1 “I tell you the solemn truth, the one who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The doorkeeper opens the door for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought all his own sheep out, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice. 5 They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him, because they do not recognize the stranger’s voice.” 6 Yeshua told them this parable, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So Yeshua said again, “I tell you the solemn truth, I am the door for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand, who is not a shepherd and does not own sheep, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and runs away. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13 Because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep, he runs away.
14 “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not come from this sheepfold. I must bring them too, and they will listen to my voice, so that there will be one flock and one shepherd.
Here in John again, we find Yeshua teaching profound truths in parables. This parable is one of those keys to the kingdom. One of those treasured pearls of great price. In this parable he likens his followers to sheep and himself as both the shepherd and the door of the sheepfold. The sheepfold was a place of rest and safety for the sheep. Pay attention to these important verses.
I am the door for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not a shepherd and does not own sheep, sees the wolf coming and abandons the sheep and runs away. So the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them.
Notice there is only one door. Notice also that there is only one shepherd.
I have recently moved to a rural part of the southern United States . On a recent drive I noticed there were a large number of churches. So, I began to count them as I went by. I drove about ten miles and counted thirteen churches.
This is where I could go into the predictable sermon and lambaste christians for their various denominations and their inability to come together and serve the one true shepherd. But, I’m not going to do that. You see to my mind they are far too similar. They have too much in common. They do indeed follow their one true pastor and shepherd. They follow Paul. Their entire doctrine is based on Paul’s teachings. Every one of them. There is not a church based on the teachings of Yeshua the anointed messiah and prophet of the one true God among them.
But, you say “Paul taught the same things as Yeshua”. This is where I Will point out only one among many differences between the religion of Paul and the teachings of Yeshua. Yeshua told us that ANYONE who teaches us not to follow the “least command (in the law of Moses)” would be “least in the kingdom of heaven” but whoever told us to follow the commandments (from the law of Moses) would be “greatest in the kingdom of heaven”. (Matthew 5:19). In Jeremiah 31:31-33 We were told that the “new covenant” would be based on having the Torah inscribed on our hearts. Isaiah 42:21 says that when YHVH’s servant (messiah) comes, YHVH will magnify the law (Torah) and make it honorable.
When asked directly “what must I do to be saved” Yeshua replied “Obey the commandments”. He did not lead the enquirer in a “sinners prayer” or tell him to just believe. Even the demons believe and shake with fear but it does them no good (James 2:19). Yeshua taught salvation through obedience not salvation through saying a prayer one time and then putting God on the back shelf and living your life as you please.
Let’s contrast what Paul taught. Ephesians 2:15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
For Paul the new covenant abolished the law and that Christ “blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us” and “took them out of the way”. In first Corinthians he even says
10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Paul abrogated the law. He denied that keeping the Saturday sabbath was necessary. He claimed it was ok to eat meats offered to idols. Any one of these things disqualifies him a a messenger of YHVH.
Many people have the idea that the dispensation changed, that Yeshua’s teachings do not apply because they belong to the old dispensation and Paul’s teachings represent the new dispensation and so are valid. If you believe this then you have invalidated Yeshua’s teachings. You have supplanted the messiah with a new messiah. In short you are attempting to enter the sheepfold by another door. Yeshua spent more than three years teaching the valid apostles which he chose. He blessed them and authorized them to teach his words. Do you really believe he then turned around and authorized someone else to teach something that is the exact opposite from his teachings? No.
I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved.
If anyone enters another way he is a thief. All of the many churches that follow Paul are in error and they are a confusing morass of conflicting doctrines and dogmas. What did Yeshua instruct us to do to be saved? You will love the lord your God with all your heart with all your mind and all you strength, you will love your neighbor as yourself and you will obey the commandments. Simple, accept no substitutes for Yeshua.