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A BIBLICAL RESPONSE TO WATCHMEN, AND A PLEA TO THE BODY ~

A BIBLICAL RESPONSE TO WATCHMEN, AND A PLEA TO THE BODY ~


This post has been a long time coming, and it is quite long itself, due to the nature of what is being discussed and the issues at hand.


In this article, I'd like to:

- Address an observation regarding the attitude of the current (American) Church (in general) to the watchmen and those with warning voices.

- Submit a Biblical example of a watchman warning scenario.

- Encourage the Ekklesia to engage in situational awareness

- Offer insight into ways leaders in the body can dialogue and support the watchmen.


An exhaustive examination of the issue and developing a thorough solution would take more time than we have in this article, but for now, maybe we can start with looking at it from the perspective of a watchmen, then working through some practical things that will cultivate a healthier relationship to those walking in a watchmen mandate around you.


These discussions need to happen as soon as possible as the impact of ignoring this any further could create unnecessary damage and frustration within the body.


There are an incredible number of watchmen emerging with a burning message, and there are some major conflicts I see occurring within the body of Christ, in regards to how to negotiate the warning message and urgency. For more than 7 years, I have witnessed the arising of an army of two distinct groups: watchmen intercessors and prophetic watchmen. I have also seen how much the body of Christ overall, is not ready for them, nor do they know what to do with them.


WATCHMEN HAVE ARISEN...NOW WHAT??


If I told you the amount of "watchmen/warning" dreams/visions that men and women of God were having, you would be shocked! It is happening at an epic level. Literally thousands of them are occurring weekly...and it is increasing tremendously!


As a voice in the matter with a certain platform, we receive messages, texts, emails through the website, FB Messenger, and any other way they can find to reach out to us. We are overloaded with submissions and simply cannot respond to them all. Why are they responding like this? Because they feel a stirring in their Spirit, an overwhelming urge to share and discuss what they are seeing and/or hearing with the body of Christ, but they don't know what to do with it.


Many have nearly the same story: "I tried talking to my pastor/leader/other spiritual friends about this, but they sort of blew me off", or "they didn't really give me any answers about what to do with this?" "They sort of looked at me like they thought I was crazy". I honestly can't tell you the number of times we've heard this scenario in the last 7-8 years.


They don't claim to be prophets (although some are prophets in training), but they just know God is showing them things, and they know it is important. They feel dismissed, rejected, marginalized within the body...and all because they feel God is showing them things in either dreams, visions, or prophetic pictures/utterances, which they didn't ask for, but somehow they are getting.


Many are confused and say "why is God showing me this, or speaking this to me? I'm a nobody. No one will listen to me! What am I supposed to do with this?" And you know what...most of the time, what they are hearing/seeing is very confirming of what God has shown myself and many other seasoned prophets and prophetic voices. Intel for the war season we are in; Recon and awareness of what the enemy is going to try to do, or what is getting ready to transpire.


They contact me, because they know I am a watchman, that I receive similar things, and they believe maybe I can help them process what they are receiving. Many times I confirm what they are hearing/seeing, advise them to pray into and intercede about these things, and even give them a space (a closed prophetic group here on FB and my website), so they can share these things.


Many times, others will comment and give other insights in the group, and that helps them feel that they have offloaded what they've gotten to the group, and now we can all intercede and pray into it. They feel relieved. Many times, this is the only place they actually feel that their gift fits within the body of Christ. Do you have any idea how hard that is for them?


I am doing my best to train and equip them, to help them in what to share, when, and how (yes that does make a difference in whether you're received), but it isn't easy if I'm honest. I try to help them realize they must be healed and not come at it from a rejected spirit, and many of them have gone through the program we offer in inner healing.


We had a Watchmen's Summit last year, to discuss and train more in these things, and we plan to have more conferences and gatherings to train & equip in the Watchmen's call and mandate. Why do I say it isn't easy? Because for the most part, we get no help from the overall body of Christ. It is sad, but it is true. I don't know what to tell them when they say "they don't want to hear what I have to say".


