After the war a fresh look was taken at Jesus’ prophetic words recorded in John 10:16. So in 1921 the Watch Tower Society published the book entitled “The Harp of God,” which in paragraphs 577, 578, on page 345, said:
“That those who are to be saved are not confined to the ones who go to heaven Jesus proved when he said: ‘Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice.’ (John 10:16) ‘This fold’ means the church; and after this class is selected, then all must have an opportunity to come into the fold of Christ. [Authorized Version of John 10:16] And this is true because he bought them all with his precious blood.
“God caused the Prophet David to write: ‘All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.’ (Psalm 86:9) This is further corroborative proof that all must have an opportunity.”
13. At the Los Angeles convention in 1923, how did the key speech connect up Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats with John 10:16?
13 In the year 1923 a nine-day convention was held in Los Angeles, California, climaxing with a public meeting in the Coliseum on Sunday, August 26. Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats, at Matthew 25:31-46, was discussed, and there was a departure from Christendom’s traditional explanation of the parable. The “sheep” were identified with the “other sheep” of which Jesus prophesied in John 10:16. The explanatory talk, as published in the Watch Tower issue of October 15, 1923, said (on page 310, paragraph 33):
“We believe there are millions in the nominal church who are holding on because of their respect for the Lord; and they regard the nominal church as in some sense being used of the Lord. Great numbers of these do not claim to be consecrated unto the Lord, and have no heavenly hopes or aspirations. Here we believe is to be found the class designated by our Lord as the sheep. (John 10:16) Our conclusion therefore is that both the sheep and the goats of the parable claim to be Christians, forming Christendom, and both are claiming to do the works in the name of the Lord.—Matthew 7:21-23.”
14. In its issue of January 15, 1924, what did the Watch Tower magazine have to say about the time for gathering the “other sheep”?
14 The following year the Watch Tower issue of January 15, 1924, commented further (on page 26, paragraphs 2 and 3), saying:
“‘And unto him shall the gathering of the people be.’—Genesis 49:10.
“This is a prophetic statement relating to the work of the Christ. The time for this fulfillment is at hand. It means that the peoples of every nation, kindred and tongue, who desire and love righteousness, shall be gathered unto the Lord. Jesus said: ‘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) A sheep is a docile, peaceable and teachable animal; hence it is used to symbolize people that love peace and desire better things.”
15. How did the Watchtower issue of August 15, 1934, show that God’s kindness takes in more than saving the “little flock” to heaven?
15 A decade later the Watchtower issue of August 15, 1934, said in its opening paragraph (page 243):
“Jehovah’s loving-kindness is extended to all who diligently seek to know and to do his will. He extends his kindness to men who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. (John 3:16) Jesus Christ is God’s provided way of life, but not all men who get life will become spirit creatures. There are other sheep which are not of the ‘little flock’. (John 10:16) It is the latter, or the ‘other sheep’, that, after the coming of Christ Jesus to the temple for judgment, he addresses in these words: ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.’ (Matt. 25:34)”
(See also paragraph 28 on page 248.)
16. At the Washington, D.C., convention in 1935, the “great multitude” was explained to be of what class of “sheep,” and how next day did hundreds of the specially invited ones react to the information?
16 The following year, 1935, proved to be epoch-making. A meaningful convention was held at Washington, D.C., to which those desiring to be “other sheep” of the Fine Shepherd were especially invited. This indicated that now a definite move was being made to gather such “other sheep.” On Friday, May 31, the talk was delivered that identified the “other sheep” (or, Jonadabs) as those who make up the “great multitude” with an earthly destiny, as foretold in Revelation 7:9-17 (AV). The surge of many of the conventioners to be of that “great multitude” was indicated by the fact that, the next day, 840 presented themselves to be baptized in water in symbol of their unqualified dedication of themselves to Jehovah God through the Fine Shepherd Jesus Christ.
In line with God’s purpose to take out of the nations “a people for his name,” in July of 1931 the designation “Jehovah’s witnesses” burst forth upon the world, when, formally and by resolution, thousands of those belonging to “this fold” of the Fine Shepherd adopted this Scriptural designation for God’s dedicated, baptized people. (Isa. 43:10) That example, set at the Columbus (Ohio) convention, was followed by the congregations of those of “this fold” around the globe.
19. According to the revised version readings of John 10:16, do those in “this fold” include all the “sheep” of the Fine Shepherd today?
19 Jesus Christ made a distinction between his sheeplike followers of “this fold” and the “other sheep.” According to the English Revised Version of 1884, he said: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd.”—The Emphatic Diaglott of 1864; Rotherham, of 1903.
20. Since 1935 in particular, what “sheep” is it that the Fine Shepherd has organized on earth into a unity?
20 Those of “this fold” were part of God’s spiritual organization, these being “the remaining ones” of the spiritual “seed” of God’s woman, spoken of in Revelation 12:17. Since the “other sheep” do not belong to “this fold,” they are not part of God’s spiritual organization. They are not part of the “little flock” to which the heavenly Father gives “the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) But in the spring of 1935 the Fine Shepherd Jesus Christ definitely began to bring these “other sheep” with an earthly destiny into recognized association with the spirit-begotten remnant of “this fold.” They then became “the sheep” who were foretold in Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats, in Matthew 25:31-46. Thus the Fine Shepherd merges the “sheep” of “this fold” with the “other sheep” to form just “one flock” under him as their “one shepherd.” So the “flock” becomes one organization.
21. The remnant of “this fold” of sheeplike ones will work together with the “other sheep” as one organized “flock” until when, and then what adjustments will be made?
21 This lays the basis for all these sheeplike ones, of whichever destiny, to work together now as one organization on earth. The separation that must eventually come between the two classes will be because the “sheep” of “this fold” will have finished their earthly course faithfully and will share in “the first resurrection,” to be absorbed into the invisible heavenly organization. (Rev. 20:4, 6) Those of the “little flock” being then all gone, readjustments will have to be made among the remaining “other sheep,” that these may all serve harmoniously as subjects of the Greater David, the Messianic King Jesus Christ.—Rev. 22:16.