|John 10 |
1 [Many of the verses in this chapter describe what happens to a believer at the end of his journey to the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. The Lord returns to a crucified believer, who has just undergone the baptism of fire and death, to be resurrected with the Lord, who then raises the believer to the Kingdom of Heaven to live; but that believer still walks the earth with Jesus who dwells in him as they do the works and will of the Father to show the power and love of God to the world.
We first have to listen to the Holy Spirit and the word of the Lord within to hear and obey His many teachings and commands. Then with long persistence and patience in doing obedient works of repentance, we experience the baptism of fire and death, to then hear the Voice of the Lord this chapter references, which voice we can recognize as the Voice of the Lord; and then we are able to easily ignore the voice of evil spirits that attempt to impersonate Him.
There is a voice of the Lord like thunder over the waters described in many Old Testament passages. This is radically different than the small still voice we hear from within our hearts or from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit and the Word of the Lord within speak with words from Jesus, so we are hearing from the Son of God. But until we can truly hear the Voice of the Lord, we will not know for sure it is the Lord speaking to us. From the Word of the Lord within: "You will always have doubts until you hear His voice. My voice is like thunder over waters. You will hear His voice when He calls you." You will hear His voice for the first time after the baptism of fire and death to then be called forth and resurrected with Him as a new creature, and you will then know His voice; this chapter refers to His voice like thunder over waters.]
1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, that person is a thief and a robber.
2 But he who enters in by the door, is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the doorkeeper opens; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. [He leads them out of their slavery to sin, John 8:31-32, out of the world into the kingdom, to walk in the light, John 8:12. From the Word of the Lord within: "You will hear His voice when He calls you." You will hear His voice for the first time after the baptism of fire and death to then be called forth by name and resurrected with Him as a new creature, raised to the kingdom.]
4 And when he has brought out his own sheep, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice. [To be brought out is to be led out of the world into the kingdom, then to be guided by the Lord's commands for your every word and every deed. ]
5 They will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they do not know the voice of strangers." [Once you are in the kingdom, you know His voice and you are able to reject the wicked one's attempts to impersonate his voice.]
6 Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Then Jesus said to them again, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All who ever came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them. [Thieves and robbers were the false prophets of Israel who preached for money and stole the word of God from others, speaking as though they were spoken to them. Today the thieves and robbers are those who claim to be ministers of Christ, but were never taught by Him, never perfected by Him, never authorized by Him, never sent by Him, and never speaking His words — only speaking their own words from their evil imagination and carnal mind; stealing the words of the saints as they quote the Bible; ministers of the letter, pretending to be ministers of the Spirit; ministers of Satan, masquerading as ministers of righteousness; antichrists, fooled into believing they are serving Christ; collecting money or a salary for their ministering, which is strictly forbidden; and promising heaven to those immersed in all manner of sin. From the Word of the Lord within: "Just like Judaism was taken over by the enemy, so has Christianity, which is corrupt through and through. There is no church in the world that Christ set up specifically; none of the churches reflect true Christianity."]
9 I am the gate. If any man enters in through me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. [Jesus is speaking of entering the kingdom; He is the way. From the Word of the Lord within: "I open the gate, and the oppressor is locked out."]
10 The thief only comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly [in a superior form].1 [The life, of which he spoke, is the life of God, the Spirit of Christ, which is the light. Every man who comes into the world has a small measure of the light within him, chained down by the darkness. Christ came to show man how to increase the life or light to abundance, so man would no longer walk in the blind darkness of his own will, but would walk in the light to become children of the light, performing God's directed works to the glory of God. From the Word of the Lord within: "Obedience leads to restoration of life. I have come that you might have life, the superior life of God."]
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. [To be one of His sheep, you must belong to Him, be free from all sin, and be in union with Him. From the Word of the Lord within: "If you are still sinning, you belong to sin and not to Me. Listen to and obey my voice; listen to my sweet words of wisdom. If you pay attention and obey, it results in union with God. He joins with our cleansed nature. We must become like Him to merge with Him."]
12 The hireling [working for a salary] does not own the sheep like the [good] shepherd; so when he sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and flees. Then the wolf seizes the sheep and scatters them. [The hireling is a preacher taking a salary, soliciting contributions, or soliciting love gifts; he works for money, and he is not leading the sheep because of his love for them. So, when any danger threatens, he abandons the congregation. In contrast, because a good shepherd loves the sheep, he will risk his life to save the sheep. A true preacher is authorized by the Lord, has been perfected by the Master, and the Lord dwells in him, guiding his every action and his every word.]
