The Peace that Passeth Understanding

By John Thiel, Audio: mp3

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

Peace that passes all understanding is required for preparation to enter the heavenly Canaan.
The life on earth is the beginning of the life in heaven; education on earth is an initiation into the principles of heaven; the lifework here is a training for the lifework there. What we now are, in character and holy service is the sure foreshadowing of what we shall be. {AH 535.1}

The service rendered in sincerity of heart has great recompense. “Thy Father which seeth in secret Himself shall reward thee openly.” By the life we live through the grace of Christ, the character is formed. The original loveliness begins to be restored to the soul. The attributes of the character of Christ are imparted, and the image of the Divine begins to shine forth. The faces of men and women who walk and work with God express the peace of heaven. They are surrounded with the atmosphere of heaven. For these souls the kingdom of God has begun. They have Christ’s joy, the joy of being a blessing to humanity. They have the honor of being accepted for the Master’s use; they are trusted to do His work in His name. {AH 535.2}

God desires that heaven’s plan shall be carried out, and heaven’s divine order and harmony prevail, in every family, in every church, in every institution. Did this love leaven society, we should see the outworking of noble principles in Christian refinement and courtesy and in Christian charity toward the purchase of the blood of Christ. Spiritual transformation would be seen in all our families, in our institutions, in our churches. When this transformation takes place, these agencies will become instrumentalities by which God will impart heaven’s light to the world and thus, through divine discipline and training, fit men and women for the society of heaven. {AH 535.3}

These words are packed in reference to our theme this year. Earth is the beginning of life in heaven. Here on earth we are to have the peace of heaven. We are to be surrounded by the peace of heaven. How? By the transformation that comes through Christ and we will become instrumentalities by how heaven will impart light to the world. This is what this church is about. To enjoy the peace of heavenly Canaan we must learn something here to be introduced there. If we lack peace here in our hearts now and we are offended continually by things around us, if we are offended by faults in others, this will continue in heaven. We must learn here to have the peace in heaven.

Are you individually daily preparing that you can unite with the family of heaven? Are you quarrelsome here? Are you finding fault with your household here? If you are, you will find fault with them in heaven. Your character is being tested and proved in this life, whether you will make a peaceable subject of God’s kingdom in heaven. {HP 227.5}

If I find fault in the family of God here, I will find fault with them in heaven. It is whether I’m a peaceable person here on earth that I will be a peaceable subject there. If I find fault here, then I will find fault there. Peace has to do with me.

I saw that all the religion a few poor souls have, is to watch the garments and acts of others, and find fault with them. Unless they reform, there will be no place in Heaven for them, for they would find fault with the Lord himself. {4bSG 30.2}

If you are a fault finder here, you will be a fault finder there. To cross the Jordan I must be a discipliner here so I will be a peacemaker there as well. The circumstances that are around me are my creation. I can make circumstances peaceable by my own activity. The peace of heaven would be spoilt by anything else than the words of Jesus in Matthew. Who are the children of God that will have a place with God in heaven?

Matthew 5:9 Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

We want to be there. We want the peace that heaven offers but the peace that heaven offers is a consequence of every citizen of that kingdom. Children of God, peacemakers. You yearn for peace don’t you? I do. It’s taken me a few years to learn that peace around me is dependent on me. The problem is that I’m a sinner and what is it that has robbed this planet of peace?

Romans 3:9 What then? are we better [than they]? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 16 Destruction and misery [are] in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known:

Why is there no peace on this planet? Because of sin. Those who are on this planet do not know the way of peace. It is sin and sin on this planet has made this planet an ocean of troubled waters.

Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked [are] like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 [There is] no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

There is no rest. There is always something stirring up something. Some wind stirs up whether it’s in the family home or church or whether it’s in the institutions or the world, people can’t be contented with a peaceful even life. Restlessness. If something doesn’t fit my opinion or my comfort I have to make a stir about it, I can’t just leave it alone as I’m restless. I can’t be content with something that is continuous and unchangeable. I want change and I am dissatisfied with something or another and that is how this whole planet is in turmoil. Daniel in his visions sees the waters and there is a wind blowing on the waters and out of the sea comes creatures. It is the wars and the restlessness that creates lack of peace. Out of the waters arise these empires. We are living at the end where the whole sea will erupt soon. To this troubled sea came the angels at the birth of Jesus. What did they sing when Jesus was born as they came to the shepherds?

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Peace came into the equation so when Jesus was born there was peace. Jesus was on the Sea of Galilee. There was symbolic picture of Jesus sleeping calmly on a troubled sea. Can you do that?

Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Is there something here to learn?

There is another spiritual lesson in this miracle of the stilling of the tempest. Every man’s experience testifies to the truth of the words of Scripture, “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” Isaiah 57:20, 21. Sin has destroyed our peace. While self is unsubdued, we can find no rest. The masterful passions of the heart no human power can control. We are as helpless here as were the disciples to quiet the raging storm. {DA 336.4}

Have you ever experienced it as you came into a troubled situation? Try to stop a raging lunatic and see how well you get along. I have been in situations where I was preaching and a raving lunatic stood up in the meeting. There is only one way.

But He who spoke peace to the billows of Galilee has spoken the word of peace for every soul. However fierce the tempest, those who turn to Jesus with the cry, “Lord, save us,” will find deliverance. His grace, that reconciles the soul to God, quiets the strife of human passion, and in His love the heart is at rest. “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven. {DA 336.4}

Do you desire the haven of peace in your heart? Do you require perfect peace? The only way is the words of Jesus to the soul.

Some have stormy tempers; but He who calmed the stormy Sea of Galilee will say to the troubled heart, “Peace, be still.” There is no nature so rebellious that Christ cannot subdue it, no temper so stormy that He cannot quell it, if the heart is surrendered to His keeping. {HP 17.4}

No matter how eruptive your nature may be that he cannot calm. Not one. Who is the one that is speaking?

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

He is the prince of peace. When you have a government you have subjects don’t you? He is the government of peace. He is the one that says peace be still. There is a command that his subjects are subject to. He has power.

Melchisedec

Many people have a poor understanding of who Melchisedec is.

Hebrews 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

He is one of the Godhead. Only God is king of peace. This Melchisedec is king of peace and he wants to live in your and my heart. If we let him he will live there. The peace that is his he bequeaths to the believer. He connects the comforter the Holy Spirit with himself. This is precisely what we have just seen.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

He the prince of peace, the king of peace, the comforter says let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid. He that rules in heaven is saying to your and my heart peace be still.

When we receive Christ into the soul as an abiding guest, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will keep our hearts and minds. There is no other ground of peace than this. The grace of Christ, received into the heart, subdues enmity; it allays strife and fills the soul with love. He who is at peace with God and his fellow men cannot be made miserable. The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence all around. {HP 249.6}

He can’t find fault, he can’t be made miserable. He who is the prince of peace comes to us and says peace be still with all our eruptive nature. What does he say? I give unto you. What is the practicality of him giving us peace and we receiving it? He spoke to the troubled storm sea of galilee and what happened? It calmed. He came to this planet and the words were uttered peace and good will toward men and the sea did not calm. Why? The Sea of Galilee calmed but man’s troubled sea did not calm. Is it calm in your house? Has it been calm in our church? Has it been perfect calm? Why not?

There is no nature so rebellious that Christ cannot subdue it, no temper so stormy that He cannot quell it, if the heart is surrendered to His keeping. {HP 17.4}

This is important. If the heart is surrendered. The reason why there is not perfect peace is being clarified. Can we have perfect peace in our home and in the church? It’s not impossible for the Lord but what makes it not appear perfectly? Lack of surrender.

