Click the File Folder to Download Your PDF

OR Read Online Below

Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
The story of the Prodigal Son. LUK 15.

This past week we noted the relationship that exists between the believer, the ministry of GOD the Holy Spirit, and the old sin nature; ROM 7:14-8:2. The battle ground is the soul where both GOD the Holy Spirit and the old sin nature are constantly looking to control the soul of the believer, with emphasis on the heart or the right lobe; PSA 23:

Remember, some of the wise words and the doctrines which are found in the OT especially those verses that emphasize the function of the heart or the right lobe of the soul. I like how King David dealt with this principle in PSA 23.

PSA 23:1, (A Psalm of David.) The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.

David is saying that the LORD was the One who was shepherding him and because the LORD is our shepherd, He provides everything we shall not never be in need of.

For example, in PSA 23:2, we all need to identify with the fact that the LORD makes us lie down in green pastures; He leads us beside quiet waters.

This is something we all need which is to enter into the rest, or the Sabbath Rest that the LORD provides just for us.

So, in PSA 23:2, we all need to identify with the fact that the LORD makes us lie down in green pastures; He leads us beside quiet waters. And this is the Old Testament version of a NT passage where our LORD says the same thing; MAT 11:28-30.

MAT 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy‑laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load or burden is light.”

Now, our LORD’s desire is for His people to enter into the rest that the LORD invites us all to enjoy with Him. It is here that PSA 23:3 becomes a reality when David says, He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Here is the restoration of the soul not the body, for it is the soul that is saved at salvation not the “physical body” but the soul. He restores our soul; He guides us in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

Therefore, we even have victory over death in PSA 23:4, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me. Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou hast anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

And this should mean a lot to us especially in light of the fact that the human race has been in bondage to death all of their lifetime; HEB 2:9-15.

HEB 2:9-15, But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, {namely,} Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of GOD He might taste death for everyone (Notice that this verse says that Jesus, because of the suffering of spiritual death was crowned by GOD the Father with glory and honor, so that by the grace of GOD He might taste death for everyone).

For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one {Father}; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, “I will proclaim Thy name to My brethren, In the midst of the congregation I will sing Thy praise.” And again, “I will put My trust in Him. “And again,

“Behold, I and the children whom GOD has given Me.” Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.

Now, let’s begin with a summary of what we have so far.

  1. We all have a legitimate desire to please the LORD, and this desire even increases as we increase our intake of doctrine; 2PE 3:18.
  2. We also noted that there are times when we have good intentions, but they are hindered by the overtime work of the O.S.N. with its trends especially toward human good and evil.

Here’s the principle; All sin is evil, but all evil is not sin! For example, there are many times where evil could be something good like marriage, or the family, or friendship, children, materialism, a new home, a new business, a new job, etc. None of these things are evil within themselves they only become evil when they take us away from the plan of GOD and the word of GOD as well as the ultimate goal of glorifying our LORD Jesus Christ in the midst of the Angelic Conflict.

JOS 24:14-15, “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the GODs which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. “And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the GODs which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the GODs of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

  1. A third principle in our summary and that is the fact that Doctrine is important because it helps you to recognize your flaws and the control that the O.S.N. has over you.


Now, if GOD's people could only realize this, along with understanding the Doctrine of Positional Truth, they would become free from bondage and slavery to their O.S.N. They wouldn't be blaming others and they would be using their failures as an opportunity to appeal to the mercy and grace of GOD. Now, before we go on with more of these vital and important principles concerning our Position and our Condition in Christ, we also need to note the sealing ministry of the Spirit.

  1. A fourth principle we need to note concerning positional truth and that is the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit or what we would call the signature guarantee from GOD the Father.

Look at 2CO 1:21-22, Now He who establishes us with you in Christ [a reference to predestination] and anointed us [baptism of the Holy Spirit plus the sealing of the Holy Spirit], is GOD [the Father], who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit [filling of the Spirit] in our hearts as a pledge [down payment].

The reason why it says that GOD the Father gave us the Spirit in our heart as a pledge is simply because He wants us to have confidence and boldness as a pledge or down payment of better things to come.

ACT 4:31, And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and {began} to speak the word of GOD with boldness.

EPH 3:11-12, This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our LORD, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.

And not only that but you can't understand that the ministry of the Spirit is given the way that it is unless you have the appropriate doctrine in your soul.

EPH 1:13, “In Whom also, when you heard [common grace] the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also, when you believed, you were sealed by the Holy Spirit with reference to the promise.”

There are four meanings to this signature guarantee of the Holy Spirit.
1. A guarantee of the grace of GOD.
2. A guarantee of eternal life.
3. A guarantee of eternal security.
4. A guarantee of your very own portfolio of invisible assets. This includes your escrow blessings for time and eternity.

