Jesus And War

Article cH 2006

Jesus and War

Article cH


Nate a newer article written the first part of 2021 is given at

It does give more grace as for police and soldiers is some settings to be in the perfect will of God.

In old times God ordained that His people the Jews would largely exist as a political nation and would govern their own land etc. God ordained that His people should destroy and punish the wicked nations about them. Thus the Jews fought many wars against wicked nations around them. War was very much in God's plan for His old era people. Jer 48:10 reads, "...cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood." cH-1

Although the Jews in old times did have a King over them like the nations around them, yet one should here be aware that God really did not desire them to have a King as such but yielded to their request (1 Sam 8:5-8, 1 Sam 10:19, 12:18-19). Hosea 13:11 speaking of this reads "I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath." God wanted the center of the Jewish nation to be God and His religious plan, involving the Tabernacle and the many religious feasts and gatherings, and did not want the center of the Jewish nation to be the King and his political structure. cH-2

When the Messiah came He was not interested in reestablishing a form of political government that God never wanted His people to have to begin with. When Jesus came His emphasis was on the integrity of people's hearts and establishing the Kingdom fortold by the prophets which was to encompass the Gentiles. Many old era prophesies spoke about a future time when God's Kingdom would be enlarged and include the Gentiles (Isa 11:10, Isa 42:1&6, Isa 54:3, Isa 60:3, Zec 9:9-10, Deu 32:21, Isaiah 2:2-4, Micah 4:1-3). Jesus shortly before His ascension in His departing words told His disciples to go and teach all nations and go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature (Matt 28:19-20, Mark 16:15). Jesus clearly intended His Kingdom to spread throughout the whole world. cH-3

Jesus' disciples in going into all the world and preaching the Gospel, did not intend that all Christ's followers should then gather together into one locality and consist of one particular nation as did the prior Jewish nation. Nor did Christ intend that His followers around the world should exist as many independent nations scattered around the world. Jesus rather ordained that His followers around the world were to live as peaceably as possible within the various nations of this world. Jesus Himself taught His followers to pay taxes to the government saying we should render to political government what is due them and to render to God what is due God (Matt 22:21, Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25). The Apostles also clearly instructed Christians to pay taxes, to submit themselves to the laws of the land, and to live as peaceably among the nations as possible. Jesus and the Apostles rather than establishing a religion that would function as a political government(s), ordained that the church should operate separate from the state (political government). Many Christians in our time are very agreed with the principle of a separation between church and state. cH-4

Now as Christ's followers simply live among the nations of this world rather than existing as a nation or nations, a vital question arises which is, how should Christ's followers relate to the wars that are fought among the nations wherein they dwell? How should Christ's followers rightly render to the government their appropriate dues and to God His appropriate dues with regards to participating in war? cH-5

It would seem very unreasonable that God would annul His old plan of having His people exist as a special Godly nation, and then ordain a new plan wherein Christians now should kill the enemies of whatever nation they happen to be dwelling in. In old times when God's people were to engage in war they had full control in the war and were only to war against the wicked. Yet if Christians now fight against the enemies of whatever nation they happen to dwell in, Christians could end up fighting against each other and killing their brethren in Christ. Such would almost be absurd. cH-6

Moses was responsible for organizing the Jews as a special nation, as they departed from Egypt. Moses introduced many new laws and traditions as he organized the Jewish government. One should we aware that the Messiah was particularly fortold to be like to Moses (Deu 18:15&18). Various prophesies clearly spoke of a particular change to come in due time, and it should not be surprising if the Messiah (new Moses) would have had a vital part in bringing about those changes. Although Moses was a man of war, old era prophesies speak of the Messiah (new Moses) being a man of peace. Following are two such prophesies; cH-7

(Zec 9:9-11) "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. {10} And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. {11} As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water." cH-8

(Isa 42:1-4) "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. {2} He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. {3} A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. {4} He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law." cH-9

Note how the above prophesies clearly prophesy of a peaceful Messiah and clearly speak of His Kingdom expanding to include the Gentiles around the world. Now in considering the subject of Jesus and war we obviously should consider what Jesus Himself taught about war. Following are several teachings of Christ on this subject; cH-10

(Mat 10:16) "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." cH-11

(Mat 10:23) "But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another...". cH-12

(Mat 26:52) "Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." cH-13

"...My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." (John 18:36). cH-14

(Mat 5:43-44) Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. {44} But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" cH-15

