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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20160306 INTERCESSORS AS WATCHMEN

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Senior Pastor Phil Roland

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Pastor Ray Scott

 

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Intercessors as Watchmen

SERMON STARTER

ISAIAH 62:6-12 – Ezekiel 9:1-8

Intercessors go beyond the normal need to pray that is a part of all Christian believers. Intercessors stand between sinful humanity, including themselves and God. Like Moses interceded for the Jewish people when they rebelled. God responded and granted mercy. Like Jesus interceded from His Cross, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do!"

My pastor friends were discussing Wednesday the subject of prayer. The discussion flashed me back to things I read when I was much younger from the writing of E.M. Bounds,

 

“What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use -- men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men -- men of prayer.” ― E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

 

“Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still. He will never talk well and with real success to men for God who has not learned well how to talk to God for men.”
                                                          ― E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

 

As we were praying at the pastors’ meeting I heard a clear word from God. It was a single word, “Gatekeepers.” The word took me back to an alliance I formed with Dr. Joseph Conti of Hermitage Family Medicine in the late 1970’s. He said, “Phil, I believe God has placed you and me in this area as Gatekeepers of the mental and spiritual health of our region. You help the ones who come to you with spiritual problems and send the ones to me who have physical problems. Together we can raise our percentages of those who are being healed.”

Doc Conti was right. Together we have more pull in God’s kingdom. Jesus said in Matthew 18:19, “If only two of you agree as touching anything, I will do it!” Wednesdays there are more than two, there are more than 16 leaders from the various churches of the area who have met more than 20 years and agreed in prayer for revival for our region.

A number of years ago a pastor friend and myself were standing before the altar of God and he was expressing his concern for the condition of the people. He fell to his face before God’s altar and began to cry from his gut over the sins of the people. Before long the carpet was wet with his tears. I have been called to intercessory prayer, but never with such passion.

          This sermon explores the call of God to the office of intercession. I was especially moved as I studied the gatekeepers in ancient culture and their commonly understood counterparts, “watchmen.” God is calling for a new generation of watchmen to “cry and sigh” over the sins of the people, the region and the nation. Is it you? Do you have God’s mark on your forehead?

 

Pastor Phil  <><<

 

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Sheepfold Ministries, March 6, 2016

Pastor Phil Roland

 

Intercessors as watchmen

ISAIAH 62:6-12 – EZEKIEL 9:1-8

 “Intercessory prayer is often thought of as seeking God to obtain favor(s) for others, but intercession also involves petitioning God for mercy and salvation for those in our sphere of influence. It is asking God to stay His wrath for the disobedient.”                                                             Pastor Phil

 

Isaiah 62:1,2

I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.”

 

DEFINITIONS:

Watchmen – Hebrew, “Shaw-mar” -  “To keep guard, observe, give heed”

(Listed in KJV Bible 440 Times)        "To put a hedge around something"

 

 “In ancient times, watchmen stood guard on a city's walls to see to the welfare of its citizens and to warn of coming trouble. Who is to do that job today in a dangerous world moving closer to the crisis of the close of the age?”

 

Three Types of Ancient Watchmen:

          Agrarian watchmen watched fields from large towers

          City Wall watchers warned of approaching enemies

          City Gate watchers looked for threats within the cities – Ruth 4:1-12

 

I. WATCHMEN’S TASK TO INTERCEED AND TO WARN

          A. Prophetic warning to mankind - They see the evil / warn evildoers

                    1. Shofar – The loud blast of warning

                    2. Loud Shouting

                    3. Lifting up Banners

          B. Passionate Intercession before God – Isaiah 61:6,7

                    1. A group of people are charged with a Prayer Vigil

                    2. By their presence and their prayers seek God’s Protection

          C. End-Time watchmen understand the End of this Age –Isa. 62:10,11

               ”Go through, go through the gates! Prepare the way for the people; build

                up, build up the highway! Take out the stones, lift up a banner for the

                peoples! Indeed the LORD has proclaimed to the end of the world"

                    1. Dark clouds gathering on the world’s horizon

                    2. Satan’s time as the god of this world drawing to an end

                    3. End-Time Watchmen climb society’s walls to shout                                        warnings

          D. These watchmen will show Jesus as the way to personal peace

                    1. They will present genuine teachings of Christ’s salvation

INTERCESSORS AS WATCHMEN, cont., p.2

 

2. They will show Jesus as the only escape from God’s Judgment

 

II. WHO ARE TODAY’S WATCHMEN? – Ezekiel 9:1-8

“And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side;  and the LORD said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it."

 

          A. God was preparing to send His Destroying Angels

                    1. His purpose: “To Kill the Disobedient”

                    2. Caught up in willful sin against God, fellowman / themselves

          B. Those heart-sick over society’s rebellion would be spared

                    1. They could be granted a Mark - (God's Mark, not the enemy)

                    2. Who would they be?

                    3. Those who sigh and cry over the sins of the city

          C. Why do Intercessors Sigh and Cry?

                    1. Because humanity has forsaken God

                    2. Because sin is multiplying

                    3. Because the church is lifeless and powerless

                    4. Because God's people are spiritually asleep

                    5. Because Christ's Return is Near and we are not ready

          D. Called to Announce the Kingdom of God – By Wesley L. Duewel

                 Some years ago while I was serving as a seminary principal in India, my

            students and I spent a field term going from village to village with the

            Gospel message and Christian literature. We made it a practice to camp

            occasionally in the villages in order to witness and minister to the people.

                One night at a village meeting, I read the Christmas story from Luke             chapter 2. As I began to speak, an old villager seated on the ground

            interrupted me. "How long is it since that great day when God’s Son was

            born?" I told him it had been approximately two thousand years. He

            pointed an accusative finger at me. "You say you have known for nearly

            two thousand years! Who has been hiding that Book all this time?"

