Recently a family member approached me about someone in the family thinking that we should never defend ourselves under any circumstance, even war. I was told that another member of our family felt that I do not know God [as well as others in our family who are deeply rooted in the Word of God] or I would have laid down my rifle and tried to share the Bible first with the enemy soldiers in Vietnam. Sad thing is when I made contact with my first enemy soldier I did not speak hardly any Vietnamese. Also this guy came out of the jungle and put seven bullets through the man next to me. He fell to the ground dead and this North Vietnamese soldier just kept firing his rifle until others with me killed him. There was, and usually is, no time to talk. There was no place to teach that soldier and no time either. Even here in the U. S., when some person points a gun at you, or pulls a knife on you, or a sharpened screwdriver, or whatever, there will be little godly conversation going on between you and that person. In most situations where you get threatened with bodily harm, those wanting to hurt you, rob you, or whatever, will not be in a listening mood. They want what you have, and, if armed with whatever, are willing to use it to get what they want.
Guns and knives are not bad. People may be bad and could use a car to run you over if they wanted to. That would not make the car bad but the person driving the car would be the one who is bad. To say guns cause killings is akin to saying matches cause arson! Weapons are not bad—only those using them wrongly.
Recently, there was a shooting where a white man walked into a black church in South Carolina and open fired with a gun killing nine people. That is a tragedy and should never have happened. My heart goes out to the families of those people, but that will not bring them back. Only preparation, beforehand, could have prevented such a tragedy! Know this, it was not the gun that was the problem, but the guy on drugs was the problem. I hate the evil in the world and it gets worse all the time. We need to know that there is evil in our world and not protecting ourselves from it will only encourage the evil to continue. My bank has had an armed guard in it for as long as I can remember. Our country’s leaders have armed men and women around them. Why? To protect them! Yet we do not protect our schools, colleges, and churches with armed people. I feel all the kids, students, teachers, professors, and ministers, and the people attending, or visiting any of those places are just as important as anyone else being protected. As a matter of fact, I feel my kids are every bit as important as anyone else anywhere.
I am not sorry that I am not using a King James Version! Why? Because it is not the only True Word of God! Some refer to it as the A.V. [Authorized Version]! Oh please, how could either statement be true? It was not written until 1611 A.D.! Jesus never saw one, nor did Peter, nor Paul! If the King James Bible was the only True Word of God, then what about all the other languages in the world? It is not translated into every language. And, what about all who lived before 1611? They would not have had the only True Word of God without the King James. If in fact, it were the only True Word of God, then the KJV misses it on this verse because most other translations read like the NIV below. Also this is how it reads in the Greek text. Look at this verse in 1 John 5:19, but watch out, as it might surprise you.
1 John 5:19 (NIV)1
We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.
That is the Adversary, not God as many Christians believe. The problem is too few really read what the Bible actually says. Sadly, some translations are not translated according to the language as it was used when Jesus, Paul, and others lived on the earth. Many wonderful Christian’s blame God for all the evil, sin, and suffering in the world when it is the Adversary who is at fault. Did God kill those wonderful people? No! It was the Evil One, our Enemy, the Adversary, the Accuser, etc.! Actually, it was a man affected by drugs, but the Evil One was behind it. Our Enemy wants people to live in fear, but he would be even happier if only bad people had guns. See this verse:
Hebrews 2:14 (NIV)
Since the children have flesh and blood, he [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—
Devil and Satan are not accurate names for him, see our article: “Is There a Devil and Is He Real?” This article will give you an understanding of whom, and what we are up against! When Christian’s know that the Adversary is in control of this world, and that he is the one responsible for death, then we would have a good start. He is the opposite of Jesus, see this verse:
John 10:10 (NIV)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The Evil One, who is the Thief in this verse, wants to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us; yet Jesus said, he came to give life and have it to the full! Which do you want? Easy answer, you want LIFE! Let us look at a verse in Luke where Jesus was tempted by the Evil One—he is evil and a lot more!
