Peace Paid For
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” —1 Thessalonians 5:23
“And the very God of peace”—He is the Lord of hosts, He is the God of creation, He is the God of love; and this verse says that He is the “very God of peace.”
There is no wrangle in heaven, Hallelujah. There is no misunderstanding in heaven, there is no friction in heaven—He is the very God of peace. As surely as when there is light there can be no darkness, so surely wherever God is there is peace and can be no wrangle. He is the very God of peace.
The way the world is talking about peace today, you would think it was a manmade combination of some sort—that it was some new sort of drink that philosophy’s soda fountain man had combined. We are to take a little socialism, and a little religion, and the philosophers tell us how to take it, and in what proportions to take it, and then we put into it a little literature, and a little culture, and a little refinement, and a little money, and something of amusement, and sprinkle it with a little “sass” or some kind of manmade mayonnaise, and think that somehow we are going to have peace.
Thank God, there is only one way to get peace, and that is to get God Himself. He is the very God of peace. It is not a combination at all that any man can make. Man has tried every way that he knows to make peace. He has tried every kind of government but one, and he has a suspicion stitched in the back of his head right now, that with one more revolution of the wheel, mankind will have his voice in his own government, humanity will then sit on the throne, and then we are going to have peace. A great man shall be elected and rule (that man is to be the Antichrist) and give what men call a millennium; but in it there shall be no peace, and when they say “Peace and safety,” and it has gotten up to the climax of what they call peace and safety, God says, “Then sudden destruction shall come upon them, and they shall not escape.”
The Real Light
The greatest light that could come to the world today is that outside of God Almighty and His exhibited power and presence on Earth, there absolutely is no peace. It cannot be made any other way than for God Himself, unadulterated by the rulership of men, to take control Himself and administer Himself to us. He is the very God of peace.
I know we think we can make a few lights in this world with electricity, and by combinations of different chemicals we can make combustion, but outside of the sun there is no light. Were it not for the light of the sun it would be impossible to have combustion, or any fire kindled. It is the transferred energy of the sun that makes it possible, and the sun is the carrier of light, and without that sun it is horrible night.
Without God’s real presence in this world, it is fearful, hellish, night, no matter what man may call light. Hell—hell—hell is life forever without God; and I can conceive of no greater hell than to live without God. He is the very God of peace, and when He shows up, thank God, we will have peace, and it will be glorious peace.
In Him dwells peace. It is an attribute of the godhead. The Holy Ghost, and Jesus and the Father have never “fussed.” The Father loves the Son and hath committed all judgment into His hands, without any jealousy or bicker or back-talk at all. Jesus came and paid the price of sin. All things were made by Him and for Him, He was the logos, the concept, the ambition, the love of God. God’s heart flows out, and out and out, and flows through His Son, and His Son’s heart flows out, and out, and out, and flows into the Father’s heart.
The Father needs not to love Himself, for the Son loves Him, and the Son needs not to love Himself for the Father loves Him, and the Holy Ghost comes and His heart flows out, and out, and on the billows of the Holy Ghost’s heart is the perfume of the truth, of the love of Jesus Christ for a dying world, and its unction and its power is the breath of Jesus Himself, saying, “Come, come, come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.” The Holy Ghost does not talk of Himself, but He talks of the Son and of the Father, and picks up the Book and opens it up that you might know this great Triumvirate of love, one loving the other, and the other the other, and the other the other.
O thank God, forever we are going to get into that great love center one of these days, by the blood of Jesus Christ. What a glorious prospect! What a wondrous salvation! Reconciled to that kind of a God by the blood of His Son. We, who in anger, and temper, and malice, and envy, and hate, and the fervor of our hellish selfishness do the things on Earth that are for self. Thank God for redemption, where one of these days there will be no self-life, but out of our innermost being will flow this same river of life and love forever and forever.
He is peace, the very God of peace, and there is no bicker and no strife in Him. It is no combination then, this gift of God, it is the very attribute of God—peace, peace that passes all understanding. It certainly does.
Oh, I cannot fathom it, neither can you; angels and archangels and all the company of heaven, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, and we who have been redeemed from lives of sin, shall dwell together in peace and harmony and joy forever! Thank God I have the taste of it down here below. “Makes me love everybody,” wrote one of the saints and ‘tis true. That is the kind I want—old fashioned religion—God in me, love, love that passes all understanding, love that goes out and asks for nothing back, love poured in by the Holy Ghost, and poured out by the Holy Ghost.
Oh, beloved, some of you are here with little buckets, saying, “What can I get?” Oh get open, so that you can give, that is the living. Love, peace, joy of the Holy Ghost, and He will turn back your nature’s tide, and turn out your heart’s tide, with a compassion for men, and you will not be asking about yourself, you will be asking about the other. Love faileth not. Its fruit is peace.
Oh, we think of gifts from the Holy Ghost. Beloved, if any of you are bothered about gifts that the Holy Ghost gives, remember what God’s Book says about your richest gift. You may have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and have all knowledge, and have all faith as a gift from God, so that you could remove mountains, you might have the gift of tongues, the littlest of all the gifts that the Holy Ghost gives, but without love, love, LOVE, unfailing, pure, holy love of God, you become as sounding brass or a tinkling, tinkling, TINKLING cymbal.
