Unconditional Surrender

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Unconditional Surrender

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On May 7, 1945, in Reims, France (and a few hours later in Berlin), Admiral von Friedeburg, General Jodl, Field Marshall Keitel and General Stumpff, representatives of the German High Command, signed the instrument of unconditional surrender in the presence of the British, Soviet, French and American Allied Forces High Command.

Later that same year, on Sept. 2, 1945, on the deck of the USS Missouri before the Supreme Allied Command, on behalf of Emperor Hirohito of the Japanese Empire, Mamoru Shigemitsu attached his signature to the instrument of unconditional surrender. Yoshijiro Umezu, chief of the General Staff of the Imperial Japanese Army, subsequently countersigned it.

The Axis Powers and the Japanese Empire absolutely and unconditionally surrendered themselves and yielded themselves to the mercy and judgment of the Allied Forces who had conquered them.

It’s not easy

Unconditional surrender is not an easy state of mind to bring into being. Someone must come to really see that he (or she) has been totally and absolutely conquered and that his only choices are unconditional surrender, imprisonment or death.

Members of the Body of Jesus Christ, or those who are in the process of coming to conversion and baptism, understand or are coming to understand that they have been conquered, bought and paid for, and have become a bond slave of Jesus Christ.

Of course, Jesus Christ is our Elder Brother, our High Priest, our Healer, our Chief Shepherd, our Friend, our Hiding Place and our Savior.

The Axis Powers and the Japanese Empire absolutely and unconditionally surrendered themselves.

However, Jesus Christ is also our Master, our Lord and the soon-coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords to whom we, at baptism, have unconditionally surrendered, placing our individual lives into His loving, capable and merciful hands. He has bought and paid for us—ransomed us from the death penalty that we have earned and deserve—by giving His very life through His sacrifice for all of mankind.

We have been defeated—God let Satan test us to see if we would sin, and we lost. We earned the penalty of death. When we realized that, we truly saw that we were conquered, but have we truly and unconditionally surrendered to God, Jesus Christ, God’s government, God’s laws and God’s way of life?

This is a question we must be asking ourselves every day for as long as we live.

Our surrender

What is the ultimate purpose and result of our unconditional surrender?

God requires the unconditional surrender of those He calls. Remember, before our calling and repentance we were enemies of God and God’s way of life (Romans 5:6-10 Romans 5:6-10 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
American King James Version×
). Bear in mind as well that our human nature is exactly opposite and opposed to God and His way (Romans 8:1-8 Romans 8:1-8 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
American King James Version×
). The Greek word translated “enmity” in verse 7 is echthra, and means hostility, opposition and hatred.

After God the Father calls a person out of this world, each individual must come to a point that he is willing to do anything and everything required by God in order to obey Him. When God the Father initially called us out of this world, we studied and prayed daily for forgiveness and asked God to grant us repentance and baptism. We counseled with God’s ministers. We began the process of unconditional surrender to God and God’s government as outlined in His Word—the Bible. We were then baptized.

We must now continue to live a life of unconditional surrender to God with the same zeal and commitment we had when God first called us. And, as we shall see, there is a very great reason and purpose that God is working out in each one of us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? 20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
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Also, God does not expect any more of us than He has expected from all of those He has called out of this world from the beginning.

Abraham proves his surrender

Let’s first look at Abraham. When God called him out of his native land to move his entire estate to the foreign land of Canaan, he simply obeyed with no “yes, buts,” “whys” or “do I have tos.” Abraham simply obeyed (Genesis 12:1-9 Genesis 12:1-9 1 Now the LORD had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you: 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. 4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken to him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran. 5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. 6 And Abram passed through the land to the place of Sichem, to the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 And the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, To your seed will I give this land: and there built he an altar to the LORD, who appeared to him. 8 And he removed from there to a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he built an altar to the LORD, and called on the name of the LORD. 9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.
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Later, when God tested Abraham, asking him to offer up his son Isaac—the one who had been miraculously conceived with his beloved wife Sarah—again Abraham obeyed (Genesis 22:1-19 Genesis 22:1-19 1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said to him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and get you into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of. 3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, Abide you here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? 8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar on the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of the LORD called to him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. 12 And he said, Lay not your hand on the lad, neither do you any thing to him: for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. 15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, said the LORD, for because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is on the sea shore; and your seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because you have obeyed my voice. 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelled at Beersheba.
American King James Version×
). Abraham obeyed because he was unconditionally surrendered to God. Of course, God spared the life of Isaac and provided a proper animal sacrifice for Abraham to offer. However, before God told Abraham not to slay Isaac, Isaac was as good as sacrificed in Abraham’s mind.

