But HE who enters by the door is a Shepherd of the sheep
To HIM the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear HIS voice
And HE calls HIS own sheep by name and leads them out
When HE puts forth all HIS own, HE goes ahead of them
And the sheep follow HIM because they know HIS VOICE
A stranger they simply will not follow
But will flee from him
Because they do not know the voice of strangers
In previous BIBLE studies, we examined Knowing GOD. We looked at three separate groups of people, who thought they knew GOD but did not:
1) The first group of people are found in Matthew 7:21-23. This group felt that not only did they know HIM but they served HIM. They declared HIS authority over their lives (‘Lord, Lord’ – Mat 7:21-22) though they did not submit to it (Luk 6:46). They thought knowing HIS NAME meant they knew HIM. They taught others through teaching and preaching that HE was the only Savior. They believed they demonstrated that HE knew and worked with them because they cast out demons, and performed many miracles in HIS NAME (Jhn 3:2, Act 2:22, 2 Cor 12:12, Heb 2:3-4). But HE rejected them because they rejected HIS WORD (you who practice sin/lawlessness-Mat 7:23, 1 Jhn 3:4-10). Their disobedient lifestyle testified that they did not know HIM (1 Jhn 2:3-6).
2) The second group of people are found in Matthew 25:1-13. This group like the first group declared HIS authority over their lives (‘Lord, Lord’ – Mat 25:11) though they did not live CHRIST centered lives (2 Sam 22:29) directed by HIS WORD (Psa 19:8, Psa 119:105, Pro 6:23). This group thought HE knew them, and waited for HIS return (Mat 25:11-12, Amo 5:18-20). Their actions however, showed their lives weren’t lived in readiness for HIS sudden return (Mat 25:7-13, Luk 12:35, Eph 5:15-17, 1 Ths 5:2-8, Rev 3:14-16).
3) The third group of people are found in Luke 13:22-28. This group like the first two groups also declared HIS authority over their lives (Lord, open up to us – Luk 13:25); they thought they knew HIM because of association with HIM (Luk 13:26). Yet they did not know HIM (Tit 1:16, 1 Jhn 1:5-7), because their hearts were unrighteous and they habitually lived evil lives (all you evildoers-Luk 13:27, Eze 33:30-32, 1 Jhn 3:18, 3 Jhn 11).
Do you really know HIM? Do you really have a relationship with HIM? Would HE really be your companion (2 Cor 6:14-17, Jam 4:4)? This is an excellent time to stop and closely examine your life; probe and test the way you are living.
Let us examine and probe our ways,
And let us return to The LORD.
I considered my ways
And turned my feet to YOUR testimonies.
I hastened and did not delay
To keep YOUR commandments.
I delight to do YOUR will, O my GOD;
YOUR LAW is within my heart.”
If after prayerful examination you can say “I know The LORD, I am indeed still in the faith” (2 Cor 13:5, Jhn 15:4-5, Gal 5:19-26). Can you also say “I know HIS VOICE” as stated in the opening Scriptures Jhn 10:4-5?
• Do you believe The BIBLE is The WORD of GOD? (Jhn 1:1, Jhn 1:14, Mat 17:5, Mrk 9:7, Luk 9:35―Mat 5:17-20, Luk 24:44-45)
• Do you believe that The BIBLE is Truth? (Psa 119:142, Psa 119:151, Psa 119:160, Dan 10:21)
• Do you understand The BIBLE? (Jhn 8:43, Isa 6:8-10, Mat 13:10-17, Heb 5:12-14)
• Do you know when GOD is speaking and when HE is not? (Jhn 8:47, Jhn 18:37, 1 Jhn 2:21, Jhn 16:13, 1 Jhn 4:4-6, Jhn 14:6, 2 Ths 2:10-12, 2 Tim 3-4)
In this section of the BIBLE study we will examine Knowing HIS VOICE. We will look at Samuel, Job and Martha. Three individuals who lives appeared to know HIM. It was only after they heard HIS voice for themselves, did they come to know HIM:
• Samuel (1 Sam 1:1-28―Samuel’s mother Hannah earnestly prayed for a son, and promised to dedicate her son to The LORD if HE answered her prayer)
o even though Samuel ministered to The LORD before Eli the priest, he did not know The LORD or HIS VOICE (1 Sam 2:11, 1 Sam 2:18, 1 Sam 3:1-10)
o It was not until he listened to the instructions of his master Eli to respond and listen to the voice of GOD, did he personally come to know GOD’s voice (1 Sam 3:11-21)
o Samuel’s ministering to The LORD before Eli the priest (1 Sam 2:11) allowed him to know the requirements of temple service, but until HE knew GOD and HIS VOICE for himself, he could not know what GOD required of him (Mic 6:6-8, Deu 10:12-13).
