The March Of A Christian Soldier: Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured P.O.W.
Tract #11 of the Godly Warfare series
written by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr.
Copyright 2005 by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr. All publication rights and mass-reproduction rights are reserved to the author, but internet users are given permission to duplicate this digital file and distribute it without alteration to friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, and acquaintances. Distribution is encouraged, and the file may even be printed out on paper for paper copies, but the text must remain unaltered and the total number of printed copies for each individual tract should not exceed 10,000 unless you have gotten permission in writing from Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr. or a surviving member of his family. You may contact Ken Street (RKSJ) by e-mail using the web-mail addresses that follow: firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Many more free teaching tracts by Roddy Kenneth Street, Jr. will be found at the internet sites WorldwideChristianTracts.net, OnlineChristianTracts.org, and Christian-Tracts.net. This note must be retained on all duplicate copies that you may make.
On Memorial Day and throughout the entire year, God’s Soldiers everywhere should remember to give honor to all the valiant soldiers of Jesus Christ who already have attained a lofty position in God’s Hall of Heros. We must never forget the example of brilliant warriors like the two veterans who are named Richard Wurmbrand and Ed Reeves. Both of these men spent decades marching in the infantry as members of God’s Army, and both of them have had to suffer great discomfort from the problem of sore feet. Even though they are heros of the greatest magnitude, greatly loved by God, these men had to spend decades contending with the aching pains that accompany their sore feet.
First, we must applaud Richard Wurmbrand, who fought long and hard against the Satanic religion which is Marxist Communism and who tirelessly sought to free the atheists who were enslaved by this dark force. This hero of God was first a Hebrew Christian in Romania, where he would became a Lutheran pastor and evangelist at a rather young age, but he was then forced to contend with both the fascist domination of Romania and the later Marxist oppression of his native country. He is one of many believers in Romania who were imprisoned and horribly tortured for their faith in Christ.
Yet Wurmbrand finally escaped that Satanic system and started a major ministry for oppressed Christians in all parts of the globe. His worldwide rescue ministry is a campaign that he initiated in the 1960's, just after his release, and soon after that he came to live in the U.S., which became his base of operations for a great many years. He died at an advanced age, when he was over 80, and even then, in his 80's, he still had sore feet. The sore feet were a persistent problem for him and were the result of tortures that he had endured prior to his release from prison in 1965.
In 1986, I left South Korea for the last time, coming back to the U.S., and in that same year I discovered the books of Richard Wurmbrand. He is a Romanian pastor of great significance who has been enormously inspirational to me... surely, he is one of the most amazing Christians to have lived during the twentieth century or any other.
Starting out in a family of atheistic Jews, he had been converted to a faith in Christ through the efforts of a carpenter of his acquaintance, one who had prayed long over a Bible that he had given to Wurmbrand. Wurmbrand thereafter read this Bible, becoming a believer in Jesus, and soon after him, his wife was converted also.
Starting out as a Hebrew Christian in Romania, he soon became also a Lutheran pastor in that nation. He immediately undertook a ministry that would reach out to both Jews and Christians, but also to his enemies— the fascists and the Marxist communists who at different times seized control of Romania.
As a result of his efforts in this regard, Pastor Wurmbrand had been frequently imprisoned and forced to suffer torture. He was oppressed and persecuted during both the early conquest of the fascists and the later invasion of the communists.
I know his story very well, having read a very large number of books by this man, plus one by his wife, plus one by his son, plus one by a family friend, plus one by his daughter-in-law.
Richard Wurmbrand was tortured for 14 years while in Romanian prisons and forced to live under the tyranny of the Marxist communists there. In the 1960's, some Scandinavian Christians managed to purchase for him a means of escape, and he came to the United States, a place that he made his home for most of the subsequent years.
He continued to travel a great deal, however, as the head of a Christian organization which was determined to reach out to the persecuted Christians of our Earth. That organization was at first called “Christian Missions To The Communist World,” but it was later renamed as “The Voice Of The Martyrs.”
