Saturday, April 2, 2022

Kingdoms and Kingdom Authority

by Stan Feldsine (


This article will show that Satan is currently the "ruler of the kingdom of the air" and the "god of this world" ruling on the earth according to God's permissive will. Secondly, while Jesus is the ruler of the eternal spiritual kingdom upholding all things and in the heart of the man submitted to Him, He is not yet ruling in the Messianic Kingdom (the Millennium or 1000 year reign), but that at some point in the future He will take up this reign.

A-Millennialism teaches that Jesus is currently at this time reigning over the Messianic Kingdom spiritually while Pre-Millennialism teaches that the Messianic Kingdom will not be established until the future second return of Christ. When referring to the Messianic Kingdom, A-Millennial's say Jesus IS reigning, and Pre-Millennials say Jesus is NOT reigning. This article will clear this up who is reigning over what and when.

Satan's Reign

Satan Begins His Reign of Death

From the time of Adam and Eve's original sin, Satan has assumed rulership over the planet and brought death where ever he is able.

Rom 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

Ruler of the Kingdom of the Air

Scripture clearly indicates that Satan is the present "ruler of the Kingdom of the air", and is the motivating spirit in those who are disobedient. This is not due to any limitation on the part of Jesus, but is in accordance with His permissive will.

Eph 2:1-2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, (2) in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

We should not think it strange that God would permit Satan limited authority and rulership on the planet. God's permissive will is illustrated in the story of Job (Job 1:6-12).

Job 1:6-12 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. (7) The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it." (8) Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." (9) "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. (10) "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. (11) But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." (12) The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

The Control of the Evil One

Here we have a quite explicit statement declaring that Satan is in fact in control of the whole world. Some claim that Satan is presently in the Abyss (A-Millennials), but this is clearly contradictory with the plain statement that Satan is in fact in control of the whole world.

1Jn 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

The purpose of confining Satan into the abyss is to remove his ability to control the world. If he is not yet in the abyss, then he still has the authority to control the world.

Rev 20:2-3 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. (3) He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

The God of This Age

Here is another explicit statement referring to Satan as "the god of this age", and his work to blind minds.

2Co 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Satan Offers All The Kingdoms to Jesus

If Satan was not permitted authority over all the kingdoms of the world, then he would not have been able to use this as a temptation. The offer of the kingdoms to Jesus would have been a false offer, and the lesson the passage is teaching would have been invalid. Satan did have the authority as permitted and limited by Almighty God to offer Jesus the kingdoms of earth.

Luk 4:5-6 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. (6) And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to.

Jesus did not deny that Satan had the authority to offer the world to Him, but redirected him to where worship was to be directed. In response to Satan's offer of all the kingdom if Jesus would worship Him, Jesus directed Him to the worship of God.

Luk  4:7-8 If you worship me, it will all be yours." (08) Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.'"

Jesus Calls Satan the Prince of This World

The context of "is coming" in this passage refers to the imminent arrival of Satan to fulfill the crucifixion of Christ. It is not saying that Satan is only then coming to the world, for that would conflict with the preceding passages.

The point of this passage is that even at this time, Jesus recognized Satan reigning as the prince of the world.

Joh 14:30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me,

Authority of the Beast

This passage is speaking of the authority of the Antichrist and the False Prophet. It is explicitly stated that the False Prophet exercises authority such that he "made the earth and its inhabitants worship the beast" (Antichrist). These two could only have this power if Satan delegated it to them out of the authority that he had. This shows Satan's authority as the prince of the power of the air, reigning on earth and influencing people, again, within the confines that Almighty God permits.

Rev 13:11-12 Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon. (12) It exercised all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed.

As is shown in these passages, Satan is still very much active in the world to day. His authority and rule is still present, and will not be removed until he is cast into the abyss.

The Kingdoms

For the purpose of this discussion, realm's that God reign's over will be referred to as "kingdoms". The reign of Christ encompasses several kingdoms. In order to get a good understanding of the context in which each is mentioned we will briefly examine each of them. If we keep the various kingdoms in context when reading the Bible, kingdoms such as the universal spiritual kingdom and the Messianic Kingdom are distinguished and come into focus.

The goal here is to enable the reader to distinguish in scripture between those passages speaking of the earthly Messianic Kingdom (aka Millennial Kingdom) and those passages speaking of spiritual kingdoms.

The Universal or Eternal Kingdom - This kingdom refers to God's rule over all the universe for all time. It includes the angelic realm, and has always existed. This is the kingdom the believer enters upon death (1Co 15:50, 2Ti 4:18).

