Sermon given 10 September 2018

The Cause of War and Peace

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

At the turn of the last century - that's the 1800's going into the 1900's - in a valley a little way away from here in the Rhondda in Wales, a sixteen-year-old young man found himself in a flooded mine, up to his neck in water at one time, and trapped in the dark for three days. He resolved in his own mind, when he was down there that; if he ever actually got out of the place alive that he would never, ever go down the pit again.

He did get out, and he ran away from home; and joined the army and fought in the Boer War, and made the army his career. In fact, in 1918 he was a captain in the army in the First World War. He had a man under him who had lost his gas mask and there was an inspection due, so he lent him his gas mask, so he wouldn't get on report. At the same time, of the inspection and the gas mask was missing, a shell came over from the German side with mustard gas in it and he was ultimately fatally injured. He was injured to such a degree that he was given ten years to live. Almost to the day, ten years later, his eight-year-old daughter found him dead on the floor of the kitchen. That man was my grandfather and the daughter was my mother.

At the same time that this was going on, there was also another uncle of my father, who actually met his end in Passchendaele, a great-uncle of mine, great-uncle Tommy. A few years later, a child of my father's brother was christened Tommy after his uncle, and he then, during the Second World War died in the Burma Railway. He was a prisoner of the Japanese.

The irony was that while this was all going on, another seventeen year old soldier, German soldier this time, on the Russian front; and because of the carnage on the Russian front, the German High Command, withdrew all the teens from the Russian front, and he was actually posted to Guernsey where he was captured by the British and he ended up in a prisoner of war camp in north-eastern England.

And what happened - because my Uncle Tommy was in Burma at that time, and captured by the Japanese, my grandfather opened his doors to the German prisoners of war, the trusted prisoners of war. This seventeen-year-old German soldier fell in love with my aunt, and I remember him as Uncle Peter. His real name was Gunter, but nobody could say Gunter, so he was Uncle Peter. I knew him growing up and he was in our home.

That's just my family's experience with war. Not only have most people in this room been affected by war, and most people listening to me right now have been affected to some degree, but most people who have ever lived have been affected by war to some degree.

The history books are filled with war. I started reading 'The History of the English-Speaking Peoples' and I got through the first volume and I got so sick and tired of political intrigue - and butchery, basically - it was written by Winston Churchill that I never actually completed it.

The history books are filled with war and the Bible is no exception. The Old Testament particularly. If you go through the Old Testament account of Israel, it is just war after war, after war, after war; both in Israel's case and in Judah's case as well.

The Day of Trumpets looks forward to a time of war. It is a time of war that is going to be followed by a time of incredible peace. Something causes the war. Something causes the peace. What I want to do today is examine just what that something is. If you want a title for the sermon, it is 'The Cause of War and Peace.' I thought of War and Peace as a title, but it would go on a bit too long. I have three points I want to deal with:

Righteous Warfare (PLAY FROM 06:13)

To start off with, let's turn over to a very familiar scripture, Isaiah 11, it's a scripture that is undoubtedly going to be quoted at the Feast this year, extensively. It looks forward into the future. Normally, you look at; "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid..." (Isaiah 11:6). (verse 6) But let's pick it up from Isaiah 11:1:

"And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the [Eternal] shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the [Eternal]; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the [Eternal]: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins [He is actually putting people to death, He is making war if necessary as we will come on and see, yet He is doing it in righteousness], and faithfulness the girdle of his reins." (Isaiah 11:1-5)

So, here is righteous war. Here is righteous execution; "And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb..." (Revelation 15:3). It talks about the song of Moses and the Lamb, just before the seven last plagues come on this earth. If you look at the Song of Moses, let's have a look at Deuteronomy 32:35. I know there is a bit of confusion which is the Song of Moses, but this is normally looked upon as the Song of Moses. The other one, on the shores of the Red Sea, is thought to be put together by Miriam; this one here comments on the end-time:

"To me belongeth vengeance and recompence [God is able to adequately avenge His people - vengeance is certainly something that is in the hands of God; it is not to you, or any army or force on this world. To Me, the Eternal belongs vengeance and recompense..] their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. For the [Eternal] shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left. And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection." (Deuteronomy 32:35-38)

