FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER FOUR & FORTY– Part XIII
Ezekiel and John Shown Same Sealing before Four Winds Unleashed
See Ezekiel 9: 1-6 and compare with Rev. 7: 1-8, and Rev. 14: 1-5.
v 1 “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,
v 2 And, behold, six men came by the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed in linen, with a writer’s inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brazen altar,
v 3 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 in linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side;
v 4 And the Lord said unto him, God 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.
v 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:
v 6 Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark [seal or sign]; and begin at My sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.” Ezekiel 9: 1-6, K.J.V.
“This sealing [or marking] of the servants of God is the same that was shown to Ezekiel in vision. John also had been a witness of this most startling revelation. He saw the sea and the waves roaring, and men’s hearts failing them for fear. He beheld the earth moved, and the mountains carried to the midst of the sea (which is literally taking place), the water thereof roaring and troubled, and the mountains shaking with the swelling thereof. He was shown plagues, pestilence, famine, and death performing their terrible mission.”- E. G. White, Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 445, 446.
“Escape For Thy Life. The same angel who visited Sodom is sounding the note of warning, ‘Escape for thy life.’ The bottles of God’s wrath cannot be poured out to destroy the wicked and their works until all the people of God have been judged, and the cases of the living as well as the dead are decided.
Even after the saints [Rev. 14: 12] are sealed with the seal of the living God, His elect will have trials individually. Personal afflictions will come; but the furnace is closely watched by an eye that will not suffer the gold to be consumed. The indelible mark of God is upon them. God can plead that His own name is written there. The Lord has shut them in. Their destination is inscribed—‘GOD, NEW JERUSALEM.’ They are God’s property, His possession. . . .
God has shown me that at the very time that the signs of the times are being fulfilled around us, when we hear, as it were, the tread of the hosts of heaven fulfilling their mission, men of intelligence, men in responsible positions, will be putting rotten timbers in their character-building—material which is consumable in the day of God [see Amos 5: 18-20], and which will decide them to be unfit to enter the mansions above. They have refused to let go the filthy garments; they have clung to them as if they were of precious value. They will lose heaven and an eternity of bliss on account of them.
“BE CONVERTED MEN. [God’s messenger says]: “I call upon you who minister in sacred things to be converted men before you go forth to act any part in the cause of my Master. Now is your time to seek a preparation and readiness for the fearful test which is before us—that holiness without which no man shall see God [Heb. 12: 14]. Let none say, My way is hid from the Lord; God taketh no knowledge of my ways. [Isa. 40: 27; cf. Heb. 4: 12, 13]. Now it may be it is not too late. Now it may be you can repent. But even if pardon is written against your names, you will sustain terrible loss; for the scars that you have made upon your souls will remain.
Oh, how can any who have the light of truth, the great light given them of God, defy the wrath and judgments of God by sinning against Him and doing the very things God has told them in His word not to do? How can they be so blinded by Satan as to dishonor God to His face, and defile their souls by sinning knowingly? [of such nature are sins of presumption—that since Jesus already died on Calvary, I am already saved regardless of whatever I think, eat, drink, or do, as in once-saved-always saved]. Says the apostle Paul, ‘We are made a spectacle with the world, and to angels, and to men.’[1 Cor. 4: 9].
Will these sinners—shall I call them hypocrites—in Zion [the church] inquire, In what manner am I a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men? Answer for yourselves, By my abuse of the light and privileges and mercies God has given me, by unseemly actions which corrupt and defile the soul. Professing to know God, do I put Him out of my thoughts, and substitute an idol [even the idol of self]? Do I lead other minds to regard sin lightly by my example? Am I a spectacle to the world of moral looseness? Am I a spectacle to angels in indecent actions and moral defilement of the body?
The apostle Paul exhorts us: ‘I beseech you brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice [not sickly and debilitated through presumption that leads to compromise and downward to gross self-indulgence and intemperance], holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ Rom. 12: 1, 2. ‘Having therefore these promises, let us cleanse ourselves of all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.’ 2 Cor. 7: 1. “- Ibid, pp. 447, 448.
“GOD’S STANDARD. – God has a law, and it is the great standard of righteousness. Everyone who has presumed upon the mercy of God, and practiced iniquity, will be judged according to his works [Eccl. 12: 13, 14; Rev. 22: 12]. God has warned you to depart from all iniquity. He has commanded you individually to resist the devil [James 4; 6, 7], not to entertain him as an honored guest.
