Bible Q&A: Who Really Has the Authority on Earth, God or Satan?

Question: In Bible study the other day, we were studying Luke chapter four. Satan tempts Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days. Satan says to Jesus, “Bow down and worship me, and I can give you all this.” I know he is the father of lies, so was that a lie? Could he have given Jesus all if Jesus had bowed to him, or was it a trick/lie, and he hadn’t any authority to offer Jesus the world?

Which then brought up another question: Does Satan need authority from God to do anything to the people and to the earth? Is that true? Or as one lady said, Satan gets authority from God only when pertaining to Christians believers. But Satan does not have to get permission from God when dealing with unbelievers? -Tammy

Answer: Hi Tammy, Both good questions. Let’s start here:

Satan’s Rebellion

How you are fallen from heaven,
    O Day Star, son of Dawn!
How you are cut down to the ground,
    you who laid the nations low!
You said in your heart,
    “I will ascend to heaven;
above the stars of God
    I will set my throne on high;
I will sit on the mount of assembly
    in the far reaches of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”
But you are brought down to Sheol,
    to the far reaches of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)

This is probably the most detailed account of Satan’s rebellion in the Bible. One thing to notice here, in Satan’s own words, is his desire to “make [him]self like the Most High.” Of course, that’s impossible! Why?

Author-ity: Where Does It Come From?

If you think about the word “authority,” it comes from the word “author.” We know from Genesis 1 that God is the Author of the entire universe (including Satan himself)! Remember, Satan is an angel, created by God. Satan is not divine. He is not God’s equal. The closest Satan comes to being an author is by twisting what God has done, and turning it into sin. He’s the author of lies.

“All authority comes from God, and those in position of authority have been placed there by God” (Romans 13:1). I take this to refer to human authority. Now, notice what Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 28: “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to…” who? Me! Therefore, no authority that God has given has been given to Satan. So any authority that Satan exercises was taken, not given. He is, by definition, unauthorized!

What Kind of Authority Does Satan Exercise?

Jesus referred to him as “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31), and Paul calls him “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). John makes a further distinction when he says: “We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). These references leave us with the question: In what sense does Satan “rule” the world?

The Bible frequently uses “the world” or “this world” to refer to the present evil system of opposition to God. So, the Bible never teaches that Satan actually rules over the entire world, but that he is ruler over the current system of sinful opposition to God. In other words, he’s leading the rebellion against God.

Satan’s Limited Authority

The book of Job gives further insight into the limited nature of Satan’s power. Satan came before God with other heavenly beings (Job 1:6), and God asked him where he had been (1:7). Satan tells him, and God asks if he knows about his servant, Job (1:8). Satan challenges God, saying he’s put a hedge around him and blessed him, and he asks God to take away the hedge, threatening that if he did, Job would curse God to his face (1:10-11). God removes the hedge of blessing around Job’s life, but restricts Satan’s activity.

It is clear from this that Satan could do only what God had given him permission to do, and nothing more. Job was certainly a believer, but there is no reason to think that Satan somehow has unrestricted authority over unbelievers. This Scripture tells us the reason that Satan has any authority at all, because God allows it to be so…for now.

All the Kingdoms of the World and Their Authority

Back to your question: If Jesus had bowed his knee to him, could Satan really have given “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory” (Matthew 4:8) to him? If we take what we’ve learned so far, we can reframe the situation a bit. The kingdoms of the world are made up of people and systems in rebellion against God.

Satan was essentially tempting Jesus to join his rebellion against God.

How would Jesus do this? By choosing to bypass God’s plan for him to humble himself, die on the cross for our sins, rise to new life, and receive the kingdom of God from his Father (Ephesians 2:5-10). Instead of bowing to God, and being obedient to him, Jesus could bow to Satan, avoid the pain and suffering of the cross, and immediately become king of Satan’s rogue kingdom.

Why the Son of God Took on Flesh and Blood

Yes, Satan could have given this kingdom to Jesus. But the very reason that the Son of God took on flesh and blood was “that through death he might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). When Jesus died on the cross, he took away our sins, satisfying the demands of God’s law, and he triumphed over Satan, disarming the power that he holds over people–the power of death, because sin leads to death (Colossians 2:13-15).

