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chapel
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Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re:


ccchhhrrriiisss wrote:


Quote:
Many of the non-resistant brethren base their stances upon Jesus’ instructions to turn the other cheek when they are struck by an evil person (Matthew 5:38-40). This is often seen as a primer for Christian conduct. Yet, this seems to be more about “self defense” in regard to the persecution of believers for their faith than other forms of resistance. Remember, the Lord told us to “resist not EVIL” (Matthew 5:39). Furthermore, Jesus didn’t stop there. He instructed his listeners to “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:42). Now, is this a mandate in EVERY circumstance? Or are there circumstances in which we are not supposed to give? The New Testament indicates that one of the highest callings of a man is to provide for his family. If an evil person were to ask for the food by which we are to feed our families, are we supposed to give it (and let our families go hungry)? No, our responsibility is to our families first – or we are “worse than an infidel” (I Timothy 5:8). Is it possible that our call to not resist an evil person is also limited to SELF defense rather than in defense of a higher calling (such as our families or the weak and helpless)?




ccchhhrrriiisss,

Seems you went all around the scripture on non resistance but left out the non resistance part.

Here is the scripture with an explanation.

Matthew 5:38-48
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: [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. [40] And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. [41] And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. [42] Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
[43] Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. [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; [45] That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. [46] For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? [47] And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? [48] Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.




Taken from pages 78-81 of The Kingdom that Turned the World Upside Down © David Bercot. Used by permission. Copies can be obtained from Scroll Publishing Co., P. O. Box 122, Amberson, PA 17210 or see their website at www.scrollpublishing.com.

But don’t Jesus’ words apply merely to private retribution–not to state-sponsored actions?

Some Christians maintain that if we pay back evil for evil as individuals, it’s wrong. However, if we do it under state authority, it doesn’t violate Jesus’ teaching. This argument makes me think of a pamphlet that Adin Ballou wrote, entitled “How Many Men Are Necessary to Change a Crime into a Virtue?” In it, he asked:
“How many does it take to annul the commandments of God, and render something lawful that He has forbidden? How many does it take to metamorphose wickedness into righteousness? One man must not kill. If he does, it is murder. Two, ten, one hundred men, acting on their own responsibility, must not kill. If they do, it is still murder.
“But a state or nation may kill as many as they please, and it is not murder. It is just, necessary, commendable and right. Only get enough people to agree to it, and the butchery of myriads of human beings is perfectly innocent. But how many does it take? This is the question.

“Just so with theft, robbery, burglary, and all other crimes. Kidnapping is a great crime in one man, or a very few men only. But a whole nation can commit it, and the act becomes not only innocent, but highly honorable. So a whole nation can rob on the largest scale, and perpetrate burglary on an entire city by martial power, without crime. They can do all these things with impunity, and call on the ministers of religion to say prayers for them. Verily there is magic in numbers! The sovereign multitude can out-legislate the Almighty, at least in their own conceit. But how many does it take?”

If the state orders me to worship idols, would that make it right? In other words, is it wrong for me to worship idols as an individual, but perfectly right to worship idols if I do it under the authority of the state? Is it wrong for me to practice divination as an individual, but acceptable if I do it under state authority? Is it wrong for me to commit adultery as an individual, but not a sin if the state orders me to do so? Is divorce wrong for me as an individual, but perfectly legitimate if the state authorizes me to divorce my spouse?

Or suppose a Christian lives in a country where the government orders women to obtain abortions for the good of the country. Perhaps the country is overcrowded, and the government thinks the most feasible way to end the overcrowding is by reducing the birth rate. Does that make it lawful for a Christian woman to kill her baby through an abortion? If not, why is it different when the same government orders its citizens to kill others in a war?

When Jesus gave His commandments on nonresistance and loving our enemies, did He make any distinction between private actions and state-sponsored actions? Not at all. In fact, His teaching was supplanting an Old Testament law that itself pertained to state actions, not private ones. As you remember, Jesus began His message on nonresistance by saying, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person” (Mt. 5:39). Now, where had his listeners heard “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth?” They had heard it from the Mosaic Law, where it appears three times.

