Last Updated on : November 23, 2014
The Peace and Safety "Cry"
Elpis Israel, 1904 Edition, pages 122-127
The Bible emphatically says that the peace and safety "CRY" is all that it is -- a cry for peace and safety. It didn't say they were going to HAVE peace and safety, but that they DESIRE peace and safety. In fact, as they cry for a period of peace and safety, they are going to end up with sudden destruction. This demonstrates what Yahweh thinks of their desire for such a state. He makes it very clear when He says in Isa. 48:22 and 57:21 "there is no peace saith Yahweh unto the wicked." We feel that this categorical statement made in two places in Isaiah clearly and emphatically indicates that Yahweh will not let the wicked have peace. He further says as a lead into Isa. 57:21, that He is the provider of peace, but the wicked are like a troubled sea that cannot rest.
"But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." (Isa. 57:20-21, KJV).
Another area which is misinterpreted is that of Ezekiel 38 concerning "dwelling safely", which errorists turn into a proof that this is the Kingdom of God at this time. The phrase has nothing to do with that. Brother H.P. Mansfield has the following to say on it:
"The Hebrew signifies a place of refuge providing security and confidence. This is based on flesh and so is condemnd by Yahweh (Eezk. 39:26). As a result of Gog's attack, they will be forced to recognize Yahweh (Matt. 23:39)"
Additionally, we can find the Hebrew occuring in the following places:
Ezekiel 30:9, it is translated "careless" (#983 in Strongs, the noun form):
Ezekiel 39:6, it is translated "carelessly" (margin: confidently):
Isaiah 36:15, it is translated "trust" (#982 in Strong's, the verb form):
Let us briefly look at Ezekiel 30:9, where our Hebrew word is "betach" and it signifies "trust, confidence, security." This confidence or security can be in persons, things, self, or God. Thus, here the prophet says that though the Ethiopians are careless (that is, confident or secure in their own ability to defend themselves), yet they will be made afraid and great pain shall come upon them. They found that their confidence in self was misplaced, as Israel will do in the future (Eze. 38:8; 39:6). Obviously, the word does not signify without danger in that context, but rather suggests a people who are confident in their personal prowess -- ignoring the danger and believing that they were more than able to cope with it. See the following passages where the Hebrew word "betach" occurs:
Again going into Isa. 36:15: the word "trust" is #982 in Strong's, the verb form, the Hebrew "betach", which signifies "trust, be confident,or sure." This confidence and security can be in persons, things, self or God. Jerusalem was surrounded by the Assyrian army at that time, but even so, it was possible for the people in the besieged city to dwell in confidence if they put their trust in Yahweh. Similar to Eze. 38:8, except there Israel's confidence stems from the flesh and not from trust in Yahweh. (Eze. 39:26). The margin translates "safely" by the word "confidently." Again emphasizing what many scholars feel this word means.
Let us pause for a moment and consider Ezek. 39:26 briefly. It says:
This clearly indicates that the time which is being spoken about, namely the events of Ezek. 38-39, are clearly those that are prior to the establishment of the Kingdom. It also very clearly indicates that they are confident in the flesh. It is not a confidence that comes from Yahweh. Like that expressed in Isaiah 36:15, we can see that the Jews are confident in their ability to protect and defend themselves. Clearly those who are in error on these chapters in Ezekial 38-39 never paid attention to the significance of this passage, nor the use of this word throughout the Scriptures. As we have seen in the above passages, and there are many others not listed, the word is used of conditions of security or confidence in these ages that have preceded the Kingdom. It is hoped that those who are in error on this point, will be caused to take notice and correct their erroneous beliefs.
Another passage that is misunderstood is Eze. 38:11 which says:
And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
Which does not represent a country at peace, but an agrarian society. This is clearly established in Lev. 25:24-31:
And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land. If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. And if the man have none to redeem it, and himself be able to redeem it; Then let him count the years of the sale thereof, and restore the overplus unto the man to whom he sold it; that he may return unto his possession. But if he be not able to restore it to him, then that which is sold shall remain in the hand of him that hath bought it until the year of jubile: and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return unto his possession. And if a man sell a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year may he redeem it. And if it be not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubile. But the houses of the villages which have no wall round about them shall be counted as the fields of the country: they may be redeemed, and they shall go out in the jubile.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is not talking about a society at peace at all. It is just stating that a major part of their economy is farming. Further, we find the following from Bro. H. P. Mansfield:
"'The land of unwalled villages' -- this is a Hebraism defining rural settlements (see Lev. 24:31). Rotherham renders the term as 'hamlets'. It clearly points to modern Israel which can be styled a nation of rural settlements."
He then comments on the phrase "at rest" on which he says,
"'shaqat' signifies 'repose', and here suggests the respose that Jewry in the land enjoys today after restlessly wandering from country to country under threat of persecution, over the centuries."
