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“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep… I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me—just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My life for the sheep.”[1]

If the love and passion of Jesus is such that He would lay down His life for those He calls sheep, what would He do for those who are His brothers, sisters and mothers? It is as if Jesus used the words “Good Shepherd” and referred to those whom He did die for as sheep to distance and disguise the deeper love He does have for those who not only phileo Him, but agape Him.

We have always automatically assumed that the sheep referred to by Jesus are us, that is, believers. What if we are wrong? For Jesus did not say to Mary Magdalene, “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to My sheep and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and My God.” But rather, He said, “Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.” [2]

Jesus did die for His sheep, for “God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son… to save the world through Him,”[3] so that the death of Jesus atoned for our sins and saved the world. It was our sins that was destroying the world, and the atonement of our sins saved the world, for “whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”[4] The world is saved by His death, but the soul of a person is saved by his faith in Jesus Christ for eternal life.

Peter wrote: the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls,[5] for you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.[6] However, the fruit of eternal life is knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent… That means eternal life is coming to know the Father and the Son as the Holy Spirit knows Them. Hence, though we are saved by faith, it is our souls that are saved. Yet Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the (Holy) Spirit gives birth to spirit. I tell you the truth, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless he is born again.”[7]

Thus, you must now see and separate not the sheep from the goats, but the lambs and sheep from the family members, the brothers, sisters and mothers of Jesus, who are those that “does the will of My Father in Heaven; whoever does God’s will, and those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”[8] Now, what is the Father’s will but that “everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”[9] God’s will is that Jesus should save the world. And His words, which need to be heard and practised, are the words of God that reveal the Father. For Jesus first said, “My brothers and sisters and mother are those who does the will of My Father in Heaven,” and then they also do God’s will, hear His word and put them to practice. That is, brothers and sisters and mother who firstly relate to God as family, and from that established relationship of family, then go out as servants to do God’s will.

Now Peter was only offered by Jesus to feed and care for His lambs and sheep. Peter was given the position of a shepherd also because of his insistence and even offence of offering only phileo love and not agape. Then, it is no wonder that he wrote to the church speaking of the salvation of their souls as sheep, and he taught the church to continue to see Jesus as the Shepherd and Overseer, which is a relationship of distance. A distance that is enforced by the difference of species that he maintained—a shepherd who is a man, and sheep, which are animals. When you only have phileo love for Christ, you will not see yourself as taking care of those who are of the same species as Christ, who is God and Man. Yet Christ said to the one who loved Him, that is agaped Him, “I am returning to My God and your God, My Father and your Father,” with ‘we are of the same species.’ Not just same God, but same Father.

Thus, Christ died for His sheep as the Good Shepherd, a superior Species for a lower species, but Jesus wanted us that morning to be at the Mount of Transfiguration, not as sheep reuniting with their Shepherd, but as brothers and sisters and mother returning with their Brother to their Father, a family reunion of the same Species… God with God and Man with Man. Since we did not mourn for Him as a Man mourns for His Only Son, we did not make the transition over from sheep of the flock to brothers of the same Father.

Joseph would have treated everyone who came to buy food in Egypt during the famine as people who he knew would become the possession of the Pharaoh, as it is written: Joseph reduced the people to servitude,[10] but he did not do so to his brothers and family. The people of Egypt and Canaan, who were once free men, that is of a higher species than Joseph who was a slave, were now slaves just like Joseph to serve Pharaoh. But his family remained in Egypt as guests, permitted to settle in Goshen and were even given the best part of the land to stay in.[11]

So likewise, those who do not learn to be brothers and sisters and mothers of Christ, by mourning for Him as one of the family, but always looking to Him as their Shepherd and Overseer, will remain at a distance, a distance represented by the difference in the two species, animal and Man, when Jesus used the words, ‘Shepherd’ and ‘sheep.’

As in any war, the flocks are herded off the battlefield into the stronghold for safekeeping, so those who have not made the transition from sheep to brothers of Jesus, will be removed for the coming battle. Yes, the church, the flock of Jesus Christ will be raptured and all the shepherds with them, for the shepherds must stay with the flock. For the coming battle is a battle over family lineage and inheritance rights, it is a battle over the lineage of Jesus Christ and His right as Heir to the whole Earth, for Man was given dominion over the Earth according to God’s will. “Let Us make man in Our Image, in Our Likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the Earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”[12] Man died because of sin. As in the death of all rulers, the throne should go to the firstborn, who is the heir. Man was made sinless and True Man is sinless, for He is the Image of God as such. Abel, Cain and Seth are not true man, for they were born with sin and were sons of Adam, the sinner, not sons of Man, the Image of God.

The sinlessness of Jesus Christ, the Man, makes Him the true Heir of Man if He can be proved the Son of Man. As Son of God, He is not the direct true Heir of the Earth, for its dominion was given to man, and the word of God cannot be revoked. But as Son of Man, then Jesus is the true Heir and Ruler of the Earth, who died because of obedience to God, not because of rebellion against God, thus turning Death from an instrument of judging rebellion into an instrument that judged obedience. In so doing, Christ even turned Death around like water to good wine, so that Death now is not necessarily an instrument that judges rebellion, but an instrument that also judges obedience. To those who rebel, it judges rebellion, and to those who obey, it rewards obedience by setting the obedient one free from sharing the fate of Death, for Death will also be cast into the second death.

