Scripture draws a clear distinction between friendship
with God and friendship with the world. James 4:4 tells
us that “Friendship with the world is hatred toward
God.” He goes on to say that “Anyone who chooses
to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of
James uses the strong words “hatred” and “enemy”
to drive home the point that we can be in the world
or in the kingdom, but not both... because they are
at opposite ends of the spectrum.
Absolute reliance and focus on worldly pleasure
and comfort, leads people away from God and
to disaster. If there is any one god that is
worshipped today in our society, it is the god
of money, fleshly pleasures, and comfort
money can buy.
The aim of many is to get rich. The aim of
government is for financial growth and
prosperity, and the belief that if this is
actualized we will have all that is needed.
We may want this, but when we have it,
it does not provide the security and peace
we expect it will bring.
Money can never buy contentment deep
in the human heart, or promote good.
Government, and even the church, can't see,
that there are more important things than
temporal wealth, and that such prosperity
should only be seen as a by-product of
righteousness and godliness.
Riches alone never satisfy. They lead
away from God. They promote emptiness
in the long run, and everlasting suffering,
Believers are not of this world, but sent into it.
We are physically present, but not of it, not
part of its values.
Believers should make every effort not to live,
think or act like those who do not know God.
To do so is a great disservice to God.
We are not to engage in the evil, depraved and
wicked activities the world exalts, encourages,
and prefers, nor are we to hold on to the mundane,
half-hearted, spiritless, corrupt minds that the
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is
desperately sick; who can understand it?”
The point is that our hearts, dreams, desires, and
wants are marred by evil-doing. This view may not be
politically correct or popular, but it is Biblical and
until we understand this we will never truly be
well pleased or content. For all that is in the world
leads one from fad to fad, idol to idol, relationship
to relationship, and leaves one broken, frustrated,
As believers, we should be set apart from the
world. We are no longer of the world, no longer
ruled by acts of wickedness, nor are we
bound by the principles of the world.
not of, but sent into.
Many have lost their spiritual direction, because
of the carnal choices they have made, and
consequently they are living a defeated life.
to those who are in Spiritual darkness. We’ve been
rescued from the darkness and given the Light not
merely to flee the darkness, but to guide our steps
as we go back into the highways and by-ways to
help alleviate others from worldly burdens.
Some ignore God's Word and go their own way,
which brings them to the brink of despair, when they
should have been enjoying a victorious and spiritually
satisfying life. We should have a liberating relationship
with society, as Jesus did.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world,
but let God transform you into a new person by
changing the way you think. Then you will learn to
know God’s Will for you, which is good, pleasing
We are reminded to separate from the world.
Avoid the snares, allurements, and pretensions
of this world.
Satan is the ruler of this world, and when we
choose the world, we enlist in his evil army
and become enemies of God.
Jesus is specifically telling us that we are
not to be...
“of the world.”
Those who choose worldliness choose to live in the
enemy’s camp because all that is of the world is under
the control of Satan.
1 John 5:19
We are journeying through a wicked, perverted, fallen and
troubled world with many treacherous entanglements,
perilous places, and corrupted foes seeking to destroy our
close fellowship with God.
The world-system is mankind and society functioning
apart from God. The world-system is filled with spiritual
darkness and an underlying nature that permeates the
human race. It can influence, with its evil; yet, elementary
principles, every aspect of one’s thoughts and behaviors in
such a way that the morally corrupt and wicked nature of
man is made to appear increased/greater… while God is
purposely decreased and/or totally excluded.
Satan uses anything and everything as part of his system
to attract and occupy people. When anything takes over
our lives and causes us to exclude God... we have to
realize it has become the world to us.
The world-system, the mortal
world, the cosmos:
In general, the term "world" in the Scriptures refers to
the evil world-system that is controlled by Satan. It leads
many away from worshipping God. It is by nature apart
from and in opposition to God.
So, while we are commanded to love the people of the
world, we are to be wary of anything that competes with
God for our highest affections.
The world includes people indifferent or hostile to God,
the God-hostile environment generally, and in the widest
sense, corruption and evil summed up under the general
term "The world." The world rejects God and God's
Satan's world-system tries to pressure, influence, and
tempt Believers into compromising their faith in God. The
devil would love nothing more than to see a Believer
compromise under pressure and deviate from following
God's standards and instructions.
