paul m hanssen
THE SCATTERED SHEEP GATHERED - Prophecy Fulfilled by Pastor Paul M Hanssen
THE SCATTERED SHEEP GATHERED - Prophecy Fulfilled.
by Pastor Paul M Hanssen
A few days ago, I received an email from a brother in a distant land. I have known this man and his family for some time. However, we had not had much contact or communication with each other over the past five years. The recent email that I received from him blessed me so much as he shared with me what the Lord was doing in his life and the awakening taking place within his own spirit. However, the final words of his email broke my heart and caused tears to flow from my eyes like rivers. He signed his email, “From one of the scattered sheep.”
With this, I realized just how many scattered sheep there must be, who in their spiritual lives are aimlessly roaming and lost like sheep without a shepherd. Truly, the recorded prophetic example of the nation of Israel’s experience in Old Testament times sheds light on this matter. The prophetic promise given to Israel is being fulfilled right before our eyes as we face the end of the New Testament church age. The prophets of old prophesied not only words of judgment, but also words of hope. In their day the nation of God’s chosen people had been scattered and spread abroad like sheep without a shepherd. There was confusion in the land. The people of Israel had been forced into exile by the Assyrians, and Judah had been taken into captivity by the Babylonians. The doubt of God’s promise ever being fulfilled had gripped the hearts of the people and darkness hovered over the land.
Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away: first the king of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon hath broken his bones. (Jeremiah 50:17)
However, in the midst of the exile and captivity God gave a promise of promises.
As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the LORD God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. (Ezekiel 34:12-16).
This prophetic promise sounds loudly, clearly, and concisely into the lives of the scattered flock today. Scattered means to be wounded, stung, dispersed, and separated from the fold. The stung, wounded flock is being called back into the fold and unto the lush feeding pastures on the high mountains of Israel. There, once again, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls will feed the flock with pasture like none other and with a grazing never before experienced (1 Peter 2:25). In this rich, good pasture the hungry will be fed again; the broken will be mended; the sick will be strengthened and the scattered sheep of the pasture will once again be gathered into a fold of safety.
Ezekiel was not the only one who prophesied this great gathering of the sheep. Jeremiah in the midst of showing God’s people the coming calamity of Babylonian captivity also prophesied about this end-time gathering.
And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD (Jeremiah 23:3-4).
Of course, for the natural nation of Israel this was an incredible promise. But moreover, for the spiritual nation of God’s remnant people, this is a prophetic promise that we are in the process of watching God fulfill. He is gathering His sheep. God is raising up shepherds to whom He has given the “voice that feeds” and the mantle that leads into pasture. This mantle is the shepherd’s mantle of King David.
And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. (Ezekiel 34:23-24).
Is there any wonder that God chose a shepherd boy to be the king over Israel? David understood the need to watch over, guard, protect and feed the flock. He was God’s choice to lead and feed His people. David became a king over God’s people like none before Him and none since. In these last days, God will raise up shepherds upon whom will rest the shepherd/king mantle of David. David was not just a king, but he was also a prophet of God who fed the sheep with the prophetic Word which led the nation of Israel into the Temple Era.
Fear not little flock. God is working. God is moving. God is fulfilling His promise. Trust Him – He will bring it pass!!