I WILL NOT KEEP SILENT
WATCHMEN WHAT OF THE NIGHT?
"The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?" (Isa 21:11). The NIV translates it: "An oracle concerning Dumah: Someone calls to me from Seir, Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?" And, "The watchman replies, Morning is coming, but also the night..." (Isa 21:12). (Burden: a burden; tribute, porterage; fig. an utterance, chiefly a doom, espec. mental, desire. Dumah: silence. Seir: sa'iyr, shaggy; a he-goat; by anal. a faun...to storm; by impl. to shiver, i.e. fear [Strongs Exhaustive Concordance])
So many today are heavy laden with unprecedented pressures. They have been set aside in silence for so long. They are not very different from the one calling from Seir, as their voices are heard over the roar of the storm: "How long what is left of the night? When will it end?" And the answer is also the same morning is coming. Indeed, morning is coming, praise God; but even with this word of assurance, it is hard to believe. Moreover, for the vast majority the word to them is also the night.
Although we hear that morning is coming, giving us cause to rejoice, the prophet brings a warning to those in rebellion: "For they fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, and from the grievousness of war. For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Within a year...all the glory of Kedar shall fail" (Isa 21:15-16). ( Kedar: Qedar from H6937; dusky (of the skin or the tent); Kedar, a son of Ishmael 6937. qadar, a prim. root; to be ashy, i.e. dark-colored; by impl. to mourn (in sackcloth or sordid garments). [Strongs])
Kedar speaks not only of the world of darkness with its dust-blown skyways, of the world clothed upon with the soiled garments of Ishmael, as the word relates, but speaks also of the worlds church system. Spiritually speaking, their skin is ashen and their tents are dark. Venture into one of the tents of Kedar, sit through one of their services, and see how much light you find. In most cases, it wont be much, and the sad point is their darkness is generally viewed as light. Jesus said this about it: "But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Mat 6:23).
Mans ways of reaching the heavens is by building towers of hewn brick and slick mortar. When he applies his schematics by laying his hands, tools, and efforts upon the structure, he fills his whole body with darkness. It is little wonder why the glory of Kedar shall fail, for there are no windows or doors open to receive Christs light of understanding. Sectarian watchmen keep them closed tight, and for centuries ignorance, like a tidal wave, has swept over her banks and carried the masses out to sea.
Ceremonial religion has served its purpose, but now must go. Leaders of sectarian religion must give way to the ministers of flaming fire. Leaders who translate Christianity into a philosophy of todays culture are losing their grip on their imprisoned people. The Spirit from the downtrodden held behind those unhallowed walls are crying out for food and drink and peace. For neither carnal men, ceremonies, nor the letter that kills will ever be able to free the people and restore this teetering world to peace and liberty.
Unlike those of static religion, there are men and women of God who will stand before the Ahabs of the world, and the prophets of Baal. When they are called to go forth they shall go. There is a people who will cower neither in the faces of the Herods nor before the Sanhedrin. The rulers of Pharisaical religion will pose no threat to them. They are heralds of Gods Kingdom, whose cry shall shake the foundations of all who abide in the heavens, the earth, and under the earth. The regimes of this world and all religions everywhere must fall, and they will. Already, we can see Londons bridge is falling down on our fair lady, as the nursery rhyme goes. However, we will not take the key and lock her up; but the ashes of her burning will be scattered throughout the earth to never rise again. She will have no vessel to carry her; for the back of her worldly beast shall be broken, and that power will fall with her.
I have no ax to grind with those in the church, for they are brethren; but the truth must be known about the system that holds them. The ashen pallor of religious darkness, the spirit of that system, has covered the whole world with her subterfuge, and such can never shine as true light. It may seem as light to some, but it is due to them never having seen the Light of Day, and there is nothing with which to compare it. They know not that rituals, creeds, doctrines, legalism, and human charisma it is not the light of Christ. Those things are threads of mans fabric from which a shroud of darkness and death has been woven to cover his nakedness. Such light, so called, is darkness and how great is that darkness. Moreover, once the word of judgment is pronounced upon religions dark regime, their light, their self-made glory, shall utterly fail, along with the dark glory of all the world orders.
Religious organizations and their leaders are great fire-builders, as Isaiah wrote. They surround themselves with the sparks of human reasoning. They walk in the light of their own fires. Their delight is in the understanding they themselves have kindled. But their glory will not last for by Gods hand, they shall lie down in sorrow. (Isa 50:11).
