“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of Heaven and devoured them.” Revelation 20:1-9.
The above has been included to maintain context.
“And the devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:10.
The words “forever and ever” above are the strongest language in the Greek for eternity. Note too that after one thousand years, the beast and false prophet are still there.
You may find the entry “The Dark Room” part 1 posted on 2-20-22 and part 2 posted on 2-23-22 in the archives thought provoking if you have wondered about the environment of hell/lake of fire.
Before we move on to judgment day there is one other thing of interest, why do the beast and false prophet not appear before the great white throne of judgment? The entirely fascinating answer to this question came from Dr. Tim LaHaye.
In Daniel’s vision of the four beasts in Daniel chapter 7, Daniel is looking at the last beast, a terrible monster with ten horns, and while he is contemplating the ten horns he sees a little one appear which represents the beast/Antichrist of the tribulation.
“I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words. I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.” Daniel 7:8-11.
The scene is a courtroom setting and the Ancient of Days is God the Father as judge; the one being judged is the beast, and by extension the false prophet.
The context of these passages indicates that the timing of this event is shortly before the end of the tribulation. And while the sentence is not carried out immediately it explains why he is unceremoniously cast into the lake of fire during the battle of Armageddon.
It is the pompous evil of the beast that brings on his judgment and as a result of that, he will not be present on judgment day with the rest of lost mankind.
“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.” Revelation 20:11 KJV.
I believe this is where the verses in 2 Peter chapter 3 come in, read on.
“But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” 2 Peter 3:7.
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” 2 Peter 3:10-13.
“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.” Revelation 20:12 KJV.
It does not matter how important a person was, all will stand before the throne, and all will be judged in righteousness, both high and low, this will be a level playing field.
This is not where a person’s good deeds are weighed against their bad deeds, this is a sentencing, and they would not be there if they were not guilty.
Look at it this way; you go into a restaurant and order a soda, hamburger and fries, while you are eating someone comes over and says that they just won the lottery and they would like to pay for your meal. To this you politely answer no thank you.
When you finish your meal what happens? Well you go to the cashier and pay for a hamburger, soda and fries. The reason you are at the register at all is because you have to pay for your food.
The reason men are before the great white throne is because they refused Christ’s offer to pay for their sins, now the books are opened to see just what those sins are.
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” Revelation 20:13 KJV.
The shades are ripped out of hell and reunited with their bodies whether they were lost at sea or in the grave; these will be eternal bodies which will never die.
There are those whom you will not see standing before God to be judged, and they are babies and children. God is not a monster, it is men who do monstrous things and then blame God.
“Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ and He laid His hands on them and departed from there.” Matthew 19:13-15.
“Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted [turn to Jesus] and become as little children [the faith of a child], you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.’” Matthew 18:2-3.
Returning to the scene on Judgment Day try to imagine an environment something like this; the heavens and the earth will have been melted with a fervent heat.
Whether it is just the earth and the atmosphere surrounding it is hard to tell. I believe that this destruction will not include the entire universe or the third heaven where God dwells.
The earth is gone, where will judgment take place then? Perhaps in space we will find ourselves standing on an immense sea of glass with the throne of God set up in the middle and Jesus Christ on the throne.
Beside Him and behind Him will be gathered all of the saved of all time and all the angels of God. Before Him will be the unsaved of all time.
Look up and you will see a vault of stars which shine in a beauty and clarity which can scarcely be imagined. Look down, and below your feet will be more stars, sights that ungodly eyes will see only once as they await their turn before the Savior who is now their Judge.
As they stand in this place of splendor and ethereal beauty and gaze at the throng beside and behind Christ, will they see the people that they mocked, beat, tortured and murdered?
Or will they see the wife or mother they loved and realize that the hands that caressed their face or held them in life will never touch them again?
Look around, earth is gone, all of the things that they thought were important are gone, all that they had accumulated has been destroyed. They gave their soul away for nothing!
They are here because they could not be bothered by things that got in the way of their things. Or they were just too lazy to care about a lot of boring God talk, or perhaps maybe later when they have a little spare time.
Will the pastor, minister, or teacher look over at the pathetic faces of the damned and see their own selfish failures when they recognize folks from their congregation.
When they realize that they never spoke about Christ or hell just things that have been burned up such as, politics, social injustice, and tithing – what if?
“And death and hell 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.” Revelation 20:14-15 KJV.
The casting of death and hell into the lake of fire shows the finality of the death of death; no more will anyone die or go to hell, for they are gone forever.
The unsaved were cast into the lake of fire; another version says they were thrown into the lake of fire. Your civil rights cease upon death.
Revelation 20:10-15 taken from godisrevealed.com updated on 3-13-17, reposted on 11-25-22.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.