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The Lake of Fire is Eternal Hell

  • The Lake of Fire, aka Gehenna, is the second and final hell.
  • Unlike the first hell, the Lake of Fire will be a place of permanent and everlasting damnation.
  • After the resurrection of Judgment Day, the evil and impenitent ones will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
  • There is much debate as to the nature of the Lake of Fire.
  • Will the wicked will be tormented forever in the Lake of Fire, or annihilated into nothingness?

When rightly divided, the scriptures support annihilationism; the belief that the wicked will be "destroyed" in the Lake of Fire.

When informed Christians speak of an eternal hell, they are referring to the future Lake of Fire, not the current domain of Hades. There remains, however, a great deal of debate and confusion as to the nature of this final hell. Will the Lake of Fire, aka Gehenna, be a place of never ending torment and suffering for its inhabitants, or will those souls who are cast into it be annihilated, ceasing to exist?

The two sides of this debate, annihilationism and eternal torment, are firmly entrenched, holding to the belief that their view is scriptural and the other view is not. Eternal torment is the more traditional church view, often touted as being the only viable option given a plain straightforward reading of the bible. Proponents argue that a multitude of verses leave little doubt that people will suffer in hell forever, and that those who deny this are appealing to people's sympathies over the Word of God. However, a closer analysis of these passages reveals that this interpretation lacks scriptural substance, and gets its credibility more from church tradition than anywhere else. In order to resolve this issue in a convincing way one must address it head on; neither giving heed to people's sympathies or making appeal to ingrained tradition, both of which place man's rationale and opinion above revelation from God.

First, we should recognize that there are numerous passages in both the Old and New Testaments that describe the wicked as dying or perishing, and the righteous as having eternal life. On the surface, these verses might seem like proof that the depraved will ultimately be annihilated in the Lake of Fire. In reality, however, they are almost irrelevant to this discussion, because they do not mean dying or perishing in an absolute sense.

Take for example, "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18.4 KJV bible). When properly understood, this verse is not talking about annihilation, but rather individuals perishing in their sins, and descending into a state of death when they die. We know, however, that these souls not only continue to exist in Hades, but will eventually partake in the second resurrection. Many of these dead ones will receive eternal life, when they are raised up in the second resurrection (Matthew 25.31-46).

In contrast, the righteous are described as having eternal life because they dwell in a state of life, even after they die in the flesh, "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die..." (John 11.25-26 KJV bible). Though they die in the flesh, those who have been freed from death through Christ never die spiritually.

So we cannot resolve this conflict between eternal torment and annihilationism by focusing on descriptions of the immediate afterlife for believers and nonbelievers. Rather, we need to focus on verses that specifically address the Lake of Fire on Judgment Day, and what its effect will be on those who are cast into it.

After the millennium is over will come the White Throne Judgment, as described in the book of Revelation, "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] delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works...And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Revelation 20.11-13,15 KJV bible). In the White Throne Judgment, the dead will receive according to their works, and those who serve the evil one will be cast into the Lake of Fire.

However, before the dead are judged they will first be resurrected up from the dominion of Hades (Revelation 20.13), and into spiritual bodies. After this will come the final judgment, which for the great multitudes of humanity will be the dividing line between eternal salvation and eternal damnation. Everyone will receive according to their works, and according to the mercy or the cruelty they have shown for others (Matthew 25). The righteous ones found written in the book of life will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but the wicked ones left out of the book will be gathered up and cast into the Lake of Fire. One must recognize that the Lake of Fire is a supernatural fire, and its effect will be upon spiritual, not flesh bodies.

Jesus looks forward in time to Judgment Day, and the Lake of Fire, when he describes Gehenna in Matthew 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 [psuche] and body in hell [Gehenna]" (Matthew 10.28 KJV bible). In this verse, Jesus warns that one should never be intimidated by the threats of men, because at most they only have power to harm the flesh. Rather, one should fear the Lord, who has the power to destroy both mind and body in Gehenna (aka the Lake of Fire). Therefore, the Lake of Fire is far worse than either the death of the flesh or the captivity of Sheol, because it has eternal implications. The second part of this verse is not referring to a person's flesh body, but rather the spiritual bodies that the dead will be resurrected into on Judgment Day. So as to the ultimate fate of the wicked, this verse tells us that the Lake of Fire will be an unquenchable supernatural fire, with the power to destroy both the spiritual body, and the thought process within it.

But then what exactly is meant here by the word destroy, which can be interpreted in many different ways? In what sense are they destroyed? The Greek word that is translated as destroy, apollumi, doesn't mean literal annihilation. Rather, it is generally used to describe a state of ruin, spoilage, or destruction. So this verse actually doesn't fully support annihilationism, because apollumi suggests that the wicked won't be totally consumed and brought to nothing. However, this verse doesn't support eternal torment either, because it implies that upon entering the Lake of Fire some kind of lasting damage or ruin to both mind and body will take place. So from this verse alone we can't determine the nature of this ruined state, as it applies to the individuals cast into Gehenna.

Jesus provides us with further clues about Gehenna or the Lake of Fire, that will lead us to a better understanding of its effect upon those cast into it, "And if thy foot offend thee [causes you to stumble], cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell [Gehenna], into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9.45-46 KJV bible). Again, Jesus warns that it's better to enter into spiritual life on earth being maimed, then in the future to be cast into the Lake of Fire, where the worm never dies and the fire is not quenched. In a very literal sense, one should do whatever is necessary to resist evil desires and impulses, because the Lake of Fire is so much worse than anything conceivable on Earth. Worms cannot survive in a natural fire, but Gehenna is a spiritual place of everlasting flames and putrefaction.

Jesus chooses his words here carefully, because in the Old Testament, Isaiah foresees this future place of damnation, and uses the same words to describe it, "And it shall come to pass, 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 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 KJV bible). Isaiah describes that all flesh (representative of all humanity) shall go forth and look upon the wicked in Gehenna, a place of eternal fire and damnation.

This passage parallels the New Testament description of Gehenna as a place of unquenchable fire, where the worm never dies. However, notice how it makes no mention of the people cast into it as perpetually suffering, or even being alive. Rather they are described as dead bodies or carcasses, that are eaten by worms and burned with fire. So the use of the word carcasses here (Hebrew: peger), indicates that the people in Gehenna will not be continually tormented. Instead they will be dead, in the sense of having no spark of life or thought process within them. Their minds will be annihilated by the Lake of Fire, but their spiritual bodies will continue to exist in a ruined and dishonored state.

This is why Revelation describes the Lake of Fire as being a second death, because it will bring about the death of the person within, "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" (Revelation 21.8 KJV bible). The wicked will experience a second death in Gehenna, becoming spiritual corpses that lack any thoughts or emotions.

Thus, we can finally understand the true nature of eternal hell. The Lake of Fire will be a cesspool of inanimate spiritual carcasses, serving as a monument to the Lord's indignation towards corruption and evil. Rather than a place of eternal torment, it will be a smoldering and putrid cemetery, bestowed by God with eternal shame and disgrace. The Lake of Fire will be the final abode of the wicked, where their lifeless remains are spiritually eaten by worms, and burned with fire forever.

This annihilation scenario is also supported by Jude 13, in which God informs us about the punishment in store for false shepherds, "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever" (Jude 13 KJV bible). Also, 2nd Peter 2.17, "These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever" (2nd Peter 2.17 KJV bible). We know that these verses are not talking about the descent into Sheol, which is the immediate afterlife for most of mankind. Instead, they are referring to eternal damnation because they say everlasting blackness of darkness is reserved for them. This description of eternal blackness and darkness suggests that the wicked will become unconscious, and that rather that dwelling in a state of eternal torment, their minds will altogether cease to exist.


Roger      12 Apr 2009, 16:12

I am rather enjoying the straightforward nature of these study-lets.
I think the site name is rather brusque, and likely to put off a number of people, certainly here in England...

This study I found interesting, in that it does not take one text and make doctrine from it, but draws upon a number of ideas in scripture.
I liked the link regarding Jesus' speaking of the worm that does not die, etc. Something I had not considered before.

Thank you.
I'll certainly return to read the site again, which is well and truly bookmarked!

God blessing of peace be upon you and those who you love

Doug Buckley      13 Apr 2009, 22:05

Thank you for that Roger,

I try to derive the teachings directly from the scriptures, as opposed to "using" the scriptures to support the teachings.

God bless

Brad      01 May 2009, 01:21

I seem a bit confused here. So...their minds will cease to exist...does that mean they won't be aware that they're being punished? I just want to know for knowledge sake. I read that they will have eternal damnation and yet it also says that they won't be aware of it? Hmm... any insight on this? I fear I have misunderstood something.

Doug Buckley      01 May 2009, 15:06

Hi Brad:
They become completely unconscious, and basically dead, except that their spiritual corpses continue to exist.

The damnation or punishment is eternal because it lasts forever, and cannot be undone or reversed. They can never be forgiven or brought back to life. Therefore, they are not being actively punished every day forever, but rather the ramifications of God's punishment upon them are eternal.

Margaret Becker      09 May 2009, 21:35

Thank You for these insights. I will have to read them over more than once to digest them.
Margaret Becker

Doug Buckley      09 May 2009, 22:45

Your welcome Margaret. The next chapter also deals with the Lake of Fire (Gehenna).

DEnnis       21 May 2009, 23:12

I tend to disagree with your conclusion about not having consciousness. Read Luke 16 about the rich man and Lazurus. He was tormented and aware of it. The many passages about there being weeping and gnashing of teeth also speaks of torment.

Doug Buckley      23 May 2009, 17:38

Hi Dennis,
Luke 16 is actually not talking about the Lake of Fire, but rather the Greek "Hades",
"And in hell [Hades] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom" (Luke 16.23 KJV).
Hades is the first or current hell, and is different from the Lake of Fire, which is the second and final hell (see Ch.2, Hell in the NT). Many people experience torment in Hades, but it is not an eternal place.

