The woman known as Mary

Throughout ecclesial history the saints have been plagued by the same attitudes that overcame Israel in the time of Saul. The people of Israel refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us.”

(1 Sam 8:19 NRSV) But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, “No! but we are determined to have a king over us,

We as the people of God also oft times follow that same path. In many ways and in many denominations the cry for a human king (or queen) to rule over us is heard. We still try to reject the plainly stated truth that the Holy Spirit has been given to lead us into all truth.

(John 16:13 NRSV) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

We fail again and again to take up the personal responsibilities of our king/priest ministry by placing men and women in the position of king and/or priest over us. This of course lets us ‘off the hook’ and we have no need to approach God and His Word directly but can leave it to someone else. There are those who are leaders within the body of Christ, but not as kings that lord it over the flock or priests that take the ministry to their own and exclude all others.

The very structures and organisations we build make for a continuance of this ‘ruler and ruled over’ doctrine. We give to specialised people the right to interpret God and His wishes for us and in doing so fail to receive God’s best, as did Israel in that far off day. We point to the shepherd and say, “It’s his job, and in so doing, the shepherd, as a king over us, fails to see that his/her service is to bring us to our full potential before the Lord.

Eph 4:12 (NIV) to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
1 Pet 2:4 (NIV) As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him–5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Many have erred in a like manner in the ecclesia and in a similar manner began the unwarranted elevation of an innocent, simple hearted country girl called Mary. (Miriam=bitter) This gentle girl was probably in her late teens and had been brought up in the faith of her parents, and like the rest of us, was just a normal member of this fallen race. She herself had no doubts of her status. She called herself ‘doule’ a handmaiden of the Lord. This was in those days, at best a servant, and has in its earlier form, the idea of slave and servitude. An example to us all of discipleship, but no more than that.

Much is made of the phrase, ‘blessed are you among women’. with which the Elizabeth greeted Mary. It is proposed that this greeting gives some uniqueness to Mary in terms of God’s grace. The Greek word is ‘eulogeo’, to speak well of, but we should, before making this usage ‘special’, examine other applications of this phrase in Scripture.

Leah used a similar expression.

Gen 30:13 (KJV) And Leah said, Happy am I, for the daughters will call me blessed: (happy) This was on the occasion of the birth of a son. Also in Judges 5:24 ‘ (NIV) Most blessed (congratulated, honoured) of women is Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite. Most blessed (congratulated, honoured.) of tent-dwelling women’.

These examples point to the idea that the relationship within the tribes gives space to offer a congratulation in the form, ‘blessed are you among women’ to certain of the women who excelled or brought forth a son. It may indeed have been the conventional greeting to the new mother. This would be more enhanced, if the son was the first born and involved the birthright blessing.

Particular note needs to be taken of Luke 11:27 (NIV): As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Here Jesus is clarifying the level of blessedness warranted by Mary in being His earthly parent. There is no question that this young woman (Mary) will be highly esteemed as the earthly mother of Jesus for all generations.

Luke.1:28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you.”

Luke.1:41ff When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favoured, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,

However, the words of Jesus clearly limit this blessing to less than that given to ‘those who hear the Word of God and keep it’. There is no doubt that Mary was numbered among these servants obedient servants of the living God and shared in the blessings that all God’s faithful servants receive, but only as a disciple of the Lord, no more and no less.

Early scholars in their efforts to support the growing Mary doctrines suggested a parallel between Mary and Eve. Tertullian argued that Eve believed the serpent and fell, but Mary believed Gabriel, and in so doing set things aright. Irenaeus suggested that Mary, by her obedience, became the cause of salvation both for herself and all mankind. These suggestions are bordering on serious error as they suggest Mary as saviour. Others have portrayed Mary as a living model of the ecclesia, as the new Eve. This derives from an interpretation of

John 19:26 (NIV) When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” [27] and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Some portray Mary as being the first to share the resurrection of Christ. A Roman ecclesia dogma suggests that she is already ruling in the heavenlies. We read phrases such as,’ Queen of Heaven’, ‘Mother of God’ and the like which all mask the simple beauty of this lady’s life. All these ideas are rather doubtful when considered in the light of systematic exegesis of the biblical record and the coming forth of the ecclesia as the bride of Christ. There is no place in this short discussion to fully explore the ideas of traditional historical thought on this subject. This little excursion may serve to suggest that much of the present teaching is highly speculative, and may account for many of the strange ideas currently held in today’s ecclesia.

