the great controversy: The Netherlands and Scandinavia

November 13, 2023

… a 5 minute read

the Great Controversy:
The Netherlands and Scandinavia

~ reformation in Europe ~

(internet image)

In The Netherlands the papal tyranny very early called forth resolute protest.
Seven hundred years before Luther’s time the Roman pontiff
was thus fearlessly impeached by two bishops, who, having been sent on an embassy to Rome,
had learned the true character of the “holy see“:
God “has made His queen and spouse, the church, a noble and everlasting provision for her family,
with a dowry that is neither fading nor corruptible, and given her an eternal crown and scepter;
… all which benefits you like a thief intercept. You set up yourself in the temple of God;
instead of a pastor, you are become a wolf to the sheep;
… you would make us believe you are a supreme bishop, but you rather behave like a tyrant….
Whereas you ought to be a servant of servants, as you call yourself,
you endeavor to become a lord of lords….
You bring the commands of God into contempt….
The Holy Ghost is the builder of all churches as far as the earth extends….
The city of our God, of which we are the citizens, reaches to all the regions of the heavens;
and it is greater than the city, by the holy prophets named Babylon,
which pretends to be divine, wins herself to heaven, and brags that her wisdom is immortal;
and finally, though without reason, that she never did err, nor ever can.”
—Gerard Brandt, History of the Reformation in and About the Low Countries 1:6.

~ others arose from century to century to echo this protest
~ those early teachers who, traversing different lands and known by various names, bore the character of the Vaudois missionaries, and spread everywhere the knowledge of the gospel, penetrated to the Netherlands
~their doctrines spread rapidly
~ the Waldensian Bible was translated in verse into the Dutch language
~ they declared “that there was great advantage in it; no jests, no fables, no trifles, no deceits, but the words of truth; that indeed there was here and there a hard crust, but that the marrow and sweetness of what was good and holy might be easily discovered in it.” (Ibid. 1:14)
~ so began the Romish persecutions
~ but in the midst of torture the believers continued to multiply, steadfastly declaring that the Bible is the only infallible authority in religion, and that “no man should be coerced to believe, but should be won by preaching.” (Martyn 2:87)
~ teachings of Luther found an agreeable soil in the Netherlands, and earnest and faithful men arose to preach the gospel

Menno Simons

Menno Simons

(internet image)

~ educated a Roman Catholic and ordained to the priesthood, he was wholly ignorant of the Bible
~ he would not read the Bible, for fear of being labeled a heretic
~ when a doubt concerning the doctrine of transubstantiation forced itself upon him, he regarded it as a temptation from Satan, and by prayer and confession sought to free himself from it – but in vain
~ he endeavored to silence the accusing voice of conscience
~ after some time he was led to the study of the New Testament, and then Luther’s writings, which caused him to accept the reformed faith
~ soon after he witnessed in a neighboring village the beheading of a man who was put to death for having been rebaptized, this led him to study the Bible in regard to infant baptism. He could find no evidence for it in the Scriptures, but saw that repentance and faith are everywhere required as the condition of receiving baptism
~ Menno withdrew from the Roman Church and devoted his life to teaching the truths which he had received
~ in both Germany and the Netherlands a class of fanatics had risen, advocating absurd and seditious doctrines, outraging order and decency, and proceeding to violence and insurrection
~ Menno saw the horrible results to which these movements would inevitably lead, and strenuously opposed the erroneous teachings and wild schemes of the fanatics
~ for twenty-five years he traveled, with his wife and children, enduring great hardships and privations, and frequently in peril of his life, laboring chiefly among the humbler classes but exerting a widespread influence
~ in the Netherlands Charles V’s power was greater than in Germany, and persecuting edicts followed each other in quick succession: to read the Bible, to hear or preach it, or even to speak concerning it, was to incur the penalty of death by the stake. To pray to God in secret, to refrain from bowing to an image, or to sing a psalm, was also punishable with death. Even those who should abjure their errors were condemned: if men, to die by the sword; if women, to be buried alive. Thousands perished under the reign of Charles and of Philip II
~ the rage of the persecutors was equaled by the faith of the martyrs. Not only men but delicate women and young maidens displayed unflinching courage
~ persecution served to increase the number of witnesses for the truth
~ year after year the monarch, stung to madness by the unconquerable determination of the people, urged on his cruel work – but in vain
~ Under the noble William of Orange the Revolution at last brought to Holland freedom to worship God

source, and to read more: The Great Controversy – the Netherlands and Scandanavia by E.G. White

Events found on this timeline:

  • The Cross (timeline)
  • The Apostles (timeline)
  • Jerusalem destroyed
  • Persecution (first centuries)
  • An era of spiritual darkness begins
  • Reformation in Europe begins
  • The Mayflower

The Great Controversy Timeline:

hope you have a great day!
thanks for stopping by!!

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