In considering all Scriptures and issues it is quite obvious that Jesus intended to establish a people who would be a world neutral and peaceable people, and who would live among the nations, rather than violently defending any particular nation. Some of the Jews in recognizing Jesus peaceable and non resistant position and being opposed to it said, "If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation." (John 11:48). cH-16

Jesus taught His followers that they were not of this world and warned them that they would be hated of the world because of not being of the world as were others (John 15:19, 17:14-16). One should here consider that too often people are hated by the world for basically no reason at all, and to be hated of the world for Jesus sake is a worthwhile reason to be hated. One should also consider that God can very much protect his own more than those who try to protect themselves. cH-17

Christians because of love for their fellowmen are to be willing to risk and give their lives for the sake of others, yet in ways other than participating in war and violence. Christians by no means should refrain from engaging in war simply because it is a dangerous ugly, and dreadful job. Nevertheless it should be considered that Jesus in teaching the world neutral and non resistant principle, did remove a very ugly responsibly from His followers. The non resistant teaching in this way does not seem as difficult. Although the Christian might be killed by persecution or abuse, the warrior might be killed in battle. cH-18

Genesis 49:10 reads, "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." (Gen 49:10) God ordained and allowed that a particular scepter (political and national characteristic) would unceasingly continue with His people, until the Messiah came, and then all people should follow Him and be united in Him. Note how the above verse could be understood to mean that God planned that civil or political leaders would continue to spring forth from the tribe of Juda until the Messiah came, but then discontinue after He came and established God's new covenant including His new peaceful order. The possibility of this verse meaning such should not go unnoticed. cH-19

In further considering the subject of Jesus and war the Apostles teachings about this subject should also be considered. Following are several such Scriptures; cH-20

(Rom 12:14) "Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not." cH-21

(1 Cor 4:12-13) "And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: {13} Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day." cH-22

(2 Cor 10:3-4) "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: {4} (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)" cH-23

(1 Pet 2:19-23) "For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. {20} For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. {21} For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: {22} Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: {23} Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:" cH-24

It also should be noted that Revelations 13:10 reads, "He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." cH-25

Although it might be quite easy to prove or conclude that Christ's new era Kingdom is to be a particular world neutral and non resistant kingdom, yet to abide by these non resistant principles is the challenge! Likely one reason Jesus was rejected by the Jews was this very issue. One should remember how some in Christ's times said, "If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation." (John 11:48). cH-26

Possibly many Christians today feel they are better than those Jews who do not believe in Jesus, and who are yet waiting for their Messiah. Yet possibly many such Christians are not a non resistant or world neutral people (and rather than being the chased and killed are the chasers and killers), and if Jesus were here and taught them what He taught the Jews, such Christians might also reject Jesus and His teachings just like many Jews did, whom they despise for doing it! May we be careful, in how we judge or reject others. cH-27

It very much might seem difficult to lay aside the security of defending one's self with violence. Yet one should also consider that the use of violence by no means guarantees safety, and consider that just because one does not use violence in defending himself, in no way means he has no protection. God is obviously our greatest protector. Non resistant Christians because of loving and doing good to all men have gained a particular favor of those who many considered to be enemies and thus were not destroyed by the enemy, while those who were defending themselves against the enemy were destroyed by him. The Indians realizing the non resistant Christian would not take advantage of them or threaten their lives, at times saved their lives while they killed other white men. Different times the kindness of the Christian has conquered the enemy more effectually than the sword of the warrior. In the Old Testament era when God's people defended themselves with the sword, God often times also miraculously defended them. Psalms 127:1 reads "...except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.". God's protection and keeping is a much greater safety than the violent weapons of man. As God often miraculously protected His people in the era of time when they used the sword, so much the more He might miraculously protect His people in the era of time when He says to no longer use the sword. Yet it is clear the Christian often has died at the hand of the enemy, like a helpless sheep among wolves. Yet the Christian although dying as such, often has died with courage and joy, because of being filled with a living faith which clearly sees the wondrous reward in the next world. cH-28

It has impressed the writer to think that all those persecutors and violent ones who in ages past killed the Christians, now together with those they killed are in the grave. Those in ages past who killed the Christians might have lived 40 years longer than the Christians they killed, yet they too now have been dead for many years. Especially in God's sight (who sees a thousand years as one day), and even in our sight, those individuals who killed the Christians did not live that much longer than the ones they killed. Would you rather stand before God as the innocently killed or the chaser and killer? cH-29

