The Demons’ Fear of Torment

As we close our study of this particular myth, one final scriptural example to consider is the story of the Gadarene demoniacs:

And when He [Jesus] had come to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs; they were so exceedingly violent that no one could pass by that road. And behold, they cried out, saying, “What do we have to do with You, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” (Matt. 8:28-29, emphasis added).

This story is often used by the proponents of the Satan-Gained theory to support their ideas. They say, “Those demons appealed to Jesus’ justice. They knew He had no right to torment them before the time when Adam’s lease expires, the time when they and Satan will be cast into the lake of fire to be tormented day and night forever.”

But actually just the opposite is true. They knew Jesus had the power and every right to torment them any time He desired, which is why they begged Him for mercy. They obviously were very afraid that the Son of God might send them to be tormented much sooner. Luke tells us they entreated Him “not to command them to depart to the abyss” (Luke 8:31). If Jesus didn’t have that right because of some supposed legal right of the devil, they wouldn’t have been concerned at all.

Those demons knew they were completely at the mercy of Jesus, as illustrated by their plea not to be sent out of the country (Mark 5:10), their entreaty to be permitted to enter the nearby herd of pigs (Mark 5:12), their begging to not be cast into “the abyss” (Luke 8:31), and their imploring Christ not to be tormented before “the time.”