Satan – How He became the god of This World
Satan is the god of this world (2Cor 4:4, John 12:31, Eph 2:2). He showed what he owns while tempting Jesus saying, “I’ll give you all the kingdoms of the world if you bow down and worship me” (Matt 4:8-9). Psalms 24:1 says that the earth is God’s because He created it, but God is not the god of this world, therefore there is a conflict of interest between God and Satan.
Dominion Given to Man
How did the kingdoms of the world become Satan’s? God created the world (Gen 1:1). At that time, the world was in God’s dominion. After He made man, He gave dominion to Man (Gen 1:26). It does not say that He shared dominion with man, but gave it to him. When He gave it to man, it belonged to man and not to God anymore. God couldn’t take dominion back from the man because “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom 11:29), which means that when God gives a gift, He either can’t or won’t take it back. I guess you could say that when Adam received this dominion, he became the god of this world.
Dominion Transferred to Satan
God said, “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen 2:17). Romans 6:16 says, “Don’t you know that you become a slave to whoever you obey? If you obey sin, you’re a slave to sin and you’ll die. If you obey God, then you gain righteousness.” Whoever commits sin is a slave to sin (John 8:34). Satan is the father of lusts, murder, lying (John 8:44) and therefore sin. He is the father of every disobedient person (Eph 2:2), disobedience is lawlessness, and all lawlessness is sin (1Jn 3:4). Since Satan is the father of sin, and since whoever sins is a slave to sin, it’s also accurate to say that whoever sins is a slave of Satan. Hence, Man became a slave and debtor to Satan who he obeyed by agreeing with the snake in the garden, and the very dominion that man had was transferred to Satan.
Taken From the Slave, Given To the Master
Whatever a slave owns is given to his master, which in this case is dominion over the earth. Jesus said, “A servant is not greater than his master” (John 13:16). Here’s what the Law of Moses says in Exodus 22:3, “…he (a thief) should make full restitution (for what he steals); if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.” When a man owes another man something that he can’t pay back, he must first start by giving what he has to his debtor like possessions, lands, titles, etc. Then because that isn’t enough, the only other way to pay him back is by becoming his slave and giving time and service. In this case, the debt was so big that it affected all of Adam’s descendants. Adam couldn’t pay back the debt in his lifetime, so it carried over to his children, and his children’s children. It would have carried on from generation to generation for all eternity until someone could have paid back the value of what was damaged. In fact, the only way for humanity to be bought back was by God sending His Son to buy us back from iniquity and purify us (Titus 2:14). Who was Jesus buying people back from? Their owner, Satan. Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”
The Transfer Wasn’t Honest
Satan is a thief and a liar. He gained dominion through deceit. First he tricked the snake, then he used the snake to trick the woman (1Tim 2:14), and then Adam just went along with it. Satan was not the snake; if he was, then why did God curse all snakes (Gen 3:14)? The bible doesn’t say that Satan tricked the snake, but he actually did. How Satan used the snake was by tricking it to think that, since it was the wisest of all the animals, it could be perhaps greater or equal to the man if it could convince him to disobey God by eating from the fruit of the forbidden tree. In doing so, Satan tricked the woman and the man into thinking that they would be perhaps greater or equal to God. What really happened was that Satan, who was under the man, rose over the man and received His dominion. The snake, who wanted to be above the man, was cursed to be lower than any living thing by crawling on its belly (Gen 3:14). The woman was put under the man (Gen 3:16), and the man, who wanted to be equal to or greater than God would die and go back into the earth that was cursed from that moment (Gen 3:17-19).
Esau’s Authority Taken By Jacob
It might not make sense that God would go along with such a dishonest transaction of authority, but take for example another famous transfer of authority… Jacob and Esau were twins, but Esau was born just seconds before Jacob, which made Esau the senior to Jacob. Before I go on, realize that Esau’s future was to be over authority of Jacob, and Esau would have been Jacob’s master (Gen 27:29). This is similar to Satan and Adam in that Satan started under Adam, and then the position switched where Satan was over him by lying and deceiving. Jacob was under Esau but offered Esau a little bit of food for his birthright when he was hungry (Gen 25:31). It wasn’t brotherly of Jacob to do that, but a much more shocking thing is that Esau actually accepted the offer! The second occasion was when Jacob lied to his father, who at the time was having trouble seeing, and lied saying that he was Esau, dressed in Esau’s clothes, and even put goat hair on his arms to make himself seem as hairy as Esau. Isaac was fooled and blessed Jacob, making him lord over all his brothers. Once again, Jacob, like Satan, lied and deceived for power. The fact is, whether you agree with how it was done or not, these two dishonest transactions of authority happened and they couldn’t be taken back.
Why Did Satan Want Dominion?
Satan’s background story is found in Isaiah 14:12-19 and Ezekiel 28:12-19. To make a long explanation short, Satan wanted to “be like the most High” (Ezekiel 14:14). Sound familiar? That’s right; it’s just like what the snake said in Genesis 3:5. In truth, Satan doesn’t want to be just equal to God, he wants God to bow down and worship him (Matt 4:8-9). Some people associate Jeremiah 4:23-26 with Satan in a certain gap theory…
Lucifer, who is widely believed to be Satan, was created by God. He was perfect in wisdom, much like the snake was the wisest of the animals in Eden. The original power and authority that God gave him must have been a lot. No one knows what triggered his fall. Some think it was the creation of man, but the scriptures don’t say that he wanted to be above man, but wanted to be like the most High, so I think his fall could have happened before the creation of man. Look at the result of the situation and you can find Satan’s motive. Satan became a god over people who are in the image of God. He hates God so much that he hurts the people God created in His image by making them sick to death and possessing them with demons. He knew that God is love and cares for His creation; therefore he found that the best way to overthrow God was through overthrowing those made in God’s image.
The little “g” god
I’ve heard over and over that Satan is a god spelled with a little “g”. 2Corinthians 4:4 is the only verse that calls him a god, and in the Greek language there are no upper or lower case letters. The reason that Father God is spelled with an uppercase G in the English language is because “God” is God’s name, not just His title, unlike Satan. I’m not trying to give more power to Satan by saying this, I’m simply stating that if your reason for believing that Satan has less power than God on this earth is because the English translation is upper or lower case sensitive, then that’s not a good argument.
Satan Needs No Permission
Satan can do whatever he wants to his own property and to his own children. He does not ask God permission to do what is within his dominion to do. If Satan asked God for permission to do anything, and God granted him permission, then that wouldn’t make him a disobedient rebel as the bible calls him, but an obedient servant. If that were the case, why would Jesus be sent to destroy the works of the devil (1Jn 3:8)?
Until God takes back the earth
Until God takes back the earth, He has empowered His children so that they can “stand against the wiles of the devil” (Eph 6:11). The reason God hasn’t already taken back dominion is for the sake of those who have not yet repented and come to Him.
2Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us- ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
A good reference is the parable of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13.