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History briefs — Luther comes to Christ

 Romans 1

NKJV

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

The following is an insightful passage about Luther’s faith, from a beautiful tribute to him and Calvin, two men whom the Lord used in an extraordinary way during an extraordinary period of history. The article is interesting and edifying in many ways.

SOLI DEO GLORIA — GLORY TO GOD ALONE

 

Luther’s Loyal Son

BY R. SCOTT CLARK

reformation 21

Luther was the pioneer of Protestant theology, piety, and practice. He gradually became Protestant in the period between 1513-21 as he lectured through the Psalms, Romans, Galatians, Hebrews, and the Psalms again. Reading Augustine as he lectured on the Psalms he realized that the doctrine of man and sin that he had learned in university did not agree with Scripture nor did it agree with Augustine. In the Psalms he saw that human depravity is greater than he had thought and grace is greater, more powerful, and more free than he thought, that God has elected his people to new life and true faith unconditionally, from all eternity (sola gratia). By the end of his lectures on the Psalms he had become young, restless, and Augustinian but he was not yet a Protestant. As he lectured through Romans, he began to see that the basis on which we stand before God is not the sanctity wrought in us by grace and cooperation with grace but Christ’s righteousness accomplished outside of us and imputed to us. As he lectured through Galatians he came to see that view confirmed and he began to re-think what he had learned about the role of faith in salvation, that it was not just another virtue formed in us by grace and cooperation with grace. The picture became clearer as he lectured through Hebrews and the Psalms again. Late in life, looking back at his theological development, he said that it was as he lectured through Psalms again that the light went on, as it were, and he realized that it is faith that apprehends Christ, that rests in and receives Christ and his righteousness for us. It is through faith the Spirit unites us to Christ so that he becomes ours and we become his ki(sola fide).

 

 From :https://pilgrimsprogressrevisted.wordpress.com/2017/10/12/history-briefs-luther-comes-to-christ/

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1200px-frampton_mansell_st_lukes_churchHappy Reformation Day – October 31, 1517: The Bible and Martin Luther

Martin Luther

Martin Luther had a small head-start on Tyndale, as Luther declared his intolerance for the Roman Church’s corruption on Halloween in 1517, by nailing his 95 Theses of Contention to the Wittenberg Church door. Luther, who would be exiled in the months following the Diet of Worms Council in 1521 that was designed to martyr him, would translate the New Testament into German for the first time from the 1516 Greek-Latin New Testament of Erasmus, and publish it in September of 1522. Luther also published a German Pentateuch in 1523, and another edition of the German New Testament in 1529. In the 1530’s he would go on to publish the entire Bible in German. Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a Christian theologian and Augustinian monk whose teachings inspired the Protestant Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines of Protestant and other Christian traditions.

Martin Luther was born to Hans and Margaretha Luder on 10 November 1483 in Eisleben, Germany and was baptised the next day on the feast of St. Martin of Tours, after whom he was named. Luther’s call to the Church to return to the teachings of the Bible resulted in the formation of new traditions within Christianity and the Counter-Reformation in the Roman Catholic Church, culminating at the Council of Trent.His translation of the Bible also helped to develop a standard version of the German language and added several principles to the art of translation. Luther’s hymns sparked the development of congregational singing in Christianity. His marriage, on June 13, 1525, to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, began the tradition of clerical marriage within several Christian traditions.

Portraits of Hans and Margarethe Luther by Lucas Cranach  1527

Luther’s early life

Martin Luther’s father owned a copper mine in nearby Mansfeld. Having risen from the peasantry, his father was determined to see his son ascend to civil service and bring further honor to the family. To that end, Hans sent young Martin to schools in Mansfeld, Magdeburg and Eisenach. At the age of seventeen in 1501 he entered the University of Erfurt. The young student received his Bachelor’s degree after just one year in 1502! Three years later, in 1505, he received a Master’s degree. According to his father’s wishes, Martin enrolled in the law school of that university. All that changed during a thunderstorm in the summer of 1505. A lightening bolt struck near to him as he was returning to school. Terrified, he cried out, „Help, St. Anne! I’ll become a monk!” Spared of his life, but regretting his words, Luther kept his bargain, dropped out of law school and entered the monastery there.

Luther’s struggle to find peace with God

Young Brother Martin fully dedicated himself to monastic life, the effort to do good works to please God and to serve others through prayer for their souls. Yet peace with God escaped him. He devoted himself to fasts, flagellations, long hours in prayer and pilgrimages, and constant confession. The more he tried to do for God, it seemed, the more aware he became of his sinfulness.

