The Love of God Amidst Human Chaos


By John Thiel, mp3

Oh that our hearts are lifted up to our wonderful Creator and powerful guide that nothing will permit us to be disjointed by things that transpires on this planet. I would like to turn our attention to this wonderful God who loves us even when everything that we see about ourselves and we see in people around us looks hopeless, that He is there. He is in the midst of it all. The plight of humanity, ever since the fall, is one of unexpected sorrow and chaos. You look right back through the history and everywhere you look things started well and then they went chaotic. The chaos was severe. Then there was a little lull and then away it went again. Repeatedly through history chaos thickened on this planet. Chaos was described in Isaiah 59, both in the house of the church, the house of Israel and among the wicked. This is talking about God’s people in the church:

Isaiah 59:11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but [there is] none; for salvation, [but] it is far off from us. 12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions [are] with us; and [as for] our iniquities, we know them; 13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

Here is the chaos. The sins of our nature that we have permitted to affect us and to express ourselves with have created a state of circumstances in which we roar like bears and mourn sore like doves; you know the plaintive cry of the dove. This unpleasant sense that comes over us, we look for judgment, we look for the right but it’s not happening. Why? Because we are suffering under our transgressions, that is why. our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions [are] with us; and [as for] our iniquities, we know them;.

You know what it is like when you go through some hard times. You think, why is this happening? Deep inside, I’ve been an instigator of this, I’ve done my sins, I can’t be totally clear in my mind that it’s everybody else’s fault. We know that in transgressing and lying against the Lord and departing away from our God, speaking oppressions and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. We sometimes say little white lies and then we wonder why things go wrong. It’s not so bad to say a little white lie, is it? We don’t like the consequences but we do it. As with the wicked so with the church and with my own.

Proverbs 4:19 The way of the wicked [is] as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

You stumble and say, what? What was that for? Why is this going wrong? I don’t understand. Why is this happening to me? Why do bad things happen? I’m not at fault here am I? I don’t understand. Why are people talking to me this way? We are stumbling around and we don’t know what is causing our perplexity many times. While we know certain sins, but that sin didn’t have anything to do with this or that, why is this happening to me? The fact is that in this plight in which we are in this world, there is none righteous, no not one. Everyone meets the consequences of their unconscious or conscious sins. To the believer is spelled out a path of recovery in this chaos of human dilemma.

Proverbs 4:11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths. 12 When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

What must I do for that to happen?

Proverbs 4:13 Take fast hold of instruction; let [her] not go: keep her; for she [is] thy life. 18 But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

If you think carefully about what we just read, it is telling us that in this plight of human dilemma, human chaos, the instruction that the Lord gives is to be followed and He will lead us out of these horrifying things. He will lead us in right paths. He knows the way out, so He says, take fast hold of instruction. As a believer, while I am perplexed with my circumstances, God lays out a path for us. That path to the believer, to the person who accepts the justification impact of Jesus Christ, to that person, there is a path that shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day.

What does that mean? It’s a bit dark at the moment but tomorrow will be a bit lighter and the next day it’s going to be a bit lighter. In the meantime I have to find my way through some of the darkness. As I follow the instruction I will find my way out of the darkness, out of the chaos.

It is my purpose this morning to unfold before us this reality according to the title of our message the love of God amidst human chaos. Our actions create chaos; every one of our actions that is done outside of God’s direct instructions. In that chaos we often think, this is too much. I can’t see my way through it any more, it becomes overwhelming. However, God’s love is still there and that is what I want us to really come away with this morning.

Have you found disappointed hopes in your experience? We launch out with a wonderful assurance that here is truth, I’ve found it. I’ve experienced this time and time again amongst the different people of Adventism from my youth up. In my youth there were only a small number of independents, now they are countless. People came out of the Adventist church disappointed and so now they find someone and say, this is it. Praise the Lord. They go forward with great courage and joy that now they have found the truth. I see them starry eyed. What joy, what love, what a precious experience and within a few years, down goes their joy.

They had high expectations of following the Lord; it’s going to be wonderful. Then in those plunged perplexities, with those hoped anticipations that we are going to be part of God’s church, among friends, that unity that Jesus speaks about, there is chaos. The sore temptation is; is this the real thing? Maybe I’m not in the right church. With some situations it is true, so we find our way through all the perplexities and we follow the instruction of God’s word and we see, here are the doctrines, here is the pure truth, and that pure truth is meant to do something to the church and so again we expect things.

