John 10:1-6 ESV
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
The Only Way
Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life, and no one enters into God’s eternal kingdom except through him, and except through the way of the cross, which is the way God provided. And, the way of the cross for us is via dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness, by God’s grace, and in his power and strength (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
So, if anyone says he is a follower of Jesus Christ, and if he says he is a preacher of the Word of God or a pastor of Christ’s church, His body, but he has not died with Christ to sin; and if he is not, by the Spirit, putting to death the deeds of the flesh; and if he is not walking in obedience to the Lord, but he is still walking according to the flesh, then he is a liar (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:4-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; Gal. 5:16-21; Lu. 9:23-26; Tit. 2:11-14).
The fact that he “climbs in” by “another way,” other than through the door (Jesus Christ), also suggests he has entered into the fellowship of the body of Christ deceitfully. He has come into the fellowship of Christ’s body by a way other than through God-given faith in Jesus Christ. And, he has done this through trickery, with the full intent to cause a disturbance, and to intentionally lead the sheep astray from their pure devotion to Jesus Christ.
An Uninvited Guest
By breaking in to the sheepfold, he has done so uninvited, and he is butting in where he is not welcome. For, he is meddling in the affairs of God where he has no business sticking his nose into God’s business. And, once inside, he is interfering with the teachings of God’s truths, and he is interjecting his own ideas (notions) into the gospel message of salvation from sin.
For, he is attempting to influence the sheep to go by a different way other than the one God laid out for us to abide by. He is telling the sheep that they don’t have to live separate from the world, but that they should blend in with the world, and that they should immerse themselves in today’s culture in order to identify with the people of the world, so that they can reach the people of the world, but for what? Not for Jesus Christ, but for their human-based businesses (churches) which they market just like any other business.
He is also breaking into our intimate relationship with Jesus Christ in an attempt to pull us away from Jesus, and to attempt to get us to follow after our flesh and after the gospel of men, instead. He doesn’t want us to live in fidelity to our Lord, so he claims that God requires no such submission or obedience, and that we don’t have to turn from our sins.
Yet, this would be a whole lot like a marriage ceremony where the preacher tells the bride and groom that they can continue to live as though they are single, that they can sleep around with other people, that they can have intimate relationships with people other than their spouse, and that anytime they want they can leave their spouse for someone else – no commitment!
United with the World
And, he is attempting to return us to what we were like before we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ, for he is attempting to get us to abandon our faith in Jesus Christ entirely, and to join with the world in a one-world religion where all the people of the world join hands and hearts and sing “Kumbaya” together in unison. He wants us to abandon the true gospel, our fidelity to Jesus Christ, and to unite with the world with one voice.
But, for those of us who are following our Lord in obedience, we should recognize his voice as a voice of a stranger, not the voice of a true shepherd of the sheep who would be looking out for our best, who would protect us from wolves in sheep’s clothing, and who would tell us the truth, not lies.
We should know our Lord’s voice, and we should be able to discern the difference between truth and lies, and what is real from what is fake. We should be able to discern error and deception and manipulation from the truth of God’s Word, if we are truly following our Lord in obedience. So, we should not fall into the trap of this liar and deceiver. We should not fall under his influence and believe what he tells us.
But, he can be very convincing. He can appear like the real deal outwardly. He can be very charming and winsome, and melt your heart. And, if you are not discerning, you can fall for his tricks. For, he is a great actor, and he is really good at faking it. He is good at faking love, devotion, and concern for you and your situation. For, he knows how to perform for an audience.
The True Thief
John 10:7-10 ESV
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
And, who is he who climbs in by another way? Primarily he is Satan, for Satan is the one behind these false shepherds of the people, including many or most of our government leaders, the media, and many of our church leaders, too.
But “he” is also man, the flesh, and those who serve Satan and his purposes by how they live their lives, and by what they do, especially the ones who bully others for their own advantage, but who may do it in a secretive and manipulative way to where you might not even be aware that you are being bullied.
And, many of these “bullies” are our political and church leaders, and/or they are prominent and influential business leaders in our communities, but who are actors, playing their roles in a Ponzi scheme in order to defraud the people of their nations. So, we have to be very discerning, and we have to stop taking people at face value and believing whatever we hear, read, or see from our government, the media, and many pastors of churches, too.
For, although they may be acting as though they are on your side, or that they are trying to help you, or that what they are doing is for your best, or for your protection, they are actually doing the opposite. And, what they are doing, in reality, is for your harm. So, although they have promised to protect you and to do what is your best interest, they are not. They are really the enemy feigning friendship with you in order to take you down.
They Follow Him
John 10:27-30 ESV
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
So, we are supposed to flee from the strangers. But, how do we know who “they” are?
We can only know if we pull away from the influences of the world, and if we get alone with God, and if we call on God in prayer, in repentance, and in obedience, and with sincere hearts that desire to know and to do God’s will. And, then we have to inquire of the Lord regarding who “they” are so that we don’t fall into their traps. But, we can only do this through testing what we see, hear and read in prayer, sincerely seeking to know the truth.
For, Jesus sheep listen to him, i.e. they hear what he is saying, and they follow him in obedience. They are not those who merely profess faith in Jesus Christ, and they are not those who think that faith in Jesus Christ is freedom to do as they please while proclaiming God’s grace covers it all.
But, although “they” (false shepherds) might be temporarily successful in their scheming, in their deception, and in their manipulation of minds right now, they are going to one day reap what they have sown.
For, if we are sowing to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction. But, if we are sowing to please the Spirit of God, then from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8).
Footprints of Jesus
Lyrics by Mary B. Slade, pub. 1871
Music by Asa B. Everett
Sweetly, Lord, have we heard Thee calling,
Come, follow Me!
And we see where Thy footprints falling
Lead us to Thee.
Though they lead o’er the cold, dark mountains,
Seeking His sheep;
Or along by Siloam’s fountains,
Helping the weak.
If they lead through the temple holy,
Preaching the Word;
Or in homes of the poor and lowly,
Serving the Lord.
If Thy way and its sorrows bearing,
We go again,
Up the slope of the hillside, bearing
Our cross of pain.
Then, at last, when on high He sees us,
Our journey done,
We will rest where the steps of Jesus
End at His throne.
Footprints of Jesus,
That make the pathway glow;
We will follow the steps of Jesus
Where’er they go.
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