The time has come when Jerusalem [the church, antitypically] is being search as with lighted candles [”Judgment must begin at the house of God,” 1 Pet. 4: 17]. God is at work investigating character, weighing moral worth, and pronouncing decisions on individual cases. It may be not too late for those who have sinned to be zealous and repent’ ‘for godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of” but the sorrow of the world worketh death. [2 Cor. 7: 10]. This sorrow is of a deceptive kind. It has no real virtue in it. There is no sense of the aggravated character of sin; but there is a sorrow and regret that the sin has come to the knowledge of others; and so no confessions are made, except in acknowledgement of the things thus revealed which cannot be denied.
This is the sorrow of the world, which worketh death, and pacifies the conscience, while the sin is still cherished, and would be carried on just the same if there were an opportunity, and they could not be discovered. [2 Cor. 7: 11 quoted. Read it!]
Here we see the duty that rests upon the church to deal with those whose course of action is entirely contrary to the light which they have received. Will the people of God take their stand upon the Bible, or will they be worse than infidels, and give arguments to this class to reproach Christ and the truth, because they do not obey the claims of the gospel in faith and obedience by a circumspect life and a holy character?
Those who claim to have the light of truth have not met the conditions on which the fulfillment of the promise is suspended, neither have they been worthy of the grace of Christ. The character and service of the church are required to be according to the talents received. Her faith and obedience should be equal to the amount which a faithful improvement of her light and opportunities would have gained for her in moral and spiritual elevation.
But many—not a few, but many—have been losing their spiritual zeal and consecration, and turning away from the light [of present, sealing truth] that has been constantly brighter and brighter, and have refused to walk in the truth because its sanctifying power upon the souls was not what they desired. They might have been renewed in holiness and have reached the elevated standard that God’s word demands; but condemnation is upon them. Many ministers and many people are in darkness. They have lost sight of the Leader, the Light of the world; and their guilt is proportionate to the grace and truth opened to their understanding, which has been abundant and powerful.”- Ibid, TM, pp. 448-450.
The Central Theme of the Bible
“The central theme in the Bible, the theme about which every other in the whole book clusters, is the redemption plan, the restoration in the human soul of the image of God. From the first intimation of hope in the sentence pronounced in Eden [Gen. 3: 15] to that last glorious promise of the Revelation, ‘They shall see His face and His name shall be in their foreheads’ (Rev. 22: 4), the burden of every book and passage of the Bible is the unfolding of this wonderful theme,—man’s uplifting,—the power of God, ‘which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Cor. 15: 57. He who grasps this thought has before him an infinite field for study. He has the key that will unlock to him the whole treasure house of God’s word.
“The science of redemption is the science of all sciences; the science that is the study of the angels and of all the intelligences of the unfallen worlds; the science that engages the attention of our Lord and Savior; the science that enters into the purpose brooded in the mind of the Infinite—‘kept in silence through times eternal’ (Rom. 16: 25, R.V.); the science that will be the study of God’s redeemed throughout endless ages. This is the highest study in which it is possible for man to engage. As no other study can, it will quicken the mind and uplift the soul.”- Ibid, Education, p. 126.
“Through sin the divine likeness was marred, and well-nigh obliterated. Man’s physical powers were weakened, his mental capacity was lessened, his spiritual vision dimmed. He had become subject to death. Yet the race was not left without hope. By infinite love and mercy the plan of salvation had been devised, and a life of probation [after Adam and Eve failed their first probation test in Eden] was granted. To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created [Gen.1: 26, 27], to promote the development of body, mind, and soul that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized—this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of [true] education, the great object of life.”- Ibid, pp. 16, 17.
“A FEARFUL DELUSION. – What greater delusion can deceive the human mind than that in which individuals flatter themselves that they have the truth, that they are on the only sure foundation, and that God accepts their works because they are actively engaged in some work of the cause of God, when they are sinning against Him by walking contrary to the expressed will of God? They work mechanically, like machinery; but preparation of heart, the sanctification of the character, is wanting. Sacred and holy things are brought down to the level of common things, and a commonness, a cheapness, is working itself into our churches. The service is degenerating into little else but form.
The standard must be elevated. The work must have a higher mold. There must be a coming out from the customs and practices of the world and being separate. There must be a coming up upon a higher platform by both ministers and people. There must be much more of Jesus and His meekness, His lowliness, His humility, His self-denial, His purity, His true goodness and nobility of character, brought into the experience and character of all who claim to be acting any part in the sacred work of God.
Let God’s word be the guide and the rule of life. Let that word, expressing His revealed commands, be obeyed. God summons everyone to put forth all his powers as a responsible being, to do His plainly specified will. If you do this, you will show it. Grappling with your own inherent defects of character, which are at war with spiritual advancement, is proof that you are doing your part of the work.” – Ibid, Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 451, 452.
(To be continued next week)