Within the Bible passage of John 10:1–30 there are many wonderful lessons, one of which is the study on the door. Every person who is saved must go through this door.
Jesus tells the story in which He says:
- The person who does not go through the door of the sheepfold, but goes up or gets in some other way, is a thief and a robber.
Still today, if a person enters another’s house other than by the door it is because they do not belong there and they are there for no good reason. They are most probably a thief or a robber.
- The one that goes through the door is the shepherd of the sheep. (See John 10:2.)
- Jesus says, I myself am the Door of the sheep. (See John 10:7.) How can Jesus be the Door and yet go through the door?
- Remember, Jesus said He is the Door. “Through Me, if anybody enters in, he will be saved.” John 10:9. This is good news. If you go through this door, you will be saved. There are no exceptions. Not one person who goes through this door will be lost.
- The sheepfold has only one door. Everybody in the fold who has not gone through the door is a thief and a robber.
- The fold is the church, but the only people who are actually members of the church are the ones who have gone through the door. Suppose a robber comes to your house entering through the window. Though he may be in the house, he is not a member of your household.
In the same way the fold is the church, and only those who have entered through the door are actually members, all others in there do not really belong. Even though they may look like part of the flock, they are not, but imposters.
- The Shepherd is the Door. Remember, Jesus said that He was the Door.
- If you go through a door, there is both a time before going through it and a time after going through it.
- Jesus said He went through the door. That means there was a time before Jesus went through the door and there was a time after He went through the door.
- Everyone who gets into the sheepfold without going through the door will be lost, because they are a thief or a robber. The book of Revelation makes it very clear that there will be no thieves or robbers in heaven.
- The fold is the church and the door is the entrance into the church. All who enter through the door will be saved without exception.
- In Matthew 17, Jesus warned to beware of wolves that are in sheep’s clothing. There are wolves in sheep’s clothing within the church and although they profess to be members of the church, they are not members of the household of God; they are the children of the devil dressed in sheep’s clothing. One way to identify them is by their backbiting. Sheep do not backbite.
- At some time all of the sheep must go through the door.
Remember, all who go through the door receive eternal life—without exception. So what does the door represent and what does it mean to go through it? Jesus said that He was the Door but He also said that He went through the door. Since Jesus went through the door, there was a time before He went through the door and a time after He went through it. Since there was a time before He went through, we know for sure that the door does not represent the divinity of Christ, because there never has been a time when Christ was not divine.
“Christ was one with the Father before the foundation of the world was laid. This is the light shining in a dark place, making it resplendent with divine, original glory.
“Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God. … In speaking of His pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. …
“His divine life could not be reckoned by human computation. The existence of Christ before His incarnation is not measured by figures.
“Christ was God essentially, and in the highest sense. He was with God from all eternity, God over all, blessed forevermore. The Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Son of God, existed from eternity, a distinct person, yet one with the Father. [He was with the Father, but He was a distinct person from all eternity. There never was a time when that was not so.] He was the surpassing glory of heaven. He was the commander of the heavenly intelligences, and the adoring homage of the angels was received by Him as His right.
“He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent.” The Faith I Live By, 46.
The following tells us that Jesus was Jehovah. In John 8:56–59, it says, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day and he saw it and was glad. Then the Jews said to him, ‘You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’ Then they took up stones to throw at Him.”
Why did they take up stones to throw at Him? Because the Jews knew the significance of what He had just said but which some people today do not understand.
“With solemn dignity Jesus answered, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM’ [John 8:58].
“Silence fell upon the vast assembly. The name of God, given to Moses to express the idea of the eternal presence, had been claimed as His own by this Galilean Rabbi. He had announced Himself to be the self-existent One.” The Desire of Ages, 469, 470.
There are many references in the Bible that indicate very clearly that Jesus Christ is Jehovah. But because that is the case, the door cannot represent Christ’s divinity because He said He went through the door. There was a time before and a time after He went through the door.
Both the Shepherd and the sheep all go through the door, and all who will be saved, also have to go through it. The door cannot represent our humanity, because there has never been a time in our existence when we have not been human. The door cannot represent either divinity or humanity, so what does it represent?
In an article written in The Review and Herald, March 10, 1892, Ellen White states, “The only way in which salvation could be provided for man was through the union of divinity with humanity. Christ in human flesh alone could bridge the gulf that sin had made.”
Notice, Jesus was divine, but man could not be saved by His divinity alone. He must also become a man so His divinity could join with our humanity.
