|by Herbert W. Armstrong
The Bible pictures the whole world under the sway of an
invisible devil. Where did he come from? Did God create the devil
to tempt us and to try and lead us astray? Here are the answers
from Gods Word!
IS THERE a devil? Many people talk about the devil and Satan.
Others scoff and say it's just superstition and imagination.
But is there a devil? According to some Christians the Bible is
supposed to teach that the devil is "the god of this world."
Did God create a devil? What does the Bible actually teach?
To find out let's look back to the very beginning. Open your
Bible to Genesis 1:1. "In the beginning God ...." God was before
The next word in the King James version is "created." "God
created." He created the heaven and the earth.
But the very next verse says this: "The earth was without form
and void." The Hebrew words for "without form and void" are tohu
and bohu. Translated into English they mean chaotic, in confusion,
waste, and empty.
When God created the heaven and the earth, did He create this
earth originally in a state of confusion? Did He create it all
topsy-turvy and chaotic?
*World NOT Created in
We read in I Corinthians 14:33 that "God is NOT the author of
confusion." God is the author of peace. God is the author of order
and of law.
Why would He create the earth in disorder and then have to
straighten it out? That doesn't make sense! One scholar points out
that the Hebrew word for "created," bara, used in Genesis 1:1,
"implies that the creation was a perfect work." That very word
"created" implies a perfect and a beautiful order and system, not
chaos or confusion!
The book of Job shows God talking with Job about the creation.
God is saying to Job, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations
of the earth?" There is the implication here that Job had directed
the building of some very great edifice-such as the great pyramid
of Giza in Egypt. Job was righteous and somewhat proud of his
accomplishments. God was whittling him down to humility by a
comparison of accomplishments.
God continues, "Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou
knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the
foundations thereof fastened [margin, "sunk"]? or who laid the
corner stone thereof when the morning stars sang together, and all
the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4-7.)
It is significant that the great pyramid is a building where the
corner stone is not laid in the foundation, but the final stone to
be laid-at the pinnacle. The "morning stars" are light- (truth-)
bringing angels and archangels, according to Biblical
interpretation of symbols. As creations of God, they also are
referred to as "all the sons of God." So this, too, implies a
perfect and glorious creation of the earth.
Then how did it become chaotic?
In Genesis 19:26, the same Hebrew word hayah is used which is
translated "was" in Genesis 1:2. (See also Genesis 2:7 and 9:15.)
And there it is translated into the English word "became." In the
first three chapters of the Bible, and many other places where you
find the Hebrew word hayah, in almost every case it denotes a
condition that was different from a former condition. In other
words, the earth "BECAME" chaotic. It had not always been that
*The Earth BECAME
Plainly the word "was" (hayah) here has the meaning of "became."
The Rotherham translation of Genesis 1:2, out of the original
Hebrew language, is this: "Now the earth HAD BECOME waste and
empty." It hadn't always been that way.
In Jeremiah 4:23, Isaiah 34:11, and in other places in the
Bible, you find the same words, tohu and bohu, meaning "chaotic"
and "in confusion." In every case that condition is a result of
Notice Isaiah 45:18. "Thus saith the Eternal that created the
heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath
established it, he created it not in vain." "In vain" is an
inappropriate translation. In your Bible, if you have the marginal
references, you will find in the margin a preferable translation,
The original Hebrew word there is TOHU. This Hebrew word is the
identical word used in Genesis 1:2, meaning "confusion," or
"emptiness," or "waste" - a result of disorder, a result of
violation of law. In Isaiah 45:18 we have the plain statement that
God created the earth NOT tohu, that is, not in confusion, not in
disorder. But in Genesis 1:2, the earth was (because it had become)
chaotic and in confusion!
Then it became that way after it was created. Now, what could
have caused that confusion-that disorder? What sin could have
wrecked the earth and brought it into the condition in which it was
found in Genesis 1:2?
Now, what was the sin then that caused this physical destruction
to the earth'? It was not a sin caused by humanity, because there
had been no man on the earth until the sixth day of that
re-creation or that remaking. So it was not a sin of man. Adam was
the first man. We find over in I Corinthians 15:45 that Adam is
called the first man on this earth. In Genesis, Eve is called the
mother of all living human beings. There was no other race prior to
Adam and Eve.