It became a worldwide mission effort, operating on a rather vast scale, offering assistance and financial aid to suffering Christian families who were being victimized by atheistic Communism and militant Islam.
As Richard Wurmbrand continued his travels about the Earth, he had speaking engagements in many countries which required him to appear before an extremely large number of church-groups. These congregations were forced to notice that the famous Pastor Wurmbrand often came up to the podium barefoot, not wearing any shoes. He would apologize for his strange appearance, telling the audience that his feet were still painful from the years of torture he had undergone... even after the passage of decades.
Pastor Wurmbrand continued to have a problem of painful feet which plagued him repetitiously even after he reached his eighties. It probably continued right up till the very day he died. Yet he still went everywhere he could go, to many churches and countries all over the Earth, telling all people about the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In Romania, he had witnessed even to the fascist soldiers and to his Marxist torturers, and he had continued that pattern decade after decade. He traveled extensively on the Earth and spread the good news among a very large number of persons... even though he was forced to do so with sore feet, still aching from the years of persecution and torture that he had undergone during the earlier portion of his life.
I never saw Richard Wurmbrand in person, having only viewed him in photographs, in television appearances, and in videocassette recordings. I never got to see him walk up to a podium barefoot, never got to get any glimpse of those tortured feet, those tired feet that had traveled to so many churches and countries... always determined to tell people about the gospel of salvation and the lordship of Jesus Christ.
I never saw those tired and battered feet, but I’m sure they must be very beautiful in God’s eyes.
I’m not sure my own feet have accomplished much of a really lasting value. They certainly can’t be as pretty as those of Wurmbrand.
How beautiful are the feet of those who come with the good news of Christ.
Although I never saw Wurmbrand “live and in person,” I now consider him to be one of our world’s biggest heros... maybe even the biggest of all time.
Wurmbrand is a soldier who kept marching with God for many decades, and during those latter decades of his life, he had to endure the unending affliction of his sore feet. I doubt that anyone on Earth has ever fought for God more courageously than Wurmbrand. He marched with Christ for a great many years on this Earth, and then went to join his Heavenly Lord, taking his own rightful place in the Heavenly Hall of Heros.
But there are other soldiers of God who have shown themselves to be brave in a similar way, as in the case of a Korean War veteran who may well be in the same league as Richard Wurmbrand; he’s a survivor of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, which many students of military history have declared to have been “the most severe battle ever fought on this Earth” and “the most savage battle in the history of modern warfare.”
His name is Hubert Edward Reeves.
Ed Reeves was only 19 when he was severely wounded in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, which occurred in Dec. 1950. He was fighting on the side of Western Christian Liberty against all the dictatorial power of a widespread Atheistic Totalitarianism that prevailed in China and North Korea, and he fought valiantly. But he was maimed in that battle, afflicted by a severe frostbite and gangrene that cost him his hands and feet.
That episode of Cosmic Warfare cost him dearly, but he didn’t regret his sacrifice. He was already a Christian believer at that young age, and he knew he was fighting on the Right Side. Yet he had suffered the strain of amputations from frostbite, a consequence of being immersed in a nightmarishly cold environment that had created “the most severe battle conditions in the history of modern warfare.”
Did he blame God for his misfortune and bemoan his fate? Did he stay in a perpetual state of battle-shock, feeling that the Devil had succeeded in injuring him so badly and killing most of his comrades?
Apparently not. Instead, he felt that he had been miraculously preserved by God. He was one of a very tiny number of American soldiers who had survived the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. He saw himself as being a survivor only by the grace of God, knowing that he was among “the Chosin Few.”
He saw himself as a man rescued by God from the nightmarish battle conditions of the Chosin Reservoir conflict. He had gone through the most severe battlefield environment in all the history of modern warfare, and he was still alive. Not many of his comrades had made it through.
But maybe, in a world where the level of Cosmic Warfare has become so savage and destructive, we should all be glad just to know that God has preserved us through all of our trials... just as He has done so for Ed Reeves.
