There are three or four places in the Gospel of John where Jesus uses the phrase “The Ruler of this World.” Taking the expression out of context, Jesus referred to The Ruler of this World in three ways (this is from memory; I may be missing one of them). He said: 1) Now, the Ruler of this World is driven out; 2) The Ruler of this World is coming, and 3) Because the Ruler of this World has been condemned. What did he mean by that expression?
Modern scholars believe he meant Satan. Satan is “The Ruler of this World.” They argue that “The Ruler of this World” means that Satan is the master of worldly things and earthly philosophies and belief systems. I’m not sure I agree.
Have you ever read something in the Bible that you just “got”? You’d read it a hundred times before and never fully understood until that one time you read it and the meaning strikes you to the core. This has happened to me on several occasions. One of these was the phrase—which I had heard in song and scripture a number of times—“You satisfy the hungry heart with gifts of finest wheat.” I remember singing that verse many times in my youth and not really understanding it. Then, in college I fell in love and the verse took on new meaning. I identified it with a euphoric experience of romantic love which is very similar to the love of God—at least, how I understood it at that time. Another time I just “got” the meaning of a Biblical phrase was when I read the expression “The Ruler of this World.” It was in the expression in John where it says “The Ruler of this World is coming.” I understood it to mean “Death is coming.” This was largely because I had just come to terms with my own eventual death and that existential experience was fresh on my mind. It was starkly clear to me that the expression “The Ruler of this World” meant Death. Because what else can be said to rule the world but “Death.” Plants, trees, animals, people … they all eventually die and nothing one does can stop that. Indeed, in this sense “Death” does rule the world. I think I also read the other spot in the Bible where it says “The Ruler of this World is condemned,” and I couldn’t understand it because interpreting “The Ruler of this World” as Death doesn’t work there.
Later, courtesy of my “antichrist” experience, I came to realize that “The Ruler of this World” meant Satan. And I came to believe that the expression “The Ruler of this World” had a double meaning. First, it meant “Death,” (like in the expression “The Ruler of this World is coming”) and then, more deeply, it meant “Satan.” Indeed, I believed the understanding of Death for “The Ruler of this World” implies the scope and extent of the meaning of the true meaning of “The Ruler of this World.” So, in my mind Satan is death; that is, death is Satan’s ultimate power. When we die or when someone else we care for dies, it is Satan that kills them, not God. From there, I came to the conclusion that the universe (that over which “Death” has scope) is Satan. And that’s how I came to believe my alternate theory which I have presented in other posts and pages on this site.
Those are my thoughts on Death and Satan. Hope that was at least … entertaining.