The Doctrine of Eternal Conscious Torment

Will the wicked be consciously tormented day and night forever?

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace by John Newton (1725–1807)

Calvinism

What is Calvinism? What does Calvinists believe?

Clement I of Rome, 30-99 AD

What did the earliest apostolic church father believe?

The Love of God

Does God love all everyone equally?

1582 Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible, DR


The 1582 Douay-Rheims Bible (DR) is an English translation of the Latin Vulgate, made possible by the Roman Catholic Douai Seminary. [1]

Translation Bias

Roman Catholics love to point out, that the Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther (1483-1546), once appended the word "alone" to the end of Romans Chapter 3 Verse 28. [4]

While adding or subtracting from Scripture is certainly NOT commendable (Rev. 22v18), the Roman Catholic Douay-Rheims itself is not without an array of questionable amendments. [2|3]

Personally, I think it's a bit hypocritical to condemn the Translation Bias of another, while very much guilty of the same. Wouldn't you say?

Availability

The Douay-Rheims is available free-of-charge from Biblia and DRBO.org.

Videos

IF you are reading this off-line, please visit us on-line to view the embedded videos.



Bibliography

1. Douay-Rheims Bible (Wikipedia; 11 July 2012)
2. Fisher. Translation Bias in the Douay Rheims (Pt. 1) (Epagonizesthai; 21 August 2009)
3. Fisher. Translation Bias in the Douay Rheims (Pt. 2) (Epagonizesthai; 26 August 2009)
4. EJ Hill. Romans Chapter 3 Verse 28 (Hillside; 11 July 2012) ✔

Revisions

11.07.2012 / 13.07.2012 / 28.01.2013 / 18.09.2014

The Doctrine of Eternal Torment


"The Doctrine of Eternal Torment" or "The Doctrine of Endless Torment" as opposed to The Doctrine of Final Destruction

Keywords

anguish, banishment, contrapasso, endless, eternal, hellfire, separation, torment, endless torment, eternal torment

Definition

"The doctrine of Eternal Torment is the historically pagan belief that following natural death and Particular Judgment, or the Resurrection of the Dead and Final Judgment, the lost will be consciously tormented in hell, day and night, endlessly for all eternity"

Proof-Texts and Cross-References

Ps. 51v4 [33], 52v5 [68], 78v66 [68]; Is. 33v14 [68], 66v24 [68]; Jer. 23v40 [68], 25v9 [68]; Dan. 12v2 [33|67|68]; Mt. 3v12 [33], 8v12 [47|68], 10v15 [68], v28 [47], 11v24 [68], 13v49-50 [47], 19v16 [18], 22v13 [68], 25v31-46 [13|24|33|36|37|47|68]; Mk. 9v44-49 [33|47|68], 10v17 [18]; Lk. 3v17 [61], 10v25 [18], 12v5 [47], 16v19-31 [3|27|33], 18v8 [68], 23v42 [3]; Jn. 5v28-29 [13], 14v2 [47]; Acts 24v15 [13]; Rom. 2v7 [18], 3v23 [33], 6v23 [33]; 1 Cor. 15v51-53 [18]; 2 Cor. 5v1 [47], v8 [3]; Eph. 6v10; Philip. 1v23 [3]; Col. 2v10; 2 Thess. 1v7-9 [3|24|33]; Tit. 3v7 [18]; Heb. 1v3; 1 Jn. 2v25 [18], 3v15 [18]; Jude v6-7 [3|28]; Rev. 2v7 [47], 6v9-11, 14v10-11 [24|26|33|68], 20v10-15 [3|24|39|68], 21v8 [47]

Introduction

I grew up in the Dutch Reformed Church, transferred to an independent Church following my conversion, and later attended Miracle Bible College (MBC).

I was taught throughout my life, that following death and/or Final Judgment, the lost will be endlessly tormented in a fiery hell.

Unlike some of my annihilationist friends, however, I never had any problem with this believe. "Considering their evil disposition", I thought, "they probably deserve what they got".

Yet, as the years went by, and as my Bible Study skills developed, I discovered that this doctrine were nowhere to be found in Scripture, except in a handful of highly debatable proof-texts, which did not stand up under closer scrutiny.

Foundational Beliefs

The following is foundational to upholding and defending the Doctrine of Endless Conscious Torment.

