Hardened Hearts: Strengthening the Brotherhood in Messiah

by John Greene

bible-trust-YHWH-1In this time, Elohim [‘God’] has declared a sanctified Shepherd for His people. This is Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah, the perfect picture of the good shepherd on earth. Unlike those that follow good shepherds and the true Message of the Messiah, the corrupt shepherd and those that follow him will be judged because they failed to follow YHWH’s gospel in accurate knowledge and trust. In reality, the misled flock has only themselves to blame because they didn’t look to the Word of YHWH, but to the Word of man. They do not bear the fruit of YHWH’s Kingdom or knowledge that is readily available to them. All that fail to bear the fruit of Elohim’s [‘God’] Kingdom do not demonstrate a good example through personal testimony. (2 Corinthians 11:14-15; “The False Shepherd and the True Shepherd“; “Which Shepherd Do You Believe?“)

Today, like in days of old, corrupt shepherds do not put the sheep, or what should be YHWH’s people, ahead of themselves. Instead, this corrupt shepherd is concerned about fancy suits, cars, homes and cash that he holds. He has become a showman of wealth, a peacock strutting vainly about. He seeks his own honor, fame and comfort. His ways are all about competition, always bigger and better. The people that follow after him may be much the same in lifestyle, with very little trust or knowledge in Elohim’s Kingdom. Tomorrow that peacock will be a feather duster, for nowhere in the Bible, does the Almighty indicate that this sort of behavior is part of His Kingdom. (“Credentials of a Disciple of Messiah“)

twokingdomsperspThese corrupt shepherds withhold the Almighty’s precious Word on healing and on a lifestyle that reflects YHWH’s truth patterned after His Word. (Ezekiel 34:8, 10) Through their mindset and what they teach others, they limit YHWH and what He will do for the people that the bad shepherd is leading. Perhaps, they are unaware that YHWH has already judged them because their mindset rests firmly in the dark kingdom of the world around them. YHWH, Elohim of Hosts seeks to remove His people from the bad shepherd so that bad shepherds cannot feed themselves through deception of the flock (‘church’). They are consuming those that profess to be ‘God’s people’ and their resources for their own selfish interests as they misrepresent the Authority of YHWH.  These are hirelings as described in John 10:11-15. (“Disciple: The Pattern of Your Life”: “Beware of False Teachers & Disciples“; “Consenting to Fables of Men“)

titheThe hireling is motivated by the hire; by money and the trappings of the dark kingdom. In his comfort, the hireling begins to feel entitled as he paints a thin veneer of ‘godly talk’ over a life that is heavily invested in living life the world’s way. The hireling will not hesitate to label what he does as Christian. He doesn’t trust the Heavenly Father for provision because his kind are anxious over money. They are stuck on ‘the tithe’ as their sole support, claiming their entitlement to it. Even so, knowing that hirelings exist is not an excuse not to support effective ministry that seeks and proclaims the Kingdom of Elohim, nor is this not an excuse to be an effective minister yourself. What is effective ministry? You will know what effective ministry is by what you learn from scripture, through study and application as well as through the Holy Spirit [Sanctified, Set Apart Spirit] as you spiritually mature, setting yourself apart to Elohim. A good minister of YHWH’s Word is worthy of honor and support. (1 Corinthians 9:9-12; 24-27; 1 Timothy 5:18; “Wisdom & the Battle of Two Kingdoms“; “The Truth About the Tithe“)

The problem with the hireling mindset is not new. This mindset is evidenced by the complaints of the prophets in the old nation of Israel. As time moved forward, the Jewish priesthood sought after their own personal well being, personal authority and ritualized living, much like the world of science does today. They built themselves up as an authority over the Word of YHWH. Isaiah and Jeremiah complained of a corrupt priesthood in Isaiah 56:10-11 and Jeremiah 6:13. Even in those days, the religious leaders of Israel had become corrupted with the heart of the hireling. (“A Lifestyle Message from Jeremiah”; “Leaven of the Pharisees; Leaven of the World“)

