How do people become the sheep that Jesus speaks of in John 10?
My understanding is that people do not become the sheep. My understanding is that the sheep are truths.
The sheep, gate, and shepherd - Decoded
Truly I say to you whoever does not enter into the heart by the word but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters by the word is ruler over the speaker. To the ruler, the doors of the heart will open, the ears will hear the words of the ruler, the ruler calls to words by name and leads them out. And when the ruler brings out these words the ruler will stand before them, and those words follow for they know the voice of the speaker. Yet the words will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.
All who ever came before me are thieves and robbers but they have not heard of these truths. If anyone enters by the word, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his own life for the words being spoken to me. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the words, sees the wolf coming and leaves the conversation and flees; and the wolf catches the words and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about what is being said. I am the good shepherd; and I know my truth, and am known by my own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the truth. And other truths I have which are not of the speaker; them also I must bring, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
“Therefore my Father loves me, because I lay down my own thoughts that I may take my thoughts again. No one takes my thoughts from me, but I lay my thoughts down by myself. I have power to lay them down, and I have power to take them again. This command I have received from My Father.” (John 10:1-18 Decoded Version 1.0 - #JN10.1 The sheep, gate, and shepherd)
You say it as "marking 'citizenship' in Jesus' sheepfold as a prerequisite for belief in Him" because it is stated:
But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. (John 10:26 NKJV)
The meaning that I take from this statement is that "Because you do not know the truths that I know, you do not believe."
The Explicit Explanation
I believe "My sheep hear my voice," is a way of saying "My truths hear my voice."
I believe that the truth(sheep) come to my memory(sheepfold) by hearing the words spoken by a man(Jesus)
Therefore being Born of the Breath one can recieve the truth(sheep).
To understand what I mean by being born of the Breath.
The real Christian meaning to the word Spirit – Concept Building Block
The concept of the Spirit being a ghost is is true from one perspective and false from another. The point of this post is to rightly divide the Word, so that the true meaning is revealed. How is it false? First we must understand the meaning to the word Spirit. It is translated from the Greek word “Πνεῦμα” pronounced “Pneuma” meaning "wind" -or- “breath”. So it is false because the breath is not a ghost. Sometime during the last 2000 years the concept of “spirit” was given to the word “breath”. I want to show you how the “breath” could have been also conceptualized into the word “attitudes”. And how ones attitudes are a display of their spirit.
What does the bible say about the “Holy Breath”? Here the breath is used to make groanings.
“Likewise the breath also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Breath Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the breath is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)
Here we can see the difficulty breathing.
“And behold, a breath seizes him, and he suddenly cries; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. ” (Luke 9:39 NKJV)
Here we can see the last breath.
“And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My breath Having said this, He breathed His last.” (Luke 23:46)
The giving of the Holy Breath.
And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Breath”. (John 20:22)
Now I say to you the Holy Attitudes, because the Holy Breath resists certain attitudes.
For the flesh lusts against the breath, and the breath against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. (Galatians 5:17)
So to understand what attitudes allow for the breath, we can learn by what attitudes are contrary to the breath.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV)
Now from this list I will attempt to group representations to the contrary attitude.
Representations in the Group of Anger (Hatred, Outbursts of Wrath, Lewdness, and Murders).
Representations in the Group of Idolatry (Idolatry, Jealousies, Envy).
Representations in the Group of Power Hunger (Dissensions, Contentions, and Revelries.)
Representations in the Group of Frowned Upon Physical Pleasure (Adultery, Fornication, Uncleanliness, Sorcery[Drug Use], Drunkenness)
Therefore we can discern that the attitude of Love is opposite the attitude of Anger, Idolatry, Power Hunger, and Frowned Upon Physical Pleasure. Yet the attitude of Love gives us the Holy Breath.
God is Breath - Concept Building Block
"God is wind, and his worshipers must worship in the Breath and in truth." (John 4:24)
God's name has been given many titles: The Lord of Hosts, The Breath/Spirit/Attitude of God, The Word/Flesh. For the word is the son of the breath. We are all taught by God (John 6:45), all have been given the ability for the breath of truth. God breathed the life into us (Genesis 2:7), and when we die the breath leaves us. Here are some more known Bible Verses correctly edited from NKJV.
"And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My Breath.’” Having said this, He breathed His last." (Luke 23:46).
"And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Breath." (John 20:22).
"For the flesh lusts against the Breath.." (Gal 5:17).
"Likewise the Breath also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Breath Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Romans 8:26).
"In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?" (Job 12:10).
"Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute breath." (Mar 9:17)
"And behold, a breath seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth; and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him." (Luk 9:39)
"Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a breath does not have flesh and bones as you see I have." (Luk 24:39).
"The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Breath." (Jhn 3:8).
"Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the breath and was troubled." (Jhn 11:33).
"And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the breath by which he spoke." (Act 6:10)
"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the breath." (Rom 8:1).
"But you are not in the flesh but in the breath, if indeed the Breath of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Breath of Christ, he is not His." (Rom 8:9).
"But if the Breath of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Breath who dwells in you." (Rom 8:11)
"Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Breath of God dwells in you?" (1Co 3:16).
"We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the breath of truth and the breath of error." (1 John 4:6)
Now the true meaning to being Born Again can be explained
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 NKJV)
Unless you are born into the breath you cannot see the kingdom of God.
How do people become disciples of the word that is speaking to them?
so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’”(Mark 4:12 NKJV)
Wait you think Jesus isn't a man speaking!
The sower soweth the word. (Mark 4:14 KJV)
Note that this does not reference the "word of God" but the "word". Son of Man is a title assumed to be Jesus as the Man. The Son of Man however is the words spoken by a man.