The DOCTRINE of ETERNAL TORMENT
Revelation chapter 20 and verse 10, when read from the King James Version of the Bible, is a passage of scripture that some have boasted to be an iron clad PROOF text that the DOCTRINE of ETERNAL TORMENT in HELL FIRE is a 100% SOUND Biblical teaching. And I must say that in just reading this verse ALONE and APART from this WHOLE word of God without going deeper into the word of God, then I have to admit that their line of reasoning SEEMS to be logical.
Please read Revelation 20:10 before we dive deeper into the
word of God to explain other very possible and more harmonic
interpretations of the verse that agree with the rest of God's word,
rather than seem to contradict it due to the incorrect translation of this verse found in Revelation 20:10. I will explain what I mean by this
as we continue in this study of God's word. Let us begin this study in God's word by reading Revelation 20:10, with EMPHASIS place on the phrase "TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever".
those that teach the doctrine of ETERNAL TORMENT in the FIRES of HELL
or in the LAKE of FIRE use this particular verse found in Revelation
20:10 as one of their MAIN passages of scripture in order to try and
PROVE that ALL the WICKED will be FOREVER TORTURED and TORMENTED in
FLAMES of FIRE for ALL ETERNITY will no rest, no mercy, no comfort,
nor even one brief moment of relief for ever and ever day and night
they shall be TORMENTED in the lake of fire and brimstone.
I have said many times in many of my studies throughout the years that ANY verse when
taken out of context and viewed ALONE and APART from the WHOLE word
of God may SEEM to be saying something that it is NOT truly saying.
In other words, you the reader, must NOT have tunnel vision where all
you can think about and process in your mind is this ONE verse in the
entire word of God while forgetting about the REST of God's word.
Let me explain what I mean by this. For those of you who have read the study that I wrote “IS THE DOCTRINE OF HELL BIBLICAL?”, then you have clearly seen that IF Revelation 20:10 is in fact to TRULY be INTERPRETED in the way that those, who teach this DOCTRINE of ETERNAL TORMENT have interpreted it, then you have seen that their interpretation CONTRADICTS the REST of God's word where you have clearly and plainly seen that ALL the WICKED are DESTROYED at the end of the age.
So then, you the reader, must either go back and change a huge vast amount of
passages of scripture to fit their interpretation of eternal TORMENT
and TORTURE, OR you the reader need to go deeper in the word of God
in order to find another interpretation of this ONE passage of
scripture that AGREES with the rest of God's word that clearly teaches us that the wicked are DESTROYED at the end of the age.
For ME, it
is the LATER choice that I myself have decided to do in this study of
God's word. In other words, I have chosen to go deeper in the word of God and take a closer look at this verse in Revelation 20:10 in it's original language to see if these Greek words could be translated in another way to AGREE with the REST of God's word that to me clearly teaches that the wicked will be DESTROYED, CONSUMED, DEVOURED and turned to ASHES at the end of the age. I have heard many arguments of some saying the destroyed does NOT mean destroyed, but these arguments do not stand up against the clear meaning of the text and the very meaning of the word destroy. Keep in mind all the other words that must be CHANGED to say that they do NOT mean CONSUMED, DEVOURED and turned to ASHES in order to try and prove their eternal torment doctrine that the early church never taught, until pagan doctrines like purgatory and limbo came to be added as church doctrines along with the eternal inferno of hell doctrine.
let us examine some different points to look into that will give you the reader some alternative ways to view and understand Revelation 20:10 that will AGREE with the rest of God's word rather than CONTRADICT it as the ETERNAL TORMENT DOCTRINE does.
Point number 1.
First of all we need to establish WHO are we SPECIFICALLY point blank without a doubt told will be the ONES who are TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever in Revelation 20:10?
So then, it appears that there are only THREE beings that are SPECIFICALLY NAMED in this verse of scripture WHO are the ones, who will be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever, and the NAMES of these THREE beings are the DEVIL, the BEAST, and the FALSE PROPHET. Now we all know for a certainty is that the DEVIL is NOT a HUMAN BEING and of the species known as MANKIND. But what about the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET? Are these other two beings in the classification of HUMAN beings, OR are the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET EVIL SPIRITS and of the same nature as the DEVIL? And if so, then WHY does this even matter?
Now to me it does not matter, because I myself see this verse saying that it is ONLY the DEVIL that will be tormented day and night forever and NOT all who are cast into the lake of fire. But it does matter, because not all Christians interpret this verse the same way. Some say ALL three are tormented day and night for ever and ever.
So then, since this verse does not specifically say the evil spirit of the beast and the false prophet it can also be interpreted that the beast and false prophet are human beings. Thus it matters, because we are human beings.