The world, with its spiritually dark and hostile system is
ruled by Satan, the god of this world. The world-system
does not acknowledge or have any consideration for God.
It was established by Satan and consists of those
philosophies and values that invariably effect the
character, development, and behavior of humanity. Satan’s
blatantly corrupt world-system perpetually influences the
human race to embrace the evil values and attitudes of this
world and live independently from God and God’s Word.
Before the flood nearly all the people of the
world became corrupt.
In Jesus' time the world hated Him (John 7:7)
and will hate His followers (John 15:18-19 ).
The world, ungodly people cannot accept God,
because it neither sees God or knows God.
Jesus refers to Satan as the present ruler
of the world... not Ruler of the world.
(John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11)
Satan, the god of "this age" is god of the
unbelieving world. He has blinded the minds
of unbelievers with his false philosophies which
people are deceived by. The unbeliever follows
Although Satan is currently god of this world...
he is NOT in control of this world.
Satan and the army of demons that he has at
his disposal can do nothing without God's
permission. Throughout the Scriptures there
is one character mentioned who is said to
be the enemy of God and God's people. He
is known as Satan, Lucifer, the devil, the
adversary. He is currently the god of the
He is the one in Scripture who is called the
“Evil one.” Satan is also called the devil. He
possesses abhorrent qualities.
The Scriptures describe Satan as one who exists in the
invisible spirit realm.
Scripture tells us about Satan's vicious and ruthless
qualities as well as his evil actions.
(Job 1:13-19; 2:7, 8; 2 - Timothy 2:26)
Satan is referred to in Scripture as the accuser,
the slanderer, the adversary, the enemy, the father
of lies, the murderer, the wicked one, and the
deceiver who leads humanity astray by seducing
humanity into the ways of lies and sin.
Satan is also described as a malicious, hostile, evil-
intentioned, evil-minded, venomous, vindictive,
accuser and adversary who is opposed to God and
Satan is obsessed with diversions and exterminating
God and God's people. Satan's lies are cleverly
mixed with truth. He can be convincingly logical.
He even had the audacity to quote Scripture to
Satan tries to shape every aspect of thought and
behavior in such a way that the corrupted man is
exalted and God is ostracized and rejected.
Was there always a Satan?
Satan, Lucifer, was an archangel, one of the chief
angels, who, along with Michael and Gabriel,
served at God’s throne in heaven. He was created
by God as beautiful, wise, and perfect in his
ways, and God withheld nothing from him...
he had it all.
Lucifer was blameless until unrighteousness
was found in him. He was not content in his
position and turned away from God. He did
not remain true to God.
Feelings of pride and rivalry toward God
grew within this spirit creature. His desire
was for others to worship... him.
Lucifer became envious of God! Pride led to
Satan's fall. Satan became envious of God's
authority over the universe and desired to be
God. He became jealous, deceptive, rebellious,
selfish, prideful, corrupt, a cancerous satanic
spirit of discontent... he was the personification
of evil. Lucifer and a third of the angels
(Revelation 12:3–4) rebelled against God and
attempted to take the throne of God.
Their attempts to overthrow God failed... and
as a result... Satan and his troops were cast
back down to the Earth.
Lucifer (Latin for “light-bringer” or
“morning star”) was cast out of heaven and
became Satan (Hebrew for “accuser” or
“adversary”). He became the ruler of this
world and the prince of the power of the air
(John 12:13; 2Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2).
Satan still seeks to be worshipped and
elevated above God. He is currently
designated as the prince of the cosmos and
greedily, pridefully, selfishly, and devilishly
heads the office God gave him, on earth.
Satan has no remorse for the evil he has
done or is doing. Satan still hates and opposes
God and anyone who loves and follows God.
Satan is an evil, lying, deceptive, rebellious thief who
hates and opposes God. However, in due season he will
be thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur and be
tormented day and night forever and ever.
Ironically, Satan is still instrumental in God’s plan.
Those who are in the world and of the world, living
their own way, are grossly influenced by Satan’s
spirit of selfishness. His influence encompasses
worldly philosophies, ideals, opinions, lies,
deception, and evil.
