HEARING HIS VOICE
A message I preached at Peerless Full Gospel on March 29, 2015
One thing is for sure, all of us are constantly following voices, whether it is our voice, the voice of the world system, the voice of the devil, or the voice of the Holy Spirit. Our very life and future depends upon which voice we hear and follow! Therefore it is imperative that we study this subject of following voices!
UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF VOICES
John 10:1 Truly, truly, I (Jesus)say to you, He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
In Noah’s day there was only one ark, and all those that did not enter that ark perished. Today there is only one sheepfold or enclosure â the place of safety. There are other sheep, but they are not sheep of His sheepfold, but rather they are sheep “scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd”, Matthew 9:36.
When anyone climbs into the sheep fold some other way â then know for sure that person is a thief and a robber. What does the Lord mean “some other way”? The Apostle Paul gives us this answer, “though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed”, Galatians 1:8. Also, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified“, 1 Corinthians 2:2.
2 But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
To understand the meaning of the door to the sheepfold we need only to look at verses 7 & 9, where Jesus plainly declared, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep”.
In other words, Jesus Christ the Son of God is the only legitimate entrance to the sheep fold. Truly He is the straight and narrow entrance that leads to life everlasting, and “few there be that find Him” (Matthew 7:13 & 14).
Jesus did not say that He was one of the shepherds, but He is the only shepherd, He is “the good shepherd” (verse 11), and therefore we must understand that there are also counterfeit shepherds. The voice of a counterfeit shepherd is the voice of a stranger to the sheep in the sheep fold.
3 To him the porter opens; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out.
The porter is the Holy Spirit â and He descended upon Christ, remained upon Him, and anointed Him as He stood in the Jordan River after John had baptized Him.
Who hears the shepherd’s voice? Only those sheep that are His! If we cannot hear His voice, then we are not one of His sheep. This assessment did not come from me, but the scriptures tell us, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God“, Romans 8:14.
We are assured that “The Lord knows them that are his“, 2 Timothy 2:19. The voice we hear â meaning the voice we follow (or obey) â indicates whose sheep we are. Whoever leads us reveals who we belong to.
4 And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
It would be impossible to put too much emphasis upon our knowing the shepherd’s voice. We cannot possibly make heaven unless we know His voice. Life on this earth will be marked with so many failures by those that do not know His voice. We cannot follow a voice we cannot hear
A shepherd spent his time with his flocks. He went before them to seek the best pastures and watering places, and to defend them from danger. In the Middle East sheep are not driven, but they are led, and each sheep has a name, and that sheep knows the name their shepherd calls them by. The true Shepherd leads the sheep, the stranger drives the sheep.
5 And a stranger they will not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
There are many strangers, but only one Shepherd. There are “so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without significance“, 1 Corinthians 14:10.
The voice we pay attention to and agree with is the voice we will follow. The stranger’s voice speaks through our own thoughts, through the voice of others (family, friends, and foes), through TV programs and commercials, greedy politicians and merchants, false prophets, dreams, impressions, doubts and fears.
When the stranger’s voice speaks, and it certainly will, what must we do? First, just as we must be able to discern the Lord’s voice, so we must be able to discern or recognize the stranger’s voice. If we cannot decipher whose voice is speaking to us, then how can we know whether to follow that voice?
Within these two verses of scripture (below) is found the formula for either victory or defeat, a life of sin or of righteousness, evil doings or holiness, life or death.
John 10:4 &5 And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes 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.
Just as the voice of the Holy Spirit influences, so the voice of the stranger seeks to influence. Just as the voice of the Holy Spirit comforts, so the voice of the stranger seeks to bring discomfort, discouragement, disappointment, and depression. Just as the voice of the Holy Spirit sheds the love of God abroad in our heart, so the voice of the stranger sheds hurt and anger in our heart.
Just as the voice of the Holy Spirit teachers us to be holy and righteousness, so the voice of the stranger teaches us wickedness, evil doings, and unrighteousness. Just as the voice of the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, so the voice of the stranger guides us into all lies and deception.
We will never gratify our flesh and commit sin until we first hear the voice of the stranger speaking to us. We can never do righteousness and live a holy life until we first hear the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to us. It is wise to keep a journal and write down what the voice of the Lord speaks to us through the Holy Spirit!
The voice we hear (listen to, pay attention to), agree with, and rest upon is the voice we will obey. I have listened to, agreed with, and rested upon the stranger’s voice many times to my own hurt and the hurt of others!
When we hear the stranger’s voice, we must flee from it, resist it, counter it with the word of God, command it to be silent, and command it to leave and not return. I have failed so many times to do this â and how I wish I could go back and undo and redo all that.
Eve agreed with the voice of the stranger and therefore sinned, just as we have also done! There was no excuse for Eve listening to the voice of the stranger in the first place, and there is no excuse for us. Cain disagreed with the voice of the Lord warning him, and instead agreed with the voice of the stranger, so he committed murder by killing his own brother who was righteous.
John 6:10 The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
The stranger’s voice is the voice of a thief, murderer, and a destroyer. The voice of the Lord by the Holy Spirit is the voice of life, and life more abundantly.