Let the various gadgets we've got today be the protection. That's what we do. We put hope in gadgets, and we put our hope in money, and wealth and systems of this world. Notice what Deuteronomy 32:39 says:

"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive [here is the remarkable difference, it's not just a case of 'vengeance is mine'; it's the fact that He can kill and THEN make alive again, He can do so through the resurrection and give life to somebody - and not as some kind of zombie, but as a fully functioning individual]; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand." (Deuteronomy 32:39)

The Creator, He killeth yes, but He also makes alive because He is the Creator and the Creator gives life. It is not enough to just take life, which is human. If you've got a righteous war, you need a mind that is able to give life as well.

If you follow Satan's mind and spirit, it's done as a destructive, sinful, lustful, self-seeking, incoming frame of mind and you can't have a righteous war that way, but with a righteous war you can, because the Creator gives life - not just the taking of life, which is human. That is the difference. A builder, if you think of the buildings you have seen built, they invariably start off by clearing the site. They start off by destroying anything that is there already, but it's not destruction for destruction's sake.

When you look at the war in Syria at the moment, and yes, they will rebuild. But there is no love lost between the two sides. It is basically destroying for destroying's sake so you can get land claimed for yourself. Deuteronomy 32:39 says:

"See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me." (Deuteronomy 32:39-41)

This rendering vengeance to my enemies and reward them that hate me is in the context - and it must be understood within the context. Somebody who kills yes, but then He makes alive. The ability to do that is a Godly ability. It is not something that is human. We can't do it. We can't, we have no way of doing that, but God does. If you turn over to Revelation 19:11 we will read the passage that we had in the sermonette as well:

"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True [He was faithful to not only kill, but also to make alive again], and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." (Revelation 19:11)

Because He is God He is able to do so. A human would not be able to do so at all. God makes the rules long term - something which is according to His righteous will, which is to build and to plant and to upgrade. Revelation 19:12:

"His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God [the Logos]. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean [it's righteousness, so, they are armies, yes, but they are waging war in righteousness; in righteousness he doth judge and make war]. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:12-16)

So, this individual - which is Jesus Christ, obviously - and at the time that this day pictures, He is going to make war, but He is going to make war in righteousness. Now, that same individual; if you turn over to Matthew 12:14 we find the Pharisees were of a totally different mindset. There was no righteousness in making war or anything else. That was totally selfish and totally incoming. It says:

"Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him [what He had done was that He healed someone on the Sabbath Day; and that put their noses out of joint, but their reaction was one of destruction - that is not in righteousness making war, it is in evil, trying to destroy someone]. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;" (Matthew 12:14-15)

Notice the difference in the frame of mind between the Pharisees and Christ. You'd think He could go ahead and in righteousness make war against the Pharisees, but that is not what He did. He withdrew Himself, and great multitudes followed Him and He healed them all. Matthew 12:16:

"And charged them that they should not make him known [He didn't want a following, He didn't want to raise up an army, it wasn't time for that]: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by [Isaiah] the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry [notice, this is Christ as a human being, He has a different frame of mind as a human being]; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break [if something needs putting right, it is not for Him to go in there and destroy and wage war and put the situation right - because why? Because He's a human being, that's why], and smoking flax shall he not quench [if something is smoking, needs sorting out, it is not for Him to go ahead and sort it out; the reason for that is that He was human at that time and a human being does not possess that frame of mind], till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust." (Matthew 12:16-21)

We can actually read the account over in Isaiah 42:2, the actual account that is being quoted here. It is interesting when you look at the context of that quote, because it shows the two different mentalities of Christ. One, as a resurrected Spirit born God Being, bringing vengeance quite justifiably and quite justifiably can kill, because He can make alive again as well. That is the difference. The other one, being a human being:

"He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth." (Isaiah 42:2-3)

So, that quotation was being used and it was being pointed out that, it refrained Him from actually raising a following; because it really wasn't the time. I want you to notice Isaiah 42:13:

"The [Eternal] shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies." (Isaiah 42:13)