The term "weeping and gnashing of teeth" is mostly used in a millennial context. It's only used with respect to the Lake of Fire in Matthew 13.42. On Judgment Day, there will be an initial period of weeping and gnashing of teeth as the tares are gathered up and cast into the Lake of Fire, (See ch.30: Lake of Fire: Eternal Torment).

James Thrill      28 Jul 2009, 00:10

I find this a reasonable marriage of three opposing doctrines that cause much grief in Christian discussion: universal reconciliation, eternal damnation, and annihilation. Why UR? Because most advocates, I feel, support it more as a reaction to the horror of ET than as a viable doctrine that stands on its own merits. Congratulations on a commendable joining of three POV's that is strongly scripturally-based, rather than just vain imaginings.

Doug Buckley      28 Jul 2009, 11:28

Thank you James,
If the bible said that people will suffer forever in the Lake of Fire, then I would accept that, but it really doesn't. Understanding the connection between the Lake of Fire and Gehenna is critical.

Matt Arnold      16 Oct 2009, 20:51

What about Revelation 20:10 "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." ...Tormented day and night for ever and ever? It sounds like they are conscious? And from Revelation 20:15 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." It sounds like they meet the same fate as those in Revelation 20:10?

Doug Buckley      17 Oct 2009, 23:22

Hi Matt,
Revelation 20.10 is certainly describing eternal torment within the Lake of Fire, but the question is who or what is being tormented? The beast and the false prophet as depicted here are not conscious beings, rather they are different manifestations of Satan's power. Likewise, the devil (Greek: diabolos), is Satan's most basic role as that of a slanderer and defamer. So it is these different manifestations of evil that will be tormented in the Lake of Fire (see the next chapter for more detail about Revelation 20.10).
In the Lake of Fire, clearly some "things" will continue on in a ruined and tormented state, but that doesn't mean that living beings will be tormented forever.

Stephanie      24 Oct 2009, 16:00


Thanks for sharing your study with us. I was reading another article on this subject and the author describes Gehenna in a rather different light. Basically, Gehenna is a word rooted and derived from the Valley of Hinnom, a place known for the fire of Molech. The author asserts that Gehenna refers to a specific place that Jews would recognize as a place of judgment. What do you know about this version of Gehenna? Thanks,


Doug Buckley      25 Oct 2009, 21:37

Hi Stephanie, thank you for your question,
Gehenna is a real place outside of Jerusalem that is mentioned several times in the Old Testament. The word Gehenna comes from the Hebrew "Ge Hinnom", or land of Hinnom. It was initially a place where the horrid ritual sacrifice of children was conducted. Later, it became a kind of garbage dump and cesspool, where dead bodies were sometimes burned. I don't know that the Jews had any particular beliefs about Gehenna beyond this. In the NT, Jesus uses the term Gehenna as a kind of image and symbol for a future place of eternal damnation, namely the Lake of Fire.

Stephanie      25 Oct 2009, 22:34

Thanks. I look forward to exploring the rest of your website.

Mike      04 Mar 2010, 14:01

There is no mention of two hells in scripture, that's totally bogus imo.The richman and Lazarus was a parable about the lake of fire i believe, I could be wrong. Notice that the richman has eyes he can see and he has a body. Sounds alot like the second resurrection does it not?

Doug Buckley      04 Mar 2010, 15:10

Hi Mike,
The rich man and Lazarus cannot be about the Lake of Fire (Gehenna), because it uses the Greek word "Hades" (look up "hell" in a Strong's Concordance). Revelation 20.13-14 says that in the future, Hades will be emptied of its souls, and then destroyed in the eternal Lake of Fire. Thus the Lake of Fire and Hades are different hells.

Neither can the rich man and Lazarus be taking place after the second resurrection, because the second resurrection hasn't happened yet. The second resurrection will take place at the end of the world, after the millennium (John 12.48, Revelation 20.5). Yet the rich man asks to go back and warn his brothers (who are still alive) about the afterlife. The rich man dies, and is neither resurrected or judged, but finds himself in torment. It does mention a few body parts, but these are representations for us to understand the spiritual nature of his torment. A flesh body can't survive very long without literal water.

stephen      24 Mar 2010, 13:01


I also believe that the wicked will be destroyed in the lake of fire and not eternally tormented. But why do we believe that people are burning in hell right now? Where in the Bible does it say that there is a torture chamber called hell where people get tormented by fire and demons until judgment day? I think it is a weak argument to use the parable of the rich man and Lazarus because I believe it is quite symbolic.

God bless

Doug Buckley      24 Mar 2010, 17:58

Hi Stephen,
Just to be clear, I don't believe everyone is tormented in Hades like the rich man. They more or less "stew" in their own sins, so the greater the sins, the greater the spiritual torment. - God bless

Sarah      26 Mar 2010, 00:32

Thank you Doug,

I've really appreciated your explanation and Scriptual backup for what you have written.

In my opinion and experience it seems that the more popular belief these days is that of eternal suffering. You may or mayn't know, but I'm very curious to find out whether or not there has been a shift throughout history from the belief of annihilationism to eternal suffering or not. Like there was a shift from the popular belief of "good works" to "grace" as as a result of Martin Luther's influence.


Doug Buckley      26 Mar 2010, 16:29

Hi Sarah, thank you for your kind words and question.
It does seem that eternal torment is more popular, or at least more mainstream. I can't say I know which was more popular in the past, but I vaguely remember something about eternal torment gaining ground later on.

Paul      10 May 2010, 21:31

Concerning the question of eternal punishment, what do you make of Matthew 25:41-46? "And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Doug Buckley      11 May 2010, 16:45

Hi Paul,
The Lake of Fire is an eternal punishment in the sense that they have no chance of being restored or brought back to life. It's basically eternal damnation (ch.30 also goes into Matthew 25.46, and how it relates to the Lake of Fire).

paul      17 May 2010, 22:13

Regarding the following answer you gave about "who" is being tormented, did you forget about:

Re 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Here it obviously says that the PEOPLE who worshipped the beast will be tormented forever and ever. Wish we could get around this, but I will not wrest the scriptures...

Doug Buckley 17 Oct 2009, 23:22

Hi Matt,
Revelation 20.10 is certainly describing eternal torment within the Lake of Fire, but the question is who or what is being tormented? The beast and the false prophet as depicted here are not conscious beings, rather they are different manifestations of Satan's power. Likewise, the devil (Greek: diabolos), is Satan's most basic role as that of a slanderer and defamer. So it is these different manifestations of evil that will be tormented in the Lake of Fire (see the next chapter for more detail about Revelation 20.10).
In the Lake of Fire, clearly some "things" will continue on in a ruined and tormented state, but that doesn't mean that living beings will be tormented forever.

Doug Buckley      18 May 2010, 20:03

Hi Paul,
Please read the next chapter which addresses Revelation 14, and alot of other verses that come up when discussing the Lake of Fire. The problem with using Revelation 14.11 to understand the Lake of Fire, is that the context is not the Lake of Fire, but rather Christ's return at the start of the millennium. When Christ returns, the worshippers of the beast will be tormented in and by the light and fire of his presence. However, the Lake of Fire will exist outside and away from the holy city, just as historical Gehenna was outside of Jerusalem.

mary      17 Aug 2010, 16:25

Does spiritual bodies die in lake of fire ? Does people suffer in lake of fire or die fast? Will our physical bodies stay in graves forever and spiritual bodies from spirit rise when Jesus comes ? Let me know. Thanks

Doug Buckley      17 Aug 2010, 23:03

Hi Mary,
People's spiritual bodies will die in the Lake of Fire, and they will probably not suffer for a very long time. The souls in heaven will be changed into spiritual bodies when Christ returns.

John      25 Aug 2010, 21:19


I'm having a tough time scripturally seeing the description of the spiritual body you outline in your work. The only part of your work that seems to explain it is below:

"So the use of the word carcasses here (Hebrew: peger), indicates that the people in Gehenna will not be continually tormented. Instead they will be dead, in the sense of having no spark of life or thought process within them. Their minds will be annihilated by the Lake of Fire, but their spiritual bodies will continue to exist in a ruined and dishonored state."

How was this conclusion arrived at? Where is the scriptural basis for this "jump" from annihilated "minds" to continually existing spiritual bodies that feel no pain?

By the way; You have a very good synopsis for blending eternal torment with annihilation... :)

FYO - I am leaning heavily toward the annihilation camp.

Thank you

Doug Buckley      26 Aug 2010, 06:32

Hi John,
The reason why I put the two Lake of Fire chapters at the end is because they draw on alot of the information and conclusions from previous chapters. For example, ch.2 documents the Lake of Fire or Gehenna as being different from Hades. Chapters 14-21 deal with the two resurrections of the dead, the nature of them, their timing, and spiritual bodies. When all this is brought together, we know that on Judgment Day, nonbelievers will be resurrected out of Hades and into spiritual bodies. The question then becomes what is the effect that the Lake of Fire will have on these resurrected bodies.

John      26 Aug 2010, 12:03

Hi Doug;

You wrote;

"The question then becomes what is the effect that the Lake of Fire will have on these resurrected bodies."

That's exactly my point. I'm trying to find where it (the Word) says that spiritual bodies of the unsaved will feel no pain? Where they will be dead in the "conscious", but undying in their "being"?

I'm "surfing" the site and trying to read as much of the chapters as I can, is (are) there any specific chapter(s) that define this view in depth?

Thanks for all your effort...


Doug Buckley      27 Aug 2010, 16:47

Hi John,
We know from Matthew 10.28 that some kind of broad "destruction" or ruin will take place to those who are cast into the Lake of Fire, aka Gehenna. Now destruction or ruin is not the same thing as utter annihilation. So what is the nature of the damage that the Lake of Fire does to them, and what is the part or parts that remain?

