State of the Dead

The Rich Man And Lazarus

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Stephen Bohr


Series Code: SOD

Program Code: SOD000003

00:01 If a man dies shall he live again?
00:07 What does it mean to be absent from the body
00:10 and present with the Lord?
00:13 Did Jesus go with a thief to Paradise on Good Friday?
00:18 Did the souls of dead people really cry out
00:22 from below the altar?
00:24 Pastor Bohr answers these questions and more
00:28 in the amazing series,
00:37 Shall we bow our heads for prayer?
00:39 Father in Heaven, once again we're thankful for the
00:43 privilege of being here.
00:44 And as we open Your Holy Word, we ask for the guidance
00:47 of Your Holy Spirit.
00:48 We realize that in these last days there is much mishandling
00:54 of Your Holy Word.
00:55 We just ask that You will help us to handle Your Word
00:59 with reverence recognizing that it's holy from a Holy God.
01:03 We thank you, Father, for the privilege of opening its pages.
01:07 And we thank You for hearing our prayer,
01:10 for we ask it in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
01:13 In our study today we're going to discuss a parable of Jesus
01:20 known as the parable of the rich man and Lazarus.
01:24 And I'd like to begin by reading this parable so that we have a
01:29 clear picture of what the parable is all about.
01:33 I'm reading from Luke 16:19-31, and I'm not going to make any
01:41 remarks, I just want you to have the parable clear in your mind.
01:45 And then we will make some remarks about several aspects
01:49 of the parable. It says there:
04:00 This is the famous parable of the rich man and Lazarus.
04:04 Now some people question whether this was really a parable.
04:08 And really, there's no reason to question whether it was
04:11 a parable or not, because this formula,
04:14 there was a certain man, was used repeatedly
04:18 in the gospel of Luke to describe a parable.
04:23 Let me just read you one example, other than this one,
04:26 from Luke 16. Let's turn in our Bibles to Luke 15:11.
04:32 This is very similar in its introductory formula. It says:
04:50 Clearly this is a parable, and it's introduced in the same way,
04:54 as the parable of the rich man and Lazarus,
04:57 with the formula, there was a certain rich man.
05:00 So there's no doubt that the story of the rich man and
05:03 Lazarus is a parable.
05:04 It is not an actual story that took place in real life.
05:09 Now many times Jesus would take the parables that existed
05:13 in His day, and He would turn them upside down and give them
05:17 a strange twist. This parable of the rich man and Lazarus
05:22 was not invented by Jesus.
05:24 It was actually a well-known story that was used by the
05:27 Rabbis. But for the Rabbi's the poor man Lazarus was the one
05:32 who would end up burning in the fires of hell,
05:35 whereas the rich man, who had enjoyed the blessings of God
05:38 in this life, would end up in Abraham's bosom.
05:41 Jesus simply took their common story; he turned it upside down
05:46 and He gave it an unexpected twist.
05:50 Now it's important to realize that this parable was actually
05:55 told because of the Pharisees.
05:59 Jesus was actually speaking to the Pharisees in this parable.
06:04 Notice Luke 16:14. Immediately before the parable we find
06:10 this statement about the audience
06:13 that Jesus was speaking to.
06:14 It says there: Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of
06:19 money, also heard these things, and they derided him.
06:24 So the special audience that Jesus is speaking to
06:29 is the Pharisees. Incidentally, this parable is found
06:34 in the gospel of Luke.
06:35 And according to the scholars Luke was written especially
06:39 to those of Greek mentality.
06:40 It was written to the Greeks, and therefore the anthropology
06:45 of this parable fits very well with the Greek idea
06:48 of an immortal soul that flies off at the moment of death.
06:52 Jesus is taking a story that is used in His day and age.
06:56 He's not saying that the story is true, He's simply speaking to
07:00 these people in a language that they can understand.
07:03 Now I need to say a few things about the Pharisees.
07:07 Flavius Josephus, who was himself a Pharisee,
07:11 , told us very
07:16 clearly what the beliefs of the Pharisees were regarding
07:20 the nature of man. I read from the book, Wars of the Jews,
07:25 this following statement from Josephus:
07:56 In other words, the Sadducees did not believe in the
07:59 immortality of the soul.
08:00 They did not believe in the afterlife.
08:01 The Pharisees believed that all souls are incorruptible.
08:06 They believed in the immortality of the soul.
08:10 By the way, the Bible corroborates the view
08:14 that Josephus is expressing.
08:16 In Acts 23:8, Acts 23:8, the Apostle Paul says,
08:33 So in other words, if Jesus had told this parable to the
08:36 Sadducees, it wouldn't have made any sense to them.
08:39 Jesus is using the frame of reference of the Pharisees
08:44 to get a great truth across.
08:46 He's using the belief system that they have to teach a great
08:49 truth, which we're going to notice in a little while.
08:52 Now Ellen White is in harmony with both the book of Acts
08:58 and Josephus on the issue of whom Jesus was addressing
09:04 in this parable. In the book, Christ's Object Lessons,
09:07 page 263, we find this statement:
09:41 In other words, He took their preconceived ideas,
09:44 and He framed this parable to teach them a great truth within
09:49 their frame of thinking.
09:51 Incidentally, even the disciples of Jesus had assimilated this
09:55 false view that there were ghosts, or spirits of the dead,
10:00 hovering over the earth.
10:01 Notice, for example, Mark 6:49.
10:05 This is when Jesus is walking on the sea, and the disciples
10:09 were frightened. And I want you to notice why they were
10:13 frightened. It says there in Mark 6:49,
10:27 So even the disciples of Jesus had assimilated this idea
10:31 that the soul of man is immortal, leaves the body
10:34 at the moment of death, and can come back as a disincarnated
10:38 spirit, or as a ghost.
10:41 Now it's interesting to notice the description that Josephus
10:46 gives about what happened, according to the Pharisees,
10:49 when a person died. And I'm going to read as it is described
10:53 by a scholar, the belief system of the Pharisees about what
10:57 happened immediately at the moment of death.
10:59 By the way, this is in Josephus' work, Discourse to the Greeks
11:04 Concerning Hades. Here is the description:
11:08 In this work Josephus explains that Hades was a subterraneous
11:16 region which has two compartments.
11:19 One compartment, or region, contained a lake of unquenchable
11:24 everlasting fire. And the other was called the bosom of Abraham.
11:30 So you have this idea of a subterraneous region.
11:33 It's divided into two parts: the bosom of Abraham, (by the way,
11:37 it's on the right side), and the other side is a lake of burning
11:43 everlasting fire. This scholar continues saying, According to
11:48 this view, when the wicked and the righteous died,
11:52 they were taken down a descent where there was a gate
11:56 guarded by an archangel, accompanied by a host of angels.
12:02 At the gate the wicked were taken by the angels to the
12:06 compartment which was located on the left side.
12:10 There was the lake of unquenchable fire where they
12:15 were to suffer everlasting punishment.
12:18 The righteous, on the other hand, were guided by the angels
12:22 to the compartment on the right side, where the bosom of Abraham
12:27 was located. Between these two regions there was a great gulf
12:33 which did not allow the righteous to pass to the region
12:37 of the wicked, or the wicked to the region of the righteous.
12:42 Now is it obvious that Jesus is picking up on this idea that is
12:46 being expressed by Josephus in his work,
12:49 Discourse to the Greeks concerning Hades?
12:52 Obviously, yes. Jesus does not believe in this concept.
12:57 Jesus is simply speaking within their own frame of reference.
13:01 Now I want you to remember the details of what Josephus says
13:06 happens to the dead when they die, because we're going to
13:10 come back to this in the light of what the New Testament
13:13 teaches about what occurs to man when man dies.
13:18 Now the question is, does the Bible really speak about two
13:22 regions where the dead are retained; one eternally burning
13:28 in the lake of fire, and the other in the bosom of Abraham?
13:33 The fact is, the Bible does not have anything even close to
13:37 this idea. The Bible is very clear that when a person dies,
13:42 they go to the grave.
13:44 Let's notice what Jesus said.
13:46 John 5:28, 29, John 5:28, 29.
13:54 Here Jesus says this:
14:06 By the way, if they're in the bosom of Abraham,
14:09 or they're in the everlasting fire at the moment of death,
14:12 why would Jesus call them from their graves? Verse 29:
14:26 Now we need to ask the question, according to the New Testament,
14:31 when are the wicked cast into the fire?
14:35 Are they cast into the fire at the moment of death,
14:39 or are they cast into the fire at the end of the age?
14:43 The fact is that with this one possible exception,
14:47 the story of the rich man and Lazarus, this parable,
14:50 all of the other references in the New Testament state clearly
14:55 that the wicked are cast into the fire at the end of the age,
14:59 never at the moment of death.
15:02 Lets notice a few examples.
15:04 Matthew 13:40-43, Matthew 13:40-43.
15:12 This is a famous parable of the wheat and the tares.
15:18 By the way, they represent the wicked.
15:33 Now remember what Josephus said.
15:40 When are the wicked gathered by the angels?
15:42 Josephus says at the moment of what? of death.
15:45 What does the Bible teach?
15:46 It's at the moment of the end of the world,
15:49 or the end of the age.
15:51 And so it says here,
16:09 Let me ask you, was the rich man wailing and gnashing
16:12 his teeth as he was in the fires? Yes he was.
16:15 The parable seems to indicate that it was at the moment of
16:18 death. But the rest of the New Testament teaches very clearly
16:22 that the wailing and gnashing of teeth is future,
16:25 at the end of the age.
16:27 And then notice the last verse.
16:35 When is it that the righteous are going to be in the kingdom
16:38 of the Father? At the end of the world.
16:41 When are the wicked cast into the fire?
16:43 At the end of the world.
16:44 So it does not happen at the moment of death.
