Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Retroactionary theology

Riftia pachyptila. From
These giant tube worms are evidently souls of the damned, though living at some Limbonic remove from the actual torments suffered in the 12,000-degree climate beneath the crust, where no photographer has ever brought a camera.

From Dial-the-Truth Ministries on the subject of Hell:

The earth’s crust on land is normally 50 miles thick. You’d have to go down 50 miles before the edge of the fire. But in parts of the ocean floor, the earth’s crust is less than a mile thick.

Scientists recently discovered cracks on the ocean floor where fire was leaking out. Do you know what they found around these fire-breathing vents in the crust? Eight-foot long worms, found no other place in the world! The book, The Deep Sea, by Joseph Wallace (p.39), reads, "Perhaps the strangest of ocean creatures recently discovered are Riftia, the giant tube WORMS. Measuring up to 8 feet in length, the worms are ONLY FOUND NEAR DEEP SEA VENTS."

And Jesus Christ said, "Where THEIR WORM dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

Have you read Isaiah 66 where the Lord Jesus Christ is quoting Mark 9:46?
Look at the context and time period of Isaiah 66:22-24:
Isaiah 66:22-24:
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.
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.
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.
The "new heavens and new earth" of Isaiah 66:22 matches Revelation 21:1. This occurs AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement of Revelation 20:10-15! The references to "carcases"; "their worm"; "their fire" (vs 24) — is AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement of the LOST people! The reference to ". . the men that have transgressed. . ." are the LOST people AFTER the Great White Throne Judgement.
And at this point — they have received their NEW BODY! Notice what Isaiah says, the saved people shall "LOOK upon theCARCASES of the men that have transgressed. . ." It's worth mentioning that a "carcase" is not always a "DEAD body". For instance, two times the Bible specifically uses the term "dead carcase" (Deut. 14:8 and Ezek 6:5). If a carcase is ALWAYS a "dead" body, then why say "dead" carcase? And there's NOTHING in the context of Isaiah to imply these "men that transgressed" are "dead".
In fact, Isaiah clearly says, "their worm shall NOT DIE". Even in our language, we refer to a living body as a "carcase". For example, "Get your carcase [body] in here". Why is that important? Because when the saved people in Isaiah 66:24 are "looking upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed" — And do you know what they are SEEING? "Their worm"! The "carcase" they are seeing is "their WORM that shall not die". The end of Isaiah 66:24 is a frightening endorsement of this interpretation. What the saved people are viewing Isaiah says is , ". . . an abhorring unto all flesh". And my friend, that is not JUST a normal flesh body they are looking at! It is something that will send chills screaming through your soul at the horror.And it will happen!

The conventional view is that the Gehenna of Isaiah 66 is Hell by metaphor, after the accursed valley of Gehinnom south of Jerusalem where children were once sacrificed to the wicked god Moloch, some say by being burned alive. It was once thought that cadavers were tossed into the pit along with trash and fires kept burning to incinerate them—and that the "worm that dieth not" must have been maggots that seemed to the folk to have survived through the fire. Nowadays this is disputed, and I do not get a very clear idea what scholars think about the worm. But I'd guess they don't think much of the idea of Isaiah talking about Riftia plachyptila.

It is also conventionally understood that Jesus in Mark 9:42-46 was quoting the book of Isaiah, written several centuries earlier, rather than the other, retroactionary direction. I "look at the context and time period of Isaiah 66" I find it was written in the 8th century B.C.E., but the subject matter is events being prophesied that haven't happened yet—the future. Is this author suggesting that the book of Isaiah was written in the future by Jesus during the Second Coming, and accompanies us into the past, into that original Gehenna where its mysteries will be solved, eight-foot sea worms and all?

When my father (ABD, English) was in grad school in Berkeley at the end of the 1940s, one of his mates was Meredith Jones (PhD, zoology), who eventually became the Head of Worms at the National Museum of Natural History, the preeminent expert in his field.  I think they lost touch after we moved east in 1960; at any rate I had no idea how very eminent he had become—indeed, never thought of him and his wife Willie (adored by small boys for her adventuresome spirit) at all—until today, when I was looking for a picture of the worm that turns out to bear his name.
Meredith Jones (1926-96) in 1981, with a preserved specimen of Riftia  pachyptila Jones, the giant tube worm species named after him. From National Museum of Natural History.

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