FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
Biblical Numerology: NUMBER SEVEN
The Truth Regarding Peace: War is not a Necessity
QUOTE FOR THE WEEK
“The greatest threat to American democracy isn’t Communism, jihadism, or any external force or foreign power. It’s our willingness to tolerate dishonesty in service, or party, and in pursuit of power.”
– Michael Bloomberg, former NYC mayor, commencement address, Rice University
No truly converted Christians will not tolerate dishonesty; neither will they make any compromises with the truth for “the sake” of some “good reason,” as in the perverted concept that has been applied to great lengths of abomination: “The end justifies the means.” Both means and end are Biblically indefensible and stands condemned at God’s judgment bar.
How a lie may be told without saying a word
The Fifth Amendment or right from self-incrimination is invoked by those who have reason to, as advised by legal counsel. You hear that mentioned in today’s hot button topics in the news cycle—whether fake or otherwise. It depends on who is using the term and for motive and purpose. However one may dice it, lengthwise or crosswise, long before an act is detected, exposed, and prosecuted by man’s law, God’s law already recorded the motive itself, again, before it was committed and/or consummated and even prevented from actually being committed by some circumstance—whether it be good or evil. Divinely directed, the wise man Solomon long wrote down this verity: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and give keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil.” Ecclesiastes 12: 13, 14, N.K.J.V.
At least two commandments of the Decalogue, defining every man’s six-fold duty to his fellow men immediately come into play in this consideration, namely, “Thou shalt not steal,” the eighth, and, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” the ninth. According to the gospel prophet, Christ’s mission and work on earth was “to magnify the law and make it honorable” (Isa. 42: 21), which He fully accomplished in His life and teachings and only then commanded His disciples to follow and carry forward, which they did. This is the exact opposite of lessening the significance and relationship of the law to the Gospel, and quite in opposition to its abrogation—both blatant lies masterminded by Satan, “the father of lies.” God’s servant, Ellen G. White clarifies, de-mystifies as she magnifies the spiritual meaning and unchanging universality of the moral law. The following is quoted form her book Patriarchs and Prophets (The Conflict of the Ages Illustrated in the Lives of the Holy Men of God), Pacific Press Publishing Asso. (1913), p. 309 (emphasis supplied):
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.’ False-speaking in any matter, any attempt or purpose to deceive our neighbor, is here included. An intention to deceive is what constitutes falsehood. [How?] By a glance of the eye, a motion of the hand, and expression of the countenance, a falsehood may be told as effectually as by words. All intentional overstatement, every hint or insinuation calculated to convey an erroneous or exaggeration expression impression, even the statement of facts in such a manner to mislead, is falsehood. This precept prohibits every effort to injure our neighbor’s reputation by misrepresentation or evil surmising, by slander or tale-bearing. Even the intentional suppression of truth, by which injury may result to others, is a violation of the ninth commandment.”
“Thou shalt not steal.’ Both public and private sins are included in this prohibition. The eighth commandment condemns man-stealing and slave-dealing [all forms of human-trafficking], and [note this!] wars of conquest. It condemns theft and robbery. It demands strict integrity in the minutest details of the affairs of life. It forbids overreaching in trade, and requires the payment of just debts or wages. It declares that every attempt to advantage oneself by the ignorance, weakness, or misfortune of another, is registered as fraud in the books of Heaven.”- Ibid.
We are exhorted to dwell on the “bright side of Calvary” where Christ, “the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings” (Mal. 4: 2), and His character-glory shine into the hearts of “those who fear His name.” Only thus can all who “labor and are heavy-laden” find real “rest.” Instead of the yoke of sin and transgression—heaviest yoke we bear, and should no longer bear by casting them and the “cares” that come with it upon our Sinless Sin-bearer, Christ Jesus, we are invited by the Peace Giver to “take His yoke and learn from Him for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.” (Matt. 11: 28-30).
Accepting this invitation becomes more urgent if we would “step faster” as we enter the short homestretch of our earthly journey through this antitypical this Wilderness of Sin. The signs of the times unmistakably indicate we are soon to encounter the last hurdle,—the antitypical Jordan River crossing—and finally possess what was a conditional promise up to that point—heavenly Canaan and life eternal.
