The Lake of Fire - Part 8

Posted in: 2011
By Tom L. Ballinger
Apr 21, 2011 - 10:23:40 AM

Plainer Words Online
Tom L. Ballinger
Plainer Words since 1968

April 20, 2011


Part 8

We have found Isaiah 66:23-24 to be pivotal in our studies of the “Lake of Fire.” Quoting from Part 3, in this series, we read:

“Gehenna” becomes the New Testament name for the place described by Isaiah in his reference to the City of Jerusalem during the Day of Jesus Christ.

“And it shall come to pass [during the Day of Christ], that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the LORD. And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men [who were cast into Gehenna] that have transgressed against Me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh” (Isaiah 66:23-24).

It was, also, pointed out that the “all flesh” is not every living human in the world, but, rather, it is a figure of speech indicating that representatives from all of the nations will visit this Valley, while in Jerusalem, and will view the carcasses of those Israelites who transgressed the Laws of the Kingdom of Christ (See Part 3). Since they are the political figures who represent “all flesh” of other nations of the world, then, it is appropriate to say “all flesh came to worship” Christ and see the Valley of Gehenna. The whole world saw, through the eyes of their representatives, the fruit of Capital Punishment that the Lord Jesus Christ warned about during His earthly ministry.


The Lord Jesus Christ warned the Jews, as He proclaimed that the Kingdom of God was “at hand,” that it would be better to enter into the life of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom with only one eye; one hand; or one foot than to have two of each and “be cast into Gehenna.” He spoke these “cast into” words of warning over a dozen times.

We get a vivid word-picture of the early days of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom in The Book of Daniel, in Chapter Two. We read that Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had a disturbing dream, but he could not remember what it was. As you recall, young Daniel is Divinely given the interpretation of the dream which he tells Nebuchadnezzar.

King Nebuchadnezzar was informed that he had dreamed he saw a Great Statue of a man. The Statue had: (l) a head of gold, (2) the breast and arms were of silver, (3) the belly and thighs were of brass, (4) the legs were of iron, and (5) the feet were a mixture of iron and clay (Daniel 2:32-33).

Each entity stood for a future king who would reign as a world monarch when the Kingdom would become manifest. The kings would rule one after the other while the Lord Jesus was re-gathering and raising the Jews from the dead. (The Ecclesia over which Christ is the Head will have experienced an “exanastasis,” to wit, a prior resurrection and will be on station when 1 Corinthians 15:23 is underway)

The five members of the Great Image-Statue, in the dream, represented five kings (or kingdoms) who will reign as the first earthly kings during the Pre-Millennial Kingdom. They will reign while Israel is becoming the Great Holy Nation of the world. The first universal monarch will be “the head of Gold,” Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar the following:

“Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom,     power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath He given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou [Nebuchadnezzar] art this head of gold.” (Daniel 2:37-38).

Four other kings will reign after Nebuchadnezzar. Only one of the four kings is identified, and that will be the resurrected Cyrus (Isaiah 44:28). He will be Divinely directed to issue the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and lay the foundation to the Temple.

The five kings will reign, one after the other, as the surrogates of Jesus Christ. They will administer His world-wide Government as He will be promoting the rise of the Nation of Israel. The kings mentioned in this column are cited in Daniel Chapter Two. We will estimate that the length of each king’s reign will be 40 years. This estimate is simply an effort to develop a time-line for the Day of Christ (i.e., The Pre-Millennial Kingdom).

1. The Head is Gold – Nebuchadnezzar … 40 years

2. The Breast and Arms are Silver ─ Cyrus ( ? ) * …40 years

3. The Belly and Thighs are Brass ─ Unnamed … 40 years

4. The Legs are Iron ─ Unnamed ─ … 40 years

5. The Feet are a mixture of Iron and Clay ─ Unnamed …40 years

If the length of the kings’ reigns are approximately, right, this will be the first 200 years of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom. Our considered opinion is that the significant “Seventy Weeks of Daniel” (490 years) begins when Cyrus makes the Divine proclamation to rebuild the Temple. Since it has not been revealed when Cyrus will reign, we conclude that, roughly, between 120 to 200 years should be added to the 490. Therefore, we see that the Pre-Millennial Kingdom will last approximately 610 to 700 years. For the sake of convenience, we will round-off the time-period to be 700 years.

