Created Saturday, Dec. 11, 1999                Updated  Jan 24, 2015



First Things First
Blessed are the Peacemakers!
The Gospel of Peace
A God of Peace, His People of Peace
They Seek Peace
The Enemy From Within

Jeremiah & Babylon as Examples
Obedience to God a Must
Examples of Obedience
Relative Obedience to Caesar
An Exception to the Rule?
Circumstances Today

In Blunt Practical Terms
War Is HELL !!!
War Harms Soldiers
An Interesting Song
An Interesting Holiday  updated
Jan 24 015

Final Words

Related Articles

First Things First

I believe it is vitally important for Christians to remain politically neutral, though relatively obedient. I also believe it is absolutely essential that they avoid fighting wars. Christians are instructed by the scriptures to avoid involvement (entanglement, really) in the affairs of the world (read politics). I am going to prove these points and a number of others that need to be considered and are very important. Allow me to demonstrate. From the Revised Standard Version in James 4:4 we read:

"Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

Well, what exactly is "friendship with the world?" Let's consider that!
1 John 2:15: Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
[Jerusalem Bible] 1 John 2:15: And the world, with all it craves for, is coming to an end; but anyone who does the will of God remains for ever.

Does "not loving the world" mean not loving people? Absolutely not! It has more to do with the cravings, desires, goals, and ambitions of the world as opposed to those of God. Loving the world could mean caring about the world, couldn't it? Should Christians really care about the world and its concerns? We'll see!

Notice what Jesus says in Mark 12:17 in regards to whether taxes should be paid to Caesar (the government):
"Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God."

There were things Caesar had been allowed by God to have and do, taxation being among them, but there were also things exclusive to God that could not be yielded to Caesar, revolving primarily around worship. Also, Caesar had an army and ambitions and desires that were not in harmony with God's will so Christians could not fight Caesar's wars. Jesus exclaimed in:

John 18:36 Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. [The Jerusalem Bible].

Lets also look at Hebrews 11:10 - "They lived there in tents while he {Abraham} looked forward to a city founded, designed and built by God."

And Hebrews 11: 13-16:
"11:13 All these died in faith, before receiving any of the things that had been promised, but they saw them in the far distance and welcomed them, recognizing that they were only strangers and nomads on earth. People who use such terms about themselves make it quite plain that they are in search of their real homeland. They can hardly have meant the country they came from, since they had the opportunity to go back to it; but in fact they were longing for a better homeland, their heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, since he has founded the city for them." [The Jerusalem Bible].

Like Jesus, his followers belong to a heavenly kingdom and not an earthly one. They are strangers and nomads here on earth. And why should they care about the land or country they live in for
1 John 5:19 states that "the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One." [The Jerusalem Bible].

John 17:16 emphasizes this point when Jesus says, "They [his disciples] are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."
In John 6:15 we see where at one time many people were wanting to make Jesus king and came to get him but Jesus hid in a mountain for a while. He was not intending to be an earthly king.

Satan had offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the earth at one time (Matthew 4:8) but Jesus refused. Yes, all the kingdoms of the earth had been conceded to Satan by God until the appointed time set by God arrives. Then God will end all rulerships and governments to establish his own (Daniel 2:44). It will be God, and not his followers, that establishes this rulership/ government/ kingdom here on earth. God already rules in Heaven.

Since the governments are all ruled currently by the Devil according to the Bible and are eventually to be destroyed by God, why should a Christian try to resist what God has decreed? Namely, that all governments have to go sooner or later. Why should they support something ruled by the Devil? And since Christians are supposed to be looking forward to a heavenly home and kingdom, why do they concern themselves so much with the earthly kingdoms that they live in? Why do they not live more like strangers, aliens, temporary immigrants and nomads waiting for their real home above with God? Does not Philippians 3:20 say, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." [New International Version].

But in not loving the world, we don't want to forget people. I'll show you what I mean. Let us look at the instructions given to Christians as to how they are really supposed to behave. In Genesis 18:25, Abraham recognizes God as "Judge of all the Earth." That is, God, and not his followers. Note what is said in 1 Corinthians 5:9-13:

"When I wrote in my letter to you not to associate with people living immoral lives, I was not meaning to include all the people in the world who are sexually immoral, any more than I meant to include all usurers and swindlers or idol worshipers. To do that, you would have to withdraw from the world altogether. What I wrote was that you should not associate with a brother Christian who is leading an immoral life, or is a usurer, or idolatrous, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or is dishonest; you should not even eat a meal with people like that. It is not my business to pass judgment on those outside. Of those who are inside, you can surely be the judges. But of those who are outside, God is the judge." [Jerusalem Bible].

Notice that Paul, the writer of this passage states that it is not his business to pass judgment on those outside and he is an apostle. How much more so should the rest of Christianity refrain from judging any on the outside. These are for God only to judge. Christians could continue to "associate" to some degree with those on the "outside" who do not serve God or recognize his laws as theirs, too.

Christians are only allowed to judge those within their own church or congregation. That much has been granted and even required. That much and no more than that. Give to God what is God's, right?

Christ made it clear on the sermon on the mount what his followers must do to please the Heavenly Father.

(NIV) Matthew 5:43-48
"You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. [
this was Jewish tradition and not the Bible] But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Christians are supposed to love their enemies, not taunt, harass, persecute, terrorize, or exact vengeance upon them. Christians are told to "turn the other cheek," not to return an offense (Matthew 5:38-40). Christians are counseled to love their neighbors as themselves. (Matthew 19:19). 1 John 4:20 has a stronger way of saying it:

"Anyone who says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, is a liar, since a man who does not love the brother that he can see cannot love God, whom he has never seen. So this is the commandment that he has given us, that anyone who loves God must also love his brother."

And as previously shown, love must also be shown to neighbors and even enemies. In fact, Jesus warns that "anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." (Matthew 5:22 New International Version). Yes, even anger is dangerous for it is anger that leads to murder and the like.

What I am trying to show is that Christians only have one obligation toward mankind, that is, those on the outside. That obligation is love, compassion, and understanding. Can it be any more clear from the scriptures? After all, the Bible tells us that Christ died for all mankind, every last one (John 3:16, 1 Timothy 2:5-6). So each and every last person should be dealt with, knowing that they are desired by God. Christians should be serving as ambassadors for Christ begging one and all to become reconciled to God (from 2 Corinthians 5:20).

Christians should not be getting caught up in the concerns of the world. They should not be involved in the world's or any government's desires and ambitions. Those desires, plans, and ambitions are of no concern to God and should not be of concern to his followers, either. Those earthly ambitions are in opposition to God. After all, they originate with the Devil, the ruler of the world and its various governments of man rule. Christians should be concerned with and looking forward to the heavenly realm and God's kingdom which Jesus preached so much about.

But this is not what we see, is it? Nearly all who claim to be Christian are up to their necks in politics and political issues like those were an important part of God's kingdom or something. They get embroiled in the world's wars and skirmishes. They see the world as their home, their own, for which they fight for, and give their lives for as well as take other's lives. Evidently, it is they, and not God, that are going to bring God's kingdom to earth. It is they who have set themselves up as judges of everyone else. Yes, they have tossed God off His throne and out of His kingdom and taken over His agenda and rulership. Either that or they are filling in for Him while He is on vacation, I guess.

What happened to loving your enemies and turning the other cheek. Something is seriously wrong here, wouldn't you say? You better believe it!!!

Blessed are the Peacemakers!
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Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers! For they shall be called sons of God.

In order to be sons of God, we must pursue peace with all men and not just some of them. It is essential as the next verse also stresses.

Hebrews 12:14 Eagerly pursue peace and holiness with all, without which no one will see the Lord.

The Gospel of Peace
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Acts 10:36 The Word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching the gospel of peace through Jesus Christ, this One is Lord of all.

Romans 8:6 For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace;

Romans 10:15 And how may they preach if they are not sent? Even as it has been written, "How beautiful" "the feet of those announcing the gospel of peace, of those announcing the gospel of good things." Isa. 52:7.

Romans 12:18 If possible, as far as is in you, seeking peace with all men;

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Romans 14:19 So then let us pursue the things of peace, and the things for building up one another.

A God of Peace, His People of Peace
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Romans 15:33 And the God of peace be with all of you. Amen.

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

1Corinthians 1:3 Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Corinthians 7:15 But if the unbelieving one separates, let them be separated; the brother or the sister is not in bondage in such matters; but God has called us in peace.

1Corinthians 14:33 For God is not God of confusion, but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

2Corinthians 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2Corinthians 13:11 For the rest, brothers, rejoice! Perfect yourselves; encourage yourselves, mind the same thing, be at peace; and the God of love and of peace will be with you.

Galatians 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ,

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith,

Galatians 6:16 And as many as shall walk by this rule, peace and mercy be on them and on the Israel of God.

Ephesians 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:17 And coming, He proclaimed "peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near." Isa. 57:19

Ephesians 4:3 being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 6:15 and having shod the feet with the preparation of the "gospel of peace." Isa. 52:7

Ephesians 6:23 Peace to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:9 And what things you learned and received and heard and saw in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

1Thessalonians 5:23 And may the God of peace Himself fully sanctify you, and may your whole spirit
                              and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2Thessalonians 1:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2Thessalonians 3:16 And may the Lord of peace Himself continually give peace to you in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

1Timothy 1:2 to Timothy, a true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

2Timothy 1:2 to my beloved child Timothy: Grace, mercy, peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

2Timothy 2:22 But flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace, with the ones calling on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Titus 1:4 to Titus, a true child according to our common faith. Grace, mercy, peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.

Philemon 1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

James 3:18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for the ones making peace.

1Peter 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit to obedience
               and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you.

1Peter 3:11 Let him turn aside from evil, and let him do good. Let him seek peace, and pursue it;

1Peter 5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you, all those in Christ Jesus. Amen.

2Peter 1:2 Grace to you, and peace be multiplied by a full knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

OK, here is a quiz. What word is it that I was trying to stress in those scriptures? What is that word I was looking for? It was Peace! Peace was highly emphasized by the New Testament writers. Of course, primarily it was emphasizing peace among themselves but certainly not excluded and definitely mentioned as well was peace with all and among all. How can one seek peace while joining war efforts. Christians above nearly all else, are suppose to pursue love with peace being a result. Can one love one's neighbor or fellow man and seek peace with them if he is busy killing them in war?

Rather, we should be willing to be wronged and harmed than to stoop to resisting evil ones, who far outnumber the righteous, anyway. You doubt me? Read the next scripture and tell me I am wrong.

Matthew 5:
38 You have heard that it was said: "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;" [Exodus 21:24; Leviticus 24:20; Deuteronomy 19:21]
39 but I say to you, Do not resist the evil; but whoever strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also. 
40 And to him desiring to sue you, and to take your tunic, allow him also to have the coat. 
41 And whoever shall compel you to go one mile, go two with him. 
42 He asking you to give, and he wishing to borrow from you, do not turn away.