16:47 Notice also Matthew 25:31-34, and then we'll also read
16:54 verse 41 and verse 46.
16:56 Matthew 25:31. Do you remember that Josephus says
17:01 that the angels would actually take the wicked, and they would
17:06 throw them down the left side into the everlasting fire;
17:09 and they would take the righteous, at that point,
17:12 and they would place them in the bosom of Abraham?
17:14 Well, the question is, when is it that the righteous are
17:18 going to be placed at the right hand?
17:19 And when is it that the wicked are going to be placed at the
17:22 left hand? And whose right hand, and whose left hand?
17:25 Notice Matthew 25:31:
17:31 By the way, when is that?
17:32 Is that at the moment of death? Of course not.
17:41 That's the coming of Jesus, right?
17:52 When will they be separated?
17:54 Is it at the moment of death that they go either to the
17:56 bosom of Abraham, or to the everlasting fire?
17:58 Absolutely not. It's when He sits on the throne of His glory.
18:02 He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides
18:06 his sheep from the goats.
18:15 When is it that the righteous are placed on the right hand,
18:18 and the wicked on the left?
18:19 It's when Jesus comes in His Kingdom.
18:31 Then let's jump down to verse 41.
18:52 By the way, later on in this series we're going to deal with
18:55 the issue of everlasting punishment
18:57 and everlasting fire.
18:59 So put a hold on that.
19:00 The point that I want us to notice now is that the wicked
19:04 are cast into the fire, not at the moment of death,
19:07 but at the moment in which Jesus Christ comes in His Kingdom
19:13 at the end of the age.
19:15 That's when He places the righteous on His right side,
19:18 and the wicked on His left side.
19:20 Notice also Revelation 21:8 on when the wicked are cast into
19:25 the fire. Revelation 21:8. It says here:
19:53 When is it that the wicked are cast into the fire?
19:55 At the moment of their first death, or at the moment of their
19:59 second death? It's second death.
20:01 And second death always takes place after the millennium,
20:05 after the thousand years of Revelation 20.
20:08 So if they're cast into the lake of fire, and this is the second
20:12 death, after the millennium, it means that they were not cast
20:15 into the fire at the moment of their death.
20:19 Also Revelation 20:11-15, we're not going to read this passage,
20:24 by the way, but I'm just going to refer to it.
20:26 Revelation 20:11-15 tells us that all of the nations will be
20:30 gathered before the throne of Jesus Christ, and at that time
20:35 Jesus Christ is going to open the books, and He's going to
20:39 show the wicked why they are outside the Holy City;
20:42 why they are lost.
20:44 In other words, there's going to be a judgment of the wicked
20:47 who are outside the Holy City.
20:49 And then we're told, at the end of that passage in verses 14
20:53 and 15, that after the wicked have been judged they see why
20:57 they were left outside the Holy City.
20:58 Then they are taken and cast into the lake of fire.
21:02 Listen folks, those individuals who's say that a person goes
21:05 to hell when they die, what they're doing is they're saying
21:09 that they're going to hell without having a fair judgment
21:14 to show that they deserved to go to the fire.
21:17 God will not condemn the wicked to the fire until He has given
21:21 them due process; until He has given them a fair trial.
21:26 Now let's go to another issue.
21:28 When is it, according to the Bible, that the righteous will
21:32 be gathered together?
21:34 Josephus said, well, the righteous will be gathered
21:37 at the moment of death by the angels to the bosom of Abraham.
21:42 But according to the Bible when do the angels gather
21:46 the righteous, and to whom do they gather the righteous?
21:49 Matthew 24 and let's notice verse 31.
21:53 It says here, speaking about Jesus:
22:02 By the way, what event is being described there?
22:04 The second coming of Jesus. Yes.
22:13 What? When is it that the angels gather?
22:16 Not at the moment of death.
22:18 They gather people at the second coming. It says:
22:35 And, by the way, who are the righteous gathered to?
22:39 They are not gathered to the bosom of Abraham.
22:42 They are gathered to Jesus Christ.
22:45 We're told in 1 Thessalonians 4 that we'll be caught up in the
22:50 clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
22:52 Jesus said, In my Father's house are many mansions,
22:56 and then He says, I will gather you unto Myself,
22:59 so there's no such idea as the angels, at the moment of death,
23:02 gathering the righteous to the bosom of Abraham.
23:05 The New Testament teaches that the angels will gather
23:08 the elect, will gather the righteous,
23:10 but they will gather them to Jesus Christ,
23:13 not at the moment of death, but at the end of the age.
23:16 Furthermore we noticed in our last study that God forbade the
23:21 idea of trying to communicate with what? with the dead.
23:26 Have you noticed in this parable that, actually, dead people are
23:30 talking to each other?
23:32 Notice Leviticus 20:27, Leviticus 20:27.
23:38 Even Abraham, in this parable, is talking to the rich man.
23:42 Would God allow Abraham to violate the idea of not
23:47 communicating, the dead not communicating with other dead
23:52 people, or with living people?
