Ezekiel 9 - It Must be Important

Posted Feb 01, 2012 by Colin Nicolson in Last Day Events Hits: 4,841

When someone repeats an instruction you tend to think it must be important, right?  So when someone tells you four times to do something, it must be really important.  Well, Ellen White has told us four times (that I can find) to study the 9th chapter of Ezekiel, so it must be really important.

Here is what she said:

Who are standing in the counsel of God at this time?  Is it those who virtually excuse wrongs among the professed people of God and who murmur in their hearts, if not openly, against those who would reprove sin?  Is it those who take their stand against them and sympathize with those who commit wrong?  No, indeed! Unless they repent, and leave the work of Satan in oppressing those who have the burden of the work and in holding up the hands of sinners in Zion, they will never receive the mark of God's sealing approval.  They will fall in the general destruction of the wicked, represented by the work of the five men bearing slaughter weapons.  Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those "that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done" in the church.  Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying.  Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. {3T 267.1}
The world would not be what it now is if professed believers in Christ were receivers of his divine nature.  It is the example of men who claim to believe the truth, but who do not practice the truth, that detracts from the influence of Christianity.  They hold the truth as a theory, but unrighteousness surely characterizes their course of action.  Many reveal that they are far away from Christ, because they are destitute of Christianity.  Please read the ninth and tenth chapters of Ezekiel. Should we not seek to understand the work which God requires us to do?  Its results are sacred and awful. If one thread of selfishness is woven into God's service, He is greatly dishonored.  Unless those who have knowledge of the truth are sanctified through the truth, their profession counts for nothing, and their condemnation will be proportionate to the light granted them, which they have not honored by walking in the light as Christ is in the light.  Truth as it is in Jesus is the creating power of Christ.  Those who claim to have advanced light must reveal the influence of that light in their words, their deportment, their voice, their actions, at all times and in all places.  {GH, January 1, 1900 par. 4}
In the ninth chapter of Ezekiel is portrayed the fate of the men of responsibility who have not glorified God by faithfulness and integrity.  Read this chapter.  Notice especially verses four to six: [quoted]. At the appointed time, the Lord God of Israel will do His work most thoroughly.  {18MR 183.5}
Study the ninth chapter of Ezekiel. These words will be literally fulfilled; yet the time is passing, and the people are asleep.  They refuse to humble their souls and to be converted.  Not a great while longer will the Lord bear with the people who have such great and important truths revealed to them, but who refuse to bring these truths into their individual experience.  The time is short.  God is calling.  Will you hear?  Will you receive His message?  Will you be converted before it is too late?  Soon, very soon, every case will be decided for eternity.--Letter 106, 1909.  {18MR 236.2}

We are told to especially read Ezekiel 9:4-6.  This is what it says:

4 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. 5 And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: 6 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.  Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. (KJV)

This is an amazing prophecy.  When you look back in chapter 8 you see the abominations that have been brought into the house of God.  Those responsible are the spiritual leaders, that is, “the ancient men which were before the house” in verse 6.  These are the same “seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel” first identified back in verse 11 of chapter 8.

Just to be clear that we really are talking about the spiritual leaders of our church, here is what Ellen White had to say in 4 Spirit of Prophecy page 473:

The mark of deliverance has been set upon those "that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done." Now the angel of death goes forth, represented in Ezekiel's vision by the men with the slaughtering weapons, to whom the command is given: "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." Says the prophet, "They began at the ancient men which were before the house." [Ezekiel 9:6.] The work of destruction begins among those who profess to be the spiritual guardians of the people. The false shepherds are the first to fall. There are none to pity or to spare. Men, women, maidens, and little children perish together.

Notice who are being sealed.  It is the ones “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof”.  Clearly these folk are not able to change the way things are.  All they can do is sigh and cry to God, most likely pleading for their unbelieving brothers and sisters.  You get the clear impression these are people without the power to influence.  They certainly are not the 70 ancient ones nor are they the mysterious “about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east” mentioned in verse 16 of chapter 8.  The 70 and the 24 to 26 (about 25) represent the leadership and they are not turning to God.  No, the ones who are sighing and crying have no power to do anything about the “abominations done in the midst” of the church.

Note also that they are not shown as leaving the church or taking any other action.  They are simply placing their grief and the pain they feel before God.  The desecration of God’s house and the unbelief of the membership is almost too much.  Let’s look again at how Ellen White described them:

Mark this point with care: Those who receive the pure mark of truth, wrought in them by the power of the Holy Ghost, represented by a mark by the man in linen, are those "that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done" in the church.  Their love for purity and the honor and glory of God is such, and they have so clear a view of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, that they are represented as being in agony, even sighing and crying.  {3T 267.1}

That, by the grace of God, is a description of US.

As we grow in our knowledge of the Father and His Son and as the beautiful truths are unfolded to us by the Holy Spirit of the Son of God, let us never cease to pray for our dear brothers and sisters who are still blinded by Satan.  May we demonstrate the submissive spirit of Jesus in our dealings with the church so that by our lives, if not by our words, others will catch a glimpse of the true Son of God and will want to know more.