During the 700 years, we, as members of the Church, which is His Body, will witness the rise of Israel to world-wide-prominence, as the channel of blessing to the nations, and we will witness the crash of Israel during the Great Tribulation.

(* Arbitrarily we have placed Cyrus as the second king.)

In order to gain a perspective of the coming dispensation, the Dispensation of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom, we have painted with a broad brush. We will make more broad brush strokes by saying that David and the Twelve Apostles will be raised out from among the dead and will be waiting for Israel to possess the Promised Land.

After Israel is established in the Land, over time, She becomes “a great Mountain,” i.e., the foremost nation in the world and fills [covers] the whole earth. This is depicted in The Book of Daniel:

“Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the Stone [Christ’s Israel] that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35).

In the vision, we see that the Stone struck the Statue on its feet, and it crumbled “to pieces together” and, then, the pieces were carried away by the wind. The Stone which was cut out of the mountain was at first, small, and it swelled to larger dimensions until it became an immense mountain ─ a Mountain that filled the whole earth. In Scripture, “a mountain” is oft used to refer to a kingdom, or in this instance, a Mighty Empire. We believe that the “Stone” and the “Mountain” are representative of the Pre-Millennial State of Israel. These are a figure of the Lord Jesus Christ inasmuch as He is the Founder and Sustainer. In Daniel, the words, “kingdoms” and “kings,” are used interchangeably. In Daniel Chapter 2, the five kingdoms are, also, referred to as five “kings.” Because of this understanding, we can refer to the Lord Jesus Christ as the “Stone,” or the “great Mountain” who fills the whole earth.

In the Land of Palestine, Gehenna, during the Day of Christ, will be the location where it has always been—south of the City of God. However, it will not be the depository of trash, garbage, and dead animals as it had been in previous eras. Gehenna will be reserved for those who transgress the Kingdom Laws, which is to say, the “incorrigibles.” The “Gehenna Fires” (fires of hell) will be “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44). From Gehenna, there will be no resurrection.


 “The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary” states that, “Gehenna is identical with the Lake of Fire.” This is not true, inasmuch as it is much wider and deeper than it had ever been. The Location is the same as it was when it was the home-site of the national god of the Ammonites. This was where the live cremation of their children took place. Isaiah wrote a prophecy, Circa 713 B.C., about the Lake of Fire─“For Tophet [Gehenna] is ordained of old; yea, for the king [the Devil] it is prepared; He hath made it deep and large: the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it” (Isaiah 30:33).

In the Apocalyptic Vision, recorded by John in Revelation 19, we see the doom of the Beast and the False Prophet. The Battle of Armageddon ends with the Beast and the False Prophet being cast into the Lake of Fire. The Beast who is seen rising up out of the sea (Revelation 13:1) is the “man of sin, the son of perdition, “that Wicked” who is revealed in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8. He is commonly referred to as the Antichrist.

“And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the Beast was taken [arrested], and with him the False Prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the Beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both [the Beast and the False Prophet] were cast alive into a Lake of Fire burning with brimstone (Revelation 19:19-20).

According to many interpreters of the Word, they teach that the Beast and the False Prophet were super-human beings. That is to say, their very nature was above that of normal humans. The Greek word for the “beast” is “therion” which means a dangerous animal. The Greek word for “false prophet” is “pseudoprophetes” which means a spurious prophet, i.e., pretended foreteller, or religious impostor. Prominent teachers of Dispensational Truth, including Dr. E. W. Bullinger and Charles Welch, also taught that the Beast and the False Prophet were super-human. Our studies have shown us that they will not be super-humans. But, rather, they will be mortals and during the Tribulation, they will become supernaturally empowered. They will take on god-like qualities by being Satanically enabled to “… shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:24).  The following verse was seminal in leading them to believe that they were supernatural beings:

“And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet ARE, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

The King James Version of Revelation 20:10 indicate that these two men will have lived in the Lake of Fire for 1000 years. This would require the Beast and the False Prophet to be super-human beings, or supernaturally protected. We reject these two possibilities. The word, “are,” was not in the original manuscript. Here, the translators acknowledged that they inserted the word, “are,” by having it appear in italics. This tells us that the majority of the translators voted that “are” should be inserted and rejected the idea that “were” should be used.