23:53 Of course not! Notice Leviticus 20:27.
24:09 Another interesting detail about this parable is that the rich
24:15 man is in the fires of hell with all of his body parts.
24:20 Now I want you to notice Genesis 3:19.
24:25 What happens to the body when a person dies?
24:28 You know, as a minister, I've done dozens,
24:30 and dozens of funerals, and I can certify one thing,
24:34 and that is that the person who dies, their body is in the
24:38 casket, and their body goes into the ground.
24:42 I can see it! So the body does not go anywhere except
24:46 into the casket, and into the ground.
24:48 Keep that in mind. Now notice Genesis 3:19.
24:51 God said what was going to happen as a result of sin.
24:54 God says to Adam:
25:10 Now let me ask you, did Lazarus die, and was he buried? Yes.
25:15 Did the rich man die, and was he also buried? Absolutely.
25:21 Notice Luke 16:22, Luke 16:22. It says:
25:40 So the question is, where would the body of the rich man be
25:45 if he was buried? The body of this man would be in the grave.
25:50 So the question is, what is he doing with all of his body parts
25:55 in the burning fire?
25:56 Are you understanding what I'm saying?
25:58 Now go with me to Luke 16:23, Luke 16:23. It says there:
26:13 His what? But wait a minute!
26:16 When he died where did his eyes go?
26:20 His eyes are part of his body.
26:23 They went to the grave, right?
26:25 But here in the fires he has what? eyes!
26:30 By the way, this parable never says that the rich man died
26:35 and he immediately went to the fires of hell.
26:37 That is an assumption that people make that in the parable
26:41 the rich man died and immediately he went to burn
26:44 in the fires. The parable does not say he immediately went
26:48 to burn in the fires.
26:49 The evidence seems to indicate that because he has body parts
26:52 this did not happen at death, but it will happen when?
26:55 It will happen at the end of the age.
26:57 Notice also Luke 16:24.
27:00 Once again the idea of body parts in the fire.
27:03 If this is at the moment of death, why are body parts
27:07 in the burning fires?
27:08 The body parts should be in the grave.
27:10 It says here in Luke 16:24:
27:24 Oh, so Lazarus, after he dies he has fingers. Interesting!
27:31 Cool my what? Oh, the rich man has a tongue there, too.
27:34 I thought that would have gone to the grave. It says:
27:41 Let me ask you, when is it that the body will be cast into the
27:45 fires of hell? Is it as the moment of death,
27:48 or is it at the moment that Jesus comes in power and glory,
27:52 after the judgment of the wicked,
27:54 that they are cast into the fires.
27:56 Notice Matthew 5:29, 30, Matthew 5:29, 30.
28:02 The Bible is clear that the body is cast into the fires
28:05 at the end oft the age, which means that this is not
28:09 describing the rich man going directly to hell at the moment
28:13 of death, because he has body parts.
28:15 This must be describing the rich man being punished later on.
28:19 The parable does not say that he went to the fires immediately.
28:23 Notice what we find in Matthew 5:29, 30.
28:27 If your right eye causes you to sin,
28:31 pluck it out, and cast it from you:
28:36 for it is more profitable for you that one of your members...
28:39 That is one of the members of your body.
28:47 What is it that's cast into hell? The whole body.
28:50 Can that happen at death?
28:52 No, because at death the body goes where?
28:54 It goes to the grave.
28:56 Notice verse 30. And if your right hand causes you to sin,
29:00 cut it off, and cast it from you: for it is more profitable
29:04 for you that one of your members perish, than for your,
29:07 once again, your whole body to be cast into hell.
29:12 Now this problem of body parts in the burning fire has led
29:17 an individual called Robert Morey, who, by the way,
29:21 is a staunch defender of the idea of the immortality
29:25 of the soul. In fact, he wrote a book called,
29:28 Death and the Afterlife, where he tries to prove,
29:30 to the utmost of his ability, that people have immortal souls
29:36 that go to heaven when they die, if they were good,
29:38 or they go to hell if they were wicked.
29:41 I want you to notice the admission that he makes
29:43 regarding this parable.
29:45 Everyone, says Robert Morey, understood that these parables
29:52 and dialogues did not literally take place.
29:56 It was understood that the Rabbi's used imaginative stories
30:04 and dialogues as a teaching method.
30:08 It was understood by all that these dialogues
30:12 never took place. What is he saying?
30:15 He said this story never took place.
30:18 He continues saying, Jesus was merely using the dialogue
30:23 method to get across the concept that there is no escape
30:28 from torment; no second chance, and we must believe
30:32 the scripture in this life unto salvation.
30:37 And this man wrote a book.
30:39 By the way, I have the book, and I've answered every
30:42 argument with a fine toothed comb;
30:44 every argument that he uses in favor of the immortality
30:48 of the soul in favor of the idea that the souls of the righteous
30:53 go to Heaven at death; the idea that the souls of the wicked go
30:57 to hell at the moment of death.
