THE JUDGMENT OF SATAN
THE JUDGMENT OF SATANCopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
The rebellion of Satan and his angels occurred eons ago. But you may have noticed that they still are active and are seeking to prevent us from serving Christ as we would. How can this be? Does not the almighty God have the power to stop them? This indeed is a great mystery.
Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. (Hebrews 6:1,2)
Notice that the doctrine of "eternal judgment" is considered an "elementary" teaching. Certainly we are familiar with the judgment of Satan on the cross of Calvary. That is an "eternal judgment."
Calvary accomplished the "forgiveness" of our sins. But forgiveness of our sins is not sufficient to usher in the Kingdom of God. What good does it do to forgive our sins if we and everybody else keep sinning?
Obviously, if Satan, his angels, and the demons, still are free to corrupt God's creation, there must be a further step of judgment. Can you see that?
God has promised to put an end to sin. I am certain He does not mean by this that He is going to put an end only to the "guilt" of sin. In other words, we still can keep sinning but we no longer are guilty. This reminds us of the lawless-grace doctrine, doesn't it!
"Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy." (Daniel 9:24)
When God says He is going to put an end to sin and to bring in everlasting righteousness, I believe He means just that.
We have been taught for so long that as long as we are in the world we have to sin, that we may have come to the conclusion that sin always will be with us. In fact, I read one Christian writer who said that after we are in Heaven we still will sin; but God will cover our sinful behavior with grace.
That would be a mighty poor Heaven, if you ask me.
And how does that fit with the following verse?
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligationbut it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. (Romans 8:12)
Is God going to put an end to sin and unrighteousness, or isn't He?
I don't know about you, but to believe God will only forgive sin, and then do nothing else, is not at all satisfying to me. It just does not sound like God!
Is there going to be an eternal judgment, not only of the guilt of sin, but of the power that sin exercises over us?
Are Satan and his forces always going to be able to harass us?
Is lawless-grace the limit of the provision of the Divine redemption?
Is Satan so powerful that God cannot overthrow him?
It is true that Satan rebelled eons ago. It is true also that to this very day he goes back and forth in the earth, doing his best to deceive the Christian people and to destroy the work of Christ. Is this going to continue forever? What do you think? What does the Bible say about this?
I will tell you what I believe God's plan is. I think God has created man to bring God's eternal judgment on Satan. God could have spoken one word and Satan would have been bound forever in the Lake of Fire. He could not have been able to speak to Eve.
However, man has not been able to bring God's judgment on Satan. It has taken all these thousands of years to bring man, and by "man" I mean a godly remnant of the Church, to the level of maturity where they would be able to overcome the accuser. God would not issue sufficient strength to Michael and his angels to throw Satan out of Heaven until there was a company of "brothers" who would gain victory over the deceits of Satan.
As far as God having more power than that of Satan, you may recall that when our Lord returns from Heaven, only one angel is needed to bind the accuser and hurl him into the Bottomless Pit.
At the end of the thousand-year Kingdom-Age, God will send down fire from Heaven and destroy the wicked. Antichrist and the False Prophet already were in the Lake of Fire. Now Satan himself will be in the Lake of Fire. So much for the eternal judgment of Satan and all his works.
I have written previously that God has permitted us to be born with a rebellious nature and a body that houses the compulsions to sin. God has permitted this so He could bring forth overcomersthey who have chosen to struggle against sin throughout their entire lives.
In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. (Hebrews 12:4)
When the full number of these victorious saints, drawn from all periods of history and brought up to date as the Divine revelation has been entrusted to those still living on the earth, all brought to perfection together, then God has His army of judges, His Firstfruits of mankind.
As soon as the army of judges has been brought to the maturity that God requires, God will be free to incarcerate Antichrist, the False Prophet, and finally Satan so they no longer have access to human beings.
God now will work with all people who are willing to renounce sin. By Divine power the bondages of worldliness, the lusts and passions of the flesh and spirit, and self-will no longer be present with them.
As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (Matthew 13:40-43)
The passage above assures us that God will send out His messengers and they will remove from His Kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. This is the eternal judgment on Satan, evildoers, and the sinful nature of man. "Everything that causes sin."
It does not mention the human interaction that will be involved. I know that today we have to confess our sins as they are pointed out to us, denounce them, renounce them, turning away from them fully with the assistance of the Lord Jesus.
Perhaps this lifelong struggle applies only to the army of judges. I am not certain. Perhaps the removal of sin will be accomplished more easily with the remainder of God's elect and the sheep drawn from the nations. I believe this is so; because at the present time, most Christian people appear to be unwilling to listen to Jesus and work with Him in the program of eternal judgment. "It is too hard," they may say.