The world is still living in rebellion to
Satan is a manipulator, a deceiver, the god of this age, and
a master in sowing discord and hate.
He roams the earth seeking out
someone to attack.
We should never underestimate the influence that Satan
and his demons have. They are wicked and have
brought many good people down.
When the word "World" is used in the New Testament,
it's a translation of the Greek word cosmos. "Cosmos"
most often refers to the planet earth and its human
The cosmos... “The world” is a vast order or system that
Satan has promoted which conforms to his patterns,
direction, and practices.
Satan is the Prince of this "Cosmos."
"The whole world is under the control of the evil one".
1 John 5:19
It is not unusual for Believers to encounter difficulties
by belligerent and worldly minded people who make it
their goal to pressure Believers into abandoning their
Biblical values and compromise with evil.
Do not be surprised that the world hates you.
1 John 3:13
Those of us who follow a hated Savior cannot be surprised
when we encounter hatred, scorn, hostility, tormenting,
antagonistic, contentious circumstances. We who put our
faith in God must bear the cross of Jesus and expect to be
crucified... there are no exemptions.
The more we love and honor God, the more we expose
and unmask the evil of those who dishonor and reject
God. They will hate us because of who we love and
resemble. They hated Jesus and they will hate those
who are trying to be more like Jesus.
This present evil cosmos, headed by Satan, makes it
difficult to find relevant and edifying messages that can
enhance and appeal to the heart, teach right from wrong,
and add value to our society. Satan employs every device
in his army to harass, hurt, divert, confuse, and tempt
Satan notoriously usurps our legitimate needs and
will have people consumed, distracted, and attracted
with his systemized sinful pleasures that ends up
hindering people from living for God and His purpose.
We only have to look around to see all the
advertisements, products, activities, and inventions
vying to attract us. We may need these things, but
the world makes us want more than we really need.
Let us be careful to understand that Satan’s world-system
entices and offers something for everyone who rejects
God, whether he is upright or evil, spiritual or hostile
towards God, well-informed or simple, affluent or
poverty-stricken. Satan is careful to make sure
there’s even something for the Believer in his
Those who are in the world and of the world stand
in opposition to the Kingdom of God. Their actions,
thoughts, and values are focused on pleasing self for
people and they are usually focusing on earthly,
fleshly, and temporal life activities, values, and/or
plans as opposed to heavenly, spiritual, and eternal
activities, values, and/or plans.
Let us be careful not to be taken captive through
Satan's philosophy and empty deception. We are
wrestling against principalities, powers, the rulers
of the darkness and wickedness in the spiritual
The devil is trying to pin us down to keep us from
serving God, by bringing temptation and tribulation
against us. He is trying to keep us from serving God
wholeheartedly by distracting us with the worries
and cares of this world.
This is why the Bible repeatedly warns the believer
not to love the world or the things in the world.
We are to be set apart.
(Colossians 2:8; James 1:27; 4:4; 1 John 2:15-16).
We do not war according to the flesh. Scripture tells us
“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against
the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of
this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in
the heavenly places.”
To be "Not of the world" requires us to be free
of worldly influences. It means that we do not
act as the material world does.
Material possessions, money, fame, fortune,
prominence, drugs, sex, neediness of acceptance,
approval, validation, or applause from people
may gain ground with people, for a while, but
Jesus taught that our focus should be away
from this world… and placed upon the things
of God’s kingdom... which have real value and
will have no end.
Yes, our relationship with God is of much greater
value than any cravings for power, spotlights,
partying, playing, or superficial-worldly
The lotus flower is also seen as a metaphor for
the human who rises from the darkness of the
world... striving through the difficulties, and
embracing a more godly way of thinking and
The Lotus Flower
is one of the most ancient and auspicious
symbols of our planet. It is the symbol of
purity of the heart, mind, and body. It is a
symbol of spiritual attainment.
The lotus flower has the ability to beautifully
blossom and become detached.
The roots of a lotus are in the mud. The stem of
the lotus flower grows up through the water, and
the fragrant flower, which can be described as
having a rich, warm, and tropical forest smell,
rises above the surface of the water, where it
can sunbathe in the sunlight.
