When the watchman sees the enemy coming, he sounds the alarm to warn the people. Then if those who hear the alarm refuse to take action, it is their own fault if they die. They heard the alarm but ignored it, so the responsibility is theirs. If they had listened to the warning, they could have saved their lives. But if the watchman sees the enemy coming and doesn’t sound the alarm to warn the people, he is responsible for their captivity. They will die in their sins, but I will hold the watchman responsible for their deaths.’ (Ezekiel 33:3-6)
In biblical times a watchman was a someone who was given the task of watching over a city or crops. If the watchman fell asleep or failed to give warning to an attack from an enemy, the results could be disastrous. The city could be overrun before anyone knew what hit them. The crops could be wiped out and people go hungry. It was a serious position and anyone who left his post or was caught asleep while on watch would pay a high price and could even be executed for it.
It was also a responsibility that was given to the prophets and leaders of the nations of Israel and Judah. Ezekiel was one who was called to be a watchman by God and God warned him of serious consequences if he didn’t do as God had told him to do in warning the people.
"Therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul" (Ezekiel 33:7-9).
John the Baptist was also given the task of being a watchman. His was a voice crying out in the wilderness. In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Matthew 3:1 He warned the people about their sin and the dangers they were facing. He also exposed corruption in government officials (Herod and his adulterous affair) and spoke out about it for which he was beheaded.
Jesus warned the people not to follow the Pharisees and Sadducees. He exposed their sins and warned the people they needed to turn back to God. He warned the people about the things to come and revealed to them the condition of their hearts.
In the church today the responsibility has been given to those who are in leadership such as the five fold ministry (Eph. 4:11), elders and or the heads of families. Unfortunately many don’t take that position seriously and have either left their post or fallen asleep. They have allowed the wolves to come in and steal, kill and destroy those who are under their watch. Churches have been destroyed, homes wrecked and even some nations have fallen because the shepherds or watchmen did not warn the people. Rampant false teaching and heretical prophets are ravaging the precious doctrines of the apostles and adding huge doses of "leaven" to the pure teachings of God’s Word. Many are wandering today without a spiritual home and the guidance that a watchman or shepherd brings.
Jesus warned us that we were to watch and pray but many are not and the darkness is catching them unaware.
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36
If your child is playing and all a sudden runs out into the street after a ball and a truck is bearing down on him, what would you do? You would warn him as loudly as possible and do all that is necessary to rescue him. If we don’t we risk that child being injured or killed. It’s the same thing with sin. If we don’t give warning to those under our care about it’s dangers and consequences we risk seeing them lost for eternity and their blood will be upon our heads.
This world and it’s times are coming to an end. The prophecies about the end time are being fulfilled. Many false teachers who have strayed from the word are leading many away from the truth. The enemy is raising up leaders who will prepare the way for the man of sin, the anti-christ. Now is the time that the watchmen blow their trumpets louder than ever. We must warn the people of the dangers and that there is a way out. We must expose the works of darkness (Eph.5:11) and the plans of the enemy that the people may avoid the snares and traps of the enemy. There will be many of our own households and the body of Christ who will criticize us but the watchmen and shepherds cannot stop blowing their horns until our Lord returns. The cost of not doing so is too great.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8
For those of you who are not in positions of leadership you need to support the shepherds and watchmen not cause them discouragement. They are only watching out for you. They are doing what God has asked them to do, sometimes at great cost to themselves. We have to give a greater account than you will. You need to pray for us, that God would lead us by His Spirit into all truth and that we would be sober and vigilant as Peter has said.
Obey your spiritual leaders and submit to them [continually recognizing their authority over you], for they are constantly keeping watch over your souls and guarding your spiritual welfare, as men who will have to render an account [of their trust]. [Do your part to] let them do this with gladness and not with sighing and groaning, for that would not be profitable to you [either]. Hebrews 13:17
It’s time for the watchmen to do their job that they have been called to do.
Blow the trumpet loud and clear, Loud enough that all may hear, Stand your ground armour on, Warn all people that Christ is near.