Satan’s Real-Estate Offer?

Much of the Satan-Gained theory is built upon the story of Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, recorded by Matthew and Luke. Let’s examine Luke’s account to see what we can learn:

And he [Satan] led Him [Jesus] up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only'” (Luke 4:5-8).

Does this incident prove that Satan has control over everything in the world, or that Adam handed it over to him, or that God is powerless to stop the devil? No, and for a number of good reasons.

First, we should be careful basing our theology on a statement made by someone whom Jesus called “the father of lies” (John 8:44). Satan sometimes does tell the truth, but in this case, our warning flag should be waving furiously, because what Satan said apparently contradicts something that God has said.

In the fourth chapter of the book of Daniel, we find the story of King Nebuchadnezzar’s humiliation. Nebuchadnezzar, full of pride over his position and accomplishments, was told by the prophet Daniel that he would be given the mind of an animal until he recognized that “the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes” (Dan. 4:25, emphasis added). Four times this same declaration is made in connection with this story, underscoring its importance (see Dan. 4:17, 25, 32; 5:21).

Notice that Daniel said, “the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind.” That indicates God has some control on the earth, doesn’t it?

Notice also that Daniel’s claim seems to be a direct contradiction of what Satan said to Jesus. Daniel said God “bestows it on whomever He wishes,” and Satan said, “I give it to whomever I wish” (Luke 4:6).

So who are you going to believe? Personally, I’m going to believe Daniel.

There is, however, a possibility that Satan was telling the truth—if we look at what he said from a different angle.

Satan is “the god of this world,” which, as I have already stated, means that he is ruling over the kingdom of darkness, which includes people in every nation who are in rebellion against God. The Bible states that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). When Satan claimed he could give authority over the kingdoms of the earth to whomever he wished, he could very well have been speaking only of his own domain, the kingdom of darkness, which is made up of sub-kingdoms that roughly correspond to geopolitical kingdoms. We are informed by Scripture that Satan has several ranks of evil spirits through which he rules his kingdom (see Eph. 6:12), and could assume that he is the one who promotes or demotes those spirits within his ranks, as he is the chief. In that case, Satan was legitimately offering Jesus the position of number two evil spirit—after himself—to help him rule his dark kingdom. All Jesus had to do was fall before Satan and worship him. Thankfully, Jesus passed that opportunity for “advancement.”