The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and [h]fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with [i]the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 “Then 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.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

 

‘The rich man clothed in purple and fine linen’ represents those are within the Church but hoard the good of it for themself. ‘Purple and fine linen’ itself represents having an abundance of understanding of doctrine that comes from the Word. ‘A poor one’ means those within the Church with whom there is little understanding of truth, but who nevertheless have had a desire to receive instruction. Overall this represents religious leaders who are using religion for power and not for the people. The poor man is named Lazarus after the Lazarus whom the Lord raised from the dead, and this association is in reference to the Jesus’s great love for Lazarus, and in turn to Jesus greatest love which was for the salvation of the people, (John 11:1-3, 36); and (John 11:11). This love of jesus’ is in total contrast to the leaders and the rulers. ‘His wish to be filled with the crumbs falling from the rich one’s table’ meant his desire to learn a few truths from those within the Church possessing them in abundance. ‘The dogs that licked his sores’ are those outside the Church who have a yearning for good, but are deprived authentic good of faith from the corruption of leaders.

You see this syndrome in some churches and institutions; it gets repeated over and over, and everyone of them thinks they are so original, but really they are controlled by the same old tricks of hell. Too often, there are those at the top who do and say the right things but who inwardly don’t care about the people who serve them, but do everything just to keep their, perks, power and positions.

In Jewish tradition to be ‘carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom’ is the ultimate in reward and salvation. So, when both die there is an incredible contrast. The poor man who begged for crumbs and that was so low had dogs licking his soars, is now at the height of Jewish happiness in salvation, while the rich man feels all the hate, pain and neglect he put out on others. 

 When the rich man reaches out to get some water from Lazarus Abraham tells him what they did in their lifetime to be where they are now at, and says he cannot be given the water. The inner meaning of this is that each and every person forms the state of their soul while they are in the world, and once in heaven or hell this basic form cannot change. This is difficult for many to understand, but this is according to the immutable principles of life – which are entirely just from God. The form of ones love at death is set. It cannot change because these are the loves one freely chose during their whole, and in the spiritual world one is what they love. In life we are in continual formation because we have a natural body and a spiritual body, and between these God is constantly guiding us to seek union an harmony. Union is the glory of Jesus; it is what He did and demonstrated in achieving the Glorification and resurrection. It is what he leads us to do except in us it is regeneration not glorification. To the degree we are exerising union between our inner self and outer self, our body and mind, our loves and our actions we are forging the heavenly pattern in our soul. Hell is always seeking to separate our body and soul, and mind and heart – which is all forms of deception and is an internal hate and separation. When we die the nature of concordance between our body and soul, heart and mind forms a constellation. This constellation is only formed during life on earth because it is between the natural and the spiritual, so when we die (and there is no more physical) – it is set!

Then Abraham tells the rich man about the ‘gulf between you and us’. This gulf Jesus built in His first coming (after hell had overrun it) and rebuilt in the second coming (after hell had overrun it) and now he promised it will never be breached again. Hell is completely separate from heaven, the two repel and are abhorrent to the nature of each other. They cannot occupy the same space like the same ends of a magnet that cannot be put together.  God allows and governs hell and heaven from perfect justice according to what they have ‘reaped’. Hell must be separate from heaven to keep it in integrity – for any chance it gets hell would utterly destroy heaven.

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