Amana Church Society
In 1716, a most important revelation of the Holy Spirit through Johann Adam Gruber was given in Budingen, Germany. This testimony included the Twenty-four Rules of True Godliness and Blessed Life as presented to the Community for their consideration and sincere observance upon command of the Spirit of discipline and grace. It is according to which this Community was accepted and received into God's gracious covenant. The Twenty-four Rules remain the basis of the faith of the Community and are, indeed, the foundation upon which the whole edifice is erected.
Following is Johann Adam Gruber's inspired fundamental testimony of July 4, 1716:
Hear, hear the Word of the Lord, you who are present and declare yourselves as members of this Community! So speaks the Lord: Your have seen what I have begun among you and how I have, through My workers prepared the soil wherein I shall lay My foundation stones upon which the whole structure shall be founded. Do you think that it is completed? It is still far from that. Rather, I have only partially, as much as you have so far been able to comprehend, bared and prepared your soil. I, when I stepped into your midst, heard all your words and all your promises, which you made unto me, although I find only a very few among you having such a heart as I desire. Such a person and all who are here shall now know that I have recorded all their words in My book and in accordance with these, and in accordance with the innermost thoughts given them, they shall be directed.
You shall then, before My countenance and in the presence of My holy angels and your fellow members, resolve yourselves to what I will say in addition to what you have promised in your heart and by your word, publicly affirm the same by hand and mouth to My servant and the Elders given unto you. Should you break such promise, it will, along with all the words issued through your mouth, stand as ready evidence against you---and all My promises, instead of being a blessing as they will be if your obey My voice, shall become a burning and heavy burden.
Is there anyone among the congregation who still lacks courage and is fearful of not being able to uphold My Commandments though fearful of not being able to uphold My Commandments though I shall grant him My grace thereto? Let such a one step aside. I know that some hearts shall remain hard and untouched and only lightly regard My wondrous ways. They shall, nevertheless, be expected to give them due respect.
Are you all willing?
Hear then what I say unto you: I, the Lord your God , am holy! And therefore, if I am to be in your midst as you have requested, so must you also be and become MY holy community. And therefore you shall henceforth resolve:
To remove all idols, whether crude or subtle, from your hearts so that they no longer mislead you into further idolatry against your God, profaning his name until His scorn shall, without warning erupt to vindicate the honor of His name.
I desire that you no longer have any association with the fruitless deeds of darkness; neither with crude sins and sinners nor with the subtle sins within and without you. For what similarity or relationship has My holy temple with the temples of pride, impurity, ambition and tyranny, or with superfluous, judgmental and idle talk which steals time away from Me. How can the light be united with the darkness? How can you as children of the light unite with the ungodly, the liars, the blasphemers and the depraved who represent nothing but darkness?
Henceforth, in your external life, you shall conduct yourselves so that those without shall find no cause for slander against you, thereby desecrating My name. Suffer rather the wrong done to you. But most of all, avoid associations which hinder your growth toward godliness. Avoid and have no close association with mockers, slanderers and those who extol vanity.
In your earthly tasks, you are to work ever longer and more according to your conscience. Gladly relinquish that which My Spirit indicates to be sinful---without regard for your own safety, for I am the Lord, your God, who can and will provide for your in accordance with your bodily needs. By so doing you shall give the slanderer no cause for censure. the time which I will grant you on earth is very short, therefore regard and consider it carefully so that My hand may create and bring forth the essential within you.
I admonish you to refrain from all falseness, lying and hypocrisy. For verily I say to you that I will give unto My Servant, the Elder, the gift of discernment and reveal it to your through him and also through him and also through the prophecy of My Spirit. For why should I combine clay and metal? Would this not result in a useless vessel which I do not need and which would finally be cast out altogether? Look, My Children! I have chosen you before many, many in these days and have promised to be for you a fiery bulwark against the defiance of your inner and outer enemies. Verily! Verily! I will keep that promise.--if only you too endeavor to keep that which you have promised and are promising to Me.
