Friday, January 11, 2013

By: Justin Frazier

Updates to the original article will be added at the end of the article.


Questions can be provoking at times, causing a deep introspection or research in order to find peace about an issue.  In this particular case, we take a look at the subject of Christians and weapons.

- Would it show a lack of faith or trust in God to protect His people if they arm themselves? 
- Does the Bible say anywhere that Christians are allowed to carry weapons to protect themselves? 
- Is it a sin for a Christian to carry a weapon?
- Would a Christian carrying a weapon keep them from Heaven?
- Would carrying or using a weapon prohibit the Christian from walking in the fullness of the Spirit?

These are all simple, but good questions that should be able to be answered sincerely.


The Bible implies that the object of life is to know God our Creator and enjoy Him forever.  In the process of getting to know Him, we have to find out what He’s doing and get in on it.  The 2-part requirement of us is summed up in one word, love, which fulfills all the law and the prophets!  We are to love and seek Him with our whole heart, mind and soul.  This means that we are to seek understanding of Him and His ways, studying to show ourselves approved unto Him.  He said that the Holy Spirit would lead and guide us into all truth, so we have to be diligent to pray and learn to wait on Him for guidance and understanding. The second part of the requirement of love is toward our neighbor, loving them as we love ourselves. The word neighbor does not just imply someone living next to us or a person of like culture and ethnicity.  It goes deeper into the heart and spirit of understanding, implying that it is anyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, culture or ethnicity.  To understand love, we’d have to read the passages that give us its meaning (1 Corinthians 13).  Basically, we cannot know or understand love if we do not know God because God is the essence of love (1 John 4:7-8).

Now God told Adam & Eve that if they ate of the forbidden fruit, they would surely die.  We know that they did eat it and were cast out of the garden where they continued to live.  So if they continued to live then what died?  It was their spirit, which is what allows open communion to know and understand God.  When we believe in Jesus and confess that He was God come in the flesh and was raised from the dead and then follow Him, we become born again of the spirit.  It is then that we are finally able to deeply know and understand God and the essence of love because it flows through us by His Holy Spirit.  People will be able to see clearly that we are different.


As we progress from childhood, we acquire opinions and teachings from our parents, friends, teachers and others, which shape the way we think and act.  The culture or society we are raised in will generally determine what we believe and how we speak.  We will generally believe that these opinions and set of values are just and right.  But when we begin to draw closer to God, He will show us what is of His Spirit and what is man-made custom or tradition.  It is then up to us to respond and change or reject it and continue on with the cycle. 

Many times God will reveal things to us through circumstances, signs or the actions of others and we know that He is trying to communicate to us.  To the unsaved person that would all just seem coincidental, but we recognize it right away as being clues from Him.  Sometimes we will sense Him speaking through our thoughts and other times God will show us through the voice of another person who has already learned and understood because they’ve spent time with Him in order to seek things out.  But again, it is up to us to recognize it and receive it or reject it if we think that is only revelation for that person and not for the masses. 

Many people will become convicted over an issue and will no longer continue in it if they feel they are to stop.  This doesn’t always mean that their conviction should be pushed off on everyone they meet.  It may just be an idol in their life that God is trying to free them from.  For example, if I love Jewelry and wear a ring on every finger, a couple of bracelets, necklaces, earrings and a shiny watch and I feel that it has consumed me and I am dishonoring God, I am then convicted over that issue.  I then take it all off and refuse to wear any jewelry.  This does not mean that I should begin to preach and teach on the sin of wearing jewelry and command that everyone abstain from wearing jewelry!  If anything, the lesson is that we should constantly examine ourselves to see if we have set up any idols in our lives that are excessive or dishonoring to God that may cause us to be a bad example to those that are perishing without Him.

If it is solely a conviction for the individual and not a ‘tenet’ of the faith then we are free from being bound up by that persons’ conviction!  However, we should always show humility and step back to examine our own hearts on the matter, and if it is truly a word from God, we would do well to heed.

Now I may be able to tell someone that stealing is a sin, but I cannot physically force that person to stop stealing if they don’t want to.  Ultimately, it is between that person and God.  All I can do is deliver the message and if it is truly based on the Word of God, then the Spirit will bring conviction to the heart of the listener or reader and change will come.  To him who knows what is right and does not do it, to him it is sin! 