The first passage where that expression occurs is in Exodus, which says, “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Exod. 21:22-24). Please note that the judges were involved in this action; it was not private vengeance.

The second passage is found in Leviticus, concerning an incident where a man with an Egyptian father and an Israelite mother had blasphemed God. When the Israelites inquired of the Lord as to what they should do, God replied, “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him. …Whoever kills a man shall surely be put to death. …If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him–fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him. …Then Moses spoke to the children of Israel; and they took outside the camp him who had cursed, and stoned him with stones” (Lev. 24:16-23). Is this passage talking about private actions? Hardly! The whole congregation of Israel was to be involved in meeting out the punishment.

The final passage is in Deuteronomy: “If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, then both men in the controversy shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to this brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you. And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you. Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Deut. 19:16-21). Once again, this passage does not refer to a private form of justice. Both the priests and judges were involved.


So the context of Jesus’ teaching on nonresistance concerned national and judicial retribution, not private vengeance. After all, that’s what the “eye for an eye” standard was all about. And Jesus’ teachings replaced that standard.


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Lee Chapel

 2009/9/18 22:40Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4517


 Re:

Hi chapel...

Quote:
ccchhhrrriiisss,

Seems you went all around the scripture on non resistance but left out the non resistance part.

Here is the scripture with an explanation.

I thought that I covered that particular passage. I didn't type it out in its entirety, but only because that "turn the other cheek" portion is the central portion that is often commented. However, I wanted to bring out some thoughts on that entire portion as a whole.

I have seen people who consider themselves non-resistant after reading the "turn the other cheek" portion of that passage. However, I just wonder if they are just as willing to embrace the next portions? If I (or any believer or non-believer) were to ask you to give me ALL of the money that you have, ALL of the food in your house, and to throw in EVERYTHING inside of your house (including, of course, the cloak)...would that fulfill what Jesus was saying in Matthew 5:40-42? Jesus said, "[i]And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away[/i]." However, would giving everything that you have to some person (saved or unsaved) in order to fulfill this passage ALSO prevent you to fulfill your command to take care of the needs of your family?

I tried to cover this issue in the long post that I wrote at 2009/9/18 11:31.

I believe in [i]personal[/i] non-resistance. When I was in high school (and shortly after having met the Lord), I was confronted by one of the guys on the high school basketball team. Our morning practice was almost finished. As I was getting ready to go back to the locker room, a rather large player asked me, "[i]So, I heard you became a Christian[/i]?" I explained to him that I had met the Lord during the summer. He continued, "[i]So, you really believe all of that stuff in the Bible[/i]?" I said yes. He went on, "[i]So, if I were to slap you, you would turn the other cheek[/i]?"

I thought about it, and said yes. He immediately slapped me...hard. And you know what? I turned my cheek. You know what? He then slapped me again...hard. I didn't know what to do, so I turned back to the original cheek. He slapped me several more times. By this time, some of the other players (and some of the cheerleaders who were practicing on the side of the court) started to urge this guy to stop. By this time, I didn't know what to do. So, I just looked him in the eye and said, "[i]Mark, Jesus really does love you[/i]."

I quickly went into the bathroom next to the locker room in order to clean the blood off of my face. I was trembling and in tears. I wasn't afraid of this guy. I wasn't even embarrassed that this took place in front of the entire varsity basketball team (and others too). However, I was trembling because I didn't really know what I was supposed to do. After praying, I showered and went to my next class.

I wouldn't really see the fruit of that experience until much later. One night following a basketball game, our team was on the bus for the three and a half hour drive back home. Usually, people would just listen to music or sleep. I had a set of headphones on and was listening to some Keith Green music. One of the guys tapped me on my shoulder and asked what I was listening to. I let him hear one of the songs ([i]Your Love Broke Through[/i] -- which, like nearly all of Keith Green's music, is hardly "modern" or something that anyone would even want to listen to). After he listened to it, he started to ask me some questions about the song...and the Lord.

