Chapter 4: A Shepherd
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
There is a Spanish proverb that says: Dime con quien andas, y te diré quién eres- Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are. This proverb highlights the reality of human nature, the reality that our character is formed through the influence of our peers and companions. In the light of this reality it is understandable why one of the main concerns of diligent parents is the quality of their children’s friends. Parents often ask: Who are you going to be with? Who are their parents? Where are you going? These are questions that we all have been asked and that we all have asked, because of our concern for the welfare of those we love.
Solomon wrote in the book of Proverbs: He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed (Pr. 13:20). Solomon’s thought emphasizes how our relationships have a direct effect on the development of our character. We either become wise by walking with the wise, or we will be destroyed in our foolishness because we walked with fools.
Paul admonished the Christians in Corinth along the same vein, writing: Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners (I Cor. 15:33). It seems the point that these men were making is that it is impossible to escape the influence of our environment. If we associate with the foolish we will become fools, and if we surround ourself with evil communication we will lose our individual convictions.
It is a natural human tendency to be part of a group. We are, by nature, social creatures, and even though this varies on a scale, we all join social groups. Whether the group develops from shared interest, shared belief, shared genetics, or shared goals we each find ourselves as members in multiple social groups. Perhaps it would be safe to say, for the purpose of this topic, that the common thread that defines each group could be referred to as the shepherd of that particular group. The common thread that defines each social group serves as the door through which each member enters the group. If we find that the common thread no longer interests us, then we also exit by the same door.
Given that we, as social creatures, are involved in multiple social groups, then each of us are under the influence of various shepherds. As we continue to examine the topic, what is essential in life, the role of a shepherd must be considered. If there are multiple shepherds, then, there must be a way to distinguish a good shepherd from an evil one.
Beyond social groups, the idea of humans as compared to sheep following a shepherd, implies that we all must choose which shepherd to follow. A shepherd for our life indicates that we are choosing to follow something that supersedes mere social groups. A shepherd who leads, protects, and feeds is a shepherd who has a personal interest in each individual sheep. Whether it is represented by principles, ethics, or belief; this class of shepherd instills purpose and accountability in their sheep.
In the scripture, the role of the shepherd is introduced through the story of Cain and Abel, and it carries on throughout the scripture to the New Testament where Jesus identified himself as the good shepherd. We each, as sheep, must have a shepherd. Choosing a good shepherd is ‘essential’.
Cain and Abel
In the book of Genesis we are introduced to the brothers Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve. According to the Bible, Cain and Abel are the first humans that began life in the same form that still exists today. They began life as we all begin life, as babies. They were born of a Mother and a Father, and they were raised to maturity under the care and protection of their parents. When they reached adulthood they each chose their profession. Abel was a keeper of sheep and Cain was a tiller of the ground.
Abel, the second born son of Adam and Eve, was the first shepherd in human history. Imagine, if you will, finding yourself in the position of evaluating all the animals of the earth, and then you were asked to decide which animal would be the one you would choose to protect. One important factor in the evaluation would be the nature of the animal in question. Specifically, in Abel’s case, there was something about the nature of a sheep that caught his attention. It is interesting that from the very beginning of time, an era that preceded cultural knowledge, social order and restriction; a man saw a sheep and decided, this is an animal that could prosper from my care.
The differences between Cain and Abel manifested itself in multiple ways. The first separation, Abel as a keeper of the sheep and Cain as a tiller of the ground, is very instructive. Cain identified with the earth. Cain saw the potential for production and gain, and so he set to work. Cain saw the creation as something that could be used, worked, and brought into productivity. Abel was a keeper of sheep. Abel saw an animal that needed help, and he chose to make that his responsibility. Abel took on the role of a caretaker. Abel saw his role as a shepherd.
Perhaps it is safe to assume that both Cain and Abel’s decisions were influenced by the stories they heard from their parents about their time in the Garden of Eden. Perhaps Cain heard the part, in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread (Gen.3:18), and he decided to take that responsibility personally. Perhaps Abel, heard those stories and understood that he would need a shepherd to protect him, a shepherd that would keep him from repeating the mistakes his parents made. Their motivations are open to multiple interpretations and speculation, but what is clear is that two natures emerged, and the product of those natures resulted in two very different paths in life.
