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with an Afterword by

Karl Barth
A
ctionin
Christoph
Blumhardt
W
aiting
AcclaimforActioninWaiting
RodneyClapp,author,APeculiarPeople
Pulse-quickeningInplainbutvibrantlanguage,
Blumhardtremindsusthatpersonalpeaceismerelythe
wrappingpaperofagreater,evenmoremagnificentgift:
confidenceinthecomingofGodskingdom.
ClarkPinnock,author,TheFlameofLove
BlumhardtisfilledwithhopeaboutthepowerofGod
totransformtheworldinconcretewaysHisisaholy
optimismgroundednotinhumanprowessbutinthe
triumphantgraceofGod.
DonaldG.Bloesch,author,WellspringsofRenewal
Themodernchurchneedstohearthissocialprophet.
Hereisasummonstoactinconfidenceandcouragein
thefirmexpectationthatGodskingdomisathand.
RobertWebber,author,PeopleoftheTruth
Proclaimsamessagethatisindispensableforpost-
modernChristianity:Jesusisvictoroverallthepowers
andwe,thepeopleofGod,arecalledtoliveoutthe
politicsradically.
VernardEller,author,ChristianAnarchy
BlumhardtbelievesthatGodcanmakeallthings
new.Hechallengesustoparticipateinthisnewness
anddevoteourselvestoit.
DaleW.Brown,author,BiblicalPacifism
Blumhardtrepresentsawonderfulunionofeschatology
andethicswithhisfocusonthecomingandbreakingin
ofthekingdomofrighteousness,justice,love,andpeace.
JohnMiller,MennoniteQuarterlyReview
Onefeelsthesewordswereshapedforthehourinwhich
weareallliving.Wehavescholarsandtheologians,but
wearealmosttotallylackinginauthenticwitnessesto
thecomingofGodskingdom.
WilliamDyrness,author,LettheEarthRejoice
ReadingChristophBlumhardtislikedrinkingfrom
apure,cold,mountainstream.Itisjustthetonicwe
franticpost-modernsneedIalwaysknewwhatan
impactBlumhardthadmadeonKarlBarth,but
afterreadinghimIknowwhy.
EugeneH.Peterson,author,SubversiveSpirituality
Onalandscapeincreasingly(anddepressingly)eroded
by world-accommodatingstrategiesandprograms,
Blumhardtstandsasastarkandcommandingfigure
onthehorizon.Hislifeandwritingsareadrenalinfor
falteringand compromisedfollowersofJesus.
StanleyHauerwas,co-author,ResidentAliens
ThatBarthsawBlumhardtssignificanceissurelynot
accidental.WhoelsebesidesBarthissounrelenting
intheirattackonreligion?Whoelseremindsusthat
Christianityisabouttheworshipandserviceofa
strangeGodindeed?Whoelseusesthelanguageof
faithsostraightforwardlyandwithoutapology?The
factthatPloughhasnowmadeBlumhardtswork
availableisitself,asBarthwouldhaveputit,a
hasteningthatwaits.
Actionin
Waiting
ChristophBlumhardt
ForewordbyRodneyClapp
AfterwordbyKarlBarth


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Copyright 2011 by Plough Publishing House
Rifton, NY 12471 USA
Contents
Foreword
Introduction
ThePrayerofOscarRomero
SeekingtheKingdom
I MakeAllThingsNew
GetBusyandWait!
TheSaviorIsComingNow
IsGodStillDead?
TheKingdomIsatHand!
JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion
TheNewLife
ForgetYourselfforGod
GodIsSeekingaZion
NotWords,butDeeds
ChristIsRising
WhatDoYouStandFor?
GetReadyforAction
DontPushSurrender!
ThePowerofGod
RejoiceintheLord
AfterwordbyKarlBarth
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174
189
Foreword
Aprominentpastorofourdayconcludesoneofhis
bookswiththesewords:
ImenjoyingGodthesedays.Heanswersmyprayers.
He empowers me. He gives me insights from his
Word.Heguidesmylife.Hegivesmelovingrela-
tionships.Hehaswonderfulthingsinstoreforme.
I,my,me,me,me.Isthiswhatthekingdom
ofGodcomeinChristisabout?Godcateringtoand
pamperingindividualChristians?IsGodsrulecentered
onmeandmine?Andonaninnerlifeofinsights
andguidancesetofffromthevicissitudesoftheworld?
Ifso,thenIcanonlysoundalarmandparaphrasethe
apostlePaulthenweChristiansareofallpeoplemost
tobepitied(:Cor.:,::,).
Iwritethesewordsattheendofaweekinwhichtwo
Arkansas schoolchildren, ages eleven and thirteen,
havegunneddownclassmatesandateacherwithhigh-
powered rifles. Darkness bears down on us in many
otherways:deepeningpovertyinAmericancitiesand
ruralareas,ongoinganddesperateracialtensions,climb-
ingteenagesuiciderates,anddozensofotherprofound
humanproblems.Sufferingandcrisisarenotconfined
totheUnitedStates,ofcourse.TheMiddleEastdaily
stays just a gesture or two away from lethal violence.
vi
Foreword vii
TheformerSlovakianrepublicsstaggerbarely,ifatall,
towardsomekindofhealingafteradecadeofbarbari-
ties. South Africa and other African nations attempt
boldexperimentsinreconciliationanddemocracy,while
all witnessing, knowing how precarious such experi-
mentsare,holdtheirbreath.Meanwhiletheentireglobe
wants most to follow North America in its wanton
accumulation, its wasteful fashions, and the grossest
elementsofitspopularculture.
Abortion and infanticide. Ecological destruction.
Hatred and misunderstanding between the sexes.
Scientifichubris.Thelegalizationofeuthanasia,asre-
spectfortheelderlydwindles.Aglobaleconomybuilt
andsustainedonsuchinanitiesashewhodieswith
themosttoyswins.Skyrocketingratesofstatemurder
knownascapitalpunishment.Thelingeringthreatof
nuclearannihilation.
The world cannot save itself. And despite the fact
that so many churches in comfortable middle- and
upper-classcircumstancesnowsoproclaimit,thegos-
pelheraldingGodskingdomisnotfocusedonthein-
nerserenityofmateriallycomfortableindividuals.The
world needs so much more than that. And the king-
domofGodissomuchgrander,somuchmoreexcit-
ingandchallengingthanthat.
ThisissomethinganoddGermanpastorandsome-
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
Foreword viii
timepoliticiannamedChristophBlumhardtknewvery
well.AndthisiswhyIhavereadthewordsofBlum-
hardt(andhisfather)withsomuchappreciationand
encouragement.ItisalsowhyIhavecommendedthe
Blumhardtstosomanyfriends.(IhaveaboxofVernard
EllersThyKingdomCome:ABlumhardtReader,from
whichIeagerlydistributecopiestohouseguests,hosts,
workmates,andotherpotentialconverts.)Itis,atlast,
why I consider it such a privilege to commend this
wonderful new collection of some of Christoph
Blumhardtsfinestsermons.
BothBlumhardtswereservantsofthecommonfolk.
Their words are simple, straightforward, often bereft
ofthesubtletywerightlyfindinmanygreatdoctorsof
thechurch.YettheBlumhardtsrediscoveredtheking-
domofGod,thevictoryofJesusChristnarratedinthe
Bible,freshlyandfully.Theydidnotcrowditoutof
theprecinctsofearthexclusivelyintothoseofheaven,
did not confine it to boundaries drawn by churches
liberalorevangelicalorCatholic,didnotdelayallac-
tualchangeoftheworldbyituntilChristsreturn.
Soifyoureadfurtherintothesepagesyouwillfind
ChristophBlumhardtdeclaringtheexpansivenessofthe
kingdom:WhenIawaittheLord,mywaitingisfor
thewholeworld,ofwhichIamapart.Youwillfind
him railing against the privatistic reduction of the
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
ix Foreword
kingdomspowertoindividualsalvation:Wehavebeen
muchmoreconcernedwithbeingsavedthanwithsee-
ingthekingdomofGod.Ifwewantoursalvationfirst,
andthenthekingdomofGod,therewillneverbeany
lightonearth.No!Wewillnotthinkofoursalvation.
We will not seek our own good first!We want to be
servants!WewanttoseekGodssalvation,Godsglory,
Godskingdom!Youwillfindhisbracingexpectation
thattheworldwillchange,howeverfitfullyandincom-
pletely, through the witness of Gods people: Today
we cry, Oh, to be saved! Oh, to be saved! But God
says,Idonotneedyouinheaven,Ihaveenoughsaved
oneshere.Ineedworkers,peoplewhogetthingsdone
onearth.Firstservemethere.IfweChristianssimply
relate all the words of scripture to our precious little
selveswithoutstoppingtoconsiderwhetherthecondi-
tionsofourlifeandofourworldarerightthenitis
ourfaultifnothingnewbreaksintoourlives.
Blessedly, and surely partly through the direct and
indirectinfluenceoftheBlumhardts,weliveinaday
whenahostofbiblicalscholarsandtheologiansareread-
ingtheBibleanewandappreciatingboththecentrality
ofthekingdomtothegospel,andthefull-orbedsocial,
political, and cultural (as well as private and per-
sonal)inbreakingimpactofthatkingdom.Thisisin
many ways a more Jewish reading of Scriptureand
remember,JesusandhisapostleswereJews.Intheearly
daysofthechurch,non-ChristianizedJewsarguedquite
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
x Foreword
legitimately that if the world has not been changed,
thenthegenuineMessiahhasnotcome.Afterall,the
prophetsIsaiah,Jeremiah,andotherssaidthatwiththe
kingdomsadventwouldcomethecessationofwar,the
routing of famine and pestilence, the end of enmity
betweenhumanityandtherestofcreation.
Trueenough,nowasintheearlydaysofthechurch
therearestillwars,hunger,sickness,andwildbeasts.
Buttheapostlesandfathersofthechurchdidnot,as
many Christians today are wont, reject the Jewish
premiseandutterlyspiritualizethekingdom.Instead,
ontheonehandtheyrecognizedandadmittedthatthe
kingdomhadnotyetcomeinitsfullnessandfinality,
andwouldnotuntilthereturnofChrist.Andonthe
other hand, to cite just one contemporary scholar,
Gerhard Lohfink, they proclaimed that the Messiah
hascomeandthattheworldhasinfactchanged.Ithas
beentransformedintheMessiahspeople,whichlivesin
accordwiththelawofChrist.Or,toresortagainto
theexhilaratingwordsofChristophBlumhardt:
WhenJesusspeaks,itisasocialmatter,amatterfor
humanity.WhatJesusdidwastofoundthecauseof
God on earth, in order to establish a new society
whichfinallyistoincludeallnationsincontrast
tothesocietieswehavemade,societieswherenot
eventruefamiliescanbeformed;wherefathersdo
not know how to care for their children; where
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
xi Foreword
friendshipsareformedandtornapart;inshort,where
everyonelivesinheartache.Facedwiththiswretched
social order, Jesus wants to build a new one. His
wordtousisthis:YoubelongtoGodandnotto
theseman-madesocieties.
Now that is a glorious and pulse-quickening vision,
beckoningustoanadventureworthalifetimesdedica-
tionandcommitment.Infocusingonthesalvationof
ourpreciouslittleselves,wehaverenderedthegospel
so small, made Gods kingdom so puny. Christoph
Blumhardt,inplainlanguagevibrantwitheloquence
onlybecauseitissoSpirit-filled,remindsusthatper-
sonalpeace,thoughnotabadthing,ismerelythewrap-
pingpaperandnotthemagnificentgiftitself.DareI,
darewe,darethechurchonbehalfoftheworld,pray
foraconfidenceinthekingdomasvitalandcompre-
hensiveasthismans?
Itisfrightening.Itwouldchangeusandwouldonce
again, as in the days when the Word (and thus the
kingdom)becameflesh,turntheworldupsidedown
(Acts:;:o).
Godgrantusthecouragesotoprayandwait,andin
theactionofourwaiting,sotolive.
RodneyClapp
Lent,
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
Introduction
C
hristophFriedrichBlumhardt(:::,:,)wasan
original.Thereisnoonequitelikehim.Heisnot
easytocharacterizetheologically,politically,orother-
wise.Hewasathomenowherehebelongedneither
tochurchcirclesnortosecularones.Hewasanembar-
rassment to Christians and non-Christians alike. He
seemedtochallengeanddisconcerteveryone.Andyet
he possessed a strange confidence in Gods history; a
confidencethatinspiredhopeinmany,andcontinues
todosoeventoday.
Blumhardt possessed no theories and certainly no
theology.Withoutfoundingaschoolorwantingto
attract disciples, he pointed in a direction that had a
striking influence on those who came after him. He
wasbehindtwomovementsthatacceptedhimasone
oftheirforerunnerswithouthavinganydirectcontact
with them: Religious Socialism (in Switzerland and
Germany)andDialectical(Crisis)Theology.Hisideas
hadseminalinfluenceonLeonhardRagaz,KarlBarth,
EmilBrunner,andDietrichBonhoeffer,andmorere-
cently on Harvey Cox, Jacques Ellul, and Jrgen
Moltmanntheologicalgiantsamongwhomhewould
mostcertainlyfeelastranger.
Therearemovementstodayliketherapidlygrowing
xii
Introduction xiii
VineyardChurchthatseizeBlumhardtandhisfatheras
twooftheirmostcherishedwitnessesforerunnersof
todaysoutbreakofsignsandwonders.InBlumhardtwe
haveademonstrationofkingdompowercombinedwith
repentance, a power that has become commonplace
amongmanycharismaticandPentecostalmovements.
Despitehislegacy,Blumhardtisrelativelyunknown
especiallyinAmerica.Thisis,forinstance,hisonlybook
currently in print in English.True, efforts have been
made in the past to make him better known. But
withoutmucheffect.Unlikesomeofhiscontemporar-
iesCharlesFinneyorWilliamBooth,forexample
Blumhardtisknownonlytoaveryfew.
InapiecewrittenforTheChristianCenturyin:,o,,
Vernard Eller suggests that part of the reason for
Blumhardtsobscurityisthathismessagewasneither
literarynorscholarlyenoughtoquotefrom.Inhisbook
Thy Kingdom Come: A Blumhardt Reader(Eerdmans,
:,c), Eller attempted to rectify this. Unfortunately,
thebookneverreceivedmuchattention.
Butthereisperhapsamorebasicreason.Tobegin
with,Blumhardtslifewasaprovocation.Healsoex-
pressed his ideas in impressive and unconventional
phrases.Hismessageexcitedbothshockandindigna-
tion,foritwentagainstthecurrentsofboththechurch
andtheworld.Herepresentedsomethingquitediffer-
entfromwhatwegenerallyunderstandbyChristian-
ity.AsJohannesHarderoncewrote,Anyonewhowants
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
xiv Introduction
tofitBlumhardtintothehistoryoftheologymightplace
himintoanappendixtoGottfriedArnoldsHistoryof
Heresy.
It was Blumhardts conviction that the greatest of
all dangers to human progress was Christianity
Sundayreligionthatseparatedmaterialexistencefrom
the spiritual and that erected rituals and practices of
self-seeking,self-satisfying,other-worldlypiousnessin-
steadofpracticalworksofrighteousness.
Blumhardtdidntcareaboutmattersofreligionand
church, of worship services and dogma, not even of
inner peace and personal redemption. For him, faith
wasamatterofthecomingofGodskingdom,ofGods
victoryoverdarknessanddeathhereandnow.Hisvi-
sionofGodsrighteousnessonearthwasanuncondi-
tionalandall-embracingone:Godslovereconcilesthe
world, liberates suffering, heals economic and social
needinshort,itrenewstheearth.
Tomanypeople,Blumhardtsmessagesoundeddan-
gerouslyworldly,evenirreverent.Infact,theestablished
churchofhisdayretaliatedbycastingsuspiciononhim,
andslanderingandmaligninghim.Hismessagetouched
anervethatisstillrawtoday.
Blumhardtsaim,however,wasnevertoattack.What
ruled his whole thinking was the kingdom of God
thecreativereignofChristspeaceandjusticeonearth.
Thiskingdomisneitheraformalconstitutionnoran
ideal.Itisamovementthatbelongstothefuturebut
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
xv Introduction
impingesuponthepresent.Itishumankindstruesthis-
tory,andwillbedemonstrablyvictoriousintheend.It
confronts everything that has ever been thought,
planned, or built; it opposes all institutions, monu-
ments,andideologies.Italwaysseeksthedifferent,the
new,andencompassesthewholeoflife.
SuchabroadviewofGodsredemptiveworkpushes
hardagainsttheboundariesoftraditionalChristianity.
AndthiscouldwellbetherealreasonwhyBlumhardts
thought,thoughseminallyforcefulamonganimpor-
tantfew,hasneverhadbroadappeal.
Wewillreturntothisthemeofthekingdom.Before
wedo,however,wemustunderstandhowconcrete,how
livingthisreignofGodwasforBlumhardt.Blumhardt
was no visionary. His thought grew from his experi-
ence,notfromtheology.Godskingdomwassomething
living for him, not an abstraction. It filled his being
withthevividnessofdirectpersonalexperience.
ToappreciatethisonemustturntoBlumhardtsfa-
ther,JohannChristoph(:c,:c).Blumhardtsfather
was the minister of Mttlingen, a small town at the
edgeoftheBlackForest.Hisworkfollowedthesame
courseasthatofanyruralpastoruntilhecameintouch
withagirlbythenameofGottliebinDittus.Gottliebin
suffered from an illness perhaps similar to demonic
possession as described in the New Testament. For
months Father Blumhardt watched with distress the
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
xvi Introduction
increasingsufferingandtormentofthisyoungwoman.
Feelingsomethingdarkatworkinher,hefinallytook
upthefightwiththepowerofdarkness.Intheyearin
which his son Christoph was born, in ::, he ex-
claimed:Wehaveseenenoughofwhatthedevilcan
do.LetusnowseethepoweroftheLordJesus.The
fightagainstthedemonicstrongholdcommencedand
lasted two years.The dark power was finally broken
andconquered,andtheevilspiritdrivenout.Gottliebin
wascompletelyhealedofallbodilyandspiritualmis-
ery.Thefightendedinvictorywiththewordsfromher
lips,Jesusisvictor!Jesusisvictor!
Asaconsequenceofthisvictoryamovementofre-
pentance swelled, taking hold of Blumhardts whole
parishandextendingtotheneighboringtownsandvil-
lages.FromallsidespeoplestreamedtoFatherBlum-
hardt.Theinbreakingofkingdompowertransformed
theentirevillageofMttlingen.Therewerehealings,
confessions,conversions.Marriagesweresaved,enemies
reconciled.AstrangenewmanifestationofGodsworld
tooksway.Fromthistimeon,FatherBlumhardtsral-
lyingcrywasJesusisvictor!Itwasinthisstrangely
movedworldthathissonChristophgrewup.
Foranumberofreasons,oppositiontoBlumhardts
father gradually increased, particularly from other
ministersandthestatechurchauthorities.Localclergy
complained about the flight of their parishioners to
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
Introduction xvii
Blumhardt.Soontheparsonagecouldnotaccommo-
date the numbers of people who were beginning to
streamtohim.Hethusbegantolookforaplacewhere
therewouldbebothmoreroomandgreaterfreedom.
When Christoph was only ten, the family moved to
BadBoll,acomplexoflargebuildingswhichhadbeen
developedasaspaaroundasulfurwaterspring.This
becameakindofretreatcenter,aplacetowhichpeople
could have recourse for periods of rest, meditation,
study,andpastoralcounselandaplacewherethefa-
therBlumhardtwasfreetooperateaccordingtoGods
leading.
ThefatherBlumhardtspenttherestofhislifeinBad
Boll, and his son spent most of his adult life there.
Thousandscametohisfathertoexperiencethehealing
andstrengtheningofChristsvictory.ThiswasChris-
tophsexperienceandhisfoundation.Itisnosurprise
that the amazing experiences of his father engraved
themselvesindeliblyuponChristophssoul,compelling
himforwardalongthesamepath.
InBadBoll,theyoungChristophfoundhimselfin
themidstofastreamofpeopleseekinghelp,coming
fromallclasses,nationalities,andcountries,andinthe
midst of the work of his fathers constant, fervent
struggle for Gods kingdom. In time he felt called to
theministryhimself,andaftersomeyearshewasper-
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
Introduction xviii
mittedtosupporthisfatherasanassistant.Whenhis
fathercalledhimtoBadBollashishelper,however,he
onlywantedtomakehimselfusefularoundthehouse
in the most menial ways; perhaps as a cooks helper.
Forsomereasonhelackedhisfatherscertainty.Hehad
yettopersonallytakeupthefightthathisfatherhad
undertaken.ButthedeathofGottliebinDittus,in:;:,
becameaturningpointforhimandtheentirehouse-
holdatBadBoll.Itdroveeverybodytoafreshexperi-
ence of deep repentance,releasinginChristoph are-
newedconfidenceinGodscall.Hisfatherslastwords,
spokenonhisdeathbedin:c,commissionedChris-
tophtocarryon:Igiveyouablessingforvictory.
Blumhardtundertookhisfathersworkindeephu-
mility.Equippedwithhisfathersspirit,hetooexperi-
encedgreatdemonstrationsoftheSpiritandofpower.
ButBlumhardtcouldnotstopatthesehappenings.For
him,thegospelprovedtobefulloflife,andthisbade
himtogootherwaysthanhisfather.Itwasnotlong
beforehewasoutofthechurchentirely.Hisexitwasin
partduetohisownwish,andinpartduetothewishof
the church authorities. Eventually, and with much
struggle,hebrokewithalltheoutwardformsofchurch
life,clericalrobeandall.Theology,religiousfactions,
andeventhedifferentconfessionsallmeantthesame
thing to him: all were based on human symbols, ar-
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
xix Introduction
rangements,andpridetheflesh.
Blumhardtalsobecamefrustratedwiththeconstant
attentionpeopleplacedonhealing.Ashappenedinthe
time of Jesus, miracles became the main thing for
manypeopleinBadBoll.Heconsciouslyfoughtagainst
this.HewasdeterminedtokeepBadBollfrombecom-
inganinstitutionforfaithhealing.Thereisaliethat
turnseverythinginthedirectionofexploitingthemercy
andgraceofGodinsuchawaythattheSaviorthen
becomesourservant,heoncewroteinalettertosome-
oneaskingforhishelp.ForBlumhardt,theconquest
ofsicknesswassubservienttoGodskingdom.Tobe
cleansedismoreimportantthantobehealed.
ItwasntuntilBlumhardtwascausingasensationon
hismissionjourneysinGermanyandSwitzerlandthat
he came to seriously question the whole direction of
hiswork.AfterhisreturnfromBerlininMarchof:,
Blumhardtnotonlyretiredfromhispublicpreaching
activity,buthishealingofsicknessalsoreceded.Hefelt
misunderstoodbythosewhoflockedtohim:Iamter-
ribly sorry that people say I am a famous preacher. I
dontwanttobeaspeakerbeforeyou.Iamnospeaker
atall,nordoIwanttobeone.Iwanttobeamanof
experience.Idonotmerelywantthesethingstobespo-
kenabout.Iwanttostandbeforeyouasawitness!
HebelievedthatpossessingaheartforGodscause
wasthesurestsignofGodskingdom,notnumbersor
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
xx Introduction
healings. For Blumhardt, Gods love carried not only
theburdensofindividuals,butalsoofthoseboundin
theshacklesofpoverty.Intime,Blumhardtswholeheart
wasopenedtothewretchednessandsinoftheworld.
A burning desire arose within him for Gods justice,
andthisledhimtoadeeperawarenessofthemisery,
thepoverty,andtheinequityaroundhiminGermany
andintheworld.Becauseofthis,hesensedGodsvoice
inthenewmovementsofprotestandrevoltagainst
injustice, capitalism, against war. He saw longings of
hope in the great social movements of his day. The
struggleofmillionsinourtimeisnotacoincidence.It
isrelatedtothestruggleoftheapostlesthesearesigns
ofourLordJesusChrist.
Intheprophets,evenpaganpeoplesliketheAssyrians,
Babylonians,andPersians,andheathenkingslikeNeb-
uchadnezzar and Cyrus were in Gods service. Blum-
hardtbegantowonderwhyasocialistmovementthat
aimed to help humanity couldnt also serve as an in-
strumentinGodshand.Despitesocialismsfoiblesand
shortcomings, Blumhardt believed that Christ was
surelyhiddeninit.
Still following in his fathers footsteps, Blumhardt
concernedhimselfmoreandmorewiththerealityof
present-daysociety.Hefinallylefttheconventiclein
BadBollandwentintothestreetstosupportthelabor
movement, which was making itself heard. Bad Boll
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xxi Introduction
wouldceasetobeaplaceofsermons,inordertobe-
comeaplacefortruelife.Blumhardtstoodvirtually
aloneamongpeopleinthechurchesinthisfeelingfor
the need of the masses. When he joined the Social
Democrats(andactedastheirelectedrepresentativeto
theWrttembergparliamentfrom:,cc:,co)itwas
asthoughhewasunderbanishment.Hewasaskedto
renounce his position as a pastor in the state of
Wrttemberg.Theorganizedchurchesmarkedhimas
anoutcast.Blumhardtacceptedthisasafreeing:State
andchurcharenosoilforthefireofGod.
However,Blumhardtsoutlookdidnothangonthe
hopesofsocialismaloneintheseyears.Allthatmoved
inthemasses,aswellasinnature,cameunderthelight
of the kingdom. Blumhardt saw plenty of signs in
scienceandtheeconomythatcouldbereceivedasmes-
sengers of a future epoch of tremendous change. He
endeavoredtoreadthesignsofthetimesandwascon-
vincedthatChristwantedtobreakintotheworldsitu-
ationtofreethosegrippedbyitsdegenerativepowers.
Blumhardtsspiritualradicalismmeantasocialcom-
mitment.IfGodskingdompenetratedallofcreation,
thensoshouldourwitness:ThekingdomofGodis
takingoncolossaldimensionsthesedays.Wehaveto
comeoutofourlittlerooms,outofourisolation.The
kingdomcomesintothestreets,wherethepoorestlive,
theoutcasts,themiserable.TherethekingdomofGod
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Introduction xxii
comes.Itextendsintotheheavensandintohell,andto
allpeoples.
Thiskingdomisanythingbutreligion.Itiscertainly
notChristianity.Blumhardtbelievedthattheprophets
andJesuswantedanewworld;therulershipofGodover
allreality.Inhisview,heavenandpersonalsalvationwere
nottheaimofhistory.Godisnotconcernedthatweget
intoheaven;rather,heavenmustcomedowntoearth.
Manypeoplelongandyearnforheaven;theystretch
outtowardheaven.Iwouldliketotellthem:Letyour
mindsreachtotheheightsthatwecanalreadyperceive
onearth.DownhereiswhereJesusappeared,notabove
intheinvisibleworld.Hereonearthhewantstoappear
againandagain.Hereonearthwemayfindhim.
TheideathatGodisonlyinheavenandthattheap-
plication of the gospel was only for the inner life was
disastrous,accordingtoBlumhardt.Notourblessedness
first,butthekingdomofGod.Notourprofit(hereor
hereafter),butthehonorofGod.Or,asLeonhardRagaz
onceputitinsummarizingBlumhardtsthought,From
religion to Gods kingdom, from the church to a re-
deemedworld,frommetoGod.Thisall-encompassing
visionultimatelyledBlumhardtbacktoBadBoll.
Blumhardtwasneverreallyapolitician.Onlybycir-
cumstance was he forced into formally joining the
Social Democratic party. Originally he did not even
wanttobecomearegularpartymember.Thoughre-
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Introduction xxiii
ceivedwithopenarms,inthelongrunhedidnotfind
thepartytobegroundinwhichawitnesstothegospel
couldhavefulleffect.Hesaid:Thesocialmovement
as we see it today still belongs to the world that will
pass.Itdoesnotcontainthefellowshipofmenasitwill
one day come through Gods spirit.Therefore, after
hisfirsttermhewasledbackthroughalong,serious
illnessintothepeaceofBadBoll.In:,:;Blumhardt
sufferedastroke;hediedpeacefullytwoyearslater,on
August:,:,:,.
Blumhardtwasunrelentinginhisfightagainstchurchi-
nessagainstdogmatic,institutional,andpiousChris-
tianityprecisely because he was consumed with the
comingreignofGod.Forhim,thisgospeloftheking-
domopposesallreligiousness.Itdemandsafundamen-
talchange,arevolutionoflife.Jesuswasnoteacherof
doctrine,nodivineexampleofheavenlyvirtue.Heboth
taughtandlivedoutGodsnewworld.Hewastheinitia-
torofanewage;anewsocietywhereGodsjusticeand
healingisestablished.Hisfinalcomingisbutacomple-
tion of what he has begun. His death sealed the fight
againstthepowersoftheoldworld,hisresurrectionwas
the victorious dawning of the new worldthe begin-
ningofanewepochinhistory,anewmorningofcre-
ationandhisreturnisitsconsummation.
Despitemisunderstanding,despitemuchopposition,
Blumhardt was a man of unwavering hope. For him
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Introduction xxiv
the gospel was the good tidings of the future day of
Christ.TheSavioriscoming!Whatmatteredtohim,
intheend,wasGodscomingkingdom;arealitynotto
beconfusedwithanyhumanphilosophyofprogress.
Thiskingdomisnotself-createdhumanbetterment.It
iscertainlyfortheworld,butnotfromit.Neitherpo-
liticalendeavorsnorChristianpietywillbringinthe
kingdom.Notthroughourfaith,throughourprayer
norourpiety,butthroughthedeedsofGodwillthe
futurecityofGodberevealed.
ThisdidnotmeanthatthosewhoawaitChristsfu-
tureshouldjustplacetheirhandsintheirlapsanddo
nothing.Farfromit!Thepowersofthefutureareal-
readyhere,andGodspeoplemustliveinthesepowers,
respondingtothem,lettingthemgrow.Inthissense,
accordingtoBlumhardt,ourdeepestserviceistowait
forGodsaction.Wemustbothwaitforandhurryto-
wardthecomingofChrist.Inspiteofallnecessaryac-
tivityonourpart,wemusttrustthatinourstrivings
Godskingdomwillovercomeeveryobstacle.
From this expectation, Blumhardt believed that a
peopleofChristshouldgraduallybegatheredgath-
eredtowait,gatheredtolivetogetherinthepowersof
thefuture.Godalwayswantstohaveaplace,acom-
munity,whichbelongsgenuinelytohim,sothatGods
being can dwell there. God needs such a place from
wherehecanworkfortherestoftheworld.Theremust
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Introduction xxv
be a place on the earth, a Zion, from where the sun
of Gods kingdom shines forth. In Christ, the old
creationistoyieldtothenewasthenightyieldstothe
dawningday.
Thiswaitinginvolvesakindofdoublemovement.
As Vernard Eller explains: We are to give ourselves
completelytothecauseofthekingdom,doeverything
inourpowertohelptheworldtowardthatgoal.Atthe
same time, however, we are to remain calm and pa-
tient,unperturbedevenifoureffortsshownosignsof
success.Farfrombeinginactivity,thissortofwaitingis
itselfatremendouslystrongandcreativeactioninthe
veryhasteningofthekingdom.
AsonehearsthemessageofBlumhardt,thereisasense
thattruthisbeingservedinatimelessway.Perhapsthis
is because for Blumhardt, Jesus is rising now; Jesus is
victoriousnow;thekingdomofGodisbreakinginnow!
ThefabricofGodskingdom-visionspanstimeandbrings
togetherunlikelywitnesseswhohavebeenblessedtosee
theRealdespitetheillusionsoftheirday.
OnesuchvisionaryofourtimehasbeenArchbishop
OscarRomero,whosedeathfromanassassinsbulletin
:,ccrownedalifeofservicetoElSalvadorspoor.Like
Blumhardt,RomerohadthegracetoseewhatGodis
doing now. What Romero expresses poetically in his
prayer, Blumhardt expresses in passionate prose.The
kingdomthatRomerochallengeshispeopletoembrace
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Introduction xxvi
isthesamerulershipthatsopowerfullygrippedBlum-
hardt.Whenonesetstheprayerofthemodernmartyr
sidebysidewiththepassionofonesosorelymisunder-
stood,therestepsoutinstarkreliefatimelessandunited
Christianvision.ThekingdomofGodisathand.We
mustfightandwaitforitinthesingularactofconcrete
expectation.
Hence our choice of a prayer attributed to Oscar
Romero(seep.xxx)astheleitmotifforthiscollection
ofessays.Inonesense,whatwehavehereisbutasam-
pler.NeitherthebreadthofBlumhardtsthoughtnor
thedepthofRomerosprayercanbefullyexpressedin
a short volume like this one. However, we hope that
the spirit and longing of each can. Blumhardt was
grippedbytherealityofthecomingofGodskingdom
onthisearth,hereandnow.Romerounderstood,like
Blumhardt,thatthiskingdomwasyetbeyondouref-
forts,alwayslyingbeyondus.Forboth,however,Gods
kingdomignitedaburningexpectancyoflivingfaith;a
faiththatbothworksandwaits,helpsGodandhopes
inhim.MayBlumhardtsvisionandRomerosprayer
inspireinthereadersuchdeedsofhope.Atthedawn
ofanewmillennium,wesurelyneedmoreofthem.
CharlesMoore
May1998
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ThePrayer
ofOscarRomero
Ithelpsnowandthentostepbackandtakethe
longview.
Thekingdomisnotonlybeyondourefforts;itis
evenbeyondourvision.
Weaccomplishinourlifetimeonlyatinyfraction
ofthemagnificententerprisethatisGodswork.
