"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
Ephesians 5:11
Did Christ Come to Bring Peace?
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: Dec 24, 2013
Updated: Oct 4, 2016

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
-Luke 12:51

In conversation with Christians, I find many are completely unaware this verse exists. In this article, we will break down some assumptions that many of us have unknowingly built up in new-age church teaching, and rebuild a proper doctrine on the words of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The biggest problem I have in discussing this topic with Christians is that many of them falsely believe that "peace" and "unity" are the same thing. This is a worldly type of thinking, and it is not the way the Bible uses and defines "peace."

If you have ever been to a modern day wedding ceremony, you may have heard the phrase "If anyone object to this union, speak now or forever hold your peace." This is giving an opportunity for anyone that did not approve of the marriage to speak the truth about it, and give their reasoning against it, otherwise, the marriage was finalized by God and man could no longer interfere.
(The marriage ceremony we are familiar with today is based on pagan rituals and witchcraft; read "Marriage: What Christians Should Know" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

To "speak your peace" is when you see something wrong with what's happening in front of you, and you speak up about it. To "hold your peace" is to see something wrong, but find it not worth the effort to voice the problems (i.e. be quiet), and most often, Christians hold their peace out fear they might upset someone, but if what we say is the truth, we ought not to hold back because the Bible tells us to hold our peace when we discover the person/people will not hear our words.

Here are some verses that refer to speaking/holding one's peace:

And the man wondering at her held his peace, to wit whether the LORD had made his journey prosperous or not.
-Genesis 24:21

And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
-Mark 10:48

And here are some examples of peace used in another way we are more familiar with:

And they rose up betimes in the morning, and sware one to another: and Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
-Genesis 26:31

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
-Mark 4:29

Peace is more accurately defined as a state of quiet or tranquility, but it doesn't mean unity. For example, an atheist and a Christian can live next door to one another in a state of quietness and tranquility, but even though they may depart from one another in peace, they are not united.

Furthermore, there is a false peace that is preached by those who are wicked:

For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
-Jeremiah 8:11

The Lord God is explaining that there are people who will try to make others feel better temporarily by claiming "peace," but that peace is false because there is no cleanness in the wound of those hurt. For example, one can have a stab wound on their arm, and someone can wrap fresh bandages around it, but that person can still die because of infection, because the would was not cleaned at its core, and it might make an injured man feel better momentarily to have that outer wrapping, but inwardly, he is dying a slow death.

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
-Luke 24:36

Christians often speak of Jesus Christ and peace at the same time because our Lord offers the joy of peace in His salvation, but the problem is that the world (and particularly false converts) tend to associate the worldly definition of peace with Biblical peace. God and man are using two definitions of the same word.

Jesus Christ points out the difference between the His peace, and the "peace" of the world:

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.
-John 14:27

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
-John 16:33

And most importantly, our Lord Jesus Christ made it very clear that He DOES NOT support the peace the world is offering.

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
-Luke 12:51-53

There have been numerous occasions when I have seen someone stressed or frustrated in doing something that he/she believes is an obligation to family. When I ask, "Why are you doing this or that?" They respond, "Well... because it's family." If we were in a public debate, the "family" argument would lose in a hurry because that's technically a logical fallacy called begging the question, or in other words, it's not really an answer. What defines family? Where is a written law somewhere that says you have to do everything your family expects of you? If you do something that needs to be done, in charity or service, towards a family member, that is a good Biblical reason to do something, but implied expectations are not a requirement.

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
-Exodus 20:12

honor (v): to revere; to respect; to manifest the highest veneration for, in words and actions
(See 'honor', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 4, 2016 [webstersdictionary1828.com])

When Christ taught us that a household would be divided, it was over the truth of the Word, and when children do what is right by the Lord God, they honor their parents. Honoring one's parents can be obeying their every word, especially when he/she is young, but as adults, if our parents instruct us in ways that are against the Word of God, we do what is right by the Lord Jesus Christ first, and then we automatically honor our parents, even if they don't like it or don't understand it. It's similar to the government in that we do as they instruct, until what they instruct contradicts the commandments of Christ.
(Read "False Doctrine: Unlimited Submission to Government" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Since Jesus said He came to bring division, this leaves us with a very important question: How do we get the peace of Jesus Christ from division?

Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.
-1 Corinthians 5:6-7

A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. I have confidence in you through the Lord, that ye will be none otherwise minded: but he that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be... I would they were even cut off which trouble you.
-Galatians 5:9-12

My wife and I live on an small apple orchard, and we sometimes get some bruised apples, so my wife cuts the apples, and separates the good portion of the apple from the rotten portion. Even squirrels naturally cut out the bad portions with their teeth and spit them out. Is the apple better before or after dividing it? Obviously, it's better; the bad portion is purged out because it is not good for consumption, and leaving the apple alone (undivided) would have eventually ruined all the good portions as well.

The peace Jesus Christ brought is the calmness and tranquility in knowning that despite our sins, we have received his grace and will not have to suffer eternity in hell. And God blesses us for being calm and tranquil towards one another, and to encourage that calmness and tranquility between others.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
-Matthew 5:9

But the Bible does not tell us to withhold from telling people the truth just to make them happy. That's not peace; that's the fear of man.

The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
-Proverbs 29:25

When we tell men the truth, even in a peaceful manner, many will hate us, but many Christians refuse to tell their fellow neighbors and friends the truth because the fear of being hated is greater than the desire for the truth. In the end, there are many Christians today who would rather a man/woman end up in hell, than to have he/she upset with them.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
-Matthew 5:10-12

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
-Matthew 19:29-30

You won't be persecuted if you're not telling the truth. If we don't teach people the law, and be an example of salt and light to them, then certainly they won't revile us and speak lies about us. The only way we our persecuted for righteousness' sake is to speak the truth of God's Word to all men, despite the fact that they'll hate us for it.

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
-Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus Christ says we are to be salt, and salt does a number of interesting things:

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
-John 3:19

If they love darkness rather than light, and you are the light of the world, the world will hate you.

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.
-John 15:19

If you are a Christian, and you have some people hating you, rejoice in the Lord because you are not of the world, but if you are a Christian and don't have some people hating you, I would be very concerned that you may be on the world's side of this spiritual battle.

Jesus Christ tells us to have salt in ourselves, meaning we will be irritating to others, but we can do so while still being peaceful with them. That means we can be calm, cool, collected, kind, understanding, but still be irritating to those who have their hides chapped by the Holy Law of God. Peacefulness means nothing without the salt, so it's something we should be extra careful not to lose.

Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.
-Mark 9:50

Logical Fallacies of "Peace"

Christians who stand on the Biblical definition of peace are often accused of being "unpeaceful" people, but they are most often using a logical fallacy called "equivocation," in which a man uses a word that is ambiguous (i.e. it can have multiple meanings and it is never clearly defined), so no one will know what he actually means by what he says. In logical argumentation, it is sometimes called a "linguistic boobytrap."
Example: People shoot targets. Therefore, if someone shops at Target, they run the risk of being shot.
The word "target" can refer to a specific point one is aiming at, or it can refer to a shopping center. Without specifying the definitions of the word, it is nothing more than doublespeak.

They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
-Psalm 12:2

This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
-Matthew 15:8

Many wicked people speak of "peace," and peace in honor of God, but what they really want in their hearts is for everyone to unify under their wicked opinions and desires. The Word of God should be the highest standard of faith and practice, and the Lord Jesus Christ tells us that worldly unity solves nothing. True peace does not occur without separating the sheep from the goats.

And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
-Matthew 25:32

One of the important doctrines that gets ignored in modern-day churches is division/separation. In most churches today, if any division takes place, whether in the church or not, it is considered "wrong," but this is not what Jesus Christ taught us.

And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
-Matthew 10:13

In the days of Jesus Christ, when an Israelite would shake the dust off his feet, it was symbolic of separating himself from the Gentile city he was just visiting. In the passage of Matthew 10, Jesus Christ is telling them that if they will hear your words, then speak your peace, but if they won't, then hold your peace and separate yourselves from them.