We know from the description of Gehenna in Isaiah 66, that the individuals are depicted as "corpses". A corpse is the deteriorated remains of something that has died. Corpses are unconscious, unfeeling, and unable to be brought back to life. We also know that Revelation 21.8 calls the Lake of Fire a second death. So from these descriptions one can conclude that the Lake of Fire will on a spiritual level kill those who are cast into it, leaving their spiritual corpses behind. Also, keep in mind that souls are transformed into spiritual bodies, and so it's different than a soul dwelling in a flesh body. Hope this helps, God bless.

John      28 Aug 2010, 06:51

Hi Doug,

It really didn't help that much, but thank you for trying.

It still appears that your connection between the mind dying and the spiritual body living on painlessly is conjecture, not actually defined (spelled out) in Scripture. (And I would think such an important piece of the resurrection and the eternal destiny of the unbeliever would be clearly defined in at least one verse or passage ... especially considering it is the destiny of the unbeliever which is many times used as a tool of evangelism)

In any case, it is an extremely interesting perspective and one that I will keep in mind as I continue to research this intriguing subject.

Great postings,

Love and peace

Micke      22 Oct 2010, 16:02

One thing that is important to point out is that the Lake of Fire will cease to exist, therefore everything in it, after the Great White Throne Period.

Josh      25 Oct 2010, 00:44

To Micke: No! The Lake of Fire is unquenchable fire! And that also means that everything in it is still gonna be tormenting forever day and night!
To Doug: ok, I don't get what you're saying about everyone being dead corpses in the Lake of Fire.
From what I've read on a site (can't give the link because of what the comment form thing said) it says that everyone's souls will be tormented, not dead (or annihilated)!

Doug Buckley      25 Oct 2010, 01:48

What I am arguing here is that the Lake of Fire is an eternal place, but that the ones who are cast into it will be destroyed by it, and continue on only as dead corpses. This is based on the connection between Gehenna and the Lake of Fire and passages such as Isaiah 66.23-24. Eternal torment in the Lake of Fire is not as biblically solid as some orthodox churches and websites will have you believe.

Josh      25 Oct 2010, 03:03

Ok, this is kinda confusing! 
Also, it says in Revelation that Death is thrown in the Lake of Fire! It says the last enemy to be destroyed is Death! So that will also mean there is no more death! Which would also mean that the people in the Lake of Fire are tormented!

Doug Buckley      25 Oct 2010, 16:30

Josh, you've pointed out that it says death and Hades will be cast into the Lake of Fire. However, what is this "death" that will be cast into the Lake of Fire? Who are the ones imprisoned by death? They are nonbelievers who are in a state of death because of their sins (1st Cor. 15.56, John 5.25). So it is not literal death or nonexistence.

So you must first understand the "death" that is in the world now, before you can properly interpret Revelation 20. It says that "death" and the things cast into the Lake of Fire will undergo a "second death", which is an event, meaning they will be ended, ruined, and destroyed.

Josh      25 Oct 2010, 17:44

But this could also point out that people will be tormented!
So that could basically mean that sinners thrown in the Lake of Firewould be tormented and not annihilated or remain as corpses! It also says the Beast, False Prophet, and the followers of the Beast will be tormented day and night in the Lake of Fire! Along with Satan!

jackie      26 Oct 2010, 00:07

about what josh says... it does speak of them being tormented in hell forever, where there are gnashing of teeth, how can teeth gnash unless they are alive in some form, besides, their worm dieth not, that is like a pig skin, you can cook pork to a crisp, even ashes and it will still have live worms in it, it is a very filthy meat, pigs don't have sweat glands, so everything they consume stays in their flesh, so it's not inconceivable to believe that our filthy flesh will somehow be transformed into one that cannot be consumed, cause it does say that they will be tormented day and night forever and their worm will not be consumed. jackie

Doug Buckley      26 Oct 2010, 00:31

Josh, so if spiritual death is estrangement from God, and it is destroyed, then that would mean that there is no more estrangement from God. So it supports annihilation. See the next chapter for an explanation of the "torment verses". Ezekiel 28.19 says clearly that the devil will not be or exist anymore.

Josh      26 Oct 2010, 13:10

To Jackie: same here! If they are tormented day and night, then that will mean they are still alive in the Lake of Fire! It's just that they will be tormented!
So right on! (for what you said) 
To Doug: Doug, the Devil will still exist! It's just that he will be tormented day and night (with the False Prophet, the Antichrist, and the followers of the Antichrist)! And the people in the Lake of Fire will NOT be annihilated! If they are, the Bible would say so! But it says that they will be tormented day and night (NOT annihilated!)
But also, how does it support annihilation? (that will not make any sense if it supports annihilation!)

Doug Buckley      26 Oct 2010, 13:47

Josh, you're entitled to your opinion on the Lake of Fire, but you are basically repeating a series of arguments that have already been addressed here.

First, read the two articles about the Lake of Fire, and what others have wrote, then you would know that the beast, false prophet, and devil as mentioned in Revelation are NOT living beings, but roles of Satan. Why does Ezekiel 28.19 says very clearly that satan will "not exist forever". Revelation calls the Lake of Fire a second death, not an "second life of torment". Revelation never says that the followers of the beast will be tormented IN the Lake of Fire.

Josh      26 Oct 2010, 15:42

Ok, Doug, Revelation does say the Beast and the False Prophet and the Beast's followers will be tormented day and night forever and ever (Revelation 19:20,20:10)! It also says the Devil  will be tormented, NOT ANNIHILATED! (Revelation 20:10)
Also, I just read Ezekiel 28:19, it says he will be no more, it only mentions "he never exist again" in another version of the Bible! (it wasn't KJV or NIV)
What version of the Bible are you using? If you were using KJV or NIV,then it doesn't say annihilated in both of those versions!
Ok, to make a long argument short, i've got my opinion, and you've got your's on how we view the Lake of Fire. I hope there were no hard feelings! And if there were, I apologize! 
It was great talking to you! God Bless! 

John      26 Oct 2010, 17:44

I think you eternal torture guys should take into account something that your position seems to overlook.

The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit decided to create this space /time reality that we are “trapped” in. In their omniscience they realized that out of the ten billion(?) lives that will be born (I’m just picking a number to help in the illustration), One Billion will gain salvation and worship them forever while Nine Billion will end up in eternal torture with no end or hope of relief. (I picked one billion and nine billion depending on how straight you make the gate or how broad the road to destruction? Most claim that very few of us know genuine salvation). And you mean to tell me that you believe that our God took those numbers into account and decided amongst Himself that that was acceptable “Collateral Damage”????

Play that out in your minds.

If you were to know, (really know) that you will have ten children of which nine will be born paralyzed and in constant agony for their entire lives (never mind eternity) with no hope of a cure or relief; while one child out of the ten will be born healthy and worship you forever, would you or would you not decline to have kids? I can’t imagine anyone choosing the suffering of nine children just to have one healthy one. Now please remember the arguments for sin nature and God giving us a choice in Christ are not valid in this example. God sees (and some preach ordains) the inevitable failure and eternal torture of the nine billion that won’t choose Him and chooses to go ahead with His plan, creating them anyway. That’s the scenario you of the eternal torture mold are asking me to swallow.

And PLEASE!!!, If I hear one more … “ Well, God’s ways are not our ways” quip, I think I’ll puke. Justice … right … wrong … goodness…. these are all universals. If God can change justice or goodness (or any other word for that matter) to mean anything He wishes at anytime He wishes than we will never be able to comprehend ANYTHING He says b/c He will always be able to change the meaning of what we are digesting. So if God has told me it is wrong for me to choose evil, then it is wrong to choose evil, period. And evil must always be evil.

Just something to ponder as we try to figure out if God is a God of eternal vengeance and torture or not?

Doug Buckley      27 Oct 2010, 13:18

Josh, I'm not necessarily angry at you, but I wish you would read both articles about the Lake of Fire. I also wish you would read Rev 14.11 which DOES NOT say that the followers of the beast will be tormented in the Lake of Fire. It says that they will be tormented in the presence of the Lamb and his angels, and that's a big difference. It also says the smoke of their torment ascends forever, just like in Rev 19.3 where Babylon's smoke ascends forever. So does this mean Babylon will continually be destroyed forever and ever? It's all referring to Christ's return, not Judgment Day. Lastly, the Hebrew in Ezekiel 28.18-19 is very clear and the commentators agree (not always the case). It says he will "not be anymore" or "be nothing forever" (Olawm in Hebrew means "forever"). The NIV is not a good translation for reading a verse very carefully.

This is the problem with the way eternal torment is sold to people, they reuse the same verses over and over again, out of context, till everyone assumes that that's what its saying, when most of the time it's not even talking about the Lake of Fire.

Josh      27 Oct 2010, 16:06

Ok, Doug, I just read Revelation 14:11 (KJV), and it says the smoke of their torments ascends forever and ever. And it does say that they have no rest day and night (which will mean they're tormented, not annihilated).
Also, Babylon won't be destroyed forever, it will be destroyed. But Babylon is really either the New/One World Order, Babylkn itself(Iraq), or a revived Roman Empire. And it's saying that God will destroy The Beast's kingdom.
But, about the Beast, False Prophet, and the followers of the Beast will be tormented. Also, when Satan will "be no more", it possibly means his reign will be no more(my guess; it also calls Satan the King of Tyre in Ezekiel).
But my point is, I don't think the Lake of Fire is a place of annihilation, but a place of torment (as it says in the Bible;KJV).
Look, Doug, my point I'm trying to make is that the Lake of Fire  is a place of torment, not annihilation!
It's been great talking to you! And I hope there were no hard feelings! God Bless! 

