"Now I will give them wormwood for their food, and poisoned water to drink, since from the prophets of Jerusalem godlessness has spread throughout the land." (Jer.23:15).
Wormwood is false teaching.
When He appeared, Jesus carefully pointed out the "wormwood" that had infiltrated the holy scriptures. His words altered the teachings of the Hebrew Old Testament. Jesus revealed that the Torah was not a book that could be taken literally. It was a scripture with flaws so serious that it thwarted all chance for eternal life when standing alone (See footnote).
Jesus stressed that only the Gospel He spoke offered salvation. Outiside of that Gospel, no salvation is possible.
Without the corrections and instruction of Jesus Christ, the bread offered in the name of Moses was useless as far as heavenly life was concerned. Of those who ate it, almost all died. (Jn.6:32-49).
Despite the fact that it had been built on divine inspiration, it only served to blind those who read it outside the instruction of the Gospel. For this reason, standing alone, it must be considered 'wormwood'.
In respect to scripture, wormwood is any writing or doctrine meant to be "food for the soul" that not only cannot offer eternal life, but can actually detroy those who accept it as their main spiritual diet. Wormwood includes all teaching and writing not founded on the Gospel Jesus preached, whether it be prophecy, theology and/or scripture.
We can see a serious reference to such a life-threatenting doctrine in a prophecy in the Book of Revelation: "The third angel blew his trumpet, and a huge star fell from the sky, burning like a ball of fire, and it fell on a third of all rivers and springs; this was the star called Wormwood, and a third of all water turned to bitter wormwood, so that many people died from drinking it."
The teaching referred to here is a matter of some speculation, but the implication that it fell from the sky indicates that it is a religious doctrine, a teaching presumably coming from God.
This, of course, includes all false religions, but the warning to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation by the angel of God shows that it also addresses the Christian churches as well. This is why church creeds were set up. They defined the essential elements of belief in terms of Christ. Creeds are set up to block future church leaders from instegating life-threatening changes in church doctrine.
We can see the importance of these blockades in every modern decree that countermands the teaching of the Gospel or the Apostolic rules which define the pages of the New Testament. Each false edict is like poisoned water and a food of wormwood.
Certainly the Jewish rejection of Christ and their concomitant reliance on the Old Testament must be considered in the wormwood category. But it must be remembered that Paul prophesied that the Jews were made blind for the sake of the salvation of the pagans. They were made blind by a decree of God for our sake. According to the New Testament, once all the pagans have been saved, that veil will be lifted and, in a single instant, all the Jews will be saved en masse.
Paul spoke of a "synagogue of Satan", but his reference was not about the Jewish people.
Paul was addressing a small cadre of hatemongers who made it their special purpose in life to destroy Jesus and everything He stood for. We can see something very similar to this in the Christian community during WW2 between Nazi's and the German people. Hate is hate and there is no God in that for anyone, only Satan and death.
A literal candidate for the fulfillment of Revelation's wormwood prophecy can be seen in the spread of the Islamic faith which swept the nations of the Middle East and southern Europe away from their Christian heritage about 600 years after the death of Christ. This militant Islamic tidal wave has nearly wiped Christianity off at least a third of the world map, severly limiting the size, scope and influence of the eastern Christian church.
Scripture refers in prophecy to this spiritual devastation of Christianity as the product of an 'east wind', and promised that it would include Jerusalem itself, which, of course, we have seen over the course of a history filled with the blood of martrys. All these prophecies have been well fulfilled.
For more information concerning such prophecies, please see the referenced chapters linked below.
1. 'Clock of God', Chapter 28 'Architects of Wormwood'
2. 'Clock of God', Chapter 23 'God's Word Declared'
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