But on the other hand, there is a people who have walked in darkness, and have seen a great Light. They have dwelled in the land of the shadow of death. But now, upon them has the Light shined. (Isa 9:2).
Again, let us ask, "Watchman, what of the night?" And praise God, he answers "The morning cometh."
The apostle Paul echoed the same when he said: "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light." (Rom 13:11-12).
The works of darkness stem from not having the light of understanding. They are products of the flesh and not the Spirit, and surely, my brethren, we are being awakened today from the likes. Are we not being stirred by the watchmens trumpets? The message that has been sounding across the land and piercing our hearts is arousing us from a long night of sleep. It is freeing us from worldly shackles and religious chains. These angels, these messengers of the Lord are announcing a new day and stirring us to action. Therefore, "Awake, thou that sleepest, rise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light" (Eph 5:14).
Dark prisons have bound many today. Some succumb to the drawing power of the world, others to subtle religious leaders and enticing programs, and a large number to harsh circumstances beyond their desire or control. With the latter, the incarceration of disease, poverty, depression, family problems, deaths of loved ones, hardships, and heartaches of all kinds have weighed heavily upon the elect of God. However, in the waning hours of this darkness when the worlds merciless blows would seem to snuff out all chances of freedom hope springs up like a well of living water in a dry land. The messengers, the watchmen of the night, bring forth light in the midst of their captivity.
For instance, when Peter was kept in prison, it appeared his time was running out. But praise God his friends would not keep silent. Unceasing prayer on his behalf changed things: "The very night when Herod was about to bring him out (to trial), Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison; and behold, an angel of the lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, Get up quickly. And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him, Dress yourself and put on your sandals. Wrap your mantle around you and follow me. And he went out and followed him; he did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him. And Peter came to himself, and said, Now I am sure that the Lord has sent His angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting." (Acts 12:6-11 RSV).
I doubt that we can use Peters experience as a format for being made free from every hardship we encounter; but we cant help from noticing how often deliverance came at night. It is as if God delights in doing things when it is least expected and in the most marvelous ways. Here we see that during the most crucial time of the night, Peter was released from the lions jaws. And I believe today it is the same with us. When it seems impossible to escape, the light of Jesus Christ will penetrate the numbing darkness and deliver us from death.
Concerning both Peter and John, we read in Acts of another nighttime rescue:
"But THE ANGEL of the Lord BY NIGHT opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught..." (Acts 5:19-21).
No doubt, the people thought the end of the two apostles were at hand, and perhaps Peter and John had thought the same. Nevertheless, it was not to be. BY NIGHT, when the Sun/Son was not shining in glory, another messenger of the Lord was sent and opened the prison doors and led them out. And likewise with us, fellow cell-mates in the midst of the darkness, before the Son rises with healing in His wings every prison door shall open. The gates of hell shall not prevail, and we will walk away free. The chains of Alzheimers, diabetes, cerebral palsy, Parkinsons disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, life sentences in state institutions, eye disorders, deprivations of life and limb, cancer of every kind, shall fall away in the night. The iron gates of every affliction, natural or spiritual, will be flung wide open when the angels of the Lord invade those prisons. And these angels are men and women like you and me, and in many cases they are and will be you and me.
With so much being said about angels these days, it is hard to keep our minds from imagining them as winged entities without flesh and bone; but such concepts divert us from the real angels/messengers we come in contact with every day. Let us get our minds off the supernatural on the other side, and get them on the supernatural of this side. When we do this, it makes it much easier to hear the word of the Lord they speak and see the prison doors open at their presence.
We have said in the past that we must wait for the dawn of the new day before we can be made free from many of lifes plagues, and for most, this is so. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that with the sons of God, freedom reigns and liberty comes during the time of darkness even in the midst of Gods Dark Pavilion, i.e. "He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies." (Psa 18:11) (For more see "Mysteries From Darkness")
Once more we note: "But THE ANGEL of the Lord BY NIGHT opened the prison doors, and brought them forth..." (Acts 5:19). But there is more. We are not to be freed merely for our own sakes. The angel went on to say: "Go, STAND IN THE TEMPLE courts...and tell the people THE FULL MESSAGE of THIS NEW LIFE" (Acts 5:20 NIV).
Without regard to their own welfare, Peter and John kept not silent, and their words helped to turn the world upside down. Furthermore, it has not been the same since. Unlike the apostles, there are times when we run across reluctant prophets; but our Father has a way of making them more than willing. Those sent by the Lord will one way or the other speak what they are told, even if a great fish is one of the avenues by which they must be persuaded.
