Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.

Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer’s inkhorn at his side; and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.”

To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were before the temple. — Ezekiel 9:1-6, NKJV

Men, Ezekiel is still deep within a vision with the Lord, who has shown Ezekiel how great Israel’s sins have become, even desecrating the temple of God with idols, images of idols and worship to false deities. While in the vision the Lord calls out for the angelic entities who are responsible for overseeing Jerusalem, “Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.” At the Lord’s command, 6 men came, each with his battle-ax. 1 man had an ink-horn in addition. To the one with the ink-horn, the Lord gave instruction to go throughout the whole city and mark each person who took issue with the abominations happening within Jerusalem.

In the next group of passages, the remaining angels will be given orders to spare only those marked. The Lord takes great care to preserve those who had not fully conceded to the worship of lesser entities and objects. The Lord instructs that this marking process begin at the temple, recognizing where the greatest problem is first and sends the angels out from that point. There will be no mercy afforded to any without the mark regardless of gender, age, or position.

We get an understanding here, that what will happen in the physical realm, begins from the unseen spiritual realm. What do we ourselves look like to angelic entities who survey our towns? We know these figures exist, what do they see? We cry out over injustice and fraud from our elected officials, do we cry out for the injustices and false worship against the Lord our God? We dress in team colors and body paint to worship in sports arenas, but struggle to acknowledge the Lord publicly. We invite filth into our homes and think no one else sees or cares. While we’re distracted by issues of the day, are we being marked preceding the judgment of the end of days?

Move forward men, conscious of what is seen of us from outside our life. Live clearly defined as a believer in Christ alone who is worthy.

Vance Durrance

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White Robes

White Robes
“Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments…” –Revelation 3:4-5a
“And yet there was a salt in it, or it would have been rotten as well as dead,” (MacLaren’s Expositions). We do not know the value of living men among the dead, and what mercy they bring to a community which might be discarded if not for their preserving presence (Eze 22:30). And if you find yourself in such a position, take heart. Jesus is not just aware of the number of faceless subject, He knows your name. So there is a great reward for those “who have not soiled their garments,” who have not defiled themselves by idolatrous sin (1Co 8:7).
Sardis was known for its wool production and its dyes (especially red). Dyes and chemicals are often used to cover blemishes. But covering our sins does not remove them. Our pretty dyes may deceive the world and make ourselves presentable to them, but God is not impressed. Only God provides the garments necessary to enter the Kingdom (Mat 22:11-14). And we cannot earn them. To even attempt this is to make a god in our own image and serve it—which is idolatry.
Yet for those who trust in Christ, we will receive new garments of pure white (Rev 6:11; 7:9). Not blank and colorless, but the bright and illustrious dress of the heavenly state. Since we are united in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom 6:5), we will be clothed in the appearance of our King and model (Rev 1:13; 19:14). “We will be like Him” (1Jo 3:2). Although there is a huge difference between deity and creation, the chasm of separation between God and His image bearers is removed. Jesus is the perfect man—what man should have been and will be. Therefore, our future appearance mirrors His.
So why is this a comfort? What might we be missing if this does not trigger within us a desire for these future robes?
Billy Neal
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