Luke 22:28-32 "But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a 1kingdom, just as My Father bestowed 2one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in 3My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." 31 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."
Matthew 12:25-28 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Organizing Our Study

To have Biblical understanding of Satan and his work in the midst of and with Believers, we would have to spend a great amount of time outlining and studying in detail many other biblical subjects. As with other peripheral doctrines, the Biblical teaching concerning Satan's work is only gleaned from the Scriptures in connection or association with other major and some minor teachings of Scripture.

In a sense, any categorical teaching of the Word of God would fall in the general area of a peripheral doctrine. The revelation from God concerning His Person and plan are not presented in a detailed outline anywhere in Scripture. God reveals, to mankind, His Person and plan in progressive and incremental revelations and/or accounts throughout the Scriptures.

To see and understand God's full revelation of His Person and plan, we must accumulate that progressive revelation and, as instructed in 2 Timothy 2:15, rightly divide or categorize it.

This we are to do through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit as He compares one spiritual truth with all other spiritual truths in the Word of God, 2 Corinthians 2:10-15. Then and only then will we understand or perceive the deep spiritual truths of God that those facts of Scripture were designed to teach.

As you study the Word of God in this manner, you will find there are major themes presented in extended passages, as well as additional truth regarding those major themes given in much shorter passages or only mentioned in passing in some other subject in Scripture. These major themes are often referred to as major doctrines, and would include such things as salvation, the Godhead, the covenants, etc.

Along with these major themes, you will find spatterings of information given concerning other subjects that are associated with the major themes. The collection of these spatterings of information, I refer to as peripheral doctrines.

Be Aware

These peripheral doctrines are important. However, their significance is seen only as they are associated with the major doctrines. A peripheral doctrine is not a stand-alone subject taught in the Scriptures. I realize that there are some dangers associated with separating any of God's revelation from its whole, in order to give that grouping of spiritual information a physical title not specified in the Bible.

However, for the human mind to grasp more than simple facts, 
and go beyond the facts to the spiritual truth, 
those facts must be arranged in such a way 
that the mind can associate those facts with some other familiar mental landmark. 

Herein lies a problem! Humans are quite good at separating Biblical facts into piles, and naming those piles. Humans are not so good at allowing the Holy Spirit to continually compare the facts of those piles with all other facts in the Scriptures. As a result, we have the nasty habit of sitting back and looking with wonder at our manmade piles of Biblical information, and falling in love with the physical names we placed on those piles.

When we humans become enamored with the names of our piles, instead of the spiritual truth taught by those piles, we are known as Theologians. The term theologian is too often just another word for an idol worshiper of names placed on piles of Biblical information put together by some human. When our love and devotion is directed towards some human work, instead of the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Bible becomes only a reference book or proof text for the all important thesis of some human. Therefore, the teaching ministry of the Holy Sprit is too often limited to some human's conclusions.

Different groups of theologians have different names for their piles of information, and those piles are often called church doctrine or dogma. Church doctrine is a good name for it because often it is not Biblical doctrine. Theology is supposed to be the study of God. Instead, theology usually degenerates to a study of the names of the piles of Biblical information, and what other theologians have said about the names of those piles. Too often, there is very little study of God or His plan, nor is there any real attention given to the information piled up under those now revered human ordained names. These are some of the problems that face us as we make a brief study of Satan, and his workings in and through Believers.

To establish the needed areas of Biblical information, I could give a study with nice transition from one subject to another concerning this matter of Satan and his workings. but if I were to do so, it would take months or even years to lay out the information needed to draw any real Biblical conclusions. So, I hope you will pardon the abrupt movements from one subject to another, as we present this information over the next few lessons. In this manner, I think we can see the needed facts, without taking too much time from our present series, and the information presented will enhance our knowledge of the Love of God. In the process of presenting these segments of information, if I totally leave you in the dust, please let me know and I will back-track and try to get you back on the wagon.


The first segment of information we need to see is concerning the subject of the kingdom as mentioned over and over again in the Bible, and especially in the New Testament. In the introductory passages to this lesson there are several kingdoms mentioned. We looked at the Luke 22 passage in the last lesson, while establishing the possibility of satanic control of Believers.

Luke 22:28-32 "But you are those who have continued with Me in My trials. 29 And I bestow upon you a 1kingdom, just as My Father bestowed 2one upon Me, 30 that you may eat and drink at My table in 3My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." 31 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."

Even though Christ was not teaching on the kingdom, His mentioning of the kingdom in this and other passages sheds a great deal of light on the subject of the kingdom and our understanding of it in the Biblical sense. It is necessary to have a clear understanding of the facts of the kingdom, if we are to understand how Satan can control a Believer, and why Satan has a right to do so without the intervention of God.

