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ISAIAH 66:22-24

(A verse-by-verse commentary)

SEE HOW THE GREAT PROPHET ENDS HIS BOOK OF SERMONS!

THESE ARE THE LAST 3 VERSES HE WROTE, HIS LAST BIBLICAL WORDS!

"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. 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. 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."  Isaiah 66:22-24

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LAST VERSE IN THIS TEXT GIVES US A PREVIEW OF HELL! IT MAY BE THIS VERY PASSAGE THAT JESUS HAD IN MIND WHEN HE PREACHED TIME AND TIME AGAIN ABOUT THAT PLACE OF ETERNAL FIRE!

 

LESSON 1:

God is not through creating yet!

Every time a sinner gets saved He makes another "new creature!"

And while it's not "direct" creation, every new baby born is the result of the Lord's miraculous handiwork ... even in the womb according to Psalm 139!

And God is yet to create a new heaven!

And ... a new earth!

Scripture tells us so in four different places!

Isaiah 65:17 --- "For, behold, I (the Lord) create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind."

Isaiah 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."

2 Peter 3:13 --- "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."

Revelation 21:1 --- "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."

Why must there be new heavens and another earth made by our Lord?

Because the old ones are so tainted by sin and the devil!

He (Satan) is the "god of this world!"  2nd Corinthians 4:4

He is also the "prince of the power of the air!"  Ephesians 2:2

And as of Job chapters 1 and 2 and Revelation chapter 12 the old dragon himself still had access even to the real heaven itself!

God will, after having judged and consigned the devil and his crowd to the lake of fire, create a new heaven and a new earth! 

That's how very much sin defiles things in God's eyes!

He is in fact too pure to behold it!  (In Habakkuk 1:13 that Prophet says to the Lord --- "Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.")

He's cleaning up!  And things were so bad that He just decided to rebuild!

Here's God's Biblically revealed program:

Sin ... because of the devil on earth ... create a new planet!

Sin ... in heaven for the same reason ... make a new one as well!

Then what about sin in the human heart?  Well, our great God has employed the same solution.  He just gave us a new one!

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh."  Ezekiel 36:26   (Now that promise was made to Israel specifically ... but God does that and more for the Christian today!)

Here's how Paul words God's re-creation in a heart and life ... at the point of salvation:  "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  2 Corinthians 5:17

I've just learned that the word "new" occurs 150 times in the Bible!

I think I'll go ahead and say this.

Since sin has now spread everywhere ... polluting as it goes ... God has just decided to some day make all things new!  "And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful."  Revelation 21:5

What a God!

What a Plan!

What a future!

What peace He brings!

No wonder they call it a "blessed hope!"

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

The new heavens and the new earth that God will some day create ... will be eternal!

Sin will never taint these places!

Now this is a "key" lesson to learn!

In these last days of doubt and unbelief God's eternality is being questioned!

Mankind today has so re-fashioned God like unto himself that "long-term" commitment, even from the Lord, is hard to imagine!

Well, let me say some things here.

God is eternal!  He is everlasting!  He will never die!  It's just like the Psalmist says in Psalm 90:2 --- "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God."

Not only is God eternal, so are the souls of men!  When Jesus comes again to get His Own at the Rapture ... we are told by Paul that we then shall "ever" be with the Lord!  (1st Thessalonians 4:13-18)  And even those souls who die lost go to a place "where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched."  (Mark 9:44)

But my point today is the fact that when God does create the heavens and earth anew ... they will "remain."

That's precisely what Isaiah 66:22 says:  "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD." 

By the way, that little verb "make," spelled "asah" in Hebrew, means to fashion or craft as well as create!  It includes the details!  The same verb used here when God creates the new earth ... is also used in Psalm 139:15 when He creates (fashions) a little baby still in his or her Mother's womb!

But what I started to say is this ... once created, these heavens and earth will REMAIN!

They are to be eternal.

Remain, the verb, translates "amad," which means to stand or stay or endure.  It is a Qal (simple active) participle (implying on-going action).  They will continue to exist.

The point I want you to get today is that God can and does make things that last! Things that have unending duration.  Things that exist incessantly.

And those things include the new heaven and the new earth!