We are also told: “Christ came to our world, sent of God to take human nature upon him. The mysterious union was to be formed between human nature and the divine nature. … The great condescension on the part of God is a mystery that is beyond our fathoming. The greatness of the plan cannot be fully comprehended, nor could infinite Wisdom devise a plan that would surpass it. It could be successful only by the clothing of divinity with humanity, by Christ becoming man, and suffering the wrath which sin has made because of the transgression of God’s law.” Ibid., October 22, 1895.
There is a door that the Shepherd (Christ) entered through (John 10:2). There was a time that He was fully divine, but when He entered through the door, He was not only divine, but also a human being. The door then represents a union of divinity and humanity. Jesus said that only those who enter that way will be saved. It takes more than mere humanity to enter through that door. Jesus entered by uniting His divinity to our humanity. We must enter by uniting our humanity with His divinity. This unity is clearly taught in the Bible and is the only way.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” II Peter 1:2–4. It goes on to say that if you will do this you will have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of God.
“In Christ dwelt all the fullness of the God-head. But the only way in which He could reach men was to vail His glory by a garb of humanity. The angels beheld the hiding of His glory, that divinity might touch humanity.” The Signs of the Times, January 20, 1898.
That is what it meant for Jesus to go through the door. He is the Door. He took our humanity upon His divinity so that He became both divine and human. Without the union of divinity with humanity the plan of salvation will not work. To enter through the door, humanity must be united, linked up, part of, His divinity. We are to become partakers of the divine nature.
“Divinity took the nature of humanity, and for what purpose? That through the righteousness of Christ humanity might partake of the divine nature. This union of divinity and humanity, which was possible with Christ, is incomprehensible to human minds. The wonderful things to take place in our world—the greatest events of all ages—are incomprehensible to worldly minds; they cannot be explained by human sciences.” The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, 332.
Our minds cannot understand how we can become a partaker of divine nature. The Bible says that spiritual things are spiritually discerned.
There are many Christians today who do not seem to understand this and think that all you have to do is say, “I believe in Jesus” and that is it. That is not it! You must go through the door. Belief is wonderful if you understand the meaning of the Greek word—to make a commitment.
“The powers of heaven shall be shaken. Christ is coming in power and great glory, but His coming is not such a mystery as the things to take place before that event. Man must be a partaker of the divine nature in order to stand in this evil time, when the mysteries of satanic agencies are at work. Only by the divine power united with the human can souls endure through these times of trial.” Ibid.
Have you gone through the door? There is a wide difference between a pretended union and a real connection with Christ. Jesus illustrates this fact in the parable of the vine (John 15). He said He was the vine and we are the branches. The outer branches that are not connected directly to the vine get cut off and thrown into the fire.
This represents those who are in the fold but have not gone through the door. They profess Christianity, they may belong to a church or may be an elder, a preacher, an evangelist, or have some other position, but they have not gone through the door. They do not have that inner connection where the life of the vine comes into the branch. If the inner life of the vine reaches out to the branch, it is alive and bears fruit. But if the branch is connected to the vine with just an outer connection and not a living connection, then it dies and will be cut off. All who are in the fold but have not gone through the door are thieves and robbers and are only there temporarily.
“To know the truth, to claim union with Christ, and yet not to bring forth fruit, not to live in the exercise of constant faith—this hardens the heart in disobedience and self-confidence. Our growth in grace, our joy, our usefulness, all depend on our union with Christ and the degree of faith we exercise in Him. … Everyone who is united to Christ will depart from all iniquity.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 48, 49.
“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands having this seal. The Lord knows those who are His and let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” II Timothy 2:19.
Those connected to Christ will depart from all lawlessness. Those entering the fold by jumping the fence do not belong there.
“Every individual, by his own act, either puts Christ from him by refusing to cherish His spirit and follow His example, or he enters into a personal union with Christ by self-renunciation, faith, and obedience.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 46.
How does a person enter into a union with Christ?
Renounce self—no longer trust self. This is one of the most difficult things for people who are successful. After talking to the rich young ruler, Jesus told His disciples that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:24). Because we are human, we have a tendency to judge others as well as ourselves by outward appearance, but to enter through the door requires a change of heart and a new spirit. You cannot go through the door by just changing your appearance. Nicodemus, one of the religious leaders in the time of Christ, became sarcastic when Jesus told him he was not ready to go to heaven (John 3). Jesus said that unless you are born of the water and the spirit, unless you receive a new spirit and a new heart, there is no way to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
That new spirit, the divine spirit, is made manifest when you go through the door. Humanity linked up with divinity! Many people have a desire to be a Christian but are often trapped in one of their darling sins. They have not gone through the door and received the Holy Spirit, which gives power to do certain things that before have been impossible and to stop doing those things that previously you had not been able to stop.
