Tormented in the presence of the Lamb!

"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." (Revelation 14:10)

What do we say of this verse and how do we understand it? In general context, it's speaking about those that take the mark of the beast, and who worship his image (Revelation 14:9, 11). There are many, many people--including Christians especially liberal Christians--that do not believe in eternal torment for the wicked. However, God is very clear in His Word that such a place, and thing will happen to the wicked. Although, that is not what this study is about.

Our attention is turned to the passage in Revelation 14:10, and how it speaks of something that makes us feel uncomfortable—the wicked being tormented in the presence of the Lamb, and possibly in the presence saints. This Scripture is clear not needing any other support. Again, it says.

"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."

One interesting point is that I looked in several commentaries, and none of them commented on this subject. We need to let the Scriptures speak to us as God Himself doing the teaching. Rejecting His Word is rejecting Him.

Who is tormented?

Who is tormented? The Scriptures provide us with the answer to that question. God's Word teaches us that satan, demons, and the wicked souls that rejected God's revelation (Jesus Christ) will suffer eternal torment.

The wicked

"Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: [this shall be] the portion of their cup." (Psalm 11:6)

"For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be]: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it [shall] not [be]. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming." (Psalm 37:10-13)

"For in the hand of the LORD [there is] a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring [them] out, [and] drink [them]." (Psalm 75:8)

"That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked." (Psalm 94:13)

"And a fire was kindled in their company; the flame burned up the wicked." (Psalm 106:18)

"But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it." (Proverbs 2:22)

"[Though] hand [join] in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered." (Proverbs 11:21)

"I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for [there is] a time there for every purpose and for every work." (Ecclesiastes 3:17)

"And I will punish the world for [their] evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible." (Isaiah 13:11)

"Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked." (Jeremiah 23:19)

"The LORD [is] slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit [the wicked]: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds [are] the dust of his feet." (Nahum 1:3)

"The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one]; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:38-42)

"His lord answered and said unto him, [Thou] wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and [then] at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give [it] unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 25:26-30)

"And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame…For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment." (Luke 16:24,28)

"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 14:11)

See also Genesis 18:25; 19:24,25; Numbers 16:26,30-33; 1 Samuel 2:9; Job 18:5-8; 18:21; 21:17, 28-31; 31:3; 38:13-15; Psalm 7:9-13; 9:16; 68:2; 91:8; 112:10; 119:119, 155; 141:9; 145:20; 146:9; 147:6; Proverbs 10:30; 11:31; 16:4; 24:20; Isaiah 3:11; 11:4; 48:22; Jeremiah 30:23; Malachi 4:3; Matthew 13:49; 21:41; Romans 9:22; Revelation 9:3,5; 20:14,15; 21:8.

Demons

"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. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?" (Matthew 8:28,29)

"Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any [man] tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, [thou] Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, [thou] unclean spirit." (Mark 5:4-8)

"And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in [any] house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, [thou] Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)" (Luke 8:27-29)

satan

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" (Matthew 25:41)

"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 worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." (Revelation 19:20)

"And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 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…And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. " (Revelation 20:2,10)

So we understand that there is punishment and torment for the wicked, demons, and satan. The question is why? The answer is because God is righteous and just protecting His holy name and character.

"Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day." (2 Thessalonians 1:6-9)

"That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:10,11)

It is just for God to render judgement to His enemies.

"According to [their] deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence." (Isaiah 59:18)

"Behold, [it is] written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom," (Isaiah 65:6)

"A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies." (Isaiah 66:6)

Many times in Israel's history "seeing" the destruction of the enemy was common, for example.

"And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning , behold, they [were] all dead corpses." (2 Kings 19:34)

"And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you." (Leviticus 26:17)

The following are Scriptures that speak to the question—will the righteous see the wicked in hell?

"And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace." (Genesis 19:28)

"And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins…But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that [appertain] unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that [was] under them: And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that [appertained] unto Korah, and all [their] goods. They, and all that [appertained] to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. " (Numbers 16:26, 30-33)

"At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; [but] at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you." (Deuteronomy 17:6,7)

"And the LORD said unto Joshua, Be not afraid because of them: for to morrow about this time will I deliver them up all slain before Israel: thou shalt hough their horses, and burn their chariots with fire." (Joshua 11:6)

"He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others." (Job 34:26)

"Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins. My defence [is] of God, which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry [with the wicked] every day." (Psalm 7:9-11)

"When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence." (Psalm 9:3)

"Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see [it]." (Psalm 37:34)

" 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)

"Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked." (Psalm 91:8)

"Mine eye also shall see [my desire] on mine enemies, [and] mine ears shall hear [my desire] of the wicked that rise up against me." (Psalm 92:11)

"He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour. The wicked shall see [it], and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish." (Psalm 112:9,10)

"Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there]." (Psalm 139:7,8)

