Is the Earth God’s or Satan’s?

Question from a Site Viewer
Who owns the earth? Is it God or Satan? The hymn, This is Our Father’s World . . . rings true to me . . . but some suggest that it belongs to Satan based on the answers that Jesus gave to Satan after his 40 days in the desert. Jesus didn’t deny Satan’s comments. Did this change after Jesus arose from the grave? Or is it still the same until the 2nd coming?

Tim’s Answer
Your question is a good one. The person that owns the world in Scripture is always God. When Moses met Pharaoh during the seventh plague on Egypt, Moses told Pharaoh that the thunder and hail would cease so that:

. . . you may know that the earth is the LORD’s.
Exodus 9:29

When Israel came out of Egypt, God met them at Mt. Sinai and told them:

. . . for all the earth is Mine.
Exodus 19:5

David says in 1 Chronicles 29:11 that:

. . . all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours.

Psalm 24:1 states:

The earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.

Psalm 50:12 says:

If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine and all its fullness.

Psalm 89:11 states:

The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all its fullness, You have founded them.

Paul says in Acts 17:29 that God is Lord of heaven and earth. Always, in Scripture, God owns the world. And He is Lord of the world, ruling over it and setting up and throwing down its kingdoms (Daniel 4:32; 5:21; Romans 13:1).

However, sometimes the term “world” is used to describe the fallen world system dominated by Satan. It is in this sense that Satan is termed the “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:5), and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). In John 12:31, 14:30, and 16:11, Jesus speaks of Satan as the ruler or prince of this world. It is in the sense of the fallen world system that we are told in 1 John 2:15 not to love the world and it is this same sense of the word that is used in James 4:4 where we are told that those who will be friends of the world will be enemies of God. It is in this sense that we are told that the world will hate us and that we are not of this world.

Thus, in the sense of the corruption of the present world, Satan is the god or ruler. All who follow corruption are under his domain. But, in the sense of the created earth and heavens, God is the God and ruler – always has been, and always will be.

You raise an interesting issue concerning the temptation of Christ. Did Satan have the power to give to Christ the kingdoms of this world? It is interesting to me that this is the only temptation where Satan promises to do something for Christ. I do not know of anything that Satan says that is totally true and I do not think this was the one exception. Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). Some argue that Jesus never took issue with the statement of Satan and conclude that therefore what Satan said must have been true. They also argue that if this was a lie, then Jesus would know that it was a lie and then it really was not a temptation at all. But I do not think much of these arguments.

If we follow the Luke account (Luke 3:5-8), Satan makes the astounding statement that all of the kingdoms, the authority, and the glory of the kingdoms have been given to him and that he can give them to whomever he wishes. I wonder if King David, or good King Josiah, or other godly rulers of the kingdoms in this world would agree with Satan. Were they Satan’s pawns, set up by Satan and given glory by Satan? Nowhere in Scripture is Satan’s authority over all of the kingdoms of this world expressly stated. As previously mentioned, both Daniel and Paul state that God is the one who gives the kingdoms to whomever He wills. Daniel said that God is the one who gave to Nebuchadnezzar his kingdom and glory (Daniel 2:37). With the one exception of the Antichrist in Revelation 13:2, I do not find any place in Scripture where Satan has the authority to give to a man a kingdom or glory. But we know that even in the days of the Antichrist the other kings who will be with him will be motivated by God (not Satan) to give their kingdom to the beast (Revelation 17:17).

I do not see that Scripture supports a position that Satan has the power to establish kingdoms or give them glory. And he does not have the authority to give the kingdoms to whomever he wishes. If this was true, then what do we do with Romans 13:1-6? And if Satan truly could give the kingdoms to whoever he wanted, then why would we ever pray about an election, or vote? We pray precisely because we believe that God has a say-so in who becomes our rulers. Contrary to his statements to Jesus, Satan is given no free hand in this area.

I give you one other line of argument. If Satan truly has the power to give kingdoms to whomever he wishes, then how is it that Christians ever become the rulers of countries? And why do countries ever do anything good? The position that Satan’s statements are true simply ignores the evidence of Scripture and reality.

It is because our rulers are subject to God (Proverbs 21:1), not Satan, that we are emboldened to pray for our rulers (1 Timothy 2:1-2), we are called to submit to our rulers (Titus 3:1; 1 Peter 2:13-14), and we are told to honor them (1 Peter 2:17).

Accordingly, I think the safer conclusion is that Satan was lying to Jesus, just like he lies to us when he tempts us. God has not given to Satan the kingdoms of the earth, their glory, or the ability to give them to whomever Satan wishes. Scripture teaches that it is God, not Satan, who sets up kingdoms, throws them down, and does with them as He wishes.

I know that there are some dear brothers and sisters who disagree with my view of this matter. They may go to passages like Daniel 10:13, 30 and Revelation 11:15 to state that presently the kingdoms belong to Satan but will one day come under the lordship of Christ. Certainly, there is support for the view that one day all of the kingdoms of the earth will worship Christ, and that they do not do so today. But to draw the further conclusion that they are today subject to Satan’s whim and desire is contrary to the teaching of Scripture as I have set forth above. Even when rulers are evil, they are still subject to the rule of God. God, not Satan, holds the control of this world and gives it to whomever He wishes (Daniel 4:32).

I encourage everyone to go read Scripture and see what God says and not simply take Satan’s word for the matter.

I hope this is helpful to you.

a fellow pilgrim,


7 thoughts on “Is the Earth God’s or Satan’s?”

