Working through this study you might want to put your metaphorical seatbelt on. I am going to lay out some controversial ideas. Once you have applied your own critical thinking and conducted necessary background checks to verify the truths presented here you may find that all this material can be summed up in one simple affirmation:
“If the Church (The spiritual organism of organised believers of the Gospel truth on earth) had stood their ground in the absolute truth of their authority in Christ, then Satan would not have been able to exercise his influence through people and reap havoc on earth the last 2000 years”.
Therefore, if we apply a little deductive reasoning, we could say that to a degree the Church is responsible for much of the pain and destruction in the earth over the last 2 millennia. This is due to many reasons, such as neglecting to train and equip believers in the truth, or not teaching the truths on matters related to our claim of victory in Christ, and a whole shopping list of omissions of what the Church was supposed to be doing. Most of all I believe the biggest problem has been the toxic idea that has been taught within the believe system, and that is a self-righteousness-based Gospel (which is not the Gospel) and to this day is still mistaken by many to be the Gospel. I say this responsibility predominantly lies on the clergy, the preachers, the teachers, and Ministers of God’s Word. In fact, there is a plethora of evidence to suggest that ongoing covert and organised efforts have been made to infiltrate sound doctrine with a complete inversion of everything the Lord has accomplished and taught us since the inception of the Church. However, this is a complex issue because no one can be held responsible for the actions or non actions of preachers who lived hundreds of years ago. We are all dealing now with the product and consequences of the Church’s history, which includes all the good, the bad and the ugly. The paradox of course is that the Church is also responsible for the magnificent progress of the influence of the Kingdom of God in the Earth throughout the same period of history. It should not be though that out of the same well springs forth both fresh water and salt water. James 3:10
I believe that we are now finally fast approaching a time where the Church (believers who organise themselves) is leaving behind the mentality that caused the divisions into 41,000 denominations of Christian confessions. We are embarking upon a time where believers will finally become unified in a streamlined revelation of the Gospel truth.
Ephesians 4 King James Version (KJV)
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Our world should have been in a much better state right from the start when the first Christians began to organise themselves again after the period of silence post the rapture of the first generation of believers (67 A.D.). Christ Jesus provided the perfect opportunity to build on His foundation to create a world where people could grow up in a more equitable and loving society. There is in my view a serious dark reason why it has taken this long since then to only get to the point where we are now.
To empower ourselves with the armour of God so we are able to effectively stand our ground in a world still full of conflict, we must first recognise the real enemy behind everything evil and know how to go straight for the head of the snake. Correction, Jesus already crushed the head of the serpent. We must learn to stand in His victory over satan. As I already indicated, Church doctrine and many teachings about the devil that have gone round for centuries and found their way into standardized Theology, are often nothing more than myths aimed at incapacitating the power of the people, especially believers. I have already tackled many of those myths in the previous articles on this topic. Here is probably the most common and the most irrational myth.
The devil is the king of Hell (??)
The devil lives in the lower regions of Hell, with many of his fallen angels tormenting the lost souls of the wicked. This has been the believe of both Christians and non-Christians, including followers of other religions for hundreds of years. Especially since the dark ages and the influence of Roman Catholic dogma. But it is a horrific fantasy of people’s imagination. It is certainly not a scriptural verified concept. For one thing the devil is no king of anything.
We already know that the word Hell is a faulty translation from the Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word, Hades. Even though we predominantly only have the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, we must always avoid disconnecting the New from the backdrop of the Old. Hades is only the Greek translation of the Hebrew Sheol. Even though the Greek word Hades carries strong association with Greek religion and myth as the god of the dead and the king of the underworld, the Biblical use of the word Hades has absolutely nothing to do with Greek religion and mythology.
Both Sheol and Hades simply mean, realm of the dead. However, there are no dead persons in Hades anymore. Between 67 and 70 A.D. the disembodied human spirits in the realm of the dead received their immortal bodies and were raised from the dead and were taken to heaven. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
Studying Revelation 20:10-15, the scripture uses symbolical pictorial language stating that at that time Hades was cast into the lake of fire. If this event of the resurrection of the dead occurred in the first century then Hades was emptied. The devil does not live in a hell filled with fires and tormenting demons or fallen angels.
