Do You Know the Difference Between a Sheep and a Goat? (David Cox)

“And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” Mat 25:32-33

The Bible describes the truly saved ones as sheep. But it also speaks of goats among the sheep. The difference between the two is tremendous. Have you considered how you fit into one of these categories, sheep or goat?

Goats eat trash

One of the marks of a goat is that it will eat almost anything. Much more than just eating it, it thinks that trash is delicious. There are Christians who do not feed themselves well spiritually speaking. In place of going to a good church with healthy spiritual food, these will feed themselves on anything, but mostly trash. While the Bible clearly tells us “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” 1Pe 2:2, the goats will feed themselves on what is popular, what is exciting, and what has little or no eternal value. Often they stay home to watch a false prophet on the TV instead of seeking good spiritual food. They miss the point of Hebrews 10:25 “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” God has created us with a spiritual need to have fellowship with good Christian brothers of the same faith, so that we can grow into maturity. Goats greatly disdain this both causing problems among the brethren and hating them. They come to church to discourage, attack, or destroy the community of faith, not to receive from it and build it up. This definitely marks a goat.

Goats are arrogant

We have all seen the famous goat on top of something where he pridefully stands, saying, “I am the king of the mountain.” The nature of goats is that they like to exalt themselves. It is a classic sight to see a goat with his head high in the air, while sheep have they heads bent down feeding. All this pride goes with their nature inherited from the devil, their father. In Isaiah 14:13-14 describes Satan their father, “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” Is it any surprise to know that in Satanistic ceremonies they use the image of a goat to identify themselves? The goat is proud, and his most important priority it seems is to get into a position of highness over others so that he can look down on them (whether physically, financially, or in pride), and especially dominate and control others. He sees himself as “better than the rest”, and he thinks that HE should be over and above the rest. On the other hand, a sheep always has his head bowed; concerned principally with feeding himself with what is lowly. You can be assured that any minister or Christian who has pride, arrogance, or is boastful is a child of the devil, and has the attitude of his father the devil.

Pro 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Pro 16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

How can a true child of God “take pride in” the moral character of pride and arrogancy that is so hated by God? The person who rejects humility is deceived by the devil. By this character trait, you see who is a goat and who is a sheep.

Goats are aggressive

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:Another mark of goats is that they are very aggressive. They are always going head to head with everyone, especially with each other, and with any who crosses them. They look like sheep but have horns for hurting others that they use very well for that purpose. God commands us to seek tranquility and peace with others, because every true Christian has the peace of God dwelling in him and will seek peace with others in this life.

The goat is like his father (1Pe 5:8 “your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”) Gal 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. God commands and causes a tranquility within his children, and with other people in place of constant attacks, conflict, scandals, aggressions, and backbiting. The Christian is prohibited from gossiping (1Tim 5.13), blaspheming (Col 3:82Tim 3:2), or from slandering others (2Tim 3:2-51Pet 3:16), especially his brethren in Christ. You really see the difference between sheep and goats on this one. Paul exhorted us in 1Tim 6:3-4 saying that sound doctrine produces piety in the life of the person who believes it, and that “if any man teach otherwise… he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, and perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth.” Simply put the mark of a goat is when the person wants or always gravitates to seeing their brethren as evil and themselves as good., and they are contentious people (1Tim 3:3Tit 1:7), and they always seek fights and conflicts.

Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.

Very simple brethren, the person, who is like a goat, is always seeking contention and arguments, and he will constantly have problems with others because he is like Satan his father.

Goats constantly jump the fence

While sheep have a deep and beautiful relationship of love and respect with their pastors, goats are always mischievous, jumping the fence constantly because they are never satisfied with where they are.

Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Sheep naturally have a loyalty to a good man of God who faithfully feeds them from the goodness of the Word of God. For the pastor it is a pleasure to have in his congregation true Christians who are obedient. He will not have complaints about his people on judgment day. They have problems, and he helps resolve them (sheep are willing and receiving his help). We understand here that God will demand pastors an accounting on judgment day for every member of his church. Many people don’t even qualify as members of the church, because (1) they don’t attend regularly with faithfulness, (2) if they come, they don’t seek communion and fellowship with their brethren (they arrive late, and leave immediately), (3) they do not participate in church activities like evangelism, teaching, nor church community things, (4) they don’t economically support the work of God which suggests where their loyalties lie (outside their own spiritual family), (5) they do not permit the pastor to counsel them on their personal lives. They don’t talk over the matters of their life with the pastor, neither do they seek nor receive pastoral advice. The most famous here is when the pastor makes a comment that their life is out of order with Scripture, and they attack the pastor and their brethren getting mad in the process instead of heeding good counsel.

Every pastor has to represent the will God by his personal example. He has to be somebody that is exemplary in his own life. But in our churches it seems that the rule is that church loyalty is only seen where they give it to wicked ministers (which absolutely demand it). Everybody ignores the humble man of God that doesn’t demand loyalty to himself. This happens because the people don’t really feed themselves on the Word of God. When a Christian obeys and puts into practice what he learns of the will of God from the sermons and classes of a good man of God, then this loyalty will naturally exist. But this loyalty is first and over all to Christ, and then to the humble servant God has called to the ministry of feeding the people of God, because sheep exalt the authority of the Scriptures and honor those who handle the Scriptures correctly and wisely, supporting the warriors who fight in spiritual things. The ministry is involved with rebuking and exhorting those who hear so that they will be cleansed from their sins, and this is not very popular nor easy. Many brethren will be offended and leave the church.

1Co 16:15-16 they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. The idea of helping and supporting here is to work beside them. We should submit to hard working ministers. We should have loyalty to those who are serving (deaconing) the saints, and we should labor with them. “Laboureth” means to grow weary through work, to be exhausted because of work. Goats are notorious for not sacrificing or supporting the man of God among them, but jump from place to place.

Goats always are in a bad mood

Perhaps the worse mark of a goat is simple his attitude. He is never satisfied with anything. If you give him attention, he gets mad, and if you don’t he complains you are ignoring or slighting him.

Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

The mark of the children of God is their cooperation among themselves, and their spiritual and emotional support for the lives one of another, and their aversion to complaining and conflict within the family of God. They put up with things and take personal loss to keep the peace.

James 5:9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

The Christian faithful to God is always with the thought that God is near, God is watching, and because of this, he does not act poorly with his brothers, nor towards authority.

So what are you? A goat or a sheep? God knows, and one day, he will make this clear to you.

By: Pastor David Cox
http://www.coxtracts.com/church/ch28-difference-between-sheep-and-goats/

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Waning Fervor for God (Gary Wilkerson)

In writing to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul shares his perception that their fervor for God is waning. Some of their ambition is shifting, moving off-center, and their focus is not clear, so he sends them a letter of strong correction.

“Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! … We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things. I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children” (1 Corinthians 4:8, 10-14).

Scholars tell us that the Corinthian church was probably the wealthiest of all the New Testament churches. Their location afforded them many opportunities for great wealth from the shipping industry. Paul was pointing out to them that they seemed to be too much like the society around them; while they had all these great things going for them, something was missing. Even with all their outward success, inside something was wrong.

What was going on in this church? Paul was not admonishing them for being prosperous or implying that being impoverished was somehow superior. No! He was pointing out that their focus was all wrong. They were trying to fulfill their hearts’ desires with the things of this world rather than pursuing God first. In other words, they were looking for love in all the wrong places. And because of this, their lives lacked impact for his kingdom. Likewise, today, we must be careful not to become distracted by pursuits that take us away from a clear vision of Jesus!

Gary Wilkerson

How Deceived! US Church to Hold “Beyonce Mass” to Get People in the Church

According to SFGate, a church in San Francisco will host a “Beyoncé Mass,” featuring songs from the pop star that congregation members will be invited to sing along to, and one of its pastors is insisting that the event goes hand in hand with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

“I know there are people who will say using Beyoncé is just a cheap way of trying to get people in the church,” said Rev. Jude Harmon, director of innovative ministries for Grace Cathedral, an Episcopal Church.

