False Shepherds: A Clear and Present Danger

False Shepherds: A Clear and Present Danger

We said last week that we know that we are under God’s judgment in America because God has turned us over to wicked politicians. Similarly, we also know that we are under God’s judgment because God has turned the nation over to wicked pastors. We have a far greater problem than a political problem in America as grave as that problem is, we have a pulpit problem. False shepherds are leading the sheep to the slaughter. Israel went into captivity because the shepherds stopped feeding God’s people the truth.

Isa 5:13 Therefore my people have gone into captivity, Because they have no knowledge; Their honorable men are famished, And their multitude dried up with thirst.

Jer 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD.

Jer 23:2 Therefore thus says the LORD God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the LORD.

Jer 23:4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the LORD.

Purpose: To learn from Scripture how to distinguish a false shepherd from a true shepherd and to develop discernment in choosing a church that represents historical, biblical Christianity.
The Holy Spirit warns us that false shepherds will come.

Act 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.

Act 20:30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Act 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

2Pe 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

2Pe 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

2Pe 2:3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

2Ti 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:

2Ti 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

2Ti 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;

2Ti 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Mar 13:21 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it.

Mar 13:22 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Mar 13:23 But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.

Mat 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

Mat 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Mat 24:5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour.

The Holy Spirit commands us to test the shepherds.

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

1Jn 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

1Jn 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1Th 5:21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Act 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

Heb 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

Heb 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

Heb 5:14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The Holy Spirit tells us that we are to learn the whole counsel of God in truth.

Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

Joh 4:24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Does your pastor/ elders teach the whole counsel of God in truth?

(1) The doctrine of Scripture.
(2) The doctrine of God.
(3) The doctrine of Christ.
(4) The doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
(5) The doctrine of Angles.
(6) The doctrine of Man.
(7) The doctrine of Sin.
(8) The doctrine of Salvation.
(9) The doctrine of the Church.
(10) The doctrine of Last Things.

(1) The doctrine of Scripture.
You always know a shepherd is false when they turn their sheep away from the Word of God and teach historical heresy.

Isa 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.

2Ti 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;

2Ti 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

2Ti 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(2) The doctrine of God.
You will always know a shepherd is false when they teach historical heresy concerning the doctrine of God. If they deny the trinity then they are false shepherds.

Here is how the historic Christian leaders viewed this truth:

110 AD. Ignatius of Antioch wrote,
“Wherefore also the Lord, when He sent forth the apostles to make disciples of all nations, commanded them to “baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” not unto one [person] having three names, nor into three [persons] who became incarnate, but into three possessed of equal honour.” (Letter to the Philadelphians, 2)

In Matthew 5 we see the Father, Son and Holy Spirit together and distinct.

Mat 3:16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

Mat 3:17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Matthew 28 commands us to make disciples and baptize them in the name of the Triune God.

In Titus we are given the same picture that we have in Matthew. Look at Titus 3:
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

The kindness and love of God appeared, we are renewed by the Holy Spirit who is poured out on us through Jesus Christ.

There are two final passages I want to include in this study. In John 14 we see all three persons of the Triune God referenced together and distinctly from each other. Look at John 14:16-17,21:
16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — 17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you….21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

We are told that the Son will pray to the Father and the Father will send the Helper (Holy Spirit). Then in verse 21 we are told that when we keep His commandments, we will be loved by both the Son and by the Father. Jesus clearly draws a distinction between Himself and the Father. This is future tense. After we have the Holy Spirit on earth, we will still have the love of the Father and Son in heaven. Jesus again reveals an eternal distinction in John 16:
7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 “of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;

In this passage, Jesus promises that He will send the Holy Spirit and who will convict the world of sin. Yet He also makes it clear that He goes to the Father. He does not become the Father, nor does He become the Holy Spirit. The book of 1 John walks us through the Trinity. Look at these verses from chapters 2 and 4:

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

1 John 4
14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.

Jesus is our Advocate with the Father. An advocate is a legal representative. An advocate pleads for the one being defended. Here John tells us that when we sin, Jesus pleads on our behalf to the Father. This does not make sense if Jesus is the Father. Throughout this book, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are identified as separate persons and the identified as one. Look at 1 John 5

6 This is He who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

Jesus came by water and blood to pay our debt to sin, He continues as our Advocate with the Father and the Holy Spirit continues the work and bears witness to the truth on earth. These three are identified as distinct in their personhood, but verse 7 clearly tells us that the three are one. How then can Jesus say, “I and the Father are one”?

