“Christian” Watchmen On The Walls Of Jerusalem
Watchmen on the Walls of Jerusalem
Did you know that the Bible speaks of two kinds of watchman? It is a wonderful end-time phenomenon in the Church that many believers have been given a supernatural love for Israel and the Jews, and it truly can be called a move of the Spirit. Those of us who have experienced this love and interest in the State of Israel, Jerusalem, and all things Jewish, have been given a special affinity with a particular Scripture in Isaiah, which announces the inspired prophecy that:
“6 I HAVE SET WATCHMEN ON YOUR WALLS, O JERUSALEM; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of YEHOVAH, do not keep silent, 7 And give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in all the earth.”
(Isaiah 62:6-7, emphasis added, NKJV)
This prophecy most certainly has become true in our day, as throughout the world there is a significant awakening within the Church, involving millions of Spirit filled believers who are standing in the gap for Israel. They have become watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem in a global movement of intercession for Israel. This great army of Christian watchmen is engaged day and night 24/7 interceding and praying for the protection of Israel. These watchmen, in fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy, never hold their peace day or night! All night prayer vigils for Israel take place every night of the week all around the world, even in faraway places such as China, Japan and South America. Even within the confines of the city of Jerusalem itself, at any given time of the year, hundreds of believers are privately engaged in this divine watchman ministry of intercession. This is a most powerful move of God, which is gathering more and more strength even as the dangers to Israel’s existence multiply.
However, were you aware that God’s Word refers to two kinds of watchman? You may have heard, or even be familiar with those valiant watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem, but did you realize that a different group of watchmen is mentioned in the Bible? We find this other set of end-time watchmen mentioned in the book of Jeremiah:
“For there shall be a day when THE WATCHMEN WILL CRY ON MOUNT EPHRAIM, ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to YEHOVAH our God.’ ”
(Jeremiah 31:6, emphasis added, NKJV)
Now, what on earth does this mean? “Mount” in biblical Hebrew usually refers to “nation.” However, “Mount Ephraim” implies “Nations” (plural). Ephraim, (the leading tribe) is frequently used in the Bible in its generic context to describe the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel; and having been scattered to the four corners of the earth these tribes consist of many nations.
In Modern day Hebrew the word ‘Watchman’ means Christian!
Did you realize that the word for Christians in Modern Hebrew is Notzrim? At the same time the word “Watchman” or “Watchmen” are variously derived from three ancient Hebrew words, respectively; Shamar; Tsaphah & Natsar, all of them share the same root of ‘to guard.’ Is this not amazing? Here we have Isaiah, the son of Amos, prophesying some 2,700 years ago that in our time there would be, “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem,” and the word he uses to describe those watchmen happens to be “Notzrim,” in modern day Hebrew, which is the very term used by the Jewish people to describe Christians today! This is even more remarkable when we realize that Modern Hebrew is very different from the Hebrew used in Bible times, as in Isaiah’s day the word Christian had never been heard of and therefore the association between Notzrim and Christian did not exist at the time he spoke those words. Below, we will also examine Isaiah’s
reference to; “the Branch which comes out of the root of Jesse.” In Isaiah 11:1, the reference to “the Branch” is derived from the word “Netzer,” which comes from the same root word “Natzar” e.g. “watchman!”
This is quite significant. It means that just prior to the advent of the Messianic Era, when Isaiah’s prophecy was to come to pass, saying that there would be Watchmen on the Walls of Jerusalem, he was pointing out something that only God could have known. On the other hand, the word for ‘watchmen’ in Isaiah 62:6 is the Hebrew ‘shamarim’ which is related to the word for Samaria. Now, Samaria was the ancient capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel which ruled over the ten tribes of Israel who had separated themselves from Judah and the house of David. Thus, even in this, we have an indication that the prophet is referring to Ephraim, those from the rebellious house of Israel. Furthermore, both words have the same root ‘shamar,’ meaning ‘to watch’ and ‘guard.’ As we see that the word ‘Notzrim’ is taken from Modern day Hebrew, the words of Isaiah may reasonably be taken to apply to those modern day Christians who love the modern day State of Israel. The primary commission of the watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem is one of fervent intercession for the present Jewish State of Israel. However, the other set of watchmen referred to by the prophet Jeremiah have a completely different job to do. The role of those watchmen is to:
“…Cry on Mount Ephraim; ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to YEHOVAH our God.’ ”
(Jeremiah 31:6, NKJV)
Their commission is to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom, which is the same Good News Yeshua and His disciples preached. This Gospel concerns the restoration of the Whole House of Israel into a restored and newly United Kingdom of Israel, which will comprise all of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. It is the advance news about the glorious reign of Messiah Yeshua, who is destined to rule as King of kings and Lord of lords, from the throne of David in Mount Zion. This means the establishment of God’s Kingdom here upon the earth! Only then will the two faces/halves of Israel become reunited and reconciled with each other. It is by preaching this Good News about the Reunification of the Two Houses of Israel into One United Kingdom that those watchmen on Mount Ephraim will be stirring their fellow tribesmen to return to Zion and the Promised Land. To date this Gospel has largely not been preached, yet we have the assurance from the prophet that Notzrim e.g. Christian Watchmen will be calling upon the tribes of Israel to return to Zion! Thus, Jeremiah too was prophesying that the Lost Ten Tribes, in the latter times, would be Christians and Messianic believers. God is even now calling upon those Notzrim/watchmen on Mount Ephraim to begin their kingdom work of calling their fellow Christian tribesmen to return to Zion. Might you be one of these? This means that many in the Church need to follow those who have already returned to those ancient paths, and return to the true Hebrew roots of their faith.
