The Wild Beast and the Lake of Fire

//The Wild Beast and the Lake of Fire

Stumper Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses #36 

What is the meaning of Rev 14:9-11, which says, “… If anyone worships the wild beast … he shall be tormented with fire and sulphur … And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever …”. Where could “anyone” be “tormented … forever and ever”?

When a person has been indoctrinated with a particular point of view it tends to color everything. To the point, churchgoers who have been steeped in the false teaching of the immortal soul and the heaven/hell afterlife dichotomy are naturally inclined to take highly symbolic language that seems to speak to such matters literally, such as is found in Revelation. Thus, in their minds the torment associated with the lake of fire and sulphur is merely confirmation that Dante’s inferno is a real place.  But Revelation is presented in signs, which are not to be taken literally. 

Since these so-called stumper questions are directed to Jehovah’s Witnesses, instead of considering the question ‘where someone could be tormented?’ it might prove to be more enlightening to find an answer to the question: What is the wild beast? That question is most relevant since in the concluding verses of the 19th chapter of Revelation the wild beast is also thrown into the fiery lake that burns with sulphur.


Jehovah’s Witnesses realize that the wild beast represents the political system under Satan’s control. The book of Daniel is useful to show that the series of empires beginning with Babylon, Persia and Greece, which were all symbolized as various beastly monstrosities, are in fact, symbolized by the individual heads of the seven-headed beast of Revelation. That being beyond dispute, the question ought to be considered: Where could an empire be tormented forever and ever?

Presenting the question that way might help a reasonable person see how silly it is to take Bible symbolism literally. Perhaps a teachable person might then be moved to examine the scriptural basis for Christendom’s eternal torment doctrine. – What is the Lake of Fire?

2016-12-08T15:10:30+00:00 March 30th, 2016|Answers|3 Comments
  • if one does not understand the symbolic meaning in much of the bible it can be very confusing to say the least but once you come to an accurate knowledge of its symbolic meaning then you can come to a real appreciation for the truth. I use to be very confused about the lake of fire but now I have a full understanding that the lake of fire is symbolic of ever lasting death. in Christendom they teach you that these symbolic meanings are literal such as going to a place called hell and burning for ever and ever they have got it so backwards I have to laugh at it but for many many persons it is not funny at all because they really Believe that they might burn forever in a hell fire after death and my own personal experience with this frightening idea makes me think about my mom and she use to tell me how afraid she was that she might burn in hell and she really Believed this because of the catholic church. I must say how happy I am that just before my mom had passed away my brother and I was able to explain the truth to her about death and hell fire and she really excepted our explanation of the truth and much to my joy she was very releaved to now understand that the dead are Conscious of nothing and that there was no hell fire to burn in after death and she was very moved about death being the price for sin. yes she felt much better and before she passed on I knew she had a sense of hope. these symbolic meanings in the bible can have a great impact on how we understand and follow gods word and I think we all need to keep the following scripture in mind so that we might come to an accurate knowledge of Jehovah word.

    1 John 4:1

    4 Beloved ones, do not believe every inspired statement, but test the inspired statements to see whether they originate with God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    • ewatchman

      Thanks for sharing, Leonard

  • i like when Jesus was blunt like, look guys, hes dead, as in not alive – John 11:11-14

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