A Word to the Sheep and Their Shepherds; Zechariah 11
May 1, 2009

C. R. Oliver

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May 1, 2009

A Word to the Sheep and Their Shepherds
Zechariah 11


Zechariah, the prophetic book, is filled with graphics, symbolism, and a steady stream of reference which runs between the days of the prophet all the way to the current hour. Separating this collage into a concise word to the Shepherds is not difficult. The admonitions center around the verses in Chapters 10-13.

Therefore, this study will be in two parts: the first will be more or less a background or overview of the entire book; the second will zero in on the "art of being a 'worthless' leader."

Part One: Background

Zechariah is a not a "one theme" book. Yes, there are dark forecasts within its pages, but they are surrounded with words of encouragement and hope. If there is a theme that stands out, it is "God's appraisal is different than man's."

Within its chapters are many action graphics some of them rather exotic: horses and horsemen, surveyor's lines, craftsmen with tools, measuring lines, plumb lines, chariots, flying scrolls and flying baskets. Each graphic is entwined with the other.

Symbolic objects and persons parade between the graphics to lend depth to the prophet's message of hope and correction. Golden candlesticks, the person of Zerubbabel and the person of Joshua, as well as various other characters, are amply displayed.

Scenes with spiritual significance grace Zechariah's vision, such as sheep (representing the flock of God) and Shepherds emblemizing religious leadership.

Each grouping has both place and time considerations for their time lines run through all history, often changing from Zechariah's time to those at the end of the ages. Because of the time variants, the prophet's applications become universal through spiritual generations-applicable to all who journey in the Word.

Method of Discovery: Pointing to the paintings:

This will be the method employed in the following study. It will be like walking through a huge gallery of artworks and me pointing randomly to interesting items. The author wishes only to afford the reader a glimpse into the complexity of Zechariah's labors.

1. The action graphics:
Zechariah applies technique to his work. His is an appraisal approach: A-D constitute various approaches to appraising the situation of his day. Just as there are appraisal techniques in real estate, these too "show the lay of the land."

A=the overall view (community) B=comparable view C=cost review D=General summary
A. Zechariah 1:8ff The horsemen. Their responsibility is to purvey the land for the Lord and report its spiritual status. They give a summary report.

B. Zechariah 1:16ff The surveyor and his line. A narrowing of perspective to include just Jerusalem is given. A surveyor reduces property to a paper description showing metes and bounds, while revealing some topographics as points of reference. Both horsemen and surveyor are like preachers.

C. Zechariah 1:20 The four craftsmen (sent in four directions) are to use their cutting tools as judgment against those who rise against the Lord.

D. Zechariah 2:1ff The measuring line. The third instrument of construction narrows matters even further. They measure the city of holiness.
Parallel appraisals: E= reviewing the cost of doing nothing F=things that must be removed G=assistance available
E. Zechariah 5:1ff The flying Scroll. This is a huge book. The measurements are given to show the extent of the writing of the curse upon those who are thieves and perjurers. (The Shepherds of deception and graft.)

F. Zechariah 5:5 The woman in the basket. (The "spirit of harlotry" and witchcraft.) The land of Shinar is particularly associated with ancient idolatry.

G. Zechariah 6:1ff The four chariots. Notice they are directed to go to the four corners of the earth to form a spiritual force from the Throne of God.
Beginning with 2:11, there starts an "in that day" sequence which is used extensively for the Day of the Lord and is frequently injected into and throughout the book.

2. The symbolisms:

A. Zechariah 3:1ff Joshua, the High Priest. Note Joshua represents spiritual authority, just like Zerubbabel stands for civil authority. Joshua, after being cleaned up (the Lord knows that religious leadership needs cleansing up and they are unable and unwilling to do the clean up themselves), is crowned. *
*(Zechariah 6:11 defines him as the son of Jehovah Zadok (Righteous God) and he is the High Priest. See: The Sons of Zadok.)
B. Zechariah 4:6ff Zerubbabel, the symbol for the foundation lay-er, holds the plumb line of authority (the Lord knows we need the plumb line dropped in every pulpit of the entire world and challenges given to "shape up and repent." Like a recent deliverance minister said, "All true deliverance and prophetic words begin with 'repent.'")

C. Zechariah 4:1-5, 11-14 The Golden Lamp stands. Of course, in Revelation the lamps are associated with the church pastors. The evaluative power of the seven eyes of the lamp stands join the two contributing symbols of Zerubbabel and Joshua and they are dynamic.