Doug Buckley      27 Oct 2010, 17:39

Josh, that's the whole point with Revelation 14.11. They WILL be tormented, but IN and BY the presence of Christ at his return, not in the Lake of Fire. They are tormented in the millennium, which is the gap of time between Christ's return and Judgment Day. I don't have any hard feelings, but there is just such a rush to proclaim eternal torment in the Lake of Fire, when it has no real solid support in the scriptures. It also raises alot of issues about the nature of God (as John posted about). Anyways, maybe I'll hear from you again at some point. God-bless.

Josh      27 Oct 2010, 20:08

Ok, Doug, it says also in Revelation that after the millennium, Satan  will deceive the world again, and then wage war against God (again), and then he will be defeated and thrown in the Lake of Fire with the False Prophet and The Beast and the followers of the Beast, "where they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).
So, in other words, they will be tormented, not consumed/annihilated in the Lake of Fire!
Just want to point that out!
God Bless! 

jackie      27 Oct 2010, 23:31

sorry josh,
i meant to send that note to" john",
but I did read your paragraph to doug, can I say something about that? The Bible speaks about us not fearing the One who can destroy the body, but rather , The One who can destroy the spirit in hellfire. The Bible also mentions that He, being Christ can sever soul and spirit, so somehow our bodies die and we become spirit beings, and the spirit being can feel, obviously a worse type of torment, for some reason at the mention of Jesus name, the demons tremble and flee, so it is something spiritual and not carnal, cause it says we will be changed, in a twinkling of an eye and corruption puts on incorruption and mortality puts on immortality, so it is speaking of a spirit and not a human body. it also says that we are quickened as the angels, and we know they are invisible spirits, but they can see each other. be careful cause people try to teach that our bodies live forever, that was the first lie, satan told eve, you will surely not die... but because she believed him, it brought death to us all, so going back to hellfire, or the lake of fire and brimstone, it may also be that we will have a constant reminder of what happened, so we don't sin again after the millenium, cause we have t.v. and we can watch famous people that have passed away for different reasons whenever we want, it may be that God will have the t.v. screens running day and night, to keep us in line, so we have that constant reminder, also, God is a very advanced being, so with all the technology we have, we can't even fathom what is ahead, but we shoud'nt follow Him out of fear of becoming roasted humans on a stick, but because we want to see Him and finally receive that joy unspeakable, apparently the disciples that saw a glimpse, stayed on track cause it was something incredible, I don't know how The Good News, became the bad news (hell), it was never supposed to be that way. hope I shed some light in a new direction jackie

Tshepiso Makuru      07 Dec 2010, 03:37

since i became a christian,i always wanted to undersand these things and thankfully this site helped me a lot

Doug Buckley      07 Dec 2010, 09:49

Hi Tshepiso, it's good to hear from you. Understanding the two hells (Hades and the Lake of Fire), and the resurrection of the dead is important since there is so much confusion about them.

tye roach      01 Apr 2011, 02:35

Hi Doug

I Was Wondering is Hell and Gehenna The Same Place ?

Doug Buckley      01 Apr 2011, 17:04

Hi Tye, there are basically two hells in the bible, Hades and the Lake of Fire. Gehenna is another name for the Lake of Fire. The Lake of Fire (Gehenna) is an eternal hell, but Hades is not. The difference between them becomes clear when you go back to the original Greek and Hebrew bible.

tye      04 Apr 2011, 02:06

- Thanks Doug !

I Also Have several Other Question .
What is hades and how is it different frm the lake of fire (gehenna) and who is cast there ( both hades and gehenna) ? And when people are cast into the lake of fire , is it for eternity or do they cease to exist ?

Doug Buckley      04 Apr 2011, 15:48

Hi Tye, the Lake of Fire is the same place as Gehenna, and it is an eternal hell. So far, nothing has been sent to the Lake of Fire. On the other hand, Hades is a temporary hell that souls go to right now (see ch.2 for more).
Individuals cast into the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) are most likely destroyed and cease to exist (see above).

Alfredo      04 Jun 2011, 16:55

no where specfically does it say that Lazarus and the RichMan is a parable. Remember we cannot add to scripture. Does it ring a bell that Jesus never used a proper name in a parable, but in this event he does. If it is a parable it still has to have some type of meaning, Jesus is not telling this story for nothing .

alfredo      06 Jun 2011, 13:44


I understand the use of the lake of fire. If i don't get anything else i get that. Just like when a physical body dies, the body or corpse can be seen but the person inside is dead. A corspe is something that is dead. This is the differnce: When one dies the physical body rots (to the dust) the soul dies (hades). But they will be raised again at the second resurrection (the wicked), into a spiritual body. They are then cast into the lake of fire. Since the BODY is now spiritual it will forever exist (the spiritual body). Isaiah refers to this body as a carcass, meaning whats inside of this spiritual body is dead [the soul]. Jesus said "fear him who can destroy both body and soul". This supernatural fire of God will destroy the soul, mind, memory, etc. but that spiritual corspse will continue to exist, because this spiritual body is eternal and because that fire can never be quenched. Just like in the physical, the person is dead but the corspe is left behind. Its just slightly different when dealing with the spiritual, the person is dead but that body is still there the only difference is that the spiritual body will always be there it has no dust to return to. This is called "everlasting punishment" because this is the punishment, death, no return from it, irreversable.

As far as pain my opinion is this: they will feel the pain until they die just as if it was a physical fire the person will feel the pain until they die. This is just my opinion. thanks doug for helping this makes more since than anything i have ever heard and scripture backs it.

How did i do Doug am i on the right road?

Doug Buckley      08 Jun 2011, 02:19

Alfredo, you understand exactly what I'm saying about the Lake of Fire. I'm glad you wrote this because it can help clarify what I'm saying about the Lake of Fire for others as well. If i ever rewrite the chapter I might borrow from your explanation since it is so clear.

I would point out that when a person dies in the flesh their soul goes to Hades and its more that they are overtaken by spiritual death. A nonbeliever is already spiritually dead before they die. You might have meant this anyways.

Thank you for your summary about the Lake of Fire. As you know, or will find out, there's a ton of false teachings and theories out there but if you stick with the Word you'll always be able to tell truth from lies.

Kyle      25 Jun 2011, 20:21

This is really common sense. When Adam died "this day" we through Adam were all spiritually dead from that point on Mankind from that point was physically alive with a conscience but spiritually dead.

So upon death the reprobate can only die and live no more whereas those of us who have been "born again" or "born above" hence made spiritually "alive" will live on.

It is so common sense when Jesus stated flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. Next take that statement and combine it with the fact that man is born spiritually dead.

So in closing unsaved mankind’s physical body dies and rots when he dies on earth . And since He was unsaved and born “spiritually dead” what else can his spirit body do but mimic his physical body yet on a spiritual plane.


Doug Buckley      25 Jun 2011, 23:36

Hi Kyle, thank you for your comment. I'm not sure I fully follow it, but I see that you understand about nonbelievers being alive, but spiritually dead. Nonbelievers aren't judged when they die, but go to Hades which is a place of spiritual death. On Judgment Day they will be released from Hades, and the wicked ones will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Gehenna) and become spiritual corpses.

David      24 Jul 2011, 02:02

I feel it is perhaps important for us to remember that in the whole collection of the scriptures there is almost negligible focus on this topic of the lake of fire, which is also why it is difficult to support any interpretation conclusively. However the scriptures do testify clearly that God will judge the righteous and the unrighteous, and his judgement is eternal. I believe we also should adopt the same emphases as those of the scriptures, for our God is righteous and holy but loving and merciful, hence in his grace he has saved the ones who believe into him. Shall not the judge of the earth judge righteously? Can we tell God how he should judge unbelievers, we ourselves being sinners worthy of the same judgement, if not for the grace through his son Jesus Christ? Therefore we look for and await the new heaven and the new earth, in which righteousness dwells. And let us proclaim the good tidings of Jesus Christ not in an attitude of condemning unbelievers to the lake of fire but in a heart of love towards ones who need the love of God. The grace of the lord be with you all, amen.

Doug Buckley      24 Jul 2011, 18:16

It's true that when it comes to the Lake of Fire there is relatively little written about it. The Lake of Fire will is a final and eternal place of damnation.

robert      08 Oct 2011, 18:29

gehenna is a hebrew reference to the burning heap of refuse outside
the city walls near the temple. at that time,there were so many sacrifices
of which the remaining carcasses of the sacrifices were continually being burnt
to ashes (nothingness) that the everlasting reference was immediately made.
ergo , i believe that those reserved for the lake of fire will be burnt to
nothingness as though they never existed. the God (Jesus of Nazareth) that
i worship has made it plain in scripture that those ones are truly worthless as the
chaff which the wind blows away. you or anyone shall not be able to convince
me otherwise.

Psolomon      27 Oct 2011, 02:40

There are three websites which can help clarify all of these issues.
These sites cover a lot of great information

Hank Knegt      04 Mar 2012, 12:05

The lake of fire is not eternal hell.
Hell is destroyed in the lake of fire.
This means there is no more hell.
Death is also destroyed in the lake of fire.
Therefore there is no more death, meaning there is no more First Death which is temporary, and from which all are to be resurrected.
But the second death/lake of fire, is forever.
It is an everlasting death sentence for unrepentant people, and everlasting torment only for fallen angels, who were created immortal.
On the new earth there are still flesh and blood people, who are considered being in childhood at 100 years old. No one will die as infants, and normally a person lives a very long life in flesh and blood. Since there is no more first death, means that those in Christ in those days will be changed to immortal like those who were changed in the twinkling of an eye at His coming earlier. Those that do not reach age 100 are cursed, and probably enter the second death directly, never to recover from it.
Since there is no more first death, the death in the passage below must refer to the second permanent death or lake of fire.

