To Peace Maker's Sites
Peace is a daily topic in all forms of media.
Every home is hoping they will have another peaceful day, week, year, but all of our peace seems to be slipping away.
As a Christian, I believe the Church is the steward of this worlds peace. We Christians are responsible for the furtherance of peace and we will eventually win the minds and hearts of the great majority of people. This will come about through the Lord answering our continued petition
" Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
Christians will introduce
the only lasting `````
peace to the
He is the irresistible peace. Our prayer will be answered only after we believe it is the will of God to bring peace to this world. First we will have to turn our back on doctrines that make provisions for those Christians who sin habitually. And stop doctrines which teach that the Church is going to be taken out of this world, because it will be over whelmed, lose its effectiveness, be threatened with extinction and cannot effectively introduce and maintain a continuing world wide revival.
God has no intention of allowing his name to be dragged through the dirt by a disobedient Church. This is contrary to His will.
He has made provision for his church to be victorious. He is never going to take the Church out of this world so he can make a better place for it.
A new heavens and a new earth, refers to the birth of the Church. He did this for his victorious bride. She made herself ready, by suffering to the point of near extinction. The old system ceased to exist. His people were lifted up through their persistence in well doing and as Christ made an end to their enemies.
His people are to always overcome by his word. This means we have to be obedient to his commandments, else his word will be ineffective. We must be doers not just hearers. It is the doing, by faith, that makes us into his bride and this doing makes us into true peacemakers.
The Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.
First.Peter 3:8 to 14, has a quote from Psalms 34.
God speaking to Israel through the prophet Isaiah, in Isaiah 48: 18 & 19.
Jesus said (after teaching on morality in
Mark 9:49 & 50), -
Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another. (This salt has to do with morality.)
Then we have Paul and James.
Let us review the above scriptures. Please notice, there is an order that is followed in each of them and it is repeated over and over in the Bible.
First comes the righteousness, then the peace.
Or first comes obedience to the Word of God.
In the above scriptures we see that this peace cannot be derived from our surroundings, or from being in a one-ness with our contemporaries.
When we look at history we also find that very few Christian reformers were free from persecution; they did not receive their peace from their surroundings. However, they received an inner peace from God, as they went about doing his will.
It has been said (and I tend to agree with the statement) that all truly converted people are reformers. This is because they have a spirit that motivates them to right the wrongs that they see.
This is projected to the people of God by the Word of God. We are to free the slaves, do justice, take care of the widows and orphans, visit (Take care of) the sick and other like things of oversight and mercy. All of which is part of being a witness for the righteousness of Christ.
This form of righteousness is the essence of what comes first, in the order of the above scriptures.
These principals are still in force and they are rewarding, when obeyed.
If we follow this order (seeking truth and justice first) we will have peace. Also, we will be free of condemnation.
However, if we do not appreciate the truths that free people from their many kinds of bondage, physical and spiritual, we have a problem. Or if we have a tendency to relax our righteous principles (because we think they are not that essential), we are more than likely failing in our responsibility to others.
The Church has allowed the State to take over many of it's obligations. As a result we tend to think that these are not necessary Christian priorities, especially since there are many prosperous churches that thrive, though they do not take care of the indigent, and elderly.
The question is, can we justify ourselves before God on the grounds of convenience? Or, on the basis of there not being a need, since the state is now caring for people? Does the state obey for us? Do they give Christian love, in time and caring for those that cannot make it to church?
Are we supposed to share scriptural insight?
What if we have the knowledge of a scriptural truth from God, but do not want to promote it; for fear of creating division? Possibly because we have been taught that peace is the number one priority.
What about being our brothers keeper? Are we to hide a conviction in the name of peace, when we know that our brethren are confused concerning their walk and understanding of God and right principals?
The Bible teaches that Justice, judgment and good works have to be activated, or accomplished before we can have peace.
This means that - If we want peace we must have a Godly desire to seek God, and his justice, do good works, and do these things in that order.