43 You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor" and hate your enemy; Lev. 19:18
44 but I say to you, Love your enemies; bless those cursing you, do well to those hating you; and pray for those abusing and persecuting you, 
45 so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. Because He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust. 
46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? 
47 And if you only greet your brothers, what exceptional thing do you do? Do not the tax-collectors do so? 
48 Therefore, you be perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.

Now, do you love your enemies, pray for them, and turn your cheeks to them or do you run off to war against them? Your answer determines whether you are really a Christian or not. Christians do not engage in war but in peace and love.

Luke 6:
27 But I say to you, those hearing: Love your enemies, do good to those hating you, 
28 bless those cursing you and pray for those insulting you. 
29 To those striking you on the cheek, turn the other also. And from those taking your garment, do not keep back the tunic also. 
30 And to everyone asking you, give. And do not ask back from those taking your things. 
31 And according as you desire that men should do to you, you also do the same to them.

32 And if you love those who love you, what thanks is there to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 
33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks is there to you? For even the sinners do the same. 
34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks is there to you? For the sinners lend to sinners so that they may receive the same. 
35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be much; 
     and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and evil ones.

As Jesus makes clear, we are no different from anyone else if we love only our own and fight and kill everyone else. To be like God, we must also love those who are not our own and who may even not like us or perhaps even hate us. Can you do that? You had better do it if you want to be known and accepted by God. Notice what ancient prophecies say about God's people.

They Seek Peace
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Isaiah 2:
1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: 
2 And it shall be in the last days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established in the top of the mountains, 
   and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it. 
3 And many people shall go and say, Come and let us go up to the mount of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob. 
   And He will teach from His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion the law will go forth, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. 
4 And He shall judge among the nations and shall rebuke many people. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, 
   and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more. 
5 Oh house of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of Jehovah.

Micah 4:
1 But it shall be in the end of the days, the mountain of the house of Jehovah shall be established on the top of the mountains; 
   and it shall be lifted up from the hills; and peoples shall flow on it. 
2 And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and to the house of the God of Jacob. 
   And He will teach us from His ways, and we will walk in His paths. For the law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem. 
3 And He shall judge between many peoples, and will decide for strong nations afar off. And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, 
   and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, nor shall they learn war still. 
4 But they shall each one sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and there shall be no trembling. 
   For the mouth of Jehovah of hosts has spoken.

These two previous prophets say much the same thing. God's people would seek Him and seek peace. They would not learn war anymore. And after God's salvation and deliverance, nations will not fight anymore. So where are those Christians who are seeking peace and not learning and certainly not practicing war anymore. Well, let me put it this way. I can tell you who is not doing it! But I don't want to name names. You know who the many Christian groups are that advocate war when their countries call for it. They are all, in reality, sons of the devil, himself being the first killer of man.

I find the prophecies of Ezekiel concerning the time of the end very interesting. When God's enemies come to attack God's people, they find these people in a certain state that is most worthy of note and attention. So read carefully to see if you can pick it up or not.

Ezekiel 38:
8 After many days you shall be visited. In the after years you shall come into the land turned back from the sword, gathered out of many peoples, 
   on the mountains of Israel which have been for a continual waste. But he has been brought out of the peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them. 
9 And you shall go up, you shall come like a storm; you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you and all your bands, and many peoples with you.

10 So says the Lord Jehovah: And it shall be in that day, words shall come up into your heart, and you shall devise an evil plan. 
11 And you shall say, I will go up to the land of open spaces. I will go to those at ease, who live securely, 
     all of them living with no walls, and there are no bars and gates to them, 
12 in order to spoil a spoil, and to steal a prize, to turn your hand on the inhabited waste places, and on the people gathered out of the nations, 
     who have gotten livestock and goods, who dwell in the center of the earth.

Incidentally, this account is the inspiration for much of the description of Revelation chapter 20, which mentions Gog and describes God's people being surrounded there, too. But notice how the people were living? Securely, relatively speaking! They had no bars or gates, our equivalent of locks and doors. There are no walls around their "city." They are completely undefended and vulnerable. They are not prepared for war in any way. Of course, the Bible speaks here as in many places, in a spiritual sense, indicating that they are undefended, unguarded and certainly represent no threat to anyone in such a state. Their intentions could not possibly be construed as war like or threatening.

But despite this obviously peaceful secure state, at least in spirit, Gog and all his hordes come with him to attack the defenseless and harmless people so as to steal from them and plunder them, even though that the so called "mountains" of this spiritual Israel had been a continual waste, really not offering anything lucrative. But Gog of Magog, being very greedy, will attack, even if just for a few pennies. He would sell his mother for two cents if he could get it.

And so by this we are shown the motives and actions of God's enemies and those of His people. We also have an insight into God's people and how they live, spiritually speaking, in relative security, defending themselves from no one and offering no threat as well as living in modesty. Does this sound like people who go to war? And why would these people be attacked?

They would be attacked for money and because they do not help fight the wars of the countries they live in which makes them unpopular with the world. But not to worry, for few are the ones resisting war in our day. That is why Jesus said that few would be saved. But for those who resist being part of the world, they will be hated by the world, you can be sure. Jesus said that if they hated him they will hate you (us) also.

The Enemy From Within
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Even more odd is how they would be hated by false brothers who claim to be Christian but support, even demand, war and condemn you as a coward or gullible for trusting in the Bible. I hear some who claim to be Christian tell me that the Bible has been changed over the years by a cooperative conspiracy of the elite to get us to go along with their conspiracy. But in doing so, they deny the Bible. Further, they are not able to show even one place in the Bible that was changed. In effect, they have become like those they claim are behind the conspiracy, bringing doubt upon God's word and discouraging people from believing in it.

They want to resist the rulers of a said conspiracy so bad that they are willing to ignore God and the Bible and deny them, in effect, joining those scientists who also try to stop people from putting faith in God's word. How silly and yet tragic.

Thomas Jefferson believed it was every godly man's duty to resist tyranny and tyrants. But to the contrary, the Bible says not to resist the evil doers, particularly if they are civil governmental authorities. We are to submit to them and let God judge them, remember?

There was another event, well, two really, that paralleled our day. They were in the days of Jeremiah when Babylon was threatening to attack and destroy Jerusalem. And in the days of Jesus when Israel wanted to rebel against Rome and break free from her. They expected a Messiah who would lead Israel to independence and glory, not realizing that the kingdom would be a heavenly one which offered the nations no threat until Christ himself should return to make them account for themselves. And then there would be glory in his kingdom as he emerges triumphant and glorified. Jesus was not what Israel wanted so they rejected him.

Phony Christians are doing the same today as they reject their Lord also, preferring the world to him and his glory which they could and would share. But we are going to take a closer look at the days of Jeremiah and Babylon as the things that happened back there are most interesting in what they could mean for us.

Jeremiah & Babylon as Examples
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Before Babylon is even recognized as a threat, God tells Jeremiah to prophecy about them in the following:

Jeremiah 10: 22 Behold, the sound of report! It comes, and a great commotion from the land of the north, to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a den of jackals.

Judah had been ignoring God's rules for years and now God was calling her to justice as we will see from many verses.

Jeremiah 20:
4 For so says Jehovah, Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends. 
   And they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see. And I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, 
   and he shall exile them into Babylon and kill them with the sword. 
5 And I will give all the wealth of this city, and all its produce, and all its precious things, and all the treasures of the kings of Judah, 
   even I will give them into the hand of their enemies who will strip them and take them, and carry them to Babylon.

Jeremiah 21:
1 The word which was to Jeremiah from Jehovah, when king Zedekiah sent Pashur the son of Melchiah, 
   and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest to him, saying, 
2 I beg you, inquire of Jehovah for us. For Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is warring against us. 
   Perhaps Jehovah will deal with us according to all His wonderful works, that he may go up from us.
3 Then Jeremiah said to them, You shall say this to Zedekiah, 
4 So says Jehovah, the God of Israel: Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war in your hand, 
   with which you fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans who besiege you outside the wall. 
   And I will gather them together in the middle of the city. 
5 And I Myself will fight against you with an outstretched arm and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath. 
6 And I will strike the people of this city, both man and beast. They shall die of a great plague.
7 And afterward, says Jehovah, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, 
   and those who remain in this city from the plague, from the sword, and from the famine, 
   into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life. 
   And he shall strike them with the mouth of the sword; he shall not spare them, nor have pity, nor have compassion.
8 And you shall say to this people, So says Jehovah, Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. 
9 He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the plague. But he who goes out and falls to the Chaldeans
   who are besieging you, he shall live, and his life shall be for a prize to him. 
10 For I have set My face against this city for evil, and not for good, says Jehovah. 
     It shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

Isn't it amazing what God gives them for a choice? Remain in the city and die by the sword or go submit and surrender to the Chaldeans and live. Imagine telling a people surrender, let their temple be destroyed, give up their land, be carted off to a foreign land, and live under another kingdom, culture, and people. But that is exactly what God told them to do. Submit to Babylon! Some would say, like hell I will! But if we took that attitude back then, we would die as a result of it.

Really, it is a matter of obedience. If God wants us to be free and have our own nation, that is what will happen. If he wants us t be slaves or live under another people and culture, that is what we will do. If we do not, we are certain to experience God's wrath. Do we want to obey God or not? That is the only question that needs to be resolved. But let us look at some more of what happened in the days of Jeremiah.

Another problem that was abundant in Judah at the time were the false prophets contradicting Jeremiah and telling the people not to submit to Babylon. They did not want to listen to God or care about what He wanted. They only concerned themselves with what they wanted for themselves and their countrymen. So we have to be really willing to look at our motives and ask whether what we believe is something that we want or is it really what God has chosen for us, even though it may not seem like something we would like.

Jeremiah 23:
1 Woe to shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture, says Jehovah. 
2 Because of this, so says Jehovah the God of Israel against the shepherds who shepherd My people: 
   You have scattered My flock, and have driven them away, and have not visited them. Behold, 
   I will visit on you the evil of your doings, says Jehovah. 
3 And I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the lands where I have driven them there, 
   and will bring them again to their fold. And they shall be fruitful and multiply. 
4 And I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them. And they will fear no more, nor be terrified; 
   nor will they be missing anything, says Jehovah.

Jeremiah 23:
11 For both prophet and priest are ungodly; yea, I have found their evil in My house, says Jehovah. 
12 So their way shall be to them as slippery places in the darkness; they shall be driven out and fall by it. 
     For I will bring evil on them, the year of their judgment, says Jehovah. 
13 And I have seen frivolity among the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied by Baal and caused My people Israel to go astray. 
14 I have also seen a horrible thing among the prophets of Jerusalem; they commit adultery and walk in falsehood. 
     And they make the hands of evildoers strong, so that not a man returns from his evil. 
     They are all of them like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah. 
15 So Jehovah of Hosts says this concerning the prophets: Behold, I will feed them wormwood, and make them drink poisonous water, 
     for ungodliness has gone forth from the prophets of Jerusalem into all the land.