The above mention of Mary as ‘mother of God’; because of its wide spread acceptance among members of the Roman and Eastern traditions needs to be considered more seriously. The scriptural evidence gives no support to the phrase, and its acceptance can lead to misunderstanding of the relationship between the Saviour of humankind and the woman who gave birth to Him.

(Heb 10:5 NRSV) Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you (God) have prepared for me.

The gospels make it clear that Mary was a natural mother to Jesus in His humanity, but this is far from the position of suggesting her as mother to Jesus in His divinity. The nature of her relationship to the Eternal God, who in Christ is made manifest, appears as Mary speaks in praise of Him as saviour.

Luke 1:46f (NIV) And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.

She knew she was a sinner, and a member of the sinful nation of Israel. Jesus Himself clarifies this by His use of the terms father and mother during His time on earth. There are more than 150 quotations where Jesus makes reference to His relationship with the Father in heaven. For example

John 10:30 (NIV) I and the Father are one.” John 5:43 (NIV) I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.

When we consider the subject of His earthly mother, not one reference can be found where He expresses any filial connection. Jesus never once called Mary mother always ‘woman’ The story told in Luke 2. supports the idea that he knew at an early age that His purpose was tied to a heavenly Father, and this calling separated Him from the earthly parents.

In the epistle to the Hebrews this separation is underlined strongly as the writer expounds the doctrine of the eternal priesthood of Christ. He names Jesus as King of Righteousness, King of Peace, without mother, without father, without decent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life. This Jesus Christ is sitting now at the right hand of God. He has no mother and we are on doubtful ground to suggest such a concept. He is the eternal logos and is ever the same.

Heb 13:8 (NIV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Any motherhood Mary had belongs to the long ago past. It has no reality in the life of the ecclesia except as a remembrance of a dutiful and faithful life.

The angel also addressed Mary as ‘highly favoured’ literally ‘grace endowed’. As the verb ‘highly favoured’ is also a participle it suggests that God’s favour had already been flowing towards her. She was, in other words, in some way ‘special’, and so she was, but this differs little from all the saints of the Most High. We are all chosen people and very highly favoured indeed. Ephesians make this abundantly clear.

Eph 1:3 (NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

It is only Christian tradition to suggest that Mary is special above other saints, and many authorities argue that this idea grew from cultist origins. History suggests that much of the adoration of Mary transferred from the widespread religious practice of mother goddess worship that had its roots in Egypt, Syria and Asia Minor. This type of non-scriptural veneration transferred easily into the climate of ‘popular Christianity’ which followed Constantine’s conversion.

The overnight political acceptance of Christianity as the ‘official’ religion resulted in the flooding into the ecclesia of masses of people fresh from heathenism and cults of all kinds. Popular opinion and political pressure developed many false teachings and practises not sanctioned by Scripture and some directly contrary to the Word of God. Many are still with us.

Some of these teachings are discussed in the following. From the influence these ideas had in the ecclesia we can see why many Christians have developed the cult behaviour which is built around the mother of God concept.

Remembrance of the martyrs and prayers to be strengthened to follow their example changed to worship and prayer to them as intercessors with God. Martyrs became ones considered able to protect, heal and in some way to aid those who honoured them,

To the list was added any popular ascetic who came to lead the faithful until even these ‘saints’ became recognised as guardians of cities, patrons of trades, curers of disease and so on and on.

All saints were then said to be omnipresent. They began to be given godlike powers. The ecclesia stood on the brink of having other gods.

Luke 4:8 (NIV) Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only’ “.

The ecclesia failed to realise its weakness and turned away from the Holy Spirit to venerate the saints. What a nonsense to ask a saint to ask God to send His Holy Spirit to empower the saint to ask the Holy Spirit to help us. Why not ask the Father direct.?

Angel worship also sprang up and feast days were given in their honour. The plain teaching of Scripture was set aside.

Rev 19:10 (NIV) At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!

Reverence for relics, pictures and statues developed.

Isa 42:8 (NIV) “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols.

Pilgrimages to ‘holy’ places became a prominent way of achieving grace. This is ignoring the real meaning of grace, which is the unmerited favour of God. No amount of doing or works will bring grace or salvation. We do works for God to show forth our faith and salvation, not to receive it.