Nothingwedoiscomplete,whichisanotherway
ofsayingthatthekingdomalwaysliesbeyondus.
Nostatementsaysallthatcouldbesaid.
Noprayerfullyexpressesourfaith.
Noconfessionbringsperfection,nopastoralvisit
bringswholeness.
Noprogramaccomplishesthechurchsmission.
Nosetofgoalsandobjectivesincludeseverything.
Thisiswhatweareabout:
Weplanttheseedsthatonedaywillgrow.
Wewaterseedsalreadyplanted,knowingthatthey
holdfuturepromise.
Welayfoundationsthatwillneedfurther
xxviii
development.
Weprovideyeastthatproduceseffectsfarbeyond
ourcapabilities.
Wecannotdoeverything,andthereisasenseof
liberationinrealizingthat.
Thisenablesustodosomethingandtodoitvery
well.
Itmaybeincomplete,butitisabeginning,astep
alongtheway,anopportunityfor
Godsgracetoenteranddotherest.
Wemayneverseetheendresults,butthatisthe
differencebetweenthemasterbuilderandthe
worker.
Weareworkers,notmasterbuildersministers,
notmessiahs.
Weareprophetsofafuturenotourown.
Amen.
Stepbackandtake
thelongview.
Oscar
Romero
SeekfirstGodskingdom
andhisrighteousness,
andallthesethingswill
begiventoyouaswell.
Matthewo:,,
1
SeekingtheKingdom
T
hehistoryofJesuslifeisthehistoryofGodsking-
domthenandnow.Somepeoplehavebeenshaken
and gripped by this. But for many people today the
kingdom of God has drifted out of sight. People are
stirred by many issues; the outward life makes great
demands on them. More than at any other time, it
wouldseem,manraiseshimselfpowerfullyinhishu-
mansearchandprogress.Itisasthoughthewholeworld
wanted to offer us its strength, saying, Use me. Be-
comegreat,becomestrong,becomerich,creative,ac-
tivetake everything into your own hands! Powers
that earlier times hardly dreamed of are now opened
2
3 SeekingtheKingdom
upforus.Everyonefindshimselfinapositiontomake
useofthesenewinventionsandthesenewpowersfor
hisownpurposes.Ourwholesocietyseemstodepend
onthis.Ifweweretoshutoureyestothesethings,we
wouldlagbehindandfinallyperishinourearthlylife.
There is a spirit of intellectual accomplishment that
pushestheconcernforGodskingdomtotheside.
Atremendousmisunderstandinghascomeaboutwith
regard to Gods kingdom. Much has been said about
the church. Much has been said about the teachings
thatarepreservedinthechurch,aboutthevariousde-
nominations that have become a sacred good within
thebodyofChristianity.Toomuchemphasishasbeen
placedonformsbywhichweexpressourselvesasChris-
tians.Thustodaywecannotdenythatmanypeopleno
longerreallyfindthelivingqualitiesthatourFatherin
heaven wanted to give us in Jesus Christ.They have
neitherseennorexperiencedthelifethatcomesfrom
God,andsotheyareinafix.Ontheonehandthey
cannotdenythattheytooneedGod,Godsword,Gods
revelation,intheirhearts.Ontheotherhandtheyno
longerquitebelieveinthemeansthroughwhichGods
wordisbeingproclaimed,andthusmanyofthemno
longerknowwhattodowiththemselvesinregardto
Gods kingdom.Their hearts hunger and thirst; they
areawarethatsomethingofGodseternityandtruth
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SeekingtheKingdom 4
should be revealed in us, but they dont quite know
whattodoaboutit.
BecauseofallthiswemustbegintospeakofGods
kingdominanewway.Inspiteofpresent-daycondi-
tionswheremuchofthechurchandofChristianfel-
lowship is almost dead, we can speak of Gods king-
domtomenandwomenofourtime.Thekingdomof
Godisandwasandwillbetherulershipofjustice,of
order,ofpower,ofauthority,ofallthatisofGod,over
creation.Thisiswhatmovesthoseofuswhoseek,and
thismustcomemorefullyintobeing.Andunlessour
lives are molded according to this rulership, we shall
alwaysremaindissatisfied.Wemayenjoymoderncon-
veniences,buttherealityofeternalthingswillbesmoth-
eredunlessthereignofGodstruthandjusticedawns
asthelightoflife.
Yetthisveryfactcausesgreatdiscordassoonasitis
pointedout.MillionsofpeopleareChristiansinall
peaceandcomfortfromtheirchildhoodonuntilthey
arelaidinthegrave.Theyaresatisfiedwithwhatissaid
aboutGod,anditdoesnotmakethemfeeluncomfort-
ableinanyway.Religionistakenaspartofoneslife;
oneacceptsitsuchasitis.Thiscausesnoconflictat
themostanargumenthereorthereabouttheinterpre-
tationofthisorthatteaching,buttheseargumentsare
futile.Anewconflictarisesassoonaswefeelurgedto
For many
people,
Gods
kingdom
has drifted
out of
sight.
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5 SeekingtheKingdom
proclaimthekingdomofGodassomethingliving.And
this is what I want to do today. I dont just want to
edifyyou.IwanttoproclaimtoyouwhatGodhasput
into my heart: Gods kingdom is a living reality, a
rulershipthatimpactsthehereandnowandevento-
dayisathandcloserathandthanwemaythink.The
interventionofthelivingGodismorepowerfultoday
than many believe. God wants to manifest himself
astheonewhoissomethingandwhodoes something
now.Healoneistheonewithwhomweshouldjoy-
fullyconcernourselves.
InspeakingofGodskingdom,weproclaimthatJesus
Christisnotdead.Heisnotmerelysomeonewhoap-
pearedtwothousandyearsago,tobeviewedasaper-
sonalityofthepastaboutwhomweretaincertainrec-
ollections and teachings. No, just as Jesus lived two
thousandyearsago,helivestoday.Hewantstotriumph
in our midst for the honor of God. He wants to live
amongussothatourreverencefortheFatherinheaven
maygrowanddeepen.WemustcomebeforeGodand
in the weakness and poverty of our natures raise our
eyestohimwithasighinourhearts,saying,MyFa-
ther,myFather,Itoowanttobeyourchild!Thenwe
maybelievewithlife-givingstrength:Jesuslives,hewill
helpme,heisvictor.WhoeverImaybe,hisnamecan
besanctifiedinmeandhisrulershipcanenterin,so
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6 SeekingtheKingdom
that his will may be done in me just as it is done in
heaven!
Iwish,myfriends,thatIcouldplaceinyourhearts
thelivingpowerofGod.IwishthatIcouldhelpyou
understandthatthispowermakesuscompletelynew.
Itcanovercomemuchofourmisery,eveninourphysi-
callife.Godslivingpowerseeksusoutandwantsto
showusdespitetheentanglementsoflifeclear,true
valuesthatcanennobleus.
Intherealmofourownhumannature,however,there
ismoreresistancetoGodstruththanpeoplebelieve.
Andinhumansociety,inalltheinfluencestowhichwe
areexposed,thereliesagravehindrancetotheliving
powerofChrist,andthishindranceisalsogreaterthan
peoplesuspect.OftenIfindthatwhenIspeakofGod,
ofChrist,andoftheHolySpirit,everyoneagreeswith
me.Nobodygetsannoyed.Theconflictbegins,how-
ever, as soon as I take a firm stand and say, I have
experiencedwhoJesusis.Ihavelookedintotheliving
power,intothekingdomofourGod,whichevento-
daywantstotakeholdofus.Itellyouthatevennow
thetruthandthelife-powerofourGodisatwork.I
declaretoyouthatevennowthetruthofGodsking-
dom comes visibly to this earth. We do not have to
waituntilwelayourselvesdowntodieandbeburied.
Hereandnowwecanhearwithourears,seewithour
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7 SeekingtheKingdom
eyes,whoJesusis,whothelife-givingspiritis.Itisthe
same today as at the time of the apostles. It is not a
questionofthisorthatchurch,ofthisorthatteaching,
butonlyofJesusChristhimself(John::o).Wehave
tocometotermswithhim!
Formethisistheoneandonlydirection.YetifIsay
this,peoplereactandargue.Whoisthisarrogantper-
son?Howcananyonesaysuchthingstoday?Arentthe
Bibleandtheexistingdenominationsenoughforus?This
issuperstitionandexaggeration!Sothereisaconflict,
butitkindlesalightinmanyhearts,alightofhope,a
light of strength, a light from the heights beyond this
earth.Fornothingcangiveusmorestrengththanthe
certaintythatJesuslivesandactsandthatheisnotan
empty word or a mere teaching. Nothing gives more
strengththantheknowledgethatJesusisinourmidst
(Matt.:::c).Wemustbelievethis,sothathislifemay
becometrueinus,sothathisspiritmaypurifyus.
Whatthendoesitmeantobelieve?Thereismuch
disputeaboutbelief;butwoetousandourarguments
aboutfaith!Isntitsomethingquitesimple,something
everychildcanunderstand?Myfriends,ifJesustruly
lives,ifheiskingofkings,thenyoumustnolonger
take anything into your own hands. You must deny
yourselfinallthingsthatareGods.Youmustbeady-
ingperson,onewhointhingsofGodsays,Icando
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SeekingtheKingdom 8
nothing.NonebutJesushastherighttoshowusdi-
vinematters!Inthiswayalonedowehonorthisking.
IfGodskingdomisimportanttoyou,thenyouneed
notthinkyouhavetobeanythingimportant.Rather,
youshouldplaceyourselfatJesusfeet,thinking,Iama
weakhumanbeing,butJesuslives,Jesusisvictor.Iwill
givemyselftohim,andIwillturneverythingoverto
himsothatnothingcanruleovermebuthealone.
Thisisfaith.IfwebelieveinJesusChrist,thenwe
must stand firm. It will be of no use to you to have
heard someone speak, to believe in a doctrine, or to
sacrificeyourselvestosomegoodcause.Allthiswillbe
ofnoavail.
Therefore I would like to call out into the world,
Die,thatJesusmaylive!(Gal.:::c)Inotherwords,
donotattachanyimportancetowhatisfalse,towhat
isopposedtotruth.JesusChrististheLord.Raiseyour
fistsagainstallthatcomesfromtheflesh,fromthede-
ceitfulnessofyourownthinking.Whatisfalseshallbe
calledfalse.DoitforthesakeofGodyourSavior!What
iswrongshalldieanddieagain,anddiesothatitno
longercountsforanything.Thenweshallbeamazedat
howmuchispossiblethroughhisrulership.
If Gods
kingdom is
important
to you, then
you do not
have to be
anything
important.
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Thekingdom
isnotonlybeyond
Oscar
Romero
ourefforts;itiseven
beyondourvision.
Andhewhosat
uponthethronesaid,
Behold,Imakeallthingsnew.
Alsohesaid,Writethis,
forthesewordsare
trustworthyandtrue.
Revelation:::,
2
IMakeAllThingsNew
T
hegreatestwordthatcrownsallothersisthis:I
makeallthingsnew!Thisisofspecialsupport
andcomfortwhenwerealizehowquicklyeverything
passesawayandbecomesdustandashes.Allthingsnew!
God cannot tolerate what is corrupt and destructive
butwantstochangeit.Ofcourseweenterintonewlife
only through repentance (Acts ::,;,). Sadly, many
people think of all sorts of things around them that
needtochangeandnotatallofthemselves.Orthey
wouldliketohaveonlycertainthingschangesoasto
10
11 IMakeAllThingsNew
be able to carry on more comfortably.We should be
deeplyhumiliatedtorealizethatthereactuallyisnoth-
ingthatmustnotalsobecomenew,especiallyourselves.
IfIweretotakeacloselookateachoneofyouallof
youmustbecomenew!
Thisishowthingsare,myfriends.Adarknesshas
comeoverChristianityinregardtothisverymatterof
renewal.Wearesoeasilycontentedandsoquicklysat-
isfied with a Christianity that makes us only a little
more decent.That is all people want. And yet if one
takesalookatitonemustsay,Thiscannotbeall.
Notjustalittletasteofsomethingnew,butallthings
new,inyourselvesfirstandforemost.Howlonghave
we been sitting around here; how long are we being
preachedto;howlonghaveweletourselvesbeadmon-
ishedagainandagain!Andstillthereisnobreakthrough
tosomethingnew.Itcouldmakeonedieofgrieftosee
howlittlehasactuallyhappened.Somuchthatisnew
liesbeforeus,andstilltherearesofewresults;itisal-
waysatourdoorstep,andstillitwillnotcomein.
Thiscoulddepressusverymuch.Instead,itshould
unite us in repentance. But why then dont we turn
around?Why do we not receive strength against sin?
Whyisitthatsolittlehappens?JesusChrist,ourSav-
ior,havemercyonus!Shouldntthisbeourcry?
TherearesomanyproudChristians;yettheyhave
nothingtobeproudof.Theyareintoxicatedbytheir
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IMakeAllThingsNew 12
piety,andeachonethinksthatheistheone,thathes
gotit,thathisgroupisit.Thisistrueforeachoneof
us.Unlessthischanges,wewillperish;wemightaswell
joininthestreamofdeath.Thenyouwillseehowin
alltheircustomsandpracticespeopletrudgealongat
thesameoldmonotonouspace,tillfinallytheyarelaid
inthegrave.Dirtisthrownoverthem,andeveryone
goesbackhomeandcontinueslivingjustasdullyand
superficiallyasbefore.
Therefore,turntoGod!Goddoesnotsay,Perhaps,
if possible, under certain circumstances, I will make
things new; I have to think it over. He says straight
out,Imakeallthingsnew.Thispromisebelongsto
ourtime.Itisreadyforanyonewhowantstobecome
new,whoisreadytogiveuphispossessions,whodoes
notpushhisownpersonintotheforegroundanddoes
not love his own life. Just try it! Go completely into
repentanceandthenfullyintofaith.Evenifonlyafew
becomenew,itwillstillbesomething.Andfinallyall
thingsshallbemadenew.
In facing the judgments that have come upon the
earthandthatmayyetcomeoverus,wecanleanupon
thispromiseinfaith.Youknowverywellhowthings
are.Murderousweaponsareready.Thepowersofdark-
nesshaverisenandwanttodrivethingstothepoint
wheretheearthbecomesapoolofblood.Mustthere
bewarandrumorsofwarforever?Ifwecannotpray
If we
cannot
pray for
God to
hold back
warring
armies,
then it is
a mockery
to believe
he can make
all things
new.
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IMakeAllThingsNew 13
for the time to come when Gods almighty arm will
holdbackwarringarmies,thenitisamockerytobe-
lievethatGodmakesallthingsnew.
Ofcourseifeverythingistobemadenew,thensome-
thing must break in, not coming from us but from
heaven.AnewdeedofGodmusthappen;something
livingandrealfromJesusmustbreakintothephysical
world.Itmustbecomevisibleenoughtoshowthatthe
almightyGodreallyis,andinsuchawaythathewill
not let himself be pushed to the side. But too many
peoplejustdontbelievethatGoddoessomethingfrom
above.Theymightsay,Heguidesthedestiniesofthe
nations,buttheneverythinggetslabeledasbeingfrom
God, even when it is the Evil One who does it.The
time must come when we pray that the threatening
dangerstoGodscreationwillbeavertedandourprayer
willbeanswered.
Therearemanythingsthatthreatenus.Evenifwar
doesnotbreakout,millionsofpeoplelosetheirlives
all over the world through all kinds of trials: storms,
landslides,explosions,earthquakes,epidemics,allkinds
of accidents. At the same time there is an enormous
amountofsicknessofbodyandsoul.Howmuchsigh-
ingtherestillisinhospitals,howmuchmiseryinthe
mental institutions. And how many are being killed,
some slowly, through envy, through hatred, through
maliciousnessofpeopletowardseachother.Justthink
Every
family
must be
prepared
to have
their peace
suddenly
disturbed.
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14 IMakeAllThingsNew
ofallthepeoplemurderedinoneyear.Itdoesnteven
takeguns;peopleareperishinganyway.
Everyfamilymustbepreparedforsomethingtohap-
pensuddenlythatwilldisturbitspeace.Thenwehave
tobelieveandpraythatthejudgmentsmaybeturned
away.IfGodkeepshisword,wecanstandupagainst
anything,especiallyifweourselvesarealreadylivingin
whatisnew(:John,:,,).Ariseandgotomeetwhatis
new.Prayforit.Begforit.Thewholeworldwillyetbe
renewedthroughthealmightypowerofGod.
ThisaloneiswhatJesusChristwants.Forthisrea-
sonheisthefirstbornfromthedead.ForthisChrist
wasborn,forthishediedandarose,forthisheissit-
tingatGodsrighthand.Gotomeetthisrenewalso
thatitmaycome!Thisiswhatwemustbelieve;thisis
howwemustseewhatisbeforeus.
Whenthedivinecomes,lookout.Thenweshallpass
throughjudgment,throughfire.Thenweshallhaveto
bepurified,tobecomegold,notwood.Thenwemust
becomecompletelytrue,justaswhatisinheavenistrue,
justastheLordJesusiswholeandtrueandalltheangels
aretrueandGodhimselfistrue(Heb.o::,:).Soyou
also must become true.This is what new means. And
thisnewthingisnotsomethingunheard-of.Itisatour
doorstep;itisalreadyontheearth.Whoeverhashada
littletodowiththeSavioralwaysseessomethingnew.
Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life.
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15 IMakeAllThingsNew
Whatisatstakeisthetruth.Thistruthmustbecomea
new reality. It is not a matter of new teachings, new
laws, new institutions. True, Christianity has made
manyteachingsandlawsandinstitutionsinthename
ofJesus.YetthisisnotthetruthChristspeaksof.The
truthtowhichwemustopenourearsisthenewreality
theSonofManbringstotheworld.Itisthemessage
thatGodnowcreatesanewrealityontheearth,begin-
ningamonghispeople,andlaterinthewholecreation.
Heavenandearthwillberenewedinthisnewreality
(:Pet.,::::,).
Toomanyofusliveintheoldreality,whichcom-
pletelyoccupiesalloursenses.Itistheoldstoryofper-
ishing, of wasting away, and behind it lies a mighty
darkness:death.Weliveanddie.Naturelivesandthen
dies.Sinentersintolife.Therearefailures;peoplego
wrong.InJesus,however,anewrealityappears,areal-
ity that is opposed to the worlds history. Something
newbeginsalongsidetheold.
Theoldrealitydoesnotsuddenlydisappear;itcon-
tinues alongside the new. Yet in Jesus a new history
begins,anewworkingofGod(:John::).True,God
hasalwaysbeenpresentintheold,andtheSpirithas
workeduponitthroughouttheages.Butnow,yesnow,
somethingnewhasbeguninChrist.Godhasmeantit
tobelikethatfromtheverybeginning,butdeathstill
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IMakeAllThingsNew 16
has its dominion. Even in the lives of the believing,
deathmakesitselffelt.Thisdeathwasparticularlystrong
whenJesusappeared,thisdarknesscausedbythelaw,
thisdeadlinessofhumanteachings.Deathspowerisso
strongthatJesushadtostrugglegreatlyinordertomake
peopleseethatinhimsomethingcompletelydifferent
hadcome,anewhistory.
Thishistoryistoberevealedineachindividualper-
son.Itmustbecomeevidentinyou,inme,inallofus.
Nowsomethingnewispossible.Unlessweplaceour-
selves within this truth, we can accomplish nothing.
Thisisnodogma;itisnotjustanewword.Itisthe
Word that has power. It is the living person of Jesus
Christ,inwhomhumanitysnewhistorydawnsandin
whomhistoryculminates.Areyoulivinginthereality
of Jesus Christ? Have you placed yourself under the
authoritythathasbeengiventohimforyouandforall
people?Canyoureallygraspthis?Canyouacceptit?
Canyoutakeitintoyourlife?Canyouletitguideyour
wholelife,eveninthemidstofthedeepestsuffering?
Unlessyoudothisyouhavenobusinessstrivingaf-
terthekingdomofGod.ForwhatisGodskingdom
anyway?CertainlynotChristiancausesorinstitutions.
GodskingdomisthepowerofGod.Itistherulership
ofGod.Godskingdomistherevelationofthedivine
lifehereonearth,thebirthofnewhearts,newminds,
What
use is
our faith
if things
keep going
in the same
old ruts?
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
17 IMakeAllThingsNew
newfeelings,newpossibilities.ThisisGodskingdom.
Yet who can grasp what Gods rule means?Who can
graspwhatGodisatall?
Tofullyunderstandthiswemustacknowledgethat
JesushascomefromGod.Heisthelightthatshines
throughoutthecenturies(John::,).Onlybyhimcan
itbesaid,Cananyofyouconvictmeofsin?Jesushas
come from God to triumph over death. Jesus Christ
hascomeintoourmidstasoneofussothatdeathcan
beconquered.Hehaslaidthefoundationforacom-
pletely new life, a new order. In him we can become
completelydifferentmenandwomenintheverydepth
ofourbeings.
Thisisthepower,thetruenatureofGodskingdom.
OfwhatuseisourChristianityifwekeepfallingback
intodeathandifdarknesscontinuestodominateour
lives?WhatuseisourfaithinChristifeverythinggoes
onintheoldruts?Weareinabadwayifthepowerof
sincontinuestoworkinus.ThenourChristianity,our
beliefandworshipofGod,isoflittlevalue.Factsmust
becomevisible,factsoflife,ofnewlife,newstrength,
newjoy.Wenolongerliveundertherulershipofdeath,
norunderitspowerofsin.Weliveintherealityofthe
truelifethatcomesfromGod.
Twocurrentsarenowrunningalongsideandinop-
positedirections,onetotheother.Sinwantstorule.It
wantstoreachitsgoal;itwantstowreakdestruction
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
18 IMakeAllThingsNew
whereveritcan.Againstthiscurrent,however,runsthe
movementofJesusChrist,thePrinceofLife.Heleads
usintosomethingcompletelybeyondourselves.Even
deathcanbeovercome.Evenifwestillhavetodie,he
promises,Whoeverbelievesinmeshallnotseedeath,
even though he die.What greater promise could be
said to us than this? If we can hear these words and
realizethem,theneventhehistoryofthenationswill
berenewed.
InChristanewdayhasdawned.Ithascomeintothe
past,anditwillcomeintothefuture.Itistheeternity
ofGod.ForChrististheonewhorosefromthedead.
Andbecauseheisrisen,itishealonewhomatters.We
do not want to cling to what is human, not even to
thosewhoarereligiousorgodly.Everythingmustcome
fromtheruler,fromChristtheLord.Healoneisvicto-
rious.Healonepiercesthroughthepowersofsinand
death, both in the world and in our own hearts. No
humanbeing,nohumanmovementcandoit.Noteven
thebestwillachieveit.Butthereisanewpossibility.
God can rule the world again.This possibility must
liveinourhearts.ThenthetrueChristwillbewithus,
hewhocametomakeallthingsnew.
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Weaccomplishin
ourlifetimeonly
atinyfraction
ofthemagnificent
enterprisethatis
Godswork.
Oscar
Romero
Letusholdunswervinglytothehope
weprofess,forhewhopromisedisfaithful.
Andletusconsiderhowwemayspur
oneanotherontowardloveandgooddeeds
Letusencourageoneanotherandallthe
moreasyouseetheDayapproaching.
Hebrews:c::,:,
3
GetBusyandWait!
C
hrististhebeginningandtheendofGodsking-
dom. Therefore we can say with all confidence
andcertainty,TheSaviorwillcomeagain!Heisbound
tocompletehiswork,anditisourtasksimplytobe
servants until his return, to be in the service of him
whoiscoming.Weare,asitwere,torepresentbyour
livesthecomingofJesusChrist.Wemustnot,there-
fore,besoconcernedandactive,ormakesuchtremen-
dousefforts,asthoughwewereabletoachievethevic-
toryofgoodonthisearth.This,ofcourse,wearequite
20
21 GetBusyandWait!
incapable of doing. Only the Lord Jesus can bring it
about,hewhocameafirsttimeandisgoingtocome
againasecondtime.Hewillcompleteitnotwe.If
weareloyallyandfirmlysetuponthisHewillcome
againthenthegospelofthekingdomwillbecome
personalandlivingtous.Wemustneverseparatethis
gospelfromChristsperson.Withouthispersonalpres-
encenotalkingaboutthegospel,notalkingabouthis
comingkingdomisofanyvalueatall.
SowemustbepreparedforthecomingofJesusChrist,
whichisnotonlysomethinginthefuturebutapresent
realityinthosewhowaitforitintheirhearts.Weareto
beservantswatchingforhisreturn.Notthatwegetev-
erythingnicelyarrangedforourselves,butwecanand
wemustpostponeourmainconcernsuntilhecomes.
Hisservantshaveatwofoldtask:theyaretowaitfor
himinthesenseofbeingactiveanddoingsomething,
andtheyaretobestewards.ThewaitingfortheSavior
involves a personal relationship to him as to a living
person, making the gospel living and relevant.There
aremanypeoplewhoarealwayswaitingforsomething
newinChristianity,asifsomethingcouldbeachieved
throughanewfaithoranewchurch.Weleaveallthat
alone.WeholdfasttothepromiseofapersonalSavior,
whomGodwillsendashehassenthimbefore.Andwe
knowthatweaspersonsarequiteunabletoleadafaith-
fullifeunlessourSaviorispersonallywithus.
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GetBusyandWait! 22
Allourstrength,allourintellect,andallourfeelings,
howeverlivingandactivetheymaybe,willallpassaway.
Wearelivinginatimeofdying(:Cor.;:,:).Wedo
not want to hide from it. Our powers are declining.
Ourthinkingisbecomingfeeble,andallouremotions,
howeverlivelytheymaybe,willpassaway.Thelawof
death envelops everything we do and think and feel.
Butnowalawoflifebreaksintoallthisdying,anditis
theLordJesushimself.Heistheonewholivesforever,
whorosefromthedead,whokeepsintouchwithus
from the world beyond, who sends us the Spirit, so
that in the midst of our dying we may live and may
everagainreceivesomethingfreshandlivingthrough
hisgift,throughhispresence,throughhiscoming.
Far from expecting his coming as something to be
realizedonlyattheendoftime,wemusthavethevi-
sionofthecomingSavioralwayshereandnowinour
lives. Jesus will come again for sure. His Day is ap-
proaching,andinthemeantime,asIexperiencedhim
once,somayIexperiencehimagainandagain.Asthe
gospelislifeandconsolationforme,itcancomeagain.
It disappears, but it returns. Jesus will never let you
down.Ifhehasoncebegunsomethingwithinyou,then
thatwillalwayscomeagain,andifyouholdontoit,it
willshineasalightforyousothatyoumaybejoyful
eveninthemostbittertribulationyes,evenrightunto
death(Phil.::o).Neverletgoofthethought,hewill
Christs
coming
is not for
the end of
time, but
for the
here and
now.
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GetBusyandWait! 23
come again! For this makes you into a servant. His
earthlylifeisbynomeanslostforeverno,hislifeon
earthisbeingcontinued,andbydirectingourwhole
heartandalloursensestoit,bywaitingforhimand
receiving,wemaybecomeservantsofhislifeonearth.
Thosewhowaitopentheirheartstohimwhenhe
comesandknocks(Rev.,::c).Jesusisalive.Nomatter
howsadthingsmaybe,andwhenwearegrievingon
theearthforthepeoplewemostloveandwhoperhaps
willbetakenfromus,ourdeepestlongingmustbefor
thecomingofChrist.TheLordJesusoccupiesthehigh-
estposition(Col.:::,:).Heismoreimportantthan
anythingelse.Andthoughwebesurroundedbysick-
ness,need,anddeath,noneofthisisimportant;none
ofthismayfillourhearts.No.He,thelivingone,is
coming!Heishighestofall,andquitecertainlyheis
coming!Forthiswewanttolive,forthisweareready
to go through suffering and fear, for this we want to
fight unto death: he is coming!This stands firm and
certainforus,andinthislightwewanttoliveaslong
asweareonthisearth.
Now the servants task does not consist in merely
waitinganddoingnothing.Ratheritisamatterofprac-
ticing stewardship. Good stewardship means looking
after the servants, that is, those who are in our care.
Andifonlyourheartsandmindswerebigenough,I
wouldsaythatallthepeopleonearthareentrustedto
The whole
world is
embraced
by Gods love.
No one is
excluded,
not even
atheists.
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24 GetBusyandWait!
our care (Gal. o:,:c).The servants of Christ are to
stretchouttheirhandstoeachotherandtoallpeople
as they look toward the coming of the Savior. Many
peoplethinkthatChristssecondcomingmeansadread-
ful judgment, when unbelievers will be cast into hell
andbelieverswillbesaved.No,whenJesuscomes,he
wantstofindhisservantspreparedtoreceivehimasa
Savior,ahelperwhocomesintotheworldnotinorder
to judge and condemn, but rather to redeem and to
makewhole,becausethisiswhatGodcreatedhimfor.
EversinceJesusfirstcoming,thewholeworldisem-
braced by the love of God. No one is excluded, not
eventheatheists.TheyareallembracedbyGodslove,
and,throughus,theyareGodshousehold.They,too,
candosomething.Wecanseeinourtimehowpeople
are doing much good on the earth, so that lives are
madeeasier.Wemeetwithallsortsofkindnessonearth,
throughpeopleshelp,throughGodslargerhousehold
thatisinthecareofhisservants.
Woetous,therefore,ifwestarttojudge,ifwecon-
demn,ifweabandonallhopeforthisworldforwhich
JesusChristhascome,forwhichhesufferedanddied,
for which he rose again, and for which he will truly
comeagain.
Soyoumustbeastewardnotalazyservantwho
simplywaits,butadiligentsteward.Thereismuchto
be done. All around you there are lives entrusted to
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25 GetBusyandWait!
your care, people with whom you have been led to-
gether.Theyareperhapsstillveryworldly:yourown
family,maybe,orperhapsyournextdoorneighbor.We
needtoseeevennationsashouseholdsofGodand
lovethemastheFatherinheavenlovesthem.Ourgood-
willandgoodwishesmustgoouttothem,justasthe
Fatherinheavendoesnothingbutgoodtoallpeople.
Hecauseshissuntoriseontheevilandthegood,and
sendsrainontherighteousandtheunrighteous(Matt.
,:,).Wewanttobeconcernedthatpowersofredemp-
tionmaygooutfromtheSaviortomany,manypeople,
evenifwecannotunderstandit,evenifwehavetowait
foralongtime.Butonedaythedoorswillburstopen.
Heartswillbefreed.Andnewpeaceandnewjoywill
descendupontheearth.
Iamfrequentlysaddenedtohearandseehowsomany
peoplewhocallthemselvesChristians,andofteneven
realChristians,cannotbringthemselvestowishgood
toallpeopleastheywishitforthemselves.Howfew
arefilledwithGodsgiftofforgiveness!Insteadmost
setthemselvesapartbysettingthemselvesaboveoth-
ers.ButifweareawaitingtheSavior,thenweareawait-
ingtheforgivenessoftheworldssins,notjustourown
(:John:::).
Unlesstheurgetoforgive,towanttheSaviorforall
people,wellsupinourhearts,wearenottrueservants.
Although we might know of Gods will toward love,
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GetBusyandWait! 26
towardmercy,towardforgiveness,weneverthelessfail
todohiswillbecausetheloveofGoddoesnotfully
governourlives.Forthiswewillbepunished.Forifwe
donotstandfullyintheloveofGodandinhisforgive-
ness,iftheeyeswithwhichwelookoutintotheworld
are not good and kind, if we cease to hold on to the
othersinlove,thenGodwillnolongerholdontous
either,andwewillfindourselveswiththeunbelievers,
regardlessofwhetherwehavespokenpiouswordsor
not(Matt.o:::,).Godisnotinterestedinwordsbut
reality.AndtheactualrealityofaChristianlifeconsists
in forgiveness and in wishing the whole world well,
however grim it may look. Even if war or bloodshed
comes, God is greater. He carries out his will. In the
end, sin will cease. In the end, it is justice and truth
andtheloveofGodthatwillcometous.
I cannot live for one single hour without thinking:
Come,LordJesus!Andifallofustogethercancometo
thinking that thoughteven when there is trouble in
yourhomeandinyourheartthenweshallbeasone,
anditwillbegrantedustogoonexperiencingthepow-
ersofGodasawitnesstothecomingone.Themarvel-
ous strength of God, such as we experience it in our
sufferingsandinourdyingandreallyineverything,will
becomeatestimonytothepowerofGod.Andtothat
endweremindourselvesthatourSaviorwillreturn.Will
ithappeninthefirstwatchorinthesecond?Wedonot
We are
waiting for
the forgive-
ness of the
worlds sins,
not just
our own.
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27 GetBusyandWait!
askhowandwhen.Atanymomenthecanenter.Solet
uspartakeofhisdivinepower,andwhenwedowewill
haveexperiencedsomethingofhisfuture.
Thereisnotmuchvalueinanyhelpwemayreceive
fromGodoutsidethecontextofJesuscoming.Among
others,too,helpisbeingrenderedhereandthere.But
wherethishasnorelationtothecomingSavior,itisof
amerelypassingcharacter.When,however,itbecomes
related to Jesus Christ, the living one, he who is the
beginningandtheend,theAlphaandtheOmega,who
isandwasandwillcome,thenallhelpgiventousbe-
comesapartofeternitywithinus(Rev.::,).Thenall
suchhelpthatwereceivemakesuspartakersoflifeeter-
nal.Foritistrue:ifweweretoreceivenohelpfrom
God,ourfaithwouldbeapoorthing.
