THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
#03-0971
The Kingdom of Our Lord #11.
The Law of Restitution
March 17, 2009
Today, many speak of the kingdom of God, even of building the kingdom, but very few talk about how
the kingdom of our Lord is to operate, especially in the next eon (age). Don’t you think that this is a vital
matter, especially if we are to reign with Christ when the reign of the heavens is established on this
earth in response to the prayer “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in
heaven” ? In light of this, don’t you think we should be learning God’s way of ruling the nations, or,
more explicitly, learning the laws of the kingdom that will be administered in the kingdom of our
Lord in the age to come? I believe we are to be trained, and this is what this series is about.
Now, let us consider the law of restitution , which might not be a very fascinating topic to some
people; nevertheless, it is vital. After all, righteousness and justice are the foundation of the throne
of our Lord (Psalm 89:14; 97:2), and righteousness and justice demand restitution. In this issue, we will
consider some general principles of restitution and leave specific applications to subsequent issues.
Also, please refer to issue #03-0934, March 17, 2009, Justice & Fairness―Making All Right , for some
supporting commentary.
The following are some general principles of the law of restitution.
First , restitution means “compensation” or “amend.” Amend means “to correct” or “to
improve”; a word that speaks of the very heart of God for all mankind. I like to think of restitution as the
process of making things right to the benefit of all involved parties.
Second , restitution is required when someone causes a loss to another person. The loss could result
from an act that is intentional (willful), unintentional (accidental), or negligent. It could involve a
person’s well-being (body), property, or livelihood. Restitution covers both criminal and civil matters,
and applies to all inhabitants in a kingdom nation (citizens and aliens, that is, all living in the land).
Third , inhabitants of a kingdom nation are never thrown into jail or prison and the key thrown away,
so to speak. Further, no one is ever thrown alive into a fiery place likened to man’s concept of a living
hell, burned at the stake, tortured, or has his head or other body parts cut off. It is safe to state that
under God’s divine law, there are no prisons, jails, or torture chambers. Simply, all citizens and aliens
within a kingdom nation are responsible for their actions and accountable for making restitution
for all of their actions that require it. If they were incarcerated, then they would not be able to make
proper restitution.
Further, I do not think there will be much need for insurance companies and their premium-based
policies, for moral hazard , a Babylonian concept, will not be operative. See issue #02-08158,
December 16, 2008, Moral Hazard . Moral hazard is when there is little incentive for one to avoid or
prevent bad things (losses) from happening because someone else (i.e., insurance company or the
government) will pay for or rectify the matter. This leads to laziness, carelessness, neglect, and
lawlessness.
Fourth , according to the law of restitution, justice is always meted out quickly and efficiently, which is
contrary to the way many penal systems work in our day. In the US, judicial cases could and often do
drag on for years before being resolved. Consequently, parties involved in these long and dragged-out
cases are often left in bitterness for years because they believe justice is not being served.
Fifth , the aim of restitution is to make things right or to correct or improve bad situations by
compensating for the damage done or the loss incurred so that no injustice is done to any party and all
are made whole. Restitution is not a partial compensation but in all cases a full compensation; it is full
restitution. In certain cases, it actually goes beyond full payment up to a seven-fold increase for one
whose food is stolen (Proverbs 6:30-31).
Sixth , a restitution payment becomes a debt that must be paid off either through a) replacement or
repair of the property that was lost or damaged; b) payment of money commensurate to the loss plus
whatever additional compensation is required; or c) labor by the perpetrator until the debt is paid off.
The latter case applies when the perpetrator of the loss does not have the means to make restitution, in
which case he is indebted to labor until the required payment is satisfied. In other words, he must work
to pay off his debt.
Seventh , there are some cases when restitution is not possible and the proper recourse is death, that is,
cessation of life, which is most definitely not entering an afterlife in a place called hell. In these cases,
the matter will have to wait for resolution at the great white throne judgment that sits between the
Lord’s Day and God’s Day. Simply, the person remains in the state of death until Judgment Day.
Eighth , Scripture gives examples of losses but does not cover all types of losses that could occur in our
modern-day society. Obviously, in ancient agricultural societies, property was mostly land, livestock,
crops, and often slaves. As such, the examples given in the Old Testament may not be specific to our day
or even in the coming kingdom; however, the principles are still applicable.
(33) “If a man opens a pit, or digs a pit and does not cover it over, and an ox or a donkey
falls into it, (34) the owner of the pit shall make restitution; he shall give money to its
owner, and the dead animal shall become his. (Exodus 21:33-34 NASB)
In this example, the man who dug the pit and did not cover it has some responsibility for the loss of the
ox or the donkey and must buy the dead animal. Notice the justice in this case; the owner gets
compensated in full for his loss so that he can purchase another ox, and the one who dug the pit gets the
dead animal, which also has some value so that he recoups some of his loss. After all, this was an
accidental loss, and true justice does not try to punish the one who has some responsibility for the
accident. The purpose is to restore order to the situation so that both men walk away with a sense that
they were treated fairly so that bitterness does not take root. Today, we could replace the ox or donkey
with a truck or a car.
Ninth , in light of the previous point, spiritual discernment (i.e., spiritual to spiritual) and the wisdom
of God are required to apply the law of restitution. Solomon was granted wisdom to rule and judge the
people; so too will the conquerors be granted heavenly wisdom to rule and judge the world.
Tenth , the one law that is foundational to all laws and undergirds the law of restitution is the royal law
of love. Love (agape) always brings about forgiveness between all parties and leads to rehabilitation and
restoration. After all, we are commanded (a law) to love and to forgive. Sons love!
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive
you.” (Matthew 6.14 NASB)
Love your enemies … so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew
5.44, 45 NASB)
When love is not the foundation of justice, then injustice is inevitable. Where love is not manifested,
there will be unforgiveness that will lead to bitterness and further injustice. Let us put these words in
the positive. When love is the foundation of justice, then justice is inevitable. Where love is manifested,
there will be forgiveness that will lead to healing and further justice and manifestations of love.
The Upward Call: #03-0971
by: Stuart H. Pouliot