A shocking headline on CNN’s Web site on June 4 proclaimed: “Doomsday Clock Advances 5 Minutes.” The accompanying article stated that “doomsday drew closer Thursday and is now just nine minutes away, according to the keepers of the symbolic Doomsday Clock. [Because of] recent nuclear test explosions in India and Pakistan, the minute hand of the clock—a measure of how close humankind is to destroying itself—was advanced to 11:51 p.m., with midnight representing a worldwide nuclear holocaust.”
How close the world came to nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan we may never know. Nor, for that matter, is that particular danger past; it could easily heat up again and perhaps pass the point of no return.
The “wars and rumors of wars” that Jesus Christ foretold (Matthew 24:6 Matthew 24:6And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
American King James Version×) are here. But the peace He promised beyond them seems as elusive as ever.
Mankind has never known lasting world peace, yet peace for mankind is both planned for and guaranteed. But could the horrifying terrorist acts of Sept. 11, the senseless nail-studded suicide bombs that kill grandmothers and grandchildren alike, and the threat of nuclear war between Pakistan and India help signal the coming of a true worldwide peace?
It sounds like an obvious contradiction, but it isn’t. Ironically, the worse it gets on the world scene, the closer we are to lasting world peace (Luke 21:29-31 Luke 21:29-31 29 And he spoke to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
30 When they now shoot forth, you see and know of your own selves that summer is now near at hand.
31 So likewise you, when you see these things come to pass, know you that the kingdom of God is near at hand.
American King James Version×). The signs of the times laid out in Jesus’ Olivet prophecy (recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21) suggest we’re dangerously close to a holocaust. But what does that have to do with lasting peace?
Who defines peace?
What is peace? Obviously human beings don’t have that good a grasp on what peace is. Otherwise our history wouldn’t be such an unbroken string of wars punctuated occasionally by a short-lived peace.
The Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-77) attempted to define peace. He came close when he wrote: “Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice” ( Theological-Political Treatise, 1670).
The truth is that there is more, much more, to the vitally important subject of peace.
Benjamin Franklin, in a letter dated Sept. 11, 1783, wrote: “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” Rational human beings know that no war is good, especially if they’ve lived through one.
The constitution of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) says of peace: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed” ( Dictionary of Quotations, 2000, p. 601). Although this reasoning makes sense, how can human minds predisposed to settling their differences by war for millennia forsake it and find a permanent peace?
In 1951 Gen. Douglas MacArthur delivered a historic address to a joint session of Congress. In his speech he focused on the solution to war: “I know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. Men, since the beginning of time, have sought peace. Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”
His words are true and sobering.
History: a chronicle of wars
A survey of world history shows it is in essence a chronicle of wars. As George Childs Kohn put it: “War has a long and intriguing history and has been a prominent feature of human existence ever since the day when men—or women—decided to settle their differences by use of force. In many instances, the history of a people is the history of its wars ” ( Dictionary of Wars, 1999, p.vii, emphasis added). Thomas Hardy, British novelist and poet, quipped that “war makes rattling good history; but peace is poor reading” (Robert Fitzhenry, The Harper Book of Quotations, 1993, p. 205).
The sheer number of wars down through history suggests there have been precious few years of peace. In a 1935 speech Gen. MacArthur stated: “In the last 3,400 years only 268—less than 1 in 13—have been free from wars. No wonder that Plato, the wisest of all men, once exclaimed, ‘Only the dead have seen the end of war’! Where are Babylon, Persia, Carthage, Rome, and Byzantium? They all fell, never to rise again, annihilated at the hands of a more warlike and aggressive people: their cultures memories, their cities ruins.”
The first root cause of war
Why can’t human beings bring about any kind of lasting peace? To understand that, we must understand the ultimate cause of war.
The original cause of war and its perpetuation is an actual personage, a fallen angel Scripture describes as “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.
American King James Version×). This chief demon, the devil, is also called Satan, a name that means “adversary.” Indeed, the Bible directly calls him our enemy (1 Peter 5:8 1 Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:
American King James Version×, New International Version).
Only when people grasp the crucial truth about this root cause of war will peace become possible.