Instead of joining his rebellion, Jesus now waits for the final judgment and the decisive victory over Satan to be accomplished, when he will be “thrown into the lake of fire” and “tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10), and his kingdom and authority will be taken away from Satan and given back to King Jesus, its rightful Author and Owner. Amen.

Hope this is helpful to you,

Pastor Tim

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satan

Tim serves as the resident pastor, writer, and editor of Unlocking the Bible. He was born and raised in northern Wisconsin, came to faith in his 20's while working in the business world, and received a Masters in Divinity from Trinity International University. He is author of the children’s book “Man on the Run,” and co-author of “The One Year Unlocking the Bible Devotional” with Colin Smith. Tim and his wife, Janna, and their four kids live in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

Date Posted: Aug 9th, 2016

  • patrick

    you are correct

  • Great explanation Pastor Colin!

  • Tonio

    I agreed with everything except Isaiah 14:12-15. How can you say that is satan when it only appears one time in the whole bible. Plus it means day star and 2 Corinthians 11:14 suggest it might be a case of mistaken identity. And why when in Rev 20:2 all the names he was know by was called, it wasn’t one of them…….

  • Tonio

    I agreed with everything except Isaiah 14:12-15. How can you say that is satan when it only appears one time in the whole bible. Plus it means day star and 2 Corinthians 11:14 suggest it might be a case of mistaken identity. And why when in Rev 20:2 all the names he was know by was called, it wasn’t one of them…….

    • Eric Bragg

      > Plus it means day star and 2 Corinthians 11:14 suggest it might be a case of mistaken identity.

      That “suggestion” is a localized opinion of the publisher of the bible; not likely found in all study bibles, and certainly not mine. Also, there are many names for Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God, and Satan. Even we are destined to have at least one other name, as promised in Revelation (if we overcome those obstacles that we struggle with the most).

      The thing about the bible is that it claims to be, “alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 – NIV) ….. and
      “All Scripture is God-breathed.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

      The choice you have to make is whether you believe the bible is accurate or not. There are a lot of reasons people come up with to argue that it cannot be 100% accurste. But until you can settle it in your heart that God, if He really is perfect, is ABLE and WILLING to give us an unadultered, perfect book… you will always have doubts about what it says. And there will always be opinions that agree with such doubt, which is the perfect example of what is meant by the deception Satan has introduced in our “logical” mindsets.

      • Jeremy Benson

        God CAN give us an unaltered perfect book, but he didn’t. I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe this happened.

        Matthew Jesus family is called out of Egypt because king Herod is dead, and his pursuers.

        Acts Herod arrests a man, it pleases the Jews, he arrests two apostles also.

        This is not something that can happen in a perfect book. It’s impossible to be dead and arrest people 30 years later…

        Anyway, I’m a Christian, but I don’t support the bible as the word of God, but rather a book containing the word of God. I even gather it’s really close to the truth, just not it…

        Also how can you have an unaltered book that’s got revisions, which in of itself is the definition of altered?

        • Liam L

          There was more than one Herod in history! Please research this.

        • Tina Bradley

          To my understanding, according to the Bible & the Qu’ran the word of God is Jesus. Out of all the books that make the bible only 66 were chosen…out of thousand. Guess who chose? Also the bible has human fingerprints all over it, it has been revised many times. As a matter of fact the bible I have been told is the most accurate is the Strongs Exhaustive. If you compare this original to some of the bibles that are used today there are verses actually omitted. To make one think worldly thought vs heavenly thoughts. Look it up…it’s all out there. Religion is a prison. God wants each one of us to develop a relationship with him. I am very confused because when you look at what the United States was built on it’s scary…A lot of satanism.

  • Leo

    Thank You pastor , God is great !!!!

  • mathew

    if satan needs permission from god as described in job then does that means that all the evil, wicked, cruel and hatred we see around us are done by satan by the permission of god? so did god actually allowed such evil things to happen on earth? why god gives satan such permission?

