Free Web Site - Free Web Space and Site Hosting - Web Hosting - Internet Store and Ecommerce Solution Provider - High Speed Internet
Search the Web

The "Worm" That Dieth Not

     In our modern day Christian society it is sometimes hard to understand the true meaning of certain statements spoken by Jesus Christ.  On the surface some words and statements seem to be quite confusing the way they are written.  However this confusion can be turned into a logical explanation if we trace the original meaning of certain words; such as the word "worm".  This pamphlet will attempt to explain the meaning of this certain word, and certain statements made by Christ.
     Notice in Mark 9:44-48 that Jesus Christ mentioned several times something about the "worm" that dieth not, and the "fire" that is not "quenched".

Mark 9:44-48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 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:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 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:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. (KJV)

What did Christ mean by these statements?  Was Christ referring to this "worm" as being immortal?  It is very important to understand why certain words are biblically used to represent something, or show a certain meaning.  Christ quoted "Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched" from Isa. 66:24, which says this would happen to the men that have transgressed against God.

Isaiah 66:24 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. (KJV)

This "worm" in Isa. 66:24 is no. 08438 in Strong's Lexicon.  Notice that this "worm" was used thirty four times to express and represent a certain color called "scarlet".

08438 towla` {to-law'} and (fem) towle`ah {to-lay-aw'} or towla`ath {to-lah'-ath}; or tola`ath {to-lah'-ath} from
03216; TWOT - 2516b; n m
AV - scarlet 34, worm 8, crimson 1; 43
1) worm, scarlet stuff, crimson 1a) worm

The word "worm" is an interesting word, and it is the same Hebrew word (no. 08438) that is biblically associated with the colors of blue, purple and scarlet; as we shall see.  This word (towla) is mentioned many times in the book of Exodus when God instructed Moses in the building of God's sanctuary.  Read Exod. 25:8 and 26:1, and notice the colors mentioned.

Exodus 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. (KJV)
Exodus 26:1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle [with] ten curtains [of] fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: [with] cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them. (KJV)

The word "scarlet" in Exod. 26:1 is the Hebrew word "towla" (no. 08438).  What do these particular colors of blue, purple and scarlet represent in God's sanctuary?  It would be logical to assume that these colors represent God as supreme Ruler!
    It is also interesting to know that the rich man that spoke to Abraham was clothed in purple, or similar to the scarlet color that this "worm" represented.  See Luke 16:19.

Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: (KJV)

When Christ was crucified he was also clothed in purple and was "crowned" with thorns, which was done in mockery of Christ being a king or a ruler; as Mark 15:17 explains.  This is important!

Mark 15:17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his [head], (KJV)

Christ was clothed with the similar color of this "worm" that the rich man also was clothed with.  What are we to understand from these facts and this truth?  It would be fair to say that this "worm" is symbolic of, and represented the colors of royalty and dominion.  Christ referred to hell as being the place where this "worm" does not die, or you could say, is forever in a conscious state of existence.  The rich man was clothed with this color (purple), however as we all know he found himself in a place called hell; which Christ said is the place where their "worm dieth not".
     Adam was given dominion of the earth before he sinned.  God's people Israel have also carried the title of dominion, which is what the name "Israel" means according to no. 3478 in Strong's Con.  It states, "he will rule as God"; and it includes the defendants (posterity) of Israel.

3478  Yisra'el (yis-raw-ale'); from 8280 and 410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity: -Israel.

The rich man that was clothed with the color of this "worm" transgressed against God, and obviously in this life trusted in his riches.  Therefore he disqualified himself to rule in the future kingdom of God.
    In Job 25:6 it states that the son of man (Adam) is a "worm".

Job 25:6 How much less man, [that is] a worm? and the son of man, [which is] a worm? (KJV)

There are two different words for "man" used in this verse, and two kinds of "worms" are used also.  The first "worm" has the meaning of a literal worm or maggot as it shows in Strong's Lexicon, no. 07415.

07415 rimmah {rim-maw'} from 07426 in the sense of breeding [compare 07311]; TWOT - 2175a; n f
AV - worm 7; 7 1) maggot, worm (as cause and sign of decay)

The "worm" applied to the son of man (Adam) is no. 08438, which also has the meaning of a maggot.  However it has an additional meaning, and refers to a certain color that this "worm" represents; as we have previously seen.
     When Adam sinned, all of the unborn of Adam-kind were destined to be reduced to a very low form of life which this "worm" represented.  However, the colors of dominion and royalty still stayed with Adam after he sinned and was reduced to this "worm".  This truth is very important to understand!  Jacob is also referred to as being a "worm", as it shows in Isa. 41:14.

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. (KJV)

I believe this is the one verse which sums up what this "worm" is all about.  Notice that it says that Christ was to help Israel, and was to become a redeemer to Israel.  Jacob and all his true descendants (Israelites) were all reduced to a "worm", however Jacob was not to fear since help was on the way.  Christ was to help Israel by becoming a flesh and blood "worm" himself, therefore becoming Israel's redeemer.  Israel carries the title of "ruling as God", which means Israel and his descendants are destined to rule and have dominion in the kingdom of God forever.
     I believe the reason Christ used the phrase "where their worm dieth not" is because the wicked of the Adam-kind Israelites will forever be conscious of the fact that they will never have what they could have had.  Out of rebellion and unbelief in the Word of God in this life, they "missed" their calling to rule as God in the kingdom of God.  This mental condition causes torment which "dieth not"!  I believe this is what Christ was talking about in Mark 9:44-48.  There are those that claim that these statements made by Christ were never in the original manuscripts.
     As was explained, hell is also the place where the "fire is not quenched".  This "fire" is not the kind of fire that burns and causes pain to our "earthy" bodies.  Since this fire cannot be quenched, it is a fire that will "burn" forever, and is not of this heaven and earth environment.  However it would be much better to have a foot cut off or an eye plucked out in this life than to experience "hell fire", which is what Christ said in Mark 9:44-48.  This "fire" causes torment to the wicked Israelites forever.  The rich man that spoke to Abraham understood this fact very well.  According to Matt. 25:41 this everlasting hell fire was prepared for the devil and his angels.

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: (KJV)

God had to prepare a place of restraint or a "prison" for the devil and the angels that rebelled against God in the world before Adam.  However the devil is not yet in this "fire" that was prepared for him when he rebelled.  It would be very helpful to read my booklet "The World Before Adam", which explains why this angelic rebellion directly effected the dominion of the angel world, and also the physical creation.  Satan the devil is still loose to do his work of deception, which God allows for a purpose!  God's children have to be tried and tested by the devil to be worthy to rule in God's kingdom.  This is why hell has "enlarged" herself without measure; to receive those of the Adam-kind Israelites that the devil has cunningly deceived to also rebel against the government of God.  Carefully read Isa. 5:14.

Isaiah 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. (KJV)

The objective of this fallen angel called Satan is to deceive the true Israelites as to who they really are.  This deception will therefore cause the true Israelites to lose their rightful inheritance and dominion in the future kingdom of God.  In our modern-day "feel good" churches it is very easy for the power of deception to take it's toll!  Therefore it would be very wise to simply believe the words of Christ regarding Satan the devil, and extreme care should be taken to not be deceived.  It is also extremely important to keep the commandments of God in order to avoid the place where "their worm dieth not"!

Back to Home Page

Questions or comments?... Email: bible@tk7.net