Author’s retraction: Before I begin, I acknowledge that in the Living Body of Christ, there are many members. Every single member is to be directed by the Head, who is Christ Himself (and not by me or another believer). Among the members, there are different gifts, different callings, different missions, that all will exalt our One LORD. Therefore my opinion and perspective is not a one size fits all conviction or doctrine. I share this perspective on a take it or leave it basis. Please use it to your best benefit.
Here is My personal perspective on guns in the life of a follower of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
The big picture question for me is this: Are we called by God in the Scriptures
to trust in the arm of flesh, or to trust in the power of God?
By faith the Israelites walked across the Red Sea on dry ground,
but the Egyptian war chariot drivers and horses were drowned.
Who is willing to trust in the LORD our God, with all his heart, with all his mind, with all his strength, all his soul?
2 Chronicles 32:7-8 (KJV)
7 Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: 8 With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
It sounds like Hezekiah knew about the time when Elisha was surrounded by the people of Syria and Elisha told his servant that more forces are with them than were with the enemy.
2 Kings 6:16-17 (KJV) 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.
Some trust in chariots, some trust in horses, but what or who is the Child of God called upon to trust in?
Psalms 20:6-9 (KJV)
6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed;
he will hear him from his holy heaven
with the saving strength of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses:
but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought down and fallen:
but we are risen, and stand upright.
9 Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.
It is our job to call upon the Lord. It is His job to deliver us from our enemies, that we may continue to walk closely and earnestly with Him.
Isaiah 31:1 (KJV)
1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help;
and stay on horses,
and trust in chariots, because they are many;
and in horsemen, because they are very strong;
but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel,
neither seek the LORD!
If we seek Him–we shall Find Him…
Deuteronomy 4:29-31 (KJV) 9 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. 30 When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days, if thou turn to the LORD thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice; 31 (For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them.
Only let us forsake our wickedness, and our unrighteousness, and return to the covenant of God.
Isaiah 55:6-7 (KJV) 6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found,
call ye upon him while he is near:
7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts:
and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him;
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Let’s look at the testimony of two eye witness accounts of two men who put their Whole Faith & Trust in the LORD,
and not the arm of the flesh. These men are special because they chose not to trust in men, nor in the plans and machinations of men. They had no reason to expect deliverance from the enemies by any natural causes, but they held fast to their belief that God would deliver them. They didn’t seek help from foreign armies, nor did they put their hope in their own strength, their own planning, or men’s weapons, or battlefield expertise.
Jehoshaphat trusted in the Lord.
Jehoshaphat used the weapon of praise and worship to defeat his enemy, he did not trust in the arm of the flesh. And the Lord miraculously delivered him and his people from their enemies. Here is a recipe for God to come into the midst of the people of God:
2 Chronicles 20:20-30 (KJV) Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. 21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. ( 1 Chronicles 16:34, 41;
Psalm 106:1; Psalm 107:1; Psalm 118:1; Psalm 136:1-28; Jeremiah 33:11; Ezra 3:11.)
This was no ordinary song: Check this out:
2 Chronicles 5:13-14 (KJV) It came even to pass, as the  trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; 14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.
2 Chronicles 7:1-3 (KJV) 1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. 2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD’s house. 3 And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.
22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab [from the two Sons of Lot Abraham’s, nephew by incest through his daughters], and mount Seir [men from Edom or Edomites who were descendants of Esau, Jacob’s brother, this was a real family fued, something like the the Hatfields and McCoys], which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 23 For the children of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of mount Seir, utterly to slay and destroy them: and when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, every one helped to destroy another.
24 And when Judah came toward the watch tower in the wilderness, they looked unto the multitude, and, behold, they were dead bodies fallen to the earth, and none escaped. 25 And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.
26 And on the fourth day they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah [The valley of Berachah, was the Valley of Blessing, where Israel Blessed Yahweh for delivering them from their enemies] ; for there they blessed the LORD: therefore the name of the same place was called, The valley of Berachah, unto this day. 27 Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, and Jehoshaphat in the forefront of them, to go again to Jerusalem with joy; for the LORD had made them to rejoice over their enemies. 28 And they came to Jerusalem with psalteries and harps and trumpets unto the house of the LORD. 29 And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries, when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel. 30 So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will trust in the LORD our God. We will, “praise the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever …”
Hezekiah trusted in the Lord
He used the prayer of faith to defeat his enemy.
