Taking Up Arms

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If you notice, Peter was fighting for a cause that dwarfs our families and countries. Peter’s reason for cutting off the ear of the high priest’s servant was the absolute ultimate cause for which anyone could fight. Peter was fighting for “the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter was fighting for a life that was worth far more than every man, woman and child who has, or ever will, live. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that it is not me that you are hoping that you ‘read wrong.’ It seems to me that what is bothering you are the words I quoted immediately after my statement which you quote above. Here is the whole section:

That very night Christ is betrayed into the hands of the chief priests and elders. Once again, Peter, filled with an immature spirit of “strong delusion”, believes that he, by his own efforts, his own works, can change or at least forestall the things that Christ had just said must occur: And, behold … Peter stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priests, and smote off his ear (Mat 26:51). How typical Peter is at this point of all the immature leaders of Christendom today who tell their immature followers to physically take up arms for God and country.

Peter saw things just as those he typifies at this stage of his development. What greater cause could anyone fight for than “the Christ, the Son of the living God?” Yet Peter knew Christ only ‘after the flesh.’

What were Christ’s words to Peter and to all who know Him only ‘after the flesh?’ Can any today receive His words? Then said Jesus unto him, put up again thy sword into his place: FOR ALL THEY THAT TAKE THE SWORD SHALL PERISH WITH THE SWORD (Mat 26:52).”

I realize fully that this is a hard thing to receive, but we must both admit that Christ did not say to Peter that ‘Evil men who take the sword will perish with the sword.’ No, Christ was talking to His own leading apostle when he said “ all who take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

“We as a nation and as individuals” should protect our nation and our loved ones. Had Peter been willing to die in Christ’s stead it would have been hard for our Lord to have found fault with that. But such a thought was about as likely to occur to Peter at that stage of his spiritual development as it is to occur to any world leader today. We are all ready to fight for Christ as Christians. There are few indeed who can receive the words Christ gave to Peter. There are few indeed who are willing to follow Christ to the cross and die with Him.

Here are a couple of other sayings of Christ that are hard to receive.

Mat 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:

Mat 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Mat 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.

Mat 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Mat 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

Mat 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

Mat 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Those few who can receive these words will reap great spiritual rewards. They will receive no physical rewards. On the contrary, they are promised:

Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

“All Men” does not exclude our nation. We like to think that we are a ‘Christian nation.’ Yet we have murdered, and continue to kill, millions of our own babies. We are the porno capital of the whole world. A large established denomination has just ordained an openly homosexual bishop, and we forbid anything that smacks of Christianity in or on our national and state properties. And we expect God to go into battle with us?? This was the thinking of the fornicating priest- sons of Eli, when they took the ark of God into battle against the Philistines. Read about it in 1Sa 4. “The glory had departed from Israel” (1Sa 4:22). Do we really believe that simply because we are the world’s only super power that ‘the glory has not already departed’ from us as a nation.

“Resist not evil” has been replaced with “the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.” Love your enemies has been replaced with “Love your family and your country.”

Truly these words of Christ are “foolishness to the natural man.” Where those words got Christ is exactly where they will get us today. These words of our Lord were never meant for those of this age. They are for those of the coming age. These words are only for those who look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal (2Co 4:18).

“It is in our very nature to protect ourselves and others with arms if necessary” is certainly a true statement. No one demonstrated this fact any better than Peter. But we are not called to succumb to ‘our very nature.’ We are called to “overcome” it. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him (1Co 2:14).

Should we fight for our country? Should we protect our families? The problem for us is the same problem Christ had.

Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

If Christ had taken the view of today’s Christians, He would have said, ‘Well, of course my kingdom is not of this world, but that doesn’t mean that I am not to do all in my power to keep evil from succeeding.’ Here are the thoughts of a highly respected Christian minister with a national radio program entitled ‘Truths that Transform.’ Here is Dr. D. James Kennedy’s take on Christ’s command that we “resist not evil” and that we “love our enemies:” “I am constantly amazed at how Christians in our military services allow themselves to become so confused when liberal news reporters ask them how they can take up arms when Christ says to ‘love your enemies.’ It is so clear that those words of Christ are for our dealings with individuals in our personal daily lives and have nothing to do with our obligations to obey ‘the powers that be’.” Apparently Dr. Kennedy would have Peter and John quit teaching in the temple because ‘the powers that be,’ the Jewish Sanhedrin, had ordered them: Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? (Act 5:28).