"Hell and destruction [are] before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?" (Proverbs 15:11)

"And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, [that] wickedness [was] there; and the place of righteousness, [that] iniquity [was] there." (Ecclesiastes 3:16)

"And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this [is] also vanity." (Ecclesiastes 8:10)

"Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, [even] all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet." (Isaiah 14:15-19)

"And the slain of the LORD shall be at 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." (Jeremiah 25:33)

"And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD." (Ezekiel 6:7)

"They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves [are] round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit: he is put in the midst of [them that be] slain." (Ezekiel 32:25)

"The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon [is] here." (Matthew 12:42)

"So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 49,50)

"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth [his] sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left." (Matthew 25:31-33)

"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye 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 Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city." (Mark 6:11)

"And their dead bodies [shall lie] in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves." (Revelation 11:8,9)

Please understand, I'm not being extremely dogmatic about this teaching, but it does make one contemplate our position along with that of the non-believers. To simplify this teaching we can lay it out this way. Do you remember the verse that started this thread? It's Revelation 14:10.

"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."

Remember it's speaking, essentially, about non-believers or the wicked saying, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.

We can quickly conclude that any judgement or torment, such as this, is referring to after our eternal communion with Christ. So it's safe to say, that we would be with Him at such a time. For the Scriptures say,

"Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

Moreover, follow me through this thread as we bring more clarity to this subject. We read Isaiah 66:22-24.

"For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."

Notice the part in red sound familiar? It should lets read Mark 9:43-48

"And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

Again, notice the parts in red. Jesus confirms what the Spirit told Isaiah—both are speaking about everlasting hell. Moreover, in this place …they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh!

If we take those two sections of Scripture and lay them alongside Revelation 14:10 we quickly close the gap on any doubts as to the validity of this teaching. Furthermore, lets add Revelation 14:11,20 and chapters 21:27 and 22:14,15.

"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… And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand [and] six hundred furlongs." (14:11,20)

"And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither [whatsoever] worketh abomination, or [maketh] a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." (21:27)

"Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without [are] dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." (22:14,15)

We know of the true narrative Jesus gave of the rich man in hell.

"And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom." (Luke 16:23)

Although, this is relating to the time before Christ open heaven the principle truth in place was those in bliss saw those in torment!

Add to this study the following.

"When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence." (Psalm 9:3)

"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)

"Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see [it]." (Psalm 37:34)

"Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked." (Psalm 91:8)

"Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; [That] made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; [that] opened not the house of his prisoners? All the kings of the nations, [even] all of them, lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, [and as] the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet." (Isaiah 14:15-19)

The reality is where God and Jesus Christ are there we are too. If they have the wicked tormented in their presence will we not see it? If we are in Christ, and with Him, and the wicked are tormented in His presence will we not see that? The Scriptures seem to indicate we will.

The Early Church

I give you quotes of writings from the early Church to contrast this idea with what they believed. A word of disclaimer, the ideas and writings of some of the leaders of the early Church were not always correct. However, I give them as contrast not dogma.

"The Lord states that the rich man recognized Lazarus after death, as well as Abraham…." (Irenaeus, A.D. 180)

"In Hades, the soul of a certain man is in torment, punished in flames, suffering excruciating thirst, and pleading for relief of a drop of water for his tongue, from the finger of a happier soul. Do you suppose that this end of the blessed poor man and the miserable rich man is only imaginary? Then, why is the name of Lazarus given in this narrative—if the account is not of real occurrence?" (Tertullian, A.D. 210)

"Rather, the righteous are conducted to the light toward the right…. However, the unrighteous are dragged toward the left by the angels who are ministers of punishment…. And again, when they see the place of the Fathers and the righteous, they also suffer punishment merely from seeing this. For a deep and vast abyss is set there in the midst, so that neither can any of the righteous in sympathy think to cross it, nor do any of the unrighteous dare to cross it." (Hippolytus, A.D. 205)

"This is a region away from punishments and fire. It is a place of rest for the saints. Here, indeed, the wicked see the righteous, but they cannot be carried across to them." (Victorinus, A.D. 280)

"And, then, when they have finished all those matters that are connected with the stars and with the heavenly revolutions, they will come to those that are not seen and to those of whom we have only heard their names." (Origen, A.D. 225)

Those are some quotes from early Church leaders, again as I said before, not everything they wrote was considered true. However, it does give interesting information on this subject from men that spent many, many, hours studying the Scriptures.

Conclusion

We have gone over a great deal of Scriptures connected with this subject. The possibility of our being present, and seeing the punishment of the wicked, is a real one. We would not have the feelings of sympathy as we do now, for we are transformed into heavenly bodies and heavenly minds. With this teaching being a real possibility isn't it time for us to get about the business of evangelizing? Thank God that He has chosen you for salvation, and pray for others to run to the light of Christ Jesus! Remember hell is a real place and we would never want to see anyone go there.

Amen?

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