So the sin which brought chaos was not caused by man. And yet
life must have populated the earth because a sin had occurred on
the earth that brought it into a condition of chaos and confusion
by breaking the laws of God.
What kind of life could it have been? It wasn't human life. Then
what kind of life had populated the earth prior to Adam, prior to
the week called "creation week"?
Let's turn to II Peter 2:4: "For if God spared not the angels
that sinned...." Here the sin of angels is mentioned.
Now read the next verse, "And spared not the old world," between
Adam and Noah, "but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of
righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the
ungodly." There it mentions the sins from Adam to Noah, and it
mentions the physical destruction to the earth as a result of the
flood, a chaotic, physical condition brought about on the earth by
the sins of those men.
Was there a chaotic condition brought about on the earth as a
result of the sins of angels? The sin of the angels is mentioned
first, and it occurred first! There was a devil already there in
existence by the time Adam was created. So the sin of the angels
happened before the creation of man.
Now read II Peter 2:6. "Turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha
into ashes [God] condemned them with an overthrow, making them an
example unto those that after should live ungodly."
Universal sin was in those two Canaanite cities. Physical
destruction came to the entire part of the surface of the earth
which those people occupied as a result of that sin. Then didn't
such a destruction come to the earth as a result of the sins of the
angels which occurred before Adam?
Now quickly turn over to Jude. In the sixth verse, you read
this: "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left
their own habitation "they had a place where they lived, a
habitation, an estate, and they left it], he hath reserved in
everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great
day." Notice! It is the sinning angels who are reserved in those
chains under darkness, restrained from light, restrained from truth
until the judgment of the great day.
*Angels Possess the
How plain ! They had an estate which they didn't keep. In
Hebrews 2:5 we read this: "For unto the angels hath God not put in
subjection the world to come, whereof we speak." In other words,
the World Tomorrow, the Kingdom of God will not be in subjection to
angels. The present one is under subjection of fallen angels. The
demons, and the devil who is their head, rule this present earth
and sway its inhabitants. The Bible everywhere indicates and
affirms that very fact.
How did they obtain their dominion? How did they acquire their
power? How do they maintain their control? Where did the devil get
the power to control and to lead and to rule this world?
The devil is the leader of fallen angels, as you will find in a
number of places (John 12:31; Matt. 12:26; 25:41; Rev. 12:9). In II
Corinthians 4:4 the devil is called "the god of this world." He is
the king or the prince of the evil world that we live in today.
Let's see something about the origin of the devil.
Turn to Isaiah 14, beginning with verse 4, "Thou shalt take up
this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the
oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!"
Here is a king of Babylon.
This account continues to tell how he had disrupted the earth.
He was an invader, a conqueror. He was a warmonger, trying to take
away from others and trying to acquire all he could. He had just
the opposite philosophy from that of God. In other words, he had
the philosophy of the devil.
He represented the devil. The king of Babylon was the devil's
instrument and tool.
This "king of Babylon" is the future ruler over the prophesied
"United States of Europe" - the coming resurrected Holy Roman
Empire," described in prophecies of Revelation 17 and 18. It is a
system described in Revelation 13 which was given its power and
seat by Satan.
Then in verse 12, the type this human king of Babylon lifts to
the arch-antitype, Satan. Satan is to be removed and bound after
the Messiah's coming. Ezekiel's prophecy, to he described later,
reveals that he is the former archangel cherub, Lucifer.
So continue, verse 12.
"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations
! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I
will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon
the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will
ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most
High" (Isaiah 14:12-14). The 15th verse returns to the human
Notice, this former archangel had been placed as ruler over the
angels that sinned. He had a throne. He said he would exalt his
throne above the stars (angels) of God. It already was exalted
above the angels on earth the angels that sinned with him. Now he
was going to exalt it over GOD'S ANGELS in heaven. He was going to
invade God's heaven, knock God off the throne of the universe, and
rule the whole universe!
We learn much more about this cherub who became Satan in Ezekiel
28. Here, beginning verse 1, the human prince of Tyre is referred
to, wealthy (chapter 27), surrounded by perfect beauty, saying in
his vain heart, "I am a God," "I sit in the seat of God" (verse 2)
compare with II Thessalonians 2 :3-4.
Compare also Ezek. 27:7 with Rev. 18:16. All these refer to the
same system. However, Ezekiel 26 refers to the ancient Tyre, as a
forerunner or type of the present and yet future system. Then, as
in Isaiah 14, the human type lifts to the satanic antitype in Ezek.
