From Plainer Words

The Lake of Fire - Part 6

Posted in: 2011
By Tom L. Ballinger
Mar 8, 2011 - 10:27:17 AM

March 8, 2011

PLAINER WORDS ONLINE … THE LAKE OF FIRE

Part 6

“9. 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 [even him] 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 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” (Revelation 14:9-11).

It was pointed out in Part 1 of this study that Bible Scholars are not in agreement as to where the location of the Lake of Fire will be. As you might recall, we wrote on Page 1:

Some prominent teachers of the Word believed that the “fiery lake must be located far, far away from the earth.” This opinion was enhanced when the idea was expanded by another saying; “that it will probably be on a star, far away from earth (stars are actually vast lakes of fire)” according to one Ph.D. A Bible study web site said the “Lake of Fire will be the Dead Sea.” Yet, another said the Lake of Fire will be in Idumea (Edom) according to Isaiah 34:6-10. A major teacher of the Word concluded that it must be “in Heaven” because of Revelation 14:10.

Note the expressions: far away from earth, on a star, will be the Dead Sea, will be in Edom, and another word for its future location is—HEAVEN.

I have, repeatedly, said the location of “Gehenna” was, and will be, South of the City of Jerusalem. Throughout the previous twenty-five pages, Scripture after Scripture has been presented attesting to this fact. And, now we come to Revelation 14:9-11 from which we learn that the “Holy Angels and the Lamb” WILL BE PRESENT IN THE SCENE DESCRIBED IN Revelation 14:9-11.

The Vision which John is shown is of an event that is future. The Vision doesn’t depict the Holy Angels and the Lamb witnessing the incineration of the idolaters. The angel announces “in a loud voice” that those who worship the Beast, his image, and receive his mark will “drink of the wine of the wrath of God” and will do so without a mixture or a chaser—His undiluted wrath.

Your attention is drawn to the “holy angels” in Verse 10. John informs us that the “holy angels” will be with the Lamb as they both witness, in the instance mentioned, the torment of the worshippers of the Beast. Here is a question for you.  Could the angels, mentioned, be the 144,000 men who had the Father’s Name written on their foreheads (Rev. 14:1)? The Scripture, at times, refers to “saints” when angels are meant. If this is true, and it is; it would only stand to reason that, sometimes, “angels” might be named when, actually, the reference is to redeemed men such as the 144,000. And, who will appear with the Lamb on Mount Sion. “Angels” are messengers, envoys, or those who are sent from God. This being true, the 144,000 could qualify as “angels.”

Check out the following references and you will see that “angels” are, sometimes, called “saints:” Deuteronomy 33:2, Jude 14, Acts 7:53, Galatians 3:19, Hebrews 2:12,         Psalm 68:17, Daniel 7:10, Matthew 16:27, 25:31, and Zechariah 14:5.

The location of Revelation 14:10 is, without question, a scene in the Vision that will take place ON EARTH. Look at the Context.

In Revelation 14:1, the Apostle John is given a Vision where he sees the Lamb standing on Mount Sion. The location is on the Earth, not Heaven. John, also, sees the “hundred and forty and four thousand” standing with Christ, the Lamb of God—on Earth.

Furthermore, we read in the immediate Context of Chapter 14:6-20—The Fifth Vision “On EARTH.” Included in this Fifth Vision is Verse 10 which states that the Lamb and the Holy Angels will be “present” to approve of the torment administered to those who worshipped the Beast and his image, and received his mark (V. 9). In the Vision set forth, here, the Lamb and the Holy Angels are seen on Earth: the locale is what had been “Gehenna,” but now has a new name.

GEHENNA HAS A NEW NAME

The setting of the Vision is Mount Sion [Heb. Zion] and the Valley of Gehenna. It will become wider and deeper as a result of the prophetic earthquake and splitting Jerusalem into three parts (Rev. 16:18-19). The Valley will no longer be a narrow ravine where the incorrigibles will be cast, but now, the Valley is a wider and deeper geological depression. The size would accommodate a lake. This will become, not a Lake of Water, but rather, a Lake of Fire!

The Lake of Fire will be the end, or the fate of “Tribulation Idolaters.”  These will be those who worship the Devil by means of worshiping “ …the beast and his image, and receive his mark [a tattoo] in his forehead, or in his hand” (Rev. 14:9). The Bible likens idolatry to that of having adulterous sexual intercourse. The Jews were considered the spouse of the LORD (Yahweh); therefore, the worship of an idol was the act of committing spiritual adultery. The followers of the Beast will be cast alive into the fires of the Lake. The Lake of Fire will consume the “Congregation of Idolaters.”

The Lake of Fire will not be fueled by burning brimstone (sulfur). According to Isaiah 30:33, a great amount of wood will be piled up on the floor of the Valley, and will be set ablaze by “the breath of the LORD” which will be “like a stream of brimstone.”

The “fire and brimstone,” mentioned in Verse 10, is a Simile for “the breath of the LORD is like a stream of brimstone.”

