A GROUP REFLECTS ITS LEADER
You will have a much greater understanding of this article if you will click on the commentary The Holy Spirit & You, scroll the menu and read the three-article series Satan: A Study Guide and Teaching Manual. Question: Have you ever heard a complete Bible Study session or a preached sermon completely dedicated to exposing Satan, the Devil? I haven’t either and I’ve been a Christian forty-four years. (Eph. 6:10-13 & 1Pet. 5:8) HAS THE CHURCH FORGOTTEN OUR GREATEST ENEMY?
Death of a church: Adolph Hitler was first an altar boy then studied at a Catholic seminary to be a priest until he was 20 years old. He left that seminary and eventually became involved in WW1. His seminary training became mixed with his political concepts, ideas and finally with his political ambitions. Hitler organized the NAZI party and in 1923-24 he led an attempted political revolt that tried to overthrow the German government.
That revolt and his 5 week trial for treason brought him national attention where he had a national platform to express his political views and his hatred for the Jews, communists, socialists, the weak government which had lost WW1 and the surrender terms that forced Germany to pay for the costs of WW1. Many German citizens agreed and sympathized with him but, more important, many members of the court agreed and sympathized with him. The charge of treason was an offense that carried the death penalty but he was jailed for only 5 years in a very lax rather luxurious confinement.
During that 5 years, with the help of a literary assistant, Hitler wrote a 2 volume autobiographical manifesto titled Mein Kampf (My Struggle) in which he outlined his political ideology and future plans for Germany. At that time Germany was one of the most Christianized nations in Europe. Then Hitler started his rise to power. The complete history of the 3rd Reich is easily available on the internet.
Germany’s population was almost 100% Christian of which protestants outnumbered Catholics about 2 to 1 with almost 1% of the population Jewish and roughly 2-3% were neo-pagan. Ultimately Hitler’s radical political ideals, fiery oratory, brilliant henchmen, secret plan and ruthless tactics won the population of Germany to his way of thinking. To be a good NAZI became more important than anything else. And the churches in Germany were dying.
The Germans drove God out of their personal lives, their culture, their government and Hitler took control of their children. (Isa. 5:20) What the Christian German population once called evil they now called good, what they had once celebrated they now condemned, who they had once reviled and jailed they now worshipped. By their mindset and actions the God they had once worshipped they now reviled.
In their own eyes the NAZIS were good Germans, they obeyed the laws of Germany, they were still religious, they were good people, they were proud they were obedient NAZIS, they congratulated each other and were happy. There are pictures of the Catholic clergy dressed in their vestments giving the NAZI salute in unison with NAZI political party members.
Christian Germany had taken their eyes off of Jesus, the son of the living God, and had looked fondly upon Adolph Hitler the spiritual son of the pretender god Satan. They had taken their fingers, ears and hearts off the holy, unchangeable word of God and tuned their ears and hearts to the NAZI rhetoric. They had rejected the Holy Spirit and accepted the unholy spirit of antichrist.
Germany was now in the hands of a demon led political pastor, a dictator, a madman, the German population was in agreement with him, then the killing started and by the time it was over 50-60 million people were dead, countless lives were shattered, Europe lay in ruins and countless billions of dollars of destruction was done. Satan had done it. He had used men’s weaknesses against them and destroyed the German Christian church as an effective force for righteous societal stability.
As always Satan spiritually whirled, spun, danced and frolicked through the sweat, blood, semen, tears, feces and children’s bodies. He spiritually wined and dined himself on the hatred, sorrow, fear, anger, malice, fury, agony and horror his minion, his servile follower, Adolph Hitler, had fostered upon humanity. Satan supped and glutted himself on the horror of the graying, darkening, dying faces of every one of those 50-60 million people and gleefully counted the slowing metronome of their dying heartbeats.
A FLOCK REFLECTS ITS SHEPHERD
Even earlier in Europe: After Jerusalem was destroyed the church center moved to Rome and the church hierarchy eventually drove God out of their personal lives, out of their church, out of their church government, they took control, formed the Catholic Church, and made the lay members slaves to their church. (Isa. 5:20) What God’s word called evil they now called good, what they had once celebrated they now condemned, who they had once reviled and preached against they now worshipped. By their actions the God they had once worshipped they now reviled. See Part 28 for full details of how these pastors destroyed the early church.
