Unleashing the Man of Sin
Read Martin Luther and you can hear the essential spirit and approach of what is commonly called Christianity today, which is presumed and accepted by many to be true. But it is not. Hear what Luther was missing, and what you are missing if you follow him, whether under his name or another.
I picked up a little book entitled Luther’s Small Catechism, and was quite surprised by what I found. Although written almost five hundred years ago, the hallmarks of modern false Christianity – its doctrines and approach – were just as fresh as if I had heard them from the apologist of any denominational or evangelical church down the street. But why should I be surprised? As can be the case with many doctrines of men, apparently Luther’s erroneous ideas caught on and became the status quo, readily passed along and unimpeded by time.
Luther’s teachings contradict the Truth spoken by Jesus Christ and His apostles.
Initially, Martin Luther’s stance created upheaval and brought change in the western world, and there’s no question that much of it was for the better. Let me say this up front: I am very thankful to God for Luther’s instrumentality in standing up to, and breaking, the power of the Roman Catholic Church’s tyranny. That was indeed a marvelous thing for which all should be thankful to God. Every person living today is a beneficiary, including Catholics.
Although the freedom of conscience that Luther was involved in bringing to the world is good, we are concerned with the world to come, the Kingdom of God that comes from within. The death grip of Catholic religion over men’s external affairs did not prevent, or take precedence over, the Kingdom of God. Having loosened that grip and allowing people the freedom of reading the Bible in their own tongue, a particular legacy of Luther, still does not equate to knowing God through His Son revealed from Heaven.
Luther labored to reform a corrupt religion, bringing great benefits to the outer man, but the Lord Jesus Christ comes to transform the inner man and remove corruption within. This is the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth. Luther’s teachings actually block the entrance to God’s Kingdom and the ultimate and most needful liberation of mankind. They block the way because they largely contradict the Truth spoken by Jesus Christ and His apostles – the Word of God Who brings true emancipation to humanity.
Luther’s teachings have been erroneously labeled as the gospel of Christ – but no longer…. God has determined this time as well.
Luther couldn’t lead others to where he hadn’t been, and he plainly confessed he was not in Heaven. He was cut from the same cloth as those against whom he protested, even continuing some of the same repressions and superstitions. His “Christianity” was a reformed version of man’s earthly, dead religion, rather than the pure Living Truth from Heaven. The plain fact is that Luther didn’t know or preach the present ministrations and reality of Jesus Christ, Who comes in the flesh in His people.
The word “catechism” means “a book of instruction in the form of questions and answers.” This was Luther’s simple and straightforward way of declaring and explaining “Christian” doctrine. The result has been that his erroneous doctrines permeate the mindset of what is considered foundational Christianity to this very day. What could be better than to have these dead-end assumptions of conventional religion removed, so that one may enter the hope, love, peace, and power of a righteous life available to all those who believe?
Being religious and righteous is not the same as becoming a child of God.
Something else about the man propagating these errors: Luther struggled greatly during his days as a Catholic monk in various religious works and denials of the flesh in order to abase himself into a state of grace. That didn’t work any more than sand rather than oil would lubricate an engine. It only led Luther into greater torment and frustration. He was then given a revelation from God, which relieved his torment and gave him to know that one should count only on the grace and mercy of God in Christ, and not on one’s works. He said:
“It is plain insanity to say that man of his own powers can love God above all things.”
Indeed, nothing could be truer. Luther was right! Where he went wrong, however, was that while he acknowledged only Jesus Christ was able to fulfill the Law, he never went on to receive the power of the Lord to do the same. Being religious and righteous in many things is not the same as becoming a born-again child of God. Jesus said:
“For I say to you that unless your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:20 MKJV).
Luther didn’t know or acknowledge that the Lord’s victory over death effectively confers, to those who believe, God’s power to completely overcome the sin nature in this life. This is the victory of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus’ victory over death is our victory over sin, which is the cause of death. Jesus Christ‘s victory is not merely a historical one with definite implications – it is our real, present victory over sin and death!
“Jesus said to her, I am the Resurrection and the Life! He who believes in Me, though he die, yet he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 MKJV)
Luther never left dead religion behind, as one must if he will become God’s son.