“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Yisrael [Israel], prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus said the Master YHWH to the shepherds, ‘Woe to the shepherds of Yisrael [Israel] who have been feeding themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock?” – Ezekiel 34:2

Ezekiel threshing floor visionEzekiel openly criticized the false shepherds of Israel for taking care of themselves instead of the sheep. (Ezekiel 34) The bad shepherds were worried about themselves and their own health. Ezekiel outlined their sins as harsh and brutal against YHWH’s people of that day. Their motivations were unloving and these false teachers failed to teach the flock the Word of YHWH. They added their opinion to it, remaking a new false ‘Word of God,’ a counterfeit of truth, an antichrist or antimessiah message. The corrupt teachers operated in what was comfortable and beneficial to them, with their own interests in mind. (Ezekiel 34:3-6; “Disciple in Messiah: You Are a Spiritual Watchman“; “A Hidden Lifestyle Message from Messiah“; “Playing It Safe With Another Gospel“)

In the time of early gatherings of disciples, Paul mourned:

“For I have no one else of the same mind, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.  For all seek their own interests, not those of Messiah Yahshua [Jesus].” – Philippians 2:20-21, ISR98

church-300x225In a multitude of tragic life situations, the professed ‘followers of Christ’ are taking care of the shepherd instead of the shepherd leading the sheep with true sanctified wisdom. As a group, they are all deceived in their thinking, that their way is the way that Christianity should be. The end result is that these corrupt ministers abandon and scatter the sheep as they loot resources for themselves, often through blatant dishonesty. (Ezekiel 34:5) Over time, corrupt shepherds run off honest-hearted followers with their brutality and lack of love. Others simply fall away, discouraged and worn out by false proclamations of a poisoned gospel. These false teachers parade their opinion of what ‘God’s word’ says, cherry-picking from the Bible to meet their need. (“Bible: Wisdom 101“; “Christians & Finance“; “Truth About the Modern Concept of Pastor“)

relaxYHWH will judge religious leaders and proclaimed Christians that are selfishly caught up in their own concerns as they neglect their proper service to others. Spiritual leaders must be careful not to pursue self development at the expense of broken scattered people. When any person gives too much attention to his own needs and ideas apart from YHWH’s Word, that person builds an idol as he pushes the Almighty aside. This is exactly what has poisoned the modern ‘Christian’ brotherhood. (“The Idolatry Factor“)

Without question, spiritual shepherds are on the hook. Ultimately, those shepherds that fail their flock will be removed from office and held fully answerable to YHWH for what happened to the people that they claimed to lead. Christian leaders must head Ezekiel’s warning of the hardened heart and care for their flock in harmony with scripture or judgment will be the result. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) True leadership focuses on helping others, not simply on getting ahead in the eyes of the world. But, this is not all! (“The Wheels of Ezekiel“; “The Magi of this Age“)

baby-Christian-wWho are really Christian leaders? Many look to paid officials: a pastor, elders, a bishop, reverend or father. Christians are not commanded to operate as spiritual babies forever. Not every disciple that claims ‘Christ’ actually seeks after YHWH or the teaching of Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah. Not a few lead others after themselves. Pastors and other ‘church leaders’ may attempt to provide leadership, but ignore YHWH’s directive that each disciple is answerable (Proverbs 11:14, 15:22, 24:6; 27:17; 2 Corinthians 12:19-13:6; Galatians 6:1-10; Ephesians 5:21; Colossians 3:9-10; James 5:16) before YHWH, to be judged by Messiah, to provide his or her own ‘leadership’ in proper Authority. This work of YHWH is provided through a renewed heart and mind in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. (Philippians 2:5, 12-13; 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:1-3) More importantly, disciples are admonished to be brothers in Messiah with a humble spirit. (John 13:34-35; 1 Peter 3:8) While there is no substitute for discipleship in the gathering of Messiah, there is also no substitute for brotherhood or a measure of humility. Disciples are all called to be ‘leaders’ for the cause of the Messiah in that all have the same purpose, only different gifts. Not one is superior. All must look to the Authority of the Messiah.  (“Bible Truth: What is a Christian?“)

