Restitution - RR156C5

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Lesson[edit]

Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Restitution
Course: Course - Law and Life
Subject: Subject:Law
Lesson#: 5
Length: 0:43:48
TapeCode: RR156C5
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
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This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.


[Rushdoony] Let us worship God. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to enquire in His temple. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen Thy heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord. The Lord is nigh to all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear Him, He also will hear their cry and will save them. O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come. Let us pray.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, according to Thy Word we come unto Thee, who doest hear and answer prayer. We cast our every prayer upon Thee, knowing Thou carest for us. We pray, our Father, for the sick, the oppressed, the needy, the burdened in heart, that by Thy grace Thou wouldst minister unto them, and bless and prosper them according to Thy Word. We commit ourselves afresh unto Thee, rejoicing in all Thy past and present mercies, opening wide our mouths according to Thy Word that Thou mightiest fill them. Bless us by Thy Word and by Thy Spirit and grant us Thy peace, in Jesus name, Amen.

Our Scripture is from the gospel of Matthew, the 19th chapter, verses 28 through 30, and our subject is restitution. Matthew 19:28-30, and our subject restitution. “And Jesus said unto them, verily I say unto you, that ye which have followed Me in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of glory. Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone that hath forsaken houses or brethren or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for My name’s sake, shall receive in hundred-fold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first.” [00:03:17]

It is very important for purposes of understanding...[edit]

It is very important for purposes of understanding to analyze the various Biblical doctrines and delineate their clearly marked differentiations. It is important thus, to define justification and to define sanctification and to avoid confusion, because their confusion has led to very serious errors in the history of the Church. Thus, the distinction between doctrines must be recognized. On the other hand, we cannot go so far in our definition of doctrine as to separate them one from another to the point of atomism and anarchy. Just as a man is a living unit, so all the doctrines of Scripture are a living unit. Now there are marked differentiations in a man between his head and his hands. It would be a serious error and a ridiculous one to confuse the head and the hands. Similarly, as we deal with the doctrines of Scripture, it would be a serious error if we confused basic doctrines, such as justification and sanctification. On the other hand, we cannot separate them because they are part of an organic whole. Now the Church has suffered tremendously, both from the separation of things which are not intended to be separate, and the confusion when they are not intended to be confused. They are a living whole. What we are trying to do in this series is to analyze some aspects of Scripture by seeing the unity of those things which we have been studying; justification and sanctification, grace and the law, and much more; to recognize their very close connection and interrelationship. The fact that they are part of an organic whole. One aspect of Scripture cannot be pitted against the other. Last week, we began the study of sacrilege. We saw that in its form of definition, sacrilege is robbing God. When Malachi, speaking in the name of the Lord indicts and gives God’s Word to the nation that they have robbed God in tithes and offerings, he made clear that a total God requires total obedience. That we cannot render a partial obedience to God and expect Him to be satisfied as though we were in the sovereign position and He were waiting for handouts from us. Now sacrilege, as we shall see in subsequent weeks, goes much further. It’s history, it’s declaration in Scripture, it’s far-reaching. [00:07:06]

Before we can analyze sacrilege further, we must take...[edit]

