Ezekiel 9 Is Not A Sabbath Seal
“This sealing of the 144,000 is not a Sabbath seal. However, those who are sealed must be Sabbath keepers. It is a seal, or mark, that separates the two classes in the church, and those who are sealed, or marked are not marked because they keep Sabbath only, but be-cause they sigh and cry for all the abominations that are done in the church. So both the sealing and the slaughter are in God’s church, and not in Babylon, or in the world. It is only in Jerusalem, and Judah, the house of Israel (the church). “Judah” in Ezek. 9:9 refers to those in office, for Judah occupied the office of the Levites after the tribe of Levi was carried away. There is not a thought about the world or the ungodly. When the marking (sealing) is finished, the five men with the slaughter weapons begin with the ancient men which were before the house, meaning the guardians of the spiritual interest of the people. See Volume 3, pages 266, 267, and Volume 5, pages 210-212.
We quote Volume 5, page 211: “The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust. They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment.” Volume 3, page 265: “But if the sins of the people are passed over by those in responsible positions, His frown will be upon them, and the people of God, as a body, will be held responsible for those sins.’
Those who are sealed (marked) and escape the ruin are the ones who will constitute the number which prophecy declares to be 144,-000. Our denomination numbers about 300,000. This means the denomination will be divided in half and suggests the ten virgins, five of whom were wise and five were foolish. In other words, half and half. May God help His people, and give us a vision of what sin is that we may put away the existing disastrous iniquity in the church (the house of God). Such a vision would cause us to sigh and cry for the abominations that are done in the midst thereof. He who understands the curse of sin would throw no cloak over the existing evil to obtain the favor of any. May God lift us from the low spiritual level into which we have fallen, and save us from this Laodicean, lukewarm condition. May we, as wise Ninevah of old, defeat the prophecy, that heaven may rejoice.
Sealing Begins—Church At Low Ebb
It is evident that if both the sealing and the slaughter are in the house of God, the church (His people), and if more than one-half of the people must perish for their sins except they repent, and if less than one-half of the present membership would number 144,000, it certainly could not have begun many years ago; and much less with the beginning of the third angel’s message, for there was no church then but merely a handful of people. It could not have begun when the church was in a good, spiritual condition. It must have begun when the church is at her lowest level, and polluted with sin.
Those who are to receive the seal and escape the slaughter must sigh and cry for all the abomination that is done in the midst thereof. Volume 8, page 250, says, “Unless the church, which is now being leavened with her own backsliding, shall repent and be converted, she will eat of the fruit of her own doing, until she shall abhor herself.”
Speaking of the 144,000, Volume 5, pages 210-11, says, “These sighing, crying ones had been holding forth the words of life; [a message] they had reproved, counseled, and entreated. Some who had been dishonoring God, repented and humbled their hearts before Him. But the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel; although many still continued the forms of religion, His power and presence were lacking. In the time when His wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul-anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping, reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a real zeal for God’s honor and a love for souls, will not hold their peace to obtain favor of any. . . . They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. . . . The class who do not feel grieved over their own spiritual declension, nor mourn over the sins of others, will be left without the seal of God. . . . Here we see that the church-—the Lord’s sanctuary-—was the first to feel the stroke of the wrath of God. The ancient men, those to whom God had given great light, and who had stood as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people, had betrayed their trust.”
Volume 5, page 82: “The call to this great and solemn work was presented to men of learning and position; had these been little in their own eyes, and trusted fully in the Lord, He would have honored them with bearing His standard in triumph to the victory. But they separated from God, yielded to the influence of the world, and the Lord rejected them.”
Volume 5, pages 211-12: “They had taken the position that we need not look for miracles and the marked manifestation of God’s power as in former days. Times have changed. These words strengthen their unbelief, and they say, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil. He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment. Thus peace and safety is the cry from men who will never again lift up their voice like a trumpet to show God’s people their transgressions and the house of Jacob their sins. These dumb dogs that would not bark are the ones who feel the just vengeance of an offended God. Men, maidens, and little children all perish together. The abominations for which the faithful ones were sigh-ing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed. . . . Our own course of action will determine whether we shall receive the seal of the living God, or be cut down by the destroying weapons.” If we were to mark out the exact time of the beginning of this sealing, we would say it began sometime during 1929. Space will not Permit us here to give our reasons for believing thus, but in another study this will be taken up.
To get the proper understanding of the third angel’s message we shall divide it into three periods: (1) Beginning of the proclamation of the true Sabbath, Rev. 14:6-11; (2) Reformation, and sealing of the 144,000, Rev. 7:1-8; (3) The Loud Cry, Rev. 18:1. The truth of the sealing (144,000) being made known, it is evident that we are in the second period. If we had not known the commencement of the third angel’s message in its beginning, we would have had no message. Therefore, we must know the time of the last two periods when they came, being of no lesser importance.
Cause Of Sighing And Crying
Volume 5, pages 210, 211: “In the time when his wrath shall go forth in judgments, these humble, devoted followers of Christ will be distinguished from the rest of the world by their soul-anguish, which is expressed in lamentation and weeping reproofs and warnings. While others try to throw a cloak over the existing evil, and excuse the great wickedness everywhere prevalent, those who have a zeal for God’s honor and a love for souls, will not hold their peace to obtain favor of any. Their righteous souls are vexed day by day with the unholy works and conversation of the unrighteous. They are powerless to stop the rushing torrent of iniquity, and hence they are filled with grief and alarm. They mourn before God to see religion despised in the very homes of those who have had great light. They lament and afflict their souls because pride, avarice, selfishness, and deception of almost every kind are in the church. The Spirit of God, which prompts to reproof, is trampled under foot, while the servants of Satan triumph. God is dishonored, the truth made of none effect. . . . The abominations for which the faithful ones were sighing and crying were all that could be discerned by finite eyes, but by far the worst sins, those which provoked the jealousy of the pure and holy God, were unrevealed.”
Volume 1, pages 471, 472: “A great mistake has been made by some who profess present truth, by introducing merchandise in the course of a series of meetings, and by their traffic diverting minds from the object of the meetings. . . . “It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.” These traffickers might have pleaded as an excuse that the articles they held for sale were for sacrificial offerings. But their object was to get gain, to obtain means, to accumulate. . . . Ministers have stood in the desk and preached a most solemn discourse, and then by introducing merchandise, and acting the part of a salesman, even in the house of God, they have diverted the minds of their hearers from the impressions received, and destroyed the fruit of their labor. . . . Their time and strength should be held in reserve, that their efforts may be thorough in a series of meetings. Their time and strength should not be drawn upon to sell our books when they can be properly brought before the public by those who have not the burden of preaching the word.”
Volume 8, page 250: “Who can truthfully say, ‘Our gold is tried in the fire; our garments are unspotted by the world’? I saw our Instructor pointing to the garments of so-called righteousness. Stripping them off, He laid bare the defilement beneath. Then He said to me: “Can you not see how they have pretentiously covered up their defilement and rottenness of character? ‘How is the faithful city become an harlot?’ My Father’s house is made a house of merchandise, a place whence the divine presence and glory have departed! For this cause there is weakness, and strength is lacking.” Thus the time and the condition of the church at the beginning of the sealing of the 144,000 is well portrayed by both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. It is an admitted fact among Seventh-day Adventists that the church has been on the decline for some years, but never has it been in such a low spiritual condition as it is now. There is scarcely any difference now between the church and the world.” — Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, pp. 29-34