Notes & References
 (a) What is the meaning of the word `Amen'? According to secular sources, it appears to be derived from the Greek word "aµen" which means `truly, for certain, Amen. [See Joseph Day, `Schola Verbi', p. 29, German edition.]
(b) It could also be derived from the Greek letter "a" alpha, which stands for number 1 in Greek, plus the Greek word "µin", read as `min', which is given to mean `him, her, it, himself', of which we use `himself.' Thus we have "A-min", `One Himself', or ostensibly "Amen", `I AM', the Great and Singular `I AM', of Exodus 3:14, the name of God, the name of Jesus, Revelation 3:14. Thus, Jesus says in Revelation that He is the great "I Am", the Creator of everything.
 Matthew 3:2; Dr. Martin Luther lectured on the Psalms from 1513-1515; on Romans from 1515-1516; on Paul's letters to the Galatians, Hebrews, and Titus from 1516-1519; and again on the Psalms in 1519.
 The particular indulgence which aroused Luther's wrath was the plenary Jubilee Indulgence, inaugurated by Pope Julius II (1503-1513) to obtain funds for rebuilding the basilica of St. Peter's in Rome. German rulers of the time included: Albert of Hohenzollern, the youngest brother of Elector Joachim of Brandenburg. This Albert became at considerable expense acting bishop at Halberstadt. When the archbishop of Mainz died the next year, the financial wealth of Albert got him that office too. The documents which detail these transactions with the representatives of the Roman Curia during the summer of 1514 are an interesting commentary upon the venality and corruption rampant in the church of Rome at the time. - The Romish wanted 12300 ducats, the Germans were willing to pay 10000 ducats, the Romisch representative said, since there were 12 apostles, 120000 would be more appropriate, the Germans countered, since there were 7 deadly sins, 7000 would be a better sum. They finally settled on 10000 ducats. Johann Tetzel became the monk to collect that money through the sale of indulgences.
Luther, who acted as confessor as well as preacher, as he sat one day in the confessional, was approached by some citizens of Wittenberg who confessed having committed thefts, adulteries, and other heinous sins. Luther told them that they must abandon their evil course; otherwise he could not absolve them. To his surprise, they replied that they had no thought of changing, in as much as these sins were already pardoned. They then pulled out their indulgence papers obtained from Tetzel. Luther could only tell them that the papers were worthless and that they must repent and be forgiven of God or they would perish everlastingly.
The poor, deluded people, quite unhappy at losing both their money and, at the same time, their hope of heaven, quickly found Tetzel and informed him that a monk in Wittenberg was warning the people against his indulgences. Tetzel was enraged. Kindling a fire in the marketplace of Juterbock (Jüterbog, South of Berlin between Berlin and Leipzig and just south of the cloister Zinna), he indicated what would be done to anyone who should presume to obstruct his noble work, declaring that the pope had given him authority to commit all such heretics to the flames.
Luther was unmoved by Tetzel's angry words. He had no thought but that the pope, if not ignorant of the sale of indulgences, was at least unaware of the frightful excesses that attended their sale; and he became even more strenuous in his condemnation of them.
Tetzel continued his sale of indulgences, and Luther felt constrained to take even more decisive measures. Elector Frederick had recently completed a church-castle in Wittenberg.[30b] He had spared neither money nor labor in gathering relics in their settings of gold and precious stones. These were put on public display and shown to the people on the festival of All Saints. On the eve of the festival, Sabbath October 31, 1517, Luther, who had given no hint to anyone of what he proposed to do as he joined the crowd that was approaching the church. Pressing his way to the front, he quickly nailed to the door a paper on which he had put forth ninety-five theses, or propositions, against the doctrine of indulgences. The sound of his hammer drew a crowd, and they quickly began to read. These points, Luther announced, he would defend at the university the next day (Sunday) against all who might choose to dispute them.
In this paper, Luther struck at more than the abuses of indulgences. The theses put God's free gift of salvation in sharp contrast with the pope's salvation to be obtained by purchase. Though he little realized the full significance of the step that he had taken, Luther had set the stage for the Reformation. The two systems—salvation by Jesus Christ and salvation by Rome—were brought face to face.