Thus, those who die in rebellion to God’s will and words face Judgement Day with the dreaded possibility that they will share Death’s fate, but those who die in obedience to the Father’s will, which is listen to Jesus, will be set free from Death’s fate so that the second death holds no fear for them, for they are partakers of the First Resurrection.

Because it is a battle for the right of inheritance and of lineage, then the battle will be fought by those who are of the household of the Son of Man. It is like a father fighting for his son’s right to inherit his property, fighting against those who seek to steal his son’s inheritance. Thus, those who mourn for Jesus as a Man mourns for an Only Son are those who will lead the battle, for they will fight as a Man fights to defend His Son’s inheritance. No sheep can fight for the Heir’s inheritance, and hired hands like shepherds are not likely to lay down their lives so that another Man’s Son would receive His inheritance. However, shepherds who are prepared to lay down their lives for their sheep will be promoted, for they have become just like the Heir who is the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep. They are the ones who will be returning with Jesus.

But for those who will stand on battlefield Earth, the Spirit of Sonship has chosen His elect, whom He will raise up as sons and daughters who are brothers and sisters of Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man. Through Him, the Spirit of Sonship, they will be declared also with power to be the brothers and sisters of Christ Jesus, the Son of God, like their Brother was, by their love and consuming anticipation of His arrival to be crowned the Heir of their Father’s throne, and will be shown to be brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man.

They, the elect of the Holy Spirit, will be fighting the heirs of Adam and the Nephilims, who like their forefathers, pledged allegiance to Satan and joined in the rebellion. The false prophet will lead the sons of Adam who do not want the Son of Man to rule over them, and the beast will lead the Nephilims, both flesh and spirit, who do not want the Son of God to rule over them. Urging them on will be the condemned cherub who does not want to go to his imprisonment at the hands of an unknown angel who resisted his temptation of trade, but remained faithful to God. He will not allow himself to be thrown into the abyss to share the same prison with the other angels, whom he tempted and deceived into rebellion, who have been placed there before him held with chains of darkness.

Thus, the battle forces will be made clear to those who have ears to hear. It will be sons of God and Man who will be fighting sons of Satan and Adam over the right to have the throne of the Earth. For the battle in the Heavens has long been won, and the Son of God now sits on the throne of His Father in Heaven, but the Son of Man[13] still sits only at the right hand of God waiting to sit on the throne of His Father, Man. So, now it is time to answer that ancient question that Jesus left unanswered when He was asked, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”[14] He is Jesus, the Son of God who came in the flesh and appeared as a Man, and He is the True Man, for He obeyed God completely, even unto death, and He redeemed the sons of Adam, if only they would believe in Him.

Thus, you can now see the meaning of what He said, kept hidden until now: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His throne in Heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats… Then the King will say…”[15]

The King is none other than the Son of Man sitting on His Father’s throne, Man’s throne, the throne that was lost to Man when Adam sinned. So different is Man, the sinless Image of God, from the people that Jesus reduces them again to sheep and goats. True Man, the sinless Image of God, is a different species from what we think is man, the descendants of Adam, the image of God who sinned against God.

Thus, sinners who refuse to believe and repent are condemned to be sheep and goats, and sinners who repent and believe are saved, for the salvation of their souls is for eternal life that they might take up the right to be children of God. In taking up their right as children of God, they might become sons and daughters of God as well. And through that sonship, become like their Brother Jesus, who being the Son of God also, humbled Himself to take on flesh and become Man who tasted death because of obedience and not rebellion. So that through the same grace of God that allowed Him to taste that death, faith then gave those who believed the right to the new birth… not of the flesh, but of the Holy Spirit, to be sons and daughters of God like Him, kept sinless by His blood, so that they might live and die like Him, becoming like Him, sons and daughters of True Man.

When the inclination of our hearts is no longer evil all the time as it was in the days of Noah, but when the meditation of our hearts is like that of a Man grieving for an Only Son, then God will not find our hearts evil, but rather, find us as ones, after knowing His own heart, like David. So that One of His sons would be on the throne of Israel forever. However, to men everywhere, who grieve after Jesus like a Man grieves after an Only Son, in their hearts, God will give His Only Son to be on the throne of Man forever, also.

It is enough to be able to love Him as one loves the Brother who is the rightful Heir, and so take your stand for Him to defend His throne until He arrives. For Jesus Christ is not declared the Son of Man by the power of the Holy Spirit, but by the grieving of those who agape Him as those who grieve for an Only Son or Brother, not as one who grieves for a Master or Teacher with phileo love, and certainly not by those who grieve for Him as sheep grieves for their shepherd. Indeed, has anyone ever seen sheep grieve for a shepherd?


 

[1] John 10:11,14

[2] John 20:17

[3] John 3:16-17

[4] John 3:16

[5] 1 Peter 1:9

[6] 1 Peter 2:25

[7] John 3:5-6, 3

[8] Matthew 12:49; Mark 3:34; Luke 8:21

[9] John 6:40

[10] Genesis 47:21

[11] Genesis 47:5

[12] Genesis 1:26

[13] Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 22:69

[14] John 12:34

[15] Matthew 25:31-32,34

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