What does God call False Shepherds
God describes them who we should know by their actions and words. He describes some of their characteristics:
The Bible refers to both good shepherds and bad shepherds. The same is also true today. Ezekiel prophesied against false shepherds. Much of chapter 34 deals with the subject. He says, “The word of the LORD came to me: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: (vv 1, 2).
Ezekiel received a clear word from God for the false shepherds of his time.
1. What the shepherds did.
“Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock “ (v 2).
Rather than caring for the flock, the shepherds cared for themselves. Jesus, the supreme good shepherd, gave his life for the sheep. The true pastors give their life for the sheep but false shepherds did the exact opposite. They took the sheep’s lives for themselves. Today they want your money, your adoration. The sheep used the sheep to give make themselves fat and well off, and their wool to keep them warm.
What the false shepherds did not do:
“You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally (v 4).
The sheep were weak because the shepherds did not feed them. They do not “study to show yorself approved a workman that needeth not be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.” False shepherds have no spiritual food to give their sheep they say “I have a word from the Lord” or “The Lord told me” but they don’t teach the Word of god. The sheep were sick because the shepherds did not look after them. The sheep were lost because the shepherds did not search for them. Instead of being willing to serve the sheep, they wanted to rule over them. The Christian world today is littered with sick Christians, no Biblical knowledge, no Godly convictions. The tickle peoples ears with their teaching and give them a mixture of some scripture and worldly concepts.
The Results of the Teaching of the False Shepherds
“So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no-one searched or looked for them” (vv 5, 6).
The sheep were scattered all over the place, not committed to the one good shepherd and sheep that love God and His Word. So they became a prey to every wild animal. The wolf, the bear, the lion would devour them
False shepherds/ pastors or ministers are the exact opposite of our good Shepherd. Jesus cared or the sheep and searched for the lost sheep till he found it. False shepherds do not care about lost sheep.
Jesus healed the sheep that were sick. False shepherds do not care for their suffering. They say if you are not healed it is because of lack faith or there is sin in your life.
Jesus gave his own life to save the sheep. False shepherds take the life of the sheep to feed themselves. The take their money, their strength and leave them when they have nothing left to give. things
False shepherds rule over the sheep. The are butchers walking behind the sheep driving them to the slaughter. The true shepherd leads the sheep protects the sheep and serves them.
False shepherds have no real love for the flock. They only love themselves, they love what they can get from the flock. They are only interested in what they can get from the sheep or their own position and prosperity. They grow rich and become fat at the expense of the sheep. Rather than not face danger to protect the sheep they run away. They are not willing to lay down their lives.
God calls them Beasts of the field and forest, Isa.56:9-11, Dogs Isa.56:10, Merchants 2Pet.2:1-3, Zech.14:21. Idols Zech.10:2-3Goats Zech.10:3, Clouds without water Jude 12, Raging Waves Jude 13, Trees without fruit Jude 12, Matt.7:17-20, Wandering Stars Jude 13, Wolves Ez.22:26-28, Zeph.3:1-4, Matt.7:15, Acts 20:29-30, Young Lions Zech.11:3-5
Believers are to avoid such people.
1. Deut.18:22 If a proclamation is made in the name of the LORD does not come true you have a False Prophet.
2. Titus1:11 They do what they do for the sake of dishonest gain. They love money and you have and are false shepherds.
3. 2 Jn.1:9 They love to have the prominent place to be noticed and crave the attention. They love to promote their name and ministry and have no accountability. They usually lord it over the flock and don’t want them to mix with other believers who know the truth. hey will watch every move they make.
4. 1 Tim.6:4 They divert attention away from the main issues surrounding their sin by stirring up evil suspicions against those who would expose them. The motive is to keep the money flowing into their ministry. They live in expensive homes, buy expensive cars.
5. Rev.2:2 They stretch the truth and tell lies and even submit to a statement of faith or te Westminster confession of fait butdont rally believe it.
6. They quote and associate with people who have non biblical ministries nd even support them.
7. 2Cor.11:14 They dress up fine, smell good, smile a lot, masquerading as a servant of righteousness. Their end will be what they deserve!
The characteristics of a good pastor/elder are found in 1 Tim 3 and Titus1
1Thes.5:21 “prove all things, hold fast to that which is good”
There are many voices calling to the sheep today. Jesus warned, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.”
—Matthew 7:15 Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves (Matt. 7:15). The warning was important because Jesus later said to them: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves” (Matt. 10:16). The apostle Paul, with a deeply troubled spirit and in tears, penned a similar warning: “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29). Paul warns, “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers … Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.” —Titus 1:10,11 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.” (2nd Corinthians 11:13). Throughout church history these warnings concerning professing Christians who deceive even the elect have seldom been taken seriously. The church has lost its ability to discern the truth. They cannot discern truth from error but also to discern wolves from sheep?
