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By Bishop Samuel Smith – Chairman of the AWCF

“The burden of Dumah. He called to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?” (Isaiah 21:11)

Our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to this fallen world to merely start a new religion. He did not pay the bloody price on a rugged cross at the hands of the cruelest of men to create mental fodder for philosophers and theologians to thresh, ponder and debate; nor to provide well compensated employment for architects, artists, and religious orators for ages to come. He came to seek and to save that which was lost!

Bible scholars call the period between the Old Testament prophet Malachi and John the Baptist, “The 400 years of Silence,” as there was no prominent national prophet to Israel . When John finally appeared on the scene, he was introduced simply as “a man sent from God.” He never wrote a book, he never performed a miracle, he lived an austere life. Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, among them born of women there hath not risen one greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11 ). What was John’s message to a world so utterly depraved and ungodly that it was necessary for the Creator Himself to appear in the flesh to rescue His fallen creation? John trumpeted, “repent!”

Do we really believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ? If so, how can the forerunners of his second coming have a less powerful and relevant message that that of the forerunner of his first coming?

“A popular evangelist reaches your emotions. A true prophet reaches your conscience.”- Leonard Ravenhill

During the last 40 years there has been a dearth in bold spiritual leadership in America . It is not coincidental, that this country has taken a nose-dive into the cesspool of immorality, atheism and the occult. We have passively watched religious kingdoms built that rival the Vatican in property, buildings, wealth and opulence. We have endured, if not welcomed, the superstar status of Christian personalities that rival Donald Trump, “the rich and the famous,” even Hollywood , in their excessive lifestyle, planes, cars, homes, and wardrobes.

“We manufacture atheists with mundane Christianity.”-Robert Wurtz II

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 , America briefly turned to God; two of the most renowned Christian leaders in our nation proclaimed that the attacks were a warning from the Almighty, and a prelude to more national judgment unless we repented. Immediately, the secular pundits ridiculed them, and just as quickly these two famed ministers retracted their proclamations rather than suffer public distain.

Only days after September 11, 2001, I watched a memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, called the nation’s church; with the President and every important national leader; Supreme Court, Senate, Congress, and leading clergymen sit it rapt attention as the dean of the National Cathedral opened the proceedings with the following prayer; “to the God of Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammad.” High heresy prevailed in our darkest hour, at the very moment when our leaders should have petitioned the Almighty in spirit and truth! This same God has proclaimed that He is a jealous God, who will not share His glory with another! “The blind are leading the blind.” Watchman…what of the night?

“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” (Isaiah 56:10).

With pleasant nostalgia, three years ago, I watched a black and white video of America ‘s most famous evangelist preach to thousands in an open air crusade during the 1960’s. Like an Old Testament prophet he thundered “What saith the Lord!” He touched on heaven and hell, angels and demons, the second coming of Christ, and the emergence of the anti-christ; he demanded that sinners repent! Thousands responded. Soon thereafter, I watched him being interviewed, now 40 years later, by a popular televangelist, and heard him state that he has changed his mind about salvation. He now says, “We have brothers in Christ; Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, even non-church-goers, who are our brethren because they do the good works taught by Christ, even though they do not know him.” Jesus said; “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother….” (Matthew 12:48).

Let me pause and raise the point. How many times have we who preach the necessity of the New Birth; water and spirit, repentance, the name in baptism, and the biblical evidence of tongues; how often have we been accused of promoting these “truths” as works? Now, the same critics say that unbelievers will be saved by their good works. Not only do we have the spiritual weapons to combat the present day heresy, but, we have the theological prowess to prevail; the truth is on our side, if only we have the courage to meet the challenge! Watchman, where are you?

“If men can get to heaven by being good then the death of Christ is the worst waste in human history.”- Dr. Toussaint

More recently, the pastor of one of America’s largest churches was interviewed by Larry King, and when asked why his preaching was not more emphatic relative to traditional Christian values, he answered, “That is not my calling, I am a life coach; my calling is to lead people into successful living.” Jesus said, “For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36 )

Another pastor of a mega-church, best-selling author, and a household name, after taking a stand opposing same sex marriage, folded and backed away when pressed by the homosexual lobby, going as far as writing letters of clarification to homosexual leaders. Certainly, he did not want to endure the same vicious vendetta experienced by a beauty pageant contestant, who simply stated that she believed in traditional marriage. The angry mobs of Sodom and Gomorrah are revisiting the earth! Watchman, where are you?

I could hardly believe what I was seeing on national news; a church service with Michael Jackson’s music blaring away and people dancing in the sanctuary. That shock was only exceeded the next day by the picture shown nationwide of one of America’s leading clergymen, captioned, “Rev. ______ grinds against woman to the music of Michael Jackson during memorial service at Apollo Theater.” ….And there are those who fault us for dancing before the Lord? ….And worse, we are intimidated by them?

Recently, a newspaper interviewed the pastor of one the nation’s fastest growing churches, having grown from only a few dozen to over 15,000 in a short time. When asked his formula for such rapid growth, he said, “I let them in the back door.”

People cannot come into Christ by osmosis, being simply assimilated into His Body, the church. Jesus made it plain, “Ye must be born again.” One must be begotten, conceived and birthed to be saved. There must be a messenger with the message of truth that sets the soul free! Watchman, where are you?

I recall my Bible College mentor, Bishop Norris, teaching the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, universally acclaimed a type and shadow of the New Testament plan of salvation; saying, “there is no back door, no side door, only the front door to the Tabernacle.”

Was Jesus a boaster, or worse, a jester, when He proclaimed? “I am the door: if any man enter in, he shall be saved…” (John 10:9). He settled the issue, once and for all, and no man can change it. Either the Bible is absolute or it is obsolete! “Enter ye in the strait gate for wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” Matthew 7:13-15. This passage needs no further interpretation; false prophets behaving as meekly as sheep, speaking men pleasing words and soul soothing messages to the sinful, are driven by a spirit that is vile and destructive.

God’s way never varies, and is consistent in all things. Light drives out darkness, true prophets prevail over false prophets. At every crisis point in the Bible, God had a Moses, an Elijah, a Daniel, a David, a Jonah, an Apostle Peter, an Apostle Paul; I could continue, but the point is made, these men put the trumpet to their mouths! Where are the watchmen today? Many are reading this article. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, pick up the trumpet, climb onto the wall, and sound the alarm!

“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).

“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence” (Isaiah 62:6).

We will be silent no more!

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