That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these publications are, as a Christian service, provided without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
Where the Devil
When was it created
Copyright© 1994 by
Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists
Douglas Francis Mitchell
Note: All Biblical references are from the King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
Printed in the United States of America
It is written; "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1
There is no mention in this verse of God creating a place called hell, as such term is commonly understood. In verses 2-30 of the first chapter of Genesis we have a description of the things God created, and the record continues:
"And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made." Genesis 1:31- 2:2.
As we see by the preceding verses, there is no mention in the Book of Beginnings (Genesis) of God creating a place called hell – and, it "was very good." Sin did not enter the world until after the time that "God ended his work which he had made," so there would have been no need for any place called hell before that time. Had Adam and Eve not sinned they would have lived eternally, for they had access to the tree of life. Even after the record of Adam and Eve having fallen into sin, there is still no scriptural record of God creating a place called hell, as that term is commonly understood.
As there is no record in the Bible of God having created a place called hell as that term is traditionally understood, then who did create it. The devil? There is no scriptural record of any such thing happening. There is no Biblical statement even inferring the beginning of a literal place of burning called hell. Though the Bible does testify of the time when fire will come down from heaven to destroy the wicked, and identifies a certain place of destruction as "the lake of fire," there is no statement identifying either as hell. There is nothing in the Bible which would suggest that the devil is in charge of either the fire from heaven or the lake of fire. To the contrary, it appears that God is actually in charge of the fire:
"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather then together to battle: the number of whom is as the sands of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone...and death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death" Revelation 20:7-10,14.
According to the foregoing text, the devil himself was not subjected to fire from heaven while he was locked up in "his prison." Therefore, Satan's "prison" is something different from the traditional understanding of hell as a literal place where the devil dwells. The text also declares that "hell" itself will be subjected to the consuming fire that comes down from God out of heaven. The remaining verses of Revelation 20 describe the judgment scene after which all of the wicked who had previously been resurrected will themselves be cast into the lake of fire. This also shows that the wicked had not been subjected to the fire from heaven prior to that time.
The questions to those who believe that there is currently a literal place known as hell, and that people are currently being tormented by flames of fire which are under the devil's control, and that the unrepentant wicked will consciously inhabit said place for all eternity, is, "What effect will the 'lake of fire' have upon hell?"
There is no statement in the Bible which indicates that the devil currently lives in hell. Nor is there a statement to the effect that the devil has ever even been in hell. As to where Satan has been spending his time before his eventual imprisonment, we have his own testimony:
"Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, 'From where do you come?' Then Satan answered the Lord and said,'From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.'" Job 1:6 & 7. New American Standard Bible.
The reason that many of those who profess to have faith in God and accept the Holy Scriptures as their guide believe that there is a literal place called hell, is because they believe that the dead are not really dead, but are conscious of their situation. The reason for this is that they do not take the Scriptures as a whole, but rather base their presumptions on a few texts taken out of their context, and fail to see the whole picture.
The remedy for dispelling the confusion lies in a correct understanding of the nature of man. It comes down to these questions, "Is man an immortal being?" Or, stated differently, "Does man have an immortal soul?" "Does man have a soul which is a separate entity from his body, or is man a soul?" "What exactly is a soul?" It is written,
"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7
It is clearly stated in this verse that a living soul is a combination of the "dust of the ground" which God used to form man's body, and "the breath of life" — the spirit which comes from God. Thus man "became a living soul."
The same Hebrew word, nephesh, translated "soul" with reference to man, is translated "creature" when referring to the animals which also have the breath of life. This unfounded distinction arises not from observable nature (for all animals are seen to express human characteristics), but rather from fantasy. It comes from the baseless notion that we are eternal spiritual beings who are only temporarily occupying our fleshly bodies.
It is written that man became a living soul, a living nephesh. This implies that there is such a thing as a dead soul, a dead nephesh. And so it is. In Numbers 19:11 we find the words "... the dead body of any man ..." Reading in the Hebrew words we have, "the dead nephesh of any adam" – " the dead soul of any man." Thus a soul may be living or dead, and is not an immortal entity. It's interesting that the translators substituted the word body for soul, thus implying, incorrectly, that it is only the body that actually dies, and not the whole being, the living nephesh. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:20.
Carefully note that nothing is said about an eternal soul entering into the lifeless dust. In the English Bibles, the words "breath" and "Spirit" are both translated from the same Hebrew word ruah. The "breath of life" has been defined as "the spirit of God", as it is written,
"All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit" Job 27:3, 4.
