Their Worm Does Not Die

We have finally reached Isaiah 66.  This has certainly been a long journey through the book of Isaiah.

What do we see here in this chapter?  I can tell that it is tied to Isaiah 65; it gives us a picture of what will take place in the future.

As we mentioned last time, the elect will build houses and inhabit them.  They will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.  After telling us this, YHVH says, “Heaven is my throne, And earth is My footstool.  Where is the house that you will build for Me?  And where is the place of My rest?”  This is not talking about the temple in Ezra’s day that needed to be built.  We know this because YHVH just said that the wolf and lamb will feed together, the lion will eat straw like the ox; and they won’t hurt or destroy anything on His holy mountain.  This appears to be a reference to the temple that will be built for Yeshua’s millennial reign.

There are several repeated themes in Isaiah 65 and 66.  The first multifaceted one is seen in:

  • Isaiah 65:1  “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name.”  This was a reference to the Gentiles who had faith in Yeshua and cause the Jews to be jealous (Romans 10:20).
  • Isaiah 65:12  “Therefore I will number you for the sword, And you shall all bow down to the slaughter; Because, when I called, you did not answer; When I spoke, you did not hear, But did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.”  This was a reference to the Jews who rejected YHVH and delighted in abominations in the gardens; they will be slaughtered.
  • Isaiah 65:24  “It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.”  This is a reference to the elect who will not labor in vain during Yeshua’s millennial reign; they are the descendants of the blessed of YHVH.  They are also described as those who are poor and of a contrite spirit, and who tremble at YHVH’s word.
  • Isaiah 66:4  “So will I choose their delusions, And bring their fears on them; Because, when I called, no one answered, When I spoke they did not hear; But they did evil before My eyes, And chose that in which I do not delight.”   This is a reference to the Jews who bring offerings to YHVH as if they are giving offerings to idols; they delight in abominations.  In other words, they commit idolatry, necromancy, and eat unclean things such as swine and mouse.

We want to make sure that we are part of the elect and not part of those who commit abominations.  We need to SHEMA YHVH; we need to obey His commandments.  We need to call on and be dependent on Him.  Repent before it’s too late!

Other recurring themes in Isaiah 65 and 66 include rejoicing and glory.  YHVH’s people are told to rejoice with Jerusalem and be delighted with the abundance of her glory (H3519 kavod; wealth).  YHVH will extend peace and the glory (wealth) of the Gentiles to Jerusalem.  We’ve seen descriptions of this in previous chapters.  YHVH said there would be people who will escape destruction and flee to other countries; they will tell everyone about YHVH’s fame and glory.  All the nations will come and see His glory.  Surely this will be an incredible sight!

In Isaiah 65:9, YHVH promised to bring forth descendants from Jacob, and an heir of YHVH’s mountains.  YHVH promised that His elect will inherit it and that His servants will dwell there.  We see more information about this prophecy in a section on rejoicing and glory in Isaiah 66:5-14.  The themes of rejoicing and glory point to the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah 66:7-9.  This is the prophecy of a woman giving birth to a male child before her pain came; I believe this is a reference to Yeshua, a descendant of Judah.  These verses also seem to be a reference to the birth of the nation of Zion.  Both Yeshua and the nation of Israel seem to be depicted in Revelation 12 as well.

Many recognize the birth of Yeshua that took place approximately 2000 years ago.  Amazingly, many witnessed the birth of Israel in 1948 in a single day.  Surely the time will soon be upon us when Isaiah 66:15 -16 will be fulfilled:  “For behold, the LORD will come with fire And with His chariots, like a whirlwind, To render His anger with fury, And His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword The LORD will judge all flesh; And the slain of the LORD shall be many.”  Those who have been committing idolatry in the gardens and eating unclean things will be consumed.  Specifically, these are the armies of the ten kings who will join the beast of Revelation and fight against Yeshua, the Lamb.

Later, YHVH’s people will come from the nations to Jerusalem to bring offerings in clean vessels into the house of YHVH.  Some of these people will be taken to be priests and Levites.  Revelation 20:6 confirms this: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

Isaiah 66:23 says all flesh will come to worship YHVH on the New Moons and Sabbaths during the millennial reign of Yeshua. They will look on the corpses of the men who transgressed against YHVH.  Isaiah 66:24 says their worm doesn’t die and their fire is not quenched.  They will be an abhorrence to all flesh.   How can we picture this?  Perhaps it will be like looking at a burning trash heap with non-burning sections that contain rotting flesh that is being eaten by maggots.  Whatever it is, I just know I don’t want to be among those corpses.

I believe Isaiah 66:24 is only a picture of the real lake of fire.  John saw visions of the end in Revelation.  At the end of the Battle of Armageddon, the beast and false prophet were thrown into the lake of fire.  The rest were killed with the sword and were eaten by birds of prey.  It is not mentioned but it is possible the rest of their remains were gathered together to be burned.  This could account for what was described in Isaiah.

According to Revelation 20:

  • Satan was bound and cast into the abyss for 1000 years.
  • The first resurrection took place; these were those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming God’s word, and also those who had not worshiped the beast or received his mark.
  • The second resurrection took place; this was all those who were not previously resurrected.
  • After that, Satan was released from the abyss;
  • Satan gathered Gog and Magog for battle around Jerusalem but they were devoured by fire.
  • Satan was then cast into the lake of fire.
  • The judgment at the white throne took place.  Death, Hades, and those not found in the Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire.  This would take up more space than a simple burning trash heap outside Jerusalem.

One last theme is seen in Isaiah 65 and 66; it is the prophecy of the new heavens and earth.  The new heavens and earth, and the descendants and name of the Jews will remain before YHVH.  Second Peter 3:13 tells us that righteousness will dwell there.

John was fortunate to have seen a vision of the new heaven and earth, and the new Jerusalem.  Yeshua, the tabernacle of God, is with men and will dwell with men; they will be His people.  God Himself will be with them and be their God.  Revelation 21:4 tells us, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”  Isaiah 65:17 says the former things will not even be remembered or come to mind.  This sounds really good to me because there is so much stuff I would prefer never to remember.

Revelation 21:7-8 says, “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.  But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

Examine your life.  Are you an over-comer?  Do you trust in Yeshua and obey YHVH’s commandments?  Or, are you one of the other categories listed above?  You can leave that lifestyle behind and embrace a new one.  Just repent.  Please, repent before it’s too late!

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