Eph 2:8f (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

Mary, the apostles and selected saints began to be given a prominent place in the worship of the ecclesia. This was the beginning of deifying, or saying that men/women have divine attributes.

It is not difficult to see that this heathenising of the ecclesia into patterns similar to Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim faiths is a departure from the simple purity of the gospel of Paul’s day.

1 Tim 4:1ff (NIV) The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

2 Pet 2:1ff (NIV) But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

Jude 1:3f (NIV) Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Buddhists practise meditation, yoga and self denial as ways of working themselves into a state of so called grace (nirvana) The Hindu venerates, prays to and worships a whole pantheon of gods, goddesses, cult figures, heroes and saints. The Muslim makes much of his pilgrimages to Mecca and ‘holy’ places. All these ways are workings of the flesh and are in enmity with God and work against the Spirit.

From all this confusion came the present day veneration of Mary. Quiet contemplation by any serious scholar will show that much of the above waywardness is still present in the Christian ecclesia throughout the many world cultures where evangelists have taken denominational teaching. The need for a mother image is widespread and Mary, a gentle Christian lady has had her faithful example venerated to a point where simple people can and have been led astray.

The fallacy of cult behaviour that venerates, worships or prays to persons variously called saints, heroes, prophets, apostles, teachers and so on, is that this position must claim for its ‘heavenly ones’ the ability to possess some of the essential attributes of the Almighty God.

God has attributes that make it evident that He and He alone is the Almighty One. He is the ‘I am’ and as such is eternal. He is self existent, immutable (unchanging.), omnipotent (all powerful.), omniscient (all knowing.), and omnipresent (every where present at all times.)

These are the non-moral and incommunicable attributes of God. These can never become attributes of created beings such as man for then man would become God. As we read in Isaiah God said He would not give His glory to another!

Consider then, how is it possible for Mary or any of the ‘saints’ to hear and answer the prayers of the multitude, who we are told, pray daily to them? This would require omniscience, to enable knowledge of the language of the supplicants and understand their unique thoughts and ideas; and omnipresence, to be with each one in every place as they pray, at the very least. Some suggest that supplicants only pray to Mary asking that she would pray for them. Maybe so but that does not change the need for omniscience and omnipresence.

This kind of prayer is untenable since it amounts to worship. The supplicant is placing Mary or the saint figure in a place of God. Such prayer implies they have attributes that are God’s alone. We need also to consider that many Christian thinkers class prayer as worship. If this is so can we pray to anyone other than the Lord?

Mat 4:10 (NIV) Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”

Rev 19:10 (NIV) At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God!

Should we not ask always of the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit?

John 14:6 (NIV) Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 15:16 (NIV) You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

The message of the gospel is that we are joint heirs with Christ, the communion of the saints, having fellowship with one another and that we are the body of Christ on the earth. All of those who have gone before who were in Christ, our brethren and fellow saints, are in God’s care until the fulfilment of all things. Their deeds and example, while they were here on earth, are recorded for our encouragement and we respect this guidance from history.

There is no scriptural warrant for suggesting that they are actively engaged in our present spiritual lives. They are the dead in Christ, and will rise first when He comes, to be given a glorious body and to be ever with the Lord. Mary, I am sure will be among them and will share in that day.

1 Cor 15:42 (NIV) So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;43 it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

1 Th 4:13 (NIV) Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope.14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

A summary of the Roman teaching versus the Biblical truth

The Roman Catholic Church Teaches

The Bible Teaches

a. Mary is the Mother of God. (963, 975.)

Mary was the mother of Jesus after the flesh (only)

(John 2:1 NIV) On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there.

b. Mary is the Mother of the Ecclesia (963, 975.)

Mary is a member of the ecclesia.

(Acts 1:14 NIV) They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

c. Mary is the co-redeemer, for she participated with Jesus in the painful act of redemption (618, 964, 968, 970)

Jesus alone is the redeemer, for He alone suffered and died for sin.

(1 Pet 1:18-19 NIV) For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, [19] but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.

d. Mary is the co-Mediatrix to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions (968, 970, 2677).

Jesus is the one and only Mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions

(John 14:13-14 NIV) And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. [14] You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
(1 Tim 2:5 NIV) For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
(1 Pet 5:7 NIV) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

e. We should entrust ourselves to Mary surrendering “the hour of our death” wholly to her care (2677)

We should entrust ourselves to the Lord Jesus surrendering the hour of our death wholly to His care.

