The apostle John writes that “the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19 1 John 5:19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
American King James Version×). Through his influence Satan has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×). The entirety of civilization has been seduced by this cunning being through his persuasive deception and insidious lies.
The result has been thousands of years of human anguish, misery and suffering. Deceived by his lies, people have willingly adopted Satan’s way of life rather than God’s way. The result of following Satan’s way, which through his deception appears fine and well and quite natural to most people, is predictable: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 14:12There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
American King James Version×; Proverbs 16:25 Proverbs 16:25There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
American King James Version×, New International Version).
Satan’s deception is so complete, so pervasive, that the Bible calls him “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×). The apostle Paul, in the original Greek, identifies him as the theos—the god, the one who is worshipped—of this eon, this age, this period in history.
Consider the magnitude of Satan’s influence over humanity—so great that most of mankind unknowingly worships and follows the devil as its god. That is the incredible truth revealed in your Bible! Understanding that reality explains so many of the troubling paradoxes we see in the world around us.
Paul explained that as a result of Satan’s hold on humanity, most people do not believe the truth of the Bible. They do not understand the gospel—the good news—of God’s plan for mankind.
As he stated in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 2 Corinthians 4:3-4  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×, “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”