In their own eyes they were a holy leadership leading the Roman Catholic Church, they designed the laws of the church, they obeyed the laws of the church, they were still religious, they were good Christians, they were proud they were obedient Christians, they congratulated each other and were happy. The Roman Catholic Church had become led by a carnal, demonic influenced, lucre, power and lust craving leadership. If you have not read it, please, please read the historical, documented, scriptural, three-part Introduction to the Sin in Church commentary.
(Rev. 12:10 keywords: accuser of the brethren, before God) In all that you read about Sardis just think about Satan and all the accusing and presentation of sins Satan did before God and Jesus and they couldn’t lift a finger (Psa. 66:18) unless a prayer came up before them (Heb. 4:12-16) at the throne of grace (1John 1:8-2:2) to be purified by the blood and the sanctity of Jesus! It is sickening!
The Roman Catholic Church split into an eastern church and a western church over religious beliefs. The western Pope and the eastern Patriarch excommunicated each other and the split was final. Both sides were right in their own eyes. There were Reformers in the Western Roman Catholic Church who wanted the church reformed back to what it had been, the movement gained popularity, the church refused to reform and the Reformers became known as Dissenters. Then the killing started. Christians killing Christians!
Sporadic persecution of the Dissenters went on for years but the dissention grew in popularity, the church refused to change, the Dissenters became known as Protesters, they organized their own forces, they fought back and the killing escalated. The Protest-ant movement grew and spread through many European nations. Honest priests who believed the Holy Scriptures instead of the church led the way, they were called rogues by the Roman Catholic Church and the church placed a bounty on their heads. PLEASE read the three-part Introduction to the Sin in Church commentary for penetrating, complete, shocking details.
THE PROTESTANT PASTORS (1COR. 1:9-13 & 3:1-4 key: DIVISIONS)
The people in the Protester movement became known as Protest-ants. Dynamic preachers all over Europe changed their name to Protestant which we know today. These leaders started churches based on whatever their personal perception of the Holy Scriptures happened to be. Bitter warfare raged between the Protestants and the Catholics and the killing shrieked to a decades lasting crescendo!
It is reported that by the time it was over about 17 million people had been killed and billions of dollars in damage had been done all based on Christians killing Christians. Some published statistics state the losses equaled those of WW1! Protestant denominations had been founded and each one claimed what they taught and preached was the only sure-fire way to get to heaven. The Roman Catholic Church made the same claim. They were each one right in their own eyes.
America was settled (1Cor. 12:1-27) and the broken, fragmented, weakened, pastors led church in all its self-described rightness and glory trundled right along with the settlers. (Prov. 21:2-4) Each one decrying all the others and claiming it had the true keys to heaven. (1Cor. 3:1-7) Then more envying, strife and divisions took place and America eventually produced some home-grown denominations. The tongue talkers in this group, the baptism only in another group, the foot washers in that group and etc. Carnal “birds of a feather stick together” instinct helped the fragmentation of Jesus’ precious, precious church. And they were each one right in their own eyes.
(1Cor. 12:1-31) This whole chapter explains; (V.1-6) diversities must be understood or they will become divisions, (V.7-11) God’s giving of spiritual gifts, (V.12-18) their purpose, (V.19-26) unity of and in the church, (V.27-31) that we are all, each one, the body of Christ (V.31) and the instruction to read–> (1Cor. 13:1-13 esp. V.8) which tells us charity (agape, God love) is the foundation and binding tie that is the essential, mandatory, imperative, unalterable mark and seal of God upon any Christian endeavor because (1John 4:8) “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (agape, charity).” and (1John 4:16) “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
Because of man’s pride, ignorance and carnality Satan spiritually laughs, dances and gloats in the wreckage he has made of the unity of the charity (agape, God love) God desires for His whole church. Carnality defined is (desires of the human body as directed by human nature with its frailties and passions). Example: Human nature is spiritual but the results are physical. “I will (spiritual) start my own denomination (physical) because my way is right.” Why?
(Prov. 12:15) “THE WAY OF A FOOL IS RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES.”
Now here we are, you and I, and we’re are stuck right in the middle of denominationalism. How in the world did this happen? The answer is in the scripture. (1Cor. 3:1-4 keywords: ye are yet carnal) Carnal pastors founded denominations because of their own (1Cor. 3:3) “envying, and strife, and divisions.“ Carnality is (desires of the human body as directed by human nature with its frailties and passions).
Those pastors (shepherds) would not heed God’s word! Which was (1Cor. 1:10) “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind (Christ’s mind- the Word) and in the same judgment (cognition, opinion, resolve, purpose).” Some of the synonyms of cognition are perception, discernment, awareness, learning, understanding, comprehension, enlightenment, insight, intelligence, reason and thinking.