First of all it matters because of other places in the Bible where there seems to be DIFFERENT degrees of punishment on the day of judgment. Remember the words of Jesus, when he said that it will be MORE TOLERABLE for them on the day of judgment than for you. Please read Matthew 10:15, 11:22,24, Mark 6:11, Luke 10:12,14. I will just quote Mark 6:11,12 which teaches us that it will be MORE TOLERABLE on the day of judgment for the wicked that perished in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah than for those who REJECT the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when you depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be MORE TOLERABLE for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
So then, does this mean that some are going to only be tormented just a little or in a MILDER way for all eternity, while others are going to be TORMENTED and TORTURE more severely to the point of beyond bear-ability? OR does this mean that some are tormented in the flames of fire only a short TIME before they are consumed to ashes, while others will be TORMENTED for a longer duration of time before they are consumed to ashes as well? HOW does the term MORE TOLERABLE fit into the equation of ETERNAL TORMENT in flames of fire? HOW is it possible for everyone to be TORMENTED for ALL ETERNITY in flames of fire and never be consumed and it be MORE TOLERABLE for some than it is for others? These are all valid questions that need to be answered if this doctrine of eternal torment is going kept in your understanding and continued to be dogmatically taught.
It seems pretty clear from some passages of scripture that there is going to be different degrees of punishment on the day of judgment. So what about these DIFFERENT TYPES of punishment that the Bible teaches us will be poured out WITHOUT MIXTURE? Let me explain what I mean by this. You see in Revelation chapter 14 there is a verse that leads me to believe that the DEVIL and the FALLEN angels or EVIL SPIRITS will be punished DIFFERENTLY than the WICKED HUMAN BEINGS who have been DECEIVED by Satan and these EVIL SPIRITS.
This brings us to the WHY it is important to know WHO are the ones who we are SPECIFICALLY NAMED as the ones WHO will be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever, which brings us to point number 2.
Point number 2.
In point number 1. we established that THREE SPECIFIC beings were NAMED as the ONES who are to be tormented day and night for ever and ever. So here in point number two we will see from Revelation 14:9-11 that there seems to be a DIFFERENT punishment for that Old Dragon called the DEVIL and SATAN and his FALLEN angels or the EVIL SPIRITS compared to the punishment of the wicked of MANKIND. In other words, Almighty God is not going to MIX the punishment of mankind together with the punishment of Satan and the evil spirits by inflicting the same degree of punishment upon mankind as he does upon the DEVIL and the fallen ANGELS. Please notice as you read the following passage of scripture that the pronouns refer back to two different subjects. I highlighted them in different colors so that they will stand out more.
10. The same shall drink of the wine of the WRATH of God, which is poured out WITHOUT MIXTURE into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be TORMENTED with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
First of all I want you to notice that there are TWO classes of beings being spoken of in this passage of scripture. We have human beings or men and women who have taken the mark of the BEAST and have worshiped the BEAST. Then we have the BEAST, who is again the one being that is specifically named that will be TORMENTED with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
Secondly I want you to notice that those who have been DECEIVED into worshiping the BEAST do in fact suffer the WRATH of Almighty God, but please notice that God's WRATH is poured out upon THEM WITHOUT MIXTURE. In other words, there seems to be a DIFFERENT type of punishment for MANKIND than there does for the DEVIL, the BEAST, and the FALSE PROPHET.
then, are the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET in the class of beings as
EVIL SPIRITS as we know without a doubt that the DEVIL is of this
class of beings known as evil spirits and fallen angels? In order to answer this question please read
Revelation 16:12-14, which CLEARLY and PLAINLY teaches us that these
THREE are UNCLEAN EVIL SPIRITS of DEVILS, which tells me that they
are NOT of the same class of beings as MANKIND, but rather that there are of the SAME class of being as the DEVIL.
13. And I saw THREE UNCLEAN SPIRITS like frogs come out of the mouth of the DRAGON (whom we know from Revelation 12:9 is called the DEVIL and SATAN ), and out of the mouth of the BEAST, and out of the mouth of the FALSE PROPHET.
Now some, who desperately want to cling to the doctrine of eternal torture if flames of fire for all eternity, may argue that these could be MEN who have been POSSESSED with EVIL SPIRITS of DEVILS. If this is you, then I want you to please read Revelation 11:7, which teaches us that the BEAST ascended OUT of the BOTTOMLESS PIT.
