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Separating the Sheep from the Goats

Updated on June 9, 2017
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PlanksandNails' goal is to be a catalyst in encouraging the followers of Christ to pursue Biblical truth for themselves.

In Scripture, there are two types of people; they are the believers and the unbelievers. Christ in Matthew 25 called them either sheep or goats.

However, it could also be said that there are roughly three types of believers.

There are those who are followers of Christ who express their love by growing in him and obey his commands.

The other is someone who believes in Christ, but they are still in deception.

This type of believer has been hoodwinked by false institutional church system where they have been elevating man and their teachings above Christ and the apostles. In their heart, they know something is wrong within the harlot church system, but in their double-mindedness are being tossed by every wave and wind of doctrine. They desire to hear God’s voice and attempt to discern the true from the false, but are distracted by all the religious noise that is going on. The good thing is that these people by some great miracle will heed the call and abandon the shackles of spiritual Babylon.

Thirdly, there are the ‘believers’ who are people who claim to be followers of Christ in their lip service, but relish in their own man-made traditions. In reality, they express hatred towards Christ in their actions and behaviours by twisting and perverting who he is. This person is a goat and their rotten fruit they deem as ‘good works’ is on display for all to see. They love to elevate and parrot their false religious leaders and focus on their self-righteousness above the words of Christ.

The True and Counterfeit Followers of Christ

The true followers of the way of Christ are those who have the ability to discern what a goat is. Most don’t want to deal with the goats, but they need to be exposed and called to repentance. Paul stated that if we don’t, ‘the way of truth will be blasphemed.’

The truth is that there are many who call themselves genuine believers, but they are not. They refuse to believe and accept what Christ has done, believe who he said he was and follow his commands. In their actions and behaviours they deny the genuine faith laid out by Christ and the apostles.

“And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” - 1 Corinthians 11:1

When we look at Paul in the New Testament, he did not shy away from discerning those who were in and out of the faith. He encouraged to discriminate certain behaviours encouraged his fellow believers to not have fellowship with or associate with the 'goats.'

Christ has given us all the examples we need to help us discern who are and who are not of him. In fact, Christ expects us to deal with those by his standard those who are not of him.

How do we identify the sheep from the goats?

To answer the question, Christ also talked about two different types of disciples.

False Disciples:

“At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…

True Disciples:

… but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” - Matthew 24:10-13

This means we can discern who are the true sheep of Christ and those who are the goats through a number of different means.

A disciple of Christ loves God by keeping His word. Christ stated,

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments...Whoever has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him…If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” - John 14:15, 21, 23

A false disciple will often oppose the teachings of Christ by twisting and perverting them to suit their own spiritual desires and to support their man-driven doctrines. Christ and his disciples did not tolerate these perversions.

“God judges those outside. ‘Purge the evil person from among you.’” - 1 Corinthians 5:13

Our Understanding and the Language We Use

Christ made it clear who were of his Father and who weren’t. There were those who claimed to be believers, but Christ exposed them as unregenerate by pointing out their ‘native language,’ comprehension and understanding.

“Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” - John 8:43-45

We are instructed to believe in the words of Christ and to follow his example.

“… will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the ekklesia.” - Ephesians 4:13

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. – 2 Peter 2:1-3

A goat will ‘follow their sensuality’ because they only care about themselves.

A true worshiper,

“… will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” - John 4:23-4

Christ claimed that he is the way, the truth and the life and that his sheep hear his voice. Sheep care about the truth.

Scripture exposes the sheep and goats by their behaviours.

Sheep are people who are,

“… in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”

It appears that Paul suggests the goats are like,

“… infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” - Ephesians 4:13-14

A genuine servant leader is instructed to,

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” - 1 Timothy 4:16

Likewise, their fellow brethren are to also,

“Be sober-minded; be watchful.” - 1 Peter 5:8

To the contrary, the goats are,

“… like irrational animals, creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed, blaspheming about matters of which they are ignorant, will also be destroyed in their destruction, suffering wrong as the wage for their wrongdoing.” - 1 Timothy 4:16

We see goats act in similar fashion by following after their leaders’ sensuality. Sober-mindedness is not an option for them. In fact, they discourage it. Paul talks about those who are,

“… suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.” - Romans 1:18

Sadly, there are many people who claim to be sheep who follow Christ, but they are not and their numbers seem to be growing day by day.

Many are afraid to point out deception in truth and in love. They are even afraid to challenge their own doctrines that could be twisting God’s word and pointing to religious man as the shepherds instead of Christ.

It is always loving to point to God’s word, challenge other’s beliefs, even our own and point others to the Kingdom of God.

The difference between sheep and goats is dependent on where you are feeding and whom you are imitating.

Are you among the sheep or the goats?

You will be identified by the words you say and by your behaviours. Christ said that you will be known by your fruit.

Do thistles come off fig trees?

Many act like goats and not like sheep because they have wickedness inside of them. Because of the state of their heart, their words expose what's inside of them. All they want to do is criticize and argue against the words of Christ and the Kingdom principles he conveyed. Many desire to impose their own man-made doctrines and opinions on others.

A goat says they believe in Christ the same way Satan believes in him. In their pride, they want to try to get into the Kingdom of God by their own ways and means.

The Characteristics of a Goat

There is an outwardly difference between sheep and goats, but at casual glance one may not be able to tell one from the other. This is the state of many today where the sheep and goats may wander, graze and lay with each other.

What is interesting is that goats like to wander around on their own and are often the initiators of moving to a new location. Also, goats like to eat trash, they are arrogant, moody, aggressive and like to jump the fence.

Many are following the leading of goats and are being misled away from their Shepherd who leads them to their best food source. They become distracted and wander away.

Many people are following after religious celebrities and are eating their religious trash. They love the latest popular synthetic flavours instead of finding the organic green pastures of the best spiritual foods. All the famous goats believe they are kings of the mountain and love to exalt themselves. They walk around with their noses held up high 'neeehing' at anyone who would dare touch 'God's anointed.'

The goat is proud beast and its priority is hierarchy. A position of highness gives them dominance and control over others. They exude pride, arrogance, stubbornness and boastfulness in their behaviours.


In contrast, sheep always have their heads bowed when feeding as it is their primary concern along with following their one true Shepherd.

Throughout the New Testament we find the character traits, beliefs, and the life changing effects of being born again into the kingdom of God. However, people are being deemed as genuine believers with little or no examination. Millions are deceived because very few are willing to expose deception of the men who market themselves in their self-promoting religious systems called ‘church.’

The words of man have taken precedence over the word of God and the goats are allowed to mingle with the sheep. Their leaven makes people feel good about themselves and the sheep start consuming the trash the goats are eating.

The difference between sheep and goats spiritually is the distinction between night and day, life and death, salvation and destruction. A goat does not like hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, but follows its own path.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. – John 10:27

Whose voice are you listening to?

Are you familiar with the voice of the one true Shepherd?

Is a Hireling Your Shepherd?

When you look in the mirror of the standard of God’s word, do you see a sheep or a goat?

See results

© 2017 PlanksandNails

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