THE BELIEF THAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ETERNAL CONSCIOUS TORMENT

Tormentists will often sight passages, like Psalms Chapter 52 Verse 5 [68], Psalms Chapter 78 Verse 66 [68], Isaiah Chapter 33 Verse 14 [68], Isaiah Chapter 66 Verse 24 [68], Jeremiah Chapter 23 Verse 40 [68], Jeremiah Chapter 25 Verse 9 [68], Daniel Chapter 12 Verse 2 [33|67|68], Matthew Chapter 3 Verse 12 [33], Matthew Chapter 8 Verse 12 [68], Matthew Chapter 10 Verse 15 [68], Matthew Chapter 18 Verse 8 [68], Matthew Chapter 22 Verse 13 [68], Matthew Chapter 25 Verses 31 to 46 [68], Matthew Chapter 25 Verses 46 [13|24|33|36|37], Mark Chapter 9 Verses 44 to 49 [33|68], Matthew Chapter 11 Verse 24 [68], Luke Chapter 3 Verse 17 [61], Luke Chapter 16 Verses 19 to 31 [3|27|33], John Chapter 5 Verses 28 to 29 [13], Acts Chapter 24 Verse 15 [13], Second Thessalonians Chapter 1 Verse 9 [3|24|33], Jude Chapter 1 Verse 7 [3|28], Revelation Chapter 14 Verse 11 [24|26|33|68] and Revelation Chapter 20 Verse 10 [33|39|68], in defense of Eternal Conscious Torment.

Is this true?

NO. Let me explain.

On closer inspection, none of the above-mentioned passages teach Eternal Torment [26|27|28|37|39], which would explain why:

Frederick W. Farrar (1831-1903) - Canon of Westminster Abbey and Dean of Canterbury - "could not find a single text in all Scripture that, when fairly interpreted, teaches the common views about endless torment." [7|8|9]

Dr. William Temple (1881-1944) - Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of Great Britain - asks "Are there not, however, many passages which speak of the endless torment of the lost?" and then answers "No; as far as my knowledge goes, there is none at all." [7|10|11|12]

THE BELIEF THAT THE DOCTRINE OF ETERNAL TORMENT IS ORTHODOX

Tormentists, like Philip Schaff (1819–1893) and Jaco De Beer (1969-), often claims orthodoxy.

In the words of Philip Schaff (1819–1893):

"Everlasting punishment of the wicked always was ... the orthodox theory." [41|42]

In objection to the doctrines of Conditional Immortality and Final Destruction, Jaco De Beer (1969-) says:

"EJ, you can believe as you wish, Scripture disprove it. FULL STOP. It is also not a view which the orthodox true church held throughout history. This is a 'new' trend of the last few hundred years if so many." [42]

Is this true?

NO.

It was, in fact, the Doctrine of Final Destruction, that the Apostolic Fathers, like Ignatius of Antioch (35/50-98/117), Polycarp (69–155 AD), Justin Martyr (100-165 A.D.) [31|43], Tatian the Assyrian (120-180 A.D.) [34|43], Theophilus of Antioch (died ±183-185 A.D.), Irenaeus of Lyons (115-202 AD) [38|43], Cyprian of Carthage (200–258) [43|45], Arnobius of Sicca (253-327 AD) and Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius (240-320), defended. [43]

The Doctrine of Eternal Torment might be "traditional", but it is certainly not "orthodox". And we know, that neither Jesus, nor His apostles, had anything good to say about the traditions of men. (Mt. 15v1-9; Mk. 7v1-13; Col. 2v8; 1 Pt. 1v18)

"THUS YOU NULLIFY THE WORD OF GOD BY YOUR TRADITION that you have handed down. And you do many things like that." (Mk. 7v13, NIV)

Did the Apostle Paul not warn us against this very thing?!

"Beware lest any man spoil you through PHILOSOPHY AND VAIN DECEIT, AFTER THE TRADITION OF MEN, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Col. 2v8, KJV)

And is it not ironic then, that this doctrinal tradition, has it's very roots in the Egyptian and Greek Philosophy of Plato (428/427–348/347 BC)?! [44]

THE BELIEF THAT MAN'S SOUL IS INNATELY AND UNIVERSALLY IMMORTAL

In the words of Matthew Henry (1662-1714):

"Their misery will run parallel with the line of eternity. The chains of darkness are everlasting chains, and the fire is everlasting fire. It must needs be so, since the punishment is inflicted by an eternal God, fastening UPON AN IMMORTAL SOUL, set out of the reach of divine mercy and grace." [49]

Is this true?

NO. Let me explain.

The Doctrine of Universal Immortality is foundational to the Doctrine of Eternal Torment.

➢ On the one hand, if the souls of all mankind are created, by default, universally and innately immortal; it would follow logically that they will [being indestructible] remain in eternal torment in unquenchable fire. See, The Doctrine of Universal Immortality.

➢ On the other hand, if the souls of all mankind are created, by default, universally and innately mortal; it would follow logically that they will [being destructible] perish for ever in unquenchable fire, unless immortalized by God's Grace. See, The Doctrine of Conditional Immortality.

Scripture, however, is very clear that immortality [eternal life] (Rom. 2v7) is not universal to all (1 Jn. 3v15), but promised to those that would be saved (1 Jn. 2v25), as an inheritance (Mt. 19v16; Mk. 10v17; Lk. 10v25, 18v18; Tit. 3v7), to be sought (Mk. 10v17; Rom. 2v7), and granted only at Christ's Second Coming (1 Cor. 15v51-53).