Johann von Staupitz, Luther’s superior, concluded the young man needed more work to distract him from pondering himself. He ordered the monk to pursue an academic career. In 1507 Luther was ordained to the priesthood. In 1508 he began teaching theology at the University of Wittenberg. Luther earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies on 9 March 1508 and a Bachelor’s degree in the Sentences by Peter Lombard, (the main textbook of theology in the Middle Ages) in 1509. On 19 October 1512, the University of Wittenberg conferred upon Martin Luther the degree of Doctor of Theology.

Martin Luther’s Evangelical Discovery

The demands of study for academic degrees and preparation for delivering lectures drove Martin Luther to study the Scriptures in depth. Luther immersed himself in the teachings of the Scripture and the early church. Slowly, terms like penanceand righteousness took on new meaning. The controversy that broke loose with the publication of his 95 Theses placed even more pressure on the reformer to study the Bible. This study convinced him that the Church had lost sight of several central truths. To Luther, the most important of these was the doctrine that brought him peace with God.

With joy, Luther now believed and taught that salvation is a gift of God’s grace, received by faith and trust in God’s promise to forgive sins for the sake of Christ’s death on the cross. This, he believed was God’s work from beginning to end.

Luther’s 95 Theses

On Halloween of 1517, Luther changed the course of human history when he nailed his 95 Theses to the church door at Wittenberg, accusing the Roman Catholic church of heresy upon heresy. Many people cite this act as the primary starting point of the Protestant Reformation… though to be sure, John Wycliffe, John Hus, Thomas Linacre, John Colet, and others had already put the life’s work and even their lives on the line for same cause of truth, constructing the foundation of Reform upon which Luther now built. Luther’s action was in great part a response to the selling of indulgences by Johann Tetzel, a Dominican priest. Luther’s charges also directly challenged the position of the clergy in regard to individual salvation. Before long, Luther’s 95 Theses of Contention had been copied and published all over Europe.

Here I Stand

Luther’s Protestant views were condemned as heretical by Pope Leo X in the bull Exsurge Domine in 1520. Consequently Luther was summoned to either renounce or reaffirm them at the Diet of Worms on 17 April 1521. When he appeared before the assembly, Johann von Eck, by then assistant to the Archbishop of Trier, acted as spokesman for Emperor Charles the Fifth. He presented Luther with a table filled with copies of his writings. Eck asked Luther if he still believed what these works taught. He requested time to think about his answer. Granted an extension, Luther prayed, consulted with friends and mediators and presented himself before the Diet the next day.

Meeting of the Diet (assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire at Worms, Germany, in 1521, where Martin Luther defended his Protestant principles and was excommunicated

When the counselor put the same question to Luther the next day, the reformer apologized for the harsh tone of many of his writings, but said that he could not reject the majority of them or the teachings in them. Luther respectfully but boldly stated, „Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.„On May 25, the Emperor issued his Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.

Luther in Exile at the Wartburg Castle

The room in Wartburg where     Luther translated the New Testament into German. An original first edition of the translation is kept under the case on the desk.

Luther had powerful friends among the princes of Germany, one of whom was his own prince, Frederick the Wise, Elector of Saxony. The prince arranged for Luther to be seized on his way from the Diet by a company of masked horsemen, who carried him to the castle of the Wartburg, where he was kept about a year. He grew a wide flaring beard; took on the garb of a knight and assumed the pseudonym Jörg. During this period of forced sojourn in the world, Luther was still hard at work upon his celebrated translation of the Bible, though he couldn’t rely on the isolation of a monastery. During his translation, Luther would make forays into the nearby towns and markets to listen to people speak, so that he could put his translation of the Bible into the language of the people.

Although his stay at the Wartburg kept Luther hidden from public view, Luther often received letters from his friends and allies, asking for his views and advice. For example, Luther’s closest friend, Philipp Melanchthon, wrote to him and asked how to answer the charge that the reformers neglected pilgrimages, fasts and other traditional forms of piety. Luther’s replied: „If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign.” [Letter 99.13, To Philipp Melanchthon, 1 August 1521.]

Martin Luther’s German Bible

1529 Luther New Testament: The Oldest Printed German N.T. Scripture

Martin Luther was the first person to translate and publish the Bible in the commonly-spoken dialect of the German people. He used the recent 1516 critical Greek edition of Erasmus, a text which was later called textus receptus. The Luther German New Testament translation was first published in September of 1522. The translation of the Old Testament followed, yielding an entire German language Bible in 1534.

Luther is also know to have befriended William Tyndale, and given him safe haven and assistance in using the same 1516 Erasmus Greek-Latin Parallel New Testament that had been the source text for his German New Testament of 1522, as the trustworthy source text for Tyndale’s English New Testament of 1525-26.

