Emulate the Master Martyr
Emulate the Master Martyr
Or Why I Gave Up My Guns for the Gospel
A Third Message to the Sons of Benjamin
Let me be perfectly clear, I like guns. I was raised with guns, and I raised my children around guns. I would not mind if all my descendants owned and enjoyed guns for all eternity. But I love Yeshua and His word more than guns. I now seek His honor, not my own. I could care less what people think of me, but you’d better respect Yeshua and His word, because you will be judged by Him and His word.
You and I do have the God-given right to self-defense, but the overall teaching of Yeshua’s life is to lay down one’s rights, to lay down one’s life. Matthew 26:50b-54, “Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. 51And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword [self-defense weapon of choice in the 1st Century], struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
52But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?””
Luke 22:49-51, “When those around Him saw what was going to happen, they said to Him, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
51But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him.” Well, at least Peter asked while he was swinging his sword! I’m sure none of us would start shooting first and ask the Master for permission after we started blasting away. But look at Yeshua’s answer. Allow even the indignity of the arrest, man-handling, and crucifixion of the Creator of the universe. The power is in the willingness to lay down one’s life knowing you will be able to take up immortal life later at the resurrection and rapture.
John 18:10-12, “Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus.
11So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”
12Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him.” Sometimes, self-defense can interfere with the will and plan of Yahweh. What if Yeshua’s disciples never allowed Yeshua to be arrested and crucified? We’d all still be lost in our sins!!!
Read this on how the Master disciple-maker made disciples, Matthew 16:20-27, “Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Yeshua the Messiah.
21From that time Yeshua began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
22Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!”
23But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of Yahweh, but the things of men.”
24Then Yeshua said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world [as a survivalist], and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27For the Son of Man will come [JESUS ADVENT 2.0] in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.” Would you really want included in your list of works, the slaughter of your neighbors? Yeshua is showing us that our own martyrdom is the higher road to glory. He gave us Himself as an example, to walk in His steps. Yeshua could have wasted all the Roman legions, but He didn’t. He allowed Himself to be wasted so we could gain eternal life. Martyrdom is a powerful witnessing tool.
Law enforcement officers, soldiers, sailors, and airman, lay down their lives on a daily basis to protect their weaker neighbors. So what if some day they turn their weapons against us? So what? We know where we’re going. We know we’re going to be resurrected/raptured to an incorruptible immortal body, so what’s to worry about? Instead of shooting them, why not invite them in for a warm meal and cool cup of water? Why not offer them a peaceful place to rest?
When the going gets really tough in the Great Tribulation, and you take up arms, how do you know you won’t commit murder in an atrocity, a crime, or even suicide? Are you so perfect to know? Real strength comes in laying your life down, laying down your rights, even your right to life. Romans 12:17-21, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says Yahweh. 20Therefore “If your enemy [or neighbor] is hungry, feed him; If he [or your neighbor] is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Yahweh has our backs protected, and our very lives are in His hands. Be not afraid, you’re in the fishing boat of Yahweh and He always calms the storm, eventually. Until Yeshua returns, Yahweh is interested in saving souls, not destroying them. He desires that all humans come to repentance and find salvation in Yeshua. Your martyrdom could lead someone to the throne of grace. Never let a good personal crisis go to waste.
Yeshua taught us in Matthew 5:44-48, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Notice that Yeshua didn’t say anything about blowing away our enemies, neighbors, former friends, in-laws, or anyone else. It’s ok to collect weapons and use them for hunting and recreation, but not for murder or self-defense. Self-defense just does not fit with the New Covenant principle of death to self. Yeshua was saving one thief’s soul while dying on the execution stake!
Matthew 10:16-20, “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” Have you ever seen an armed dove? Yahweh’s wisdom is so much greater than ours. We should seek to please Him in every situation. Leave room for Yahweh to work through you. It may be difficult to hear the Holy Spirit with all that gunfire in your ears. Death to self often means life to someone else. Seeking the Kingdom of Yahweh always means death to self. Get over it and get on with it.
Gene Benjamin II
November 29, 2012 CE