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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. 41:11-20

3/26/13 V. 11-12, All who are angry with us God will see that they are shamed and humiliated. Rev 3:9 promise the same thing. Those who work against us will die and be as nothing. These verses are yet more evidence illustrating that at judgment the wicked will perish and be as though they never were, rather than suffering for eternity in hell. If we look for those who pitted themselves against us we won’t be able to find them.

V. 13, This is God’s vengeance, not our own. He is the one who supports us. We have no need to be afraid because when God is for us who can be against us?

V. 14, The worm image is also in Job and Psalms and it’s simply a picture of our helplessness. Our only hope is in our God who will deliver us.

V. 15-16, Worm though we be, however, our God makes us into a new threshing sledge. And instead of threshing just wheat we can thresh mountains and turn them into chaff. God gives his people his divine power, which we exercise through faith, because Jesus said that if we have even a little faith we can tell mountains to move and they will.

V. 17, For now, though, we wait for the deliverance of God. We experience hardships and trials as we wait but God continues to care for us through it. He supplies the basic necessities like water. But in prophecy water is usually a spiritual symbol, like in Rev 21:6 and Rev 22:17 where we are invited to drink from the water of life without cost. Also Rev 7:17 and Rev 22:1 are water symbols. God himself sustains us with life through the difficult times and this same water will nourish us in the new earth.

V. 18, He doesn’t just give us the minimum that we need to survive, though. He pours out abundant water, opens rivers and springs, turns the wilderness into a lake, and dry lands into fountains. With this spiritual water we are deluged, even if our physical being is in want, we are blessed with the knowledge of God, and that turns out to be more than enough.

V. 19, Trees are often symbols of people in prophecy (Rev 7:1, 3; 8:7, 9:4). A flourishing tree is a symbol of one blessed by God, while a dead or dying tree is one cursed by God, like the fig tree Jesus cursed because it bore no fruit. Here, because of the waters of life from God, we will be placed in the most arid places and we will grow and create oases in that place.

V. 20, And those who see us will have to recognize and understand that God is the one who has done this for this people.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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