Mark 9:44 "Where their worm dieth not"

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Paul1611, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. Paul1611

    Paul1611
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    We have a gentlemen in our church who keeps bringing up Mark 9:44, where it says "Where their worm dieth not". This brother believes that when a lost person dies, that they will actually turn into a worm, and burn in hell. I know where he gets this teaching and many others like it, but I for some reason have a hard time swallowing this teaching. Can anyone shed some light on what "their worm" means? Everyone that I have spoken to does not believe that the lost will actually turn into worms, but they cant refute this brothers interpretation either. The few commentaries I have dont say much about it. Any input would be helpful.
     
  2. TCGreek

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    The worm does not refer to actual people. It is an echo of Isa.66:24, which is Messianic in nature. The words from the Isaiah text speak for themselves:

    "For as the new heavens and the new earth

    that I make shall remain before me, says the Lord,

    so shall your offspring and your name remain.

    23 From new moon to new moon,

    and from Sabbath to Sabbath,

    all flesh shall come to worship before me,

    declares the Lord.


    24 "And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." (Isaiah 66:22-24, ESV).

    See the word picture that Jesus has in mind as you read Mark 9:44. One does not need to make this a difficulty. Isaiah 66 serves as a great background passage.
     
    #2 TCGreek, Jul 10, 2007
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  3. Scarlett O.

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    I have absolutely no clue how this person can get that lost people will turn into worms in hell.

    Even if you took the verse out of context and interpreted it in it's extreme literal state, the phrase, "...their worm...", would imply that lost people have a worm waiting in hell their their name on it....a specific worm for a specific lost person.

    That's not right, either.

    I've always thought of this as meaning "maggots" that eat flesh and have never given a whole lot of thought to it because I won't be there to experience it.

    But I just got through reading Clarke's, Guzik's, and Henry's commentaries and they all say that the worm, because it is undying, is the lost person's remorse or the endless torture of having to recall times when they had the opportunity to be saved and rejected God. (I guess you can tell that they are not Calvinists. :saint: ) One of them, I can't remember, says that the phrase, "their" worm implies that each person's remorse is different.

    I believe that each lost person's torment will be very personal. There won't be opportunities to hold hands with another tormented person or to rally together as friends and family and carry each other's torment. They will have to suffer alone.

    "Their worm", to me means that lost persons may even have varying punishments.
     
  4. IveyLeaguer

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    I would agree that the word "worm" here refers to a torment, in addition to serving as a metaphor for a type of destruction. The sense is this: as a worm gnaws at the carcass of the dead, so in Hell shall the worm of conscience torment and horror gnaw at the eternal soul, for all eternity.

    :jesus:
     
  5. pinoybaptist

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    Not really, Scarlett O. I may be wrong but if Henry is Matthew Henry, I think he is a Calvinist.
    If you say "you can tell that they are not Calvinists" because they opined that those lost people in hell "had the opportunity" to be saved and neglected it, many Calvinists still think that way, really.

    Harold Camping, for instance, whom one here on this board described as "sound in doctrine" when it comes to salvation says that the sinner must plead to God for mercy and when he does so God is gracious enough to save him by regenerating him, or quickening him, or in other words, "causing him to be born again".

    This mostly right after he says that the unregenerate cannot come to God on God's terms (speak of double speak).

    How then can one plead for God's mercy if he does not have the ability to come to God on God's terms ?

    He that cometh to God must believe that He is says Hebrews 11:6, and I guess those two words, "He is", has the accent and emphasis on "IS", which includes everything there is to believe about God.

    So, yeah, they may be Calvinists, for all we know.

    Cheers.
     
  6. Allan

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    Clark is also a Calvinist. Though he might be a 4 pointer (but I think he is a 5)

    How ever, I think in light of Isa 66 (which another brother brought up) which is in direct correllation to the Mat passage shows it represents a worm type punishment in Hell just as the fire is (unless you think the fires of hell also have a metaphorical rather than literal meaning), However, the metaphorical usage does have a problem of context since it is a quote from the parallel passage in Isa which states 'they shall LOOK UPON their BODIES..." it will be able to be seen just as the fire will. A person being eternally burned and eaten is the closest horror we can understand of Hell. And scripture states "they shall be an abhorence ..." (a sickening sight) again, something that can be witnessed at the sight of them.

    But then again, does it matter. No matter our worst imagination would be considered a heaven compared to the torrments in store for them there.
     
  7. skypair

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    TD made a good start. :thumbs: It is "millennial" in nature.