D. Zechariah 6:9ff The gifts of the 3 are like magi and their offerings lead to the crown. He is the BRANCH! (These three men are returning from Babylon, a whoredom kingdom, from which they must separate themselves.)
Part Two: The Shepherds:

Spiritual Correction for the Shepherds:

A. Zechariah 7:5 The Big Issue: Is all religious activity really for God? The Lord asked, "Did you really fast for Me---for Me?" Most Christian activity is self-centered and for self-aggrandizement! No, I exclude nothing from this statement!

Zechariah 7:6, 7. "Obeying the Lord is better than sacrifice" still should be the Sunday sermon for a thousand pulpits. Old Testament prophets were not wrong in this preachment, after all, they were HOLY men moved by the HOLY Spirit, not trained men moved by their salaries. "Refusing to hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets" was a display of rebellion, not spiritual discernment.

B. Zechariah 8-9 offers the Lord's remedies for straightening up the mess the religious community had gotten into. Today, those remedies are not enough. The church has excelled in rebellion to the point of no return. Instead of the "glorious church" which preachers are proclaiming, the modern surveyors, measurers, craftsmen and chariots riders give a different appraisal. So much deception is prevalent in the modern "house of the Lord," that correction cannot come through the prophets. Zechariah said it had reached that point in his appraisal and his appraisal is true (Zechariah 13:2 connects unclean spirits to the prophets and advises them to "shut up."). In our day, the futurists have perpetuated a theology which has created a scenario of imperceptions so great that few can hear from God at all. A huge tsunami of politicized and spiritualized diatribe flows freely from the Shepherds and makes the pure word compromised and ineffective to their hearers. Should the true man of God determine to 'straighten matters out,' where on earth would he start? Would he find even one place where they would hear him in truth? Would he not be prevented by the worthless Shepherds from being heard at all? More than likely, his message would not get past the surveillance committees.

(Hurry to chapter ten and begin with Zechariah's appraisal of the Shepherds and see the depth of correction that was needed for them. Along with this review, interpolate his message, applying his remedies to the modern Shepherds. Judgment will become self- evident.)

C. Zechariah 10.
v. 2 Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; They are in trouble because there is no shepherd. v. 3 My anger is kindled against the shepherds, And I will punish the goatherds (leadership), For the Lord of hosts will visit His flock, The house of Judah(those of the household of Jesus).
In verse two, it declares there are no shepherds, and in verse three, God foretells He is against the shepherds; what is going on? If there are none, who is there to be against? Listen! The flock displayed some caretakers, but caretakers aren't true Shepherds. These false shepherd weren't doing the kind of job God's shepherds know to do. (Later on we will see what they were up to.) God was against these derelict office holders: those who claimed to be shepherds and were not. God's message for Sunday Services was directed to the head of the Sunday Services, not the flock. Instead of raking the flock, He addressed the heart of the matter, like Leonard Ravenhill's cartoon character, showing a fat clergyman seated with his collar turned round and his cross hanging across his bloat, with a jigger of whiskey in one hand and a cigar in the other, the caption reads, "As the clergy goes, so goes the church." (No wonder Bethany Press expunged the cartoon when reprinting Why Revival Tarries after Ravenhill died.)
I personally think it is past time to quit protecting the office and the office holder, whether pastor, evangelist, teacher, apostle or prophet! Somehow, the levity by which we have given proprietary privilege has resulted in the sheep being led astray. The flocks of God today have no shepherd, though they pay for pastors, ministry leaders and worship crews. They have been robbed, and the answer given them is: "Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich, Zechariah 11:5."

Not only does this include the evangelist who announced, "I am the richest man in New Orleans (After announcing, "I got mine, you get yours," to a group of ministers)," it includes many others of the ministry trade professionals. It includes the authors of popularist materials such as, Left Behind (a book with no Biblical foundation) along with other LeHayisms. It includes the diatribes of taste-pleasing enthusiasts with their success manuals, best life hype. It includes the Lucadoian sweets rolled in devotional passivism. It includes the worship singers and their ever cascading musical thrills designed for "golden awards." It includes the tantalizing prophetic morass that joins hands to invade every crevice of mindless spiritism. It includes the majority of pulpit sermonic panoramic tidbits, surrounded by a display designed to please the insatiable lust of a media driven 5-minute attention span. It includes most of what is written and sung in today's straw-grasping dualism that occupies the places of authority and leadership in the modern church. What it does not include are the invectives from the original John, the mikvahite, whose only message was, "You generation of vipers, Who has warned you of the wrath to come?" This was his and God's message to the church of his day.
Zechariah 11:4, 5 (These words are directed to the prophet) Thus says the Lord my God, "feed the flock for slaughter, whose owners slaughter them and feel no guilt; those who sell them say, 'Blessed be the Lord, for I am rich'; and their shepherds do not pity them.
Notice in this verse that the message is clear. The flock is "owned" by the shepherds. The owners are heartless and have no regard at all that the flock is to be annihilated. How does this differ from today? It differs only in expanse and intensity! What does one feed a flock to prepare them for slaughter? The fare of the average pulpit or convention speaker is the answer. Give them what they want and plenty of it, healthy or not. Give them something that fills their bellies and offers a quick fix while they are penned up for the kill.
Zechariah 11:15-17
And the Lord said to me ( the prophet), 'Next, take for yourself the implements of a foolish shepherd. For indeed I will raise up a shepherd who will not care for those who are cut off, nor seek the young, nor heal those that are broken, nor feed those that still stand. But he will eat the flesh of the fat and tear their hooves in pieces, (these shepherds are hirelings of the flock, not sent from God)

