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The Sheep and the Goats

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Matthew 25:31-46 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 divideth [his] sheep from the goats: (continues until the end of the chapter).

I know a guy who interprets this passage in a way that I don't think I've ever seen anyone else interpret it. It seems reasonable, and I was wondering if you guys would take a look at it. The summary of it is that the sheep and the goats are not Christians, and that the kingdom the sheep inherit is the 1,000 year reign on earth, not heaven. Here's how it breaks down:

1. Jesus says to the sheep "...inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat..." This would appear to be salvation by works if the sheep are Christians going to heaven. If however, the works are only getting them into the 1,000 year reign then this does not clash with salvation by grace.

2. v. 37 "Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink?" If these are Christians, wouldn't they know that giving to the least of the brethren counts as giving to Christ? Wouldn't they be taught this very passage, and hence know what's going on?

3. v. 40 "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me." The fact that He refers to the "brethren" in the third person would indicate (but not neccessitate) that "these my brethren" is a separate group from the sheep and the goats.

In Yahweh's Love and Truth,

Christ's Serf
 
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Hi there,
Sounds a lot like the teaching of the watch tower tract & book society, The jw's. Their teaching has often been referred to as butterfly theology. The reason being they link together verses from different parts of the Bible in order to suit their needs, trouble is, this is often in conflict with the passages of scripture in between those verses.

Chad wrote an article on the jw's and there was also a web address by an ex-jw on how to speak to such folks in a way that might cause them to listen. Not always easy, they think they are the bees knees more often than not.

Blessings,

Tonyb:smile:
 
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The larger part of this great discourse is devoted to the subject of Jesus' Coming Again. With his death only three days away, and knowing his disciples would be stunned almost out of their faith He takes a good deal of pains to explain that they would yet realize their hopes in a far grander way than they had yet ever dreamed.


Jesus' thoughts dwelt a great deal on His Second Advent:


"When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him"..... - Matthew 25:31.


If language is a vehicle of thought at all, certainly it takes a good deal of explaining and interpreting to make anything else out of Jesus' words than that He Himself looked forward to His Coming Again as a definite historical event in which He Himself personally and literally will appear to gather to Himself and to Eternal Glory those who have been redeemed by his blood.


Finally, "He will separate..... His sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left."


"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:"........."Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:"


One of the most magnificent passages in the Bible, Chapter 25:31-46, I believe, shows a picture of how Common Kindness will affect our standing in the Eternal World.


God Bless,


Dan
 
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