Contrary to peoples belief that man is supreme in doing what he chooses, better known as mans free will God works all things after the counsel of HIS OWN WILL (Eph 1:11). And He is not always silent about it; for "The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that THE MOST HIGH IS SOVEREIGN OVER THE KINGDOMS OF MEN..." (Dan 4:17 NIV). Therefore, those being sent to release the prisoners will not keep silent! For a long time they may not have been permitted to declare these spiritual mysteries; but they will be trumpeted in due season to those called to know them.
And in turn, the ones released from the bondage of death and hell, they too will go and TELL THE PEOPLE THE FULL MESSAGE of THIS NEW LIFE. Early in the New Day will they tell it. "And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught..." (Acts 5:21). There is no way they can keep silent. From the courts of the many membered temple they shall declare CHRISTS LIFE OF THE AGES. And from this word, a great harvest will be seen.
Another account of a midnight-prison release is recorded in Acts: "Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed" (Acts 16:24-26).
Even in the midst of the inner prison, the most secure and isolated place to be held, Paul and Silas would not keep silent. They were praying and singing praises unto God! Hallelujah! But while in these tabernacles of dark pavilions, when we all should be singing praises unto God why do we hear so much lamenting from some of our cell-mates? Perhaps their focus is on the flesh and not the Spirit. Maybe they do not know the Lord as they ought. Could it be that they know His doctrines, but not Him? Whatever is the reason, it is not the voice and spirit that shakes foundations. Nevertheless, laughter and great rejoicing can be heard coming from behind the veil of dark pavilions. Although there is great suffering in the flesh, there is freedom in the Spirit. Truly, with us Babylon has fallen, has fallen!
Paul and Silas, no doubt, aggravated the other prisoners for a while. Imagine, praying and singing and shouting hallelujahs until midnight. At the darkest hour when everyone should be fast asleep, here they are causing a ruckus. Even so, their reluctance to keep silent in this dark place finally penetrated everyones hearing. ALL who were in that prison HEARD their words, and ALL the prison doors opened! It was when their voices were heard as the One voice of the Almighty God, it shook the earth as A GREAT EARTHQUAKE, and everybody was released!
In like manner today at midnight, when we are heard praising God people will be shaken, but then liberty. Such words shall provoke a great earthquake in the lives of those bound in the darkness of ignorance, vices, infirmities, and assorted hardships.
Although the severe shakings would appear to be destroying peoples lives, they work quite the opposite. Not one soul shall be lost. Furthermore, before it is over, not even the prison keeper will be lost. There is a time when the gate keepers of religious orders will also be freed from their place of darkness and evil communications. The ecclesiastical leaders of all the churches will cry out for mercy and be saved. Self-serving men of government will likewise seek and find salvation. The hard-pressing bosses in the work places will be released and come to the knowledge of the truth. And even the husbands, wives, and children who subvert and hold their loved ones captive by their selfish powers will be saved. All will have their foundations shaken, their evil chains will be broken, and they shall come to know the freedom of Christs life and His infinite love.
If you are with me, brethren, we will not keep silent until he and all his house are saved, and Jerusalem becomes a praise in the earth. This will be the house of religious orders, along with the ones in the house of oppressive governments, and also those in the house called the world. Contrary to the belief and desires of a fast-growing minority, the whole house of the prison keeper will be saved! It may take a length of time, an age or two, perhaps; but with Gods timing and Christs Life that endures through the ages, we have plenty of time and patience to work on it.
Some will say, and perhaps rightly so, "Brother Roach, you cant use these verses as a shadow of what is to come. For they speak only of what happened to a handful of people on that particular night, and not of things laid out for us." Nevertheless, whether we have this liberty or not, the premise remains "God will (is determined to, Grk.) have all to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim 2:4), and again, "...Who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will" (Eph 1:11 NIV).
Such a wonderful word will be met with opposition from the rulers of those religious institutions. This, we can count on. They will most often work behind our backs. In some cases they may confront us face to face, saying "Did not we command that you could not teach these damnable heresies to our people? You have filled them with your strange doctrine, and intend to draw them from us." Our only reply will simply be "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).
By obeying God rather than men, liberation of Jerusalem will be seen. It will then be fulfilled: "Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice TOGETHER shall they sing: for they shall see EYE TO EYE, when the LORD shall bring again Zion" (Isa 52:8). In the eyes of men, it may look impossible; but let us remember, "With God nothing is impossible" (Luke 1:37).