16 So says Jehovah of hosts, do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you; they make you vain; 
     they speak a vision of their own heart, not out of the mouth of Jehovah. 
17 They say to those who despise Me, Jehovah has said, You shall have peace. And they say to everyone who walks 
     in the stubbornness of his own heart, Evil shall not come on you. 
18 For who has stood in the counsel of Jehovah, and has seen and heard His word? Who has listened to His word and heard? 
19 Behold, the tempest of Jehovah has gone forth in fury, even a whirling tempest. It will whirl on the head of the wicked. 
20 The anger of Jehovah shall not turn back until He has executed, and until He has set up the purposes of His heart. 
     In latter days you shall understand it perfectly. 
21 I have not sent the prophets, yet they ran; I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 
22 But if they had stood in My counsel and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them 
     from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

23 Am I a God near by, says Jehovah, and not a God from afar? 
24 Or can anyone hide himself in secret places so that I do not see him, says Jehovah? Do I not fill the heavens and the earth, says Jehovah? 
25 I have heard what the prophets said, those who prophesy lies in My name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. 
26 How long is this there in the heart of the prophets, the prophets of lies; yea, the prophets of the deceit of their own heart? 
27 They plot to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell, each one to his neighbor, 
     even as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal. 
28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream. And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. 
     What has the straw to do with the grain, says Jehovah? 
29 Is not My word thus like fire, says Jehovah, and like a hammer which breaks a rock in pieces? 
30 Then, Jehovah says, Behold, I am against the prophets who steal My words, each one from his neighbor. 
31 Jehovah says, Behold, I am against the prophets who use their tongues and say, He says.
32 Jehovah says, Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams, and tell them, and cause My people to go astray by their lies, 
     and by their frivolity. Yet I did not send them nor command them. And they will not profit this people at all, says Jehovah.

Of course, God also had plenty of fault to find with the various leaders and teachers of Judah as well, referring to them as shepherds.

Jeremiah 25:
9 behold! I will send and take all the families of the north, says Jehovah, and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, 
   My servant; and I will bring them against this land, and against its inhabitants, and against all these nations all around. 
   And I will completely destroy them, and make them a horror, and a hissing, and everlasting ruins. 
10 And I will take from them the voice of rejoicing, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, 
     and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the lamp. 
11 And this whole land shall be a waste and a horror; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Jeremiah 25:
34 Howl, O shepherds, and cry, and roll, O leaders of the flock! For the days of your slaughter and of your scatterings are fulfilled, 
     and you shall fall like a desirable vessel. 
35 And refuge has perished from the shepherds, and escape from the leaders of the flock. 
36 The sound of the cry of the shepherds, and the howling from the leaders of the flock will be heard. For Jehovah is spoiling their pasture. 
37 And the peaceful folds are devastated, because of the glow of the anger of Jehovah.

Jeremiah 26:
7 And the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of Jehovah. 
8 And it happened when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that Jehovah had commanded him to speak to all the people, 
   the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, You shall surely die. 
9 Why have you prophesied in the name of Jehovah, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be wasted, without inhabitant? 
   And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of Jehovah.

10 When the rulers of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king's house to the house of Jehovah 
     and sat down in the entrance of the New Gate of Jehovah. 
11 And the priests and the prophets spoke to the rulers, and to all the people, saying, Let a death sentence be for this man, 
     for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears. 
12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the rulers and to all the people, saying, Jehovah sent me to prophesy against this house 
     and against this city all the words that you have heard. 
13 So now make good your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of Jehovah your God, 
     and Jehovah will repent toward the evil that He has spoken against you. 
14 As for me, behold, I am in your hands; do with me as seems good and right to you. 
15 But know for certain that if you put me to death, you shall surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, and on this city, 
     and on its inhabitants. For truly Jehovah has sent me to you, to speak all these words in your ears.

16 Then the rulers, and all the people, said to the priests and to the prophets, There is not a sentence of death for this man, 
     for he has spoken to us in the name of Jehovah our God.

17 Then some of the elders of the land rose up and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying, 
18 Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah, king of Judah. And he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, 
     So says Jehovah of Hosts: Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house like the high places of a forest. 
19 Did Hezekiah, king of Judah and all Judah indeed put him to death? Did he not fear Jehovah and entreat the face of Jehovah? 
     And did not Jehovah repent of the evil which He had spoken against them? So we are doing great evil against our souls. 
20 And there was also a man who prophesied in the name of Jehovah, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath-jearim, 
     who prophesied against this city and against this land according to the words of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 26:24 But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.

*As you can see in this last large account, the priests and so called prophets were eager to kill Jeremiah for saying what he had. They did not care in the least that he had spoken in the name of Jehovah, the God of Judah and Israel. But the rulers showed enough intelligence to know better than to kill a man speaking in the name of God. But clearly the people were not happy with Jeremiah's message for it was not the message they wanted. The rest of the so called prophets were happy to tell the people what they wanted to hear for any prophet doing that could become very popular and well received. As God will make clear in the next account, He can do whatever He wants and He makes it clear what He wants.

Jeremiah 27:
5 I have made the earth, the man, and the animals on the face of the earth, by My great power, and by My outstretched arm; 
   and I have given it to whom it seemed right in My eyes. 
6 And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant. 
   And I have also given him the beast of the field to serve him. 
7 And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the time of his own land comes, and his time. 
   And many nations and great kings shall enslave him. 
8 And it shall be, the nation and kingdom which will not serve him, Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, 
   and that will not put its neck in the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation, says Jehovah,
   with the sword, and with the famine, and with the plague, until I have destroyed them by his hand.

9 As for you, do not listen to your prophets, or to your fortune tellers, or to your dreams, or to your conjurers, or to your sorcerers, 
   those who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon. 
10 For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land, that I should drive you out, and you should perish. 
11 But the nation that will bring its neck into the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, 
     I will leave it on its own land, says Jehovah; and it will till it and live in it.

12 I also spoke to Zedekiah, king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks into the king of Babylon's yoke, 
     and serve him and his people, and live. 
13 Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the plague, 
     as Jehovah has spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 
14 So then do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, 
     You shall not serve the king of Babylon, for they prophesy a lie to you. 
15 For I have not sent them, says Jehovah. Yet they prophesy a lie in My name, so that I might drive you out, 
     and that you might perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you. 
16 Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, So says Jehovah, Do not listen to the words of your prophets 
     who prophesy to you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the house of Jehovah shall now be quickly brought again from Babylon.
     For they prophesy a lie to you. 
17 Do not listen to them. Serve the king of Babylon and live. Why should this city be a waste?

18 But if they are prophets, and if the word of Jehovah is with them, let them now intercede with Jehovah of Hosts 
     that the vessels which are left in the house of Jehovah, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, may not go to Babylon 
19 For so says Jehovah of Hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, 
     and concerning the rest of the vessels which remain in this city, 
20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take when he exiled Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, 
     from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem. 
21 For so says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of Jehovah, 
     and the house of the king of Judah, and Jerusalem: 
22 They shall be brought to Babylon, and they shall be there until the day I visit them, says Jehovah. 
     Then I will bring them up and give them back to this place.

*Hey, how about some more false prophets? What da ya say?

Jeremiah 28:
1 And it happened in that year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, in the fourth year, 
   in the fifth month, Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, of Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of Jehovah, for the eyes of the priests and all the people, saying, 
2 So says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. 
3 Within two years I will again bring into this place all the vessels of the house of Jehovah which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon 
   took away from this place and carried them to Babylon. 
4 And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the exiles of Judah 
   who went into Babylon, says Jehovah. For I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.

5 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people 
   who stood in the house of Jehovah, 
6 even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen! May Jehovah do so; may Jehovah confirm your words which you have prophesied, 
   to bring again the vessels of the house of Jehovah, and all the exiles, from Babylon into this place. 
7 But hear now this word that I speak in your ears and in the ears of all the people: 
8 The prophets who have been before me and before you from antiquity prophesied against many lands 
   and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of plague.

9 As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, 
   the prophet shall be known as one whom Jehovah has truly sent him. 
10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from the prophet Jeremiah's neck and broke it. 
11 And Hananiah spoke for the eyes of the people saying, So says Jehovah, Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar
     king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the time of two years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

12 Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 
13 Go and tell Hananiah, saying, So says Jehovah, You have broken yokes of wood, but you shall make instead of them yokes of iron. 
14 For so says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations to serve 
     Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. And they shall serve him. And I have given him the beasts of the field also. 
15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah, Jehovah has not sent you, 
     but you have made this people trust in a lie. 
16 So Jehovah says this, Behold, I send you away from the face of the earth. You shall die this year, 
     because you have spoken apostasy against Jehovah. 17 And Hananiah died the same year in the seventh month.

*Just as Hananiah died, so will all false prophets who do not adhere to the word of God but preach according to their own hearts. They shall surely die and never live again. Their death shall be a permanent and lasting one. Now pay special attention to the next scriptures.

Jeremiah 29:
7 And seek the peace of the city, there where I have caused you to be exiled. And pray to Jehovah for it; 
   for in its peace you shall have peace.
8 For so says Jehovah of Hosts, the God Israel: Do not let your prophets and your fortune-tellers in your midst deceive you.
   And do not listen to your dreams which you dream. 
9 For they prophesy falsely to you in My name. I have not sent them, says Jehovah.

*God tells the people in exile that it is for their benefit that they seek the peace of the city of Babylon where they are living. Makes sense, doesn't it? Who wants to live in a place of crime, violence, fighting, and anything but peace. God even says to pray for Babylon. How about that! And as always, there were false prophets to be found, even in exile. They never give up, do they? Pay close attention to the next verses, too.

Jeremiah 29:
11 For I know the purposes which I am planning for you, says Jehovah; purposes of peace, and not for evil; to give you a future and a hope. 
12 Then you shall call on Me, and you shall go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 
13 And you shall seek and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 
14 And I will be found by you, says Jehovah. And I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, 
     and from all the places where I have driven you, says Jehovah. 
     And I will bring you again into the place from which I sent you into exile, from there.

*God was letting them know that this was for their own good and that God had plenty of good in store for them in the future. God could see the future and has all power so He is making plans that we might not fully understand or know about. He is asking for our trust in Him that He knows what He is doing and that He is doing it in our best interests. So faith in God is absolutely essential. So when God tells us it is in our best interests to submit to other authorities, we should do so. Lets see some more of what happens when you don't.

Jeremiah 29:
20 And now you hear the word of Jehovah, all you exiles whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon. 
21 So says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, 
     who prophesy a lie to you in My name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall strike them before your eyes. 
22 And a curse shall be taken up from them for all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, 
     May Jehovah make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire, 
23 because they have committed disgraceful folly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbor's wives, 
     and have spoken a lying word in My name, which I have not commanded them. For I am He who knows, and a witness, says Jehovah.

