The book of Hebrews is all about Christ. The introduction declares that Christ is God's final word to man. There is nothing more to be said, there is nothing that can be added after what Jesus Christ has said and done. And it is utterly foolish to ignore it, according to the writer, because we cannot exist without Christ. It is basic dishonesty to pretend we can. We are not independent of God, as we sometimes foolishly imagine. We are not even independent of each other. We need one another, and we need God, desperately, every moment of life. Therefore, if Christ be God, as this letter so dearly claims, he is the inevitable One, and it is foolish to ignore him.
Chapter one of Hebrews has filled our minds with the glories of the deity of Christ. Chapter two does the same with the glories of his humanity and of his sufferings.
We resume our study this morning with verses:
Hebrews 2:14-15 (NKJV) Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
"Inasmuch then as the children...." - The "children" is a reference back to verse 13 where it refers to the people that God calls to himself , the elect, and gives to his Son, Jesus. Here we enter into the citadel of Divine purpose. God "foreknew" the "children," and sent Jesus in their form to save them.
From the standpoint of the "children" themselves, they have nothing to offer. It is Divine favor that makes them what they are. God knew them before they knew Him! As it is written:
Romans 8:29 (NKJV) For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
This verse is perfectly consistent with the rest of Scripture.
2 Timothy 1:9 (NKJV) who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
Remember, God is motivated by His own will, not by the human condition. This is expressly stated in God's Word:
Ephesians 1:11 (NKJV) In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
In his letter to Timothy, Paul declared the Lord's view of things:
2 Timothy 2:19 (NKJV) Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: "The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity."
When Paul was in Corinth, the Jews rejected him, resisting and blaspheming. It was there that Paul declared he was going to the Gentiles - and he did so in stern words:
Acts 18:6 (NKJV) But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, "Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles."
While many of the Corinthians did believe, together with Crispus, leader of the local synagogue, it did not look too promising. However, God is not moved by appearance, but by His Sovereign will. That very night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision:
Acts 18:9-10 (NKJV) Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 "for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city."
It certainly did not look like the Lord had a lot of people in that city - but He did. What is more, He knew who they were, and made provision for them.
In a much larger way, God provided for the "children" He knew from the foundation of the world.
"Have partaken of flesh and blood...." - The word "partaken" is the Greek word koinoneo, from which we get our words, fellowship and communion. It refers to partnership. We are made of blood and flesh. That is our nature. It is a perfect in the Greek and describes the constant human situation, all men and women, of every generation have this in common, our nature is flesh and blood. Because those that He was "bringing to glory" were "flesh and blood," it was necessary for their Savior to also be "flesh and blood."
The Greek reads, "Blood and flesh." This expression is used in and out of Scripture to refer to human nature pure and simple. It speaks of the frailty, dependency, and morality of man. These "children" share in flesh and blood, that is, they are simply human. They have a human nature. They are not angels or gods.
"He Himself likewise...." - The word "likewise" is paraplesios, which comes from para meaning: "alongside", and plesion, which means: "nearby." The Lord Jesus Christ took his place alongside and nearby the human race.
"Shared in the same..." - is from the word metecho, which means: "to hold with." It is an aorist in the Greek and points to the historical event of the incarnation when the Son of God assumed this same human nature of blood and flesh, and thus himself became truly man and accordingly truly one with mankind.
Since the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same. God became a man. This is what we call the Incarnation.
In verses 14-15, we have one of the most profound statements in all of Scripture dealing with the Incarnation. This passage teaches the staggering truth that Jesus of Nazareth was God made man. God became a man; the divine Son became a Jew; the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wiggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child.
C. S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity in the chapter called "The Obstinate Toy Soldier," said this, "The Eternal Being who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but before that a baby, and before that a fetus inside a woman's body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab."
The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets - God became a man! Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this truth of the incarnation.
What are we talking about? What exactly is the incarnation? God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, who was eternal in the Godhead, at a point in time took unto himself human nature and identified himself not only with our nature, but the conditions in which we live on the earth. The person of Christ always has been, but at a point in time, he began to be what he eternally was not, a man. Yet he did not cease to be God.
John 1:1 (NKJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The "Word" here is referring to the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice his deity - "the Word was God." Now drop down to verse 14:
John 1:14 (NKJV) And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
The "Word became flesh..." has been expressed by the theological term "Incarnation," which comes from the two Latin words "in" plus "cargo" meaning: "infleshment, the act of assuming flesh." God chose to become united to true humanity.
