- Revelation 19:20
- "These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
- Revelation 20:14
- "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire."
- Revelation 21:8
- "But the fearful . . . shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
- These verses are cited by Pentecostals and Evangelicals to prove that hell is a literal place of torment.
- The non-literal character of "the lake of fire" is established by the following considerations:
- Death is cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:14). How can death literally be cast into a lake of fire?
- Hell is cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:14). Therefore hell is not the same place as the lake of fire.
- Frequently in the Revelation symbols are interpreted. For example: "the woman" is "that great city" (Rev. 17:18); "waters" are "peoples" (Rev. 17:15). Similarly, the "lake of fire" is interpreted to be "the second death". (Rev. 20:14; 21:8).
- The "lake of fire and brimstone" expressesd figuratively what is stated literally - "the second death." To die means to have no thoughts (Psa. 146:4), and to "know not anything." (Ecc. 9:5). This Scriptural definition of death is incompatible with the interpretation that the lake of fire and the second death refer to conscious eternal torment.