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Guerilla warfare ended through goodwill
by Rev. Howard Ray Carey

Maitreya is urging us to take our brother's need as the measure for our action and solve the problems of the world. Repeatedly, in these poignant and moving Messages through Benjamin Creme, He comes back to the urgent need to put into practice the basic principles of love, justice and sharing. He also reminds us that these principles are indeed not new. They only need to be fully accepted and acted upon. Yes, His insistence is that we bring out of the dusty closets these vital principles which have been of such importance from time immemorial.

In the New Testament we find Jesus stressing these same principles in such pronouncements as: ''You give them (the hungry) something to eat''; ''Love your enemies''; and ''Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.'' Also, if we go further back in Hebrew history we find in the Mosaic law this same command, ''Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.'' (Le. 19:18)

Indeed, the great prophets of ancient Israel time and again stress these same precepts. A favorite quote of some of my instructors in a Methodist seminary, back in the 1930s, was this: ''Let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.'' (Amos 5:24)

Not so well known is the account, somewhat hidden away in the sixth chapter of II Kings, of how the wise counsel of the prophet Elisha brought to an end a series of guerilla attacks against Israel by the Syrian military.

When the king of Syria launched a series of raids against Israel, he found repeatedly that Israel's king had been warned ahead of time as to when and where the attack would come. Thus the raiders were thwarted. When the Syrian monarch began to inquire who among his men was acting as a spy, he was informed that no one was spying, but rather that ''Elisha the prophet who is in Israel tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bed chamber.'' (Small wonder that some officials today are exploring such things as telepathy for possible use in military intelligence.)

The king of those raiders was determined to put a stop to such 'goings-on'. And he evidently was impressed with the idea of Elisha's power, for he sent against this lone prophet and his one servant ''horses and chariots and a great army.'' When Elisha's servant awoke early in the morning, he found the city surrounded by the enemy. Scared nearly to death, he asked the prophet, ''What shall we do?'' Now Elisha had a secret weapon ---- prayer! And so he implored God to open the eyes of his servant.

The Lord then opened the clairvoyant vision of the young man and ''Behold, the mountain was filled with horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.''  Thanks to the prophet's prayer, the enemy was struck with blindness ---- perhaps the emotional blindness of confusion. Then Elisha fearlessly confronted the enemy hosts. Boldly he said to them, ''This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me and I will bring you to the man you seek. Then he led them to (the walled city of) Samaria.''   What a picture that must have made ---- a whole army being meekly led into captivity by one courageous man.

Once they were inside the walled city of Samaria, Israel's king gloated over the captives. He inquired of Elisha, ''Shall I slay them, my father, shall I slay them?'' Elisha had a better idea. ''He answered, 'You shall not slay them... Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.' So he prepared for them a great feast; and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away and they went to their master. And the Syrian army came no more in raids against Israel. '' (II Kings 6:21-23)

In our day we prepare not only great armies and navies, but nuclear weapons beyond measure to confront the enemy. Who is the fearless one today who will propose the feast which will lead us to share in such a way as to change enemies into 171 friends? Certainly the World Teacher is the one, ably assisted by His senior disciples. They will blaze the trail. They are already leading the way. But you and I must joyfully follow.

Humanity itself, under the leadership of the Christ, must work together to bring in the new day of justice, sharing, brotherhood and peace.

This article is a chapter from The Joy of Christ's Coming This book by the late Rev. Howard Ray Carey was published by Share International Foundation in 1988. It is not currently available in hard copy form. Copyright © Share International Foundation.  Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard version unless otherwise indicated. 

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First published April 1999, Last modified: 15-Oct-2005