You, as a congregation shall strive for and aspire toward talents and then when I indeed give to this or that member a special talent at prayer or else the gift of wisdom you shall not be envious! For envy is what the enemy of My Glory always tries to instill into you, especially into the passionate and fickle minds, thus imparting a self-destructive poison. When the time is fulfilled you shall all, all be imbued with My holy and pure Spirit if only you humbly and patiently permit yourselves to be prepared according to My liking. Then you may well speak with other tongues than those with which you now speak! Then, indeed, I shall walk very closely with you.
Henceforth put aside all malice held deep within your hearts toward one another. No one is free from it! Behold, I will ask the Spirit of My Love to stand in your midst whenever you are assembled in true and simple prayer. His spiritual influences shall evermore be transmitted through loving channels to such hearts as He finds empty.
You must be willing to accept physical and spiritual suffering. For Satan will not cease to demonstrate his malice through his followers as well as through his invisible powers. So it is therefore pleasing to Me and absolutely necessary to you that you be tested through constant suffering sorrow and tribulation thereby being made and found firm and precious in My crucible. And such as do not trust through My power (but they must not do this idly) to risk all physical and spiritual strengths for the honor of My kingdom and name, let such a one depart that later he not defile My glory.
In the future, pay no heed to feeling of suspicion or mistrust and take no offense to one another where is not for such reflects a lack of self-discipline. Each individual shall seek to become a mirror for the other. All of you shall daily and hourly strive to stand as one before the Lord as a city or light upon a hill emanating a grand and truly splendid radiance both near and far.
At the same time becoming more devoted toward achieving both an outer and inner calm. Seek ever, though it will be a hard death for the human nature as yet inexperienced in this, to become absorbed in the innermost chamber and depths of your unworthiness so that I might bring to maturity to My hold seed hidden therein.
Behold My people! I shall make a covenant with you on this day which I bid that you keep sacred and true! I will wander among you daily and visit your place of rest to see how you are disposed towards Me.
I, the Lord, say, guard yourself against disrespect of this Covenant and against negligence, idleness and laziness which generally been your master and the ruler of your heart in the past. I will not depart from your side or withdraw from your midst. Rather, the light of My countenance will reveal My will within and among you more powerfully and forcefully---yest, more wondrously for as long as you in all loyalty and sincerity entrust your power of will unto Me. This shall be the bond wherewith you shall bind and hold me fast. Behold, I accept you this day as slaves of My love, as free-born of My kingdom, as possessors of My heart! Gladly and willingly allow yourselves to be bound with ties of My love so that you shall never be without power of that love.
And you who are the heads of fathers of households, hear what I say unto you: The Lord has selected you as members of His Community with whom He will daily associate and among whom He will wander. So see that you conduct yourselves as leaders, but as leaders submissive at all times to the true sovereign, your King. Be as lights within your household so that your helpmates may be guided thereby and through your own way of life, which your shall ever strive to make an earnest, faultless and manly life, bring them to genuine discipline and piety.
Your children, you who have any, you shall with all your strength endeavor to lead and dedicate unto Me. If only you keep spiritually close to Me, I will give you wisdom, valor, understanding, courage and sincerity mingled with love in such abundance as to enable you to live before them with all respect toward God so that your training of them shall be blessed---particularly of those who choose to submit to My hand. But those who scorn you and do not pay heed to My voice and My guidance as it comes to them through you, their own blood shall support them with earnest prayer and struggle, for such are the pangs of spiritual birth. If you neglect such children through indifference, negligence, half-heartedness and laziness, they every such soul shall surely be demanded of such father.
Henceforth do your part in accordance with the instructions which I will from now on issue more frequently---either outwardly or through My Spirit, inwardly. Do not grow weary in your spiritual work just as I do not tire of constantly trying to correct your errant ways . Remain steadfast for in doing so you shall receive My grace and save your soul. Those who will not humble themselves shall bear their own sin. In the future, I shall no longer tolerate, in your assemblies and in your homes, the grave offenses perpetrated by the children of atheism and wrath. I have commanded the Spirit of My living breath to pass through all your houses and breathe upon every soul that does not willfully deny itself to Him. The blessed dew upon your most glorious High Priest and Prince of Peace shall flow upon each male head among you and through them it shall flow upon and in their helpmates and through them both into their children and descendants. Thus your seed shall be pleasing unto the Lord and it shall be blessed.