So, here is the Word of God, the Christ, the Spirit born Jesus which is quite justified in going ahead and kill, because He is God. He is the One who gives us life anyway. This life, this existence that we have, this physical chemical existence that we have rests on His Word. It is His Word that frames it. Therefore He has full right to go ahead and end that life if necessary, but He will do it in righteousness. He will end that life and He is therefore able to raise it up again. Isaiah 42:14:

"I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once." (Isaiah 42:14)

So, He sees what is going on. He sees the problems and He could see the difference between Himself and the Pharisees when He was a human. But because He was human, He couldn't act at that time. This is where the difference between righteous war and unrighteous war become very clearly evident. Isaiah 42:15:

"I will make waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs; and I will make the rivers islands, and I will dry up the pools." (Isaiah 42:15)

So, we need to make sure that we understand the context of the bruised reed He will not break and smoking flax that He will not quench. It still is a bruised reed - as a human being a bruised reed He wouldn't break. Smoking flax, He would not quench. We also, if we are following Jesus Christ as our example, we follow Him as a human being at this time. Therefore, we don't go ahead and war, and we don't fight.

Unrighteous Warfare (PLAY FROM 21:50)

So we are coming on to the second point now, unrighteous war. I'm not sure how many of you noticed Mr Armstrong's comment on war in the recent World Tomorrow that we had on the weekend; "Hades and Gehenna Explained". He made a comment then, and as I was thinking of giving this sermon it jumped out at me. He said:

"This, my friends, is the time when God is letting human beings express their free moral agency. When He is letting them learn lessons the hard way by experience. That's the only way the purpose of God can be fulfilled. And I want to tell you, many are deceived, and God knows it. It is foretold in the Bible, that the many would be deceived - not the few. God knows that, God could have prevented it. God could have stopped it, but He didn't. God could have stopped wars, and there wouldn't be any wars today. GOD ALLOWS WAR - WHY? Well for the simple reason that God allows sin [notice what he said; God allows war, for the same reason God allows sin]. Do you know what war really is? I have expressed it before on this broadcast. War is a penalty that human beings pay. It's a penalty of transgression. War is a penalty of disobeying the laws of God. The law of God is love. The law of God is loving your neighbor as yourself. It's the way of peace. Men don't know that way; they don't follow it."

"The only way God could stop war, would be to cram His religion down our throats. The only way God could stop war would be to enforce His law on people and make everybody obey it. That way is the way of love. God's law is love - it requires the love of God by the Holy Spirit shed abroad in our hearts to fulfill that law. (Romans 5:5)" (The World Tomorrow, Hades and Gehenna Explained){1}

I thought that was interesting. War is a penalty, it is a penalty of sin; it is breaking God's Law as he mentions. But which Law? Is it you shall not kill? Yes, it is, but it goes beyond that. He doesn't go ahead and zero in on that one, he gets to the trunk of the tree. It's not loving your neighbour; that is basically what the problem is. There is a passage in scripture James 4:4, I always remember this one because it rhymes - James 4 causes of war:

So here's the question; "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1)

Lust, it's covetousness, that is the basis, the foundation. So what causes war? Well, it's covetousness, it's an incoming frame of mind. This is the cause of war. James 4:2:

"Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." (James 4:2-3)

So asking to have peace, to seek peace, basically asking God for it - that is not sufficient. Because unless the mind is changed, unless the fundamentals change, nothing is going to work out the way we ask. James 4:3:

"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses [committing spiritual adultery], know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." (James 4:3-4)

The mindset has got to come away from the world and the world is what? It's covetousness and it's incoming, that's the basic problem. War, itself is the penalty that human beings then pay. It is a penalty of transgression. It is the penalty of disobeying the Laws of God, but it is a broad loving our neighbours as ourselves which is being talked about here. (Matthew 22:39) Let's turn over to I John 2:7 and pick it up here:

"Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning." (I John 2:7)

This Law that Mr Armstrong was talking about - war being a penalty for the transgression of that Law - it is that Law that is from the beginning, and you notice it says; the word which you have heard from the beginning. (I John 2:7) I John 2:8:

"Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth." (I John 2:8)

So, the new way of actually looking at this, the new mindset of dealing with it; it is not just a case of you don't kill, you don't hate your brother. Therefore, again, war is a penalty that you have for the transgression of the Laws of God, but it's the Spiritual Laws of God, not just the case of not killing. It goes beyond that. I John 2:9:

"He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes." (I John 2:9-11)

This new commandment that He talks about in I John 2:8, is the same old commandment that He mentions in verse 7, but it is a new way of looking at it, it's a new level. It's a new depth as far as that is concerned.

