The Prophet Ezekiel wrote about two watchmen who would be on the scene in this end time (Ezekiel 33). One has already come and gone. The other will remain until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. You need to know who this second watchman is.
The Ezekiel message is an end-time warning to physical and spiritual Israel. Physical Israel consists of the birthright nations of America and Britain primarily. Ezekiel also discusses in less detail the scepter nation of Judah, which is the tiny Jewish state in the Middle East. (Request a free copy of Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy to prove the prophetic identity of these nations.) Spiritual Israel is God’s Church.
A watchman warns the people so they may live and be successful. He isn’t just a man of doom. “If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 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. 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. 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 33:3-6). God is being very direct here. The watchman has no choice: He must either deliver a warning or die!
Notice Ezekiel’s description of the first watchman. “Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 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” (verses 1-2). This figure was chosen by the people, not by God.
Some historians give Winston Churchill credit for saving Western civilization during World War ii. Britain and the entire Western world had quite the watchman at that time. God used Churchill to fulfill a vital purpose, but the people chose that man. God did not. (Request my free booklet Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman for proof that he was the prophesied first watchman of Ezekiel.)
The Second Watchman
Ezekiel wrote a very different description of the second watchman. “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” (Ezekiel 33:7). God says of this second watchman, “I have set you.” This is the last man whom God will use to deliver a warning before the coming of the Messiah. What a blessing it is to hear the voice of our Creator through His watchman. We must know our Bibles to discern whether this message is really coming from God.
There will never again be a watchman chosen by the people. The times are too dangerous, and the people are too asleep to see the need for a warning. The nations have reached the point of no return; no longer can they repent as a whole and escape destruction. (Request my free booklet Lamentations: The Point of No Return to understand more.) This time, God has chosen His own watchman. This is the greatest turning point in the history of God’s watchmen since He sent Jesus Christ to the Earth.
God’s watchman is a “son of man.” God chooses a lowly messenger to declare the warning so that the people of physical and spiritual Israel will focus on the words instead of an impressive leader.
There is a unique aspect to God’s watchman today. “And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (verse 33). He is a watchman and a prophet. You could not say the same about Churchill. He did not have a prophetic message. He did not tell the people to repent of their sins as God’s watchman does today.
Ezekiel was a prophet but not a watchman. He wrote his warning message to Israel in 585 b.c., while in Babylonian captivity along with the rest of the nation of Judah. Israel had already been enslaved by Assyria more than 100 years earlier, so Ezekiel’s warning to Israel must be for this end time.
“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” (verse 8). God is saying that He speaks through one man. We won’t hear from God personally, but hearing the voice of the watchman is the same as hearing God Himself!
“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” (verse 9). God wants to protect all people from the Great Tribulation. The only way to be protected is to hear the warning message, to accept it, to rally behind it, and to help deliver it to the world. God wants us to live! In a world full of nuclear bombs, survival is no certainty. We need God’s protection.
“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? 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?” (verses 10-11). The root cause of all human suffering and death is made clear here: sin. God is crying out, through His watchman, for all mankind to repent! Evil leads only to death; God wants us to live.
“Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking [about] 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” (Ezekiel 33:30). A few people can sense that this is a message from God. They can watch it on television, hear it on the radio, and read it online or in print. It is an intriguing and peculiar message.
What do they do with this precious understanding? “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” (verse 31). Only God’s rebellious people could seem so much like His loyal remnant, yet without works. They may know how to talk or dress nicely, but where are their fruits? They are consumed by covetousness and materialism. If God’s own people have gone so far off track, the rest of the world must also be in big trouble.
“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” (verse 32). After Mr. Armstrong died in 1986, the Worldwide Church of God fell apart and broke into hundreds of offshoot churches. Other than the Philadelphia Church of God, no one has held fast to his teachings. They may enjoy reminiscing or listening to old World Tomorrow radio broadcasts, but they don’t do anything with the truth that God gave them! Only doers will receive the protection and blessings of God (James 1:22-25).
“And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them” (Ezekiel 33:33). God’s rebellious people fail to see the watchman standing right in front of them. They are wasting away in debilitating sins. The nations of Israel are just as blind and rebellious. Had the Gentiles received similar access to God’s truth, they would have repented! (Ezekiel 3:6). Our people seem determined to choose the path that leads to death (Deuteronomy 30:19).
“Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that layeth hold on it; that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil” (Isaiah 56:1-2). God’s people have failed to uphold the law. They no longer keep the Sabbath holy. They mix the corrupt customs of the world with the pure truth of God.
“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” (verse 10). Each rebellious offshoot group of God’s Church has its own watchman. These watchmen don’t warn of what is coming. They won’t face reality. These are the times of the Gentiles, whom God compares to wild ravaging beasts! Russia, China, Iran and the Holy Roman Empire are rising. This is no time for slumber! The only good news is that the problems in God’s Church are a sign that Jesus Christ is about to return.
God says He will offer a tremendous reward to anyone who supports His watchman warning message. “For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off” (verses 4-5). God’s loyal remnant will be more than sons and daughters—they will be the very Bride of Jesus Christ! They will help billions of children be born into the God Family.
God tells us, “Do the Work, and I will make you a lot more than sons and daughters in my Kingdom.” That reward is worth anything asked of us.