OBJECTOR>> Fallen angels will not be judged at The Great White Throne Judgment or The Sheep and Goat Judgment. You are wrong about that. The Goats on Jesus' left are unbelieving mankind that will be damned to the Lake of Fire.
ME>> I certainly respect that we have a different view of these things. However, please consider one more amazing observation from the Scripture. Traditional understanding holds that The Great White Throne Judgment and The Sheep and Goat Judgment are the final judgments of human beings. Tradition maintains that believers, those who accepted Jesus, are the Sheep on the right, while unbelievers, those who die without faith, are the Goats on Jesus left. Even many Restorationists think that unbelieving mankind is sent to the Lake of Fire, but that they are finally released sometime beyond the last page of the Bible. However, others in church history (including myself) differ from this traditional understanding for a number of reasons and now I want to bring one more totally amazing reason to the table. Again, I am convinced that the Lake of Fire is only prepared for the devil and his angels and that no human being will ever enter these fires. I am convinced that the final judgment of Jesus also includes the judgment of fallen angels and they alone are the Goats on Jesus' left sent to the Lake of Fire.
First, consider a quick review of my reasons already given. If you have not already read my proof that Jesus is the Savior of all mankind, please start at the beginning of my book, Optimism Out of Control.
- Jesus paid for the sins of all mankind, therefore not even one human being can be eternally damned, not even unbelieving mankind, 1 John 2:1-2. If God himself has paid for our sin and his wrath is appeased, who then remains to condemn us? Furthermore, faith does not cause our election to forgiveness, but instead faith trusts that we are already chosen for forgiveness from before the creation of the world, Ephesians 1:4! But are not unbelievers punished after death?
- Jesus does punish unbelieving mankind in Hades after death. However, even in Hades his love for all mankind continues, Psalm 139:8. Contrary to tradition, even unbelievers will be finally released from their punishments to receive salvation, Matthew 16:18 and Revelation 20:13. Jesus deeply loves all mankind, yet there is still punishment in Hades for those who reject the grace of God even though they are already forgiven. Punishment for the unbelieving is promised in 2 Thessalonians 2:9. However, read the YLT Bible to see that the word "eternal" is mistranslated from the Greek word "aion" and should instead read "eon," "age," or "complete." So unbelievers are punished for the "age" of Hades. Love does not remove punishment, but instead God punishes us because he loves us! But does Jesus love the fallen angels also?
- Jesus does not help fallen angels, Hebrews 2:14-16. Therefore demons will suffer the Lake of Fire. Furthermore "The Ages of The Ages" of the Lake of Fire is quite different than the "Age" of Hades. Jesus' plan from the beginning has been to crush the head of Satan, Genesis 3:15. During the course of history, some demons have already been imprisoned in Tartarus for future judgment, 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6. Scripture then ends with the salvation of the elect, even from Hades, and the condemnation of the Devil and his rebel angels to the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:10. So when will these fallen angels be judged?
- Jesus' Sheep and Goat Judgment in Matthew 25 strongly appears to be the same as The Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20. Since Scripture says that fallen angels are being "held for judgment" on "The Great Day," the most obvious timing for this judgment is the Sheep and Goat Judgment and The Great White Throne Judgment when Jesus stands all his subjects before him for final judgment. Daniel 12:1-4, Matthew 25:31-46, and Revelation 20:11-15 each appear to be talking about the same event. So the subjects that stand before Jesus at the final judgment will include both the unbelieving humans just released from Hades and the demons just extracted from Tartarus. But how can we be certain?
- Jesus says explicitly that the Lake of Fire is... "prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41 WEB). The Lake of Fire is not prepared for humans. Though we deserve the same fate as the Devil and his Angels, yet because of the grace of Jesus mankind is spared damnation. The Devil and his Angels, however, are sentenced to the Lake of Fire. Is there more proof?
Some have objected to my understanding saying that fallen angels will not be present at The Sheep and Goat Judgment or at The Great White Throne Judgment. However, the Scripture is clear that these fallen angels are presently being held for future judgment. Consider,
For if God didn’t spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness to be reserved for judgment.
2 Peter 2:4 (WEB)
Angels who didn’t keep their first domain, but deserted their own dwelling place, he has kept in everlasting bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.
Jude 6 (WEB)
The Scripture is clear that these imprisoned fallen angels are being held for judgment at some point in the future. Jude 6 is very clear that the timing of this judgment will be on "The Great Day." I have proposed that this Great Day is the same day as The Sheep and Goat Judgment and The Great White Throne Judgment.
