Ezekiel Chapter 9 [KJVwc]

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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. Please see the more complete study "Ezekiel Chapter 9."

Click here for a detailed analysis of verse 1.

He – Jehovah. Identified in vss 16,17 of chapter 8 and He continues to speak through the end of the chapter.

Cried.. with a loud voice – Note. This is exactly what is said in the previous verse only there it is the corrupt city that is crying for the fact that God has finally begun to respond to all their corruption.

The city – Babylon. The unholy union of the Kings of Europe with the Nominal Church systems.

Weapon in his hand – These men are armed for battle. The True Church is always armed (Eph. 6:10-18)
2 And, behold, six men came from 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 with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the copper altar. Six men – While six normally denotes fallen man, in this case it is used in association with the seventh, "the man ... with the writer's inkhorn." As such it pictures the church in the flesh who are working in conjunction with the "Seventh Messenger."

These six men are also identified by what they do. See vs 6.

The higher gate – These come from a higher place than others. This gate lies toward the North, i.e., nearer to God. This helps to identify these as being identified with the Heavenly Father.

The north – The seat of divine authority. (Psa. 48:2; Isa. 14:13)

Slaughter weapon – "A weapon of his breaking in pieces" – margin.
From H5310; a smiting to pieces: - slaughter.

This brings to mind the 'smiting of the image' in Dan. 2:44 how that the kingdom would 'break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms..'

This weapon is the message of Present Truth which acts as a slaughter weapon to those who do not have the right heart to receive it.

One man – Pastor Russell.

This one, plus the other six makes seven – picturing the church in the flesh during the Second Advent of our Lord.

Among them – This shows the association of the six with Pastor Russell, thus strengthening the thought that these represent the church in the flesh.

CEV says "A seventh man.." ERV says "One of the men.." All of the other translations we checked keep it neutral by simply saying "one man among them" or "one man in their midst." Our thought is that the one man, while in their midst, is separate from the six.
This is similar to Rev. 1:1 where we have the saints described as "his servants" and John described as "his servant John." That terminology immediately makes it clear that John is part of "his servants" and yet is to be treated separately. So too here. The "six men" are clearly associated with the "one man" and yet, as we read the chapter, it is clear that the six and the one are described separately.

Clothed with linen – Not only does this indicate Justification but it also indicates an association with the priesthood, for it was they (the priests) who were "clothed in linen."

This is a special designation not given to any other. The phrase "The man clothed in linen" is found exactly seven times in the Old Testament. Four here in Ezekiel chapters 9-10 and three in Daniel.

Writer's inkorn by his side – This is the clear identification with Pastor Russell. Six volumes of Studies in the Scriptures, Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices, over 37 years of the Watch Tower as well as many newspaper articles, Photo Drama, etc.

They went it – Not just "The man clothed in linen" but also the "six men" mentioned at the beginning of this verse.

They went in to the "court" condition, the condition of Justification. [* The court pictures the condition of Justification, whether that Justification is tentative or actual.]

Stood beside the Brazen altar – This shows two things.
  1. These are in the court and are therefore Justified.
  2. By them standing beside the Brazen altar they are standing up for the Ransom.
Click here for a detailed analysis of verse 2.

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 with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; The glory of the God of Israel – The Truth AND the SPIRIT of the Truth. This is what constitutes "The glory" of God in prophecy.

The Truth is where the power of Spirit Begettal dwells. (James 1:18)

To the threshold of the house – The Truth and its Spirit moved from where it was to the threshold (entrance) of the nominal house. This has significance when we consider the same thing in chapter 10.

This is describing the Lord's casting off of the Nominal Systems – Babylon in 1878.

He called to the man clothed with linen – Pastor Russell heard this call in 1878 and began to take action.

With the writer's inkhorn – By 1879 he began publishing the Watch Tower magazine. His first books that form the basis of Present Truth as we know it today ('Food For Thinking Christians' [the precursor to 'The Divine Plan of the Ages'] and 'Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices') both came out in the year 1881.

Based on the above and also by comparing with Eze. 10, we believe this movement of the glory of God from the cherub (upon the ark of he covenant) to the threshold (entrance) of the house (also translated temple) took place between 1878 and 1881. See R4303
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. The city ... Jerusalem – Pastor Russell was not to physically go through the nominal Christian Systems, but rather his publications were to do this work.

Set a mark upon the foreheads – Seal the saints in those systems with the intellectual understanding of Present Truth.

This mark in the forehead is exactly the same as in Rev. 7:1-4 and Rev. 14:1 and is described by Pastor Russell as "an intellectual appreciation of the time, presence, etc., which will ... be a mark, seal or evidence of their sonship." B168:3

Sigh and cry – Clearly those here being described are not pleased with the condition of Nominal Spiritual Jerusalem. These are exactly those in whom the Lord is specially interested in. It is these that receive the mark or seal in their foreheads (intellects).

All the abominations – All the false doctrines and practices of Christendom. This is a clear reference to the disgusting things being described in chapter 8.
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: The others – The six men of verse 2.

He said – The six men are not acting on their own. What they do here is because they were following the instructions of the LORD.

Go ye after him – Follow "the man clothed in linen with the writer's inkhorn at his side."