The beginning of the fourth chapter of Genesis we read of Cain and Abel bringing their offerings to God. The word ‘offering’ is important because it marked the difference in their understanding of what the word meant, which then was clarified by God’s acceptance of Abel’s offering and his rejection of Cain’s. And in the process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had no respect. (Gen.4:3-5) One conclusion that can be drawn, with respect to the offerings, is that Abel understood the heart of a shepherd; therefore Abel understood what type of offering would be pleasing to God. Abel offered the firstlings of his flock. Abel sacrificed a life, which represented a personal cost, a personal sacrifice, which demonstrated his commitment to God. Abel’s offering proved to God that God’s pleasure held priority in his life. Abel exemplified the spirit of a lamb in his offering. Abel understood that the sacrifice of a life that had a humble, submitted, and meek nature would be pleasing to God. Abel identified with that nature and he understood that it was pleasing to God. Cain, on the other hand, did not identify with that nature.
Cain also understood something about the nature of God. Cain understood that it was correct behavior to make an offering to God. However, Cain’s offering, or the spirit with which he offered, displayed a lack of understanding about the character of God. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. (Gen.4:5-7) The evidence for God’s displeasure with Cain can be understood by seeing Cain’s reaction to correction. Cain was pleased with his offering; consequently, by his judgement, God should also be pleased. However, that was not the case.
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him (Gen.4:8). Cain’s reaction gave evidence of his nature. Cain’s anger with God when his offering was not accepted directed itself at his brother Abel. Cain chose to target his anger (anger which was a product of the rejection of his offering) towards his brother Abel, the one who had gained God’s approval.
God then spoke to Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? (Gen.4:9) Abel had displayed by his life that he understood the role of a shepherd. Abel had chosen to take care of the sheep. Cain, through his choices in life, had developed an opposite approach. Cain’s approach was along the line of “every man for himself.” Cain’s question, Am I my brother’s keeper, displayed his character. Not only had Cain killed his brother, his reaction to being questioned demonstrated that he had rejected the natural bond of family. Cain, being overcome with anger, destroyed what he must have felt like, was the standard of God’s righteousness. Cain could have reacted differently, but his actions revealed that he was being led by a different shepherd.
Shepherds and Sheep
Sheep are basically timid animals who tend to graze in flocks and are almost totally lacking in protection from predators. They have a docile nature which allows for most people, including women and children, to care for them. In a study published in 2009, researchers found that sheep experience a wide range of emotions including: fear, anger, despair, boredom, and happiness. The role of the shepherd with the sheep is to lead the sheep, protect the sheep, and feed the sheep.
The nature of sheep, when used as a descriptor for humans, presents the idea that humans are designed to be led. As previously mentioned, humans like sheep, are social creatures. Our natural instinct is to find a group/flock. The fear of parents for their children, in this regard, is that the group will change the nature of their child for the worse. Therefore, the groups we join in our youth are closely monitored by those who are responsible for our care. As we mature and develop our own interests we then choose groups that align with our interests. Our motivation in life comes by choosing a destination or goal, and then working to reach the goal. The goal leads us to a particular shepherd. We each follow our shepherd, and that shepherd will guide us to a certain end. In this context, at every stage of our life, each of us, are comparable to sheep.
In the context of this discussion a shepherd must be something more than a goal. A goal once attained loses its power to guide a life. A shepherd must have the ability to feed, guide, shelter and protect. A shepherd indicates a relationship between two spirits. We as individuals, are the dependent party within the relationship.
The instructions of a shepherd, however they present themselves, are for our betterment and for our protection. Self-motivation through goal construction can produce similar outcomes; but, they are similar only on a surface level. A goal-orientated person is constantly in pursuit of self-improvement, which can be beneficial. However, the dangerous potential in that endeavor is becoming hyper-focused on yourself, resulting in a selfish nature.
The good shepherd is the embodiment of Truth and righteousness. If we are being led by the influence of Truth and righteousness then our life is being guided by principles which minimize self. Goal accomplishment, in following the good shepherd, is recognizing that the journey and the destination are intertwined.
