Why Were the Quakers Persecuted?
All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
The Quakers were persecuted because paying members of the Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Congregationalist Puritans were quitting and joining the Quakers. From the Word of the Lord within: "The Christians feared the early Quakers, just as the Jews feared Jesus;" because in a few short years, entire Christian churches were emptied of listeners to preachers repeating the words of the Bible, to become listeners of Christ in Quaker silent meetings. The ministers and priests then ran to the courts, suing any Quaker who stopped paying tithes to them. Because the Quakers could not swear in court, being forbidden by Jesus and James, they went to jail. When the Lord sent the Quaker men and women into their churches to preach the true hope and true faith, the ministers and priests ran to the magistrates and courts still more. The success of the early Quakers movement eventually emptied many churches throughout England, and the oppostion's violence intensified, with Parliament passing laws against any Quaker meeting, the penalty being fines, imprisonment, and finally banishment to the remote colonies in the Carribean.
Those who persecuted the Quakers were Baptists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and Congregationalist Puritans, claiming they were the true sheep and that the Quakers were the wolves in sheep's clothing that Jesus warned us about; but do sheep kill wolves? No, wolves kill sheep; and so the early Quaker sheep suffered as the Protestant wolves killed them, imprisoned them, took their property, and sent them to slavery. Just as the Bible prophesied, the false church killed the true saints of God; Christianity had become, (and still is), the Whore of Babylon, drunk on the blood of the saints.
The Quakers were persecuted for not taking off their hats in court, refusing to swear in court, traveling on the so-called christian sabbath, vagrancy, blasphemy, and meeting to worship while failing to follow the Episcopalian liturgy and worship format. But these were only excuses, for the other so-called Christian sects hated the Quakers; because, just as Paul was sent to the Jewish assemblies to preach the true gospel, so were the early Quakers sent to those sects, claiming the name of Christ, to preach a salvation that was to be experienced, heard, felt, and seen within a person, not just presumed to have occurred by stating a belief and getting wet.
The great early Quaker, Isaac Penington, wrote of the persecution phenomena:
Where is the deceit of the ages after Christ [being killed by the deceived Jews] to be expected? Did the Jews deny Moses and the prophets' writings, or ordinances? No, were they not very zealous for these? And were not these their cover, under which they persecuted Christ, and vented all their malice against him? So can it be expected now, that the deceivers of this age should deny the apostles' writings, or the practices mentioned in them. Or is it not rather to be expected, that under their crying up of these, they should hide their enmity against the life? Search and see, has not every age of believers taken up the words and practices of them who were persecuted in the foregoing age; and under the profession of those words and practices, have hidden their spirit of persecution? There is a remnant only among believers to be saved; the generality of them have always been persecutors, creeping into the form, getting that for a cover upon their backs, and then fighting against the life and power.
The early Quakers said that true faith was to be obedient to Christ, the Light and Word within a man, not just belief to the historical accuracy of the Bible's statements on Jesus's birth, death, and resurrection.
Listen to and obey My voice,
and I will be your God and you will be My people.
He [Jesus] became the Author and Source of eternal salvation
to all those who give heed and obey Him.
The Protestants said the Word was the Bible and the source of salvation. Yet the Bible refers to the words within it as Scriptures and the Word of God to be Jesus. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (This is clearly not the Bible, it is Christ, the Word of God.) So, the Quakers said that unless you heard the Lord speak within you, and believed him to be the Son of God, as evidenced by your obedience to the Light and Word's commands to you, you really did not have the faith as Paul defined it:
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith which we preach.
You must have faith in the word which is within you, in your heart and mouth;
faith to listen, and faith to obey the heard commands.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Faith comes by hearing the word within you, and believing it to be Christ, the Word of God.
Christ said: Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!
Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,
that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Clearly the Bible cannot sanctify, cannot cleanse, cannot wash, to become holy without blemish.
But, if you obey the words that Christ speaks from within you, you will receive the blessing of purity and sanctification.