"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." 1 Cor. 11:1

Through the city – Nominal Jerusalem, Babylon, Christendom.

Smite – The message of Truth which the Lord's people deliver has the effect of smiting the errors of the hearers far more often than it has the effect of pleasing the hearers, of causing them to become interested more in Present Truth and making a consecration to serve the Lord.

Let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity – This is exactly what the Lord said He would do in the previous chapter (8:18). These (the 'six men' who are carrying out the task of smiting), are not described as intending to smite. No, not at all. These actually have the intent to present the Truth in as loving and forceful a manner as possible. Nevertheless, the result will be (in most cases) to smite down the false beliefs of the hearers. It should also be noted that this is described in vs 8:18 as being the work of God.
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. Slay utterly – This is not to be a temporary destruction. This destruction is to be so complete as to 'leave them neither root nor branch.'

See also Isa. 34:2.

Old and young – All classes of Christendom (except those with the 'Mark'.)

Maids – Virgins. This is remarkable. This slaying is even to include some of the virgin class (the Great Company). These cannot maintain their status if they remain too long in the cast off system of Christendom.

The mark – The intellectual understanding of Present Truth, especially the Truth of the time and presence of our Lord. – B168 bot.

Begin at my sanctuary – Slay first those who are supposed to be upholding my word!

The ancient men which were before the house – This is a clear reference to chapter 8 vs 11, 12. There we learn that there are 70 of these ancient men who are committing these abominations. This would be the equivalent of the Sanhedrin of our Lord's day. In other words, the leaders of the nominal systems.

These six men who do the slaying can be further identified as the Lord's people by referring to Jer. 51:15-19 (exactly the same as Jer. 10:12-16) which concludes with the fact that 'Israel is the rod of His inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.'

Having noted that Israel here (Jer. 51:19) is mentioned after Jacob as being the 'rod of his inheritance', that which follows clearly refers to Spiritual Israel (as Spiritual Israel is never referred to as Jacob and any time they are used together prophetically, one refers to natural and the other to spiritual Israel).

Notice how clearly in the next verses (Jer. 51:20-23) the Lord says He will use the church. Note how He keeps using the phrase "with thee will I break in pieces .. nations .. kingdoms .. horse and his rider .. chariot and his rider .. man .. woman .. old .. young .. young man .. maid .. shepherd and his flock .. husbandman .. yoke of oxen .. captains .. rulers."

Who again are these six men instructed to slay? "Old and young .. maids .. little children .. women." This list (while abbreviated from Jer. 51) is what spiritual Israel is told they will slay while they are acting as God's "battle axe and weapons of war."
7 And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. Them – The six men – the church in the flesh at the end of the Gospel Age.

Defile the house – The Nominal House.

Fill the courts with the slain – Compare Isa. 34:3; Jer. 25:33.

They – The six men – the church in the flesh at the end of the Gospel Age.

Slew in the city – In Christendom.
8 And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? I fell upon my face, and cried – This is the attitude of the Lord's people. While they wish fully both to know and to do His will, nevertheless, they have no desire to see others suffer. It is their desire to see the wicked reformed and to see those who acknowledge God (even through the muddled waters of the nominal church) come to an accurate knowledge of the Truth.

Wilt Thou – Jehovah God. We should always remember that even though the LORD may use many different agents (in this case, the six men, the church in the flesh) to accomplish His purposes, He is still the one who is doing it.

Destroy all the residue – This is the appeal of the saints to our Heavenly Father. Many, at the time of this fulfillment, knew of those in that system who were fine people – even if they were not begotten of the holy spirit to a new nature.

All the residue would seem to indicate those who were at least tentatively justified as well as any who were of the spirit-begotten class (the great company) who remained in Babylon.

Of Israel – While we might think of nominal spiritual Israel here, there seems to be the thought of destroying 'all the residue' of Israel, i.e., any who may be spirit-begotten who have failed to 'come out of her my people.'

9 Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not. The house of Israel – Church of Rome.

The house of Judah – Organized (so-called) Protestantism.

The land is full of blood – See Isa. 34:7-8

The city – Christendom.

The LORD has forsaken .. sees not – This is exactly what the 70 men of chapter 8 say. Eze. 8:11-12
10 And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. Me – Jehovah.

Not spare .. have pity .. recompense .. upon their head – There is a limit to God's patience with fallen man – especially when it comes to the treatment of His people and of His Holy Word of Truth!

Note that God declares that He is the one doing this smiting work. Nevertheless, He has clearly instructed the six men to do the smiting. These six are clearly following God's instructions. [Please see vs 5-7 with their additional comments]

11 And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me. The man clothed in linen – Pastor Russell (see vs 2).

Reported the matter – When he had finished his work at the end of his earthly course.

I have done as thou has commanded me – See Brother Sturgeon's account of Pastor Russell's final hours in R6004 the last paragraph under the sub-heading "PREPARATIONS FOR DEATH." This account of Brother Russell's unusual request, the covering him on front and back with a sheet appeared somewhat of a mystery to Brother Sturgeon But to us it is filled with meaning. There he stood (with his last bit of strength), clothed in linen and (symbolically) declared "I have done as thou has commanded me."
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