None of your grown children shall attend your meetings without previously receiving a good testimony and report from their parents. Such report shall be according to the truth and without pretense or self deception and shall also be forthcoming from the Elders and leaders especially those who along with the fellow workers are responsible for the serious well-ordered and loving training of the children. Such training shall be carried out without anger and severity giving particular attention in cases where the parents may be negligent. All else failing, such parents shall to their shame be excluded from the prayer meetings for a time.
Prove yourself then as those whom I have established as My eternal monument and whom I shall press upon My heart as an everlasting seal so that My loving Spirit may abide in you and work among you as is pleasuring to me.
And this is the Word which the Lord speaks concerning the strangers who visit you so often and cause so much unrest. As I have already stated, those whom you recognize as abusive, hypocritical, sarcastic, contradictory, disdainful and unrepentant and who remain in this sinful state shall not be admitted into your Community nor to your prayer meetings. They shall be positively excluded so that My refreshing dew and the protective shade of My love be not kept from manifesting Itself in your midst. However, if there are some strangers with honest intentions who come to your and who are not recognized as sarcastic, hypocritical or contradictory and though they be such as your call "worldly" and if, according to your knowledge, they come to you without deceitful intent, then you may well admit them. To this end I will grant you, My faithful servants and witnesses, the Spirit of discernment and you will receive an accurate impression concerning whether or not they are sincere and of pure intent.
If they then desire to visit more often, you shall first acquaint them with your rules asking them if they agree to such rules and if they will submit to the test of the Elders. Then you shall read to them My principles and rights as I have given them to you and when you see that they are indeed sincerely concerned for their souls, you shall gladly accept and receive the weak and become weak with them for a time. That is, you shall become repentant with them and for them and receive their penitence as your own. However, if one whom you considered to be a scoffer or a mocker declares repentance, you shall subject him to close scrutiny and examination for a considerable length of time. Only then, if he be found sincere, shall he be admitted. For Satan will not cease in using such people and through them try and slay you with his fatal arrows. Be, therefore, prepared and on your guard that no wolf gain entry among you and scatter or even devour the sheep.
When they have pledged themselves to this and testified to such with hand and word, openly acknowledging their intent before the Community, I shall surely indicate whether such intent be sincere. You shall then give close consideration to their way of life observing whether or not they conduct themselves according to their profession and promise, lest because of them the dragon defile your garments with his drivel.
(To the Elders)
My Elder and his fellow-workers shall frequently visit the members of the Community to note the conditions within their own hearts and homes. I will surely give you observant eyes, My Servant ( E.L. Gruber) and also to your Brethren, if you but ask. If you find anyone among you who is bearing excessive sorrow, or who is being tempted into negligence, impudence, boisterousness and the like, you shall admonish them in love. When the admonishment is heeded, you shall rejoice. However, if such a person does not improve after repeated admonition, he or she shall be put to shame before the community. If the situation still does not improve, you shall exclude that person for a time. Yet, I shall ever seek My sheep, those whom I have excluded as well as those who through their own faults will be excluded in the future. I will ever seek to lead them from the futile ways and into My pasture.
All of you are yet to be made aware of the following. Each and every one of you is subject to brotherly warning and reprimand--so that stealthy price shall not, like a poisonous thorn, enter into any member. For pride can cause disruption and thoroughly embitter the innermost chamber of the soul
You shall not allow any religious observance, whether it be an outward custom or such as I have commanded of you, to become and practiced only by habit. If this happens, I shall find it necessary to forbid such observance. Seek to make your gatherings ever more fervent, earnest and ardent. Concentrate on a true simple love for one another, a love sincerely united in Me, the true Prince of Peace.
After careful consideration the members of this Community and the members of this meeting shall sincerely and honestly promise such to my Elders with hand, mouth and heart--publicly--before this assembly and it shall be kept sacred ever after.