John 6:63 the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
The voice of the Holy Spirit is the voice of salvation, healing, and deliverance! The voice of the stranger is the voice of perishing, sickness, disease, and bondage.
The voice of the Holy Spirit is the voice of peace, comfort, and assurance! The voice of the stranger is the voice of confusion, anxiety, and doubt.
PARROTING THE STRANGER’S VOICE
Many (in fact most) parrot, repeat, and convey the stranger’s voice. We will either repeat the words of the voice of the stranger, or we will repeat the words of the voice of the Holy Spirit. Here are examples of some that had heard the stranger’s voice and repeated what they heard from him:
Jeremiah 1:6-7 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the LORD said to me, Say not, I am a child: for you shall go to all that I shall send you, and whatever I command you shall speak.
Who told Jeremiah that he was but a child? It was the voice of the stranger seeking to undermine his confidence in the calling of God upon him, and he repeats the words of the voice of the stranger to the Lord.
Matthew 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (490 times).
Peter is simply repeating the words of the voice of the stranger â to the Lord. See how the devil injects his doctrine in an attempt to guide Peter’s religious life.
John 4:35 Say not, There are yet four months, and then comes harvest? Behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
Who told the disciples that it wasn’t time to go after lost souls? It was the voice of the stranger, attempting to inject his doctrine again so that he could keep multitudes in darkness and despair.
Recently a man in our program was spending a lot of time at the local store talking to a woman who was working there. I warned him that he was making a big mistake, but his reaction was to defend his actions, and even expressing anger toward me for questioning his actions. Anger when we are corrected speaks volumes about our spiritual condition!
He claimed they were only talking about the word of God, but the devil can also talk about the word of God (that is an incomplete and taken out of context portion of it), as we see he did with Eve and with Jesus. This man was willfully allowing the voice of the stranger (through this woman) to speak into his life, and she drew him away from the Lord and the will of the Lord for his life. In time he became rebellious and confrontational (another sign of his spiritual condition), and he ended up leaving and moving into that woman’s home.
If we allow the stranger’s voice to speak into our lives we will be robbed, killed, and destroyed! Eve listened and agreed with the stranger’s voice, but Jesus disagreed and refused to listen to that voice.
Peter also listened with and agreed with the voice of the stranger, and then repeated the stranger’s voice to Jesus:
Matthew 16:21 From that time forth began Jesus to show to his disciples, how that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.
22-23 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from you, Lord: this shall not be to you. But Jesus turned, and said to Peter, Get behind me, Satan: you are an offense to me: for you mind (consider or focus on) not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Just a few verses before Peter repeated the words of the stranger’s voice, he had repeated the words of the voice of the Holy Spirit:
Matthew 16:15-16 Jesus said to them, But whom say you that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood has not revealed it to you, but my Father which is in heaven.
Here we see that there certainly is a voice of flesh and blood that also speaks to us, but we must not allow it to speak into us.
While Peter was walking on the water to Jesus, he listened to and agreed with the voice of the stranger when he saw the boisterous sea, and he began to sink. He listened to and agreed with the voice of the stranger while following Jesus afar off, and when asked if he was also a follower of Jesus â he repeated the words of the stranger and denied ever knowing Jesus. He also listened to, agreed with, and obeyed the voice of the stranger and went back to his old profession of fishing for fish.
But after the Day of Pentecost, when Peter was baptized in the Holy Spirit, he listened to, agreed with, and obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit by commanding the lame man at the gate of the temple to rise and be healed in the name of Jesus â and the man was healed!
Judas listened to and agreed with the voice of the stranger:
John 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.
4-6 Then said one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bore what was put therein.
Just after this Judas again listened to, agreed with, and obeyed the stranger’s voice be going out and betraying Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Finally Judas listened to, agreed with, and obeyed the stranger’s voice and went and hung himself.
Because Judas refused to resist and flee from the voice of the stranger, he obeyed that voice and murmured against Jesus, stole from Him, betrayed Him, and thereby he caused the murder of Jesus, and then murdered his own self.
The crowd on the Day of Pentecost listened to, agreed with the voice of the stranger, and accused the 120 in the upper room of being drunk. But, praise God, 3,000 listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit as Peter preached that day, and they agreed with and obeyed that voice through Peter by believing on Jesus for the remission of their sins. And they didn’t stop there, for they repented of their sins and received the baptism in the Holy Ghost.
Whose voice are you listening to, agreeing with, and then obeying?
Using our voice will determine which voice we will follow, or which way we will take â the narrow way that leads to life everlasting, or the broad way that leads to destruction. However there is a great and important necessity when resisting and rebuking the voice of the stranger â we must be filled with the Holy Spirit to be effective and to be safe:
Acts 19:13-14 Then certain of the itinerant Jews, exorcists, took upon themselves to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the LORD Jesus, saying, We command you by Jesus whom Paul preaches. And there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so.
15 And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Either the stranger will flee from us, or we will flee from him, or we will abide the harassments, accusations, and temptations of his voice. If we flee from him it will be either in defeat or in victory. If he flees from us, it will be his defeat â but only for a season, therefore we must not let our guard down.