In our future glorified state as Believers, apparently the new earth and new heavens and the new Jerusalem (the heavenly city) all form a part of the habitable part of God's new creation ... areas to which we will be given free access!

And eternal access too!

Who says so?

"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."  Hebrews 13:8

Our three-verse text here (Isaiah 66:22-24) is just filled with eternal things!

Also remember ... if you are saved, you right now have ETERNAL LIFE abiding within you!  Again, that's according to Jesus:  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth 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."  John 5:24  (The split second you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ ... you "have" eternal life!  Given you by Almighty God!)

Glory to God!

                                                                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

There will ALWAYS be a group of people called the Jews!

Israel nationally will never again cease to exist!

That is ... if we take the promises of God to be literal and abiding!

Listen to what God has said to His chosen people (the sons of Jacob).

"Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:  if those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever."  Jeremiah 31:35-36

Even more so:  "But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid. Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure ...."  Jeremiah 46:27-28

"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."  Isaiah 66:22

The noun "seed" here can mean "children" and is so translated occasionally in our King James Bibles.  And again keep in mind, Isaiah is specifically talking to the seed of Abraham.

God has some future plans for the nation of Israel!

He will some day (after a 7 year time of tribulation and conviction) save them from their sins and protect them eternally, providing their every need!

I believe all this is clearly outlined and explained by the Apostle Paul in Romans chapters 9 through 11.

My point today is just this:  God is a God Who can promise eternality to His Own! The state of being forever alive!  Never dying! 

This is exactly what he has given to every repentant believing sinner who trusts the shed Blood of Jesus Christ for cleansing from iniquity!

They shall never perish!

They are given everlasting life!  (John 3:16)

The new earth will be eternal!

Heaven will be too!

Add to that the New Jerusalem of Revelation chapters 3 and 21.

I believe the souls of men live eternally somewhere also.  (Either in heaven or in hell!)

And all of that because God is eternal, never-dying, alive for evermore!

Dear Reader, are you saved?

If not ... consider your lost condition.

Obey the dear Lord God Who said in Isaiah 1:18 --- "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

He is able to save you!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

Our text says something a little unusual today.

"From one new moon to another ... shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord"  Isaiah 66:23

The "new moon" was to the Jews the beginning of their new month.

Numbers 10:10 told them to:  "Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God."

If you want more detail, here it is:  "And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot; and three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram; and a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD.  And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year. And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto the LORD shall be offered, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering."  Numbers 28:11-15

By telling us here in Isaiah 66 that at some future time (millennial ... and then eternal I believe) Israel and the "flesh" (saved nations) of earth will worship God monthly (regularly) is astounding!

All this is after the beast and false prophet and dragon (satan) have been eternally cast into the lake of fire!  It is also after the great White Throne judgment at which the lost have been examined according to their works and consigned to everlasting punishment!

Worldwide monthly worship of our Lord as He sits enthroned in Israel as King of all the universe!

Now back to this "new moon" concept.

"From one new moon to another ... shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord"  Isaiah 66:23

Many preachers believe that in creation God is also giving us pictures of eternal realities!

No doubt the "sun" is a Type of Christ Jesus!  The Bible clearly establishes that fact in such Passages as Psalm 19:4-6 and Malachi 4:1-2.

But, what about the moon?

It is likely a Type of the Church!

How?

*  It has no light of its own.  It just reflects the light of the sun!  (We too reflect the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is our Light!)

*  It has scars and blots, but they are hidden by the light of the glory of the sun!  (Our sins are covered by Jesus' Blood too!)

* It's dark side is never seen!  (As the Church should be!  Our problems and complaints should not be publicly exhibited for a lost world to behold!)

*  It is sometimes closer to the world than it is at other times!  (Sadly this is true of the Church too!)

*  But what I want to emphasize in this text is:  The moon shows us "phases" of growth each month!  From "new moon" (very little light) to "first quarter" (about half full of light) to "full moon" (nothing but light)!  This could be a picture of the Christian life.  When we are first saved ... we have but little knowledge and little light of the glory of God.  But as we grow ... this all changes.  The goal:  To fully reflect what He is!  To be "full" of His Light!

Every month all humanity on earth in that future day will come to worship our Lord Jesus Christ!

