Worm does not die and the fire is not quenched
“Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” – Lord Jesus Christ (Mark 9:48, KJV)
“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 66:23 – 24, KJV)
The key is to note that both the phrases “their worm does not die” and “fire not quenched” does “not” indicate “time” but rather that while it’s performed (carried out) nothing can stop that Judgment!
We know for sure that it’s no indicator of time from the writings in the book of Jeremiah itself (let Scripture interpret Scripture – as to whether a phrase indicates any reference to say, “time” or not especially in previous usage; see Jeremiah 4:4; Jeremiah 7:20; Jeremiah 17:27).
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.” (Jeremiah 7:20, KJV)
Indeed, in Jeremiah (see the verses mentioned above), some “earthly” Judgment was also described with the phrase “the fire shall not be quenched”. But we know now (more than 2000 years later), — after that prophecy– was fulfilled, that no “fire” is literally or continuously burning till today! (indicating “time” is not what is referred to by those phrases but rather that it’s fulfillment cannot be altered during when it occurs).
Note also by Christ speaking both phrases literally “together” implies that their meaning refers to the same punishment with regards to its same aspect without referring to duration or “time”. For a more detailed discussion, please consider:
Is there hope?
Firstly, please note that “all flesh” (mentioned in both Isaiah 66:23 & Isaiah 66:24) will “worship Him” & will find the “carcases” (‘corpses’) of the “men who have transgressed against Him” as an “abhorrence”.
This means that “all flesh” (all men) after “being saved” implied by the fact that “they worship Him together eventually” (Psalm 22:27 – 29, Isaiah 25:6 – 9) will “serve Him together” (Zephaniah 3:9) post-Judgment after “all His Fierce Anger is poured out too” (Context: Zephaniah 3:8).
“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations will worship before You.
For the kingdom is the LORD’S
And He rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship,
All those who go down to the dust will bow before Him,
Even he who cannot keep his soul alive.” (Psalm 22:27 – 29, NASB)
“Therefore wait for Me,” declares the LORD,
“For the day when I rise up as a witness.
Indeed, My decision is to gather nations,
To assemble kingdoms,
To pour out on them My indignation,
All My burning anger;
For all the earth will be devoured
By the fire of My zeal.
“For then I will give to the peoples purified lips,
That all of them may call on the name of the LORD,
To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zephaniah 3:8 – 9, NASB)
Yes, “all flesh” will find the “carcass” (‘corpses’, non-living parts) which remain to be burned in that Fire to be an “abhorrence” (in Isaiah 66:23 – 24 quoted earlier). Since “all flesh” is “all men”, thus even these men who once have transgressed against Him being part of “all flesh” or “all men” will find their own ‘corpses’ an “abhorrence” due to have done deeds against Him in that body (implied).
The word “carcass” (or ‘corpse’) itself implies that it is ‘a dead thing without a spirit or life’.
So, I believe that this “carcass” is the ‘remaining dead thing without a spirit or life’ after the “spirit has been saved” (1 Corinthians 5:5) post “destruction of the flesh” or “body & soul” in ‘Hell’ (Gehenna, Matthew 10:28 or the Lake of Fire, Revelation 20:14 – 15) as even 1 Peter 4:6 reveals as the meaning of the “spirit will live according to God” but only after “(afterlife) Judgment” in the “Flesh” first for deeds done prior “as men”.
“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Corinthians 5:5, KJV)
“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna).” (Matthew 10:28, KJV)
“Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:14 – 15, NASB)
“who will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
For to this end the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that they might be judged indeed according to men in the flesh, but they might live in the spirit according to God.” (1 Peter 4:5 – 6, BLB)
The context of post-afterlife Judgment is established in 1 Peter 4:5 first as “the dead are judged” is mentioned (please note these equivalent words which occur in both that verse and in 1 Peter 4:6).
“Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.” (Matthew 5:26, NASB)
The phrase “till the last penny” (Matthew 5:26) which Christ spoke when referring to ‘afterlife Judgments’ itself indicates that the duration of afterlife punishments aren’t forever but to the age as per the original Greek Word used in Holy Scripture (e. g. Matthew 25:46).
“And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.” (Matthew 25:46, YLT)
God Will have all men to be saved eventually (1 Timothy 2:4) even post afterlife Judgments (1 Peter 4:6) where they will live in spirit after Judgment too.
The dead in 1 Peter 4:6 is the “same” dead in 1 Peter 4:5 (no manipulations here).
Some other verses which speak of God in the context of saving “all flesh” or “all men” includes Psalm 65:2, 1 Timothy 2:4 and John 12:32 in ‘meaning’. Here are those verses in some accurate translations:
“O You (God) who hear prayer, To You all men come.” (Psalm 65:2, NASB)
“Hearer of prayer, to Thee (God) all flesh cometh.” (Psalm 65:2, YLT)
“Who (God our Savior) will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4, KJV)
Yes, “He Will Save us” be it in this life or the afterlife and at any time or place for He has no limits to His Saving Power. Thus, let us never ever lose sight of that, ever:
“And in this mountain shall the LORD of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.
And He will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
And it shall be said in that Day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His Salvation.” (Isaiah 25:6 – 9, KJV)
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” – Lord Jesus Christ (John 12:32, BSB)
“But reject irreverent and silly myths. Instead, train yourself for godliness.
This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance.
To this end we labor and strive, because we have set our hope on the living God, Who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
Command and teach these things” (1 Timothy 4:7, 9 – 11, BSB)
Oh, Blessed Saviour of All men!
Thank You God!
Blessed be Your Most Holy Name!
“And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:” (Job 19:26, KJV)
“That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 13:35, KJV)