Luther pointed in the right direction, but he stopped short. He considered pointing to having faith in Christ to be an arrival, rather than just a departure point from the darkness, bondage, and false doctrines of Catholicism. He thought he was justified by faith, but that is like saying one is full and nourished by having a revelation of food’s existence. One must eat, digest, and process all the food meant for energy and life. Luther didn’t fully take and eat the Bread of Heaven. He never left Catholicism and the heathen bread of deception, the occult “mass,” behind him.
This explains why Luther is called a “reformer” and “protestant.” He protested against, and tried to change, the form of dead men’s works rather than leaving them altogether and experiencing the grace of becoming a new creature, a son of God that is separate from the paths of the destroyer. He never left dead religion behind, as one must if he will become a born-again son of God:
“Therefore come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing. And I will receive you and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18 MKJV).
Otherwise, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Galatians 5:9 EMTV).
Luther didn’t believe James’ epistle to be inspired of God, because in it James writes that “faith without works is dead.” Luther thought faith was enough, and he was right inasmuch as the faith of Christ is our sole provision for salvation and every good work, but unless the works of God follow our faith, the faith we think to have is theoretical, at best, and essentially powerless. James called it dead faith, and contrasted it to living faith:
“But be doers of the Word, and not only hearers of it, blinding yourselves with false ideas. Because if any man is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he is like a man looking at his natural face in a glass; For after looking at himself he goes away, and in a short time he has no memory of what he was like. But he who goes on looking into the true Law which makes him free, being not a hearer without memory but a doer putting it into effect, this man will have a blessing on his acts” (James 1:22-25 BBE).
James’ assertion was not that works in and of themselves could prove or provide faith, but that genuine faith would be demonstrated by works, as rays of light are spontaneously produced by the sun. He didn’t advocate works to accomplish a righteous life; he simply asserted that genuine faith produced righteous works. If those were not evident, he would say, “Get faith, so that there will be the true righteous life demonstrated by works.” Never did he advocate placing the cart (works) before the horse (faith) or, as Luther may have misinterpreted him to suggest, disregard the importance of, or even dispensing with, the horse altogether.
Luther talked grace, but he lived by law, even when his law meant dispensing with the Law! He didn’t have the Spirit of grace, as one must and does who is Christ-ian. If he did, he would have known that the works of faith are the evidence of the Presence of God in a human being. He would have known that these works, of which James spoke, were a fulfillment of the Law in every aspect, since Christ was manifested “so that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4 MKJV).
Luther didn’t acknowledge that you not only could, but must, overcome.
Walking in the Spirit is a living demonstration of the Law of God, yes, works of faith. If Luther would rid us of all works, he would rid us of faith and God Himself. If you consider the Law something to be discarded, you are discarding God. The choice is not Law and works or no Law and no works, but carnal thinking and being or spiritual mindedness in Christ:
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be” (Romans 8:6-7 MKJV).
Luther didn’t acknowledge that you not only could, but must, overcome, through the Spirit and faith of Christ, the adversary within that is at enmity with God, opposed to His Law, and incapable of comprehending His ways. If you profess Christ, it is incumbent upon you to come to the place where you do understand and manifest His Nature; otherwise you will be held guilty for taking His worthy Name in vain:
Luke 13:6-9 EMTV
(6) He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none.
(7) Then he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and I haven’t found any. Cut it down; why does it even waste the ground?’
(8) But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
(9) And if it produces fruit, fine. But if not, in the coming year, you can cut it down.’"
Without the Spirit of God and grace, Luther didn’t recognize the difference between the works of faith and trusting in one’s works to gain God’s favor and salvation. He rightly threw out the notion of men being righteous with God by their own works of the Law, but he wrongly threw out the truth of the Law being fulfilled in us by the miraculous power and work of God through righteous works of faith. Yet this is salvation. Luther didn’t come this far; he was not saved. (He also contradicted himself by advocating dead works for salvation, such as baptizing babies – a superstitious and ungodly rite.)
Luther recognized that Christ fulfilled the Law in our stead, but he never knew in practice and reality that we must also fulfill the Law by the power of His faith:
“Therefore do we nullify the Law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the Law” (Romans 3:31 EMTV).
“For He made Him Who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21 EMTV).
Jesus Christ’s living faith leads to the working out of your personal salvation.
