And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. John 10:16
Such a beautiful, simple message by our Lord. If it were not so important, it would be humorous to read the various interpretations of it that are offered. Now, I am a leftover from an era when people still cared about interpretation and doctrine. But things are different now.
"Will you please stop beating on the tambourines and stop shouting? People are trying to talk here!"
But for those who care, I would like to talk about this statement of Jesus. "One shepherd is not a problem, but one fold.
I got in on the eccuminical movement. At that time (the fifties) we thought it meant Catholics and Protestants getting together. My father spoke in hushed tones of such a possibility. Imagine attending a Methodist Mass! Now, as an old guy, I realize that they are together.
When Corporate Churches are under one management, I believe it is called a Conglomarate. To others the combination or takeover of Israel by the church is in view, as in replacement theology.
An athiest cleared up the term "ecumene". It means, not one religion, but the whole inhabited earth. If we know what "one fold" does not mean, then what does it mean? Is it Jews and Gentiles coming together as one fold in the church? This idea is supported in the New Testament as applied to the church.
But I would like to give you a scripture as pertaining to national Israel and the Gentiles. Not blended together in one body (which is wonderful) but retaining their identities, just as steel and concrete make up a building, but retain their individual qualities.
Here is where I find this beautifully illustrated--in the New Jerusalem.
It had a great high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. Rev. 21:12
The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Rev. 21:14