Luther’s Writings

The number of books attributed to Martin Luther is quite impressive. However, some Luther scholars contend that many of the works were at least drafted by some of his good friends like Philipp Melanchthon. Luther’s books explain the settings of the epistles and show the conformity of the books of

1523 Luther Pentateuch:  The Oldest Printed      German Scripture

the Bible to each other. Of special note would be his writings about the Epistle to the Galatians in which he compares himself to the Apostle Paul in his defense of the Gospel. Luther also wrote about church administration and wrote much about the Christian home.

Luther’s work contains a number of statements that modern readers would consider rather crude. For example, Luther was know to advise people that they should literally “Tell the Devil he may kiss my ass.” It should be remembered that Luther received many communications from throughout Europe from people who could write anonymously, that is, without the specter of mass media making their communications known. No public figure today could write in the manner of the correspondences Luther received or in the way Luther responded to them. Luther was certainly a theologian of the middle-ages. He was an earthy man who enjoyed his beer, and was bold and often totally without tact in the blunt truth he vehemently preached. While this offended many, it endeared him all the more to others.

He was open with his frustrations and emotions, as well. Once, when asked if he truly loved God, Luther replied “Love God? Sometimes I hate Him!” Luther was also frustrated by the works-emphasis of the book of James, calling it “the Epistle of Straw, and questioning its canonicity. Also irritated with the complex symbolism of the Book of Revelation, he once said that it too, was not canon, and that it should be thrown into the river! He later retracted these statements, of course. Luther was a man who was easily misquoted or taken out of context. While a brilliant theologian, and a bold reformer, he would not have made a good politician. But then, he never aspired to any career in politics.

Luther’s 1534 Bible.

Martin Luther and Judaism

Luther initially preached tolerance towards the Jewish people, convinced that the reason they had never converted to Christianity was that they were discriminated against, or had never heard the Gospel of Christ. However, after his overtures to Jews failed to convince Jewish people to adopt Christianity, he began preaching that the Jews were set in evil, anti-Christian ways, and needed to be expelled from German politics. In hisOn the Jews and Their Lies, he repeatedly quotes the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:34, where Jesus called them „a brood of vipers and children of the devil”

Katharina von Bora, Luther’s wife (1523), by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1526

Luther was zealous toward the Gospel, and he wanted to protect the people of his homeland from the Jews who he believed would be harmful influences since they did not recognize Jesus as their Saviour. In Luther’s time, parents had a right and a duty to direct their children’s marriage choices in respect to matters of faith. Likewise, Luther felt a duty to direct his German people to cling to the Jesus the Jews did not accept. It should be noted that church law was superior to civil law in Luther’s day and that law said the penalty of blasphemy was death. When Luther called for the deaths of certain Jews, he was merely asking that the laws that were applied to all other Germans also be applied to the Jews. The Jews were exempt from the church laws that Christians were bound by, most notably the law against charging interest.

Martin Luther’s Death

Martin Luther escaped martyrdom, and died of natural causes. His last written words were, „Know that no one can have indulged in the Holy Writers sufficiently, unless he has governed churches for a hundred years with the prophets, such as Elijah and Elisha, John the Baptist, Christ and the apostles… We are beggars: this is true.

photos and story (via) Wikipedia and www.greatsite.com

31OCT2014

https://rodiagnusdei.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/happy-reformation-day-october-31-1517-the-bible-and-martin-luther/11053460_431911340331146_2308558022688164803_n

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Photo credit www.refo500.nl

MARTIN LUTHER  -A FILM BIOGRAPHY

Published on Apr 2, 2013

 

Martin Luther is a 1953 film

biography about the life and times of the greatest figure of the

Protestant Reformation – Martin Luther, a 16th century German monk,

priest, and theology professor’s efforts to reform the Catholic church,

his excommunication, and the developments that started the Protestant

Reformation.

Luther’s observations and studies led him to be

critical of the materialism of the Roman Catholic church; with its use

of indulgences, relics and other wayward teachings and practices that

are unsupported by the Bible (scripture) forced him to write and nail

his 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg church that was pivotal in

leading a ‘spiritual revolution’ shaking the principalities of the Holy

Roman Empire and the entirety of Medieval Europe that changed history

forever.

Martin Luther is directed by Irving Pichel and stars

Niall MacGinnis as Martin Luther
John Ruddock as Vicar Johann von Staupitz
Pierre Lefevre as George Spalatin
Guy Verney as Philipp Melanchthon
Allastair Hunter as Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt
David Horne as Elector Duke Frederick the Wise
Fred Johnson as Prior of Erfurt monastery
Philip Leaver as Pope Leo X
Heinz Piper as Dr. John Eck
Leonard White as brother and emissary of Archbishop Albrecht of Mainz
Egon Strohm as Cardinal Aleander
Annette Carrell as Katharina von Bora
Alexander Gauge as Fr. John Tetzel
Irving Pichel as Chancellor Brueck
Hans Lefebre as Emperor Charles V
John Wiggin as Narrator
The music is composed by Mark Lothar and performed by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.

