Reading from chapter 15 the book of Saint Luke beginning at the eleventh verse.
Luke 15:11-32: “And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick 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: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 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. 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.”
Here in the book of Saint Luke is perhaps one of the most beautiful portraits to the human mind that has ever been given concerning the love of God and His mercy towards one who sins against God and strays away from home as did the prodigal. This young man had asked for his inheritance, and his father graciously had given it to him. He felt that he could make it on his own without the aid and the wisdom of his father. The Bible says that wisdom is with the ancient, and that we, as people of God, should never rebuke the elders, but entreat them as fathers and listen to them. They’re our guides. Paul said, “Though you have ten thousand instructors, yet you have only one father in the gospel.” He said, “I’ve begotten you as a father in the gospel. I’m jealous over you with a godly jealousy that I might present you unto God without spot, wrinkle or blemish; and that I might present you body, soul and spirit.”
So we get a beautiful picture of how gracious God is, how much love the Father has, and how He has extended His love toward us. We find out that He has extended His love to us in such a great way. Here the writer tells us that this prodigal took his substance, went away on his own and decided that he could handle things himself. It wasn’t long before he had completely devoured and wasted his substance with riotous living. He had wasted all that he had and came down to poverty. When he came down to poverty, he didn’t have any way of making a living. He didn’t have anything to eat. Eventually, someone gave him a job to feed the swine. He went from kingship, the son of a king, as we would say, or the son of a great, outstanding father, a place where he had all, wanting for nothing, and then, here he finds himself feeding the swine. The Bible says that he was in such condition of hunger that he would fain filled his belly with the husk that the swine did eat. All of a sudden, he came to himself and realized what he was doing. He began to reminisce, as to look back to the father’s house, to think, “What am I doing here?” See, his mind had been clouded up.
So often people’s minds get in a fog and they don’t know where they’re going, and they think they’re on the right side of the road when they’re about to have a head on collision by driving down the wrong side of the road. I’ve been in fog like that and barely escaped with my life. A lot of people get in a fog. Their mind gets all fogged up. They let the intellectual cares of life and the pressures of life, the hungry, gullible desires of life, so overwhelm them and take possession of them until they completely forget about God and His righteousness. They completely forget about the things of God.
When our mind gets clouded up, we don’t know where we’re going anymore. We can lose our life. The best thing to do is to have something that you can trust in. We travel a lot by plane, going around and across the world, having our crusades, and I get to see a lot of things and consider a lot of things. Solomon was a man that considered a lot of things. He went by the vineyard and saw it all broken down. He said, “A little folding of the hands, a little unconcern and then the poverty will come,” just like it did to the prodigal.
But I speak sometimes concerning the pilot. The average pilot doesn’t know how to maneuver in the dark. He doesn’t know what to do in the time of a fog. It takes one that has had special training, one that can maneuver the plane without looking out the window of the plane, or looking for markers along the ground. It takes one that has had a special seasoning of mind and training that makes him capable of flying in dangerous weather, in cloudy weather in low ceilings as they call it. I’ve been in our own private plane when the ceiling would be low and it would be dangerous and we had to have faith in God to be able to find our goals. Sometimes the pilot may be almost ready to panic. But God always took care of us.
But what we need to do in our Christian experience, beloved friend, is to advance in God. We need to spend some time with Christ. We need to study the Word, growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, so when we get caught in these things, these foggy days as we say, that we have that special training and that we’re not alarmed. We’re still alert, as to reading those instruments, and we understand those instruments and put our sole confidence in the wonderful Word of God as our instrument of absolute. We need to do this. That way, we’re not up and down all the time. We’re not in a problem all the time. We have smooth sailing with God. When the hard times and the problems come, we just turn on that little instrument of faith, according to the Word of God. We keep our direction, we keep on going, and everything works out so beautifully for us.
But we get into a fog like the prodigal did. The prodigal got into a fog in his mind, as we would say. A veil got between him and real reasoning, as to stabilization. When this thing got between him and his real upbringing, his reasoning and the tutoring of his youth, the darkness was there and he couldn’t find his way. He was not able to read the instruments, as we would say. He couldn’t find his way. Many people really don’t understand God and don’t know God’s Word, and they don’t grow in the grace and knowledge of God. These people get caught in the intellectual darkness and the night falls upon them. When this night comes, as to that intellectual reasoning of theirs (which is to say, Satan, being interwoven as a spiritual being of evil gullibility), when that comes into a human spirit, then that human spirit is one with that. Just like when the Christ Spirit comes into our spirit, we are one with that.
