Updated: Nov 21, 2019
Written by Louis Roth
Kingdom of Satan
We find two distinct camps (kingdoms) in John 5:18–19. The first has all the disciples of Jesus and have the automatic indwelling of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15–17). The indwelling prevents Satan from physically harming the new man in Christ. The old man is still there and can be influenced by Satan. For the new self to be the dominate of the two, that person is dependent on our prayer life, time in the Word, and quality time with other believers. Satan owns the other camp. Those in Satan’s kingdom obey him and hate those in Jesus’s kingdom. Christians should make use of their new self-awareness that differs from the unbelieving world (Col. 1:9–14). For instance, Christians in fellowship should not be continually sinning. As the Christian matures, their understanding of divine law is revealed progressively over time. Salvation creates a new man in Christ with the sinless nature of the Holy Spirit. We will see ourselves differently now that we are in Christ. We would not want to offend God since we now know the world and its traps through a new lens. The differences between the two kingdoms appear different as they always have in history.
Jesus identifies those who are in Satan’s kingdom and seek to carry out their father’s wishes. His basis for this claim is that the audience does not love Jesus. Jesus comes as the message from the Father, which should mean something but not to the audience in John 8:42–44 When Jesus gave instructions to the church for the Church Age, he warns the disciples of the hate from Satan’s kingdom (Jn. 15:18–19). Hate can come in the form of attacks from government, other religions, schools, universities, etc. Again in the same training for the Church Age, Jesus predicts the rejoicing of his death (Jn 16:20). Since we are disciples of Christ, the hate comes at believers even though its Jesus they hate. Jesus prays for his disciples, knowing the battle that is to come (John 17:9–19). Today, this battle is over truth.
What would be our role in this war over the destination of souls? We must disciple and baptize until the return of Christ. Acts 26:18, 2 Cor. 4:4, and Eph 2:2 discuss the work Satan does to keep the Gospel from unbelievers. 1 Jn warns about slipping back into our earlier lives (1 Jn. 2:15–17). Getting back to an earlier point, we need to remember who we are and what that means. Believers need to remember that they have conquered Satan’s kingdom because Jesus went to the cross. Those that confess that Jesus came in human form, those of the other domain deny this truth. Believers listen to other Christians, whereas unbelievers listen to the wisdom of the world. (1 John 4:2–6). Keep in mind that while unbelievers think they are independent thinkers, have more choices than believers, they are entirely under the influence of Satan.
Satan claims power over his kingdom. Satan even made this claim to Jesus (Matt. 4:8–10)! The Bible assigns names, “prince” or “god,” to Satan that supports his claim (John 12:31). Satan’s rule is temporary and intensified. When Jesus rose from the dead, death, and the hold that Satan uses because of death is defeated (Jn 16:8–11). John 14:30 speaks to the heightened nature of the conflict to come.
Satan will use illness (Luke 13:15–16), and death (Heb. 2:14) to achieve his goal. Keep in mind that Satan and his soldiers will use anything to attach Jesus’ kingdom. Anything!. Demonic possession ended when believers receive the Holy Spirit after Pentecost. You can also see Job 2:7, Ac 10:38, 2 Cor. 12:7 if one considers the thorn to be spiritual rather than merely physical.
1. McLean, J. A. (2012). An Exegetical Study of 1 John 5:18–21. Bibliotheca Sacra, 169(673–676), 69.
2. Constable, T. (2003). Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (1 Jn 5:18). Galaxie Software.