Ultimately, sheep do not decide their direction for life; unlike goats which are more independent. Another way to say this is sheep is obedient to an outside leader (Jesus, the Messiah), which is why many of the church will fall away having no true and Righteous foundation - Matt. 7:24. The prime reason for this is that they remain sheepish and have not acted as stated; “with the mind of Christ” - 1 Cor. 2:16. Jesus was a Jew and by tradition would submit to the Pharisees but by God’s mind; challenges, condemns, and convicts them of their disobedience to the will of God.
Now to be clear; one has to be a mature sheep to receive and put in practice the Mind of Christ as stated; "Abide in Me, and I in you; (for) the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the (true) vine (source), (so) neither can you, unless you abide in Me" - Jn. 15:4. We have to be attached to the One Shepherd! Paul encourages us stating; "But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age (matured), even those (who use) their senses (spirit) exercised to discern both good and evil" - Heb. 5:14. In other words; the immature rely on feelings but the mature on the Spirit guiding their spirit as stated; “When the Spirit reveals all Truth” - Jn. 16:13. This is why with Christ some pastors can leave the church flock because they don’t remain as sheep having received the Word and a Righteous example as stated; “take up your Cross and follow Me” - Lk. 9:23. A church that reflects this is a growing and maturing church!
The ninety-nine sheep are not to be weak, unfaithful, and childish! But as stated; “Strong in the LORD” - Eph. 6:10. The ninety-nine are pillars of the church, and having as stated; “Prove themselves a student (practitioner) of the Word” - 2 Tim. 2:15; and are "the Light to the world and each other" - Matt. 5:14. A responsible shepherd will not expose his remaining flock of sheep to wolves while going after the one lost sheep not knowing what he will find; whether maimed or a dead sheep. Why would a sheep leave the flock when by nature, sheep stay together? It is because the lost sheep have not embraced the unconditional trust and obedience to the shepherd for their welfare, but by their (apple of) desire for greener pastures become lost by their self-determined mind. The devil may dangle the shiny objects before us, but it is by our actions we are caught in his traps. Consider Psalms 23; where Jesus; the One Shepherd reveals His purpose, promises, and providence for His flock.
A standard flock (church) of sheep does not have a single leader that they follow but they move as a collective (Body) in unity as the proverbial wind blows. This is the opposite of goats! Where a single goat usually leads the others blindly as in a tribe (group) of goats. These terms used by God is not arbitrary but significant for His Kingdom, and speaks to the way Christians (sheep) opposed to the world (goats), ought to see themselves and act as stated; "But when the Son of Man comes in His Glory, and all the Holy Angels with Him, then He will sit on the Throne of His Glory; (and) before Him all the nations will be gathered, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep (Faithful to Him) from the goats (unfaithful to Him)”. - Matt. 25:31-46. When Paul outlines the church he starts as stated; “first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” - 1 Cor. 12:28. The apostles are foremost because it lays the foundation to be mentored by Christ. Now, to be clear! All in the Body are involved with the fivefold ministries interacting, cross functioning, and sustaining each other for the Body of Christ and God’s purposes. Because it by the Spirit and not man's delegation. Jesus is the first and only true Righteous apostle of God becoming the One Shepherd that represents Him to His temples here on Earth as stated; “For through Him we both have access to the Father by One Spirit.” - Eph. 2:18.
The LORD is my Shepherd (Sustainer); I shall not want (covet). He makes (commands) me to lie down (at peace) in green pastures (satisfaction); He leads me beside the still waters (paths of Salvation). He restores my soul (well being); He leads me in the paths of Righteousness (His perfection). For His name’s sake (integrity to do what’s promised). Yes, though I walk through (pass) the valley (depression) of the shadow (spirit) of death (satan), I will fear (revere) no evil; For You are with (available to) me; Your rod (commandments) and Your staff (the word), they comfort (secure) me. You prepare a table (benefits) before me in the presence (display) of my enemies;
You Anoint (by the Holy Spirit) my head (authority) with oil (Sanctification); My cup (life) runs over (in abundance). Surely (promised) goodness and mercy shall follow (witness for) me. All the days (purpose) of my life; And I will dwell (abide) in the House (Kingdom) of the LORD forever.
