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Do demons torture people in Hell?

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Garland-Green
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:35 am
I sent in a question to GotQuestions.org.
Here is the response;

Question 325796: Do demons torture people in Hell? Is there any scripture supporting this view?



Dear writer,


Thank you very much for your question. The short answer to your question is no, and no…albeit lacking in the explanation behind such an answer. So, "to give you your money’s worth", here is the full story.



I have to say that I honestly do not know exactly from where the view of demons torturing people in hell comes. My guess is from a few places. Greek mythology depicted Hades as ruling in the underworld; although his rule was more altruistic to apathetic than tormenting, but with certain aspects of torment for souls who required punishment. Classical literature, such as Milton’s Paradise Lost depicted Satan as ruling in hell. Such rule, in a Christian context, would place Satan in charge of the torment of souls of damned who were judged and cast into hell. The first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, titled Inferno, depicts nine levels of torment, although not specifically conducted at the hands of Satan or demons under his control. Similarly, one need not go far in finding modern literature or cinema that depicts Satan or his demons as being controllers of hell, and tormentors of the spirits who are lost.



However, this is not the view that is presented in Scripture. One can look at Scripture and see the functions of Satan and the demons to see that their activities do not involve tormenting lost souls in Hell. Satan is said to oppose the work of Christ (Genesis 3:15, Matthew 4:3-10), hinders the work of believers (1 Thessalonians 2:18.), and deceives the nations (Revelation 13:2-4).[1] Satan is busy at work tempting the believers (1 Corinthians 7:5) and then accusing them before the throne of God (Job 1:6-7, Revelation 12:10). Likewise, demons are busy attacking believers on the earth as well. The y influence a false gospel (1 John 4:1-4), afflicts mankind (Mark 5:1-5), or perverts man’s activities (1 Timothy 4:1-3).[2]



Second, as already stated, the location of Satan and demon activity is not in hell, but is on the earth. In Scripture, Satan is referred to as the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) or the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). The reason for this title is, as the previous discussion suggests, Satan is allowed to be active in the world against mankind. However, this does not mean that God’s sovereignty is in question, as He is always able to bring demonic activity in subjugation to His Holy name (Luke 10:17). His allowing of demonic activity to occur should not be understood as an endorsement or participation in it, but rather merely allowing it in order to bring greater good to fruition (Romans 8:28.). So, as Scripture clearly shows, Satanic and demonic activity is centered on attempting (but failing) to t hwart God’s plan for salvation here on earth.



Which leads to the final point, which is the condition of hell from a Scriptural standpoint. Hell is a place of great pain and torment for the unbeliever, where there is conscious eternal punishment (Matthew 25:41, 46).[3] Here, the unbelievers will weep and gnash their teeth in eternal torment (Matthew 8:12). However, Scripture is clear that this place is also a place of torment for Satan and the demons as well (Matthew 25:41). Perhaps no verse bears this out better than the apocalyptic prophecy of Satan’s demise in Revelation 20:10, which declares that the devil and false prophet were thrown i n the lake of fire and brimstone to be tormented day and night forever and ever. This torment is due to a complete absence of God’s presence; a place of total and utter darkness and despair. The same eternal torment that awaits the unbeliever also awaits Satan and the demon fallen angels who followed him in rebellion against God.



However, as the good news declares, there is redemption and glorification for those who declare Jesus as Lord and repent from their sins. For these, no such torment awaits.



Blessings,

____________________________________________________

[1] Charles Ryrie, Basic Theology, (Chicago: Moody, 1999), 166-169.

[2] Ibid., 188-189.

[3] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993), 823.  
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:54 am
I agree that it is not scriptural that demons torture people who face the second death.

Popular "visions" purported by people like Bill Wiese as he relates in his book and talks on "23 Minutes in Hell" are just not supported.... worse yet, such ideas are deceptive, IMHO, giving Satan and demons much more power in the minds of people than they really have. Making demons "gods" of an Underworld torture chamber is hogwash. "It just ain't so!", as they say wink

The devil and his angels and those who reject the savior will face their own torment:

"and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10, ESV)"  

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Garland-Green
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:13 am
SolaceSerenitySerendipity
I agree that it is not scriptural that demons torture people who face the second death.