Although it is clear that God in the old era ordained that His people should destroy their enemies, yet God even in that era in one respect did not like the shedding of blood, as God did not want King David to build a new Temple, because David had been a man of war and had shed much blood (1 Chron 22:10-11, & 28:3). One should note how God wanted a particular separation between His Temple (dwelling place) and him who had shed blood. Considering all Scriptures it is quite clear that God, who did not want David to build Him a new dwelling place (a new Temple) because he had shed much blood, now neither desires His people in whom His Spirit dwells and who themselves are a special dwelling (Temple) of God, to shed man's blood. Note numerous New Testament Scriptures speak of the Christian being the Temple of God and of God's Spirit dwelling within the Christian (John 14:17, Rom 8:9&11, 1 Cor 3:16-17& 6:19, 2 Cor 6:16 and Eph 2:20). cH-30

Following are seven aspects which firstly reveal that the non resistant Christian is quite justified and reasonable even though he cannot not defend his family or nation with violent force, and secondly reveal that the non resistant Christian can be an asset to the nation wherein he dwells even though he cannot do any violence in defending it; cH-30.5

Firstly, although the Christian cannot use violence in defending himself, or any one, or any nation, he yet in doing good to all men is to be willing to endanger and give his life for the sake of others without respect of nations. cH-31

Secondly, the Christian will pray for the protection of the many nations, and pray for the protection of his family, which can do more than the violent powers of man can do. cH-32

Thirdly, the Christian is to be willing to work for his own living rather than to be a liability to others or the government. cH-33

Forthly, the Christian will pay taxes to the nation wherein he dwells. cH-34

Fifthly, the Christian who is only to do good to his fellow man, obviously will do no crimes. cH-35

Sixthly, one should very much consider that if all were non resistant Christians, there would be no wars and would be no need for one to defend his family or nation. cH-36

Seventhly, although the Christian dwells among the nations, and in one respect dwells in their land, yet the world wherein the Christian dwells really is not the nations world, but rather is God's world. cH-37

Now all the above does not mean that God has no use for the nations of this world and political government. Apostle Paul said, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. {4} For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." (Rom 13:1&4). It is very true that God uses the governments of our world as ministers (servants) of His to do a good purpose. Yet in considering how God uses political governments to do His purpose one must yet consider that such alone does not mean such governments are within God's foremost and most intimate plan for His children, nor mean they are a Holy and sanctified power. God in old times even used the Philistine and the Assyrian political powers as ministers (servants) to do His work even though they were quite ungodly (Judges 2:20-3:4, Isaiah 10:5-7). God in Moses time even used unyielding and unrighteous Pharaoh king of Egypt to fill a special place in His plan. Exodus 9:16 concerning such reads "And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth." Paul speaking of how God uses both the righteous and others in his service, spoke of God having various kinds of vessels in His great house saying, "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. {21} If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." (2 Tim 2:20-21). Pharoah clearly was a vessel of dishonor in God's great house. May we rather be a vessel of honor. Although God punishes nations for their wickedness, yet it does not appear God will punish a nation for using the sword in punishing those evil doers among them, or for using the sword to discreetly defend themselves from other nations who would harm them. cH-38

Although God has ordained that political governments should use the sword in enforcing order, yet in considering all Scriptures it is quite obvious that God's plan to rule by the sword is not God's preferred and initial New Testament plan for man on earth. Considering all Scriptures it rather is clear that God's preferred and initial plan is that all men would participate in Christ's new era plan and Kingdom which rules by love, teaching, and non violent discipline rather than ruling by violence, while God's secondary plan for the world then is that those who will not participate in Christ's plan and Kingdom which functions by love and in a non violent way, then should rule and be ruled by the sword and violence. Although God has ordained the nations of this world to fill a particular place and ordained that they should not bear the sword in vain, yet it is quite obvious that God has chosen those of Christ's Kingdom apart from such earthly kingdoms to a keener and more intimate calling. cH-38.5

Some nations kindly give special allowance for exemption from war, for those who cannot use violence in defending themselves or the nation wherein they dwell. It is very possible that God will particularly bless such governments. Unites States' law from time of it's first president (George Washington), till the present generally included provision for those who for conscience sake could not take part in war. Yet such ones still often times were significantly challenged or persecuted. An interesting quote of president John F Kennedy reads, "War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." One should consider that the fervent prayers of non resistant Christians for their nation could provide much more protection for their nation than their efforts in war. The non resistant Christian can particularly appreciate the country he dwells in and try to help it in many ways, although not with violent force. In the following paragraph is a quote of Origen (an early Christian writer) on this subject; cH-39

