Friday, July 1, 2011

Those other sheep

Is the Lord dealing with the church the body of Christ in John 10 when he speaks of sheep not of this fold?

No, I don't think so and here's why:

John 10:14-22
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter.

Now before we break down the passage to see who the sheep that are not of this fold, we must always rightly divide the word first; meaning that we always recognize that Paul is our Apostle as gentiles from Christ and the church the body of Christ was a secret hid in God until revealed to Paul...

Romans 11:11, 13, 25; 16:25-26
I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy...

For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest,

Ephesians 3:1-8
For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 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) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Colossians 1:24-27
Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

So we see that we today in the body were not mentioned by the Lord Jesus during his earthly ministry.

So then, who are the sheep not of this fold?

Listen to the Lord in Matthew 15:24 when asked who he is dealing with...

But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The Lord only ministered to Israel. This is all he had in view during His earthly ministry.

Even our Apostle Paul says the same thing…

Romans 15:8
Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision [Israel] for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

You see, when Christ thought of his ministry, he always thought of the Jew. Not that he did not care for gentiles, because there are exceptions when he blessed gentiles during his earthly ministry when they blessed Israel (Abrahamic covenant [Genesis 12]), but those times were very few and far between. He confined his ministry to the Jews in the land of Israel.

So who are the sheep which are not of this fold?

They were those Jews who were not in the land of Israel—those who were scattered abroad among the gentile nations in the Diaspora after the Babylonian captivity.

Look at what the Lord said earlier in the book of John...

John 7:33-35
Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

The unbelieving religious leaders of Israel understood that there was a remnant of Jews who were not currently in Israel at the time of the Lord's ministry. The religious leaders "forgot" about those Jews and even reckoned them, their own brethren, as gentiles (that's why they hated the Samaritans too...who were also Jews). That is why the parable of the prodigal son is in your bible, as well as the parable of the shepherd leaving the 99 sheep and going after the 1. All these refer to Messiah going after all the Jews on earth—even those not living in Israel where he ministered. They are the sheep not of that fold in Israel!

Ezekiel 37:15-22
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

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