#1) (Mark 12:30 keywords: thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength & Matt. 10:37-39 esp. V.38 keywords: And he that taketh not his cross (defined: self-denial), and followeth after me is not worthy of me AND #2) Phil. 2:5-8 esp. V.5 keywords: let the mind of Christ be in you: (mind is defined: the feelings, be like, be of one with which is: personality, self, the soul), AND #3) (Eph. 6:18 keywords: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, AND
#4) 2Tim. 2:14-16 esp. V.15 keywords: study to show thyself approved, WHICH IS: 2Tim. 3:16 keywords: All scripture is given by inspiration of God & John 14:16-26 esp. V.26 keywords: whatsoever I have said unto you- WHICH IS: the Bible, God’s Word. These scriptures show that Jesus expects and demands passion, dedication, determination, loyalty and self-denial/sacrifice. (John 1:1 & 1John 1:1 keyword: Word) Word (logos in Greek) is defined: STRONG’S #3056: the thought, reasoning, motive, the Divine Expression i.e. Christ.
#5) (Eph. 6:11-12 & 2Tim. 2:14 keywords: No man that warreth entangleth (defined: to entwine, involve with, entangle self with) himself with the affairs of this life; & Matt. 12:30 keywords: He that is not with me is against me;) SO (John 7:24 keywords: Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous- defined: equitable which means fair and impartial judgment) The only righteous judgment possible for a Christian or a pastor must be based on scripture. Pastor do not judge yourself by what you think you are but judge yourself by what God’s word says you are. (Rev. 3:14-22 esp. V.15-16) Are you lukewarm?
INTERVIEW WITH THE SHEPHERD
(John 10:11) Jesus said; “I AM the good shepherd (pastor).“ (1Pet. 5:4) Jesus is the chief Shepherd. (John 10:9) Jesus said; “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.“ I saw a picture of a stone wall forming a circular enclosure with a rather narrow opening in one place in the wall, just the opening, no door.
“What’s this structure?” The shepherd answered; “Its a sheepfold.“ “What is it used for?” “At night, when the darkness comes, I keep my sheep here in the sheepfold to protect them from wild beasts.“ “Wild beasts?” “Hyenas, wolves, jackals, lions, a long time ago there were bears.“ “It appears all they would have to do is walk inside to attack the sheep. Where’s the door?”
(based on Psa.23:1-6) “I am the door. When the darkness comes I lay down across this opening. If a beast comes it has to cross my body to get to the sheep and I will stop it. If one of my sheep tries to go out into the darkness it has to cross my body and I will stop it. I have my rod and my staff, I am the door.”
“What if a lion prevails and overcomes you?” “I have my rod and my staff, the roaring lion shall not overcome me.“ Are you listening Pastor? Are you the door to the flock the chief Shepherd has assigned you? Are you giving your life for your flock 1 minute, 1 hour, 1 day at a time? Would you give all of your life, all at one time, for your flock?
“What are those sticks you carry, are they clubs? Why does one of them have a hook on the end? Why does that short, 4 or 5 foot one have a knob on the end? “
THE PROPHESY OF THE CYPRESS ROD
“This long one with the hook on the end is my rod. It is made from cypress.” (Gen. 6:14 keywords: gopher wood, which is Mediterranean cypress) It is the same wood Noah used when he built his ark. The oil in the cypress prevents its decay and its oil is of a pleasing smell and is used in making perfume. These Jewish hands formed my rod into what it is. It was green and not ready for use until I cut the bark from it, formed the hook on the end of it, I let it dry and it became what it is. Do you see the beauty of the wood’s grain and the rod is very strong too.”
THE CYPRESS ROD PROPHESY REVEALED
(Luke 2:41-52 & Deut. 6:7) The Jewish hands formed Jesus (Judaism, the Law of Moses, all the OT) from His babyhood until He achieved (Matt. 2:1 thru 3:17 & Luke 3:21-23 keywords: thirty years of age) the age a Jewish priest was baptized (Matt. 3:13-17) then the Holy Spirit took over. (John 19:12-16) The Jews blackmailed Pilate into killing Jesus so, spiritually, the Jewish hands formed and cut (fists, whip, thorns, nails and spear) Jesus, the Grace Covenant sacrifice and He became our Saviour and Jesus is beautiful and strong.
