Peace or Division?
Did Jesus Christ come to bring peace on Earth? Was His first coming an attempt to bring about peace between all peoples?
Did wars cease when He came? And since that time, has there been peace on Earth brought about by any Church?
Should we be experiencing peace right now throughout the world? Why is there actually no peace?
Did Christ fail?
If Christ came to bring peace, then surely He did not succeed, as the world continues to be filled with war, violence, sin, and division.
Is God for peace or war?
We see in Revelation, when the seven seals are opened, that the second seal brings war. And there has been war ever since that vision was given to John. So where is the peace that people say Christ brought?
If we turn to Matthew 5:9 (NKJV) we read:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”
We, as Christians, will be blessed if we are peacemakers, and will be the sons of God, especially after Christ returns.
But what about those who do not follow Christ? Are they peaceful?
Look at what Christ said in Luke 12:49–53 (NKJV):
“49 I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
Christ said here that He did not come to bring peace. He came to bring division. People in families would end up divided and at war with each other.
But how is this so?
Go back to Matthew 5 and read verses 10–12 (NKJV):
“10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
There will be people who will persecute you, revile you, hate you, say evil about you, and falsely accuse you. Possibly even those of your own family or your friends. But, Christ says, because of that, you will be blessed and can rejoice.
He was saying that if you want to follow Christ, be ready to have trials and problems, and accept that there will be people hating you.
Look at Matthew 10:22 (NKJV):
“And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.”
Although we are called to be peacemakers, and to follow Christ and keep the laws of God, which are laws based on love, the people of this world, who are not following Christ, will hate us for it.
There is a great battle going in the spirit world. Satan and his demons are constantly trying to attack God’s people and bring them down. God is in charge, and allows this, and only allows Satan to go as far as God permits.
One way Satan attacks is to stir up people to hate us. That could even be people from your own family, or from the Church of God, or at least from those posing as Christians.
Have you had family members hate you? Or at least hate what you believe? Some people become Christians and get unpleasant reactions from their family members.
There are those who were Muslims, and then decided to become a Christian and leave Islam behind. I know of one man in another country who did that, and he faced severe persecution for it.
His friends said they wanted to meet with him, and then they tried to kill him by throwing him out of a high window. But God protected him so that he did not die.
Later, people from his own family tried to kill him. They tried to get to him and punish him for leaving the Muslim faith.
They kidnapped his children and attacked his wife. But his children were returned to him, and now he and his family live in a different place, but still he gets threats from them.
He stays true to the Christian faith, because he knows it is better than anything else, despite all the division that he now experiences in his family. His family are against him. He has his wife and children, and has God on his side.
It seems crazy that if a person leaves a religion, one that claims to be a religion of peace, at least by some, then the people of that religion will kill you if you leave.
As a Christian, if we see a person who wants to leave the Church, we can ask them why, and tell them that if they stop being a Christian, they could lose their salvation and end up in the Lake of Fire. But we don’t think we should kill them because they left. We would prefer that if a person leaves, that they will eventually see sense and return.
But with people who are not converted, there is a strong influence at times from demons and evil thoughts broadcast by Satan, who is called the “prince of the power of the air” in Ephesians 2:2.
So much so that there is division at times in the Church. That is a type of division that Christ did not bring, and does not want to see.
Read 1 Corinthians 1:10–13 (ESV):
“10 I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 11 For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers. 12 What I mean is that each one of you says, ‘I follow Paul,’ or ‘I follow Apollos,’ or ‘I follow Cephas,’ or ‘I follow Christ.’ 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”
We should not be divided into following human leaders. Although the situation exists today of different Church of God groups and organisations, the Church of God was one at first, back at the time of Paul. Except that even then, there were some who wanted to be a leader and gain a following for themselves, drawing people away after themselves.
Look at 1 Corinthians 3:4 (ESV):
“For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not being merely human?”
And in the first century, there were false leaders, such as Diotrephes, whom people were warned about by the Apostle John, in 3 John 1:9–10 (ESV)
“9 I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. 10 So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church.”
This Diotrephes liked to put himself first. Have you ever come across a Church member like that? Someone who likes to be first, to have a following? Such people talk wicked nonsense about others in the Church, and put people out of the Church, or out of a group of believers. This type of division is not what God wants, and we must be on our guard to not allow ourselves to get puffed up with pride.
These types of Christians end up persecuting the people of God, because of their own ego or even narcissistic tendencies.
