(Joh 7:37) In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
(Joh 7:38) He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
(Joh 7:39) (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
The Shepherd’s Fold – The Holy Remnant – The Gleaning Time
Bro. Harlan Sorrell
The patriarch, Jacob, prophesied by divine inspiration, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.” Gen. 49:10. When Shiloh came, He proclaimed:“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Matt. 11:28-29. He also proclaimed, “there shall be one, and one shepherd”(John 10:16), and “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth”(Luke 11:23).
The apostle Paul said, “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are in earth; even in him.” Eph. 1:10. In 2 Thes. 2:1, he said, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him.”
How is this “gathering of the people” accomplished? We hear a lot said today about “groups” – about this group and that group, and about religious leaders proclaiming their “group” to be the one and only true church, etc. Those are groups every follower of Christ should come out of and avoid at all costs! But at the same time, it is important that we realize THE SHEPHERD HAS A FOLD – HE HAS A GROUP TOO! It is a very unique one and its operations and functions are altogether foreign to the groups organized and operated by men! Oh, how we need the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the Shepherd’s fold! The inspired songwriter, Joseph Swain, wrote:
“Where dost Thou, dear Shepherd, resort with Thy sheep,
To feed them in pastures of love?
Say, why in the valley of death should I weep,
Or alone in this wilderness rove?”
The inspired Psalmist said, “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want [lack anything]. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeteh me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psa. 23:1-3.
If this scripture was true in David’s time, how much more so in this glorious Gospel dispensation! In Song of Solomon 1:7-8, we read, “Tell me O thou whom my soul loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon: for why should I be as one that turneth aside by the flocks of thy companions? If thou know not, O thou fairest among women, go thy way forth by the footsteps of the flock, and feed thy kids beside the shepherds’ tents.”
He who loves our souls, and He with whom our souls should fall in love is able to tell us where He feeds and where He makes His flock to rest! It is a wonderful and peaceful habitation – a sure dwelling and a quiet resting place (Isa. 32:17-18). It is a place of spiritual illumination. We find it by simply hearing and following the voice of the Shepherd. The surest safeguard against deception is getting intimately acquainted with the Shepherd and learning to know the sound of His voice. Let us hear what the Shepherd Himself has to say:
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. … I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”John 10: 1-5, 14.
“Dear Shepherd, I hear and will follow Thy call;
I know the sweet sound of Thy voice;
Protect and defend me, for Thou art my all,
And in Thee I will ever rejoice.”
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”John 8:12“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10.
“Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light." These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.” John 12:35-36.
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”John 3:19-21.
“And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.” John 9:39.
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single [focused on the Shepherd], thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil [focused on heresies, groups, and organizations of men], thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” Matt. 6:22-23.
Apostle John said, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”1 John 1:3-7.
“He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you; because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”1 John 2:6-11.
In these solemn scriptures is revealed the simple secret of being a part of “the Shepherd’s fold.” His fold consists simply of “the children of light” who follow Him and walk in the light as He is in the light. They are those who have “cast off the works of darkness” and have “put on the armor of light” (Rom. 13:12). They are the group who “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:14).“He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit”with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” 1 Cor. 12:13. The only thing that breaks the “unity of the Spirit” and the “bond of peace” is when Christians begin drinking of other spirits that are foreign in nature to the Holy Spirit. For Christ only has “one body” and there is but “one Spirit” that animates it. (Eph. 4:3-4.) Christ is not divided, and the Spirit that animates His body never divides the body against itself. He taught us that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”
The following song, written by D. S. Warner, expresses many deep truths about the Shepherd’s fold. Please consider these words in the light of the scriptures referenced.
“The Holy Remnant”
“Are you of the holy remnant gathered to the King of Peace? (Gen. 49:10)
Have you found a full atonement, and abundance of His grace? (John 1:16)
Yes, my soul has come to Zion, on the high and holy way, (Isaiah. 35:8-10)
And I’ve seen the darkness flying, driven by the light of day. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
“Have you heard a voice from heaven, calling in a solemn tone,
“Come, my people, from confusion, this is not your native home?” (Revelation 18:4)
Yes, I heard, and to my vision, Zion’s glory brightly shone; (Psalm 50:2)
Then I rose and fled the ruin, taking not a Babel stone.
“Have you learned that all this remnant must be dressed in uniform?
Are you clothed in that white raiment, that will shine before the throne? (Revelation 19:8)
Yes, I found the precious fountain, opened when the Savior died, (Zechariah 13:1)
Here I washed my stains of crimson, and my soul is sanctified.
