“Plowshares into Swords” or “Swords into Plowshares”?

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The Scriptures say apparently contradictory statements in Joel , Micah and Isaiah, let us read —

“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 pruning hooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.” (Joel 3:10)

“And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it.”(Micah 4:3)

“And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:4)

As with all Scripture, there is deep truth here and as students of His word, we should delve into this and find the intended meaning of it all. We know one thing, the two different meanings although seemingly contradictory –are not. There is a reason why the Lord shows two opposite statements. Each are balanced in their context.

Let us review what the message says about our subject —

“And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”  This verse reads exactly the opposite of Joel 3:10, “Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: Let the weak say I am strong.”

   These scriptures reveal two classes of people.  One class shall flow into the church by great groups: Kings, and great army leaders who have been building destroying weapons and preparing for war.  Now the gospel has conquered them.  While they are joining the church they gather their war implements, beating them into plowshares and pruninghooks.  “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” Isa. 60:18. 

The other class, outside of the church, prepare for war, beating their plowshares into swords, and their pruninghooks into spears.  One people is preparing for translation, while the other is getting ready for conquest.  Therefore both scriptures run parallel and will be fulfilled at the same time.  Thus the world would be divided into two great separate and distinct classes: Separating the wheat from the chaff, the goats from the sheep.” (SRod, vol. 1, p.176-177)

Mic. 4:3 — “And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

   Many nations are gladly to accept His rebukes, beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks rather than continue to run in the armament race.

   According to Micah, the only nations that are to disarm are those that accept the Lord’s Truth for today and go to the Promised Land.  Never again will they need either swords or spears.

Mic. 4:4 — “But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.”

   The nations and peoples are now having a difficult time to get to their “fig tree,” so to speak, much less to sit in peace under it.  They are in constant fear that some one may dislodge them even from their sitting under no tree.  Consequently they will try to protect their rights, or unrights, by beating their “plowshares into swords, and [their] pruning hooks into spears.” Joel 3:10.  And so judging their own strength by their war preparations, even the weak will say, “I am strong.” 

But it shall not be thus with those nations which join the people of the Kingdom of the Lord: They will not need to trust in their own strength, for they shall have the Lord’s protection.  Each shall comfortably and securely sit under his own “fig tree,” knowing that no one can possibly push him away from under it.  This is to be so, for “the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.” (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 25, p.6-7)    

   

“And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isa. 2:2-4.

   The law is to go forth when the mountain (Kingdom) of the Lord’s house is established on the top of the mountains (kingdoms), and when It is exalted above the hills.  Then the “light” shall cause the rebuked nations to flow to the mountain of the Lord. 

And, too, instead of beating their plowshares into swords, and their pruning hooks into spears (Joel 3:10), they will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.  “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Isa. 2:4. (Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 37, p.13-14)

So we see that there is to be two distinct type of people  –those who follow the Lord and trust in His strength and those who don’t. The Great Controversy indeed! This is what will be so great about the Lord, He will make it very simple for the people all over the world to choose life.

Right now there is a counterfeit gospel being proclaimed with truth and error mixed but as soon as the Loud Cry headquarters is established in the promised land–Israel, the powerful Truth will be proclaimed around the world and all will have their chance to either make– swords into plowshares or plowshares into swords.              

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