24 You shall also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying, 
25 So says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because you have sent letters in your name to all the people in Jerusalem, 
     and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying, 
26 Jehovah has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, to be officers in the house of Jehovah, over every raving man who prophesies, 
     that you should put him into the stocks and into the torture collar. 
27 And now why have you not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, who prophesies to you? 
28 On account of this he sent to us in Babylon, saying, This exile is long; build houses and live; and plant gardens and eat their fruit. 
29 And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet. 
30 Then the word of Jehovah came to Jeremiah, saying, 
31 Send to all the exiles, saying, So says Jehovah concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: 
     Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I did not send him; and he caused you to trust in a lie; 
32 therefore so says Jehovah, Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his seed. There shall not be to him 
     a man living among this people; nor shall he behold the good which I shall do for My people, says Jehovah, 
     because he has uttered rebellion against Jehovah.

Jeremiah 32:
1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Jehovah in the tenth year of Zedekiah, king of Judah, 
   which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 
2 For then the king of Babylon's army was besieging Jerusalem. And Jeremiah the prophet was shut in the court of the guard, 
   which was in the king of Judah's house. 
3 For Zedekiah, king of Judah, had shut him up, saying, Why do you prophesy and say, So says Jehovah, Behold, 
   I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will take it. 
4 And Zedekiah, king of Judah, shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered 
   into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will speak with him mouth to mouth, and will see his eyes with his eyes. 
5 And he shall lead Zedekiah into Babylon, and there he shall be until I visit him, says Jehovah. 
   Though you fight with the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed.

Jeremiah 32:
24 Behold, the siege mounds have come to the city, to capture it. And the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans who fight against it, 
     because of the sword, and the famine, and the plague. And what You have spoken has happened. And, behold, You see it.

Jeremiah 32:
26 And the word of Jehovah was to Jeremiah, saying, 
27 Behold, I am Jehovah, the God of all flesh. Is anything too difficult for Me? 
28 So Jehovah says this: Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, 
     king of Babylon, and he shall take it. 
29 And the Chaldeans who fight against this city shall enter and set this city on fire, and burn it, with the houses where they 
     offered incense on their roofs to Baal, and poured out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke Me to anger.

Jeremiah 38:
2 So says Jehovah, He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the plague.
   But he who goes forth to the Chaldeans shall live; and his life shall be a prize; and he shall live. 
3 So says Jehovah, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon's army, and he shall capture it. 
4 And the rulers said to the king, Please let this man be put to death. For in this way he weakens the hands of the men of war 
   who remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking these words to them. 
   For this man does not seek the peace of this people, but the evil.

Jeremiah 38:
17 And Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, So says Jehovah, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel: 
     If going out you will go out to the rulers of the king of Babylon, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire. 
     And you and your house shall live. 
18 But if you will not go out to the rulers of the king of Babylon, even this city shall be given into the hands of the Chaldeans, 
     and they will burn it with fire. And you shall not escape out of their hand.

*Jeremiah was essentially seen as a traitor to Judah, the king, Jerusalem, and all its people. Jeremiah was punished more than once for being a traitor. But the king and the people were not seeing things as God saw them. Jeremiah may well have been a traitor to men and their ambitions. He was a real damper to fighting men, not doubt. But he was not traitor to God. On the contrary, he was most faithful and obedient to God. But he was nearly the only one who was so.

The odd thing was that the people of Jerusalem and Judah were supposed to be worshippers of God, yet they ignored all His laws and ignored His prophets, too. They did what seemed right to them but not what was right according to God. So Jeremiah is accused of being a traitor to the cause.

There are plenty of so called Christians who imagine, like Thomas Jefferson, that good men of God should resist evil tyrants. That is what would naturally seem to be the case, for does not God hate Tyrants? Well, God does hate tyrants but if I may remind you of what I wrote earlier, God is the one who is to judge and execute tyrants, not us. We only judge those who are Christians among us, more particularly, within our own congregations.

Obedience to God a Must
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Obedience to God means doing things God's way. If He wants to take care of the tyrants and wants us to stay out of it, then that is what we should do. I should point out and I will, that this is not the only example of God telling His people not to fight. Look at this next account. In it, God wanted Israel to attack a certain people. God promised that He would help them to win. But Israel had no faith in Him, even after all the miracles He had performed for them in leading them out of Egypt. But in refusing to obey Him, they got themselves in trouble. Then they would not listen to Him and were now willing to do what they had not been willing to do before, but now God had changed His mind. No matter what He commanded, they would not do it. They had not learned the most important lesson that any of us can learn. We must obey God at all cost. Let's read that account now.

Numbers 14:
7 And they spoke to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, saying, The land into which we passed, 
   to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 
8 If Jehovah has delighted in us, then He will bring us into this land and will give it to us, a land which is flowing with milk and honey. 
9 Only, do not rebel against Jehovah. And you, do not fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; 
   their defense has turned away from them; and Jehovah is with us; do not be afraid of them.

Numbers 14:
22 for all the men who are seeing My glory, and My miracles which I have done in Egypt and in the wilderness, 
     and have tried Me these ten times, and have not listened to My voice, 
23 they shall not see the land which I have sworn to their fathers. Yea, not one of those scorning Me shall see it.

Numbers 14:
39 And Moses told these words to all the sons of Israel; and the people mourned deeply. 
40 And they rose up early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, Behold, we are here, 
     and we will go up to the place which Jehovah has said, for we have sinned. 
41 And Moses said, Why do you now transgress the mouth of Jehovah, since it will not prosper? 
42 Do not go up, for Jehovah is not in your midst, even that you shall not be defeated by your enemies. 
43 For the Amalekite and the Canaanite are there before you; and you shall fall by the sword because you 
     have turned back from following Jehovah; and Jehovah is not with you.

44 And they presumed to go up to the top of the mountain, but the ark of the covenant of Jehovah and Moses did not leave the middle of the camp.
45 And the Amalekite and the Canaanite living in that mountain came down and struck them, and beat them down, to Hormah.

It did Israel no good to do as they wanted. They failed miserably as God had foretold. But the one lesson they could not learn was to obey God. But we also want to be able to learn from good examples, too.

Examples of Obedience
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Let's consider Naaman, the Syrian, who was under Ben-hadad, the king of Syria. I'll let you read it for yourself. It's a great account.

2 Kings 5:
1 And Naaman the commander of the army of the king of Syria was a great and exalted man before his lord, 
   for Jehovah had given deliverance to Syria by him. And he was a brave warrior, but leprous. 
2 And the Syrians had gone out in bands, and they seized from the land of Israel a little girl. 
   And she was before Naaman's wife. 
3 And she said to her mistress, Oh that my lord were before the prophet who is in Samaria! 
   Then he would recover him from his leprosy. 
4 And one went in and told his lord, saying, This and this she said, the girl who is from the land of Israel.

5 And the king of Syria said, Go, go in, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he went and took in his hand ten talents of silver,
   and six thousand of gold, and ten changes of garments. 
6 And he came to the king of Israel with the letter, saying, And now when this letter comes to you, behold, 
   I have sent to you my servant Naaman. And you shall recover him from his leprosy. 
7 And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his garments and said, Am I God, 
   to kill and to keep alive, that this one is sending to me to recover a man from his leprosy? 
   For consider now, and see for he is coiling himself toward me.

*If I may interrupt briefly. You notice that the king of Syria pulled out lots of dough to have one of his most valuable men healed. Gold, silver and garments were given to pass along to the king of Israel, who I assume the king of Syria thought could persuade the prophet to heal Naaman. But the king of Israel did not discern this and thought that he was supposed to do this himself. But Elisha told the king of Israel to send Naaman to him and he would take care of everything.

2 Kings 5:
8 And it happened, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his garments, he sent to the king, 
   saying, Why have you torn your garments? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.

9   And Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 
10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go, and you shall wash seven times in the Jordan. 
     And your flesh shall return to you, and you shall he clean. 
11 And Naaman was angry, and went on, and said, Behold, I said, He will certainly come out to me and 
     will stand and call on the name of Jehovah his God, and will wave his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 
12 Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? 
     Shall I not wash in them and be clean? And he turned and went on in fury.

*Naaman was kind of disappointed, to say the least. He was expecting or hoping to meet this amazing prophet. He expected Elisha to perform some sort of ritual over him. Elisha did not need to do that, though. The only requirement was that he obey God in whatever way God's prophet commanded in God's behalf. So Naaman was going to go off and ignore Elisha until his men spoke to him next.

2 Kings 5:
13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, My father, if the prophet had spoken a great thing to you 
     would you not do it? How much rather then when he says to you, Wash, and be clean?

*This was the sort of logic that Naaman, not a Jew may I point out, could not argue with. Had Elisha given him some great task or mission as a precondition to being healed, he no doubt would have done it. But the impersonal and simple command he was not ready for. But having given it some thought, he finally decided, ah hell, why not. I need a good bath, anyway.

2 Kings 5:
14 And he went down and dipped in the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of God. 
     And his flesh returned like the flesh of a little boy, and he was clean. 
15 And he went back to the man of God, he and all his company, and came in and stood before him, and said, 
     Behold, now I know that there is not a God in all the earth except in Israel. And now, please take a blessing from your servant. 
16 And he said, As Jehovah lives, before whom I stand, I shall not take. And he pressed on him to take, but he refused.

*Well Naaman returned to Elisha, it was with a whole new attitude. He was amazed and impressed to say the least. And Naaman also become convinced that there no god in all the earth, except in Israel. Naaman was able to see from what was done to him that this God was special and powerful, not like any of the other Gods. And Naaman as blessed by this God, simply for obeying this God. From this, the account goes on to tell us that Naaman became a worshipper of Jehovah, only. Naaman learned what many who lived in Israel could not get into their heads. They must obey God, no matter what He says. I have more examples for you.

In Judges 7, Gideon, with only 300 men with jars and horns, smash the jars and blow the horns in the surrounding hills and their enemy of many thousands panic and begin to kill each other. God give them the victory, not because they were large in number or good in fighting. They did not fight and they went into battle with horns and jars, rather than weapons. There is no doubt about who won that war. It was God. But they were willing to obey God by going into battle with horns and jars, a rather brave thing to do. Needless to say, obedience is everything.

*How about Joshua and the so called battle of Jericho. So called because it was hardly a battle. But it was won why? Because Israel and Joshua obeyed God's instructions as follows:

Joshua 6:
2 And Jehovah said to Joshua, See I have given Jericho and its king, mighty warriors, into your hand. 
3 And you shall go around the city, all the men of battle, going around the city once; so you shall do six days. 
4 And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of ram's horns before the ark. And on the seventh day 
   you shall go around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 
5 And it shall be, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the ram's horn, 
   all the people shall shout with a great shout. And the wall of the city shall fall down flat; and the people shall go up, each man in front of him.