Over the course of that trip, I was able to share my testimony to the entire team and the coaches. They all knew that I was a smart guy, and they were wondering how I went from an agnostic to a "walking Bible" so quickly. I told them about how I came to Christ...and how much I loved knowing Him. I told them that I actually KNOW and talk with the Creator of the universe. I can't really remember the rest of the things that I talked about (because I had only known the Lord for a few months). However, the Spirit of the Lord was there. I eventually asked if anyone wanted to know the Lord like I did. The first person to raise his hand...was Mark.

This was the same guy who slapped me multiple times on that basketball court. Before we arrived back to our high school, I was able to pray with every single player on my team as they said that they wanted to know the Lord. Even one of the coaches had me pray with him! Even though it was dark on that bus, you could tell that a few of those guys had tears in their eyes. I asked the head coach if he wanted to know the Lord too. He looked uncomfortable and said, "[i]I'm not ready yet, Chris[/i]." Why am I saying this? Because, yes, I understand the power of non-resistance.

That being said, I also understand the call that God has on my life to help those in need and to provide for my family. If someone broke into my home while I was present and tried to physically harm my wife, sister, mother or a child, I would do what I can to resist them. I would do this with a clear conscience. Why? I believe that this is part of my calling as a husband, brother, son and (eventually) father. Like I tried to indicate earlier, I believe that some calling supersedes others. If someone were to ask for all of your belongings, your first call is to provide for your household. You are also supposed to avoid debt. Thus, you can give to someone who asks...but you are bound by a covenant to care for the needs of your family. Otherwise, you are WORSE than an infidel.

As for serving in the military...or the police department...I stand by the thoughts that I wrote in my earlier post. I believe that it is possible to be a "good soldier" and a true believer at the same time. Like I said, no one in the Old Testament was ever prosecuted as a violator of the commandment that says THOU SHALT NOT KILL if they were defending the weak, protecting their family or serving in the military.

I hope that my thoughts about this issue come across correctly. I am not trying to [i]convince[/i] anyone that "I am right and everyone else is wrong" (or anything like that). Rather, I just want to illustrate the thoughts that have gone through my mind when I am considering this subject. I don't believe that it is as "cut and dry" as some would paint it to be.

I think that there is wisdom in having a clear conscience in this matter (Acts 24:16; I Corinthians 4:1-5; I Timothy 3:9; II Timothy 1:3; I Peter 3:15-16). Even though I may disagree, I certainly respect those who have arrived at a different opinion with their own integrity and a clear conscience...and I pray that this feeling is mutual.

:-)


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Christopher

 2009/9/18 23:33Profile
rainydaygirl
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Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 Re:

Hey Ginnyrose
thank you for the link to the other thread. I will read through it.

with care
rdg

 2009/9/18 23:53Profile
HeartSong
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Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3161


 Re:

Earlier this evening I went for a walk and was listening to the book of John. As I listened to chapters 17 and 18 I became more convinced than ever that we are not to rely on the systems of this world.

John 17:14,15,16 - I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. . . . John 17:21,22,23 - That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. . . . John 18:36,37 - 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. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.



Immediately after setting my heart upon this I turned to head home. For some reason, I chose a different route than usual and walked along the highway so that I could return through the park. As I entered from the North I ran into two young men leaving the park. While this was somewhat unusual (their reason for being there was not evident) I didn't pay much attention to the matter. We exchanged pleasantries and I continued on.

As I walked deeper into the park I noticed a group of people gathered around the picnic table in the distance. As I neared the picnic table a group of about eight young men broke away from the table and began to walk away. I said hello but they only mumbled a response. There were four young men still seated at the table and as I walked by and I lifted my hand in greeting. Only one of them responded.

It is highly unusual for anyone to be at this park, let alone 12 young men and I walked away wondering. As I left the park I noted that the cars were from different counties. At some point it dawned on me that this was probably a drug deal of some sort so I decided to stop by and bring the matter to the attention of the local sheriff that lives across the street.

All of this to say that no sooner had I determined the truth to be one thing, and the enemy tricked me into doing the other. My heart is still heavy over the matter and I have added these 12 young men to my list of "assigned people" that I am to pray for.