Instead of affirming these truths, Luther said:
“We find salvation only in the Gospel, which tells us that Christ as our Substitute fulfilled the Law and suffered and died for us.”
In other words, Luther was saying that Christ fulfilled the Law on our behalf, and our salvation is in simply believing this. Those are true words, but not necessarily spoken in true faith. The belief that brings salvation is in Jesus Christ Himself, not in the Biblical account of Him. The saving belief is expressed through the obedience of faith.
It isn’t just a belief of what Christ did, but a belief that causes you to do as He commands, both in the Bible and personally, taking up the cross and enduring with Him to the end of yourself. Without this, there is no salvation; all else is mere doctrine of words or mental belief about Him, as accurate as it may seem to be. Jesus Christ’s living faith leads to the working out of your personal salvation. Unless you have this present, living, personal faith, you are taking the Name of God in vain (if you have taken His Name upon yourself).
It is the faith of the living God, not of, or by, man. Christ Himself is the Source of the belief that causes obedience leading to salvation.
“I have been put to death on the cross with Christ; still I am living; no longer I, but Christ is living in me; and that life which I now am living in the flesh I am living by faith, the faith of the Son of God, Who in love for me, gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20 BBE).
Notice the “of.” It is His work, His grace, His Spirit, His faith. The International Standard Version puts that portion even better:
“I no longer live, but Christ lives in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 ISV).
“And we are His witnesses of these things. And so also is the Holy Spirit, Whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5:32 MKJV).
This is the effectual grace of God. If there is no obedience and works of faith, there is no grace of God.
But if He, the Spirit of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ, is in you, you will walk as He walked:
“He who claims to abide in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (1 John 2:6 EMTV).
Which means, contrary to what Luther taught, we are to be perfect as our Master.
The Lord Himself commanded it:
“Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 MKJV).
The saints affirmed it:
“But after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, Who calls you to share His eternal glory in union with Christ, will Himself perfect you and give you firmness, strength, and a sure foundation” (1 Peter 5:10 GNB).
“But let patience have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and entire, lacking nothing” (James 1:4 MKJV).
“For the Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:19 MKJV).
“All Scripture is God-breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfected, thoroughly furnished to every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 MKJV).
Luther denied the righteousness of Christ that is our inheritance in this life.
Luther acknowledges several true things – we are born sinners and cannot do anything to deliver ourselves from this state; Jesus Christ died on the cross in our stead to absolve us of our sins and to deliver us from these bodies of death into His Kingdom of righteousness. But Luther put this deliverance into the future, after physical death. He didn’t know the cross with its present death sentence that leads one into eternal life now. He thereby denied the righteousness of Christ that is our inheritance in this life, not only for himself, but for all those who would listen to him. That turns out to be almost everyone who thinks him or herself a Christian. If that is you, you are really a reformed Catholic, which means you have nothing to do with Jesus Christ in reality!
According to Luther, though Christ has forgiven your sins, there is no escape from the fact that you will continue to sin. Your final deliverance only becomes reality after you physically die. This is nothing other than unbelief and defeatism! Where is Christ’s glorious victory over death in this realm of death, wherein He expects the fruit of a new life? Better to never come to Christ if coming to Him means you will become conscious of being a sinner, but remain stuck with waiting for death to escape your degraded nature. That is Hell! It is not the testimony of the apostle Paul, however:
“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25 MKJV)
The most confounding and wicked part about Luther’s doctrine is that, though you remain imperfect, he says you are now considered righteous and blameless in the sight of God because of Christ’s substitutionary death. In essence you continue being a devil while God considers you a saint, absolved for all time!
This is the mindset of many or most of those who call themselves Christians today; they think to be justified because they profess His worthy Name while they walk in sin (consciously or not) and don’t know Him at all. Tell them about their sins, and they hate you for it. “Christ doesn’t see us this way!” they protest, “We’re saved! Who are you to judge us?! You’re putting us under condemnation! Jesus never did that!”
These add sin to sin by covering over their wretched condition with false piety, ornamenting themselves with religious language and works like one puts cheap tinsel on a Christmas tree. It may look nice to some, but the tree is still cut off from the Root and destined for recycling.
It is “another Jesus” men are following, aided by Luther and his teachings.
How can those who walk in darkness and sin, rejecting correction, be the children of God?
