Separating the SHEEP from the GOATS!
Shalom Partner and Friend of
“Separating the sheep from the goats” …Have you ever heard the saying? Do you know that this phrase is derived from God’s Holy Scripture, the Bible? Yeshua (Jesus) spoke of dividing the sheep from the goats in His parable… as he described the “end of this age!” He stated that a day would come when He would sit on His throne and… gather all the nations before Him. And on that day He would then… separate the nations just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. This account is found in Matthew 25. This segment of the Bible portrays the final portion of Christ’s reply to a few of His disciples when they approached Him with certain questions while He was sitting on the
It is important to take note of the “location” where the Lord was telling His disciples this parable… The
Here on the
Yeshua (Jesus) reminds them that they are to flee to the mountains of
With this passage, Yeshua is referring to the job of a shepherd… When a shepherd would take the sheep out to pasture, the goats would often go with them! The job of the shepherd was to make sure that they remain separate. With this comparison, Yeshua (Jesus) is speaking here of “a time of reward… a time of judgment.” When the Son of Man returns to earth and sits on His glorious throne, the nations must be judged according to how they have treated His people, the Jews. For years we have heard the following Scripture being preached. And, humbly admit that, we in fact ourselves have quoted the passage of: Matthew 25: 31 – 46 without complete understanding to whom Yeshua (Jesus) was actually referring to.
Now who are the “Sheep” and who are the “Goats” that Yeshua (Jesus) was going to separate?
One distinct difference between the goats and the sheep is that… goats wander off and like to do their own thing whereas the sheep even though they need more care follow their shepherd. The “Sheep” follow Yeshua (Jesus) and the “goats” do not! The “sheep” know that
And, the “sheep” believe that
Now as we go back to Matthew 25, Yeshua (Jesus) sits on His glorious throne with all the nations gathered before Him… And as they are gathered before Him, verse 33 says: “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.” The right-hand side of a throne is the side of power. Verse 34 goes on to read; “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 prophet Joel thunders a message for our time… “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land...Proclaim this among the nations: ‘Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up…Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations… Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. The LORD also will roar from
Yeshua (Jesus) is going to sit here someday and judge the nations when He returns to earth at the end of the Great Tribulation. This is known as the valley where God will judge!
The name “Jehoshaphat”… has a literal meaning in Hebrew. It means God will judge. The word translated “judge” in Hebrew is shofat. The word also means to administer justice, pass sentence, punish, rule, or consider. Judgment is from the same root word: shfetah. The first part of the word Jehoshaphat in Hebrew is Yod-He-Vav (YHV) which is part of God’s name, (YHVH) often pronounced Yahweh. There was also a king of
This is a very helpful Scripture because it identifies the timing of the events as being the time “when I bring back the captives of
The Bible is clear that God is a God of mercy and a God of justice… In our opinion Exodus 34:6-7 is one of the most important passages of Scripture in the Bible. It is here that God defines Himself and His character to Moses. Jewish sages call this the 13 Attributes of God’s Mercy. One of the things we love most about God is that He is utterly consistent… what He says He will do, He does. We see this in the amazing manner in which biblical prophecies for the nation and people of
God has judged nations throughout history… The Bible has many accounts of nations or cities that were judged by God. Here are a few incidents:
The nation of
The ten plagues that God brought against ancient
In 612 BC,
This curse may be observed by looking at those nations who came against the Jews. They were totally eradicated. Prophecies describe the fate of those today that are killing Jews and trying to destroy
God’s character is one of mercy and justice... He is long suffering and desires for all men and nations to come to repentance. Remember, God did not destroy wicked
There were many reasons why nations were judged. They were judged for their cruelty, immoral behaviour, and idolatry… And they were judged for how they treated
We read in the book of Esther that God placed the judgment of death on a man called Haman because he tried to destroy the Jewish people. This is the judgment of God for leaders of wicked nations. He destroys them. God is a God of judgment as well as a God of love. Those who won’t accept His love will face His judgment. God loves
Are we nearing the time when God will judge the nations…?
Certainly that is a real possibility and from many of the signs we see, judgment may be in the near future. We confess that we don’t understand how God reckons time! It is, however, very clear from this passage (v. 2) that God is unhappy about two issues: (1) Scattering His people, the Jewish people… And (2) for dividing His Land!
Stronger still the Lord says, “Let all those who hate
God is using the rebirth of
Some will be sheep nations destined for blessing … and some will be goat nations destined for judgment…! The results will be seen… some will be for and some against! Today the nations are on dangerous ground. There are judgments, which are prophesied in the Bible, that have not yet occurred. Some concern individual nations or cities like the prophecy in Isaiah 17 that speaks of
Yeshua (Jesus) will judge the nations that have either treated the Jews with… care and kindness or mistreated them... Remember what God said to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, "I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." Much of the Christian Church does not recognize the fact that Jesus was of the tribe of
We have seen the persecution of the Jews throughout history. It happened during the Crusades, the Russian Pogroms, and Hitler’s Holocaust. During these times, there were Gentiles who risked their own lives and well-being to help the Jewish people. They fed them, hid them, protected them, clothed them, and went to see them in prison. Those righteous Gentiles serve as a picture for us of the sheep that will be placed on the right when Jesus Christ comes and sits on His glorious throne and divides the nations. The people who have treated the Jews right will receive the gift of eternal life and those that have not will go into eternal damnation by way of the lake of fire.