What a glorious sight that will be!

Christians, we are not Jews of course.

But we, as the Bride of Christ, will be here with Him to enjoy His exaltation!  I suspect we shall be on the sidelines shouting too!

By the way, we already are to be worshipping Him regularly!

Amen!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

Paul first said it:  "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."  1st Corinthians 15:57

Indeed it is so!

We have victory in Jesus!

While in these dark days of apostasy and sin it may appear that true faith languishes ... ultimate victory is clearly promised to the Believer in Christ the Lord!

While it is certainly true that broad is the way that leads to hell and narrow is the way (few finding it) that leads to Heaven ... it is also true that the heavenly city John saw in Revelation 21 "coming down" ... was 12,000 furlongs in length and width and height! That's big enough (1500 miles each direction) for a lot of saved people!

The Bible clearly teaches that after Jesus comes again and sets up His Kingdom on earth (for 1,000 glorious years) that "from one Sabbath to another shall all flesh come to worship before Him!" 

Those are God's words from Isaiah 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."

Obviously this is millennial language.

When Jesus returns, interrupting the Battle of Armageddon (ending that thing too), He sees a repenting nation of Israel and forgives their sin so that a nation is saved ("born again") in a day!  "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." Isaiah 66:8

Then comes the judgment of the nations where the lost governments of the world will be cast into hell!  See Matthew 25:32 --- "And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand (sheep), Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.  Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand (goats), Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

You can see that only godly nations are left on earth (their holiness being apparent by the way they befriended little Israel in her greatest hour of need)!  "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren (the Jews), ye have done it unto me."  Matthew 25:40

Then as we enter the Millennium all nations and peoples on earth will somehow come weekly to Jerusalem to worship the King!

Here's our verse again:  Isaiah 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."

Weekly!

All flesh!

To worship Jesus!  (The verb "worship' in Hebrew is "shachah" and means to bow down or to reverence or to do obeisance to Someone!)

I love it when a Revival Meeting has a good crowd!  When all the pews are full and extra chairs are needed!

What will I think when I see all flesh on earth gathering to worship our dear Lord?  What a crowd that will be!

It IS going to happen!

And as the multitudes are gathering to praise our dear Saviour, someone reading these lines "tap" me on the shoulder and say:  "Preacher Bagwell, we're on the winning Side!"

"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"  Romans 8:31

I am again reminded of the great declaration in Revelation 11:15 where it's announced:  "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."

Even so, come Lord Jesus!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

Today's verse in some ways is startling!

Here it is.  It describes what happens when the multitudes (during the Millennium I believe) leave Jerusalem, having gathered there (a then weekly practice) to worship Jesus.  "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."  Isaiah 66:24

They, on their way home from worship, see a terrible site!

Carcases of sinners!

A carcase ("peger" in Hebrew) is just a dead body, a corpse!

Now literally the crowds may be looking at the throngs slain (the armies of the world that hated Israel) at the end of Armageddon.  The dead and their stench will attract birds of prey we know.  "And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great." Revelation 19:17-18

But this very word picture that Isaiah gives us ... dead folks, worms never dying and unquenchable fires ... is what Jesus used when He preached about Hell!  And He preached about it often!

Here is my question today?

In the future state, will the godly be able to see the ungodly ... even in their suffering and pain?

Before you answer ... remember that Noah could see and presumably hear the suffering and dying throngs outside the Ark!  Abraham could see the smoldering cities of Sodom and Gomorrah!  Daniel could probably see the dying men who were thrown to a den of (this time) hungry lions for consumption!  Lazarus and Father Abraham cold see the rich man burning in Hades (Hell) in Luke 16!  And even the multitude of saints (already in heaven) in Revelation 6:10 asked God "how long" until judgment would fall upon the wicked! 

Furthermore, when God the Son judges the wicked dead at the Great White Throne, we are already His Bride (the Wedding having occurred) and Paul said we then would "ever be with the Lord."  So I reckon we shall observe the wicked being cast into the lake of fire!  "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."  Revelation 20:11-15

I believe that in type, Isaiah 66 is teaching us that in eternity we will be able to see the wicked in hell.

It is my opinion that Jesus thought so too.  That's why He used Isaiah 66 as His "text" nearly every time He preached on Hell!

