Keith Hunt - Revelation 20:10 and Immortal Souls? Restitution of All
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Revelation 20:10 and Immortal souls?

Will people burn in Hell forever?


Revelation 20:10

This was a question and my answer, from a "forum" I was on many
years ago.


I was wondering if the members of this Forum could help me to
explain the meaning of Rev. 20:10.

Rev. 20:10 "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."
King James Version (KJV)

In the KJV as well as the New King James Version (NKJV), the
translators have added words to the text, to help the text read
easier in English. The words they have added are printed in
italics so the reader will know this. In the case of Rev.20:10
the word *are* is in italics, and was added by the translators.
Traditionally we have    been taught that the *are* in Rev.20:10
should be *were*. Since human beings do not have immortal souls,
and have no consciousness after death, the Beast and False
Prophet were burned up and destroyed after being cast into the
Lake of Fire at the return of Christ (Rev.19:20). So some
thousand years later when Satan is thrown into this same Lake of
Fire (Rev.20:7-10) there is no way the Beast and False Prophet
are still there. They have been burned up, and are long gone, so
Rev.20:10 makes more sense if the word *were* is used, instead of
*are*.

I have had no problem with this explanation. Actually a number of
other translations have *were* or *had been*.

New International Version (NIV)

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New English Bible (NEB)

Revised English Bible (REB)

Green's Literal Translation (GLT)

Now this would seemed to solve the problem about the Beast and
False Prophet being in the Lake of Fire when the Devil is cast
in. But we still have a problem that seems to indicate that even 
though the Beast and False Prophet 'had been' or 'were' thrown in
the Lake of Fire, they still are there and will be tormented with
Satan forever.

The NKJV of Rev. 20:10 reads:

"The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and
brimstone where the beast and the false prophet [are]. And they
will be tormented day and night forever and ever."

Even if we change *are* which is in italics to *were* we still
have the next sentence which says: "And they will be tormented
day and night forever." The 'they' obviously is referring to the
Devil, the Beast and the False Prophet. In the above translations
which record the Beast and False Prophet as either 'had been' or
'were cast' into the Lake of Fire, three of these go one to use
the plural 'they' when it comes to who is tormented forever:

"They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." NIV

"and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." NRSV

"And they were tormented day and night forever and ever." GLT


A friend of mine had a discussion with someone who was saying
that evil men will burn in hell forever, and used Rev.20:10 in
the NKJV to prove it. My friend did not know how to respond. Even
if he said that the *are* should be *were*, there still was the
next sentence which said: "they will be tormented day and night
forever and ever."

Does Rev.20:10 say that the Beast and False Prophet are still in
the Lake of Fire when Satan is cast in? Are they going to be
tormented forever with Satan? How can this verse be explained in
light of our understanding that man does not have an immortal
soul that will suffer in a every burning hell?

For your reference the following are various translations of
Revelation 20:10.

Rev.20:10 "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."
KJV

REV.20:10 "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake
of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet
[are]. And they will be tormented day and night forever and
ever." NKJV

Rev.20:10 "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the
lake of burning sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet
had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever
and ever." NTV

Rev.20:10 "And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into
the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false
prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever
and ever." NRSV

Rev.20:10 "And the Devil, their seducer, was flung into the lake
of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet had
been flung, there to be tormented day and night for ever." NEB

Rev.20:10 "Their seducer, the Devil, was flung into the lake of
fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet had been
flung to be tormented day and night for ever." REB

Rev.20:10 "And the Devil leading them astray was thrown into the
Lake of Fire and Brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet
[were]. And they were tormented day and night forever and ever."
GLT

Rev.20:10 "And their seducer, the Devil, was flung into the lake
of fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the false Prophet also
lie, to be tortured day and night for ever and ever." Moffatt

Thanks,        
Calvin         


MY ANSWER:

     Jan wrote: As already cited the word "they" does not appear
in the following translations of Rev.20:10--KJV, NEB, REB and
Moffatt. Also, it is not in Lamas's translation of the Peshitta.

     Looking at translations then, we find the "they" does appear
in the NEWKJV, the New Living Translation (hot off the press),
the Amplified Bible, the Everyday Bible, the Fenton translation,
the Phillips translation, and others some may have that I do not.

     So much for the battle of translations. Now to the Greek.
The two famous Greek Interlinears by Berry and Green DO CONTAIN
the "they."
     There is one Greek word for the phrase "they shall be
tormented" and it is "Basanisthesontai."
     This word is in the 3 person plural future ind.pass.
     The evidence from the Greek shows it is correct to render
this word as "they shall...."etc.
     The word for "devil" in this passage is "diaBolos." It is
interesting for it is used as what we think today as the
individual person or spirit being we call the Devil, the single
spirit being who is head of all the fallen angels. It is used in
such passages as Mat.4:4,5,8,11; 25:41; John 13:2; 1 Pet.5:8;
Jude 9; Rev.12:9. BUT NOTE THIS, it is used in a less specific
way also in passages such as 1 Tim.3:11 where it is translated
with the word "slanderers." In 2 Tim.3:3 it is rendered as "false
accusers." And so also again in Titus 2:2.
     This word "diaBolos" is from "diaBalloo" (dia plus Balloo).
"dia" means "across, against" while "Balloo" means "throw." Hence
as the Analytical Lexicon gives: "to throw or convey through or
over; to thrust through; to defame, inform against ...... a
calimniator, slanderer ...... a treacherous informer, traitor

     From this word diaBolos we get the word "diabolic" and
"diabolical."

