Goats in Sheep's Clothing

Posted on 04/26/2009 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***

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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.

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TREES OF THE FIELD

You shall go out with joy
And be let forth with peace
And the mountains and the hills
Will break forth before you
There'll be shouts of joy
And all the trees of the fields
Will clap, will clap their hands

And all the trees of the fields
will clap their hands
The trees of the fields will clap their hands
The trees of the fields will clap their hands
While you go out with joy


RIVER OF LIFE

I've got a river of life flowing out of me!
Makes the lame to walk, and the blind to see.
Opens prison doors, sets the captives free!
I've got a river of life flowing out of me!

Spring up, O well, within my soul!
Spring up, O well, and make me whole!
Spring up, O well, and give to me
That life abundantly.

NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES

Jesus, name above all names
Beautiful Savior, glorious Lord.
Emmanuel, God is with us.
Blessed Redeemer,  Living word.

*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***


--- introduction to Jen's message ---


Father God, thank You for this chance to be in Your presence. To learn from Your Word. I thank You for allowing us to sit at Your feet and to learn and grow there. Now as we go deeper into Your Word, let it bore a hole into our hearts and fill us with its wisdom, insight, and power. In Jesus' mighty name, Amen.


I could have titled this "If We Are the Body Part 3", but I didn't. I stumbled over many good titled, but I think "Goats in Sheep's Clothing" sums up what I want to talk about. With this title, there are many subtopics that go along with it. I have 3 parts I want to share. Some are more closely related to the title than others.

So, let's jump right in to Part 1 which talks about we as followers of Jesus being the sheep who hear the Good Shepherd's voice and the difference between sheep and goats.

John Chapter 10 speaks of Jesus as the Good Shepherd and God's children as His sheep. Reading verses 1-18 of the chapter and it says

Jesus the True Shepherd

 1 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them (them being the Pharisees and religious leaders).

Jesus the Good Shepherd

  
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me[a] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

Jesus calls us by name and we listen to Him and follow Him wherever He goes. He is the Good Shepherd who died for His sheep that we might have life abundantly and life eternally.

In those verses it talked about the wolf, the destroyer, satan. Anyone or anything doing satan's work is a wolf. A wolf in sheep's clothing could very well be satan's hunchman. Doing satan's bidding in the guise of being a sheep.

Today we will talk about a different imposter one one might be fooling themselves. We find this imposter, the goat or goats, in Matthew Chapter 25 where Jesus is speaking of the goats and sheep. Beginning at verse 31 which reads

31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy[c] angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44 “Then they also will answer Him,[d] 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?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

What is the difference between these two groups-the sheep on the right and the goats on the left?

The sheep saw the needs of those who were hungry, thirsty, homeless or needing a place to sleep, naked, sick, and in prison and did what they could to fill the need of the person.

The goats on the other hand-they did nothing. They ignored the needs of other people. Maybe these goats were trying to cover themselves with the "religion" of being sheep, but missed the relationship with the Good Shepherd which would have saved them from the pit of separation from God.

Now these goats might be wearing sheep's clothing, but they still smell and maybe even walk like goats. Part 2 of my sermon is about our walk with the Good Shepherd.

If you are Jesus' (meaning He owns you and me!), He put His brand on you. On all of us that are His. Cool thought, uh? I have a Jesus brand on me. Branded by fire and by His blood.

If you have this brand, are you putting it everywhere you go? That question backs me up a step or two, because I know I don't always go around telling those I meet about Jesus. I'm not very bold, but I need to keep going. Jesus is still with me. He's my personal cheerleader. Helping me press towards the goal.

You know, I think the goats didn't turn into sheep because they refused to accept the brand. Maybe they thought, I'm not getting that on me. No way. And now look! They are standing on the left...the wrong side. Wearing sheep's clothing didn't work for Jesus the Good Shepherd. He wasn't fooled. They fooled themselves into thinking that a relationship with Jesus wasn't important. Having Jesus' brand not only changed you into a new creation-a sheep-but it also saved you from eternal separation from Him.

The goats can't get the brand now that Jesus has placed them to the left and their eternal destiny has been written. To the pit is their brand.

I am sure these goats wished they had been branded with Jesus' mark. They wished they could go back in time and change it but it is too late. They never really cared about Jesus is what their actions have said.

With that, we come to Part 3. This part is about Jesus being number one or ourselves being number one. Let me just tell you this right now. You can't have it both ways! You can't be number one and have Jesus number one. It doesn't work! And you can't be half goat and half sheep. That doesn't work either. No middle ground. Either Jesus is number one and your flesh dies OR you are number one and you are a goat on the left side.

See, I believe that is the one thing about the goats. It was all about them. They sang (sing this) "It's all about me can't you see". The sheep on the other hand were singing "It's all about you Jesus and all this is for you as if you should do things my way!"

The goats in sheep's clothing don't understand that just wearing the clothing on the outside-like the religious leaders and Pharisees in the Bible that that the outside was more important than the inside-doesn't change who they are inside. The transformation needs to begin on the inside for the outside change to be real and to last.

Appearances change, but what Jesus does inside can last forever. Sadly the goats didn't get that and neither did the Pharisees and religious leaders in the Bible.

There will come a day when at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:10 and 11

And those who followed the voice of the Good Shepherd will be rewarded, but even then Jesus will get the glory!

I know for myself that nothing I have ever done is good enough to keep. I will lay it at Jesus' feet saying "I lay all I am. I surrender all of me...my life, my gifts, my crowns because you gave them to me and so I give them back to you freely."

I ask you, are you a goat in sheep's clothing? Pull off that coat and let Jesus put His brand on you.

Are you a goat and want to be a sheep? Please instant message one of the minitry staff members and they'll be happy to help you.

If you are a sheep, put Jesus' brand wherever you go!

The ministry team can come to the front. I pray these things I've share have touched you.

You are free to go if need be, but if you are able please come to the altar for prayer and worship. Afterwards, we'll meet in the fellowship room to your left. All are welcome to join us there for fellowship.