The Lost Son: Parable Of The Prodigal
t may be one of the best known of all the parables put forth by Jesus Christ, and at its most basic level, it's a tale of redemption and celebration. However, as in so many other Scriptural examples, the identities in the metaphor are the most important aspect of the story.
As we are now living in the prophesied time of the "falling away" in which vast numbers of believers have gradually become so deluded that virtually every doctrinal conclusion is artfully reversed from the truth found in Scripture, the "interpretations" now being proffered for the famous tale have turned this most basic of parables inside out.
The most egregious of these is the attempt to turn the errant son into an anthropomorphized version of the Northern "lost tribes" of Israel who, after centuries of paganized European and North American Christian experience, are now returning to their "Hebrew Roots." Part of the burgeoning world order engineered by the Spirit of Antichrist, the so called Two House theology is now attempting to hijack the parable to their own nefarious ends.
In that regard, I'll return to the twisted version put forth by the "Two Housers" shortly; but for now, it is far more important that we elaborate on the truth of the parable, in order that the counterfeit be reproved. To rephrase the previous statement, it has long been understood that exposition of the truth is the best antidote to false doctrine.
The simple fact is, in the younger "son," we find a relatively obvious allusion to the Gentiles. After all, as seen in metaphoric teaching which runs throughout the Scriptures, the "Father" in the story is obviously God, so an examination of the role or allegorical identity of the sons must be divisible by two – hence the widely documented theme of Israel and the Gentiles – the latter term a broadly used appellation for the English word describing the nations which are not Israel.
Contextually speaking, when Jesus delivered the parabolic sermon, the calling of the Gentiles to the New Covenant had not yet occurred; however, because we know it is coming as sequentially unveiled in the book of Acts, we would expect Christ to provide some sort of teaching which will be recognized as anticipating the potential inclusion of all the nations into the family of God. The parable of the Prodigal Son fits the bill precisely.
It is of inestimable importance that we see the Old Testament prophets (particularly Isaiah), consistently show Israel as the vessel containing the light, or the glory of God, which is to shine to the balance of the nations. Although these prophecies mystically describe the presence of Christ, who is brought forth via the lineage of physical Israel, God says throughout the predictive texts that it is through Israel that He interacts with the nations:
"Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying, You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities" (Amos 3:1,2).
This interaction with the two, the people of Israel, and the Gentiles, is seen throughout the New Testament as well. For instance, in referencing the work of the Lord towards mankind, the Apostle Paul uses the phrase to the Jew first, and also to the Gentiles on three occasions:
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).
"Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile" (Romans 2:9).
"But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile" (Romans 2:10).
The very fact that salvation came to the nations "to the Jew first" (with cognizance of the distinctions between the name Israel and Judah), also serves to underscore the idea that Israel is the elder brother in the parable. The behavior of the younger son, who in the parable exhibits a complete disregard for his "family" (to say nothing of his "Father," who is easily seen to represent God Himself), is consistent with the history of the Gentiles who sought not after God:
"I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me" (Romans 10:20).
This very verse, by the way, destroys the false doctrine that says the 10 so-called "lost tribes" of Israelactually became the European Gentiles, because Isaiah and Paul both said that the Gentiles "sought not" after God. Indeed, it is the very same Apostle who tells us in that very same book of Romans that Israel didindeed seek after God:
"Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for…because they sought it not by faith…" (Romans 11:7, 9:32).
The same Apostle Paul was appointed by God Himself, to be the instructor to the Gentiles after the door of salvation was opened to them, following the offering of the Kingdom of God to the Jews. When Paul stood at the center of intellectual discourse in Athens, Greece, he acknowledged that the Gentiles were also the "offspring" of God:
"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens…God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands…For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring" (Acts 17:22, 24, 28).
The grace of God, as manifested in the New Testament, is threaded throughout the Prodigal parable, for the unworthy second son is welcomed back into the Father's presence:
"But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry" (Luke 15:22-24).
As the Prodigal clearly receives an unmerited favor (i.e. "mercy") upon his return to the Father, we see elements which repeatedly confirm the identities in the parable. The eloquently stated repentance of the younger son closely resonates with the humility and broken pride found in a sinner who turns to the Father for forgiveness:
"And the publican [despised tax collector], standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner" (Luke 18:13).
Conversely, we see the haughty Jewish priest, who makes his boast of being one of the chosen, and his arrogance and pride jump off the page:
"God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess" (Luke 18:11,12).