Even with a limited knowledge of husbandry, we can see that there are many parallels between human character and the nature of animals. A very superficial analysis of animals that is often used, portrays certain animal traits ascribed to individuals or groups. For example: foxes, snakes, wolves, chickens, etc. Each of these animals are representative of a certain trait that is then presented as a personification of a certain individual’s character. For example, they are as filthy as a pig! They are as sly as a fox! Etc. The development of these traits is a direct consequence of the shepherd they have chosen to follow.
A sheep without a shepherd is a lost sheep. Jesus said: Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd (Jn. 10:16). This statement points to the requirements for being found. As we have already mentioned all people have the nature of a sheep in the sense that they are following a shepherd. Unfortunately, in many cases, the attribute of following a leader eventually becomes the only characteristic that some people maintain about the nature of a sheep. Instead of developing the nature of a sheep they become more like the other animals that were mentioned: fearful, sly, base, or willfully ignorant. As stated previously, the nature of a sheep requires the need for a shepherd, but there are other characteristics which define the complete nature of a sheep. They are tender yet social creatures. They are capable of expressing emotion. They are innately sacrificial.
There is a thought that was expressed by Isaiah the prophet in reference to the nature of sheep: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord had laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth (Is.53:6-8). The nature of a sheep was the example that Isaiah used to describe both the nature of the children of Israel, as sheep who have gone astray; and of the Messiah, being brought as a lamb to the slaughter, as a picture of willing sacrifice. Isaiah spoke of the willingness of a lamb to lay down his life in sacrifice for others. Jesus said: Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father (Jn. 10:17-18). The sacrificial nature is what is being held up by this illustration. The meek, humble, submitted nature is what represents the spirit of the lamb. It is not that Jesus did not have power to defend himself, but rather he demonstrated humility by submitting his nature to the will of God.
The Character of the Good Shepherd
As we see in the book of Genesis through the story of Cain and Abel, the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep was introduced in the beginning of time, and it carries on throughout the scripture. The fulfillment of the role of the shepherd, in scripture, is accomplished by Jesus when he identified himself as the good shepherd. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine (Jn. 10:11,14).
The character of a good shepherd, as Jesus said, was demonstrated by his willingness to do everything for the sheep, including the sacrifice of his life. On another occasion we read: And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitude, he was moved with compassion on them, because they were fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd (Mt. 9:35-36). The most generous interpretation that can be given to people and the irrational decisions they make is encapsulated by Jesus’ reaction to what he observed. Jesus saw them as sheep without a shepherd. Sheep without a shepherd are capable of following whatever comes across their path. A sheep without a shepherd will make irrational decisions. Sheep without a shepherd are susceptible to all manner of sickness and disease. The heart of a shepherd, when viewing sheep in that condition, is moved with compassion.
On another occasion when Jesus was teaching about forgiveness he used the following illustration: How think ye? If a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray (Mat. 18:12-13). One would think that one out of a hundred is an acceptable loss, but that is not the heart of a good shepherd. The heart of a good shepherd is demonstrated in their commitment to protect the well being of each sheep under their care.
Jesus when speaking with his Father in prayer, said: While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled (Jn. 17:12). A good shepherd protects and keeps all that are trusted to their care. Jesus acknowledged in his prayer that he had done all that he could to keep the sheep entrusted to him. Jesus, as a good shepherd, sought the approval of his Father. Jesus was willing to lay his life down for the sheep as a good shepherd should, but the motivation for his sacrifice was that he identified as a lamb. Jesus also was a sheep and he also had a shepherd, it was his Father.
A distinction that Jesus made between a good and an evil shepherd was the method by which they gained access to the sheep. Jesus said: Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers (Jn. 10:1-5).
The good shepherd has direct access to the sheep. The good shepherd can come in through the door, he does not have to enter in to the sheep fold by stealth. The sheep recognize his voice, and they respond to him. Most importantly, the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. There is no threat that will cause the shepherd to abandon the sheep. This is a codependent relationship, the sheep need the shepherd and the shepherd needs the sheep. Just as Abel saw the sheep and something in him responded to the need, we also as sheep need a shepherd.
One of the most well known psalms of David describes the relationship between David, as a sheep, and the Lord as his shepherd. The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou annoitest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever (Ps. 23). This is the description of the shepherd that David chose for his life, and the explanation of his experience. The shepherd was good. David had been fed and dealt with in a peaceable and loving manner. David recognized that he had been blessed by God. Goodness and mercy had been with him all the days of his life, and David was confident that even in death he had nothing to fear. If we look at this writing and remove the spiritual implications, the result is that we are still reading about a man who understood that he had the nature of a sheep, and that he was pleased with his choice of a shepherd.
