Where you want to go may depend on where you’ve been…

  • From shepherd to spiritual leader.
  • From carpenter to spiritual house builder.
  • From fishers of fish to fishers of men.
  • From tent maker to tabernacle builder.
  • From husband and parent to church leader.
  • From your profession to ? in the kingdom of Elohim.

Exodus 3:1, Tending the flock. Moses spent forty years in the wilderness of Midian tending the flocks of Jethro, his father-in-law. After this phase of his life, YHVH called and commissioned Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt and then to shepherd them through the wilderness en route to the Promised Land. This was the very same wilderness where Moses had shepherded Jethro’s sheep for forty years. Moses’ job as a physical shepherd prepared him for the next phase of his life—his ministry as a spiritual shepherd. 

Often YHVH chooses individuals as his servants based on their vocational background, which provides training for the spiritual ministry to which he then calls them. For example, David was a shepherd before he became the king over Israel. Amos was a picker of fruit and a shepherd who called the nation of Israel back to become good spiritual fruit and to come back to Elohim, Israel’s true spiritual Shepherd. John the Baptist was a priest calling the Jews to repent of sin and to become a holy nation. Yeshua was a carpenter before he became a builder of the spiritual house of Israel (Heb 3:3–6; 1 Pet 2:5), and several of Yeshua’s disciples were commercial fishermen before becoming “fishers of men” or apostolic evangelists. Paul was a tent maker helping to raise up the fallen tabernacle of David. Sometimes our physical vocations may be an indicator of what our spiritual calling is. 

Being a shepherd of physical sheep is a most suitable profession to prepare one for tending YHVH’s spiritual sheep. A shepherd has to put the needs, comfort, care and protection of the sheep above his own needs and wants. This is one reason why the Scriptures refer to those who care for and protect YHVH’s spiritual sheep as shepherds or pastors. 

There are many similarities between physical and spiritual shepherds, and physical and spiritual sheep. Unless one has been a physical shepherd and cared for physical sheep or even children, it is unlikely these reasons will be readily apparent. This is why being a parent is a one of the qualifications for being an elder or deacon in the church (1 Tim 3:2, 4, 12; Tit 1:6).

 

Do you desire to be a spiritual leader? READ THIS!

Luke 6:40, Perfectly/fully trained. Those disciples of Yeshua, the Master-Teacher, who are properly trained, fit out, prepared or equipped can become like Yeshua the Master-Teacher. Those who aren’t properly equipped or trained to teach are like the blind leading the blind and will cause others to fall into a spiritual ditch (Luke 6:39).

The person who isn’t properly trained, but who is trying to lead people spiritually, not only will be like a blind man leading the blind, but will also be hypocritical in their judgments and assessments of things. This is because they lack the experience, wisdom and skills to be able to point out the faults of others because they are still inexperienced and have too many blind spots themselves and are still like the blind leading the blind (Luke 6:41–42).

This is why Paul very carefully lays out the qualifications for those in spiritual leadership in the local congregation. A spiritual leader was not to be an inexperienced individual, a new convert or a novice (1 Tim 3:6), but well-discipled in YHVH’s truth before hand (Tit 1:9).

Paul goes on to say that it is good thing for a person to desire to be a spiritual leader (1 Tim 3:1), but it isn’t a good thing if they doesn’t meet the criteria or qualifications, which Paul then lays out (1 Tim 3:2–13).

The problem is that in our day, there are many individuals who desire to be leaders and teachers, but who are self-appointed, and who have not been perfectly or fully trained. Since the advent of the internet, such people now have an easily accessible pulpit-platform from which egotistically to influence others. Sadly, they are like the blind hypocrite in Yeshua’s parable leading many astray and causing many to stumble and to fall into spiritual ditches of false doctrines and errant teachings.

Just because someone has a website, a YouTube channel, has published a book, spoken at a conference, has academic credentials or been on radio and television doesn’t mean they have been perfectly equipped or fully trained for the position of a Bible teacher or a leader in the spiritual body of Yeshua.

We may not always know what a person’s background or qualifications are, but the spiritual fruit they produce, whether good or bad, can be an excellent indicator as to what type of spiritual tree they are, as Yeshua goes on to say in the next verses (Luke 6:43–45).

Those who sense a divine calling on their lives to teach or to lead YHVH’s people need to be first discipled and raised up by older and mature, wise spiritual leaders who have a proven track record of good spiritual fruit. This is the biblical way!


 

Yeshua on Self-Promoting, Self-Appointed Leaders and Teachers

Luke 6:40, Perfectly/fully trained. Those disciples of Yeshua the Master-Teacher who are properly trained, fit out, prepared or equipped can become like Yeshua the Master-Teacher. Those who aren’t properly equipped or trained to teach are like the blind leading the blind and will cause others to fall into a spiritual ditch (Luke 6:39).

Those who aren’t properly trained not only will be like a blind man leading the blind, but will also be hypocritical in his judgments and assessments of things. This is because he lacks the experience, wisdom and skills to be able to point out the faults of others because he is still inexperienced and has too many blind spots himself and is still like the blind leading the blind (Luke 6:41–42).

