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THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD

August 13

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August 13

THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS / PART 2

THE MEANING OF THE PARABLE

-Now that we have established that the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus is a PARABLE, let us seek to understand its true meaning. The meaning of the parable is as follows:

-A CERTAIN RICH MAN: This represents the Jewish Nation as a whole ( Judah … More specifically: The Priesthood ), for they were spiritually rich in the things of God ( Romans 3:1,2 … Romans 9:3-5 ).

-CLOTHED IN PURPLE AND LINEN: This statement further clarifies who the Rich Man is, for purple represents royalty, and fine linen represents the priesthood. The Nation of Israel was to be a nation of kings ( purple ) and priests ( linen ) before God ( Exodus 19:5,6 ).

-FARED SUMPTUOUSLY EVERY DAY: This once again reaffirms that the Jews were a blessed people, having been given the adoption, glory, covenants, law, service, promises, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came ( Romans 9:4,5 ).

-A CERTAIN BEGGAR: This represents the Gentiles ( Nations ) as a whole, for they were spiritual Beggars concerning the things of God ( Ephesians 2:11,12 ). The Gentiles ( Nations ) were referred to as the Uncircumcision. They were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

-LAZARUS: The name “Lazarus” comes from the Hebrew name “Eleazar”, which means: “WHOM GOD HELPS”. The reason Jesus used the name of “Lazarus” in this parable is for this very reason. The Gentiles ( Nations ) are those WHOM GOD HAS HELPED.

-AT HIS GATE … FULL OF SORES … FED WITH CRUMBS … THE DOGS LICKED HIS SORES: These phrases all point to a description of the Gentiles ( Nations ), and how they were viewed by the Nation of Israel during the time that Jesus walked the earth. The Gentiles ( Nations ) were referred to as “dogs”, and were considered to be uncircumcised filth by the Jews ( Matthew 15:21-28 … Mark 7:25-30 ).

-THE BEGGAR DIED: This represents a change in the Beggar’s condition. The Gentiles ( Nations ) died to their old condition of a Beggar, and would now be included and brought into the blessings of God ( Ephesians 2:13-22 ).

-ABRAHAM’S BOSOM: “Abraham’s Bosom” is NOT a physical location. The term represents a place of spiritual favor and honor. The Gentiles ( Nations ) were now given the opportunity to become the children of Abraham. This represented the death of their Beggar status.

-THE RICH MAN DIED, AND WAS BURIED: This represents a change in the Rich Man’s condition. It signifies the death of Judaism ( their religion ). We must see that the Rich Man and Lazarus changed places. The Rich Man became a Beggar, and the Beggar became a Rich Man. Jesus took the Kingdom from the Jews ( the Rich Man ) and gave it to the Gentiles ( Lazarus … the Beggar … the dogs ). ( Matthew 21:33-43 … Matthew 8:12 … Matthew 23:13-39 … Mark 12:1-12 … Acts 13:46,47 … Luke 13:28,29 ).

-IN HELL: The English word “hell” ( used here ) comes from the Greek word “Hades”. The word “Hades” simply means: “the grave, or the place of the dead”. It carries with it the idea or meaning of “un-perception”. The Rich Man, along with his religion ( Judaism ), was now to be buried, finding himself in a place of un-perception, which refers to not being able to “see” ( understand ) or grasp the Kingdom of God ( John 3:3 ).

-LIFTED UP HIS EYES … IN TORMENTS … SEES ABRAHAM AFAR OFF … LAZARUS IN HIS BOSOM: This represents the Jews suffering the punishment of their sins, in the destruction of their city ( 70-73 A.D. ) and temple, and the sore calamities which have befallen on them ever since. As we now know, the Jews have been through torment for the last 2,000 years due to the rejection of their Messiah. Their religion is dead, and they are currently in un-perception ( outer darkness ). The Rich Man now sees that Abraham ( their spiritual roots ) is afar off ( cut off ), and that Lazarus ( the Gentiles / Nations ) is in his bosom ( a place of favor with God ).

-FATHER ABRAHAM … MERCY ON ME … SEND LAZARUS … DIP HIS FINGER IN WATER … COOL MY TONGUE … I AM TORMENTED IN THIS FLAME: This is all metaphoric language to show the change of positions and current conditions of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The Jews are now tormented in the flame of having rejected their Messiah. The Rich Man ( the Jews ) is now asking Lazarus to come and help ( comfort ) him, whereas before he wanted nothing to do with him, even referring to him as a dog.

-THERE IS A GREAT GULF: The great gulf is explained by the apostle Paul in Romans 11:25-36. It is simply this: GOD BLINDED ISRAEL IN PART, UNTIL THE FULLNESS OF THE GENTILES ( NATIONS ) BE COME IN. Until then, the Rich Man can not pass from where he is ( his condition ) to where Lazarus is ( his condition ), and Lazarus can not pass from where he is to where the Rich Man is.

-SEND HIM TO MY FATHER’S HOUSE … I HAVE FIVE BRETHREN … LEST THEY ALSO COME TO THIS PLACE OF TORMENT: This represents that the Jew learns mercy and compassion after his season of torment. The terminology “five brethren” gives us another undeniable clue as to the meaning of this parable. Modern day Israel, at the time of Jesus, was referred to as Judah ( Note: After Solomon died, his Kingdom fell apart - Judah in the South and Israel in the North. What was a strong and united empire broke in two. God divorced Himself from Israel { the Northern Kingdom } in 745 B.C., causing them to be invaded by the Assyrian Empire and deported to the region of Nineveh. ). God would later divorce Himself from Judah ( the Southern Kingdom ) in 70-73 A.D., causing them to be invaded by the Roman Army. This resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem. In this parable, Jesus was speaking to Judah ( the Southern Kingdom ). He was actually warning them of their destruction that was about to come if they did not repent. It is extremely interesting to note that Judah ( in the Old Testament ) had FIVE FULL-BLOODED BROTHERS! They were: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, and Zebulun. The words “five brethren”, used by Jesus, were a direct clue as to the identity of the Rich Man.

-MOSES AND THE PROPHETS: This represents the law and the prophets, which could also be said to represent the Old Testament Scriptures. Jesus said, … Let them hear them!

-IF ONE WENT TO THEM FROM THE DEAD, THEY WILL REPENT: Jesus here alluded to HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION from the dead, knowing that even though He would rise from the dead, yet would the Jews ( as a whole ) still not believe and repent.

*NOTE: Notice how that the Rich Man referred to Abraham as Father, and how that Abraham referred to him as son. This further clarifies the identity of the Rich Man.

-Now that we have had our minds renewed ( concerning this parable ) to the mind of Christ, being brought to a proper understanding of this parable, we can discard the foolish ideas of the traditions and doctrines of men ( concerning this parable ), which state that this story is about eternal torture in hell. THAT IS NOT CORRECT! It is simply a parable which talks about …

-THE JEWS AND GENTILES!-

August 13 

And now abides faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.