The kingdom of the devil is a kingdom of unbelief governed by the devil himself, who is a liar and murderer. The devil has not created anything, but only seeks by deception to get people to deny and/or misuse God’s gracious gifts. Revelation 12:9 says that he is “called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” According to Ephesians 2:1-3, even those later came to believe “were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”
The Lutheran Confessions explain that “the punishment and penalty of original sin, which God has imposed upon the children of Adam and upon original sin…” includes not only “death, eternal damnation, and also other bodily and spiritual, temporal and eternal miseries…” but also “the tyranny and dominion of the devil, so that human nature is subject to the kingdom of the devil and has been surrendered to the power of the devil, and is held captive under his away, who stupefies [fascinates] and leads astray many a great, learned man in the world by means of dreadful error, heresy, and other blindness, and otherwise rushes men into all sorts of crime” (FC, Ep. I. Original Sin 13).
Thankfully, “… Christ was given to us to remove both these sins and these punishments, and to destroy the kingdom of the devil, sin and death…” (Apology, II 50). “For human nature is far too weak to be able by its own powers to resist the devil, who holds as captives all who have not been freed through faith. There is need of the power of Christ against the devil, namely, that, inasmuch as we know that for Christ’s sake we are heard, and have the promise, we may pray for the governance and defense of the Holy Ghost, that we may neither be deceived and err, nor be impelled to undertake anything contrary to God’s will. [Otherwise we should, every hour, fall into error and abominable vices.] Just as Ps. 68, 18 teaches: Thou hast led captivity captive; Thou hast received gifts for man. For Christ has overcome the devil, and has given to us the promise and the Holy Ghost, in order that, by divine aid, we ourselves also may overcome. And 1 John 3, 8: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (Ap IV, III, 17-18).