“If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons, for what son is he whom the father does not chasten? But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons” (Hebrews 12:7-8 MKJV).
His children receive correction. It is “another Jesus” men are following, aided by Luther and his teachings.
Here is what the apostle John said about the work of the living Christ in the lives of those who believe (and a promise fostering hope in those who seek Him):
“Little children, let no one deceive you. The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who practices sin is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this reason the Son of God appeared, that He might destroy the works of the devil. No one who has been born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. By this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Everyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:7-10 EMTV).
Luther, unwittingly I would say, gave license to sinners to continue in their sins, many of which he would not recognize as sin; without the new nature of Christ one receives when one receives His Spirit, one cannot discern between good and evil.
This is Luther’s legacy, a carnal Christendom, with men parading as something they are not, even knowing they are not, yet considering that what they expect they “will be” after death gives them a free pass for this life, or else they are defeated and resigned to their sins. Such is the deceitfulness of so-called Christianity today.
But, as Jesus said, not all who say, “Lord, Lord,” are accepted with God now, or in the next life. Jesus also said, “You shall know them by their fruits.” He did not say, “You will know them after you are all buried in the grave,” but you will know them in this present life. We distinguish what is and what is not of Him, our Standard, when our eyes are opened by Him. We aren’t deceived by the fancy religious footwork of men and their glib sayings.
Luther’s teachings lead to confusion.
Just as Luther’s doctrine justifies the wicked, it also condemns the righteous. Should one be truly cleansed of his or her sins and walk in the Spirit of God, where there is no condemnation, Luther’s doctrine says that person is tainted because still captive to the sin nature (in other words, condemned). How can Luther receive Christ’s authority in one of His brethren whom He sends to minister, if by his accounting, that minister is in the flesh? He would be judging after the appearance, according to his doctrine, rather than after the spirit. Such is the way of the religious who rejected Christ.
Luther’s teachings lead to confusion. How can God promise us a life without condemnation, yet leave us perpetually confined to a lower nature that is condemned by its unbelief and inability to be as He is? You can’t be two things at once. Jesus said a good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit and vice versa. He plainly meant for us to know that good trees with good fruit can exist and do exist because they are His work. This is the calling and inheritance of the saints, who are His children, His brethren, His followers, His servants.
Luther didn’t know or express these things because he didn’t have the Spirit of Christ. He knew by his reading of the Bible that the flesh of man wasn’t righteous and was condemned in the sight of God. Because he also red that Christ forgave us our sins freely by grace, without works, he assumed the work of salvation was done (at least for this life). This left him in the awkward and unsound position of justifying the works of the flesh in false or carnal believers, as though they were of Christ. His experience, or lack of experience, didn’t allow him to get past this erroneous logic to the reality of becoming a child of God with the New Nature from above that manifests the righteousness of God here and now.
For Luther, the Kingdom of God was yet in the future, not present and having come. This creates an insoluble problem for the one presumably administering Christ’s authority on earth, because he is not perfect with God, yet the perfection of God is required in His ministration. Great are the abuses that come of men thinking to represent Christ, yet lacking His Presence and perfect wisdom. What I say of Luther applies to the masses of those who call themselves evangelical and nominal Christians today, because he participated in the fathering of these movements.
Luther’s foundational error – substituting a doctrinal righteousness for the Reality of Christ’s righteousness that is manifest by works of faith – led him into other errors, which I will identify so that you might know the difference between bogus religious ideology and the true life promised by God Who speaks to us.
Without the judgment of God, no man can be made a fit vessel of honor.
Luther preached that the judgment of God comes only after one dies or Christ physically returns. This stemmed from his belief that total renewal and redemption are only possible after death. But the Scriptures speak of a present judgment of God, especially for the believer:
“For I am conscious of nothing, but I have not been justified by this; but He Who judges me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:4 EMTV).
Paul the apostle, writer of these words, was saying that our flesh knows nothing and cannot deal with sin (Luther agreed), but that does not justify continuing in corruption (Luther didn’t understand or agree). For this reason judgment is not just something we deserve as offenders; it is something we absolutely need as believers to be saved:
“But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world” (1 Corinthians 11:32 MKJV).
