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! Introduction:
Philip Keller, in his book /A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23,/ describes a danger that is unique to sheep.
Shepherds call it “cast down” or simply “cast.”
It has to do with a sheep that cannot regain its feet.
Keller writes:
… even the largest, fattest, strongest and sometimes healthiest sheep can become “cast” and be a casualty.
The way it happens is this.
A heavy, fat, or long-fleeced sheep will lie down comfortably in some little hollow or depression in the ground.
It may roll on its side slightly to stretch out or relax.
Suddenly the center of gravity in the body shifts so that it turns on its back far enough that the feet no longer touch the ground.
It may feel a sense of panic and start to paw frantically.
Frequently this only makes things worse.
It rolls over even further.
Now it is quite impossible for it to regain its feet.
The thrust of Keller’s book is that /sheep are utterly helpless./
/Sheep Need A Shepherd for Without A Shepherd Sheep Will Become:/
1.      Prone to wonder away (Ps.119:176, 67; Is.53;6); Weary and Scattered (Matthew 9:36)
2.      In great trouble (Zechariah 10:2-3) & destroyed by wild beast (John 10:12).
This is what we were like until Jesus came and rescued us (1Peter 2:23-25).
/The Occasion for this lesson in John 10 is //the excommunication of the beggar from the synagogue/ (John 9:34).
The false shepherds did not care for this man; instead, they mistreated him and threw him out.
But Jesus, the Shepherd, came to him and took him in (John 9:35–38).
A.     The Shepherds Relationship To His Sheep
The Sheepfold (v.1)
/a)        //The sheepfold (v.1a).
//A pen or shelter, a place where sheep are kept (v.1)/
1)        Jewish Shepherds Kept Their Sheep In Two Kinds Of Sheepfolds: 
(a)      In the Country: a low-walled enclosure made of stone with a narrow opening in front.
(b)      In the Town: the fold was bigger, and it was a shared enclosure.
The False Shepherds: Thieves and Robbers (v.1b-c)
/a)        //Do not enter by the door, climbs up some other way… is a thief and a robber (v.1)/
1)        Enters The Wrong Way (v.1b)
(a)      /Moses Warned In (Deut.13:1-5)/
(b)      /Ravenous Wolves In Sheep’s Clothing (Matthew 7:13-15)/.
(c)      /False Prophets Are Encouraged With Those Who Are Displeased With God’s Ways/
*/"That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the Lord; Who say to the seers, “Do not see,” And to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits."
(Isaiah 30:9-10, NKJV) /*
*"/For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables./"
(2 Timothy 4:3-4, NKJV) *
* *
(d)      /The New Testament Also Warns Against Deceiving, Misleading Spiritual Leaders/.
1.         Paul warned the Roman believers (Romans 16:17-18)
2.         False apostles (2Cor.
11:13), false brethren (2Cor.
11:26; Gal.
3.         False Christ’s (Matt.
24:24), false prophets (Matt.
24:11; 2 Pet.
2:1; 1 John 4:1)
4.         False teachers (2 Pet.
2:1-3), and false witnesses (Matt.
26:60; Acts 6:13).
5.         Paul’s Last words to the Ephesian Elders (Acts 20:29-31)
6.         False shepherd as “a thief and a robber” (John 10:1, 8).
2)        Is A Thief And Robber (v.1c)
(a)      /The Thief/ /& Robber /selfishly seek their own ends (Judas & Barabbas).
(b)      /The False Shepherd Dispises The Door, And Climbs Up Some Other Way.  /His purpose is not to benefit the sheep, but to slaughter them for his own purposes.
(c)      /Jim Jones; Heavens Gate/
1.         Jeremiah 23:1-4; 50:6
2.         Ezekiel 1:1-24
3)        The Damnation of the False Prophets.
(a)      /Sheep and goat Judgment (Matt.25:31-41,
(b)      /Matthew 7:21-23; 2Peter 2:3,9,12,17; Jude 13/
The True Shepherd (v.2-3)
/a)        //He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep (v.2)/
1)        Enters The Appointed Door (v.2).
(a)      Undershepherd is appointed by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28)
(b)      The Lord took David from the sheepfold to be ruler over His people (1Chron.17:7).
(c)      Is.40:11;
Ps.23:1-3; 78:52; Num.27:15-17; Ezek.34:22-23, 31;  
/b)        //The Doorkeeper Opens… Sheep Hear His Voice… Calls Them By Name (v.3/)
1)        The Shepherd Is Known By The Doorkeeper—A Hired Undershepherd (v.3a).
2)        The Sheep Know Their Shepherds Voice (v.3)
*"/My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me./" (John 10:27, NKJV) *
*"/He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life… the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live./"
(John 5:24-25, NKJV) *
*"/While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Hear Him!”/" (Matthew 17:5, NKJV) *
*"/God… has in these last days spoken to us by His Son/ (Hebrews 1:1-2, NKJV) *
God Speaks To Us Through His Word & Spirit:/ //"The Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,In the day of trial in the wilderness," (Hebrews 3:7-8, NKJV) /
3)        The Shepherd Knows His Sheep By Name (v.3b): Illustration of me calling Britt. in for dinner/  /
*/I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,/" (John 10:14, NLT) *
*/But the person who loves God is the one God knows and cares for./"
(1 Corinthians 8:3) *
*/The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Those who claim they belong to the Lord must turn away from all wickedness.”/"
(2 Timothy 2:19, NLT) *
*/But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine./"
(Isaiah 43:1; also Psalm 139:15-16) *
The True Shepherd Will Lead His Sheep.
/a)        //He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out (v.3) /
1)        The Lord Our Shepherd (Psalm 23:1-6)
*"/Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go./"
(Isaiah 48:17, NKJV) *
*"/I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them, And not forsake them./"
(Isaiah 42:16, NKJV) *
*"/for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”/"
(Revelation 7:17, NKJV) *
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