[30b] This Frederick was Dr. Martin Luther's friend, Frederick (Kurfürst Friedrich) III., the Wise (1486-1525) of the House of the `Ernestiner/Saxony'. My source book calls him of the House of Ernestine, a little known branch of this succession of rulers.
 Catholic literature on indulgences included: 1) Pope Clement VI. bull `Unigenitus' of 1343 with its definition of the treasury of merits, which is not according to the Bible.
Literature against the reformer included: 1) Cardinal Prierias, `A Dialogue against the Presumptious Conclusion of Martin Luther', ca. 1518. He accused Luther by using `injudicious and haughty' words of heresy and stated that, because of the popes absolute and infallible power, it was not necessary to reason with a heretic. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ was given all power in heaven and earth, not the pope, Matthew 28:18.
Luther's writings include: 1) `From the Pope Badly informed to the Pope to Be Better Informed.' 2) `Acta Augustana', on the proceedings at Augsburg.; 3) August 1520, `Address to the German Nobility' & 4) `The Babylonian Captivity of the Church', 5) November 1520, `Against the Execrable Bull of Antichrist' & 6) `On the Freedom of the Christian Man', 7) March 1523, `On Civil Government' & 8) `On the Order of Worship', 9) January 1524, `To the Councilman ... Christian Schools', 10) January 1525, `Against the Heavenly Prophets', 11) April 1515, `Admonition to Peace', 12) May 1525, `Against the Robbing and Murdering Hord'e, 13) July 1525, `Open Letter Concerning the Hard Book Against the Peasants', 14) November 1525, `The German Mass' & 15) `On the Enslaved Will', 16) April 1527, `Whether These Words: This Is My Body' & 17) Composition of `A Mighty Fortress', 18) March 1528, `Confession of the Lord's Supper', 19) 1531, `Warnings to His Beloved Germans', 20) January 1543, `Against the Jews', 21) March 1545, `Against the Papacy at Rome Founded by the Devil'.; 22) `Asterisks', Luther's answer to Johannes Eck's `Obelisks'.
 On Monday, July 4, 1519, a debate was held between Dr. Eck and Luther at Leipzig, relative to the primacy of the papacy. As the debate proceeded, Eck was constantly and consciously losing ground. Finally, on the second day of the debate, he sought to direct the course of discussion in such a way as to prejudice the audience against Luther, hoping to destroy the effect of his words. Addressing the council, he said, "From primitive times downward it was acknowledged by all good Christians that the Church of Rome holds its primacy of Jesus Christ Himself, and not of man. I must confess, however, that the Bohemians, while obstinately defending their errors, attacked this doctrine. The venerable father must pardon me if I am an enemy of the Bohemians, because they are the enemies of he Church, and if the present discussion has reminded me of these heretics; for . . . according to my weak judgment, . . . the conclusions to which the doctor has come, are all in favor of their errors. It is even affirmed that the Hussites loudly boast of this." [A. T. Jones, Ecclesiastical Empire, 729.]
Luther well knew the peril in which Eck had placed him. He replied, "I love not a schism, and I never shall. Since the Bohemians, of their own authority, separated from our unity, they do wrong, even were divine authority decisive in favor of their doctrines; for at the head of all divine authority is charity and the union of the Spirit." [Ibid.]
The debate was adjourned for dinner. During the interval, Luther's conscience began to trouble him for speaking as he did about the Bohemian Christians and he determined to correct the false impression that he had left on the minds of the people.
Luther Rejects the Primacy of the Church
Luther saw the difficulty of his position. He had already repudiated the primacy of the pope and had appealed from the pope to a council. This decision involved the rejection of the Council of Constance, one of the greatest councils of the Church. For him to endorse the attitude of the Christian Bohemians was to declare that a Council had condemned what was, in fact, Christian—in short, of having erred—breaking from himself the last remaining bond of attachment with the papacy; and, doing so, opening all of the floodgates of papal opposition. Yet, in Luther's mind it was becoming clear that the infallible authority of councils, as well as that of the pope, must be given up and that he must stand on the Word of God alone.
