When Satan Goes to His Eternal Abode
by Pastor Lee Roberson, D.D. (1909-2007)
"And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." — REVELATION 20:10
There are some Bible themes that give the preacher a peculiar joy. The doom of the devil is one of them. When we look around us and see the effects of sin and Satan, we are glad to announce his final doom. When we look back over the world's history and see the gruesome, blasting work of Satan, we are glad that the Bible gives us the assurance of his destruction and torment.
There are five things I want to give you about Satan and his eternal abode.
I. Satan's Record in Heaven
Satan was once a beautiful angel in Heaven. His pride became so great that it brought his expulsion from Heaven.
"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
Lucifer refers to Satan. It means "Day-star." After he was put out of Heaven, his name was Satan, which means adversary. The "I will" of Lucifer marked the beginning of sin in the universe. The shortest definition of sin is man's will against God's will.
Satan was cast out of Heaven, but he still has access to Heaven and is able to go and to accuse believers. This is illustrated in Job 1:6-12:
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD."
II. Satan's Reign on the Earth
When Satan was cast out of Heaven, he came to the earth. The Word clearly indicates the great power that Satan has in connection with this world. Paul speaks of him as "the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2). In 2nd Corinthians 4:4 the apostle calls him "the god of this world."
Jesus referred to Satan as the prince of this world. "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me" (John 14:30). These verses reveal to us the power of Satan and his place of rulership on the earth.
If you hesitate to accept the fact of the Devil, there is a simple test that you can make which will convince you forever that there is a Devil of power. Accept Christ as you Saviour and begin to work for God and you will soon find out about the adversary. There is a tremendous war going on in the world. It is Christ against Satan. It is light against darkness. It is life against death.
Satan's success in his work is evidenced by the hospitals, the insane asylums, the jails, the constant turmoil of the world. It is because of Satan that our nation spends fifteen billions of dollars per year on crime. Lawlessness is not of God; it is of Satan. No wonder that Paul exhorted us to put on the whole armour of God.
We read in Ephesians 6:11-17:
"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
There would be no sense in giving such a recommendation if there were not a war going on.
III. Satan's Removal From the Earth
In the previous message we spoke of the day when Satan will be removed from the earth.
This is clearly prophesied in Revelation 20:1-3:
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season."
He will be taken as a common criminal and cast into the bottomless pit. He will no longer have any power upon this earth.
When this glad day comes and he is removed, the kingdom of Christ will begin in its fulness upon the earth. The nature of wild beasts will be changed. Wars and rumours of wars will be at an end. The knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth. The curse will be removed from the earth. The saints will rule and reign with the Christ. Christ Himself will rule from the throne of David.
When will this chaining of Satan take place? At the close of the tribulation period and after the battle of Armageddon is finished. It may be very near to us, thank God!
IV. Satan's Release for a Little Season
During the thousand year reign of Christ, the Devil will be chained. During all of this time we will rule and rejoice with Christ. But after the thousand years comes another event of great interest and significance.
"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. -- REVELATION 20:7-9
These verses reveal two very pertinent facts: first, human nature is unchanged; second, Satan's nature will be unchanged by the thousand years in the bottomless pit.
Satan has always been a deceiver. He was a deceiver in the Garden of Eden. He is today. Satan is an attractive deceiver. He does not appear in ugly form to men, but in a beautiful fashion. He makes himself into an angel of light. Plain, fleshly human nature has always been the same. It is willing to be deceived and led astray by Satan. After the thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth, there will be those who will follow Satan in a final revolt against God.
Who are the ones whom Satan will deceive? They are the ones who will be born in the millennium, born not to the resurrected or translated saints, but born to the people of the nations who enter into the kingdom of God after the judgment of living nations. They cannot be any other. This will be a test for the people born in the millennium. Remember they have had no testing during the thousand years, because Satan has been chained, but now comes the test.
A great number join with the Devil and he leads them against the camp of the saints and the beloved city. The end comes swiftly for all--and "fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them."
Here is a sad fact--but it offers encouragement to those of us who have many disappointments in people. The fact is this: after a thousand years with Christ as King of the earth there will be those who will turn away from Him and go after Satan. It emphasizes the fact that the heart is incurably evil.
V. Satan's Reward in Hell
"And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." -- REVELATION 20:10
Satan has never been in Hell. He is not in Hell now. He will not be in Hell until after the millennial reign of Christ. When he goes to hell, will he be king? No! He will suffer torment as any other lost sinner. He will suffer in a place where the fire is not quenched. After a thousand years the beast and false prophet are still there and unconsumed.
Satan's battle is a losing one. He cannot win. He is a person of power and tricks, but his final doom is set. Those who line up with him will fail also. They will suffer with him in Hell forever. I want no part with the Devil. I want my life to count for Christ and for God.
SOURCE: Chapter 12 from the excellent book, Some Golden Daybreak, by Dr. Lee Roberson, D.D. (copyright 1957)
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