“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 [tattoo] of his name” (Rev, 14:11).

The reader should, carefully, note that it is the “smoke” of their torment” that rises up until the end of the eon, i.e., the Great Tribulation. The word for “torment” is “basanizo,” Strong’s Number 928. It is used 12 times in the NT. It is translated, variously, as – torment, tormented, torture, tossed, toiling, vexed, and pained (see Strong’s Concordance, Numbers 929).

We note that the idolaters will be examined very rigorously in the Presence of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, and the aforementioned angels. His examiners will probably extract from the mouths of the guilty ones, “how and why they allowed themselves to be deceived by the Beast and the False Prophet.” After living for many years under the ideal conditions of the Administration of Divine Government, and a perfect environment, why did they “sell-out?” You can only imagine the answers that will be given as a result of the rigorous examination of being tortured.

All judgment has been consigned to the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Son.  The metaphorical idiom “in fire and brimstone” sets forth the force used to wrest the reasons why they were deceived. “The smoke of their torment” is figurative language for the results of their torment (or torture). The findings will become constant reminders during the remaining time of the age.

 “11 And the smoke of their TORMENT [torture] 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 [tattoo] of his name” (Rev. 14:11).

We find the words, “torment” and “tormented,” a number of times in the Book of Revelation. You will notice the three NT words below. Two of these, # 928 and # 929, stem from # 931.

NT: 928 – Basanizo –  1. To test metals by the touchstone. 2. To question by applying torture. 3. To vex with grievous pain. (This word is used 12 times in the NT).
 
NT: 929 - Basanismos – 1. A testing by the touchstone or by torture. 2. Torment or torture. (This word is used 6 times in the NT).
 
NT: 931 – Basanos – 1. the touchstone by which gold and other metals are tested. 2. the rack or instrument of torture by which one is forced to divulge the truth. (This is used 3 times in the NT).
The definitions are from Thayer’s New Testament Lexicon. The English words of “torment,” or “tormented” do not really depict what will be taking place in scenes of prophecy as presented, here, in Revelation. The basic meaning of the root word, “basanos,”  is that of  torture. You noticed that all three words in the NT Greek Language, according to Joseph H. Thayer, centers around the noun—touchstone. What is a touchstone? We had a hazy idea, but had to go to the Dictionary to clear up our vague understanding. Here is the definition:

“Touchstone: noun. 1. Any means of testing; test; criterion: ‘an era in which success is the only touchstone of merit’ (Anthony Trollope).  2. a smooth fine-grained stone used to test purity of gold or silver by the color of the streak made on the stone by rubbing it with the metal” (World Book Dictionary, 1967).

Additional references state that a touchstone is a dark-colored stone on which gold is rubbed, leaving a peculiar mark, or color which tells whether or not the metal is pure or full of alloys. The mark of pure gold leaves a distinct mark which assayers can identify as pure. By continued use of the word, “touchstone,” its meaning expanded to reference someone being put to the test, put on trial, or being torturously questioned, or examined.  It, also, meant “inquiry by torture.” The Scriptural meaning in most cases, in the Book of Revelation, has been shown to mean “torture.” The underlying meaning of the words in      # 928, # 929, and # 931 is to “torture.”

In Revelation 9:1-2, we read where an angel comes from heaven and will use the “key” and releases horrid creatures from out of the “bottomless pit” called “locusts.” Notice that the creatures are not to kill men, but to “hurt” some of earth’s inhabitants for five months; the five months of hurt is torture! But, those who had the seal of God in their foreheads are not to be bothered.

 “And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented [tortured, # 928] five months: and their torment [torture, # 929] was as the torment [torture, # 929] of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.  And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them” (Rev. 9:3-6).

The torture is to be five months of being stung by “Stinging Scorpions.” Those who are tattooed with “the mark of the Beast” cry for relief, or beg to die, but death flees from them during this five months. But, they will meet their final fate by their “baptism” in the Lake of Fire.

The “Beast Worshippers” will suffer “Five Months of Touch-Stoning which will be having to drink the Cup of God’s indignation as mentioned in Revelation 14:10-11.

“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 [tortured # 928] 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 [torture # 929] 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 [tattoo] of his name” (Rev. 14:10-11).

With the “touch-stoning” being on-going for five months, we see that the “Beast Worshippers” have no rest, day or night, from the intense interrogation.  These who bear the “Mark of the Beast” will be taken before the Lamb of God and the 144,000, and are subjected to the intense sting of the creatures called Locusts. Are the measures of interrogation harsh and stinging, or are the subjects literally stung as if by huge Scorpions? Whatever form of torture, it will be deemed appropriate by the Lord Jesus Christ. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, this is a “hard saying; who can receive it?”

As members of the Church over which Christ Jesus is the Head, we will probably be privy to these events as observers, not as participants. The participants will be of Jewish heritage. The Divine Torture will be centered in Palestine around Mount Sion, Jerusalem and The Lake of Fire.


© Copyright 2011 by Plainer Words