When Watchmen Stumble
Watchmen watch, that’s what we do. Ours are the eyes set into the distance from our vantage point atop the wall. The wall protects those we share community with and those we love. The wall is designed to protect many. In Ezekiel 33 we find the Lord providing instruction to Watchmen, and it’s deadly serious; both for those behind the wall trusting that the Watchman watches well, and for the personal accountability to the Watchman if they fail.
Today, we don’t watch from a wall, but we watch for influences and influencers across the world stage – a stage which has set its collective agenda against the Lord and His people. It takes a ton of energy to watch. Take the Matthew 24-25 discourse for example. There, we find many indications of what to watch for, including: wars and rumors of wars, nations rising up against nations, famines, earthquakes, many falling away, an increase of lawlessness, and the love of many will grow cold.
Adding to this list of things to watch out for are those Watchmen that specialize in exposing deception…especially as it infiltrates and corrupts the Church. There are false prophets, and false doctrines; seeds of confusion and doubt abound. There are scoffers, those who ridicule, and wolves seeking to devour. More broadly, there are those that publicly exert demonically rooted hatred for Israel and the Church. Persecution is rising, and we see evidence of it even in the United States. [See, Does the United States Belong on Persecution Lists; March 7, 2017 – Christianity Today International]
The anti-God cohort is a global epidemic and its evil intent to kill, steal, and destroy is now so blatantly projected, that it is literally inescapable.
It should not surprise anyone that, as a Watchman, I typically spend 2-3 hours per day watching. My daily routine is to read the Word of God, watch the news, listen to one or more sermons, and follow many channels and sources of what I like to call “my trusted influencers.” This occurs mostly on YouTube and Facebook. I watch …a lot.
The Seduction of Watching
Thousands of posts, articles, podcasts, and videos later, involving hundreds of focused hours of learning to be an informed Watchman…I’m calling for a timeout.
Something happened to me recently that deeply disturbed me. I was watching an expose on (a) occult symbology, (b) the spirit of Jezebel, and (c) the Luciferian beast system of the music industry—as manifested in a music video with one of today’s top female artists. I’ve seen many such expose style videos by my fellow Watchmen. These are tenured Christian Brothers and Sisters in the LORD seeking to awaken the Church, their subscribers, and audiences to the deception, anti-christ system, and perversions that are patently on the rise.
Watching this specific video expose brought me so close to stumbling that for all practical intents and purposes, I did. As the video continued to rightly point out all the evidence of demonic inspiration behind the messaging, content, and visual style of the music video imagery from this artist, my focus wavered just a tiny bit…and that was enough. As this Watchman content provider made his excellent observations and warnings, the same imagery looped over and over again, drilling his point home.
Now, let’s get real.
You see, at that moment, I was no longer learning from this Watchman’s presentation at arm’s length, I became immersed in the visual seduction and pure evil that exalts “self over God.” In that same moment and upon subsequent reflection, I personally reaffirmed to myself how powerful, intelligent, and thorough the enemy is in his evil desire to kill, steal, and destroy God’s people (John 10:10).
Opportunistically, the enemy even works between Watchmen at times.
Let me pause. In no way am I calling out the important work Watchmen do to expose the truth behind the workings of the enemy. I have learned a great deal from many such sources. It is a painful and shocking process to have the veil of ignorance removed on such matters and to become an awakened member of the Body of Christ. I had only a dulled awareness of just how pervasive the corruption of God’s original intent was until I began responding to my calling as a Watchman and started watching intentionally.
We’re Going to Have a Bema Seat Moment
I highly recommend Dr. Irwin Lutzer’s book Your Eternal Reward: Triumph and Tears at the Judgement Seat of Christ. It changed my understanding and thus, perspective on eternity. In it, Dr. Lutzer articulates the surety of our forthcoming encounter standing before Jesus to have our works judged.
This is not the Great White Throne Judgment at the end of the Millennium as described in Revelations 20:11-15, because that is reserved for those who are not in Christ. The Judgement Seat of Christ (Bema Seat) is found in Romans 14:10-12 and 2 Corinthians 5:10. It is for us believers to give a personal account of our lives to Christ. That which survives the refining fire is a reward given to us. However, the wood, straw, and stubble is burned up and therefore, we know that there is also a potential loss of rewards. Note what it says in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15,
“By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise master builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one must be careful how he builds. For no one can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, his workmanship will be evident, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will prove the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as one being snatched from the fire.”
As hard as it is to imagine the Watchmen community before the LORD—it will happen—and we must make every moment count as we prepare to meet Him face to face in our personal moment of accountability. As it says in Isaiah 33:6, we will be held responsible for those we fail to warn when we had a Holy Spirit inspired nudge to do so with friends, family, co-workers, and in random encounters with strangers.