That is such a peaceful thought and heart-quickening promise held out to all Christian pilgrims of ages past but particularly for those of living in this “time of the latter rain.”
But it is also gospel truth that we are (a) still dwelling on sinful earth, the battle-ground between Christ and Satan and their respective agencies and followers, in our corruptible “earthen vessels” of deteriorating flesh nature and (b) dealing with all its fallen propensities (c) and thus fighting and warring against “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.” These are definitely “dark” subjects but are realities that need to be dealt with, using God’s designated tools. Otherwise they are a already hopeless disasters.
War first took place where many who already know this Biblical fact, still hopelessly think it never should have taken place, but did—in Heaven itself, the home of God and the angels—somehow blaming God for it all. But while it ended up in heaven, Satan moved it forward down on earth against Christ, then upon His creatures and creation. This invasion of the mystery of iniquity, first in heaven, then on earth was the engine of the great controversy. Such is the painful truth that man, created a perfect, free moral agent, experimented with disobedience while under the first probation, leading to the fall with all its attendant multiplying suffering on earth since then.
This is found as a combined exposition of Revelation chapter 12 and Genesis chapter 3. But the mystery of godliness in existence before the revelation of the mystery of iniquity, became manifest on earth and throughout the unfallen universe, four thousand years after the fall, when the Creator “was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed on in the [fallen] world, received up in glory” (1Timothy 3: 16).
Satan, then a covering cherub, Lucifer, a being created as a “ministering spirit,” being highest in honor, glory, and power next to Christ, the Creator, and fully a third of the angels whom Lucifer cunningly deceived into joining his initially-concealed uprising— the first “rebel with a cause”— (there are no just causes for any rebellion), broke out in open warfare. Satan lost this first war and together with his angels-turned-evil spirits were cast out of heaven. End of the story?
You wish. But isn’t this indulging foolish, wishful thinking? Let’s stop right there and start thinking and behaving like the five wise virgins and replenish our lamps of profession with the oil of God’s enlightening grace endowed through the Holy Spirit in vision describes this last of all losing wars and last of all lost causes as “the battle of Armageddon” (See Revelation 16).
See what the wise men of earth have said regarding war, and its justifications, and maybe are well-intentioned euphemisms but do nothing to change its delusive, deadly and dreadful nature. They may be good-sounding reasons yet void of any redeeming value as excuses.
William Shakespeare, in Henry IV, penned: “The arms are fair, when the intent of bearing them is just.”
Lord Byron, in his famous Don Juan, wrote: “War’s a brain-splattering, wind-pipe slitting art, Unless her cause by right be sanctified.” [What a perversion of the word “sanctify.”}
Cicero, in De Officialis, said: “Wars are to be undertaken in order that it may be possible to live in peace without molestation.”
“War should be long in preparing in order that you may conquer the quickly.” Publius Syrus, Sententiae
Titus Livius, in History, opined: “War is just to whom war is necessary.”
“Worse than war is fear of war.” – SENECA, Thyestes.
John Milton, probably said it best of this crop of great men. He wrote: “For what can war but endless war breed?” – Sonnets: To Lord Fairfax.
Though it ceased in heaven in the absolute defeat and casting out of Satan and his angels, nonstop war has continued in all its multi-faceted forms, on earth for the last 6,000 years. It’s time it ended, in our lives, towards one another! Enough is enough. Or do we really think we have had enough of it? See what the apostle warned the church then, particularly now, including the leaders of the nations of the earth: loose tongues are worse than loose cannons, or nuclear weapons: They set on fire the course of nature! So warns the apostle James:
“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 is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, 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 is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 4: 6-8). “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and le 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. . . . [But] the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3: 6-8, 14, 15 16, 18. “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even your lusts what war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not.” James 4: 1.
Thank God we have the divine assurance that six thousand years of sin will finally end! Exclusive of the “thousand years” [millennium] God’s servant wrote: “For six thousand years, Satan’s work of rebellion has ‘made the earth to tremble.’ He has ‘made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof. And he ‘opened not the house of his prisoners’. For six thousand years his prison house [the graves] has received God’s people, and he would have held them captive forever; but Christ has broken his bonds and set the prisoners free [at the resurrection morning!].- Great Controversy (1911 ed.), pp. 659, 656, Desolation of the Earth chapter.