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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.

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

  • Bill

    I will Peter and I’ll bring good news I had a very enlightening day today going back through my old studies it gave me quite a lift! Speak again soon with Our father’s blessing. I hope, and with our King JC’s blessings .

  • Bill

    Yes Peter K “it is a big topic” and I’m of to study it all once again , I have really enjoyed going through my bible topics from 2018 till now , I have 53 topics that I’ll edit and reassess. But thanks for taking an interest, perhaps we’ll meet in the new age. So bye for now, may God be with you Bill.

  • Bill

    (“I agree with you that Jesus did not return in 1914”) Bill, I have no idea if Jesus returned in 1914
    I have no scriptural knowledge of 1914, so it means absolutely nothing to me.
    Psalm 146: 3,4
    Do not put your trust in princes nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation. 4 His spirit goes out, he returns to the ground; On that very day his thoughts perish.
    Your question
    After Jesus has returned for his second presence — will ALL of the 144,000 (bride of Christ) be resurrected from dead in the same instant of time?
    —————————————-
    1 Corinthians 15:51,52.
“Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We will not “all” fall asleep in death, but we will “all” be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed”.
    —————————————-
    How many will be changed? “all”…. and how long will it take,,“a moment? and when?
At Christ’s presence and the sounding of the last Trumpet”
    A little more information.
    For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death;
    16 because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first.
    17 Afterward we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord.
    18 So keep comforting one another with these words.

    The living will be taken and changed to a new creation to meet the Lords other resurrected immortals.
    This part is very interesting to me. “to meet the Lord in the air” Why? Why air and not the heavens? Will Jesus come close to the earth with his immortals? If yes then when ?

    “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will beat themselves in grief, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
    31 And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.
    Since they are collecting the dead and the living I’m reasonably sure it will be all of them!

    Here Jesus is collecting all of his brothers and like himself they are a new creation, like our king they are immortals now meeting the lord in the air. Do they have a purpose , perhaps they intend to remove Satan and his demons to the abyss and draw the warring factions under control.

    I don’t know if you have noticed our beautiful planet is dying and to date we have know way of changing it! My son called me a few weeks ago, he said, Dad something is really happening !
    What?
    Earth quakes in one place after another, volcanic activity in cold lands, flooding, bushfires , catastrophic storms, violence everywhere, landslides, pollution, famine, and war now in so many places, millions are being slaughtered.

    What’s that scripture again? “ unless those days are cut short no flesh will be saved “
    A question for you, is Jesus collecting Brothers and Sisters as chosen ones?

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Hi Bill – In a short amount of space you brought up a lot of points to discuss. Let’s start with the question you closed with.

      Is Jesus collecting Brothers and Sisters as chosen ones?

      Your question can be taken in more than one way. From one perspective, God himself has been collecting brothers and sisters since Pentecost.

      Matthew 28:19–20 “19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

      John 6:44 “44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…”

      However, I believe you are speaking of Jesus gathering the elect at the time of his second presence. This is a big topic. To even begin to understand it, it is important to understand that there was or is a Harvest (a gathering and separation) both at the First Advent and Second Advent of Jesus presence. In both cases, Jesus is the chief reaper. In the Jewish harvest, the separation was and selection was the selection of some of the Jews (natural seed of Abraham) to become part of the spiritual seed and the rejected nation of Israel was destroyed until a future time (Romans 11:26; Luke 21:24)

      At the Second Advent, while Jesus is invisibly present, the true elect are gathered out of Babylon, not into another organization, but into association with other elect, as in the early Church. This gets quite detailed and you can find more at this link.

      https://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/wp-content/uploads/Harvest.pdf

  • Bill

    Clarification: do I see those resurrected ones to earth having a heavenly calling, no.
    Will I have a heavenly calling no, not so far, my hope is to be part of the crew that reconstructs a paradise earth with my King Jesus and welcomes back the dead, mums dads aunts and uncles untill all families are reunited .

    Heavenly resurrection when ??
    1 Corinthians 15:51,52.
    Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We will not “all” fall asleep in death, but we will “all” be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed.

    When will WE all be changed? Answer: “during the last trumpet “

    “We will all be changed in a moment” search WT March 15, 2006: The only remedy.

    When will this be? As the scriptures say during the last trumpet, the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, then they will all be immortals.
    The chosen ones that have died will be resurrected first and in order thereafter, then those alive at this time of Christ’s presence, will be changed in the blink of an eye when the last trumpet sounds!
    They will all be incorruptible, like Jesus who is now himself a New Creation, just as they all will be, new creations.
    The new Heavenly Government will be complete and ready to meet the Lord in the air, now having been collected all together!

    Ephesians 2:6. Moreover, he raised us up together and seated us together in the heavenly places in union with Christ Jesus.
    Raised together and seated together in the heavens! A simple yet very concise statement.

    Next question to consider is. When will the last trumpet be sounded?
    See study (014 trumpet *)

    1 Thessalonians 4:16
    ….because the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a commanding call, with an archangel’s voice and with God’s trumpet, and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first.
    4:17 Afterward we the living who are surviving will, “together with them”, be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord.

