Greetings MOL Family!
Welcome back to our class on survival. The wonderful chapter of Ezekiel 9 has much light for those who wish to survive. As you will see, that’s the purpose of the chapter — to tell who will survive and who won’t, in the awful plagues that are just about to be poured out upon this wicked world; and even on the people of God who have not met the divine standard.
The Mark of God, Upon the Forehead
He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lies toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. – Ezekiel 9:1-4
What is Jerusalem a type of? — The church. This is so applied in this wonderful chapter in [Testimonies for the Church] Vol. 5, called “The Seal of God” which begins on page 207. I recommend that you study this chapter very thoroughly in connection with today’s lesson.
Yes, this is the church. This prophecy, of course, had a fulfillment back at the time it was written, to a degree. But the eye of the prophet, we are told, was fixed especially upon these latter days – The last hour of human history. He sees the angel going from home to home in Jerusalem. He’s listening. What’s he listening for, what does it say? — Sighing and crying. Sighing and crying for what? — The abominations that are done. Where, in the midst of what? — Jerusalem. Now the angel that is listening, he is told to do what when he finds somebody that’s sighing and crying over these abominations? He’s supposed to put a mark on it.
Now let’s see what that’s for, the next verse:
And to the others [all these men that had these slaughter weapons] he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary… – Ezekiel 9: 5-6
These men that have the mark then are what? Survivors. They’re the only survivors. The Lord says slay everybody except those who have the mark. Don’t touch anybody that has the mark. These are the survivors. And when these men with the slaughter weapons get through their work, everybody in this world and in the church will be dead, except those that have what? The mark. Where? In the forehead. That’s it. Do you have that mark? Well, if you want to survive, you must receive that mark. Everything hangs on that.
You remember that when Israel was about to be delivered from Egypt, the last plague that came upon that rebellious nation was the angel coming to slay the firstborn. God said to His people, “Take a lamb, slay it, and strike the blood on the doorpost; and when the angel comes at midnight he will pass over you.”
Those that believed and obeyed were spared. Everybody else experienced that awful plague. In every house, the firstborn was slain. But this time it isn’t just the firstborn. What does he say here in the 6th verse: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women. But come not near any man upon whom is the mark, and begin at my sanctuary.
Oh, my dear friends, if anything remotely like this is going to happen in our day, we ought to be interested in ourselves and our loved ones, in knowing how to receive that mark. What do you say? Everything depends on this. What a shame that so many are busy about anything and everything but this.
Now is the time for the law of God to be in our minds, foreheads, and written in our hearts. The Lord has shown me the danger of letting our minds be filled with worldly thoughts and cares. [Do you know about that danger?] I saw that some minds are led away from present truth and a love of the Holy Bible by reading other exciting books; others are filled with perplexity and care for what they shall eat, drink, and wear…. In these things I saw great danger; for if the mind is filled with other things, present truth is shut out, and there is no place in our foreheads for the seal of the living God. – Early Writings, pgs. 57-58
Think of it very literally friends, anatomically, there’s just so much space up here [in our minds]. What is your mind being filled up with? I’ll tell you this, it’s being filled with what you look at and listen to, largely. That’s what’s filling it up. Whatever you look at and listen to, that’s most of what goes in there. We have a few other senses through which we get certain things, but most of our thoughts come from what we’ve heard or seen. So if the mind is filled with other things, present truth is shut out, and there is no place in our foreheads for the seal of the living God.
The people, who get the mark then, will be all absorbed in this one thing: to being like Jesus; for that’s what this seal means.
You remember in Revelation 14, another picture of this same group — the survivors, the 144,000, standing with the Lamb on Mount Zion, and it says they have His name and His Father’s name written in their foreheads: Same people, same mark, same place.
This is the only place God marks anybody – just in the forehead. That’s where the fore brain is. That’s where you have that part of the mind which deals with conscience, reason, and judgment. This is where the character is largely, right here.
That’s why the devil is so busy using all the poisons that he has found that effect the forebrain, and inventing others by the minute – All kinds of things, to affect people’s thinking. He passes a lot of them off under the guise of being a benefactor. He’s helping people to get over their worries, and over their fears, and over their guilt.