Why would Jesus Christ teach us to separate ourselves from those people who will not hear (or adhere to) the Word of God? Because if we don't have division, they'll end up leavening the lump (i.e. the Body of Christ).

Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
-Romans 16:17-18

This verse is often read too quickly by Christians, and they end up believing we are supposed to mark them that cause divisions and offense, but it says "CONTRARY to the doctrine" we have learned. This means that there are offenses and divisions that are supposed to take place according to the doctrine of Jesus Christ, and those that refuse to make those divisions (i.e. those who tip-toe around in fear of offending mankind) are bringing harm to the Body of Christ by allowing leaven in the church, meaning it won't be long until that bruised apple will be completely rotten.
Today, the churches of America have mostly departed from anything that would separate leaven from the church. (e.g. 501c3 incorporation, holidays like Christmas, etc) This has allowed in seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, which has leavened the church even more, bringing forth an ecumenical movement (i.e. attempting to unite Christians and heathens together) from men like Rick Warren, supporting countless false doctrines, and teaching pastors how to ruin their congregations with worldly inventions.
(Read "Wolves in Costume: Rick Warren" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

Many Christians have complained at me in the past that we should never give up on our brethren, but this is not what the Gospel of Jesus teaches us. We FORGIVE them if they have done us wrong (if they repent), but there is certain point that Christ teaches us to depart from them.

I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
-1 Corinthians 5:9-11

The Lord God is telling us not to even sit down and have a meal with men who call themselves our brethren, but do these things. This doesn't mean we may never speak with them, but we don't associate with them, and Jesus Christ gave us a four-step process on how to remove them from the congregation.

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, [#1] go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, [#2] then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, [#3] tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, [#4] let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
-Matthew 18:15-17

First of all, I have never personally seen a church do all four steps. I'm not saying no one ever has, but I have never personally seen this. Second, treating a man as an heathen and publican is the same as to sanctify (set apart) yourselves from that man/woman, and this is what Jesus Christ prayed to God the Father:

I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
-John 17:14-19

sanctify (v): to cleanse, purify, or make holy; to separate, set apart, or appoint to a holy use
(See 'sanctify', Noah Webster's Dicitonary, 1828, [www.1828.mshaffer.com])

When we are sanctified, as the New Testament doctrine speaks of many times, it means for us to be divided from wickedness, uncleanness, and the world. We live IN the world, but we don't live LIKE the world because we are sanctified (separated from the world) by His Word and Truth.

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body... That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
-Ephesians 5:23-27

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
-1 Thessalonians 5:23

This shows us that God is a God of peace, and of sanctification (separation), which also demonstrates that "peace" and "unity" are not the same thing. Again, the peace Jesus Christ offers is our peace in Him, that he has shed His own blood for our souls that we do not have to pay an eternal penalty for our crimes against the Holy God.

Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
-Hebrews 13:12

The New-Age Church's "Buddy Jesus"

The "Buddy Jesus" statue was inspired by a movie made back in 1999 by a director who was a former Catholic turned agnostic. In the movie, they mostly mock everything concerning Christianity. And though this portrayal of "Jesus" does not in any way reflect what the Bible teaches, it does reflect the new-age doctrines that God is only love (heart in the middle of his robe), and that you're alright with Jesus because you're supposed to "come as you are."
Jesus NEVER said "come as you are," because we need to come to the foot of the cross in repentance. Even then, after we come to the cross in repentance, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, he CHANGES us so that we are not the same. If we stayed the same as when we came to Jesus Christ, we would all end up in hell.
(Read "Is Repentance Necessary?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)

The only thing good I can say about this statue is that it accurately represents the new-age "Jesus" the church is teaching, but the sickening part about it is that even though the heathens recognize this is the image the church is portraying to the world, Christians continue to spread this false concept instead of reproving it.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
-2 Timothy 4:2-3

We are to be sanctified (divided from) the world, but often I see those claiming to be Christians who are persecuting Christian brethren for separating (sanctifying) themselves from wickedness and worldly lusts. I have seen many railing accusations come from those who don't hold the Word of God as their foundation for all knowledge.