Feb. 2, 2021.
The One Shepherd.
The lost sheep is not the prodigal son! He is part of the church. He is as Paul refers to as stated; “they crucify again (repeatedly) for themselves (selfishly) the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame (mockery)” - Heb. 6:6. The lost sheep is wayward! Many in the church are wayward. The reason they are referred to as "lost sheep" is that they have self-imposed blindness due to their unrelenting actions to justify, compromise, and merge God's Kingdom with the world's kingdom. They are metaphorically like the Nephilim. The result of a spiritual being craving the satisfaction of the flesh. These lost sheep are an abomination as stated; "And even (by will power); they did not like to retain (hold onto) God in their knowledge, (therefore) God gave (relinquished) them over to a reprobate (debased) mind" - Rm. 1:28. God cannot deny the free will He gave us.
In the Parable of the prodigal (wasteful) son; the father did not go after his son. But as Paul reluctantly did as stated; “deliver (leave) such an (irresponsible) one to satan for the destruction (curse) of the flesh that his spirit may be saved in the Day of the Lord Jesus.” - 1 Cor. 5:5. Paul is really hoping just as the father that these prodigal individuals will come to their senses and come back in repentance before Jesus’ return. These individuals are those that Jesus refers to in the Parable of the Sower who after hearing the Gospel, took no action to build a strong foundation and support for their Faith; and eventually became blinded by the world's cares and false prophets - Matt. 13. These Adams by their lack of responsibility to "seek the Kingdom" usually blame others for their troubles and lack of Faith in Jesus Christ. The prodigal son squandered his father’s inheritance just as every prodigal man and woman do with Jesus Christ's gift of Salvation. Can the lost sheep be prodigal? No! But the prodigal could become the lost sheep. We see this with the father’s other son as stated; “But he was angry and would not go in (because of the prodigal son’s return)” - Lk. 15:28.
The other son is wayward who labors rather than love in obedience to the father, even though his inheritance is assured. It's the difference between being ignorant or arrogant of Salvation’s gift. Both are given the same Gospel, and both are already birthed to be an heir in God's Kingdom. But the lost sheep of the church rebels while the prodigal individuals of the world are yet to receive God's Kingdom from the One Shepherd in Jesus Christ. We are called as stated to; “make disciples'' of the prodigals of the world, and to; “exhort and admonish” those wayward in the Body of Christ - Matt. 28:19, and 1 Tess. 5:12, respectively. How God applies His Hand to either group is based on the covenant with His flock as opposed to having no covenant with the prodigals as stated by Jesus; “I am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of mine (and) as the Father knows Me, even so, know I the Father, and I lay down my life for the (repentant) sheep (also) other (unrepentant) sheep I have, which are not of this fold (Body); them also I must bring (by the Cross), and they shall hear My voice (as saved sheep); and there shall be one fold, and One Shepherd - Jn. 10:14. Jesus died for His flock like John that abided at the Cross and those wayward like the Apostles that abandoned Him; including the prodigals like the Roman soldiers. We can see the distinction between the prodigal to the wayward by their actions and especially their words. As stated by the Roman (prodigal); “Truly this man was the Son of God”; and by Thomas (wayward) “Except I shall see in His hands (with) the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe.” - Mk. 15:39, and Jn. 20:27, respectively. For the prodigal it is by the Spirit of revelation they begin the journey to acknowledge Jesus. But for the wayward; it is by their mind they rationalize Jesus.
