THE WAY OF PEACE
For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
Day and night,Light and Matter,Spirit and Flesh. Reading the account of creation in Genesis, as told Moses, and as he so wrote, it is declared that in the day God created man, in His likeness and image created He him, male and female created He them. Light and dark can, and do mean different things. And in man was the power to become. In the midst of the garden, was the tree of life. This garden is not a geographic location, but is described only as being found by moving in a direction…Eastward. Eastward is the motion of the face of the earth that causes the sun rise. Eastward is the descriptive direction of a spiritual truth, that the light shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The day dawns and the Day Star arises in the heart, leading and guiding unto all truth. He is the truth. Christ is the fullness.In Him is hid all the treasure of knowledge and wisdom, and you , by the Spirit, have access to His fullness.
In the garden was also planted another “tree”. It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Man was charged that in the day he ate of that tree or touched it, he would surely die. And so, the great adversary, the tempter came. He asks a question. May you eat of all the trees of the garden? The answer was, “Of the trees of the garden we may freely eat. But of the tree which is in the midst of the garden has God said we may not eat or touch, lest we die”. The conditions were at work for deception. Somehow, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was now central in the mind, not the tree of life. This error of thinking was present in Eve before the tempter asked the first question. For the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was “also” in the garden, but was not the central thing by any means. How it became so in the mind, I do not know.
So the man and the woman took of the fruit and did eat. And so, in the day they ate, they died. It may have taken a long space of years for their flesh to lose it’s animation, but they were assuredly and completely dead. The “fall” as it is called, was not from flesh to flesh. It was from something higher, something created in God’s likeness, something with the power to become what was seen, handled and tasted in due order, to dead yet animated flesh. So great was the depth and degree of the fall, that what man former was, was no longer discernible in the “garden”. What the Lord formerly saw of man in the garden simply was no longer there. Adam began as dust, was raised and elevated to a place of potential…a place of the power to become like that of which he was fashioned after, and he fell again to the lowest and basest form of his origins. “For dust thou art, and to dust shalt thou return”. It is this basest , lowest form of man, now going about in skin, as any other animal, that is named as the serpent’s meat.
The fear of death can be stifling. It can be incapacitating. The primal urge to preserve one’s flesh is powerful. In light of the fact that fallen flesh is the serpents meat, it is no coincidence that the solution to man’s woes alway seem to boil down to death. Death to all who do not belong to the particular camp and segment of fleshly distinction. We are right…ours is the way…all others deserve death. All who do not conform to our way of thinking, deserve to be exterminated. What a banquet…what a grand buffet for the one who is given flesh for his meat. The problem with this form of thinking is that no flesh is justified in the Lord’s sight. All have sinned. All have fallen short of the glory of God. What Adam presently is, is what the scriptures call the region and shadow of death. Every man and woman born into the world must navigate the valley of the shadow of death. To successfully navigate it, one must come to fear no evil. Them who are all their lifetime, in bondage due to the fear of death, and him who had power over them through this fear, must overcome this.
To make the message short and concise, Jesus had to taste of death for every one of us. But more than this, He gives to us to have life in ourselves as He has life in Himself. The life of the Father…unending, perpetual, needing no maintaining via food, drink, or protection from calamity. Indissoluble; not able to be broken down and extinguished. Honor, immortality, eternal life. Christ in you. There is no camp and distinction of flesh that is 100% right, and all the others 100% wrong. All of these camps, I must navigate as I pass through this valley, and to be successful, I can not pitch my tent in any of them. The way of peace is not known to them. To love them that hate you, persecute you and spitefully use you, is a tall order. Nevertheless, love them I must. If I live all my life in the fear of what may happen to my life in this world, whether by calamity, disease, natural forces, man made destructions, what have you…if I obsess over these things, fret over them, cast up mental contingencies and plans of reacting to what may come, rather than walk in faith from day to day,
I have to wonder if there is any wisdom in this. Studying the life that David navigated through faith, I have to conclude that the Lord will make a way, and his grace will be sufficient for me, and see me through each and every trial, as the need arises. The problem with contingencies is that things change. But the Lord does not change.Contingencies formed by limited foresight are tenuous. The Lord has no limits of vision. And His way is to meet every need, as the need arises. The electric receptacles in my house connect my house to all the supply I need. Bolts of lightning do not jump out of the wall. But the power is there. When the house is cold, the furnace is supplied. When dark, the lights are available. If I want to cook, the stove works. What my energy needs are…are met. No more…no less. This “way of peace” is not known to the world. It can not be taught to the world. His peace is not the world’s peace…it is not the “death to the infidel” mantra of carnal religious, political and social thinkers. The only death requisite to bring us into His peace, was His own death. No one else need die.
Jesus, speaking to the first disciples and apostles, began to speak of this. He said how that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of men, and that they would crucify Him, and he would rise again the third day. Then Peter actually began to rebuke Jesus, saying this will never happen to him. Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me Satan, you are an offense to me: for you savor not the things of God, but of men”. Jesus was not calling Peter “Satan”, but Jesus was identifying where Peter’s thinking at that moment, was coming from. To “savor” one’s food, where the adversary is concerned, hearkens all the way to the fall. Falling into a snare of the adversary often results in falling into some camp of thinking…some distinction of fallen man, be it religious, or political or social.
It is written, “Having begun in the Spirit, are we made perfect in the flesh?”
To the churches who have been duped into taking up the causes of flesh: “Remember from whence you are fallen”.
To the faithful: It’s a jungle out there. The Lord made a way for you to navigate it. The place to which you are risen, and seated in Christ is in the heavens. It is not carnal. The throne spoken of , and quoted above in Isaiah 9, is not a piece of furniture in a stick and stone edifice, in an earthly city. It is what David saw what he saw the resurrected , glorified Son of man, and said, “The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand”. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.