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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Work of Restoration, #44
Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. (Ezekiel 34:10,11)
The true ministers of Christ give their lives for the Lord's sheep, as did Paul and the other apostles. One of the major parts of the present-day restoration will be that of the ascended Lord Jesus giving apostles, prophets, evangelists, and all other ministries and gifts to His Body for the building up of His Church, His sheep.
But no longer will these apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and other ministries and gifts be able to profit from their ministries and gifts so they become wealthy and prominent. Instead, they will minister in the spirit of sacrifice to the Lord—sometimes in jeopardy of their lives. They will give of that which God has given to them. They will minister to rather than profit from God's sheep.
When it costs men tribulation, persecution, and martyrdom to minister to the Lord's people, then those whom the Lord did not call to minister will go into other lines of work. But the Lord's true shepherds will redouble their diligence and give their lives to the Lord for the welfare of the sheep.
Today God's sheep are scattered, confused, torn, not knowing what is of God and what is not of God. They behold complacency and sin in the shepherds and teachers and therefore cannot gain the strength needed to carry their own burdens.
The believers often are looking for a "minister" who will carry their burdens while they themselves live undisciplined, carefree lives. But none of us can hire another to bear our burdens, to carry our cross. Every Christian must carry his or her own load while God's shepherds set the example, lead the way, and provide wisdom and encouragement.
Sin and confusion abound in the churches.
The need is to feed the sheep, not to profit from the sheep but to feed the sheep.
When we feed Jesus' sheep we are revealing our love for Him. Jesus cares deeply for each of His sheep and each of His little lambs.
So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. (John 21:15)
But what takes place instead?
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. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. (Ezekiel 34:2-4)
To be continued.