Nowhere in the Bible do I find that any HUMAN being ascends out of the bottomless pit. Now I do agree that it is the SPIRIT of Satan that indwell or possesses a human being that becomes known as this BEAST and also possesses another person that becomes known as this FALSE PROPHET who it turn DECEIVE many of mankind to take the mark of the beast and worship the beast and that these men and women who have been DECEIVE by the BEAST ad the FALSE PROPHET make up a system or kingdom of the beast, which is ALSO called the BEAST. In other words, there is a specific single being that is called the beast and there is also many MEN and WOMEN who have been DECEIVED into following this being called the BEAST and therefore in some passage of scripture where the BEAST is referred to it is actually speaking of MANKIND who have taken the mark of the beast to be identified with him, rather than this single being called the BEAST. Yes, a little confusing at first, but as you continue this study it will all become clear to you. So then, to ME, I still see that Revelation 20:10 is SPECIFICALLY NAMING these THREE UNCLEAN SPIRITS as the ones WHO will be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever.
we leave point number two I would like you to read Revelation 14:9-11
again keeping in mind these TWO different types or degrees of punishment that are NOT
MIXED and notice that it is ONLY the SMOKE of the torment of the
wicked of mankind that ascends FOR EVER and EVER and NOT that the
cries of weeping and gnashing of teeth of those being kept alive to
be TORMENTED and TORTURED in flames of fire for all ETERNITY that ascends up for ever and ever.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any MAN worship the BEAST and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
10. The same shall drink of the wine of the WRATH of God, which is poured out WITHOUT MIXTURE into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be TORMENTED with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
11. And the SMOKE of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the mark of his name.”
Again please notice that the WRATH of God is poured out
WITHOUT having any MIXTURE in it meaning that the BEAST receives a
DIFFERENT type or a different degree of punishment than the people that he DECEIVED into
following him. In other words, it is the BEAST alone as the one being who is named that is
TORMENTED for ever and ever, and NOT that ALL the wicked of mankind are tormented for ever and ever. Also please
notice that this verse specifically states that it is only the SMOKE
of the torment that ascends up for ever and ever, and NOT the cries or those who took the mark of the beast being tormented in flames of fire that ascend up for ever and ever. Another thing that I want to
point out is that this phrase “for ever and ever” does not always
mean ETERNITY in scripture. Many Bible scholars will agree that this
phrase means that this SMOKE of their torment will ascend up until
the END of the AGE. In other words, the Greek words that are TRANSLATED as "for ever and ever"can ALSO be translated as "to the AGE of the AGES", or "to the AGE of ALL AGES" meaning the AGE that is to come where the WICKED be NO MORE. And the phrase “and they have NO REST day nor
night” can mean that once judgment has been SET, then there is NO
CHANCE of having it overturned or lifted. In other words, the
judgment is ETERNAL and therefore once the WICKED are DESTROYED in
the lake of FIRE, then that is the END of the WICKED for ALL ETERNITY
and there can NEVER EVER be ANY REST for them day of night. Another meaning for this phrase "day and night" is that it will take some TIME to JUDGE and EXECUTE all the wicked and DURING this span of TIME there will be NO REST for the wicked neither during the DAY nor during the NIGHT. Now some may argue that this verse says the WRATH of God will be poured out without mixture and not the lake of fire. To properly understand that the WRATH of God IS part of God's JUDGMENT please read the study "IS THE DOCTRINE OF HELL BIBLICAL?".
Point number 3.
Here in point number three I would like to bring to your attention that the reward of ETERNAL LIFE is given ONLY to the RIGHTEOUS. And that Bible clearly teaches us that the wages or the PUNISHMENT for those who have chosen to live in SIN is DEATH. In others words, the ONLY way that the WICKED could be KEPT ALIVE in the lake of FIRE for all ETERNITY is to give them ETERNAL LIFE, which again is promised ONLY to the RIGHTEOUS. To ME, this doctrine of ETERNAL TORMENT and TORTURE in flames of FIRE is major problem that CONTRADICTS what the rest of the Bible teaches that ONLY the RIGHTEOUS inherit ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come. Some will argue and say that only the body of man dies and that the spirit and soul of man is immortal and never dies, because they CLAIM that the Bible teaches that the spirit and soul of man was CREATED as an IMMORTAL being. But NO WHERE in the word of Almighty God do I find that mankind was created as an IMMORTAL being. In fact I find just the OPPOSITE that the word of TRUTH clearly teaches us that man was created as MORTAL being. Then there are others who KNOW this TRUTH in God's word that man was created as a MORTAL being, but will argue that ALL of mankind will be RESURRECTED, which means that BOTH the RIGHTEOUS and the WICKED will come back to LIFE and at this time the WICKED as well as the righteous will possess ETERNAL LIFE and can never die again. Now I am not going to quote all the verses of scripture on this point in this study of God's word on Revelation 20:10, because I already cover them in great detail in the study called “DOES MAN POSSESS AN IMMORTAL SOUL?” where it is CLEARLY and PLAINLY shown from the WHOLE word of God that it is ONLY the RIGHTEOUS who RECEIVE the reward of ETERNAL LIFE. Let us move on to the next point that I want you to see.
Point number 4.
It is to those who still INSIST and DOGMATICALLY DEMAND
that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are MEN and therefore conclude
that all the wicked will without fail be TORMENTED and TORTURED in
flames of fire for ALL ETERNITY that I want to point out in
conjunction with point number three that man is NOT and ETERNAL being and therefore MUST be GIVEN eternal life in order to never be able to die again and that ONLY the RIGHTEOUS are GIVEN ETERNAL LIFE. So then, this point made in number three that man was not created as an eternal being and therefore must be GIVEN eternal life combined also with the fact that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are the ONLY TWO among ALL the WICKED who are rebelling against God in sin and who are killing God's people the Christians and the Jews who are
selected to be cast ALIVE in the lake of fire at the second coming of
Jesus when he comes in flaming fire and executes the WRATH of
Almighty God upon the ungodly and the disobedient to the gospel .
Does this not seem strange that ONLY these TWO, the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET were cast ALIVE into the lake of fire at this time from among ALL the WICKED? Does this not raise in your mind the question WHY? Let us read Revelation 19:19-21 to refresh your memory.20. And the BEAST was taken, and WITH him the FALSE PROPHET that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These BOTH were cast ALIVE into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
So then, in this
passage of scripture we see that not only the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET,
but we also see all the ARMIES of MANKIND that were DECEIVED into
following the BEAST to make WAR against Jesus, and YET Jesus chooses ONLY to cast ALIVE into
the lake of fire these TWO individual beings that are specifically named as the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET, and then we are told that Jesus SLAYS all the rest of those who
are fighting against him. I want you to THINK about this for a moment. ONLY TWO beings out of ALL those who will be fighting against Jesus at his second coming will be cast ALIVE into the lake of fire. WHY? Could it be that these TWO beings are NOT HUMAN beings, but rather that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are EVIL SPIRIT BEINGS? Keep this thought in mind as we go right into the next chapter in the book of Revelation where we will see ANOTHER EVIL SPIRIT called the DEVIL that is taken and BOUND in the bottomless pit to be KEPT ALIVE for a 1000 years, rather than being cast into the lake of fire at this point in time along WITH the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET. Please read Revelation 20:1-3, and keep in mind that in the original text there is no separation into different chapters and verses. In other words, immediately after the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are cast alive into the lake of fire, the the DEVIL, whom we KNOW without a doubt is an EVIL SPIRIT is taken and BOUND in the bottomless pit to be KEPT ALIVE for 1000 years rather than cast alive into the lake of fir with the other TWO beings who are identified as the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET.
2. And he laid hold on the DRAGON, that old serpent, which is the DEVIL, and SATAN, and BOUND him a thousand years,
3. 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.”
So then, immediately following the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET being cast ALIVE into the lake of FIRE we right away see in the next chapter that an
angel BINDS Satan, who again we KNOW is an EVIL SPIRIT and cast him ALIVE into the BOTTOMLESS PIT, which
we learn later on in this same chapter that the REASON WHY Satan will be turned
LOOSE at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus is to TEMPT and DECEIVE
mankind to make war against God's people once final time before he TOO will be taken and cast into the lake of FIRE where the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET had been thrown 1000 years prior.
Let us go through this one more time so that you can see that these THREE, the BEAST, the FALSE PROPHET, and the DEVIL are ALL THREE EVIL SPIRITS. So then once again, the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are CAST ALIVE into the lake of fire at the second coming of Jesus, BUT that DRAGON called the DEVIL and SATAN was bound in chains and CAST into the BOTTOMLESS PIT to be KEPT ALIVE for 1000 so that he could NO longer DECEIVE mankind DURING this 1000 year reign of Jesus, but then Satan would be LOOSED at the END of this 1000 years for the PURPOSE of tempting and DECEIVING the nations one last time before he ALSO will be cast into the lake of fire where the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET had already been cast 1000 years earlier.
So then, in Revelation 20:7-10 we learn that at the END of
this 1000 year reign of Jesus that Satan or the DEVIL is let loose so
that he can once again tempt and DECEIVE the nations of mankind once
final time. We see that he succeeds and does in fact DECEIVE some of mankind from the nations once again
to make war with God's people. Then we see the FIRE of God come down
from heaven and DEVOUR those that are fighting against God's people.
Then we are told that the DEVIL is at this point in time CAST into the lake of
FIRE to JOIN the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET. Now for most of us I think it is quite simple and logical for us to draw the same conclusion that since the
beast and the false prophet were cast into this same lake of fire
ALIVE that the DEVIL also was cast in ALIVE as well and that ALL THREE are EVIL SPIRITS.
