The Present Truth, vol. 6


January 30, 1890

“The First Dominion” The Present Truth 6, 3.


E. J. Waggoner


In the account of our Lord’s temptation in the wilderness, we have the most positive evidence that Satan holds the dominion that was given to Adam. The last and greatest temptation is thus described: “Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Matthew 4:8, 9. PTUK January 30, 1890, page 40.1

Some may think that Satan lied when he made this promise to Christ, and that he knew that he did not have the power to fulfil the promise, even if he could have induced the Lord to comply with the conditions. There is no doubt but that Satan lied when he said that he would give all the kingdoms of the world to Christ, and that he had no intention of yielding up anything that he had; but if he did not possess the kingdoms of the earth, Christ certainly knew it, and in that case the offer of them to Him would not have been any temptation. When Satan said to Jesus, “If Thou be the Son of God, command that the stones be made bread,” there was a real temptation, because Jesus was extremely hungry. When Satan placed Jesus on a pinnacle of the temple, and said, “If Thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down,” there was a temptation to show His Divine power. And so when Satan showed to Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, offering to give them to Him in return for His homage, there was a temptation, because Satan was offering that which Christ came into the world to redeem. Jesus did not tell say and that he had no right to offer to Him the kingdoms of this world, but simply refuse to accept them upon the conditions imposed, thus tacitly admitting that Satan was “the prince of this world.” PTUK January 30, 1890, page 40.2

In Ezekiel 28:12-17 we have an unmistakable reference to Satan. No other being could merit the following description: “Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold....Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so; thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.... Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness; I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” PTUK January 30, 1890, page 41.1

That is a description of Satan before his fall, and also a statement of the reason of his fall. But let the reader take particular notice that the being thus described is called “the king of Tyrus.” Verse 12. The wisdom and power of the man who sat upon the throne of tire are described in verses 2-11 of this same chapter (Ezekiel 28), and he is called the “prince of Tyrus.” In this we have further inspired testimony to the fact that Satan is “God of the world,” working in the children of disobedience. Wicked rulers, like the king of Tyre, are only nominally kings; they are second in power to Satan, who rules through them, and is thus the real king. But while Satan has usurped the dominion which God gave to Adam, he does not have unlimited control of this earth. God did not give unlimited and supreme authority over the earth even to man in his uprightness; and so when Satan overcame man, it was not possible for him to get control of the earth to an unlimited degree. This fact Satan acknowledged, when he said to the Lord concerning Job, “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?” Job 1:10. It still remains true that “the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will.” PTUK January 30, 1890, page 41.2

It was stated, in connection with the reference to the temptation of Jesus, that Satan offered Him that which He came into the world to redeem,-the dominion of the earth, which Adam lost. This will presently be made to appear. When Adam lost the dominion, he also lost his right to live; he forfeited his life to Satan at the same time that he forfeited the earth to him. So it is that Satan is “God of this world,’ and has also “the power of death.” Hebrews 2:14. Now, Christ came to redeem what Adam lost. And so when the apostle quotes the words of the psalmist, when he says that God set man over the works of His hands, but that “now we see not yet all things put under Him,” he adds: “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:9, 14, 15. PTUK January 30, 1890, page 41.3

In order that Christ might redeem men from the curse of death, which came upon them when they yielded to Satan, He had to suffer the same curse. Paul says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us; for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” Galatians 3:13. And so, to redeem the earth, He bore its curse, when the crown of thorns was placed upon His head. Compare Genesis 3:17, 18 and Matthew 27:29. As Christ has, by death, gained the right to destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, He has also won the right to the dominion which Satan usurped. And so the prophet addresses Christ in the following language: “And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” Micah 4:8. PTUK January 30, 1890, page 41.4

In these words we have the promise of the restoration of the first dominion (see Genesis 1:28), not to Adam, who lost it, but to Christ; the second Adam, who redeemed it. Those who through faith recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who learned of Jesus to be meek and lower in part, will inherit the earth with Christ, when He shall take possession of it as His kingdom. PTUK January 30, 1890, page 41.5

Having learned that this earth was designed to be Adam’s kingdom, and that he forfeited it, and that Christ has bought the title to it, and will one day call His own to share it with Him, we shall now trace the chain of evidence from paradise lost to paradise restored. PTUK January 30, 1890, page 41.6

When God pronounced a curse upon our first parents and upon the earth, He also made known the way of escape from that curse. Christ, the deliverer, was immediately promised. To Satan, the Lord said, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15. These words contain the promise of the Messiah, who, although He should be allowed to be bruised by Satan, should thereby gain the right to destroy Satan and all his works. PTUK January 30, 1890, page 41.7

Time passed, and Satan seemed to get a still firmer hold upon the earth; for “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Genesis 6:5, 12. In all the earth there was but one family who did acknowledge and serve God; all the rest of mankind were totally given up to the service of the devil. “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” PTUK January 30, 1890, page 41.8

So the earth, with all its inhabitants, was destroyed by the flood. Noah and his family alone were saved; and when they came out of the ark, God said to them, as He had said to Adam and Eve, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” Genesis 9:1. He did not, as to our first parents, give them dominion over all the earth, for that was impossible; but in order that men might not be exterminated by the beasts, that had become savage by passing under the dominion of Satan, He said: “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.” Genesis 9:2. Thus did God interpose to limit Satan’s power, giving men a chance for life, that they might prepare for the complete possession of the earth when it should be restored. PTUK January 30, 1890, page 41.9

E. J. W.