A leader amongst Dutch Anabaptists, David Joris (c. 1501-1556) thought himself a “third David” and believed a special revelation of the Spirit anointed him to prophesy a coming third kingdom of God. For Radical reformers like Joris, lives lived under the constant threat of censure, possibly to the point of death, caused them to reflect deeply on passages of Scripture such as Psalm 46 which focused on this aspect of God’s faithfulness.

Psalm 46:1-3

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

Commentary on Psalm 46:1-3

Yes, let [our opponents] do what they will; the Lord will be a surety and shelter for his people in the time of need. And he gives them strength in their heart and strengthens their weakness. A heart will not become faint when it is strengthened in the midst of the fight. It is in necessity that the supply appears, so that the holy faith and the kingdom are upheld, for it must be full of temptation and disturbances. Also, it is for God’s praise and wonder. Yes, I know what I see and confess, regarding all such power and life. For I advise no one that he seek to keep his own life here, or that he run from or be frightened of death or his enemy, but that he willingly come against it. Yes, wake up, for this is the basis of the Spirit, for the Lord desires that we be submissive in this manner, completely trustworthy and prepared, according to the will of God, ready to be delivered up as sheep to the slaughter.

Also, I am able to testify of this deed because it is well known to me, beloved. See it and believe in the name of our Lord, in his saints and great works of love. Pray and be awake; suffer and fight and win, so that you might sit and reign from eternity to eternity with Christ our Lord Jesus, eternally blessed. Amen.

Psalms 1-72, ed. Herman J. Selderhuis, Reformation Commentary on Scripture OT vol. 7, 351.

RCS Series: Voices of the Reformation


“People Use the Idea of Calling to Disobey Christ” Hans Denck on 1 Cor. 7:18-20.

“Godliness or Manliness” Andreas Bodenstein von Karlstadt on 2 Samuel 24:2.