Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, and Revelation 20
I know that Satan’s coming destruction is described in Isaiah 14:12–15, Ezekiel 28:16–19, and in Revelation 20:1–10. I also see that both the Isaiah and Revelation passages speak of him being cast into “the pit,” and that the Revelation passage also describes how he will finally be cast into the lake of fire. However what is Ezekiel describing when he says that God will “bring forth a fire from the midst” of Satan and that it will “devour” him, and that God will ‘bring him to ashes upon the earth’? What is this all about, when does it take place, and where does it fit into Satan’s overall destruction?
18 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. (Ezekiel 28:18)
When God speaks to Satan about ‘bringing forth a fire from the midst of him, and it devouring him,’ and in so doing ‘bringing him to ashes upon the earth,’ it is important to understand that He is using terminology and phraseology that describes complete self-destruction, plus the complete destruction and ruin of all that one has worked so hard to produce and/or accomplish.
We still use similar terminology and phraseology today when we describe how someone has destroyed himself by pursuing a course that results in him destroying and ruining all that he stands for, and works for, and lives for. We do this especially when the person’s self-destruction is the result of something like his jealousy, or envy, or rage; or when it comes about because of the powerful working of some other strong emotion or obsession.
Hence we often speak of someone being ‘consumed with jealousy, or anger, or rage,’ or of such emotions ‘eating him up on the inside,’ and of them ‘driving him to destruction,’ or of them being ‘the ruin of him.’
Likewise we often speak of some overwhelming passion or desire or pursuit being ‘a fire that burns within,’ which consumes a person. For it causes him to rashly do things that put him on a path of self-destruction or complete waste, as he madly pursues his passion at all cost.
Hence just as when a destroying fire physically reduces something to ashes, or leaves it ‘laying in ashes,’ so also when someone and his endeavors are ‘brought to ashes’ this means that he and all that he has worked to produce and achieve are completely or utterly destroyed. He therefore is ruined, having been ‘brought to ashes.’
Now this is precisely what will happen to Satan during the time of the final installment in God’s program with Israel, which will come to pass after the conclusion of this present dispensation of God’s grace.
To describe it very simply: When God resumes His program with Israel He will do certain things and will allow certain things to happen which will not only fill Satan with an overwhelming drive to achieve his objectives, but which will also fill him with a raging anger. When this happens a ‘fire will be brought forth from the midst’ of Satan which will burn within him causing him to become consumed with achieving his objectives, but also be blinded by his hatred and raging anger.
This burning fire within will then devour him, eating away at him from the inside, as he madly goes about pursuing his objectives, while at the same time trying to deal with the Lord’s own avenging and purging wrath during that time.
Now in connection with this ‘fire of madness’ operating within him, Satan will actually pursue a course that will bring about his own destruction, along with the destruction of all that he has worked for, has implemented, and has accomplished on the earth. Hence all that he and his plan of evil have worked to accomplish on the earth will be ‘brought to ashes’ at the conclusion of the Lord’s day of wrath.
Then at this time God will execute upon him the culminating judgments that have been pronounced against him, which will begin with him being incarcerated in “the sides of the pit” during the time when the Lord fulfills the remaining mandates of the Davidic covenant in His kingdom on this earth. Following this Satan will be released from his imprisonment to receive his final judgment, which will see him consigned to “the everlasting fire” of “the lake of fire,” wherein he will ‘never be any more.’
Therefore what God describes in Ezekiel 28:18 is not the issue of Satan’s ultimate destruction. In other words it is not his final or ultimate destruction in the lake of fire. Instead it is the start of the process of his complete destruction, beginning as it will with his own personal self-destruction as the natural result of his sin of both formulating and implementing his plan of evil on this earth.
Now to briefly amplify upon the culminating judgments that result in Satan’s final destruction, as mentioned these involve what is spoken about in Isaiah 14 and Revelation 20 where God describes him being ‘brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.’ This is where he will remain for the duration of the 1000 years in which the Lord fulfills the remaining mandates of the Davidic Covenant pertaining to the establishment and session of God’s kingdom on the earth.
Then once the fulness of all of the mandates of the Davidic Covenant have been fulfilled, and the last enemy — death — is set to be destroyed, Satan and his cohorts will be released from their holding place of incarceration in the earth to receive the final and everlasting aspect of their sentence, which is to be cast into the “lake of fire.” For this is what it was created for in the first place, just as the Lord said to His disciples in Matthew 25:41.
Wherefore Satan will be released from the pit upon the conclusion of the Lord reigning for 1000 years, just as Revelation 20 describes.
But as Revelation 20 also describes he is not only released to face the final aspect of his ultimate judgment, but also to be ‘taken in his own craftiness,’ so to speak, one last time.
For during the time of the Lord’s reign on this earth and the fulfilling of the final mandates of the Davidic covenant there will be ones who do not respond positively to God, even with Him residing on the earth. In general these will be allowed to remain until the end of the Lord’s reign, when the Lord will then deal with them by gathering them out of all of the regions of the earth in order for them to receive their appropriate judgment.
However instead of gathering them out by some other means, in a manner of speaking God will ‘let Satan do it for Him.’ For upon his release God will allow Satan to amass these together in a ‘doomed to fail’ attempt to overthrow His kingdom on the earth.
Whereupon God will judge them as Revelation 20 describes, and in connection with the destruction of the last enemy to complete the fulfilling of all of the mandates of the Davidic Covenant God will then execute upon Satan the final and permanent aspect of his judgment by having him too cast into the “lake of fire.”
So ‘in a nutshell’ this is the process of Satan’s coming destruction, beginning with the personal self-destruction that Ezekiel 28 speaks of, and ending with the judicial and permanent aspect of his destruction in the “lake of fire.”
– K.R. Blades