2 Kings 19:35-37 (KJV) 35 And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand [185,000 men died at once]: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses. 36 So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh. 37 And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword.
The Gift of Faith is one of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will trust in the LORD our God. We believe in our God that he answers our prayers, and if we know the answers our prayers we know we have received from him what we have asked.
There are abundant testimonies (possibly more than 50) in the Word of God were Kings and Leaders hand all the superior numbers, and strength, horses, weapons, and superior soldier power, but they lost and were devastated because they chose to to put their trust in the army of the flesh, and as a result, their were destroyed (both the armies of Israel, and the armies of pagans.) Abraham against the kings that plundered Sodom and Gomorrah.
What is our most powerful weapon?
Personally, I believe “Faith” is the most powerful weapon a believer has to defeat the enemies of God. It is more powerful and more protective than horses, chariots, swords, arrows, or spears (or guns, bombs, or missiles). The weakness of God far exceeds all the power of men, and can easily overcome the machinations of men.
Hebrews 11:32-40 (KJV) 32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: 36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) …
Faith is what the Word of God exalts, not trusting in the flesh.
How do we rob ourselves of Faith?
When we choose to follow the thoughts of men, and worry about the evil plans of the one who was a murderer from the beginning, we rob ourselves, and direct our thoughts away from the thoughts of God, the Glory of God, his majesty, his power, has eternal covenant, his love and care, his heavenly protection, and the Life of God.
When a men puts his entire trust in the Love, Protection, Grace and Truth of God, as Jesus and the Apostles did, God will protect him right up until the day he seals his testimony with the Blood of the Covenant of God, if God so chooses him to follow in those footsteps. (Or not, as in the case of John, the disciple that Jesus loved, who was sent to the island of Patmos to write the Book of Revelation, after allegedly being boiled in a pot of hot oil and did not die—according to church tradition.)
The apostle Paul was delivered from all of his enemies on a daily, weekly, monthly basis: Although, They beat him with rods. They put him in chains. They tried to stone him to death. They created city-wide riots to get him killed. They took oaths to kill him, they tried to stop his faith dead in its tracks, but guess what, every time his enemies were defeated until Paul had finished his course, after he had run his race, he too sealed his testimony with the Blood of the Covenant of God. The world treated Paul and Jesus, just as it treated the many prophets who had gone before them, with spite, hatred, and the spirit of murder.
Acts 23:12-14 (KJV) 12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy. 14 And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind
If Paul trusted in the “arm of flesh” he would have had to kill these 40 men (who had taken oaths to kill him), and the next 40 after them, he would have been forced to be pre-occupied with not much else, like the men of the civil war were—on both sides killing each other, one after another, after another, until an estimated 620,000 men died (a large part proclaiming to be born again Christians), by the arm of the flesh, and both sides claimed to be in the right. Claimed to be following God. Claimed to be true Christians. But something isn’t right—Christians killing Christians in the name of Who or What? the State? the Government? Or of God?
Would that not be something close to Blasphemy?
As a result: 8 percent of all white men aged 13 to 43 died in the war, also: an estimated 1.5 million men were casualties (wounded). Some families lost three or four or even five of the men in the house including fathers and children.
Physical vs. Spiritual Enemies
Paul knew about both his physical and spiritual enemies. And he also knew about how God was able to deal with them, better than Paul could ever imagine, therefore he wrote:
Corinthians 10:3-6 (KJV)
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.:
Paul also wrote:
Ephesians 6:12-13 (KJV) 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
‘”Paul was definitely not one to advocate putting his trust in the arm of the flesh.
“Cursed be the man that trusteth in man”
Personally I believe it is neither wise, nor healthy to meditate on the need, the plan, nor to speak about with mental images, the desire to kill, even in a protective mode, or retaliate against the enemies of God, or to say evil either verbally or mentally about what you plan to do against another human being. I believe that whole process sets a man up to walk by his flesh, and to choose to abide in his flesh, and to trust in the arm of his flesh, and the end result of that is not good.