    • David P Odom

      Isaiah 45:1-7; Amos 3:6; Lamentations 3:38; Micah 1:12. These are just a few.

  • sheckyshabaz

    I’ve been teaching ancient Hebrew, Greek, ancient eastern history and culture for almost 30 years. When i read articles like this i shake my head in sadness at how easily people are mislead. Let me correct a lot of misunderstandings:

    1. Sin – Is not about obeying or disobeying. This is a misunderstanding of the ancient Hebrew word. The concept developed heavily in ancient Hebrew civilizations and then was heightened during the middle ages of European history. The first instance of something in the bible albeti an event or a word usually sets the tone going forward. The first time the word “chatta’ath” is used in the bible is in Genesis 4 and it comes from the root word “chata” which means to miss. This can perceived in 1 of 2 ways. To miss the target as in archery such as not aiming correctly or listening to the rules. This concept breeds the self righteous doctrine of “earning” your acceptance while the correct understanding of ancient Hebraic culture is to “miss the target” as in “Missing something” such as I’m missing my keys, or I’m missing my hat. We as people are missing something which is an awareness of who god made us to be. This happens because it’s been hidden and concealed from us due to the god of this world blinding the eyes of people. The last thing Satan wants is for mankind to realize exactly who they are because this would rob him of his control in the world. Instead he sets out to make us feel guilty, ashamed, afraid, inadequate, unloved, and ultimately tries to portray god incorrectly which will lead to our disillusion of who we are.

    2. Satan was not being described in Isaiah or the old testament regardless of what the English translations say because the truth is, Hebrews did not believe in Satan in the same way westerns do. The Hebrews believed that Satan worked for Yahuah and Yahuah was both light and darkness, evil and good, love and hate. They attributed both characteristics to Yahuah. This is why there is so much confusion and contradictions throughout the old testament and the new testament. Remember that “testament” is the opinion of truth as one sees it. This does not mean that it is truth, just what a person believes. Because of these misunderstandings you will notice the Hebraic writers using Lord and God interchangeably with evil and loving actions. The Hebrews believed Yahuah killed and created life. This is why naysayers claim the god of the bible to be a monster, but like much of humanity they have no clue who the creator truly is.

    3. Jesus or the proper pronunciation is Yahusha, is the measuring stick as to the character of the creator named Yahuah. Yes “Jesus” is not the correct name or pronunciation of his name and nor is “god or lord” the name of the creator. The creator has a name and so does the son. Ancient Hebrew did not use vowels in their writing. The vowel sounds had to be inferred and carried down throughout history by the spoken tongue. The correct way to pronounce the name of the creator is YAHOO+AH. We would spell it in English as Yahuah. The son’s name is pronounced as YAHOO+SHA or spelled in English as Yahusha. Yahusha (Jesus) is the perfect depiction of who Yahuah (god) is. He came to reveal the father. Revealing meant that the people didn’t already know who the father was, evidenced in how the Hebrews attributed both good and evil to the father. This is why the old testament contradicts the actions of Yahusha.

    4. God is not angry as anger stems from fear of losing something and an omnipotent being can’t lose anything because he already owns everything and nothing is greater than that which is omnipotent. God does not change as he’s constant, the only entity in existence that does not change, and the list can go on. God created mankind for their own benefit not his own, because an omnipotent being is self sufficient. The kingdom of earth, our culture as humans is to serve the one in power, yet an omnipotent being is not in need of service, he is self sufficient and complete. The kingdom of heaven (not a place) is about the greater being serving the lesser beings (evidence in how Yahusha served his disciples). Another lie Satan has made mankind believe is that it’s their duty to serve god as if god needs servants!!!

    5. Satan has blinded the eyes of people to make them believe that we are to wait, endure suffering and persecution, live in poverty, illness, divorce, breakups, lack of any kind, and even bodily death and aging. He has made mankind think they have to wait for Jesus to return at some future date to fix these problems when god created mankind for the purpose of eradicating this evil now. It’s our job to remove the unseen powers of the darkness through our words and our belief, but it’s the belief that we are missing. The awareness of who we are.

