Not Of This Fold

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by LaymansTermsPlease, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. LaymansTermsPlease

    LaymansTermsPlease
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    I apologize if this doesn't belong here (or if humor is not allowed [​IMG] ), but this debate thread seems to be all about soteriology at times and not just Calvin/Arminian/Pelagian debate so I thought it kinda fit here more than in the General Baptist Theology thread.
    I grew up Southern Baptist, and praise God for SS teachers and parents that got me into studying the Word from even a young age.

    When I mentioned humor above, what I mean is this: Like most boys, I loved science-fiction. Somewhere in my pre-teens, I can remember reading John 10:16 and thinking about what if Jesus meant another planet when he talked about another fold. I wondered if he meant that there were sentient species created by God on other planets that He was going to redeem as well [​IMG]

    Is there any question that Jesus is speaking of the Gentiles? It looks as if He is still talking to some Jewish "religious" types in this chapter and that "this fold" is the Jews, and the "other sheep" are the Gentiles.

    I was reading this chapter this morning, and for some reason that verse made me remember my silly thoughts as a child about aliens. [​IMG]

    Oh, and along the lines of what I said in the first paragraph, has there been any thought about having forums here dedicated to Soteriology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, etc?

    Am I correct in that most Soteriology stuff is valid in this forum even if it is not directly related to Calvinism/Arminianism?
     
  2. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    I know I have always heard this to be interpreted as meaning the Gentiles.

    Since Gentile means "everybody else" as compared to the Jews, then that could include life elsewhere. What an exciting thing to be the one to bring the gospel to another planet! Can't 100% rule it out!
     
  3. Frogman

    Frogman
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    Charles Spurgeon commented that he was not able to think God could not have created life and as many multiple universes sustaining life as he pleased.

    Bro. Dallas Eaton
     
  4. Skandelon

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    While I do believe "the other fold" is a reference to the Gentiles, at least in part, I would also point out that the first fold of sheep who were brought in were the remnant. These were Jews chosen by God, sovereignly selected and effectually called out of the Jewish nation to carry the gospel to the rest of the world (also called "nations" or "Gentiles"). Therefore, in a sense "the other fold" could be a reference not only to Gentiles but to everyone else outside the chosen remnant who had already been brought in. This is why they were called the "firstfruits" etc. They were the first to hope in Christ and to taste of Him. The rest were brought in through their preaching.

    So, it could be argued that "the other fold" was made up of Jews and Gentiles who come in through belief in the message of those called and sent by Christ, namely the apostles.

    In other words, the first fold is the called messengers and the second fold are those who believe in their message. The first fold differs from the second in that the first was selected and called for a divine purpose, like none other. They are set apart as the firstfruits and the inspired wordbearers. We, on the other hand, cannot claim that we were "set apart from birth" and "effectually called" and "taught directly by God" for these are attitubes unique to their position.

    The first fold of sheep are the remnant and the second are those who believe the remnants message.
     
  5. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    One other comment on this point. The remnant were sent to preach to the Gentiles (Acts 28:28) and thus many think that "the other fold" must be limited to Gentile nation, and that very well could be the extent of the Christ's intent in John 10. However, if that were the case then no other Jews would have been saved from that point on because the first fold of sheep had already been brought in and if the second fold only consisted of Gentile people then no other Jew would ever be brought in and that certainly is not the case. Therefore, the second fold must include Jews.

    Calvinists interpret this to mean that God has brought in the elect Jews and now he is going to bring in the elect Gentiles but you run into the same problem with that interpretation. It doesn't leave room for Jews saved following Christ's words being spoken here. Why? Because the first fold has already been brought in when he states this so all others brought in after this must be of the second fold which would obviously consist if Jews and Gentiles.
     
  6. Ian Major

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    Skandelon said,
    Calvinists interpret this to mean that God has brought in the elect Jews and now he is going to bring in the elect Gentiles but you run into the same problem with that interpretation. It doesn't leave room for Jews saved following Christ's words being spoken here. Why? Because the first fold has already been brought in when he states this so all others brought in after this must be of the second fold which would obviously consist if Jews and Gentiles.

    Skan reads more than the text says when he says that the 'this fold' had already been brought in. In fact, Christ was speaking of His elect of the Jews - and the elect come from ALL times from creation to the end. The 'other sheep' are the elect Gentiles. Together we live now in the 'one fold' - the church - and so we will live with Him forever. Look again at the text for yourself: John 10: 11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16And 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.

    It is to avoid the doctrines of unconditional election and irresistable grace that Skan must deny the text speaks of the elect. He must have it that Christ speaks only of His immediate disciples, otherwise Calvinism is proved.

    Skan and I had an extended discussion of the elect in John 10 on the 'God, that's not fair' thread.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  7. Ian Major

    Ian Major
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    Hi, Debby.

    You said,
    Since Gentile means "everybody else" as compared to the Jews, then that could include life elsewhere. What an exciting thing to be the one to bring the gospel to another planet! Can't 100% rule it out!

    I feel we must rule it out. It is the consequences of allowing extra-terrestial life that force this conclusion.

    1. If God has made such life and told us nothing about it, are we the centre of His love as the Bible seems to declare?

    2. The Bible tells us He gives help to the sons of men, but not to angels. That strongly implies only two sorts of moral lifeforms. It further implies He did not die for any other than the sons of Adam. So no good news for ET!

    3. If ETs exist, are there other members of the Godhead we haven't been told of? Other Christs who have suffered for lost ETs? Other societies who are yet unfallen? Other Falls to happen? And so on. It makes our understanding of God and ourselves pretty meaningless.

    In Him

    Ian
     
  8. Eric B

    Eric B
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    The "other sheep not of this fold" were other believers in Christ who had not yet joined His following (as in Luke 9:49,50), and perhaps also those Jews who believed from the reports that Christ had come but had not yet seen that Jesus was that Christ. Then, yes, when they finally heard, they would "hear His voice", and follow. It does not seem to be describing "all who will ever become saved in the future" or "all gentiles who are elct" as a Calvinist might argue.
     

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