The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Revelation 9:5,6

It might be an unusual argument for universalism or at least a terminable punishment, but what do you think about?

Revelations 9:5-6:

They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes.

During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them.

This sounds like an extraordinary fierce punishment within the context, however if everlasting torment were true, this would be a joke against it. Do you think this is a valid argument for terminable punishment or am I overinterpreting or missinterpreting things?

Sven, as you know, there are many competing interpretations of Revelation, but my overriding NT filter is that “God is love” (1 John 4:8,16), with the John 10:10 corollary that it is the devil who kills, steals, and destroys, whereas God—who is unchanging, unipolar, and exactly represented by Jesus—is only about abundant LIFE.

(Furthermore, it should remembered that death is an enemy of God, and that the devil has the power of death, not God:

"Since THE CHILDREN have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might BREAK the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—" Hebrews 2:14.)

As a futurist, I think that the whole field of earth history is fast approaching harvest time (imperfectly described by John in Revelation, including his misattributions of killing to God). Satan will violently resist his coming eviction, but our gracious Father will MITIGATE the legalistic devil’s final destructive activities—as suggested by “NOT ALLOWED to kill them but only to torture them for FIVE months.”

Sometimes translations don’t convey the proper meaning. It looks to me that in Hebrews 2:14 the devil’s power of death was destroyed at the cross. Notice the word HAD.

Forasmuch then as the children (Christians) are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself (Christ) likewise took part of the same; (flesh and blood) that through death (physical death) - he - (Christ) might destroy him (the devil) that had the power of death, (spiritual death) that is, the devil;

I think I’m right in saying that the devils power of spiritual death has been destroyed by Christ physical death.

Revelation 9 and the locust etc…

Revelation 9 has long been associated with the Arabs and Muslims. The Arab’s are likened to locust in the OT, and scorpions are a Mid-East creature who’s sting creates a lot of pain but seldom results in death. Seeking death and not finding it is a puzzling one. It could be literal since much of it is directed toward those who don’t repent…

Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

It think it refers to Islamic jihadist.

To no avail the devil’s demise has been pointed out before. The text technically does read HAS reflecting the present tense of the Greek, BUT THAT doesn’t take into consideration such as was describing the context wherein it is written. Take this example of the same present tense Greek word rendered HAS here…

Heb 7:6 YLT …and he who was not reckoned by genealogy of them, received tithes from Abraham, and him having the promises he hath blessed.

The Greek word here as in 2:14 HAVING or HAS is ἔχοντα exonta and is present tense, BUT is rightly understood as applicable to the context of the past historical event… which is WHY near all translations render that present tense as HAD; thus reflecting the same reality and applicability as per 2:14 — and thus your assessment of Jesus’ victory.

But apart from that… The Revelation composed subsequent to Hebrews makes it VERY CLEAR who holds what power and authority…

Rev 1:18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

This was Jesus speaking, not some devil!

It refers to the effects of the conflicts with Rome from mid AD66—70, i.e., 3½yrs or 42mths which touched Asia Minor but was primarily about Palestine culminating in the conflagrations at Jerusalem where the Temple became a molten lake of fire being razed to the ground… pretty much in line with what Jesus prophesied a generation (40yrs) before.

My point is that the devil no longer has power over death.

It refers to the effects of the conflicts with Rome from mid AD66—70, i.e., 3½yrs or 42mths which touched Asia Minor but was primarily about Palestine culminating in the conflagrations at Jerusalem where the Temple became a molten lake of fire being razed to the ground… pretty much in line with what Jesus prophesied a generation ( 40yrs ) before.

How can John be writing about the effects of the conflicts of Rome between 66-70 AD when the book of Revelation was written between 90-95AD? It’s mostly Preterist who have changes the dates to fit their heretical interpretations.

The fig tree illustration about “this generation” isn’t the generation Jesus is speaking to, it’s the generation that “SEES” all the events pass that Jesus mentions between verses 3-33.

We have common ground :+1:

Yes, the devil is still in the killing business, not God. In spite of Davo’s preemptive alternative explanation of the present participle active of Hebrews 2:14, let me still offer Young’s Literal Translation:

Hebrews 2:14 YLT
Seeing, then, the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself also in like manner did take part of the same, that through death he might destroy [annul, break the of the power of, bring to nought] him having [PRESENT participle active] the power of death – that is, the devil –

Yes, Jesus has defeated the dogmatic legalist–Satan–who holds the power of death (and still manipulates people to do his dirty work); and yes, the coming abolition of death is so certain, that it may be spoken of as already done.

Again, let me argue that the unchanging God of agapē does not kill, nor has He ever actually condoned or ordered killing (Matthew 5:44-48, Rom. 12:14–compared with Exodus 20:13). God is about abundant life. He is the Author of Life, not death. With all due respect, any other view about Him is a misunderstanding of his true nature–a misunderstanding which can only be overcome by seeking to interpret the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit, and not merely by human intellect (2 Corinthians 3:6, John 16:12-13).

Death isn’t a tool of God, but an enemy of God (1 Cor. 15:26).

Those righteous prisoners of hope (Zech. 9:9-12) who were held prisoners of death in Sheol (which used to have two compartments), Jesus liberated through his own death; and he now has the keys of liberty (Rev. 1:18). Nevertheless, although the free gift of freedom is found in Jesus, it must be freely received (Acts 4:12) to be enjoyed.

I certainly wish the devil were not still active in killing, stealing, and destroying; but we need only look around us to see that he obviously is (2 Cor. 4:4, 1 Peter 5:8). Physical death obviously still reigns: but for the believer, it has no more “sting” (that is, there is no more imprisonment in Hades for believers after physical death).

Amen. We also have common ground.

I understand what you’re saying, but God’s has killed people in the Old and New Testament. In this thread I’m referring to the followers of the beast. Much of the hardship imposed upon the beast followers does ultimately come from God through His angels. The locust of Revelation 9 are likely demon possessed Arab Muslim’s who believe they will receive virgins in paradise for committing the abominations of the earth.

And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.

This means that Apollyon and Abaddon, Islam’s angelic demonic duo, the demons who inspire the Sunni’s and Shia’s, will have 200 million demon possessed people willing to die for Allah. The highest aspirations of some Muslim’s is to die in jihad. What more could the Islamic harlot - the Whore of Babylon - promise its fanatical adherents, than a mansion in paradise with up to 70 bedrooms with a virgin in each one for committing the abominations of the earth? The number of virgins they get is dependent upon the magnitude of the abomination they commit. This is no joke. Can you see why God would kill a third of them during tribulation? Also, suicide bombers are mentioned in Revelation 9:17 -

And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.

"And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire… (suicide vest)

The word for breastplates is the word ‘thorax,’ and were held by straps that went over the shoulders or around the neck.

“…and of jacinth,” (dark red)… From Vines - Jacinth: signifies “hyacinthine,” perhaps primarily having the color of the hyacinth. Some regard its color as that of the martagon lily, a dusky red.

According to Swete, the word ‘jacinth’ in Rev 9:17 is, "doubtless meant to describe the blue smoke of a sulphurous flame."

“…and brimstone:…” sparks and explosion. This is the only place the word ‘brimstone’ or Strong’s #2306 is used in the NT and the word comes from 2303 and says, "in its original sense of "flashing."

Suicide bombers are also mentioned in the fourth seal as “TO KILL WITH DEATH”…

Revelation 6:7-8 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, - and with death, - and with the beasts of the earth.

There are several instances in the old and new testament where God has killed people.