Lake of Fire

The LAKE OF FIRE is the eternal dwelling place for all unbelievers.  It is a location in the unseen realm that is the darkest and most undesirable of all.  At the consummation of the spiritual realm judgment time culminating in AD 70, the beast and false prophet of Revelation were cast into the LAKE OF FIRE; the devil was also cast into the LAKE OF FIRE.  They will continue to be tormented there day and night forever and ever (Rev. 19:20: Rev. 20:10).

The LAKE OF FIRE also includes brimstone, which has an undesirable odor like sulfur and probably keeps the fire going.  The graces of God are not exhibited there. 

Rev. 20:14 “Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.  This is the second death, the lake of fire.”

If one checks the Greek, they will notice the inference that both “Death” and “Hades” are personified.  The “Death angel” and the angel who guarded the waiting place of “Hades (Sheol)” were both cast into the Lake of Fire forever.  Why?  Because after “that one-time past resurrection” to empty Hades, their power to imprison any souls in Hades was stripped away from them.  Death could not kill the living saints at the Parousia, nor could any souls be held in Hades any longer.  Hades was emptied and the dead were judged and sent to their appropriate places of eternal habitation (either Heaven or Gehenna/Lake of Fire).

Death (the Death angel), and the Hadean angel and Hades itself, the previous holding place for departed souls prior to the Parousia, had been emptied of its occupants for the Great White Throne judgment of AD 70, then both were cast into the LAKE OF FIRE (Rev. 20:14). 

Rev. 20:15 “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

From that “once in time past resurrection,” going forever forward, someone dying from after that day forward never would need to be resurrected because their soul “immediately goes before Christ upon physical death,” and the unsaved are judged and cast into the Lake of Fire according to the wages of their sins, and the believer is instantly clothed with their new perfect immortal spiritual body (2 Cor. 5:1-2 was near future to the Corinthians at the time of the writing; however, instantly now for us today, as with everyone after that AD 70 “one-time final” resurrection, upon death the soul goes immediately before Christ).  No one dies today and goes “down” to Hades/Sheol to wait for some resurrection (Hades/Sheol is now destroyed in the Lake of Fire) – that was a “one-time event in the past.”  If you don’t need to go down to Hades/Sheol anymore upon physical death – then you don’t need to get resurrected.

Important note: Did you also notice what was “not” said in Rev. 20:11-15?  There is “nothing” mentioned about the “living.”  This is highly significant and dispels the view that this is an end of world, end of time, resurrection judgment.  No, this is speaking of an “in time” resurrection judgment.  This resurrection judgment had nothing to do with a supposed end of time judgment of every person dead or alive.  This passage is about the resurrection judgment of the “dead” only.  The timing was at the destruction of Babylon, i.e. Old Covenant Jerusalem.  The fulfilling and complete “vanishing away” of the empty and obsolete covenant as spoken of in Hebrews 8:13 had now come in AD 70.

The purpose of this resurrection judgment was to raise and empty all of the “dead” disembodied souls out of Sheol/Hades/Paradise.  Then all of the unrighteous souls were cast disembodied into the Lake of Fire (second death/eternal separation from God) along with the Death and Hadean angels and the waiting place of Hades itself, and the righteous were raised to put on their individual immortal spiritual bodies God had reserved for them in heaven (2 Cor. 5:1-2) and entered the heavenly realm to forever be with the Lord.

After AD 70 all of the unbelievers throughout history when they die, shall have THEIR PART in the LAKE OF FIRE, some worse than others (according to the wages of their sin (Rom. 6:23a).  “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, and all liars shall have THEIR PART (place) in the LAKE WHICH BURNS WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE, which is the second death. (Rev. 21:8).

The occupants of the LAKE OF FIRE are still able to “see,” “hear,” “feel,” “speak,” and “think.”  These in particular are described in Christ’s parable about the certain rich man who died and suffered torments in Hades (Luke 16:19-31).  Christ also taught that the unredeemed sinners are sentenced to the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) that shall never be quenched.  It is a place where “their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:43-48; Isa. 66:24).

Jude wrote about those who have gone the way of Cain (1 John 3:12); Balaam (Deut. 23:4-5; 2 Pet. 2:15; Rev. 2:14); and Korah (who led the revolt against Moses and was the son of Izhar (Num. 16:23-33)).  These represent those who speak evil and corrupt themselves.  They are “for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” (Jude 1:10-13).  All of the unredeemed humans are sentenced individually to an eternity separated from God in the Lake of Fire in which the light of the glory of God is not available to them.


See also related “Topic Studies & Terms”:

Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15)

Resurrection (General)



For a more in-depth study see the related full “Study Series” (available upon request if not hyperlinked):

“Study Series 16 Lesson 7 Rev. Chapter 20”