Author Topic: Ye are not of my sheep  (Read 4077 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
Ye are not of my sheep
« on: August 31, 2007, 01:14:03 PM »
Jesus tells the Pharisees, immediately after talking about how He will lay down His life for the sheep, that they are not His sheep (John 10:15,26). Therefore, it appears that they are excluded from the promises made to the sheep in this passage. I asked this on another universalist forum, and the guy who runs it suggested that if the goats discussed in Matthew 25:31-46 are eventually to be restored, that it may not mean permanent exclusion not to be counted as a sheep in this age. That may be so, but I feel this passage is nevertheless a powerful objection, and I'm curious to see if any of you can bring up something.

Also, it doesn't do any good to cite verse 16 ("And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold"), as some authors have; Jesus is talking about the Gentile sheep here.

The only other verse I can think of that helps out here is Matthew 15:22-28 ("I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel"), but even that's still speaking of sheep and not goats.

It's frustrating because I keep running into apparently unconditional promises of exclusion and judgment, without any hope pronounced, and then into promises that seem to say everything will be restored.

Any help would be appreciated.

Offline FineLinen

  • 500
  • *
  • Posts: 728
  • Gender: Male
Re: Ye are not of my sheep
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2007, 04:28:28 PM »
Have you ever wondered Zack, why the Master of the Reconciliation is speaking in St. Matthew 25 to sheep and goats (both clean animals in the O. Covenant) rather than sheep and dogs, or sheep and swine?
In the Christian story God descends to reascend. He comes down;.... down to the very roots and sea-bed of the Nature He has created. But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him. -C.S. Lewis


  • Guest
Re: Ye are not of my sheep
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2007, 05:33:14 PM »
It's a mistake to lift the symbol of "sheep" from one parable and apply it to other parables that mention "sheep".  The fact that the pharisees are not "My sheep" in John 10, does not imply they are not "lost sheep" in another parable.  They are.

ET'ers understand the parables like this:
[1] Sheep
.....(a) Lost Sheep, Lost Coins
.....(b) Found Sheep, Found Coins, Tree bearing good fruit
[2] Goats, Tree without fruit ---> eternal hell

I understand it like this:
[1] Goats, Lost Sheep, Lost Coins, Tree without fruit  ---> judgment ---> repentance --->
[2] Found Sheep, Found Coins, Tree bearing fruit, Sheep who hear His voice

John 10 plainly explains the symbol of "My sheep" and what it means.  Anyone who hears Christ's voice and follows Christ is "My sheep".  Anyone who does not is "not My sheep".  That's the test.

Let's apply this definition of "My sheep" to an example of people who are saved by God:

Psalm 107 is about the Redeemed of the Lord.  It shows the path that the redeemed take.  The Psalm repeats this message over and over about five or six different ways.  But it's all the same.

Psalm 107:11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, and contemned the counsel of the most High: 12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labour; they fell down, and there was none to help. 13 Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them out of their distresses. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and brake their bands in sunder. 15 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

The redeemed of the Lord, before they are redeemed are not "My sheep".  They do not "hear My voice" and "follow Me" in fact they do just the opposite - they rebel and condemn His word.

In the parable of the prodigal son, when He leaves His fathers home, he is not "My sheep" within John 10.  Selling your inheritance in pursuit of worldy lusts is not "hearing" and "following".

In the parables of the lost coins and lost sheep, the lost coins and lost sheep are not "MY sheep" within John 10.  They are sinners in need of repentance who have not yet repented.  One who has not repented is not "hearing" and "following".
« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 05:36:20 PM by bobf »


  • Guest
Re: Ye are not of my sheep
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2007, 01:23:43 PM »
Here's an interesting article explaining various passages in the Gospel of John from an Arminian perspective. Basically, he says that the sheep were those who had prepared themselves for the Messiah's coming (by receiving John's baptism). If his view is plausible, it would be a help in incorporating this passage into a universalistic theology.

