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(Note: There have been questions asking who the "kings of the earth," this verse is referring to, mine is a separate question about Jesus's relationship with these so-called kings).

Revelation 1:4-5 (NASB):

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

Question: Why is Jesus called "ruler of the kings of the earth," when Satan is called "prince of the power of the air" (Eph 2:2) and "god of this world" in 2 Corinthians 4:4? The kings of this earth clearly don't obey Christ, so how is He their ruler? Or is ruler about having ultimate authority over the kings of the earth? Is the verse reflecting that by ascending into heaven He is the true "ruler" on earth, even before His return?

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    Maybe it's meant in a "King of kings" sense. Or maybe John means that Jesus rules the church, since the church is called "a royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9), and those who "will rule [the nations] with a rod of iron" (Rev 2:27). – el_maiz Apr 29 '20 at 9:16
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God is all-powerful and is ultimately in control, despite appearances to the contrary. As such, Jesus is described several times as "king of kings and Lord of lords" (1 Tim 6:15, Rev 19:16, 17:14).

A number of pagan kings egotistically also took this title (Eze 26:7, Ezra 7:12, Dan 2:37). In the first century, Herod was king of Judea but was still subject to (and barely tolerated) by the emperor, Caesar.

Thus, it was quite common and well understood by the Hebrews that while Satan might have appeared to be "prince of the power of the air (Eph 2:2) and 'god of this world' in 2 Corinthians 4:4', it was clearly understood that even Satan's power was subject to that of the sovereign of the universe, Jehovah God almighty, Dan 4:17, 25, 35, Matt 19:26, Rev 19:6.

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How is Jesus “ruler of the kings of the earth”?

Revelation 1:4-5 (NASB):

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

The prophecy at Daniel 2:44 says.

Daniel 2:44 (NASB)

" In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be [a]left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever."

From the above verse, we learn three things.

1/ "In the days of those kings." This means that during the existence of the present governments on the earth, God will set up a kingdom, a Heavenly Kindom.

2/ It tells us that God's kingdom will never be destroyed and will last forever.

3/ Thirdly, that it will do war with the governments of the earth, will crush them and put an end to all these kingdoms. (Armaggedon Revelation 16:14,16)

Notes.

The Heavenly Kingdom or God's Kingdom. (2 Tim.4:18, Rev.11:15, ) Although God's Kingdom is in heaven it will rule over the earth.

2 Timothy 4:18 (NASB)

"The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will [a]bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to [b]Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen."

Paul wrote to his friend Timothy that if they endure, they will rule with Jesus in heaven.

2 Timothy 2:12 (NASB)

12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us;

Revelation 11:15 (NASB)

Then the seventh angel sounded, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

Jesus will have co-rulers, in speaking to his disciples he called them a little flock,"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:31 NASB) The number of those chosen as the name implies is limited.

Revelation 20:4 (NASB)

4 "Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of [a]their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."

Satan cast out

Ephesians 2:2 (NASB)

2 in which you formerly walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

The Bible says that there is a powerful God that has blinded the minds of them that believe not.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV)

4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

How do we know that Satan is the god of this world?

The Bible tells us that when Satan tempted Jesus, Satan showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

Matthew 4:8-9 (NASB)

8 Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You fall down and [a]worship me.”

“All these things I will give You". This offer would not have been a temptation if Satan was offering Jesus something that he did not possess.

Also, about sixty years later John under inspiration wrote.

1 John 5:19 (NASB)

19 We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

Jesus just before his death warns his disciples," the ruler of this world will be cast out". This prophetic words of Jesus mean that at some future time "Satan" will be removed or cast out from his position as ruler of the world. (When? read chapter 20 Revelation)

John 12:31 (NASB)

31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

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  • Thank you @ozzienicolas for this helpful answer! Can you address the second part of the question, which asks about why Satan is called "god of this world" and "prince of the power of the air"? – Gremosa May 24 '20 at 22:13
  • Gremosa: Hope the additions to the answer satisfy your queries. – Ozzie Ozzie Jun 6 '20 at 19:40

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