“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.” I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” Mat 5:25, 26
‘Plaintiff’ has been used in preference to ‘adversary’. Although the Greek ‘antidikos’ can be rendered adversary, yet plaintiff is also its meaning. Since we are prone to link the ‘adversary’ of Scripture with the Devil (satanas), it is better that we use ‘plaintiff’ here, for, the Lord was not speaking of Satan.
Almost from the opening to close of the sacred Record, we find an unceasing account of the Spirit of God PLEADING with erring, obstreperous and TRANSGRESSING man: that he may mend his ways “and LIVE”…”for why will you die, oh house of Israel? (Ezek 18:31). “My Spirit shall not always strive with man” (Gen. 6:3). NOWHERE can we establish by The Record that the Lord Jesus entered into discourses about travel, about politics nor yet about penal institutions and their practices. Were we to disregard the facts of His invariable principle-in-practice and postulate that in Matthew 5:25 He talked about lawbreakers and man-made prisons, then we have averred that He was either a babbler or an intentional deceiver! For, prisons have as yet not been made from which there can be no escape. And even in ancient and barbaric times, CLEMENCY was occasionally extended to prisoner.
Even at the time of our Lord’s mock trial, Barabbas the criminal was released from prison and set at full liberty! But emphatically stated the Lord that from the ‘prison’ of which He spoke there could be no possible escape (“by no means”), nor yet ever the slightest clemency (‘UNTIL the uttermost farthing is paid’!) Quickly AGREE with the pleadings of God’s Spirit, said He, while you still have time and the chance. For, at any time (Death needs no appointment) may you be turned over to the Great Judge, Who, having judged you (adversely), turns you over to the angel (officer) in charge to deliver you into Hell (prison), from where there is no escape UNTIL both your body and soul have been consumed in its flames (the ‘uttermost farthing paid’). By 1 Pet 3:19 we see where His disciples used the same ‘prison’ word when speaking of ‘spirits’. It is common dogma that the ‘soul’ of man is deathless and will be TORMENTED in the flames of ‘Hell for ever AND ever’. Yet emphatically is it here stated that nowhere (in Scripture) are we told that the ‘soul’ is deathless. On the contrary, God has repeated Himself in declaring that”The SOUL that sins, IT WILL SURELY DIE!” Ezekiel 18:4
To believe as you see fit is your personal privilege, yet personal ‘beliefs’ cannot alter FACTS in the slightest. IF from the Bible we gather the evidence which constitutes the foundation for ‘belief in Heaven and Hell, then by the verdict of the same Record we ought to detail our concept thereof and freely accept its unequivocal statements. What I am trying to say is, since it is recorded that God has said the ‘SOUL’ which sins shall ‘DIE’, it leaves us no right to say the ‘soul’ is deathless and shall be ‘tormented’ through time unending. Clearly are we told that we have no right to ‘interpret’ Scripture; yet man is willfully stubborn to disobey God, while others woefully gullible to believe the lies.
By Mikkel Dahl