Matthew-25.41

 

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In another discourse about the Last Times Jesus speaks of Angels of Devil.  He promises that all men and women who have failed to do good deeds will be sent “into the fire of the Aeon [the Next Age] that has been prepared for Devil and his Angels” (Matt. 25.41).  This means either that Devil and his Angels are destined to be punished for their own bad deeds, or that they are to be the punishers of the bad deeds of humans.

We will see instances of Satan’s being punished by fire in the Book of Revelation (chap. 6.2).  But the idea of Satan as being in charge of eschatological (end-of-time) punishment is deducible from a passage of the Book of the Similitudes, a work that was added to the Book of Enoch in the first century A.D. (it comprises 1 Enoch 37-71).  In the passage in question, Enoch reports a vision of sinners, and says:

Sinners shall be destroyed from before the face of the Lord of the Spirits—they shall perish eternally, standing before the face of His Earth.  So I saw all the Angels of Plague cooperating and preparing all the chains of Satan.  And I asked the Angel of Peace who was going with me, “For whom are they preparing these chains?”  And he answered me, saying, “They are preparing these for the Kings and the Potentates of this Earth in order that they may be destroyed thereby.”  (1 Enoch 53.2-5)

Elsewhere in the Similitudes, we hear of “Satans” (in the plural), who are accustomed to bring accusations against humans before the Lord of Spirits (1 Enoch 40.7).  We are told also of the oppressive deeds of the Satans upon Earth (65.6), whereas earlier we hear of “the Armies of Azazel” who are to be punished for the oppressive deeds they performed “as Messengers of Satan” (54.6).

 

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To sum up, Matthew introduces us to a sophistical Devil, who inquires into Jesus’s nature as God’s Son, challenging him to work a miracle of feeding himself, and then to invite a miracle of rescue from God, and finally to take over the rule of the world as Devil’s deputy (Matt. 4.1-11).  Then Jesus tells his Disciples to pray against testing and to pray for deliverance from “Harm” (6.13).  Much later, Jesus assures his listeners that Satan is not divided against himself and his kingdom is still standing (12.26).  Devil (as “Bad”) snatches away the word of the Kingdom from one’s heart (13.19), and he sows harmful weeds (13.38-39).  Jesus identifies Peter with Satan for being an obstacle to his destiny in Jerusalem (16.23), and we learn that in the next world fire has been prepared for Devil and his Angels (25.41).