Discipleship According to Matthew And J. Heinrich Arnold
I came across a great book today. It’s a free e-book that I think every God seeker needs to read. Even though I know I will lose the discerning God seeker to this relatively long book it is a price that I gladly pay! I am more than content to appreciate any readers that the spirit leads back to this page,
The author of Discipleship, J. Heinrich Arnold 1913-1982 lived in Germany and shepherded a group of ardent God seekers for many years. http://www.plough.com/ebooks/pdfs/Discipleship.pdf
Heinrich’s parents joined the “Bruderhof” the place of brothers when he was only six years old. The members of the Bruderhof shared their resources in accordance with the early church described in Acts. When Heinrich grew up he was selected as an elder or spiritual guide of this group.
This is my post on Discipleship:
The bible declares that disciples of Jesus Christ must carry their crosses. Unfortunately most of today’s God seekers have no idea how to do this. This is my testimony, how I was able find my assignment Serving God; Finding Our Assignment
NKJV Matt 16:21-24 Jesus Predicts His Death and Resurrection
21 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. 22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Take Up the Cross and Follow Him
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
If we are really following Christ we must be carrying our cross. We must be doing the tasks that he assigns us. We must be doing his will. Many today have no idea what their assignment is. This is a by-product of the Pastor-Pewsitter deception. In a biblical gathering the believer gets a good serving of the Holy Spirit’s words every week at Real Communion Services
The Yoke that God places on our shoulders is light!
NLT Matt 11:28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
The real problem is that we are listening to our pastors, not to the Holy Spirit! We are The Church Nourished From The Face Of The Serpent! If you do not appreciate God’s Shepherd Warning you will continue to suffer under and even perpetuate this terrible deception. Please, protect yourself, please understand what you need to do to Survive The Sixth Seal!
Please Guide and Protect All Your Seekers, Delivering us from evil, pride, selfishness hatred and lust. Help us to seek only your will, your glory, and your power, to find and carry our cross, serving only you, In Jesus mighty name we pray, Amen.
Discipleship According to Matthew And J. Heinrich Arnold
Discipleship According to Matthew And J. Heinrich Arnold
Discipleship According to Matthew And J. Heinrich Arnold
Discipleship According to Matthew And J. Heinrich Arnold
Excerpts From Discipleship
P21. God created heaven, earth, and all the constellations of the universe. He also created something else, something very mysterious: the human spirit. God created this spirit and placed it in us because he wants to live in us. The Bible says that he does not live in temples built with hands – we ourselves should be temples for him. My father used to say to us that stupidity is the greatest sin. He did not mean simplicity of mind, but spiritual dullness: having a dead conscience and not listening in one’s heart to God. Very few people today have any idea of the riches of the human heart. Our hearts are created to experience great things; most of us have no idea of what could happen in our lives if we would overcome our stupidity and dullness. Paul says:
Eph 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that being rooted and established in love you may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge –that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
If we were to grasp this one passage, we would understand the whole Gospel. We are not filled with the fullness of God and it would be arrogant to think we were. But Paul’s prayer should awaken and inspire us!
P23. We must also ask for God’s will to be done in our personal lives. Because the Evil One tries again and again to lead us onto the wrong path, we must turn to God daily and ask him to renew our hearts. But we should pray not only for ourselves; we should pray for the whole world–for all humanity and all nations.
P26. We must also ask for God’s will to be done in our personal lives. Because the Evil One tries again and again to lead us onto the wrong path, we must turn to God daily and ask him to renew our hearts. But we should pray not only for ourselves; we should pray for the whole world–for all humanity and all nations.
P 36. The radicalism of Christ’s way must challenge us. He does not want to win numbers but dedicated hearts. And he does not promise security, either economic or otherwise. He seeks those who want to give themselves unreservedly to God and to their brothers, without seeking anything for themselves.
The decision to follow Christ must be a deeply personal one. But it can never mean – as someone once said to me, “Only Jesus and I remain.” Discipleship must always be related to one’s brothers and sisters. Therefore Jesus brings together the two commandments “Love God with all your heart, soul, and being,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” These two commandments cannot be separated. It is true that a personal religious experience must take place in one’s innermost being, but it cannot be a lonely or selfish experience.
P 37: we must be confronted by Jesus. His sacrifice will change us completely… Part of the experience of true conversion is willingness to suffer with Christ, the suff3ring one. I do not believe that true conversion is possible without this.
