Tag Archive: contending for the faith


TO READ ‘PART 1’ FIRST, CLICK HERE FOR ‘PART 2’ CLICK HERE

Capture Pic - Lead me in Thy truth and teach me Psalm 25 5I found and quick captured the beautiful picture above on KingJamesBible.org page on Facebook.

Joy, peace, confusion, fear, and anger.  These were the emotions I deeply experienced and quickly moved through as I discovered the true gospel while reading the Catholic New Testament Bible that I received from my ‘husband’ in 1980.  Because, as time went on, the truth of God’s Word began to peel back the layers of man-made traditions and expose the false doctrines that cloaked the glorious reality of who Jesus truly is and what He actually accomplished through His sinless life, His atoning death, and His miraculous resurrection from the dead. 

Even though the truth that I found in God’s Word began to fill me with a deep sense of joy, seeing the truth also made me realize that I had been lied to and deceived by the teachings of Catholicism. It took some time to deal with the anger, but by the grace of God, around a year or so later, after spending a lot of time reading God’s Word on a daily basis, I finally came to the point of having a faith that was firmly established on Jesus Christ as my solid foundation; the day finally came when I was no longer ‘tossed to and fro by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful men.’  (Ephesians 4:13,14)  God used that time in my life to make me realize the importance of searching the Scriptures and studying them and testing the words of men (and women who claim to speak for God), against the truth of God’s Word (Acts 17:11) so that I would never be deceived again!  Little did I know at that point in time, that in the years to come, I would be leaving other churches, as well.  Not only because of unbiblical teachings, but also because of a pastor who would make wrong relationship choices which would cause him to drift slowly, yet steadily, away from the strong stand he once had for Biblical truth.

REFLECTING BACK TO THE VERY BEGINNING

As I started writing this final part of my testimony, I reflected back to the time when God began to open my eyes to the false teachings of the Catholic church and I realized just how long it actually took for me to finally leave!  It only took an instant for God to reveal the true gospel to me through His Word, but it took much longer for me to break free from the bondage and the fear that Catholicism produces in its people which holds them tightly in their grip —until Jesus sets them free once and for all! After many years of Catholic Doctrine classes, twelve years of attending Catholic schools, and participating in hundreds of masses not only on Sundays, but also every Monday through Friday for three years while I attended a particular grammar school, as well as attending many more masses through the years that followed, it was hard for me to simply let go of all I believed to be completely true for so long, because in the back of my mind, that main, nagging, fearful thought was still haunting me:

“What if you’re wrong and you spend eternity in hell for leaving the one true church?”

 However, as I mentioned to you in Part 2, all of that changed one day after I read 1 John 5:11-13:

“This, then, is the witness: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has this life; whoever does not have the Son does not have life. I write you this so that you may know that you have eternal life–you that believe in the name of the Son of God.”

While reading that passage of Scripture, “God gave me complete assurance of my salvation and removed the final traces of fear and doubt” once and for all!

WHAT I DISCOVERED AS I BEGAN TO READ

THE CATHOLIC NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE

As I began to read God’s Word, God began to open my eyes so that I could not only see the richness and the beauty of the truth that was in His Word, but also He made me realize that much of what I learned as a Catholic was either nowhere to be found in Scripture, or the teachings of the Catholic church did not line up with what God’s Word was saying.  That’s when the confusion began to set in, which was actually the beginning of the light of His truth shining into my spiritual darkness and exposing the traditions of men and some of the false teachings of the Catholic church.

TEACHINGS OF CATHOLICISM NOT FOUND IN SCRIPTURE

When I first began to read my Catholic New Testament Bible, I remember that I kept searching all four gospels because I  couldn’t find many of the things that I was taught.  Teachings such as:

‘The Stations of the Cross’

  • CATHOLICISM TEACHES: Jesus fell three times on the way to the cross

  • CATHOLICISM TEACHES: A woman named Veronica wiped the face of Jesus when He fell, and the imprint of His face was left on the cloth

  • CATHOLICISM TEACHES: Jesus meets His mother Mary on the way to the cross

Around 8 years ago while watching *Mark Woodman’s YouTube video, ‘Poison in the Passion of the Christ,‘ *(He died a few years ago, and I recently found out that he was part of the Seventh Day Adventist cult, so I do not endorse him at all, but I found the information in his video very revealing) I learned that the actual inspiration behind some of ‘The Stations of the Cross’ as well as Mel Gibson’s ‘PASSION OF THE CHRIST‘ movie, was partially based on ‘visions’  that a woman mystic named Anne Catherine Emerich supposedly had, which explains why I was not able to find those things in the Bible!

 

Note in the quick capture below, that ‘indulgences (a shortening of the amount of time that a person would have to spend after death in the ‘purging’ fires of a place the Roman Catholic church calls ‘purgatory’ “in order to undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.” CCC 1030) will be granted to a person who chooses to pray at each of the Stations of the Cross.’  This would mean that a person’s time in ‘purgatory’ would be shortened if they would walk up to each station, (which is a sculpted picture or painting representing some of what Jesus endured the day He died), and take time to reflect on each part of Christ’s journey to the cross, saying certain prayers at each station, as well.  This practice may sound good, and it may seem very meaningful to reflect on what Jesus endured on our behalf, but when one realizes that portions of what is said to have happened during Christ’s journey to the cross is based on false visions of a mystic and proves to be unbiblical, as well as the fact that images are also unbiblical according to God’s Word (Exodus 20:4-6, Deut.4:23-25, ), it then becomes very clear that this is not honoring to God in any way!

Note also in the final sentences in the quick capture below, that “…in the year 1520, Pope Leo X granted an indulgence of 100 days to anyone who would do each of a set of sculptured stations representing the “Seven Dolours (Sorrows) of Our Lady.” Not only are indulgences unbiblical, because they clearly imply Jesus’ death was not sufficient to pay the debt for our sins in full, but also once again you can see how the teachings of Catholicism turns the attention of their people to Mary when our focus should be on Jesus Christ alone.

Capture Stations of the Cross newadvent.orgSOURCE <— Continue reading here

Here is a list of the Seven Dolours of Our Lady:

  1. The Prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34-35) or the Circumcision of Christ

  2. The Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13)

  3. The loss of the child Jesus in the Temple (Luke 2:43-45)

  4. Mary meets Jesus on the way to Calvary (No reference because you cannot find this in Scripture.)

  5. Jesus dies on the cross (John 19:25)

  6. The piercing of the side of Jesus, and Mary receiving the body of Jesus in her arms. *(See note and  information below)

  7. The body of Jesus is placed in the tomb. (John 19:40-42)

*(Information concerning point 6 from the list above). Though Catholic sources cite Matthew 27:57-59, as to where this event can be found in Scripture, you can see by reading that Scripture below that this is just not so:

“When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea arrived; his name was Joseph, and he also was a disciple of Jesus. He went into the presence of Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate gave orders for the body to be given to Joseph. So Joseph took it, wrapped it in a new linen sheet,…”

Upon doing research on this, on Sunday, 11/16/14, I found the following disturbing information to reveal where this idea of ‘Mary receiving the dead body of Jesus‘ actually came from! Here is a small portion of that information that you can also read in greater detail further below, and you can also read the entire article by clicking on the word SOURCE under the information I quick captured below.

“Mary [the Virgin Mary] revealed to St. Bridget of Sweden some extraordinarily painful details in one of many private revelations which have been approved by the church as having nothing in them contrary to faith and morals. She told her that”A man [a soldier, commonly known to us today as Longinus] came up and drove a spear so forcefully into His [Jesus’] side, that it almost came out of the other side. And as soon as he drew it out, its point was all red with blood. The Heart of my beloved Son was so violently and mercilessly pierced that the spear split His heart in two. When I saw that my Son’s Heart had been stabbed through, I felt that my own heart was likewise pierced, and it was a wonder that it did not break.”

“St. Bridget herself related a corroborating vision she had about our Blessed Mother’s reaction to this incident.According to this 14th century mystic, one of the Patron Saints of Europe, Mary “trembled so violently, and with bitter groans, that her countenance and manner showed that her soul was then pierced with a keen sword of grief.”

“Although there are no specific scriptural references to our Blessed Mother’s having received our Lord’s body, tradition has it that she did indeed hold Him in her arms one last time before He was laid in the tomb.”

“Let Mary describe the scene further, again, in her revelation to St. Bridget:

While the others left the scene, I did not want to go away. Later my Son was taken down from the cross… . We carried Him to a stone which I had covered with clean linens. All my Son’s limbs had become stiff and cold in death, and the blood which had flowed over them during His Passion adhered to them. But I was indeed consoled that I could touch His body and take Him onto my lap, examine His wounds and dry up the blood…. Then they laid Him out on some clean linen, and with my cloth I washed His wounds and His limbs. And with my fingers I closed His eyes and His mouth, which were open when He died.”

 

Capture The Sixth Sorrow - Mary Receives the dead body of Jesus in her arms picture

 

Capture The Sixth Sorrow - Mary receives the dead body of Jesus 2

Capture The Sixth Sorrow - 'St. Bridget's 'vision'SOURCE  <– CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING

These are the closing words of the article above:

“Consider these words from St. Alphonsus Liguori as he quotes another religious figure: “If you desire, O children of Mary, to find a place in the heart of Jesus, without fear of being rejected…go with Mary; for she will obtain the grace for you.” (Emphasis in red is mine).

Can you see what is going on here? Can you see how all of these revelations/teachings are placing the emphasis on the sufferings of Mary? Now I’m certain that Mary did indeed suffer anguish as she watched Jesus, her Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit, yet her Son whom she carried in her womb, and held, and cuddled, and watched Him grow and do amazing things (since He was God in the flesh), dying on the cross right before her very eyes! As accurately mentioned in the above article, Scripture does say in Luke 2:35 that “sorrow, like a sharp sword will break your (her/Mary’s) heart.” All of us can imagine how we would feel if we had to watch our son endure such horrors like Jesus endured! However, something much more is taking place here; something sinister, sneaky, and deceptive. First of all, unbiblical information is being mixed with Scripture, given approval by the Catholic church, and therefore it places this information on the same level as Scripture, since according to Para 82 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church it states that:

“Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence.” (Emphasis in red is mine).

Whether intentionally or not, placing the emphasis on the sufferings of Mary that are revealed through these unbiblical revelations, seems to indicate Catholicism’s plan — a plan that has been in progress for many years now — working towards proclaiming Mary as Co-redemptrix supposedly at her request!

Below is an excerpt from the following video concerning a church approved apparition which was approved on May 31, 2002 by the local bishop. This apparition, who claimed to be the Virgin Mary and proclaimed as Our Lady of All Nations, said on May 31, 1954, to:

“…work and ask for the dogma; you  must  petition the Holy Father for this dogma.”

“First of all, she is the Co-redemptrix…”  “The doctrine means that Mary participated with Jesus and under Jesus in a way unparallelled; in a unique fashion in all of human history that, as a woman was part of the process of the fall of the human race — the role of Eve with Adam — so God willed that a woman would be part of the process of the restoration of grace with Jesus, the new Adam. This is Mary the Co-redemptrix. So when the church calls Mary Co-redemptrix  as blessed John Paul II did, for example in 6 occasions, it means specifically that Mary uniquely collaborated, participated, cooperated with and under Jesus for the redemption of the world.” (Emphasis in red is mine).

 

 

If you have never seen the following disturbing, yet very informative video before, when time allows please watch and listen to these supposed  messages given by these apparitions who all claim to be the Virgin Mary. Please be sure to test the messages in light of Scripture.

Here is just one of many messages you will hear these apparitions say:

Message to St. Bridget of Sweden:

“I boldly assert that His sufferings became my suffering because His heart was mine. And just as Adam and Eve sold the world for an apple, so in a certain sense my Son and I redeemed the world with one heart.”

 

MORE TEACHINGS OF CATHOLICISM NOT FOUND IN SCRIPTURE

  • CATHOLICISM TEACHES: Mary, the mother of Jesus, was sinless

  • CATHOLICISM TEACHES: Mary did not die but was assumed into heaven, body and soul.

  • CATHOLICISM TEACHES: We go to a place called ‘purgatory’ after we die to burn in a purifying fire for an unknown amount of time before we are allowed to enter heaven (based on 2 Maccabees 12:38-46, a non-canonical book  rejected by Protestants and Jews, and Matthew 5:26 which is a distortion of Scripture).

  • CATHOLICISM TEACHES: Mary remained a virgin

  • CATHOLICISM TEACHES: Mary participated in the redemption of mankind

SOME TEACHINGS OF CATHOLICISM I FOUND TO BE FALSE

  • The Ten Commandments listed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church are different than those listed in the Bible:

Capture Catholicism - Catholicism's ten commandments compared to God's Word

  • Priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes are told they are not to marry, and yet Peter, said to be the first Pope, was  married.  “Jesus went to Peter’s home, and there he saw Peter’s mother-in-law sick in bed with a fever.”  (Read Matthew 8:14)

  • Mary remained a virgin after Jesus was born and therefore had no other children, and yet I read many verses that said Jesus had brothers and sisters!  Matthew 12:46-50  (Also in Mark 3:31-35 and Luke 8:19-21) (Also read Matthew 13:53-57, John 7:1-10, Acts 1:14, Galatians 1:19)

  • The Sacrifice of the Mass (Catholicism claims that Jesus instituted the Sacrifice of the Mass at the last supper, and yet I read many verses that said Jesus died once for all, and it’s never to be repeated again. Read Romans 6:10, Hebrews 9:26-28, Hebrews 10:10,18,26 1 Peter 3:18,

  • Jesus is referred to as a ‘victim’ in the Mass, and yet I read verses that said Jesus died willingly. Read John 10:17,18, Matthew 20:28, 1 Timothy 2:5,6,

  • Catholicism teaches that the Mass is a bloodless sacrifice, and yet they say the mass  atones for sin (Read Hebrews 9:22)

  • Catholicism teaches the doctrine of ‘transubstantiation’ in which they say that the bread and wine actually becomes the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus and yet when I read John 6:53-63, I could clearly see Jesus was not speaking in a literal sense, and how Jesus reveals this to His disciples in John 6:60-64: “Many of his disciples heard this and said, “This teaching is too hard. Who can listen to this?” Without being told, Jesus knew that his disciples were grumbling about this; so he said to them, “Does this make you want to give up?” Suppose, then, that you should see the Son of Man go back up to the place where he was before?” What gives life is God’s Spirit; man’s power is of no use at all. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life. Yet some of you do not believe.” (SHLT)  John 6:32-35 says, “I tell you the truth, Jesus said, “What Moses gave you was not the bread from heaven; it is my Father who gives you the real bread from heaven. For the bread that God gives is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they asked him, “give us this bread always.” “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. He who comes to me will never be hungry; he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (SHLT)

  • Catholics are told to call every priest ‘Father,’ and yet Matthew 23:9 says the following concerning addressing those in a spiritual leadership position,  “They love the best places at feasts and the reserved seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the market places and have people call them ‘Teacher.’  You must not be called ‘Teacher,’ because you are all brothers of one another and have only one Teacher.  And you must not call anyone here on earth ‘Father,’ because you have only the one Father in heaven.”  (Read Matthew 23:1-12)

  • After Catholics confess their sins to the priest, they are told to do “penance,” for their sins, which means they have to say specific prayers a certain number of times as determined by the priest when he ‘absolves Catholics from their sins with the power priests claim they have been given by Jesus Christ.’  However, when I first began to read the Catholic New Testament given to me by my ‘husband,’ I never found the word ‘penance.’ Instead I found the proper and accurate word ‘repent,’ which means ‘to change your mind;’agree with God that you have sinned and turn from your sin and turn to God.’  In my family’s Douay Rheims Catholic Bible, however, the word penance is used instead of repent. If you click HERE you can read a list of all the verses where penance is used in place of repent.