     Notice in verse two of chapter 20. "And he laid hold of the
dragon(a different Greek word), the serpent(another Greek word)
ancient, who is ("the" not in the Greek) DIABOLOS and Satan(still
another Greek word)..... Could it be that a proper name is not
intended for diaBolos here, and only something like "mud thrower,
false accuser" is meant, as the Greek for Satan is used in the
same context, with ancient serpent?

     Could it be, I say "could" with reservation. Could it be we
should translate "diaBolos" in verse 10 as in Timothy and
Titus(given above) - Slanderers, False Accusers? Then the verse
would read from the Greek: "and the false accusers who misleads
them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the
beast and false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and
night for the ages of the ages."

     It is a possibility but for the sake of argument I will stay
with the common translations that use "devil."

     Now is the Devil or Satan, the words used to denote the
single evil Spirit Being, ALL by himself, with no others of his
kind or company to help him do his dirty work? No, he took a
third of the angels with him in his rebellion (Rev.12:4) as we
are familiar with. Now look at these passages: Acts 10:38:
Eph.4:27; 6:11; 1 Tim.3:6,7; James 9:7; 1 Pet.5:8; Rev.2:10;
12:12.
     Is it only the one single being doing all this? Is it only
he that walks about as a lion trying to devour? Is it only he
that comes down with wrath on the saints? Is it only he that we
must resist? Is it only he that people were oppressed with in
Acts 10:38? No, not at all! It was he and his fallen angels, the
demons we call them today. Satan or the Devil is used as the
CHIEF leader of the evil band of false accusers and mud slingers
of God's people. A SINGLE to represent the WHOLE. A single to
stand for the plural of evil beings.

     When Satan is chained in Rev.20:1-3, it ONLY that one being
who will be chained, while the rest of the demons are still
active? No! We have never understood it that way. We have
understood it to mean that the one single represents the plural.
     Satan being chained represents the whole evil spirit beings
being chained for a thousand years.
     When Satan is let loose after the thousand years, is he the
only evil spirit being let loose? No! The single being used
represents the plural.

     So in verse 10 the single being thrown into the lake of fire
and being punished for the ages of the ages, represents the
plural of the evil demonic spirit beings, hence the Greek reads:

"and the DEVIL (diaBolos) who misleads them was cast into the
fire and of brimstone ...... and THEY shall be tormented day and
night for the ages of the ages."

     It will be more than just Satan himself who is chained at
the beginning of the 1,000 years, it will be him and his
angels(demons). It will be more than just Satan who is let loose
to deceive the nations again at the end of the 1,000 years, it
will be him and his demons. It will be more than just Satan who
is cast into the lake of fire, it will be him and they, his
fallen angels who are known today as demons, the deceivers of
people and nations.

     It is THEY who shall be punished for the "ages of the ages"
the SAME GREEK as used in Rev.5:14 when talking about the Eternal
God of heaven who lives for "ages of the ages." Showing that the
evil Spirit Beings will NOT be destroyed but will be punished
with torment for the "ages of the ages."

     They are cast into the lake of fire where a thousand years
earlier the beast and false prophet WERE cast. This fire will
then engulf the whole world as Peter told us (2 Pet.3:9-13) to
burn up all the wicked (as told by Malachi, chapter 4) and the
physical things of the earth (the second death of Rev.20:14,15). 

     What a fate for Satan and his evil angels, to see sin and
death finally destroyed and come to an end, for after this the
new heavens and new earth are formed in which ONLY righteousness
dwells, no more sin, no more death, no more Satan and the demons.

     For unto them is reserved the punishment the saints will
judge (1 Cor.6:3) for the ages of the ages. And Jude said is
"wandering stars (which can represent angels - see Rev.1:16,20)
reserved the blackness of darkness forever" (Jude 13).

     This verse does not contradict the plain scriptures that
teach death is a sleep and that man is not born with an immortal
soul.
     The words "where the beast and the false prophet" are
parenthetical to the MAIN thought and context. They are INSET
words, words in passing to relate something to us but not a part
of the main thought. They relate to us that the fire into which
the Devil and his demons will go is the fire that the beast and
false prophet (two of Satan's great servers) were destroyed in,
which fire will now destroy all the earth and sin with it, ready
for the NEW heavens and NEW earth to come.

     The rest of the Bible shows us the truth about physical
mankind, they can be completely destroyed, but Satan and the
demons will be punished for the ages of the ages after the fire
has burned itself out, when there is no more physical for it to
consume.

Keith
 
January 1997


 
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