EGW SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 7


Chapter 20

5, 6. Marks of Curse in Second Resurrection—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 (Spiritual Gifts 3:84, 85). 7BC 986.4

9, 10, 14 (Genesis 8:1; 2 Peter 3:10). New Jerusalem Preserved Amid Flames—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 (Spiritual Gifts 3:87). 7BC 986.5

12, 13 (Daniel 7:9, 10; see EGW on Exodus 31:18; Matthew 5:21, 22, 27, 28; 1 Timothy 5:24, 25; Revelation 11:1; 22:14). God's Law Seen in New Light—When the judgment shall sit, and everyone shall be judged by the things written in the books, the authority of God's law will be looked upon in a light altogether different from that in which it is now regarded by the Christian world. Satan has blinded their eyes and confused their understanding, as he blinded and confused Adam and Eve, and led them into transgression. The law of Jehovah is great, even as its Author is great. In the judgment it will be recognized as holy, just, and good in all its requirements. Those who transgress this law will find that they have a serious account to settle with God; for His claims are decisive (The Review and Herald, May 7, 1901). 7BC 986.6

(Romans 3:19; 7:12; Jude 15.) All the Worlds Witness Judgment—Christ would have all understand the events of His second appearing. The judgment scene will take place in the presence of all the worlds; for in this judgment the government of God will be vindicated, and His law will stand forth as “holy, and just, and good.” Then every case will be decided, and sentence will be passed upon all. Sin will not then appear attractive, but will be seen in all its hideous magnitude. All will see the relation in which they stand to God and to one another (The Review and Herald, September 20, 1898). 7BC 986.7

Deep Heart Searching—[Revelation 20:12 quoted.] Then men will have a clear, sharp remembrance of all their transactions in this life. Not a word or a deed will escape their memory. Those will be trying times. And while we are not to mourn over the time of trouble to come, let us, as Christ's followers, search our hearts as with a lighted candle to see what manner of spirit we are of. For our present and eternal good, let us criticize our actions, to see how they stand in the light of the law of God. For this law is our standard. Let every soul search his own heart (Letter 22, 1901). 7BC 986.8

(Psalm 33:13-15; Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14; Jeremiah 17:10; Hebrews 4:13; see EGW on Psalm 139:1-12.) Every Case Examined—Though all nations are to pass in judgment before Him, yet He will examine the case of each individual with as close and searching scrutiny as if there were not another being on earth (The Review and Herald, January 19, 1886). 7BC 986.9

(Malachi 3:16, 17; 1 Corinthians 3:13.) Angels Marking Deeds of Men—All heaven is interested in our salvation. The angels of God are walking up and down the streets of these cities, and marking the deeds of men. They record in the books of God's remembrance the words of faith, the acts of love, the humility of spirit; and in that day when every man's work shall be tried of what sort it is, the work of the humble follower of Christ will stand the test, and will receive the commendation of Heaven (The Review and Herald, September 16, 1890). 7BC 986.10

As Accurate as Photographer's Plate—All of us, as beings blessed of God with reasoning powers, with intellect and judgment, should acknowledge our accountability to God. The life He has given us is a sacred responsibility, and no moment of it is to be trifled with; for we shall have to meet it again in the record of the judgment. In the books of heaven our lives are as accurately traced as in the picture on the plate of the photographer. Not only are we held accountable for what we have done, but for what we have left undone. We are held to account for our undeveloped characters, our unimproved opportunities (The Review and Herald, September 22, 1891). 7BC 987.1

Our Characters Represented in Books—In the books of heaven are accurately recorded the sneers and the trivial remarks of sinners who pay no heed to the call of mercy made, as Christ is presented to them by His ministering servants. As the artist takes on the polished glass a true picture of the human face, so the angels of God daily place upon the books of heaven an exact representation of the character of every human being (The Signs of the Times, February 11, 1903, reprinted from The Review and Herald, February 15, 1912). 7BC 987.2

Heaven's Service Record—All who are partakers of this great salvation wrought out by Jesus Christ are under obligation to work as laborers together with God. In the heavenly courts the roll is called, on which every name is registered, and the heavenly agencies respond to the call. The service given by every human being upon earth is there recorded. If any are negligent, it is recorded; if diligent, the same is reported; if idlers, the fact stands against their names. In all the great mass of humanity, not one is lost sight of. Then let every one be ready to answer the call, saying, “Here, Lord, ready for action.” 7BC 987.3

The world has claims upon you. If you fail to shine as lights in the world, some will rise in the judgment, and charge upon you the blood of their souls. It will be seen that you were an agent in the hands of the enemy of God and man to mislead and deceive by your profession of Christianity. You did not lead souls to piety and devotion. You had a name to live, but were spiritually dead. You had not the vitalizing influence of the Spirit of God, which is abundantly provided for all who, in faith, make demands upon it (The Review and Herald, August 16, 1898). 7BC 987.4

A Daily Inventory—God judges every man according to his work. Not only does He judge, but He sums up, day by day and hour by hour, our progress in welldoing (The Review and Herald, May 16, 1899). 7BC 987.5

12-15 (chs. 3:5; 13:8; 21:27; 22:19). The Book of Life—When we become children of God, our names are written in the Lamb's book of life, and they remain there until the time of the investigative judgment. Then the name of every individual will be called, and his record examined, by Him who declares, “I know thy works.” If in that day it shall appear that all our wicked deeds have not been fully repented of, our names will be blotted from the book of life, and our sins will stand against us (The Signs of the Times, August 6, 1885). 7BC 987.6

(Exodus 32:30-33; see EGW on Matthew 12:31, 32.) A Just Punishment for the Sinner—Moses manifested his great love for Israel in his entreaty to the Lord to forgive their sin, or blot his name out of the book which He had written. His intercessions here illustrate Christ's love and mediation for the sinful race. But the Lord refused to let Moses suffer for the sins of His backsliding people. He declared to him that those who had sinned against Him He would blot out of His book which He had written; for the righteous should not suffer for the guilt of the sinner. 7BC 987.7

The book here referred to is the book of records in heaven, in which every name is inscribed, and the acts of all, their sins, and obedience, are faithfully written. When individuals commit sins which are too grievous for the Lord to pardon, their names are erased from the book, and they are devoted to destruction (The Signs of the Times, May 27, 1880). 7BC 987.8