Here are some basic questions we need to answer.
1. Is there value to all the truths of God?
2. Does the truth make us free?
3. Do we have a right to with-hold any of the truth of God from those who are around us?
4. Is it not our duty to study, and make ourselves approved unto God and men, rightly dividing the word. So we will be able to give a reason for the hope we have in Christ?
5. Is it fair to give into convenience and compromise, rather then to be a reformer for Christ?
6. Are we at ease in Zion if we fail to deliver to the next generation a gospel truth that had been delivered to us at great cost from our forefathers, for the sake of a temporary peace?
7. Was there a price paid by those of the past for reviving such truths as, Justification by faith?
8. Was there a price paid by others to preserve the truth about the Pentecostal out pouring?
9. Was it just and righteous for those people to stand for these truths, and be accused of causing division?
10. What is the right criteria to use for discerning the difference between a truth that is not to be compromised, and one that we do not have to stand for?
11. Are there truths in the Bible that are given as commands, and given by example, that we can safely compromise, without causing the loss of a blessing?
12. In general do you feel that you have the authority to decide for or against promoting a truth of God, only on the basis of whether or not it might cause a division?
13. In your estimation should the truth get the blame for causing division? Or do you blame the error?
14. Do you feel that people who are agreeable to the status quo, are a blessing?
15. Or would you rather be around those who are striving to do more for God?
16. Do you feel threatened by people around you that are consistent in good works, and who are always wanting to be more consistent in their good works?
17. Or is it more relaxing for you, to just plan on the occasional doing of good works in a big way, where the recognition can be maximized?
In deciding what doctrines and good works have the priority, the Bible should always be consulted.
The examples and commandments that are given there, should be followed first, before following any contemporary trend.
To do otherwise is to compromise.
Compromise might produce a short peace; but it involves sowing seeds of apostasy.
The measuring of ourselves among ourselves, is not wise, and it will cause division.
There are different returns on different investments.
Each of the following produce a different kind of result.
1. Ignorance. 2. Willful sin.
3. Compromise, and 4. Pure truth.
The wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure.
If we lack in wisdom, then we need to seek the pure wisdom of God, and seek it directly from his word.
The pure word of God is like most medicine, it has side affects, which are hard on the flesh.
The carnal man revolts against the things of God; nevertheless, if we exercise ourselves in the Word of God it will produce peace.
Scriptures like these, gives us security, and security adds to our peace.
The thoughts of our heart will be judged by God.
In First John 3:20,- John is writing about doing good works and goes on to speak more about obedience, But in the middle of this he says -
God has full knowledge of the contents of our heart and is aware of the root of the condemnation that is springing from our heart. God knows why we have lost our peace.
John goes onto say-
The pure wisdom of God produces righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
The love of God compels us to share His truth with all that will hear us.
Listen to the Story of Lazarus
In relating the events concerning Lazarus (and that rich man who found himself in hell) Luke records the rich man saying to Abraham -
- But, Abraham answered -
There are heavy implications in this statement. Note that here in this passage Jesus is commending the teachings of Moses.
1st. Abraham died before Moses was even born; yet he (Abraham), speaks as if he was aware of what Moses taught. (Though dead, he was all knowing.)
2nd. The Bible tells us that God knew that Abraham would obey him, teach his children to keep his way, and do justice and judgement.
Gen. 18:19. Abraham kept God's law.
3rd. Abraham lived by faith, but here he is saying that Moses (the law giver), had a message that would save.
4th. The surprising thing is - Abraham told this man, that the words of Moses and the prophets were as powerful in producing conviction or for witnessing as is the raising of the dead. This would include the resurrection of Christ.
Do we believe that the Word of God in the Old Testament is as powerful of a testimony as the resurrection?
5th. This implies that all of the Word of God is powerful, in the sense of being an effective witness for God.
6th. This then further implies the need for us to be careful when we do divide that Word of God that we think is essential, from that which we do not feel is essential.
All of this has to do with promoting peace in this world.
