A Shattered “Peace”—Then the Real Thing
EIGHT out of ten Germans say that one of politics’ foremost duties is to safeguard peace. Seven years ago they put solving economic and social problems at the top of the list. “What you are witnessing is a fundamental change in people’s consciousness,” noted a prominent German politician.
This change in public priorities, apparently an international phenomenon, caused the London Times to ask: “What, after all, has changed in the real world since 1979 and 1980 that would account for the resurgence of public concern about nuclear weapons?” It admits to having no totally satisfying answer “why public opinion should have behaved as it did.”
But fear of nuclear war comes as no surprise to serious students of the Bible. They recall Jesus’ prophecy that “men [would] become faint out of fear and expectation of the things coming upon the inhabited earth.” (Luke 21:26) They also learn there of God’s purpose to make “wars to cease to the extremity of the earth.” How? Through disarmament, for the text continues: “The bow he breaks apart and does cut the spear in pieces; the wagons he burns in the fire.” (Psalm 46:9; see also 72:7.) Could this indicate, as some religionists may claim, that today’s peace movement is God’s way of accomplishing this earth-wide peace?
“To Peace There Will Be No End”
Isaiah 9:6, 7 promises that “the princely rule” of Christ Jesus, the “Prince of Peace,” will bring about a peace to which “there will be no end.” This means nothing other than the establishment of God’s Messianic Kingdom. In the Model Prayer that Jesus gave his disciples, Christians have long prayed for that Kingdom to accomplish God’s peaceful “will” here on earth.—Matthew 6:9, 10.
Bible prophecy is most clear on these two points: First, man will not destroy himself in a nuclear holocaust, and secondly, he will succeed in achieving a measure of “peace and security.” But this cannot be the peace of which Isaiah prophesied “there will be no end.” Why not? Because, according to the Bible, “whenever it is that they are saying: ‘Peace and security!’ then sudden destruction is to be instantly upon them.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3) Thus man’s “peace and security” will be shattered, cut short by “sudden destruction” in the “war of the great day of God the Almighty . . . called in Hebrew Har–Magedon.” (Revelation 16:14, 16) Just how will this come about?
Religious Influence Backfires
It appears likely that religion will actively support political leaders in bringing about this “peace and security.” To what extent it may even exert pressure upon them to achieve this goal, the Bible does not say. But, in any case, its alliance with politicians to bring about a substitute peace will be in rejection of God’s arrangement for lasting peace through the “princely rule” of Christ Jesus. Like an immoral woman who commits fornication, false religion will be found serving the interests of earthly peacemakers rather than those of the heavenly “Prince of Peace.”—See Revelation 17:1-6.
Politicians have not been above using religious leaders to procure support for their policies, even to preach men onto the battlefields in defense of their governments. Religious leaders, on the other hand, have used their influence with heads of state to manipulate matters to their own selfish advantage. They have often actively engaged in politics and even in revolts against governments. Of religious interference in politics, in 1981 German Chancellor Schmidt said: “I do not believe that this can be permitted indefinitely.” And yet religious interference continues. In fact, a group of German Protestant ministers recently admitted: “We want to preach politics and to change politics.”
Just how much longer this interference will continue, God himself will decide. His prophecy foretells that certain political elements “will hate the harlot [the world empire of false religion] . . . and will completely burn her with fire.” When? At God’s predetermined time in the “one day” in which God’s judgment against her will be carried out. (Revelation 17:16; 18:8, 20; compare Daniel 4:35.) So although religion may have worked hand in hand with political leaders so that the cry of “peace and security” could be made, the political elements will suddenly turn on and devastate world religion. Then they, in turn, will suffer destruction at God’s hands in the soon-to-follow war of Har–Magedon.
Thus man’s “peace and security” will have been exposed as a sham. It will have served as a touchstone for divine judgment, showing the falsity of placing trust in peace-making schemes of men rather than in God’s Kingdom now ruling in heaven.* To what extent today’s peace movement, with religious backing, will be instrumental in bringing about the “peace and security” that will immediately precede false religion’s destruction, we must leave the future to reveal.
Surviving to See “the Real Thing”
Today’s peace movement may or may not prevent a third world war. By no means will it prevent the war of Har–Magedon. It may or may not pressure governments into disarming. By no means will it pressure Christ Jesus, the one who “judges and carries on war in righteousness,” into disarming.—Revelation 19:11-16.
Since the righteous war of Har–Magedon is unavoidable, why not permit Jehovah’s Witnesses to point out to you in God’s Word the requirements for survival? Avoid pinning your hopes to a sham “peace and security” that is doomed to be shattered. Turn to the “Prince of Peace” and actively support his “princely rule.” Then the peace you can look forward to enjoying will be “the real thing”—the peace of which “there will be no end.”—Isaiah 9:6, 7.
For proof of the Kingdom’s establishment in heaven in 1914, see the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, published in 1982 by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.
[Picture on page 7]
The real thing—not just war helmets turned into flowerpots, but children learning war no more