EDIT: I sound like Eve in the above statement. Actually I was tested in the matter and I failed. After knowing the truth, I did not hold to the truth, so therefore I sinned.

 2009/9/19 0:59Profile
Leo_Grace
Member



Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Dear HeartSong,

Let me get this right... are you trying to tell us that a true Christian should not inform law officers about a possible crime because "we are not of this world"?

If you had seen those 12 young men beating and robbing an innocent person in the park, would you have preferred to just ignore it and walk by because you are a Christian and "not of this world"?

If this is what you are thinking, then you are grievously wrong. When you went out of your way to report a possible crime, you did the right thing! You showed love for your neighbors. You did what God wants us all to do. Otherwise, why would Jesus have commended the good Samaritan for getting involved and helping a stranger as an example for believers to follow?

[b]While we are alive on this earth, we are not only called to be in the world and part of the world, we are commanded to shine in the darkness so others can see their way.[/b]

Mt 5:14 [color=CC3300]“[b]You are the light of the world.[/b] A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. [b]In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."[/b][/color]

How can we be ambassadors for Christ unless we participate in the affairs of the world?

2Co 5:20 "[b]We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us[/b]. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God."

The greatest commandment in Scripture is this:

Mt 22:37-40 Jesus replied: [color=CC3300]“ [b]‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[/b] This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: [b]‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[/b] All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”[/color]

All other instructions given in the Bible for believers to follow must bow in submission to this command. If the disputable concepts of "non-resistance" or "non-involvement" make you disobey the greatest commandment, then you have been deceived.

In Christ's Love,
Leo

 2009/9/19 2:03Profile
HeartSong
Member



Joined: 2006/9/13
Posts: 3161


 Re:

God can do all things. He knows everything that has happened and He knows everything that is going to happened. He knows what is in the hearts of each of those young men. The law is limited to that which it can see. It can only come in after the fact and relies upon human interpretation. It is subject to human error.

My appeal is to be to the Lord. He can stop it all in a spit second. He has given me the power to stop evil by simply speaking a word in the name of Jesus. All that I must do is believe and come forth with the Word.

Those boys are in bondage. They are the slaves of Satan. My turning them over to the authorities will only serve to drive them deeper into bondage. My "turning them in" further empowers the powers of darkness for in so doing I put myself in agreement with their system of doing things. My praying for the boys defeats the powers of darkness for it is out of love that my prayers go forth and it is only by light that darkness is dispelled.


Quote:
If you had seen those 12 young men beating and robbing an innocent person in the park, would you have preferred to just ignore it and walk by because you are a Christian and "not of this world"?


I would step forward in His Name and am willing to die doing it.

 2009/9/19 2:49Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7480
Mississippi

 Re:

HeartSong,

My heart gasped when I read your post.

Sister, God has given us the civil government to assist the community to maintain law and order. This is their job and as Christians we are to help them make this job easier. True, our security does not depend on how well they do it - our security is with God. There is no doubt He does protect his children in supernatural ways, ways in which we may be unaware of.

I just got done doing grand jury duty this week. We looked at evidence, gathered by surveillance cameras, of drug deals. And all I can say is that if you did come across drug dealing, you are lucky you never saw it exchange hands. God must have been with you, protecting you. As a non-resistant Christian, I would encourage you to report questionable activity to the law. But, then again, how do you know but what he is not in cahoots with them? {{SIGH}} Perhaps, the better thing would be to ask the LORD what your response should be.

Your exchanging pleasantries was so very good, God bless you.

I am still wondering what you did that makes you think you sinned?

My dear, I can hardly get over you seeing this group of young males...and you still walked by them! OK, I am getting skittish (the DA warned us of this happening), and likely you did what I would have given the same situation ....

