Middle Ages Persecutions
From the Word of the Lord within:
"It might be seen that any man who was out of compliance or
conformance with the Catholic church was killed."
From The True William Penn, by Sidney George Fisher, 1900, pp. 78-82
In the Middle Ages everything had been absorbed
into theology and dogma. Artists could paint only
ecclesiastical pictures, and the skill of architects
was devoted mainly to cathedrals. The politicians
were usually priests, and every man's last will and
testament had to be proved before and his estate
distributed by a bishop. The domestic relations of
life were entirely in the hands of the priesthood.
There was scarcely any physical science, and the
little there was, was referred to the theologians. If
it would square with the dogmas, it was right; if it
would not square with them, it was wrong. If a
fact of nature was contrary to a dogma, so much
the worse for nature. All reasoning was by the
scholastic method, in which the dogmas of the
church were taken as a starting-point from which
you might reason, but to which you must return on
pain of death. Independent investigation, original
research, and free inquiry were crimes. The dogmatic,
the miraculous, and the impossible were alone important
The dogmas had been wrought by the most cunning
human ingenuity into a magnificent system.
Beginning in the fourth century, when the Bishop of
Rome began to claim authority as chief bishop or
pope, the development went steadily on. The worship
of the Virgin began. Image worship, which
had been a heresy, was permitted in the seventh
century. Transubstantiation, which became in the
end one of the most important doctrines, had not
even a name until the eleventh century, and was not
definitely decreed until 1215 AD. So also of auricular
confession, which was decreed the same year. Up
to the twelfth century there were only two sacraments.
After that there were seven. The celibacy
of the clergy, which was unsuccessfully attempted
in the fourth century, was finally made binding in
Site Editor's Comments: For a complete history of the church, including its devolvement into the error known as the Apostasy that is the Whore of Babylon, a separate page is provided.
In addition to all this, miracles were being performed [supposedly] almost every day, all over Europe, at thousands
of shrines and by thousands of persons, and
they all had to be believed; and thousands of saints
were being created which must be worshipped; and
holy rags and bones and pieces of sacred wood,
capable of curing disease and protecting from danger,
were being multiplied without number.
Of the accompaniments of this system we can
only briefly speak. The most typical, perhaps, was
witchcraft, for which during the Middle Ages over
nine million men and women were put to death.* Other religions have been afflicted with this delusion,
but no religion ever developed it to such
excess as the Christianity [supposed, but actually the Whore of Babylon] of the Middle Ages. Over
four thousand books were written on the subject, and
the methods for detecting and punishing this supposed
crime were as regular and as well recognized
as our modern systems of police.
* There is no way today to determine the accuracy of the number 9,000,000 put to death because today the records are simply not available. Naturally the number is highly disputed with estimates ranging from 10,000 to 75,000,000. Those who are Catholic support the low estimates; those who hate religion support the highest estimates. Mr. Fisher's number spans the Middle Ages, (800 AD to 1500 AD), in which many inquisitions took place, including: Spanish, Roman, Portuguese, Medieval. Mr. Fisher references four thousand books written on the subject without listing them. Fisher, (1856-1927), was an avid historical author of many books, all focused on history, not religion. His comments on religion in the William Penn biography appear to be mainstream Protestant.
Of the cruelty of that religion most of us have
heard. We are amazed at the organized system of
the Inquisition, with its regularly appointed officials
like a modern corporation or a department of government.
We wonder at the men who studied the
human body and the mechanical arts for the purpose
of producing the greatest amount of suffering; who
invented ingenious methods of stretching and crushing
the joints and tearing out the fingernails; who
wrote manuals to guide their successors in detecting
the smallest theological error and inflicting the
greatest amount of torture; and who followed the
surest routes to agony with the same zeal with which
men now build easy paths for commerce and develop
steam, electricity, and surgery.
Site Editor's Addition from St.(?) Thomas Aquinas' writings: "All members of a parish shall vow to the bishop under oath that they will preserve the Catholic faith and will persecute heretics according to their power. This oath must be renewed every two years. Males and females who have attained the use of reason must confess their sins to a priest three times a year, or with their priest's permission to another priest. They must perform the imposed penances humbly and according to their strength and receive the holy sacrament of the Eucharist three times a year. Whoever does not do this is under suspicion of being a heretic. Lay people are not permitted to possess the books of the Old and New Testament,.."
If you read the full link, you will see where the Catholics' ruthless methods of finding heretics makes the Nazis look like amateurs. (From concern the original page might someday be removed, there is a copy of that page on this site also.)