Joshua 6:
20 And the people shouted, and blew with the ram's horns, and it happened, when the people heard the sound of the ram's horn, 
     the people shouted a great shout. And the wall fell under it; and the people went up into the city, each man in front of him; and they captured the city.

And we have numerous other instances of the great acts God performed for so many. All required obedience to God. Some were tested to see if they would obey, such as Naaman. Some also died for not obeying. Abraham was the most outstanding example of obedience, not hesitating, even to offer his son that God had previously promised would be the one to become a great nation of people. Abraham never doubted God for a minute. There was total trust there. How about us? Do we have total trust in God to do whatever He says, no matter how it may not please us or leave us no understanding why He is doing it the way He is?

What if God were to tell us to obey our government and we did not like our government? Would we obey it anyway? What if we were told to pay taxes even though we thought the taxes were excessive, unjust, and spent on wicked things? Would you obey and do it? We shall find out because God does require both of those things.

Relative Obedience to Caesar
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Matthew 22:
17 Then tell us, what do you think? Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? 
18 But knowing their wickedness, Jesus said, Why do you test Me, hypocrites? 
19 Show Me the tribute coin. And they brought a denarius to Him. 
20 And He said to them, Whose image and inscription is this? 
21 They said to Him, Caesar's. Then He said to them, Then give to Caesar the things of Caesar, and to God the things of God. 
22 And hearing, they marveled. And leaving Him, they went away.

Mark 12:17 And answering, Jesus said to them, Render the things of Caesar to Caesar, and the things of God to God. And they marveled at Him.

Luke 20:25 And He said to them, Then render the things of Caesar to Caesar, and the things of God to God.

Matthew 17:
24 And they coming into Capernaum, those receiving the didrachmas [tax collectors wanting money] came to Peter and said, 
     Does your teacher not pay the didrachmas? 
25 He said, Yes. And when he entered into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, What do you think, Simon? 
     From whom do the kings of the earth receive custom or tribute? From their sons or from strangers? 
26 Peter said to Him, From strangers. Jesus said to him, Then truly the sons are free. 
27 But that we may not offend them, going to the sea, throw in a hook and take the first fish coming up. 
     And opening its mouth, you will find a stater. Taking that, give to them for you and Me.

*Jesus made it clear that we honor and pay "Caesar's taxes and tribute." "Caesar" could represent any government that we might live under today. The account in Matthew 17 is interesting. Jesus does make it clear to Peter that given God's authority, the "sons" of God, through whom all nations get their authority could be tax exempt. But on account of all the problems that would create, as if they did not have enough already, it was decided by Jesus and his Father that Jesus and Peter and all servants of God would pay their taxes, even if they were used for unjust naked power and aggression as was the case with Rome. So rather than offend the nations, Christians pay taxes so as to give the governments nothing significant to complain about in regards to their worship. For there is no easier way to irritate a government or kingdom than to tamper with their collection of money. Now that we know all of this, look at the silly and ridiculous lie they accuse Jesus of.

Luke 23:2 And they began to accuse Him, saying, We found this one perverting the nation, and 
                  forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying himself to be a king, Christ.

*To the contrary, Jesus told his disciples to give the tribute to those who demand it and Paul would say the same thing.

Romans 13:
1 Let every soul be subject to higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, 
   but the existing authorities have been ordained by God. 
2 So that the one resisting authority has opposed the ordinance of God, and the ones opposing will receive judgment to themselves. 
3 For the rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the bad. And do you desire not to fear the authority? 
   Do the good, and you will have praise from it; 
4 for it is a servant of God to you for the good. But if you practice evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; 
   for he is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to the one practicing evil.
5 Because of this, it is necessary to be subject, not only on account of wrath, but also on account of conscience. 
6 For on this account you also pay taxes, for they are ministers of God, always giving attention to this very thing.
7 Then give to all their dues: to the one due tax, the tax; to the one due tribute, the tribute; to the one due fear, the fear; 
   to the one due honor, the honor. 
8 Do not continue to owe anything, except to love one another. For the one loving the other has fulfilled the law.

Titus 2:
1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready in every good work, 
2 to speak evil of no one, not quarrelsome, but forbearing, having displayed all meekness to all men.

Paul makes it clear beyond any shadow of a doubt that we must pay taxes. He says it in plain English (Greek, actually, translated into English) in verse 7 of Romans 13. Be owing no one anything but love. We are told to be in subjection to rulers and authorities, which would include police and other government administrators and clerks. Paul tells us how we should view the authorities, that is, he give us the proper spin to put on it. But we do not give total or complete subjection. Remember Jesus said to give God's things to God. There are some things reserved only for God regardless of the consequences. And one of those is the seeking of peace and not killing others. For how can one love their neighbor and brother while sticking a bayonet in his belly or blowing him away with a gun.

An Exception to the Rule?
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(RSV) 1 Corinthians 7:
20 Every one should remain in the state in which he was called. 
21 Were you a slave when called? Never mind. But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity. 
22 For he who was called in the Lord as a slave is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a slave of Christ. 
23 You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men. 
24 So, brethren, in whatever state each was called, there let him remain with God.

*This is a significant precept that is not readily understood at times. John the Baptist encountered a similar problem.

Luke 3:
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, 
   and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 
2 in the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness; 
3 and he went into all the region about the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 3: 
12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?" 
13 And he said to them, "Collect no more than is appointed you." 
14 Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, 
    "Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."

When one considers what both Paul and John say, a picture begins to emerge. Some soldiers in the Roman army came to accept the word of God while in that army. They were permitted to remain in that obligation they had made to the army. But they could not abuse their position as was likely the case with some in the army. But as Paul says, if you can gain your freedom, from slavery, the army, from debt, or anything else, by all means do so. But if not, do not worry about it. Remain in whatever state you were called in.

So we need not feel too bad if we are in the armed forces for 4 years or so. We can serve the four years and be done. Maybe we had planned on making a career of the army. But if that were the case, we might want to rethink it. If we can get free and have served enough time already, then we should probably consider getting out. But if we have just begun, serve the time necessary and then get out when allowed.

What we can not do is accept Christ and the word of God and then decide to join the army. We were already called in a state of freedom. We should remain in that state and become slaves of God, not men. Many think that joining the military is compatible with Christ. That is a lie. People who are free should not voluntarily become slaves of men, ever! And think about it! We are required in the military to obey without question, no matter what the order.

Do we obey men without question? Isn't that only for God? Do we want to place ourselves in a position where we must obey without question? If we are free, surely we do not want to seek slavery! Only god deserves obedience without question. One more good reason not to joint he military if we are Christians.

Now that does bring up the subject of a draft where it is required by law to join the army and serve. I do not believe that we should comply with that law, nor more than we would comply with a law that demands we renounce our God and deny He exists. This is wrong. We are willing when we join before knowing God. Anything that we willingly agree to or accept, we honor. But if we do not consent, we ought not to be forced against our will, either. Killing is just not compatible with worshipping God and loving our neighbor, even loving our enemies for that matter.

The other danger is that in many past wars, people on both sides have often claimed to be Christians. It is certainly not compatible or acceptable to God that we kill other Christians. Absolutely not. In fact, even if we had made a commitment to serve in the army, it would still not be acceptable to kill others who call themselves Christians. Or one might be asked to participate in military action on a place where Christians might live among the population. We would then possibly end up killing Christian brothers. This is just absolutely out of the question.

So if serving as a soldier brought you into a conflict that might require killing Christians peoples, one would have to accept imprisonment or death before doing that. Of course, you might be able to ask for duties not directly related to killing. That might be acceptable in fulfilling our obligations to both God and man. But for those who had no such commitment to begin with, making such a commitment today where in most parts of the world there are Christians, would be insane. Too likely that you will encounter such a circumstance. Christians never kill others who claim to be worshippers of God. Absolutely not allowable. It would be better to accept death yourself and wait on God to resurrect you later. I would rather be killed than to kill a brother in the faith or one who just claimed to be Christian. I could not take that chance.

It should be well understood and appreciated by all who get baptized and promise to serve God that we may very well have to give our lives for what we believe. Those who can't take the heat ought to get out of the kitchen. If one is going to follow Jesus, he or she must be prepared to die, just as Jesus did. That is what it means to be a Christian. Those who fear dying for God are not worthy of God. Make up your mind who it is you serve, what you want, and what you are willing to pay for it.

I have known quite a few who call themselves Christians but are not willing to die or go to prison for their faith and would prefer to resist and fight the government that we all agree will trample on us eventually. But unlike them, I will submit to the authorities and death, if necessary. I will not resist or rebel because Paul tells us to submit to those authorities. There is no need to doubt the Bible. There is no evidence of tampering and it is up to the nay-sayers to prove that there was tampering with the Bible. It is easy to make accusations, but quite another to back it up with evidence. They have never been able to do that.

Neither should we resist paying taxes or cheat on taxes. They may be high and we don't have to like that, but we have to obey and pay it. Do not resist the evil doer. If he slaps the left cheek, turn the right one to him to hit, too. If he forces you into labor camps, submit and do a good job as if doing it for God. Taxes are the highest they have ever been and there is no doubt that our taxes support a lot of dirty rotten corruption and naked aggression against helpless nations. But that still does not free us from obligation to submit to them and pay their taxes that they demand.

Of course, we may avail ourselves to all legal tax deductions and write-offs that are granted. And many of those are things that many are not aware they are entitled to or can arrange to allow. But if they are legal and proper, you may do those. But we can not cheat or withhold taxes. And if we were to do so, we will almost surely obtain the wrath of the government who does not like it when their wallet is pinched by some snotty little guy. They will snuff you out like a candle flame with a good breath of air.

But even though we may be good law abiding citizens who pay their taxes, if we resist their war effort, we will surely experience their wrath and there is nothing we can do about this. We are lovers of peace and must stand up for that. We must be willing to go to jail or even die, if that need be. But war is very important to governments. In our day and age, war is a great profit making venture and enables lots of control over the population, putting them in a state or martial law and uniting a people, creating peace and prosperity for the non-combat workers.

Anyone who refuses that military service could potentially destroy some morale and the thinking could spread and encourage others to refuse service. So governments see war refusal as very threatening, even though I do not agree with them. We do not need to preach against or protest any war effort a country tries to gather support for. But we do need to warn fellow Christians, even if they are only so in name, that they should not have anything to do with war. That should be enough to make us very unpopular for at least in the USA, where Christians make up a sizable part of the population, even at this date. To discourage all Christians from fighting could have potentially detrimental effects on a war.

And then there are all those false prophets among us who encourage Christians to fight for their country and claim it is God's will and speak of just wars. But they are as big a bunch of liars as the first batch of false prophets who prophesied in Jeremiah's day, telling everyone to resist Babylon when God told them all to submit. Surely we don't want to fall for that old trick again, do we?

