Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Satan is the god of this world. (2 Corinthians 4:4) He became such when he misled Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, thereby effectively bringing the world under his evil influence before it even came into existence! To grasp the extent of his power over mankind consider the words of Jesus when he said that the ruler of the world would be cast out. Who was Jesus referring to as the ruler of the world? Satan is the unseen ruler of the world. That is why Satan tempted Jesus by offering him all the kingdoms of the world that he rules over.
In the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John Jesus identified the Devil as a manslayer when he began and the father of the lie. Prior to his tempting the first man and woman into disobeying God Satan had been a righteous angel, but he coveted God’s worship and successfully schemed to seize it for himself. And because he selfishly brought about the death of Adam and even the deaths of all of their then-unborn offspring Jesus said that Satan was a murderer when he began. He is called the father of the lie because no one had ever lied before. Of course, there were no humans before Adam and Eve but there were certainly multitudes of righteous angels and none of them had ever lied. So, Satan invented the lie. His first lie was to call God a liar. He told our mother Eve that she would not die if she ate the forbidden fruit. He also slandered God by implying that mankind’s creator did not have their best interest at heart and that God could not even trust his own creation.
In Hebrew the word Devil means slanderer. With the whole world under his influence is it any wonder it is filled with violence and selfishness, lies and liars and evil of every sort?
But Satan’s original sin was not slander or murder. The sin that Satan succumbed to originally was pride. That is evident from the fact that Paul instructed overseers not to appoint “a newly converted man, for fear that he might get puffed up with pride and fall into the judgment passed upon the Devil.”
Being insanely jealous of Jehovah the Devil has always sought to turn people against God, while at the same time ever intent on insidiously inserting himself into the place of God in the hearts and minds of people. Although Satan is only mentioned a few times in the Hebrew Scriptures, the so-called Old Testament, his influence is evidenced by Israel’s many lapses into idolatry. The idol gods of the nations, such as Chemosh, Moloch and the various Baals were merely fronts for the demons, as is revealed in the book of Deuteronomy the 32nd chapter: “They began inciting him to jealousy with strange gods; with detestable things they kept offending him. They went sacrificing to demons, not to God, gods whom they had not known, new ones who recently came in, with whom your forefathers were not acquainted.”
Because most people would not outwardly worship or follow Satan he has disguised himself, just as he did in the den by pretending to be a lowly serpent. Paul said that Satan could easily transform himself into an angel of light. In other words, just as Satan pretended to enlighten Eve the Devil is the biggest promoter of religion.
When Jesus was on the earth the Jews did not practice the worship of idols as they had centuries prior, however the Jewish religion itself had become an idol, because it was the focus of their worship and it blinded them to the truth that Jesus brought. That is why Jesus said to the Jews that they were from their father the Devil and they wished to do the desires of their father.
While Jesus was on the earth the Devil was intent on turning him away from Jehovah. In the wilderness he three times tempted Jesus to disobey God and three times Jesus rebuffed his temptations by quoting from the Scriptures, prefacing each reply with: “It is written.” Satan evidently even used the apostle Peter to try to influence Jesus not to go through with his self-sacrifice. When Peter urged Jesus to be kind to himself Jesus rebuked him by saying: ‘Get behind me Satan you think men’s thoughts not God’s.
Having failed to deter Jesus from his sacrificial course the Devil likely assumed that Jesus would not go through with it when the time came. But he did. One of the last things he spoke before he breathed his last breath was: “It has been accomplished.”
Just before his arrest Jesus warned Peter that Satan had demanded to have them too. After recovering from their initial stumbling and once they were filled with God’s holy spirit as Jesus had been, the apostles and other disciples became bold preachers and as a result Satan began viciously persecuting them. But that tactic did not meet with much success. When the Jews in Jerusalem persecuted the disciples it only caused Christians to flee the city to go preach elsewhere and as a result the good news was spread abroad.
By far Satan’s most successful tactic has been to infiltrate and corrupt Christians from within the congregations. Just as Satan insinuated himself into Jesus’ intimate group of 12 apostles through the person of Judas Iscariot, so too, the Devil would also successfully insert his agents into Christ’s congregation. When the apostle Paul wrote his second letter to the Corinthians he said of those whom he dubbed the “superfine apostles,” that they were false Christians and deceitful workers who merely transformed themselves to appear as preachers of righteousness. Just as many Christians today disrespect the apostle Paul and consider him to have hijacked Christianity, the superfine apostles who presided over the Corinthians also looked down upon Paul and criticized him for not having a charismatic presence.
The apostle Paul warned the Ephesians that after he was to go away wicked man would infiltrate the congregation and mislead it and not treat the flock with kindness. Also, when the apostle John was quite aged he reminded faithful Christians that there had been many antichrists up until then but that an antichrist was yet coming and that it was the last hour. Was the apostle saying that it was the last hour before the arrival of Jesus? No, that is not what he was saying. The last hour had to do with it being the last hour before Satan would be allowed to completely take over what Christ had started, at least for a time. It was the last hour of the anointing, at least for a long time.
For a fact, shortly after the apostles died off, in the second and third centuries prominent men began to call into question who Jesus was. While the apostles knew that Jesus was the Son of God the infiltrators began to teach that Jesus was God himself. In 325 A.D. Roman Emperor Constantine called all the squabbling bishops to Nicaea in Asia Minor. After months of wrangling the Emperor of Rome declared Jesus to be God. Thus, the Roman Emperor became the head of the Church of Christ and it was not along before numerous pagan doctrines and practices were fused into what passed for Christianity. Just as Satan had successfully misled Israel into worshiping demon gods he also succeeded in hijacking Christianity and infusing it with paganism and idolatry.
As incontrovertible evidence of the invisible manslayer’s control over it the churches of Christendom have always been the most ardent warmongers in the world. There has never been a war that was not blessed by clergymen. The Crusades, the Hundred Years War, the Thirty Years War and both World Wars were initiated and fought by millions of men who claimed to be Christians. But that is not possible. The apostle John stated that the children of God and the children of the Devil are distinguished by the fact that the children of the Devil kill each other.
But Satan the Devil will not be permitted to dominate Christianity perpetually, nor will he continue on as the god of this system. Jesus foretold that during the conclusion of the system of things the angels would be dispatched to uproot the sons of the Devil and prevent them from any more posing as Christians. Ultimately, Satan and all of his demons will be cast down from Jehovah’s heaven and confined to the earth, where they will be allowed to create havoc for a period designated in prophecy as three and a half years. Afterwards the rebel angels will be incarcerated for 1,000 years in order that mankind may be rehabilitated. At the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ Satan and the demons will be let loose for a short while and then destroyed, forever.