Exposition of the Book of Revelation 14:11

Exposition of the Book of Revelation 14:11

The doctrinal theme of eternal punishment in the Bible has been interpreted diversely, leading to differences in how people understand judgment and eschatology. The clergy have utilized the importance of the perpetuity of the hellfire and doctrine of torment to force people to have faith in Christ and to avoid the blasting furnace of hellfire. Revelation 14:10-11 is concerned with the extent and nature of the punishment. The pericope provides a dire warning of eternal torment to those individuals who will worship Satan and receive the mark of the beast. The doctrinal tenets of the modern Church underscore the belief that the last judgment of the sinners to be facilitated and witnessed by Jesus and the holy angels will lead to everlasting and distressing chastisement.[1] Most evangelists repeat the message of eternal torment as an important component of faithful theological belief. The doctrine is presumed to be scriptural, and people are submissive to it under the strain of authority.

Mostly, there are no exegetical discussions that are cited during the interpretation of Revelation 14:10-11. The three main features of the pericope include the imageries that depict the traditional doctrine of hell. The passage suggests that the concept of judgment involving eternal torment describes how unbelievers will be punished with fire that would not be consumed and sulphur.[2] Besides, they will have no rest days demonstrating that their suffering will be perpetual. Furthermore, Revelation 14:10-11 presents the perpetuity of hellfire and the tribulations of the sinners who worship Satan as a judgment. The author used several imageries found in the Old Testament, such as the destruction of Edom, the ancient, as well as Sodom and Gomorrah (Isaiah 34:10, 13:19; Genesis 19:28). The passage presents a symbolical depiction of the final reality of the sinners who will be judged as opposed to the moment of eternal torment.[3] Unbelievers who will worship Satan will not have the eternal rest that is promised to the believers. Consequently, this scholarly work provides an exegetical interpretation of the doctrine of hell as eternal torment as written in Revelation 14: 10-11. Notably, God will ultimately judge His enemies with unconditional destruction and extermination.

Historical Analysis of the Book of Revelation 14: 10-11

Early Church customs and literature attest that the book of Revelation was written by John the Apostle in 95 A.D.[4] In Revelation 1:19, Jesus Christ specified that the author was foretelling his impending Second coming and the judgment of the sinners. John used imageries and allegories since he lacked sufficient words to connote the numerous things that he had seen. Besides, the writer used his prehistoric language predominantly spoken during his time to narrate his visions. Majorly, the author sought to offer comfort to the early Christian congregation, as attested by the pastoral tone utilized in Revelation.

Authorship of the Book of Revelation

Internal Evidence

Johannian composition of the book of Revelation is reinforced by numerous pieces of internal proofs. The early Christians actively got involved in the author’s divinatory ministry (Rev 3; 22:6-10, 18-19). Notably, the writer referred to himself as John in nearly five instances and confirmed that he was among the believers who being persecuted and banished in Patmos during the Domitic reign due to their resounding faith in Christ (Rev 1:1, 4, 9; 21:2; 22:8). The historical evidence has been corroborated by Eusebius, an early Church historian who described how Christians, including Paul and John, were oppressed by the Roman rulers.[5] Additionally, the writer witnessed Jesus Christ’s early salvation mission (Rev 1:2), which may strongly prove he was among the key disciples of Jesus Christ during His earthy ministry on earth. Notably, John the Apostle was one of the favorite Disciples of Christ and accompanied the Messiah in key events such as the transfiguration. Besides, John and Peter were among the first people to arrive at the empty tomb where Jesus was buried after His crucifixion.

