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The Undaunted Shepherd (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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January 24, 2024 6:00 am

The Undaunted Shepherd (Part B)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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January 24, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts

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It goes into a reality that is unmatched. We are blood bought, and we are to be Spirit-filled, and we are to be Christ-ruled. He is Lord.

He is Master and Commander. Our flesh recoils at that. Our Spirit loves it. Our Spirit has no problem falling on its face and worshipping the Lord because he's worth it, and no one else is.

Not to receive that kind of adoration. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Book of Acts.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. The Undaunted Shepherd is the title of today's message, and Pastor Rick will be teaching in Acts chapter 20. I hope you understand what I'm talking about is Christianity, how it's set up, and there's no way you could know how it is set up unless you read the Bible or someone has explained it to you. It's quite presumptuous to think that you just know these things. I just know God. No, you don't. Not the true God you have to receive.

He has to reveal himself to you, and he does that in various ways, but never, never contrary to the scripture, the Bible as we know it. That's a whole other story. But anyway, immature, ignorant, and often difficult people have a problem with authority in the church. It's like they signed up for it.

Sign me up. I want to have a problem with authority, and it's just an act of faithlessness. Well, we all struggle with something. I hope if you've detected that in you that you have a problem with authority in the church that you understand it's not a virtue and doesn't come from heaven. That is born in hell, and your flesh is accommodating it. These pastors, they don't lord over your life.

They don't tell you what kind of haircut to get, what kind of car to drive, who to marry, who not to marry, with the exception of, well, you got to be believers. You know, don't let that be you because the Bible has left some hard examples. Dathan. Dathan did not appreciate Moses and Aaron having that authority over Israel, so they decided to protest.

Ultimately, the ground literally opened up and swallowed Dathan and his protesters, and that was the end of them. Then there's diatrophes in the New Testament. Had the audacity to tell John the apostle, you know, I don't want to hear what you have to say, and I don't want anybody to come to my church to hear what you have to say. You know, this stuff's not new.

These are alternatives from hell, and they are here to this present day. To shepherd the church of God, Paul says here in verse 28, this is how it's supposed to work. Peter said it this way. I hope I'm not talking too quickly for you.

Not that you're slow, but I mean, you know, a person can talk so quick. I can't, I don't know what you're saying. First Peter chapter five, Peter says to the pastors, pastor the flock of God, which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion, but willingly, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly, nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And I mentioned we don't lord over your life, come and tell you what you, you know, what job to have, what not. Although there are some jobs you cannot have. You say, well, like what?

Well, how about being a drug pusher? That's not, you know, it's instant. No.

Well, how about I just, you know, finish up this week, give them two week notice? No. So, anyway, the early church, the early church was clearly disinterested in calling their spiritual leaders rabbis. You ever notice that? A rabbi is a teacher and he himself has given some pastor teachers. It's one office, the pastor that teaches, and a more descript title emerged. It was in use in the Old Testament, as I pointed out, but the Lord really began to bring it home, referring to the believers as a flock without a shepherd, the striking of the shepherd, and then when he gets to with Peter on the shore of Galilee, he says, you know, tend my sheep, feed my lambs. He's very clear about Peter, who was one of the pastors of the early church.

He's very clear about this pastoral description, which has carried on, but here's where things also begin to change for the Christian in our perspective of what's going on with Christianity. Paul says, which he purchased with his own blood. So, it cost Jesus a gruesome death to open the church doors. Anytime a church door is opened, it costs Jesus his life to do this. It did not just happen. The church, of course, he loves the church.

He comes right out and says that. He died for the church. Jesus is God the Son of God the Father, and then there's God the Holy Spirit. These three are one.

They belong with each other. Christ is sinless. He's incorruptible. When he was tempted by Satan, someone might say, well, what if he did submit to this temptation? He couldn't. He's incorruptible.

That's what it means. He's said to be incorruptible. He allowed himself to be tempted by Satan, one, to serve hell. Notice I'm here, and two, to let us know he's not just a prophet.

He's unlike anyone else. No temptation could overtake him. Equal with the Father. So equal that this verse calls his blood the blood of God.

Now, you tell me if this is not a resurrection message. To shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood. Well, the antecedent and the pronouns are pointing to Jesus Christ, and it's calling him God. The church of God, which he purchased.