"Son of man, take up a lamentation [dirge] upon the king of
Tyrus [Tyre] ...." The whole prophecy of chapters 27 and 28 refers,
not to the ruler of the ancient city of Tyre (as does chapter '6),
but to an important personage, in Satan's hand, of our time and
immediate future just before the coming of the Messiah to remove
Satan and bring in world peace. Therefore the prophecy points to
the END of this great personage ruling spiritually over nations as
well as to Satan's removal from swaying mankind on earth. Now,
beginning with verse 12, and on to the middle of verse 17, it
speaks of Satan himself.
So, continue: ". . . And say unto him, Thus saith the Lord
Eternal; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in
beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious
stone was thy covering . . . the workmanship of thy tabrets and of
thy pipes [music] was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast
Notice, this is not speaking of a human, but a CREATED being.
God would never say of a human that he seals up the sum total of
wisdom, perfection and beauty. Then who was this great created
"Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee
so," answers God. In Exodus 25:17-20, you will find the description
of the very throne of God in heaven, from which He rules the entire
vast limitless universe. On this throne are two cherubim super
arch- angels whose wings spread out and cover the throne. This
personage, then, is the former Lucifer, who was at the very throne
of the universe, thoroughly experienced in the Government of God
over the universe. Now he is pictured as being on earth. But he had
been, formerly, at the very throne of God, as the next words
". . . Thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked
up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect
in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity
[lawlessness] wast found in thee."
Then God attributes to him violence, sin, corruption of wisdom
perversion, saving he became proud - his heart lifted up because of
his beauty. Then, in verse 17, the immortal spirit antitype
descends again to the human type, who will be a chief instrument in
Satan's hands in the tremendous world events just prior to, and
leading to the coming of the Messiah to establish the GOVERNMENT OF
GOD over all earth's nations.
This human personage, claiming to be God, sitting in his
sanctuary (verse 18) showing that he is God (II Thes. 2:3-4), is to
be destroyed by FIRE, brought to ashes (verse 18). Compare with
Revelation 19:20. In the latter, two human personages, instruments
of Satan, are pictured- one a civil ruler over ten kings and their
nations, the other called a great "False Prophet" (Rev. 19:20). The
prophecy of Isaiah 14 pictures the king of Babylon as the civil
*Lucifer Becomes the
So now, let's recapitulate thus far. The earth was a perfect
creation. The angels shouted for joy. From creation, it was
populated by angels.
There was a throne, on which sat Lucifer, a super archangel, a
cherub. He had been thoroughly experienced in the administration of
the Government of God, having been at the very throne of God in
heaven. God had placed Lucifer on the throne on earth to administer
THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD over earths angels.
There was happiness, peace, joy on earth. Of Lucifer, the
Moffatt translation reads: "From the day you were created, you
lived a perfect life, till you were discovered doing wrong (Ezek.
28:15). GOD DID NOT CREATE A DEVIL, but a beautiful, perfect
superangel. But God did give to His angels free moral agency-minds
that were free to think and reason-the right of free choice.
Lucifer had allowed his beauty and perfection to fill him with
vanity - with SELF-glory, SELF-desire. He became envious of God's
power, resented authority over him. He plotted with his angels to
marshal them into an invading army, to invade the heaven of God, to
knock God off the throne of the Universe. Lucifer was going to BE
God. It is his deceptive sway over the "Prince of Tyre" that will
yet cause this personage to claim that HE, a man, is God.
So Lucifer was no longer "LIGHT-Bringer" but now an ADVERSARY -
an Aggressor, a Competitor, an Enemy. The name Satan means
"Adversary." His angels now became DEMONS.
*How the Earth Became
A third of the angels united with Satan in the rebellion. That
is what caused the chaos of this earth. The sin of angels reached
into the heavens and brought chaos on earth.
The earth was created perfect and complete. Then it BECAME
chaotic as a result of rebellion. And in six days, God remade the
earth, reshaped, refashioned it, and created human beings upon
He gave Adam a chance to take the place of Satan the devil.
Remember, Lucifer had been placed in rulership.
God placed the great cherub, Lucifer, to carry out His
government on the earth, but Lucifer refused to carry out God's
will, God's commands, God's government. He wanted to substitute his
own. So he disqualified himself.