• Job (Job 1:1―Per GOD’s testimony of Job, he was a blameless, upright man who feared GOD and turned away from evil)
o Job knew The WORD of GOD:
he knew about sin and the burnt offerings (before the sacrifice of our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST) required for forgiveness of unintentional sin (Job 1:5, Lev 4:1-35)
he knew at birth we came with nothing and at death we will leave with nothing (Job 1:21, Ecc 5:15)
he understood the omnipotence of our Beloved LORD GOD, WHO alone had the power to make rich and make poor (Job 1:21, Gen 24:35, Gen 26:12-13, Deu 8:18, 1 Sam 2:7-8, Pro 10:22), to give children and withhold children (Psa 127:3, Gen 18:6-14, Gen 33:5, Gen 48:8-9, Psa 113:9, Isa 8:18)
he understood what distinguished the wise from the foolish Job 2:10, Mal 3:18)
he understood both good and adversity came from our Beloved LORD GOD (Job 2:9-10, Ecc 7:14)
he understood true wisdom and all power belongs to GOD alone (Job 12:13-25)
he knew that GOD was living, was his Redeemer and would one day resurrect him from the dead (Job 19:25-27)
he knew the end for the wicked (Job 21:30-31, Psa 73:1-19) though the life and the death of the wicked appeared to be at ease with honor (Job 21:7-29, Job 21:32-34)
he knew GOD’s heart for the worker (Job 31:13-15, Deu 24:14-15, Jam 5:1-6), the widow, the orphan, the poor (Job 31:16-23, ), and the immigrant (Job 31:32, Deu 10:17-21, Deu 24:17-19, Jer 22:3) “Then I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely, and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages, the widow and the orphan, and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me,” says The LORD of Hosts (Mal 3:5).
o Job did not understand that his righteousness came from GOD (Job 32:1-3, Job 35:1-8, Job 41:11, Rom 11:35, Rev 4:10-11). And It was not until our Beloved LORD GOD addressed Job directly, that he came to know HIM, HIS ways and HIS voice (Job 42:1-6, Job chptrs 38-41)
• Martha (Luk 10:38―a woman who invited JESUS as a guest into her home) did not understand:
o her presence with JESUS was more important than her service to HIM (Luk 10:39-42)
o HE was there to share food with her that endures to eternal life (Jhn 6:26-35, Rev 3:20)
o HE came to her home for salvation (Luk 19:1-10, Luk 7:36-50, Jhn 11:1-46)
o HE did not come for merely eating and drinking (Mat 6:25, Mat 9:10-13, Rom 14:17)
To truly know our Beloved LORD GOD and to know HIS voice, we must know HIS ways (Exd 33:13, Psa 103:7). HE will never contradict The BIBLE (Mat 5:17-19)! The BIBLE is HIS WORD (Exd 31:18, Exd 32:15-16, 2 Tim 3:16, 2 Pet 1:21), it is HIMSELF (Jhn 1:1). So let us press on to understand our Beloved LORD JESUS, by knowing HIM, knowing HIS voice, and knowing HIS ways.
But let him who boasts, boast of this
That he understands and knows ME
That I am The LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth
For I delight in these things,” declares The LORD