The good pastor/shepherds refuse to leave their defenseless sheep alone at night … so should we be on guard to warn others about Satanic workers who appear as true believers. We should warn everybody we can! They are asked to follow this ministry or that ministry, this teaching or that teaching, this person or that person. It can become very confusing. Whose voice do you listen to—that of your Shepherd or those of men or the world? Do you follow what he says? You must learn to recognize the voice of your Shepherd when He is speaking to you through His Word. Can you honestly, “The Lord is my shepherd”?
Psalm 78:70–72, says, He [God] chose David His servant, and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the ewes that had young He brought him, to shepherd Jacob His people, and Israel His inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of His heart, and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands. Many wolves in sheep’s clothing teach the sheep that they can be born into the flock of God by a ritual performed by older black rams. Some wolves teach the sheep how they can all get along in the pasture of their fathers. Other wolves in sheep’s clothing in these folds teach that the natural chosen flock of God was totally replaced by a spiritual flock And then we saw the rejection of the true shepherd.
The Rejection of the True Shepherd
In Zechariah 9:4-14, he tells us that Judas would betray Jesus verses 12 to 14 for 30 pieces of silver, cast in the house of the Lord, ultimately given to a potter. All of that was fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ.
He goes onto tell about the wailing of shepherds who have been ravaged and destroyed because when the true shepherd comes, they won’t receive him. He goes and acts it out in verses 4 to 14. In verse 15, he talks about the reaction of the false shepherd how that they would reject the true shepherd, and ultimately a false one. The ani-christ.
When Jesus came into the world, they refused Jesus. They crucified Him about 30 A.D. About forty years later, 70 A.D., the prophecy of this chapter was fulfilled. The land was wiped out. And that came because they rejected the true shepherd.
verse 15 God told him to take the instruments of a foolish shepherd, put on a stupid shepherd costume and tells him that before the destruction of Jerusalem, God will appear in the person of Christ to shepherd Israel. He said the poor of the flock will receive the word of the true shepherd and the rest will reject Him and the good shepherd king would be valued no more than a slave and they’d sell Him cheap. And as a result of that, God would come against them in judgment, death, famine, war, civil strife, and their nation would be destroyed. The awful thing is when the false shepherd comes along, they’re going to accept him.
verse 15, He is to act out the character of the false shepherd, the antichrist. “And the Lord said to me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish (wicked) shepherd.” He is full of iniquity a wicked, evil shepherd. These instruments are the opposite to the rod and staff that comfort. He devours and slaughters, he’s a butcher Revelation 17 He slaughters two out of every three Jews.
His work in verse 16. “For lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land.” God permits this shepherd to even arise. God allows those things to occur.
“He will not visit those that are cut off.” When the sheep are dying because they are being attacked by wild beasts, separated from the lock and wounded he is not interested. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t go out to defend them or help them. He is unconcerned and doesn’t take care of them. The true shepherd, on the other hand goes and finds the sheep that was wounded and was lost. The one that got separated from the flock. The false shepherd does not care.
He has no concern for the little lamb who are the ones who gets lost, those that are injured or fall in a ditch or caught in a thicket. The true shepherd leaves the 99 and goes after the one.
He doesn’t heal the broken limbs, the broken hearted. A good shepherd would make a splint to provide for the broken leg. This shepherd isn’t interested in binding the broken leg.
“Nor feed that which stands still”. He doesn’t care about the fit sheep either. This shepherd is useless. He’s the opposite of a true shepherd, he is unconcerned about th e lambs and the sheep. He wont bind their wounds or fix broken bones. He doesn’t even feed the sheep.
Vs 16 “He eats the flesh of the fat sheep.” He eats his own flock. He eats them instead of feeding them. The Antichrist will do this to Israel. This is the warning Jesus gave in Matthew 24, “Run for the mountains when it happens.” There is an awful slaughter.
“It shall come to pass, two parts in the land shall be cut off and die, the third shall be left and even the third shall go through fire and refine as silver and gold.” Zech 13:8. He’s going to kill two out of every three. Jew and Gentile believers, every one that doesn’t take his mark, will be slaughtered. God in His mercy spares one third of Israel, hiding them away in Edom.
“And tear their hoofs (claws) in pieces.” He tares them apart and even eats the hoofs, he consumes every last bit.
This is the shepherd that they want and they turned their back on the real one. He loved them and the rejected him. One day they will repent and look upon him whom they have pierced. Then all Israel will be saved.
The doom of the false shepherd. verse 17. “Woe, worthless shepherd, forsaker of the flock, woe worthless shepherd, forsaker of the flock.” God curses him and will judge him and cast him into the Lake of Fire. “The sword shall be upon his arm and on his right eye. His arm shall be completely dried up and his right eye utterly darkened.” His strength will be cut off and his mind darkened.
David’s final triumphant declaration? Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. v.6. Romans 8:28–39, he had a real relationship with God we need the same now as well as their future hope. He had great confidence, the assurance of comfort in God and we need it today also. His faith rested in the fact that God was present with him, in life, in death, and throughout all eternity. Jesus is not just “with us” as we pass through the valley of the shadow of death. He has gone before us. He has already passed through death and defeated it. He experienced death, suffered the penalty for our sins, and then rose from the dead. Jesus leads us through death. He rose from the dead.