The second goat of the Jewish Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16) portrays the removing of sin from Israel; not the forgiveness of guilt, which was accomplished by the first goat.
Then there is the following, which warrants our careful attention:
But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
Therefore, brothers, we have an obligationbut it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:10-14)
The five verses above need to be considered as a whole, because they reveal the relationship between overcoming sin and the redemption of our body in the Day of Resurrection.
If Christ is in us our body is dead because of the sin that dwells in it. At the same time, our spirit is alive because of the righteousness of Christ assigned to it as we have followed the Holy Spirit. Life always follows righteousness, ascribed or practiced. So at present we have a spiritually dead body and a spiritually alive spirit.
"If the Spirit of God who raised Christ from the dead is living in us." If this is true, God will give life to our body through His Spirit who is living in us. This is, of course, referring to the Day of Resurrection.
We therefore have an obligation. It certainly is not to our sinful nature, since God is going to fill our body with His Holy Spirit. We do not owe our sinful nature anything at all, in that its days are limited. But our body will become immortal once it is free from the sinful nature and God has filled it with resurrection Life.
If we choose to live according to our sinful nature, we will die. In this context it means our body will not be filled with the Holy Spirit. We will not gain the promised immortality. We will not regain that which was lost in the garden in Eden.
If we choose instead to put to death the sinful actions of our body, we will live. This means we will attain to the redemption of our body, to immortality.
Now, how do we put to death the sinful actions of our body? Remember, it is the Holy Spirit who is guiding and empowering us in this act of judgment and redemption.
In order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)
How do we live according to the Spirit? In addition to doing all the things normally associated with Christian discipleship, denying ourselves by choosing to do Christ's will instead of our own desires; reading our Bible every day; gathering with fervent disciples as we have opportunity; in addition to all these we look continually to Jesus about everything we think, say, and do. We just get in the habit of living by the Life of Jesus.
This is what it means to live according to the Spirit.
We always are practicing the Presence of Jesus. As we do, the Holy Spirit points out to us the worldliness, compulsions to sin, and self-seeking in our personality.
When the Holy Spirit indicates a particular area of spiritual uncleanness, we confess it to Christ clearly just as soon as we have an opportunity; we denounce it as being unclean; we renounce it, refusing to practice it any more, and then press forward in Jesus. When the same temptation surfaces again, we will have the strength to resist it, if we have confessed, denounced, renounced it, and have pressed forward in Jesus.
This is how we put a sin to death. The Holy Spirit will guide and help us if we keep obeying Jesus.
The next verse tells us that the sons of God are led by the Spirit. The Spirit leads us to put to death the actions of our sinful nature.
Now if we have done as I have just described, this is an eternal judgment on Satan. It has begun with those who are following Christ intensely. These are God's Firstfruits, an army of judges. There is no lie in them, and they do not adore any person, thing, or circumstance other than Jesus.
This does not mean they do not have a wife or family. It means they do not idolize their wife or family. They enjoy natural family love, for this is entirely holy and scriptural.
The eternal judgment of Satan and all of his followers, angels and demons, begins with us. When God has the full number of members in His army of judges. He will move forward to the rest of the Church, the Royal Priesthood. From there the judgment of Satan will spread out to include all the sheep of the nations, that is, all people from the nations whom God has assigned to eternal life in the new world of righteousness.
The last enemy that shall be judged and removed is physical death, beginning with the Firstfruits and then extending to the remainder of the Church and finally to the sheep from the nations (Matthew 25).
The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (I Corinthians 15:26)
No angel, cherub, or seraph or any other of the angelic order is authorized to judge Satan, his angels, or a human sinner. Only human beings are authorized by God to make moral judgments. Angels may be directed by the Lord to exercise the sentence of judgment, but they cannot make the decision of judgment.
This is why Michael has to wait for human saints to overcome Satan before Michael and his angels can exercise the sentence of judgment.
Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! (I Corinthians 6:3)
Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven." (John 20:21-23)
Judging angels, forgiving sins, and retaining sins, are powerful exhibitions of authority. They have eternal import. In God's wisdom He has permitted world history to continue until a firstfruits of mankind would be ready to do what God has wanted all alongto judge Satan and all wickedness so that God's righteous angels who do His will would then be authorized to remove all sin and unrighteousness from the creation.
What an awesome day we live in! We can be one of those who emerge as a firstfruits from mankind, and have the unspeakable honor of following the Lamb wherever He goes.
There are some people, from all of the periods of history, who will attain to this position in Christ. You can be one, if this is what you desire more than anything else in the world.