The Whole Story, How I Became The Old Watchman
Today I want to present a full testimony about how I became The Old Watchman, Ezekiel, and how I was “awakened” by the sound of a Ram’s Horn Shofar. I’ve shared some of it briefly in the past days but I feel that it is important to convey the whole process of how I began this journey.
First allow me to be totally transparent. By 2018 I had been through four and a half years in seminary and dedicated almost four additional years to dedicated Bible study. I felt empty, cheated, restrained, as if I were in jail. I was totally unhappy. I wanted to be a preacher. I wanted to be “the man”. I wanted to be out front. Why was I unhappy? Because none of that was happening. I wanted to serve God, but God was not using me in the way I thought He should be using me. That should have been my first red flag. My motives were impure. I wanted to serve God in the way I thought was best instead of submitting to the plan and purpose God had for my life. I don’t recommend anyone go down that road. It is a miserable existence. I’m not called to preach. I am a Watchman.
September 9, 2018 my wife, Cheryl, and I were in our office. She was watching a live feed streaming in on her computer. What was she watching? She was watching the opening festivities on the eve of Rosh Hoshana in Jerusalem. I was at my desk chasing down a Hebrew verb “yarah”. The word “Torah” is derived from “yarah” which means “to instruct”, “to point out”, or “to lay a foundation”. I remember thinking that I wish she would turn the volume of her speakers down so that I could focus on my verb study. That’s when it happened.
I heard a sound that struck me from behind and rocked me forward in my chair. That sound sliced through my soul, pierced my heart, embedded in my spirit, and stirred something inside me so deep that I cannot convey the experience adequately with any language. It was if I had been abruptly snatched from the deepest state of sleep and hurled instantly, at hypersonic speed, into a hyperacute state of awareness! It was if I had been……awakened!
I turned from my chair and ran, as fast as a middle-aged fat man can run, to Cheryl’s desk and exclaimed, “What was THAT??!!”
It’s funny what you remember during times like these, but I remember that Cheryl was munching on a bag of cheese puffs. She replied, “Oh they’re sounding the shofar in Jerusalem.” She never let on that she perceived any state of excitement on my part or that I was practically shouting. No, I was definitely shouting.
That’s when the Ram’s Horn sounded again. It was if I was struck with the force of a shockwave from a massive explosion! I closed my eyes and thought, “Lord how have I missed this?”
Then, someone sounded the mighty Yemenite. That’s the long, spiraled horn of a Kudu antelope that most people associate with the term “shofar”. I simply pointed at the computer monitor and said, “That’s mine.”
Now Cheryl sat up in her chair and pays attention. “Yours?” she asked. “What do you mean that’s yours?”
“I don’t know. But that trumpet is speaking to me.” I replied.
“What’s it saying?”
I had to be honest. “I don’t have a clue. All I know is that something has just been offered to me and I accept it.” To be completely honest, I accepted it without any understanding of what “it” was or where it would lead me.
“Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of my God. So remember, what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.” Revelation 3:2-3 (NASB95)
December 5, 2018 a leader in a prayer service paused in prayer and said, “The Lord has just shown me a picture of Lonnie Richardson as an old guard awaiting his replacement.” I stuck that little nugget of prophetic word under my cap. That leader had no knowledge of my “awakening” on September 9.
December 11, 2018 another word came to me from a young woman in the form of Jeremiah 6:16-17.
“Thus say the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not walk in it.” “And I have set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, “We will not listen.” Jeremiah 6:16-17 (NASB95 emphasis is my own)
“Stand”, “see”, “ask”, “walk” and “find” are instructions in order. The ancient paths are where the “good way” is found. Not all paths are ancient paths. But walk in the “good way” and you will find “rest for your souls.”
“Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life….” Jesus is the good way! In Matthew 11:29 Jesus said: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls.”” Matthew 11:29 (NASB95)
Jesus was directly referencing Jeremiah 6:16!
Then, Jeremiah states that watchmen have been appointed to sound the shofar to let people know when they have strayed from the ancient paths (paraphrased). But some will not listen! I tucked that prophetic word under my cap. She had no knowledge of the September 9th awakening either.
Three more prophetic words came within the next month. The final word, “You are the watchman. Sound the shofar! What are you waiting for? Quit hiding! You may need five prophetic words of confirmation before you believe.”
I couldn’t believe it! That was the fifth prophetic word! I was not totally convinced as January 2019 came to an end, but Cheryl was totally sold out to the idea. About mid-February she came to me and told me that we had tax returns that just came in and that I should find a shofar to purchase. I knew that we needed those returns to pay bills with and I told her so. But she was adamant.
