Nov 4, 2008

The Brought

"I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 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: 14-16 KJV)

"Bring," is from the Greek word "ago," and means, according to Strong:

1) to lead, take with one
a) to lead by laying hold of, and this way to bring to the point of destination: of an animal
b) to lead by accompanying to (into) a place
c) to lead with one's self, attach to one's self as an attendant
d) to conduct, bring
e) to lead away, to a court of justice, magistrate, etc.
2) to lead,
a) to lead, guide, direct
b) to lead through, conduct to: to something
c) to move, impel: of forces and influences on the mind
3) to pass a day, keep or celebrate a feast, etc.
4) to go, depart

How could we then translate the full depth of meaning behind these words?

To what event is Christ alluding when he speaks of bringing the sheep?

Could We Translate Thusly?

Christ will "escort" us?

Christ will "accompany" us?

Christ will "usher" us?

Christ will "guide" us?

Christ will "conduct" us?

Christ will "lead us away"?

Is there anything in this definition, and in the way the word is used in the New Testament, that shows this work of Christ to be ineffectual? Does the definition and usage of the word not show that this work is effectual and efficacious? That it is irresistable? That it is wholly of grace and unconditional?

Does this verse not relate to the Arminian-Calvinism debate, particularly over "effectual calling" or "irresistable grace"?

Strong says the word includes meaning "to move" or "impel," including the "forces and influences" of God "on the mind."

We say "such and such a thought was brought to mind," or remembered, meaning a person was "led to think" of something, or "conducted" in one's thoughts.

I believe that the word "bring," like the word "draw" (John 6: 44; 11: 42, etc.), does signify the Calvinistic position, being words that denote what is effectually and irresistably caused.

People who are "brought" and "drawn" are people who are pulled, dragged, attracted, and compelled. The Armimian, and advocate of Libertarian "free will," cannot offer legitimate scriptural grounds for denying this, but can only offer "logical" reasons for denying it.

The Arminian insists vehemently that such terms do not imply being "forced" or "compelled." He will not allow that salvation is "forced" upon a sinner. He will not allow that the terms "brought" and "drawn" denote it. He is biased against such a view. He will refer to other scriptures in order to interpret what Jesus meant by being "brought" and "drawn."

But, if one looks at the definition of "ago" and at its use in the New Testament, then he will see that the idea of being forced or compelled, or irresistibly made, or constrained, is part of its essential meaning.

The elect have been compelled and constrained, forced by God's power and efficacious grace, to drink of the living water. They, like a drug addict, would never willingly on their own, autonomously, desire or effect their freedom from addiction. They are, further, like a drug addict who is compelled to take a pill that, when taken, instantly removes the addiction, and the love of the drug. This person, though having been forced to take the pill of deliverance, nevertheless does not complain for having been delivered! From having been graciously compelled!

Thus, though the Arminian offers "logical" arguments for denying that "bring" and "draw" signify what is compelling, they cannot deny that these words denote it.

Besides his "logical" argument that says "salvation forced is no real or meaningful salvation," he offers another "logical" argument that affirms that "love" cannot be "love" if it is forced or compelled, nor if the "drawing" is irresistable.

To the Arminian, the Calvinist God is guilty of spiritually "raping" the sinner when he compels or forces him to love him. I have dealt with this argument in prior writings and do not wish to deal with it here. I have shown it to be "false reasoning."

"But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay [them] before me." (Luke 19: 27 KJV)

"Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him." (John 19: 4 KJV)

"And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem." (Acts 9: 2 & vs. 21 & 22: 5 KJV)

"But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people." (Acts 17: 5 KJV)

"And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring [him] into the castle." (Acts 23: 10 KJV)

Who can deny that these verses demonstrate that "ago" or "bring" denotes the "forcing" or "compelling" of people?

In the bible animals are "led" or "brought" in several ways, sometimes by voice commands to sheep (or use of sheep dogs), or by a leash or some other "pulling" or "leading" device.

Paul wrote to Timothy, saying:

"Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." (II Timothy 4: 11 KJV)

The verbs "take" and "bring" are imperatives. Paul is telling Timothy to "grab" Mark, or "pick him up," and compel (or force, or order) him to come.

Another writer on the Greek word "ago" says:

"ag'-o: to lead; by implication, to bring, drive, (reflexively) go, (specially) pass (time), or (figuratively) induce -- be, bring (forth), carry, (let) go, keep, lead away, be open."

Christ will BRING us

"For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." (Hebrews 2: 10 KJV)

There is no doubt that the writer of Hebrews had the words of Christ from John 10 on his mind when he wrote these words. They are too similar to think otherwise.

There are two aspects to this "bringing" of the sheep (elect) "unto glory." First, they must be "brought OUT" of things, and then "brought INTO" other things.

Wrote John Gill:

"(bring them) out of the wilderness of the world, from among the men of it, their former sinful compassions, from the folds of sin and Satan, and (from) the pastures of their own righteousness; to himself, and into his Father's presence, to his house and ordinances, to a good fold and green pastures, and at last to his heavenly kingdom and glory: and there was a necessity of doing all this, partly on account of his Father's will and pleasure, his purposes and decrees, who had resolved upon it; and partly on account of his own engagements, who had obliged himself to do it; as well as because of the case and condition of these sheep, who otherwise must have eternally perished." (Commentary)

Christ "brings" the elect out of their sins, and state of condemnation and unrest and into righteousness and a state of justification and rest. This is done first in initial conversion or regeneration, but is completed when the elect are all brought safely through to full salvation in glory.

"For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." (I Thessalonians 4: 14 KJV)

"And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man." (Genesis 2: 22 KJV)

Typically this is fulfilled when the sinner is "married to Christ" in the experience of conversion, when he "falls in love" with Christ.

"So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind." (Luke 14: 21 KJV)

Here the Greek word is combined with the preposition, eisagō or "bring into."

In "bringing in" the sheep into the fold of salvation, God uses the preaching of the gospel to effect it.

Christ said he "must" bring them. It is his "responsibility" as the Shepherd and protector of the sheep. The Arminian errs when he puts the chief responsibility upon the sheep to shepherd or protect themselves.

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