Adam had the chance to supplant him. In the contest to see if
Adam would conquer, if he would obey God, he failed. He obeyed the
devil instead, and man became the property of the devil, and the
whole human race has been sold down the river to the devil ever
Jesus Christ came 4000 years later and He entered the great
contest - the contest of the temptation on the Mount. He REFUSED to
obey the devil. He quoted scripture correctly. He obeyed God.
Finally, He turned to the devil, and He gave Satan a command. He
said, "Get away from me," and the devil obeyed!
From that time on, the successor of Satan has been qualified to
take over the rule of the earth. But Jesus went to heaven for 1900
years. He is soon coming again, and when He does, the devil will be
DISPLACED. Christ will rule the earth, God's Laws will be
So God did NOT create a devil. He created a cherub,
Lucifer-perfect in his ways, but with the power of free choice-and
Lucifer transformed himself into a devil by rebellion against the
Government of God!
*What is SATAN'S
The Bible warns of a very real devil and many Satanic
cohorts. What is their ultimate fate? Here is the truth about
Satan, and the startling proof about his final judgment!
by Garner Ted Armstrong
THIS WORLD is totally deceived. In His very first words to His
disciples in the Olivet Prophecy, Jesus sternly warned, "Take heed
that no man deceive you. For MANY shall come in my name, saying, I
am Christ; and shall deceive many"! (Matt. 24:4-5.)
Many of you are well aware of the false doctrines circulated in
modern "Churchianity" about Satan the devil. The familiar tunes of
the "preachy-toned" tent-camp evangelist shouting, "We're sure
gonna twist ole Satan's tail tonight!" is just one of many
Some believe he is merely the embodiment of all that is evil,
and therefore not a real being, but just a BAD "idea" in the minds
of men. Others believe Satan appears as a red, dancing monster with
wings like a bat, horns, a tail and a pitchfork.
*But What Is the
The Bible reveals that Satan is the god of this present
Paul expressly calls him that! "In whom the god of this world
[Greek "aion" or "age"] 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" (II Cor. 4:4).
In trying to overthrow Christ, Satan boasted, "All this power
will I give thee [all the kingdoms of the world], and the glory of
them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I
give it" (Luke 4:6).
Had Satan made this statement falsely, Christ would certainly
have refuted it! And yet, Christ said not one word to contradict
Satan's remarks about the kingdoms of this world. Jesus did,
however, rebuke the devil for tempting Him by means of the kingdoms
of this world.
Jesus warned His disciples that the majority would be deceived,
and going in the broad, wide, easy way-the way of following that
which seems right to a man-to destruction! (Matt. 7:13.)
The deceiver is called the "prince of the power of the air" in
Eph. 2:2. John's vision plainly showed Satan as the deceiver of the
WHOLE WORLD, who was cast down with his angels, who are now called
demons (Rev. 12:9).
God reveals how Satan became the god of this world -and why!
Perhaps many have falsely assumed the devil is the god of this
world against the will of God! Many, perhaps, have unknowingly
followed another deception of Satan by believing the false idea of
this world of some kind of GREAT CONTROVERSY between God and Satan!
This doctrine represents the devil as being much more powerful than
God! After all-the world is totally wrapped up in sin, isn't it'?
Such religious teachings represent just one more example of the
thoroughness with which Satan has done his work of deception.
Your Bible reveals Satan as a CREATED being-created of God-as
was pointed out in Part I.
Satan began his deception by introducing the doctrine of the
"immortality of the soul" to Eve in the Garden of Eden. He told
her, "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen. 3:4). Since that time, the
devil has succeeded in palming off his own aspirations and his
ultimate destination on gullible human beings as their chief
religious doctrines-which are NOT found in the Bible!
Satan (Lucifer) wanted to go to heaven! The churches teach a
doctrine of going someday to heaven! Lucifer is a spirit, and is
therefore immortal! The churches believe man has an immortal
spirit! Christ said an everlasting fire awaits Satan and his
angels. The churches teach an everlasting fire awaits all
"sinners." Satan FELL from his attempt to overthrow God. The common
misconception is that man FELL!
These are only a few of the more prevalent doctrines that Satan
has palmed off as truth to this gullible world.
God shows that fully one third of all the multiplied millions of
the angels followed Lucifer in his rebellion, and were cast down to
the earth with him! (Compare Rev. 12:4 with Rev. 1:20.) These
fallen angels, remember, are SPIRITS, not human beings! To
accomplish his work of deception, with the ultimate goal of
destroying human beings, Satan utilizes these millions of
disobedient spirits! He is called the PRINCE of demons (Matt.
Satan himself is always concerned with the top-level jobs in his
attempt to destroy God's plan. Notice how he began-by trying to
destroy Adam and Eve-the very FIRST (and therefore a primary aim)
humans on the earth. Again, when God sent His own Son, Satan tried
by many clever subtleties to cause Christ to SIN against the Law of
God. All through Christ's ministry, Satan tried to have Him
killed-to thwart His every purpose! Finally, when it was time
according to God's purpose to ALLOW Christ to be killed, Satan the
devil was a DIRECT instrument in executing Christ. He entered
personally into Judas! (John 13:27.)
It is not at all inconceivable that Satan could personally,
individually tempt one of God's people! However, many people
attribute many insignificant things to the devil-not realizing that
he is concerned with the top level jobs in his evil plan! Many of
these things are nothing more than the pulls of their own human
Since the devil is concerned directly with the primary targets
in trying to upset God's plan, it also follows that the MOST
IMPORTANT TARGET ON EARTH IS GOD'S CHURCH!
God thunders a warning at every one of us that the devil is yet
to come down to this earth in GREAT WRATH- knowing he has but a
short time left - to PERSECUTE God's Church. "And the dragon was
wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her
seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of
Jesus Christ"! (Rev. 12:17.)
Paul said he was not IGNORANT of Satan's devices (II Cor.
*What About the
The time is rapidly drawing nearer when Satan the devil will no
longer be permitted to deceive the nations! At this present time,
God is directly ALLOWING Satan to be used as His instrument in
blinding the world, so the lesson of mankind will be so firmly and
completely etched in its own blood that there will never again be a
society existing in total rebellion against God's government! God
is the One who has "concluded [shut up] them all in unbelief, that
he might have mercy upon all" (Rom. 11:32). He says He is not
willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should finally come to
repentance! (II Peter 3:9.)
At the beginning of Christ's millennial rule over the nations,
Satan is to be BOUND, and cast into an abyss (Rev. 20:1-3). This
condition of restraint will last during the thousand years, and
then the devil will be momentarily allowed freedom to deceive the
nations again (verse 3)!
But consider what occurs next!
Jesus said He is going to cast unrepentant, carnal minded HUMANS
into "everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (
Notice, however, that these wicked HUMAN BEINGS are cast into an
everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Fire is a physical, chemical thing! Fire is the combustion of
physical objects with oxygen which changes the physical objects
into ashes and gaseous vapor!
Notice that the wicked (the same ones Christ referred to) are to
be ASHES under the feet of the righteous! (Mal. 4:3.) Therefore,
this fire Christ spoke of in Matthew 25 is a fire that CONSUMES
human beings! But Satan is a SPIRIT being! And spirit beings are
not affected by fire! They are not material.
Yes-it may be possible that Almighty God could create a fire
that would perhaps consume a spirit-since ALL THINGS are possible
with God! (Matt. 19:26.) But it is not a question of what God CAN
do. It is a question of what God WILLED to do!
The word "everlasting" in Matthew 25:41 is aionion in the Greek
language. Aionion comes from the root aion which often means "age"!
In this case, the correct translation into the English language
should be AGE-LASTING fire.'
Does the Bible bear this up?
Yes, it does!
Next, let's notice carefully some significant facts about the
fire Christ will use to destroy His enemies!
When Jesus returns to this earth as KING, His first act will be
to destroy, NOT ALL the wicked, but that "wicked ONE" who is going
to be working miracles and deceiving the world! (II Thes. 2:8.)
Together with this great False Prophet, Christ will lay hold of the
Beast who is yet to arise, and throw them both into a lake of fire,
burning with brimstone ! ( Rev. 19: 20. )
These two are human beings-physical, breathing men, who are
alive and drawing breath at this instant! The fire will CONSUME
them. This lake of fire is going to be burning all during the
millennium! (Isaiah 66:23-24.)
During Christ's time, the Valley of Hinnom, just outside of
Jerusalem, was the place where refuse and the bodies of criminals
were thrown-into fires that were kept constantly burning. God uses
this as a type of the coming lake of fire! My father, mother,
brother and I saw this valley, called "Gehenna" in the Bible - and
thus were actually looking into HELL, believe it or not!
