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Is. 66:23-24

7/7/13 V. 23, In the re-created heavens and earth there will be consistent reason for all to come before God in worship. There will be monthly reasons and a weekly reason to come. The monthly reason is reminiscent of the ceremonial sacrifices of Old Testament Israel. This does not indicate that the sacrifices will be restored. Jesus died and therefore the prophetic symbols are no longer necessary. Could it be, however, that God has plans for new kinds of celebration? That’s not at all beyond the realm of possibility.

The weekly reason to come before God will be the seventh-day Sabbath. The Sabbath was originally instituted in the Garden of Eden. God created the Sabbath to be the culmination and eternal celebration of God’s perfect creation. For that reason alone it would make sense that the Sabbath will continue in the new earth.

In addition, at the exodus of Israel from Egypt, God deepened the meaning of the Sabbath so as to memorialize their redemption from slavery. This is no way negated the original significance of Sabbath, but it did add even more significance to it. It would follow that the Sabbath would also continue in the new earth as a reminder of our redemption from slavery to sin.

This brings to a close this devotional study. Find devotional commentaries on other books of the Bible at www.scoggins.biz. Also find information about my book on Revelation.

On these celebrations of worship all “flesh” will be come and bow before the Lord (Rev 15:4). Some translate this as all mankind, but flesh may easily include other beings like angels and inhabitants of other worlds as well.

V. 24, Rev 14:10-11 speaks of the punishment of the wicked in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb. Several other instances in Revelation including Rev 19:17-21; 20:10-15; 21:8 also tell of this final destruction by fire. This is a description of hell.

Often, people understand the second half of this verse to mean that hell will burn forever. However, that’s not what it says. The first part of the verse says that they will be dead bodies, corpses. The wages of sin really is death, not eternal life of torment.

So what does it mean that their worm will not die? The word worm is singular not plural. It is “their worm.” Each dead corpse doesn’t have a worm there is one collective worm for all. In each instance, (here and Mark 9:48) the worm that doesn’t die is parallel to the fire that cannot be quenched. Therefore, this worm must be regarded as a means of destruction similar to the fire, as it was in Gehenna.

Gehenna comes from the Hebrew word Hinnom, which was a valley south of Jerusalem (see Jer 7:32-34) where trash and even corpses of criminals were thrown and burnt. Worms and constantly burning fire were both a part of the destruction there. Gehenna is most likely in the background of the statement, which is a warning to us of the consequences of the final judgment, which will end in the destruction of evil.

In Isaiah worm is a term that relates to judgment (cf Is 14:11). There’s no biblical reason in this context or any other context to equate the worm with a disembodied soul or that it’s a part of a human that lives forever.

The fire is unquenchable in the sense that nobody can quench it until it has done its work. For example, in Jer 17:27 Jerusalem was destroyed by fire. That fire could not be quenched, but Jerusalem isn’t burning today. It burned until it had consumed everything burnable.

The dead corpses that are being affected by worm and fire are consumed (compare Isaiah 9:18; 10:17; 24:6; 26:11; 30:27, 30; 33:11, 14; Ezekiel 15:7, 22:31, 28:18; Nahum 1:10; Zephaniah 1:8, 3:8; Hebrews 10:27; Revelation 18:8). Thus, neither the fire nor the worm are eternal.

According to 1Tim 6:14-16 God alone is immortal. He bestows immortality as a gift on those raised in the first resurrection (1 Cor 15:51-54).

The Bible clearly teaches that the soul can and will die (Eze 18:4; James 5:20; Rev 20:4; Ps 89:48; Job 36:14; Lev 19:8; 21:1, 11. These texts all contain the term soul.

See also comments on Isaiah 32:15.

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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 53:10-12

5/8/13 V. 10, Even though innocent, the Lord was pleased (lit. to delight) to crush him. The choice of the Hebrew word chafetz is an interesting choice. It’s sometimes translated will, which seems to fit the context better  because we are loath to think of God delighting in the suffering of his Servant. And we have good reason for this. After all, Eze 33:11 states clearly that God does not take pleasure (chafetz) in the death of the wicked. How much more the death of the righteous. And yet, Isaiah chose this word and set it against the same word later in the verse with the opposite effect when God delights in the prospering his Servant.

It seems that we are to understand that the sacrifice of God was not a reluctant sacrifice. It was painful and he suffered, but he made the sacrifice on our behalf not only willingly but delighted in doing it. We might be able to understand to some degree if a father were to be able to take his child’s suffering onto himself. The suffering would be real and couldn’t be called “fun” but the father would still be delighted to do it in order to spare his child the suffering, which is exactly what God was doing for us.

And the reward of giving himself as a guilt offering would pay off big in the end. God’s Servant would see offspring. In other words, people would give their lives over to God and be saved. Also, God’s Servant would not be left to the grave (Rev 18:1) because his days would be prolonged.

And the chafetz of the Lord will prosper in his hand. As a result of the voluntary sacrifice of God’s Servant the delight of the Lord would grow. He considered this sacrifice an investment in the future. In the same way we, who are also God’s servants, may understand that we may delight to suffer for God, recognizing that there will be a big pay off in the end and that our sacrifice is an investment in the future as well.

V. 11, The effect of God’s Servant’s suffering is that in the end he will see the results and be satisfied with them. Rev 5:9-10 and 7:9-17 give a glimpse of what these results will be.

By his knowledge (lit. sweat) God’s righteous Servant justifies many. HALOT supports the literal reading, which in some ways makes sense. The result of his suffering (sweating blood under the weight of the iniquities of the world) will justify many. But NIDOTTE argues that the traditional reading of knowledge is more accurate.

V. 12, As part of the reward for his suffering the Lord will allot his Servant a share with the great (Rev 3:21, 5:5-9). As conquerer (Rev 6:2, 17:14) he will divide the spoil (the rewards) with those who overcome. Incredibly, again it seems that he plans to include his people in the glory that really only belongs to him.

God’s Servant bore the sin of the world. Although innocent, he became sin itself in our place, interceding for us to the point of death. Every bit of reward coming to him he justly deserves for he is worthy.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Is. 38:9-14

3/15/13 V. 9, Hezekiah wrote a poem after the news of his recovery. He begins in v. 10 and goes through v. 14 speaking as though he is still facing death.

This poem is inserted out of chronological order, because in v. 22 Hezekiah asks for the sign that he received in Is 38:8.

V. 10, Hezekiah was only in midlife. He had not had a long life. And now, here he was facing Sheol. Obviously, he wasn’t facing hell. He was a God-fearing man. Sheol is the Hebrew word for the grave. He was facing death and would go to his rest to await the resurrection.

V. 11, In the grave he would no longer be able to see the Lord as he did when he was alive. Neither would he see people.

V. 12, Instead, his days were finished. Complete. Like a tent being taken down, like a cloth being rolled up and cut from the loom, Hezekiah was coming to his end.

V. 13, In spite of waiting patiently for the Lord, he wasn’t recovering.

V. 14, Hezekiah likens himself to a pitiful, helpless bird. He looks to the heights, which would be the mountain of God, and he calls out to God in his discouragement to be his security.

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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