Jesus built my personal ark, the ark that is the church, with His blood that was shed on the cross at Calvary. Oil represents the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would not let Jesus’ body decay and the Holy Spirit raised Him from the dead. Cypress oil is used in the cosmetic industry and is used to make anti-aging skin cream and a healing shampoo! (Psa. 23:1-4) “The Lord is my shepherd—–thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.“
The wood of the rod is beautiful: (Psa. 27:4, 50:2 & 96:6 keyword: beauty) Our Lord is beautiful. Beauty describes that which is perfect, appealing, attractive and delightful. Beauty is highlighted by majesty, glory, splendor and goodness. Nature is beautiful. (Col. 1:15-16) Jesus is the source of all things beautiful in nature. The most beautiful thing of all is perfect love. (1Tim. 3:16) Jesus is God manifest in the flesh (1John 4:8 & 16) and God is love.
Jesus’ love is the beauty of His deep, intense, emotional tenderness, attraction to and affection for His flock (us) personalized by His intense emotional attachment and benevolent devotion to, an intimate fondness for and a yearning to share with, give to and make us happy. Jesus loves you and me enough to die for us. He loves you and me enough to offer us salvation. He loves us enough to put up with us, refine us and grow us as Christians so we can come to heaven to be with Him. That is Jesus’ love and it is beautiful.
The wood of the rod is strong: (John 1:1-4 & 1John 1:1-4) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ.“ (Matt. 24:35) Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.“ Jesus’ words are strong! I am a Christian, (John 3:5-8 & 6:63) spiritually my rod is God’s Holy Spirit, His Holy Word, my Bible, personalized by Jesus the living Son of God.
The shepherd interview continued; “Sometimes one of my sheep will become greedy and wander out on a precipice in pursuit of new grass where the rest of the flock will not go and that sheep will be in danger. I hook my shepherd’s rod (Word) around it and bring it back from danger to safety with me. My sheep know me and I know each one of them. (John 3:16) I work for the one who owns the sheep yet they are my sheep and I am responsible.“ Are you listening pastor?
THE PROPHESY OF THE OAK STAFF
“This short, thick one I carry on the cord over my shoulder is my staff. It is the toughest, strongest wood in Israel. It is not from the ordinary oak tree you see in many places in Israel. It is from a special oak tree that grows only from where I took it from an oak tree at Har Habetarim (more below). When I cut the branch from the tree I cut out part of the tree with it to make the club head. I cut and carved it to fit my hands. With my staff I can shatter a lion’s skull or break the spine of a wolf.“
Certain words there started goose bumps over me in a tiny way and I didn’t know why. “What is the meaning of Har Habetarim?” “Hill of the covenant between the pieces. (Gen. 15:1-21 esp. V.17-18) It is the hill where Jehovah instructed Abraham to cut the covenant sacrifice and Jehovah covenanted with Abraham when Jehovah walked the path of blood alone.“ My hair stood up and my tears started because it caused me to see (Isa. 52:14 thru 53:12 & John 19:1-24 esp. V.17-18) Jesus, so alone, walking the bloody path of His own blood up Golgotha’s lonely hill.
THE PROPHESY OF THE STAFF REVEALED
The shepherd had said; “When I cut the branch from the tree I cut out part of the parent tree with it to make the club head.“ (John 14:23-26, Matt. 7:7-11 then Eph. 1:13-14 and Luke 11:9-13) Spiritually the Holy Spirit given to Christians at salvation is a “part of God’s soul” given to Christians after Jesus, (Isa. 11:1) the Branch, (Isa. 53:8) was “cut off out the land of the living“ to bring the Grace Covenant into effect. If you doubt this please click on the commentary The Holy Spirit & You, scroll the menu to the article Who is the Holy Spirit and read that for an in-depth study of this and the two paragraphs below.
NOTE: (Rom. 1:20) The Godhead (Supreme Divinity) is one who is composed of three who are totally and completely one in identity, thought, power, purpose and will. God’s presentation of Himself to man is (Gen. 1:1-31 & John 4:24) #1 God- spirit of life- the essence of life- life itself/Creator, (John 4:29-42) #2 Jesus-body/Saviour and (John 14:15-23 & Rom. 8:9) #3 Holy Spirit-God’s Soul/Comforter. (Col. 2:8-9) In Jesus dwells all the Godhead bodily.