In fact, the word translated "rest" in Isa. 57:20 is "shaqat", and it indicates that there is none for the wicked. According to Strongs, and Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius and Tregelles Gesenius - it means "repose, to be quiet, undisturbed, to rest, to have quiet, (to lie, to lie down...)". Unlike the world in general, which is constantly experiencing problems that will not allow this term to apply to them, it does apply to the Jew because he has been persecuted from one country to another and has experienced pogroms and the German halocaust. There was no place where there was safety from this anti-semitism until they had their own country. Now that they have their own country, they are no longer being forced to move from pillar to post. This represents a major event in human history and it has no application to anyone else. Clearly when you are no longer being forced to wander, but have finally arrived at a destination called a homeland, in that sense you are at "repose."
We have a article where the author in the title to the article says that Israel is dwelling confidently.
The author here is a man of the world and does not understand prophecy. In fact, he probably knows nothing of Eze. 38. Yet, stating his observations, he clearly identifies the word "confident" with the attitude of Israel. In the course of the article, he will demonstrate that there is confidence, but they are in the midst of turmoil. We feel that in our discussion that we have given, his views clearly represent what we have been presenting. Having been a Christdelphian for decades, I can positively state that a characteristic statement coming up in so many lectures on the latter days, is that Israel is dwelling confidently. Never was there any attempt to locate a future time period where they would literally be at peace. Of course, this is what you will find in all of the writings of Bro. Thomas and Bro. Roberts which I am in perfect agreement with. Hence, below is a section from Elpis Israel, 1904 Edition, pages 122-127, which presents this view. -- JBS, August 16, 1999
THE PEACE AND SAFETY CRY.
The allegorical signification of the sentence became the plan of "the foundation of the world," [Matt. 13:35; 25:34; Luke 11:50; John 17:24; Eph. 1:4; Heb. 4:3; 9:26; 1 Peter 1:20; Rev. 13:8; 17:8; the word for "world" in all these passages is "kosmos"] under the altered circumstances which sin had introduced. It constitutes the earth the arena of a terrible strife between two hostile powers, which was not to terminate until His law gained the ascendancy over the sin of the world and but one Sovereign will be obeyed by the sons of men. The enmity He put between these parties was not a mere unfriendly verbal disputation, but one which reeked of blood. It began with the dispute which caused Abel to lose his life, and has continued unto this day. For nearly 6000 years has this enmity made the earth a field of blood, and yet the war is not ended. The sin-power still lords it over the world, and is marshalling its forces for a last decisive blow. The "powers that be" [Rom. 13:1] have laid
low the saints of God in all the countries of their dominion; they have bruised them in the heel; and are now taking up their positions, and preparing themselves to arbitrate their relative and future destiny by the sword. They have forgotten, or are indifferent to, the enormities of the past. They know not that the righteous blood they have shed upon the earth cries loudly for vengeance in the ears of God. Truth, justice, and equity, their souls hate; and all that they propose is to destroy the liberty and happiness of mankind, and to make eternal their own vicious and hateful rule. But God is as just as He is full of goodness, mercy, and truth. "The death of His saints is precious in the sight of the Lord," [Psa. 116:15] and He will not permit them to go unavenged. The "powers that be" [Rom. 13:1] can therefore no more perpetually exist than convicted robbers and murderers can escape the punishment due to their crimes. The law of retribution to which God has assigned the adjudication of their punishment, says, "Give them blood to drink, for they are deserving; because they have shed the blood of saints and prophets" (Rev. 16:6): "Reward them even as they have rewarded you, and double unto them double according to their works; in the cup which they have filled fill to them double" (Rev. 18:6).
But, though the Scriptures of truth are so explicit with respect to the blasphemous and felonious character of the governments of the world; though they denounce the judgments of war, pestilence, and famine upon the nations subject to them; though they declare that the wicked are the Lord's sword to execute His judgments upon one another; though they most emphatically and solemnly aver, that God says "there shall be no peace to the wicked" (Isaiah 57:21); and though men see, and profess to deplore, the whoredoms and witchcrafts of the Roman Jezebel, and the enormities of the cruel tyrants who pour out her victims' blood like water to uphold her: notwithstanding all this, there are multitudes of people who pretend to take the Bible as the rule of their faith; who claim to be "pious," and class themselves among the saints of the Lord: I say, men of these pretensions, headed by political and spiritual guides, are clamoring for the abolition of war, and the settlement of all international differences by arbitration! Such persons may be very benevolent, or very covetous; but they are certainly not very wise. Their outcry about "peace" evinces their ignorance of the nature of "sinful flesh," [Rom. 8:3] and of the testimony of God; or, if cognizant of them, their infidelity, and shallowness of mind. Before peace can be
established in the world, "the enmity" [Eph. 2:15-16; cp Gen. 3:15] which God has put between good and evil, in word and deed, must be abolished. Peace is to be deprecated as a calamity by the faithful, so long as the Roman Jezebel and her paramours are found among the living. "What peace, so long as her whoredoms and witchcrafts are so many" (2 Kings 9:22)? Will they destroy the divisions among powers and people, which God's truth is ever calculated to make where it is received in whole or part? Arbitration indeed? And who are to be the arbitrators? The popes, cardinals, priests, emperors, and kings of nations? Can justice, integrity, and good faith proceed from such reprobates? Do the Quakers, and financial, or acquisitive reformers imagine, that a righteous arbitration could emanate from them upon any question in which the interest of nations as opposed to their's were concerned? Really, the conceit of pious infidelity is egregiously presumptuous. If this peace-mania be a specimen of "the light within," [Luke 11:35 (John 11:10)] alas! how great is the darkness [Matt. 6:23] of that place which professes to be enlightened by it.
