Martin Luther Collection: Luther, Martin - A Mighty Fortress Is Our God: CHAPTER VI: SATANâ€OS END

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Martin Luther Collection: Luther, Martin - A Mighty Fortress Is Our God: CHAPTER VI: SATANâ€OS END

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“Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.” (Eze_28:18-19) Thus the fate of the Wicked One is sealed. He sinned through evil pride and continues in his campaign of autonomy from God by untruth; opposed to all that is holy and righteous, he will eventually meet his end at the predetermined appointment of God. In contemplation of Satan's end, four stages of sentencing and execution must be understood: (1) His Judgment. (2) His Expulsion. (3) His Binding and Confining. (4) His Final Doom.

His Judgment

Satan is the defeated enemy of God. He is, however, allowed to carry out his foolish and futile plans to be independent of God and claim the worship that is due only to God. He is defeated, but not yet destroyed; he has been sentenced, but that sentence has not yet been executed. This delay of sentence may be illustrated by “the history of Saul and David. It is natural that David, the first to occupy the Davidic throne, should be a type of Christ, the last and most glorious occupant of that throne (Luk_1:31-33). As there was a period between the anointing of David and the final banishment of Saul, in which Saul reigned as a usurper, though under Divine sentence and David was the God-appointed king: in like manner there is now a similar period in which Satan rules as a usurper, though under sentence; and the actual occupation of the throne by Christ is still future. In this period Satan, the rejected monarch, still rules; hunting to the death all those who have allied themselves with Christ, the God-anointed King.” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Satan, electronic text) The period between Satan’s sentencing and its execution is marked by three events: (1) Lucifer’s removal from office. (2) His sentence foretold by God in Eden and by Christ. (3) His sentence pronounced and delayed.

Removal From Office

Some time after iniquity was found in Lucifer, he was removed from his office as the anointed cherub that covered the throne of God as its protector and cast down to the earth along with all of the angels (one-third) who followed him. This information is revealed in three important texts. “By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.” (Eze_28:16) “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” (Rev_12:3-4) Jesus referred to Lucifer's casting out of Heaven in Luk_10:18, “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Here we have Lucifer who sinned, cast as profane out of Heaven and taking a third of the angels with him. It is clearly said that God “did cast them to the earth” where they remain today.

Sentence Foretold

Even if Satan had not tempted our first parents to sin and thereby receive a further sentence in the garden of Eden, he and his minions would still meet their final doom in the Lake of Fire, for this is the reason that it was created. “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Mat_25:41)

         In Eden

The Devil’s activity in the garden of Eden was under the guise of a serpent. We find this revealed in Eze_28:13 a, “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God,” and Rev_12:9, “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” This Serpent was sentenced by God with the following words, “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen_3:14-15) Here God declares that the seed of the woman (Christ) would bruise (or crush) the head of the Serpent.

         By Christ

Jesus himself foretold of this sentence upon Satan when He said, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. (Joh_12:31) “Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (Joh_16:11) In these statements Jesus predicted Satan’s sentence; it had not yet been accomplished and pronounced. The work of the cross lay ahead of Christ (when He made these statements) where the ultimate vanquishing of the Evil One and his followers was completed.

Sentence Pronounced

In three passages of Scripture we have the significant revelation concerning what the death of Christ accomplished with reference to Satan. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” (Heb_2:14) “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col_2:15) “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)” (Eph_4:8-10)

Execution of Sentence Delayed

That Satan’s sentence has been delayed until the time appointed by God is evident from the Scriptures that tell us of the activity of Satan at the present time (see, e.g., 1Pe_5:8). The most probable reason for this delay is (as previously noted) that God intends to allow the satanic proposition-that the creature can become like the Creator-to work itself out to the end so that all creation may see for themselves the utter foolishness and insanity of such an endeavor.

His Expulsion

The first stage of Satan’s punishment (of being cast down and destroyed, see above) is his permanent expulsion from Heaven and his corresponding banishment to the earth. This event, yet future (not to be confused with his removal from office, see above), is foretold in Rev_12:7-13 which extended passage is as follows:

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

The three extraordinary things that must be noted about this event are: (1) There is war in Heaven! Who would have ever thought such a thing was possible. This war is obviously an assault by the forces of darkness, led by none other than Satan, upon the very throne of God. Oh, the extremes of the satanic insanity! (2) Satan and his angels are cast out of Heaven to the earth. This is permanent. Never again will the Devil stand in the presence of God and accuse the people of God. This is cause for great joy in Heaven and its inhabitants rejoice. (3) The people of the earth who have thus far been nothing more than tools and toys of this great evil prince, will now suffer his great wrath. Not only is the wrath of God being poured out on a God-defying world, but Satan’s wrath will be felt as well. And the object of his anger is Israel.

His Binding and Confining

The second stage of Satan’s punishment is his binding and confining in the bottomless pit. “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” (Rev_20:1-3 a) Nothing more is known about this event other than what follows.

Loosed For a Little Season

The Bible continues its revelation of the future punishment of Satan and his angels by revealing: “and after that he must be loosed a little season . . . 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.” (Rev_20:3-9) Again, nothing more is known about this great future event.

His Final Doom

After Satan’s final failed assault upon the throne of God in Heaven, he is bound and confined in the bottomless pit for one-thousand years. The Bible then tells us that he will be loosed for a “little season” during which time he gathers the rebellious of the earth together and makes one last fierce attempt to kill the people of God. However, Scripture tells us that “fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 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 forever and ever.” (Rev_20:9-10) Thus ends the career of the Most Wicked spirit ever created. He will never emerge from his place of torment, the Lake of Fire. No one will ever need fear his malicious pride and his murderous lies again. Every one of his followers, whether men or angels, will share in his fate. “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev_21:8)