Who Are "The Sheep And The Goats?"
(By John of AllFaith © December 06, 2007)
Go to Part One (click here)
What does it mean to be righteous?
The word used here is dikaios, a rather broad term. As Strong tells us however, "... in a narrower sense [the word references] rendering to each his due and that in a judicial sense, passing just judgment on others, whether expressed in words or shown by the manner of dealing with them." The point is that those who act from an inner sense of right and wrong, and who choose the good, are considered "righteous." The righteous Sheep are empowered by their faith to act. They are not therefore "sheep for the slaughter" but rather, fighting sheep, so to speak.
We usually think of the dear poor and abused sheep, of the downtrodden masses with their teeming hordes etc... But while such people may be sheep-like in certain ways, they are not the Sheep referenced by Master Y'shua at our base text. Again:
- 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.
The Sheep in question are actively plugged in to what's going on in the world! They saw the "Lord" poor, hungry and naked and took action to provide for his needs! These righteous Sheep are proactive not reactive! One such example of a righteous Sheep is the so-called good Samaritan who found the man on the road and cared for him. Note that the "nations" will be (are being) brought before the judgment seat and divided right and left (more on this shortly). Nations are powerful, nations are active players. The Sheep then, in the context being discussed here, are not the downcast, but people of genuine faith who actively pursue good and oppose evil.
And these children of the Kingdom are given powers in the execution of their duties:
- John 20: 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
All those who truly live within and for the Kingdom of Heaven are worthy and to some degree driven to help establish Kingdom Consciousness on earth. As is written: "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."
"Christ" is the "anointing" that has historically been witnessed on the diverse children of the Kingdom since time immemorial. Christ (which is not limited to the one Moshiach) is the divine Power or Will by and through which they act for the furtherance of the Kingdom. This anointing is the same Holy Spirit bequeathed at I John 20:22 above. Those who walk in this anointing are the righteous Sheep. This holy anointing has nothing to do with religious affiliation, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic identity, wealth, or any of the other myriad considerations that keep people separated. The Sheep are One, even when this may not appear to be the case. That is because God is more than "this."
For greater understanding on this point we continue with our Matthew 25 text:
- 40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.'
Master Y'shua, speaking as the Kingdom, then turns to the Goats with a stern warning.
So then, from what inner power do the Sheep act? What is the source of their knowing, their anointing? What is the motivation of their righteousness? Why do they act when it would be easier to remain silent and safe? They act from a position of Spiritual/Aware Consciousness, even when they are unaware of it themselves. These spiritual Sheep, if asked, may reply that their actions stem from their faith in Jesus Christ, or Sri Krsna, or inner knowledge, or Guru Nanak and the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, or faith in some prophet or saint (such as perhaps the mystical Saint Padre Pio) ... but the true Source of their inspiration, however defined, is Ruach ha Kodesh, the Spirit of the Living One however that indefinable Spirit is conceived. This is confirmed in the Srimad Bhagavad Gita this way:
- Gita 9:22: But those who worship Me with undeviated intent, who have no other object and who are are always yoked in devotion, upon them I confer happiness and carry them through.
9:23: Also those who are devotees of other gods, and who worship them, endowed with faith, they actually worship Me alone.
God is One.
For more information on these Sheep and the Kingdom they represent come back for part three!
~John of AllFaith