  • Adam Wall

    Not sure if someone commented regarding this yet, but when Christ says “all authority has been given to me…” he says that AFTER rising from the dead; wouldn’t that infer that before his death and resurrection he did NOT have it? Satan had authority and reign over the world before hand (and it was given to him inadvertently when A&E sinned, for God had given it to them in the first place). Christ’s resurrection began a war between the two kingdoms (light and dark) as He was bringing the Power of God to over through the “strong man.” Glad Christ is the “stronger man!” Christians are now called to rescue those still in the darkness…our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities of the evil one. One more note: The idea that God has to grant Satan permission to do bad things casts a pretty gross shadow on God and makes Him appear untrustworthy. Would love your thoughts, thanks! and I had to post as a guest because I didn’t have my password and wouldn’t let me sign in with FB 🙁 I’ll check back for a response).

    • Adam

      “overthrow”* 🙂 Thought I had fixed that…

    • Pastor Tim

      Hi Adam, this is Pastor Tim from Unlocking the Bible. The Bible gives answers to many of these questions, but they are sometimes difficult to unravel, not simple or obvious, as is sometimes suggested. There are many opinions about the answer to your questions, even among bible-believing Christians. It seems to me that the death and resurrection of Christ signals the “binding of the strong man.” Satan was planning to defeat Jesus by having him crucified, but in atoning for sins (on the cross) and overcoming death (in the resurrection), God has made a way to “steal” people out of the kingdom of darkness and bring them into the kingdom of the Son he loves. Jesus is the Savior. We are the ones who get to announce to victory of Christ and freedom for the captives through faith in him. The problem of evil that you raise is a much bigger question. I recommend a more thorough and helpful treatment like “If God Is Good,” by Randy Alcorn. May you know God’s richest blessing even as you wrestle with these things, Adam. -Pastor Tim

  • Jenny Jones

    So again Does God give permission for trials and sicknesses or not? If you use the story of Job then YES he does?? I have pondered this for years and would really like a BIBLICAL answer ??
    I just can NOT accept that God allows children to be taken and molested and murdered 🙁

    • Kelley Anders

      I, like you, have wrestled with the thought of God allowing so much evil to happen. But after studying/reflecting on the Word: the truth is that in the Garden of Eden mankind made the choice to control our own lives. We said yes to Satan’s temptation to bite the fruit and be as gods, controlling our own destiny, ruling ourselves. At that point we lost paradise, we essentially said we don’t want God and got what we wanted which was to be own our god. And when you think about it, it’s a decision everyone makes every day rather to obey God or Satan and there are consequences. This world is literally a product of the decisions we/man has made. God wishes above all that none of us perish eternally but we have to make that choice. When children are raped, murdered, orphaned, forgotten, abused, hungry and sick; It’s a result of the fallen world we live in, not God’s will. We are often really quick to blame God for the bad when really it is us. Man murder, sinful man make the decision to hurt children, those with riches and the government choose to be selfish and not give to the needy. However by the presence of Christians and our obedience to God: His presence within us keep many terrible things from happening and show love to a dying world. We have been given the charge to care for the widow, the orphan, spread the good news that it won’t always be this way and Jesus is coming back. We are to not be selfish and sinful as others since we have given God back the authority in our lives. But narrow is the road. Many won’t turn to God and this world will continue on the path to destruction. But it’s not hopeless; Thank God Jesus will come back because if He didn’t we would literally destroy ourselves. Satan rules when we give him the power to in our lives. People believe their decisions only affect themselves when really it affects everyone. Today when we say yes to Jesus, sin looses it’s power over us and we do God’s will here on earth. Imagine if everyone gave their lives to Jesus and followed Him, the world would be a better place. Adam was given charge to care for the garden, he named the animals. We still have the charge to care for this world and the people in it. But sin has caused us to not care and here we are. I guess I said all that to try to explain God is not to blame for the awful things that happen in this fallen world. Even while we rebel God is all the while pleading with us to confess we need him and to repent. And it’s good that we can choose, we are not just robots or being forced to serve God. But like all good things Satan seeks to corrupt or take advantage. I know it’s hard. There is good in this life but also we’ll all struggle and someday go to eternity. The greatest thing we can do is keep being Christ followers, spreading the good news. It can bring comfort to the hurting, purpose to pain, peace to the weary, love will chase out the hate and best of all those who put their hope and faith in Jesus, come what may can be confident that Satan won’t win and they’ll one day be with Jesus in heaven and in the new earth, which is the world as God would have it. But in the meantime he is giving us time to repent because He wants as many of us there with Him as possible.