railer (n): one who scoffs, insults, censures or reproaches with opprobrious [contemptuous/abusive] language
(See 'railer', Noah Webster's Dicitonary, 1828, [www.1828.mshaffer.com])

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
-1 Corinthians 5:11

For example, concerning the Christian rock music issue, I received a letter from a man calling himself a Christian (I had never talked to him before this letter) who was in deep love with his rock music, and in his first communication to me, he called me the following: shameful, thick, biased, cherry-picker, illogical, ridiculous, tripe, liar, traditionalist, condemner of guiltless, ignorant of Scripture, Pharisee, contemptible, blind, ignorant of joy of the Lord, ignorant of grace, looking down on others, coward, self-righteous, and much more. So according to our Lord Jesus Christ, we are supposed to sanctify (separate) ourselves from men like that, avoid associations with them, and don't even have a meal with them because when they reap what they've sown, you don't want to be near them.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
-Galatians 6:7

If we continue in 1 Corinthians 5, Paul gives us more details:

For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
-1 Corinthians 5:12-13

The impression the world gets about Jesus Christ and the Christian Church come from those who are WITHIN the congregation, and if there are any within who are doing wicked things, they need to be removed. Again, just as we saw in Matthew 18, those within the church are given ample opportunity to come forward and repent of their actions, but if they refuse, then we sanctify ourselves from them.

When we evangelize, our first priority is to give the law of God, which is what Jesus Christ did when he preached to the lost.

And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him... Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
-Mark 10:17-19

This is not teaching him that he must work the commandments of God to be saved; rather, this is to bring people to the knowledge of repentance of their sin, and Jesus also continued to answer their questions on this matter:

And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
-Mark 10:26-27

So how is it that we can preach the law to those who are lost and bring them to a state of repentance before God, when we ourselves do wicked deeds before men? We're nothing more than hypocrites at that point, and the world judges us by our actions. Let's read it one more time:

But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
-1 Corinthians 5:13

If we don't sanctify (divide) ourselves from the world, how can the world tell the difference between themselves and children of God? If they see no difference, then they will see nothing in themselves that is wicked, and will not come to repent of the evil they have wrought.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
-2 Corinthians 6:17

Division and separation that takes place because of the doctrine of Jesus Christ is good. If it wasn't, God would never have divided the languages in Babylon. We are blessed when the world separates us from their company for sake of the Son of God.

So there was a division among the people because of him.
-John 7:43

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
-Luke 6:22

In the end, Christians should not long for unity as much as they should long for truth, because unity doesn't automatically bring peace. Only truth brings peace; the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, whereby we can unify as brethren in faith. The only place the Bible speaks of real unity is in the truth of the Word and fear of the Lord:

Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
-Psalm 86:11

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
-Psalm 111:10

For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
-Proverbs 1:29

The only unity the Bible talks about is unity of the brethren in the Holy Spirit and faith in the Son of God:

Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
-Ephesians 4:3

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
-Ephesians 4:13

Without the faith in Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, there will never be real unity, but we need to understand that the is another side to this, when the Bible warns us not to be united with the world. The term the Bible uses is "yoke:"

yoke (v): to be or become joined, linked, or united
(See 'yoke', Random House Dictionary, 2013, Random House Inc, retrieved Sept 10, 2013 [www.dictionary.com])

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?... Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
-2 Corinthians 6:14-16

Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
-Isaiah 58:9

In the end, there will be a worldly unity of unbelievers, a New World Order, a One-World Religion that will unite (yoke) together under the final antichrist, and there will also be a remnant of believers on Jesus Christ who will be sanctified (set apart) from the world, and united together in faith. Will you choose to follow the peace of Jesus Christ, or will you choose to follow the "peace" of the world?

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
-Matthew 12:30

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
-Joshua 24:15

As a final note, remember that the apostles did not always agree with one another.

And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other:
-Acts 15:36-39

Even though they disagreed, and due to that disagreement, they parted from one another, the Holy Spirit was leading both of them at the same time. Somtimes, God divides us for a reason, and though we may not see the big picture, the division is often good for our sakes, and for those around us.

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