During the millennial reign of Christ and His saints, this
valley will once more be kept perpetually burning- and the
incorrigibly wicked ones who WILL to continue in rebellion against
God s laws will be THROWN INTO this "lake of fire" as a stern
witness to all the rest of the world! (Isa. 66:24.)
Next, turn to Revelation 20:10. "And the devil that deceived
them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast
and the false prophet [WERE CAST]." There is no verb "are" in the
original Greek, as the King James revisers have added in italics!
See an interlinear or any concordance!
Notice that the devil WILL BE CAST into THE (not just "a," but
the definite article "the" is in the Greek) lake of fire where the
Beast and the False Prophet WERE CAST!
THIS IS THE SAME FIRE !
It was burning at the precise beginning of the millennium when
the Beast and False Prophet were thrown into its flames; it will be
burning at the END of the millennium, when Satan is thrown into the
That s WHY it is called an AGE-LASTING fire in Matthew
25:41-because it does, literally, LAST for an age- the millennial
*What About the
Christ said the fire was being prepared for the devil AND his
angels! So they, too, are to be thrown into the lake of fire!
A commonly misunderstood explanation of this is found in I Peter
3:19-20. People have assumed, because they base their religious
philosophies on the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, that
Christ was busy PREACHING to some supposed "souls" of men in hell!
What folly! Let's understand what really happened!
Your Bible plainly states the TIME element in these verses.
Christ did the preaching, NOT during the three days and nights when
He was DEAD in the tomb (I Cor. 15:3 and 20) but "WHEN once the
long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was
a preparing. . ." (I Peter 3:20).
But notice to whom Christ witnessed about the flood. "By which
also he went and preached unto the SPIRITS IN PRISON ! ( Verse 19.
Who were these "spirits"? Certainly not MEN-nor the "souls" of
men, since men do not have immortal souls!
Turn to II Peter 2 :4 for the answer! "For if God spared not the
angels [spirits] that sinned, but cast them down to hell
[PRISON-"HELL" is a mistranslation from the Greek tartaroo which
means a "condition or position of restraint," as an
"imprisonment"], and delivered them into CHAINS of darkness, to be
reserved unto judgment."
The "spirits in prison" are the sinning angels, or the DEMONS
that have perverted their ways and followed Satan, and are BOUND to
the earth-imprisoned here by the power of God until their day of
The final enemy of Christians is death itself. When the plan of
God is finally completed, even death is to be completely destroyed!
(I Cor. 15:26.) Just before the establishment of the new heavens
and new earth, all that is corrupt, all that is physically
combustible, will be consumed in a vast, WORLDWIDE lake of
*The Lake of
This tremendous conflagration will be so intense, so white-hot,
that the surface of the whole earth will literally melt with the
fervor of the flames! Peter describes this awesome time as a
melting of the very elements, a time when all the works on the
earth are burned up-dissolved! (II Peter 3:10-11.)
Christ shows this time occurs after the final Great White Throne
Judgment when God's plan is complete- and all who have been added
to His family are already born of Him. After this final judgment,
even death and the grave are destroyed (Rev. 20:13-15).
The surface of the earth will become for a time just as if it
were the blazing surface of the sun! This is the great Gehenna fire
that Christ talked of, that will destroy the wicked.
It is into this vast, seething lake of fire that Satan and his
angels will have been cast.
But remember! This fire is PHYSICAL! It consumes the bodies of
the wicked, and is so intense it even melts the rocks and elements
of the earth until they are liquefied.
But Satan and his angels are spirit beings! Fire is PHYSICAL,
and cannot BURN spiritual beings! Spirit is NOT COMBUSTIBLE !
Now notice an important verse!
*The New Heavens and New
In the glorious picture of the new heavens and new earth, John
wrote a description of the temple, and the beauty of God's new
creation. A key scripture is Revelation 21:27! God expressly shows
Satan and his angels will not BE in the new heavens and the new
earth! "And there shall IN NO WISE ENTER INTO IT any thing that
defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie:
but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." Satan will
not be there! And the fire will BURN UP the wicked, and the works
of the earth (Rev. 20:14; 21:8).