Moreover, the Jewish lexes and expressions utilized in the Scripture suggest the writer was a Hebrew. Markedly, several words are derived from the Jewish language are commonly used, for instance, “Hallelujah,” “Amen,” “the children of Israel,” “Abaddon,” “synagogue,” and “the tribe of Judah,” among others (Rev 2:7, 2:9, 2:14, 3:9, 9:11, 14, 2:17, 19:1-6, 22:2). Additionally, descriptions of the Jewish Temple are included in the initial chapters of the book. Similarly, the book of Revelation indicates that the person who wrote letters that were sent to the seven churches was a powerful overseer of the institutions and congregations.[6] Available evidence shows evangelist Paul was succeeded by John the Apostle, which forced the latter to relocate to Asia Minor where the churches were concentrated, proving that John wrote the apocalyptic book.[7] Furthermore, the structure and content of Revelation closely resemble other of John’s texts. Comparable catchphrases and wordings are utilized in both Johannine writings in the New Testament. For instance, the term “Lamb of God” is utilized nearly 27 times in both the Revelation and Fourth Gospel.[8] Besides, the unique idioms, such as “Word of God” and “God is light,” are mostly John’s compositions in both the gospel and epistles (Rev 19:13; John 1:4; 1 John 1:5).

Moreover, the Johannine literature distinctly emphasizes the significance of the number seven, for example, the word “seven” is utilized more than fifty times in the Apocalypse to indicate different phenomenon such as seven plagues, spirits, churches, angels, trumpets, and mountains, among others.[9] Similarly, the Fourth Gospel mentions seven “I Am” testaments made by Jesus Christ. Besides, both the apocalyptic writing and the Gospel of John share close connections in how they describe Christology. John’s writings focused on the mysticism of Christ while recognizing His divine spot in the Holy Trinity (Rev 3:12; 14:1, 14). Furthermore, the author differentiated between the supremacy of Yahweh and the subordinate power of the Lamb or Jesus (Rev 7:19). Besides, the author recognized Christ’s interminable nature by recognizing and praised Him using majestic and divines names, for instance, “Alpha and Omega,” “Word of God,” and “Holy and True,” among others. Notably, Johannine scriptures indicate that Christ will come to judge and punish the sinners.

External Evidence

Patristic evidence attributed to the founding figures, doctors, clergy, and theologians during the development of the early Church reinforces the argument that John the Apostle wrote the prophetic and apocalyptic revelation. Specifically, Irenaeus, Apollonius, Justin Martyr, and Theophilus of Antioch have all attested to the validity of Johannine authorship of the revelation. They played a role in ensuring the book of Revelation was included in the New Testament.[10] Similarly, Tertullian, Gregory Nazianzen, Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus, Eusebius, Origen, Victorinus, Jerome, and Athanasius are some notable theologians, clergymen, and church historian who have broadly referred to the Revelation in their seminal work and confirmed that John wrote the prophetic book.[11] Alternatively, different scholars, such as Dionysius, Marcion, Epiphanius of Salamis, and Council of Laodicea (ca.360), among others, have rejected John’s authorship of the book claiming the writer did not ascribe apostolic title to his work since he was neither an apostle nor a Hebrew prophet.[12] Nonetheless, the corroborated evidence contained in writings of early Christian tradition overwhelmingly supports Johannine’s composition of the Apocalypse while under divine guidance.

Dating of the Book of Revelation

Several dates have been proposed to ascertain the proximate time when Revelation was authored. The major categories include the late date (A.D. 98-117), middle date (A.D. 54-68 A.D), and the early date (A.D. 41-54).[13]Nonetheless, scholars emphasize that the book was authored during the time of Emperor Nero (54-68 A.D.). The Roman ruler was responsible for persecuting the Christians and the destruction of the Jerusalem temple. Similarly, Irenaeus supported the middle age estimation (A.D. 81-96), asserting Revelation was written when Domitian ruled the Roman Empire.[14] Moreover, Irenaeus’ seminal work titled, Against Heresies, acknowledged 11 times that John wrote the Revelation.[15] Consequently, based on the book’s canonicity, it is universally accepted by historians and theologians that Revelation was composed by John the Apostles almost A.D. 95 after he received a vision from Christ.[16] Importantly, Rev 1:9-10 and evidence provided by Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem, are regarded as important internal and external validations that confirm John composed the prophetic and apocalyptic Revelation while still being imprisoned in Patmos.

The significance of determining authorship and dating of Revelation is largely to find out how John the apostles capitalized on the philosophy of perpetual torment in his scriptural writings contained in the New Testament. Notably, the Fourth John assumes that the singular path to receiving eternal life is having unrelenting devotion towards Jesus Christ as the savior. John’s gospel does not focus much on the punishment that awaits sinners. The subject of salvation for believers is widely covered in John’s scriptures (John 3:15, 16, 36; 5:24; 20:31; 1 John 5:11-13). The book reveals the consequence for sinners who refuse to accept Jesus as their savior. Such nonbelievers will be doomed to eternal torment.