"Accordingly, as soon as the meeting had assembled in the afternoon session, Luther seized the first moment. He arose and, with the decision of conviction in his voice, said: 'Certain of the tenets of John Huss and the Bohemians are perfectly orthodox. This much is certain. For instance, "That there is only one universal Church," and again, "That it is not necessary to salvation to believe the Roman Church superior to others." Whether Wycliffe or Huss said so, I care not. It is the truth.'" [Ibid., 730.]
Eck had, without realizing it, done both Luther and the Reformation a great service. The blow which he had anticipated would destroy Luther served, instead, to sever the last link in the chain that still bound the Reformer to Rome.
Luther's statement produced a sensation. Several persons who had until that moment listened to him with favor, began to doubt his orthodoxy. The impression made upon Duke George was never effaced; and from that moment, he viewed the Reformer with an unfavorable eye.
When the Bohemian Christians heard the news of the discussion, they wrote to Luther: "What Huss was formerly in Bohemia, you, O Martin, are now in Saxony. Wherefore pray, and be strong in the Lord." [Ibid., 731.]
The choice for emperor fell between two men—Charles I of Spain, and Francis I of France. Charles, who at nineteen was seven years younger than his rival, scattered gold profusely among the electors and princes of Germany to gain the coveted prize. His rival, Francis, was liberal; but he lacked the gold mines of Mexico and Peru which Charles had at his command.
The very power of the two rivals nearly defeated both of them. Encouraged by the pope, who feared the rising power of both monarchs, the electors chose Frederick of Saxony. Frederick, perhaps as an act of weakness when suddenly faced with the fearful challenge meeting a multitude of distractions within the empire and the Moslems on its frontier, declined what the two most powerful sovereigns in Europe were so eager to obtain. On June 28, 1519, the electors again met; the vote was unanimous in favor of Charles. How differently might history have been written had Frederick, the friend of Luther, accepted the imperial crown. Instead, however, it passed to Charles, who was to become the bitter foe of the Reformation.
It was a year before Charles was to arrive for his coronation, and the regency was continued in the hands of Frederick. During that time, "the little group at Wittenberg busily engaged in laying the foundation of an empire that would long out last that of the man on whose head the diadem of the Caesars was about to be placed." [Wylie, The History of Protestantism, vol. 1, 305.]
Luther began reading the writings of John Huss. To his surprise, he found in them the truth of free justification of the sinner. "'We have all,' he exclaimed, half in wonder, half in joy, 'Paul, Augustine, and myself, been Hussites without knowing it!' and he added, with deep seriousness, 'God will surely visit it upon the world that the truth was preached to it a century ago, and burned!'" [Ibid.]
It was now that Luther published his famous appeal on the reformation of Christianity to the emperor, the princes, and the people of Germany. It was the most graphic and stirring appeal that had yet issued from his pen. Like a peal of thunder, it rang from side to side of Germany, sounding the death knell of Roman domination.
Presuming that the new emperor would be just and magnanimous, Luther appealed to Charles, knowing that his cause would triumph regardless of which side Charles might espouse. While he would rather have had its progress peaceful and its arrival at the goal speedy, Luther never doubted the ultimate triumph of truth. The emperor never condescended to reply to the doctor of Wittenberg.
 The Roman churches selling of letters of indulgence, in effect, sold a cheapened form of grace. All a purchaser had to do was to pay the fee or follow a prescribed set of actions to be released from the punishment which his sin made him guilty of. This way the Catholic church accepted payment for something they had no divine rights for and this way gave permission to sin as long as one could pay their price to be absolved afterwards. They turned grace into a license for disobedience. These self described Christian churches are so blind and hard of understanding that they don't even recognize their shameful acts and have never even considered repenting before God. And so it remains today. In his proclamation of the "Great Jubilee of 2000," the late pope John Paul II invited Catholics to earn indulgences through such acts as visiting the sick and giving up tobacco or alcohol for a day, [a]. On September 17, 1999, the Vatican released a new manual on how such indulgences could be obtained, [b]. And as recently as in 2005, Our Sunday Visitor contained the following Vatican announcement: "During the Year of the Eucharist, which runs through October, Catholics can receive special indulgences for Eucharistic Adoration and prayer before the Eucharist." [c]
All these unabashed affirmations by the current papacy of medieval Catholic heresy seem to matter not one whit to the heirs of Martin Luther and the Wesley brothers. At the release of the Vatican indulgence manual noted above, concern was expressed in Catholic circles as to whether this new promotion of indulgences would hurt negotiations with the Lutherans, since the founder of Lutheranism had so strongly objected to this practice (d).
