Someone who has been raised in Christianity will likely know how displeased Jesus was with the religious leadership of His day. In fact, this is such a theme in Christianity, many confuse the anger of Jesus towards the religious leader’s misrepresentation of Yahweh, thinking Jesus is angry at the actual ways of Yahweh, or His righteous commands found in scripture. This is where we need to look hard at our belief system of who Jesus, or in Hebrew, Yeshua, claimed to be. There is a dichotomy between modern Jesus, and Yeshua, the salvation of Yah, who is seen in the Bible.
The Word of Yah, came to Ezekiel, speaking against the shepherds over Israel. They harvested wool from the flock and neither fed or healed them, eventually causing them to be scattered.
Eze 34:1 And the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 34:2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and you must say to them, to the shepherds, ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who were feeding themselves! Must not the shepherds feed the flock?
Eze 34:3 The fat you eat, and you clothe yourself with the wool; the well-nourished animals you slaughter, but you do not feed the flock.
Eze 34:4 The weak you have not strengthened, and the sick you have not healed, and with respect to the hurt you have not bound them up, and you have not brought back the scattered, and you have not sought the lost, but rather you ruled over them with force and with ruthlessness.
Eze 34:5 And they were scattered without a shepherd, and they were as food for all the animals of the field when they were scattered.
Eze 34:6 My flock went astray upon all of the mountains and on every high hill, and so upon all the surface of the world my flock were scattered, and there was no one seeking them, and there was no one searching for them.”
Eze 34:7 Therefore, hear, O shepherds, the word of Yahweh:
Eze 34:8 “As I live,” declares the Lord Yahweh, “Surely because my flock have become as plunder, and my flock became as food to all the animals of the field, since there was not a shepherd, since my shepherds have not sought my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and they fed not my flock,'”
Eze 34:9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh,
Eze 34:10 ‘Thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Look! I am against the shepherds, and I will seek my flock from their hand, and I will put an end to them from shepherding flocks, and the shepherds will no longer feed themselves, and I will deliver my flocks from their mouth, so that they will not be as food for them.”
Yeshua, the Word of Yah in flesh, delivered this message in person, face to face, with the religious leadership in His day. Yahweh Himself says He will deliver His flocks from these worthless shepherds.
Mat 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,
Mat 23:2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat,
Mat 23:3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.
Mat 23:4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
Mat 23:5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,
Mat 23:6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues
Mat 23:7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.
Mat 23:8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Mat 23:9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
Mat 23:10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.
Mat 23:11 The greatest among you shall be your servant.
Mat 23:12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Mat 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.
Mat 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
Mat 23:16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’
Mat 23:17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?
Mat 23:18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’
Mat 23:19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
Mat 23:20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.
Mat 23:21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it.
Mat 23:22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.
Mat 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
Mat 23:24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
Mat 23:25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
Mat 23:26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
Mat 23:27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.
Mat 23:28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Yeshua also tells us who He has come for, which fulfills Ezekiel 34, in part. Yeshua’s message was “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”. This is what we should be proclaiming throughout the world; turn back to the ancient path.
Mat 15:24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
Yeshua is both the Word of Yah sent to Ezekiel, and David, the leader of the people. Look at what will happen when we repent and turn back to the ancient path.
Eze 34:11 “‘For thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Look! I, even I, will seek my flock, and I will look after them,
Eze 34:12 just like the caring of a shepherd for his herd on the day when he is in the midst of his scattered flock. Thus I will look after my flock, and I will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on the day of storm and stress.
Eze 34:13 And I will bring them out from the peoples, and I will gather them from the countries, and I will bring them to their soil, and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys, and in all of the settlements of the land.
Eze 34:14 I will feed them in good pasture, and their pasture will be on the mountains of the heights of Israel; there they will lie down in good pasture, and on lush pasture they will feed on the mountains of Israel.
Eze 34:15 I myself will feed my flock and I myself will allow them to lie down,” declares the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 34:16 “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the scattered, and I will bind up the one hurt, and I will strengthen the sick; and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed her with justice.”
Eze 34:17 “‘And you, my flock, thus says the Lord Yahweh: “Look! I am judging between one sheep and another, between the rams and between the he-goats.
Eze 34:18 Is it not enough for you that you feed on the good pasture? And still you must trample the remainder of your pasture with your feet, and clear water you drink, and the leftover water you must make muddy with your feet.
Eze 34:19 And my flock must graze the pasture treaded upon by your feet, and must drink the mud puddle stirred up by your feet.”
Eze 34:20 “‘Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh to them: “Look! I, even I will judge between fat sheep and between lean sheep,
Eze 34:21 because with your flank and with your shoulder you shoved, and with your horns you pushed all of the sick animals until you scattered it to the outside.
Eze 34:22 And so I will save my flock, and they will no longer be for plunder, and I will judge between one sheep and another.
Eze 34:23 And I will set up over them one shepherd, and he will feed them; that is, my servant David. He will feed them, and he will be for them as a shepherd.
Eze 34:24 And I, Yahweh, I will be for them as God, and my servant David will be a leader in the midst of them. I, Yahweh, I have spoken.
Yeshua is the servant David, taking care of the lost sheep, and the Word of Yah who is coming back in His glory to separate the goats and the sheep. He will also judge between one sheep and another somewhere in that timeline of resurrection, wrath and setting up the Millennial kingdom.
1Co 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—
1Co 3:13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.
1Co 3:14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Many things will be sorted out on that Day.
Mat 25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
Mat 25:32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
Mat 25:33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
Revelation gives a more detailed look at this scene:
Rev 19:11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.
Rev 19:13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
Rev 19:14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
Rev 19:15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.
