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When you have spent some time in the Kingdom of God, you will learn to discern those who are empty vessels making a lot of noise but have not love. There is love and then there is love. There is love that is boisterous and boastful, always the first to speak, first to tell God what to do and the first to confess, “Never, Lord…”[1] and to promise the Lord that you will do this and that for the Lord. Even a love that is ready to remind God what He is supposed to do for you as if He is your servant.

Just because Jesus came to serve because His Father showed Him that He is to serve, does not mean we should treat Him as our servant. Nevertheless, I am, you are, we all are guilty of this form of love, love that rejoices when the things are going well, and love that prompts us to open our mouths to make promises to God and to remind God of all His promises to us. It is love, but not a love that you should live in forever. It is the love of the immature and the young for the Father and God who they do not fully understand or appreciate. A love that does not bring peace, but rather a love that creates obligations rather than a love that sets free from obligations.

Peter had such a love at one time in his walk with the Lord, a love that caused him to call out to the Lord, “Lord, if it’s You, tell me to come to You on the water,” only to then cry out, “Lord, save me!”[2] A love that when challenged face to face by the Lord’s question to Simon Peter: “Simon, Son of John do you truly love Me more than these?” could only muster a reply like, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love (phileo) You.”[3] A love that brought him no peace; a love that made him ask the Lord, “Lord, what about him?”[4]

In the same way, Martha had a love and respect for Jesus, which was why she was busy preparing food for Him, but it was a love that caused her to say, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”[5] It was a comment that must certainly have broken the peace that Mary was experiencing when she was listening to Jesus, and indeed may even have distracted the Lord as He had to stop teaching and turn to Martha, saying, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.”[6]

The distress, which is increasing upon the Earth that is now here and will be multiplying, will take away from you and me the one thing that this world seeks more than love… peace. There are two types of peace. A peace that is dependant on quietness and the environment, which surrounds you, or mood setting, or friendship and love from those you hold dear, and a peace that cannot be broken even by the insults of an accusing crowd, the silence of Your Father and the screams of pain from Your flesh as it is torn apart on a roman cross.

We are all familiar with the first type of peace that is brought about by the noisy clanging of love, most limited and shallow, a love that will not reciprocate agape with anything more than phileo. I have lived it and given it as you have, for that was the peace and love that Jesus was experiencing as He moved His ministry ever onwards to the cross. He had perfect peace and perfect love with the Father, but now His suffering on the cross was going to perfect it for all of us to see and know. Perfect love and peace made more perfect by suffering. In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the Author of their salvation perfect through suffering.[7]

If everything exists for God and through God, then love and peace exist through God and for God, and it was His intention to make Jesus’ love and peace for Him and with Him, go from perfection to perfection through suffering.

So, before we start, learn this: it is not wrong or sinful to offer Jesus phileo love, just disappointing. It is not wrong to love with the type that is boisterous, like a clanging cymbal, to be first to speak, first to volunteer, and first to say, “Never, Lord,” just wearisome if that love does not learn to grow to the fullness of what love is when it is perfected… PEACE.

Nowhere did Jesus ever say, “I love you,” not to His Father, not to His disciples, and not even to Mary. Yet we know He loved them all. Indeed, His command to His disciples is, “Love each other as I have loved you.”[8] Yet we go around telling each other and saying to each other, “I love you,” as brothers and sisters, but we have forgotten our Master never said it… never.

Those of you who are in tune will say, no, but He lived it, and that is true, and likewise we must live it. However, neither did Jesus ever say, “I give you My love. My love I give to you, not as the world gives.” Now perhaps you are seeing what the true ‘proof of brotherly love’ is, for Jesus never said He would give us His love because His love was only for the Father. But what Jesus gave to His brothers and sisters was His peace. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”[9]

True brotherly love, the love of mature sons and daughters for each other and not as children, carries with it peace. Peace, not as the world gives, which is conditional on treaties, promises, covenants even, and conditions met in inspired settings and quiet circumstances. No, for such peace is fragile and can be shattered by the first word that comes out of your mouth or someone else’s mouth when they cry out, “Lord, don’t You care…” or, “Lord, save me!”

The world we are facing is not a world of quiet sunsets and peaceful sunrises, but a world lit up by the fires of men and of the Earth, as men make war with each other and the Earth vomits the nations that have defiled it out of itself. No, the world we are facing will be like the world Jesus faced when He was on the cross; it will be screaming at you and your flesh will be screaming at you and you will feel like screaming at God because of the silence of God that screams back at you. Indeed, there is every likelihood that all of us will have to come to the place where we too will say, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,” even though we could never feel it the way it affected Jesus, for we are sinners made holy by His grace and Jesus was the Holy One made sin through that same grace. As such, whether you do or do not is irrelevant.

But what is relevant is for you to know what true brotherly love is, the love that gives peace, not the peace of the world, but the peace of Jesus. As such, you will have to understand what that peace is. It is the peace that Jesus forged for us upon the cross, the peace of a righteous Man, forsaken by God because He obeyed God. The peace came by not passively submitting to the will of God, no; the peace that is made, was made by a Man determined to finish His work, even if God had forsaken Him. It is the peace Jesus made for all men with God between the time He cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,” to when He shouted, “It is finished. Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.”[10] It is the peace of the Man who determined to Himself that He would finish the race assigned to Him regardless of whether God was for Him or not for Him. In those hours, Jesus made a peace with God that could never be broken, for it was a peace forged without conditions, without treaty, without covenant and without the promised circumstances and prerequisites. It is the peace that only a God-forsaken Man can make with God, even when He had done no wrong. It is a peace not even God could break, and if it is a peace that not even God could break, then no one else, no angel, no demon, no devil, no man and no woman could break it.