So Christianity [the beast with horns like a lamb] became the most cruel as well as
the most superstitious religion that has ever prevailed
among men. But the cruel part of it was all
perfectly logical; for those people had accepted
literally and believed absolutely not only the great
mass of the dogmas, but the dogma which crowned
the whole and made the system complete, the doctrine
of exclusive salvation. By that doctrine, unless
a man believed all the other dogmas he could not be
saved. If he refused to give to them the consent
of his mind, he must burn forever in hell. This was
the keystone of the arch, and, if it was true, every
Protestant, dissenter, and heretic deserved instant
death, and death would be too mild a punishment
The men who by their example and encouragement
would wreck the eternal salvation of others deserved
not only death, but every kind of torture: to have
their entrails cut out and burnt before their eyes,
to be torn asunder while alive by four horses, or
anything which would make heresy terrible. In
the face of an eternity of woe for millions the
anguish of a few hundred counts for nothing; and
thus the Middle Ages and the Inquisition logically
Site Editor's Note: The thousands of Catholic priests who participated in this mass torture and murder were all believers, baptized, taking communion, confessing their sins, praying regularly, reading scriptures - all very holy mass murderers. 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?" Thomas Aquinas also 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." Both of these giants of the Roman faith display classic ignorance, believing the end justifies the means, which looses sight of the principal command of Christ to "love enemies," not destroy them. And they ignore Christ's reply to his disciples when they wished to punish the people who would not listen to him, severely rebuking them with: Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 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 lose their property.
We all know the story of the Reformation:
how the revival of the ancient learning of Greece
and Rome and the invention of the printing press
pricked this vast bubble of delusion that had been
inflated by the efforts of a thousand years; and
then Europe seethed and boiled and rocked to and
fro with the struggles of reform and fanaticism.
But it was, after all, a slow process extending over
several hundred years. Even the most ardent reformers
could at first get rid of only one dogma at
a time. Wycliff the first great leader of the Reformation,
rejected only transubstantiation and kept
pretty much all the rest. Huss, his successor, attacked only the fraudulent miracles of the ecclesiastics
and professed to accept all the dogmas, although
he struck at the root of the whole system by declaring
his belief in religious liberty.
[Calvin participated in the burning Servetus at the stake because he denied any scriptural basis for the "Trinity and infant baptism." Calvin also had thirty four women burned at the stake as witches accused of being responsible for a plague, while another account credits his theocracy 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.
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.]
appeared a hundred years after Huss, was also
conservative. His famous ninety-five propositions
were aimed only at the sale of indulgences, which at
that time was carried to great excess. He afterwards
denied the authority of the Pope, which was
certainly going a great way. But he clung to many
dogmas which were rejected by nearly all other
The same hesitation to break entirely and suddenly
with the past was shown by all the large
churches or divisions of the Reformation. The
Church of England, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians,
and the Congregationalist Independents gave up some of the dogmas,
but clung to the remainder with great determination.
But the numerous small and badly organized sects
were always more progressive. Composed largely
of lower-class people, with nothing to lose by a
change and unprejudiced by education, many of
them disposed at once of the whole dogmatic system,
and relied entirely on their own thought and
judgment, and reliance on individual conscience
and judgment was the test of advancement in the
Modern update from the Lord: The Lord has said to me: "Where there is obedience, there is righteousness; without it, you have World War II." Let us not forget, Nazi Germany was a "Christian" nation. From the earliest formation of the Nazi party and throughout the period of conquest and growth, former choir boy, Hitler expressed his Christian support to the German citizenry and soldiers.
Hitler is quoted below:
My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before in the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.... When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people is plundered and exploited.
-Adolf Hitler, in his speech in Munich on 12 April 1922
As horrible and distasteful as this speech and photograph are, they illustrate how relying on a small set of Bible scriptures, while ignoring or being indifferent to the whole of the scriptures, can bring forth a monstrous religion. Today there are 41,000 sects of Christianity, each with their different subset of scriptures, each with their different interpretations, each without obedience, each without righteousness. As the Lord said above: with obedience there is righteousness, without obedience there is World War II.
Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name,
and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?
'Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Hitler and the Nazis were greatly influenced by Martin Luther's hatred for the Jews. From the Wikipedia article on Martin Luther:
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 prayerbooks, 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."
[Site Editor's Addition: 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 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 Holacaust.]
Luther successfully campaigned against the Jews in Saxony, Brandenburg, and Silesia. Josel of Rosheim (1480-1554), who tried to help the Jews of Saxony, wrote in his memoir that their situation was "due to that priest whose name was Martin Luther — may his body and soul be bound up in hell!! — who wrote and issued many heretical books in which he said that whoever would help the Jews was doomed to perdition." Michael writes that Josel asked the city of Strasbourg to forbid the sale of Luther's anti-Jewish works; they refused initially, but relented when a Lutheran pastor in Hochfelden argued in a sermon that his parishioners should murder Jews. Luther's influence persisted after his death. Throughout the 1580s, riots saw the expulsion of Jews from several German Lutheran states.
