Monday, February 25, 2008

Time for some thoughts from my father, Walter Martin:

"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:1‑4 (NIV)

Christ, as the good shepherd, is the one who identifies the sheep. He is the one who calls the sheep—it is a personal thing. He calls his own sheep by name and when He leads them out, He goes before them. You do not walk alone in the world, Jesus Christ walks before you if you are one of His sheep.

The emphasis is very clear. What does a shepherd do? He leads, feeds, tends and defends the flock. And the sheep listen to their shepherd’s voice.

Christians—sheep—may be led astray by false doctrine and false teaching, but they always know the voice of the Master. That is why you can never be happy, contented, or at peace in your sins.


You can fall into sin, be led astray or be deceived, but your coat is wool—fleece, not fur—and when the Shepherd calls, you know His voice and you are not comfortable until you respond. That’s what separates goats from sheep: The goats just go on their way, and the sheep hear the voice of the shepherd.

Jesus said, “If you really are my sheep, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, when you hear my voice, you’ll listen.”


Blogger JohnD said...

Good thoughts.

I have been doing a study off and on for many years now. It began when I first heard your father say on the Ankerberg show (in @ 1985) that the church has been in apostasy for over 50 years.

I believe the Church has Israeli history to show where the pratfalls are. But the Church has been plodding along oblivious to the Israeli experiences in the Bible and has ended up on its backside just like Israel did...

I'm thinking in particular about the tares in the wheat field (which was about Judaism). The weed seed was sown while the workers slept. This was not about the direct and frontal assaults of the enemy like the calf idolatry in the wilderness or the ashteroth etc. These were traditions and human interpolations so subtle as to seem innocuous... the suggestion to form a body of judges to take the case load burden from off of Moses' and the people's shoulders (Exodus 18).

The idea seemed so good to Moses he didn't even bother consulting the LORD.

The chapter identifies the source of the suggestion to be much more than Moses' father-in-law... he was the {pagan} priest of Midian.

And that body of judges is what the Sanhedrin traces its origin back to... the very governing body that convicted the Holy One of God and turned him over to the Gentiles to be executed...

I don't know if the Church can go quite that far since it involves the Holy Spirit indwelling us... but I believe it can hinder the Church into having so many factions it appears to be just another world religion to the rest of the world...

And that only matters because it is a hindrance in witnessing to the world...

...having so much human interference in Church history has also lent itself to the weakened ability to fend off cultism. Your father taught that the modern cults are the resurgence of the 1st century heresies... and I agree. But the Church has been infiltrated and compromised since the 4th Century AD when Constantine legalized Christianity and in the words of the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee, "My friend, this was when the deville joined the Church. He knew he couldn't lick the Church, so he joinnned it."

{Texas accent emphasized}

Ironically, this was the time when the canon of scripture was closed. For the first time in all human history man had the complete word of God to take in its full context (being its own best commentary) enabling man to explore the nature of God and concluding with the doctrine of the Triune nature of God...

ironically... because at the same time the flood gates for human tradition were thrown open. And in the name of riding the faith of everything Jewish, the heads of the Church in those days rid the faith of what God implemented... to point humanity to the cross.

And in the spiritual vacuum created by removing the truth, falsehood filled in the gaps... paganism...

yule logs, astarte sunday...

What causes denominational splits? Human tradition human interpretation of pet peeve doctrines (even water baptism). People are incurably religious and interfering (self willed at its root).

And here we are, within a generation of all hell breaking loose, and the Church is busily engaged in chasing squirrels.

Oblivious to key prophetic clues in passages like the one you alluded to in John 10 wherein Jesus says in the Greek "I AM the Shepherd, the good (one)." Meaning there will come one who is the shepherd the bad one.

The Church has managed to remove the Jewishness of the faith so effectively that when we read about false Christs we think of David Koresh or Jim Jones rather than a Jewish messiah who will claim to be the genuine article.

How else could he approach the (yet to be built) third temple without a peep of protest coming from the Jewish community?

"Pray your flight be not in winter or on the Sabbath..."

Keeping Shabbat has never hindered fight or flight in all Jewish history... so Jesus' warning was about fleeing when those in Israel who would enforce Sabbath laws see nothing at all wrong with the goings on atop Temple mount as the abomination of desolation draws closer to the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant.

These things are in the Bible and ought to be taught in Churches that long put down cultism, that long cast asunder the public assault on the Church and have reached and maintained a unified front against the devil and the world.

We've been sleeping, we've been lazy, we've been duped... and the truth (the Bible) has literally been under our noses all along.

10:53 PM  

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