When Adam sinned, was his dominion transferred to Satan?

by Matt Slick

There is no biblical warrant for saying that Adam's dominion was transferred to Satan when Adam sinned. It is true that Adam had dominion over the realm which God gave to him, but Adam could only exercise the authority that was given to him by God. 


"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule (KJV says "have dominion") over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth,'" (Gen. 1:26).


We see that God is the sovereign Lord who allocated to Adam the responsibility of having dominion over the things of the earth. But if Adam gave dominion to Satan in the fall, then that would mean Satan would have dominion as a subset of God's dominion. In other words, God gave authority to Adam--without denouncing his own authority over the world. God is still the sovereign Lord. Scripture clearly tells us that the dominion over the earth belongs to the Lord God.

  • "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all," (1 Chr. 29:11).
  • "The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it," (Ps. 24:1).
  • Bless the Lord, all you works of His. In all places of His dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!" (Psalm 103:22).
  • " . . . These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come," (Eph. 1:19-21).
  • "so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen," (1 Pet. 4:11).

As you can see, God is the one who has dominion over the earth. If Satan had dominion because it was transferred to him from Adam, it could not be said that God is the one who has dominion.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.