The world needs to see the righteousness of God in action. They need to have the pure standard of righteousness set before them.
Where is that city that is setting on a hill?
Where is the righteous light of Christ to be shining from? You and I have a job to do.
The following verses give us insight into some of the motives behind division.
Some have become a leader in the church because they like the prestige. Some purposefully create division as a way to protect their position. They build walls of discrimination around their church. There are others who have built the same type of walls of discrimination, but they did so when they followed their natural instincts. They might think that they are doing the right thing; however they do not use the direction given by the Spirit of God and his Word. So, they too end up developing extremes in their doctrines.
In one case they might become extremely legalistic, everything is taboo. In another case they become loose and produce moral failure in their followers, everything is OK with them. Or they might mix these two extremes and have a little legalism with some looseness.
Such as - It's OK to cheat on your spouse and your income tax, but You must never fail to pay ten percent tithes. Women are not to cut their hair and do not drink any alcohol, but it is ok to cheat in business. There are all kinds of mixtures of these extremes in the churches.
There are few, if any, churches that teach the word in any depth, or expect the laity to be credible Bible students.
The following scriptures tell us that to follow our base instincts will cause us to miss righteousness.
Here the book of Jude is referring to erroneous teachers who had brought their own natural desires into the church and used them as the basis for their doctrines.
There are many preachers who scoff at other Christian leaders on a regular basis, though they consistently live an ungodly life style themselves.
Apostle Paul when writing to the law keepers that were judging others for breaking the law (who were in effect breaking the law themselves) reminds them of the righteous judgment of God.
Many people feel that this is God giving out rewards for good works, alone.
Their thought is that if our works were based on a wrong motive, the works will burn, but the person will be saved as by fire.
This is not always the case.
(He will give eternal life.)
Both of these scriptures imply that our works, in some sense, have a direct bearing on our salvation.
The following is a partial definition of the word fruit, in Greek - "KARPOS".
It refers to the fruit of plants, fields, or nature, that which is produced by the inborn force of a living organism,- or metaphorically. - (1.) Of works or actions.- the fruit being that which is revealed from that power working inwardly and invisibly, the attributes of the fruit being evidence of the character of the force producing it.
I will use this much of the usual definition, as it agrees with what I see as the contextual meaning of fruit in this passage.
Selfishness is the root of sin.
Sin is the result and fruit of selfishness.
People do not sin for the pleasure of doing wrong, (as a rule).
Doing wrong is not the motive and sin is not the motive.
Selfishness is the motive, it is the desire to please self.
The deeds that are done while trying to please ourselves, are the fruit, in a negative sense, of our selfishness or sin.
Now if we reverse the motive to one of pleasing God, what becomes the fruit?
Is not the fruit of our motive's, (when we want to please God), the deeds that are done?
Is not the motivation to do good deeds for God, the responsibility of the person who desires to please God?
If selfishness produces deeds to be ashamed of, things that we are responsible for, things that are in the category of sin,- Then should we not feel, that since we are righteous, and are responsible for doing good deeds, that they are our fruit unto Holiness?
Though we do not earn eternal life, this eternal life is still to be expected because we do love Him and are obedient. No matter what effort we expend, we can never earn salvation, and we cheapen it by trying to do so. We also cheapen it when we say we do not have to be concerned when we sin.
We should never feel afraid to expend great effort, as we try to please God; for this is only fitting.
Any interpretation that implies that we do not have an obligation to pursue good deeds, should be evaluated and restructured to more correctly reflect the truth.
Any interpretation that implies that our good deeds are not directly related to the after effect of our salvation, and efficiently reflect our faith, should also be evaluated.
Any text that seems to imply that our works have no bearing on our salvation, Or any text that declares this thought directly, has to be dealing with works that are done with wrong motives.
To interpret any text in any other way introduces confusion.
There is no salvation available from God, based on good works, based on earnings, or the self-righteousness of the individual. No matter how morally perfect or full of good deeds we are, our moral perfection and good deeds will not qualify us to receive salvation.