Again, we see that Luther didn’t know or experience the walk with God to the extent he needed to. Yes, he was a great man, with plenty of courage and conviction, but the Kingdom of Heaven isn’t about the strength of man’s will and the things he accomplishes thereby. The Kingdom of Heaven is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Spirit of God.
Without the judgment of God, no man can be made a fit vessel of honor to serve God in the judgment that leads to life for others. Luther said that no man can see into another’s heart to perceive whether that man believes. That is true of the carnal man, but not of the spiritual man who discerns all things:
1 Corinthians 2:11-16 EMTV
(11) For who knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
(12) Now we did not receive the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, in order that we might know the things granted to us by God;
(13) which we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in words taught by the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(14) But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(15) But he that is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is discerned by no man.
(16) For "Who has known the mind of the LORD, that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
If you can’t know another’s heart, it means you haven’t known your own. But if your heart has been made open to you and judged, the beam taken out of your eye, then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye; you can then judge righteous judgment.
If we see their fruits, how could we possibly not know their hearts? Luther speaks from his own lack and the shortfall of his religion, but not of the way of the saints in Christ:
“But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an unlearned person comes in, he is reproved by all, he is discerned by all. And so the secrets of his heart become clear; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God, reporting that God is truly among you!” (1 Corinthians 14:24-25 EMTV)
We call you to repentance from dead works, that you might have life.
Luther also contradicted himself by saying no man could see another’s heart, while calling the pope an anti-Christ (which he is). What gave Luther the right to call another anti-Christ if he couldn’t see the heart? But in seeing the pope’s corrupt fruits, Luther did see the heart. Today we see the fruits of these conflicting doctrines and acts in a world full of self-righteous religious hypocrites who say no one can judge (them, in particular), while they are free to judge whomever they please.
The question for you is, why should you listen to Luther when God is not among him and his people, even as he freely admits by his doctrine? We don’t condemn Luther for his error or lack, but we can’t follow him or approve of his presumption in teaching such things. We are here to call you and him to repentance from dead works, that you both might have life.
Luther said in his little book:
“I know and accept the Christ of the Bible as my personal Savior and trust only in Him for my salvation.”
Here is a mainstay, if not the central pillar, of today’s false gospel. This gospel is centered on man and what he does – “I know, I accept, I trust.” And what does he know, accept, and trust? “The Christ of the Bible.” Which Christ is this? This Christ is whatever men make of what they see in the Scriptures. It depends on “I,” not Him.
The Christ a person sees in the Bible is not the living Lord Jesus Christ, unless God is revealing Himself to that person. The Bible is not God, and God is not the Bible. Paul the apostle didn’t go out preaching the Christ he only heard about from Stephen or the apostles who wrote the Gospels; he said:
“Paul, an apostle (not from men, nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, Who raised Him from the dead)… And, brothers, I make known to you the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not according to man. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it except by a revelation of Jesus Christ…when it pleased God, Who separated me from my mother’s womb, and having called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the nations, immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood” (Galatians 1:1, 11-12, 15-16 MKJV).
Paul didn’t come to know Christ by reading the Bible, but by God’s revelation of Himself to Paul, which was in harmony with, and gave Paul understanding of, the inspired Words of the Bible.
We also proclaim the Christ Who has revealed Himself to us as Lord God Almighty. Yes, He is in the Bible, which we quote as proof, but reading about Him in the Bible doesn’t mean one has known, and directly and personally heard from, Him. Those who hear Him don’t refer to Him as their “personal Savior,” but as the Lord from Heaven Who is Savior of all men, especially of those who believe and obey Him:
“And being perfected, He became the Author of eternal salvation to all those who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9 MKJV).
Luther set up a throne at the altar of the Bible.
Luther thought to have found his gospel in the Bible, but the gospel he preached isn’t there. He only believed and preached to you what he thought to see there. He didn’t have the Spirit or mind of Christ.
Luther said: “Because all that I confess in this article is plainly taught in the Bible, therefore I firmly believe it.”
Every person plainly sees what he or she sees, but because the Bible is a spiritual book and man is a carnal creature, what everyone sees and hears is not what He is saying, unless there is God’s supernatural intervention and change of nature, as with Paul.
