14th November 2006
Let's move to the topic for today.
We’re going to look at this issue of worms.
These worms are spiritual representations of what happens to a physical body at death – maggots eating the body up.
Texts are Mark 9:43-49, Matt 5:29-30, Matt
18:7-10, and Isa 66:20-24
Mark 9 from verse 34, the context is: offences in the kingdom; against children and others.
Matt 5 from verse 18, the context is: exceeding the righteousness of the Pharisees.
Matt 18 from verse 1, the context is: offences in the kingdom; against children and others (Parallels Mark 9).
66 from verse 20, the context is: the new heaven and new earth (Rev
21). The preceding verses (Isa 66:15-19) talk about Rev 20: 8-10, the
battle after the millennial age.
Mar 9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two
hands to go into hell [gehenna], into the fire that never shall be quenched:
Mar 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Mar 9:45 And
if thy foot offend thee, 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:
Mar 9:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Mar 9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of
God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell [gehenna] fire:
Mar 9:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Mar 9:49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
Mat 5:29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast
into hell [gehenna].
Mat 5:30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell [gehenna].
Isa 66:22 For
as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain
before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
Isa 66:23 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.
Isa 66:24 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.
I just laid out the verses to make it a little easier to follow.
The greek word for ‘offend’ is ‘scandalizo’.
It means entrap, scandalize. Used in Matt 13:21 (he is offended); Matt
13:57; Matt 26:31; John 16:1. It bears the thought of being ‘tripped up’.
The greek word for ‘perish’
is ‘apollumi’. It means lose, render useless, kill, put out of the way entirely.
in Matt 2:13 (young child to destroy him); Matt10:6 (lost sheep); Matt
10:28; Matt 10:39 (lose his life); Luke 4:34 (are you come to destroy
us); Luke 19:10 (save that which was lost); Luke 20:16; John 3:16; 2Cor
4:3 (them that are lost); 2Thess 2:10; 2John 1:8. This word bears the
thought of ‘get out of the way’.
The greek word for ‘worm’ is ‘skolex’. It means maggot, grub.
The Hebrew word for ‘worm’ is ‘toleah’.
It is used in Ps 22:6 (But I am a worm and no man); Isa 41:14 (fear
not, thou worm Jacob). It bears the thought of being ‘a reproach, a disgrace’.
The greek word for ‘unquenchable’(not quenchable) is ‘asbestos’. Used in Matt 3:12; Mark 9:43,45; Luke 3:17. It means not extinguished. The word ‘quench’ is ‘abenummi’.
Used in Matt 12:20 (smoking flax shall He not quench); Mark 9:48; 1Thess
5:19 (quench not the Spirit); Heb 11:34(quenched the violence). So
‘never quenched’ means ‘never be put out’; ‘never be stopped’;
Okay so we see two contrasts here, an earthly judgment and a divine one.
For the earthly judgment, the scenario we get is: ‘When you don’t straighten up, you’re going to end up in prison.’
Your ‘eyes’: your ‘vision’, your ‘ideas’.
Your feet: your walk.
whole body being cast into Gehenna, means your whole reputation/what
you represent being subject to the judge’s fire- judged in the court of
law. So you are then thrown into prison for not ‘cleaning up’ your act.
So in effect it is saying here: If your work is a scandal, stop doing it!
If your ideas are scandalous: stop thinking like that.
It is better that you lose your ideas, your work, your walk; than for you to go to prison.
fire is unquenchable – it can’t be stopped. The judge’s fire must take
effect. It won’t be revoked once passed. You are there till you have
paid the last mite! (Luke 12:59). There is no partiality (He is impartial).
Mark 9:44 ‘ Where their worm dieth not…’
Notice it is their worm. Why not your worm?
It is the worm of the two hands; the worm of the two feet; the worm of the two eyes.
someone is put in prison, those on the outside only remember him by the
sentence he was put in there for. So if he raped, he is known as a
rapist. If he stole, he is known as a thief etc… The worm does not die.
The reproach and disgrace continues for that person while in prison. In
our society there is even no removal of that reproach once someone has
really reformed themselves. People always see them as a disgrace.
notice in Isa 66:24, that in the new heavens and earth, everyone
continues to see the reproach of these ones. This is the same as
‘outside the city are dogs [abominable], and sorcerers, and
whoremongers…’Rev 22:15. This is also the same as ‘But the fearful and
unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers…, shall have their part
in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second
death’ Rev 21:8
Do you notice that this is all in the NEW heavens and NEW earth? (Rev 21:1, Isa 66:22).
Rev 21:3-4 Says the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people…there shall be no more death.
is the Tabernacle of God? It is the Holy City , New Jerusalem, the
Bride of Christ (Rev 21:9)! These ‘men’ are not the Bride of Christ,
they are the people on earth that receive God’s rule once the New
heaven and earth is created.
Did you see Rev 21:24-25?
And the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour to it. And the gates of it shall not be shut…
Then it say in verse 27 ,’ and there shall in no wise enter into it… defileth... abomination…’
Why is that? The gates are open, what’s preventing them?
The Lake of fire is! Gehenna’s fire blocks their way. They must pay the very last mite.
12:2 says that many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall
awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting contempt –
their worm (reproach) not dying! The sentence must be completed and a
heart confession must be made. God alone knows the timing of all this.
I have talked about olam/aion (concealed/age translated ‘ever’) before in ‘Suffering and time’. I won’t belabour the point.
There are ages after the millennial reign, the time concealed to God and He alone will make all things right!
May the Lord give us understanding, that we may clearly see.
Stay blessed in