THE SHEPHERD'S RODS (brief history of the 'Shepherd's Rod prophecies)
Bob Jones has these words on his website, regarding the Shepherd's Rods:
"For the past decade Bob Jones has received significant revelations on this date outlining the activities of the Holy Spirit for the coming years. The accuracy of these revelations has proven to be extremely profound."
These words were on his present website, (the zebra.net one) and his present website contain similar words. Not all of Jone's Shepherd's Rods for those ten years are on the site, nor were they on the previous site. There is no way then, to verify either accuracy or profoundness for these ten years.
**Update insert #1 (year 2001)**:
Bob Jones' new website for his Shepherd's Rods (http://www.bobjones.org/shepherdsrod.html) now has a different opening statement:
"For many years Bob Jones has received valuable revelations on this day outlining activities of the Holy Spirit for the seasons ahead. These insights have historically proven to be accurate and strategic blueprints for spiritual emphasis and preparation..."followed shortly by:
"Much of the Truth given in the Shepherd’s Rod is compared to seed, requiring time to develop and mature. These revelations apply to the year given and the years to follow as each revelation provides greater clarity and focus from the Lord’s heart for this generation. We have not attempted to enumerate all meaning that could be derived from these visions. It is our prayer that each reader will seek the Lord for complete understanding and application."This is an obvious change from the earlier introduction. It may of course be a reaction to the questions generated by earlier failed prophecies (as outlined in the Open Rebuke)
The new introduction attempts to claim that Bob Jone's prophecies are accurate, while at the same time letting the reader know he/she can't expect any of it to come true that year but maybe some time in some future year. More disturbing than that, is that it is implied that no one knows the "understanding" or "application," including the 'prophet', who apparently cannot be expected to pray and understand the revelations himself or give a full explanation for them. This is contrary to Biblical precedent in which prophets were given not only the dream or vision, but the interpretation too. Accuracy could be established because the message was clear, even if a particular timing was not given. It is illogical to claim accuracy without adequate interpretation or worse, an implied "flexible" interpretation due to both the vagueness of the prophecy and the reliance on individuals to read into it for themselves, or get out of it what they may.
Also, for some reason, the 1996 Shepherd's Rod
has gone missing from this website for quite some time, but then was released
July 19, 2001at this URL: http://elijahlist.com/words/display_word.html?ID=884
In the introduction to this newly released old Shepherd's Rod, an explanation is again given to strongly suggest that the Shepherd's Rods are again not expected to be for the coming year. This time, the time suggested is 7 years:
Actually, much of what is included is pertinent in the season in which we are now living. One of the things we try to emphasize on the Shepherd's Rod's is the fact that these revelations are for seasons of the Spirit that may extended for up to 7 years.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
According to the "Eagle Store OnLine" (http://www.eaglestoreonline.com/index.cfm?category=Books),
a Shepherd's Rod Guide is now being SOLD for $50.00. Quoting
from the website: "SRGuide $50.00 Shepherd's Rod Study
Guide. The Study Guide is designed to allow deeper study of the revelation
received by Bob Jones and Paul Keith Davis during the annual Day of
Bob Jone's Shepherd's Rods are well over a decade old. According to Bill Randle's book, "Weighed and Found Wanting" under the subtitle "The Shepherd's Rod", Mike Bickle, a previous associate of Jone's beginning in 1983 (and ending 1990?), also said that Jones' told him of these Shepherd's Rods, which also began 'ten years ago'. If they stopped and re-began, I don't know.
(Bill Randle's book can be found here: http://www.picknowl.com.au/homepages/rlister/charis/randles/randle7.htm)
The doctrine taught along with these "Shepherd's Rods" were widely criticized at the time as being very unBiblical. Most complain the many doctrines, including the one taught along with the 'Shepherd's Rod' were insufficiently objected to and were dealt with far too slowly, even by the Vineyard denomination after it had been brought in.