THE BELIEF THAT SIN AGAINST AN INFINITE ETERNAL GOD DESERVES INFINITE ETERNAL PUNISHMENT

In the words of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274):

"Further, the magnitude of the punishment matches the magnitude of the sin; According to the measure of the sin, shall the measure of the stripes also be. Now a sin that is against God is infinite; the higher the person against whom it is committed, the graver the sin - it is more criminal to strike a head of state than a private citizen - and God is of infinite greatness. Therefore an infinite punishment is deserved for a sin committed against Him." [40|42]

In the words of Got Questions:

"We have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23). The just punishment for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). Since all of our sin is ultimately against God (Psalm 51:4), and since God is an infinite and eternal Being, the punishment for sin, death, must also be infinite and eternal. Hell is this infinite and eternal death which we have earned because of our sin." [33]

Is this true?

YES and NO. Let me explain.

I agree, that "We have all sinned against God" [33]. I agree, that "The just punishment for that sin is death" [33]. And, I agree, that "Since all of our sin is ultimately against God, and since God is an infinite and eternal Being, the punishment for sin, death, must also be infinite and eternal" [33].

But, I do NOT agree, that endless torment in "Hell IS THIS INFINITE AND ETERNAL DEATH" [33].

To the contrary, this argument does nothing, but to strengthen the case for Final Destruction [Annihilationism], since only complete and utter annihilation could ever truly equate to an "INFINITE AND ETERNAL DEATH" [33].

The choice has always been, life or death; that is, Eternal Life or Eternal Death. (Deut. 30v15-19; Prov. 11v19; Jn. 3v16; Rom. 5v21, 6v23, 7v10; 2 Cor. 2v16, 4v12; 1 Jn. 3v14)

Our tormentist friends, however, would have us believe, that the wicked can be both, alive in 'endless conscious torment', yet simultaneously, dead in the Second Death (Rev. 2v11, 20v6, v14, 21v8).

But, how could that be? For death is the absence of life, and life the absence of death. (1 Cor. 15v51-55; 1 Jn. 3v14)

THE BELIEF THAT THE WICKED WILL BE ETERNALLY AND CONSCIOUSLY SEPARATED FROM THE PRESENCE OF GOD

Tormentists believe, that the wicked will suffer eternal conscious separation from God.

In the words of Pope John Paul II:

"Damnation consists precisely in definitive SEPARATION FROM GOD, freely chosen by the human person, and confirmed with death that seals his choice for ever." [47]

In the words of Billy Graham (1918-):

"Could it be that the fire Jesus talked about is an eternal search for God that is never quenched? Is that what it means? That, indeed, would be hell. TO BE AWAY FROM GOD FOREVER, SEPARATED FROM HIS PRESENCE" [47|48]

In the words of Tom Lessing (1944-):

"For Jesus' substitutionary suffering and death on the cross to have been a genuine substitutionary one, His Father had to pass the exact same judgment on Him than the one He is going to adjudicate upon unrepentant unbelievers in hell, which is absolute separation from Him and his life-giving Living Water (the Holy Spirit). Jesus' own personal experience as God/Man on the cross, when He was forsaken by his Father, is the ultimate proof of what unbelievers are going to experience in hell – not annihilation BUT SEPARATION FROM GOD AND HIS LIVING WATER FOR ALL ETERNITY... GOD'S OWN ABSENCE AND THE ABSENCE OF HIS LIVING WATER FROM HELL is the direct result of the unbelievers' refusal to have Him live in their spirits when they were yet alive on earth? Those who refuse to have Him abiding in their spirits through the new birth here on earth, WILL GRACIOUSLY BE GRANTED THEIR WISH TO LIVE WITHOUT HIS PRESENCE FOR AN ETERNITY, the exact way they wanted it when they were yet alive on earth... Might I add that atheists have managed to understand something more about hell than most Christians, although they do not believe in its existence. They ridicule the idea of an outer darkness (Matthew 25:30) in the light of an unquenchable fire and in so doing have unwittingly proven that the fire cannot be literal because a literal fire lights up and illumines darkness. Darkness is the complete absence of light and God being Light causes the darkness by not being eternally present with those who are eventually going to be detained in hell for an eternity." [30]

In the words of The Pulpit Commentary:

"The punishment of the wicked on its negative side is here stated. As the presence of the glorified Jesus will constitute the happiness of heaven, SO BANISHMENT FROM HIS PRESENCE WILL CONSTITUTE THE MISERY OF HELL, BECAUSE THE SOUL IS THEN CUT OFF FROM THE SOURCE OF ALL GOOD AND OF ALL HOLINESS." [50]

Or, as the Doctrinal Statement of the Bible Baptist Church in Supply, New York City confirms:

"The saved are raised to eternal, conscious bliss in Heaven (Matthew 25:34; John 14:2; 2 Corinthians 5:1; Revelation 2:7) THE LOST ARE RAISED TO ETERNAL TORMENT IN HELL IN CONSCIOUS SEPARATION FROM GOD — Matthew 8:11; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 13:49-50; Mark 9:47-48; Luke 12:5; Revelation 21:8." [47]

Is this true?

