Bible Answer

Will Satan cease to exist or not?

In Ezekiel 28:18-19 it says Satan will cease to exist, but in Revelation 20:10 and Matthew 10:28 the Bible says Satan is tormented forever and ever. Which is true?

Regarding Satan’s disposition, we must interpret scripture with scripture. In Ezekiel we read:

Ezek. 28:18 “By the multitude of your iniquities, In the unrighteousness of your trade You profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you;  It has consumed you, And I have turned you to ashes on the earth In the eyes of all who see you.
Ezek. 28:19 “All who know you among the peoples Are appalled at you; You have become terrified And you will cease to be forever.”

But later in Revelation, we read:

Rev. 20:10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Based on these two passages, we must conclude that Ezekiel’s words are a reference to the Lake of Fire. In other words, when Ezekiel declares that Satan will cease to be forever, the prophet means that Satan will cease to be of concern or importance because he will have been consigned to an eternity in the Lake of Fire. From the standpoint of Creation, Satan has ceased to be because he will exist outside of our experience forevermore.

Likewise, Jesus’ comment in Matthew agrees with this conclusion:

Matt. 10:28 “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

To “destroy both soul and body in hell” means to be consigned forever to the torment of the Lake of Fire, which is called the Second Death. In the Bible’s terminology, the Second Death does not describing a ceasing to exist but rather a spiritual separation from God accompanied by torment.