Please be sure to watch the videos I posted because they are filled with a lot of good information that goes into detail concerning some of the things I mentioned in this post. When time allows, please consider clicking on the links to many of the good articles that I posted below, as well.

A NEW BEGINNING

It was March of 1980 right before Easter/Resurrection Sunday.  I was still attending the Catholic church on Saturday evenings and would then attend the Assembly of God church with my friend on Sunday mornings.  When I made a commitment to Jesus Christ and to believe God’s Word, the Bible, over man’s word, Catholicism, I decided to be baptized again to show I was following Jesus of my own free will and leaving the old Mary with all of her sins nailed to the cross and buried in the waters of baptism, and that I was emerging out of the waters as a new creation in Christ.  (Colossians 2:8-15, 1 Peter 3:21,22, 2 Corinthians 5:17)  None of my family came to see me, but my church family was there praising God for revealing the gospel to me and giving me eyes to see the truth and setting me free. 

At that point in time my daughter was in Kindergarten in the public school just two blocks from our home.  Just a few months before I had placed my complete trust in Jesus and came to realize and believe that He paid the debt for my sins in full and chose from that point on to believe God’s Word over the teachings of Catholicism, I had already made the decision to enroll my daughter in the Catholic school near our home for the following year because I wanted her to learn about God.  She did attend Catholic school the next year as I continued my research into the teachings of Catholicism and compared everything against God’s Word, the Bible.  Throughout that year I made the most of the time while she was there by giving her teacher (who was a nun) a New Testament Bible (that had the plan of salvation and a list of questions in the front of it) as a Christmas gift, and I shared the gospel with her, as well as with some mothers of my daughter’s friends that I met that year.  However, when I finally came to the point of clearly realizing that many teachings of Catholicism were false, and knowing the following year that my daughter would begin having Catholic Catechism classes to prepare her to receive her ‘First Holy Communion,‘ I decided to pull her out of the Catholic school at the end of the school year to protect her from being indoctrinated, confused, and deceived, and I enrolled her back into the public school down the street for Second Grade. 

I realized that my decision not to allow my daughter to make her ‘Communion’ would probably cause my mom to be very disappointed and even angry with me, but I didn’t realize just how angry she would actually become!  As gently, and as carefully as I tried to choose my words as I shared the truth with her, after our conversation ended, my mom sadly came to the conclusion that I was in a cult.  Therefore, she no longer allowed my younger sister to babysit for my children after our conversation.  She rejected my explanation that I shared with her about why I left the Catholic church and said these words to me that many former Catholics  have heard from their loved ones… “Once a Catholic, always a Catholic!” 

I understood why she was angry, but her words and rejection still hurt me deeply.  Probably as deeply as it hurt her to hear me share with her that I had left the Catholic church.  But I knew I had to take a stand for the truth of God’s Word –no matter what the cost —*as you will soon see a little later in this post.

LEARNING TO WALK BY THE SPIRIT AND NOT REACTING IN THE FLESH

The more I learned about what the Catholic church actually teaches as I continued to do research, the angrier I became because of all the lies and deception within this religion that I was a part of for so many years and believed to be true for so long with all of my heart!  That anger began to gush out of me one day during a conversation I was having with my neighbor, who was also a Catholic, and who was the mother of one of my daughter’s friends.  She had asked me ‘why I took my daughter out of Catholic school and enrolled her back into the public school again.’  I wanted to ‘make the most of that opportunity,’ so I calmly began to tell her about what I was learning while reading the little Catholic New Testament Bible that my ‘husband,’ gave me and how I didn’t want my daughter to learn about some of the false teachings of the Catholic church, such as ‘purgatory.’  She replied simply by saying,  “Oh purgatory.  They don’t teach that any more.”  I didn’t direct my anger at her, but I was utterly shocked at what she said and how she had said it in just a matter-of-fact way as if it didn’t bother her in the least bit! I replied to her filled with a righteous anger thinking of the many Catholics who have been deceived by this teaching by saying,  “They don’t teach that any more?!!  Then what about all the Catholics who pay for masses to be said to get their loved ones out of purgatory??”  I forgot what she said in reply because it happened so many years ago, and I don’t have the time to search through all my journals to try and find that actual day and what I wrote concerning all that was said that day, but I do remember that it didn’t turn into an argument

Because of another certain incident that happened shortly after becoming a Christian, God strongly convicted me of the attitude I was beginning to have concerning Catholicism.  It happened  during a women’s Bible study when I expressed my anger concerning the false teachings of the Catholic church in a sarcastic way not knowing that one of the new women who was attending our women’s Bible study that day was a Catholic.  She never came back, and I found out it was because of what I had said.  I can’t remember what it was that I actually said, but I do remember that I felt horrible when I found out the reason she didn’t return was because of what I had said that day!!  From that point on, instead of having anger, I  began to develop a deeper compassion for Catholics, and to this day I am very conscious of what I say when I am with a group of people that I don’t know; I use my words very carefully so as not to offend any Catholic, or anyone who may hear me speak out of a righteous anger concerning Catholicism, or whatever the subject may be.

A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST —

GOD’S STRENGTH BEING MADE PERFECT IN MY WEAKNESS

My ‘husband’ saw me change from being a very fearful and depressed young woman before I became a Christian (mainly because of his behavior, and because of how he was treating me since the day we were married), to a young woman who was now filled with God’s peace and joy and who also had His strength and courage to now face many of my fears and to stand up to him; God not only gave me eyes to see through his manipulative schemes, but He also gave me courage to confront him, when necessary, in a  firm, but loving manner. 

My ‘husband’ also saw me change from a young woman, who, just a few years earlier, wanted to find a Catholic church to attend by our newly purchased home that had statues, (one other Catholic church we attended near our new home didn’t have any statues) to just a few years later now leaving the Catholic church because they had statues, and for many even more serious reasons, as well. 

I am sure my ‘husband’ must have experienced some confusion from the obvious changes he saw in me, but there was no good reason whatsoever that he could use to justify what he continued to do throughout our marriage –before and after I became a Christian.  Now, with a deep desire to glorify God and to honor my ‘husband,’ and because God had healed me emotionally and renewed my mind, with joy in my heart I began to clean our home, room by room –including the closets and laundry room!  And because my worth as a person was now based on God’s love for me and not based on receiving the love and acceptance of my ‘husband,’ I began to take care of my appearance as I once did, but I began to dress in a way that honored God instead of continuing to dress in a way that I thought would gain the attention and affection of my ‘husband.’ 

In spite of all the significant changes I made in our home and in my appearance,  he made it very clear to me one day by what he said that he liked the new and more courageous and no longer fearful Mary even less than the Mary I once was.  He pointed out some of the facts: The new Mary no longer drank at parties and social occasions like weddings.  The new Mary shared the gospel with all of his friends whenever an opportunity presented itself.   He began to distance himself even further from me, even to the point of suggesting one day that I sleep in my son’s room because my son would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and crawl in bed with us when he was around three years old.  I refused to take him up on his suggestion and from that point on I felt an even deeper level of his rejection.

Now that the new Mary no longer withdrew into a state of depression and hopelessness because of his behavior, but chose to express her feelings and concerns to him within a day or so after first expressing her hurt and anger to God and praying for words of wisdom in order to express her/my thoughts to him in a God-honoring way, she/I was prepared to handle what would soon take place just four years after I became a Christian in that glorious Spring of 1980; God showed me through circumstances and through Scriptures, that my ‘husband’ was going to leave me, and that day finally came on October 5th 1984.  Here is some of what I wrote in my journal on that devastating and heart-wrenching day which climaxed on October 6th.  I will refer to my ‘husband’ as Horace, which is not his real name, and my children as Penny and Peter, also not their real names:

JOURNAL ENTRY– OCTOBER 5, 1984

“I began to feel very sad and hurt and came out in the front room and sat on the couch and Horace went up in our bedroom and then came down again and finally came out to me and I knew that we were about to have another talk.  Horace began by asking me what I was thinking.  I swallowed to gain some strength and said through tears,  “I wish this was just a dream.  I am trying to be strong, but I am also human, and I hurt!  Horace said something like,  “I just have to go away for a while to get myself together, and I think deep down you know that’s what I need.”  Horace sat down to my left on the couch and said,  “I would like to see the kids as much as possible.”  I began to cry at this because it hurts so much to think he just wants to see them and not me and Horace asked why I was crying and I told him,  “I wish that you wanted to see me as much, too.”  Horace said,  “I love you.  I just wish you were the same one that I fell in love with.”  When he said that, two tears fell from his left eye, and the battle began. 

Satan tried to blame this all on me because of me being a Christian.  Horace went on and on saying,  “They got a hold of your mind and they have you trained to think the way they want you to think.”  As he said this, and other things to come, I silently cried and shook my head  (no) as the tears dropped from the outer corner of my left eye and fell upon my vest and pillow on the couch.  The verse,  “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of Me…” went through my mind as I also prayed in the Spirit to fight what was coming against me.  “God, please make him understand,”  I said within me.  I refused to receive any of this.

Horace went on and on about how ‘all of his friends don’t even know me anymore,’ and how I ‘used to be so much fun,’ and how ‘even my family doesn’t know me.’  To all of this I answered when he began how I don’t even want to come around his friends any more’… “Hon, how many times did I ask to go to your baseball games…I kept asking you,  ‘Do you have one game today, or two?’  You always said,  I’m not sure,’  or ‘I have late games.’  Every time!  Whether it’s true or not, I felt you didn’t want me to be at your games.”  When he said, “You’re not fun any more,’ and “You’ve changed,” I said,  “Yes, I’ve changed.  But that wasn’t really me, either.  I was scared of people, and I had to drink to relax, and now I don’t need to drink.  God has given me the peace that I need.  And my family has accepted me.”  Horace said,  “No they haven’t…they’ve learned to just live with it.”  I said,  “No, my sister even calls me to pray with her because she’s been having a hard time with her husband.” 

Then at one point, Horace said,  “When you would be with my friends, all you ever did was just sit there and preach to them, and give them tracts and act as if you were their judge!”  To that I said,  “Maybe I was too strong in the beginning, but God knew my heart.  I just wanted to share the truth with them no matter what they thought of me because it says in the Bible, ‘if you don’t warn them, their blood is on your hands,’ and I’d rather them think I was weird, than to stand before God and be responsible for their souls.  (God had shown me Ezekiel 33:7 at least two times this week…when I’d open the Bible it fell on that Scripture and I wondered what God was trying to tell me.  Now I know He wanted me to share that with Horace.  Then Horace said,  “Is it so much to ask to pick up a glass and have a toast?”  (He said that because we went to a wedding once and I didn’t drink the toast with his friends).  I said,  “I am not going to go along with everyone else and do something that I don’t want to do, no matter what they think of me.” 

Another thing that Horace said was, “You say one thing, and then you do another.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “You say,  ‘this guy has the truth,’ and then you listen to all these other guys who say the opposite.”  I said,  “Hon, I told you that when guys started saying ‘the world is going to end on this day or that day,’ I don’t listen to them…”  Horace cut me off before I finished the sentence and said,  “Nobody  knows.”  I said,  “Right.  Only God.  But it could be soon by all the things that have been happening, but it may be in twenty years, or so.” Then Horace said,  “I think it’s *Gertrude and George *(not real names of my friends he mentioned) that started you into religion.”  No, I didn’t even listen to them…besides they were into Hari Krishna.  I told you, hon, in the letter I wrote you that it all started when I began to read the little Catholic Bible you brought home to me…nobody preached to me.  I just began to read and see how the Bible differed with what I was taught and I heard a voice in my mind say,  “Whose word are you going to believe…the Word of God, or the word of man?”  And that’s when I chose to believe what was only in the Bible.”  Horace said,  “Well, everyone has their own interpretation of it.”  I replied by saying,  “And that’s why it’s so important to read the Bible because God will show you the meaning.” 

Horace asked,  “How did you start going to this church?”  I told him how our babysitter invited my friend, Matilda (not her real name) to come and see this piano player and that was also the guy who talked about rock music, and I was so excited to see all these young men and women crying and coming up to the altar when he asked who wanted to come forward  and accept Jesus, and I never saw such brokenness, and they cried and didn’t care who saw them.  And people were happy and singing instead of falling asleep in church, and I wanted the joy that these people had found that I was searching for.  Not that you didn’t give me joy, but the kind of joy that is missing from all of our lives that only God can give.”  Horace said,  “Why do you have to go every Sunday?”  I said,  “Because I like to hear what he (the pastor) talks about…”  Horace said something that questioned the authority of  my pastor, and I told him,  “To my knowledge everything he says is in the Bible, and if I ever hear anyone who says anything against the Bible I don’t listen to them any more.” 

Then we were both quiet, and Horace asked,  “What are you thinking?”  I said,  “I want you to understand me.”  Horace said,  “I do too.”  I said,  “No matter what you think, I am not brainwashed; I have my own free mind, and I chose to change my life.”  The Horace said,  “Yeah, my friends say,  ‘Try to change Mary.’  And I told them,  ‘She’ll never change; she wants to be this way.”  Horace said,  “You won’t change…will you?”  I shook my head ‘no’ as tears came streaming down my face.  But in my heart, as Satan was trying to destroy me by telling me ‘my Christianity is destroying my marriage,’  the Holy Spirit comforted me with the thought that if Horace’s only argument why this marriage can’t work is because of me being a Christian, I know God will bring Horace to understand and to accept Jesus and truly make us one. 

I said to Horace as I tried desperately to control my tears,  “You wrote in my wedding ring, ‘Two as one,” and to me, we’ll always be one.”  Horace said,  “Yeah, when you went away for that weekend  women’s seminar, on the bottom of the note you left for me, you had written,  “Two as one.”  I wish we were one.”  Then around this point, Horace said,  “It’s not that I don’t love you, because I do.  And it’s not that you’re not a nice person, because you are.”  I began to really break apart when he said that because I’ve wanted to hear something nice from him for so many years!  Horace continued and also said,  “Come here,”  and he reached out his arms to me and I held him tightly and broke down crying and he cried too.  I told him how I wanted him to hold me for such a very long time, and how I loved him so much.  Then Horace said after we held each other for about a minute:  “That’s why I’ve got to go away.  We need some time apart because I’m thinking of the future, too.  When the kids grow up and all that’s left is you and I, we’ll still be living our own separate lives.  Do you understand what I’m trying to say?”  I was afraid for a minute that he was saying ‘there’s no hope for us; I’m asking for a divorce,’ but that he couldn’t bring himself to say it and he wanted me to say it, but I just stared at him in shock and emptiness and said,  “Yes, I understand that you need time to be by yourself.”  But I think when Horace agreed with me he wanted me to say ‘yes, I understand,’ so that it would ease the guilt in his mind because he got me to say ‘yes.’ 

God must really be convicting him because he said,  “I feel so guilty…I feel so bad about myself.  That’s why I have to get away and find me and get myself together.”  Then he tried to justify his leaving by saying,  “This is the most we’ve talked in a looooong time.  Maybe this will be the best for us.”  I said,  “I think the problem has been a lack of communication.  I will never believe you leaving is a good thing.”  I asked Horace when he was leaving, and he said ‘he was moving some stuff out today when the kids wouldn’t see him.’ 

He went upstairs  and began to pack and I had to go walk away because it was too heartbreaking for me to watch. I went downstairs in the family room and opened my Bible and God spoke to me through His Word to confirm what He had brought to my mind during my conversation with Horace; my Bible opened to this verse:  “Blessed are you when people insult you; persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven…”  (Matthew 5:11)  I said out loud, softly,  “Oh God, You are so close!”  I just felt He was so close when He gave me that Scripture and realized that He is right with me. 

Horace came downstairs and he hugged me again, and as we began to walk up the stairs he said something that really carried me through this rough day.  He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said,  “I know this might sound strange coming from me, but…keep the faith.”  I was so touched!  He had a look on his face like he admired my strength and believed I found the truth, but that he was confused and torn both ways.  I think he wanted me never to stop believing and praying for him, either.  I hugged him tightly and said,  “Oh, hon, I will never stop loving you and never stop praying for you.  And don’t forget, Satan is a liar and God loves you and will forgive you no matter what, and so will I.”  Horace answered by saying,  “Don’t preach at me.”  I couldn’t tell if he was angry or said it lightly, but I felt really led to say that to him. 

(His aunt had died on October 3rd, and tonight, October 5th, was the wake). Horace asked me if I wanted to go to the wake with him.  In spite of how sad and devastated I felt, I told him ‘yes,’ and that ‘I wanted to be strong in front of his family.’  He said,  “Well, we won’t stay long.”  I prayed every possible way while he drove so that I wouldn’t feel any guilt that I had failed to pray a certain way that I might think of later after he left us.  Horace had asked me if we should tell his family that he was leaving, and I told him ‘no.’ (‘Love covers all things’ was my reason for not making him tell his family, but later I wondered if I should have made him tell them so that he would have had to deal with the choice he had made).  I told him that I might just tell Myrtle (one of his sisters whom I was very close to…not her real name). I did talk to Myrtle, and she agreed that Horace was using my ‘religion’ as an excuse.  She also said,  “When he’s on his own for a while that he’ll realize it not all that great.”  While we were there God gave me strength and peace just to sit and to talk to  everyone, and I told Myrtle not to tell anyone and she agreed.  She hugged me and said to call her if I needed to talk or anything. 

The ride home was the beginning of the hardest moment of my life!  I prayed that God would open Horace’s eyes and ears to see the world as it really is.  I prayed that the convicting power of the Holy Spirit would be with Horace stronger than ever before.  I especially prayed that God would not let him go unless it was God’s will that he go; only if it was the path that would lead Horace to Him.  I prayed for God to hold back all the powers of hell from interfering with His will so that whatever happened I would have God’s peace because I totally prayed every way I knew how and I wouldn’t feel it was my fault in any way because of a lack of prayer.

When we got in the house (and even before that) tears began to fill my eyes, and as his eyes met mine, his eyes were also filled with tears.  And, without speaking, his eyes said,  ”  I’m leaving now; this is it.”  He held me and I held him, and he said,  “Don’t worry.  I’ll be back either late tonight or early tomorrow.”  (He said that because he had asked me when we got in the house if I wanted to go to the funeral tomorrow.  I was surprised that he asked, because he told the kids that we were only going to the wake).  I looked at him and tried one last time to penetrate his heart, and without sounding desperate, I simply said,  “Don’t go unless you’re sure.”  Then the hardest moment of my life took place as he began to walk away from me.  He held my hand as he looked at me standing in the doorway of the kitchen, and he in the driveway, and he looked into my eyes like he did today during our big talk, and I felt he really did love me, as strange as it seems.  He acted like he did when we were dating as he was saying ‘good-bye.’ 

My heart broke in two as he said ‘good-bye.’  How I wanted to run after him and say,  “Please don’t leave!  I love you!”  I wanted to scream and run and hug him, and hold him, and never let him go!  I thought of him watching his own dad leave him and how he must have wanted his dad to come back!  I wanted to fulfill his dream by stopping him from doing the very same thing!  My heart broke with compassion for him thinking how he’s searching for the very thing that I have right here…Jesus!  But I have to believe, as devastating as it may be to me, that what Satan is using for evil, God will somehow use for good, and that this will be the road on which leads Horace to Him!  I watched through tear-filled eyes as he drove away, but had a peace knowing that this was God’s will. 

After the kids were in bed I got ready for bed and prayed some more and cried some more, and went to bed.  I tossed and turned all night looking at the clock and wondering  when he’d come back, and praying in the Spirit as I laid my hand on his pillow. 

JOURNAL ENTRY — OCTOBER 6th 1984 As I laid there awake at 6:30 a.m., Horace came home.  I reached out my hand to him and he said,  “Hi,”  so sweetly and took my hand and laid his cheek on it so sweetly, the way he used to.  He said,  “What are you thinking?”  I said,  “I couldn’t sleep all night…I tossed and turned…missing you, thinking about you, and praying for you.”  I told him ‘I’d talk to him in the morning because Peter, (our son…not his real name)  had crawled in bed with me during the night and I didn’t want to wake him up.’  He said,  “Try and get some sleep.”  He held my hand and laid on his back and closed his eyes. When we got home after the funeral, Horace’s eyes said the same thing they said last night; that he was leaving.  I asked him to ‘please come upstairs so I could talk to him.’  We went upstairs and I tried to be strong and said to him,  “I just wanted you to know that last night, when I watched you walk away, was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do.  I wanted to run after you and stop you, but I also knew you wanted time away.”  Horace said,  ” Thanks…I needed to hear that.”  I said,  “Please don’t ever think that I don’t love you because I let you go.”  Horace said,  “I know.”  I also said,  “Don’t ever think that I can take your place with these kids, because I can’t; I can only be their mother.”  Horace said,  “Thanks, I needed to hear that too.”  Horace said,  “Do you want to tell the kids, or should I?”  I said,  “It has to come from you, but if you want me to come with you, I will.  But first let me pull myself together.” 

With tissues in hand, I followed Horace down the stairs to be with him as he faced the thing he dreaded the most.  Horace still had tears in his eyes and spoke quietly to keep from breaking down and crying.  Horace said to the kids as they were sitting on the couch,  “Come here.”  They both knew something was wrong and they both stood up, sad and silent.  I said calmly,  “Come on.  Let’s all go and sit on the couch.”  They both sat down by Horace and he put his arms around them and said,  “Daddy loves you both very much.  And you are both very special, and I want you never to forget that.”  Then he said to our daughter, Penny (not her real name)  “Remember, honey, what we talked about before?”  (I had no idea that he had been talking to them about leaving).  She quietly and sadly said,  “Yeah.” He continued…”Well, daddy needs to go away for a little while to think about things.  He just needs some time to get away by himself and think.  But I’ll call you every day, and, Peter… (our son…not his real name) I’ll still take you to your ‘Dad and Me’ class.  I love you both and I love your mom too, but I just need some time away.  Your mom loves you both too, and she’s going to need you both very much.  I cried quietly when I heard him say all of this to the kids.  I was getting so angry at Satan.  Then the kids started to cry and Peter put his head into his pillow and Horace stood up to walk away, and the kids stood up and he put his arm around all of us and said,  “I love you all!”  He cried, and we all cried together. 

I was filled mostly with compassion for Horace, but also with a little anger.  If he loves us so much, why doesn’t he try and make things work instead of running away?  Then I began to wonder.”How could this be happening?”  Horace walked out and I burst out crying as  he closed the kitchen door and drove away.  I pounded the kitchen doorway by the dining room and sobbed uncontrollably.  Then I held the kids and we all cried together as we watched him drive away.  I held them and began to pray for God to show him the truth and for His Holy Spirit to convict him and to comfort us. 

Then I began to thank God for what He was doing in Horace’s life.  I told the kids that ‘they have to believe the truth and that this is a spiritual battle, and that Satan is trying to make their dad think that the things in this world is what makes people happy, but since we have been praying so hard, God is also dealing with him, and that he needs the time away to find the truth for himself.’  I told them,   “Don’t ever think that your dad doesn’t love you, because that’s a lie from Satan.”  Precious little Peter began to pound the floor with his foot, and when I asked him what he was doing, he said,  “I’m mad at Satan.”  We went into Penny’s room and Peter picked up the Bible and said,  “Mommy, read the Scriptures.” 

In the midst of all the pain and heartache, there were many precious moments with my children like that.  Through all the years I waited, I hurt so deeply for my children –even deeper than the personal pain I experienced.  I watched my children endure heart-wrenching hurt and disappointment when their dad decided not to come on days when he told them that he would.  No child should ever have to go through what they did, but sadly, many children do.  And, sadly, many other children never even see their fathers again when they choose to walk out the door!

Needless to say, I was deeply hurt that he chose to leave us, and that over the previous two days he had treated me the way he should have treated me throughout our marriage; with love and tenderness, even though it was not genuine.  How deeply sad and how horribly ironic to see what it took in order to actually have a deep conversation with him as well as to receive some form of affection that I had desired for so many years! 

After my ‘husband’ left, it was by the grace of God alone that I was able to take one day at a time. I fought very hard to keep my thoughts under control so that sorrow and hurt would not rob me from enjoying each moment with my children.  I also took on many different baby sitting jobs in the years to come so that I could stay home with my children and make them feel as secure as possible.  I took turns being ‘room mother’ for both of my children’s school parties and field trips, and went to their schools to see them in plays and music recitals, and enjoyed every minute of it all! During those years we rode bikes together, roller skated together, went paddle boating, went to Great America, and played miniature golf together. I enjoyed playing Barbies with my daughter, and pitching balls to my son in the field. I endured standing outside on cold days just so that I could watch my son play basketball and do tricks on his skateboard, and play on the football team. I stayed up until 2:00a.m. or 3:00 a.m. listening to my daughter share stories of  her adventures with her friends when she’d come home. Knowing the day would come all too soon when she would go off to college, as tired as I was, I just deeply appreciated the fact that she shared her thoughts with me.

Those days were bittersweet, but I have many memories of the time I spent with my children that I will treasure forever. All because I chose to surrender all the hurt and rejection and fears of what tomorrow would bring to Him, and in return God gave me His grace that was sufficient and His strength that was made perfect in my weakness.

Days turned into months, and months into years, and he still did not return home.  He called every day and took my daughter and son out at least twice a week, and I appreciated the fact that he was faithful to pay all the bills –most of the time.  There were two or three times when the electricity was shut off because he failed to pay the bill on time, and we were cold and in the dark for at least two or three days. 

In spite all the heartache and turmoil I went through in the years that followed, I continued to pray and believe that the day would truly come when my ‘husband’ would receive God’s love and forgiveness and ask for our forgiveness and return home.  I even saved up for a massaging, reclining chair and purchased it and kept it covered in plastic awaiting the day that he would return home.  Three different Christian women at three separate times told me that God showed them that my husband was going to return home, and one friend even said she had a vision of Horace sitting in his new chair with my children joyously running around in circles wearing robes of righteousness. I never placed my faith in the words of men (or women, in this case), but only in the Word of God; if I had, my faith might have been shattered by what was soon to come. 

BACK TO THE TEACHINGS OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM

Before I share the final portion of my testimony with you, I’d like to share some of the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent with you :


CANONS AND DECREES OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT

Time does not permit me to share all of the ANATHEMAS of the ‘CANONS AND DECREES OF THE COUNCIL OF TRENT’ with you, but I listed many of them.  If you’d like to read them all, you can do so by clicking on ‘SOURCE’ at the end of this section.

Anathema –

Function: noun

Etymology: Late Latin anathemat-, anathema, from Greek, thing devoted to evil, curse, from anatithenai to set up, to dedicate, from ana-  + tithenai to place, set.

 1 a: one that is cursed by ecclesiastical authority b: someone or something intensely disliked or loathed

2 a: a ban or curse solemnly pronounced by ecclesiastical authority and accompanied by excommunication b: the denunciation of something as accursed c: a vigorous denunciation

3: a person or thing accursed or consigned to damnation or destruction

 
 

CHAPTER XVI

ON THEE FRUIT OF JUSTIFICATION, THAT IS, ON THE MERIT OF GOOD WORKS AND ON THE MARNIER OF THAT SAME MERIT.

ON JUSTIFICATION

–CANON XVIII If anyone shall say, that the commandments are, even for a man that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible to keep; let him be anathema.

–CANON XXIV If any one shall say, that the justice received is not preserved, and also increased in the sight of God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of justification received, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.

–CANON XXIX If any one shall say, that he, who has fallen after baptism, is not able by the grace of God to rise again; or, that he is able indeed to recover the justice lost, but by faith alone, without the sacrament of penance, contrary to what the holy Roman and universal Church, instructed by Christ and his apostles, has hitherto professed, observed and taught; let him be anathema.

–CANON XXX.  If any one shall say, that, after the grace of justification received, unto every penitent sinner the guilt is so remitted, and the penalty of eternal punishment so blotted out,that there remains not any penalty of temporal punishment, to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be laid open; let him be anathema

 

DECREE CONCERNING THE SACRAMENTS

–CANON IV.  If any one shall say, that the sacraments of the New Law are not necessary unto salvation, but superfluous , and that without them, and without the desire thereof, men, through faith alone, obtain of God the grace of justification; though all [the sacraments] be not necessary for every individual; let him be anathema.

–CANON VIII.  If any one shall say, that by the said sacraments of the New Law grace is not conferred through the act performed, but that faith alone in the divine promise suffices for obtaining grace; let him be anathema. 

–CANON X.  If any one shall say, that all Christians have power to administer the word, and all the sacraments; let him be anathema.

TOUCHING BAPTISM

–CANON III.  If any one shall say, that in the Romish church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism; let him be anathema. 

–CANON V.  If any one shall say, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema. 

–CANON VII.  If any one shall say, that the baptized are, by baptism itself, made debtors but to faith only, and not to the observance of the whole law of Christ; let him be anathema.

