Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 570
After we make our covenant with God and the Church, we come to the third witness. That is, the witness of blood.
Blood, that is, pain and great tribulation, marks the life of Christ’s heirs. Before we reign with Christ the world rejects us like it rejected him. Much trouble becomes ours, but we rejoice that our sins are forgiven through the Holy Ghost, the prayers, and the laying on of hands of Jesus’ Church.
With serious dedication we keep Christ’s order with God and his holy community. If sin appears among us we deal with it, punishing brothers and sisters as needs arise.
Sins unto death call for the ban—a punishment given by God to bring the erring ones back to him. And if they repent the church takes them back to persevere, sticking close to Christ, passing through death to rise on the youngest day with him.
To know God and his Son is eternal life. Therefore, if we know him, we stop sinning.
The one that knows God keeps his commandments. All the trouble and work this entails never seems in vain once we enter the unspeakable glory of his Kingdom. We know that God gives eternal life to the one that lives for him now.
Man fell, through disobedience, into the devil’s domain. But God frees us through Christ and the Holy Spirit to set us in true community. Let everyone seeking this way consider it well for the cost is high.
Everything must be staked on the deal. We must be willing to let go of every possession and to hate our own lives. No jokes or half-heartedness will do. We must be convinced in our own minds and have God’s witness in our hearts.
No one can decide for another, for only the Spirit of God living within us can possibly see us through the persecution sure to come for choosing this Way. Only with the Spirit can we confess our faith and hope with word, deeds, and life. Only with the Spirit can we show the world its sins and tell it the Truth.
Let every one considering this Way arm himself with faith, love, and perseverance. There will be a fight! Let him discern good from evil, and use his free will to choose life instead of death. Those that resist the Truth at this time will have no excuse on the Day of Judgement. Unless they repent, it would have been ten times better not to have heard it at all.
Repent! Set your lives in order, and God will give you eternal joy! This is your opportunity. Take it now! God will bless you and give you peace. In the end, he will dress you in white to sit at his table on the wedding feast.
My inner desire is for you to find healing for your souls, unity with the flock, and peace with God—here as well as in eternity.
Hans Schmidt, -1558, Raiffach, Tirol, Austria