It may be possible that further away from Jerusalem to the South, this very magnetic filament underground can become extremely knotted in the Earth near the surface, causing inductive heating in contrast to the process at work in sun spots that actually make them cooler than the rest of the solar surface. It may be hot enough to ignite sulphur, bitumen and even melt rocks. If it does so in Edom (Idumea) in the South of Israel it may well correspond to the lake of fire in *Revelation 14:11- And the smoke of their torment ascends up for ever and ever: *Isaiah 34:9 & 10- And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever. Pitch means a tar- like substance, usually a petroleum based material. Note the similarities and the presence of the copper ore, shale oil and sulphur in this vicinity of the desert! The lake of fire could be a collection of a type of Ferro fluid and flammable elements from the area. Ferro fluids are commonly composed of oil with very fine, powdery iron filings in it and used to demonstrate shapes that can be revealed by magnetic fields. The vacillating magnetic waves passing through a conductor like the copper ore would cause the inductive heating process to generate enough heat for many recurring ignitions in various places. With the glow of plasma energy surging through, it would be ironically similar to the way the burning bush in Exodus was not consumed because it wasn’t the kind of fire we are familiar with but the buildup of a ionizing charge was responsible for the appearance. As to the question of whether or not large numbers of people could be in such, a place consider the following. All people on Earth presently could stand shoulder to shoulder in an area roughly the size of the Los Angeles city limits, some 500 square miles. Of course not all humanity will perish. Neither would they all be standing side by side or even end up there, but at an unknown depth we can only surmise that the deeper it is the smaller the surface area would need to be. Even at 500 ft. deep, by one calculation, it would hold all while having a perimeter of only 12.5 miles on each of four sides!
Possible location of the “lake of fire”, South of the Dead Sea in Israel.
Concerning Jesus at that time, there is also an area of confusion when it comes to the setting up of His throne. When the throne is set up it will be for judgment first. For example when we read of the sheep and the goats in *Matthew 25 it fits very well with other examples Jesus gave about the great judgment day. In the comparison to the great net description in *Matthew 13 where He says it is the end of the age and the angels are like those who sort out what has been pulled in with a net, there is also a separation that destines some to destruction. The same is true for an illustration of the wheat and the tares also in *Matthew 13. The good and bad are separated at the harvest. Notice in all these cases they are undergoing the sorting/separation at the same time. However, many hold to the idea that there will be a thousand years between the judgments of the two groups. It is because of a misreading, yet again, of *Revelation 20 where the Great White Throne judgment is revealed. Rather than pasting the entire chapter here let me just say that there should be parentheses around verses 7-10. I hope you will read these things for yourself. When understood this way it is easy to see how clear it all becomes. When writing it, John is simply digressing- a thousand years into the future – for a few sentences and then returns to the narrative. This means that the second judgment seen at the end of the millennium is for those who die during it according to *Revelation 20: 5- But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. But someone may wonder about those who have already died. Aren’t they already in heaven? Walking the streets of gold? After all, didn’t the apostle Paul say that when Jesus returns He will bring with Him those believers who have passed away? *1 Thessalonians 4:14- For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. And also, didn’t he declare that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord? *2 Corinthians 5:8- We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Yes, we see then that Jesus will bring the spirits of those who have died back to be given a new body. But they cannot “enter in” to the place of streets of gold etc. until everyone else does according to *Hebrews 11:39 & 40- And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. How can this be? *Isaiah 57:15- For thus says the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy… To me this is an ancient way of saying God’s realm transcends time itself, that is timelessness, in “eternity”. In His presence there is no movement of or awareness of time because He exists outside of it in a constant state of NOW! Also Jesus said that those who believe in Him will never die and gave us a clue as to how this all is to be understood. *John 5:24- Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. The answer leads us to nothing less than time travel at the point of death! A believer who died centuries ago, as an example, would find himself moving into the presence of the Lord and it may seem like only a second later that he is appearing at the Second Coming of Jesus in the air to be given a new body! In addressing the most naturally arising counter part of this there is a brief indication of the situation of those who have rejected God’s salvation. Jesus spoke on this in *Matthew 22:13- Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. A place of complete darkness with regret and sorrow! Assuming the same parameters as those above, inversely, this place of timelessness may truly seem to be lasting for an eternity to them. And a further glimpse into this state is found in *Hebrews 10:26 & 27- For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful (expectation) looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. And it is at this point usually that people begin to ask about those who never heard the Gospel. I will add that it is often an exercise to test whether one can find fault with God in perhaps being able to see some unfairness in His ways. However this is addressed as an example for us in a string of verses in *Romans chapter 2. Here Paul plainly tells of how people perish “without the law.” He illustrates that they operate out of, “their own conscience confirms this, and their thoughts accusing them and excusing them”, and that, “God will judge the secrets of men’s hearts.” Indeed this is borne out in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the book of Genesis. They ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Since then, everyone has this knowledge of good and evil, it is undeniable. Just in case there are those who imagine they can simply train their own conscience into an upside down way to think that evil is somehow acceptable, there is the rest of humanity that surrounds you and will testify of the wrongs that are done because of the established laws of conduct. For those trying to change the laws of society to accept evil as good etc., which is an obvious and desperate attempt to assuage a conscience that is roaring against them, they will, like all others, have the testimony of the fruit of the evil conduct to judge them as well. Paul had already wrote of this several sentences earlier. *Romans 1:18- For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. So there is still no escaping a fair judgment as described and it is one that makes me think all the more how much humanity needs Jesus as their savior to free us from our guilt of sin having taken the punishment we deserve. This is accomplished by faith in His death on the cross and His resurrection after having taken upon Himself our sins and death penalty. When we activate our part of the promise of forgiveness by believing, we are to repent, that is, forsake those sins, which He will actually empower us to do and thus transform us. So the followers of Jesus can look forward to the day when they can enter in to the reward He promised.