Matthew 4:8-10 "8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,“‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”(ESV)
What do you think those verses teach? What was Satan offering Jesus, and did Satan have a right to offer it?
Two people showed up at the door a month or so ago, and they asked me who I thought ruled the world. They used the above verses to say that Satan ruled earth. I disagree; I think Jesus is in charge, and the rest of this blog entry will set out to show why. It will not address the question of why there is evil in the world if God is in charge. I simply do not have room in this entry to discuss both issues. I will answer that question in a future entry.
To answer the question about who is in charge, we need to look at the characters involved. What does the Bible say about Jesus? What does the Bible say about Satan?
John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies."
Revelation 12:9 "And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him."(ESV)
So, here in these verses, we have Satan referred to as "liar," "Father of lies" and "deceiver." These are not exactly terms used to refer to someone of good character. If Satan lies, how do we know that he had control of those kingdoms he was offering to Jesus? We only have his word for it, and he lies and deceives.
How does the Bible refer to Jesus?
Revelation 19:11-16 "Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords."
Now, it is important to notice here that Jesus is referred to as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords before
the final battle with gog and magog in Revelation 20. Before Satan is bound and thrown into the bottomless pit, Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Satan at the most is referred to as the prince of the power of the air (see Eph 2:2) If Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords before He defeats Satan, what does that say about Satan?
If God can put into motion a plan that has Jesus slain from the foundation of the world -- a plan that involves dozens of prophecies documenting birth location and everything, and they all happen exactly as foretold including birth by a virgin -- how can there be anyone remotely in charge of the Earth except for the one who can do all that?
If Satan is in charge of the Earth, how can God lay out a plan covering thousands of years -- a plan that documents genealogy, birth location, death, rejection, betrayal and a pregnant virgin -- and have them all happen, exactly as foretold, and it all happen under the nose of the person that would be defeated by such a plan?
Satan never stood a chance; he was defeated from the very dawn of time and had no power except that which was given to him by God, particularly seen in the story of Job, where Satan had to follow exact rules set out by God. The war is over -- all we have to do is go out and tell others who won and reconcile those in the enemy camp back to God. We have been given a ministry of reconciliation and need to do it (2 Corinthians 5:18-22)
So the next time you think Satan is in charge, remind yourself that we serve a risen King.What do you think? Who do you think rules over the Earth?