Before we can analyze sacrilege further, we must take up the subject of substitution and that is our concern this morning. Justice in the Bible means restitution and restoration. As we saw when we studied Biblical law, the prison system of modern times is not justice, but a liberal idea of reform, of reformation. In Exodus 22, as well as elsewhere in Scripture, we have the elementary principles of Biblical justice set forth. A man who robs must restore at least double. In some cases, the restitution must be four-fold or five-fold, depending on the nature and value of that which he robbed or destroyed. One of the examples in the law is of a man who starts a fire to burn some rubbish and his field and it spreads to the neighboring field. So it is not only willful theft, but accidental theft as well. Now as we look at the whole of Scripture, we see that restitution and restoration are basic to all of it, as is the doctrine of sacrilege. Creation was created by God, we are told, very good. The fall of man followed. And the whole world, we are told by Saint Paul, groans and travails looking for the redemption of the sons of God. The curse continues and its developed implications ultimately are hell, just as the developed implications of blessing are the new creation. We are told in Deuteronomy 28 of the implications of blessings and curses, for obedience and disobedience to the law. And the picture is given of a wild animal pursuing and overtaking one. And so we are told that we shall be pursued and overtaken by curses if we are disobedient and by blessings if we are obedient. Irresistible blessings and irresistible curses; this plainly is the doctrine of Scripture. Now Jesus Christ as the second Adam came to overthrow the work of the tempter. He resisted the tempter in the wilderness. He overthrew the power of Satan and plainly declared so in Luke 10, verses 18 on. He destroyed the power of sin and death on the cross and by His resurrection. And He declares that the end result of His work will be, as our Scripture declares, the regeneration, the total regeneration of all things when there shall be a new heaven and a new earth, and all things are made new. His work is to restore the world, God’s estate, to its rightful order, and to place man and the world back under God’s law and to balance all accounts. Restitution, in fact, in the Greek means the restoration of an estate to its rightful owner and the balancing of accounts. And so Christ came to restore to God what belongs to God, and casting out of God’s presence and realm into Gahanna, into hell, into the dump heap of creation. Let us turn again now to the subject of sacrilege and read a definition of sacrilege which comes from the 1600’s from one of the greatest works on it from Sir Henry Spelman. “Sacrilege is an invading, stealing, or purloining from God, any sacred thing, either belonging to the majesty of His person, or appropriate to the celebration of His divine service. The etymology of the word implieth the description: for sacrum is a holy thing; and legium a legendo, is to steal, or pull away. The definition divides itself apparently into two parts; namely, into sacrilege committed immediately upon the person of God, and sacrilege done upon the things appropriate to His divine service. Thus it appears that sacrilege was the first sin, the master sin, and the common sin at the beginning of the world committed in earth by men in corruption, committed in paradise by man in perfection, committed in heaven itself by the angels in glory against God the Father by arrogating His power, against God the Son by condemning His word, against God the Holy Ghost by profaning things sanctified, and against all of Them in general by invading and violating the deity.” End of quote. [00:12:49]

Now sacrilege thus requires restitution and restoration...[edit]

Now sacrilege thus requires restitution and restoration, before justice can be done. Justice thus requires restitution and restoration where sacrilege is committed. This justice in God’s plan is two-fold. First, Jesus Christ as the true man and the new Adam made restitution to God, rendering both perfect obedience to God, and His life as a sacrifice; a substitute for us. He assumed the death penalty which is past upon all sin, especially sacrilege, and He restored man and regenerated man by His grace. Now the second aspect of this justice is that man, as his work of sanctification, must further restoration and restitution. The world must be restored to its original glory plus. Because restitution requires at least a double, or a four-fold, or a five-fold restoration. It means, therefore, the world must be greater than when it was created; more fruitful, more redounding to the glory of God. Developing all things in every area of life, not only as a part of the creation mandate, but as the work of restitution and restoration. Therefore, we are told that the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. The world is to restored to its original glory and far, far more. Sacrilege must be replaced by restitution and restoration, materially and spiritually. Now it is interesting that sacrilege is a very common idea in paganism. But in pagan sacrilege, sacrilege attaches itself to the god and savior of that religion to its idea of that which is holy. It would much too long to go into what sacrilege is in all the religions of the world but let us examine, for example, sacrilege among the Romans. The Theodosian code has many a chapter and many a statute or edict in its many pages dealing with sacrilege, and they are very instructive to understand great pagan empire understood sacrilege. “Valentinian of celestial memore, the ancestor of our imperial divinity, prescribed a fixed rank and merit for each separate dignity. If any person, therefore, should usurp a rank not due to him If any person, therefore, should usurp a rank not due to him, he cannot defend himself by any plea of ignorance, and he is clearly guilty of sacrilege in that he has ignored the divine imperial commands. If any person should usurp a dignity that he has not properly obtained from the emperor, he shall be held guilty of sacrilege. This is a very interesting Roman edict. [00:16:42]

As a matter of fact, another one says that if, at a...[edit]

