A Controversial Topic – How about Demons?
Any Verse Hints on Demons Reconciled past their Punishment in Hell?
First, some Verses:
“and to know the love of Christ surpassing knowledge, so that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
Now to the One being able to do exceedingly above all things that we ask or think, according to the power working in us,
to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all the generations of the age of the ages. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:19 – 21)
Exceedingly Beyond our Imagination or Thinking-Really?
For “all things” this will be ‘done’ because “all things” (in the ‘current/former’ state) won’t remain ‘like this permanently’ but with come to an “end”:
“The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.” (1 Peter 4:7)
And He Who sits on the Throne has declared to Make “all things New”:
“And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” (Revelation 21:5)
Thus, ‘destroying’ (in Hell or afterlife punishment) is to be understood to ‘end all things’ to ‘make all things New’ (in the Unchanging General Intent of His Will) though the ‘Second Death’ needed to do this doesn’t apply to “believers in Him” who are ‘transformed to life’ without ‘coming into Judgment’ (John 5:24).
Yes, it applies to “all things” which are “created by Him, for Him, to reconcile back to Him”:
“All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” (John 1:3)
“For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers* or authorities– all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)
“and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in the heavens.” (Colossians 1:20)
Here’s a Deep Mystery regarding the Universal Reconciliation of “All things” (all creation, anything in the heavens or earth, the world):
*the word translated as “rulers” (‘archai’ in Colossians 1:16) is the exact same Greek word in all sense to the one translated as “demons” (‘archai’) in Romans 8:38 below:
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons (‘archai’), neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38 – 39)
Let us notice carefully these points:
(i) Is the translation of the word ‘demons’ in Romans 8:38 wrong & should mean something else?
I don’t think so. Why? In Romans 8:38, the “opposite” things are compared (e.g. ‘death vs life’); more stunningly, the phrase “angels nor demons” is sandwiched between “two opposite phrases” (namely, “Death nor life” before it & “present nor future” after it).
This means that the “rulers” (‘archai’) whom apostle Paul mentions must be “opposite” to the “angels” (‘angeloi’) hence meaning the ‘spiritual rulers in the heavenlies’ not currently submitting to God namely the “demons”.
This phrase ‘angels nor demons’ is therefore right and being found in the ‘middle’ of two other phrases mentioning ‘opposites’ (proving Paul’s grammar & language style intention whilst doing so), “archai” must mean the ‘opposite type of spiritual rulers’ which are similar to angels (to which it is compared), hence “demons”.
In Romans 8:38-39, apostle Paul is highlighting that ‘we’ cannot be “separated by the Love of Christ” by any of these things.
(ii) The point of interest to Understand a Mystery of the Gospel with regards to Universal Reconciliation with regards to ‘demons’ too (“made new” as part of “all things” in Revelation 21:5 after the long punishment of the “ages of Ages” in Revelation 20:10) becomes clearer as follows:
Notice that the ‘exact same Greek word ‘archai” (in Romans 8:38 meaning “demons”) is defined first as ‘included’ in the definition of “All things” (in Colossians 1:16) and these “all things” (including ‘archai’ or ‘demons’) are intended to be “Reconciled to Christ” (as part of the ‘same all things’ four verses later) in Colossians 1:20 by “His Blood” & “His Cross” (implying “no” failure in achieving this because it’s through His Blood & Cross, when applied, no failure!) conclusively supporting the fact of God Wills to Reconcile all these as well to Himself! Wow!
(iii) Other equivalent Greek words in Scripture relating to the ‘same root word’ for example “archas” in the verse below (translated: rulers, principalities) refer to the “spiritual demonic or dark forces as a whole in the heavenlies”:
“because we have not the wrestling with blood and flesh, but with the principalities (“archas”), with the authorities, with the world-rulers of the darkness of this age, with the spiritual things of the evil in the heavenly places;” (Ephesians 4:12)
(iv) Can it mean earthly rulers referring to ‘man’?
“Archas” in the verse below may refer to man-rulers:
“When you are brought before the synagogues, rulers (archas), and authorities, do not worry about how to defend yourselves or what to say.” (Luke 12:11)
However, please note that the variant “archai” has “never” been used to ‘denote any human being’ & its two occurrence only in Scripture (Romans 8:38, Colossians 1:16) refer to “demons” (spiritual evil beings opposite to angels as even the “archas” of Ephesians 4:12 agrees to this usage accurately too). Thus that must be spoken of in those verses with their Reconciliation hinted in Colossians 1:20 as part of the “heavens” equivalent to the phrase “heavenlies” found in Ephesians 4:12 further binding this meaning.
Remember, only “all things” that are in ‘enemity’ or ‘not fully connected to Him’ in every way need “Reconciliation”. Thus, when their time for Reconciliation comes, He doesn’t count “their sins (the world’s trespass)” against “them” (‘the world’) anymore as it is written:
“namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:19)
Yes, “creation” (all creation) will be set free from serving the “corruption” (decay & death effect due to sin) to being “children of God” as these verses agree too:
“for to vanity was the creation made subject — not of its will, but because of Him who did subject [it] — in hope, that also the creation itself shall be set free from the servitude of the corruption to the liberty of the glory of the children of God;” (Romans 8:20 – 21)
All these can only be achieved through Christ, our Most Loving & Blessed Saviour:
“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in the heavens, and which are on earth; even in Him:” (Ephesians 1:10)
Indeed, may “God be all in all” as prophesied to a distant future time:
“When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28)
“We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)
(v) Here are some historical quotes from earliest church leaders who must have known this aspect of the Mystery of Christ in regards to Universal Reconciliation (copied from tentmaker.org)
The mass of men (Christians) say there is to be an end to punishment and to those who are punished.—St. Basil the Great
There are very many in our day, who though not denying the Holy Scriptures, do not believe in endless torments. — Augustine (354-430 A.D.)
For the wicked there are punishments, not perpetural, however, lest the immortality prepared for them should be a disadvantage, but they are to be purified for a brief period according to the amount of malice in their works. They shall therefore suffer punishment for a short space, but immortal blessedness having no end awaits them…the penalties to be inflicted for their many and grave sins are very far surpassed by the magnitude of the mercy to be showed to them. –Diodore of Tarsus, 320-394 A.D.
And God showed great kindness to man, in this, that He did not suffer him to continue being in sin forever; but as it were, by a kind of banishement, cast him out of paradise in order that, having punishment expiated within an appointed time, and having been disciplined, he should afterwards be recalled…just as a vessel, when one being fashioned it has some flaw, is remoulded or remade that it may become new and entire; so also it happens to man by death. For he is broken up by force, that in the resurrection he may be found whole; I mean spotless, righteous and immortal. –Theophilus of Antioch (168 A.D.)
Wherefore also he drove him out of paradise and removed him far from the tree of life, not because He envied him the tree of life, as some dare assert, but because He pitied him and desired that he should not be immortal and the evil interminable and irremediable. –Iraneaus of Lyons (182 A.D.)
These, if they will, may go Christ’s way, but if not let them go their way. In another place perhaps they shall be baptized with fire, that last baptism, which is not only painful, but enduring also; which eats up, as if it were hay, all defiled matter, and consumes all vanity and vice. –Gregory of Nazianzeu, Bishop of Constantinople. (330 to 390 A.D.) Oracles 39:19
The Word seems to me to lay down the doctrine of the perfect obliteration of wickedness, for if God shall be in all things that are, obviously wickedness shall not be in them. For it is necessary that at some time evil should be removed utterly and entirely from the realm of being.—St. Macrina the Blessed
In the end and consummation of the Universe all are to be restored into their original harmonious state, and we all shall be made one body and be united once more into a perfect man and the prayer of our Savior shall be fulfilled that all may be one. –St. Jerome, 331-420
For it is evident that God will in truth be all in all when there shall be no evil in existence, when every created being is at harmony with iteself and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; when every creature shall have been made one body. –Gregory of Nyssa, 335-390
The wicked who have committed evil the whole period of their lives shall be punished till they learn that, by continuing in sin, they only continue in misery. And when, by this means, they shall have been brought to fear God, and to regard Him with good will, they shall obtain the enjoyment of His grace. –Theodore of Mopsuestia, 350-428
We can set no limits to the agency of the Redeemer to redeem, to rescue, to discipline in his work, and so will he continue to operate after this life. –Clement of Alexandria
Do not suppose that the soul is punished for endless eons (apeirou aionas) in Tartarus. Very properly, the soul is not punished to gratify the revenge of the divinity, but for the sake of healing. But we say that the soul is punished for an aionion period (aionios) calling its life and its allotted period of punishment, its aeon. –Olnmpiodorus (AD 550)
Wherefore, that at the same time liberty of free-will should be left to nature and yet the evil be purged away, the wisdom of God discovered this plan; to suffer man to do what he would, that having tasted the evil which he desired, and learning by experience for what wretchedness he had bartered away the blessings he had, he might of his own will hasten back with desire to the first blessedness …either being purged in this life through prayer and discipline, or after his departure hence through the furnace of cleansing fire.–Gregory of Nyssa (332-398 A.D.)
That in the world to come, those who have done evil all their life long, will be made worthy of the sweetness of the Divine bounty. For never would Christ have said, “You will never get out until you hqave paid the last penny” unless it were possible for us to get cleansed when we paid the debt. –Peter Chrysologus, 435
I know that most persons understand by the story of Nineveh and its king, the ultimate forgiveness of the devil and all rational creatures. –St. Jerome
“In the end or consummation of things, all shall be restored to their original state, and be again united in one body. We cannot be ignorant that Christ’s blood benefited the angels and those who are in hell; though we know not the manner in which it produced such effects. The apostate angels shall become such as they were created; and man, who has been cast out of paradise, shall be restored thither again. And this shall be accomplished in such a way, that all shall be united together by mutual charity, so that the members will delight in each other, and rejoice in each other’s promotion. The apostate angels, and the prince of this world, though now ungovernable, plunging themselves into the depths of sin, shall, in the end, embrace the happy dominion of Christ and His saints.” – COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT – Jerome (347-420 A.D.)