But remember, that whether you’re being persecuted by family or friends, or work colleagues, other Church members, or other people, Christ did say you will be blessed for it, if you stay true to Him.
Satan wants you to give up being a Christian, to stop following Christ. He cannot kill you, God is not giving him nor the demons permission to kill us, but they can make us feel like giving up, so that we might forfeit our salvation.
Galatians 6:9 (ESV) tells us:
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
No matter how much darkness is around us, no matter how bad things get in this dark world, no matter how difficult some people are, we have seen the light of God, and the people who have not, are all still in darkness, and they continue in sin.
In Ephesians 5:8–14 (NKJV) we read:
“8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14 Therefore He says:
‘Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.’ ”
The people of the world can be stirred up against us, they are in darkness, and they cannot see the truth.
When the light shines on them, it exposes their weaknesses and sins. People prefer to stay hidden in the dark and not be seen. They don’t want their sins exposed.
So they reject the light, and fight to stay hidden. If you are at work, and the unconverted people are doing their job, and you do yours, and you do your job very well, other people do not like that. The boss will like it, to see you work hard and make more money for the company.
But those who don’t like to work hard will see your hard work, and realise it is like a light shining on them to show their failings. They will hate you for it. And that makes it easy for demons to stir up such people against you, as they feel exposed for being the bad workers they really are.
Most people are spiritually asleep. They don’t want to wake up. They are in darkness and they like it that way. They will even fight you to stay in the darkness and not know the truth. God is not calling all those people now at this time, so they can choose to stay in darkness. But we have to realise that. We cannot change people, as they still follow their carnal nature and do not want to change.
There was a film made in 1988 called They Live, in which a man finds special sunglasses, that filter out mind control. He puts them on and for the first time sees the world as it really is. He sees the subliminal messages in adverts, magazines, newspapers, and on TV, and sees that some people are really aliens, which is symbolic of them being demons or people who are demon-possessed, and seeing that the world is full of evil.
He wants his friend to see this, so he tries to give the special sunglasses to his friend. But his friend refuses, and fights him, because he does not want to see the truth. Because, if he sees the truth, he knows there is no going back, and, like most people, is comfortable with where he is right now. Even though, in the film, he was homeless and had no real future.
Most people are like that at present. They will fight you if you try to show them the truth. Especially the truth about things they have been seriously deceived about, like a fake pandemic, or taking a pharmaceutical injection that is bad for them. Or even if you just shine like a light next to them, making them look bad.
We can go back to Luke 12, and read what Christ said next, after He spoke about causing division. In Luke 12:54–56 (NKJV) we read:
“54 Then He also said to the multitudes, ‘Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, “A shower is coming”; and so it is. 55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, “There will be hot weather”; and there is. 56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?’ ”
Christ knew that people could predict the weather from certain known clouds and winds. But they were unable to see what was going on in the world spiritually. They mostly could not see that Jesus was the Messiah, because they were spiritually asleep.
We need to discern the times we are in. We see, from the prophecies of Revelation, that there will be a time of great trouble ahead, with the Beast and False Prophet. The False Prophet in particular will unite a lot of people from different religions, and they will accept the Mark of the Beast and follow the Beast.
These people will then hate true Christians. There will be a greater division then than there is now. Anyone with the Mark of the Beast will look on you as their enemy, regardless of how much you love them, or are peaceful.
And we are already seeing the world change, getting ready for the Beast power, with things like injections potentially altering people’s DNA and giving them the Mark of the Beast, or at least a forerunner to it.
Christ was saying that we must be ready for that. We must be aware that many people out there who are unconverted are going to hate us, both now and in the future. They will put us through various trials and give us serious difficulties. We don’t have peace from the world. Their ideas of peace are based on false ideas, mostly going back to ancient Greek philosophy or other pagan ideas. They have no idea of how to live at peace, nor do they know the ways of God.
We, as Christians and a part of God’s Church, must stay focused on God and Jesus Christ, rather than being spiritually asleep. We should separate ourselves from the world, not being a part of it, although we have to live in it.
There will be division between us and the people of this world. But there should not be any division within God’s Church.
God wants to see a distinction between us and the world. Look at 2 Corinthians 6:14–18 (NET):
“14 Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness? 15 And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? 16 And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, ‘I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ 17 Therefore ‘come out from their midst, and be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, 18 and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,’ says the All-Powerful Lord.”
And read Philippians 2:15 (NET):
“so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world.”
I shall end with Romans 13:11 (ESV) which says:
“Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.”