Jeremiah 17:5-6 (KJV) 5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
Those who claim to be born again by the spirit of God, are commanded to renew their minds. This is so that the believer does not revert back to coming under the curse of the carnal nature once again. In other words making the arm of flesh his trust and joy and satisfaction (cursed be he, because through vain philosophy and carnal teaching and living, he has departed from the Lord).
If I have been born again, I am not to return to my old life, like a dog returning to his vomit.
The old man was to be put in the grave, not to come out, (for a very good reason–he stinketh), and I am commanded to not go back into the grave and dig him up again. The old man trusts in the flesh and lives in the flesh, and has no problem about speaking from the mind of the flesh, and making plans to go forward in the flesh. Therefore it should be no difficult thing to discern when a man is speaking from the flesh, from the man that is speaking by God’s spirit.
Ephesians 4:17-31 (KJV) 17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
[The old man has no problem taking up matters in his own hands, making decisions that please and satisfy the old man, through entertaining thoughts of revenge, pay back, self defense, using anger and worldly wisdom to solve his problems, and worldly ways to accomplish his goals, and objectives.]
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. … 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all: 1] bitterness, and 2] wrath, and 3] anger, and 4] clamour, and 5] evil speaking, be put away from you, 6] with all malice:
1 Peter 4:1-2 (KJV) 1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
Two wrongs don’t make one right.
Sharing thoughts about killing
Should words be shared, pictures be proclaimed—whether in jest, or in earnest—about someone killing someone?
Should it be a part of our fellowship in Christ conversation? I don’t see that as a biblical pattern. And I don’t think we should allude to it in any form of jest, or any form of flippant, or undisciplined speech. Anytime we allow the flesh to influence such a topic I believe we do damage to the kingdom of God and quench the Spirit of God.
I take my guidance on this subject from the direct advice and commandments of Scripture: starting with Philippians 4:
Philippians 4:8-9 (KJV) 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
This is obviously the general advice of scripture for all of our thinking and overall mindset of life.
Matthew 6:25-34 (KJV) Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by “taking thought” [or worrying in a premeditated way] can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment?
For me, practically speaking: Taking thought about an imaginary attack, and an imaginary murder (or killing) falls into the category of worrying.
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. [How much more does He know you need protection from physical violent and insane people!]
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
If I am not to worry or take thought of my food, or clothes, how much more am I to not worry about being killed by an imaginary person. This to me has the scent of the evil one built into it. The design is to get ourselves stirred up in the flesh, stirred up in the mind and stirred up in the emotions, in order to trigger us into thinking and doing stuff on our own. What if God is fully aware and fully in control? (Which he is.) If God is already fully in complete control what does he need from my arm of flesh?
And yes, the enemy will pull up images of Columbine, Parkland, and the Oklahoma City body city bombing, etc., and the latest shooting thing, to get us stirred up and back us into thinking and speaking in the flesh.
But we either have to admit that God knew about those shootings, and allowed them to happen for his own reasons, or we have to reject the word of God as trustworthy and reliable, and able to protect those who truly trust and follow him.
- Whenever the enemy is at work, you will find emotions stirred up, and thoughts stirred by those emotions, and the work of the flesh to answer the call. Then there is the hero worship of idolatry that we all need to contend against in our proud carnal American mindset.
- Whenever the Spirit of God is at Work, you will feel calm, and clear, pure thoughts and directions, not hyped by external circumstances. Not influenced by idolatry, or human philosophy. Not empowered by the natural instincts of self preservation, or the fight or flight mechanism (the amygdala) in the brain.
Thou shalt not kill
Matthew 5:21-26 (KJV) 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Again, having wrong thoughts can prove to promote wrong feelings and wrong actions. Jesus discusses premeditated adultery as being just and bad as the act of adultery. I think the same principle can be applied to Premeditated killing. That includes a discussion about premeditated killing. Is it a sign of a problem?
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
There is also a counter argument to this whole thought process.
Has God entrusted certain individuals in the body of Christ to be protectors of the flock, like soldiers, like the New Testament equivalent of King David, who was desirous to be a righteous men, but was also called to be a warrior and defeat and fend off life threatening enemy attacks?
