Revelations 20:10


Revelations 20:10

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

It says that the devil, the beast and the false prophet will be tormented forever and ever. “Aions” here can refer to a time period?


As a teenager, I thought this verse proved eternal hell.

After I studied Greek, I found that the expression “εις τους αιωνος των αιωνων” literally means “into the ages of the ages”.It does not mean “forever and ever.”

“Ages of ages” could be a very long time, but not an infinite amount of time.


For an age and an age. The two aions are represented in the same verse, so you don’t have to look far on knowing how long this is:

Revelation 20:10
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented [a] day and [a] night for [an aion] ever and [an aion] ever.

The beast and the false prophet are tormented for a day and a night, for an aion and an aion. It has never meant forever (infinity) but to give you an understanding there is a day followed by a night but we keep reading…

Revelation 21:22-26
(Speaking of the New Day)
And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God the Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple thereof. And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine upon it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the lamp thereof is the Lamb.
And the nations shall walk amidst the light thereof: and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it. And the gates thereof shall in no wise be shut by day (for there shall be no more night): and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it.

So we are reading that the torment shall last a day and then a night, but then the NEW DAY arises and there is no more night and the gates of the New City will never be shut and those outside shall be brought into it.

So now we have a completely different understanding of what John is writing, it is not saying that torment shall last infinitely on and on, but for a short time only to be changed and brought into the Kingdom of God.

The hope of Christians isn’t in death (the night) but in the resurrection of the dead (the New Day).

Acts 24:15
Having [the same] hope in God which these themselves hold and look for, that there is to be a resurrection both of the righteous and the unrighteous (the just and the unjust).

1 Peter 1:2-4
Praised (honored, blessed) be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)! By His boundless mercy we have been born again to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, [Born anew] into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay [imperishable], unsullied and unfading, reserved in heaven for you.

Even the unjust will be made new in this hope and they too will be born anew into an inheritance which is beyond the reach of change and decay and reserved in heaven for them too.


“Unto the ages of ages” is pictorial language, not technical. It is meant to convey the sense of that which is beyond site. And it is very important to recall that John’s Revelation is Apocalyptic literature, a style of literature not meant to be a text book, but meant to inspire one like a movie inspires. It’s a series of visions meant to communicate a message that good ultimately wins, that the kingdom of God ultimately comes to earth. These visions spoke comfort and encouragement to believers under the persecution of the Romans (Preterist view), believers throughout history (Historical view), believers struggling with sin and evil (Spiritualist view), and gives us great hope for the future (Futurist view). To interpret John’s Revelations technically is to mis the message, I believe.


“Forever and ever” basically means “unto the age”… what age? the Mosaic or OC age. Thus the “unto” speaks of that period of time leading up to the consummation of that age, i.e., it is a defined period of time, in this intance the 40yr Ad30-70 “this generation” of Jesus’ contemporaries.

This 40yr period, a biblical generation, answers to the 40yr period of when OC Israel came out of bondage into liberty - thus in Jesus’ day did those who were called as “firstfruits” ON BEHALF OF Israel, come out of the diminishing OC and into the more glorious liberty of the new covenant 2Cor 3:11]. It was in THIS period of that which “is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish awayHeb 8:13], and where “the form of this world is passing away1Cor 7:31] - this all speaks of the old covenant economy.

This is the same period of time wherein the bondwoman and her son co-existed side by side with the freewoman and son of promise, before the bondwoman and son were cast out Gal 4:21-31]. So it was that the “darkness” of the OC was “passing away” because the “true light” of the NC was “already shining1Jn 2:8]. Read Paul’s Rom 13:12 in this light of diminishing OC and burgeoning NC and this all makes sense. Again, this all answers to Jesus’ Ad30-70 “this generation shall NOT pass awayunto the end of the age, aka, “forever and ever”.

THIS then was the work of the firstfruit saints “in Christ” in redeeming “all IsraelRom 11:26] which then was the catalyst for the reconciliation of all humanity…

Rom 11:12, 15 Now if their [Israel’s] fall is riches for the world [humanity], and their [Israel’s] failure riches for the Gentiles [firstfruit saints [b]Act 13:48; 15:14, 17], how much more their [Israel’s] fullness! … For if their [Israel’s] being cast away [by God] is the reconciling of the world [humanity], what will their [Israel’s] acceptance [by God] be but life [redemptive resurrection]* from the dead?*.

IOW… “Israel” was God’s means to God’s ends - the reconciliation of man - or to quote Jesus, “it is finished!” :slight_smile:


this generation shall NOT pass away"

Also speaks of when the New Day appears. :slight_smile: We have been in the New Day ever since.


Yes I guess by extension this is also true in that this world will never end, it will always populate the “life after death”.


Brilliant Sherman! It is something very similar to the way my wife and I have discussed it before. That is, Revelation having multiple meanings: (1a) metaphorically speaking about what has already happened. Namely, Christ triumphing over the Adversary, Sin and Death, bringing us into union with the Father through Him. (1b) metaphorically speaking of real events that happened on planet earth already (Preterism). (2) Future events when spiritual things (possibly the not yet physically manifested New Creation) become physical realities… i.e. Christ bringing all to the Father, God all in all.