Jesus made that peace, for from His mouth there never came a cry, “Lord, don’t You care?” or, “Lord, save Me!” …nor a word holding God to His promise, but just a question that wanted to probe an unthinkable truth, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”[11] If Jesus was not addressing that to the Father alone, the ramifications of the despair He felt is unspeakable and unthinkable. Having received no answer to His question, Jesus made no further attempts of enquiry or entreaty, but forged ahead and fulfilled Isaiah 59:16: He saw that there was no One, He was appalled that there was no One to intervene; so His own arm worked salvation for Him, and His own righteousness sustained Him.

Lifting Himself up by His own nail-fixed hands and arms, the Lord fought for every breath as if to suck in every bit of air in the world into His holy lungs and breathe them out again, holy, purified by the blood of His lungs so that the power of the prince of the air would be broken, even as His blood would trickle to the ground to pay for the blood of the lamb His Father had killed to cover up His naked image.[12]

All alone on that cross in the darkness, the Prince of Peace worked, and with every breath He inhaled and exhaled, He broke the power of the prince of the air until it was finished. For the air He exhaled was coated with His blood. It was not air that entered and exited the body through a veil of flesh as it does in the lungs of a man, but it was air that bubbled through the blood that broke through the veil of flesh that was in His lungs, as His straining efforts to breath on that cross burst the tissue of His lungs, and blood and air mixed without the veil of flesh. Truly, blood-sanctified air emerged from His nostrils and lips, all coated with that blood spilt by the night’s torture, but by the Law of the Temple, holy air was released, His, made holy by His blood that broke the power of the prince of this world, air breathed out by the Prince of Peace.

The sound of unbreakable peace, a peace that even God cannot break is the sound of a righteous Man dying on a roman cross. It is not a sound of sweet melody and chimes, of wind blowing through the willow trees gently, or of birds singing, nor the sound of peace that comes from the world, but the sound of peace from Jesus.

That is the peace He made. A peace He forged by finishing the task without another word to the One who should have not forsaken Him, for after all, it was His will that pinned Him there. Not another word to Him until it was finished, and then when it was finished, He committed Himself to the One who had forsaken Him. Peace unbreakable, because not even God could break it, a peace that can only be made from agape love, love that quietly fulfils the requirements without a word of demand.

We cannot begin to appreciate the true peace forged by Jesus Christ unless we understand what it is to suffer for doing the right things in God’s eyes. That is why if you should read the apostles’ letters in ignorance of the Lord’s command to listen to Jesus,[13] you will distort them like those who are ignorant and unstable, as Peter wrote in 2 Peter 3:16. Unstable because their love is based on phileo at most, and their peace is maintained only by the keeping of treaties, promises and conditions under the right circumstances. Ignorant because they do not know Him for they have not listened to Him. They know of Him and His Name, but they can barely see the surface of Him because they do not really believe Him, which is why they take no pleasure in listening to Him. They search the scriptures for life and the power of life, or rather for a powerful life, but they do not go to Him. Perhaps they are not permitted.

But, the understanding of the peace of Christ begins as Peter wrote to the church: But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.[14] When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly.[15]

He who loved the disciples so much that He gave His life for them (and for us), yet never said to them that He loved them, though He showed them by His sacrifice, had this to say as soon as He was in their midst again: “Peace be with you!”[16] …and later when Thomas was also there, He said, “Peace be with you.”[17] The first word from Him who loved them was not “love” or “I” as “I love you” begins with, but the first word was, “Peace…” Not the peace as the world gives, which is a breakable peace, a peace that even men could break, no, but a peace that not even God could break.

With that first word, He gave us the firstfruit of His labour on the cross, the unbreakable peace of the Prince of Peace, so that through Him and in Him we would always have peace with God. The proof of His love for His brothers was the peace offering of unbreakable peace, unbreakable not even by God.

So, if we are to love one another as He loved us, then we must begin to make a peace that even God cannot break. It is the peace made by a forsaken righteous Man, a Man who suffered for doing good. If brothers and sisters forsake you, take the example of Jesus and continue working for them as Jesus continued working for the Father without retaliation and threats, even without recourse, until the work is finished and then into their hands commit yourself. For in so doing, you have committed yourself already to God long before your brothers and sisters began to forsake you and hate you, or began to betray you.

The days that are coming are days when the insincere will join us, when brothers will betray brothers and when antichrists are amongst us (those who make themselves to be liars by denying their own testimony of Jesus Christ that they have professed to us), and days of war when peacemakers are those who make the unbreakable peace. A peace not even God can break is the ‘proof of brotherly love’ worthy of the Prince of Peace. AMEN


 

[1] Matthew 16:22

[2] Matthew 14:28-30

[3] John 21:15

[4] John 21:21

[5] Luke 10:40

[6] Luke 10:41-42

[7] Hebrews 2:10

[8] John 15:12

[9] John 14:27

[10] John 19:30; Luke 23:46

[11] Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34

[12] Genesis 3:21

[13] Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35

[14] 1 Peter 2:20-21

[15] 1 Peter 2:23

[16] Luke 24:36

[17] John 20:26

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