The world is ready and ripe for this almost overpowering deception. In fact, the December, 1996, issue of Life magazine featured, on its front cover, a picture of a statue of Mary and the caption: "Two thousand years after the Nativity, the mother of Jesus is more BELOVED, POWERFUL, and CONTROVERSIAL than ever. The Mystery of MARY." The ending of this article was especially of interest to me. It stated: "Mary...might lead to an ecumenical reunion of Christian churches. It might lead to a closer understanding of the teenage girl who gave birth in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. We could come to know Mary...
"Can we ask this simple girl to guide what has become not a cult but a huge and passionate congregation, a movement requiring a hero, a worldwide flock that has long demanded more of her? That has demanded, in some instances, that she deliver her message herself? I wonder: If Mary became merely human--if people could truly touch Mary--would Mary be enough?"
Please beware, friends, of the expositors of this type of thinking, who also refer to Mary as "Co-Redeemer, Mediator, and Advocate." First of all, nowhere in the Bible is there any reference to the Virgin Mary as being man's "Co-redeemer." The prophet Isaiah, when writing about Jesus Christ, said the following: "And thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob." (Isaiah 60:16). In the New Testament, the apostles Paul and Peter each made poignant statements when referring to the price that was paid and the blood that was shed for man's redemption. Paul said: "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God (not Mary) in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." And Peter tells us what the purchase price was: "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold...But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1.Cor. 6:19, 20; 1.Pet. 1:18, 19). There can be, then, only ONE Redeemer-- Jesus Christ, the One Who paid the ransom price of His life's blood, thus giving up an infinite life for a lost human race. Secondly, how can Mary be our "Mediator" when the Bible explicitly warns: "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name (than that of Jesus Christ--see verse 10) under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" and "For there is one God, and one mediator [not two] between God and men, the man Christ Jesus"? (Acts 4:12; 1.Timothy 2:5). Obviously, Jesus is the only Being qualified to be mankind's Mediator. And thirdly, would the mother of Jesus ever claim to be our "Advocate" when 1.John 2:1 says: "And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous"? If the true Virgin Mary were alive, would she contradict the words of her Son? Yet, the book, The Thunder of Justice, which records many of the socalled statements made by the counterfeit Virgin Mary to different people around the world, says that Mary's role is that of "Co-Redeemer, Mediatrix, and Advocate." "While Calvary was first and foremost the scene of Our Lord's Passion and death, it also caused OurLady to suffer hidden and mystical wounds. No longer does God want the precious wounds of Our Lady to be hidden. Rather, His people are to understand the tremendous purification mankind received and will receive through devotion to Mary's Hidden and Mystical wounds." (The Thunder of Justice, p. 29). As if she were crucified for us also! or had an infinite life to give!
Friends, was it Mary's wounds that isaiah wrote about in his famous Chapter 53? Was she the one "stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted"? Was she the one "bruised for our iniquities"? or the one brought "as a lamb to the slaughter"? No! No! It was Christ! Isaiah did not mince his words when he wrote: "Surely He hath born our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed... He was oppressed, and He was afflicted....He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth." (Is. 53:4-9). It was Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who said: "I have trodden the winepress alone [or by Myself]; and of the people there was none with Me [not even Mary]." (Is. 63:3).
Yet, The Thunder of Justice further claims that when the so-called Mary appears to people some of the other blasphemous titles she uses to identify herself are the following: "The Lady of All Nations," "The Guardian of the Faith," "The Immaculate Conception," "'The Pure Sinless One," "The Mother of the Church," "Queen of the Holy Rosary," "Our Lady of Guadalupe" (which means, "She Who Crushes the Serpent"), "His Immaculate Spouse [of the Holy Spirit]," "The Second Eve" or "The New Eve," "The Queen of the World," "The Queen of Heaven," and, last but not least, "The Queen of the Coming Age."