Is Hell a real and literal place?

Jesus sure thought so!

The Bible sure teaches so!

We had best believe so ... and respond accordingly!

Come back tomorrow, Lord willing, there's more!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

According to the Bible there IS a place called Hell.

Of all people ... JESUS talked about it more than anyone else too!

His most favorite term for describing that place of literal eternal fire was to use Isaiah's word picture of "undying worms" and "unquenchable fires!"

More than once Jesus called the place "hell fire!"  See Matthew 5:22 and 18:9.

He taught that hell involved bodily punishment!  It is NOT just a figure of speech or a figment of one's imagination.  See Matthew 5:29-30.

Then He later describes the whole "body and soul" (of a man who died lost, rejecting Christ) as being in hell.  Matthew 10:28

In Matthew 11:23 Jesus teaches us that the direction of hell is "down."  It says: "And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day."  These words are basically repeated in Luke 10:15.

Once Jesus likens hell to a city with "gates."  Matthew 16:18

Extremely wicked people are occasionally called by Jesus "children of hell!" See Matthew 23:15 for an example.

Then He used the term "damnation of hell" in Matthew 23:23.  In fact He predicted this judgment of hell (damnation = "krisis" in Greek, their very word for judgment) for a crowd of "religious" (but lost) people!

Once Jesus mentioned Him Who has "power to cast into hell."  Luke 12:5

Jesus preached whole sermons about Hell!  (Luke 16 ... the Rich Man and Lazarus)

And He still talks about Hell after His Resurrection and Ascension, telling John on the Isle of Patmos that He (Jesus) has "the keys of hell and of death!" Revelation 1:18

But our Lord's strongest doctrinal preaching on hell came in Mark chapter nine. "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, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  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, into the fire that never shall be quenched: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 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 fire: where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."  Mark 9:43-38

Count them!  They are in red.  Three times He uses that expression about "worms and fires!"

Two different Greek nouns are used for Hell (in Jesus' Ministry).  Gehenna ("geena") and Hades ("ades") both are fully capable of describing a place of literal fire!

But where did Jesus get that metaphor (which I believe is also a precise description of the place called hell) "where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched?"

Many just say that it is a picture of the garbage dump near Jerusalem.  And that it well may be.  BUT it looks to me like Jesus, as always, was drawing not from current events or geography or psychology ... but from Old Testament Scripture!

Where in the writings of Moses or the Prophets or the Poets does anything come close to Jesus' words about hell?

In Isaiah!

In fact, it is his very last verse!  (After his other 65 chapters and 23 verses ...)

"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."  Isaiah 66:24

Now if Jesus says Isaiah is talking about Hell, going so far as to adopt his very words ... who am I to disagree?

If Isaiah is indeed so doing, then as long as the new heavens and the new earth last (for evermore) ... mankind will be able to stroll our of the heavenly city a bit and LOOK down into a place called the place of torment!  A place where he will see ... "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."

Now I am not speculating here ... just quoting the Word of God!

And have no doubt about this ... God knows right now what's going on in Hell! "Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering."  Job 26:6

This is a serious thought we've pondered today!

Are you saved?

If not, hell will be your eternal home if you die lost!

And Christian, quit trying to forget about Hell.  It is a fact of eternity.  There's something about it God wants to be permanently displayed. 

And I am one Preacher who is not going to be ashamed of that fact.

If the Bible teaches it ... I don't want to deny it!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8:

Who are those suffering people in Isaiah 66:24?

"And they (the saved inhabitants of the new earth) 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."

Can we identify the crowd who "transgressed against God?"

Of course we can.

They are the lost of the ages who died rejecting Christ Jesus the Lord.

They are the citizens of hell!

Endlessly in torment!

In Jesus' parables (in which He taught about hell) he pictured unrepentant sinners who were in "a furnace of fire: where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." And he used that word picture 7 times in Scripture!  (Matthew 8:12 and 13:42 and 50 again in Matthew 22:13 and 24:51 and 25:30!  That Matthew was a fiery little Preacher! Then Luke 13:28 records it also.)

But ... what have they done that is so wrong?

They rejected the Grace of God revealed in Jesus Christ the Saviour!

