Many times people confuse the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses with that of the Bible Students. One point of confusion that often arises is concerning the parable to the sheep and goats. What most Bible Students believe and what the Jehovah’s Witnesses teach are not the same. One thing that the JW leadership (as well as many of other groups that have views similar to the JWs) does is to place the time frame of Jesus’ parable as being before Satan is abyssed. The usual conception they present is that the goats enter into everlasting punishment of the second death at Armageddon, before Satan is abyssed, before the nations are blessed in the millennial reign of Jesus.

However, when does Yahweh come to judge the world (the nations, the unbelieving heathen) by means of Jesus? (Psalm 96; 98; Acts 17:31) When do the saints judge the world (the nations, the unbelieving heathen) with Jesus? (Daniel 7:22; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Revelation 20:4) Jesus said that those who not believe in him of the world that he came to save will be judged in the “last day”. (John 12:47,48) Isn’t this after Satan is abyssed, so that he cannot deceive the heathen during the thousand years while he is abyssed, when those who rejected Jesus will be raised for individual judgment, when the books are opened to them? (Revelation 20) It is at that time that Jesus actually sits on his throne of glory for judging the world (Daniel 7:14), for it is during that time the glory of the saints will be revealed, by which the condemned creation will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glory of the sons of God. (Romans 8:18-23) It is during that time of revealment, after Satan is abyssed, that the nations — the heathen — will be judged individually, as depicted in the parable of the sheep and goats, as to who will be worthy of eternal life, and who will not. The parable of the sheep and goats parallels Revelation 20:4-15.

Do the sheep of the parable actually have eternal life at the beginning of the millennial rule, so that they will not be judged during the millennial age? We believe that the Watchtower still teaches that the “other sheep” do not actually inherit eternal life until after the thousand years, during which they are yet to judged with the world, but that the goats are to be destroyed eternally at the beginning of the thousand years, without ever having the books of enlightenment opened to them. In other words, in effect, they are separating Jesus’ words of Matthew 25:46 by one thousand years, applying the eternal “cutting-off” before the 1,000 years and the eternal life after the 1,000 years, although this was not what Jesus stated.

A more detailed study of the parable of the sheep and goats can be found in the studies:
Mankind’s Course to the Day of Judgment
Will Billions Be Eternally Destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon?

Some other studies by Bible Students
(We do not necessarily agree with all conclusions presented)

The Parable of the Sheep and Goats

Day of Judgment Misunderstood (Charles Taze Russell)

The Final Judgment of the Human Race (Herald of Christ’s Kingdom)

Christ’s Kingdom (Ernie Kuenzli – Herald of Christ’s Kingdom)

Prophesy Against the Shepherds (Charles T. Russell)

[Bibles, Bible-Related Books and Other Items
[The Divine Plan of the Ages – An Illustrated Edition]
[Crisis of Conscience]

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