[a]Alessandra Stanley, "Pope invites Catholics in 2000 to earn indulgences," San Diego Union-Tribune, 1998-11-28, pp. A1, A12.
[b] Frances D'Emilio, "Vatican releases new manual on how to gain indulgences," Associated Press online, 1999-09-17.
[c] "Pope authorizes special indulgences," Our Sunday Visitor, 2005-01-30.
Lutherans, and increasingly so other Protestant churches, are blind to what is at stake. They want so much to become a larger church, fill their empty churches in Germany in particular at all cost, even if it means to repudiate their heritage. Not long from now and the daughter churches, Protestantism, will unite themselves fully with their "mother" church. The baleful effects of this perversion of the gospel we live with today in this wicked world.
And so we know: "When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with Spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its constitution as a Protestant and Republican government, and shall give provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan, and that the end is near." [Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 451]
 Today, in Protestant America, churches may have some leaders called `Spiritual Directors'. This seems to be a brainchild of the Jesuits and their Supreme General. The RCC is promoting `Spiritual Directors' in the churches so that Protestants will: 1) put their trust in them like Catholics put their trust in their priests, 2) So that unsuspecting Christians will confess to them, 3) so that the `Spiritual Directors' can blackmail and pressure people into doing whatever they want them to do, 4) so that children of Protestant parents can be taken away from them. According to some, in the NWO, to be accused of anything is to be guilty and that is why BC said, `I haven't been accused of anything.' In the inquisition, to be accused, is to be condemned. They are determined that this state of affairs will be in full swing in America. Christians may know, that these boastings of their power will be as the boasting of Goliath for the battle is the Lords. Other RCC groups include Free Masonry (Luciferians) and the Opus Dei which was started in 1928 by one Escriva who was to be canonized by the previous pope.
 Three times Luther appeared before the council at Augsburg (October, 1518). It was conducted by Cardinal Cajetan who bombarded Luther with papal and scholastic pronouncements, while Luther wanted to be convinced by Scripture.
This one man who had stirred the rage of priests and people was arraigned before those who had caused the world to tremble - a meek lamb surrounded by angry lions; yet for the sake of Christ and the truth he stood up undaunted, and with holy eloquence, which the truth alone can inspire, he gave the reasons of his faith. His enemies tried by various means to silence the bold advocate for truth. At first they flattered him, and held out the promise that he should be exalted and honored. But life and honors were valueless to him if purchased at the sacrifice of the truth. The word of God was now brighter and clearer shining upon his understanding, giving him a more vivid sense of the errors, corruptions, and hypocrisy of the papacy. - As he returned for the third meeting, accompanied by the elector's councilors, he was immediately surrounded by the Italians, who were present at the conference in great numbers. They crowded around him, eager to obtain a glimpse of the monk who had stirred up such a commotion in Christianity. Luther advanced to present his protest to the cardinal. In this protest, Luther addressed two points on which he had been attacked.
1) The concept that the indulgences were the treasure of the merit of Jesus Christ and of the saints was the first point to which he had objected.
2) Second, Luther showed that no man can be justified before God if he has not faith, a point that he proved with a number of statements from Scripture.
