REPENT, RETURN AND REMAIN WITH GOD! Shofar eBook, Chapter 7
Posted by Shofar/Liz
SOUNDING THE SHOFAR- Exhortations for the End Times, CHAPTER 7
WATCHMEN ON THE WALL
Below is a prophecy given by the Holy Spirit on Nov 20, 2005 while ministering in Cubao, Manila, Philippines. It is regarding what God is doing in these end- times and the responsibility that God has given to the watchmen in the church.
“God is calling a people unto Himself who are pure and holy to embark upon the most important event they were created for. It is the ‘come up hither’ event, referring to the Rapture of the Saints (1Thes 4:16,17). Watchmen are those with the message that Jesus’ coming is imminent and they must sound the message loud and clear. Many watchmen, however, are sleeping and no longer attentive to their jobs. They must be aroused. Many are tired and must be charged up again. Many have left their posts and must be persuaded to return. But alas, many will be cast off because God cannot use them; they have gone back into the world where sin, Satan and their flesh will consume them. God is seeking watchmen who will deliver this message, ‘Wake up, look at the signs around you, the enemy is advancing, prepare for battle and watch the salvation of the Lord! For the battle is the Lord’s and the victory is ours!’”
EZEKIEL- CALLED TO BE A WATCHMAN (Ezekiel 3:17)
Ezekiel was a priest among the 10,000 Israelites taken into captivity by the Babylonians. God commissioned him as a prophet to help and encourage them and remind them of God’s promises to restore them to their own land one day. Ezekiel’s warnings were addressed to 3 groups of people- the wicked, the backslider, and the righteous. Does this not sound like the cold, lukewarm and hot or ‘committed’ Christians of the end times Laodicean church? (Rev 3:14-16) Ezekiel was told that if he did not warn them, their blood would be upon his hands. A WATCHMAN MUST WARN or he will be held accountable for those people who did not hear God’s message to REPENT (Rev 3:19).
Ezekiel received his call from God to be a watchman to the house of Israel when they were in captivity as a result of their continual rebellion to God. When a people reject God they will experience God’s judgments, even as now America and the world are undergoing great judgments from the hand of God. God raised up prophets and watchmen to reach the people with one message that is, “Repent and return to God.”
The mandate given to Ezekiel was to be delivered whether the house of Israel would listen or not. Whether they rejected the message or the messenger, as they did, he was still commanded to sound the warning. This is the same mandate for all Christian leaders today, to speak God’s message “to repent and turn, or return to Him.”
Three groups of people are addressed. The first is the warning to the wicked. God said “give them warning from me” (Eze 3:17). The message is to warn the wicked to turn from their ways or they will surely die; if they listen they will be saved, but if they don’t heed your words and die in their iniquity/sins, because you have warned them, their blood will not be on your hands (vs 18-19).
The second group is the backsliders, righteous people who sin and as a result, will not have their righteousness remembered, but will die if they don’t repent and turn back to God (vs 20).
The third group is the righteous people whose warning is to NOT SIN and they shall surely live (vs 21).
Simply stated, Ezekiel’s message was REPENT for the wicked; RETURN for the backslider; and REMAIN free from sin for the righteous.
The watchman is called by God to warn all three groups of His people. And if he neglected to do so, he would be responsible for their outcome and their blood would then be on his hands.
In Ezekiel chapter 33, the watchman is said to be a person who blows the shofar/trumpet to warn the people of God’s judgments that He will bring upon them unless they repent of their sins and evil ways. God tells the prophet that they will hear him out but will not obey; they are two-faced because outwardly they show that they have love, but they are really covetous and motivated by greed; they are also are a rebellious and an idolatrous people (paraphrased). God said that when His judgment comes to pass the people will know that a true prophet had previously warned them of these judgments to come. The main job of a watchman is to BLOW THE TRUMPET to SOUND THE WARNING!
THE WATCHMEN IN THE CHURCH TODAY
God has placed His watchmen in the body of Christ to encourage the faith of the believers, to support them in their study of God’s Word, to equip them for ministry and their place in the army of God and such other related responsibilities in preparation for the Lord’s return.
Those in leadership positions in the body of Christ are the watchmen over the Christian believers because they are the ones responsible for their spiritual well being. In Ephesians 4:11-13 it says,
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
These verses refer to all individuals doing the Lord’s work whether paid or unpaid, and serving in any of these five ministry roles. These are all watchmen for the Lord. Also included as watchmen are church board members, deacons and elders as they have accepted a responsibility for the care of God’s flock. Many may also exercise power or authority over their pastor and the spiritual content of his sermons. These individuals make up the watchmen in the church.
