Town Criers

Today public heralds have been replaced by newspapers, television and other electronic information sources. Perhaps the best known town crier in all of American history is Paul Revere. However, the tradition predates his famed ride from Boston to Lexington and carries great significance for us today.

Attendants and friends. In Greek literature the public crier was the attendant of a prince—but not just an ordinary attendant. Raised above the status of other servants, the crier was given a respect and status similar to a friend.

As believers, we serve the Prince of Peace. Yet Jesus said, “‘No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My father I have made known to you’” (John 15:15). In this, Prince Jesus has raised us to a status like that of the town crier—we are His friends.

He says that He will make known to us everything He has heard from the Father. The Greek word meaning “make known” is the same word used in Ephesians 3:10. What does that mean to us as intercessors?

  • It means we are not giving just a random outcry, but we are participating in a process released from heaven.
  • God the Father makes known (gnoridzo) His intentions to Jesus.
  • Jesus makes known (gnoridzo) the Father’s intentions to the church.
  • The church makes known (gnoridzo) the intentions of God to the evil powers through proclamation (kerusso).
  • The result? Breakthrough!

Deputies of the prince. A town crier was given a herald’s staff. The scepter in his hands made it clear that as he carried out his commission, he did so under the prince’s authorization.

When Jesus rose victorious from the grave, He took back the authority man had given away in the garden. Jesus then turned and gave the authority He purchased to those who would follow Him, declaring that whatever they bound or loosed on earth would be so also in heaven (see Matt. 16:19).

Proclamation carries with it a nature of binding, commanding and settling. Zodhiates says the word “bind” means “to fasten or to tie up with chains or a cord.” Prophetic proclamations released through the mouths of intercessors have the ability to tie up the effect of evil powers like an animal tied with chains or a cord.

The verb translated “loose,” according to Zodhiates, means “to loosen, break up, destroy, dissolve, unloose, melt or put off.” When you loose the powers of darkness from a situation, person or city, the enemy is no longer able to do what he intended to do.

Protected heralds. The Greeks believed that a herald who came in wartime must not be touched. If he were, the one who touched him would incur the wrath of both the one who sent the crier and his gods.

The security of the intercessor is his faith in the powerful blood of Jesus. Intercessors are on assignment in a spiritual war. They have been sent by the Captain of the Hosts to do His bidding. A scepter of authority has been given to them, and they are to rule in the earth.

Crier Characteristics

There are some general characteristics that apply to all public criers, historical and current.

Under authority. A crier was always under the authority of someone else. The crier was only the spokesman.

Intercessors should always be under the authority of the Lord. A submissive spirit is vital.

We also need to submit to others (see Eph. 5:21). No person is above the need for accountability. Each of us has blind spots. We need those who love us enough to tell us the truth.

Convey the message of the master. The crier was not to deliver his own message or compromise with the one who was receiving it. He simply delivered the message he was sent to speak.

Often, I find people who were, at one time, very powerful in prayer. As difficulties came into their lives, they retreated and stopped involving themselves with the body of Christ. But an intercessor cannot compromise with the enemy during a spiritual battle.

Announce judicial verdicts. What the public crier announced became valid by the act of proclamation. Likewise, Jesus the righteous Judge hands the verdict to the intercessor, who then delivers a prophetic proclamation to the evil powers. The verdict becomes valid through the proclamation spoken by the intercessor.

Jesus said, “‘What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim [kerusso] upon the housetops’” (Matt. 10:27).

Through a practical demonstration in my own life, God enabled me to gain an even deeper understanding of how this principle works.

Declaring God’s Favor

When the Lord was ready to move our family to Dallas, we put our house up for sale. Houses, however, were not selling very well where we lived.

We had prayed and done everything the real estate lady told us to do. But after eight months on the market, the house had not sold.

Wanda, a “spiritual daughter,” was living with us at the time. Knowing the power of proclamation, Wanda started walking the boundaries of our yard each day praying, “In the name of Jesus, I release the favor of God on this house. I command all blinders to come off the eyes of those people needing this house. Eyes, see this house. House, you are sold in Jesus’ name.”

Within a couple of weeks the house was sold. Wanda had uttered a command, a prophetic proclamation.

In 2 Timothy, Paul wrote: “The Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, in order that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the lion’s mouth” (4:17).

When intercessors are given the right word to speak at the proper time, there will be great victory and spiritual breakthroughs. There will be deliverance for God’s people, for cities and for nations. God will provide strength to intercessors so that they can do the will of the Lord.

Jesus will make known to you the intentions of His Father. Let Him strengthen you so that the prophetic proclamation of His Word can go forth from your mouth without compromise and establish His will on the earth. 

Barbara Wentroble is president of Wentroble Christian Ministries. She is a gifted leader who has helped churches and cities find spiritual breakthrough through intercessory warfare prayer. Barbara and her husband, Dale, live in Texas.

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