(Gen. 1:26) “And God said let us make man in our image” (1Thess. 5:23) and man is spirit (eternal life-not the breathing), body (the temporary structure in which each of us live) and soul (personality, self, me) in God’s image. And (Luke 11:9-13) The asking for more of the Holy Spirit is, in reality, asking for a deeper (John 14:15-18, 20 & 26) understanding and revelation of God and His word through the Holy Spirit to better serve God and (John 15:14) to build your personal relationship with Jesus closer and stronger. END OF NOTE.
Spiritually my Staff given me when I was saved is the Holy Spirit. (Eph. 2:22) Through the Holy Spirit I am a habitation of God. (John 14:26) The Holy Spirit (my staff) brings Jesus’ words to life within me and through that (Eph. 6:10-18 esp. V.17) the Holy Spirit gives me God’s spiritual armour. AND: (John 14:15-26 esp. V.18, 20, 23 & 26 and Phil. 4:13) The Holy Spirit (my Staff) shatters the lion’s skull and breaks the wolf’s back. (Rom. 8:9) As long as the Holy Spirit (my Staff) (John 14:23) lives within me (John 16:33 & 1Pet. 5:7) life can’t handle me, (1John 4:4) Satan can’t beat me (John 11:25-26 & 1Cor. 15:54-55) and death can’t hold me!
(Psa. 23:1-4) (V.4) “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (V.3) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” There have been so very many times when my sins would have self-destructed me but Jesus’ word, my rod, brought me back from the precipice of destruction and restored my soul. How can I ever thank Jesus enough? He has millions of sheep yet He takes special, personal notice of me. I am important to Him. So are you.
(V.1) “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (V.2) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside still waters.” To me and my life this scripture is both spiritual and physical. In reality when Jesus became my Shepherd there was nothing else to want.
Har Habetarim: TWO COVENANTS IN ONE: I Shall Not Want
Please read #1) (Gen. 15:1-18). Hidden in God’s covenant with Abraham that established Israel as God’s chosen people is the concealed Grace covenant God made through Jesus’ blood with me and with you if you are a Christian.
#2) Next please read Part 21 of this commentary that explains how Abraham’s Covenant came about and without that covenant there could not have been a Grace covenant church.
#3) After that please read Parts 24, 25 & 26 that explain how the hidden part of Abraham’s covenant, including the prophesies, was revealed in and through Jesus.
#4) And last please read the Part 27 which explains how the OT steps of the Hebrew covenant exactly coincides with the NT grace covenant process that brought personal salvation to me. It boggles the mind how God set up the exact timing, gave the precise words in prophesy and how seriously and personally God takes His Grace covenant on a personal, one to one, basis with each Christian.
It is a Holy Spirit guarantee if you read the above 4 sources with prayer and with a desire for blessing and knowledge you will be filled and closer to God than you’ve ever been!
THE SPIRITUAL (I shall not want)
What could possibly surpass having the Son of God in my life? Jesus took the trouble to teach me to become part of the flock and to contribute my part in the production produced by the flock. His word is the green pastures where I can feed to repletion and the comfort He gives me through His Holy Spirit is the still waters of my life. And there, in His Word (His rod) and His Spirit (His staff), I can lay down in peace, comfort and security. I thank God every day for the salvation and keeping He has so generously given me. I shall not want!
THE PHYSICAL (I shall not want)
(Matt. 6:25-33) I remember walking up the dirt road with Mom to do our laundry in Grandpaw’s old wringer type washing machine. We had to draw and carry well water to fill it. Our dryer was the wind after we carried the heavy, wet clothes back home and hung them on an outside clothes line. We had an outhouse (outdoor toilet) and I still do not like spiders and rats because they terrified me when, as a child. I would tiptoe in, look closely, sometimes kill a black widow spider, gingerly sit down and get my business done in a hurry.
Later on I can remember a succession of old vehicles that I never knew if I would arrive at my destination before it would break down and I would have to work on it beside some lonely road. I remember buying a succession of cheap, used tires that were not as worn as my bald ones. There was no running water in my Father and Mother’s house until 1967 when I returned from Vietnam the second time. Before that we drew water from a well and heated it on the old stove and used it to sponge bath.
Now my Shepherd has provided me with a good car that starts every time and I can buy new tires. Now in my house my Shepherd has provided me I can shower in warm running water and effortlessly bathe for an hour if I wish and never run out of warm water. Now my wife and I have an automatic washer and dryer and indoor toilets. I am so incredibly thankful my Lord Jesus Christ, my Shepherd, has blessed me to live in such ease.