A major theme of the Bible is that God is preserving a remnant of people for Himself. It doesn’t promise that God Almighty will make all of His followers as powerful as Samson or as successful as King Solomon, but it does say that He will preserve His followers and ultimately bring them to a paradise... a new home in Heaven.
Life wasn’t “a bed of roses” for Jesus Himself during His time on Earth, nor for any of His apostles, and He warned all His followers that they would also go through difficult trials. He informed them that they must be willing to carry a cross on their backs, and to even be crucified as He had been.
Of His original group of apostles, all but one (John) went on to face a violent end, and they were often tortured to death. In most cases, these first apostles expired only after a slow and agonizing form of execution by the enemies of God.
Many of the later disciples of Jesus met a similar fate, as in the case of the Roman Christians who were victimized by Emperor Nero and his ilk. Many millions of Christians were likewise tortured and executed under the Marxist Communists... whom soldiers like Ed Reeves and pastor Richard Wurmbrand have so bravely opposed. Today there are millions more being victimized by belligerent Muslims, who are actively seeking to decimate or exterminate the Christian population of countries such as the nation of Sudan in Africa. These have likewise persecuted the Christian believers in nations of the Mideast and elsewhere, in many locations... whenever there is a Muslim majority in control. Yet the Christian believers in each situation know that a paradise awaits them in Heaven, and there they will be forever with the Lord Jesus Who has preceded them.
Richard Wurmbrand and Ed Reeves are two great wonders of the Earth. You have to admire people like that; they are the real heros of our current age. They are Christian soldiers who never stop moving forward. They are always striving onward, never willing to surrender. Men like these are busy always, ceaselessly seeking to rescue people from the Kingdom of Satan... and to bring them safely into the Kingdom of God. We now await that Kingdom of Heaven which Richard Wurmbrand has already attained.
We believe, as followers of Christ, that we will be preserved by God. The fact that we survive the battlefield conditions in this time of Cosmic Warfare, as the world endures the period that Jesus called “the Last Days,” is rather astounding in itself.
The fighting has been fierce and injurious for many of His soldiers, but we have not yet given up the hope of a rescue... and an ultimate victory. We see a paradise that still lies before us, and we are getting a little closer to it every day. We are His Chosen Few.
It is a privilege and an honor to have served in the same army as these two men, and to know that we are all part of the same team.
We belong to an elite military force; we are an army of Christian soldiers. Quite a few people have now declared allegiance to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who is our leader and commander. He is truly the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, because He is part of a Divine Trinity. He was there at the Creation of the Universe; all things in our world were made through Him and for Him.
Through Him, we have seen the face of the Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ has made the Father known to us.
Others have declared allegiance to a different father, the Father of Lies, and they have become the enemy that harasses us. These would enslave us if they could, and would force us to bow down to their own false gods.
God’s Army is still looking for additional recruits, because humanity is even yet engaged in a prolonged and savage form of Cosmic Warfare. We invite you to join us on the side of Righteousness, and applications to Jesus Christ may be sent in from any interested persons.
These are two valiant soldiers of Jesus Christ whom we are privileged to remember on Memorial Day and throughout each year of our lives on planet Earth. We should keep their fine example fixed firmly in our minds as we proceed with our own lifetimes on this planet.
My own feet are not nearly so beautiful as their own, which are entitled to the highest honors.
Richard Wurmbrand suffered torture for Christ in Romanian prisons that were probably as nightmarish and appalling as Hell itself. The Anti-Christ forces of this world did their best to torture, maim, and cripple a Christian soldier named Richard Wurmbrand, but he kept right on marching. He kept right on marching, knowing that the ultimate victory would belong to his Lord Jesus Christ.
But Wurmbrand must have been extremely pleased in 1965 with the realization that, by the grace of God, he had managed to escape forever the Hell of the Romanian prisons.
God gives everyone on Earth an opportunity to escape the nightmarish Hell which has been constructed for Satan and all his demons, and for all who serve the Father of Lies. You can do this by accepting salvation in Jesus Christ and acknowledging His blood-sacrifice on that wooden cross at Mount Calvary.
