And I heard the voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them. (ASV)
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Concerning Revelation 14:9 - 13
Jesus, the angels and the saved in heaven are treated to the spectacle of the burning damned, writhing in torment forever and ever without relief. This is an image that occurs here and there in the scriptures, but in this passage there is something different. As my New American Bible (New York: Thomas Nelson, 1970) has verse 12, the third angel explains, "This is what sustains the holy ones who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus." And in verse 13, the voice from heaven says, "...Happy now are the dead who die in the Lord!"
What a shocking admission! It is the smoke of burning sinners that sustains the saved in heaven and makes them happy. We think something is terribly wrong here. Surely, people who would take pleasure from the misery of others do not deserve to be in heaven, do they? As philosopher Alan Watts wrote, "It will be jolly, won't it, to be sitting around making music with the angels, knowing that your daughter is meanwhile screaming in the everlasting dungeons? ...A universe that contains this as a possibility is a serious misconstruction from the beginning."
But rather than calling these horrific verses a mistake, we should read them as the revelation of a very esoteric doctrine - a subversive truth that is seldom spoken openly. The third angel has let the cat out of the bag: It is impossible to feel saved, blessed and holy unless you can point to someone else who is damned, cursed and profane. The sinners in hell provide a crucial service to the saints in heaven, for without them, there would be no heaven.
These passages destroy the notion that the good side is ULTIMATELY good or that the evil side is ULTIMATELY evil. The white, the light and the good cannot exist without their polar opposites of the black, the dark and the evil. If you know that, you see the unity of good and evil. Beyond all illusions, they are ultimately the same. And you can no longer aspire to eradicate your foes, for you will have learned what Jesus meant when he said "love your enemies".
- Except that this line of thinking is satanism, not Christianity :-)
- --FreezBee 06:07, 29 Jan 2006 (CST)
Answer to the Above Firstly, these verses say nothing of the sort. Secondly, the saved are right to rejoice at justice (Luke 18.1-8). Finally, it is not the same to "sing with an angel while your daughter is burning in hell"; as Jesus said, his fellow believers are his mother, father, daughter, and brothers. Good's existence does not depend on evil's, because God exists regardless of sin's existence; this eastern philosophy only assumes the natural getting used to good and bad things to apply to heavenly things.
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