Luther Bible, 1534

Luther Bible, 1534 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgent...

Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum, 95 theses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Permalink
It’s no accident that October 31 is both Halloween and the
day remembered for the start of the Reformation. Both key off November
1, All Saints’ Day — or All Hallows’ Day (Hallows from the Latin for
saints or holy ones).

On All Hallows’ Eve, October 31, 1517, the Roman Church received the
world’s most memorable trick-or-treater at its door — though barely
noticed at the time — when a lowly priest named Martin Luther approached
the threshold of the Wittenberg branch in Germany and posted his 95
measly theses (they aren’t nearly as impressive as you would expect).
The coming All Saints’ Day seemed like an excuse for sparring about the
Church’s deplorable sanctioning of indulgences, and Luther was angling
for some good-spirited debate.

The Spark That Set the Church Ablaze

But the Church was centuries overdue for major reform, the kindling
was in place, and Luther’s little, almost accidental spark set the whole
thing ablaze. Some nameless visionary translated his theses from the
Church’s Latin into the people’s German and sent them far and wide
through the printing press. In time, this lowly monk proved to have what
it took to hold his ground against the Church and the world — “Here I
stand,” he said courageously before the emperor — and under God, he
became the human tip of the spear for massive reform.

Of course, that’s the reductionistic version of the story. Save his
own Son, God doesn’t change the world through a single person, but
through people. With and behind every remembered individual is some
great collective. Luther had a significant supporting cast in his
Wittenberg work, and on the grander scale, it took many others — like
Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, Martin Bucer, Thomas Cranmer, John Knox,
and many more, all with their associates and assistants — to usher in
reform far and wide. God gave Luther the bullhead to do the pioneering.
He was the battering ram. But five centuries of Protestant Christianity
wouldn’t have followed in the wake of Luther alone.

Enter the French Humanist

In particular, Calvin’s thinking, writing, and systematizing played a
complementary role to Luther’s pioneering flair. Born in 1509 in
France, Calvin was only eight years old when Luther played his Halloween
trick in 1517.

Calvin was trained as a humanist and converted sometime between 1528
and 1532, while at university, and by All Saints’ Day, 1533, he had
himself in hot water. Sixteen years after Luther posted his theses,
Calvin’s friend Nicolas Cop delivered an All Saints’ convocation
heralding Christ as the sole mediator (not the “saints”). Some suspected
this patently Protestant address was written by Calvin, and he soon
found himself on the run.

As an exile, Calvin spent time in Basel, and seemingly by accident
came to Geneva for a single night in 1536 on his way to Strasbourg for
an ivory-tower, academic life of study and writing. The fiery Swiss
reformer William Farel learned Calvin was in town and prevailed upon him
to join the reformation cause in Geneva. Calvin acquiesced, and stayed
there in Geneva — minus a three-year exile from 1538–1541 — until his
death in 1564 at age 54.

The “Accidents” of Providence

Reformation Day is ripe for remembering an array of biblical truths — that the Scriptures are our only final authority (sola Scriptura);
that God accepts us by grace alone, through faith alone, on the basis
of Christ alone (justification); that God often uses the unlikeliest of
people to turn the world upside down; that God doesn’t just raise up
great individuals, but collections of people, veritable teams, each with
his lot, and his own local cohort, to bring about widespread change;
and all these conspiring to the glory of God alone (soli Deo gloria).

But here’s one to keep on your radar this year. God loves to use the
seeming accidents in our lives to bring about his purposes. It’s the
“accidents” that remind us we’re emphatically not the captain of our own
soul, we’re not piloting our own destinies, we’re not on the block for
planning the whole thing out and executing on it. How sad a course it
would be if we cooked up the whole thing out as we came of age and spent
the rest of our lives living out our boring and uncreative little
visions?

That such a Reformation began almost 500 years ago, and continues to
this day — this is your story too — is not the result of any human plan.
It has been the “accidents” which have given it the markings of divine
fingerprints — Luther’s accidental spark that first lit the flame and
Calvin’s accidental lone night in Geneva that changed the course for
that city and for a major branch of Protestant theology.

Reformation Day is a reminder to embrace the “accidents” in our
lives, look for the hand of providence, and trust that his plans for us
are better than our wildest dreams. For those who are his, he truly
works together for their good all things — even and especially the
seeming accidental — to do for us far more abundantly than all that we
ask or think (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 3:20).

October 31, 2013

 

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/the-reformation-trick-or-treat


More for Reformation Day from Desiring God:

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Martin Luther, commemorated on February 18 Eva...