They taught that being obedient to the voice of the Lord, the word within, Christ the Light later appears within your heart; Christ, the Light, who enlightens every man that comes into the world. They were persecuted because they preached that one must receive the Light's convictions as Christ, which being acknowledged as true and coming from Christ within, would result in purification by the grace of God removing defects from the heart; by dwelling in the Light, the blood of Christ would cleanse them from all sin. The Quakers further said that one must witness (see and feel) their salvation, which comes after purity with the glorious return of Christ within, resulting in union with God and entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven. Baptism, going to sect services, praying without words from the Holy Spirit, and simply reading the Bible (without guidance of Spirit interpretation) were stated to be an abomination, coming from the carnal mind, which is enmity to God. Only when the old man is dead, and a completely new regenerated creature has appeared, with a circumcised heart - only through the cross, is the work of salvation finished. So rather than presumption of being saved, they must have, even the inclination to sin, removed by Christ from their heart; thereby becoming pure, entering the rest, entering the Kingdom, entering paradise. The other sects were incensed that someone would tell them they were not saved; and in their anger, they were eager to violently silence anyone so impudent. And the Quakers replied: would you rather discover the truth after you are dead, and it is too late; or be shocked to learn now, while there is still time to be changed, so that you too are able to obey all of God's commands? The Quakers said they had experienced what they preached, that they had been sent by God to preach to those who could hear, and that they spoke words as commanded by the Holy Spirit. Since the Quaker's message was contrary to what the Protestants had been taught by their ministers and teachers, many thought that they had surely been sent by the devil. Those, who hungered and thirsted for righteousness, those who mourned the sin that was in them, and those who longed to hear and see their Savior, witnessed the truth of the Quaker good news in their hearts. Those who could hear, heard!
The Quakers taught that the faith, which the Apostles preached, was not an outward faith, but an inward faith. The object of both faiths are the same, but the differences are crucial to realize the promises of God. The two faiths are:
- to concur with history in the Bible that Jesus was the son of God, born of a virgin, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven, etc.; that is outward Bible-faith,
- to hear the Word of God, which word is in your heart to obey — this is the word of faith that the Apostles preached. Hearing and obeying Jesus speak to you from within your heart is operational faith, inward faith, faith given to you by Jesus himself. With persistent obedience to the commands heard from God within your heart, this faith within justifies; purifies, redeems, makes righteous, sanctifies, and saves; to give you peace, joy, and righteousness in union and fellowship with Christ and the Father— this is to see and listen to your beloved, living a holy life that pleases Him.
George Fox wrote of this inward faith and focus necessary:
"The Father is in you all, Christ is in you, and the Kingdom of Heaven is in you; there, in your hearts, is where you will find them all. Know him there searching your hearts, and find him there trying your minds and hearts; incline your ears, and give ear to him there, who will render to everyone of you according to your words and works whether they are good or evil."
The below scriptures summarizes what the Quakers said was the failure of most of Christianity throughout the ages - presumption of being saved - without required obedience - without the experiences of seeing God and fellowship with the Father and Son, which occurs after the crucifixion of the selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial.
Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! These people thought they were saved Christians and thought they were in his name, but they practiced lawlessness, which Jesus said is sin, . Jesus didn't know them because: We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.
I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. If one still sins, he is a slave to sin, and Jesus can't be his Lord, for one cannot serve two masters. You are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness. For obedience to all of Christ's commands is required.
The early Quaker's said that salvation is to see one's savior bringing salvation, and to have fellowship with Christ and God - a salvation that results after the crucifixion of the selfish spirit to purity on the inward cross of self-denial. They testified to entering the Kingdom of Heaven that Christ said he had come to preach. The Quakers were sent to preach to all the same message that Paul was told to preach by Jesus: "To open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me." This good news of obeying the Light and Word within you, finally resulting in purity, was heresy to the Protestant sects; who looked to an outward God in a far-off heaven, and who heeded the words of the Bible instead of the Light and Word (Christ) within them. The Quakers told all the sects that their failure to recognize and obey Christ within was like the Jews, who had knowledge of the Scriptures, but rejected Christ as the Messiah. For preaching Christ within, the Quakers were fined, imprisoned, banished, and killed; despite the fact that what they preached was plainly stated throughout the Bible, as follows:
Am I not a God at hand," says the Lord, "and not a God far away?