Without love I am nothing, I am nothing. The very God of peace is this love; and yet, oh how far people miss it. They claim the baptism of the Holy Ghost and the fulness of this Holy Ghost, and yet go on in bicker and in strife and in contention.
Oh, may God get in among us with the holy fire of old-fashioned love—God’s love poured into our hearts, making peace, and letting His own divine nature fill our hearts:
Love and peace so changeless,
Love so full and free,
Love of God so boundless,
Oh, come and dwell in me.
Open your heart to receive His love today, and let it run out. If you will take that home to your dinner table, it will taste better than the best chicken or roast they could put on the table. Your home don’t need better furniture or better pictures, it needs more of God, more of this love that cometh down out of the Father’s heart, this God of peace.
In the day of envy and strife, in the day when men live for wealth, and possessions and position, O let us get hungry for God. Let us seek Him for Himself, not for His power, not for His gifts, but for His character, Himself to take up His abode in us, the very God of peace
Not A Gift
It is not a combination, it is not an earth-made affair, this peace, and it is not a gift. If it is not a gift, if it is not a combination, then it must be an elemental part of God.
What I mean by that is this: Chemistry will teach you that gold is an element, because it cannot be reduced any further. You can have gold mixed into a hundred things, but when you try to take gold apart, you find it impossible. It is an element. Chemistry is the science of the combination of elements. You can combine these elements after their laws of combination and make all sorts of chemical products. You can take oxygen and hydrogen and a little carbon and make all sorts of combinations. The history of the possible combination of these three elements isn’t yet written. Men do not know the great number of new combinations that can be made out of these three elements. Just vary the atoms a little bit, the quantity of each a little bit, and you can go on, and on, and on, and on.
But when you try to take oxygen further, you cannot, it is oxygen, with its given properties, and it always acts the same under given conditions. So with other elements. Now peace is not a combination, it is an element, it is God Himself, and only He can bring peace; and beloved, when you have peace in your heart, you have Himself living within you. It [is] not an experience, it is not an act, it is a person taking up His abode, with His own characteristics, and His own attributes. When peace flows like a river in your heart, it is because Jesus, that glorious river of peace, has taken up His abode and is flowing out of you and living in you.
He is the gold of life and He burns up our dross, that we might have left, His peace that passes all understanding. He will put you in the fiery furnace, that you may, coming out, have what? Having His peace, when all other peace is gone; that you might have His love when other love is gone; that you might have His strength, when all other strength is gone; that you might have His life, when other life is gone.
Himself is all you need. He is the very God of peace. The only way for the world to have peace is for Jesus to come back to the world. Thank God, the heavens shall ring before long, and the Prince of Peace, the God of Peace, shall be with us. Out from His throne shall flow rivers of peace to the ends of this old world. No more sin, no more sorrow, no more night, no more drudgery shall the old world know—Glory to God for this Prince of Peace that cometh. Let His day be soon.
Look up. There is peace nowhere else but in Him. Put not your faith in men, that they will bring peace, for until they have eliminated sin, there can be no peace. Until they have eliminated all rancor and envy and strife there can be no peace.
Jesus then brings this elemental force into our hearts, by conquering sin in our lives and Himself becoming our life.
Sanctify You Wholly
“This very God of peace sanctify you wholly.”
When can it take place? When I see that peace is not in myself. Peace is in no struggle that I can make. Peace is in no effort that can take place on my part. I cannot drum it up or bring it to pass round-about me, it is elemental, it must be Himself; and if I am to be sanctified, everything else must be dropped away, and I must see that it is Jesus, and Jesus only, Himself in me to live. This is peace, my friend, this is sanctification, that you might give Him His full right of way, and the seat at the center of your heart.
Self has been sitting on your heartstrings and on the throne of your spirit and your soul and your body. What you wanted has been the theme of your song and of your life story, as you look back over the pages of your own biography—self. “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to HIS OWN WAY.”
And now we turn to Thee, O Prince of Peace, and say, “Not my bodily wishes, not my soul’s way, not my spirit’s way, but Blessed Jesus, Thy loving self of peace, come into my life and abide there, I give up everything else that I might have Thee.
He gives us Himself the Holy Spirit so it is not a combination. It is easy enough to see that the minute He gives us Himself, in His fullness abiding in our heart, our old nature would war against it, but He undertakes now the warfare. Before Jesus could offer us His peace, He must take all that we were, to death on that accursed Calvary hill. He died there for all our past, our failures, our old nature with its envy, its strife, its malice, its murder, its passion, its lust, its lies, its hatred, its venom, its squalor, its poverty, its vice, its crime, its horrible selfishness and pride; everything that was in the fallen Adam my Jesus took up to Calvary and let it die there, and today we can reckon ourselves dead, thank God, by faith to everything that was in Adam, and alive to all that is in Christ. He would have us thus reckon and live in Him, and walk in the Spirit. This is sanctification. He is made unto us sanctification.
