“As a pastor I have proven to myself for 20 years that the best sheep are those who consume the prophet’s message’s on a daily basis. They are the lowest maintenance, easiest to teach, Word abiding sheep I can have.” – A Message Minister
What is wrong with that statement? The “best sheep consume the prophet’s [message's] on a daily basis.” In other words, heavily indoctrinated by tapes. Not much left for him to do, but reinforce the tapes. Obviously that is low maintenance. I think though, my largest problem with his statement is that fact that he refers to them not only as sheep, but ‘his’ sheep. Rather than see himself as part of the fold, he emphasizes that the ‘best’ sheep are ‘lower maintenance’ and easier for him to teach. He is not among the sheep, but separated from them, and in so placing himself as this ‘head’ emphasis on the true shepherd or head is then lost. So much for “Follow me as I follow Christ.” It’s certainly low maintenance when someone else does all the work.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” -John 10
“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.” -John 21
Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd. He likened his people to sheep, not because they were stupid or without reasoning. He likened them to sheep because He cared for them. Follow me, and I will feed you. Come, and follow me and I will teach you. Follow me, and I will provide for you. I am all that you have need of.
Jesus said, ”But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” I believe it is important for us to realize this ‘Comforter’ is a WHO and not a what. He will teach us ALL things.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
It is very clear that Jesus not only taught His disciples, He told them He wouldn’t leave them alone. He would send them a helper. This ‘helper’ is a WHO. He is the Holy Spirit. He lives inside of each of us and leads us in our daily walk as we learn to listen to Him. This seems like a very simple and uncomplicated matter. However, when Jesus spoke with Peter, He told Peter to take care of His sheep, to feed them. If we have the Comforter leading us into all truth, never leaving nor forsaking us; what then is this role Peter is given?
“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?” -Ezekiel 34
Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. “For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. -Ezekiel 34
I find it ironic that in the message we are told to listen to “the voice”. Just “say what the tapes say”. You will fall in love with the voice, it will soothe you. You can listen to tape after tape, you can read it, search it, quote it, and live by it. Ah yes, “He said it, I believe it, and that settles it.”
“Amen to every word.”
Yeah, you don’t have to understand it. It doesn’t even have to make sense, just believe it. Throw your reasoning out the window, your Bible too for that matter, and press play.
I have yet to find a scripture that instructs the ministers, pastors, shepherd(s), or any man for that matter to lead and guide the people into all truth. Nowhere does it say to look for a man to tell you what is right or what is wrong. Nowhere is it recorded that a man is to come and reveal mysteries to us.
It is recorded, however, that Jesus was going to the Father. He would send us the Comforter, and HE would teach us all things and remind us of what He previously (as in already, a long time ago) said. There were no gaps to fill in. No blank spots, no editing necessary.
Jesus spoke it. I believe it, and…… THAT settles it.
No interpretation. No opinion.
Here’s the thing. If you are a Christian, and you believe the Bible is the written, inspired, unadulterated Word of God, and it is without error, then tell me, please; Who’s voice are we supposed to be listening to?
Jesus said, He would send us the Comforter to teach us and remind us of what He said, and all these years people seemed okay with that, until 1947. Then they needed to record the voice of a man, and ‘store up food’ for us to hear after He was not so graciously called off of the scene in 1965. Really? Was Jesus’ voice not good enough? Did the Comforter go on vacation?
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. ”I am God and I change not.” Jesus spoke the words “It is finished” on the cross. Prior to that point, He spent three years ministering and preparing his disciples. Then He sent forth the Apostles, and we have their firsthand accounts of it. I wasn’t there, but they were. There is no lack of understanding, it is written down for us and brought to life by a God that dwells in the hearts of His people.
Yet, we have chosen to believe that after 2000 years God decided it really wasn’t finished, and needed to send another prophet….
A gentile one.
From the United States.
Adding to the Word and interpreting it.
And record his sermons on tape to call out a bride.
Yes, follow the voice of a man, let it soothe you, and lull you to sleep. Press play. Evidently the Bible isn’t enough, Jesus’ words aren’t enough. Take the voice of a man, who is dead.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” -Matthew 7
I choose life.
Jesus, is risen, He is alive. He speaks for Himself, His mouthpiece is the Comforter. He didn’t die 50 years ago. You don’t hear his voice on a tape, there are no “blank.spots-ed” and he isn’t buried under a pyramid tombstone.
He’s alive. He’s Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory.
Jesus told us He was the Shepherd. There is one Shepherd and one flock. His sheep know His voice and they will not listen to anyone or anything else.
Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”