Rev 19:16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
The prophet Baruk, whose writings are included in second temple literature, puts it this way:
After the signs have come, of which you were told before, when the nations become turbulent, and the time of my Mashiach [Messiah] is come, he shall both summon all the nations, and some of them he shall spare, and some of them he shall slay. These things therefore shall come upon the nations which are to be spared by him. Every nation, which knows not Yashar’el and has not trodden down the seed of Ya`aqov, shall indeed be spared. This because some out of every nation shall be subjected to your people. But all those who have ruled over you, or have known you, shall be given up to the sword. BARUK SHENIY (2 BARUK) 72:2-6 את CEPHER
One more view of this scene from the prophet Ezra, comes from Second Esdras, a book removed from Protestant Bibles around 1647. This is from the King James Version of the Bible:
2Es 13:3 And I beheld, and, lo, that man waxed strong with the thousands of heaven: and when he turned his countenance to look, all the things trembled that were seen under him.
2Es 13:4 And whensoever the voice went out of his mouth, all they burned that heard his voice, like as the earth faileth when it feeleth the fire.
2Es 13:5 And after this I beheld, and, lo, there was gathered together a multitude of men, out of number, from the four winds of the heaven, to subdue the man that came out of the sea
2Es 13:6 But I beheld, and, lo, he had graved himself a great mountain, and flew up upon it.
2Es 13:7 But I would have seen the region or place whereout the hill was graven, and I could not.
2Es 13:8 And after this I beheld, and, lo, all they which were gathered together to subdue him were sore afraid, and yet durst fight.
2Es 13:9 And, lo, as he saw the violence of the multitude that came, he neither lifted up his hand, nor held sword, nor any instrument of war:
2Es 13:10 But only I saw that he sent out of his mouth as it had been a blast of fire, and out of his lips a flaming breath, and out of his tongue he cast out sparks and tempests.
2Es 13:11 And they were all mixed together; the blast of fire, the flaming breath, and the great tempest; and fell with violence upon the multitude which was prepared to fight, and burned them up every one, so that upon a sudden of an innumerable multitude nothing was to be perceived, but only dust and smell of smoke: when I saw this I was afraid.
2Es 13:12 Afterward saw I the same man come down from the mountain, and call unto him another peaceable Multitude.
2Es 13:13 And there came much people unto him, whereof some were glad, some were sorry, and some of them were bound, and other some brought of them that were offered: then was I sick through great fear, and I awaked, and said,
2Es 13:14 Thou hast shewed thy servant these wonders from the beginning, and hast counted me worthy that thou shouldest receive my prayer:
2Es 13:15 Shew me now yet the interpretation of this dream.
2Es 13:16 For as I conceive in mine understanding, woe unto them that shall be left in those days and much more woe unto them that are not left behind!
2Es 13:17 For they that were not left were in heaviness.
2Es 13:18 Now understand I the things that are laid up in the latter days, which shall happen unto them, and to those that are left behind.
How does He determine the sheep from the goats? How does He judge between sheep and sheep? It looks as if the determining factors are the deeds in our life that showed whether or not we chose the righteousness path Yeshua pointed to for us to walk. Saying a onetime prayer then living a life of disobedience is not going to provide eternal security. Baruk stated that those nations who showed mercy to the people of Yah would have a better outcome. Yeshua words it a bit differently here in the Gospel of Matthew.
Mat 25:34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Mat 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
Mat 25:36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
Mat 25:37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
Mat 25:38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
Mat 25:39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
Mat 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Mat 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Mat 25:42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
Mat 25:44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’
Mat 25:45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
Mat 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
There will be those considered both the least and greatest according to the Messiah when He judges between sheep and sheep. Eze 34:22, “And so I will save my flock, and they will no longer be for plunder, and I will judge between one sheep and another”.
These are verses I often write about. This time I am using the ISR 2009 version of the Bible. It is a free download on eSword, and comes from the Institute of Scripture Research. Compare it to your favourite translation.
Mat 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete. Footnote: The Law and the Prophets is a term used for the pre-Messianic Scriptures.
Mat 5:18 “For truly, I say to you, till the heaven and the earth pass away, one yod or one tittle shall by no means pass from the Torah till all be done. Footnote: Luk 16:17.
Mat 5:19 “Whoever, then, breaks one of the least of these commands, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the reign of the heavens; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the reign of the heavens.
Mat 5:20 “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens. Footnote: See also Mat 23:28, Mat 15:3-9, Mar 7:7-13, Joh 7:19, Act 7:53, Rom 2:23-27, Gal 6:13.
The question becomes “how least is the least?” We see one group in Zechariah still around during the Millennium, so they are still part of the Kingdom, but not taking part in the affairs of the “bride” whom some of which became a “kingdom of priests” ruling with King Yeshua. Another possibility is much worse, found in Isaiah and quoted by Messiah, speaking of the aftermath of the wrath of Yah at the beginning of the Millennium.
Isa 66:15 “For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.
Isa 66:16 For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many.
Isa 66:17 “Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig’s flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the LORD.
Isa 66:18 “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory,
Isa 66:19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations.
Isa 66:20 And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD.
Isa 66:21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD.
Isa 66:22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain.
Isa 66:23 From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD.
Isa 66:24 “And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
Those who are least in the Kingdom could also be those who are cast into outer darkness. They didn’t have oil in their lamps, invest their talents, or have a wedding garment. They miss the wedding. Whether or not outer darkness is permanent damnation is unclear, but it does not sound like an enjoyable place to be.
Mat 22:11 “But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment.
Mat 22:12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
Mat 22:13 Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”
Repent and follow the ways of Yah, shown to us again by His son Yeshua. Strive to be the greatest in the kingdom. We have a responsibility to warn people of the coming wrath and judgement, pointing to the way the Messiah showed us. This is loving your neighbour as yourself.
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