By George Kirkpatrick
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Proclaiming the Everlasting Gospel of the Kingdom
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
A complete listing of books at: http://www.newfoundationspubl.org/titles.htm
There are words that delight the soul and there are words that trouble the soul. God has built a mechanism in each human spirit to discern the words that uplift and the words that are not uplifting. When we hear words like love, joy, beauty, contentment, gladness, virtue, rest, goodness, and success in life they motivate us to think good thoughts. This is an automatic reaction. When we hear words such as death, strife, contention, hate, misery, and ugly they tend to depress us and change our outlook in any situation. These traits are built into every human being. But the one word the whole world knows, which is uplifting to every person on earth, and which every person on earth desires to hear is "peace."
Peace and love are two words, which no matter how you say them, bring contentment to the soul. Where there is no peace, there is no joy, no trust, and certainly no love. There can be no lasting peace, unless the Prince of Peace is present.
From the beginning of time, men have made peace treaties - - - none of which have been kept because they were made in the flesh. True peace comes within when we have a personal relationship with the giver of peace.
Peace is not an act of the flesh. This is why men's peace treaties have failed. True peace is Spiritual. True peace can come only when man's spirit "his inner being" is lined up with the Spirit of God. In fact, in his letter to the Galatians, Paul lists peace as one of the fruit of the Spirit.
The word peace means "a state of quiet tranquility, freedom from disturbance and agitation." The whole world is looking for and seeking after peace. From the beginning of time, nations have armed themselves, thinking they could dictate peace because no one would dare to attack them.
The world has developed weapons beyond the imagination of the most wicked men. In the Old Testament, the army who had iron chariots were the most feared. Catapults and crossbows were developed to replace the bow and the spear. The Chinese developed gun powder which changed the whole complexion of war.
Nobel took it one step further with his invention of dynamite and TNT. It was Nobel's thinking that the destructive force of dynamite was so terrible, certainly no one would use it against mankind. But people did use it, and because of this the Nobel Peace Prize was implemented to be rewarded to the person or persons who did the most to promote peace on earth.
Today Nobel's invention, when compared to modern weaponry, is like a Fourth of July firecracker. Today we have the threat of Nuclear War and nuclear terrorism hanging over our heads. Jesus spoke of the day in which we live:
"Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." Luke 21:26
Today fear is truly gripping the heart of all mankind. The nightly news is full of disastrous events - - - floods, fires earthquakes, child abuse, kidnappings, and murders on a scale never before seen in history.
Mankind continues to search for peace in their lives, but they are trying to find peace in a bottle of pills, or on the end of a needle. Mankind has come to believe sex is their answer for fulfillment - - - yet venereal disease and aids are many times the result.
When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, the Holy Spirit left and man was found naked (with no Spiritual covering). When the Holy Spirit departed, it took man's peace and left a hole (a void) that man has tried to fill with all the worldly things such as fast cars, airplanes, sports of all kinds, sex - - - and anything else they can think of to bring enjoyment and fulfillment. Many foolishly believe enough money will bring them the peace and security they are seeking, but the only thing that will fill that void is the Spirit of peace.
We need to ask ourselves, "What is true peace?" The prophet Isaiah gives us insight to perfect peace:
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee." Isaiah 26:3
The only way man can have perfect peace is to have his mind on, and his trust in, his Creator, Christ Jesus. Peace is what the world has desired from the beginning of time. From the time Adam was driven out of the garden, man has only known war.
In the fulness of time, God sent His Son Jesus. The heavens had been silent for four hundred years, but at the birth of Jesus, the heavens burst open and a multitude of angels began to praise God, proclaiming:
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Luke 2:14
Jesus was the hope of planet earth to finally have peace and goodwill toward all men. But history has taught us one thing. From the time of Jesus' birth, until now there has been no peace, except for short intervals between wars. So were the angels wrong? No! We must look at the whole Word. Jesus, Himself proclaimed:
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34
Jesus did not come to bring peace on the earth, but a sword. Then does this mean we can only have peace through wars? No! Jesus was not speaking of a physical sword, but the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.
When Peter used the physical sword to cut off the servant's ear, Jesus told Peter to put up the sword. This is the message to mankind today:
"Put up the physical sword and begin to live by the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God."
When we do this then we can have the perfect peace of God in the midst of any and all circumstances we must endure.
Today many who are called by His name are arming themselves with many weapons of self defense. These do not have the peace of God in their hearts. They only have turmoil. Peter warned all:
"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters." I Peter 4:15
Those who arm themselves with the intent to use armament to protect life and property have murder in their hearts - - - and they will suffer a murderer's fate. These have not put on the whole Spiritual armor of God which includes the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
The symbol of peace is the dove. When God judged the whole earth in the time of Noah, He instructed Noah to send out the dove. Three times Noah sent out the dove. The first time Noah sent out the dove, it returned to him. This was symbolic of God sending His dove of peace to ancient Israel. But, alas, the dove found no place of rest because of Israel's rebellious spirit. God informed Israel:
"If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land." Leviticus 26:3-6
But Israel did not receive God's promises because they rebelled, and so the dove of peace returned to God.
