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    §5. SATAN A WANDERER

    Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven, but we do not read that any certain dwelling-place was assigned to them. The idea largely prevails that there is a place called hell, of the creation of which we have no account, burning with fire of the most intense heat, into which they were cast, and where they endure perpetual torment. And it is further believed that there they wait with fiendish anxiety for the souls of the wicked, which go to the same place at death, and that the demons, even in the midst of their own unutterable anguish, find delight in torturing these lost souls. And some eminent religious teachers, held in reverence for their wisdom and piety, have taught that the torment in this fire rapidly increases as the blasphemies of the damned multiply against God. And, not content with the horrors of this picture, they have even taught that the saints in glory look down upon their agonies with self-complacent satisfaction, and praise God for the multitude of his mercies!ATNM 71.1

    We are happy to know that this horrible theory has no foundation in the word of God. It had its origin in the mythology and superstition of the heathen. The doctrine that the joys of the saved are increased by their beholding the ever-increasing torments of the lost, is a fitting accompaniment to the lowest superstitions of heathenism.ATNM 72.1

    But, however abhorrent to the finer feelings of humanity a theory may be, when it once gets a footing there will be found those who will try to prove a warrant for it from the Scriptures. Thus, the Saviour’s words in Matthew 25:41 are perverted to make them serve that theory. But the whole transaction of which the Saviour spoke in that place is yet future. That Satan and his followers will be destroyed in a lake of fire is plainly revealed in the Scriptures; but that lake of fire is not yet prepared-is not yet in existence, as will be shown when we come to consider the entire destruction of the works of the devil.ATNM 72.2

    It cannot be possible that Satan and his angels are confined in any such place of torment, for the Scriptures speak of Satan as going to and fro in the earth to deceive and destroy the children of men. If this is their privilege, why do they return to the torments of hell? And if it is their privilege to abandon those realms of torture, how can they be called their dwelling-place, to which they were cast down?ATNM 72.3

    This theory is not in harmony with the Scriptures; it was, evidently, planned by an enemy of the truth of God, in order to make the truth itself appear absurd and ridiculous in the eyes of reasoning people. That Satan and his angels are not yet in the torment to which they are reserved, is proved by an expression found in Matthew 8:29. In the country of the Gergesenes two men who were possessed with demons met Jesus, and the demons cried out to him: “What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” This shows that we are correct in saying that Matthew 25:41, which speaks of some departing into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels, is yet future; the place of torment is not yet prepared, and the time of torment is not yet come.ATNM 72.4

    The difficulty in understanding this subject is increased by the fact that there are three different words which are rendered hell, in the English version of the New Testament.ATNM 73.1

    1. Hades; this is quite generally considered to be synonymous with the grave, yet it has a more extensive meaning. It is equivalent to the Hebrew word sheol, which means a condition or state of the dead, without regard to burial or a burial place. All the dead are in sheol, or hades, whether they are buried or unburied. This word is used in Psalm 16:10, quoted by Peter in Acts 2:27, to prove the resurrection of Christ. It is never used with reference to a place of torment, or of punishment, only as it is connected with death, which is the punishment for sin. Christ’s soul was not left in sheol, or hades, translated hell. But his soul did not go to a place of torment. His sufferings were in his death upon the cross.ATNM 73.2

    2. Gehenna; this is the place of final punishment, and is often connected with fire, as in Matthew 5:22. But as yet this has no existence.ATNM 74.1

    Jude uses language similar to that of Peter: “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” Jude 6. They are in chains of darkness, reserved unto the great day of judgment.1This we may understand as the same as being cast down to Tartarus. And another point is fixed by this testimony. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul says we wrestle against principalities, against powers, and against spiritual wickedness, or perhaps, more literally, spirits of wickedness, in high places. Jude uses the same word, translated “first estate,” that Paul here uses, translated “principalities.” Some versions render Jude thus: “kept not their principality.” These texts refer to the same principalities, the same powers, wicked spirits, or fallen angels.ATNM 74.2

    As to their present location, Paul says that Satan is the prince of the power of the air. Ephesians 2:2. The Scriptures seem to teach that Satan and his angels were doomed to be wanderers, having no home in the creation of God, no orb that they can call their own-their rightful resting-place. Man was created to inhabit this world. We may reasonably suppose that all things were created for their own spheres. The angels were created to fill a place in heaven, Satan, or Lucifer, having a place assigned to him near the throne of God. But Satan and his angels kept not their principality; they left “their own habitation,” as Jude says, and we do not learn that any other was given them. Cast into outer darkness! Compared to the glory of heaven, the regions of this earth, where sin and the curse everywhere appear, must be dark and gloomy.ATNM 74.3

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