Dec 22, 2008

PEACE vs. Peace

By Terry James

"Peace" is a word whose true definition has eluded this planet since the time recorded in Genesis 3: 6-7: “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 unto her husband with her; and he did eat. 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.”

The cry for peace is futile, in the human sense, because since the disobedience in the Garden of Eden, mankind has continued to descend more deeply into sin. The human heart is deceitful above all things, the Bible says, and desperately wicked. Therefore, there is, rather than tranquility within the lost human soul, warfare that is never ending: “[There is] no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked” (Isa. 48:22). And, James the apostle says: “From whence [come] wars and fightings among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members?” (Jam. 4:1).

The prophet Isaiah spoke to Israel and--through his God-given words--the whole of the human race: “The way of peace they know not; and [there is] no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace” (Isa. 59: 8).

So, in this time of the season when many across the world–although I concede it's a diminishing number of people—use the phrase, “Peace on earth, good will to men,” let us think a moment on "PEACE vs. Peace," as the title of the commentary has it.

We recall the old, grainy, black-and-white newsreel film of Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain waving a document containing the peace arrangement he had just made with the German fuhrer, Adolf Hitler. Chamberlain said at that time that the agreement guaranteed that there would be “peace in our time.” Those who know the history of the time know that almost before the ink on the pact was dry, Hitler ordered the first attack that began bringing the whole world to war.

There came a time when Japan surrendered, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur declared the matters of World War II concluded. But, the matter of warfare was and remains far from concluded. Many thousands of Americans, not to mention people from other nations, have since lost their lives in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and numerous other far-flung areas around the world.

Today, the world’s diplomats, news cameras and microphones are focused on the most problematic spot on earth, regarding the threat of the possible ignition of World War III. It is the same area of the world where true PEACE will one day break out. But, for now, it is the lack of the humanistic version of peace in the place called the Holy Land that is the cause of angst for earth’s powers that be. God’s prophet, Ezekiel, spoke to the dearth of peace involving God’s chosen nation: [“To wit], the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and [there is] no peace, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezek. 13:16).

No matter in which direction one casts a glance today, evidence of earth-quivering anxiety mounts. This is at present, more than at any time in recent memory, a world with out peace. The seas and waves are roaring, the nations are in distress with perplexity, precisely like Jesus foretold they will be at the time of His break in upon a sinful, incorrigibly wicked world of earth-dwellers.

The Middle East is in a peace process, yet terroristic threats--like those of Iran against Israel--prevent peace. Society and culture in America and most other nations are in tumult spawned largely by the tremendous economic earthquake and its many aftershocks that continue to rattle monetary structures to their cores. There is no peace because government leaders, financial leaders/experts, and people with fortunes and jobs to lose cannot find rest about things to come.

Religions of earth, too, are in turmoil. The many religions of the planet at the same time proclaim they are peaceful, yet hate each other. The religionists are making efforts to establish their own brand of “peace” through ecumenism. Certain of some who claim to have Christ at their center have joined the ecumenical movement toward establishment of a religious conglomerate within which all can live in peace.

One “evangelical” pastor upon whom much worldly honor and fame has been heaped has proposed his own peace plan. So influential is his presence on the world religious scene that President-elect Barack Obama has invited him to word a prayer at Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009. It is certain that Rick Warren will include in his prayer the call for peace.

But, will he be talking about PEACE in the sense of peace from heaven, or will it be prayer for his own P.E.A.C.E. plan to be implemented that the pastor will make to the God of heaven? The plans wrapped in that acronym are closely allied to the U.N. Millennium Goals, and are designed to achieve humanistic improvements through non-offensive gospel rhetoric and evangelism that doesn’t run counter to the globalist elitists’ agenda for a changed world order.

PEACE –true PEACE, however, is in fact already here upon this troubled sphere. PEACE came in the form of a baby nearly 2,000 years ago. We celebrate His birthday on Thursday. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, in truth IS here in the forever of eternity past and the forever of eternity future. He is the great I AM who is here in the present, and who chose to come in the flesh to suffer and die, then to resurrect so that fallen men, women, and children can be given the PEACE the human soul of each person on the planet must have to be resurrected from the death sin wrought.

Jesus ascended to the throne room of heaven, and is coming again: “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. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my father is greater than I” (Jn. 14: 27-28).

Rejoice! Take Heart! Lift up your head and watch. PEACE will yet have the victory upon Planet Earth!