The following quotes are from the book, The Secret of the Strength–What Would the Anabaptists Tell This Generation? Why not read through them and see what the 21st Century Church can learn from the 16th Century Anabaptists?
“The Spirit of Christ teaches and reveals things that no man can express and which cannot be written onto paper. Nobody knows what those things are, save those to whom they have been revealed.” –Leonhard Schiemer 1527 — Lesson 1) Don’t just accept what you have been taught. Ask God to give you supernatural revelation!
“The educated people of this world start at the wrong end. They hitch the horse to the back of the wagon. They would love to receive the truth of Christ in high institutions of learning, but that is like me going to the goldsmith and telling him to teach me his trade without bothering to take me into the workshop, or like a man learning out of a book how to make shoes.” –Leonhard Schiemer — Lesson 2) We need hands-on experiences so that we can practically learn to follow and obey Jesus and not just follow Him on paper. Perhaps church could be like a science lab or a shoemaker’s workshop and allow people to learn to live for Christ by doing it with one another.
“Our thoughts on the inside and our deeds on the outside — all our life is to become a picture of Christ.” –Wolfgang Brandhuber — Lesson 3) Let’s make our thoughts and actions conform to Christ.
“The Spirit of God does not want to be bound.” –Wolfgang Brandhuber — Lesson 4) Obey the Spirit first, above protocol, tradition, formality, or anything else that would cause us to want to quench the Spirit.
“All who are one with Christ through his divine Word are members of his body: that is, they are his hands, his feet, and his eyes. He is the head of the body, and it is through Him that the members are governed.” –Ambrosius Spittelmayr 1527 Lesson 5) Make Jesus the actual and literal Head of each local church.
” For some time I thought I had faith, but I have come to see that it was a false faith. It was a faith that could not overcome my spiritual poverty, my inclinations to sin, my weaknesses and my sickness. Instead of that, the more I polished and adorned myself on the outside (with my supposed faith) the worse became my spiritual sickness on the inside. . . . Now I see clearly that I cannot keep on in this unbelief before God, so I say: Yes Lord!” –Hans Denck 1525 — Lesson 6) Let’s get real and get rid of all pretense.
“No one truly knows Christ unless he follows him daily in life.” –Hans Denck — Lesson 7) If we are not living our lives like Christ, our faith is faulty.
“What we need to do is teach one another to know God.” –Hans Denck — Lesson 8) Rather than just teaching doctrine, we need to teach each other how to have a real, dynamic relationship with the living, resurrected Jesus Christ.
“The light of God within us shows us what sin is, and what it is not. All men have this light, but not all of them make use of it.” –Leonhard Schiemer — Lesson 9) We need to open up to the light of God and let Him convict us of anything that isn’t right with Him in our life and in our churches.
“He who has not learned what he knows from God, but from men, has a faith that cannot stand.” –Leonhard Schiemer — Lesson 10) We need to move beyond teaching religion and train people how to learn directly from God.
“I stand alone on the Word of God, and let all men do likewise!” –Melchior Hofman — Lesson 11) Let the written Word (the Bible) and the living Word (the Spirit) be our guide and conform our lives to what the Bible and the Spirit teaches.
“Christ alone is the ruler of the conscience, and besides him there is no other. Let him be your emperor, and his holy Word your law. You must obey God before the emperor and hold what God says above what the emperor says.” –Meno Simons — Lesson 12) Put Christ first, not in words, but in action. Always follow and obey Him first!
“No man, no matter how learned he may be, can understand the holy writings until he comes to know them and learns them in the most inward part of his soul. If he speaks about the writings before this takes place, he speaks like a blind man about color.” – Ludwig Haetzer 1529 — Lesson 13) Get to know the Bible in your own heart, not just in you mind!
“The Word of God is water to all those who thirst for salvation and is made alive in us through the Spirit of God, without whose work it is only a dead letter.” –Balthasar Hubmaier — Lesson 14) Let the Holy Spirit teach you what the Bible means.
“The inner Word is not written, neither on paper nor on tables of stone. It is not spoken nor preached, but man is assured by it through God in the depths of his soul, and it becomes engraved in a heart of flesh through the Spirit by the finger of God.” –Ulrich Stadler — Lesson 15) Go after God with all your heart and let Him write on your heart.
“To know all about Christ without the Spirit of God within is useless, even though one may read about them and study them as long as he likes. Without the Spirit, one becomes learned, but he does not learn.” –Leupold Scharnschlager — Lesson 16) Open up to hear and obey the Spirit.
“Today, too, every man wants to be saved by a superficial faith without fruits.” — Conrad Grebel — Lesson 17) Don’t settle for a shallow “salvation” that doesn’t change your thoughts, your lifestyle, and your heart and make them like Jesus!
“Man, are you tired of being sad? Start doing what is right. Sin brings eternal pain, and one needs to fight it. Be serious! Get to know yourself first. Purify your heart and be humble.” –Othmar Roth — Lesson 18) Hold yourself to God’s high ethics. Refuse to make excuse for your moral failings.
“God does not ‘build churches’ the way people do. He moves. He is a Spirit. God is the Spirit that moves in Christ and in those who live in community with him. The church is a movement, moving from age to age, from place to place, and from people to people, wherever God finds broken hearts, truly surrendered, in which to dwell.” – Peter Hoover, author of The Secret of the Strength–What Would the Anabaptists Tell This Generation? — Lesson 19) Follow the Spirit into God’s Presence and power, don’t camp out in your comfort zone!