If you fail to acknowledge God's Son and don't choose to gain forgiveness in His sacrifice, then you will be consigned to Hell with all the rest of the Anti-Christ forces in this world.
Hell is a place where the enemies of God will be trapped forever with their leader (Satan) and endless remorse. It’s rather like a Lunatic Asylum that will imprison all the enemies of God. This is a place of Outer Darkness that is reserved for the incorrigible and the reprobates, for the children of Satan-- for the enemies of Almighty God, the disloyal, the idolaters, and all liars. It is rather like an Isolation Chamber that was created for thre reception of all beings who are Criminally And Incurably Insane in the eyes of Almighty God. Satan, his demons, and all of their soldiers/followers fall into this same category... and will ultimately be tormented in the fires of Hell.
You may wonder why a Loving God (a God of Light) would allow such a thing as Hell to exist. Well, it’s like this:
God created all human and angelic beings in His Universe with the innate gift of Eternal Life, and they get to keep forever that Endless Spirit which resides within their outward forms. They stay alive for all time, infinitely... no matter how much they sin, no matter how evil or insane they may become. So God has to put the Evil One and all his followers SOMEWHERE, and this miserable Hell is where they will reside even after He recreates the Universe and produces the New Earth as a World of Light. In Hell they will know endless remorse, endless despair, and endless torment.
The Darkness which Satan, his demons, and his followers have so long promoted... then becomes the Prison that will trap them for all of Eternity.
So choose this day whom you will serve. If God the Father is your God, then choose to follow Him! If you continue to follow instead the Prince of Darkness, then you must share that monster's ultimate destiny.
The march of Christian soldiers in this world continues even now, and you have a chance to be part of God’s campaign. He wants His troops out there showing virtue and doing good, working for justice and righteousness and the Kingdom of Heaven. He wants us to gather in all the new recruits— including anyone who commits himself to the Father by showing loyalty to Jesus Christ— and to then put them to work in His cause.
God Almighty plans to regain control of the Earth, and you can choose to join His side and serve in His cause. You can choose of your own free will to become a soldier of God. You can start a new life in which you are serving a Righteous Lord and helping Him to fight against all the evils of this world.
There is a war raging on our Earth, and in all the Universe, between the armies of God and the armies of Satan. Every adult on Earth has been enlisted by one side or the other, so everyone participates— whether they wish it or don’t.
The Lord God Almighty is looking for a few good men (and women) to help Him in His battle against the forces of Darkness. If you repent of your evil ways and turn back to the Light (Jesus Christ, the Light of the World), He can use your service in the Great War which is currently underway on Earth. He needs more soldiers, and He need more recruits who have a courageous spirit like that of Joshua and Caleb!
God’s Remnant is an army of loyal soldiers that survives all this supernatural warfare, and this group of humans will comprise a Special Forces team that is the apple of God's eye. These soldiers get an exalted position with God and are individually chosen by Him-- they are carefully picked out of the crowd by the Righteous King Himself. These troops compose an elite corps that is destined for a special position in God’s Developmental Program for His Universe. This is the overcoming remnant that will be victorious over our current world (which will one day be called Old Earth), and they are the ones whom God will use to re-populate the planet of His New Earth.
The more massive population on our current Earth is that formed by the Armies of Darkness, who mostly adhere to the Majority Opinion. These guys serve the Prince of Darkness, whom Jesus declared to be “the prince of this world”— whether they realize that fact or not!
But that team is headed for ultimate destruction, since they will share the same fate as Satan and his demons! They will first march over all the Earth causing a lot of damage, but ultimately they will suffer an eternal torment when they are consigned to Hell, a place of Outer Darkness where there will be only mental pain, weeping, and despair!
Father God wants YOU to join Salvation’s Army! Become one of the Best... be smart and join the winning team! It’s the only way to come out on top in the end!
The alternative is to stay on the losing side... and then you’ll end up at the bottom of a Pit of Fire, with a nasty guy named Satan and an ugly bunch of demons. Woe, woe... and whoa now! Hey, that’s a fate that shouldn’t appeal to anyone with an ounce of good sense...
