Friday, February 27, 2009

 Question 57 -How Long Does Hell Burn?
No Rest Day or Night - Forever and Ever and Ever
"And the smoke of their TORMENT ascendeth up FOREVER and EVER; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." (Rev. 14:11)!
This seems perfectly clear. The unsaved will be TORTURED forever and ever—ceaselessly—throughout eternity!

Before making this assumption, let's look phrase by phrase to see if what we've been told for years is really what the verse is saying.  
Smoke Ascendeth Up Forever and Ever
The verse says, "the smoke of their torment assendeth up forever and ever."  Does it say their torment is forever and ever? Could Torment be a single event, while the SMOKE from that event will ascend Forever? This might look as if we are stretching the verse a little, but, does the text actually say, "They are tormented forever and ever?"

First, let's look at exactly who the text is referring to. This is the third of three Angels who, just before Jesus comes, will, "fly in the midst of heaven," delivering the final call to all who are unwittingly still in Babylon. This Angel is addressing people who have begun to realize just who Babylon really is. Babylon is Antichrist's false Church; the Great Harlot.  In Revelation 18, John expands on the message of this third Angel.
"And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, 'Come out of her (Babylon), My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues' " (Rev.18:4). We suggest that the phrase, "receive not of her plagues," holds the key to what is meant by, "no rest day nor night."

With this in mind, let's look at John's vision of this third Angel:  "And the third Angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If any man worship the Beast and his Image 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 (Jesus). The SMOKE of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever; and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the the Beast (Antichrist) and his Image, and whosoever receiveth the Mark of his name' " (Rev.14:9-ll)! A careful study into all other references in which the Bible uses the phrase, "Fire and Brimstone," reveals that the John is combining portraits covering incidents starting with seven last plagues, and continuing through to the final Great White Throne Judgment. This. "Fire and Brimstone"  can be none other than the Lake of Fire into which the wicked are cast after Judgment (See Rev.20:15).

We also need to understand that, "forever and ever" translated literally is "for ages and ages." More on this in a moment.

John is using a method commonly practiced throughout Scripture. He gives a big picture covering a very large segment of time, then he goes back to fill in details. If we stay focused on that big picture, words and phrases don't confuse us, but if we try to latch on to words and phrases, we miss the big picture. To use a modern expression, "We can't see the forest for the trees." John portrayed many events that extend throughout a thousand years, then he filled us in on some of the details. If we know the condition of earth during the Millennium, and what will happen at the end of the Millennium, all of the details fit together like a puzzle, and our study texts make perfect sense. If, however, we try to build Doctrine around one sentence or a few words, confusion will be the result every time! There's not time or space here to do a detailed study into the condition of Earth during the Millennium or the Great White Throne Judgment Scene, so we'll refer you to "Satan's Bottomless Pit Kingdom" and "The Great White Throne Judgment."

Satan's Bottomless Pit
We will say here, however, that Planet Earth cannot be a Glorious Millennial Kingdom during the thousand years. A careful examination of all that the Bible says about Satan's Bottomless Pit reveals that his Pit is actually Planet Earth immediately after Jesus comes. Because of the seven last plagues, the last of which is a massive earthquake the likes of which has never been experienced on earth, ever. Earth will remain in complete destruction for a thousand years. Immediately after these plagues and the final earthquake, Jesus comes to take His people to Heaven where they live in the, "Mansions," Jesus has prepared for them. It is probable that this last great earthquake will cause volcanic activity that could remain aggressively active throughout the following thousand years, and the smoke of these could also be part of the, "smoke ascending day and night forever and ever." Again, for a complete study proving this from Scripture, see, "Satan's Bottomless Pit Kingdom."

Gehenna and Planet Earth During the Thousand Years
Jesus used the valley of Gehenna to illustrate what earth will be like during the Millennium. Planet Earth will be, "Graves" for the wicked dead during this time, which is why we sometimes see the word "Hell" and "Grave" used interchangeably in the Bible. In Jesus' day, Gehenna was a literal garbage dump on the outskirts of Jerusalem, complete with dead bodies and all types of trash and garbage. A fire constantly burned for the purpose of consuming these dead bodies and the trash. Thus, Gehenna was a perfect illustration of what our earth will be immediately after Jesus comes at His Second Coming to take His people to Heaven for a thousand years.

Isaiah's and John's use of "Forever and Ever"
A careful comparison of Isaiah's and John's use of, "Forever and Ever," when they described earth's condition immediately before the Lord comes reveals the truth about our planet during the Millennium. John wrote, "The Smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever" (Rev.14:11). Isaiah wrote: "For it is the Day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompense for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. And it shall not be quenched night nor day; Its smoke shall go up forever; from generation to generation it shall lie waste; and none shall pass through it forever and ever " (Isa.34:8-10). Isaiah, when prophesying about that last massive earthquake that will be part of the 7th plague, Isaiah wrote, "The foundations of earth do shake" (Isa.24:18). Isaiah and Jeremiah describe unburied bodies all over the earth. "And the slain of the Lord shall be that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; they shall not be lamented neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground" (Jer.25:33; see also Isa.34:3). The Bible has dozens of similar passages describing earth during the thousand years after Jesus takes His people to Heaven. These Bible Verses tell us what really happens to the Left Behind people after Christ's Coming. The Bible says there'll not be a human alive on earth. The unsaved wicked who survived the 7 Last Plagues will be destroyed by the very presence of Jesus and their bodies are left unburied like "dung [sewage] on the ground."

"Day of the Lord's Vengeance"
If we understand the, "Day of the Lord," all of these prophecies make perfect sense and fit together perfectly. When we see, "Day of the Lord," in Scripture, the reference is to the Millennium and the events at the beginning and the end of the Millennium. The, "Day of the Lord's Vengeance" starts with the Great Tribulation, then proceeds to Christ's Second Coming to take His People, His Bride, to Heaven, after which there is a thousand years for earth to lie dormant with no Sun, then, New Jerusalem descends to Earth, the wicked dead resurrected.  Satan recruits these resurrected wicked turning them into his,  "Magog Army," who then, "encompass the Beloved City" (Rev.20:9). While the wicked are assembled around New Jerusalem, the scene becomes the Great White Throne Judgment. The final scene is the Earth being utterly destroyed by, "Fire and Brimstone," after which Jesus creates a New Heavens and a New Earth.

If we accept the above events in this order, every Bible prophecy addressing the Millennium makes perfect sense, but, if we try to rearrange them to fit our Theories, it will make it appear that Scripture contradicts Scripture. 

"Forever and Ever"
 Let's take a look at Isaiah's version of the, "Day of the Lord's Vengeance,"  and the devastation of our planet when Jesus leaves it as He takes His People to the the, "Place He has prepared for them" (See Jn.14:1-3)
"For the indignation of the Lord is upon ALL nations; and His fury upon all their armies; He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them up to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, their stink shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll" (Isa.34:2-4).
"For it is the Day of the Lord's Vengeance, and the year of recompense for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. And it shall not be quenched night nor day; Its smoke shall go up FOREVER; from generation to generation it shall lie waste; and none shall pass through it FOREVER and EVER " (Isa.34:8-10).

John also said, "the smoke of their torment ascendeth up FOREVER and EVER (Rev.14:11).

"Never Ending?" 
Does Isaiah's and John's "FOREVER and EVER" mean, "never ending?"
 Next let's look at what Isaiah saw immediately after he saw the whole Earth, "Laid waste from generation to generation, and none passed through it Forever and Forever."

It Blossoms Abundantly
Chapters and numbers identifying Scriptures were not in the original script. Also, there were no punctuation marks such as periods, question marks, etc. In other words, Isaiah did not designate that what we are reading is Isaiah 34. So, there is no break of any kind from Isaiah 34:17 to Isaiah 35:1. With this in mind, let's read again his "generation to generation" and "forever and ever" words: "They (various types of Demons) shall posses it forever; from generation to generation shall they dwell therein. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them and the desert shall blossom like a rose. It shall blossom abundantly..." Isaiah ends his "Day of the Lord's Vengeance" Prophecy with, "They (the Redeemed) shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away" (vs.10) !Notice what John said would happen after New Jerusalem descends to Earth and the Great White Judgment is over: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow or crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away" (Rev.21:4). 
Is there any doubt that Isaiah's and John's Prophecies are the same?

Isaiah and Peter
Let's quickly compare the words of Isaiah and Peter concerning the utter destruction of Earth. "And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch" (Isa.34:9)! Peter wrote, "The heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the Earth also, and the works that are in it, shall be burned up" (2Pet.3:10)! When John describes the, "Lake of Fire" into which, Satan, the Beast (Antichrist), the False Prophet, and the lost wicked, are, "cast," he calls it "The Lake of Fire and Brimstone," and he calls this, "Lake of Fire" the, "Second Death" (See. Rev.20:10-15).

