As we shall see, Satan is, at present, the ruler of the world. Yet God is still in sovereign control of all that happens and thus Satan could have no power whatsoever without God allowing him to be in power. An example of this is seen in Job 1:6-12 where Satan came into God’s presence and after desiring to tempt Job God told him, “And the LORD said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD” (NKJV). We will now consider passages which prove that Satan is the “ruler of the world.”

In John 12:31 Jesus said, “Now is the judgment of this world; now the RULER OF THIS WORLD will be cast out. This judgment of the world and its ruler (Satan) took place at the cross, as we see in the next two verses, “’And I, if I am LIFTED UP FROM THE EARTH, will draw all peoples to Myself.’ This He said, signifying by WHAT DEATH HE WOULD DIE.” Christ condemned the world and Satan on the cross and the day is coming when all unbelievers and Satan, who are sentenced to eternal judgment, will be “cast into the lake of fire” (see Revelation 20:10 & 15). Until then, he is “allowed of God” to remain in power, but he was indeed defeated by Christ on the cross and it’s only a matter of time and he will be in hell.

In John 14:30 Jesus said, “I will no longer talk much with you (His disciples), for the RULER OF THIS WORLD IS COMING, and he has nothing in Me.” This was said just hours before Jesus was arrested, tried and sentenced to death by crucifixion. He knew that Satan, the “ruler of this world,” would soon possess Judas and cause him to betray Him, and then he would incite the people and the leaders of Rome to crucify Him. In doing this Satan would be “tempting Christ” yet there was nothing in Christ to respond to His temptations. You may recall that just before Christ entered into His public ministry the Devil tempted Him for 40 days and 40 nights (see Matthew 4:1-11), yet Christ defeated him with the Word of God and proved that He was sinless and could never respond to his evil temptations. One of those temptations proved that Satan was indeed the “ruler of the world” for in verses 8-9 we read, “Again the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD AND THEIR GLORY. And he said to Him, ‘ALL THESE THINGS I WILL GIVE YOU if You fall down and worship me.’” Jesus never challenged this thought that “the kingdoms of the world” belonged to him; instead He said, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.” Again, Satan is “allowed of God” to exert his influence over men until his eternal death sentence is executed. That is why he is also referred to as “THE GOD OF THIS AGE” (who blinds the hearts of men to the gospel) in 2nd Corinthians 4:4 and the “PRINCE OF THE POWER OF THE AIR, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” in Ephesians 2:2. We read also in 1st John 5:19, “We know that we are of God, and THE WHOLE WORLD LIES UNDER THE SWAY OF THE WICKED ONE.”

Before we end this meditation, we need to ask, “When did Satan become the “ruler of this world?” If you read Genesis 2:15-17 and 3:1-6 you will see that the devil possessed a serpent in order to tempt Adam’s wife to eat of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Sadly, she listened to the tempter’s voice and then Adam listened to her voice as we see in 3:6, “She took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” The very moment they partook of the fruit they died spiritually (see Ephesians 2:10); they began to die physically (see Romans 5:12); and they became servants of the devil (see John 8:34, 41, 44 along with 1st John 3:8). In addition to this, they forfeited the dominion of the earth that God had given to them (see Genesis 1:26-30) and that dominion was then transferred to Satan, to whom they had given their allegiance to when they “obeyed his voice” instead of “God’s Voice.”

But as we have noted, Satan was defeated at the cross. His judgment was actually foretold in God’s words to the serpent in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; HE SHALL BRUISE YOUR HEAD, and you shall bruise His heel.” Christ, the woman’s seed, was “bruised at Calvary,” but He “bruised his head.” When Christ returns to this earth in power and glory to establish His kingdom (see Matthew 25:31) the words of Romans 16:20 will be fulfilled, “And the God of peace WILL CRUSH SATAN UNDER YOUR FEET SHORTLY.” First, an angel will lay hold of “the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan….and cast him into the bottomless pit for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3). And finally, “when the thousand years have expired…the devil…was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (20:7 & 10).  (435.5)  (DO)