30:59 Every single thing that he says has a clear Biblical answer,
31:03 but it's interesting that he finds it necessary to admit
31:07 that this story never actually took place.
31:10 So the only story in all of the New Testament that would seem
31:15 to indicate that a person went to suffer in the flames
31:20 at the moment of death cannot be used,
31:22 because it never took place.
31:23 All of the rest of the statements in the New Testament
31:27 point to the fire punishment taking place at the end
31:31 of the age. Now let's talk just a moment about the bosom of
31:36 Abraham. What does this rich man represent, or who does this
31:40 rich man represent? Let's talk first of all about the bosom;
31:44 what the bosom means.
31:45 John 1:18, John 1:18.
31:51 The word bosom represents closeness.
31:54 What do we do with the baby?
31:56 We hug the baby close to our what? close to our bosom.
32:00 It's a sign of closeness.
32:02 It's a sign that this baby is our child;
32:05 that there's a special link between us and our child.
32:09 Now notice John 1:18 on the idea of the bosom. It says here:
32:30 Where is Jesus? He is in the bosom of the Father.
32:33 Why are we told here that Jesus is in the bosom of the Father?
32:36 Because Jesus has a special what? a special closeness
32:40 to His Father. By the way, the arguments sometimes is used
32:44 even by Adventist preachers that, Oh, the bosom of Abraham;
32:47 that has to be an awful big place for everybody to fit
32:51 on Abraham's chest. But the fact is, that Josephus did not,
32:55 literally mean that people were taken real close to the chest
32:59 of Abraham. What he meant is that there was a region called
33:03 the bosom of Abraham, where those who had a close link,
33:07 or connection with Abraham were taken.
33:10 Now, what does the rich man represent?
33:13 There are clear clues in this passage.
33:16 Go with me to Luke 16 and we're going read verse 24, 25, 27
33:21 and then verse 30. Notice what it says beginning in verse 24.
33:26 The rich man.
33:32 Let me ask you, who claimed Abraham as father?
33:37 The Jews, and more particularly the Pharisees.
33:59 Hum, this is a father/son relationship.
34:03 Who would Abraham have called sons?
34:07 His descendents, his seed.
34:09 And who was the seed of Abraham? The Jews, exactly.
34:31 See, once again, the idea of father.
34:44 So the rich man has what? five brothers.
34:47 And he says to Abraham, send Lazarus to my father's house,
34:51 so that he can warn them so that they don't come to this terrible
34:54 place. Now notice:
35:00 Let me ask you, who were the ones who had Moses
35:02 and the prophets? The Jews.
35:05 By the way, I believe that what we have here, the five brothers
35:10 represent the different denominations of Judaism
35:13 in the days of Christ: the Pharisees, the Sadducees,
35:17 the Herodians, the Essenes, the Scribes.
35:20 In other words, his brothers are those who have
35:23 Moses and the prophets.
35:25 The Jews were the ones who claimed to have Moses
35:27 and the prophets. In fact, Jesus said in John 5, If you believe
35:31 Moses you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.
35:34 And then notice verse 30:
35:40 And there it is again.
35:42 And now notice this:
35:49 Now there's a very, very important point,
35:52 perhaps the most important point of this whole presentation.
35:57 I want you to notice here that in the last verse, in verse 30,
36:03 that the rich man says, No father Abraham, but if one goes
36:08 to them from the dead they will repent.
36:12 Let me ask you, did the rich man believe in the
36:14 immortality of the soul?
36:15 Yes, he says, send Lazarus to my brothers,
36:26 from the dead, so that he can what?
36:29 So that he can warn them and testify to them.
36:31 So the rich man is saying, Send this dead man Lazarus
36:35 to speak to my five brothers.
36:37 From the dead it says.
36:40 But I want you to notice the answer of Jesus.
36:42 The answer is found in verse 31.
36:45 And he said, No father Abraham: but if one goes to them from
36:51 the dead, they will repent.
36:52 That's verse 30; verse 31:
37:04 Are you catching... Did Jesus believe in the immortality
37:07 of the soul? No, Jesus says, I will send someone,
37:11 but someone who rises from the dead.
37:14 The rich man is saying, send someone to my brothers from
37:17 the dead. Are you catching my point?
37:19 You're saying, well, it's a technicality.
37:21 No it isn't. You see, there's a word, a very important little
37:24 Greek word that is used in verse 31 that is not used in verse 30,
37:28 and that's the word rise from the dead.
37:32 You see, the rich man says, Send him from the dead.
37:34 Jesus says, Send one who has risen from the dead.
37:39 By the way, if you want to notice that expression,
37:41 rise from the dead, Luke 24:46, It says:
37:55 So did the rich man believe in the immortality of the soul?
37:57 Of course he did. He says, send Lazarus from the dead
38:00 to my brothers. Did Jesus believe in the immortality
38:03 of the soul? He says, No, if I send someone it's going to be
38:06 someone that has risen from what?
38:08 Someone that has risen from the dead.
38:11 So what does the rich man represent?
