Godís Perspective on Violence
[An Advanced Study]
Romans 12: 19 Ė Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather †give place unto wrath:† for it is written, Vengeance is †mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.† -- Romans 12: 19
I am going to rate this teaching as an advanced teaching not because it is that hard to understand, but it is most difficult to apply.† I first want lay out a clear and simple foundation about what this teaching will cover.
My earthly father was extremely fearless, but at times he could not control that emotion.† He was one to get into physical fights with people at work and outside of work.† After working a job for about 27 years, he was called into his main office.† A number of managers expressed to him clearly how important he was to their firm.† My father was a master mechanic and he could figure out things and solutions that almost no one could.† But being of an Italian temper, if anyone would get to him, well you know what he would do.† And the funny part about it is that he never lost a physical confrontation.† But these men in the office had great concern for his future and were told by their managers that if my father had gotten into one more confrontation at work, that they would have to terminate him.† This changed his complete outlook pertaining to the subject of violence.† Those men he fought with were far from worth it. †Not long before my father passed away, he said a few words to me that I never forgot and I never will.† You see, I also had a raging temper at times and I had a tough time controlling it.† He gave me a piece of advice that I am going to give to you.† Mainly what God has to say about the subject is what this teaching is all about.
Before I begin, my father gave me this piece of advice that you are going to find very difficult to apply.† In many ways youíre going to dislike this teaching, but God wants me to teach it to you.† My earthly father said to me in a most concerned and serious manner, pertaining to fights and violence, that the smart man walks away Ė (and hereís the part that really had an effect), but itís a tough pill to swallow.† What a moving and accurate figure of speech.† I was amazed at the wisdom of this statement.† We see violence in the movies and we cheer and we see violence on television all of the time, so we think it is the right thing to do.† We conform to Satanís ways and we go out and we get ourselves in physical confrontations.† Not only do men do that, but also women.
The smart man walks away, but itís a tough pill to swallow.
Donít you ever forget that.† It happened to me not too long ago where an idiot whose life is run and controlled by Satan himself threatened my life.† When we go at the enemy, we are supposed to make the blow count.† Iím going to show you that from Godís Word.
I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: -- I Corinthians 9: 26
The last three words mean that you should not shadowbox.† Again, you must make the blows count as is clearly stated in the next Scripture.
But I keep under my body, and bring it †into subjection:† less that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. Ė I Corinthians 9: 27
Now the first part of the verse means that we should make the blows count.† It should damage Satanís kingdom in some way.† Thatís why we need God to work within us to tell us when we should take aggressive action or not.† I also have a note in my Bible that I need to share with you and it says to summon the competitors to the game.† Never run out of fear, because we have God in Christ in us which is greater than anything thatís in the world.
You must understand that when a terroristic threat was made to me by a person, that God did not see my efforts towards that person as being a blow that would count for Him.† Itís that simple and we either listen to God or we donít as we always have free will.† This figure of speech that is used here is Ďmake the blows countí.† Well, we just said that God shuns on violence.† He will on very rare cases tell you to be aggressive physically.† These cases will involve self-defense.† In a class that I took in 1975, the teacher said something that always stayed in my mind.† I found it to be fascinating.† He said that the battlefield was between the ears.† We win over the enemy by knowing and applying Godís perfect Word.† We donít have to lift a finger because of the power that lies within our mind when we are renewing our mind to the Word.† When I walked away from this person who said he was going to kill me, I was actually the victor.† I had finally gotten him where I wanted to get him.† He was wrong and he knows in his heart that he was dead wrong.† It has to be and Iím sure it is, bothering him to no extent.† But I must keep away from him and he keeps away from me and thatís exactly what I wanted.† I need to have my peace and quiet to be able to do these teachings because I love you and I donít want you to make the same mistakes that I made.† I was always one looking for adventure and excitement and sometimes that emotion can be carried too far.
I couldíve had this man arrested because I had a witness.† My spouse shocked me when she said she was proud of me by walking away and Ďswallowing that pillí.† I simply ignored him from that day on which is over two years ago and that drives him insane.† Do you see that there is a 5 senses way to approach a problem and there is a spiritual way to approach a problem?†
I could have wound up in jail.† I need to say that if you are walking with God and keeping Him first and foremost in your life every day, you will not get into these situations.† If you are having such similar problems as I had, you must learn to adapt to a different way of living since the world keeps changing.† The god of this world changes things and then he adapts his ways to steal, kill, and destroy according to the changes that he made! †††
Now I want to turn to a record that is in the Gospels that will show you what Jesus Christ did to prove this teaching to you.† He sets an example here and you will clearly see what I am trying to teach you.
Anger is a terrible thing and we should keep from being angry as much as is humanly possible.† But sometimes, it is not possible as we will see.† I want you to notice that you can be angry in a situation and not be violent.† Violence never accomplishes anything.