We have canned food and a well-stocked deep freezer. Half the world is on semi-starvation and America is so blessed I have trouble deciding what to buy from the great variety in the grocery store. And the Son of God in His Holy Spirit form sometimes comes and blesses me in His special way in the house He has provided for me. I shall not want!
I thank God every day for the physical blessings He has so generously given me. I have wondered many times; “What if God only gave me today what I thanked Him for yesterday!” Did you ever think about that?
The shepherd continued; “A domesticated (saved) sheep cannot live alone. It must have the flock and it must have a shepherd. I know each individual sheep in my flock; their quirks, weaknesses, strengths, attitude, dependability, how they think. When my sheep take a wrong path or one starts to wander from the flock I use my rod to gently turn it back to where it needs to be.“ “Feed my sheep.” God does not need a cheerleader, nor a comedian, nor a showman. He expects you to be a shepherd. You shall not want pastor if you use the rod of God’s Holy Word and the staff of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit. You must trust God. Are you listening pastor?
The shepherd’s next words shook me; “Sheep must keep moving or they will starve! If they stay in one place they will eat all the food there right down into the earth then there is nothing. I must ever find them green pastures.“ Christian, your yesterdays are gone, all you are today is the basis of what you can be tomorrow, next year, or five years from now. All through the NT are instructions to grow in grace, grow in love, grow in knowledge, grow in wisdom, grow in humility, grow in understanding, gifts, desire to please God, empathy (putting yourself in someone else’s place), sympathy, kindness, gentleness and etc. (1Cor 2:16 & Phil. 2:5-15) so you can grow to be like Jesus.
Sheep must move! Read this scrip–> (1Pet. 2:1-10) keywords: (V.4) partakers of the divine nature, (V.5) add to your faith, (V.9) he that lacketh these things is blind—and hath forgotten he was purged from his old sins, (V.10) give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall: If you stay where you are you will stagnate and die as a Christian even while you are filling your seat in church because in reality you are counting on your yesterdays to get you through just like those Christians at Sardis.
Pastor, the same principal applies to you! Just like your sheep you too are a learner in the school of Jesus. You too are working toward understanding what pleases Jesus. You too are learning to make Jesus the pattern for you to live your life. Or do you already know everything?
“As we walk our walk together, I use my rod to part their wool and look at their skin for disease, parasites and wounds.“ Pastor, when your sheep start missing church are you too lazy, self-centered and selfish to visit and communicate with your sheep at their homes and examine them for disease (sin), parasites (Satan and worldly pursuits) and wounds (sheep sometimes get hurt by their environment). Are you too ignorant to understand a little personal attention from their shepherd can mean spiritual life or death to a sheep (Christian)? Do you teach them Satan is the worst parasite, disease spreader and wound giver of all?
The shepherd explained; “Sheep get diseases. They get tetanus which locks their mouth shut. They get white muscle disease which gradually stiffens them until they cannot move. I cure tetanus with derivatives from fungi and mushrooms. White muscle disease is caused by a lack of selenium in the sheep’s diet. I crush sunflower seeds which are high in selenium, make a mush and feed it to my sheep. There are other diseases but all I need is in Israel.“ All people need to cure their sin is Jesus and He came from Israel. Pastor, are you curing your sheep’s lockjaw and immovability with Jesus’ word through the power of the Holy Spirit?
(Eccl. 1:9) “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.“
A PASTOR IS:
A pastor (shepherd) can only be: #1) A good pastor is exactly where God wants him to be with the consideration that the pastor is growing in the word and in the Holy Spirit. #2) Somewhere on the descending scale of a not very good pastor because of pride, laziness, greed, ignorance, weakness of character, weak or no love for his flock (congregation), irresponsibility, self-love and self-deception. On down the scale to: #3) A useless pastor because of pride, laziness, greed, ignorance, weakness of character, weak or no love for his flock (congregation), irresponsibility, self-love, self-deception and Satan’s deception. And right on down the ever-descending scale to:
#4) A bad pastor because of an ever increasing (greater) intensity of the pastor’s detriments given above. AND: #5) (2Cor. 11:13-15 keywords: transforming, transformed) An enemy pastor who still looks, acts and sounds like a minister of righteousness but through ignorance, spiritual unawareness and sometimes even the lack of being saved is working for Satan, the devil, who can change himself into an angel of light. The last 4 types of pastors will still do many good things and do many things right but on an ever-lessening scale as they descend into their own corruption and Satan’s corruption.
