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THEOLOGY > Sin > Reality of Satan > Satan's Destiny 


Satan’s future is intricately related to the work of Christ; in the cross of Christ is the beginning of the end for Satan. That is, in Christ’s death Satan’s death, or defeat, is determined.

Jesus answered . . . now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out (Jo. 12:31);

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet (Rom. 16:20);

He himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery (Heb. 2:14-15);

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil (I Jo. 3:8).

To the believers at Rome Paul offered assurance of God’s certain defeat of Satan: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Rom. 16:20). What a strange combination, “the God of peace” will “crush”; at least it should be observed that crushing is not inconsistent with the character of peace. In order for there to be peace, Satan must be crushed—he must be defeated.

The word “crush” translates the Greek word, suntribō, meaning “to break,” “to bruise,” “to deprive of strength.” It appears in Mark 5:4 where the demon possessed man “broke (suntribō) the shackles in pieces” and in Mark. 14:3 where the woman at Bethany “broke (suntribō) the flask.” In John the word in used in connection with Christ: “Not one of His bones will be broken (suntribō)” (19:36) and in Revelation it is used in the following phrase: “as when earthen vessels are broken (suntribō) in pieces” (2:27; also see: Matt. 12:20; Lu. 9:39). What was done to the shackles and flask will be done to Satan. He will be broken—he will be crushed.

The word “crush” is not for the faint-hearted nor for the sentimental believer who is more influenced by nicety than by Truth. To be crushed is to be broken, broken in pieces. For those individuals more oriented to a delicate and civilized Christianity that is devoid of wrath, judgment, hell, and fire, the word “crush” is hard and unloving. But those who espouse such maudlin sentiments are manifesting, perhaps unconsciously, an antipathy for Biblical Revelation. The weak-minded church of western culture must come to grips with the fact that the God who love also hates.

This crushing will take place “soon.” From the perspective of Scripture last things are always “near” or will occur “soon”; there are three observations: one, the certainty of the event makes it close at hand, for faith sees the future with the same assurance as if it had already occurred; two, from the standpoint of time, a day with the Lord is the same as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day, implying that time has no meaning; and three, prophecy requires certainty, and if an event is predicted, it will come to pass shortly, meaning that nothing will hinder its occurrence.

In order that Satan might be destroyed and salvation effected, that is, that Satan might be defeated, the Son of Man appeared. Jesus came so that the ruler of this world would be cast out (Jo. 12:31) and crushed (Rom. 16:20), so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death (Heb. 2:14-15) and thereby destroy the works of the devil (I Jo. 3:8).

As history comes to its conclusion, Satan will be brought to his final state of judgment. The following events will unfold: he will be cast down to the earth, denied access to heaven; he will be confined to the pit for one thousand years; he will be released for a brief period during which time he will perpetrate his final deeds of wickedness; and ultimately he will be cast into the lake of fire.

Satan will be cast down to the earth and confined to the earth: “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth . . . but woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you . . . ” (Rev. 12:9, 12). “Down” describes what is taking place: Satan is cast out of heaven, thrown down, by the One he has opposed throughout history; and Satan comes down to the earth. In this one word, there is the beginning of the end for the evil one; and in this one word is insight into the extreme limitations that Satan has when compared to the power of God. Satan can do nothing but go down.

Satan will be thrown down with those who have followed him: “and his angels were thrown down with him” (Rev. 12:9). The angels who originally chose Satan will accompany him when he is thrown down; the consequences of those past decisions are long in coming to pass, but they will come to consummation. So it is today, those who choose Satan will join him in his final defeat; evil cannot, if God is God, finally triumph. There is justice in the cosmos. Improper decisions have results that may be delayed but will not be denied.

After being thrown down Satan will be filled with rage: “but woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath” (Rev. 12:12; “wrath” is “fury” in the NIV). The Greek for “wrath” is thymos, a word used in the following chapters of the wrath of God (14:8, 10, 19; 15:1, 7; 16:1; 18:3) and once of the anger of Satan (12:12). Who can imagine the “wrath” or “rage” of the evil one?

When he is thrown down Satan’s end is near: “he knows that his time is short” (Rev. 12:12). Satan is aware of the certainty of his demise and its nearness, and because of this he is filled with rage and determined during this brief period to vent his wrath on the earth, especially the believers.

After a brief period of cruelty Satan will be confined to the pit – “And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan . . . and threw him into the pit” (Rev. 20:2).

Satan will be confined to the pit for one thousand years: “And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years” (Rev. 19:2-3). Whether the thousand years is literal or not is a minor point; the major point is that for an extended period of time Satan’s influence on earth will be terminated. Are we to assume that the activity of demons during this time will also cease?

Satan will be released from the pit in order to perform his final deeds: “And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison” (Rev. 20:7). After his release, Satan will go out “to deceive the nations” and “to gather them for battle” (Rev. 20:8) in what will be his last act of opposition to God. Fire from heaven will destroy those who align with him.

Satan will be cast into the lake of fire: “And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10).

Satan will not be alone in the lake of fire: “Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’” (Matt. 25:41). Though the fire was prepared for Satan and his followers, those who reject the Lord will spend eternity with the evil one in the place of the damned.

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