What Is The Current Abode Of Satan & Demons?

There is a common misconception amongst Christians that Satan and demons live in hell. Some picture Satan as the Lord of hell, where he tortures sinners, together with his demons. But nowhere does the Bible teach this. This error is actually traceable back to Dante’s Inferno, a famous 14th century poem, which describes hell as a torture chamber.

The idea of Satan as lord of hell is also derived from pagan mythology. The Egyptians believed that Osiris was the god of the underworld, and Anubis was the guardian of the dead. The Greeks had Hades, who was seen as the god of the underworld (the underworld was also called Hades). In Norse mythology, Hel, the daughter of Loki, ruled over the underworld (which was also called Hel). Many pagan religions believe in some deity who rules over the underworld, and over the years, these pagan ideas have crept into Christianity.

The Bible does not teach Satan or demons as being in hell YET. Satan and his demons operate ON THE EARTH, not in hell!

In Job 1:7, when the Lord asks Satan, “From where do you come?” he does not say “hell.” Rather, he answers, “FROM GOING TO AND FRO ON THE EARTH, and from walking back and forth ON IT.” Satan roams about on the Earth, seeking whom to devour.

1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil WALKS ABOUT like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Revelation 2 makes it clear that Satan’s throne is on the Earth, not in hell. At the time when Revelation was written, he was operating from Pergamos.

Revelation 2:13 (NKJV)

13 “I know your works, and where you dwell (Pergamos), WHERE SATAN’S THRONE IS. And you hold fast to My name, and did not deny My faith even in the days in which Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was killed among you, WHERE SATAN DWELLS. 

Satan is therefore not the “lord of hell.” He is described in Scripture as the “god/ruler of THIS WORLD,” not hell (see 2 Corin 4:4, John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11). Ephesians 2:2 calls him “the prince of the power of the air.” He is as close to man, as the very air he breathes. He operates where men (“the sons of disobedience“) are—in this world!

The Bible also does not teach Satan ruling hell, either now or in the future. Hell is actually a place of PUNISHMENT for the devil and his fallen angels.

Matthew 25:41 (NKJV)

41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire PREPARED FOR THE DEVIL AND HIS ANGELS. 

Neither Satan nor the demons have been to hell yet. This will happen at the end of the age. And when this happens, they won’t be tormenting people there. The Bible doesn’t teach Satan torturing sinners in hell. When Satan is thrown into hell, at the end of the age, he is thrown there to be tormented and destroyed.

Revelation 20:10 (NKJV)

10 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. 


Contradictory Texts in 2 Peter 2:4 & Jude 6?


Now, there are some Biblical texts which SEEM to suggest Satan and demons being in hell currently. They are 2 Peter 2:4 & Jude 6. Let’s begin with 2 Peter 2:4.

2 Peter 2:4 (NKJV)

4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but CAST THEM DOWN TO HELL and DELIVERED THEM INTO CHAINS OF DARKNESS, to be reserved for judgment. 

Some have pictured demons chained in hell, based on this text. Going back to the Greek will help. The issue here arises because of a mistranslation of the word “hell.

There are various Greek words for “hell” and Peter is VERY CAREFUL with the word he uses here (2 Pt 2:4). Peter does not use the word “Hades” which means “grave,” or “Gehenna” which means “hell, the place of destruction.” Rather, he uses a strange Greek word “Tatarus” which only appears ONCE in the entire Bible, in this text (2 Peter 2:4). Since it does not appear anywhere else in the Bible, we would have to understand its meaning from etymological usage.


Now, what is Tatarus? Is it hell? No. Tatarus in ancient Greek mythology was a place where Zeus restrained the Titans (a race of giants), after defeating them. Tatarus was far below the Heavens (Mount Olympus) in Greek mythology (where the gods dwelt), and far below Hades (the place of the dead). So this word “Tatarus” speaks of both RESTRAINT and DEMOTION. Peter is using a metaphor here which his audience would readily understand.

Simply put: God cast Satan and demons down to a place of restraint and demotion, speaking of their STATUS, as fallen angels. This is Tartarus. Demons have being cast down; they have lost that original power, place and position they once previously had. Just like the Titans in Greek mythology, they can never “crawl their way back up” Mount Olympus i.e. they can NEVER regain their original position.

Peter is simply saying that demons are fallen angels, fallen from their heavenly status. The word “demon” in the Greek literally means “fallen spirit” or “inferior spirit” (“daimónion“).

These inferior spirits now roam the Earth “in chains of darkness,” that is restraints, awaiting judgment. The Earth feels like “hell” for them (2 Pt 2:4) i.e. Tatarus, a prison, a place of restraint. The place where they face the pain and agony of losing their first estate, UNTIL the Day of Judgment, when they will be cast into the lake of fire (Gehenna). For now, they are restrained where MEN live.

So 2 Peter 2:4 may be better read this way:

For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to A STATE OF DEMOTION and RESTRAINT (“Tartarus” is a metaphor for a low status or rank, of fallen angels) and delivered them into chains of darkness (that is, they are restrained on Earth), to be reserved for judgment.

The second seeming contradictory text (Jude 6) also bears similar thoughts.

Jude 6 (NKJV)

6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, HE HAS RESERVED IN EVERLASTING CHAINS, UNDER DARKNESS for the judgment of the great day. 

The fallen angels are limited in operation, that is all Jude is saying here. They are kept in METAPHORIC chains (“desmos” in the Greek which means “impediment“) i.e. what they can do has been HIGHLY restricted. And they exist under a state of darkness, on the earth, till the Day of Judgment. Ephesians 6:12 calls them “the rulers of the darkness of this age.” Their operations are bound to the Earth, till they are judged.

So both Peter and Jude address the current fallen state of angels. They are saying the SAME thing, only with different words. What Jude calls “chained under darkness,” Peter calls “Tatarus.” They both describe the fallen state of demons, in which they are now inferior, restrained and highly limited.

We may call demons “spirits in Tartarus,” since the word “demon” means “fallen spirit” or “inferior spirit.” They are spirits in Tatarus (i.e. a state of demotion), or using Jude’s words “spirits in chains” that is, restrained, restricted spirits. If Satan and demons were not restrained to a large extent, mankind would be destroyed!


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2022.

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