Who Are "The Sheep And The Goats?"
(By John of AllFaith © December 06, 2007)
(By John of AllFaith © December 06, 2007)
As of late the term "Sheeple" has been somewhat widely employed on the Internet to reference those who are blindly following and accepting the status quo. These people appear to be almost asleep, they are lukewarm, being neither hot nor cold. These are not the sheep I am referring to here!
Rather, I am thinking specifically of Master Y'shua's prophetic parable of the Sheep and the Goats. By understanding the identity of and distinctions between these two classes of people we can unlock a great mystery and discover our place within the rich blanket of prophecy!
Are you feeling dis-empowered by world events? Then take a stand! There's a lot you can do to make things better! You have the power. You only need to unlock it! It is yours for the taking! In this and the following studies I'll be showing practical ways anyone can empower themselves to Stand for the Kingdom.
So let's begin with the prophecy:
- Matthew 25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
33 "And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Who are these people?
Matthew 25 is discussing the Kingdom of heaven, "...Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to..." such and such. What is the Kingdom of Heaven? Master Y'shua is here explaining. Without understanding the nature of the Kingdom how will we grasp our roles in it?
As I have often said, the Kingdom is on the verge of blooming forth (once we pass through certain negative experiences). By understanding our rightful positions as children of the Kingdom we will be empowered to act in harmony with the well being of the earth, its inhabitants and our immortal souls (jivatman). This blooming forth of the Kingdom is taking place on many planes of consciousness.
Lately I've been focusing largely on the material realms, on the establishment and security of Israel in particular. There are however deeper understandings to be discovered here as well and it is now time for me to delve more deeply into these, God willing.
Often those who can grasp the truth that life and "reality" exists simultaneously on many different planes of interconnected consciousness and time(lessness) come to believe that this understanding allows them to skip through or ignore the so-called "lower truths." In this we often err as would one who, having mastered higher mathematics might discount basic arithmetic for those who are only now coming up the educational ladder. Arithmetic is the foundation of all mathematics. Likewise the building and soon revelation of the Kingdom of the One must be established on a solid prophetic foundation and Israel is a vital key to what is happening today, both politically and prophetically. Those who reject Israel's prophetic importance seriously err.
Israel is now, as it has been for so much of known human history, the center-point of world events. The 1948 establishment of the nation of Israel and the 1967 re-incorporation of Jerusalem into it is of vital consequence. But for now, let's look beyond that.
According to Master Y'shua, there are two factions engaged in the establishment of the Kingdom. One positively, one negatively. This text hints at the identities of these factions. Of the Sheep the Master explains:
- Matthew 25:35 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'
Who is the "I" here? Who was hungry etc?
Here Master Y'shua is speaking in the prophetic voice of the Kingdom. "I" therefore is the Kingdom of heaven. The Sheep are those whose lives nurture the Kingdom, they are righteous among humans.
- 37 "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
38 'When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
39 'Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
Note that in many if not most cases, the Sheep have performed their Kingdom duties without knowledge of the higher achievements: When did we... They felt an inner need and moved to satisfy it. Why? Because they were righteous.
What does it mean to be righteous?
Find Out In Part two! (Coming Soon!)