A BLIND MAN IN THE FOLD
Now we come to the last sabbath, the fourth case. It is a case of a blind man. We may be whole and perfect in every sense and yet, like this man, be born blind. The only problem with this man was that he did not have sight. And the Lord Jesus clearly implies in the following chapter of John, chapter 10, that this very man was one who was in the "fold." In one sense the fold is a good place, but in another sense the fold is not good. The fold, you know, is the place where the flock is kept at night, in the wintertime, or when a storm is raging. In the day, when the sun is shining, the sheep should not be in the fold, but on the pasture. The destiny of a blind man, however, is to be in the fold, kept and preserved in the night. A blind man never has a sunny day: even if the sun is shining, he cannot enjoy it. To the blind man, the day is as the night; he is always in darkness. If you are blind, you are in the fold.
When we were in the denominations, we were blind. I do not believe that any dear Christians who have really received sight from the Lord could still remain in the denominations. Everyone who sees must leave the fold and enter the pasture, under the sunshine, in the fresh air, in liberty. Where are you now? Are you in the fold, or are you now in the pasture? Allow me to say this: if anyone is still in the fold, he is blind. Of course, a blind person requires the fold to keep him. But when he receives his sight, he will swiftly leave the fold for the pasture, for the sunshine, for the fresh air.
A PICTURE OF OUR CONDITION
Do not think that these four cases on these four sabbaths are speaking of four different persons. I tell you, spiritually speaking, these four cases are four aspects of one person—us. We are the hungry ones, we are the withered members and fallen sheep, we are those who have been impotent for so many years, and we are just as the blind man. We are hungry, withered, fallen, impotent and blind. Before we were saved, before we were brought into the church life, we were this kind of person. This is a real portrait of our condition at that time. I can testify that before I was saved and came into the church life I was really hungry, I was so withered and fallen, so impotent and blind. In one sense I was waiting for something to happen, and in another sense I was truly blind. I did not know in what direction I was moving; I could not discern whether it was day or night. I was in the fold. But, hallelujah, the Lord Jesus came to feed us by breaking the sabbath. Hallelujah, the Lord Jesus came also to lift us up out of the pit by breaking the regulations of religion. And the Lord Jesus came to impart life into us. Formerly, we relied on something happening to us, but now we can take up our bed and walk; we have life. And the Lord Jesus did this also by again breaking the regulations of religion. Eventually, hallelujah, the Lord Jesus came and opened our eyes, and we were cast out of the fold by the religious people into the pasture. Hallelujah! How wonderful to be cast out of the fold into the pasture!
Now in the church life we are no longer hungry—we are in the cornfield. Now in the church life we are no longer in the pit—we are at home. Now in the church life we are no longer lying impotent in a religious porch—we have life; there is no need for others to help us, now we can carry everything. Now in the church life we are no longer in the fold—we are on the pasture. It is joy unspeakable and full of glory!
Eventually we are not only on the pasture, but also in the flock—praise the Lord! We are not a fold but a flock. The fold is a place to keep us, but the flock is a composition of all the saints. The church is not a place; the church is a flock. If we are a denomination, if we are a synagogue, if we are a sect, then surely we are a fold. But, hallelujah, we have all been flocked together as the church. We are the flocked sheep on the green and tender pasture, enjoying the unlimited Christ all the time. Are there any regulations? No. Are there any forms? No. Is there any bondage? No. We have green pasture, we have liberty, we have life, we have open air, we have sunshine, we have all we need. We have one flock with one Shepherd. This is where we are today. Are you there? The Lord broke all these four sabbaths to bring us here.
(Christ versus Religion, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)