Popular "visions" purported by people like Bill Wiese as he relates in his book and talks on "30 Minutes in Hell" are just not supported.... worse yet, such ideas are deceptive, IMHO, giving Satan and demons much more power in the minds of people than they really have. Making demons "gods" of an Underworld torture chamber is hogwash. "It just ain't so!", as they say wink

The devil and his angels and those who reject the savior will face their own torment:

"and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10, ESV)"

Using our own justice system as an example; it would be like a sentenced criminal, executing justice on another criminal on behalf of the innocent.
It just doesn't ring right.

These demons spent their time leading people astray, trying to keep people from seeing the gospel so that they can face judgement, and be lost forever,
and now they will be rewarded with being able to torment these people?

Since the offence is done against God, the punishment belongs to him,
I don't see why he would give it away to other offenders.  
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:23 am
Garland-Green

Using our own justice system as an example; it would be like a sentenced criminal, executing justice on another criminal on behalf of the innocent.
It just doesn't ring right.

These demons spent their time leading people astray, trying to keep people from seeing the gospel so that they can face judgement, and be lost forever,
and now they will be rewarded with being able to torment these people?

Since the offence is done against God, the punishment belongs to him,
I don't see why he would give it away to other offenders.


Exactly ... it would be a weird winning position for the Deceiver to be allowed that. It sounds more like Dualism, such as in Zoroastrianism, where there is a good god and an evil one. Popular notions floating around the churches are usually just that: popular NOTIONS!

peace smile  

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:26 am
SolaceSerenitySerendipity
Garland-Green

Using our own justice system as an example; it would be like a sentenced criminal, executing justice on another criminal on behalf of the innocent.
It just doesn't ring right.

These demons spent their time leading people astray, trying to keep people from seeing the gospel so that they can face judgement, and be lost forever,
and now they will be rewarded with being able to torment these people?

Since the offence is done against God, the punishment belongs to him,
I don't see why he would give it away to other offenders.


Exactly ... it would be a weird winning position for the Deceiver to be allowed that. It sounds more like Dualism, such as in Zoroastrianism, where there is a good god and an evil one. Popular notions floating around the churches are usually just that: popular NOTIONS!

peace smile


We need the 'like' button as an option in the guilds!

Blessings to you brother! smile  
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:24 am
I've said earlier that I have found no examples of demons being allowed by God to torment people, but I would like to rescind that statement and say that it is not without precedent. It could also be reasoned that those in eternal punishment are left in the hands of those they chose to worship and whose actions and attitudes are identical to while alive. That something doesn't ring right doesn't necessarily mean it is wrong, it could just be that I am lacking the full picture.


Revelation 9 (ESV)
9 And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key* to the shaft of the bottomless pit. 2 He opened the shaft of the bottomless pit, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft. 3 Then from the smoke came locusts on the earth, and they were given power like the power of scorpions of the earth. 4 They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 They were allowed to torment them for five months, but not to kill them, and their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it stings someone. 6 And in those days people will seek death and will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them.

7 In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, 8 their hair like women's hair, and their teeth like lions' teeth; 9 they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the noise of their wings was like the noise of many chariots with horses rushing into battle. 10 They have tails and stings like scorpions, and their power to hurt people for five months is in their tails. 11 They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon.

12 The first woe has passed; behold, two woes are still to come.

13 Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour, the day, the month, and the year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 The number of mounted troops was twice ten thousand times ten thousand; I heard their number. 17 And this is how I saw the horses in my vision and those who rode them: they wore breastplates the color of fire and of sapphire[c] and of sulfur, and the heads of the horses were like lions' heads, and fire and smoke and sulfur came out of their mouths. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed, by the fire and smoke and sulfur coming out of their mouths. 19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails, for their tails are like serpents with heads, and by means of them they wound.

20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21 nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

* The key has to be given to him. He does not posses the keys - have to authority or ability to do so on his own. The key is given by Jesus? (Revelation 1:18.) I am thinking it is likely it is Jesus, since the releasing of these demons are a punishment or an attempt to make these individuals repent.

Another example:

1 Samuel 16 (ESV)
David Anointed King
16 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2 And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 And invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do. And you shall anoint for me him whom I declare to you.” 4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5 And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord's anointed is before him.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 And Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 Then Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest,[a] but behold, he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.” 12 And he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy and had beautiful eyes and was handsome. And the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is he.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

David in Saul's Service
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. 15 And Saul's servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.” 17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.” 18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.” 19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.” 20 And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. 21 And David came to Saul and entered his service. And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. 22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.” 23 And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.  

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