But the fearful - Having stated, in general terms, who they were who would be admitted into that blessed world, he now states explicitly who would not. The “fearful” denote those who had not firmness boldly to maintain their professed principles, or who were afraid to avow themselves as the friends of God in a wicked world. They stand in contrast with those who “overcome,” Revelation 21:7.
And unbelieving - Those who have not true faith; avowed infidels; infidels at heart; and all who have not the sincere faith of the gospel. See the notes on Mark 16:16.
And the abominable - The verb from which this word is derived means to excite disgust; to feel disgust at; to abominate or abhor; and hence the participle - “the abominable” - refers to all who are detestable, to wit, on account of their sins; all whose conduct is offensive to God. Thus it would include those who live in open sin; who practice detestable vices; whose conduct is suited to excite disgust and abhorrence. These must all, of course, be excluded from a pure and holy world; and this description, alas! would embrace a lamentably large portion of the world as it has hitherto been. See the notes on Romans 1:26 ff.
And whoremongers - See the notes on Galatians 5:19.
And sorcerers - See the word used here - φαρμακεῦσι pharmakeusi- explained in the notes on Galatians 5:19, under the word “witchcraft.” Shall have their part in the lake which burneth,
- notes on Revelation 20:14. That is, they will be excluded from heaven, and punished for ever. See the 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 notes; Galatians 5:19-21 notes.
Shall have their part in the lake which burneth, - notes on Revelation 20:14. That is, they will be excluded from heaven, and punished for ever. See the 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 notes; Galatians 5:19-21 notes.
But the fearful - Δειλοις· Those who, for fear of losing life or their property, either refused to receive the Christian religion, though convinced of its truth and importance; or, having received it, in times of persecution fell away, not being willing to risk their lives.
And unbelieving - Those who resist against full evidence. And sinners, και ἁμαρτωλοις, is added here by about thirty excellent MSS., and is found in the Syrian, Arabic, some of the Slavonic, and in Andreas and Arethas. On this evidence Griesbach has admitted it into the text.
The abominable - Εβδελυγμενοις· Those who are polluted with unnatural lust.
And murderers - Φονευσι· Those who take away the life of man for any cause but the murder of another, and those who hate a brother in their heart.
And whoremongers - Πορνοις· Adulterers, fornicators, whores, prostitutes, and rakes of every description.
Sorcerers - Φαρμακοις· Persons who, by drugs, philtres, fumigations, etc., pretend to produce supernatural effects, chiefly by spiritual agency.
Idolaters - Ειδωλολατραις· Those who offer any kind of worship or religious reverence to any thing but God. All image worshippers are idolaters in every sense of the word.
And all liars - Και πασι τοις ψευδεσι· Every one who speaks contrary to the truth when he knows the truth, and even he who speaks the truth with the intention to deceive; i.e., to persuade a person that a thing is different from what it really is, by telling only a part of the truth, or suppressing some circumstance which would have led the hearer to a different end to the true conclusion. All these shall have their portion, το μερος, their share, what belongs to them, their right, in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. This is the second death, from which there is no recovery.
Falsehood and deception of every cast is sin against the God of truth and verity. The word of God is plain upon these points. Ye shall not “deal falsely, neither lie one to another.” “All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” God is a God of sincerity and truth. The word of God is a book of truth. Jesus is a faithful and true witness. The church is the witness and ground of the truth. All the precepts of the Most High are true and righteous altogether. How, then, must prevarication and any exaggeration or deception appear in His sight? For the falsehood he uttered because he coveted the gifts which the prophet refused, the servant of Elisha was struck with leprosy, which ended only with death. 4T 336.1
Even life itself should not be purchased with the price of falsehood. By a word or a nod the martyrs might have denied the truth and saved their lives. By consenting to cast a single grain of incense upon the idol altar they might have been saved from the rack, the scaffold, or the cross. But they refused to be false in word or deed, though life was the boon they would receive by so doing. Imprisonment, torture, and death, with a clear conscience, were welcomed by them, rather than deliverance on condition of deception, falsehood, and apostasy. By fidelity and faith in Christ they earned spotless robes and jeweled crowns. Their lives were ennobled and elevated in the sight of God because they stood firmly for the truth under the most aggravated circumstances. 4T 336.2
Men are mortals. They may be sincerely pious and yet have many errors of understanding and many defects of character, but they cannot be Christ's followers and yet be in league with him who “loveth and maketh a lie.” Such a life is a fraud, a perpetual falsehood, a fatal deception. It is a close test upon the courage of men and women to be brought to face their own sins and to frankly acknowledge them. To say, “That mistake must be charged to my account,” requires a strength of inward principle that the world possesses in but a limited degree. But he who has the courage to say this in sincerity gains a decided victory over self and effectually closes the door against the enemy. 4T 336.3Read in context »
Satan rushes into the midst of his followers and tries to stir up the multitude to action. But fire from God out of heaven is rained upon them, and the great men, and mighty men, the noble, the poor and miserable, are all consumed together. I saw that some were quickly destroyed, while others suffered longer. They were punished according to the deeds done in the body. Some were many days consuming, and just as long as there was a portion of them unconsumed, all the sense of suffering remained. Said the angel, “The worm of life shall not die; their fire shall not be quenched as long as there is the least particle for it to prey upon.” EW 294.1
Satan and his angels suffered long. Satan bore not only the weight and punishment of his own sins, but also of the sins of the redeemed host, which had been placed upon him; and he must also suffer for the ruin of souls which he had caused. Then I saw that Satan and all the wicked host were consumed, and the justice of God was satisfied; and all the angelic host, and all the redeemed saints, with a loud voice said, “Amen!” EW 294.2Read in context »
There are papist priests and prelates, who claimed to be Christ's ambassadors, yet employed the rack, the dungeon, and the stake to control the consciences of His people. There are the proud pontiffs who exalted themselves above God and presumed to change the law of the Most High. Those pretended fathers of the church have an account to render to God from which they would fain be excused. Too late they are made to see that the Omniscient One is jealous of His law and that He will in no wise clear the guilty. They learn now that Christ identifies His interest with that of His suffering people; and they feel the force of His own words: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Matthew 25:40. GC 668.1
The whole wicked world stand arraigned at the bar of God on the charge of high treason against the government of heaven. They have none to plead their cause; they are without excuse; and the sentence of eternal death is pronounced against them. GC 668.2
It is now evident to all that the wages of sin is not noble independence and eternal life, but slavery, ruin, and death. The wicked see what they have forfeited by their life of rebellion. The far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory was despised when offered them; but how desirable it now appears. “All this,” cries the lost soul, “I might have had; but I chose to put these things far from me. Oh, strange infatuation! I have exchanged peace, happiness, and honor for wretchedness, infamy, and despair.” All see that their exclusion from heaven is just. By their lives they have declared: “We will not have this Man [Jesus] to reign over us.” GC 668.3
As if entranced, the wicked have looked upon the coronation of the Son of God. They see in His hands the tables of the divine law, the statutes which they have despised and transgressed. They witness the outburst of wonder, rapture, and adoration from the saved; and as the wave of melody sweeps over the multitudes without the city, all with one voice exclaim, “Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints” (Revelation 15:3); and, falling prostrate, they worship the Prince of life. GC 668.4Read in context »
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! SR 427.1
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. SR 427.2Read in context »