The Isaiah passage below is in the context of the new earth and supports the above statements.

Isa 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
Isa 65:18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.
Isa 65:19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying.
Isa 65:20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old, and the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed.

Sean      05 Mar 2012, 08:23

It is unfortunate that in Christian circles we are woefully ignorant of man's 'fire body', or higher magnetic plasma vehicle. Thankfully, this will not be the case for much longer.

David Lim      05 Mar 2012, 20:05

Dear Sean,

I think you should explain clearly from the scriptures what you mean by your fire body or magnetism or plasma, so that we will not remain ignorant. Please include the original Greek or Hebrew or Aramaic text so that we can read about what you are saying.


Doug Buckley      07 Mar 2012, 14:49

Hi Hank, As far as the lake of fire being or not being eternal hell, we know that the lake of fire is a hell like place, and it is eternal. The bible actually doesn't say that hell is cast into the lake of fire, but that Hades (in the Greek) is cast into the lake of fire. The Christian concept of hell comes from Hades and the lake of fire.

As far as flesh people being cast into the lake of Fire, Paul tells us plainly in 1st Corinthians 15.40-54 (especially verses 44, 50) that the resurrection of the dead is into spiritual bodies. Further, Christ tells us that there will be no giving or taking of marriage in the resurrection, because we will be like the angels (Matthew 22.30). Both resurrections happen before the wicked are cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20), so the ones cast into the lake of fire must be in spiritual bodies. Prophecies such as Isaiah 65 often describe spiritual things in corporal terms.

hank knegt      07 Mar 2012, 22:59

Hi Doug, You are right in that for those that are resurrected there is no marriage, and that they are to be given immortal bodies, But Isaiah is not talking about resurrected people in the flesh, but flesh and blood people non the less, else you twist Isaiah's words into saying what they say not. "Where do these people come from ?", one might ask. People who live during the 1000 year reign number like the sand of the sea, and that population came from the time of Christ's second return when people left over alive in the flesh are as scarce as gold, so they marry and have children. By your definition then they were not either raptured or resurrected.
When Satan is released after the 1000 years, he deceives the world again to attack Christ at Jerusalem. The ones that join him in the attack are destroyed, but clearly not all do, so there are flesh and blood people that live during the 1000 years and past the end of them. These living people at the end of the 1000 years are not resurrected and judged at the great white throne. This allows us to interpret Isaiah's words about people living who die on the new earth as they were written, and not put his actual words into a spiritual realm.
God intended to have an Eden on earth for flesh and blood, and so He created one.
Satan ruined that for a time, but he will not prevent it from coming about again.
In Eden, if Adam had not fallen there would have been no first death. Adam would have lived out his years and been changed to immortal instantly to be with God.
On the new earth it will be the same. Those whose lives span from within the 1000 years to beyond them will not die a first death, but be transformed to immortal bodies in the twinkling of an eye when they have lived out their years ,and if they remained loyal to the Lord. The sinner who dies at 100 years of age is accursed it says, so I assume that means he dies. Since there is no first death, it must be the second death he undergoes, never to be resurrected again to life.

Doug Buckley      09 Mar 2012, 15:07

Hi Hank. The Saduccees test Jesus by asking him, "who's wife will she be in the resurrection". This is because there are many OT prophecies that plainly describe a future in which Israel reigns over the nations. They describe not the nations per se, but Israel having children and flocks and farming the land (Isaiah 61.5-10), and also following the law, and sacrificing animals, and marrying (Ezekiel 44-46). However, Jesus tells us that we should interpret these verses spiritually, because the resurrected saints will return here to reign in spiritual bodies (Matthew 22.30, Revelation 19.14, Revelation 20.6).

Also, Revelation 20.11 says that after the thousand years the heavens and earth flee from God's presence, which means a complete end of the current heavens and earth. Then Revelation 21 describes a new heavens and earth that is free from any death or sin, or "accursed" people.

This means that the new heavens and earth must come after the second resurrection and judgment, when all that is evil has been cast in the Lake of Fire, as indicated by Revelation 21 (I don't believe that Isaiah 65 is in chronological order). The resurrection will include both the just and unjust, and all the nations will pass before the judgment seat of Christ to reach the eternity (Matthew 25.32). I am still thinking about your theory, but to better understand where I'm coming see the millennium chapters on the right.

Daniel      03 May 2012, 21:17

What if you're wrong? What if Hell is eternal with everlasting pain and torture? Wouldn't annihilation theory trivialise God's wrath and undermine Christ's sacrifice?

Doug Buckley      10 May 2012, 01:38

Hi Daniel, I was thinking maybe someone else would respond to your comment about eternal hell. To me, the idea of casting someone into a place of eternal suffering is unfathomably cruel, and unChristlike, regardless of what they've done. Fundamentally Christ saves people from the consequences of their sins, including God's wrath and rejection, but not eternal suffering.

Greg      09 Jun 2012, 09:39

I think the article above is lacking a literal-based word study, so as expected it avails itself of inaccurate and incomplete translations.

For a literal-based word study (with chart) that quotes the bible in showing that hell is not everlasting: inking_Logically_About_The_False_Doctrine_Of_An_Everlasting_Hell.html

Brian      27 Aug 2012, 23:57

I stumbled upon this site while looking for clear indications in scripture that God entirely annihilates (as opposed to recreating it or re-purposing) ANYTHING he creates. Ecclesiastes 3:14 appears to clearly state the opposite: "I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. "

It seems that one would need to establish clearly that God does occasionally completely remove something ordinary from existence, before going on to postulate annihilation of something extraordinary, such as the spirits of men.

Every single translation on has Matthew 25:46 saying that men will go away to eternal (a.k.a. everlasting) punishment (a.k.a. torment). It seems that a healthy dose of Orwellian Newspeak is needed to overcome what seems so clearly stated here. In Psalm 69:23 "...their backs be bent forever." seems unlikely to refer merely to inanimate remains.

So my proposition is that God creates and "destroys" but does not annihilate. Yours appears to be that He does annihilate. What is the significance to you or me? If this is significant, then what is at stake?

For my proposition:
God's character, for one: We are introduced to him first and often as Creator God - and he is good. So it is not a stretch to think that the opposite character - not destroyer, but annihilator - would be an anathema to Him.
Secondly, God's character. Does he tell the saint that suffered to wait patiently for a few thousand years for justice, and then just throw the sinner that lived at ease until the end into a quick fiery finish?
Thirdly, God's character as regards His Word: Not just his promise of vengeance for the many evils of men, or even the evils done to the Saints, but especially His finally unleashed fury for the suffering and death of His Son.

Ist there something greater at stake for your proposition?

Doug Buckley      29 Aug 2012, 23:00

Hi Brian. I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that God doesn't destroy or even annihilate things, especially when they become corrupted, or are being replaced with something better.

"And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them" (Genesis 6.7 KJV bible).

"Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat" (2 Peter 3:12 KJV).

Also, many species in the history of the world have become extinct, and not by us.

As far as Ecc 3.14, its simply saying that what God "does", as in his actions, are immutable and can't be undone or modified by anyone. The other part of the verse says, "...nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him" (Ecclesiastes 3.14).

In no way is this saying that God can't destroy or even annihilate something, if thats what he wants to do.

However with respect to the Lake of Fire, destruction vs. annihilation isn't the real issue. God doesn't annihiliate people in the Lake of Fire, but rather he destroys or kills them so that they are no longer conscious or aware.

If some part or vestige remains in the Lake of Fire, such as the spiritual corpse, then that's not really annihilation.

If the spiritual body is destroyed and dead, then why would the mind be preserved in a conscious state, "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 [psuche] and body in hell [Gehenna]" (Matthew 10.28 KJV bible)?

So God can certainly be a destroyer, as he destroyed the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, "And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly" (2nd Peter 2.6 KJV bible).

Matthew 25.46 isn't saying what you think it is. The verse says everlasting "punishment" and then you write (aka torment). Torment does not mean the same thing as punishment. Eternal destruction is an everlasting punishment, and so is torment. So Matthew 25.46 doesn't tell us whether people are destroyed once or tormented eternally in the Lake of Fire.

Lastly, I believe that the wicked will be "tormented" in the presence of Christ at his return and also during the millennium, so they're not gonna get off easy. However, for whatever reason the wicked prefer evil over God, and I don't believe a merciful loving God would torment them eternally in a Lake of Fire.

Brian      31 Aug 2012, 10:41

So when Jesus tells us that "As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matt 13:40-42). It seems very likely that this furnace is the same as the lake of fire. Context suggests that "all who do evil" will be "weeping and gnashing teeth", with no other end in sight. It really seems like a stretch to explain away these passages. I feel as if you are trying to put God in a box. A "love" box is still a box. God defines perfect love by who he is, but he is not only love. His love includes jealousy ("I am a jealous God") and even hate. I believe we error when, in order to "help" God to be consistent with our understanding (such as, of love) we adjust the meaning of words from that which would otherwise seem obvious. Can't we just allow ourselves to be uneasy with a God that is not exactly tame, yet is trustworthy?

Doug Buckley      02 Sep 2012, 04:48

Hi Brian, I agree this passage is talking about the Lake of Fire, and the wicked being cast into it at the final judgment. While, it says there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, it's not necessarily saying there will be "eternal" torment. More than physical pain, weeping and gnashing of teeth is used to describe a state of emotional pain and sorrow.

What Jesus is describing here is an ugly and terrifying event for the wicked. They will be seized, and then cast into the Lake of fire while they are fully alive and aware of what is happening to them. I wouldn't expect that they would be silent when this happens and when they enter into the lake of Fire. However, as other scriptures indicate the effect or result of the Lake of Fire is that it will destroy both body and soul (aka mind).

