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Man’s family law is about division of property and rights to children between a husband and wife. It only applies when that family has broken down.

But a family was never meant to break down because the male and female are joined together. Jesus said, “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”[1] Man’s family law is about the breakdown of oneness in a family because of sin and hardness of heart. But God’s Family Law is about oneness that cannot be destroyed.

This is God’s Family Law according to the Law of Jesus, “My Father, who has given them [My sheep] to Me is greater and more powerful[2] than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are One.”[3] What did the Father give Jesus? The Father gave His Son His glory. Jesus said, “I have given them [all those who believe] the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are One: I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me. Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.”[4]

God’s Family Law is about oneness with the Father through the Son, for the Son is the only Way to the Father; and the Father is the only Way to the Son, for no one can come to Jesus unless the Father enables him.

Read Matthew 25.31-46: “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. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You sick or in prison and go to visit You?’ The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite Me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after Me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help You?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

I tell you the truth, this is not a parable, even though Jesus spoke this after teaching the parables of the ten virgins and of the talents. These two parables relate to the time when Jesus will return because He opened by saying, “At that time, the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.”[5] The time Jesus referred to is the time of the Son of Man’s soon arrival on Earth to reign as King over the Earth. The parable of the ten virgins is about readiness for His return, and the parable of the talents is about productivity and faithfulness whilst He is away. Then Jesus went on to talk about this separating goats and sheep from all people after His return.

At our shallow end of understanding, we took Jesus’ words to mean that people should do good to Christians so that we could be rewarded. We may even use it to encourage people to be freer with their purse strings.

But what is at the tip of the sharp double-edged sword? Why is the King performing the function of a Shepherd here, seemingly such a lowly and non-regal function? It is to show us the issue of ownership. For a king does not “own” his people, they are his subjects. But a shepherd owns his sheep, the sheep belong to the shepherd. We have a King who is the Good Shepherd, and the sheep belong to the King because the Father gave them to Him.

And why does the ESV and NLT have a title “The Final Judgment” above Matthew 25? This is why it’s so important to listen to Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Then we will understand to ignore the headings and the chaptering because they are artificial breaks and may mislead us into pausing where there is no disruption in a specific teaching of Jesus. All of Matthew 24 and 25 should be read without any break because the flow must not be broken. You break the flow, you miss the meaning. Just cross them out of your Bibles – you don’t need them.

The separation of goats and sheep at the coming of Jesus the Son of Man is the fulfillment of these words of the apostle Peter: “For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household. And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?”[6] This means that the separation between the sheep and the goats is two-fold.

Our King Jesus Christ’s first separation between the sheep and the goats is the judgment that begins within the house of God. In John 10, Jesus said that the sheep are those who listen to His voice, and He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. His sheep do not listen to thieves and robbers who only come to steal, kill and destroy.

Who are the sheep and who are the goats within the household of God then? Go back to the parables of the ten virgins and of the talents.

Firstly, the sheep are those who listened to Jesus and who were wise enough to take oil with their jars. The goats are the foolish virgins who did not take any oil with them and ran out of oil. And the bridegroom said to them, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.” For Jesus said that He knows His sheep, not the goats. The sheep are those who kept watch for Jesus’ return; the goats are those who did not.

Again, the sheep are those who were given talents and they earned more for their Master. The goats are not just those who did not put the talents to work. No, the goats actually thought ill of their Master and judged Him harshly by saying, “I knew You were a hard Man, harvesting where You have not sown and gathering where You have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid Your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to You.” This goat did not even consider his Master worthy of his time to put the talent on deposit with the bankers to gain interest on it.

When Jesus referred to Him being hungry, thirsty, a stranger, sick, naked and imprisoned – it is not only the literal meaning. He was also referring to the health of the body of Christ. This is our duty of care as believers and disciples of the state of the house of God. The Holy Spirit asks you, “Why are you living in luxurious houses while My house lies in ruins?”[7] Why are you sleeping in your drowsiness and keeping the talent Jesus gave you buried in the ground? Why won’t you open your eyes and look at the harvest fields that are ripe for harvest? Why do you say, “Four months more and then the harvest;[8] will there not be peace and security in my lifetime”[9]? Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.

The sheep in Matthew 25 are believers who listened to Jesus and cared for the body of Christ, but they were not aware of it nor understood it, because they remained as servants of the Son of God, and not friends who know their Master’s business. But by their faith and deeds, they have attained righteousness in God’s eyes for the Father is merciful and He desires mercy.

The sheep are not the brothers of Jesus for Jesus clearly said, “‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’” This ties in with Jesus’ words in Matthew 10.41-42, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

The apostle Peter also asked, “What terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News?” This is the separation of the sheep from the goats who have not believed or obeyed the Gospel. The sheep are those who have attained a righteousness in God’s eyes by helping the brothers of Jesus, and the goats are those who ignored their needs. This ties in with Jesus’ words, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice, and there will be one flock and one Shepherd.”[10]

So the fate that awaits the goats is eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. The eternal life is their coming to know Jesus and the Father. They have an opportunity to come to know Jesus and the Father. But the goats are thrown outside into the darkness, given a portion like that of the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth – for this is the eternal torment and the punishment.