Please do not think that I am being disrespectful toward Mary by writing this book, for I hope and pray I will meet her on Resurrection Day, when the saints come forth from the grave. She was indeed a wonderful Christian lady. That is why God chose her to be the mother of the Messiah. But when Satan uses her image as his means of deceiving souls, as a watchman on the walls of Zion, I must blow the trumpet. Therefore, I must take the time to expose the blasphemy implied by some of these names. First, let me address the title of "The Immaculate Conception" together with "The Pure Sinless One." Did you know that when you mention the name "Immaculate Conception," almost everyone believes the title applies to the virgin birth of Jesus? But that is incorrect. The Immaculate Conception, which is a Roman Catholic doctrine, doesn't apply to Jesus at all. It refers to the birth of the Virgin Mary, who, according to the Roman Catholic Church, was conceived without the stain of original sin (see Webster's Dictionary). This is why she is called "The Pure Sinless One." The Bible, on the contrary, tells us plainly that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" and "there is none righteous, no not one." (Romans 3:23; 3:10). Besides this, it is very clear from the genealogical records in the Bible and from the fact that Mary was a full-blooded Israelite that she was descended from Abraham on both sides of her family. Now notice this statement by the apostle Paul in Hebrews 2:16 concerning the human nature of Jesus: "For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him the seed of Abraham." And Abraham dwelt in fallen, human flesh 2000 years after Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden and several centuries after God destroyed the world by a Flood for the great wickedness of man. Yet, the Catholic Church and the Marian Movement would like us to believe that Mary was holy. In fact, the well-known Catholic prayer, "Hail Mary," includes the words: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death," which words the Roman Catholic Church admits in A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, p. 27, were composed by the Church itself under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, not once in Scripture is Mary called "holy Mary," but, on the contrary, the Scriptures authored by the Holy Spirit (I2.Pet. 1:21), when referring to Jesus, call Him "that holy thing" and "Thy holy child Jesus." (Luke 1:35;Acts 4:30). Christ is the only person in the Bible whose human birth is described thus!
Still again, The Thunder of Justice contradicts the Word of God when referring to what has been labeled the "Assumption": "Mary was assumed into heaven...Because of her sinlessness, her body did not have to undergo corruption in the grave....The Church has always held the truth about Mary's Assumption, and in 1950 it was formally declared to be part of the Catholic dogma by Pope Plus XII." (Ibid., p. 44). This doctrine, therefore, has now received the stamp of papal infallibility. But has it the stamp of Scriptural authority? If we study our Bibles to see whether "those things were so," as did the faithful Bereans as recorded in Acts 17:11, we will, in fact, learn that the only mortals that have been taken into heaven from Adam unto this day are Enoch, Moses, Elijah, and many saints that were resurrected with Christ when He rose from the dead. The Bible says of Enoch: "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Gen. 5:24); of Elijah, the Word says: "Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven" (2. Kings 2:1); of Moses, Jude 9 says: "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses," and Matthew 17:1-3 says that when Jesus was "transfigured....there appeared unto them [Peter, James, and John] Moses and Elias [Elijah] talking with Him." In this awesome scene, Jesus had given to the three disciples that were watching, a glimpse of His glory, and the two mighty men of God that appeared with Him were perfect representatives of every person who will be saved throughout history. Moses, though having died, was resurrected by Christ, and thus, as it were, was a pledge to all who die in Christ--that they, too, will come forth from the grave at the resurrection of the righteous (John 5:28, 29; 1.Thess. 4:16), and Elijah was a type of all the saved who will be alive and translated when Christ comes the second time. (1.Thess. 4:17). To see that such is a proper interpretation, read Matthew 16:27, 28 & 17:1-3 and compare with Peter's own evaluation in 2.Peter 1:16-18.
In addition to the three patriarchs mentioned above, there was a host of saints that came out of their graves at Christ's resurrection. Matthew 27:51-53 states: "The earth did quake..and the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." Ephesians 4:8 tells us that these people [more trophies] were taken to Heaven at Christ's ascension: "Wherefore he saith, When He ascended up on high, He led Captivity captive (or "a multitude of captives"--margin), and gave gifts unto men." These heroes of faith were raised as a part of the antitypical offering of "first-fruits" from the grave with Jesus and as a pledge of the final great harvest of the rest of the redeemed on Resurrection Day at His Second Coming! On the other hand, it is also interesting to note that in addition to the definition given to the word "Assumption" by the Roman Catholic Church--namely, "the bodily taking up into heaven of the Virgin Mary"-- the word's primary definition, according to Webster's College Dictionary, is: "something taken for granted; a supposition; or to assume as true." Today I know more about the "Assumption" than when I was attending Catholic schools, because while there, I assumed it was truth.
Furthermore, I find it strange that the Apostle John, who lived a number of years after all the other disciples had died and who wrote the Gospel of John and the Apocalypse during the mid 90's A.D. (when he was an old man), never once mentioned anything about Mary's having been taken to Heaven, as Rome claims. John, of all the disciples, would have been the final authority on this matter. Please notice why. As Christ's death on the cross drew near, Jesus beheld His mother and His Disciple John standing beside her at the foot of the cross. As He gazed into her grief-stricken face and then upon John, "He saith unto his mother; Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her:..unto his own home." (John 19: 26, 27). Christ had made John His mother's caretaker for as long as she should live! "John understood Christ's words, and accepted the trust. He at once took Mary to his home and from that hour he cared for her tenderly. O pitiful, loving Saviour; amid all His physical pain and mental anguish, he had a thoughtful care for His mother....and in receiving her as a sacred trust, John was receiving a great blessing. She was a constant reminder of his beloved Master." (The Desire of Ages, p. 752). And John wrote about this matter in the Gospel of John not long before his own death, at a time when Mary, his senior by 25 to 30 years or more, was undoubtedly dead. Why, then, did not John record anything about her "Assumption" in Sacred Writ? Because it just did not happen! For she, just like the beloved apostle, is peacefully sleeping in the grave until that climactic day when she will once again hear the voice of her Son, calling her from the grave on Resurrection Morn !