Because the Triune God is one God revealed in three persons. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are equal, of one substance, and eternally distinct beginning. Polycarp was discipled by John, the apostle Jesus loved. He stated:

“O Lord God almighty…I bless you and glorify you through the eternal and heavenly high priest Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, through whom be glory to you, with Him and the Holy Spirit, both now and forever”

One God, three persons, equal and eternally distinct, uncreated and of one substance. One God, three persons.

The anti-Trinitarian view was refuted again and again by the true church. I will close with the exhortation Dionysius made in 262 AD against the Sabellius who popularized the Oneness/Modalistic view. He responded to the argument that Oneness believers use today – that the Trinity equals three gods. He called the argument blasphemy and the idea that the Son is the Father and Father is the Son is also blasphemy:

“Next, then, I may properly turn to those who divide and cut apart and destroy the Monarchy, the most sacred proclamation of the Church of God, making of it, as it were, three powers, distinct substances, and three godheads. I have heard that some of your catechists and teachers of the divine word take the lead in this tenet. They are, so to speak, diametrically opposed to the opinion of Sabellius. He, in his blasphemy, says that the Son is the Father and vice versa” (Letters of Pope Dionysius to Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria 1:1 ).

That is the position of the early church and historic Christianity. Is your doctrine the philosophy and traditions of men, or of God as revealed in scripture?
Eddie Snipes
T.D. Jakes – Does not confess an orthodox view of the nature of God but neither has he abandoned his oneness view. He continues to acknowledge the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as different functions.

When being interviewed on the radio Jakes in responding to the questioner on the orthodox view of the trinity said “The Trinity, the term Trinity, is not a biblical term, to begin with. It’s a theological description for something that is so beyond human comprehension that I’m not sure that we can totally hold God to a numerical system. The Lord said, “Behold, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one, and beside Him there is no other.” When God got ready to make a man that looked like Him, He didn’t make three. He made one man. However, that one man had three parts. He was body, soul and spirit. We have one God, but He is Father in creation, Son in redemption, and Holy Spirit in regeneration. It’s very important that we understand that, but I think that the first thing that every believer needs to do is to approach God by faith, and then having approached Him by faith, then they need to sit up under good teaching so that they can begin to understand who the God is that they have believed upon.” (“Living by the Word” on KKLA, hosted by John Coleman, Aug. 23, 1998)

I agree about sitting under “good teaching.” Wouldn’t God being called one be a numerical system? Jakes is actually quoting Sabellius who said that God revealed himself as the Father in creation, Son in incarnation, and Holy Ghost in regeneration and sanctification. In the United Pentecostal Church’s Articles of Faith they state the same“ God is manifested as Father in creation, in the Son for our redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in our (by emanation) regeneration.” The mistake is to equate image with physical components such as we are body soul and Spirit. However even using this example defeats his own position as these are existing simultaneously while Jakes is saying God changes his roles to act in relationship with man.

Psa 94:16 Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
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2 Responses to “False Shepherds: A Clear and Present Danger”

  1. Jorge Lahiff says:

    PROPOSAL FOR MORE BIBLE READING DURING CHURCH SERVICES I74 Judson Avenue, San Francisco, California 94112 – United States of America

    From Jorge Lahiff de Rogel-
    To my brothers and sisters scattered among the nations and denominations

    -Greetings and blessings to all of you in the holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord,

    I am writing to you as an advocate for more Bible reading during your worship services. The public reading of Scripture is an ancient Hebrew tradition which was passed onto the first generation of Christians by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our brothers and sisters who lived in the Roman Empire devoted much more time to reading the word of God aloud during their meetings than churches do today.

