Jeremiah 23:1, 2. Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
Even as Jesus pronounced woes to the teachers of the Law, His voice was echoing Jeremiah with the warnings for any who would assume spiritual authority over others to their harm.
If pastors fail to make faithful assessments of the spiritual condition of the flock, the Lord Himself will make known His assessment of that pastor.
The Lord’s Visitation
To visit is to look upon to help, benefit or care for; but can also ultimately bring forth judgment without repentance, and a failure to show mercy. Jesus describes the day of His judgment on all peoples.
For those approved:
Matthew 25:36. I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.
For those rejected:
Matthew 25:43. 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.
Those who rejoiced at the coming of Jesus Christ proclaimed these words:
Luke 7:16. Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen up among us”; and, “God has visited His people.”
In doing so, they echoed the prophetic words of Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist.
Luke 1:68. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people.
Luke 1:77, 78. To give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us.
All who are the servants of the Lord, not just pastors, have the opportunity to participate in the Lord’s visitation, for this is our true religion.
James 1:27. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to refuse to be corrupted by the world’s values.
The remnant will be gathered.
Jeremiah 23:3, 4. But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking, says the Lord.
Every Christian should hear the voice of the Good Shepherd in the word of Jeremiah. This remnant of the flock includes the Gentiles who have put their trust in Him.
John 10:16. 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.
The remnant [H7611-shĕ’eriyth], is derived from the root [sha’ar, H7604], that which remains, or was left behind. This pertains to The Day of Judgment. In Isaiah and Jeremiah, as well as the New Testament writings, the remnant will remain after the harvest.
These gleanings of the Lord, which were reckoned separately. While most are very familiar with the tithe, rarely are the gleanings discussed, for they point to what will remain, after the judgment.
The Unprofitable Servant
The words of scripture are chosen very carefully for those who have ears to hear. All who are called receive their portion, but not all will be faithful.
Matthew 13:10-12. And the disciples came and said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? He answered and said to them, Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.
Matthew 25:28-30. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. For everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Many seek the Lord desiring what He alone is able to give them. (The Called). Very few come to Him desiring to serve, to receive from Him what is provided for others.
John 6:26, 27. Jesus answered them and said, Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.
Judgment and Righteousness
Jeremiah 23:5, 6. Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely. Now this is His name by which He will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
To be an executor in covenant, one must keep the Way of the Lord. Christ fulfilled all Righteousness through the Branch of David, perfecting every covenant between God and man, beginning with Abraham.
Genesis 18:19. For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to execute judgment and righteousness; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.
The Stewardship of Abraham in covenant with God was not just in keeping Judgment and Righteousness, but to take command over all in his sphere of influence by keeping the Way of the Lord. The Memorials of the Lord must be passed onto the next generation. The Way of the Lord always includes this Stewardship.
Jesus Alone Is Exalted
Isaiah 5:16. But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is Holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.
For the Lord to be exalted in judgment, the Holy Spirit must be involved to counsel your decision. This is an absolute requirement when passing on the Way of the Lord. Righteousness requires our sanctification from carnal ideas.
2 Corinthians 3:4, 5. And such trust have we through Christ toward God: not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.
Clothed in Righteousness
Job 29:14. I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
1 Peter 5:5. Likewise, you younger ones, submit yourselves to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Romans 13:14. Therefore, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and stop making provision for the desires of the flesh.
Psalm 106:3. Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that executes righteousness at all times.
Establishing the Law
Isaiah 16:5. In mercy the throne will be established, and One will sit on it in Truth, in the tabernacle of David, Judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness.
James 2:13. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Isaiah 56:1. Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed.
Romans 3:31. Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
Jeremiah 33:15. In those days and at that time, I will grow up unto David a Branch of righteousness; he shall execute judgment and righteousness for the earth.