That they should seek the Lord, if happily they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from every one of us; for in him we live, and move, and have our being,’
I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.’
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles:
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared
with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?
My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. .
Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; ( love, peace, joy, patience, gentleness, kindness, etc. Gal 5:22-23) .
When you bear (produce) much fruit,
My Father is honored and glorified,
and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.
To hear, you must go to him. You must wait on him - listen in humble silence with hope of his changing power throught the grace of God. When you hear you must then obey any of his teachings or commands - then his mighty power will change you. Doing this repetitively over time, you are purified by grace and faith - a faith that believes and obeys the words heard from within. To sit in silence, exposing yourself to His commands, and then obey is denying yourself and following Him — the cross.
- Background of Persecutions :
"But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"
Per Fox in his Journal:
"Friends never feared their acts, prisons, jails, houses of correction, banishment, nor seizure of personal property; no, nor the loss of life itself; nor was there ever any persecution that came, but we saw how it would result in good; nor were there ever any prisons that I was in, or sufferings, except it was for the bringing multitudes out of prison; though they who imprisoned the truth, and quenched the spirit in themselves, would imprison and quench it without them; so that there was a time when so many were in prison, that it became as a by-word, 'truth is scarce any where to be found but in jails.'"
The Quakers were persecuted by the Puritans (Congregationalists), Baptists, Presbyterians, and Anglicans (Episcopalians) in Europe and America. The suffering of the early Quakers is weighty testimony to the authenticity of their faith, for Christ has told us that his disciples will always meet with the hatred of the world, particularly the professed religious of the world. They never sought revenge, even when rarely available in the courts. The early Quakers patiently suffered under all the governments of the time; blessing, forgiving, and praying for their accusers and jailers. They made personal, courteous appeals to the governing authorities, but never an organized protest or resistance. Their patient suffering eventually resulted in Parliament passing laws guaranteeing religious freedom, which were also incorporated into the US Constitution. The Lord used their suffering as the trial to bring many men and women to perfection and into the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven, which thousands did receive. But below, you can see some of the revenge that God exacted against the persecutors of his people. There were so many actions by God against the persecutors of his people, a book was written chronicling the strange deaths of the early Quakers persecutors.
The Anglicans, (Episcopalians) having been created to justify King Henry VIII's lust for fresh brides, were similarly accustomed to murdering anyone who questioned theirs' or their great King's religious authority; 72,000 Roman Catholics were executed. Many were burned at the stake for questioning that bread was actually turned into Christ's body by the sacraments. In Holland, anyone who got re-baptised was similarly in risk of being burned.
Thus the stage was set for the acts of what Fox called "the most brutal generation of religious persecutors in the history of the earth," all directed at the Quakers who never fought back, never took revenge, prayed for their persecutors, and reasoned with them - but never protested or opposed the five different governments that held power during their persecutions. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven; and so did they receive it.
The beast of the Book of Revelation is the beast of heathen religious authority, which power was severely curtailed [a wound to the head] by early Christianity, particularly in the Mediterranean region. But a second beast shortly arose that had horns like a lamb, but was a beast. Note, this beast appears to be Christian-like, and under pretence of the Lamb's authority, (though acted by the dragon's power, derived from the first beast of heathen religion) compels men to comply with such traditions, ceremonies, and rituals, (for Christian duties), as resemble the customs of the heathen, in their idolatrous worship and superstition. The whole earth followed this beast, and still does. He [the beast] was further permitted to wage war on God's holy people (the saints) and to overcome them. And power was given him to extend his authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation.Thus, the false church arose, and no one could spiritually buy or sell, (like the foolish virgins for oil in their lamps), unless they complied with the beast and had received the false church's mark. Any who denied this false church, or who tried to buy or sell, (spiritual works by mind or hand), without the sanction of the false church were martyred, as their predecessors had done before, under the heathen power, or first beast. And while this false church is often identified by the Protestants as the Roman church, the Protestants are all part of the same false whore, (the beast has many names), salvation based on saying certain words, water, bread and wine - all superstitious rituals - instead of a complete change of heart - circumcised to be a new heart and mind.