Christ is “the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), and it is His mission to restore to earth and heaven the peace that sin has broken. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1. Whoever consents to renounce sin and open his heart to the love of Christ, becomes a partaker of this heavenly peace. {MB 27.2}

There is no other ground of peace than this. The grace of Christ received into the heart, subdues enmity; it allays strife and fills the soul with love. He who is at peace with God and his fellow men cannot be made miserable. Envy will not be in his heart; evil surmisings will find no room there; hatred cannot exist. The heart that is in harmony with God is a partaker of the peace of heaven and will diffuse its blessed influence on all around. The spirit of peace will rest like dew upon hearts weary and troubled with worldly strife. {MB 27.3}

Why is the earth not calm? Why is there trouble in the church? Because the heart is not surrendered. There is still retained in the heart envy and evil surmising. Do you want peace? You will never get it while it’s there. Even if you don’t express it, if you are envious of somebody or feel that someone is being treated better, but I’m not being exonerated for my efforts, what is that? Lack of peace. Or I see this and I see some evil surmising and the whirlwind in the heart goes. If Jesus says to the heart you are mine and you say yes Lord and Jesus says to the heart peace and you say amen and surrender all to him then there is peace and there will be peace in the church. Aren’t you weary of problems? Aren’t we weary of the tearing apart of hearts? Don’t we want to be free of that? Start with me. If you can embrace Jesus as an individual so completely and surrendered that nothing matters, there will be peace as far as it belongs unto me, walk at peace with all men.

To those who are conscientious doers of the word, it is life and spirit, a vital, quickening power; but if men misinterpret it, if they misstate it through their own perverted heart and clouded understanding, it becomes to them a stumbling-block, and not only to them, but to all with whom they have influence. Those who train their minds to cavil and criticise will have opportunity afforded them to develop their true mould of character, just as Satan was given room to develop the crookedness of his policy. All the heavenly intelligences, all the universe of God, are able in each case to decide in regard to the development of character. They can tell who may safely be permitted to enter the portals of bliss, and who, by their disloyalty to God, would endanger the peace of heaven. God could work a miracle in every word spoken through His Spirit; but this is not His plan. He gives evidence, but leaves the will free. {BEcho, August 19, 1895 par. 7}

Do you want peace? As you study God’s word, God’s word is evidence but God’s word could do a miracle like it did on the Sea of Galilee. Why doesn’t it do a miracle in me? It tells you. It is not his plan he gives evidence but leaves the will free. What is that saying to us? God’s word is powerful, it does its work and cuts deep discerning the intents of the heart but it will not do a miracle unless I will. The question is, how well am I surrendered? How well do I consent? Do I consent to what God’s word says? Do I submit?

Those who take Christ at His word and surrender their souls to His keeping, their lives to His ordering, will find peace and quietude. Nothing of the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence. In perfect acquiescence there is perfect rest. {HP 249.4}

Then all the things that trouble me are gone. Perfect acquiescence means perfect atonement. Letting Jesus in his atonement with me come close to me and let me be totally humbled as he was humble at the cross. There is perfect acquiescence and then the peace that passeth all understanding, you can’t describe it, it’s impossible, it must be the work of God in me to take away all my envy and evil surmising when there are many surrounding circumstances that would make me do that but not there is perfect rest. Do you want it? Here is the major difference between the troubled Sea of Galilee and the troubled sea of my heart.

When a man is earnestly engaged day by day in overcoming the defects in his character, he is cherishing Christ in his soul-temple; the light of Christ is in him. Under the bright beams of the light of Christ’s countenance his entire being becomes elevated and ennobled. He has the peace of heaven in his soul. Many give loose rein to passion, avarice, selfishness, and deception, and all the time excuse themselves and lay the blame on the circumstances which brought around the trial to themselves. {4T 346.1}

It’s because of my wife or husband or the people in the church some say.

