Summary: What does the Bible mean by Satan being the god of this world?

False Teaching about Satan

What does scripture mean by the statement that Satan is the god of this world? The

Word-Faith movement defines this radically different than Historic Christianity. Word-

Faith doctrine defines Satan as the possessor and god of this earth. Word-Faith teaches

that God is on the outside looking in and has no say in this world. Kenneth Copeland

explains it this way:

God’s on the outside looking in. He doesn’t have any legal entree into the earth.

This thing don’t belong to Him.

Word-Faith teachers then go on to exalt Satan while demoting God. Here is an example

illustration from Job 1:7:

You see how sassy the devil was in the presence of God in the book of Job. It

wasn’t any of God’s business. He [Satan] didn’t have to answer if he didn’t want

to. God didn’t argue with him a bit. God hasn’t been running things except when

he gets a little bit of a chance. When He can get in there and help a little bit. -

Kenneth Copeland

This teaching reads a lot into the text that simply is not there. If we read to book of Job,

we can’t possibly get the impression that the devil was ’sassy’ to God. Somehow Word-

Faith doctrine has twisted this passage into the opposite meaning clearly intended by

scripture. Instead of Satan being subject to God, they claim that God is subject to Satan.

Instead of Satan needing permission from God, God is the One who needs permission to

work in this earth. All one needs to do is read a few more verses to see that Satan

petitions God to allow Job to be tested. God is the one who gives permission. God defines

the parameters in which Satan can operate in Job’s life. Any student of the Bible can see

that God is in total control. We studied this earlier, but it bears mentioning again. God

declared that He owns the earth and all of its fullness. God had the right to the earth when

He judged the world with the great flood. God had the right to drive the wicked

inhabitants of Canaan and give it to Israel. The Bible says that God raises up and casts

down all authority according to His purposes (Daniel 2:21 Romans 13:1). The Bible also

says that God raises up the wicked for His purposes (Romans 9:16-17).

How the Bible call Satan be the god of this world if God is in control? In this study I

hope to clarify the confusion that often surrounds this topic.

Let’s examine to word ’world’.

To understand the scriptures, we often need to dig into the Greek or Hebrew text to

understand the original meaning. This is especially true when it comes to clarifying

clouded issues. As we will see, what is cloudy will be very clear once we apply ourselves

to a little bit of study. All of the great teachers and preachers of the past applied

themselves to searching out the truth by seeking out the intended meanings of words. For

general study, our English translation is more than adequate, but when the original

meaning is unclear, the only way to dig out the truth is to dig into the text. To understand

what scripture means when it calls the devil the god of this world, we need to do more

than look at the KJV, we need to dig into the text behind the translation. We will look at

two primary Greek words that the KJV translates into the word ’world’. There are four

words translated into the word world, but there are two which apply to this subject. These

Greek words are ’aion’ and ’kosmos’. Just knowing that four different Greek words are

translated into ’world’ tells us that there is more to this study than would appear at first



’Aion’ (pronounced ahee-ohn) literally means a period of time. This can be accurately

translated into ’world’. Here is an example:

KJV Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by

the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,

and perfect, will of God.

What does it mean ’not to be conformed to this world’? The word is the Greek word

’aion’. To understand this, let’s compare to several passages. I used the KJV to make this

illustration, but following passages will be from the NKJV translation.

Matthew 13:49 "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth,

separate the wicked from among the just,

Matthew 28:20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;

and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

Ephesians 1: 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead

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