Lesson Two – Satan Rules the World

Satan Rules the World

Lesson Aim: To define the nature and power of Satan in relation to man.


In the Old Testament the word “Satan” is an untranslated Hebrew word.  In the New Testament Satan is translated from the Greek word SATANAS, and it means an adversary.  DIABOLOS is translated devil, and it means an accuser, slanderer, and therefore a calumniator.  In his Revelation, John identified the devil as the serpent of old, the dragon and Satan in the following scripture.

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.  Rev. 12:9


Where Satan came from is a question often discussed among Bible students.  Jesus said, “I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.”  (Luke 10:18). One popular theory suggests Satan led a rebellion of angels against God and was thrown out of heaven (Jude 6; II Pet. 2:4).  This is a plausible theory because of Satan’s nature; however, we do not find any scripture which tells the exact details about his origin. We do know about his destiny. Satan is on his way to the lake of fire and brimstone (Rev. 20:10).  Satan’s last period for opportunity to be an adversary of God will be from now until Jesus returns.  He is going to hell and it appears that he is determined to take as many with him as possible.  This should inspire us to understand the nature of this powerful evil being.  He is after us on a “one on one” basis. Satan is a powerful person who rules the world realm.  He has a kingdom with many demons (Matt. 12:24). Jesus Christ is more powerful.  He rendered Satan powerless, but only in relation to the faithful “in Christ.”  Satan is the source of much of the philosophy which dominates the world realm. His works are sinful and the payoff is death (I John 3:8; Rom. 6:23).  Satan is a murderer (John 8:44).  He brought about the death of humanity.  The people of the world do the works of Satan; therefore, he has the power of death (Heb. 2:14). Satan began his activities in relation to mankind by accusing God to man.  He told Eve God did not allow them to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil because they would be like God (Gen. 3:5).  Satan also accused men to God.  He told God that Job obeyed Him only because of the material blessings he received (Job 1:10, 11; 2:4, 5). From Satan’s encounter with Eve we can begin to understand his motives, power and nature. His deceiver nature is manifested in their conversation.  Eve was quite deceived (I Tim. 2:14).  Satan speaks from his own nature which is that of a liar (John 8:44).  Truth is found in the nature of God and Jesus; therefore, they speak the truth.  God cannot lie and Satan will not tell the truth unless it is to his advantage (Titus 1:2).  He is now busy deceiving the whole world realm with his lies (Rev. 12:9).  Since he is a liar, he works through schemes and disguises (II Cor. 2:11; 11:14). The devil’s nature tells us to what extent he will go to accomplish his goal.  Remember his goal is to separate us from God.  The only way he can accomplish his goal is by leading us into sin.  Sin, and sin only, can separate people from God.  Satan is a sinner; therefore, he devours through lawlessness (I John 3:8; I Pet. 5:8). Satan will dispute for and demand those whom he thinks should be his (Luke 22:31; Jude 9).  This is the nature of our enemy.  He works from his nature to accomplish his goal to separate us from God.  If we are separated from our creator because of our lawless deeds, our sin will become our master.  Once sin takes over our lives, Satan needs only to keep us deceived (Eph. 4:22; Rev. 20:8-10).  He has all of the qualities of wickedness to take care of that job. Satan is as “smooth as silk,” but his motives are all evil.  He does not want us, he only wants to separate us from our loving heavenly Father.  God, and God only, wants us (Exo. 20:5; Jas. 4:5).  Evidently, Satan knows he can not challenge God directly; therefore, he attacks God’s children.  Satan did challenge Jesus when he entered a human body with the knowledge of good and evil (Luke 4:1-13).  We can thank the Lord Satan lost that round after three tries with various temptations. He lost in his last round with Jesus when our Lord suffered the agony of the cross for our sins (Heb. 2:14). How much power does Satan have to carry out his evil motives?  All of his power lies in the power of the lie. The key to Satan’s success is that he keeps the unbelieving people blinded to the glory and gospel of Christ (II Cor. 4:4-6).  He is able to maintain his kingdom by keeping people in darkness about true life (Acts 26:18).  His programs offer unlawful ways of satisfying our inherited drives, and the result is the prevailing lust in humanity (Eph. 2:1-3). Satan’s power can be found working in high places as well as the lowest (Eph. 6:11, 12). He is able to put men in powerful positions (Matt. 4:8, 9).  In the book of Revelation we find Satan using the Roman rulers to persecute God’s children, even unto death (Rev. 6:10).  He desires to have a heathen ruler become powerful enough to claim deity (II Thess. 2:3, 4). The devil is able to cause a problem for Christians because of his great influence over so many powers in the world realm.  His power diminishes when our faith in the gospel replaces ignorance and sin (I Pet. 5:8, 9).

Questions for Discussion

  1. List the different ways the ruler of the world realm is identified.
  2. Describe the fruit of Satan’s works.
  3. How does Satan gain the power of death over an individual?
  4. Can you find a scripture which establishes the origin of Satan?
  5. List five attributes of the nature of Satan.
  6. What is the one sin that best describes the source of Satan’s power?
  7. List three vulnerabilities in mankind which Satan depends upon to keep people under his power.  See  Matt 4:1-11.
  8. What must Satan keep hidden from people in order to keep them in a perishing state?
  9. How does Satan work in “high places?” Please explain II Thess 2:3, 4 and Eph. 6:12.
  10. Where is Satan going and who does he want to take with him?

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