When you think of a “watchman,” what do you think of? Do you think of an elderly security guard who doesn’t actually secure much? What comes to mind? This is certainly where my inclination toward folk, fantasy, and fairytales comes in handy. *smile* I think of a lone man in a tower looking across the expanse. I think of a soldier keeping his late night or early morning watch. I think of an archer (an Old World sniper) keeping his post near a slitted window so he could put an arrow in anybody that didn’t declare themself and receive entrance. Watchmen play a strategic role in the Old World and specifically in the Bible. But they are not an antiquated concept. We are very much so in need of watchmen today: namely in the realm of the spirit.
What Is a Watchman?
So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.
I know it doesn’t actually mention a specific watchman; however, it embodies the concept of one. I’ll revisit this verse, but first, here are a couple biblical examples of watchmen.
Now David was sitting between the two gates. And the watchman went up to the roof over the gate, to the wall, lifted his eyes and looked, and there was a man, running alone. Then the watchman cried out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there is news in his mouth.” And he came rapidly and drew near.
Then the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “There is another man, running alone!”
And the king said, “He also brings news.”
So the watchman said, “I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.”
And the king said, “He is a good man, and comes with good news.” (II Samuel 18:24-28)
Watching Babylon Fall
For thus has the Lord said to me:
“Go, set a watchman,
Let him declare what he sees.”
And he saw a chariot with a pair of horsemen,
A chariot of donkeys, and a chariot of camels,
And he listened earnestly with great care.
Then he cried, “A lion, my Lord!
I stand continually on the watchtower in the daytime;
I have sat at my post every night.
And look, here comes a chariot of men with a pair of horsemen!”
Then he answered and said,
“Babylon is fallen, is fallen!
And all the carved images of her gods
He has broken to the ground.”
This should provide you with a better idea of a watchman. But to sum it up, a watchman is a [man] who remains in a designated spot and keeps watch. Now the term “watch” is two-fold. There is “watching” in the sense of looking with one’s physical eyes, and then there is a literal watch; not that you wear on your wrist, but a designated time of the day or night. Pastor ChiChi Bismark has an excellent brief teaching on the watches of the day and night and what each represents so I won’t teach it here.
Different Types of Natural Watchmen
Naturally speaking, there are various types of watchmen.
- Watchmen on the Wall
- Watchmen in a Tower
Watchmen on the Wall
If you picture a castle fortress like in the Lord of the Rings: Two Towers scene above, you’ll notice that there are various spaces and levels of walls. Watchmen are generally dispersed throughout these walls to keep watch from various vantage points. Like in 2 Samuel, they keep watch of who’s coming and can make the necessary calls.
Watchmen in a Tower
Watchmen in towers are extremely similar to watchmen on walls, except that since their watch is in a tower, they usually are provided with a higher vantage point, and less space which means less company, depending on the height and circumference of the tower.
Because of their vantage point, both watchmen on the wall and in the tower can see what or who is coming, the nature of their coming, and govern themselves accordingly. Recall the passage about David’s watchman? By the very running of the messenger, the watchman could report to David what kind of messenger was coming and likely, what their coming boded. If the watchman is keeping their vigil in truth, then this will prevent the reactive nature that comes when a situation “just happens.” If you are are keeping your watch, then you can see far off into the distance and make the necessary adjustments. You may even be able to judge the conditions that are coming be it the sky or the person or the fiend in the night.
Gatekeepers are another type of watchman. They may be positioned on the ground as opposed to a heightened position, yet their position - like the others - is strategic. Not everyone can enter into or leave a citadel’s gates. They control who does and does not receive access.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory. Selah
You’ll also note that throughout Scripture, those who sit at gates - the Proverbs 31 Woman’s husband, Mordecai, Absalom, etc. - are princes, nobles, elders, and fathers of the city. They form a city council. In Ancient Rome, they even utilized a particular term called “city fathers.”
Then [the lepers] said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, “We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound—only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact.” And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king’s household inside.(II Kings 7:9-11 emphasis mine)
In those days, while Mordecai sat within the king’s gate, two of the king’s eunuchs, Bigthan and Teresh, doorkeepers, became furious and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. (Esther 2:21)
Doorkeepers, similar to gatekeepers are the closest to the ruler or to whomever is being guarded. They function almost like an armor bearer on the battlefield would. They are the final guard between those under watch and those who desire access to them. You’ll also note that many people can enter into the gates of the Temple, but a much smaller selection is allowed to enter into the doors to the Outer Court and Inner Court.
All of these watchmen have three general functions:
Watch for who and what is coming.
Deny access to those who are not allowed.
Allow access to those who are allowed.
Different Types of Spiritual Watchmen
While this is a ministry all in the Kingdom of God are called to, we like to act like this is a special ministry. Intercession is simply standing in the gap, making up the hedge, repairing the breach, mediating on behalf of someone else. This is what Jesus did when He died on the cross. He was our Mediator; He took our place, stood in the gap for us, and took our punishment on Himself so we would not have to. He is the ultimate Intercessor.
Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)
We are all called to intercede; however, not all of us answer the call. We’ve all been guilty of this more or less. Many things come to pass on the earth in the realm of men because we did not bother to legislate based on the laws of the realm of the heavenlies what is and is not allowed according to the Word of God. Again, see the word of the Lord to Ezekiel.
So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. (Ezekiel 22:30)
There also wonderful things that have been won through intercession because someone stayed on the wall, even if others forgot. Many a salvation, a deliverance, a healing, a miracle, a ministry, and even a nation has been contended for through intercession. In my new magazine, REFORMATION TODAY, my bestie, Jessica Baker, wrote an article entitled “Revival That Lasts” and discussed the intercessory merits of Daniel on behalf of his nation. Moses also interceded for the same nation and saved their life on many an occasion. And yes, he interceded for his sister when she badmouthed him for marrying a black woman and the Lord struck her with leprosy for a week. Intercession is POWERFUL. Intercessors are to the Body of Christ what white blood cells are to the human body. AIDS kills off those white blood cells which fight disease just as apathy and sloth kills off intercession in the Church. (Don’t worry, I’m preaching to myself while I’m preaching to you.)
