“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” – 1 John 5:19

The apostle John says “we know”. What is it that we know? The answer is: we know “we are children of God.”

When I trace John’s thought back to the earlier parts of his letter, I come across that truth, that we are the children of God (1 John 3:1). Isn’t it comforting to know that we have our origin in God and we belong to him? On the other hand, the whole world, says John, “lies in the power of the evil one.”  We should note, he does not say that the world belongs to the evil one; only that it is in his power or control. Jesus calls the evil one, “the prince of this world”, that is, Satan. When he tried to tempt Jesus, he showed him all the kingdoms of the world and said, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will.” (Luke 4:6)  The whole world lies passively in Satan’s power. It has been, since he, by deception, took control of it through sin in the Garden. 

In the parable of the wheat and tares (“weeds”), Jesus points out Satan’s activities in the world: he goes about sowing “weeds among the wheat” (Matt. 13:25). Jesus explains to his disciples that “the one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man … the good seed is the sons of the kingdom … The weeds are the sons of the evil one” (Matt 13:38-39).

In opposition to Jesus Christ, the devil tries to destroy Christ’s work by placing false believers and teachers in the world who lead many astray. One has only to look at the latest “church” scandal to know the world is filled with professing “Christians” whose ungodly actions bring reproach on the name of Christ.

The “servants” of the sower of the good seed offer to root out the weeds but they were not given permission to do so. The responsibility of separating true believers from false is a task reserved for God alone. Instead of requiring these false believers to be rooted out of the world, and possibly hurting immature believers in the process, Christ allows them to remain until His return. At that time, angels will separate the true from the false.

Jesus Christ will one day establish true righteousness. At the “harvest time”, all unbelievers will be judged for their sin and unbelief; then, they will be removed from God’s presence. True followers of Christ will reign with Him. What a glorious hope for the “wheat”!

Pastor Robert Chew