YES and NO. Let me explain.

YES. The wicked "will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might" (2 Thess. 1v9).

NO. The punishment of the wicked will NOT constitute "eternal torment in Hell in CONSCIOUS SEPARATION from God" [47].

God is omnipresent. (Rev. 19v6) His presence is everywhere. (Ps. 139v7-10) He fills heaven and earth. (Jer. 23v24) He sees everything. (Prov. 15v3; Job 34v21) He knows everything. (Ps. 139v1-24)

IF the wicked were in CONSCIOUS torment, they could not possibly be separated from the presence of God, since that would require a change in the very nature of God, from omnipresent to absent. Yet, we are told that God never changes, and consequently always remains the same. (Ps. 102v25-27; Mal. 3v6; Num. 23v19-20; Heb. 6v17, 13v8; Jam. 1v16)

Nor am I the first, to question this fantasy, that someone could possibly be 'consciously separated from God'.

It was also questioned by Origen of Alexandria (184/185-253/254 AD) in "First Principles": Book 4, Section 16. [65]

Yet, as Ronnie Demler correctly pointed out, my critics will, no doubt, attempt to "argue that the damned are removed from God's loving/favorable presence and not His general omnipresence" [46].

A good example of this can be found in Albert Barnes (1798-1870)' commentary on Second Thessalonians Chapter 1 Verse 9, where he writes:

"... a part of their punishment will consist in being banished from the IMMEDIATE PRESENCE OF THE LORD. There is a sense in which God is everywhere present, and in that sense He will be in the world where the wicked will dwell, to punish them. But the phrase is also used to denote HIS MORE IMMEDIATE PRESENCE; the place where are the symbols of his majesty and glory; the home of the holy and the blessed." [51]

TRUE. We can indeed be removed from God's loving/favorable presence, without being removed from His general presence.

Though we may attempt to hide our faces from God (Ex. 3v6), or He may hide (Gen. 4v14; Deut. 31v17-18, 32v20; 2 Chron. 30v9; Job 34v29; Ps. 13v1, 88v14, 143v7; Is. 8v17, 59v2, 64v7; Jer. 33v5; Ezek. 39v23-24; Mic. 3v4) or set His against us (Lev. 17v10, 20v3-6, 26v17; Ps. 34v16; Jer. 21v10, 44v11; Ezek. 14v8, 15v7; 1 Pt. 3v12) - no-one will ever escape His general presence - for it is our sin that veils His face (Is. 59v2), not the absence of His presence. For even though His face may be hidden or turned against us, His eyes always remain upon us (Jer. 16v16-17; Rev. 20v11), peradventure we should once again 'seek His face' (1 Chron. 16v11; 2 Chron. 7v14; Ps. 27v8, 105v4; Prov. 7v15; Hos. 5v15).

The argument, however, fails nonetheless, since the traditionalist's proof-text, namely Second Thessalonians Chapter 1 Verse 9, speaks of "eternal destruction", and NOT mere separation "away from the [general] presence of the Lord", but in particular "FROM THE GLORY OF HIS MIGHT".

There would be no use denying this, since even the most prominent of traditionalists had to agree, that the passage here speaks of separation and "destruction from the Almighty" [49], namely "God himself" (Henry) [49] - IN HIS TOTALITY - since any reference to the Glory of God, speaks of "ALL that He is ... manifested in ALL His attributes together" (Houdmann) [52]; and any reference to "the Glory of His might" (2 Thess. 1v9), in particular, refers to His power (Eph. 1v19, 6v10, KJV); by which He created the universe (Jer. 10v12, 27v5, 51v15), set the mountains (Ps. 65v6), divided the oceans (Job 26v12), govern all principality (Col. 2v10, v15), empower His people (Deut. 9v29; Mt. 9v8; Lk. 9v1, 10v19; Col. 1v11; 2 Tim. 1v7; 1 Pt. 1v5), raise the dead (1 Cor. 6v14, 15v43), and ultimately uphold ALL THINGS (Heb. 1v3) - INCLUDING HELL.

In other words, to be removed from His Glory, or more specifically, "the Glory of His might" (2 Thess. 1v9), does NOT constitute a mere separation from His loving/favorable presence, but a complete and utter separation from all that God is, all that God created, and all that God upholds - INCLUDING HELL.

Therefore, should any of the aforementioned be removed from the presence and glory of the power of God, they will all, likewise, cease to exist.

To be separate from Him, is to be separated from life, "for in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17v28).