  1. You are so full of baloney. You’re saying that when Satan offered Jesus all of the kingdoms of the Earth, Satan was lying? Satan could not offer something over which he had no control? Jesus’ response didn’t indicate that, just that Jesus resisted the temptation offered by Satan. If Satan was able to make this offer and it was valid, then it’s obvious that Satan owns the Earth, and wanders the Earth in search of souls that he may devour. Your answer is a twisted convolution of non-gospel teachings. You are apparently clueless of the origin of the New Testament. Your answer is a false answer, which falsely comforts those who can’t think for themselves, which makes you a false prophet. There will be no rejoicing on the day of the lord.

    1. If only you knew Tim, you would never say such things. He was the truest man of God I have ever known. He lived for others. He lived to serve. He never married, although it was one of the deep desires of his heart and well within his grasp. He was always helping others without regard for himself. In his last years of suffering with cancer, in terrible pain, he never complained. He continued to serve. To teach. To pray. To help the weak. To assist the widows. And he was generous. He never let anyone else pay for anything. He gave of his money, his belongings and his home without regard for his own wealth. And he had an encyclopedic knowledge of the Word of God. Sometimes we’d play a game and throw out a snippet of a passage, just to see if we could stump him. We never could. He intimately knew God and God’s Word, His letter to us. For his funeral, people came from all over the country. And they all had stories to tell of the way he changed their lives. Attorneys. Pastors. Doctors. Government officials. Everyday people like me. On that day, they spoke of the way he directed them to our Father. As for me, without Tim, I have no idea where I’d be. Probably in the streets somewhere on drugs. But I’m not there because of the many years during which he sacrificed his time, money and life for me. I’m married with kids, with a masters degree and a successful job. Because of the way Tim sacrificed his life for me, I am where I am. I know God because of Tim. As do so many others. To know Tim was to have been given a taste of heaven on earth. He lived with one foot here and one foot in his eternal home.

      Your words are evil and have no basis in Scripture. In Tim’s article he backs up everything he says with Scripture. Where is your Scriptural reasoning? And Christians should be known for their love, not for their ability to insult others.

      Tim addressed your concerns in his article. Did you read it? He provided Scriptural basis for his reasoning. Your reasoning?

      If Satan was able to make this offer and it was valid, then it’s obvious that Satan owns the Earth, and wanders the Earth in search of souls that he may devour.

      Obviously if Satan’s offer was valid then you’d be right. But Tim’s reasoning is that Satan’s offer was not valid.

      Your answer is a twisted convolution of non-gospel teachings.

      What is the convolution? Where is the lie? What are you talking about?

      You are apparently clueless of the origin of the New Testament.

      How does Tim’s answer make him clueless about the origins of the New Testament? How do the origins of the New Testament relate to this article?

      Your answer is a false answer, which falsely comforts those who can’t think for themselves, which makes you a false prophet.

      How is the answer false? Where is your biblical evidence? And how would his answer falsely comfort those who can’t think for themselves? If the earth is Satan’s or Gods (however you believe), as believers we all know that God will conquer Satan someday. So what is there to worry about? Cast your cares on Him! And if Tim believes differently than you on a certain topic in Scripture, how does that make him a false prophet? Some believe that you can’t eat certain foods. Others think we have freedom to do so. As Paul said, “Let each be convinced in his own mind.” Using your logic, unless we agree with you on biblical matters, then we are false prophets. Think carefully on how many people you condemn with your faulty logic.

      There will be no rejoicing on the day of the lord.

      Are you saying Tim is going to hell because he believes that the earth is God’s? Get real. If God sends folks to hell because they’re off on their theology (and I believe everyone is off on their theology somewhere), then we’re all doomed.

  2. “then how is it that Christians ever become the rulers of countries?” You can be very devoutly Christian and still spend your life dedicated to capitalism or whatever Molloch demon you support in the Church of Man, not the church of the LORD. George Bush is an example of a self serving politician that tries “prays loudly in public”, just like the bible says you shouldn’t.

    “And why do countries ever do anything good?” Capitalism provides incentives for great evil but also great good. It’s simply a coincidence that us hungry, hedonistic masses provide economic incentives for apathetic organizations to develop vaguely altruistic ways (parasitic, pathological altruism) of helping people that are really just feeding the soul hungry…

  3. I agree with the above article. Often we do not know how great is our Creator God and how weak his creatures before God. All angels are creatures of God. A fallen angel will not only be a weak one but will be a trickster. Imagine, the loving, just, sovereign God the Bible presents creates the world and gives it to a fallen angel so that he can rule and destroy his people in his wrath that he has against God? That is very funny situation. Can it be true? In reality it will never be true? However, Jesus called Satan the Father of all lies. He lies to everyone from his character.

  4. 500 words is arguably too short, let alone 500 characters.

    Assumption: even after accepting Christ, a Christian might still sin.

    “If this was true, then what do we do with Romans 13:1-6?”

    Perhaps Satan can exercise power (political or other) through the evil actions of any given person (Christian or not). That being the case, perhaps Romans 13 is not to be taken absolutely, but in part: authorities are only to be obeyed provided they exercise authority in a Godly manner.

  5. The problem is the term own. You can own something but not always control it, in the case of lending something or something being stolen.

    I think the article raises some good points. But then, I’m asked to believe that the Germans had to pray for their ruler, Hitler, submit to and honour him? And the Hitler was subject to God, not Satan – considering the evil Hitler done.

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