Because I understand that more than most sadly. I've lived it. It truly doesn't upset me much anymore. I am used to it, and I've made my own way through, with His help and guidance, along with a few other leaders through the years. But I had to learn the hard way many times, and my road has been hard. I've learned that many times, although I am seeing/hearing things that a leader probably needs to know, they most likely won't receive it, so I say nothing. Seven out of 10 times, if it is a warning to a leader, or about a specific church, I say nothing unless I am asked to. It has worked out better.


The Lord has helped me not care as much if overall the body of Christ/leaders listen, although it does still sadden me, when I know it is to their own detriment not to heed the warnings of the Lord. But that's His business, not mine. I have to release that burden to Him. They are His people, not mine.


WE MUST DO BETTER


Can I tell you what bothers me the most though? These others that He is raising up. I see them and know them. Some may have wounded spirits, some may be operating out of unhealedness, but overall they aren't.

They simply don't know what to do, and it is frustrating. They cannot help that He shows them these things. He is the One doing it. I truly don't want to see them go through what I did. There must be a better way.


Many of them are not just seeing things about a specific church they attend, but about what is coming as a whole in the body of Christ, to our nation, other nations, and to the world. Intense things, warning things, intel. Yet again and again, I see them shunned, shut down, dismissed or called "crazy".


Why? Because it isn't rainbows and unicorns that people want to hear? Because we've relegated all things prophetic in our NT model to "edify, exhort, and comfort", even though Agabus in the book of Acts clearly gave a warning word of an impending famine?


WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?


I still ask myself...is that all that we can hear? If Agabus stood up in today's church, even if he was a recognized and known prophet, would his word of "famine is coming" be received? Would he even be able to give that word? Is there a place in the body for the Agabus prophets, or even for those who are watchmen intercessors who might get such a word, to share it with other leaders in the body? 🤔🤷‍♀️


If you had a friend who worked in your local sherrifs dept., and he called to tell you that they had received intel that there was a thief on the prowl, and he and his goonies were planning to hit your neighborhood tonight, would you want to know? Would you want the information, so you could prepare and maybe lock up extra tight, maybe even get some weapons ready? Or would you say, "That is too negative, I don't want to know that. Please don't say that!"? This is the Watchmen's call, and we need to hear their words! Too many respond with "We don't want to say that...we might scare them, and they won't be able to sleep tonight if they know thieves and burglars are around!" Is that really what we should be the most concerned about?


CLARITY ON WHAT I'M NOT SAYING


Yes, I agree that when someone is giving a word in a gathering, and they are operating in the gift of prophecy, especially to people, it should almost always stay within those boundaries of "edify, exhort, comfort.

*Prophetic people - please never get up in a gathering or service and give a warning, judgement or correctional word without expressed consent from the pastor or leader. Unless you are already seen as the set-in prophet in that house, and have been given that leeway, it will not be received well. This is the kind of thing that has caused many pastors not to let people to release words. Almost all correctional or warning words should be given in a private setting.*


I also agree that much of what is going on in the prophetic now is off. Prophetic people (I won't call them prophets) prophesying what they're getting from the "Q", reading a conspiracy into everything, the rapture is happening at such and such day, thinking the earth is flat and people are reptiles.🤦‍♀️🙄


So please know...I get it, there's a lot of junk out there, and social media has given people platforms they never should have. But that's not what I'm speaking to, and that's not these people I'm speaking about. These are truly the watchmen intercessors and prophetic watchmen (prophets or in training). God is truly speaking to these people, and yet they have no place, and they are truly struggling to find their way in the body.


I would like to challenge anyone to show me a prophet in scripture who ONLY gave words that were edifying, exorting or comforting?? Just one? I believe we have had some wrong teaching in this regard as the prophetic has re-emerged on the scene over the last 50 years. That structure is actually supposed to be for the gift of prophecy, and specifically as it is functioning in a gathering of believers. Yet even still, Agabus is said to have stood up (Acts11), and gave a word to the church about famine coming, which I doubt was edifying, exorting, or comforting. So that can't be the only kind of word that is allowed. We see this in the few other times that certain prophecies where discussed in the NT.