This is the same minister who promised to be in the ranks of those who would go to prison before they would stand idly by and allow the government to revoke the tax exempt status of the churches in our nation. Dying for your nation is one thing, losing your tax exempt status is another. But what was Peter’s answer when commanded by ‘the powers that be’ to directly break a commandment of God? Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men (Act 5:29).

Here is the principle by which the post- Pentecost Peters of today live. Peter had no tax exempt status. He was simply ‘obeying God rather than men.’

Rom 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Rom 13:2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Rom 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

Anyone who thinks that these verses are an incentive for professing Christians to join the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, or any branch of the military services in order to ‘serve his country’ has no concept of what Christ meant when he said “but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers” indeed. For this cause pay ye tribute [ taxes] also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing (Rom 13:1 and 6). These scriptures do not say, ‘For this cause join ye the Roman legions,’ as today’s ministers seem to interpret them. Was Paul a Roman citizen? Yes, fortunately, he was. Peter and the other apostles may not have been Roman citizens. Did Paul use his citizenship? Only inasmuch as it helped him to spread the gospel of Christ. Paul never used his Roman citizenship to exact revenge upon his persecutors in Phillipi or elsewhere. Paul could have taken those who beat him in Phillipi to court and prosecuted them for their unlawful actions. Instead, here is how Paul really felt about his Roman and Jewish citizenship:

Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.

The message that is overlooked in these words is that if you don’t give up all these things then you will not win Christ! When Paul says, in the next verse, (Php 3:9) “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith”, he is including any written code of laws, because the definite article ‘the,’ as in ‘the law of Moses,’ is not in this text. The ‘righteousness’ Paul sought did not depend on obedience to either Roman or Mosaic law. Neither were “for a righteous man, but for the lawless” (1Ti 1:9-10; Be sure to read The Law Of Moses Versus The Law Of The Spirit on the web page).

Why does Paul feel this way about his earthly citizenship? He makes it clear in this same chapter: (Php 3:20) For our [ real] conversation [ Gk.- citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Now then [ since ‘our citizenship is in heaven] we are ambassadors for Christ. (2Co 5:20).

2Co 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [ you] by us: we pray [ you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Luk 16:13 No servant[ ambassador] can serve two masters[ countries]: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

If the U. S. ambassador to Iran were to get involved in the politics of Iran, and were to begin to campaign for Iranian politicians, he would be unfit to be an impartial representative of the interests of the United States, because he would have divided loyalties. If he were to join the military of Iran, he could very easily find himself fighting against the very country he claims to be representing. “Our Citizenship is in heaven.” Our heavenly Father “works ALL THINGS ‘After The Counsel of His Own Will.'” “All things” certainly includes the affairs of this country we call the United States Of America. There is no prophecy in all of the scriptures indicating a great, super power, bulwark- of- righteousness country at the time of the end. There is, however, every indication that that is exactly what the deceived masses will think:

Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:

2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

“Strong delusion” is not ‘obvious lies.’ The ‘man of sin’ will not just suddenly appear on the world scene encouraging all men everywhere to kill others, rob banks, and cheat on their wives. ‘The man of sin’ is a Christian in the mold of the seven churches of Rev 2 and 3.

Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Are we so blind and naive as to think that these are obvious wolves speaking obviously perverse things. They are not obvious. They are instead very apparently righteous men doing very good things. What else would elicit words such as “strong delusion?”

2Co 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2Co 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

How can Satan himself be transformed into an ‘angel of light?’ By teaching that God is love, while at the same time teaching that He will nevertheless torment much of His creation in ‘eternal fire.’ Despite all objections to the contrary, the Greek word ‘aion and its adjective form ‘aionios’ never have and never will have anything in common with the English word ‘eternal.’