We need to understand that Satan is real, not some mythological creation or symbol. As the enemy of mankind, his avowed purpose is to thwart God’s plan for mankind—which is to expand His family through changed human beings made immortal in divine glory (1 Corinthians 15:50-54 1 Corinthians 15:50-54 50 Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
American King James Version×).
Satan vainly hopes to disrupt God’s plan through any means possible, including extinction of the human race. Satan knows God’s design is for human beings to become a part of His family (Hebrews 2:11-13 Hebrews 2:11-13 11 For both he that sanctifies and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brothers,
12 Saying, I will declare your name to my brothers, in the middle of the church will I sing praise to you.
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God has given me.
American King James Version×), as God’s own children (John 1:12 John 1:12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
American King James Version×; Romans 8:14 Romans 8:14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
American King James Version×, 19; 1 John 3:1-2 1 John 3:1-2 1 Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
American King James Version×).
Since God won’t allow Satan to directly destroy mankind (as in the example of Job—see Job 1:12 Job 1:12And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your power; only on himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
American King James Version×), the devil hopes to accomplish his aim by influencing human beings to destroy themselves and each other. One of the most effective ways he spurs us to do that is through wars.
It is through Satan’s murderous philosophy, influencing mankind’s selfish, carnal nature (James 4:1-3 James 4:1-3 1 From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2 You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not.
3 You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it on your lusts.
American King James Version×), that all wars are fought. Massive wars erupting during a time of “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21 Matthew 24:21For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
American King James Version×) will devastate the earth and threaten mankind with extinction (verse 22). Initiated by Satan through gullible and evil men, these wars will kill literally billions of people (Revelation 9:15-18 Revelation 9:15-18 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. 16 And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. 18 By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.
American King James Version×).
In spite of such unparalleled horror, destruction and suffering, Satan will fail in his attempt to exterminate humanity. This is where the good news comes in—how and why God guarantees mankind lasting peace.
The second root cause
Human peace has always been short-lived—which of itself shows the great need for a different kind of peace. Human peace is short-lived because it comes from fallible human beings. The day that human beings figure this out is the day God reveals it to us. That’s an important key to remember. Only God can reveal true peace— His peace—and the way we selfish, stumbling human beings can attain it (1 Corinthians 2:9-10 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 9 But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
10 But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
American King James Version×). God’s peace surpasses all human understanding (Philippians 4:7 Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×). Mankind will never understand, much less accomplish, godly peace on its own because only God has the key to everlasting peace—and only He can give it to human beings.
We like to view ourselves as reasonable, thinking beings. To a certain extent we may be. But we fail to grasp that our natural way of thinking and behaving leads not to an ever more peaceful, fair and productive world but to death. As Proverbs 14:12 Proverbs 14:12There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
American King James Version×and 16:25 tell us, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (NIV).
Romans 3:10-18 Romans 3:10-18 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.
13 Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
17 And the way of peace have they not known:
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
American King James Version×, quoting other passages, bluntly sums up the human condition:
“ ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.’
“ ‘Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.’ ‘The poison of vipers is on their lips.’ ‘Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.’ ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.’ ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes’ ” (NIV).
Simply put, human beings are motivated primarily by selfishness— our vanity, jealousy, lust and greed. The apostle James understood and revealed the cause of fighting and war: “Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?” (James 4:1 James 4:1From where come wars and fights among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
American King James Version×). Never forget what is behind human fighting: our innate selfishness and greed, spurred by Satan and his demons, who work day and night to influence human beings to destroy themselves and thwart God’s plan for them.
Human nature and Satan’s unseen influence go hand in glove in encouraging man to disobey the biblical laws that would bring us peace—if we would only adhere to them. The two together constitute an explosive combination that sets itself against God’s way of life. This helps us understand why war has been so pervasive throughout history. So how can the situation be changed?
Replacing human peace
Paul pointed out the great gulf between what we human beings can understand on our own and the understanding that comes through God’s Spirit. Without God’s
Spirit the things of God are “foolishness” to the average person because the human mind is hostile toward God and His ways (1 Corinthians 2:11-14 1 Corinthians 2:11-14 11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
American King James Version×; Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
American King James Version×).
