“And the wild beast was caught, and along with it the false prophet that performed in front of it the signs with which he misled those who received the mark of the wild beast and those who worship its image. While still alive, they both were hurled into the fiery lake that burns with sulfur.” ~Revelation 19:20
How do we know the lake of fire alluded to in Revelation is symbolic?
The wild beast and the false prophet are not literal.
The wild beast represents governments in opposition to God’s heavenly kingdom, and the false prophet represents the Anglo-American world power that encourages people to place their hope in democracy. (Rev. 13:11-13; 16:13)
After this, the Devil, Death, and the Grave are also hurled into the lake of fire.
Death and the Grave are not people or literal things, and the Devil is a spirit creature immune to the physical effects of fire. (Rev. 20:10,14)
This means that the lake of fire must be entirely symbolic, used to illustrate complete destruction.
“It is the man of the true God who rebelled against the order of Jehovah; so Jehovah gave him over to the lion, to maul and to kill him, according to the word of Jehovah that he spoke to him.”
~1 Kings 13:26
The prophet whom Jehovah had sent to warn the newly formed northern nation of Israel of its future destruction, faced a simple test of faith while he traveled back home (1 Ki. 13:1,2).
He was to not eat or drink with any of the inhabitants of that land (1 Ki. 13:9).
When a false prophet deceived him, telling him God changed his mind about the orders given, the first prophet did not inquire of God.
He simply went along with the false prophet, perhaps because he said the words he wanted to hear:
“An angel told me by the word of Jehovah, ‘Have him come back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water,'” (1 Ki. 13:18, 19).
When we suddenly come under pressure to do what we thought was wrong, do we take the time to pray and investigate God’s will?
Or do we simply succumb to the pressure because it’s an easier way out of our immediate problems?
The shallowness of the first prophet’s decision cost him his life (1 Ki. 13:21,22).