The Character of the Evil Shepherd
In poverty stricken countries in Latin America, drug cartels use the offer of money and the threat of violence to persuade young people to work for them. The common phrase that they use is: It is better to live five years as a lion rather than living your whole life as a sheep. The young people enter the contract with a clear understanding that they will not live long, but their thought is they will live like a lion, like a king. The sad reality is that they are still sheep, but they are following an evil shepherd. They are still being led, they are still being guided, but without any thought toward their good. Those victims are seen as dispensable tools. The most malevolent of bosses provide mind altering drugs to their young victims and then they send them on murderous missions. The assassin might feel that they are slaughtering sheep, and they are; but they also are just sheep being sent to the slaughter. The death of the conscience that they suffer as a consequence of their choice, exceeds the damage they would have suffered if they were one of the slain instead of the slayer.
Returning to the example of Cain, he had chosen to follow an evil shepherd. God told Cain, If you do well will you not be accepted? But, if you fail in doing well then sin is at the door (Gen. 4:7). That moment is where our character emerges for all to see, including ourselves. Perhaps Cain did not understand what he was capable of until it was apparent that he had sinned. Cain missed the mark with his offering. Instead of responding with the nature of a sheep, Cain struck out like a serpent. Cain killed Abel because Cain could not kill God. Cain chose to redirect his anger at God to the one who had gained God’s approval. Cain was overcome by the spirit of the serpent, consequently, he chose to destroy that which had won God’s approval.
Abel had the spirit of a lamb. He identified with the lamb he slew to honor God, and by his offering Abel symbolically manifested his willingness to give his life to please God. When Cain slew his brother, his act of wrath did not change Abel’s spirit before God. Abel died as a lamb. God spoke of Abel’s blood calling from the earth: And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? The voice of they brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hast opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; when thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth (Gen. 4:9-12).
Cain had chosen the earth as his shepherd, he had become a tiller of the ground. Cain’s shepherd failed him and Cain was unable to cope with that. The image of the earth opening up her mouth to receive Abel’s blood portrays the idea of a shepherd who takes but does not give. The blood of Abel cried forth to God from the earth.
Cain’s shepherd betrayed him, or at least, could not shield him from God. Cain was left without a defender. This is an apt illustration of approaching judgement without someone interceding on our behalf. God’s judgement took Cain’s shepherd and turned him against Cain. The earth, which you have chosen, will no longer produce for you, and you will be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth. Cain responded: My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him (Gen.4:13-15). This is an extreme example of what happens when we choose the wrong shepherd. The wrong shepherd will cultivate in us a nature that is capable of destruction, even the destruction of our brother, and then, when we need shelter and protection, that shepherd will fail.
The earth as a shepherd, in the story of Cain, portrays a shepherd that was willing to open her mouth and receive the offering of Abel’s blood that was shed by the hand of Cain. That is an evil shepherd. Following that thought, when judgement came, in the form of God, the earth remained silent and Cain had to defend himself. Where is Abel? The earth was silent. Cain spoke, Am I my brother’s keeper? The Lord responded, Abel’s blood is crying to me from the earth. Cain’s shepherd betrayed him.
We do not want to be in Cain’s position. We need to choose a good shepherd, the shepherd whose rod and staff are a comfort to us, a shepherd who leads us beside still waters and prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies. We need a shepherd that can guide us through the valley of the shadow of death. Abel chose that shepherd, and Cain did not.
- The Hireling
When the pandemic prompted the shutdown, and national governments initiated a classification of essential versus non-essential work, compounded by forced isolation, many ‘natural’ shepherds were eliminated. Our lack of social interaction resulted in a mental and emotional health crisis. Human interaction, on many levels, was relegated to social media platforms. Mask mandates inhibited our ability to communicate non-verbally, which studies show is necessary for the emotional development of children. For adults, the inability to see expressions and read emotions while in public, left our social interactions grossly inadequate, unable to fulfill our need for human interaction.
