Led By The Shepherd

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.” (Matthew 25:31 NKJV)

The two parables in Matthew 25 that immediately precede Matthew 25:31, Parable of the Ten Virgins and Parable of the Talents, which will be explained in a future teaching, both concern Christians, some who are led by the Holy Spirit and some who are led by the world.

The Son of Man is Jesus, representative of His humility on earth the first time He was here as 100% man and 100% God, where He lived life as a man, subject to all the temptations of the flesh. He had a choice to be led by the world or to be led by the Holy Spirit. All who follow Him are subject to the same temptations He faced while on earth as a human.

The first time Jesus was on earth as a human, He had no glory but instead was sought after by those who were led by the world. Those who were led by the world tried to find ways to convict Jesus of crimes through their laws.

When Jesus comes in His glory, He will come as what He is, the mediator between Christians and the Father, not sitting on an actual throne, but, He will come as King of His people, as one who sits on a throne of power to judge His people and give them their rewards. He will be in His glorified body He received after His resurrection, the body He ascended from earth into Heaven in, the same kind of body those who follow Him will receive.

But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NKJV)

Fallen asleep is a term used to talk about those who have died in Christ. There were many and are many people who believe when a person dies, that is the end of the person. Some may have a vague notion of an afterlife but may not have a decisive view on what happens to those after death.

John is not saying here to have no sorrow for the loss of a loved one because sorry for the loss of a loved one is normal, but, what Paul is saying is Christians should not mourn excessively, like those in his day did by doing things like cutting themselves, hiring professional mourners and things like that.

I have seen many people I know let the loss of a loved one control their life on earth. Some people have no hope and fall to things like drugs, alcohol and other addictions over the hopeless loss of a loved one. People become led by the world all the time, blaming God for a person’s death.

Many a good soul has become led by the world over tragedy, simply because the person was not led by the Spirit. If you have let the world lead you into hopelessness because of the loss of a loved one, or some other loss, there is hope. If you feel lost in this world because you have lost a parent, there is a Father who can lead you out of your mess.

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 4:14 NKJV)

When Paul said, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,” he was talking to Thessalonians, who, unlike some of the Corinthians, had no doubt about Jesus’ resurrection, but, the Thessalonians did believe Jesus was coming back in their lifetime, which is why they mourned so much for Christians they personally knew who had died. The Thessalonians thought the Christians who had died would miss the millennium reign of Jesus with His saints. Paul was assuring the Thessalonians that those saints who had died would be resurrected and return with Jesus for His millennial reign on earth.

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:15 NKJV)

“For this we say to you” is Paul, Silas and Timothy, who are also in Thessalonians 4:13, where in the oldest manuscripts and versions, is “we would not want you,” instead of “I do not want you.” By the word of the Lord is not talking about something Jesus said in His lifetime. Paul, Silas and Timothy were all led by the Holy Spirit, as are believers today.

There are many gifts of the Holy Spirit. Some believers are led by the Spirit through reading the Bible and other believers have gifts that manifest in more bold ways, but, this particular word of the Lord came through interpretive tongues, a fruit of the Spirit.

This will be the third time I am coming to you. “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” (2 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV)

Everything I have read about this verse points to three visits from Paul to the Corinthians, two visits and a planned visit that was cancelled, or a third visit by Paul in spirit, or some other erroneous conclusion.

All who know the truth about Jesus can see that 2 Corinthians 13:1-2 is a word of the Lord, a word that came through interpretive tongues by the mouth of two or three witnesses.

“This will be the third time I am coming to you” is Jesus, through interpretive tongues, talking about the first time He came as a humble servant, the second time is the meeting in the air and the third time is His second coming to earth to establish His millennial reign.

I have told you before, and foretell as if I were present the second time, and now being absent I write to those who have sinned before, and to all the rest, that if I come again I will not spare— (2 Corinthians 13:2 NKJV)

This is Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, by Paul, who was led by the Holy Spirit, saying, “I have told you before,” referring to the ministry of Jesus in His lifetime on earth, and possibly before,

“and foretell as if I were present the second time,” meaning the second time Jesus will not be present on earth, but will instead meet His saints in the air,

“and now being absent I write,” the oldest manuscripts omit “I write,” so, reading it as, “and now being absent to those who have sinned before,” which is born again Christians who Jesus is absent in body but present to lead us through the Holy Spirit,

“and to all the rest,” which are unbelievers,

“that if I come again,” which is properly translated, “whensoever I come again,” which is His second coming to earth to establish His millennial reign, “I will not spare—“

Paul goes on to say,

since you seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, who is not weak toward you, but mighty in you. For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.

Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete. 10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction. (2 Corinthians 13: 3-10 NKJV)

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. 1 Corinthians 14:1-5 NKJV)

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:15 NKJV)

Paul, Silas and Timothy are talking about born again Christians who will be on earth at the time Jesus comes to get us for the meeting in the air, that those of us in Jesus’ Church who are alive will by no means go to meet Him before those in His Church who have already died. Some interpretations say “shall not prevent,” which means “be before” or “get the start of.” This was to comfort the Thessalonians who thought those who already died in Christ, or the anointing, would not be resurrected until after His millennial reign.

