The devil obviously had access to Adam and Eve in the garden of
Eden. Scripture does not tell us why God allowed this. One
theory that makes sense involves mankind being allowed to judge
the devil, possibly after the devil complained that God was not
just or fair in condemning him. First Corinthians 6:3 does say
that Christians will judge angels — and the devil is a fallen
angel. If this theory is correct, God would have to allow the
devil access to influence mankind, or be seen as unfair by all.
The devil gained a certain amount of control over mankind by
Adam’s disobedience, which plunged Adam and all his descendants
into spiritual death.
At the time of the temptation of Christ, recorded in Luke 4,
the devil obviously had a great amount of authority in the
LUKE 4:4-7 NKJ
4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall
not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ”
5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him
all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give
You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I
give it to whomever I wish.
7 “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be
Through His death and resurrection, Jesus defeated the devil
and stripped him of his authority (Colossians 2:15, Hebrews
Because Jesus announced that He had all authority after His
resurrection (Matthew 28:18), the devil evidently retained no
However, in the Epistles, the devil is still called the god of
this world, or age (2 Corinthians 4:4). This does not mean that
the devil is the god of the earth, but of the ungodly world
system. He has this control through the yielding of ungodly
people to speak his words and do his deeds.
The devil gains a measure of authority through any human being
who will yield to his ideas and speak them, or act on them.
Even Christians can, like Peter in Matthew 16:23, fall into
A perverted use of this authority is exercised when people
“curse” or “damn” things or people. We should use our authority
to bless — not curse.
All authority the devil may be using now is illegitimate. Only
through deception and ignorance is he able to carry out his
evil plans in the earth.
If the Church of Jesus Christ fails to exercise its God-given
authority against the devil, he will operate virtually
unhindered. This is because unsaved people are already under
his dominion, and find it hard to resist him (John 8:44, 1 John
As members of the body of Christ, we have been delegated the
use of His authority on earth to see that God’s will is carried
out (Matthew 16:19, Luke 10:19, Philippians 2:10). We must
exercise that authority.