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Sunday, August 30, 2009

John chapter 10 verses 1 to 16

Here is the Scripture that I see so often misapplied. John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:”

Now for years I believed that the “the thief” mentioned here was the Devil. It is a pet verse of those who are “under attack” by the enemy. I do believe that the Devil is a thief, but allow me to propose to you that the Devil is not “the thief” that Jesus is warning about in this regularly quoted verse.

No my friends, the thief is not the Devil, but a “false shepherd” Please take a moment and read John 10:1:16

In the very first verse Jesus identifies the thief for us.

“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."

Jesus tells us that the one who enters by the door is the shepherd (v.2) and that He (Jesus) is the door. (v.9). The one who enters any other way is a “thief and robber” (v.1) as clearly identified by Jesus.

He tells us that the sheep “hear his (true shepherd’s) voice; he calls them by name, and he LEADS THEM OUT.” (v. 3)

(Funny isn’t it, most pastors today lead folks in.) The true shepherd “goes before the sheep” (v. 4) as he “leads them out.”

But Jesus tells us in verse six that the folks to whom He was speaking “understood not,”

and He took more time to further explain. Beginning in verse seven He tells us that He was “the door” and that “all that came before him were thieves and robbers.” (There it is again…He tells us who the thieves and robbers are...and it ain’t the devil.)

The thieves are the false shepherds who will not lead the sheep to Jesus, “the door” (v. 9) through whom the sheep could be saved. (v.9). (Get ready…here it comes)

In verse ten Jesus warns us that the previously identified thief (v.1 and v 7) has come to steal, kill, and destroy. The thief is not the Devil, but the false shepherd. (Still not convinced?)

Look who shows up in verse twelve…the wolf!

Doesn’t it make sense that the wolf is the Devil? We have two different characters here…the thief and the wolf….the Devil can’t be both. In fact, Jesus goes a step further to identify the thief for us by calling him a “hireling” and not the shepherd (v. 12).
It is the “hireling” (false shepherd) who “seeth the wolf coming” (v. 12) and deserts his post. The hireling flees because he “careth not for the sheep.” (v. 13), but is only in it for his own personal gain.
The thief (hireling) sees the wolf (Devil) coming and flees. It is the hireling who has come to “kill, steal and destroy.”

Some things never change. Those “hirelings” were the one’s Jesus saved his greatest criticism for, when He ran into them earlier, (only then He called them Pharisees) when He rebuked them because they “shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.”

(Remember, He also accused the hirelings of not being able to lead the sheep through the door). The Pharisees were the original hirelings. Read what Jesus said about them and ask yourself if they were any different from what we see on the television today?

John 10 is clear if read with an open mind. Hirelings are Pharisees and the Pharisees were hirelings….professional “ministers.” Jesus warned us about both.

How can we possibly restore righteousness, when some of those who stand in the pulpit don't honour the Word of God?

Jesus’ anger was not directed towards the secular government but towards those who changed his house of prayer into a “den of thieves.”(There are those thieves again) He cleaned the house and today we need to do the same.

Christians have lost a lot of credibility with the world. It will never change while the hirelings are doing what they do best!. It is at their feet that we must lay the killing, stealing, and destroying of the Christian heritage from the churches. It is time for a reformation.

Don't get me wrong....... There are always true pastor who follow God's word. They are the meek who inherit the earth (Mat. 5:5). They weep and pray in secret, and defy earth and hell in public. They tremble when faced with danger, but die in their tracks sooner than turn back. They are like a shepherd defending his sheep or a mother protecting her young. They sacrifice without grumbling, give without calculation, suffer without groaning. Their price is above riches. They are the salt of the earth. For the cause of the kingdom, we need more of them." (Author unknown.)

Do you know many shepherds like that?

Don’t be discouraged. The Lord’s Church is thriving and on the advance, but don't focus on the big large group of people gathered in the showpiece building down the street. Most of those sheep belong to a hireling, a false shepherd, and not to the Lord.

It is the hireling, the false shepherd that has come to steal, and kill, and destroy.

Allow The Lord to be your Shepherd. He leads us out, we hear His voice, and He lays down His life for us.

As a friend of mine said, “Everyone wants to follow Jesus until they find out where He is going. He is going to a cross and he asks you to take up yours and follow Him.”

It is time we decided to follow Jesus and not some hired hand.

Dave Dausenmire


One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and small American flags mounted on either side of it. The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, "Good morning, Alex."

"Good morning Pastor," he replied, still focused on the plaque. "Pastor, what is this?"

The pastor said, "Well, son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service."

Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear, asked,

"Which service.....8.30 or 10.30?"



Monday, August 24, 2009

A Verse We Can't Explain Away.... or Avoid

"All that the Father gives me will come to me; and whoever comes to me, I will never cast out."- John 6 v 37:

There are some especially challenging verses in the Bible which are simply profound and glorious, and are just to be believed and enjoyed.

Yet some professing Christians simply can't seem to believe them, because they can't make the verses fit into their own, theological system or tradition, or they are so prejudiced against what such verses say, that they have to explain it away or avoid it.

I have met people who do not like and won't even read Romans 11 because they actually can't stand what Paul says in that chapter. Some pastors will avoid preaching entire sections of Scripture because they know if they preached them, they would be greatly opposed in their church. So they remain silent about those passages by avoiding them.

Almost the same is said about this verse, which is is found in the words of our Lord in,

John 6:37:
"All that the Father gives me will come to me; and whoever comes to me, I will never cast out."
How are we to read it and understand it? What is it saying? Some simple obvious observations we see even from a casual reading:

1. "All the Father gives me..."
There are "some souls" who have been given by the Father to Christ the Son.
It says: SOME that then means not ALL.