In seasons of temptation we seem to lose sight of the fact that God tests us that our faith may be tried and be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus. The Lord places us in different positions to develop us. If we have defects of character of which we are not aware, {TMK 282.2}

Remember what the people stumble over, we read it there, they do not know at what they stumble. They are not aware of what is a stumbling block in their life and so

we have defects of character of which we are not aware. He gives us discipline that will bring those defects to our knowledge, that we may overcome them. Ibid

This is what we need to understand, especially when we come into that which is pure truth.

It is His providence that brings us into varying circumstances. In each new position, we meet a different class of temptations. How many times when we are placed in some trying situation we think, “This is a wonderful mistake. How I wish I had stayed where I was before.” But why is it that you are not satisfied? It is because your circumstances have served to bring new defects in your character to your notice, but nothing is revealed but that which was in you. Ibid

As I read this statement, can you appreciate where the chaos is actually levelled to, why there is chaos permitted? We want to go into some careful detail in looking back so that we can understand our situations today. The perplexities that are permitted to come upon us, God, by His providence, brings that into reality. As I meet circumstances that are chaotic and perplexing to me, why are they there? I am unaware of my particular character defect. I am not conscious of it, so circumstances are permitted and then I can see it. What do we usually do? Such and such shouldn’t have done that to me, why did they say that and so on, instead of realising the Lord is showing me something. We don’t want to look upon it as a great mistake, but as God’s providence. Let us examine some perplexities of people in the past so we can identify from their experience our own.

John the Baptist

He was one of the greatest prophets that ever lived. Jesus declared him to be the greatest prophet. He was commissioned by God to prepare the way for Jesus. He was there baptising and there comes the Messiah, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Can you see the joy rising in his heart? Place yourself right there with him. What a joy! Even the Father in heaven is giving indication that this is the Messiah. Then what happened? There was miserable chaos for John. It’s a quick story you can read and it looks like the government just got him and put him in prison etc, but we don’t know all the little details that brought that around. If you were in his situation, you would be surprised and disappointed that things are going the way they were. There he is in prison and look what the dilemma and chaos that happened to him caused him to utter.

Matthew 11:3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see: 5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. :6 And blessed is [he], whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Do you ever become offended in God’s church? Here He says to John, I know what you’re struggling through. Everything you had hoped for has fallen down around your ears and you wonder whether I am the Messiah, because you expected that they lived happily ever after. Isn’t that fairy tale story so real today that people think that? John the Baptist, the great prophet, is told by Jesus, don’t be offended at me. There is no way out for you, you are going to die, but don’t be offended. As you go through the chaos, as you hear of this ungodly female who is going to ask for your head, don’t become offended. How would you handle that?

The Disciples

Those fishermen had witnessed the baptism of Jesus and now Jesus comes to them and says, follow me. I will make you fishers of men. They had a future. They had their father’s business that they could look forward to in taking over after he had passed away. Everything was going to be normal for them. Matthew the tax collector was pretty well off, he had lots of friends. He says, come follow me. They forsake everything. They had high expectations of Him being the Messiah and they were to become part of His church and He would rule over the Romans and everything would be wonderful. Those high expectations end up with frictions among the disciples. They are at each other’s throat over who will be the greatest. As they travel along, this friction intensifies by Jesus’ own communications. You know the statement well in John chapter 6 where Jesus said you must eat my flesh and drink my blood and all the disciples and followers of Jesus were there. He goes along and tells them what it is all about which is different to what they expect.

John 6:66 From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Then He turns to the twelve and asks, will you also leave me? These are all just short little excerpts, but let the Holy Spirit show you the struggles and chaos of humanity that is going through that experience. They were all starry-eyed following Jesus and these disciples that walked away and left Him, all their hopes shattered. What’s this? Let me get out of here. It’s a wonderful mistake. I wish we had stayed where we were before. Can you see the picture? The twelve are asked, will you also forsake me? Peter with such confidence says, yes, Lord, we know you are the Messiah, no problems. Then he continues together with the rest of them until it comes to a dead-end road. Their whole life is chaotically shattered. They had given and forsaken everything, now everything they had hoped for has ended in the cross and here is the death of the one who claims to be the Messiah. This is the reasoning of human chaos.

You can hear them on the road to Emmaus. We thought that He would be he who would redeem Israel. What shattered hopes! What a chaotic situation. Notice, as they were travelling along with Christ before His death, the chaotic challenges that were continually happening within their ranks under Judas.

Christ’s discourse in the synagogue concerning the bread of life was the turning point in the history of Judas. . {DA 719.1}

Judas had high hopes and now he hears this and is displeased.

He heard the words, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye have no life in you.” John 6:53. He saw that Christ was offering spiritual rather than worldly good. He regarded himself as farsighted, and thought he could see that Jesus would have no honor, and that He could bestow no high position upon His followers. He determined not to unite himself so closely to Christ but that he could draw away. He would watch. And he did watch. Ibid

Have you ever gone through mind patterns of this nature? Hmm, I really did expect that this would work out well for me, but I can see where it’s heading. He was a far sighted man, he could see that it’s not what he expected. Some smart minded people are very intelligent and can see where this is leading but think, I’m not going to make my disagreement noted, I will just watch. I will continue with Christ, I will continue to be there among the disciples, but I’m going to watch. Here is the dilemma that continues as I read on.

From that time he expressed doubts that confused the disciples. . {DA 719.2}

This beautiful walk with Jesus is chaos here, confusion.

He introduced controversies and misleading sentiments, repeating the arguments urged by the scribes and Pharisees against the claims of Christ. All the little and large troubles and crosses, the difficulties and the apparent hindrances to the advancement of the gospel, Judas interpreted as evidences against its truthfulness. Ibid

As I am reading this, don’t just look at him, see how Satan insidiously puts different thoughts into our minds in exactly the same way. We think, I’m watching. Things are not adding up here. Little troubles and large troubles and crosses are all things that are happening amongst these people and God can’t be there. God wouldn’t let that sort of thing happen. It can’t be God’s church. That is exactly what he is thinking.

He would introduce texts of Scripture that had no connection with the truths Christ was presenting. These texts, separated from their connection, perplexed the disciples, and increased the discouragement that was constantly pressing upon them. Yet all this was done by Judas in such a way as to make it appear that he was conscientious. And while the disciples were searching for evidence to confirm the words of the Great Teacher, Judas would lead them almost imperceptibly on another track. Thus in a very religious, and apparently wise, way he was presenting matters in a different light from that in which Jesus had given them, and attaching to His words a meaning that He had not conveyed. Ibid

Follow that thought carefully. Jesus is speaking, or somebody else whom God sends, and what takes place? The words that are stated are put in a light that is not the way it was meant, but it looks like it. Satan puts the glasses on and people see things that way. Judas was permitting Satan to put the glasses on. The words that Jesus spoke are misconstrued.

Thus in a very religious, and apparently wise, way he was presenting matters in a different light from that in which Jesus had given them, and attaching to His words a meaning that He had not conveyed. His suggestions were constantly exciting an ambitious desire for temporal preferment, and thus turning the disciples from the important things they should have considered. Ibid

What should we be doing? We should be considering the most important things. We become distracted from those important things and we focus our eyes upon the things that confuse and create chaos. That is what was happening here.

The dissension as to which of them should be greatest was generally excited by Judas. Ibid

When Jesus presented to the rich young ruler the condition of discipleship, Judas was displeased. He thought that a mistake had been made. {DA 719.3}

This is a wonderful mistake, it is all wrong, this is not Christ.

If such men as this ruler could be connected with the believers, they would help sustain Christ’s cause. Ibid

Come on, he is a great asset to the church. What are you doing Christ?

If Judas were only received as a counselor, he thought, he could suggest many plans for the advantage of the little church. His principles and methods would differ somewhat from Christ’s, but in these things he thought himself wiser than Christ. Ibid

I’m describing chaos. Instead of that beautiful unity, I am describing chaos, even chaos towards Jesus.

