The Ezekiel Revelation Parallel
Ezekiel 9 and Revelation 7;15; and 16 parallel each other. Ezekiel 9 will have another fulfillment during the end time events of the world as seen in the book of Revelation. The distinctive mark in Revelation is “the seal of God” and, like the mark in Ezekiel, it is founded on character qualifications. God puts His mark of approval upon all who, through the power of the Holy Spirit, reflect His character in their lives.
The outward, visible sign of this work of grace in the life will be the observance of God’s moral law (Exodus 20:3-17). The only commandment that has been attacked and changed is the fourth – the Sabbath. Most of the Christian world have no problem with the other nine commandments. Yet, the seventh-day Sabbath has always stood as God’s appointed rest day for man from creation (Genesis 2:1–3). The command to observe it was placed in the heart of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8–11). And neither Christ nor His apostles has changed it (Matthew 5:17,18; Acts 13:13, 14, 42, 44; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4).
The Word of God foretold of a great work of Sabbath reform to precede the second coming of Christ. (Isaiah 56:1, 2, 6–8; 58:12, 13; Revelation 14:6–12). And it also predicted that at the same time, the devil will exalt his own counterfeit sabbath – the first day of the week (Revelation 13; 14:9–12; Daniel 7:25). He will succeed to the extent that he will be able to unite the whole world in a great religious crusade to uplift the false sabbath (Revelation 13:8; 14:8; 16:14; 18:3).
As a result, the entire world will be separated into two groups, those who obey God’s law and His seventh day Sabbath, and those who honor the man-made sabbath. Thus, the observance of God’s true Sabbath will become the distinctive mark of the true worshiper.
God’s seal: obedience
Yet, it is not the external keeping of the Sabbath that constitutes the mark. The seal stands for character qualification that the believers must have to be part of God’s kingdom. Only those who have cleansed their lives from sin will keep God’s law in the time of trouble preceding Christ’s coming. Hypocritical law keepers will leave God’s ranks and join the false revival.
The true defenders of God’s holy Sabbath will be joined by others of God’s true children who, until now, have been spread throughout the different Christian churches, but who, under the increasing loud cry, will accept the true Sabbath and join God’s remnant people (Revelation 18:4).
Sorrow versus indifference
The mark is placed upon those “that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done.” The faithful ones have sorrow over the sins among God’s professed people. They afflict their souls because pride, greed, selfishness, and sins in the church. They feel helpless in stopping the tide of sin and are filled with sadness.
Those in the other ranks excuse the sin that exist among their ranks. They claim that God is too merciful to punish evil. But the Lord cannot lower or change His standard. To do so would change who He is (Matthew 5:17,18). Rather, He offers His power that every Christian may have complete victory over sin. And He invites all to be perfect as He is (Matthew 5:48). Unless this is attained by His strength, the soul will be found without the seal of God when probation ends.
Dual application of prophecy
In its primary application, the judgement on Jerusalem marked the close of its probation. God did everything in His power to save it but it rejected Him. Therefore, His protecting power would be removed and it will face the invading Babylonians. Mercilessly, their enemies would “slay utterly old and young.” And they would begin at the sanctuary where the false religious leaders are.
In its end time application, this will take place before the coming of Christ. Judgment, then, too, will begin at the “house of God” (1 Peter 4:17), with those to whom God has granted great light but who have been unfaithful to His calling. These will receive the first blow by those who have been deceived by their teachings. And later, all the wicked will perish at the second coming of Christ (Revelation 15–19).
In His service,
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