    • Kelley Anders

      For Job, his faith was being tried/tested…before that he had everything a somewhat good life and after that everything he lost was restored. Those things were however able to occur only because Job like us lived in a fallen world with sickness, murder and death. Satan did it but God protected Job through it. We are not tempted beyond more than we can bear. So in the end because of the sinful world at which we live sometimes we go through but it’s never more than God would allow. Remember Satan got permission from God. Job could only see the bad and that God wasn’t shielding him from it. But behind the scenes we know Satan was limited and God had a plan to use Job’s trails. We don’t know how many people came to believe or who’s faith was strenghthed in God because they watched Job go through or heard him give his testimony after. I know I am encouraged. We must know God is God through the good and when we experience the bad of this fallen sinful world. I hope this helps. Really studying Genesis helped me to better, not completely cause my thoughts are not God’s, but better comprehend the extent to which the Garden and the Cross affect us. There’s always a spiritual battle going on behind everything. And even if God hadn’t delivered Job, because remember Job didn’t know it wasn’t permanent and was only a test, but Job would have still shamelessly died having faith in God being good no matter what. People say faith like Job because it wasn’t dependent on circumstances.

    • Shawn Taylor

      Hello Jenny this is a great question and I think it is something that many Christians get stumped on. You are asking Does God give permission for trials and sicknesses or not? If you use the story of Job then YES he does?? The first thing we want to always make sure we understand about God is that he loves all of us and he loves us perfectly. When you look at the story of Job you are seeing a very special man of the Bible very different from the others in that God says there is no other like him in all the earth so Job is not your average believer. We can see from jobs own prayers that he is concerned and worried about his children sinning against God. The devil knows this and sees Jobs fears and so uses his position of power, standing and authority that he took from Adam and Eve to enter into Gods presents in heaven to accuse Job. Even the devil knows that God loves Job and has blessed him by placing a hedge of love and protection a hedge of blessings around him. The devil says to God you have placed a hedge around Job and this is why Job worships you. If you remove that hedge that protection surly Job will curse your name. So you see this is not about God just handing over permission to the devil to go around destroying people it is more about the devil trying to show God that there is none on the earth that is just and upright, none who loves God and turns away from evil. The devil very clearly says he has been going back and forth across the earth and has not found any of the humans God has created to be just and upright before God. This story is to teach us a lesson about how God protects us and loves us and keeps us. The Devil can do nothing to us unless God loosens his grip upon us which he says he will never do. It is hard for us to understand the story of Job because all we can see is that God allowed the devil to destroy Jobs life and kill his family. This story seems extreme but if we listen to what is being said we can all learn that with God we are protected but without him the devil will and does destroy people’s lives. The problem isn’t that God can’t protect us it is that under the law of the old covenant before Christ came the devil has a way to lawfully acuse us of not keeping the law perfectly and because God is just he must then according to the law punish sin. This is exactly why God sent Jesus, if Job or you or me or anyone else could behave their way into a perfect safe life then there would be no need for Jesus. The blood of the lamb protected and brought the Israelites out of Egypt not their good behavior or good works not their self-righteousness. This blood on the door post is picture of the blood of Christ who is the true lamb of God. Today it is washed over all who proclaim the blood in their lives and therefore keeping them and protecting them.
      The other thing that we must also understand is that our own behavior no matter how good we think it is, is never going to be good enough to protect us from Satan. This story is not about God allowing you and I to be treated like Job it is a story that is given to us to teach us a lesson about self-righteousness. When we live by the law the devil Knows he can use it against us because we cannot keep it perfectly just like with Job. Job did everything right but still in his heart he was afraid of what God would do to his children. Is this not doubt?? The devil knew he had an inroad into Jobs life and it was through the doubt and the lack of faith that Job. God knows that Job truly trust Him with everything except his children Jobs trust was not just because of all the things God had give him, this is why there is no other on the earth like Job. Even in our day God has given many a believer a great life and yet they question his love because of the things they see being done in the world and to others. It’s always why God why and never why devil why.