What follows is an oracle by the Prophet Isaiah against the King of Babylon. He was the greatest of Kings in his day. His kingdom and glory reached to the ends of the earth. Yet, the King of Babylon was also just a man. The Prophet Isaiah foretells his downfall because of his pride. Yet it seems that Isaiah is looking into the spiritual realm and provides a description of the entity he sees behind the man. Many theologians believe this is a parallel description of the downfall of both the King of Babylon as well as Satan. However, consider that it is still a metaphorical depiction of the King of Babylon, and although a comparison with Lucifer, he fell from his lofty position at a completely different point in time than the King of Babylon.
Isaiah 14: 9-16 King James Version (KJV)
9 Hell (Sheol) from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. 10 All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? 11 Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. 12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! (Suddenly Isaiah jumps subject) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell (Sheol), to the sides of the pit. 16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
So, it seems clear to me that this passage is a parallel description of both the King of Babylon and of Lucifer. The text seems to move back and forth on both subjects. However, Lucifer was not cast down at the same time when the King of Babylon lost power. The King of Babylon was compared to Lucifer because he displayed all the characteristics of satan and was more than likely empowered and inspired by satan. Historical evidence shows that the King of Babylon was a pagan and very much was a worshiper and practitioner of Luciferin doctrine. In many ways the King of Babylon represented Lucifer on earth.
Verse 15 is interesting. “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit”, would indicate that Satan was cast into hell, or rather as we said, the Hebrew name for Hell is Sheol, which we know means, the realm of the dead. The words “the sides” can be properly translated as: “extreme parts”, or “recesses”.
The word “pit” seems to link up with what scripture also refers to as the “Bottomless Pit”. The bottomless pit is seven times referred to in the book of Revelation. The word “Pit” is the Greek word “Abyss”.
Other words for bottomless in the Greek Lexicon are words like, depthless, unbounded, or immeasurable depth. I am certainly aware of the Pentecostal/Evangelical Theological view which suggest that the Abyss is located deep within Tartarus, which is the place of punishment for the fallen angels and the wicked, and that Tartarus is a location in Hell separate from Abraham’s bosom where the righteous are awaiting their resurrection at the coming of Christ. However, these are all presuppositions with no scriptural support and presuppose a futurist eschatology.
Luke 8 King James Version (KJV)
31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
The word “deep” here is the Greek word “Abyss”.
Matthew 8 King James Version (KJV)
29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
The concept of the Abyss has been a source of fears and phobias for many. It inspired the writers associated with religions, mythologies and metaphysical philosophies throughout the ages.
Pulling those ideas about the Abyss together and you could end up with a sort of vast, initially empty arena like a Roman Amphitheater where the drama of the Creation was enacted. God is the director from the imperial box, with a huge power cord snaking in from the unknown region beyond the arena, and plugged-in to a socket at the rear of the arena into the generator. The lights of the Arena blaze out and illuminate the center of this vast arena. At the periphery of the arena far from the lights of manifestation there is a deep darkness where all the cast-off detritus and spoil of the creation was deposited and left to rot. Nothing but utter emptiness. It is an endless Abyss of nothingness, an Abyss of separation, an Abyss of un-being (or un-becoming).
This idea is not dissimilar to what we read about in Genesis, regarding the state of the earth before there was anything.
Genesis 1 King James Version (KJV)
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
Remember context, literary type, such as poetry, historical, symbolical, literal, etc, also the principle of “audience relevance” is key to the hermeneutics and exegesis of scripture. It is a very lob sided approach to use the excuse that much of scripture is figurative, symbolical and pictorial. It is equally foolish to claim that all scripture is to be taken literal. The truth is somewhere in the middle and that is that the literary style of scripture is usually more of a hybrid mix between the literal, historical, cultural, and symbolical and often overlap. Overall context and “audience relevance” usually provide a good guiding light for balanced interpretation.
I will use the following set of scriptures as an example of hybrid literary types, and you will see in the end that we have actually stayed on point.