The key is to find balance and walk in it.  Sometimes balance will be viewed as extreme, even by fellow Christians, but if God shows you something then obey it with all of your heart and do not give up.  If He wants you to share it, then you’ll find grace and strength to do so even though you may be chided by spiritual leaders or mocked by your brothers and sisters in the faith. 


For many years I held the belief that I had the God-given right to protect myself and my family or other innocents by any means necessary.  I even bought a gun and got my concealed handgun license (CHL) when we started having home invasions in our neighborhood and I started a crime watch program, urging others to purchase a gun.  I felt that if anyone were to come into my home where my 2 & 4 year old children were, then they would leave in a body bag!  It was only normal to want to protect my innocent babies to the point of shooting a would-be burglar, kidnapper, rapist or murderer!  After all, they intruded into my private residence where children were under my care and I was their protector under Heaven.

Then I started drawing close to the Lord again and desiring to have a deeper walk since I felt the days were short and His coming was soon.  I started reading the Bible, studying in depth on certain things that are seemingly controversial.  Many Christians seem to side with worldly issues that contradict the Word of God, but they justify it based on their feelings or emotions on the matter or based on one or two Scriptures taken out of context or completely twisted altogether. Examples include abortion, welfare, homosexuality and socialism programs, all political hot button issues currently.  When the 2012 US presidential elections swung into high gear and shooting tragedies struck late in the year, the issue of ‘gun control’ came to the forefront of most media headlines once again.

The usual arguments were made by both sides, with hypocrisy flying on both sides. Liberal Democrats arguing for strict gun control laws even though they have them, they make tons of violent movies glorifying their use or they employ gun-toting bodyguards to protect themselves. Conservatives, many of whom say they are Christian, vehemently defend the right to bear arms, to the point where they are mean-spirited and angry about it, totally undoing their Christian witness. 

There are even conspiracy theories that suggest the government is behind the massacres for the sake of swiftly ushering in super strict gun control laws in order to bring about totalitarian control and bring down the greatest nation that ever existed in the history of mankind.  The theory claims that there is mounting evidence against the crime scene claims and there are distortions by the media to present a lie in order to cause people to believe there is a need for strict gun control.  The theorists believe there are concentration camps being set up right here in America and that once the order is given, law enforcement will go from house to house across the land confiscating guns and having shootouts with those that don’t turn them in.  Those that are captured in the resistance will be rounded up and taken to the camps.  A document has purportedly surfaced claiming that the most dangerous people in America in the coming days will be Christians and conservatives.  

As absurd as this may sound, the Bible actually speaks of harsh persecution, oppression and death that will come upon Christians at the Time of the End.  They indicate that the governments of the world will become increasingly intolerant of Christians and set out to crush any dissension or known conservative groups.  It tells of a one world government that will possess the ability to impose some mark (mark of the beast) and that those who refuse it will not be able to buy or sell.  It hints of a resistance coming and more bloodshed because of the millions of believers who will suspect any mark of identification or ‘barcoding’ to be that of the mark of the beast spoken of in Revelation.

Regardless of the theories and hypocrisy, I still felt that I would defend myself and my family to the end when it all started to go down and so I sided with the US constitution and the right to bear arms because I believed that God would allow us to defend ourselves from criminals & tyrannical governments.  I would voice my opinion because it only made sense to me that the position I held was the right one.  Then I was questioned by two different friends on a social networking site.  They wanted to know why I needed a gun if I was so certain that God was all-powerful and would be my protector!  So from that point I stepped back and thought about it rather than just come back with the typical statements used to defend such beliefs.  I decided to take it to God and pray and search the Word to see what He said on the matter.
Some questions I had: Are Christians allowed to defend themselves?  If yes, were they allowed to use lethal force?  If the ruling government decided to disarm its citizens, would Christians be allowed to forcefully resist either physically or with a weapon? 