–CANON XIII.  If any one shall say, that infants, for that they have not actual faith, are not, after having received baptism, to be reckoned amongst the faithful, and that, for this reason, they are to be rebaptized, when they have arrived at years of discretion; or, that it is better that the baptism of such be omitted, than that they, while not believing by their own act, should be baptized in the faith alone of the Church; let him be anathema.

DECREE TOUCHING THE MOST HOLY

SACRAMENT OF THE EUCHARIST.

CHAPTER III.

On the Excellency of the most Holy Eucharist above the rest Of The Sacraments.

CONCERNING THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT

OF THE EUCHARIST

–CANON I.   If any one shall deny, that, in the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist, are verily, really, and substantially contained the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ; but shall say that He is only therein as in a sign, or in figure, or virtue; let him be anathema.

–CANON II.  If any one shall say, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and shall deny that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood, the species only of the bread and wine remaining which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema.

–CANON III.  If any one shall deny, that, in the venerable sacrament of the Eucharist, the whole Christ is contained under each species, and under every part of each species, when separated; let him be anathema.

–CANON IV.  If any one shall say, that, after the consecration is completed, the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ are not in the admirable sacrament of the Eucharist, but are there only during the use, whilst it is being taken, and not either before or after; and that, in the hosts, or consecrated particles, which after communion are reserved or remain, the true body of the Lord remaineth not; let him be anathema.

–CANON VI.  If any one shall say, that in the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is not to be adored with even the worship external of latria, and is, consequently, neither to be venerated with a festive celebration, nor to be solemnly borne about in processions, according to the laudable and universal rite and custom of the holy Church; or, is not to be proposed publicly to the people to be worshiped , and that the worshipers thereof are idolaters; let him be anathema.

–CANON VIII.  If any one shall say, that Christ, presented in the Eucharist, is eaten spiritually only, and not also sacramentally and really; let him be anathema.

–CANON IX.  If any one shall deny, that all and each of Christ’s faithful of both sexes are bound, when they have attained to years of discretion, to communicate every year, at least at Easter, in accordance with the precept of Holy Mother Church; let him be anathema.

–CANON XI.  If any one shall say, that faith alone is a sufficient preparation for receiving the sacrament of the most holy Eucharist; let him be anathema.

ON THE MOST HOLY SACRAMENT OF PENANCE

–CANON I.  If any one shall say, that in the Catholic Church penance is not truly and properly a sacrament, instituted by Christ our Lord for reconciling the faithful unto God, as often as they fall into sin after baptism; let him be anathema.

–CANON II.  If any one, confounding the sacraments, shall say, that baptism is itself the sacrament of Penance, as though these two sacraments were not distinct, and that therefore penance is not rightly called a second plank after shipwreck; let him be anathema.

–CANON III.  If any one shall say, that those words of the Lord the Saviour, Receive ye the Holy Ghost, whose sins ye shall remit, they are remitted unto them, and whose sins ye shall retain, they are retained are not to be understood of the power of remitting and of retaining sins in the sacrament of Penance, as the Catholic Church has always from the beginning understood them; but wrests them, contrary to the institution of this sacrament, to the power of preaching the Gospel; let him be anathema.

–CANON VI.  If any one shall deny, either that sacramental confession was instituted, or is necessary unto salvation, of divine right; or shall say, that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, which the Catholic Church hath ever observed from the beginning, and doth observe, is alien  from the institution  and command of Christ, and is an human invention; let him be anathema.

–CANON X. If any one shall say, that priests, who are in deadly sin, have not the power of binding and of loosing; or, that not priests alone are the ministers of absolution, but that unto all and each of the faithful of Christ it is said: Whatsoever ye shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven [ ] and whose sins ye shall remit, they shall be remitted unto them; and whose sins ye shall retain, they are retained by virtue of which words every one is able to absolve sins, to wit, public [sins] by rebuke only; provided the person rebuked yield thereto, and secret [sins] by a voluntary confession; let him be anathema. 

–CANON XII.  If any one shall say, that the whole punishment is always remitted by God, together with the guilt, and that the satisfaction of penitents is no other than the faith whereby they learn that Christ hath made satisfaction for them; let him be anathema.

–CANON XIII.  If any one shall say, that satisfaction for sins, as regards to their temporal punishment, is in no wise made to God, through the merits of Christ, by the punishments inflicted by Him, and patiently borne, or by those enjoined by the priest, nor even by those voluntarily undertaken, as by fastings, prayers, almsgivings, or by other works also of piety; and that, therefore, the best penance is merely a new life; let him be anathema.

TOUCHING THE SACRIFICE OF THE MASS

–CANON I.  If any one shall say, that in the mass a true and proper sacrifice is not offered to God; or, that to be offered is nothing else but that Christ is given unto us to eat; let him be anathema.

–CANON II.  If any one shall say, that by those words, Do this in remembrance of me, Christ did not institute the apostles priests; or, did not ordain that they, and other priests,  should offer His own body and blood; let him be anathema. 

–CANON III.  If any one shall say, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and  of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it avails him only who receiveth; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema.

–CANON IV.  If any one shall say, that, by the sacrifice of the mass, a blasphemy is thrown upon the most holy sacrifice of Christ offered on the cross; or, that it is thereby derogated from; let him be anathema.

–CANON V.  If any one shall say, that it is an imposture to celebrate masses in honour of the saints, and for obtaining their intercession with God, as the Church intends; let him be anathema.

–CANON VI.  If any one shall say, that the canon of the mass contains errors, and is therefore to be abrogated; let him be anathema.

 

ON THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY ORDERS

–CANON I.  If any one shall say, that there is not in the New Testament  a visible and external priesthood: or that there is not any power of consecrating and offering the true body and blood of the Lord, and of remitting and retaining sins; but only an office and bare ministry of preaching the Gospel; or that those who do not preach are not priests at all; let him be anathema.

—CANON II.  If any one shall say, that, beside the priesthood, there are not in the Catholic Church, other orders, both greater and lesser, by which, as by certain steps, advance is made unto the priesthood; let him be anathema.

–CANON III.   If any one shall say, that orders, or sacred ordination , is not truly and properly a sacrament instituted by Christ the Lord; or, that it is a certain human figment devised by men unskilled in ecclesiastical matters; or, that it is only a certain kind for choosing ministers of the word of God and of the sacraments; let him be anathema.

–CANON IV.  If any one shall say, that, by sacred ordination the Holy Ghost is not given; and that the bishops do therefore vainly say, Receive ye the Holy Ghost; or, that a character is not thereby imprinted; or, that he who has once been a priest, can again be a layman; let him be anathema. 

–CANON V.  If any one shall say, that the sacred unction which the Church makes use of in holy ordination, is not only not required, but is to be despised and is pernicious, as likewise the other ceremonies of Order; let him be anathema. 

–CANON VI.  If any one shall say, that, in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy instituted by divine ordination, consisting of bishops, priests, and ministers; let him be anathema.

–CANON VII.  If any one shall say, that bishops are not superior to priests; or, that they have not the power of confirming and ordaining; or, that the power which they possess is common to them with the priests; or, that orders, conferred by them, with the consent or vocation of the people, or of the secular power, are invalid; or, that those who have neither been rightly ordained, nor sent, by ecclesiastical and canonical power, but come from elsewhere, are lawful ministers of the word and of the sacraments; let him be anathema.

CANON VIII.  If any one shall say, that the bishops, who are assumed by authority of the Roman Pontiff, are not legitimate and true bishops, but a human figment; let him be anathema.

TOUCHING THE INVOCATION, VENERATION, AND ON RELICS OF SAINTS, AND SACRED IMAGES

And the bishops shall carefully teach this; that, by means of the histories of the mysteries of our Redemption, depicted by paintings or other representations, the people are instructed , and strengthened in remembering, and continually reflecting on the articles of faith; as also that great profit is derived from all sacred images, not only because the people are thereby admonished of the benefit gifts which have been bestowed upon them by Christ, but also because the miracles of God through the means of the saints, and their salutary examples, are set before the eyes of the faithful; that so for those things they may give God thanks; may order their own life and manners in imitation of the saints; and may be excited to adore and love God, and to cultivate piety.  But if any one shall teach-or-think contrary to these decrees; let him be anathema.

 

 DECREE CONCERNING INDULGENCES

Whereas the power of conferring indulgences was granted by Christ to the Church; and she has, even in the most ancient times, used the said power, delivered unto her of God; the sacred and holy synod teaches and enjoins, that the use of indulgences , most salutary for the Christian people, and approved of by the authority of sacred councils, is to be retained in the Church; and it condemns with anathema those who either assert that they are useless, or who deny that there is in the Church the power of granting them.  In granting them, however, it desires that, according to the ancient and approved custom in the Church, moderation be observed, lest, by excessive facility, ecclesiastical discipline be enervated. 

ON RECEIVING AND OBSERVING

THE DECREES OF THE COUNCIL

So great has been the calamitousness of these times, and the inverate malice of the heretics, that there has been nothing ever so clear in the statement of our faith, or so surely settled, which they, at the persuasion of the enemy of the human race, have not defiled by some sort of error.  For which cause the holy synod hath taken especial care to condemn and anathematize the principal errors of the heretics of our time, and to deliver and teach the true and Catholic doctrine; even as it has condemned, anathematized, and defined.  And whereas so many bishops, summoned from the various provinces of the Christian world, cannot be absent for so long a time without great casting away of the flock committed to them, and without universal danger; and whereas no hope  remains that the heretics, after having been so often invited, even with the public faith which they desired, and so long expected , will come hither later; and as it is therefore necessary to put an end at length to the sacred council: it now remains for it to admonish in the Lord all princes, as it hereby does, so to afford their assistance as not to permit the things which it has decreed to be corrupted or violated by heretics; but that they be by them and all others devoutly received and faithfully observed.

ACCLAMATIONS OF THE FATHERS AT THE CLOSE OF THE COUNCIL

Cardinal.   Anathema to all heretics.

Answer.  Anathema.  Anathema.

THE BULL OF OUR HOLY LORD, THE LORD PIUS, BY DIVINE PROVIDENCE FOURTH POPE,

TOUCHING THE FORM OF THE OATH OF THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

Pius, Bishop, servant of the servants of God, for the perpetual memory hereof. 

…I recognize the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church as the mother and mistress of all churches; and I promise and swear true obedience to the Roman pontiff, successor of St. Peter, prince of the apostles, and vicar of Jesus Christ.  All other things also delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred canons and ecumenical councils , and particularly by the holy Synod of Trent, I undoubtingly receive and profess, and at the same time all things contrary, and any heresies soever condemned by the church, and rejected and anathematized, I, in like manner, condemn, reject, and anathematize.  This true Catholic faith, outside of which no one can be saved, which at present I readily profess and truly hold, I, N. (the person’s name) promise, vow, and swear, that I will most steadfastly retain and confess the same entire and undefiled to the last breath of life (with God’s help), and that I will take care, as far as shall be in my power, that it be held, taught, and preached by my subjects, or those whose charge shall devolve on me in virtue of my office.  So help me God, and these holy gospels of God.

 –Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent  SOURCE

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THE VIRGIN MARY FEAST DAYS

FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATIONMARCH 25th –This feast day commemorates the day when the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of Jesus Christ.  However, as I shared with you in PART 2,  March 25th, The Feast of the Annunciation is also the pagan celebration of their “Queen of Heaven.”  In the quick capture that I took from the website, ‘A Chapel of Our Mother God,’ it states:

“After Her resurrection, she returns to the Middle World (where she first came at Her birthtime of Nativity) and takes up Her full royalty as Princess of the World.  This is celebrated on the Day of Our Sovereign Lady (Culverine 5th/March 25th).

 

ASSUMPTION OF MARYAUGUST 15th — This feast was first declared in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.  The belief was that Mary did not see corruption at the time of her death, but was assumed into heaven, body and soul.  And, as I also pointed out through the information I posted on Part 2…

“August 15th was originally the Assumption of the Holy Sophia” celebrated in paganism.

“For centuries celebrations were held in the honor of the goddess Isis of the Sea, who was born on this day according to mythology.  With the coming of Christianity, church leaders decided that the easiest way to handle this pagan ritual was to simply change it into a Christian holiday, hence the introduction of Assumption Day came forth.”  SOURCE

And as you can see from the painting below, the Assumption of Mary, body and soul into heaven, was not always taught.

Capture Burial of Mary painting - Restored Traditions web site picAbove picture, entitled ‘Burial of Virgin Mary’ was  found and quick captured on ‘Restored Traditions.’  Caption reads as follows: Artwork by Fra Angelico shows the apostles placing the body of Our Lady in her tomb.  Jesus Christ, above center, is surrounded by angels in heaven as he comes to collect the soul of His blessed Mother.”

IMMACULATE CONCEPTIONDECEMBER 8th The following is a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

PARA 490  “To become the mother of the Savior, Mary “was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role.”  The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as “full of grace.”  In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God’s grace.  “

PARA 491  “Through the centuries the church has become even more aware that Mary “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception.  That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.  (Pius IX Ineffabilis Deus 1854; DS 2803).

PARA 492   “The splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instance of her conception” comes wholly from Christ:  she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son.”  The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person “in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love.” (Based on Ephesians 1:3,4)

PARA 493  “The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia) and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature.”  By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.”

PARA 494  “At the announcement that she would give birth to “the Son of the Most High” without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that “with God nothing will be impossible: “Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.”  Thus, giving her consent to God’s word, Mary became the mother of Jesus.  Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God’s grace:As St. Irenaeus says,  “Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”  Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert… :”The knot of Eve’s disobedience was untied by Mary’s obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith.”  Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary “the Mother of the living” and frequently claim: “Death through Eve, life through Mary.”

During my research for this post, I came across a pagan calendar and discovered that from December 7th through December 9th is the Feast of the Immanent Feminine Divine Spirit – Honoring Goddess as Maha Devi Shakti (Hindu), and that December 8th is also “a Zen Buddhist celebration of the Buddha’s enlightenment.”

Those are only the main ‘feast days’ of Mary.  There are many more days throughout the year devoted to Mary, some focusing on her alleged appearances throughout the world.  These are only a few of many other Marian feast days: February 11th — Our Lady of Lourdes, May 13th — Our Lady of Fatima, August 22nd — Queenship of Mary, October 7th — Our Lady of the Rosary, December 12th — Our Lady of Guadalupe.

DOES THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WORSHIP MARY, OR HONOR HER?