This is not purely a critique of the measures that were taken, but rather it is an observation of the consequences that these measures produced. If your shepherds were your social groups, then you were abandoned. You were left as a sheep without a shepherd.
If your shepherd was based in your career, and if that career fell into the category of non-essential, then you also were left as a sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus identified the type of shepherd who would abandon their sheep in difficult experiences, by calling them a hireling. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep (Jn. 10:12-13). Hirelings are not necessarily evil shepherds, simply put, hirelings are not committed to the sheep. They view shepherding as a job, a job that they are paid to do. The good shepherd, on the other hand, gives his life for the sheep. When danger presents itself, or outside influences create barriers between the shepherd and the sheep, the hireling flees because he is a hireling. Recent events have helped us to identify which shepherds in our lives are hirelings.
One of my favorite western novels, Jack Schaefer’s novel Monte Walsh, tells the story of two friends, Monte and Chet, who have much in common, but eventually go their separate ways. Monte chooses to continue to lead the life of a cowboy, even though Chet tells him their way of life is disappearing. Chet marries, starts a business and becomes a pillar of his community.
At the end of the story Monte dies from lung complications that were a consequence of putting out a grass fire years before. The last paragraph finds Chet sitting on a hillside by Monte’s tombstone, looking out over the prairie, and he says to himself: It’s a lonely, lonely world.
Sometimes we may not recognize we are following a hireling until we’ve been abandoned. Monte’s commitment to a lifestyle that ultimately resulted in him dying alone is one example of a hireling. Hirelings reach a point where they see the wolf coming, something they’re unable to defend against, and they flee. A sheep who has been shepherded by a hireling, once abandoned, must feel how Chet felt, sitting on the hill side, looking back at the past and looking forward to the future, saying: It’s a lonely, lonely world.
The Offer of a Good Shepherd
In the book of John we find the record of a prayer made by Jesus that was not recorded in any of the other three gospels. There are several points contained in this prayer which contribute to the understanding of a good shepherd and what the good shepherd has to offer.
First, the good shepherd leads us to Truth with the purpose of uniting us with Truth. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me (Jn. 17:17-23). The illustration of unity is the end result of following the good shepherd. The promise offered is that by following the good shepherd we will come to know the Truth and that we will be united with Truth. The understanding of the destination is our motivation for committing ourselves to the journey.
Second, is the offer of abiding in love. The final part of Jesus’ prayer is: Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovest me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (Jn.17:24-26). There is a reward to those who follow the good shepherd, and that reward is the sheep abide in Truth and love.
The journey with the shepherd is a relationship founded in love manifested by sacrifice, sacrifice on the part of the sheep as well as the shepherd. The very real possibility of choosing the wrong shepherd to follow ends with the recognition that this shepherd did not love me, nor did this shepherd sacrifice on my behalf. The relationship of the shepherd and the sheep is a reciprocal one. If we do not feel the love of the shepherd in the process of the journey, then we can conclude that we are following an evil shepherd. The same comparison can be said for Truth. If following our shepherd leads us into a deceitful web of lies which entangle our thoughts and ensnare our feet then we know our shepherd is an evil shepherd.
The spanish proverb: Dime con quien andas, y te diré quién eres- Tell me who you walk with and I will tell you who you are, is an apt way to begin and conclude this topic. We each make our choice of shepherds, and through experience we learn whether we have chosen an evil shepherd, a hireling, or the good shepherd. The good shepherd leads by Truth and in righteousness. The good shepherd is safe to follow. The good shepherd provides an environment of love. The good shepherd does not abandon the sheep. We are as sheep and it is ‘essential’ that we choose the good shepherd.
The purpose of this www.thefellowshipoftruth.com is to provide information about a non-denominational network of home-based churches that can be found in nearly every country of the world. We are imperfect people trying hard to fulfil the plan that God has laid out for each one of us. We do our best to follow the teachings of the Bible at home, work and in the place of worship. The format and structure are Bible based and very similar to what we read about the early church in Acts and I Corinthians (Acts 1:13 and I Cor 16:19.) Each week we meet in homes for fellowship and worship on Sunday mornings and Bible studies on Wednesday nights. From time to time, we also have larger Gospel services where multiple home-based churches meet together. These meetings serve to strengthen the faith of the believers, and also, help to explain our beliefs to those who are being introduced to our faith for the first time.