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May 14, 2023

Calling His Sheep Out of the Fold

Acts 13:14 And they went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and sat down. (15) And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, Men, brothers, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say it. (26) Men, brothers, sons of the race of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us the word of this salvation has been sent forth.

The purpose of the apostles' going to the synagogue on the Sabbath day was not to keep the Sabbath. Rather, their purpose was to grasp the opportunity for preaching the gospel just as the Lord Jesus did in His ministry. In John 10 the Lord Jesus indicates that of both Jews and Gentiles are sheep that make up the unique flock. In John 10:16 He says, "I have other sheep which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one flock, one shepherd." Here the other sheep are the Gentile believers (Acts 11:18). In John 10:16 the fold is Judaism, and the flock is the church. Outside the fold of Judaism, there were other sheep, the Gentile believers, who would be gathered together to be one flock with the Jewish believers. As we have pointed out, this one flock is the church. The church is not a fold that keeps the sheep. Rather, the church is a flock, that is, the totality of the sheep. The fold and the flock are two things, but the church and the flock are one thing. Judaism was a fold used by God to keep His sheep temporarily. A fold is used to keep sheep during the winter, bad weather, and the night. The Old Testament time was the nighttime. The Lord's sheep were kept in this fold until the day dawned with the coming of the Lord Jesus. As the Shepherd, the Lord Jesus called the sheep out of the fold; that is, He called them out of the Jewish religion.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of Acts, pp. 313-315. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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