Occasion and Audience of the Book of Revelation

Jesus Christ presented a vision of the Apocalypse to John the Apostle while still imprisoned in Patmos. Christ wanted to remind the Church about the terrible punishment that awaits the nonbelievers for their unfaithfulness. Jesus directed John to write the apparition and share it with the seven churches, namely Pergamos, Smyrna, Philadelphia, Ephesus, Sardis, Laodicea, and Thyatira, which were found in Minor Asia (Rev 1:9-11). The strategic location of the seven cities, specifically along the well-traveled Roman roads, allowed the prophetic and apocalyptic text to be widely distributed, read and understood by the Christians. In Revelation 2:9, 3:2, and 13, Christ reminded them of His companionship since the early Christians were facing persecution during the Domitic period (81-96 A.D.). The churches struggled with internal and external challenges, which impacted their faith. Nonetheless, the Christians in Sardis and Smyrna proved to be resilient despite the misfortunes, societal influences, and tyranny (Rev 3: 4). The external influences and internal wrangles led some Christians to adopt wicked lifestyles and abandoned their faith and obedience to Yahweh (Rev 2: 6, 14, 20; 3:15). Notably, churches’ tribulations were a central highlight of John the Apostle’s ministry. He encouraged the brethren to deal with all issues that threatened the early churches and overcome the dreadful persecutions.[17] The revelation sought to connect spirituality and apocalyptic events to encourage the Church congregation and nonbelievers to be always alert and ready for the coming of Jesus as a righteous way of avoiding eternal torment (Rev 2:7, 11, 16; 3: 21).

Setting and Purpose of the Book of Revelation

In the initial chapter of the Revelation, bible readers are informed that John was given the apocalyptic vision while being held in captivity in Patmos (Rev 1:9). Arguments about the identity of the Patmos as the place the book was authored is less contentious as John strongly hinted where he received the apparition and was asked to share it with the early Churches. The overall objective of Revelation is that the Lord will judge those people who persecute faithful believers. The author sought to support righteous discipleship by encouraging Christian to strongly endure their misery, especially the prospects of martyrdom akin to how Jesus conquered evil and darkness. The Revelation represents victory and redemption of those who trust in Jesus Christ as a glorious ruler and the Lamb sacrificed to save people from mortal sin.

Additionally, the book describes God’s intention to liberate people from the bondage of sin and protect them from the eternal fire in hell to demonstrate his love and grace. Importantly, the Johannine revelation sought to provide comfort, assurance, and hope to the brethren owing to the tribulations that they endured.[18] God promised them eternal rewards in heaven for their resilience and devotion. Consequently, the book serves a consolatory purpose by reassuring the believers about the Lord’s consolation and protection. Additionally, the doctrinal objective is also evident in the vision as it emphasizes God’s providence and restoration that will be strongly evident when Christ returns. Lastly, the prophetic text achieves the practical and hortative goal by encouraging both the believers and sinners to be spiritually, mentally, and physically ready to receive Christ again.

Furthermore, John focused on the divergent nature of good and evil, Jesus and Satan, in addition to how Christ will ultimately emerge victoriously. The people have a choice to solely worship the Lord. Other major themes include God’s kingdom, adoration, and deliverance. Revelation emphasizes how Christ is the victor when it comes to solving the phenomenal controversy of good and evil. Consequently, the angel’s message purposely focused on the primeval context and prevailing circumstances that the early Christians had to endure. Moreover, John made a prophetic call to inspire the brethren to be resilient in the wake of oppression, maintain their divine commitments, and avoid the negative pressures of the environment, especially the pervading popular culture in the Greco-Roman society.[19] Consequently, another dominant thematic issue includes the judgment day that will be heralded by the return of the Messiah. The Scripture solely focuses on inspiring the brethren to demonstrate determination and faithfulness regardless of the severity of current and future tribulations. Importantly, through Jesus, God would deliver absolute triumph over Satan’s power and control. Jesus’ Second Coming and judgment represent the defeat of Satan and his endeavors to subvert piety and devotion among believers.

