His Servants Don’t Fight
I’ve often wondered at times if some had failed to read their bibles carefully on this issue. I truly believe this to be the case. During the dark ages a church established itself by shedding the blood of millions of Christians by sword. The bible says “He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword”. (Revelation 13:10). Had they read their bibles? It’s easy to misunderstand this topic, and so this is why I have written on it.
Peter at one time wanted to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth. The problem was that he misunderstood the character of God, and by beholding an arbitrary and impatient god, instead of beholding Christ who is the express image of the true God, Peter took out his sword and was ready to fight.
Matthew 26:51-52 And, behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. 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.
Peter thought that he needed to defend the innocent Jesus. Many today claim we must pick up guns so that we can fight those who will come for the weak and innocent. But in all honesty our answer is given by Jesus:
Mat 26:53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?
Is our faith so small that we need to trust in guns, and bombs, and fighting to defend us? As Christians, it is not our duty to worry about who fight’s who and get behind an army, or even join the army. Our duty is to tell them to “stop fighting”. Could a Christian fight on one side and kill His brother who is supposed to be a member of the kingdom of heaven on the other side? Our duty is thus:
Mat 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
The opposite of “blessed” is “cursed”, the opposite of “peace” is “war”, therefore the opposite to this verse is “cursed are the warmongers”.
Jesus told us: “My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight,”(John 18:36)
God is a Non-Interventionalist:
Some will ask “How could God allow Hitler to kill all those people, or Pol Pot, or the Romans to torture those innocent Christians during the dark ages?” These are good questions, and I’ll add to them. “Why did God allow Jesus to die on the cross? Why did He allow his prophets and apostles to be martyred and tortured without intervening? Why could He allow this, but yet Christians today feel the need to avenge themselves?”
If Paul or Peter were killed today, or Stephen were stoned what would be the reaction of the church today? Would they feel the need to intervene, get up arms, and go and kill their murderers? I think that this is the same justification that was used to start many wars throughout history. Many wars are blamed on Christianity, and rightly so, because Christianity and Christ have been misrepresented by those who have not known Him, nor the Father who sent Him.
God has natural laws, and he let’s them play out without intervening. It is the same with His moral law. If God were to break His natural law once and do a miracle for one in order to prevent consequences. If God did this then almost all christians would be asking and expecting God to violate His own natural law of cause and effect and deliver everyone on every occasion of trouble. And the world would not see how truly dreadful sin is, nor would they see the righteousness and love of God.
God is non-intervening when it comes to the decisions of men. God did not or will not force someone to do something overriding mans free will to prevent suffering and save lives. His son’s life is the perfect example of this. The Garden of Eden is the very example of God’s goodness and love. He gave man the choice, and man chose to disobey and the natural consequences followed. Cain killed abel. God did not intervene to stop any of them from doing the crime.
Sadly murder, rape, and the worst crimes have taken place during this 6000 years. Jesus Christ himself had to suffer for it though he was innocent. Many innocents have suffered.
In order for man to be saved, God had to give His only begotten Son. God suffered for us. Some would say “God could just change, and allow the sinner grace” without the need to satisfy the demand of the law which is death.(1 John 3:4)
It is only when man has filled up his measure and there is no return that God gave men over to themselves, to their own destruction. And this is when nations were destroyed. It’s not because God was holding a lightning bolt over them, but rather God turned his back on them after they pushed him and his love and grace away.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness
Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up
When God’s Spirit is forced out of your life, then disaster and chaos follows and God allows His natural laws to have their course. God is a God of order, but yet He would never make us slaves or robots. He has given us this free right to choose life or death, order or chaos and He does not intervene, but gives us over to ourselves, to destroy ourselves.
This world is an example to us of the effect of sin and rebellion.
Fruit of God’s Spirit Not War but Peace
We know them by their fruits. Some would have us believe that the fruit of the spirit is war, strife, and fightings. But the bible say’s these are the fruit of the flesh.
Jas 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
God however, has different armor that we are to go to war and our warfare is “spiritual” and not “carnal”. Paul described the armor of God with words such as “the gospel of peace”(Eph 6:15)
2Co 10:3-4 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
The bible talks about God’s Spirit and how His kingdom is established and we are told that it does not work by force or might:
Zec 4:6 …. Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
The fruit of the Spirit is the opposite of war.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness…”(Galatians 5:22) Can you imagine claiming to be lead by this Spirit yet not being gentle, or peaceful? Is that the Spirit of God? War is the opposite of peace and the opposite of His Spirit.
Some have come to believe that because our country has been attacked by a terrorist, or that in some far off land people are mistreating children, that it is our duty to go into that country with bombs and guns and kill them and their families, blowing up bridges, burning down towns. But the truth of the bible is that we as the Christians are expected to send them food and water, not bombs. What a misrepresentation of our saviour we as Christians have been.
Romans 12:17-21 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. (18) If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. (19) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (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. (21) Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
What that means is, If some terrorist bombs a place nearby and kills some of your family in a suicide attack, don’t return the evil with evil by putting on some body armor, hopping in a tank, or aircraft and going on a mission to the country they were apparently members of, and blowing up all the civilians in that country.
The Old Testament Wars – Not God’s Plan
In considering the circumstances surrounding the deliverance from Egypt, and how God said “The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace”(Exodus 14:14). We know that God didn’t use or need human power to bring them out.
Obviously by the above statement alone we could understand that God did not plan that they should fight at all, even in self defence.
When they came out of Egypt, they had no weapons. God could have lead them through the land of the Philistines which was the shortest way, but he did not. He took them on a difficult route so that “they should not see war”(Exo 33:18)
Because of their distrust in Him to fight for them, He could not help them. God had to teach them to begin to trust Him. A trust which was manifested around the city of Jericho.
Heb 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
Not by might, not by power, not by weapons, but by faith the walls of Jericho fell down. This is not exhaustive, there is more to be had even after the battle at Jericho where the Israelite began to become confident in their weapons .
Some will argue that at the time of the deliverance through the red sea and when God said He would fight for them, that they were not yet trained to fight and therefore not ready. Yet, at later times when they had many trained warriors, God fought for them without them striking a blow.
Read the following carefully. God said He would drive them out before the Israelites if only they believed and had faith in His word.
Exodus 23:27-30 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. (28) And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. (29) 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. (30) By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the
Now, did the Israelites really need to worry about picking up weapons and fighting? Or was the land already given to them? Who were they to try to get what was already their’s by force instead of just believing the promise?
Deuteronomy 7:17-21 If thou shalt say in thine heart, These nations are more than I; how can I dispossess them? (18) Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the LORD thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt; (19) The great temptations which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the LORD thy God brought thee out: so shall the LORD thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid. (20) Moreover the LORD thy God will send the hornet among them, until they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed. (21) Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.
So it’s quite apparent that God did not intend that the Israelites should fight at all. From where then cometh wars and fighting? Because of distrust of God and trust in the flesh.
Moses tried to deliver Israel by force and by human strength at the age of 40 years old and failed, and had to flee in disgrace. Only after he learned the gospel could Moses walk in and deliver Israel. And he did so without a weapon.
Why Did Israel Fight?
Psalms 81:11-15 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. (12) So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. (13) Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! (14) I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries. (15) The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.
God would have “subdued their enemies” had they trusted that He “would fight”. The bible tells us that they were blinded because of unbelief.(1 Cor 3, Heb 3). They did in fact fight. This is a truth. And all these things were written for our learning. They were types and shadows that teach us how to walk by faith, rather than by the flesh.
In the Old Testament, God even made laws governing polygamy. God allowed this evil to take place, and also made laws governing it to prevent further evils concerning it. But we know that in the beginning it was not so. That God made the male and the female to be one flesh and that man corrupted God’s ways. Just because God allowed the Israelites to fight, this does not imply that He designed it for them. God would have had peace in this world since the beginning. We can learn our example from Jesus:
Joh 18:36 …: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight….
Luke 3:14 …Do violence to no man…
It is only by not knowing the word of God, nor the power of God that we will put our trust in weapons of the world.