Acts 2 King James Version (KJV)
16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Futurist eschatology claims we are currently living in the last days, but nothing is further from the truth. The last days Peter was referring to were the days he and his audience were living in. Peter then at that point in time, claims the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy, quoting the prophet, stating that something very drastic was going to happen in those days, which he describes as “Last days”.
Those days were the last days of the Temple and the Priesthood in Jerusalem. They were the last days of that Old Sinaitic-Mosaic Covenant. From the time of Peter’s announcement up until 70 A.D. when the Romans finally ended the siege and sacked the city it took about 37 years. Those years, including the 3 ½ years of Jesus’ Ministry make up approximately forty years, the Biblical time of a generation. Those years were the last days. After that dramatic end there was a new beginning. A new beginning which would not have an ending. We are not in the last days, but we are still in the days of new beginning which is governed by the New Covenant in Christ.
In Verse 18 the word “wonders” is also the Greek word for Omens, and the word “signs” is Greek for an unusual event. Are you thinking our sun will literally turn to darkness, or that we will have blood moons? Yes, I know that we do have some fascinating natural phenomenon’s involving the Sun and the Moon, but this is typical symbolical language. Remember Joseph dreamed of his parents bowing down to him? In his dream they were represented as the sun and the moon. The symbolism here in Joel’s prophecy are very much linked to historic paganism. No Joel and Peter were not pagans, but the sun and moon were commonly worshiped even to this day by those who practice pagan and Luciferin beliefs. The Roman empire of the day, extremely pagan as it was, is in this verse represented as the sun. The moon obviously represents its counterpart the apostate and evil elements of the Jewish religious leadership. Certainly not all were evil. However, I believe that there were those who never wanted to follow YHWH (God) and secretly rebelled against the Torah. I believe those persons and their lineage goes back way before Babylon and Assyria. I say lineage, because when Jesus addresses some of the religious elders as “generation of vipers” he seems to allude to the idea that their ancestry points back to the serpent all the way back in the garden of Eden and the then direct lineage of those who introduced an anti-Christ religious ideology into our world. They were the descendants of the worst idolaters you could imagine and had infiltrated their way into the Jewish leadership among the people of Israel. They were the ones who were behind the conspiracy to crucify Jesus. They were the ones who found ways to manipulate a large majority of the Jewish people in those days to persecute the first Christians. They were also the ones who throughout Church history assimilated into the movement of the Christian faith and showed themselves to be loyal members and ministers within their communities of believers. Yet, they aspired to do whatever they can to gain influence and manipulate the pure message by introducing inversions to sound doctrine, by turning the teachings of Christ and the Apostles on its head.
Normally the Sun and Moon shine their light in full glory. Yet, here in this verse of Acts 2: 16-21, the wrath of God was announced to fall on them. As the last days were rushing towards 70 A.D. things grew intense the closer it got to that great and notable day of the Lord. The horrendous siege began to expose the true nature of these two collective groups. What were the omens and unusual events that would take place? It was the blood of 1.3 million Jews and the fires of the city and the Temple with the smoke that would rise up and could be seen miles away.
The people would witness the Omens of bloody struggles breaking out into the Temple, which represented the Heaven and Earth of the Sinai-tic Covenant. Everywhere around the altar the corpses were piling up. And so we see the clear fulfilment of the the Apostle John’s revelation signified by hyperbole, imagery and symbolical language.
The Good News for those of that generation who would call upon the name of the Lord Jesus had the promise that they would be saved and delivered from that time of destruction and desolation. The original prophecy in the book of Joel 2:32 in the Hebrew language states that those who call upon the name of the Lord shall escape or be delivered.