This gorgeous, blooming flower emerges from
the dirty, murky, and muddy bottom of a pond,
but still remains untouched and unstained by
the murky waters surrounding it.
The lotus flower grows from the mud and finds
its way through purifying waters to open up to
Being “in” the world and not "of" the world also
means we can enjoy God's amazing creation, and
not get caught up in the mindset of what the world
values. We are set apart from the wickedness of
the cosmos as we seek to live a holy, righteous life.
We are in the world, in contact with the world; yet,
we must retain our distinctive Kingdom character...
refusing to allow the Cosmos to trick us into its
corrupt and emptiness.
God wants us to become actively involved “in”
the world so that we can fully accomplish all of
His perfect Will for our lives. God desires that we
walk in our calling, our missions, our divine
Again, we cannot properly walk in our calling
and accomplish our divine assignments if we
are not willing to get actively involved “in”
the world to some degree and to some extent.
Jesus Himself went full scale into His
surroundings. Jesus was constantly preaching,
teaching, healing and delivering people. He
was in the world, but did not allow the corrupt
world to get in Him.
Jesus is telling His Father not to take us out
of the world, since we all have a great commission
and call from Him to share the Good News and
help as many people as we possibly can.
We cannot “reach” the lost, the downtrodden,
the helpless, the poor, the sinners, and the people
who are being held in some type of captivity if
we are not “in” the world trying to witness,
teach, and reach them with the Good News.
We live in a world of darkness, but we are not
part of that darkness.
"We are ambassadors for Christ"
(2 Corinthians 5:20),
spreading His fragrance
through the world.
Our hearts will be less interested in the things
of the world as we strive to be more like Jesus.
Separate from the world!
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness, but rather reprove them.
James 4:4 says,
“Don’t you know that friendship with the
world is enmity with God?”
God gave us a strong and unequivocal command
concerning the world in...
“Do not love this world nor the things
it offers you, for when you love the
world, you do not have the love
of the Father in you.”
Set your affection on things above, not
on things on the earth.
Some misinterpret what God is trying to tell them
when He says that we are not to be “of” the world.
Some may think they should be retreating from
life and everyone in general becoming a recluse...
hiding away from as much of the world as they
So, when the Bible says that Satan is the "god
of this world," it is not saying that he has
ultimate authority. It is conveying the idea that
Satan rules over the unbelieving world in a
The phrase “god of this world” (or “god of
this age”) indicates that Satan is the major
influence on the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes
and views of the majority of people.
His influence also encompasses the world’s
philosophies, education, and commerce. The
thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions
of the world are under his control and have
sprung from his lies and deceptions.
This is not to say that he rules the world
completely; God is still sovereign. But it does
mean that God, in His infinite wisdom, has
allowed Satan to operate in this world within
the boundaries God has set for him. When the
Bible says Satan has power over the world,
we must remember that God has given him
domain over unbelievers only. Believers are
no longer under the rule of Satan.
God wants us to remain unspotted from the world...
not becoming too friendly or attached to the ways
and material things of this world.
We are to stay “in” the world. We have a holy
mission and calling from God on what it is He
wants us to accomplish as we journey through
Our number one goal in life should be to accomplish,
to the best of our abilities, God’s perfect will for our
Our goal should be to serve God and do what He
wants us to do and not to chase after the world and
all the material wealth and possessions of this world,
which will do nothing but rot and perish the
minute we leave and depart from this life.
We have to keep all of our priorities straight,
and our number one priority should be to want
to serve God and accomplish His perfect will
for our lives.
If we make that our number one goal and
aspiration in this life, then God will appropriately
reward each one of us in due season. And those
rewards will far surpass and exceed any of the
material wealth and possessions that we could
have gained in this fallen world.
Scripture warns us about being taken in by the evils
of this cosmos. We must come out from among them
and not get our worlds mixed up.
Ships and boats are designed to drift, glide, hover,
and sail on top of the water... they were not designed
to capsize and sink. Even though they are enveloped
by water on all sides... an entire sea of water cannot
sink a ship unless the water gets inside the vessel.
It is good for the vessel to be in the water, but not
a good thing if the water gets into the vessel... it
only takes a small entry for that issues to unfold.
