Snippets of The Prodigal Band Trilogy: Biblical References Series, Episode Three—“The Parable of the Laborers of the Vineyard”

Several New Testament Parables given by Christ to His Apostles influenced how and why I wrote the three novels in The Prodigal Band Trilogy. One of these is from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter Twenty, verses 1 through 16. It is called “the Parable of the Laborers of the Vineyard.” It is cited below, from the copyright-free public domain King James Version of the Holy Bible, the PDF version.

To sum up the message: The “householder” (God) “hires” “laborers” (missionaries) to reap new fruit (believers on Christ) within the vineyard (the world), beginning with those hired early in the morning (that is, early in the life of the “laborer”; children, teens or those in their twenties), then hired mid-day (“laborers” in their thirties), then later (“laborers” in their forties or fifties), then later (sixties and seventies) then the “eleventh hour” (those on their death beds or close to it…I actually know a couple of folks who accepted Christ as their Savior days or even hours before they died or ‘passed on’!). I myself, while I (with one exceptional time period I described in an earlier snippet) believed in God and Christ, never fully committed to God and Christ until I witnessed a miraculous event while in my mid-forties. The “laborers” in question are those who not only accept Christ but tell the world about why they should consider accepting Christ as well (and EVERY Christian author, fiction or non-fiction, needs to partake in this however God guides them!). That is, these “laborers” are on their “mission of God,” an expression I use often in the trilogy. The final verse, 16, says the last (to accept Christ) will be first (as they will die shortly) and the first shall be last (as they have a full life ahead of them, God willing), and that “many are called but few are chosen.” And among these “few” there just might be those that prior to accepting Christ led extremely evil lives! And the “few” that are “chosen” are “chosen” for a reason; for one thing, among these “few” that are chosen are those that “choose” to be “chosen.” God is calling the entire world, basically, but only few will choose this “calling.” The “payment” of course, is eternity with God in Heaven. And it doesn’t matter to God at what point in the lives of the “laborers” they do become workers for God, and it shouldn’t matter to one who works his or her entire life for God gets the same reward as one who works for God at the end of his or her life—so it shouldn’t matter to anyone working for God, either. Below is the parable.

{20:1} For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man [that

is] an householder, which went out early in the morning to

hire labourers into his vineyard. {20:2} And when he had

agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them

into his vineyard. {20:3} And he went out about the third

hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,

{20:4} And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard,

and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their

way. {20:5} Again he went out about the sixth and ninth

hour, and did likewise. {20:6} And about the eleventh hour

he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto

them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? {20:7} They say

unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto

them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right,

[that] shall ye receive. {20:8} So when even was come, the

lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the

labourers, and give them [their] hire, beginning from the

last unto the first. {20:9} And when they came that [were

hired] about the eleventh hour, they received every man a

penny. {20:10} But when the first came, they supposed that

they should have received more; and they likewise received

every man a penny. {20:11} And when they had received it,

they murmured against the goodman of the house, {20:12}

Saying, These last have wrought [but] one hour, and thou

hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden

and heat of the day. {20:13} But he answered one of them,

and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree

with me for a penny? {20:14} Take [that] thine [is,] and go

thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.

{20:15} Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine

own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? {20:16} So the

last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but

few chosen.

In Chapter Nine of The Prophesied Band a spirit being called ‘the witch of the Hovels’ gives the prodigal band Sound Unltd a message that angels called The Tooters are about to give the six “missions of God” as they perform at a local music festival in short time, in July, 2000. In Chapter Ten, each of the six is given separate missions to ‘preach’ about Christ to various groups of people they are likely to be affiliated with, such as pagans, celebrities, gang youth, bikers, and occultists. But they have no idea at first how to accomplish these ‘missions’ and aren’t even sure they want to take on that responsibility—do they even have to accept Christ as Savior to do these missions? They have their doubts, until they realize they must—beginning with their frontman-singer, Erik. While they are all in that white ‘void’ having been removed from their burning jet on the tarmac of a London airport in July, 2001, and are discussing if they should accept Christ and do the missions or not, that same ‘witch’ appears before them to help them make their choices. From Chapter Eleven of The Prodigal Band:

The image of the Witch of the Hovels appeared in the midst of them. Jack was so startled he found himself nearly falling over backwards.

“Whoa!” the guitarist blurted.

“As I have explained to you before,” she scolded, “the last time we met, that when Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and then resurrected 2,000 years ago, it was His shedding of blood that became the ultimate and final sacrifice to His Father for sin, for all sinners, for all time. To receive redemption from your many sins for all time, you must proclaim that He is your Savior, that He rose from the dead to save from sin, and repent, that is, have a change of heart and try not to sin again. It requires a commitment from each of you, not just empty words. Because only He can bring remission from sin and nothing you ever do will accomplish this, which is why He is your Savior. How you receive this redemption I just told you. Whether you receive it or not is up to you. You must want Christ as Savior and Redeemer. God won’t force it on you. You have a choice.”

She disappeared.

“Well,” Erik said boldly as he stood up, “I believe it. That’s what Morwenna was trying to tell me, and I kept arguing with her. But she got me, okay? She put me in my place. She’s like my mother, except holy. I can’t disregard what she says. She’s never lied, cheated, stole, acted all obsequious and then stabbed me in the back like others have done. She is the embodiment of truth.” He then turned to the others. “And you know something? Ger believes it, too. So, even though I don’t know all the details and I’ve never been baptized—do I even need to be baptized? I will tell you all now that I accept Christ as my Savior.” Sigh, as the others looked at each other. “There, I said it. I’m saved. And now, I can officially do the mission without the guilt trip.” Smiled. “It’s that easy. And you know something? I feel great!”

They still looked at each other, and finally said almost simultaneously, “Me, too.”

“But,” Jack reminded, “the test of whether we really believe is still to come.”

“Yeh,” Tom added, “with Torquay and the rest of the devil’s minions.”

Morwenna, by the way, is the newer and younger version of that old woman ‘witch’ that the singer had argued with just days before regarding ‘becoming Christian,’ and he admitted that she was right—it was hypocritical to do the mission and not accept Christ. In the next snippet from Chapter Twelve of The Prodigal Band, the band’s manager, Joe Phillips—son of the evil and satanic Baron Torquay-Lambourgeau—hears why each of the six has accepted Christ and then makes his own decision. Joe and the band are meeting in his hotel lounge on the upper floor and are discussing the meaning of the final line of the song they performed at that local music festival where they were given their ‘missions.’ The lyric line in question says, ‘For my sweet love to wear a golden crown.’

“Anyone else?” Jack asked the six. “Or, anything else?”

“Yeh, man,” Erik insisted. “Tell us who ‘my sweet love’ is, and why. ‘Cos I know that you know.”

Jack turned to the singer. “You know ‘cos you said you knew before. But how do you know that I know?”

“I know that you know, because you know the New Testament, right? I’ve just started opening the Bible, thanks to Morwenna, and Ger even. But you’ve known what’s in it for years, and I know that you know who ‘my sweet love’ is, because ‘my sweet love’ wears a ‘golden crown’. So, Jack, you know who wears the golden crown, right? And why.”

“Okay. If you haven’t figured it out yet,” Jack said to the others, “I will say who ‘my sweet love’ is. It’s Jesus Christ.” And as they all nodded having suspected it since the void anyway, he explained why. “Why? Because ‘my sweet love’ does indeed as the song says wear the ‘golden crown.’ Why? Because when Christ returns in the so-called prophetic end times to do away with the evil and the anti-Christ, then He becomes Christ the King, Lord of All, and thus symbolically wears the golden crown of a king.”

“But,” Bry said, “that does not explain why He is called ‘my sweet love,’ as if He is someone’s fiancé or marriage partner.”

Jack shook his head backwards. “Sorry, I did not explain that. But the reason He is called ‘my sweet love’ is precisely because He is the groom in the marriage, and we believers in Christ are the bride. So He is indeed ‘my sweet love’ if one is part of a collective marriage bride of all believers. And I know that sounds weird because a bride is considered the female partner in the marriage, but symbolically, the six of us—”

“Seven.” Joe came over feeling joyful. “I now announce to you as witnesses, because a proclamation to take effect needs at least two witnesses as does a marriage, that I too have taken Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. You all heard it.”

“Because you heard what we said and you believe it?” Tom asked.

“Yes, and what each of you said is true, is a revelation, and has touched me deeply.”

(Joe then goes on to explain how he was touched by what each said as to why they each accepted Christ.)

It is my belief that anyone, no matter how evil, can, if he or she so chooses, accept Christ as Savior, even on their death-bed. In Chapter Thirteen of The Prodigal Band, the evil Baron Torquay, having not secured the band’s oath to Corion, the evil satan-figure of the trilogy, is stripped of his evil being by a man, Mark Besst, inhabited by Corion. Torquay is also forced to give up all of his wealth, trillions of currency and property and holdings, except for his own Torquay Manor he is allowed to keep. Torquay, once the most powerful man on Earth, is now reduced to the status of ‘a lump of jelly.’ Having lost it all including his former life he reveled in, Torquay, witnessed by the band and his son Joe, makes his death-bed decision as well. Torquay begins by explaining what occurred in his childhood, his vampire-like father, his mother (a daughter of an evil Duke of Effingchester), and his butler he called ‘Boris Goodinov.’ From Chapter Sixteen of The Prodigal Band:

“Father, you look a lot better than I thought you would or the last time I saw you. I can’t even remember when that was.” Then he called out to the attendant as he was leaving, “And I owe it all to you, Mr. Swinton.”