Discipleship means complete dedication It demands everything –the whole heart, the whole mind, and the whole of life, including one’s time, energy, and property –for the cause of love. Half-hearted Christianity is worse than no Christianity.
P 45. [Mt. 7:7 Mt. 6:6 Lk. 12:22-26 Jn. 14:1]Anyone who thinks he is too great a sinner –anyone who doubts that Jesus can help him –binds himself to the devil.
He doubts the victory of the cross, and he hinders the Holy Spirit from entering his heart. This doubt must be rejected. After all, the Gospel says that Jesus carries the sin of the whole world, and that “he who seeks will find; to him who knocks the door will be opened.”
Christ, the living One, died on the cross to reconcile all things to God. This reconciliation is beyond our human understanding. But we do know that it is possible for each of us, and that we are called to repent and to find it.
From a letter: The only answer to your inner torment is faith in God. This might sound theoretical, but faith is the only point where light can break into your life. Think of the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray: he says that if you lock yourself in your room and pray in secret, God, who sees in secret, will reward you. Do this, and believe that God hears you. Then you can and will find God’s grace. There is redemption from evil if you believe.
P47. From a letter: You state that to believe this or that is dogmatic. But such a conception is pure theology. It is the churches that are guilty –they have given millions of people the impression that certain beliefs are nothing but dogma, yet it is they who made them into dogma.
We are free of any doubt about the miracles of God. We feel completely free to believe in the miracle of Jesus’ birth and the coming of God in Jesus. On the other hand, we never want to lay this as a burden on the consciences of others, and we refuse all theological fighting over the issue. We do not doubt that Jesus of Nazareth came directly from God and that he was and is one with God, but we do not want to dispute the issue on a dogmatic level. We reject all dogmatism because it kills. We hope for and believe in the Holy Spirit.
The birth of Christ happens again and again. Where two or three are together in his name, where he is accepted with the same faith as Mary’s, there the living Christ will come into being. If we believe in the Holy Spirit, then the Word will become flesh in our hearts and prove itself to us as the Son of God. This becoming flesh is a reality, but the fact that you cannot believe it makes it possible for you to participate in a church where unjust conditions remain unchanged. You attack social injustice, but you still participate in a church where the love of God does not come into the flesh and where the material world is independent of the spiritual experience. Here lies a deep separation between faith and experience. You call our beliefs dogma: in actual fact, it is any religious life that does not change life in the flesh and the economic sphere that is dogmatic and dangerous for the inner man.
We must become “narrow” in the right way–“narrow” in the sense that we live only for Christ. I do not mean at all that our lives should show more religiosity. There is no one as broadhearted as the crucified Christ, whose outstretched arms seek all men. It is a matter of decisiveness in one’s heart, of living only for Christ. If we have this decisiveness, we will have broad hearts, though not, of course, in the worldly sense of tolerance for anything and everything.
P51. From a letter: What does it help us to share our goods or to live in community and to be of one faith, if human souls are harmed because we have too little time to love our brothers and sisters and to express this love again and again? Let us watch that we never ever become obsessed by a principle, however right and true. By itself, the “right” principle is deadly. It kills the soul. “Right” principles resulted in Gethsemane. They too easily take the place that belongs only to God, his goodness, and his grace. Our principles must be overshadowed by our love to one another and by the compassion and grace of God.
PG 56. The Lower Nature
I sometimes wonder whether we have not become too worldly in certain things. Do sports, business matters, and concern for money fill our hearts too much? These are obvious “worldly” distractions or temptations. But there is also a danger that even the gifts God gives us, such as the beauties of nature or the joys of human love, can become a substitute for the real experience of Christ.
[* For this section extensive use has been made of the author’s book Freedom from Sinful Thoughts (Plough, 1973).]
The Letter to the Hebrews clearly states that Jesus was tempted just like any other human being. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, Satan came to him and used words from scripture to tempt him. Only after the third temptation did Jesus recognize him and say, “Begone, Satan.”
At one time the idea of Jesus being tempted seemed blasphemous to me. Yet now I see that there is no question: he was tempted like any other human being. That is what the Gospel says. In spite of this, it is clear that Jesus never sinned.
Where does temptation end and sin begin? If we are plagued or tempted by evil thoughts, that in itself is not sinning. For instance, if an impure thought comes to us and we reject it, that is not sin. But if we buy a dirty magazine in order to indulge in sexual fantasies, that is sin.
