Prophecy against the Shepherds
Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying,
Ezekiel 34:2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks
Ezekiel 34:3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock.
Ezekiel 34:4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.
Ezekiel 34:5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered.
Ezekiel 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.”
Ezekiel 34:7 ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:
Ezekiel 34:8 “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”—
Ezekiel 34:9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD!
Ezekiel 34:10 Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.”
Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
Matthew 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
This is for those that have the truth, because there is no reason to deceive the deceived
Minister by definition is a Server
Matthew 20:24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers.
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.
Matthew 20:26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
Matthew 20:27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—
Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.“
A spiritual leader, but a servant leader
Commission of the Ministry
Romans 16:18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Feed the Flock
John 21:15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”
John 21:16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”
John 21:17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.
John 21:19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”
Paul expounds on this in his instructions to Timothy as a minister
Give them what is necessary for life
2 Timothy 4:1 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom:
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince (correct; tell how they are off the path), rebuke (show disapproval even to the point of taking action), exhort (encourage), with all longsuffering (patience; difficult balance to strike; can’t be petty; can’t correct every single little thing) and teaching (of doctrine; correct and accurate).
Here is the issue for today more than ever
2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
2 Timothy 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
2 Timothy 4:5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Preaching vs teaching: goes hand in hand though they are two different aspects of what a minister must do; audience; crossover
Preach the Gospel
Mark 16:14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
Mark 16:17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;
Mark 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Grow the People of God
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Hebrews 6:2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Τελειότης teleiotēs tel-i-ot’-ace
From G5046; (the state) completeness (mentally or morally): – perfection (-ness).
Τέλειος teleios tel’-i-os
From G5056; complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); neuter (as noun, with G3588) completeness: – of full age, man, perfect.
Perfect, complete, mature, aim, goal,
Colossians 1:24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,
Colossians 1:25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God,
Colossians 1:26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.
Colossians 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
Be an Example
1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; Isaiah 66:2
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.“
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
John 10:1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
John 10:2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
John 10:3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
John 10:4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
John 10:5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.“
Give Life for the Sheep
John 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
John 10:12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
John 10:13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
John 10:14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
John 10:15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
Cares for the Flock
Matthew 18:12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?
Matthew 18:13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.
Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Matthew 18:15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
Lead vs Drive
1 Peter 5:1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
1 Peter 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
1 Peter 5:3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
1 Peter 5:4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
The Responsibility as a Member
You are Responsible for the leader you follow
God identified the nation’s leaders as the source of corruption. Rather than providing proper leadership, they were leading the kingdom to destruction.
Isaiah 9:13 For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, Nor do they seek the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 9:14 Therefore the LORD will cut off head and tail from Israel, Palm branch and bulrush in one day.
Isaiah 9:15 The elder and honorable, he is the head; The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
Isaiah 9:16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed.
Isaiah 9:17 Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men, Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows; For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer, And every mouth speaks folly. For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still.
Take very careful notice of the fact that even though it is the leaders that are off-base, those that follow them will be held accountable by God (:13). He will bring destruction upon them for succumbing to the errant leadership. Indeed a powerful lesson for those that believe they will be judged differently than the leadership they tacitly follow.
Local congregation vs headquarters
So if the local congregation is “fine” is it really a good place to be if the head is sick?
I do not think that we can sit back (even if we are the sole of the foot) and say that’s them over there and what the head is thinking and doing does not affect me over here
Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
Matthew 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Matthew 7:17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
Matthew 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Matthew 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
It is by this that we identify a true minister and someone that we look to for spiritual guidance