They termed God a liar!

They spurned the shed Blood of Christ!

They ... to use Isaiah's words ... remained "rebels" who TRANSGRESSED against God!

That verb "transgressed" is the Hebrew verb "pasha" that means to rebel!  Used 41 times in the Bible, it's "key" idea is "revolt" or refusal to submit to God's Rule!

The "root" of the verb means "to break away!"  To apostatize, to quarrel!  It's history likely involves the word meaning "to rush upon!"  Not just rebelling against God ... but attacking Him too!

There we have it!

The root of all sin is that man does not want God (or anyone else) ruling over him!

He is a rebel by nature!

HE wants to be master of his own fate!

And that rebellion, if left unbroken and viable against Almighty God, will land him in Hell fire!

Eternally!

Oh, dear lost one, trust and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ today!  His Blood can wash away your sin! 

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

One of the many interesting words in the Bible is the little noun "worm."

If you study your King James Bible you will count 22 times the word (singular or plural) is used in Scripture.

I counted 5 different words (4 in Hebrew and 1 in Greek) that are translated "worm" in our Bibles.

By far the most unusual of those ("tola" in Hebrew) is a beautiful picture of spiritual truth!

Job 25:6 gives us a good example of our word in focus.  "How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?"  Now let me print that verse again, inserting the Hebrew nouns for "worm."  How much less man, that is a worm ("rimmah")?  and the son of man, which is a worm ("tola")?  When our Bible speaks here of humanity alone ... man is a "rimmah" worm.  BUT when it uses the term that is to become a Name for the Lord Jesus ("Son of Man") it changes nouns for worm ... inserting "tola!"

Man is a "rimmah" worm. 

The son of man is a "tola" worm!

My Bible dictionary defines the "rimmah" worm as just a common maggot, the sign of death and decay!

While the "tola" worm is something with quite a different meaning altogether! The noun "tola" is found 43 times in the Bible.  It really means "that which is red or crimson!"  It was a grub worm that produced (when killed by violent crushing) a deep crimson red paste, used in Old Testament days for dying things a deep purple/red hue!

In fact, "tola" in our King James Bible is translated (of 43 times remember) worm only 8 times!  It is also translated "crimson" once!  ("Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Isaiah 1:18)  Wow!  Add to the list that it's also translated "scarlet" 34 times!  (Particularly in Exodus, the Book of Redemption!)

The old Rabbis tell us that the crimson red dye used in the Tabernacle and Temple construction came from these little crushed worms!  That color typically represents the Blood of Jesus and His Death on the Cross!

Another example:  Jesus on the Cross (Psalm 22:6) says ... "But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people."  Again, "worm" is "tola!"

Jesus is the Crimson Red (crushed) Worm of God, dying to save our wretched souls!  He calls Himself That too!  Talk about His voluntary humiliation!  He was made to be sin for us ... so says 1st Corinthians 5:21!

And the little worm that destroyed Jonah's gourd bush of self-satisfaction was the "tola" worm!  See Jonah 4:7.  This pictures how the Cross of Jesus and His shed Blood must "eat" our pride and self-righteousness and complacency IF we are to be really saved!

Once Jacob is called a worm!  In Isaiah 41:14 --- "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel."  Jacob here is the "tola" worm!  BUT it is in the context of The LORD Jehovah God being his REDEEMER!  There's blood shed again! Jacob is under the Blood!

One more example quickly:  When the manna was first given to Israel in Exodus 16, God told them if it was used that very day ... it would stay fresh and have no "worms" in it!  That word is "rimmah."  (Exodus 16:24)

BUT if they sinned and disobeyed God, the manna would breed "worms" and stink! (Exodus 24:20)  That word is "tola!"  As soon as sin enters the picture the Blood Red worm appears also!  Only by the Cross can sin be truly forgiven!

Also note that the "tola" worm is mentioned before the "rimmah" worm!  God had the solution on hand before the sin was ever committed!  "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  Romans 5:8

Now the way I "discovered" this sweet truth is unusual.  I was studying Isaiah 66 where the Lord describes Hell fire!  He called it a place where "their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched!"  (Isaiah 66:24)  Jesus later in the New Testament used Isaiah's description verbatim.  (Mark 9:44-48)

What's a "worm" got to do with Hell?