13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling [working for pay], and does not love the sheep.2 [Jesus spoke against preachers who work for money, as did Peter, as did Paul, as did Jude, as does the Old Testament.]
14 I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep, as I am known by my sheep; [Many profess to know Jesus and be known by Him; but by the next verse, His sheep and He know each other like the Father and Jesus know each other.]
15 Just like the Father knows me, and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep. [Jesus and the Father know each other deeply because Jesus is one with the Father; the Father is in Him and He is in the Father. For Jesus and His sheep to know each other just like the Father and He know each other, His sheep are in Jesus and He is in His sheep, they are one, in union. Crucified believers are in union with and one with Christ and the Father too, as John 17:20-23, 14:20 state. From the Word of the Lord within: "Salvation occurs when you are one with Christ and God. Do you know him or just pretend to know him; to know him is to have met him and listened to him? Seek the meeting." Union results from the meeting. ]
16 And I have other sheep, who are not of this flock. I must also call them to lead them out, and they will hear my voice;3 so there will be one flock, and one shepherd. [Other sheep are the Gentiles. First, you are called by Him, if you respond by seeking to learn from Him, He will lead you to lose your selfish life on the inward cross of self-denial. To follow Him, you must first obey His commands that you hear from the small still voice, the Word of the Lord within your heart that speaks to you, ordering your many works of repentance; He leads you out of darkness to light, out of sin to righteousness, and out of the world with its lusts and desires into His kingdom. Then you hear his voice like thunder over waters for the first time; the Lord then guides you with that voice to perform obedient works of righteousness according to the will of God, showing the love and power of God to the world and bringing honor and glory to God.]
17 My Father loves me, because I lay down my life, so that I might take it back again.
18 No man takes it from me because I lay it down by my own choice. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it back again. I have received this by the command of my Father."
19 Because of these sayings, a division again occurred among the Jews.
20 And many of them said, "He has a demon and is mad; why do you listen to him?"
21 But others said, "These are not the words of a man who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"
22 Now it was the Feast of the Dedication in Jerusalem in the winter.
23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.
24 And the Jews surrounded him and said to him, "How long are you going to keep us uncertain? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25 Then Jesus answered them, "I have told you so, and you did not believe me; but the works, which I do in my Father's name, bear witness for me.
26 But you did not believe because you are not my sheep.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me [they obey].4 [From the Word of the Lord within: "I only know those who have been crucified." He knows everything, but his "knowing" you is for him to become one with you, which occurs after you have been crucified. These are very advanced believers whom Jesus has raised to heaven and whom He dwells within as they still walk the earth too. He guides them with His voice for all their words to speak and all their deeds to be done, bringing honor and glory to God.]
28 And I give eternal life to them, so that they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.[This refers to after they have been led out of the world, freed from even the desire to sin, out of darkness, to dwell in the light, translated into the kingdom, to be in union with (one with) He and the Father, born again, with eternal life; living in heaven but still walking the earth.]
29 My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. [His sheep have been translated into the kingdom and are born again, and so His sheep do not sin and are protected from evil, "We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; instead God protects the one he has fathered, and the wicked one does not touch him." 1 John 5:18.]
30 I and my Father are One." [Jesus is not saying that He is the Father; Jesus is saying that the Father was in Him and that He was in the Father, which is like crucified believers that can be in union with and one with Christ and the Father too, as John 17:20-23 below describes:
Jesus is not claiming that He is the Father or that He is equal to the Father for Jesus said, "the Father is greater than I." John 14:28, and Jesus told Mary, "...But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.'" John 20:17. Jesus never claimed to be God; he claimed to be the Son of God. When he told Phillip, "anyone who has seen me, has seen the Father;" in the next two verses John 14:10-11, Jesus explained:
31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.
32 And Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great works through my Father; for which of those works do you intend to stone me?"
33 But the Jews answered him, saying, "It is not for good works that we stone you; but for blasphemy; and because you, being only a man, make yourself to be God."
34 Then Jesus answered them, "is it not written in your law, 'I have said, You are gods'? [Although this is a quote from Psalms 82:6, and the Psalms are not part of the law, it was common for the Jews to refer to the entire Old Testament as "the law."]
