Who Still Rules The World Today?
"Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to Him, "All these I will give you, if You will fall down and worship me." Then Jesus said to him, "Begone, Satan! for it is written, 'You shall worship The Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.'" Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him." (Matthew 4:8-11 RSV)
Many readers of The Bible are somewhat puzzled when they come across the above verses. Satan said that the kingdoms of the earth were the devil's to give, and more surprisingly, Jesus Christ didn't refute that claim!
Satan's World, For Just A Little While Longer
When Lucifer (see Did God Create The Devil?) rebelled, he was defeated and cast down from the heavens back to the earth:
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground" (Isaiah 14:12 KJV).
Jesus Christ also described the fall, as He witnessed it in His pre-human form (see The Logos):
"I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." (Luke 10:18 RSV).
Although he may not be absolutely confined to earth (e.g. Job 1:6), the earth is where Satan now resides and has his throne:
"And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: 'The words of Him who has the sharp two-edged sword. 'I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is; you hold fast My Name and you did not deny My faith even in the days of Antipas My witness, My faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells." (Revelation 2:12-13 RSV) (see That Old Serpent)
"The Lord said to Satan, "Whence have you come?" Satan answered The Lord, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it." (Job 1:7 RSV)
The "god of this world"
Incredibly, The Bible refers to Satan as "the god of this world."
"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God." (2 Corinthians 4:3-4 RSV) (see What Does Satan Look Like?)
Satan's Greatest Fear
Despite the horrendous evil that he is still inflicting upon humanity, Satan has already been defeated; he just hasn't been removed yet (see The Lame Duck). The Return Of Jesus Christ will mark the end of Satan's rule and influence on earth. He will soon get all that's coming to him, and he knows it.
"But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (Revelation 12:12 RSV)
"Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while. Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years [see The Last Day]. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with Him a thousand years." (Revelation 20:1-6 RSV)
"And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations [see Could Satan Repent?] which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:7-10 RSV)
Fact Finder: Did The Son of God appear to destroy the work of the devil?
1 John 3:8