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Tuesday, February 3 2015

Psalm 74: The Wolves Among The Sheep

"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep ... Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves"

The Messiah's "Good Shepherd" declaration is one of His most well-known. It was however one part of a much greater teaching that was given to comfort and encourage those of His true "flock" - while warning those who would abuse them (see also What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven? and What Happens After The Messiah Returns?).

Psalm 23

"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. 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 10:6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10:10 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.

10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 10:15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father." (John 10:1-18 KJV)

"The sheep hear his voice" because the Holy Spirit in their "hearts" (see Written In The Heart Of Our Tabernacles) enables them to see and know the Word of God as He truly is and always has been (see What Does Word of God Mean To You?). The words of frauds and rebels are obvious, regardless of how "Christian" that they appear (see How Does Satan Impersonate Jesus Christ?) because the wolves disregard the Word of God in their lust to "lead" (see Is Your Church A Cult?).

"7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit." (Matthew 7:13-17 KJV)

Those who were given the responsibility to care for a flock were not given to rule it. The apostle Paul (as did Peter and John, and the others - see the Fact Finder question below) repeatedly experienced "wolves" hijacking a flock of the LORD's people, "speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."

"20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them." (Acts 20:28-30 KJV)

The term "good shepherd" did not originate, in practice or in principle, just in the New Testament. Moses spent many years in the Sinai as a Bedouin shepherd ("Bedouin" is an Arabic word meaning those in the desert) before returning to Egypt for the Exodus (see Moses Of Midian). King David grew into a man as a shepherd - while always humbly recognizing that "the LORD is my Shepherd" (see The LORD Is My Shepherd).

Bethlehem Shepherds The Psalms that were written by Asaph (see The Songs Of Asaph) faithfully followed the Shepherd. Even far back in that time, Asaph understood "Thy congregation" and "the sheep of Thy pasture."

"74:1 Maschil of Asaph.

O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? 74:2 Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt. 74:3 Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.

74:4 Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs. 74:5 A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees. 74:6 But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers. 74:7 They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground. 74:8 They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. 74:9 We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.

74:10 O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever? 74:11 Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom.

74:12 For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. 74:13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. 74:14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness. 74:15 Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers. 74:16 The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. 74:17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

74:18 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name. 74:19 O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever. 74:20 Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. 74:21 O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.

74:22 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily. 74:23 Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually." (Psalm 74:1-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: What do many of the epistles (letters written by genuine apostles to congregations of the LORD's people) warn about those who lust to "lead" the LORD's people in their own ways?

Peter's epistles: Be Not Lords Over God's Heritage and 'The Servants Of Corruption Promise Liberty'

John's epistles: 'If You Love The World, The Love Of God Is Not In You' and The Bride Of Christ and The Great Harlots; also Follow Not That Which Is Evil, But That Which Is Good

Paul's epistles: Don't Pervert The Gospel Of Christ and Prove All Things, Hold Fast What Is Good; also The Falling Away Of The Son Of Perdition and In The Last Days Perilous Times Shall Come

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This Day In History, February 3

19: Arminius (German name Hermann), died. The German tribal leader inflicted a major defeat on the emerging Roman Empire (see The Politics Of Rome) by destroying 3 full legions under Publius Varus in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD (see also Legions Of Men And Angels). The defeat severely checked the plans of Emperor Augustus (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars) to take the territory between the Rhine and Elbe rivers (see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire). Ironically, by the Middle Ages, Germany itself became the Roman Empire - the official title by then was "the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

313: The Edict of Milan: Constantine the Great (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy) and co-emperor Valerius Licinius met at a conference in Milan. They proclaimed a policy of religious freedom for their hijacked version of Christianity, ending the persecution of Christian-professing people (i.e. people who call themselves Christians while ignoring or rejecting what the Messiah actually taught; see Antichristians) in the Roman Empire. Rome's (including her later "Protestant" daughters i.e. Revelation 17:5) persecution of true Christians never stopped.

95 Theses 1014: King Sweyn of Denmark died. He was succeeded by his son, Canute II. After King Ethelred II of England ordered a massacre of Danes in 1002, Sweyn invaded Britain and conquered much of the country.

1160: Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa catapulted live prisoners, including children, at the Italian city of Crema, forcing its surrender (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1194: King Henry VI of Germany released King Richard I (the Lion-Heart) of England, who had been captured during the Third Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1377: Over 2,000 people of Cesena, Italy were slaughtered by Papal Troops. The murders became known as the Cesena Bloodbath during the "War of the Eight Saints" (1375 to 1378) - a war between Pope Gregory XI and allied Italian city-states led by Florence.

1451: Sultan Mehmed II succeeded to the throne of the Ottoman Empire.

1468: German printer Johann Gutenberg died. He is regarded as the first in the world to use movable type, thereby making mass production of books, including the Holy Bible, possible (see also How Many Pages Did The First Bibles Have? and Is God Using Electronic Books Now?).

1518: Pope Leo X imposed silence on the Augustinian monks.

1690: The first paper money in New England was issued in Massachusetts to pay Britain's soldiers who were fighting a war against France in Quebec.

1916: Fire destroyed the center block of Canada's Parliament Buildings. 7 people were killed in the blaze. Iron doors saved the adjoining Parliamentary Library, but the center block containing the House of Commons and the Senate had to be rebuilt. Reconstruction was completed in 1920.

1917: A German submarine sank the U.S. liner Housatonic off the coast of Sicily. The U.S. severed diplomatic relations with Germany after the attack.

1920: After the First World War, the "Allies" demanded that 890 Germany military leaders stand trial for war crimes.

1958: The Benelux Economic Union Treaty was signed between Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands.

1962: The U.S. government banned all U.S. trade with Cuba after the failed CIA "Bay of Pigs" invasion of the island nation.

1966: The first controlled landing on the moon was made by the unmanned Soviet Luna 9.

1969: The "Palestine National Congress" appointed Yasser Arafat as leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (see Where Is Palestine?).

1996: An earthquake measuring 7.0 rocked southwestern China, killing at least 302 people and injuring 15,000.

1998: Karla Faye Tucker was executed in Texas, thereby making her the first woman executed in the U.S. since 1984. She was convicted of murdering 2 people with a pickaxe in 1983. The Texas psychopath bragged to friends, and then to police after her arrest, that she experienced intense multiple orgasms with each of the 20 strikes of the pickaxe on her victims.

2010: Regina, the Crown Princess of Austria, died at age 85.


Copyright © Wayne Blank