Literary Analysis of Revelation 14: 10-11

Literary Structure

Revelation 13 and 14 can be taken to be parallel. Chapter 13 demonstrates the attack on the wicked remnant, and Revelation 14 addresses the faithful remnant. In chapter 14, verses 1-5 and 6-12, the reader can see the transition to the wicked people from the remnant. In Revelation 13, the author describes the dragon engaged in warfare with the remnant of the woman, which progresses to the point of death threats issued to the remnant after the chapter. However, in the fourteenth chapter, the visualization opens up with observing the remnant, which includes 144,000 faithful continuing to adore and venerate God, despite facing the danger of being persecuted.[20] Also, chapter 13 indicates that those who face impending doom are the remnant of God who refuses to bow down to the beast, while in chapter 14, death awaits those who show devotion to the beast and abandon their Creator. Therefore, the message by the three angels could be viewed as the ultimate petition to those who partake in adoring and venerating the beast. The pericope represents that message of hope, “the eternal gospel” by the angel to pass on to “every nation tribe, language, and people” on earth (14:6). The events included in the warning are about to happen as soon after this, there are two consecutive harvests of the beast-worshiping remnant, and it introduces the happenings of seven bowls of God’s wrath described in chapter 15.


The author of the book of Revelation uses multiple literary styles, including prophecy, letter, and apocalypse in writing the text. However, the book is predominated by the apocalyptic style and, therefore, assigned to the apocalyptic literature literary genre. The form of the genre incorporates the literary device of visions to make the message vivid by uncovering it through symbols and signs.[21] Revelation 14:11 is characterized by the use of various such symbols as the “smoke,” the “beast” and its image, and the “mark” of its name, which specifically places it under the symbolism sub-genre of apocalyptic literature.[22] It is marked by symbolic angels, a comparison between evil and good, as well as prophecies of terror and the end of the world. Numbers are also a significant element of its literary device. Revelation is the only text in the New Testament that includes the literary genre of apocalyptic literature. Other examples where the style is applied are found in the Old Testament, including the books of Zechariah and Daniel, as well as in particular passages like Isaiah 24-17 and Ezekiel 37-39.[23]  Revelation 1:1 highlights the symbolic aspect of the apocalyptic writing that the author tries to unravel. While addressing multiple Christian communities in Minor Asia, the author tries to recount what he has heard, seen, or recognized in the course of his vision presented to him by Jesus. The text is identified as a “revelation,” which appeals to the idea of unveiling something that was previously hidden, covered, or in secret.[24] The audience is encouraged to view all actions and portrayed in the book as figurative and symbolic, except in cases where the author indicates the literal meaning that must be assumed. To have a proper understanding of Revelation 14: 10-11, it is important to interpret the passage’s apocalyptic symbolism. The passage also focuses on symbolism, which requires analysis to comprehend the message communicated through its characters, features, and events. The three key symbols tied to the end of times include the smoke, the beast, and the mark.

The Smoke

The smoke, as used to depict the end of times in Revelation 14:11, is a symbol of terror and destruction by God’s wrath upon those who revere Satan. In the phrase, “and the smoke of their torment,” the term smoke is followed by the word torment, which signifies that the final days will be characterized by the painful annihilation of those who refuse to worship God and instead choose to go against His will. As Everett observed, the symbolism is drawn from the events of destruction that were seen in Sodom and Gomorrah as described in Genesis 19:28.[25] The demolition of the cities as witnessed by Abraham is considered a signal of the destruction of the impious, and the smoke that went up from them is an emblem of what rises from the place where wicked people undergo eternal suffering. The source of the smoke in the current passage will be the bodies of the wicked in burning sulfur, which constitutes part of God’s cup of anger upon those who worship the beast.[26] Moreover, the fact that the smoke ascends forever and ever signifies the eternal nature of the torment, which is also implicated in Mathew 25:46, whereby the sinners will be sent away to eternal punishment. This will mark a permanent end to all forms of evil and result in a situation whereby all humans on earth will worship God alone.

