“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night FOREVER AND EVER.”
So let’s talk first about the language of day and night FOREVER AND EVER…
Scholars will tell you this next passage is about the judgment of Edom in the 6th century BC, which was fulfilled in history as the prophet Isaiah prophesied. It’s about the destruction of a CITY.
And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.
10 It SHALL NOT BE QUENCHED NIGHT NOR DAY; the smoke thereof shall go up FOR EVER: from GENERATION TO GENERATION it shall lie waste; NONE shall pass through it FOR EVER AND EVER.
11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.
I hope you see the poetry in the above passage.
The streams today are not still pitch,
nor is the land still brimstone,
nor is the smoke still rising,
nor is the city still lying in waste,
nor are people still unable to pass through it,
nor do the fires still burn night and day,
Because it wasn’t meant to be literal.
It was APOCALYPTIC POETIC LANGUAGE to evoke an impact on the heart with words.
It was poetry.
Revelation 20 is the same thing. Poetry.
(above is a revised portion from Chuck Crisco’s blog. See his website: anewdaydawning.com)
Were there other ‘forevers’ that didn’t mean ‘forever‘? Absolutely.
Here are few FOREVERs in the Bible that were NOT forever:
1. Gen 17:7-8 Land promise (fulfilled Joshua 21:43-45)
2. Gen 17:13 circumcision, yet it ceased (Gal 5:1-6).
3. Exo 12:14 Passover – this ceased because Jesus became the Passover and it was only a shadow of good things to come (Col 2:14) in Christ.
4. Exo 29:9 Priesthood would remain in the Aaronic family, however Christ superseded it and it’s now annulled (Heb 7:12-18).
- The Law of Moses also declares that the Levites were to be servants to the priests and this was to be a statute FOREVER (Numbers 18:23).
- The wearing of the priestly garments by the sons of Aaron was also referred to as a PERPETUAL (FOREVER) statute.
- The ceremonial washing of the hands of the priests who served in the tabernacle was to be a statute FOREVER (Exodus 30:21).
- The law of the meat offering’s portion for the sons of Aaron was also to be a statute FOREVER (Leviticus 6:14-19).
- The daily meat offerings offered by Aaron and his descendants was to be a statute FOREVER (Leviticus 6:20).
- The commandment for Aaron and his sons not to drink wine nor strong drink in the tabernacle was to be a statute FOREVER (Leviticus 10:9).
- The heave and wave offerings belonging to the Levitical priests and their families was a statue FOREVER (Exodus 29:28; Leviticus 10:15; Numbers 18:19).
- With regards to sacrifices for sin, the Law of Moses also says that the sin offering of the red heifer was to be a statute FOREVER (Numbers 19:9-11)
5. Exo 31:16 Sabbath but Paul states the “special days and months and seasons and years” are fulfilled (Gal 4:10).
6. Jonah 2:6 Jonah was in the depths of the sea FOREVER, yet the whale vomits him out onto dry land. (Jonah 2:10)
7. Jer 17:4 It’s also said God’s fury would burn FOREVER.
- What is ‘God’s fury’?
- God’s fury was expressed in Ezra 10:14 as destruction of a CITY and captivity of the people by an invading army. Those cities are NOT still being destroyed or burning today.
8. Dispensationalists agree that the Mosaic covenant was removed, however, it was to stand FOREVER!
So from scripture we see that FOREVER doesn’t mean it has ‘no end’.
The Old Covenant Mosaic Law and it’s elements are not still active today.
The city of Jerusalem isn’t still burning today.
The Israelites aren’t still being held captive by the Assyrians nor the Babylonians today.
Jonah isn’t still in the belly of the whale today.
So what DOES ‘forever’ mean?
It could mean ‘throughout their generations’.
It could be a poetic tool to make an impact on the reader’s heart.
In the Bible, ‘Forever’ does NOT mean ‘no end’ like we use in our language today.
Please let me know if this word study helps.
Love you guys,
Listen to the audio version of this post here:
David King believes that we’re on the forefront of the next great reformation of all 3 of the Abrahamic religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The historical truths being presented in this day are causing massive transitions out of superstitious religious understandings and into the fulfilled truths of what Jesus accomplished in the 1st century. Consider him your ally in the battle to set the global family free from false religious superstitions. What he shares comes from a lifestyle of study, and a place of love and deep sincerity. Finally with questions like “If Jesus didn’t come to save us all from an afterlife hell, then why did he come?,” we can begin to unpack the radical truths of what Jesus actually displayed at the cross. “LOVE is the revolution.”
Thanks, David, for being a Hellbuster and a loving brother to us.