I’ve shared some things on the Lake of Fire recently, and I feel to say here that this “lake” can be much better understood when we see that the FIRE of God is His righteous judgments which are made in accordance with His Divine Law. His Law is perfect, and therefore so are His judgments. This legal process for divine judgment is the fiery stream which flows from God’s Holy Throne. The “fire” of God is administered to sinners to SET THEM FREE. It is not intended for torture. Those who teach that God’s fire is to be used for the purpose of torturing and tormenting sinners don’t know His heart for people, nor do they understand His Law, nor do they understand the purpose for His judgments.
When the Son visited the earth in the form of a man, He made clear His desire to kindle a FIRE on the earth. In stating this, Jesus was not expressing a wish to bring people into the torture of “hell-fire,” as many understand it today, but rather, He was simply expressing His desire to restore the earth by means of the Father’s lawful judgments. The prophet Daniel saw these judgments as a river of fire, then John “the beloved” saw something similar, but he saw this as a lake of fire. In vision form, these prophets were both shown God’s process for the reconciliation and restoration of God’s creation man.
Beloved, God’s fire is that which consumes all of the wood, hay, and stubble of man’s carnality. It is not a literal fire, and it is not one that is to be administering to men “eternally.” No, His fiery judgments are “eonian,” and they are meted out in degrees which can be short in duration or can last for ages. Be assured though, these judgments have a distinct beginning and definite end. Punishment itself would be meted out by tormenting sinners forever, but JUSTICE would not be served in that way. The Lord God is a JUST AND LOVING GOD. His punishments are benevolent and constructive. They are not vindictive and retaliatory.
Specific to “the Lake of Fire” seen by the apostle John, is a picture of the end process of God’s lawful judgments. The “Lake of Fire” is not a specific judgment in and of itself, but rather it is a prophetic description of A PROCESS which consists of many different types of judgment, all which fit the specific crimes committed. At the Great White Throne Judgment (at the end of the coming age), the dead will be raised to be judged according to their “deeds.” Despite what religious Babylon teaches about the Lake of Fire, those cast into this “lake” do not all receive the same judgment, for how could they if they are each “judged according to their deeds”? Again I say, the “Lake of Fire” is a prophetic picture of a process of judgment. It is not a specific judgment in and of itself.
A question about this “lake” might arise, “Just how long then will this ‘end process’ take? When will it end?
Well, I guess the answer to that question is – at the Last Great Jubilee. Yes. God has actually made a lawful provision by which ALL men will be set free. It is called “The Law of Jubilee.” This, of course, is all only made possible by the Blood of the Lamb; the Savior of all men, to Whom every knee will eventually bow in reverence, honor, and praise.
Until the time of the Great Jubilee however, and in the coming ages, much of God’s creation will be made subject to the authority of God’s elect; righteous judges who will have subjected themselves to the FIRE of God so that they could inherit the Kingdom as first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb. These will then be made a blessing to all the earth by teaching the inhabitants of the earth righteousness. These judges are “Israelites” in the truest sense; Sons of God for whom all of creation is even now waiting for in great travail. The judgment by these Sons will be part of the Lake of Fire process. But that too will end at the Great Jubilee.
(Special thanks to Stephen Jones for sharing some of his wonderful insight on this subject)