Noah waited seven days to again send out the dove. Seven is the number of God's completeness, or His fulness. When Noah sent out the dove the second time, it returned with an olive branch in its mouth. The olive branch is also the sign of peace. So this second time the dove returned symbolizes the sign of the two-fold or perfect peace.
When John baptized Jesus, John witnessed the dove of perfect peace descending and resting upon Jesus. Jesus became the perfect peace on earth the angels proclaimed at His birth. But at the death of Jesus, the dove returned with the olive branch, signifying perfect peace had been removed from the earthly realm, and man's conflicts returned.
Noah took the dove in and waited another seven days, or another completeness or fulness of time. This time the dove did not return. This fulfills the word's of Jesus:
"And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;" John 14:16
The second Comforter was the Holy Spirit that came on the Day of Pentecost. This time the dove of peace came as cloven tongues of fire and sat upon each of them. This is the cleansing fire of God to cleanse all those who are seeking the peace of God that passes all understanding as Jesus promised. This time the dove of peace would not return, but would abide with us forever. Praise the Lord!
This symbolizes the Double Portion Anointing, the Early and Latter Rain outpouring of the Spirit of peace upon God's people. Jesus received the dove and the olive branch together, and this will also come on those who have entered into God's rest. When will this happen?
"For He spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all His works." Hebrews 4:4
God entered into His rest on the seventh day. When will man enter into their place of rest? The Holy Spirit revealed to Paul:
"For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." Hebrews 4:3
God's works were finished from the foundation of the world. This was when God entered into His rest, and He has never left His place of rest. He is only waiting for those who have believed His Word to enter into that place of rest with Him.
Those who enter into God's rest have the peace of God in their hearts. Today the whole world is looking for peace. Peace conferences and peace councils are held and victory is proclaimed until the next confrontation. The prophet Isaiah spoke of these ambassadors of peace:
"Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly." Isaiah 33:7
The valiant ones (those in high positions) shall cry out when their efforts are thwarted, and the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly when all their efforts to bring peace have failed. The prophet Jeremiah spoke of the peace efforts of our day:
"For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly saying, Peace, peace, when there is no peace." Jeremiah 8:11
The daughters spoken of in the Old Testament represent the church (God's ekklesia - His called out ones) in the New Testament. Once we gain this understanding, then we can see clearly what God expects of those who will enter into His peaceful rest.
We are constantly aware we need to pray for peace. When we pray for peace, God will grant us peace. But peace will disappear when we become embroiled in the things of the world.
Politicians and leaders have promised peace, but as Jeremiah proclaimed, the leaders proclaim peace, peace, where there is no peace. Why is this? It is because this nation and the world have forsaken the Prince of Peace. Paul warned:
"For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." I Thessalonians 5:3
When the leaders of the world proclaim peace and safety, look out! Sudden destruction will be on the horizon. One lesson the average man has not learned is that war is profitable to those who promote war. Much money is gained by those in the munitions business, those who make uniforms, shoes, gas masks, military vehicles, and all the other items the soldiers need to fight with. We have come to the time where victory is no longer necessary. There are no spoils of war. Wars are kept going to satisfy the lust and greed of those who are in power. The war lobbiests have to be paid. Isaiah informs us:
"There is no peace, saith My God, to the wicked." Isaiah 57:21
We know the wicked do not have the peace of God in their lives, but we also know the wicked do not want peace - - - because there is no profit in peace. These must keep the conflicts going so the profits keep rolling in. But it is the youth who have always paid the ultimate price for the greed of the war mongers.
As we well remember, the first world war was the war to end all wars. In that war, new weapons of warfare were used. Airplanes were used for the first time as war machines. Armored tanks were the latest threat for the ground troops. Automatic weapons were used for the first time in war, and mustard gas blinded and injured soldiers for life.
Then came the second world war. Everything used in the first world war had been much improved upon. Airplanes, tanks, and automatic weapons became more deadly. Napon was used for the first time. The ultimate method of killing was the atom bomb which was dropped by the United States. Not only did the United States drop one of these terrible killing devices, they dropped two - - - one on Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki. This was to be so devastating that no one would ever consider this type of warfare again. Yet, the effects of these weapons of mass destruction are still killing and maiming sixty years later. There has been conflict after conflict ever since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The use of these weapons of mass destruction have not deterred war, but have made the treat of war more terrifying.
Mankind does not want peace. As Isaiah proclaimed, "There is no peace for the wicked." But God's people, those who believe in the Prince of Peace are given a better promise:
"And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Isaiah 2:4
The wicked will not see the day when peace reigns supreme on planet earth. When Jeremiah spoke of the daughter of his people, he proclaimed:
"For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely." Jeremiah 6:13
Jeremiah proclaims everyone is given over to covetousness, especially those in leadership. This includes leaders in government and those who are leaders in the church system. We need to know and understand these will not escape God's judgment.
"They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace." Jeremiah 6:14
Even those who are proclaiming God's peace from the pulpit are living in fear of what is coming upon the earth. They proclaim, "Peace! Peace!" Yet there is no peace in their own lives. Neither is their peace in the lives of those who sit under their teachings. Jeremiah continues:
"Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? Nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord." Jeremiah 6:15
Jeremiah spoke of those who were not ashamed of the abominations they committed. The same is true today. Many do not even blush when they are confronted about the sin in their life. Jeremiah warned these will fall. Their judgment will be no different from what the world will suffer when the Lord again visits the earth. He is not returning as the Good Shepherd, but as the avenging God who will judge in righteousness. Peter informs us:
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" I Peter 4:17
God is coming to judge His lukewarm church. We need to ask, "What is in store for those who call themselves by God's name, and yet obey not the gospel of God?" The answer is obvious. They will receive the same righteous judgment as the world suffers. No rapture, no once-saved, always-saved, and no ultimate reconciliation doctrine will deliver them when God arises to terribly shake the earth. Only those who have the Prince of Peace in their lives will escape God's judgment.
God has made many great and wonderful promises to those who seek the perfect peace of God in their lives. Jesus made us a wonderful promise in His Sermon on the Mount.
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Matthew 5:9
It is the peacemakers who will be called the children of God. The word Matthew used for children is the Greek word HUIOS and means "sons." Therefore, the peacemakers are those who are the sons of God. Everyone talks about sonship. Many claim when they receive Jesus they become sons. The beloved John asks a question:
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth 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." I John 3:2
John asks, "Now are we the sons of God?" Then he makes the statement, "It does not yet appear what we shall be." Then he gives us kdge, "But we know when He shall appear, we shall be like Him." If we are going to be like Him, then we must become like the Prince of Peace. We must become a peacemaker. Only then will we see Him as He is. John also gives us further insight into sonship:
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:" John 1:12
As many as received Him, He gave the power to become the sons of God. The power He gave to become His sons is the Holy Spirit. There is no sonship without this power, and there is no sonship unless we become peacemakers. So, if we are going to see Him as He is, then we must become like Him. Jesus spoke many times about peace:
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33
By Jesus' words, we gather much understanding and wisdom. Jesus spoke that we can have peace. He promises in the world we will have tribulations, but we, as Jesus, must overcome the world if we are to be like Him. Only then can we escape the tribulation the world is going to suffer. Only when we overcome will we have the peace of God in our lives.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul gives us insight as to how we are to obtain the peace of God:
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." Romans 14:19
We are to follow after, or to pursue the things that make for peace. Many who claim to be Christians cause strife and contention. These will never know peace, nor will they become the sons of God unless they repent. Why are we to pursue the things that bring peace? It is so we may edify (liftup) one another. Paul also gives the following wisdom:
"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be Spiritually minded is life and peace." Romans 8:6
Those who have not overcome the world are carnally minded. These are spiritually dead. Only the Spiritually minded have life and peace. Man does not realize that if he pursues peace, then and only then will he find it. As long as he strives for the things of the world, he will never find peace. The Apostle James informs us:
"And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace." James 3:18
Righteousness is a fruit of the Spirit. When we sow (spread abroad) peace, then we become peacemakers, or one who makes peace. Isaiah the prophet gives us a promise which should be the hope of all God's people:
"And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever." Isaiah 32:17
As stated before, righteousness is a fruit of the Spirit. When the Spirit or righteousness is at work in our lives, we will know the peace of God. As Isaiah stated, the effect of righteousness in our lives is quietness and assurance. The word quietness means "to be tranquil, to be at peace." The word assurance means "to be confident, to live in safety and security."
Are not these the things the world is seeking? So why do worldly people and God's people not have these things? It is because they are carnally minded, and they are not pursuing after peace.
Many of God's people want to hold public office. To do so is to become part of a corrupt, compromising governmental system. Those who pursue these ambitions, open themselves to these corrupting influences, and they either become part of the system or suffer great demorilization and rejection. They are placed on a shelf with no effective voice in governmental matters. When Jesus was taken before Pilate, He proclaimed:
". . . My Kingdom is not of this world: if My Kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My Kingdom not from hence." John 18:36
If we are to become part of His Kingdom, then we cannot be part of any worldly kingdom or government. God will not allow duo citizenship in His Kingdom. But as Jesus declared, His Kingdom is not of this world. His servants are not to fight. What most who call themselves Christian do not realize is, that when we belong to God, we become part of another Kingdom. We are no longer part of any nation. We become pilgrims and sojourners in a foreign nation.