In all that Christ said to His disciples, there was something with which, in heart, Judas disagreed. Under his influence the leaven of disaffection was fast doing its work. The disciples did not see the real agency in all this; but Jesus saw that Satan was communicating his attributes to Judas, and thus opening up a channel through which to influence the other disciples. This, a year before the betrayal, Christ declared. {DA 720.1}

Did you notice here that Jesus saw that Satan was putting these thoughts into Judas and Judas yielded to them? Here we see the dilemma of the apostolic church among which Jesus was. Remember what our theme is, God’s love amidst human chaos. Was this chaotic? Was this relationship that the disciples were in in total chaos as they continued to move forward to the cross? It ended up in total chaos indeed.

Here is Jesus, the love of God, active right in the chaos. That is what I want you to appreciate here. If you are connected with the real Jesus, you will be in chaos with Him. That doesn’t sound right, does it? When you see certain things going wrong in the church, you think, come on Lord, when are you going to make a change, when are you going to step in there and correct this problem? Jesus did not correct Judas and stop him. This was the source of the chaos and Jesus didn’t stop it. If Jesus would have done something about it, the chaos would have got worse, but Jesus had to put up with the chaos that Judas was doing.

Judas was the first whose feet Jesus washed. {CTr 262.6}

Judas is an apostate and Jesus is washing his feet? He is taking him into the Lord’s Supper?

Judas had already closed the contract to deliver Jesus into the hands of the priests and scribes. Christ knew his secret. Ibid

Is this God’s love?

Yet He did not expose him. Ibid

Love covers a multitude of sins. You know something, you know somebody is doing something desperately wrong, you think, this person should be exposed. There is sin in the camp. We have to be careful how we take that statement of Achan to every situation. There was sin in the camp and it created chaos in the disciples’ camp, but Jesus did not expose him. Why?

He hungered for his soul. His heart was crying, How can I give thee up? He hoped that His act in washing Judas’ feet would touch the heart of the erring disciple and save him from completing his act of disloyalty. And for a moment the heart of Judas thrilled through and through with the impulse then and there to confess his sin. But he would not humble himself. He hardened his heart against repentance. He made no remonstrance, no protestation against the Saviour thus humiliating Himself. He was offended at Christ’s act. If Jesus could so humble Himself, he thought, He could not be Israel’s king. . . . {CTr 262.6}

He hardened his heart, even though his soul thrilled through and through to confess. He said, no, this is it.

Even Judas, had he repented, would have been received and pardoned. The guilt of his soul would have been washed away by the atoning blood of Christ. But, self-confident and self-exalted, cherishing a high estimate of his own wisdom, he justified his course.—Manuscript 106, 1903. {CTr 262.7}

Can you see God’s love amidst chaos? This is another beautiful appreciation that can stimulate us and provoke us to fall in love with God. This is what God is like. This is love amidst the chaos. Besides al that, that I have just read here, that He would even wash Judas’ feet, take a bit longer to look at it. Behold Him participating as co-victim of chaos.

The life of Christ was made one long scene of conflict. Satan stirred up the evil hearts of people, and set envy and prejudice at work against the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. He caused people to question and to doubt the word, works, and mission of Christ. {CTr 237.3}

The very one who was there to give them life eternal, people were questioning and twisting the meaning of his words. How do you feel when that happens to you? Don’t you want to fight to correct it. Don’t you want to give the impression that it’s not what the people are saying? What did Jesus do?

They [the Jews] followed Christ from place to place, in order that, if possible, they might catch some word from His lips to misstate, misconstrue, and publish abroad, giving it a meaning that had neither been expressed nor intended. Thus the way of Christ was hedged up by people who claimed to be just and holy. Ibid

Here we see how He was victimised and how He was placed into chaos so that the things that He had said were given a meaning that had neither been expressed nor intended. Do you know that experience? Have you heard what people have said about what you have said? You think, how did that happen? I didn’t say that. Do you see what Satan is doing? We will come to that in conclusion.

What a life. What a chaos surrounded Jesus. As He was in the chaos note the following.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps. 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously:

Jesus in the chaos, reviled, misconstrued, falsified, what sort of a lesson are we to learn? He has been given as our example, that we should follow His steps. Remember what we read in Proverbs, follow the instruction, I have made a path. Here is the path out of the chaos. .Brethren and sisters, let us pick it up. We will not be spared the chaos, but if we will listen and look to Jesus, we will know how to come out of that chaos. We will not create more chaos by our reactions. We will do what Jesus did. When He was reviled He reviled not again, when He suffered, He threatened not.

Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Are we picking up the picture? If I want to be sanctified, if I’m going to be perfect one day, I must actually look to Jesus and experience His own experience of the chaos and follow His way out of the chaos. What was His way? The path of the cross, which is the path of not standing up for my own rights, not claiming what I want like Judas did, not responding to Satan’s suggestions to go along and try to correct a thing or two.

Some people have sometimes said to me, John, you should be doing something as a minister here. I say, yes, I am. I am praying and I am waiting for the Lord to tell me what to do. I have seen now over the years that we have to do exactly the same as Jesus did if we are going to be on the path of Jesus. Look at His victimisation in His own experience some more.

Look at the scenes in His life of suffering. Think of His agony in Gethsemane, {RH, February 26, 1901 par. 14}

We are told here to think, to look to Jesus.

when, oppressed by the powers of darkness, He prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” ibid

What was He asking? I want to get out of this chaos. Help. This is horrible, let this cup pass from me.

See Him betrayed by Judas, forsaken by His disciples, condemned by priests and rulers, and delivered by Pilate to a shameful death. All this He endured that man might be elevated and ennobled, and by partaking of the divine nature, be exalted to the right hand of God. Ibid

Can you see something here? This is the path to nobility. This is the path to holiness. We think that my nobility is being badly treated. I’ve got to stand up for what has been done to me. You will never be noble if you do that. You will never be on the throne together with Jesus if you do that. We will not be there. We are being given the instruction by seeing the example of Jesus and watching Him in the chaos. This is God’s love in the human chaos. This is the way. I know it by experience now long enough. I have had trouble with it just like everybody else has, but I have discovered the way of peace comes out of chaos correctly met. ‘

You can’t correct the chaos, you can’t stop it, it is going to happen, but those who will follow Jesus will find the way out of the chaos in the way that we have just been reading here. Reflect upon the instruction in 1 Peter 2:19- 21.

1 Peter 2:19 For this [is] thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory [is it], if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God.

In the chaos if I am getting mistreated because of my own sin, that is fine, I accept that, but when I have done something exactly the way God wanted me to do it and I still get into trouble, that is too much. Jesus did that, and He took it.

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:

The 1844 Disappointment

How beautifully the Lord was leading them in their confused state. They made some serious mistakes and what did it do? There were the 50,000 who had expected Jesus to come in 1844. We read in Story of Redemption page 371 and how we marvelled that the Holy Spirit guided them and had his hand over their mistaken view and gave them a beautiful sense that the Lord was with them. There was this amazing expectation that God permitted them to hold. What was it, the 50,000, from amongst all the other churches, what did they have to bear? What sort of chaos did they have to meet? They were ridiculed by the fallen churches, but they took the ridicule joyfully because they were sure that what they believed was right. Then came the disappointment. The embarrassment. We read that among them there were people who were only doing it because they wanted to be right when Jesus came, but they weren’t really at heart converted. Can you imagine the internal chaos that was happening amongst them as they began to splinter apart? I can just see it because I know human nature very well over many years. What a terrible thing. We have gone through it too, haven’t we? How people ridicule when we stand firm on something which afterwards raises a question, is this the right thing after all or not?

The experience of the disappointment was so horrendous that how many were left? No more than fifty. That only happened because there was a little company of a handful that kept on searching and then illuminated them. As they were going through these horrendous experiences, this horrendous human chaos, was Jesus there? Jesus said, I have set before you an open door. Praise the Lord, we’re going in. Here He was right there among their mistaken views, their chaos. The love of God was there. He loved them.

Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Was Jesus amongst them all? He was walking amongst the seven golden candlesticks. He is right there with them, holding the stars, walking amongst the candlesticks in Revelation 1.

Revelation 1:12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; 13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

It means that Jesus is watching and He has been with them all the way along.

Christ is spoken of as walking in the midst of the golden candlesticks. Thus is symbolized His relation to the churches. He is in constant communication with His people. He knows their true state. He observes their order, their piety, their devotion. Although He is high priest and mediator in the sanctuary above, yet He is represented as walking up and down in the midst of His churches on the earth. With untiring wakefulness and unremitting vigilance, He watches to see whether the light of any of His sentinels is burning dim or going out. {AA 586.1}

This is profoundly beautiful. He is right there among them.

Christ is represented as holding the seven stars in His right hand. This assures us that no church faithful to its trust need fear coming to nought, for not a star that has the protection of Omnipotence can be plucked out of the hand of Christ. {AA 586.2}

The chaos looks like that’s it, I’m gone, but no, Jesus is there, just as He was there with Judas trying to hold on to Judas. The love of God amidst human chaos if understood will hold us firm.

Our Own Experience

As Jesus was assailed by Satan, so His people are assailed and now where do we stand? He was angry with the woman as he was angry with Christ, but what is written in Revelation 12:17?

Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

It is worse now. Brethren, the chaos that I have just described back there, and it was horrible, is worse now than any other time. What do we expect from Satan?

It is written in Testimony to Ministers pages 472 and 475 how he reasons among his fallen angels. He says we must create dissension among God’s people, we must create conflict among them, just like he did there with the disciples, but this time he is more intense. What did he do in the past? He put into the heart of Judas reasonings, misconstruing the meanings of a person’s words. As we are deciding to be part of the remnant of the woman’s seed, be aware that the chaos is going to get worse, but His love is there, His presence is there.

As we read in Christ Triumphant, His words were misconstrued. Different meanings were put upon what He said so that they would come down upon Him with those misconstructions. What will happen amongst us? What will Satan put there and put you into terrible turmoil about what your brother or sister or I have said? What negatives will Satan put into your mind as to what a person means or doesn’t mean? How will it happen? Satan is there, he wants to cause us to tear ourselves apart from each other. This is Satan. It is imperative that we listen to Christ’s example and watch it closely. Here is the wonderful help that is given us, these instructions that will take us and lead us out of these horrifying, chaotic situations.

Let all who read these lines, take heed. Satan has made his boast of what he can do. He thinks to dissolve the unity which Christ prayed might exist in His church. . {TM 409.2}

Hasn’t he done it with so many people? He thinks he can do it.

He says, “I will go forth and be a lying spirit to deceive those that I can, to criticize, and condemn, and falsify.” Ibid

That’s what he did to Jesus, that’s what he did to the disciples, and now he is at war with us. Do you know what is happening to us? Are you discouraged because it’s happening to us? Rejoice. Jesus is in the midst of such chaos.

Let the son of deceit and false witness be entertained by a church that has had great light, great evidence, and that church will discard the message the Lord has sent, Ibid

If you engage in this kind of thing that Satan is throwing at you, what will you be prone to do and what will the church be prone to do? Throw out the first conviction that we had. It is no longer truth so we turn away from it. This is what we have heard. This is what has happened with many who have walked away. He is tempting us too, like Judas, like John the Baptist. Is this really it, Lord? Have you asked those questions? Is this really where we should be?

and receive the most unreasonable assertions and false suppositions and false theories. Satan laughs at their folly, for he knows what truth is. Ibid

Don’t we know what truth is too? What does he do? He wants us to get the truth so smudged by the chaos that we don’t want to follow it any more. That is what the disciples did who left Jesus back there.

Satan well knows that all his strength, together with that of his angels and evil men, is but weakness when opposed to the faithful, united servants of the great King, even though they may be few. {15MR 176.1}

He knows that he can’t do anything even if we are only a few. What will Satan work upon in you?

In order to overcome the people of God, Satan will work upon elements in the character which have not been transformed by the grace of Christ; Ibid

Have you got certain things in your character that have not yet been transformed? The path of the just is as a shining light that burns brighter and brighter. There are certain things in our life that have not yet been transformed. Satan will work on them.

He will use those weakness in our character to discourage and to tear us apart. We will say things and do things that our character impulsively reacts to and we will cause others to suffer in the church. We think that’s it, we are no longer God’s people because we are all arguing with each other. Did the disciple argue with each other? Did the disciples argue with Christ? Yes, but Jesus was there. Let’s not get confused. It is Satan at work. We have one prospect in view and that is to come out of the chaos, so he will work upon the character which has not been transformed by grace.

he will make these the controlling power of the life. Ibid

What controls you? Are you so overwhelmed with Satan’s suggestions that you can’t stop thinking about it? It keeps on putting you through stress, you keep on thinking about all these negatives and all the faults of the other person and all the crazy things that people are doing. What is happening with you? You have lost sight of Jesus. That is Satan’s effort. We start not only to lose sight of Jesus, we lose sight of the precious fellowship that we are able to enjoy.