Woe to the WORTHLESS SHEPHERD, who leaves the flock A sword shall be against his arm and against his right eye; His arm shall completely wither, and his right eye shall be totally blind.
(Recently, I attended a Cowboy Church. They are a part of the Assemblies of God. As I sat thinking about this flock, I thought, "My God, look at what is being fed these folks." I listened as the Word was twisted to fit an agenda. I wrestled with standing up and saying, "Listen, step down pastor---not only do you not know the meaning of this passage, but you absolutely have lied to this congregation about the meaning." Not one of his sheep acted like they could discern the error pouring out on them. Their response was placid and when the service ended, the summation should have been this… "I have said all this to cause you to cough up enough to pay for the new building we are building to use in indoctrinating young people with the same drivel I have preached today!" Yes, an invitation was given. Yes, some responded. Yes, every sign of success was evident…but success in what?

At a recent Seminar, I gave the assignment to a mixed audience of shepherds and sheep to read overnight the passages in Zechariah 10 and 11. The following morning, I asked them, "What did you get from this reading?" One sheep after another spoke up through amazement and said, "I learned that worthless shepherds are to be dealt with." Not one shepherd uttered a word! Enough said!

The five fold ministry is to EDIFY the sheep, not shear them, sell the wool and brag about doing it. Many of the worthless shepherds have administered their form of deliverance and left the sheep in a worse condition than before. Many a pulpiteer flails on schedule during punctuated days of the week, offering advice and platitudes to a people who are lost and bound for hell (yes, I mean those good members who think they are converted and ought to read, the Memoirs of Chas. G. Finney.) In reviewing Finney they would find his opinion of the clergy (early 1800's). He thought them to be mostly unconverted. Finney considered his mission was to convert those within these sundry audiences. (A greater mission is needed today.) No wonder the great clergymen of his day, like Dr. Beecher, fought him tooth and nail and went to their graves declaring him to be "out of order.") It is time to be "out of order" in order for God's Ministry to replace the worthless shepherds of this day! Notice that the "goatherds" were to be punished with the worthless shepherds. These are the support teams, the associative ministries that bolster the worthless ones. Look out church, the slate needs to be wiped clean. Those who sit in pews and contribute to deception are not off the hook either. They are being fed for the slaughter and God is aware of it and calling for it!

O, it is time to say that the soon coming judgment will cause the cry of Zechariah 11:3 to be heard once again,
There is the sound of wailing shepherds! For their glory is in ruins.
Zechariah's Staff: broken in two. Read these verses!

Grace is broken in two and unity with it (Zechariah 11:7, 10). The three great shepherds are dismissed within the scope of a month. They were cast out with these words: "My soul loathed them and their soul also abhorred me (Zechariah 11:8)."

Who are these three shepherds…ah, they are the leaders of the most sheep…The Apostate Church (All denominations and groups who have forsaken hearing from the Lord including Roman Catholics and Charismatics), Zionist Judaism (who have organized an atheistic national state) and Radicalized Islam (all modern groups have been taught a radicalized form). Dismissed! (See: The Origin of Futurism and Preterism, by Paul Owen and Charles Jennings page 65, "the frogs of Revelation.")

Their form of ruin is the curse which was declared upon the Priests of the Old Testament who forsook the Lord. (Arms withered, eyes blind)

This traitorous group readily would still sacrifice the True Shepherd for 30 pieces of silver!

(Because of this, one day I will write a book entitled, Sermons you never hear on Sunday, because they are bad for the offering. I assure you, this is the criteria most used for hermeneutics.)

Zechariah's Message:

"Flock, do not fear. The Great Shepherd is on His way." That is the summation of Zechariah's message of hope and true deliverance. To accomplish this, it will mean deliverance from the "worthless shepherds" and the raising up of One who is faithful and true.
I will say, 'This is My people', and each one will say, 'The Lord is my God.'
Throughout Zechariah, there is a phrase used: "In that day." Count the many times it is used in these chapters and note what happens after each exclamation. That study will beat anything you will hear on any of the Saturday or Sunday services!

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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