Friday, 5 November 2021
Title: “They know His voice”
By: Ps Cheng Cheung
Read John 10: 1-6
Last Thursday, 28 Oct, I attended the forum on Shincheonji (SCJ)and Salt and Light Fellowship, a cult that has surfaced in Malaysia. The key takeaways, as shared by Jane, were the fact that the SCJ’s recruiters:
(1) targeted ‘young’ evangelical Christians or Catholics who were hungry for truth and spiritual advancement,
(2) were deeply committed,
(3) spent time before they ‘hooked the fish,’ and
(4) engaged the targets in misleading ‘Bible study.’
As Jane shared this elaborate scheme, I could not help but wonder would I have fallen if I had been targeted ? Bishop Jeyakumar, in closing the forum, urged listeners to know God’s word well enough to be able to distinguish truth from error. Thus they would be better equipped to resist attempts to lead them astray. Good suggestion, I thought.
Many years ago, when I was still working in the bank, I attended a workshop on common strategies and scams by fraudsters. This had been organized to raise staff awareness on the subject. One of the modules was designed to help staff, especially cashiers to distinguish counterfeit ringgit notes from genuine ones.
One of the most striking things the speaker said, which I remember to this day: “You have to touch it, run it between your fingers all the time – new notes, soiled notes, notes left in the washing machine and then dried, notes of all types. You have to know the real stuff. Then, the moment you touch a counterfeit, your fingers will tell you, ‘something is not quite right, here.’ “
Surely there’s a spiritual lesson there somewhere.
How I yearn to hear and discern my Shepherd’s dear voice every time He speaks. I want to be so intimate with Him that, when I hear a voice call out, I would know when it is Him and when it is not.
This short account from Kenneth Bailey’s book shows it is possible even for sheep to be able to distinguish their master’s voice from a chorus of shepherds’ voices.
”Travellers have noticed the wonderful readiness with which the sheep of a large flock will recognize the shepherd’s voice. Though several flocks are mingled, they speedily separate at the command of the shepherd, while the word of a stranger would have no effect on them.
The shepherds led their flocks forth from the gates of the city. . . . Thousands of sheep and goats were there, grouped in dense, confused masses. The shepherds stood together until all the animals came out. Then they separated, each shepherd taking a separate path, and uttering as he advanced, a shrill, peculiar call.
The sheep heard them. At first the masses swayed and moved as if shaken by some internal convulsion; then struck out in the direction taken by the shepherds. These became longer and longer until the confused masses were resolved into long, living streams, flowing after their leaders. Such is the ability of sheep to distinguish the voice of their own shepherd from the voices of other shepherds who may be calling at the same time”. 1
John 10: 3-4
3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep h͟e͟a͟r͟ Hi͟s͟ v͟o͟i͟c͟e͟; and He͟ c͟a͟l͟l͟s͟ His own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 And when he brings out his own sheep, He goes before them; and t͟h͟e͟ s͟h͟e͟e͟p͟ f͟o͟l͟l͟o͟w͟ Him, for t͟h͟e͟y͟ k͟n͟o͟w͟ Hi͟s͟ v͟o͟i͟c͟e͟ .
What struck me from the above two verses are two pairs of phrases:
hear His voice and they know His voice
He calls and the sheep follow.
If I am not in intimate fellowship with the Lord, how can I hear Him speak, and thereafter, determine that it is indeed Jesus’ voice? Spending time with the Lord is not a luxury; it is a non-negotiable necessity in order that this might happen. And then, when He calls, because I am confident it is my dear Lord, I follow .
My Prayer today
Lord Jesus, thank you that You are my Good Shepherd. Lead me daily in the way everlasting. Help me attune my ears that I might recognize Your voice and discard the false ones. Dear Lord, lead me back to Your path should I stray from it.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen
1 Kenneth E Bailey “The Good Shepherd” (IVP, 2014)
上周四（10月28日），我参加了关于新天地教会 (Shincheonji/SCJ )和盐与光团契的论坛，这是一个在马来西亚出现的邪教。正如Jane所分享，主要信息是SCJ的招募成员:
(1) 以渴望真理和属灵成长的 “年轻 “福音派基督徒或天主教徒为目标
(4) 让目标人物参与误导性的 “查经班”
1 肯尼斯·贝利 《好牧人》（IVP，2014）