The Rich Man and Lazarus

The Rich Man and Lazarus
Luke 16:19-31

The Parable of the Rich Man and
Lazarus is perhaps the most controversial
parable given by our Lord. This parable is
given in Luke 16.

Verse 19 of this parable states,
“There was a certain rich man, which
was clothed in purple and fine linen,
and fared sumptuously every day.”
The rich man of this parable represented
the scribes and Pharisees. They
had the purple clothing representing the
civil laws of Moses as well as the fine
linen which represented the religious
ordinances God gave through Moses, and
they fared sumptuously every day.
Verses 20 and 21 tell us “there was
a certain beggar named Lazarus,
which was laid at his gate, full of
sores. And desiring to be fed with the
crumbs which fell from the rich man's
table: moreover the dogs came and
licked his sores.”

The beggar on the outside who desired
to be fed with crumbs from the rich man's
table and whose sores were licked by dogs
represented ten-tribed Israel, who at that
time were outside of Palestine and living
among the heathen; they had, as Jesus
said, become “the lost sheep of the house
of Israel,” being without the comfort and
hope of the Scriptures.

Ten-tribed Israel, as we have shown
from both Bible history and Bible prophecy,
still remained in heathen bondage and
darkness when less than 43,000
Judahites were led back to Palestine
under Ezra and Nehemiah between 500
and 400 B. C. Therefore in a very real
sense they received no true spiritual food
except that which fell from the rich man's

In verse 22 we read, “And it came to
pass, that the beggar died, and was
carried by angels into Abraham's
bosom: the rich man also died, and
was buried.”

“The beggar died," that is, ten-tribed
Israel as was prophesied disappeared
from history. Ten-tribed Israel became so
lost that they were dead, and lost to them-
selves. To this very time the vast majority
do not know who they are, where they
came from, nor what their destiny is. Try
to show the Anglo-Saxons they are the
descendants of ten-tribed Israel and you
will soon realize that the beggar died.
But in spite of this - even through this
passing away of ten-tribed Israel into
apparent oblivion — ten-tribed Israel was
carried by angels into Abraham’s bosom,
the great unconditional covenants God
made with Abraham.

Ten-tribed Israel has appeared in history
as the many nations of Christendom
which God promised Abraham in Genesis

The establishment of two great
Christian nations in the North American
wilderness is a fulfillment of the covenant
blessings God gave to Abraham. In fact,
all of Christian or Western civilization
came out of Abraham's bosom in that it
was promised to Abraham’s seed through
Isaac and Jacob.

“The rich man also died, and was
buried,” and so he was. In 70 A. D. the
religion and the followers of the scribes
and Pharisees came to a very violent overthrow
and entered, as their own history
shows, a long period of persecution and
torment. And they have repeatedly cried
to Lazarus for help and relief.

Verses 23 through 26 read as follows:
“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being
in torments, and seeth Abraham afar
off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he
cried and said, Father Abraham, have
mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that
he may dip the tip of his finger in
water, and cool my tongue, for I am
tormented in this flame.
“But Abraham said, Son, remember
that thou in thy lifetime
receivedst thy good things, and likewise
Lazarus evil things: but now he
is comforted, and thou art tormented.
And beside all this, between us and
you there is a great gulf fixed: so that
they which would pass from hence to
you cannot; neither can they pass to
us, that would come from thence.”

There is a great gulf fixed between the
Christian faith and all other religions.
That gulf is Jesus Christ and His atoning
and redeeming blood. No mortal can by
his own effort pass over that gulf. There is
only one way and that is through an act of
God made possible by faith in Christ
which brings to pass the new birth. No
new birth, no salvation, and no assurance
of sins forgiven is possible without faith
and trust in Christ. The gulf in this parable
is the gulf between Christianity and
Christ-rejecting Judaism.

The balance of the parable on the rich
man and Lazarus is a conversation
between the rich man in torment and

The rich man said, “I pray thee therefore,
father, that thou wouldest send
him to my father's house: For I have
five brethren; that he may testify unto
them, lest they also come into this
place of torment."

Abraham replied, “They have Moses
and the prophets; let them hear them.”
The rich man said, “Why, father Abraham:
but if one went unto them from the dead,
they will repent.” Abraham answered, “If
they hear not Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded, though
one rose from the dead.”

There are those who insist that the
story of the rich man and Lazarus is not a
parable but actually an account of what
happened between a rich man and a beggar
after their physical death. If we were
to accept this teaching we would have to
ignore the great doctrine of the Bible on
personal salvation and the hereafter.
Are people saved because they are
poor? Do people go to hell because they
are rich? The answer in both cases is, No.
Does Abraham communicate with
those in hell? Again the answer is, No.
If this was intended to be a parable on
personal salvation the five brethren would
have been told to look to the Son of God.

Incidentally, Judah had five brothers.
The hell and torment that came to the
rich man in this parable was not the punishment
after death that comes to the
Christ rejecter. There is no mention in
this parable as to how personal salvation
is received.

But the parable teaches most of the
hell and the torment of the last 2000
years could have been avoided here on
earth if the writings of Moses and the
prophets had been honored and observed.
The only way out of the hell and torment
the world is in today is to hearken to
Moses and the prophets with their national
message and God's law and order for
men and nations.