Thankfully, today, the 'teaching' connected with it, has been
considerably cleaned up (this from the earlier website of 1998):
"The Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur is recognized in scripture as one of the most important dates of the year since the time of Moses. This date continues as a most significant Holy Day even within the twentieth century church.Here you see that this "passing under the staff for evaluation" is attributed to the Lord only. But then, it was the "shepherd of the congregation" whom held out the staff for "prophetic evaluation" before the "leader" (and Jones was considered the resident 'seer' of KCF) who would have it revealed to them if they were in sin, probably at the specific time of Yom Kipper. Certainly such a doctrine and practice would be ripe for serious spiritual abuse. However, it is interesting to note that William Branham did also discern men's sins, but in a spontanious manner and in connection with healing meetings, and not for 'prophetic/pastoral examination'.
For the past decade Bob Jones has received significant revelations on this date outlining the activities of the Holy Spirit for the coming years. The accuracy of these revelations have proven to be extremely profound over the course of those years.
The term "Shepherd's Rod" comes from Ezekiel 20:37 stating, "AND I SHALL MAKE YOU PASS UNDER THE ROD, AND I SHALL BRING YOU INTO THE BOND OF THE COVENANT". This scripture symbolically portrays a shepherd holding forth his rod as the sheep pass under his staff for evaluation. In this same way we as the Lord's sheep pass under His staff on the Day of Atonement as further described in Jeremiah 33:13 and Leviticus 27:32."
It has been said that there were other events that were connected with these "Shepherd's Rods". Joyner may have tried to address this in his article, "God's Ultimate Plan" (this article does not concern itself with spiritual abuse toward the congregation or others at the time, but mostly focuses on Jone's pain. It also neglects to adequately address the false doctrine charges, which were based on Jones' tapes and own words, and could not be so easily dismissed as 'false accusations' ) Former KCF/MVF members consistently tell of a great secretiveness surrounding these events, with Vineyard's instructions to 'not talk of it' (I am not speaking of the doctrinal difficulties) and yet there was a 'discipline' over it toward Jones. Specifically, the core of the scandal was kept secret from (most) of the congregation, while a supposed excommunicated or expelling of Jones was in progress.
Such perversion of our Lord's instructions (keeping all things 'behind-the-scenes' and yet feeling free to exercise 'church discipline') generally ends in tragedy for all (again, I am not speaking of doctrinal heresy, or of Ernie Gruen's concerns over false prophecies then). If the sin was an 'adultery-type' sin, as Joyner says, then Jones was horribly victimized because he did not have the proper recourse or opportunity to have resolution. He lived for years afterwards, amongst the 'rumors', perhaps unable to 'come clean' for fear of another expelling. Many many ministers, including the one Joyner refers to as committing adultery (if his identity is correctly guessed), have already 'come clean' and have already had all things restored to them, long ago. But Jones did not.
However, if the sin did not really belong in the 'adultery' category, but was more manipulation while 'prophesying' ('Shepherd's Rod'-type), as has been openly said once by someone who was there, then factors are present that Joyner did not even begin to address in his article.
Conducting church discipline erroneously, although it may prove a neat way to tidy up things with as little mess as possible, can thrwart justice within the Church or outside of the Church. It prevents a person from receiving proper confrontation, giving them less opportunity to identify their sin or the true nature of it, and confess/receive help/ministry. It can also keep civil law from becoming involved, if it should have. If everything stays "behind the scenes" victims of the events (this might include Jones himself if he was falsely accused, or others whom he victimized) are encouraged to keep everything silent for the sake of other people's reputation. Already feeling ashamed, they become sacrificed to satisfy the status quo, so others might not be shamed. Resolution for them would be difficult to attain.
Apparently, Jones still feels or felt considerable shame about it when he confessed to Joyner. This is easily deduced from the fact that Joyner shields Jones by talking about it for him, while also defending him by accusing the other unnamed minister.