35 So he called them gods, men to whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; [Here Jesus makes a clear distinction between the word of God that came to men, and the scripture; scriptures do not travel, but Jesus, who is the Word of God, travels and speaks to men. From the Word of the Lord within: "Why would He contrast them if He didn't want to distinguish them? Calling the Bible 'the word' is the most evil lie of Christendom. Woe be to them, for they have coupled an external form between the love of God to man. Ten words from Him are better than ten copied letters." Click to see the 125 verses that state: "the word of the Lord came, speaking" and "the word of God came, speaking." Do not be confused; every reference to the word in the New Testament comes from the original Greek words, either logos or rhema, both of which refer to words spoken by a living voice. See the Word of God References (not being the Bible) for the details and links to every New Testament verse in Greek that contains the word. Beware of thinking your hearing the word within a few times is to have experienced "the word of God came" as it did to Moses, Abraham, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Samuel, Elijah, Haggai, Zechariah, Jonah, etc.; all of whom demonstrate that came in this context means the Spirit was received in sufficient measure to direct their works and supply their words to be spoken.]
36 And I, whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, am accused by you, saying to me, 'You blaspheme;' because I said, I am the Son of God?5
37 If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe me.
38 But if I do such works, even though you don't believe me, believe the works; that you may know and believe that the Father is in me, and I am in him."
39 Therefore they sought again to take him, but he escaped from their hands,
40 And went away again beyond the Jordan River into the place where John had at first baptized, and there he remained.
41 And many came to him and said, "John never performed a miracle; but everything that John said about this man was true."
42 So many became believers in him there.
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1 I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly [in a superior form]. The translators of this verse did not understand there was an entirely different life to be had while on this earth, and that this life was the life of God, being restored to the image of God in true righteousness and holiness. Obviously Jesus did not come so that we could have life as we know it because we already have life — we are alive; so he is clearly speaking about a life that we do not yet have and which must be obtained, for which he came to show us how to obtain it.
The Greek word for life is zoe in "you might have life," and zoe could have been translated: of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God; so it could have just as easily been worded: I came so that you might have the life of God, which is far more accurate and in agreement with the rest of Jesus' promises regarding union with God. Jesus is the life of God, and Jesus came so that we could receive His life in us, until Jesus is actually resurrected in us — to become a new creature with His life in control of our words and deed.
The Greek word for abundantly is perisson in "and have it more abundantly," and perisson could have been translated as: exceeding abundantly, supremely; superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon; pre-eminence, superiority, more eminent, more remarkable, more excellent. They chose abundantly, which could be understood to be just an expansion of your life in Adam, and fails to portray an entirely different, superior life. Clearly, the life that Jesus offers us is the life of God, Himself in control of our words and deeds; and this life of God is vastly superior to the cursed life that all men inherited from Adam.
From the Word of the Lord within, (which confirms all the above): "I have come that you might have life, the superior life of God."
How superior is this new form of life that Jesus comes to bring us? In his sermon, The Spirit of Christ, the Only True Guide, Stephen Crisp gives us a magnificent comparison of what our life will be like when we have crucified our selfish spirit to be truly governed by Christ:
Where there is a great deal of pride, malice and envy, the spirit of Christ will root it up, and all that evil that the enemy has planted in men, he will pluck it up, and bring in everlasting righteousness, and plant love in the same soul, and establish and settle it. Such a one will have more joy, pleasure and delight, under the government of the Spirit of Christ in one day, than anyone can have that is governed by the evil spirit in a thousand days.
The degree of difference in the new, superior life has also been stated by the Word of the Lord within: "The new life is as radically different as a man who has lived underground his whole life, suddenly coming above ground to see the sun, the sky, the plants, the animals, the wind, the stars."
I shudder to think how this scripture's poor translation is misapplied by the preachers of "the gospel of prosperity," who preach covetousness and greed: Take heed and beware of covetousness, for a man's life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses. Luke 12:15
We lost the life of God, when Adam fell in the garden. Jesus has come to restore us to that life, a more abundant, superior life, the life of God instead of the life of Satan, the spirit of God instead of the spirit of Satan, love instead of lust, humility instead of pride. Jesus said, ‘I am the light of the world [every man], he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.' John 8:12. Mark! The promise for following Jesus is to come out of darkness, to walk in the light, to have the light of life; this is to be restored to the life of God, exactly the life that Adam and Eve lost in the garden; as God had told them they would surely die, and die they did that day to the life of God, as they then lived in the life of Satan. But here is the glorious promise fulfilled, that God would restore man again to the life of God — and here is our opportunity, by belief in the Light, which enlightens all men, by obedience to that light, we can become children of the Light, restored to the life of God, the image of God.
If you don't increase the small measure of the light that all men have who come into the world, (John 1:7,9), you will lose that measure of light in the next life. The light is your talent, which if it is not increased while on earth, in the next life will be taken away from you and given to someone who has increased their light, (life of God, talent), so that they have more. The words Christ speaks to you from inside your heart are spirit and they are life-giving, which is the light. So, to increase the light, you must wait, watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. From the Word of the Lord within: "Obedience leads to restoration of life."