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 antisemitism in Germany, and in the 1930s and 1940s provided an ideal foundation for the National Socialist's 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."
Luther's beliefs were based on taking a subset of the scriptures while rejecting the books of Esther, Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation. He called the Epistle of James "an epistle of straw," believing it conflicted with belief in Christ and His saving work. Yet, James was an Apostle, a natural brother of Jesus, and a pillar of the church in Jerusalem along with John and Peter; all of which made him much greater in Christ than Luther.
Luther also had harsh words for the book of Revelation, saying that he could "in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it." Luther's doctrine could not reconcile
Jesus' serious warnings in Revelation to five out of seven churches of believers that they were on the way to destruction; which warnings confilicted with Luther's doctrine that only believing with instant grace was necessary.
Taking a subset of scriptures, Luther and Hitler both believed they were saved by belief. Can you see how ludicrous it is to believe someone is saved, while still sinning? Hitler thought he was saved; he thought he had the righteousness of Christ given to him by Christ's blood. Can you imagine Christ embracing Hitler or Luther, both being so full of hate? The thousands of Roman priests that slowly tortured and murdered 9,000,000 souls all prayed daily, said Jesus was Lord, read their Bible, had been baptized, took communion regularly, and more - they were very holy(?) mass murderers.
All scriptures are compatible; if you have to disregard one scripture to maintain your understanding, then you don’t understand the other scriptures you think you do.
Can you see how the human mind can interpret a subset of scripture and create a fantasy, make-believe faith, that can justify any level of sinning? Could the devil have created a worse gospel to better serve his ends — the perpetuation of sin, the continued fall of man, the illusion of being saved, but the guarantee of the soul's death for a sinner saved — by grace!
As Isaac Penington said: "There is no reconciliation to be had between
God and man anymore, but by the change of
this nature in man; for, God is unchangeable, he is light, he is life, he is holiness unchangeable and will
never be reconciled to, or have fellowship with darkness, with that which is dead and unholy, - which man
in his fallen estate is, until he is begotten again to
God, changed and renewed from his evil and sinful
nature, into a good and holy nature, and until he is
turned from evil works, and knows what it is to be the
workmanship of God, created anew unto good works."
This does not happen by speaking words, getting wet, or eating wine and bread. Hitler and the torturing priests did all that too! Penington tells us again how this happens:
"Nothing can produce this change in man,
but the spirit and power of Christ, but the grace and
truth which is by Jesus Christ. Therefore, a man
needs to be sure that he receives this Spirit and power,
and that he feels the operative, changing virtue of it,
and be really changed by it, being created anew, [the new creature], begotten anew to God, in the holiness and righteousness
of Truth, a son and servant to the living God;
- or he can never know what belongs to true reconciliation
with God, and to fellowship with Him in the
light and life of his Son."
"All the religions and professions upon the
face of the earth, which fall short of this Spirit, life,
and power, and in which this new creation in Christ
Jesus is not witnessed [experienced] nor power received to abstain
from what is evil, and to become sons to God, — are
not the pure, powerful, gospel religion, in which the
divine virtue and power of life operates; but, that
which men in the earthly wisdom have formed without
life. And, all religions that have but a form of
godliness, and not the power, are to be turned away
from, and witnessed against, by such as are called
forth to be witnesses to the true, gospel religion and
way of worship, which stands in Spirit, life, and power."
"This religion and worship, which stands
in Spirit, life, and power, is the religion and worship,
which Christ set up about sixteen hundred years ago. John 4:23-24,1 Cor 4:20, Rom 6:4. And,
this is the religion which God has revived and set
up again, as they that receive the gospel now preach
it; and, believing in the power, which is both outwardly
testified of, and also inwardly revealed, they
have the witness of it in their own hearts. Rev 14:6-7, 1 John 5:11-12, Isa 50:1. Oh how
sweet are these Scriptures, when they are properly read
and correctly understood, the Lord giving the right understanding,
and leading into the true experience of them! He that is rightly
grounded, I mean, in the true and sensible experience
of them in his heart, cannot miss of God's guidance
to make a safe and happy progress in it; providing he is daily
waiting upon the Lord, to be taught and led by Him,
further and further, into the life, Spirit, and power of
Truth; so that, he shall be taught of God to know his
Son Jesus, and the freedom which is by the Truth as
it is in Jesus, daily more and more."
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have
crucified the sinful nature,
with its passions and desires.
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.