I myself have been in this sphere of the prophetic since I was 7 years old (yep, that's 40 years this year!), and I've seen the good, bad, and ugly of it all. I've seen the folks who wanted to stand up and say that judgement was coming, we're basically all going to hell in a handbasket, and God is angry at us all! (people please don't ever do this!🤦‍♀️) Clearly that wasn't received well, and with good reason. I've seen people give prophetic words to manipulate, swindle, take over a service, and any number of things. I've seen people give words out of their flesh, and yes even out of influence of a demonic spirit. It happens more than we realize. So believe me, I get how messy this can be.


I myself have strived to do things better, not to cause strife and division (just because we're prophets, doesn't mean we should bring division), not to speak out of turn in a service, always honoring the protocol and leadership of the house. For these reasons, I've had many trust me as a prophet when they haven't others. Remember, trust is earned. Nathan called out David because he had relationship with him to do that. Yes, prophets and the prophetic community can do better. Many are accountable to no one, say whatever they want, and will not let any other prophets judge their words as scripture says they should. Many haven't even been in the prophetic realm for 10 years, and they already claim to be a prophet. Yes, these things must change.


But that's not what I'm speaking of. I've also seen others that have had a true word or dream/vision not be received, because it is outside of our paradigm of what God is wanting to say. We have relegated any type of prophecy or word of knowledge to seemingly "good things", when that is clearly not what we see in scripture, either in old or new testament. It just isn't.


Not long ago, I watched a seasoned minister share a warning dream that she previously had, about things that may be coming in our nation and the world, and yes it might be quite alarming (if you haven't already heard that from the Lord). This was shared among a group of so called "leaders". What happened? She was essentially shut down and dismissed. She couldn't have given this with a more humble and kind spirit...no judgement, no harshness. Just a simple sharing of what was given, and the call to pray. I knew it was of the Lord. Did they say they would pray about it at least? No. It was pushed off, and basically "move on to the next person", and let's pretend that wasn't said. I was frustrated. I've seen it so much, I am no longer shocked, but I was saddened.


We must do better church!


MY PLEA...


God is sending information that we NEED to know, but our paradigm and error in teaching on the prophetic, has made us unable to hear what He is sending many times. He is telling us for our good, to prepare us, to get us to pray, and maybe so we can get strategies on how best to respond in these "unprecedented" times.


We must REPENT (GR. "metanoó" - change our mindset), and ask the Lord to help us receive what He is wanting to share...even if it is harder, even if it isn't candy, roses, and rainbows, and even if it makes us uncomfortable. The truth is often uncomfortable!


I'm calling on leaders in the body, to please pray about where you have not been able to hear these things, or where you have maybe shunned the watchmen in your church/group/ministry. You don't even know how much you need them, and how much they can help. If you have shunned them previously, can I ask you to please repent and let them know you want to hear from them, even if you have to meet with them privately with other leaders.


You might say "I don't believe I have any watchmen in my sphere?" I can assure you, if you are a spirit-filled/charismatic church or ministry, then you do. They are probably not sharing what they are getting, because they don't feel wanted, heard, or understood. You may not know them, but they are there! Find out who they are, and how they can be active and empowered in their place in the body.


If you are a leader, and you're concerned that you won't know what to do with what these watchmen are getting, or you won't understand what they're saying, or why... How about you consider seeking out other prophetic leaders in the body, who can maybe begin to help you cultivate and understand these things more in your sphere/church/ministry? Preferably seek out seasoned prophets that have more of a watchman call and mandate (those who actually receive some of these warning/harder things).


No, I don't mean just myself of course, although I'm happy to help if needed, but any prophet that you truly know who is activity receiving words, dreams, or visions, that would be more of a watchman type. If you don't know any, maybe it's time you seek out other 5-fold gifts in the body, and get to know them. Have them in for roundtable type discussions, for strategies, and to implement prayer watches for the words received.


It is time for the 5-fold to begin to work together better, and for every joint to be fit into place...and these Watchmen need to be able to be heard from their place on the wall. We need to come together as the 5-fold, receive the intel given, and strategize about the best action plan for where we are going. It is imperative and essential in the hour we are in! #PrayingForReformation #ItisTime 🕑


In prayer for #Reformation,


Amanda Shiflett ~ Prophetic Reformer

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