The duty of a watchman
Ezekiel 33:1 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 33:2 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: 33:3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 33:4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 33:5 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.
Brethren, the elders, leaders, teachers and watchmen have a responsibility to exhort and warn the people and they have a command from Almighty God to:
Isaiah 58 Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.
Why is there no one proclaiming the sins of the people and turning them to a passion for their espoused Husband, the love of their youth? Why will today’s elders and leaders lead the Ekklesia into the sin of following false ways, instead of proclaiming the warning, and teaching sincere repentance and a passionate zeal for the truth?
I have no choice but to stand in the breach and warn the brethren according to God’s command to his servants in Isaiah 58; and to stand watch, reporting on conditions in the world and in today’s spiritual Ekklesia.
The law also demands that we warn our neighbors when we see them sin, labeling failure to warn others as hate:
Leviticus 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.
Ezekiel 33:6 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 is set up by God as the Watchman of Israel for his day and for our day through his writings.
God also provides a watchman for today who are given a good understanding of the Word of God and who watch and report on conditions in the world and in today’s spiritual Ekklesia.
33:7 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.
It was Ezekiel’s personal responsibility to warn and call to repentance physical and spiritual Judah and Israel.
Today all of the leaders, elders and brethren have this same duty to proclaim the gospel of warning, repentance and the way to salvation; to turn people away from all sin and to teach a passionate zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God (Mat 28:19-20)! They are NOT doing their job, therefore God has raised up this work.
33:8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 33:9 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.
We, like Ezekiel, are not only to warn, but we are to teach the ONLY way of salvation; which is to zealously live by every Word of God, sincerely repenting of past sins.
33:10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?
Why have we chosen correction and death; Oh physical AND spiritual house of Israel? Turn quickly from following your idols of men and your false traditions; Turn quickly to an enthusiastic zeal for God and his Word; to learn it, to keep it, and to follow the Lamb [Word] of God whithersoever he goes!
33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
The one who is righteous through living by every Word of God for a lifetime and then transgresses in the end will not be saved; he will surely be corrected for his sin.
33:12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression:
Yet, if a wicked person sincerely repents and turns from his evil ways to embrace and live by every Word of God; he will be forgiven.
. . . as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.
If the righteous becomes lifted up in pride and begins to trust in his OWN ways, like most of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia; he will surely be corrected and if he does not sincerely repent he will die and none of his former righteousness will be remembered!
33:13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.
Brethren, if we sincerely repent of our sin in idolizing men and begin to love and obey our LORD wholeheartedly, then we shall be delivered. But if we continue in our false ways to idolize and follow men AWAY from any zeal to keep the Word of God: We will surely be rejected by God the Father and Jesus Christ and we will be cast into the correction of great tribulation.
33:14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; 33:15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. 33:16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
The people might say that God refusing to remember their past righteousness because of their present sin is not good, and Almighty God answers them:
33:17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
Jesus Christ – not the false tolerant of sin Jesus of the imagination of evil doers who want to remain in their sins – but the real Jesus Christ, the Mighty Champion of Righteousness, proclaims:
33:18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby. 33:19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
Every person including including those in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia will be judged according to their own actions, words and deeds, by every Word of God!
33:20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.
Then those held in Babylon since the first fall of Jerusalem (c 597 B.C.); heard that Jerusalem had fallen again and the temple had been burned (c 586 B.C.).
33:21 And it came to pass in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one that had escaped out of Jerusalem came unto me, saying, The city is smitten.
Ezekiel had been dumb and unable to speak during the time that Ezekiel had been writing this message, and when the Word of God was fulfilled concerning Jerusalem the voice of Ezekiel was restored.
33:22 Now the hand of the LORD was upon me in the evening, afore he that was escaped came; and had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more dumb.
God then inspired Ezekiel to prophesy about the countryside of Judea: Judah claimed that because they are so many they will remain in the countryside.
33:23 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 33:24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.
God gives a few reasons why they would be removed from the land in those days and why today’s Spiritual Ekklesia will be corrected in our days.
1. We eat meat without properly bleeding.
2. We are zealous for our idols of men and corporate entities and our false traditions.
3. We spiritually shed blood by turning people away from any zeal for God’s Word to follow and be zealous for our corporate idols of men.
4. We depend on the sword [war and bullying]
5. We are full of abominations like calling the Sabbaths holy and then polluting them.
6. Today’s Spiritual Ekklesia is full of spiritual adultery, loving others instead of loving and being faithful to the Husband of our baptismal commitment.
Today’s Spiritual Ekklesia will be corrected along with physical Israel/Judah in this latter day. The spiritually called out will NOT inherit the spiritual Promised Land of eternal life unless we sincerely and wholeheartedly repent and turn to live by every Word of God.
33:25 Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? 33:26 Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour’s wife: and shall ye possess the land?
Both physical Israel and the apostate of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia will be corrected in the furnace of affliction; so that through the suffering of the flesh, the spirit might be humbled and saved.
33:27 Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. 33:28 For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through.
33:29 Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed.
People heard but they did not take warning and sincerely repent at Ezekiel’s warnings.
So it is in this time, the word has gone out and the brethren [as a whole] have not responded, the call to repentance has been made and the children do not sincerely repent, mourning over their sins; even as Jesus said:
Matthew 11:16 But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, 11:17 And saying, We have piped [sung, told the Word] unto you, and ye have not danced [they have not responded to join with us in godliness]; we have mourned [over all the sins of the people] unto you, and ye have not lamented [the people have not repented].
Ezekiel 33:30 Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.
33:31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.
This same thing is true today.
33:32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.
33:33 And when this [correction] cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.
