There’s the one I always paid rapt attention to—
the final one to avoid at all costs in Rev. 20:14.
But I never noticed that Rev. 19:20 and 20:10
also mention a Lake of Fire.
Three Lakes of Fire? Or the same one?
♦ Rev. 19:20 prophesies that at the start of the Millennium, the beast and false prophet will be tossed into the Lake of Fire when Jesus Christ defeats them.
♦ One thousand years later (20:7), “The devil … 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” (verse 10).
♦ The third and final Lake of Fire of Rev. 20:14 comes after the Great White Throne Judgment period on the earth. The Bible doesn’t clearly say how long this hugely significant period lasts except to hint that it might be 100 years (Isa. 65:20).
This means the three Lakes of Fire cover about 1,100 years. The Bible says the first two lakes are the same—the devil cast into the same one as the beast and false prophet (20:10). The Bible doesn’t specify that the third one is the same, but that would be the way to bet.
The first Lake of Fire would not have to be very big since only two wicked men are specifically mentioned. A Pond of Fire would do. The second one forecasts only the devil, though it probably includes his demons who cast in their lot with him and so probably will also be cast in this unwanted role. These spirit beings might not even take up space.
The third “second death” lake seems to be expanded earth-wide so it can purge all death, Hades the grave, all material, all flesh and all sin. Only Gods in the Family will be left so the Father can then come down to the New Earth and make it His eternal home. That’s why the earth enjoys the sweet spot in the universe as a most privileged planet!
We know from real life experience that flesh in fire will burn up and become ashes. And when there’s nothing more to burn, a fire will go out. How pertinent that Sodom and Gomorrah suffered “the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7), but are not still burning today. What’s eternal is the lesson, snuffed out by too many today for political correctness.
Malachi so plainly gives the fate of the wicked: “Burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up… You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet” (4:1-3).
In Rev. 20:10 notice that the key word “are” is in italics because it’s not in the original Greek. Translators, influenced by Greek philosophers such as Plato and horrified by the graphic illustrations of Dante Alighieri, added the word “are” and translated “they” because they privately interpreted that the two wicked men would still be writhing in torture there. Thanks to Malachi and many other scriptures, we know better.
The New International Version correctly says “had been thrown” and the Revised Standard Version gets it right with “were.” The two wicked leaders will probably die quickly from smoke inhalation and will have long ago ashed and wafted. Will the Lake of Fire go out for the Millennium?
The real mystery is what even fuels the second Lake of Fire since satan and demons are spirit and won’t burn up. It’s common to question why God would even put spirit beings into a Lake of Fire. Somehow it facilitates them being “tormented forever day and night” (20:10). It certainly follows Bible principle that an accuser/deceiver receive the very punishment he conned humans into believing would be their horrific eternal destination (Deut. 18:18-19).
Since apparently the Lake of Fire dies out and the new earth appears (Rev. 21:1), satan and demons are sentenced to be “wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 13).
Why would a loving God
toast and torture His children for eternity? He won’t! “God our Savior … desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4). The Master Timer calls each of His children at their best time to be in His eternal Family.
Who in their right mind would reject such an incomparable future of “pleasures forever more” (Psa. 16:11).