righteousness, then peace
Human history is clear: ALL manmade attempts to bring peace to earth, or global unity and tolerance, only result in prison camps, revolutions, bloodshed, graves, and the persecution of Christians, Jews, and those who fear God. Mankind, going back to Nimrod, and Cain way before that, fails to understand a basic biblical truth: PEACE IS A WORK OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. Righteousness, then peace--not the other way around. Or, as the angels taught us when they appeared to the shepherds in Luke 2: you can't have "peace on earth" until you have "Glory to God in the highest." Note the order of the angelic chorus, something the U.N. has been too stupid to see since it was chartered on October 24, 1945 to "prevent future wars." Since, it has presided over 150 wars and 100 million casualties. How foolish is man, and how ridiculous is the utopian fantasy of manmade peace?
Years ago, when the Lord first led me into street evangelism on the streets of San Francisco and its Bay Area suburbs, we would go down to the "peace rallies" regularly held in demonstration against the 2003 war in Iraq. It was almost comical to watch as the peacenik keynote speakers would without fail devolve into anti-Semitic rhetoric and start waving Palestinian flags while calling for the destruction of the Modern State of Israel. At every one of those "peace rallies," it was so predictable: promoters of manmade peace calling for war. Truly, "every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psalm 39:5).
Notwithstanding, we went down to these peacenik war rallies to preach about true peace. That was back in the days when I sketched and drew my own signs, pictures and all. One of them read: "True peace is peace with God, and peace with God only comes through Jesus Christ and the "blood of his cross" (Colossians 1:20). This is powerful truth. There is no peace on earth without "glory to God in the highest" (Luke 2:14); and there can be no acceptable glory to God in the highest from the lips of sinful men without Christ Jesus who makes nigh by His blood.
The world doesn't need a United Nations; it doesn't need peace rallies; it doesn't need the brotherhood of man. What it needs is a Saviour after the order of Melchizedek "first being by interpretation King of righteousness [His First Advent], and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace [His Second Advent]" (Hebrews 7:2). Righteousness, then peace.
Real peace on earth will only come when Jesus Christ, who fulfilled all righteousness at His first coming, physically and bodily returns to earth to sit on a literal throne of David in Jerusalem and set up a literal Kingdom over all the earth, to rule and reign with His saints for a thousand years. Then, there will be peace.
As for Jerusalem, it is one of the great ironies of history that the "City of Peace" is the most fought-over piece of dirt anywhere on earth, and in these last days, it is truly a "cup of trembling unto all people" (Zechariah 12:2). City of Peace? Why such a name? It's because Jerusalem is the place where all wars will end (Psalm 76:2-3; Haggai 2:9; Isaiah 2). It is there that the righteous Lord will go forth and FIGHT against the United Nations. Then, there will be peace. Righteousness, then peace.
As we await that glorious day, let us "let the peace of God rule in your hearts" (Colossions 3:15). And, this "peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). Endure, knowing that one day, by the hand of the Great King, "The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness" (Psalm 72:3).
Speaking of the mountains, I recently received this bit of encouraging news and an accompanying prayer request from Brother Bishnu, our national partner in Nepal:
For some reason, all this talk of righteousness and peace, blankets, Scripture portions, and Nepal . . . it brings to mind a glorious rainbow that I saw some weeks ago from a rooftop in Kathmandu. It was nasty weather, dark ominous clouds and sheets of rain streaking in the distance. The thunder was some of the loudest I have heard. But then, behind the storm a giant double rainbow suddenly panned the city. It reminded me of the Prophet Nahum and his message: God is a furious storm (1:1-6) and yet also the shelter from that storm (1:7).
Soon enough, we will be heading to South America to find the Israeli backpackers and declare to them the Jewish Messiah, not after the tribe of Levi, but after the order of Melchizedek, "first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace" (Hebrews 7:2). Righteousness, then peace.
The prayers and support of the Body of Christ are needed and much appreciated.