THIEVES AND ROBBERS
John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Without the chapter divisions and numbered verses we would have an almost impossible task of trying to get everyone on the same page in studying the scriptures. But upon some occasions they can hinder the understanding of a passage. And the above listed section is such an example. For the, I say unto you, in verse one of chapter ten, is vague concerning its application without these last three verses of chapter nine. It would be good if chapter ten started with John 9:39. And the reason being that those last verses of John nine reveal that Christ was addressing the Pharisees regarding the matter of the blind man whom they threw out of the synagogue, but in whom Christ said the works of God were manifest. They accused him of being that which Christ had plainly stated as having no issue in this matter. (See John 9:3).
For Christ plainly informed his disciples that his blindness was not a matter of sin. But the Pharisees told him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. (9:34). They believed in man’s depravity, but only in this man’s. But they did not hold to it for themselves. Many today who preach “Total Depravity” do never imagine themselves to be sinners! They preach Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Yet they will not make it’s application to themselves, but only to others whom they lord over! (Be careful of a teacher, or preacher, who does not hold to his own sinfulness, and can’t be taught, or preached to! 1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,)
The Lord is very serious concerning these false teachers and the harm they exact on the souls for whom he died! He called them robbers! Consider these verses: John 18:40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber. Mark 15:7 And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. Barabbas was a robber, and such an insurrectionist that he was willing to commit murder to accomplish his goals! And that is what the Lord called these false preachers.
Listen to his words against them, their origin, and their deeds: John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. John the Baptist called them an offspring of serpents! Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
And these statements were not just angry name-callings! The Holy Spirit was revealing them in their true natures. He labels entire human empires as bears, leopards, and lions in Daniel chapter seven. And the Lord identified Herod as a fox! (Luke 13:31,32). But he designates his believing people as sheep! Psalm 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
The Apostle Peter states that they are but brute beasts. 2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
And the Apostle Peter states in that second verse that it is by these false preachers that the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. For these have transformed themselves; (2 Corin. 11:13-15), and have climbeth up some other way (John 10:1), therefore not having the Holy Spirit, have used the emotions of guilt and pity to exact their rule over the poor souls of men. And because of these tactics, our world today is already full of those who hate the whore, and shall eventually make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. (Rev. 17:16).
The whore church, like a physical prostitute, uses men’s lusts to make herself rich at their expense. But she shall one day lose that attraction that drew them to her. She shall become old and diseased, causing men to wake up and wonder how it was that they allowed her to use them as she did. The image of the beast which gave them the false impression of their ‘relation’ to her shall be suddenly dissolved, and then they shall hate her.
The Whore church has been that which ruled over more souls that we can imagine. For the many who are called, require the broad way which leadeth to destruction to accommodate them. But the few that are chosen walk in the narrow way that leadeth to life! Matt. 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Please take time to read the following lengthy passage. Revelation 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. 3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: 5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. 16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. 17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. 18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
Keep in mind, dear Reader, that it was the one blind man, excommunicated from organized religion, to whom the Lord Jesus sought and revealed himself. John 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. For he was in the organism of the Body of Christ, while the Pharisees were in the organization of religion! And to them the Lord stated, your sin remaineth! (John 9:41).
And what was the response of the man born blind? John 9:38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And none can preform true, spiritual worship except that the Father seeks him to do so! John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
And this man in whom the works of God were seen; whom the Father had sought for true worship of His Son; to whom the Son had effectually revealed Himself, is the man these robbers excommunicated and belittled!
We should be very careful how we deal with those for whom Christ died! Romans 14:15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 1 Corinthians 8:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? And we should keep it in mind that the Lord closely identifies with even the least of his believers. For mistreatment of these little ones is the reason He gives as to why church tyrants are cast into everlasting flames! Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, (that is, motivated by profit), but of a ready mind; 3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
True shepherds only come through the Door, which is Christ! (John 10:1,7,9). The Lord said that those who came before him, presenting themselves as the door, were but thieves and robbers. But the true shepherds are like Noah’s bird, who flew out from the ark, and finding no place to rest, flew back to the ark. These true shepherds have Christ as their origin and their object!
1 Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. The pulpit is not for politics, the furtherance of denominational ideologies, or for social issues! It is for the preaching of the scriptures, opened by the Holy Spirit through a sinner, borned and called by the Sovereign Lord of grace!
True shepherds also have their doors of opportunity to minister opened to them by the Holy Spirit. They rely upon the Spirit who called them out of sin, and then into the ministry, to open up the direction and opportunities to minister. For He who called them is He who shall place them. Acts 13:2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. They do not rely on their buddies in the ministry to pull some strings to gain them a place of “religious employment.”
1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. 2 Corinthians 2:12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ’s gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord, Colossians 4:3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
True shepherds preach to others in the place of Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. Therefore to refuse to hear them is the same as refusing Christ. Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.
Hence, to associate with a truly god-called shepherd is a serious matter. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
True shepherds always go before the sheep! They are not wranglers to drive, but shepherds to lead! For the true gospel goes from faith to faith. Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. Luke describes his gospel to his friend Theophilus, as all that Jesus began both to do and teach, Christ is the living Word! He did what he said, and said what he did. Therefore he warned against the Pharisees. Matthew 23:3 … but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
And we are instructed not just to follow a man’s words, but his faith! Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. We need only follow a man as he follows Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Pastor Gene Breed August 21, 2014