Email: Pastor True Gospel
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Jesus often speaks to people in parables. "Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." We think that Jesus uses parables to help the people to understand them. But it is just the opposite. He uses parables as riddles, so that common people may not understand the mysteries, but he wants only his disciples to understand them. Parables are like secret code language. "12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath." It will make his disciples to know, but it will make others not to know. "13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." Jesus says that it is designed that way since most Christians are not sincere and they do not want to know the truth.
In Luke 15:11-32, Jesus tells a story of a rich father and his two sons. This is known as the parable of the prodigal son. A parable is a story on the outside, but inside it is a mystery. Common people study this as a story with interpretations, but followers of Jesus Christ will learn the mystery inside the story. Here, the father is symbolic for God, and the two sons are symbolic for two kinds of higher-level believers, who are in the status of his sons; but they do not represent common Christians. So, it is not about us. However, let us study this parable with an open heart. "Luke 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living." Here, the father is symbolic of God, and the younger son asked the father to give him his share. Please listen carefully. God has his kingdom in heaven, as well as he has kingdom on earth. In "Matthew 12:28, Jesus says, But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you." So, the kingdom of God on earth is the one that is manifested with power through the gifts of the Holy Ghost. This younger son asks the Father and receives his share while he is on earth; his share was given from the kingdom of God on earth, and so, he foregoes his inheritance in heaven.
"13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living." Please do not look at it as a story but look at it as a parable. The younger son detached himself from God, but he has the gifts and power of God, and began his own ministry, in his own way, but not under God. He became famous but went far away from spiritual reality. Big crowed followed him, because of the power manifestations. He followed the crowd, lived a luxurious famous worldly life. Gradually, the power of God began to fade. He became like our celebrity preachers, who has 90% of prophesy wrong, 90% of healings are fake, and so on. As the power of God faded and wasted, the ministry steadily declined and became fake. "14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want." When he realized that he lost all the gifts, he tried to depend on other fake ministers of the world. "15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him." Swine are pigs. It is figurative for ungodly worldly filthy people. He served them, ate their food and lived in it. Even they were rejecting him. "17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!" When he came to himself, he realized his pathetic condition, remembered how well the conditions of the servants of God was, in the house of his father. But our celebrity preachers will never come to their senses.
As the prodigal son repented for his sins,
he decided to ask his father to accept him as a servant. He
came back to his father. "18
arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned
against heaven, and before thee, 19
And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me
as one of thy hired servants.
"25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing." The elder son was in the field of the Father. Field is a place of work; he was doing the will of the Father, as Man Jesus was doing the will of God the Father. It is the true ministry of God; it is under God, with the power and manifestations. But the younger son wants to run it as his own, for his fame and profit, with no care for the souls, and he ran it as he pleased, for riotous living. So, he wasted it and lost his share. The elder brother did it all according to the commandments of the Father. One day he came home and found that there was a festival. "26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound." It is a parable, and so, it is a picture of the celebration is in heaven. The elder brother was informed about his younger brother's return. "28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him." He was angry. He had no problem to receive his brother back, but why was the party and a big celebration? The Father came and explained to him, why was the need for celebration. It is for us to know, that it is proper to celebrate the conversion of a sinner.
He was in the ministry as a Son, but he wants his personal ministry. He asked for it, got it, backslid, became a sinner, and so, he lost it all. But he has repented, came back to his Father to sin no more, and to serve God. "30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf." Please skip verse 31. "32 says, It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." Heaven rejoiced for the repentance of a sinner. Backsliding is death in the spirit. Conversion not to sin anymore, is back to life. His status as son is restored, and his past sins are forgiven. However, since he wasted his share, he lost his inheritance. However, he was called as son. A Son with no inheritance, may serve God as his king (royal) and priest in heaven.
"29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:" That is, God has given the elder brother nothing in this world to enjoy, in spite of the fact that he was the best beloved son. Yet, he was obeying all the commandments of God all the time. The elder son represents a group of people, who are particular in doing the complete will of God, even though they do not receive any benefit in this world. They have a hard life with no fun in this world. They are the beloved of God. "31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine." The elder son, or this group of people always has the presence of God with them. God abides in them. Now, we come to the highlight of the parable. Pay attention to this very carefully. This is the conversation of the Father to the elder son. In verse 31, the Father said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. The only one group who will have all that God has, is the bride of Christ. Jesus Christ receives his bride unto himself. We have studied two sons of God or two groups of people. One has backslidden, lost, and dead. However, he repented, humbled, returned to the Father, to serve and not to sin anymore. He will have the glory of a son, but he lost his inheritance in heaven. Even though it is not told here, it is also true that so many were lost and dead, without repenting, because of they love backsliding and riotous living. Out of the two sons, one son lost his inheritance, but his glory is spared, and the other became the bride of Christ. The most blessed group is the bride of Christ.
Note: If any point needs explanation, OR, if you find
an error according to scripture,
Please write to me in the 'Mail Box' below. I will reply promptly. Thanks.
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
God Bless You