In the Luke 22 passage, notice the three times the kingdom is mentioned. Each reference has to do with a different kingdom or different type of kingdom. Yet, as we will see before this segment is over, each of these three different kingdoms are part of one kingdom.

More than One

Let's walk through this passage and establish in our minds that, indeed, there are three different kingdoms (or types) mentioned here. In the first part of v.29, Christ said that He was, at that present time, bestowing a kingdom upon the twelve. Don't let the term bestow divert your attention. It simply means to appoint or confer. What we need to see is that this bestowing is taking place at that time, or it is present tense.

In the last part of that same verse, Christ speaks of the one kingdom bestowed by the Father to or on Him. This is past tense. It has already happened.

The last reference to the term kingdom is found in v.30. Verse 30 starts off with a that. The purpose or reason Christ was bestowing a kingdom on the disciples at that time was so that they would be at His table in His kingdom. This is in the future tense. This has not happened yet. This kingdom or aspect of this kingdom is yet to come, future.

So what has this to do with anything? Just hang in there, and we will see. For right now, we want to see that Christ makes reference to at least three different kingdoms, or at least three different phases of the same kingdom.

Please look with me at Matthew 12:25-28. Once again, it is Christ talking. The Jewish people were wondering if Christ was the Son of David, because He was casting out demons. However, the Jewish leaders said, among themselves, that He was casting out demons by the power of Beelzebub the ruler of the demons. It is at that point our account picks up in Matthew 12:25.

Matthew 12:25-28 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Christ counters the thoughts of those rulers with the fact that if Beelzebub were casting out demons, then he would be against himself. That would not happen, Christ says, because a house, a city or a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. As valuable a truth as that is, we want to see something else Christ said which will aid us in our understanding of the kingdom. This information will, in turn, help us understand how and why Satan can and does control some Believers.

Satans Rights

The subject of the kingdom was a secondary issue in this conversation, or is a peripheral teaching. Even though this information is peripheral, it is none the less the teaching of Christ, and extremely important to our understanding of another peripheral doctrine. That doctrine is Satan's influence over some Believers, and why he has the right to influence or control any Believer.

Christ says that "every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation". In this case, the word kingdom is used in a general sense of any earthly kingdom. However, when we put this in its context, we see that Christ had a much broader meaning to His statement and the term kingdom. In v.26, Christ applies the truth concerning a divided earthly kingdom, to Satan and Satan's kingdom. Then in v.28 Christ speaks about the kingdom of God.

There are several things we should learn from this passage. Certainly we should learn that just because the term kingdom is used, it does not always have reference to the same kingdom or the same type of kingdom. The context will be all important in knowing which kingdom is being referred to in the passage.

This truth should also teach us that we should know our kingdoms. That means, we need to follow the hundreds of references to kingdoms in the Bible, and find out to which or what aspect of the kingdom they are making reference.

However, for this segment of our study, it is important for us to see, from Christ's words here and elsewhere, that Satan has a kingdom, and that Satan's kingdom has certain rights of rulership, and authority. We will look further at the kingdom of Satan later in this study. Let me state some facts about the Kingdom of God and Satan's kingdom without taking time to thoroughly establish those facts from Scripture, at this time. However, it would be good for your personal study to follow the details of these kingdoms throughout the Scriptures. To clearly establish these facts, from Scripture, will take a great deal of detailed study.

One of the major problems in understanding God's kingdom is that theologians have tried to establish that certain phrases concerning the kingdom always refer to the same event or phase of that kingdom. For instance, some have tried to establish that every time the phrase "kingdom of God" is used, it always means so-'n-so, or every time the phrase "kingdom of heaven" is used, it means another thing.

That just is not so, and when we try to force the Scriptures to fit into our neat package of manmade theology, we force the Scriptures to say things that the Holy Spirit never intended the passages to teach when He gave those Scriptures by personal inspiration. We could look at several passages to see this fact, but let's look at only one that very clearly demonstrates the folly of such proof texting.

Matthew 19:16-26 Now behold, one came and said to Him, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" 17 So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." 18 He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, " 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 19 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " 20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" 21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 25 When His disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, "Who then can be saved?" 26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Let's get the setting and the context of these statements, so that we can be sure to whom Christ was speaking, and just which kingdom Christ was referring to.

This rich man had come to Christ to ask how to have eternal life. Christ refers this rich man to the Jewish ritual of "keeping the commandments". The commandments, referred to by Christ, were the 10 Commandments of the Mosaic Law. The rich man answered that he had been observing this Law since his youth. This exchange would indicate that the person to whom Christ was talking was Jewish.

Out of this context, we have some peripheral information that is important to our understanding of the peripheral doctrine of satanic influence over some Believers. In v.23, Christ seems to be making a simple comment concerning the situation that had just played out before the disciples. Yet, that comment holds a wealth of information.