(Acts 4:12 NIV) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
(Rom 10:13 NIV) for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

f. Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin from the instant of her conception (490-492.)

Mary as a descendant of Adam, was born in sin

(Psa 51:5 NIV) Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
(Rom 5:12 NIV) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.

g. Mary “the all-holy” lived a perfectly sinless life. (411, 493).

Mary was a sinner; God alone is holy.

(Luke 18:19 NIV) “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.
(Rom 3:23 NIV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Rev 15:4 NIV) Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

h. Mary was a virgin, during, and after the birth of Jesus

Mary was a virgin until the birth of Jesus (Matt. 1:25). Later she had other children.

(Psa 69:8 NIV) I am a stranger to my brothers, an alien to my own mother’s sons;
(Mat 13:55 NIV) “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?

Upon her death Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven (966, 974.)

Upon her death, Mary’s body returned to dust.

(Gen 3:19 NIV) By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

j. God has exhalted Mary in heavenly glory as Queen of Heaven and Earth. She is to be praised with special devotion. (971, 2675.)

The name of the Lord is to be praised, for He alone is exhalted (Psalm 148:13.) God commands “You shall have no other Gods before Me.” (Exod 20:3.)

In the above table the numbers annexed to the Roman teachings refer to paragraphs in the Catechism of the Catholic Church

The book The Gospel According to Rome by James. G. McCarthy published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Oregon is strongly recommended to both Roman Catholic and Protestant enquirers into this most important subject. It presents the arguments in a most scholarly and reasonable fashion and is worthy of attention by any side of this discussion.

The Marian Apparitions

These phenomena in the history of the ecclesia are heralded as supportive proof to the doctrines we have been discussing. We need to examine closely the Marian visions that have proliferated across the world in recent times.

All such spirits need to be subject to the Scriptural test spoken of in 1 John.4. and any teaching given carefully compared with the Word as given in Scripture.

(1 John 4:2-3 NIV) This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, [3] but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

An in-depth discussion of the phenomena is outside the scope of this paper. A short comment will follow on some of the more popular manifestations together with a source bibliography for further study.

Medjugorje

An appearance in the republic of Bosnia. One “teaching” from this source affirms …

“When man dies God gives him special graces and blessings to decide where he should go of himself. God gives him a picture of his life and what he has done in his life and so God gives him graces to decide where he should go according to his life. He has a free choice.”—Caritus of Birmingham. Medjugorje apparition newsletter, June- October 1992 “interview with Marija,” pp.4-9.

This is clearly a New Age doctrine. The ultimate autonomy and self determination of man is a basic tenet of New Age and this apparition was espousing the same falsehood. Followers of this phenomena affirm that only at this special location will the “Mary” implement her salvation plan. This required a “special” kind of devotion. The cultic undertones are very clear in this attitude.

“Satan Wants to Destroy Medjugorje”—Caritus of Birmingham Medjugorje apparition Newspaper, May-Aug.1991 pp 5-10

The appearance also affirms that Christians and Moslems are both acceptable to God. One wonders if that be true why God sent His Son to the cross.—Refer Weible, Wayne, Miracle at Medjugorje Interviews with Seers, p3. Dec 1985

Conyers

As the Madjugorje began to enjoy a global media access another visionary appeared. In Georgia a middle aged divorcee, Nancy Fowler began to receive messages from an apparition. This was to be a message especially for America. “To bear witness that I Am the living son of God” — Vol. 1. Reported teachings and messages to the world from our Lords and our loving Mother. (Newington,VA: Our Loving Mother’s Children, 1991)

Denver

Soon after came the Denver apparitions making the same claim to be the source of messages for America. Devotees reassured the Conyer followers that this was to be for the western states and not intended to preclude any messages from Bosnia or Conyers. — Kunkz,J Gary, Our Holy Mother of Virtues: Messages for the Harvest Vol 1.(Denver, CO:Colorado MIR Cetter 1992) pp3-20. This source denies the completeness of the Cross and taught among other things that “she” offers our sacrifices daily before God’s throne for reparations for the sins of the world

(Heb 10:12 NIV) But when this priest [Christ] had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.