There was one difference between Jesus Christ and all other humanity - He was sinless.
Romans 8:3 (NKJV) For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
The word "likeness" is homoioma, which suggests similarity but difference. Though his humanity was genuine, he was different from all other humans in that he was sinless. Jesus Christ had real human flesh - he felt pain, sorrow; wept; died; but he was sinless.
Men could not be reconciled to God by a Divine fiat in which sin was spoken away. Such a procedure would not have allowed God to remain just! When the Son came "in the likeness of sinful flesh", He cleared the way for the Father to be both "Just and Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus" (Rom 3:26).
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Jesus Christ was a man, sharing all the aspects of our humanity except for sin.
At the incarnation, God the Son, the Second person of the one triune God, was forever joined to true humanity. This joining together has been designated as the hypostatic union.
The doctrine of the hypostatic union is the doctrine of the personal union of the two natures, the divine and the human, of the Lord Jesus Christ. This union was effected when the Logos, the Second person of the Trinity, assumed human nature into his Divine person so that God and man became forever one undivided and indivisible person. One person with two natures, this is the "mystery of godliness."
1 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV) And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.
The Second person of the trinity took on a human nature forever.
Jesus Christ is 100% God and 100% man. This is where we get the theological term "theanthropic", which comes from theos, which means: "God and anthropos," which means: "man." Jesus Christ is the God-Man. He is One person with two natures.
Martin Luther was forced to admit that the union could not be explained, "Reason cannot comprehend this, but we believe it: and this is also the testimony of Scripture: that Christ is true God and that He also became man."
Is the incarnation a big deal?
1 John 4:1-3 (NKJV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
To deny the incarnation is to be anti-Christ. It is to deny what the Scripture clearly teaches.
Now we understand what the Incarnation was, but what was its purpose? Why did God become a man? We have the answer in the last half of verse 14:
Hebrews 2:14 (NKJV) Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
"Through death...." - In his divine nature alone, Christ's life was indestructible (Hebrews 7:16). He could not die. But a death was necessary to deal with guilt and the punishment of sin. So Christ became human precisely so that he could die. This is what love does - it embraces suffering and death for the life of others.
"He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil...." - The ultimate end and purpose was that by that death as a man, a sinless man, he may redeem man and thus break the devil's hold on man.
Acts 20:28 (NKJV) "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Christ purchased the church, his elect, with his blood - his sacrificial death.
1 Peter 1:18-20 (NKJV) knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
1 Peter 2:24 (NKJV) who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.
God became a man to die and free man from Satan's hold of death.
Now the question: How does the death of Christ defeat the power of the devil in death? And to see that, let's compare the flow of thought in verses 14-15 with verse 17:
Hebrews 2:17 (NKJV) Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
Now what stands out immediately when you compare this verse with the flow of thought in verses 14 and 15 is that both of them speak of Christ having to become like us. Verse 17 says, "in all things He had to be made like His brethren." Verse 14 says, "Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same." So we know we are dealing here in verse 17 with the same basic flow of thought: in order to accomplish something, Christ had to become one of us.
But the rest of verse 17 is different from verses 14 and 15, and the differences show us how it is that Christ defeated the devil by dying for us. Verse 14 says that Christ became like us so that he could die and render powerless the one who has the power of death, the devil. Verse 17 says that Christ became like us so that he might become a high priest to make propitiation for our sins. So, my conclusion is that Christ rendered the devil powerless in death by his high priestly work of making a propitiation for our sins.
Christ strips the Devil of his power in death by making propitiation for our sins. How does this work? That big word "propitiation" simply means: "Christ takes away God's anger at us for our sins."
When Christ dies, he is perfectly innocent (Hebrews 4:15). His death is to bear the guilt and punishment of our sins, not his own. And when our punishment falls on him, it is taken away from us. That's what propitiation means. God's justice is satisfied. He loved us enough to put his own Son forward to absorb the punishment we deserved so that he could demonstrate that he is just and faithful in dealing with sin and merciful in dealing with sinners. This is the great Gospel. This is our great salvation. Christ dying in our place, and propitiating God - removing his righteous anger from us. So in him there is now no condemnation.