Martin Luther, commemorated on February 18 Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Minneapolis: Fortress Press (2006), 15. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Milestone in History:

A Halloween Tale

by Chuck Missler

In the year 1483 in Eisleben, Saxony, a baby boy was born to a poorcoal miner. As he grew up and observed the poverty of hi s father, this boy, named Martin, chose to pursue a different vocation.He decided to become a lawyer and, in 1501, entered the University of Erfurt, where he excelled in his studies. As he came to the end of his schooling in 1504, an event took place which changed his life. While he was walking the campus grounds, a storm broke so forcefully that Martin fell on his face in fear. The thunder was deafening and lightning struck all around him.Instinctively, he cried out to the patron saint of coal miners, whose name he had heard invoked during his childhood, “Saint Anne! Save me from the lightning. If you save me I will become a monk.” Shortly thereafter the storm stopped. Being a man of his word, Martinwithdrew from law school and entered an Augustinian monastery where heapplied himself so diligently that he obtained a Doctorate of Theology within a few years. But the more he studied, the more troubled his heart became; for although he was becoming an expert in theology, he lacked peace personally.The question he repeatedly wrote in his diary was: “Howcan a man find favor with God?” In search of such peace, Martin devoted himself to an exceedingly pious life-style. He would fast for ten to fifteen days at a time. When temperatures dropped below freezing, he slept outside without a blanket. Between his studies, he beat his body until it was black and blue and bleeding-hoping that somehow by punishing his flesh, he could rid himself of the thoughts and motives that he knew were not right. (These were typical practices of the medieval church…) He went to confession so many times a day that finally the abbot said, “Martin, either go out and commit a sin worth confessing or stop coming here so often!”Martin was so introspective and continually plagued by what he knew of his own depravity and sinfulness that once, while sitting at his desk writing theology, he felt the presence of Satan so tangibly that he grabbed a bottle of ink and hurled it across the room to where he thought the devil was standing. The bottle crashed against the wall and left a mark that can still be seen today.Finally, in 1509, Martin decided to make a pilgrimage to Rome in hope of finding the elusive peace for which he longed. He set out on foot and crossed the Alps. On his descent, he almost died of a high fever before making his way to a monastery at the foot of the mountains. There the Brothers nursed him back to health. While there, a wise monk approached him and s aid, “You need to read the Book of Habakkuk.” And so Martin did just that. He read Habakkuk. It was a good suggestion. Habakkuk was a struggler just like Martin, and like us today: If God is good, why does He allow suffering? If there really is a devil, why doesn’t God just obliterate him? (When we throw out questions, we then plunge into our personal pursuits-and wonder why we don’t get answers.) One verse captured Martin’s imagination: Habakkuk 2:4.”The just shall live by faith.” He couldn’t get it out of his mind.Having recovered sufficiently to continue his journey to Rome, he went to the Church of St. John’s Lateran, a typical cathedral of that day. There is a staircase there that is said to be from Pilate’s judgment hall. The existing stairs are four parts: the special inner two are said to have been transported there miraculously from Jerusalem. The outer two are ordinary. The inner steps are not walked on. Here pilgrims mount painfully on their knees, a step at a time, saying prayers as they go.The pope had promised an indulgence to all who would undergo this rite.As Martin repeated his prayers on the Lateran staircase, Habakkuk 2:4 suddenly came into his mind: “the just shall live by faith.” He ceased his prayers, returned to the University of Wittenberg, and went on to explore the revolutionary idea of “justification by faith.” And with great deliberation, on October 31, 1517, Martin drove a stake into the heart of the prevailing pagan concepts by nailing his famous 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg,Germany, and started the movement known today as the Reformation-the single most important event in modern history. Appropriately, he did this on Halloween. His name, of course, was Martin Luther. The church leadership didn’t like the implications of his views and ultimately, at the Diet (council) of Worms (a town) they excommunicated him as a heretic. He went on to write commentaries that are classics today; hymns like, “A Mighty Fortress is our God”; and translated the entire Bible into German, a classic which remains the literary masterpiece in the Germanic tongue 

* * *

The just shall live by faith. By faith; not by intellect, sight, or feelings. Faith is the currency of eternity. God wants us to be rich people. Faith is not believing in spite of evidence;it is obeying in spite of the consequences

The Holy Spirit has given us a trilogy on Habakkuk 2:4:

The Just shall live by Faith Rom 1:15-17

The Just shall live by Faith Gal 1;6-9; 3:1-3, 11

The Just shall live by Faith Heb 10:38 (introduces the “Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11.)

It takes three epistles of the New Testament to expound just one Old Testament text of six words! (This is one of the several reasons I personally ascribe authorship of the Epistles to the Hebrews to Paul.)

One small verse in Habakkuk changed the course of history. Among the most fascinating portions of the Bible are the lesser known “Minor” prophets. (The scholastic term “minor” derives from their small size,not their significance!) Why not undertake a personally tutored study of some of them.

