"Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds that feed My people: You have scattered My flock and driven them away and have not visited them. I am about to punish you for the evil of your deeds, says the Lord" (Jer. 23:1-2).
These shepherds (pastors and prophets) are destroying and scattering the sheep of God. They have been scattered with false promises of blessings without turning them from their sins:
Her officials in her midst are like wolves ravening the prey by shedding blood and destroying lives in order to obtain dishonest gain. Her prophets have daubed them with whitewash, seeing vanity and divining lies for them, saying, "Thus says the Lord God," when the Lord has not spoken. The people of the land have used oppression and exercised robbery and have vexed the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner wrongfully.
I sought for a man among them who would build up the hedge and stand in the gap before Me for the land so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one (Ezek. 22:27-30).
And so it is today. These shepherds are destroying lives for dishonest gain. Where is the prophet today who is building up the wall of righteousness by exposing the gaps of falsehood and sin in the modern American churches?
"And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel. Prophesy and say to those shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? You eat the fat and clothe yourself with the wool; you kill those who are fed without feeding the flock. The diseased you have not strengthened, nor have you healed that which was sick, nor have you bound up that which was broken, nor have you brought back that which was driven away, nor have you sought that which was lost. But with force and with cruelty you have subjugated them" (Ezek. 34:1-4).
If today's shepherds were truly healing the church, it would not be so deathly sick with divorce, adultery, pornography, lust, greed, lying, gossiping, worldly entertainment, sports idolatry, love of the world and every other sin known to man. Therefore, most all of today's shepherds are destroying people rather than saving them.
So, who was Jesus really talking about when He said that someone came only to kill, steal and destroy? Let us take a look at that in John 10:1-15:
"Truly, truly I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and he leads them out. When he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them. And the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him. For they do not know the voice of strangers." Jesus told them this parable, but they did not understand what He was telling them.
Then Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. But he who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and runs away. So the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because he is a hired hand and does not care about the sheep.
"I am the good shepherd. I know My sheep and am known by My own. Even as the Father knows Me, so I know the Father. And I lay down My life for the sheep."
The devil was never mentioned by Jesus in this whole chapter, even though everyone quotes Jesus here as if he is speaking about the devil. The topic Jesus is talking about here is the same topic all of the prophets have been talking about for thousands of years, which is false shepherds, false pastors, false prophets and false teachers. These are the ones we were warned about over and over who would come to steal, kill and destroy the Lord's sheep. They will steal your money, and they will kill your soul with false doctrines that will result in your destruction if you listen to them and follow them.
I have researched hundreds of Scriptures with the words "destroy," "destroying," "steal," "kill" and "killed." I have yet to find where the devil ever did any such thing to anyone unless God granted power to him to do so, like with Job's children, which was very rare. Satan never is free to kill anyone he wants to or to destroy anyone he may want to destroy. God is the one throughout the whole Bible who brought destruction upon those who sinned, and He also allowed false prophets to destroy if the people did not seek Him for the truth and just believed the pleasing words of those false prophets who always spoke blessings, prosperity and peace.
To whom have you been listening, a shepherd who instructs in righteousness and who will rebuke you for your sins or a shepherd who tells you, "All is well; peace, peace!"? Even though the devil is our enemy, he is not the one that the Bible says came to steal, kill and destroy; it is the false shepherd!
Don Britton is a businessman and a Bible teacher who has studied the Scriptures intensely for 37 years. Find him at christianmyths.org or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Never miss another Spirit-filled news story again. Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.
Three Summer Deals from Charisma: