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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.

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

  • Gasa

    Chris . In the Good News bible the gospel of John 9:1-4 it talks about the healing of a man born blind Jesus was asked “was it his own or his parent’s sin?. Jesus replied without explaining about Adamic sin, “his blindness has nothing to do about his sins or his parents. He is blind so that God’s power might be seen at work in him” meaning that the healing by Jesus would be a witness of divine love from God through Christ. V4 Jesus says he is the light of the world this did continue many years after Jesus death with his deciples and apostles from penticost but later in 1st century the apostasy would come bringing spiritual darkness.
    Maybe I was a bit hasty about Bro Russell. On pg245 onwards he discribed God s original purpose for the earth if sin had not entered, it says “Had the human race remained perfect and sinless, then dominion would never have passed out of its hands”. “Thus seen, the original design ….this dominion given to mankind in the person of Adam was the first establishment of the kingdom of God on earth, thus man exercised dominion a God’s representative”. He explains how this rulership would expand over all the earth and that as perfect dominion would not end. Later he explains that the kingdom of God in the hands of Christ had to be establish to undo Adamic sin and restore the original purpose of the First Kingdom on Earth that lasted but a short time. This kingdom was never intended for any man to rule over another man all together they were to exercise dominion over the earth.
    My additional though was:- Adam was like in a life raft (symbolising life ) his wife jumped overboard into the ocean (when she ate forbidden fruit) and being convinced she could not be allowed back into the life raft, cos God had said so. So he not wanting to be alone chose not to pull her into life raft with him, he threw his lot in with her and jumped overboard with out a life jacket. What a stupid choice I would have pulled her into life raft and explained why to God when facing him later. Throwing myself on his mercy.
    If he truly loved his wife he most certainly would have rescued her and faced the issue with his Heavenly Father. He being sinless still could not be expelled and would being one flesh save Eve, I believe they only became sinners after he ate. She after eating the fruit she did not realise she was naked because she lived under his protective headship. So Adam could have saved his wife and all their offspring even though Eve ate. Of course The fallen angel would have been reavealed as the father of the lie. Jehovah then could of dealt with him.

    • Christopher Johns


      God intended man to live on the earth forever. However he is allowing mankind to reign with him in heaven if faithful during the Gospel Age. He knew that we were going to reign with him before the world was even founded.

      “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
      Eph 1:4.

      So if mankind was created to live on the earth forever but he foreknew that he would have a class to rule with him that can only be done through us suffering with Christ so that we can reign with them then God foreknew what would happen.
      To say that God didn’t know Adam and Eve would sin is to say he doesn’t know everything. Jesus was chosen before the foundation of the world. The JW website states that God didn’t know Adam would sin and that he chose not to use this knowledge. I’d like to a see scripture on that. They don’t have one. Jesus again was not a Plan B. God is allowing mankind to see what rulership aside from his rule would be like.

      You stated that Adam and Eve being a type of Christ and the Bride is blasphemy. But the Bible directly called Adam a type of Christ.

      “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is a figure [Greek typos: type] of him that was to come.” Romans 5:14

      The “two shall become one flesh” stems from Adam and Eve and is used for the church and Christ. Because this is the whole plan of God.

  • 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: https://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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