Psa 93:2 Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.

Psa 103:19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

1Ch 29:11-12 Yours, LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. (12) Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.

Additional scriptural references: Psa 10:16, Psa 29:10, Psa 74:12, Psa 90:1-6, Psa 93:1-5, Psa 103:19-22, Psa 145:1-21, Psa 148:8, Jer 10:10, Lam 5:19, Dan 4:17, Dan 6:27, Act 17:24).

The Spiritual Kingdom - This is God's rule in the heart of a believer. This kingdom is comprised of all who have been born again by the Holy Spirit.

Joh 3:3 Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again."

1Co 6:9-10 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men (10) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Additional scriptural references: Mat 6:33, Mat 19:16, Joh 3:3-5, Act 8:12, Act 14:22, Act 19:8, Act 20:25, Act 28:23, 1Co 4:20, 1Co 6:9-10, Gal 5:21, Eph 5:5, Col 1:13-14, Col 4:11, 1Th 2:12, and 2Th 1:5.

The Theocratic Kingdom - This is the rule of God by means of a theocracy over the nation of Israel. This kingdom started when the Law of Moses was established and served as the constitution of the nation of Israel. This kingdom ended with the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon in 586BC. This kingdom is documented from Exo 19:1 to 2Ch 36:23.

Exo 20:22-23 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites this: 'You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: (23) Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.

The Mystery Kingdom - Following the rejection of the Messianic Kingdom, Jesus's focus switches to the "mystery" kingdom. This is a kingdom that Jesus revealed on the day of Israel's rejection of Himself (Mat 13:11, Mat 13:35). This kingdom covers the period of time between the first and second coming of Jesus.

Col 1:25-27 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness-- (26) the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord's people. (27) To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Eph 3:6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

Eph 3:8-11 Although I am less than the least of all the Lord's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, (9) and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. (10) His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, (11) according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Messianic / Millennial Kingdom - This is the future kingdom during which time Jesus will rule over saved Israel and all the earth from David's throne in Jerusalem for 1000 years. This kingdom is the subject of a great deal of OT prophecy as well as being the kingdom that was declared to be "at hand" by John the Baptist and Jesus (Mat 3:2, Mat 4:17) and rejected by Jewish authorities.

Mat 3:1-2 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea (2) and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

Psa 2:4-6 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. (5) He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, (6) "I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain."

Additional scriptural references: Psa 2:1-12, Psa 72:1-20, Isa 9:6-7, Isa 11:1-16, Jer 23:5-6, Jer 32:14-17, Eze 34:23, Eze 37:24, Hos 3:4-5, Mic 4:6-8, Mic 5:2, Mal 3:1-4.

Additional detail regarding the Messianic Kingdom can be found at: (

Jesus's Reign

Jesus is indeed the ruler of the universe and spiritual realm. There is no limit to His eternally great power. As mentioned earlier in this paper, God will at times permit Satan certain powers and authorities, as he is presently the "ruler of the kingdom of this world" and "he god of this age". This reflects the permissive will of God, in which Satan has power only because God allows it.

Yahweh was the ruler over Israel's theocratic kingdom. His rule was carried out through judges and kings from Jerusalem. The theocratic reign ended during the Babylonian Captivity.

The remainder of this article will explore the rulership and timing of the Messianic Kingdom.

The Messianic Kingdom Presentation

Jesus has not and does not yet exercise His reign over the Messianic Kingdom, because the Messianic Kingdom is not yet here. The Messianic Kingdom was presented to the Israelites by John and Jesus as they claimed the "kingdom was at hand". Jesus clearly has the ultimate authority over Satan's activities, but allows him limited rulership to accomplish His purposes.

Mat 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near."

Mat 4:23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

The Messianic Kingdom Rejection

This kingdom was rejected when Israel's religious leaders publicly accused Jesus of works by the power of Beelzebub.

Mat 12:23-24 All the people were astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?" (24) But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, "It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons."

This was blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, and resulted in Jerusalem's destruction in 70AD and Jesus's instruction that the Kingdom would not be established until He returned after the repentance of national Israel and their cry for His return.

Mat 24:1-2 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. (2) "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."

Mat 23:37-39 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (38) Look, your house is left to you desolate. (39) For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

Zec 12:10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

The Messianic Kingdom Postponed

Since the King and Kingdom were rejected, the kingdom's arrival was postponed from the point of view of the people. God, however, was not surprised by this rejection. The events surrounding Israel's rejection of the King and Kingdom opened the way for God to bring salvation to the Gentiles.

