The Extent of Peace Today (20:4)

How successful has God been in restoring peace to His universe? Does peace prevail in heaven? Read the whole book of Revelation. The heavenly beings never cease to celebrate God’s victory in the Great Controversy and how trustworthy and righteous He is. How about peace in the hereafter? Read the marvelous descriptions of the peace to come in Isaiah, many of the other prophetic books, and the last two chapters in Revelation. In contrast, how successful has God been in restoring peace on this earth? Evidently, not so much. Because many have chosen to twist or even reject the truth, it has not produced peace on earth. Instead, the truth has produced argument and debate—even to the point of violence and persecution. But Jesus warned us this would happen. He foresaw what His demonstration of the truth would cause:

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; a man’s worst enemies will be the members of his own family. Matt 10:34-36, GNB.

Look at what the members of Jesus’ own family did to Him: “He came to His home, and His own family did not welcome Him.” John 1:11, Goodspeed. In fact, they told Him that He must have had a devil to describe His Father in that way (John 8:48). And they killed Him in order to silence Him. We need to remember that the very ones who rejected Christ, and preferred Satan’s picture of God, were the most pious group of Sabbath-keeping, tithe-paying, health-reforming, Bible-studying “adventists” the world has ever known. Peter warns that those who accept the true picture of God may expect similar treatment to that which Christ experienced:

. . . do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering. . . . Rather be glad that you are sharing Christ’s sufferings. . . . Happy are you if you are insulted because you are Christ’s followers; this means that the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 1 Pet 4:12-14, GNB.

Who today would bring such trouble to those who hold the true picture of God? Could such trouble come again from the same sort of pious, Sabbath-keeping, tithe-paying, health-reforming, Bible-quoting “adventists” as before? It certainly could.

Wherever the Holy Spirit is received, however, He brings peace: “The Spirit, on the other hand, brings a harvest of love, joy, peace. . .” Gal 5:22, Weymouth. These are the fruits of the Spirit. But how does the Holy Spirit bring peace? Does He bring peace by working on our feelings, like a divine tranquilizer? Or does the Holy Spirit bring peace by reminding us of the truth? Jesus explains this as follows:

“. . . the Counselor, the Holy Spirit . . . will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:26-27, NIV.

Then in John 15 and 16 He gave the reasons why, climaxing at the end of John 16 and the beginning of John 17:

I have told you all this so that you may find peace in me. In the world you will have trouble, but be brave; I have conquered the world. . . . Father. . . . Eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God. . . . I have glorified you on earth and finished the work that you gave me to do. John 16:33; 17:1, 3-4, Jerusalem.

When Jesus spoke about conquering the world, He meant winning God’s case in the Great Controversy. Jesus’ work on earth was to reveal the truth about His Father’s character. His mission was to show that God is not the kind of person His enemies have made Him out to be. Jesus provided costly truth and evidence that is the basis of our freedom to make up our minds about God.

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