However, if that is not enough proof already (and I think it is), consider one last proof directly from Revelation 20:13 (WEB),
The sea [Thalaasa] gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works.
Have you ever thought it curious that both the sea [Thalassa] and Hades gave up the dead that are in them? Why the distinction? Why both Thalaasa and Hades? Perhaps the reference to the sea and Hades is doubly expansive in order to communicate the certainty that all the dead will be raised. Perhaps the language is slightly poetical or apocalyptic and so should not be pressed too hard for meaning.
Alternatively, the Holy Spirit is at least noting the distinction that people are released from two separate locations to stand before Christ's Throne. Clearly one location is Hades, the temporary place of punishment for deceased unbelieving humanity. Could Thalaasa then be the place of punishment for fallen angels or perhaps the retreat for fugitive fallen angels?
Consider two possible explanations. First we note that the Holy Spirit borrows the term "Tartaroo" from Greek mythology in order to help the first century reader understand that the fallen angels are held in a separate, harsher prison than unbelieving mankind, 2 Peter 2:4. There could be a connection between Thalaasa and Tartarus in that Thalaasa was a Greek goddess whose counterpart Tethys was a Titan imprisoned in... Tartarus. There is also a small parallel between the mythological Titans and the speculation that the Nephilim were rebellious angels that pro-created with humans in Genesis 6:4, perhaps the very angels imprisoned in Tartarus. Now I am not saying that the Holy Spirit believed in Greek mythology! However, it may be that the mythological idea of the Titans was inspired by the historic Nephilim. My main point is that rebels are escorted from both Hades and Thalaasa which offers further support for the presence of fallen angels at the final judgment.
Alternatively Thalaasa could simply refer to the sea. Certainly we should not think that some deceased humans are in Hades while others are in the sea! Instead, the sea could just as easily refer to the place of punishment for fallen angels or possibly the retreat for fugitive fallen angels. For example, in Matthew 8:28-34 the Lord helped two demon possessed men by casting the demons into a herd of pigs, which then promptly downed themselves in the sea [Thalaasa]. Again, rebels are escorted from both Hades and Thalaasa which supports the presence of fallen angels at the final judgment.
Note also that Revelation 21:1b (WEB) says, "and the sea [Thalaasa] is no more." This verse always seemed odd to me, that the New Heavens and Earth would not have seas. However, in the context it seems clear that the meaning is that there will no longer be any place of temporary punishment or retreat for whoever was held in Thalaasa, perhaps the demons. The punishing grounds of both Hades and Thalassa are to be ended! Thus, mankind will be released from Hades and finally saved to glory through the grace of God alone. They are the sheep at the Sheep and Goat Judgment, in Matthew 25! The demons, however, are extracted from Thalassa to be judged and sentenced with Satan to the Lake of Fire for The Ages of The Ages. They are the Goats at the Sheep and Goat Judgment! This is good news concerning the final salvation of mankind. This is also good news if you hope to enjoy the ocean on the New Earth!
So there is strong evidence for the presence of fallen angels at The Sheep and Goat Judgment, also called The Great White Throne Judgment. First, these fallen angels are being held for punishment on "the great day" (Jude 6). Second, the Lake of Fire is "prepared for... the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41 WEB). Third, Thalaasa, whether a picture from Greek mythology or simply the sea, is clearly a place distinct from Hades that is also emptied of rebels for judgment on that Great Day.
If you object to my proposal above you should at least answer these three questions. Why do you think the Holy Spirit distinguishes between the dead in Thalaasa and the dead in Hades as mentioned in Revelation 20:13? When do you think "The Great Day" is for the judgment of the fallen angels, I Peter 2:4 and Jude 6? Why do you think Revelation 21:1 says there is no longer any sea?
So again it is further supported that the Goats on Jesus' left at The Sheep and Goat Judgment (that is The Great White Throne Judgment) are the fallen angels to be summoned from Tartarus or Thalassa to stand before Christ. They are the Goats on Jesus' left sentenced to the Lake of Fire "prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41 WEB). Thus by the grace of Christ alone, no humans will ever enter The Lake of Fire! Instead the Sheep on Jesus' right are unbelieving mankind to be released from Hades and finally graced with understanding and joy over their Savior and ours, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yet be warned by the gospel. Humans who reject grace will be punished in Hades, even though their sins are forgiven, because the God who loves also disciplines! Why test the Lord? Repent and receive the good news that YOUR sins are forgiven... because the sins of ALL mankind are forgiven!