11 and the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or anyone who receives the mark of his name.
“and the smoke of their torment will go up forever and ever” This phrase gives the clear indication that Hell will never end for those who are cast into it. Hell will be an eternal place for those who reject Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
“There is no rest day or night” This means that the torment that will be encountered in Hell will be a continuous one without any breaks in between.
To worship Satan and the image of the Antichrist is by receiving their mark (666). Once that is done there is no turning back.
12 This demands the perseverance of the saints, who keep God’s commands and their faith in Jesus.”
This verse makes it very clear that once a person has decided to receive the mark of the beast, they cannot repent. This is due because their decision was made from the heart.
That is why the verse is telling those who have put their trust in Christ to persevere in not taking the mark. For those who do take it and claim to be a follower of Christ will show that they were never one (1 John 2:19, Revelation 13:8).
13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write: The dead who die in the Lord from now on are blessed.”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “let them rest from their labors, for their works follow them!”
Those who persevere (verse 12) and die for rejecting the mark of the beast will rest from this sinful world and enter into an eternal rest with the Lord Jesus. Everything that a Christian has done here on earth for the Lord will follow them into eternity, to receive their rewards.
14 Then I looked, and there was a white cloud, and One like the Son of Man was seated on the cloud, with a gold crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand.
It is presumed by some that the person mentioned on the clouds is Jesus Christ because of some key phrases:
- Like the Son of Man
- Seated on the white cloud
- Gold crown on his head
I can say with certainty that the angel with the sickle mentioned is not Jesus Christ. Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew already revealed the identity of the angel with the sickle in his hand. Read below
36 Then He dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples approached Him and said, “Explain the parable of the weeds in the field to us.”
37 He replied: “The One who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; 38 the field is the world; and the good seed—these are the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather from His kingdom everything that causes sin and those guilty of lawlessness. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
In the passages above, Jesus is describing the role that His angels will play in the end times. The harvesters are angels with sickles which is used as a metaphor to gather up the unrighteous and throw them to their final destination. God’s angels will be the ones to separate the righteous from the unrighteous.
15 Another angel came out of the sanctuary, crying out in a loud voice to the One who was seated on the cloud, “Use your sickle and reap, for the time to reap has come, since the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
The angel that gives the command seems to have a higher rank and relays the message to start separating the righteous from the unrighteous. This verse refers back to Matthew 13:37-42