Separate from faith, or separate from loving God, and trusting him with all our heart there is no salvation.
The first priority of our salvation involves being obedient to the first commandment. This is the choosing to love God as God, as the one and only God and with all our heart, and strength.
This first commandment is inseparable from the following one, which is to love our neighbor.
The first commandment involves, trusting, loving, relying upon, and committing ourselves to God.
The second has some differences, as it has to do with our obligation towards our neighbor. We are to love them and minister to them.
But - we do not rely on our actions towards them or rely on those individuals, or put our trust in them, or our actions, as our source of salvation.
These two commandments are one in spirit, (for to love God demands that we love our neighbor.)
Salvation is in God alone or he alone is salvation. This does not do away with the contiguous, parallel oneness, or inseparableness of these two commandments.
The Law of Love is the common Spirit and the unity of these two commandments.
When we love God, we immediately start reflecting the spirit of the second commandment.
If we do not in, some way, reflect, project, or radiate the love of God towards our neighbor, it is proof that we do not love God.
Good works, that are acceptable before God, are not antagonistic towards salvation; rather they are a direct result of it.
Any works, or effort that has as its motive, the earning of salvation, without loving God and being obedient to his moral laws, is an insult to God.
The first two commandments are the sum of the law, and they are inseparable.
They give us the proper perspective of Salvation and works and in the proper order.
You cannot have one without the other, except that necessity intervenes.
There are very few exceptions to the necessity of an out going love to others. However, there is the possibility that, something could stop a person from being outwardly obedient in every area of love towards their neighbor. Such as being an invalid.
Those who have just excepted God, (by turning to him in faith and repentance, the new born), are not expected to immediately be full matured and outwardly Christlike at all times. Or to immediately and consistently, obey every law of God. However it is expected that they will obey more faithfully and efficiently as they grow in grace and come to better know the will of God. As a rule there will be an immediate obedience to all of those laws of God that they are aware of. This immediate growth is because of their faith and because they are being led by his spirit. They are expected to be free of a sinful heart from the very start; for they have a clean slate before God.
In any case they are never to be habitual sinners.
So often we try to trade, or substitute some good deed, for our lack of response in being obedient to God's commands. We say to God, in effect, "I know that I did not really do what I should have done in that certain situation. But God, please except this (act), as a substitute".
We do understand or we fail to face up to the fact that we are trying to bribe God. We are really trying to earn forgiveness by doing something that we want to do, or using the doing of our won thing as a substitue for unconditional, true obedience.
We may not pray and study, as we know we should, we may not visit the sick, or our attendance at church may be poor, but we put a little extra in the offering plate.
We may witness to some one, volunteer to clean up around the church, or something similar, and feel because we do these things we have paid our dues.
Whenever we do this, we are only fooling ourselves.
If we are aware of any area, in our lives, that need to be changed, or directed towards complete obedience, we must get it done.
Obedience is better then sacrifice,--.
Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.
To know to do good and not do it is sin, the opposite of obedience is rebellion.
All of this has to do with our salvation.
Our obedience is our salvation, after the fact.
To have faith in God, to believe in him is excepted by him as righteousness. He excepts us as if we had obeyed all of his commandments and when we except him we except everything he stands for.
This includes the death of our carnality on the cross. We consider or reckon it to be nailed to the cross.
God knows us by his foreknowledge, he sees our obedience before there is any outward action on our part; for he knows our heart.
To except him, is to repent, to turn around and leave our sin's. Before we excepted him we were going, in the opposite direction, away from God.
So, the act of believing on him constitutes the spirit of repentance. The spirit of repentance immediately produces corresponding action, remorse, and with knowledge baptism in water.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, and as time passes all other acts of obedience do follow, unless we fall away or are not aware of some duty. Or for some reason it is impossible for us.
The thief on the cross is an example of necessity intervening, or preventing the actual doing of the letter.
God does not require us to do things that we cannot do!
