paul m hanssen
Entering 2021 - THE WATCHERS - by Paul M Hanssen
ENTERING 2021 – THE WATCHERS – by Pastor Paul M Hanssen
In Ancient Times, cities were surrounded by walls. Depending on the size of the city, the number of watchtowers incorporated within the walls varied. Vineyards and fields of various crops also had watchtowers that were usually raised within the center giving the watchman a circumventive view in all directions of the compass. Without a watchtower, and without a watchman in the watchtower, a city and a vineyard were in constant danger of being attacked and stripped without warning. Hence, the men who were set apart as watchmen were chosen carefully because the fate of the city and the success of the harvest lay in the hands of the watchman.
For thus hath the LORD said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth. (Isaiah 21:6)
The purpose of the watchman was to announce anything that he saw as being suspicious. Watchers who sounded the alarms of warning (whether morning, noon, afternoon, evening or anytime during the night) were the first line of defense for a city. The watchers had to be continuously vigilant, alert, and awake. The ones on duty were not allowed to sleep or rest anytime during their appointed watch. Falling asleep on the watch could potentially result in a city being overcome by enemies or a vineyard becoming stripped of a crop. The importance of the duty of a watchman in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the occupants of those residing within the walls of a city cannot be overemphasized. As a matter of fact, the defensive strength of a city was only as great as the effectiveness of the watchers. The walls accomplished little if the watchmen were compromised.
The ‘Great Wall of China’ is considered to be one of the most impressive architectural feats in history. Today, it is recognized as one of the Seven (man-made) Wonders of the World. It is the only man-made structure on Earth that is visible from the Moon. Built between the 5th and 16th centuries, its total length spanned over 13,000 miles. The main portions of the wall were built during the reign of the Ming Dynasty. The purpose of the wall was to provide the Chinese Nation with a protective barrier between themselves and the Mongols and Manchus of the North. During 17th century AD, the Manchus were able to penetrate the wall and overtake China. How did they manage to do that? The Manchus bribed the watchers who willingly opened the gates giving the enemy access to enter in. The hundreds of years that were spent in the construction of a defensive wall meant nothing at this point. All of the expense and the lives that were lost in the raising of a structure built to provide safety from an enemy force were totally in vain. This is a classic example that if the watchers are compromised and fail in their mission, then all other defenses are weakened.
The story of the watchmen on the wall of China is an incredible example of what happens in our spiritual lives if we do not remain on the watchtower. There has never been a time in human history where the call for ‘watchmen’ is as intense as it is today. If God’s people do not live in the watchtower and watch the ‘city’ of their hearts they are in danger of being overcome by the powers of this world. As a believer, you can choose to do right, act right, look right, and believe right; in other words, you can have a strong wall that surrounds you. However, if you fail to watch, if you do not reside in the watchtower, if you are not alert, and if you are slumbering and slothful, then your wall of defenses means nothing.
Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
Sleep, slumber, slothfulness, lethargy, and apathy are not conducive with watching. A watcher must be awake and sober. One who is sober has all of his senses and faculties working. A watcher does not watch from a low place, but rather from a tower from whence he can easily see the coming danger from afar.
And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights: (Isaiah 21:8)
The watchman kept watch all day and all night upon the watchtower. He gave the warning of approaching enemy forces and dangerous beasts that were lurking to kill and destroy. There is not one moment of the day or night that is exempt from the dangers of the infiltration of the powers of darkness. Every moment of every day is a vulnerable moment. Every situation, circumstance, and present surrounding carries within it a potential threat of invasion. Hence, Paul cautioned Timothy with these words:
But watch thou in all things… (2 Timothy 4:5)
‘To watch’ simply means to be awake, alert and sober. I firmly believe that the Church is on the brink of a major attack from the pits of hell. (I will discuss this matter further in a coming article). But for now, Saints of God, understand this, as God stirs and as He awakens with the return of His Glory Presence, the opposing powers and rulers of the darkness of this world are also stirring and mobilizing. The Elect of God, are and will be the main focus of this demonic aggressive military advancement. Anything and everything can carry the potential of being used as a weapon to kill and destroy your vision, purpose, and desire for God. The good news is that God has provided us with a ‘strong tower’.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
Many have quoted this verse over the years, yet have never understood what this tower really is. The LORD’s Name is a watchtower. The words for strong tower in Hebrew are ‘oze mig-dawl’. These words mean: a tower of strength from its size or height. This is the same word that is used to describe the watchtower in 2 Kings chapter nine:
And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, (2 Kings 9:17)
Isaiah gives an account of the LORD planting a vineyard on a fruitful hill. In the midst of the vineyard, He placed a mig-dawl - a watchtower.
And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, (Isaiah 5:2)
The Name of the LORD is indeed a strong tower where we find safety. However, what most people do not realize is that the tower becomes of little use when the occupier of the tower is not ‘on watch’. The Name of the LORD will elevate you and lift you above the surrounding circumstances. In addition, the righteous that have run into the tower must use the tower for what it is purposed to be – a tower from whence to watch!
As we enter into 2021, the call for the people of God to watch and pray has never been as loud and as intense as today. Time is short – WE MUST WATCH AND PRAY!
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (1 Peter 4:7)
Pastor Paul M Hanssen