38:14 The rich man represents the Jewish nation.
38:17 Particularly what sect of the Jewish nation?
38:21 Particularly the Pharisees.
38:23 Now the question is, what does Lazarus represent?
38:26 You know, there's a strange thing about this parable.
38:30 One argument that people use to say that this isn't a parable
38:34 is the fact that you have a proper name in this parable.
38:38 You see, the parables never give proper names.
38:41 They say there was a certain man; they never give the name
38:43 of the person. But in the parable of the rich man and
38:46 Lazarus, you have an exceptional case, because you have the name
38:51 of Lazarus. The rich man is not named, but Lazarus is named.
38:54 Why would you have a proper name here if this was a parable?
38:59 Well, we'll notice that in a moment, but I want you to notice
39:03 what this beggar, Lazarus, represents.
39:07 Go with me to Matthew 15:26, 27, Matthew 15:26, 27.
39:15 This is speaking about the woman who came to Jesus.
39:18 She wanted her daughter healed.
39:19 She kept coming after Him, and Jesus finally acceded to her
39:24 wish. And before He acceded to the wish, I want you to notice
39:29 what Jesus said to her.
39:31 This is verse 26. But He answered and said,
39:35 It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it
39:39 to the little dogs. Do you remember that Lazarus was at
39:43 the bottom of the table of the rich man,
39:45 and crumbs fell from the table, and the dogs came and licked
39:49 his sores? Now notice this: It is not good, Jesus says,
39:53 to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs.
39:56 By the way, this woman was a Canaanite woman.
39:58 She was not a Jew. She was a Gentile.
40:00 But notice the faith of this woman: And she said,
40:04 Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall
40:10 from their Master's table.
40:12 So let me ask you, what does Lazarus represent?
40:15 Lazarus represents the Gentiles.
40:18 This woman was a Gentile.
40:20 You have the same terminology: you have dogs, you have crumbs,
40:24 you have the idea of the table, you have the idea of poverty.
40:28 In other words, this Canaanite woman is what is represented
40:34 by Lazarus in this story.
40:36 By the way, it's important to realize that those who read this
40:41 parable many times add concepts and ideas that are not found
40:45 in the parable. Let me read you the parable as many Christians
40:49 like to read it. They add ideas.
40:51 This is their reading of the parable.
40:54 Now it was that the baker died and immediately his soul was
41:00 carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom.
41:03 The rich man also died and his body was buried.
41:06 And being in torments in the everlasting flames of Hades,
41:10 he lifted up his eyes and saw the soul of Abraham afar off,
41:14 and the soul of Lazarus in his bosom.
41:17 Is that what it says?
41:19 Of course not! Then his soul cried out and said,
41:23 Father Abraham, have mercy on my soul, and send the soul
41:28 of Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water
41:32 and cool my tongue, for my soul is tormented in this everlasting
41:36 flame. Is that the way it reads?
41:39 That's the way Christians read it.
41:41 They add the word soul, and everlasting, and fire.
41:44 You know, they put all kinds of concepts into it.
41:46 But Abraham said, Son remember that in your lifetime you
41:50 received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things.
41:54 But now his soul is comforted and your soul is tormented.
41:59 The parable doesn't say any of those things.
42:01 But that is the way in which it is interpreted by Christians.
42:06 By the way, as I was mentioning, there is no proof that this
42:10 takes place immediately after death.
42:12 The word immediately is not used there.
42:15 We've already noticed that body parts go into the fire
42:18 at the end of the age.
42:19 So this man, according to Jesus, must have been punished
42:23 in the fires when? at the end of the age with all of his body
42:28 parts. By the way, let me tell you the reason why the name of
42:33 Lazarus is used; there's a specific function.
42:36 Jesus wanted to connect this parable with something that
42:40 was shortly going to happen in His ministry.
42:43 You say, what event was that?
42:44 Well, the fact is that a short while after Jesus told this
42:51 parable, a man called Lazarus was resurrected from the dead.
42:59 Let's read about it in John 11: 43, 44, John 11:43, 44.
43:11 Now when He had said these things,
43:14 he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth!
43:21 And he who had died...
43:24 By the way, he had been dead four days.
43:26 ...And he who had died came out, bound hand and foot
43:31 with grave clothes: and his face was wrapped with a cloth.
43:35 Jesus said to them, Loose him, and let him go.
43:38 They will not believe even though someone what?
43:41 rises from the dead.
43:43 What was his name? His name was Lazarus.
43:48 Believe in whom? The parable doesn't say.
43:53 They won't believe even if someone raises from the dead.
43:56 This story tells us that they did not believe in whom?
43:59 They did not believe in Jesus.
44:02 By the way, to whom did Moses and the prophets point?
44:05 They pointed to Jesus.
44:07 Jesus said, if you believe Moses you will believe Me,
44:10 because he wrote about Me.
44:13 Now, when Lazarus was resurrected that was
44:16 the greatest sign of the Messiahship of Jesus.
