- Secular Peace of the World – As “the Prince of Peace” many people think that Jesus came to bring some kind of political or secular peace among nations or groups of people. Another Christmas time passage that seems to confirm that idea is Luke 2:14: “… on earth peace, good will toward men”. One of man’s greatest desires is to live in peace, or the absence of war and strife. However, wars are the result of man’s sinful nature (Jam 4:2) and will never be abolished on this sin-cursed earth because man’s heart is desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). While speaking of the Great Tribulation period prior to His return, Jesus said in Matt 24:6–7, that man-made wars and natural catastrophes will continue to take men’s lives on this earth right up to the moment of Christ’s return on the Last Day. So there can be no misunderstanding about this, Jesus dispelled all doubts about His purpose for coming to this earth in Matt 10:34–36: “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword”. God and His Word will in fact bring division and strife – even within families, the closest-knit social units in this world. This is due to the fact that salvation is on individual basis and it creates unequally yoked families and circles.
Luke 2:13–14 “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Mat 24:6–7 “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours [reports] of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
Matt 10:34–36 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.”
Matt 10:21–22 “And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. 22And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
John 15:18–19 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
- Mutual Warfare – Most people are unaware that a much more serious war than all the secular wars in the history of man put together is taking place right now. It is the spiritual war between God and rebellious mankind that started in the Garden of Eden as a result of Adam’s sin; and because man is at war with His Maker, he is also at war with other men. Our sinful Adamic nature, with which every human being is born, is described in Jam 4:2: “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not”. Man’s rebellion against God and hatred for Him drives him to foolishly think that he can fight against God and win, as explained in Psa 2:1-5. Mankind fail to consider the futility of their efforts, the magnitude of their sin, and the eternal, infinite, holy God with whom they have to deal face to face one day. God derides man’s foolish pride because man refuses to acknowledge the awesome Creator and Judge of this universe, who both hates and will judge sin and sinner alike. Yet, in the midst of judgment there is a ray of hope, a glimmer of mercy for His people.
Rom 8:7 “Because the carnal [unsaved] mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Rom 3:10, 17–18 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one… And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Psa 2:1–5 “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.”
Deu 32:39–42 “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.”
Deu 32:43 “Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people [Elect of God].”
- Only God Can End the Warfare – Genesis 3 traces the roots of man’s rebellion to the Garden of Eden and sentenced all (unless redeemed) to eternal death in Hell. Rom 5:12 records this account: “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”. This is why man needs help! And God alone provided the solution. You see, it was through the woman, Eve, that help would one day come, as Gen 3:15 alludes, “And I will put enmity between thee [or Satan] and the woman [figure of the elect or the bride of Christ], and between thy [or Satan’s] seed and her seed; it [referring to Christ] shall bruise thy [Satan’s] head, and thou [Satan] shalt bruise his [Christ’s] heel”. Isa 40:2 beautifully describes the salvation that God accomplishes when He brings to an end to the warfare that previously existed between man and God. Rom 10:15 announces that this peace is found in the Gospel of the Bible. What are the “glad tidings”? It is that which we see in Isa 40:2, “… warfare is accomplished… iniquity is pardoned”. How did this take place? We learn from Eph 2:14–15 that this is the work of the Lord Jesus. Christ demonstrated His love for His people by enduring the eternal wrath of God for their sins: “But God commendeth [exhibits] his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). In other words, if we have truly become saved, we are no longer God’s “enemies”, and our war with God has ended, as we read in Rom 5:9–10: “… being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son …”. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus is for all people. It’s for those from all nations, kindred, people and tongues (Rev 7:9) – God is no respecter of persons. If, Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace has reconciled us to God and set us apart to be His ambassadors, we are to proclaim this Gospel of Peace so that our neighbor might be reconciled to God too.