Edit: I might also note that those who believe are said to become children of God (John 1:12-13); this should perhaps be kept in mind when we consider His statement to the Pharisees that they were children of the devil (John 8:42-44).
« Last Edit: September 02, 2007, 01:31:36 PM by Zach »

Offline Pierac

  • Bronze
  • *
  • Posts: 1377
  • Gender: Male
Re: Ye are not of my sheep
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2007, 05:46:01 PM »
Hi Zach,

Lets look at these verses and see how they apply to your question.

NASB Eph 1:11  also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,

CEV Eph 1:11  God always does what he plans, and that's why he appointed Christ to choose us.

NASB Pro 20:24  Man's steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way?

CEV Pro 20:24  How can we know what will happen to us when the LORD alone decides?

NASB Joh 15:16  "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.

CEV Joh 15:16  You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name.

NASB  Joh 6:44  "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws (DRAGS)  him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

CEV Joh 6:44  No one can come to me, unless the Father who sent me makes them want to come. But if they do come, I will raise them to life on the last day.

NASB Rom 8:28  And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29  For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30  and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

CEV Rom 8:28  We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose, 29  and he has always known who his chosen ones would be. He had decided to let them become like his own Son, so that his Son would be the first of many children. 30  God then accepted the people he had already decided to choose, and he has shared his glory with them. 31  What can we say about all this? If God is on our side, can anyone be against us?

NASB Phi 2:13  for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

CEV Phi 2:13  God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him.

NASB Tit 1:1  Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness,

CEV Tit 1:1  From Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I encourage God's own people to have more faith and to understand the truth about religion.

NASB Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

CEV Eph 2:8  You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own.

NASB Joh 6:65  And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father."

CEV Joh 6:65  Then Jesus said, "You cannot come to me, unless the Father makes you want to come. That is why I have told these things to all of you."

NASB Psa 115:3  But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.

CEV Psa 115:3  Our God is in the heavens, doing as he chooses.

ESV Rom 9:15  For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16  So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. 17  For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth." 18  So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.  19 You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" 21  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22  What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23  in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- 24  even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? 25  As indeed he says in Hosea, "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'"

CEV Rom 9:15  The Lord told Moses that he has pity and mercy on anyone he wants to. 16 Everything then depends on God's mercy and not on what people want or do.  17  In the Scriptures the Lord says to Pharaoh of Egypt, "I let you become king, so that I could show you my power and be praised by all people on earth." 18 Everything depends on what God decides to do, and he can either have pity on people or make them stubborn. 19  Someone may ask, "How can God blame us, if he makes us behave in the way he wants us to?" 20  But, my friend, I ask, "Who do you think you are to question God? Does the clay have the right to ask the potter why he shaped it the way he did? 21  Doesn't a potter have the right to make a fancy bowl and a plain bowl out of the same lump of clay?" 22  God wanted to show his anger and reveal his power against everyone who deserved to be destroyed. But instead, he patiently put up with them. 23  He did this by showing how glorious he is when he has pity on the people he has chosen to share in his glory. 24  Whether Jews or Gentiles, we are those chosen ones, 25  just as the Lord says in the book of Hosea, "Although they are not my people, I will make them my people. I will treat with love those nations that have never been loved.

NASB  Isa 45:9  "Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker-- An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, 'What are you doing?' Or the thing you are making say, 'He has no hands'?  10  "Woe to him who says to a father,'What are you begetting?' Or to a woman, 'To what are you giving birth?'"

CEV Isa 45:9  Israel, you have no right to argue with your Creator. You are merely a clay pot shaped by a potter. The clay doesn't ask, "Why did you make me this way? Where are the handles?" 10  Children don't have the right to demand of their parents, "What have you done to make us what we are?"

NASB Act 13:48  When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

CEV Act 13:48  This message made the Gentiles glad, and they praised what they had heard about the Lord. Everyone who had been chosen for eternal life then put their faith in the Lord.
Zack read this verse again!

NASB Jer 10:23  I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
CEV Jer 10:23  I know, LORD, that we humans are not in control of our own lives.

NASB Mat 22:14  "For many are called, but few are chosen."

CEV Mat 22:14  Many are invited, but only a few are chosen.

NASB  Jude 1:4  For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

KJV Jude 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

NASB Tit 3:5  He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

CEV  Tit 3:5  He saved us because of his mercy, and not because of any good things that we have done. God washed us by the power of the Holy Spirit. He gave us new birth and a fresh beginning.

