Metaphors of the Judgement

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The Creation Concept


Undying worms

God's winepress

The marriage supper

The lake of fire

Outer darkness

The wine of God's wrath

Fire of God

Psalm 21:9
Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.

Isaiah 30:27
Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:

Zephaniah 1:18
Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD's wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy...

Zephaniah 3:8
Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

Malachi 4:3
And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

Matthew 10:28
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 Gehenna.

Mark 9:47
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 (Gehenna) fire:

Luke 3:9
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

John 15:6
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Hebrews 10:26-27
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Revelation 11:5
And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

Revelation 20:9
And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

Undying worms

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.

Mark 9:44
Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

The metaphor of decaying, worm-eaten corpses, suggests the bad odour that is associated with decay; perhaps it is a symbol of shame and dishonour. 

God's winepress

Revelation 14:19-20
And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

The metaphor of a winepress in Revelation 19 pictures the complete subjection of humanity to God. It is paired with the metaphor of a sacrifice, but those who eat of the sacrifice are the birds. Several metaphors are used for describing the judgement. These are not descriptions of literal events, but the symbols need to be interpreted.

The marriage supper  

The marriage between Christ and the church is the occasion for the marriage supper, when there is a great "sacrifice." 

Revelation 19:7-9
Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Revelation 19:17-18
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.

Revelation 19:21
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

The angel standing in the sun calls the fowl of the air to the sacrifice, where they may eat the flesh of men. The sun is a symbol of the gospel in Revelation, as the woman in Revelation 12:1, who represents the church, is clothed with the sun. There is a "sacrifice" connected with the gospel, as everyone who believes the gospel is a "living sacrifice" to God, and the works of the flesh are "mortified." In the prophecy, "flesh" is symbolic, and represents the works of the flesh. Thus it is the flesh that is offered to the birds, while the people are being turned to God.

Jeremiah 25:33
And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.

Ezekiel 39:17-22
And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.

The lake of fire

Revelation 19:20
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 20:10
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 20:14
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Revelation 20:15
And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Outer darkness

Matthew 8:12
But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 22:13
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:30
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Matthew 25:46
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Luke 16:26
And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

The wine of God's wrath

Revelation 14:9-11
If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Copyright © 2007 by Douglas E. Cox
All Rights Reserved.