    We the living will now rise “together with them” apparently they will all be resurrected or alternatively changed at the same time, they will be gathered together from the extremities of the heavens and earth. See Matt 24: 31 and Mark 13:27

    There is to be a meeting of the lord in the air, presumably for the first time since their becoming a new creation or immortals a new and complete government!

    Matt 24:31. And he will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.
    Mark 13:26.  And then they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then he will send out the angels and will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from earth’s extremity to heaven’s extremity.

    1 Thessalonians 4:15. For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death;

    1 Corinthians 15:51,52.
    “Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We will not “all” fall asleep in death, but we will “all” be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed”.

    How many will be changed? “all”…. and how long will it take,,“a moment? and when?
    At Christ’s presence and the sounding of the last Trumpet ( in 1914? no! )

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Thanks Bill. I appreciate that your reply is all supported by scripture. When possible it is best to answer questions with direct scriptures statements since the more we use our own words and reasoning, the greater chance we can slip up and make a mistake somewhere along the way. I am glad you are sharing your insights on our website.

      On this website differences of opinion are welcome in the spirit of mutual Christian love and kindness. There is a point you made that I would like to consider with you. Here is the good information you shared:

      —————————————-

      “1 Corinthians 15:51,52.
      “Look! I tell you a sacred secret: We will not “all” fall asleep in death, but we will “all” be changed, in a moment, in the blink of an eye, during the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised up incorruptible, and we will be changed”.

      How many will be changed? “all”…. and how long will it take,,“a moment? and when?
      At Christ’s presence and the sounding of the last Trumpet”

      —————————————-

      I agree with you that Jesus did not return in 1914. However, if you agree, let’s put aside the discussion of at what time Jesus returned or when he will return in the future. Instead let’s have a more narrow discussion on the following question?

      After Jesus has returned for his second presence — will ALL of the 144,000 (bride of Christ) be resurrected from dead in the same instant of time? — or will the living remain on earth for an undefined period of time until they die and at that instant in time be raised to be with Christ in the same place together with the other body members of Christ already raised from the dead? This continuing until the 144,000 are complete.

      I understand you take the former view and you have the Christian liberty to do so. I believe that I can bring substantial scriptural evidence to support the later view. Would you like to continue the discussion addressing this question or would you prefer to share your thoughts on other points? We don’t force our beliefs on visitors, but are happy to share if they have an interest.

  • Bill

    Hello my name is Bill, I was baptised in 1973 approx, as one of JW, in 2018, I withdrew and started studying intensely , this is one of my many studies ,Q, who are the “little flock” compared to the “other sheep”?
    Question could there be another “other” sheep? Date Jan 6 2024

    Matt 10: 5
    These 12 Jesus sent out, giving them these instructions: “Do not go off into the road of the nations, and do not enter any Sa·marʹi·tan city; 6 but instead, go continually to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

    Matt 15: 24
    24 He (Jesus) answered: “I was not sent to anyone except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

    Luke 7: 15,16
    And the dead man sat up and started to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16 Now fear seized them all, and they began to glorify God, saying: “A great prophet has been raised up among us,” and, “God has turned his attention to his people.”

    John 10: 16
    “And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; those too I must bring in, and they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock, one shepherd.

    Acts 15:14
    Symʹe·on has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written

    Ephesians 3: 5,6
    In other generations this secret was not made known to the sons of men as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by spirit, namely, that people of the nations should, in union with Christ Jesus and through the good news, be joint heirs and fellow members of the body and partakers with us of the promise.

    Even the people of the nations mentioned here are anointed, they being sharers and joint heirs and also partakers of the promise. The other sheep or little flock, include both Jews and Gentiles, yes people of the nations have become part of that now, one fold, one flock, one shepherd!

    What about those not anointed today? Like me.
    The sheep that are to be judged with the goats and of course those to be resurrected?

    Romans 2:14
     For when people of the nations, who do not have law, do by nature the things of the law, these people, although not having law, are a law to themselves. 15 They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them, and by their own thoughts they are being accused or even excused.
    16 This will take place in the day when God through Christ Jesus judges the secret things of mankind, according to the good news I declare.

    Acts 10: 34
    At this Peter began to speak, and he said: “Now I truly understand that God is not partial, 35 but in every nation the man who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.

    Matt 25, 32
    All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will put the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

    Matt 13: 49
    That is how it will be in the conclusion of the system of things. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from among the righteous

    Revelation 7: 9
    After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues
    14 “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb“

    Revelation 21:4
    And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Hi Bill – Thanks. Good study and list of scriptures.

      You asked, “What about those not anointed today? Like me. The sheep that are to be judged with the goats and of course those to be resurrected?”

      Please clarify – Do you think see sheep who are not now anointed as future sheep to be judged approved after resurrected?

      Have you considered becoming anointed (Romans 6 – Baptized into Christ)?

  • 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.
    Interesting.

    • Christopher Johns

      Gasa,

      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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