What Most Do NOT Know About Martin Luther

Martin Luther


Today is known as Reformation Day.

October 31st marks the day that Martin Luther reportedly hammered his now famous 95 theses on the Wittenberg (Germany) church back in 1517.

He was essentially posting on a board issues he felt that the Church of Rome needed to fix.

Since then, the Church of Rome has ‘fixed’ nearly all of those issues.

But in today’s post, I would like people to pay attention to many statements few seem to know that Martin Luther made. Reading them should help people realize that Martin Luther was not an actual Christian leader like most Protestants tend to believe. Nor did he actually believe in the sola Scriptura rallying cry that Protestants tend to point to.

For one thing, Martin Luther was an antisemite.

Martin Luther wrote:

I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that those miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews and who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them…They are so blind and stupid that they see neither the words found in Genesis 17 nor the whole of Scripture, which mightily and explicitly condemns this lie…They are real liars and bloodhounds who have not only continually perverted and falsified all of Scripture with their mendacious glosses from the beginning until the present day. Their heart’s most ardent sighing and yearning and hoping is set on the day on which they can deal with us Gentiles as they did with the Gentiles in Persia at the time of Esther…The worse a Jew is, the more arrogant he is, solely because he is a Jew … David and other pious Jews were not as conceited as the present-day, incorrigible Jews … I wanted to present this to us Germans so that we might see what rascals the blind Jews are and how powerfully the truth of God in our midst stands with us and against them (Medieval Sourcebook: Martin Luther (1483-1546): On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543)

Martin Luther advised his followers:

… to burn down Jewish schools and synagogues, and to throw pitch and sulphur into the flames; to destroy their homes; to confiscate their ready money in gold and silver; to take from them their sacred books, even the whole Bible; and if that did not help matters, to hunt them of the country like mad dogs (Luther’s Works, vol. Xx, pp. 2230-2632 as quoted in Stoddard JL. Rebuilding a Lost Faith, 1922, p.99).

Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch (Martin Luther (1483-1546): On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543 as quoted from Luther’s Works, Volume 47: The Christian in Society IV, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971).

We in the Continuing Church of God do not condone antisemitism.

We strive to reach Jews and Gentiles about Jesus (see also the free book, online Proof Jesus is the Messiah).

While it does not show antisemitism, notice something Martin Luther reportedly said about a disabled child (who seems to have had seems to have had symptoms of Prader-Willi Syndrome) in one of his Table Talks:

Eight years ago, there was one in Dessau whom I, Martinus Luther, saw and grappled with. He was twelve years old, had the use of his eyes and all his senses, so that one might think he was a normal child. But he did nothing but gorge himself as much as four peasants or threshers. He ate, defecated, and drooled and, if anyone tackled him, he screamed. If things didn’t go well, he wept. So I said to the Prince of Anhalt: “If I were the Prince, I should take the child to the Moldau River which flows near Dessau and drown him.” But the Prince of Anhalt and the Prince of Saxony, who happened to be present, refused to follow my advice. (T.E.C., Jr. MARTIN LUTHER’S ATTITUDE TOWARD THE MENTALLY RETARDED. Pediatrics, May 1968, VOLUME 41 / ISSUE 5)

He also reportedly said that child should be suffocated (Mile M. Martin Luther and Childhood Disability in 16th Century Germany: What did he write? What did he say? Independent Living Institute, 2005). Yet, there are some who have tried to defend his indefensible statements (e.g. Ibid).

When Jesus dealt with a disabled child, He healed him (Mark 9:17-25), not advocate for his death like Martin Luther.

Martin Luther had a history of promoting hate and violence.

The Apostle John was inspired to record:

9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints (Revelation 13:9-10).

Notice that even until the end, saints are to be patient and NOT be among those that kill with the sword. Is it any wonder that Martin Luther discounted the literal understanding of the Book of Revelation? Otherwise he and his followers would have to change their positions on warfare

Martin Luther, himself, was a type of warmonger:

I, Martin Luther, slew all the peasants in the rebellion, for I said that they should be slain; all their blood is upon my head. But I cast it on the Lord God, who commanded me to speak this way (Werke, Erl. Edition, lix, p. 284 ‘Table Talk’ as quoted in Stoddard JL.Rebuilding a Lost Faith, 1922, p.96).

Pure devilry is urging on the peasants…Therefore let all who are able, mow them down, slaughter and stab them, openly or in secret, and remember that there is nothing more poisonous, noxious and utterly devilish than a rebel.  You must kill him as you would a mad dog…

The authorities must resolve to chastise and slay as long as they can raise a finger… The present time is so strange that a prince can gain Heaven easier by spilling blood than by praying (Luther M.  Against the Murderous and Rapacious Hordes of the Peasants, May 4, 1525-Erl, 24, 287, ff.  As cited in O’Hare PF.  The Facts About Luther, p. 232).

God did NOT command Martin Luther to speak that way. That is Satan’s way–Protestants generally do not act like Satan is the “god of this world,” but he currently is (2 Corinthians 4:4, KJV).

Anyway, it was reported that 100,000 perished at that time.

The followers of Martin Luther also condemned those who were not willing to be warriors. And they officially declared “it is right for Christians … to engage in just wars, to serve as soldiers.” (Melanchthon P. The Augsburg Confession, Article XVI).

We in the Continuing Church of God hold to the original Christian teaching on this and hence do not participate as soldiers in carnal warfare nor do we endorse watching intentionally violent sports.

Martin Luther, despite claiming sola Scriptura, disparaged various books of the New Testament as of questionable value.

Up to this point we have had the true and certain chief books of the New Testament. The four which follow have from ancient times had a different reputation. In the first place, the fact that Hebrews is not an epistle of St. Paul, or of any other apostle (Luther, M. Prefaces to the Epistle of the Hebrews, 1546).

St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw…for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it” (Luther, M. Preface to the New Testament, 1546).

James … In the first place it is flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture in ascribing justification to works…Besides, he throws things together so chaotically that it seems to me he must have been some good, pious man, who took a few sayings from the disciples of the apostles and thus tossed them off on paper. Or it may perhaps have been written by someone on the basis of his preaching (Luther, M. Preface to the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude, 1546).

Concerning the epistle of St. Jude, no one can deny that it is an extract or copy of St. Peter’s second epistle…Therefore, although I value this book, it is an epistle that need not be counted among the chief books which are supposed to lay the foundations of faith (Luther, M. Preface to the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude, 1546).

Jesus said, “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). Therefore, James’ epistle is NOT “against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture,” but instead is against Martin Luther’s misunderstandings of law and grace.

Contrary to Martin Luther’s assertion, it also should be understood that Jude’s epistle is not too similar to 2 Peter. Yet, if even it was, should it be discounted?

Maybe Martin Luther discounted it because Jude warns people:

3 … to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

And this, sadly, is not something that Martin Luther really did (though he did sometimes make some efforts towards that).

Perhaps none of Martin Luther’s writings on the Bible are as harsh as what he wrote about “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1). Specifically he wrote,

About this book of the Revelation of John … I miss more than one thing in this book, and it makes me consider it to be neither apostolic nor prophetic … I can in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it. Moreover he seems to me to be going much too far when he commends his own book so highly-indeed, more than any of the other sacred books do, though they are much more important-and threatens that if anyone takes away anything from it, God will take away from him, etc. Again, they are supposed to be blessed who keep what is written in this book; and yet no one knows what that is, to say nothing of keeping it. This is just the same as if we did not have the book at all. And there are many far better books available for us to keep…My spirit cannot accommodate itself to this book. For me this is reason enough not to think highly of it: Christ is neither taught nor known in it” (Luther, M. Preface to the Revelation of St. John, 1522).

The above may be part of why Martin Luther did not accept the millennium and certain other teachings. Did Martin Luther not care that Jesus was the one who told John to write the Revelation down (Revelation 1:9-11)?

Martin Luther’s discounting of prophecies is dangerous for his followers living in the 21st century.

Another reason Martin Luther may not have been able to accommodate this Revelation of Jesus Christ is because he clearly violated this warning from it:

18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Revelation 22:18-19).

Martin Luther took away from this book through his comments about it, and this is the same Martin Luther who, it will be shown, added words to the Bible that were not there.

Although Martin Luther decried John for penning the Revelation of Jesus Christ, he did like John. According to Martin Luther:

The first three speak of the works of our Lord, rather than His oral teachings; that of St. John is the only sympathetic, the only true Gospel and should undoubtedly be preferred above the others. In like manner the Epistles of St. Peter and St. Paul are superior to the first three Gospels (O’Hare PF. The Facts About Luther, 1916–1987 reprint ed., p. 203).

Martin Luther’s position on this, and some of his other matters, appear to be blasphemous and in contraction to 2 Timothy 3:16. It was Jesus’ oral teachings, in Matthew 24, for example, that Martin Luther disagreed with.