1 Peter 1. This is what makes the Jehovah witnesses and the Mormons heretics, because it states clearly who Christ is, and they want to make up other things about who he is and deny what it says. What was the charge against Christ when they went to arrest him, to crucify him?

Because you, being a man, make yourself equal with God. That was the charge against him, which they say, well, he never said he was God. He certainly did, and he certainly did not. And if you took words of Christ and you put them into words of any other man, if I were to say to you, I am the way, the truth, and the life, you know I'd be a heretic.

Is he even comfortable using that example? Only God could make such a statement. Well, coming back to this, with Christ and Peter writing, he says, knowing that you are not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ. What's the blood of God? It says here in Acts verse 28, but here Peter is also in total agreement with the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish and without spot. You're paid for.

The doors of the church were paid for. I don't know why so many of our younger church goers hear such a teaching and then flush it into the sewer and run after the world and ask Satan how they should live. Should I be cool, calm, and collected about that?

Should you be somehow honored for doing such things? You better make a choice and stand up to the devil. You won't be able to say, well, my pastor never gave me the word of God.

You can say, you know, he almost clubbed me over the head with it. But in love, I mean that. If you're having a problem with your faith, you stand here singing songs to the Lord, but you want to go live like a devil, or follow what Satan is saying, then come to the pastors and have them pray with you. Stand up for your faith. Don't take that kind of stuff from your flesh, from the world, or from hell below, because you don't have to.

And those sitting around you who have been teens, some very long time ago, they know the drill. Each believer is blood bought. First Corinthians 6 20 explicitly says it, each believer paid for in God's blood, because there's nothing more valuable or as valuable. God chose Israel. Now, don't miss this, but he died for the church. You see those who like to kind of think, well, you know, Israel's a little bit of outranks the church.

No, it does not. They're equal. The people of God, that is. Because you can be a Jew and not go to heaven. Simply being a Jew will not get you into heaven. God's address is to them as a people. As an individual, they've got to come to Christ. Though, you know, the first church was all Jewish. And then, of course, when the Gentiles came in, they flooded it.

Well, there are more Gentiles on earth than there are Jews, and it makes perfect sense. God chose Israel, but he died for the church, the church that many churchgoers love criticizing, destroying, and attacking. And this is why Paul spoke to these things with tears.

We'll come to that. The blood of God is the blood of Jesus Christ. Matthew 26, Jesus speaking, for this is my blood of the new covenant, covenant testament, same word, which is shed for many for remission of sins. Why does he put many and not all? Because the Jewish people don't yet know that he died for the Gentiles too.

That's coming. It did come, but at this point, there was no church. Christianity really doesn't begin until Christ rises from the dead, and the church really doesn't kick into gear until Pentecost. These things were phased in, and the work to then shape the church into what it has become cost Paul stonings, beatings, just so much persecution because no one wanted to let go of Judaism. And that's why he talks about beware of those of the mutilation.

He got pretty nasty with that because from Paul's perspective, they were damning souls if they could. And so when Christ says, which is shed for many, in that is a veiled statement shed for Jews and Gentiles alike, equally. And then in 1 Corinthians, Paul, preaching those words, says to a church in Corinth that had made a mockery of the communion table. He said he also took the cup after supper saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood.

This do as often as you drink it in remembrance of me. It's all right here. We could have been in Deuteronomy or Leviticus and still would not have to alter the text to preach the truth. Now, we are not following a system of values as Christians. Our faith goes beyond religion.

It goes into a reality that is unmatched. We are blood bought and we are to be spirit filled and we are to be Christ ruled. He is Lord.

He is master and commander. Our flesh recoils at that. Our spirit loves it. Our spirit has no problem falling on its face and worshiping the Lord because he's worth it and no one else is, not to receive that kind of adoration. The tribulation converts who will be martyred for their faith, there's a note about them in Revelation 12 facing this tribulation and it applies to all Christians, but it specifically targets them, but it's for us. It says, and they overcame him, this to Satan and his stuff, through the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony because they did not love their lives to death.

So, in other words, the relationship with God was more important than life and then they proved it. Verse 29, for I know this that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you not sparing the flock. The pastoral metaphors now expand. We move from the shepherd to the sheep to the flock to the wolves and wolves in sheep's clothing at that. There is nothing more accurate and enduring in portraying the Christian experience when we say the Lord is my shepherd.