I think of my future encounter with Jesus, with great relief and joy, but I know there are things He will speak to me about. Conduct unbecoming a mature follower of Christ. Sin. Brutal disobedience and rejection of His authority. A post-salvation series of ups and downs and how my wavering allowed too much time to pass before I accepted how critical it was to bear fruit for His Kingdom and for His pleasure.
Since my calling as a Watchman in March, 2017, I have been able to let go of more so I may finish well and bring as many into the Kingdom as possible through this ministry and my personal efforts. I thank the LORD for mercy, grace, and His great love for me that He gave me the ability to see, understand, and respond to the more recent opportunities He has presented to me. I pray that you see His willingness to come alongside you, as my fellow Watchmen and Watchwomen, so that we who are watching can strengthen, inspire, motivate, encourage, counsel, instruct, admonish, and love until that day that we transition into the place He has been preparing for each of us.
Now, this is important: I bring up our Bema Seat encounter for yet another moment of clarity. Watchmen content providers, truthers, subject matter experts that deeply love and cherish the LORD, be very careful in how you present your message to your audience. I have every confidence that you already do, and for that I am very grateful. But, I urge you nonetheless to listen for a check from the Holy Spirit and ask yourself: “Am I going too far? Am I going to make a fellow Brother or Sister stumble? Is there a better way I can present the content to minimize this potential? Am I accidentally providing a foothold for the enemy to pull weaker members of the Body of Christ into old patterns of sin?” We are all responsible to warn, to make our point, but also to protect one another.
When Watchmen Warn Other Watchmen
Not long after the incident where I virtually stumbled, I watched a YouTube content provider who modeled—what is to me—the best way to balance both the responsibility to warn and to protect fellow Brothers and Sisters in the LORD. This Watchwoman, whom I have been following for a year and a half now, warned her audience of the impending provocative and sensual nature of what was to follow. Fresh off my personal failure and with the disturbing memory of how seductive evil can be, I immediately abandoned watching that video review any further. There are many other such examples, but in my experience, they are not frequent enough.
To see the video as an example of how to warn about sensitive content, please refer to the video below at time marker: 19 seconds through to 1 min 30 seconds.
The Watchmen couple is Lea and James D. of Philia Ministries: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQRFecY0YwbXCFtTwNddXcw
“Lea—I just want to thank you for the wonderful example you showed to the Body of Christ and to me. You carried the mantle of responsibility with grace and dignity. After my stumble, your disclosure was so welcomed. I personally felt understood, genuine sisterly agape love, and respected for my walk as a man of God. May the LORD continue to anoint you and your husband; may the voice of Philia Ministries continue to grow in influence: reaching the lost, confused, and disillusioned. Thank you for the kindness you showed me.”
More recently, Mike from On Point Preparedness posted a video on YouTube that also did a fantastic job of educating, reminding, and encouraging all members of the Body of Christ (not just Watchmen) about the dangers of excessive consumption of content exposing evil. His metaphor of using a muddy hand and a blank white canvas is brilliant. I strongly urge Watchmen to watch this resource. The warning to the Watchmen not to over-consume evil content is primarily focused at 2 minutes 55 seconds through to the end.
(Chanel is: https://www.youtube.com/user/OnPointPreparedness)
Mike—as a leading Watchman, with a very large following—the timing of your video (as I was writing this article) is confirmation that the Holy Spirit is calling attention to purity, holiness, and urgency to be prepared for His soon coming. I want to thank you for being a faithful steward of the many burdens the LORD has placed on you and for allowing us to greatly benefit as a team trying to finish strong.
Many Watchmen content providers will weigh these arguments and arrive at their own conclusion…trusting the Holy Spirit to provide guidance, conviction where necessary, and grace for past insensitivity. Like Lot’s wife, let’s not look backward (Genesis 19:26), but as Paul says, let’s take advantage of every opportunity to lay our life, the efforts of our labor, to push for the Kingdom yet again (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
TOP 5 TAKEAWAYS TO CONSIDER
- If you are a content publisher, it is your responsibility to ensure that you protect your Brothers and Sisters that are themselves learning and coming up to speed on your subject specialty.
- If you are a Watchmen, ask yourself: “Where is the line?”
- Examine yourself: Have you crossed a line? Do you need to repent? Has your faithfulness in being a Watchman become an excuse to watch provocative and seductive content?
- Establish accountability with other Watchmen or Watchwoman. Do not cross-gender in this trust. Men, speak to men; women, speak to women. That’s how it needs to be. Do not give the enemy a foothold.
- Don’t watch when you’re tired, feeling dry, or if you’ve skipped fellowship in the Word of God and Worship.
Adding to the fantastic and growing Watchmen community’s voice, let’s strive to do what we do best…each of us in our own calling, passion, and ministry. Let’s agree that we need every member of this community to be affective. Let’s acknowledge that every content provider helps digitally advance the cause of Christ. Finally, let’s recommit to discernment, taking every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), and of course, finishing well for King Jesus!
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