Butwecanthinkofsomanyinstancesofhiscoming
tousthatitwouldbearealshametosay,Wehavelost
eternity;wecannotlivewithGod.No,wearefullof
Gods experience. Each day brings us something new,
andweareallowedagainandagaintoexperienceagreat
dealbothinourownlivesandinthelivesofothers,both
inlivingandindying.Yes,indyingwehaveseenmuch
oftheSaviorscoming.Theeyesofmanypeoplelightup
intheirlasthourbecausetheSaviorisontheway.Hence
wefeelfullofcomfortandjoy,andunceasinglythere-
frain sings within us: Jesus will return; his Day is
approaching!Thissongmustsurroundandenvelopour
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28 GetBusyandWait!
liveswithitsholysoundssothatwemaygainincreasing
confidenceandstrength.
Letusbeunitedandstrong,forthetaskgivenusby
Jesusisnottoogreatforus.Itisnotbeyondourstrength
tocarryitthrough.Wemaymakemistakes.Without
knowingit,wemaydothingsthatdeservethehandof
discipline. But God is merciful. He has made us his
servants,andwewanttoremainhisservants.Foritis
ashisservantsthatwegotomeetthatgreatandmighty
dayofChrist.Itwillyetcometothewholeworld,the
dayofChrist,whichwillrevealtousthecharacterof
Godandwillfillusevenmorewitheternaljoy.
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Nothingwedoiscomplete,
whichisanotherwayofsaying Oscar
Romero
thatthekingdomalways
liesbeyondus.
Nooneknows
aboutthedayorhour,
noteventheangelsinheaven,
northeSon,butonlytheFather.
AsitwasinthedaysofNoah,
soitwillbeatthecomingofthe
SonofManTherefore,
keepwatch,becauseyoudo
notknowonwhatday
yourLordwillcome.
Matthew::,o:
4
TheSavior
IsComingNow
M
anytimestheSaviorcallsouttous,Watch!Be
ready!Herethecallisespeciallytowatchfor
mycoming,formyfuture!WiththiscallJesusgives
us a task. If we fulfill this taskto watch for his fu-
30
31 TheSaviorIsComingNow
tureit is as though his future is coming into our
present time. By our watching, Gods future comes
closer. It makes itself felt in our whole being, in our
wholelife.Wecannotbeswallowedupbythepresent,
forweareboundtothefuture.Weexperiencethefu-
ture already in our time. Again and again new life is
given;somethingopensupawayforus.Andeachtime
itisapieceofJesusChristsfuture.
Christsfutureisnotonesinglepointinanabsolute
remoteness for which we are to wait, a mere coming
event.Thisishardlythinkable,forwewouldprobably
allgotosleepoverit.Christsfutureisnow,oritisnot
atall.Itmustbecomeanexperienceofeveryindividual
believerandforeverycongregation.Godsdeedthrough
Jesus Christ must be your experience, today and to-
morrowandeveryday.
TheSavioriscoming.Heisnotsittingonsomeceles-
tial throne, resting somewhere in eternity, waiting for
someparticulartimebeforeheactsoracertainmoment
when he will suddenly plunge in.The coming of the
Savior runs like a thread throughout history, through
Godsworkingintheworld(Matt.:::c).Ifthisthread
isnottobreak,thenJesusmustalwaysbecoming.Often
therearetimesofstormandthunder,ofsorrowandsuf-
fering. Yet just when we think we cannot go on, new
waysopenbeforeus.Andthereindeedwillcomeatime
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TheSaviorIsComingNow 32
whenourwaitingandwatching,whichhaspreparedthe
comingoftheLord,willbeconsummated.
IhavefatvolumesaboutthesecondcomingofChrist
andmanypeoplehavetoldmetostudythem.Ah!Iget
sotiredofthis!HalfofthemIdonotunderstand;Iam
toostupid.Theauthorsmakelengthycalculationsand
cometothemostremarkableconclusions.Onemust
really force oneself to understand these speculations.
AgainandagainIhavetothink,OGod,ifthisisyour
futurecoming,Idontgetit!AsfarasIamconcerned,
allthiscansinkintheRhineRiver,ifIcanonlyunite
allpeopleinjustthisonepoint:toexpectsomething
fromGod.
Weshouldnottalktoomuchaboutthesecondcom-
ingofChrist.Wearenotallowedtoknowhowitisall
going to happen.The interpretations of the book of
Revelationspoileverything!Theyspoileverything.Take
thisideatoheart:Whenapersonfindssomethingof
GodintheBible,heshouldactlikeahamster:carryit
quicklyintohisstoreroomandnottothepublic.Itis
ourquiethopethathewillcome.
Sothen,watch.Watch,andbejoyful.Eventhough
fear may overcome you, watch. Something of the
Saviors future will enter into your life. I have often
experiencedthisinthewayIhavebeenled.Thereis
alwaysawayout.EvenwhenIhavefeltIcouldnotgo
Christs
future is
not merely
a coming
event. It is
now, or it is
not at all.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
TheSaviorIsComingNow 33
on, God has opened a new way.Then one can con-
tinue.ThenwehaveaportionofChristsfutureinour
midst.WedependonthiscomingoftheSavior.Allour
thinkingandlivingcomestolifebytheveryfactthat
weareallowedtoexpectsuchgreatthings,thingsthat
willfinallyleadtotruelife.
Inourdaytherearemanypeoplewhohopeforthe
good.Theyrefusetobelievethatthingswilljustgoon
andonastheyareorthathumanitywillnotreachany
goal.Anyhopeforimprovement,anybeliefthatbetter
dayswillcomefortheworld,anystrivingtowardsbet-
tertimes,areaproofandaresultofthisonehopethat
we who believe firmly express by the words, The
Savioriscoming!
Weshouldandcanbeeveralertandwatchful.Jesus
Christsfuturehastobecomeyourpersonalexperience.
Whenever you experience protection and remarkable
help,wheneveryouareledonnewwaysandseeothers
being so led, you should think, This is a piece of
Christsfuture.ThereisaspecialatmosphereinChrists
coming.Allkindsofsigns,allkindsofproofsofGods
help, are visible. However poor we may be, however
weak we may feel, we want to continue hoping and
watching.Atimewillcomewhenyouwillbeallowed
toactunhindered.ThatisapieceofChristsfuture.All
thisremainsamysteryofGod.
The
Savior is
coming.
He is not
sitting
on some
celestial
throne.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
34 TheSaviorIsComingNow
TheSavioriscoming!Heisonthewaytoyou,to
me, to us all, in all circumstances of our lives. Even
whenthingsareastheywereinNoahstime,evenifthe
wholeworldapparentlyisconcernedwithnothingbut
earthlythings,witheatinganddrinking,withmarry-
ingandgivinginmarriage,weshouldnotgiveup.We
mustbealivingpresenceatalltimes.Ourfaithmust
be alivea light of hope, a light in the midst of an
indifferentworld.Itmustbealighteveninthemidst
ofallthewondersofthisworld.Weexpectgreaterthings
thannewtechnologiesandinventions.Weexpectthe
overcomingofthepowersofevil,ofallthesinthatstill
prevails.Weexpectthevictoryoverallthemiserythat
bindssomanypeople,overalltheevilandhostilepow-
ers that seek to torment us.This is our expectation.
Andthiscertaintywillfarsurpassanyapparenttriumphs
that the world flaunts through the work of its own
hands.
Inthisexpectationwewillnotbecomeweary.Inall
ouractivities,wemustliveinJesusChristsfuture.Yes,
there will always be some who complain, who want
things to be different, who always think of the good
olddaysandwanttohavethemback.Theyarequite
wrong,buttheytormentthemselvesandothersaswell.
Awaywiththeold!ItisChristsfuturewewant!
ThefutureofJesusChristmustbecomealivingreal-
ityintheexperienceofeveryChristian,infact,forany-
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35 TheSaviorIsComingNow
onewholongsforadifferentway.Yourlifemustthere-
fore be a piece of Jesus Christs future, your life and
alsoyourdeath.Ourdyingshouldnotleadintodeath
butintolife.EveninourlastmomentsChristsfuture
musttouchus.Thedyingmustexclaim,TheSavioris
coming! Sinners, upon their awakening and repent-
ing,mustconfess,TheSavioriscoming!Inthisway
wewillbewatching.Iknowofnootherwaytodoit.
Inourownlives,rightintothepresent,wehavetoex-
periencehiscoming.ThisistherealityofJesusChrist.
Thiswatchingisapartofourlife,ofourfaith,ofour
servicetoGod.TheSaviorurgesusseriouslytowatch,
watch,watch!asthoughhewantedtolayafounda-
tionforitinourhearts,inourwholelives.Itisasthough
hewerealwayswaitingandasking,HowcanIcome
closertothisperson,tothatperson?HowcanImeet
thisonewhoiswaitingforme?HowcanIgotomeet
manyatatime,sothatagainandagainnewvictories
aregiven?WhatcanIdotomakethecall,Jesuslives,
Jesus is victor! heard throughout Christendom,
throughoutthewholeworld?Forinourwatchingwe
thinknotonlyofourownlives.Wearewatchingfor
thewholeworld.Wearethinkingoftheworldthatis
stillindarkness.
Donotfall,therefore,intothedarknessofindiffer-
ence, but watch! Your own hour will comebe pre-
paredforit.Watch!Neverloseheart.TheSavioroften
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
TheSaviorIsComingNow 36
comesinthemostdifficulthour,inthemostunhappy
times.Watch,fortheSaviorisontheway!Watchfor
theworldtoo.Donotgivetheworldupasthoughit
werelostforalleternity.ItistruethattheSaviorsfu-
turebringsseparation.Ajudgmentalreadyliesinthe
factthatonepersoncancometofaithwhileanother
remainsoutsideforthetimebeing.Butthisshouldnot
troubleus.ThefutureofJesusChristisandwillbea
greatandpowerfulhelp.Alleyeswillbeopened(Phil.
::,::).Thenpeoplewillweepandwailwhentheysee
howwrongtheywere;buttheirtearsmustcontainthe
truthofJesusChristsfuture,oftheSaviorscoming,if
themanyaretoreceivehelp.
WewhohavefaithliveinthefutureofJesusChrist.
Never shall we be able to say that the Savior has not
come,thatwehaveexperiencednothingofJesusChrists
future.Thiscertaintyisourjoy;itisthewellspringof
ourChristianlife.Letusremaininthisjoyfulcertainty
every day of our lives. Let it fill our days, today and
tomorrow.Itwillnotabandonus.Thefactthatweare
allowedtosay,TheSavioriscoming!islikeasurging
tideofGodsspirit.Thistidewillneverend;itwillcon-
tinuetocarryusforward,toleadusandstrengthenus
inallourthoughtsandendeavors,inourwholelife.
Thereforewatch!Watch,allofyou!Leteachonebe
a fighter for Christs future, a servant of the coming
Savior.Giveyourselvesovertohim,andletyourhearts
beprepared.ThenJesusChristcancometoyou,into
If only we
could unite
on this
one point:
to expect
something
from God.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
37 TheSaviorIsComingNow
yourhouse,intoyourhearts,intoyourlives.Neverfor-
getthis:Watch!TheSavioriscoming!
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
Nostatementsays
allthatcouldbesaid. Oscar
Romero
Noprayerfully
expressesourfaith.
IamtheAlphaand
theOmega,thebeginning
andtheending,saystheLord,
whois,andwhowas,and
whoistocome,theAlmighty.
Revelation::
5
IsGodStillDead?
A
littlewhileagoIwasreadingNietzschesThusSpoke
Zarathustra.Zarathustrahadbeenstayinginhis
caveinthemountainsforyears,reflectingabouthim-
self, and then he came out and wanted to leave that
lonelyplaceandgotothepeopleagain.Andashewas
comingdownfromthemountains,thefirstpersonhe
metwasanoldhermit.Thehermitwarnedhimnotto
gotothepeopleandaskedhimwhatmadehimwant
todoathinglikethat.Ilovethepeople,Zarathustra
toldhim.Andthehermitsaid,Itwasmyloveforpeople
that ruined my life; thats what made me a hermit. I
39
40 IsGodStillDead?
love God now, not people.They finished their talk
and separated. And when Zarathustra was left alone
thinkingaboutit,hewasamazed,andsaidtohimself,
Whowouldhavebelievedit!Thisgoodoldmanhas
neverheardthatGodisdead!
Itmademeshudderallover.Anditsactuallytrue
Godisdead!Ofcourseheisntreallydead,butinthe
livesofpeopleheisdead.Nobodygetsveryexcitedif
yousayGod;thatisoneofthemostboringthingsin
theworld.Whenarabbitjumpsupinafield,every-
bodycallsout,Arabbit!andshowsacertaininterest.
ButformostpeopleGodisirrelevant.Heisdead.
There is another way God is dead: our civilization
simplydoesntneedGodanymore.WhatgoodisGod
whenyouareonthetrain?Themanatthecontrols,it
is his job to get me to Stuttgart.The conductor can
groan,thefiremancanbreakhisback,theengineercan
worry,butisntitallthesametome?Ijustsitthereon
thetrain.Thatiswhywecanbesocrudeandruthless
aboutenjoyingeverythingthesemoderntimesofferus;
wedonotneedGod.Scienceandtechnologydonot
needGod.Theyaresucceedingquitewellwithouthim!
Hencethewords,Theywilllookonhimwhomthey
havepiercedkilled,thatis.Godisdead,murdered.
Nietzsche experienced more truth in his wrought-up
nervesthanalltheboringChristians,whodonthavea
seriousthoughtleftforGod!Godisofnorealimpor-
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IsGodStillDead? 41
tance, even for people with religion, because religion
hasbecomemoreimportantthanGod.Thoughpeople
get into tremendous arguments about religious ques-
tions,allthetimeGodisdead.Anditisperfectlyall
rightwiththemifheisdead,becausethentheycando
whattheylike.Thatisanothertraitofourtimes,people
wanttobeabletodowhateverpopsintotheirheadsor
feelsgoodatthemoment.
Butthatisjustit:GodinChristisnotdead,hestill
is the Alpha and the Omega. And everything in be-
tweenischaos,notjustaspiritualalienationinwhich
peopledontknowwherelifeisgoing,butrealchaos.
Menandwomenaremeanttoshareintheworkforthe
end,forGodskingdomonearth,buttheywontshare.
Andsothemadnessgoeson.Thiswouldbeaneternal
chaosexceptthatJesuscame,andthenafewfollowed
him.Butthesefewarentthereligiouspeople,theones
that look out for their own salvation, those who just
join in on religion for the good it will do them. No,
Jesusfollowersarepeoplewhoputtheirlivesatstake
(Matt.:c:,).TheyarebornofGod,andtheyfightfor
Godandfortheearth.Thechurchhasnouseforthem,
becausethechurchwantstomaintainitselfasitis.
Nietzschesaid,Godisdead,andheisright.Butwe
say,Godisalive!Wedontwantagoodlife,eitherin
thisoneorintheotherone.Allwewantistoknowthat
God is alive. I dont want a minute of easy happiness
Nietzsche
experienced
more truth
than all
the boring
Christians,
who dont
have a
serious
thought
left for
God.
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IsGodStillDead? 42
untilthisearthknowsthatGodisalive!Wemustbow
downunderthelivingGodandweepaloudforhaving
killedhimuptonow.Wearebornfortrouble,bornfor
battle.ShameonusChristianswhoarealwayswanting
tohaveitniceandsoft,withabitofGodinourlives!
Wevegottofightuntilweredead,orwearentworth
Christsname.Godcallsouttous,Shareinmybusi-
ness!andwearefoolingourselvesunlesswedothis.
Abrahamwastold,Comeandtakepart,andthere
wasnoquestion.Hedidnotask,Yes,butwhatwill
happentome?Anyonewhoasksthatquestionisex-
cludedandcantbeasharer.Onlypeoplewhowantto
share in Gods work, who want to get to the Omega
andsetthekeystoneinthecreation,knowtherealityof
God.Thekeystoneisspirit,spiritinfleshandblood.
WehavetojointhisspiritagainandagainsothatGods
endingcancomethekingdomofGodonearth.
Thisiswhatmakesprophets;theydontfitintoany
Christian mold. Every prophet damns the Christians
withtheirsmoothandeasyways.Theeasygoingisover
anddonewith.Whentheprophetsarrivetheytakedras-
ticmeasuresbecausetheypartakeinGodsinterest.
Jesus is here on earth. You have to make a mental
about-face, or you cant join in the work. Purely reli-
giousemotions,wantingtosaveourownskinthatsa
measlybusiness.Youreadwhattheprophetsandapostles
say.Whendidtheyeverthinkaboutsavingtheirown
Purely
religious
emotions
thats a
measly
business.
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43 IsGodStillDead?
skins?Theywentintodeath,intotroubleandanxiety
andsuffering,intoeverything,becausetheyweremen
whosharedintheworkwithGod(:Cor.:;::).
It hurts me to see so few who want to go into the
fight.They come to me and pour out their worries.
Onewantsmetoprayforhisheadache,anotherforher
soul,andbothwantlittletrouble,theywantasalveso
thatnothinghurts.Nothingismeanttohurtanymore!
But the chaos wont be beaten back without trouble
andsufferingandafighttodeath.Forthechildrenof
Godthereisnothingbutfighting,nothingbutstand-
ingfirmandholdingthestandardfortherightsofour
Godagainsteverythingthatwontbowdownunderhim
(:Cor.:c::o).Andanythingthatdoesntcomefrom
GodisofSatanevenifithappenstobeaPeterwho
blocksthepathofJesus.
WhatwehavetodonowistoshareGodsworkin
theSpirit.OurlittlebitofChristianitywontsaveus
fromtheterribletimeswhenmillionsofpeoplewillbe
wipedout,unlessGodhaspeoplewhoshareinthework
forhiskingdom.Godspeoplearemeanttodonothing
elseonearthbutliveandworkandfightfortheking-
dom.Thekingdomiscoming!Thatwasthewaythe
disciplesofJesusChristwere.Andthiscry,Theking-
domiscoming!isactuallythegospel.Unlessthereis
an end to the earths chaos, it is pure imagination to
thinkthatwehaveprogressedormovedforward.Our
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44 IsGodStillDead?
civilizationisasham.Wehaventmadeanyrealprogress.
OnlywhenGodskingdomcomesisthereprogressfor
mankind.
Iamthebeginningandtheend,saystheLord.
Dowebelievethat?Believingisonething,butgetting
downtolivingitoutthatissomethingelse.Leteach
oneofusbeearnestwithhimselfandgetoffhissoft
bed.Evenifitcostsyouyourlife,gorightin,intothe
thickofthefight!Jesusisalive,andJesusisvictor,and
hehasgivenusourparttocarryout.
But as we do our part, let us not forget that what
finallymattersisGodsdeeds,notours.WithGodwe
shalldovaliantly!(Ps.:c::,)ThiswassaidbyDavid,
whowenttowarwithoutputtinghistrustinweapons.
Sadtosay,ourfaithdoesnotbringaboutsuchdeeds.
TheonlykindofdeedofGodweknowissomething
like founding an institution without the necessary
money. If, after energetic begging, the money comes
in,wecallthisadeedofGod!This,andotherthings
like it, are all that we know.These, however, are our
deeds,notthedeedsofGod.Theyareallright,butwe
have to admit that they are but a makeshift solution
untilGodcomesandintervenes.Tohopefordeedsof
the kingdomthat is faith. We must be beggars in
thekingdomofGodandnotgoawayfromthedoor
until we have been given something from God. And
wereallyneeddrasticdeedsofGod.
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IsGodStillDead? 45
Inthisrespectthegameseemstobeuptoday.Godis
simplynotarealityforusanymore.Eveninmyown
callingIscarcelyeverbringaboutthelivingconscious-
ness of God that I would really like people to have.
True, I inspire many people, I give lofty thoughts to
manypeople,butstillsomethingismissing,something
thatseemstohavedisappearedfromourtime.Human
beings stand there, bleak and bare.The devout have
losttheirsalt.
ThegreatestdeedsofGodarenotthosethathappen
tosickpeople.Thesearenotsoimportant.Itismuch
more important that we see things happening to the
healthy,thatweseechangesinpeopleslivesandinthe
stateoftheworld.WhatkindofdeedisfromGod?I
wouldsay,forexample,itiswhengunsarenolonger
firedinwar.Doyouthinkthiscouldbepossible?Such
athoughtseemstomakeeverybodychuckle!Butdid
notdeedslikethistakeplaceinIsrael?(Josh.,::,o::;).
Similardeedsarewhatweneedtodaymorethanany-
thingelsesothateverythingistakencompletelyoutof
ourhandsandputintothehandsofthelivingone.Of
course, when something does come from God it will
comeattherighttimeandinGodsway.Whatisnec-
essaryisthatGodsrealityentersagainintoourlives.
Thisiswhatislacking.Godisnotarealityforus.
NoothertimehashadsolittleofGod.Itisquiteex-
traordinary. There is more religion than ever before,
Believing
is one
thing, but
getting
down to
living for
God that
is some-
thing else.
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46 IsGodStillDead?
yet our hearts are much less filled with God. But we
can be filled with such a joy that we can turn over a
new leaf and so become genuine people, a changed
people.To this end we want to be beggars.This will
not come about through outward deeds but through
somethingthathappensfromGodandhiskingdom.
Whenthishasbeenexperienced,wehavegainedevery-
thing.Withoutit,Godremainsdead.
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Noconfession
bringsperfection, Oscar
Romero
nopastoralvisit
bringswholeness.
Jesusbegantopreach,Repent,
forthekingdomofheavenisathand.
SoJesuswentthroughoutGalilee,teaching
intheirsynagogues,preachingthegood
newsofthekingdomWhenhesaw
thecrowds,hebegantoteachthem,
saying:Blessedarethepoorinspirit
Blessedarethosewhomourn.
Matthew::;,::o
6
TheKingdom
IsatHand!
I
ntheSermonontheMount,Jesusspokeaboutthe
kingdomofheaven,andhewasfilledwithamighty
spirit, the spirit of the rule of God. It raised a storm
amongsthislistenerswhenhesaid:Repent!Become
quiteadifferentperson!Everythingmustchange.The
kingdomofheavenisathand!Thatis,leaveallyour
48
49 TheKingdomIsatHand!
preoccupations,giveupallthathasinfluencedyoutill
now,andgiveupeverypowerthathasgrippedyou.A
newkindofpoweristakingover.Anewmonarchison
thethrone.Anewkinghasassumedhisreign.Youshall
haveanewLordoveryou.Theoldispassingawayand
anewtimeiscoming.
ItmusthavebeenapowerfulspiritinJesusthatmade
the people shout, as with one voice, What is that?
Thisspiritmadethembelievehimandtrustthemselves
totheManfromwhomcamethemessageforwhich
manyhadbeenwaiting:Thatishe!Thatistheone
throughwhomthealmightyGodisbringinginanew
rulership,anewkingdomthatishe!(Johno:::,)
AlthoughChristspokeonlyofhumanmatters,what
hesaidwasnotatallacceptabletotheearthlyauthori-
ties.Whathesaidwasnaturalenough,yetitwasmuch
more.Histeachingwasnotagainsthumannature,but
it did bring something of the divine into human af-
fairs, something heavenly into the natural world. In-
deed,itwasasifearthwouldbecomeparadise.People
atebreadinthewilderness,wheretherehadbeennone,
andinplaceofsickness,healthwasgiven.Eventhose
whohaddiedweregivennewlife.Joycameinallits
fullnesswheretherehadbeensufferingandmourning.
Allthistookplaceinthemostcommonplaceexperi-
ences of human life. No thrones were demolished,
no special parties formed, no statues were erected
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TheKingdomIsatHand! 50
everyonecontinuedinhisownhouseandhisownplace.
Buteveryone,especiallythepoorest,hadaccessnowto
somethingquiteother,somethingfromheaven,from
Godhimself.Whenthekingdomofheavencomesclose
tousweexperiencesomethingtotallynew.Intothelife
of each individual something amazingly alive comes.
Gods will is for life, for what is good, free, genuine,
eternal.
Thisishowthekingdomannouncesitself:theruler-
ship of God is not visible through words alone, nor
does it emerge from a different religious understand-
ing, but it consists in deed and in truth (John ,:::).
People become different because they are now living
underadifferentrulership.Thisrulershipisnotahu-
man government but the authority that comes from
heavenintoourhearts.Andsinceitproclaimslife,we
areforlife.Sincethisdivinedominionrulesbyright-
eousness,webecomerighteous.InJesusChrist,theSon
sentbyGod,lifeonearthbecomesfundamentallynew.
Suchtransformationdoesnotcomefromyourownef-
fortsasyouimagine.No,itcomesthroughthestrength
andgraceofGod.ThedeedsofGodcometousanda
newworldisbuiltupthroughthestrengthandsheer
joyinlife:Thekingdomofheavenisathand!Riseup
andgetgoingawaywithallotherdominion.LetGod
beyourLord!Thisiswhatitmeans.
God is not
looking
for heroic
figures. He
is looking
for those
who live
from their
hearts.
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51 TheKingdomIsatHand!
Is this still true for today? Sadly, almost two thou-
sandyearshavepassedandtheworldisstillasleep.In-
steadofthereignofGod,aChristianreligionhasbeen
established.Inthecourseoftimeithasbecomeaccepted
thatthereisbutoneGod,theFather;oneLord,Jesus
Christ.Rightuptothisday,theCreatorisrecognized
andthatisgood.Buttheworldisstillsleepingundera
canopy.Underthisorthatbeautifulchurchroofevery
kindofdominion,otherthanGods,hascreptin.To-
day we are subservient to many different authorities.
Someofusaredirectedinoneway,othersinanother,
andeachofustendtobelieveaccordingly.Thereare
alsoreligiousempires:Catholic,Protestant,Lutheran,
Methodistinshort,everypossibledenomination.But
whereisthereignofGod?
Therearealsodemonicempires:dominionsofdeath;
therulershipofavarice,whichisrootedinmoney;and
thenalltheneedandpovertyyestheneedwhich
drives people to greed and envy and fear. And so we
stand again before the question: Is the kingdom of
heavenimminent?Canwedaretosaytoday,Beon
thewatch,allofyou!Thekingdomisreallyontheway?
Ithasnotcomeinnineteenhundredyears;truly,itis
proclaimedinthegospel,promisedbyGod.Buthere
we are again, subject to so many alien powers, all of
themworthlesscomparedwiththerulershipofGod.
Willitcomeoneday?
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52 TheKingdomIsatHand!
Yes!Thekingdomwillindeedcome!Watchforit!
HowdareIsaythis?Isitfoolhardyofmetosaythis?
No!Iamcompletelycertainofit,absolutelysure.Now
isthetimewhenwehavetosay,Watchout,everyone!
Anewreignisabouttobegin.Godsrulewilldissolve
allotherauthorities,eventhosewehavesofartakento
begood.Butdontbeafraid;thekingdomofheavenis
coming!Intodaysdecisivetime,amidsomuchdishar-
mony,dejection,commotion,wheretheurgeistoput
oneselffirstandinthecenter,totakethelead,topush
agendasthrough,andforeachpartyorgrouptobepit-
tedagainsttheother,eachwantingtobeincontrol
justinthisdaythekingdomofheavenisagaindrawing
near.TodayGodwantstorule,andheisalreadymak-
ingabeginning.Doubtless,inthetimeofJesusitwasa
matterforderisionwhenhesaid,Itisbeginningto-
day!Todaytoo,manypeoplemockanyproclamation
thatJesuswillestablishhiskingdombutmanyalso
understand.Yesindeed,todayisagainadecisivehour!
We must be equipped for the rulership of God, and
thiswillnotdisgraceus.
Weshouldlovenothingmorethantofulfillthejus-
ticeofGod,notinchurchservices(whichoftenattract
people as honey attracts flies), but rather in our daily
lives, wherever we are.That is when we have to work
zealouslyforthecommandmentsofGodandhistruth,
yes,hisrights;therewemustshowourhungerandthirst
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TheKingdomIsatHand! 53
forrighteousness;therewemustprovewhetherornot
wewantGod.Wecannotprovethatinourchurchesbut
mustdoitoutside,inthefields,inbusiness,indailylife,
inyourfamilyyouhusband,youwife,andyouchil-
dren.Together,wehavetolookoutfortherightsofGod.
Youshouldbeveryfearfullestyouneglectanythingin
thepursuitofrighteousnessthatisthecondition.
Therefore,Repent,forthekingdomofheavenisat
hand! Be awake to the thought.Yes, today we must
seizetheopportunityforGodsrulership.Godsmighty
handcanreachintoourlivesandweshallbedifferent
peoplesweptoutofouroldselvesandlivinginanew
time!Wemustgathertogetheragain.Whowillcome
underGodsrulershipwho?
God is not looking for heroic figureswonderful
peoplewho captivate others with their charisma. It
must have been quite baffling to the educated world
when Jesus pronounced, Blessed are the poor in
spiritblessedaretheuneducated,thosewhodonot
trytounderstandeverythingwiththeirintellect!Blessed
aretheywhodonothavetoimpressothersbyshowing
how smart they are. Blessed are they who are not al-
ways theorizing about spiritual things. What Jesus is
sayingisthatitisthedaylaborerswhoareblessed,those
wholivefromhandtomouthandyetareskilledwith
theirhoeorpickax.Blessedarethefarmworkerswith
True
wisdom
is found
in the
streets,
not in
palaces
and
lecture
halls.
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54 TheKingdomIsatHand!
their plow, who cant think much about anything
excepthowbesttodotheirwork.Blessedarethecrafts-
men who create their handicraft and work hard to
finish it on time but do not have time to read many
books.Blessedareallsuchpeoplewhomwelabelun-
educatedforthesepeoplearetaughtbyGod.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these,
thosewhoarepoorinspiritforitisthesewhounder-
standGod,fortheyliveaccordingtotheirhearts.The
othersliveaccordingtotheirheadsandthuscannotbe
used.Theyaretooconcernedaboutwhatmighthap-
penanddontleavetheFatherfreedomtoact.There-
fore,thosepeopleareblessedwhoremainaschildren
toward the Father in everything life brings them and
donotsetthemselvesuptobesuperior,asthoughthe
goodfortuneoftheworldlayinthat.PraiseGodthat
truewisdomistobefounduponthestreetsandnotin
palacesandlecturehalls(:Cor.::::,).Goddoesnot
despisethehumble,theinsignificant,thepoor.Hesees
thedivineimageinthesimplestpeople;heseesthear-
doroftheirhungerandthirstafterrighteousness.He
seesthesufferingofeachone.Heseesthebrokenones
whothroughtheirweaknesshavebecomehumble,pure
ofheart,andmerciful,andwhodonotmaketheirhearts
intoadesert.Heseesthosewhoaresickwithlonging
fortheSaviorswill.TheFatherseestheweariedwork-
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55 TheKingdomIsatHand!
ers,whoareoppressed,workingbythesweatoftheir
brows.Heseeseveryoneandacceptsthemall.Tosuch
asthesethekingdomdrawsnear.
HowgooditisthattherulershipofGoddoesnot
dependontheflauntedabilitiesofafewpeoplewho
areatthetop.No,hisrulershipfirstseeksoutthesick,
thepoor,theabandoned.Godsblessingisnotamatter
of improving the surroundings and decorating the
housesofthosewhoalreadyhaveitmade.Thisiswhy
eachpersonmustbecomepoorandremainso,sothat
itcanneverbesaidtoanyone:Firstyoumustacquire
thisorthat,orelsewecantmakeuseofyou!InGods
kingdomonlyonethingisrequired:acompleteturn-
about. If you are wealthy, let go of those ridiculous
possessions!Saytoyourself,Iwillnotletmymoney
rule me. I wont envy those who have much. I want
onlythelordshipofGod!Ifyouarepoor,turncom-
pletely away from your poverty.I wont let cares and
sorrowsruleme.IwantGodtorulealsoinmygreatest
suffering.Godwillhelpmeagain.Iwillremainunder
hisleadership.
SowhenyouhearaboutGodskingdom,betrueto
it; that is the only thing required of us. Be faithful.
Wherealieninfluencescreepinawaywiththemwe
wantGodalone!Letnothingelsehavedominion;eve-
rything depends on this. Do not work yourselves up
withworry.Yoursinfulness,yourworstqualities,your
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TheKingdomIsatHand! 56
circumstancewillbeovercomewhenyoubecomeaware
ofhowfalsetheworldisandhowyouhaveplayedalong
withit,andhowthepureruleofGodwantstobreak
in.Thenyoucansay:Awaywithallelse.Heretheone
pureSpiritrules!Everythingdependsonthat.
Befaithfulinyourgrief,inyourhungeringandthirst-
ing for righteousness. Only be true to your Father in
heaven(Matt.,:,).Bemercifultothosewhoperse-
cuteyou,thosewhorevileyou.Noswearwordcanhurt
you.Lettherebenothingelsewithinyourheart,inyour
suffering,inyourpoverty,inyouraffliction,oryourcare.
SimplyremainfaithfultoGodsrulershipandhelpoth-
erstodothesame.Becompassionatetowardotherswho
areinneed.Bemeekwiththosewhoaremalicious.If
otherstrytopickaquarrelwithyou,makepeacewith
them.Letnothingcomefromafalseleading.Mostof
all,Repent!Believeinthekingdomofheaven.Wemust
prepareourselvesforthis;betruetoyourself,andbetrue
to others.Then we can conquer the world, and all at
onceGodskingdomwillcometous!
Thiskingdomwhatdoesitconsistof?Inthefirst
place,ofcomfortandsuffering.Whenwearesinking
inourneed,whichisstillgoingon,howeverghastlyit
isatthemoment,thiswordofcomfortpenetratesand
prevails:GodisindeedourFatherandhewillcarefor
us!Thatisthekingdomofheaven.Thatisalsoagreat
miracle.Itcannotcomeaboutthroughwordsthere
How
good it is
that the
rulership
of God
does not
depend
on the
flaunted
abilities
of a few!
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57 TheKingdomIsatHand!
isnocomfortforanyoneinmerewords!Buttheking-
domofheavencomestocomfortoursorrow.Itcomes
toussinnerstobringustorighteousness.Anditcomes
thus,sothattheearthlykingdomalsoisbroughtinto
Godshandandintothehandsofhispeople.Itcomes
inmercyforthemerciful,itbringspeacetothepeace-
makers.Itcomesforthepureofheartsothattheymay
seeGodasheis.Allthesearefragmentsoftheking-
domofheaven.Wemayexpectthemtodayinfaith.
In every misfortune, in each sin we commit, in all
hungerandthirst,ourlongingisforthekingdomto
breakin.Webelieveinit,andweneverwanttoloseit:
Fatherinheaven,webelongtoyouwewanttobe-
longtonothingbutyourkingdom!Itwillbetherefor
thepoor,theburdenedones,thesinners,thesick,those
whoareoppressed,thepoorestofthepoor!Itmustbe
there for them, if only we believe and hold fast to it
and never let it be taken from us. It must be visible
today to everyone who believes in the name of Jesus
the Christ!Then the kingdom of heaven will come,
andthedeedsofthekingdomwillbeperformed.Then
itwillbemanifestedtoeveryheart;andfinallyitwill
alsobecomevisiblethroughouttheworld.Thenitwill
manifestitselfagainstthepowersofdarkness,against
sinanddeath,againstallviolenceandeveryfalseau-
thority.Thisishowthekingdomofheavenwillbees-
tablishedineverydetail.
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58 TheKingdomIsatHand!
Those who cling to the past, who hold on to the
wisdomofthisworldandtoeachhumaninsight,are
ofnouse.Wemustbecomewhole,andwemustnever
cease to entreat, Father in heaven, we give ourselves
up to you completely. We want to be your people.
Whoknowsbutthatthenthishorrificneedthathas
descendeduponourearthmightbeaverted?Butifin
our own cities there are so many who are so severely
downtrodden,shouldwethenjustsetupahowland
lament it? No, we must cry out, Come, we want to
help one another.We want to reach out to each one
andrelieveeachspecialneed.Wewanttojoinwithyou
tobecomeonepeopleservingGod.Wewanttotake
yourhandandentreatGodtogetherthathiskingdom
shalldwellamongus,thatitshallbecomemoreestab-
lishedinourmidstsothatinactualdeedandtruthwe
cansay,HereherewehavethedeedsofGod.Here
wehavenotmerelygoodpeople;hereJesusChristisat
work!
Thuswewanttobecomesalt,wewanttobealight!
Wedonotquestionthatwearesinners;butGodhas
calledus,andwearedeterminedtobeready.Godmust
come to our help so that all other influences can be
blottedoutofourhearts,sothatweshallbecomelike
thepeacemakers,themerciful,themeekones,stand-
ingtrueunderGodsrulership,throwingouteverything
that does not belong to it and rejoicing in adversity
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59 TheKingdomIsatHand!
because of it. We shall thus come to know Gods
strength,Godsmajesty,Godsconsolingpower,thefirst
fruitsoftheheavenlykingdom.Thenweshallbecome
joyfulthatwehaveheardthecall:Repent,fortheking-
domisathand!
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Noprogramaccomplishes
thechurchsmission. Oscar
Romero
Jesussenttwodisciples,sayingtothem,
Gotothevillageaheadofyou,andat
onceyouwillfindadonkeytiedthere,
withhercoltbyher.Untiethemandbring
themtome.Ifanyonesaysanythingtoyou,
tellhimthattheLordneedsthem,andhe
willsendthemrightaway.Thedisciples
wentanddidasJesushadinstructedthem.
Matthew::::o
7
JesusNeedsYou
NotYourReligion
I
t is no good to prepare ourselves to receive Gods
comingbycastinglongingeyestoheaven,expecting
somethingextraordinarytocomefromthereandcatch
theattentionofthewholeworld.Itisonlybyactually
standingupandfightingfortheLordthatwecantruly
prepareourselvesforhiscoming.Weareonlyprepared
62 JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion
whenwearedetermined,heartandsoulhereonearth,
tobecomingtruediscipleswho,withthecomingspirit
oftheLord,wanttosetthingsrightinaccordancewith
Gods truth and justice. We must not indulge in ex-
alted spiritual feelings or in all kinds of speculations
aboutthecomingofChristwiththeideathatthisis
thewaytomeettheLord.Itisbettertothinkofhow
youcangotomeetChristnow,onearth,andhowyou
canbeathisservicewiththingsastheyarenow.
Thisstoryshowshowsimplethiscanbe:Twodis-
ciplesaresenttofetchadonkeyforJesustorideupon.
Theydothis,andbecausetheydoitwithoutthinking
aboutit,theyareservantsinGodskingdom.Afterthe
ownerofthedonkeyasks,Whatareyoudoing?That
donkeyismine,andtheyanswerhim,Letusbe,the
LordandMasterhasneedofit,theownerdoesnot
stop to think about it, but out of respect to Jesus he
surrendersthedonkeytotheMaster.Insodoing,he
becomesaservantofGodskingdombecausehedoes
what is asked of him at the momentthe only true
helptotheSavioronearth.
We must write this deeply on our hearts. Conse-
quentlyIsayagain,keepawayfromalotofreligious
feelings.WemuststandonthegroundwhentheSav-
iorcomesandnotfloatupintotheair.Nowadays,un-
fortunately, many things are done with the idea that
themorespiritualandotherworldlyweare,thebetter.
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JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion 63
Butitisjusttheotherwayround.Themorewelearn
toseektruthandtoactonitasfaraspossibleinthe
situationinwhichGodhasplacedus,evenifthatbein
thedirtofthemostpervertedpeopleandinstitutions,
thebetteritis.FortheSaviordoesnotwanttocomeas
anideabutasareality,whereverpeopleliveandstruggle
(Matt. :::c). It is here that we must make way for
him;andhowcanwedothisexceptbyactinginaccor-
dancewithhisnatureandwill?Andhisnatureissimple,
true,andgenuine.
EverypersonwhoiswaitingforJesuscanreceivea
distinct impression of what is right and good (Rom.
:::::o).Perhapshemayfeelthatoneortheotherhabit
he has cannot be pleasing to God. If he stops it and
changes,thenheismakingwayfortheonewhocomes.
Whenourheartsaresetonthispracticalkindofwait-
ing,Godwillsurelyguideuseverystepoftheway.In
fact,allsincerefollowersofJesuswillbegivensomuch
practicalworktodothatifyouwillpermitmetosay
sothey will hardly have time for long devotions or
forsittinginchurch(James:::;).
ItisthetaskofJesusdisciplestoputthenatureof
Jesusintoaction.Thisfactisgenerallynotunderstood,
sinceJesushasbeencalledafounderofanewreligion.
ButthatisnotGodswordtotheworld.Hisaimwas
nevertogiveusanewreligioninorderthatwemight
We must
stand on
the ground
and not
float into
the air.
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JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion 64
live a bit more decentlyin that case Moses and his
lawwouldhavesufficed.
WithJesussimplecommandtothedisciplestheSav-
iorissaying,Dontmakeareligionoutofme!That
whichIbringfromGodisnotareligion,forallreli-
gionsarerigid.Theydontwanttomoveforward,they
dontintendtochange.Theysetupshrines,theyinsti-
tutemuseums,theysetupcouncils,andbecauseofall
thistheyareastumblingblocktotheworld.Asamatter
offacttobequitefrankourreligionsareahindrance
notonlytotheworldbuttothehistoryofhumanity.
Nothingismoredangeroustotheadvancementof
Godskingdomthanreligion:foritiswhatmakesus
heathens.ButthisiswhatChristianityhasbecome.Do
you not know that it is possible to kill Christ with
suchChristianity!Afterall,whatismoreimportant
ChristianityorChrist?AndIllsayevenmore:wecan
killChristwiththeBible!Whichisgreater:theBibleor
Christ? Yes, we can even kill Christ with our prayer.
WhenweapproachGodwithourprayersfullofself-
loveandself-satisfaction,whentheaimofourprayers
istomakeourworldgreat,ourprayersareinvain.
TheSaviorwillnotallowhimselftobecomepetri-
fiedinreligion.ThatiswhytheSaviortoldthestoryof
the ten virgins, some of whom were wise and others
not(Matt.:,:::,).Withthis,hesays,Therearesome
whomakeareligionoutofme,acozyhaven,astateof
The
Savior is
saying:
Dont
make a
religion
out of
me!
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65 JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion
bliss.ItistheotherswhowillbethelivingChristians,
alwaysopentochange,alwaysseekingsomethingnew,
until the entire world stands there renewed. So ask
yourselves:areyoureadytogoforit,orarentyou?
Dearfriends,wemustgrasphowimportantitisto
surrenderourselvescompletely.ThereissomuchChris-
tianityinwhichheartsarenotsubjugated,somuchre-
ligiositythatleavespeoplejustastheywerebefore.The
waytoserveJesus,togotomeetGod,hasnotyetbeen
understood.Peoplethinktheydothiswithchurches,
sermons,andworshipmeetings,butitisnotdonein
thisway.Thiswayofdoingthingshasbecomesorooted
inusthatitcostsatremendousefforttoturnaround
andfindagainwhatwillreallypreparethewayforthe
kingdomofGod.
WhenJesusspeaksitisalwaysasocialmatter,amat-
terforhumanity.WhatJesusdidwastofoundthecause
of God on earth, in order to establish a new society
thatfinallyistoincludeallnationsincontrasttothe
societieswehavemade,societieswherenoteventrue
familiescanbeformed;wherefathersdonotknowhow
tocarefortheirchildren;wherefriendshipsareformed
andtornapart;inshort,whereeveryonelivesinheart-
ache.Facedwiththiswretchedsocialorder,Jesuswants
tobuildanewone.Hiswordtousisthis:Youbelong
toGodandnottotheseman-madesocieties.
RecentlyIreadalittlebookbyaRussianclergyman
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JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion 66
inwhichhesaysthatweneedneitherchurchesnorca-
thedralsabarnwilldojustaswell.This,however,is
besidethepoint.Jesusisnotthefounderofanewreli-
gion; he renews life. We must love the word of God
spokentohumankind;andifwearetoloveit,wemust
first understand that this word is much greater than
theBible.Itcannotbechained,writtendownasifset
incement.WhenGodswordisfrozen,eventhebest
Christiansareabletojustifytheirhatetowardtheirfel-
lowmen,evenkillingthemandvehementlyseparating
themselvesfromthem.No!Godswordisawordthat
binds,andyetitisawordoffreedom.
Asfreepeople,youronlyloyaltyistoGod,andyour
dutyistoworksothatGodentersintothismiserable,
lost, cursed society. Now compare this word of God
withourChristianity.TodaythereareChristianswho
believethattheywill(afterdeathoratJesusreturn)fly
withtheSaviortoheavenandthenlaughatthoseleft
behind.Ifinditincomprehensiblethatthosewhocall
themselvesdevoutconsiderthemselvesbetterthanoth-
ersorexemptfromGodsjudgment.Thiskindofreli-
gionisfalsebecauseitseparatesmefromotherhuman
beings.Iwillhavenothingtodowiththat!Jesusen-
teredrightintothehumanconditioninallitsugliness.
He united with people. He did not separate himself
fromus.InthesamewayIwanttocomealongsidethe
lowestpeopleinhellandnotseparatemyself.Iwantto
Nothing
is more
dangerous
than
religion:
it is what
makes us
heathens.
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67 JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion
seewhoisfinallydeemedrighteous,andwhetherJesus
isnotgreaterthanourrighteousness.
Donotbeoffended,then,ifIsaythatpeopletoday
thinkofthekingdomofGodasmuchtoosupernatu-
ralandassomethingcompletelyforeigntoourhuman
condition.They think that some day something will
come down from heaven that will change everything
allatonceasifbymagic,andthatinthemeantimeitis
allrighttoletlifegoonasitis,solongasweattendto
ourreligiousduties.Thingshavegonesofarthatyou
canmeetextremelyreligiouspeoplelivinginhorribly
untrueandunjustcircumstances,andtheydonteven
liftafingertochangeanything.Theirfaithmightone
day have to be called a fraud. You know well that to
suchtheSaviorcomeslikeathief(:Thess.,:::).Yet
theSavioralsocomeslikeaconqueror.
Therefore,ifwewouldputrightwhatwecaninour-
selvesbecauseJesuslivesinus,andifwewouldwork
onlyforthegood,thenthewayforhimwouldbeprop-
erlyprepared.Evenifmuchremainsthat,intheend,
onlyhecanputright,wewillshowthatwearepeople
whoarenotsimplywaitingfortheirsalvationinaself-
centered,self-lovingway,butwhoratherareconsumed
byeagernesstosmooththewayforGod,evenifitis
onlyinaverysmallway.
Yes,everythingItellyoueverythingthatisand
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68 JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion
comesfromGodskingdommustfirstbepreparedon
earth.Thismustbecomemoreandmorepracticalso
that in the end it can be tangibly grasped. We must
makeaneffortforhimwherewelive,wherewework,
sothatinallwedowedoitforthesakeofGod.Then
wewonthavetoconcernourselvesaboutwhetherthe
Saviorwillreturntomorroworinathousandyears.We
willalreadyliveforhiscoming.ThekingdomofGod
becomes our cause and is revealed to us in life more
andmoreclearlyandsurely,becausewiththisattitude
weareabletoexperiencesomethingfromGod.
Soleteveryoneconsider:HowcanIshowobedience
insomeway,outoflovetoJesustheLord?Yes,today
howcanIshowobedience?Thereisalwaysgreatjoyin
heavenwheneversomeonedoessomethingforGod.It
canbequiteasmallthing,butitshowswheneverone
thinksonlyofbeingobedient,obedienttoanytrueword
thatstrikestheheart.Allheaveniseagerforsuchdis-
ciples.Wehaveenoughpeoplewhopray,whoattend
meetingsandservices.Andmorethanenoughpeople
whoargueaboutwhattheybelievetoberightorwrong.
But of doers, heaven has not enough! There are not
enoughpeoplewhograspthatinthefirstplaceitisnot
knowledge,ordoctrine,orpreaching,thatislacking.
Whatislackingisrightliving,andthiswillonlycome
about when people together take up a more truthful
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JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion 69
andgenuineattitudeforthesakeofGod.
Thismustbeourattitude.Anenthusiasmmustburn
inus,notmerelytopickupsomespiritualrefreshment,
buttodosomethingforChrist,somethingthatisright
andtruebeforehimandhisauthority.Letusgoatit
enthusiastically,dearfriends.Thisisthewaywewillgo
tomeetGodskingdom.Oh,ifIcouldonlymakethat
cleartoallwhoreadthis!Somuchdependsuponthe
disciplesofJesusbeinginwardlysodisposedthatarich
springofliving,ofactivelife,flowsfromthemthrough
which their whole being, always under control, can
flourishuntilthemomentwhentheycanbelongwholly
andcompletelytotheLord.
Unfortunatelythismatterofbeingdisciplesisadif-
ficult thing, which is why Jesus had so few of them
(Matt. ;::::;). Anyone who cannot follow a com-
mand,awordthatcomestohimintruth,willnotfind
the kingdom. You will not come into the kingdom
unlessyouobey!Themostharmfulthingtotheking-
dom of God is that so few want to be obedient. In-
stead, everyone cultivates his own special brand of
spirituality. There are now a thousand expressions
of spirituality: in short, every kind of piousness. But
whereisthepersonwhowillobeyGodssimplecom-
mandwhenitcomestohimintruthandsubmittoit?
Whereisthepersonwhowillallowhimselftobethrown
Christianity
can kill
Christ.
So can
the Bible.
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70 JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion
intothegutterforGodandJesusandyetremaintrue,
likePeter?Suchapersonknowsinhisheart,Jesusis
theway!Iwillfollowhimfordeathorlife!Eventhough
thisgoesagainstallmythoughtsandfeelings,Jesusis
victor!Iwillstaywithhim.
I tell you, Jesus will come as a conqueror and will
strikeyoudownwithoutmercyunlessyouareobedi-
entpeople,inspiteofallyourhopesforGodsking-
dom(Rev.,::,).Evenifyouareweak,itdoesntmat-
teraslongasyoucansay,Iwillfollow!Iwillfollow!I
willfollow!WhereverIseetruth,Iwillgostraighttoit
andnotpausetoconsider.IwillserveJesusforthesake
ofGod!Onlyinthiswaywilltherebeacircleofdis-
ciples around Jesus upon whom he can depend. He
doesnt need strong people, nor so-called confident,
bold, trained, or courageous people who push things
aheadintheworld.Heneedspeoplewhoarebroken,
whofearlesttheybecomedisobedienttohiscommand.
Thosearethepeopleheneeds,fortheyareservants.All
theotherswhohaveamanufacturedpietyandfeelthem-
selvessosecureinit,areforthemostparthardlyusable
asservants.Butthosewhofearandtremble,thosewho
areshakenandshockedbythewordoftruthyetjoy-
fullysayyesandtakeactionthesearehispeople.
Therefore we must learn to surrender ourselves in a
verysimple,practicalway,andgoatitwithzeal:Iwill
surrendermyself;IwillkeepGodscauseuppermostin
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71 JesusNeedsYouNotYourReligion
myheartsothatitmaycometobeonearth.Wewant
toliveinsuchawaythathereonthisearthlyplanesome-
thingvisiblemayhappenthatwillbringhonortoGod.
MayGodgrantthatwegraspthisandareconfident
init.Itissoeasyandsimpleandclearthatanychild
canunderstandit.Leteveryone,inhisownplace,be-
come obedient. Listen! Listen, children, when some-
thingthatisrightissaidtoyou,andbeeagertodoit.
You,youngmenandyoungwomen,ifyouknowthat
something is right, do it! You older ones, men and
women,ifyouseethatsomethingisright,doit!And
anyone else among us, sick or healthy, high or low,
impoverishedornotifyouknowthatsomethingis
right, then do it! Dont think too long about it. Just
consider:isitright,ornot?Ifitisright,goatit.Then
youwillfindChrist.
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Nosetofgoals
andobjectives Oscar
Romero
includeseverything.
Whatshallwesaythen?Shallwego
onsinningsothatgracemayincrease?
Bynomeans!Wediedtosin;
howcanweliveinitanylonger?
ThedeathJesusdied,hediedtosin
onceforall;butthelifehelives,
helivestoGod.Inthesameway,
countyourselvesdeadtosin
butalivetoGodinChristJesus.
Romanso::::
8
TheNewLife
T
heapostlePaulwritesaboutanewconditionof
life.Thisideaisforeigntousnow.Whatdowe
know of death?We are always trying to preserve our
life,frettingoverearthlythingsandfillingourhearts
withthedesiresofthislifethissamelifethatalready
containsthewormsthatareasignofourcorruption.
And yet things should have changed by now with us
73
74 TheNewLife
Christiansinthatweshouldreignaskingsinlife,and
deathshouldnolongerdominateeverything.TheLord
Jesusbringsthisabout.Hehasmadeitpossiblefora
newconditionoflifetobegininus.
Previously, as the apostle says elsewhere, death be-
camekingthroughAdamssintothedamnationofall
(Rom.,:::).Theydiedandcouldnotbehelped.No
helpexisted.TheLordcouldtemporarilyprotectand
shelter a few through the promise, but in reality all
peopleweresubjecttothelawofdeath.Deathwasking
andtheonlypoweronearth.Butnow,throughChrist,
anewlifehascomeintobeing.Becauseofhisdeed,life
willnowrule.Nowbyawordofjusticeeveryoneshall
bereleasedfromdamnationtoenterintolife.Ourwhole
beingwillbeimmersedinthis,andweourselvesshall
ruleoverlife(Rom.:::).
AtfirstsightitlooksasthoughJesushasdoneevery-
thing,arrangedeverything.Noweverybodymayreceive
graceandbeabletoliveinGodsgrace.Shallwegoon
sinningnow,sinceeverythingissoeasyandChristhas
doneeverythingforus?Canwesitbackandrelax,think-
ing, God be praised and thanked, the Savior is very
loving,hesavesme.Hesavesme! Ofcourse,Iamstill
aterriblesinner,buttheSaviorsavesmethroughgrace!
Sopeopleliearoundandlivelikeeverybodyelse,with-
out thinking that Christs righteousness should cause
ustosetthingsright.Wemustgointothenewcondi-
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TheNewLife 75
tionoflifewithourwholebeingnotjustskimaround
it,comfortingourselvesthateverythingisnowallright,
thatJesushasmadeeverythingrightandwillprepare
everythingforus.No!Wemustmoveintothenewness
oflifewithourwholebeingandreallyhavelivingsoil
underourfeet.Thereisnootherwayifweunderstand
the Savior rightly, and that is what baptism means.
Baptismisnothinglessthananeventthatallowsusto
partakeofChristsdeathsothatwemaylivewithhim
andenterintothenewlife.Baptismisthereforusto
dietosinandtobeburiedinthefleshwithChristso
that we too may enter into the resurrection of Jesus.
Justashewasawakenedfromthedeadbythegloryof
theFather,sowetooaretobeginanewlife.
ThusthedeathofJesusChrist,orthedyingtoour
selfishnature,istransmittedtousbytheSaviorbymeans
ofbaptism.Thisshouldgripussothatourwholebeing
respondswithayes.Inolongerhavetoworryabout
this life of sin. I can strive for something different!
Therefore,ifanyoneisinChrist,heisanewcreation;
theoldhasgone,thenewhascome!(:Cor.,::;)
Wemustbecomefilledwithzeal,withjoyandgrati-
tude,gladlyenduringanything,howeverhard,inorder
tobefreeofdeathandofthislifeinthemidstofdeath.
Thenthepowersoftheresurrectioncomeclosertous;
thenChristreallybecomestherisenone,andanewlife
comes into being. Not the kind of life we have been
Everybody
wants to be
saved, but
who has any
real desire
for a new
life?
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TheNewLife 76
seekinguntilnow,tryingtobealittlebetterthanother
people,thinkingthatitisanewlifeifwestealalittle
lessorwalkaroundalittlemoredecentlythanbefore
or wear a more respectable coat, or if we exchange a
criminalscapforsomethingmoreacceptable.Allthis
issupposedtobeanewlife?Bah!Itisnotatallaques-
tionofbeingbetterthanyouwerebefore.Thenewlife
meansthatforcesforlifecannowbeseenwithinyou,
thatsomethingofGodandofheaven,somethingholy,
cangrowinyou.Itmeanswecanactuallyseethatitis
nolongerthesinfuldesiresthathavepower,butthat
thereissomethingofChristsresurrection,something
ofhislifethathaspowerthroughtheSpiritandthat
leadsyoutowardwholeness.
Oh,howfarmostofusChristiansarefromthis!How
Ibemoanthefactthatitisallsofarawayfromus.Oh,
thatourlivesmightberevealedtousandthatwemight
seehowtheoldlifestillclingstous.Thenwemight
experiencewholehearteddesireforwhatisnew.Every-
bodywantstobesaved,butwhohasanyrealdesirefor
anewlife?Arewenotalongwayfromriskingourown
skins?Eachofushasacertainlayerofskinaroundus,
andwewanttosticktothatskinandgotoheaveninit.
For most people it is too scary to think of giving up
theirownselves.Theyfeelsoverycomfortableinthat
oldskinandwillnotsurrenderitatanyprice.Recently
IspoketosomeonewhoishighlyregardedinChristian
Todays
Christian
cultivates
a sofa
lifestyle.
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77 TheNewLife
circles.Hehassethimselfupverynicelyandcomfort-
ablyinasplendidhousewhereeverythingisjustwon-
derful.Atthesametimeheissupposedtobeapastor
and to preach, which he does. But when I saw him
thereamidallhiscomfort,Isaid,Listen!Youarerot-
tingawayunderallthis!Butpeoplewouldratherlie
downontheirsofa,andonthemostcomfortableone
toboot!Theyjustdonotseehowthisleadstodeath
(Matt. :,::o:,). Yes, along with our Christianity,
todays Christian now cultivates his sofa lifestyle, his
religiousknowledgeandconductandalltherestofit,
believing that now he has attained the very best that
Christhastooffer.
Oh,dearpeople!Letuseachaskourselfwhetherwe
donothavealittlecornersomewherethatweliketo
crawlintoandnotbepulledawayfrom.Therewelie;
andGodcanknockandpreachasmuchashelikes,but
wewillnotcomeout.Thisiswhythechurchasawhole
doesnotcometoanewlifeinwhichsomethingofGod
isrevealed.Manypeopletakeittomeansomethinga
littlebetterthantheiroldlife,somethingmoremoral
butthatisnotwhatChristcametobring!Whatismeant
isalifeinwhichsomethingofGodreallycanworkand
whichshowsthatGodlivesandChristlives,alifein
whichspiritualthingsarenolongeridletalkbutareal-
ity. What stupid people Christians often are! Most
Christians have absolutely nothing worth saying
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78 TheNewLife
simplybecausetheyhavesolittletoshow.Thenewlife
that Christ came to bring never quite reaches into
thetemporalandearthlythings,neverovercomesthis
world.
Wemustmakeacompletelynewbeginning.Ikeep
comingbacktothissamepoint.Weneedtobegincom-
pletelyanewagainandagain,moredeeply,morethor-
oughly,morefully.Wemustdothisuntilwereallyhave
laidanewfoundationforwhichtohaveaSavior.Forif
wereallyreachapointwhereweareunitedwithChrist
in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with
himinaresurrectionlikehis.Thenwewillenterintoa
completelynewlife.Whatatremendousthingitisto
meettheresurrection!
TheapostlePaulwaswellawareofwhatthenewlife
meant,andthereforeallhislettersardentlydeclarethat
weshouldnolongerserveoursinfulnature,ourflesh.
All self-serving must be left behind.Thus Paul writes,
ForHissakeIhavesufferedthelossofallthingsand
countthemasrefuse,inorderthatImaygainChrist
(Phil. ,:). Individuals like Paul have experienced
somethingofGod,haveheardsomething,touchedsome-
thing,absorbedsomething.Godisnolongeratheoryor
an idea: That which we have seen with our eyes and
touchedwithourhands,concerningthewordoflife,we
testifyto.Thisisthemessagewehaveheardfromhim
andproclaimtoyou,thatGodislightandinhimisno
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TheNewLife 79
darknessatall(:John::,).Wewanttohavenothing
moretodowithdarkness!Awaywithitall!
Then the new world comes to meet us, something
newcomesin,anditgoeswithoutsayingthatthesin-
fullifewillcease.Thisdoesnotmeanthatwesimply
saygoodbyetothisworld,forevenifwechaseoursin-
fulpersonalityoutthefrontdoor,thenextminuteit
willcomeinagainbythebackdoor.Nomatterhowwe
chase it, we cannot get rid of itunfortunately! We
canonlysighoverit.Butwemustsighinallearnest-
ness, not with the thought at the back of our minds
thatwegettokeepthisorthatpartofournatureand
somehowsqueakthroughwhentheSaviorcomes.No,
weshouldsighasthoughwereallywanttoparticipate
indivinethingsandwanttobethosewhoreceivesome-
thingofGod,oftheresurrectionofChrist.Weshould
beaszealousforthisasweareforsuccessinjobs.For
menandwomenreallybecomezealousintheircareers,
workingalldayandduringthenighttomakesurethey
do not lose anything!That is how zealous we should
be.ThatiswhatweshoulddoforthekingdomofGod.
Itshouldbepartofourfleshandbloodtobefighters
forGodskingdom,fightersforthenewworld.Other-
wiseGodsbenefitwillintheendalsoescapeus.
Iamafraidforus.ThoughIhavepreachedagreat
deal, my general impression is always the same. In a
fewindividualsalittleisatwork,butitisquiteremark-
Most
Christians
have
nothing
worth
saying
simply
because
they have
so little
to show.
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80 TheNewLife
ablewhatresiliencepeoplehave.Itisexactlylikealittle
rubberbandthatonepullsuphigh.Whenoneletsgo,
itsnapsrightback;theoldselfisthereagain.Weare
the same afterwards as we were before. Are we really
concernedaboutwhetherornotwewillbeabletocome
through?Whenthingsbecomemoreserious,whenev-
erythingisontheline,willwehaveenoughenergyto
wanttobelongtotheSavior?Orwillweloveourown
livesmorethanhim?Youdonotneedtoworrythatthe
LordJesuswillforsakeyou.Onlytakecarethatyoudo
notforsakehim.Seethatyouarenottakenbysurprise
likeLotswifeandthatyourpossessionsarenotmore
important to you than the Savior. When he comes,
many will be so surprised. Instead of bowing before
himtheywillfirstofalljumptotheirwalletsorinto
theirkitchens.ThefreedomofChristwillnotbedis-
cernibleinthem.
Now,doyounotfeelPaulszeal?Healsowaswor-
ried,whichiswhyhewrotehislettertotheRomans.
And why did he write to them in this way? He was
afraidtheyweredraggingChristianityintothedirtand
thattheyfelttheyhadnothingmoretodotheSavior
haddiedandrisenagain,andthatwasthat!Theapostle
is dismayed and thus exclaims, Do you want to re-
main like this? Do you want to end up in the flesh,
having begun in the Spirit? The Savior cannot help
you unless you have turned to something quite
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81 TheNewLife
new(Gal.,:,).ButifwehavediedwithChristandare
likehim,thenweshallalsolivewithhim.Nowhelives,
andoncewehavebrokenthroughthewholeworldly
structurecompletely,nothalfwaythenewworldcan
shineuponus;andonlythenwillwehavenothingmore
todo.ThenweshallnolongerliveforsinbutforGod,
asChristnowlivesforGod.
TolivefreelyforGod.Oh,ifonlythiswereso!To
livenolongerforourcastles,nolongerforourwealth,
none of this, but to live for God alone. Oh, if only
this would happen! May the Lord have mercy on us!
Mayhesoonopenuptheheavenssothatwecanun-
derstand, for it almost seems that people just do not
understandandthatallisinvain.Butletusnotlose
courage.Anewtimeiscoming.Evenifonlyafewde-
sireearnestlyandzealouslytostrivetowardGodwith
theirlives,itiscoming.Andindeaththeywillfindlife.
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Thisiswhatweareabout:
Weplanttheseeds Oscar
Romero
thatonedaywillgrow.
MayIneverboastexceptin
thecrossofourLordJesusChrist,
throughwhichtheworldhasbeen
crucifiedtome,andItotheworld.
Neithercircumcisionnoruncircum-
cisionmeansanything:whatcounts
isanewcreation.Peaceandmercy
toallwhofollowthisrule,
eventotheIsraelofGod.
Galatianso:::o
9
ForgetYourself
forGod
T
heLordofCreation,theGodofthenations,has
otherpeoplethanus.WeChristiansarenotex-
actlythemostimportantandbestintheworld!Weare
onlyonegroup,buttherearealsoothers(John:c::o).
ItisverykindofGodtoincludeusamongthem.We
83
84 ForgetYourselfforGod
should not only think of this more often, we should
feel it. We need to pull ourselves together, for Gods
sakemuchmorethanforourown.ThatiswhyIcan-
nottoleratethisincessantwantingtobesaved.Iamso
angryaboutourchurchbecauseitonlyinstructspeople
howtobesaved.Weshouldfirstlongtobesetright.
Just like a scoundrel of a son who makes demands
and wants to be made happy, so there are Christians
whoseemtoalwayswanttobethefirstandforemost.
Theylaughtheangelstoscorn.Theyaretheproudest
peopleintheworld,neverthinkingwhatuncleancom-
pany they would make in heaven. We should think
aboutthismore.IfwearechildrenofGod,thenbeing
savedisultimatelyasecondarymatter.Themainthing
istowork,toworkoutoursalvation(Phil.:::::,).All
ourthoughtsanddesiresshouldbeaimedtowardsee-
ingthatnotwebutGodisglorifiedamongallpeople.
Itisnotaquestionofourlookingforwardtodyingand
goingtoheaven.No!IfIamachildofGod,thefirst
thingtolearnistoforgetmyselfandseekanewcre-
ation.Thisissomisunderstood.
Ifweseekfirstoursalvationandthenthekingdomof
God,therewillneverbeanylightontheearth.Misery
will increase and the darkness will not be held back.
Theremaywellbemanywhorejoiceintheblessedness
ofheaven,butonearth,miseryandneedwillincrease
with each passing year. God has therefore given us a
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ForgetYourselfforGod 85
newmotivation,movingourheartstocryout,No!We
willnotthinkfirstofoursalvation.Wewillnotseekour
owngoodfirst!Wewanttobeservants!Wewanttoseek
Godssalvation,Godsglory,Godskingdom!
Wedonotfirstwanttosaveourselvesandbesatis-
fiedwiththis.Butwewanttotaketoheartthesighing
ofallcreation,thelamentingandgroaningofcountless
humanbeingswhoarecertainlynothelpedbyoursal-
vation,butareonlyhelpedifwecryoutandpray:Thy
kingdomcome!Theyarehelpedonlywhenweexpe-
rience Gods intervention with heated fighting and
strugglingandwiththesurrenderofourownwell-being,
evenofourownsalvation.
Tothisthechurchiscalled,andbecauseofthisIcry
out,Forgetwhatisyours!Denyyourselves.Gowith
JesustothecrossforthegloryofGod,andleaveyour
salvation to the creator of all things (Luke ,::,:;).
Donotthinkofyourselves;thinkofthegrievingheart
of your Father, who longs to have his peace come to
every creature. But who is there to help him? Who
willsacrificehimselfandtakeupthecross?Whowill
give up his own pursuits, as good as they may be, in
order to serve the Father? Which of us, especially us
Christians, will give up the happiness of this world?
WhowillpermitGodsjudgmentuponhim,whowill
seekthehandofGodtocarryoutjusticeontheearth?
The
church
only
instructs
people
how to be
saved. We
should
first long
to be set
right.
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86 ForgetYourselfforGod
TheBibletellsofthefightinwhichtheearlyChris-
tiansfoundthemselvesandwhataterriblyhardtime
they had. Out of a thousand Christians today, how-
ever, scarcely one would be able to endure such a
struggle.ThefirstChristianswerelookeduponasout-
casts,verymuchasgypsiesarelookeduponinourday.
Theywereviewedasnotbelongingtotheeducatedclass,
fortheyhadonlyacrucifiedoneasGod.Whatfool-
ishnesstohavesuchaGod!(:Cor.:::o,:)Inourtime
wehavenoconceptofwhatthisreallymeans.Todayit
iseasytobelieveinthecrucifiedoneandtobeaChris-
tianbutinthosedaysonewasthoughttobeacom-
pletefool.Thisiswhytheapostlesusedsomanylofty
expressionsconcerningoursalvation.Theysoughtto
strengthenthechurch,whichfounditselfintheheatof
battle,inorderthatitmightnottireinthefightbut
wouldinsteadkeeptheprize,thepreciousjewel,before
itseyes.ThatisPaulsmainpurposeintalkingabout
salvation.
Todaywecry,Oh,tobesaved!ButGodsays,Ido
notneedyouinheaven;Ihaveenoughsavedoneshere.
Ineedworkers,peoplewhogetthingsdoneonearth.
Firstservemethere.
I wish with all my strength that all this religious
warmth and comfort, which keeps Christians always
looking to heaven instead of living rightly on earth,
woulddie.TodaysChristiansaresodeceivedintheir
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87 ForgetYourselfforGod
warmfeelingsofsalvation.Whatnonsense!Ifyoudo
notwanttobecomedustforGod,ifyoudonotthink
ofhisnameratherthanyourown,then,ifyourhearts
aretormented,youhavenosympathyfromme.Any-
thingdonethatisnotdoneforGodisinvain.Ifyou
believeinJesus,butonlyinthesenseofwhatyouwill
gain,youwillneverovercometheworld.
Oursalvationismeantforonlyonepurpose:tohonor
theFather.WhenwehonortheFatherwedosointhe
way he manifests himself on earth. We lay aside our
ownglory,evenifthiscontradictsthewaywefeeland
think.Awaywithit!Weseekthetruthandjusticeof
theLordintheSavior.Wecanonlyask,Isittrue,oris
itnot?Everythingdependsonourfindingtruthand
justiceanduponrighteousnessbeingrevealedonearth.
Everyone,inhisownplaceorposition,canjoininwith
this.Itdoesnotdependuponasystemofbelief.Ifa
personissincereandwantsJesusintruthandjustice,
thenhewillbewelcome.
WemusttakeseriouslywhatJesusdesirestobeon
earth!IftherearenopeopleinwhomJesuscanlive,if
religiouspeoplelivetheirlivesmindlessly,ifweChris-
tiansletallthescripturalpassagesandprayersrolloff
ourtonguesasthoughtlesslyasaparrotsoundsoff,and
if we simply relate them to our precious little selves
without stopping to consider whether the conditions
ofourlifeandofourworldarerightthenitisour
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88 ForgetYourselfforGod
faultifnothingnewbreaksintoourlives.Onearththis
principleprevails:ifyoudonotwanttosubmityour-
self completely, surrender yourself entirely, then God
willlookforsomeoneelse.
Doyouwanttohavereligion,towheedleyourway
outofeverythingandsay,Goddoesallthingsforus!
Oh,howIamlookingforwardtoheaven;howniceit
willbethere?Ifthisiswhatyouwantthenyouwillbe
surprisedtohear,Whatareyouandyourpietydoing
here?Youshouldhavebeenfaithfulonearth.Youshould
havegivenupeverythingsothatJesusmightlivehere
among us. Where shall God be revealed? On earth.
Notinheaven.Hedoesnotneedyoutherewherethere
arealreadyplentyofangelstohonorhim.Yourplace
is on earth! This is the salvation the angels long to
observe(:Pet.:::c::).
Take it seriously. Our deeds and life, our redemp-
tion,belongtotheearth.Yourkingdomcome,your
willbedoneonearthasitisinheaven.Thisisnotthe
hopelessplacethatpeoplethinkitis.Muchcanbedone
onthisearth.Whatcountsisanewcreation.Christs
future belongs to it! More can happen here for God
thanifahundredthousandpeoplediesaved.Butwho
canunderstandthis?OnlythosewhoallowJesustobe
glorifiedcanunderstanditthosewhogivethemselves
todeathsothatJesuslives.
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ForgetYourselfforGod 89
If,however,weasChristiansdonotjudgeourselves,
theworldwillremainthesamenomatterhowmuch
weachievematerially,buildingrailroadsandinstalling
telephones throughout Africa, or in one day sending
out thousands of missionaries to the lost. By this we
mayindeedchangesomeideasormakesomeimprove-
ments of an earthly nature, but the situation will re-
mainthesame.Wehumanscanaccomplishnothing.
Wemayattendtothisandtakecareofthat,butactu-
allyweshouldonlylooktowardwhatJesusdoesand
willdo.Ouronlyconcernshouldbethathe,thecom-
ingone,lives;thathe,thevictorandruler,livesinus.
Then, through him, we may perhaps be used.Then,
throughhim,oursalvationmaycount.
Ifweviewthingsinthisway,weshallreceiveaname
andbeknownaspeoplewhocanbeused.Butwemust
beusedonGodsterms,notours.Somanypeoplewant
tospreadChristianityandChristiancultureamong
the unbelieving, but it is really a serious question
whether the lost receive the glory of God when they
receiveus.Theevangelicalssay,Ifonlyeverybodywere
saved,Godsnamewouldbeglorified.Thechurchly
peoplesay,Ifonlyeverybodywouldgotochurch,then
thenameoftheLordwouldbeglorified.Idontbe-
lieveit!Thatisnothowhewillbeglorified.Suchmeans
donotglorifyGodunlessadivinepowercomesinto
peopleslivesandchangestheirsituation.
I dont
need you
in heaven,
God says.
I need
people
who get
things
done on
earth.
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90 ForgetYourselfforGod
Wecanpreachasmuchaswelike,butpeoplekeep
ongoingtochurchfortheirownsakesnotforGods.
Justtestitout:ifyoupreachsomethingtheydontlike,
theygrumble.Ifitissomethingtheylike,theypraise
it.Iftheydontgetsomethingoutofitforthemselves,
thentheythinkitisfalse,ortheygoelsewhere.Today
so many people go to church but so few are really
changed.Afewmaybe,butintoomanycaseschurch-
goerspersistintheirsinful,worldlyways.Nothingtruly
changes.
Itshouldbeunbearabletothoseofuswhobelieveif
weareworthlessforthetaskforwhichwehavebeen
put on earth (Eph. ::).We have been placed in the
midst of creation, but sadly we have lost the feeling
thatwearehereforapurpose,notforourselves,but
forsomethingfargreatertobeservantsoftheliving
one. This is what makes us feel so sad, so defeated.
Peoplemostlysitinchurchthinkingonlyaboutthem-
selves. Each one bemoans his own lot and looks for
something in himself and for himself, without really
knowing what Gods purpose for the earth is. One
wouldliketocryouttothemall,Goodpeople,forget
yourselves! ThinkofGodscause!Startworkingforthat!
Oratleastbesorry,notthatthingsaregoingbadlyfor
you,butthatyouhavenothingbettertodothancon-
cernyourselveswithyourownpettyaffairs.
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91 ForgetYourselfforGod
The most terrible thing for us is that God cannot
really use us. No wonder that we degenerate despite
ouradvancements.Everyoneofuswilldegenerate,even
intemporalthings,ifwearenotactiveaspartofagreater
wholewithhighergoals.Butanyonewhoworkswith
love and joy for something greater than himself will
thrive,evenintheworstofearthlycircumstances.All
the values of life, both physical and spiritual, will be
destroyedifwedonot,ashumanbeings,haveworkto
doforthelifeoftheearth,forcreation,forGod.
I wish I could hammer this into your hearts, dear
friends. Much more could come if we would forget
ourselvesandthinkofthathigher,moreimportantcause
forwhichwearehere.AndJesuswillhelpusinthis.
HeisthebrightnessandradianceofGodonearth(Heb.
::,).GodcontinuestoshineinthisMan,forChristis
thereforGodspurpose,notours.Thatishissignifi-
cance,thatiswhyhehaseternallife,evenifnailedto
thecross.HeisthereforapurposeGodspurpose.As
forus?Itseemsasifanyflycandestroyusbecausewe
driftalongwithnopurposeoutsideofourselves.But
with Jesus it is different. The Father of the creation
shinesthroughhim.AndbecausethisManknowswhat
itistoserve,creationfeelsarenewedhopethatevery-
thing will be brought to order again and that the
ruinedearth,whichhasbecomeawilderness,willbe
restoredagainforGod.
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92 ForgetYourselfforGod
ThisiswhytheSaviorcame.Andforthisreasonhe
will come again. To be sure, Jesus is personally and
closelyboundtoeachperson,butifwedonotwantto
helphim,ifwedonotwanttopreparetheway,thenhe
mustsetusaside.Lestyouforget,theSavioristherefor
God,andonlyafterthatforyou.Myfood,Jesussaid,
istodothewillofhimwhosentmeandtofinishhis
work(John:,).WeChristianshaveturnedthiscom-
pletelyaround,believingthatJesuscameonlyforus.
Weflatterourselvesinthiswaywiththeillusionofhav-
ingJesusforourown.ButItellyou,theLordwillnot
careaboutusifwedonotwanttohelphim.Hecan
putusallaside,forheworksforGodandnotforus.
Therefore,donotflatteryourselvesanymore.Hehas
alreadybeguntocutthethreads,andwhoknowshow
itwillallworkitselfout?
Overthecenturiespeoplehaveonlythoughtabout
howtheycouldprofitmostfromtheSavior.Butthere
willsoonbelittleprofitleftinourpocketsifthethought
doesnotalsocome,nowIwanttoserve!NowIwant
tobesomethingforGod!Iwillnotbeconcernedabout
myselfanylonger(Mark:c:,).
Thatiswhythesenseofpeaceandgraceescapesso
manyChristians.Theprofitandpowerofgraceissoon
usedupifweareherewithnopurpose,ifwedonotsee
thatwearewhatweareforGodssake.Ifwedonot
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ForgetYourselfforGod 93
learntounderstandourrelationshiptotheearthasone
inwhichwearecalledtoworkuponitforGodandhis
kingdom,ourliveswilldissipateinutteraimlessness.
Christianstodayarejustliketheworld.Atbottom
there is no difference.The attitude of Christians to-
wardwhatisworthlivingforisnotonewhitdifferent
thanthatoftheunbeliever.True,weknowmoreabout
God and about Jesus, but we are covetous and have
kepteverythingforourselves,notonlyspiritualthings
but material things too, much more so than all the
unbelievers.Andso,withallourknowledge,wearein
the end worse than the most ignorant of non-Chris-
tians.Cantyouseethis?
Today is a time when God casts his eyes upon the
earth to see who can be used. Used, that is, without
distinction.Whateverclothesyoumaywearonearth
mattersnothingtoheaven.Itisnotaquestionofwho
youare,towhomyoubelong,thethoughtsyouhave
grasped or what creed you hold to. The question is
whetheryourheartisopenforthecominggloryand
radianceofGoduponearth.Thenitdoesnotmatter
whatorwhoyouare.IthinkthattodaytheMuslims,
theJews,justasmuchasallthedifferentkindsofChris-
tiansof which there are an embarrassingly wide
rangeareallbeinglookedatbyGodtoseewhether
theyhavelivesthatcanstandunafraidbeforeGodat
Lest we
forget, the
Savior is
there for
God, and
only after
that for
you.
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94 ForgetYourselfforGod
hiscoming.Ifthatisthecase,thenthetimecanquickly
comeforthemtobecalled.Perhapsfornowtheydo
not know very much about heavenly matters. But if
theirheartisright,theycanstillbeused(Ps.,:::;).
And so a time of humanity is approaching, yes, a
time of humanity when God will be glorified in his
people.IfyouthinkatimeofChristianityiscoming,
theChristianityweseearoundustoday,thenyouare
mistaken.Atimeofhumanityiscoming,forJesusis
thegloryofhumankindinheaven,andGodisnore-
specterofpersons.WhoeverfearsGodanddoesright
ispleasingtohim.Outwarddifferencesplaynopart.
Doesthisdepressyou?Areyousad?Doyousay,But
Ihavebeenabelieverforsolongandnownon-Chris-
tiansaretobeplacedonanequalfootingwithme!Is
thatwhatyousay?Why?YouseeintheSavioronlyan
advantageforyourselves!Thenitwillbewithyouasit
waswithJonah.
Butbelieveme,youJews,youCatholics,youevan-
gelicals, you Muslims, believe meall of you.Today
Godsonlyconcerniswhetheryouwanttobeofany
usetohim.Doyouwanthimtobeglorifiedinyouor
not?Justsayyes.Nogentilewillbeexcluded.Justsay
yes,andeverythingelsewillbegiventoo.Thisshould
beadaywhenthousandsandthousandspledgethem-
selvesonlytoGod:Wewanttobeyourpeopleonce
more.Wewanttobelongtoyouagainonearth.How
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95 ForgetYourselfforGod
shamefullyhascreationbeendefiled!Howshamefully
havethenationsdishonoredyourname!Howshame-
fullyhavewedealtwitheverythingonearth,following
thelustsandgreedofourhearts!Butnowoureyesare
opening.Thelifeoftheworldisbeingdissipatedatour
hands.Andwewillruinitcompletelyifwedonotful-
fill your purposes for it.Therefore we pledge to you,
almightyGod,thatwewanttobehereonlyforyou,
withallourheartandsoul.Whateverhappenstous,
we want to sacrifice our bodies and our lives, every-
thing,sothatonceagaintheremaypeoplewhoprepare
thewaywithalltheirheart.
Thosewhowillnotforgetthemselvesandsurrender
theirlivestoGodandbecomesomethingforhimon
earth will have no part in the Savior. However pious
they may appear to be, it will all be to no avail.The
severesttimesofGodarecomingovertheearth,forthe
sighingofcreationhasascendedtohim.Ifwecontinue
standinginGodsway,wewillbenothinginhissight
anymore.ThereforeIaskyoumakeastart!Theoth-
erswillsoonfollow.VowtoGodthatyouwanttoserve
him,howeverpoorandinsignificantyoumaybe.For-
getyourselves.HavepityforyourKing.Havecompas-
sionforyourGodwhohasbeensomiserablycheated
byusmortals.
Andevenifyoucannottranslatethisrightawayinto
an outward, visible deed, nevertheless a grieving and
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96 ForgetYourselfforGod
cryingoutforGodshouldstiryourheartsevennow.
Wemusthumbleourselvesandfeeldeeplydistressed
thatwehaveservedourGodonearthsolittle.Then
theSaviorwillcome.Thensomethinginuswillchange,
renewingourwholepersonandmakingusfittoglorify
Godinanewlifeforhiskingdom.
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Wewaterseeds
alreadyplanted, Oscar
Romero
knowingthattheyhold
futurepromise.
See,IlayastoneinZion,
atestedstone,apreciouscorner-
stoneforasurefoundation;
theonewhotrusts
willneverbedismayed.
Isaiah:::o
10
GodIsSeekingaZion
W
henever Gods cause on earth is about to leap
forward,GodalwayscreatesaZion.Thatmeans
acommunityofpeoplewholiveadistinctlifeandkeep
anopenheartandmindforGodsworkingandspeak-
ing.TherehasneverbeenanyilluminationfromGod
giventotheworldwithoutsuchareality.Lawsthatare
rightinthemselvesbecomelivingandtrueonlyincon-
nectionwithsuchaZion.WithoutaZionwewither
anddieaway.Thusmanydoctrinesproducesomething
relativelygoodonlyaslongastheyarealiveinhearts
thatseekGodandformaZion.ButifthisZionceases,
98
99 GodIsSeekingaZion
even the best of dogmas will die off, and the church
thattheyhavemadeformanytodwellinwilltotter.
Thisisnotalwaystoberegretted,becauseanything
thathascomeintobeingwithintimeisonlyrelatively
good,andwheneverdivinetruthcomestoexpression
inwordsandinstitutionsitisboundtoreflecttheim-
perfectionofourhumancondition.Repeatedly,ithas
togivewaytosomethingmoreperfect,untiltheper-
fectionofGodskingdomcanmakeitsfullappearance
(:Cor.:,:,).Thusourconfessionsoffaith,ourdenomi-
nations,showsignsofnotremainingfirm.Numerous
peoplearewithdrawingfromthemopenlyorunobtru-
sively,andhowevermuchwemaywanttohelpGods
kingdom by binding them anew to confessions and
creeds, we shall not succeed. Noble-minded, God-
seeking people can no longer subscribe to them. We
should therefore never suppose that those who with-
drawfromchurchandcreeddosobecausetheywant
tohavenothingtodowithGod.Onthecontrary,there
are many who do not want to forsake God but seek
him,andsotheystriveaftersomethingdifferentfrom
thatwhichhasappearedsofar.
Thatcanbeaconsolationwhenweareapproaching
atimeinwhichweareexperiencinggreatchanges.A
movementmayyetcomeintobeing,onethatatfirst
maywalkindoubtandunclarity,butneverthelesspro-
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GodIsSeekingaZion 100
videsthesoilfromwhichanewshootspringsupthat
provestobeaZionofGod,forwhosesakeGodcan
callintolifenewidealsfoundedoneternaltruth.Tobe
sure, we must be very careful not to accept anything
tooquickly.Greatzealforourreligiouspersuasionscan
beverydisastrousandpossiblybecomedirectlyopposed
toGod.LetusremindourselvesthatJesushimselfop-
posedthis,andthosewhowerezealousforanexisting
structure of Gods people became in time enemies of
Godswill(Luke:::,:,,).Itcanalsobelikethatnow.
The great devotion that so many people spend upon
various church organizations and ministries, each of
whichholdsitselftobenecessary,isproofenoughof
howmuchofthehumanspiritthereisintodaysreli-
gion.Whatishumanisimperfectandcannotbepre-
servedforever.Soletourworkscollapse,andthoseof
Godwillbreakforthallthemoreclearly.
However, we should not wait in a merely fatalistic
wayforsomethingnewandbetter,butinsteadsurren-
derourselvesforit.Irepeat,ifsomethingfromGodis
tobreakforthintheworld,therehastobeaZiona
community under his rulership. Without that it will
not happen. Already with Abraham and his servants,
alongwithhisson,therehadtobeaunitedfellowship
ofsoulswhollydirectedtowardGod,soulsabletore-
nouncethemselvesandalltheyownedinordertobe
Never judge
those who
withdraw
from church
and creed.
They are
often the
very ones
who seek
after God.
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101 GodIsSeekingaZion
preparedforGodtoact.Eventhesepeoplewerethen
GodsZion.Godhasalwayssoughtoutsuchpeople,
rightuptothepresent.
It is the same with Moses as with Abraham. With
Mosesafoundationstoneandcornerstonewaslaidin
Zion.NowtheeventsofZioncouldbegin.Godsspirit
swept,asitwere,outofZionandovercametheworld.
But Zion was nothing more than a few people who
sacrificedthemselvescompletelyforit.Thatishowit
wasagainandagaininIsrael.IfthispeopleofZionwas
missing, the rulership of God was missing. Again,
SamuelhadtobeamanofZion,andtotheextentthat
hewasso,therulershipofGodwaspresent.Attimes
when the nation fell away from God, David and the
prophetshadtobethepeoplewholivedforGodalone,
in order to draw others to themselves for Gods pur-
pose,inself-denialandsacrificeoftheirwholebeing.
Later,whenIsraelwaslanguishingincaptivity,God
couldnotsimplyhelp.Certainlythepeoplesheartswere
inneedofhelp,buttheywereunabletosurrenderthem-
selvestoreceiveit.HowcanGodhelpunderthesecir-
cumstances? For a Zion to be found, a people must
arisewhowillsurrenderthemselvesandwhoarewill-
ing to pursue the course upon which Gods help can
come.There must be people who are there for God,
andwhollyforGod.EventheSaviorcouldnotcome
withoutaZion.AmanlikeSimonhadtoforsakehis
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102 GodIsSeekingaZion
formerwaysandgatherothersaroundhim.AZacharias
hadtobefoundandanElizabeth,aHannah,aJoseph,
and finally a Mary.They had to be Zion so that the
cornerstonecouldcomeinwhichalljusticeandtruth
forthefuturelayhidden.Jesuswasbornandisnowthe
stonebywhichwemustletourselvesbefounded.
Thenagain,throughthedisciplesaZionwasformed
aroundJesus.Afterwards,however,Jesuswasnolonger
seen. He died, and he arose, but he ascended to the
righthandofGod.Sohowshallthingscontinuenow?
Jesuswouldhaveaccomplishednothingifhehadnot
keptaZioninwhichhecouldlive,apeoplewholet
themselves be governed by him in the Spirit for the
gloryofGodandallowedthemselvestobeinstructed
abouttheestablishmentofGodsjusticeandtruthon
theearth.Ifhisdiscipleshadnotbeenofonemindin
resistingtheworldandregardingasemptyanduseless
everythingthatdidnotcomefromabove,thenameof
Jesuswouldlongagohavebeenforgotten.Withoutthis
Zionallwouldhavebeeninvain,includingtheempty
tomb.TheSaviorcouldhavegoneinglorytothethrone
ofGod,andwewouldhaveremainedunenlightened.
Itwouldhavebeenspokenaboutforatime.Butifwe
merelytalkaboutsomething,thehistoryofGodfinal-
lybecomesjustaquaintstory;ittakesitsplaceamong
thelegends.Thatwouldhavebeentheendofthereal
lifetowhichtheseeventsaremeanttobearwitness.
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103 GodIsSeekingaZion
Just how much the Savior expects from a Zion is
shownbyJesusprayerinJohn:;.Thisprayershows
thatnothingwillbefulfilledintheworldunlesspeople
sacrificethemselvesforaunityofheartandsouland
freethemselvesentirelyfromtheirformerlifetohave
intheirheartswhatisnewandperfect.Thatwasthe
power of God in the apostles. Jesus disciples were a
Zion,preparedforallthatGodwasdoingwithoutany
considerationofhowthisorthatwaspossible,orwhat
wasreasonableorunreasonable.Theyhadtoasknoth-
ing,butonlytosurrenderthemselves.Sotheapostles
standtodayasamiracleandasignintheworld.Afire
ofthealmightyGodproceededfromthem,apostolic,
notinwords,butinpower.
Sadly,toacertainextent,thisapostolictimecameto
asuddenend.Theapostlesdied,andgraduallythisZion
disappeared.Certainlythefoundationstonecouldnever
beremovedfromtheworld.Christhadplowedadeep
furrow.Therehavebeendevoutpeopleeversince.But
onthewhole,thatwhichisofGodhasbeenoverrun
byhumanspirits.
Churchhistorydoesnotmakeforpleasantreading.
Earlyonpeoplebegantothink,Arewereadyforthis
ornot?Dowewantsomethingmoreornot?No!What
wehaveisenough;afterall,wehaveourfaithinChrist,
and through him we have salvation. We have a new
religion,whichhasbecomepowerful,surpassingallthe
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GodIsSeekingaZion 104
others.Thatissufficient.Wedontneedanythingmore.
ThroughtheyearstheZionoftheapostleshasdisinte-
gratedintohumanideals,andrealprogresstowardsthe
wiping out of the curse of sin and death among the
peoples has been frustrated. Christianity has become
onemorereligion.Andinthisreligionpeopleareata
standstill; it is the same old misery of sin and death.
Hardlyatraceofresurrectionandtruelifereachesinto
peopleslives,makesitselffeltphysically,ortakesform
inthehereandnow.Humanclevernessspringsuplike
mushrooms.Humandoctrineshavebecomemixedwith
thetruthofChristianfaith.Rightfromthebeginning
the church fathers had to appear in order to restrain
thegrossestoffenderswhocalledthemselvesChristian.
And as to prophets, there is not a word so much as
mentionedanymore.
Yes,wehavechurchfathers,butwhereistheZion
ofGod?Againandagainwehavesetuphumanopin-
ionsandpersonalconditions.Itisquitestrikinghow
theserunthroughouthistoryrightdowntothepresent
time.Everyonesetstheconditionsunderwhichheor
shewillparticipate.AndChristianityjustdriftsalong
quitenicely.ButwhereistheLionofJudah?Whereis
thefearoftheGodwhoseeksmenandwomenready
tosurrendertohimwithoutconditions?Oncemoreit
iswewhorule.Intheendweaponshavetodecidethe
issues.Warandthesheddingofbloodpavethewayfor
Without
Gods
Zion all is
in vain,
including
the empty
tomb.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
105 GodIsSeekingaZion
Christianity,becausewehumansprevailwithourself-
will,nottheLionofJudah.HehasnoZion.
IntheReformationtimeacryforthisZionarosein
Lutherssoul.Hesoughtapeoplefreelysurrenderedto
Godsgrace,withoutself-righteousworks,andinthishe
wasright.Butwhatmustwesay?Theclericalelement
still muddied up the stream of the Reformation. Too
manyhumanbeingswantedtorule.ButZionisnotlike
this. Gods Zion is the fellowship where Christ rules,
wherewehumansdonotemergeasarulingpower.Ifwe
aretobeaZion,thenitisJesusalonewhomustrule.
Ifweexpectsomethingnew,wemustgetreadyfora
Zion.WemustprepareourheartstoserveGodalone,
withoutregardtoanypositionwemayhaveasmem-
bersofoneortheotherdenomination.Inthiswaywe
shallbeagentsintheforwardmovementofGod.We
shallbetrulybiblicalagain.Fortobebiblicalistobe
free.Ifweunderstandthis,wewilltakeupapractical
attitude. We will not be downhearted and sad when
whatwehaveestablishedtotters.Instead,wewillgladly
renounce what we have been doing so far and begin
tobuildanewfoundation.Jesuswantstorevealhim-
selfbyhissovereignty.Forthistohappenwemustac-
ceptthatourrulemustend,whereverandhoweverit
exists.WehavetosurrenderourselvesforanewZion
unconditionally.
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106 GodIsSeekingaZion
If anyone is ready to commit himself, let him lay
asideanyandeverycondition.Forexample,youmay
say, Good, I will seek this Zion, but please do not
comenearmewithmiraclesandsignsofGod;theyare
outofplaceinourtime.Yes,dearfriend,butifGod
wantstorevealhimselfanew,youmustbeabletosur-
renderyourselfforit,nomatterhowitlooks.Others
mightsay,AllknowledgeofGodisfoundonlyinthe
Bible.ButwiththisyoustrikeGoddirectlyintheface.
WhoisLord?theBible,orGod?Stillothersmight
exclaim,Yes,Iamreadytoexperiencegrace,butnot
Godsjudgment.ButifitispleasingtoGodtoexer-
cisejudgmentandtorevealhisjustice,whileyouare
only ready for some kind of one-sided love, you are
settingupacondition.GodsZionsmashestopieces
our conditions. This is perhaps the great mistake
throughwhichourtheologianscometogrief,forthey
record down to the smallest detail what God may or
maynotlegitimatelydowithus.
Againyoumakeaconditionifyousay,Iwillhold
ontothisZion,butcantIalsoenjoysomepeaceand
quiet?ThetimehascomewhenGodsays,No!Today
youmustservemeintrouble!Youcannotsitdowncom-
fortablyinpeacewheneverythingiswrong.Wecan-
notsitdownpeacefullyandhappilywhileGodscause
issufferingaffliction.Afterall,wearenotliketheworld
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
107 GodIsSeekingaZion
withitsreligions.Orarewe?Wemustnotsettledown
inourChristianity,butallowourselvestobemadeun-
easysothattheremaybeatrueadvancementagainfor
God.IfGodwantstospeaktous,dowewanttoshrink
backandsay,No.Idontwantthat!Yetthatisexactly
howwespeak.AndtheZionofGodfindsfewpeople.
A new time can be ours if we prepare ourselves in
quietandhaveheartsthatlongforaZiontocomeinto
beingagain.WithoutZionthereisnoclarity.Whoever
understandsthiswillsurrenderhimself,notcaringfor
himself but caring for God. He will think: now my
whole heart shall be aflame for this, that I become a
personwithwhomGodcandowhathewants,aper-
sonwhonolongerconsidershimselfatallbutconsid-
ersonlytheLordJesus.Nothingelseisofconsequence
tomeifonlyImaysurrendermyselftotheruleofGod.
ItdoesnotmatterifIshallbejudged,orifIamalready
fittoreceiveGodsbenefits.Onethingonlylivesinmy
heart:togiveupeverything,ifitserveshim.
Thereshouldbeaneagernessamongus,somuchso
thateachshouldwanttobethefirst,foronthisbasis
weareontheracetrack.Everyoneruns,onegainsthe
crown.Butitdoesnotmatterifoneisfirstorlast,if
onlyonecomeswithenthusiasmforGod,offeringup
houseandhome,wifeandchild,andeverythingelsein
single-heartedfervorthatonlyJesusmayliveandrule
inallthings(:Cor.,:::;).Thishastohappen.One
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108 GodIsSeekingaZion
dayalltheworldwillexperiencethecornerstone.Itwill
happenallthesoonerif,whatevertheirdenomination,
those who believe in Jesus Christ are on fire for the
ZionofGod.
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Welayfoundationsthat
willneedfurtherdevelopment. Oscar
Romero
Weprovideyeastthatproduces
effectsfarbeyondourcapabilities.
WhenJesussawtheyoungmansmother,
hisheartwentouttoher,andhesaid,
Dontcry.Thenhewentupandtouched
thecoffin,andthosecarryingitstoodstill.
Hesaid,Youngman,Isaytoyou,getup!
Thedeadmansatupandbegantotalk,
andJesusgavehimtohismother.
Luke;::::,
11
NotWords,butDeeds
W
hatcanwedowithastorylikethisone,where
Jesusbringsadeadmanbacktolife?Whatdo
wedowiththiswhenwehearthattenthousandchol-
era victims are buried in a common grave? And how
muchmoreofthemiseriesofdeathdowenowexperi-
ence? Where has a dead person ever been raised? So
what are we to make of this story? And who among
thosewhobelieveinJesuscanreallyfindthecourageto
takeaneventsuchasisdescribedheresoseriouslythat
110
111 NotWords,butDeeds
hethinksthisshouldalsobepossibletoday?Forwith
greatsorrowwecanask,whereis Jesus,therisenone?
WhereisJesusinahumanracescarredandsearedby
wantanddespair?
Isheperhapshiddeninourhearts?Whocansay?There
mustbesomethingofhimintheair,sotospeak,other-
wisewewouldnothearhisnamespokenbysomany
thousands.Norwouldweexperiencethecountlessnum-
berofpeoplewhohave,insomedegree,alongingfor
Jesus. But if we consider the powers of this Man, we
must sorrowfully hang our heads, for we scarcely see
anytracesoftheseanymore.Thepowersofwhichour
Christianityboastsareessentiallynodifferentfromthe
powers that are quite customary in the world.We no
longerseeanythingoftheJesuswhoisLordoverdeath.
Thisisagainandagainthecauseofallourmisery!
We could almost lose heart. If Jesus Christ cannot
manifesthimselfamongusasresurrectionandlife,then
wearenodifferentfromanyoneelse.Wehavenoright
tolookdownwithdisdainonothersjustbecausewe
feelthatourbeliefsaboutJesusaresuperiortotheirs.I
sayweshouldinsteadsinkdowntothegroundinre-
pentance.Weshouldbeashamedthatwearenotyet
people who can experience things such as we read of
hereinLuke.Afterall,ifthereisaGodwhosentJesus
intothefleshinorderthathebeproclaimedastheone
who rose again from the dead, then it is simply not
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NotWords,butDeeds 112
understandablethatthisGodwouldwanttheresurrec-
tionandthelife-givingdeedsofJesusChristtobeleft
standingasamerecuriosityintheworldacuriosity
that we pass over reverently, but still without being
struckbyitandwithoutexperiencingthatJesusisthe
resurrectionandthelife(John::::,).
MostChristianscomfortthemselveswiththoughtsof
theLastDay.ButIsaythatthislookingtowardsthe
finalresurrectionhasalmostbecomeaslackerscushion.
We Christians are always pushing things off until the
secondcomingofJesusChrist,untiltheendoftheworld.
Itisalmostasifwesaytoourselves,Itmakesnodiffer-
encehowwedie.Everythingcanremainasitis.Wehave
onlytobelieveandwaituntilanewworldcomes.But
inthisfashion,dearfriends,webecomepeoplewhoex-
periencenothing.ThenitisnomysterywhytheSavior,
the seed of life, the living seed of resurrection, cannot
takerootinusandbringforthlastingfruit.
Death,whichweoftenencounterinthisorthatepi-
demic,isactuallyeverywhere.However,thegermsof
diseaseonlybecomedangerouswhentheyfindtheright
soiltogrowin.Thensuddenlytherearemillionsupon
millions of them, the whole body of a person is in-
fected and within a few hours he lies lifeless, a prey
todeath.
Itisthesameinlife.ThroughJesuswereceivestimu-
lation for living. Certainly this can be experienced
Have I
a right
to preach
Jesus, the
risen one,
when
so little
changes?
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113 NotWords,butDeeds
withouthavinganyeffect.Justasweoftenfeelatouch
ofsicknesswithouttherebeinganygroundsfordeath,
sowealsocanfeellife-givingimpulseswithoutreallife
grippingusanddrawingusintoitsrealm.Thus,espe-
ciallyinourday,wehearofmanymovementsoflife
springingupinthenameofJesus,buttheyareshort-
lived. We actually see nothing of an incisive break-
throughthatwouldmakepeoplebecomealiveandbring
somethingnewintolife.Wefindverylittleofthisno
matterwherewelook.AndforthisreasonIsometimes
havetoaskmyselfifIamevenentitledtospeakaword
about Jesus.This is often the greatest temptation for
me.Ioftenthink,howcanIevenreadthisstory?Have
IarighttopreachJesus,therisenone,whensolittle
changes?ForwherecanIseeorexperienceanythingof
this?Evenifmanystirringsoflifearetobefelt,thereis
nothingwhichonecouldcallrisingfromthedead.
Therearenotevenisolatedinstancesofwhichonecould
say,See,thatisJesus,therisenone.
Inlightofthis,ourviewsandopinionsarecompletely
unimportant.Theyareridiculousincomparisontowhat
actuallyhappens.Comparedtowhathappens,ourbe-
liefsandviewshavebeenblownuptomonstrouspro-
portions.SomeembraceaBlumhardtviewofJesus
thevictor,whoperformsmiraclesandraisesupthedead,
whileothersholdthatBlumhardtisafool.Stillothers
maintainthatwhattheBibledescribesisallnonsense,
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114 NotWords,butDeeds
allinthepast.Inshort,differentChristianviewpoints
dominate, and what actually takes place is left com-
pletely behind, so much so that the most significant
thingsarearguedawayintooblivion.
Themaniaforopinions,fordifferentinterpretations,
is so great among us that we very easily dismiss even
themostpowerfuloccurrences.Oninnumerableocca-
sionsithashappenedtomethatwhenItrytoimpart
whatIhaveseenoftheresurrection,Iamtold:Oh,
thatcanbeexplaineddifferently.Thatalsohappensin
thehospitals;everyoneexperiencesthat.Suchabar-
rier has been erected in peoples minds, even among
Christians, that whether or not it is expressed or ad-
mitted,weliveasifsuchthingscanneverhappen.If
thisisthecase,thenonecanwellask,Havewearight
topreachJesus?Doyouthinkitisapleasuretogiveto
peoplesomelittletreasure-trovefromtheBible,anice
little explanation of a text, for example? If only God
wouldgrantthatIhadnothingmoretosay,thatIhad
nounderstandingoftheBibleandinterestednobody
withmyideasaboutit.IfonlyGodwouldgrantthatI
knewnothingoftheology,butsimplyhaddemonstra-
tionsandproofsoftruelife(:Thess.::,).Jesuswould
be revealed more clearly to the simple, to those who
hunger and thirst! Jesus does not want to renew the
worldthroughideasbutthroughdeeds.
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NotWords,butDeeds 115
Oh,howIwouldbesatisfiedifyoucouldonlygrasp
thisonepoint.Jesushasbecomethesubjectofsomany
interpretations,anditisthesethathavecausedtheter-
ribleneedwearein.ThereforeIlongsomuchthatyou
couldcounteverythingaslossinordertogaintheliv-
ingChrist,includingallyouhavelearned,allthatyou
feel,andalltheideasandnotionsthatconcernandstir
you(Phil.,:;::).Idaretocontend,andIwillcontend
withthelastdropofmyblood,thatJesusiscompletely
different from what everyone holds him to be today.
Whatpeoplethinkofhimissheerloss,andwhatthey
dowithhimcanleadtothegreatestruin.Theypush
peopleintotheoriesaboutJesus,andintheprocesshis
livingrealityislost.Jesusisputtodeathevenbythe
devout,who,mindyou,especiallydonotwanttohear
mesaythis.ButImaintain,andwillcontinuetomain-
taininthefaceofeveryopposition,thatJesusiscom-
pletelydifferentfromwhatisproclaimedtoustoday!
Heisamanofdeeds,ofGodsdeeds,notthetopicof
discussions.Therearemiraclestodayjustasinthattime,
forJesusistherisenonetodayjustashewasthen(John
::::).Whoevertrulybelievesinhimwillseethistobe
truesomething to be experienced. And if a person
doesnotbelievethis,thendespitethemostbelieving
opinionofJesus,suchapersondoesnotyetgraspthe
AofthealphabetofwhoJesusis.HekillsJesusalong
withalltheotherswhokillhimwiththeirunbelief.
People
think that
Death is
something
dead. No!
Death is
something
alive.
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116 NotWords,butDeeds
Butwhatdowedonow,dearfriends?Peoplewillsay
tome,Youcantalkasmuchasyoulike,buttomor-
rowyouwillbedead,andyouwillalsobeforgotten!
ThereforeIwillnotstopwiththis.Thestorywehave
heardisnotsimplysomethingtobemarveledat.Itis
notaboutbeautifulideasofrisingfromthedead,but
aboutsomethingpractical.Itmustmakeanimpacton
ushereandnow,orwearelost!
Inthisconnection,letusrecallthegospelstoryabout
theyoungmanfromthetownofNain.Thisaccount
speaks of the terrible oppression by the scribes and
Pharisees,andofhowtheywantedtosilencethemes-
sageofJesus.Yetinspiteofthis,Jesusinfluence,his
breath of life, penetrated into the house of a certain
widow. She was timid and surrounded her son with
motherlycare,buthersonburnedmoreandmoreto
meetJesus.Withthegenuine,intenseenthusiasmthat
youngpeopleoftenhave,hethought,Iwanttomeet
thisJesus!Whatamanhemustbe!Howmuchwehear
about him. He could not sleep without dreaming of
his desire to come near to this man.This was wildly
aliveinhimandalmostconsumedhim,forhedidnot
knowhowtobringthisabout.
Thentheyoungmandied.Andwhentheycarried
outhisbodyandencounteredJesus,hisfamishedspirit
wasappeasedandhesimplyhadtoliveagain.Hewas,
sotospeak,infectedbyJesus.NowasJesusapproached
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117 NotWords,butDeeds
him,thewholelifeofJesustheSonofGodtookhold
of the young man. The soil had been prepared, and
whethersciencecanaccountforitornot,hesatup.
Ifwewanttoexperiencetherisenone,ifweareea-
gerlywaitingforthecomingone,thenwemustalsodo
ourpart.Theremustbesomethinginusthatcanriseto
meetthisJesuswhenhecomes.Andthen,whetherwe
arephysicallydeadoralive,weshallarise.Whetherwe
areinthebodyoroutsidethebody,weshalllive.But
theremustbeaseed,howevertiny,whichisfullypre-
paredtoriseupandmeetJesuswhenheapproachesus.
Idonotmeantosaythatweshouldprayforlotsof
miraclestohappen.No,suchthingsdonothappento
deadpeople,nottoreallydeadpeopleinwhomnoth-
ingatalllives.No,whatismostimportantisthatthere
is something alive, something genuine and whole on
thisearth.Wemustallowourselvestobeinfectedby
thelivingpresenceofChristnow,orelseGodsdeeds
willnevercome.ForthisSaviorofoursreallywantsto
be among us in resurrection and lifein actual fact
andnotjustinourheads.Thenperhaps,justaswith
theyoungman,thiswillsofillourheartsthatitwill
overflowinlongingforthatwhichGodshonorseeks.
If you graspwhatI am saying,then youmustand
will get completely away from yourselves. For this is
nottobemixedupwithourownpersonaldesiresand
longings.Ourlongingsinregardtomiraclesarecom-
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NotWords,butDeeds 118
pletelysecondary.TheonlyvaliddesireistoseeJesus
theChrist,tomeethim,becausehehascomefromthe
Fatherandiscomingagain.Onlyonedesireisimpor-
tant:thatthepowerandnatureofJesusmayagaintake
shapeuponearthandbeseenoncemore,whetherin
meorinaChineseperson,orinwhomever.Itdoesnot
matteratall.ThemainthingisthatJesusisagainun-
derstood for what he is.This desire, this fervency of
heart,mustliveinus(Heb.::::,).Withoutthis,we
remaindead.Inthisfervencywemustforgetourselves
anddesireonlyGodsdeeds,onlyJesusrulership,only
thespiritoflife,insickness,temptation,andtribula-
tionsofallkinds.Thisisthepracticalrealityofresur-
rectionIamgettingat:sighandlongforthisJesus!
People think that Death is something dead. No!
Deathisabacteria;itisaliveandfindssoileverywhere
inwhichtopropagateitself.Itkillsnotonlythebody
but often, long before this, spirit and soul. Death is
somethingalive,andthislifeofdeathissomething
you need to recognize more and more. I will not say
toomuchaboutit.Perhapssomeofyouhavefeltsome-
thing of this for a long time already. It is something
eachonemustfeelandcometoknowforhimself.Ican
onlyhintathowmuchisalivethatcomesfromdeath.
When we feel this, however, we will indeed know
thatitisJesusweneed,fornodogma,nosystem,no
ideologycankillthisbacteriaofDeath.Nomatterwhat
It is not
a matter
of nursing
dead
people, but
a matter
of us all
becoming
new
people.
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119 NotWords,butDeeds
wearetaughtreligiouslyinschoolorathome,evenif
welearntorepeatwordforworddifferentversesfrom
the Bible, the forces of death are not, as a result, de-
stroyed.Wemustbefilledwithamuchmoreglowing
heat,hotterthanalltheheatwithwhichweareableto
killthebacilliofsickness.Andwecanobtainthisheat,
thisardor,whenwedistinguishbetweenthethingsof
heavenandthethingsofthisworld,betweenthelifeof
deathandthelifeofGod.Truly,thepersonwhoper-
ceivesthisdistinctioncan,withalltheardorofhisheart,
longthatJesus,theonlypossibilityofsalvationfrom
thislifeofdeath,mayappearoncemore.Icantunder-
standwhypeopledonotgiveupeverythingelse!Ican-
not understand why people do not have a glowing,
burningdesireforthisJesustoappear.Onlybytheboil-
ing heat of longing for Gods deeds, only in fervent
expectation,canthelifeofdeathbekilled.
May the Lord give us strength that we do not be-
comeweary,andmayJesushimself purifyus(:John
,:,).ButafightliesbeforeusandImustsaythis,even
ifIamtheonlyonetoexpressitlikethis:theverylife
ofJesusisthemainissueintheworld.Thereisnothing
elsethatmatters.Wemustpersevereinthebattlefor
thelivingChristandbecomeevermoreardentinour
desire to gain only this Christ, and nothing else. For
Christ is completely different from the Jesus of our
churches and of our opinions. If we can persevere in
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120 NotWords,butDeeds
thisglowingheatoflongingwecanthenexperiencea
little of the death of Death. We shall also experience
thatthestreamsofGodsfuture,thelifetocome,will
flowthroughtoallthepeoplesoftheworld.Oh,how
smallandtrivialwillourpresentconditionappearto
bethen!Itisnotamatterofimprovement;itisamat-
terofrenewal.Notamatterofnursingdeadpeople,
butamatterofusallbecomingnewpeople.MayGod
grantthatweexperiencethis!
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Wecannotdoeverything,
andthereisasenseofliberation Oscar
Romero
inrealizingthat.
IwanttoknowChrist
andthepowerofhisresurrection
andthefellowshipofhissufferings,
becominglikehiminhisdeath,
andso,somehow,toattaintothe
resurrectionfromthedead.
Philippians,::c::
12
ChristIsRising
O
nlywhenwehavepersonallyencounteredChrist
haveweenteredintoanewworld.Wemustactu-
allycometoChrist,andnotjustthroughthemotions
ofcomingtohim,readingabouthimintheBibleand
saying,Heisafineteacher,andhesayssuchgoodand
beautifulthings;Iamgoingtotryhardtodothem,and
Imgoingtostickwithhim.Hesagoodman,oreven
GodsSon.Wecandoallthatandthismightwellmake
usacertainkindofgoodChristian.Butmorethanthat
hastohappen.Ourheartsandmindshavetobelifted
122
ChristIsRising 123
toanotherspherealtogether(Col.,::),wherewecan
liveandarrangelifeonanentirelydifferentbasis.
It is easy to wonder how people will ever become
different.Everythinghumanlypossibleseemssomis-
erablyinadequate.Anythingwedotochangetheval-
ues or morals of some group of people or other does
notseemintheleasttohaveanyeffect.Welivebefore
agreatblackbackgroundoutofwhichhorribleforces
keeprisingandmakinghumanbeingssoinhumanthat
theysinkbelowthelevelofbeasts.Evenwithallour
civilization,allourtechnologicalknow-howandIdo
not want to belittle the advantages of thesehuman
natureonthewholeiswrappedingreatdarkness.
But,dearfriends,ourhopeneverhasbeenbuilton
humanideas.Everytimethathasbeentried,ithasfailed.
Ourhoperestsonthefactthatthereisonewhorose
from the dead, that he is sitting at the right hand of
GodandlivesnowinthepowerofGod(Heb.:c:::).
Inthispowerherulesandwilljudge.Heisvictor.True,
allthatisearthlyisstillengulfedinweakness.Jesustoo
had to suffer all the limitations of human life. How-
ever,heisrisen.Heisnolongerburiedinthesehuman
things. He rises up healthy and whole out of all the
darknessandappearstousastheshining,gloriousLord,
fullofpowerandlife,thepowertogivelifetoothers,
nomatterhowthickthedarknessthatsurroundshim.
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ChristIsRising 124
This is the form the resurrection takes, the resur-
rection we want to know by the power of God.The
resurrectiondoesnotconsistsolelyofwhathappened
in the past, nor does it consist of what we happen to
believedogmaticallyaboutitthosearenottheessen-
tialthings.Wedonotgainmuchbyjustacceptingthat
Christdiedandroseagain.Manypeoplebelievethis,
butneverthelesstheygotohell.Thisbeliefisofnohelp
unlessyouandIexperienceJesusasLord.Itisnotthe
worstifsomepeopleareunabletobelievethatChrist
rosefromthedeadatleasttheystillregarditassome-
thingtremendous,tootremendoustogliblyconfess.The
sadthingisthatsomanypeopletodayclaimtobelieve
it,andyetitmeanssolittletothem.Ithasnoeffectin
theirlives.Butthereisresurrectiontodayjustasmuch
astherewasbackthen,afterChristsdeath.Thereisres-
urrectionforwithacertainpartofourinnerbeingwe
canbeinacompletelydifferentplace,wheremostpeople
dontdaretogo.Ourrenewalisrealtotheextentthat
wefindourselvesinanentirelydifferentorder.
ApersonwhoiswithChristwillnotpushtheworld
away.Neitherwillhelethimselfbeembitteredbythe
way people are, no matter what they are like (: Cor.
,:,:c).Heisntoffendedbythehorrorsofsin.Instead,
heislikeachildwhofeelsthathecanalreadyrejoice
that there are divine powers, divine thoughts, and a
It is not
enough to
accept that
Christ died
and rose
again. Many
people
go to hell
believing
this.
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ChristIsRising 125
divinespirit,alldifferentfromtheinfluencesthatwe
happentomeethereonearth.TheonewhoisinChrist
experiencesthetremendousabundanceandvarietyof
thesedivinepowers,andissofilledwiththesenseof
them that it is natural to live by them. Indeed these
powersoflifecancometous,powersthatotherpeople
wouldneverthinkpossible.Thatiswhatitmeanstobe
risenwithChrist.Thatiswhatweshouldbe,notfor
ourowngoodbutfortheworldsgood,forthegoodof
other people, for those we live with and even suffer
from.Therefore,wedonotpushawaytheworld.We
assert our place in the midst of it, and we hold our
placerightamongthesonsofmenthepoorestand
lowestofalltrustingthateverythingcanstillbedif-
ferentbecauseoftheworkofthedivinepowersthatwe
experience.
Andsoourtaskistoknowthepoweroftheresurrec-
tion,thatpowerthataloneisinChrist.Youcanlookto
manyhumanpowers.Hereandthereyoucanfindsome-
thingofbeautyandsomethingrelativelygood,butall
of it is maimed, and it is powerless to overcome the
evilsinthisworld.Wemustlooktoahigherlife,toa
mightierpowerthatcannotbefoundamongpeopleat
this time, power that is not at all of this world.This
extraordinary strength, this amazing vitality that ap-
pearsonlyintheGodwhoisrevealedinChrist,isthe
powerthatmustbepulledoutoftheinvisibleregions
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ChristIsRising 126
intovisibility.Thispowerisnotsoveryfarawaybe-
causeinChrist,Godhasbecomeflesh.Againandagain
Christarisesanew.InwhatweknowoftherisenChrist,
Godwantstorenewallthings.Hiswillisfortheearth
asmuchasitisfortheheavens.Otherwisewewould
neverknowhisreality.Wecouldneverconceiveofany-
thingbecomingdifferent.Wewouldthinkthathisres-
urrectedlifewassomespiritualthingthatwehuman
beingscouldnotunderstand.Thatsnotwhatitis.No.
Thepowerofhisresurrectionissomethingthatiswithin
ourreach.
Newpossibilitiescandawnonus,andthemorewe
sensethesenewpossibilities,eitherinourbodiesorin
our souls, the more we can ask for, the more we can
lookforhigherandgreaterthingshereonearth.Actu-
ally,therearenolimits.Andforthisreasonwecanbring
hope into everything, into our daily life, into every-
thingatwhichweworkandintoanythingthatwetouch.
ThepowerthatcomesfromGodisreadytobebrought
intoourhumansituation,andinsuchawayastotrans-
formit.
Therefore, we must not turn our attention to the
darkness,theevils,andtheimperfectionsoftheearth,
norarewetotrytofigureouthowthisorthatmatteris
goingtoturnout.Allthathasnothingtodowithus.
WearesimplytoaskJesustogiveusmoreandmoreof
hisresurrection,untilitrunsover,untiltheextraordi-
We do not
push away
the world.
We assert
our place
in it.
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ChristIsRising 127
narypowersfromonhighthatarewithinourreachcan
getdowntoworkonallthatwedo.
Ifwepursuethehighergoalsamonghumanitybythe
usualmethodsorevenwithextraordinaryworksoflove,
we have no hope of accomplishing anything. In every
casewherewewanttohelpsomeonealong,strengthhas
tocomefromChrist.Yes,thisplacesusinasortofcon-
cealment. God cannot appear openly in the world, at
leastnotasitistoday.Thingswillnotbecomethatobvi-
ous.TherearethosewhoareincontactwithChrist,who
areinsomewayacquaintedwithhigherpowers,butthese
powers remain concealed within them, as they did in
Christincarnate.Onlytheeyesoffaithareabletorecog-
nizethepowerofGodatwork.
Thosewhothinkeverythinghastobedonebyways
andmeans,whothinkthatwehavetocallonhuman
understandingtodeterminewhattodoagainstallthe
darknessoftheworld,arewrong(Eph.o::c:).Ifthat
isthewaywearesupposedtoapproachthings,weare
beaten.WewillnevermaketheworldChristianbywhat
wehavedoneorwithwhatwemayyetaccomplish.We
canspoilthedeedsthatcomefromthestrengthofGod
if we think they depend on the strength that comes
fromus.Forourpart,thewordforusis,Seek!Strive
for the things above!This is made hard because we
mustdosoinquiet.Butitisthestrongestpowerwe
haveifwewouldbutstandbeforeGodandsay,Dear
We can
spoil the
deeds of
God if
we think
they rely
on us.
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ChristIsRising 128
Father in heaven, reveal your strength. Give us your
strength for every day, for every year, for all times. I
shall live for you alone. Let us keep experiencing the
powers from above, the new life, the power that en-
ablesyoutobringeverythingunderyourcontrol(Phil.
,:::). Let the resurrection of Christs life in us go on
becomingstrongerandmightieruntilthemomentwhen
hisgloryisrevealed.
That is our work. We need do nothing but go on
livingingladness,confidentthattherearenewpowers
availableforthosewhobelieve.ThenpowerfromGod
willbedrawnintolifethroughusandthroughallwho
have experienced the resurrection.Therefore we who
haveexperiencedsomethingofthesehigherpowersof
God, whether in health or behavior, should be loyal
andnotgiveuphopeatanypoint.Weneednolonger
lookattheblacksideofthings,butinsteadcanlookto
theresurrectionandallowittobethemostimportant
realityinourlife.Weshouldkeepstrivingfornothing
else.Thenweareabletohelpbringonthetimewhen
Christwillberevealedinhisglory.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
Thisenablesus
todosomethingand Oscar
Romero
todoitverywell.
IwillblesstheLordatalltimes,
hispraisewillalwaysbeonmylips.
MysoulwillboastintheLord;
lettheafflictedhearandrejoice.
GlorifytheLordwithme;
letusexalthisnametogether.
Psalm,::,
13
WhatDoYou
StandFor?
I
willblesstheLordatalltimes,exclaimsthepsalm-
ist.Thesewordsfromscripturearenotjustpleas-
ant,piouswordstoberecitedineaseandcomfort.For
Israel,thisversewasabattlecrybornoutofneedand
temptation: The angel of the Lord encamps around
thosewhofearhim,andhedeliversthemThelions
may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the
Lordlacknogoodthing(Ps.,:;,).
130
131 WhatDoYouStandFor?
IsraelhadexperiencedtheLordasamightyGodof
justice.Hehadusedhispower,forexample,toleadhis
peopletojusticeandtruth,vanquishingEgypt.With
great mercy, compassion, and kindness he had deliv-
ered his people from Pharaohs clutches in order to
establish them as a blessing for the nations. Like a
motherwithherchildren,hehadsettledthemtorest
andfedthem,andunderhisleadershiptheywereled
intothedesert.
Naturallytheycouldnotgoonforeverbeingwaited
onhandandfoot.Israelwastobejudgedandhadto
takemuchuponitself.Israelhadtosufferprivations
gotoschool,asitwereandoutgrowitsfaults(Gal.
::;).The God of justice and truth does not adapt
himselftotheconventionallifepatternsofnationsand
societies.Hedoesnotwanthispeopletoliveasother
nations(Deut.:c:::::)nortocopythemannersand
customsofothersandgraduallysinkintoallthefool-
ishnonsenseofmankind,asifthat ishappiness.His
peoplearetobeanemphaticallydifferentpeople.
This, of course, is uncomfortable, and as a result
grumblersandrebelswerealwaystobefoundamong
thepeopleofIsrael(Exod.:o).Attimesthesebecame
sonumerousthatitnolongerseemedwrongtoerect
temples of foreign nations, even in Israel, and to ex-
presspietyinaheathenway.Wasthatnotreligiontoo?
Andwasntanyreligionbetterthannoneatall?Butfor
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
WhatDoYouStandFor? 132
theGodofjusticenoreligionwasacceptable,letalone
such a wicked one. This did not suit the people. It
seemedterriblethatwhatalltheotherpeopleconsid-
eredgood,allthatmadethemstrongandthroughwhich
theyhadachievedgreatcivilizations,wastobecalled
wrong.Sotheygrumbledandcomplainedandfinally
lost their peace with God.Yet there were also people
who said, I will praise the Lord. I will strive to put
intopracticewhatwehaveexperiencedasjusticeand
truth.EvenifeveryoneelseshouldgrumbleandrebelI
say,IwillblesstheLordatalltimes.Hispraiseshall
continuallybeonmylips.
InIsraelthereweresuchfighters,andsuchfighters
we also have to be. For it also happens today that
everythingthatGoddemandsofusisuncomfortable,
andwhatwehavemadeforourselvesandbecomeac-
customedtomustbeoverthrown.Amongus,too,God
findsplentyofgrumblinganddefiance.
Todayajudgmentisbeingpasseduponourage.A
fingeroftruthpointstothisorthatlieorerrorintradi-
tionsandreligions.Afingerofjusticedemandsthatwe
followthevoiceofconscienceandconsiderwhatmust
bechanged.Whenhumangenerationsliveonforde-
cadeswithoutbeingshakenandstirredupbythepow-
erfulfloodofeventsinhistory,thentheircustomsand
traditionscanbecometoocozyandtoocomfortable.
Intheendtheseveryhumanconstructionstaketheplace
Gods
finger
of justice
demands
that we
follow the
voice of
conscience.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
133 WhatDoYouStandFor?
ofGod.Thenithappensthatweareonlyconcerned
aboutdefendingourhumaninstitutions.Itseemsasif
everything will collapse if the institutions that have
grownupovertheyearsareoverturned.Consequently,
weareoftentoocowardlytostandupforGodsjustice.
Weignorethedeficienciesandwrongthingsandbe-
comeusedtothemsothatjustaboutanythingistoler-
ated.Wekeepallowingthingstogoonasusual.Itdoes
notmatterhowmuchwrongthereisorhowmanygroan
underit.Whenavoiceofgodlyjusticearisestocallfor
whatistrueandright,itisreviledandrepudiatedand
thefoolishnessdefended.
ButwehavetokeepinmindthatourGod,asreveal-
ed in Jesus Christ, is a God of justice and a God of
truthnotaGodofpolitics,society,tradition,church,
school, or denomination.These may have value. But
wehaveproofenoughthattheycananddogowrong.
Evenlong-standinginstitutions,whichmayhavebeen
relativelygoodatfirstbutwhichhavegraduallyfailed
tofulfilltheirpurpose,willhavetobeopposed.This
also applies to the religious life. God himself brings
about changes. These changes frequently cause great
discomfort(Matt.:c:,).Nevertheless,ifwewantto
serve God we will have to acknowledge what is true
andjust.
In our restless age in which society, as well as cus-
toms and traditions, is changing, we must keep only
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
134 WhatDoYouStandFor?
onethinginmind:theGodofjustice.Wehavetobea
free people. We have to become so free that we can
believethateverythingmightchangeradically.Forthe
Godofjusticeishere.TheGodoftruthisvictorious
overallthatisdeadanddecaying.Thosewhoworship
himwilldosoinspiritandintruth(John::,:).
Ifwebecomesuchapeople,thennoswirlingcurrent
ofthefuturewillsweepusaway.Indeepquietwewill
reachtheeternalrock.AndonthisrockChristwillprove
his unconquerable cause. All our denominations and
divisionsdishonorGod.Thetimemustcomewhenwe
willnolongerseektostandbeforeGod,theking,with
any piety other than truthfulness and justice in our
heart.Jesus,theLordoftruth,willsweepawayevery-
thinghumanfromthisearth,nomatterhowgoodit
mayseemtous.Because,intheend,thekingdomof
Goddoesnotseparateusintovariousgroupsaswehave
hadthemuptonow.Itwillcomeinaformwherethe
onlyquestionsare:Whatareyoufightingfor?Willyou
makeastandforwhatisrightnotforyourpartyor
foryourchurch,butforthetruththatwillmakeour
lifedifferentthanbefore?
Thishasgreatsignificanceinthevicissitudesoflife
towhichweareexposed.Heretoowefindmanywho
grumbleandaredefiant.Ifthingsdonotgowellwith
them,thenGodandtheworldareatfault.Theworld
hastocarrytheblamewhentheyrunintotrouble.But
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
135 WhatDoYouStandFor?
it is just here that a real fighter will prove himself.
WhoeverblamesGodortheworldwhenheorsheisin
trouble,doesnotsay,IwillblesstheLordatalltimes.
His praise shall continually be in my mouth. But if
someonetakestheguiltuponhimselfandremembers
thatwemortalsarenotyetstandingonthegroundof
righteousnessandtruthandthatiswhywehavetosuf-
fer,suchapersonwillbecomestrong-heartedandwill
beabletosay,Wewanttobringaboutthejusticeof
ourGod.Thisiswhatwewanttostandfor,alsospe-
cifically, in all that befalls humankind. If we would
ceasetopity,defend,andexcuseourselves,butrather
considerwherewehavefailedwhenwefindourselves
inentangledsituations,ifwewouldkeepthecertainty
inourheartsthatGodandtheworldarenottoblame
butthatthefaultlieswithus,thenwewillbeapeople
readyforthekingdomofGod,clearingthewayforthe
comingofGodsjusticeandtruth.
Letusneverforgetthatanenormouslylargepartof
theworldisjustahumanfabrication.Wearecapable
of creating for ourselves all kinds of worlds. We can
makeourselvesaphilosophicalworld,orasocialworld,
oranationalworld.Wecanalsocreateapiousworld
forourselves,andaChristianworld.Thisworldofour
owncreationiscertainlynotGodsworld.Ifwelookat
itsquarely,wewillseethattheguiltisourown,even
whenexceptionalinfluencesofevilbringusintoneed
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
WhatDoYouStandFor? 136
andmisery.Aworldofsinhasgrownupalongsidethe
world of God.This world exists and is ruled by our
humanspirit.Insofaraswelovethisworldofourown
creation, this world of people and nations and their
historyandtradition,wecannotseeGodsworld.To
theextentthatwewanttoholdontoourownworld
andputourownideasandwishesatthecenter,wewill
notseewhatisofGodnorfindtherealfoundationof
hisjustice.
Itisthistragicself-righteousness,thislivingwithout
truefearofGod,thatfinallyleadstoournotbeingable
toseeGodsrulership.Itisallbecauseoftheworldswe
have created. And the ramifications of this are to be
seeninallareasoflife.Thereareallsortsoflittleworlds
inwhichpeoplebecomestuckwithouthavingconsid-
ered whether such a world comes from God. Their
wholebeingissowrappedupintheirownworldthat
theycanonlyseeGodthroughamistoftheirowncre-
ation.This is how it comes about that today certain
people,evenpreeminentlyreligiouspeople,liveintheir
ownworldanddespisetheessenceofGod.Anditcan
happenthatbecausewecannolongerseewhatistrue
because of the world we ourselves have createdwe
driveoutwhatisright.DoyouthinkGodexistssolely
forthesakeofupholdingourworld?Farfromit!He
wantsnoneofourdeceitfulness.Andthenpeoplemake
abigto-doaboutGodbeinglove,justasifthisdear
God is
a God of
justice and
truth
not a God
of politics
or church.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
137 WhatDoYouStandFor?
God were obliged to support our human foolishness
outofloveinordertokeephisdearchildrenfromhav-
ingtosuffer.SuchpeoplecompletelyforgetthatGods
loveistheloveofjustice,aloveoftruthandnotalove
ofdeceptions!
Thereforeletuspullourselvestogetherwithoutcom-
plainingandwithoutobstinacy.Ourownworldswill
collapse.They will not last. But, praise God, we can
rejoicewhenthesefleshlyhumanworldsfall,aslongas
weholdonfirmlytotheGodofjusticeevenasthey
collapseanddonotallowourselvestobeintheleastbit
turnedasidefromstrivingfortheworldofGod.Such
anattitudeofheartandsuchastrivingofourspiritwill
lead us to experience the forward movement of the
kingdomofGod.
AshorttimeagoImetsomeoneand,duringthecourse
ofourconversation,wetouchedbrieflyuponthesubject
ofreligion.Heimmediatelycameoutwith,Thereisno
progressinreligion.Thatisourexperience.Itisalways
thesame.Religionstandsstill.Iwasshocked,butIhad
tosay,Yes,youareright!Butthereisprogressinthe
truth and truth is concerned with life and justice. No
technicaladvancescanbringaboutprogressinlife,nor
willtheymakeushumanbeingsjustandtrue.Butthere
isprogressinthekingdomofGod.
Sowemustnotloseheart.LetusblesstheLordatall
times.Wemustexpendourselvesonthefoundationof
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
138 WhatDoYouStandFor?
thecomingkingdomofGod,andnotclingtothisor
thatpettyconcern.Forintheendallhumanworkswill
betransfiguredbyhisdivinebreath,sothatiftheyare
goodandworthytheymaybepurifiedandstandfor-
ever.Or,iftheyarebad,theyshallbedestroyedwith-
outgraceormercy.Forallthatisunjustwillpassaway,
butwhatisrightandtruewillendureforever.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
Itmaybeincomplete,
butitisabeginning,
astepalongtheway,an
opportunityforGods
gracetoenterand
dotherest.
Oscar
Romero
Bedressedforaction
andhaveyourlampslit;
belikethosewhoarewaiting
fortheirmastertoreturn
fromtheweddingbanquet,
sothattheymayopen
thedoorforhimassoon
ashecomesandknocks.
Luke:::,,,o
14
GetReadyforAction
Y
oumustnotbesurprisedifourheartsarenotex-
actlylitinregardtothecomingofGod.Tousitis
likeatreasurewhosevalueisappreciatedbyonlyafew
andinwhichmostpeopletakeonlyapassinginterest.
Ofcourse,therearemanytodaywhosightoheaven,
Savior,comenow!Buttheyarenotsighingforthe
sakeofGodskingdom.Theycryoutlikethisonlywhen
theyareintroubleandwantGodtohelpthem.And
theydontknowofanyhelpthatismoreeffectivethan
140
141 GetReadyforAction
to have a Savior come and put a quick end to their
troubles.
Thismakesithardforanyonewhoseekstobeapart
ofGodsplanandwhowantstoworkforit.Whenit
comestothethingsofGodwearenottobeconcerned
for what is ours, but only to be concerned for what
belongstoJesusChrist.Weshoulddothisnotmerely
forourownedification;wemustbecomeworkersfor
God.This leads us to Gods vineyard, a place where
thereisnotagreatdealoftalk,butwhereeveryoneis
intentondeeds.
Letusconcentratethenontheexperiencethatequips
ustoact,notaccordingtoourhumanplans,butac-
cordingtoGodsplan:
Bereadyforaction,andhaveyourlampslit;belike
thosewhoarewaitingfortheirmastertoreturnfrom
theweddingbanquet,sothattheymayopenthedoor
forhimassoonashecomesandknocks.Blessedare
those slaves whom the master finds alert when he
comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and
have them sit down to eat, and he will come and
serve them. If he comes during the middle of the
nightorneardawnandfindsthemready,blessedare
thoseslaves.
But know this: if the owner of the house had
knownatwhathourthethiefwascoming,hewould
nothavelethishousebebrokeninto.Youalsomust
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
GetReadyforAction 142
be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an
unexpectedhour.
Petersaid,Lord,areyoutellingthisparablefor
usorforeveryone?andtheLordsaid,Whothenis
thefaithfulandprudentmanagerwhomhismaster
will put in charge of his slaves, to give them their
allowanceoffoodatthepropertime?Blessedisthe
slave whom his master will find at work when he
arrives.TrulyItellyou,hewillputthatoneincharge
ofallhispossessions.Butifthatslavesaystohimself,
Mymasterisdelayedincoming,andifhebeginsto
beat the other slaves, men and women, and to eat
and drink and get drunk, the master of that slave
willcomeonadaywhenhedoesnotexpecthimand
atanhourthathedoesnotknow,andwilltearhim
topiecesandputhimwiththeunfaithful.Thatslave
whoknewwhathismasterwantedbutdidnotpre-
pare himself or do what was wanted, will receive a
severebeating.Buttheonewhodidnotknowand
didwhatdeservedabeatingwillreceivealesserbeat-
ing.Fromeveryonetowhommuchhasbeengiven,
muchwillberequired;andfromtheonetowhom
much has been entrusted, even more will be
demanded(Luke:::,,).
HereJesusisspeakingofhisdisciplesandtheirprepa-
rationforhiscoming.TakenotethatGodskingdomis
not formed by any human discovery or intention,
In Gods
vineyard
there is
not a
great deal
of talk;
everyone
is intent
on deeds.
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143 GetReadyforAction
howeverdaringandnoble,norbyanythingotherthan
thecomingofChrist.Ourfaith,ourardor,mustbefor
thiscoming.Otherwiseitwouldbebettertoputaside
ourmeditationsonthekingdomofGod.Thereignof
God is a marvelous thing.To worldly wisdom Gods
kingdomseemslikefoolishness,andyetitgivesshape
tothewholeworld,thewholecreation,makingitGods
eternalcreation.
ItisremarkablethatnotonlyGod,creatorofheaven
andearth,butalsoGodspeoplemustbeapartofthis
plan.Thereneedtobemenandwomenwhogivethem-
selvesupforGodskingdomanditsjusticeandtruthas
it is to be on earth. Otherwise Jesus would not have
said,Blessedarethoseservantswhomthemasterfinds
awake when he comes. And he certainly would not
havesaidthathewillservesuchpeople.Itisobvious
thatmuchdependsontheiractivity.Wecanevenread
betweenthelinesthatifnopeoplearetheretowatch
out,Godscomingwillbedelayed.Speakinginterms
oftheparable,ifthedoorkeeperdoesnotopenthedoor,
itispossiblethateventhemasterhimself,whohasgiven
himthekey,cannotgetinunlessheforceshisway.
Therehavetobepeoplewho,firstofall,havedressed
themselvesforactionandhavelittheirlamps.Inother
words,whiletheirmasterisabsenttheyarebusypre-
paringeverythinginthehouseforhisarrivalandkeep-
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
GetReadyforAction 144
ingeveryoneinthehouseawarethatthestatetheyare
livinginisonlytemporary.
Secondly,theremustbepeoplewhostandbythedoor
andlistenfor him and who openitquickly whenhe
knocks.Workers,notslackers,aredressedforservice.
SlackersweartheirSundaybest.Apersonwhoisget-
tingreadytoworkwithhishandstakeshiscoatoffand
rollsuphissleevessothathecangetatthematterwith-
outfurtherado.Godhasworkthathastobedonein
workclothes,notinonesSundaybest.Infact,wemust
neverthinkofSundayclothesasnormal.Suchanotion
makesonespersonalpietyanddevotionforthesatis-
factionofonesownneedstheonlyimportantthing.
As long as Gods kingdom has to be fought for, it is
moreimportanttobedressedforworkreadyforac-
tionto make an effort to do something in keeping
withGodsplan,oftenagainstthewholeweightofthe
world. A practical way exists that supports the truth
andjusticeofGodskingdom,andwemustbeready
forthiswithourwholebeing.
But,someonemayask,Whatsortofthing,exactly,
arewetodo?WhatwilltrulyserveGodandhisking-
dom?Thatisaseriousquestion;nohumanbeingcan
answerit.Wehavetolearntoliveinwhatiscoming
fromGodeverydayandtocarryalightfromthisaware-
ness into the darkness. For the essence of Gods
everlastingorderhasbeendarkenedbytheprincipali-
Gods
work is
to be
done in
work
clothes,
not in
Sunday
best.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
GetReadyforAction 145
tiesandpowersofthisworld.Throughoutpractically
everyrealmoflifethereisanenslavingforce.Itischar-
acteristic of everything, even the highest human un-
dertakings of nations or of individuals; it is egoism.
Whatwillwegetoutofathingforourownmomen-
taryinterest?Anythingthatisinourownimmediate
interest,thiswecallgoodandtrue.Inthiswaythedark-
ness comes, a darkness in which no one can do any-
thingunlesshecarriesalightilluminatedbyGod.
Basically,assoonasitisamatterofputtingGods
serviceintoourdailylife,weweakhumanbeingsdont
reallyknow,orwanttoknow,whatistrue.Weliveina
massofwrongsanduntruths,andtheysurroundusas
adark,darknight.Noteveninthemostflagrantthings
dowemanagetobreakthrough.Wearehardlyrepelled
anymore by murder, adultery,ortheft.Wenowhave
customsandlawsunderwhoseprotectiononeperson
cankillanother.Wehavelifestylesofpleasurethatpoi-
soneverythingwaybeyondhumanhelp.Wehavecus-
toms of acquisitiveness by which some people live at
theexpenseofothers.Whatcanbedonetohelp?
Somany,manypeopledoallsortsofthingsthatare
wrongwithouthavingtheremotestideathattheyare
doingso.Goodpeople,manyofthemhighlyesteemed,
peoplewithgoodhearts,trytodogoodandyetthey
fail to put a stop to the wrongs that confront them,
Let your-
self be led
to places
where you
would never
go of your
own accord.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
146 GetReadyforAction
whetherintheirownlivesorinthelivesofothers.
Anyonewhoseattentionisfixedonthecomingreign
ofGodandwhowantstoseeachangebroughtabout
inGodshousewillbecomemoreandmoreawarethat
auniversalwrongnessofthingsispulledoveruslikea
choking, suffocating blanket. He will know that the
thingtodoistotakeholdofGodshandsothatthere
issomeeffectonthisnight,sothatatleastafewareas
aremadereceptivetoGodstruthandjusticeandare
madereadytoreceiveGodhimself.Buttodothiswork
we have to have a light. With this light we can then
illuminateeverycornerwherewehavesomeworkto
do.Thenwewillseewherethegarbageis,wherethere
isworktobedone.
This is really very hard work. For when someone
holdsalightinhishandandshinesithereandthere,
heisimmediatelyasked,Whatbusinesshaveyouhere?
Sograduallymanypeoplelettheirlightgooutagain.It
istooawkward,tooinconvenienttokeepholdingupa
lightandshowingpeoplethedirtandsaying,There,
cleanthatup;thewayyouaredoingthingsnowisnt
rightinGodseyes.Cutoffyourhand!Tearoutyour
eye!Cutoffyourfoot!asJesussays,figuratively,when
thereissomethingaboutthehandoreyeorfootthat
standsinGodsway.
Thatiswhatismeantbylettingyourlightshine.A
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147 GetReadyforAction
lighthasapurpose;alightoughttoshineintoourcon-
ditionssothatwecanseewhatneedstobedoneand
setourhandtoitandcleanitup.Jesus,withthislight,
wasnotwellreceived,andneitherwerehisapostles.If
onlythatlightwerentthere,peoplesaid.Inthetimes
oftheearlychurch,theChristianswereaccusedofcaus-
ing confusion in the world, of undermining law and
religion,andtheywerebitterlypersecutedforthis.The
truththefactthatpeopleslivesarenotrightistoo
muchformostpeopletograsp.Itseemslikeacrimeto
themtothinkthatthingstheyconsiderquiteallright
ought to be changed. The sacrifice of Christ, which
makes it possible for a new humanity to arise in the
resurrectionthissacrificeappearsasfoolishness.
SopeopleturnfinallytothisSundayreligion.Going
toworshipissupposedtobeenough.Godissupposed
tobesatisfiedwithitanddowithouttheweekdaywork.
Butletusnotgivethenameofworship,orserviceto
God,onlytothingsthatbenefitus,onlytothingsthat
sootheourownsouls.Youareallowedtohavemuch;
Godiskind.Heletsyoumakemanydemandsonhim
foryoursalvation.Butthenitshouldalsooccurtoyou
to let God make demands on you, to let yourself be
boundandledtoplaceswhereyouwouldnevergoof
yourownaccord.Yes,Iwillletthelightshineforme,
butIwilldosoonlytoshowwherethereisworktobe
doneforGod,wheremyownhappinessdoesnotcome
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148 GetReadyforAction
intothepicture.
Many will answer to this, Just look at him! Now
were supposed to do good works frantically again.
Wheredoesfaithcomein?HetalkslikeaCatholic.
Andtheysayotherthingsaspeopledowhoalwayswant
tobewearingtheirSundayclothes.Butnomatterhow
peopletalk,workclothesmustcomeback.
Fortunately,manypeoplenolongerfeelthatSunday
religionisenough.Anewspiritisawakening,andthere
aremanywhoseekforGodsadvantage,eventhough
they may not know how to go about it. Others may
polishthemselvesupspirituallytogettheirlittlesouls
inorderforGod.Theycandothis,butitisnotenough.
Anyonewhohaseyeswillseethisandconsiderhowhe
canforgethimselfindevotiontoGodskingdomand
becomeardentforthekingdomtocometothisheis
called.
Closelyconnectedwiththisfirstworkisthatofstand-
ingatthedoorandopeningit.Inregardtothiswork
one often speaks of the first, second, or third watch;
and,Iwouldliketoadd,thefourth,thefifth,andthe
sixth.Wemuststandbyconstantly,eventhoughthere
may be no knock for a long time. Jesus resurrection
means that everything in Gods kingdom is alive; in
everymomentthereissomethinghappening.
Hehimselfhasnotyetcome,buthemaysoonsend
amessengertoknock.Whenthedoorisopenedhewill
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149 GetReadyforAction
say,Listen,dothisandthat;tellthepeopleinthehouse
to watch out for this or that. Another time there is
anotherknock,andthedoorisopened.Thistimeper-
hapsthewordis,Whatisthefoolishnessyouredoing
inthishouse?Youactasifthingsweregoingtoalways
stay the same. Dont settle down as if you were the
masters!AndthisgoeslikethebreathofGodswrath
through the whole house, by way of the doorkeeper.
Anothertimethereisaknock,thedoorkeeperopens,
andthewarningisheard,Watchoutforidolatry!Do
you want to serve both God and mammon? Do you
wanttositatbothGodstableandthedemonstable?
Who is your master? Do you want to work with the
methodsofthisworldorbythespiritofGod?Truly,
my house is not a house of human wisdom, but of
Gods.
For those who listen for Christs future, a knock
soundsoverandoveragain.Thethingsthatcomeforth
arenotnecessarilyhighlyspiritual.Sometimestheyare
verysimplethings.Forinstance,wemaybetold,Dont
neglectyourbodies.Dontyouknowthatyourbodyis
atempleoftheHolySpirit?(:Cor.,::o)Whydoyou
drinksomuchwine?Whydoyoueatsomuchfood?
Thisseemscontemptiblysmall.DoesntPaulsay,The
kingdomofGoddoesnotconsistineatinganddrink-
ing?Thatistrue.Yetforthosewhowanttohear,there
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GetReadyforAction 150
is a knock on the door for the future of Jesus Christ
tellingustoliveforGodineverything(:Cor.:c:,:).It
isnotonlyyoursoulsthatmatter,butyourbodiestoo.
Howcanyoufindtruthinyoursoulifyourbodylives
infalsehood?Whoeveriswisewillopenthedoorwhen
Godsmessengersspeakaboutthis.Whoeveriswisewill
goatitjoyfullyandconfidently.
Wemustspeakinpracticalterms.EitherChristsfu-
turehasmeaningforusnow,orelseitmeansnothing
atall.Sometimestheknockhastodowithourlifeto-
gether,orwiththearrangementsofourlifeinrelation-
shiptotheworld.Forexample,onalargeestatethere
aremanagers,farmers,gardeners,cooks,andsoon.The
cookhaslearnedcooking,thefarmerfarming,thegar-
denergardening,allaccordingtothecustomarymeth-
ods.Theyhavelearnedtheirtradeswellandareableto
carrythemon,eventoexcelinthem.Butsupposethere
isaknock,thedoorisopenedandtheyaretold,Lis-
ten now, dont simply keep house as the world does;
stopandthinkhowtodothingssoastopleaseme!
Maybe you will answer, What do you mean?Thats
thewayIlearneditandthatshoweverybodyelsedoes
it.True,everybodydoesitthatway;butyoudonot
needto.ThoseintentonChristscominghavetobring
a different way into their situations. Must things al-
waysbedoneinthestyleoftheworld?(:Cor.:c:,)
If you
look for
the truth
in small
matters,
you
wont go
astray in
big ones.
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151 GetReadyforAction
Accordingtohumanwisdom?Shouldthekingdomof
Godrunaccordingtowhatmostofusareusedto?
ApersonwhokeepswatchforGodwillbegladto
hearevenaboutlittlethingslikethis,evenifheistold,
Doeverythingdifferentlyfromthewayyouhavebeen
doingittillnow.Whensuchapersonhearsthehint
todoitdifferently,hewillstopandlisten.Hewillask,
Differently?HowshallIdoitdifferently?Firstyou
willhavetobecomepoorandseewhereyouhaveacted
foolishly,likesomeonewhohasnolight.Thenyoumust
grieve that you are not any cleverer than anyone else
whenitcomestoopeningthedoortotheMaster.
This is what it means to watch. We have to begin
withwhatwecansee.Thentherewillcometimeswhen
weareallowedtowatchinhigherthings.Ifyoulook
forthetruthinsmallmattersyouwillnotgoastrayin
bigones.Youwillbeabletorecognizetruththereand
carryoutthecommandthatcomes.Letuskeepstaunch
inoureagernesstodowhatevercomestousofthetruth.
Thentherewillbeknocksonourdoor,overandover,
andGodscomingwillnotbehidden.Fordevotedhearts
thelightwillkeepdawningfromhimwhoismerciful
andcompassionate.
But if we go about our work of watching in pride
andgroan,Ohdear,theresthatknockingagain.We
justhadeverythingsonicelyarrangedandnowithas
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152 GetReadyforAction
tobechangedagainthennolastingworkwillever
bedone.Nomoreknockswillcometoourdoors.We
mightaswelldoaswepleaseuntiltheLordcomes.But
then we will get quite a shock; it will be like a thief
takingeverythingoutofourhands.
Theworkofthedoorkeeperandthewatchmangoes
togetherwiththeworkofthosewhoaredressed,ready
for action. Unless you stand at the door and watch,
dressedreadyforaction,youwillfallasleepbeforeyou
knowit.Butifyouaredressedandreadyforservice,you
willreceivealightfromGod,andwithitshelpyouwill
beabletodiscernGodswillandcarryitout.Thework
forGodgoesonquitesimplyinthisway;onedoesnot
alwayshavetowaitforsomethingoutoftheordinary.
The all-important thing is to keep your eyes on what
comesfromGodandtomakewayforittocomeinto
beinghereontheearth.Ifyoualwaystrytobeheavenly
andspirituallyminded,youwontunderstandtheevery-
day work God has for you to do. But if you embrace
whatistocomefromGod,ifyouliveforChristscom-
inginpracticallife,youwilllearnthatdivinethingscan
beexperiencedhereandnow,thingsquitedifferentfrom
whatourhumanbrainscaneverimagine.
Wecanbeheavenlyservantsevennow,throughtoil
and work, through difficulty and need, through
affliction,fear,andpain.Allthesethingsmustbeover-
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153 GetReadyforAction
comebywatching.Dontletyourhopebestolenfrom
you.Inthishope,makeyourselvesfreeforGodswill
andGodswaysonearth.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
Wemayneverseethe
endresults,butthatis Oscar
Romero
thedifferencebetween
themasterbuilder
andtheworker.
TheJewsgatheredaroundJesus,saying,
Howlongwillyoukeepusinsuspense?
IfyouaretheChrist,tellusplainly.
Jesusanswered,Ididtellyou,butyou
donotbelieve.ThemiraclesIdoin
myfathersnamespeakforme,but
youdonotbelievebecauseyouarenot
mysheep.Mysheeplistentomyvoice;
Iknowthem,andtheyfollowme.
John:c:::,c
15
DontPush
Surrender!
I
nthekingdomofGodimpatiencecanmakepeople
blindandleadthemtragicallyastray.Allthegood
thingsthatwestriveforandhopeforfromGodcanbe
takenawayfromuswhenwegiveintothisfailingand
areimpatient.
155
156 DontPushSurrender!
Therootofourimpatienceliesinourcompulsionto
achieve.Nothingmotivatesusmorethanbeingasked
todosomethinginkeepingwithourstrength,ourabil-
ity.Justthepledgetodosomething,toimproveasitu-
ation, can excite thousands of people. Even sensible
peoplewaverandgetcarriedaway.Theythink,yes,we
mustandwecandosomething!Andwhenthishuman
elemententersmanypeopleintheKingdombeginto
actontheirown.Godisnotfastenoughforthem,and
theyrushaheadandpressforwardaccordingtotheir
ownunderstanding.Theyalsowantleaders,iftheycan
find such, to whom they can subordinate themselves
andwhomtheycanfollowwithenthusiasm.Thenhu-
manstrengthisroused,inspiteofallthemisery,allthe
failure,allthesinthatweknowisthere.
ThekingdomofGod,however,comesinanentirely
differentway.Itmakesnocalluponhumanstrengthor
theexertionsoftheflesh.ThekingdomofGodmakes
usquietandforusthisisthehardestthing.Tohave
toseethatweourselvesarepowerlesswhenitcomesto
themostimportantaffairsofourlivesandinattaining
thehighestgoals,andthatwemustdropallourpow-
ers,goodaswellasbad,isthehardestthingforustodo
(Jer.,::,:).Againandagainimpatiencerearsupin
ourheartslikeadragon.Infact,itisalmostarebellion
against the living God because we, in comparison to
him,arenothingatall.
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DontPushSurrender! 157
Concerningthisimpatiencewecanthankagreatdeal
ofbadeducationandagreatnumberofspiritualmis-
carriages.Letusrememberthis,dearfriends.Letusbe
awarethatwetoocouldeasilycryoutagainstGodand
againstChrist,Howlongwillyouholdusback?Let
usmoveahead!Andsilently,secretly,thewordsring
within our hearts: We want to be great people! We
wanttobrandishthesword!Wewanttobecomemen
andwomenofrenown!Wewantabattlecrywithwhich
tostormtheworldandyouholdusback!Ifyouare
theChrist,tellus!
DoesGodholdbacksoulsinthekingdomofGod?
Yes,yes,always!Heholdsbackthosewhowanttogo
forwardontheirownstrengthandwhowanttojustify
theirfleshbytheirownzeal.Heholdsbackthosewho
wouldliketobringalltheiroldnaturewiththeminto
thekingdomofGodandtobepraisedbecausetheyare
thedrivingforce,becausetheyarethepeoplewhoad-
vance the cause. God holds back all these souls! He
strikesthemdown!Anyonewhodoesnotwanttobe
heldbackbyGodmustfindthepaththatleadsdown-
ward:thepathuponwhichwebecomefreeofourselves;
thepathuponwhichwemustdie,thepathuponwhich
weseeourstrengthalwaysactingwronglyandalways
deceiving us. Upon this path God never holds back,
buthedoesuponeveryotherpath.
Thistakesplaceinaremarkableway.Godrestrains
The root of
impatience
lies in our
compulsion
to achieve.
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DontPushSurrender! 158
our works by his works. It is Gods works that Jesus
broughttotheattentionoftheimpatientones.Butone
thingoffendedthem:theworksofGodmadetheim-
patientonesappearasnothing.EverythingtheSavior
didrevealedtheirpovertyandtheirnothingness.When
itcomes,forexample,tofeedingthousandsinthewil-
derness, they are just babes in arms, unable to cook
their own food. When it comes to making the blind
see,makingthelamewalk,bringingthedeadbackto
life;whenitcomestocomfortingthesinnerandgiving
himaid;whenitcomestoforminganewpeopletothe
gloryofGodthentheyareallnothing.OnlytheLord
fromheavencandothis.
Lookatthedeceitthatworksinsideourownsouls
and moves us to regard Gods works as insignificant.
WedothisbecauseinthesightofGodweourselvesare
nothing,andbecauseattheappearanceofJesusChrist
our strength is brought to shame. We persuade our-
selves that something else must happen. And what is
thissomethingelse?TheSavior,topleaseus,notGod,
should make it possible for us to arise again and be
activeintheworld.ThisisthesamefalsepaththeJews
starteduponasthepeopleofGodinthetimeofthe
Maccabees.Theywereabletoreacquirecrownsoflau-
rel,andwouldhavealmostbecomeapeopleofworld
historyexceptthatfromthebeginningGodstruckthem
down.Oh,youpeoplewhowanttobecomesomething
We must
find the path
that leads
downward.
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159 DontPushSurrender!
in the world, you people who recognize Christ Jesus
and know that he is the Lordif you want to mold
yourselvesaccordingtotheworldandenforceyourway
inhisname,youwillbeheldback.TheworksofGod
willfalllikeajudgment,aheavyjudgment,uponyour
headsandwillcrushyou.Youwillnolongerbeapart
ofthekingdomofGod.
Butthereareothers,thosewhoendure.Theybecome
likesheepinthepresenceoftheworksofGod.Inqui-
etnessatransformationtakesplacewithinthem.Inthe
worksofGodtheyimmediatelyseetheirownunfitness
andareglad(:Cor.:::;:c).Theylayasidetheircloaks,
whetheranofficialscloak,aclergymanscloak,orany
otherspiritualorworldlycloak.Joyfullytheylayaside
the crowns, which may have been placed upon their
headsintheworld,andexclaim,Godbepraised!My
worksarefinished.Godsworksbegin!Theybecome
quiet, they become humble, they become joyful and
childlike.TheworksofGodstripawayeverysophisti-
cation. Oh, happy are those who become like sheep
followingtheirshepherd,whocanbeshownmoreand
more works of God because every work of God be-
comesalightforthem.EveryworkofGodshowsthem
thepartoftheirownnatureandoftheirownstrength,
whichhastobegivenup!
IfonlyweChristianscouldunderstandthis,thena-
tionscouldbemadereadyfortheworksofGod!Atthe
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160 DontPushSurrender!
moment it looks as if this will never happen. A real
breakthrough among the nations has not yet come
about.Withallitsstrengththechurchpressesforward
alongthewrongpath.Wherevertheopportunityarises
toputitselfforward,toplayapart,tomakeanamefor
itself,toriseupintheworld,thereitstandsready.By
the time the Savior cries out, Stop, stop, stop! You
jump around too much!by the time he calls after
hispeoplethattheyshouldbepatientuntilhedeter-
minesthatthetimeisripe,untilhehaspreparedthe
nations, until he can win hearts with his deedsthe
churchisalreadyfaraway!AndtheSaviorisleftalone.
Whoisguilty?Imustseverelylecturetheflock.The
sheepareguilty.Wehavenotlearnedtotakecarenot
to rush forward impatiently.Today the point is this:
areyouhumblebeforeGodwhenhisworksaredone
amongyou?Canyouletthesethingshappenandawait
thekingdomjoyfullyandwithlivelyfreshness,evenif
you yourselves go without honor, even if your works
mustceasewhenconfrontedbyGodsworks?
From the spiritual standpoint the most important
thingistosurrender,torefrainfrompushing!Surren-
der,Itellyou.Dontpush!Theguiltofthesheepisthat
theywanttopushinsteadoftosurrender.Althoughhe
loves them, the Savior is hampered when he sees his
sheepentangledinthemethodsandmeansoftheage.
Theysurrendernothingandgoastray.Theyalwayscry
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
DontPushSurrender!
fortheSavior,butwhenhewantstodosomethingfor
them,theystillwillnotgiveuptheirstrategies.Involved
in the techniques of the world, they believe this and
thatishowthingsshouldbestbedone.Theycontinue
alongtheaccustomedpathswhiletheSaviorisleftalone
andtheworksofGodmakenoimpression.Theyareall
socontentedwithhowthingsaresupposedtogetdone
thatthereisnotevenarealhungerforGodtowork.
Ifwewouldjustbecomeliketruesheep,thenthegenu-
ine,livingdeedsofJesusChristwouldbegin.Theycould
begintodayifwewouldceasetoturnaroundourselves
withsomuchself-assurance.Thesedeedscouldbegin
rightnowifwewouldfreelyfaceGodscauseandin-
wardlygiveourselvesuptoitinsteadofalwaysholding
fast,apparentlyinfaith,inpatience,inhope,inlove,
but in reality holding fast only to ourselves.Thus we
neverquitereachwhattheSaviorwants:Die!Giveyour-
self!Donotbestubborn!TheSaviorlovesyou,sogive
himthejoyofdaringthis.Youthinkitwillmeanthe
end,thattheSaviorwouldalsodieifyouwerenotthere
butifyouletyourselfbeledcompletelyintodeath,then
Jesuswilllive,andyouwillliveinhim(Gal.:::c).You
whodothisareknowntotheSavior,andyouwillknow
him.Hecanrevealthepowersofhisfuturetoyou,and
youwillneverperish.Theothers,havingthecharacter-
isticsofsheepbutnotdoingthewilloftheSavior,will
receiveblowafterblowandintheendwilldie.Itwillbe
161
The hardest
thing for us
to accept
about Gods
kingdom
is that it
makes us
quiet.
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162 DontPushSurrender!
saidtothem,Awaywithyou!Icannotuseyou!And
sogenerationaftergenerationpassesawaywithoutGods
willbeingrevealed.
Letustakethisseriously,dearpeople.Thesearenot
small matters but matters of the utmost importance,
and they show the way we must go. All our rushing
around and doing and thinking this or that can cer-
tainlybuildusup.Wecanbeexulteduptoheaven,but
these things can also become hindrances, leaving the
Saviortorunbehindus,asitwere,holdingontoour
coattailsinorderthatwedonotrushheadlongtowho-
knows-where.Onlywhenheisbeforeusandwemarch
behindhimwillhebringusthroughtheawfulpitsand
dangersofthispresenttime.Hecangiveuseternallife
evenamongthethornsandinthemidstoftheabyss,
uphillanddownhill,whereverwestumbleandfalland
cometothepointofdeath(:Cor.:;::).Oh,that
oureyesmightbeopened!Weinoursalvationwant
to make death the glory of Goda happy end!a
blesseddeath!butGoddesirestobeglorifiedinlife,
hereonearth.Youcanseebythishowfarwehavegone
astray.Whatwestriveafterisvastlydifferentfromwhat
theSaviorintended.Itissimplyawrongpath.
This is the collective guilt of all the sheep in this
presenttime,evenofthebestones.Therefore,wewill
acknowledgeforotherwisewejustwouldnotexperi-
ence itthat God the Father is greater than all our
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163 DontPushSurrender!
humandevices,religiousorotherwise.Letusallowall
this to sink quietly into our hearts, preserving it and
bringingfruitbeforeGodintheSpirit.Intears,letus
surrenderourselvestoGodandseektobecomesheep
through whom Gods kingdom can be revealed in
Christ.NothingelseisworthybeforeGod.
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
Weareworkers,
notmasterbuilders Oscar
Romero
ministers,notmessiahs.
Weareprophetsof
afuturenotourown.
Becauseoftheoppressionofthe
poorandthegroaningoftheneedy,
Iwillnowarise,saystheLord.
Iwillprotectthemfromthose
whomalignthem.
Psalm:::,
16
ThePowerofGod
T
heLordpromisesthathewillariseonbehalfof
the poor and the needy. How?That is always a
puzzle.Butherewehaveit:Godwilldoit.Thepoor
andtheneedyarebeforemeandImusthelpthem.
Butnow,howwillhedoit?
Alotcanbesaidinanswertothisquestion.Thefaith-
lesssay,Oh,yes,eveninourmiseryhecanblessus
and after all, there is eternity. But in this way not a
singleneedisovercome,notasingletearisdried.And
thisbusinessofeternityhonestly,Idontquitetrustit
when people console me with hopes of eternity. If I
165
166 ThePowerofGod
cannotseeanyhelpinthisworld,whocanguaranteeit
to me in eternity? Or has the Savior come only into
eternity?Isayhehascometous! Thereforethecom-
fortofeternityisnotsufficient.Canweonlyreachthe
goalassoonasweleavethislifebehind?Idontbelieve
so.Goddoesnotworkinsuchamechanicalway.We
cannotjustmerrilyskiparoundintheworldandlightly
assumethatwhenwedieeverythingwillbeallrightin
eternity.Ohno!
Still, Christians everywhere are almost exclusively
concernedwiththelifebeyond:theybelievethatGod
ispowerlessonearth,andtheydeclareittobefanati-
cism if one sees the light of the living God here on
earthandbelievesthatfinallyevendeathwillbeabol-
ished.Peopleeverywhereremainundertheillusionthat
Godstayseternallyinheaven.Peoplethinkthatweare
condemnedtoenduretortureforthetimeweliveon
this small orb called earth; and after our life here we
willbeeithercondemnedorblessed,dependingonour
religiousbelief.Andsoitgoesonthroughouttheages
andwearecontenttoleaveitatthat.
Tearyourselvesawayfromthisunbelief!Ifallweas-
piretoistogetoutofthisworldinordertobefreein
thenext,thenwepaytributetosinanddeath.Itshows
thegreatestdisdainforallthewordsofGodinscrip-
turewhenwerejectthejoyoushopeofGodscoming
reign by resigning ourselves to our fate on this earth
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
ThePowerofGod 167
and letting things continue as they are. Because our
religiouslivesarebankrupt,peoplethinkthatGodis
alsobankruptandunabletoaccomplishanythingon
earth.
Our happiness depends upon God exercising his
power,notweexercisingours(Ps.,::).Hemustac-
complishhiswill,andwemustbelievethathewilldo
this.ThisiswhyGodcreatedus.Andthosewhoserve
thepowerofGodintheirheartspullalittleofitdown
intoourworld.TheyrepresentGodbydrawingdown
hispowertohelp.
Itisnotsomuchaquestionofapersonswantingto
be converted.The first and most important thing is
thatGodgathershimin.Ourredemptionconsistsof
Godshelp,throughdeedsthatwecandonothingto
bringabout.Onthatdaywhenwehavebreathedour
lastandarebeforeGod,weshallbeamazed,inlooking
back,athowmuchGodhadtoriseupforusanduse
hispowertosaveus,despiteourwill.Therisingup
ofGodisalwaysamatterofhismovingcloserandcloser
tous,offightinghiswaydownuntilhecanbreakinto
ourworld.
ThisisthegoalofGodseffortsforus.Thisiswhy
helpiscontinuallydelayed.Needandmiserywillnot
beovercomeuntilthebarriersbetweeneternityandthis
worldarebrokenthroughagain.Anopeningmustbe
madefromabovedownward,notfrombelowupward.
If I
cant see
any help
in this
world,
who can
guarantee
it to me
in the
next?
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ThePowerofGod 168
TodaysChristianityseesitjusttheotherwayround.
WeChristianswouldratherfindanopeningoutofthis
world.Weonlywanttoflyupandoutofthisworld,as
dovesflyintothesky,andbesaved.Accordingtothe
Bible,however,theopeningsmustbebrokenthrough
fromaboveinorderthathelpcanflydowntoourearth.
Butnowadaysittakesaterriblestruggletobringthis
about.Doyouknowwhy?Becausenobodybelievesit!
Weallwanttogettoheavenandbesaved,eventhough
we havent the slightest idea of what lies beyond. So
manypeopletodaywantthingstoend.Evenso,when
theygettotheotherside,theywillsurelyrubtheir
eyessore.Oneshouldthinkverycarefullyaboutthese
matters, and it is a great pain to me that Christians
generallydonotunderstandthem.Thatiswhyweare
insuchabadway.
Iknowthatpeoplewillsay,TheregoesBlumhardt
again with his cute stories. But please prove to me
whichofthetwoisbiblical:ourdeathandflightinto
heaven,orGodsfuturehereonearth.Fromthefirstto
thelastchapter,theBibledealswiththecomingofGod
intothisworld,andthereisnothingaboutthisbusi-
nessofdying.EverywordintheBibleguaranteesthe
deedsofGodrightherewhereIstand.Downhereis
whereJesusappeared,notaboveintheinvisibleworld,
notaroundthethroneofGod.Hereonearthiswhere
hewantstodwellagain.Hereonearthiswherewemay
We pay
tribute
to sin
and death
if all we
want is to
get out of
this world
and into
eternity.
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169 ThePowerofGod
findhim.Hereonearthiswherehecameandwillcome
again.Godonlyneedstoliftonefingeragainstouraf-
fliction, and more is achieved than if we founded a
hundred thousand institutions. We must ask God to
riseup.Wehavetobecomebiblicalonceagain.AllI
wishtosayisthis:becomebiblical.Understandingand
wisdomwillbegivenifourfirstconcernisthatGod
comesnowandthatJesusliveshere.Weshouldlayclaim
toourrightonthisearththerighttovictoryoversin
anddeathhereonearthnotbecauseofourfaith,but
becauseofGodspowertomakethingsright.
Christianityhasalloweditselftobeinfluencedbyall
kindsofheathenideas:namely,toseethegloryofGod
onlyintheworldbeyond.InthiswaywehavelostJesus.
This adoration of Jesus in heaven will never achieve
anythingforus!Ofcourse,itdoesgiveusareligious
culture.Butthisisasham;itobscureswhatshouldbe
thechiefcharacteristicofChristians:Godinmanon
earth.PeoplehavenoideawhatChristscomingreally
means.WhatelseisthiscomingofChristotherthan
thepropheticideathatGodmusthaveacounterpart
onearth?Godmustdwellagainamonghumans.
Ourpatheticfaithaccomplishesnothing.Itsounds
harsh,butImustsayit.Icantstanditwhenpeople
continually babble about heaven. They are the most
self-centeredpeople.TheythinkonlyofGodinrela-
tiontothemselves.Thisissheerfollyafabricationof
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170 ThePowerofGod
thefirstorder.ItisthepowerofGodonthisearththat
redeems.Who,then,cansayofhisfaith,Look,Ihave
thetruefaith.Thatisadelusion.Yet,ifweturnthe
wholethingaroundandifwebearinmindGodsef-
fortstopenetrateintoourworldandaccomplishsome-
thinghereonearth,thenweshalltrulysee.
Itisnotsufficienttohaveareligion.Unbelievers
haveareligiontoo,anditisnotmuchdifferentfrom
ours.Goddoesnotcareafigaboutourreligion.When
Godisunabletocomedownandhelp,heevenprefers
toletthepeoplebecomeirreligious.InEgypt,forex-
ample,theIsraelitesdidastheyliked,andtheywentto
rackandruin.Evenso,Godcaredforthem.Hishelp
doesnotdependuponourreligion,butuponhisfaith-
fulness,mercy,andpower,anduponheartsthatwait
forhimtobreakin.
Thepromisesarebeforeus:NowIwillriseup.Now
Iwillgivehelp.Weknowthatgreathelphascometo
usinJesusChrist,butonlyifwebelievethatitisfor
thisearth.Once,whenJesushadvisitedCana,inGali-
lee, a certain royal official, whose son was dying in
Capernaum,cametohimandbeggedhimtocomeand
heal his son. Jesus told him, Unless you people see
miraculoussignsandwonders,youwillneverbelieve
(John:).Hecouldhavesaid,Trustmeyousee
whoIam!InsteadJesussaid,Iknowthatyoudonot
trustme,soImustgiveyousignsandwonders.There
ACTION in WAITING - www.Blumhardts.com
ThePowerofGod 171
werepeoplewhotrustedhimwithoutallthis,ofcourse.
Forthemsignsandwonderswereanaddedjoy,rather
thananecessity.Butformany,signsandwonderswere
essential. What would we do today if the signs and
wondersoftheSaviorhadnotbeenwrittendown?We
wouldfinditverydifficulttopreachindeed.
Itis,however,bothremarkableandparadoxicalthat
those who do not long for the coming of the Savior
alsodonotbelieveinsignsandwonders.Miraclesare
onlyexpectedbythosewhohavealongingforthecom-
ingoftheSavior,forthefulfillmentoftime.Thesethings
arecloselyboundtogether.Forthosewhodonothave
thislonging,signsandwondersareamatterofcom-
pleteindifference.Theyareevenathreat!Butweare
willing to admit to the Savior our weakness of faith
and tell him, Yes, it is true that we need signs and
wonders. Even now, during this time when we must
havepatienceanduntilthetimewhensignsandwon-
derswillbeseeneverywhere,untilallthewretchedare
trulyhelpedinthistimeofbattle,weneedsignsand
wonders.
Peoplelikeusbelieve,butwhy?Ihave,afterall,ex-
periencedthepowerofGod.Ihavemorethanenough
reasontobelieveinmiracles.Iwouldwishthisforother
peopletoo,atleastenoughsignsandwondersinthis
timeofdarknessforsincereheartstoberefreshed.When
we read about the healing works of Jesus, we cannot
Because
our
religious
lives are
bankrupt,
we think
that God
is also
bankrupt.
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172 ThePowerofGod
helpbutsay,Yes,dearSavior,nowImustseewhether
ornotyoulive.Weareindeedpoorsouls,andnoth-
ingmovesusquitelikeaphysicaljolt.Andwecannot
keep going very long, spiritually speaking, without a
physicalimprovement.Abreakmustbemadethrough
thewallofphysicaldeathifourspirituallifeistobe
sustained.
Thus,weshouldpraysteadfastlyforthisandbelieve
thatsomethingwillhappen.Somethingmusthappen
hereonearth.Whatisourchiefconcern?Andwhen
theSavior acts,what is his chiefconcern?To accom-
plishgoodonearthphysicallyaswellasspiritually!
Thisisactuallythefoundationuponwhichwestand.
Itisasadreligion,no,aworthlessreligion,ifmybody,
mymaterialandsocialcircumstance,israckedandtor-
mented.ButourGodisLordofbothheavenandearth.
Therefore,weshouldbepeoplewhoinallthingshave
light,rightthroughdeathandintoresurrection.This
willmakeusstrong.Hewillplaceusinthesafetyfor
whichwelong.
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Amen
RejoiceintheLordalways.
Iwillsayitagain:Rejoice!
Letyourgentlenessbeevidenttoall.
TheLordisnearAndthepeace
ofGod,whichtranscendsall
understanding,willguardyourhearts
andyourmindsinChristJesus.
Philippians:,
17
RejoiceintheLord
W
eshouldrejoiceintheLord.Butwhy?Wemust
haveareason,notjustintheorybutinreality.
Wemusthavesomethingconcreteinwhichtorejoice,
not in just anything, but in Christ. It is not that all
otherjoysshouldbetakenawayfromus,buttheseare
notthejoysthatlast.Allthosethingsthattakeplaceon
thisearth,makingushappyforthemoment,arevery
short-lived. Whatever earthly joys there may be are
piecemeal, and joyful moods fill our hearts only
174
175 RejoiceintheLord
fleetingly. Alongside such moods there is also much
sorrow,bornofallkindsofmisery.
Thereismuchtrouble,muchuncertainty,andmuch
unpeacefulnessinthisworld.Wecannotexpect,there-
fore,tohaveconstantjoy,atleastnotinthewaythe
worldthinksofit.Wemustalwaysbepreparedforitto
passaway.Yetwecannottrulylivewithoutacontinu-
ousjoy,ajoythatendures.Wemustseekthisjoy.We
lookforitinChristbecauseinhimanewfuture,anew
goal,hasopenedbeforeus.
Thatisthemeaningofthesaying,TheLordisnear.
It also expresses where the goal lies: namely, here on
earth.WemayrejoiceinChristbecauseweshallstill
experiencethegoodonearthwithhimwhoistheLord
ofpeace.Wehaveakingdomofthefuturebeforeour
eyes.Thisissofirmlyestablishedthatwecanholdfast
toitandremainjoyfulinthishope.Thisiswhatour
faith consists in, and this faith makes us firm and as
hardassteel.Thisfaithmakesusdefythewholeworld
asitistoday.
Thisfaithisnotabelief inGod,fortruefaithisa
natural,spontaneousawarenessofGod.Norisitabe-
lief inChrist,forthisbelief changesintothereal-
ization:weknowthatChristis.Itisfaiththatweshall
become something through God, through Christ,
through the Holy Spirit.That is our faith. Our faith
wantstocreatesomething;itwantstocreatethatfor
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RejoiceintheLord 176
whichthewholeofhumansocietyhasbeenstrivingfor
thousands of years.We would have no foundation if
ourfaithinthekingdomofGoddidnotalsobelievein
humanhappiness.Thenitwouldrightlybesaidofour
faiththatitisfalse,small,weary,weak,faint-hearted,
and full of doubt and fear. Then we would become
unsteadyandwaveringpeople.
Ifwedaretobelievethatwemortalscanstillrepre-
sentonearthsomethingthatisrightbeforeGodand
humanity,ifwekeepoureyesonthis,thenwearemade
firm.This is not only Gods will, but it is the desire
ofourheartsaswell.Thisfaithmakesusunwavering
andturnsusintostrongpeople(:Tim.::o;).Yes,itis
rightandtrue:humanbeingsarenotmeanttobemiser-
ablecreatures.Godsoffspringshallnotwasteawayfor-
everinsorrowandinmisery.Thislongingliesdeepin
ourownheartsandissomuchapartofeverypersons
heartthatitcannotbeuprooted.
Religiouspeopletryadifferentapproach.Theyseek
thefutureofhumanitybeyondtheearthandwantto
makepeoplehappywithsupernaturalthings.Certainly
itisastrengthforpeopleinmiserywhoareutterlyata
losstosay,Onedayitwillallcometoanend,andI
willdieandbeatrest.ThenIwillbeinGodshands.
Butthishasneverproducedlastingstrength.Ithasnever
ledtoatrulyvigorouslife.Ifultimatelythisendtoall
miseryisnotentirelycertain,thenthereiseveryreason
We know
what we
believe,
therefore
we live it.
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177 RejoiceintheLord
to doubt whether we can truly rejoice in it. When I
think of all the people who have come to me to talk
about God and Christ and about the kingdom of
heaven,Iknowthatthisthoughthasconcernedeach
ofthem:canInotreceiveanyhelpnow,here,inmy
ownlife?HowoftenhaveIheardpeoplesay,Isthere
noGodinheaven?NotinthesensethatImaybeblessed
atsomefuturetime,butthathelpwillbegivenonthis
earthsothatImaybejoyful,freedfrommysins,and
reallybecomeatruemanorwoman.Thiscryreaches
usfrommillionsofhearts.
Ifonlyonepersonwantstruthandthejoyoflifeto
playthegreatestpartnotsorrowordistress,notmis-
eryorasinful,pervertedlifethenthiscryarisesfrom
millionsofotherhearts.Thenwecanproclaim,Youare
right.Youcanbelievethis,andbecauseGodexists,you
arerightifyoudonotregardthispresentsocietyasthe
ultimateone(Isa.o,::;:,).Youarerighttooifyoube-
lievethatonedaytherewillbeachurchcommunityupon
earth,asocietyofmenandwomeninwhichpeaceand
joywillreign.Youareright.Believeit!AstrulyasGodis
inheaven,ascertainasChristwasborn,astrulyasthe
gospelispreached,sowilltherebeakingdomofGodon
earth!Thereforebelieveandhopeinthiskingdom,even
thoughitsfulfillmentstillawaitsus.
Yetforthosewhokeeptheireyesonthiskingdom,it
isnotonlyinthefuture;itisalreadycomingintobeing
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178 RejoiceintheLord
inthepresent.Anditispresent,forthisfaithistoday
shapingacommunityofmenandwomen,asocietyin
whichpeoplestrengtheneachothertowardsthisgoal.
Withoutsuchasocietyhowisfaithpossible?Theking-
domofGodmustbeforeshadowedinahumansoci-
ety.TheapostlePaulcallsthissocietythebodyofChrist,
ofwhichChrististhehead(:Cor.::::::;).Jesusalso
callsitabuilding,whereeachstonefitsintothenextso
thatthebuildingbecomescomplete(:Pet.::::).He
callsithislittleflock,whereallloveoneanother,where
eachanswersfortheothersandallanswerfortheone.
Intheawarenessthatwearethefightersforthefuture,
we are those through whom the earth must become
bright.Weknowwhatwebelieve.Thereforewetestify
towhatwebelieve;therefore,welivewhatwebelieve.
InthiswayGodskingdomcomesintothepresent.It
comesnowjustasitshallbeinthefuture.
InordertoformsuchasocietyinChristtheremust
be people who are resolute now, people who are free
now,peoplewhoarefreefromanxietynow.Rightfrom
thebeginning,whentheapostlesbegantopreach,this
freedomfromanxietywassought.Butdonotmisun-
derstand this. Let me tell you, it is foolish to say to
yourneighbor,Dontworry!Whenapersonlivesut-
terlyalone,isolatedintheworld,andnobodyiscon-
cernedabouthim,whenotherpeoplekickhimaround
and want to have nothing to do with him, when a
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RejoiceintheLord 179
personisexcludedfromeverythingthatlendshuman
dignitytolife,whenthereisnothingforhimtodobut
toearnhisbreadwithmuchworry,toil,andburden,
thenitisasintosaytohim,Dontworry!
Todayitiscoldlysaidofmillions,Theyshouldnt
worry.Iftheywouldonlywork,theywouldearntheir
wages.Thosewhotalklikethispassrightbysuchfolks
withoutcaringajotforthem.Themajorityofworking
peoplestilldonothavejobsworthyofahumanbeing.
Theylivescatteredandisolatedlives.Whatamiseryit
istohavetobeg,ortoworktwojobs.Yethowmany
peoplehavetodoit!Whatanunworthyexistenceitis
fortheonewhowantstomeethisobligationsandbea
respectedpersonbutwhocannotpayhistaxesorhis
billsorisunabletoservesocietyinanymeaningfulway.
HowcanIsaytosuchaperson,Dontworry.What
coldnessofheart!
No, at present the whole world lies deep in worries
andcares,includingthewealthiestofnations.Butwithin
the society and organism that proceeds from Christ,
worriescanandshouldcease.Thereweshouldcarefor
oneanother.WhentheapostlePaulsays,Donotworry,
hetakesitforgrantedthatthesearepeoplewhoareunited
by a bond of solidarity so that no one says anymore,
This is mine, but all say, Our solidarity, our bond,
musttakeawayourworries.Allthatwesharetogether
musthelpeachoneofusandsoridusofanxiety.
Only in
a shared
life can
you say,
Dont
worry!
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180 RejoiceintheLord
In this way the kingdom of heaven comes. First it
comes in a small flock free from anxiety.Thus Jesus
teaches:Itellyou,donotworryaboutyourlife,what
you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you
willwearButseekfirstGodskingdomandhisrigh-
teousness,andallthesethingswillbegiventoyouas
well(Matt.o:,:,,).Fromthebeginning,eversince
Christwasborn,peoplehavesoughtsuchasociety,a
fellowshipofthekingdom,freefromcaresandworries.
Thereisanenormousstrengthwhenpeoplestandto-
gether,whentheyunitetogetherinacommunalway.
Theideaofprivatepropertyfallsaway,andtheyareso
boundtogetherintheSpiritthateachonesays,What
Ihavebelongstotheothers,andifIshouldeverbein
need,theywillhelpme(:Cor.::,:,).Thisfirmand
absolutestandingtogetherinasharedlifewhereeachis
responsible for the other is the kind of life in which
youcanindeedsay,Dontworry!
Time and again, people have attempted to live to-
getherinthisway.Yetithasnevercomefullyintobe-
ing.AndthisisthereasonwhyChristianityasChrist
meant it has become so weak. To be sure, people
throughouttheageshaveknownthatthisbuildingup
ofasocialorderinwhichoneneednotworryanymore
wasoriginallyChristswill.Christtoldusnottoseek
after riches or the honors of this world. He said this
preciselybecausehetookitforgrantedthathisunited
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181 RejoiceintheLord
peoplewouldalwayshavethenecessarymeansforlife.
Hetoldhisfollowersthattheironenessinlove,their
lifestyleofsharing,wouldprovidethemwithsufficient
foodandclothing.
Againandagainpeoplehavethoughtthatthisisthe
way society should be. But because it does not fully
comeabout,theygiveitupeventuallyandreplaceitby
so-calledcharitywherethosewhohave,outofachari-
tableurge,offersomethingtothosewhohavenot.This
isthewayithasalwaysbeen.Manypeoplefindways,
withtheirextrameans,tohelpthepoor,hereandthere.
YetthisisnotwhatJesusChristwants.Justtheoppo-
site!What worries are caused by the many charitable
institutionsofourday.Millionscontinuetoworryhow
theycangetalittlehereandalittlethere.Oftenthey
areturnedawaybycharityitself.Doesthissurpriseyou?
Donotbetakenabackwhenthephilanthropistsofthis
worldfailtogivehelp.Charityisnottheway.Itstill
holdsbackwhatisessentiallyneeded.Thereforewemust
join together. A united company of Jesus must come
about.
Howshallthishappen?Wehavelostthefeelingfor
it.OnereasonwhyChristsfollowersdidnotremain
organicallyboundtogether,asatPentecost,isthatthey
wanted to draw in too many foreign elements. The
memberswantedtoconvertthewholeworldbeforethey
themselveswerefullyconverted.Itissimplynotpos-
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RejoiceintheLord 182
sible to gather hundreds of thousands of people into
commonfellowshipbeforethemembersthemselvesare
readyforthis.Thisisespeciallysoifyoudrawinpeople
whoarematerialistic,peoplewhoareenvious,people
whoarenotfree,whoarenotwillingtogothewhole
way. It would be better if they remained outside and
hadthecaresoftheworld.Theyarenotfittobeco-
fighters.
Thefreedomoftheheartmustfirstbethere,afree-
dom from all that the world plays around with and
that attracts us. Then we can shed all worries. How
muchpeopleareabletodooncetheyarefreedfromall
caresanddonotworryabouttheirdailybread!Itdoes
nottakemuch,onlythatpeoplearesoboundtogether
thattheyknow,WhenIgetintoneed,theotherswill
bethere.ButifIsay,Iwillsaveenoughformyselfso
thatIwillneverhavetodependonothers,orifIinsist
onbeingrichandtheotherpoor,thenthisistheruin
ofanyChristiansociety.ItisamockeryofChristsbody.
ItisforthisreasonIdonotthinkmuchofspiritual
communities.Theydonotlast.Peoplearefriendsfora
while,butiteventuallyends.Anythingthatisgoingto
last must have a much deeper foundation than some
kindofspiritualexperience.Unlesswehavecommu-
nityinthebody,inthingsmaterial,wewillneverhave
itinspiritualmatters(Acts:::;).Wearenotmere
spirits.Wearehumanbeingsoffleshandblood.Every
Charity
is not the
way. It
still holds
back
something
essential.
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RejoiceintheLord 183
dayweneedtoeat.Weneedclothingforeveryseason.
Wemustshareourtools;wemustworktogether;we
must work communally and not each for himself.
Otherwise we can never become one in the love of
Christ,canneverbecometheflock,thecommunityof
Jesus, which stands up in the world and says, Now
thingsmustbecomequitedifferent.Nowtheindividual
muststoplivingforhimself.Nowasocietyofbrothers
andsistersmustarise.
ThisisthewayJesuswantsustosetasideourwor-
ries.Yet we Christians expect people to have faith in
themostimpossibleofsituations,inconditionswhere
theynearlyperishofneedandmisery,wheretheyexist
in wretched hovels, hardly knowing how to keep the
wolffromthedoor.Andwecomealongandcalloutto
them,Simplybelieve!Toshoutintothiskindofdis-
tress,Believe!Theneverythingwillbeallright,heaven
awaitsyou!isanunreasonabledemandthatcannotbe
carriedout(James::::).No,thekingdomofGod
mustnotbeonlyakingdomofthefuture.Certainly
for the vast majority it still lies in the future, but in
Christschurchcommunityweshouldseektobecome
united,andbegintobecomefreeinsuchawaythat,at
leastinthecircleswhereweloveoneanother,carescease.
Ourcommunitymustbestrongerthanthegatesof
deathandhell.Itmustbeofsterlingqualityinevery
aspect,notonlycommunalbutalsotruthful.Noone
If I am
saved by
grace,
then I
am a
worker
through
grace.
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184 RejoiceintheLord
whohappenstohavethisorthatadvantageshouldeven
thinkheshouldbeespeciallyhonored.Itisamatterof
Gods virtues, not human ones. Not customs, not
peoplesviews,notthelatesttrend,notwhatanation
happenstobelieveisright,butonlywhatisrightbe-
fore God. When this happens, Gods people will be
hated.Forittellsthewholeworldstraighttoitsface,
Yourcustomsarefalse!Doyousupposewerecognize
yourwarlikeways?Doyouthinkweareimpressedby
yourprideandenvy,yourself-love,yourwholeswindle
ofbeingrich?No!Wewouldratherbelongtothedes-
titutethangoondoinghomagetothisswindle!The
community of Jesus Christ draws hatred upon itself
becauseitassertsitselfinthisway.Itnolongerwants
thewaysoftheworld,thelatestideaswhatwewant
isGodandhisLordship!
Thiscausesaviolentstruggle,whichiswhytheSav-
iorsays,Thegateisnarrowandthewayishardthat
leadstolife,andonlyafewfindit(Matt.;::).Most
people,includingChristians,admirethisworld.They
payhomagetoit.Whentheprinceofthisworldcomes
andoffershisrichestothem,theydonotdowhatthe
Saviordid.Hesaid,Begone!Iwillnotrulebyyour
means.Mostpeople,whenSatancomes,bowdown
beforehimandsay,Oh,yes,IamsureIcanreconcile
myrelationshiptoGodwiththeacceptanceofworldly
honor,praise,andwealthfromyou.Andactuallythings
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185 RejoiceintheLord
willgomuchbetterafterwards!Thisiswhatmostof
usdo,andthereforewenowseemanyChristianswho
arecompletelyoftheworld.
Donotdeceiveyourselves!Itisnotonlytheunbe-
lievers. In fact, I know unbelievers who demonstrate
morefaiththanthebelievers.Thebelieversarethevery
oneswhoareindangerofseekinghonorandofshining
before men in their piety, and saying, Yes! Yes! to
everything.Ontopofitall,theyappealtotheBible.It
isnogoodjusttothrowbibletextsaround.Forthere
arethosewhodonotuseasinglebiblequotationany-
more,andyettheyfightforGod,fortruth,forlove,
forfellowship.Theyfightforthebettermentofthepoor
sothattheymayatlastcomeoutoftheirmisery.They
may not use the name of God, but I believe they
shallhearthewords,GointothejoyofyourLord.
IdonotknowwhatIhavedonetoserveYou.Yes,
yes!Youservedme.Whateveryoudidtorelievehuman
misery,whateveryoutriedtodotomakethingsbetter
on earth, that you did to me. Who knows but that
thesesameunbelieverswillnotbethemajorityofthose
whoenterthekingdomofheaven,foritissterlingqual-
itythatmattershere.
People of faith must achieve something tangible.
Neverthinkyoudonothavetoachievesomething.It
hasbeenpreachedtousthatweareonlysavedthrough
grace.Ibelievethat.ButifIhavebeensavedbygrace,
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RejoiceintheLord 186
thenImustachievesomething.Youmay,asafavor,be
acceptedasapartnerinabusiness;butonceinit,you
aretoldtogettowork.Neitherinheavennoronearth
isitpossiblejusttosettledowncomfortablyinsome-
thingcalledgraceanddonothingandcarefornobody
else.IfIamsavedbygrace,thenIamaworkerthrough
grace (Eph. :::c). If I am justified by grace, then
throughgraceIamaworkerforjustice.Ifthroughgrace
Iamplacedwithinthetruth,thenthroughgraceIam
aservantoftruth.IfthroughgraceIhavebeenplaced
withinpeace,thenthroughgraceIamaservantofpeace.
Totakeawayformyselfsomethinggiventhroughgrace
andtocarenothingaboutothersthatisnottheright
way.WhateverIamthroughgracemakesmeaworker,
andonlytheworkercounts;theslacker,never.
InGodseyesonlytheworkerissomething.Therefore
weshouldalwaysconsiderinourhearts:whatisGods
will?Butoh,thiswecannotdo!Howcanonepossibly
dothat?Thisiswherethedenialofselfbegins.ItisGods
will.Thereforeitismywilltoo,anditbecomesmyhearts
veryownproperty.IwantitbecauseGodwantsit,andit
mustcomeaboutbecauseitisthewillofGod.ForthisI
willstand,andforitIwillgivemybodyandmylife.
Thisisthewaythatwecantrulyofferourlives,beliving
sacrificesforGod,andtrulyworkthroughthissacrifice,
thissacrificeofourwholelives.
If you
want
unending
joy,
sacrifice
yourself.
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187 RejoiceintheLord
Thereisgreatstrengthinthis,mydearfriends.Sac-
rificeyourself,foronce,forthewillofGod!Itwillnot
be in vain. Sacrifice yourself for the truth, for Gods
justice. Sacrifice yourself, against human reason, for
somethingthatistrulygood.SacrificeyourselfforChrist
inallthings,forthechurchcommunitythatseeksthe
kingdomofGod.Thereistremendousstrengthinthis.
Intimespast,thousandshavebeendriventotheirdeath
becauseofthis.Theygavetheirlivesjoyfully,evenwhen
most cruelly tortured.They remained strong because
theystoodfirminthewillofGod.Nowadayspeople
shuneverycross.Nobodydaresanythinganymore.No
onerisksanything.Wecowerassoonassomethingruns
contrary to the way things are. We fear what others
think.ButifwewanttohavejoyinChrist,unending
joy,thenwemustlearntosacrificeourselves.Thereis
nootherway.Thingswillneverbebetterintheworld
unlessself-sacrificingpeopleofferthemselvesaswork-
ers for God. A comfortable Christianity will never
changetheworld.
No,rejoiceintheLord,inthehopeofhiskingdom!
Rejoice in the Lord as resolute fighters of his church
community,thecommunityinwhichbrothersandsis-
tersareabletolivewithoneanotherintrueself-denial
andfreedom,thechurchcommunitythatdoesnotcon-
demn but has clear eyes for the truth. Be bound to-
getherinthis!StandupforGodsfuture,andyourjoy
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188 RejoiceintheLord
willbelasting.WhoeverisgrippedbythisChristwill
winthefight.Hewillalwayshavebeforehiseyesthe
daywhenallpeoplewillbeabletorejoiceafterthebattle
iswonforthegloryofGod.
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Afterword
byKarlBarth
I
must post a warning for those from theological
circles,aswellasforthosewhothinkonlypoliti-
cally.Youmighthavethemisfortunetolayasidethis
book, discontented and disappointed after browsing
through it a few times. We cannot read it as we are
pronetoreadotherbooksandarticles.Blumhardtputs
forwardnoguidingprinciples.Heproducesnohistori-
cal and psychological conclusions. He speaks neither
politicsnortheology.Thereisnospeculativeprobing
intoproblems,ordrawingconclusions,orbuildingsys-
tems.Herefutesnobody,andnobodyneedstofeelre-
futed by him, but he does not concur with anybody
elses views either. He pins down neither himself nor
anyoneelsewithpreciseprinciples.
In fact, Blumhardt does not expound a particular
point of view. Rather, he lets us experience the echo
thattheBiblearousedwithinhimeveryday.Hedoes
notwanttosayanythingbrilliant,setoffanyfireworks,
orstrikeanyblow:hesimplytellsusthedivinetruthin
theworldasitmeetshim.Isuspectthathewouldhave
quiteafewthingstosayabouttheconflictsandprob-
FromDerFreieSchweitzerArbeiter,September:,:o,inresponseto
BlumhardtsMorgen-Andachten.
189
Afterword 190
lemsthatstirusnowadays.Hewillnotsayit,though;
itisnotimportantenoughtohimbecauseotherthings
aremoreimportant.Heevidentlyexpectstheanswer
onadifferentlevel.
ShallwetakeexceptiontothefactthatBlumhardt
sidesteps a whole host of problems? No. We already
havemuchliteratureoncertainquestionsregardingthe
consummationofGodsfuture,buthardlyasinglebook
like this one that we can share with unmitigated joy
withallsortsofpeoplewhoalsowanttohopewithus.
OneofthedeepestimpressionsIgetfromBlumhardt
isthatherewemeetapriestlyperson.Blumhardtcan
dosomethingwhichmostofuscannotdo:represent
Godscauseintheworldyetnotwagewarontheworld,
lovetheworldandyetbecompletelyfaithfultoGod,
sufferwiththeworldandspeakafrankwordaboutits
needwhilesimultaneouslygoingbeyondthistospeak
the redemptive word about the help it awaits. He is
abletocarrytheworlduptoGodandbringGoddown
intotheworld,pleadingunceasinglyandunwaveringly
before God and to God, Your kingdom come! and
waitingandhasteningwithotherstowardthiscoming.
Isthatnotthehighestandmostpromisingthingaper-
soncandoifheorshecan?
AnotherstrongimpressionIgetthroughoutatbot-
tomidenticalwiththefirstishoworganictruthisin
theeyesofthisman.Hedoesnotconstrue,neitherdoes
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Afterword 191
hehacktopieces.Hedoesnotdemonstrateorengage
inpolemics.Notforamomentdoesthemiseryofthe
humanconditionbecomeanindependentobjectofhis
interest;itliesembeddedfromtheverybeginningin
thecomingofGod.HeseesGodcreatinglightoutof
darkness,onetakingshapeoutoftheotherandgrow-
ingunderhisrulership.Blumhardtsvisionisanunpar-
alleled, joyful triumph over those who are given to
speculativedissection.
BlumhardtalwaysbeginswithGodspresence,power,
andpurpose.HestartsoutfromGod.Hedoesnotbe-
ginbyclimbingupwardstohimbymeansofcontem-
plationanddeliberation.Godistheend,andbecause
wealreadyknowhimasthebeginning,wemayawait
hisconsummatingacts.BlumhardthasfaithinGods
revelationbecausehealreadyseesitinthenearestand
mostordinarythings.HebelievesinthevictoryofGod
because he sees evil also as never quite outside Gods
circle.OutofthisprimaryrecognitionBlumhardtcon-
frontstworealities:ontheonehandhehasinsightinto
theneedoftheworld,andontheotherhandhepos-
sesses the joyful hope of its being overcome. No one
andnoconditionisoutsideGodsgreatcircle.Along-
sideourweaknatureisGodspower.Inthisway,from
theverybeginning,humannaturetooisrequisitioned
forGod,andthatinaveryfar-reachingway.
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Afterword 192
ThedeepsufferingthatBlumhardtfeelsfortheac-
tualsituationoftheworldandhisconfidentexpecta-
tionsforitsfuturearegroundedfromtheoutsetina
joyfultrustinGodscreation,whichis,afterall,simple
trustinGod.Heneverlosessightofthegreatintercon-
nectionsthroughwhicheviltoomustbecomesubject
tothewillofGod.BlumhardtsfaithinGodsprovi-
denceisthenaturaloutcomeofhishopeinanewheaven
andanewearth,andthattruthshallenterintopeoples
hearts.Hence,evenwarhasameaning.Blumhardtlooks
uponsucheventualitiesasajudgment,exceptthatfor
himthistermhasnogloomyandtragicmeaning,but
chieflyajoyfulandhopefulone.Wecouldsaythatit
is times of judgment alternating with times of grace
thathelpusforwardtowardsalvation.Forandhere
lies the key to everythingwith Jesus the good, the
powersofthefuture,haveactuallyalreadybegun,the
good to which the world and nature alike are called,
which towers right into our own time also and goes
forwardtowardaconsummation.
Buthowshallallthisbecomereality?Blumhardthas
twoanswers:theonehegivestoGod,Onlyyou,O
God,canhelp,noneother!Theotherhegivestous,
Ask.Askandyoushallreceive.Andinaskingweshare
in, we help with, the new creation. Blumhardt sees
thecomingkingdombeingpreparedinadoublemove-
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Afterword 193
mentinheavenandonearth,andtheactualdecision
liesnotinthevisiblebutintheinvisibleworld.Ifsome-
thingnewistoariseonearth,Godultimatelyhastodo
it, but for our part we can sow truth and justice. In
quiteanaturalway,therefore,Blumhardtcomestoa
concept that is very important to himthe biblical
concept of the little flock, Gods Zion, who gather
aroundChristnotfortheirownsalvationbutforthe
redemptionoftheworld.TheyaretorepresentGods
cause, Gods future, in a special way. Gathering and
waitingfithandinglove.
Whatwillsuchpeoplehavetodo?Onethingabove
all:toknowandtobecomedeepandfirmintheknowl-
edgethatouractualdoingmustcomefromthestrength
ofGod.Suchpeoplearebestdescribedbywhatthey
donotdo.Thisattitudequiet,eagerlyexpectant,and
directedtowardGodiswhatBlumhardtcallswait-
ing.Itwouldbegoodnottopasslightlyoverthepro-
founddepthofwhathemeansbythis,becausealltoo
often a comfortable sort of nonsense is made out of
this concept. Blumhardts meaning is that waiting,
althoughturnedinwardatfirst,isinitsessencerevolu-
tionary:LordGod,makenew!Makeusnew!Toact
towaitmeansjusttheoppositeofsittingcomfort-
ablyandgoingalongwiththewaythingsare,withthe
oldorderofthings.ForBlumhardt,divineandhuman
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Afterword 194
actionarecloselyinterlocked,notinamechanicalbut
inanorganicsense.Itisourcalling,ourtaskinevery-
daylife,thatpeoplecanseetheSaviorthroughus.
When we hasten and wait toward God like this,
the consummation is prepared, coming from God
himself.Outofwhatisnowpresent,andinthosewho
liveexpectantlyinthepowerofGod,thefutureisbuilt
up quietly and inconspicuously. When will it finally
appear?Whatisneededforthistohappeninanouter
way?Suchquestionsareirrelevant.Forthosewhoawait
Godscoming,behindeverythingliesthegreatfuture
ofGod.
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