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves.† -- Matthew 21: 12
Now here is almost one obvious example of where Jesus Christ was really angry.† I would not want to stand in his way when he is angry, would you?† But the point that I want you to notice is what I think you already see.† Jesus Christ was never violent pertaining to the money changers and the people who sold doves.† He was fed up and disgusted with the fact that they were in the temple of God and they made it some type of a marketplace.† Letís see what the next Scripture says.
And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. -- Matthew 21: 13
Notice the fascinating qualities about Jesus Christ and this record.† After he blew his mind and started tipping everything over, he then says unto them, Iím sure in a reasonable tone of voice, what the Word says about the situation that these people created.† He explains in detail to them even though he was as angry as he could be, and he never resorted to violence.† What a great record this is.† Violence is everywhere in this world and in this country.† My heart goes out many times to the good policemen who risk their lives to help us.† There is not enough of them to go around.† I practically never call the police unless the situation becomes well out of hand.
I had a person that was accusing me of pushing my leaves in his yard.† He did this a number of times.† Now being a Christian, I must admit that I do not care for this person even though I tried.† But I would never do such a thing and he was outright lying about it to my face.† I finally used my power of attorney on this person as I mention later.† I was stymied and I went in the house and I dialed 911.† Two police cars came up here and straightened him out as far as I know.† I never saw him again and I never want to.† So you see that this is what I always wanted, living in such a negative and terrible neighborhood.† I would rather be and I must be to myself and to mind my own business 99% of the time.† It is really the best way to live when you know the Word of God and you apply it in your everyday life.† So think about what Jesus Christ did and how he took action, everything except violence.† I would also like to go to another Scripture that pertains to this record.† This is something that we should always try to do as I have mentioned before.
Cease from anger, and forsake wrath:† fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. -- Psalm 37: 8
In another class that I took back in the 1970s, certain things just stuck in my head.† I remembered the teacher saying one thing:† ďQuit being angry!Ē† Donít you like to be calm and cool in front of people?† It was one of my sayings when I was in college.† When I left someone, I would always say ĎBe coolí.† It may sound like I wanted to be cool but I was told that I had a quality of calmness that no one else had.† At least my girlfriend loved it.† I have been dealing with this anger situation lately as I share my heart with you asking you for your prayers.† When I look around and I see the world in such a terrible state, I have a weak tendency to get angry about it.† I am presently working on this negative emotion by pushing it aside and substituting something positive about the situation thatís making me angry.† I am human just like you and I am not perfect.† I have a natural tendency to teach Godís Word.† I seem to exert almost no effort to be able to put these teachings together.† The only thing that I must do is to put them in the correct chronological order.† This takes some time and thinking.† But I find it a privilege to serve you.† But the enemy is playing for keeps and he has done some things to me lately that is inexcusable.† For the first time in so many years that I can remember, I used my power of attorney out loud to someoneís face Ė the person regarding the leaves, mentioned previously.† Then I commanded him in the name of Jesus Christ to get away from me.† I said this at least twice.† The person turned around and walked away.† With our senses, we cannot understand these things, but God is there and His Word works every single time.† This latter experience actually shocked me but yet it gave me confidence to know that when there is no other place to turn, you always have your power of attorney.† You should read that teaching and master it because you are going to need it.† Itís fun moving with the Word of God and to watch supernatural things take place right before your very eyes.† God not only loves you, but He also loves your enemies.† He also knows that He must protect you from the treacherous devil who is presently in charge of this second heaven and earth.† Jesus Christ is coming back and heís going to put an end to all of this Ė I bet my life on it.
Now the following group of Scriptures are what motivated me and gave me the idea to put this teaching together.† These Scriptures specifically state that we are not to get into physical confrontations with anyone at any time.† God also shows you that there is a better way and that better way is the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation.† If you are able to master the love of God, you will be able to avoid all physical confrontations with almost anyone.† Letís take a look at these three Scriptures and break them down one by one.