The same holds true for us being in the world, but
not of the world. The wickedness of the world
cannot pollute us except that we allow it to get
inside of us. We cannot allow the world's
ungodly morals, values, and bad behavior to
infiltrate our lives and cause us to capsize,
become fouled with grit and grime, be navigated
by wickedness and sink us to this dark world's level.
Like the ships and boats... they can be in the ocean,
but they cannot be a a part of it.
Separating evil from our lives has become even more
essential since our homes are wired to bring much of what
the Lord has condemned into our own living rooms if we
are not vigilant.
We cannot allow the world's sewage to shape our minds
or contaminate our thoughts. We should be vigilant in
adverse circumstances and avoid potential danger that
compromises our decisions.
Young people, don’t allow the enemy to deceive you!
God’s plan for your life begins now and not just
someday down the road.
We live in a sin-sick world where humanity is plagued
with extreme indulgence in worldly pleasures, depravity,
suffering, and unrighteousness. The world seems to sweat
wickedness, evilness, fits of anger, division, strife,
dissension, enmity, jealousy, envy, idolatry, rivalries, and
highly unrighteous and immoral behavior from its pores.
Television, radio, news media outlets, print media, etc.,
are increasingly cluttered with tons of suggestive stage-
crafting... than most unsuspecting people realize. The
entertainment media is fostered by the cosmos. This
relentless stream of content overload makes it extremely
difficult to cut through and not get entangled in all of the
noise and folly.
glorified perversion that corrupts, distracts, and deceives
viewers, listeners, and readers. This is the world God
warns us about.
Worldly pressures come through Satan
in the form of sin and temptation.
Every person has struggled with temptation. Even walking
with God for many years does not eliminate or even
minimize the dangers of temptation.
In whatever sphere of life we discover ourselves to be in
and whatever task we are employed… let us never forget:
Satan’s desire is to steal, kill,
He uses temptation and sin to destroy Believers. Satan's
hostile world-system makes every attempt to put pressure
on us in every sphere of life in an effort to get us to
conform to the patterns of the world.
Believers will often find themselves faced with
tormenting, antagonistic, hostile, and contentious
circumstances from those who live and walk in Satan's
We live in a worldly culture that lacks self respect,
dignity, compassion, kindness, and love. Many
wandering souls have been influenced by the pleasures
and influences of the world. Some seem adrift
morally, spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. Some
may be lost to drugs, alcohol, greed, sexual promiscuity,
gambling, and have no regard or respect for human life.
Satan's job is to blind the minds of unbelievers, that they
might not see the light of God. Many unsuspecting
individuals are blindsided by Satan's Spiritual attacks.
Far too many have chosen to live in the world apart
from God and have grown hostile towards people and
God. Their only goals and ambitions in this life is to try
and gain as much of the material and lustful things out of
this life as they possibly can. They seem to purposely
entangle themselves in worldly pleasures and materialism
which are absolutely contrary to righteousness.
Those who are in the world and of the world stand
in opposition to the Kingdom of God. Their actions,
thoughts, and values are focused on pleasing self for
people and they are usually focusing on earthly, fleshly,
and temporal life activities, values, and/or plans as
opposed to heavenly, spiritual, and eternal activities,
values, and/or plans.
Unfortunately, some have knowingly allowed the culture’s
ungodly morals, values, attitudes, and behaviors to
infiltrate their lives... on every level. These worldly
pleasures have kept many apart from knowing God and
their true purpose in life.
Scripture speaks with absolute
authority… it says because we’re in the world,
we will have tribulation, temptation, and pressure.
It is an unavoidable part of life in this world, but as
Believers… we must never compromise! We must
be willing to fight on the battlefield, in this corrupt
world, each day to survive.
We are not slaves to our sinful natures, but act in
accordance with righteousness.
(Romans 6:6, 11)
We are told to…
put to death things that are of our sinful
natures and to flee from immorality.
(Colossians 3:5-10; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 5:16-
24; Ephesians 5:3-11)
The worldly person rejects God and seeks to live on
their own, independently from God. They reject God
as having any say over their life. They love things and
people who are of the world, and despise those who are
in the world, but choose not to be of the world.