HERE IS MORE INFORMATION TO HELP YOU DECIDE

If you still aren’t convinced after reading all the information that I added to Part 2 concerning how the Catholic Church views Mary, I hope that after you read the following information concerning what the Catholic church teaches about Mary, that you will then begin to see how they elevate Mary to a position that makes her equal to Jesus Christ Himself, because they give her many of the attributes and credit due only to Jesus Christ; God in the flesh: sinless, ascended into heaven, and ever present.  And they also say that she played a role in our redemption and Christ’s resurrection, therefore coming extremely close to deifying Mary.  If you didn’t read Part 2, may I suggest, when time allows, that you take some time to see all the information I posted.  Let’s continue: 

Capture Mary New Evanelization

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

CONCERNING MARY

PARA 966  Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” (506)  The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:

“In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life.  You conceived the living  God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”  (507)

PARA 967  By her complete adherence to the Father’s will, to his Son’s redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity.  Thus she is a preeminent and …wholly unique member of the Church” ; indeed, she is the “exemplary realization” (typus) (508) of the Church.

PARA 968  Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further.  “In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls.  For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.”

PARA 969 “This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterrupted from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect.  Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation…Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” (510) LG 62

Pope Leo XIII in his encyclical October of 1891 declared:

“No one can go to the Father except through the Son, and similarly no one can go to the Son except through His mother Mary.”

The picture below clearly reveals how Catholicism portrays Mary; that she participated in Christ’s suffering and therefore shared in the atoning work of Christ.  This is pure blasphemy because it robs Jesus Christ from His complete atoning work that alone satisfied the full wrath of God that He has towards us because of our sins!

Capture Mary on the cross with Christ -cross in RomeAbove picture captured from David Cloud’s video entitled, ‘CATHOLICISM, PAST AND PRESENT’ on YouTube.

A CLASSIC BOOK IN THE FIELD OF ROMAN CATHOLIC MARIOLOGY WRITTEN BY ST. ALPHONSUS LIGUORI, A DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

THE GLORIES OF MARY AUDIOBOOK PART ONE AND TWO

 

 

THE BIBLE COMPARED TO THE GLORIES OF MARY

 

The following is a quote ( a very blasphemous quote, I might add) from former Pope John Paul II that Rob Zins shares in the video I posted further down:

“Mary, by bearing her immeasurable sorrows, she has supplied what was lacking in the sufferings of Christ for His body the church.” 

And here is the pontifical prayer said by Pope Pius XII in 1950 to Mary in his celebration of the Marian Year in Rome  (that I also found in the video below) which clearly reveals the Catholic church’s view of Mary as being completely unbiblical and greatly exceeding how Scripture portrays Mary to be:

“Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of  the world, we cast ourselves into your arms.  Oh, Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary.  We adore and praise the peerless richness of the sublime gifts with which God has filled you above every other mere creature.  From the moment of your conception until the day of which after your assumption into heaven He crowned you Queen of the Universe.  Oh crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths.  Oh fragrant lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume.  Oh conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin which makes the soul detestable to God and the slave of hell.  Oh, beloved of God, hear the ardent cries which rise up from every heart in this year dedicated to you.  Then tenderly, Oh Mary, cover our aching wound, convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and the oppressed.  In your name resounding harmoniously in heaven.  Receive, O sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that on that day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which is sung today around your altars.  You are Glory, you are the Joy, you are the honor of our people.”

And as you can see below, the present pope, Pope Francis, is also continuing in this spiritual adultery.

Capture Pope Francis before shrine of mary -- moon under her feet pic

Capture THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY - STAR OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION(SOURCE) <–CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING

Capture Hail Mary Co Redeemer - James G McCarthy(SOURCE) <– CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE READING

In the quick capture of the article above, it says in part:

“Not only did Mary offer her Son to God, but she remained at the cross to suffer with Christ.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #964)

“According to the Church, Mary’s sufferings were so intense that they brought her to the threshold of death.  She, says the Church, participated with Jesus Christ in the very painful act of redemption.” (Pope Pius XI, Explorata Res)

“Mary suffered and, as it were, nearly died with her suffering Son; for the salvation of mankind she renounced  her mother’s rights and, as far as it depended on her, offered her Son to placate divine justice; so we may well say that she with Christ redeemed mankind.” (Pope Benedict XV, Inter Sodalicia) 

ROB ZINS–THE IDOLATRY OF MARY WORSHIP: MAKING MARY

THE FOURTH MEMBER OF THE DIVINE TRINITY

 

 

 

 

In Genesis 3:1-15, is the account of the fall of man.  And in verses 13-15 where God addresses Eve and the serpent, we read the following:

“Then the LORD God said to the woman,  “What is this you have done?”  The woman said,  “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”  So the LORD God said to the serpent,  “Because you have done this,  “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals!  You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (NIV Translation)

In the Catholic Douay Reims Bible, this is what you will read:

“I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.”

And, as you can see in the picture below, it is Mary who is shown to be the one who is crushing the serpent’s head!

Capture Mary crushing serpents head - Restored Traditions picPicture above was found on Restored Traditions website and entitled:  Immaculate Conception by Rubens Caption reads: “Sunlight radiated from the Virgin Mary, represented as the Immaculate Conception in this painting by P.P. Rubens, as she crushes the head of the devil.”

In the footnotes at the bottom of my Douay Rheims Bible it says the following concerning Genesis 3:15:

Verse 15.  She shall crush. Ipsa, the woman; so diverse of the fathers read this place, comfortably to the Latin; others read it ipsum, that is, the seed. The sense is the same: for it is by her seed, Jesus Christ, that the woman crushes the serpent’s head. (For detailed information exposing this distortion of Scripture, please watch the video I posted below, entitled, ‘Roman Catholicism Series #6 Rome’s Virgin Mary – Queen of Heaven or Doctrine of Demons’ starting at the 33:22 minute mark.)

 

WHAT DOES SCRIPTURE SAY?

I think at this point I’ve shared enough information with you so that hopefully you now realize that Catholicism indeed places much more emphasis on Mary than they do on Jesus. So now let’s get our focus where it belongs –on the Word of God–and let’s examine the Scriptures to see if what we have learned about Mary from Catholic teachings thus far lines up with what God’s Word has to say concerning Mary. Yes, Mary was blessed among women because she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, but does Scripture indicate in any way that we are to come to Mary, and that Mary is to be worshiped? How did Jesus act when He was with Mary? Observe what takes place in the following verses, and carefully read all the rest of the verses and you will see that Scripture does not indicate in any way that Mary should be given the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix. These are titles that apply to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, yet the Catholic church is attempting to give these titles to her, and supposedly at her request!

 

“Jesus was still talking to the people when his mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside, asking to speak with him. So one of the people there said to him, “Look, your mother and brothers are standing outside, and they want to speak with you.” Jesus answered, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look! Here are my mother and my brothers!” Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants him to do is my brother, my sister, my mother.”(Matthew 12:46-50) SHLT

“While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak with him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50) NIV

“Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying your heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. The yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”                      (Matthew 11:28-30) (SHLT)

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, amd you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) NIV

Jesus said, “And remember! I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b) SHLT

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”             (Matthew 28:20b) NIV

 

“The last day of the feast was the most important. On that day Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, “Whoever is thirsty should come to me and drink. As the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes in me, streams of living water will pour out from his heart. Jesus said this about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were going to receive. At that time the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not been raised to glory.”                    (John 7:37-39) SHLT

“On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” (John 7:37-39) NIV

“If you love me, you will obey my commandments. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, the Spirit of Truth, to stay with you forever. The Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and make you remember all that I have told you.” (John 14:15,16,26) SHLT

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever– the Spirit of Truth. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:15,16,26) NIV

 

“The Helper will come–the Spirit of truth, who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and he will speak about me.”                       (John 15:26) SHLT

“When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.”            (John 15:26) NIV

 

“But now I am going to him who has sent me; yet none of you asks me,  ‘Where are you going?’ And now that I have told you, sadness has filled your hearts. But I tell you the truth: it is better for you that I go away, because if I do not go, the Helper will not come to you. But if I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes he will prove to the people of the world that they are wrong about sin, and about what is right, and about God’s judgment. But when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will lead you into all the truth.” (John 16:7,8,13) SHLT

“But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.” (John 16:7,8,13) NIV

 

“Jesus is the one of whom the Scriptures says, ‘The stone that you the builders despised turned out to be the most important stone.’ Salvation is to be found through him alone; for there is no one else in all the world, whose name God has given to men, by whom we can be saved.” (Acts 4:11,12) SHLT

“He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11,12) NIV

 

“What the law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending his own Son who came with a nature like man’s sinful nature to do away with sin.” (Romans 8:3) SHLT

“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.” (Romans 8:3) NIV

 

In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak that we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us, in groans that words cannot express. And God, who sees into the hearts of men, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.”                   (Romans 8:26,27) SHLT

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Romans 8:26,27) NIV

 

“For there is one God, and there is one who brings God and men together, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for all men.” (1 Timothy 2:5) SHLT

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men…”                                  (1 Timothy 2:5) NIV

 

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

 

“But, as it is, Jesus has been given priestly work which is much greater than theirs, just as the covenant which he arranged between God and men is a better one, because it is based on promises of better things.”                (Hebrews 8:6) SHLT

“But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which He is a mediator is superior to the old ones, and it is founded on better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6) NIV

 

“But Christ has already come as the High Priest of the good things that are already here. The tent in which he serves is more greater and more perfect; it is not made by men, that is, it is not a part of this created world. When Christ went through the tent and entered once and for all into the Most Holy Place, he did not take the blood of goats and calves to offer as a sacrifice; rather he took his own blood and obtained eternal salvation for us. The blood of goats and  bulls and the ashes of the burnt calf are sprinkled on the people who are ritually unclean, and make them clean by taking away their ritual impurity. Since this is true, how much more is accomplished by the blood of Christ! Through the eternal Spirit he offered himself as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will make our consciences clean from useless works, so that we may serve the living God.” (Hebrews 9:11-14) SHLT

“When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!” (Hebrews 9:11-14) NIV

 

“For you know what was paid to set you free from the worthless manner of life you received from your ancestors. It was nothing that loses its value, such as silver or gold; you were set free from the costly sacrifice of Christ, who was like a lamb without defect or spot.” (1 Peter 1:18,19) SHLT

“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, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18,19) NIV

 

“For Christ himself died for you; once and for all he died for sins, a good man for bad men, in order to lead you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18) SHLT

“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3:18) NIV

 

 

“…Jesus Christ, who has gone to heaven and is at the right side of God, ruling over all angels and heavenly authorities and powers.”                                (1 Peter 3:21b,22) SHLT

“…Jesus Christ who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand — with angels, authorities, and powers in submission to him.”                                           (1 Peter 3:21b,22) NIV

 

“I write you this, my children, so that you will not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have Jesus Christ, the righteous, who pleads for us with the Father. And Christ himself is the means by which our sins are forgiven, and not our sins only, but also the sins of all men.” (1 John 2:1,2) SHLT

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense –Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1,2) NIV

THE I AM STATEMENTS OF JESUS

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven.” (John 6:51) SHLT

 

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in the darkness.” (John 8:12) SHLT

 

“And you will die in your sins if you do not believe that ‘I Am Who I Am.’ ” (John 8:24b) SHLT

 

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied. “Before Abraham was born, ‘I Am.’ ” (John 8:58) SHLT

 

 “I am the door. Whoever comes in by me will be saved; he will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come in order that they might have life, life in all its fullness.” (John 10:9,10) SHLT

 

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd is willing to die for the sheep.” (John 10:11) SHLT

 

“As for me, the Father chose me and sent me into the world. How, then, can you say that I insult God because I said that I am the Son of God?”                (John 10:36)SHLT

 

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25) SHLT

 “Jesus answered him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6) SHLT

 THE CONCLUSION OF MY TESTIMONY

CHRISTIANITY ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD AND NOT MAN’S —

A TURNING POINT

When a person comes to the point of no longer placing their trust in their religion, their church, or their “good works” to save them, and instead simply realizes they are a wretched sinner in the sight of a completely Holy God and chooses to turn from sin and place their trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, and makes the decision to follow Him with their whole heart, they are not promised a perfect life free from problems and that every prayer that is prayed will be answered according to the desire of one’s heart.  On the contrary!  God’s Word clearly shows us throughout the New Testament that the cost of following Jesus Christ comes at a high price and that we are to ‘count the cost‘ (Luke 14:25-33).  With that in mind, I’d now like to tell you that I waited and prayed for over 18 years for my husband to turn to Jesus and to return home… (yes, you read that right.  For over 18 years I waited and endured rejection and heartache, and for over 18 years I also prayed and cried out to God asking Him to reveal His love and His truth to my ‘husband’) …my faith was definitely put to the test!  And even though I went through a period of time where I was very angry at God because of the painful circumstances in my life and how things were not at all turning out the way I believed, prayed, and trusted Him to work things out, one day towards the end of 1995 I opened my NIV Bible and my eyes fell upon this verse in Luke 18:8b, which says,

“But when the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth?”

It was then that I clearly realized that I was at a serious turning point in my life, and that I had to make a decision:  Was I going to love God simply for who He is, or was I going to base my love for Him on what He did or didn’t do for me?  The reality of the seriousness of the spiritual condition of my heart led me to make an even deeper commitment to Him, and my life verse from that point on became based on Daniel Chapter 3 when Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego’s faith was tested when they were told that they would be thrown into the fiery furnace if they did not bow down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected.  Their response was:

“If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”  (Daniel 3:17,18)

And, by God’s grace alone, from that point on I decided in my heart that even though God was able to bring my ‘husband’ to repentance and bring him home again, even if He doesn’t, I would choose to love Him and serve Him for the rest of my life simply because He paid the full price for my sins and revealed the true gospel and His love to me and He set me free from sin, shame, and guilt, and gave me a peace beyond all human understanding.  If I could have everything this world has to offer if I chose to reject God’s love and forgiveness,  it wouldn’t cause me to consider changing my mind not even for a second!

A SAID FAITH, OR A GENUINE FAITH — EXAMINE YOURSELF

The trials of life will sometimes stretch us way beyond our ability to endure on our own strength, but God’s Word gives us the reasons why:

We want to remind you, brothers, of the trouble we had in the province of Asia.  The burdens laid upon us were so great and so heavy, that we gave up all hope of living.  We felt the sentence of death had been passed against us.  But this happened so that we should rely, not on ourselves, but only on God, who raises the dead.  (2 Corinthians 1:8,9) 

“But to keep me from being puffed up with pride because of the many wonderful things I saw, I was given a painful physical ailment, which acts as Satan’s messenger to beat me and keep me from being proud.  Three times I prayed to the Lord about this, and asked Him to take it away.  His answer was,  “My grace is all you need; for My power is strongest when you are weak.” I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ’s power over me.  I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.  Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you –unless, of course, you fail the test?”  (2 Corinthians 13:5)

 

God’s Word also shows us that ‘our faith will be tested to prove if it is genuine or not.’

“Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy, he gave us new life by raising Jesus Christ from the dead. This fills us with a living hope, and so we look forward to possess the rich blessings that God keeps for his people.  He keeps them for you in heaven, where they cannot decay, or spoil or fade away.  They are for you, who through faith are kept safe by God’s power for the salvation which is ready to be revealed at the end of time. Be glad about this, even though it may now be necessary for you to be sad for a while because of the many kinds of trials you suffer. Their purpose is to prove that your faith is genuine. Even gold, which can be destroyed, is tested by fire; and so your faith, which is much more precious than gold, must also be tested that it may endure. Then you will receive praise and glory and honor on the Day when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:3-7) 

IN CONCLUSION

In spite of what some pastors and teachers may say, having a strong faith to believe that God can and will do what you pray and believe Him to do, does not guarantee that He will reward our faith by protecting us from sickness and disasters, and performing every miracle we are praying for –including physical healing, deliverance from persecution, healing for our marriage, and salvation for our spouse or another loved one.  Hebrews 11:36-40 gives us a completely different outcome for these Christians who were clearly commended for their faith:

“Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put into prison.  They were stoned and sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword.  They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated–  the world was not worthy of them.  They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.  These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.”

*And so it was with me; in spite of the fact that I believed with all of my heart that God could and would restore our marriage, and even though I remained completely faithful to my ‘husband’ for over 18 years as I waited and hoped and prayed and believed that he would repent and return home, Horace chose to file for divorce in July of 2000. Here’s how it all began to unravel:

In September of 1999 my ‘husband’ told my son that he wanted us to get our home ready to sell. That’s how I found out! Not from him, but through our son.  Fear tried to take hold of me, but I chose to cling to God for my strength and peace. Then my dad died on October 31st 1999. The devastation in my life was mounting, but God’s grace was proving to be sufficient, and His peace went beyond all human understanding.

Then, on Saturday, July 1, 2000, I went to the store right before Horace came to pick up our children to take them out for a few hours. When I came back, I walked into our home to find a white business envelope with my name printed on it. I could tell it was written by my ‘husband,’ and I immediately knew what it was –a letter asking for a divorce. I ripped opened the envelope and found a typewritten letter in a cold, business form style, with the date and my name and address typed out. There was no greeting in his letter; just this short and to-the-point message that confirmed what I suspected:

“…perhaps it is time for us to begin actions aimed toward the resolution of our relationship. 

While this is certainly not a pleasant subject, it is something that needs to be addressed so that we may be able to determine a reasonable and equitable distribution of our assets, and proceed with our lives. 

Please respond either by mail sent to (address withheld) , or you may phone me at (phone# withheld) to discuss this proposal.”

His signature was typed and written above it, as well, in the usual business letter style. 

Needless to say, I was crushed by how cold and heartless his letter was, but I guess there’s no nice way to tell someone that you want a divorce.  Plus, he was oftentimes very cold and verbally abusive to me throughout our marriage, so why should he be any different now?  After I cried and prayed, I decided to write a letter in response to his.  In part, this is what I wrote:

Horace,

First I just want to express my deep appreciation to you for paying all the bills throughout all these years, and saying that you would continue until the house is sold.  However, I had always hoped that the time would come when you would be truly sorry for walking out on me, Penny, and Peter.  I thought that you would one day desire to make things work between us instead of allowing our home to be sold and wanting our marriage to end.  “…the reality of seeing it, [the letter]  and the coldness of the business-like form that you chose, caused me to cry from the depths of my heart.

Horace, it doesn’t have to end this way.  In the first paragraph of your letter, you wrote,  “…perhaps it is time for us to begin actions aimed toward the resolution of our relationship.”  You do have another choice; it could also be time to take steps aimed towards the restoration of our relationship and marriage. 

My love and forgiveness towards you are not  dependent upon your acceptance of the truth put forth in God’s Word.  However, your peace of mind, freedom from guilt and shame, and your eternal destiny are.  (I said that to him because of a previous conversation we had when he had said to me, “I feel so guilty; I feel so bad about myself.”)

The choice is up to you…if you want to end what could be a wonderful marriage, after sorrow is expressed, and trust is once earned, that choice is in your hands alone to make. 

As I said to you in the past, I made a vow before God to love you forever, and I will not break it.  If you want a divorce you will have to be the one to file.  I can never force you to love me, but I will not be the one to begin the process of ending our marriage. 

Mary

 

My faith was now being put to the ultimate test!  Even then I still continued to pray for a miracle, but after an extremely long and painful  2 1/2 year divorce process, on January 31, 2003 the judge declared that our marriage was dissolved. 

My lawyer had told me the day before our final day in court that I would be allowed three minutes to express my thoughts to Horace in front of the judge (who was actually Jewish).  So, since one of my favorite verses is “make the most of every opportunity,” (Ephesians 5:15,16) I prayed for God to give me the words to say that would not only plant a seed in Horace’s heart and in the heart of the judge, but also I prayed and asked God to give me words to say that would glorify Him in the midst of these tragic circumstances. Except for six personal words that I left out, here is what I said in front of a court filled with people that helped bring some closure to me in this painful and trying time in my life, and also brought a sense of peace to my shattered, broken heart:

Horace,

Because of my love and commitment to you, and to the God of the Bible — the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob — and to the Savior He provided for us — Jesus Christ — I never “gave up the faith”…in Him, or in the fact that through receiving His love and forgiveness, our marriage could be restored.  Even though I had Biblical grounds for divorce, I chose to forgive you, to remain faithful to you, to wait, and hope, and not file for divorce.  In spite of all the hurt and rejection I have felt, I still have a love for you, but I now release you, knowing I cannot make you love me.  I do not regret waiting for you all these  18 years, for through it all I have learned what is means to truly love and forgive, and I have come to know the reality of God’s love and faithfulness to me.

The judge was obviously moved by what God had put on my heart to say, because when I had finished reading my letter, she said, 

“Wow.  I never heard anything like that before!” 

When the court proceedings finally ended that day and everyone was walking out, with God’s peace and courage in my heart, I walked up to Horace and calmly said, “Good-bye, Horace,”  but he didn’t even look at me or say anything to me at all. 

God had abundantly given me His peace and His grace that was sufficient to carry me through that day! And even though I was very sad when I realized our marriage was actually over, I was finally at peace because I no longer had to deal with all of his lies, deceptive ways, and manipulation tactics. The only tears I shed that day were tears that came trickling down my cheeks out of a deep sadness that came over me when I removed my wedding rings that night. I felt as if I was removing a literal part of me, and, in a sense, I guess I was.

So many more painful things happened throughout our ‘marriage,’ but it really isn’t necessary for me to share all the dirty details with you. Lord willing, I plan on sharing a little more of what I went through in the book I am in the process of writing, but I tried to just give you a short version (believe it or not) of my testimony here.

In spite of the fact that my hopes and dreams had been shattered, in the end I came to know God’s love and faithfulness in an even deeper way –especially through those last 2 1/2 years!  Even though there were definitely short periods of time through all those years when I was angry at God, when it was all said and done, instead of being angry at God and losing my faith, my faith grew even stronger! In spite of the fact that I fought against going through the many trials that came my way at the start of many of those trials, I came to welcome the testing of my faith throughout all those years because I wanted to show God that, in spite of all the circumstances, I loved Him for all He had done for me to make me His own.  

When the trials became overwhelming, I always forced my mind to dwell on these verses:

“…when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10b) 

“Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21)

“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”                   (Philippians 4:13)

“But He said to me,  “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

 

TO PUT IT BLUNTLY — MY FINAL THOUGHTS ON CATHOLICISM

To put it bluntly and to sum it up, Catholicism presents “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4) and “another Gospel,” (Galatians 1:6-9) both having no power to save. Catholicism presents the false hope of a nonexistent place called ‘Purgatory’ by twisting Scriptures (and adding to the text what clearly is not there), and making Catholics believe they have a second chance after death to be “purged” from their sins, when Scripture is very clear that Jesus purged us from our sins.  (Hebrews 1:3) Catholicism robs Jesus of His glory by reducing Him to a helpless babe in the arms of Mary, and elevates Mary to a level that makes her equal with Jesus Christ because they claim she had a role in our redemption.  Catholicism gives Mary many attributes that belong to God alone (the All-Holy one, CCC #2030, CCC #2677)and have no Scriptural basis. Roman Catholicism is working towards proclaiming Mary as Co-Redemptrix, and continues the blasphemy of the Sacrifice of the Mass, thus making Jesus a continual “victim” and an offering for sin, when in fact He is the Victor over sin and the grave; Jesus paid the debt to our sins in full and declared, “It is finished.”  The veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, thus signifying that God the Father accepted the death of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, as satisfying His complete wrath He has towards us because of our sins. Catholicism claims that the Sacrifice of the Mass is a “bloodless sacrifice,” when, according to God’s Word, “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”  (Hebrews 9:22)

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9,10)

Jesus, as revealed in God’s Word, is the risen Savior who is now seated in heaven at the right side of the Father and lives to intercede on our behalf before the Father.  (Romans 8:34, Hebrews 7:23-25)  The Jesus of Catholicism, however, is shown as still hanging on the cross and is presented to Catholics as the Eucharistic Jesus; a wafer worshiped when on display in an elaborately decorated monstrance and placed on altars around the world, and who is called down from heaven continually during the ‘sacrifice of the mass’ that takes place countless numbers of times in Catholic churches worldwide. 

Catholicism makes the claim that they are the only ones who have the “real presence” of Jesus by their teaching that the bread and wine actually becomes transformed into the body and blood, soul and divinity of Jesus, (by the process known as ‘transubstantiation’) thus luring many Protestants into Catholicism because they seek to “experience God” and fail to truly test teachings like that in light of Scripture.

ON A VERY PERSONAL NOTE

There are many important reasons why I wanted to share my testimony with you, but my very personal reason is because of something my dad said to my mom shortly before he died:

“I wonder if I’m going to purgatory?” 

I was so deeply grieved and righteously angry when I found out that he had said that!  I had shared the gospel with him so many times, and had given him a Bible, and prayed for his salvation, asking God to open his mind to the Scriptures so that the truth of His Word would set him free from the false teachings of Catholicism knowing that He alone can do that work in a person’s heart to bring them to salvation.  And yet it seemed to me that in the final moments before he died he was still bound by the fear of death and deceived by the man-made teaching of purgatory and may not have embraced the joyful truth of all that Jesus had accomplished through His sinless life, His completely atoning death, and His resurrection that brought us justification by simply repenting of sin and choosing to place our trust completely in what Jesus Christ has already done instead of in our own attempts to try and earn our way into heaven by our “good works.” 

I was angry at the Roman Catholic system because their teachings blind the minds of their people — including my dear father —  from seeing Biblical truth because they make their people dependent from birth until death on the Church to save them, instead of teaching the sufficiency  of Jesus’ death as full payment for sin and trusting Christ alone for salvation as revealed in God’s Word!  Therefore, even though I was angry at God for a brief moment because my dad seemed to have died without assurance of salvation, the fact still remained that the gospel, as revealed in His Word, was true! So from that point on I was even more determined to do all that I could do in order to reach my family and all Catholics with the truth that is so clearly revealed in their Bibles so that they might come to the knowledge of the true gospel and live and die with assurance of eternal life and not die without hope!  I still continue to hold on to hope that in those final seconds before my dad actually died that God was faithful to bring the truth of His Word to his mind, and that he embraced the joyful truth that Jesus Christ paid the debt for all of his sins in full! 

Regardless of the decision that my dad made in that very last moment before he breathed his final breath, I will always be a follower of Jesus Christ who is determined to do all I can do — with God’s help — to make the truth of His Word known to every person, whether they are a Catholic, Buddhist, New Ager, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, or whatever false religious system a person has chosen to embrace that is leading them astray, so that they will come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4)

YOU MAY BE WONDERING

Some of you may be wondering: 

“So, how is your life now? Did God bring you a ‘knight in shining armor,’ to reward you for your faithfulness, and are you now living a “happily ever after” kind of life?”

Well… not quite. I am still single and going through a different kind of trial; this one is health-related. To make a long story short, in April of 2010 right before Easter, I was diagnosed with a very slow moving form of Leukemia called CLL; Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Praise God, even though I was briefly devastated by the news because I thought that my life would soon be over, I saw how merciful God was to me by allowing it to be a a very slow moving form. My doctor said that most people live for at least 20 years with this form of Leukemia. After fighting this for at least 4 1/2 years now, (because no one knows for sure how long I have actually had this) I am still at stage zero, which means it is in my blood but has not progressed any further. Besides being a little tired at times, I am doing very well! My doctor continues to tell me, 

“You are going to live a looooong time! Just keep doing what you’re doing!” 

I have already seen how God has used this trial to bring glory Him; it’s easy to live for God when things are going well, but people watch how we as Christians respond to tragedies to see if we continue to live for Him when our world turns completely upside down, and my family has seen me go through a lot over the years! During a recent conversation with  my mom she made a comment on how strong my faith has been with all I have gone through and continue to go through, which then gave me another  opportunity to share about Jesus with her and how He gives a peace that is real and surpasses all human understanding, and I also used it as an  opportunity to share the gospel with her again. If God can use what I am going through as a way to share the gospel with my family and others, then I consider this trial to be a blessing!

Lord willing, I’m considering writing about this physical trial in greater detail in the future hoping that I might be an  encouragement to others who may be going through something similar, so be watching for that sometime in the Spring of 2015. (UPDATE: Lord willing, make that the Spring of 2016).

Now, since I lost my job of thirteen years at the end of October of 2013 (due to the previously mentioned health issue, though no one in management will admit to that) I am looking for a job as a Christian writer and will be signing up on a website called ‘Faithwriters’ trusting that if this is God’s will for me, that one day this will happen. (UPDATE: I now have a part-time job and decided not to sign up on Faithwriters, but to just continue writing on my blog when time allows. If God desires me to have a job as a Christian writer, He will bring it to pass in His way and in His timing, so that He will  receive all the glory).

I am also trying to serve my mom and to show her that I love her and that she has worth and value by helping take care of her as she is trying to regain her ability to walk again after an injury in March of 2014, as well as  suffering from a bad case of the Shingles at the same time, and breaking her leg in March of 2015. I can now see God’s ‘hand’ in all of this, and came to realize that it was His will for me to no longer have my job so that I would be available to help and to encourage my mom at this difficult time in her life.

You can be certain that I am trying to ‘make the most of every opportunity’ that God gives me with my mom by lovingly sharing Biblical truth with her. My prayer is that God will open her mind to the Scriptures and use me to continue to share the glorious good news of the gospel with her, as well as use me to expose the false teachings of Roman Catholicism so that she will “know the truth”  hoping that “the truth will set her free” and that God will then fill her with His joy and peace before her life also comes to an end; a thought that has brought tears to my eyes ever since I was a little girl!  No one likes the thought of losing a loved one, but sadly there’s nothing we can do to stop the hands of time. Instead we just have to rest in the fact that God is in control and that ‘He is not willing that anyone should perish, but that all would come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Religion and the traditions and philosophies of men can blind people from seeing Biblical truth, (Mark 7:13, Colossians 2:8) but the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. (Romans 1:16) People can be very religious and very sincere, but they can be sincerely wrong and lost for all eternity if they do not come to God through Jesus Christ and place their trust in Him alone  instead of depending on their good works or their religion to save them.