When Jesus walked the earth, Rome was in power. Rome was unrelenting in the subjugation of their conquered victims. Judea was part of the Roman Empire, and the Judeans were under the heal of Rome. Yet Jesus never went to Rome to try to get a better deal for His people. He taught them to rise above all earthly governments.
This is the message for God's people today. Rough times are ahead, but if we try to defend ourselves, then we will not become part of God's Kingdom of peacemakers, because as Jesus stated, "If His Kingdom was of this world, then His servants would fight." We need to heed Jesus' words when He said, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
If we are to be like Him, and see Him as He is, then as his servants, we must not fight. We must be at peace. This was Paul's word to the Romans:
"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Romans 12:18
This is a very profound Scripture. Paul exclaimed, "As much as lieth in you. . ." The word lieth means "the point, whence action or motion proceeds." If peace is not in us, then the peace of God cannot proceed from us. And if peace is not in our inner most being, then it is not possible to live peaceably with any man, let alone all men. Paul admonished the Colossians:
"And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." Colossians 3:15
We need to let the peace of God have rule in our hearts (in our minds). When we are at peace with ourselves, and we have the peace of God in our inner most being, then this peace will flow from us like water, and this peace will touch all we come in contact with. The all-wise Solomon gives us insight into the power of peace:
"When a man's ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." Proverbs 16:7
When we are pleasing to our God, then God will supernaturally make our enemies peaceful. We need to know and understand that it is only through the power of God (the Holy Spirit) that we can walk in peace. When we do as He asks, and follow His commandments (the Word of God), then not only are our lives in His hand, so are the lives of our enemies.
Jesus gives us an edict, which in the natural is impossible to keep. To keep this commandment we must depend on the supernatural power of God in His anointing (the Holy Spirit).
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" Matthew 5:44
The carnal man cannot do this. The carnal man's only thought is to "Get Even" with all those who hurt or threaten to hurt them. This is why the carnal man arms himself.
What will be God's reward if we follow His Word? It will be the promise Paul wrote to the church at Philippi:
"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
If we truly love our enemies, and if we bless them that curse us, and if we do good to them that hate us, and pray for them who despitefully use us and persecute us, then we will have the peace of God that will pass all our understanding. We will have the peace of mind the whole world is desiring. We are given instructions on how to attain the perfect peace of God:
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" Hebrews 12:14
If we are to follow peace, then peace must be our leader. Our leader is the Prince of Peace, and if we do not attain to the peace of our leader and His righteousness and holiness, then we can never expect to see our God. In his letter to the Romans, Paul informed us:
"For the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Romans 14:17
Many are looking for Jesus to return to earth to set up a physical Kingdom and solve all the problems mankind has created for themselves. But as Jesus explained:
"Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or, lo there! For, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21
The Kingdom of God is within each of those who have God's righteousness, His peace, and His joy in the Holy Ghost. And as Jesus explained to the Pharisees, the Kingdom of God comes in each of us without observation. It comes because we have allowed the Holy Ghost to do its perfect cleansing work in our lives. It comes because we follow God's Word with Spiritual understanding. Jesus' parting words to His disciples should be a comfort to all those who are seeking His will and His way:
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you, Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27
When Jesus ascended off the earth, He left His peace. If He left His peace, where is it? If He left it, then it is up to each of us to seek it out, and apply it to our lives. Too many are waiting on man to make peace with each other, so there can be peace on earth. That is only the peace the world gives us. That is not the peace Jesus left with us. His peace is love and joy in the Holy Ghost. The world cannot achieve to this peace. They can only depend on their man-made peace. But we can have God's perfect peace, and when we attain to God's peace our hearts will not be troubled, neither will we be afraid. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians:
"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Thessalonians 5:23
We need to pray the God of peace sanctify us wholly. The word sanctify means "to cleanse externally and internally by renewing the soul, or having a new heart (mind)." The word wholly means "complete in all respects." When we allow this to happen, then our whole spirit, soul, and body will be preserved, and we will be blameless when the Lord returns to make up His jewels.
God's peace is for all who will seek it with their whole heart, and allow the Holy Spirit complete access to their life, so they may become that perfect vessel for God to flow through. Paul's parting words were:
"Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all." II Thessalonians 3:16
Praise the Lord!
Vital Words to the Body of Christ
Freely We Have Received, Freely We Give
A complete listing of books at: http://www.newfoundationspubl.org/titles.htm