Obviously, Christ concludes the repentant sinner was justified in the sight of God, whereas the pompous priest has no idea of the unsavory eternity which awaits him. Here is a perfect picture of the elder brother in the sweeping panorama of the Prodigal Son, for he also speaks of his own compliance to what he thinks is the will of the Father:
"Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment…" (Luke 15:29).
The elder son, clearly an allegorical image of hypocritical Israel, is so angry at the mercy exhibited towards His now redeemed brother, that he refuses to enter in to the house of God:
"And he was angry, and would not go in…" (Luke 15:28).
This is, of course, the precise alignment described throughout the New Testament; but, unfortunately, our entire generation has been carried away with the false doctrine of Jewish primacy which is now fossilized through the leaven delivered by the Rapture Cult.
The Apostle Paul repeatedly grappled with what he called "Jewish fables" which posit the fraud that physical Israelites have any standing whatsoever under the New Covenant. In the book of Galatians, for example, he notes how those trusting in their compliance to the Old Covenant are the fountainhead of opposition to the genuine Gospel of grace as found in Jesus Christ.
This is seen in the attempt by the elder son to convince his Father that his decision to receive the errant younger son was ill-conceived, or somehow unjust:
"Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai [representing the bondage of the law]….but as then he that was born after the flesh [the elder brother counting on his good works] persecuted him that was born after the Spirit [the younger son relying on mercy], even so it is now" (Galatians 4:24,29).
The actions of the "father" in the parable shows him seeking to bring the resentful elder son back into the "house" – clearly a reference to the LORD's desire that physical Israel come back in to the Spiritual lineage which relies upon the grace of God, as evidenced in the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
"…therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again…" (Luke 15:28,31,32).
The Jewish Supremacists in the World Antichrist Religion (the WAR Beast) seek to appropriate the Father's statements to twist them into an unconditional promise the elder son is still chosen, but the Apostle Paulmakes it plain this antagonism towards the Father's decision continues unabated. Indeed, this root of resentment is the seed of the refusal to respond to God's redemptive plan, for Paul coherently links this to the persecution of the truth:
"…but as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now" (Galatians 4:24,29).
Christians have been erroneously taught that the historic friction between Christians and Jews was all the fault of the power hungry and insensitive denominational structures (both Catholic and Protestant), when the Scriptures tell us the opposition to the truth of the New Covenant emanated out of the Jewish rejection of Jesus:
"Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God [as the elder brother did in the parable]….For the name of God is blasphemed among the gentiles through you, as it is written" (Romans 2:17,24).
This verse from Romans is just as true today as it was then; but the Two House heretics seek to re-position the elder son to one who has now embraced Yeshua, and seeks to unite with the younger son, who is cleverly redefined as "lost tribe" descended, paganized Christians, who supposedly "repent" by turning back to the "Messianic Jews" for leadership in their new found fervor in the faith.
This changes the parable in a way that rehabilitates the "elder brother," and transforms his arrogant boast that he has kept the father's commandments into a prophetically positive, "Messianic" development! As unlikely as all of this must sound to mainstream believer's ears, the Jewish Supremacist movement is massive, because the so-called "church" has been thoroughly leavened with this other gospel through the lies of the Rapture Cult, which paved the way for the "Hebrew Roots" movement.
The Two House Twist (see the book of the same name refuting the system) heavily relies upon Scriptures such as the corrupted spin just described via the parable of the Prodigal Son, as well as many other accounts in the Word of God. In every effort, the attempt is made to convert the passage to somehow include the Jewish people as continuing in a key role because of their physical lineage. Whether the effort includes the so called "lost tribes," or the Jews as those who miraculously become the "all Israel" which is saved, every scenario which posits a physical identity for Israel is fatally flawed.
The story is actually a simple one, and the parable of the Lost Son is far simpler than most understand. The first son, while claiming to follow all the Father's commandments does nothing of the kind. The second son, after a period of reckless living, ultimately returns to a position of honour in the Father's house, as he is Spiritually born again, and accepted by the LORD. The first son, resentful at the loss of his formerly exclusive standing, and despite his Father's efforts to encourage him to accept the New Covenant, refuses to enter in to the joy of the LORD.
In the end, one will be in glory, and the other will be cast into outer darkness.
-- James Lloyd
The astonishing truth seen in the present work is detailed in the book THE REMNANT OF ISRAEL. This important prophetic work is exclusively found in the online catalog at ChristianMediaNetwork.com.