The Bible, in Romans 3:28, states:

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Martin Luther, in his German translation of the Bible, specifically added the word “allein” (English ‘alone’) to Romans 3:28-a word that is not in the original Greek. Martin Luther wanted people to believe that Romans 3:28 “a man is justified by faith alone,” but that verse does not say that.

Notice what Protestant scholars have admitted:

… Martin Luther would once again emphasize … that we are “justified by faith alone”, apart from the works of the Law” (Rom. 3:28), adding the German word allein (“alone”) in his translation of the Greek text.  (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, pp. 64-65).

Furthermore, to justify his change, Martin Luther reportedly said:

You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul … say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’ … I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text (Stoddard J. Rebuilding a Lost Faith. 1922, pp. 101-102; see also Luther M. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127).

This passage strongly suggests that Martin Luther viewed his opinions, and not the actual Bible as the primary authority–a concept which should be prima Luther and not sola Scriptura. By “papists” Luther was condemning Roman Catholics.

He also made another change in Romans. Romans 4:15 states:

…because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

Yet in his German translation, Martin Luther added the word ‘only’ before the term ‘wrath’ to Romans 4:15 (O’Hare, p. 201).

This presumably was to attempt to justify his position to discredit the law.

Matthew 3:2 states:

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”

Martin Luther, in his German translation, according to at least one Catholic source, changed the word ‘repent’ to ‘mend’ or ‘do better’ (ibid, p. 201), presumably to justify his position that one does not need to obey God’s laws through repentance (others disagree on that point and indicate that the German term chosen can or should be translated as repent).

Acts 19:18, states:

“And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds…”

Yet according to one source, Martin Luther rendered it, “they acknowledged the miracles of the Apostles” (O’Hare, p. 201).

There are several possible reasons why Martin Luther intentionally mistranslated Acts 19:18, but the point here is to show that he did.

Martin Luther also taught:

And John 1 says: “The Word was made flesh,” when in our judgment it would have been better said, “The Word was incarnate,” or “made fleshly” (Disputation On the Divinity and Humanity of Christ February 27, 1540 conducted by Dr. Martin Luther, 1483-1546 translated from the Latin text WA 39/2, pp. 92-121 by Christopher B. Brown).

This was apparently done to justify his belief that Jesus was fully God and fully human while on the earth in conflict with being emptied Philippians 2:7 (literally translated).

Luke 10:28 states:

“And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live” (KJV).

Yet Martin Luther taught:

To do means to believe-to keep the law by faith. The passage in Matthew: Do this and thou shalt live, signifies Believe this and thou shalt live. The words Do this, have ironical sense, as if our Lord should say: Thou wilt do it tomorrow, but not today; only make an attempt to keep the Commandments, and the trial will teach thee the ignominy of thy failure (O’Hare, p.205).

It is because of such misinterpretations of what the Bible states that many Protestants have tossed out the necessity to keep the Ten Commandments, even though scholars agree that they were kept by the early Christians. (Note: Although Martin Luther mentioned Matthew’s account–which is in Matthew 19:16-21–the quote in question is actually from Luke 10:28.)

Martin Luther’s disparaged various books of the Old Testament as well. Martin Luther changed or diminished the importance of at least 19 books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Esther, Job, Ecclesiastes, Jonah, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation) and did not truly believe in his sola Scriptura rallying cry.

Martin Luther was not a real Christian.

Anyway, instead of being a celebration of rebellion against the Church of Rome, Reformation Day is being used for ecumenical purposes.

Let me add here that according to the Bible a false ‘ecumenical’ church will rise up (Revelation 17). According to Roman and Eastern Orthodox writings, their churches and the Protestant ones will get together in some type of ecumenical reformation. According to the Bible, that will not end well for the Church of Rome (Revelation 17:15-18) or others involved with it (cf. Revelation 18).

How many now view ‘Reformation Day’ should serve as a warning that an unbiblical ecumenical reformation is coming.

The fact that Martin Luther really did not believe in sola Scriptura is a factor in Rome’s ‘daughters’ working to refer to her.

Those interested in learning more should consider studying the following:

The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Freemasonry and the Destruction of Rome? What is Freemasonry? What about ties to the Illuminati? Could they be involved in the fulfillment of prophecy? Here is a link to a related sermon: Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous? A related sermon video is titled Preterism: You’ve Gotta Be Kidding…Right?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
Pope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary The Vatican announced that Pope Francis plans to attend a celebration commemorating the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. Is this part of the ecumenical movement? Is this a good thing? Does the Bible warn against this? Do Protestant leaders favor ecumenical unity? What did early Protestants teach about the papacy? Should the Bible or human committees be listened to?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

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