The New Covenant ratified at the Parousia
Although the New Covenant began at the death of Christ when His blood was shed, it was not fully ratified until His Parousia (His presence, at His coming) between 67 – 70 A.D. This was the time of judgment during the last days of the Old Sinai-tic Covenant. A judgment that had been predicted by all the prophets up until Jesus and affirmed by his Apostles. It was a judgment that was required by the Sinai-tic Covenant for the simple reason that the people broke that covenant, rebelled against the Torah, followed after idolatry and did not repent, and did all they could not to allow the New Messianic Age entrance. The judgment of the Old Sinai-tic Covenant was fulfilled and satisfied in the abolishing of that same covenant. This period of approximately 3 ½ years was for the most part the Zealot-led Israel who caused much of the in-fighting in the city, with fires, looting and destroying large parts of it, but was then followed by the last five months of the Roman armies who finished the siege and utterly destroyed the Temple in the end.
Without going into repetition, it is an established scriptural fact that the setting up of a covenant would always include the metaphorical creation of a new heaven and earth. In the same way the ending or abolishing of a covenant by judgment, in this case for the Sinai-tic covenant, would mean the destruction of its related heaven and earth.
Hebrews 12 King James Version (KJV)
26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. 27 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
These verses are not describing something that will happen in our future. This happened when the Temple, symbolically representing heaven and earth, was destroyed. At that time the New Covenant of Grace was fully ratified and affirmed, and we received a Kingdom, which cannot be shaken or moved. Our New Covenant has its own symbolical New Heaven and Earth where righteousness reigns.
The error so many Christians make is that they are expecting a physical new heaven and earth. That’s why they are also expecting our beautiful earth to burn up first like Peter said when he mentioned the elements burning (2 Peter 3:10-13), but he was not referring to the chemical elements of our universe. The elements referred to were the Temple accessories used by the Priesthood. They were mostly burned up in the violent fires of 70 A.D.
It is so hugely important to realise that the only way YHWH could commune with His people was by virtue of a Covenant agreement. All the Old Testament Covenants were a shadow and incomplete in and by themselves. They were imperfect because those covenants were made with men who were imperfect. Because of their imperfections satan still had inroad or rather easy access to exercise influence the moment those covenants were broken by those men who would sin and break those covenants. When Christ established the New Covenant, it was and forever is an agreement between Him and the Father and this Covenant can never be broken. This New Covenant with its own New Heaven and Earth is established in heaven (a spiritual realm) and extends its rule over our planet as a spiritual influence, which we may understand as the Kingdom of God on Earth. Yes, the Lord’s prayer was fulfilled 2000 years ago.
When we assume that the New Jerusalem is a place in heaven, we have not taken into consideration that this is covenant language and is largely symbolical. Yes, the New Jerusalem is in heaven, but it is also on earth, because it represents the people who have come to the saving knowledge of Christ and are actively believing the Good News. Yes, Christ redeemed the whole of humanity, but the majority alive today still do not believe this. The people who possess a growing revelation of the truth here on earth are acting from inside the New Covenant agreement, inside the walls of the New Jerusalem which descended from heaven 2000 years ago. The New Jerusalem cannot only be a literal city in heaven, because the wicked remain outside its walls.
Revelation 22 King James Version (KJV)
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
A covenant is such a powerful concept. We can be inside a covenant and therefore bound by its agreement, or we can be outside and excluded from a covenant. Christ made sure that we, all of humanity, is included in this New Covenant, because we are all in Him. Realistically, not many know this fact, therefore, experientially in their own perception most people on our planet haven’t even the slightest notion of this spiritual reality.
2 Corinthians 4 King James Version (KJV)
4 In whom the god of this world (Aion-Age) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
This makes them vulnerable and a constant easy target for the deceit of satan. If, however, you know where you stand in Christ, within the New Covenant that has its own New Heaven and Earth, which is governed by the new law of freedom, right standing with God and His love for us, you are save behind the high walls of the New Jerusalem.
Do I believe the New Jerusalem is a literal city in heaven? Yes, (Galatians 4:26; Hebrews 11:10; 12:22-24; and 13:14 and Revelation 21) and I believe these scriptures here also provide us with a description of a symbolical and spiritual reality extended through each and everyone of us on this planet.
The New Covenant has literally closed the door to the devil and all his forces of darkness. They have been locked out. They cannot enter. If you stand in the fact that Christ is your righteousness, they cannot influence you. In scripture, being left outside the covenant is a place of outer darkness and emptiness. This was true for the gentiles who were before the cross excluded from the covenants. It is also true for the Jew who would not accept their Messiah. Not having revelation of the truth is considered being cast out into outer darkness.