This article was originally published in the September 1998 Personal Update NewsJournal.

Portrait of Martin Luther as an Augustinian Monk

Portrait of Martin Luther as an Augustinian Monk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wittenberg All Saints' Church. The "These...

Wittenberg All Saints’ Church. The “Theses Doors”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disputation on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences Commonly Known as

The 95 Theses
by Dr. Martin Luther

While the world is busy acting out Druidic satanism on Halloween, let us remember the REAL reason to celebrate October 31: Reformation Day, commemorating Martin Luther’s protest against the Catholic Church’s ungodly practices.  This led to printing of the Word of God in languages people could finally read for themselves. At last the true Salvation Gospel was revealed, and along with it the doctrine of Grace, which freed the people from the fear based control of the Catholic power structure.  Without the Protestant Reformation, the Dark Ages would never have ended, and there would be no nation on earth founded on Biblical principles; no freedom, no USA.

This is also a day to remember the enemies of the Reformation: the “Company of Jesus” also called the Jesuit Order, dedicated to the Counter-Reformation–bringing back the Dark Ages of Papal domination over the nations of the earth.  The Babylonian Whore of Revelation still sits on the seven headed beast–the city on seven hills–ROME!  The papacy is drunk with the blood of the saints and today more than ever, “reigns over the kings of the earth”.  No wonder the pope’s title “vicarius filii dei” in Roman numerals adds up to 666! 

The Jesuits are the master destroyers of national sovereignty, ruling behind their loyal front men (Masonic Jews, Republicans, Democrats, etc) and front organizations (CIA, Council on Foreign Relations, Freemasons, Illuminati).  Few see the Jesuit hand behind the laws and policies that destroy our economy and culture, or the false flag attacks like 9-11, used to take our freedom and justify wars that only benefit the Vatican.

That’s why they want us to celebrate Halloween and forget Reformation Day; to keep Sunday and forget that Saturday is the Sabbath; to believe their evolution scam and forget the Bible. The Jesuits know how to bring God’s judgment down on a nation: corrupt it beyond all recognition. 

So let us put aside the Devil’s occult celebration and remember all that the Jesuit social engineers want us to forget, starting this Sabbath DANIEL HENDERICK

d_henderick@yahoo.com

 95thses

Out of love and concern for the truth, and with the object of eliciting it, the following heads will be the subject of a public discussion at Wittenberg under the presidency of the reverend father, Martin Luther, Augustinian, Master of Arts and Sacred Theology, and duly appointed Lecturer on these subjects in that place. He requests that whoever cannot be present personally to debate the matter orally will do so in absence in writing.

1.    When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent”, He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

2.    The word cannot be properly understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, i.e. confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.

3.    Yet its meaning is not restricted to repentance in one’s heart; for such repentance is null unless it produces outward signs in various mortifications of the flesh.

4.    As long as hatred of self abides (i.e. true inward repentance) the penalty of sin abides, viz., until we enter the kingdom of heaven.

5.    The pope has neither the will nor the power to remit any penalties beyond those imposed either at his own discretion or by canon law.

6.    The pope himself cannot remit guilt, but only declare and confirm that it has been remitted by God; or, at most, he can remit it in cases reserved to his discretion. Except for these cases, the guilt remains untouched.

7.    God never remits guilt to anyone without, at the same time, making him humbly submissive to the priest, His representative.

8.    The penitential canons apply only to men who are still alive, and, according to the canons themselves, none applies to the dead.

9.    Accordingly, the Holy Spirit, acting in the person of the pope, manifests grace to us, by the fact that the papal regulations always cease to apply at death, or in any hard case.

10.                    It is a wrongful act, due to ignorance, when priests retain the canonical penalties on the dead in purgatory.

11.                    When canonical penalties were changed and made to apply to purgatory, surely it would seem that tares were sown while the bishops were asleep.

12.                    In former days, the canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution was pronounced; and were intended to be tests of true contrition.

13.                    Death puts an end to all the claims of the Church; even the dying are already dead to the canon laws, and are no longer bound by them.

14.                    Defective piety or love in a dying person is necessarily accompanied by great fear, which is greatest where the piety or love is least.

15.                    This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, whatever else might be said, to constitute the pain of purgatory, since it approaches very closely to the horror of despair.

16.                    There seems to be the same difference between hell, purgatory, and heaven as between despair, uncertainty, and assurance.

17.                    Of a truth, the pains of souls in purgatory ought to be abated, and charity ought to be proportionately increased.

18.                    Moreover, it does not seem proved, on any grounds of reason or Scripture, that these souls are outside the state of merit, or unable to grow in grace.

19.                    Nor does it seem proved to be always the case that they are certain and assured of salvation, even if we are very certain ourselves.