Swinton, the attendant, then replied. “No, you owe it all to God.”

Seven now-amazed souls looked at each other in wonder.

Then Joe mused out loud, “To God? Huh?”

Swinton replied, “I’ll let your father explain that one!” Chuckle. “I had very little to do with it.” Left the room.

“Swinton is right.” Baron Torquay-Lambourgeau, though looking well for a ‘lump of jelly’ and feeling better physically than he had in at least two years, still had the rasp of an elderly man-before-his-time. As if he had a now-chronic sore throat, sounding hoarse.

“I do owe it to God.”

Joe was incredulous. “Um, father, which God do you mean?” Like I told the boys, I have a suspicion about where this is going. Why else would he make the request he made, and to meet with my boys as well? He knows what he tried to do to them, and why it failed! Divine intervention, indeed!

Chuckle, as best he could. “The God, Joe. The God! The God I had always believed in until He took my wife and I turned against Him.”

Joe as well as the six were more than amazed. “The God, father? I always thought your god was your father’s god, Satan.”

“Satan was my father’s god, Joe. But my mother hated my father, and you know that. Not that your grandmother was Christian. She wasn’t, and I’m not even sure she believed in God. But you do remember Boris, do you not?”

Joe smiled at the thought of the one man in his father’s life that made him happy.

“Boris Goodinov, yes, father.” Then he turned to the six around him. “You boys may remember those cartoon characters from—”

“Barely,” Mick and Bry said together. While the others claimed they barely ever watched cartoons, if at all.

“Well, dad really liked ol’ Boris, so he called Boris ‘Goodinov’ meaning he was a good guy, and his own mother, who really did hate my grandfather, he called ‘Natalia’.”

Then the baron continued. “Boris is the one that used to tell me about God, Joe, and of course, he would always do it under cover. God forbid my father would ever find out. He would have sacrificed Boris, for sure.”

Then Joe turned to the six again. “It was my grandfather, the seventeenth Baron, who founded the Hellyons. His name was Aston Torquay-Lambourgeau. And Aston was perhaps the most evil man ever. You’ve heard of Vlad the Impaler and Count Dracula, I take it.”

“Dracula?” Jack said. “I think the whole bloody world has heard of that guy!”

“Well, I will say this. Count Dracula had nothing on my grandfather! I mean, guys, this man literally was a vampire.”

“Yes, boys, Aston drank blood continuously, at every meal.”

And on and on as six men in their thirties started feeling nauseous.

“And it was Boris, my mother too, but mainly Boris, that made me feel that life was worth living. And then he died, and then my mother died. Then fortunately for me, my father. He had drunk blood from a diseased orphan. Septicemia. The bastard deserved every vile drop of this blood!”

“But you had already married, father.”

“Yes, to a cousin. Inbreeding. But, boys”—he said to the six—“that is how the Effingchesters and Torquay-Lambourgeaus have survived. Inbreeding. And I think that is why so many of our clans partook in the evil. Inbreeding. It is as if it was in our DNA.”

“Father,” Joe then said sharply, “it is not in my DNA!”

“I know, Joe. And as much as I had hoped you would be a Hellyon, I was always glad you did go off on your own. Especially after I forced you to do the will of Aston when you witnessed that Hellyon sacrifice of that baby boy.”

“Okay,” Bry cut in. “Can we stop the sacrifice stuff? I mean, I’m feeling like I want to throw up here!” And his band mates agreed.

“But young men, that witnessing I think is exactly why Joe here has never accepted the evil. Joe was too traumatized by it. And that is exactly the way I wanted it! That is why I forced Joe into it.”

“The old ‘rabbit hole’ thing, eh?” Mick replied.

Joe nodded. “Yep, the old ‘rabbit hole’ thing.” Then, to his father. “So—the old ‘rabbit hole’ thing, father—is that why you joined the Hellyons?”

His father’s words then shook Joe to the core. “No, and I did not join the Hellyons until my father had already died. I joined the Hellyons because God took my only love, your mother, Joe, away from me! He caused her to die, Joe, for whatever reason. But I could not accept that the God I had always believed was on my side within a family of evil, could hurt me that way! After she died, I turned to hating God. And to let God know how I felt, I not only joined the Hellyons, I made an effort to take over the Hellyons as a vengeance, so to speak, against God! I never loved Satan! I did not care about Satan, about Corion, about Horus, or any other false god. I did it because I hated God.”