44:18 Imagine someone resurrecting a dead person.
44:22 Did the Pharisees believe in Jesus when Lazarus
44:26 was resurrected? By the way, did Lazarus, in a certain way,
44:31 go to these men and preach the truth about the resurrection
44:35 of Jesus? He most certainly did.
44:37 But he didn't go from the dead, he came after he had risen
44:43 from the dead. Are you with me or not?
44:48 Now notice, John 11:46-50, John 11:46-50.
44:52 But some of them went away to the Pharisees...
44:56 See, the Pharisees are in view.
44:58 ...and told them the things Jesus did.
45:00 That is that He had resurrected Lazarus.
45:06 See, there's the Pharisees again.
45:20 What? believe. If they do not what?
45:23 If they do not accept Moses and the prophets
45:28 they will not what? believe even if someone rises from the dead.
45:32 Who were they supposed to believe in? Jesus!
45:59 In other words, instead of believing in Jesus, they said
46:03 we've got to get rid of this man.
46:05 Was Jesus right when He said, if they don't believe Moses
46:08 and the prophets, they won't believe even if a man called
46:11 Lazarus rises from the dead?
46:13 His words were proven true.
46:14 See, if Jesus had not used the name of Lazarus,
46:16 He could have not connected the two events:
46:18 The parable and what actually happened.
46:20 By the way, do you know that they also wanted
46:23 to kill Lazarus? Notice John 12:9, 10, John 12:9, 10.
46:32 It says here:
46:58 Poor Lazarus, they wanted to have him die another time.
47:01 So it says:
47:10 Notice the reason why.
47:16 There's the word again!
47:21 Is this clear? Go with me now to John 12:19.
47:27 Look at the complaint of the Pharisees, because after this
47:32 miracle everybody wants to follow Jesus, because Jesus
47:37 has resurrected someone from the dead.
47:38 Notice, John 12:19. The Pharisees therefore said among
47:44 themselves, You see that you are accomplishing nothing?
47:50 Look, the world has gone after him.
47:54 They're complaining about the fact that the whole world
47:58 is following whom? is following Jesus.
48:01 By the way, were the Pharisees really children of Abraham?
48:08 They were not really children of Abraham.
48:11 You say, why weren't they children of Abraham?
48:13 Well, literally they were children of Abraham, okay?
48:16 They were descendents of Abraham literally,
48:18 according to the flesh, but they were not truly,
48:21 in the spiritual sense, sons of Abraham.
48:24 You say, Why not? Let's look at it this way,
48:25 and we're going to read a text in a moment.
48:28 Abraham, according to John 8, saw the day of Jesus,
48:34 and he rejoiced. He longed for the day when Jesus would come.
48:41 He saw in his son, Isaac, a symbol of the death of Jesus,
48:45 and the resurrection on the third day,
48:47 according to Hebrews 11:17, 18.
48:50 He believed that the Messiah, Jesus,
48:53 would resurrect from the dead.
48:54 And so we find here Abraham, believing in Jesus,
49:03 who was to come, but those who were living in the days
49:06 of Jesus, particularly the Pharisees, what did they
49:09 want to do with Jesus?
49:10 They didn't long to see Him come.
49:13 They weren't happy about seeing His day.
49:15 They wanted to get rid of Him.
49:16 So let me ask you, were they really sons of Abraham? No!
49:20 Jesus says, If you were sons of Abraham, you would love Me,
49:24 because Abraham loved Me.
49:26 He rejoiced to see my day.
49:28 And you, say that you're the children of Abraham,
49:30 and you hate Me. How can Abraham love Me, and you say you're his
49:33 children and you hate Me?
49:35 Are you with me? How is it that Abraham believed in Me,
49:41 and you who claim to be the children of Abraham,
49:44 don't believe in Me?
49:46 So notice what Jesus said in John 8:44, John 8:44.
49:52 You know, Jesus... We usually think of Jesus as loving,
49:57 and kind, and merciful, and He was all of that, but Jesus was
50:00 never politically correct.
50:02 He told things the way they were.
50:05 With love, yes, but straight- forward.
50:09 Jesus said, You are of your father the devil.
50:13 He's speaking to these people.
50:15 And the desires of your father you want to do.
50:19 He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand
50:24 in the truth, because there is no truth in him.
50:27 When he speaks a lie he speaks from his own resources,
50:31 for he is a liar and the father of it.
50:34 And, by the way, when Jesus pronounced His woes
50:38 upon the Scribes and the Pharisees in Matthew 23
50:42 we find these words in the woes on the Scribes and Pharisees.
50:46 Jesus called them serpents, brood of vipers.
50:53 I mean who was the great serpent? the devil.
50:58 So if they were serpents where were they born from?
51:01 They were born from Satan.
51:04 That's right. Who wanted to see Jesus dead? Satan.
51:08 They wanted to see Jesus dead.
51:11 So the spirit of who were they reflecting?
51:14 The spirit of their father.
51:16 That's right. Now notice this: serpents, brood of vipers.