      It’s because Gods love for us is not a settled thing in our hearts. God is a loving Father and he doesn’t send trials and sicknesses into our lives to teach us a lesson even though he did use what happened to Job to teach us a lesson. It was Job that made an inroad into his life for the devil. God did not want Job afraid and worried about his children, God wanted Job trusting him completely in ever area of his life not just all but one. When you look at the story of Job and the story of the Israelites you see death and destruction in their lives but it’s because they lived under the law choosing of the knowledge of good and evil just as Adam and Eve did. What did God say would happen when we chose to live by these laws he said death would rain and our lives would be cursed. What happened to Adam and Eve when they used their freewill to do what God said not to do?? They eventually died and were cursed right?? Same thing with the children of Israel what happened at mount sini 3000 died right?
      We love our children very much but it is only a small amount compared to Gods love for us and you as a parent would never in a million years think of giving your child a sickness or a disease or trial to teach them a lesson this is the way the world teaches lessons not God. When you see a child molested or sick you have to understand that we as human beings all have a free choice and with that free choice we must be allowed to be as loving as we choose and we must also be allowed to be as evil as we choose and if not then there really is no free choice. It is not Gods will that a child should be molested or be sick and die. We see in Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Essential what God is saying hear is how is it that you do not reason in your hearts that I only take them to save them from evil. This leads me to my next point. If we believe with all our hearts that God loves us and all our children and we believe in heaven and that heaven is a much much better place then this earth. Then why is a child that leaves the earth and goes to heaven in order to avoid a life of evil and torment a bad thing in our minds??? Why is it a bad thing that God has allowed this and not a good thing??? Has God not simply brought them to the playgrounds of heaven to be loved and kept for eternity??? When you and I look around at all the death and sickness and disease in the world we must understand that it is a human beings freewill that molested that child it is a human beings freewill that raped that women it is a persons freewill that the back of our children’s cereal boxes looks like a chemistry experiment of chemicals. It’s a persons freewill that causes addiction, stealing and killing in the name of making money and not God trying to teach us a lesson. It was God that said I set before each of you life and death choose life that you and you children may live. Jesus is this life that we all must choose and when a person chooses to live life void of Jesus they are choosing to live their lives void of life and what is the opposite of life?? Death right? So we see all around us death. It is not Gods will that any should perish. God told Adam and Eve the very same thing when he said don’t eat of this tree because when you do it will kill you. God gave them a freewill just as he has given all of us a free will and with it they chose death instead of life. Job lived before Jesus day when Satan was the god of this world. You and I live in the days after the cross and Jesus has been seated in heaven and has robbed the devil of his power and authority. The devil can no longer go before God and accuse us and he can no longer have free range in our lives unless we live void of Christ and or live under the law (trying to do good to get good) the Bible’s says that the law brings with it a curse so if we fail at keeping one of the commandments we fail at them all and are there for cursed. The devil knows this and uses it to curse our lives. As long as Satan can either deceive you into believing their is no Jesus or if you do believe there is a Jesus then he deceives you into keeping the law he has got you. Satan knows he can destroy your life, we see many Christians with not so great lives because of this.
      Understand that it’s not God the devil doesn’t want you believing in it’s Jesus that’s why it’s called antichrist and not antiGod. There are a lot of Gods out there but only one Jesus and only one Father of Jesus ( God)
      You and I are to live under Grace this is the new covenant and much of what the people on here are talking about is the law and is why they are seeing Christians that believe in Jesus still having hard lives it’s because they are trying to be righteous with God through their own works instead of recieveing the perfect finished work of Jesus at the cross as their righteousness. Thank you for your question and I hope this helped you have a better understanding of Gods love for you. Have a great day!

