The Second Death
SATAN seems paralyzed as he beholds the
glory and majesty of Christ. He who was once a covering cherub remembers whence he has
fallen. A shining seraph, "son of the morning"; how changed, how degraded!
Satan sees that his voluntary
rebellion has unfitted him for heaven. He has trained his powers to war against God; the
purity, peace, and harmony of heaven would be to him supreme torture. His accusations
against the mercy and justice of God are now silenced. The reproach which he has
endeavored to cast upon Jehovah rests wholly upon himself. And now Satan bows down and
confesses the justice of his sentence.
Every question of truth and
error in the longstanding controversy is made plain. God's justice stands fully
vindicated. Before the whole world is clearly presented the great sacrifice made by the
Father and the Son in man's behalf. The hour has come when Christ occupies His rightful
position, and is glorified above principalities and powers and every name that is named.
Notwithstanding Satan has
been constrained to acknowledge God's justice, and to bow to the supremacy of Christ, his
character remains unchanged. The spirit of rebellion, like a mighty torrent, against
bursts forth. Filled with frenzy, he determines not to yield the great controversy. The
time has come for a last
desperate struggle against the King of heaven. He rushes into the
midst of his subjects and endeavors to inspire them with his own fury and arouse them to
instant battle. But of all the countless millions whom he has allured into rebellion,
there are none now to acknowledge his supremacy. His power is at an end. The wicked are
filled with the same hatred of God that inspires Satan; but they see that their case is
hopeless, that they cannot prevail against Jehovah. Their rage is kindled against Satan
and those who have been his agents in deception. With the fury of demons they turn upon
them, and there follows a scene of universal strife.
Then are fulfilled the words
of the prophet: "The indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon
all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the
slaughter." Isa. 34:2. "Upon the wicked He shall rain quick burning coals, fire
and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup." Ps.
11:6, margin. Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons
concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm.
The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that "shall burn as an oven." Mal.
4:1. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein
are burned up. (2 Peter 3:10.) The fire of Tophet is prepared for the king, the chief of
rebellion; the pile thereof is deep and large, and "the breath of the Lord, like a
stream of brimstone, doth kindle it." Isa. 30:33. The earth's surface seems one
molten mass--a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition
of ungodly men
--"the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompences for
the controversy of Zion." Isa. 34: 8.
The wicked receive their
recompense in the earth. They "shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn
them up, saith the Lord of hosts." Mal 4:1. Some are destroyed as in a moment, while
others suffer many days. All are punished according to their deeds. The sins of the
righteous have been transferred to Satan, the originator of evil, who must bear their
penalty. Thus he is made to suffer, not only for his own rebellion, but for all the sins
which he has caused God's people to commit. His punishment is to be far greater than that
of those whom he has deceived. After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is
still to live and suffer on. In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed,
root and branch--Satan the root, his followers the branches. The justice of God is
satisfied, and the saints and all the angelic host say with a loud voice, Amen.
While the earth is wrapped in
the fire of God's vengeance, the righteous abide safely in the Holy City. Upon those that
had part in the first resurrection, the second death has no power. (Rev. 20:6.) While God
is to the wicked a consuming fire, He is to His people both a sun and a shield. (Ps.
Copyright © 1974
The Ellen G. White Estate, Inc.
All Rights Reserved