            By Wesley L. Duewel

                    1. How can we hear that challenge and not Sigh and Cry?

                    2. Have our hearts become so hardened, we don't care?

          E. God is calling us to Repentance - Acts 3:19,20

          "Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so                     that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, "and

              that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, "whom

              heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God

              has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”

            1. Repent and receive God’s blessings

          2. Ignore the warning and face God’s judgment

                    3. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked – Ez. 33:11

                    “Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I                                   take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they

INTERCESSORS AS WATCHMEN, cont., p.3

 

                          turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why

                          will you die, O house of Israel?'

4. Why will you die?  - Romans 5:6-9

“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for                   the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet

  perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God

  demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still

  sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been

  justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”

 

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CLOSING ILLUSTRATION

Intercessors As Watchmen

 

DAVID LIVINGSTONE AND INTERCESSORY PRAYER

 

          When David Livingstone first began his ministry there, some of the native tribes opposed him. One particular warlike tribe said they were going to kill him and everyone in his party. One afternoon as they were setting up camp, word was out that these warriors had been tracking him all day, and they were outside the camp and they were going to attack and kill everyone when it got dark. I have the words David Livingstone wrote in his journal that night on January 14, 1856.

                   
"It is evening. I feel much turmoil and fear in the prospect of having all of my plans knocked on the head by savages who are just now outside the camp." Those who studied his handwriting said you could even see the fear in the way he wrote the letters. He wrote, "But Jesus said, 'All power is given unto me in heaven and earth, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the ends of the earth.'" Livingstone wrote, "This is the word of a gentleman of most strict and sacred honor, so that's the end of my fear. I feel quiet and calm now." Even his letters are straight now.

                   
They didn't attack that night. Later the tribe was brought to faith in Christ. A couple of years later, David Livingstone asked the chief of the tribe, "Do you remember the night you were tracking my party?"

"Yes."

 

"We had heard rumors you were going to attack us."

The chief said, "That's right, we were ready to attack the camp that night and kill you and everyone else."
 
David Livingstone asked, "Why didn't you attack?"
 
The chief said, "When we got close to the camp, we looked and saw 47 warriors surrounding your camp with swords in their hands."

David Livingstone was baffled. They didn't have any guards, any warriors.

Later when he was on furlough in Scotland, he shared this story at a church that was supporting him. A man came up to him afterwards with his prayer journal. He said, "Look, I wrote it down, January 14, 1856, was that the night?" David Livingstone said, "Yes." The man said, "That night a group of men came to pray for you. We prayed for your protection. I wrote it down. There were 47 men praying that night for you."

 

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Intercessors As Watchmen, Texts:

ISAIAH 62:6-12

 

I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest,

7  and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.

8  The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: "Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled;

9  but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary."

10  Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.

11  The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.'"

12  They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.

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Intercessors as watchmen, Text No.2:

Ezekiel 9:1-8
1 Then He called out in my hearing with a loud voice, saying, "Let those who have charge over the city draw near, each with a deadly weapon in his hand."
2 And suddenly six men came from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with his battle-ax in his hand. One man among them was clothed with linen and had a writer's inkhorn at his side. They went in and stood beside the bronze altar.
3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. And He called to the man clothed with linen, who had the writer's inkhorn at his side;
4 and the LORD said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it."
5 To the others He said in my hearing, "Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity.
6 Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary." So they began with the elders who were before the temple.
7 Then He said to them, "Defile the temple, and fill the courts with the slain. Go out!" And they went out and killed in the city.
8 So it was, that while they were killing them, I was left alone; and I fell on my face and cried out, and said, "Ah, Lord GOD! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in pouring out Your fury on Jerusalem?"

 

 

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EZEKIEL 33:1-11

 

33:1  The word of the LORD came to me:

2  "Son of man, speak to your countrymen and say to them: 'When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman,

3  and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people,

4  then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning and the sword comes and takes his life, his blood will be on his own head.

5  Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but did not take warning, his blood will be on his own head. If he had taken warning, he would have saved himself.

6  But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood.'

7  "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me.

8  When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.

9  But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself.

10  "Son of man, say to the house of Israel, 'This is what you are saying: "Our offenses and sins weigh us down,

and we are wasting away because of them. How then can we live?"'

11  Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'

 

This part of a sermon starter was from 2008

Nine days ago the pastors of three ministerial groups met to share and to pray for one another. They were from different denominations, and different doctrines and church disciplines. One thing they shared in common was their love for Jesus and His Great Commission in Matthew 28:19, 20.

They also share a common compassion and concern for the epidemic of social and cultural problems that are spinning off from our nation’s following the relative morality of the godless media and its purveying of popular public opinion’s myths and lies.  Our young people have been sold lies and have been abandoned to terrible consequences. There is only one truth: Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by Me.” 

FUNCTIONS OF AN INTERCESSOR

http://www.thequickenedword.com/rhema/Characteristics.html

 

 

 

SERMON: THE INTERCESSORS ARMY THAT SIGHS AND CRIES

There is something very powerful and awesome going on in the world today!

By David Wilkerson
June 13, 1994

http://www.tscpulpitseries.org/english/1990s/ts940613.html

 

Ezekiel 22:30-31 (NKJV)
30 So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.
31 Therefore I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; and I have recompensed their deeds on their own heads," says the Lord GOD.

 

Last week I taught from Ezekiel 9:4 and the phrase, "Men who sigh and cry over the sins of the city." I cannot get the phrase out of my mind.

 

4 and the LORD said to him, "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it."
I cannot get the phrase out of my mind.

 

Romans 8:26-27

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.