DIVINE STANDARD

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Regarding standards, we speak of a standard of living or of education, for example.  We are quite aware of the extent to which these standards vary, with significant differences according to region or country. Persons who have accepted Jesus Christ as their savior and king are from that moment citizens of God’s kingdom! In this kingdom the standards of the King Jesus Christ always apply. His standards are not hidden. They are open and available to every person at any time, in and through the Bible.

But it cannot be overlooked that the divine standard has been lost, even in the church. It was replaced by a standard which – although broadly acknowledged and applied – now either has nothing more to do with God’s standard or is merely a foggy shadow of it. An example for a divine standard is a life without fear!

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The man who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).

So God’s standard in his kingdom is, for example, that its citizens can live free of fear. This should not be confused with the fear of the Lord, to which we are commanded. But what we now see, hear and experience is a church, are Jesus’ disciples who – full of fear and doubt – have conformed to the world’s standard. At least they have not grown beyond it. Many Christians suffer just like those who do not know Christ under diffuse fears – fear of death, illness, loss, rejection, inferiority, the future, etc. Could it be that we have not yet died with Christ, as planned? (Rom. 6:8) And that we are not yet penetrated by the Father’s love which drives out these fears?

Of course no one will attain the ideal state (standard) in this life. We are and remain in a process of change (Rom. 12:2), a process which is paved with battles and obstacles. And yet we can and should all make a difference here and now, modeling to the world a life free of fear. Nothing can ever separate us from this love (i.e. from Jesus and the father), as he promises us in his word. Is that merely a “pious wish”? No, it is and must become real in our everyday lives. For what can I lose when nothing now belongs to me? My life (spirit, soul, body) belongs to him. My marriage partner and my family belong to him. My congregation and my ministry belong to him! Everything I have belongs to him. So why do we live as though all of that was in our possession and we are thus afraid of losing some of it?
His standard is, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”( Gal. 2:20).

God’s word does not leave us in the dark regarding the standard for his church, either. We see this in the Apostle Paul’s work. He founded churches on the apostles and the prophets with the five-fold ministries, installing elders who were required to have certain characteristics. We can see how they lived in fellowships, met in homes and grew organically.  There were also clear instructions regarding Jews and non-Jews within the churches. The standards we now have on the basis of God’s word were laid down then by the apostles and leaders with the Holy Spirit’s help (Acts 15:28).

But then we made something completely different out of this. We founded a religion (“Christianity”) and squeezed it into a structure and a building called “church” – whether Catholic, evangelical or other.

Jesus Christ did not want a new religion or large buildings. He wanted to bring people back to the father. We abandoned his standard for the church very early and set up our own. And this prevailed because it was widely recognized and accepted – and still is, even though this church – erected according to human standards and preserved under all circumstances – became the worst persecutor of those who wished to live according to divine standards (Jews and heathen). Here we see once again that the standard of a large crowd is not necessarily or automatically identical with God’s standard. It is usually even a sure sign that we are on the wrong, broad path which leads away from God’s kingdom (Matth. 7:13-14).

What then can we do in this situation, or rather what can the Lord do?
I am deeply convinced that our condition led the lord Jesus Christ to cause the enclosed message (letter to the church of Jesus) to be written, translated into as many languages as possible and sent to his worldwide church. It is a call to return to the basics (standards) of a new, redeemed life as sons and daughters already here on earth and then forever in his kingdom. Between 2010 and 2016 we preached this message in more than 80 nations and regions of the world. In order to reach still more people, the Lord gave us the task of writing the message in the form of a letter. It is now available in 17 languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Hindi, Arabic, Rumanian, Finnish, Portuguese, Urdu, Polish, Italian, Greek, Bulgarian, Dutch, Swedish, Kirundi). An additional language (as well as many others) is urgently needed: Chinese. Can you help us?

Jesus gave this message to the German-speaking region of Switzerland in 2010. Therefore it was read out loud and proclaimed on the Lake of Constance ferry for the first time on September 1. It should go from here first to the German-speaking region and from there spread in concentric circles in Europe and finally in the whole world. Just as hatred, death, misery and exploitation went out to the world from our area, now blessing should go out. Blessing in the form of his message. Please read it and pray about it: let yourself be challenged by it. It is explicitly permitted to copy, print, give to others and send it. You can download all the versions mentioned from our web site. Warm thanks. Our prayer is that we return to God’s standard. May his message and this edition of Abraham News awaken, respectively strengthen our desire for this.

W.W.

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