Tony Campolo tells a true story of a Jewish boy who suffered under the Nazis in World War II… He was living in a small Polish village when he and all the other Jews of the vicinity were rounded up by Nazi SS troops and sentenced to death. This Jewish boy joined his neighbours in digging a shallow ditch for their graves, and then faced the firing squad with his parents. Sprayed with machine-gun fire, bodies fell into the ditch and the Nazis covered the crumpled bodies with dirt. But, none of the bullets hit the little boy. He was splattered with the blood of his parents, and when they fell into the ditch, he pretended to be dead and fell on top of them. Several hours later, when darkness fell, he clawed his way out of the grave. With blood and dirt caked on his little body, he made his way to the nearest house and begged for help. Recognizing him as one of the Jewish boys marked for death, he was turned away from house after house as people feared getting into trouble with the SS troops.Then something inside this Jewish boy seemed to guide him to say something that was very strange for a Jew to say. When the next family responded to his timid knocking in the still of the night, they heard him cry… "Don’t you recognize me? I am the Jesus you say you love." After a poignant pause, the woman who stood in the doorway swept him into her arms and kissed him. From that day on, the members of that family loved and cared for that Jewish boy as though he were one of their own. "I am the Jesus you say you love!" That little Jewish boy was more correct than you might imagine… Matthew 25:40 tells us that one day the Great King and Judge of all the earth will say to people such as that kind hearted Christian lady, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me."
Today there is no more venomous spirit than the spirit of anti-Semitism, really the spirit of the Antichrist. Many news talking-heads deny
History records that no nation or race has ever persecuted
Some people wonder why we bless Israel so much… or why we should go there as they say that the Jews will NOT believe in Jesus Christ as Messiah… or why we are even concerned about Israel’s welfare? Our response is always the same… we are all called to bless the Lord’s "brethren"… and should the Jews suddenly all become Christians today then… the Bible would NOT be true! Why? Although there are many Messianic Jews (believing in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah) the Bible tells us that the salvation of
Paul too described the "Tribulation" as "Birth Pains." First Thessalonians 5:3 says… "…For when they shall say, Peace and safety! Then sudden destruction comes on them, as travail upon a woman with child. And they shall not escape." This event follows the Rapture and the removal of the church, in –18. And in 5:9 Paul reemphasizes the absence of the Church by saying…"For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." The wrath spoken of here is God’s judgement on the unbelieving world and the discipline of
Indeed, that day will come that Yeshua prophesied about in Luke 13: 34- 35 "O
This is very "prophetic" as the Lord said… He would not return until the time comes that they (the Jews) say; "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" That is why it is also so important for Christians to reach out to Jewish people with a love that will make them jealous… And when the Jewish people as a whole finally do bless their Messiah, they will enter into His promised blessings, along with the "sheep people" who had heeded Yeshua’s command to bless His Jewish brethren… even before that great day of their national awakening. The goat people, however, will experience His cursing for failing to do so, and even for failing to do nothing at all!
Who are the Lord’s "brethren?" We believe that when Yeshua refers to… "My brethren" in this context of judging the nations… He is speaking of the Jewish people. As far as our research has gone, we see no place that Yeshua referred to any other people as "brethren." While He certainly loves all peoples - His Word is flawless… and nations will be judged for how they treat the nation and people of
And as we look at Matthew 25:31 - 46 ...we see that all believers no matter what their calling, have a responsibility to love and support the Jewish people, Yeshua’ (Jesus)’ "brethren." And we also see how serious this matter is: That anyone who ignores this responsibility is taking a great risk. For God will judge severely those who do not love the people whom God loves with a special love… the apple of His eye and His treasured possession.
Many in the church have learned to tolerate the Jewish people, as they have learned to be "politically correct" and tolerate just about anything and anybody… but they will not lift a finger to help the Jewish people in their time of need. It may not be a sin of commission, but it is certainly a sin of omission… "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me." And the judgment for the sin of omission is just as severe: "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."
Only through the Jews did wisdom come into the world…
"The law came by Moses but grace and truth by Messiah Jesus." (John 1.17) In effect, the Jews brought us God, up close and personal! All a Christian needs to do is to open the Bible and God can speak into his life something personal and up-to-date wrapped in a package of historical accuracy. Only through the Bible can one look backwards into time and forwards into the future, sometimes simultaneously. Christians need to know that they owe their very existence to the Jews including their salvation, their abundant life, and their eternal life. We must always remember to pray for the Jews and for
So how will we respond to the need of Yeshua’s brethren in these last days? Besides defending the Jewish people, we already have an opportunity, as believers, to help the "least of Yeshua’s brethren," the poor. Now many people think of Jewish people as being rich. But there are large pockets of poverty. A news item came out recently, saying that
God has clearly set up a sort of a "wall," or a "line in the sand" as a test from the beginning… The Jewish Test! The Nazis didn't listen when they killed six million Jews and it’s estimated that twenty million Germans lost their lives in World War II. The Pharaoh of Egypt didn't listen… so he lost his life chasing the Hebrews in the
Joel 3:2 the prophet speaks of a time when the Lord will restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem and gather the nations together in the Valley of Jehoshaphat to hold them accountable for the way they've treated His people. Joel's prophecy is a reference to the Sheep and Goat judgment that Matthew also spoke of in Matthew 25:32
Yeshua (Jesus) was a Jew... and His entire ministry was to save the lost sheep of
We hope that you enjoy and become more informed by our work. We serve an awesome God and we are humbled by this opportunity to bring you this information. With Shalom to you and your family always,
Alf & Julie Saunders
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