Thursday, January 13, 2011

Revelation 14:11

"And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Rev 14:11

First, we'd love for you to check out our studies on HELL, starting here. We covered in-depth the countless of times that the Bible speaks of the wicked being devoured, consumed, burnt UP, melted away, perished, etc. I hope this study helps strengthens the one we just did.

Now looking at this passage in Rev 14:11, nowhere does it say that the wicked will burn forever and ever. Sometimes after hearing what others say a verse means after so long, we forget to really read it carefully for what it says exactly.

The first keyword is SMOKE. After we blow out a candle, the fire is gone, and what is there? Smoke. After we put out a camp fire, what is there? Smoke. The fact that the Bible uses "smoke" reveals that God has completed His judgment, and the fire has done its work. Smoke is the after part of a fire.

The second key word is TORMENT. The dictionary defines this as: to be afflicted, distressed, agony, misery, suffering and great sorrow. The Bible tells us in the OT that the wicked will either wail and mourn when they see the Lord, or they will be angry and gnash their teeth at Him. This is a strong, emotional response.

The third key word is FOREVER. Forever does not mean for all eternity. This word is translated from Greek as aion/aionios, which means "age." This is a time, and a duration but has an ending. One example is Jonah. When he described his experience in the whale's belly, he said, "The earth with her bars was about me forever" in Jonah 2:6, BUT this "forever" was only three days and three nights long! I recommend studying this word.

Some scripture that matches the verse above:

"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." Psalm 37:20

After a fire, nothing is left. Everything has been consumed. All we see is the smoke signifying that the burning is complete, the fire has gone and everything has perished.

"As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God." Psalm 68:2

Smoke also shows that they are gone forever. The wicked will perish, and be no more. All that is left is the residue of God's final judgment.. the smoke.

I hope this shows that this verse in Rev 14:11 is not saying that "the wicked will be burned and tortured forever and ever" but that the smoke of their torment ascendeds up forever. There's a very important difference.

A Voice in the Wilderness

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