Brian G.      02 Sep 2012, 22:28

So then, from Jesus statement in Matt 10:28 "Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." , you expect that is what will happen to unbelievers. I can accept that view.

Extrapolating from 1 Thess. 5:23, then, the spirit is not destroyed at that point, so that is the remaining part of the man which is still capable of feeling torment or punishment as an eternal death - unless you are suggesting that such a man's spirit is dead before he is cast into the lake.

Doug Buckley      04 Sep 2012, 07:11

The word "soul" in Matthew 10.28, is "psuche" in the Greek. This word generally means person or life, but can mean many different things in different contexts, so its hard to draw parallels with 1st Thess 5.23, especially because it depends on how one interprets that passage.

So Jesus says that the *body" and psuche (person, life, or soul) is destroyed in the Lake of Fire. This indicates that the inner person or non bodily person, such as the mind, is destroyed. Whether or not this means the spiritual soul is destroyed I don't know for sure. These are post resurrection people and I'm not sure the spiritual souls will dwell in their bodies like it does in the flesh. They do have an inner mind or person though.

Rightly Divide      11 Oct 2012, 15:15

"Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, SUFFERING THE VENGEANCE OF ETERNAL FIRE." Jude 1:7

Hell Is Torment.

"And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this FLAME. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented." Luke 16:23-25

Hell Is Not Just The Grave But A Place Of Torment. "For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment." Luke 16:28

Don't Tell Me "Read Hebrew And Greek Text" No, I Speak English Thats The Reason Why The Lord Translated His Words To English For People That Speak English.

Doug Buckley      12 Oct 2012, 14:07

For starters, our Lord didn't translate the bible into English, men did. His apostles wrote down his testimony in Greek, not English. If someone wants to deny these basic truths then there isn't much to say.

Get a strong's concordance, and look up the word hell where its used in Luke 16. Its G86, hades. That's not the Lake of Fire, which is what we are talking about here. Hades is where unbelievers go till judgment day. Read Revelation 20.13-14 where it says the dead are freed from hell and then "hell" (G86 Hades) is destroyed in the Lake of Fire.

This is basic stuff, but unfortunately churches don't even seem to get the basics right these days.

Daniel      12 Oct 2012, 16:04

It makes me nervous when people try to bring God's level of thinking and acting in line with our own. That's always the agreement: I can't imagine a God that allows his children to suffer eternally.

I can. And we deserve it. But very fortunately we don't have to.

Mark Schwenk      22 Oct 2012, 16:56

I want to thank you for a sound and good analysis here. I am a minister who has been teaching now for almost 2 years, and I have been led by the Holy Spirit to this exact same conclusion which I began teaching, which was very hard to put across to some people, but when properly taught, it is almost undeniable. I have put forth where I believe the confusion lies, in that it states that The Devil, the beast, and the false prophet will all be cast "ALIVE" into the lake of fire to be tormented forever and ever, but makes no such claim about the souls of man. I believe they see the "eternal toment" reserved for those 3 ultimately wicked entities and by inferrence apply it to the souls of men which are to be cast into the lake of fire. Your wording is quite sound and I am very glad I came across this. Keep up the good work.

Doug Buckley      24 Oct 2012, 21:19

Hi Mark, God bless. Alot of the verses that are used to support torment in the Lake of Fire don't support that view. People think this is some emotional argument that we can't believe God would torment people, but this is just looking at all the different scriptures about the Lake of Fire. Lots of scriptures describe the Lake of fire as a place of destruction. Thanks for teaching the truth on this.

Samuel Pritchett      25 Oct 2012, 21:18

let's not forget to mention jesus saying fearing God who is capable of destroying both body,and soul. I think the lake of fire was made to destroy peoples souls who refused jesus grace. it was also made to torment fallen angels for eternity. are the people satan gathers to fight against God on armageddion. people who willingly choose to turn their back on Jesus,and give up Jesus grace? considering the second resurrection doesn't occur until after armageddion...aka satan's last stand.

Revelation Chapter 20:1-15
The Thousand Years
1 ¶ And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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.
Satan’s Doom
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 And will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 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.
The Dead Are Judged
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; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 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.

london      02 Jan 2013, 15:33

Romans 2:5-6 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.Who will render to every man according to his deeds.


How can they all just be annihilated if everyone are judged according to their works?? That would mean every sinner including Satan himself suffers the same penalty ie (just be "destroyed")????

Even us righteous folks will gain or LOSE REWARDS based upon OUR WORKS also.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire.


God Bless.

Doug Buckley      03 Jan 2013, 07:20

Hi London, those scriptures you quoted definitely don't "debunk" annihilation in the Lake of Fire. They need to be rightly divided according to the different periods of judgment.

There is more than one period of judgment in the Day of the Lord. Those passages you quoted relate more to the first period, which is the wrath of the Lamb, when Jesus returns. Jesus will bring torment to the wicked, but this isn't about the Lake of Fire,

"And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:16-17 KJV bible).

This is the time 1st Corinthians 3.11-15 describes, because its when Jesus judges his "servants", "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. 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" (Luke 12:47-48 KJV bible).

Then AFTER the millennium of Revelation 20, will come the final judgment when the wicked are cast into the Lake of fire, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats...Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:31-32,41 KJV bible).

cheryl      18 Feb 2013, 04:18

in a few words,yes i believe both body and soul will be destoryed in hell.2nd judgement.enough said.

Brian G.      18 Feb 2013, 20:56

The problem that we western thinkers have in understanding scripture is that we are hung up on a linear viewpoint. Interpreting Revelation in light of itself and other scripture shows that it is clearly not a linear book. The timeline, or parts thereof is repeated with several differing emphases and detail levels. This is necessary given the grand scale of events. Unlike the different story lines in Tolkien's Lord of The Rings trilogy, however, John is not concerned with keeping the grand climax entirely hidden until the end of all the "story lines".

Jesus clearly tells the separating of the bad fish from the good, the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares as a single event. There is no separation of believers from non-believers until the harvest, at which time it seems that the separation occurs immediately before the wicked are cast "into the fiery furnace"/ lake of fire. Only once they have been removed, will he create the new, unblemished heaven and earth for those who remain. The Revelation 6:15-17 passage you mention in your last post describes the actions of the wicked just prior to the final Judgement. Would it really make sense for the "sky to recede like a scroll" (v 14) just prior to this, and then there be yet another thousand years?

No. John "rushes" through a quick summation of events to get his beleaguered first century readers to the reassuring end, then comes back through to fill in other details what will happen. This is not a linear book! Note that 7:14 tells us of the believers that have come out of the "great tribulation", but look at all that happens in the following chapters. If this were linear, then the "great tribulation"would be done with well before the time of the Beast. This is not a linear book. There is only one separation of the righteous from the evil, only one harvest, one end of the age. And then the new, peace-filled heavens and earth that we so look forward too.

Doug Buckley      21 Feb 2013, 04:07

Without drifting off topic, what's clear is that the white throne judgment is a judgment of nonbelievers. Believers are part of a different judgment and resurrection (see also ch.18).

"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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" (Rev 20:5-6 KJV)

The ones spoken of here have eternal life. They are protected from the second death in the Lake of Fire. However Revelation, 20.12 tells us that the last judgment is of the "dead". So clearly the ones who are already alive are excluded, and won't be resurrected and judged again.

The white throne judgment is the judgment of the "nations" (Matthew 25), not God's people. Christ rules the nations, not his servants, with a rod of iron.

That's why Revelation 21.21-27 describes the nations in the eternity. These are the ones that are saved from the Lake of Fire (v.24), but they aren't the ones "reigning" with Christ in Revelation 22.5. The bride reigns over the nations.

So even if someone doesn't believe in a literal thousand years, there are still two phases of judgment. Judgment starts with the house of God, when many are rejected by Christ. Then it moves to the nations. Churches have completely dropped the ball on this.

Simon      28 Mar 2013, 06:11

Hello brother Doug! Thank you for this execellent article!

I agree with the vast majority of what you have written. But let Iron sharpen Iron, I believe I have something to add to refine this excellent piece (and your opinion expressed in the comments below it).

It is my suspicion that those who take the Mark of The Beast will actually take on DNA from the Beast and become a modern Hybrid being (much like the Giant offspring of the Fallen Angels and Human Women per Genesis 6:1-4), possibly lured in to taking it with the promise of Immortality (which will be true but no fineprint offered explaining that their destination for Eternity will be most unpleasant). As taking The Mark of the Beast is something that one cannot 'undo', I believe that fits my hypothesis.

THAT is why I believe Revelation 14:11 is talking about ALL Immortal beings. There will be Satan, The Beast, The False Prophet, The Fallen Angels, The Demons and ALL who took The Mark of The Beast. The only way those who took the Mark of The Beast could not be snuffed out like the natural men (male/female) is if they are Immortal due to a change in their nature. They will be cast in to The Lake of Fire PHYSICALLY ALIVE (Caps for emphasis, not yelling). Their torment WILL be Eternal, NOT because God desires this, but because they changed from 'man' to an Immortal Abomination, yet Immortal nonetheless. It makes sense that if they have The Beast (son of Satan?) DNA within them, they will become LIKE 'it' and in that attempt to enter Eternity by another gate, they will only be met with wrath - a wrath not designed for man but inherited via their poor choice to become 'X-men' (pun intended as I think that series is one of many pop culture messages designed to program people in to thinking it would be 'cool' to be a super-heroe etc).

I find no Scriptural support for your assertion to Matt:

Doug Buckley 17 Oct 2009, 23:22
Hi Matt,
Revelation 20.10 is certainly describing eternal torment within the Lake of Fire, but the question is who or what is being tormented? The beast and the false prophet as depicted here are not conscious beings, rather they are different manifestations of Satan's power. Likewise, the devil (Greek: diabolos), is Satan's most basic role as that of a slanderer and defamer. So it is these different manifestations of evil that will be tormented in the Lake of Fire (see the next chapter for more detail about Revelation 20.10).
In the Lake of Fire, clearly some "things" will continue on in a ruined and tormented state, but that doesn't mean that living beings will be tormented forever.