When did 'the beginning' actually start? What is He going back to as far as the beginning is concerned? In I John 3:11 he answers that question:

"For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous." (I John 3:11-12)

Cain had an attitude of mind, a frame of mind, but I want you to notice that was from the beginning, right from the beginning. We're looking at Mr Armstrong saying; "The Law of God is love." In I John 4:8 and 16 he uses that term as far as God Himself is love. War is the antithesis of love, it's the antithesis of a mindset which is outgoing.

So let's have a look at this first instance of unrighteous war is concerned; the instance of Cain and Abel. Let's just see what we can understand from that account. Let's go back to Genesis 4:1:

"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the [Eternal]." (Genesis 4:1)

Now the reason why she said; "...I have gotten a man from the [Eternal]." (Genesis 4:1) is because the meaning of the word 'Cain' literally means to get. The side reference shows Cain is acquired, 'gotten' or 'acquired'. That's what the meaning of the word 'Cain' is. Genesis 4:2:

"And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground." (Genesis 4:2)

Now the word Abel however, was different. Abel means 'nothing.' Similar to the word used in; "...vanity of vanities; all is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 1:2). The word 'vanity' is a similar word. It is 'Habel',[Strong's H1893]. So, you've got these two individuals and the mother is the one who names the children. Eve is naming the children, and with Cain she seems to be proud as punch; but with Habel, she is anything but. She almost dismisses him as worthless. Reading between the lines, you ask the question; "Was Cain spoilt?" Well, let's just read on a little bit. Genesis 4:3:

"And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the [Eternal]. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the [Eternal] had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell [he's throwing a paddy, quite frankly, he was out of control, and Jesus Christ has to say to him]. Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth [the word is 'crouches like an animal', Strong's H7257] at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over it [you need to overcome these things, but he was growing up in an environment where that was not the case, his environment was that he probably was spoilt]. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him." (Genesis 4:3-8)

Chances are that Cain was a good deal stronger than Abel, again reading between the lines. You ask the question; "Where did this actually come from? What caused the war, this strife between them?" You've got to go back to Genesis 3:6 and just read what it says:

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." (Genesis 3:6)

Now until that point, they were child-like. The attitude of mind was to listen to God, to listen to what He wanted, to be child-like. But once that occurred, once she had taken the fruit of the tree the attitude of mind changed. It changed to be incoming. They adopted Satan's mindset, yes; but more than that, it changed to an incoming mindset. It wasn't just Eve that had the incoming mindset, Adam also had an incoming mindset. Genesis 3:7 says:

"And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." (Genesis 3:7)

It also says that when God confronted Adam about the incident, Adam said; "...I was naked..." (Genesis 3:10). So God said; "...Who told thee that thou wast naked?..." (Genesis 3:11). So, Satan had said something, but there is more to it than that; it is the case of an incoming mindset that was there. It was a self-conscious mindset that was there. Each was out for themselves. Each was out for what they could get.

I want you to think a little bit about what was going on in the family. You know, Cain and Abel were born into a family, but it was a family of contention; a family of strife, where everybody was out for what they could get, and they learned their way of unrighteous war in the family.

When you think about the Tribulation - what you are looking at is the Tribulation is going to be as bad as it is, because our families are broken down. The character built in families that is necessary is not being built in them anymore. Kids are being spoilt, quite frankly. This is exactly what we see with Cain and Abel. That frame of mind, that incoming selfishness. Where do wars and fighting come from? The lusts that war in your members and they were warring in these members of Adam and Eve and the environment in which Cain and Abel grew up in. Notice Genesis 3:16:

"Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children [they certainly did, and it's not just a case of child-birth itself, it's also the teenagers that you have. As far as contention in the home, that will produce a certain type of teenager, a certain type of mindset]; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee [you won't get what you are looking for]. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life [you are going to live in a world where it's survival of the fittest, where it's 'red in tooth and claw']; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread..." (Genesis 3:16-19)

