Spiritual Gifts, vol. 3


Chapter 8—After the Flood

The whole surface of the earth was changed at the flood. A third dreadful curse now rested upon it in consequence of man's transgression. The beautiful trees and shrubbery bearing flowers were destroyed, yet Noah preserved seed and took it with him in the ark, and God by his miraculous power preserved a few of the different kinds of trees and shrubs alive for future generations. Soon after the flood trees and plants seemed to spring out of the very rocks. In God's providence seeds were scattered and driven into the crevices of the rocks and there securely hid for the future use of man. 3SG 76.2

The waters had been fifteen cubits above the highest mountains. The Lord remembered Noah, and as the waters decreased, he caused the ark to rest upon the top of a cluster of mountains, which God in his power had preserved and made them to stand fast all through that violent storm. These mountains were but a little distance apart, and the ark moved about and rested upon one, then another of these mountains, and was no more driven upon the boundless ocean. This gave great relief to Noah and all within the ark. As the mountains and hills appeared they were in a broken, rough condition, and all around them appeared like a sea of roiled water or soft mud. 3SG 77.1

In the time of the flood the people and beasts also, gathered to the highest points of land, and as the waters returned from off the earth, dead bodies were left upon high mountains, and upon the hills as well as upon the plains. Upon the surface of the earth were the bodies of men and beasts. But God would not have these to remain upon the face of the earth to decompose and pollute the atmosphere, therefore he made of the earth a vast burying ground. He caused a powerful wind to pass over the earth for the purpose of drying up the waters, which moved them with great force—in some instances carrying away the tops of mountains like mighty avalanches, forming huge hills and high mountains where there were none to be seen before, and burying the dead bodies with trees, stones, and earth. These mountains and hills increased in size and became more irregular in shape by collection of stones, ledges, trees, and earth which were driven upon and around them. The precious wood, stone, silver and gold that had made rich, and adorned the world before the flood, which the inhabitants had idolized, was sunk beneath the surface of the earth. The waters which had broken forth with such great power, had moved earth and rocks, and heaped them upon earth's treasures, and in many instances formed mountains above them to hide them from the sight and search of men. 3SG 77.2

God saw the more he enriched and prospered sinful man, the more he corrupted his way before him. These treasures, which should have led man to glorify the bountiful giver, had been worshiped instead of God, while the giver had been rejected. 3SG 78.1

The beautiful, regular shaped mountains had disappeared. Stones, ledges, and ragged rocks appeared upon some parts of the earth which were before out of sight. Where had been hills and mountains, no traces of them were visible. Where had been beautiful plains covered with verdure and lovely plants, hills and mountains were formed of stones, trees, and earth, above the bodies of men and beasts. The whole surface of the earth presented an appearance of disorder. Some parts of the earth were more disfigured than the others. Where once had been earth's richest treasures of gold, silver and precious stones, was seen the heaviest marks of the curse. And countries which were not inhabited, and those portions of the earth where there had been the least crime, the curse rested more lightly. 3SG 78.2

Before the flood there were immense forests. The trees were many times larger than any trees which we now see. They were of great durability. They would know nothing of decay for hundreds of years. At the time of the flood these forests were torn up or broken down and buried in the earth. In some places large quantities of these immense trees were thrown together and covered with stones and earth by the commotions of the flood. They have since petrified and become coal, which accounts for the large coal beds which are now found. This coal has produced oil. God causes large quantities of coal and oil to ignite and burn. Rocks are intensely heated, limestone is burned, and iron ore melted. Water and fire under the surface of the earth meet. The action of water upon the limestone adds fury to the intense heat, and causes earthquakes, volcanoes and fiery issues. The action of fire and water upon the ledges of rocks and ore, causes loud explosions which sound like muffled thunder. These wonderful exhibitions will be more numerous and terrible just before the coming of Christ and the end of the world, as signs of its speedy destruction. 3SG 79.1

Coal and oil are generally to be found where there are no burning mountains or fiery issues. When fire and water under the surface of the earth meet, the fiery issues cannot give sufficient vent to the heated elements beneath. The earth is convulsed—the ground trembles, heaves, and rises into swells or waves, and there are heavy sounds like thunder underground. The air is heated and suffocating. The earth quickly opens, and I saw villages, cities and burning mountains carried down together into the earth. 3SG 80.1

