Peace through Victory
Back in the days of yore, a long time ago in the late seventeen hundreds when America first became a new nation, merchants sent their ships across the sea to trade with many nations near and far away, but they ran into some problems. There were these Barbary Pirates that were constantly attacking our ships, sinking some of them, robbing all of them, killing some of our seamen, enslaving others, and plundering many of our ships. The high seas presented a terrible problem for the new America. The American government, therefore, contacted the Barbary Pirates, and offered to pay them, money and tribute, if they would just leave American merchant ships alone. Barbary Pirates readily agreed to take the Americans money and leave their ships alone. The Barbary Pirates took American money and continued doing what they had been doing nonetheless. After a few years without any success against the Barbary Pirates, America elected a new president called Thomas Jefferson, who was aware of this horrendous situation. So, in the early eighteen hundreds after dozens of years of trying to placate these vicious pirates, Jefferson said there will be millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute paid to these pirates and others involved. Jefferson said he would not give in to that kind of treachery and terrorism; he would fight for peace. Therefore, he sent Marines to the shores of Tripoli, where the Barbary Pirates, that is, Mohammedan brigands (read, Muslim terrorists) of 200 years ago had their headquarters. Our Marines, after many long years of fighting, were completely victorious; they achieved a hard won peace. There is only one way to achieve peace: through victory, the way Jefferson stood up to them. Negotiations, paying tribute, giving in and ignoring the problem have and will never achieve victory and sustain peace.
Jeffersons approach to peace is undoubtedly as true for Christians as it was for him. We cannot make peace with the world, and live by its dictates; we cannot have peace with Satan, by giving in to his rebellion and sin. In fact, we really do not want to have peace with the world or Satan, just as Jefferson would not make peace with the pirates; instead they had to be defeated.
From the earliest times in the church, Paul talks about nonbelievers coming in to the church, who tried to change the original intent. Instead of fighting evil with the Truth, the nonbelievers made deals and incorporated demonic themes into their lives. For example, they repudiated the one God with Trinity. Little by little over a period of time, they gave into ancient pagan concepts. As Jefferson knew, you cannot give in to evil, in whatever form. And, as the ancient people knew also, when God sent the ancient Israelites into dangerous country, the land of Canaan, they did not give in. They fought with the weapons of Truth and Gods power and received victory and peace. You do not get peace by accommodation; you dont get peace by giving in.
So some in the early church gave in to a number of different things, and thus, they departed from the truth. The early church had many problems with those who had the tendency to go astray. And, naturally, they could not achieve peace by giving in.
Constantine was the greatest example of this. The early church, again, could not achieve peace by giving in to pagan practices, to Trinity, crosses, to Sunday worship, and to deifying Christ. All of these things, and it shows up in the Bible, prove that Constantine subverted the truth to achieve peace with the enemy in place of defeating the enemy.
As Christians we are to win the peace by defeating the enemy with Gods weapons. Actually, Jesus already defeated the enemy, so we must accept the victory by standing with the Lord with Gods Truth. We must continue to keep the onslaught from the world from perverting the Truth in our lives. Though defeated, the enemy refuses to give up; and we must know that victory has been achieved for us as long as we follow the Truth.
Hebrews 1: 11 says:
Heb. 11:1 ¶ Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
We must believe in the things not seen, i.e., Gods Word as opposed to what we see and hear in the world, which seems so tangible. We believe in Gods promises about the future and the King-d om of God. Noah, for example, believed what God said, about a flood and building an Ark in the middle of nowhere and nowhere near the water - things he could not possibly know about. 5:39 So, Noah built the Ark according to Gods Word; he believed in things not seen. So, instead of giving in to the madness that is going on around him in that antediluvian world, he stood up and fought against it, not by force of arms, but by building an ark as commanded by God. He used Gods power to protect him from evil people surrounding him, by. Obedience to God results in His fighting all enemies and gives one victory.
Heb. 11:2 For by it the men of old received divine approval.
Heb. 11:3 By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear.
Heb. 11:4 ¶ By faith Ab el offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he received approval as righteous, God bearing witness by accepting his gifts; he died, but through his faith he is still speaking.
Noah did not give in. Many men of old exercised the same characteristics. Abel offered a more acceptable sacrifice then Cain. Abraham obeyed God when he told him to leave his native land. When a person lives in a land filled with paganism, some of the evil tends to rub off even when a person works very hard to be faithful. Like Noah, Abraham followed Gods Word, not knowing where he was going. He believed God, i.e., he believed His promise. To reiterate, our victory is through Gods power and not ours; there is no way that we have the power within ourselves to defeated the enemy far more powerful than we could ever be.7.07
Heb. 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please him. For who-ever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
Heb. 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, took heed and constructed an ark for the saving of his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness which comes by faith.
If we believe God and act on what he says, we will have victory through his Word.
The City of God
Heb. 11:10 For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
What city is that?
Heb. 11:12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
From one man came the descendents, as many as the stars in the heavens, that led to Moses, to David and to Jesus. All these men died in faith; they believed Gods word about things they could not see, because the promises pertain to the future. They acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
1John 5:4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
We must trust God and accept the fact that what He says is absolutely true. We must continue to refute the lie of Satan, which questions Gods veracity: did God say? Yes, He did say, and it is and was always true. And that is our faith, believing in what He says even though we cannot see the promises relating to the future. We walk by faith, not by sight.
