Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
Satan's Destiny is not Hell
January 21, 2011
"But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and
sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and
brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8 NASB)
The last issue dealt with what, I believe to be the spiritual or figurative meaning of the word brimstone
as presented in scripture, especially in reference to the lake of fire, which I have written about
previously. I won't cover that ground in this issue, so please see #04-1039, April 10, 2010, Lake of Fire .
H owever, I have one more thought about brimstone that I was unable to include in the last issue.
A good friend of mine brought something to my attention that fits with what has been shared, and it
deals with the common image people have of Satan and his present abode.
When people are asked to describe Satan's domain, that is, his environment, many, if not most,
probably would answer that it is a place of fire and brimstone (burning noxious sulfur), which is how hell
is often described. You know, a hellhole in the midst of the earth with fire shooting up all over the place
with the poor sinners being tortured in these flames as worms are coming out of their ears. Really; this
is what some people believe.
By the way, supposedly, the entrance to this hellhole is called the gates of hell , which is based on an
incorrect understanding of Jesus' words to Peter.
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of
Hades will not overpower it." (Matthew 16:18 NASB)
The King James and other translations incorrectly use the word hell instead of Hades, which is simply
the unconscious state of the dead, or more specifically, the unseen state of the soul.
Over the years, I have heard it preached many times that "the gates of hell will not prevail against the
church," meaning that Satan and his dominion will not overcome the church. The problem is that this is
not what Jesus was stating to Peter and the others.
To be balanced in this discussion, there are others who see the gates of hell as simply the authority of
Satan and his minions that rule the air. Ones who hold this view do not necessarily see hell as a fiery
place at this time. Instead, they see the fiery hell coming into view with a literal lake of fire. Obviously,
they hold to two different views of hell that are separated by thousands of years. It is all so very
confusing! So, let us see if we can clear up this confusion, based on scripture and not on paganism or
the traditions of men.
The gates of Hades are not the gates of hell, that is, the modern-day concept of hell held by so many
Christians and non-Christians alike. They are more properly called the gates of death or the grave. For
more explanation, please see issue #03-0955, April 22, 2009, The Gates of Hades .
When David was being pursued by his enemies, he cried to the Lord: Be gracious to me, O LORD;
See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death (Psalm
9:13 NASB).
When Hezekiah was on the verge of death, he cried out: I said, In the noontide of my days I shall go
into the gates of Sheol [Hades (Gr.) or grave]: I am deprived of the residue of my years. (Isaiah
38:10 ASV)
Returning to Jesus' word on the gates of Hades: The fact of the matter is Jesus told His disciples that
death would not overcome the church because He was about to overcome death, not only for the
church but for the whole of mankind. The proof is that, after stating this, Jesus began to tell His
disciples that He would be killed and then raised up on the third day (Matthew 16:21).
Now, this is what my good friend brought to my attention.
Here is a question for those who see Satan's present domain as a place of fire and brimstone called
hell , with all its usual modern-day, hellfire preaching, and movie-hyped characterizations: Why does
God cast the Devil into hell at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ?
The Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are
the beast and the false prophet… (Revelation 20:10 YLT)
How can the hell of today be Satan's abode if he is going to be cast into the supposedly same hell in
the future? Why cast the Devil into an abode that is well-suited for him? How will he be tormented if he
is in his natural environment? Obviously, the answer is that he would not be tormented in such an
environment. He would actually enjoy it. Thus, a literal fiery place of fire and brimstone cannot presently
be the Devil's environment, nor will it be his literal environment in the future [emphasis on literal ].
As presented in the last issue, fire and brimstone come from God's throne and is of God and not from
Satan's domain. Brimstone signifies the cleansing and purifying power of divine righteousness that
saves. In other words, the fiery law of God and divine brimstone will cleanse and purify Satan in the
same way all the unjust will be cleansed and purified until [by] the consummation of the ages [eons].
Yes, you read correctly. I am sure some of you are asking: Do you mean to tell me that God is actually
going to redeem Satan, as well, after all the carnage he has brought to mankind? Yes; why not! After
all, God is the creator of good and evil, and He created the old crooked serpent to sin and be the father
of lies, right from the beginning (1 John 3:8). It was all part of God's plan. See issues #03-09121, May
6, 2009, Crooked, Ancient Serpent , and #03-09122, May 8, 2009, Why God Created Good and Evil .
By the way, surely, Satan will be tormented in God's fiery law of righteousness but not excruciatingly
tortured. Experiencing God's righteousness will be torment, in some measure, for all the unrighteous.
The eonian purpose of God is to be all in all, and, since Adam, God has been implementing His plan to
achieve this purpose. Paul tells us God's plan is to subject all things to His Son, so that, ultimately, He,
that is, God the Father may be all in all. To do this, all forms of death, the first and the second, must be
abolished. No one or thing can remain in the lake of fire, which is the second death, for this to be true.
When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One
who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:28 NASB)
Undoubtedly, Satan's place in the lake of fire will last for the full age of God's day, through to the end of
the ages of the ages or the eons of the eons (literal rendering). The proper translation of Revelation
20:10 is: They shall be tormented day and night–to the ages of the ages (YLT).
At the consummation of the ages, death will be abolished and all will be restored to God so that the
Father will be All in All New (1 Corinthians 15:20-28; Revelation 21:5). Do you think anything will be
left out of God's all? How can He be All in all if a literal raging, fiery oven of torment and torture exists
and continues for eternity? It is impossible! There is no exclusion in God's all. What part of God's all are
we to leave out? God's created beings failed, but God is love never fails.
Why? Because love never fails! (1 Corinthians 13:8) Thank God!
The Upward Call: #05-1121 [529]
By: Stuart H. Pouliot