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THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET EZEKIEL





EXPLANATORY NOTE

This posthumous work of Pastor Russell (arranged for use as a textbook) is much condensed, including the extracts from the Pastor's pen, all of which are referred back to his works. The abbreviations used are:

A, B, C, D,E, FThe six preceding volumes of "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES".
(Citations to E in italic figures refer to old editions, figures in ordinary type to later editions.)
B. S. M..........."THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY."
H....................."What Say the Scriptures ABOUT HELL?"
P-D................. "PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION" Scenario.
T....................."TABERNACLE SHADOWS."
S....................."SPIRITISM" Pamphlet.
Z......................"ZION'S WATCH TOWER," followed by year and page.

The citations to REVELATION and EZEKIEL refer to the comments herein, as well as to the Bible text.
Other abbreviations used are:

Barnes..........Barnes' "Revelation".
Brit................."Encyclopedia Britannica."
Buck..............Buck's "Theological Dictionary".
Coffin............Coffin's "Story of Liberty".
Cook.............Cook's "Revelation" ; a compendium of the presentations of seventy-two leading commentators on Revelation, in all languages and all ages of the Church.
Edgar............Edgar's "Pyramid Passages". Vol. II.
McC...............McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia.
Mosheim......Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History.
S. B. D...........Smith's Bible Dictionary.
Smith.............Smith's "Thoughts on Daniel and Revelation".
Weym............Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech.



