What about Revelation 20:10 which says the devil and the beast and the false prophet will be tormented forever?

They will indeed be tormented forever; however they are not humans. Jesus says Gehenna (hell) was specifically made for Satan and demons (Matthew 25:41), however fire does not affect angelic beings like humans. (see Ezekiel 10:7).

Additionally, the word “tormented” here is the same Greek word that speaks of Lot being tormented in 2 Peter 2:8 watching the bad behavior of the Sodomites. The same Greek word is used for both Lot and Satan being tormented.

Also, John himself tells us where the beast comes from “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit” (Revelation 11:7) This “beast” is not a human being. Humans do not come out of this pit. The apostle John wants us to know this beast is a demon by telling us his origins.

NOTE: When the devil or the beast and the false prophet were thrown in the lake of fire, we read no word about a second death. However, when human beings are thrown in there, it says second death. 

Dirk Waren has some keen insight on this verse:

Adherents of eternal conscious torture often cite the above text, Revelation 20:10, to support their view by suggesting that “the beast and the false prophet” are human beings…The antichrist is indeed a human being…However, “the beast” from Revelation 19:20 and 20:10 is not referring to this man, but to the evil spirit that possessed him. This is clear because the bible plainly states that the beast originated from the Abyss (Revelation 11:7 and Revelation 17:8). “The Abyss,” according to scripture, is the furnace-like pit where evil spirits are imprisoned, not human beings (see Luke 8:31; Revelation 9:1-2 and Revelation  20:1-3)…Likewise, the false prophet is referred to as “another beast” (Revelation 13:11-17, Revelation  16:13 and Revelation 19:20). The Greek for “another” here is allos (al’-los), which means “another of the same kind.” Therefore, the false prophet is an evil spirit that originated from the Abyss as well.

For further proof that the beast and the false prophet are evil spirits and not human beings, consider Revelation 16:13: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.” First of all, notice that the beast and the false prophet are spoken of on a par with the devil himself here; this signifies that they are evil spirits…

Source: Hell Know: Biblically Dispelling the Myth of Eternal Torment by Dirk Waren


Again, I even heard Dr. Tony Evans (who holds to the Traditional position) describe the final home of the devil as an island in a lake of fire. This will be Satan’s home forever…his jail cell.

However, humans are destroyed there (Matthew 10:28).


  1. Patrick
    Apr 11, 2019

    You say that angels are not affected by fire (Ezekiel 10:7), and yet they are condemned to fire as a punishment. In what way would that be a punishment if they are not affected by it?

    God can make a fire that affects material things without annihilating them – He had a fire that burned a bush that didn’t annihilate the bush.

    God can make a fire that does affect spirits (humans and angels), and a fire that burns flesh without annihilating them. This would be a fearful place indeed, and the warnings to cut off your hand and gouge out your eye to avoid it would make complete sense. I would never have that kind of a fear of a judgment that is like putting a bullet in your head where it’s just done and over.

    • Dirk Waren
      Apr 11, 2019

      I didn’t write this particular article except for the long quoted part. But to address your points…

      You say that angels are not affected by fire (Ezekiel 10:7), and yet they are condemned to fire as a punishment. In what way would that be a punishment if they are not affected by it?

      Actually, the article never says that angels are not affected by fire, but rather that “fire does not affect angelic beings like humans.” Fire in the natural burns to ashes human beings (e.g. 2 Peter 2:6), but since angelic beings “cannot die,” as Christ pointed out (Luke 20:34-36), the lake of fire will have a different effect on the fallen angels captive there. The text (Revelation 20:10) plainly states that “They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever” and the article expounds upon this.

      As far as the burning bush goes (Exodus 3:2-3), the fire was supernatural and it was via this flame that the LORD appeared to Moses. By contrast, the weeds in Christ’s parable from Matthew 13:24-30 and 13:40-43 are symbolic of unsaved people condemned to the lake of fire to suffer the “second death” (Revelation 20:11-15) wherein “raging fire will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:26-27). As Jesus said in Matthew 10:28: “be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna: the lake of fire).”

      I would never have that kind of a fear of a judgment that is like putting a bullet in your head where it’s just done and over.

      This problematic argument is addressed elsewhere on this site here.

      The root issue here is what you believe to be the wages of human sin; that is, the ultimate consequences of rebellion against God. According to your theology the wages of sin is eternal life in roasting torment whereas God’s Word plainly says that “the wages of sin is DEATH, but the gift of God is ETERNAL LIFE in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

      These are the two polar opposites available to human beings: eternal life or death, not eternal life in heavenly bliss and eternal life in burning conscious torment. This explains something God stressed: “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live!” (Ezekiel 18:31). What we all have to grasp is that immortality and eternal life are only available through the awesome gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 1:10).

      I encourage you to read HELL KNOW, which goes over all the details of human damnation and related issues. Here’s the CONTENTS PAGE, which provides access to every chapter, and here’s Chapter One.

      God Bless You and Your Service for the LORD, Patrick.

      PS: You can write me at dawaren@msn.com for further dialoguing. Thanks, brother.

  2. Samual Yoder
    Feb 16, 2018

    Makes sense to me. If God can create he can destroy said creation, I don’t see it that angels can not be destroyed the same as humans. God can do whatever he wants he is not limited in any way, including destroying Satan and those angels that rebelled with him, after all it just says the Satanic trinity were cast into the lake of fire it says nothing about the fallen angels being tormented forever so I take it God destroyed them but the punishment of Satan, the beast & the false prophet were different then humans and fallen angels.