To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but† gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.† Ė Titus 3: 2
Do not misunderstand the meaning of the word meekness.† In old English it means to be teachable and we are to teach all men the Word of God. †It is always best to speak evil of no man and this also motivated me to do this teaching.† We are not to be brawlers which are people who get into fights and live by violence.† We are to be gentle and believe me, thatís a great quality.† Most people who are gentle are thought to be Ďcoolí.† Everyone wants to be thought of in this manner.† Also, I cannot help but to share a Scripture that addresses the subject of speaking evil of no man.† Here is the Scripture.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are †honest, whatsoever things are† just, whatsoever things are† pure, whatsoever things are† lovely, whatsoever things are† of good report; if there be† any virtue, and if there be† any praise, think on these things. †-- Philippians 4: 8
We should think on these things and we should speak on these things.† Now letís get back to the book of Titus.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and† hating one another.† Ė Titus 3: 3
This presents a perfect picture of our old man, before we were born again.† Take a look at how God, who is the master author, describes the old man of a person.† He says we were sometimes foolish.† So there were a few times when we were not foolish and able to learn right ways.† This appeared to be very seldom.† We were disobedient to God and cared not to worship Him and give Him the place in our lives that He deserves.† Now look at the next word.† We were deceived and who deceives us.† The god of this world is the master of deception.† We only cared about our own lusts which are over desires, and pleasures.† We lived in malice which is evil thinking and envy and we were hateful and we hated one another.† I can remember living like this to a certain extent.† When I got to know the Word of God, I became euphoric with happiness.† I had found an escape and one that I could depend on for all eternity.† Think about it.† Iím sure many, many of you have gone through similar experiences as I did.† Now let us go to the final verse in Titus that we will review.
But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, -- Titus 3: 4
After what did the kindness of the love of God appear to us?† Obviously, it was after we were born again of Godís spirit and we were renewing our minds to the Word of God.† And being a part of the renewed mind, we learned to and finally began to apply what Godís Word told us to do with our lives.† This is a beautiful group of three Scriptures and it addresses the issue of violence.† It talks about our old man and what idiots we were.† And then it goes on to conclude the subject, showing us that the kindness and love of God, after we were born again, finally appeared.† This is how we should be living.† We should never get into any arguments with people.† Why do I say this?† Because you cannot argue truth - you can only witness to it.† The main point is that Godís Word is the only truth in the world today.† Everything else is facts and they can be disputed.† But there is only one source of truth that will never let you down and that is Godís Word.† I believe it and you have free will to believe it or not.† But you should be wise and go to God and He will absolutely show you that everything He says in His Word is truth and it can be relied upon every single time.† As I heard it said many times, the Word is mathematically exact and is scientifically precise.† Truth is truth and it cannot be argued.† Godís Word is the only pure and reliable truth in the universe today.
The two epistles of Timothy were written for those who desire leadership positions in Godís ministry.† And sure enough, the subject of violence is mentioned in chapter 3 of I Timothy.† Many of the qualities that a leader should possess are mentioned throughout this epistle.† In chapter 3: 2, we see many of these necessary qualities.† But in verse 3, God goes to the opposite direction and mentions the attributes that a leader must avoid in his or her life.
Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; -- I Timothy 3: 3
In this verse, you can easily see a phrase that refers directly to the topic of this teaching.† But first letís look at the rest of the Scripture.† When a person is referred to as not given to wine, that means that they do not drink in excess.† Your thinking becomes distorted after two drinks whether you believe this or not.† The person is not to become a striker.† I looked this up in my lexicon and it simply said Ďone who strikesí.† We are not to be greedy when it comes to money and remember money is the root system of all the evil in the world today.† God then tells us that we should be patient and this really is a virtue.† I found out that to wait on God seems to be one of the most difficult things that I have dealt with in my own renewed mind.† God moves at the exact right moment in time and we must wait for that moment.† If we do not, we face consequences.
Now letís take the next phrase and break it down to its least common denominator.† That phrase is Ďnot a brawlerí.† This means Ďwithout battleí.† And it also means Ďwith whom no one fightsí.† Isnít that something?† You should be a person and such a strong Christian in your renewed mind that no one fights with you.† This is a great quality that I have seen firsthand in my spouse.† She fights with no one ever.† What a great quality this is to have as a personality trait.† It is the result of a strong renewed mind filled with wisdom.† Some other definitions of this word is Ďdisinclined to fightí, Ďpeacefulí.† If someone comes up to you and tries to provoke you and this sometimes happens especially when a person is driving a vehicle, be disinclined to fight with them or to get into a road rage incident.† This happened to me only yesterday.† I will tell you my secret.† I will pull off to the side of the road and wait until that person disappears.† This shuts their air off completely.† Try it sometime.† Donít waste your time doing things that the adversary wants you to do.† Only go after the enemy when the blow counts as is mentioned previously in this teaching.† And then last but not least we are told to be peaceful.† You cannot be peaceful if you are brawler.† And as itís been said many times, if there was a pill to take for peace, the developer of that pill would be a multi-trillionaire.† But there is no pill to take with the exception of knowing and applying the Word of God.† Do everything you can to avoid confrontations.† I used to turn around and aggravate somebody who was tailgating me.† This only made matters worse and as the old figure of speech says, it put more wood on the fire.† I canít believe sometimes that I was just so plain stupid to do such a thing.† But I thought about it and I worked it out in my head.† I was giving the devil the attention that he was trying to get.† When I stopped doing that, my peace had begun to return unto me.
