Archive for August, 2017

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Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

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Brothers of the Night’s Watch

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

 

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

2017 Bible Reading Challenge / Evangelism; Discipleship; Admonish; Judgment; Accountability / Ezekiel 3:15–21; Ezekiel 33:1–9; Acts 20:26–27; Hebrews 13:17

 

 

Introduction

“Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.”

This was an oath taken in the fictional land of Winterfell, the home of a giant wall that protected the realm of man from the unspeakable horrors that lie beyond the wall.  The Brothers of the Night’s Watch were given one job, watch and protect the seven kingdoms from any danger that awaits beyond the wall.  Their oath was life long, and to break that oath, even for a moment, would mean their life.

In the days of old, before radars and satellites,  the role of the  watchman was one of the most solemn responsibilities that a soldier could have.   He needed to stay alert and battle ready while the rest of the city slept.  He needed to peer into the darkness, looking and listening for trouble.  He needed to be able to discern the difference between wildlife, a wild imagination, and a true threat, an attacking enemy.  Once he discerned a threat, he needed to be willing to blare a trumpet in the middle of the night, sounding a clear piercing warning of the imminent threat.

In 597 BC, Nebuchadnezzar launched the second wave of an invasion of Judah that started in 605 BC when young Daniel was taken captive.  This time the prophet Ezekiel was one of the 10,000 people taken in the second wave of the invasion.  Our passage this morning  takes place a few years later, July 593 BC, to be exact.  Ezekiel had met with some taken captive that second time in a land we now know as Tel-Aviv .  It was by the riverside that God met with the prophet.  God commissioned him with a a solemn charge… Ezekiel was now a Spiritual watchman over Israel.  He would bear the sacred task of identifying coming judgement and warning the people so in time for them to take action and avoid it.

As we study this passage, we will find that believers share the same solemn task and burden that Ezekiel did.  Unlike the prophet, we do not get personal partial revelation of pending judgment, we are given the whole truth of a completed Bible.  Born again believers, like Ezekiel, are the watchmen commissioned to see the danger of impending judgment, and warn those who are unaware so that they can escape.

This is the burden shared by all the Brothers of the Night’s Watch.

The Watchman Has a Responsibility Toward God.

Ezekiel 3:17 KJV 1900

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

  • God is the one who commissions the watchman.

Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:3–4, KJV 1900)

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” (John 15:8, KJV 1900)

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16, KJV 1900)

  • The watchman must be awake and alert

1 Corinthians 15:34 KJV 1900

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;” (Ezekiel 33:2–3, KJV 1900)

  • the watchman must be listening to God’s Word

Ezekiel 33:7 KJV 1900

So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

 

  • The watchman must sound a clear warning

If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;” (Ezekiel 33:3, KJV 1900)

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:6, KJV 1900)

The Watchman Has A Responsibility Toward The Wicked

(The Hell-bound sinner)

Ezekiel 3:18–19 KJV 1900

When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

  • The sinner before salvation is condemned to death and Hell

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10, KJV 1900)

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23, KJV 1900)

  • The Watchman must warn him!

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15, KJV 1900)

 

 

A Connecticut man was so busy listening to music on his iPod that he did not notice his house was on fire. Andrew Riley told fire officials he didn’t smell smoke or hear the smoke alarm going off. He was so engrossed in the music that he was unaware of the fire on the upper floor of his home until the alarm company called to tell him about the danger. A fire marshal determined an electrical malfunction caused the fire. He said the situation could have been much worse if, after receiving the warning, Riley hadn’t run upstairs and closed a door to contain the fire.

It is so easy to get distracted and miss the alarms going off around us.

 

—Jim L. Wilson and Jim Sandell

 

  • If the sinner dies unwarned, the watchman will bear the guilt

2 Corinthians 5:11 KJV 1900

Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.

 

  • If the sinner dies having heard, but not heeding the warning, the watchman is guilt free.

Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezekiel 33:9, KJV 1900)

  • If the sinner turns, his soul is delivered.

He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.” (Ezekiel 33:5, KJV 1900)

The Watchman Has A Responsibility Toward The Backsliding Believer

Ezekiel 3:19–20 KJV 1900

Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

  • The backslider can still face consequences, possibly lethal ones, even though he is no longer hell bound.

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14–15, KJV 1900)

  • The watchman must warn the backslider

And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24–26, KJV 1900)

  • Silence brings personal guilt

Acts 20:26–27 KJV 1900

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

The watchman could restore a fallen brother.

Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19–20, KJV 1900)

Lord prepare me to answer Your call,
Faithfully let me stand on the wall,
A “watchman” I would be,
Seeking now to find victory;
Help me boldly to call on Your name,
May the Gospel I boldly proclaim,
For others I would intercede,
For this glorious land plead,
Help me in Your name bind Satan’s power,
And live in victory hour by hour.

  • Ed Ostrom