Satan and self must allow these Godly deeds otherwise their congregations would run them right out of church and self and Satan’s work would not be accomplished.
The above are Christian church pastors and it is obvious Satan works to enhance any carnal character traits a pastor has so he can deceive, enchant, charm and transform the pastor into serving himself and Satan instead of serving Jesus and His flock (a congregation). All pastors are and will be under attack by self, Satan and the world. “Cut off the head and the church dies!” You must understand becoming a pastor and staying a pastor is a process.
(Luke 24:46-49) Jesus called all the disciples to be evangelists (Luke 22:31-32 & John 21:15-17) but Jesus also called Simon Peter to be a pastor. (Acts 2:1-14) The evangelizing was fulfilled at Pentecost and Simon Peter showed himself to be a leader. (John 21:18-19) Jesus prophesied how Peter would be killed when he was pastor of the church at Rome.
The only two types of preaching positions available are evangelist or a pastor. (Matt. 13:18-23) When a sinner becomes a Christian he must grow as a Christian or spiritually die. (1Cor. 12:18-31 esp. V.18) When God calls a Christian to become an evangelist the whole spiritual process of spiritual growth ratchets up to a higher level. (Tim. Books 1 & 2 Paul teaching Timothy 1Tim. 4:16 & 6:17 & 2Tim. 2:2 & V.14-15 then V.25 and 4:1-2 & V.5 what to teach and preach) When God calls His servant to be a pastor the whole spiritual growth process ratchets up again.
https//www.christianity.com/bible/people-of-the… is a website that gives Church history. It states Paul made Timothy the Bishop of the Church of Ephesus before Paul left and Timothy was later martyred at Ephesus. Very interesting history.
It makes sense; a Christian is responsible for Christian duties, an evangelist is responsible for both his Christian and evangelism duties, a pastor has a responsibility for Christian duties, evangelism duties to the lost who come in with his flock, pastoral duties in his responsibility to and for his flock. A pastor must work harder, study harder, pray more, develop more spiritual discernment, get closer to God and depend on God in a special way. Yes, God will bless a pastor in a special way too but only to the amount of himself the pastor is willing to give! Pastor, are you listening?
A pastor is just like an ordinary Christian in that he is in a constant state of spiritual progress or decline. (John 10:16-18) Jesus’ shepherds are also sheep and if a pastor (a sheep) stays stationary he will starve, stagnate and his congregation will do the same. It will be very obvious because a declining pastor will more and more speak in beautiful, swelling platitudes in his messages; some will be “stolen” from other preachers and reused; some of his own will be reused and both are “stale bread”.
A USELESS PASTOR
A platitude is a banal, trite remark or part of a speech uttered as if it were fresh and/or profound. Banal is being obvious and boring. Trite is overusing a statement or part of a speech and it is consequently of little importance. An example is a pastor voicing or giving a visual example of the steps of a potter fashioning a pottery vessel. BUT:
The pastor never gets around to explaining: how the clay is mined (a removing from) which represents the creation of man or the salvation experience, (John 15:1-7 developing Christian fruit of the soul) what Jesus expects after salvation, how the potter’s hand working inside the vessel represents the Holy Spirit’s work, how the potter’s hand working on the outside of the vessel represents the work of God’s Word,
(1Cor. 6:5-10, Gal. 5:13-21 & Col. 3:1-7 then 25) how the excess clay removed while forming the vessel (Heb. 4:12 keyword: sharper) with a sharp instrument is compared to God ridding a Christian of carnal, sinful, ungodly attitudes and actions, (Gal. 5:22-26 & Col. 3:9-25) how the ever increasing beauty of the vessel is God developing Christian fruit of the Spirit within the Christian’s soul (Matt. 13:23) that results in a productive Christian becoming more like Jesus, (2Cor. 6:14-18 esp. V.17) how we are to be separate from the people of the world–> time in the fire, (Matt. 6:19-34 esp. V.24) AND how Jesus regards our attitude and actions as a love or hate relationship with Him!
The presentation of the Potter and the vessel that lasted 30 minutes should have taken at least 8 sessions. (Rev. 3:15-16 keyword: lukewarm) When the platitude session is over the pastor is satisfied he is God’s man to the bone, he’s fulfilled his mission and all of heaven is trembling with anticipation to heap upon him great honor and glory when he gets there. The church/congregation leaves, their brains are filled with the picture of the potter’s hands making a vessel and their souls are filled with supreme satisfaction they have received a great revelation from God. They have a praise and worship session for a few minutes and all they’ve learned is how to make a clay pot.