God controls all these elements; they are his instruments to do his will; he calls them into action to serve his purpose. These fiery issues have been, and will be his agents to blot out from the earth very wicked cities. Like Korah, Dathan and Abiram they go down alive into the pit. These are evidences of God's power. Those who have beheld these burning mountains have been struck with terror at the grandeur of the scene—pouring forth fire, and flame, and a vast amount of melted ore, drying up rivers and causing them to disappear. They have been filled with awe as though they were beholding the infinite power of God. 3SG 80.2

These manifestations bear the special marks of God's power, and are designed to cause the people of the earth to tremble before him, and to silence those, who like Pharaoh would proudly say, “Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice?” Isaiah refers to these exhibitions of God's power where he exclaims, “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence as when the melting fire burneth. The fire causeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence. When thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at thy presence. 3SG 81.1

“The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry and drieth up all the rivers. Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. 3SG 81.2

“Bow thy heavens, O, Lord, and come down. Touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Cast forth lightning, and scatter them. Shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.” 3SG 81.3

Greater wonders than have yet been seen will be witnessed by those upon the earth a short period previous to the coming of Christ. “And I will show wonders in the heavens above, and signs in the earth beneath, blood and fire and vapour of smoke.” “And there were voices and thunders and lightnings, and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” 3SG 82.1

The bowels of the earth were the Lord's arsenal, from which he drew forth the weapons he employed in the destruction of the old world. Waters in the bowels of the earth gushed forth, and united with the waters from Heaven, to accomplish the work of destruction. Since the flood, God has used both water and fire in the earth as his agents to destroy wicked cities. 3SG 82.2

In the day of the Lord, just before the coming of Christ, God will send lightnings from Heaven in his wrath, which will unite with fire in the earth. The mountains will burn like a furnace, and will pour forth terrible streams of lava, destroying gardens and fields, villages and cities; and as they pour their melted ore, rocks and heated mud into the rivers, will cause them to boil like a pot, and send forth massive rocks and scatter their broken fragments upon the land with indescribable violence. Whole rivers will be dried up. The earth will be convulsed, and there will be dreadful eruptions and earthquakes everywhere. God will plague the wicked inhabitants of the earth until they are destroyed from off it. 3SG 82.3

The saints are preserved in the earth in the midst of these dreadful commotions, as Noah was preserved in the ark at the time of the flood. Christ appears in his glory, and calls forth the righteous dead. The living saints are changed, and, with the resurrected dead, are borne away from the earth by angels to meet their Lord in the air. The earth is left like a desolate wilderness. 3SG 83.1

At the end of one thousand years, Jesus, the king of glory, descends from the holy city, clothed with brightness like the lightning, upon the mount of olives—the same mount from whence he ascended after his resurrection. As his feet touch the mountain, it parts asunder, and becomes a very great plain, and is prepared for the reception of the holy city in which is the paradise of God, the garden of Eden, which was taken up after man's transgression. Now it descends with the city, more beautiful, and gloriously adorned than when removed from the earth. The city of God comes down and settles upon the mighty plain prepared for it. Then Jesus leaves the city surrounded by the redeemed host, and is escorted on his way by the angelic throng. In fearful majesty he calls forth the wicked dead. They are wakened from their long sleep. What a dreadful waking! They behold the Son of God in his stern majesty and resplendent glory. All, as soon as they behold him, know that he is the crucified one who died to save them, whom they had despised and rejected. They are in number like the sand upon the sea-shore. At the first resurrection all come forth in immortal bloom, but at the second, the marks of the curse are visible upon all. All come up as they went down into their graves. Those who lived before the flood, come forth with their giant-like stature, more than twice as tall as men now living upon the earth, and well proportioned. The generations after the flood were less in stature. There was a continual decrease through successive generations, down to the last that lived upon the earth. The contrast between the first wicked men who lived upon the earth, and those of the last generation, was very great. The first were of lofty height and well proportioned—the last came up as they went down, a dwarfed, feeble, deformed race. A mighty host of kings, warriors, statesmen and nobles, down to the most degraded, came up together upon the desolate earth. When they behold Jesus in his glory they are affrighted, and seek to hide from his terrible presence. They are overwhelmed with his exceeding glory, and with one accord are compelled to exclaim in anguish, “Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord.” 3SG 83.2

