When God created mankind (Adam and Eve) he gave them dominion over all the earth, (Genesis 1:26). Satan and his minions were already here, having been expelled from the abode of God: the spiritual or high heaven, for rebelling against God (Isaiah 14:12-15). These roamed the lower heaven: our physical universe including the earth. In their innocent state, Adam and Eve had dominion over everything except Satan. Satan enticed them into rebelling against God by breaking the one rule God had set for them, “do not eat of the fruit of this tree”. In so doing, mankind relinquished dominion over the earth to Satan and brought upon themselves death.
In most cases, when the Bible speaks of “death” it is not referring to the cessation of physical function, but the separation of that soul from God. Prior to their rebellion, Adam and Eve lived in The Garden of Eden with God. Upon their rebellion, they were expelled from the Garden and God’s presence. From that time on, mankind has acted primarily under the influence of Satan; Lord of the Air.
When Jesus came, He was tempted by Satan and resisted his enticements. Jesus did not rebel, he was obedient to God. Jesus was put to death by disobedient mankind and was counted by God to be a pure and acceptable sacrifice for the sin of mankind. The one sin, from which all other sins spring, is rebellion against God. God restored life to Jesus’ mortal body, defeating the hold Satan had over Jesus and all mankind. Jesus was then transformed and taken up to re-enter the High Heaven, the spirit realm, the abode of God. Jesus then sent The Holy Spirit into the earth to be guide and protector of those who accept the gift of Jesus.
The Source of Rebellion
I John 3:8 tells us:
8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Jesus: The Son of God, who was with God the Father even before our universe was created, was made a physical man to destroy the works of Satan. The works referred to here is the fall of mankind, beginning with Adam and Eve and progressing through the crucifixion of Christ. The resurrection of Jesus offers mankind authority over the earth, and over Satan, once again.
Those who accept the forgiveness of Jesus have authority through The Word, but we often don’t know it, much less use it.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Be strong in The Lord (not strong in your own body, mind or personality) and the power of His might. Wiles are cunning devices: Satan uses our own particular weaknesses to entice us. The heavenly places here the physical universe, but not the High Heaven of God.
Jesus defeated Satan by resisting his temptations in the desert and Satan left him for a more opportune time. Satan did not quit. He never quits. Even as Jesus hung on the cross in obedience to God’s will taunts came at him, “If you are the Son of God, come down from there…”.
Satan is persistent, sneaky and evil. But followers of Jesus can claim dominion over him. We have The Word of God, through which God speaks to us, and we have The Holy Spirit, who guides us. If we step out in faith and trust to use these, we too can have victory over Satan, just as Jesus did. Once again, we have but one rule to obey: do not rebel against God.