We must always flee the stranger’s voice to remain in victory over sin and to avoid great harm. Often when we flee from the stranger’s voice he will attempt to follow us â so what must we do then? We must make him flee from us. The only way we can make the stranger flee is he must recognize that the Holy Spirit is resting upon us as He rested upon Jesus and the Apostle Paul.
In Luke 4 we read that Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit”, He “was led by the Spirit”, that He went forth “in the power of the Spirit”, and Jesus could testify that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me”. Unless this is also true of us, then instead of the stranger fleeing from us â we will follow him because we are following his voice.
These conditions that Jesus operated under are not optional, as the seven sons of Sceva found out, and we too will discover either to our victory or our defeat. The seven sons of Sceva “took upon themselves” to rebuke the stranger, and that ended in disaster. These seven men fled in defeat from this one demon possessed man because the devil in him did not detect the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon them.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
If we will first continually submit ourselves to God, and then with our voice resist the stranger’s voice, and tell it to be silent, and command (with our voice) the stranger to flee â then we will be victorious over sin and disobedience.
Jesus used His voice to command the stranger (the devil) to be silent and to get behind Him (to flee).
Matthew 4:9-11 And Satan said to him, All these things I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me. Then Jesus said to him, Get away (flee) Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve. Then the devil left Him (for a season, Luke 4:13) and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
If we remain silent concerning the stranger’s voice, we will find ourselves listening to, agreeing with, and obeying that same voice. To obey (or sow to) the stranger’s voice is certain death, but to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit is certain life.
The stranger’s voice mostly speaks through the medium of our flesh, and to agree with and obey that voice is to become obese, drunk, on a drug induced high, bitter, wrathful, hateful, mean, jealous, sick, depressed, discontented, male contented, suicidal, lustful, foolish, hurtful, covetous (as Ahab was over Naboth’s vineyard, Absalom over his father’s throne).
We will never make heaven listening to, agreeing with, and obeying the stranger’s voice, for that is to travel the broad way to destruction. The voice we rest upon (trust) is the voice we have listened to, agreed with, and which we will obey.
We are in the last days, and therefore just as it has always been, and even more so now, it is imperative that we know the voice of our Shepherd so that He can lead us during the coming very difficult days â and it will mean life or death â physically and spiritually.
We will receive the reward of the voice we listen to, agree with, and obey!
When the stranger’s voice speaks through another person, then as the Holy Spirit leads we must address the spirit in that person, and command it to be silent and to flee. Jesus did not hesitate to command the stranger’s voice to be silent when it spoke through Peter’s mouth.
Matthew 16:23 But Jesus turned, and said to Peter, Get you behind me, Satan: you are an offense to me: for you mind not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
Reading this scripture we actually see the Lord addressing both Peter and the voice of the stranger that Peter is repeating and agreeing with.
Once while Jesus was teaching life giving words a man agreed with the voice of the stranger and interrupted Jesus:
Luke 12:13-14 And one of the company said to him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said to him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said to them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.
Here Jesus does not address a spirit, but the man who is agreeing with and repeating with the stranger’s voice.
John 11:39-40 Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said to him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days. Jesus said to her, Said I not to you, that, if you would believe, you should see the glory of God?
Martha is spewing out unbelief as she agrees with and repeats the stranger’s voice, and for that reason the Lord gently rebukes her.
Mark 4:37-38 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say to him, Master, do you not care that we perish?
Where did the idea that they would perish come from? Jesus had said “Let us go over to the other side”. That desperate negative accusation spewing out of their mouth originated with the stranger’s voice speaking to them. It was the same voice that on another occasion told Peter that he would sink in the water (Matthew 14:20)
39-40 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said to them, Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?
“God has not given us the spirit of fear“, 2 Timothy 1:7, the stranger’s voice gives it to us.
2 Kings 7:1 Then Elisha said, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus says the LORD, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.
The man of God repeats what the Shepherd’s voice says, for he knows His voice. This has to be from God, because Samaria is under siege and the people within the gate are starving to death.
2 Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And Elisha said, Behold, you shall see it with your eyes, but shall not eat thereof.
Elisha repeated what the Lord’s voice said, but this servant of the king repeated what the stranger’s voice was saying â which is always a word of unbelief. Because this servant came against the voice of the Lord by repeating the voice of the enemy, he was trampled to death the next day by those who were rushing to buy that food which faith provided.
Acts 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.
The voice of the stranger is again in combat with the voice of the Shepherd. This deputy is open to hear the voice of the Shepherd, but the devil always has his minions strategically stationed to run interference by repeating his lies.
9 Then Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.
Again, it is only by the Holy Spirit that we can hear the Shepherd’s voice. Do you believe that there is power in the setting of the eyes of a Holy Ghost filled believer?
10 And Paul said, O full of all deceit and all mischief, you child of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
In this picture of a spiritual combat, one is full of the Holy Spirit, the other is full of the devil. Let us see who has the power.
11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
The Holy Ghost filled and led person will always be victorious (“But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you”, Acts 1:8).
Galatians 2:11-13 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.
The voice of the stranger induced fear and hypocrisy into that church, but Paul used his voice to rebuke and correct.