Discerning the Lies

John 10:27-28 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.”

I am going to begin with these verses in order to establish who our Lord’s sheep are, and then I will go back to the beginning of John 10, and I will talk about those verses in light of these two verses above.

We are not the Lord’s sheep merely by making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We are not the Lord’s sheep because we went through catechism, or because we got baptized in water, or because we joined a local “church,” which could be the body of Christ, or which could be an institutional church, most of which appear to be market-driven instead of Holy Spirit driven, at least here in America. None of these things make us his sheep.

We are the Lord’s sheep who listen to our Lord and who heed his words. He knows us, and we follow (obey) him. So, like Jesus said, if anyone would come after him he must deny self, take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we die with him to sin (lose our lives), and thus we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, which is what we are doing, then we have the hope of eternal life with God (Luke 9:23-26; cf. Romans 6:1-23).

So, those who are listening to the Lord intently, and who then are following him in obedience, they are his true sheep. He gives us eternal life, and we will never perish, and no one will snatch us out of his hand. And it doesn’t mean we are following him perfectly, but we are not walking in sin, but we are walking in holiness and in righteousness, and in walks of obedience to our Lord, in practice. We are not continuing in deliberate and habitual sin, but we are continuing in our walks of obedience to our Lord.

John 10:1-5 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.”

So, if the sheep are those who are listening to the Lord and who are following him in obedience, then the sheepfold would be the gatherings of the sheep and/or it would be the body of Christ, his true church. But no one can enter into the body of Christ except for those of genuine faith in Jesus Christ. But many can enter into the gatherings of the body of Christ, making it appear as though they are also the Lord’s sheep when they are not. For they did not enter via genuine faith in Jesus Christ but via another way, which is not the true way.

So, they may profess faith in Jesus Christ, but they are not of the true faith, for they are just pretending to be the Lord’s sheep when they are not, or else they are deceived into believing that they are his true sheep, when they are not. For there is only one way into fellowship with our Lord’s sheep, and that is through God-given faith in Jesus Christ. And those of that faith are then crucified with Christ in death to sin, and they are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness (Romans 6:1-23).

So, what other way? It is through a false faith that many enter into the gatherings of the sheep and thus into what they believe is fellowship with the sheep, but they are not in true fellowship with God. For those of the false faith have not died with Christ to sin, and so they have not been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, and so they are still dead in their sins, bound for hell, but on a false promise of heaven as their eternal destiny. And so they are not walking in obedience to our Lord in walks of righteousness and holiness.

Now Jesus Christ is the door to a true relationship with Jesus Christ and to becoming his true sheep, plus he is the true shepherd of the true sheep who listen to his voice and who follow him in obedience. So, his true sheep know his voice, but they do not follow the voices of those who came into the fold by another way. But I am certainly not saying that genuine followers of Christ can never be deceived. I know we can. For those who deceive disguise themselves as servants of righteousness and they can be very convincing. And this is why we have so many warnings in the New Testament about not being deceived.

But if we are the Lord’s true sheep, I believe he will let us know when something isn’t right, and he does lead us to test whatever we hear or read coming from everyone. But we have to be listening, and we can’t have our minds cluttered with the world to where we can’t hear the voice of the Lord clearly. So we need to have open communication between us and the Lord all the time, and we have to be listening for his voice, and we must be in his word learning what it says so that we are not duped into believing lies.

But the lies are often cleverly blended in with the truth, so if all we do is give things a cursory read or listen, but we don’t pay close attention to what is actually being said, we may miss the clever lies inserted within the truth. And then we may end up accepting the lies thinking that we are accepting the truth. And this is why it is so critical that we are students of the Scriptures who study them in context and who are those who are in the practice of testing what we hear, for the lies can be so subtle.

But if we are discerning, we should recognize the lies for what they are, and we should also recognize those who are the strangers, for many of them today are all following a similar script which they are being taught by those who are training them in the ministry. And if we have seen it enough times, we should begin to pick up on it earlier than before and to see the patterns and how so many people are just copies of each other. But not many these days seem to be picking up on the lies, and so many people are falling for them and they are following them. So know the truth!

[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]

Full Release

An Original Work / April 15, 2012

Walking daily with my Savior
brings me joy.
Loving Father; precious Jesus;
He’s my Savior and my Lord.
Gently leads me; follow Him.
I’ve invited Him within.
Now abiding in His presence,
oh, what peace.
From my self-life
He has brought me,
By His mercy, full release.

Hope and comfort,
peace and safety Jesus brings
When I daily bow before Him;
Obey freely; do His will.
Follow Him where’er He leads.
Listen to Him; His words heed.
Now obeying his words fully,
oh, what love
That He gives me
through salvation,
By His Spirit, from above.

Loving Father; precious Jesus,
He’s my friend.
With my Savior, by His Spirit,
I will endure to the end.
Share the gospel, tell what’s true.
Witness daily; His will do.
Tell the world of how their Savior
bled and died.
On a cruel cross He suffered
So that we might be alive.

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