The true hope that Christ offers to all is to be released from the slavery to sin, to come out of darkness to light, in the new cleansed nature, to be restored to the image of God, to join in union with God, and to then live in the Kingdom of Heaven while on earth and forever as a king and priest to God.
Isaac Penington was a giant in the early Quaker movement who dwelled in the Kingdom of God. In his testimony of his long journey to the Kingdom, he gives us a glimpse of what it means to live the superior life of God:
"But some may desire to know what I have at last met with? I answer, I have met with the Seed. Understand that word, and you will be satisfied, and inquire no further. I have met with my God; I have met with my Saviour; and he has not been present with me without his salvation; but I have felt the healings drop upon my soul from under his wings. I have met with the true knowledge, the knowledge of life, the living knowledge, the knowledge which is life; and this has had the true virtue in it, which my soul has rejoiced in, in the presence of the Lord. I have met with the Seed's Father, and in the Seed I have felt him [to be] my Father. There I have read his nature, his love, his compassions, his tenderness, which have melted, overcome, and changed my heart before him. I have met with the Seed's faith, which has done and does what the faith of man can never do. I have met with the true birth, with the birth which is heir of the kingdom, and inherits the kingdom. I have met with the true spirit of prayer and supplication, wherein the Lord is prevailed with, and which draws from him whatever the condition needs; the soul always looking up to him in the will, and in the time and way, which are acceptable with him. What shall I say? I have met with the true peace, the true righteousness, the true holiness, the true rest of the soul, the everlasting habitation, which the redeemed dwell in; and I know all these to be true, in him that is true, and am capable of no doubt, dispute, or reasoning in my mind about them; it abiding there, where it has received the full assurance and satisfaction. And also I know very well and distinctly in spirit where the doubts and disputes are, and where the certainty and full assurance are, and in the tender mercy of the Lord am preserved out of the one, and in the other."
As excerpted from his memoir on this site, Penington also has left us his wonderful advice as to how we can attain the superior life of God.
Now thus having met with the true way, and walked with the Lord therein, wherein daily certainty, yes, and full assurance of faith and of understanding is at length obtained, I cannot be silent, (true love and pure life stirring in me and moving me), but am necessitated to testify of it to others; and this is it: To retire inwardly, and wait to feel somewhat of the Lord, somewhat of his holy spirit and power, discovering, and drawing from that which is contrary to Him, and into his holy nature and heavenly image. And then, as the mind is joined to this, somewhat is received, some true life, some true light, some true discerning; [of] which the creature not exceeding, (but abiding in the measure of), is safe. But it is easy erring from this, but hard abiding with it, and not going before [running ahead of] its leadings. But he that feels life, and begins in life, does he not begin safely! And he that waits and fears, and goes on no further than his captain goes before him, does he not proceed safely? Yes, very safely, even until he comes to be so settled and established in the virtue, demonstration, and power of Truth, as nothing can prevail to shake Him.
Now, blessed be the Lord, there are many at this day [early Quakers] who can truly and faithfully witness that they have been brought by the Lord to this state. And thus have we learned of the Lord; namely, not by the high striving, aspiring mind; but by lying low, and being contented with a little. If but a crumb of bread, (yet is bread), if but a drop of water, (yet is water), we have been contented with it, and also thankful to the Lord for it; nor by thoughtfulness, and wise searching and deep considering with our own wisdom and reason have we obtained it; but in the still, meek, and humble waiting, have we found that brought into the death, which is not to know the mysteries of God's kingdom; and that which is to live, made alive, and increase in life.
Therefore he that would truly know the Lord, let him take warning of his own reason and understanding. I tried this way very far, for I considered most seriously and uprightly. I prayed, I read the scriptures, I earnestly desired to understand and find out whether what this people, called Quakers, testified of, was the only way and truth of God, (as they seemed to me but to pretend). But for all this, prejudices multiplied upon me, and strong reasonings against them, which appeared to me as unanswerable. But when the Lord revealed his Seed in me, and touched my heart with it, which administered true peace and virtue to me, I presently felt them there the children of the Most High, and so grown up in his life, power, and holy dominion, (as the inward eye, being opened by the Lord, sees), as drew forth from me great reverence of heart, and praises to the Lord, who had so appeared among men in these latter days.
