Key of David

The Way of Peace

The Middle East today is a chaotic mess of hatred and violence. But the way of peace was briefly restored to the region back in 1981—until terrorists assassinated the Egyptian president because he pursued peace. Understand how his courageous attempt to achieve peace teaches vital lessons about your life and future.

On Oct. 6, 1981, during the annual victory parade to celebrate Egypt crossing the Suez Canal in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated. He had been offered a military escort, but he refused. He said, essentially, I don’t want it. These people are my sons.

Mr. Sadat’s enemies carefully planned the assassination, knowing he would be vulnerable. As Egyptian Air Force Mirage jets flew down very low, making it difficult to hear, a group of men led by one of Mr. Sadat’s own lieutenants jumped out of one of the military trucks. Instead of saluting the president, the lieutenant threw three grenades at him, and the other men unleashed a spray of bullets.

Within hours, the wounded president was declared dead. Mr. Sadat should have known better; his supposedly loyal sons had betrayed him.

Behind this assassination plot was the Muslim Brotherhood, the very group taking over Egypt today. Very few remember why this happened: Mr. Sadat sought real peace with the Jews! His efforts to achieve lasting peace were unprecedented in world history. What a tremendous example.

Soon, Jesus Christ will bring peace to this world. He will succeed where Mr. Sadat failed. Still, we can learn so much from Mr. Sadat.

Our predecessor, the late humanitarian and educator Herbert W. Armstrong, wrote in the May 1981 Quest magazine:

After four bitter wars against Israel in 30 years, President Anwar el-Sadat did an unheard-of thing! On Nov. 20, 1977, he declared peace, not war! At extreme personal danger and unprecedented political risk, the Egyptian president braved a personal visit to Jerusalem to speak in peace to the Israeli Knesset. It was the most sensational overture toward international peace made by any head of state in our time!

Why does peace in this world require such sacrifice? Why do people respond with the worst kinds of violence?

Mr. Sadat told the Knesset, “You would like to live with us in this region of the world, and I tell you in all honesty that we welcome you among us.”

If only the Middle East today could witness such a genuine offer of peace. It would be sensational! But the world doesn’t want peace and doesn’t even know the way of peace.

“[Mr. Sadat] plans to build at the base of Mount Sinai a world peace center, emblematic of peace among all nations and religions” (ibid; emphasis mine).

The Middle East is still stricken by endless wars. The sacrifice of Mr. Sadat has not paid off.

“To understand the true significance of this peace initiative, it’s important to fix in our minds the stunning history of the location at which this peace center was meant to be constructed: Sinai, the mountain of God!” I wrote in my free booklet The Way of Peace Restored Momentarily.

At Mount Sinai, God Himself came down and personally established the nation of Israel (Exodus 19). Only He can give us the peace we all desire.

First, Moses went up the mountain and talked with God (verse 3). Then, he prepared the people to meet God (verses 10-11). “And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount” (verses 16-17).

What a spectacular display of God’s power! He scrambled the Israelites’ senses right there at the “mountain of God” (Exodus 24:13; Revised Standard Version). No nation ever had such an earthshaking beginning.

Mr. Armstrong visited hundreds of world leaders and was even called an unofficial ambassador of world peace. He taught God’s way of peace. He was personally invested in the Camp David Accords between Mr. Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1977.

Today, Iran and its proxies are terrorizing the world. How can we ever solve such a major problem? We must go back to Mount Sinai, where the God who later became Jesus Christ wrote the Ten Commandments with His finger and gave Israel the opportunity to be a model nation for the world of how to have peace! But the Israelites never really obeyed God. They rebelled against the way of peace. Our nations do the same today.

The Arab-Jew dispute traces all the way back to the great patriarch Abraham, as I explain in The Way of Peace Restored Momentarily. Muslims, Christians and Jews descend from Abraham! Many of them are aware of this history, but they do not live like Abraham did, so they do not have peace!

Oh, how this world needs peacemakers like Mr. Sadat! Look around at all the nuclear bombs. Our number one problem today is the question of human survival. Still, people don’t seek peace.

Even the most educated people in the world today do not know the way of peace (Isaiah 59:8). Jesus Christ prophesies that if He doesn’t intervene soon, all human life will be annihilated! (Matthew 24:21-22). He will return to Earth to give us peace in spite of ourselves.

An artistic rendering of the proposed World Peace Center at the base of Mount Sinai featured a church, a mosque and a synagogue, symbolizing the three major world religions coming together and being at peace. This idea was a good start toward peace.

Mr. Armstrong was a man of God, a man of peace. He believed in this peace plan and even donated $100,000 to the cause. “Is it possible?” he wrote. “Events of the ’80s at Mount Sinai and Jerusalem are an actual prelude to soon-coming world peace!” (Plain Truth, February 1981). He explained how the Middle East was a boiling cauldron of evil: “Yet out of the present emotional flare-up emerges now a prelude to final global peace for the first time since mankind has inhabited the Earth!”

Mr. Armstrong knew prophecy, so he understood that all human efforts to achieve peace eventually fail. Yet he contributed to the World Peace Center anyway to help move mankind in the right direction.

We need to learn more about the Old Covenant that God and Israel agreed to at Mount Sinai. This covenant was a beautiful forerunner of the New Covenant, which God’s loyal people can enter into today: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people” (Hebrews 8:10). God wants to engrave His laws and ways into our thinking. This is the way of peace.

Soon, the world and the entire universe will experience lasting peace! Like Elijah, we must hear the still, small voice of God and do what He commands if we want to have peace today.

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