"The Man with the Writers Inkhorn", Part 2

Ezekiel Chapter 9 Verses 1-11 and Chapter 10 Verses 1-7

VERSE 1Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, “Let those who have
charge over the city
draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.”

VERSE 2And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north,
each with his
battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a
writer’s inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar
.”

In the typical since the city referred to represents Jerusalem, but prophetically or antitypically we
understand that it is in reference to
Babylon or Christendom, “…the great city which spiritually (or
symbolically) is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified,” “the great city who made
all the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication,” “the great city which reigns over the
kings of the earth” (
Rev 11:8; 14:8; 17:18)

Those who have charge over the city typically referred to those in authority, the elders of the city
who often times would be found gathered at the gates of the city to serve as witnesses and or to
rendered judgments in respects to various business dealings and legal transactions between the people,
an example of such a case can be found in (
Ruth Chapter Four), in the account where Boaz gathers 10
of the cities elders at the city gate in order witness the redemption of Ruth, now in the antitypical since
as expressed by Brother Ric Cunningham in his discourse entitled “
A Man Clothed in Linen,” “these
men would represent
those who have authority over Christendom in the sense that they came
from the way of the upper or higher gate, from the way of higher learning. They were teachers
in Christendom
”.

“These men proceeded from the
north * into the city, into the Temple arrangement; that is, they came
from the north where God resides, from the seat of judgment. Hence the six men with slaughter weapons
were of
divine appointment and divine judgment is indicated.” (The Book of Ezekiel by Brother
Frank Shallieu
)

* Please see our thoughts on this from the previous page.

“We think this means that Jehovah, at the appointed time, allowed these men to be gathered together
who would be given authority over Christendom as teachers and who would come forth to spread their
teachings. These teachings would either slay the one class, or would mark or spare the other.” (“
A Man
Clothed in Linen
”)

Weapons of Warfare

Each of these men held a deadly (or “destroying” See the margin) weapon in his hand. In Verse 2
this weapon is referred to as a “
battle-ax” (literally, "a smiter," hence, a war club or battle-ax), the
marginal reading refers to it as a “
shattering weapon”, a “destructive weapon” (Rotherham) or as a
slaughter weapon” in the (ASV). The margin of the Revised Version renders it as a "maul" or heavy
mace or hammer. In
Psa 74:6 the word so rendered means a "feller."

"You are my battle-ax and weapons of war: For with you I will break the nation in pieces; with
you I will destroy kingdoms… And I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all
the evil they have done in Zion in your sight, “says the LORD
.” (Jer 51:20, 24)

In the typical sense the foregoing scripture applied to King Cyrus and his army as God’s battle-axe, used
to shatter
Literal Babylon and its inhabitants for the wrongs they had committed against His people
Israel after the flesh, antitypically it could well apply to these men who came by way of the upper or
north gate spoken of in our study texts, these men would be used to bring about the destruction of
Spiritual Babylon for the evils they had committed against the true Zion, the “Israel of God” (Gal 6:
16
).

Now the question is are these men the actual battle-ax of the LORD as was Cyrus or do they personally
weld these weapons? The reason we ask this question is because some of the brethren have suggested
that these
six men are not actually literal men at all but rather are symbolic representations of specific
messages or proclamations meant to expose the errors of Babylon, that they are in essence the
Six
Volumes
written by Pastor Russell, the Lord’s Seventh Messenger.

The idea that these men may not have been literal men but rather
symbolic representations appears
sound given the fact that even the word “
angel” often times refers to one or the other to an actual
individual or at other times to a specific message, agency or catalyst directed by the Lord to accomplish
his will. Personally I’m inclined to believe in this instance the reference is to actual men, but that’s for
each individual to decide for himself based upon the facts.

Regardless of which view we take our next question would naturally be what type of weapon is this battle-
ax? Obviously Cyrus used physical weapons of war to break the nations and to bring about the
destruction of literal Babylon, but what of these men coming forth by way of the upper gate, what of
their weapons, what is this battle-ax with which they weld, which is capable of slaughter (death)? Is this
a real weapon capable of physically killing?

What say the Scriptures with regards to the weapons of Christian warfare?

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our
warfare are not carnal
(of the flesh) but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting
down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing
every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ
.” (2 Cor 10:3-5)

“Our text shows that Christian weapons overcome high things, exalted "
against the knowledge of God."

The "
high things" which exalt themselves against godly knowledge are called "fortresses," in the Diaglott
translation (
strongholds of error). These enemy fortresses are various errors -- unbelief, fear, pride,
envy, etc. These are also called "
imaginations" or "reasoning’s" (see marginal references.) For example,
pride is the result of a person's reasoning -- imagining that he is better than someone else. Since this is
erroneous reasoning, "
imagination" is not a bad translation. All of the enemies’ fortresses are vain
imaginations of some kind or another, not based on factual reasoning. The apostle is not condemning all
reasoning’s, only those which become fortresses of error and oppose the knowledge (the truth) of
God…Only the right kind of weapons will bring us success in this warfare.

Carnal weapons are those which the adversary has taught the human family to use. Among them are
flatteries, deceit, exaggeration, sarcasm, and fear, things which appeal to a person's pride or selfishness.
On the other hand,
Christian weapons are those which God has taught His people to use -- the
truth and the spirit of the truth. These are the only ones we are commissioned to use
.

The main Christian weapon is the "sword of the spirit which is the Word of God." This does not
mean that we can take words or phrases out of the Bible at random and use them as we please. It is the
teaching of the whole Bible, the truth that is to be our weapon.” (
Excerpts taken from a talk by
Brother C. A. Sundbom entitled
Carnal Weapons vs. Christian Weapons)  

So our summation is that it is the “Sword of the Spiritthe Word of God which is the weapon of
choice used by the Lord’s people (our battle-ax, i.e. “
shattering weapon”), “mighty in God for pulling
down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the
knowledge of God
,” other weapons we possess which are included in the Christian’s Armor, but the
Sword of the Spirit is our chief offensive weapon.

So in what way does the “
Sword of the Spirit” (our battle-ax) slaughter, kill?

It is not the physical man which dies when this weapon is brandished against him but rather his faith, his
belief, his professions; this is what perishes
.

Be shattered, O you peoples, and be broken in pieces! Give ear, all you from countries afar. Gird
yourselves, but be broken in pieces; Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces. Take counsel
together, but it will come to nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, for God is with us
.”
(
Isa 8:9, 10)

Because the love of the truth was not in them who perish, and because they chose rather to take counsel
together in opposition to the Lord,
for this reason, He will send them strong delusion that they
should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had
pleasure in unrighteousness (error).
2 Thess 2:10-12

"And many among them shall stumble and fall, and be broken, and be snared and be taken." (Isa
8:15
)

They stumble and fall over the truth and are taken in the snare of the adversary,
their faith shattered
and broken
; thus they are engulfed in the great flood of infidelity overtaking the church nominal.” (R
601
)

In our next post we will continue with our examination of
Verse 2 focusing in on the latter part of the
verse concerning the man in linen with the writer’s inkhorn.


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