Problems arise when carnal, self-serving, or backslidden Christians attempt to serve in church ministry. The travesty is when many of these leaders may not even be born again, Holy Spirit-filled, or Bible believing Christians! The Bible has a lot to say about false teachers, false prophets, false apostles, false shepherds, deceitful workers, and false brethren whom Satan uses to deceive the Christians (2 Peter 2:1-3; Mark 13:22; 2 Cor 11:13; Gal 2:4). False pastors are also written about in Jer 12:10; 23:1-2. Deception is the very thing Jesus warned us about as a sign of the last days! (Mt 24:4,5,11,24) This deception is from within, rather than from without!
Whatever the case, whether a person has received a true calling from God, or was self appointed, or ordained by man to be an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and/or teacher, or any other leader with authority over God’s people, that person will have to give account to God as to whether or not they taught/warned/exhorted the believers to live holy lives in obedience to God’s Word and prepared them to look for the soon coming of the Lord. They will be judged on the same basis as Ezekiel in Eze 3:17-21.
RECOGNIZING A TRUE WATCHMAN
A watchman watches over God’s people, like a shepherd who takes care of his sheep, who feeds and cares for them and protects them from predators, etc. In Eze 3:17-21, God has specifically stated that the watchman’s duty is to warn the believers to not sin and that they must obey God’s commandments in order that they may live.
Some watchmen have a true calling from God and some don’t; some are true brethren and some are false, i.e. some are serving the body of Christ and some are serving themselves mostly. In China, many faithful Christian leaders and their members secretly worship in ‘underground’ home churches, risking persecution and arrest. In the Philippines, many pastors faithfully serve God without salaries, meaning they and their families live by faith.
However, it is different in America, where the majority of ministers will not serve in a church without first negotiating their salary and benefits package of car and housing allowance, medical insurance, paid holidays, days off, and vacation time. Many Christian charismatic leaders of mega churches can be recognized by their extravagant lifestyle, fine clothing and gold jewelry. They drive luxury cars, live in palatial mansions, and spend more time raising funds than preaching the gospel. It seems that more money supports their life styles than their mission projects. These are but a few examples of the hypocrisy in the church today.
THE STATUS OF WATCHMEN IN THE CHURCH
“Watchmen are those with the message that Jesus’ coming is imminent and they must sound the message loud and clear. Many watchmen, however, are sleeping and no longer attentive to their jobs. They must be aroused. Many are tired and must be charged up again. Many have left their posts and must be persuaded to return. But alas, many will be cast off because God cannot use them.”
The sad fact is that God will only recognize the work and Christian service of those who have received their calling and anointing FROM HIM, who are led by His Spirit and who are doing His will. This is what God will say to the watchman who fails to do his job of warning God’s people to be holy, to repent of their sins and to turn to God:
“Not every one who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many mighty works in Your name? And then I will say to them openly (publicly) I never knew you; depart from Me, you who act wickedly– disregarding My commands”
(Mt 7: 21-23, AMP).
Here we see the important role of the WATCHMEN OF GOD to warn people to REPENT, RETURN AND TO REMAIN WITH GOD! A WATCHMAN will either be later rewarded by God, or the people’s blood will be upon his hands and he will lose his reward! We must serve the Lord without compromise so that those we warn, and we ourselves will not perish!
(Next chapter- Chapter 8, AMERICA AND THE CHURCH TODAY)
About Shofar/LizI have a Christian blogsite-'God's Enduring Love' at https://heulu.wordpress.com with 'Words of Encouragement from the Bible and Liz's Journal'. Also, an art blogsite-'Art with Aloha' at http://artwithaloha.wordpress.com 'A Journal About Art and Life. I use acrylic and oil paints, graphite pencils and pen and ink.
Posted on November 6, 2012, in Sounding the Shofar eBook and Related Posts and tagged Apostles, Blow the Trumpet, Christian Church leaders, Doing God's Will, Evangelists, Ezekiel, False Leaders, God's Judgments, Hypocrisy in the Church, Imminent Return of Christ, Pastors, Prophets, Repent and Return and Remain, Sounding the Shofar/Alarm, Teachers, the Backslider, the Righteous, The Wicked, True Calling, True Watchmen, Warnings from God, Watchmen on the Wall. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.