To be purely honest, I don’t know for sure, if this is possible, under our new covenant Commandments.
What new testament scripture is there to support such a theory, doctrine, or viewpoint of a physical armed and ready warrior who is trained to strike against a foreign foe? I can only think of two: one in Romans 13, another in Luke 22:
The State or government that was given the sword:
Romans 13:1-8 (KJV) 1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good.
But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
The second example, or rather reference to the subject at hand:
Luke 22:36-38 (KJV) Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip [money]: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. 37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. 38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
These are the only passages I can see where even a hint of the use of carnal physical weapons is even mentioned. And the second (Luke 22) is likely only a footnote to fulfill a prerequisite prophecy, not to show or prove a doctrine of self protection or self defense, or retaliation (or to preempt the ending of a life in order to preempt the need for retaliation in the first place).
What do our Biblical Examples teach us?
Men of God who walked the walk, talked the talk, and took care of the flock – what did they say and do?
Did Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, or John carry a sword, or use a sword, or ever advocate that we should do so?
Not really. Only once did Peter use a sword (that we know about), and he was rebuked for doing so. And Jesus healed or rather replaced the ear that Peter had cut off, undoing the carnal (evil) work that Peter had done in or by his own flesh.
And as we know Satan was given permission to sift Peter like wheat. And Peter slept the night through, the night that he was supposed to be standing guard in prayer, in other words he was not prepared for the spiritual battle he was entering into. So it can be safely said, Peter was not walking by the Spirit of God, when he took the ear off Malchus the servant of the high priest. Peter was clearly walking in his flesh and trusting in the arm of his flesh. As if Jesus needed Peter’s protection from the arm of his flesh. Therefore Peter was rebuked by Jesus with the statement of 12 legions of angels.
Matthew 26:53-54 (KJV) 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Although, what men intended for evil, God turned into good. And it all seems to be a part of fulfilling the prophecy that Jesus would be reckoned among the transgressors, more than the argument that Jesus was telling his followers to prepare for a sword (or gun) fight.
Did Paul or any writers of the Word,
authorize physical violence of any kind in the New Testament?
Not that I can find. (Only the two swords comment by Jesus, and the Romans 13 passage.)
Are their counter arguments that believers are not to use violence of any kind in the New Testament?
- Love your neighbor as yourself.(Love does no harm so love is the fulfillment of the law.)
- Love your enemy. Do good to those who would abuse you.
- Turn the other cheek.
- Angry? In danger of Hellfire.
- Take no thought (or worry) for your Life.
Are their any examples of non-violent resistance in the New Testament?
- Jesus on the Cross. And our duty to pick up our cross and follow him.
- John the Baptist, beheaded by Herod.
- Stephen the first martyr. He did not resist the evil being done to him.
- James, the brother of John, was beheaded by Herod.
- Paul was beaten, stoned, put in prison, but never sought vengeance or physical injury or retaliation to any of his captors or any of his abusers.
Notice: The church of the living God never advocated retaliation, or taking revenge for the evils done against them. On the contrary, they rejoiced in the fact that they were counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ.
Acts 5:41-42 (KJV) 41 And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
What did Jesus say?
Finally, the final word and big picture of God: What did Jesus say about his incarceration?
Here is a little addition to the previous quotation:
Matthew 26:52-54 (KJV) 52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. [this does not sound like a good thing…]
53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
Apparently, the consensus is that one legion is 6000 soldiers, buy that count, 12 legions would be 72,000. I think that would be sufficient fire power to take care of any worldly attack on Jesus. Don’t you?
By my estimation that’s a lot of fire power. When it took only one destroying angel to kill all the first born of Egypt in one night:
Exodus 12:23 (KJV) 3 For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.
And it took only one angel according to Paul to slay 14,700 grumbling complainers and rebel leaders who wanted to stone Moses and Aaron, in Numbers 16.
1 Corinthians 10:10-11 (KJV) 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer [when 14,700 people were killed in a matter of minutes]. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Numbers 16:48-50 (KJV) 48 And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. 49 Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. 50 And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.
