An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 9 - Prophetic Truth - Page 35 of 223
The intense desire for peace on earth and good will toward men, which
is one of the deepest yearnings of the individual, but which is so regularly
frustrated by the clash of national interests, leads the mind of the believer
to dwell on such a passage as Isaiah 2:4 with great joy, but seems to have
made many turn a blind eye to such a passage as Joel 3:9,10.  Let us place
them together and consider their import:
'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' (Isa. 2:4).
'Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty
men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your
plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears' (Joel
The passage from Isaiah speaks of the Millennial day, when the mountain
of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, but the
passage in Joel deals with days that precede 'the great and terrible day of
the Lord' (Joel 2:31).  In both Joel 2:30,31 and 3:15 the sun shall be turned
into darkness, showing that both chapters deal with the same period, namely
the very eve of the Millennium.  The special feature that calls for fuller
consideration is this.  The call to beat plowshares into swords, suggests
that before this there had been a mock millennium, where the nations of the
earth either by intimidation or deception, or both, had beaten their swords
into plowshares, and concluded that war had ceased in the earth for ever.
Many of those who read these lines have lived through the periods of war that
were to 'end wars'.  They have heard of conferences for disarmament and hoped
that they would succeed.  Such yearnings are natural and right, but they may
be ill -timed and, if so, doomed to failure.
Two words sum up the conditions aimed at, 'Peace and Safety'.  Yet we
read that at the very time that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the
night, sudden destruction overtakes those whose slogan will be these very
words, 'Peace and Safety', and they shall not escape (1 Thess. 5:2,3).  This
'Peace and Safety' is therefore spurious, it is not of God, therefore it must
be the false travesty of the Devil, there is no alternative.  A false peace
can destroy.  (See Daniel 8:25).  At the rise of the world's last dictator
(Rev. 13) war will temporarily cease, not because of the conversion of all
mankind by grace, but the paralysis of all nations by fear:
'Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?' (Rev.
The figure 'beating swords into plowshares' indicates a turn over to
the more peaceful employment of labour and resources, which, for a time at
least, will bring prosperity, 'Peace and Safety'.  It should be remembered
that the chief aim of Satan is to dethrone the Son of God.  He, Satan, must
deplore that crime and degradation ever follow his efforts to rule this
world.  If he could have a Millennium without Christ it would suit his aim
completely.  After six thousand years of blood and misery, Satan will appear
to have attained his goal, but the record reveals its utter failure, it lasts
'one hour' (Rev. 17:12; 18:10,17,19).  Some light upon the extraordinary