Ellen G. White Writings

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Homeward Bound, Page 384

The Cleansing of the Earth, December 19

The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are.—Revelation 20:10.

To our merciful God the act of punishment is a strange act. “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live.” Ezekiel 33:11. . . . While He does not delight in vengeance, He will execute judgment upon the transgressors of His law.—Patriarchs and Prophets, 628.

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. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. (Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10.) 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 wicked receive their recompense in the earth. (Proverbs 11:31.) They “shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 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 having been transferred to Satan, 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 full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of justice have been met; and heaven and earth, beholding, declare the righteousness of Jehovah.

Satan’s work of ruin is forever ended. For six thousand years he has wrought his will, filling the earth with woe and causing grief throughout the universe. The whole creation has groaned and travailed together in pain. Now God’s creatures are forever delivered from his presence and temptations. . . .

While the earth was wrapped in the fire of destruction, the righteous abode safely in the Holy City. Upon those that had part in the first resurrection, the second death has no power. While God is to the wicked a consuming fire, He is to His people both a sun and a shield. (Revelation 20:6; Psalm 84:11.)—The Great Controversy, 672, 673.

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