Christian greetings dear family and to all I pray are having a blessed and restful Sabbath day. Today we have a message found in the parable “Lost & Found: Another Element.” This other element is the elder brother to the prodigal son who was found bearing the fruits that speak not for God. So, this is a continuation of the last parable of the “Lost & Found: The Prodigal Son,” which is a very important lesson for us all to learn of. So here, we have a lesson for all to understand and know what it means to be a true family in the Lord, which is to be stronger than the earthly in blood that reject the truth as we know it. I understand why so many would have a hard time wrapping their understanding around this truth, BUT the Word of God so plainly states in book of Matthew 12:46-50…
Matthew 12:46-50 -While he (Christ) yet talked to the people, behold, [his] mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
Before we begin with understanding the works of the “Prodigal son’s” brother, let us understand what it means to be brethren, which the elder son did not understand what it means to be a brother.
Romans 12:10-21 -[Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. [Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Amen…God loves it when brothers are being brothers towards each other. It pleases Him so much, and it should make us happy to know that we are pleasing God when we fulfill the works of brotherhood.
Psalms 133:1-3 -A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity! [It is] like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, [even] Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, [and as the dew] that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, [even] life for evermore.
Praise the Lord and Amen…And a true brother will always be there for you.
Proverbs 17:17 -A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
Proverbs 18:24 -A man [that hath] friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.
A brother is always helpful as well…
1 John 3:17-18 -But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
We are to love one another so deeply, as the love that we find between David and Jonathan.
2 Samuel 1:25-27 -How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, [thou wast] slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!
What true love comes from those who love their brethren? What a lesson to learn from true brotherhood that is found in Israel, which we are to be this day.
1 Samuel 18:1 -And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.
Wow and so wonderful… how we can love another as our own soul. What true and godly Christian-hood. So, much examining we are to do in these last days. We need to learn to come together as one voice, one heart, one tongue, one work, one body, one love, one soul and ready to die for one another if called to. Because the ultimate love is displayed in…
1 John 3:16 -Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.
If we fulfill the works of true love in perfect Christian brotherhood, we will not fulfill the works of the elder brother of the prodigal son and many of the like whose works are of the same spirit of Satan.
And so, we have a wonderful example today of what not to be like in the Parable of the Lost and Found: Another Element — the elder brother of the prodigal son.
When looking back into this Lost and Found parable of the “Prodigal Son,” we can see that when the prodigal came home to his father, the older son was doing what?
Luke 15:25-28 -Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 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. And he was angry, and would not go in…
This is not the works of a true brother in blood or in the Spirit of God. This is not the works of the Lord abiding in a true Christian. This is a person who professes like Judas but has no corresponding works with their profession in love for the fellow brethren, but of course, the spirit of Judas that was found in this elder brother, this parable gives no understanding if he repented not.
Based on what we read in Luke 15:25-28, we can see that he was going about his very day business, but once his younger brother came home, where he was once lost, but is now found, there was not joy, BUT Anger! Are you serious? This is no more different than the works of Cain. We truly can see how this elder son did not share in his father’s pains and watching for the lost to return home. The sounds of rejoicing kindle no gladness in his heart that his little brother had repented and came home in victory. The elder brother manifested the fruits of Satan in jealousy that his brother came home and return to good standings with his father, who was dead, but is now alive. His anger and jealousy are so bad that he will not even go in to welcome his found brother. All I have to say is what an awful shame to find him in such a satanic state. Now the tables have turned. The one who seemed to be in good standings is tested and is now found LOST, while the one who was lost is now found!
When the father of the two sons comes out to meet with his eldest son, he finds him in a wretched condition of pride and malignity.
Luke 15:29-30 -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: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
Jealousy is a wretched place to be brethren, and it is not a place for a Christian. And how terrible the language here spoken by the elder brother where he says to the father, “thy son.” That is bad language. He no more acknowledges the younger as his brother because he said, “thy son.” We have got to see the seriousness in this brethren in this language that many who had professed Christian-hood before, if they were truly from the Christian family, they would have said, "thy brother" that was "dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." Apart from that, we are doing nothing different than that which Cain did to his own brother when he was found full of jealousy, wicked works, claimed he was not a keeper of his brother and then slew him.
Genesis 4:2-9 -And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where [is] Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: [Am] I my brother's keeper?
Cain said, “Am] I my brother's keeper?” This is how he felt towards his brother from the start and it was manifested in the works of murdering him. Those who make such statements towards their brethren are truly not of the fold, for they see that the love of God is an inconvenience, an inconvenience to take care of their brethren and the lost. If you can’t take care of someone or others, especially when they are in need, then that means you could murder them because the fruits of love are manifested through our love and care to do well unto others. We are to be keepers of each other with tender loving care and watchfulness that helps our walk to the city of God. And at no point, in whatever situations may arise, never are we to harbor ill feelings or jealousy of others.
Brethren, when we see the works of Christ being fulfilled in a lost but found person’s life, and we see them come home where they have found their way, we are to be happy to see that the lost is found and safe and sound at back home. For it is written…
Luke 15:4-6 -What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found [it], he layeth [it] on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together [his] friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
True brethren are going to act as the father who lost his son but is found. False brethren will show the fruits of the elder brother to the prodigal son. If we are possessing a spirit from beneath towards others who God has paid that ultimate price for, what reward is there for that? We will have countless of souls being rewarded in heaven for overcoming the world through the blood of the Lamb and yet someone would enter therein with a spirit of jealousy towards others? I don’t think so. The ones who obtain a spirit like this will be with those who seek the kingdom of God but can’t find it till it is too late. We need to be on guard brethren of every life situation towards others that are in our life at home, in our life at work, in our life in the church and wherever we may be. We should count it all joy that we are all striving together to be heirs to the kingdom to come and helping the lost every way that we can. But, despite the elder son's bad character, the father deals tenderly with him.
Luke 15:31-32 -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; and was lost, and is found.
We can see that the father has given his son everything and yet the elder son is unhappy about the party being thrown for his returned brother. As we are Christians, we need to have no question of gift or reward being given or received by others, for if we have truly received ourselves, then we would understand the gift that is being provided for the lost who is now found.
Luke 15:7 -I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
The Father has given us the entire kingdom through His Son who has found us all by calling us home, and we need to be happy when the lost is found and not reflect the spirit of Satan as did the elder son.
John 15:16 -Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and [that] your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
If we take a look at the prodigal son for a second, we can see how he had cut himself off from the household, where he had not discerned the father's love. But now he has returned to his father in repentance, and the tide of joy sweeps away every disturbing thought:"This thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." And if we do not have the same feelings of love towards others as the Father does for all, then we have a lot of answering to do in the end. We are to love and love and help others make it home and when they return, we are to have no manifestation of evil in our hearts ready to tear them to pieces as the elder son did to his lost and found brother.
This parable that reveals the works of the elder brother is also represented by the Pharisees in every age, which had looked with contempt upon those whom they regard as publicans and sinners. They questioned the Lord’s bidding with them in…
Mark 2:16 -And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
There is only one answer for those who act in such ways towards the lost: self-righteous people. Christ met these cavilers of error on their own self-righteous ground, by simply lovingly rebuking them with another parable.
Mark 2:17 -When Jesus heard [it], he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
When we take a look at the elder son (the other element) of the “Prodigal Son” to the Pharisees, we can see a parallel between the two: they had both enjoyed special privileges from God. We can also find this in the life of Judas as well where he was right there with the Master and even took care of the Lord’s funds. They all claimed to be sons of the Father, but they had the spirit of a hireling.
John 10:11-13 -I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
The hireling work for other purposes and not for LOVE, but HOPE for a reward, pay check, or working for heaven only to receive the prize, BUT have no love…so when testing time comes, when the wolves come in they prove to be NOTHING MORE than HIRELINGS. Christ invites the lost as a true Shepherd or worker of the Lord would do and they would dare not chase away that which Christ has paid the ultimate sacrifice for. Those who do such things are in a world of debt. Grace was given to thee, but no grace given to others is a fruit of a hireling. It is all about me, me and me. A hireling will not lay down his life for the fold, but they will run.
Exulting Christ I must do, which Christ is the Good Shepherd, which says, “I lay down my life for the sheep," and therefore we know Him by His loving fruits to be that of the Saviour spoken of by the prophets of old.
John 10:15 -As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
And so, the opposite of Christ is one who works not in love, but for self-interests. In these types of people, a hireling, we can see how the Pharisees saw God as an exacting taskmaster. They saw Christ inviting all the publicans and sinners to receive freely the gift of His saving grace — the gift which the rabbis hoped to secure only by their daily toil and penance — and that is why they were offended of our Saviour.
Today, you can even see the parallel between these hirelings of old and that is found in the parable “another element” of the elder brother of the prodigal son, and see those who are working today in this world as ministers, where they claim to be brethren and heirs to the Father’s belongings, but yet, they are nothing more than a bunch of hirelings who claim themselves better than others and who preach fables. If these hirelings of old that were found in the Pharisees, if they would have truly loved the Father in heaven, they would have recognized His Son’s appearing, just as those who profess to be his workers today would recognize the true meaning of the gospel and how we are not to turn it into lawlessness, but they do and preach another Jesus because they love not the ONE who is the True and Good Shepherd.
In the parable of the prodigal son where the father meets with his eldest son, where he was so kind and loving, it is identified with how Heaven's tender appeal to the Pharisees was for them. All that I have is thine" the Word exclaims — not as wages, but as a gift. And so, like the prodigal, you can receive it only as the unmerited bestowal of the Father's loving grace.
I praise the Lord for this because I am a prime example of the parable “The Prodigal Son.” Blinded by the world and Satan’s schemes, yet the conviction of the Holy Spirit who leads us to repentance when we don’t turn Him away, He will lead us back home to the Father through Christ who is the door to our Salvation. It takes a hard lesson for many to learn of the matchless love of God and we should not be worried of those whom we love so much, but are currently lost and not found at the moment. God will save His children. They were bought with a price. They are His treasures, and no thief will take them away.
John 10:27-29 -My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father's hand.
Amen…Praise the Lord. And so, as we step back into understanding the other element to the Prodigal son, the elder brother we have that lesson to not be self-righteous, which will lead us to misrepresent God. The fruits of self-righteousness were seen in the elder son and jealousy, where he stood ready as a watcher over his brother, ready to criticize every action and to accuse him for lacking. This elder brother can clearly be seen as one who would detect every mistake and make the most of every wrong action done by his brother. They wait and lurk in the woods to watch every mistake made by others. We have to understand something here brethren, while the soul is making its very first struggles against Satan, there are going to be a flood of temptations flow into their lives as Satan has done to many of us and is still doing and will continue to do till the very end. We have got to show tender care and pity on the lost and not stand by, stubborn, self-willed, complaining, murmuring against others and accusing them to tear them down to the ground.
If we are going to claim to be the children of God, we need to put on the badge of love because professing to be, but yet not being through the works of righteousness in having perfect love as Christ did for thy brother, there will be a heavy price to pay in the end where every unrepentant sinner who has turned away from the cries of the cross, they will bear their own suffering and pains in their own burning cross in the day of judgment. These self-willed and self-righteous that see no bad in themselves but stand as accusers of others who have repented, where they place themselves in a place where God cannot give them the light of His countenance.
When we see ourselves as sinners saved only by the love of our heavenly Father, we will have tender pity for others who are suffering in sin. Everyone will no longer meet misery and repentance with jealousy and censure. When the cold of selfishness is melted from our hearts, everyone will be in sympathy with God towards the lost and will share His joy in the saving of who are in bondage to Satan.
Denying our relationship with our brethren, claiming not to be thy brother’s keeper, we show that we are but a hireling in the household of God, not a child in the family of God. That should hit our hearts and wake up the living, evil dross that may be lingering around the heart and have it destroyed, because…
1 John 4:8 -He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
If we know Christ and love Him, we will understand that Sinners must come to Christ as we have done and still continue to do. Sinners need to see the Saviour in order to be saved. Christ is their only way to the Father. For if sinners could repent without Christ, then they could also be saved without Christ, which is impossible.
Repentance is as much of a gift that comes from Christ as is forgiveness that He bestows to those who repent, and it cannot be found in the heart where Jesus has not been at work. Christ draws all the sinners by the exhibition of His love that was demonstrated upon the cross, and this is what softens their heart, impresses the mind, and inspires remorse and repentance in the soul of the sinner who has come home. And as the children of God that we claim to be, if we are showing the works of the elder brother to the prodigal son, we are not living up to the light of truth.
We have all in way one or another gone astray.
Isaiah 53:6 -All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way;
Romans 3:23 -For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
If we would forever keep this in our minds, we shall not fall prey to the bewitching power of Satan and manifesting the Satanic likeness of evil towards our brethren who have returned unto the Lord. We have all come to Christ in repentance, so there is no reason why we would be upset of those who may have fallen away, done such evil against the Lord and us, but would come back to the fold in full repentance. Because, yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing… because we have sinned against him.
Daniel 9:11 - Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
None of us are to be self-righteous and think that we are better than others, as if the elder brother of the prodigal son did not have his own sins and failures in life. All have come short to the standard of God. All have received His loving grace and call to repentance where we can be forgiven. Amen.
So, let us all stand together in brotherly love and chase away Satan’s army who is here to destroy every man, woman and child that are in the ranks of Christ. We are all enlisted in the army of Christ standing as watchman for the camp of Israel and the lost house of Israel who are still waiting in the night for the light to shine forth unto their souls. Let us all stand up against the band of Satan and his hosts and go forth conquering with the two-edged sword and speak the Word of truth and destroy the grips of Satan out of all these lives that are looking for the Water that will never allow them to go thirsting again, or the Bread that will bring them life and they will never go hungry. Put up a fight and press forward to the mark and the prize that comes to all who make their higher call an election sure.
My brethren, allow nothing to come in that would separate you from one another or from God; like talking about things that would bring in difference of opinion. We have not a moment to spare to allow Satan into the flock of God to destroy it with differences of opinions. BUT let us all unite in truth and in the love of the truth as it is in Jesus Christ.
Go before God in these last hours of this wicked world’s history and plead the shed blood of the risen Saviour as a reason why we should receive help in the warfare against Satan and his confederacy. If we plead, it will not be in vain. As we draw near to God, with a true heartfelt contrition and in full assurance of perfect faith, the great rebel Satan who seeks to destroy us, we will overcome him through the blood of the Lamb.
Let us all turn to the Lord in perfect repentance and be set free once and for all from the bondage of Satan. Let us put away the temptations by not giving place for them to enter therein. Let us be not prisoners of this war anymore that we find in sin. If Christ has truly Saved us, then we will bear His character.
Let us all go seek strength from God and break through the chains of darkness and help others. Let everyone show an unwavering, humble faith in His power and His willingness to save us, because failing to do that will result in death. We cannot give up and waver in despair or Satan will surely destroy the weak. When in faith we all decide to take hold of His mighty strength, He will change us, wonderfully change each of us, even the most hopeless Christians, and He will change the most discouraging outlook that may be darkening our lives. What a wonderful King we have who has prepared us for battle, who is preparing us for tomorrows battle, and who will not let us go in alone to stand against the temptations of the world.
Render all things unto God and He will direct our ways, direct our way through the path to change to the path of victory. God is calling upon us all who are faithful, who believe, and talk courage to those who are sitting in unbelief and in a hopeless and wretched state. May the Lord help each and every one of us love one another as Christ has loved us.
Psalm 81:1, 2 -Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery.
And let us all stand in victory together when we are given those crowns of victory for overcoming this world and passing through the land of death. Praise be to God for all that He has done for us and all that HE is doing for each other. Lift up your praise with your life sermon and let that light shine forth in words and deeds so all can see who we serve and how wonderful our King is, who will soon bring the kings of this world to their knees.
And as we end this sermon, many may wonder, “Did the elder brother of the prodigal son repent of his evils against his brother?” If we look at the end of the parable, we see that Christ was silent. This parable at that time was still enacting, and it rested with His hearers to determine what the outcome should be after hearing that parable Christ gave and for those who read today. We do understand that if we yield to such evil powers and we get lost and do not repent, and return to the light, we will be left in darkness and turn over to the powers thereof.
So, until next time dear brethren, may the God of heaven and earth bless you all who are contending and striving against Satan and his wretched world. May the peace and the love of God be with you all this Sabbath day and the days to come. Peace…..