The Word "Forever" in Strong's Concordance
If the Reader is a Pastor, you may already know about the following, but if not, look up the word "Forever" in your Strong's Concordance. If you look this word up, you'll discover there is no such word in Strong's Concordance. During Bible times, neither Greek nor Hebrew had a word meaning, "never-ending" or, "without end." In Greek, the closest word was, "aion" meaning, "age" or, "An Age." Strong's reveals that it also meant, "A Time Period," which could mean as little as three days, such as Jonah in the belly of the fish. So, the verses we're studying in Isaiah and Revelation could be translated, "The smoke ascendeth up for ages and ages," or, "for an age of ages," or, "unto an age of ages." It could even read, "The smoke of their torment ascendeth up until the Age of Ages." Scholars refer to the time following the Millennium as, "The Age of Ages" or "Eternal Ages," and all of these terms are correct.  

Jonah's Forever
Jonah said, "I went down to the bottom of the mountains; the earth, with its bars, was about me forever; yet thou haste brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God" (Jonah 2:6).  For Jonah, "forever" was three days. When Earth is turned into the, "Lake of Fire" that punishes and consumes the wicked, Scripture uses the words, "Forever and Ever" which could mean 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months, or longer. Planet Earth will burn until it is completely cleansed and purified, ready for Jesus to do the same as He did on Creation Week! "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for a New Heaven and a New Earth, in which dwelleth righteousness" (2Pet.3:13)!!!

Everlasting Punishment
"And these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal" (Matt.25:46).  The words "everlasting" and "eternal" here are from the same Greek word, "aionios" (root word "aion" "age"). The key here is the word, "punishment" instead of "punishing."
Paul said those who obey not the gospel will receive "everlasting destruction" (1Thess.1:9), not, "everlasting destroying." The "destruction" of the wicked is forever; never reversed. After their final Judgment at the end of the Millennium, they are destroyed forever, never to live again. If we accidentally burn a letter from a friend, that letter is destroyed forever.  

Eternal Judgment
"Of the doctrine of baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and Eternal Judgment" (Heb.6:2).
Does the Judgment continue Eternally?  Some respond to this with the following:"That's because the nature of the Judgment clearly demands that it cannot continue for an unending period of time." Bingo!!!! EXACTLY !!!! Let's apply the same standard to the time period of punishment of the wicked. Eternal judgment and eternal punishment are governed by the same rule. 

Doctrines of Devils - "Damnable Heresies"
Reader be ware. The following may make you literally sick at your stomach. Everything below comes from otherwise good Ministers. All have been, and some still are, famous and well respected. Out of respect for them we won't reveal their names:
"See on the middle of that red-hot floor stands a girl: she looks about sixteen years old. Her feet are bare. Listen; she speaks. 'I have been here standing on this floor for years! Look at my burnt and bleeding feet! Let me go off this burning floor for one moment!' The fifth dungeon is the red-hot oven. The little child is in the red-hot oven. Hear how it screams to come out; see how it turns and twists itself about in the fire. It beats its head against the roof of the oven. It stamps its little feet on the floor. God was very good to this little child. Very likely God saw it would get worse and worse, and would never repent, and so it would have to be punished more severely in hell. So God in His mercy called it out of the world in early childhood." 

Imagine bereaved parents seeing God through the eyes of this gross madness. Our next preacher adds a little twist to his position.
"When thou diest thy soul will be tormented alone, that will be a hell for it, but at the day of judgment thy body will join thy soul, and then thou wilt have twin hells, body and soul shall be together, each brimful of pain, thy soul sweating in its inmost pore drops of blood and thy body from head to foot suffused with agony; conscience, judgment, memory, all tortured... Thine heart beating high with fever, thy pulse rattling at an enormous rate in agony, thy limbs cracking like the martyrs in the fire and yet unburnt, thyself put in a vessel of hot oil, pained yet coming out undestroyed, all thy veins becoming a road for the hot feet of pain to travel on, every nerve a string on which the devil shall ever play his diabolical tune... Fictions, sir! Again I say there are no fictions, but solid, stern truth. If God is true, and this Bible be true, what I have said is the truth, and you will find it one day to be so." 
Notice, "the devil shall ever play his diabolical tune," implying that Satan, the most heinous of the wicked, suffers no pain, but instead, gleefully plays music while listening to the humans screech and bellow. Peter wrote about "Damnable Heresies" (2Peter2:1). If this preacher's mad ravings do not qualify, nothing ever will!

Nothing in the real Bible remotely resembles such foolishness! The Bible is words and thoughts conveyed from the Holy Spirit. Did the Holy Spirit need these raving, silver tongued orators to strain their imaginations in order to properly describe God dealing with sinners? Our next quote will not be word for word because its sacrilege and blasphemy is too disgusting to repeat.  

Blasphemy of All Blasphemies!!
"Hell is a flat surface, piled high with sinners bodies being burned, but never burning up. God has done all within His divine ability to intensify the pain to the highest possible level. The inhabitants are screeching and bellowing with every ounce of their sapped strength. They are writhing and twisting much as a worm dangling in an open flame. Suddenly over the horizon comes a RIDER on a white horse. It is Almighty Himself. He is hurling a sharp sword. He slashes each and every poor unfortunate soul that is within His reach. The blood splashes and stains His white horse. He continues this ride throughout the ages and ages of eternity. It is His highest and most intense pleasure."  

Did this pitiful man never read where the Lord said, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked" (Ez.33:11)?
If  you doubt that Christian Ministers wrote this trash, go to any Christian Book store and ask for their most graphic books describing Hell. Don't buy it—just open it and in five minutes you'll find these and hundreds of other quotes from famous Ministers. We could produce a thousand pages of pitiful foolishness written by our Popular preachers. Better yet, do a Google Search, and be prepared to be sick at your stomach, and be prepared to possibly loose respect for your favorite Minister!

Satan's Blasphemy in All Religions
Do Christians have exclusive rights to such repugnant nonsense? The following comes from various World Religions. So as not to offend, none are named, but go to any public library, and you'll read what we show below. Better yet, do a Google search!
"As the dead travel to the next world, they must trek paths and bridges. Hideous, grotesque watchdogs guard these paths and bridges. They must somehow pass these horrid creatures.""Devils, taking on the forms of humans, use red-hot wires to pull out the tongues of those who were slanderers. They pour hot molten lead down the throats of those who were liars. They have a gross torture to fit every malefactor and the torture matches the deeds done by the person while in this life."
"In the hereafter persons are hung by their tongues, whipped and eaten by fiery and poisonous snakes. Matching the deeds done in the flesh, others are given a variety of suitable punishments. Some have prepared for them a mixture of slime consisting of hair mixed with every rotten liquid. This is poured down the throats of the befitting guests and as soon as he or she swallows, there is a refill. When all the horrors imagined are done, these are then packed like sardines in boxes and placed in a red-hot oven for eternity."
"Unbelievers are burned until the skin is gone. The skin is replaced and the process repeated. While this is happening, in case they are not in suitable pain, they are forced to drink scalding hot water and hung over furnaces so that their flesh is cut off with scissors of fire while their brains are boiled inside their heads."
Obviously Satan's wretched tentacles have sunk deep into all world religions. He's the father of all liars. Eve should've run as far from his lies as possible, and so should we! 

Silly Cartoons of Satan in Hell
One of the key reasons to seriously Question the popular view of Hell is the silliness of the popular view of Hell. All these silly cartoons of Satan in Hell grinning with glee as he torments the residents should alert us that the popular view is foolishness. Such nonsense actually is a carryover from the Dark Ages. Any art from that time reveals that people actually believed that Satan was in charge of Hell. This actually comes from Greek Mythology portraying a mythological god that swallowed his children and the children remained alive in his stomach. Hades was one of those children and the myth continues until Hades became the ruler of this place in which people were tormented. When the Christian Church began adopting Paganism in order to grow and gain more converts, certain corrupt Church leaders redesigned some of these myths and combined them with Christian doctrines. Today thousands of Christian Ministers and Christian Laymen are restudying the whole subject of Hell and discovering that the Bible version of Hell and the so-called Orthodox view of Hell are not even close to being the same.  

Do We Want God's Truth, or Satan's Nonsense?
"God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away" (Rev.21:4).
 Absolutely nothing in this Bible Verse is true, NOT A SINGLE WORD, if, throughout eternity we forever know that our loved ones are begging God for mercy while He continues TORTURING them forever. We must choose to either believe the Word of God, or the lies of Satan!!

