Thursday, July 14, 2016

Matthew 8 vs 29 Demons Tormented

Matthew 8:29 "[the demons] screamed, saying: “What have we to do with you, Son of God?  Did you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”

It is helpful to understand what the demons meant by "did you come here to torment us before the appointed time?" As you probably remember, Revelation 20:1-3 says of Jesus: “I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for 1,000 years. And he hurled him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not mislead the nations anymore until the 1,000 years were ended. After this he must be released for a little while."

So the demons were referring to the future time that they know and recognized as their imprisonment in the "abyss." Granted, these are spirit creatures we are talking about, so no physical holding tank could restrain them. But God knew we as physical beings would not understand spiritual things unless they were put in a frame of reference we humans could relate to. So whatever this "abyss" is, it is some sort of restraint that prevents the demons from exerting their influence.

But how do the words “torture” and “torment” play into this? Regarding the original Greek word used here, consider this article:

Here is a reasoning point that may help: Just as a holding cell, or even possibly solitary confinement might be a "torture" all of and in itself, so likewise restraining the demons inside the abyss is all by itself a torture. (Even a child being punished by being sent to his room or to sit in a corner knows how torturous being grounded can be.) Those who have been in prisons can relate to the mental (psychological and emotional) anguish just being in prison can have. Even if no actual physical torture is being applied, just the act of restraint, the inability to express free will, the inability to enjoy life can be torture.

So things we humans associate with physical torture would not affect a spirit creature. But more importantly is the principle at Jeremiah 19:5 and James 1:13. That is to say, God would never use this sort of torture on anyone.


  1. We also could mention the shame of it all, since they, who controlled others and enjoyed what seemed to them as freedom (from God), will now reap the reward of their 'freedom' which is captivity. They are already captive to sin, so the time comes that they will be literally captive to God who judges sin.

  2. I think the shame came when they knowingly and belligerently disobeyed. But, being created perfect, they feel no shame. Instead, just like some humans today, they find fault with God and are angry Jehovah is righteous, as if being righteous is a bad thing. (Take a look at the homosexual contingency today. Most articles try to villainize anyone who doesn't accept the homosexual agenda.)

  3. There’s some rather simplistic reasoning going on here, some of it based on conjecture on your part (spoken as though fact), and you probably shouldn’t presume to know God’s thoughts, i.e. “God knew”. You are importing your own speculation into Rev. 20:1-3 that simply cannot be gleaned from the passage itself. As I read further, I see that your aim is to ‘lead’ the reader to the desired conclusion, and to reinforce the argument against the existence of Hell.

    Bart I agree with you that God cannot tempt or be tempted by evil (James 1:13), but your insinuation that Jeremiah 19:5 is an example of very evil He wouldn’t perpetrate against humans (i.e. torture humans in ‘hellfire’) is an overt attempt to bias the reader’s reasoning towards the desired conclusion (that God wouldn’t torment humans in a ‘firey hell’). It is also rather questionable (and suspicious) in my mind why you would go back six centuries even before Christ came, to pluck a solitary verse completely out of its context in order to support your argument that God would never do such an ‘evil’ thing to a human.

    Let me ask you, was God perpetrating ‘evil’ when He rained ‘fire’ down on Sodom & Gomorrah, or directly commanded the Israelites by the sword brutally slay every last man woman & child of peoples (Canaanites, Amalekites, etc., even entire tribes & nations of peoples? What about killing all of Egypt’s first-born? What about the Flood? There’s so much more still.

    Of course God is sovereign, and can elect to do what He wills to do in His Creation and with His created creatures…but I also know that He is supremely moral and spotlessly righteous & just. Thus these are all instances of His sovereign will at work, but I must trust never in a way that violated His pristine moral goodness. And that’s why the existence of a ‘hell’ (while unpalatable to my sensibilities) isn’t unacceptable to my own mind. Righteousness & unrighteousness, justice & injustice, good & evil, freedom & incarceration, life & death…logically then, just is there is a Heaven lit by His glory, in all likelihood is a Hell far removed from His Light.

    Torture? Torment? God will not torment (let alone torture) poor souls who made bad decisions & mistakes…but He will honor the human’s free-will decision to live to the end as a rebellious law-breaker who must pay the penalty for his rejection of God…specifically for rejecting God’s offer of salvation & the only means of escaping His just punishment (Acts 4:12). Either way, there will be “wailing & gnashing of teeth”...the 'torment' they will suffer is ultimately a self-inflicted, free-will choice.
    There are also other biblical-based doctrines that must also be dismantled before one can logically do away with the reality of hell, but that’s another discussion.
    (PS; hope all is better with your health these days)


  4. AJ: I replied to you here: