I WILL NOT KEEP SILENT
WATCHMEN OF SAMARIA
WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT
"I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth" (Isa 62:6-7 NIV).
Although visible Jerusalem (the church system) is somewhat of a balancing factor in the earth between good and evil, it is certainly not the praise of the earth. Furthermore, neither is the Jerusalem from above who is free, the mother of us all; but it will not be this way forever. We can count on it. The religious system has fallen into spiritual decay and will be laid in ruins like its type that was destroyed in A.D. 70 by Titus, the Roman general. On the other hand, New Jerusalem will be unveiled by Jesus and be the praise of the earth.
How can it be otherwise? for that is one facet of our Lords mission, and He has called us to be a part of it. To the casual observer, the mission may look impossible; but is not, for He is a living fire in our hearts that cannot be quenched, and like Him, we will never remain static or keep silent until it is a reality in the earth. We may presently be in the tabernacles of dark pavilions with the world being unaware of our existence but our voices rise in anthem throughout the body of Christ, heralding a new day. We shall continue trumpeting this call until His righteousness shines forth as the breaking dawn, and our own salvation is seen like a blazing torch.
We may dwell for a season in the caves of Adullam, in booths, in the huts of these vile bodies we may be hidden for the time; but be assured, brethren, there will not rest until our deliverance comes and we shine with the brightness of our Lords glory. It is then that the groaning creation can see the Way that leads to freedom from the bondage of corruption.
Although hindered, it is not due to being bound by religions darkness. No, not at all. We are not held back by holding to religious creeds and dogmas. Erroneous traditions and tenets of faith do not trace or shape the territory of our calling. Finite suppositions do not frustrate our walk or Gods purpose for His creation. Mans religious ideas have no sway in our confinement. It is God alone who holds us in His refining furnace of affliction. It is herein where we have learned that the utmost describes the scope of our vision. Branded deep in our hearts is His intention, and we have confidence He is able to bring it to pass. In His pavilion of darkness, and under the shadow of His wings, we hear His voice. His presence is real, and we know Him not just about Him. Our Lord has entrusted to us, as a Friend to a friend, the secrets of His heart in what lies ahead. Although we may not know in detail, He has shared with us what His plans are for humanity. He not only spoke it to us by the word of His anointing, He confirmed it many times over in scripture. We also know His arm is not shortened to perform it; for He is the right one for the job, and His name is Jesus, the first begotten of God. And now, He has called us to take part in this awesome task of setting all men free! Praise God!
Because of Him, the elect of God do not belong to the groups fenced in by church-house walls or personalities. They are free, and in their freedom they will not rest or keep silent until their salvation burns like a blazing torch throughout the earth. One person of this stature will accomplish more in one day than the entirety of religion has done in two thousand years.
The word of God in our midst is changing soft, milk-toast Christians into blazing firebrands, lively stones, if you please. These stones are not being hewn by the crafty hand of man. ("And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it." [Exo 20:25]) Religious tools have not formed their features. When you see them they do not look like Baptists, Pentecostals, Mormons, Catholics, or any other denominational religious order. They look like their Father. This image and likeness is not acquired by embracing certain doctrines or persuasions of silver-tongued men. The altar of their hearts has been fashioned by Christ Himself, pure and undefiled.
Those who are seated together with Christ make up a mighty host, one that will always advance. The gates of hell shall not prevail. Those barred doors will first be broken down in their own lives, and then in the rest of the world. The inhabitants therein will then be led into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
It is not in our makeup to keep silent or rest. Until we have finished our course, our voices will be heard first by those of the same calling, secondly by the Church as a whole, and finally by the rest of the world. (But every man in his own order: the anointed firstfruits; secondly, they that are Christ's at His presence, and then the end rank (the rest of the world), when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. [1 Cor 15:23-24, paraphrased]) We press on until we have won the prize of the high calling, and then the reconciliation of the world.
Christ is not raising up a people who half-heartedly dabbles in what might be possible, but a people who stands firmly in that which appears impossible. It is with these that all heaven joins in song and marches abreast in their quest of life. Victory over death, hell, and the grave stands firmly a sure thing.
This, dear friends and sojourners of faith, is the light we see rising before us, as we continue our watch. In fervent passion we sound the word of this new day that others might also hear and see. We rest not, nor keep silent, until we fill the destiny of our calling. Who could stop short? especially since we see the rays of the dawning new day.
"I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem..." (Isa 62,6).
Watchmen stand in the tower, the tallest place above the sleeping city. They keep watch for invading armies and other potential dangers. From their vantage point, they can see vast distances, farther than anyone of the city.
When danger presents itself, the watchmen sound the trumpets and warn the people. They also announce the dawn of each new day, as mentioned above. The watchmen are the first to see Gods rising truths that set men free from darkness, and by their word others are awakened and also see.
WATCHMEN OF SAMARIA
With it being so distasteful to even mention those things that pertain to death and darkness, we avoid it as often as possible. However, knowing it will help a few to see more clearly, and hopefully, to show them a more perfect way, we will mention the subject of these less than honorable gatekeepers and watchmen. We are also reminded that the watchmen will be held responsible for the peoples deaths if the warning is not sounded. ("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....But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul....If the watchman sees the sword come, and blows not the trumpet, and the people be not warned...and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand...I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me." [Ezek 33:4-7])
Incidentally, the Hebrew word for warning is zahar. In these verses it speaks more than merely of warning someone of an impending danger. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance gives this: "to gleam; figuratively to enlighten (by caution)". It carries the thought of teaching, of bringing people to an understanding of what is going on around them. In most English Bibles the word is translated admonish, shine, teach, warn, receive instruction, etc. Such as: "And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do" (Exo 18:20). "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (Dan 12:3 KJV). "A poor, yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction" (Eccl 4:13 NASB).
Therefore, rather than ignoring who these watchmen are, we will address it briefly here, and hopefully enlighten those who have not seen this before now.
Through the years it has become increasingly evident that the vast majority today are akin to the watchmen and gatekeepers of Babylon and Samaria. If you recall, one of Samarias gatekeepers did not believe the word of the prophet. He not only disbelieved; but he mocked the man of God. Elisha then prophesied against him, saying: "Hear ye the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria. Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he (Elisha) said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof" (2 Kings 7:1-2).
It came to pass as Elisha had warned: "And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said... (2 Kings 7:17).
This is the type of watchmen we see all too often. Whenever a life-giving word of promise and deliverance comes, they are be quick to denounce it and belittle the messenger.
This was common with all the prophets, and it is a familiar thread in the church system today. They may not literally kill the prophets, but spiritually they stone and crucify them by character assassination. Everything in the gatekeepers power is done to destroy their credibility and effectiveness.
Would you like to see what happens to the prophets in your own church? If so, just let the Prophet in you, Jesus Christ, rise up and declare a word of liberating life, or better yet, a word of correction that would point them back to Christ. Like Jeremiah, you may be in for a humiliating letdown.
When he told Israel of the impending judgment that would befall her and her cities, the chief governor in the house of the temple did not take it lightly:
"Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the Lord" (Jer 20:2).
The prophet was brought to a most helpless and humiliating place, which is hard on anyone. All forms of rejection are painful and humiliating; but to be made and open gazing-stock is almost unbearable. None of us are immune to it, the prophets were subject to humility, and one greater than the prophets suffered the same. Jesus despised the shame, but endured it for the joy that was set before Him (Heb 12:2).
When such humiliation is the result of a living word you speak, or it is perhaps due to your mere presence, it is generally short-lived. In most cases, once you have been cast from among them, they soon forget about you; that is, until the Lord raises you up again to speak His word or show your face. On this particular occasion Jeremiahs confinement in the stocks lasted one day:
"And it came to pass on the morrow, that Pashur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks... (vrs. 3). Although your release from immediate humiliation may be short-lived, it may not be the end of the matter, at least not for your detractors. You see, our God is very jealous of His own, and although these things are often instrumental in our Spiritual growth, He measures out His justice. With Pashur and those who aligned with him, it began in the form of a foreboding prophecy:
"Then said Jeremiah unto him, The Lord hath not called thy name Pashur, but Magormissabib." (Jer 20:3). His name, which signified his state of being, along with that of Israel, was changed by the word of the Lord in the mouth of the prophet. His name was changed from Pashur (prosperity on every side) to Magormissabib (an encompassing terror).
The prophecy continued: "For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will make thee a terror to thyself, and to all thy friends: and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and thine eyes shall behold it..." (Jer 20:4).
If the Prophet is seen or heard in you while attending a church that is orchestrated and run by man, you can expect a great deal of opposition from their watchmen. They may give you a little liberty, for a season, hoping you will either go away, or the people will not take you too seriously. Nevertheless, they will eventually rise up against you if you are truly bringing a word that threatens their palisades. They know very well that Christs presence will bring an abrupt end to what they have. Therefore, to maintain their livelihood, they must get rid of Him, and since you are the vessel by which he is seen and heard, you go too.
In some places they would delight in killing you, and in others, the humiliating stocks will do. When this happens, that which they feared so in the first place comes upon them. Those churches often fall apart before a year has come and gone and scattered to the four winds to never rise again.
Let me tell you what to expect when you are targeted by Samarias watchmen as the result of being obedient to your calling, or from simply being who you are in Christ:
Rumors will be spread about what you believe or disbelieve. Your moral character might be brought into question. They may ask you about your beliefs, but most likely not, for what they have heard or imagined about you will be what they assume is true. Eventually, they will ask you to leave.
When this happens, your first response is shock, almost laughable unbelief. You are amazed that God-fearing Christians could and would say and do such things, especially when you have said or done nothing wrong.
The second emotion that rolls in is hurt. You have been wounded deeply in the house of your brothers. If the blow had come from an enemy, you would have expected such and would not have thought too much about it but this came from your friends and family. It came from those you loved so dearly. You would have laid down your life for them.
The pain lasts only a short time before the third wave rolls in anger. It overwhelms you. Your thoughts surge fiercely through your mind: "To think that those blind, unlearned, self-righteous, religious imbeciles could come against someone as innocent and loving as me."
Vindication becomes paramount while anger fuels the fire. You have to defend yourself, for your reputation is at stake, all the while forgetting that Jesus made Himself of no reputation. Nevertheless, the thoughts and scenarios that build in your mind are masterful. You picture yourself standing before the whole congregation, and you lay it out exactly what unjust wretches these so called godly leaders are. In your mind you see them being left defenseless, bruised, and bleeding at your sharp words of vengeance and righteous indignation.
You soon realize this is not possible, for they will never give you the opportunity to tell them the way it is, so you dispense with that avenue and take up the pen. Ah, yes the pen! It is mightier than the sword, so you spend an hour, two hours, half a day, or three building the perfect defense. You sculpt ever word and sentence to make your points clear. No stone is left unturned. You have a perfect defense that no man can gainsay, and once again you know your accusers will be left naked and wounded before all. "Theyll get what they deserve," so you think.
But then comes the Cross. You are willing to take up your cross and follow Jesus, and remain humiliated before the eyes of others rather than to strike in defense. You will lay down your life, especially your pride, before administering any hurt from Gods holy mountain.
Whether they are brothers or half brothers, your desire is to help them rather than to hurt them. The Prophet that stirred such fierce anger and jealousy in others touches you ever so tenderly, causing you to be willing to die that they might live. Although rejected and humiliated, you truly feel that it is all right. You will bear the indignity heaped upon your name. You let it be. It is not in you to strike with either the sword of your mouth or your thoughts. You die to the thing and let God work His wonderful work of reconciliation in you and them. You tear up the letter and are so thankful you didnt mail it. Praise God! VICTORY floods your soul! Truly, there is victory in the cross. One must die to live a paradox for sure, but what a divine truth!
The above, however, is not always the reason we are rejected; for very often much of our hardships and hard feelings from others is not due to Christ being seen or heard at all. We are simply reaping from the ill seeds and attitudes sown. Religious zeal and natural reasoning can just as easily be on our part as it is on others. When carnal thinking is in play, Jesus is neither obligated to defend our cause nor His name. The fact is, before we can be speaking or doing anything in His name, it must be by His Spirit; otherwise, we are merely name-dropping, which does not qualify as speaking in His name. Only when He gives us the authority to use His name, or when we by nature speak and do His works, is it in His name. Unbeknown to many, most religious words and works are not remotely close to being in the name of Jesus.
"Touch not Mine anointed, and do My prophets no harm" (Psa 105:14-16). This is a very valid warning to those who would harm Gods elect; but when we blunder into regions where angels fear to tread there will be no vindication. Our Father will let us receive a few beatings to teach us how to truly walk and speak in His name. We will come to be more cautious about venturing into places we are not sent.
Therefore, just because a person, or a group of people, will not receive us does not mean they are half brothers, as it was with Joseph. Neither must they be blind watchmen without knowledge. They are not of necessity greedy dogs, or shepherds who cannot understand, with each doing his own thing for personal gain, as mentioned in Isaiah 56:10-12. Sometimes we go where we have not been sent, and we reap our fair rewards.
