Satan's Domain: The Realm of Darkness

By Francis Frangipane

Many Christians debate whether the devil is on the earth or in hell; can he dwell in Christians or only in the world? The fact is, the devil is in darkness. Wherever there is spiritual darkness, there the devil will be.

Preparing for Spiritual Warfare
For most, the term spiritual warfare introduces a new but not necessarily welcomed dimension in their Christian experience. The thought of facing evil spirits in battle is an unsettling concept, especially since we came to Jesus as lost sheep, not warriors. Ultimately, some of us may never actually initiate spiritual warfare, but all of us must face the fact that the devil has initiated warfare against us. Therefore, it is essential to our basic well-being that we discern the areas of our nature that are unguarded and open to satanic assault.

Jude tells us, "And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day"
(Jude 1:6).

When Satan rebelled against God, he was placed under eternal judgment in what the Bible calls "pits" (2 Pet. 2:4) or "bonds" of darkness. The devil and the fallen angels with him have been relegated to live in darkness. This darkness does not simply refer to areas void of visible light. The eternal darkness to which this Scripture refers is essentially a moral darkness, which ultimately degrades into literal darkness. However, its cause is not simply the absence of light; it is the absence of God, who is light.

It is vital to recognize that this darkness to which Satan has been banished is not limited to areas outside of humanity. Unlike those who do not know Jesus, however, we have been delivered out of the domain or "authority" of darkness (Col.1:13). We are not trapped in darkness if we have been born of light. But if we tolerate darkness through tolerance of sin, we leave ourselves vulnerable to satanic assault. For wherever there is willful disobedience to the Word of God, there is spiritual darkness and the potential for demonic activity.

Thus Jesus warned, "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness" (Luke 11:35 KJV). There is a light in you. "The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord" (Prov. 20:27). Your spirit, illuminated by the Spirit of Christ, becomes the "lamp of the Lord" through which He searches your heart. There is indeed a holy radiance surrounding a true, Spirit-filled Christian. But when you harbor sin, the "light which is in thee" is "darkness." Satan has a legal access, given to him by God, to dwell in the domain of darkness. Thus, we must grasp this point: the devil can traffic in any area of darkness, even the darkness that still exists in a Christian's heart.

God's Thresher
An example of Satan having access to the carnal side of human nature is seen in Peter's denial of Jesus. It is obvious that Peter failed. What we do not readily see, however, is what was occurring in the invisible world of the spirit.

Jesus predicted accurately that Peter would deny Him three times. Anyone looking at Peter's actions that night might have simply concluded his denial was a manifestation of fear. Yet Peter was not fearful by nature. This was the disciple who, a few hours earlier, drew a sword against the multitudes who had come to arrest Jesus. No, human fear did not cause Peter to deny the Lord. Peter's denial was satanically induced.

Jesus had warned the apostle, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers" (Luke 22:31-32). Behind the scenes, Satan had demanded and received permission to sift Peter like wheat. Satan had access to an area of darkness in Peter's heart.

How did Satan cause Peter's fall? After eating the Passover, Jesus told His disciples that one of them was going to betray Him. Scripture continues, "They began to discuss among themselves which one of them . . . was going to do this thing" (Luke 22:23).

This was a very somber time. Yet, during this terrible moment, "there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was . . . greatest" (Luke 22:24). They went from an attitude of shock and dismay to an argument concerning who among them was the greatest! Evidently Peter, the water-walker, who was also the boldest and most outspoken of the apostles, prevailed. We can imagine that Peter's high visibility among the disciples left him with an air of superiority, which was fanned by Satan into an attitude of presumption and boasting. Peter, being lifted up by pride, was being set up for a fall.

Pride caused Satan's fall, and pride was the very same darkness manipulated by Satan to cause Peter's fall. Lucifer, from experience, knew well the judgment of God against religious pride and envy. He knew personally that pride goes "before a fall" (Prov. 16:18 KJV). Satan did not have a right to indiscriminately assault and destroy Peter. He had to secure permission from Peter's Lord before he could come against the young apostle. But the fact is, the devil demanded permission to sift Peter, and he received it.


Adapted from Francis Frangipane's book, The Three Battlegrounds, available at www.arrowbookstore.com.