“Do you know the saints inherit, since we’re gathered into one,
All the greatness of the kingdom, under all the shining sun? (Daniel 7:27)
Yes, all glory be to Jesus! By His might I overcame, (Romans 5:17; 1 John 5:4)
In the fullness of His blessing, on His throne of love I reign. (Revelation 3:21; Ephesians 2:6)
“Do you know, oh, ransomed brother, that we stand upon the verge,
Where old time fills up his ages, and the lost will mourn his dirge?
Oh, what myriad souls are sleeping, soon to wake in judgment fires! (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)
Help, O God! Thy remnant gleaning, until time indeed expires.”
What is a remnant? Webster’s dictionary defines “remnant” thus: “Residue; that which is left after the separation, removal, destruction, or loss of a part. That which is left after a part has been done, performed, executed, passed, told, or the like; remainder, yet left.” In other words, a remnant is a left-over portion of something original.
In looking back at the pure stream of Christianity from its birth 2000 years ago, we see that millions have partaken of its blessings as well as given their lives for the gospel’s sake. The greatest portion of Christ’s body, the Church, has already been transported to the other side of the veil, that is, the eternal, heavenly realm. The largest part of the gospel dispensation has now “been done, performed, executed, and passed.” Also, during this process, men here on earth have added all sorts of heretical and apostate elements to Christianity’s stream. Many failed to walk in the light with the Shepherd as He revealed it to His flock and thus they separated and removed themselves from His fold. “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” Jude 19. Many who were once companions of Christ and walked for a time in His light, made provisions for their flesh and thus went into darkness. After the light which was in them became darkness, they imbibed another spirit and created their own folds. To these folds they endeavor to decoy any sheep who will hear their voices. Many spirits are gone out into the world and each spirit has a voice. Sheep, keep your ears
tuned to the Shepherd’s voice! Whenever you hear a voice that sounds just a little foreign to the voice of the Shepherd, pay it no mind!
“Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God …” 1 John 4:2-3a. In other words, every spirit that eats Christ’s flesh and drinks His blood (John 6:53-56) insomuch that Christ’s life becomes clearly manifested in that individual’s mortal flesh (2 Cor. 4:10-11), is of God; and every spirit that does not, by the power of the Holy Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body (Rom. 8:12-14) and put on Christ, but makes provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof, is not of God. “Hereby know we the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”
Provisions made for the flesh may come through spirits of “compromise” or they may come through spirits of “fanaticism!” Spirits of fanaticism, though they may make an outward “show of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body” (Col. 2:23), are characterized by religious pride. This pride is often manifested in outward observances, such as the mandating of dress standards that go beyond the Biblical requirement of “modest apparel” and that which simply glorifies God and reflects purity of heart. Those who imbibe a spirit of fanaticism generally manifest a “holier than thou” attitude and become contentious, uneasily entreated, and intolerant of others. They are not content to allow others their God-given space to follow the Shepherd and walk in His light at the pace He leads them personally in their relationship with Him. They want to manipulate and control others, forcing them to do as they do and think as they think. This stems from selfishness and provides gratification for their religious pride. Wherever pride exists, whether religious or otherwise, there you will find fleshliness and a lack of the true Spirit of God. Therefore, both compromise and fanaticism are alike “earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”James 3:15b-18. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Matt. 7:20. You will find “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Gal. 5:22-24.
The pure stream of heavenly life still flows through the Word and Spirit of God, and through it a holy “remnant” has been preserved here on earth. That remnant consists of the few who are yet walking in the light with the good Shepherd, “down where the living waters flow” and “where pastures of green ever grow.” They are but a “residue” – a small, left-over portion yet partaking of an original substance. They are dead to the world, dead to themselves, and their “life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). The living waters of which they drink are as healing as they ever were and the pastures in which they feed are as green as they ever were because the Shepherd is faithful to His “little flock.” He says, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32. The kingdom is “righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 14:17). Sadly, not many today are pressing into the kingdom (Luke 16:16; Matt. 11:12), but for those who do, the kingdom is just as glorious as it ever was!
Consider the following scriptures:
4: And in that day it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall wax lean.
5: And it shall be as when the harvestman gathereth the corn, and reapeth the ears with his arm; and it shall be as he that gathereth ears in the valley of Rephaim.
6: Yet gleaning grapes shall be left in it, as the shaking of an olive tree, two or three berries in the top of the uppermost bough, four or five in the outmost fruitful branches thereof, saith the LORD God of Israel.
7: At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel.
5: In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,
6: And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
8: And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.
9: Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
2: In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
3: And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:
9: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets.
7: And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8: I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
7: Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
6: Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8: That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. (See also Rom. 2:28-29; 4:13-14; Gal. 3:29; 4:28)
27: Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
28: For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
29: And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.