Let me put this in perspective: Luther helped to make the Bible available to everyone (a great service to humanity), but he also opened the door wide to Bibliolatry (a great disservice to humanity), by teaching that one could entirely rely on what he or she saw in the Bible. He didn’t distinguish between flesh and spirit. What he did, in effect, was set up a throne at the altar of the Bible, upon which each and every uncrucified person could sit as their own authority to determine what the Bible says.
The result after 500 years is that thousands of sects claim the authority of the Bible to back up their existence. Each of these sects is filled with individuals who are able, ready, and willing to exercise their judgment at any moment and split off into yet another cult.
(Don’t think this is out of control; it is God Who has sent strong delusion on mankind for the very purpose of judgment. This won’t be the first time He has confounded tongues and scattered men over the face of the earth.)
Life doesn’t come by the Bible, even if one is taught true understanding.
Things that Luther thought were plainly taught in the Bible are not, and things that are plainly taught in the Bible, he didn’t see. The reason for this is, again, the Bible is a spiritual Book, and Luther was still in his flesh. The understanding of the Bible comes from the Spirit of God, not human intelligence or perception:
“But you need to realize that no one alone can understand any of the prophecies in the Scriptures. The prophets did not think these things up on their own, but they were guided by the Spirit of God” (2 Peter 1:20-21 CEV).
Christianity, as men practice it today, is an invention coming from man and not from God’s Spirit. Martin Luther contributed greatly to this invention in its present form. According to his precepts, every person who makes a profession of faith and is equipped with a Bible is able and justified to decide for him or herself what is true and right. He or she can tell anyone else to take a hike, based on what he or she sees in the Bible. If there is unity in this scenario, it is by coming together in agreement on doctrine and personal preferences, not in the Spirit of God and His Precepts.
What Luther didn’t know is that his gospel leads men to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, not from the Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is guarded by a flaming sword, signifying one must die to eat from It. This is the cross of which Jesus Christ spoke, and which every person who would follow Him needs to take up.
Life doesn’t come by religion or the Bible, even if one is taught true understanding. Abraham, for example, had no Bible, yet he is known as a friend of God, having laid down his life. He believed God, the Scriptures declare, and it was faith – not Biblical knowledge, or even faith in the Biblical record – that was accounted to him for righteousness; faith in God, personally, directly. This is the faith of all God’s children, who are known as the children of Abraham.
The man of sin will be put away, and Luther will have his reward.
Life comes by the laying down of one’s life, which is the love of God at work in the soul of one who believes. This is the gospel that sets free and brings one into the Kingdom of God, where there is peace, joy, and life everlasting.
The Lord Jesus Christ rules over all. He gave Luther what he needed to do for the sake of His holy purpose for the time. Yes, Luther had not come all the way in the gospel of Christ, but he served God’s greater purposes in the loosing and ultimate unveiling of the man of sin. This has been so very needful. Now will this man of sin be put away by the Spirit of Christ’s mouth, and Luther will also have his reward:
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts. And then shall each one have praise of God” (1 Corinthians 4:5 MKJV).
For those who would like more on Luther’s errors, you may read the following from Diabolical Doctrines that teach the Biblical truth versus his false teachings, such as:
Eternal Torment: Never-ending Torment
Catholic Mass: The “Lord’s Supper”
The Trinity: The Trinity (God Is Three Persons)
Sunday-Keeping: Sunday Is the Sabbath
The Law: Believers Are No Longer under Law, but Grace
Food: All Flesh Is Clean for Eating
Pagan Feasts: Christmas & Easter
We don’t have a special entry for Infant Baptism, but when did anyone ever see an infant repent?
“Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 EMTV).
Also, for those who aren’t already aware, Luther’s virulent anti-Semitism towards the end of his life is well documented. Hitler even used Luther’s writings to promote his campaign of Jewish genocide. Contrast Luther’s hatred with the words and attitude of the apostle Paul, who was persecuted by the same people Luther persecuted:
Romans 11:25-29 EMTV
(25) For I do not desire you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
(26) And so all Israel shall be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer shall come out of Zion, and He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob;
(27) For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins."
(28) As regards to the gospel, they are enemies for your sake; but as regards to election, they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.
(29) For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
I cite this unpleasant but true aspect of Luther’s life as a blatant manifestation of the man of sin he unleashed through his unholy and confounded religion, having never truly escaped from Roman Catholicism and his own carnality, which is only possible by God’s complete saving work of grace in Jesus Christ.