The word for “sealed” in EPH 1:13, is the Greek noun sphragizo which means to set a seal upon something or to mark with a seal. Sphragizo was used in the ancient world in five different ways.

  1. First it was used in the ancient world for business transactions or business contracts. Signet rings were placed over wax and the transaction was finished. Do you remember what the Father gave to the prodigal son when he came back, notice what we read in LUK 15:11, And He said, “A certain man had two sons; This story is about a young man who decided to go and make a life for himself without GOD. He felt that he was missing something that the world could offer him and that his life was just fading away.

So, in LUK 15:11, And He said, “A certain man had two sons; Notice that they are both sons as we all are in our position. They both were the father’s sons when it started, and both will still be His sons when this passage finishes. In fact, the older was the worse but he was still the son of his Father.

Now, here’s a little challenge, the younger son, the prodigal son, would be the obvious one others would condemn but in reality Miss goody two shoes are usually the monster in the pack.

LUK 15:12, and the younger of them [this is the prodigal son, by the way prodigal means to waste your life away], so he said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' And he divided his wealth between them.

Notice that He didn't give to one without giving to the other. The prodigal son did what most people have done throughout history, he accepted the blessings of the father (as all men do who live on GOD's earth). Also notice that the Father made no attempt to stop him. The father said in effect “If you must leave, then go”. GOD does not violate our free will nor does He force us to remain in fellowship with Him.

LUK 15:13, “And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, [this is analogous to life in the cosmic system] and there he squandered his estate with loose living.

Notice loose living...that's all it says! It doesn't say exactly what is meant by loose living, all it says is loose living. Only his arrogant legalistic self-righteous brother said that he spent it all on “harlots or prostitutes” in verse 30. And of course, that's gossip.

So, the Bible doesn't specify what the prodigal son did. All the Bible says is that it was just loose living...without including women...though that is probably preferable for most men if you're going to live it up. However, the point is that he spent it all. He spent everything and he was broke!

So, it didn't take long for the young son to pack up and leave his father. And notice that it was the son who moved away from the father not the father moving away from the son. This is what happens when we live a life of sin, we draw away from GOD, He does not draw away from us. That's why JAM 4:8 says, Draw near to GOD and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners [rebound]; and purify your hearts [perceive doctrine], you double‑minded.

LUK 15:14, “Now when he had spent everything [he's not investing, he's just spending], a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be in need.

Prin: Whenever a believer goes astray, eventually he will come to a point, as the last part of this verse says, when he will begin to be in need. Having forsaken his very own father who represents GOD, he can now find nothing but poverty, misery, and want.
Because the human soul is empty if GOD does not fill it; ECC 3:11.

The famine represents the fact that there's a famine in every heart when we are no longer nourished by the word of GOD. There is always a famine in the heart when a person moves away from GOD. So, when the famine hit, he began to be in need, and he couldn't even find a job. Until then, he'd never known hunger because he was always provided by his loving father, the one he turned his back on.

Oh, how easy we forget! No matter what he tried, everything failed, and I want you to notice what he finally did.

LUK 15:15, “And he went and attached himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

Now, he did get a job feeding pigs on a farm. In this state, we are told that he attached himself to the pigs on the farm which is the Greek verb kollao meaning to glue or to closely unite himself to a citizen of that foreign country which represents the devil's children instead of GOD’s. And this reveals the misery of becoming a slave to the Devil and his cosmic system. The further a believer goes from GOD, the nearer he comes to being a slave to the devil. And there is no master as cruel as the Devil; no burden so heavy as that of the old sin nature; no slavery so nasty as slavery to the old sin nature and the carnal, shameful, passions of the flesh.

Now, times of distress often lead to self-examination and are used by GOD to bring about changes or repentance in people's lives. The key issue is recognizing who we are in Christ and not who we use to be in Adam or the old man. However, this young man still held on to the belief that he could maintain his self-sufficiency; His separation from his father; even though it meant complete humiliation. This parable describes the depths to which the Prodigal Son had sunk. His emptiness was shown by the job that he had to take, tending pigs. There could be no worse job for a Jew than feeding pigs according to Jewish history and the Works of the Jewish Historian known as Flavius Josephus who was known for being a Roman and Jewish Historian.

For example, look at MAT 8:28-29, And when He had come to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon‑possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs; {they were} so exceedingly violent that no one could pass by that road. And behold, they cried out, saying, “What do we have to do with You, Son of GOD? Have You come here to torment us before the time?”

Remember even the demons believe according to James JAM 2:19 You believe that GOD is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

MAT 8:30-33, Now there was at a distance from them a herd of many swine feeding. And the demons {began} to entreat Him, saying, “If You are {going to} cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And He said to them, “Begone!” And they came out, and went into the swine, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters. And the herdsmen ran away, and went to the city, and reported everything, including the {incident} of the demoniacs.

Pigs or swine were considered to be unclean animals and expressly forbidden in the Mosaic Law: LEV 11:7; DEU­ 14:8.


Back to the prodigal son who was trying to restore his fellowship with LUK 15:16, “And he was longing to fill his stomach with the pods or the slop that the pigs were eating, and no one was giving {anything} to him.

He's starving while he's working because pay day only comes after the pigs are marketed. And this is a picture of what happens when a believer goes back to the lifestyle that GOD has rescued him from. This shows the humiliation the young man was now enduring especially in light of the fact that he has forgotten that once a son, always a son. Now, for the Prodigal Son, gone were the fine robes and the rich food. Now he was occupied with the filthiest of jobs. And his hunger was so great that he considered filling his own belly with the pig slop covered with skubula.

Now, the food that he was feeding the pigs called pods made passable livestock food, but despicable human food. However, even that food was unavailable for the Prodigal.

So, that the detestable pigs who were even demon possessed were now eating better than the prodigal son who had left his father and all that he wanted now was to become a servant or a slave on the estate of the family. However, the father, like our LORD, would have none of that!

So, we read in LUK 15:17, “But when he came to his senses,

I don't know if you realize it or not but many times you can do your best thinking on an empty stomach. And so, this man finally became honest with himself and looked at his life from a biblical perspective....which means to face up with the situation as it really exists. And also, to take responsibility for your very own decisions. Recognize where you failed and pick up the pieces and go on and live as the Apostle Paul says to live in PHI 3:12-15.

PHI 3:12-15, Not that I have already obtained {it}, or have already become perfect, but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of {it} yet; but one thing {I do}: forgetting what {lies} behind and reaching forward to what {lies} ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of GOD in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, GOD will reveal that also to you;

So, to stop rationalizing or justifying yourself, stop blaming others for your failures. And to come to a point where you acknowledge them and recognize that it is wrong and contrary to the word of GOD, and so what, so be it, get over it, and get back to worshipping our LORD. And remember, this is not a parable about what happens to a believer when he sins, this is a parable about what happens to a believer when he changes his lifestyle.

LUK 15:17, “But when he came to his senses, he said [or thought to himself], 'How many of my Father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger starving to death!

He realized the absurdity of his situation. He knew that the hired servants in his father's household were even far better off than he was. The believer must see that his own actions have led him away from the loving Father (GOD). The believer must understand that a life of sin offers only destruction, while life with the Father offers prosperity and happiness. And until a person can be con­victed of the reality that he travels a dead-end road, true repentance cannot come to pass.

So, the Prodigal Son figured that his father's servants were better off than he was and so he was going to go home to see if the father would take him in as his servant and let him live with them as a slave. Again, our LORD would have none of that! Nor would our Father. Or our Holy Spirit.

LUK 15:18, 'I will get up and go to my Father, and will say to him, [rebound] ”Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; Period.

Now, he's going to add a lot of emotional nonsense that merely shows his emotionalism and guilt but that will be dealt with! So, verse 19 is just a lot of emotional nonsense.

Do you tell the LORD you're not worthy? Listen, He knew billions and billions of years ago that you and I were not worthy that is without HIM. In fact, how arrogant of any believer to make an issue of himself in rebound. The issue is sin, and you are to name it and cite it, period!!!

So, in LUK 15:20, “And he got up and came to his Father. But while he was still a long way off, his Father saw him, and felt compassion {for him,} and ran and embraced him, and kissed him.

Notice his father is a wonderful person and this is a magnificent way of expressing GOD the Father and His love, mercy and grace. His Father saw him while he was a long way off. It almost appears as if his Father had been looking for him.

LUK 15:21-22, “And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight [there's rebound];’ But the Father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and put a ring on his hand which was the signature to the Father's checkbook.’”

LUK 15:23, ‘and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat [have a feast] and be merry [celebrate];’

The fattened calf represents fellowship in the word, feeding on divine truth or Bible doctrine. Now, that is the divine attitude of grace when you're brought back into fellowship with GOD.

LUK 15:24, for this son of mine was dead [which means temporal death, loss of fellowship because of involvement in the cosmic system], and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found. 'And they began to be merry.

He did not say this boy needs a lesson, so I'll give him some nasty job cleaning the stables. He deserves to pay for his offenses and sins! No, the father’s attitude was to bring the best robe and put it on his son. This was his son who he thought had died and so he wanted to prepare a feast for his son's life.

Now, you cannot have a story like this without some legalist's and their opinion trying to spoil everything, always minding other people’s business; Trying to work out everyone’s salvation rather than their own.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top