So at this point in time all we see that have been cast into the lake of fire are ONLY these THREE beings, which are specifically name as being that Old Serpent the DRAGON called the DEVIL and Satan, the
BEAST that we are told ascended out of the bottomless pit in
Revelation 11: where also Satan was bound for 1000 years, and the
FALSE PROPHET, who we know spoke as a DRAGON and was given power from
the DRAGON. And we also know that all THREE were called UNCLEAN and
EVIL SPIRITS of DEVILS. So then, HOW can any one still believe that
TWO of these THREE who are tormented day and night for ever and ever and
still dogmatically teach that they are WICKED MEN seeing ALSO that
man is NOT an IMMORTAL being and MUST without fail be GIVEN eternal
life and that ONLY the RIGHTEOUS are promise the REWARD of ETERNAL LIFE.
For those of you who want to argue and dogmatically insist that the beast and the false prophet are MEN my question is this, WHEN and WHERE are we told in God's word that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are GIVEN ETERNAL LIFE in order to REMAIN ALIVE in this lake of FIRE that would immediately CONSUME and DESTROY mere MORTAL men in a very short span of time let alone being still ALIVE during the 1000 years while Satan was being bound during the reign of Jesus, IF SO BE that they ARE still ALIVE?
Also I want to point out the the word "ARE" that so many who teach the doctrine of eternal TORMENT love to EMPHASIZE to try and prove that the beast and the false prophet are STILL ALIVE being TORMENTED in this lake of fire and that this word "ARE"is NOT in the original text, but rather was ADDED by the translators. I will go into more detail about this in my next point.
Point number 5.
If you are still NOT convinced by all the evidence of scripture that I have given this far that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET are NOT men, but rather that they are EVIL SPIRITS, and you still insist that even though man is NOT an IMMORTAL being but that somehow God KEPT these TWO alive to suffer not only the lake of fire for this 1000 years but to continue on suffering along with the DEVIL, who has now joined them for all eternity, then I want to draw your attention to the VERB usage in Revelation 20:10, which says,
First of all I want to point out that the PRESENT tense verb “ARE” is NOT found in the original text, but rather was added by the translators. Also it should be pointed out that in the CONTEXT the verb usage for the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET is PAST tense and NOT present tense, as in, they BOTH “WERE CAST” alive into the lake of fire and therefore to CORRECTLY add the verb is must be in agreement and should have been translated as “...where the beast and the false prophet WERE CAST...”
Secondly IF this verse were translated correctly as WERE CAST, then one could conclude that it is ONLY the Old Dragon called the DEVIL and Satan who is the ONE who will be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever, because the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET would have already been destroyed by the fire IF indeed they were MEN.
In other words, ANOTHER POSSIBLE interpretation of Revelation 20:10 could be that ALL the WICKED of MANKIND who are cast into the lake of fire shall be DEVOURED, CONSUMED and therefore DESTROYED for all eternity and it is ONLY the DEVIL and the fallen angels, who shall remain alive in the lake of fire to be TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever.
So either way I myself do NOT see ANY of mankind being TORMENTED for ALL ETERNITY as many of us have been taught. In fact I personally do not believe that the DEVIL and the fallen ANGELS will be KEPT ALIVE in the lake of FIRE to be TORMENTED and TORTURED for ALL ETERNITY either. I will explain why a little further on in this study.
Now if you are one that wants to continue to believe in this man made DOCTRINE of ETERNAL TORMENT in HELL FIRE that did not become into existence until DANTE put forth his teaching about the different levels of torture in hell, then that is your right. As I have said before this study is directed to those who are STRUGGLING with the seemly contradictions between verses like Revelation 20:10 and the many scriptures that to them and myself clearly show that the wicked will be DESTROYED at the end of the age rather than tortured for all eternity as Revelation 20:10 SEEMS to be saying. And again in no way do I diminish the WARNING of God's JUDGMENT and being cast into the lake of fire.
Point number 6.
Another point to consider is that there are some passages of scripture that show us that evil spirit and even Satan himself will be DESTROYED as well at the end of the age.
Please read Mark 1:23-27, where an unclean spirit asks Jesus if he is here to DESTROY him?
27. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority commands he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.”
Also please read this same account from Luke 4:33-36 which calls this unclean spirit a spirit of an unclean DEVIL. I point this out, because some will try and argue that unclean spirits are not the same beings as DEVILS.36. And they were all amazed, and spoke among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”
Now let us compare this account with a similar account found in Mark 5:1- 18 and Matthew 8:28-34 where Jesus cast out some spirits of DEVILS from a man, but before Jesus cast them out they cry out and rebuked or adjured Jesus basically saying that Jesus had no right to TORMENT them BEFORE their TIME.
13. And forth with Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
“And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with DEVILS, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
32. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
So then, in a couple of passages of scripture the DEVILS ask Jesus if he was come to DESTROY them and in another couple passages of scripture the DEVILS ask Jesus if he has come to TORMENT them before their TIME. Please notice that the DEVILS knew that there is coming a TIME when they will be JUDGED. Now whether this judgment will be that they are DESTROYED or whether they will be TORMENTED for ALL ETERNITY is yet to be learned as we continue weighing ALL the evidence from God's word.