Dear Catholics, (or whatever religion you may be a part of) may I please ask you to sit down with your Bible and pray for God to show you what the truth is? In the days and weeks to come, please just take fifteen or twenty minutes every day and read through the book of Romans, Hebrews, and the gospel of John and test all you have learned over your many years of religious training against God’s Word and see what you discover.

So, I’ll end this post by asking you the same question that God impressed upon my mind and heart when I was confused, but amazed and filled with joy by the truth I discovered about Jesus while reading the little Catholic New Testament Bible that my ‘husband’ gave me back in 1980:

“Are you going to believe the Word of God?  Or the word of man?” 

 


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 LORD WILLING, COMING SOON:

While I was writing this post on Sept. 24th 2014, I noticed the ‘word count’ was already at 5,319.  (For those of you who are wondering, the final count, from the beginning to the very end of this post, came in at 22,767) It was then that I decided to make an entirely separate post comparing the rest of the Catechism of the Catholic church against God’s Word, the Bible, so that it will be easier for you to read through all of this very important information.  If you are interested, please consider checking back in January, because, Lord willing, I am hoping to have that post completed by then.  The title of the post will be:

 ‘ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE THE WORD OF GOD…OR THE WORD OF MAN?’ — A COMPARISON OF GOD’S WORD, THE BIBLE, WITH THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’ (UPDATE 8/10/15  I am still reading through the entire Catechism of the Catholic Church book which is over 700 pages long, and I am not quite sure when this post will actually be written, but I will update you when it is close to being completed).

Thank you for stopping by.  And thank you very much for taking time out of your busy day to read some of my posts and poems.  And to those of you who actually read this extremely long post, an extra big thank you goes out to you!

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

 

FURTHER READING:

Here are some articles with very good information that I found when searching for more information to add to this post for those of you who would like to do more research.  As always, please be sure to test everything in light of Scripture. (Acts 17:11)

THE FEAST OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION – ALOHA.NET

THE DOUAY RHEIMS BIBLE – THE ACHILLES HEEL OF PAPAL INFALLIBILITY – ALOHA.NET

DO CATHOLICS WORSHIP THE MOTHER MARY? AND IF THEY DO, IS IT AGAINST GOD’S WORD? — BIBLESTUDYSITE.COM

PROBLEMS WITH THE MARY OF ROMAN CATHOLICISM — LET US REASON MINISTRIES

DID JESUS HAVE BROTHERS AND SISTERS? — BIBLESTUDY.ORG

2 MACCABEES OF THE APOCRYPHA IS NOT INSPIRED SCRIPTURE

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Capture I the LORD do not changeIf there’s one thing we can rely on these days in spite of the fact that our world is changing so drastically, it’s the ‘unchanging’ nature of God and the ‘unchanging’ truth of God’s Word –the Bible (though I must add that ‘The Message’ and ‘The Voice’ translations are excluded as being ‘God’s Word’ because of the ‘new age’ terminology and the distortions of Scriptures presented in these versions). 

Sadly, however, many of us who are true Christians — born of the Spirit of God —  are also seeing many of our once strong and committed pastors and teachers beginning to change, as well.  And these changes are not for the better!  Instead of a pastor focusing on the importance of his role to ‘preach the Word’ of God and to ‘equip the saints’ and trust God to grow the church as He has always been faithful to do in the past, they have been led into falling for worldly strategies of growing the church by non-Christians such as Peter Drucker.  Rather than ‘contending for the faith’ they now are not only uniting with some pastors and teachers  (who many have serious concerns about)  at conferences, but also they are placing some of these ‘pastors’ in their own pulpits! 

Some are even involving themselves with unbiblical, and even demonic, mystical, spiritual practices such as ‘breath prayers,’ ‘contemplative prayer,’ ‘visualization techniques,’ –occultic practices often cloaked in Christian terminology claiming to allow the ‘Christian’ to ‘hear from God‘ or to ‘connect with God on a deeper, more intimate level.’  (Much more on this in an upcoming post —Lord willing).  God’s Word is no longer seen as the way to hear from God…now it’s all about ‘experiences.’  But to those who are not cautious and who fail to continually test things in light of Scripture, these techniques will lure them in and lead them astray.

How could it be that so many pastors and teachers are going astray?  Is it for the love of money, position, or power?  A ‘mid-life crisis’ maybe? What sin is at the root of all these serious changes we are seeing? 

Is it pride that has caused many of them to close their ears to not only the pleadings of their people to disassociate with certain pastors, but also to the legitimate and serious concerns their people are expressing to them?

God’s Word gives us a picture of the condition  that this world will be in before the return of Christ, as well as Scriptures that give an alarmingly accurate picture of ‘Christianity’ today.  Here are just a few of them:

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Luke 21:10,11)

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?  For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3,4)

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there be a falling away first…”  (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Timothy 4:1)

**UPDATED MON. 2-17-14 6:20p.m.** May I suggest to you that the reason many of us are seeing pastors and teachers who once strongly stood for Biblical truth without wavering, is because many are choosing to  –compromise.  Take for instance, Pastor Greg Laurie.  When he preached a sermon he always gave a clear gospel presentation complete with making each listener understand they must be willing to repent; to turn from sin and follow Christ, and I believe he still does.  However, there are other things Greg Laurie is doing that gives many of us valid reasons to be concerned.  I’ll share one example with you that I found out from speaking to a person I met on the Internet who left Greg Laurie’s church.  This person told me at the end of 2012 that they “saw signs of spiritual formation in junior high and up.” 

If you are not aware of what Spiritual Formation is, I highly recommend this article (and all the articles) by Pastor Gary Gilley SPIRITUAL FORMATION

Below is a portion of that article that explains the philosophy of Spiritual Formation:

“The Spiritual Formation Movement is concerned more about individual experience than biblical knowledge or truth.  This does not mean that adherents are totally uninterested in the Bible, and some would know it well.  But the emphasis is on what a person experiences through the Bible more so than what they learn.  Contemplatives, such as Dallas Willard and Richard Foster, will strongly encourage Bible reading and prayer but they mean something different from what most Christians mean when they reference the same terms.  As we will see in future articles, contemplative prayer is not the same as prayer defined biblically; “sacred reading” (also called “lectio divina” of Scripture is not the same as Bible study; meditation (mystically encountering God) is not the same as knowing God and so forth.  Many of the same terms are used, but as the classical liberals, and the more recent emergents, are fond of doing, they take our terms, including biblical ones, and give them new definitions and twists.” 

Now back to what I was saying about Greg Laurie: When I first became a Christian and didn’t yet have a full-time job, I would eagerly get up early every morning to hear him preach on the radio instead of sleeping for an extra hour or so.  Never did I think the day would come when he would give in to compromise!  However…one day when I got up in the morning and turned on my computer, I saw the following video on YouTube:

Here is the late Pastor Chuck Smith (who sadly, also gave in to compromise) introducing Rick Warren as his “good friend” at —Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusade in 2009:

For those of you who are still unaware of the serious concerns that many of us have with Rick Warren, I urge you to watch this video that I added to many of my other posts, as well, because of the detailed and very important information this video contains on Rick Warren:

**ADDED 2-17-14** And then there’s Francis Chan.  I never heard of him before until my former pastor, James MacDonald, recommended his book ‘Crazy Love‘ one Sunday during his sermon.  I did a ‘search’ on him that day to find out who he was, and at first he just seemed like a very humble man who desired to wholeheartedly seek after God and live an extremely simple life in order to give to the poor.  However, as time went on he began to get involved in promoting the unbiblical practice of  ‘Lectio Divina‘ along with Lecrae, Beth Moore, Louie Giglio, and John Piper at the Passion 2012 Conference.  After reading portions of Ephesians, each speaker would stop and say things like this: 

Beth Moore: “Without any comment, please, let’s pause and be still and ask Jesus to speak His Word to us.”  Let’s pause, be still, and let God’s Word speak to us.” 

Lecrae: “Pause, reflect, and hear from the Lord.” 

John Piper: “Let’s be quiet and ask the Lord to speak.” 

You can’t see it in the video above, but at this conference they had a banner in the background that said “Jesus, speak to me.”  In my search to document that for you, I came across the following, thanks to Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries:

Capture Jesus Speak To Me - Passion 2012 Conference SOURCE : APPRISING MINISTRIES – BETH MOORE AND JOHN PIPER LEAD LECTIO DIVINA – LITE AT PASSION 2012

Didn’t God’s Word already speak to them? They just read the whole book of Ephesians out loud, so for them to say to “Be still, and let God’s Word speak” seems to imply they are desiring to hear more than what can be learned by examining the passage of Scripture in context to see what God already said to us through His Word in this particular book, this one being Ephesians. Though God may speak to someone on extremely rare occasions, they are presenting this as a normative practice to be embraced by all Christians.  Everything God wants us to know has already been recorded in His Word, the Bible, and Jesus was God’s final Word to us:

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:1-3a)

Also, I had heard that there were some who attended Passion 2012 who left there doubting their salvation because they didn’t hear Jesus personally speak to them.  It was mainly because of what Louie Giglio said to them at this conference.  Once again, in my search to find what Louie Giglio actually said so I could share it with you, I found that on the same post by Ken Silva.  These are the words of Louie Giglio at the close of session 5:

“How many of you heard the voice of God speak specifically, clearly, directly, and personally, to you? Can you just put a hand up?  I’d like you to share it.  Can you put a hand up for a minute? 

Just want you to look around; that’s people saying, “God Almighty (pause) the Maker of heaven (pause) the one Who’s sitting on the only throne (pause) that’s not under threat (long pause, audience cheers) –He spoke to me. He spoke to me.”

“God spoke to me.”  (long pause)  Don’t let the voice of the darkness, tell you that you are not (pause) worth (pause) that God would not speak to you.  (pause)  Don’t let him tell you, you don’t matter.  (pause) God spoke to you.” (SOURCE) Apprising Ministries

Then, to make matters even worse, on December 30, 2013, Francis Chan chose to take part in an event at IHOP (International House Of Prayer), where he openly praised its leader, Mike Bickle, thus giving credibility to Mike Bickle and IHOP.  If you are not aware of the unbiblical teachings of Mike Bickle, as well as the unscriptural manifestations and even deadly things that have taken place within this movement, I strongly urge you to watch this video and read the articles below it:

ARTICLE: LOVE AND DEATH IN THE INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PRAYER

**UPDATED 2-19-14** EXCELLENT AND THOROUGH ARTICLE FROM THE HERESCOPE BLOG: THE PASSION OF THE PRESENCE

When we as Christians — especially pastors — consider getting involved with another pastor, teacher, or a movement claiming to be ‘Christian,’ we have the God-given responsibility of testing everything in light of Scripture (Acts 17:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22) and we also  need to seriously consider the warnings of those who know more than we may know about a certain person or movement, and check it out before choosing to get involved.  But sadly, as you can hear in the very beginning of the video I posted above, Francis Chan ignored the warnings he received and chose to publicly proclaim to those in attendance at that IHOP event,  the following:

“This is the first time I’ve ever been to an IHOP event.  Which is..it’s kinda crazy to me because I didn’t know that much, and, you know, so I kinda went on the Internet and started looking things up  and, I go ‘man there’s a lot of great things going on here. ‘ And today’s was the first time I ever met Mike Bickle, and, I love that guy.  I do.

There’s people that told me not to…hang out with him.  Like, you know, you know, words like creepy come up and yet I get to know this guy and I’m going,  “Man I love his heart.”  And I just want to publicly say, I love Mike Bickle.”

Then there’s Mega-pastors, Steven Furtick  of Elevation Church in Charlotte N. Carolina, and Perry Noble of Newspring Church in S. Carolina.  Both of whom my former pator, James MacDonald, is  deeply involved with.  I’ll start with Steven Furtick.

INFORMATION CONCERNING STEVEN FURTICK: 

As I shared with you in my >WARNING YOU WITH TEARS< post, Steven Furtick took James MacDonald’s place in the pulpit on August 14, 2011 when James was on his summer break.  Steven Furtick was also one of the pastors who took part in the ‘Elephant Room Conference,’  an idea that James MacDonald had that could have turned into something good, but instead ended in disaster.  (You can also read about that on the previously mentioned post).  I had never heard of Steven Furtick before all of that took place, so I cannot comment on how he was when he first started out, but I can share with you what is presently happening that many find rather disturbing.  Below is something I again found posted by someone on Twitter.  You can find this posted on Elevation Church’s Website.  Read all the points below and see if you find some of their reasons just a little bit disturbing as many other people do –including me:

Capture Reasons Elevation Church is the Best Place to Work

Capture ELEVATION CHURCH COLORING BOOK

Just now (1:47p.m. 2-19-14) I found the above picture through a tweet on Twitter by Stand Up For The Truth.’  This is an illustration from a coloring book at ‘Elevation Church‘ called ‘The Code,’ in which it appears that at a very early age, the children — along with the adults at ‘Elevation Church‘ — are learning that:

Elevation Church is built on the vision God gave Pastor Steven.”  And that Elevation Churchwill protect our unity in supporting his vision.”  

I don’t know about you, but I find this rather creepy and downright disturbing!  SOURCE

There’s so much information coming out on Twitter concerning Steven Furtick and Elevation Church that I’m finding it hard to keep up!  Here’s something else for you to take a close look at; ‘The Code‘ for Elevation Kidz that Steven Furtick wants them all to learn:

Capture elevation kids - the code

(SOURCE) FOUND IN TWEET POSTED BY CHRIS ROSEBROUGH

1. We are a generation of honor

2. We act in audacious faith

3.We eat the fish and leave the bones

4. We are known for what we are for

5. We lead the way in generosity

Don’t you find it rather concerning that Jesus isn’t even mentioned in the Kidz Code?

STEVEN FURTICK ADDRESSING ELEVATION CHILDREN TO LEARN ‘THE CODE’

Just searched YouTube and found this precious little girl, Isabella, who seems to know ‘the code’ quite well:

Please pray for the children and families at Elevation Church.  One can only hope and pray that the children at ‘Elevation‘ are learning that our lives should be built upon Christ and His Word as our solid foundation!  (Matthew 7:24-27) (1 Corinthians 3:10,11)  Somehow by all this new information, I am finding it very hard to believe, because the focus clearly is more on Steven Furtick and Elevation Church rather than on Jesus Christ and His Word.

Here are two more“creepy,” things that I heard concerning Steven Furtick and Elevation Church while listening to Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith:

IN THE VIDEO BELOW, CHRIS ROSEBROUGH DISCUSSES ‘VISION CASTING’ WITH ‘ISSUES, ETC.’S,TODD WILKEN.  AT THE 29:10 MARK YOU WILL HEAR THE ‘CREEPY’ CODE FOR STEVEN FURTICK’S, ELEVATION CHURCH, AT 43:10 MINUTE MARK YOU WILL HEAR JAMES MACDONALD SPEAKING TO A GROUP OF PASTORS ABOUT WHAT TO DO WITH THE ‘DIVISIVE’ MAN, AND  AT THE 45:45 MINUTE MARK YOU WILL HEAR WHAT MARK DRISCOLL HAS TO SAY CONCERNING THOSE WHO WILL OPPOSE THE ‘VISION’ OF MARS HILL CHURCH.  NOTE THE EVIL IN HIS VOICE AS HE SPEAKS.  THOUGH I FIND ALL OF THESE CLIPS DISTURBING, MARK DRISCOLL’S CLIP IS THE MOST DISTURBING AND CLEARLY HIS ATTITUDE DOES NOT REFLECT CHRIST AT ALL!

