This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Winter semester 1976 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on June 1, 1976
25:31But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory: 25:32and before him shall be gathered all the nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats; 25:33and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 25:34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 25:35for I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; 25:36naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 25:37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, and fed thee? or athirst, and gave thee drink? 25:38And when saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 25:39And when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 25:40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me. 25:41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: 25:42for I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink; 25:43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in; naked, and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 25:44Then shall they also answer, saying, Lord, when saw we thee hungry, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 25:45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it not unto me. 25:46And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but the righteous into eternal life.
Shortly after this, Jesus, as part of His eschatological discourse, gives a parable of judgment-day, which has become very famous and is used as a basis for theological main thrust of many orthodox Christian churches. You know the parable, I am quite sure. It is on Page 185 in “Harmony of the Gospels”, Matthew 25.
To summarize it, Jesus is saying that when the son of man shall come in His glory and all the angels with Him, He will sit on the throne of His glory and before Him be gathered all the nations. Then begins a process of separation, with the righteous on the right hand, the wicked on the left hand, as sheep separated from goats. Then He will say to those on His right hand, "Come ye blessed of my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Then He gives the lovely thing about the stranger and ye took me in. Then these righteous ask when they did all these things and He says that when you did it to anyone at any time in any place, you were doing it for me. Then to those on His left, He is so say, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels." He gives the same series of statements, but this time it is "you didn't". They ask when they didn't do these things, and He says when you didn't ever do them, you didn't do them for me. In other words, it is the doing, not whom you are doing them to; and it is the not doing and not who you are not doing it to. It is the doing and not doing, rather than to whom or not to whom, you see; and He ends this with the statement which frightens so many people to death; "And these shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Now, you can see that a parable like this would frighten many people and would be pounced upon by clergy who are desirous of keeping their people very tightly bound to their particular presentation of Christianity; but remember what we said a parable is, and this is very clearly labeled a parable. If this statement made by Jesus meant exactly what it said, then it could not be a parable; it would have to be fortune telling. It would have to be reading facts, which will occur in the future, which is fortune telling. Jesus was not a fortune teller. He was a Truth teacher, and He spoke in parables.
A parable means a lesson which does not mean literally what its word-usage is saying, so here right at the start we know He cannot be meaning a certain day in the future history of the human race. He cannot be meaning two different groups of human beings, one characterized or categorized as righteous people and the other as wicked people. He could not be meaning that there is a literal place of eternal bliss and comfort and another literal place of eternal torture. Those are all the literalistics of the parable; therefore, they cannot be the meaning. They have to mean something else, and thank God we know the meaning of these symbols! We know that in the Bible, people are thoughts and feelings, and groups of people are attitudes, you see; and that wicked simply means that which does not conform to Truth principles, that which is of error or uselessness or suffering-causing, while righteous simply means that which is according to principle, to Truth, to creativity, that which is of Spirit. We know that judgment day is any moment of correctly exercising the judgment faculty, any moment of enlightenment in your being when you are correctly using judgment faculty.
Now, the only way to correct the use of judgment faculty is to be sure that all the eleven are aligned with it. Notice how Jesus said it, "The Son of man shall come in His glory and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory..." Throne in the Bible is a symbol for the seat of judgment, the place of exercising good judgment. "and before him shall be gathered all the nations..." This is an integrated state, where the judgment faculty aligned with the other faculties is having a clear perception of what is within oneself; and the judgment faculty primarily is discriminating. It is discriminating, evaluating, and decision-making; and when one is using his judgment faculty correctly aligned with his other faculties, this is judgment-day, this is the day that the Son of man is really in his glory.
Text of the original transcript at the second paragraph of p.288 through the first paragraph of p.289.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on 04-13-2014