    • Dirk Waren
      Feb 17, 2018

      Thanks for the feedback, Samual.

      Christ said that angels “cannot die” and therefore they possess intrinsic immortality (Luke 20:34-36). Thus the lake of fire is the “eternal fire” “prepared for the devil and his angels” as their eternal habitation (Matthew 25:41,46). The LORD did not want this tragedy to happen to fallen humanity so he banished Adam & Eve from the Garden of Eden after their fall so that they wouldn’t be able to “take also from the tree of life and live forever” in a fallen state, like the devil & his filthy minions (Genesis 3:22-24). Only those redeemed through Christ will have the right to eat of the tree of life and live forever (Revelation 2:7 & 22:14).

      Unredeemed people who are condemned of God on Judgment Day are cast into the lake of fire for the purpose of destruction and eradication (Revelation 20:11-15 & Matthew 10:28). Unlike the devil & his loser angels they’re not immortal; eternal life and immortality are only available to people via the gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 1:10). As Jesus said, unredeemed people will be like weeds cast into fire and burned up (Matthew 13:40). What happens to weeds thrown into fire? They BURN UP.

      • Patrick
        Apr 11, 2019

        Exodus 3:2-3 A burning “weed” that was not burned up.

        • Dirk Waren
          Apr 11, 2019

          The flame in that bush was decidedly supernatural through which the LORD appeared to Moses in the flame.

          By contrast, in Christ’s parable from Matthew 13:24-30 and 13:40-43 the weeds are symbolic of unsaved people condemned to the lake of fire to suffer the “second death” (Revelation 20:11-15) wherein “raging fire that will consume the enemies of God” (Hebrews 10:26-27). This is why the Lord elsewhere said to “be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna: the lake of fire)” in Matthew 10:28.

          This corresponds to another parable Jesus gave in Luke 19:11-27 wherein he likened unbelievers who hate him and reject his Lordship to enemies of a king. This was his conclusion “As for those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them — bring them here and KILL THEM in front of me” (verse 27).

          This in turn corresponds to something sobering James emphasized: “There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and DESTROY” (James 4:12).

  3. jim ott
    Jul 28, 2016

    Thank you so much for providing all of this information. It is a great resource and very helpful.
    God bless you!

  4. Grace Receiver
    Sep 2, 2015

    What you have stated here is so incredibly clear and concise. Straight from the Scriptures, yet people continue to try and refute it.
    Can you please explain Ezekiel 28:18 in light of the understanding that the fate of the devil is different than the fate of unsaved humans? This verse seems to say that Satan’s final state will be ashes, just like man’s.

    • Dirk Waren
      Sep 2, 2015

      Ezekiel 28:9-19 is covered in the published version of Sheol Know, but not the abridged online version. The opening ten verses are a denouncement of the pompous king of Tyre where the LORD rebukes his arrogance. The great wealth that he had amassed resulted in pride to the point that he perceived himself as god (verse 2). In verses 9-10 the LORD plainly points out that he’s a mortal, not a god, and that he will be slain at the hands of foreigners whom the LORD brings against him.

      The next nine verses, Ezekiel 28:11-19 are another prophecy against the king of Tyre, but this time it clearly parallels the fall of Satan and his banishment from heaven to the underworld (the “underworld,” by the way, does not refer to Hades, but rather to the dark spiritual realm or “dark heavenlies” that underpins the earth and universe; Hades is a “pit” in the underworld. See this section of Chapter Nine of Sheol Know for verification).

      Just as Isaiah 14 parallels the fall of Satan with the demise of the king of Babylon, so this passage parallels Lucifer’s fall with the king of Tyre’s doom. Why? Because the devil was the evil spiritual authority who pulled the strings of these pagan kings. With this understanding, Ezekiel 28:12-19 is speaking of either Satan or the king of Tyre, and sometimes both, depending on the verse.

      Verses 12-17 refer to Lucifer and could only be applied to the king of Tyre in a figurative sense. After all, the person addressed is described as “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (verse 12) who dwelled in “Eden, the garden of God” and is plainly called a “guardian cherub”—an angel—in verses 14 and 16. The LORD then throws this archangel to the earth in disgrace after he’s corrupted by pride due to its beauty.

      Verses 18-19, however, more clearly apply to the earthly king of Tyre because they show his body being “reduced to ashes” in the sight of spectators as he comes to “a horrible end” and is “no more.” Since we know from numerous other passages that Lucifer wasn’t reduced to ashes when he fell to the earth and didn’t become “no more,” these statements obviously refer to Sennacherib and not Satan. The latter’s alive and not-well on planet earth to this day. He dwells in the underworld, which—again—is the dark spiritual realm that parallels or underpins the earth and universe.

      While this information about Lucifer and his fall in Ezekiel 28:12-19 is fascinating, it’s ambiguous enough to spur speculation, which isn’t necessary to get into here. Besides, the main point about Lucifer rings loud and clear: This blessed archangel foolishly allowed himself to be corrupted by pride due to his incredible beauty and other blessings, which resulted in his ousting from glory.

  5. corey
    Oct 13, 2014

    I think this is a great variation of conditional immortality interpretation for Revelation 20:10. I have been on board after reading Fudge (and Froom’s work) but never liked the exegesis of Rev. 20:10. Relegating it to the devil and his demons draws a needed distinction between humans and fallen angels. I wonder if other conditionalists will follow suit or if they will still keep clinging to the “well, this is apocalyptic imagery you see so tormented forever and ever is just symbolic of destruction.” Our exegesis must fit the text not be forced upon it. Great work. I’ve already linked your site to a new series of blogs I’m working on.

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