How dare I trust the combinations of my own reason, myself and my flesh, when Jesus has Himself made it accursed, and nailed it in the dark to the tree and died to the whole thing, and rose a new man! He says, “Reckon yourself to be dead indeed unto sin.” Count sin out, lay no store by it. Do not think that any combinations that it makes or anything that it suggests can in any way procure this peace. It is Himself and Himself alone. The very God of peace sanctifies you wholly. It is Christ, and Christ alone. Our lives are “hid with Christ in God,” the very God of peace!
When you give Him full right of way, and put everything else on the cross and say, as you turn your back on it, “I will reckon it dead, because Jesus has died to it,” you will have peace. Since my old self was handled in Jesus on the cross, I must by faith reckon it dead, and hallelujah, I dare to stand and say, “I may reckon it dead by faith and walk out into the life where there is no condemnation, I take, He gives the victory.
No Christian has a right to be anything but a victorious Christian. It is not only a privilege, it is an insult to the cross of Christ for you to have anything else. It is condemnation in your heart, and you know it. God wants to give you the victory, and wants you to walk in His Son, that glorious resurrected person, in the fullness of the Holy Ghost.
The flesh may fight, the world may laugh us to scorn, the devil may oppose, but since Jesus has conquered all these, our battle is not to struggle against them but by faith to claim His victory and take His peace.
The Victory Won
An old Civil War veteran tells this story: “I was in prison in the South for months. With my own hands I got alongside of the sewer pipe and dug the dirt away from it until it was man-size. I made my way through, digging day after day, and put away the dirt in the cellar of this old home where we were kept prisoners, with the guards on the outside. I dug about three months, little by little and tried to get the dirt off me so the guards wouldn’t know what I had been doing, when I came up from the cellar.
“Finally I came against a great river wall. The river flowed nearby, and I was counting on coming out on the river bank and getting out on the river; I didn’t know the wall was there. When I discovered it I was greatly discouraged. I went back in the house and didn’t dig any more for a few days, but was in despair. I laid back in my bunk and cried.
“After three days I went back. I had been telling my friends on the outside what I was doing, slipping notes out tied to a stone; but didn’t get any messages back, for fear the guards might discover it and make trouble for the friends. I dug sidewise now, saying, ‘There may be a crack or crevice.’ I dug a little to the right, and came across a little opening, only big enough to get a broom-handle through. I took a little rock and put a note around the broom-handle and shoved it through and left it on the outside. I just signed my name, sure that my friends if they found it would understand.
“I waited for days and nothing came, but finally I went into my little cave and toward the opening again, and there a rock with a note on it had been pushed back by someone, and had dropped inside. I took it off the stone, and got it to the light as soon as I could, and this is what I read: ‘Lee has surrendered to Grant, and you will be free in a very few hours.’
“I stood up so quickly that I injured my head, but walked back into the prison house, and I began to sing, oh how I sang, ‘I’ll see the little children in the mornin’, I’ll see the little children in the mornin’.’
“One of the guards said, “’You’re crazy, you fool.’
“I laughed and laughed, and he said, ‘Well, I’m glad you have gone crazy on the laugh side instead of the melancholy side, if I have to take care of you. What are you laughing about?’
“You wouldn’t laugh if I told you,” I said, “but I’ll see the mither and the bairns in the mornin’.”
“I sang all night long, and the guard said, ‘Look here, you’ll have to stop that right now.’ So I started singing to myself, ‘another day, another morning, and it will all be over.’
“When I got up in the morning I washed my face at the old pan and said, ‘I have to slick up to see my wife and children.’
“The guard said, “’You’re crazy, you lousy old fool, you’re crazy.’ He called me a Union something, and said, ‘You’re crazy—fully of lice and haven’t any clothes. You would be a beauty to go out and be looked at, wouldn’t you. How did you get so happy?’
“‘Ha, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you, but I am happy.’
“‘ With the lice on you?’
“‘Sure, I’m happy.’
“But you’re a prisoner.”
“Go on, I’m free.”
“‘But you are in a prison, and the walls are around you.’
“‘That’s all right; I’ll see the wife and children in the morning.’ Suddenly I heard a great clatter at the gate. The old guard threw open the gate, and the Union soldiers marched in. I threw myself into their arms, saying, ‘It’s so, isn’t it, boys? I’m not crazy. It’s so; it’s so.’
“‘Sure it’s so. Out you go,’ they yelled, and out I went.”
Thank God, I have the news from Glory that my Jesus has conquered this hellish thing of the flesh, the world and the devil and I am free. Walking in this prison house of flesh my spirit is free and I have the victory. Soon even my body shall see the doors thrown open by His victory over death. Sanctify us, Holy Spirit, in spirit, soul and body, preserved until He knocks at the door and says, “Come out.” Bless God, I am going out one of these days to return to flesh no more. But now I take the victory in Him over it.
Peace is paid for. You cannot make it; take it, and He will undertake this day.