Revelation 14:10 — “Tormented With Fire and Sulfur… In the Presence of the Holy Angels… And the Lamb …???”
Comment: Hey Peter, I just saw a beautiful picture and I wanted you to look at it. “They will be tormented with burning sulfur [theion] in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.” (Rev. 14:10). The Bible also says, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents (Luke 15:10). [They are “tormented” in order that they’d repent. The Lamb and the angels are present, not to rejoice in “torment,” but to rejoice in repentance–that moment when the lost are found and choose to join the eternal party that is the Kingdom of God.]
Response: That’s great! And you may know the word translated sulfur or brimstone is theion in Greek, which can also be translated “Divinity.” “The wine of God’s wrath” (v.10), which gets poured into “the cup of his anger” (v.10) certainly appears to be the Lamb’s blood. It’s what we drink at the communion table; it’s the judgment of God that burns away sin and transmits and purifies righteousness. Torment is the Greek word basano, which derives from a root that referred to the testing of precious metals. The smoke goes up for “aions and aions” (v.11), which should be translated “ages and ages.” It’s not the torment that lasts for ages and ages, but the smoke. And we know that the ages come to an end in Jesus, who is the “End of the Ages.” And now you see this—I never thought of that. That is beautiful!
Response to the Response: It brought me to tears when I realized that the Lamb is there. It’s all in his presence, under his control. And Peter, I read some story—unfortunately the source is unknown, but it really completes my longing for truth concerning God’s character.
Some time ago, a few ladies met in a certain city to read the Scriptures and make them the subject of conversation. While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a remarkable expression in the third verse: “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…” (Malachi 3:3). One lady’s opinion was that this was intended to convey their view of the sanctifying influence of the grace of Christ. Then, she proposed to visit a silversmith and report to them what he said on the subject. She went accordingly and without telling the object of her errand, begged to know the process of refining silver, which he fully described to her. “But Sir,” she said, “Do you sit while the work of refining is going on?” “Oh, yes, madam,” replied the silversmith; “I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured.” The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the expression, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.” Christ sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and love are both engaged in the best manner for them. Their trials do not come at random; “the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” As the lady was leaving the shop, the silversmith called her back and said he had forgotten to mention that the only way that he knew when the process of purifying is complete is when he sees his own image reflected in the silver…