Seeking life wherever it is expressed.

Following Christ


I found this book on line yesterday and have really been getting a lot out of it. I can’t believe how much of it is exactly what I have come to think and believe.

Taken from: The Secret of the Strength by Peter Hoover

Chapter 8  –

Steps to Understanding the Teachings

After a thousand years of darkness, the Anabaptists rediscovered the first step to understanding the teachings of Christ. That step is to get up and follow him. We need to submit to him (throw ourselves under him as the Anabaptists wrote) in true surrender. As long as we have not done this the study of the holy writings is useless — or even harmful. Leonhard Schiemer wrote before they beheaded him in 1528:

He who has not learned what he knows from God, but from men, has a faith that cannot stand. . . . If I should try to teach someone who has not thrown himself under Christ, I would be running ahead of Christ, and I would be a thief and a murderer. For such a man’s heart and mind are in the dark. Paul says that man is a stranger to the life that is from God. Trying to teach such a person about spiritual things is like lighting candles for a blind man. He still cannot see.3

The second step to understanding the teachings of Christ is allowing his Spirit to speak to us. Only through the Spirit, which God has made to “shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge” (2 Cor. 4:6) can we hope to understand the Gospels. “The understanding of the truth does not come from human study,” testified an Anabaptist before the court at Regensburg in Bavaria. “It comes only to those to whom it is given by grace through the light of his Spirit.”

Before they beheaded him at Konstanz in 1529, Ludwig Haetzer wrote:

He who goes only by the holy writings receives knowledge. But it is a useless knowledge that does not change anyone for the better. No man, no matter how learned he may be, can understand the holy writings until he comes to know them and learns them in the most inward part of his soul. If he speaks about the writings before this takes place, he speaks like a blind man about colour.4

The third step in understanding Christ and his teachings is to love him. Before his death in the massacre at Linz, Wolfgang Brandhuber wrote:

Oh brothers, if true love is missing, what does it help to know much, to speak or to teach? Oh brothers, let every man act according to the truth in his heart, before the face of God . . . May the Father of all Grace give to those that hunger the true Bread and the ability to discern the holy writings and the way they are tied together, because the Spirit of God does not want to be bound.5

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6 responses

  1. brotherjohnny

    Sounds like a great book.
    Have you read ‘Irresistible Revolution’ by Shane Claiborne?
    It is truly incredible.

    In the book, he says something to the effect of, “What if Jesus really meant what He said?”

    Peace.

    September 3, 2008 at 8:15 pm

  2. annettewest

    I really like that Ludwig Haetzer. Thanks for sharing.

    I hope you are doing well Chris. I am Annette from a portion of the Body in Arlington, TX. Please tell everyone there hello and that we speak of you with great Love frequently and can not wait to see you some day in the near future.

    Thanks for being Who you Are.

    In Jesus Christ with You,
    Annette

    September 14, 2008 at 4:12 pm

  3. Pingback: The Secret of the Strength « Cindy in South Dakota

  4. renaissanceguy

    It sounds like a very good book. I’m going to read it.

    The Schiemer quote sounds a lot like Quaker teachings.

    September 28, 2008 at 1:02 am

  5. Pingback: Bookmarks about Candles

  6. Pingback: The Secret of the Strength | Journey Into The Son

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