The verse specifically and clearly says this; Am I to change it or try to adjust it to fit my theology?

Why not let it stand and say what it says? Did Jesus mean what He taught there? "All that the Father gives me." So a right biblical doctrine from this text is this: Some have been given to the Son by the Father.

One might reply, "Yes, but would it not be right to say that ALL people--everyone--would have been given to Jesus by the Father?

No, that would not be right, and the context of the verse clearly shows why, which we answer in our next observation.

2. "All that the Father gives me WILL COME to me" . . .
All those who have been given by the Father to the Son DO come to Jesus Christ.

Jesus said this clearly: "All that the Father gives me WILL COME to me."
If ALL PEOPLE UNIVERSALLY had been given to the Son, then everyone would end up coming to Him for sure, because He says "all who are given by the Father DO come to Him"

3. "Whoever comes to me shall never be cast out" . . .
Anyone, anywhere, anytime who truly comes to Christ will never be rejected or cast away.

But first......you truly have to come to Him!

That's pretty clear and simple. Anyone who truly desires to come and does come, will be received and is never rejected or turned away.

Summary doctrine- God the Father has already given to His Son, as His inheritance,
a great number of individuals as His bride--
its called in the Bible His body, the true church of Jesus Christ. All those who have been given to Christ by the Father will certainly come to Him. Everyone who truly comes to Him in saving faith will be received and not cast away.

Application- It is wrong for us to negate, what one Scripture clearly teaches, by saying,
"But what this verse says can't be truly saying that because other verses contradict what it says."

No, they actually don't. Scripture never contradicts Scripture; but it often does state objective truths that seem impossible to reconcile, because our minds cannot see how they both could logically be true.
When that happens, we must let every truth stand alone and we must say

"Both are equally true and I just don't have enough understanding yet."

John 6:37 is infinitely glorious truth that we must believe and rejoice in, even if it is beyond us.

-- Mack Tomlinson

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Careless Atheist...... By Ray Comfort

"I became an atheist to distance myself from people like you, but since becoming an atheist I've found that I don't care – I honestly don't care – if there is a God. I don't care if there is an afterlife. I don't care if I'm going to Hell. Oh, you can say all you want about that, I just don't care. You can't save me." (from an atheist)
"And I don't believe a word you are saying. If you became an atheist to distance yourself from people like me, why are you writing to me? You may say that you don't care, but you do, and so do I.

I care enough to get up on a soapbox thousands of times and look like a fool, to plead with people like you..... who either say that they don't care about their eternal welfare, or show that they don't.... by their godless lifestyle.

But the Bible teaches that sinful mankind doesn't "care" about God.

He gave them life itself and they don't care.

He gave them eyes to see His incredible creation,

ears to listen to incredible music,

taste buds to enjoy incredible food........and they don't care. As the Psalmist says, "God is not in their thoughts," and yet at the same time they vainly use His name as a swear word.

If....... you had to give up one of those senses....... which would it be?

Sight? You don't care if you go blind?

How about giving up your taste?

Or your hearing?

Imagine, never seeing a beautiful rose or a sunset, or the color blue ever again, or never tasting good food, or hearing the music of a bird in the early morning? If you are sane, you care.

But..... the loss of those precious senses are nothing compared to giving up your soul. Your "soul" is the real you. It's the interchangeable Bible word for 'your life'.

Your soul looks out the windows you call "eyes."

It's your soul that responds to the 10,000 friendly little taste buddies on your tongue.

Your soul listens to the amazing sounds that are pulled into your inner ear.

You don't know what you have until it's gone. Familiarity does breed contempt. Jesus said that if a man gained the entire world but lost his soul, he is the biggest of losers.

Yet, every day more than..... goodness only knows how many..... "don't care" enough..... to take their own lives. Life's circumstances have tragically driven them to that terrible point. Atheism is your first step in that direction. You owe it nothing.

You are right about one thing though.

I can't save you........ Only God can.

So after you have read these words of mine, how about reading the words of God? Read Matthew chapter 5-7 and get a glimpse of His perfect holiness. Then think about how we all justly deserve Hell if God is that holy, and think about how Jesus cared enough to take your punishment upon Himself--to pay your fine so that the Judge of the universe could dismiss your case. What more could you want?

An atheist's question . . .

"Do you ever doubt the existence of God? And if so, why?"

Do I ever doubt the existence of God?

NO.....Not for a moment. However, an intellectual belief in God's existence is really a non-issue. This is why:

I live in a solid, well-made house. Do I ever doubt the existence of a builder? Not for a moment.

My wife has a well-made and reliable vehicle. Do I ever doubt (for some strange reason) the existence of a car maker? Not for a moment.

I own a well-made computer...I'm sure you get the message. I never doubt that there was a maker of these things, because these things can't make themselves. My common sense tells me that they had to be made by someone with an intelligent mind. The alternative is ludicrous.

However, the issue I think you may be driving at is rather, "Does my faith in God ever waver?" The answer to that one is the same. Do I ever doubt God? Not for a moment. There's a reason for this unwavering faith.

If you asked me if I ever waver when it comes to faith in my wife, I would answer the same--not for a moment. This is because I trust her with all of my heart. She is a trustworthy person. She always keeps her word. However, there is a possibility that she could let me down.

That could happen because she is a sinner......... She is fallible.

But God is not. He is without sin, so you can totally trust Him with all of your heart, and you will never, ever, be disappointed in Him.

Life's terrible circumstances may shake you to the core, but if you catch a glimpse of God's incredible integrity as well as His ability to keep His word, and therefore you trust Him, your faith will only grow through life's lion's den experiences. His promises are immutable. They are a solid rock. See
Matthew 7:24-25 for details.