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What is the Fire of the Lake of Fire?

Posted October 15, 2009


Hi D____,

I'm sorry I wasn't more specific about the second resurrection. I can see from your question that you are still struggling to understand that a resurrected body is not a physical body. All resurrected bodies are spiritual bodies which will experience the spiritual chastening of the spiritual lake of fire.

1Co 15:44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
What does "a spiritual body" mean? Here is what that means.
Joh 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Joh 3:8  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

The torment of the lake of fire is just as real as physical torment, but even physical torment is actually mental in the final analysis.

A quadriplegic has no feeling in his limbs and can actually burn himself without even knowing it. But a quadriplegic is still in torment and would rejoice if he could once again feel a certain amount of physical pain, simply because it would indicate some hope of being able to regain the use of his limbs.

So the fire of the lake of fire is the same fire we find mentioned throughout prophecy. It comes from within when the Word of God enters into our lives and begins burning out anything and everything that will melt and be consumed by its intense spiritual heat.

1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

It is a man's works which are burned - not a person's actual flesh. How is that accomplished? It is accomplished by destroying those works of wood, hay and stubble which are so combustible, and replacing them with gold, silver and precious stones. But "gold, silver and precious stones" are created only under extreme pressure and extreme heat, and those to elements are the Words of God, in the hearts and minds and mouths of God's elect.

Luk 10:16  He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
That is why it is a mere lake into which the entire 'sea' of mankind is cast.
Isa 33:14  The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
Isa 33:15  He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

"The righteous" are not hurt of the fire, simply because they have already had their evil works burned up by the Words of God. All that is necessary to not be hurt of that fire is to get through it and let it do its cleansing work.

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

1Co 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

So the fire of the lake of fire is the exact same fire with which we are tormented today as all of our own wood, hay and stubble, is being burned out of our lives. It is the Word of God, and that is so stated many times in scripture:

Psa 104:4  Who maketh winds his messengers; Flames of fire his ministers;

Pro 26:20  For lack of wood the fire goeth out; And where there is no whisperer, contention ceaseth.

Isa 5:24  Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble, and as the dry grass sinketh down in the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust; because they have rejected the law of Jehovah of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. (ASV)

Isa 9:18  For wickedness burneth as the fire; it devoureth the briers and thorns; yea, it kindleth in the thickets of the forest, and they roll upward in a column of smoke.

Isa 10:17  And the light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;

Jer 5:14  Wherefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.

But when all can will burn is burned up then we are at home in the fire of God's Words.

Isa 43:2  When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

That is why it is so futile to commit suicide. The pain and suffering is simply postponed and extended. Today is the day to repent and make the change which is the inevitable end of the work of the plan of God through His Word, Christ. The experience then is the exact same as now. It is just later and it is in a spiritual, immortal body. Let the flames do their work now, and you will not be hurt then. It is all a matter of timing. Will your wood, hay and stubble be burned now or later? The flame, the event, is all the same:

Rev 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.
"The second death" is the lake of fire.
Rev 20:14  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Rev 21:8  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 which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

What is not understood is that everything experienced in the flesh, is also experienced in the spirit. Hunger, pain, weariness and tears are all mere physical types of spiritual realities. They are all "the invisible things of...the invisible God."

Rom 1:20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Col 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

It may take many more stripes for some. That is a Biblical truth and a doctrine of Christ.

Luk 12:47  And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
Luk 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Luk 12:49  I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled?

So the fire is already kindled. Peter, as we saw above, calls this present fire a "fiery trial." If we are judged now we are enduring this "fiery trial" here and now. If we are judged later it is call "the lake of fire." But it is all the same experience.

1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

There will be everyone from aborted babies to Mao Tse Tung, to Satan and his angels, in the lake of fire. Those who reject and complain about the sovereignty of God will be given their predestined stripes which will work their inevitable work of burning out all rebellion and hatred, and in the end the Potter will have a new vessel as seemed fit to the Potter to make it.

Jer 18:4  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

So it really is but "one event" which is experienced by "the righteous and the sinner," and lo and behold, that is what the scriptures have taught all along.

1Co 3:13  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13  But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

Ecc 9:2  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

I hope this helps you to see that "the fiery trial" which is even now upon the house of God, and is judging us now is the exact same fire and "one event" which will be experienced in the lake of fire. Some in that 'lake' will be given many stripes, and some will be given few, just as we are all given varying degrees of trials in this life of fiery trials. God is sovereign. He is just as cognizant of  exactly how many stripes we each need as He is of the number of hairs upon our heads. Just look at the context in which we are told by our Lord that the very hairs of our head are numbered.

Mat 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell [Greek, Gehenna, a type of the lake of fire].
Mat 10:29  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
Mat 10:30  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Mat 10:31  Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Mat 10:32  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 10:33  But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

As one brother told me, "God does not know the number of hairs on our heads because He has gone to the trouble to count them. He knows exactly how many hairs are upon our heads on any given day because He has predestined their number, and He has predestined exactly when each hair would fall from our heads on every day "When as yet there was none of them."

Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.
Your brother in Christ,

Mike