The Beast and the Mark

The book of Revelation 14:11 talks of the beast which is capable of stealing people’s souls from God. In this context, the term “beast” is utilized to portray a wild, adversarial creature which humans should make every effort to avoid. However, “beast” is symbolic, and the context is not describing an actual animal.[27] It represents Satan, who tries to antagonize God and compete with him in winning the souls of men. The beast uses its “mark” to identify the people who are devoted to Satan.[28] The mark, which is identified as the number 666, has received many controversial interpretations, with many analysts trying to unravel its literal meaning in the modern world.[29] However, Everett revealed that the number “666” could be considered as a furtive representation of the ancient pagan mysteries elated to devil worshipping.[30] Therefore, the author of Revelation used the symbolism of the mark to refer to the practice of deserting God’s teachings and embracing paganism as their way of life.

Exposition/Interpretation of Revelation 14: 10-11

There is a need to consider symbolism and assessment of Biblical background while assessing how final judgment is described in Revelation 14:11. The Biblical imagery of judgment by fire and sulphur does not emphasize eternal torment but the pivotal annihilation of God’s enemies.[31] The context of Revelation 14: 10-11 can be traced to the oracle of Edom’s destruction and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah’s devastation (Genesis 19:28; Isaiah 34:10). Furthermore, the moment of judgment is referenced by the torment encountered by God’s enemies in the presence of the Lamb and the angels. The adversaries’ annihilation is a symbol of their extinction as described in Isaiah 34 and Genesis 19. Consequently, Revelation 14: 10-11 attempts to provide an alternative account regarding the defeat of God’s enemies. The pericope can be compared to Revelation 18 that details the fall of Babylon, whereby the natives faced the full wrath of God’s torment in their final judgment.[32] The excruciating moment of vicious judgment or eternal torment is described through the use of sulphur and fire. Alternatively, the memorial and depiction of devastation or the evidence of enduring, eternal distress after God’s judgment are represented by the smoke of the suffering that will rise eternally.[33] The sinners will have no rest day demonstrating the unrelenting nature of God’s eternal reprimand.

The message proclaimed by the three angels has three major features that enable biblical readers to correctly interpret Revelation 14: 10-11. Notably, John uses the verb εἶδον to draw readers’ attention from the account of the righteous people who will enter God’s Kingdom.[34] Consequently, the message was not intended for the remnants who also feared God, and their foreheads bore the seal of the Lord. The message can be perceived as a caution to the earth and its populations that they must be righteous to be written in the book of life.[35] The passage also warns people against being unfaithful and their wickedness. Those individuals who worship the beast will face God’s judgment and complete devastation that will eliminate the wicked eternally (Revelation 14:11, 15:7). The righteous are promised a place in paradise where they will live with God forever. John presents a climatic warning message in Revelation 14:10-11 for the disobedient and sinful people as well as those who will lack the seal of the Lord on their foreheads. The outcome of venerating the unholy trinity will lead to judgment and perpetual devastation for the wickedness.

Canonical Analysis of Revelation 14: 10-11

The Immediate Context of Revelation 14: 10-11

The book of Revelation focuses on the issue of eternal fire and judgment. John provides a comprehensive assessment of the eschatological devastation and annihilation that will happen in Babylon (Rev 18:18; 21). Similarly, Revelation 20:10 details how Satan and his followers will be cast into eternal torment. The eschatological judgment, also known as κατέφαγεν, will involve sheer obliteration of the sinful people who will not be included in the book of life, Satan, and his angels.[36] They will be cast in a lake of eternal fire to face their second death (Rev 20: 14, 15). Revelation 12:1 to 14:20 describes the great controversy theme where the dragon is symbolically depicted devouring Jesus, fighting God, and oppresses His people. Furthermore, Revelation 13 narrates how the dragon, notably the faithful woman, as well as how the land and sea beast collectively strive to ensure people worship Satan. The unholy trinity proved to be a threat as many people were martyred for standing firm against venerating the beast (Revelation 13:15).

