I have often wondered if Earth was created not for man, but as a place of temporary confinement for Satan and his demons. That idea was provoked by,

Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.


Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Since Jesus said he saw Satan cast out of Heaven it would mean that he was present to witness Revelation 12;7 thru 9.

It would also mean that he was present at creation since according to Revelation 12:9 Satan and his Demons were cast into the Earth, indicating that Creation must have progressed at minimum beyond Genesis 1:1.

Confinement to Earth would be about the same as confinement in Prison for them since they would no longer be free to roam endless space.

I have reviewed all those referenced questions, but do not feel that they adequately address my particular enigma.

  • It is interesting that you use the word confine. We are bound or confined by space in time. The Bible speaks of eternal realities that are not confined by space and time. We live in a fallen world that has temporal limitations as a result of the fall of man. – Rick Oct 10 '13 at 17:41
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about God's motives. – Flimzy Jan 15 '15 at 21:52

The world may be a place of confinement for the devils, in some sense, but it is primarily a place created for humans and for the glory of God. Perhaps your question was partly inspired by the famous lines from Marlowe's Faustus,

FAUSTUS: Where are you damn'd?
FAUSTUS: How comes it then, that thou art out of hell?
MEPHISTOPHELES: Why, this is hell; nor am I out of it:
Think'st thou that I, that saw the face of God,
And tasted the eternal joys of heaven,
Am not tormented with ten thousand hells
In being depriv'd of everlasting bliss?

Hell as separation from God is a very common and orthodox concept. Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica 1.64.4 ad 3), in the same way, says "Although the demons are not actually bound within the fire of hell while they are in this dark atmosphere, nevertheless their punishment is none the less; because they know that such confinement is their due." (Daemones licet non actu alligentur gehennali igni, dum sunt in aere isto caliginoso, tamen ex hoc ipso quod sciunt illam alligationem sibi deberi, eorum poena non diminuitur.) This reference to the "dark atmosphere" follows Augustine, after Paul in Ephesians 2:2 and 6:12.

However, Earth is certainly not identical with Hell. The various narratives of creation present the universe as a place formed and hallowed by God: it is "very good" in his sight (Genesis 1:31) and it is a home for humans and other creatures (see Psalm 104 for extended praise of God's handiwork and sovereign care). John proclaims that God "became flesh and lived among us" (John 1:14), literally "pitched his tent", as part of a constant Biblical theme of God choosing to become known in the world and making it "his" place. The preaching of Jesus is also full of positive references to the Earth's inhabitants, as in Matthew 6:26-29, from the Sermon on the Mount:

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.

An Earth which contains birds and lilies, beloved in their own way by God, is not a prison for devils. At other times, Jesus speaks of the world as a place occupied by evil powers:

"Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out." (John 12:31)
"I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father." (John 14:30-31)

The world does not rightly belong to the present "ruler of this world", but to God; Jesus came to liberate us from the lordship of evil. The Revelation culminates in "a new heaven and a new earth" (21:1), distinct from Hell which is thrown into "the lake of fire" (20:14). The new Earth is not an improved prison, but a new and better home for God and us: "The home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them" (21:3).

(All Biblical quotations are from the NRSV.)

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  • Revelation 20 happens after the day of Judgement. After the Second coming for it happens in the after the Second Resurrection. Therefore Hell, as you described, is not a place. The word 'hell' in the New Testament almost always refers to the tomb. – jlaverde Oct 11 '13 at 12:30

I saw satan as lightning fall from heaven doesn't mean Jesus saw satan cast out of heaven. Not only does Jesus not say specifically say, "I saw satan cast out of heaven", but from Lu 22:31 we know he was still appearing before God to petition Him.

It means He saw satan fall. In particular, it was as a consequence of the activities of seventy of Jesus' disciples, whom Jesus sent into the cities at the beginning of the chapter.

Lu 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. 2 Therefore said he unto them… 9 …heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you… 17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

In other words, Jesus' ministry was causing such havoc in satan's rule over Earth, that he rushed to Earth personally to see what was going on.

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  • @ Huperniketes You have to be kidding me. Jesus was obviously warning them not to get too prideful, and telling them that that was the reason Satan was ejected from Heaven. He accentuated that in verse 10:20, in telling them Rejoice for the right reason. – BYE Jan 14 '14 at 14:41
  • You might also note That Jesus that he fell not was banned. The word fell does not have to be a physical falling, it could also refer to the refer to Lucifer having fallen from his lofty position in Heaven and now occupying a position of disdain. Which is my interpretation. – BYE Jan 14 '14 at 14:48

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