Luther on Islam and the Papacy

 It should be observed, Luther adds104 in a marginal note at Revelation 20:2-3, that "the Turks only came [toward Europe from Central Asia] — after a thousand years [when crossing the Euphrates some time after1000 A.D.]….   But now [namely when Dr. Luther was writing these words in the sixteenth century],  the Turk wants to help the Pope, and to eradicate the Christians" (meaning the Bible-believing and Christ-loving Protestants). 

Rev. Dr. Luther concludes:105 "While all this is happening, there comes in chapter 20 (vv. 7-10) the stirrupcup” alias the final draught of the wine of the wrath of God.   “Satan…brings up — Gog and Magog; the Turks [alias the Muslims]; the ‘Red Jews’ [cf. the Communists?!]….   But they are soon to go with him, into the lake of fire." 

"This picture…has been put in because of the Turks….  The thousand years are to begin….   After the Turks, the Last Judgment follows quickly — at the end of this chapter [20:11-15], as Daniel 7 [vv. 7-8 cf. 12:13] also shows."   

Luther’s final summary of the Church’s victory over the Papacy and Islam in Revelation 

To the Apostle John, Christ’s Book of Revelation (22:16-20)  then concludes: 'I, Jesus, testify to every man who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: "If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues written about in this book.   And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his 'part' from the tree of life!"' 

Here is how Luther concludes his treatment of the book of Revelation:106 "We can profit by this Book….  We can know that neither force nor lies neither wisdom nor holiness, neither tribulation nor suffering, shall suppress the Church.   But it will gain the victory, and overcome at last….   Great and perilous and manifold offences come upon the Church….  This has happened before now, under the Papacy and Mohammed….  Our time is a golden age, compared with those that have gone before….     

"If only the Word of the Gospel remains pure among us, and we love and cherish it — we are not to doubt that Christ is with us, even when things are at their worst.   For we see in this book that, through and above all plagues and beasts and bad angels — Christ is with His saints, and wins the victory!"  

Luther’s opposition to Islam and the Papacy during 1520 

Strengthened by the above optimistic eschatology to continue fighting for the advance here on Earth of the Kingdom of the Christ of Scripture, Dr. Luther often pointed out that both Pope and Islam had risen to power at the beginning of the seventh century.   Thereafter, both expanded — and consolidated their antichristian strangleholds.    

The Romish Papacy had rejected the Pre-Reformation of the Wycliffite Huss at the beginning of the fifteenth century.   Thereafter, Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, fell to the Moslems in 1453.   And by 1460f , Islam had overrun Bosnia, Herzegovina and Serbia.    

Three years after the start of the Protestant Reformation in 1517, the Muslim Leader Suleiman the Magnificent seemed set to enslave the whole of Europe to Islam in 1521f.    By 1529, the Muslim Turks were approaching Vienna.   By the time Martin Luther died in 1546, the Pope controlled the Western Roman Empire — and the Moslems controlled the Eastern Roman Empire.    

Nevertheless, because Luther believed from Holy Scripture in Christian victory during history – he protested!   Starting especially in 1520, he recorded a number of great treatises.   After his April Sermon on the Mass; and his May Treatise on Good Works; and also his On the Papacy in Rome, in June – in August, there appeared his fiery epistle titled An Open Letter to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation. 

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