On occasion, however, we are sent into places that need to be shaken or encouraged by our presence; but presently, more often than not, this is not the case. As long as we are dwelling in the pavilions of darkness with our Lord, we remain alone while being made ready for the dawning of the new day. When that hour comes, some will be sent into their midst. Others, however, will not go into them; for the imprisoned will come out to us. I see the latter as being more likely, but not necessarily the rule of thumb.
The Lord told Jeremiah do not return to them, let them return to you, and do not go into their feasting (Jer 15:19, 16:8). The same was with the four lepers of Samaria. After they had left the city and secured the kingdom, and possessed all the food and riches of the Syrians they did not return into the city. They didnt have to. Once the people heard what awaited them on the outside, neither the gates (of hell) nor their keeper could hold them. The people went to where the lepers had found the food and gold, which was certainly not in the city.
We know some are sent to the orthodox churches, and they are doing a wonderful work behind those gates. A few are being awakened and fed by them; but in most cases, it is clear that our present mission is not returning to them and feasting with them. For one thing, there is very little upon their tables we could or would eat. Many have the same diet as did Samaria, which was not the most desirable cuisine. That besieged city was relegated to eating asses heads (the knowledge of man), doves dung (yesterdays revelations), and babies (devouring newborn Christians and making them twofold more the children of hell than themselves). There is little wonder why the lepers refused to return to the city, and likewise with those today who press forward and feast upon the Living Word of God. If they return, it is not to eat, but to serve the living bread of which they have.
WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT
We may wonder at times if the Kingdoms of Samaria and Babylon, along with their watchmen, will be with us forever. Their rule seems to go undaunted, regardless of the powers, good or evil, that have come against them. "How long will it be?" we ask, "When will these Pharisees arrayed in Babylonish garments be taken out of the way? When will their regime fall, and those in bondage be set free?"
Isaiah wrote: "...Watchman, what is left of the night...? The watchman replies, Morning is coming, but also the night" Isa 21:11-12 NIV). And, "This is what the Lord says to me: "Go, post a lookout and have him report what he sees. And the lookout shouted, Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower; every night I stay at my post. Look, here comes a man in a chariot with a team of horses. And he gives back the answer: 'BABYLON HAS FALLEN, HAS FALLEN! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground!'" (Isa 21:6,8-9 NIV).
This is the answer to when the religious systems of the world shall cease at the coming of the morning, and also the night. And the word will come from the watchmen of the Lord who stand quick and ready at their posts night and day. They neither sleep nor rest until all the images are cast down and shattered. The powers of darkness will fall, and the reality of our Lord shall be every mans portion.
Again. "...Watchman, what is left of the night...? The watchman replies, Morning is coming...." Praise God! Morning is coming! But as the prophet wrote also the night. For some, the Lord and His elect will shine as the morning. They will come as a breath of fresh air, crisp and clean; but for others, their appearing will be as the night, as a dark terror upon their rule. The powers that be shall be brought to nought. The Pharisaical towers of Babylon will collapse and be ground to powder, for the Rock of the Lord shall fall upon them.
Do you hear the chariots of God thundering in the distance. Can you see clouds rising from their horses hooves pounding out the proclamation of victory. Do you hear the horsemen proclaiming "Babylon has fallen, has fallen!" If not, you shall, brethren, you shall for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it! Bless His wonderful name.
The heralds with vision are heard declaring: "Day after day, O Lord, we stand watch. Every night we keep our post. Look, here comes a Man in a chariot with a team of horses. And He gives back the answer: 'BABYLON HAS FALLEN, HAS FALLEN! All the images of its gods lie shattered on the ground!'"
It is impossible for them to keep silent or rest. There is something in them that stirs them on. Although not every ear is opened to their words, that which the watchmen see and hear, that is what they speak, and they speak it clear. They are not of the camp who are ill trained and half asleep drifting in and out of reality proclaiming fiction for truth. They stand alert to the slightest movement, glint of light, and whisper of the Spirit. Their report is accurate. These watchmen stand vigilant at their posts, and shall continue standing until victory is seen on every side. Their dark pavilions may not be pleasant at times; but that is not a question, for they know who they are, where they are, and for what purpose they are called. Praise God! Its time to shout, brethren! Therefore Shout!
In fervent passion we sound the word of what we see so others might also catch the vision and be made free. We rest not nor keep silent, until we no longer say, "Babylon IS falling, IS falling" but "Babylon HAS fallen, HAS fallen!" O watchmen, what is left of the night? Is the morning coming?
To be continued...
Elwin R. Roach
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