Luke 4:5–7 (NIV)
5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will all be yours.”
Let us put on our thinking caps here. I cannot spend a lot of time teaching that the Adversary has control of the world, as we saw in 1 John 5 above. If I do, we will not be able to cover the titled topic. Here in Luke, our Enemy states to Jesus that he has been given all the kingdoms of the world and their authority and splendor! He offered to give them to Jesus if Jesus would worship him! Read the context and Jesus never says, “Hey Bozo, you do not have them, God does, and God is in control!” No! He knew the Evil One received this authority from Adam and Eve. They were given this in Genesis but transferred it to the Serpent [who is the Devil] after the Fall of Man in Genesis 3. After all, the Bible refers to our Adversary as the god of this age! Consider this verse:
2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV)
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
These verses show that the Evil One is the “god of this age” and is the one who has the control of the whole world; he has the authority of all the kingdoms of the world and is responsible for death! Christian’s should understand that if we are going to live where the Evil One is in control and kills people then they [we] must do what we can to preserve the lives of those in churches, colleges, schools, and more. If an armed person would have been in that church, or at Sandy Hook school, how differently things may have turned out. A bad person, knowing there are places where there are no guns, gives them confidence to do evil. So let us take a look at what Scripture says, because nowhere are any weapons ever referred to as bad. We will, however, see bad people. We will see we need to defend ourselves. So let us get into it!
This record we are about to get into amazed me as I worked it because it shows daughters and families doing the work. Therefore, they too must have had weapons as they worked, as it would not be smart to have one man working with his daughters and the daughters not be armed. Why? Because, if an enemy saw them working there without weapons, that would be where they would attack first because it would be the weakest point. Let us look at two verses.
Nehemiah 3:12 (RSV)
Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.
So, if this guy was repairing the wall with his daughters, then these verses coming up would apply to those girls. Please note this next verse as it does not say men, it says “…people according to their families…,” but read the rest of the verse! Also, many times when the words man or men is used in the Bible it is referring to mankind.
Nehemiah 4:13 (RSV)
So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows.
This was when Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem after being in captivity for 70 years in Babylon. It was written in first person so this is Nehemiah speaking. This follows right after the verses we just looked at. I want you to remember that though verses and chapters are nice, they were added by man. He said “…I stationed the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows.” Most translations say “people” and “families” not men and families! Also the context still has 3:12, which has a man and his daughters. This is one record and for the most part, all goes together. Read the entire section, note verses 16 through 18. The NIV is much clearer in modern English.
Nehemiah 4:15–18 (NIV)
15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work. 16 From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah 17 who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other, 18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
See that in verse 16, “…all the people of Judah.” Seems they were ready to defend themselves if the need was there! This next section is in the Gospels. This is Jesus talking to his disciples. He is sending them out to share the Truth with others. The first time he sent them out, he said not to take anything with them, but now he says to take stuff, even a sword.
Luke 22:36 (NIV)
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
The word “sword” is used many times but most of the time it is the Greek word μάχαιρα, machaira, meaning: 1) a large knife, used for killing animals and cutting up flesh 2) a small sword, as distinguished from a large sword 2a) curved sword, for a cutting stroke 2b) a straight sword, for thrusting. Sadly, people do not study history and culture or they would understand that the short sword was the most common sword of the Roman Empire. The Gladius sword was used from 13 B.C. until the end of the first century A.D. The length of the entire sword was between 25.6 and 27.6 inches (65–70 cm), and was 2.75 inches wide (7 cm). These were the most common swords of the time and remember Israel and Judah had been conquered by Rome. Therefore, these would have been the easiest to come by. Although it could have been a knife, throughout the Christian Scriptures the same Greek word is used and translated sword. I checked the Septuagint [which is the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures] and the word knife was there showing there was a word for knife that could have been used here. Knife is in several verses in the Septuagint; remember the record of Jeremiah giving the scroll to the king who cut it up with a knife [Jer. 36:23] and threw it in the fire. Knife is used other places, like Judges 19:29; and Proverbs 23:2. Let us look at a verse in Romans where the same Greek word used in Luke is also translated sword. This section of Scripture is talking about just government leaders not the corrupt governments running most nations today. It is talking about dealing with wrongdoers, criminals, law breakers, who deserve punishment for what they have done wrong.