Additionally, Revelation 14 includes a symbolical representation of the 144,000 people to denote the faithful remnants who survived the purge since they continued to worship God and had their seals on the forehead.[37]Ultimately, the three angels were sent to warn the world about the impending God’s judgment, the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the separation of the harvest. The book of Revelation focused on the concept of judgment for those who declined to repent and worship Yahweh (Revelation 12:1-14:20). Eschatological people are urged to leave Babylon and accept the true God’s divinity to avoid punishment. Notable, Satan capitalizes on fear to compel people to obey and worship him. Nonetheless, God neutralizes the beasts’ threats and strengthens people to secure their allegiance.

The Wider Context of Revelation 14: 10-11

Revelation 14:14-20 comprehensively describes how the three angels will announce the final harvest judgment. The description contains imagery and verbal clues similar to those in Revelation 14:9-11 that also provide warning proclamation. The verses focus on the eternal, conscious torment after the judgment, but it will end in the elimination and destruction of God’s enemies. Revelation 14:10-11 can be compared with Isaiah 34:8-17 that focuses on the oracle against Edom. Moreover, Isaiah 34 describes the eschatological judgment for those who opposed God’s kingdom. Notably, a smoke that burns forever, an endless judgment, and flaming sulphur are mentioned in the Isaianic passage and Revelation 14:11 to signify the destruction of Edom or God’s wrath against the unbelievers. John adopted inverted parallelism to describe how an individual will receive the mark of the beast and its image on their hands and forehead for worshipping him.[38] Besides, sulphur and fire will be used to torture the unsaved in the presence of Lamb and the holy angels.

The imagery of devastation is also depicted in other parts of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, for instance, the prophecy of Edom (Isaiah 34) and the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19). Analysis of both passages, there is evidence that such places will be completely ruined and no person will be spared, and the fire will burn ceaselessly. Notably, the assessment is consistent with Biblical theology that emphasizes the pericope means the elimination of sinfulness when people refuse to obey God and eternal life. The traditionalist understanding of Revelation 14:10-11 disregards the disconfirmation of the doctrine of eternal torment. The pericope includes a warning to God’s enemies that they will be harshly judged. Some theologians state that the Book of Revelation recapitulates the visions regarding divine judgment. There are several resembling accounts of how God will judge His foes (Rev 11:15-18; 14:6-20; 19:6-20). Notably, the proclamation about the impending judgment on Babylon is clearly described in Revelation 14 and 18. Besides, the angel’s proclamation on judgment upon God’s nemeses is similarly covered in Revelation 19:17-20:10 and Revelation 14:9-11. Furthermore, the inviolability of the martyrs is detailed in both Revelation 20:11-21 and Revelation 14:12-13. The semantic of final, decisive devastation immensely focuses on judgment rather than eternal torment described in Revelation 14:11. The similar imagery of how the smoke will rise perpetually are evident in Revelation 18:18 and 19:3. Moreover, Revelation 14:9-11 also contains similarities with Revelation 6: 12-1, particularly on when the terrible and intense God’s judgment will come. Both passages describe the fury of the Lord in full strength against the sinners. Despite focusing on portraying the final judgment, the book of Revelation minimally details the enduring, ceaseless conscious punishment.

Application of Revelation 14: 10-11

There are many ways in which the message in Revelation 14:11 can be applied in today’s context. Some of the theological implications arising from the passage concern sin and how the Creator deals with those who choose to lead wicked ways. On one hand, sin represents a wrecked relationship between God and humans. Once Adam and Eve committed the sinful act while in the Garden of Eden as indicated in the book of Genesis, God already had a plan in place to save man and re-establish the link that was destroyed as a result of sin.[39] The Bible, particularly the New Testament, includes numerous instances that demonstrate God’s salvation and ways of regaining this relationship. Jesus’ death on the cross afforded humans the privilege to have their sins wiped out as long as they showed remorse and asked for forgiveness for their misdeeds.

Similarly, the passage of Revelation 14:11 emphasizes the idea that the Creator does not perpetuate transgression but will eliminate it. God is never pleased with sinfulness, and the text of Revelation covers numerous scenarios where He is pleading with humans to repent and change their evil ways. He is also a jealous God who seeks to retain His position as the mightiest before all creatures. Ultimately, those who disobey him are doomed to death. Also, sin never wins in the presence of God, but only His eternal kingdom.[40] Therefore, He will eradicate any false prophets, the beast, and their followers. Christians are encouraged to leave their sinful ways, follow Jesus, and worship God in spirit and truth. This implies showing full dedication to serving the Lord in their day-to-day lives. The Christian clergy must correctly emphasize the infinity of the hellfire and doctrine of eternal torment to provide a basis for modern churches and Christians to strengthen their faith in Christ and to avoid the severe judgment that will involve being cast in eternal hellfire.