Peter tells us we can look forward to the new heavens and new
earth wherein dwells righteousness! (II Peter 3:13.) It is evident
from God's Word that Satan and his angels will not be anywhere in
the new heaven and new earth!
Then where are they to be?
Let's go on-and see what your Bible actually reveals!
Since fire cannot consume spirits - then how can they be
punished? Many people fail to realize that mental torment is far
worse than physical torment!
*How a Spirit Can
God created our bodies with a type of "safety device" against
too much pain! When the physical human body is subjected to extreme
pain, it will reach a certain point and then lapse into
unconsciousness! The mind does not continue to register the
pain-even though the body continues to suffer! Mothers recognize
the truth of this immediately. The thought of seeing their children
suffer - having to stand the mental agonies of seeing their own
children being tortured-would be far worse than having to suffer
physical pain themselves.
A disembodied spirit-one that cannot any longer physically
manifest itself-is an uncomfortable, miserable spirit! Jesus
described this condition of mental torment when He said, "When the
unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places,
seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my
house whence I came out" (Luke 11:24).
This is further illustrated by the account of Christ's
experience with the many demons who had entered the man in the
country of the Gadarenes. Jesus commanded the spirits to come out
of the man, and they "besought him much that he would not send them
away out of the country" (Mark 5:10). "And all the devils [demons]
besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter
into them" (verse 12).
When Philip was performing miracles at Samaria, he cast out many
demons, who came out of people "crying with loud voice" (Acts 8:7)
showing their frustration and anger at being deprived of their
dwelling place! (Luke 8:28.)
God says the demons know of His power-they are aware of the
great AUTHORITY of God! We are told that willful sinners are going
to be left with a certain FEARFUL looking for of judgment (Heb.
10:26-27) and that it is a FEARFUL thing to fall into the hands of
the living God! (Verse 31.)
James said, "Thou believest that there is one God'? Thou doest
well: the devils [demons] also believe, and TREMBLE ! (James 2:19.)
They FEAR the awesome judgment awaiting them, and are therefore in
TORMENT! "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out
fear: because FEAR HATH TORMENT" (I John 4:18).
When Satan comes down to the earth in great wrath, it is because
he knows he has but a SHORT TIME left! (Rev. 12:12)
His punishment will plainly be mental, spiritual, NOT
Many have misunderstood verse 16 of Ezekiel 28. Notice that God
is speaking of the beginning of the creation in this account of
Satan's original rebellion. But, just as the Bible so often uses
DUAL meanings, so THIS IS history and prophecy at the same time!
God refers to the "stones of fire" in verse 13. Notice how these
same stones are used in the description of the Holy City! Compare
with Revelation 21:18-21. Remember, the "mountain" (nation, or
government) of God is ultimately going to be ON THIS EARTH! God
CAST LUCIFER OUT of that mountain, throwing him DOWN from his
attempt to be above God's throne! God's throne is then to be ON
THIS EARTH! God will again cast Satan out of His presence!
". . . Therefore I WILL [both past and future] cast thee as
profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O
covering cherub, FROM the midst of the stones of fire" (Ezek.
28:16). The word destroy is explained by the word FROM! God does
NOT say Satan is to be DESTROYED! He DOES say Satan is to be
DESTROYED FROM a certain place-the midst of the stones of fire, or
the location of God's seat of authority.
Hebrews 2:14 can also be a problem in this regard. The last half
of the verse reads: "that through death he" (meaning Christ) "might
destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil." The
Greek word here translated "destroyed" has more the meaning of "to
annul, bring to naught, make of no effect" rather than a physical
and total destruction. God is going to annul and make void Satan's
works and power.
*Satan Will Not Be
Now, let's notice further proof that Satan is NOT to be
destroyed. Turn again to Revelation 20, and verse 10.
Notice that the devil is cast into the lake of fire where the
Beast and False Prophet were cast, AND Satan and his demons shall
be tormented day and night forever and ever!
This expressly states Satan will be tormented for the AGES OF
THE AGES! ( See International Critical Commentary, an interlinear
or other such Bible helps.) This expression in the Greek means for
all eternity-for time everlasting!
Notice carefully the verse states Satan will be thrown into the
lake of fire AND tormented forever! It does not say that he will
remain in the fire forever! The fire is on this earth! The fire is
an AGE-LASTING fire, which will not be burning after God's new
heaven and new earth are established! Since Satan is to be
tormented FOREVER, and the fire is to finally consume the physical
objects it is burning until it burns out, Satan does not remain in
this lake of fire forever!