Did Jesus Suffer All of Your Punishment?
If our Silver-Tongued Preachers are telling the truth about Hell, Jesus MUST spend Trillions of years in endless fire, screaming and begging His Father for mercy!?!? We have a Blogsite called, "Did Jesus Take Your Hell? "Warning!" If you visit that Blogsite and read it carefully, you will FOREVER and EVER abandon any belief that God sadistically tortures humans at all, especially not throughout eternity!! No promoter of, "ETERNAL TORTURE" has ever truly answered the question presented there!! Not One!! Their silence is deafening!!!

In closing we must say that many honest Ministers have set about to prove from Scripture that God will ceaselessly torture humans. After carefully and prayerfully studying their Bibles, many of these Ministers discovered they'd been teaching Satan's lie. Some have had the courage to openly confess and teach the truth, but, sadly, most feared for their jobs and reputations, so they continue teaching what they know is a doctrine of demons!! SO Sad!!!

So, what must we conclude about the Bible's use of the words, "no rest day and night forever and ever?" Were it not for the clear and absolute Bible proof that the lost wicked will not and can not be tortured throughout eternity, this Scripture could be circumstantial evidence for the so-called orthodox view. However, when we do a reality check, and realize that a God of love could never do such a thing. Then when we come to understand how much Satan hates God, we have no choice but to know absolutely the origin of this, "doctrine of demons." 

If we pray for God's Spirit to guide us, confusion will be replaced by truth. Let's ask God's Holy Spirit to guide us as we prepare for Christ's soon Coming!!

For another look at this subject, see, The Punishment of the Wicked.

Thank you SO much, Dear Reader for your time. Please check other Blogsites below.

Your Brother in Christ
Walter C. Martin Jr.


Check Our Other Websites:

Pre-Tribulation Rapture
Post-Tribulation Second Coming of Jesus
Will We Eat Pigs During the Millennium?

Planet Earth WILL be Destroyed After the 1000 Years!
New Jerusalem - How BIG is It?
Great White Throne Judgment Seat - When and Where
Christ's Kingdom - Millennial or EVERLASTING?

Hell Fire
Is God Torturing People Now
Did Jesus Suffer ALL of Your Hell?
The Rich Man and Lazarus?
The Dead - Dead or Alive - What is Death?
Did Jesus Die YOUR Death for You?
Will Satan Ever Die - Bible Says "YES!"
Testing Our Doctrine About Death
The Dead Stand Before Great White Throne Judgment Seat

The Gnostics Attack the Sabbath
Were Gnostics Really Christian?
Were Gnostics Satan's Implants into the Church?
Is Gnosticism Alive and Well in Today's Churches
Church is Israel - Israel is Church
Is the Church Israel and Israel the Church?
Is the Bride of Jesus the 144 Thousand?
Did Jesus Offer the Jews a Millennial Kingdom in His Ministry?
Will New Jerusalem Sit in Israel? How Big is It?
Christ's REAL EVERLASTING Kingdom is for ALL Believers!

The Sabbath
Is it a Sin to Observe the Sabbath?
Is There a Connection Between the Rapture and the Sabbath?
Will the Sabbath Be Observed By God's People During the Tribulation?
Who REALLY Changed the Sabbath in Early Christianity?
Un-Answered and Un-Answerable Sabbath Questions For Popular Preachers
How to Test Your Doctrine Concerning the Sabbath

Marriage in Heaven - Millennial Kingdom?
Strange Animal/Demons the Millennium?
Why Jesus Hasn't Come to Take Us To Heaven?
Teachers of Anomia (Law Annulling)
Good Ministers Teaching Against God's 10 Commandments?
Teaching of Anomia - The Reason Jesus Hasn't Come Yet?
Pre-Trib Rapture and Sabbath
Pre-Trib Rapture and the Sabbath?

Walter C. Martin Jr.
Everlasting Gospel Ministries

These are just a few of the questions we examine in our Websites.
Thank you, Dear Reader,  for checking them. Please feel free to give us your comments and feedback if you look at our Sites.  If you send us your questions or comments, we will try to answer and add your question to these Websites. We will Not give your name or E-Mail address to ANY ONE or ANY Church Group or Denomination! Nor will we send you ANY annoying E-Mails!! It is NOT our purpose to get you to withdraw from your present Church, but to invite you to present things you learn here to your Pastor and Friends.
Let's pray that God will continue sending His Holy Spirit to guide as we prepare for Jesus to come. Thank You!
Your Brother in Christ!
Walter C. Martin Jr