Let us reiterate...
Father God wants YOU to join Salvation’s Army! Become one of the Best... be smart and join the winning team! It’s the only way to come out on top in the end!
Yeah, that’s right— we’re the World’s Finest, the Good Guys who are “the salt of the Earth.” Admittedly, we fight for truth, for what’s right, and for justice... just like those “naive” police officers that a lot of people try to avoid!
So why do we end up thinking that we’re “better” than all the rest? What makes us so special— what sets us apart from all the other evil sinners in the world?
Only the fact that we’ve accepted salvation through Christ, and have thus gotten forgiveness from our sins... and the fact that we’ve turned to Jesus Christ as a source of Light.
You can share the Light of Jesus Christ, can reflect His Holy Light in a Cruel World, and thus become a point of illumination in the darkness of this world.
God’s Light can become a Lamp unto your feet and a Light unto your path, if you choose to accept rescue and salvation that is available in Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God Almighty.
You can even live to see the Light of God flowing through you and reaching out to other people in our world...!
It’s time your mind was illuminated by Jesus Christ, the Holy One Who is the Light of the World!
God Almighty, the Holy and Righteous Leader of the Armies of Light, is looking for a few good followers. You can join His army by placing Jesus Christ, Who in the Trinity of God created our Universe, upon a throne at the center of your heart! He deserves that position and that kind of respect. He was first God The Son, but when born in human flesh He became the only sinless and righteous person who ever lived. Yet He sacrificed Himself on a cross for your sake, taking all guilt and sins upon Himself, in order that you and I— that all people— that whoever wishes for salvation might be rescued from the due punishment of sins.
If you will do this, you will gain a new contentment and peace as you accept God's organizational plan for the Universe . . . because you'll be letting God be the Ruler of All Things in this world . . . and in your own life.
All it really takes is a simple but sincere little prayer— one that you should make up in your own words. The prayer for deliverance and for God's leadership should come from your own heart!
Some important elements that you might include are:
1) your desire to turn away from the wrongness or evil of your
past life, and your remorse over the sins of your previous life,
2) your desire for God's forgiveness and mercy through the act
of sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son (Jesus Christ),
3) your desire to know God's leadership in your life,
4) your desire to learn more of God's truth through Bible study,
5) your desire to find fellowship with genuine believers.
Jesus said of the people of God that "The kingdom of heaven is like a net that God has cast into the sea, and it gathers of every kind: When it is full, it will be pulled up on the shore, where they will sit down to sort the catch, and they will collect the good fish in baskets, but the bad things will be thrown away. This is the way it will be at the end of the world: The angels shall come forth, and they will separate the unrighteous persons from among those justified by God . . ."
Excerpt from the Book of Matthew, who was a constant
companion of Jesus and his devoted disciple [13:47-50].
Jesus spoke of the people of God as being like a seed that is growing secretly, saying, “As for the kingdom of God, it is as if a person should cast seed into the ground; and then he sleeps, and he rises up night and day to see that the seed is springing forth and always growing up, although he knows not exactly how. The Earth is bringing forth fruit from itself; first the blade, then the ears of corn, and after that the fullness of the ears of corn. And when all the fruit of the Earth has come forth, immediately God will use the sickle to reap the fields, because the harvest-time has come."
Excerpt from the book of Mark [4:26-29].
It's also important for all of us to remember this:
1) WE SPEAK TO GOD by our prayers.
2) GOD SPEAKS TO US by the words of Holy Scripture.
So we must try to read His words and His Book
just as often as we possibly can!!
God wants to bless you for all your long efforts to understand this very confusing and difficult Universe in which we live— so let Him reward your search with the grace of His forgiveness and enlightenment!
THIS GUIDE WAS WRITTEN FOR YOU BY. . .
Ken Street, a baptized follower of the Way.
May 31, 2004 (adapted from my book)Williamsburg, VAandMarch 31, 2004 (first draft of tract)Williamsburg, VA May 31, 2004 (draft for my book)
March 31, 2005 (first draft of tract)