51:22 How can you escape the condemnation of hell?
51:26 Where were they going to end up?
51:28 In hell according to this.
51:32 When? At the very moment they died they were going to go
51:34 directly to hell? Of course not.
51:37 We've already noticed Jesus saying, serpents, brood of
51:40 vipers because you do not believe in Jesus,
51:44 even though He resurrected the man called Lazarus.
51:49 You are going to end up where?
51:51 You're going to end up in the fires of hell.
51:53 But He's not saying at the moment of death.
51:57 He speaking about the end of the age.
51:59 By the way, if you go with me to Matthew 8:11, 12,
52:03 Matthew 8:11, 12. It speaks about what's going to happen
52:07 at the end of the age.
52:08 Do you notice in this parable that there's a reversal
52:12 of roles? Where does the rich man end up?
52:18 The one who claimed to be the son of Abraham,
52:21 the one who had enjoyed all of the privileges,
52:23 and the covenants, and the temple, and the blessings
52:25 of God; where did he end up? In hell.
52:28 Where did the poor old Gentile, Lazarus, who, you know,
52:34 was cast aside, ate the crumbs that fell, the crumbs of bread
52:38 of spiritual truth that fell from the table of the rich man,
52:42 where did he end up?
52:44 He ended up in the bosom of Abraham.
52:47 There was a reversal of roles.
52:48 Now notice what Jesus says in Matthew 8:11, 12.
52:53 And I say to you that many will come from East and West...
53:01 Who do you think these are that will come from East and West?
53:06 They are the Gentiles.
53:08 You say, how do we know that?
53:09 Because immediately before this Jesus has healed the servant
53:16 of a Centurion; a Roman Centurion.
53:18 And Jesus says, I haven't found so much faith like this
53:22 in Israel, because the Centurion says, You don't have to come
53:26 to my house. Just speak the word.
53:28 I believe You're the Messiah.
53:29 Just say it and it will happen.
53:31 Jesus says, I haven't found faith like this in Israel.
53:34 And then He says, And I say to you that many...
53:38 That is Gentiles, like the Centurion.
53:39 ...many will come from from East and West...
53:43 And notice this. ... and sit down with Abraham.
53:47 Who are the ones who were going to sit down with Abraham?
53:51 The Jews or the Gentiles?
53:53 Hum, the Gentiles who accepted Jesus.
53:55 By the way, also the Jews who accepted Jesus.
53:58 I say to you that many will come from East and West, and sit down
54:04 with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
54:05 Where? In the kingdom of Heaven.
54:09 Now notice, but the sons of the kingdom...
54:13 Who are the sons of the kingdom?
54:14 Those who descended from Abraham according to the flesh,
54:19 but were not spiritually children of the Lord,
54:23 but the sons of the kingdom, will be cast out
54:32 into outer darkness.
54:36 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
54:41 When does the weeping and gnashing of teeth take place?
54:44 It takes place immediately when they were going to die, right?
54:48 No! It's when the righteous sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
54:51 in the kingdom. Then is the wailing and gnashing of teeth.
54:55 But listen to what I'm going to say. Many Christians say,
54:58 they actually add a word here where it says there will be
55:02 weeping and gnashing of teeth.
55:03 They say, there will be eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth.
55:08 The fact is that the word eternal is not there.
55:11 Is there going to be weeping and gnashing of teeth
55:14 when the wicked go into the fires,
55:16 and are suffering separated from God?
55:19 Yes, but it does not say everlasting weeping and gnashing
55:22 of teeth. And, by the way, this takes place at the end
55:26 of the age. The crying out o the rich man does not
55:29 take place immediately after his death.
55:31 It takes place at the end of the age, according to this verse.
55:34 Let's compare another one.
55:37 Luke 13:28, Luke 13:28.
55:41 This is a parallel passage to the one that we read from
55:45 Matthew 8:11, 12. It says there, Jesus is speaking.
55:50 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see
55:58 Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets
56:03 in the kingdom of God, and yourselves what?
56:06 Yourselves thrust out.
56:09 When is it that the wicked are going to be trust out?
56:12 When is it that the righteous are going to sit with Abraham,
56:15 Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom at God's table?
56:18 It is going to be at the end of the age, not at the moment
56:22 of death. One final point that I would like to make is this:
56:28 This punishment of fire that is spoken of in the parable
56:34 actually was fulfilled literally with the Jewish nation
56:39 in the year 70. Do you know what happened in the year 70?
56:44 In the year 70 the Roman legions came to the city of Jerusalem.
56:52 They surrounded it, and there was a siege, actually,
56:56 that lasted from the year 68 to the year 70.
57:01 It was a long siege, because those inside the city did not
57:05 want to give up. But eventually the Romans were able to break
57:09 through the barriers.
57:11 They entered the city and they burned the city, and they burned
57:17 the temple all the way to the ground.
57:20 In other words, just like the parable says,
57:23 Jerusalem was destroyed by fire.


Revised 2014-12-17