John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enters not through the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
There is a reason Jesus says this. There are many trying to climb up some other way. They know there is a sheepfold. They know there is a flock that belongs to the Lord, so they try to enter in different ways. Jesus says He is the door, but some try to enter another way. You may say, “Everybody, particularly among Christians, believes in the Lord and speaks of Jesus Christ.” Well, it takes more than naming Jesus Christ as your Savior to enter through Him into the sheepfold.
John 10:2-5 But he that enters in through the door is the shepherd of the
3 To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
4 And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 A stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
This is the reason we have shepherds, and a shepherd’s responsibility is to teach the sheep how to hear the voice of the Lord. We want to be sure we are following Him and not listening to the voice of a stranger. Who do you think the stranger would be? Your own intellect, your own reasoning, your own understanding; that is, your own carnal way. That is why Proverbs 3:5-7 says: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. The evil is leaning upon your own understanding. When you are leaning on your own understanding, you are trying to enter in another way. You are being led by the voice of a stranger.
All Christians say, “The Lord was speaking to me. The Lord told me this, and the Lord told me that.” Many times it wasn’t the Lord that told them; it was their own reasoning. It is so very easy to think what you want is exactly what the Lord wants and that your will is His will. Usually, if it is His will it will cross your will. This is important. We want to be able to hear the Lord’s voice, follow Him, and not be distracted or led astray by the voice of the stranger within.
The Lord has been causing me to understand that I have a tremendous responsibility. Like it or not, I am responsible for you. Whether I do what I’m supposed to do or not determines how the Lord is going to relate to me. He brings this out “gently” in Ezekiel 33.
A shepherd is also a watchman, one who must watch over the flock. What happens when the shepherd is a false shepherd? He sees the wolf coming and he flees. He doesn’t protect the sheep (John 10:12).
Ezekiel 33:7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the Word at my mouth, and warn them from Me.
This is not to say that Ezekiel had a special holiness; it is a matter of the choosing of the Lord. I have a responsibility as a shepherd and I find a sharper perception comes with the office. Since there is a greater perception, there is also a greater need for love. Some of the things that I see bother me, but I know that everything I see is not to be dealt with. I am not any holier than anyone else connected with Open Heavens Ministries. You may even be holier than I am. That has nothing to do with it. It comes with the office. The day will come when some of you will have the responsibility also, and you will understand what I am talking about. It is not because you are something special, but it is because of the choosing of the Lord. So God calls Ezekiel in this scripture a watchman – I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel. I doubt seriously if Ezekiel asked for the job. People who ask for the job usually don’t get it.
Ezekiel 33:8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand.
Who is this wicked person? He’s one of the flock, but what happens if the shepherd doesn’t warn the sheep? The blood is on his hands. That is a heavy responsibility. That is the reason James said in James 3:1: My brethren, be not many masters (teachers), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
Ezekiel 33:9-10,13-15 Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn
from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you
have delivered your soul.
10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?
13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he has committed, he shall die for it.
14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Don’t start trusting in your righteousness, for there are none righteous, no not one (Romans 3:10). Jesus is our righteousness. The watchman has a tremendous responsibility to look over the flock and care for them. If there is a problem and he should speak up but he doesn’t, the shepherd is responsible for the person. We are not off track; we are talking about entering through the door into the sheepfold.
I’m thinking that probably the greatest sins that can be committed are not necessarily the horrendous sins that you might think, but rather some simple things that one may not think about too much.
Romans 3:10-12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none that understand; there is none that seek after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are altogether become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.
This is talking about our self nature. Regardless of how spiritual you become, that doesn’t change. There is still nothing good within human nature. There is none righteous. We have to realize that Jesus Christ is the righteous One. We cannot claim any righteousness; we cannot claim any goodness as our own. It is Him. Human nature is the thief and robber that seek to enter in some other way.
The Lord spoke to the Pharisees, saying, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithes of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith (Matthew 23:23). The scribes and Pharisees were very religious doing everything exactly by the law but their heart wasn’t right. I don’t know how much revelation you have, but weigh this carefully. Religion seeks to enter into the sheepfold another way. It is a thief and a robber.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Do not think more highly of yourself than you should. Paul says that because man in his natural human state thinks more of himself than he should. That’s natural. You can say, “Well, not me.” No, everybody does. I do, you do; we tend to do that until God deals with us. Do you know why in the Old Testament the Lord uses a jackass to teach us about redemption (Exodus 13:13)? Because that is the way we are – stubborn and hard-headed. The jackass had to be redeemed or its neck broken. The jackass represents man that had to be redeemed. The jackass does not enter the sheepfold through the door.
