THE LAKE OF FIRE JUDGEMENT AGE - PART 2
God’s Final Judgement of All Fallen Angels
Before we discuss the main theme of this chapter, ‘God’s final judgement of Satan and the fallen angels’, we need to first have a clear grasp of some important information about angels, as given in the Bible.
The Bible mentions angels approximately 300 times. The Hebrew word for angel is mal’ak and the Greek word is aggelos, both of which mean messenger. Angels are ministering spirits whom God created as immortal beings in very large numbers, perhaps totalling many billions. Angels, besides other names, are referred to as ‘sons of God’ in the Bible (Job 1:6).
God created angels before He created the universe. He created the universe with the earth instantaneously in the beginning, which marked the beginning of time, the beginning of the ages. God created the earth in such a beautiful perfect condition as a garden, teeming with plant and animal life, that the angels responded with singing and shouts of joy. God put angels in charge of His beautifully created earth with Lucifer as the leading angel. This was in the Pre-Adamic Age before God created man. Full details of the Pre-Adamic Age and the consequences of the sins of angels are given in Chapter 24, The Biblical Truth of the Pre-Adamic Age.
At some point in the Pre-Adamic Age, Lucifer, who became Satan, convinced a third of the angels to join him in a rebellion against God. They ascended from their assigned domain, the earth, up to heaven (God’s dwelling place) to try to usurp God’s throne. God judged these rebellious angels for their sins when He severely punished them by violently casting them back down to earth. God chained Satan and his fallen angels in spiritual darkness, and confined them, limiting their movements to earth and its heaven (earth’s atmosphere).
This judgement of God against the sinful fallen angels resulted in a total global cataclysmic destruction of the earth’s surface and sudden extinction of all Pre-Adamic plant and animal life. The earth became totally ruined, dark, flooded and frozen (Genesis 1:2).
When God renewed the earth with its atmosphere approximately six-ten thousand years ago and created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, Satan and his fallen angels were already present, and it was on this renewed earth with its renewed atmosphere that Satan deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden.
After approximately 1700 years into the Adamic Age, God destroyed the world of Noah because the wickedness of man was great in the earth. God especially hated the sins of ‘the sons of God’ who saw that the daughters of men were attractive and took them as their wives. These ‘sons of God’ were a specific group of fallen angels who were having abnormal sexual relationships with some women that resulted in abnormal offspring, which were the giant race called Nephilim.
When God destroyed Noah’s world through flooding, God imprisoned this group of fallen angels. This was obviously to prevent them from engaging in any further sexual sin with the daughters of men. Jesus Christ went to preach to this group of evil spirits in their prison following His resurrection, as given in 1 Peter 3:19-20. What was Jesus’s purpose and why did He go to preach to these imprisoned spirits? We shall comment on the significance of this and answer these questions later in this chapter.
Will Satan and his fallen angels be reconciled to God through the work of the cross? The answer is a definite yes. The whole purpose of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is for God to reconcile without exception, all things in heaven and all things on earth to Himself. God’s Plan of Universal Reconciliation is clearly, wonderfully and powerfully given in Colossians 1:15-20. This scripture definitely and unambiguously includes the reconciliation of all fallen angels through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities (arche) or powers (exousia). All things were created through Him and for Him.
17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
These verses are constructed in such a way that they leave absolutely no room for any doubt whatsoever that the word all can only mean all, without any exception. The Holy Spirit, who inspired Apostle Paul to write this scripture, repeats the word all seven times before coming to the key verse, verse 20, which says that God will reconcile all things to Himself through Jesus Christ. If you believe verse 16 that Jesus Christ created all things in heaven and on earth, all things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, then you have no option but to also believe verse 20, which says that Jesus Christ will reconcile the same all things that He created.
‘Thrones or dominions or principalities or powers’ as given in verse 16, definitely include Satan and his fallen angels. The truth that God will even reconcile all fallen angels exalts God’s power, wisdom, love, mercy, forgiveness and His justice to the full. God tells us to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:17-21), and God will ultimately overcome all evil with good, so that the purpose of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the universal reconciliation of all things is absolutely and completely fulfilled.
Let us clearly see from the Bible that the expression ‘thrones or dominions or principalities or powers’, as given in verse 16 above, includes Satan and his fallen angels.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities (arche), against powers (exousia), against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (earth’s heaven – its atmosphere).