Restoring the Preserved Ones of Israel
The Modern Hebrew word Notzrim, i.e. the watchmen or Christians, is derived from the word Nazareth. We all know that Yeshua (Jesus) was from Nazareth and that He was called the Nazarene. Here lies an amazing hidden relationship between Yeshua and his followers of both Jewish and Gentile believers. No one would have been aware of this relationship until the birth and ministry of Yeshua the Messiah, as prior to His coming, it’s meaning would have had no particular significance. However, when we examine its meaning today with the benefit of hindsight, we can discover a most wonderful truth. To get the whole picture, we need to first of all go to another passage in the book of Isaiah where the same root word is used:
“…‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to RESTORE THE PRESERVED ONES OF ISRAEL; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation (Hebrew: Yeshua) to the ends of the earth.’ ”
(Isaiah 49:6, emphasis added, NKJV)
The use of the above phrase, ‘restore the preserved ones of Israel,’ may well be taken to imply the full and final restoration of Ephraim and the Lost Nations/House of Israel. The remarkable fact is that in the Hebrew the term, ‘PRESERVED’ ones of Israel, has the same root word ‘NOTZRI’ i.e. Christian or watchman. Thus, here we have the Prophet Isaiah using a word that was not used before his time at all, and yet, it is the Hebrew word used to describe Christians today! Is this not amazing? This truly reflects the signature of our Creator God! It is translated as the “preserved of Israel” in English, whereas elsewhere it is translated “watchmen.” Let us now read the Scripture again by injecting this interpretation into Isaiah 49:6: “to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the watchmen of Israel (restore the modern day Christian believers who love Israel); I will give you also as a light to the Gentiles,” etc. It is these Christian watchmen that have been concealed and hidden, and they indeed are the preserved ones of Israel! Can we see it now? Oh, how wonderful is our GOD!!!
All that remains now is for us to go back to Nazareth in order to conclude our research into those Christian watchmen. Once again we find the key to its remarkable meaning in the book of Isaiah. The Prophet Isaiah in another chapter, when speaking in the context of how YEHOVAH will recover the remnant of His people and assemble the outcasts of Israel, introduces the subject as follows:
A Branch shall grow out of his roots
“There shall come forth a Rod (shoot) from the Stem of Jesse, and a Branch, (netzer, notzrim, watchman), shall grow out of his roots.”
(Isaiah 11:1, emphasis added, NKJV)
The stem (Geza in Hebrew) of Jesse referred to here represents a cut down trunk or stump of a tree, and out of it a shoot (a wild growth) comes forth, that is to say out of Jesse, a “BRANCH” (Hebrew: Netzer) grows out of his roots. In Strong’s No: 5342 ‘netzer’ is defined as derived from ‘natzar’ mentioned in No: 5341. Netzer represents a green (living) ‘shoot;’ a descendant: - branch. Notice that the stem of the tree is above the ground, whereas the roots are underground. Whilst the stem, trunk, or stump of a tree is visible, the roots invariably are invisible and hidden. Remember, that we are looking at God’s Word through the prism of Israel. The Stem of Jesse is clearly a reference to Judah, as Judah, much like the trunk of a tree, has always remained visible and above the ground. Now suddenly a living (green) ‘Rod,’ ‘Shoot’ and a ‘Branch’ springs up from the roots beneath the ground. This living Rod, Shoot or Branch is none other than the Lost House of Israel that has remained underground and hidden for the past three thousand years!
As most prophecies frequently have a dual application, it needs to be said that the conventional interpretation of The (living green) ‘Branch’ or ‘Netzer’ is that it is a reference to Yeshua our Messiah, who was raised up by His human parents in the little town of Netzeret, e.g. (Nazareth) the city of The “BRANCH.” This is based upon a number of Messianic Scriptures, a most excellent example of which may be found in the Book of Jeremiah:
“5 Behold, the days are coming,” says YEHOVAH, “That I WILL RAISE TO DAVID A BRANCH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS; a King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days JUDAH WILL BE SAVED, AND ISRAEL WILL DWELL SAFELY...”
(Jeremiah 23:5-6, emphasis added, NKJV)
When He, Yeshua, the Messiah, came to His own as the Passover Lamb of God, He expressed the reason why He had been sent by His Father by saying:
“…I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
(Matthew 15:24, NKJV)
By the above words, we see that Yeshua was well aware of that ‘shoot’ or ‘branch’ or ‘descendants,’ which being still hidden from view, whilst dwelling underground with the roots, would one day suddenly spring forth into view. He, as the anointed forerunner had come to lay down His life in order to save those Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. He in fact was the ultimate shoot from the stem of Jesse, as He was from the royal lineage of David, as well as being of the House of Judah. The Jews came to refer to Him as the Nazarene, that is to say: the Branch from the city of the Branch. He was the leading ‘Netzer/Branch;’ the ultimate ‘Notzrim/Christian,’ as well as the most powerful, influential and diligent ‘Watchman, Intercessor’ of all time. Hallelujah! Yet, the story does not end here, as when He commissioned His own disciples He commanded them as follows:
“5…Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. 6 But GO RATHER TO THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!”
(Matthew 10:5-7, emphasis added, NKJV)
Thus, He gave His disciples, the twelve Apostles, the same commission His Father had given Him, as they too were to bring the Good News of the Kingdom to those “Lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Notice, how Yeshua strictly forbade them from going to the Gentiles or indeed to the Samaritans, their role was to emulate their Master as the first Notzrim or Watchman on Mount Ephraim, alerting the lost and scattered sheep of Israel, that the King Messiah had sent them to give them the Good News that the Kingdom of Israel would be restored. They were not only to proclaim the joyful message that the kingdom of Israel would be restored but also that that very Kingdom of Heaven was now at hand.
The above article is an excerpt from “Christians & Jews – the Two Faces of Israel,” by Stephen J. Spykerman, published by Xulon Press, 2010, U.S.A.