Romans 8:13-14 But if you live after the flesh, you shall die: but if you through
the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, you shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Do you want to be led by the Spirit of God? That is one of the prerequisites to entering through the door to the Sheepfold. Those who are not being led are trying to enter a different way.
I Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Give thanks for all things. Now, if Jesus is the Lord over us, then nothing can happen to us unless He allows it. And if He allows it, it is His will. It doesn’t make any difference what you think about it. It doesn’t matter whether you like it or don’t like it, and most of the time we don’t like His will, but what are we going to do about it? Are we going to fuss about it, grumble and gripe? Learning how to be thankful for all things is one of the things that gives us access through the door into the sheepfold.
When you tend to order your life by your own thinking, your own reasoning, then you cannot say that the Lord is ordering all your steps because you are doing it yourself. Neither can you say He is the Lord over you, because when He is the Lord over you, you learn to be led by His voice and not the voice of the stranger. Submission to the lordship of the Lord is important. If some incident happens and I grumble and gripe about it, I have just rejected His Lordship over that particular thing. You know that God is not going to send just good things all the time so you will always be joyful. Remember, what Job said? He had lost everything – his kids, his fortune – everything but a nagging wife. He sat on an ash pile scraping boils with a broken piece of pottery and said, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).
You can say, “Boy, I sure got hit today.” Well, you can’t get hit without the Lord allowing it if you are under His Lordship. And if He allowed it, thank Him for it because at some point we have to realize the Scripture is true in Romans 8:28: For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. At some point we have to say, “I believe that. I am determined to believe that. You are going to help me walk in that until You make it a reality, Lord.” In the meantime, something good is going to happen to us in this experience. I do not believe that God is going to waste any of my life. However, if I take things into my own hands I will waste a lot of my life. So at some point, Jesus has to be the Lord over us and we are the determining factor whether He is or not. We are talking about entering through the door into the sheepfold.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Now it doesn’t say that as many as are led part of the time by the Spirit of God. It just says, “Those who are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God.” There is a lot of bragging about sonship in some circles, but I tell you sons don’t brag. To be a son is really to be a son, not just by saying you are or thinking you are. We tend to think of ourselves more highly than we should. It is time for us to take hold of the horns of the altar and not turn them loose until God has done a work in us. I do not want to go through my Christian life talking about resurrection life and never experiencing it. I do not want to continue teaching the doctrine of Christ coming forth to be glorified and admired in us and never experience it. And I’ll not take the experience I have right now, as shallow as it is, and say that is what it is. Christ is in me. I know there is some of Christ in me, but He is not being glorified in there very much. He sure isn’t being admired. I haven’t seen anybody admiring the Christ in me. Have you seen anyone admiring Christ in you? I think it is time for us to get serious. Let’s walk in what we say we believe. That is really being under His Lordship, and entering through Him into the sheepfold.
Let’s really believe that all things work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28). I know everyone here loves God to some degree. You may not love Him as much as you should, but I know that you love Him. Everyone here knows that you are called according to His purpose. Then live in it! Really believe that God has a purpose for your life. Quit griping about it and accept it. God loves us. He really does! He loves us! If you ask Him for a fish, is He going to give you a scorpion? No, He wants to give good things. Sometimes the good things are not necessarily what you like, but they are going to work something good in your life. God loves us enough that He will give us what we need because He loves us. You might not want it, but it might be what you need. Do your really want Jesus to be the Lord over your life, to order your steps? Do you want to enter through Him into the sheepfold?
Start going over some of the scriptures in this wonderful Bible we have that you have skimmed over and not thought about very much. Rejoice evermore. I Thessalonians 5:16. “But I’ve had some circumstances that I couldn’t rejoice over.” However, if you know that is the will of God for you and that it is working something good in your life, could you rejoice in it then? When you enter in through the door to the Sheepfold, you will enter into rejoicing.
Copyright © 2006 by Henry DuBose