In reality, this argument does nothing, but to strengthen the case for Final Destruction [Annihilationism], since only complete and utter annihilation could ever equate to "ETERNAL DESTRUCTION, AWAY from the presence of the Lord AND FROM THE GLORY OF HIS MIGHT" (2 Thess. 1v9)

THE BELIEF THAT THE FIRES OF HELL THAT MELTS THE FLESH SIMULTANEOUSLY RESTORES IT

Some tormentists "believe that the reason the resurrected lost will be capable of eternal life in flames, never consumed, is because the fire that melts the flesh off their bones simultaneously restores it" [67].

In the words of Marcus Minucius Felix (3rd Century):

"The clever fire burns the limbs and restores them, wears them away and yet sustains them, just as fiery thunderbolts strike bodies but do not consume them." [67|69]

Is this true?

NO.

Hell-fire is never said to be restorative, but to devour and consume. (Is. 33v14; Mt. 3v12; Heb. 10v26-27, 12v29)

Conclusion

In conclusion, "eternal torment is not the fate Jesus warned awaits the lost" [67].

Objections and Responses

A Response to "Behold The Kindness & Severity of God: The Echo & Insufficiency of Hell" by John Piper
A Response to "E.J. Hill - The Strange, Strange World of Calvinism" by Tom Lessing
A Response to "Hell, Creation and Side Issues" by Bob Sorensen [62]
A Response to "Side Issues Part 2 - Information and Discernment" by Bob Sorensen [64]

Frequently Asked Questions

Did Justin Martyr believe in Universal Immortality and Eternal Torment? [31]
Did Tatian believe in Universal Immortality and Eternal Torment? [34]
Did Irenaeus of Lyons believe in Universal Immortality and Eternal Torment? [38]
Did Cyprian believe in Universal Immortality and Eternal Torment? [45]

Adherents

Marcus Minucius Felix (3rd Century) [67|69] | Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) [40] | Matthew Henry (1662-1714) [49] | Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) [32] | Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) [1] | Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) [54] | Philip Schaff (1819–1893) [41] | Frederick William Grant (1834-1902) [60] | Prof. Dr. Millard Erickson (1932-) [68] | Dr. John F. MacArthur, Jr. (1939-) [15] | Prof. Dr. Robert Peterson [67] | Tom Lessing (1944-) [29|30] | Dr. K.P. Yohannan (1950-) [53] | Randy Alcorn (1954-) [3] | Jaco De Beer (1969-) [36] | Dr. Sam Storms [58|59] | Aaron Maners *[5] | Dr. Robert Peterson [66|67] | Erwin McManus *[6] | Bob Sorensen [61|63|64] | Mike Adant [13] | S. Michael Houdmann [33]

Consequently, forms of tormentism can be found within Christianity and Islam [25]; various online ministries, like Got Questions [33]; and seminaries, like Covenant Theological Seminary [66].



Videos

IF you are reading this off-line, please visit us on-line to view the embedded videos.



Footnotes

* All part of the Emergent Church Movement.

