Vital Words to the Body of Christ
  
Teaching the Everlasting Gospel of God's Kingdom
Revelation 14:6-7

Issue 201206
Shepherds Causing Their Flocks To Lie Down
            

    “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.” Jeremiah 33:12

Today we live in a day where so many of the churches have become desolate places.  There may be a lot of  fleshly bodies in those seats but, no spirit, no righteousness.  Why is this?  It is because the shepherds are causing there flocks to lie down.

We need to be encouraging the people to get into the Word of God, search the Scriptures, seek the Lord, and work out their own salvation, helping people to become leaders themselves.  It is not time to lie down - - - it is time to stand strong in the power of His might.

    “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.”  Jeremiah 50:6

When sheep (men) are at their highest point (the mountain) in God, the shepherds (pastors) have caused them to go astray.  They have kept them from Spiritual revelation, or understanding of His word.

    “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!  Saith the Lord.  Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed My people; Ye have scattered My flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them:  behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.  And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.  And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them:  and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.”  Jeremiah 23:1-4    

We must ask ourselves what are we feeding those around us.  Are we feeding the milk of the Word, or the Salvation message over and over, or the teaching that God is a goody-goody God that will take away all our problems?  Or, are we going to feed the flock the meat of the Word?  The message that changes people from ther sinful ways to ways of righteousness is by teaching them to live the Word - - - not just going to church and hearing the Word, but taking time to read and study His Word and seek the Lord for Spiritual understanding, so that we may be a part of that remnant flock under the one true Shepherd.

Some of you may think well this message is just for the shepherds, pastors, teachers, etc. it is, but aren't we all teachers by example everyday of our lives.  Each one of us needs to live the Word and allowing it to change our lives.  [see "Becoming The Word" by George Kirkpatrick]

    "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.”  Ezekiel 34:2-3

Ezekiel warns: "Woe be to shepherds that feed themselves and not the flock."  All so many today care about is old number one, themselves;  and don't take time to feed the sheep.  These leaders of the flock will have to stand before the Lord to be judged.  
                
    “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God:  and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"  I Peter 4:17

We know judgement must begin at the house of God, because God is preparing a people, a people who are going to stand firm unto the end, believing, trusting in the Father, not living in fear but rejoicing in the trials and tribulations in their lives, knowing these trials worketh righteousness in our lives.  Jesus tells us:

    “Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.  All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers:  but My sheep did not hear hear them.  I am the door:  by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.  The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:  I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  I am the Good Shepherd:  the Good Shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheeep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.  I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine.  As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep.”  John 10:7-15

Jesus says, "I am the door." The door represents the entrance into the holy place, and we must know the Good Shepherd to enter in.  Most, though, are thieves and robbers stealing from the sheep to try to enter in instead of feeding the sheep the meat of the Word.  He says, "The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep."  We must be willing to lay down our lives for the sheep (our brothers and sisters in God).  So many today are just hirelings. When trouble arises they flee and care not for the sheep.  So many pastors are afraid to teach the harder things such as judgment, pride, and change.  People today don't want to change. But change is the only way we can open the door and enter into the Holy Place.  Praise the Lord!  God is desiring a people to lay down their lives, their own wants, their own desires and feed the flock the true Word of God, not a watered-down easy Word.  We encourage you to go beyond the milk of the Word, and begin to fill your sheep with the strong meat of God's Word.

    Brothers and Sisters, we are encouraged by your letters, your prayers, and your financial support in helping us spread these vital words to the body of Christ.  May the Lord richly bless you with all Spiritual blessings in heavenly places as you press towards the high calling of Christ Jesus in your walk with Him.

    Robert Bixler    
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