But the most absurd thing imaginable is that the arbitrationists profess to advocate peace upon Scriptural grounds! Because one of the titles of the Lord is "the Prince of Peace," [Isa. 9:6] they argue that war is displeasing to God; and that, Jesus came to establish peace as the result of preaching. But war is not displeasing to God any more than a rod is displeasing to him that uses it for correction. God instituted war when He put enmity between the serpent and the woman. It is a divine institution for the punishment of the transgressors of His law; and a most beneficent one too: for all the little liberty the world enjoys is attributable to the controversy of the tongue, the pen, and the sword. What would have been the fate of the thirteen trans-atlantic Colonies, if they had been left to the arbitrative justice of George the third's contemporaries? The heel of spiritual tyranny, backed by the civil power, would have trampled upon them to this moment, as it does upon the rights of the Quakers here at this day. The weak who contend for liberty and truth have everything to dread from arbitration. With sword in hand, they may extort justice from the strong; but, if under the necessity of expecting it at the conscience and tender mercies of "the powers that be," [Rom. 13:1] the award will be a mockery of justice, and an insult to the sufferings of the oppressed.
Yea, verily, the Lord Jesus is "the Prince of Peace;" [Isa. 9:6] and therefore, no peace society can give peace to the world. It is He alone,
who can establish "peace on earth and good will among men;" [Luke 2:14] for He only is morally fit, and potentially competent to do it. The peace of the arbitrationists is peace based upon the transgression of the divine law, and the hostility of the covenanters to the gospel of the kingdom. It is an impure peace -- peace with the serpent power reigning over the blood-stained earth. Such a peace as this avaunt! Eternal war is better for the world than such a compromise with sin. The peace Messiah brings is "first pure." [Jas. 3:17] It is a peace the result of conquest, the tranquility which succeeds the bruising of the serpent's head. It is consequent upon the establishment of God's sovereignty over the nations, by the hand of Him, whom He hath prepared to "break in pieces the oppressor" (Psalm 72:4, 7, 9, 11, 17; Rev. 11:18), and let the oppressed go free. "In His days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endures. His enemies shall lick the dust; all nations shall serve Him and call Him blessed" (Psalm 72:4, 7, 9, 11, 17; Rev. 11:18). Then shall He judge among them, and rebuke them, and speak peace to them (Zech. 9:10); "and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (Isaiah 2:4)
But the Father did not send Jesus with the idea of bringing about this mighty revolution among the nations by preaching the gospel; neither did He propose to effect it in the absence of His Son. When He appeared in humiliation He came to take away peace from the earth, as both His words and history prove. "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division. I am come to send fire upon the earth; and what I wish (is) that it were already kindled" (Luke 12:49, 51). "I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his nearest dearest relations. So that a man's foes shall be they of his own household" (Matt. 10:34-36). This is the way the Prince of Peace spoke when on earth. The doctrine He taught is distasteful to the natural mind, and, by the purity of its principles, and astonishing nature of its promises, excites the enmity and incredulity of the flesh. Loving sin and hating righteousness, the carnal mind becomes the enemy and persecutor of those who advocate it. The enmity on the part of the faithless is inveterate; and where they have the power, they stir up war even at the domestic hearth. If the believer will agree to be silent, or to renounce his faith, there will then be
"peace and love" [Jude 2; cf 2 Cor. 13:11] such as the world, that "loves its own," [see John 15:19] is able to afford. But the true believers are not permitted to make any compromise of the kind. They are commanded to "contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3); and so long as they do this, they may lay their account with tribulation of various kinds. There is a vast deal of this false peace and spurious charity in the protestant world. Men have become traitors to Christ, and betray Him with their lips. They say, "O how we love the Lord!" and were He here they would doubtless kiss Him; but, like Judas they have colleagued with His enemies, and are as popular with the world as its god can possibly desire.