What was finished? The Way, Truth, and Life that was given to Adam! Because without Righteous sacrifice there can be no Spiritual gain. That by one man (shepherd) disobedience, death reigned. Then by another man who is the One Shepherd in obedience (Righteousness); Life (the spirit) is restored and reigns! We cannot have God’s Kingdom and promises without first the restoration of our previously dead spirit resurrected back into a live spirit engaged daily with the Spirit of God. We see this when after receiving the Anointing, Jesus is led into the wilderness to face satan devices and by the Holy Spirit is sustained, overcomes, and is victorious because He abides in the Way, Truth, and Life God decreed and by this practice was resurrected, restored, and repositioned on the last (culminated) day as stated; "Whosoever eats My flesh, and drinks My Blood, has eternal Life; and I will raise him up at the last day" - Jn. 6:54.
It’s all about the Blood! Adam metaphorically means “first Blood (of its kind)”. God had to protect this Blood by the “chosen, separated, protected people” to ensure Jesus’ Blood is not only connected physically but also spiritually to the first fallen man and becomes the final payment for sin. And because of the first Righteous resurrected man in Jesus; the law of lawlessness no longer controls the flesh but by the Spirit of God is enslaved to the Law of Life, liberty, and longevity.
There is a Spiritual connection to the Blood. For we all are of the “First Blood”. In that, we bear the mark of its curse but more so its promise and have been adopted and Sanctified by it. So whether one is of the flock, lost or prodigal; this BLOOD stands as a caveat with God for our Blessing, arrogance, and ignorance to His will. And if we do not place our feet on the proper ground to remain Sanctified and Righteous; we inadvertently jeopardize our rights as an heir of God’s Kingdom because ultimately it is Jesus; the One Shepherd who is advocating the Father as stated; “Jesus intercedes for us” - Rm. 8:34. What most of us fail to recognize is that Jesus has to do this with the utmost integrity with only the facts and not the intent. He is only allowed to intercede for us because He earned the right by paying the price as stated; “But with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot” - 1 Pet. 1:19. The BLOOD will do its work especially when we remain Righteous untainted from any corruption!
Consider, of the many Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers recorded in the Bible; only a few truly enjoyed the full garment of the Anointing and it's Blessing. They were only able to have that because they kept themselves under the Spirit of the One Shepherd to the point as with "Enoch did not taste death" - Heb. 11:5. But more critical is that they understood and did not sow unrighteous seeds which enabled God’s promises of provision, protection, and providence. Yet, for Paul who for years as Saul sowed unrighteousness regardless of good intentions faced several attacks from satan after His Righteous conversion, to the point he complains and God simply states; “My Grace is sufficient for you” - 2 Cor. 12:9. But as the years went on all those bad harvests diminished and Paul was enabled to wear the Anointing (BLOOD) Garment resulting in as stated; “Paul's handkerchief healed them” - Acts 19:12; which corresponds to Elisha's bones as stated; “his bones resurrected the dead” - 2 Kg. 13:21. This is the witness of following and emulating the One Shepherd as stated; “He that believes on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works" - Jn. 14:12.
People all over the world are looking for a shepherd who will guide them to their desires whether temporal or eternal. Many have not completely accepted the One Shepherd in their churches becoming wayward, arrogant Christians, as well as others, remain ignorant to the Word; being prodigal, and wasting away in the sin of the flesh. In both cases these individuals have reflected as stated; “where your heart is, there is your treasure” - Matt. 6:21. This inner desire for self-promotion and things outside of God’s Kingdom will drive both the wayward and prodigal into satan’s path; because not having the One Shepherd; they are already in confusion, fear, and sin.
Flush it Out! - Jesus Christ, the BLOOD of God.
There is one True and Righteous Shepherd and He is Jesus Christ! The problem is not with His presence but with the receiving, hearing, and obeying of His voice as stated; “My sheep hear My voice” - Jn. 10:27. All of mankind is His flock! Too often, His sheep are hard of hearing regardless of the clear and unmistakable narrative from the Bible. This lack of spiritual hearing is due to several reasons not least of which is the church but also at a deeper level is the way we are raised; which contradicts as stated; “Train up a child in the way he should go” - Prov. 22:6. The enemy's goal has always been to remove any Godly mentorship starting in the Garden, the homes, the church, and through the education system; with the ultimate result for chaos and lawlessness; as we can see today. This is why it was a prime reason for Jesus to have dwelled among men and to make the concise statement; “I have come to set (establish) the captive free” - Lk. 4:18.
