What is unquenchable fire?

Queunquenchable firestion:  What is unquenchable fire?

“You quoted in one of the tracts you sent me that the wicked people are not going to be tormented in hell fire forever but some quotations in the Bible say that these people are to be tormented forever. Eg. Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:43; Revelation 14:11, etc. Please, I want you to give me further explanations.



Regarding the biblical term “for ever,” and its usage in Revelation 14:11, please read the previous question and answer (Do You Believe Satan is Tormented Forever?) since it is used in the same way as Revelation 20:10. Let us read the other verses you mentioned.

“And [the redeemed] 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.” (Isaiah 66:24)

“And 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.” (Mark 9:43)

These people, whose fire shall not be quenched, are the same people talked about in Isaiah 47:14. “Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.” (Isaiah 47:14) When a fire is quenched it is put out, either by water or by some other method. This fire will not be quenched. It will not be deliberately put out, and if those suffering from it would try to put it out, they could not. The fire will consume them. But as you can see, “there shall not be a coal to warm at” when it is all over.

Referring to the wicked, Isaiah 66:24 says, “their worm dieth not,” and several times Jesus made very similar statements. Many people falsely interpret this to mean that their soul will not die, as if the word worm represents a person’s soul. This could not possibly be what it is referred to because there is no place in the Bible that would indicate that worm represents soul, and the Word of God says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:20) Certainly the soul of the wicked will die. Therefore the words, “their worm dieth not,” could not possibly be referring to the soul.

To understand this verse we must examine other texts on the subject:

Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned. The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree. (Job 24:19, 20)

Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation. (Isaiah 51:7, 8)

The worm is a creeping thing that feeds upon dead bodies. The worm that dieth not is referring to worms feeding upon the bodies of the wicked, not the souls of the wicked.

I hope this helps to answer your question.