The Lake of Fire
This diagram brings us down to the final end of this earth after man's existence of approximately 7,000 years. Remember, the Lake of Fire and Brimstone is the final eternal torment of all the lost. This also includes Satan, his angels, the Beast, the False Prophet, and the most wicked angels chained in Tartarus. I have marked the diagram with A, B, C, D and E. We shall examine each of these in order.
1. (Locate A). This is at the end of the 7-year Tribulation Period when Christ comes back with all the Saints (Old Testament and Church Age) to set the Kingdom up for 1,000 years. Just prior to the Kingdom being established, Christ judges the nations. In 2nd Timothy 4:1 we read:
"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (Greek "zao," i.e. "the living") and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom."
At this judgment, the lost will be cast directly into the Lake of Fire. They do not go to torment in Hades, nor do they pass through the Great White Throne of Judgment. The account is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. In Chapter 25, verses 31-34 we read:
"When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he (Christ) sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep (saved) from the goats (lost): And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
The saved who are alive at the end of the Tribulation go right on into the Kingdom. These are the sheep on His right hand. The goats (lost), these are the ones who were deceived by the AntiChrist, receiving his mark which is 666. Their plight is recorded in Matthew 25:41,
"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
Their entire judgment is here, so there is no need to pass through the Great White Throne Judgment. Picture yourself, if you were lost, listening to the King of kings and Lord of lords thunder these devastating words, knowing the next second you would plunge into the everlasting Lake of Fire. How grateful we are for a Saviour Who loved us while we were a sinner.
This same judgment is also described in Matthew 24:39,40,41,
"...so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken (lost), and the other left (saved)."
These Verses many times are used in reference to the Rapture; but, in essence, has nothing to do with the Rapture at all. In fact, what takes place at the Rapture is exactly the opposite of what takes place here. A basic principle to remember is that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John always, without exception, refer to the Revelation of Christ to the earth, and never the Rapture. They knew nothing of the Rapture as this was a mystery, later revealed to the Apostle Paul. Notice in Verses 40 and 41, the ones left are the saved who are left to reign with Christ in the Kingdom. The ones taken are the lost, taken to judgment. These are the same ones which Christ cast into the everlasting fire in Matthew 25:41. As we have said, this is just the opposite of what happens at the Rapture. Notice in 1st Thessalonians 4:17, which is speaking of the Rapture:
"Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
You see, at the Rapture, those taken go to Heaven, but in Matthew those taken go to everlasting fire. At the Rapture, those left go through the Tribulation judgment, whereas those left in Matthew go on into the Millennial Kingdom here on earth.
Other references to this judgment:
Joel 3:1-3;12-16; Zechariah 14:1-12; Revelation 19:11-21; 2nd Thessalonians 1:7-10; Revelation 1:7; and 2nd Timothy 4:1.
A more terrifying account of those cast into the Lake of Fire is recorded in Zechariah 14:12. The whole Chapter is in reference to Christ's return and setting up the Kingdom. Now Verse 12...
"And this shall be the plague (plague is the Hebrew "maggephah," and by analogy means: defeat, slaughter, or stroke. In other words, those I am about to describe will be defeated, with a stroke in a great slaughter); wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their (lost) flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth."
Personally, from reading many accounts of the atomic bomb being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I can easily picture what literally occurred here. A very graphic description of the lost as they enter the Lake of Fire. This is a far cry from the jokes, laughter and sneers made about Hell today.
2. (Locate B and C). No saved are involved here, only the lost in torment of Hades. The line B runs from Torment to the Great White Throne of Judgment Seat and from there to the Lake of Fire. This judgment takes place at the end of the 1,000 Year Reign of Christ. The heavens and this old earth are about to flee away and a new heaven and earth established (Revelation 21:1). Now the record in Revelation 20:11...
"And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them."
The Great White Throne is only for the lost, no saved ever appear here for judgment.
Here is where the lost receive their resurrected bodies before entering into the Lake of Fire. In Revelation 20:13 we read:
"And the sea gave up the dead (bodies) which were in it; and death (bodies in the grave) and hell (Hades - soul and spirit in Torment side) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell (Hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."
Those in Torment in Hades (their soul and spirit) unite with their resurrected body out of the grave and stand at the Great White Throne Judgment. This is what John was speaking about in John
"And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
The reason for this being, that no physical body could ever withstand the literal fire of Hell without the body being consumed. God has provided a resurrected body for the lost that will suffer all the torment and flames of Hell, but will never be consumed. What a contrast! Our resurrected bodies will never see pain, sorrow or death again (Revelation 21:4), while the resurrected bodies of the lost will never cease from enduring the pains of Hell fire.
Years ago, when I was on the police department, I was called to investigate a tragic situation. A young boy, about 13, had taken a gas can and was stealing gas from a railroad truck. Some of the gas had saturated his clothing. They were a poor family, and some of you may remember the old coal pot-bellied stoves with the isinglass window in the front of it. These usually sat in the living
room. This is what this family had. When the boy came home from the railroad yard he went right over to the stove and opened the door, then becoming a human torch! I recall them telling me at the hospital emergency room that there was nothing they could do to save him, and he would die very shortly. As I was standing beside his bed he suddenly let out a terrifying scream and then lapse back into unconsciousness. He did this several times before dying. In Hell there will never be a time of unconsciousness. The excruciating torment will be experiences every second of every minute of every hour, for all time and eternity!
When the lost are judged according to their works, it is not to determine if they go to Hell, but rather the degree of punishment in Hell for eternity. This judgment of works is to the lost what the Judgment Seat of Christ is to the Christian. The position of Heaven or Hell is determined by a person's acceptance or rejection of Christ as Saviour (Ephesians 2:8,9). Their rewards in Heaven or degree of punishment in Hell are determined by their works. Concerning the Christian being rewarded in heaven for his works, we are told in 2nd Corinthians 5:10:
"For we must all (the Christian) appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
Paul is speaking in 1st Corinthians 3:14,15 in reference to the Christian's being rewarded or suffering loss of rewards for his work.
"If any man's (Christian's) work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's (Christian's) work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."
Now let us go back to Revelation 20:12 where we learn more about the lost being judged at the Great White Throne...
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books (plural), according to their works."
We are told there is the Book of Life and the books which will judge the lost. The books have recorded the deeds of every person from the time they were born until they die. Every thought, every opportunity they had to be saved, every curse word, every illegal act and etc. is recorded in the books. I have been asked why God waited clear until the end of the earth before having the
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