Romans 13:4 (NIV)
For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
There are many people who will say, “He who lives by the sword will die by the sword,” and say, “It is in the Bible!” I checked every version I have, which is over 40, and it is not there. I could write a book on sayings people say are in the Bible; such as, “cleanliness is next to godliness,” and, “God helps those who help themselves.” You will not find those sayings in the Bible either. I do not want to go off topic, so I will stop here talking about what people say is in the Bible. Please do not think that everything you have heard said is in the Bible because it may not be. Look it up and read it for yourself because it just might not be there! The verse closest to: “He who lives by the sword will die by the sword” is in Matthew 26.
Matthew 26:52 (KJV)
Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.
This seems at first glance to contradict Luke above, and Jesus would not do this. Those of you who have studied the gift of holy spirit should recognize the transliteration from the Greek: lambano? It is translated “receive” in the gift of holy spirit sections of the Bible. Here they translate it as “take.” Lambano has an emphasis on the action taken by the one receiving. I am not going to go off topic on the other Greek words, just lambano. Vine’s Dictionary of New Testament Words notes:
There is a certain distinction between lambano and dechomai (more pronounced in the earlier, classical use), in that in many instances lambano suggests a self-prompted taking, whereas dechomai more frequently indicates “a welcoming or an appropriating reception”2
Studying the uses of lambano shows us that when someone “receives” or “takes” something, there is a visible manifestation of it. Therefore, the word “take” above in Matthew would be to “take” or “receive” the sword into your hand, i.e., for all to see [into manifestation]. In our terms, it would be to walk around with it out ready to use for everyone to see. Jesus did not want anyone ready like they would be in war. This fits with Luke, namely, having a weapon so you could use it if you need to rather than carrying it in the ready position like the military. He wanted us to be able to protect ourselves just like those believers in the Hebrew Scriptures. Two verses later, in Luke it says:
Luke 22:38 (NIV)
The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That is enough,” he replied.
Read the context. This was Jesus who said, “That is enough.” Jesus, earlier in this chapter at “The Last Supper” with his disciples, told them Peter was going to deny Christ three times. These two verses here in Luke follow right after him telling Peter, and then, him going to the Mount of Olives to pray, which happened right before they came for him to begin all that led to his Crucifixion. Jesus said this knowing his time had come, yet he said, they needed to have a sword. He was sending them out armed.
Today, in this time, we are in a spiritual battle and we cannot be ignorant of the Adversary’s schemes [NIV] or devices [KJV], see the verse below.
2 Corinthians 2:11 (KJV)
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
When I point this out to people, some get rather upset. Many people do not want to know anything about our Enemy. Why? Because he scares them! Read that verse again, “Lest he should get an advantage of us: FOR WE ARE NOT IGNORANT OF HIS DEVICES!” Therein is the problem; many of us ARE IGNORANT of his devices! Do you know who you are dealing with? Many do not know anything about him; throughout this article we have seen many bad things about our Enemy. Earlier in this article, I linked an article about the Devil. Go back and click on it and read it. He is not a nice guy and is the Enemy of God, Jesus, and every Christian. In John 10:10 above we see that he wants to kill, steal, and destroy and that barely scratches the surface of who he is and what he does. Folks, we are in a spiritual battle and most Christians have no idea. Check out the following verse.
Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
This verse shows what Paul received by revelation from Jesus Christ about the spiritual side of our Enemy—that is the Evil One, the Wicked One, the Tempter, the Accuser, the god of this age, the Adversary, the Serpent, our Enemy, Slanderer, and many other names. Each name is descriptive of what he and his minions [the demons] do. We do not use Satan, or Devil, but you will know this when you read the linked article above. See what this verse says about him.
