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    mountains in Tyrol

    Wake Up, Your King Is Coming

    An early Anabaptist leader urges his persecuted flock to watch day and night.

    By Jakob Hutter

    June 13, 2024
    • Ory Schultheis

      The followers and inheritors of the Radical Reformation demand a tremendous amount of respect. All too often, while tremendous injustice was occurring in their countries and the average person was conforming to the Zeitgeist, it was the AnaBaptists who were the only faithful witness of the love of Christ.

    From Jakob Hutter: His Life and Letters.

    Jakob Hutter was an early Anabaptist leader who helped establish the church communities now known as Hutterian Brethren or Hutterites. Persecuted for their beliefs in Tyrol, the Anabaptists found refuge in Moravia (today’s Czechia). But in the summer of 1535 they were driven out. Hutter returned to Tyrol on what would be his final mission: he was arrested a few months later and executed in February the next year.

    Now dear brothers and sisters, I want to let you know how we are. After we left you, in the name of the Lord, as I have written, God the Lord blessed our journey and hastened our way here into the Puster and Adige valleys. Here we found our brothers and sisters, who welcomed and received us with great joy and divine love as the Lord himself. We reported to one another the state of matters everywhere. Since then we have been faithfully and diligently traveling back and forth in the mountains and valleys, visiting those who hunger and thirst for the truth. We found quite a few, and they received us with joy and gratitude and with eager hearts. We proclaimed and preached the truth and God’s word and the holy gospel and several accepted the truth and devoted themselves to God.

    As far as we know, the godless tyrants, the enemies of the truth who have the power to kill, do not yet know that we are here. May God in heaven make them blind and unaware of it for a long time.

    Yet it is not for my own sake that I wish this, as if I feared for my life; I thank and praise God for truly taking all my fear away and I hope to God that fear will never harm me. For the Lord’s sake and for the sake of his people, I do not consider my life to have value. I have completely given, surrendered, and sacrificed my body and life to the Lord; with all my heart I am willing to suffer and die for his sake and for his truth. Whatever he lays upon me, whatever is a service to his glory and praise and is most useful for his holy, dear children and of greatest benefit to his fellowship – that is what I desire to do. It is for the sake of those who are weak and young and those who have not yet been edified that I hope our lives are spared until God’s fire has been so brightly kindled in them and his work so well established that even great floods and torrents of rain will not be able to quench that fire.

    mountains in Tyrol

    Photograph by Stefan Berndt. Used by permission.

    Therefore, you must never tire of doing good or weaken in your determination. Do not become lazy or sleepy in good works and in being the Lord’s disciples. See to it that the love and the actual, divine light you have toward God and his saints is not extinguished in your hearts. Never look back or consider what you left behind, but always press on toward your goal (Phil 3:13–14) in order to achieve the prize and be crowned. Show each other utmost discipline and honor, and utmost mutual willingness, being generous, loving, amicable, brotherly, sincere, as children of God and disciples. Be patient in every tribulation as disciples and lambs of Christ. Remain of sound mind and alert day and night toward God and remain steadfast in the teachings of the holy apostles, which you have heard, and in the fellowship of Jesus Christ and all the saints. Continue in the breaking of bread, in which the life and love of Jesus Christ is demonstrated and the love that is and should be among us; remain in prayer to God both day and night, in the spirit and in truth, with a firm faith in our gracious Father in the kingdom of heaven.

    Wake up, you devout Christian, holy hearts, and lift your heads and hearts up to God our heavenly Father! Let your joy and pleasure be solely in him and in his holy law, and have your mind, soul and spirit and your whole heart permanently turned toward God in heaven. Watch day and night with diligence, full of holiness, in complete righteousness, truth, and with a pure, genuine and holy heart, in order to see your bridegroom and king, your redeemer and savior, the prince of life and the genuine, chief shepherd, who is coming soon and is not far off, namely, Jesus Christ, our beloved Lord and Master.

    Contributed By JakobHutter Jakob Hutter

    Jakob Hutter, an early Anabaptist leader, was a pastor, missionary and martyr. The congregation he led for two short years is known as the Hutterite church today.

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