God answers His own question with this description but ONLY upon the humble, the tranquil, and the one trembling at my words. Then to enable us to see this truth even clearer through the benefit of contrast, He makes the following statement:
But the LAWLESS ONE, who sacrifices a calf will be seen as someone striking a man; the one sacrificing from the flock will be seen as one killing a dog; and the one offering fine flower will be seen as one offering the blood of a pig; and the one offering frankincense as a memorial will be seen as one committing blasphemy.
Then the Lord restates why this is how He sees their vain attempts to worship Him by describing their lawlessness And they chose their own ways and their abominations which their souls wanted. The Lord then declares how He will respond to these people; And I will choose harsh treatment for them and I will recompense their sins against them. For I called them and they did not obey me; I spoke and they refused to hear; and they acted wickedly before me and chose the things I did not want.
The entire last chapter in Isaiah sets forth the comparison and contrast between those whom the Lord delights to look upon and those who are going to have their sins recompensed upon their heads because of their stubborn refusal to hear, humble themselves and obey His voice. The chapter describes the day of the Lord and the end of the present earth and the judgment coming upon all the ungodly.
The chapter ends with a description that our Lord Jesus made reference to three times. When Jesus chooses to emphasize a truth by restating it three times, we will do well to get His point. The verse that Jesus references was Isaiahs last recorded word: And they shall go forth and see the carcasses of men, the ones that transgressed against me, for their worm will shall not die and the fire shall not be quenched and they shall be a sight to all flesh.
This is the statement Jesus made reference to to underscore the seriousness of sin in His eyes. If your hand cause you to sin, cut it off; if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; if your eye cause you to sin, gouge it out. Each time Jesus made the reference, He stated that it is better to enter life missing a hand, missing a foot, or missing an eye than to be cast into the unquenchable fire of Gehenna, where the worm shall not die and the fire shall not be quenched.
As vital as it is that we seek the grace of God through Jesus Christ to have our sins forgiven through faith in His blood; it is equally imperative that we heed the warning of our Lord to cease from sin. Sin is lawlessness and Jesus came to purify to Himself a people who have been redeemed from all lawlessness. He came to destroy sin, and lawlessness, the work of the devil, not just to atone for them.
Everyone who continues to practice lawlessness will someday come to realize that none of their attempts to serve the Lord were acceptable. If we attempt to serve Jesus while practicing lawlessness, we will be seen in the same way Isaiah describes those who were attempting to offer their sacrifices while practicing lawlessness. The results will also be the same; sin and lawlessness will be recompensed back upon all who continued to practice it. Gods judgment will be so massive that the worms eating the corpses will never die and the fire will never be quenched.
If we fully understood the context of what Jesus had referred to, we would grasp the seriousness of the consequences of sin and lawlessness and do whatever is necessary to cease from sin. God has provided His Holy Spirit so that the practices of the body might be put to death. God looks with delight upon the humble, tranquil, and obedient ones. However, everyone who practices lawless will become a grotesque sight for men will look upon. This is what men will see - the carcasses of those who refused to hear and chose their own ways. The number of carcasses will be so great that their worm will never die and the fire will never be quenched.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon