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2 Corinthians 4:3-4 ESV

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

I'm assuming "the god of this world" is a reference to Satan.

How does Satan succeed in blinding the minds of those who do not believe? What strategies or methods does he use to achieve this?

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  • very low quality question. Search google, duckduckgo, perplexity ai for basic general questions on the bible. Try to be more specific and detailed here when making a question.
    – Michael16
    Nov 14, 2023 at 14:35

2 Answers 2

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The answer to this question is given, at least in part, in the previous chapter:

2 Cor 3:14-16 - But their minds were closed. For to this day the same veil remains at the reading of the old covenant. It has not been lifted, because only in Christ can it be removed. And even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

More insight is gained from John:

1 John 2:15, 16 - Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world.

Paul discusses the same thing in Romans 8

Rom 8:5-8 - Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh; but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind of the flesh is hostile to God: It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the flesh cannot please God.

Thus, the unsaved have their minds focused on the things of this world and cannot discern the spiritual truths of the kingdom of God. Jesus also taught this:

John 16:12-14 - I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. For He will not speak on His own, but He will speak what He hears, and He will declare to you what is to come. He will glorify Me by taking from what is Mine and disclosing it to you.

Paul also says:

1 Cor 2:14 - The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Thus, we can only understand spiritual truths by the enlightenment of the Holy Spiritwho reveals Christ - Jesus as Messiah is the key to understanding Bible truth and the "veil is removed".

Thus, all that Satan has to do is keep people's minds on the things of this world, preventing them from understanding Christ via the Holy Spirit; this keeps people's minds veiled.

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If you mean by "Satan" you mean a spiritual being named "Satan," then No. The word from the Hebrew is "ha satan" and simple means an adversary and can apply to anyone who stands against God, or someone else. However, Paul was specifically calling out "the god of this age."

in whom the god of this age did blind the minds of the unbelieving, that there doth not shine forth to them the enlightening of the good news of the glory of the Christ, who is the image of God; (YLT)

The KJV incorrectly used the word "world." The correct word is "aionos" or age. (1) The book was written about 55-56 AD (2) during the reign of Caesar Nero who called himself a god, or the son of a god. They were living under the Roman emperor cult worship of pagan gods. Paul was referring to a living man of that day and time who was deceiving the people, and whom our Father in heaven had already marked for judgment.

The subject matter of 2 Cor. 4 was speaking of deception.

but did renounce for ourselves the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness, nor deceitfully using the word of God, but by the manifestation of the truth recommending ourselves unto every conscience of men, before God; (YLT)

Paul told them that he and the other apostles / disciples were not distorting the truth of God's word, but speaking the truth of Yeshua's sacrifice and the gospel of Christ. This implies that others were not speaking truth. Paul spoke of the tribulation (vs. 8, 9) and persecution they were experiencing.

So, the date of this book puts that persecution and tribulation before the time that Nero blamed the Christians for the burning of Rome, before 64 AD. Therefor, this persecution was from the Sanhedrin, scribes and Pharisees out of Jerusalem.

The "god of this age", that age still being the age they were living in during the 1st century AD, before the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem (AD 70), were those rulers in Jerusalem that were still living under the Mosaic law and the temple sacrifices. These rulers were sending out Judaisers to pull people back under the law preaching circumcision and observance of feast days, and other Mosaic temple laws.

That adversary (satan) was a living man who opposed God by rejecting the promised Messiah, Yeshua. Candidates for this role include King Agrippa, Annanias, his son Jonathan, and other rulers of the Sanhedrin council who all were under the rule of Caesar Nero at that time. (3)

The way that adversary (god of this age) blinded the people was through the pressure of tribulation - obey us or else - and persecution to force them to turn back under the Mosaic law. They lied and conspired to deceive by twisting the scriptures. The same way many people have been deceiving millions today to believe other than what the scriptures say. (4)

Notes:

  1. Biblehub

  2. Dating The New Testament

  3. Who was High Priest in 56AD

  4. What Does The Bible Really Say....

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