Get this!

It's the "tola" worm that will never die!

It's that worm that pictures the Cross of Jesus and His precious Blood!

Not only will the man or woman in hell weep and wail and gnash their teeth in torment for evermore ... but they will be haunted by the thought that the Worm of God (Jesus as our Substitute) was crushed on their behalf, bleeding and dying ... and they rejected Him!

Forevermore ... the Cross on their minds!

Blistering in flaming sulfur!

Talk about regret!

Talk about sorrow!

Sinners eternally will KNOW Whom they have spurned!

Friend, be sure you are saved today!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10:

Do folks in Hell have memory?

Can they recall life events from bygone earthly years?

According to Luke 16 they can!

There the Lord is teaching us about a rich man who died and went to Hell.  He also tells of a beggar named Lazarus who died and went to heaven.

It is clearly indicated in that Passage that the rich man could recall certain facts!

For example, he remembered Lazarus begging at the gates of his mansion!

He remembered that he had five brothers too!

And one more thing ... he remembered that there was a way NOT to go to Hell!

He wanted someone to tell his brothers about that Way!

He wanted them saved!

He remembered something about the Plan of Salvation!

Wow!

When Jesus teaches about Hell being a place "where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched" (Mark 9:44, 46 and 48) ... He is directly quoting an Isaiah Passage.

Talking about the glorified inhabitants of the new earth the Prophet says:  "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."

What is the meaning of that little "worm?"

We have already discovered that this little Hebrew noun ("tola") is not usually translated "worm" in our King James Bibles.  Most often it is rendered as "scarlet" (34 times) but once as "crimson" ... then 8 times as "worm!"

It's a picture of the Blood of Jesus I believe!

That's why He called Himself a "Worm" as He died on the Cross!

He became God's crimson Blood Sacrifice so that old sinners (like you and me) could be saved!

And in Hell today its eternal captives are writhing in pain and agony ... wresting with some kind of a "worm" that dieth not!

I suspect they are in pain (yes, from the fire and from the brimstone too) from the sheer fact of remembering that Jesus died for them and they rejected His Plan of Redemption!

THAT memory would be terrible!

Let me show you something I learned this morning studying about this little worm "tola") of Isaiah 66:24 and of Jesus' sermon in Mark 9 (about Hell).

When the female of this scarlet worm species was ready to give birth to her young, she would climb a TREE and attach her body to it!  She "fixed" herself so firmly to that tree that she would never leave it again!  She would die there ... for the sake of her "children!"  The eggs beneath her body were protected until the larvae were hatched and able to live enter their life cycle.  As the mother died, crimson liquid (her very life substance) flowed from her body, staining both herself and the surrounding wood of the tree!  From this little worm was extracted the scarlet/red dye of such supreme quality that the ancient would used so effectively!  A little worm laying down its own life ... for the sake others!  That dye was considered very precious ... and was rather costly too!

Jesus also shed His precious Blood ... in bringing many sons to Glory!  Hebrews 2:10 says: "For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their Salvation perfect through sufferings."  Amen!

What's it going to be like in Hell?  Remembering the spurned marvelous Grace of God?

Truly that "worm" will never die!

By the Way, Jesus' Blood also is very costly ... and immeasurably precious!

But it is offered today as a GIFT!

"For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."  Romans 6:23

Let Him save you today!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11:

The Bible doctrine of eternal punishment has nearly disappeared from modern man's vocabulary!

The word "Hell" is still used a lot, but NOT in the right context.

Even those of us who strongly believe in a literal place of damnation for the lost have failed to preach about it.  We certainly in this area have NOT followed our Lord's example!

Of the 23 times the word "hell" is used in the New Testament, 18 of them are from the lips of Jesus (counting the Psalm 16 quotes)!

That is astounding!

The theologians and sociologists give 4 reasons why Hell has been removed from contemporary thought.

1.  The rise of a philosophy called "humanism."  This belief lifts mankind higher and higher ... which has the adverse effect of bringing God lower and lower!  The worldview of ages past ... with God at its center has been replaced with a worldview that has man at the center (and God on the outer edge somewhere)! Someone had better listen to Proverbs 14:12 --- "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."  Humanism just can't handle the doctrine of Hell!  Man is much too refined for such medieval belief now, they say.

