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From Eternity Past

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    The Punishment of Cain

    Again the Lord said to Cain, “What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.” Cain had had time to reflect. He knew the enormity of the deed he had done and the falsehood he had uttered to conceal it; but he was rebellious still, and sentence was no longer deferred. The divine voice pronounced the terrible words: “And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand. When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength. A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.”EP 40.4

    A merciful Creator still spared his life and granted him opportunity for repentance. But Cain lived only to harden his heart, to encourage rebellion against divine authority, and to be the head of a line of bold sinners. His influence exerted demoralizing power until the earth became so corrupt and filled with violence as to call for its destruction.EP 41.1

    The dark history of Cain and his descendants was an illustration of what would have been the result of permitting the sinner to live on forever, to carry out his rebellion against God. The forbearance of God only rendered the wicked more bold and defiant. Fifteen centuries after the sentence pronounced upon Cain, crime and pollution flooded the earth. It was made manifest that the sentence of death on the fallen race was just and merciful. The longer men lived in sin, the more abandoned they became.EP 41.2

    Satan is constantly at work to misrepresent the character and government of God and to hold the inhabitants of the world under his deception. God sees the end from the beginning. His plans were far-reaching and comprehensive, not merely to put down the rebellion, but to demonstrate to all the universe its nature, fully vindicating His wisdom and righteousness in His dealings with evil.EP 41.3

    The inhabitants of other worlds were watching with the deepest interest the condition of the world before the flood. They saw the results of the administration which Lucifer had endeavored to establish in heaven in casting aside the law of God. The thoughts of men's hearts were only evil continually (Genesis 6:5), at war with the divine principles of purity, peace, and love. It was an example of awful depravity.EP 41.4

    By the facts unfolded in the great controversy God carries with Him the sympathy of the whole universe as step by step His great plan advances to its fulfillment in the final eradication of rebellion. It will be seen that all who have forsaken the divine precepts have placed themselves on the side of Satan, in warfare against Christ. When the prince of this world shall be judged, and all who have united with him shall share his fate, the whole universe will declare, “Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of saints.” Revelation 15:3.EP 41.5

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