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Chapter 164

False Shepherds

*** Who is emphatically the good shepherd?
“I [Jesus Christ]
am the good Shepherd.” John 10:11.

*** To what extent did Christ sacrifice for the sheep?
“The good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” John 10:11.

*** Will false shepherds do this?
“The hireling fleeth because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.” John 10:13. “They are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, everyone for his gain, from his quarter.” Isa. 56:11.

*** Will the true shepherd see that the sheep are provided with food?
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.” Acts 20:28. See also 1 Peter 5:2.

*** With what kind of food will he feed the flock?
“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; Preach the word.” 2 Tim. 4:1, 2. (See also Rev. 10:9, 10 and Eze. 2:8, Eze. 3:1-3.)

*** Will the true shepherd set a good example to the flock?
“In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works.” Titus 2:7.

*** Will he warn the sheep of coming danger?
“O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me.” Eze. 33:7.

*** What does the Lord say to the watchman or shepherd who does not warn the wicked?
“If thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Eze. 33:8.

*** What does our Saviour call false shepherds?
“Let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind.” Matt. 15:14.

*** Do such warn the flock of coming danger?
“His watchmen are blind, that are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark, sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.” Isa. 56:10. “They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Jer. 6:14.

*** Has the Lord given us another means by which to distinguish between true and false shepherds?
“To the law and to the testimony;
if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isa. 8:20. “For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth... But ye are departed out of the way: ye have caused many to stumble at the law.” Mal. 2:7, 8.

*** Will the shepherds who are unfaithful give to the flock the sense of those prophecies relating to “the time of the end”? (Dan. 12:9)
“And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot, for it is sealed.” Isa. 29:11. Read also verses 13-16.

*** Was there to come a time when people would not listen to Bible truth?
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Tim. 4:3, 4.

*** Will such like to have plain words spoken to them?
“Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy unto us deceits.” Isa. 30:10.

*** What does the Lord say further concerning false shepherds?
“My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray; they have turned them away on the mountains; they have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place.” Jer. 50:6. “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds: Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool: ye kill them that are fed, but ye feed not the flock.” Eze. 34:2, 3. “As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not My flock, therefore, a ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require My flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more, for I will deliver My flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. For thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I, even I, will both searth My sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they had been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.” Eze. 34:8-12.

*** What is to be the future of those who “add unto” or “take away from “ the words of prophecy?
“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” Rev. 22:18, 19. “Howl, ye shepherds, and cry: and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock; for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel, and the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape. A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and a howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard; for the Lord hath spoiled their pasture, and the peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the Lord.” Jer. 25:34-37.

*** What promise has Peter left on record for faithful shepherds?
“And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” 1 Peter 5:4.

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