Do you have the Mark?
I remember a number of years ago my brother watching a movie called Damien omen . . . this hollywood movie had something to do with the antichrist the mark etc. I did not want to be in the house because something was telling me that this was wrong! Of course there was much speculation about this mark where and when. I am sure many churches had a field day on this subject.
Some of these theories hold tot the notion that there would be a revival of the Catholic Church. Some have believed it is the re-emergence of the Holy Roman Empire in correlation with the European economic union. Others believe it is the forced implementation of a religious system. Still others have pointed a finger at the dreaded computer chip. Where people will either voluntarily or involuntarily will receive a computer chip that some say will be able to control you. Well, Jesus says watch ye therefore . . . Good Advice!
But there is another Mark spoken of in the Bible. This one has not received the attention as that spoken of in the Book of Revelation. But nonetheless it is important that we shine a light on the Book of Ezekiel for a few moments this morning. It is found in the 9th chapter of Ezekiel. And I may surprising you in saying this but I want you to have this mark:
Ezekiel 9:1-11 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. 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 brasen altar. 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; 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. 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: 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. 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. 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? 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. And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. 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 context: Ezekiel is asking God about the harsh judgement that God is revealing to him. So God is revealing through vision what is taking place back in Jerusalem. Wickedness of all kinds. The leaders of Jerusalem were Worship of the sun in the Temple, Women were offering worship to tammuz. God in His Mercy is also balanced with the perfect sense of Justice and Judgement. He has been merciful for so long, but now judgement and justice must also answer here. So in the 9th chapter of Ezekiel sees 6 men, evidently angels, with slaughter weapons in their hands. They have a mission: “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” Ezekiel 9:6
But there is another spiritual being, he has a writer’s inkhorn. Why does he have this? The scripture plainly explains: “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.”
They were not to touch those who had the Mark. What is this mark? Lets turn back to the 4th verse:” 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.”
So what are we to take from these passages found in a hard to understand book known as Ezekiel? I would like to offer a couple of thoughts here:
1) We had better look different from the world in God’s eyes. He is the ultimate and final judge on our character and our actions. There was a definite difference between those who were holy and those who were not. How do we know that? Because God can clearly see what man tries to hide. Jeremiah states that the heart is desperately wick who can know it? God can see!
2) There is a curse found in Isaiah the 5th chapter and it states this: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness;” We live in a day and age where to judge someone who is doing wrong is worse than the one doing wrong! We have blurred the lines of good and evil. But God still sees clearly a difference do we? We now live in the days of old where “everyone did that which was right in his own eyes” God is the ultimate judge of right and wrong, not a reasoned human philosophy filled with excuses!
3) The New Testament brings forward a similar picture found in Ephesians 1:13: “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” The word “sealed” comes from the Greek word: sphragizo and means: “to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation” God knows those who are His. How? Because when we come to saving Faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, God seals us. He places a mark in our hearts and lives! The promise is that we are accepted in the beloved because of the works of Christ! We are sealed, we are marked by God’s Spirit and are kept to the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ
So the question to consider is this: do you have the Mark of the Master?