Abraham also knew that God’s promises were to be fulfilled through Isaac and his offspring, and that God would be able to resurrect Isaac in order to fulfill His promises. Abraham’s mind’s eye was focused on the future, the Kingdom of God, where the promises would ultimately be fulfilled (Hebrews 11:17-19 Hebrews 11:17-19 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, 18 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall your seed be called: 19 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from where also he received him in a figure.
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).

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego

Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego are another example of individuals who were unconditionally surrendered to God. When King Nebuchadnezzar had a 90-foot-tall golden image erected in the middle of Babylon and required all to bow down and worship the image whenever they heard all the instruments play, they absolutely disobeyed. By rejecting the king’s command, they incurred the death penalty in a fiery furnace.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego
When the political yes-men brought Daniel’s friends before the king and accused them of not bowing down to the idol, the king was outraged. His veins began enlarging around his neck and his face began to turn red in anger. When the king asked Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego if the accusations were true, they answered the king in this way: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18 Daniel 3:16-18 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer you in this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.
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).

At that, the king became outraged beyond comprehension, his face now turned to a shade of purple and the veins on his neck and forehead bulged out. He commanded that the fiery furnace be heated seven times hotter than normal. The king then ordered some of his mightiest men to throw Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego into the fiery furnace. The furnace now was so hot that it killed these mighty men as they threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego into the furnace.

However, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego did not burn up at all. In fact, when the king was able to look into the furnace he saw four men, not three, with the fourth looking “like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25 Daniel 3:25He answered and said, See, I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
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The king then promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego to high governmental positions in Babylon and gave praise and honor, saying, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, who sent His Angel and delivered His servants who trusted in Him, and they have frustrated the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they should not serve nor worship any god except their own God!” (Daniel 3:28 Daniel 3:28Then Nebuchadnezzar spoke, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
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).

Beyond showing their faith, obedience and giving the king a tremendous witness of God’s power, there was a much greater purpose and goal for Daniel’s three friends. Their hearts were firmly fixed on the Kingdom of God and their future positions as spirit beings, servant leaders in the Kingdom (Revelation 1:6 Revelation 1:6And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
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The ultimate example

Finally, we have the example of our Savior and soon-coming King, Jesus Christ.

Just before His arrest, which led to His ultimate sacrifice for all of mankind, Jesus and His disciples went to the garden to pray. And Jesus Christ went off by Himself and prayed for guidance and for the strength He would need to go through the trial He would face during the remainder of His life on earth as a human being.

He asked God that if it were possible, if the Father were willing, that the trial He faced could be removed from Him. He prayed so fervently to God the Father that His sweat was as “great drops of blood” (Luke 22:44 Luke 22:44And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
American King James Version×
). Yet Jesus Christ prayed, “Not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:41-42 Luke 22:41-42 41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, 42 Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done.
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).

Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego are another example of individuals who unconditionally surrendered to God.

Jesus Christ was unconditionally surrendered to God the Father and the Father’s will. Jesus Christ was not only surrendered, He was totally obedient to God the Father: “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8 Hebrews 5:8Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
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). Because of His commitment to being unconditionally surrendered to God, He has become our Savior, High Priest and the soon-coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 Hebrews 4:15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
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A higher purpose

What then is the purpose for your and my unconditional surrender to God? Is it just so we will be good and obedient children while we are here as human beings? Or is our unconditional surrender for a much higher purpose?

After Jesus Christ was baptized, and following His battle with Satan the devil, the first thing He did was preach the good news of the Kingdom of God. He came saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15 Mark 1:15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.
American King James Version×
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He explained to His disciples that after His sacrifice and death He was going to prepare a place, offices of servant leadership, for those who would be called to follow Him and His way of life. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:1-3 John 14:1-3 1 Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
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).

Certainly Jesus Christ, our Savior, paid the penalty of death earned by every member of the human race since creation. And through this sacrifice, those God the Father calls and who then truly repent and are baptized are granted the free gift of unmerited pardon and eternal life.

However, the ultimate purpose—the end result of our unconditional surrender—is to attain the highest possible position God has set aside for us in the Kingdom of God as members of the family of God.

The apostle Paul fought hard battles daily, as we must, against the pulls of human nature, the temptations in the world and the darts of Satan the devil (Philippians 3:8-15 Philippians 3:8-15 8 Yes doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable to his death; 11 If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing you be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this to you.
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). Paul further tells us to look to things on a much higher plane than what we currently see on earth. “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:1-2 Colossians 3:1-2 1 If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
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).

Let’s continue to strive daily to remain unconditionally surrendered to God and His way of life so we will receive the awesome potential God has set aside and prepared for you and for me in the Kingdom of God.