This has been your case. God permitted your surroundings to exist to develop character. But you could have made your surroundings; for by resisting or enduring temptation, circumstances are controlled by the might of the will in the name of Jesus. This is overcoming as Christ overcame. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” {4T 346.1}

Do you have a strong will? Where do you exercise it? You can exercise it to vent your passion or you can exercise it to embrace Jesus in the trial. We are to cherish Christ and as I do that and these horrible things are happening to me won’t affect me. I never forget the words uttered to me when I was a nurse and so many of the nurses in training fell out. The Godly teacher said to me, it’s not what happens to you that matters it’s what you do what happens to you and I had peace and I didn’t fall out of that training no matter how hard it was. This is the answer all the way along. Heaven can be in your life on earth if you will be permit the life and words of Jesus to take away your troubled heart. When my heart is troubled what did Jesus say?

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

I know what that means. When my heart plays up it is an anxiety that shuts Jesus out of there and I can either go along with it and it gets worse and worse or I can let it not and say you are not having control of me and I look to Jesus and I persevere until my relationship with Jesus quenches that troubled burning chest.

But you could have made your surroundings; for by resisting or enduring temptation, circumstances are controlled by the might of the will in the name of Jesus. {4T 346.1}

This is faith in action. When you are convinced of your sinfulness, you must do something. It requires your part. When your sin, guilt and condemnation stresses, do you feel stressed when your sin comes up before you and someone else points it out or circumstances reveal it? What must I do with that? It won’t calm down. I must do something but I can’t stop it so what must I do?

You are a sinner. You cannot atone for your past sins; you cannot change your heart and make yourself holy. {SC 51.1}

Just like you can’t calm the troubled sea.

But God promises to do all this for you through Christ. You believe that promise. You confess your sins and give yourself to God. You will to serve Him. Just as surely as you do this, God will fulfill His word to you. If you believe the promise,–believe that you are forgiven and cleansed,–God supplies the fact; you are made whole, just as Christ gave the paralytic power to walk when the man believed that he was healed. It is so if you believe it. {SC 51.1}

The sins that are troubling your heart talk to God about it. Here is the will again. Unless we do that the troubled sea won’t be calm. He can say peace be still as long as he likes but it depends on what I do with my sin. It says I am to confess it and believe what he has said in reference to it.

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

I must believe and God will supply the fact through my relationship with Jesus Christ. That is what you do when your sin, guilt and condemnation stresses you. Now you are freed from the stress of your past, when we meet the possibility of overcoming. You have a problem in your life, you become eruptive, you lose your passion and you become envious and it eats at you and you can’t stop it and you plead to the Lord, what must you do?

Will man take hold of divine power, and with determination and perseverance resist Satan, as Christ has given him example in His conflict with the foe in the wilderness of temptation? God cannot save man against his will from the power of Satan’s artifices. Man must work with his human power, aided by the divine power of Christ, to resist and to conquer at any cost to himself. In short, man must overcome as Christ overcame. And then, through the victory that it is his privilege to gain by the all-powerful name of Jesus, he may become an heir of God and joint-heir with Jesus Christ. This could not be the case if Christ alone did all the overcoming. Man must do his part; he must be victor on his own account, through the strength and grace that Christ gives him. Man must be a co-worker with Christ in the labor of overcoming, and then he will be partaker with Christ in His glory. {SD 156.3}

Jesus overcame for you correct? But that doesn’t mean you are going to overcome. You must work with your human power aided by the divine power of Christ. It’s a co-operation. It’s a labour.

The Saviour overcame to show man how he may overcome. All the temptations of Satan, Christ met with the Word of God. By trusting in God’s promises, He received power to obey God’s commandments, and the tempter could gain no advantage. {SD 156.4}

There is a part I need to play to gain the peace that passeth all understanding. Do you have responsibilities? I hate responsibilities. I would rather sit in the corner and face no responsibilities at all. To fulfil the responsibilities contrary to my nature too hard to perform, I tremble at every responsibility and I have no peace unless I exercise what I’m preaching to you. We are to find peace in the most uncomfortable responsibilities that we have to bear.