Satan endeavors to create suspicion, envy, and jealousy, Ibid

Satan is at work doing just that. He is making war with the remnant of her seed, so we have to expect it. But God’s love is there in the chaos. As you see the chaos, don’t become disturbed, the love of God is there. Observe Him at work. Observe Satan at work.

Few are without visible faults; in most persons careful scrutiny will reveal some defect of character; and upon these defects in others, some professed Christians delight to dwell. The habit strengthens with indulgence, and a love for gossip becomes their ruling passion. {RH, August 28, 1883 par. 5}

This has been in our situations. Have we talked about this, that and the other to another person? Have we communicated some juicy thing of character defects in another person and we go along and enlarge it then afterwards we think about it and think, what is going on in this church? This is a terrible church. I receive messages of this nature. I received not so long ago a message saying, I thought this was going to be my church where I’m going to have friends. Of course you have. We are friends; it’s just that Satan isn’t our friend that is all. He is using our defects of character and we think, why are people mistreating me here? They have faults, and I have faults. None of us are perfectly free of faults. We are still learning to get over them.

The beauty is that while Satan strives to produce that chaos, Jesus is amongst us, where? I’m reading from it. The Spirit of Prophecy. Here is the cheer.

It is not you that speaketh: it is the Lord that giveth the messages of warning and reproof {1SM 32.3}

I thank God for the Spirit of Prophecy. If I wouldn’t have the Spirit of Prophecy I would no longer be in this pulpit preaching. He has shown me, He has spoken to me directly, John, here it is written. When I have heard His spirit speaking to me personally I go and read in the Spirit of Prophecy and say, thank you, Lord, it is written.

Now we have some closing comments from the Spirit of Prophecy, the testimony of Jesus, Jesus right in our midst.

The Lord loves you. The Lord is of tender compassion. His promise is, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up for you a standard against him. {TDG 245.2}

Isn’t that what He has done for us here?

Bear in mind that Jesus Christ is your hope. In the sad, discouraging things that shall come to you at any time, Christ says to you, “Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me” (Isaiah 27:5). {TDG 245.2}

Oh praise God that through this chaos I am learning there is peace in the chaos because He is with me.

Your work is to take hold of the strength that is as firm as is the eternal throne. {TDG 245.3}

In the chaos you have security.

Believe in God. Trust in Him. Be cheerful under all circumstances. Although you may have trials, know that Christ suffered these afflicting things in behalf of His heritage. Ibid

Yes, I am going through this. Jesus did too.

Nothing is as dear to the Lord as His church. . . Ibid

Let those who love God and are doers of His word sing praise and thanksgiving rather than speak words of accusing and faultfinding and murmuring. The Lord will bless those who make for peace. {TDG 245.4}

Somebody has just done something that you didn’t like. Praise the Lord, sing glory to Him instead of murmuring and complaining of the chaos.

Here is the most important, beautiful instruction.

Trust in the Lord. Let not the feelings, the speeches, or the attitude of any human agent depress you. {TDG 245.5}

Is that easy? Here is the instruction. You can do it because you can follow Christ’s example. You know who is at work. We fight not against flesh and blood. We are not attacking each other, the person isn’t attacking me, he is attacking somebody else and it’s Satan that is doing it, it was Satan that did it through Judas. Jesus loved Judas so let us love one another. Let us not respond.

Be careful that in words or act you do not give others any opportunity to obtain the advantage in hurting you. Keep looking unto Jesus. He is your strength. By beholding Jesus you will become changed into His likeness. He will be the health of your countenance and your God. {TDG 245.5}

Your face will shine with health, not with the oppression that Satan wants to oppress you with. Trust the Lord; let not the feelings, the speeches or attitude of any human agent depress you. No matter how we may have been marred by the enemy, don’t doubt the love of God, by which we can conquer.

I have displayed this love of God again so that we can conquer because we understand this love of God. Open our hearts wide to that love which can dwell in the midst of chaos. May God help us to this end is my prayer.

Amen.

Posted on November 15, 2012, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel, The Love of God. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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