It is sad that many of those who hold degrees in Theology and Divinity seem to have little to no understanding of what the Scripture actually states. However, they are no alone in this as it is not the degree (or lack thereof) in Theology or Divinity that gives an understanding of the LORD God. Rather, it is adhering to the word of God and being obedient to His commands. This begins with actual salvation in Christ and continues with the believer’s obedience in being baptized in a proper New Testament church. This is the path the LORD ordained for this dispensation, and He will not change it until this particular dispensation ends.
Now, there are those who disagree with this, and they are free to do so, but it will not make them right. The reason they disagree is due to the fact that under the program the Lord Jesus Christ instituted, their degree becomes essentially useless as the LORD God will not honor it by giving them insight into His word. However, since they are not really interested in pleasing the LORD God, (if they were, they would have followed the Bible) but are interested only in impressing men, the degree in Theology or Divinity works perfectly fine for their purposes. Since we are here, perhaps the following question could be answered by those who possess a degree in Theology or Divinity:
Where in the New Testament do we find the school the Lord Jesus Christ ordained and commissioned to qualify individuals to receive degrees in Theology and/or Divinity?
Now, why is this brought up? Due to the following statement made by Mr. Vance (who holds a degree in Theology, and claims to be a conservative Christian):
War is the greatest destroyer of religion, morality, and decency. War is the greatest creator of fertile ground for genocides and atrocities. War is the greatest destroyer of families and young lives. War is the greatest creator of famine, disease, and homelessness. War is the health of the state.
Let us go back to the real reason war exists:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. (Isaiah 14:12-15)
War exists on this earth because Lucifer (now Satan) brought it here when he tempted man in the Garden of Eden and man succumbed to that temptation and rebelled against the express commandment of God to not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In so doing, Satan conquered man’s dominion and now rules the earth. We are expressly told of four specific aspects of Satan’s administration of this earth in Revelation:
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:1-8)
We know this is Satan’s administration of the earth due to statements in Scripture that speak directly to the Fall and who the god of this world is:
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (Romans 5:12-14)
But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (II Corinthians 4:3-4)
And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Luke 4:5-8)
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (Ephesians 2:1-3)
Thus, by the above, man is at war with God, and bent on rebellion to the LORD. We can also see that man has a greater penchant for following the Devil, than anything the LORD God states that man ought to do. By this, we ought to understand that wars exists on this earth, not due to government and some unknown desire of the “state” to wage war. But solely due each of us individually, and the violence we harbor in ourselves toward the LORD and His rule over us. This also is made plain by the Scripture’s account of the Millennial Reign of Christ and what will happen after 1000 years of peace on this earth with Satan bound and unable to influence man.
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. (Psalm 2:1-6)
Even though there will be peace on this earth, it will be an enforced peace as man is violent in his nature and extremely selfish. We want what we want, and don’t care who we hurt in the process. Though we may only intend to benefit ourselves and leave everyone else untouched by our actions, we cannot perceive the full ramifications of our actions and thus know everyone that will be affected. This is the law of unintended consequences. Only the LORD God knows the full ramifications of our thoughts and actions, and has expressly instructed us that we are not capable of governing ourselves. However, we do not wish to hear that. Moreover, we do not want the LORD telling us what we will do, and when we will do it. Yet, this is exactly what will happen during the Millennial Reign of Christ. The response of man is already made known by the LORD in His word. After 1000 years of chaffing under the just rule of Christ, man is ready to openly rebel, all the people of the earth need is a leader:
And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. (Revelation 20:7-9)
No, the problem is not that war is the health of the state. The problem of war is solely due to the wicked heart of unregenerate man and his hatred for his Creator. All that Satan has to do is convince someone that engaging in the destruction of another person is somehow beneficial and ought to be done. Like flies on stink, we are drawn to it every time. It is a problem inherent in the fallen, wicked and sinful nature of man, and it will not change short of being born again with an entirely new nature — the nature of Christ.
Thus, Mr. Vance, the Mennonites, Quakers, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Amish and various other “peace activists” are in denial of the truth about man. This makes them no better than the Communist who believes that man can better himself, if only the social environment is brought in line with communist doctrine. Worse yet, it renders all the religious groups listed above easy prey for the Devil — as they already believe one lie about man.
To be continued . . .