Everyone who sleeps in Jesus, including those in the Old Testament, because Jesus brought those souls with Him at His resurrection, who were part of the vine since Adam, will be resurrected first, then those who are alive in Christ will join them for the meeting in the air.

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (1 Corinthians 15:50 NKJV)

Paul is saying that our earthly bodies, made of flesh and blood, cannot enter Heaven. This is literal about our human bodies and is not a metaphor about our sinful nature. Our flesh and blood is innately subject to corruption so we must have a new body type in which to inherit the incorruptible kingdom of God when we are resurrected or raptured.

Those already dead in Christ are spirits, awaiting new bodies like Jesus already has after His resurrection. Elijah and Enoch both have these body types already also because God took them to Heaven, and they never died an earthly death, but were raptured.

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— (1 Corinthians 15:51 NKJV)

Paul is about to tell the Corinthians a mystery, or hidden truth, one previously unknown to any human. How did Paul know this mystery? Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14:2, “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to man but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” (NKJV)

We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—, Many old manuscripts and Fathers read this as “We shall all sleep, but we shall not all be changed.” In Greek, it literally translates as “We all shall not sleep.” Both of these translations have been said to be false, but, most assuredly, I say to you that the Vinedresser will cut off the branches of the vine which bear no fruit. Not everyone who lived and claimed to be a Christian were led by the Spirit, many were led by the world.

We shall all be changed—, meaning, we  of the vine, as I call it from a previous teaching, but, it is, in fact, His Church, shall get our new bodies that cannot die and those bodies will be eternal. Those who lived life being led by the world are more likely to die eternally in the second death and those who are led by the Spirit are more likely to live eternally with Jesus. 

in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15:52 NKJV)

See also  Dividing Light From Darkness part 2

Paul is saying the dead in Christ, who were led by the Spirit and not the world, will be raised in our glorified bodies, resurrected incorruptible, and, we who are alive and led by the Spirit will be changed into a glorified body.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:53 NKJV)

This corruptible body, belonging to those led by the Spirit who battle against the flesh, will have their bodies changed to incorruptible bodies, and, all who are of the vine will have this mortal body become immortal to live forever in a body that cannot die.

54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. (1 Corinthians 15: 54-56 NKJV)

Death, not just earthly death but the second death also, is swallowed up in the victory that lives on, the victory of those who will live and reign with Christ for a thousand years. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power. (see Revelation 20:6)

It seems after the meeting in the air, also known as the rapture, and, consisting of those who will become believers during the first 42 months of the post-rapture age, those who will be sealed during the great tribulation, that there is something called the 1st resurrection. It is a resurrection of believers separate from the resurrection at the rapture, being the 1st resurrection, or the first post-rapture resurrection. All who will be beheaded are beheaded during the great tribulation for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast (antichrist) or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. This debate is not my purpose here, it is merely an observation while studying. (see Revelation 20:4)

In verse 56, Paul is saying our glorified bodies will be free from sin, unlike our earthly bodies, which are prone to the strength of sin, which is the law that creates the law.

If a Christian does what the Christian knows is sin, without repentance, or changing the Christian’s ways, the Christian could not inherit the kingdom of God. More specifically, at the rapture, some of those who are of Jesus’ Church, could feel the sting of eternal death.

The strength of sin is the law, which reminds believers who are led by the Spirit, that there is a law that sin lives with all humans, but, sin can be overcome through Jesus, who leads us by the Holy Spirit.

57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:57-58 NKJV)

Be led by the Spirit, who only knows what He hears (see John 16:13 below)

Jesus said, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (NKJV)

Let your branch of the Vine, which the Vine is His Church, bear fruit of the Spirit, of which there are many different kinds of good fruit, so your branch is not cut off by the Vinedresser. If all your labors on earth are in vain of the Lord and bear no fruit on your branch, you could eternally feel the sting of death, the second death, but, if your branch is not evil and bears fruit, you will indeed bear more fruit, and, you will be resurrected to incorruptible, and, you will inherit the kingdom of God.

16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18 NKJV)

32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. (Matthew 25: 32-33)

Jesus is saying all nations, at the rapture, which are branches of His Vine, or His Church, will be gathered before Him, the Good Shepherd who gathers His flock.

At this meeting in the clouds with His Church, Jesus will separate His sheep, who bear fruit on their branch of the Vine, from the goats. Goats were regarded as a worthless animal when compared to sheep. These goats will be cut off from the flock, or His Church.

The goats and the sheep will both be immortal after their resurrection or rapture. The sheep will inherit the kingdom of God, but the goats will be thrown into the everlasting fire, the second death, and will feel the sting of death forever.

34 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: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ (Matthew 25: 34-40 NKJV)

41 “Then 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: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’

44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘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.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

The works the sheep did were good products of the fruit of the Spirit, the sheep having been led by the Spirit. The good works the goats did not do created fruitless branches, or evil. The goats did evil works that were a product of being led by the world and was labor in vain of the Lord.

This meeting with Jesus in the air, or the rapture, is a future event, and this future event is set in stone because It was foretold of through the Spirit of truth, yet, a Christian’s role in this future event can be changed. Any person alive before the rapture happens can partake in the rapture with Jesus and inherit the kingdom of God, if the person only seeks the truth about Jesus.

Repent, change your evil ways to the ways of the Good Shepherd, be led by the Spirit and live, or be led by the world and die. 

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