It is a question of what we do when temptation
comes–what attitude we take. When Jesus was tempted
by Satan, he had an answer for him each time. That
is what we have to pray for: an answer to every temptation.
We will never be completely free of temptation –
we should not even expect it; Jesus himself never
reached this state. But we should ask God to protect
us in temptation and to give us the right answer to the
Tempter each time.
From a letter: I cannot say it sharply enough: if you flaunt your form or hair, or if you dress so as to tempt another person to an impure look, you commit a sin worthy of church discipline. Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount that anyone who casts an impure look at another is guilty. But if you willingly and intentionally bring another into that temptation, you are just as guilty.
2 Cor. 10:5 Paul describes the believer’s fight against evil thoughts as a victorious one in which every thought is “taken captive to obey Christ.” Paul takes for granted that men have arguments and obstacles in their minds and that these must be taken captive to obey Christ. All of us must fight this battle. We should not be surprised if we are tempted; it is part of life.
The wonderful thing about Paul’s words is his certainty
that these thoughts can be taken captive to obey
Christ. Of course, victory is not always easy. We must
face the fact that a war between good and evil is being
waged continually for all of humankind. It has been
going on ever since man’s fall, especially since Christ’s
death and the coming down of the Holy Spirit at
Pentecost. If someone is tormented by evil thoughts,
he should remember that the spiritual battle is much
greater than that in his own heart. It is greater even
than that of the whole church.
[Heb. 4:15] The Enemy is very real, and if we recognize this, we
will not be lukewarm. But Christ is also very real. To
find true freedom of heart, we need to experience him.
We know from the Letter to the Hebrews that Jesus was tempted as we are; he did not sin, but he understands us in our temptation and need. Everyone – every brother and sister, and every young or old person–should know that we have a High Priest, a King,
a Master who understands. Hebrews 5:7 says, “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to him who was able to save him.” All of us are guilty of sins in the past, so we should all feel like coming before God in prayer “with loud cries and tears” and turning to him in the faith that he can save us and all those for whom we pray.
If we think evil thoughts deliberately, be they thoughts of power over other people, of impurity, of hatred, or of any other such evil, we will act on them some day. But it is very different if we are tormented by ideas, images, or thoughts we really do not want and would give anything to have a pure heart instead. With our own will it is never possible to make ourselves pure. When we are cramped up inside against something evil, it can even lead to that evil having greater power over us. But we should never forget that God sees deeper than we do. Even if we sink further and further into evil thoughts that we do not actually want, God will see we do not want them, and he will help us.
Even Jesus was tempted by the devil. But he overcame all evil by fully trusting his Father. You will be tempted too, and when you are, all that matters will be whether or not you completely trust Jesus and the power of the cross. Unless you put your trust and belief in Jesus, you will be defeated.
[Lk. 23:46]The feeling of being forsaken by God brings the most dreadful suffering. And for the Son of God to feel this as he died must have been such a fearful experience
that we cannot grasp it. Yet in spite of it Jesus cried
out, “Father, into thy hands I give my spirit.” Here we find the crowning of faith. Jesus’ experience of godforsakenness did not take away the trust and faith he had in his and our Father; he gave his spirit into his hands. If we want to be healed of the wounds made by Satan’s tricks and arrows –by evil feelings, thoughts, or ideas–we must have the same absolute trust in Jesus as he had in God, so that even if we feel nothing yet, we give ourselves absolutely and without reserve to him with all we are and have. Ultimately, all we have is our sin. But we must lay our sin before him in trust. Then he will give us forgiveness, cleansing, and peace of heart; and these lead to a love that cannot be described.
When depression or anything other than Jesus threatens to rule our hearts, we must go to Jesus. There we will find victory and peace. I am quite sure that at the cross we can be victorious over all things that come to us in life, whatever they may be.
Many people no longer know what a good conscience is; they are burdened daily with the sins of our time. [Heb. 5:7] We must take care to keep our consciences pure, and we must do this from childhood on. Once we get used to living with a bad conscience, we will lose everything: our relationship with God and our love to others.
Which of us takes our struggle with sin so seriously that we fight with loud cries and tears? Jesus did. No one has ever fought like Jesus –no one. The devil wanted no heart more than his. And because he fought much harder than any one of us will ever have to fight, he understands our struggles. Of that we can be sure. But we do have to fight. [Mt. 16:24] Jesus says that those who want to follow him must take up their cross as he took up his. I want to challenge everyone to fight as Jesus fought–to fight until death.