There are paramilitary groups who imagine they are Christians but they have no idea what they are talking about. And the government will eventually put them all down like they did at Waco. Do not give the government good reason to put you down. Other than joining in their war efforts, be as obedient and submissive to them as the Bible possibly allows and that is quite a bit. Working in labor camps may not be fun or allow much freedom, but doing so is not a crime against God on our part. Of course, the government commits a crime against God in doing so, but that is up to God to punish, not us. We must submit to such treatment.

1 Corinthians 5:12 "It is not my business to pass judgment on those outside. Of those who are inside, you can surely be the judges. 
                                But of those who are outside, God is the judge." [Jerusalem Bible].

Circumstances Today
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Many do not find it at all desirable to submit to such unjust authority but it is God they are rebelling against. Let me explain what is likely God's reasons for having us submit to abusive authorities. It was and is inevitable that men would come to realize how the majority of any population could be controlled and cultivated for the pleasure of a few. These men of power would go to work over time to bring about a world where the majority of a population could be brought under control and kept to a minimum amount of resources whereby the vast majority of resources could be at the service and use of the minority in power.

Nations are being yoked and manipulated to make this utopian dream of the rich come true. Industrialization and war are major components used to bring this about. Anyone who interferes by bothering people's consciences about participating in such various efforts as cogs in the work place, and most especially by avoiding war, will certainly incur the wrath of the leaders and experience persecution at the hands of these leaders. The time will come when all countries all over the world will require people to renounce any religion that interferes with their goals and dreams.

That could be all religion or just certain ones, which will absolutely include true Christianity, a rare commodity indeed, but certainly not extinct, either. So Christians need to be prepared for a coming wrath predicted by John's book, Revelation, as well as by Jesus and his other disciples.

Christians have never known much persecution in the history of the USA. And why should they? They have been willing and happy to join any war effort to come along with only a few small excaptions. Christians killed Christians all over this country in the Civil War. 650 million died in that war. In WWI, We ran over to Europe to kill as many Christians as we could. Germany was principally a nation of Christians, including many Catholics. There were just as many Catholics in France or USA, killing their brethren. Same with protestants of the same faith. How insane can we get?! Same thing in WWII as well. Plenty on both sides were willing to kill those of the same faith of the other country. They put their country above God! Guess what will happen to them? It might not be pretty. And God help the leaders and shepherds who encouraged them to fight and kill. They most surely will die and never see resurrection.

They loved their country more than their brothers in the faith. Their country and its interests and desires meant more than the lives of their brothers and obedience to God. How do you think Jesus is going to react to that? They loved the world more than God. They made themselves enemies of God, without question. They shall surely experience the wrath of God if they do not recognize and accept their sin and ask for forgiveness from God and repent, urging others to do the same.

(RSV) James 4:4 Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? 
                             Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

1 John 2:15 from the same translation: "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him."

1 John 2:17 And the world, with all it craves for, is coming to an end; but anyone who does the will of God remains for ever." [The Jerusalem Bible].

John 18:36 "Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews." [The Jerusalem Bible].

Lets also look at Hebrews 11:10 - "They lived there in tents while he {Abraham} looked forward to a city founded, designed and built by God."
And verses 13-16:
"13 All these died in faith, before receiving any of the things that had been promised, but they saw them in the far distance and welcomed them, recognizing that they were only strangers and nomads on earth. People who use such terms about themselves make it quite plain that they are in search of their real homeland. They can hardly have meant the country they came from, since they had the opportunity to go back to it; but in fact they were longing for a better homeland, their heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, since he has founded the city for them." [The Jerusalem Bible].

1 John 5:19 "the whole world lies in the power of the Evil One." [The Jerusalem Bible].

*Yeah, I quoted all those scriptures before but since many have not got it, I thought they merited being repeated for emphasis, even as a nail is hit more than once to drive it into the wood. Christianity has become soaked in the blood of innocents, mere sheep, who often did not know better and were lied to by false prophets and false shepherds. It could easily be said of her:

Revelation 18:
1 After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority; and the earth was made bright with his splendor.
2 And he called out with a mighty voice, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, 
   a haunt of every foul spirit, a haunt of every foul and hateful bird;
3 for all nations have drunk the wine of her impure passion, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, 
   and the merchants of the earth have grown rich with the wealth of her wantonness."
4 Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;
5 for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.
6 Render to her as she herself has rendered, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed.

Revelation 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth."

Revelation 19:
1 After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying, "Hallelujah! 
   Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2 for his judgments are true and just; he has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication, 
   and he has avenged on her the blood of his servants."

God finds fault with "Babylon" because in her was found the shed blood of all who have been slain on the earth. If God judges her for this deed, will He not also judge the soldiers who willingly shed the blood for "Babylon the Great?" God says to get out of her, stop being her friend and doing her will or you will share in her plagues. So we want to get out of any church or religion that advocates fighting in wars. For they will likely receive a severe judgment from God, even if Revelation 18 and 19 do not apply to them, though I think they do.

Is it little wonder that Christians have received so little persecution or hassle up to this time? After all, they were happy to join the nations in bloodshed. So the nations were happy with them, too. Nations love those who are their own. In fact, Christians are not distinguishable from anyone of the nations. They are united in their service to Caesar instead of God. They are all killers like their father the devil.

But if for one minute, Christians on a mass scale refused military service, then they would be among the most hated of all peoples. Its about time that Christians started doing the right thing. How is it that we can follow Christ and not receive the same hatred and persecution that he received? Answer? We are not following him at all. Jesus said that by this all will know you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves. Love? Hah! We kill each other.

Real Christians would never kill each other. They do have genuine love among themselves and love for their neighbors, too. We need to stand up now and stop being war mongers and whore mongers with the nations and start seeking peace with one another and the world in general. True, we shall surely suffer for that, but isn't it worth it? He who is willing to die for Christ will live again. And the life he will receive will not be like this one with pain, misery, old age, crime, war, poverty, and all the other ills that plague a world divorced from God and His ways.

So we love people in the world, even our enemies. But we do not love their course of life and their sins and eagerness to shed blood for greed and power. We are no part of the world and do not want to be its friend, not referring to people but more towards nations and what they desire. Surely it is no revelation that governments often have interests that are not in harmony with their people and do not serve or help the people but often hurt and misuse them. We obey governments where their requests or commands do not require us to forsake God's law. But when they do, then we obey God, regardless of cost to our own lives and welfare.

In Blunt Practical Terms
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I feel a need for blunt direct honesty here. It seems clear to me that Jesus and all the Bible were and are trying to cultivate a spirit of very mild obedient submissiveness in God's people. This spirit is important if they want to live and be spared the very worst that is to come upon the earth. The Bible predicts very terrible things for the world we live in. There has never been a time like it nor will there ever be again such a horrible time of tribulation.

Many suggest that there is a new world order and a conspiracy to over throw the USA and all sovereign nations and make them all obedient to one common authority over all the earth. And I have not doubt that this is true. I only have one thing to say about that! So what!!! Who cares!!!

Real Christians do not care about this world or what it does. The USA is not their country. Their country is the kingdom of God. They are to obey whatever authority is in power. All authority and power exists by the permission of God. We are not to resist any power or authority that enslaves us or takes us over. Read carefully the words of Jesus again.

Matthew 5:
38 You have heard that it was said: "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;" [Ex. 21:24; Lev. 24:20; Deut. 19:21] 
39 but I say to you, Do not resist the evil; but whoever strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also
40 And to him desiring to sue you, and to take your tunic, allow him also to have the coat. 
41 And whoever shall compel you to go one mile, go two with him
42 He asking you to give, and he wishing to borrow from you, do not turn away.

Matthew 5:
43 You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor" and hate your enemy; [Lev. 19:18]
44 but I say to you, Love your enemies; bless those cursing you, do well to those hating you; and pray for those abusing and persecuting you
45 so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. Because He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, 
     and sends rain on the just and unjust.

Luke 6:
27 But I say to you, those hearing: Love your enemies, do good to those hating you,
28 bless those cursing you and pray for those insulting you. 
29 To those striking you on the cheek, turn the other also
. And from those taking your garment, do not keep back the tunic also. 
30 And to everyone asking you, give. And do not ask back from those taking your things.

Luke 6:
35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be much; 

     and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and evil ones.

I believe Jesus was saying these things with particular reference to secular authorities who might be our persecutors and take things from us or compel us into involuntary servitude. We are not to resist and are to go along with what they do as long as it does not violate any of God's commands. We even pray for our persecutors! We are not supposed to resist evil, particularly referring to governmental authorities.

So as Christians who are politically neutral, we should not care about a new government. God could stop it tomorrow if He wanted. But if He allows it to happen, then it is His will and we should not be resisting it. God will be their judge in the end if He so chooses and He likely will. For our part, we should cooperate with whoever becomes our ruler here on earth.

I want to make it real clear how this is the complete opposite of what so-called Christian patriots will tell you. They urge you to fight and resist. They do not know who their master is and they do not follow Him as they should. They should be preaching peace and submission, not rebellion. These are the same old tired mistakes that Christians have been making for nearly 2000 years.

Even if a new regime should want to send you to concentration camps, go with them and obey them, serve them as they require. It is to God they must answer, not you or your brothers in the faith. We submit and obey whoever the ruling authorities are or regardless of how they got there. Conquerors are to be obeyed just the same, even as Cyrus conquered Babylon and was obeyed by Israel.

So if a new world order comes into being, that is just fine. We should obey and submit, as long as we do not have to disobey God or renouce Him or His son.. It is of no importance to us who rules. I should even point out that there are many troubles in the world today that need some fixing. The new world order might actually fix some of these things temporarily. All the better. And in the end, it is God's decision as to how He wants to deal with mankind and its rulers. We should stay out of the way, remaining absolutely neutral as regards the fickle treacherous world of politics.

It is precisely because we have not remained politically neutral in the past that we actually helped our own demise and the demise of the world, aiding Satan's agenda all the way. But the added danger in the time soon to come is that any Christians who are aligned with the wrong side could end up in the adverse eternal judgment from God and everlasting destruction. You have been warned from the scriptures!

War Is HELL !!!        . . . and fairly evil, too!
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When Jehovah the God of Israel and Moses first made a nation our of Israel, He needed to insure their survival until the arrival of the Messiah, Jesus, should occur so that a proper sacrifice could be made. So God set boundaries and assigned Israel with the responsibility to wipe out the inhabitants up to the assigned boundaries and no further and protect and defend those boundaries. Men 20 and over had to serve in the army if any military actions was needed. This was Israel's solemn obligation and duty to God. But Israel did a poor job under the Judges system and so God changed to a King with a standing army and taxes so that Israel might be preserved long enough for the Messiah to come. As it was, only Judah was preserved for the arrival of the Messiah. Because Judah and the descendants of Israel rejected the Messiah and were responsible for his death, Judah and Israel were cast off and rejected by God and not many years later, in 70 AD, God brought Rome in to take Judah away from the Jews and to destroy the temple which no longer served God and in fact, angered Him.

