Q370 : Do Satan and his Demons Torture Unbelievers in Hell?

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Q370 : Do Satan and his Demons Torture Unbelievers in Hell?

Brother Tony,

I have studied your commentary to Revelation 18:2a including your footnote #6, and there is rhyme and reason to your assertion that demons will be confined to Babylon during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ.

However, I am puzzled regarding how to reconcile this with what Jesus said in Matthew 24:28 and Luke 17:37. The vultures are metaphors for demons (Matthew 13:4 & 19 and Revelation 18:2b) who are waiting to torture (“feed upon”) the spiritually dead (Matthew 18:34) who are judged at the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ. Matthew 13:40-42, 49-50, and Matthew 25:41-46. Just as God’s angels carry away His believers (the spiritually living) (Luke 16:22), so also it seems that the devil’s demons seize the unbelievers and carry them away following their judgment by the Lord Jesus Christ to the eternal fire (Matthew 25:41) of the Lake of Fire and Brimstone AKA hell.

If the devil's demons are confined to Babylon during Jesus' Millennial Reign as it seems to say in Revelation 18:2, then how can they also be torturing unbelievers in hell following Jesus' 2nd Coming?

Perhaps only some demons are confined to Babylon while others are in hell, or perhaps I am missing something?

A370 : by Tony Garland

I do not take mention of the vultures in Matthew 24:28 or Luke 17:37 as symbolic of demons. I believe they are literal—Jesus appears to be referring to Job 39:30, which speaks of birds of prey feasting on carrion. In the context of Matthew 24:38 and Luke 17:37, it speaks of the literal dead who are "taken" in judgment (killed, then their corpses are left for the birds to devour). No demons are involved.

In Matthew 13:4, 19, the birds are metaphors for "the evil [one]" which snatches away the word of God which was sewn in the heart of the listener. This may or may-not involve demonic influence, although it certainly seems a possibility. But it bears no specific relationship to Babylon at the time of the end.

You appear to be drawing conclusions which are not well-supported by the Biblical text—including the idea that demons are involved seizing unbelievers and delivering them to eternal fire. In fact, one verse you cite (Matthew 25:41) implies just the opposite: that the everlasting fire is "prepared for" the devil and his angels—hell was created as a place of final captivity and torment of fallen angels. They are not "gate-keepers" of hell, nor do they transport the dead by their own design. This idea has more in common with literary works of fiction and Hollywood than anything explicitly taught in Scripture. Nor is there any evidence that Satan or demons "torture" people in hell as you mention.

I would encourage you to read some reputable commentaries regarding the phrase "prepared for the devil and his angels" in Matthew 25:41 — which should make it clear that the devil and his angels are not gate-keepers of hell, nor gather people and drag them (once dead) there, but that the fallen angels themselves will be judged and are ultimately destined there, along with the unbelievers of all ages.

If you read Revelation 20 closely, you'll see it is by an act of God that the unbelieving dead are ultimately placed in the lake of fire—neither Satan nor demons are involved in the process (Revelation 20:14-15).

May God guide you as you continue to seek to understand His Word — Tony

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