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The World System in the Bible

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Dennis McCallum and Gary DeLashmutt

This outline is condensed from Watchman Nee, Love Not the World.

A. Different meanings for Kosmos:

  1. The physical globe of earth.
  2. The race of man alienated from God (Heb. 11:38; Jn. 14:17; Jn. 15:18)
  3. The underlying qualities which animate the world. - I Cor. 2:12 - the spirit of the world; I Cor. 3:19 - the wisdom of the world; I Cor. 7:31 - the way of the world; Titus 2:12 - the lusts of the world; II Pet. 1:4 - the corruption that is in the world; II Pet. 2:20 - the defilement of the world; I Jn. 2:15 - the things that are in the world

B. The hostility of the world system toward God and Christ.

  1. I Cor. 1:21 - the world knew not God
  2. Jn. 7:7 - the world's works are evil
  3. Jn. 14:17 - the world cannot receive the spirit
  4. Jn. 15:18 - the world hated Christ

C. Therefore:

  • Christ says:
    1. Jn. 18:36 - My kingdom is not of this Kosmos
    2. Jn. 16:33 - I have overcome the world
    3. Jn. 12:31 Now is the judgement of this Kosmos
  • In addition:
    1. James 4:4*- Friendship with the world is enmity with God
    2. I Jn. 2:15*- If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
    3. I Jn. 5:4 - our faith overcomes the world

D. This is because there is a mind behind the system.

  1. Jn. 12:31; Jn. 14:30; Jn. 16:11 - the ruler of this world
  2. II Cor. 4:4 - the god of this world (the term here is not Kosmos, but ho seon houtos which is a synonym but contmeplates the world system from the aspect of time, or age, rather than space as does Kosmos. See also Rom. 12:2 and #6).
  3. Eph. 2:2 - the prince of the power of the air
  4. I Cor. 2:8 - the demons are the rulers of this age or this world
  5. Eph. 6:12 - the demons are the world rulers (Kosmoskraters) of this darkness
  6. I Jn. 5:19*- the whole world lies in the power of the evil one

E. The believer is not to withdraw from the world system.

  1. Jn. 17:15, 16
  2. I Cor. 5:9,10
  3. Phil. 2:15
  4. Mt. 5:13-16
  5. Jn. 16:33