Rom 11:11-12 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. (12) But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

The Messianic Kingdom would not arrive until the return of Jesus.

Mat 23:37-39 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. (38) Look, your house is left to you desolate. (39) For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'"

Rev 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They 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.

The People Still Anticipated the Kingdom

After the rejection of the King and Kingdom, the crowds who followed Jesus everywhere were still expecting Him to establish the Messianic Kingdom and begin His reign immediately. But it was not to be. The Parable of the 10 Minas in Luk 19:11-27 provides a detailed account of the rejection, interim period, and the later day return of the king.

Luk 19:11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.

Act 1:6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"

Jesus's Messianic Reign Begins

The Revelation is quite explicit about just when Jesus will exercise the authority He has and beginning His reign via the Messianic Kingdom. This explicit passage is Rev 11:15-17, which describes the events of the 7th Trumpet judgment of the Revelation.

Rev 11:15-17 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever." (16) And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, (17) saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.

In verse 17, it is clearly and explicitly stated that it is at this time that Jesus will have "taken your great power and ... begun to reign". This clearly indicates that Jesus does not begin His reign over what will shortly be the Messianic Kingdom on earth until after this event occurs.

A-Millennials have great difficulty with the explicit nature of this verse, as it clearly refutes the idea that Jesus is reigning in the Messianic Kingdom presently.

Another passage that explicitly refers to a future beginning of the reign of Jesus is found in Mat 25:31. This passage clearly states that Jesus will reign from His glorious throne "When the Son of Man comes in His glory" at the second advent, which is the same event as Rev_11:17. Mat 25:31 and Rev 11:15-17 are each describing the same event between the end of the Tribulation and the start of the Messianic Kingdom.

Mat 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.

Another passage that is explicit in the timing of Jesus's beginning His reign is Mat 19:28, which states that Jesus will sit on his glorious throne "at the renewal of all things", a reference to the Messianic Kingdom. Those who will rule over the 12 tribes are the 12 disciples.

Mat 19:28 Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Jesus's Reign on Earth

Zechariah and Ezekiel provide details regarding the Messianic Kingdom showing it is an earthly kingdom and that Jesus will be present on earth with His people. He tells then "I will live among you" and He will "return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem". Zechariah makes it quite clear that the Messianic Kingdom will be a physical kingdom in a physical location, Jerusalem.

Zec 2:10-11 "Shout and be glad, Daughter Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the LORD. (11) "Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.

Zec 8:3 This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain."

Zec 14:9 The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name.

Ezekiel makes it clear that Jesus's throne is a place for the "soles of His feet", a physical reference, which other passages clearly identify as earthly Jerusalem.

Eze 43:7 He said: "Son of man, this is the place of my throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever. The people of Israel will never again defile my holy name--neither they nor their kings--by their prostitution and the funeral offerings for their kings at their death.

Jesus's Reign Will be From "sea to sea" and "to the ends of the earth".

Here are a number of passages that describe the Messianic Kingdom as an earthly reign over an earthly population organized into nations on earth.

Psa 72:8 May he rule from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Zec 9:10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Psa 67:4-7 May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples with equity and guide the nations of the earth. (5) May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you. (6) The land yields its harvest; God, our God, blesses us. (7) May God bless us still, so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Jesus's People Will "reign on the earth".

Additional detail regarding the rule of Christ in the Messianic Kingdom from Jerusalem shows that those who have been faithful will rule with Him on the earth.

Rev 5:10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

Rev 3:21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.

2Ti 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him.


God has all power and authority, and rules sovereignly over the universe and spiritually in the submitted believers heart. However for a time, He has permitted Satan to reign on earth as "ruler of the kingdom of the air", "the evil one" and the "prince of the world", where he influences mankind to sin and brings about death. Satan has had this power and authority since the sin of Adam.

At the first advent, Jesus came and offered His Messianic Kingdom rule over the earth to the Jews, which if accepted would have brought about a "renewal of all things" and the banishment of Satan to the abyss. But the Jewish leadership rejected Jesus and His kingdom, and as a result, Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD. Satan would rule a while longer, and according to the sovereign will of the Lord, salvation was opened to the Gentiles.

The permissive will of God permitting Satan's rule on earth will not last forever. The end of Satan's reign and the start of Jesus' reign is also clearly and explicitly identified as the time of the seventh of the Revelation trumpets, and the time in which Jesus leaves the right side of the Father's throne and sits on His own throne. From here will Jesus reign until all His enemies are under His feet.

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