Without God’s Spirit we know only the way of the world, the human way of doing things that is heavily influenced by Satan’s way (1 John 5:19 1 John 5:19And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in wickedness.
American King James Version×; Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
American King James Version×). Most of our ways of doing things come not from God but from Satan the devil, “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2 Ephesians 2:2Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
American King James Version×).
Upon repentance of sin, and the exercising of faith, God gives us His Spirit—which is the only way to bring about a much-needed change in our nature. Without this change, man remains set in his wrong ways. Paul addressed the ordinary, natural human condition when he contrasted the way the members of the Ephesian church behaved after conversion with their earlier lives when they did what came naturally to them:
“You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord. All of us used to be just as they are, our lives expressing the evil within us, doing every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us into” (Ephesians 2:2-3 Ephesians 2:2-3 2 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
American King James Version×, The Living Bible).
Our first mother, Eve, was the first human being to be deceived by Satan, back in the Garden of Eden. After her deception she sinned and persuaded Adam to follow her in her transgression (Genesis 3:1-19 Genesis 3:1-19 1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.
4 And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die:
5 For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called to Adam, and said to him, Where are you?
10 And he said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded you that you should not eat?
12 And the man said, The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13 And the LORD God said to the woman, What is this that you have done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14 And the LORD God said to the serpent, Because you have done this, you are cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; on your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life:
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; it shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.
16 To the woman he said, I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in sorrow you shall bring forth children; and your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.
17 And to Adam he said, Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it: cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life;
18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herb of the field;
19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and to dust shall you return.
American King James Version×; 2 Corinthians 11:3 2 Corinthians 11:3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
American King James Version×). Adam and Eve, however, were not the first to sin—Satan himself has that distinction (Ezekiel 28:12-19 Ezekiel 28:12-19 12 Son of man, take up a lamentation on the king of Tyrus, and say to him, Thus said the Lord GOD; You seal up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13 You have been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of your tabrets and of your pipes was prepared in you in the day that you were created. 14 You are the anointed cherub that covers; and I have set you so: you were on the holy mountain of God; you have walked up and down in the middle of the stones of fire. 15 You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created, till iniquity was found in you. 16 By the multitude of your merchandise they have filled the middle of you with violence, and you have sinned: therefore I will cast you as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy you, O covering cherub, from the middle of the stones of fire. 17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty, you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness: I will cast you to the ground, I will lay you before kings, that they may behold you. 18 You have defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the middle of you, it shall devour you, and I will bring you to ashes on the earth in the sight of all them that behold you. 19 All they that know you among the people shall be astonished at you: you shall be a terror, and never shall you be any more.
American King James Version×). Mankind thus followed after Satan and has followed him ever since. The prophet Jeremiah records that the human heart is deceitful, that only God can come to know the depths of one’s heart through time and testing (Jeremiah 17:9-10 Jeremiah 17:9-10 9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? 10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
American King James Version×).
Until we understand this innate evil side of human nature, how we think and act without the spiritual understanding and strength that come through God’s Spirit, we are doomed to repeat our cycles of endless fighting and war. Only by facing the truth about our human nature can we do something positive about it. And we can, with God’s help, find the way to lasting, godly peace.
The impossible dream becomes possible
What is godly peace, and how will it come? One key is found in Psalms 119:165 Psalms 119:165Great peace have they which love your law: and nothing shall offend them.
American King James Version×: “Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.” The key to godly peace is obeying God’s laws. Honor God’s laws and you have peace. Ignore God’s laws and you have the makings of war and other fighting.
Ultimately God will teach and lead all mankind to obey His laws. Such an incredible transformation may seem impossible. But with God the impossible becomes possible (see Matthew 19:26 Matthew 19:26But Jesus beheld them, and said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
American King James Version×).
God’s peace is guaranteed through the resurrected Jesus Christ. Jesus told His apostles it was “expedient” for Him to die, be resurrected and ascend to the Father,
else the Father would not send the Holy Spirit to mankind through Him (John 16:7 John 16:7Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you.