NASB Joh 17:2  even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.

CEV Joh 17:2  And you gave him power over all people, so that he would give eternal life to everyone you give him.

Your sheep and goat question fit well with these verses. The sheep are the chosen ones, the goats are not. The question is  what are they chosen for?  Age (aiōnios) lasting life in the kingdom of God?

Gal 6:10  So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Yes, we should do good to all men! And especially our fellow believers!

1Ti 4:10  For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
Yea, try and figure that one out! Let's try anyway shall we?

2Sa 14:14  "For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him.
What? Surely this does not figure in with 1Ti 4:10!

Isa 52:10  The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God.
"All" or just the 5% of humanity who have the privilege of having heard his word?

Rom 5:18  So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Is the second ALL men here ALL wrong? Or maybe only the first All men is correct? Right? 

Rom 11:32  For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.
Show mercy to all? Where in Hell? Is there mercy there?

1Co 3:15  If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
Does it say saved yet so by fire?

1Co 15:22  For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
Is this just as wrong as Rom 5:18? Where only the first "All" applies. Right?

2Co 5:19  namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
No no no! Is this all wrong too! not counting their trespasses?

1Ti 2:6  who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
What proper time?  Only 5 % of humanity have ever even heard of Jesus! Is this all wrong?  Did he give Himself a ransom to ALL or the 5% that have heard of Him!

Heb 2:9  But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.

Taste death for everyone? Surely not! He must taste eternal torment for everyone! Clearly Cain was warned of eternal torment! Clearly Sodom and Gomorrah was warned of eternal torment! Clearly in the days of Noah they were warned of eternal torment! Who care if it not in our scriptures! We know the truth! So what if Sodom will be restored!
Eze 16:55;  Eze 16:62; Eze 16:63  so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done," the Lord GOD declares.

1Jo 2:2  and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.
No,  he means only ours! Not the worlds. Just read  1Ti 4:10  For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. Oops ?

Yes, Zack
Your excellent question raises many many more questions. You have much research to do. There are many good articles on this web site that help answer these questions.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2007, 06:07:09 PM by Pierac »

Offline Pierac

  • Bronze
  • *
  • Posts: 1377
  • Gender: Male
Re: Ye are not of my sheep
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2007, 03:50:34 AM »
Zack, Zack

Come out, come out,  Where ever you are?


  • Guest
Re: Ye are not of my sheep
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2007, 11:40:48 PM »
Yeah, it's sort of been a pattern lately: find more seemingly unanswerable objections, then find that there are very good answers to those objections. Kind of interesting, I think.


  • Guest
Re: Ye are not of my sheep
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2007, 12:50:48 AM »
Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

The pharisees were isrealites. They too will be redeemded..

2 Chapters later in John 12 we find why the pharisees do not believe and do not hear the call of the Shepherd

" He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them."

No exclusion here.. Just a "due time" sorta thing :-)


  • Guest
Re: Ye are not of my sheep
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2008, 02:32:12 AM »
Jesus tells the Pharisees, immediately after talking about how He will lay down His life for the sheep, that they are not His sheep (John 10:15,26). Therefore, it appears that they are excluded from the promises made to the sheep in this passage.

With the ransom language in St. Paul, I'm surprised that this is raised as such an objection to the Universal Restoration.  The very people who would raise this objection all tend to have altar calls in their churches so that those who are not His sheep may become His sheep, thereby acknowledging with us that those who are not His sheep may become His sheep either through being led to Christ by evangelistic ministry or through Jesus Christ's direct confrontation.

As far as within John's Gospel, Him saying that certain weren't His sheep and it appearing from the context as though they were excluded from His redemptive work, Jesus said elsewhere, in John's Gospel, about bringing others into the fold that were not with His flock so that there would be only one flock.  This is genuinely as shallow as the Calvinist's objection of previous centuries that Jesus didn't die for all because He didn't pray for all in John 17.  But when you examine John 17, first Jesus prayed just for the disciples, then for those who would believe on Him through their Word, and then He prayed so that the world would ultimately believe...