The Sheep and the Goats, Part 1

The Sheep and the Goats, Part 1

sheep-and-goats

“Having given His disciples many parables illustrating the experiences of the Church, the Kingdom class, in their development and preparation for Kingdom honor, it was eminently proper that Jesus should give the parable of “The Sheep and the Goats” a lesson to illustrate the work of the Kingdom AFTER its establishment—to show its purpose, and its effect upon the world of mankind.”

“In line with this, our Lord in this parable tells what is to befall after His Kingdom shall have been set up— after the selection of the true Church class to be the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife and Joint-heir in His Kingdom, in His Throne.” (R 5530 par. 1, 3)

Other sheep I have which are not of THIS fold (“this fold” being in reference to the Overcoming Church); them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one Shepherd.”(John 10:16)

During the Gospel Age the Lord has but one Church, one flock who follow him. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27) From the very first there has been no change in the Lord’s flock, either in the terms of discipleship or in the reward promised (the same terms have been offered to both Jew and Gentile alike); as we read, “Ye are called in one hope of your calling.”(Eph 4:4)

“The “other sheep” evidently refer to others who will become the Lord’s followers under different conditions and under a different call from that which has gone forth during the Gospel Age. The present flock is called upon to sacrifice the earthly nature and become partakers, with the Master and Shepherd, of the divine nature. (Rom 12:1, 2; 2 Tim 2:11, 12; 2 Pet 1:3, 4) The Lord’s flock of the future will not be invited to sacrifice and to a change of nature, but will, on the contrary, be privileged to maintain and retain the human nature; and by obedience will gradually, step by step, experience Restitution (Acts 3:19-21) to perfection of mind and body and morals, lost through sin in Eden and redeemed by the great Sacrifice at Calvary. These are not now of the “flock,” (i.e. of “this fold” mentioned in John 10:16) for they are not invited to the divine nature and a heavenly mansion, but will be invited to earthly nature and Paradise restored during the reign of Messiah.”

WHEN HE WHO IS OUR LIFE APPEARS WE SHALL APPEAR WITH HIM

These other sheep are particularly mentioned by our Master in Matt 25:31-46. This parable of “the sheep and the goats” belongs, not to this Age–the Gospel Age –but to the coming Age–during the Messianic reign.”

Its location is fixed by the introductory sentence–“When the Son of Man shall come in His GLORY.”

The Savior has not yet appeared in his glory, and the promise is that “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye [the Church, the sheep of the present Age] also appear with him in glory.” (Col 3:4) In a word, the overcoming “sheep” of the Gospel Age will be associated with the Great Shepherd in his work of dealing with the world of mankind during his reign. Then all mankind will be on judgment or trial, to be tested with a view to proving who will develop the sheep-like disposition (i.e. who will compose the Lord’s “other sheep”), and who will develop the goat-like disposition.” (R 4784 par. 1-4)

“Those sheep and goats will not include the Church, to whom the promise is, “When he shall appear, we also shall appear with him in glory“–sharing his Throne. The salvation of the Church will be finished before the salvation of the world will begin. This parable pictures the salvation of the world, showing us how every member of Adam’s race will be on trial during the reign of Messiah and, by his obedience or disobedience to the light and knowledge then prevailing, he will be deciding his own everlasting future, either as a sheep or as a goat. It will require the entire one thousand years of Messiah’s reign to complete the testing and separating work.” (R 4694 par. 2, 3)

When the Son of man shall come in his glory and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the Throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.”

Who, after proper consideration, will say that this is a matter of the past? Who will dispute that this is a description of Messiah’s Kingdom following His Parousia (presence) and His Epiphania (“shining forth” or “bright shining”) at His Second Advent?” (R 5530 par. 3)

Continued with next post.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *