"Mary" describes herself as the endtime prophet in the last remnant church of God, sent by the Lord, to give special guidance to His church in the last days. Further, it is said that she, as our intercessor, brings the prayers of the people of God before Him. Therefore, especially among Catholics, she is regarded as a mediator between God and men.
"Mary" futher reveals that great disasters and punishments will come upon the world. In the hard times to come, she urges her followers to find their refuge in her protecting care. "This is the moment when all shall find their refuge in me", she says, "because I am the Ark of the New Covenant."
She is also giving messages and prophecies concerning the future, and asks us to follow her counsel. "I open the sealed book for you", says she, "so that the secret contained in this book may be revealed."1
What will be our stand
The sayings of "Mary" are really astonishing! But what shall be our stand when confronted with such revelations? Are these messages really what the Lord wants to give to the last generation, or are they counterfeits of the truth?
Let us turn to the Bible, since we are here talking about revelations claimed to be from the Lord. God surely has something to say concerning this matter. The Bible clearly reveals that both true and false prophets will come in the last days, and asks us to to turn "to the law and to the testimony", in order to find out wnat is right and what is wrong. "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them", the Bible says, "believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God."2
There are two main aspects we will try to examine, as we prove them by the word of God:
1) Is it really Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is revealed? Is the virgin Mary dead or alive?
2) Are her massages in harmony with the Word of God?
Is the virgine Mary dead or alive
Let us examine our first question: Is the Bible saying anything about what happens when a person dies? Let us just briefly look at a few verses from the Scriptures:
"For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."
"Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish."
"The dead praise not the Lord, neighter any that go down into silence. But we will praise the Lord from this time forth and for evermore."3
There are many more texts, but the Bible has already given us a clear picture of the fact that when men die, they don`t go to heaven or hell, but are in their graves, slowly becoming dust. Mary was also a human being, and so it is the same with her: The dead praise not the Lord ".
First at the resurrection, which the Bible tells us will take place in connection with the second coming of Christ, the ones who have faithfully followed the Lord, will be raised from their graves - into eternal life. The Bible says it this way:
"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."4
In light of this truth, the Bible strongly warns us of beings appearing in the form of men already dead. Such manifistations we call spiritism _ the teaching of the immortality of the soul. The Bible gives us this instruction: "There shall not be found among you any one that... [is] a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do this are an abdomination unto the Lord."5
In the Bible we also have an example of how the Evil One manifests himself as a dead person. We are thinking of the time when Saul was at war with the Philistines. He had left God, and went to a witch in order to get information about the results of the war. Saul knew that it was wrong to visit a witch, but he was in despair, and being disguised he went to visit her anyway. At the word of the witch the Evil One appeared in the image of the prophet Samuel, who had died years before this event took place. This image, who looked like Samuel, then came with a message concerning the war.3
In a similar way the Evil One is manifesting himself today in the image of dead persons. It is actually the Devil or
his angels who personify (imitate) "Mary", and the messages delievered will seem so close to the truth that only those
know the Scriptures and have the Holy Spirit as their guide, will be able to discern what is right and what is wrong.
The Scriptures say that, in the end of time, Satan will work energetically "with all power and signs and lying wonders".6 Therefore we may count on more "Marian apparitions" in the time ahead of us, and unfortunately we see that multitudes are being deceived (and will be deceived in the future), ensnared by these demonic manifestations. The only real protection against such ensnaring deceptions is a true and close connection with our Heavenly Father, and a deep knowledge of the Word of God.
The greatest deception
Satan will always try to counterfeit the biblical prophesies. The Bible clearly says that "Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light", and that false prophets will arise.6 Satan well knows that Jesus will come again, and just as he (Satan) preforms the false Marian apparitions, he will also counterfeit the second coming of Christ. This will be a gigantic deception. The deceiver will make it look like Christ has already come back to the earth. "In different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of God given by John in the Revelation.7 The glory that surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The shout of triumph rings out upon the air: "Christ has come! Christ has come!"