That's what we're saying. I'm just one of the sheep. Remove the shepherd and the wolves and the flock will not be all right. This is the case with cults.

This is the case with the David Kurish. Years ago, the Branch Davidians, he was a false teacher, a heretic, and he took out a lot of people with him. Matthew, Jesus said, beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. In less than 40 years, this beloved church will be overcome by their negligence of Christ.

And so he'll say, you left your first love. Progamos, another of the seven churches addressed in Revelation, their problem was Balaam's greed. Never mind what God says, there's money to be had through religion. That was Balaam. Thyatira, they had Jezebel's teaching. All you have to do is mention Jezebel's in church and you know you've got a problem.

Big one. Sardis, their problem was spiritual death. They had a name that they were alive but they were dead, though there were some in there that still believed. And then there's Laodicea, which had many problems, but one of the big ones was spiritual apathy. And Jesus said, because you're not hot or cold but lukewarm, you've got this apathy. You think that my religious box is checked.

There's nothing more I need to really do. Coming to these churches in the early days when the apostles were beginning to die off and already while they were there ministering was Gnostic heresy, which paved the way for the Arian heresy, which is a form of Jehovah Witness doctrine, denying the lordship of the deity of Christ. Lawlessness was creeping into the church, but legalism was too.

Satan has a flavor for everyone. Jude said, you know, these guys are hard to pinpoint sometimes. He said, contend earnestly for the faith, Jude 3. He said, which was once delivered to the saints. In other words, we don't need a new Bible.

We've got one. It's once delivered and it closed with the apostles. He says, for certain men have crept in unnoticed. Creeping into the church means they're trying to fly beneath the radar. They're deceptive.

They don't want you to know what they're up to because they know it's wrong. 2 Corinthians, Paul writes to the church, for such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ and no wonder for Satan transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness. This is why he's saying take heed, pay attention.

Therefore, watch. You've heard of some people that have street savvy or they have the instincts for whatever, maybe battlefield instincts. Paul had that for spiritual things. He was the only one. But Paul had those, he was savvy about hell. He knew what they were up to.

He knew how those boys did business and he did everything to do to put them out of business on an individual level, which is why he met house to house with people, which is very time consuming and takes a lot of work. Savage wolves. They don't always look savage. That's what Jude is telling us.

That's what Paul is saying. Deceitful workers transforming themselves into an angel of light and no surprise. You have to be mature about these things and not gullible.

Gullibility is not an asset. Here's the horror of it all. Flocks will consent to the wolves coming in and spiritually devouring them.

We see it to this day. No false teacher can succeed without false students because he gets fired by just their leaving with, you know, I'm not going back to that church because they don't preach the word of God. But we get a lot of it in today's churches. Well, they preach the word of God, but I'm not going back anyway because, and I don't want to go into that. Jeremiah chapter 14.

I'm trying to figure out what I should put next. I will stay with Jeremiah 14, 14. And Yahweh said to me, the prophets prophesied lies in my name. I've not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them. They prophesied to you false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the seed of their heart.

Micah adds when he presents the same thing, and my people love to have it so. They love this kind of stuff. It's sarcasm. It's satire. It's an attempt to try to reach them on some level. Again, you teens, sometimes you may hear me being sarcastic and it's satire.

Trying to shake you into a reality that you can't escape. But you can do well. Or not. Your choice. Should it be any other way?

If we forced you, you know, you'd be complaining about that. Jesus said we played a dirge for you and you, you know, I just lost the scripture, verse had it in my head, but essentially he says we played a melody and you wouldn't dance, we played a dirge, you wouldn't mourn. You can't win. That's what Christ was saying to the Pharisees.

You can't win with you guys. You're going to find something wrong with everything. But you won't look at the truth. Matthew 7 20, therefore you will know them by their fruits. They're contradicting scripture. If they're immoral, if they're out for themselves and the list goes on, you know they're not men of the Holy Spirit given to the church.

Second Peter is a little lengthy, but worth reading. But there were also false prophets among the people. Dathan, as I mentioned before, and he wasn't alone, more than 250 people with him in a rebellion, he said, even as there will be false teachers among you who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them and bring on themselves swift destruction. Well, that will be a judgment. It's not going to be, well, you know, your case is now going to an appellate court or whatever or appeals.