And as God draws, in any respect, to himself, I give up in faithfulness to Him. Despise the shame, take up the cross for indeed it is a way which is very cross to man, and which his wisdom will many be exceedingly ashamed; but that must be denied and turned from, and the secret, sensible drawings of God's Spirit waited for and given up to. Mind, people, he that would come into the new covenant, must come into the obedience of it. The light of life, which God has hidden in the heart, is the [new] covenant; and from this covenant God does not give knowledge, to satisfy the vast, aspiring, comprehending wisdom of man; but living knowledge, to feed what is quickened [made alive] by Him; which knowledge is given in the obedience, and is very sweet and precious to the state of him that knows how to feed upon it. Yes, truly, this is of a very excellent, pure, precious nature; and a little of it weighs down that great, vast knowledge in the comprehending part, which the man's spirit and nature so much prizes and presses after.
And truly, friends, I witness at this day a great difference between the sweetness of comprehending the knowledge of things as expressed in the scriptures, (this I fed much on formerly); and tasting the hidden life, the hidden manna in the heart, (which is my food now, blessed forever be the Lord my God and Saviour). Oh, that others had a true, certain and sensible taste of the life, virtue, and goodness of the Lord, as it is revealed there. Surely it could not but kindle the true hunger; and inflame the true thirst; which can never be satisfied but by the true bread, and by water from the living fountain. This the Lord, (in the tenderness of his love, and in the riches of his grace and mercy), has brought us to; and this we earnestly and uprightly desire and endeavor, that others may be brought to also; that they may rightly (in the true silence of the flesh, and in the pure stillness of spirit), wait for, and in the Lord's due time receive, that which answers the desire of the awakened mind and soul, and satisfies it with the true, precious substance for evermore.
2 Jesus tells us that any pastor working for money (a hired hand) does not love the flock. If he loved the flock, he would not take money from it. Jesus told his disciples: Freely you have received, freely give. Mat 10:8. Peter and Jude speak of those false prophets who were covetous for wages, following in the footsteps of Balaam, who prophesied for money; and they said all such men who preach for money have blackest darkness reserved for them. Peter commanded: Feed the flock of God that is among you, serving as an overseer, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre (money). 1 Peter 5:2. Paul said: For we are not like so many, who peddle the word of God for profit; but we are speaking in Christ before God as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God. 2 Cor 2:17. What is my reward then? Truly, that when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel of Christ without charge. 1 Cor 9:18
3 And I have other sheep, who are not of this flock. I must also call them to lead them out, and they will hear my voice. The verse has been universally translated as "I will call them to bring them out, and they will hear my voice;" but as pointed out by a reader of this site, the original Greek for this verse clearly shows the Greek word <ago> should be translated as "lead", making the sentence read "I will call them to lead them out, and they will hear my voice." It appears the translators chose the word bring instead because it favors their do-nothing, imaginary salvation that requires the sheep to do nothing; but the word lead requires the sheep to follow. From the Word of the Lord within:
In verse 16 the others not of this flock, whom Jesus said will hear his voice, are the Gentiles. Although Jesus, the man, never physically preached to masses of Gentiles, yet He said, they will also hear my voice. And the Gentiles heard and hear His voice today from within their hearts the Word of God, which is in your hearts and mouth; but to hear, you must listen; and to progress, you must obey what you hear. You must obey his spoken words, you must practice his teaching, you must obey His commands. Blessed are those who hear the word of God [within your heart] and keep [practice, obey] it.
Isaiah wrote of God's promise to the Gentiles, which was by Christ, the light, going to Gentiles in the new inward covenant: I will hold your hand; I will keep you and give you for a covenant to the people, for a light to the Gentiles, to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and those who sit in darkness out of the prison house. Isaiah 42:6-7. And thus said the Lord, in an acceptable time have I heard you, in a day of salvation have I helped you; and I will preserve you and give you for a covenant to the people, to restore the earth. Isaiah 49:8. And the Lord said: It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel. I will also give you for a light to the Gentiles, that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth. Isaiah 49:6. And the Gentiles shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:3
The light, (which is the light of the word of God), the word, the spirit of grace, the spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit — are all different manifestations of God's spirit.
4 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. From the Word of the Lord within: "I only know those who have been crucified." He knows everything, but his "knowing" you is for him to become one with you, which occurs after you have been crucified. Also notice Jesus said, they follow me. The beginning of following Jesus is to daily listen, hear, and obey the teachings and commands that you hear him speak to you from the Word of the Lord within your heart. This is denying your will, and doing his will — the reality of "thy will be done," —what you have prayed for a thousand times. If you follow Jesus, (obey what he commands you to do), then you are denying yourself and picking up your cross every day. Mat 16:24. Jesus said: "There is only one thing needed, and Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her" — to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his words. Luke 10:39-42.