"In the next place, Celsus urges us 'to help the king with all our might, and to labor with him in the maintenance of justice, to fight for him; and if he requires it, to fight under him, or lead an army along with him.' To this our answer is, that we do, when occasion requires, give help to kings, and that, so to say, a divine help, 'putting on the whole armor of God.' And this we do in obedience to the injunction of the apostle, 'I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority;' and the more any one excels in piety, the more effective help does he render to kings, even more than is given by soldiers, who go forth to fight and slay as many of the enemy as they can. And to those enemies of our faith who require us to bear arms for the commonwealth, and to slay men, we can reply: 'Do not those who are priests at certain shrines, and those who attend on certain gods, as you account them, keep their hands free from blood, that they may with hands unstained and free from human blood offer the appointed sacrifices to your gods; and even when war is upon you, you never enlist the priests in the army. If that, then, is a laudable custom, how much more so, that while others are engaged in battle, these too should engage as the priests and ministers of God, keeping their hands pure, and wrestling in prayers to God on behalf of those who are fighting in a righteous cause, and for the king who reigns righteously, that whatever is opposed to those who act righteously may be destroyed!' And as we by our prayers vanquish all demons who stir up war, and lead to the violation of oaths, and disturb the peace, we in this way are much more helpful to the kings than those who go into the field to fight for them. And we do take our part in public affairs, when along with righteous prayers we join self-denying exercises and meditations, which teach us to despise pleasures, and not to be led away by them. And none fight better for the king than we do. We do not indeed fight under him, although he require it; but we fight on his behalf, forming a special army — an army of piety — by offering our prayers to God." (Ante Nicene Fathers Vol 4, Page 1335). Note numerous early Christian writers such as Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Archelaus wrote much like this concerning war. Their writings are given in chapter 12 of article aM. cH-40

Jesus spoke of His Kingdom dwelling within people, rather than being a normal visible Kingdom as other Kingdoms. Luke 17:20-21 speaking of this reads, "And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: {21} Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:20-21). Christ's Kingdom involves God's laws and Government dwelling within man and ruling men from within, rather than from without as do political governments. Christ's Kingdom very much involves people being transformed and becoming new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). cH-41

It does not appear that Christians should try to force Christ's world neutral and non resistant doctrine on political governments. Rather Christians should try to win individuals fully to Christ and then after they are changed within their hearts (transformed) and are new creatures in Christ and have Christ's government ruling from within then introduce these principles to them. cH-42

Too many Christians try to force God's laws and plan that is only intended for those who are new creatures in Christ upon those who have not yet been changed as such. Christians might try to force two non transformed married people to live together in great strife and discord because of God's anti divorce laws, and strongly preach anti divorce to them. Yet Christians rather than attacking them with anti divorce teachings, first should focus on helping this couple to become new creatures in Christ and experience a change in their hearts and then introduce God's better than divorce plan. It may even be better for this couple to divorce if they are not new creatures in Christ, than to live together in great strife and discord. Such might even be God's secondary plan although not His initial and foremost plan. Divorce was even allowed in the old era more than in the new, and possibly because the new graces and life that is provided through Christ's government ruling from within, was not as available back then. It is quite clear that in the new era, a greater grace and power was provided to God's children through a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit. cH-43

Jesus spoke against trying to put new wine into old bottles (Matt 9:17, Mark 2:22, Luke 5:37-38). Trying to apply Christ's laws to the non transformed man is like trying to put new wine into old bottles. Christians must focus on creating new bottles (transformed people) rather than trying to pour new wine (Christ's new laws) into old bottles (non transformed people)! cH-44

Although their is much reason to conclude that Christ intends His followers to be a world neutral and non resistant people, such does not mean that all those who are honestly unaware of this and might be soldiers or erroneously involved in political government are rejected of God. God through His Spirit can call and save people in many places and many situations. Concerning some whom God has called and saved, it appears that they because of their situation in life may remain in a particular honest ignorance for many years or possibly all their lives. Jesus indicates that one really is not guilty when they are in honest ignorance saying "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin." (John 15:22). cH-45

Note the subject of Jesus and war is much more extensively considered in Part 2 of article aM. Chapter 4 of article bF also considers this subject. cH-46