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Bible verses about Satan's Removal
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Genesis 3:14   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Fossils tell us plainly that before this time snakes looked as they do now, so God did not strip the serpent of legs and/or wings at this time, as some suppose in reading this verse literally. [In the same way, God did not suddenly create rainbows in Noah's day, but gave them new significance (Genesis 9:8-17).] God's words fit the facts better when taken figuratively.

His curse on serpents covers what they symbolize to men, which we can see when the verse is correctly translated. "More than" in Genesis 3:14 has the sense of "apart from," meaning that God sets the snake apart from other cattle or beasts to represent the Devil, the ultimate cause and originator of sin.

Thus, that the snake would crawl on its belly and eat dust is not literal but symbolic. Both of these figures, written in parallel clauses, signify humiliation. Snakes symbolize abasement or ignominy because of sin. Why? God wanted the snake to be a constant reminder, not only to humanity but to Satan as well, that the Devil's ultimate fate will be the humiliation of his gargantuan pride. He will cower on his belly before God and eat dust!

Isaiah uses a different figure, but the result is the same: "Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit" (Isaiah 14:15). Since, as far as we know, Satan cannot be destroyed, he must be humiliated and imprisoned. During the Millennium, God will do this by locking him in the Bottomless Pit (Revelation 20:1-3), and after he is released "for a little while" at its end, God will then cast him into the Lake of Fire (verses 7-10).

Ezekiel also brings out this humiliating end:

Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you. You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever. (Ezekiel 28:17-19)

The Bible, from beginning to end, repeats the certainty of Satan's ultimate humiliation and punishment. In Genesis 3, God makes sure Adam and Eve know that they had chosen the losing side!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The First Prophecy (Part One)


 

Acts 3:19-21   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Consider the result of Satan's removal. Once the Deceiver is neutralized, refreshing and restitution can begin! Christ and the saints will immediately work to restore the earth to its beauty and productivity (Isaiah 35). God's perfect government and laws will be reinstituted, bringing peace and prosperity to all who submit to them (Isaiah 2:1-4). In a spirit of harmony, everyone will pitch in to rebuild the waste places and ruins caused by man's and Satan's sins (Isaiah 58:12; 61:4; Amos 9:14). This is the wonderful World Tomorrow that all of God's people have looked toward since the Garden of Eden! All that is good—very good (Genesis 1:31)—will be restored!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Holy Days: Atonement


 

Revelation 20:7-10   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

After the thousand years of imprisonment, Satan will be released for a short while. During his parole, he will again unite some of the nations and take them to war against God's people. But this rebellion will be summarily ended when God sends fire out of heaven to destroy them. Because he is spirit and cannot die, the Devil will then be sentenced to eternal torment in the Lake of Fire. Finally, God and man will be rid of their chief enemy, and peace will flourish for all eternity!

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Basic Doctrines: Satan's Origin and Destiny


 

Revelation 20:7-10   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

God will release Satan for a short time when the thousand years end. The people, familiar with Christ and His kings and priests, will have lived in unprecedented peace, happiness, and prosperity. They will have learned and lived God's way from birth. Surely, Satan could have no influence on them!

Almost instantly, however, he will raise an army of people "as the sand of the sea" out of "the four corners of the earth"! His arguments will persuade them that they should and can destroy Christ and his throne in Jerusalem. God, however, will annihilate them all in a blinding flash of fire from heaven and cast the Devil into the Lake of Fire, never to be freed again!

Staff
Holy Days: Feast of Tabernacles


 

Revelation 20:10   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Before the explosion of modern translations, the final sentence of Revelation 20:10 roused no one's skepticism. But the newer versions bring out the fact that the verb here (basanisthesontai) is plural and is correctly rendered "they will be tormented." Who are "they"? Does this indeed include the Beast and False Prophet? Does God torment the wicked eternally? There are two ways to explain these questions:

1) The Bible denies any idea of men having an innate immortality. These wicked leaders of men in the last days will die and burn to ashes soon after being thrust into the Lake of Fire, their souls and bodies destroyed by Him who is able to do this in Gehenna fire (Matthew 10:28). This fact would exclude any human from being described as "tormented day and night forever and ever."

The only group left is the fallen angels—Satan and his demons. Jesus says in Luke 20:36, "Nor can [a resurrected saint] die anymore, for they are equal to the angels." Created spirit beings, angels, cannot die! Earlier, Satan was bound in the bottomless pit, but after his subsequent rebellion, God decides that eternal torment in the Lake of Fire is a just punishment for one so evil. If men choose not to repent, God can mercifully snuff out their existence. Fallen angels, however, must live eternally with the consequences of their sins.

But, one may counter, "the devil" in Revelation 20:10 is singular, and "they will be tormented" is plural. How is this reconciled? In this case, "the devil" is used in a figure of speech called metonymy. Technically, it is "the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated." More simply, one part of a thing represents the whole. Thus, "the devil" represents in himself all of the group we call demons, devils, fallen angels, angels that sinned, etc.

A parallel verse in Matthew 25:41 says that sinners will be cast into "the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." This shows that the Lake of Fire's primary purpose is for the eternal torment of demons, but it will also be used as the means of execution for the wicked among humans. While men will be completely annihilated, the unkillable demons will simply suffer.

2) If we understand "they will be tormented" to include the Beast and the False Prophet, we must explain the phrase "forever and ever" (eis tous aionas ton aionon). Literally, this means "to the ages of the ages," and would seem to imply perpetuity. However, we must be careful with the word aion. Its range of meaning runs from "a space or period of time" to "a lifetime" to "an age" to "eternity." As in all such cases, the context must give the sense.

Having rejected the immortality of the soul, we have no recourse but to understand aion here in the sense of "as long as conditions exist" or "as long as they live." Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words concurs:

AION . . . signifies a period of indefinite duration, or time viewed in relation to what takes place in the period. . . . The phrases containing this word should not be rendered literally, but consistently with its sense of indefinite duration. (p. 43)

Thus, the Beast and False Prophet will be tormented forever until they die, probably within a few minutes or a few hours. The demons, however, not able to die, will suffer torment without end, receiving a cruel fate that is just payment for their deceptions and murders throughout history.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Eternal Torment?


 

 




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