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Thursday, March 24 2016
Matthew 25: The Sheep And The Goats
"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: And He shall set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left"
Many of the Messiah's parables (see also The Meaning Of Parables) were about the coming Kingdom of God (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach? and The Patriotism Prophecy) and the behavior of those who will get there (see The Feast Of Trumpets: The First Christian Salvation Day and The Biology Of The Resurrection), and those who won't (see Who Is Headed For Hell Fire?).
Salvation is a free gift of grace, but gifts are given for a reason. Simply taking something from someone, under one's own defiant and abusive terms, is not a gift - it's an attempted robbery (see Grace, Faith and The LORD's Forgiveness and What Does Mercy Really Mean?).
The parable of the ten virgins and their lamps involves "five who were foolish and five who were wise." All ten of them had lamps, but the wise ones had made the effort to obtain oil to make their lamps do what they were created for, to shine (see also Why Can't Light Be Hidden?), while the unwise ones had nearly-empty lamps that did almost nothing to overcome the darkness (see also The Light Of Darkness).
"25:1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 25:2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 25:3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 25:4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
So too the parable of the talents which directly portrays and prophesies the Messiah's ascension to heaven (see What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven? and Who Sits At The Right Hand Of God?) and what His true people are to be doing to prepare for His return (see Could Christ Return Tonight?).
"25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 25:16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 25:17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
There is nothing wrong with goats. They were created by the LORD (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour) and classified among the "clean" creatures (see What Makes Creatures Clean or Unclean?). Even the Passover lamb, that represented the Messiah (see The First Passover), could be taken from the sheep or the goats ("12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats" Exodus 12:5 KJV).
By their nature, goats can be more difficult to handle than sheep. There's nothing wrong with that, in a goat, but when that behavior is found in a human it's a form of stubbornness - a defiance toward the LORD. It was for that reason that "goats" were used in the parable of the LORD's Judgment of humanity. The lesson itself is self-explanatory in what constitutes "goat" behavior in a human (see Iniquity In History And Prophecy).
"25:31 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: 25:32 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: 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Fact Finder: How is "right" or "left" used in the Messiah's parables?
This Day In History, March 24
1401: In his sweep through Asia and the Mediterranean, the Tatar ruler Tamerlane conquered Damascus (see Damascus In History And Prophecy).
1449: England captured Fougeres from the French, leading Charles VII to renew the Hundred Years War.
1603: Elizabeth I, Queen of England over 40 years, died. James VI of Scotland succeeded the throne as James I (the King James Version of the Bible is named after him), uniting the thrones of Scotland and England.
1603: Emperor Go-Yozei of Japan proclaimed Tokugawa Ieyasu the title of shogun (a hereditary military governor), thereby establishing the Tokugawa Shogunate.
1644: Britain granted a charter to Roger Williams for the colony of Rhode Island.
1707: The Acts of Union of 1707 officially united the Kingdoms of England and Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain.
1720: Count Frederick of Hesse-Kassel was elected King of Sweden by the Riksdag of the Estates.
1829: The Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the "Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1829." It allowed patriotic Roman Catholics (i.e. patriotic to the United Kingdom rather than to the popes who demanded that the United Kingdom return to rule by the papacy) to serve in Parliament.
1832: Mormon leader Joseph Smith was beaten, tarred and feathered in Ohio.
1882: Robert Koch announced his discovery of mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium that caused for tuberculosis (see also Leviticus 13: Bacteria).
1904: Admiral Tojo had 7 Russian ships sunk as the Japanese strengthened their blockade of Port Arthur.
1905: Jules Verne died at age 77. The French author produced numerous science fiction works (including From the Earth to the Moon, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and Around the World in Eighty Days), some of which accurately predicted actual scientific achievements of a century later.
1924: Greece became a republic.
1944: During the Second World War (1939-1945), 76 Allied prisoners of war broke out of the German POW camp Stalag Luft III. The escape was later dramatized in the film The Great Escape.
1945: Egypt declared war on Germany.
1972: The United Kingdom proclaimed direct rule over the province of Northern Ireland.
1976: Isabel Peron was deposed as president of Argentina in a bloodless military coup.
1978: The oil tanker Amoco Cadiz, aground in the English Channel since March 16, split in two, spilling the last of its 1.6 million barrels of oil.
1988: Former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu was found guilty in an Israeli court of treason for revealing Israel's nuclear secrets.
1989: The Exxon Valdez ran aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, causing a massive oil spill of 240,000 barrels.
1993: Ezer Weizman was elected president of Israel (see also Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah).
1993: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered. It was unique in that it later broke apart and collided with the planet Jupiter in July 1994 thereby providing the first actual observation of a collision of Solar System objects (see also The Christian Universe).
1999: NATO forces began air strikes against Yugoslavia.