AND: (Luke 6:39 keyword: blind, 1Pet. 5:8 keyword: devour and Matt. 7:24-27 keyword: fall) Satan shouts with glee and whirls around each one of them shouting; “I’ve done it again! I’ve blinded them again!” as he leaves to go home with each one them. (Rev. 12:10) and at the same time he accuses them before God day and night. And he turns his evil eyes upon the pastor and sneers; “I’ve almost turned you into a grievous wolf and you don’t even know it!”
A useless pastor says a lot of vague things concerning Biblical topics that never pinpoint the importance of God’s word, Christian responsibilities, Jesus’ expectations and the Holy Spirit’s work in Christian lives yet somehow assures everyone they are exactly where God wants them to be. It is ignorant, careless, uncaring doctrine, OR WORSE! Are you listening pastor?
(Acts 1:8, 2:1-8 & 4:31-33, Rom. 15:19, 1Cor. 2:4-5, 2Cor. 6:7, Eph. 3:7-8, 1Thess. 1:5) The Holy Spirit knows what the sheep need and when the pastor preaches and teaches he must heed the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and power. (Luke 11:9-13 key: ask, seek, knock to obtain Holy Spirit power) <–A good pastor had better live by this scripture, (2Tim. 2:15) <–and he’d better study for his own eternal life and that of his flock (Rev. 3:5) <–because both can spiritually die sitting right there in their church just like the church at Sardis. Pastor, are you listening?
The church under pastor #1) spiritually grows, flourishes and makes a difference in the lives in their community. Under pastor #2, #3 and #4 the churches run the gamut from a spiritually declining church to a dying church and pastor #5 is killing his dying church.
The further a church declines the harder it is for a new pastor to bring it back to actively serving Jesus because Christians get satisfied where they are which begets laziness, they become complacent in their past victories and forget (Eph. 6:10-18) they are still in a war (1Pet. 4:18 keywords: righteous scarcely be saved. Scarcely defined is; with great difficulty) for their eternal life (Heb. 6:4-6, James 2:17-26 and Rev. 3:5 & 16) and they may lose it! (Prov. 12:15) “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes.”
PASTORS (Phil. 3:17-19 keywords: whose God is their belly)
#6) (Titus 1:10-11) There is a “lucre looker” get rich quick pastor/preacher type that are vain talkers and deceivers who will tell any lie, tickle any ear, corrupt God’s word and even try to bind God to pay you reverse tithes; “Send me $1,000.00 seed money for my ministry and God will give you $10,000.00 in return.” (Mark 14:7) Jesus said we would always have the poor among us.
These liars say; “Look at me, look at my suit, my Rolex watch, my diamond rings, my big house, my Cadillac, Corvette and travel van or bus that God gave me!” Pastor, you got your riches (Psa. 62:10, Prov. 21:6-7 & Isa. 3:14-15) because you robbed the poor and ground their faces in their poverty. How many children went hungry because of you?
(2Tim 3:13) “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (Rev. 13:1-9) As the devil takes over the world, and only a blind man could miss it, the #1) pastor will have to be closer to God, more immersed in God’s word, filled with the Holy Spirit and be tougher, stronger and smarter than at any other time in Biblical history because (Matt. 24:21-27) conditions will become so sinful, deceptive and bad Jesus will shorten the days (1Thess. 4: 13-18) or He will not have a church to catch away.
Those other pastors? Get rid of them! Fast, pray, mourn and cry out to God and He will send you a #1) pastor if you really want to serve God!
Pastor, are you paying attention. You can go to hell too, in spite of your position or because of your position.
There is a 7th type of preacher/teacher that are actual satanic pastors not of the Christian church and they lead their followers into idolatry because they are the founders and propagators of Christless religions. ALSO:
There are the pastors of organizations calling themselves churches who worship what God’s word calls sin such as the homosexual church and the church of pot (marijuana). AND: There are secular humanism pastors who base their “religion” on philosophy, teach their “goodness” comes from themselves and they don’t need God which is no different than the atheist pastors who teach God doesn’t exist.
(2Cor. 4:3-5) Satan, the god of this world, will help and encourage you to found (start) religions and churches as long as they have nothing to do with Jesus (Acts 4:10-12) because Jesus is the only name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. Satan will take anybody he can get, under any circumstances, under any conditions and he dances and whirls through your grins, satisfaction and loyalty to your god which, in reality, is him.