And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
Revelation 9:4-6 (in Context) Revelation 9 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
Revelation 11:9-11 (in Context) Revelation 11 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
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 (theon- godfire) in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Revelation 14:9-11 (in Context) Revelation 14 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
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.
Revelation 20:9-11 (in Context) Revelation 20 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
In these passages torment is the following Greek word
basanos: a touchstone (a dark stone used in testing metals), hence examination by torture, torture
Of couse the definition is entirely conditioned by culture and prejudice....... There is no reason why "a touchstone".... used in "testing precious metals" should be equated automatically with "examination by torture"- In Fact It Is Just The Opposite. The precious metal here is MANKIND, the value of which, as God's creation, is measured by the value of THE SACRIFICE HE MADE TO REDEEM IT.
And as it is written in many places, we kno that the sacrifice was sufficient TO REDEEM IT ALL.
Also consider who/what this touchstone IS. It is the divine nature of God in Christ, or, as defined in 2 Cor 4
3 But if our gospel(good news) be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ
and in Hebrews 1
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. 3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.
which folds into Romans 2
For when Gentiles who do not have [m]the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
On the Day, in the Daylight, the Secrets of Men's Hearts will be Revealed/exposed/brought to the surface by the Light/Fire/Presence of the Lamp that searches the souls of men.....the Word that is sharper than any two edged sword dividing asunder soul and spirit MAKING MANIFEST the thoughts and intentions of the heart .
Matthew 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting.............
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment(olam/aionian kolassis): but the righteous into life eternal.
It is easy, because of translation, our training and our culture(a culture of a god who hates and calls it love), to read this ".....these shall burn forever; but the righteous shall live forever"
I won't get too far into olam/aionian here because it has been well covered on this site, but I will submit that what it should read is......
these shall go into correction(kolasin) in the age to come; but the righteous will go [paraphrase.... directly into] the life(zoe)of the age to come.
Aionian, from Olam(meaning the world to come) in Hebrew. To this day, olam ha-ba means the afterlife(interestingly enough, characterized as a wedding feast in rabbinical teaching). Olam Ha-ze, means this world (characterized as a trial and preparation for the world to come).
Olam, in ancient Hebrew, was a word used to characterize an indefinite period, or a dimly seen period of time because of far ancientness or far futureness or otherworldiness(as in beyond the veil of the flesh-i.e. spiritworld, or the world to come-i.e. beyond the pale of death)
Jesus characterized this experience of "aionian kolassis" also as "aionian pur" and "gehenna pur"....... and described it as a very difficult experience for those who will endure it- "better to pluck out your eye" and enter the heavens blind, etc.
God is light. Light is fire to darkness. God is love. God is a consuming fire. Love is a consuming fire. Love is not always comfortable. Love/light/fire can surround hate/darkness/chaos and force it to the surface like anti-bodies forcing an infection to the surface of the skin(where it can be lanced, drained, disinfected and covered with healing balm).
This to me is the lake of fire.
When John the Baptist preached we read that those believed "were baptized in the Jordan river confessing their sins".
They were salted with fire and the fire brought hidden things to light. They judged themselves, therefore escaping "aionian kolasis". Jesus later said to His disciples, "you are all clean because of the word I have spoken unto you".....Then He said, but you are not all clean....because there was one among them carrying a corrupting secret in His heart- he had not gone "all in" into the fire.
Through that secret the adversary lured Judas into evil. "lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory throughout all ages, amen"
This is what baptism represents to me.
Therefore, "confess your faults one to another and pray for each other that you may be healed"(James)
Stay in the fire. Stay "all in". Find those one or two with whom you can be completely humble and completely honest and "come clean"......"Let there be light".
If we walk in the light as He is in the light we have fellowship(koinonea) with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.(1 John)
This is how we walk among the stones of fire.....enter into His holy hill......abide in His presence so that we can look ibnto His flaming eyes and rejoice in our cleansing by His blood- because we are not "hiding in the garden", "kept at bay by a flaming sword", but rather, "having our hearts sprinklled clean from and evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" we have "free access by a new and living way into the holy of holies".
"Not many days hence, I will baptize you with the holy spirit and with fire".