Let me try to put Christ's statement in a modern setting, without doing any injustice or irreverence to it. Christ said in modern terms, "Guys, there you have it, without any shadow of doubt, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. As a matter of fact, it is easier for a camel to get into the city through the Needle's Eye Gate than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

I hope you see what I'm trying to point out, by simply reading this passage, even before I explain it. It is not my purpose to establish which kingdom Christ is referring to in this passage. To do so would take us down a long rabbit trail. What I do want us to see that Christ is making reference to one and the same kingdom in this passage.

The two references to the kingdom, in this passage, are literally in the same sentence, as we would it call in English. In this one sentence, or thought-phrase Christ uses two terms about the same kingdom. Christ refers to this kingdom by the phrase kingdom of heaven in v.23. Then in that same thought-phrase, Christ uses another expression, the kingdom of God referring to the same kingdom, even though He used two different terms. What does this have to do with Satan's influence over Believers? To be honest, not a whole lot. However, to understand about Satan's influence and why Satan has a right to influence some Believers, we need to establish some base facts that are essential for the foundation of this truth.

As I warned you earlier, some of these things will be taught in an abrupt manner, without a nice smooth transition from one to the other. This is done so we can save hours of teaching time, yet still have the needed information.

The Bible speaks of several kingdoms. As a matter of fact, the Bible speaks of lots of kingdoms. Or if you prefer, a lot of different phases of the same kingdom.

kingdom (Greek)
a territory (material and/or spiritual) subject to the rule of a king or sovereign

Then that human question pops-up! How can others, who are opposed to God, have rulership or control of territory if God is sovereign? That is an answerable question. Before we suggest an answer, let me remind you, it is a human question, born out of human limitations and human logic.

Faith then Understanding

Before we attempt to answer such a question, our first objective is to see what the Bible says about the subject, even if we don't understand it. Once we know what the Bible says about a subject and accept those facts by faith, then comes understanding.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

In Biblical and spiritual matters, faith must always precede understanding. We do not understand first, and then have faith. That denies the very definition of faith. If the Bible says it then it is true. As a human, I may never fully understand it, but I can be sure it is true, if the Bible says it. We don't start with a manmade theory, and endeavor to cram the Word of God into the framework of that human theory.

Even with the limited study we have done, it is plain to see that there are a number of kingdoms mentioned in the Bible. It is also plain to see that many of those kingdoms were and/or are contrary to the holiness of God.

The Biblical fact is that these kingdoms have existed and some still exist. 

Conflict of Kingdoms

That must be our starting point, if we are to ever have any understanding of this Biblical matter. Since the Bible clearly states that these kingdoms do exist and exist in a way that is not pleasing to God's holiness, we need to see how it is possible for them to exist in harmony with God's sovereignty. In the light of God's sovereignty, we need to know what will become of these kingdoms and how we relate to them. Please, understand to take a systematic study of each of these subjects would require months and months.

I will attempt to present these subject is an abbreviated form, but clear enough to glean some understanding. However, we will not be able to take the time to clearly establish each aspect through a detailed study of Scripture.


God is sovereign. God is absolutely sovereign. With that knowledge, don't do as so many have done, and try to limit God's sovereignty so it will agree with the finite and very limited perspective of some human concepts of sovereignty. The definition of the sovereignty of God can only be established from the totality of the Word of God, not from the finite understanding of some human. Please, allow your mind to be guided by the Holy Spirit into the infinite realm of God's sovereignty as stated in the Scriptures, not some human thesis.

sovereign (Webster)
unlimited in extent
sovereignty (Webster)
freedom from external control
sovereign (New Century)
a being above all others; supreme in character, importance and excellence
sovereignty (New Century)
supremacy in rank or power

Before we can understand or even accept Biblical truth concerning the many kingdoms and/or Satan's authority, we need to put aside the phony concept that sovereignty means controlling or dictating every action. Sovereignty does not have this meaning in English, in Greek nor does it have this meaning through usage in the Word of God.

As a matter of fact, the English word for sovereign or sovereignty is only found once in the NKJV, 1 Sam 14:47, and is not used at all in the KJV. Some translations, such as the NIV, use sovereign or sovereignty to replace the English word God which is used by other translations. Such a translation is not wrong, nor does it do injustice to the Hebrew word. It may have a tendency to bring confusion to those who are accustom to the English word God. If you will remember the intent, it should help clear up any confusion caused by such translation.