Bibliography

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5. Mission Statement (Canvas Church; 9 November 2010) ✔
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8. Frederick W. Farrar. Eternal Hope (1877)
9. Frederick W. Farrar. Faith and Mercy, Mercy and Judgment (1881)
10. William Temple. Christian Faith and Life ([1931] 1954); p.81, 464, 472.
11. William Temple. Drew Lecture on Immortality (1931)
12. William Temple. Nature, Man and God (1953) p.460
13. Mike Adant. Doctrinal Statement (Live The Life; 10 December 2010) ✔
14. Protestant Realizes There Is No Eternal Torment (Church of God News; 12 July 2007)
15. John MacArthur. VIDEO: The Rich Man and Lazarus (YouTube; 21 October 2009)
16. Thirty Questions for Teachers of Eternal Torment (The Harvest Herald; 26 October 2011)
17. 1963 Baptist Faith and Message (The Baptist Start Page; 9 May 1963) ✔
18. EJ Hill. The Doctrine of Conditional Immortality (Hillside; 7 November 2011) ✔
19. Tim Barnett. Endless Hell Ended (1987)
20. Doug Smith. A Christian’s Apology To Atheists (Afterlife; 8 November 2011)
21. Samuel M. Ohmart. Facts About Hell.
22. Silas P. Whitney. Future Punishment (Walton, West Virginia)
23. R. Leon Custer, Jr. Is Hell Where Lost Souls Suffer Forever?... all of them? (Kernersville, NC: 216 Cokesbury Street, 27284)
24. Eternal Torment or Annihilation? (The Interactive Bible; 23 November 2011)
25. VIDEO: Three things you (probably) don't know about islam (YouTube; 4 September 2010) ✔
26. EJ Hill. Revelation Chapter 14 Verse 11 (Hillside; 16 October 2013) ✔
27. EJ Hill. Luke Chapter 16 Verses 19 To 31 - The Parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Hillside; 16 October 2013) ✔
28. EJ Hill. Jude Chapter 1 Verse 7 (Hillside; 16 October 2013) ✔
29. Thomas Lessing. E.J. Hill – Cataleptic Parables (Discerning The World; 17 October 2013)
30. Thomas Lessing. E.J. Hill – The Strange, Strange World of Calvinism (Discerning The World; 15 October 2013) ✔ RESPONSE
31. EJ Hill. Did Justin Martyr believe in Universal Immortality and Eternal Torment? (Hillside; 18 October 2013) ✔
32. Jonathan Edwards. Ordination Sermon (The Baptist Magazine; May 1815) p.177-178 ✔
33. Is hell real? Is hell eternal? (Got Questions?; 19 October 2013) ✔
34. EJ Hill. Did Tatian believe in Universal Immortality and Eternal Torment? (Hillside; 19 October 2013) ✔
35. What does it mean that hell is eternal separation from God? (Got Questions; 19 October 2013)
36. EJ Hill. Jaco De Beer (1969-) (Hillside; 19 October 2013) ✔
37. EJ Hill. Matthew Chapter 25 Verse 46 (Hillside; 20 October 2013) ✔
38. EJ Hill. Did Irenaeus of Lyons believe in Universal Immortality and Eternal Torment? (Hillside; 26 October 2013) ✔
39. EJ Hill. Revelation Chapter 20 Verse 10 (Hillside; 29 October 2013) ✔
40. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologiae: Volume 27, Effects of Sin, Stain and Guilt p.25 ✔
41. Phillip Schaff. History of the Christian Church p.273–74 ✔
42. Jaco De Beer. In kommentaar op 'n Facebook Muurpos van Somerset Morkel (Facebook; 8-9 Oktober 2013) ✔
43. EJ Hill. Annihilationism Throughout History (Hillside; 31 October 2013) ✔
44. EJ Hill. Conditional Immortality Throughout History (Hillside; 13 October 2013) ✔
45. EJ Hill. Did Cyprian believe in Universal Immortality and Eternal Torment? (Hillside; 4 November 2013) ✔
46. Ronnie Demler. Facebook Group Comment (Rethinking Hell; 19 May 2014) ✔
47. Steven Anderson. Hell is not "Separation from God" (Tempe, Arizona: Faithful Word Baptist Church; 2006) ✔
48. Billy Graham. The Challenge, Sermons from Madison Square Garden (1969) p. 74-75 ✔
49. Matthew Henry. An Exposition, With Practical Observations, of The Second Epistle of ST. Paul to the Thessalonians Chapter 1 (Blue Letter Bible; 21 May 2014) ✔
50. The Pulpit Commentary: 2 Thessalonians 1:9 (The Bible Hub; 21 May 2014) ✔
51. Albert Barnes. Notes on the New Testament: 2 Thessalonians 1:9 (The Bible Hub; 21 May 2014) ✔
52. S. Michael Houdmann. What is the glory of God? (Got Questions? 21 May 2014) ✔
53. Dr. K.P. Yohannan. Revolution In World Missions (GFA Books, a division of Gospel for Asia, 1800 Golden Trail Court, Carrollton, TX 75010, USA) pg. 91, 101, 110-111, 120-122
54. Mr. Spurgeon's Answers on Subjects of General Interest: Annihilationism
55. R.A. Peterson. Hell on Trial: the Case for Eternal Punishment (P&R Publishing, 1995) p.31-32
56. R.A. Peterson. A Traditionalist Response to John Stott’s Arguments for Annihilationism (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 37, 1994) pp. 553-68
57. Prof. Dr. Craig Blomberg. Eschatology and the Church: Some New Testament Perspectives (Denver Seminary; 6 May 2008)
58. Dr. Sam Storms. Hell and Annihilationism (Enjoying God Ministries, 6 November 2006)
59. Dr. Sam Storms. In an Email to EJ Hill (Enjoying God Ministries; 6 July 2014) ✔
60. F.W. Grant. Facts and Theories as to a Future State (Bible Centre; 3 February 2011)
61. Bob Sorensen. Hell, Creation and Side Issues (Biblical Creation and Evangelism; 8 July 2014) RESPONSE
62. EJ Hill. A Response to "Hell, Creation and Side Issues" by Bob Sorensen (Hillside; 11 July 2014) ✔
63. Bob Sorensen. Side Issues Part 2 - Information and Discernment (Biblical Creation and Evangelism; 13 July 2014) RESPONSE
64. EJ Hill. A Response to "Side Issues Part 2 - Information and Discernment" by Bob Sorensen (Hillside; 16 July 2014) ✔
65. Origen. "First Principles": Book 4, Section 16
66. Dr. Robert Peterson. Annihilation or Eternal Punishment? (TableTalk Magazine/Ligonier Ministries; 1 February 2014)
67. Chris Date. Everlasting Torment or Eternal Punishment? (Rethinking Hell; 11 September 2014)
68. Annihilationism (Wikipedia; 11 September 2014)
69. Marcus Minucius Felix. Octavius: Chapter 35; quoted in Williams A. Jürgens, trans., The Faith of the Early Fathers (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1970), 1:110 ✔

For more information on the Doctrine of Eternal Torment, please visit Consuming Fire, Jewish Not Greek, Rethinking Hell and The Conditional Immortality Association of New Zealand.