John 8:44 (NIV)
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
This is the guy in control of the world and the god of this age! Ouch!! Get me out of here! People, he gets in folks and control’s them. Really, our Enemy has one of his minions enter people and controls them. He does not really do it himself, it is called “agency.” This in the Greek is δαιμονίζομαι which is transliterated into English as daimonizomai meaning: to be possessed by a demon. I feel “demonized” best defines the Greek meaning. I am sure you know this section of Scripture from the Last Supper.
John 13:27 (NIV)
As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan [the Adversary] entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him,
What does that say: “…as Judas took the bread, Satan [the Adversary] entered into him…;” this is what the NIV calls demon-possessed. Here, Judas became “demonized” or as the NIV states “demon-possessed.” Though it is spiritually true, “…our struggle is not against flesh and blood….” Once [as in this verse and others] the Adversary [or one of his cronies] entered into him that struggle can become physical! That person will not be in control of what he or she does, then, add drugs and we have a recipe for what happened in South Carolina at that church. Take away the drugs and you have Sandy Hook school. They are truly controlled by evil forces! With people ignorant of what our Enemy does and how he does it, you have these kinds of tragedies. He can do so much when people are open to and/or for him. See this verse:
Matthew 4:24 (NIV)
News about him [Jesus] spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and he healed them.
Jesus healed them and we can too! Someday, I will write a book or do a class on “Healing and Demonization,” but for now, I will show you a few more verses in Matthew, and there are more in Matthew. There are more throughout the Bible, but I am sure you get the point. Demons get into people and “demonize” them and have them do things they would not necessarily do normally. They also cause all kinds of health issues, which will be evident below. Other people do bad things because of hate. Sometimes drugs or alcohol can be the cause. Why? No self-control! I will talk about that in another article. Read these verses and think about the bolded sections.
Matthew 8:16 (NIV)
When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick.
Matthew 9:32 and 33 (NIV)
32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
Matthew 12:22 (NIV)
Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see.
Casting out demons is many times a healing!
Matthew 15:22 (NIV)
A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”
Read that record. She was not a Jew, yet she had great faith [trust], and her daughter was healed [yes, it says healed], from that very hour! See the verse below:
Matthew 15:28 (NIV)
Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
So we Christians need to be blaming the real cause, the Adversary and his minions, as well as the use of drugs and excessive use of alcohol. But please do not blame a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, knife, or sword because they are not evil. Taking God and His Son Jesus out of schools and governments has caused many of the problems we are seeing today! Also many men and women teaching in our churches need to be teaching about our Enemy! Why? So those here and around the world would not get tricked into blaming an inanimate object or our heavenly Father but blame the real cause, THE EVIL ONE and HIS MINIONS.
Do you want to stop killings in our schools and colleges, etc.? It is simple, “restrict the flow.” Put up metal detectors at the entrance [or entrances] with an armed and well trained security guard there [maybe two], or a local policeman, or sheriff. Then once school begins, instruct all students, parents, and teachers that all but one entrance will be locked and though they can be opened from inside, all other doors will be alarmed during school hours, except the main entrance!
What about the churches!? Allow people, or get some people who attend regularly, to carry concealed firearms in church. They should get permits if available. In my church where I attended for fifteen years, I and others carried handguns and everyone knew it; and we never had an incident.
I stated earlier that blaming a gun for killing, is like blaming matches for arson. We have a free country because the citizens fought for freedom from an oppressive government. We have rights listed in the Bill of Rights. These are the first ten amendments to our Constitution and the first one protects our freedom of speech and of religion, the second put teeth in it giving the people the right to keep and bear arms. This protects the other rights. Our Declaration of Independence says we have the right to alter or abolish any government that becomes destructive to its own ends. We did that once in 1776! Also, if they take away the right to own guns, what protects the rest of our “Rights,” especially the freedom of religion? Are you willing to lose our God given and Constitutional given rights? I am NOT and I pray enough people will wake up to the Truth of the Bible and Constitution before it is too late! Wake Up America!