In my search to see what others were saying, I was stunned by some of the writings and absolute obvious distortions of Scriptural meanings by Christian Pastors, Preachers and well known Evangelists on this very subject.  I didn’t need spiritual discernment to know that they were blatantly altering what the Bible actually said because I only had to read that chapter to see exactly what was being said!  Here's an example of what you'll read:
“It’s important to note first of all that the right of self-defense is rooted in the teaching of Jesus himself. He once told his disciples that he would be “numbered with the transgressors,” and that as a result their own lives could be endangered because of their association with him. He therefore counseled them, “Let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36). You can’t get more legitimacy than that. A legal principle rooted in the teaching of Christ is pretty tough to beat.”  Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association,”When America HAD to Pack Heat to Church”
This is from someone that is a Director of a very prominent Christian organization!  It shows that ignorance of Scriptural exegesis extends to the highest echelons of society and unless we get more people that are true students of the Word getting out there and teaching the truth, then people will continue to believe these gross misinterpretations of Scriptures!

First, we have to understand that the US Constitution is NOT God’s Constitution!  It may seem like it mirrors some biblical aspects and the men that wrote it may have been Christian, but it is NOT the Word of God by any stretch of the imagination.  Not all of the framers were Christian! 

Second, we have to understand that not everyone who professes to be a Christian is one.  They show no proof by their lifestyle and bear no fruit of love.  Yes, even famous televangelists can be false prophets and false teachers! 

Third, just because they are on TV doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about or that they are rightly dividing the Word of Truth or speaking on God’s behalf!  We are always to test the spirits and check out what is being proclaimed in order to see if it lines up with God’s Word.

That being said, let’s see what the Bible has to say.


God is Love and the devil is the father of lies, hate, evil and death!  Does God desire war?  Did He create man for a battle against Lucifer?  The Bible says that all things were created with the end already known.  This implies that He knew there would be death, destruction and war simply because that was how He would redeem fallen man to Himself.  Was He going to battle Satan and the fallen angels through humanity?  We see that He authorized the use of force in the Old Testament era, but was it meant to extend throughout man’s timeframe on earth?   There are many examples of godly men prior to Jesus that used the sword: Elijah, David, Samuel, etc.  There are also many that didn't: Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, etc.

Was the original purpose for the use of the sword only to be for a set time?  Does He condone or authorize it under the New Covenant? 

We first have to understand that we are under a separate covenant based on the prophecy in Jeremiah.  The apostle Paul speaks of it in 2 Corinthians 3:6:

‘…who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.’

Here we can clearly see a hint of death vs. life, which is a theme that runs throughout the Scriptures.  In all cases, we are to choose life, be it by our thoughts, our words or our actions.  Man is quick to point to written rules, but can fail to understand the spirit of the rule.  Jesus tried to teach us to live and operate by the spirit.


Let’s examine the New Testament Scriptures and see what the prevailing thought is regarding self-defense or the use of weaponry.

Luke 22:38 is a common verse used to say that Jesus condones the possession of weapons, as we saw previously from the quote by the Director of AFA, but let’s look at it in context starting in verse 35:

35 And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” 36 And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.” 38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

Proponents of the right to bear arms will generally stop after verse 36 and not include the rest of the passage!  First, we see in verse 35 that they had nothing when He sent them out on missions previously and yet they lacked nothing!  They didn’t have to buy anything, fight for anything or defend themselves because all things were provided for them by people they ministered to and they were under Divine protection.  In verse 36 He tells them to go buy a sword!  But why did He tell them to do that?  Verse 37 clearly states that Jesus was going to fulfill a prophecy by allowing those with Him to possess swords.  The ones possessing the swords are called TRANSGRESSORS!  It was NOT for self-defense because logically, two swords would not have been able to fend off an attack from the Roman army or the soldiers that were armed to the teeth that came to arrest Him! 

We have to keep reading down to verse 49 to see what Jesus said when one of these swords was actually used during His arrest a couple of hours later:

49 When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.

John’s gospel records it like this in chapter 18:11:

11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?”

Matthew’s rendition is found in chapter 26:52:

Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword will die by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”

Mark’s gospel does not record Jesus saying anything to Peter, but it’s clear by these accounts that Jesus told Peter to stop and put away His sword because He could call on more than 12 legions of angels, but He must drink the cup and fulfill what is written and those that take up the sword will die by the sword!  Then Jesus healed the servant that just had his ear chopped off.  Is it safe to say that Jesus prefers to have peace and heal, rather than fight back and defend Himself?  The servant that came to arrest Him would be viewed as an enemy by all normal standards, but you can bet that Jesus changed his life in that moment!


