When he has brought all his own sheep out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not recognize the stranger’s voice.”

[John 10:4-5 NET]

It is true of sheep in the East, that while they quickly respond to their names when their own shepherd calls them, because they know his voice–yet if a stranger comes to the door of the fold and calls them by the same names, they will be alarmed and will turn and run. It ought to be so with Christ’s sheep. They should be quick to hear and know their own Shepherd’s voice whenever he calls. They should never be afraid when they recognize his call, though it be in the darkness of sorrow or of trial. But they should also be quick to detect any voice that is not their own Shepherd’s.

Such voices do fall continually upon the ears of Christ’s friends. There are temptations which would lure them away from the truth–into paths of wandering, which lead to sin and end in death! There are false guides who profess to be true, and to be very much wiser than the old-fashioned, true guides whom Christ has set to be under shepherds; and they want to turn the sheep away from the old paths. Everywhere the “voice of strangers” is heard. The true sheep flee from the voice of strangers, knowing it is not their shepherd’s. Every voice which is not known to be Christ’s, should alarm the Christian, causing him to run quickly to his own Shepherd for shelter and protection.

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