When Charisma magazine asked me to start a column on its Charisma News online property, it didn’t take me long to determine a theme: “Watchman on the Wall.”
During that season, I was heavy into reporting on the culture wars, which is one aspect of the watchman’s ministry. Over the years, God stationed me more prophetically to warn about as many spiritual dangers as natural dangers and cultural dangers.
See, a watchman can warn about sin—which is the assignment of a culture war watchman. Dr. Michael Brown is a modern-day example of the culture war watchman, dissecting with boldness and grace the issues in a post-modern world that are infiltrating the church. Some watchmen are assigned to the church, to warn of sin and spirits that overtake Christians. Still others warn about natural disasters, plagues, and the end times.
Every watchman has a station, and, of course, there can be crossover assignments—and God can shift you into new roles in new seasons. I’ve stood as a watchman in many different operations, but my primary function is warning about spirits attacking the church. Regardless of the watchman’s expertise or assignment, the common denominators in the watchman’s ministry are warning and intercession.
A John the Baptist Mantle
God called me into prophetic ministry in a church. An apostle prayed over me and prophesied, “I’ve called you to be a voice of governing authority. I release that voice.” I had no idea what that meant. I was a brand-new Christian. I went home and started studying what the Bible said about governing and the voice. I was still largely clueless, but determined. I closed my Bible and asked God what He meant, and was led to open my Bible again.
When I opened the Bible, it landed on Matthew 3:3:
For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying: “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’”
Of course, this Scripture is speaking of John the Baptist. My spirit leaped, though I still did not understand what God was saying. Randomly, I flipped the pages. I landed on Mark 1:3, which essentially said the same thing. Now God had my attention. I flipped the pages again and landed on John 1:23, which repeated the same Scripture.
Even though I was a young Christian, I understood that something about my ministry would be like John the Baptist’s. John didn’t perform any mighty miracles that we know of. He didn’t heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, or cast out demons that we know of. John the Baptist had a warning ministry of which we are all well aware. He was a powerful preacher with a heart-turning ministry like Elijah’s. He burned and shone, though few wanted to hear what he had to say.
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You Are Responsible to Warn
The warning ministry is not relegated to prophets and watchmen only. Every believer has the ability to stand, watch, warn, and pray.
When I was young in the Lord, I was troubled because I had so many warnings and I couldn’t see how that fit into the gift of prophecy. We were taught that prophecy should edify, comfort, and exhort, according to 1 Corinthians 14:3. I asked an elder prophet about this and he helped me understand that the warning aspect is included in exhortation.
While the dictionary definition of exhortation is “language intended to incite or encourage,” the Bible definition gives more clarity. The Greek word for exhortation in 1 Corinthians 14:3 is paraklesis. According to The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon, in the context of the watchman it means a calling near, summons, admonition, persuasive discourse, stirring address, instructive, and admonitory. That sounds like a warning to me.
As a watchman, it’s not enough to see what’s coming down the pike. If you don’t warn the people, God says the blood will be on your hands. What does that mean, really? The New Living Translation puts it this way, “I will hold you responsible for their deaths” (Ezek. 3:18). The Message says, “I’ll hold you responsible.” Pulpit Commentary writes:
But the unfaithful watchman has his responsibility. It is as though the blood of the sinner had been shed. His guilt may be described in the same words as that of Cain (Genesis 9:5). Compare St. Paul’s words in Acts 18:6 and Acts 20:26 as echoes of Ezekiel’s thought.
Let’s take Pulpit Commentary’s suggestion and look at these Scriptures. Genesis 9:5 reads, “Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.” And Paul said in Acts 20:26, “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more. Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.”
Now you can see why the spirit of the fear of the Lord came upon me in the middle of the night while lying on that bunkbed in Nicaragua. This is not a game or a joke. This is a serious responsibility. In this sense, we are our brother’s keeper. Although people are not completely exempt from the consequences of danger or sin because the watchman failed to warn, the watchman is held responsible.
Develop a Thick Skin
You have to develop thick skin to stand in this office—or even to warn your inner circle of friends and family. I am grateful the Lord prepared me to set my forehead like flint as a journalist. In the media world, I got a lot of rejection letters before I was successful. I received a lot of red ink on my stories from elder editors before I grew into the writer I am now. I got smacked with many nasty comments that used to rattle me before I learned to let it roll off my back.
I am more concerned with what God wants me to say than what other people say about me. Take on this mindset and it will shield you from the impact of the persecution. And remember this charge in Ezekiel 3:17-21:
Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, “You shall surely die,” and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.
If you seek to better understand the times and seasons, read on. If you are compelled by Jesus’ words to watch and to pray, this book is for you!
Throughout Scripture, God appointed His watchmen to guard and protect Israel. The watchman’s duty was to warn of coming danger, calling God’s people to follow the Lord’s ways. A watchman’s ministry offered both warning and hope. Though they were often not well received, their message and ministry were critical. It is no different today.
In The Making of a Watchman, veteran prophet and seer, Jennifer LeClaire draws from scriptural examples and personal experience, revealing how to operate in this crucial ministry – not only to anticipate the enemy’s schemes, but to align with God’s Kingdom plans and purposes.
The Making of a Watchman will:
- Detail the role of a watchman.
- Help you discern if you are called to this ministry.
- Offer protocols for releasing words of warning paired with words of hope.
- Provide practical prayers, exercises, and activations for operating as a watchman.
God still appoints His watchmen over cities and nations – those who will proclaim His Kingdom and offer hope in the midst of chaos. Are you called to this office? Get the blockbuster best-selling book and the course at www.schoolofthespirit.tv/watchman.