20.                    Therefore the pope, in speaking of the plenary remission of all penalties, does not mean “all” in the strict sense, but only those imposed by himself.

21.                    Hence those who preach indulgences are in error when they say that a man is absolved and saved from every penalty by the pope’s indulgences.

22.                    Indeed, he cannot remit to souls in purgatory any penalty which canon law declares should be suffered in the present life.

23.                    If plenary remission could be granted to anyone at all, it would be only in the cases of the most perfect, i.e. to very few.

24.                    It must therefore be the case that the major part of the people are deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of relief from penalty.

25.                    The same power as the pope exercises in general over purgatory is exercised in particular by every single bishop in his bishopric and priest in his parish.

26.                    The pope does excellently when he grants remission to the souls in purgatory on account of intercessions made on their behalf, and not by the power of the keys (which he cannot exercise for them).

27.                    There is no divine authority for preaching that the soul flies out of the purgatory immediately the money clinks in the bottom of the chest.

28.                    It is certainly possible that when the money clinks in the bottom of the chest avarice and greed increase; but when the church offers intercession, all depends in the will of God.

29.                    Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed in view of what is said of St. Severinus and St. Pascal? (Note: Paschal I, pope 817-24. The legend is that he and Severinus were willing to endure the pains of purgatory for the benefit of the faithful).

30.                    No one is sure of the reality of his own contrition, much less of receiving plenary forgiveness.

31.                    One who bona fide buys indulgence is a rare as a bona fide penitent man, i.e. very rare indeed.

32.                    All those who believe themselves certain of their own salvation by means of letters of indulgence, will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.

33.                    We should be most carefully on our guard against those who say that the papal indulgences are an inestimable divine gift, and that a man is reconciled to God by them.

34.                    For the grace conveyed by these indulgences relates simply to the penalties of the sacramental “satisfactions” decreed merely by man.

35.                    It is not in accordance with Christian doctrines to preach and teach that those who buy off souls, or purchase confessional licenses, have no need to repent of their own sins.

36.                    Any Christian whatsoever, who is truly repentant, enjoys plenary remission from penalty and guilt, and this is given him without letters of indulgence.

37.                    Any true Christian whatsoever, living or dead, participates in all the benefits of Christ and the Church; and this participation is granted to him by God without letters of indulgence.

38.                    Yet the pope’s remission and dispensation are in no way to be despised, for, as already said, they proclaim the divine remission.

39.                    It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, to extol to the people the great bounty contained in the indulgences, while, at the same time, praising contrition as a virtue.

40.                    A truly contrite sinner seeks out, and loves to pay, the penalties of his sins; whereas the very multitude of indulgences dulls men’s consciences, and tends to make them hate the penalties.

41.                    Papal indulgences should only be preached with caution, lest people gain a wrong understanding, and think that they are preferable to other good works: those of love.

42.                    Christians should be taught that the pope does not at all intend that the purchase of indulgences should be understood as at all comparable with the works of mercy.

43.                    Christians should be taught that one who gives to the poor, or lends to the needy, does a better action than if he purchases indulgences.

44.                    Because, by works of love, love grows and a man becomes a better man; whereas, by indulgences, he does not become a better man, but only escapes certain penalties.

45.                    Christians should be taught that he who sees a needy person, but passes him by although he gives money for indulgences, gains no benefit from the pope’s pardon, but only incurs the wrath of God.

46.                    Christians should be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they are bound to retain what is only necessary for the upkeep of their home, and should in no way squander it on indulgences.

47.                    Christians should be taught that they purchase indulgences voluntarily, and are not under obligation to do so.

48.                    Christians should be taught that, in granting indulgences, the pope has more need, and more desire, for devout prayer on his own behalf than for ready money.

49.                    Christians should be taught that the pope’s indulgences are useful only if one does not rely on them, but most harmful if one loses the fear of God through them.

50.                    Christians should be taught that, if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence-preachers, he would rather the church of St. Peter were reduced to ashes than be built with the skin, flesh, and bones of the sheep.

51.                    Christians should be taught that the pope would be willing, as he ought if necessity should arise, to sell the church of St. Peter, and give, too, his own money to many of those from whom the pardon-merchants conjure money.

52.                    It is vain to rely on salvation by letters of indulgence, even if the commissary, or indeed the pope himself, were to pledge his own soul for their validity.

53.                    Those are enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid the word of God to be preached at all in some churches, in order that indulgences may be preached in others.

54.                    The word of God suffers injury if, in the same sermon, an equal or longer time is devoted to indulgences than to that word.

55.                    The pope cannot help taking the view that if indulgences (very small matters) are celebrated by one bell, one pageant, or one ceremony, the gospel (a very great matter) should be preached to the accompaniment of a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.

56.                    The treasures of the church, out of which the pope dispenses indulgences, are not sufficiently spoken of or known among the people of Christ.