Please note that the Greek words arche and exousia used for principalities and powers here in Ephesians 6:12 are talking about the Satanic spiritual principalities and powers and their cunning attacks ‘the wiles of the devil’, and we are told that they do not refer to people ‘flesh and blood’. Also, note that these ‘principalities and powers’ are ‘the rulers of darkness of this age’, and ‘spiritual hosts of wickedness’, who are of course, Satan (the devil) and his fallen angels (evil spirits/demons). It is very important to realise that arche and exousia are the same Greek words used in Colossians 1:16 for principalities and powers. So, it is clear that Colossians 1:15-20 most definitely includes the reconciliation of Satan and all fallen angels through the blood of the cross.
Let us believe the Bible that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross is all powerful and all sufficient to reconcile to Father God, not only all fallen men but also all fallen angels. Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world, which includes the sins of fallen angels (1 John 2:2). This means that every creature, all men and all angels separated from God through sin, is covered by the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross. Revelation 5:13 is a beautiful prophecy of worship to Father God and His Son from every creature, without a single exception.
And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”
This glorious worship can only take place after all fallen sinful humanity and all fallen sinful angels have first been reconciled to Father God through the finished work of the cross.
There are four so-called 'proof texts' normally used by those who believe that Satan and his fallen angels will not be reconciled to God. These are Hebrews 2:16-18, 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6 and Revelation 20:10. Let us now examine each of these texts in turn.
16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
In this present age, it is not God’s purpose to deal with Satan and his fallen angels, and God is not ‘giving aid to’ them by saving and reconciling them now. Since the time of Adam and Eve up until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, God is only giving aid to men by calling and choosing a few to believe the Gospel in this life. These are His Elect Bride, whom He is preparing for a special salvation to rise as the Firstfruits in the First Resurrection (1 Timothy 4:10). God has allowed Satan and his fallen angels to remain in spiritual darkness until their final judgement in the Lake of Fire when they will be ‘given aid’ and reconciled to God through the work of the cross as Colossians 1:15-20 clearly confirms.
Jesus Christ, through His work on the cross, destroyed Satan, who is the devil, who had the power of death. Not only did Jesus destroy Satan by His work on the cross, but He also destroyed death itself, which is called the last enemy (Hebrews 2:14-15, 1 Corinthians 15:25-26).
From God’s perspective, both Satan and death no longer exist because it is only a matter of time, at the creation of the Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth, that the work of the cross will be fully realised. This is when all things on earth and all things in heaven will have been reconciled to God through the blood of the cross.
When death, which is the last enemy, is destroyed, the only thing that can burst forth is life, which is the resurrected born again immortal life in Christ for all people. In a similar way, when Satan is ‘destroyed’, then he will be changed back to his original created state as a holy ministering angel. Please note that Satan cannot be annihilated out of existence because Satan is a spirit, an angelic being with an immortal body, and God created all angels to live forever.
It is God’s nature to overcome evil with good, and ultimately, God will overcome all evil with good (Romans 12:21). The false doctrine of hell teaches that God overcomes evil with even more evil, which is completely against the nature of God.
2 Peter 2:4
For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell (tartaroo) and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.
In this verse, the Greek word tartaroo has been mistranslated as hell. Tartaroo is used only once in the Bible, and the context in which it appears reveals the meaning of the word as a prison of spiritual darkness.
As commented earlier in this chapter, Satan and his fallen angels were cast back down to earth when they first sinned by rebelling against God during the Pre-Adamic Age. They remain confined to this earth and its heaven (earth’s atmosphere) in spiritual darkness, reserved for their final judgement in the Lake of Fire. The Bible says that true believers, God's Elect who are the Bride of Christ, will rule and reign with Jesus Christ and they will have the privilege of judging angels.
1 Corinthians 6:3
Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
Satan and all his fallen angels are awaiting their final judgement, which will be in the Lake of Fire. This will happen after all resurrected unbelieving people have first been judged in the same Lake of Fire and reconciled to God.
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting (aidios) chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
Notice that the fallen angels are kept in ‘everlasting’ spiritual darkness for judgement. The context clearly shows that the ‘everlasting’ chains last only until the judgement of the great day. This verse is better translated in the New Living Translation as:
And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment.
‘The great day of judgment’ refers to God’s refining and corrective Lake of Fire Judgement Age when all resurrected unbelievers and all fallen angels will be judged and reconciled to God, as confirmed by the scripture Colossians 1:15-20.
The angels, whom God has ‘securely chained in prisons of darkness’ until their final judgement, will be captives set free when they come to understand and believe, through God’s refining Lake of Fire Judgement, that Christ also died for their sins.
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone (theion) where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented (basanizo) day and night forever (aion) and ever (aion).