The people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle, compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which the Saviour uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth.
This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these sorceries, saying: This is "the great power of God."7 But the people of God will not be misled. The teachings of this false christ are not in accordance with the Scriptures. His blessing is pronounced upon the worshipers of the beast and his image, the very class upon whom the Bible declares that God's unmingled wrath shall be poured out.
And, furthermore, Satan is not permitted to counterfeit the manner of Christ's advent. The Saviour has warned His people against deception upon this point, and has clearly foretold the manner of His second coming. "There shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. . . . Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, He is in the desert; go not forth; behold, He is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."6 This coming there is no possibility of counterfeiting. It will be universally knownwitnessed by the whole world.
Only those who have been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of the truth will be shielded from the powerful delusion that takes the world captive. By the Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise. To all the testing time will come. By the sifting of temptation the genuine Christian will be revealed. Are the people of God now so firmly established upon His word that they would not yield to the evidence of their senses? Would they, in such a crisis, cling to the Bible and the Bible only? Satan will, if possible, prevent them from obtaining a preparation to stand in that day. He will so arrange affairs as to hedge up their way, entangle them with earthly treasures, cause them to carry a heavy, wearisome burden, that their hearts may be overcharged with the cares of this life and the day of trial may come upon them as a thief."(This interesting section is taken from the book "The Great Controversy", which is announced at the end of this leaflet. Get this book free of charge, and read more about this great conflict!)
We really need to be aware of this great deception, so we will not be ensnared. The Bible says that "if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect". Therefore, we want to emphasize one aspect of this conflict in order to get a clear understanding that will help us to resist the devil`s snares.
When Christ soon comes back to take his people home, he will not set his feet upon this earth. We read earlier that the saved will be caught up in the clouds in order to go with Jesus to heaven.4 Before Jesus was caught up into heaven, he said: "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."4 The first time Jesus will touch the earth again, will be at the end of the 1000 years (the time period when the saved are in Heaven), when Jesus sets His feet on the Mount of Olives, where the new Jerusalem will be established. It is then that he will create "a new heaven and a new earth" of righteousness.8
The seal of God or the mark of the beast
The teachings of "Mary" contain much truth, but the truth is frequently mingled with error, and this makes the whole thing harder to expose. All the truths her messages contain, together with the marvelous appearance and her special aura, calls for confidence. It is no doubt that the devil will turn this confidence to his own account, and thereby introduce the more typical Catholic doctrines. One of these doctrines, which, more than anything else marks the Catholic Church, and which the present Pope urges _ especially in his Pastoral Letter "Dies Domini", May 31, 1998 _ is Sunday as the day of rest in the place of the Sabbath, which is the seventh day of the Bible.
It should be known to all that it is the Papacy that has changed the commandments of God (in the catechism) so that in many aspects they are different from the Ten Commandments of God, found in Exodus, chapter 20, verses 3-17. The Bible says that we shall keep the seventh day, the Sabbath, as a day of rest. It also says that God has blessed and hallowed this day. In the cathecism it only says: "Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day". And so they say that the Church transferred the holiness of the Sabbath to the first day of the week, which is Sunday.19 All the identifying marks of the Bible regarding "the beast" fit the Papacy, and as we have just seen, the Papacy says that they have a mark of authority; the institution of Sunday as the day of rest instead of the Sabbath. Sunday observance is therefore the mark of the Papacy = "the mark of the beast". When we look at the context in the biblical prophecies it is clearly revealed that the mark of the beast will be set up as a testing point in the very last days of this earth`s history. The Bible says that those who refuse to receive the mark of the beast will not be allowed to buy or sell, and at last they will face a death decree. It is in the end of this conflict that Jesus will come again to deliver His people.
Should we pray to "Mary"
When looking at the sayings of Mary" mentioned earlier, it is frightening to see how she exalts her own position, and attracts attention towards herself. The encouragement to find refuge in her and pray to her is followed by many. They turn to images of the virgin "Mary" to seek for grace, and ask her to intercede for them in front of her Son and the Father. After the attempt to kill Pope John Paul II, he went to Fatima, May 2, 1982, and prayed in front of the image of the virgin Mary, giving thanks to her for protecting his life.
It is sad that the leaders of the world are thus giving the people wrong signals, which lead them away from the truth of God. We will now quote parts of the second commandment of the Bible, which the Catholic Church has removed in the catechism - a deception which the apostate protestant world has accepted: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath... Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them..."9 In spite of this clear biblical statement, we see that the Pope, and others with him, turn to "Mary" and images of "Mary".
Shall "Mary" be our co-redeemer and mediator?
Catholics have also started a great campaign, promoting a new dogma within the Catholic Church: To proclaim Mary CO-REDEEMER (Co-redemptrix) and MEDIATOR (Mediatrix) of all grace, and advocate for the people of God.10
Knowing this, we clearly see that there is a strong movement within the Catholic Church, trying to uplift "Mary" to the same level as Jesus Christ. According to the Bible "there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word (Christ) and the Holy Ghost".11 If we are going to accept this new teaching about "Mary" as Co-redeemer and mediator, the three will expand into four, namely the Father, the Mother, the Son and the Spirit. When the Catholics will give "Mary" the position of a co-redemer and a mediator, bringing our prayers to God, and being our advocate and refuge, it is a great deception, and a deceiving and bold attempt to take the position of Jesus Christ! Jesus himself is clearly rejecting such a thought when He says: "I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."11 We are also told the reason why Jesus can say this. It is because Jesus by his death opened the way to the throne of God. Sin separates men from God, and when man sinned, he was condemned to die, because "the wages of sin is death".11 But God has made a way out: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."11 If we choose Jesus to be the Master in our lives, He will, because of His sacrifice, take our sins upon himself. Therefore the following is said in 1. Timothy 2:5: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus". Therefore it is only through Jesus Christ, who is the mediator between the Father and men, that we may have access to the throne of God.11
Can "Mary", the Pope, or priests forgive sin?
The Catholic Church and the Pope, who want to exalt "Mary", also teach that the Pope and the priests can forgive sin. Also in certain apostate protestant denominations and other movements - among others the Freemasons - one may go to the priest for confession, and after confessing ones sins, one is told: Your sins are forgiven.
When examining this practice the most important question will be: Shall we go to "Mary", the Pope or the
priests (fallen, mortal men), or to Jesus Christ to receive forgiveness for our sins? The Bible makes it clear that when sin
is committed, the involved parties shall make it right among themselves. It says: "Take heed to yourselves: If thy
brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive
him."12 A priest or a Pope has nothing directly to do with
such a case. When things are made right with the ones wronged, it is necessary to go to the Lord in prayer in order to get the
final forgiveness. Jesus tells us thus to pray to our heavenly Father: "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our
debtors".12 And John says it in this way: "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have
an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the
righteous."12 It is only through Jesus Christ that the sinner can obtain
forgiveness and gain access to the throne of God. Jesus alone is our Saviour, our Mediator and our Advocate. It is to Him that we
must go with our sins. When we acknowledge our sin, repent and turn to him in order to obtain forgiveness, he has given us
promise: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Spiritism - an important key in the attempt to gather the world
Let us go back to the so-called "Marian apparitions", or the spiritistic manifistations. Spiritism will surely be an important key in the attempt to gather all the religions of the world in the end of time. The Bible testifies to this when saying: "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan/spiritism) and out of the mouth of the beast (the Catholic Church), and out of the mouth of the false prophet (apostate protestantism). For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."13 Today we see how the way is being prepared for the fulfilment of this prophecy. The nations of the world are uniting their forces, both in the political, the economical, the military and the religious arenas. And today is spiritualism becoming an important key in Satan' strategy to accomplish this gathering _ especially in the religious line. The Bible tells us that all the corrupted powers of the world will unite themselves in the end of time. It says that they have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. It is clear that the Papacy will be the leading power in this conflict. Yes, the Bible says that all the world will wonder after the beast (the Papacy).13 The Bible futher says that it is these powers that will make war with the Lamb, and those following the Lamb.13 The powers of this world want to set themselves up as authorities to be obeyed above the Bible, but the Bible says: "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" And: "Thus saith the Lord; cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord."14
In view of what we have examined so far, it is clear that "Mary" will have an important role in the attempt being performed today to gather the various religions of the world under Rome's umbrella. The Pope has also presented his desire for unity: "The year 2000 will be celebrated as a Great Jubilee, in which the final desire is unity among all Christians, until they reach the goal of full community."15
How to obtain true unity?