As a matter of fact, another one says that if, at a banquet, any official or person takes a seat belonging to a higher rank than his own, he is guilty of sacrilege. We are reminded of some of the parables of our Lord. Moreover, to carve a graven image of the emperor without a permit was sacrilege. We are reminded of the Ten Commandments. And there is much more that very plainly tells us a great deal about the Roman idea of sacrilege. In fact, if any man has been honored by permitting to touch the emperor, the hem of his garment in doing obeisance to the emperor, in fact kissing his hand was the ultimate in honor, if anyone failed to honor the person who was given this honor or was disrespectful to him, it was sacrilege because he was dishonoring one who had had physical contact with the divine emperor. Any departure from the ancient discipline, we are told, is sacrilege. Unauthorized public works in Rome, which the code defines as the eternal city, is defined as sacrilege, and much, much more. Now all of this is very revealing. What it tells us was that because the Roman state and emperor were the gods of that system, sacrilege was attached to them. The word sacrilege has passed out of our vocabulary to a great extent. The idea, however, remains. In the modern state, it is interesting how the idea of sacrilege is again reappearing as the state becomes more and more authoritarian and totalitarian. Crimes against God are no longer crimes in the statute books of virtually every government on the face of the earth. This is a significant fact. A crime against God; a violation of His Word and His law, is no longer an offence. And the fact that we once had a President who as Commanding General (Washington) actually ordered twenty-five lashes to any soldier who took the name of the Lord in vain because it was blasphemy and would incur the wrath of God, seems like a thousand years away, it is so remote to anything we know today. Crimes against person, as defined by God’s Word, are less and less appearing as crimes in the statute book. The death penalty for murder has virtually disappeared all over the face of the earth. Crimes against the state, however, are the main crimes on the statute books, the world over. You can rob any man and you do not make restitution or restoration, try robbing the state and you make restitution and then some. Sacrilege, in other words, has been redefined in terms of the state. And the state increasingly is defining itself as the new god. [00:20:53]

But true sacrilege is against God...[edit]

But true sacrilege is against God. And it requires restitution and restoration. Where man does not affect this restitution and restoration by his faith and obedience, God exacts it by His judgment. Moreover, not only does God declare that where there is sacrilege, where there is a violation of His law, there is also irresistible curses, and everlasting condemnation. But He also makes clear the extent to which He, for those who work for restitution and restoration, crowns their labors and their faithfulness with His blessing. Because, in our text we read that in the general regeneration of all things, not only will the disciples sit in judgment of others, but then He goes on to say, everyone, everyone, that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for My Name’s sake, everyone who has made any sacrifice, who has lost anything in My service, who has paid a price for standing up for My Name and for My Word, I shall make restitution. They shall receive in hundred fold and shall inherit everlasting life. This is a magnificent statement. Because our Lord declares indeed, that there are penalties attached to standing up for Him. But that there is also in this world a process at work, that sacrilege, though momentarily it seems to prosper, will be judged and condemned, and that though standing for Him costs us something from time to time, He blesses us even now and in the end, we receive, among other things, a hundred fold restitution. We have, thus, a magnificent strand that goes through all of Scripture; a double development: Sacrilege, leading ultimately in its final implications to a hundred fold condemnation, faith and obedience; restitution and restoration in terms of the Lord leading to blessings, to the new creation, and among other things a hundred fold restoration from God the Son. We shall, in subsequent weeks, see something further of the implications of sacrilege and what it has meant in history and what kind of responsibility the fact of sacrilege places upon us today. Let us bow our heads now in prayer. [00:24:50]

Our Lord and our God, we thank Thee that Thy Word is...[edit]

Our Lord and our God, we thank Thee that Thy Word is truth, and we thank Thee that Thou hast made us a new creation in Jesus Christ and given us such glorious promises; the new creation and a hundred fold restoration. Grant, O Lord, that in thanksgiving we may now work to restore all things unto Thee, that we may yield Thee that total obedience which is Thy due. That we may rejoice that we have been called and made heirs of all things in Jesus Christ and that we may serve Thee and magnify Thee with all our heart, mind, and being. Grant us this, we beseech Thee, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Are there any questions, first of all, on our lesson? Yes?