So then Joe, who knew his father had repented of that hate the night Mark-Corion took everything but his estate away from him, just had to ask, “So why do you no longer hate God?”

Laugh. “Now, God took my wife from me, but Satan took everything I had ever worked hard for. Yes, that includes the evil of my trillions in wealth. Satan took me away from me! When Mark Besst forced me to sign over everything, I realized that the me that I believed I was, was an illusion. I was back to when I was a boy wanting God to make my life worth living again.”

As Jack thought, just like I wanted Christ to put me in His hands. Could it be me and the baron had similar childhoods?

“So I have repented of my hatred of God.”

“And—?” Joe put his hand on his father’s hand. “You know, father—and I told Swinton to tell you this, but I suspect you knew already—that I have accepted Christ as my Savior. You also know my boys here have.”

“Yes, and I knew that the night Corion could not sword Erik. I did,” Baron turned to the singer, “I did see your face shine. I think that is what astounded me so much that I fell to the floor in anguish. It was then that I realized that the decision I made to worship Satan was the worst decision I had ever made. From then on, all I could think was would Mark kill me as well, and would God forgive me? The me that I had been was completely broken. From then on until very recently, I lived in constant fear. Of God, of Mark. Dreaming I was burning for eternity in Hell. And I had sinned so gravely—so gravely!—that I did not believe until recently that I was even redeemable.”

“So, Swinton convinced you otherwise?” Joe asked.

“Not really. Swinton helped, yes, but what did the trick so to speak was you six.” He looked one by one at the sextet and smiled. “Yes, you boys made me know, know! That I could also be redeemed by the acceptance of Christ as Savior.”

At which the baron called out. “And now, my Father God in front of these witnesses, I now proclaim—and I am being sincere here! You know what is now in my heart, Father God, that Jesus Christ, now and for always until the day of Your choosing, Christ—I pray in Christ’s Holy Name—Christ is now my Savior. You know my Father God I am one of the most vile sinners ever, and I repent, totally—I have so little left anyway—of all of my abominations, from human trafficking to drug trafficking to sacrificing children and adults and worshiping that abomination called Lucifer and Satan and Corion to lusting after the world’s wealth, as if I could take it with me, to hating You and Your Son, my Savior Christ. To wanting this band of boys in front of me to turn the world’s youth to the evil. And I have so many other sins I can’t even name them all! But these sins are gone from me, and thus I repent. Please take me, this one-time doer of every evil imaginable, into your hands, my Father God and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

To which the seven around him smiled and collectively thought, Now that’s a repentance!

If you have a possible interest in “working in the vineyard” perhaps buying the trilogy book The Prodigal Band Trilogy or downloading the free pdf The Prodigal Band here might encourage you.

The Prodigal Band Trilogy © 2019 by Deborah Lagarde, Battle of the Band © 1996 by Deborah Lagarde, The Prophesied Band © 1998 by Deborah Lagarde and The Prodigal Band © 2018 by Deborah Lagarde. Permission needed to copy any materials off this page.

Author: deborahlagarde

Born on Long Island, NY, in 1952, now live in the mountains of far west Texas. Began writing fiction stories at about 8 years old with pen and loose leaf paper, and created the characters in my Prodigal Band Trilogy as a teenager. From the 70s to the 90s I created the scenario which I believe was inspired. While bringing up and home schooling my two children I continued to work on the novels and published "Battle of the Band" in 1996 and "The Prophesied Band" in 1998. Took off the next several years to complete home schooling and also working as an office manager for the local POA. In 2016, I retired, then resumed The Prodigal Band, a FREE PDF book that tells the whole story to its glorious end. Hint: I'm a true believer in Christ and I'm on a mission from God, writing to future believers, not preaching to the choir. God gave me a talent and, like the band in my books, I am using that talent for His glory, not mine (and, like me, the band is on its own journey, only fictional.) I also wrote for my college newspaper and headed up production, was a columnist in a local newspaper in the early 2000s, and wrote for and edited "Log of the Trail," the news letter for the Texas Mountain Trail Writers, and wrote for and edited it's yearly catalog of writings, "Chaos West of the Pecos." OmegaBooks is my self-publishing sole proprietorship company founded in 1995. Other jobs included teaching secondary math, health aide, office worker, assembly line work, and free-lance writing and bookkeeping,much of it while home schooling.

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