The principles of good and evil will always exist. God wants His intelligent beings to worship Him willingly “in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24. He does not want robots.
So, where does sin begin? In the heart and mind. Lucifer, the first sinful being, became sinful when he meditated a usurpation. Isaiah 14:13 (NKJV), “For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation…’”.
Consequently, sin will always be possible. And in this sense, therefore, testing will exist for most beings. Testing is what the “torment” of Revelation 20:10 means. “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Torment is from the Greek root word, βάσανος, a touchstone. In ancient times, a basanos, touchstone, was used to test the purity of gold or silver. It was a black siliceous stone and precious metals were rubbed on it. The color of their streaks identified the purity of their contents.
Thus, Revelation 20:10 is referring symbolically to thoughts being tested, (basanizō), against the memory of the experience of evil. Any thoughts which are even partially evil will be clearly identified when they are compared to past sin. The permission of evil will serve the purpose of being a touchstone against any further evil. In this sense only, intelligent beings will be forever tested. Any who might fail will be destroyed.
However, divine beings will have been completely tested and proven faithful during this present life. Jesus and his Bride are (will be) resurrected death-proof. They will have God’s nature, the divine nature, life within itself. 2 Peter 1:4, “…given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
The absolute fidelity of the Christ, Head and body, is being developed now. Our experience resisting evil, even when it results in suffering, perfects our characters. Jesus, Himself, was perfected by suffering for His obedience. Hebrews 5:8-9 (NKJV), “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him…” We, Christians, have the privilege of following His example. 1 Peter 5:10 (NKJV), “But may the God…who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
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