Those that take up the sword will die by the sword!  That is enough to make me stop and think long and hard!  But what about our young men and women that serve in the armed forces?  They take up arms and fight for the freedoms that we have come to love!  They protect our great nation from the threat of all enemies, foreign and domestic!  What about the police officers patrolling our neighborhoods and streets to keep us safe?  These are very good questions! 

 Romans 13:1-14 tells us where authority comes from and its purpose:

1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

The apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Roman Christians who lived in Rome and were under godless, idolatrous rulers.  Rome was a modern day Egypt to them, with all forms of sin and perversion.  He clearly tells them that God establishes all authority and they are responsible for maintaining justice, while everyone else is to be subject to them, unless the rulers command that we violate God’s laws (See the story of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego disobeying king Nebuchadnezzar in the book of Daniel).  We are to render tax, custom, fear and honor to whom it is due.  If we oppose the authority, then we will receive condemnation.  Now, let’s look at the rest of Romans 13!

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

There’s our requirement again: love!  We have to understand that early Christians lived under Roman rule, which was tyrannical and oppressive.  They whipped people, beheaded them and crucified them, eventually graduating to burning them at the stake!  So it’s safe to say that this wasn’t a very just government like those that set up the U.S. government.  The point is that Christians are commanded to live at peace under authority.  We can only find peace if our soul is at peace and we are born again of the spirit.  This will cause us to have love and unspeakable joy, though the economy is collapsing, jobs are hard to find, food costs are too high, men are becoming increasingly evil and it just looks like there’s no end in sight!

If God calls someone to join the military or a branch of the police force, then that is between them and God.  They become an arm of the government and are responsible to God for the way they conduct themselves during the course of duty.  Romans clearly states that they are the bearer of the sword for protection against lawlessness.


No Scripture says that Christians are allowed to take up arms against a tyrannical or oppressive government.  Instead, Paul uses the constant sight of the Roman soldiers in that day and their military attire to make spiritual comparisons suitable for the Christian.  2 Corinthians 10:3-6 gives us initial insight:

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

There are two realms in operation: the natural realm, which is made up of the things that are seen; and the spiritual realm, which are the things invisible to the human eye.  Paul is saying that once we are born again and while we are living in this body, we have to realize that we do not fight as the world fights, with fists or weapons made by human hands (swords, guns, etc.)!  We are spiritual beings that are now a new creature and we have spiritual weapons, namely our prayers and praise.  With our tongue we bind and loose!  With the words of our mouth, we speak life or death over any situation.  With the words we have the power to call things into existence or to shut down the assignments of the enemy. 

Now let’s look a little further into what Paul says about our fight and our weapons, which is found in Ephesians 6:10-18 and is very clear: 

10 ‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints…’

Our fight is not in the natural realm against other humans!  Our fight is in the spiritual realm against the enemy of our soul!  The armor we put on is: TRUTH, RIGHTEOUSNESS, PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE (studying and taking the gospel to others), FAITH, SALVATION, and THE WORD OF GOD!  There you have it, our sword is the Word of God, the Bible!  Paul then goes on to command that we pray and petition at all times in the Spirit! 

I don’t know about you, but when I have prayed for an extended period of time in the Spirit, I saw things differently and had supernatural peace.  I did not worry about anything, though things were falling apart all around me!  Though the economy was suffering great calamity and friends and relatives or well known people were dropping dead like flies!  Though my personal financial situation was gloomy and we didn’t know where our next meal would come from!  If someone would threaten me with death or torture, I would still have peace that though they could kill my body, they did not have the power to cast my soul into hell!


An often quoted Scripture is that of turning the other cheek, but let’s read and really absorb what Jesus is saying in the entirety of this passage found in Matthew 5:

The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes
1When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.

2He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5“Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. 12“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Disciples and the World
13“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. 14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. 

17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  20“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Personal Relationships
21“You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 22“But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 23“Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 25“Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26“Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.   

27“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; 28but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29“If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30“If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.

31“It was said, ‘WHOEVER SENDS HIS WIFE AWAY, LET HIM GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE’; 32but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  

33“Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FALSE VOWS, BUT SHALL FULFILL YOUR VOWS TO THE LORD.’ 34“But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING. 36“Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.   

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.’ 39“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 41“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 42“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. 

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Beatitudes, enough said!  We are the salt and light!  We are commanded to go beyond the letter of the law regarding our actions and be held to the higher standard of the Spirit in our thoughts!  Then we get to verse 39 that tells us NOT to resist an evil person.  We are to give, give, give and give!  We are to love and pray for our enemies and persecutors.

But, but, but, we are Americans!  We are a proud people and no one will trample on our rights or freedoms!  Really?  Well, if you are a Christian, then you are loyal to your King first and foremost.  Yes, you can live on the borderline and be safe from hell or you can go deep into God and be free!  On the borderline you may have a good life and friends, be extremely patriotic to your country, have many worldly opinions and operate in the soulish, fleshly realm, but you will not experience the power of God, the miracles of God, or the supernatural peace and freedom of your soul! 

I’m not seeing in that passage that if we are approached by an evil person who threatens us, we are to pull out our Glock 9mm and blow his head off or at the least, threaten him back!  If anything, He told us to gouge out our own eye or chop off our own hand if they were to keep us from eternity with Him!  This is how serious He is about how we are to conduct ourselves in this life because eternity awaits us and it will either be glorious Heaven or torturous hell!


The Bible is clear that there is a battle waging between two spiritual kingdoms and the fight is for the souls of humanity.  We are not called to build our kingdom or the kingdoms of this world, which rise and fall.  So which kingdom will we be of?

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." (John 18:36)

It is clear that if Jesus’ own servants, the angels, were not fighting to save His life then are we to fight in order to save our own lives?  You may say ‘Jesus was not fighting because He had a purpose, which was to die for our sins!’  Well, if He was our example, we have to see what He continued to do and say.  I totally understand the battle of emotions and the many questions that come because I’ve experienced them and it takes time to undo the decades of indoctrination and worldly thought processes that are our normal way of thinking.  If we truly want to be Kingdom minded, then we have to empty ourselves of our own carnality and pour in the living Words of God, which are not always easy to swallow or digest because they tend to go totally against what we think or imagine!

By denying ourselves and taking up our cross daily, we have no room or time to defend ourselves.  It goes on to clarify that we should not consider saving our lives as most important because that’s how we lose it!  If we lose it for Him, then we save it.

I know what some are thinking, well there it is, He’s only talking about when we are in the act of ministry or doing His work!  To that I have to ask, once we are born again, when are we separated from living the life of a believer and doing the work of ministry?  Are we not all called to tell others about the saving message of the cross?  Are we not all called to walk in power, to heal the sick, cast out devils and raise the dead?

15And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18)

7And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7-8)

That means that everyone who believes in Jesus should do this, not just the pastors, bishops, evangelists, prophets, etc.  We have altered the truth of God’s Word and have preached a toothless gospel for so long that we have come to believe a lie.  We separate the Christian’s life into two groups: those that live and breathe ‘full-time’ ministry and those that pay to see the Sunday morning show, but don’t really have to live the life!  How the mighty have fallen!  And we wonder why American morality has tumbled down the drain?!  This is the very reason we now trust in our own ability and our own carnal nature!


People generally trust in their own strength and ability because they believe that they got to where they are by their own hard work and ingenuity.  They refuse to recognize that if God were to take their breath away, then they’d collapse in a heap and be of no use to anyone.

Going deeper, when we face a troubling situation, we also believe that we can get ourselves out of the mess and we toil and struggle in order to do so, rather than calling out to the Lord for help.  It’s usually only when we hit rock bottom that we look elsewhere. 

As the questions posed by my friends about my trusting in weapons was directly at odds with my trusting in God, I had to truly seek answers and this Scripture popped right out at me one day and I knew exactly what it was saying!  In Luke 11:21-23 Jesus says:

“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own mansion, his property is safe. 22 But a stronger man than he may attack him and defeat him. Then the stronger man will take away all the weapons in which the strong man trusted and will divide the loot.  23 Whoever isn’t with me is against me. Whoever doesn’t gather with me, scatters.”

Did you catch it?  The strong man, though armed to the teeth, was overcome by a stronger man that took away the weapons in which he trusted!  If we trust in our own strength or our own man-made weapons of destruction, then we have missed it.  They will not ultimately protect us, plain and simple! 

We can’t expect the world to act any differently than they do because they live in rejection of the God of salvation.  The problem is that we have become just like the world and there is no verifiable evidence to tell us apart!  We do not pray, we do not seek God, we do not deny the lusts of our flesh, and we do not live godly lives that would truly bring about change in the world!  The world instead, is changing us!  Then we live in fear because of the rampant evil taking place around us and we take up weapons to protect ourselves and our belongings just as those of the world would do because that is how we have learned to think, that is how we have been programmed to react!

We have NO power to overcome!  We have NO power to put the enemy to flight by our spoken word!  We have NO power to tear down strongholds and assignments of the enemy because we are too busy living our lives that we have forgotten the God of power!  We have broken fellowship with Him and don’t even have the faith to blow the fuzz off a peanut!


You may have heard the saying, ‘you get what ask for!’  Well that is biblically true as well.   

“I can guarantee this truth: If you ask the Father for anything in my name, he will give it to you. So far you haven’t asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive so that you can be completely happy.”  (John 16:23-24)

He gives us the power to overcome, to have victory, to stand against and tear down the schemes of the enemy, but we have to take that power and use it by simply speaking!  It is not just a matter of doing or acting, but of speaking.  When God told Moses to strike the rock so that water would gush forth, it was an action that Moses would do, but the 2nd time, God told Moses to speak to the rock and water would come out!  Doing something is always easier than speaking for something to manifest, but God was trying to reveal hidden mysteries to the people!  The rock was symbolic of Christ, our chief Cornerstone, the Rock of our salvation out of who flows rivers of living water!  God was trying to show the people that by merely speaking we could bring forth miracles.

James chapter 3 speaks clearly about the power of our tongue and the things it is capable of doing!  Proverbs 18:21 gets straight to the point:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. 

Peter also speaks about the tongue and he defines godly living in 1 Peter 3:8-17:

Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For “He who would love life and see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. 11 Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
No one can harm us if we are followers of what is good.  If God allows the enemy to sift us like wheat and to bring calamity into our lives as was the case with Job, then we have to say ‘though He slay me, yet will I trust Him!’  Isaiah 54:16-17 put it all in perspective:
16 I’ve created blacksmiths to fan the coals into flames and to produce useful weapons.  I’ve also created destroyers to bring destruction. 
17 No weapon that has been made to be used against you will succeed.  You will have an answer for anyone who accuses you. This is the inheritance of the Lord’s servants.  Their victory comes from me,” declares the Lord.
Only God has the power of eternity and though man may try to destroy us or take our life, if it is not our time, then we will remain alive.  Now weapon can take us out!  We will have an answer for our accuser by speaking!
This does not mean that if we were to put a gun to our head and pull the trigger, that we will live because we are given the freedom of choice and if we choose to end our own lives, then that is our decision.  It is totally different when we are walking in God and evil approaches us to kill us.  At that point He will protect us from all evil.  No one can take our lives from us unless we choose to kill ourselves or unless it was our appointed time to die by God’s divine command.


We hear countless messages from TV preachers and Sunday morning speakers that tell us about the joy and blessings that come with walking in fellowship with God and being born again, but rarely do they speak of the persecutions and sufferings that come along with living for Jesus.  If they dare start preaching of pain and trial, they would probably lose 75% of their flock, which would take away from their income and their lifestyle they have built! 

Not that all preachers live high on the hog, drive fancy cars and wear nice suits, but it would appear that many sure preach a watered down, toothless gospel that appeals to the masses who attend the show on Sunday mornings and pay their entertainment fee.  There is definitely no room or time for the Holy Spirit to move and truly change lives.  If we were to really go back and read the Bible then it would be clear to us that we have no form of godliness compared to those who gave it all!  We love America and the trappings of it, just like the Israelites loved Egypt.  The book of Hebrews chapter 11 gives an account of many who are in the hall of faith and the things suffered by those whom the world was not worthy:

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised…”

It is clear to me that these individuals did not love this world or their lives unto death, but they looked for a city whose builder and maker was God.  After Jesus came, it wasn’t going to magically get easier, in fact, He told them to expect trials and persecutions and be ready!