So we are getting all of this from one Scripture in the epistle of Timothy.† God and His Word is just that great.† Let God be the teacher and let us do our homework by renewing our mind and we will never fail.† We will always be victorious in every single thing that we do.
Letís go ahead and wrap up this teaching since I believe our point has been made.† We are going to go to the Old Testament and I want you ladies to know that this is an example that God has chosen twice.† It can be turned around to mean the opposite where a man is the problem.† However, I am not going to do such a thing, but I am going to quote Proverbs 21: 9 and then another almost duplicate verse.† I lived in a home when I was much younger where this constant brawling was going on.† My parents were divorced and remarried twice and they were separated about 10 times.† I lived all over the place and I never had any peace in my life.† I had a lot of girlfriends and I was always ashamed to take them to my home.† So when I teach you something, itís based on true life experiences and not some fairytale.† Letís go to the Word.
It is† better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.† Ė Proverbs 21: 9
Of course, this can be a brawling woman or a brawling man.† But in this situation, a woman is mentioned.† Some men happen to be in a marriage where his woman is constantly fighting and nagging him.† God uses a figure of speech when he says that that man would be better off to live in an attic by himself than with this brawling woman in a wide fancy expensive home.† This is so true because I lived in that fancy home and it was both my father and mother who were constantly brawling.† I used to come home from high school many times and the police car or cars were at my home.† I thought that one of my parents was going to kill the other one.† Thatís how bad it was.† In the meantime I found myself living with my sister and with my uncle or an apartment and everywhere you can imagine.† How in the world was I to concentrate on my schoolwork since I was still in high school?† When I went back to college about 7 or 8 years later, I remembered the confusion I went through in high school.† And I studied so hard that I got straight Aís at the Pennsylvania State University and won an award for outstanding academic performance.† This was after I got born-again and renewed my mind diligently to Godís Word.† I always liked Proverbs 21: 9 because it reminded of my days of defeat and my later days of victory.
Letís take a look at another similar verse that I just spotted in the same chapter.
It is† better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and an angry woman.† Ė Proverbs 21: 19
You women might be up in arms by now, so if you want to you can substitute the word íwomaní for Ďmaní.† However again, I am not going to alter Godís Word because that would be private interpretation which is guesswork.
Instead of God using the corner of the housetop, in this verse, he says it is better to dwell in the wilderness than with a contentious and an angry woman.† This type of woman is always looking for an argument and they are be belligerent and they are angry at every single thing that you do.† Many marriages today are like this.† Thatís why the divorce rate is so high.† When my wife and I have a disagreement, we turn to the Word of God and let God be the mediator for our situation.† Itís that simple.† I have to laugh many times with Godís sense of humor.† He went from the corner of the rooftop to the wilderness.† Can you picture a man living in the wilderness trying to get away from his agitating wife?† I think there is some humor in the way God words different things, but the subject is rather serious, isnít it?† But God sees nothing wrong with us having a good time and a good sense of humor.† There is one teaching that just came to my mind and I want to share it with you since it is so important.† I was told by my branch leader, a magnificent woman of God, not to get sin conscious.† Try to never forget that.
When God says something twice in His Word, it means that He absolutely establishes what He is saying and that it will absolutely come to pass.† By changing only two small articles in Proverbs 25: 24, God repeats exactly word for word, Proverbs 21: 9.† I am going to document 25: 24 so that you can see exactly what I am talking about.
It is† better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.† Ė Proverbs 25: 24
ĎAí in 21: 9 is changed to Ďtheí in 25: 24 before the word Ďcornerí.† ĎAndí is added at the end of verse 25: 24, but not in verse 21: 9.† This, to me, is just like a figure of speech.† It makes me stop and think and it grabs my attention.† The secret things belong to God.† But God knows that we live and learn by repetition and many times he will repeat a verse almost word for word to stress the importance of what He is trying to teach us.† Let me say this much before we conclude this teaching.† Many times my spouse, a very hard worker and an amazing athlete will come home from work and I could tell she is quite tired.† This is the time for me to disappear and to leave her alone at least for two hours so that she can relax and unwind.† This same situation works for the man.† Many times a man will come home from work and he is as aggravated as he could possibly be and his wife gets on his case about some stupid little thing.† That wife should know better and she should make herself scarce so that her husband can settle down and relax in his own home which is really his kingdom.† It is also a womanís kingdom.† I used to be a male chauvinist of all male chauvinists at one time.† This caused a lot of arguments and stress in my marriage.† I could never see that it was my fault until my wife straightened me out by showing me that in most situations she was not only better than me but she was smarter than me and could handle situations in a much calmer manner with more positive results.
We have a lot to learn, donít we?† But remember, in this one teaching, I want you to know that violence is always wrong.† As you apply this in your life, you will prove it to yourself and God will bless you immensely.†