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.