“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,” (Isaiah 62:6)
“Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.” (Jeremiah 6:17)
The watchmen of Israel stood on tall towers, migdal, and walked the walls of every fortified city. Interestingly, linguistically, migdal can also be defined as a pulpit... is YOUR pastor a watchman? Watchtowers were also found at corners of castles, and in time the castle itself was called a watchtower. In a way the whole Church is a watchtower, or should be. Is your local church a watchtower, a bulwark against evil? If not, it will be overtaken and destroyed, just as the Philistines were overtaken by the Israelites (2 Kings 18:8).
Some Christians are specifically appointed to be watchmen. I count myself as one of them, and it is a role I cannot shake off or ignore.
Who Were the Watchmen?
The watchmen or natsar observed from the towers and walls of a city, watching for enemies before they reached the city. They noted who the enemy was, shouted a warning to the people in the city, and kept the king informed of a besieging army’s activities. They guarded the city so that its peace could be preserved; they were armed guards who had the security and safety of the city in their hands. They could not sleep on duty, nor could they play the fool, or walk away.
Watchmen also guarded vineyards (as in Job 27:18), and each godly person guards his own lips against profanity and unholy words. So, every saved person has a responsibility for his own mouth, words he uses, and words he forms in his head. And what he forms in his head tends to be what his heart desires. Conversely, he is also responsible for NOT saying what should be said, or NOT doing what ought to be done.
As a watchman I have a profound responsibility to tell others of dangers approaching. It is not something I can just leave or moderate, nor may I amend what I say and do to placate lazy Christians. My task is not popular. No watchman is popular. This is because he shouts a warning when people prefer to be asleep! Warnings are given about all manner of dangers. At this time of writing, I am warning Christians of staying in the EU. Why? Because, to actively stay in the EU is to personally accept sin as a basis for life. It is to accept a condition of slavery to a foreign power, and to deliberately refuse to live a Christian life, preferring to stay in the sphere of Satan’s grip, indulging in wrong thoughts and actions.
As a watchman I can see these grave dangers, but many Christians cannot see them, and accuse watchmen of being ‘excessive’ or ‘paranoid’. So, watchmen are usually denounced or ignored. Even so, the task from God continues and cannot be abrogated. Read in the Old Testament how many times God warned the people about paganism and idolatry, and how the people rejected His commands! Then read in the New Testament of this very same shame heaped on the Jews for killing God’s messengers, rather than listen to and obey His word.
A ‘No-Friends’ Role
In my ministry, much of what I do is the work of a watchman. It brings me no friends, and I know that many scorn or shun me as a result. Popular psychology says that men and women crave to be liked – even on social media fakeries such as Facebook. But, the watchman cannot have this pathetic, and often deviant, luxury; we must speak out regardless of how many people hate us or walk away.
Most of my work in this matter is about watching events as they unfold, recognising their dangerous elements, and then warning fellow believers to beware. This includes teaching scripture as it is written, and not as people wish it to be represented. It condemns bad teaching and insists on good teaching, because bad teaching is from Satan and good is from God. As Paul insisted – follow him ONLY when he himself follows God! That is my authority, not my personal ideas.
Very often a warning is startling. As I have advised several times, God gives me big matters to deal with in ‘blocks’, when I must devote much of my time to the dangers I see. For example, when the Toronto Blessing hit the churches hard with pseudo-spirituality, vaunting tongues, healing, and ‘extra-biblical’ teachings. This took up several years of my life. Another example was environmentalism, which resurrected fascism and Marxism, and included hidden genocide. Yet another example is the Islamic horror, one that few Christians understand or are willing to deal with, preferring sham ‘compassion’ for fake ‘refugees’ to genuine Christian love, tough decisions, and hard-nosed action... the enemy is literally pouring into our cities, bent on destroying the inhabitants, but everyone stays silent.
The EU issue is presently with us as I write, and is a massive litmus-test for those who claim to be Christians. I will be tough here – Christians who vote to stay in the EU are losing their Christian virtues, and have no idea what God says about deliberately making ourselves vassals of a foreign godless power! The EU has already harmed the people of God immensely, and further harm will follow if we remain in its clutches. They have already promised further edicts even if we remain in its powerful, evil clutches.
Thus, a Christian who dutifully votes to stay in its realm is doing people like me great harm. They are also willingly accepting the rule of sharia from Islam, a rule that will send many Christians to their deaths, just as it has done throughout the world. As a watchman, then, I am warning loudly from the castle walls that you are about to be captured by Islam and the EU. Will you reject the call? Or, curse me for shouting the warning? Or, say I am inventing lies? Then you are still asleep, ripe for destruction.
2 Samuel 18:24
“And David sat between the two gates: and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate unto the wall, and lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold a man running alone.”
A watchman does not often report what is happening in his immediate presence; he shouts a warning in advance of approaching danger or incident. The reason is obvious – to prepare those in the city for what is approaching. If what approached was an army, his input would be vital, giving the city time to mobilise. To do his job he had to be placed higher than others; hence the tower or walls.
God gifts watchmen of our day to see what is coming and to shout a warning, whether or not listeners will turn to God. I must say, categorically, that when I have been called to shout about a coming danger, or one that is present, I have never been proved wrong. This includes ‘seeing’ the true nature of a person. No, it is not a boast... I get it right because I wait until I KNOW what I have to say is true, from God. The same goes for EVERY true pastor, preacher and teacher, because those who are called to these offices are gifted to be watchmen. The proof is simply attained – what they say either comes true, or it does not! If it does not, they are deceivers.
2 Kings 9:20
“And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.”
This is illustrative of a watchman’s knowledge. He knew how Jehu drove his chariot, so could see from afar that the diver was Jehu. Watchmen must have intimate knowledge of God and His word. Can he ever be wrong? Yes, of course – but only if he strays from what God wishes him to say and do.
Today, few Christians accept that a man is given a task and that God Himself guides his thoughts, words and actions. So, they view his output as ‘personal’ or filled with human frailty. That is, they pull him down to their own level of non-output and non-knowledge. But, God elects watchmen to do a job, and they MUST do it: “For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.” (Isaiah 21:6).
It bothers me not if Christians reject what I say... but it bothers me greatly that by doing so they reject God’s warnings, which is what they are.
Do you recognise the role and work of watchmen in this chapter? In this case the watchman’s role is vital. Verse 5 shows us the importance of the watchman, who is set on the walls allowing princes to eat without fear: “Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.” The watchman installed is making a statement that all is well. But, at any time, his voice can stop everything in its tracks. IF those he warns are willing to listen.
Ezekiel 33: 2-on
Some Christians who warn others become upset and dismayed when those they speak to will not listen, or do not learn the lesson given. I do not think this way, and will be at peace with God when others refuse to listen. This is because they are rejecting God, not me. If I have been faithful, then I am innocent of their foolishness:
“Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:
If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.”
As you can see, the watchman did his job and the people refused to listen, being critical and saying “Did God REALLY say this?” (The lie of the serpent). The watchman blows the trumpet – a loud shrill sound that will awaken the deepest of sleepers! The warning is clear. Therefore, if harm befalls the people, they are their own killer, they brought danger upon their own heads. Note that those who listen will “deliver (their) soul”! And in verse 6 we see that the watchman who does not warn others is held accountable and will be held guilty of any blood spilled. This is why I take my role seriously.
The watchman issues a warning. He was chosen to carry the responsibility. But, also, those he watches over also have a responsibility – to listen and to act immediately. If they do not, they place their souls in danger. The watchman is made to speak the word from God: “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.” (Ezekiel 3:17). “Son of man” refers to Ezekiel. It also applies to all today who are watchmen.
The Bad Watchmen
“And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.” (2 Kings 17:9)
What we find in 2 Kings is a sorry and appalling rejection of God and His word. So much so that the book of the law was kept hidden for a long time. We see the extent of this wicked rejection in the above text, where everything that could be done to dishonour the Lord WAS done, in every part of the realm. Thus, even the watchmen, whose job it was to keep the cities safe, were made corrupt.
We see this today throughout the churches, and especially in older denominations: there are now no watchmen guarding them, so they fall into moral and spiritual disrepair. Yet, God warned: “Ye shall not do this thing” (verse 12). Bad watchmen are no watchmen! Bad watchmen are described thus:
“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.” (Isaiah 56:10)
These are not ordinary watchmen, but of the Lord. They began good and ended bad. They are blind, unable to discern what is right and wrong, so they cannot recognise evil when it arrives. Thus, they do not warn the people. An uncalled pastor or teacher is useless, of no worth. His mind is diverted and his mouth is wayward. He will always speak nice things, never telling the truth or challenging the people.
They are ignorant because of their blindness; though claiming to be of use, they know nothing... and there are many of these people in our churches. Do you recognise these woefully inadequate and ignorant ‘Christians’? If not, you are of the same kind.
These ignorant excuses for pastors and teachers are like dumb dogs – they cannot speak. Yes, they say a lot, but their words are unintelligible. Their words are flowery and pleasant, because they have nothing of worth to say, their flowery language hiding their ignorance. Bear in mind that the term ‘dog’ in this context is one of contempt. They cannot bark (make a useful sound) and prefer to sleep, rather than do God’s work. This I see in most churches.
The True Watchmen
“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence,” (Isaiah 62:6)
True watchmen are a nuisance to the inhabitants of the city! They insist on shouting their warnings loudly, when others wish to sleep! Yet, they are doing what God intended them to do, so they “never hold their peace day nor night”! Though this is God’s will, those who claim to belong to God reject the calls. That is why God, in this text, insists that those who claim such attachment to Him must “keep not silence”.
It is clear: hear the watchman’s cry and do something about it! It might put you out, it might be jarring to hear a shout when you sit comfortably, but the situation is not of your choosing – it comes from God. Today, a few watchmen still exist and they are all shouting loudly to you. Will you listen? Will you obey their calls from God? And if you are a pastor, will you be true and confront the people with truth? GOD set the watchmen on the walls of Zion (His Church); do not dare to ignore their clarion call.
God calls all of us to listen to the cry of the watchmen, to “hearken to the sound of the trumpet” But, the people said “We will not hearken”. (Jeremiah 6:17). The cry of the watchmen is now strong and clear. We are in dire dark days. Will we listen and act?
God is calling us all to action, to stir to the sound of His watchmen, whether they are on the towers or in the field of battle. We are all called to stir ourselves towards Jerusalem (Jeremiah 31:6).
Even as we willingly plan to enter into bondage to enemies (such as the EU, charismatic deception, Islamic terror, etc), God is planning for the downfall of those enemies:
“Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the LORD hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon.” (Jeremiah 51:12).
He EXPECTS us to raise His standard even on the walls of the enemy’s fortress! We MUST speak out and be a “strong watch”. God has prepared ambushes, and we are to take part. We must lay in wait and pounce upon those who harm us. We will be successful because God has planned it! He has already planned their demise, no matter how strong they appear to be. They can only be as strong as the Lord allows, and not as strong as their own evil heart’s desire.
So – lay in wait. God will tell you when to overcome the enemy! This call might be a whisper (remember when David waited for the rustling in the mulberry trees?). The downfall has already been determined, so take courage.
“The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity.” (Micah 7:4)
In human terms our enemies are only as strong as we perceive them to be. If we are afraid of them they will win and overpower us. In reality, they are as briars, ready to burn up in the fire.
However, “the day of the watchmen and thy visitation cometh”! God hears the anguished cries of His people and will step in, and when God visits He does so with power and authority, expecting all believers to take part in His plan, which begins to manifest itself when the watchmen shout. NOW “shall be their perplexity”! NOW is when the enemy will be confounded by God’s strength and presence.
We are in days when even families will rise up against each other and hand us over to wicked men (Micah 7:6). That is why Christians must not place their confidence even in close friends (verse 5), but only in the King of kings.
“Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.” (Micah 7:7)
The days are indeed very dark and getting darker. Enemies abound on all sides. Yet, it is at this very time that God comes in His power to save His people. Will you listen to the watchmen, whose authority is from the Lord? Will you rise to the challenge? If you do, your soul will know safety and peace. But, if not, your soul will be dashed to the ground and you will come to know great fear.
Watchmen – be true and stay firm; repeat only what you see and hear of the Lord. This was the authority of the Apostles – let it be yours, also. The watchmen are shouting loudly. It is to your advantage to hear them and to act accordingly.
May the Lord give you wisdom and discernment, even this very day. Will you hear and obey the Lord? Or, will you defy Him?
The Future is the Lord’s!
The watchmen looked back to the valley between two mountains, as the whole Egyptian army thundered towards the helpless Hebrews, caught between them and the Red Sea. “And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,” (Exodus 14:24). The rest is, as we say, history! The watchmen trumpeted the warning, but God was already dealing with the enemy!
Gideon won a decisive victory because the watchmen did as they were instructed (Judges 7:19). There were even watchtowers built in deserts. At times David felt that whilst he was a watchman, he felt like a tiny, lone sparrow (Psalm 102:7) – but his strength was God, not himself, so he was not a sparrow, but a roaring lion.
Everyone should be a watchman in the general sense, even as the disciples had to remain awake, to see Jesus coming (Matthew 24:42 and 25:13).
“And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch”. (Mark 13:37)
“Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” (Revelation 3:3)
© May 2016
Published on www.christiandoctrine.com
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