THE LAKE OF FIRE
-Most people who read about, talk about, or preach about the lake of fire do not have the foggiest idea what
these words mean. They assume that it is a literal lake of fire designed for the purpose of perpetually tormenting people.
Let us take a fresh look at this lake. We will be pleasantly surprised to find out the true meaning of these words. We must
ask ourselves these questions:
1. WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THIS FIRE?
2. IS IT LITERAL OR SYMBOLIC?
3. WHAT IS THE DURATION OF THIS FIERY JUDGMENT?
- Daniel 7:9,10 states, … I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, Whose
garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels
as burning 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 was set, and the books were opened … Revelation 20:11-15 states, …
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. 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. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell (Hades - the grave) delivered up the dead
which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell (Hades - the grave) were cast
into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the
lake of fire …
According to Dr. Harold Lovelace:
-"The lake of fire has been used to scare people, and it was not meant to do so. The lake of fire is only recorded
a number of five times in Revelation 19, 20, and 21 by the Greek word #4442 pur. Check again in your Concordance, and
you will find that the verses that read “Holy Ghost and fire, hell fire, unquenchable fire, ministers a flame of fire,
fiery indignation, God is a consuming fire, lake of fire and brimstone, and the overcomers stand on a sea of glass mingled
with fire.” These terms are from this same word pur. Therefore it is the same fire in all these places. Now notice
that in Mark 14:54 when Peter warmed himself by a fire, it is a different Greek word. Another word used to bring fear is brimstone.
Yet when its meaning is looked up in a dictionary, you will discover that its meaning today is sulphur. It is called the king
of chemicals. Even in recent years it has been used for medical purposes. What is interesting is that in your Concordance
it is listed as #2303, theion, and its root word is #2304, theios, meaning Godlike, divine power. Its root word is #2316 which
is theos, meaning God or divinity. Now we can see the importance of being baptized with the Holy Ghost and FIRE and understanding
Hebrews 12:29, “For our God is a consuming FIRE.” For sure, He knows how to cleanse / purify us to make
us in His image." ( Read And Search God’s Plan, Dr. Harold Lovelace )
-As we can see, the words “lake of fire and brimstone” mean: DIVINE PURIFICATION! Daniel saw it
as a stream and John saw it as a lake. Can we now see that the words “lake of fire and brimstone” are to be understood
symbolically, portraying a spiritual fire that is by nature corrective, and for the purpose of purification? This lake of
fire speaks of God Himself and His ministers, for our God IS a consuming fire, making His ministers a flaming fire ( Hebrews
12:29 and Psalm 104:4 ).
-This experience of purification is to be for a period of time. IT IS NOT FOREVER! This can be discovered by
studying the words “olam”, “aion”, and “aionios”, which words do show that God’s
judgments are “of the ages”, but not to continue past the ages, for the ages shall come to an end, and God shall
be ALL IN ALL! -OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE!-