5: Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
This “remnant” is the Shepherd’s fold! And, as D. S. Warner said in another of his songs:
“There’s joy in the fold of the Lord, We walk in the light of His Word;
We love to obey all the Savior doth say, Thus living in holy accord.
“By rivers of peace we are led, In pastures of love we are fed;
We ever rejoice at the sound of His voice, Redeemed by the blood He has shed.
“We will follow, ever follow In the footsteps of the Savior;
We will follow, ever follow In His pathway bright and clear.”
The Lord’s fold is a place of perfect freedom! The sheep of His pasture are all love slaves! The only bondage they know is the bondage of love! As George D. Watson expresses in his song titled, “The Bondage of Love:”
“O sweet will of God! Thou hast girded me round,
Like the deep moving currents that girdle the sea;
With omnipotent love is my poor nature bound,
And this bondage to love sets me perfectly free.”
When we yoke ourselves with Jesus by completely surrendering our will to God, and all that pertains to our lives, we find complete freedom in that yoke. His yoke is easy and his burden light because it is a yoke of love. Doing His will becomes our meat and drink, and His service becomes our sweetest delight. We are not following men or religious formality, but we are following Jesus, the good Shepherd and lover of our souls – the One who laid down His life for us that we might have life and have it more abundantly. He leads us gently in the heavenly way. He shows us the true path of life and in His presence we find fullness of joy (Psa. 16:11). He causes us to drink of the river of pleasure! Our souls become enraptured by “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost” (2 Cor. 13:14). Through the communion of the Holy Ghost, rivers of living water flow from our inmost being (John 7:37-39). This is the lot of all who abide in the Lord’s fold. As the Psalmist has said, “Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD.” Psa. 144:15.
The Shepherd says, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9.
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev. 22:17.
Again, the Shepherd says, “… whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”John 4:14.
“The Healing Waters”
“Oh, the joy of sins forgiv’n, Oh, the bliss the blood-washed know,
Oh, the peace akin to heav’n, Where the healing waters flow.
“Now with Jesus crucified, At His feet I’m resting low;
Let me evermore abide Where the healing waters flow.
“Oh, this precious perfect love! How it keeps the heart aglow,
Streaming from the fount above, Where the healing waters flow.
“Oh, to lean on Jesus’ breast, While the tempests come and go!
Here is blessed peace and rest, Where the healing waters flow.
“Cleansed from ev’ry sin and stain, Whiter than the driven snow,
Now I sing my sweet refrain, Where the healing waters flow.
“Where the healing waters flow, Where the joys celestial glow,
Oh, there’s peace and rest and love, Where the healing waters flow!”
H. H. Heimar
Amen and amen! – Harlan Sorrell
Subject: The Shepherd's Fold - The Holy Remnant - The Gleaning Time.doc
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The Lord usually gives me the inspiration for my writings in the early morning hours, as I’m awaking. I often awake with scriptures, songs, and thoughts coming to my mind and, when I realize the Holy Spirit is moving, I just get up and start writing while the inspiration flows. A week, or so, ago, I awoke with an inspiration regarding “The Shepherd’s Fold – The Holy Remnant – The Gleaning Time.” I didn’t know exactly where the Lord was going with it, but I just started writing as the inspiration moved. He actually merged it with some thoughts and scriptures I had written down some time ago concerning “the remnant,” and expanded on it over the past week. Anyway, this is what the Lord gave me and I felt it was too good not to share. It has been a blessing to me, and I hope it will be to each of you.
Bro. Harlan Sorrell
(Psa 16:11) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
(Luk 16:16) The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
(Mat 11:12) And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
The Shepherd’s Fold – The Holy Remnant – The Gleaning Time
(Jud 1:19) These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
(Joh 6:53) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
(Joh 6:54) Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
(Joh 6:55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
(Joh 6:56) He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
(Col 2:23) Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
(Gen 49:10) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
(Joh 1:16) And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.
(2Co 4:6) For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
(Rev 18:4) And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
(Psa 50:2) Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
(Rev 19:8) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
(Zec 13:1) In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
(Dan 7:27) And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
(Rev 3:21) To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
(Eph 2:6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
(Isa 32:17) And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
(Isa 32:18) And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
(Eph 4:3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(Eph 4:4) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
(Rom 15:7) Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
(1Jn 5:4) For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
(2Th 1:7) And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
(2Th 1:8) In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
(2Th 1:9) Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
(2Th 1:10) When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
(Isa 35:8) And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
(Isa 35:9) No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
(Isa 35:10) And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
(Rom 2:28) For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
(Rom 2:29) But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
(Gal 3:29) And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
(Gal 4:28) Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
(2Co 4:10) Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
(2Co 4:11) For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
(Rom 8:12) Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
(Rom 8:13) For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
(Rom 8:14) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.