    I am recommending that at least thirty minutes of all regular weekend church services be devoted to reading the bible aloud; reading through the New Testament at least once a year, and reading through the Old Testament about once every six to eight years.

    The Apostle Paul said in 1st Thessalonians 5:27, “I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.”- Does Paul’s apostolic command only apply to the First Century church at Thessalonica? Does it not apply to all churches until Christ returns? Yes it does, and church leaders who ignore it are disobeying the voice of the Holy Spirit and are starving the Body of Christ.

    “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.” 1st Timothy 4:13 NASB

    “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear,..” Revelation 1:3 ESV

    (Jesus)”stood up to read.” Luke 4:16 KJV

    “..in the hearing of all the people in the Lord’s house you shall read the words of the LORD” Jeremiah 36:6 ESV –

    Many well-meaning pastors who are genuine children of God have a difficult time transmitting the Gospel to their audiences because neither they nor most the seminaries they graduate from fully understand the importance of reading the Scriptures to those attending services. Sermons can last for half an hour, while the Bible readings usually take up no more than one to three minutes of a weekend church service. This tradition of men is in conflict with the word of God.

    “King Josiah…went to the LORD’s temple..” and “he read aloud The Book of God’s Law that had been found in the temple.” 2 Kings 23:1-2

    God works through the Scriptures to convict people of their sin, of their guilt, of their need to repent, and of the certainty of judgment. To the unfaithful church leader and to church-goers who are engaged in continuous sinful behavior, God’s word is not a gold mine to be explored, but is instead a deadly minefield to be carefully navigated.

    “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,..” Ephesians 5:25-27ESV

    Many preachers avoid uttering Bible passages which hit too close to ‘home’ (the sins of their benefactors) by reading a small number of carefully selected verses and using them as reference points for their amusing sermons. These shameless shepherds muzzle the mouth of God because the unrestrained voice of the Holy Spirit is as unpleasant to them as is the incessant bark of a sheepdog to the ears of a hungry predator. To these wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing financial gain and job security take precedence over the spiritual needs of their audiences.

    “..they cannot listen; behold, the word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.” Jeremiah 6:10 ESV

    American and European churches are infested with millions of couples who like King Herod and his lover Herodia are entangled in unions prohibited by the word of God. Because of the ‘sensitivities’ of these adulterers and fornicators, there are many ‘offensive’ Bible verses you will never hear uttered in most churches, especially those where Jesus and His servant Paul speak of sexual immorality, adultery, and divorce.

    “Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.” John 8:43 ESV

    “He who is of God hears the words of God..” John 8:47 NASB

    “..(Jesus) answered (Satan), “It is written, ”’Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4ESV

    “when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing.” Deuteronomy 31:11 NASB

    -The Scriptures are more than reference books for lengthy sermons and sparsely attended midweek and pre-service Bible studies. They are collectively the word of God passed onto us by His holy prophets and apostles, and through them our spiritual birth in Christ is facilitated. Those who attend church services need to hear more of them.

    “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:21 NKJV

    We Christians are divided into many of hostile competing factions and our lifestyles and divorce rates are not much better than those of unbelievers. These sad facts dishonor God and discredit His Gospel in the sight of the unsaved. They are proof that most of today’s church leaders are, for fear of loosing generous members, failing to expose their listeners to many essential details about the Gospel of Salvation.

    “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea4:6

    “For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed.” Isaiah 9:16NKJV

    “But if they (the shepherds) had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.” Jeremiah 23:22 ESV

    “They have turned back to the iniquities of (those who murdered the prophets and who crucified the Son of God), who refused to hear my words” Jeremiah 11:10 ESV

    The invention of the printing press and the abundance of Bibles do not alter or nullify God’s command that the Holy Scriptures be read aloud in the churches. The Holy Spirit is present in a powerful way to help, to heal, and to guide the children of God whenever they are gathered together to hear His words.

