Wednesday, February 19, 2014

29. WHO ARE JESUS' OTHER SHEEPS? WHO ARE THEY?


In this Scripture, Christ expressly says, “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.”

It is important to notice that Christ made the distinction as other sheep…not of this fold. “This fold” refers to the Jews who were living in Judea at that time. Jesus, being of the tribe of Judah, brought the Gospel message, from the Father, to His own people first.

They rejected both the Messenger and the Message. In the “parable of the ten pounds” in Luke 19:14 we read, “But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’” Even more brutal is the account of Matthew 27:25 where they said, “His blood be on us, and on our children.”

We are left then, with the “other sheep…not of this fold.” Throughout the Bible, God refers to the people of Israel as His sheep. There is no indication that this is referring to the Gentiles. Those other sheep are the other tribes of Israel.

We find in Matthew 10:6 Christ’s instruction to His disciples, “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” The apostle James directly addressed the “lost tribes of Israel” in James 1:1, “…to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad…” The Jews also made the same reference in John 7:35: “…will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles?”

Israel was one united nation until the reign of King Rehoboam. Under Jeroboam, ten tribes separated from Rehoboam to form a new nation called Israel. The remaining tribes with Rehoboam formed a nation that was known as the kingdom of Judah. They have not been united since.

John 10:16 does give a happy, glorious conclusion. Christ said, “…them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” In Ezekiel 37:21-28, we find a very inspiring and detailed prophecy of the final reunion of the tribes of Israel, with David as their resurrected King under the Master Shepherd, Jesus Christ. 


Jesus' Other Sheep
[Ezekiel 21-28] And thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will take the children of Israel from the midst of the nations whither they are gone: and I will gather them on every side, and will bring them to their own land. [22] And I will make them one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king over them all: and they shall no more be two nations, neither shall they be divided any more into two kingdoms. [23] Nor shall they be defiled any more with their idols, nor with their abominations, nor with all their iniquities: and I will save them out of all the places in which they have sinned, and I will cleanse them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. [24] And my servant David shall be king over them, and they shall have one shepherd: they shall walk in my judgments, and shall keep my commandments, and shall do them. [25] And they shall dwell in the land which I gave to my servant Jacob, wherein your fathers dwelt, and they shall dwell in it, they and their children, and their children' s children, for ever: and David my servant shall be their prince for ever.
[26] And I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will establish them, and will multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for ever. [27] And my tabernacle shall be with them: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [28] And the nations shall know that I am the Lord the sanctifier of Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for ever
SO WHO ARE JESUS’ ‘OTHER SHEEP’ 
(John 10:26-30)?
  
Christ said, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd ” (John 10:16).

“This fold” refers to Judah—the Jews who were living in Judea. Christ come to His own—to the Jews—and His own did not receive Him (John 1:11). Christ was born of the tribe of Judah, but the Jews rejected Him saying, “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).

On those Mormon TV commercials, they say Jesus spoke of having "other sheep" and that this somehow supports the Mormon church. What are they talking about and what is the real story?

They’re quoting from John 10:16, where Jesus says, "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."

Mormons claim that these words of Christ were fulfilled when, after his death and resurrection, he visited the Americas to establish a church among the "Nephites." These "lost sheep" were supposedly the descendants of Hebrews who had fled Jerusalem and journeyed to America at the time of Jeremiah. The Book of Mormon purports to be the religious and historical records of these ancient "Christians" (as the Book of Mormon records they called themselves, even before the coming of Jesus), written and preserved by American counterparts of Hebrew prophets.


Who, then, are the “other sheep”? There are two legitimate answers: one physical, one spiritual.

On a physical level, the “other sheep” are the other tribes of Israel. Israel (Jacob) had more than one son—twelve in all. The “other sheep” then are the descendants of the other sons of Jacob. Christ refers to these other tribes of Israel as the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:6)

What The Book oF Matthew Says About The Lost Sheep or The Other Sheep!
Matthew 10:5-10:
[5] These twelve Jesus sent: commanding them, saying: Go ye not into the way of the Gentiles, and into the city of the Samaritans enter ye not.
[6] But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
[7] And going, preach, saying: The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
[8] Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils: freely have you received, freely give. [9] Do not possess gold, nor silver, nor money in your purses:
[10] Nor scrip for your journey, nor two coats, nor shoes, nor a staff; for the workman is worthy of his meat.

NOTES:
Verses 5 & 6 – Jesus commanded his 12 apostles to go the city of the Samaritans not to the Gentiles but to the lost sheep (Jews) of the house of Israel (Jews). Jesus never mentioned about the 12 apostles being sent to the Philippines but specifically to the city of the Samaritans (Gentiles) to preach them that the kingdom of heaven is at hand and to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils.

Israel and Judah became two separate nations or houses during the reign of Rehoboam, Solomon’s son (see I Kings 12). The nation of Israel, the northern ten tribes, were conquered by the Assyrians in 721 BC, and many of its people were removed to the area near the Caspian Sea. Eventually, the tribes migrated from there into northwestern Europe. Thus, the “other sheep,” or the lost tribes of Israel, were not in Judea during Christ’s ministry.

Christ concludes by saying, “And there shall be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:16). When will the house of Judah and the house of Israel be one flock and have one king, one shepherd? The prophet Ezekiel gives the answer (Ezekiel 37:21-28). David will be that king with Christ, the chief shepherd (verses 24-25). Ezekiel 34:23-24 and Jeremiah 30:9 show that David is to be resurrected from the dead and made king. The resurrection from the dead occurs at Christ’s second coming to this earth (I Thessalonians 4:13-15; I Corinthians 15:20-23, 50-52). Christ will then establish the new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Hebrews 8:8-10; Jeremiah 31:31-33; 50:4-5).

On a spiritual level, the “other sheep” are the members of God’s church. Jesus and the apostles frequently call Christians “sheep” (e.g., Matthew 25:33; Mark 14:27; John 21:15-17; I Peter 2:25; etc.). Christ’s Jewish audience did not “hear [His] voice” but instead rejected Him and His message and forced the Roman government into crucifying Him. Though many of the original members of the church were Jews, salvation was soon opened to Gentiles as well, and together they became an entirely new entity, the household of God, the church (see Ephesians 2:11-22).

Paul explains in Romans 9-11 that national Israel/Judah has been put aside for the time being for their ultimate spiritual good, and thus God’s flock is presently His church. As the apostle puts it, “Israel has not obtained what it seeks [salvation and the promises of God]; but the elect [the church] have obtained it, and the rest were hardened” (Romans 11:7). Indeed, Paul names the church as “the Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16. He also shows in I Corinthians 12:12-27 and Ephesians 4:4 that there is only one body (flock), and Peter says there is only one Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ (I Peter 5:4).


In reality, the "other sheep" Jesus mentions are the righteous Gentiles, who did not belong to the "fold" of God’s chosen people, Israel, but who would respond to the gospel when preached to them. While Christ’s earthly ministry served the Jewish people almost exclusively, his great commission to the apostles before his ascension sent them into all the world to preach, baptize and thus unite his believers in one fold (Matthew 27:19). Because "he that heareth you heareth me" (Luke 10:16), to hear the gospel from the lips of his disciples is to hear Jesus himself