“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.”
5 thoughts on “What Does the Sheep Say?”
This pastor seems to forget that he is a shepherd. A good shepherd doesn’t have “low maintenance sheep”. Read Psalm 23, and you will see what a good shepherd does. Here’s the Psalm (NIV) for those that don’t have their Bibles handy:
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Let’s look at his tasks one by one:
– He makes sure his sheep “lack nothing”
– He finds green pastures for his sheep to rest in – this might take a lot of walking effort, as the best pastures David was talking about would be high in the mountains, for cooler weather
– He finds quiet waters for his sheep. This too might take some time, as sheep will not drink from running water, so streams and rivers are out of the question. The shepherd needs to make the effort to find a pond or lake or quiet pool portion of a stream.
– He guides his sheep along the safe paths, the right ones. That too takes some time and effort, when you’re making your way up and down hills/mountains. It also takes knowledge of which paths your sheep can handle.
– He guides his sheep through dark valleys. This is high-maintenance work. This shepherd is not hoping his sheep don’t encounter dark valleys; he knows they will, and is willing and there to guide them safely through. He knows how to use his rod and staff to not only fight off the sheeps’ enemies, but also to reach them and rescue them in times of peril. The rod was used to beat back enemies (note: not to beat the sheep). The crook of the shepherd’s staff could reach under their bodies and bring them to him when they fell down to unreachable pits, so that he could carry them back to safety.
– He watches over them, protecting them from danger as they feed. He’s always on guard.
– He anoints their heads with oil. This isn’t just a simple thing, and often overlooked. When a shepherd led his flock into the hills on a summer’s day, they would be attacked by the summertime flying insects, which liked to go for the moisture in eyes, nose and surrounding the mouth. The shepherd would make a salve from olive oil and herbs, and one by one would rub it onto each sheep’s face and head to repel the insects. One by one.
Does all of this look like a good shepherd thinks that ANY of his sheep would be low-maintenance, let alone that he would desire low maintenance sheep?
I agree! And the great irony, is we know one other type who sets themselves above the common believer as the expert handler of the word and go-between between God and man — Roman Catholic priests, bishops, pope, etc. The irony is that they hate the Roman Catholic church only to become that which they hate.
I am appalled at the arrogance in message ministers. They set themselves upon a pedestal above the people. They remove themselves from the “fold” or the “body” and attempt to replace the ‘Good Shepherd’ or the need of the Comforter.
They belittle the people and elevate themselves as ‘students of the word’. When in reality they are not the scholarly men we have so thought. They are indoctrinated. Blind leading the blind.
This set up we have so long endured has annulled the very purpose of the New Covenant.
Paul had it right: “Follow me as I follow Christ”. People trusting in men have forgotten to take it back to the word. They’ve forgotten their own responsibility as they have been held as dumb sheep for so long.
My cry is to remove the distraction. Quit following men and get our eyes back on the prize!
If we are truly looking at Jesus we will then see He is with us & He is in us. We are all a part of His body and He his our head. We then should all take active parts and not merely be led by the blind & arrogant men who deem themselves leaders.
They do not know great leaders produce more great leaders. We are all on the same path and heading the same direction, with the same call and salvation, walking in the same grace. We are to go hand in hand. Pulling each other up as we push along.
I fear, we have been stepped on. Pushed down and tossed to the side, fear has trampled our faith.
But We were told: we are more than conquerors! Let us be a new voice to awaken the sleeping and strengthen the weak. Christ in US- the hope of glory.
No longer should we see more of God in an individual than we see in ourselves. My God is not chopped up and given in measure.
Interesting point here regarding these ” shepherds ” of ” the sheep “……. After 35 years of walking in The Message I haven’t known one who could lay his life down for the sheep as our precious Lord Jesus did. Obviously no man could have other than the man Jesus Christ. Truly He is my Saviour, Comforter, and Shepherd. He speaks to me all the time. It is so wonderful. Thank you once again for the courage to address these thoughts.
Thank you for this. This “shepherd” silences all who question and is a dictator not a shepherd at all.
Its very refreshing to find the truth after all these years.