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The Parables #91

Scripture: Luke 15:1-7.

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We are considering the question:  Just who are the 99? Verse 5?

I am setting before you who I believe the 99 represent. The flock spoken of here could not be an ‘earthly’ body of people for a number of reasons. Here are the two reasons we have looked at so far.
They need no repentance.
Christ said He would never LEAVE His ‘sheep’.

Here are some more reasons.

1. Because the rejoicing takes place in heaven. Verse 7, 10. “And when he cometh home,” verse 6, ie, Heaven. There is rejoicing on earth over sinners saved but not to the degree that there is in heaven. We have very little knowledge of those rescued whereas the angels know of every sinner saved EVERYWHERE!
Heaven is the ‘home’ to which the Shepherd is taking the lost sheep, and where the 99 were left in order to find the wandering one!

You have a wonderful picture of it all in 1 Samuel 17:28. David left one kind of sheep in the wilderness to rescue another kind of sheep, Israel. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel,” 1 Chron 17:7.

2. Because of the place where the 99 were left. ‘Wilderness’ can give the wrong impression. It refers to a pleasant place, meadow. Jer 23:10, (Ps 23:20. See also Joel 1:19, 2:22 and Matt 14/13, 19, Mark 6/31 – ‘grass’, ‘rest’. Mark 6/39 ‘green grass’. Heb 4/9, ‘heaven our rest’. These benefits may be had in the ‘wilderness’!!
There are ‘oases’ in the ‘wilderness’. Nothing pictures heaven more than an oasis which is beautiful and pleasant and peaceful, in contrast to the emptiness of the wilderness around. So there is in heaven an oasis from this evil world. Sin began in heaven and it left its mark there for it too will be purged in the end, 2 Pet 3:10.

3. What we have said serves to bring before us the close link between the heavenly hosts and the elect of God.
It is closer than we can presently understand.

Their happiness at the first advent. Luke 2:13-15. Rejoicing for us!

Their interest in the scheme of salvation. 1 Pet 1:12

They are guardians over God’s people. Hebs 1:14 (look after), 2 Kings 6:17, Matt 24:31. Children  Especially consider Matt 18:10. How wonderful this is!

The Parables #90

Scripture: Luke 15:1-7.

Stream or download The Parables #90


We are considering the question:

Just who are the 99, verse 5?

The flock spoken of here could not be an ‘earthly’ body of people for a number of reasons. Here is another reason as well as that given last time which was that it could not be  ‘a band of human beings because of the their description. “ . . . . ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance,” verse 7.
The new reason is:
Because the Saviour has promised never to ‘leave’
His people.
The 99 were ‘left behind’.
Here is a promise given to His people. “ . . . he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5.

* Those who are left “in the wilderness” in this parable could not be those to whom this promise was given!
The word ‘leave’ means ‘forsake’, which makes it even more unlikely that it is the saved that is referred to.
We must ever remember that the Lord Jesus does not have to LEAVE you while He comes to me to help and look after me! He is OMNIPRESENT! He is everywhere present at all times! “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, . . . lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen,” Matt 28:18, 20. Acts 18;10. He was with Paul & all the apostles. He was with EACH ONE of them.Even so He is ever with all of His people. Jesus’ divine nature makes Him always with us.  “Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD,” Jer 23:23-24.

* This truth Nathaniel learned. “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel,” John 1:47-49.

The Parables #89

Scripture: Luke 15:1-7.

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When I was last with you I asked the question:

Just who are the 99?

We started to answer it by pointing out that when the Saviour came to earth some 2000 years ago, He left behind His father, His glory and the glorious company of Heaven in order to save His people.
I believe ‘that leaving’ is what is referred to here!
The flock spoken of here could not be an ‘earthly’ body of people for a number of reasons.

Because of their description. “ . . . . ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance,” verse 7. This cannot refer to any group of human beings, not even the saved!
“. . . . there is no man that sinneth not,” 1 Kings 8:46
“ . . . for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23.
Saved and converted sinners are ever in need of repentance. Rev 2:5, 16; 3:3, 19. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us,” 1 John 1:8.
“All of a Christian’s life is one of repentance.” Martin Luther.

The Parables #87

The Lost Sheep, #11.
Scripture: Luke 15:1-7.

Stream or download The Parables #87


I. Notice what the Lord did in order to find the lost sinner.

1. He had to ‘leave’ the 99. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? To ‘leave’ is like the setting up of a home. Matt 19:5.

2. Just who are the 99? They are commonly considered other members of His flock, believers in other words. I am not so sure that this is so. Others consider them the ungodly who consider themselves in no need of redemption.

I reject both views.

I believe that we have a picture of the Saviour leaving His Father’s house and those wonderful heavenly, angelic creatures who are sinless and therefore in no need of repentance, in order to come to earth to save His elect.

Consider these verses:- Hebrews 12:2-3; John 17:5, Philippians 2:7. Here is the Saviour leaving behind His glory and the glorious company of Heaven. The angelic hosts are his flock which He has created and loves as well, Col 1:16.