No, that's not going to happen. God's going to say, you know what? You are an enemy and that's that. Judgment will be done. And Peter continues, and many will follow their destructive ways. Why? Why will many people follow these people?

We'll come to that. Because of whom the way of the truth will be blasphemed. By covetedness, they will exploit you because they want something from you, not to give you something to take from you with deceptive words. For a long time, their judgment has not been idle and their destruction does not slumber. Peter says there's nothing new about this.

You've got to like Peter because he, too, was very savvy, right to the point. Why do so many follow false prophets in spite of clear teachings in the scripture against it? Love of lower standards, that's why. They don't want the conviction. They don't want to hear it. They want their ears tickled.

And Paul warned of that when he wrote to Timothy. There's an English word that I love and I don't use nearly enough, visceral. I'm going to read the definition right from the dictionary without having a dictionary with me.

That's a pretty neat trick. Proceeding was the definition of visceral. Proceeding from instinct rather than from reasoned thinking. In other words, I don't care to think this through.

I like it. Well, that is a recipe for spiritual death and present death that happens all the time. I go with what I feel, not what I know is to be right or wrong.

Do I need to say anything else about that? Because this is practice. It is out of control in humanity.

We're living in a time we're seeing. It's like there's a doofus making machine somewhere and they're just blowing them out. They're all over the place. I passed a few of them on the way in. They were going in the other direction, but I knew they were doofuses. I can tell by the way their headlights were. I'm adding to it, you know, what's the word? Visceral.

I'm added to it, you know, I have no reason to believe that their headlights come on. It's crazy. It makes no sense.

Yes, but it feels good. He says, we'll come in among you not sparing the flock. No care for others, only themselves. Again, the Bible has much to teach through shepherd and flock and wolves and sheep, the parallels. Paul writes to the Romans, a letter recently written at the time he's meeting with these pastors. He says, for those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

Why are they simple? Because they want the lower life. They prefer the lower life, the flesh, carnality. They really are a little sick and tired of Jesus telling them this is what's right and this is what's wrong. This is the way to heaven. This is the way to hell.

They have tired of it. What right does he have to be God? Well, you can find that out at Judgment Day.

You don't fix it. Verse 30, also from among yourselves, men will rise up speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after themselves. Oh, Paul, you're so negative. I mean, this is a pastor at work and they loved him.

Not only did they love him, later in chapter 21 when he gets to Caesarea, they're going to be loving on him too. This is the, you know, you're not expected to turn on your pastors when they're doing their job. Churchgoers will slaughter the church.

That's what he says. Also from among you, coming out of the church, there will rise up men speaking perverse things. Well, why didn't somebody stop them?

Because they liked it. Too many times the new pastor is the wolf in sheep's clothing. Many times throughout history, there's solid churches and that pastor goes to heaven.

Another one comes in, not all the time, but many times, and takes that church right out of scripture and into the trash can. Why? Because he thinks he can do it better. He can relate to this culture. We're not trying to relate to the culture. We're trying to preach to it. We're not asking them, uh-huh, what should we do? We're telling them straight out, this is what you should do.

Get yourself a life jacket in Christ Jesus. I'm so narrow-minded. If I could make it more narrow, I would. Because straight is the way and narrow is the gate that leads to eternal life.

That broad way and many shall go in by it. Not me. Because I have a say-so. Not because I have power.

I have the ability to say yes. Speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after themselves. Sheep rustlers. That's what they are.

And they're alive today. And they go to churches and they start their little groups and then they, and they whisper, come over to my stuff. That's illegal. It's sinful. And it, they, you know, I don't want to preach on that part because I cover it a lot. So I've had two people say to me, basic things, nice things. They were not bad or anything. Just, you know, they come across, they heard something.

It was very basic. And I say to myself, you know, I preach that a lot. You've been listening to Cross Reference Radio, the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast, today's teaching is available free of charge at our website. Simply visit That's We'd also like to encourage you to subscribe to the Cross Reference Radio podcast. Subscribing ensures that you stay current with all the latest teachings from Pastor Rick. You can subscribe at or simply search for Cross Reference Radio in your favorite podcast app. Tune in next time as Pastor Rick continues teaching through the book of Acts, right here on Cross Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-24 09:52:24 / 2024-01-24 10:02:18 / 10

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