Some of those who teach the doctrine of eternal torment make what to ME come off as a very SARCASTIC argument against those the teach the destruction or the annihilation of the wicked by saying something like, “Well if God is such a LOVING God as to NOT torment his CREATION called MANKIND, then WHY does this LOVING God TORMENT his CREATION Satan and the fallen angels for all eternity?”
So this argument I respond. First of all IF it is true that Satan and the fallen angels are in fact TORTURED and TORMENTED for all ETERNITY, then I want to point out that there is a VAST difference between the CREATION of mankind and his fall into disobedience to God's command by being DECEIVED into DISOBEYING God's commands, and the CREATION of the ANGELS of God that REBELLED and went to WAR against Almighty God to literally TAKE OVER his throne. Secondly I want to point out that Almighty God sent his only begotten Son to suffer and die for mankind, whereas for Satan it appears from what I have found in scripture that he ACCUSED God for CREATING him evil and therefore it is NOT his fault that he rebelled and tried to take over God's throne and become the Almighty God himself. In other words, it appears to me that Lucifer was given the chance to repent, but instead he put all the BLAME on God and basically chose to fight to the end against God. Please read the study called "UNDERSTANDING WHY?" to better understand WHY God ALLOWS Satan to remain alive to spread his rebellion against God when God who is Almighty could wipe evil out at any time. But for now please read Ezekiel 28:12-19, which clearly and plainly teaches us that Lucifer, who is now known as Satan God's adversary, will in fact one day be DESTROYED and turned to ASHES and shall be NO MORE.
13. You 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 your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created.
16. By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the midst of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will DESTROY YOU, O COVERING CHERUB, from the midst of the stones of fire.
18. You have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your traffick; therefore will I bring forth a FIRE from the midst of you, it shall DEVOUR you, and I will bring you to ASHES upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.19. All they that know you among the people shall be astonished at you: you shalt be a terror, and NEVER shalt you be ANY MORE.”
This passage of scripture makes it clear to us that Lucifer the covering cherub, which is an ANGEL who REBELLED against God to exalt his throne ABOVE that of God's throne. Most of you know the story of how Satan convince one third of the angels to join with him to try and take over God's throne so I will not go into any detail in this study. If you want to know more on how Lucifer became God's enemy, then please read the study called “WHO IS LUCIFER---IS SATAN LUCIFER?” and the study entitled “UNDERSTANDING WHY?”, but for now let us continue viewing the evidence from God's word the to ME, clearly teaches us that Satan and the fallen angels will as well be DESTROYED at the end of the age. Please read Hebrews 2:14, which says,
“For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might DESTROY HIM that had the power of death, that is, the DEVIL;”
Now I am NOT saying that Satan or the DEVIL and the fallen angels will in no way be TORMENTED, but rather I am saying that in LIGHT of the WHOLE word of God that they will NOT be TORMENTED for ALL ETERNITY. In other words, their torment will last for a time while they are being COMSUMED, DEVOUERED and turned into ASHES as the rest of God's word teaches us. I will explain this further in a moment, but first let us look at a few more verses that teach us of the DESTRUCTION of the BEAST, of Satan, the Devil and of the fallen angels. Please read 2 Thessalonians 2:8,9 where we see that WICKED, the antichrist, or the BEAST being CONSUMED and DESTROYED at the time of the second coming of Jesus.
“And then shall that WICKED be revealed (speaking of the antichrist who is given his power by Satan and may well be even possessed by Satan himself), WHOM the Lord shall CONSUME with the spirit of his mouth, and shall DESTROY with the brightness of his coming:
So while this verse is not referring specifically to Satan himself, we know that it is speaking of the antichrist or the BEAST whom Satan has empowered. Please remember that the BEAST and the FALSE PROPHET were cast ALIVE into the lake of FIRE at the second coming of Jesus, then at the end of the 1000 year after Satan was loosed to deceive the nations one final time to make WAR with God's people that the DEVIL also was cast into the lake of FIRE and THEY were TORMENTED day and night for ever and ever.
So my point is this HOW can they be BOTH kept ALIVE for all eternity to be TORMENTED in the lake of FIRE, AND be CONSUMED and DESTROYED in the lake of FIRE as well? We will look at HOW this can be possible right after we look at one final passage of scripture that teaches us that the fallen angels will be DESTROYED on the day of judgment. Please read Jude 5-8, which teaches us EVEN AS or in the SAME MANNER as Sodom and Gomorrah was DESTROYED so shall ALSO the fallen angels be DESTROYED by FIRE.
