I had an interesting dream a while ago about a man who was an inventor. It was said about him that everything he invented was to be “first in peace and in war”. He had invented a new rifle cartridge which had become a national sensation. The new cartridge was called a .319 (Three Nineteen) which was purported to be “like the .308 (Three O’ Eight) but more powerful.”

Now I know a few things about rifle cartridges. I know the .308 is the civilian or sporting nomenclature for the 7.62 NATO cartridge used by all NATO forces since its introduction in 1954. In the context of this dream you could say it is good for peace (civilian usage) and good for war (NATO version).

Upon awakening I looked up the famous saying from the eulogy of George Washington adapted by congress. “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”.

I next looked in the book of Ecclesiastes for what is perhaps the most famous quote on war and peace –

A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

I was intrigued to discover that this was chapter three and verse eight or 3:08 just like the caliber in the dream! I always find it intriguing how the Spirit can catch our attention and causes us to pay attention. From this verse I concluded a baseline for this dream, war and peace, but the new invention was first in peace and war – opposite order, and according to the dream it was more powerful.

The scripture says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” (Prov 25:2) So it is always intriguing to search for what the message may be in a prophetic dream.

I know enough about rifle cartridges to know that there is no such cartridge called a .319, it does not exist. I mentioned to a friend that if it had been .318 or .320 in the dream I might more easily understand why it was used, as these are actual calibers, but I have never heard of a cartridge that is .319 caliber. I mentioned Gen 14:14 as an example, which has 318 household servants whom Abram had trained. However, my friend mentioned that Abram should also be counted as he is in that verse as the leader, bringing the total to 319. I learned something from this, that since .319 is not an actual caliber, the message I would find would also be hidden a bit deeper than the .308 message, which is an actual caliber and an actual verse.

319 on the other hand would be concealed subtly, yet the message would have more power than the other. In Gen 14:14 there are three hundred and nineteen saints who prepared in times of peace, not knowing that war would ever come. Yet when it did come, through no fault of their own, they were up to it and actually defeated the might of four kingdoms. Interestingly after this Abram met with Melchizedek king of Salem – which means the King of Peace, a type of Christ, and was served the first communion. Abram (and later Abraham) certainly can be called a man “first in peace and first in war” (as a side note for many years the top military tank in the world has been the US Abrams Tank, designed in times of peace for times of war).

What are we to gather from this? I believe the Spirit was communicating that we are in a season in which we are to take our lessons very seriously. Those of us who are men and women of peace should, like Abram and his servants, understand that our willingness to be equipped in times of relative peace is our best training for battle. As Col. Jeff Cooper once wrote “You can’t make an appointment for n emergency.” Indeed, we may have battles coming for which we have not prepared specifically, but yet we are trained by means of learning to serve, as all Christians should. In the story there are four kingdoms to be defeated. The number four is the number that represents the world, and while we are in this world we will have battles. This dream may be warning about battles against all the forces of the kingdoms of this world.

John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

This is an interesting point that although we have warfare, it is through peace that we have victory. Better than “war and peace” as in Eccl. 3:08 is “peace and war.” Jesus’ spoke words to us to train us to have peace, and fight our battles through peace. As I was contemplating this dream I was reminded of Romans 16:20 which says, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” Although the title Lord of Hosts (meaning Lord of Armies) is used many more times in scripture than this title, it is interesting that the title God of Peace is used here in light of crushing satan.

The conclusion of the matter being communicated through this portion of the dream I believe is that we may have battles ahead which are bigger than we currently expect. Bigger than we have envisioned heretofore, or have trained specifically for. Yet if we are being equipped as bond servants of Christ, we will do battle through peace, and no matter what events are ahead of us, we will have the victory and come through to a place of peace.

James 3:18-19 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?

© Lloyd C. Phillips, PhD The Fellow Laborers’ International Network (FLInt Net)