In this verse, the NKJV, like all of the Bible versions which support the doctrine of hell, mistranslates the Greek word aion to mean forever, when the correct translation should be an age or ages, as determined by its context in scripture. We cover the mistranslation of aion in detail in Chapter 17.
The Lake of Fire judgement of Satan and his fallen angels, together with the beast and the false prophet, will last for an age of the ages and not forever and ever. This is a serious mistranslation of aion in the NKJV and in other popular versions of the Bible. Such mistranslations negate the truth of the Gospel that Jesus Christ will reconcile to Father God absolutely everything in heaven and on earth, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Also, please note in Revelation 20:10 above that the Greek word theion is translated as brimstone. The full meaning of theion is “divine incense, because burning brimstone was regarded as having power to purify, and to ward off disease” (Strong’s G2303).
Also in this verse, the Greek word basanizo has been mistranslated as torment. The correct meaning of basanizo is “to test (metals) by the touchstone, which is a black siliceous stone used to test the purity of gold or silver by the colour of the streak produced on it by rubbing it with either metal” (Strong’s G928).
All of these three Greek words:
- aion for an age with a definite duration having a beginning and an end, as determined by its context in this scripture,
- theion for brimstone indicating divine purifying power, and
- basanizo for its characteristic of testing purity,
clearly prove that the Lake of Fire is not a tormenting everlasting hell, but it is God’s refining and purifying fire of judgement lasting for an age.
Why did Jesus go to preach to the spirits in prison?
As previously commented, Jesus went to preach to the spirits in prison following His resurrection. God had imprisoned these spirits, a specific group of fallen angels, to stop them from committing any further abominable and abnormal sexual sin with the ‘daughters of men’, which they did during the time of Noah, before the flood.
1 Peter 3:18-20
18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 19 by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, 20 Who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
Note that this scripture says that ‘Christ suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust’. All fallen angels and all fallen men are the unjust for whom Jesus Christ suffered on the cross. When Jesus died on the cross, all fallen angels witnessed the death of Jesus Christ except the imprisoned group of fallen angels who were no longer free to roam the earth, as spirits of the air, like Satan and the other fallen angels. It was important for Jesus to preach the work of the cross, as a witness, to these imprisoned fallen angels, because Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the whole world, which includes the abominable sexual sins of this group of imprisoned fallen angels. Please note that the purpose of Jesus Christ was only to witness to these imprisoned spirits, and not to reconcile them at that time.
When Jesus Christ returns to establish His Millennial Kingdom, we know from Scripture that Satan will be cast into the bottomless pit. We believe that all of the rest of the fallen angels will either be imprisoned with Satan in the bottomless pit, or cast into the lake of fire of molten lava below the earth’s crust, along with the beast and the false prophet. Satan and all of his fallen angels will be released from their prisons at the end of the Millennial Age to go out to deceive the nations of Gog and Magog, who rise in the Second Resurrection, and cause them to rebel against Jesus and His Saints located in Jerusalem. God will crush this rebellion and cast Satan and all of his fallen angels into the Lake of Fire for their final judgement. This is when they will be refined, repent of unbelief in God’s only begotten Son, and be reconciled to God through the work of the cross.
John 12:32 (NIV)
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.
Please note that in the Greek Manuscripts, verse 32 above simply says, ‘And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all to myself’. Therefore, the NIV translators have mistranslated this verse to imply that Jesus will draw only all people to Himself. The cross of Jesus Christ has unlimited power to draw not only all fallen men, but also all fallen angels. Ultimately, in God’s time and His order, which extends beyond this age, Jesus will draw all to Himself, which includes all fallen angels.
All angels were created to be ministering spirits to God and men, and none of them were created to be kept in chains of spiritual darkness forever. God’s power, His love and His justice will ensure that Satan and all fallen angels will repent and be transformed back to their original holy state, which they enjoyed when they were first created. They will willingly, humbly, joyfully and thankfully minister to God and men forever, along with the other two-thirds of the holy angels, as created ‘sons of God’. They will all be part of God’s huge family in the Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth.
The Eternal Kingdom of God of the New Heaven and the New Earth will not be established on this earth until God has first cleansed, purified and renewed the earth and its heaven (earth’s atmosphere) by His physical fire, and also judged, refined, purified, saved and reconciled all fallen men and all fallen angels through His Holy Spiritual Fire.
In this chapter, we have shown from scripture that the reconciliation of all things through the finished work of the cross most definitely includes the reconciliation of Satan and his fallen angels. Colossians 1:15-20, and Revelation 5:13 given below, clearly and powerfully confirm this.
And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”