The Devil will find himself cast into the Lake of Fire at the end of the Millennium, and the KJV reads that the Beast and False Prophet “ARE …” there, also.

If they died as men in the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:10 should say, “And the Devil …was cast into the Lake of Fire where the Beast and False Prophet WERE …” To give the proper understanding of what was their fate, the word should be “were,” past tense; not “are,” present tense. The two were cast, “alive,” into the fires. “Alive” is set in contrast to the fact that they died in the Lake of Fire. There will be NO RESURRECTION for them.

If they will still be alive when the Devil is cast into the Lake of Fire, then, we find a direct contradiction of Scripture. 2 Thessalonians informs us that the two will be destroyed when the Lord Jesus is revealed.

“And then shall that Wicked [the Beast] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming [Parousia]: Even him [the False Prophet], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-9).

Not only that, but in the year of 555 B. C., Daniel predicted that “the little horn” (Daniel 7:8), in the NT, aka as the “Antichrist,” would be “slain,” and his body would be destroyed in the burning flame—which we, ultimately, learn is the Lake of Fire.

“A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment [the Judge] was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the Beast [the Antichrist] was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame” (Daniel 7:10-11).

This should substantiate the fact that the Beast and the False Prophet will be killed and their human bodies destroyed by the flames of the Lake of Fire. This takes place in the closing days of the Pre-Millennial Kingdom of God—at the 2nd Coming of Christ. One-thousand-years later, the Devil is cast into the Lake of Fire—where the Beast and the False Prophet had been discarded.


The first mention of the Second Death is found in Revelation 2:11:

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the Second Death.”

Then, we read Revelation 20:6; “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the Second Death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years”

This doesn’t inform us of what is the “Second Death.” We must continue.

John saw, in the vision of Revelation 20:7-10, that Satan was loosed from his one-thousand year imprisonment. He gathered-together the armies of Gog and Magog. The armies surrounded the saints and the “beloved City” of God, getting ready for a fatal assault. But, God intervened and sent fire down from heaven and devoured all of the armies (Revelation 20:9).

“And the Devil that deceived them was cast into the Lake of Fire and brimstone, where the Beast and the False Prophet [were], and [the Devil] shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10:  Our rendition of the verse).

It is noticed that the Second Death appears, again, in Verse 14 in the paragraph cited next.

“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. 12. 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, according to their works. 13. AND the sea gave up the dead which were in it. 14. AND death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: AND they were judged every man according to their works. AND death and hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Death. 15. AND whosoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the Lake of Fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).

The twelve “AND’s” are a Figure of Speech, “Polysyndeton,” meaning “MANY-ANDS.” Thus, indicating one event follows the other—one-after-the-other in rapid succession.

It is significant to point out in Revelation 20:14 that death and hell “was cast into the Lake of Fire. THIS IS THE SECOND DEATH.”

Chapter 21 begins the Post Millennial Period and tells of John’s vision of the new heaven and the new earth (Vs.1), and of his seeing the New Jerusalem “coming down from God out of heaven” (Vs. 2). And, then, we read in verse 7 of the reward for the “Overcomers:”

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:7).

By contrast, it is written:

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake [Lake of Fire] which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the Second Death” (Revelation 21:8).

The words,“this is the Second Death or which is the Second Death—the Lake of Fire,” may be clarified by saying; “Let me show you the ‘Second Death.’ There it is: the Lake of Fire.” The Lake of Fire is the Second Death.” That is to say, the Lake of Fire is the cause of, or the agency which produces the Second Death. “This” represents that. The idea is, the Lake of Fire—by figure of association in which the cause is put for the effect—represents the Second Death. The incorrigibles who are destroyed in the Lake of Fire will have no resurrection. They will never live again!

The extinction of those who will be cast into the Lake of Fire is contrary to traditional exegesis of some of the “lost.”  

This Eight Part study was our endeavor to share what light we have been given on the subject of “The Lake of Fire.” Many of the readers will condemn this work, others will scoff at it, and some will yawn and mutter a Ho Hum. But, by God’s marvelous grace, we pray that some will rejoice in that they can say, “I see this.” If so, we have not labored in vain.


Tom L. Ballinger                                                                                                                     Copyright @ 2011

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