57.                    That these treasures are not temporal are clear from the fact that many of the merchants do not grant them freely, but only collect them.

58.                    Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, because, even apart from the pope, these merits are always working grace in the inner man, and working the cross, death, and hell in the outer man.

59.                    St. Laurence said that the poor were the treasures of the church, but he used the term in accordance with the custom of his own time.

60.                    We do not speak rashly in saying that the treasures of the church are the keys of the church, and are bestowed by the merits of Christ.

61.                    For it is clear that the power of the pope suffices, by itself, for the remission of penalties and reserved cases.

62.                    The true treasure of the church is the Holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God.

63.                    It is right to regard this treasure as most odious, for it makes the first to be the last.

64.                    On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is most acceptable, for it makes the last to be the first.

65.                    Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets which, in former times, they used to fish for men of wealth.

66.                    The treasures of the indulgences are the nets which to-day they use to fish for the wealth of men.

67.                    The indulgences, which the merchants extol as the greatest of favours, are seen to be, in fact, a favourite means for money-getting.

68.                    Nevertheless, they are not to be compared with the grace of God and the compassion shown in the Cross.

69.                    Bishops and curates, in duty bound, must receive the commissaries of the papal indulgences with all reverence.

70.                    But they are under a much greater obligation to watch closely and attend carefully lest these men preach their own fancies instead of what the pope commissioned.

71.                    Let him be anathema and accursed who denies the apostolic character of the indulgences.

72.                    On the other hand, let him be blessed who is on his guard against the wantonness and license of the pardon-merchant’s words.

73.                    In the same way, the pope rightly excommunicates those who make any plans to the detriment of the trade in indulgences.

74.                    It is much more in keeping with his views to excommunicate those who use the pretext of indulgences to plot anything to the detriment of holy love and truth.

75.                    It is foolish to think that papal indulgences have so much power that they can absolve a man even if he has done the impossible and violated the mother of God.

76.                    We assert the contrary, and say that the pope’s pardons are not able to remove the least venial of sins as far as their guilt is concerned.

77.                    When it is said that not even St. Peter, if he were now pope, could grant a greater grace, it is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope.

78.                    We assert the contrary, and say that he, and any pope whatever, possesses greater graces, viz., the gospel, spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc., as is declared in I Corinthians 12 [:28].

79.                    It is blasphemy to say that the insignia of the cross with the papal arms are of equal value to the cross on which Christ died.

80.                    The bishops, curates, and theologians, who permit assertions of that kind to be made to the people without let or hindrance, will have to answer for it.

81.                    This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult for learned men to guard the respect due to the pope against false accusations, or at least from the keen criticisms of the laity.

82.                    They ask, e.g.: Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter’s church, a very minor purpose.

83.                    Again: Why should funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continue to be said? And why does not the pope repay, or permit to be repaid, the benefactions instituted for these purposes, since it is wrong to pray for those souls who are now redeemed?

84.                    Again: Surely this is a new sort of compassion, on the part of God and the pope, when an impious man, an enemy of God, is allowed to pay money to redeem a devout soul, a friend of God; while yet that devout and beloved soul is not allowed to be redeemed without payment, for love’s sake, and just because of its need of redemption.

85.                    Again: Why are the penitential canon laws, which in fact, if not in practice, have long been obsolete and dead in themselves,—why are they, to-day, still used in imposing fines in money, through the granting of indulgences, as if all the penitential canons were fully operative?

86.                    Again: since the pope’s income to-day is larger than that of the wealthiest of wealthy men, why does he not build this one church of St. Peter with his own money, rather than with the money of indigent believers?

87.                    Again: What does the pope remit or dispense to people who, by their perfect repentance, have a right to plenary remission or dispensation?

88.                    Again: Surely a greater good could be done to the church if the pope were to bestow these remissions and dispensations, not once, as now, but a hundred times a day, for the benefit of any believer whatever.

89.                    What the pope seeks by indulgences is not money, but rather the salvation of souls; why then does he suspend the letters and indulgences formerly conceded, and still as efficacious as ever?

90.                    These questions are serious matters of conscience to the laity. To suppress them by force alone, and not to refute them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies, and to make Christian people unhappy.

91.                    If therefore, indulgences were preached in accordance with the spirit and mind of the pope, all these difficulties would be easily overcome, and indeed, cease to exist.

92.                    Away, then, with those prophets who say to Christ’s people, “Peace, peace,” where in there is no peace.

93.                    Hail, hail to all those prophets who say to Christ’s people, “The cross, the cross,” where there is no cross.

94.                    Christians should be exhorted to be zealous to follow Christ, their Head, through penalties, deaths, and hells.

95.                    And let them thus be more confident of entering heaven through many tribulations rather than through a false assurance of peace.

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