Matthew 8 King James Version (KJV)
12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 22 King James Version (KJV)
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Again wedding clothes is symbolical covenant language.
Our New Covenant in Christ is a covenant of unwavering unchangeable ever perpetuating forgiveness and right standing with God extended to you through Christ. That’s why the devil has no control over those who know this truth and stand in it. A person who lives in the awareness of this spiritual reality does not seek a way to commit horribly stupid and destructive acts because their heart is established in their right standing with God through Christ. Therefore, they only seek to express the reality of their true identity in Christ.
So, yes, the short and long of it is that the devil or satan, and evil spirits are still active in our planet.
This is undeniable. Some have tried to provide a hypothetical psychological/theological reason as to why some people sometimes act as though they are demon possessed but are not actually influenced by a demon. I think they make some very valid points. Evil spirits certainly do not need to be directly involved with extreme irrational behaviour.
In an another article I will explain how data (thoughts, ideas) is transported via the electromagnetic fields of the earth and affects the ethereal energy bodies of the unsuspecting masses, and then reaches their unconscious and subconscious minds, until they suddenly seem to have thoughts completely out of character with their own personality. It sounds really bad, and it is, but that influence can be easily prevented by standing in the Gospel Truth of your identity in Christ.
When it comes to Satan and his cohorts, they have no authority over people. He has been making use of the ignorance of the masses. When a believer solidly claims their stands in Christ that believer can powerfully and effectively break Satan’s attack or influence against them or other people and in situations. Dear believer, if you do not know how this is done, you must learn how to do this now.
Sometimes, there have been situations where believers could not prevent being physically persecuted and oppressed. However, believers can use Christ’s authority to stop demonic attacks.
For example: where you can sense the presence of an evil spirit working in a situation or through a person. Remember this type of prayer is a command. You are commanding a spirit, like you would tell a disobedient dog “No, and sit!” You are using the authority of Christ to which He has given you access. Obviously, this is not a formula. You must understand the truths and principles represented here and believe them and make them your own. So, this is what I could do. If need be, I speak softly, but directed at whatever evil entity is at work in that situation.
I could say: “I the name of Jesus, I forbid your influence here, I command you to go, I command silence upon you, I command your works destroyed and your influence broken, I forbid (to bind) you to manifest through other people against me. I plead (refer to) the blood of Jesus against you, the blood of the New Covenant in Christ, the blood of Jesus by which the judgment to remain in outer darkness and emptiness is forever upon you, and I refer to the blood of Jesus for my righteousness in Christ. I command the holy angelic forces of heaven to go forth to keep these spiritual forces of darkness subdued and restrained.”
Then just praise God, and watch things change. Trust the Lord to work things out.
During the Age of the Old Sinai-tic Covenant the devil could easily find fault with the people of Israel. He would accuse them before God. When Christ presented His blood in the heavenly holy of holies, heaven was purified, and the accuser of the brethren was cast down to earth.
Revelation 12 King James Version (KJV)
10 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. 11 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. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters 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.
The words “a short time” actually mean: “a fixed time”
Jesus began His ministry, casting out demons, and they knew that their time was running out. That’s why they said to Jesus: “art thou come hither to torment us before the time?” They knew that once the New Covenant would be set up, that’s it, they would be locked outside and excluded with no access. Unless of course, through the ignorance of people the devil could deceive them.
Being cast out into outer darkness is akin to that bottomless pit of utter emptiness.
There seems to be a special place in those outer realms of darkness where some of those fallen angels were kept restraint until that time of judgment at the end of the Sinaitic Covenant Age.
Jude 1:6 King James Version (KJV)
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.
The Lake of Fire
Revelation 20 King James Version (KJV)
10 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 for ever and ever.