Satan is a spirit! Fire cannot consume spirit-and A SPIRIT
Jesus Christ said so!
For a clinching proof, turn to Luke the twentieth chapter. In
verse 34, Christ begins to explain to the hypocritical Sadducees
about the resurrection. ". . . The children of this world marry,
and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy
to obtain that world [age], and the resurrection from the dead,
neither marry, nor are given in marriage: NEITHER CAN THEY DIE ANY
MORE, for they are equal unto the angels. . ." (verses 34-36).
Jesus tells us the angels cannot die! Satan is a fallen angel!
Therefore Satan cannot die!
Remember, Peter and Jude both attest to the fact that the
sinning demons are reserved unto a time of JUDGMENT! Without
realizing it, many people have assumed the "judgment" is a final
SENTENCING that is passed in one instant at Christ's coming!
Such is not the case!
A judge must investigate the merits of each case and ARRIVE at a
decision based on the facts! God is calling out His children to
become kings and PRIESTS with Christ- and to RULE THIS EARTH! (ReV.
A vital part of the job of each of God's children will be
JUDGMENT! Believe it or not, the Creator of all that exists is
actually permitting us to have an opportunity to become judges of
this world! Many have not understood the scriptures already
mentioned in I Peter 3:19-20 and II Peter 2:4, simply because they
have not understood an important phase of that judgment!
The Apostle Paul gives us the amazing answer in I Corinthians
6:2-3! "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And
if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the
smallest matters? KNOW YE NOT THAT WE SHALL JUDGE ANGELS?
There it is!
We shall judge angels! Remember, the wicked spirits, including
Satan, are presently being reserved, being kept in restraint, unto
judgment! That judging is yet to be done !
Now do you see?
The Bible plainly reveals Satan will be cast into the lake of
fire, but the lake of fire will end when the new heavens and new
earth are established, and Satan is to be tormented unto the ages
of the ages! It also shows his torment while in that fire is going
to be MENTAL, at seeing all he has strived toward, worked for,
plotted for, burned up. Christ preached to the spirits on this
earth during the time of the flood as a WITNESS to them! The flood
was a type of the yet future destruction of the earth-this time by
FIRE! Christ was warning them of the impending destruction of all
their works-and their everlasting banishment from this earth! The
exact nature of their ETERNAL punishment is YET TO BE DECIDED!
YOUR BIBLE REVEALS YOU MAY BE INSTRUMENTAL IN DECIDING THAT
Jude gave a slight indication of the possibility of the nature
of that punishment when he used the demons as a type in warning
Christians about false teachers who had crept in unawares. In
reading through the book of Jude, you come to verse 6, where the
demons are mentioned, to the next few verses, where these "filthy
dreamers" are described. Notice how their error is EXACTLY that of
the sinning angels in that they too tried to usurp authority !
"They . . . ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and
perished in the gainsaying of Core..." (verse 11). See Numbers 16,
where Korah tried to usurp the position of God's chosen
Jude continues to describe, "Raging waves of the sea, foaming
out their own shame; wandering stars [see Rev. 1:20, where stars
are symbols of angels], TO WHOM IS RESERVED THE BLACKNESS OF
DARKNESS FOR EVER ! (Verse 13.)
Notice, in Enoch's prophecy, he spoke of coming judgment, ". . .
Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to
execute judgment upon all . . ." (verses 14-15).
As has already been proved-the angels (demons) are definitely
included among those to be judged by the saints! Could this be an
indication of their final fate? They are miserable when disembodied
- wandering through "dry places, seeking rest"! Could this
statement in Jude give us a picture of their punishment? ". . .
Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for
ever"! (Jude 13.)
Part of our awesome responsibility is going to be the judging of
angels! Satan's ultimate destination apparently is yet to be
decided-by the saint.".!
Are you preparing yourself for such a job?
Such an overwhelming responsibility demands a tremendous amount
of wisdom and knowledge! God Almighty has called you and me to much
more than just some inactive, "fluff-fluff" eternity of laziness
and ease! We are going to have the responsibility to rule the
universe with Christ-to do what the fallen angels were unwilling to
accomplish. So great is that responsibility that God says it has
not entered into the heart of man the things He has prepared for
us! (I Cor. 2:9.)
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