Whatever the past was, Jones presses on with his "Shepherd's Rods", and both Jones and Morningstar promote the Shepherd's Rod revelations. Some have announced the prophecies as "for the coming year", which is an understandable assumption, since the prophecies are coming yearly. Also, it is reported that the previous introduction (1997 or so) had said, "For the past decade, Bob Jones has received significant revelations on this date outlining the activities of the Holy Spirit for the coming year. The accuracy of these revelations have proven to be extremely profound over the course of those years." This was different than the present one, which says, "for the coming years"
In any case, Yom Kippur is on in either Sept. or Oct., depending on the year, and this is about the time for the new Shepherd's Rod to come out. Yearly visitations/visions from the Lord on a particular, predictable date has no clear Biblical precedent that I know of (John 3:8). Not to say that it would be impossible, but one would think it would at least be unusual.
But perhaps not.
Things took a new twist in this "Shepherd's Rod" saga.
In 1996, some say that Bobby Connor, someone who is connected with Morningstar (I've seen him at their conferences) began to have his own Shepherd Rod for the coming year, and the two would compare them to see if their are any similarities...etc.
In any case, by 1999 there were clearly two Shepherd's Rods, by two different authors.
The URL website that points to both Bob Jones and Bobby Connor's prophetic words is:
This directory takes you to Bob Jones and Bobby Connor prophetic words, respectively, and there are links back to each others pages as there were before.
Bobby Connor's page is at : http://www.BobbyConner.Org/
This is Bobby Connor's "Shepherd's Rod 1999" from that page:
(note: Was linked, but Morningstar has since removed or moved that page)
Bob Jones page is at:
and Bob Jones' page is: "Shepherd's Rod 1999":
(note: Was linked, but Morningstar has since removed or moved that page. As of year 2001 it has moved to: http://www.bobjones.org/srod/SR1999.htm)
If you go to the sites, you will see that there are two Shepherd's Rod's 1999. There is no indication that one is 'part one' or another is 'part two' or that they are co-written between each other at all, just in case that is again suggested on e-mail lists. Bob Jones does not state Bobby Connor as author or co-author of his "Shepherd's Rod", and Bobby Connor does not state Bob Jones as author or co-author of his. As often is the case, Bob Jones states the visions of his 'Shepherd's Rod' are his, yet written by Keith Davis.
Furthermore, each of their "Shepherd's Rod 1999" is vastly different, and cannot be construed as being the same prophecy by the same prophet(s) or in the ownership of anyone but each different prophet. They do have the same name and similar introductions,t though (some of Jone's intro. is from his page and not on the actual 1999 Shepherd's Rod writing).
Others who have read these two Shepherd's Rods, agree that they are very different.
One of the major and interesting differences to me in these two prophecies
has to do with the instruction regarding worship. Bob Jones discusses some
fear/concerns of demonic strongholds and attacks through some of his prophecy,
and then at the end instructs everyone (no indication it is not to everyone)
to engage in a ritualistic worship every morning by singing 'Just as I
am' as the song--He gives the words of the song at the bottom, just in
case you didn't know them.
Bobby Conner's section on the subject of worship in his Shepherd's Rod
1999, says this:
As These Days of Change Come Upon Us Remember this Promise!
Write Out Your Own Praise To Jesus!
Psalm 27:5: "For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock." (NIV)
YOU MUST COMMAND YOUR SOUL TO BE AT PEACE
Psalm 62:5-8: "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." "Selah" (NIV
Write Out Your Own Praise To Jesus!
(several lines inserted)
Because We Are HIS! - We Are SAFE IN HIM
Psalm 91:1-9: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling--even the LORD, who is my refuge--" (NIV)
Diametrically opposed instructions within a prophecy that has with the exact same title seems a rebuke to me. This is because ritualistic worship is not blessed by God (Isa. 29:13: "....Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men". John 4:23-24 "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
The development of two Shepherd's Rods, may be one of the many strange
developments that we may see in these last days.....
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