NKJV
1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,
3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.
Third, the world loves and practices unrighteousness:
The devil who is the father and master of all the ungodly is perverse and crooked. It is therefore normal for the unregenerate to hate righteousness and celebrate perversions (1 John 3:10).
Having rejected Jesus Christ (the King of righteousness), the world is “filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful.” (Rom. 1:29-31 NKJV).
The born-again believers are partakers of God’s divine, holy and godly nature (2 Pet. 1:4). It is, therefore, inconsistent with the new nature of the believers to love and practice unrighteousness.
Conversely, it is inconsistent with the sinful and ungodly nature of the unbelievers to love and practice righteousness.
1 John 3:10 – NKJV
10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
Lastly, the world is full of wickedness:
The Scripture refers to the devil (the god of this world) as “the wicked one” (1 John 5:19). Therefore, the unbelievers, who are slaves of the devil, should be expected to be evil or wicked towards the believers.
This is why the Lord Jesus warns His disciples to brace up for hatred from the world.
John 15:18-20 – NKJV
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.
19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
Beloved, are you presently facing discrimination, rejection, tribulation, or persecution from the world because of your firm conviction in the truth and resolution to conform to Christ and His teaching wholly?
Don’t be surprised!
“Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you.” (1 John 3:13 NKJV).
Don’t be discouraged, “but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (1 Pet. 4:13 NKJV).
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:18 NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, I resolve in my heart today never to choose, pursue, adopt or embrace the modes, fashion, styles, ways, or principles of this passing evil world. Dear Holy Spirit, help and strengthen me to do so, in Jesus’ name. Amen.