Hearing the VOICE of Jesus?
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27)
The Hebrew writer wrote, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” (Heb 1:1-2).
We now live under the New Testament of Jesus Christ. The Old Covenant was nailed to the cross and is obsolete (Col 2:14; Heb 8:13).
Any who desire to go back to do one part of the Old Law of Moses is obligated to do the whole; “For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Gal 5:3-4).
But that is not good, for that Law was a shadow of the good things we have in Christ now (Heb 10:1; Col 2:17).
God Himself said, “This is my beloved Son: hear him” (Mark 9:7). Seeing that all this is true, believers are to hear Jesus. What does it mean to hear the VOICE of Jesus? Some claim He will speak directly, personally, and miraculously to us. What is the truth?
Hearing the VOICE of Jesus.
Contrary to mainstream belief, the sheep that follow Jesus do so of their own volition. God is seeking those that seek Him. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt 6:33). God’s desire that all to come to repentance and be saved (2Pet 3:9) is evidence that we have free choice. We voluntarily seek Him, listen to His voice, and it’s His voice (words) that will judge us in the last day. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
Therefore, all are invited to follow the Good Shepherd of our own free will.
Those that choose to follow Jesus also Obey His VOICE. “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15; 15:14). “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say” (Luke 6:46)? “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:21-23).
It makes zero sense to call oneself a “follower” of Christ, and not actually follow Him in obedience to His word. People keep using that word “follower” without doing anything He says. I constantly hear folks living in sin claiming also to be a follower of Jesus. Paul warned; “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God” (1Cor 6:9-11). If these cannot inherit the kingdom of God, how can we say at the same time that we are followers of Christ while continuing in them?
Therefore, all true followers of Jesus are obedient to His voice.
This next point is vital to understand. Some also claim that Jesus will speak to us personally, miraculously, and separately from the Inspired word. Jesus never made this claim.
In His prayer in the garden, while praying for His Apostles, He then prayed for folks that would believe in Him after His death. He said, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me THROUGH THEIR WORD; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:20-21). We who come to Jesus after His death will believe based on the words of the Apostles. The Apostles were given the promise of divine Holy Spirit Inspiration (John 16:13; cf, 14:26; 15:26), not us.
We hear the voice of the Chief Shepherd in as much as we read His inspired word delivered through the Inspired writers. Paul wrote through inspiration; “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1Cor 14:37). He also wrote; “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Eph 3:3-4; cf 2Tim 3:15-17).
The Apostle John wrote, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30-31). He also wrote, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God” (1John 5:13; emph mine seb).
Therefore, all true followers of Jesus hear His VOICE through the reading, studying, and memorizing His written inspired word.
Next week we’ll look at a few more points regarding the VOICE of Jesus. To recap; we Voluntarily hear His voice. We who hear it will Obey His voice. Those that hear, and obey are Informed of His will through the reading, study, and memorizing of His Inspired word.