Blessings,
ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2009/9/19 6:43Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7480
Mississippi

 Re:

I would also encourage you to go read a testimony I posted I posted in the "Articles" forum. Here is the link: https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=30264&forum=34&4

This is the testimony of a young male who did alternative service during the Vietnam war era. (Many think that if you are a conscientious objector you do no service of any kind to your fellow men..WRONG! They do alternative service, some kind of humanitarian work, like work in hospitals.) The author of that article is known to my brother-in-law. He worked at the same facility as did 'Peachy'. In fact, that experience in the hospital birthed in my BIL a desire to enter the medical field and he fulfilled that dream in 2008 when he graduated from nursing school at the age of 58!

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2009/9/19 7:00Profile
Leo_Grace
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Joined: 2009/6/14
Posts: 703


 Re:

Dear HeartSong,

You said:

Quote:
My "turning them in" further empowers the powers of darkness for in so doing I put myself in agreement with their system of doing things.


I understand now that you feel that you betrayed your faith in God by reporting a suspicious situation to the sheriff. Why would you feel that way? Are all governments and established social institutions evil in your sight? Is it not possible for God to use these for his divine purpose? Is our God too weak to influence the governments of men? I think not! Those authorities are established by God, and we are instructed to be subject to them, even as we are all subject to the final authority of God.

[i]Ro 13:1-2 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.[/i]

Ask yourself this: Will you bring glory to God by rebelling against a system intended to bring peace and order in your neighborhood? In the eyes of your neighbors who are not yet believers, will God be honored by your rejection of the police? Or will you be making God a joke in their eyes by your actions?

If everyone in your neighborhood refused to report crime to the police, you will quickly find yourself living in the midst of a haven for criminals. Is that how you show love for your neighbors?

We are Christ's ambassadors in this world. We are to be the salt of the earth; the shining lights on a hill; we are to be players IN the world, but not OF the world. God did not call us to be scoffers and hecklers who refuse to play and then criticize from the sidelines.

In Christ's Love,
Leo

 2009/9/19 10:48Profile
chapel
Member



Joined: 2009/4/24
Posts: 280


 Re: Will You Kill or Be Killed?

NON-RESISTANCE
by Harry Bethel
BethelMinistries.com

There are only a few New Testament commandments about which Jesus warned that whoever breaks them and teaches others to do so would be called least in the kingdom of heaven.

Our Lord said, "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" (Mt. 5:19). What are these commandments? Some of them are clear commandments concerning non-resistance: "Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain....Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. 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....For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Mt. 5:38-46)."

Many Christians, including church leaders, ignore these commands and Jesus' warning to not break them or teach others to break them. In these last days of apostasy we are like God's people spoken of in the book of Judges when "every man did that which was right in his own eyes." Many Dispensationalists rationalize and say that was the sermon on the mount and does not apply to us. Let God be true, but every man a liar (Rm. 3:4). The apostle Paul said that the armor of God (in this dispensation) is "truth," "righteousness, "the gospel of peace," "faith," salvation," and "the word of God" (Eph. 6:14-17). Inspired by the Spirit of Christ, Paul wrote, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal...." (2 Cor. 10:3-4). In other words Paul is saying that though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. "Recompense to no man evil for evil....avenge not yourselves, but overcome evil with good" (Rm. 12:17-21). And in Ephesians 6:12 he said, "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood."

Most Christians today do not accept the New Testament doctrine of non-resistance. Many refuse to see the clear teachings on this matter, or if they do see this truth they do not apply it to their lives. Under the Old Covenant God's people were not non-resistant to their enemies. But under the New Covenant we have a much higher calling than the Old Testament saints.

The term "non-resistance" comes from the words of Jesus when He commanded, "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil" (Mt. 5:39). The context clearly shows that our Lord is speaking of not resisting an evil person. This in no way means that we are not to resist the temptations to sin, because, of course, all of Scripture is against that and can be summed up in the inspired words of James, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7).

Scriptural non-resistance is not pacifism. Worldly pacifists primarily oppose war but will march, protest, picket, and obstruct the flow of pedestrian traffic, etc. A pacifist, while opposing war, would not necessarily abstain from going to court against a neighbor or defending himself or his property if attacked by a robber, for example.

