Healing for the Soul & Spirit, Part 3


September 20, 2019


Obviously, the Holy Spirit is keeping us in the midst of this study and propelling us to the place where we have no soul wounds of any kind – and nothing whatever left within of memories which continue to stab at us internally.


There is a phrase which Mark used in his Gospel quoting from something Jesus said which is about as picturesque as you can get when you start talking about the wounded soul, the rending of the soul or dealing with the fragmented soul.


While Mark is the only one of the Gospel writers who quotes Jesus using this phrase, it is a distinctive Hebrew metaphor which appears numerous times throughout the Old Testament.


This week, we look at the ”worms” that infect the soul.


Take a look first of all at what Jesus said:


Mark 9:42-48:  42And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. 43And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45And 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: 46Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47And 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: 48Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.


Just as we saw in last week’s study of the man of Gadara and the triple reference to the fact that this man’s “dwelling” was “in the tombs,” we again have a triple reference using a very specific Hebrew metaphor: “where the worm dieth not.”


While Jesus’ statement certainly applies to a literal future Hell where people will suffer eternal torment, it also applies to the torment that literally millions of Christians suffer today.


This metaphor, “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched” refers specifically to a wounding of the soul which is perpetuated by present or past sins – either sins committed by us, or sins committed against us.


Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines this phrase (using Thayer as a reference) as “a worm which preys against dead bodies.  It is the torment that a person suffers because of guilt or condemnation because they either have not received or accepted their forgiveness (actually, their remission of sins) provided by and through Jesus’ death on the Cross.

We can define the “worm” perhaps a bit more accurately as: a demonic force which rehearses past failures, past sins and past hurts continually.


It is a thing which eats at them continually – and more subconsciously than consciously.

The apostle Paul had quite the description of this when he wrote the following to the Romans:


Romans 7:5-25:  5For when we were in the flesh, the motions (ðÜèçìá - pathema: an emotion or influencing force, hardship, pain) of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members (ìÝëïò - melos: parts of the body) to bring forth fruit (êáñðïöïñÝù - karpophoreo: fertilize, to empower, to bring forth) unto death. 6But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. 


 7What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence (dðéèõìßá - epithumia: desire, longing [for something forbidden], lust). For without the law sin was dead. 9For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.


10And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. 11For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. 12Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. 13Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.


14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15For that which I do I allow (ãéíþóêù - ginosko: knowledge, to perceive, to know or understand) not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.


19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil [the worm] is present with me. 22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind [tormenting me in my thoughts], and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.


24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.


Reading Paul’s discourse to the Romans takes on a new dimension in the light of Jesus’ statement concerning “where the worm dieth not.”


Now you begin to see “the worm” in a practical dimension.  Paul declares that with his mind he serves [and/or desires to serve] the Law of God, but his flesh goes another way in obstinate rebellion.


That obstinate rebellion is “the worm that dieth not.”  And why do we say this?  Take a look at one of Isaiah’s prophecies:


Isaiah 14:8-11:  8Yea, the fir trees rejoice at thee, and the cedars of Lebanon, saying, Since thou art laid down, no feller is come up against us. 9Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. 10All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us? 11Thy pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee.


Notice once again how Jesus phrases things in Mark 9:44, 46, and 48?  He states that it is better to enter into life “halt” or “maimed” rather than to be cast into the fire that shall never be quenched “where their worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched.”


He is describing the “worm” as a force of Hell.  It is a torment designed specifically for Satan.  It is something designed to eat at the core of Satan’s being forever!


That said, it is a device which he [Satan] uses against people to keep them in torment – both consciously and unconsciously – for the purpose of stealing their walk with God, killing their opportunity to enjoy an overcoming life in Christ Jesus, and destroying their natural life.


Remember what Jesus said?


John 10:10:  10The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.


When Lucifer rebelled against God and was thrown out of Heaven, both Isaiah and Ezekiel prophesied his eternal torment.  Isaiah prophesied the worms eating at him both from below and from above.


Ezekiel prophesied the eternal fires of Hell literally coming forth out of Lucifer himself in the following prophecy.  At the same time he differentiates between the fires of God [described as “the stones of fire”] and the destructive fire to come out of Lucifer himself.


Ezekiel 28:14-18:  14Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.  16By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.


17Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. 18Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.


Now you can see why Jesus says, “it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”


Do you understand the context of Jesus’ statements?  Do you see the comparison?  Are you receiving the revelation of “entering into life maimed?”


The essence of what Jesus is saying is this: “Even if you feel as though you would be maimed, halt or blind by getting rid of that thing – that place of wounding in your soul – where the Enemy torments you day and night, it is better to enter into life without that torment than hang onto it and suffer the eternal torments of Hell.”


Once again, that “place of torment” is a sin – either one committed by you, or one committed against you by someone else – or an offense for which forgiveness [remission] on your part is absolutely essential.


Satan’s trick is to keep you from either forgiving yourself {you’re not worthy of forgiveness} or from forgiving severe offenses committed against you.  So long as that unforgiveness exists in your being, Satan has a legal right to torment you; and so long as he has that legal right, the “worm” will continue to eat at you and eat at you and eat at you and eat at you – ad infinitum!


The wound that the worm eats at is always sin.  It is never just the case of a set of circumstances or trying events one has experienced.  It is something which results in death.


Thus, both Thayer and Vine refer to this worm as one which preys against dead bodies or dead flesh.  In parentheses, Vine defines this worm as a maggot.  Maggots sustain themselves by eating of flesh or bodies which have died.


Sin produces death.  Sin left unrepented of, unforgiven or unremitted always produces death.


If, therefore, we have some place of wounding by sin, the flesh which is wounded becomes dead flesh that worms can eat at and consume.


In medical science, certain kinds of worms or maggots are often used to eat dead flesh from skeletons or bones in order to facilitate autopsies or determine causes of death.  [See, for example, the old TV series, Bones.]


From a spiritual standpoint, if we are to enter into life, we must cut off any dead flesh or dead (or dying) part of ourselves and give that place in our beings over to the Lord Jesus Christ for healing.


We can wrap up today’s discussion with the Scripture we have used in the past two discussions from Isaiah’s prophecy concerning Jesus.


Isaiah 61:1-3:  1The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our  God; to comfort all that mourn; 3To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.


We will pick this up again next week.


In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific.  That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#.  We are now making these gatherings available on video using ZOOM.  If you wish to participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513.  If you miss the live voice-only call, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later.  The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.

Blessings on you!



Regner A. Capener

Temple, Texas 76504

Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com


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