The truth is, judging from their arguments, the peace-mongers are not so man-loving as they pretend. The cry for peace is a piece of ventriloquism emanating from the pocket. Their strongest argument against war is based upon its cost. The taxes are burdensome because of the extravagance and war-like habits of past governments. This pinches them in the iron chest, and diminishes the profits of trade, and curtails the means of indulging the lusts of their flesh, of their eyes, and the pride of life. It is well these mammon-worshippers should feel the pinch. They are the enemies of God, and oblivious of His slaughtered saints; and, therefore, richly deserving of all the punishment the recklessness of "the powers" [Matt. 24:29; Mark 13:25; Luke 21:26; Rom. 13:1; Heb. 6:5] have entailed upon the world. Those who escape the sword and the famine groan under the expense of punishing the wicked at their own cost. Thus, the punishment re-acts upon all classes. I say, these peace-criers are the enemies of God; for with all their profession of piety, they are at peace with the world, and in high esteem and friendship with it; and "whosoever," says the Scripture, "is a friend of the world is the enemy of God." [Jas. 4:4] Look at the peace congress at Paris [opened in Aug. 1849], composed of popish priests, dissenting ministers, French politicians, self-illuminati of the Quaker school, English radicals, American pietists of all colors, rationalists, infidels, &c., &c.; all in such high favor with the liberticide dynasty of France, as to be let into "Egypt and Sodom" (Rev. 11:8) without passports, or custom-house scrutiny; and to be feted by one of the state officials. In what way can the world show its friendship to the peace society more palpably; or the society its reciprocity of feeling with the most Godless and Christless portion of it? The peace society is the world's beloved friend. The world wants peace, that it may find a respite from the judgments of God for its iniquity; and that it
may enrich itself by commerce, and enjoy itself in all the good things of life. The society is the world's employee, its zealous, utopian, missionary, and therefore, individually and collectively "the enemy of God." [Jas. 4:4]
Still, even out of so impious a speculation as this peace society, "the wise who understand" (Dan. 12:10) may extract encouragement. They will discern a providence in the foundation of the Quaker sect. This unscriptural cry of "peace and safety," [1 Thess. 5:3] emanated from them. They have gained wealth in the temple of their god; and this with their friend "the world," is a sufficient guarantee of their worth and respectability. Whatever they were in the beginning, matters not; they are now the most popular of all religionists with the masses; to please whom a man must pander to their propensities. All sorts of anti-government factions colleague with the Quakers in their cry of peace; not because they love peace for its own sake, but by curtailing the resources of the state, and so necessitating the reduction of armies, they think they can the more easily supersede the existing tyrannies by a still worse one of their own, as it would doubtless prove. This unhallowed coalition proclaims its outcry to be "the world's cry." We accept it as such. It is the cry of the world, which echoes in tones of thunder in the ears of the true believers. It is a cry in the providence of God, which is a great "sign of the times;" [Matt. 16:3] announcing that "the Lord standeth at the door and knocks" (Rev. 3:20), and is about quickly and unexpectedly to appear (Rev. 16; 22:7, 20). It is the world's cry, as the cry of a woman in travail, which has been extorted by sudden and tormenting pains. It blows a trumpet in the wise and understanding ear, sounding the approach of "the day of the Lord as a thief in the night;" [1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Peter 3:10] for "so it cometh; and when they shall say, PEACE and SAFETY; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape" (1 Thess.5:1-3). Such is the divine mission of the Quakers, and their allies the Cobdenite reformers. Not satisfied with crying peace, they cry "SAFETY" likewise. This is a peculiar feature of Cobdenism, which urges the disbandment of regiments, and the dismantling of ships, on the perverse presumption that danger there is none! Blind leaders of the blind [Matt. 15:14]. The groans of nations ascending to Heaven on every side; the kindling embers of war smoking in Rome, Vienna, and Constantinople -- and yet ye cry "peace and safety;" [1 Thess. 5:3] surely ye are incorrigibly demented, and ripe for capture and destruction.
Note: CONSTANTINOPLE-- In October 1853, "the embers" blazed up in Constantinople, and the Sultan declared war against Russia. In February, 1854, Mr. J. Sturge and other Quakers of the Bright and Cobden School were received at St. Petersburg by Czar Nicholas, who spoke peace and fought on. In March, England and France declared war against Russia. VIENNA -- In 1859 the fire blazed up in Vienna. Napoleon III picked a quarrel with Austria. "A mission of peace," in the hands of Lord Cowley, was only the prelude to the Austro-Sardinian war. ROME -- The Peace Congress of Geneva (September 1867), at which Garibaldi was present, was immediately followed by the revolution; and the Fall of the Temporal Power followed in 1870. So afterwards, when we saw the Peace Congress at the Hague (1899) followed in the same year by the war in South Africa; and still more recently, the "Peace of Munich" followed by the outbreak of the second "World War."