Revisions

05-06.05.2008 / 29-30.09.2010 / 11.10.2010 / 22.10.2010 / 09.11.2010 / 29.11.2010 / 07-08.12.2010 / 10.12.2010 / 21.12.2010 / 26.10.2011 / 07.11.2011 / 12-13.11.2011 / 23-24.11.2011 / 06.12.2011 / 21.07.2013 / 16.10.2013 / 18-20.10.2013 / 26.10.2013 / 29-31.10.2013 / 04.11.2013 / 19.05.2014 / 21.05.2014 / 05-06.06.2014 / 07-08.07.2014 / 11.07.2014 / 13.07.2014 / 16.07.2014 / 07.09.2014 / 11.09.2014 / 13.09.2014 / 16-17.09.2014

Prof. Dr. Robert Peterson


Prof. Dr. Robert Peterson is an American Theologian, and Professor of Systematic Theology at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis.

Differences

Peterson upholds the doctrine of Eternal Torment [Tormentism] [1|2|3]; while I defend the doctrines of Conditional Immortality [Conditionalism] and Final Destruction [Annihilationism] [3].

Responses

I responded to Peterson in my work on "Eternal Torment [Tormentism]" [4], and "Second Thessalonians Chapter 1 Verse 9" [3].

Bibliography

1. Robert Peterson. Annihilation or Eternal Punishment? (Ligonier Ministries/Tabletalk Magazine; 1 February 2014)
2. Chris Date. Everlasting Torment or Eternal Punishment? (Rethinking Hell; 11 September 2014)
3. EJ Hill. Second Thessalonians Chapter 1 Verse 9 (Hillside; 17 September 2014) ✔
4. EJ Hill. The Doctrine of Eternal Torment (Hillside; 17 September 2014) ✔

Revisions

17.09.2014

Revelation Chapter 20 Verse 10


Proof-Texts and Cross-References

Ezek. 3v18-21 [6], 18v20 [6]; Mal. 4v1 [6]; Mt. 7v21-23, 10v28 [6], 25v41, v46; Mk. 8v35-37 [6]; Jn. 3v15-16 [6], v36 [6], 6v50 [6]; Rom. 6v23 [6]; 2 Thess. 1v7-9-10 [6], 2v10 [6]; Heb. 10v26-27 [6]; Js. 3v1; 2 Pt. 3v16 [6]; Jude 1v5-7 [5|6]; Rev. 2v11, 4v8 [7], 14v10-11 [8|9], 19v20 [7], 20v6, v10-15 [1], v14-15, 21v1 [7], v8, v25, 22v5 [7]

Significance

Revelation Chapter 20 Verse 10 is of great significance, to the debate surrounding the doctrines of Conditional Immortality and Final Destruction, as opposed to Universal Immortality and Eternal Torment.

The Passage is Used in Defense of Eternal Conscious Torment [Tormentism]

Tormentists, like Jaco De Beer (1969-) [1|4], often sight Revelation Chapter 20 Verse 10 as a ready defense against the doctrines of Conditional Immortality and Final Destruction; in favor of Universal Immortality and Eternal Torment.

Transliteration

Afrikaans

"En die duiwel wat hulle verlei het, is in die poel van vuur en swawel gewerp waar die dier en die valse profeet is; en hulle sal dag en nag gepynig word tot in alle ewigheid aiōn." (1953AV)

English

"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 aiōn." (KJV)
"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 aiōn." (WEB)
"and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night -- to the ages of the ages aiōn." (YLT)

Commentary
or, What Others Said

COMMENTARY, CRITICAL, PRACTICAL, AND EXPLANATORY ON THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS (1882)
by Dr. Robert Jamieson (1802-1880), A.R. Fausset (1821-1910) and Prof. Dr. David Brown (1803-1897)

"that deceived--Greek, 'that deceiveth.' lake of fire--his final doom: as 'the bottomless pit' (Rev 20:1) was his temporary prison. where--so Coptic. But A, B, Vulgate, and Syriac read, 'where also.' the beast and the false prophet are-- (Rev 19:20). day and night--figurative for without intermission (Rev 22:5), such as now is caused by night interposing between day and day. The same phrase is used of the external state of the blessed (Rev 4:8). As the bliss of these is eternal, so the woe of Satan and the lost must be. As the beast and the false prophet led the former conspiracy against Christ and His people, so Satan in person heads the last conspiracy. Satan shall not be permitted to enter this Paradise regained, to show the perfect security of believers, unlike the first Adam whom Satan succeeded in robbing of Paradise; and shall, like Pharaoh at the Rod Sea, receive in this last attempt his final doom. for ever and ever--Greek, 'to the ages of the ages.'" [7]

