Where are the True Shepherds?
An Admonition of Warning to the Churches
It has become painfully apparent to any honest student of scripture that we are living in the last days of earth’s history.
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Verse five is especially significant in that it encapsulates the unsanctified group listed in verses two through four. Of note, they have “a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” In the United States, these are people that (for the most part) would be considered Bible believing church members. Revelation 18:2-4 echoes the same position, “come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins… and that ye receive not of her plagues.” The term “her” references Babylon in Revelation 18:2 (See Rev. 17:5) Perhaps the most stark and strident warning is given in Hosea 4:1 and verse 6:
Hos 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
Hos 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Now, the above texts are not saying we can study our way into heaven, but that we can, with a studious spirit-filled mindset, instill and integrate the scriptural concepts into our character and everyday lives.
Php 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
As we have attempted to witness to several pastors in different churches, it has become apparent few are willing to cast down their own understanding. When sharing the basic premise that God is love — He brought forth a son to prove that very concept, thus establishing a path to salvation — the response is to embrace main-stream Christianity propagated by the universal church. We have heard responses like “I don’t want to be called a member of a cult” (not being a Trinitarian would label them as such) as well as accusations of “putting God in a box”. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah blatantly warn us in Isaiah 30:8-13 and Jeremiah 5:30-31:
Isa 30:8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
Isa 30:9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
Isa 30:11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
Isa 30:12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
Isa 30:13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
Jer 5:30 A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land;
Jer 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
For a pastor to choose adulation of the people now and ignore the fact they will have to answer to the lord for the falsehood propagated is a weighty matter. Being a spiritual leader is not to be taken lightly.
In addition, another group of people must be addressed in Isaiah 24:1-3:
Isa 24:1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
Isa 24:2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.
Isa 24:3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.
Just because the people are happy with soft words and entertaining messages, doesn’t mean the leadership should comply, but rather be faithful to the truth in Christ, ever striving for a closer walk with God which includes being open to more light, even if it isn’t in compliance with their denomination. Is it better to risk losing your congregation now rather than salvation later? Where are the true shepherds that aren’t “an hireling” [Strongs #3411-wage earner], that will not flee from truth?
Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
We hope and pray no one reading this is ignorant of these Biblical truths. Put simply friends, we are running out of time. In this context, to close out these words of admonishment, let the physician Luke fill us with words of healing and encouragement. From the Great Physician in Luke 21:26-28:
Luk 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Luk 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Additional texts for consideration:
Mic 3:9 Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity.
Mic 3:10 They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.
Mic 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.
Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Joh 10:12 But he that is an hireling [Strong’s #3411-wage earner] and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Joh 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
A hireling only cares about his paycheck, not the sheep. Where are the true shepherds — someone who is not a wolf in sheep’s clothing, who is more concerned with his church position than the truth?
Isa 4:1 And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.
“Seven” means a fullness and “woman” is a symbol of the church, so this verse is speaking of all those who follow the fables and traditions of man but call themselves Christian.
The lowest point of my life happened when I became convinced I was not my son’s father. I had allowed a lie to penetrate my heart and bring me into a living hell. A friend, who saw my depression, took me to visit his pastor and the lowest point of my life soon changed to the highest. In this state of depression, I cried out to the living God and He immediately came into my life giving me hope, love, and joy.
I mention this because of the mindset I had to be in to accept Christ and allow Him to change my life. It is described in Matthew 5.
(3) Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(4) Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
(5) Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
(6) Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
To be in a place as described above, is to have a teachable spirit, and to be willing to let Christ have His way in your life.
Poor in spirit = you know you don’t have the answers and are willing to allow His input.
Mourn = to have sorrow for where you are, your state of mind and being.
Meek = no longer willing to strike out and hurt others.
Hunger and Thirst after righteousness = longing to posses God’s understanding and to know the things of God.
This is the place some of us come to when we cry out to God and ask forgiveness. This is the place I found when I had a conversion experience December 1, 1979. This is the place God would have all to be, to continue on into deeper truth.
When we resist truth, we manifest pride and an unchanging heart. We can no longer receive the truth of His spirit. We are not being saved.
Revelation is a prophecy showing the path of the just unto salvation. When first giving our heart to Christ, we see things the way the world sees things. In fact, we still have the world in our heart and to know the things of God are just not automatically there.
(9) But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
(10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
For God to reveal truth through His spirit takes time, and much of what He reveals comes from His spirit through other believers. We need to separate from the universal church and cling to God’s people. Salvation happens in the human heart as we grow in faith. To place ourselves with people who know not the truth can bring ruin and destruction.
(1) And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
(2) And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
(3) For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. (This is the cry of God’s people to those who have ears to hear).
(4) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
(5) For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. (This is God’s cry as He tries to save those who have ears to hear).
Babylon is a habitation of devils and foul spirits. God’s children would not be comfortable there. They would never consider this to be home. Truth is to die for.
As I read Romans 5:1-5, I am thrilled with amazement of the hope we have in our savior Jesus Christ. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
God’s desire in creating humanity was to give His spirit of understanding to those who have ears to hear. We, as earthen vessels of clay, can posses the understanding of God and be made into His image in our inward man. It simply takes a desire to accept His will regardless of the suffering involved.
God’s glory defined:
(5) And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
(6) And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
(7) Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
(8) And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.
This is a description of God’s character in words as the cross is a depiction of God’s glory in action.
Salvation is to allow God’s understanding to come into your heart, then live it.
28) Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29) Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
We will be considering word meanings and salvation in the Revelation. Stay tuned!
Falling in love with God is much easier when one possesses truth. The God I was taught of, when in the denominational churches, was sufficient to help me through multiple crisis of life, but I knew, intuitively, there was something missing in my heart. The scriptures were not adding up according to the universal teachings of the denominations. All the television evangelists had the same basic understanding of the bible, just different ways of presenting it.
As I have investigated biblical truth, one truth stands out more than any other; God is love. Taking this truth to the scriptures, I have a deeper understanding of salvation, redemption, grace, prophecy, etc… I am convinced God so loved this world He gave His only begotten Son to put His love in our hearts, so granting us peace, joy, love. The mechanics of this salvation is, and will be, the subject of this blog.