A good picture of man's nature may be seen in the modern light bulb. The light which is produced by the combination of the bulb and the electricity is a representation of what a soul is. As it takes a bulb and electricity to make the light, so it takes a body formed of dust and the spirit of God within it to make a soul. Is the light in the light bulb eternal? If the bulb breaks, the light goes out. If the electricity ceases to activate the bulb, the light goes out. Such is the state of man when he dies, as it is written,
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die. " Ezekiel 18:20
Sin is defined as "transgression of the law." (1 John 3:4) There are physical laws and spiritual laws. If one violates the laws of the physical, his body can be broken and he dies. The same is true with the spiritual laws. The spirit that dwells in a man can leave the body, resulting in death. A soul which is subject to dying is not immortal, for it is written that God
" . . . only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." 1 Timothy 6:16.
What, then, does it mean to die? It is written,
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Ecclesiastes 12:7
"While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." Psalms 146: 2-4
"Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust." Psalms 104:29. This is death.
"Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth." Psalm 104:30. This is the resurrection.
Simply then, death is the separation of the breath (spirit) from the body. The spirit returns back to God who gave it, and the dust from which we are formed goes back to dust. The soul which a man became by the combination of the dust and the spirit ceases to exist, just as the light of a light bulb goes out and ceases to exist. The soul which had come into existence as a result of the combination of the dust and the spirit doesn't go anywhere when it dies, any more than the light of the bulb goes anywhere when it goes out.
As stated earlier, translators have made an unwarranted distinction between mankind and the beast when translating the word nephesh as soul when referring to the life of man, and as creature when referring to the life of animals. Yet the Scriptures not only declare that man's and the beasts' beings are of the same nature – dust with the breath of life within – but also that their death is the same. Thus we read:
"I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." Ecclesiastes 3:18-20.
Not only are "all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again," but the same thing happens to the "spirit," "the breath" which is within all souls (creatures) – nephesh. Thus the question is asked:
"Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward, and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth?" Ecclesiastes 3:21. New American Standard Bible.
Since the question is rhetorical, the answer is obvious – No one knows such a thing to be true, not even God, for such is not the case. The same breath which animates both man and beast returns to from where it came – to God who gave it.
All God has to do to resurrect a man is to create a body which is like the one which made up the original soul, and impart to it the breath of life, the spirit, and the same man (soul) lives again. In the resurrection of the just, their bodies will not contain any of the imperfections which they bore during their life on the sin-cursed earth. As a sixty watt clear light bulb produces a certain type a light, and 100 watt frosted bulb produces another, so our individuality will be evident through our differing bodies. As the same electricity creates numerous types of lights from the differing types of bulbs it supplies, so it is with the Spirit of God.
Death, then, is like a deep unconscious sleep as the apostle Paul has stated:
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this I say by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [go before] them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first." 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16. [brackets added]
Therein Paul contrasts those who "are alive" with those who are "asleep" – some of whom are those who are "dead in Christ." Evidently, some who are dead are not "in Christ." As one who is in a deep sleep is unaware of what is happening around him and even to him, so it is in death, as it is written:
" . . . in that very day his thoughts perish." Psalms 146: 2-4
"This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead. For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun. . . . Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest." Ecclesiastes 9: 3-6, 10
"But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep. O that thou wouldest hide me in the grave, that thou wouldest keep me secret, until thy wrath be past, that thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands... His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them." Job 14: 10-15, 21.
The Greek word that been translated hell is "hades," and is understood to mean the place of the "unseen" or "unknown." The idea that hades is a "hot" place is unfounded. There is nothing in the composition of the word which indicates that it refers to a place where a fire is burning.
This is in perfect harmony with the previously quoted texts which state that man's "thoughts perish" at the time of his death, and "the dead know not any thing," and "there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave." The Hebrew word sheol, which is also translated hell has the same basic meaning – that is, being below, or beneath perception. That is why Job asked of the dead "where is he?" The word hell has a figurative, spiritual meaning, and is not the same as the word which is translated grave, which refers to a literal place.
So, now that we have a correct understanding of the nature of man, let us go back to the question of hell. If man's "thoughts perish" at the time of his death, and "the dead know not any thing", and "there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave," then he would not be conscious of being in a place called hell, any more than he would be conscious of being in heaven while he was in the state the apostle Paul calls "sleep." It is the Spirit of God which is within a man that goes back to heaven when one dies, not the man himself. It is the Spirit of God within a body which enables one to think and experience sensations. Absent the Spirit of God, man is simply dust.
When speaking of the "one event unto all," that is, when "the spirit shall return unto God who gave it," there is no distinction made between the spirit in a wicked person or a righteous one. The event is unto "all." The logical conclusion inferred by the presumption that a wicked person's soul (or spirit) goes to hell when he dies is that hell may actually be in heaven, for that is where God is, and that is where the spirit of man goes when he dies. Either that, or God, Himself, is in hell receiving the spirits of the wicked when they die. Both ideas are absurd, yet they are where the path of that false presumption leads.
