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Revelation 14:11

the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever
This phrase speaks of eternal judgment, like that which will ultimately befall the land of Edom and the city of Babylon (Isa. Isa. 34:10; Rev. Rev. 19:3+). The “goats,” representing those among the Beast worshipers who remain alive upon the earth at the return of Jesus to take up the throne of David (Mtt. Mat. 25:31), will be sent “into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mtt. Mat. 24:41b cf. Rev. Rev. 20:10+). The fire is everlasting (Isa. Isa. 66:24; Dan. Dan. 12:2; Mtt. Mat. 3:12; Mtt. Mat. 25:41; Mark Mark 9:44-46; 2Th. 2Th. 1:9; 2Pe. 2Pe. 2:17; Jude Jude 1:13), but does not annihilate those who suffer its torment, for the Beast and the False Prophet are the first to experience its effects and have endured under it for one thousand years when they are joined by others (Rev. Rev. 19:20+ cf. Rev. Rev. 20:10+, Rev. 20:15+). The answer to the question of how the damned could be due eternal torment might be found, in part, by understanding their hardened condition—which is without repentance:

In the next world the wicked, with all restraint removed, will go headlong into sin, blaspheming and cursing God, growing worse and worse as they sink deeper and deeper into the bottomless pit. Endless punishment is the penalty for ENDLESS sinning.1

I wish to present a paragraph or two from one of my teachers, Dr. R. A. Torrey. I sat in class as a boy of eighteen and heard Dr. Torrey lecture on the future destiny of unbelievers. . . . He said, “In conclusion, two things are certain. First, the more closely men walk with God and the more devoted they become to His service, the more likely they are to believe this doctrine. Many men tell us they love their fellow men too much to believe this doctrine; but the men who show their love in more practical ways than sentimental protestations about it, the men who show their love for their fellow men as Jesus Christ showed His, by laying down their lives for them, they believe it, even as Jesus Christ Himself believed it.

Second, men who accept a loose doctrine regarding the ultimate penalty of Sin (Restorationism or Universalism or Annihilationism) lose their power for God. They may be very clever at argument and zealous in proselytizing, but they are poor at soul-saving. They are seldom found beseeching men to be reconciled to God. They are more likely to be found trying to upset the faith of those already won by the efforts of others, then winning men who have no faith at all. If you really believe the doctrine of endless, conscious torment of the impenitent, and the doctrine really gets hold of you, you will work as you never worked before for the salvation of the lost. If you in any wise abate this doctrine, it will abate your zeal.”2

have no rest day and night, who worship the beast
Neither do the four living creatures in the presence of God rest day or night, but they are blessed to render ceaseless worship to God (Rev. Rev. 4:8+). Those who gave their worship to the Beast have no rest. Instead of offering glorious worship to God, they suffer intense torment without relief. Their torment is eternal (Mtt. Mat. 25:41; Mark Mark 9:43-44; Jude Jude 1:7; Rev. Rev. 20:10+). The beast worshipers may have rest during the brief time of the end, but will have no rest thereafter. The saints will experience extreme duress during the brief time of the end, but thereafter will “rest from their labors” (Rev. Rev. 14:13+). who worship the beast
See commentary on Revelation 13:4. and his image
See commentary on Revelation 13:14 and Revelation 13:15. and whoever receives the mark of his name
See commentary on Revelation 13:16.

Notes

1 Loraine Boettner, The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1932), 79.

2 Donald Grey Barnhouse, Revelation (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1971), Rev. 14:11.

Read Revelation 14:11