The gospel is offered as a free gift to all. There are people in prison for all manner of sin—murder, rape, theft, to mention just a few. When the person, guilty of any sin, is willing to go through the door and receive the Holy Spirit, he/she will receive a new heart and a new mind and will begin to live a new life. The blood of Jesus Christ, which can take away all uncleanness, will forgive his/her sins. There are many people who want to be saved in their sins without going through the door. They consider their sins not too big, and if the rapist and the murderer can be saved, well, they never robbed a bank or murdered anyone or did anything really bad! Surely their little sins would be overlooked. No! Jesus told Nicodemus that unless he was born of the Holy Spirit; unless he went through the door, he was not really part of the church, but just playing church.
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one spirit.” I Corinthians 12:13. Baptism by water is a symbol. The Jews had symbols. Every sacrificed lamb represented Jesus. John said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29. Jesus was the true Lamb of God. Many people offered animal sacrifices having the symbol without understanding what that symbol represented. Caiaphas, the high priest and the leaders of the Jewish church all offered animal sacrifices and will still be lost because they only knew the symbol and not the real thing.
All who put their trust in Jesus, surrendering their lives totally to the sovereignty of Jesus Christ and receive His Spirit, will be saved, but there will be many people who have been baptized by water who will be lost. Baptism by water is a symbol, but unless baptized by the Holy Spirit, they are just playing church.
“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ ” Acts 2:38. Paul met some others who had been baptized by John but did not understand the baptism of the Holy Spirit so they were re-baptized (Acts 19:1–7). After going through the door, becoming united with the divine nature, care must be taken to stay connected with Christ.
“This spiritual relation can be established only by the exercise of personal faith. This faith must express on our part supreme preference, perfect reliance, entire consecration. Our will must be wholly yielded to the divine will, our feelings, desires, interests, and honor identified with the prosperity of Christ’s kingdom and the honor of His cause, we constantly receiving grace from Him, and Christ accepting gratitude from us.” Testimonies, vol. 5, 229.
“All Christ’s followers have as deep an interest in this lesson as had the disciples who listened to His words. In the apostasy, man alienated himself from God. The separation is wide and fearful; but Christ has made provision again to connect us with Himself. The power of evil is so identified with human nature that no man can overcome except by union with Christ. Through this union we receive moral and spiritual power.” Ibid., 230.
It is impossible to overcome sin without going through the door and entering into Christ.
“A union with Christ by living faith is enduring; every other union must perish. Christ first chose us, paying an infinite price for our redemption; and the true believer chooses Christ as first and last and best in everything. But this union costs us something. It is a union of utter dependence, to be entered into by a proud being. All who form this union must feel their need of the atoning blood of Christ. They must have a change of heart. They must submit their own will to the will of God. There will be a struggle with outward and internal obstacles. There must be a painful work of detachment as well as a work of attachment. Pride, selfishness, vanity, worldliness—sin in all its forms—must be overcome if we would enter into a union with Christ. The reason why many find the Christian life so deplorably hard, why they are so fickle, so variable, is that they try to attach themselves to Christ without first detaching themselves from these cherished idols.” Ibid., 231.
In order to attach yourselves to Christ you must be detached from the world—detatched from everything that involves sin.
Jesus says the way that leads to destruction is broad but the door of salvation is narrow. Entering through this door, sins must be left outside. Are you willing to do that? This is why there are a lot of Christians who want to jump over the fence and get into the fold another way. They are not willing to go through the narrow door, too narrow for their baggage. The Lord is soon going to clean house and all the thieves and robbers will be cast out.
Do you still want to go through the narrow door where all sins must be left on the outside? All who enter there will be saved without exception. No matter how weak you are, when united with divine power, the blood of Jesus Christ will cleanse you from all uncleanness and the power of the Holy Spirit will give you the power to live a new life. You will have a new heart and a new spirit with new desires and everything will be changed. Paul said that if any man is in Christ Jesus, old things are passed away and he is a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17). Do you want that experience in your life?
If you are willing to go through the door, the Lord is willing to give you the Holy Spirit that will empower you to live a different kind of a life. Whatever your struggle in this life, if you are willing to go through the door, there is no problem that Jesus cannot solve through the power of the Holy Spirit, as long as you are willing to make a commitment.
We thank God that there is a door to salvation and that if we are willing to make a complete commitment of our lives to Jesus Christ He will give to us the Holy Spirit so that we may receive a new heart, a new spirit, a new mind and a new life.
Pastor John J. Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Free Seventh-day Adventist Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.