EZEKIEL 9

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THE MAN WITH THE INKHORN

9:1. 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. — Chapter 9 depicts the slaughter of the idolaters of Jerusalem. It types the literal slaughter of the spiritual idolaters of Christendom in the Time of Trouble, and also their destruction as tares (Matt. 13:40) by the Word of Truth, which will manifest their true condition and cause them to cease the pretense of being Christians. The picture corresponds to the harvesting of wheat and tares by the sickle of Truth (Rev. 14:15), and the burning of the tares. There is a two-fold significance here — those having material charge of Christendom, and those having spiritual charge (D527.) The first class comprises the rulers of the great nations; the second class, the feet members of the Little Flock (Luke 12:32) — "All things are yours." (1 Cor. 3:21); "Inheritors of the Kingdom" (Gal. 5:21); "Given charge of all His goods" (Luke 12:44), the Bible truths. The first class has as weapons the armies and navies. The second has the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
9:2. 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 brazen altar.  — The six with earthly weapons are the rulers of the six great nations — Russia, Germany, Austria, France England and Italy. The six with the Sword of the Spirit symbolize all the Elijah class, the six, with one other, making up the seven, the complete number. These have their commission from "the north," from the seat of Divine Dominion, from God Himself. Practically all Bible translators and commentators agree that the one with a writer's inkhorn by his side was not one of the six, but a seventh, garbed as a priest, or as a clerk or officer in an army of the East. The linen signifies the imputed righteousness of Christ, (Rev. 19:8.) The writer's inkhorn symbolizes that the seventh man's function was to write. God identified him thus: When The Watch Tower Bible And Tract Society was at Allegheny, Pa., an open Bible was to be
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painted on one of the large front windows of the office. A sign painter, not in the Truth, painted the open Bible; and without instruction from any one, of his own volition, he painted the Bible as open at Ezekiel, Chapter 9. The man in linen was the Laodicean servant, the Lord's faithful and wise steward, Pastor Russell. When Pastor Russell saw this, he turned pale. Ezekiel seeing the man in linen, types Pastor Russell thereafter seeing himself to be the antitype of that man — one of the most prolific writers of the Age, and the only one to write and publish widely the glad tidings of the actual Second Presence of Christ. The seven men stood beside the brazen altar — there, in connection with God's Plan, based upon the Ransom sacrifice to receive their Divinely appointed commission.
9:3. 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. — One of the four living creatures is here designated a "cherub." This one was Justice, about to operate upon the iniquities of ecclesiasticism. The threshold of the house refers to the door of the Holy, the condition of the spirit-begotten. "The spirit of glory and of God is upon thee." (1 Pet. 4:14.) The message was to sound forth from the Lord's consecrated people during the Harvest of the Gospel Age, from 1878 to 1918.
9:4. 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 center of Christendom is the nations of the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and Scandinavia. Hither and thither, traveling and preaching for nearly forty years Pastor Russell obeyed this command; and through the printed page of books, tracts and newspapers he went into every corner of the world. "Set a mark", literally "set a 'tav' upon the foreheads." The "Tav" was the twenty-second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and in its earlier form had the shape of a cross (+)." The forehead signifies the intellect (Rev. 7:3; 14:1). Pastor Russell's great work was to imprint indelibly in the minds of certain ones the truth about the Cross, the sacrifice of the Christ, Head and Body, and the part of the Church therein. It was the duty of the clerk or officer of an oriental army to mark the people, either for slaughter or to be left untouched. The "mourners in Zion" (Isa. 61:3) are those faithful ones in Christendom that appreciate that conditions are evil in churchianity, perhaps with-
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out understanding just how. All those are to be marked in their minds with the knowledge of the Present Truth.
9:5. 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. — After Pastor Russell's writings have reached an individual, the other members of the Elijah class, the "Truth people," approach him with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. This is to each individual a "savor of life to life, or of death to death." (2 Cor. 2:14-16.) Those not believing Present Truth will become only the more confirmed in error. (2 Thes. 2:11.) They will be smitten by the Sword of the Spirit, which in them will operate at this time to destroy any pretense of being Christians, and cause them to take their proper stand as worldings — to be destroyed as tares. In this, God's "strange work" (Isa. 28:21), the Word of God will operate seemingly without pity, to separate the people into two classes, in Present Truth or out of it. In a literal sense the rulers of this evil Age will pitilessly carry the Sword throughout the lengths and breadths of Christendom.
9:6. 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. — Here are depicted the savagery of the revolutions and the anarchy succeeding the great war. Though they are to be literally martyred, the consecrated in Present Truth cannot be hurt of either slaughter weapon; their hopes and their treasures are in Heaven (Matt. 6:20), and no earthly calamity can in any wise work them ill. Symbolically the Sword of the Spirit will do no harm to mature Christians  — "men," — but many young or undeveloped believers, not having the Holy Spirit, regardless of sex, will fall as tares, as will all of the idol worshipers of Christendom. The literal trouble will begin with a revolutionary outburst of anarchy against the churches and the clergy (1 Pet. 4:17), as responsible for the trouble because of having preached the people into the war, in the face of innumerable Scriptures against fighting with carnal weapons (Matt. 5:39, 44; John 18:11; 2 Cor. 10:4) and of those teaching Christians to love one another and to forgive trespasses (Luke 6:27-38), personal or national. (Rom. 12:17-21.) The Sword of the Spirit will begin its work with the sanctuary class, the professing Christians (1 Pet. 4:17). It will begin with "the ancient men", the representatives of the people — the clergy, doctors of divinity, priests, bishops and other ecclesiastics.
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9:7. 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. — Typically the house of God was defiled by a dead body. The Temple, the Body of Christ, the true Church, is defiled by the presence in it of any one who has become spiritually dead. The priests and Levites alone might enter the priests' court; and this types that many professing to be consecrated Christians, will lose all claim to being followers of Christ — be slain religiously. So many will thus lose belief that Christendom will be filled with them. Literally the sanctuaries and the streets of Christendom will be filled with the slain of the Time of Trouble.
9:8. 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? — It will almost seem that none in Christendom will escape alive; and, indeed, "Except those days be shortened, no flesh should be saved." — Matt. 24:22.
9:9, 10. 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 eyes shall not spare, neither will I have any pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. — On account of the light of the Gospel of Love they possess, both Romanism and Protestantism are guilty to an extraordinary degree before God. Christendom, through its savage wars, is drenched with blood. Churchianity is full of wilful sin. God will seem to have left the social order to its own destruction.
9:11. 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. — Pastor Russell was faithful to his great task of writing and publishing the Truth and imprinting the "tav" of Present Truth in the minds of the spirit-begotten. In October, 1916, he died, and beyond the veil has, ere this, undoubtedly, reported in the presence of Christ that he has done the work he was given to do.



"Faithful when with tears thine eyes were dim,
Faithful when joys' cup o'erflowed its brim;
Faithful when God seemed to veil His face.
Faithful when He crowned thy work with grace.
Faithful till was fled life's fleeting breath,
Eager hands were folded still in death."

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