The legate took the declaration from Luther's hand; and after coldly looking it over, declared, "'You have indulged in useless verbiage; you have penned many idle words; you have replied in a foolish manner to the two articles and have blackened your paper with a great number of passages from Scripture that have no connection with the subject.' Then, with an air of contempt, De Vio flung Luther's protest aside; as if it were of no value, . . . he began to exclaim with all his might that Luther ought to retract. The latter was immovable. . . . The cardinal then began a long speech, extracted from the writing of St. Thomas; he again extolled the constitution of Clement VI and persisted in maintaining that by virtue of this constitution it is the very merits of Jesus Christ that are dispensed to the believer by means of indulgences. He thought he had reduced Luther to silence; the latter sometimes interrupted him; but De Vio raved and stormed without intermission and claimed, as on the previous day, the sole right of speaking. . . .
"His [Luther's] indignation burst out at last; it is his turn to astonish the spectators, who believe him already conquered by the prelate's volubility. He raises his sonorous voice, seizes upon the cardinal's favorite subject, and makes him pay dearly for his rashness in venturing to enter into discussion with him. 'Retract, retract!' repeated De Vio, pointing to the papal constitution.
Luther Meets De Vio on His Own Ground
"'Well, if it can be proved by this constitution,' said Luther, 'that the treasure of indulgences is the very merits of Jesus Christ, I consent to retract, according to your eminence's good-will and pleasure.'" [D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation, book 4, chapter 8.]
The Italians, who were not expecting such a response, were in complete astonishment. As for the cardinal, he was beside himself, scarcely believing how completely he had captured his opponent. Exulting in the victory he now thought to be certain, De Vio seized the book which contained the famous constitution and eagerly read the passage. The Italians could not suppress their elation, nor could the elector's councilors hide their embarrassment. Luther, however, waited for his opponent. "At last, the cardinal read the words: 'The Lord Jesus Christ has acquired this treasure by His sufferings,' and Luther stopped him.
'Most worthy father,' said he, 'pray, meditate, and weigh these words carefully: He has acquired. Christ has acquired a treasure by His merits; the merits, therefore, are not the treasure; for, to speak philosophically, the cause and effect are very different matters. . . .'
"De Vio still held the book in his hands, his eyes resting on the fatal passage; he could make no reply. He was caught in the very snare he had laid; and Luther held him there with a strong hand, to the inexpressible astonishment of the Italian courtiers around him. The legate would have eluded the difficulty, but he had not the means; he had long abandoned the testimony of Scripture and of the fathers. . . . Desirous of concealing his disgrace, the prince of the church suddenly quitted this subject and violently attacked on other articles. Luther, who perceived this skillful maneuver, did not permit him to escape; he tightened and closed on every side the net in which he had taken the cardinal and rendered all escape impossible. 'Most reverend Father,' said he, with an ironical, yet very respectful tone, 'your eminence cannot, however, imagine that we Germans are ignorant of grammar; to be a treasure, and to acquire a treasure, are two very different things.'
"'Retract!' said De Vio, 'retract! Or if you do not, I shall send you to Rome to appear before judges commissioned to take cognizance of your affair. . . . Think you that your protectors will stop me? Do you imagine that the pope cares anything for Germany? The pope's little finger is stronger than all the German princes put together.'" [Ibid.]
Luther's only reply was to request that the legate forward his reply to the pope. At these words, the legate in anger said, "Retract, or return no more."
Without reply, Luther, followed by the elector's councilors, withdrew. The cardinal and the Italians, remaining alone, looked at one another in confusion.
From now on the darkness seemed to thicken around Luther. Everywhere were ominous signs of a gathering storm. Just when the danger had reached its height, Emperor Maximilian died (January 12, 1519).
 Luther was strengthened by the debate with Dr. Eck. Driven to new inquiries, he arrived at unexpected discoveries. He was astonished at the magnitude of evil that he saw. "Searching into the annals of the Church, he discovered that the supremacy of Rome had no other origin than ambition on the one hand, and ignorant credulity on the other. . . . The Latin Church was no longer in Luther's estimation the universal Church; he saw the narrow barriers of Rome fall down, and exulted in discovering beyond them the glorious dominions of Christ. From that time he comprehended how a man might be a member of Christ's church, without belonging to the popes." [D'Aubigne, History of the Reformation, book 5, chapter 6.]