This is why Paul very carefully lays out the qualifications for those in spiritual leadership in the local congregation. A spiritual leader was not to be an inexperienced individual, a new convert or a novice (1 Tim 3:6), but well-discipled in YHVH’s truth before hand (Tit 1:9).

Paul says that it is good thing for a man to desire to be a spiritual leader (1 Tim 3:1), but it isn’t a good thing if he doesn’t meet the criteria or qualifications, which Paul then lays out (1 Tim 3:2–13).

The problem is that in our day, there are many individuals who desire to be leaders and teachers, who are self-appointed, and who have not been perfectly or fully trained. Since the advent of the internet, such people now have an easily accessible pulpit-platform from which to influence others. Sadly, they are like the blind hypocrite in Yeshua’s parable leading many astray and causing many to stumble and to fall into spiritual ditches of false doctrines and errant teachings.

Just because someone has a website, a YouTube channel, has published a book, spoken at a conference, has academic credentials or been on radio and television doesn’t mean they have been perfectly equipped or fully trained for the position of Bible teacher or a spiritual leader in the spiritual body of Yeshua.

We may not always know what a person’s background or qualifications are, but the spiritual fruit they produce, whether good or bad, can be an excellent indicator as to what type of spiritual tree they are, as Yeshua goes on to say in the next verses (Luke 6:43–45).

Those who sense a divine calling on their lives to teach or to lead YHVH’s people need to be first discipled and raised up by older and mature, wise spiritual leaders who have a proven track record of good spiritual fruit. This is the biblical way!


 

Wimps and Bullies Versus Godly Shepherds

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1 Timothy 3:3, Violent. This passage (vv. 3–7) lists the qualifications of an elder or leader of a congregation. One of the of character traits that he is not to posses is that of being a brawler (KJV),violent (NKJV) or pugnacious (NAS). What do the words brawler, violent or pugnacious mean here? It is the Greek word amachos meaning one who is by nature “a fighter, brawler, contentious, quarrelsome, one who causes strife, or one who is combative.” In modern terms, he’s a bully. Perhaps you remember the neighborhood bully from your years as a school child. An elder, overseer or shepherd of a congregation is not to be such a person. This is what Paul had in mind when he gave these instructions concerning the qualifications of an elder.

So let’s now explore this issue a little further. Is there ever a time when spiritual leaders may need to resort to forceful words or even to forceful actions to protect YHVH’s spiritual sheep? What, for example, did David mean when he asks the following question in Psalm 94:16?

Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

What did Yeshua mean when describing a good shepherd versus an evil hireling shepherd when he said that unlike the evil shepherd, a good shepherd lays his life down for the sheep and protects them from those who come to kill, steal and destroy the sheep? He says that the good shepherd defends the sheep, Continue reading


 

Leadership Has It’s Price — & Rewards

Leviticus 21. This chapter contains the regulations for the conduct of priests. YHVH’s standards were high, and a priest could easily be disqualified from service for failing to measure up.

YHVH demands higher standards of righteousness, obedience and holiness for those in leadership over his people. The higher up in leadership one desires to go, the more one’s walk must characterize service, self-deprecation and holiness. (See 1 Tim 3:1–13; Tit 1:5–9.) Standards of holiness rise as one attains a deeper and more intimate relationship with YHVH.

Yeshua condemned the religious leaders of his day for not practicing what they preached (i.e., hypocrisy), for living lives of pretense and show (he called such ones “whited sepulchers full of dead man’s bones”), and for greediness and pride. Check your walk in these areas. Do you want to “go places” with YHVH in service to him and his people? Are you willing to pay the price? The sacrifices necessary to be Yeshua’s bondservant comes at a high price (especially for the flesh), but the spiritual rewards are priceless!


 

On Starting a Fellowship and Raising Up Leaders

Recently I received an excellent question from the reader of this blog. This is the question:

I am part of a small congregation that started out as a Bible Study
group.  At the current time, the leader has full control of all aspects
of the group/congregation, from time and place of worship/study, music,
finances, etc.  Maybe I’m wrong, but I have suggested that I do not
believe that to be a healthy situation.  As we continue to grow, I
believe we should have a form of leadership structure besides one person
being solely responsible.  Would you share with me your leadership
structure model and also your Shabbot worship schedule.  Thank you for
your time.

What follows is my answer this question.

Like a slow moving yet intense grass fire, interest in the biblical or Hebrew roots of the Christian faith is spreading globally. Sadly, suppression of this movement’s pro-Torah message has become institutionalized in traditional Christianity since the fourth century onward. Additionally, many non-biblical, even pagan traditions have mixed into mainstream Christianity. What’s more, most churches refuse to detach themselves from these unbiblical doctrines of men and to reorientate themselves along purely biblical lines, which the biblical roots movement purports to embrace. Because of prevailing conditions in the church system, many people are exiting the churches in search of a religious experience that is truer to the biblical truth. These factors are the impetus behind the spread of the biblical or Hebrew roots movement. This is a fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy that in the end times before the second coming of Yeshua YHVH’s people would remember the Torah of Moses they had forgotten, and turn their hearts back to the spiritual (biblical) fathers of their faith (Mal 4:1–6). Continue reading