    “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV Few people study the Scriptures as much as they should. It is the duty of church leaders to read all of 66 books of the Bible, from the Book of Genesis through the Book of Revelation, in the hearing of church members and unsaved visitors, while also continuing to preach, and to teach,- and to encourage people to read and to study the Bible on their own. -A faithful shepherd has a challenging job (with eternal benefits).

    “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;..” John10:27 NASB

    If you live in North America or Western Europe it will be very difficult to find a church which is dedicated to the public reading of Scripture. Most church leaders in these countries are dishonest, arrogant, greedy cowards. Do not spend too much time trying to convince them to devote more time during their ‘worship’ services to the public reading of God’s word. Remember that they are by nature are no different than the temple prostitutes of ancient Israel.. Their gods are earthly comfort and carnal pleasure. Convincing you to give them a tenth of your hard-earned money is their top priority.

    Please consider using the Internet and local newspapers to start a home based Bible reading and study fellowships. Many 1st Century churches initially met in homes (read Romans 16:5, 1st Corinthians 16:19, Matthew 18:20). God will bless you and your household as you follow their example.

    “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God..” Romans 10:17 NKJV

    -Examine what witnesses of ancient church services had to say about the public reading of Scripture.

    -Tertullian, in the late 2nd century said, “We meet together in order to read the sacred texts.” He continues, “With the holy words we feed our faith, we arouse our hope, we confirm our confidence.” “The church unites the Law and the Prophets in one volume (the Bible) with the writings of evangelists and apostles, from which she drinks in her faith.”

    -Justin the Martyr, in the 150’s said that at church services, “The memoirs of the Apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits.”

    -Clement of Alexandria (c. 182-202) talks of Christians in their worship, “always giving thanks in all things to God through righteous hearing and divine reading.”

    -Theodore of Antioch in the late 4th century said, “All of us, having come to faith in Christ the Lord from the nations, received the Scriptures from them and now enjoy them, reading them aloud in the churches..”

    God has nudged me out of my comfort-zone in order to prod some of you out of yours. I have recommended that about half an hour of all services be spent reading the Bible aloud to the churches. Most of you think that this is excessive, but understand that our brothers and sisters in the First through the Fourth Centuries devoted more time to the public reading of Scripture than what I have proposed.

    The current custom of motivational messages loosely linked to a few carefully selected verses would be alien and offensive to the Apostles and to our brave brothers and sisters who lived and died under the shadow of pagan emperors.

    I am sure that we would all agree that only a fool would sit down at a restaurant every weekend, tip the waiters, and pay for meals which were never brought to his table. If we agree about the foolish patron, why then is it that so many of you continue to patronize pastors who fail to feed you spiritually? How many times are you going to walk out of their spiritual brothels with empty wallets and an empty feelings in your hearts?

    “..and in their greed they will exploit you with false words;..” 2Peter2:3NASB Your brother and fellow servant,
    Jorge Lahiff de Rogel

    P.S. I do need or want your money. I do however urge all of you to devote some of your time and earthly riches towards establishing Bible reading churches in your own communities and around the world .

  2. The journey of our family life bears witness to the truth of what you are decaring as a nation with evil sheperd/sheperdesses in high ranking offices that are bent on the destuction and slaughter of God children.I am busy authoring a book called THE GREATEST SPIRITUAL LEADER THAT THE WORLD WOULD EVER HAVE HAD.It is a true story of a call and a ministry on my life according to a declaration of a promise of God and how a network of churches leaders go onto a pathway to with evil master manipulation tactics to extort the spiritual worth of the person and much of the devises orchestrated in America.I would be more than willing to give you more substantial evidence of what is actually occuring and it most definitey has been the result of much wrath and judgement of God throughout the world.It is the work of fraud, corruption, treachery and murder of peoples ministries for the purposes of extortion and occuring in the place of Christian churches

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