“But Jesus used very provocative images in the stories he would tell to incite people to ask hard questions about their own religious assumptions. He regularly provoked. We’re following in the way of Jesus.”

Harmon, who is also the founder of Vince, a weekly contemporary worship service project espousing progressive theology, insisted that Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s music “opens a window into the lives of the marginalized and forgotten — particularly black females.”

“The beauty of Beyoncé’s music is she explores those themes in an idiom that is accessible to everyone.”

“We can use it as a conversation starter. That’s what it’s designed to be.”

The evening will feature music, readings from scripture by women of color and a sermon by Rev. Yolanda Norton, who serves as the assistant professor of the Old Testament at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, where she also teaches a course called “Beyoncé and the Bible.”

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14; NIV)

When a church believes that they require the devil’s music and worldly causes to draw people into it (instead of the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ), that should be a sober reflection of how lukewarm and backslidden it has become.

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:5; KJV)

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For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the Lord: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered. (Jeremiah 10:21; KJV)

Does Your Job Require You to Make Moral Compromises? Read This.

Does your job require you to make moral compromises? If so, please read these story that was narrated by the late RA Torrey in his book, Heaven or Hell.

Our text in Proverbs 29:25 promises, “Whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe. ” He will be safe from all danger of yielding to sin and temptation. If you trust God, temptation has no power over you. A man cannot yield to temptation without distrusting God. Every act of sin is an act of distrust of God. He who trusts God will do right even though the heavens fall.

I knew a businessman who lost nearly everything he owned and had to sell everything else in order to pay his debts. He paid all his debts, but it left him practically penniless. Then he was offered a job with a manufacturing firm. He came to me and said, “What should I do? This is an excellent company to work for. They said they will promote me quickly, but if I take this post, I must work on Sundays. What should I do?”

I said, “Well, you will have to decide for yourself, but if you can’t do it with a clear conscience, you can’t afford to do it.”

He said, “I can’t do it with a clear conscience.” He refused the position, although he did not know what he was to do to support himself and his wife and family of three children. A day or two later, he got a job at very low wages. A few weeks after that, he got a position at several hundred dollars per month. He went on to become the controller of one of the biggest mercantile establishments in the Northwest – all because he trusted God.

When I was home one summer, I found that a young Jewish woman had been converted while I was away. She was a very talented woman, but she had to work hard for her living to support the family. After she was converted, she was full of love for Christ. She went out to the place where she worked, a very large company, and she began talking about Christ to the other employees.

Some of them did not like it. They went to the head of the firm and said, “She is constantly talking to us about Christ. We don’t like it.”

The managers called her in and said, “We have no objection to Christianity, and no objection to your being a Christian. It is a good thing, but you must not talk about it at this company.”

“Very well,” she said. “I won’t work where I can’t take Christ with me and talk for my Master.”

“Well, then,” they said, “you will have to lose your job.”

“Very well,” she said, “I will give up my position before I will be disloyal to Jesus Christ.”

They said, “Go back to work, and we will tell you our decision later.” She went back to work.

At the end of the week, she got a letter from the firm. She said, “Here is my discharge,” and she tore it open. The letter read: “We have a position with great responsibility, with a much larger salary than you are getting. We think you are the woman for the position, and we offer it to you.” They saw she could be trusted. Businessmen are looking for men and women whom they can trust.

Whoever trusts in the Lord will be safe from danger of every kind. We read in Romans 8:31: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Men will persecute you. They will ridicule you. They will do all they can to harm you. Jesus said in John 15:20, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” But it won’t do you any harm.

Some people are frightened at the thought of being persecuted. But it is one of the greatest privileges on earth for converts to be persecuted for Jesus Christ. Jesus said: Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt. 5:11-12)