William Dewsbury, who entered the Kingdom, wrote of an entirely different level of hearing that occurred after he had been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial:
I stand here as a witness for the God of heaven,
I never heard the voice of Christ
until I was slain and baptized, and lay as a little child under his heavenly chastisements;
as soon as ever my soul was brought to this, in my humiliation,
Oh! then, the dreadful judgment was taken away, and the book of life was opened unto me,
and the Lord spoke comfortably to me, 'I have loved you with an everlasting love;"
and I was made a Christian through a day of vengeance, and of burning as an oven;
and the haughtiness and pride of man in me was brought low.
(Dewsbury had just experienced the baptism of fire and death to pass over from death to life as he heard the Voice of the Lord for the first time. In regard to this baptism of death, from the Word of the Lord within: "There is a dying. One actually dies to enter the camp. You are raised to a new life, not just an imitation; He is one with us and ever-present. These are not paths of glory traveled lightly." For detail on this baptism of fire and death, see the footnote to Matthew 3:11-12 on this site.)
There is a Voice of the Lord like thunder over the waters described in many Old Testament passages. This is radically different than the small still voice we hear from within our hearts or from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit and the Word of the Lord within speak with words from Jesus, so we are hearing from the Son of God. But until we can truly hear the Voice of the Lord, we will not know for sure it is the Lord speaking to us. From the Word of the Lord within: "You will always have doubts until you hear His voice. My voice is like thunder over waters. You will hear His voice when He calls you." We will hear the Lord's voice like thunder over waters for the first time after we have submitted to the baptism of fire and death to then be called forth and resurrected as a new creature. When you hear His voice like thunder over waters for the first time, you have passed over from death to life; and once you have heard His voice like thunder over waters, you will always know whether or not it is the Lord speaking to you.
We first have to listen to the Holy Spirit and the word of the Lord within to hear and obey His many teachings and commands. Then with long persistence and patience in doing obedient works of repentance, we experience the baptism of fire and death, to then hear the Voice of the Lord as we pass from death to life. Until then, we have to be on our guard to not be deceived by the enemy, pretending to be the Lord speaking to us. Based on the advice of Edward Burrough, (click to read), a giant in the early Quakers, until we can distinguish between the voice of the Lord and the voice of the enemy, we should do nothing for the Lord but follow His commands* to repent. When we can hear the Voice of the Lord, we walk in the light; and William Penn wrote, "Though it is the duty of all to walk in the light, and to wait for it, that by it they may be instructed in the way of life and salvation, yet it is they only who are actually led** by it, that can rightly discern between the false spirits and the true."
* Any command to repent from the Lord should be first pure, then peaceable, fair, gentle, easily accepted, full of mercy and good fruits, immediately understood, and sincere. James 3:17
** By way of review: to be guided or led by the light, the light must first arise in your heart like a magnificent star, so that you are shown everything to do and told everything to say; the unmistakable arising of the light comes from faith in the voice.
This occurs just before you enter the kingdom; see The Kingdom, the Return of Christ, and Salvation's Completion in How to Benefit from the Changing Power of God by Waiting on the Lord for more on entering the kingdom.
You may hear the Lord tell you to go ahead with your considering to buy something or do something that you feel is necessary; and providing it is nothing that you know to be wrong, or it is nothing He has told you not to do in the past, you can follow His suggestions before you can distinguish His voice. If you don't need what you are considering to purchase, He may plainly tell you, "you don't need it." If it is not necessary to do something you are considering, He may tell you, "it's not necessary." If it is necessary and/or needed, he may encourage you to proceed.
Jesus said: My sheep hear my voice. I know them. And if you don't hear his voice and follow him, he doesn't know you. After your physical death if he doesn't know you, he will shut the door, refusing to open it, saying "I tell you, I do not know you or where you come from" and at judgment he will say to you "I never knew you; depart from me, you who work iniquity [sin, lawlessness, or wickedness]." Mat 25:11-12, Luke 13:24-27, Mat 7:21-23
Jesus said it another way: Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice, John 18:37; this verse also refers to the Voice of the Lord like thunder over the waters, for to be of the truth is to be in union, to one with Jesus and God.
From the Word of the Lord within:
This chapter of John references several of the wonderful promises set before us:
After final judgment "the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out."John 10:3
He leads them out of their slavery to sin, John 8:31-32, out of the world into the kingdom, to walk in the light, John 8:12.
"And when he has brought out his own sheep, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice." John 10:4
To be brought out is to be led out of the world into the kingdom, then to be guided by the Lord's commands for your every word and every deed.
"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me [they obey]." John 10:27
These are very advanced believers whom Jesus has raised to heaven and within whom He dwells,
as they still walk the earth too. He guides them with His voice for all their words to speak
and all their deeds to be done, bringing honor and glory to God.