The wonderful works of the Spirit of God, including prophecy, miracles and the keeping of the new books added to the Bible and the previous Bible books as well and other affairs of the early church well all kept and administered by Overseers of the various churches throughout the world, most particularly the vast Roman empire. Christians no longer had a country to protect, defend, and preserve. Everything had been handed over to the nations. Christians were to live lives of neutrality as aliens and temporary residents. They were loyal and obedient to whatever king and country they lived in, but they did not join in war or meddle in politics as we have discussed already. The burden of war had been taken from them so they could pursue God. But over time, many Christians did not remain loyal to God's word and they began to join in the wars of the nations and even use the nations to kill their own brothers in the faith. This was common from Constantine onward.

Bt what many may not appreciate or realize are some of the other reasons God likely kept us out of wars and conflict. Wars became ever nastier and toward the latter days, wars would become far more common and treacherous. There would be far less morality and decency in conduct among nations and armies. God did not want His people involved in such skullduggery and treachery. Satan was going to take over the whole world and there would be Christians in every nation of the world and God did not want His people killing each other under any circumstance.

War has been escalating both in sophisticated and effective technology and power, but also in ruthlessness and killing in ever larger numbers. The (hardly) Civil War killed 650,000 men. WWI was somewhere near 20 million in all, perhaps a few million less. WWII was up over 40 million, wasn't it? Mao killed 60 million just in China after. One wonders what the next big one will have for a harvest. And atrocities abounded on both sides of WWII. War gets nastier as our weapons increased in power and sophistication. Politics and business, like war, get ever nastier.

The great danger now is that everyone is cheating in sports, business, politics and yes, war. Our enemies are getting ever more ruthless and it is inevitable that we will, too. In order to fight a ruthless enemy, you end up becoming just like he is. You can't avoid it. So bad does it get, that it is really hard to decide if there are any good guys and if maybe both sides are pathetic. In many mob and organized crime syndicates, it hardly matters which side wins. They are both nasty and ruthless and the territories of innocent people suffer no matter who wins.

So it is with wars. They are brutal de-humanizing affairs that strip us of all compassion, humanity and decency. All participants in war become ruthless monsters. The only way to maintain any morality whatsoever is to have nothing to do with war. That was likely God's thinking in establishing His own policy for Christians. It would be better to allow one's self to die innocently than to die by fighting a monstrous war and giving up any sign of being a decent human being. I would rather die as a conscientious objector that to have to fight a war that would quite possibly force me to be a monster by having to defend myself at all cost and all costs will be required from here on in.

Those who follow God must take a strong stand for decency and morality. Torture is hardly becoming of decent moral ethical human beings. Torture is not to be found in the Bible. Execution, yes, but not torture. And making civilians equally responsible for war also forces us to treat them with no compassion. They must go if the objectives of war are to be accomplished, which is to stop the enemy dead in his tracks, at any and all costs. And indeed, a military depends upon supplies and support from their nation, made up of ordinary citizens so that it is necessary to involve the entire nation of people to stop a military and impossible not to do so. So for anyone who does not want to inflict great harm on women and children, then all you can do is stay out of war entirely.

It is at a point where on must take a stand either entirely for war and all its cruel hideous abuse or completely avoid and reject war entirely. Some people will do any thing to live, survive and go on. But then there are those moralists who would rather die than stoop to any and all lows and atrocities to preserve their lives; the old kill or be killed mentality. For me, I would prefer death over being completely void or morals, ethics and decency. So if it must come to that, I accept that. I will die for peace rather than die for victory. There is no victory in making humans into monsters. I see that as the ultimate defeat of goodness and progress, or if you prefer, the defeat of evolution, which has supposedly has been advancing not retreating and degrading.

War Harms Soldiers
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Now In the latter 19th century, war became far more hideous and cruel. Weapons improved so much that any war not became a blood with massive killings as men went up over trenches and into a wall of bullets. It is also quite possible that war was used strategically to substantially reduce populations and wipe out large numbers of good men so that a nation of people would be easier to dominate with the better minds and morals our of the way.

There are a lot of other effects from war. Parents lose sons, wives and children lose husbands and fathers. Siblings lose brothers. Good men who die can not go back home and help their peoples and nations. The bums, losers, and cowards are left behind to run the country.  Economies are depleted. Labor is wasted. The men who do return home are often damaged and scarred psychologically. They often make poor fathers upon their return. They come back, having had to kill fellow human beings. They may have had to kill civilians. They had to act in ways completely contrary to what they would normally do. They have to become hardened or sever their humanity all together. It is very hard putting it back again.

They often come back, taking out their confusion and vague anger on their wives and kids. Families suffer psychologically and kids grow up damaged as a result. Many kids have to go without a father who dies in a war. This often has bad results as well. Some returning vets become trouble makers and criminals, no long able to abide by rule they see as phony lies. Phony wars lead to angry young and old vets. There are so many and affects of war the linger for generations afterward. And with enough wars, you end up with an accumulating effect as well. generation after generation is harmed and further harms the next. Its a real nasty affair, really.

God did not want His people becoming hard, cruel, or damaged psychologically for no good reason at all. So in His great foresight, God told us to stay out of it all. We would have enough to contend with, without adding war to it. And fighting in wars in more recent centuries has really only aided and supported the devil and his cause and God was not about to give the devil any support for his wicked designs.

War makes a man mean and nasty or can. It can destroy our humanity and good frame of mind. There is enough in the world without war to harm us. War adds insult to injury. When a man fights war, he always fights an enemy who will use any means possible to win. There is nothing either side will not do to win. That means soldiers will be asked to violate ever decent convention of war, even though there are said laws against it. No one follows them in a war. This is no atrocity that has not been employed on both sides. It is silly the way the losing sides are punished for war crimes when truth be told, there are lots of atrocities on both sides always.

God does not want us to have to stoop to such horrors and outrageous violations of humanity. Christians are to cultivate the fruits of the spirit, such as love, joy, kindness, tenderness, mercy, compassion, goodwill, patience, and the like. These are incompatible with war and war is incompatible with the fruits of the spirit. So God forbids war to us. Our job is to learn about God's kingdom and tell others about that kingdom. We are also obligated to cultivate the fruits of the spirit, not destroy them for a shameful cause, serving the devil and his diabolical interests.

If we are to remain warm decent kind and relatively sane people, we need to avoid the getting our heads screwed over by treacherous leaders and their military organizations which only destroy minds as well as bodies and goodness and decency throughout the world. We are to remain spotless and without blemish or stain of sin. We are to have nothing to do with anything evil or treacherous, that the devil is behind. We are to be innocent as doves, a holy and clean people to be offered as a spiritual sacrifice to God and His cause, not the devil's. Anyone serving the devil will die with the devil and will not be in the book of life.

Surely, you do not object to God asking you to stay out of all this nastiness, do you? I hope not. Yes, there will likely come a time when it might cost us and cause us harm by refusing military service, but it is the right thing to do and God will reward us for our faithful obedience. If we die refusing, God can bring us back and will. Death will not be permanent as it will for those who insist on fighting. But this is also why we do not engage in revolutions or civil wars, either. We do not fight or resist evil but we turn the other cheek and submit to evil as long as we are not required to slight God and His rules. We would rather die than do that, right?

So you see, it really is a good thing to stay out of all military conflicts. It is not only good, it is required by God that we do so.

Aug 24, 2011 addition:

The following is a quote from Adolf Hitler in 1933:

My program for educating the youth is hard. Weakness must be hammered away in my castles of the Teutonic order, a Youth will grow up before which the world will tremble. I want a brutal, domineering, fearless, cruel youth. Youth must be all that. It must bear pain.

There must be nothing  .  .  .  gentle about it. The free, splendid beast of prey must once again flash from its eyes  .  .  .  That is how I will eradicate thousands of years of human domestication. That is how I will create the new order.
End quote

The Bible says that what a man sows, he shall also reap/harvest. If one sows pain, cruelty, brutality, and makes people domineering, heartless, and cruel, then you surely will not have a nation much longer. It will dissolve from within. They will turn on each other. These are the fruits of the flesh. We cultivate the fruits of the spirit which are meekness, mildness, kindness, compassion, mercy, tenderness, peace, and the like. The purpose of war is to dominate. Domination is intolerance. Put another way, be careful of what you ask for, for you might get it.

We can not conquer evil with greater evil. It will destroy both sides. This is what the mad men and war mongers can not grasp. Christians can not be good Christians with Christ like qualities and be brutal conquerors as well. You can not serve 2 masters. One will be slighted. We serve Christ and must cultivate the fruits of the spirit. We must beat our swords into plowshares and spears into pruning forks and not learn war anymore. We must become sheep, not wolves. We must avoid the spirit of this world.

Also, do not get fooled about Hitler giving this message. At least he admitted it openly. The USA and all nations with armies do the same as Hitler. There are no saints among nations and armies. The USA welcomes lots of gang members into the military. Gang members are already hardened and cruel, taught by the streets. They are happy to use torture and cruelty to enemies and civilians alike. Most of our youth have been conditioned to be selfish and heartless, with out compassion or remorse. 2 Timothy 3 spells it all out for you. Stay away from war!

An Interesting Song
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By Donovan � from his "Catch the Wind" album/CD  -  Universal Solider

He's five foot-two, and he's six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He's all of thirty-one, and he's only seventeen,
Been a soldier for a thousand years.

He'a a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And he knows he shouldn't kill,
And he knows he always will,
Kill you for me my friend and me for you.

And he's fighting for Canada,
He's fighting for France,
He's fighting for the USA,
And he's fighting for the Russians,
And he's fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we'll put an end to war this way.


And he's fighting for Democracy,
He's fighting for the Reds,
He says it's for the peace of all.
He's the one who must decide,
Who's to live and who's to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.

But without him,
How would Hitler have condemned him at
Dachau ?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He's the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can't go on.

He's the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can't you see,
This is not the way we put the end to war.

Hint, hint! Wink, wink! Nod, nod! Say no more? Know what I mean?

Here is Glen Campbell's version of Universal Soldier, which came out about the same time as Donovan's. Both had a good showing in the charts.
I love Glen's 12 string electric guitar. What a great time it was!

But it was Buffie Sainte-Marie, a Native American, who wrote this song:

How bout this one!
And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda (Eric Bogle) Inc Lyrics & About

"The pioneers of a warless world are the youth that refuse military service." - Albert Einstein

An Interesting Holiday
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     Originally, Mother's Day was a populist anti-war statement inspired by Julia Ward Howe's "Mother's Day Proclamation." In 1870, Howe declared on behalf of all women, "We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies, our husbands will not come to us, reeking of carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience."