    This "worm" thing is imagery (?) of "Gehenna" -- the GARBAGE DUMP outside Jerusalem. That is precisely what is being seen outside MK new Jerusalem (not the NJ of Rev 21-22 however). In the OT version, the refuse was burned in Gehenna, "the dump," even amidst the gourging of "worms" upon the rotting flesh! Ghastly, isn't it?!

    I think maybe this responds to the issue of whether the "worm" is literal as well. The capital of Christ's kingdom being in Jerusalem, I wonder if infidels will not be slain and burned in literal Gehenna outside its very walls.

    skypair
     
    #7 skypair, Jul 11, 2007
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  8. TCGreek

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    This is the point of the discussion, not another Calvinism v. Arminian thread.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

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    My bad...:tonofbricks:. I brought it up.

    Does the OP have anymore information as to how this person's belief is justified?
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    me,too, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. :tonofbricks: :tonofbricks:

    apologies to the OP.
     
  11. mmetts

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    Worms don't have teeth!

    Worms don't have teeth, so how could their be "weeping and gnashing of teeth"?
     
  12. webdog

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    I always took that passage as an example of spiritual death. When you die physically, you decompose, and along with the worm (who also eventually dies) you return to the dirt.

    That passage is drving home the fact they will "die"...but their bodies will never decay, they will suffer this for eternity.
     
  13. webdog

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    They did in Dune...
    [​IMG]

    :laugh:
     
  14. mmetts

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    :applause:
     
  15. Bro. Williams

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    Oliver B. Greene:

    Oh! I was going to tell you what the "WORM" is, wasn't I? The "worm" is mentioned more than once in our scripture: In verse 44: "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." In verse 46: "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched." In verse 48: "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

    WHAT IS THE WORM? That is one of the easiest questions in the word of God: The "worm" is the part of the sinner that will never burn up, never cease to exist, but will be tormented forever and forever! But you say, "Oh, Mr. Greene! I thought you were going to tell us what the worm IS!" I have just told you: The worm is that part of man that is indestructible; it cannot cease to exist. The worm cannot burn up. The worm will be tormented forever and ever and ever.

    "But Mr. Greene - what IS the worm?" What difference does that make? The shape, the size, the length, the breadth - whether it is flesh, bone, or spirit; whether it has eyes, feet, hands, ears - it makes no difference. THE WORM IS THAT PART OF MAN THAT IS ABSOLUTELY INDESTRUCTIBLE - IT CANNOT BE DESTROYED! Sinner, if you die in your sin and wake up in hell, YOU will never cease to burn. YOU will never cease to exist. YOU are the worm!!! Whatever body you will have in hell will be determined by God Almighty - that is none of my business, nor is it any of yours. The worm is the part of the sinner that will never die!

    I see no reason why anyone should doubt that hell is everlasting, and that the sinner never burns up and will be conscious forever. The verses I have just quoted tell us that the worm never dies, the fire never goes out. Three times - God did not say it one time and stop; He did not say it two times and stop; He said it three times. God Almighty does not need to say anything but one time to make it true, but the Son, as the Father spoke, uttered these identical words three times. The worm will never die; the fire will never be quenched. God have mercy on any person who butchers the word of God to fit some crazy religion! God pity any preacher who will stand before an audience of people and tell them that this is not literal fire, and that the worm will not exist forever but that the wicked will be cremated (burned up), and cease to exist. God pity the man who preaches such error!
     
  16. Brother Bob

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    Job 7:5My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.

    Job 19:26And [though] after my skin [worms] destroy this [body], yet in my flesh shall I see God:
     
    #16 Brother Bob, Jul 11, 2007
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  17. TCGreek

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    A solid reference, but only in this case, the worms do not die.:thumbs:
     
  18. Brother Bob

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    I think they do die after the flesh is gone the similar as maggots, except they don't fly away, they just die.

    The difference is, it says "my" skin worms, it is all I can think of.
     
    #18 Brother Bob, Jul 11, 2007
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  19. skypair

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    It IS another Jewish reference, but this time to the fact that those who should know and don't (national Israel) will be gnashing their teeth in hell/sheol. This makes it so that wherever you see "weeping and gnashing of teeth," the reference is to Israel. Ex: Mt 8:12, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30

    This usually throws" those who don't understand the distinction between the 2 dispensations -- church and Israel -- can't really see this. :type:

    skypair
     
  20. TCGreek

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    I am sorry I didn't make it clear but I was referring to Mark 9, where this quote from Job would be a good background reference.:thumbs:
     

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