God [NIV Sovereign] (Hebrew)
the Self Existent One or Eternal One; Jehovah

That pretty well sums up the real meaning and definition of the word sovereign. God and sovereign are truly one and the same. Only God is truly sovereign. God is sovereign in essence. Now we need to discover Who God is, by what God has done, as recorded in the Word of God. then we will have a clear understanding of sovereign. It will not work the other way around. After all, it is the Bible, and only the Bible reveals Who God is, by what God has done.

So no matter how many ways we look at this subject, sovereignty, as used in some theological circles does not reflect any English definition, any Greek or Hebrew definition or any usage in the Word of God.

Sovereignty when used to mean absolute control of all events and action is not an English, Greek or Hebrew definition. The text of Scripture does not lend any credence to such a stance. It is purely a manmade explanation to accommodate a manmade theory.

When I use the term sovereignty as it relates to God, it will mean:

sovereign (Biblical implication)
the right of ultimate choice or determination, because God is the One and only "I Am"

If God is sovereign, and He is, then He has the right to chose or determine events and/or determine the ultimate course of time and eternity. Our job is not to dictate what God's actions should be, but to discover what God actions have been, and what those actions will be in the future as set forth in the Scriptures, instead of some manmade theology book. This we can do, because God is consistent. As we study and harmonize all Biblical revelation of God, we will have a consistent understanding of God's sovereignty.

Let me try to illustrate with this ball. Please keep in mind that any human illustration of the essence and/or actions of God cannot even come close to reality. However, I trust this feeble attempt will help us to at least approach the subject from an objective vantage point.

Try to think of this ball as eternity with no beginning, and no ending. Within this realm of eternity, God, the Self-existent One, has the ultimate right of choice and this Eternal God has the ultimate right of determination. Remember, we must see, from Scripture, what God's choices were. Then it is our job, with the teaching of the Holy Spirit through comparing all Scripture, to reconcile those choices with God's essence and character. Don't forget:

Who God is will determine what God does. 
What God does will reveal a great deal about Who God is.

If we believe that God has the ultimate right of choice, and the Bible is very clear that there are a number of kingdoms within this realm of God's eternity, then that leaves us with only one conclusion:

God chose to allow those kingdoms, 
and this Self-existent One chose to give those kingdoms certain liberties and rights 
within the boundary of God's ultimate determination.

If we hold that God, by His sovereignty, did not allow these kingdoms certain limited areas of choice, then we must conclude that God is responsible for the unholy choices and actions of those kingdoms. That is of course not the teaching of Scripture.

Don't try to limit God by some human theory, so that, in our thinking, God cannot do what the Word of God clearly states has happened. By trying to place such limits on God, we are saying that God has no right to make whatever choices He determines to make. That conclusion would go contrary to Every definition of sovereignty, and all teaching of the Word of God.

God's Working

By giving certain rights and authority to kingdoms within God's Own Kingdom, does not stop God from guiding, directing and bringing to pass events within the lives of His children and the unsaved world. In the next lessons, we will see some limits that God has placed on Himself, during time, by and through His own sovereign right to determine those limits.

Back to our ball for a moment, and we will be using or playing with our nice little ball in lessons to come, also. That ought to give you something to look forward to, right? Try to think of one side of this ball as representing eternity past and the other side eternity future. This mental exercise is only to help our finite human understanding, because eternity has no past or future.

In all of eternity, God's sovereign will is accomplished. If we separate these two halves just a little, we see within eternity a smaller segment of eternity, illustrated by this smaller oval-shaped ball. We will let this smaller oval-shaped ball represent time. God, in His sovereignty, chose to have time. Time has a beginning and will have an end. Within the realm of time God chose, in and through His sovereignty, to give man certain freedoms and responsibilities. God has a right to do that, you know, in spite of what some theologians contend to the contrary.

To hold that mankind did not, and does not have certain freedoms and responsibilities during time, would force us to conclude that the unholy actions of mankind throughout history were and are the direct choosing and dictates of God. I don't think you really want to go there!

As we know, during this span called time, our sovereign God chose to create man. God created man as a shadow image of Himself, because He was sovereign. Mankind, with his God given volition, chose to violate those freedoms given by God's sovereignty choice. Therefore, mankind will reap the consequences of such violations. Those consequences were also instituted from the sovereignty of God.

Can those actions of man's freedom in any way void the sovereignty of God? 
No, because God had the right to act in the manner He did, because He is sovereign. 
Romans 3:1-4 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged."

It is not our task to question or try to explain away God's sovereign actions that are clearly presented in the Bible. Our task is to observe those sovereign actions and systematically harmonize those actions with all Scripture. When through faith this is accomplished, the Believer will have understanding.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Just as mankind's actions do not violate God's sovereignty, the judgments sent from God, against those who abuse their God given freedom, do not violate God's love No matter how severe those judgments might be.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.
Ecclesiastes 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.
Galatians 6:7-8 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.