The Scripture clearly teaches that death like everything else is under God's control:
Deuteronomy 32:39 (NKJV) 'Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand.
At the beginning of this year, a man who visited our cell group said, "Satan and not God is behind all the destructive storms in this world." That is a commonly held view in modern Christendom. I challenged him to show me Scripture to back this idea. I told him that Scripture clearly states that God controls the weather. Speaking of God, the Psalmnest writes:
Psalms 135:7 (NKJV) He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.
Psalms 147:18 (NKJV) He sends out His word and melts them; He causes His wind to blow, and the waters flow.
Since this is true, then God is responsible for the destruction of thousands of lives by drowning because of storms and hurricanes and tornadoes and monsoons and typhoons which He has brought forth over the centuries. Do we charge God with wrong when we say this? To answer this question from the Bible, look with me at what Satan said to God in:
Job 1:11-12 (NKJV) "But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!" 12 And the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person." So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Satan asks God to stretch out his hand against Job. God responds by giving Job over to Satan's power. Notice what happens:
Job 1:19 (NKJV) "and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!"
Who caused this wind that killed these young people? The text doesn't tell us who caused the wind to blow but Job does:
Job 1:21 (NKJV) And he said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD."
What had the "Lord" taken away? Well, for one thing, his children. Job says that God was responsible for the death of all his children. Was Job wrong in making this statement? Was it sin for Job to blame God for this? God's Word answers this question in the very next verse:
Job 1:22 (NKJV) In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.
The Bible clearly teaches that God, and not Satan, has power over life and death.
1 Samuel 2:6 (NKJV) "The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.
We want to blame everything that we feel is "bad" on Satan. But Scripture teaches that God controls all:
Isaiah 45:7 (NKJV) I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create (evil) calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.'
Lamentations 3:38 (YLT) From the mouth of the Most High Go not forth the evils and the good.
Amos 3:6 (NKJV) If a trumpet is blown in a city, will not the people be afraid? If there is calamity in a city, will not the LORD have done it?
James 4:15 (NKJV) Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."
So, if God is truly in control of death and life, what does the writer of Hebrews mean when he says, "He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil"?
In order to fully understand this phrase, we must understand that the Old Covenant was a ministry of condemnation and death:
2 Corinthians 3:5-11 (NKJV) Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.
Paul says that the Old Covenant was a ministry of condemnation and death. The Old Covenant was characterized as condemnation and death and it was also characterized by Satan's rule:
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NKJV) But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
When the Old Covenant ended, which is the "this age" in this verse, so did Satan's power of death.
The death referred to here is spiritual death. To understand spiritual death, we have to go back to the beginning, back to creation. After creating man, God placed him in the garden of Eden and gave him a command:
Genesis 2:15-17 (NKJV) Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 "but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
God warned Adam, regarding the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, "The day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Adam disobeyed God and ate of the tree.
Did Adam die that day? Not physically! Adam lived at least 800 years beyond the day he ate the fruit. But God said he would die the day he ate, and we know that God cannot lie. Adam did not die physically that day, but he did die spiritually. He died spiritually the moment he disobeyed. Spiritual death is separation from God:
Isaiah 59:1-2 (NKJV) Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.
Ephesians 2:1-5 (NKJV) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Because of his sin, man was separated from God. He was dead in trespasses and sins. The focus of God's plan of redemption is to restore through Jesus Christ what man had lost in Adam:
Romans 5:18-19 (NKJV) Therefore, as through one man's (Adam) offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's (Jesus)righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.
1 Corinthians 15:21 (NKJV) For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.
Because of Adam's sin, we are all born dead, separated from God. But through Jesus Christ came the resurrection from the dead. Jesus Christ came to destroy the works of the devil:
1 John 3:8 (NKJV) He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
What were the works of the devil? They were to separate man from God. Jesus Christ came to redeem man from death, to restore him to fellowship with God, to bring him back into the presence of God.
The devil is said to have the power of death, not because he can kill and destroy men at will, but because he introduced sin, which brought death into the world (Rom 5:12).
Let's go back to Hebrews 2:
Hebrews 2:15 (NKJV) and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Through his death, Christ "released..." - apallasso, it means: "to deliver, release, remove". The power of death, which Satan possessed and of which Christ delivered men, was his ability to condemn them under the Old Covenant.