My dear friends, if my soul is guilty, I don’t want any drug that’ll make me feel happy. There’s only one fountain where I can get my guilt washed away, and that’s in the blood that flows from Calvary. God keep me from the help of any man or devil who will quiet the turbulent thought of a guilty mind. There’s only one solace, and that is to find in Jesus cleansing from sin, forgiveness of sin. Behold the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world, not covers it up with some drug.
To The Men That Sigh & Cry
Now, look back at Ezekiel 9. “Go through the midst of the city, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” I want to ask you a question: If this is talking about our time, and Vol. 5 says it is, would you think that the church at the present time will be lily white and pure from every bit of worldliness? What would there be to sigh and cry about?
Now offshoots make great capital of the fact that the church has within it the evidence of worldliness, worldly trends. I’m dealing with some very practical things in these studies friends. There’s no sense in being like the proverbial ostrich, hiding ones head in the sand. Anyone, who has one eye half open, can see about him many evidences of the fact that worldliness has made terrible inroads among us. But this is no reason to become nervous, and upset, and worried about what’s going to happen to the church. It’s certainly no time to jump out of the boat in the waters where sharks abound – oh, no.
The ship is going through, but there’s going to be a tremendous purging of the deck, and the cabins, and everything from one end to the other. But God is now (watch this point) allowing this very situation to develop in each one of us, the character that will be marked for Heaven or marked for destruction. One reason that the Lord allows the worldly trends that have swept in is that everyone in the church may have the fullest opportunity to choose just what he pleases.
Esau and Jacob were twins. One wanted a mess of pottage. Did he get it? Yes, he got it. The other wanted the blessing of God. Did he get it? Yes – too bad the way he went at it. But the point is he wanted it with all his heart. Whatever it cost over the years of sorrow and trial, he kept on until finally he received it.
What do you want? Do you want the mess of pottage? Well, it’s around. You can get it. And you don’t always have to go to Hollywood or New York to get it, friend. You can sometimes get it under the guise of religion. That’s right; you can get it at a party. You can get it at a social. You can get it at a feed. You can get it in all kinds of activity where anything but sighing and crying is going on. The mess of pottage is here. God in Heaven has allowed that, so that everybody can have exactly what he wants.
There are some souls that are heart to heart with Jesus. When He is hurt, they hurt. When Jesus weeps, they weep. They can never laugh at what He cries over. They can never see fun in what breaks His heart, and causes His soul to bleed.
Tell me friends, what makes you cry, and what makes you feel happy? If you know the answer to those questions, then you can know if you’re going to get the seal or not. If looking at sin makes you thrill with joy, if you laugh a hearty laugh as the comedians of this world perform on the radio and on the TV screen, you are not even started to get this seal. Heaven weeps over the idolatry, and the foolishness, and the frolic, and the mirth, and the vice and the impurity, the fornication, the adultery, the sin of all kinds; the immodest fashion, and the terrible indecency of the present style. Heaven weeps over those things. God is going to have a few people in this world, in His church that cry and sigh over these things. They’re the ones that are going to get the seal. That’s what this says doesn’t it? Look at it again.
…the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. – Ezekiel 9:4
My dear friends, modern dress is an abomination. Modern education, with its disregard of the Bible, and its putting in infidelity, is an abomination. The way the world is eating is an abomination. The kind of things the world is doing in amusement, in music and reading, those are abominations. And when they come into the church, they become no better. When a Hollywood movie is shown on the screen in a Seventh-day Adventist home, or a Seventh-day Adventist church, or a Seventh-day institution, that does not sanctify it anymore than taking the alcoholic wine of Babylon and putting it into the communion cup, and serving it as part of the Lord’s Supper. It is sacrilege my friends.
How does your soul react when these things happen? When the pleasures of this world are brought in among the people of God; when the dress of this world is adopted by the daughters of Zion; when the diet of this world is followed by the remnant; when the education of this world creeps and seeps in and takes over; how does it affect your soul?
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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.