Revelation 14:10-11 references the account of Sodom and Gomorrah as written in Genesis 19:28. The obliteration of the two cities is theologically translated to mean the annihilation of the sinners. The sinners will endure eternal and severe suffering. The New Testament doctrine is quite compacted and definitive on the eternal torment of the sinners. Notably, Christ also focused on the subject of punishment for the wicked or divine wrath more than his disciples. Nonetheless, Christians are encouraged to faithful to God, especially in times of trial.[41] The gospel calls on people to fear God and glorify Him since it helps to uproot the bases of the antichrist and his dominion. Any person who continues to worship the beast and promote his cause must expect to be perpetually depressed in body and soul. Professing Jesus’ faith and being obedient to God’s commandment will protect the believers from any suffering.[42]Furthermore, Christians are called to be ready to be killed in the state of union and cause of the Lord. Such martyrdom will allow believers to receive eternal rest from all persecution, sorrow, temptation, and sin. The Lamb will judge and condemn the followers or worshippers of the beasts, while the holy angels will act as the executioners who will assemble and separate them from the virtuous people then throw them into the blast furnace of hellfire.[43] Besides, the holy angels will be present throughout the ordeal to spectate and rejoice in their eternal torment. The glory and power of the Lamb and the holy angels will worsen the suffering of the sinful people. The fury of the Lord against wickedness will be unmerciful and without hope.

Revelation 14: 10-11 focuses on presenting the image of God’s triumph and the defeat of the beast.  Immediately after the second angel proclaimed the fall of Babylon owing to its wickedness, spiritual fornication, and rebellion against God, the third angel cautioned the people about the imminent judgment. The unbelievers will face the full wrath of God for worshipping the beast.[44] They will be condemned to hellfire and brimstone where the smoke of their suffering perpetually rises. The people will have no rest forever for receiving the mark on Satan on their forehead or hands. Loyalty to the antichrist and his dominion will lead to God’s strong punishment.[45] The same message is reiterated in Jeremiah 25:15 and Psalm 75:8.  Consequently, the adversaries of God will not escape His anger and wrath, since Jesus Himself could not avoid it if were possible (Matthew 26:39). God’s fury is steadfast hostility towards unrighteousness and sin. Revelation 14: 10-11 teaches numerous significant truths regarding hell and the eternal fate of the condemned sinners. The real torment will be largely abhorrent and hurting. God will be present in hell through His angels and the Lamb to proclaim His virtuous judgment, holy justice, sacredness, and fury against sin. The majority of the unbelievers who worshipped the beast and were sent to hell would wish that God was absent. Nonetheless, since the veneration of Satan on earth was not interrupted by penitence, the eternal torment of the unbelievers will also not be stopped by deferred repentance sought in hell.


Revelation 14:11 is categorized in apocalyptic literature as it mainly focuses on prophecies on the events that are generally connected to the description of the end of times. The passage incorporates the use of symbolism to make the audience understand the happenings associated with the end times. The smoke that ascends forever from torment could be viewed as the consequences faced by those who fail to worship God or turn away from their sins. They await destruction and eternal torment and will neither see the kingdom of God nor receive rest. The book of Revelation is relevant to modern Christian despite its medieval authorship to the early church. The original historical context of the apocalypse is transcended by the numerous spiritual truths. Nonetheless, evangelists, theologians, and the larger congregation of believers must be cautious of the exegetical interpretation of the Revelation. Failure to correctly analyze the complex imageries, symbols, and prophecies contained in the book can easily distort the message.

