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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

the light of Bible prophecy

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Messiah and world peace

T

Present day efforts to create peace in the Middle East and in the world

generally are unlikely to be successful. The conclusion we have come to is a

pessimistic one in the immediate future - that the present world system will

not succeed in bringing about peace, but rather the opposite. Does that mean

we are against peace? Not at all. If there was a genuine peace on offer we

would be for it 100%. We just do not think that peace will be attained by

making agreements with terrorists and dictators who agree to a temporary

cease fire while they gain what they can by diplomacy but still reserve the

right to use force when it suits them.

 

All of this ties up with the end time words of the Bible about a false peace

as described in Isaiah 28.14-22 when leaders who reject God's wisdom make a

'covenant with death' in order to save themselves from 'the overflowing

scourge', but find out that they have made 'lies our refuge' as the covenant

is broken and the thing they feared comes upon them. It also relates to the

7 year peace treaty which Daniel 9.27 speaks of in which the man of sin or

the Antichrist makes a treaty through lying offers of peace (see also Daniel

9.24,27).

 

In both of these prophecies there are those who do not enter into this false

peace covenant, and do not act rashly, but according to Isaiah 28.16, they

put their trust in God who says, 'Behold I lay in Zion a stone for a

foundation, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation.' This

is a reference to Psalm 118.22, a Messianic Psalm which says, 'The stone

which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone. This was the

Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.' This verse is referred to

Messiah Jesus in all the Gospels, in the Acts and in 1 Peter.

 

There is a story relating to this verse that as the builders were putting

the great hewn stones of Solomon's Temple in place, they came across a stone

which was an odd shape and did not fit anywhere. So they rejected it and put

it on the rubbish heap. As they came to the end of their building they found

that there was an odd shaped space at the head of the corner. One of the

builders who had been there at the beginning of the work remembered the odd

shaped stone and they looked on the rubbish heap and found it. It was a

perfect fit for the odd shaped space they had left at the head of the

corner.

 

This story has an amazing message in relation to the Messianic claim of

Jesus. When He came the first time, for many Jewish people He did not fit

the idea of Messiah and He was put on the rubbish heap spiritually and

rejected. At the end of days as the final conflict rages around Jerusalem

the remnant of Jewish people they will look upon 'him whom they have pierced

and mourn for him as for an only Son.' Zechariah 12.10. They will understand

that He is the only one who can fit the empty space in their lives and

fulfil their hopes of the Messiah. Then He will return and take up His place

of honour and deliver Israel from destruction and create world peace.

 

One of the major reasons why Jesus does not fit as the Messiah is the view

taught by the Rabbis that when the Messiah comes He will bring world peace.

In almost all attempts to refute the claim that Jesus is the Messiah that I

have read one major argument is that He did not create world peace as

described in Isaiah 2.1-4 therefore He cannot be the Messiah.

 

It is interesting that in His teaching at no point did Jesus promise world

peace in this present age. In fact He told His disciples that they would

have tribulation and be put to death by hostile forces (Matthew 10.16-26,

24.9-10, John 16.33) and that they should not seek to avenge themselves, but

should love their enemies (Matthew 5.43-45). When Peter tried to prevent

Jesus' arrest by force, Jesus said 'Put your sword in its place, for all who

take the sword will perish by the sword.' There has been an attempt by

Liberal Jewish and Christian scholars to rewrite the Gospel story making out

Jesus to be a revolutionary against the Roman occupation. This was the

subject of a TV documentary, 'The Real Jesus'. I have written an answer to

the distortion of the truth that this programme portrayed which is available

on request.

 

On the subject of war, Jesus said specifically that the present age would be

characterised by 'wars and rumours of wars' and that in the period

immediately preceding His second coming 'Nation will rise against nation and

kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences and

earthquakes in various places (Matthew 24.7).' This would lead to a time of

'great tribulation' which would lead to the end of all life on earth if God

did not intervene (Matthew 24.21-22).

 

The reason why wars would continue in this age is the sin in human hearts:

'Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your

desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You

murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war.' (James 4.1-2). The

evil that causes wars comes from within human beings (Matthew 15.18-19) and

it is only through repentance and faith in Jesus' sacrifice for our sins

that we can be delivered from this evil human nature. Only a minority choose

to follow this way in truth (Matthew 7.13-14) and so war and violence will

be with us until the Day of Judgement. In fact they will increase the nearer

we get to that day.

 

There is a Messianic prophecy which tells us that the coming of the Messiah

will be followed by a time of war. In Daniel 9.26 we read, 'Messiah shall be

cut off (die a violent death) but not for himself (not for his own sins);

and the people (the Romans) of the prince who is to come (the Antichrist who

will come out of the revived Roman Empire) shall destroy the city and the

sanctuary (the destruction of Jerusalem and the second Temple in 70 AD). The

end of it shall be with a flood (an invasion) and till the end of the war

desolations are determined (wars and desolations will follow this first

coming of the Messiah).' (My comments in brackets).

 

Although modern Rabbinic writings almost always see a single coming of the

Messiah or a single Messiah, bringing world peace after he has regathered

Israel and rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem, there is an older Jewish

tradition of two Messiahs, one a suffering servant Messiah called 'Moshiach

ben Joseph' (Messiah son of Joseph - i.e. Joseph in Genesis) and the other a

reigning king Messiah called 'Moshiach ben David' (son of David). The first

Messiah comes to be rejected and killed in the Wars of Gog and Magog. Then

the second Messiah resurrects him and brings in the Messianic age of peace

and justice prophesied by Isaiah and other Hebrew prophets.

 

The alternative (and more convincing) explanation of the apparent conflict

between the two portraits of the Messiah is that they both speak of the same

Messiah coming on two different occasions. The first time Jesus came He

fulfilled Isaiah 53, the Suffering Servant Messiah, bringing peace and

eternal life to the individual who believes in Him: 'He was wounded for our

transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our

peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have

gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way and the Lord has laid

on him the iniquity of us all.' (Isaiah 53.5-6). In the time in which we are

living (between his first and second coming) He offers individual peace, but

not international peace.

 

When He comes the second time, He will judge the nations according to how

they have responded to His offer of salvation. After separating those who

are saved from those who reject Him, He will then fulfil the prophecies of

the reigning king and bring world peace: 'For out of Zion shall go forth the

Law and the world of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the

nations, and shall rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into

ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up

sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.' (Isaiah

2.1-4).

 

If you want to be ready for that day now is the time to get right with God.

Pray the following prayer and contact us for further information on living

the new life in the Messiah Jesus:

 

'Dear God, I admit that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness. I believe

that Jesus the Messiah died in my place paying the penalty for my sins. I am

willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus the Messiah as my

personal Saviour and Lord. I commit my life to you and ask you to send the

Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and to take control and to help me

become the kind of person you want me to be. Thank you Father for loving me.

 

In Jesus' name, Amen.

T