Jesus and the saints return to the city. Satan goes forth among the vast multitude of resurrected wicked, and makes the feeble strong. He then points them to the countless millions who have been raised, and makes them believe that he, by his power, had brought them up from [their] graves. He points to the powerful race who lived before the flood, and to kings and warriors who were well skilled in battle, and flatters his subjects that their numbers are much greater than those in the city, that they can make war with them, and dethrone God and his Son Jesus Christ, and take the throne and occupy the city, and enjoy its richness and glory. As the wicked come forth from their graves, they resume the current of their thoughts where it ceased in death. The antediluvian race perished blaspheming God. Many perished in battle; they fell while thirsting to conquer; they rise with the same spirit of war that they possessed when they fell. They accept Satan as their general, and his angels as their officers. Satan and his angels were once inhabitants of the city; and they profess to understand just how to attack the city and take possession of it. With Satan at their head, they go up on the breadth of the earth, and compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city; and fire comes down from God out of Heaven and devours them. 3SG 85.1

Jesus and his loyal subjects ascend to the top of the city. The wicked host behold the splendor of the city, and the happy redeemed company upon its walls, and are amazed at the scene. They behold Jesus in his kingly majesty, his countenance surpassing the brightness of the sun, surrounded by the angelic throng. As the wicked look upon the redeemed, and see their faces radiant with glory, and glittering crowns upon their heads, their courage fails, and they wail in anguish as they realize that they chose a life of rebellion against God, and Jesus Christ their Saviour, and for their disloyalty have lost eternal life, and an imperishable treasure. Then many who had professed to be Christ's followers, but who had not honored God in their lives, enumerate their good deeds performed when they lived upon the earth, and entreat to be admitted into the city. They plead that their names were upon the church books, and they had prophesied in the name of Christ, and in his name cast out devils, and done many wonderful works. Christ answers, Your cases have been decided. Your names are not found enrolled in the book of life. You professed to believe in my name, but you trampled upon the law of God. I know you not, depart from me ye workers of iniquity. Satan and his angels try to encourage the wicked multitude to action; but fire descends from Heaven, and unites with the fire in the earth, and aids in the general conflagration. 3SG 86.1

Those majestic trees which God had caused to grow upon the earth, for the benefit of the inhabitants of the old world, and which they had used to form into idols, and to corrupt themselves with, God has reserved in the earth, in the shape of coal and oil to use as agencies in their final destruction. As he called forth the waters in the earth at the time of the flood, as weapons from his arsenal to accomplish the destruction of the antediluvian race, so at the end of the one thousand years he will call forth the fires in the earth as his weapons which he has reserved for the final destruction, not only of successive generations since the flood, but the antediluvian race who perished by the flood. 3SG 87.1

When the flood of waters was at its height upon the earth, it had the appearance of a boundless lake of water. When God finally purifies the earth, it will appear like a boundless lake of fire. As God preserved the ark amid the commotions of the flood, because it contained eight righteous persons, he will preserve the New Jerusalem, containing the faithful of all ages, from righteous Abel down to the last saint which lived. Although the whole earth, with the exception of that portion where the city rests, will be wrapped in a sea of liquid fire, yet the city is preserved as was the ark, by a miracle of Almighty power. It stands unharmed amid the devouring elements. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 3SG 87.2

By transgressing God's commandments a curse fell upon Adam and Eve, and they were deprived of all right to the tree of life. Christ died to save man, and yet preserve the honor of God's law. He says “Blessed are they that do his commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the City.” The Son of God here presents the doing of the commandments of God as the condition of a right to the tree of life. The transgression of God's commandments deprived man of all right to the tree of life. Christ died, that by virtue of his blood, obedience to God's law might make man worthy of the heavenly benediction, and grant him a right again to the tree of life. 3SG 88.1

When the faithful dead shall be resurrected, and the king of glory shall open before them the gates of the city of God, and the nations who have kept the truth enter in, what beauty and glory will meet the astonished sight of those who have seen no greater beauties in the earth than that which they beheld in decaying nature after the threefold curse was upon the earth. 3SG 88.2

It is impossible to describe Adam's transports of joy as he again beholds Paradise, the garden of Eden, his once happy home, from which, because of his transgression, he had been so long separated. He beholds the lovely flowers and trees, of every description for fruit and beauty, every one of which to designate them he had named while in his innocence. He sees the luxuriant vines, which had once been his delight to train upon bowers and trees. But when he again beholds the wide spread tree of life with its extended branches and glowing fruit, and to him again is granted access to its fruit and leaves, his gratitude is boundless. He first in adoration bows at the feet of the King of glory, and then with the redeemed host swells the song, Worthy, worthy is the Lamb that was slain. Adam had lost Eden by disobeying the commandments of God. He has now regained that lovely garden by repentance and faithful obedience. The curse rested upon him for disobedience, the blessing now for his obedience. 3SG 89.1