In the Old Dispensation God at times commanded His people to kill their enemies. The calling of those saints certainly did not include non-resistance as it does under the New (and better) Covenant.

Jesus and His earthly ministry was the epitome of non-resistance, even submitting to suffering and death of the cross from which He could have delivered Himself by calling thousands of angels (Mt. 26:53). When the men came to arrest Jesus, Peter wielded his sword and cut off a man's ear. Jesus rebuked Peter and said, "They that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (Mt. 26:52). Later, Jesus told Pilate "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight...." (Jn. 18:36).

Jesus' kingdom still is not of this world and it is only the disobedient servants of His that fight, whether in personal combat or dropping an atomic bomb on thousands of men, women, and children.

Jesus and the disciples were traveling and planning to stay in a village of the Samaritans, but they were not welcomed. James and John said, 'Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of" (Lk. 9:51-55). Many professing Christians today do not know what manner of spirit they are of.

Many Christians say, "Well, if a robber comes into my house and tries to take off my stuff, am I supposed to just stand there and let him?" The answer is, Only if you want to obey the commandments of Jesus. Christians will often dream up some hypothetical situation in order to try to make the command of God of none effect. In the book of Luke is recorded more of Jesus' words on the subject: "And him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again" (6:29b-30).

Jesus said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal....for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Mt. 6:19-21).

God is sovereign. Ask him to protect you and your family with His holy angels. No one can even touch you or your family or your possessions without God's knowledge and Him allowing it.

Some would say, But what about going to war to defend this country and democracy? The simple answer is that our citizenship is in heaven. We are (or should be) merely sojourners---pilgrims and strangers. Could you imagine yourself being like Jesus and at the same time leveling rifle sights between the eyes of a Russian soldier who is also a Christian brother and blowing his brains out? And concerning democracy, the political environment in which God places us is of little eternal consequence. As citizens of heaven it is not our calling to defend any particular political ideology. The end result of democracy, which is rule by the people, is the right for women to kill their unborn children, the right to publish and distribute pornographic literature, the right to broadcast sensuous and immoral acts on television, the right for homosexuals to teach in the public schools and parade down the middle of the street (with a government-issued permit) carrying placards and flaunting their sin, ad nauseam. (Please read article titled Democracy---A Scriptural Perspective.)

Peter, inspired by the Spirit of Christ, wrote, "For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps...who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed himself to Him that judgeth righteously" (1 Pet. 2:21-23).

Shortly before He was crucified, the command of Jesus to His disciples to get a sword had to be done to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy that Jesus was numbered with transgressors. Jesus was falsely accused of many things including Him being a transgressor. All Old Testament prophecy was, or will be, fulfilled to the very letter. In Isaiah 53:12 the prophecy was that Jesus would be numbered with transgressors (plural). Only two of the disciples had swords which was enough to make it more than one transgressor, that is, transgressors in the sight of the Jews who falsely accused Jesus of many things. There was no need to have all the disciples to obtain a sword. When the disciples told Jesus, "Lord, look, here are two swords" He told them that that was enough. (Two disciples with one sword each, made it enough to fulfill the plural nature of the prophecy.)

If Jesus was teaching something different concerning non-resistance He would have ordered all the disciples to obtain a sword. But this was not at all what Jesus was doing. In fact, shortly after that when the multitude came, Peter, who was one of the two that had a sword, cut off the right ear of the slave of the high priest. Jesus strongly rebuked Peter and said, "Stop! No more of this" (Luke 22:51). Also, see John 18:10. Then Jesus healed the slave's ear. Concerning the same account, in Matthew 26:52 it is recorded that Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword" (NASB). Later, recorded in the Revelation, the message is also clear---"if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints" (13:10 NASB).

Will you be one of those who are called least in the kingdom of heaven? My hope is that just the opposite will be true. Jesus said whosoever shall do and teach these commandments, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. But the real test is, Do you love Jesus enough to obey Him in everything including the commandment to be non-resistant?

Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments....He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings." (Jn. 14:15, 24).


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Lee Chapel

 2009/9/19 12:05Profile





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