The countless struggles of the Catholic Church against many governments in the middle ages—including forceful coercion, seizure of the church’s properties and the imprisonment of the Pope,—demonstrate this insurmountable desire of government to rule over everything God. In every modern society, the government still decided what rights the church has.
Today, people everywhere in the world have to pledge allegiance to the state before they can pledge any allegiance to God. Even those governments established under God are fast removing God from the public life, in favor of secularism. And in some societies, allegiance to God is totally forbidden. The state establishes a religion and forces every citizen to pledge allegiance to that religion or face disciplinary action.
The very unifying entity that we all love and clamor around to get us through difficult times, is the very entity that would wreck so much havoc on our lives for resisting to subscribe to its form of spirituality. Regardless of the immense value of government and science to the lives of mankind, they also represent something sinister—they are the first and the second beasts of Revelation, respectively. And each has its own independent spirit that man can neither tame, nor control.
The world moved away from the paganism of ancient times in which mankind worshipped celestial bodies and images of wild beasts, to the paganism of modern times in which government and science are worshipped by man. In the world today, many citizens have more faith in government and science than they do in God, Jesus Christ and Christianity.
And that is the devil’s objective. He hides under something we all need and turns our hearts away from God. He has been doing this from the inception of the church and has received a great boost from science to camouflage his deception. When the end comes, it will come on the account of these two entities because they provide the perfect cover for the devil, allowing him to remain hard at work trying to destroy the people of God and deny God the glory of restoring them to holiness and salvation.
When Jesus Christ said to His apostles: “I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. ‘Come now; let us leave,'” (John 14:30-31), Christ was actually talking about the first beast of Revelation; and not the devil himself because the devil has been around since Adam and Eve.
Jesus Christ actually came into the world to defeat the devil and take his authority away and He accomplished this by allowing himself to be crucified and buried. That is why the Bible says: “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”(Hebrews 2:14-15).
The ‘prince of the world’ is the offspring of the devil—the beast that rose from the sea—to whom the devil gave “his power, his throne and great authority.”(Revelation 13:1-8).
To further drive this point home, see the answers to the following questions. Who arrested Jesus and who did Jesus tell that he had no authority over Him? The Jewish leadership and the Roman government, respectively! Jesus Christ said to His disciples: “Come now; let us leave,” (John 14:31), because His arrest was imminent and His trial and crucifixion were to follow shortly.
And all of these would be the work of the ‘prince of this world’—the new guy in town—the recipient of ‘the power and throne of the devil” and great authority to go with them. Christ’s announcement of the coming of the ‘prince of this world’ ushered in a new era in human government; and it is the very beginning of the end time.
When Jesus Christ first showed up on the earth as the light (Genesis 1:3-5), ‘time’ started and everything else followed. At creation in the Book of Genesis, God commanded that there be light on the new earth and the light dawned through Jesus Christ. Not long after God completed creation of all things, including marriage, Lucifer started his career as the chief adversary of God. (Genesis 3:1-24).
And when Jesus Christ came to the earth over two thousand years ago, He started a another kind of ‘time’—the count-down to the end of everything; and the ‘prince of this world’ started his own career as the adversary of Jesus Christ. The ‘prince of this world’ soon acquired an emissary, in the person of the false prophet, so he could totally deceive humanity and devastate the entire mankind.
In other words, the devil’s deceptiveness rose to a new level because he managed to camouflage himself as a friend of mankind, aided by the craftiness of the false prophet. That is why the Bible says that it is the false prophet who would lure the citizens of the world to serve the beast, and not the beast forcing it upon the people.
Why? Because Jesus Christ had come into the world, died for the sins of the world and defeated the power of the devil—so the entire world would soon know about the Savior and the sacrifice He made on behalf of mankind. Therefore the devil can only be effective by disguising himself as a friend of humanity and so would trick many into believing in him. And he has the false prophet, who through his wondrous activities would help him achieve that goal.
Look at the passage below from the gospel, and notice what Jesus called his accusers—the Pharisees, the Jewish leadership. He called them the children of the devil because the authority under which they were accusing Him and trying to kill Him was not of God but of the devil. And unless they had both the authority and the power, their accusation would not have meant anything.
But because they had the authority and the power from the devil, Christ charged “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”(John 8:44-47).
The devil himself had been defeated by the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but he still ran his operation—this time through his offspring, the ‘Prince of the world’—which Jesus was accusing this Jewish authority of representing. The devil was subdued but his prince had taken over, and would continue to rule the world until Christ’s final return to finish His victory and take over the government of the world.