In other words, Jesus, and the Apostles and the Prophets knew full well that God had all the power he needed to bring deliverance to his children, when they were faithful and obedient and righteous, they could call upon him, and be delivered from their enemies, (and sometimes even when they were unfaithful). That is all explained in the faithful Blood Covenant of God.
Apparently, Elisha the prophet understood this concept and lived by it as well. He was crystal clear about the fact that more are for us than are against us, when we see with the eyes of faith.
2 Kings 6:15-23 (KJV) 15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do? 16 And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha. 18 And when they came down to him, Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.
19 And Elisha said unto them, This is not the way, neither is this the city: follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom ye seek. But he led them to Samaria. 20 And it came to pass, when they were come into Samaria, that Elisha said, LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see. And the LORD opened their eyes, and they saw; and, behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 And the king of Israel said unto Elisha, when he saw them, My father, shall I smite them? shall I smite them? 22 And he answered, Thou shalt not smite them: wouldest thou smite those whom thou hast taken captive with thy sword and with thy bow? set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink, and go to their master. 23 And he prepared great provision for them: and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. So the bands of Syria came no more into the land of Israel.
We have a choice to make
So as I see it, each individual, and every community of faith has a choice to make:
We can choose to live by the arm of the flesh, and try to kill those who would seek to kill us. Following the philosophy that “God helps them who help themselves.” (I believe: This is the mindset that produced the Civil War.)
Or we can choose to live in the Power of the Spirit, and realize God is well able to protect and preserve those who trust in Him. And we can realize to be absent from the Body is to be present with the LORD.
We can chose to realize this life is not worth killing for. And that we don’t have to settle our debts by our own hands. God is more than able to settle our debts for us. His punishment is far more devastating than any punishment we can contrive.
Also His protection and power to preserve us is far more glorious and majestic than any thing we can imagine on our own. This life will be over in a heart beat, and then our true life will begin. We can grasp. We can strive. We can plan and plot, but in a flash it will all be over.
Do you have a conceal to carry permit? I don’t advocate that you not carry. Evil can be stopped and/or deterred by the presence of a gun owner, but I would be quick to advise that everything be submitted unto the LORD. Of course, that would always be the intent of every born-again Christian.
And this is how I can tell when it is not. Or when one is only giving lip service to the King of Heaven.
It is through the very words of the person speaking. If there is any hint of pride, any hint of self-righteousness, any hint of judgmental vengeance of carnal retaliation, or mindset of taking revenge, or countering a wrong with another wrong—Guess What?
That which is in the heart will come out of the mouth.
Matthew 12:33-37 (KJV) 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
All it takes is a simple comment, (“I would put a hollow-point in his forehead,” or “between his eyes”) or simple word picture (“I would blow his head off”), a quick slur or slight, a flippant comment, or a quick and rash judgment, and the heart will reveal what is on the inside.
Luke 6:39-49 (KJV) Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? 40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. 41 And why beholdest thou the mote [or speck] that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote [or speck] that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote [or speck] that is in thy brother’s eye. 43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
OK, so that just about does it for the biblical narrative from the scriptures which is the voice of God speaking through his word. They are authoritative and command our respect and honor. As I said there is room for different gifts and talents. Different callings and different duties, but we have one divine guiding light to keep us in the Light.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart,
that I might not sin against thee.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet,
and a light unto my path.
I have sworn, and I will perform it,
that I will keep thy righteous judgments.
Below, I have one final example in modern recent history that happened through a man who also trying to follow principles taught in Word of God, seeking Truth and Love, but he was of a different religion. Yet he still greatly respected Jesus Christ and his teachings. As such, he indeed did have strong and blessed world influence.
He arguably brought the most part powerful nation to its knees. He conquered the great power of England through nonviolent resistance. By his implementation of the power of nonviolent resistance (AND simple non-cooperation) he was able to demonstrate that the armies of Great Britain, and the Navy, and the Air Force, and Marines, were not stronger than the poorest people of India, and that that could maintain no unrighteous power or governmental authority over people who chose not to have them as rulers over them. As a result of his efforts, Great Britain left India. And Mahatma Gandhi, gave India her independence from England, without the use of guns or killing.
As you can see, there are many stronger forces than the arm of the flesh, but if you are a hammer, you will see every problem looks like a nail to you.