But it is true that Mary was "highly favoured" [or graciously accepted-see Bible margin] by God and "blessed...among women" (Luke 1:28), because she had been chosen by God to conceive [miraculously]...in her womb "and bring forth a son," whose name she should call "Jesus." (Luke 1:31). But the very next verse pinpoints the only One in the verse who deserves to be extolled: "He [Jesus] shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the House of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end." (Luke 1:32, 33). In fact, just a few verses later, after Mary had conceived and had gone to visit her cousin Elizabeth, Mary plainly declares with her own lips: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." (Luke 1:46, 47). Please notice, that Mary humbly acknowledged that the child within her womb was the Son of God--the long-promised Messiah and Deliverer of mankind, Who had consented to become a member of the human race in order to save it, Whom she was to name Jesus, and Who was, just as He is for every person in the world, her Saviour--for the name Jesus means "Jehovah is salvation, or "Saviour" [Mart. 1:21, margin].
Mary held no illusions that she was the "Mother of God" [words of Catholic origin and part of the "Hail Mary"], for no member of the Godhead had an original mother. "Yahweh" (or "Jehovah") was the "Self-existent One," the basic meaning of the term, or the Great "I AM." Moses, who talked with the "I AM" for a period of forty years, clearly understood this. In Psalm 90, of which he is the author, he wrote, "Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God." And the prophecy in Micah 5:2 that pinpointed Bethlehem of Judea as the birthplace of the promised Messiah describes Him as One "Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting ['the days of eternity'--margin]." Rather, Mary realized that she was "blessed among women" to be so "highly favoured" as to become the human instrument by which a member of the Godhead could become incarnate as a human being to effect the rescue of a lost human race. She was the mother of the Messiah, the God-man, when He transferred His original existence into a human one. He became the Son of man, but He remained Deity--the Son of God.
Mary always knew and kept her proper place. When Gabriel told her of the miraculous manner in which she would conceive a child through the agency of the Holy Spirit and that "therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God....For with God nothing shall be impossible," her humble response was, "Behold the handmaid [female slave, Greek] of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." (Luke 1:35, 37, 38). The word "handmaid" in the Greek is 'doule' which means slave involuntary or voluntary (as in Mary's case). The word actually describes real slavery, bondage, or servitude; but even when its usage was meant to be qualified to indicate a perceived relationship to another, as in Mary's foregoing acknowledgment, it still indicated an attitude of subjection or subserviency by the user. In any event, it is obvious from Mary's words that she was very humbly compliant with God's will.
This is also apparent again when she arrives at the home of her cousin Elizabeth, mother-to-be of John the Baptist--Christ's messenger to announce His arrival and mission--and exchanges initial greetings with her, both being under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. After Elizabeth had acknowledged Mary as "the mother of my Lord" (Luke 1:43), Mary replied, as already noted above, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour" But note carefully her attitude expressed in her next remarks: "For He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden; for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." (Luke 1:46-48). "Low" in the Greek comes from a word with the connotation of "humiliation" or "abasement," and is very appropriately used with her choice of "handmaiden," or submissive "female slave." She is saying, "Socially, prestige-wise, I am a nobody." But then she quickly acknowledges the fact that it is the child she bears Who is the Hero and Whose mighty achievements will be so wonderful and so permanent that all future generations, even in eternity, will call her "blessed" for being the willing human agent, in cooperation with God, to make the reality of mankind's redemption possible. It is hard to imagine a woman who possessed such demonstrated humility now emerging in today's world as a person assuming such presumptuous titles and boastful achievements as those listed in this chapter, which exalt her to a position of Deity. Interestingly enough, there is not one prayer to Mary in the entire Bible -- not one instance of her miraculously helping anyone, nor any promise that she could or would.
Jesus is the Savior of the world, the Lamb that was slain, the Sin-bearer with whose stripes and wounds we are healed, the Resurrection and the Life, our High Priest and Mediator before the Father, the "Seed" of the woman who would crush the "serpent's" head, the descendant of David who was to become ruler on David's throne forever and ever. In fact, dear friends, notice this beautiful and unequivocal prophecy of the Messiah's birth and eventual rulership on the throne of His human ancestor David as given by the "gospel prophet" Isaiah: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this." (Isaiah 9:6, 7). This prophecy, dear friend, includes all of Heaven's intent!
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