You will be battling with this. Why? Because you have chosen a way of battling. The entire world we live in today is a battle. If you've had a garden, you know what a battle it is to keep weeds down and keep the bugs off. It is continual warfare. That is exactly what was going on when Jesus Christ was pointing out to Adam and to Eve the natural world they were about to find themselves in; and also within the family structure that was in the home - it was going to be a battle. The battle was shaping the very children themselves, the teenagers themselves. So, what are you producing? You are producing armies. You are producing people that are going to fight and war. It is not going to be a righteous war. It is not going to be; "..I kill, and I make alive..." (Deuteronomy 32:39). They can't do that. It is war of destruction, it's war of covetousness; it is unrighteous in the extreme. So, Cain and Abel learned conflict within the home.

It's interesting - turn to Habakkuk 3:12. You wonder why Christ at the end-time will zero in on the heads of households? Well, it's because the heads of households are presiding over the crucible for the Tribulation. The various households that we've got around the world today are producing the crucible for the next generation. That is where the next generation comes from. That is where wars come from. War is going to come from lessons learned within the home. It is interesting today, that it is being reinforced with TV and video games. It is reinforcing this mindset. It is not outgoing, it's an incoming mindset. Here notice:

"Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger [Why anger? Because the nations have produced the Tribulation] Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah. [He went to the heads of the households because they are the leaders, they are setting the pace, and it's from that pace the Tribulation came]. Thou didst strike through with his staves the head of his villages: they came out as a whirlwind to scatter me: their rejoicing was as to devour the poor secretly. Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters." (Habakkuk 3:12-15)

Notice, He attacked the heads. He attacked the leaders. He attacked the leaders on a very small level, on a basic level. As I say, there is conflict in the end-time homes and it is reinforced with TV and video games and the like, where this mindset, this self-centered mindset, this unrighteous mindset is coming from.

In the case of Israel, let's turn over to Exodus 23:20. Israel could have gone ahead and let God fight their battles for them. They went and chose the world's way and the war was therefore the penalty. The penalty of disobeying the Laws of God. The Laws of God saying you shouldn't kill. Notice:

"Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared [notice who is doing the preparing -it's Jesus Christ]. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then [notice:] I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off." (Exodus 23:20-23)

It wasn't a case of them going to war to chase these nations out. It was Jesus Christ Himself, that would cut them off and give them to His people. Notice Exodus 23:27:

"I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land." (Exodus 23:27-30)

Who is doing the fighting? Well, Christ is doing the fighting. For all those with experience with hornets understand that you don't mess around with hornet's nests. My wife said to me; "Did you see the fungus that is growing in the hedgeway?" I thought, hang on a minute; I know we don't have a fungus growing in the hedgeway. I said; "Where was it?" "Just as you go down to the shed." A couple of days before I had seen a wasp's nest in the bank and I thought; I wonder? I took a look and it wasn't, it was a fungus; very fortunate it wasn't a wasps nest. Poking a wasp's nest thinking it's a fungus, is not a wise thing to do!

But notice, it was Jesus Christ that would send the hornets before you and drive out the nations one by one, and do it in degrees. The trouble is, they chose the world's way. They chose not to allow God to do the driving out, not to allow God to do the fighting for them. Our mindset has got to be different. Why did they go the way they did? Because they were carnal. They were plugged in to Satan's broadcast, because their minds were covetous and incoming and it wasn't time for them to be able to understand. If you turn over to Numbers 31:1 you see that even so, God legislated the wars that Israel was to fight. You can find a number of pieces of this legistation but here is an example:

"And the [Eternal] spake unto Moses, saying, Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people." (Numbers 31:1-2)

So, it was actually an instruction from God. Remember Agag and Saul? Agag was supposed to die with the rest of the people, yet Saul allowed him to live, and he said he had sinned against the command of the Eternal. Sin is a transgression of God's Law. What God says is God's Law. In that case, Agag had to die, and eventually Samuel had him cut in pieces. (I Samuel 15:33) Originally that wasn't so. Originally that wasn't the way God wanted Israel to be. But here you see the legislation that God put in place when they did go into war. Again, it wasn't a righteous war, but it wasn't quite as unrighteous a war as the other nations around. Numbers 31:3:

"And Moses spake unto the people, saying, Arm some of yourselves unto the war, and let them go against the Midianites, and avenge the [Eternal] of Midian. Of every tribe a thousand, throughout all the tribes of Israel, shall ye send to the war. So there were delivered out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand of every tribe, twelve thousand armed for war. And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest [Now Phinehas was a priest; notice - he sent him...] to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets to blow in his hand. And they warred against the Midianites, as the [Eternal] commanded Moses; and they slew all the males." (Numbers 31:3-7)

I want you to zero in on; "...Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, to the war, with the holy instruments, and the trumpets..." (Numbers 31:6). What used to happen - he would go into the war with these priestly robes on, of which were the breastplate of judgment. And this breastplate of judgment - the Ephod which was in front of his chest had twelve stones on it. According to Josephus, they used to glow when it was in operation. He would ask of God an answer for the question and then reach in and get out the Urim or the Thummim. One means yes, one means no. David asked the Eternal various questions, doing it through the priests and getting a yes/no answer all the time. So, the priests would ask the question, and the requested answers would come back via the Urim and Thummim, then they would signal to the armies via the trumpets and therefore move the armies. According to what? The priests - but through Jesus Christ, according to God, Himself; The God of the Old Testament, The Eternal of the Old Testament.

Still, it was an unrighteous war. It was a war that was not necessary, but nevertheless it had been regulated and not as unrighteousness as the other nations round about.

The Spirit of Peace (PLAY FROM 51:48)

So we come to the final point; the spirit of peace because you and I are going to have to know the way of peace. Let's turn to Matthew 24:20. It says:

"But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be [the wars that come out of there will be formed within the families and their homes of the world; it will be reinforced by the video games and the TV, the DVDs, and so on]. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24:20-22)

Why for the elect's sake? Well quite frankly, the elect are the ones who know the way to peace. The elect are the ones who are going to have to make the peace, that is what the elect are there for. It's to guide the crucible of peace; the family. To guide that crucible of war - as far as the tribulation is concerned - into becoming the crucible of peace in the case of the world tomorrow. Now in order to do that, we've got to grasp God's way of peace now. If we turn back to Matthew 5:9:

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9)

Interesting, make note of that in your mind; the peacemakers are going to be called the children of God. The elect are going to have to know the way of peace. They are going to have to be peacemakers. That is what we are going to have to learn. We learn it today in our homes so that we can therefore have a different set of values to the values that are being learnt by the world. In Matthew 5:43:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you ['good mouth' them that curse you, we don't go ahead and tear them down verbally even], do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven [the peacemakers are the children of God, and it says here to love your enemies that you may be the children of God; it is the same structure and title]: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Mattthew 5:43-45)

So, it is important that we love and 'good mouth' even our enemies. We are only going to do that through the Holy Spirit. We are only going to do that by staying close to God - so that love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit - and it's the only way that is going to be possible. Yet, it is the elect who know the way of peace, who are the peacemakers, who will need to be there to guide the crucible of peace, which is the family. That crucible of peace is in the future. As the family produced the mindset of the Tribulation, it's got to produce the mindset of the other peacemakers. It can therefore be a Spirit of peace and produce the peace in the world tomorrow. Turn over to Romans 8:14:

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14)

What did it say about peacemakers? "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." (Matthew 5:9). Good mouth your enemies and so on, that you may be sons of your Father. "As many are led by the Spirit of God"....This is how it's done; they are the sons of God, these peacemakers it's talking about. It says in Romans 8:19:

"For the earnest expectation of the [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." (Romans 8:19)

Adam had the very earth itself fighting against him, because everything is out for everything it can get, and we have the same today with the brambles the various plants we don't want, they all seem to have thorns and spikes and things we don't want. Romans 8:20:

"For the [creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the [creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." (Romans 8:20-22)

So that glorious liberty of the children of God ties in with Matthew 5:9, where it talks about the peacemakers are the children of God and you love your enemies, then you are children of your Father. Those children of God are led by the Holy Spirit. That glorious liberty that we have includes the liberty from war. Let's turn over to James and just read the lead in to James 4, it leads in from James 3:5 and it says:

"Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!" (James 3:5)

You think about what happened as far as Hitler was concerned and how the wording he used inflamed the situation. You think of the wording that was used by Winston Churchill. Again, "He put the English language into battle." Wars come from the tongue, that little member. James 3:6:

"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of [Gehenna]. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame [it requires God to tame]; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." (James 3:6-10)

Again, if we are loving our enemies, if we are good mouthing our enemies, we are children of our Father, and these things should not be. James 3:11:

"Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation [the word literally means conduct, but in this case conversation is right because it's describing the tongue] his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts... " (James 3:11-14)

This is how the tongue is controlled. God is the only One that can control it. When we become peacemakers, we become children of God, we can love our enemies and become children of the Father. The crucible of peace is the family - and will be guided by those peacemakers. That is what they are looking for. That is what God is looking for within each and every one of us. James 3:14:

"but if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work." (James 3:14-16)

What does it say? "From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1). It is the incoming frame of mind. It is the covetousness and incoming mindset which produces the wars. The outgoing mindset which comes from the Holy Spirit which will produce the peace. The crucible is the same. The crucible is the next generation, the family. James 3:17:

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." (James 3:17-18)

Although Christ can make war in righteousness, our job as the elect is to be the peacemakers. We are not being trained to go ahead and fight. Christ is quite capable of doing that Himself with the armies that are in heaven. There is no need for us to be involved in the process whatsoever. But the controlling of the tongue by changing the heart and becoming peacemakers is so vitally important.

Turn over to Romans 12:14. It tells us how we develop ourselves into being a peacemaker and how God will work with us and God will actually mould us and shape us in a certain direction, but here it says:

"Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not [if you love your enemies, you good mouth your enemies, you are children of the Father]. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits [if you are wise in your own conceit, you are trying to pull yourself up, and push others down]. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you [as much as depends on you], live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." (Romans 12:14-19)

So, our job is not to go ahead and break a broken reed or to quench the smoking flax. It is the case that we are to be a peacemaker. It's following Christ. Christ makes war in righteousness, but He'll do that as a Spirit being, a born son of God. Until we get to that particular position, we are not qualified. We don't have the qualifications for it, all we'd have would be an unrighteous war. Romans 12:20:

"Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head [it is a totally unhuman reaction]. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:20-21)

It's interesting the Law of old - let's turn over there; Exodus 23:4. These are all judgments that amplify the Ten Commandments that are given in Exodus 20. They amplified them for Israel and the position that they found themselves in. You can see the principles, you can see the Spirit of the Law coming through loud and clear. It says:

"If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again [this isn't just any old ox or ass going astray, it is your enemy's ox or ass going astray]. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him." (Exodus 23:4-5)

So, even there you see the mindset and the frame of mind. First, to implement that in our own lives, it takes a degree of faith. Certainly, we see the incident of Hezekiah in Isaiah 37 saying to Sennacherib; "You picked the wrong nation to go ahead and boast about." And I guess Jehoshaphat, II Chronicles 20, as well, he put the musicians in front of the people and they marched against the armies arrayed against them, and they all turned on each other and killed each other.

But Trumpets is a time of war, followed by a time of incredible peace. Something causes a war and something causes the peace. I hope we've seen that you can have a righteous war; but we can only have a righteous war as far as God is concerned, because He can kill, yes, and He can also make alive again. Well we can't do that. Until we can do that, even humanly, Christ didn't go ahead and quench the smoking flax. He didn't break any broken reed.

Something causes the war; something causes the peace. The war is caused by an incoming spirit of covetousness. Peace is caused by peacemakers with an outgoing spirit of love. In all cases, whether you are looking at the unrighteous war or righteous warfare, it is generated within a family like Cain and Abel. You fix the family - it's the crucible - and we are going to have to deal with the families in the future, in the world tomorrow.

Eternally, we are looking at a crucible of the Family of God. From that we will go out into eternity as the peacemakers, and that is going to be our job.


Footnotes:

{1} The transcript for this WT broadcast is on http://cogiw.org/articles/transcripts/hwaWT790717hadesAndGehennaExplained_radio079.html