'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
King James Version (KJV)


'And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.'

Revelation 14:11
King James Version (KJV)

Doug Buckley      30 Mar 2013, 16:03

hi brother, that's quite a theory. However, modifying someone's DNA wouldn't give them immortality or super powers. They'd still be a plain old carbon based life form.

As far as Revelation 14.11, as already explained, the context is not the Lake of Fire. They are IN the PRESENCE of Jesus and the angels at his return, which is not the same as the eternal Lake of Fire. The event itself doesn't go on forever.

"...shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the PRESENCE of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night" (Revelation 14:10 KJV bible).

Every person must be resurrected (Acts 24.15) and judged. Revelation 20.11-15 tells us that no human being will be sentenced to the Lake of Fire until after the millennium.

kieth      21 Apr 2013, 11:04


mike      10 May 2013, 01:11

Gen2:7....and man became a living soul, (nephesh) man was not given a soul, he was made a soul.
Gen2:17....for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (cease to live) actual Hebrew is "dying thou shalt die."

So in Genesis, the eternal punishment for the sin of eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was simply death.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Again it is simply death, the end of life, nothing more, nothing less. Yes there will be a resurrection to judgement but the is no imparting of immortality to those of the second resurrection, so that when they are cast into the lake of fire they are consumed.

Death, the second death, is the eternal punishment that God has decreed. God has not decreed an eternal punishing. There is a difference.

John3:16 God is not willing that any should perish, Grk Strong's 622. apollumi - to destroy fully. This does not speak of an eternal continual punishing or destroying, but of a finite act of being destroyed.

If you google "Jewish Encyclopedia" and then query "Immortal soul" you will find that the tradition of immortal soul predates Judaism and comes from the pagan religions and philosophies that the Jews chose to believe during their days of backsliding. The words immortal soul are no where to be found in scripture. It is a lie perpetrated by the Serpernt in Gen3:4..Ye shall not surely die.

IKnowGodIs      24 May 2013, 03:19

"The wicked will experience a second death in Gehenna, becoming spiritual corpses that lack any thoughts or emotions."

Second Death = cast into Gehenna, yes, but where, in ANY version of the Bible, is the latter portion of your statement even remotely conceived? I have read your article, the comments, your agreements, and your rebuttals. You have yet to define specifically from wherein the Word this teaching is written.

We are born, because of sin, spiritually dead - earthly bodies seemingly alive, but separated from the Father by sin = This is the first death. Those who are the Called surrender to the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and in so doing, these are born again spiritually and in this – the second death will not touch them. The entire package will be redeemed. Until then, we hold onto the Promise of what is to come: Redemption of this body - an eternal home for the born again already "alive" spirit through Yeshua, and the redemption of this mind that it will in then think thoughts of selfless Truth in purity, worshiping the One from which all life exists.

"And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." Those in Christ do not die when this earthly vessel dies. The "living soul" that man became was alive because of the life breathed into him by the Creator having been made In His image: body, mind, spirit = a living soul in relationship with the Father. The full package was intended for Eternity, but…with sin, entered time; man's fall from Grace wrought forth death - spiritually dead and disconnected from Truth, a body that stands not forever but withers, a mind separated from the Word - ever in darkness seeking self-preservation and gratification (pride). But a promise was made first to a man, and then to nation, and then to every nation – the Promise that ETERNAL LIFE could be restored and that same perfection of Creation could once again BE through the Giver of Life who is the Great I am – the Alpha and the Omega – the Beginning and the End.

To be attached to the "Vine" wherein there is Eternal life and to drink from that Water and never thirst again...Ahh...“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned."

The second death awaits those who deny the Way of Salvation and who by death are separated from the life-giving One. Sadly, those s entrapped by the first death in this sin-filled world will abruptly come to the knowledge of the Truth and greatly fear; this will be followed by the Judgment which leads to the second death. Already dead without connection to the life-giving vine, those whose names are not written in the Lamb's Book of Life will be cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone (Gehenna.)

Time exists for and only in this, our unredeemed world. You must surely conceive that what exists outside of time is eternal.

When those who have on earth refused to accept that there was One Way and One Way only, when those who have refused to believe the Promise, when those who have rejected Creation through the Word, when those who have decidedly rejected do Yeshua kneel before Him in Worship, there will urely be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Imagine being brought before Perfection, tasting of the richness of the Promise, realizing what Is and what could have will surely be too much for anyone to bear. I know that now that I am in love with Him, I seek to never be a part again. I cannot imagine life without Him. The Word says, "I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance," but those names not written in the Book will not have an opportunity to worship Him when/where time is no more.

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." When Adam and Eve sinned they didn't immediately die physically, they died spiritually, and then after a time, the promise of physical death did come. Romans 5:12 informs us that Adam's sin allowed sin to enter the human race, bringing death into the world, and so death passed upon all men. Thus, we're already spiritually dead from birth. By nature, the human race is spiritually dead. It is for this very reason that a man MUST be born again if he is to enter into the Kingdom of God (John 3:3). The Great White Throne of Judgment mentioned in Revelation 20:11 will be a judgment OF THE DEAD. When a lost sinner dies, leaving this world without Christ, he enters into eternity DEAD--he will then be dead physically and spiritually. Notice what Revelation 20:12 says, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God..." The "second death" will immediately follow The Great White Throne Judgment, when the dead shall be cast into the Lake of Fire.

Until that time no man will truly know what exactly the Lake of Fire will entail. We know what Yeshua said. We know what the Prophets foretold. We must believe the Whole Word and rightly divide it and not just the bits and pieces that flatter our little “g” god that man has whittled out for himself and in which man’s gaze is so tightly wound upon! So many people do not study for themselves, dig deeply into the Word, nor do they understand what it means to surrender. Those who DO, know His Word is True. They know that what they ask of the Father in the Name of the Son shall be given. They receive Power after the Holy Ghost has come upon them! They speak His Authority and sins are forgiven, people are healed of their affliction, men are born again, and the Promise of Eternal Life becomes “alive” in them; they begin to see fruit – not fruit from their own labor, but fruit wrought forth from surrender to His lead, following not by sight as in self-will, but in Spirit by the Living God whose yoke is easy.

The tongue is a fire and a world of sin; it is like a jungle. And that tongue by itself, while it is among our members, defiles our whole body and sets on fire the successions of generations, which roll on like wheels; it also burns with fire! Therefore, guard the tongue (and in this case text) before speaking opinion and/or theory as Truth. Instead, lead the dead to the Cross that they may find life and life more abundantly.

Doug Buckley      26 May 2013, 15:35

Alot of your post is irrelevant, but I will respond to some of the accusations and statements you've made.

First, I never said or implied that the souls of nonbelievers aren't spiritually "dead". The issue here is that the Lake of Fire is post resurrection. You can't understand the Lake of Fire unless you understand the post resurrection context of it.

The bible says about the resurrection that it will include ALL people (Acts 24.15), which means those who are spiritually dead as well. Christ has the keys of death and hades (Revelation 1.18), and he bought the world, so its his right to resurrect the nations and do with them as he pleases, despite the doctrines of men.

You wrote, "Sadly, those s entrapped by the first death in this sin-filled world will abruptly come to the knowledge of the Truth and greatly fear; this will be followed by the Judgment which leads to the second death. Already dead without connection to the life-giving vine"

You also wrote, "The Great White Throne of Judgment mentioned in Revelation 20:11 will be a judgment OF THE DEAD. When a lost sinner dies, leaving this world without Christ, he enters into eternity DEAD--he will then be dead physically and spiritually. Notice what Revelation 20:12 says, "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God..."

Speaking of the rightly dividing scripture, you took Revelation 20.12 out of context, without considering the very next verse, which contradicts what you're saying. According to Revelation 20.13 the dead are GIVEN UP from death and Hades before judgment. It clearly says spiritual death is destroyed in the Lake of Fire.

"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 bible)

Why else does Revelation 20.5 say that there is a "first resurrection", clearly implying that there is more to come. Further, there is a reason why they are judged by works and not faith, the latter of which they had none. They aren't judged according to the sin of Adam, nor are they in "death" through sin at this time.

As far as understanding Gehenna, check the history of this place. It became a cess pool of death and uncleaness, where there were many caracasses and DEAD bodies, not living. It was not a dungeon or torture chamber.

Further Isaiah 66 clearly describes this place as part of the new heavens and earth and calls the ones there corpses. Not living people. Jesus, clearly says both body and soul are DESTROYED in Gehenna (Matthew 5). This is because everyone will have a place in the eternity, whether as part of the bride, among the nations, or in Gehenna where the worm doesn't die, because it is a second death, not an eternal torture chamber.

The fact that something is mainstream doesn't make it biblical. Many of these damnation doctrines have no basis in scripture, and are slanders against God's character, and "that's what pastor so and so said" isn't an acceptable excuse.

Tony K      03 Jun 2013, 07:35

I must say I find the whole subject of eternal hell ( torment) v annhilation v the lake of fire destruction with a left over spiritual corpse, quite a minefield and a maze. I have till now, always believed in an eternal punishment sort of hell (but struggled to understand how a Loving God could condemn all and sundry who aren't Christians to such a seemingly almost cruel fate). But there are compelling scriptures that lean towards annhilation of the wicked in the lake of fire, and some that don't really seem to support it. I find this article's explanation offers some other interesting, and plausible viewpoints too.