Eph 2:14–15 “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace …”
Rom 5:9–10 “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
Isa 40:2 “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem [typifying the bride of Christ], and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned…”
2 Cor 5:19 “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation [the Gospel]…”
Rom 10:15 “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
- Unto us a Son is Given: His name shall be called “The Prince Of Peace” – God’s Love is embodied in the work of Christ as John 3:16 proclaims, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. The spiritual war between Christ and Satan is an integral part of God’s salvation program that God described in the Garden of Eden. And Gal 4:4–5 elaborates, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law…”. We see how this conflict played out in Heb 2:14: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Christ] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he [Christ] might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”. The reason Christ is named the “Prince of Peace” is because He came to bring eternal peace to fallen man, who by nature is dead in trespasses and sins, by ending the state of perpetual warfare that exists between God and all who are unsaved. This is evident from a passage such as Psa 38:3 [Messianic Psalm], where the same Hebrew word for “peace” is translated as “rest”: “There is no soundness in my [Christ] flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest [peace] in my bones because of my sin [laden with our sins]. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me”. The Messiah had become sin on behalf of each person for whom He became a ransom payment. As their sin bearer, He had to pay the just punishment of Hell: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isa 53:5). Eph 2:11–17 emphasizes the kind of peace that Christ came to bring: Rom 5:9–10 concludes that one is saved or justified by the faith of Christ, which produces “peace with God”, the peace that results from salvation: “… being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son …”. This peace – peace from the guilt of sin, peace from spiritual death and peace from hell, which only the Savior can provide is referred to in Isa 9:7, where His name is called “The Prince Of Peace”.
Luke 2:13–14 “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Eph 2:11–17 “… But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”
1 Chr 22:9 “Behold, a son shall be born to thee [speaking to King David about Solomon who typifies Jesus], who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel [typifying the elect, Israel of God – Isa 32:17–18] in his days.”
Isa 9:6–7 “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. 7Of the increase of his [Lord Jesus Christ] 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.”
- The Peace which Christ Bestows is Salvation – Isaiah 53 reveals the great sufferings of Hell which Christ endured – the atoning work, for each of His elect, that has “reconciled” them to God giving “peace with God”, as also explained in 2 Cor 5:19. The peace that results from salvation is called “peace with God” in Rom 5:1: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”. In other words, if we have truly become saved, we are no longer God’s “enemies”, and our war with God has ended. When we have become reconciled to God by salvation (“peace with God”), God also gives us the “peace of God” as the fruit of the Spirit. We also see in Gal 5:22–26 that true believers are governed by the “fruit” (or product) of the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives. True believers are God’s “workmanship”, which means “the fruit (or product) of a workman’s labor”. After God saves a believer, peace begins to manifest itself in the life of this individual who truly has become a “new creature” (or creation) in Christ. Christians are not to be anxious or worried about anything. Not only are we not to be worried, we also learn this from Php 4:6, “… by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”. Because of the assurance of the eternal salvation, Christians are to bring their concerns and petitions before the throne of Grace constantly. No matter how great our need, His inexhaustible grace is ever sufficient, plenteous, and overflowing as a mighty river. Also the believer’s life is to be a constant overflowing of thanksgiving for all of God’s daily benefits to him. As the Christian learns to depend and rely more and more on God and to rest in Him alone, he finds the peace that Isa 26:3 speaks about, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee”. When we have the “peace of God which passeth all understanding”, our souls can rest quietly with God as we trust completely in Him with every aspect of our lives.
Isa 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Isa 32:17–18 “And the work of righteousness [salvation] shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.”
Php 4:6–7 “Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
- A False Sense of Peace is Being Promoted Today – As we have seen in this study, we can find many citations in the Word of God which explain the nature of the peace of God, or redemption. Because mankind hates God and His clear teachings in the Bible about salvation by His sovereign choice and work, man vainly invents numerous “man–made gospels” that are more acceptable to his proud nature and pleasing to his puny mind. God indicates in 2 Cor 11:13–15 that there will be a proliferation of these kinds of false gospels prior to Christ’s return: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works”. Sadly, we are currently living in the “Great Tribulation” period, which is a time of unparalleled spiritual deception. Unfortunately, in this deadly spiritual environment, a false sense of security or “peace” is fostered by many in the religious media and within all churches and denominations worldwide focusing on economic prosperity, physical well-being, and political freedom in order to satisfy “the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life…”. Jer 23:17 reflects the attitude of many institutional churches and denominations: “They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you”. Consider the fearful warning in 1 The 5:2–3, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail [birth labor] upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape”.
Jer 23:11–17 “For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD. Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD. And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err. I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.”
Jer 23:21, 25–32 “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied… I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal. The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.