Q. When the devil tempted Jesus in Luke 4, he said all the world had been given to him. Was that true when he was cast down from out of heaven, and if so, is it still true? Or was he just lying to test Jesus?
A. First let’s look at the text:
• Lk 4:5-8 And he led Him 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.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”
• Mt 4:8-10 Again, the devil took Him to a very 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.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”
Jesus did not dispute the devil’s claim, neither in Luke 4 nor in the parallel account in Mt 4.
Secondly, Paul called the devil the “god of this world“:
• 2 Co 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
This reinforced the above clue, so the devil’s claim is valid. But when and how did that happen?
Not when the devil was cast down from heaven, but when Adam and Eve fell. Originally God made man to rule over all the earth:
• Gen 1:26, 28 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” … God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Note the word “over” occurs 8 times in two verses. Man had dominion.
However, when Adam and Eve trusted the serpent’s words over God’s, they sinned. They obeyed the devil rather than God, and lost their dominion to the devil.
Is it still true? I believe it is, based on:
• 1 Jn 5:19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
When will this end? At the end of the age:
• Rev 11:15 Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”
When Christ returns, He will bind up Satan and reign forever. Wait for His coming. And be watchful.