Parable of the Sabbath
This parable is related on the web site owned and operated by The New Covenant Church of God, Arvika, Sweden, by their pastor, Christopher C. Warren. You may visit the web page where this story is related by clicking here. This story is used with their permission, which was granted via e-mail on April 30, 2004. Pastor Warren states that this parable was told to him by friends of his who are missionaries in Africa.
"Once upon a time, there was a great king who had ten sons. Then one day,
the king decided to go on a journey. He called his ten sons before him. He also
called for the Prime Minister. He embraced each of his sons, one by one, saying
'Oh, my son.' The king then turned to the Prime Minister and said, 'While I
am away, take care of my sons.'
"Soon after the king was gone, the Prime Minister called the sons and lined them up before him for inspection. When he came to son number four, the Prime Minister said, 'You do not look like a royal son.' He took him out of the line-up and sent the boy into the fields to work with the slaves. Then the Prime Minister took his own son and put him in the place of the king's son.
"But the king came back one day, and called the Prime Minister to give an account of how he had taken care of his sons. The Prime Minister said, 'O king live forever. I have done as you have commanded.' He told the king that his sons were well.
"Then the king said, 'Bring in my sons.' As he had done at the first, he embraced them all until he came to the fourth son. Then he said, 'You are not my son. You must be an imposter.' The king turned to the Prime Minister and said, 'Who is this?'
"The Prime Minister replied, 'Your Majesty, your son did not look like a royal son, and so I removed him from the line-up and put my son in his place.'
"'Who gave you permission to do that? 'the king demanded. The Prime Minister was speechless. 'But where is my son?'
"The Prime Minister responded, 'He is in the fields, Your Majesty, working with the slaves. 'This made the king very angry. He banished the Prime Minister and his son from the realm and restored his own son to his proper place in the line-up."
"Tell us, what is the meaning of the story?" the Africans usually ask. The missionary would answer: "The king is Yahweh our God, and the ten sons are the Ten Commandments. The fourth commandment is the commandment that says 'Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.' The Prime Minister is the church, the one He left in charge of the commandments. But the church changed God's day of rest and put another day in its place, a day it chose. But the King is coming back!"
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