7. 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.”
other words, just as the Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding
cities who in the same manner committed these homosexual sins of going after strange flesh were
DESTROYED by FIRE so shall ALSO these wicked men along with the ANGELS
that rebelled against God suffer the vengeance of the ETERNAL FIRE to be DESTROYED. Keep in mind that this JUDGMENT of the lake of FIRE is called the SECOND DEATH.
Bible teaches us in Hebrews 9:27 that it is APPOINTED or ordained by God for mankind to
DIE only ONE TIME and then every man and woman would appear before God in the JUDGMENT. In other words, MANKIND is
NOT an ETERNAL being and Almighty God has APPOINTED that each and
every human being is to DIE and then AFTER they die then they are to be JUDGED according to his or
her WORKS which they did while they were LIVING. But there is more to this verse if you think about it for
awhile. This verse also teaches us that it is God's WILL that man die ONLY ONCE. In other words, God WILL is that no man should PERISH, but
rather that ALL men should come to the knowledge of the truth and be
SAVED. What I am trying to get you to see my dear brothers and
sisters in Jesus Christ is that Almighty God does NOT desire any of
mankind to suffer the vengeance or judgment of the ETERNAL FIRE or
the lake of FIRE, which is the judgment of the SECOND DEATH. God
does NOT desire that any man PERISH in this ETERNAL FIRE that
Matthew 25: 41 CLEARLY teaches us was prepared for Satan, the DEVIL
and the fallen angels and was NOT prepared for any of mankind. Remember when God destroyed the wicked with a flood and saved only Noah and his family and how it REPENTED God that he even made mankind? Well this is a CLUE teaching us that one of the reasons mankind may have been created was to PROVE to Satan and the fallen angel that they were in fact created PERFECT in all their ways. In other words, Satan and the fallen angels are on TRIAL and God created a species of beings called mankind that were INFERIOR or LOWER than the ANGELS in order to PROVE to them that they could live without SIN. Please read the study "UNDERSTANDING WHY" which explains this in greater detail form the scriptures, but for now let us look at Matthew 25:41.
Now for myself I do not have any problem with an ETERNAL FIRE or the SMOKE of the torment of the WICKED being DESTROYED in this EVERLASTING FIRE that is never extinguished burning for all eternity as a reminder of what will become of those who one day in the future may fall prey to the idea of rebelling against God.
However, I and many others like me do have trouble with the FALSE teaching of a LOVING God forever keeping ALIVE the wicked so that they can be TORMENTED and TORTURED for ALL ETERNITY. I have trouble with the APPARENT CONTRADICTION in God's word when Revelation 20:10 is INTERPRETED as Almighty God TORMENTING the wicked for ALL ETERNITY especially WHEN there is ALSO a vast amount of scripture that CLEARLY and PLAINLY teaches us that the wicked shall be DESTROYED at the end of the age.
We know that God's word does NOT CONTRADICT itself, so then, it must be that it is the INTERPRETATION of either Revelation 20:10 and a few other passages of scripture that SEEM to teach eternal TORMENT, OR the INTERPRETATION of the vast number of passages of scripture, which to ME and many others, clearly and plainly teach us that all the wicked shall be DESTROYED by FIRE and CONSUMED into ASHES and be NO MORE for all eternity.
Now as I said before we can harmonize the scriptures and teach that there will indeed be TORMENT and SUFFERING to the wicked in this lake of FIRE while they are being CONSUMED, DEVOURED, and turned into ASHES whereby the wicked are ultimately DESTROYED for ALL ETERNITY and never shall be again. But in order to do this we need to take a closer look at the MEANING of the phrase “for ever and ever” as it has been TRANSLATED as thus in Revelation 20:10, which again says,
What many Christians fail to realize is that in the ENGLISH TRANSLATION of the Bible there are in fact some ERRORS that have been made by the translators. We have all been taught that the Bible is WITHOUT any ERROR and many Christians take this to mean that the ENGLISH translation of the Bible is without any error. But this is not what is meant by the teaching that the Bible is without any errors and does not contradict itself, because all one needs to do is COMPARE the many different translations with each other and they will find many contradictions between the different TRANSLATIONS. This should be more than enough proof for anyone to clearly see that any TRANSLATOR can and has made some ERRORS in TRANSLATING the word of God from it's ORIGINAL text. With this in mind let us now take a look at ANOTHER way that this phrase “for ever and ever”can and I believe SHOULD have been TRANSLATED in order to bring perfect harmony with the WHOLE word of God.
The phrase “for ever and ever” is translated for the Greek phrase “eis tous aeonas ton aionon”, which means “TO THE AGES OF THE AGES” or one could say, “TO THE AGE OF ALL AGES”.
In other words, Revelation could have and again I believe should have been translated as,
There is still yet one more point that I would like to present to you, which will bring every thing together.