The One Shepherd culminates, establishes, and fulfills the Way, Truth, and Life to His flock. This started when God is allowed back into man’s journey. The Way is demonstrated by Abram who walks into unknown experiences by Faith as stated; “Abram departed (broke off) as the LORD had spoken to him” - Gen. 12:4. The Truth and that of justice are given to Moses by the Law starting with the Ten Commandments as stated; “I am the Lord your God” - Ex. 20:2. And finally, the Life is revealed by an obedient Jesus who lives as the testimony for God’s will, decrees, and Glory, as stated; “the Son can do nothing of Himself (without the Father’s guidance)” - Jn. 5:19. With Righteous Faith (the Way) there is Spiritual Law (the Truth) for the obedience of the flesh (the Life) for God’s Glory as stated; “you are the Temple (Body) of God” - 1 Cor. 3:16. The One Shepherd and those of His flock are not meant to live in the security of man’s Tower of Babel by their systems of welfare, control, and politics. That’s unrighteous pride! We are called to live in the wilderness of the natural world under the umbrella of God’s Spirit, Grace, and Sovereignty. Because this is where the Way, the Truth, and the Life is revealed and attained. And is why Jesus stated; “came to fulfill (complete) the Law” - Matt. 5:17; and proclaims; “It is finished” - Jn. 19:30.
Letter to the Faithful!
We are not children of men, but of God! Our mindset must come from Him as stated; “And (I, God) will be a Father unto (for) you, and you shall be My sons and daughters” - 2 Cor. 6:18. Now; if you were that “knight in shining armor”; wouldn't your prime goal be to destroy the oppressor (satan) of the innocent? Yet; Jesus didn’t by His statement and actions. Jesus is implying the shackles that enslave us are all self-imposed. Just like many tyrants of history and today; it starts with mental slavery; then physical slavery; and finally spiritual slavery; by using intimidation. At its rudimentary level; this is Faith. To have fearful faith or obedient Faith for someone to enslave you as stated; “And having been set free (unhinged) from sin (death), you became slaves (servants) of Righteousness (Christ)” - Rm. 6:18. One way or another, you will be enslaved either to man or to God.
We do need the church! What we don’t need is man’s definitions and will for the purpose of the church. This misguided notion that the church is Earthly rather than Heavenly has contributed to its weakness, ineffectiveness, including its internal and external contradictions. And let's be precise! It is not only the pastors but also the congregation's responsibility to make the church as Christ intended it to be as stated; “And He (Jesus) is the Head of the Body, the (redeemed) church; who is the beginning (root), the firstborn (example) from (oppose to) the dead (satan); that in all things He might have the pre-eminence (acknowledgment).” - Col. 1:18. Yet; regardless of this, the dynamics of guiding the church to Glory has been heavily politicized throughout the centuries and continues today. Consider this! On the eve of Jesus’ return; the church remains more divided with more versions of traditional denominations; with many for a man-made religion culminating into the One World Church. Many leaders have conspired directly or irresponsibly to lead the flocks away from the One Shepherd!
God could not justify restoring the world in a day even though it was engulfed by darkness, including His Son’s birth; which took thousands of years after the fall, declaring as stated; “He (Jesus) shall bruise your head (satan), and you shall bruise His heel" - Gen. 3:15. Did you notice God does not say Jesus will kill, destroy, or erase satan and he will do the same to us? God clearly indicates who will have more dominance over the other by the part that is bruised. Another way this can be said is; "Jesus, and by extension; those under His authority will cause damage to satan’s kingdom (head) while he will only cause the same to the Gospel's progress (heel)". When you as it were “cut off the head”; there is no more authority by satan. But when the heel is bruised; the head, authority, and leadership of the Christ man remains and continues. God decreed the rule of engagement giving man His authority before the fall as stated; "dominate all life moving on the Earth" - Gen. 1:28. Well; that life includes satan, the fallen angels, and demons as stated; "(satan) going to and fro on the Earth, and from walking back and forth on it" - Job 1:17.
