And came and preached peace - Proclaimed the readiness of God to forgive and save both Jews and Gentiles. See the note on Ephesians 2:13.
And came and preached peace - That is, the system of religion which he proclaimed, was adapted to produce peace with God. This he preached personally to those who “were nigh,” that is, the Jews; to those who were “afar off “ - the Gentiles - he preached it by his apostles. He was the author of the system which proclaimed salvation to both.
The word “peace” here refers to reconciliation with God.
His impressive parable of the good shepherd represents the responsibility of every minister and of every Christian who has accepted a position as teacher of children and youth and a teacher of old and young, in opening to them the Scriptures. If one strays from the fold, he is not followed with harsh words and with a whip, but with winning invitations to return. The ninety and nine that had not strayed do not call for the sympathy and tender, pitying love of the shepherd. But the shepherd follows the sheep and lambs that have caused him the greatest anxiety and have engrossed his sympathies. The disinterested, faithful shepherd leaves all the rest of the sheep, and his whole heart and soul and energies are taxed to seek the one that is lost. And then the figure—praise God—the shepherd returns with the sheep, carrying him in his arms, rejoicing at every step; he says, “Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.” I am so thankful we have in the parable, the sheep found. And this is the very lesson the shepherd is to learn,—success in bringing the sheep and lambs back. FE 273.1
There is no picture presented before our imagination of a sorrowful shepherd returning without the sheep. And the Lord Jesus declares the pleasure of the shepherd and his joy in finding the sheep causes pleasure and rejoicing in heaven among the angels. The wisdom of God, His power and His love, are without a parallel. It is the divine guarantee that not one, even, of the straying sheep and lambs is overlooked and not one left unsuccored. A golden chain—the mercy and compassion of divine power—is passed around every one of these imperiled souls. Then shall not the human agent cooperate with God? Shall he be sinful, failing, defective in character himself, regardless of the soul ready to perish? Christ has linked him to His eternal throne by offering His own life. FE 274.1
Zechariah's description of Joshua, the high priest, is a striking representation of the sinner for whom Christ is mediating that he may be brought to repentance. Satan is standing at the right hand of the Advocate, resisting the work of Christ, and pleading against Him that man is his property, since he has chosen him as his ruler. But the Defender of man, the Restorer, mightier than the mightiest, hears the demands and claims of Satan, and answers him: “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and stood before the angel. And He answered and spake unto those that stood before Him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him He said, Behold I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair miter upon his head. So they set a fair miter upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord stood by.” FE 274.2Read in context »
The Inner Circle Paramount—All our powers are to be used for Christ. This is the debt we each owe to God. In forming a relationship with Christ, the renewed man is but coming back to his appointed relationship with God. He is a representative of Christ, and he is ever to pray and watch unto prayer. His duties lie around him, nigh and afar off. His first duty is to his children and his nearest relatives. Nothing can excuse him from neglecting the inner circle for the larger circle outside. 1MCP 162.1Read in context »
Man's Consolidation or God's Theocracy?—Stop where you are. You cannot retrieve your past record by seeking to reconstruct, reorganize, and consolidate other institutions with the institutions so defective in Battle Creek. I cry to you in the name of the Lord, No, No. Leave the Pacific Press under God's theocracy, and humble your hearts before God before it is everlastingly too late. The great day of God is coming when every man shall be known as God knows him.—Manuscript 7, 1897. PM 152.1
Consolidation Tends to Exalt the Human—The policy of consolidation, wherever pursued, tends to the exaltation of the human in place of the divine. Those who bear responsibilities in the different institutions look to the central authority for guidance and support. As the sense of personal responsibility is weakened, they lose the highest and most precious of all human experiences, the constant dependence of the soul upon God. Not realizing their need, they fail of maintaining that constant watchfulness and prayer, that constant surrender to God, which alone can enable men to hear and to obey the teaching of His Holy Spirit. Man is placed where God should be. Those who are called to act in this world as heaven's ambassadors are content to seek wisdom from erring, finite men, when they might have the wisdom and strength of the unerring, infinite God. PM 152.2
The Lord does not design that the workers in His institutions shall look to or trust in man. He desires them to be centered in Him. PM 152.3Read in context »
God Is Master of the Situation—There is to be, at this period, a series of events which will reveal that God is Master of the situation. The truth will be proclaimed in clear, unmistakable language. As a people, we must prepare the way of the Lord, under the overruling guidance of the Holy Spirit. The gospel is to be given in its purity. The stream of living water is to deepen and widen in its course. In all fields, nigh and afar off, men will be called from the plow and from the more common commercial business vocations that largely occupy the mind, and will be educated in connection with men of experience. As they learn to labor effectively, they will proclaim the truth with power. Through most wonderful workings of divine providence, mountains of difficulties will be removed, and cast into the sea. The message that means so much to the dwellers upon the earth, will be heard and understood. Men will know what is truth. Onward, and still onward the work will advance, until the whole earth shall have been warned. And then shall the end come.—The Review and Herald, July 5, 1906. PM 386.4Read in context »