2.  Next came a crazy teaching called "universalism."  It suggests that ALL of humanity will some day be saved!  It distorts the character of God as revealed in Scripture.  Their reasoning goes something like this:  God is loving.  He could never cast someone in hell, at least not forever!  They quote verses like 1st Timothy 2:4 --- "God our Saviour, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."  Then they omit verses like Matthew 25:46 --- "And these (wicked) shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."  They (or many of them anyway) further wrongly teach that even if God punished sinners in hell ... His love would not allow them to burn forever.  They would soon burn up and cease to exist.  This all is a philosophy, not a Bible doctrine!  Listen to Paul in Colossians 2:8 --- "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ."

3.  Then came along a so-called "science" that has torn the Bible to shreds! "Higher criticism" began in Europe and spread westward, discovering (it wrongly says) that our Bible was not based upon "truth" but tradition and myth and fable!  They tell us that the real historical Jesus is NOT the Jesus of Scripture.  This system has infiltrated our seminaries and then our pulpits. Listen to me.  The Bible does NOT need to be corrected!  We need to change  and live by its precepts!  (This crowd says that Jesus' 18 references to Hell did not really come from His lips!  Some editor or scribe later added those stories to the ancient texts!)  I'll just quote Romans 3:4 --- "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written."

4.  Finally enters the popularity of a great big lie called "evolution" and an American "school system" that is a slave to the teachings of Darwin and his kin.  For you see, if we do not have a Creator ... we do not need a Saviour!  If mankind slowly developed from lower life forms ... we are not sinners!  We are advancing species with superior intellect and will!  And if we are not sinners ... we certainly are not going to Hell!  And religion is just a man-made "crutch" that helped us along until we "outgrew" it somewhere along the evolutionary pathway!  Romans 1:25 tells us exactly what we have done.  "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen."

Who is right?

Jesus or modern man?

I'm going to keep on believing John 14:6 where Scripture relates:  "Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me."

Yes!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12:

That last clause in Isaiah 66:24 strikes me today as amazing.

Speaking of those in hell, the Prophet tells us that eternally "and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh." 

Here's the whole verse.  "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."

The first (deadly) trend in America today is to no longer believe in Hell.

The second is to grudgingly admit Hell's existence, but to argue that souls only stay there a short time.  There will either be a "second chance" for them to be saved ... or they will just "burn up" in those intense flames!

The third politically correct view is to (even if one believes in Hell just like the Bible says) to be ashamed of such teaching!  To "feel badly" that God acts like that!  To sort of want to "apologize" for God's plan of retribution!

WELL, ALL 3 VIEWS ARE WRONG!

There IS a Hell!

It lasts forever!

And God is absolutely righteous in His dealing with rebellious lost mankind!  Psalm 19:9 --- "The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether."  Amen!

In fact, Isaiah 66:24 teaches us that for eternity those in Hell will NOT be pitied or viewed as being "cheated" by God or defended by some liberal "rights" outfit!  That crowd of atheistic lawyers will probably be right in the middle of the hottest flames!

BUT Isaiah 66:24 does give us God's attitude (hence our attitude) toward the apostate wicked.  "And they shall be an abhoring unto all flesh!"  By this time in God's Program "all flesh" describes the saved people of the universe!

That word "abhoring" comes from a Hebrew root ("daraon") that means "to repulse!" It is what one does to an object of contempt!  These willfully rebellious souls in hell are an abomination to God!  Something disgusting! 

"Daraon" is only used twice in the whole Bible!  Here in Isaiah 66:24 and again in Daniel 12:2 --- "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."  Both references imply eternal repugnance!

Well, how do you naturally respond to a dead animal on the side of the road, covered with maggots and rotting in the sun's blistering heat?  Remember that the Bible most enduring and often repeated description of hell borders this word picture.  Hell is a place "where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched!"

God's love and pity and grace are readily available this side of the grave!  But NOT on the other side ... not for the lost!  In Matthew 7:23 Jesus says: "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."  And again in Matthew 25:41 --- "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels!"