Not only was anyone, who tried to teach or listen to a different doctrine, to buy or sell spiritual oil for their lamps, stopped, they were killed - which really prevented them from buying or selling.
Many Roman Catholic persecutions were justified by Saint(?) Augustine's famous: Why ... should not the Church use force in compelling her lost sons to return, if the lost sons compelled others to their destruction?" - A classic example of the end justifies the means, which looses sight of the principal command of Christ to "love enemies," not destroy them. Another supposed saint(?), Thomas Aquinas wrote: On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death. These revered saints(?) callously ignored the scriptures of the New Testament clearly stating that we should love our enemies, that we should pray for our enemies, that we should turn the other check, and that it was Satanic to even think about killing those that do not share our faith. Jesus further said that if someone is violating the standards of the church, (sinning), they are supposed to be warned by one, then warned by two or three, then censured by the whole body of believers, — and if they fail to repent of their error, they are supposed to be expelled and shunned — not killed, or imprisoned, or tortured, or stripped of their property. We are supposed to love and pray for our enemies, not destroy them.
Protestants killed heretics too. John Calvin had Servetus arrested, wrote charges of heresy against him, and testified against him at his trial; Servetus' crime was to have denied the scriptural support of the trinity and infant baptism. Calvin's charges and arrest of him resulted in Servetus being burned at the stake. Jacques Gruet, a known opponent of Calvin, was arrested, tortured for a month and beheaded on July 26, 1547, for placing a letter in Calvin's pulpit calling him a hypocrite. Calvin also had thirty four women burned at the stake as witches accused of being responsible for a plague, while another account credits his theocray in Geneva with 58 sentences of death. Calvin justified execution of heretics, writing: Whoever shall maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There is no question here of man's authority; it is God who speaks, and clear it is what law he will have kept in the church, even to the end of the world. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for His glory. The apologists of Calvin spilling blood and forgetting all humanity point out that many other Protestants killed heretics too - (the everybody-did-it defense; better said is: all the great men of God? then were murderers.)
Jesus said: .. whoever kills you will think and claim that he has offered service to God.
Another venerated Protestant founder was Martin Luther, full of hate for the Jews. From the Wikipedia article on Martin Luther and from the Wikipedia Article on Kristallnacht, (the Night of Broken Glass):
Luther initially advocated kindness toward the Jews, but only with the aim of converting them to Christianity: what was called Judenmission. When his efforts at conversion failed, he became increasingly bitter toward them. His main works on the Jews were his 60,000-word treatise Von den Juden und Ihren Lügen (On the Jews and Their Lies), and Vom Schem Hamphoras und vom Geschlecht Christi (On the Holy Name and the Lineage of Christ) — reprinted five times within his lifetime — both written in 1543, three years before his death. He argued that the Jews were no longer the chosen people, but were "the devil's people." They were "base, whoring people, that is, no people of God, and their boast of lineage, circumcision, and law must be accounted as filth." The synagogue was a "defiled bride, yes, an incorrigible whore and an evil slut ..." and Jews were full of the "devil's feces ... which they wallow in like swine." He advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayer books, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews' property and money, smashing up their homes, and ensuring that these "poisonous envenomed worms" be forced into labor or expelled "for all time." He also seemed to sanction their murder, writing "We are at fault in not slaying them."
The Nazi persecution of Jews in Germany began in massive scale on Kristallnacht, (the Night of Broken Glass), in which 200 synagogues were burned; Jewish books, scrolls, and antiquities were burned; 7500 Jewish businesses storefronts were smashed, (hence the broken glass name); tombstones and graves were uprooted; 30,000 Jews were arrested and taken to concentration camps; at least 100 were immediately murdered; and many homes were looted. A similar pogrom of similar magnitude took place in Vienna, Austria on the same night. These events occurred on November 9-10, 1938: Luther's birthday was November 10.
