What Is The World System?

By Todd Clay / December 16, 2017

What is the ‘World System’, the war between the World System & the Kingdom of God, and how God ultimately wins.

Short Answer:

The World System is an interlocking set of structures influenced by evil spirits and is ultimately headed by Satan; its chief purposes are deceiving human beings, separating them from God, and destroying them. The World System is diametrically opposed to its spiritual counterpart, the Kingdom of God.

“The whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19

Long Answer: 

This is an important post. It outlines how Christians view the world. This worldview especially contrasts with a non-Christian and materialistic outlook. And how we view the world matters in everything from what we eat to how we die.

It matters in everything.

My aim is to challenge your vision in such a way so you can see the world from a different perspective, especially if you’re reading this as a non-Christian. Namely, that you would consider the world as a war zone, understand the basics of the World System, and how the Kingdom of God stands opposed to the Satanic World System.

Part 1: The World As A War Zone

The world is a war zone in the spiritual realm.

Every day, our lives are engaged in a battle between good and evil. There is a good side: where truth, righteousness, and life are paramount virtues. There is also a bad side: where deception, crookedness, and death are held in esteem.

Sometimes the battle is intense. For instance, when people pick sides in a moral fight (like abortion) tempers can flare and you can see the effects. At other times, the war goes cold and tension is just below the surface. Regardless, there is constant friction between light and darkness in our world. And the war isn’t confined to people – there are spiritual forces battling in this war.

The Apostle Paul said of this spiritual war zone…

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

If you’re new to the Christian perspective, this may seem like a far-fetched idea. Believing in nefarious forces acting upon human beings is the stuff of ancient fairy tales. The devil, demons, and sinister villains plotting against hapless souls is more fit for a movie – or the Middle Ages – not the real world.

The Devil is Real – And So Are His Demons

satan is real - theolocast

But the Bible is clear: the Devil is real. (Zechariah 3:1-2, James 4:7, 1 John 3:8)

His influence extends far beyond the pages of a dusty set of scrolls. He is alive and wreaking havoc on the world in millions of ways. And his spiritual minions are happy to do his bidding. The Christian novelist C.S. Lewis wrote of them…

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a materialist or magician with the same delight”

The ‘devils’, as Lewis mentions, are the very same ‘demons’ in the Old and New Testaments. Islam refers to them as ‘jinn’. Hinduism speaks about ‘vetalas’, ‘bhutas’, and other beings. In other words, Christianity isn’t the only worldview that accepts the reality of evil spiritual entities. Only in our Naturalistic-steeped Western world do we deny their existence.

But doubting them doesn’t make them disappear. They are as real as the nose on your face.

These same devils answer to the chief Devil, Satan. Satan orders his army of demons in battle to achieve his chief purposes: deceive human beings, separate people from God, and ultimately destroy them (John 10:10). Demons are the enemies of our souls – enemies of both Christians’ and non-Christians’ souls. They fight battles against God and us.

Much is speculated and inferred through other Biblical and non-Biblical sources on exactly how that works. There is some value in understanding how the spiritual domain operates. Lewis himself postulated how devils interact in his Screwtape Letters.

But whatever may happen in other realms, this demonic activity spills over into our world. Satan-inspired thoughts, plans, and teachings have infiltrated every facet of our world.

That is the World System.

Part 2: The World System

The World System (NOT the economic world-system) is an interlocking set of structures influenced by evil spirits and is ultimately headed by Satan; its chief purposes are deceiving human beings, separating them from God, and destroying them.

The World System is diametrically opposed to its spiritual counterpart, the Kingdom of God. The purpose of the Kingdom of God is reconciling people with God and expanding God’s reach in the world – the World System is built to oppose God’s purposes. This Satanic insurrection or World System affects every area of life and learning including…

  • Entertainment
  • Government
  • Philosophy
  • Literature
  • Business
  • Medicine
  • Religion
  • Science
  • Games
  • Ethics
  • Media
  • Arts
  • And more…

Satanic influence in world affairs has waxed and waned throughout human history. But in recent decades, the enemy seems more active in the Western world. His seeds of doubt are planted everywhere and the ideas are in full-bloom.

“Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” (Revelation 12:9)

Satan, helped by his (fallen) angels, operates as the “deceiver of the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). The world is not some theme park where rainbows glimmer and unicorns play. Human beings are in a vitriolic battle between error on the one hand in the World System and truth on the other hand in the Kingdom of God.

Historical Precedence for the ‘World System’

hong kong at night - theolocast

Hong Kong, China at Night – Image Credit: Creative Commons

The World System is not a new idea.

Throughout Christian history various thinkers have explored the concept of a spiritually-organized rebellion against God. Evangelist Billy Graham opined about the World System when he said…

“There is the cosmos, the world system (emphasis mine), which is headed by Satan and based upon self, greed and pride. This is the world that God warns about, and it is this world system and philosophy that Christians are to shun and remain free from.

Graham is not alone. Here are a sampling of other works that discuss the the concept of the “World System”.

Though each Christian thinker has a different spin on the World System, they all share a similar perspective on this two-kingdom power struggle. They all believe the Kingdom of God was inaugurated with Jesus, the Son of God, the Kingdom of Satan (i.e. the World System) fights against the Kingdom of God, and the Kingdom of God ultimately wins.

Part 3: Biblical Truth Against The World System

The tagline for the Theolocast project is “Biblical Truth Against The World System”. Taglines are supposed to encapsulate what a company, a ministry, or organization stands for. And this is what we stand for – confronting every manifestation of the Satanic World System with the Word of God.

In other words, we want to oppose each of the World System’s ideas head on. We aim to explore what the Bible says about every major lie the enemy has planted on Earth.

theolocast - overview

Admittedly, this is a lofty goal.

And it would be impossible for any one person to do this. The fact is, none of us know all the answers. The world is too complex and the Bible can be a difficult book to interpret. But specialists can help fill in the gaps in our knowledge. That’s why I will site subject matter experts about these concepts. At some point, there may be a podcast where I can delve deeper in each area.

You may be wondering why I’m so confident the Bible can answer all these difficult questions. Indeed, many objections may seem extremely complicated and likely to stump the most studious theologian, scientist, or philosopher.

But if the Bible is the Word of an all-knowing God, then we have access to a better answer than a thousand unbelieving university professors. My confidence is not in any one Bible scholar’s ability to refute a cogent atheistic argument. Instead, I believe God when he said:

“No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the LORD.” (Proverbs 21:30)

So the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) may hold sway over this planet for a time. But this battle will not last forever. Satan will be defeated and his reign will come to an end.

Despite every stronghold he established in government, the media, education and anywhere else, the World System will not defeat God or his people. Ultimately, the Kingdom that began with Jesus’ first coming will win and last forever (Isaiah 9:7).

Resources

Todd Clay is a husband, dad, and a Christian (Reformed Baptist). Todd holds a BA in history from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA in Theological Studies from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.

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