So we see that this had happened to the prodigal. He was caught in the darkness of his own intellectual reasoning, as we would say, considering God to be light and satanic darkness to be the infiltration. He wandered away from home, squandered all that he had, and would have filled his belly with the husk that the swine were eating. Then, all of a sudden, the light began to shine and the darkness began to dissipate. Where there’s light, there is no darkness, and where there’s darkness, there is no light because darkness and light hath no fellowship. You cannot go through the world in your intellectual reasoning, deciding your way of life and always reasoning things out and studying things out according to books and according to somebody’s surveys of things. You can’t do that and have a successful life as to an eternal source. You might manage fairly well in this world. But see, you’re no more than an animal when you do that. You are someone that knows nothing but books and learning and what you’ve read and have never become acquainted with God and reality in the Spirit of God. All you do is buy and eat, spend, laugh, talk, frolic. You’re no more than an animal.
You can take a dog and train him. You can say, “Give me your paw,” and he’ll give it to you. You say, “Roll over,” and he’ll roll over. He’ll sit up. So when you are in that intellectual frame of mind, you’re no more than a robot that Satan is controlling, making you do what he wants you to do. The Bible says that you are taken into captivity at his will. Just at his will, he takes you into captivity whenever he will. The Bible says that the wicked, the evil, the people of this world that don’t have God, are enslaved to Lucifer by reason of the infiltration of the carnal mind that got into Adam and Eve through the fall, the mind that came from the tree of knowledge. So then, we find that you are no more than an animal. The whole world is like an animal. You are an animal unless you come to reality, the recognition of the image in which you were made, the sonship image in which God hath made you, in His own likeness, and to be filled with His Spirit, to have the mind of Christ, to become a sovereignty in life.
We like to feel that we’re a sovereignty. A lot of people say, “I am a sovereignty. Nobody tells me what to do.” But it’s so striking to me and so phenomenal in my way of reasoning, to think that when an individual tells me this, that he is completely under the constraint of a dictionary, or some learning, or some college education, or some schooling, or some wild ideas that he has concocted in his mind. He is enslaved, perhaps more than the other people that I’ve communicated with, and yet he thinks he’s a sovereignty. He is eaten up with the leeches of life from every source, such as flattery. The Bible says, “Who can stand before flattery?” He’s caught in flattery and soon his substance is gone. Soon his years are gone. Soon his life is gone. Soon he’s on his death bed, and suddenly he realizes, right then and there, he realizes that he has been overwhelmed with flattery and people have devoured his substance, as it was with the prodigal.
All that he has is gone. His good reasoning left him. He got into that fog. He got into that intellectual mind of reasoning, thinking himself to be something when man is nothing without God. Man dies. No one escapes death. The great, the small, the intellectual, the dignitaries, the professors, the presidents, whoever it might be, the celebrities, all of them die. Go by the graveyard and that’s the end of all flesh. Big, little, rich, poor, educated, ignorant, whatever it might be. Too late we come to this. We won’t listen to the truth. We won’t listen to God. We won’t listen to what’s right. We’re so puffed up in our fleshly mind. The Bible says, “Knowledge puffeth up.” When a man learns a lot of things and he feels skillful and he has great ability or capability, then he gets puffed up. He feels like he’s something when he’s really nothing. After all, is something anything when it’s going to be thrown over into a grave and dirt thrown in on top of it? Could you call that anything? Well that’s no more than an old rag that will be thrown into the garbage. That’s like an old worn out garment. “What is man,” the Bible says, “that God would be mindful of him?” What is he? He is so small. He’s so insignificant. He’s nothing. All of his life, all of his endeavors actually amount to nothing.
But if he becomes a Christian, if he receives the Spirit of Christ, then he is eternal, for godliness is profitable for this life and the world to come, to give you health and happiness. His blessing maketh rich even in this life. So then, man with God is everything. He actually becomes a god, an eternal one that cannot die. Something that cannot die is a god. Jesus said, “Ye are gods. But you die like men from the lack of knowledge of God.” Here, you have this golden opportunity to have God and then have these wonderful skills, these wonderful talents. Even as the angel said to Daniel, “I’ve come to give thee skill, Daniel.” He wants to give us eternal life. He wants to use us for His glory and fill us with life until we’re filled up and overflowing with the abundance of life.
So we see that the prodigal lost all that he had. The tongues of flattery overtook him. The gullible desires of passion overtook him. That thing of looking for fame overtook him, doing his own thing, projecting his own life, trying to being something, rather than as the Bible says, to look on the things of another, to seek the welfare of another, to esteem others better than yourself, to love your neighbor as you love yourself, to have the right mind. Now, if he’d kept the father’s mind, he would not have been in that kind of conflict. It’s evident that he would not have been in that kind of condition because the father was successful. He, no doubt, had herds of cattle, a home, money, prestige. Everything was well with him, because of the mind that the father had. What kind of mind was it? It was certainly different from the one that his son had, because his son had a mind to squander.