When we take into our hands the management of things with which we have to do, and depend upon our own wisdom for success, we are taking a burden which God has not given us, and are trying to bear it without His aid. We are taking upon ourselves the responsibility that belongs to God, and thus are really putting ourselves in His place. We may well have anxiety, and anticipate danger and loss; for it is certain to befall us. But when we really believe that God loves us, and means to do us good, we shall cease to worry about the future. We shall trust God as a child trusts a loving parent. Then our troubles and torments will disappear; for our will is swallowed up in the will of God. {SD 119.3}

I have a duty but I’m taking a burden that God hasn’t given me. Leaders in the church can do that well can’t they when they think they have authority to do it with their little hands to rule over Gods flock. They are placing themselves in Gods position. The pope and all his followers do that. If I do it in my own way its certain to befall me that I will have trouble.

Christ has given us no promise of help in bearing today the burdens of tomorrow. {SD 119.4}

He hasn’t give us that. He will carry every burden that we have to carry as we believe and rely on him.

The Stress because of Lack of Unity

I want unity in the church and it doesn’t come. If we practise these other parts beforehand, then we have a part to fulfill in regards to unity. The peace that passes understanding in my heart I’m to practise in unity.

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

My endeavour is to keep unity by remaining lowly in front of the Lord forbearing one another. That is the part I have to play. It is my part. If I don’t do it, if I run away, if I avoid it, it won’t go away, it will come again and again but if I bear it with longsuffering and meekness clinging to my Lord and saviour there will be perfect peace in my heart and there will be beautiful unity as pertaining to myself with my fellow man. The church can have perfect peace. That is the place where Jesus wants to rule as the prince of peace. Whatever our anxiety we can deal with it. Don’t worry about anything. Oh but there is so much to worry about. No, the Lord is at hand.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

On earth we may dwell as Jesus did in the land of peace. Jesus did it.

He left them the peace which had been His during His life on the earth, which had been with Him amid poverty, buffeting, and persecution, and which was to be with Him during His agony in Gethsemane and on the cruel cross. {HP 249.2}

How did he survive? What they did wasn’t fair. Did he lose his peace?

The Saviour’s life on this earth, though lived in the midst of conflict, was a life of peace. . . . No storm of satanic wrath could disturb the calm of that perfect communion with God. And He says to us, “My peace I give unto you.” {HP 249.3}

Look at Jesus and yes at the cross he was troubled but he let not his heart be troubled when he said into thine hand I commend my spirit when he gave up the ghost. May God grant us that. Because it requires our human input, the church where Jesus presides, the land of peace is a trouble to many.

Jeremiah 12:5 If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and [if] in the land of peace, [wherein] thou trustedst, [they wearied thee], then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?

The church is a city of refuge and if in the city of refuge you are wearied and troubled, how are you going to survive the swelling of Jordan? We don’t have to fall under that. The beautiful word of Jesus comes to us and says peace be still and by Gods wonderful preparation for heaven, here on earth we may have the peace of heaven on this side of Canaan.

The apostle exhorts us, “As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” The grace of Christ changes the whole man, making the coarse refined, the rough gentle, the selfish generous. It controls the temper and the voice. Its outworking is seen in politeness and tender regard shown by brother for brother, in kind, encouraging words and unselfish actions. An angel-presence, is in the home. The life breathes forth a sweet perfume, which as holy incense ascends to God. {3SM 239.3}

Are you coarse? Is your past a coarse life? The grace of Christ will refine it under this discipline.

Love is manifested in kindness, gentleness, forbearance, and longsuffering. The expression of the countenance is changed. The peace of heaven is revealed. There is seen a habitual gentleness, a more than human love. Humanity becomes a partaker of divinity. Christ is honored by perfection of character. As these changes are perfected, angels break forth in rapturous song, and God and Christ rejoice over souls fashioned after the divine similitude. {3SM 239.4}

The dependence is upon Jesus. Let us go and do the action and the power will be there.

Amen.

Posted on October 15, 2010, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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