I do however, believe that the Beast ( antichrist) and the false prophet will be literal people who along with Satan will be cast into the lake of fire. I was hoping someone would espouse the viewpoint that Simon did on March 28th, because that is a viewpoint I also have been seriously considering. The return of the nephilim, with the hybridising of men and fallen angels, having a resulting altered DNA that is not fully human is a very likely end time scenario. Could it perhaps be that all the wicked are thrown into the lake of fire, and the rank and file human sinner is annhilated by the fire, but that those that are of angelic origin ( ie Satan), and those that are human/angel hybrids will not be annhilated by the fire, but will continue to be tormented by it? Then a third group...those that recieve the mark of the beast, which may have some sort of DNA altering chip in there may also not be annhilated by the fire? Does it not say in Revelation about men seeking to die but not finding death? Perhaps by recieving a false offer of eternal life through an implant in their head or hand that changes their DNA somehow, they are not destroyed by the fire but continue to exist in torment within it, while other normal sinners are annhilated?

Not saying this is a correct interpretation of things by any means...but it does offer some other food for thought.
Personally I struggle with the concept of a loving God would subject men to eternal torment, no matter how bad a sinner they were. I fully believe in our need of Jesus as saviour but annhilation seems more in line with a God of Love. But whatever the end for sinners is at the lake of fire, one thing remains....... and that is our need of repentance and a knowledge of the saving power of Jesus. The message of salvtion through the cross alone.

Doug Buckley      05 Jun 2013, 05:50

Hi Tony, certainly the Lake of Fire is not a milk subject as there's a lot of context to consider. Keep in mind that the Lake of Fire is part of the new heavens and earth, and no human being is going to be effected until after the millennium and resurrection of the dead. No flesh and blood people will exist at this time (see also ch.15 and 16 on this). In many ways, the tribulation will be long gone and won't matter at this time. As far as the beast and the false prophet (cast into the Lake of Fire before the millennium) see ch.30 on the right.

Tony K      05 Jun 2013, 06:18

Thanks Doug. It's not the easiest subject to get one's head around the various interpretations that different people have on it...nor is it a "pleasant" one. I haven't read all your ideas and explanations yet. I will aim to do so.

Matthew      15 Jul 2013, 13:18

It seems to me that people like you want so much for there to not be an eternal torment, that you have to twist and alter and stretch the word of God to do it. I don't want there to be any torment for anyone, even truly evil people, but the fact is, unless one skillfully and artfully mixes, matches, copies and pastes the word and then adds some personal viewpoint, there can be no doubt that God eternally and continually punishes the lost in a place of fire. This idea of a "spiritual body" is not supported in scripture. When Jesus arose, he was most certainly physical, even having wounds in His hands and feet which Thomas examined and confirmed. Anyone who claims that resurrection is not physical is a liar (Romans 6:4-6, 1 Cor 15:11-13 Rev 20:6) We will be resurrected in like manner as Christ, physically having a realm body and the only way to deny eternal torment of the body in Gehenna is to deny the Bible outright, thus rejecting Jesus. I am not prepared to do this no matter how much I wish there were no eternal fiery torment.

Matthew      15 Jul 2013, 13:20

correction: "having a REAL body", not a realm body

Doug Buckley      16 Jul 2013, 15:11

Hi Matthew, I wish people would take a little more time to understand the context of the Lake of Fire. You write, "This idea of a "spiritual body" is not supported in scripture".

On the other hand Paul writes, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:44 KJV). "Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption" (1 Corinthians 15:50 KJV).

These are Paul's words, properly translated, not my words. So according to your ruling, Paul is a "liar". You should read 1st Corinthians 15 more carefully (see ch.15 for more on this). Conclusions from false assumptions can never be right.

There is a alot of context to the Lake of Fire including the Kingdom, the resurrection, the Day of Lord, the many different words for hell, the tribulation, and the different manifestations of God's wrath.

Considering context is not twisting, but part of rightly dividing. People think that just because the word "torment" appears somewhere that proves eternal torment, which is a completely ham-fisted way of reading the bible. All the supposed eternal torment verses are either clearly not about the Lake of Fire or indecisive (see also next chapter).

Henry      04 Dec 2013, 09:43

Comments on the subject: The Lake of Fire is Eternal Hell
On this very symbolic and complex subject for the ‘Lake of Fire,’ it would seem appropriate to take another serious look at the symbols or words translated into English and their meanings . And in parallel, a dissection of all contextual information associated with this subject is in order. Usually the correct interpretation of a subject such as this one on the 'Lake of Fire' is always the most logical, scriptural and the simplest one. First formulate a 1st cut hypothesis on the subject that apparently supports scripture. Then re-analyze it and fine-tune it after this ‘run.’
For example, I need to examine the words/symbols for 'death,' 'Hades,' 'sin,' 'resurrection.' 'judgment,' ' wicked,' 'destruction,' '1st death,' '2nd death', 'fire,' etc. in scripture and apply this to the imagery of the 'Lake of Fire,' Eventually with other scripture, I might get a logical premises/sequences and formulate a hypothesis for what the 'lake of Fire' represents . It could develop like this one…
1. A human living soul (spirit and body) is born physically into this world separated from the spirit of God..implication....'spiritually dead'..caused by Adam's act of separation from God.
2a. The '1st death' ...for believers in Christ and the innocent, this represents physical body destruction, rest in paradise and a spirit body. The human spirit is joined to Christ.
2b. The '1st death' for the non-believer, represents physical body destruction, the same 'natural' separation from the spirit of God, and the awareness of sin (death) whilst in a hidden place called Hades. These souls do not have 'rest.' Their spirit wrestles on and off without permanent peace, and tried to fix the imperfections (acts that caused sin in their lives) in the heart. They must live with their sins. Their effort to ‘cleanse’ themselves is futile as their spirit was designed for ‘purity’ for and by God.
(Now bypassing Christ's return events for the sake of brevity and jumping to the final 'day' of judgment)
3a. Those souls previously in Hades that are not considered wicked, and not slated for the '2nd death,' and are ready to accept Christ, they will be judged according to their works and can be salvaged to eternal life - having their spirit jointed to God with a glorified spirit body.
3b. Those souls previously in Hades that are considered wicked, and slated for the 2nd death, will continue to die (be in state of sin) again and be placed back into Hades that is now a permanent place for them ('Lake of fire'), away from heaven. These spirits will again live (forever) with their sins (death) (torment - relive their sins...similar to believers that are ‘judged by fire’ in this physical life today, big exception: but are repentant and forgiven…) and be consciously reminded of them in an un-glorified spirit body. They will be looked on in shame and contempt by others (Daniel 12:2).
It is obvious that all details and thoughts have not been written here…still, we can dissect this particular construct for the 'Lake of Fire' and see if it stands and supports scripture from different views..
So this hypothesis draws some conclusions, such as:
1. Torment/’judgment by fire’ means…. a spirit that is in sin trying to rid itself of sin or death without the assistance of God-unrepentant soul.
2. Eternal torment…. a spirit that is in sin trying to rid itself of sin or death without God, forever. They will never have access to God again. God takes no pleasure in ‘forgetting’ them forever.
3. The last enemy of God, (spiritual) death, is finally destroyed…..all those spirits having ‘died’/’ are dead’/’having death’ are separated permanently from God. God will not have death (those with death) in his life again.
4. Wicked spirits will live forever and will not be annihilated with only an empty shell/body for others to see..the imagery of a carcass usually means in scripture…death, sin, those in sin, impure….Historical Gehenna is a metaphor for the sinful souls and their separation from God and his abode, being judged by ‘fire’ and ‘worms’ that will not cease (tormented)…restless and rebellious spirits living with their sins, and therefore fit for the trash heap for ‘burning’ outside ((the New) Jerusalem). Some souls will weep and be very angry (gnash teeth) knowing that their spirit cannot be made pure again, ever…as they see souls that now have pure and glorified bodies. ..they may have recognized some folks

Carolina Herrera      18 Apr 2014, 02:34

9 .we have to make sure we offer the right service and more importantly, something he regards as a positive step forward for the state. The famous Dvorak "New World" Symphony recording of 1953 is one people talk about, He says Toscanini and the media of the period reduced music to a kind of middle-of-the-road masterpiece mentality that's been seriously harmful. It isn’t a good day for parents of multiples," he? aiming always to present the truth as completely as we can tell it.
Carolina Herrera

Tim      21 Apr 2014, 05:00

Thanks for this, Doug. I was raised on eternal torture. In my early 20s I developed a question in my mind: How can God really be all knowing, all powerful, and all loving...and still decide to create man-kind? I wrestled with this for a long time, and had fairly recently (within the past few years) been toying with the possibility that the lake of fire will not be eternal torture for the normal sinner (only for Satan, the beast, and the false prophet). I'd never really heard of an "annihilation" point of view. I thought I was alone in my musings until I'd found this site. Finally, I've found something that really puts scripture behind the argument!

Doug Buckley      22 Apr 2014, 17:46

Thank you Tim, eternal torment in the Lake of Fire is a doctrine that should cause a person with empathy to pause, and the idea that the Lake of Fire will be a second death does have scriptural support.

Tim      23 Apr 2014, 18:55


What can you tell us about Malachi 4:1? Do you think that is talking about the Lake of Fire? Would the metaphor be a valid argument for annihilation?

Doug Buckley      24 Apr 2014, 00:42

Hi Tim, Malachi 4.1-3 is, I believe, about the final Day of the Lord. It will be a great burning of the world that will take place at the second coming. It's mentioned in 2nd Peter 3.10-12, and also Revelation 19.15. See also chapter 22 on the right.
It's different from the Lake of Fire in that it's more of a prejudgment and cleansing of the world that leads up to the final judgment and Lake of Fire. However people who don't believe in a millennium generally interpret the Day the Lord as being the final judgment when the wicked are sent to the Lake of Fire forever.
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