"They will not follow a stranger, but will flee from him; for they do not know the voice of strangers." John 10:5
Once in the kingdom, you know his voice and you are able to reject the wicked one's attempts to impersonate his voice.
"And I give eternal life to them, so that they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." John 10:28
"My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." John 10:29
His sheep have been translated into the kingdom and are born again, and so His sheep do not sin and are protected from evil.
"We know that whoever is born of God does not sin;
instead God protects the one he has fathered, and the wicked one does not touch him." 1 John 5:18.
"I know my sheep, as I am known by my sheep; Just like the Father knows me, and I know the Father." John 10:14-15
Jesus and his sheep know each other just as deeply as the Father and Jesus know each other.
Jesus and the Father know each other deeply because Jesus is one with the Father.
For His sheep to be known just like the Father and He know each other, His sheep are in Him and He is in His sheep.
The sheep are in union with and one with Christ and the Father too, as John 17:20-23, 14:20 state.
The promises are: if you listen to and obey the Holy Spirit, he will teach you all things, he will guide you into all truth, he will tell you of things to come, and you will know all things. See that you do not refuse him who speaks. For if they did not escape, who refused him who spoke on the earth, how much more will we be liable, if we turn away from him who speaks from heaven [which is in your heart]. Heb 12:25
It is a cross to a man's will to sit silently, struggling to keep his mind from wandering; it is a cross to a man's will to obey what he is commanded and taught by the Holy Spirit and the Word of the Lord within; this is the cross of which you must deny yourself and pick it up every day to then follow Jesus. To follow is to obey. You cannot be his disciple unless you pick up your cross daily and follow his orders. Salvation is only received by those who follow [in obedience] the lamb wherever he goes [whatever he commands] — who obey completely the voice of the Lord, in whatever he commands. Do not be discouraged if you don't hear for some time. Even your waiting is to your credit: Let your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping on you. Psalms 33:22. For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him. Isa 64:4
5 I, whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, am accused by you, saying to me, 'You blaspheme;' because I said, I am the Son of God? The Jews condemned Jesus because he said he was the Son of God. So they killed him supposedly because they said he had violated their law and blasphemed, but the real reason was they feared the loss of their religion and nation. Although the New Testament is clear that there is only one God, (despite the mistake of most of Christianity); and although Jesus said, "the Father is greater than I," John 14:28; and although Jesus said he only spoke and did as God told to him to speak and do; and although Jesus told Mary, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I ascend to my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God.'" John 20:17; the Jews said Jesus was claiming equality with God by stating he was the Son of God, and to claim equality with God was blasphemy. The Jews believed that the Messiah would only be a man, and they acted like they had never heard of the Son of God, yet their own Scriptures, from the Old Testament, speak of the Son.
Old Testament Book of Proverbs, says:
Who has ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if you can tell? Proverbs 30:4
In the Old Testament Book of Psalms, King David spoke very, very reverently of the Son, ascribing to him the power of God:
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you perish from the way for his wrath is quick to be kindled. Blessed are all those who put their trust in him. Psa 2:12
In the Original Old Testament Book of 4 Esdras*
The bride shall appear, and he shall come forth and be seen, that now is under the earth: for my Son Jesus shall appear with those that be with him, and those who remain shall rejoice within four hundred years; and after these same years shall my Son Christ die. 4 Esdras 7:27-29
I, Esdras, saw upon the Mount Zion a great people, whom I could not number, and they all praised the Lord with songs.
And in the midst of them there was a young man of a high stature, taller than all the rest, and upon every one of their heads he set crowns, and was more exalted; which I marveled at greatly.
So I asked the angel, and said, "Sir, what are these?"
He answered and said unto me, "These are those who have put off the mortal clothing, put on the immortal, and have confessed the name of God; now are they crowned, and they receive palms."
Then said I unto the angel, "What young person is it who crowns them and gives them palms in their hands?"
So he answered and said unto me, "It is the Son of God, whom they have confessed in the world." Then began I to greatly admire those who had stood so rigidly for the name of the Lord.
Then the angel said unto me, "Go your way, and tell my people what manner of things and how great wonders of the Lord your God you have seen." 4 Esdras 2:42-48
*The Book of Esdras is so unfamiliar to most. It was in the original Old Testament and King James Bible, but was later removed. Parts of the books are in Ezra and Nehemiah. This book still appears in the Latin Vulgate Bible. Because George Fox quoted from this Book, it is included on this site. See Esdras, Chapter 1 Introduction for more on Esdras.