Jesus Christ is the epitome of what the first man should have been and He is the last man of what all who receive His Blood ought to be. But more than that; He was the Earthly leader God ordained Him to be. Just as we are to be! A follower of God; a servant of His Kingdom; and a citadel in the face of rebellion and defiance. Jesus Christ was and remains the One Shepherd for His flock! And of God’s Kingdom! He earned that right! The Body is the flock of sheep who should not only hear His voice but follow His example as stated; “in search of the one lost sheep” - Lk. 15:4. Jesus is the only true Shepherd by His Life, who can bring back the lost sheep as stated; “I am the Way, the Truth, and Life” - Jn. 14:6. He can’t do that knowing the rest of His ninety-nine sheep flock is unable to stand in Faith and be protected from the devices of satan who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Which responsible parent would leave their child to fend for themselves? But with a mature child, the parent would have more confidence leaving them alone to attend to a critical issue. Jesus was as stated; “sent to the lost sheep of Israel but is revealed to the gentiles (prodigals)” - Matt. 15:24-28.
A pastor regardless of its traditional roots is not a shepherd but only one of the flock. Religion made them the shepherd but God defines the church by Paul’s ministry as a Body that works together as a whole; each playing their part as required for a season or a purpose based on their gifts, heart, and Faith. Can a pastor (head, leader) accomplish anything without those who are the church (feet, followers), of not his; but Jesus’ ministry? Jesus left the example that those given the higher offices, roles, and responsibilities are to be the least and servant to all as stated; “He (Jesus) poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet” - Jn. 13:5. Jesus did this including rebuking Peter (holder of the Keys of the Kingdom) to repeat this to each other stating; “For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you; (that) a servant (church) is not greater than his master (Jesus); nor is He (Jesus) than He (God) who sent Him. God’s Kingdom is top-down in responsibility and accountability as well as empowering to those for His purpose, plans, and providence. The pastor is fallen just like all of the Body; redeemed only by the One Shepherd; Jesus Christ. Regardless of one’s appointed position, it is “their fruit” that determines their level of representation for Jesus Christ. The evidence is clear; when a church determines its leadership based on the world system; the result can be devastating to the Body, and the cause of Righteousness.
Consider that the Tree’s temptation was not an apple, but symbolic of unrighteous desires just as many today want to be a god, exalting themselves; rather than be in obedience and submission to God's will as stated; “Behold, the (unrighteous) man is become as one of us (self-willed, self-righteous, independent)” - Gen. 3:22. They chose to be egotistical, exalting their hands of pride; becoming like satan; by not surrendering and trusting God’s Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding of Eden, Earth, and Eternity; and in an instance fell from Grace which spiritually exposed the carnal (lower) nature, having no longer the Glory’s Garment that surrounded and inhabited them; contradicting as stated; "submit (be humble) to God; resist (deny) the devil and he will flee (abandon) you" - Jm. 4:7. And just as Lucifer, as stated; “(they) fell like lightning (instantly) to the earth (lower place)”; resulting in as stated; “they knew that they were naked (exposed, unprotected, insecure)” - Lk. 10:18, and Gen. 2:25; respectively. And just as the first man and women; many today do the same throughout the week expecting that by one day of repentance, worship, and thanksgiving; they are guaranteed the Heavenly promises including as stated; “being caught up into the air (with Christ)” - 1 Tess. 4:17. In reality, to be independent of God is to say you are a god!