Our Lord is the One who delivers man [all men], and who heals the inventor of evil himself. — Gregory of Nyssa (332-398 A.D.), leading theologian of the Eastern Church
While the devil thought to kill One [Christ], he is deprived of all those cast out of hades, and he [the devil] sitting by the gates, sees all fettered beings led forth by the courage of the Saviour.–Athanasius, the Great Father of Orthodoxy
Our Lord descends, and was shut up in the eternal bars, in order that He might set free all who had been shut up… The Lord descended to the place of punishment and torment, in which was the rich man, in order to liberate the prisoners. –Jerome
In the liberation of all no one remains a captive! At the time of the Lord’s passion the devil alone was injured by losing all the of the captives he was keeping. –Didymus, 370 AD
While the devil imagined that he got a hold of Christ, he really lost all of those he was keeping. –St. Chrysostom, 398 AD
Stronger than all the evils in the soul is the Word, and the healing power that dwells in him, and this healing He applies, according to the will of God, to everyman. The consummation of all things is the destruction of evil…to quote Zephaniah: “My determination to gather the nations, that I am assemble the kings, to pour upon them mine indignation, even say all my fierce anger, for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one consent”…Consider carefully the promise, that all shall call upon the Name of the Lord, and serve him with one consent.—Origen (185 to 254 A.D.) He founded a school at Caesarea, and is considered by historians to be one of the great theologians and exegete of the Eastern Church.
The nations are gathered to the Judgment, that on them may be poured out the wrath of the fury of the Lord, and this in pity and with a design to heal. in order that every one may return to the confession of the Lord, that in Jesus’ Name every knee may bow, and every tongue may confess that He is Lord. All God’s enemies shall perish, not that they cease to exist, but cease to be enemies.—Jerome (340 to 420 A.D), commenting on Zephaniah 3:8-10
Mankind, being reclaimed from their sins, are to be subjected to Christ in he fullness of the dispensation instituted for the salvation of all. –Didymus the Blind
So then, when the end has been restored to the beginning, and the termination of things compared with their commencement, that condition of things will be re-established in which rational nature was placed, when it had no need to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; so that when all feeling of wickedness has been removed, and the individual has been purified and cleansed, He who alone is the one good God becomes to him “all,” and that not in the case of a few individuals, or of a considerable number, but He Himself is “all in all.” And when death shall no longer anywhere exist, nor the sting of death, nor any evil at all, then verily God will be “all in all” –Origen, De Prinicipiis, 3.6.3. (Origen founded a school at Caesarea, and is considered by historians to be one of the great theologians and exegete of the Eastern Church.)
The Son “breaking in pieces” His enemies is for the sake of remolding them, as a potter his own work; as Jeremiah 18;6 says: i.e., to restore them once again to their former state. –Eusebius of Caesarea (65 to 340 A.D). Bishop of Caesarea
Our Savior has appointed two kinds of resurrection in the Apocalypse. ‘Blessed is he that hath part in the first resurrection,’ for such come to grace without the judgment. As for those who do not come to the first, but are reserved unto the second resurrection, these shall be disciplined until their appointed times, between the first and the second resurrection.– Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (340-397 A.D.)
We think, indeed, that the goodness of God, through His Christ, may recall all His creatures to one end, even His enemies being conquered and subdued…. for Christ must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. –Origen (185 to 254 A.D.) He founded a school at Caesarea, and is considered by historians to be one of the great theologians and exegete of the Eastern Church.
For it is needful that evil should some day be wholly and absolutely removed out of the circle of being. –Gregory of Nyssa (332-398 A.D.), leading theologian of the Eastern Church
In the present life God is in all, for His nature is without limits, but he is not all in all. But in the coming life, when mortality is at an end and immortality granted, and sin has no longer any place, God will be all in all. For the Lord, who loves man, punishes medicinally, that He may check the course of impeity. –Theodoret the Blessed, 387-458
When death shall no longer exist, or the sting of death, nor any evil at all, then truly God will be all in all. –Origen
All men are Christ’s, some by knowing Him, the rest not yet. He is the Savior, not of some and the rest not. For how is He Savior and Lord, if not the Savior and Lord of all?—Clement of Alexandria
Someone remarked, ‘how can non-living things be reconciled as part of all things or all creation?’
Simple: When non-living things too are reconciled to Him, they “decay no more due to corruption of sin (Romans 8:20 – 21)” being in a pristine & New state always from that point on!
That’s ‘why’ we are commanded to ‘preach the Gospel’ to “all creation” because the “Gospel” (meaning ‘Good News’) applies to ‘all creation’ One Day as explained briefly above!
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” – KING Jesus Christ (Mark 16:15)
Blessed Saviour of the World!