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Who are the “other sheep” of John 10:16?

As JWs you believe that In the resurrection, those who died faithful to God are included in the ‘other sheep’ and will receive the “resurrection of the righteous” (“just” KJV) mentioned in Acts 24:15. (The Watchtower 2/15/95 p. 11 par. 12)  Those of the ‘other sheep’ who are alive today, some of whom survive through Armageddon without needing a resurrection, are referred to as the ‘great crowd’.  (The Watchtower 4/15/95 p. 31 Questions From Readers).  These views are based around the following text.

“And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those also I must bring, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.” (Joh 10:16 NWT)

The Bible speaks of the church as Jehovah’s flock (Acts 20:29; 1 Pet 5:2).  Up until the conversion of Cornelius, the Gospel invitation had NOT been made available to the gentiles.  But that changed suddenly about AD 36.  Of the conversion of Cornelius’ household, we read in Acts 10:45, “And the faithful ones that had come with Peter who were of those circumcised were amazed, because the free gift of the holy spirit was being poured out also upon people of the nations.” NWT.

The gentile Christians could not be invited until after the 70 weeks (Dan 9:24) for Israel were completed (AD 36).  Of that final week [a day = a year], we read “And he must keep the covenant in force for the many for one week” Dan 9:27 NWT).  That covenant was Jehovah’s 70 weeks agreement with Israel.  It was in the last half of the 70th week, three and a half years after the cross, that the great work was done amongst the Jews.

Applying the “other sheep” to the new gentile converts is the evident meaning and it would take strong additional scriptural evidence to convince the honest student otherwise.  There is no direct indication in the Bible that these “other sheep” are referring only to the “Great Crowd” (true Christians who will not be part of the Little Flock.”  Another reasonable application would be to apply this to the billions of mankind that will be awakened from the dead in Paradise earth and there have an opportunity to follow Jehovah in obedience forever.  Without further compelling evidence, applying the “Other Sheep” to the “Great Crowd” is building a doctrine from a scripture taken out of context.  This reminds us of the Catholic Church misapplication of Matt 16:18 which says, “You are Peter, and on this rock-mass I will build my congregation, and the gates of Ha’des will not overpower it.” (NWT)  Based on an unsupportable misapplication of this text, the Catholic Church believes that the papacy represents an “unbroken” line of apostolic succession from Peter to the present day.

20 comments to Who are the “other sheep” of John 10:16?

  • Ex Jw

    Peter K. what did Jesus mean when he said at John 9:4: “The night is coming when no man can work”?

  • What is the reason that the Bible Students not use the name Jehovah often and why they speak still about the “cross” ? Charles Taze Russel could not oversee in his time that the cross was a pagan symbol. Even Christmas they celebrate, Happy Birthday’s and other celebrations which Jesus Christ never introduced. from that point Charles Taze Russel show even a lot of “lacks” in understanding. But it was a time that he could not do more and Jehovah took him away in 1916, so much stress.Rutherford was even with many lacks and later the JW Organization keep personal “idolatry ” away not more to mention about this both persons all the time. Published Books are not more under a person his name.Norman Woodworth was even a symbol in his time…..but show even a lot of lacks. All together Bible Students show courage and want to Study the Scriptures. Simple follow an organization without personally study is like a believe without acts and love.This is my meaning only……

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Willibrodus – It may take a while for us to respond to you, however we intend to. Bible Students use the names, God, Jehovah and Yahweh. Many authorities lean towards Yahweh as being most correct, however either way, we do not accept the Trinity and I don’t see evidence at this point that God is personally offended if we are not strict on this matter. Regarding the Cross verses Torture stake, you can find more information here: http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2010/09/12/did-jesus-die-on-a-cross-or-a-torture-stake/

      I don’t think this is a matter that can be resolved with a 100% certaintly strictly from historical records. However, if we are not worshiping the cross, why do some JWs feel this is a life and death issue to get it right?

  • Ken

    I remember years ago as a Jw I asked a brother: :if the great crowd are no part of the ‘new covenant’ then why do we pass the emblems at the memorial?, he said, in a joking way: “maybe they should get together and pass mountain dew and pizza instead”!

  • Having left a comment earlier about the great crowd who are also deemed to be of the other sheep, I would just like to say that they and the other sheep are of the anointed 144000.
    The evidence is beyond dispute that the other sheep who were to become an integral singularity with the fold of Israelite sheep Jesus their savior was in at the time and was a part of, having been born under the law, are those of Gentile birth starting with Cornelius when Israel’s exclusive window of opportunity to become the Kingdom of Priests and a Holy nation of Exodus 19 closed.
    It was exactly as Jesus told the Syrophoenician woman of Matthew 15:24 that he had only come for the lost sheep of Israel. No, not the northern kingdom, but all Israel, Jew and Gentile alike. Who was Isaiah speaking to in Isaiah 53:6? Isaiah chapters 1 and 5 tell the ID tale without going into great lengths. Anyway, remember Romans 11:26?

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