Moreover, Revelation 14: 10-11 has a universal application that is constrained to the churches in Asia Minor. The pericope assists in strengthening the faith of the brethren by demonstrating how worshipping the true God will lead to eternal rest while evil and wickedness will be judged harshly. Furthermore, the passage assures those persecuted Christians to be firm believers in God’s power, providence, and divinity. They will be written in the book of life and escape the eternal torment that is characterized by hellfire that will burn perpetually. The prophetic and apocalyptic message in Revelation 14: 10-11 provides comfort, encouragement, and exhortation to the righteous people that God will always be with them and guide them to subdue Satan’s fears and threats, which are aimed at forcing them to worship and glorify him. The passage comprehensively advances the general theme of the book of Revelation, namely, God’s plan to bring the entire cosmos under His dominion and power. Moreover, Revelation reminds believers to anticipate suffering, but they are called to be faithful and trustful of God’s sovereignty and accept that Jesus Christ reigns supreme and will ensure righteousness triumphs over evil.




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Stefanovic, Ranko. Revelation of Jesus Christ: Commentary on the Book of Revelation. Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2009.

Sweeney, Jon M. Inventing Hell: Dante, the Bible and Eternal Torment. London: Hachette UK, 2014.

Swete, Henry Barclay. The Apocalypse of St. John: The Greek Text with Introduction Notes and Indices. Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1999.


[1] David J. Powys, ‘Hell’: A Hard Look at a Hard Question: The Fate of the Unrighteous in New Testament Thought. (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2007), 11.

[2] Ibid., 15.

[3] Gary H. Everett, Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures: The Book of Revelation (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2018), 5.

[4] Ibid., 4.

[5] Everett, Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures, 6.

[6] Ibid., 6.

[7] Ibid., 7.

[8] Ibid., 8.

[9] Ibid., 6-10.

[10] Ibid., 11.

[11] Ibid., 13

[12] Ibid., 13.

[13] Ibid., 17.

[14] Ibid., 17.

[15] Ibid., 17.

[16] Ibid., 17.

[17] Everett, Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures, 19

[18] Ibid., 22.

[19] Everett, Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures, 19-22.

[20] Everett, Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures, 19.


[21] Everett, Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures, 19.

[22] Ibid., 19.

[23] Ibid., 33.

[24] Ibid., 33-34.

[25] Everett, Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures, 19.

[26] Duke, Rodney K. “Eternal Torment or Destruction? Interpreting Final Judgment Texts.” Evangelical Quarterly 88, no. 3 (2016): 5.

[27] Everett, Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures, 20.

[28] Ibid., 19-20.

[29] Ibid., 20.

[30] Ibid., 19-20.

[31] Simon J. Kistemaker and William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Book of Revelation. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2001), 26.

[32] Jon Paulien, “Beale, GK The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text.” Andrews University Seminary Studies 38, no. 2 (2000): 314.

[33] Grant R. Osborne, Revelation: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2002), 16.

[34] Christopher A. Davis, Revelation. (Harare: College Press, 2000), 21.

[35] Craig Savige, “Biblical answers about Hell.” Accessed November 28, 2020, http://victoryfaithcentre.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/AnswersHell.pdf


[36] David E. Aune, Revelation 6–16: Word Biblical Commentary, 52B. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1998), 18.

[37] Ranko Stefanovic, Revelation of Jesus Christ: Commentary on the Book of Revelation. (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2009), 34.


[38] Everett, Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures, 20.

[39] Swete, Henry Barclay. The Apocalypse of St. John: The Greek Text with Introduction Notes and Indices. (Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1999), 11.

[40] James L. Resseguie, The Revelation of John: A Narrative Commentary. (Michigan: Baker Academic, 2009), 56.


[41] Ralph G. Bowles, “Does Revelation 14: 11 Teach Eternal Torment?” Rethinking Hell: Readings in Evangelical Conditionalism, 9, no. 3 (2014): 148.

[42] Trevor P. Craigen. “Eternal Punishment in John’s Revelation.” The Master’s Seminary Journal 9, no. 2 (1998): 195.

[43] Samuele Bacchiocchi. “Hell: Eternal Torment or Annihilation?” Endtime Issues 7, no. 2 (1999): 4.

[44] Jon M. Sweeney, Inventing Hell: Dante, the Bible and Eternal Torment. (London: Hachette UK, 2014), 52.

[45] Bowles, “Does Revelation 14: 11 Teach Eternal Torment?” 142.

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