If I may hijack just a bit here…

What would be the typical ECT-Anni response to the following:

Revelation is generally interpreted sequentially. That is, what happens in 20:10 comes after what happened in previous chapters (the angels, the bowls, the horns, the beast, the marriage etc). So, if the Lake of Fire is the end for all who die not believing, who in the apparently remaining "nations" need healing from the leaves of the Tree of Life in 22:2??? Also, who is the Spirit and the bride (believers) calling to and beckoning to come and drink the water of Life in 22:17??? Who needs to hear and drink at that point if all those previously not believing are annihilated or roasting in the Lake of Fire? Who is the Spirit and the bride calling out to??? Uh, so there are some believers who are left who are not full of “the well of living water” ie Christ?.. and they need to drink a bit more of Christ in order to get a little more saved? There is progressive sanctification happening at that point?! :laughing: (<— jumped on rhetorical prog sanct soapbox for a second :unamused: )

Have I swallowed the red pill so eagerly that I’m forgetting that there is an obvious and simple refutation of the above observation? It could be that I have just forgotten what the orthodox view is and don’t remember how this would easily be explained away. I’ve never heard anyone else explain ch22 this way before (at least not that I can remember). I highly doubt I’m the first to notice it. It must be written somewhere in someone’s book… or easily refuted.

Take note… 22:17 is the very last (sequential)action of the entire vision/book. :question: Some people are thirsty and haven’t yet taken of the “water of Life” (the well of Living Water). That certainly seems to send ECT or Anni down in heaping flames!! :laughing:


Robin Parry talks about this in an interview here. It’s a great video, and is also linked in our resources section. It makes a lot of sense to me. Honestly, I always feel so turned around and confused by this point in reading Revelation that I don’t know which way is up. (Nevertheless I love the book! :laughing: ) It doesn’t surprise me that people miss this. To make it even easier to skip over, most of us aren’t looking for a promise for the nations out there in the LoF. I always did wonder about the leaves, though – who would be needing them and why.


Love, love, love this Robin Parry interview. So joyful. And he is so respectful of other people’s views, or at least of their holding those views. I am tempted to post it on facebook with the question: Is there another way this story could end?

It would be risky, but certainly the question must be asked.



Yes! I thought the interview was very good also. Parry is classy for sure!

BTW, WOW what a story those Grace Communion International people went through eh?? I watched the video about their story transitioning from the British Israelism of the Worldwide Church of God to embracing the Finished Work of Christ and the Gospel of Grace… wow man, what a story! I cried multiple times during the video. God is so faithful!! If you have a desperate desire to know what is really true about Him, He will show you! Stories about people who see the Graciousness of God in the face of legalism and fear, move me deeply!!

Thank you for the link Cindy. You made my day!!


It is amazing. The WCG’s story may explain why they are open to exploring the idea of evangelical universalism. It seems like the interviewer accepts universalism, though I’m not sure he says that in so many words. Even just exploring the idea is a pretty courageous move, given that it could harm their new found acceptance in the evangelical world. But then, they wouldn’t be where they are now if people pleasing was a priority for them.


Yes Kelli. What moved me so much was the fact that those interviewed were expressing the tenets (generally speaking) of the “modern american grace movement” (200?-present. ?) in a video made in the early 90’s telling of an experience/revelation they had with God’s character in the MID 80’s!!! How Faithful is God!!! When you come to Him willing to lay aside all you think you already know about Him and ask to know what is really true… HE ANSWERS!! Those guys wanted to know the Truth and PROCLAIM IT, NO MATTER WHAT IT COST THEM!!! All those three guys had was their bibles, their friends, and God!! No google, no websites, no online research!! So AWESOME!!! Our Gracious, Perfectly Loving Father is so much more capable and so much better than I ever dreamed He was!!!


So torment “forever and ever” could mean the torment lasts until the “torment” is destined to cease to exist (Rev.20:10) when God becomes “All in all” (1 Cor.15:28), all are reconciled to God (Col.1:20) & torment is no more? … 49/page-34


I gave an answer in full - to this - at Satan and Revelations :smiley:

Please ignore all the Holy Fool humor - in that thread. When the person opened up a thread…On hard core, Christian theological determinism…and was serious about it…I thought he was playing a big joke - on all of us. :laughing:


Revelations 20:10

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

Literally speaking you can’t actually add anything to “forever” like “and ever” so even in a literal sense it technically can’t mean eternity.


Aionios ton aionios (if I remember correctly) literally means “unto the ages of the ages,” which is most likely an euphemism for “a really long time.” Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for “olam.” (Olam is the Hebrew word which was later translated consistently in the LXX as “aionios.”) Clearly Jonah is not still in the great fish’s belly–indeed he escaped that uncomfortable accommodation within the distinctly limited period of three days (a picture of Christ’s time in the grave?)

Based on usage in the OT, I would say that “olam” SELDOM means forever. In most cases it means “a long time” or “an age” (which also means “a long time”). In fact though there may be situations in which “olam” does mean “forever” or “everlasting” or “eternal,” I can’t think of one at the moment. Many, many of them are obvious and indisputable as to their finite duration. The ‘everlasting’ hills will one day be brought down; a Moabite shall not join the ranks of the Israelites ‘forever’ until the tenth generation; the ‘eternal’ flames that consumed Sodom ceased long, long, long ago to burn (and Jesus even remarked that their judgement would be more tolerable than that of cities of His day that rejected His manifest presence and the signs of His Messianic mission. There are many other such examples available to those who search the terms.


The OT Law is still in existence and has not changed. It is eternally existing in the sense that it will forever be the Law for mankind whether you are a man of the 1st century or the 50th century etc.


How much of the OT law do you follow?


Just a footnote. According to, there are 613 Old Testament laws. What percentage of these, do you approximately follow - LLC? Also see