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The Betrayers of Christ - The Holy Life While Annihilating the Truth of Christianity
42. The betrayers of Christ therefore are the hypocrites who walk about with the semblance of a holy life and a spiritual estate, while at the same time they annihilate within themselves and in everybody else the truth of Christianity and the light of grace, leaving nothing but human folly.
This is recognized only by such as have true faith, and even by such only when they pay special attention to it, investigate, examine and compare one with the other; otherwise they also will allow such works to pass, thinking in their simplicity that they are done in good faith, since, forsooth, they so closely resemble genuine Christian works.
And for this the traitor’s name is Judas Iscariot. Judas means “confessor,” for all such saints confess Christ, do not openly deny him and even, in their lives, appear better than the true confessors. Iscariot however means “reward,” for such saints are only hirelings, egotists and seekers after pay; everything that they do they do for themselves and nothing freely, for the honor of God, even as Judas with his carrying of the purse only looked out for his advantage.
Behold, thus the world abounds with religious people who, at heart, are nothing but Judas Iscariots, advantage-seekers and profit-servers, who with their outward semblance lead all the world astray and away from the right path of faith, despising and selling Christ, that is to say Christian truth and grace. Of this more anon during Lent.
The UOJ Stormtroopers Foretold by Luther - and the Scriptures
44. From this we learn to be assured that we may comfort ourselves and cheerfully bear up when many people stumble at our Word and speak against our faith, especially the great, the learned, and the priests. This is a sign that our message and faith is right, for it receives the treatment foretold by Simeon and all the prophets. They must take offense at it, stumble over it, rise by it, and speak against it; it cannot be otherwise. He who would have it otherwise must look for another Christ. Christ is set for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against; consequently his members, or every Christian, must be like him on account of his faith and his message. He is called “antilegumenous,” he who is spoken against.
His doctrine must be rejected, condemned and execrated as the worst heresy, error and foolishness. It is treated rightly when this is done; but when this does not take place, then we have neither Christ, nor his mother, nor Simeon, nor the prophets, nor faith, nor the Gospel nor any Christians. For what does speaking against mean but to deny, blaspheme, curse, condemn, reject, prohibit and persecute with all disgrace and ignominy as the worst heresy?