In Article 98) Binding and Loosing – Part 2 – Cast out, I explained that the Beast, and the False Prophet, are symbolical terms, referring to a person as much as it also refers to a collective body of people who stood for an evil ideology and way of life. We must then maintain a consistent approach with regards to the other iconic symbolisms in verse 10 of Revelation 20. Here we see the typical example of the hybrid literary types providing a both literal and symbolical meaning.
The Lake of fire is not necessarily a literal lake somewhere made from spiritual fire in the spiritual dimensions. It is a symbolical term providing imagery of how the fires, which destroyed the most part of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. also destroyed the collaboration of the Roman empire and the evil apostate religious mob inside the city. They were the fires of judgment John the Baptist warned them about, (Matthew 3:11-12) and consumed them as the blood of the many who were killed reached the height of the horses bridles, and the fires that destroyed their Temple melting the gold within and not one building was left standing, and the smoke rose up to where it could be seen from the coast. Their doom was the outpouring of the all-consuming fire of God’s judgment. (Hebrew 12:29)
That event became the showcase for what is God’s judgment, view and opinion of those man-made systems, whether military, governmental or religious who seek to enslave those considered to be of less value. Christ had come to forewarn them that this judgment was coming. Even though Christ did come on the clouds of judgment between 67-70 A.D. as He upheld the Mosaic Law and completed the Sinai-tic Covenant, He really wanted to save and deliver as many as possible from that destruction. John 3:16-17. He came to save as many as He could.
Many of the priesthood were literally murdered and potentially burned and others threw themselves into the fires that destroyed the temple. Their charcoaled bodies were thrown over the city walls into the place that was known as Gehenna. It was the end of the Levitical priesthood. The word forever is a Greek word Aion or Aionos and it literally means Age enduring. It does not mean lasting into perpetuity. It means the age will continue for as long as it endures. In the explanation of other verses in other articles, I explained that forever and eternal is not referring to an everlasting continuum into foreverness. Its length of time is determined by what the word forever or eternal is connected to.
In this case the words are repeated twice to emphasise the point, that this is a lasting reality.
This is not a lasting literal torment as in someone getting a never ending beating or is caned endlessly.
It is the lasting reality that the collaboration of the oppressive controlling powers of the beast and the false Prophet have been destroyed. To those who were involved in the activity of conspiring against Christ and suppressing the truth, it became a source of lasting mental agony for which the desolation of Jerusalem will remain an everlasting reminder. A reminder to anyone who would try to resurrect a political religious system to oppress the people, by eclipsing the revelation of the Christ to the world. The combination of military powers and manipulative forces hiding behind the veil of politics and religion throughout history have sought to suppress the truth of the redemption of humanity through Christ. However, they cannot succeed if believers understand this truth and effectively share it with others.
The wrath of God referred to in the verse below is not God’s wrath against just anyone who committed sin. It was looming specifically over those who were actively suppressing the truth. Which truth? The truth of the righteousness of God revealed in Christ.
Romans 1:18 King James Version (KJV)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
The revelation of the Christ and his Good News will forever continue to break down every attempt of such evil forces who seek to regain control in the Earth. Their full defeat began at the cross, the resurrection of Jesus and the ending of the Sinai-tic Covenant in 70 A.D. The devil with his evil forces of darkness working through the hypocrisy and conspiracy of self-righteousness in religious leaders and their secular political and military counterparts was forever confirmed at the destruction of Jerusalem when their alliance burned up in a Lake of fire in 70 A.D.
Revelation 20 King James Version (KJV)
10 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 for ever and ever.
Now, you see that in Revelation 20:10 the devil was cast into this Lake, but the word “into” has been translated from the Greek manuscript and it has many meanings. The word “into” also means “far exceeding”. So, where the beast and the false Prophet find their end in the Lake of fire, the devil was cast somewhere far exceeding the Lake of fire. This corresponds with other verses such as the Gospel of John chapter 12 verse 32 where Jesus said; “the Prince of this world will now be cast out”. What would he be cast out of?
In Covenantal symbolical terms, cast outside the walls of the heavenly Jerusalem, outside of the New Heaven and Earth, into the abyss of endless nothingness and outer darkness. By believing, and by sharing this Good News, we keep him there. It will be as though he is on the outside helplessly looking in.