COMMENTARY ON REVELATION
by George Raymond Beasley-Murray (1916-2000)

"John's use of the symbol [of the lake of fire] shows that he views it as the alternative to the city of God, the new Jerusalem (see 21:7f.). Its significance for humanity thus begins with the new creation. That it does not have the meaning of annihilation is indicated by 20:10. The lake of fire signifies not extinction in opposition to existence, but torturous existence in the society of evil in opposition to life in the society of God." [1|2]

Exposition
or, What I Believe

THOSE CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE
"the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are" (KJV/WEB) "the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are the beast and the false prophet" (YLT) "die duiwel wat hulle verlei het, is in die poel van vuur en swawel gewerp waar die dier en die valse profeet is" (1953AV)

Here we learn, that the devil, the beast and the false prophet, will be cast in the lake of fire, before the wicked. (Rev. 20v14-15, 21v8) The deceiver before the deceived.

Likewise, the false 'popes', 'apostles', 'prophets', 'bishops', 'teachers', 'pastors', 'dominees', 'reverends', and "doctors of divinity", of this present age - "receiving the greater condemnation" (Js.3v1) - will be cast into that very same place, soon to be followed by their equally ignorant and self-serving 'flock'. (Rev. 19v20, 20v11-15)

And "many will say to [Him] in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works?" (Mt. 7v22, KJV)

But He will say to them, "I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity." (Mt. 7v23)

THE LAKE OF FIRE AND BRIMSTONE
"the lake of fire and brimstone" (KJV/WEB/YLT) "die poel van vuur en swawel" (1953AV)

This lake of fire and brimstone, is said to be "the second death" (Rev. 20v14, 21v8), namely the destruction of both, body and soul, in hell. (Ezek. 3v18-21, 18v20; Mal. 4v1; Mt. 10v28; Mk. 8v35-37; Jn. 3v15-16, v36, 6v50; Rom. 6v23; 2 Thess. 1v7-10, 2v10; Heb. 10v26-27; 2 Pt. 3v16; Jude 1v5-7) [6]

Therefore, contrary to the claims of G.R. Beasley-Murray (1916-2000), Revelation Chapter 20 Verse 10 DO speak of Final Destruction, NOT a "torturous existence in the society of evil" [1|2].

THE DURATION OF THEIR TORMENT
"tormented day and night for ever and ever" (KJV/WEB) "tormented day and night -- to the ages of the ages" (YLT) "dag en nag gepynig word tot in alle ewigheid" (1953AV)

We are told here and elsewhere, that this torment will last day and night for ever. (Rev. 14v11)

According to Albert Barnes (1798–1870), "'Day and night' include all time; and hence, the phrase is used to denote perpetuity - 'always.'" [9].

Yet, contrary to the claims of both, Barnes and De Beer, there will be no night in the eternal dispensation hereafter - only day.

While on the subject of the 'Future Glory of Zion', Isaiah Chapter 60 Verses 19 to 20 says:

"The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended." (Is. 60v19-20, KJV)

Any misunderstanding of the above is quickly clarified in the Book of Revelation:

"And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever." (Rev. 22v5, KJV)
"And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there." (Rev. 21v25, KJV)

Their torment "day and night", therefore, do NOT speak of "perpetuity" [9], but of ephemerality - lasting for a markedly brief time.

In other words, those cast into the lake of fire will be tormented day and night for ever and ever, in a "similar way" to Sodom and Gomorrah, which "serve[d] as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire" (Jude 1v5-7, NIV), whereby they were "overthrown as in a moment" (Lam. 4v6), culminating in their complete and utter destruction (Gen. 19v24-25), that is, an "EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION from the presence of the Lord" (2 Thess. 1v9).

Videos

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Bibliography

1. Jaco De Beer. In a Comment on a Facebook Wall Post by Somerset Morkel (Facebook; 8-9 Oktober 2013) ✔
2. G.R. Beasley-Murray. Revelation p. 304 ✔
3. VIDEO: Dan Sheridan. Does Revelation 20:10, 14:11, and Mark 9:44 Teach Eternal Torment? (YouTube; 24 February 2011)
4. EJ Hill. Jaco De Beer, 1969- (Hillside; 15 October 2013) ✔
5. EJ Hill. Jude Chapter 1 Verse 7 (Hillside; 16 October 2013) ✔
6. EJ Hill. The Doctrine of Final Destruction (Hillside; 17 October 2013) ✔
7. Jamieson, Fausset and Brown. Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments: Rev. 20:10 (1882) ✔
8. EJ Hill. Revelation Chapter 14 Verse 11 (Hillside; 29 October 2013) ✔
9. Albert Barnes. Notes on the Bible: Rev. 14:11 (1834) ✔ [RESPONSE]

Revisions

27-29.10.2013 / 18.07.2014 / 16.09.2014

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