555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

219. Did Satan Own the Kingdoms Which He Offered in the Temptation?

No; Satan did not own them. But it is still true that they were in his hands to offer to Christ; he had usurped them. At Creation, Man was placed in the Garden of Eden as lord over all. "Thou hast put all things under his feet," was true of the first Adam (see Ps. 84-9), while it will only be carried out permanently under the second Adam. (See I Cor. 15:25; Eph. 1:22; Heb. 2 :6-9.) But when Adam listened to Satan and fell, he transferred his allegiance, and through that Satan became the "prince of this world." (See John 14:30; 16:11:18:36; Luke 22:53; IICor. 44). The consequence of this has been that the empires of the world have been truly delineated as wild beasts. (Dan. 7:3.) It was universal empire Satan offered to Jesus, but which he refused to take from his hand. When Satan said, "to whomsoever I will I give it" (Luke 4:6), the Lord did not deny it, but was content to go on in the path of obedience until the time should come for the Father to give it to him. (Matt. 11:27.) Then "the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever" (Rev. 11 :15). The fact that "the powers that be are ordained of God" Rom. 13:1, does not conflict with this. God did put authority in the hands of Noah, Gen. 9:6, but this has been usurped by Satan, through the willingness of man to be led by him. The fact that the devil has so much to do with the affairs of men in the world is a proof of this. On the other hand, the kingdoms and glory of the world were not his to give. He has no valid claim or right to anything in God's material universe. "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." The temptation of Christ in the wilderness, according to the best critical authorities was of a subjective character. That is to say, it was a mental appeal to do wrong. It was a fantasy, a deception, a sham. This is the way Satan tempts us, and Christ was in all points tempted as we are. Satan does not need to take us up on a high mountain to show us the kingdoms of the world. He can put a mental picture before us. When we are tempted to do as he bids us and think that certain things will come to pass, we soon discover that the devil has deceived us. When he speaketh a lie he speaketh of his own, for he is a liar, and the father of lies. His tempting promises of glory, greatness and prosperity are all false. Obedience to him, in the end only pierces the soul with many sor rows. He makes the thief believe that his acts will never be known. But God says, "Be sure your sin will find you out." The sensualist, who gratifies his lust, in the end becomes a moral leper. Lastly, he makes the sinner believe a lie that he may be eternally ruined.