In the end, Yahshua [Jesus] promises (Ezekiel 34:11-16; Jeremiah 23:1) to take over as shepherd of His scattered flock. When spiritual leaders fail, disciples of the Messiah must not despair, but remember that YHWH is in overall control. Yahshua [Jesus] promises to return to take care of His beloved flock of believers. (Psalm 118:8; Jeremiah 10:21; 23:1-3) Disciples can turn to YHWH for help in every situation. He is able to transform any tragic situation to produce good for His Kingdom. (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28; “What Lifestyle Are You Pursuing?“)

70f9f-newmaninchristThere have been a lot of people to leave the “church” because they were not spiritually cared for, and sometimes sorely used. YHWH seeks to bring them back, (Ezekiel 33:18-20) not to bad shepherds, but to Himself, initially through the good shepherd, and finally through His Kingdom, established at Messiah’s Second Coming where He sit in Judgment in separating the sheep from the goats. (Jeremiah 23:5-6; John 10:11; Hebrews 13:20-21; Revelation 21) In the meantime, while there is still time, the good shepherd will strengthen the weakened, the sick and the lost because that is his purpose. He will give His best to them as a spiritual leader where His people will learn the ways of peace, contentment, fulfillment and security through the new man in Messiah. (Philippians 3:3; Galatians 3:7; “Seeking a New Spirit“; “Credentials of a Disciple of Messiah“; “Disciple of Messiah: Live Your Belief“; “Disciple of Messiah: Abomination That Causes Desolation“)

When Yahshua [Jesus] came as YHWH’s solution for a terminally fallen mankind, and when the majority of the Jewish nation rejected Him as Messiah, a new spiritual Israel was formed, where all of the world could be part of YHWH’s Kingdom. Even though much of professed Christianity sees the nation of Israel as the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, they risk their lives on a grand deception rooted in pride and in an early political attempt to bring about yet another physical kingdom where ‘God’ would dwell. (Matthew 3:8-9; John 8:39, 44) In these times, disciples need to keep their eyes focused on Yahshua [Jesus] the Messiah instead of on nations and other people. (“Trust YHWH, Not World Leaders“; “The Role of Authority in Your Life“; “Filling Your Life with Truth Instead of Deception“)

———————————————-
“For YHWH so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
John 3:16, RNKJV
Heavenly Father,
Thank you for sending the Messiah, your only begotten Son to be my Savior. I believe in Him and have made this belief the center of my life. Because of this, by faith I have everlasting life! Thank you! I repent of my sins and of my past, freely admitting that I have fallen short of Your glory. I look fully forward to you in my life and commit my life to You. Thank You YHWH, my Heavenly Father for setting me free in the name of your Son Yahshua [Jesus]. Amen.
genuine-articleYou will never enjoy true freedom through the Messiah and power of the Holy Spirit unless you read and absorb the Bible in prayer and trust. You will never know this freedom until you experience it for yourself. Get to know your Heavenly Father, His Son and allow the Holy Spirit to work in your life. The Holy Spirit is your teacher, your Holy Counselor that lives in you to help you learn about the truth of YHWH and His spiritual gifts.
Satan does not want you to have the excellence of YHWH in your life. People pray for protection and want to be taken care of, but often do little in growing close to Him. The world, your husband, your wife, your family, your government do not build your trust in YHWH or free you from spiritual bondage. Your church or your pastor cannot save you. Education, power and money will not free you, but only the Word of your Heavenly Father. Salvation is a daily walk, an act of love for yourself and for those around you, not a one-time event that centers only on you. Make the Word of YHWH your own, your very life!
YHWH is Yahweh, the covenant name of your Heavenly Father.
The names Yahshua and Yahushua are original language names for Jesus,
He is often referred simply as the Messiah or Master.
No portion of this site is to be copied or used unless kept in its original format in the way it appears along with author and website attribution. Your use of this website constitutes your agreement with these terms.
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