The "Mark of Life"
Wednesday Morning, January 1, 2003
In Ezekiel 9, there is a verse and Life we all have had to weep over and grow into, since many years ago God showed us this: to love ONLY what God loves. A friend of the world is “an enemy of God” —ouch! And further, initially a surprise to all of us: a person who will NOT hate and cry over the sin they see amongst those who call themselves by Jesus’ Name around them, but rather defends or protects it, or ignores it as “not my problem” and “God will take care of it, so I can disregard it”—such a person does not know God.
“For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within (any man that is called a brother)? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” “If they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned the people from their evil way and from the evil of their doings” (Jeremiah 23:22).
That is as powerful and personally life-altering as it is True. God was clear: Those who truly Know Him are always very purposeful about defending God’s Honor and “hating even the clothing tainted by evil flesh.” God’s Will has always been that we would “have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Those pleasing to Father have always been that way. Remember WHY “Phinehas was credited with Righteousness” (Ps.106:30-31, Numbers 25)? That’s how the Bible reads. Always has.
And yet, THIS Truth in Ezekiel was still more STAGGERING to us, as a People in this city, many years ago now.
And the LORD called to the man dressed in linen who was carrying the writer’s case. He said to him, “Walk through the streets of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of all those who weep and sigh because of the sins they see around them.”
Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all—old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple.” (Ezekiel 9)
WOW! The “mark of Life” is ONLY for those who WEEP and SIGH over sin. We must CARE, or we are not in His Spirit. “Avoiding sin” isn’t going to save the lives of those of Ezekiel’s day. The only ones saved were those who CARED DEEPLY about the sins around them—not just themselves. Everyone else died! While most will not even deal with themselves for the Blood of the Lamb, even JUST that (dealing with one’s own sins)—is not the end of God’s Heart, obviously. We are called to WEEP and SIGH “because of the sins we see around us,” and then “wrestling to present others complete in Christ.” THAT’S the Mark of Life that Father is looking for!
That is Jesus’ Life within those who are Twice-Born. And we’ll decide, each of us, if we will be co-workers with Him and embrace His Spirit, or if we will quench it or oppose it. THIS is the Spirit that was upon Him, and can be upon us—if we would allow ourselves to pay the price Jesus paid for it!
“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.”
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
“And they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations. You shall be named the priests of the Lord, they shall call you the servants of our God.”
“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for the sake of God’s People I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.”