Who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap. Malachi 3:2.
The people of Israel, because of their sinfulness, were forbidden to approach the mount when God was about to descend upon it to proclaim His law, lest they should be consumed by the burning glory of His presence. If such manifestations of His power marked the place chosen for the proclamation of God’s law, how terrible must be His tribunal when He comes for the execution of these sacred statutes. How will those who have trampled upon His authority endure His glory in the great day of final retribution? …
When the divine Presence was manifested upon Sinai, the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire…. But when Christ shall come in glory with His holy angels the whole earth shall be ablaze with the terrible light of His presence….
Never since man was created had there been witnessed such a manifestation of divine power as when the law was proclaimed from Sinai…. Amid the most terrific convulsions of nature the voice of God, like a trumpet, was heard from the cloud. The mountain was shaken from base to summit, and the hosts of Israel, pale and trembling with terror, lay upon their faces upon the earth. He whose voice then shook the earth has declared, “Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.” …
When Moses came from the divine Presence in the mount, where he had received the tables of the testimony, guilty Israel could not endure the light that glorified his countenance. How much less can transgressors look upon the Son of God when He shall appear in the glory of His Father, surrounded by all the heavenly host, to execute judgment upon the transgressors of His law and the rejecters of His atonement….
But amid the tempest of divine judgment the children of God will have no cause for fear. “The Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” The day that brings terror and destruction to the transgressors of God’s law, will bring to the obedient, “joy unspeakable, and full of glory.”
From “Maranatha”, by Ellen White