How are Satan’s ministers transformed into ‘ministers of righteousness?’ By teaching that the righteousness that Christ taught and lived was “of the law.” There is not one minister in the world who can explain why Christ told His disciples, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 5:19), and then, with His very next breath, started teaching His own disciples to break the very commandments which today’s ministers teach He said not to break. “Love your enemy” is the exact opposite of “hate your enemy.” “Turn to him the other cheek also” is the exact opposite of “an eye for an eye.” “These least commandments” Christ is referring to are obviously these new covenant commandments that Christ is in the process of revealing in Mat 5-7. Yet, the ‘ministers of Satan’ continue to teach that Christ lived ‘under the law of Moses,’ that Christ was “a practicing Jew,” to quote Cardinal Cushing, and that ‘he IS a Jew which is one outwardly.’ Never mind that this teaching contradicts:

Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

As Paul puts it, the ‘ministers of Satan’ have turned “the law [ which] is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners” (1Ti 1:9), into the law that is for a righteous man. In so doing, the ‘ministers of Satan’ have effectively turned the physical, and the things of the flesh, into the things of the Spirit. (Be sure to read The Law Of Moses Versus The Law of The Spirit on this web page.)

Conservative Republican Christians have preached themselves into a corner, and there is no escaping. Either they believe the scriptures, or they are fighting against the scriptures. Here are the words of one Christian military officer who wrote me recently: “At the very least, we serve a country that (for the most part) strives towards serving God.”

Now here is what the scriptures tell us would happen if our country was indeed, “for the most part, striving toward serving God:”

Deu 4:5 Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
Deu 4:6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.

Of course, this is not what ‘the nations’ think of us. What they do see is what no one can deny. We are a nation who, ‘for the most part,’ has forgotten and rejected the words of our own God and Savior.

Getting back to the spiritual condition of our nation, we see where this false teaching has placed us. Here we are, thinking that we are “a country that (for the most part) strives towards serving God,” militarily supporting the only country in the middle east that does not believe that Christ was born of a virgin. Even the Koran, with all of its heresies, admits to this truth. This is all the fruit of simply not believing that “he is not a Jew which is one outwardly” and believing instead that “Jerusalem that now is” is, in reality and contrary to what Paul teaches us, “the son of the free woman.” In so doing, we are denying that it is those who are “in Christ” (Gal 3:16) who are “the son of the freewoman” (Gal 4:30-31).

While there is a deeper spiritual definition of ‘the anti- Christ,’ here is the outward definition:

1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1Jn 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them.
1Jn 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

Who is it that the world is listening to today? Is the Christian world listening to these words of the apostle John? No, it is not! It is instead listening to those who teach that ‘the outward Jews’ are “God’s chosen people.” Nothing will bring the wrath of Christians down on you quicker than to deny this lie of the ‘ministers of Satan.’ Being “the only super power” on earth, supporting the one nation on earth that so vehemently denies the deity of Christ, here in what many seen to believe are ‘the times of the end of this age,’ does not speak well of our spiritual condition. How can we blatantly disobey the orders of our sovereign king and at the same time claim to be His ambassadors?

The Arabs certainly do not “confess that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh,” but do we honestly believe that they alone are the subject of this scripture?

“ALL who take up the sword shall perish with the sword” is the truth right from the mouth of The Truth Himself. There is nothing untruthful about these words. They are spoken in the context of the most worthy cause in the history of mankind, and yet they say what they say. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Joh 8:32) is not synonymous with long physical life. If it were, then Christ would not have died at the age of 33. The Truth has never been popular. That is especially true these days. Christians have been given a humanly impossible commission; “love your enemies” is intended to place us ‘above the fray’ of the affairs of this age. It is not an enviable position from an earthly view point. Just look where it got our Savior.

The only problem with these words to Peter is, “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Joh 6:63). The problem with ‘spiritual words’ is that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1Co 2:14). These words, spoken just when they were to ‘the natural man,’ Peter, were anything but ‘life.’ It is the immature spirit of Peter, before Pentecost, before the cross, that rules the church today. Christianity has always been, like Peter before Pentecost, more than willing to fight for God. But when you count those who are willing to go to the cross with Him, then you get the full meaning of our Lord’s words when speaking specifically about our day:

Luk 18:8… When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

May God give us all the grace to ‘receive the things of the Spirit of God’.

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