Take heed therefore unto yourselves … for grievous wolves shall enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them—Acts 20: 28-30.
It is necessary for the discipline, trial and final proving of the Church of God that they should be subjected to these adverse influences; for to him that overcomes them is the promise of the great reward. If we would share in the Kingdom with Christ, we must prove our worthiness by the same tests of loyalty to God, of faith in His Word, of zeal for the Truth, of patient endurance of reproach and persecution, even unto death, and of unwavering trust in the power and purpose of God to deliver and exalt His Church in due time. To such faithful ones are the blessed consolations of Psalm 91.
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Wolves are not God's, but Satan's servants, who come among God's people with evil and destructive intent. They, therefore, seek not the welfare but rather the life-blood of God's flock. They pursue and terrify; they bite and devour His sheep. They spare neither the old nor the young among the flock. Those who arise from among the brethren, taking teaching positions, and using them to falsify the teachings of the Word, have been of two classes: Great Company and Second Death sifters. Both have taught doctrines that are perversions of the Truth, though the latter class does worse than the former class in this respect. They do so to win a following. God's elect take heed of all three classes, and do so by studying, practicing and spreading the Truth.
Parallel passages: Jer. 23: 1; Ezek. 34: 1-10; John 10: 12; Matt. 7: 15; Heb. 6: 4-6; 10: 26-29; 2Pet. 2: 1, 22; Jude 3-19; 2Tim. 1: 15; 3: 1-9; 1Tim. 1: 19, 20.
Questions: What have been the week's experiences in line with this text? Under what circumstances did they occur? How were they met? In what did they result?
'TWAS A SHEEP
'TWAS a sheep, not a lamb, that went astray
In the parable Jesus told;
'Twas a grown-up sheep that wandered away
From the ninety and nine in the fold.
And out on the hilltops and out in the cold
'Twas a sheep that the Good Shepherd sought,
And back to the flock, and back to the fold,
'Twas a sheep that the Good Shepherd brought.
Now, why should the sheep be so carefully fed
And cared for still today?
One reason is that if they go wrong
They will lead the lambs astray;
For lambs often follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever they wander, wherever they go.
And if sheep go wrong, it will not be long
Till some lambs are as wrong as they;
So, still with the sheep we must earnestly plead,
For the sake of the lambs today.
If the lambs are lost, what a terrible cost
Some sheep will have to pay!
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