F A L L • 2 0 1 6
VOLUME 17, ISSUE 3
Michael Pursley has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. He completely and humbly rests upon the fact that God has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ who has blotted out all of his sins. Because of Jesus he has hope, peace, and joy, and his prayer is that all who do not know Jesus will trust Him who calls the dead to life. You may contact him at email@example.com.
There is an old story that emerged years ago from the stockyards in Chicago. The stock handlers could not find an effective way to get the sheep from the holding pens into the butcher house. The sheep were easily spooked, and the sounds and the smells in the yard alarmed them. The men introduced dogs to herd the sheep, but the method that worked in a pasture under the authority of a shepherd failed in a strange and dangerous place. Next the handlers tried pain. They formed lines of men with electric prods who attempted to force the sheep into going in the right direction, zapping them when they tried to cut and run. Again their plan failed. The sheep, afraid and untrusting, simply wouldn’t walk obediently to their deaths.
Finally, the stock handlers found a solution. Following an old farmer’s advice, the men trained a goat to come in and mingle with the sheep. It rapidly blended into the flock, and eventually, the goat, wearing a little bell, placed himself at the head of the sheep. It walked straight to the slaughterhouse, and the sheep trustingly followed. Once there, the sheep had their throats cut, and they died.
And what happened to the goat?
The goat just walked away, went to the next pen, and did the same thing again—and again.
Significantly, these slaughterhouse goats had a name: Judas Goats. Their only purpose was to lead sheep to their deaths.
Throughout history Satan has had a number of Judas Goats. Sometimes they were pagan emperors. Sometimes they have been TV evangelists. Often they have been false teachers, false prophets, or influential leaders who created false churches or deceptive religious movements.
Let me give you some characteristics of these spiritual Judas Goats. Once these characteristics are identified, Judas Goats become easy to spot. The texts following each characteristic show the biblical truth obscured by the Judas Goats’ deception.
• Judas Goats say that Jesus is either not completely divine, or that He has a “fallen” (sinful) human nature (1 Jn. 2:22, 4:3; 2 Jn. 1:7; Col. 1:19; 2:9).
• Judas Goats subtract from Scripture or add to it with their own writings or teachings (Deut. 4:2; Rev. 22:18,19).
• Judas Goats twist plain, simple biblical statements on the essential matters of Christianity and thus change God’s plan of salvation (Is. 28:13; Gal. 1:6-9; Col. 2:16-23).
• Judas Goats emphasize morality (sometimes the law), family values, prophecies, and lifestyle over the good news of the gospel (Phil. 3:2-11; Acts 15:19-21; Rom. 14; 1 Tim. 4:1-5).
• Judas Goats also minimize or change the finished atonement of Christ or teach that it is not yet finished. Sometimes Judas Goats even say that there was no need for an atonement. They often emphasize that Jesus was, and is, mainly an example (Rom. 3:21-28; Heb. 9:22; 1 Jn. 2:2, 4:10).
• Judas Goats will stress that salvation comes through their church, denomination, system of thought, or practices. Judas Goats never stress that salvation comes through Jesus alone (Rom. 10:9-10; Jn. 5:24; 6:29).
Now that I have mentioned some of the characteristics of Judas Goats, their identities become much clearer, don’t they? If you, dear reader, identify with one or more of these Judas Goat characteristics, every time you lead people to your point of view or to your church, you are leading them away from the life of the gospel toward their deaths. Similarly, if you are being drawn by the teachings of a Judas Goat, you are being drawn into deception. Only the true Shepherd of the sheep can lead us into life and away from death.
Flee from the deception of the Judas Goats.†
Copyright 2016 Life Assurance Ministries, Inc., Camp Verde, Arizona, USA. All rights reserved. Revised November 23, 2016. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org