True unity is not obtained through Catholisism, in a belief in the "Marian apparitions" or through ecumenical votes. True unity is obtained whan we say yes to Jesus Christ and his way of saving us from sin. Jesus Christ says: I pray "that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us..."16 When we say yes to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is allowed to enter into our heart, then the foundation of true unity is established. Then we will receive the power necessary to do the will of God, and our lives will be in harmony with the will of God. The character of God will be reflected in our lives, not because we are good in ourselves, but because the Holy Spirit imparts to us the strength and discernment necessary to take the right decisions both in the words and the actions of daily life.17
The Bible talks about a little remnant that will remain faithful to the end. They are those who "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."18 When we have admitted our sins and received the forgiveness and salvation of Jesus, then we know that we also may receive all the power necessary in order to remain faithful followers of Christ. Some will also receive grace to live all the way till Christ comes again.18 What a wonderful experience they will have together with Christ! I pray that we all will strive to stand steadfast on the side of Christ to the very end.
What can we do?
To you who still have not fully decided to follow Jesus, I will say: Find your Bible and read it. Ask the Lord to bless your study, and start, for instance, to read all the letters of John, the beloved disciple of Christ, and you will get to know Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World. "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."18
Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world is coming again soon! What a wonderful hope for a world suffering under the consequences of sin - what a wonderful hope for the future! My prayer is that you and I may be willing to get to know Jesus and become his friend NOW, so we can go with him to the heavenly home, when he comes soon to fetch his children. Hope to meet you there!
Best greetings from Bente & Abel Struksnes
1. "The Thunder of justice", by Ted and Maureen Flynn.
2. Is. 8:20; Mt. 7:15-20; 1John 4:1
3. Ecc. 9:5+6+10; Ps. 146:3-4; Ps. 115:17-18
4. 1Tess 4:16-18; 1Cor 15:52-58; Rev. 1:7; John 14:1-3
5. Deut. 18:10-12; 1Sam. 28:3-20
6. 2Tess. 2:9; 2Cor. 11:13-15; Mt. 24:23-27
7. Rev. 1:13+15; Acts 8:10; Rev. 14:9-11
8. Zec. 14:4-9; Rev. ch. 20&21
9. Ex. 20:4-6
10. The Bulletin with Newsweek, Sept. 2, 1997
11.1John 5:7; John 17:21-24; John 14:6; Rom. 6:23; Heb. ch. 8&9; John 3:17
12. Luk. 17:3-4; Mt. 6:12; 1John 2:1-6; 1John 1:9
13. Rev. 16:13-14; Rev. 13:3; Rev. 17:13-14
14. Is. 2:22; Jer. 17:5
15. "The Third Millenium", p. 26-31
16. John 17:20-23
17. John 15:4-5; 2Pet. 1:4; 1John 1:9
18. Rev. 14:12; 1Cor. 10:13; Phil. 4:13; John 17:3
19. "Doctrinal Catechism", p. 147 and "The Convert's Catechism of Catholic Doctrine" (1977 edition) p. 50; "Catholic Record", Sept. 1, 1923
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