The pride in one’s lifestyle is not from God, but is from
the world. The wicked, greedy, prideful world-system
chooses, either consciously or unconsciously, to function
For all that is in the world, the lust of the
flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life,
is not from the Father, but is from the world.
In this age, in the hearts of many, the powers of evil, false
doctrine, corrupt morals, strife, contention, persecution,
greed, pride, opposition, competition, and fears abound
and leading many into a lost eternity.
There is an undercurrent in the cosmos... it runs against
and in contradiction to the Way and Will of God. These
currents are stirred and troubled by Satan. They are
intended to entrap and ensnare God's witnesses.
Jesus warns that a person may "gain the whole world" (the
material things of this passing age) yet lose life in the next
(Matthew 16:26; parallels Mark 8:36 ; Luke 9:25). Paul
expresses concern that believers may become so caught up
in the affairs of this world that they will experience undue
hardship in living for Christ (1Corinthians 7:29-35).
The present world is passing away even now (1John 2:17).
Living in this transient world, one must not love it
(2Timothy 4:10), become conformed to its ways
(Romans12:2), or fall in love with its godless "wisdom"
(1Corinthians 2:6 ; 3:18-19; James 3:15). Instead one
must live a godly life (Titus 2:12), avoiding the snares of
the "present evil age" from which Christ's death has set
His people free.
We must stay awake and alert... increasing our awareness
of the various influences in our lives.
Jesus says that His kingdom is
“Not of this world.”
If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me
before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world
would love its own; but because you are not of the world,
but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world
Jesus recognized that Satan has a kingdom.
His kingdom is this world.
1 John 5:19
Jesus meticulously called Satan a murderer from the
beginning. Jesus identified Satan as the criminal
mastermind behind the corrupt world we live in. He called
him “the ruler of this world.”
John 12:31; 16:11
In Matthew 10:16-22 God said that He was sending the
Kingdom people forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.
God has given us a strong and unequivocal command
concerning the world...
“Do not love the world."
As believers, we need to know clearly what is meant by
"The world" and who rules the world... so we can guard
ourselves from loving it and being deceived and distracted
The World, as it is used in the
God created the world and all things therein. God
designed the world to be fruitful. God's creation includes
provision for all creation. (Psalm 104:10-22)
For God so loved the world and the world's inhabitants.
The Biblical concepts of world falls into five categories:
*The physical world, includes the whole universe,
the cosmos (John 1:9; Acts 17:24) or the creation. (Romans 8:20)
*The human world, the inhabited earth created with
delight by God's wisdom.
*The moral world, refers to the people of the world... in a
neutral sense... and the subclass of indifferent and hostile
people who reject God. God's Will and His Ways.
*The temporal world, the present world is temporary.
*The coming world:
Satan rules only this world
( John 12:31 ; 14:30 ; 16:11 ; 2 Corinthians 4:4 ),
not the next one, while Jesus' kingdom
is "not of this world," ( John 18:36 )
but belongs to the coming age.
The believer may look
forward to the new world, "a new heaven
and a new earth, the home of righteousness."
2 Peter 3:13; Revelations 21:1-5
Jesus says that those who believe in Him are no longer a
part of the world. Sin has no power over us, and we do not
have to be trapped by the corrupt precepts of the world.
As we shed the garment of the world we have peace not of
this world. Our peace in any situation comes straight from
the Lord, the Prince of Peace:
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as
the world gives do I give to you".
We are still in this world but we
are no longer of it.
We are still surrounded by all the horrors and tragedies of
this life, but this is not our life (Philippians 3:8-14). The
knowledge that we are not of this world gives Believers
promise even in the darkest times (1 Peter 1:6-9); the
promise that this world of darkness and despair will pass.
God will wipe away every tear from our eyes; there will
be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, neither shall
there be any more pain: for the former things are passed
away. How different it will be from the condition in the
Overcoming the world-system can be a proving ground
for our faith. It can be the ideal soil for spreading the
seeds of the Good News... not to reform or remake the
world-system, not to hold it in contempt, but to proclaim
the Good News that God loves the world, He created.
Being in the world and not conforming to the world
enables us to secure... higher ground... for our highest