Point number 7.
On this point I want to draw your attention to a couple of things. This first thing that I want to point out to you is the word that has been TRANSLATED as TORMENTED in order to show you that there are OTHER meanings to this word as well in the original text, and then we will take a closer look at the phrase “day and night” to see another possibility that I personally believe was meant by the writers in the original text.
The Greek word that is TRANSLATED as “TORMENTED” here in Revelation 20:10 is “BASANIZO”, which has changed in it's meaning over time. What i mean by this is that this Greek word “BASANIZO” began to be used as a word or a name of a black rock that was used by an assayer to TEST as to whether or not gold and silver coins were truly made from pure gold and silver. You see, the assayer would rub the “BASANIZO” or the black rock on the coin and then check the color of the strip or mark that it left in order to TEST and see if the coin was VALUABLE or GENUINE. This Greek word then found it's way into the language relation to all sorts of transactions as having the base meaning of CORRECTNESS. It is believed that trough time this word became associated with TESTING people by means of TORTURE and thus came to be one of the meanings of this word today as TORMENT.
In other words, ANOTHER way to translate this Greek word “BASANIZO” is that those thrown in this lake of fire are being TESTED or TRIED in order to see if there is any PURITY in them.
There are several places in the Bible where we see mankind being TRIED or TESTED in the FIRE like silver is tried in the furnace of fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-14 comes to mind where we as believers along with our WORKS will be TRIED by FIRE.
13. Every man's WORK shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it (every man's WORK) shall be revealed by FIRE (a TESTING or TRIAL); and the FIRE shall TRY every man's WORK of what sort it is.
the entire context of this passage of scripture in 1 Corinthians chapter 3 is teaching us is
that some of us plant or witness to others about Jesus and some
others of us water or witness some more to these people about Jesus
and God's word to try and get these new believers rooted and grounded
in the truth of God's word so that they will REMAIN faithful to
follow the teachings of God unto the end in order to receive eternal life in
the world to come. This passage of scripture then goes on to teach us
that those in which we have preached the gospel, who are called our WORK, shall be
TRIED or TESTED to see if they truly believe and will remain faithful
unto the end. Then we are told that when these believers are TRIED by
FIRE, which in this instance can possibly be a figurative FIRE of a
TRIAL or TEST of their faith, in that, IF they BURN or in other words, if they FAIL their trail
by NOT remaining faithful to God unto the end, then THEY themselves
will be LOST and be cast into the lake of FIRE on the day of judgment, but we who have remained faithful unto the end shall be
saved yet so as by FIRE or by the trails we OVERCOME and remain faithful unto the END.
So in a like manner is the JUDGMENT and the LAKE of FIRE. Let me explain what I mean by this. When Revelation 20:10 is KEPT in it's CONTEXT, then one can see that after the REST of the DEAD are RESURRECTED at the END of the 1000 year reign of Jesus in order to stand before the JUDGMENT seat of God that it is going to take some TIME for each and every individual to be TRIED.
So then, to my final point. Here is ANOTHER way to view this phrase “day and night” found in Revelation 20:10, which says,
In other words, after the REST of the dead are resurrected at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus they stand before God to be JUDGED. Now a great majority of those raised for the dead at this time will be of the number called the WICKED, but there will also be many RIGHTEOUS who died during the 1000 year reign of Jesus that will also be raised from the dead and must stand before God until there name is called from the book of life. What some of us have failed to realize is that this JUDGING of the resurrected dead will go on DAY and NIGHT until ALL the resurrected have been JUDGED.
then, let us just assume that one by one everyone is judged in no
particular order of perhaps alphabetically. After each and every person is
JUDGED according to their works, then AFTER they are JUDGE they are either found to be WORTHY and therefore are rewarded
ETERNAL LIFE, or they not found to be WORTHY to recieved ETERNAL LIFE and therefore they are cast into the lake of FIRE to be CONSUME, DEVOURED, turned into ASHES and DESTROYED to be NO MORE for all eternity.
Therefore they shall TORMENTED DAY AND NIGHT or until the AGE of
ALL AGES that is to COME. Where this word TORMENTED means BOTH being
tried DAY and NIGHT as well as meaning that the wicked are also
TORMENT in the lake of FIRE as they are being CONSUMED, DEVOURED,
and turned into ASHES and DESTROYED by the FIRE of JUDGMENT for all
eternity never ever being able to enter into God's REST day or night, because once they are JUDGED, then the judgment stands for all eternity.
In other words, the TORMENT describe in Revelation 20:10 last ONLY
until ALL the WICKED have been JUDGED one by one to the AGE of ALL AGES, and then begins the AGE of ALL
AGES only AFTER all the WICKED have been DESTROYED in the lake of FIRE.
Thanks for reading. May God bless you richly as you continue to seek the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,