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Who Experiences "The Smoke Of Their Torment?"

Hi J____,

Concerning your question about the smoke of their torment...

Here is the scripture to which you refer:
(Rev 14:9 KJV)  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

(Rev 14:10 KJV)  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

(Rev 14:11 KJV)  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

(Rev 14:12 KJV)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Who are these people? Well if we know who is the beast, then we have no trouble understanding the Is, Was, And Will Be nature of these words:
(Rev 1:4 KJV)  John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace [be] unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;
(Rev 1:8 KJV)  I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Christ tells us who and what He is. He "Is, Was, And Will Be." Now If He is God's word, then are not His Words of this same character?
(Joh 1:1 KJV)  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

(Joh 1:2 KJV)  The same was in the beginning with God.

(Joh 1:3 KJV)  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
But are His words also "Is, Was, And Will Be" words?
(Mat 24:35 KJV)  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Like I said previously, the only way to understand the book of the revelation of Jesus Christ is to remember that this is the revealing of Christ in us. We must keep Revelation 1:3 and 22:6-7 in mind as we read every verse of this book. And by "this book" I am not referring to the book of Revelation only. It is "the sum of Thy Word" which constitutes Truth. We do not live by the sayings of the prophecy of the book of Revelation only. We must "live by every word which proceedeth out of the mouth of God."
(Mat 4:4 KJV)  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:4 is the real meaning of this verse, J___:
(Rev 1:3 KJV)  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy ["Every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God"], and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.
Understanding all of this lets now go back to the verses in question and allow them to tell us who is tormented in the presence of the lamb?
(Rev 14:12 KJV)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
The "torment in the presence of the Lamb... is the patience of the saints... they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." How can this be? Here is how that is:
(Eph 2:2 KJV)  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

(Eph 2:3 KJV)  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
We are "all... the children of disobedience... of our father the devil... the children of the bondwoman... by nature the children of wrath, even as others" before we become "the children of the freewoman, on whom God's wrath does not continue to abide:
(Joh 3:36 KJV)  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
We must live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God. When we read...
(Pro 16:4 KJV)  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
...and we externalize "the wicked," we have just denied that we must "live by every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God," and we have applied the words which best suit us to Hitler, and Stalin, and Mao Tse Tung, etc. and all the while the true man of sin is sitting comfortably and smugly on the throne of our hearts where Jesus Christ out to be ", increasing as we, "the wicked for the day of evil," decrease."

Joseph's brothers typify and foreshadow all of us. We are all children of disobedience long before we become hungry for the Truth of God's Word. The arrival of Joseph's brothers in Egypt typifies our dying to the flesh as we become increasingly aware that we are starving to death spiritually as we eat the husks with the swine we are feeding for another man. It is through the grace of God that we are driven back to our brother Joseph (Christ). But as we are so driven we are "tormented day and night in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb:"
(Gen 42:21 KJV)  And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress ["torment"] come upon us.

(Gen 42:22 KJV)  And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.

(Gen 42:23 KJV)  And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.
Joseph spoke through an interpreter only to hide his identity. His brothers torment was manifested to him in his presence as they admitted their own guilt and culpability in their treatment of their own brother whom they had wanted dead.

All with whom God is truly working are "tormented day and night in the presence of the holy angels [ the seven angels of the seven churches] and in the presence of the Lamb." All who attend the Iswasandwillbe.com Bible conferences, have the same story of being both starved to death and tormented before being both fed and comforted. When our eyes are finally opened to the things of the spirit behind the words of God's Word,

"For the aions of the aions" is just another way of saying "my words will never pass away."
This is a process which is "already kindled:"
(Luk 12:49 KJV)  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

(Luk 12:50 KJV)  But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened [tormented] till it be accomplished!
Nothing in this e-mail is "above what is written." It is all scripture. But you will not convince anyone whose eyes and ears are not opened by the holy spirit of God.
(Joh 9:39 KJV)  And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

(Joh 9:40 KJV)  And [some] of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

(Joh 9:41 KJV)  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.
It is always those who believe that the negative experiences of God's Word have no personal application, who end up finding out just how wrong they are. Remember, "As He is so are we in this world:"
(1Jn 4:17 KJV)  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
I hope this answers your question about what is meant by "the smoke of their torment ascends up forever and ever." J___.  I hope you can see the Is, Was, And Will Be character of the Word of God. If you still have a question, please let me know.

Mike