Men are trying with all their might to stick together. Most church organizations strive for this unity, but fail pitifully. Even within their own ranks, and under the best of conditions, they have a hard time agreeing upon a single thing. They band together, doing all sorts of things; but their accomplishments are generally on the natural level. It is from that which pertains to mans ability to perform out of the resources of the carnal mind and works of the flesh.
"They gather themselves together; but not by Me, saith the Lord" (Isa 54:15). It is usually on specified days (Saturday, Sunday, or Wednesday) that they gather, and it is not uncommon for it to be for the purpose of doing something good. And this is not all bad, for it is better to pluck and eat good fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, than evil fruit. Even so, it is still natural and ministers death. There is virtually very little spiritual worth born from their gatherings
Nevertheless, while attempting to get God to help them in their aggressive exploits, Matthew 18:18-20 is often cited in their prayers. From the words we have heard them speak, there must be a common belief that quoting these verses will remind the Lord of what He had said. Once it is brought to His mind, He is then bound by it. From this point of view, man of the earth can dictate and move Gods hand in the heavens. Their desires become Gods obligation. In other words, it is a case of the tail wagging the dog. Let us note:
"Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall AGREE on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are GATHERED TOGETHER IN MY NAME, there am I in the midst of them."
Agree: "sumphoneo...to be harmonious..." (Strongs). It is from sumphoneo we get our English word, symphony.
Gather together: "sunago sunago, from sun and ago; to lead together, i.e. collect...."
sun, "a prim. prep. denoting union; with or together i.e. by association, companionship, process, resemblance, possession, instrumentality, addition etc."
ago, "a prim. verb; prop. to lead; by impl. to bring, drive, (reflex.) go, (spec.) pass (time), or (fig.) induce." (Strongs)
It is as if all that is necessary to get what they want is to gather together, agree upon a matter, bind and loose things they want done or undone, and seal it by asking in the name of Jesus. First, their gathering together is greatly lacking. Second, their agreement is far from what the Greek word and its context suggests. Third, very seldom do they ask in His Name. And finally, they start their binding and loosening from the wrong point (the earth) and carry it in the direction of their own will rather than Gods.
The way the above is often done has nothing to do with what Jesus was talking about, but has everything to do with what man deems good and wants done. Neither the will of man nor efforts of the flesh has the spiritual power of Christ to move a straw, much less mountains. Religious rituals, regardless of how good mans intentions are, do not impress God, and cannot draft His Spirit to do their bidding.
When we gather together, agree upon a matter, and ask in the Name of Jesus it is something quite different from what men of presumption can muster. Let us read the two verses again, but in the Amplified version, and see what I mean:
"Truly, I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is ALREADY forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be ALREADY permitted in heaven. Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, together make a symphony) about anything and everything whatever they shall ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in Heaven. For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them."
With this bit of clarification, it is easily seen from where the HARMONIOUS SYMPHONY originates that releases the power and authority to BIND and LOOSEN. It is certainly not from the footstool (the earth) like the King James Version states; but rather, from the throne (the heavens) as the Greek and various translations render it. Not only does their harmonious symphony come from the heavens; but also our Fathers power comes from there. It is "Not by might, nor by power, but BY MY SPIRIT, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zech 4:6).
As for coming together in the Name of Jesus, we will draw from the Wuest translation, which compliments the Amplified: "For where there are two or three who have been joined together INTO MY NAME with the result that I AM THE COMMON OBJECT of their faith, there I am in their midst." We see here the difference from merely saying His name in an earth-inspired prayer and being joined INTO the heavenly Name and rising together in harmonious symphony. Herein our minds, wills, and intentions are One mind, One will, and One intention which is always His!
And it is in this Symphonic Voice, joined with our Fathers Power, that we shall declare from the courts of the temple: "Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted His people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord" (Isa 52:9-11).
While we are singing, let us join in with the sweet singer of Israel: "...Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD COMMANDED the blessing, even life for evermore." (Psa 133:1-3).
Oh, brethren, what a pleasant thing it is to be in the unity of the Spirit of the Lord! It is from here the priceless anointing is poured over the whole body, breaking every yoke of darkness. Such a song, the Song of the Lord, shall shower all the kingdoms under Zions rule. For it is from here, from this lofty place of Christs reign, that HE C-O-M-M-A-N-D-S THE BLESSING OF THIS NEW LIFE FOREVERMORE!
To be continued...
Elwin R. Roach
Part 2 | Part 4
Home | Elwin's Directory | Margit's Directory | Links
To receive these monthly studies in booklet form
Elwin & Margit Roach
PO Box 4004
Alamogordo, NM 88311-4004