Ezekiel 34 is addressed to today’s leaders of the Spiritual Ekklesia and physical Judah/Israel It is a precise description of the national and religious leaders of physical and spiritual Israel today.
The term “shepherds” refers to the physical and spiritual leaders.
This is a very accurate description of the nations and of today’s called out spiritual leaders and elders of the Ekklesia.
These words concern all of those who are guilty of what is being described. That applies to both national leaders and to today’s Spiritual Ekklesia. If we do these things then this applies to us, no matter what exalted title we take for ourselves or what we may think of ourselves.
Remember that all these things were recorded for us and for our instruction. The sins of physical Israel are an instructional example for us that we should learn from so that we may avoid their sins and if we find ourselves in them so that we may quickly repent.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them,
Jesus Christ condemns the spiritual shepherds of today’s Spiritual Assemblies for enriching themselves while not feeding the flock the spiritual food of the whole Word of God. This is especially true in today’s called out Spiritual Ekklesia; they teach the brethren to idolize men and their false traditions while extorting as much as they can; at the same time attacking and ridiculing any zeal to live by every Word of God.
. . . Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?
It is the job of the elders to feed the flock the pure unadulterated Word of God! They are NOT to exalt themselves above the Word of God to teach idolatry of themselves and their false teachings! They take the holy tithes and offerings for themselves by deceit, having no zeal to obey the Eternal or to keep his Word.
34:3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.
Today’s leaders in the Spiritual Ekklesia have not healed the spiritually sick by strongly rebuking sin and exhorting a passion to learn and keep God’s Word! Indeed there are very many who rule for their own advantage, teaching people to follow after idols of men instead of teaching a zeal to live by every Word of God.
34:4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.
Very many brethren have fallen away to false teachings; because they have NOT been grounded in sound doctrine, but instead have been taught to follow men!
34:5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.
Jesus Christ condemns today’s church of God and its organizations and elders for their wickedness.
34:7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;
Because the elders and leaders of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia have taught the sheep to follow idols of men and the false traditions of men, and have not fed the flock with the pure Word of God; judgment will come upon them.
They are false Watchmen who do not give the alarm and warn and teach the brethren to be zealous for the righteousness of the whole Word of God; and to follow the Lamb without any hint of turning aside!
34:8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;
This speaks of the conditions at that time and why God brought Judah, Jerusalem and the physical temple down by the arm of Nebuchadnezzar; and it speaks of us and our sins today and why God will cast us into great tribulation.
This also speaks of the deliverance of the faithful spiritual brethren from the false leaders and elders who have infiltrated the assemblies and led the brethren away from any zeal for God, teaching them to be zealous for idols of men and false teachings (Mat 24).
The judgment of Jesus Christ against the leaders and elders of today’s Laodicean Brotherhood:
34:9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 34:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
When he comes Jesus Christ will search out a repentant physical Israel/Judah from wherever they have been scattered.
Jesus Christ will also search out and deliver God’s sheep who know his voice and who are zealous to live by every Word of God.
Yes, Jesus Christ and God the Father are authors of division!
God divides those who faithfully and zealously live by every Word of God to life everlasting; separating them from the wicked who love their own ways and who’s end is death!
The following is speaking of the restoration of physical Israel/Judah after the tribulation, and is a type of Jesus Christ delivering today’s Spiritual Ekklesia from false shepherds.
34:11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.
34:12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. 34:13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
Then Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd, will feed all physical and spiritual Israel/Judah [and all humanity] with the good food and water of the whole Word of God.
34:14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 34:15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down [to rest in peace], saith the Lord GOD.
Jesus Christ will deliver God’s flock; BOTH the spiritual flock of today’s Spiritual Ekklesia and the physical flock of the House of Israel.
34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick:
Jesus Christ will destroy the proud, and the ill-gotten riches of both physical and spiritual Israel. Our centers of idolatry and idols of men and our organizational corporate church idols will be destroyed.
. . . but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
Jesus Christ is going to judge those who have apostatized to follow idols of men; and he is going to separate them from the faithful and godly righteous who are zealous to follow the Lamb and to live by every Word of God.
In those days sheep and goats as well as cows were called cattle in Hebrew; the phrase “greater cattle” referring to cows and the term “lesser cattle” meaning sheep and goats.
Yes, God is going to divide the faithful who live by every Word of God, from the faithless who stand on their own false imaginations.
34:17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.
The following is a very apt description of what very many leaders have done in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia; taking the best for themselves and leaving the residue for the flock, while teaching the brethren to esteem idols of men and their word above the Word of God.
34:18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? 34:19 And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.
Jesus Christ is going to judge and divide the faithful from the wicked.
34:20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. 34:21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; 34:22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.
Here is a prophecy of the millennium: The resurrected David will shepherd physical Israel; and Jesus Christ will shepherd all humanity as King of all kings over all the earth.
34:23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. 34:24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.
34:25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep [safely] in the woods. 34:26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill [the Ezekiel Temple] a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.
During the millennium the earth will be fruitful physically and spiritually, because the resurrected faithful of the Spiritual Ekklesia will teach the righteousness of the whole Word of God to all peoples.
34:27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.
Then the brethren of physical and spiritual Israel will no more be a prey for false teachers.
34:28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.
There shall be no more famine of food, nor any more a famine of the true Word of God, as there is today.
Today the corporate Spiritual Ekklesia factions spend millions preaching a false gospel while they reject the truth for their own false teachings; therefore there is a scarcity of the truth and Word of God in the world.
34:29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown [Righteous king David will be resurrected to rule a united Israel/Judah forever more.], and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.
34:30 Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. 34:31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.