One of the reasons that most Christians believe that the dead are conscious in death is because they take one of Jesus' parables and apply to it a literal construction, rather than leaving it as a fictitious story with a moral lesson. It is the story which he told of the Rich Man and Lazarus, as follows,
"There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Luke 16:19-31
Was Jesus contradicting the Scriptural teachings that the thoughts of a man perish with his death, and that in that condition they know or perceive nothing? No! He was using a parable to teach a lesson on responding to truth when it is readily available, and to convictions as they come to a person when he is alive. He was not giving a dissertation on the state of the dead, as some try to make it appear.
Those who have the idea that there is a place called hell where the devil spends a lot of time tormenting the wicked dead with fire do not think the matter through to its logical conclusion. That is, why isn't the devil affected by the same flames? There is not a word in the Scriptures about the devil complaining about the fire which some think that he endures in hell, or of him being immune to the effects of the flames.
To get a true picture of the fire which will destroy all of the wicked, including the devil himself, and when this will happen, we must look at other Scriptures. That the wicked are not punished immediately upon their death, it is written,
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." 2 Peter 2:9
"As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world." Matthew 13:40
It is at the "end" when those who are reserved for punishment will receive their due. They are not currently burning in literal fire. And that both hell and the wicked will be utterly consumed, it is written,
"For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away." Psalms 37: 10 & 20
". . . they shall be as though they had not been." Obadiah 16
Of the fate of all of the wicked after their resurrection after the millennium. it is written,
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." Revelation 20:9.
The words "for ever and ever" mean for the age, and do not necessarily mean eternity. This verse is in perfect harmony with another scripture regarding the fate of the wicked, as it is written,
"For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts." Malachi 4:1, 3.
The day of burning had not yet come in Malachi's day, as he placed it future from his time. In this verse the devil is the "root," and his followers are the "branch." Both will cease to exist forever.
"And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh." Isaiah 66:24
The wicked shall cease to exist, for the "worm" that turns their bodies back to dust does not die, and the "fire" which burns them to ashes is unquenchable.
"Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." Jude 7
Though it is called "eternal fire," it does not mean that the wicked will survive it effects throughout eternity. "Eternal fire" thoroughly destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah so that there is nothing left of those places to burn today. That the devil suffers the same fate as those whom he has led into sin, it is written,
" . . . thou shalt take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased! The LORD hath broken the staff of the wicked, and the sceptre of the rulers. He who smote the people in wrath with a continual stroke, he that ruled the nations in anger, is persecuted, and none hindereth. The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they break forth into singing. Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down no feller is come up against us. Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee. How art thou fallen from heaven.. O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, even all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcass trodden under feet. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned. Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities." Isaiah 14:4-21.
"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Ezekiel 28: 13-19.
"...when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angel, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power..." 1 Thessalonians 1:7-9.
God must visit the wicked with everlasting punishment (separation from life), not everlasting punishing (eternal torture). Unchangeable laws have been broken. God's character has been maligned. Forgiveness has been made available. Forgiveness has been rejected. Every person is making his or her own decisions. For those who choose darkness instead of light, that is what they'll get. The wicked will be so set in their ways that they would find it miserable to be in the company of God or his saints. They will desire to be anywhere where the light of God's pure love doesn't shine on them – in eternal darkness, in a place unseen and unknown (Hades) which is below and beneath perception (Sheol) – non-existence.
Many who have been convicted of murder choose to waive their rights to appeal their trials, and announce that they wish to be put to death as soon as possible. They have no sweet peace, love, or joy in their minds and hearts, and really don't like their lives. It would be torture for them to remain alive eternally in an unescapable prison. So it will be that the wicked will desire to be no more. In the end, God, in His mercy, will be giving the wicked that which they desire — eternal separation from His presence. They will have no desire to sing the songs of God's presence, as do the righteous:
"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore." Psalms 16:11.
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me." Psalm 51: 10-11.
"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? [Or how is it that some say that there is no need for a resurrection of the dead in Christ because their immortal soul is still alive in heaven?]. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen [But some say that there is no need of such for the soul is immortal]: And if Christ be not risen [or need not be risen], then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins [Because the same power which resurrected Christ resurrects you from the spiritual death brought on by your sins]. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." 1 Corinthians 15:12-28. [Comments in brackets added]
God is not punishing the wicked dead with fire at this time, but he will resurrect them at the right time and give them their just reward for their part in the rebellion, as it is written,
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power... And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire... But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 20:6, 14, 15; 21:8.
"All they who hate me, love death" Proverbs 8:36.
God will give them what they love, silence forever.
So, where the devil is hell? Nowhere. Just ask anyone who's been there. It is the devil who has created the lie that there now exists a literal place called hell wherein the wicked are being tortured by a harsh and vengeful god. He has done this to distort God's image. He wishes to portray God as being as cruel as he is.
"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love." 1 John 4:8.