Luther's advice was fulfilled on Kristallnacht to the letter. This was beginning of the Final Solution and The Holocaust.
According to Michael, Luther's work acquired the status of Scripture within Germany, and he became the most widely read author of his generation, in part because of the coarse and passionate nature of the writing. The prevailing view among historians is that his anti-Jewish rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of anti semitism in Germany, and in the 1930s and 1940s provided an ideal foundation for the National Socialist's (NAZI) attacks on Jews. Reinhold Lewin writes that "whoever wrote against the Jews for whatever reason believed he had the right to justify himself by triumphantly referring to Luther." According to Michael, just about every anti-Jewish book printed in the Third Reich contained references to and quotations from Luther. Heinrich Himmler wrote admiringly of his writings and sermons on the Jews in 1940. The city of Nuremberg presented a first edition of On the Jews and their Lies to Julius Streicher, editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, on his birthday in 1937; the newspaper described it as the most radically anti-Semitic tract ever published. On 17 December, 1941, seven Protestant regional church confederations issued a statement agreeing with the policy of forcing Jews to wear the yellow badge, "since after his bitter experience, Luther had already suggested preventive measures against the Jews and their expulsion from German territory."
All the Protestant and Catholic sects that killed, (or even approved of killing), those with a different religious opinion were very different from real Christians; in even considering murder, they were following and yielding to their father the devil, who was the murderer from the beginning.
Perhaps you are beginning to see that by 388 AD, Christendom had been transformed into synagogues of Satan with ministers of Satan transformed to appear as ministers of righteousness. Augustine and Thomas are two of the four pillars of Roman Catholicism. Calvin and Luther are the principal founders of Protestantism. If the venerated founders of the sects are evil, how could the sects and their promulgated doctrines also not be evil? When the root is evil, no matter how many branches are on the tree — they are evil too. From the Word of the Lord within: "They are corrupt, through and through;" and "woe to those who try to bring good from evil."
And the whore was drunk on the blood of the saints —the Roman church's inquisitions and slaughters throughout Europe, in which during the Middle Ages (800 AD to 1500 AD) nine million souls were put to death, accused of witchcraft. The Protestant zealots of Germany, inspired by Luther's radical translation of the Bible, raped, plundered, and killed 100,000 Catholics and upper class in the Peasants War. English King Henry VIII, the founder of the Episcopal sect, had 72,000 opponents, (mostly Catholics), killed. England, Scotland, and Ireland suffered three civil wars of Puritans* against ruling governments, which left 190,00 dead in England, (3.7% of the population); 60,000 dead in Scotland, (6% of the population); and 616,000 dead in Ireland, (41% of the population, which was mostly Catholic).
*Justifying their revolution as bringing Christ's kingdom to earth, the Puritans regarded their adversaries as enemies of Christ. The Puritan officers of their army frequently inspired their troops by shouting a quote from the Old Testament against heathen idolatry: "Cursed be he that does the work of the Lord deceitfully, and keeps back his sword from blood." The victorious Puritan and parliamentary soldiers, with their extraordinary biblical names — Praise God Barebones and Sergeant Hew Agag in Pieces before the Lord — were roaming through the country, smashing the images in the churches, tearing out the pipes in the organs, breaking the stained-glass windows, and stabling their horses in cathedrals.
This was followed in the 17th Century by the Protestants of England and America, who in 50 years were responsible for the deaths of over 869 Quakers imprisoning tens of thousands, and seizing the property of tens of thousands; the persecutors of the Quakers included Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists. Three men and a woman were hung in Boston by the Bible-believing Puritans.
false church boasts she is not a widow and will never see grief. She boasts that Christ is their husband; but these false churches are the whore of Babylon, who ignore Christ's commands to repent, his teachings, his requirements, his warnings, his required holiness, his gospel, his Kingdom, his promised freedom from sin, and his inward cross of self-denial —the Missing Cross to Purity.
This web site's purpose is to show how to become
free from sin
by benefiting from the changing power of God through the cross,
which leads to union with God in his Kingdom.