From the American Free Press, May 24, 2010

Odd that some women had become so fed up with war at that time, 1870. Could it be that the Civil War which slaughtered 650,000 men in vain from 1861-1865 had gotten to them and was fresh in their mind? I think it likely. Good for them! I would like to know why there are not more of these women around now. In fact, now many women can't wait to go off to war themselves. My, how times change.

Sort of like Viet Nam, where too many of the young being asked to die could not understand what they were doing over there anyway. We are we fighting and dying? Wars have suspicious unclear or questionable agenda and Christians are too stupid to see where the many wars are taking the world, to global domination by one united force at the expense of  blood, of course. And why world control. The Bible does not indicate that it is good. In fact, it is from the devil, the dragon, and the beast, and the false prophet. Choose your allies carefully. For God does not allow compromise. He who lives by the sword will also die by it. Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share in her sins and her plagues, for her sins have piled clear up to heaven and in her is the blood of all those slain in the world. You want to be a part of that? Your choice!

Jan 24 015

New update! This came from, Donovan, Universal Soldier as referenced in the previous section.

Beneath it are comments from visitors to the song/video. Note this one:
toby blake

" 'without him all this killing can't go on' - by 1971-72 the greater majority of us fighting troops in Vietnam, flat out refused direct orders to go into battle; this consciousness spread like wild fire, forcing Nixon to abandon the ground troop strategy, by beginning to bring home the troops. The reality of the situation is he had to go to an air war because his ground troops flat out refused to fight it out anymore. This was an unprecedented event in American history, the troops refusing to fight from unit to unit.

Whole company units refused to move, and since the military stockades were over filled to capacity, the companies were held for arrest within their own company perimeter. Some now say it was this refusal to fight that had spread all over Vietnam, is what shut down the war; the troops, not Nixon. Read 'Soldiers in Revolt,' by David Cortright; it'll blow your mind. As weapons of the war, they chose not to be, and without them all this killing can't go on.' " end quote<<

So now I guts ta ask, have any of you ever heard about this? This was my first  hearing of this. Its been kept quiet from 1972 until this post, 2015, except for this man's word of mouth, greatly appreciated by me. 43 years of silence by mainstream media and publications. These soldiers refusing orders were heros. They could not be sure their comrades would go along with them but evidently the feeling was so strong among troops that no one could resist joining in refusing to fight in many units.

This must have been an extreme shock to the Military Brass and Washington. Had they killed off or imprisoned the majority of their army, the citizens of the USA would nave have stood for it. There was enough decency left in the world that this was able to take place.

However, the leaders were smart enough to know that the time was not right for a put-down. So they carried on a air war with bombs and settled for a peace settlement a year later in 1973. But they had not accepted defeat by the troops. The leaders simply decided to do some further shaping and molding of the people of the USA so that never again could such a movement take place.

First, they got rid of most of our jobs over time so that there would be no option except the military, even as Rome had done in her time, whereby slaves did al labor and Roman citizens had to join the Roman army for 25 years, or something like that. If they lived that long, they were given land grants in the nations they served in as a "police force" legion.

Second, they get the entertainment and media industry to paint rotten hateful disrespecting mages of hippies, the core of resistance in the USA. The Punk movement was likely a CIA or similar creation, as I see it now in hindsight. They went in for short hair and hated hippies. TV shows like the British one featuring "The Young Ones," broadcast on PBS and later other stations, too. Neil was the clueless lentil loving hippie, always getting picked on.

All across the music industry, within 2 or 3 years, like maybe 1980-2, Every music star got their hair cut fairly short. Some memorable (for their hair) artists like Roger Daltrey, ELO, and the last hold with the longest frizziest hair, Fleetwood Mac, all got their hair cut. I don't think a soul was left who had not ditch the long locks. I do not believe that such a revolution could have taken place without some bribes, payoffs or threats being issued along with it.

Third, they made every soldier and former soldier a hero to be honored. Lots of PR went out to portray vets and soldiers as the most noble and heroic, so that never again would contempt for soldiers and fighting ever see the light of day, as they did in the last years of Vietnam.

Now the caste has been set and hardened. A solider could never be looked down upon ever again. But yours truly is going to break the mold.

Let me state clearly here! The devil is the ruler of this world, as I quoted earlier in this article from the Bible. The USA has become the obvious prime agent of conquering and enforcement of the NWO, of which Satan the devil is the preceding ruler and "god." Therefore, any person willingly choosing to serve the USA military is willingly joining the devil and serving him, and thereby constituting themselves as enemies of God, the Father, Jehovah, and His chosen son and agent, Jesus, the Messiah/Christ in charge of God's affairs now.

So those who join the USA military or its allies as well, are in fact, though they may not be aware of it and likely are not, devil worshippers.

I know they imagine they are going this for their benefit and that of every citizen of the USA, if not the world, but in truth, they are killing and destroying us all but destroying any power or freedom we have left. They have become the enemies of freedom and decency. They now become torturers and war criminals in many cases. They can not see that their "master" here in the USA are totally corrupt and evil. Friendship with the world is enmity with God. Make not mistake about that! Soldiers are not heros but zeros.

Hence the song, "Universal Soldier", "He really is to blame." They are the problem of all problems in our world. As John Lennon said and died for: Choose Peace!

Final Words
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While it can be said that people being willing to fight wars are a/the problem, we should never forget that most who join the military are hoping they will never have to fight. They join because the leaders and shepherds of that nations and the world have deliberately made job opportunities few so that many are forced to join the military in order to have a job and live and survive. They are just trying to make a living and surely we can appreciate that. Further, they do not know God as we do and have the understanding that is in this article. So it is rather silly to judge or find fault with those who do not know better.

They serve for their fellow citizens and they mean well, no matter how misguided. We should not be finding fault with them. They have been cleverly forced into their circumstance by those above them. They have been lied to, having had the military promoted to them as full of honor, when the truth is, they may well have to part with that honor should they have to fight. Nor do they realize or appreciate that most of their leaders are without honor in their own dealings. We should be grateful for the good intentions of soldiers and extend respect to them for their incredible sacrifice given in what amounts to our behalf sometimes, even if it might also be a slight in some ways. They are not aware of any slight. They do not know the sinister intentions of their leaders. So don't pick on soldiers like they did during the Viet Nam War. That was cruel and unfair. AS those who practice mercy and compassion, these are the only things we owe to soldiers. The hippies were not very understanding of their fellow human beings and we don't want to be lacking in understanding and compassion.

I find that some of the more decent and respectable people are often found to be in the military. They are motivated by goodwill and trust in their nation and often have many values. We might consider them a bit naive but they do not see it that way. We know and believe in peace. We want people to respect our choices. So lets respect theirs, too. We have been blessed with insight from God. Lets be grateful that we do not walk in blindness as others do. We have received a gift, not to be held over people's heads or rubbed in their faces.

I believe that Christians should be willing to give up their guns if they are required to do so by the governments and I am sure they will with time. I do not say it is right or that their intentions are good, but we must submit, if it does not violate God's law and I do not recall reading, thou shall not be without guns. According to Ezekiel, we would be undefended and no threat to anyone. That is what God wants. That gives the attackers less excuse to do what they are going to do.

In every way, there should be no resistance, subversion, or sabotage of the government. We will submit because that is what God wants. He does not want to give the authorities any excuse to attack. That makes their attack all the more unwarranted and inexcusable. God wants us to be completely innocent in every way. And God, not us, shall surely avenge us and rescue us at the end. Some of us may be martyred leading up to that point, but most will live to be rescued and those who died will be resurrected. Death will be very short and temporary at that point.

We want to be good obedient subjects of all nations as long as we tend to God's things. God will take care of everything else in time. It will require faith, obedience, and trust on our part, towards God. It will be well worth it when we finally receive our reward for faithfulness. So pay your taxes, submit to Caesar, and wait for God while spreading His word and message everywhere and to everyone so that more may stand with us and receive a reward from God.

Consider this also, in regards to voting and political participation. Being a significant voting block, Christians have often had a big influence on elections. That is unfortunate. The will of the nations is in conflict with God's will and Christians are not, as a whole, welcomed or desired in running the country. There are attempts to rid the USA of morals. Christ is in their way as are his followers. Early Christians settlers left England to settle in the USA so they could be left to worship God in freedom as they chose. When opportunity came to run the country, they did not elect to do so. They only asked that they be left along in freedom, without any state run church interfering with them. They well knew the dangers of mixing the state with religion. They wanted no part of it. Christians to day are not as enlightened and wise.

Today, Christians try to take the country over and run it their way. They do not sense that the tide is turning against them and Christ. Morality is out. They have become meddlers in political affairs. Politics is a nasty wicked game that good people should avoid. Socrates of ancient Greece said this and it aptly applies to Christians today as well. Christians should not be meddlers. As immigrants of non-Christian origins continue to grow and others reject the Christianity of their parents, they grow less pleased with those who want to shove their religious views down others throats and who can blame them. Even some Christians resent what other Christians want.

Christians have, from their first settlings here in America, sought to meddle and control. They seem to think it was their country and clever manipulators led them to think that and continue to let them think that, so that these meddling so-called Christians might be used for war and other manipulations. Today, we might run things, tomorrow we might fall out of power and out of favor. We can best ask for freedom of religion and to be left alone if we have left others alone when we were in power. Better if we had never been in power. Then our request to be left alone would be well justified. The Amish have been a great example of this. They stayed totally out of politics and deserve to be left alone. All Christians who want freedom and to be left alone should stay out of political affairs.

But those who have been meddlers will be punished for their meddling. God Himself will help punish them. They have meddled and been bed fellows with a wicked bunch. They placed their country above God and acted like complete whores, acting unfaithfully against God. Do not go along with them.

It is my opinion that the more neutral we remain, the better off we are. I have never voted. No one can accuse me of meddling or interfering.  I left the voting populace completely alone to do as they pleased. I ask that they to do the same for me in my way of living and worship. Let me retain as much freedom of choice as possible. I know they will not but at least I have the right to ask as I have not got in their way at all at any time. If they will not leave me alone, then it is God they will answer to with time. So I say that it makes good common sense not to vote or in any way interfere with how the world runs things. This way you have the best chance of being left alone and you give God the best reason to retaliate if they do not. That is why He wants us to stay out of worldly affairs.

You do, of course, have a right to voice and express you opinions, thoughts and ideas, which is only proper and humane as well as lawful. If people want to listen, fine. If they do not, that is fine, too. If they do not head warnings, then they will have no one to blame but themselves.

Staying out of politics will not prevent attacks on neutral Christians in the end, but it takes all excuses away from them for doing so. That is what is important to God. He wants it to be obvious that what they are doing to do is completely unjustified and totally unreasonable and worthy of His judgment. Do you want to help Him? Then Obey and remain neutral in whatever country you are in, just as ambassadors do when they live in another country as a representative of their own country. We are representatives of a heavenly spiritual country belonging to God, God's Kingdom. We represent that country and live as ambassadors and aliens in this country or any country.

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