American King James Version×). But, through the power of Christ’s resurrected life, God supplies us with the Spirit (compare Philippians 3:10 Philippians 3:10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death;
American King James Version×; 1:19). God’s Spirit gives human beings the power to honor and obey His Ten Commandments (Ezekiel 36:26-27 Ezekiel 36:26-27 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.
American King James Version×; Acts 5:32 Acts 5:32And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey him.
American King James Version×; John 14:16-21 John 14:16-21 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world sees me no more; but you see me: because I live, you shall live also. 20 At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
American King James Version×).
Jesus, just before His death, spoke of godly peace to His apostles, who would soon be terrified and fleeing for their lives: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you [peace]” (John 14:27 John 14:27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world gives, give I to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
American King James Version×). God’s peace passes all human understanding (Philippians 4:7 Philippians 4:7And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×). Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6 Isaiah 9:6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
American King James Version×), can and will individually grant us God’s peace when we repent, when we turn from our own ways and wholeheartedly seek to obey God.
On the national and international level, the only way to permanent peace is through God’s direct and powerful intervention in human affairs. This too is to be accomplished through the resurrected Christ, whom God raised from death to divine power and glory. God the Father promises to send His Son to earth again to put away all hatred, fighting and war (Matthew 24:36 Matthew 24:36But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
American King James Version×; Acts 3:18-20 Acts 3:18-20 18 But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he has so fulfilled. 19 Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached to you:
American King James Version×; Revelation 19:11-21 Revelation 19:11-21 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13 And he was clothed with a clothing dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he has on his clothing and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the middle of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together to the supper of the great God; 18 That you may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that worked miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat on the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
American King James Version×).
The dream comes true
At His return, Christ will first put away human fighting and war (Revelation 19). But it will take more than that dramatic intervention to rid mankind of that scourge. Shortly thereafter Christ will put away the ultimate source of fighting and war, Satan and the demons (Revelation 20:1-3 Revelation 20:1-3 1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
American King James Version×). The Bible is clear on this point: God’s will for mankind is His peace. He will make the impossible dream possible.
Godly peace is guaranteed for mankind, and no human being or evil spirit can stop it. Today we feel the increased pressure of unrest, terrorism and potential nuclear war. God shows that conditions will get far worse as we get closer to the end (Matthew 24:6-8 Matthew 24:6-8 6 And you shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that you be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
American King James Version×).
Ironically, before the Great Tribulation, a type of unprecedented human peace will take hold temporarily, brought about by a confederation of nations centered in Europe. Although that seemingly remarkable peace will not last long (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 1 But of the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that I write to you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes on them, as travail on a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
American King James Version×), many will hail it as a fulfillment of God’s will for peace on earth.
Many will buy into this counterfeit peace because we human beings so desperately want and need peace. Remarkably, even the powerful political, military and religious bodies will view themselves as doing a good thing (Isaiah 10:7 Isaiah 10:7However, he means not so, neither does his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.
American King James Version×). In reality, it apparently will serve as a ploy for the peacekeeping armies surrounding Jerusalem to situate themselves to conquer and divide the city (Luke 21:20-24 Luke 21:20-24 20 And when you shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is near. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the middle of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath on this people. 24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
American King James Version×; Zechariah 14:2 Zechariah 14:2For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
American King James Version×; Daniel 11:16 Daniel 11:16But he that comes against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him: and he shall stand in the glorious land, which by his hand shall be consumed.
American King James Version×). Yet the end is not yet, as these things are a prelude to the Great Tribulation and Christ’s return to earth.
When He does return soon afterward, Jesus will intervene to bring about the impossible dream: permanent peace on earth. “He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4 Isaiah 2:4And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
American King James Version×).
Another prophecy adds that God’s peace will extend throughout the earthly creation: “ ‘The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,’ says the Lord” (Isaiah 65:25 Isaiah 65:25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent’s meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, said the LORD.
American King James Version×).
Peace is not the impossible dream after all. Indeed, godly peace is guaranteed to cover the earth as the waters cover the oceans (Isaiah 11:9 Isaiah 11:9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
American King James Version×). What a glorious time that will be! GN