9 “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. 12 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”  (Mark 13:9-13)

We read numerous stories of the disciples and early Christians suffering persecution and being beaten, tortured, imprisoned, stoned, and even killed, but they never once fought back or defended themselves!  Instead they counted it all joy to suffer for the sake of Christ, that is to be a Christian, to live for Him and to be His examples.  1 Peter 4 gives a detailed account of how we should live and operate:
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. 10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter.

17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 Now “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator.

Again, it is clear, we are sojourners here and this earth is not our home!  We are of a different Kingdom and are called to live accordingly, not to fight according to the way the world fights or to defend earthly kingdoms or nations.  God set creation in motion with the end already known and He is bringing about things that are prophesied so that the final reconciliation will take place.  If we don’t set ourselves apart, then we will be caught up in or entangled in the affairs of this world.  We are continually told to come out from among them and be different!


There is coming a time in which there will be no more war or fighting among nations as spoken of in Isaiah 2:4:

"And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into  plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation,  neither shall they learn war any more." 

This is speaking of the 1000 year millennial reign of Jesus that will begin when He comes back, which is very soon.  It is symbolic of the 7th day of rest or Sabbath day that occurred at Creation when God created for 6 days then rested on the 7th.  Mankind has been creating for 6000 years according to the Bible and the seventh thousand years will be a time of peace and rest for the earth before satan is loosed again for a short time then completely destroyed.

We look for this time and expect it to occur within the next several years because of the rapid rate at which biblical prophecies are being fulfilled and the social and political climate is setting up for an all out battle as nations turn increasingly hostile towards Israel and Christians.  It’s only a matter of time before a nuclear war breaks out as described in Zechariah 14, so we must live godly lives, trusting only in Him and redeeming the time because the days are evil.  We need to make the most of our life and present Jesus to a lost and dying world that is clueless to the fact of eternity and the damnation of their souls without Him. 

There is no need for us to defend ourselves or fight back because He is our advocate and if He cares for the birds and insects, He will surely stand for us when evil is staring us right in the face!


- Would it show a lack of faith or trust in God to protect His people if they arm themselves? 

Based on what we've read, it's the author's belief that under the New Covenant, we are held to a higher standard of the Spirit.  God requires us to trust Him completely and many just don't do it.  It's much easier for us to have a weapon for protection to defend ourselves.  As a society, we don't see the power of God in our midst and people do not see miracles because we do not truly live like the disciples or early Christians lived.

- Does the Bible say anywhere that Christians are allowed to carry weapons to protect themselves? 

Under the Old Testament era, there are many Scriptural examples of people being told by God to use the sword, but when Jesus came, He preached a totally different message.  His sermon on the mount set the precedent and it is clear that we should not resist an evil person, but turn the other cheek.  After Jesus ascended, His followers eventually were given the name Christian.  No other book in the New Testament says Christians are ok to do it.

- Is it a sin for a Christian to carry a weapon?

It does not appear to be a sin or a sin that would lead to death.  Revelation 13:9 says that those who kill with the sword MUST be killed with the sword. 

- Would a Christian carrying a weapon keep them from Heaven? 

The Bible does not indicate this anywhere.

- Would carrying or using a weapon prohibit the Christian from walking in the fullness of the Spirit?

Short answer, yes!  There are many things that Christians can do/have (ie. be pride, drinking, smoking) that will not keep them from Heaven, but it will definitely keep them from being used mightily of the Spirit because of their refusal to empty themselves of fleshly lusts and the trappings of this world.


- What about David and Goliath or Samuel?  What about fighting to take the promised land? 

Under the New Covenant, Jesus taught that the ancients said or did things a certain way, but He was going to show us the way of the Spirit (Matthew 5) and after He came, there was no longer a need for us to fight or defend ourselves because we would all be empowered by the Holy Spirit to live a life totally dependent on Him.  Isaiah 10:20:
20 Now in that day the remnant of Israel, and those of the house of Jacob who have escaped, will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Lord, the Holy One of Israel.
- Revelation 13:7-10
It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

This speaks of the time of tribulation that takes place right before Jesus returns.  The antichrist has risen to global prominence and he makes war on the saints.  Jesus says 'If anyone has an ear, let him hear.'  A very important first statement!  He then says that if anyone (means anyone) kills with the sword, they MUST be killed by the sword.  Here is the perseverance AND faith of the saints.  We are to remain steadfastly trusting in Him.