In the Old Testament Book of Daniel, even the heathen King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, could recognize the son of God:
And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spoke, and said to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king."
He answered and said, "Look, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not harmed; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." Daniel 3:23-25
Further in the Old Testament Book of Daniel, Daniel himself saw Jesus coming on the clouds: I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven. Dan 7:13
Jesus referred to himself as the Son of Man:
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels;
and then he will reward every man according to his works. (Not just a particular generation.)
Some standing here shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom. Mat 16:27-8,Mar 8:38,9:1,Luk 9:26-27
Those not purified, to see Jesus' coming, (appearing in their hearts), before death, see him as they die, as all peoples, all nations, all generations do.
Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye will see him, and also those who pierced him: (also, the Jews 2000 years ago)
and all the peoples of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen. Rev 1:7
2000 years ago, to the Jewish High Priest and the Pharisees at his trial, Jesus said..
you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Mark 14:62
In the Original Old Testament Book of Wisdom there is a remarkable prophecy how the Son of God would be rejected by the Jews because of their own wickedness had blinded them, and they knew not the secrets of God:
For the ungodly said, reasoning with themselves, but not correctly, "Our life is short and tedious, and in the death of a man there is no remedy; neither has there been any man known to have returned from the grave.
Let us therefore lie in wait for the righteous person because he is not for our turn; he is contrary to our doings, upbraids us with transgressions of the law, and divulges against us the sins of our way of life.
He boasts that he has the knowledge of God, and calls himself the son of God.
He has become a reprover of our thoughts.
He is grievous to us even to behold for his life is not like other men's, and his ways are very different.
We are esteemed by him as triflers, and he abstains from our ways as from filthiness, and he prefers the latter end of the just and glories that he has God for his father.
Let us see then if his words are true, and let us prove what shall happen to him, and we shall know what his end shall be.
For if he is the true son of God, God will defend him and will deliver him from the hands of his enemies.
Let us examine him with despitefulness and torture, that we may know his meekness, and prove his patience.
Let us condemn him with a shameful death for by his own saying he shall be respected."
Such things they did imagine, and were deceived for their own wickedness has blinded them.
And they knew not the secrets of God, nor hoped for the wages of justice, nor esteemed the honor of holy souls. Wisdom 2:12-22
The Jews accusations were baseless. Their own Old Testament scriptures testified in multiple of books to the existence of a Son of God and the Son of Man.
According to Jewish scripture and belief, the true Messiah must meet the following requirements:
How Jesus Fulfilled the Expectations of Messiah
|Be an observant Jewish man descended from the house of King David||Before His ministry began, Jesus was so respected as an observant Jewish man that He regularly taught and read the scriptures in His synagogue's Sabbath meetings. |
Jesus was by both His Father and Mother a direct descendant of David, Joseph through Solomon (Matthew 1:7-15), thus inheriting the legal right to the throne of David, and Mary through David's son, Nathan (Luke 3:23-31), her line thus carrying the seed of David, since Solomon's line had been refused the throne because of Jechoniah's sin.
|Be an ordinary human being (as opposed to the Son of God)||Jesus was the Son of God, who humbled Himself to become an ordinary man to die on the cross. He was looked on as just the carpenter's son, an ordinary man.|
|Bring peace to the world||As He does bring peace to anyone in the world who accepts Him and follows him to the cross, to receive peace as the fruit of the spirit.|
|Gather all Jews back into Israel||As He does gather all real Jews, those with a circumcised heart, into spiritual, heavenly Israel.|
|Rebuild the ancient Temple in Jerusalem||As He does rebuild the temple in New Jerusalem, the heavenly, spiritual Jerusalem; Jesus and His saints being the temple, each saint being a living stone, each overcomer of the world and its lusts being a pillar in the temple.|
|Unite humanity in the worship of the Jewish God and Torah observance||Certainly He unites true believers from all nations, particularly the Gentiles, in worship of the Jewish God. The Jewish God is acknowledged as God by billions all over the world. |
Jesus preached observance of the law, and He even strengthened the law.
Those in Christendom can easily look down on the Jews, incorrectly interpreting the Scriptures, and rejecting Christ; instead the Jews expected a physical King to appear and re-establish an earthly Jewish kingdom. But one hundred generations of Christendom, incorrectly interpreting the Scriptures, are doing the same thing, making the same mistake: they have rejected listening to and obeying Christ within them, expecting an outward appearance; expecting Christ to physically appear to be King of the whole world, thereby missing the possibility of preparing for his inward, individual spiritual appearance in them. This is a major deception with disastrous consequences to those so deceived.
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