Category Archives: Discipleship

The Judgment of the Sheep and Goats

We read in Matthew 24, Jesus’ disciples asked Him two questions (Mat 24:3) and we read His answers in what is known as the Olivet Discourse which runs from Mat 24:4 and ends in Mat 26:1. We read many promises, encouragements and warnings in answer to His disciples’ questions.

Remember the original Greek has no chapters and there is no break in the discourse—the three parables in Matthew 25 are certainly part of the Olivet Discourse and in it Jesus gives some light to the disciples’ question “when will these things be . . . ?” (Mat 24:3a)

Like the other parables of Jesus in the Olivet Discourse, this parable is set in the context of Israel and the Jews and belongs to when Jesus returns. The scenes are Jewish, of Israel, not worldwide. Jesus words are addressed to the Jews of His day, not to us! The scriptures are written FOR us not to us

These parables are part of the encouragements Jesus gave to his disciples to not give up.

Many scholars say this as a reference to “the last judgment” which they place at the end of history. Does scripture ever say this? Does the Bible even call it The Last Judgment? I think not. This judgment passage is contextually set in the coming of Jesus: “when the Son of Man comes . . . .

Who are the people of these two groups?  They are certainly not us today!

These represent people who had claimed to follow Jesus. Both ‘sheep’ and ‘goats’ were in the ‘sheepfold’ of the ekklesia. But when “the chief shepherd appears (his coming) who knows his own sheep and calls them by name” (John 10:27), he could easily separate the sheep from the goats.

Of course, Scripture teaches that all people who ever have been or shall be in the world will be judged. But what is described in this passage and demanded by the context, only concerns the many 1000’s who had  opportunity to react to Jesus’ words or to the ministry of ‘his brothers’ before his return (see John 1:11f).

So just who are ‘the least of these brothers of mine’ who are represented in this parable?

Consistently throughout the Gospel of Matthew, these are those who do His Father’s will (e.g., Mat 12:49-50). It refers to those who carry the good news of the Kingdom of God, Jesus’ disciples, His representatives, from the greatest to the least. Thus He told the disciples (Mat 10:1-42), not to take provisions with them but to rely on the hospitality of those who would receive them in His name. He ends declaring, “And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” (Mat 10:42) Not just the ‘least’ but ‘anyone’!

See Hebrews 2:11,17: “He is not ashamed to call His own ‘His brothers”. Note also Acts 9:4-5 where Jesus identified with persecuted believers saying to Saul “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”

It is a serious error to teach that Jesus in this parable meant the poor and disadvantaged. Of course, Jesus’ people are called to render help to anyone in need. Paul put it well: So then, while we have opportunity, let’s do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”

Jesus spoke these words on the Mt of Olives that day, to encourage the disciples, reminding them of the sufferings and persecutions they would endure (Mat 10, 24:9-13). In the days to come, many would come to their aid when they are imprisoned, thirsty, homeless, naked, etc. The Book of Acts and the apostles’ letters record numerous instances of this. Likewise many would reject them and even persecute them.

Take away: Be encouraged in following Jesus and be active supporting those who are His representatives!

Is One Greater Than Another?

 by Deborah Waldron Fry

I have heard this saying before, that because someone has a “special” Anointing on their life, the enemy attacks them or their children more than others.

Another saying is, “Higher levels, different devils!”

I think many of you have heard this too and wondered about it.  This has always bothered me, because what parent would ever cause their children to have a target on their back, because of what they are called to do, whether it be apostle, or prophet, or evangelist, or pastor or teacher?

So I brought it to Father in prayer, asking, “Show me, Father, if this is true, I really need to know and others want to know.  And Father, in Jesus name, show us how to combat those attacks if true.”

And I heard the Sweet Loving Voice of the Father ask, “Is one of My Child’s Anointing, greater than another?”

“Well, LORD, we who are born again all have the same Holy Spirit in us, so I don’t think so.  We are ALL anointed.”

“Yes, My Child, when you are in Christ you are a “Christian” — which means “Little anointed one.”

It means you are LIKE CHRIST.  No one in My Kingdom has a “special” anointing, you are ALL ANOINTED by the Precious Holy Spirit. T here is no anointing greater or higher.

Is one gift or calling greater than another?  There is a variety of gifts, but the same Spirit, none is better than another, for ALL are needed.  There is a variety of service and activities but it is the same Lord who empowers all

A Body is made up of many members.  Each one needed and important.  I arrange the members in the Body, each one of them, as I choose.

If all were a single member, where would the body be?  It could not function.  As it is, there are many parts, yet one Glorious Body with Christ as the Head.

You are ALL My Body and you are ALL important, Beloved.  I have anointed you with The Holy Spirit and FIRE!

You all have a calling to be My Light in the darkness.  This LIGHT is what the enemy sees in you!

Not your gifts or your talents or callings, or a “special anointing”, but he sees MY SPIRIT in you.  He sees ME in you.

THE SPECIAL ANOINTING, Who is the Third Person of the Godhead, resides in all who are born again and filled with the Spirit!

Do you see now, My Child?  Do you see how special you are to Me?  You are ALL fearfully and wonderfully made! 

If one is attacked, you are all attacked for you are one Body and ALL come together to fight for the Victory!

The devil goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  It matters not to him what your calling is, or what body part you are but only that you are Mine.

He sees My Mark on you.  He sees My Fire burning in your heart and he wants to quench it if he can.

But do not fear.  I have you covered.  You are hidden in Christ.  I have armed you with My Word.

The weapons of your warfare are MIGHTY through your God!  This is a New Covenant we have, Beloved.

You are not like Job who lost everything he had.  Job did not have the Spirit dwelling in Him.  Job was not hidden in Christ.  You are a NEW CREATION with every spiritual blessing!

You are covered in My Glory!  Do not let fear enter your mind and heart.  I have not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

I do not give the devil free reign in your life.  I AM a good, good Father.  Though bad things happen in this world and afflictions and tribulations abound, I have promised to deliver you from them all.

I have no favorites for you are ALL in Christ Jesus!  I have called you and chosen you and anointed you.

Therefore, if one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.  Now you are the Body of Christ and individually members of it.

For thus says the LORD Who created you and He that formed you, “Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name; you are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you.”

I will bring your children from the east and gather them from the west.  I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring My Sons from far, and My Daughters from the ends of the earth; even EVERY ONE that is called by My Name — for I have created you ALL for My Glory, I have formed you; yea, I have made you and I will keep you!”