    • Brennan

      The question is does Satan need permission to enact evil? The answer is no he doesn’t have to go before God before enacting rape, murder, etc. What kind of God would give an okay to Satan in that sense?

      The answer is partly in psalm 115:16 where we see that we’ve been given the Earth. Okay so how does Satan freely roam in our world? We have handed it over to him through the fall in sin. That is why he is called the god of this world and in control. Because for a short while…he is. That isn’t to say that God is less powerful, that is to say that God’s enactment of free will for us and his giving of a world to us in creation led to us submitting it to Satan until Jesus returns again.

      To understand this you have to understand why Satan was put on Earth by God. If we say God allows him to enact evil we would say that God put Satan here just to perform evil. That is not the case. The truth is Satan was put here because God loves to see his empowered children stomping the devil. Which is why Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil (1 john 3:8)

      God is blamed for casting fire on Job when we know it was Satan (job 1:16). When God said Satan could touch what he has he wasn’t giving permissiom he was stating a fact. Satan doesn’t need permission to act. He is the prince of power of the air, but has has given all authority to those who walk in his righteousness to drive out the devil.

  • Silenced_One

    “All authority comes from God, and those in position of authority have been placed there by God” (Romans 14:1)

    Romans 14:1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.

  • Excelsior

    We are duped into thinking we are less than the righteousness of God in this world. Jesus, has returned. He is in each of us. It is incumbent on us to produce fruit in keeping with righteousness. Satan’s biggest fear is “if we understand we are now (not going to be, but NOW) the righteousness of Christ.”

  • trudy cary

    You said “Instead of joining his rebellion, Jesus now waits for the final judgment and the decisive victory over Satan to be accomplished, when he will be “thrown into the lake of fire” and “tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10), and his kingdom and authority will be taken away from Satan and given back to King Jesus, its rightful Author and Owner. Amen…”……………..which tells us Satan has the kingdom and authority and it will be taken away from him and given back to The Ancient of Days. In those words then is the answer.

  • Adam David Bungart

    Thank you, I know I’m okay, but it’s so sad these days. Seeing so much evil being pushed on our children torments me. Bless you

  • Triumphant A A Joe

    Romans 13:1 ”Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in position of authority have been placed there by God”. Pastor Tim, please effect the necessary change.
    God bless you for the explanation.

    • UnlockingtheBible

      Thank you for the correction!

      Kristen Wetherell

      Ministry Content Manager

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  • faye

    Beautifully explained Pastor Tim. Thank you for aiding in my clarification . God Bless you and your ministering of the word.

  • Mark

    If God has the authority over Satan then wouldn’t all terrible tragedies come from God and worked through the evil one

    Also if God has a plan or will for his people what good is prayer, no amount of prayer can protect you from god’s will,

    I believe we should totally fear God, not much evidence he loves us.

    • Jim Johnson

      He took upon himself all the sins of the would and that includes all the suffering that goes with it. Imagine a God that would do that — that is love, but of course what I just said is words and words only, until you have experienced that love first hand. May the Lord reveal that to you, but keep in mind he resists the proud, which I once was.

  • Johannes Amerika

    The Isaiah passage refers to the king of Babylon. There is no “Lucifer.” It’s just a metaphor. The only mention of Satan in the Hebrew Bible is Job.

  • Beth Hermansen

    What I don’t understand is that if Love is all and forgiveness essential, then why haven’t Satan and God reconciled yet? I forgive the “Evil One” for the wrong he has done, why can’t God? I think this war has gone on long enough. It sometimes seems that it will never happen because there is a purpose in the fight between Good and Evil. And if this is to remain everlasting then what hope is there for us who truly wish to see Heaven on Earth again? And one last thing if “Instead of joining his rebellion, Jesus now waits for the final judgment and the decisive victory over Satan to be accomplished, when he will be “thrown into the lake of fire” and “tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10)” isn’t that unchristian-like? Weren’t we meant to treat our enemies as friends and I know I’d never throw a friend into a lake of fire. Just saying. None of this makes sense.

    • UnlockingtheBible

      Hi Beth, this is Pastor Tim. Sounds like you’re thinking out loud about some important questions. Mind if I respond to a few of the things you’ve said?

      1. “What I don’t understand is that if Love is all and forgiveness essential, then why haven’t Satan and God reconciled yet?”
      This is hard to understand. I don’t think we fully know the answer to this question. But the answer starts here: There is such a thing as real evil in the world. In other words, we sometimes talk about people generally being good, but we see exceptions to this all around us (and sometimes in ourselves!). For example, we expect people to say they are sorry when they do the wrong thing. But think about Hitler or Stalin. These guys were not sorry and they did not try to make things right. When we see people like this, we get a glimpse of what Satan is like. He is out to destroy God and his work, and he is not sorry. He would do worse, if he could.

      2. “I forgive the “Evil One” for the wrong he has done, why can’t God?”
      Beth, I hear your good intentions in this question, but there’s something basic about forgiveness that you’re missing here. Only the person who’s been offended can forgive. If your friend punches you, it makes no sense for me to walk up to him and say, “Its ok, I forgive you.” The offense was not committed against me, but against you. So, you’re the only one who can forgive him. In the same way, the destruction caused by Satan affects us in some ways, but everything he has done is against God and his creation. Only God can forgive these things. And when God forgives it is always with a purpose, to restore the relationship. That’s why when Jesus walked the earth, he said, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Unless we are willing to turn away from our sin, we cannot be restored to him, and we cannot be a part of his kingdom. The same would be true in a marriage where one person is involved in an affair. Until he or she is willing to cut off or leave the affair, they cannot be reconciled to their husband or wife. Satan will not turn away from his rebellion against God, and so he cannot be reconciled to God, and therefore God will not forgive him. Forgiveness is on God’s terms, not ours. Forgiveness is always on the terms of the offended party, not the offender.

      3. “I think this war has gone on long enough. It sometimes seems that it will never happen because there is a purpose in the fight between Good and Evil. And if this is to remain everlasting then what hope is there for us who truly wish to see Heaven on Earth again?”
      Think of it this way: Satan (an angel) rebelled against God. And in the Garden of Eden, he was recruiting human beings to be a part of his rebellion. So he tempted Adam and Eve, and when they disobeyed God, it’s like a virus entered into the human race. Because we are descended from them, we have the virus of sin and we were born into Satan’s rebellion against God. Our hope is that someone from outside the human race could somehow remove the virus AND make things right between us and God. That is what Jesus came to do. He came to us from God (He is outside the human race, he is God) and he took on human flesh. His death on the cross was the payment that God required in order to forgive us. When we place our faith in Christ and his work on the cross for us, the benefit of his sacrifice (his death) becomes ours. Jesus promised to return one day, and when he does, all who have trusted in him will be part of God’s kingdom, and it will be a new heaven and a new earth, where God will dwell with us and there will no longer be any sin. This is what the Bible teaches and this is my great hope.

      4. “And one last thing if “Instead of joining his rebellion, Jesus now waits for the final judgment and the decisive victory over Satan to be accomplished, when he will be “thrown into the lake of fire” and “tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10)” isn’t that unchristian-like? Weren’t we meant to treat our enemies as friends and I know I’d never throw a friend into a lake of fire.”
      I think I know why you’re asking this question. You are evaluating God’s actions through the lens of personal relationship instead of through the law. Let’s say I murdered someone and then went to stand before the judge for sentencing. If the judge says to me “Its ok, you’re free to go,” I might be happy, but everyone else, including the victim’s family will be outraged. Why? Because I’ve broken the law and so now I should pay the penalty for it. That’s how the law works, and for Satan, God sits as judge. In order to be a good judge, God must bring justice. Satan is not God’s friend, he is a rebel. The same is true for us. We like to think that we are good people who have made a few “mistakes,” but we have broken God’s law, and now we are under his just judgment. But Jesus has made it possible for the enemies of God to become his friends.

      Pastor Tim