Paul the Apostle spoke of himself as the greatest sinner. These were not just pious words; he really meant them. He had persecuted the early church and was responsible for many martyrs’ deaths, and he knew he was an enemy of God.
[Acts 2:37] At Pentecost the people in Jerusalem also saw themselves as sinners –they did not feel they were good.
They were “cut to the heart,” and when the Holy Spirit came to them, they did not feel worthy of it. In fact, they saw themselves as the murderers of Christ. But because of this recognition, God could use them. If we want to be used by God, we must not talk and preach to one another about love without recognizing that each one of us, too, is actually a sinner.
Sin is not only a matter of our lower nature. We all have to fight our lower nature, but some people go further and fall into satanic sin. Satanic sin is wanting praise for oneself and wanting the glory that belongs only to God. It is the desire for power over the souls and bodies of others so as to be adored, and ultimately it is the desire to be God. It is the way of the Antichrist.
P 62. If we give ourselves to satanic sin, all the sins of our
lower nature will show themselves too: impurity, mammonism, hypocrisy, envy, hatred, brutality, and finally
P 65. There is no condemnation for those who are united with Jesus Christ, because in him the life-giving law of the Spirit has set you free from the law of sin and death.” This is such a joyful thought – all sin is overcome. But if we look at our own experience we see that it is not overcome everywhere, and the reason is simply that we are not living in Christ Jesus but in our old nature. It is an illusion to think that we do not have this lower nature. [Rom. 8:5] We have come into the world with it, and we ourselves cannot change it, even with the best intentions. But Christ can change it if we trust him and give ourselves unconditionally to him. “Those who live on the level of their lower nature have their outlook formed by it.” We experience this again and again: people whose outlook is based on their lower nature come forth with hatred, jealousy, and envy–as if Christ had not come, as if he had not died on the cross, as if his sacrifice was in vain. [Rom. 8:7-8]This is extremely painful. Paul says, “The outlook of the lower nature is enmity with God. It is not subject to the law of God; indeed it cannot be: those who live on such a level cannot possibly please God.” It cannot be put more strongly: those who cannot overcome their desires may mean no evil, but in actual fact their lives are hostile to God. They are not subject to his law. This goes for anyone who lives in impurity, hatred, jealousy, deceit, or other sinfulness. It is impossible for him to please God.
P 125. True leadership means service, so it is a terrible thing to use it as a position of power over others. When such abuse of leadership takes place in a church community, it is especially devilish, because brothers and sisters give themselves voluntarily, trustingly, and openheartedly to the church. In a dictatorial state, people might yield to a greater power even though their souls reject it as evil. But in a brotherhood of believers, where members trust their leaders, the misuse of power is real soul-murder.
When we ask brothers to lead the church, we must ask God that much is given to them. But we must also let them be themselves –as God made them. They should not be presumptuous; they should express only what is given them by God. We do not expect more. It would be disastrous if anyone were to feel himself pushed into a role that was not genuinely his. We do not expect someone who is meant to be an ear to be an eye.
When we speak about the authority of leaders in the church, it should be very clear that we never mean authority over people. Jesus gave his disciples authority, but he gave them authority over spirits –not people. In the same way, those of us appointed to lead the church are given authority, but not over people. It is all too easy to forget this. We must seek for humility again and again.
Acts 10:26 2 Tim. 3:10-11 2 Tim. 4:7, 17 Lk. 12:48
A servant of the Word* is always in danger of teaching something false or suppressing something of the truth. I have a great fear of this, and I ask you to intercede for us all in prayer. Paul could say that he had neglected nothing and done everything in his duty as an apostle of the church. This strikes me very deeply. Pray that every servant of the Word may bring the whole Gospel afresh to the church again and again, without twisting or changing anything whatsoever.
Jesus clearly says that to whom much is given, of him much will be demanded. A servant of the Word must realize that more will be demanded of him than of others. There is no privilege in his task.
A leader of the church should certainly be admonished if someone feels he has done wrong. I remember how thankful I was years ago when a brother took me aside after a members’ meeting –I had exploded at someone–and asked me, “Are you really sure your anger was of the Holy Spirit?” I had to admit that it was not, and so I called the meeting together again and set it straight. If you feel that I or anyone is misusing his position of authority, please do me the favor of pointing it out.
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- September 21, 2010 / 11:55 pm
- The Life Of Submission