[Audience member] Appropriations have limited liabilities and {?} you know. What effect does that have on the {?} and all these big {?} like {?}. How would it be different if we didn’t have that?

[Rushdoony] Yes. I have dealt with the subject of limited liability in both The Politics of Guilt and Pity and Biblical Law. Now limited liability is not a Biblical doctrine. It is a modern doctrine and it has led to radical dislocation of our economy. The end result of a limited liability economy is socialism or communism. Because what limited liability says is that responsibility is limited and once limited [interruption in audio] of responsibility and the shifting of responsibility onto the body politic or onto other peoples. Now before you had limited liability, if you were a partner in a company or in a business, you were totally responsible for the debts thereof. So that if the company went into debt and it went bankrupt, or if it did not go bankrupt, in either case, not only say the hundred dollars you may have invested or the five thousand dollars in the company, but everything you had could be seized to satisfy the debts of that company. There was total liability. Now what did this mean? It meant that prior to the establishment of limited liability, anyone who went into a business was a responsible owner. Shareholders did not permit unlimited debt. They kept things on a very conservative basis. As a result, inflation was thereby avoided. Now paper money is limited liability money. The whole premise of paper money is limited liability money. In fact there’s no liability in paper money now. And this leads to a situation progressively whereby having limited liability progressively somebody has to be liable. So you pass it on to the people in the form of taxes. In other words, today instead of requiring that a bank be liable totally, the bank has a limited liability and that limited liability has been increased further by the government insurance policies, and the government insurance policy is worthless because all it will do is to print more paper as with the San Diego bank, and turn it over to someone else with paper which inflates everybody’s money. So what you ultimately do with limited liability is to destroy the entire economy, because you’ve destroyed the idea of responsibility. [00:30:28]

Now there were bank failures in the early ...[edit]

Now there were bank failures in the early 1800’s when there was unlimited liability. And most of those bank failures were by state-chartered banks that had special charters and could play the game of limited liability. But where you had unlimited liability, a banker would have to be extremely cautious because he knew that he and anyone else who was co-owner with him was liable for every last penny. And as limitations and liability have increased, the economy has been inflated more and more, responsibility has been lessened, and you have created a socialistic economy. After all, welfarism is the logical conclusion of limited liability. It means that society, having been made responsible for the failures of business and for its irresponsibility, then becomes responsible for the incompetence or the failures of the little people. I don’t know why people rail against welfarism when they don’t condemn limited liability. The people on welfare were the last to get in on the racket, as it were, of limited liability. Yes?

[Audience member] How does this affect the control of corporations when like the person who started it or something like {?} when you have limited liability, does the control remain in the owner or does the owner {?}

[Rushdoony] No. When you have limited liability, control passes over to whoever guarantees the ultimate liability, which is the state. In other words, if you were to start in a business enterprise and I were to say, I will guarantee everything connected with your work, so that if you go into the red I will bail you out, or if you go under I will protect you or make good your debts, or in one way or other support you, than I am going to control that business. Because after all, I’m the one who’s footing the bill. So whenever the state has allowed limited liability corporations, which is about all we have today, we don’t have anything else, the state has immediately begun to control them. So socialism began with the Limited Liability Act.

[Audience member] {?}

[Rushdoony] Limited Liability Act was first past in England I think in the 1840’s or early 50’s, and some states adopted it about the same time or slightly earlier in this country. But very few made use of it, very few companies or banks or corporations until after the Civil War. Because you were regarded as a fly-by-night outfit if you had limited liability.

[Audience member] Is it possible for corporations {?} be successful because they can’t {?} to take the risks?

