"And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name.' Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus." - Revelation 14:9-12
In this chapter, John sees a series of images related to the end of time. In one of these visions, an angel tells what will happen to those who worship the beast of Revelation 13 and who receive his mark on their forehead or hand. They will face God's full wrath and have no rest day or night. This vision is followed by another call to believers to endure and keep up their faith (cf. Revelation 13:10).
There is a current debate whether unbelievers will be tormented in the lake of fire for eternity, or whether they will be punished for a time and then annihilated. It seems these verses could be interpreted either way. The smoke of their torment goes up forever, but that does not necessarily mean the torment itself will last forever. And while they have no rest day or night, the text does not say whether this no rest situation lasts for eternity. The phrase may mean no rest day or night until the time of annihilation. We will have to look at other biblical passages to decide on this question. The primary point of these verses, though, is that those who worship the antichrist will face God's full wrath, and believers in the tribulation will need extraordinary endurance and faith to resist.
Father, your judgment is real, and the end of the world as we know it is coming some day. May we take your warnings and admonitions seriously. May I keep your commandments and my faith in Jesus, even under difficult circumstances. Your character is perfect, and your power is supreme. Thank you for being a holy God and for your promise to end evil once and for all. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman