Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 59

The teachings of men drove us from the Kingdom of Heaven for a time. Truth was silent. We wandered far off track and fell captive to the hypocrisy of the wicked.

The hypocrites say they are holy too, but their works stink before God. They speak loudly and boldly, thinking no one can withstand them because they count with the pope’s authority. They insist church leaders should not marry, but they wallow in luxury, greed, and dishonesty, living immoral lives and setting a bad example for all. They think themselves above civil law because they are the pope’s servants. Great men go aping after them but they make the world blind. They do not know Christ and teach false doctrines that will keep people out of the Kingdom of Heaven. They strut around in gorgeous displays. One senses no humility in the beast, in the serpent that led Eve astray.

These men support the Antichrist. They despise God’s Word wherever they lurk with their deceptive speech. God has given them over to delusion and hardened their hearts, so take note of Jesus’ advice: “By their fruits you will know them. Who will pick grapes from thistles or figs from thorns?”

Do not let the brood of vipers scare you into doing wrong. They ask, “Can it be possible that we were in error for so many generations? What about our parents, our friends and relatives that have died? Were they all deceived?”

What a blind question! When Israel fell from the covenant God had made with them everyone began to live for himself. Faith, trust, and love disappeared. The poor suffered wrong. Obedience and mercy—the proofs of love to God—fell by the way, and false prophets set up idols to worship. Then the curses for breaking the covenant went into effect.

All that God had told Moses happed to Israel when they turned to money and goods and forgot his Word. They lost their fear of God and went completely astray. They killed the prophets God sent them, but he kept offering his mercy! He told them if they repented he would feed them and be a Father to them. Even though they had lived for many years without priests or law, he promised to heal them if they would turn to him.

Just look at what God did for Israel, then! Out of all nations he called his people together. Out of bondage he called them into grace and Israel became the Christian Church!

God made a new covenant with them in Christ. Everyone that trusts from the heart in Christ, God says, will be saved from hell.

Daniel Kropf,     -1534, Tirol, Austria

Captured with six others and beheaded at Steyr.

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