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SETTLING DISPUTES IN THE MILLENNIUM
“ Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.” Matthew 5:23-26.
The word “therefore” connects the following to the above. It also shows that the Law will be strictly enforced, and that animal sacrifices will be offered. We pointed that out in a previous article from the book of Ezekiel.
Notice that God requires harmony between His people more that he desires sacrifices. This is true in all dispensations. However, the Sermon of the Mount is specifically for the Jews in the Millennium. Thus, when bringing a sacrifice to the temple altar, it should be left, and reconciliation made with the offended brother. Afterwards, the sacrifice could be offered.
If a disagreement is of such a nature, that the adversary seeks to take one to court, the Lord admonishes that the offender seek to make peace before a court appearance. This is the meaning of verse 25. The gospel of Luke adds light. “ When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.” Luke 12:58. Note also that there will be counsels, officers, judges, and prisons. Matthew 18 also adds ever more light. “28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.” Matthew 18:28-30.
There is not one thing in these verses that requires that it be spiritualized; all is literal, and physical. The context puts it within the Kingdom of Heaven.
Perhaps the greatest perversion of this Scripture is by the Roman Catholic Church. On these verses they have built the cruelest doctrine found in any religion. The motive is to extort money from their ignorant church members. Verse 26 is used to show that the deceased, must first go to purgatory and suffer in hell fire to pay for his sins. His family is told that he will not come out of purgatory until someone pays the “uttermost farthing” for him or her. The “farthing” “… a day’s wage. It was .1375 oz. of silver, worth perhaps 65 cents today. Therefore, 100 pence would be worth only $65.Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible.
I have before me the book of Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, by Dr. Ludwig Ott, who is a Catholic. On page 485 we read, “As to the length of the purification process for the individual souls, nothing can be said in terms of years.” Also, “For the individual souls the purifying fire endures until they are free from all guilt and punishment.”
The man in verse 30 does not come out of jail until “he pays his debt.” His time in jail may pay it, or his land, house, or family may be sold to pay it. However, the Roman Catholic Church has made itself the recipients of the payments of money until…? Since no one on earth knows when the debt is paid, money must continue to be paid to the Church so prayers and candles will be offered for the departed loved ones who are in the fires of purgatory. Since no one knows when the debt is paid, this keeps the money coming into the coffers. This demonic twisting of Scripture, by thieves, justifies the sentence to hell by all who espouse this doctrine.
There is nothing in the text about any church of any kind. This passage is all about the Kingdom of Heaven. You would have be demon possessed to use this passage to extort money from those who are suffering over the loss of a loved one.