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Founding member of the music group Harvest
Former lead singer for the Messianic group Israel’s Hope
Has ministered worldwide
Master’s degree, Indiana University; B.A., Music Education, Baldwin Wallace College, Cleveland, OH
CBN.com THE WATCHMAN
Paul Wilbur says The Watchman is a destiny Word from the Lord that he walked into.
He had just finished recording three well received albums, and he was wondering where the direction for his next album was going to be. Paul felt like God was telling him to be faithful, and the fruit is Paul’s current album, The Watchman.
It is filled with songs about the covenant names of God. His names have meaning and a purpose.
The Watchman was recorded “live” on Yom Kippur at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio with Pastor John Hagee.
“Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement,” he explains, “was the one day of the year that the high priest was allowed to come before the presence of God, and only with blood, make atonement for himself and all Israel. I believe this recording will carry that anointing in a very special way and will sweep many into the kingdom of God.”
For The Watchman, Paul has been more involved in songwriting, and there has been more of a prophetic push with this album. It has already been rerecorded in Spanish, and they are thinking of recording it in Portuguese in time for an event with Benny Hinn in October 2005.
The song "Adonai" is the covenant name of God meaning "the Lord." The message of the song is that God is Lord over heaven and earth. Paul says this song and the others on the album should encourage believers that it is time to declare and make God to be the true Lord in our lives. Paul gives the example of Jesus in John 5. Jesus said He only did what He saw the Father do. The heart's cry of the believer should be: Lord, give us eyes to see and ears to hear.
The nature of most of Paul's songs seem to be Messianic because Paul believes it is God's call to people to be back in covenant relationship with Him – bridging Genesis to Revelation. Paul says the Old and New Testaments are one continuous Word of God.
The spirit of the watchman is explained by Paul as someone who “seems to see and hear from God, in what seems to be darkness, what others don't see and hear.” They are preparing the way of the Lord.
God is raising up watchmen in churches, governments, cities, etc. God is raising up those in the prophetic ministry. Worship and intercession will be more prophetic as well so that people will see in the spirit what God is doing and wants to do.
God is preparing to release a flood, and we must learn to walk in this. The church needs to proclaim what is to come. We need to be a voice in government, which can change the course of nations. It's time for the believer to stand up and declare that Jehovah God is Lord over heaven and earth. Paul says a wave of the Spirit will hit (it is the hour of the watchman). The prophetic word will hit, and the hour is late. Some people will take this word as rebuke, correction, or encouragement.
THE EARLY STAGES AND SONGS
Paul’s dad was a chemist who moved his family around a lot on behalf of his career. His father was Jewish and his mom was Baptist. Paul, the oldest of three, says there was little religious training in their home. “There was no Jewish expression at home,” he says, but their mother would occasionally take them to local churches.
Moving so much meant that they had few long-lasting friendships. In his heart Paul was searching. When he attended college his music/ voice teacher was a cantor at the temple downtown. Being musical since a child, Paul joined the temple choir and attended services for several years. “I didn’t know what I believed or why,” Paul says. “The Jewish part of me was reaching out for something tangible.”
The world’s opera stages were Paul's ambition. His passion for the arts, music, and teaching took him from undergraduate school in Cleveland, Ohio, across the Atlantic to study in Milan, Italy. There he was instructed in vocal technique, Italian, and high-opera by some of Europe’s most skilled mentors. Here he met opera star Richard Tucker. Richard was Jewish, and he also honored his religious tradition by singing under the domed roofs of the world’s synagogues.
In graduate school Paul’s search continued, and at the invitation of a young lady, he attended another church service. Interestingly, this very Evangelical church had a charismatic youth minister named Jerry Williams. At the end of the service the church offered attendees a chance to sign up for a fellowship dinner with some of its members. Paul says he decided to sign up for the free dinner and ended up at Jerry’s house. “I realized this guy had what I needed,” he says.
Paul began hanging out with Jerry all the time. It was on a spring fishing trip with Jerry that Paul’s life changed. Early in the morning he was walking by himself down by the river when he experienced Someone walking beside him, though he couldn’t see Him. It was scary at first. Paul sat on a log then realized it was the Lord talking to him. He didn’t hear an audible voice but “realized it was my appointment with the Lord.” Paul gave his life and, immediately, everything about him was totally changed – attitudes, emotions, etc. Everything.
The day was March 26, 1977. “The Bible became my constant companion,” he says. The change was readily visible to people in the dorm who asked him what happened to him. Paul says he became the evangelist in his dorm and led many to the Lord.
Then, together with their friend Ed Kerr, Paul and Jerry formed the popular contemporary Christian group Harvest. They traveled and ministered together and recorded several albums on the Benson Record label, Milk & Honey. “What an incredible time this was for my life,” Paul says. “But the call to bring the Gospel back to the Jewish community grew stronger and stronger in my heart.” After nearly five years Paul yielded to this call and moved his small family to the Washington, D.C., area and to a fledgling Messianic congregation.
“For two years I worked odd jobs and found part-time work to pay the bills until the Lord brought together three Jewish men and called them 'Israel’s Hope'. We traveled and ministered together for more than eight years recording several albums on the Maranatha! record label.”
MUSIC AND MINISTRY
Today Paul’s ministry is as worldwide as his music. “God’s grace is truly amazing,” Paul says, “as we have ministered in more than thirty nations, recorded in three languages, and have witnessed thousands set free by Messiah empowered worship and praise.”
One of the aspects of this ministry that may not be apparent at first glance is Paul’s commitment to the marriage of music, ministry, and acts of mercy.
“As we travel to Third World nations, we seek to bring a larger expression of the kingdom of God in a practical way. A doctor staffs free medical clinics to minister to the needs of the poor; a businessman brings MarketPlace Ministry to the business community; Messiah Company brings the beauty of movement to worship, while Integrity Worship artists stir the hearts to joyful song.”
Paul recently returned from a Benny Hinn crusade in Singapore where he performed March 18 -19. Then, he was a guest for the South American Dove Awards in Brazil. There were millions of people at both events.
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