Discourse 52 - Can the actions of Mary avert the prophecies of the Bibl for the end-time?




Can the actions of Mary be effective in averting the Bible's prophecies of the Last Days? / Comment J. Gruber 00, 2003-06-07

Praying to saints? / Book, Franz Stuhlhofer 00, pp 20 ff

Mary – The unknown aspects of the “Mother of God” / Book, Elvira Maria Slade 00, pp 334 ff

Whatever happened to Mary? / poem by Josef


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Can the actions of Mary be effective in averting the Bible's prophecies of the Last Days? / Comment JG00, 2003-06-07)

For weeks now, I have been repeatedly grappling with your attempts to explain biblical passages referring to possible scenarios of the Last Days. I must add that I am far from having at my fingertips the knowledge of Scripture that some authors have, but I must nonetheless beg to point out that to carry on a discussion of the Last Days only on the basis of the contents of the Bible, while leaving out of account the influence of Mary, the Mother of God, and of the Marian prayer movement – both of which have been an effective force for centuries – comes close to being a denial of reality.

The actions of Mary and the prayers of a great many believing Christians have had an effect in the past, and continue to do so, on the intensity and the number of the dire events foretold in prophecy, and many of these have even been completely averted. Of course the Last Days will come upon us, as has been promised, but the indications of this in the Bible should be seen as warnings, not on any account as an unalterable dogma. It is exclusively down to humanity to determine how difficult the path that leads to Paradise may yet prove to be.

Mary herself tells us that she does not have precise or definite information about the time of these events. That is a matter for God’s supreme authority. But this statement also implies the corollary that we are not yet living in the Last Days – still less have we already come through them. Mary also speaks of a long period involving a great many possible afflictions, which however may be alleviated, or even completely averted, if people will repent and convert.

Sincerely,
Johann Gruber

(Johann Gruber e-mail: scherzer.hans@aon.at )



First of all, a few points in the interest of clarification:

At Immanuel.at’s discussion forum the commentaries of contributors to the discussion are presented at the outset of the Discourse in a box frame. Some visitors to the site read these arguments, and hastily take them – without reading further – as an expression of my own opinions.

This is the only possible explanation of the fact that the author of the commentary quoted above charges me by implication with having asserted that we are today living in the Last Days, or “have already come through them”. These, however, are patently points of view to which my Swiss correspondent Markus Mosimann has given expression – coming from his own very personal, preterist position – views, furthermore, to which I have opposed page upon page of scripturally based argument, which the present commentator, as it unfortunately appears, has not read.

(See also Discourse 35: “The preterist approach: have the Last Days already occurred?“.)

But let us return to the commentary quoted above.

Even if Mr Gruber states that he is “far from having at [his] fingertips the knowledge of Scripture that some authors have”, his visiting Immanuel.at is a proof that he is interested in God, in faith and – at least to some extent – in the Bible. And that gives him every right to put the statements made on this website to the test and to challenge further discussion.

The commentary he formulates brings into view one of the most important questions that we first have to answer, before we come to grips with the issues of God and faith in God:

What is the foundation – the base – on which we are erecting the edifice of our faith?

The more stable and narrowly defined this base or groundwork, the more concrete and fundamental will be the faith that is built on it. But this necessarily entails, as a consequence, that large areas of possible theological contemplation will be excluded, and the confession of faith becomes significantly less tolerant as a result.

If on the other hand the foundation of faith is broader and more open-minded, the believer’s attitude will be more tolerant, but of course it is also then the case that the fundamental principles of belief will be much vaguer and more interchangeable with others. Let us be quite clear about this point: Christian faith that takes the Bible – and exclusively the Bible – as its foundation is more concrete, certainly, but it is also narrower and more intolerant than those forms of faith that come across as being open-minded and tolerant.

What, however, only comes into a view on a second glance is this: it is impossible for these Christian denominations – who do not make the Bible the sole ground of their faith – to shut the stable door again after the horse has been allowed to bolt. You cannot just postulate that the millennia-old tradition of the Catholic church, in its theological substance and in the meaning it has for the faith of humanity, should be put on the same level as the authority of the Bible, without refusing the same attribute to other traditions, which have likewise lasted for millennia.

So it comes about, too, that as a result of the Catholic church having made room for Mary, the “Mother of God” – a completely unbiblical personage – and having allowed worship to be paid to her, along with the worship given to the “saints”, so-called, we now find it is common practice among South American, and for that matter Asiatic peoples who have been converted to Catholicism for all those “gods” originating from animist, Hindu and other religions to be revered as “saints” of the Catholic church. Under the name of “Mary, Mother of God”, worship continues to be paid to the “goddess of fertility” or the “mother of the earth”. And the Catholic saints are reverenced as “benevolent spirits of the jungle” or spirits of some other description, who help people in their need and to whom sacrifice is made.

Franz Stuhlhofer has something to say about these issues, in his book “Praying to saints?”:


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Praying to saints? / Book, Franz Stuhlhofer 00, pp 20 ff+))

In the New Testament we see that the disciples had close and loving relationships with one another; and yet no attempt was made to establish contact with slain martyrs. We find much in the New Testament about prayer, but at no point do we find any indication that it might be permissible to address prayers to the dead.

On the grounds that these dead saints are now living in the presence of God, and so belong to the all-embracing “communion of saints”, the attempt has been made (in the Roman Catholic church - FH) to justify contact with them. But this communion of all the saints will only become a full-blown reality in heaven – it is not for us to try to anticipate this final state of things. Until this time comes, Christian believers may become sick on occasion (although Jesus overcame sickness), and may die (although Jesus has already overcome death). In principle, Jesus has already achieved victory; but this victory is only being realized gradually, step by step. Till then, death and the devil still retain something of their power, and till then we must accept the fact that even Christians will be separated from one another – at least for a time – by death.

It is not just that we are forbidden to initiate contact with the dead – the opposite is also true: the dead do not speak to the living. God sends angels sometimes, admittedly, to convey a message or bring help to human beings – but not dead saints.

We have to do here with a fundamental principle which we find throughout the Bible: the way by which we are meant to come in contact with the invisible world is direct prayer to God himself. (...)

In the confession of faith formulated by the Council of Trent (1564) (of the Roman Catholic church - FH) we find the following summing up:

“... that the saints who reign with Christ should be reverenced and invoked in prayer, that they present our prayers to God, that their relics should be reverenced. I firmly declare that images of Christ, of the ever-virgin (ever-virgin – even after the birth of Jesus!! - FH) Mother of God and of the other saints should be maintained and kept in use, that the appropriate devotion and reverence should be given to them.”

+) This extract has been taken from the book “Zu Heiligen beten?” [“Praying to Saints?”], by Franz Stuhlhofer, published 1988 by Verlag Schulte + Gerth [Schulte + Gerth Publishing House], Asslar, ISBN 3-87739-667-4.



For the teachings of the Catholic church that Mr Stuhlhofer quotes in the above passage there is no biblical authority whatsoever! The Catholic church consequently refers, in this connection, not to the Bible, but to the “Roman Catholic teaching authority” and the dogmas that have been developed under its aegis. And because these dogmas contain doctrines that are not to be found anywhere in the Bible (for instance, the Immaculate Conception of Mary (1854) – i.e. that Anna, the mother of Mary, conceived her without any stain of sin and without loss of virginity, and through the operation of the Holy Spirit, just as Mary conceived the Lord – Mary as the “Mother of God” (1931), the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven (1950), etc.) and so, over the centuries, were repeatedly condemned as a distortion by Christians whose faith was in the Bible, this teaching authority, in the person of its supreme head, declared itself to be infallible (the dogma of Papal Infallibility, 1870). Since then any criticism of these doctrines has been struck down as heresy, and the critics – if Catholics – excommunicated.

So it is a fact that the Catholic church bases its teaching not on the Bible alone. In addition, through the Roman Catholic teaching authority (tradition) and its dogmas, supported by the self-invented “infallibility” of the Pope, it teaches two different and independent sources for the recognition of the knowledge and the will of God.

Here we can see plainly that one who gives up the maxim of our fathers in faith, sola scriptura (the foundation of the Bible – and of the Bible exclusively), has no possibility – and also has no right! – to insist on the exclusiveness of his own, human “tradition”, however old it may be. For there are also unhallowed traditions which are even older than that of the Catholic church – and to exclude these from the spectrum of open-mindedness would reduce the entire broad, tolerant and open-minded edifice of faith to an absurdity, indeed lead to its collapse.

Anyone, then, who calls for tolerance and an open-minded attitude to “millennia-old traditions”, and who advocates doctrines other than those that are to be found in the Bible, is leaving the bedrock of Christianity, is entering the sphere of spiritist and demonic religions and so must also reckon with the fact that “the prayers of a great many (sic) believing Christians” may also be answered from that quarter.

Just à propos this topic, a 350-page book by Elvira Maria Slade has quite recently come out, in which she, as a former practicing Catholic, compares a large number of the attested appearances of Mary (of which there have been more than 900) with the Bible, with a view to demonstrating the genuineness of the Marian phenomenon. The author sees her book as being a “polemic in behalf of the true mother of the Lord”. In it she analyzes the presentation and content of these appearances, and comes – quite contrary to her original convictions – to the following conclusion:



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Mary – The unknown aspects of the “Mother of God” / Book Elvira Maria Slade 00 pp 334 ff +))

After examining the Marian apparitions under consideration, we are forced to the following conclusions. Seeing that the progress of these manifestations is systematically planned, embraces the whole world and is patently purposive, we must see these non-biblical messages as a deliberate attempt on the part of intelligences opposed to God to lead us astray. These are known to us from Holy Scripture as the “rulers, powers and world forces” of hell, and their aim is, wherever possible, to deceive even the elect. In the Catholic church this goal has already been achieved, through the upholding of the reverence paid to Mary and the saints and the associated heathenish cults. Ecumenical endeavors are designed only to impel the evangelical churches, in their turn, to a complete apostasy from Jesus Christ, seeing that the attractive and emotionally appealing cult of Mary, and these miraculous appearances with their messages relating to the Last Days, also find an audience among many Protestant and Evangelical Christians. Even Moslems will not have all that much difficulty with the veneration of Mary, while Hindus, Buddhists and adherents of the religions of Nature will find in Mary an avatar of their goddesses. The Marian apparitions thus are pre-programmed to bring about a new world religion. (...)

Now that these events have been running for almost two thousand years, we can look to an imminent ending of the Marian scenario. For the goal – namely, Mary’s being put on an equal footing with Jesus in the Roman Catholic church – has been achieved, and ecumenical endeavors (in which the reverence paid to Mary will likewise play an important part) are proceeding apace. Here we find the official churches entirely accommodating to the cult of Mary, in the interests of harmony, while to a great extent the Word of God is completely left out of account: any statements to the effect that the Marian cult is a harmless sideline meet with automatic knee-jerk acceptance.

We started from a number of questions. These can now be definitively answered as follows:

o  With reference to the Marian apparitions, the message of the church is in no way based on Holy Scripture – rather, it avails itself of these new so-called truths which proclaim the message of the Marian apparitions, in contradiction of the clear statements made by Holy Scripture, as a basis for the infiltration of the Christian faith through the adulteration of the truth of the Bible.

o  The Catholic Mary is thus not to be identified with the mother of Jesus our Redeemer as she is described in Holy Scripture. She is just an entity playing the part of Mary, one who gives herself the appearance of a prophetess and takes to herself the name and identity of the mother of Jesus, and her name in the Bible is Jezebel (Isabel). The origin of the Marian manifestations in the kingdom of darkness has thus been brought to light.

o  Their aim – the seduction, if it were possible, even of the elect – has here been revealed, as a warning to those who make out that the cult of Mary is harmless, and who for this reason could easily themselves fall a victim to it, seeing that ecumenical endeavors seek to draw a veil over the non-biblical foundation of such beliefs.


+) This extract has been taken from the book “Maria - Die unbekannten Seiten der Mutter Gottes” [“Mary – the Unknown Aspects of the Mother of God”] by Elvira Maria Slade, published in 2003 by the Verlag für Reformatorische Erneuerung [Reformation Renewal Publications], Wuppertal, ISBN 3-87857-315-4.



We find clear statements in the Bible to the effect that there is no mediator between man and God other than the Son of God, Our Lord Jesus Christ himself. A well-known example is Jn 14,6, which we quote here:

For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

1Tim 2,5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1Tim 2,5;

No one comes to the Father but through Me.

Jn 14,6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." Jn 14, 6;


But the Marian apparitions of the Catholic church (e.g. in Rome, 1977), present Catholics with the following invitation:

“You must use me as the holy and unique means of coming to God and bringing souls to me.” [1]



Where these souls finally end up is plain enough.

The appearances of Mary in Medjugorje also proclaim, in a series of public communications from 1981 into the 90s, the familiar message:

I am the mediator between you and God.” [2]


So although – as testified by the Son of God, and as the entire New Testament witnesses – human beings can come to God only through Jesus Christ, the Mary of the Roman Catholic church claims, in these appearances, that she is the only mediator between humanity and God. This, then, is patently a lie. It follows, in the light of Paul’s and Jesus Christ’s words in the passage quoted above (1Tim 2,5: “For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” and Jn 14,6: “I am (...) the truth”), this Mary cannot possibly have been sent by him. And the Spirit of God likewise, of whom we are told in Jn 16,13:

The Spirit of truth

Jn 16,13 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. Jn 16,13;


cannot possibly propagate a lie. But if these spiritual beings which claim to be Mary do not have the indwelling Spirit of God, it follows that they cannot come from God either.

So these Marian apparitions of the Catholic church are clearly proved to be manifestations of the demonic realm, and should be rejected with the utmost rigor.

Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk!

Jer 10,2 Thus says the LORD, "Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them; ao,3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. 10,4 "They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter. 10,5 "Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good." Jer 10, 2-5;



(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

MARY


Whatever happened to Mary?
How was she put into this scenario?
Who profaned her in such a way
that she ended up a goddess?
---ooo---
She who was once a simple girl
wholly dedicated to serving her Creator
is now entitled the “Queen of Heaven”
and "our help and comfort".
---ooo---
Today she is called the "Great Mother"
like the goddess of fertility in the old days.
The maid of the Lord from Nazareth
is venerated today as Ashtoreth. [3]
---ooo---
"Immaculata" [4]she is called as well,
she who was just a sinful human,
found her way through doubt to faith,
struggled with sin and overcame it.
---ooo---
The mother of Jesus is now presented
as the “mediatrix of all grace”,
she who said, in flesh and blood,
"Whatever he says to you, do it".
---ooo---
If you want to believe as Mary did,
just leave your rosary alone,
throw out all you medals
and don’t go on any pilgrimages!
---ooo---
For One alone is the mediator,
our Redeemer Jesus Christ.
Through him you can come to the Father,
and take your stand at Mary’s side.
---ooo---
With her and all God’s people
there you will increase the praise of God
and serve for all eternity
the God who has freed you.


Author: Josef


This poem is taken from the website “Christen folgen Jesus” [“Christians follow Jesus”] by the kind consent of the author.
http://christen-folgen-jesus.at/deutsch/g_maria.html








[1]"Erscheinungen und Botschaften der Gottesmutter Maria - Vollständige Dokumentation durch zwei Jahrtausende"[“Apparitions and Messages of Mary the Mother of God – Complete Documentation over Two Millennia”], by G. Hierzenberger and O. Nedomansky. Aschaffenburg: Pattloch/1993 – page 469.
[2]ibd  page 484


[3]Astoreth = Canaanite goddess of fertility
[4]Immaculata = conceived without sin (by her mother Anna!).