“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.”
The elect of God, those chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world and predestinated unto the adoption of children, are to be found in every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue under heaven. The Jews thought that no nation would derive any benefit from the coming of the Messiah but they themselves. They thought no others but themselves were the children Of Abraham, and therefore none but themselves were heirs of the promise made to Abraham. For this reason they called Abraham their father, and were very proud of their ability to trace their lineage by flesh and blood from Abraham. However, Jesus told them that flesh and blood should not inherit the kingdom of heaven, meaning that their ability to trace themselves in the flesh as descendants of Abraham would give them no right to the kingdom of God on that basis. In the words of the Scripture quoted above Jesus tells the Jews: “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold.” He means that he has sheep among the Gentile nations outside the bounds of Jewry, which sheep were just as much given him of the Father before the world began as were his sheep among the Jews. These, also, he must bring. During the lifetime of Jesus here in the flesh he commanded the disciples to preach to Jews only, they were forbidden to go to the Gentiles; but after Jesus rose from the dead he told his disciples, All power in heaven and in earth is given unto me. Go ye therefore into all the world and preach the gospel unto every creature. By his death Jesus took away the handwriting of ordinances which was against the Gentiles, being contrary to them, and nailed them to his cross. Thus the wall of partition being abolished by the death and resurrection of Christ from between Jew and Gentile he makes of the twain (Jew and Gentile) one new man. Thus there is one fold and one shepherd. This is what was shown to Peter while he was upon the housetop when the sheet was let down knit at the four corners and containing all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. This vision showed him he, though a Jew, was not to despise anything that the Lord had cleansed, even though it be a dog of a Gentile. This prepared him to go to the house of the Gentile Cornelius, and when he saw the work that God had wrought in the house of Cornelius, Peter exclaimed, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons,” that he has a people among the Gentiles as well as among the Jews. Those who came with Peter to the house of Cornelius, being Jews also, were astonished to see that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. Therefore when Jesus said, “Other sheep I have,” he meant that he had people among the Gentiles; that is, among the nations outside of the Jews; that these were as much given him to redeem as were his elect among the Jews; that when he should redeem them there would no longer be any difference between Jews and Gentiles in the Spirit, but all would be one flock, or one fold, and Jesus would be the one Shepherd of them all. We here in America to-day are Gentiles, and belong to that “other sheep” which Jesus said he must also bring.
Requested by brother S. S. Miller, of Julian, Cal. L.
Elder H. H. Lefferts
Signs of the Times
Volume 84, No. 19.
October 1, 1916