Known as “the great deception" as stated; "Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day (of Christ) will not come unless the falling away (unrighteousness) comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition (the antichrist), who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called (belongs to) God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as (impersonating) God in the temple (Body) of God, showing (flaunting) himself that he is God - 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Many will either lose their Faith or follow blindly these fallen church leaders into a religion of Babylon by man’s creation; reflecting satan as stated; “I will exalt my name (status)” - Is. 14:13. What many churches fail to teach is the desire of satan to have a kingdom is not disobedience or a sin to God as stated; “things which angels desire to look into” - 1 Pet. 1:12.
Desire is built into every spirit given by God. It is the unrighteous desire to do and have physical things without God’s involvement and His Kingdom ways, resulting in disobedience, rebellion, and sin! For as stated; “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty (indestructible) hand (guidance) of God, that He may exalt (acclaim) you in due time (season)" - 1 Pet. 5:6. To be clear! God determines the limitations based on the purpose for the desire. All of God’s creations have desires so that He can receive the Glory when He fulfills the desire. God desires for His Righteous people to rule; just as Abraham and others in the Bible demonstrate stating; "When the Righteous (God's people) are in authority (command, dictate, dominate), the people rejoice" - Prov. 29:2.
The desire of the one-world church (Tower of Babel); including man’s self-reliance cannot be called Christianity because any relevance to God and the true Messiah will be diminished, erased, and prosecuted as heresy, a crime, and politically incorrect; demanding incarceration leading to capital punishment. This is the false kingdom of satan for a submissive life in idol worship or death. An imitation of God and His decree for us to choose Life or death. It will be a season when Grace will be limited and the foreshadowing words from Paul will ring true because many did not as stated; “And if Christ (the Word) is in you, the body (carnality) is dead because of sin (the curse); but the spirit is (restored to) Life because of Righteousness (Christ).” - Rm. 8:10. When the one-world church is established; many will truly have to die physically so that they spiritually will belong to Jesus Christ. God’s intent has always been a Righteous spirit-filled flesh and blood man, to be His presence on the Earth.
When will the church learn from God who is as stated; “For I, the LORD, do not change (stable, established, unmovable)" - Mal. 3:6. That His ways are perfect but by man’s disobedience comes confusion, fear, and sin. This is what happened in the Garden when satan sowed the seed of doubt and by their hearing led to confusion, fear, and sin. Their unrighteous desire caused them to inadvertently accept death over Life by heeding satan's manipulation, accusations, and by free will doubted God because of as stated; “God knows your eyes (thoughts) will be opened (receptive)” - Gen. 3:5. All it takes to doubt is the manipulation of the Truth. Because Truth requires Faith, while doubt requires a perceived truth. God’s Truth for protection required prevention, but satan’s manipulation of that Truth is to insidiously imply we do not need His protection in our lives. Their downfall and many others, inevitable and always start with the original sin of satan which is pride. It is by our pride we doubt God’s Faithful Word because we mistakenly believe we can trust our eyes, ears, and senses for our desires. And in most cases, this results in a fatal decision as opposed to being a child of God as stated; “walk by Faith and not by sight” - 2 Cor. 5:7.
The apple of our desire usually causes us to be disobedient to God resulting in the act of rebellion and sin, leading to separation from God’s presence; His promises, and providence for our lives. When we as it were, jump in or bite into the apple of our desire without Spiritually guidance; it ends in confusion, fear, and sin. And it will perpetuate the curse to future generations as stated; "I, (God) by no means (justification) clear the guilty (disobedient); visiting (to see) the iniquity (transgression) of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation" - Ex. 34:7. God, by His integrity, is unable to overlook the crime of sin which is perpetuated into future generations because no one is calling it sin, and repenting. It is we who retard, reduce, or stop the curses of sin in our lives and those of our generations as stated; "I, (God) keeping mercy (Grace) for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin" - Ex. 34:7. Forgiveness and Grace have always been available since the fall but so has justice. Without the One Shepherd we inadvertently subject ourselves to preying wolves as stated; "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (cunning, insidious, magical) wolves" - Matt. 7:15.
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