“You will one day call down the hosts of heaven onto this earth and I am not going to allow bills to prevent that from happening.” When the little Swedish woman puts her foot down, she is not easily moved. We prayed for three days about it, and I told her that I believed God to provide for a 21 inch Ram’s Horn and a 43 inch Yemenite. She asked how much they cost. I muttered the figure under my breath expecting a scathing rebuke at having lost my mind. Instead, she smiled and said, “That’s the exact amount I put into a special account yesterday. Let’s get them ordered!”
Three days later, the shofarot (remember, pleural for shofar is shofarot) arrived. I put each one to my lips and the sounds emanating forth were the most ghastly sounds I’ve ever heard! The dog started howling! I don’t know if she was howling in protest or howling in the spirit! But I went into panic mode. “Oh Lord! What have I done? I spent enough to make three house payments and a couple of steak dinners on these things, and I can’t even make a decent sound!”
Very quietly, Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 32:8.
“I will instruct you and teach you In the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8 (NASB95)
In that moment, that instant, I felt the weight of the world lift from my shoulders, and it was if the hands of Holy Spirit rested upon me. I took a deep breath and, for the first time that I could remember, I was at peace.
Shortly thereafter, I met a man who is a Messianic Jew. He said to me, “I have just seen you in your tallit with the tzit-zit wrapped around your little fingers, sounding the shofar as you step through the veil and into your destiny.” I asked him what my destiny was. He replied. “I don’t know. You’ll have to step through the veil and see.” The thing is, this man had no idea that I, in fact, owned a tallit!
A year later he told Cheryl, “As you probably already know, Lonnie is that prophet of old. He has picked up the mantel that was prepared for him and he is fulfilling his purpose.” I thought that odd. Me? A prophet? I made no such claims then and I make no such claims now.
Within twenty-four hours I receive an email from a pastor in South Africa whom I was mentoring in the use of the shofar. He said, “When God connected me with you, He showed me that you were a type of Ezekiel. When you sound the shofar over the dry bones, inside the church and outside, He will bring men to life. So, when I pray for you, I call you Ezekiel. I hope you do not mind.”
Mind? It scared me to death! For the first time I understood the weight of responsibility of my purpose.
January 13, 2020 I had a dream. In this dream I was seated in a wooden chair at one end of a room that was approximately 30 feet wide and 60 feet long. Cheryl was standing on my left. An angel was standing on my right. Seated on the floor, between my knees, was a man. I never saw his face. At the far end of the room was a brilliant white marble platform on which there was a magnificent throne of such beauty that I cannot not describe it. The room was not dark but appeared to be cast in a heavy shadow. There were no windows or doors and I never saw a ceiling. I could hear a Ram’s horn shofar sounding, but it sounded muted. I looked up to my right and the angel was sounding a Ram’s horn but had the end tucked underneath an arm, which I thought was odd. But the angel then offered the Ram’s horn to me. I looked to my left and Cheryl placed her hand on my shoulder, nodding her approval that I accept the Ram’s horn. When I took the horn form the angel it changed from a dark brown streaked black horn to a light colored horn with black, green, and rust colored markings. The angel motioned for me to sound the shofar. As I put it to my lips, it almost sounded itself. As it sounded, a brilliant bright light illuminated the throne at the far end of the room. The angel motioned for me to sound the trumpet again and I blew into it again. It roared with power and authority! The throne at the far end of the room exploded into a bright, blinding light that obliterated everything that I could see. All I could see was light!
You see the angel was not God’s chosen to sound that horn. I was. Cheryl was the only person’s approval I needed to sound that horn. The man sitting between my knees was an intercessor. I don’t know him. Likely, he doesn’t know me. But he prays for God to raise one up to sound THAT horn. When the throne exploded in light, I would guess that I sat in the Shekinah Glory of God for about five seconds before I woke up. I would give all that I have for five more seconds of that.
A few days later I was surfing on the internet, and I found THAT ram’s horn that the angel handed to me! I recognized it instantly. It carried a very high price tag, and I showed it to Cheryl. She said, “Oh, that’s nice.” I realized that I had been dismissed. But I went back to that web site for two years and prayed over that shofar claiming it for God’s glory. Every week for two years I prayed and claimed it. Two years!
Then, in late February of 2022. I went to the web site and that shofar had a big sign on it, “SOLD”. I cried out, “OH NO!”
Cheryl came running to see if something was wrong.
“My trumpet has been SOLD!” I cried. “I’ve lost it. I’ll never find it! Oh Father! How have I disobeyed You that You would take this from me?” I was distraught. No, I was weeping in great despair.
Cheryl pulled her phone out of her pocket and brought up a picture of a shofar. “Did it look like this?” She asked with a big smile on her face.
“Yes! Yes, that’s IT!”
“It’s at our son’s house in Missouri. He’s building a case to store it in. Happy Early Anniversary!”
That trumpet finally came home where it belongs. I have such an awesome wife. I serve an awesome God. To God be the Glory!
And that, friends, is how I became The Old Watchman, Ezekiel. Now, you know.