The father had been conservative in the sense of understanding and using the right approach to life. It was very evident that he did have this kind of life, because when the son came in total despair, he was expecting the father to disown him, but the love and the compassion of the mind of the father that had made him so great, that had caused him to have all the good things of life, this compassion could not be hid. When he saw his son, he did not listen to all the things his son had to say about father. “I’m not worthy to be your son anymore,” the son said. He couldn’t hear that. All he could do is think, “This is my son. He was lost. Now he’s found. Go get the best robe. Put a ring on his finger. Put shoes on his feet. We’re going to have a banquet. My son is home.”
This is the compassion and love of God. How great is the love of God! It so excels our understanding as the heavens are high above us. So we look at Him and we think, “But Father, we’ve done wrong. We’ve stumbled. We’ve staggered. We’ve not done right at all. And we’ve grieved You.” The Bible says to grieve not the Holy Spirit, whereby thou art sealed, as to the inner man, unto the day of the redemption of the body. Then we say, “Lord, we’ve sinned. It just can’t be possible,” and something is ringing in our ears. Satan is talking to us. Satan is saying, “You know He doesn’t love you. Look at the things that you’ve done. God’s after you to kill you,” and Satan programs our mind and distorts our mind and gets us into such condition until we feel like God is pursuing us to destroy us, when instead He’s coming after us with hands that are dripping with blood, trying to say, “I love you. I love you. I love you. What more can I do? Don’t run from it. Don’t turn away from it. Don’t go out into the world and destroy yourself.” Listen to what I’m trying to tell you.
You see this great love of God demonstrated so many times. I’ve had it demonstrated toward me from God and through saints, different ones, that were considerate toward me. The love of God. And I thought, how great is the love of God. I remember the songwriter said, “If we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made, and every stalk on earth a quill and every man a scribe by trade, to write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky.” The love of God, the great, wonderful love of God, in my life, in your life. Faith worketh by love, and eternal life comes through faith, as to the purifying of the heart. To know that God, through Jesus, has given Himself through the sufferings of His own Sonship, that we might have eternal life and that we might be free from our sickness. As David of old said of Him, “I am the God that healeth thee. I forgive all of thine iniquities and I heal all of thy diseases.” God is good. There is none good but God, the Bible tells us.
So then, we see that with this wonderful, wonderful story of the prodigal, the love of God is made known to us. This was the goal of Jesus, to get this over to us. The reason He gave the story was to let us know that when we’re at the lowest depths of despair, and when we have no friend and when we’re cast down, God is there. I’ve even been to them on skid row and introduced Jesus to them and they found their bearings in God. When we’re at the point where no one can help us, our nerves are going to pieces on us, and all of the medicine that the doctor gives us and the shock treatments won’t stop it, I’ve seen God pick them up, turn them around, restore their minds, take them out of the mental institution, and make them great people. As a matter of fact, we have some here with us that have been healed and delivered, that are great, outstanding, intelligent people. People with college degrees, outstanding people that make a living, have their little family, happy, free, not one flashback, as we say. God does that when no one else can do it. God does that.
You might not have turned to the bottle or become a barfly, but I’m telling you, that at the end of the way, it’s going to be worse than ever. You may lean on the arm of flesh by going down to Egypt for your help, or by trusting in the medical world. But at the end, it’s going to be worse. I used to work on a job where we took them in the front door of the hospital and nobody knew that later we came back and picked them up at the back door and took them out. They were living when they come in. They were dead when we took them out. We just rolled them down the hall and slipped a sheet over them and nobody knew about it. They just think somebody’s going to the operating room. They’d say, “Don’t alarm the patients.” You can’t trust in the arm of flesh.
I appreciate medicine. The Bible says that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine. I appreciate medical benefits when things are kept decent and in order. I appreciate the physician. Jesus said, “It is the sick that need a physician.” But friend, let me tell you something, the Bible says that the time is coming when there’s going to be no healing medicines. There won’t be any healing medicines. A physician doesn’t know anything about healing medicine. It’s the grace of God, while the blood is on the seat of atonement, that makes allowance for these things, and when that blood comes off of the seat of atonement and the tribulation period comes, there will be no healing medicines.
It’s not of man. It’s of God. While man is weak in faith, God gives something to help carry him over. But during this time, just like grace for us during this period of time, we need to perfect our lives during that period of grace. We need to learn to perfect faith during this period of grace while we have medicine. Let’s start growing up in God, and believing in God, getting out of our fallen state and come back to the Father’s house and learn about His mercy and learn about His glory, His kindness and the gift of God that He has given to man, which is eternal life through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
By Rev. George Leon Pike Sr.
Founder and first President of Jesus Christ’s Eternal Kingdom of Abundant Life, Inc.
Holiness Unto The Lord