There is a saying that goes, “Every intercessor is not a prophet, but every prophet should be an intercessor.” Also, not all prophetic people are prophets, but all God’s people can and should be prophetic. I believe it was Apostle Ryan LeStrange who said if you’re prophesying without praying [beforehand], then you’re ministering illegally. Prophets are merely a more glorified or higher promoted watchman. They go into the spirit realm and foretell (predict) future events as well as forthtell creative (tell forth) words into the people, situations, and places.
The Administration of the Prophetic
And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. (I Corinthians 12:28)
Prophetic people administer or dispense prophetic ministry according to the measure of the gift they have been given as well as their measure of faith and biblical knowledge. Merriam-Webster describes the word “administer” as to manage or supervise the execution, use, or conduct of; to provide or apply: dispense... Again this is not an Ephesians 4 gift which is an office, but an administration. The Body is now, was, and ever will be in desperate need of prophetic people, prophetic intercessors. Your gift, however it flows,
The Office of the Prophet
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Now we can discuss the office of the prophet or prophetic ministry. The word “office” means a special duty, charge, or position conferred by an exercise of governmental authority and for a public purpose...a position of responsibility or some degree of executive authority… (Merriam-Webster). This definition supports what the Apostle Paul said to Timothy twice:
Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. (I Timothy 4:14)
Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. (II Timothy 1:6)
A prophetic presbytery (authorized, proven apostles and prophets) must lay hands on you and ordain you into ministry, thus stirring up the gift of the fivefold office in you. Now, anytime an apostle or prophet lays hands on you, this is not necessarily what is happened. This has a ceremonial aspect to it such as I Timothy 5:22, not a healing or deliverance aspect such as in Acts 8:18 or James 5:14. This is a clear office with governmental weight and authority which legislates things in both the natural and supernatural on the highest level.
Fivefold prophets, while they can give personal words, are not here to deliver personal words to make you happy. While they can edify, exhort, and rebuke people and personal situations, they are here for a deeper and higher function: to release governmental (spiritually speaking) declarations and decrees over people and places (i.e. churches/ministries, communities, cities, states, regions, and nations depending on their particular rank), times and seasons. Prophets are here to rule over kingdoms and nations (again, depending on their particular rank - your kingdom could be a neighborhood or it could be an empire) and in doing so, to “root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant,” (Jer. 1:10).
Prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah, Moses, Samuel, Gad, Nathan, Daniel, Elijah, Elisha, and John the Baptist dealt with kings and emperors. It takes a prince to deal with a prince, a king to treat with a king. While they had interactions with “laypeople,” a huge portion of their ministry was with “big fish”; key players in rulership. And as such, they deal with strongmen and princes in the heavenly realm. Daniel was Jewish noble who was made a prince in the Babylonian and Medo-Persian empires and received messages from the angelic prince, Gabriel, and had another angelic prince named Michael fighting for him (and Israel) against demonic princes. Moses was raised as an Egyptian prince who became a prince of Israel and could treat with the Pharaoh. Prophets mediate on a governmental level. They sit in the gate of kings (whether the kings want them there or not).
I won’t belabour this category since I’ve already laid the foundation for understanding Fivefold offices and their capacity to govern. I will say two things: First, in the Old Testament, the office of the apostle did not exist. Therefore, prophets operated in that function as well. At the same time, there is the idea that kings occupied that position in the Old Testament since kings are builders and governmental figures. Both of these are understandable concepts, both of which I buy into. Second, apostles take in or encompass the ministry of the prophet. There are many theologians who believe that apostles are able to operate in each of the other Fivefold offices. However you see it, apostles should be and are capable of taking in or flowing in prophetic ministry and making apostolic and prophetic decrees over people, ministries, neighborhoods, communities, cities, states, nations, and regions as well as over times, seasons, and dispensations.
These three ministry gifts all culminate in an intersection of one calling: being watchmen.
Take Up the Charge
Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “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… (Ezekiel 3:16-17)
And, my Lord, do we need watchmen today! And the term “watchman” is not gender-specific; it’s gender-neutral. Men can be intercessors just like women can be apostles! (How many of your religious feathers did I just ruffle?) The call is on the spirit, not the gender (although each individual call takes the individual’s gender into consideration).
While I understand the place of mantles and impartations, nobody NEEDS to throw a mantle on you for you to bear the burden of intercession. God is always seeking for a watchman. He literally needs a watchman. Now you may say “God doesn’t need anything!” Wrong! Remember Ezekiel 22:30: God sought for a man, and couldn’t find one. God needs watchmen because He has created legal parameters through which the authentic supernatural spirit realm is meant to interact in and with the earthly realm.
Prayer is the legal conduit through which God and His divine forces are “loosed” to operate through the spirit realm. And prayer requires a person. God requires a physical body through which to move in the earth. That’s why Christ had to come in the flesh to redeem all flesh (if they accept His sacrifice and submit to His will). Only a human being in relationship with God can pray and either declare legal (loose) or declare illegal (bind) the working of a spirit in the realm of men. Therefore as a Believer and especially as a watchman, you have the ability to bind and to loose according to what is already bound and loosed in Heaven. (For more on binding and loosing and spiritual protocol in general, read Prophet Jonathan Ferguson’s Bootcamp Prayer.)
God NEEDS a watchman willing to be on the wall and not abandon their post. Will you make yourself available? Will you be the one?