Satan was not destroyed, the Old Covenant was not done away, and salvation was not complete until Christ returned in AD 70.
Romans 16:20 (NKJV) And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
The KJV uses the word "bruise" instead of "crush." The Greek word used here is suntribo, (soon-tree'-bo) it means: "to crush completely, i.e. to shatter (lit. or fig.):--break (in pieces)".
When is it that Satan is to be crushed? It's at the second coming - is it not? Paul said here to the Roman Christians that it would happen shortly. Remember, audience relevance. I believe that Satan is a defeated foe. I believe this, because I believe in inspiration.
Our text in Hebrews says, "He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil" - the Greek word for "destroy" is katargeo: "to be (render) entirely idle (useless), lit. or fig.:--abolish, cease, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, bring (come) to naught, put away (down), vanish away, make void."
This word, katargeo is used 44 times in the New Testament in 26 verses. In these verses it is translated: "loosed (from the law Romans 7:2), make void, without effect, destroy, delivered, put down, put away, done away, vanish away, bring to naught, abolished, and ceased."
Let's look at just a few of its uses:
1 Corinthians 15:26 (NKJV) The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
2 Corinthians 3:14 (NKJV) But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.
2 Timothy 1:10 (NKJV) but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
In commenting on this verse in Hebrews one writer said, "Satan has been destroyed, but we are still tempted by him, and must resist him." What does that mean? If (spiritual) death is abolished, do we still die spiritually? If the law is taken away, are we still under it? NO! Satan has been destroyed!
Another commentator said, "Is the devil destroyed? Do you think he has quit working? If we mean by this eliminated, obviously the answer is 'No.'" Bishop Pike said about the devil, "If there be such, he is still doing very well, as anyone reading the daily papers can know." Do we get our theology from the daily paper or from the Bible?
Was Christ a failure in this mission? Most Christians act like he was, they're still all worried about the devil. I think we want him to still be around, so we have someone to blame for our sin. Many Christians have the Flip Wilson mentality - "the devil made me do it."
1 John 3:8 (NKJV) He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
Christ is said to have destroyed the devil and his works. Do you believe the Bible? Or does your theology come from empiricism?
According to my Bible, Satan is a defeated foe. You might ask what about all the evil in the world? If Satan is destroyed, why do we still have so much sin and temptation? We said earlier in our study that God said:
Isaiah 45:7 (YLT) Forming light, and preparing darkness, Making peace, and preparing evil, I am Jehovah, doing all these things.'
James says, "every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed." Man is totally depraved, we battle the flesh, we battle evil men with corrupt world views, we battle the effects of sin. But Jesus Christ has conquered the Devil, and this was completed when the Old Covenant came to and end.
Hebrews 8:13 (NKJV) In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.
The book of Hebrews was written at around 67 AD. At this time, the Old Covenant was still in effect but it was ready to pass away. It passed away in AD 70 in the destruction of Jerusalem. The destruction of Jerusalem is described as the passing away of Heaven and earth. In the New Heavens and earth, the New Covenant, Satan is destroyed.
Revelation 20:7-9 (NKJV) Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
Near the end of the last days, the devil is loosed and stirs up the nations against Jerusalem. Verse 9 says they surround the "beloved city", which is Jerusalem, and Jerusalem is destroyed.
Notice the events that take place here, Satan is cast into the lake of fire:
Revelation 20:10 (NKJV) The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
The Old Covenant is ended:
Revelation 20:11 (NKJV) Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
The judgment takes place, and death is also cast in the lake of fire:
Revelation 20:12-15 (NKJV) And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Death, spiritual death, is the last enemy, it was destroyed when the Lord returned:
1 Corinthians 15:21-26 (NKJV) For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.
1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (NKJV) Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed; 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
When the Lord returned; the Old Covenant ended, Satan and death were destroyed, and the New Covenant is fully consummated:
Revelation 21:1-3 (NKJV) Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.
Remember that God himself has told us that the New Jerusalem is the New Covenant:
Galatians 4:24-26 (NKJV) which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar; 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children; 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Until the redemptive work of Christ was accomplished, Satan's purpose against men could not be thwarted. To put it another way, as long as there was a basis for his accusation against men, he could not be "destroyed," or rendered impotent. Satan was the accuser of the brethren but since the Old Covenant ended, he can bring no charge against God's elect.
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