War or Peace?

War or Peace?

The church has slid off the track when it comes to war, fighting in one, and the corollaries to it.

Consequences of War

Many do not understand war.  Mostly unknown today, because it hasn’t touched our shores {9/11}

Hasn’t affected us directly or mandatorily.

It is costly: PTSD etc, family, disease, spillover and residual violence [war begets war], food shortages, a lack of basic services, economics, extra care for returning soldiers.

Sustained humanitarian action is essential in the aftermath of war; to respond to the pressing needs of the population at large and help communities to develop resilience and plan for the future.

More Falklands veterans have committed suicide than were killed during the conflict. One in four homeless people are ex armed services personnel. Many also suffer from drug and alcohol abuse rehab, on the streets or with severe mental health problems or in prison

There can be no better description than “War is hell.”

Perhaps we have a slight idea of what it is like from TV, the scenes where we wince or have the children turn away. That I am sure does not do it justice. Sights, sounds and smells of it I imagine are unforgettable.

This is not a surprise when we understand the true origin of war.

The Root Cause of War

Not a surprise who the author of war is

Lucifer became Satan our opponent and adversary

Revelation 9:11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon [Destruction], but in Greek he has the name Apollyon [Destroyer].

John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

Drew one third of the angels

Revelation 12:4 His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born.

Filled with violence

Ezekiel 28:16 “By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.

Revelation 12:7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
Revelation 12:8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Earth became tohu and bohu

Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Revelation 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Revelation 20:2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years;
Revelation 20:3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

Even right after the beginning of the 1,000 years, Ezekiel 38 will happen with the residual lust and coveting

James 4:1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?
James 4:2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

[killing in war is murder / it breaks the 6th commandment ]

James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
James 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Revelation 20:7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison
Revelation 20:8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.
Revelation 20:9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
Revelation 20:10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

Deceived that war will solve their problems or accomplish their desires – deceived that war was the answer to anything

The New Testament

Jesus Christ’s teachings

Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.

Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’
Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
Matthew 5:23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
Matthew 5:24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.

Matthew 5:38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’
Matthew 5:39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.
Matthew 5:40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.
Matthew 5:41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
Matthew 5:42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Matthew 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’
Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
Matthew 5:45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

Example of Jesus Christ

1 Peter 2:19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
1 Peter 2:20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
1 Peter 2:22 “WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH”;
1 Peter 2:23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;

We follow this example

Our fight

2 Timothy 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 2:4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

But some will say…

John 18:36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here.”

His servants are not the church — notice in the complementary passage who would do the fighting.

Matthew 26:50 But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.
Matthew 26:51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
Matthew 26:52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
Matthew 26:53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?

Spirit beings as directed by God execute these deeds as they have done many times in the Old Testatment.

Who then is our fight against as a soldier

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Ephesians 6:13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Ephesians 6:15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO PREACH THE GOSPEL OF PEACE, WHO BRING GLAD TIDINGS OF GOOD THINGS!”

Ephesians 6:16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

Just to be clear, we don’t fight and kill in addition to this

Luke 3:14 Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, “And what shall we do?” So he said to them, “Do not intimidate [much less kill] anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.”

Romans 12:17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.
Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Romans 12:19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.
Romans 12:20 Therefore “IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM; IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP COALS OF FIRE ON HIS HEAD.”
Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 14:19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

But what about A Righteous War?

War is sin and the result of sin!

James 4:  lust, murder, covet

If there was a justifiable fight or righteous war it would have been when Peter was willing to go to war for the completely innocent Jesus Christ – what did Jesus tell him?

Christ said to Peter to put away the sword Matthew 26:52 [can be seen metaphorically for all today]

PUT up your sword and weapons of war and do not kill

But in a war that seems justifiable what also happens:

Killing civilians / collateral damage

Killing church members / killing someone God is working with? / spend eternity in love with them – after you kill them

God is Love and He is the same today as He was in Old Testament times. How then do we reconcile the events there with what we now know? We have to look at it through our New Testament eyes. We have to be guided by God and God in us.  Of course we must study and search the scriptures.

Many questions begin with Israel fighting BUT first let’s understand that it was not always that way, NOR was it supposed to be that way. God does not change, He is against us fighting because it is a sin as we have already seen.  Sin today is sin tomorrow and was sin the day before.

We must marry up all of these facts as we start to address what many see as incongruencies

Notice how it was in the beginning

God wanted to fight for Israel

We know the story of the Israelites exiting Egypt up to this point

Exodus 14:13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever.
Exodus 14:14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

This was God’s plan all along.  He never wanted or expected them to have to kill to be saved. He was going to do it all for them if they only heeded His commands.

Example of God Fighting for Them

King Jehoshaphat

2 Chronicles 20:1 It happened after this that the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat.
2 Chronicles 20:2 Then some came and told Jehoshaphat, saying, “A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, from Syria; and they are in Hazazon Tamar” (which is En Gedi).
2 Chronicles 20:3 And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
2 Chronicles 20:4 So Judah gathered together to ask help from the LORD; and from all the cities of Judah they came to seek the LORD.
2 Chronicles 20:5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court,
2 Chronicles 20:6 and said: “O LORD God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You?
2 Chronicles 20:7 Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? [He remembered]
2 Chronicles 20:8 And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying,
2 Chronicles 20:9 ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’
2 Chronicles 20:10 And now, here are the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir—whom You would not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt, but they turned from them and did not destroy them—
2 Chronicles 20:11 here they are, rewarding us by coming to throw us out of Your possession which You have given us to inherit.
2 Chronicles 20:12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
2 Chronicles 20:13 Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD.
2 Chronicles 20:14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.
2 Chronicles 20:15 And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the LORD to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
2 Chronicles 20:16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel.
2 Chronicles 20:17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the LORD is with you.”
2 Chronicles 20:18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the LORD, worshiping the LORD.
2 Chronicles 20:19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Korahites stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel with voices loud and high.
2 Chronicles 20:20 So they rose early in the morning and went out into the Wilderness of Tekoa; and as they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Hear me, O Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem: Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”
2 Chronicles 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the LORD, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the LORD, For His mercy endures forever.”
2 Chronicles 20:22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
2 Chronicles 20:23 For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another.
2 Chronicles 20:24 So when Judah came to a place overlooking the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude; and there were their dead bodies, fallen on the earth. No one had escaped.
2 Chronicles 20:25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away their spoil, they found among them an abundance of valuables on the dead bodies, and precious jewelry, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away; and they were three days gathering the spoil because there was so much.
2 Chronicles 20:26 And on the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berachah, for there they blessed the LORD; therefore the name of that place was called The Valley of Berachah until this day.
2 Chronicles 20:27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies.
2 Chronicles 20:28 So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the LORD.
2 Chronicles 20:29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they heard that the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.

Can you imagine us doing that today? Our nation relying completely on God for protection. Naïve according to our current president.

Why did God want to fight for Israel

Here is one of the reasons: They were to come to this realization.
Psalms 44:2 You drove out the nations with Your hand, But them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, and cast them out.
Psalms 44:3 For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, Nor did their own arm save them; But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, Because You favored them.

To show them that it was not by Israel’s might or power or cunning or intelligence, but by God

He showed them that throughout the Plagues, during the Exodus and at the Red Sea. Whether they did or didn’t help out or do their part, it couldn’t have been done without God.

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