[Rushdoony] Well, today it is very difficult to do that. On the other hand, if a company operated on an entirely cash basis, there wouldn’t be a problem, and that nobody does. Or if they limited their debt to a very reasonable amount, they wouldn’t need limited liability. In other words, limited liability is the device whereby you can go into debt and you can do a great deal and you don’t have to foot the bill. [00:34:51]

Now there is something about this also in Gary North...[edit]

Now there is something about this also in Gary North’s book on Introduction to Christian Economics. So there are three places where we have touched on the subject. It’s an important thing because the whole Act was a dilution of the Biblical doctrine of responsibility, and it doesn’t stop with a dilution, you ultimately destroy responsibility. Men are either responsible or they are not, and why if I am caught stealing, should I penalize you, you see. Why, if I am irresponsible in the discharge of my business, should I penalize you, it’s the same principle. Any other questions? Yes?

[Audience member] Would you explain Chapter 2 of the second epistle of Thessalonians, verse {?}

[Rushdoony] First Thessalonians?

[Audience member] Second

[Rushdoony] Second Thessalonians. Yes. Now I have a chapter on this particular in Thy Kingdom Come, in the back of the book. And this is, granted, a very difficult chapter, but the gist of it is that there shall come a falling away from the faith in time to come and the man of sin shall be revealed; the son of perdition who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped. So that he is god sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is god. Now, the prediction here is, very emphatically, that there shall be a time when there shall be a great falling away from the faith. This falling away shall see an attempt at a pseudo-Christian faith, whereby there shall be either a person or a line of people or a movement which proclaims itself as though it were God. And sitting in the temple of God, showing himself that he is god. But, the Lord shall consume that wicked with a spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming. The next point is thus that that power shall be destroyed. Now some would say this is one event, but others will say that it is two. First, with a spirit of His mouth, that is by the Word of God being proclaimed, that power shall be destroyed, and then finally with His coming. Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders. The word lying there actually modifies power, signs, and wonders. Thus, very clearly we are told there is a development both of good and evil. That at a certain point evil becomes very obviously what it is; the imitation of Christ’s kingdom, even pretending to be the true heir to it, but it shall be cast out and by the Word of God, the truth shall be established. I have more on this in my Thy Kingdom Come. Now, one thing, the man of sin here is definitely not to be identified with anti-Christ. There is no such thing as a personal anti-Christ referred to anywhere in Scripture. It speaks of anti-Christ as anyone who denies that Christ is come in the flesh. We are not told that the man of sin actually does this, although by his word he does, so that I’m inclined very strongly to question the fact that there is a personal figure anti-Christ who shall come, and I do not think he is to be identified with that man of sin. Any other questions? Yes? [00:40:05]

[Audience member] Would you give a report on your trip...[edit]

[Audience member] Would you give a report on your trip to Northern California, including the subjects you talk about?

[Rushdoony] Yes, this week Gary North, Greg Bahnsen and I went to Sonora, Anderson, and Sacramento to speak, and our subjects were: Greg Bahnsen speaking on “Shall man become God?”, Gary North on “Communist man and Christian man”, and I on “The implications of the doctrine of the fall and original sin”. We first went to Sonora and it was a real pleasure and a delight to be there because one of our group, Roger Wagner, is the pastor there, and doing a very wonderful work as pastor, very much at home in the pastorate. And the church is showing every sign of flourishing under his leadership. The church, incidentally, has a very beautiful location and quite a commanding sight from the highway as you drive by. Really, the most striking and lovely church that I have seen there in Sonora. So it was a great pleasure to be there Sunday night. Then on Monday night we were in Anderson speaking at Faith Reformed Church, and on Tuesday night in Sacramento speaking at the Southside Chapel. We spent a good deal of Tuesday with Bill Richardson, the state senator, and thoroughly enjoyed, and spent a good deal of the evening in a very rewarding theological discussion with him, because there’s no question about the delight he and his wife both have in Bible study. So it was a very rewarding trip and we thoroughly enjoyed it, had a good response everywhere. Well our time is up now, I’d like to remind you that there are announcements on the back of the lectern of the Chalcedon guild harvest festival and Mexican dinner, which will be held on Saturday, November the 10th, that’s less than two weeks away, so please make your reservations with Secora or anyone else in the guild right away. And, plan to be there because we’re going to have a very wonderful time together. Let’s bow our heads now for the benediction.

Now go in peace. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen.

[End of tape]