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Lowell Brueckner

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The Introduction to "What Our Hands Have Handled


More than ever these days, as this world offers its guarantees for every area of life, we need a people who are fully convinced that its offers are a deception and human life is a vapor. God looks for people, who live by the simple faith of children in an all-powerful Father. I want to lay before you the beginning of a book, in which I tell a little about the Christianity that I had the privilege of observing as a child…

Not long ago, I visited my brother in California and he reminded me of a scene that was repeated several times, when we lived at home with our parents. My father, a missionary to Native Americans, spent many hours alone with God, studying and praying. On some occasions, because the meal was prepared, my mother had to interrupt him, so that he would join us at the table. When he entered the kitchen, his conduct and face intimated that he had come from another world. As he gave thanks for the food, or at times, even before bowing his head, suddenly emotion gripped him, tears flowed and excusing himself, he rushed from the table to return to his room. To dad, the presence of God was a reality.

When my older brothers and sisters permanently left home, I was still a teenager. Awaking one morning, I saw my mother visibly shaken. She had dreamed during the night and in the dream, the Lord appeared to her with the same question that He gave to his listeners 2000 years before: “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” The concern upon my mother’s face, engraved the moment in my mind and lodged itself deeply into my being. Perhaps in part, the dream was for me, so that I could share it with others today.

Before you begin to turn the pages of this book, I would like you to understand that I have written it with purpose. In it, I speak of people and situations, with which I am very familiar, intending to eliminate as far as possible, exaggerations and mistakes that usually occur, when information passes through various channels. Actually, there are two chapters in which I relate my own experiences. However, I am not speaking sentimentally of things buried in history, which can never reoccur, nor do I intend to entertain the reader with old-time stories.

First of all, I simply wish that these stories will tantalize your spiritual taste buds and stimulate a hunger to come closer to God and walk more intimately with Him. Secondly, I would like to suggest that you use this book as a reference point and compare its content with Christianity, as you know it today. The circumstances could be totally different from yours, but there are certain basic principles that never change. Ask yourself some questions: “Do I have a relationship with God that is real and personal? Does the faith that I possess carry me out of the natural realm to realms that are heavenly and unlimited?  I profess to have received the Holy Spirit. Do I see forces beyond my knowledge and capabilities working in my life?”

I believe that when God does a work, it will last forever. When my father received a call to reach Native Americans, veteran missionaries told him that much frustration and disillusion awaited him, as he worked with them. They maintained the opinion that Indian culture and personality traits tended towards instability and variableness. Even though some would make decisions to follow Christ, he could expect to see them drunk on the streets shortly thereafter. Dad rejected their insinuations. “If any man be in Christ,” he said, “he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” In the years that followed, he was able to prove the scripture to be true, and the assertions of the experts to be false. Up to this day, I sometimes hear of people converted through his ministry, who have walked faithfully with God for a lifetime. I also meet those who came to Christ through their ministries and hear that their children are walking in their footsteps.

I will admit that I suspect a lack of reality in many religious experiences taking place these days. I find it difficult to believe that it is normal for someone to easily enter into a commitment with Christ, endure for a while and then, just as easily, return to their past habits and lifestyle. I am suspicious of doubtful characteristics in “believers” that make it impossible for others to deposit trust in them and in their relationship with God. There are disgraceful, unchristian traits that dominate the lives of too many, who profess to be Christians. I ask myself, “Do they possess true saving faith?” 

Jesus’ question to the people of His day, the same one put to my mother in a dream, indicates that unbelief will run rampant in the days before Christ returns. Today, mankind finds it difficult to believe in a simple, practical way the claims of the Bible. After many years of terrible religious manipulation over man’s conscience, Martin Luther, as other reformers before, after, and during his lifetime, discovered a truth that established true Christianity again. That truth was the biblical affirmation that “the just shall live by faith.” Faith is the motivation behind Christianity and without faith it cannot function.
Unbelief begins its dubious work by stumbling over the question of creation, as the Bible describes it. The theory of evolution, the discovery of skeletons and fossils, has shaken the faith of many Christians, admittedly some more than others. There are still a good number, who do not accept evolution, but they attempt to lengthen the time of creation from its literal six days to any number of years. What I am simply saying is that if we begin to form our theology without accepting from our hearts the literal account given by the Holy Spirit in Genesis – a six-day creation – we fall quickly towards apostasy. The biblical revelation is built totally upon this foundation and to stumble over it guarantees a full doctrinal collapse eventually.  

However, in this little book, I am challenging unbelief on a more practical level. What does it matter if we are right doctrinally, accepting the entire biblical revelation, if we do not live it on a daily basis? If we delegate living the faith in a practical way to past days, it is because deceit and apostasy has taken the place of faith in our lives. It is the result of taking too much security and comfort from the material world. 

If we learn anything at all from the relationship between God and Israel, as well as the relationship between God and man as it is taught in the New Testament, we have to conclude that God is a jealous God. One day, and it could be very soon, we will stand individually before the Judgment Seat of Christ and each one will give account of himself. No leader, friend, husband, wife, son, daughter, father or mother will step in to influence divine justice. Normally today, a Christian hides in a crowd, borrowing and depending on others for spiritual life. God has designed that in His kingdom, each individual is responsible for his own relationship and his own success in faith. The individual relationship with God is top priority and “humanly-imparted faith” simply does not exist. I mean to say that no one can live spiritually upon the faith of those who are around him. He cannot trust in others for such a vital element. In the Psalms we find the key to spiritual health again and again in the confession: “Only in you will I trust.”  

In these few chapters, I describe new birth experiences, which depend exclusively upon faith in Jesus Christ; first in His person, and then in His saving work on the cross. If you err concerning His person, then it does not matter what you believe about His work.

These real stories have to do with looking to heaven in order to receive all forms of spiritual, physical and material help. However, they do not promote a fanaticism that eliminates doctors, medicine and other earthly ways of getting help, but they do demonstrate that God will direct, when He considers it necessary, to these means and people.

On day a local pastor in Florida, who knew my father very well, visited our home. This man always teased my dad about having a “stocking” for provision tucked away in a secret place, in case someday he would need it for an emergency. Dad did not consider these jokes to be humorous, because they challenged the life of faith and that was the life that he had lived. To him it was precious and sacred. As you will see in the chapters that follow, my father was a practical believer with total confidence in God. Apart from Him, he had nothing else, in which to confide. The pastor on the other hand had plenty of property and a lot of money in the bank. As a teenager, I was a witness to Dad’s words, when he tired of the jokes: “If there is anything I can’t stand, it is when preachers talk about faith, but don’t live it!” So that there would be no doubt as to whom he was referring, he pointed his finger in the direction of the pastor’s nose and continued, “That goes for you, too!” It is no surprise that the pastor left our house just as soon as possible and never returned.  However, you must understand that my dad believed with his whole heart that “the just shall live by faith” and had taken seriously Jesus’ question, “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” As you read this, meditate on His question.




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