This is the victory that overcomes the world,
2Cor. 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Sin is not listening to and acting on Gods Word. When we act on what we cannot see that God tells us in his Word, that is the righteousness of God.
The next verse talks about the change.
1Cor. 15:54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: Death has been swallowed up in victory.
1Cor. 15:55 Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
1Cor. 15:57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Just as Jefferson obtained peace through victory, our faith defeats death, which is the bane of human life.
Deaths sting is gone, through Jesus victory on the cross; we have to believe what Jesus did for us, that Jesus is the savior from God. We cannot see this fact; we have to go by what Gods Words says. We can read about it, but we cannot see it. What Jesus did happened almost two thousand years ago and, while we have several eyewitness accounts, we have no film or recording of the event. We have to trust that Gods Word regarding the event, which will give us the peace in victory, the victory of the Law.
2Cor. 6:7 in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left,
2Cor. 10:4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
God gives us the weapons of victory and the victory that produces peace. Jefferson sent the Marines with their ships, their arms and their training. We, too, have weapons, which will give us victory. Our weapons of war-fare are not physical weapons of guns, cannons, missals, aircraft or tanks used by soldiers; our weapons are the weapons God gives us, divinely powerful weapons for destroying the strongholds of evil, which Satan has set up through out the world to deceive and destroy all.
Eph. 6:13 Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
All of Gods weapons are built on the foundation of Truth, Gods Word is Truth. Furthermore, when one hears and follows the Truth, one is girded with the body armor of righteousness, doing right. When one walks in the Way, a person receives the marching boots of peace (the gospel of peace) to ease the journey. Jesus destroyed the fortresses of evil, and using this knowledge, one can follow in his path. When one believes enough to walk in the Word, he receives a force field of faith to prevent the evil rays from the ether reaching a person from radio, television, cinema and even those imbedded in newsprint. To further protect one from evil, God gives a person a helmet to protect our minds from the ray guns of evil; this helmet is made up of a godly substance call salvation: the hope of things not seen and the goal set before people to help them cope in all situation as they move ever closer to realizing the goal.
Eph. 6:13 Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Eph. 6:14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Eph. 6:15 and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace;
Eph. 6:16 besides all these, taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.
Eph. 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Finally, God gives people the one divine offensive weapon: the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Using this weapon, a person can thrust home Words that devastate evil as Jesus did with Satan.
Matt. 4:3 And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.
Matt. 4:4 But He answered and said, It is written, MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.
Matt. 4:5 ¶ Then the devil *took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple,
Matt. 4:6 and *said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written,
HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU; and
ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.
Matt. 4:7 Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written, YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.
Matt. 4:8 ¶ Again, the devil *took Him to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;
Matt. 4:9 and he said to Him, All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.
Matt. 4:10 Then Jesus *said to him, Go, Satan! For it is written, YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.
Matt. 4:11 Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
The devil left him and will leave believers as well.
Everything comes back to the Word of God, to His Words of Life, the Commandments, which is Gods Law.
Finally, he says to pray, to keep in communication with God, not only in English but also in the Spirit.
Eph. 6:18 Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Peace from God
What does Paul say almost every time he writes?
2Tim. 1:2 ¶ To Timothy, my beloved child: ¶ Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom. 1:7 ¶ to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Cor. 1:1 ¶ Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
¶ To the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia:
2Cor. 1:2 ¶ Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Phil. 1:1 ¶ Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus,
¶ To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:
Phil. 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th. 1:1 ¶ Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,
¶ To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.
2Th. 1:1 ¶ Paul and Silvanus and Timothy,
¶ To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
2Th. 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Obviously, we can only have peace from victory, which comes from God. When he is saying we have peace from God, he is saying God, through Jesus, has already given us victory. For peace is what we want; we do not want to live a life filled with fear of crime, war, slavery as in the antediluvian era. Believers want to have a peaceful life, and Paul reiterates that the peace is there for the grasping, victory for keeping the faith.
2Cor. 5:19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them.
Free at Last
We have been freed from the obligation under Satans rule to disobey God because we are no longer under the evil aliens regime or authority. Believers now have the power from the Spirit, the power from Gods Word, the power from the Gospels, the power now to keep His Word. Believers have the weapons from His Word to realize the victory once obtained.
Rev. 3:21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
Believers need to accept the victory, which may be a battle in itself because believers need, with Gods help, to fight those things that keep believers from fully inculcating their victory. Satan was defeated; believers must fight to access that victory. They must believe that they are victorious in spite of all the things around that try to obviate that truth. In fact, as said above, all the weapons of victory and peace are in the hands of believers. Furthermore, Gods Word trains a person in using the weapons effectively.
Again, the blood of the Lamb has not only conquered the demon, but also freed all who would believe from its clutches. We must remember that the faithful must believe and test the Truth according to His Word, not some deceptive variation contrived by Satan. Since Satan cannot be conquered again, believers must fight for their God-given right to be free and have the peace obtained by that victory.
Rev. 15:2 ¶ And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.
Rev. 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ¶ Great and wonderful are thy deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are thy ways, O King of the ages!
A reign of peace comes from the conquest because we get peace, not by giving in to the ways of the world, but by holding fast, and acting on Gods Word. God gives peace to those who conquer the impediments within and temptations without by the weapons given in His Word.
Rev. 14:7 and he said with a loud voice, Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters.