The Folds And the Flock (Christ’s Sheep)
When we observe, and take note of religion or Christianity around the world, we can’t help but ask the question, “can all these different churches, organizations, and detonations belong to God?” Why are there so many different opinions, teachings, and doctrines? Ephesians 4″4 tells us that the Church should speak the same thing and only the Church which Christ builds has the authority to be God’s legitimate representative. The short answer is that they are all God’s church but they are not all God’s representatives. As long as they invoke the name of God or the name of Jesus Christ, they are believers and worshipers of God. Someone may say, but our worship of God is based on truth and other churches or organizations are not. Jesus used the term, flock when referring to His sheep, who are led by His Spirit, and the term fold, who are His sheep also but are led by the teachings of men, who say they are God’s representatives and they are not.
John 10:16, 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 flock.
Websters dictionary says of a fold: A pen in which to keep sheep,sheep kept together, a group or organization with a common interest, aim, faith etc, as a church. To be confined in a pen.
All denominations are folds. These are raised up by someone, or a board of directors, or elders, using the name of Christ as Matthew 24:5 says, seperating themselves as elevated higher than the sheep they serve, and always have rules and regulations.
The same dictionary say’s of a flock: A group of animals, as goats or sheep, feeding or moving together, as the members of a church.
These are made up of people/sheep who were once part of a fold, and have Christ alone as their Shepherd. Whatever laws or rules which are required of His sheep are within Christ because John 1:14 says that “He tabernacle among us” and all of God’s laws and commands are within Christ as the tabernacle in which we enter. We, as sheep, made up of a body of believers, enter into Christ and are becoming part of the new man, 1st Corinthians 1:30; Ephesians 4:24. This is a mystery among many Christians who think that they need to be doers of the law through their own effort.
The Apostle Peter was told to feed Christ’s sheep/lambs 3 different times in John chapter 21. Peter refers to the sheep and the lambs as a flock not a fold, 1st Peter 5:2,3. The flock, although separated from one another, speak with one voice, and one spirit, because their teachings come from one source through faith in Christ Jesus and are able to hear His voice. The flock is protected and confined within a fold, but are not of the fold, which is limited in its teaching. Those who constitute a flock, hear His voice and they have earned the faith to go through the door, who is Christ, and into the pasture. Christ is the true Shepherd, the door, and the pasture of the flock, according to John chapter 10.
John Chapter 9 and 10
Christ’s disciples asked a question concerning His return.
Matthew 24:4,, and Jesus answered and said unto them, “take heed that no man deceives you. 5, For many will come in my name, saying that I am the Christ, and shall deceive many.”
And as verse five says, that is exactly what has happened. There exists many denominations which form the Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Protestant, and Seventh Day Adventist and other churches as well as the Synagogue of the Jews. All these have invoked the name of God and Jesus but it is obvious that they don’t all speak the same thing. All these churches had their start after Christ’s death with the exception of Judaism which had it’s existence before and during the days of Christ. We can read of the Jewish religious leaders in the Book of John, and the healing of the blind man by Jesus on the Jewish Sabbath, John 9:14. They accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath Day, verse 16. The blind man was then questioned by the religious leaders.
John 9:34, they answered and said unto him, “thou was altogether born in sins, and doth thou now teach us?” And they cast Him out.
The man was healed of his blindness by Jesus and so, the religious leaders cast the healed blind man out. This is the occasion where Jesus refers to the leaders as a fold not a flock in john 10:16. The blind man was in a fold. These people had a common interest, the keeping of the Sabbath with other rules and regulations. The other fold Jesus referred to was made up of Gentiles. (see our article, Two Keys, Two dispenses of God’s Spirit, and the two types of God’s churches). The Jewish leaders didn’t recognize Jesus as the Son of God and they couldn’t have the healed blind man around as evidence that their religion was in competition with whatever Jesus was doing.
Scripture tells us that the things written are for our learning, Romans 15:4. All the denominations are folds started by someone after rependence and baptism, and adding rules and regulations to God’s teaching, and building upon it’s own brand name.
Jesus, as The Good Shepherd, the Door, and the Pasture
John 9:35, Jesus had heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, “Does thou believe on the Son of God?” 38, and he said, “Lord I believe,” And he worshiped him.
Before his healing, the blind man was in a fold. The leaders should have been shepherds to the people but they were not. They said that the blind man was a sinner who would never be able to teach them, while they thought that they were not sinners. They were the elitists who made the rules and had the authority over the people. It is the same way today. Religious leaders and teachers set themselves up to be the authority over the people and raise others up to lead Christ’s sheep/ people to think and teach as they do. All these denominations, according to God’s word, are deaf because they are not able to hear God’s voice. They are as blind as the blind man was until christ healed him. Now, the blind man can see and was set free of the fold and had the ability to go through the door of the sheepfold and to feed in the pasture where he will be nourished by the fullness of Christ, Ephesians, 4:1.
What Causes The Blindness?
All those who are in the folds are blind. The Jews during Jesus ‘s day were blinded by believing that they were required to keep the laws of Moses along with the ceremonial laws through their own effort. Only the blind man who was healed by Christ was able to see Christ. The others were in a darkened world trying to please God, not realizing that Jesus was not far from them. Today is no different to many who have their world darkened by believing in organizations, rules, regulations, doctrine, etc. They have everything they need except the uncreated life of Christ. This life is higher than the human life. It is the uncreated life of Christ, who is of the Godhead. This is the only life in which we will ever be called, children of God. This life is eternal, as God and Jesus Christ are eternal.
John 10:10, “The thief cometh not but to steal, and to kill and to destroy: I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
Many people are believers in the law, doctrine or men’s teachings which will never give you eternal life. Christ is the faith by which the flock is led. Galatians 3:23 says, before faith came we were under the law. Those under the law are still in the folds because the law is their schoolmaster. Once we are taught by our schoolmaster, the law, we will have the faith to hear His voice and enter into Christ as our tabernacle which God had pitched and not man,Hebrews 8:2.
Prophetic Teaching of Jacob to His Sons concerning the Folds
Genesis chapter 49, shows us our present experience and the prophesy given by Jacob/Israel to his sons. The first three sons had a very pitiful beginning, just as we had at one time before Christ came into our life. The first son defiled his fathers bed and the next two sons were cruel, verses 4,5.
The fourth son was Judah, represented by Christ as the lion of the tribe of Judah, Revelation 5:5. In Christ first coming, He referred to Himself as the light of the world, John 8:12. We find this light in the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Following Judah is another son named Zebulun, pictured by the Book of the acts of the Apostles, who will dwell at the haven of ships, Genesis 49:13. The word ships is plural showing us that there are many ships/ people to deliver the Gospel of Jesus, under the direction of the wind (pneuma, the Holy Spirit) as carried out by the Apostles Peter, Paul, John, James, and Jude to the Church. Issachar is seen lying down not in a fold but between the folds. To be part of a fold is to be in a denomination with its rules and regulations. To be between the folds is to be close to the folds but not in them because of having our blindness removed through the faith of Christ. These sheep/ people were drawn out of the fold and into the pasture by Christ as the Door and true Shepherd.
Verse 15 tells us that Issachar’s rest, Sabbath, was good and pleasant. Eventually, all those in the folds will become one as Christ’s flock, and speak with one voice, because Christ is our true Shepherd.