Kirkwood

Annie Kirkwood also reported on an apparition of “Mary” who began to give messages that continued in the New Age doctrine. This vision of “Mary” began to teach outright New Age material and ideas that were very much contrary to R. Catholic teaching, for example that the Rosary, a favourite prayer among the apparition followers, was not necessary for the conversion of the world (I agree but this is just another odd variation). — Kirkwood, Annie. Mary’s Message to the World (New York: P.Putman’s Sons 1991) pg 15

(Acts 4:12 NIV) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Other teachings from this apparition are … “all of us are as cells in the Creator’s body”

“God does not punish anyone. He does not have to. We are our own worst critics … God sees this and allows each to judge him/her self.” “When everyone comes to judgement you cannot deny the imperfections of your being” — Kirkwood, p.146

Compare these teachings with the Medjugorje doctrines. They both are proposing the New Age doctrine of the ultimate autonomy and self determination of man which is absolutely against biblical teaching. Further, Kirkwood’s apparition teaches: “In different religions [God] is known by different names — the name you use to address the Creator is not important.

(Acts 4:12 NIV) Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Consider the importance of the Name in baptism. This is just another deviation away from the real Jesus.


The approved apparitions

These apparitions have been given the official seal of approval by Rome. Nevertheless these also need to treated with considerable care. Note that they also have serious flaws in the authenticity of the teachings coming from their supporters and advocates.

Paris, 1830

Catherine Laboure the visionary behind the Paris manifestation was known to have received prophesies that did not come true. This is a clear indication that the prophet is presumptuous.

Refer The MIR Response, Vol. 3, Number 2. April/May “What are Private Revelations” MIR Group, New Orleans

(Deu 18:22 NIV) If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.

Guadalupe 1531

This apparition asserted that “she” was our “fountain of life”. Refer to The MIR Response, Vol. 3. Number 6. Conference Edition Dec 1991, “The Mother of the True God Speaks” inside front cover, Message of Dec. 12, 1531

(John 14:6 NIV) Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

This Scripture is clear. Jesus is the only fountain of life.

Fatima 1917

The Fatima appearance stated that we should “make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because they have no one to sacrifice themselves and to pray for them”. Refer to Abobora, Lucai. Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words: Sister Lucia’s Memoirs. Kondor, Louis, SVD, ed., (Still River,MA. The Ravengate Press 1976 p.167.

(Col 2:13-14 NIV) When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, [14] having cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.

This simple truth has not been acknowledged by any apparition to date. There is NO further need for payment for sin. Jesus died on the cross once and for all time and made by this FULL payment a complete sacrifice for all sin.

General comments on Apparitions.

With all apparitions be they a supposed “Mary” or any other supposed spiritual visitor from the realms of the spirit there is an imperative given in Scripture which should/must be applied. We are clearly told to TEST the spirits.

Not only that but a specific test is given.

(1 John 4:1-3 NIV) Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. [2] This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, [3] but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

This test is the Biblical method. We should note that the visionaries of Lourdes,1854, Fatima 1917, Medjugorje 1981 and Conyers, among many others, have all settled for tests using holy water and other unscriptural means of discernment. The only record of an apparition willing to take the 1 John test changed the subject and departed without answering the question “Do you confess that Jesus was born of the flesh?” — Refer :Holy Love, Messages From Our Blessed Mother” Holy Love Ministries 1994, pp.32-33

Most of the recent apparitions also speak of erecting lasting signs at their location and that everyone in the world will soon receive from God an instant ,complete and total correction of conscience and will be able to see their soul exactly as God sees it. Having seen their sins they will receive direction as to how to live their lives according to the will of God. — Macfarlane, Sr., Bud M.I. “Update on Marian Appearances” Mar.25. 1992 Wadsworth. OH.

This is very similar to the teachings of the New Age prophetess Barbara Hubbard. Her guide “Teachings from the Inner Christ” pp2-8 speaks of a planetary Pentecost. At this momentous time every one will hear in their own language the words of God and be changed.

It does seem that the apparitions and New Age channellers are getting a very similar message.

The serious question for all to ask and test for authenticity in any answer given is the identity and validity of the Jesus mentioned by these ghostly appearances. There is much to question in the doctrines given and following after false prophets can only lead to a deceiving spirit who will happily cause sincere people to fall.

(Mat 24:5 NIV) For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
(Mat 24:11 NIV) and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.(Mark 13:6 NIV) Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many.