And listen to this in Revelation 22:11 about the eternal state of man's character:  "He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still."

Abhorred of God!

Yes, God is capable of hate as well as love!  "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him ...."  Proverbs 6:16

So ... Hollywood reprobates had better enjoy their limelight now.  In Hell for evermore they will be disgusting sights to the whole (new) creation!  That goes for those atheistic college professors too!  And God-hating politicians!  In fact, all the lost fit into the parameters of this verse. 

One more time:  "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."

They will have "spit" in God's Face for the very last time!

And what will the righteous be doing while this judgment continues eternally? Revelation 19, written just after the "fall" of this world's wicked systems of religion and commerce, tells us.  "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.  And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.  And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.  And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth."

In that Text the world is still burning ... and the saints are rejoicing, worshiping almighty God forever!

So be it if God is glorified!

                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13:

The Bible doctrine of Hell is sadly neglected today.

Seldom do we hear it mentioned ... almost never preached!

Where does the Scriptural teaching about Hell "fit" into the Christian's spiritual education? 

Is it even necessary to know much about Hell?

According to Hebrews 6:1-2 the truth about Hell (or "eternal judgment") is one of the first things we should have learned!

There Paul calls it one of the first "principles" of Christ.  Something which we learn, mastering the Biblical facts about it, then "go on" to further growth and maturity.  (Of course not forgetting what we have learned!)

"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

The noun "principles" ("arche" in Greek) means "beginnings."  It also means "first things" in importance!  (Like Michael the Arch-angel!)

Scripture, after using that word "principles," goes on to enumerate them (or some of them at least):  repentance, faith, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection and ETERNAL JUDGMENT (Hell)!

Get these "principles" down!  Learn them well!  Know what the Bible says about each of them!

Then ... "go on" to perfection!

The verb "go on" (in Greek = "phero"), being in the passive voice, means to be carried onward!  It also is in the subjunctive mood, telling us that this is Paul's strong longing and desire for the Believers to whom he is writing.

Learn the ABC's (including the doctrine of Hell) ... then go on to maturity!

"Perfection" (in Greek = "teleiotes") means the state of being completed, having reached the goal, being "fully furnished," completely grown or mature!

It is only used twice in the whole Bible, the other being Colossians 3:14 --- "And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness."

My point today:  the Truth about Hell is not to be swept under some theological rug!  It is not to be denied in church after church either!  Neither is it something to be ashamed of! 

It IS one of the basic facts of Christianity.  And the Lord Jesus has told us to master its Biblical descriptions and principles ... and do it early in our spiritual journey!

Then ... remembering what we've learned of course, go on to other truths that produce maturity in our lives!

Hell as a Bible Doctrine just can not be left out of our plan of study!

No wonder Jesus mentioned it so very often!  He was laying the foundation for our further spiritual growth! 

Let me close with a new verse I saw last night ... new to me anyway.  "The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him."  (Ezra 8:22)  Here we have God's "synopsis" (summary) of eternity!  Those who have sought Him (saved ones) will spend eternity in a place where God's Hand is on them for good!  That place is called Heaven.  BUT all those who have forsaken Him (the lost) will spend forever being victims of His power and His wrath!  Their eternal abode is a place called Hell.

Are you saved?

Do you even have a desire to be saved?

If the answer to that last question is "yes,"  you may be a candidate for John 5:24!  Jesus there said "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth 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."

Amen!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14:

I learned something else yesterday about the Doctrine of Hell.

Theologians say it includes two forms of punishment from the Hands of God!

The Pain of loss!

And the pain of sense!

The pain of loss in Hell includes being eternally "cut off" from the love of God!  From decent surroundings (the lowest of humanity as your neighbors forever)!  From peace of mind!  From a quiet evening (eternal wailing and screaming instead)! From all hope! And a million other good things!

The pain of sense includes molten sulfur (brimstone), blazing fire, torment (to use Jesus' word), and endless suffering!

I thought of the teachers' conclusions and wondered ... what verse could "tie" all thing together?

Matthew 25:41 does!  "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

Do you see it?

Pain of loss:  God says, DEPART FROM ME!

Pain of sense:  EVERLASTING FIRE!

What a terrible place Hell must be!

Be sure you are saved!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

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