What is the portion of the hypocrites? Remember the Law of Judgment 2, the judgment of hypocrisy,[11] where we understood that hypocrites are those within the house of God whose unrighteous love for their fellow man overshadows and replaces their love for the Lord, causing them to sin, forsake and rebel as they crave the attention, praise and rank from men, and they use the Name of the Lord to mask and advance their selfish purposes.

In Matthew 23, when Jesus was speaking to the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, He said, “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?”[12] It means that goats do not live out the millennium but await final judgment in hell when they die. Would it not be a torment to wait out final judgment in hell?

And what is the “eternalness” of this torment when the separation of sheep and goats is not the final judgment before the Great White Throne? The torment or punishment is eternal because it is recorded in the books that will be opened with the Book of Life on Judgment Day. The shame and disgrace they have brought on themselves are recorded in the books. But trust in God for His mercy in His Law of Condemnation, which is your last chance to be acquitted by your word and escape the Lake of Burning Sulphur if you accept God’s testimony about you and call on the Name of Jesus to be saved.

People say that Jesus Christ is returning to judge. That is not correct, because the separation of the sheep from the goats upon the return of the Son of Man is not Judgment Day. The separation of the sheep from the goats is not God testifying about us, but the reason for this separation is two-fold.

The first reason is for reward. Jesus said in Revelation 21.12, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.”

The second reason is the principle of Kingdom Rule. “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”[13] The Kingdom of the Son of Man will not be divided against itself, because the different species, that is, the brothers, sisters and mother of Jesus,[14] the faithful servants, the wicked and lazy servants, and the friends[15] within the house of God will be identified by the way a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

It was made known to us that the coming battle is a battle over the right of inheritance and lineage of Jesus as the true Heir and Ruler of the Earth because He is the Son of Man. It is a battle between the images: those of the image and likeness of the sons of Adam against those of the Image and Likeness of God. The rebels do not want Jesus crowned King of the Earth and, like the tenants of the vineyard, want to kill the Heir and take His inheritance. The rebels are those who want the image and likeness of the sons of Adam to rule and have dominion over the Earth. They do not acknowledge Ownership of the Landowner, and they do not respect His Son because they never respected the Landowner. The rebels want to the fruit of the vineyard and the land kept for themselves. But this will never happen because of God’s Family Law: “For what My Father has given Me is greater and more powerful than anything else;[16] no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are One.”[17]

And this is the tip of the sharp double-edged sword of God’s Family Law: “I and the Father are One.” The tip of the sword is the truth that will pierce the souls of all those who cling onto their image and likeness of the sons of Adam, a sinner, when the glory is revealed – the glory of Man, the sinless Image of God, the True Man and His Son. It is the same glory that will be revealed in the brothers and sisters of Jesus when they have learnt to mourn for the Son of Man as one who mourns for his Only Son because their lives are bound up in Jesus’ life.

Just like it is said about Jacob and Benjamin, “Our father’s life is bound up in the boy’s life. If he sees that the boy is not with us, our father will die. We, your servants, will indeed be responsible for sending that grieving, white-haired man to his grave.”[18] So bound up is Jacob’s life that he would die if Benjamin was not safely with him.

So for the elect of the Holy Spirit, justice for Jesus must burn like fire in their hearts, for He asked His disciples this question, “And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the Earth? … How many will He find on the Earth who have faith?”[19]

Jesus is talking about quantity and quality. Quantity and quality will bring justice for Jesus the Son of Man. And so the ark, which we are building under the Covenant for the Forgiveness of Sins, also has different species of clean and unclean animals, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the Earth. We keep them alive so that Jesus’ words will be fulfilled and He will separate the many sheep from the goats, and His many other sheep from another sheep pen.

And this is justice for Jesus – that when He comes back, He will find many who have faith in the Son of Man and mourn for Him as a man mourns for his Only Son and remained alive to greet Him upon His arrival as the rightful Heir to God’s throne on Earth many brothers and sisters whose lives are so closely bound to His that we would be sent grieving to our graves if we cannot remain alive to greet our King.

For this is Family – that Jesus and the Father are One, and They have given us the glory so that we may be one as They are One. AMEN


 

[1] Matthew 19.5-6 NLT

[2] NLT

[3] John 10.32

[4] John 17.22-24

[5] Matthew 25.1

[6] 1 Peter 4.17

[7] Haggai 1.4

[8] John 4:35

[9] 2 Kings 20:19; Isaiah 39:8

[10] John 10.15-16

[11] http://www.holyspiritsworkshop.com/word2007/12.05.2007_LawOfJudgmentII.pdf

[12] Matthew 23.33

[13] Matthew 12.24

[14] Those who does the will of His Father in Heaven, whoever does God’s will and those who hear God’s words and put it into practice: Matthew 12.49, Mark 3.34 & Luke 8.21

[15]You are My friends if you do what I command” (John 15.14)

[16] Footnote reference in John 10.29 NIV and NLT

[17] John 10.32

[18] Genesis 40.30

[19] Luke 18.7-9 NIV and NLT

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