THE RICH OLD MAN AND HIS SONS 

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              By: Theophilus Izobofolo

THE RICH OLD MAN AND HIS SONS

Once upon a time, a very rich old man who had many sons lived in the land of the East. On his death bed, he called his lawyer and made a will in which all his assets were documented. He then decreed that all his possessions must be shared equally among his sons after his departure.

This man was so rich in landed properties, silver, gold, precious stones and cattle that he could be considered a multi-billionaire in today’s parlance. The share apportioned to each son was more than enough to sustain him for a lifetime without having to work.

Before his death, the old man gave a copy of the will, the keys to the vaults that contained his treasures and the documents of his landed properties to his eldest son and revealed the content to three of his older sons to serve as witnesses. For reasons best known to him, he did not reveal the content of the will to the younger sons but he informed them that he had given a copy of his will to the firstborn.

Contrary to the father’s instruction, the eldest son connived with the lawyer, the trustees of the will and the three older brothers to short-change the other sons. He settled them generously and obtained a vow from them to never reveal what they knew. He flatly refused to reveal the content of the will to the younger sons. He also did not give them their portions.

He insisted that the other members of the family must be loyal to him and serve him in order to continue to abide in the house. This they did because they had no other means of survival. He then proceeded to build an empire for himself with the remainder of his father’s wealth and the labour of his brothers. He also began to live ostentatiously and became very pompous.

The older brothers who had been settled kept mum and did nothing to alleviate their siblings’ burden. They were afraid of what the eldest son could do to them since he had become very wealthy and powerful.

As God would have it, one of the deprived sons stumbled upon the will while cleaning the first son’s room one day. As he read the will, he discovered how stupendously rich he and his other deprived brothers were by virtue of their father’s will, though their present condition said otherwise. With joy and anger in his heart at the same time, he made a copy of the will and kept it in a secured place. He then began to tell his co-deprived siblings the stupendous provisions their father made for each of them.

The eldest son became very displeased and began to threaten the “belligerent” son.

Then, the older sons who were already enjoying their share of the inheritance became divided. One indifferently continued to enjoy his portion. He showed no concern about the plight of his deprived siblings. One rebuked the young man sharply, telling him to stop maligning the eldest son who was then the head of the family. He recounted the “sacrifices” their brother made to keep the big family together and warned him not to destroy their father’s legacy. The other gave a tacit support but was unwilling to associate with the boy openly because he wanted to be in his big brother’s good book. Generally, this courageous young man had no tangible open support from the camp of the three settled sons.

Initially among his peers, he garnered enough support but those who were against him were more than those who were for him. His co-deprived siblings who were against him have been too battered to believe his story. They reasoned that their big brother couldn’t have been that cruel to them. After much perspiration, his camp enlarged, overpowered the camp of the eldest son, took over the inheritance and gave everyone equal access.

INTERPRETATION :

The rich old man is God

The will is the New Testament by the blood of Christ

The house is the Church

The eldest son is the corrupt clergy, especially the prosperity gospellers

The three old sons are the associates of the corrupt clergy who know the truth but are unwilling to challenge the system because they benefit from the corrupt system either directly or indirectly. The benefit could be material or psychological.

The first of the three older sons is the group of associates that is indifferent so long as her position and privileges are intact

The second is the group that is actively defending the corrupt clergy, citing the sacrifices of the clergy and the unity of the Church. Is the sarcrifice of the clergy more important than that of Christ? Can there be any unity between the truth and untruth?

The third group secretly supports the “belligerent son” but can’t dissociate herself from the corrupt system. They are like Jonathan, the son of Saul, who died with his father because of blind loyalty. He ordinarily ought to have dissociated himself from his backsliden farther but he was not courageous enough to do so. This singular action could have saved his life.

The younger sons are the naive brethren who are being plundered and oppressed by the corrupt clergy

The empire is the private empires of the corrupt clergy, wrongly called churches

The “belligerent” young son are the former plundered and oppressed brethren who have been awakened and taught by the Spirit, and are now speaking boldly against the corrupt system.

The supportive co-deprived sons are the former deceived brethren who now know the truth through the activities of the “belligerents.”

The opposing co-deprived are the brethren who are yet to recover their sights. They still can’t believe that the Gospel can be so simple as the belligerent son is saying.

No matter the opposition, the truth will prevail.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OLD TIME CHURCH SERVICE AND MODERN TIME CHURCH SERVICES

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