Origins of the Watchman
In biblical times cities were often fortresses with tall thick walls surrounding the city to protect the people from the enemy, and Jerusalem was no exception. But without a watchman on the wall the security of the city was incomplete. The watchman's role is to first see the enemy and then to alert the people of the coming danger. Watchmen were on the lookout for the attacks and schemes of the enemy.
The watchmen of Israel used a shofar (an instrument made from a ram's horn) to raise the alarm of impending danger. The word shofar is translated as "trumpet" in the Bible.
The responsibility of the watchman was great. When Ezekiel the prophet is called as a watchman by God the enormity of the responsibility is made clear.
The word of the Lord came to me: "Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.'"
"Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to the wicked, 'You wicked person, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade them from their ways, that wicked person will die for[a] their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person to turn from their ways and they do not do so, they will die for their sin, though you yourself will be saved." ~ Ezekiel 33:1-9
Note also that the responsibility of the one who hears the warning.
What about Watchmen these days?
What does this all mean for today? Where is the city? and its wall? What is the danger? Who are the watchmen?
In Mark 13 Jesus tells the disciples...
- "Watch out that no one deceives you."
- "You must be on guard."
- "When you see..."
- "So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time"
- "Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door."
- "Be on guard! Be alert!"
- "Therefore keep watch..."
- "What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'"
So what does this mean? Jesus repeated himself many times here. In effect, all Christians (if not all people) are told to watch. You are told by Jesus to "Watch!". To Jesus this was very, very important - hence he laboured the point.
Beyond this God has called each of us to various ministries for particular times. This is where the Christian Watchmen on this website (and others around the world) come in. Each has been independently called to service in Gods kingdom as a watchman. In the same way that Ezekiel was called with great responsibility each of the watchmen on this website were called by God to a watchman role. We take the responsibility and duty very seriously.
In the case of Christian Watchmen, the city resembles the Body of Christ, the church, outside the city lies the world and the enemy, the watchmen are Christians called by God to watch for dangers and to warn the Body of Christ, the church. The danger comes from the world and the enemy who seeks to lead the saints (Christians) away from Jesus.
NOTE: There is a difference between a shepherd/pastor and a watchman. A shepherd/pastor is responsible for looking after their flock/congregation spiritually. A watchman is to sound the alarm from the wall, where the shepherds will hear it and then bring their flock to safety. Remember here that all Christians have also been given the responsibility to watch (not just watchmen or pastors).
A Day in the Life of a Watchman (prayer needs)
Most of our day is like anyone else's day, we eat, we work, we sleep, we have friends and family, we have good days and bad days.
But this is what we face, and would love your prayer support for...
- We see the world through different eyes
- We see dangers from far off (that often others do not see)
- Some dangers are to the church and others for all mankind
- Some are physical/tangible
- Some are philosophical movements or strongholds
- And others are spiritual
- We see the devils schemes, and the formations of attack on society and the church
- Mostly these come in the form of deceptions (untruths, manipulations, lies, twisted scriptures etc)
- World and local events and news are continuously on our radar
- The devil does try to deceive us also (with what I call puffs of smoke to make us look foolish)
- We make mistakes at times (if we are not alert or in enough prayer, usually due to a puff of smoke)
- We do not see everything, and God has His own timing for revealing certain things
- It can be intense at times, when God downloads lots of information
- We can be intense (sometimes other Christians keep their distance, or feel uncomfortable around us)
- We sometimes have dreams, visions or prophesy
- We take our role very seriously
- Some people think we are paranoid and scared of the future (but we are not scared, rather we are concerned for those we must warn)
- It is lonely work (standing on the wall on your own)
- Few listen to us. It is a hard position, and can be very discouraging
- Prayer and listening to God is central
- We need prayer support, it is a very spiritual battle (and the enemy wants to keep us silent)
- We often have a heightened desire to proclaim the good news of salvation
- That Christians are on guard and are not misled away from God
- That those that knew Jesus but have slipped away will find Him again
- That non-Christians will hear the truth about Jesus and His return, and for their salvation
I have only really scratched the surface on everything you could say about watchmen. There are plenty of other resources and information available to deepen your historic and present day understanding of watchmen. Feel free to contact us via email or our Facebook page if you wish to discuss further or become a prayer supporter.