Lack of understanding or knowledge may prevent us from following the letter, but if we know and are able to do as we should, we have no excuse.
Again all of this has to do with being effective peace makers.
If we serve God sincerely and are doing something in ignorance that is contrary to his righteousness, we will not compromise our salvation. However neither will our ignorance bring about the perfection of the church.
The seeds of ignorance produce negative fruit.
Ignorance or compromise will never heal the hurt of the world, or the church.
We should not be looking for a place of security, peace, pleasant fellowship and worship if we are avoiding the responsibility of standing for righteousness. For these things do not abide consistently and faithfully with compromise.
This generation wants pleasant subjective rewards free of confrontation. They are congregating where there is a free subjective spirit, while they avoid standing firmly for objective truths.
It is common to find that the most active and progressive churches are stressing the positive, especially the subjective flesh pleasing areas of Christian liberty. There are, relatively, few people in these same congregations who are faithful to look after the elderly and bed ridden. Many elderly Christians have given faithfully of their finances and efforts to churches in times past. Now they are neglected by those same congregations. This is bringing a great calamity on the earth.
The foundation of this calamity is the disrespect of human life being portrayed by the church.
The roots of the abortion crisis can be traced to erroneous attitudes in the church. They have accepted the attitude of the world concerning children. Which is that -
We should not have very many children for we are going to over populate the world.
Children usually come between you and your personal fulfillment.
In order to produce the best well adjusted child do not discipline them.
It is uncomfortable and bothersome to breast feed a child and it comes between you and other more important activities.
This is not the Bibles position.
God takes care of Sparrows and they do not work for food. They just eat what God has provided. So, He can take care of vast numbers of people who do work and grow crops. There are those who have studied the earth and it's resources and believe that it can sustain many multiplications of people. What ever, God commanded us to replenish the Earth and he has given us children and they were to be our greatest blessings.
When we avoid this precious blessing, as we try to find fulfillment in some other way, we are going against the order that God set up in the beginning. In the end we have less peace, for we have settled for the dregs of life. None of these other things can satisfy our natural longings or provide such enduring rewards.
Our refusal to discipline in the way the bible instructs us produces unmanageable children. This creates a hatred in them and for them. This is producing a climate of fear in our society, for we are now the prey of (these now grown) undisciplined people.
We are to nurse children into the world and nurse the elderly as the pass out of this world.
There are numbers of blessings in both cases.
All of our disrespect for the direction that God has given us is taking away our peace.
Matthew 25: - 31.
All of these scriptures have to do with being holy and obedient before God. They support the keeping of our basic righteousness in order.
These admonitions are not to be considered as just suggestions. As James 1: 25 says - If we do these things we will be blessed.
This, in essence, is being peace makers.
We need to pray intelligently to God and request him to turn us and our children from our sins.
Pray that he would cause each of us to be about acts of repentance in these areas. This will bring peace.
The world follows the church and looks to it for direction.
The loss of peace in this world is directly related to compromise, in these areas, by those who call themselves Christian.
Much of the tension, high blood pressure, over eating and the like is a by-product of a lack of peace. We reach for something to pacify our anxiety.
Paul admonished us to be not drunk on wine wherein it is an excess, but to be filled with the Spirit.
We could apply the essence of his thought to ourselves today by saying, do not raid the refrigerator, hit the twinkies or dive into some frenzied, time consuming, subjective, based activity, whenever we feel anxious.
Rather, do a good deed or find a place to study and pray. This can be an act of repenting and it is being an active peace maker.
The spiritual Christians walk is filled with much confrontation, and the labor of love. This is because of the commitment to what is right Yet their lives are accompanied by radiant inward peace. This sets a foundation for answered prayer and revival.
We are to pray that his will be done on earth as it is in heaven. This is to be a daily petition, for it says give us this day our daily bread. This day, = every day.
This combination will attract those who are hungry for God and for the reality of His righteousness.
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6-22-90 / 4-12-95 / 7-9-00