Almighty God: Ruler of the Universe

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Almighty God

Ruler of the Universe

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Although the Bible identifies Satan as the “prince of the power of the air” and the ruler of this world (Ephesians 2:2 Ephesians 2:2Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
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; John 12:31 John 12:31Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
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; John 14:30 John 14:30Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world comes, and has nothing in me.
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; John 16:11 John 16:11Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
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), God maintains overall control as “Lord of heaven and earth” (Matthew 11:25 Matthew 11:25At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes.
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). While He gives the devil considerable latitude in what he does for now, God retains the right and power to intervene.

The biblical record shows that during this age God uses His power to intervene sparingly, often letting the natural course of events work out His purpose and plan for mankind. Remember that Jesus told Pontius Pilate, “You could have no power at all … unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11 John 19:11Jesus answered, You could have no power at all against me, except it were given you from above: therefore he that delivered me to you has the greater sin.
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).

“The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the all-glorious Father” is the main subject of Ephesians 1:3 Ephesians 1:3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
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and Ephesians 1:17 Ephesians 1:17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
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, Revised English Bible. His throne is “far above all government and authority, all power and dominion, and any title of sovereignty that commands allegiance, not only in this age but also in the age to come. He put all things in subjection beneath His [Jesus’] feet” (Ephesians 1:21-22 Ephesians 1:21-22 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
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, REB).

Israel’s King David recognized God’s sovereignty: “The Lord has established his throne in heaven, his kingly power over the whole world” (Psalms 103:19 Psalms 103:19The LORD has prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom rules over all.
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, REB) and “The Lord looks down from his sanctuary on high; from heaven he surveys the earth” (Psalms 102:19 Psalms 102:19For he has looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth;
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, REB).

The Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar eventually came to see these same truths after God humbled him for seven years. “His [God’s] sovereignty is everlasting and his Kingdom endures throughout all generations,” said the king. “All who dwell on earth count for nothing [by comparison]; he does as he pleases with the host of heaven [the angelic realm] and with those who dwell on earth” (Daniel 4:34-35 Daniel 4:34-35 34 And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honored him that lives for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: 35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say to him, What do you?
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, REB; compare Daniel 5:21 Daniel 5:21And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appoints over it whomsoever he will.
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).

The first two chapters of Job show the earthly authority of the devil and how it fits into God’s supremacy over the universe. Although the patriarch Job suffered immense tragedies because of the devil’s activities, the narrative shows that in no case could Satan do anything that God did not allow. God remains in ultimate control.