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN TO CHRIS ROSEBROUGH’S DEC. 16th 2013 PROGRAM:

>>STEVEN FURTICK’S CREEEEEEEPY COMEDY<<

At the links below, you will read about some more disturbing information concerning Steven Furtick and Elevation Church that I also found today on Twitter.  More and more we are seeing manipulative tactics being used on people who attend mega-churches in order to bring about the results that only God can produce in a person’s heart.  Clearly and sadly, many ‘pastors’ today view the church simply as an organization or corporation, and they are using the strategies of men to produce growth and results.  May God bring all who participate in things similar to this to true repentance, for they will stand before a Holy God one day and give an account for all they have done and their motives for doing so, as will each and every one of us have to do. (1 Corinthians 3:12-16) [NOTE: Although I do not agree with Chris Rosebrough on where he stands on many theological issues, I do appreciate how he exposes false teachings.]

MORE REASONS TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT STEVEN FURTICK:

HOW ELEVATION CHURCH PASTOR FURTICK PRODUCE SPONTANEOUS BAPTISM – BY STUART WATSON<

HOW STEVEN FURTICK ENGINEERED A SPONTANEOUS MIRACLE – BY JAMES DUNCAN OF ‘PAJAMA PAGES’ BLOG

I must admit that over the 14 1/2 years that I attended Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows, Pastor James would frequently have ‘spontaneous baptisms’ as Steven Furtick does at Elevation Church.  Sadly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the same manipulative tactics that are clearly used at Elevation Church are also used at Harvest Bible Chapel.

AT THE 45 MINUTE MARK AT THE LINK BELOW, CHRIS ROSEBROUGH POINTS OUT THE SERIOUS AND EVEN BLASPHEMOUS THINGS STEVEN FURTICK SAYS IN AN INTERVIEW WITH SANDY KRAKOWSKI CONCERNING HIS NEW BOOK, ‘CRASH THE CHATTERBOX’

CHRIS ROSEBROUGH — FURTICK’S CHATTERBOX BLASPHEMY

STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH PODCAST – WHEN DOES A CHURCH CROSS INTO A CULT

**UPDATED 3-4-14** FINAL POINT WHY YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT STEVEN FURTICK:

Last year at the ‘Holy Trinity Brompton  Leadership Conference,’ Steven Furtick said the following starting @4:15:

“I feel real strongly what God put in me to give to you tonight…”  “So I want to share with you…tonight from the Old Testament book of 2 Kings, and I want to share with you about a transitional moment in the life of Elisha the prophet.  And if you’ll stay with me in this sermon…I don’t know that you’ll take a lot of notes…usually when I come to a conference like this by this point I feel like I cannot write another thing…I have a notebook full of ideas, and…I feel like I don’t need another piece of information at this point.  So with that in mind, I thought I would get a little bit beyond the information realm, and…maybe we can move together tonight into a time of impartation (someone cheers at this point) and then maybe together we can see if  God would bring us into a… an encounter  with Him before we leave this place that…will change us and change our world.” (applause) SOURCE

In case you’re wondering why what Steven Furtick said should be very concerning, and in case you’re not aware of what ‘a time of impartation’ is to many leaders in the Charismatic Movement, please consider watching the following videos I posted below.  Briefly I will just say that since 1990 Nicky Gumbel has been the leader of the Alpha Course, and Holy Trinity Brompton Church is known for their promotion of the ‘Toronto Blessing‘ which includes ‘manifestations of animal noises,’ people being ‘slain in the spirit,’people acting ‘drunk in the spirit‘, and many other unbiblical manifestations as you will see in the second video that I posted below.

BENNY HINN HAVING A TIME OF IMPARTATION:

SHOCKING DOCUMENTARY BY ANDREW STROM:

ALPHA –  ATTEND OR AVOID – CECIL ANDREWS – PART 1 OF 2

Is it possible that Steven Furtick has gotten involved with these types of manifestations since he has become involved with Nicky Gumbel?  I am only speculating at this point, but it really makes you wonder why he used the term ‘a time of impartation‘ instead of ‘a time of prayer.’

**UPDATED 2-20-14** INFORMATION CONCERNING PERRY NOBLE:

Just as with Steven Furtick, I never heard of Perry Noble until information came out concerning the first ‘Elephant Room Conference‘ in which he took part in along with Steven Furtick and others.  As many in the ‘Church Growth Movement‘ do, Perry Noble chooses to use worldly methods to appeal to unbelievers in order to bring them into the church.  And in April of 2009 he chose to play AC DC’s song, ‘Highway To Hell‘ at his Easter Service at Newspring Church.  His reason for doing so, however, does not line up with what he declared during the ‘Elephant Room Conference.’  In the video below you will hear not only a short clip from ‘The Elephant Room Conference‘  in which Perry Noble explains his reason for doing so, but also you will hear him explain to his whole church congregation the reason why he played ‘Highway to Hell‘ for his Easter service.  His reason seems quite clear by what he says, but ultimately God will be the one who will judge his motives:

After listening to what he says in the video above, I encourage you to listen to the entire segment that took place during the Elephant Room Conference at the first link below where you can hear James MacDonald, Mark Driscoll, and Perry Noble discuss his decision to play that song in church:

SHOULD CHURCH LEADERS PLAY “HIGHWAY TO HELL” TO REACH UNBELIEVERS – CHURCHLEADERS WEBSITE

MORE RELATED ARTICLES

PERRY NOBLE MANGLES THE SCRIPTURES IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY PERFORMING HIGHWAY TO HELL IN CHURCH – CHRIS ROSEBROUGH OF ‘LETTER OF MARQUE’/’FIGHTING FOR THE FAITH’

ERIC YOUNG ‘HIGHWAY TO HELL’ BY PHIL JOHNSON VIS A VIS PERRY NOBLE JAMES MACDONALD AND THE DEMISE OF THE EVANGELICAL DISCERNMENT

A REVIEW OF PERRY NOBLE’S SERMON FROM AC/DC SUNDAY – IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT HE PLAYED THE SONG, ‘HIGHWAY TO HELL’ DID PERRY NOBLE AT LEAST PREACH THE GOSPEL ON EASTER OF 2009? READ HIS THOROUGH REVIEW AT THE LINK BELOW AND FIND OUT:

‘DEFENDING.CONTENDING.’BLOG – PERRY NOBLE’S MESSAGE FROM AC/DC SUNDAY

JAMES DUNCAN OF ‘PAJAMA PAGES’ – WHO KNEW YOU NEEDED AN EXCUSE NOT TO PLAY HIGHWAY TO HELL?

**UPDATED 2-28-14** INFORMATION CONCERNING JAMES MACDONALD:

Then there’s my former pastor, James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, whom I deeply appreciated because of his strong stand for Biblical truth and how he would preach God’s Word without apology.  After leaving my former Assembly of God Church of 16 years because the leadership was beginning to get involved with the ‘Pensacola revival,’ I was finally beginning to trust a pastor again, and felt assured that James would be a pastor who would never give in to compromise.  However, as many of us now know, sadly he did begin to change.  If I had to pinpoint exactly when he started to change, I can say without a doubt it was right after he came back from staying with Greg Laurie when he was having his cancer treatments.  And by reading some comments on The Elephant’s Debt and comments on some of the posts on Blood Stained Ink, I know that many other people who used to attend HBCRM (and some who still attend) have come to that same realization.  Whether Greg Laurie influenced him in some way, or someone else did, it was obvious to many of us that he was no longer the same James MacDonald that we once knew and looked forward to hearing when he preached almost every Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  He changed so much that one morning as I heard him preaching I actually had these thoughts: 

“Who are you, and where is the real James MacDonald?  Did someone clone him and replace the real James with his clone?” 

One day when I was doing a ‘search’ on the Internet, I came across the following article which made me laugh:

CAREFULLY SCRIPTED ELEPHANT AVOIDANCE — E R SAGA (PART 3) — BY CAMERON BUETTEL

It was rather comforting knowing now that I wasn’t the only one who had some outlandish thoughts about James because the changes in him were so obvious and rather concerning!  In the article above which was written on February 10th 2012, Cameron Buettel said the following:

“It would seem that my theory about the real James MacDonald being abducted by aliens some time last year is not as far fetched as my doubters first thought.  Of the multitudes of weird things James MacDonald has done over the last year or so, perhaps the most alarming was his invitation to TD Jakes to attend his Elephant Room Conference where “brothers” discuss their methodological differences.” (SOURCE)

Yes, Cameron, I am in total agreement!  And  because of what happen that night concerning T D Jakes   —  as I explained in detail in my WARNING YOU WITH TEARS post — I did not return to Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows — my church of over 14 1/2 years — ever again.

**UPDATED 2-27-14** As previously mentioned, James came up with the idea of the ‘Elephant Room Conference.’  We then began to see James form a close bond (or should I say they formed a “tribe,” as they referred to it in these ‘Elephant Room’ conferences) with pastors that many of us have valid concerns about: Mark Driscoll, Steven Furtick, Perry Noble…and then in ER2 there was T D Jakes –a known Modalist.  An idea that could have been amazing if James would have firmly, but lovingly held each pastor accountable to God’s Word and challenged them in certain areas where they were compromising, sadly ER2 ended in disaster because of how TDJakes was basically declared as having embraced the Biblical understanding of the Trinity, when it was obvious to many Biblical scholars who examined all that he had said that night that he was still using the language of a Modalist.  (Please consider listening to the many videos I added on my ‘Warning You With Tears’ post that examine all that T D Jakes said at ‘ER2’ in light of Scripture and in light of how one who does not believe in the Doctrine of the Trinity describes God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit). And even though James did stand his ground concerning Perry Noble’s idea of playing ‘Highway To Hell’ and constantly and firmly said it “was a bad idea,” and said,  “”I just don’t get it at all,”  and “The message of ‘Highway To Hell’ is blatantly offensive,” if you listen to the link I posted above — ‘Should Church Leaders Play ‘Highway To Hell’ To Reach Unbelievers,’ —  after James continued to listen to Perry Noble justify his reasons for playing it, near the end you will sadly hear James suddenly begin to change his once firm stand on his strong opposition to it.  Towards the end of the video after listening to Perry Noble constantly defend his decision to play ‘HTH’, he asks Matt Chandler if he would play ‘HTH’ in his church, and then James says the following: 

“He’s really making me think.  I gotta say that.  I mean he’s really making me think… he has a strategy, it’s thought through…he believes it honors God, he doesn’t think he’s compromising in any way.” Like he is on it with a passion, and a reason, and defending it –toe to toe.” …”He’s thought it through very carefully” 

After Matt Chandler expresses concern about the possibility that pastors may fly into license; all things are permissible,’ James says:

“To me personally I would never allow something that so defames the glory of God and the reputation of Jesus.  I would not allow it in my service.  Unclean!  I would not allow it.” 

Concerning Perry Noble’s decision to play ‘Highway To Hell,’ Mark Driscoll asked James: 

“…do you think it was a sin against God?” 

James replied:

“…I don’t doubt his motives and I definitely don’t think it was sin for him to do it…” 

“Here’s my thought on the subject for what it’s worth:  I’m already being instructed by this.  Frankly I’m not surprised, but I’m blessed by the sincerity, and the intentionality with which you’re doing the things that you’re doing.  Like I’m instructed by that.  I’m going have to think about that –some more.  My perspective is this:  If it doesn’t adorn the gospel…it’s the beauty of Christ that’s at stake in everything we do.  The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (Then quotes 2 Corinthians 3:18 )

“If it doesn’t adorn the beauty of God’s great Son, if it doesn’t display Him and show Him off…it’s the manifest presence  of God in the service which is the powerful life changing element.   I believe that if it doesn’t adorn the gospel it doesn’t advance the gospel.  We may see fruit…some fruit from it…we may draw people with it, we may draw decisions with it…and I’ll say it as simply as I know how in summary: I do think that if it doesn’t adorn the gospel, it doesn’t advance the gospel.”

Perry Noble says, in part:

…I think it was used to adore, and be used to advance the gospel because the song was redeemed.”

James replied:

“I’m gonna just say that I’m really blessed by you right now because your…your thinking is a lot different that I thought it was gonna to be.  I think you’re wrong about it.  But you really have thought it through…as you said, ‘we prayed on it’…”  “I’m just gonna stand on that point… if it doesn’t make Jesus more beautiful to people it’s not advancing our mission.”  ” If it’s not elevating God and God’s glory and God’s great Son then it’s not advancing the mission.  I really struggle with this idea that to be-in order to connect people  with Christ you have to be like them.  That ‘I gotta become like them to reach them’ is something that uh…I’m just not there yet.”

Perry: 

That’s what Jesus did.”

James: 

“Yeah?” (Silence for 3 seconds, and then James says:  “That would take another session.” 

James:

All right.  Fantastic.  Let’s wrap it up.” 

And then that particular ‘conversation’ came to an end.

These conferences seemed more like ‘Hegelian Dialectic‘ sessions where the goal is to wear down those with opposing views so they conform to the beliefs of the majority.  Did you notice how James would have his focus on Scripture, and yet notice how many times “I think”  was said instead of them keeping their focus on the truth of God’s Word and the Holiness of God and the reverence that we should have in our times of worship.  A shift began to take place where the belief of playing something so horrendous in a church as ‘Highway To Hell‘ was slowly becoming a possibility…at the very end it seemed that James might possibly consider trying to ‘be like them to reach them‘ with maybe a little more time and a little more thought.

We cannot be led by our feelings or our own ideas and justify something by simply saying, “We prayed about it.”  Our standard to judge what’s right and wrong must always be God’s Word, and we must never lose sight of the fact that God is pure and completely Holy and our worship we give to Him must be nothing less than that; pure and completely holy! 

“…worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.”  (Hebrews 12:28,29)

If you are not aware of what the Hegelian Dialectic Process is, I highly encourage you to watch the following video: 

Just think of the many who attended ER2 in January 2012 or watched by live stream and walked away that night believing that TD Jakes indeed is a “brother-in-Christ.”  Think of those who bought the DVD’s, and those who are not firmly grounded in the truth of God’s Word who may even begin to  listen to his sermons and be caught up in his ‘Word of Faith‘ false teachings, which is another serious error in T D Jakes‘ teachings that James and the other pastors chose not to address and confront him on that night.  Those of us who are ‘born of the Spirit,’ must be Bereans and examine the Scriptures daily to see if what is being said (and done by those who claim to speak for God) is true,’  (Acts 17:11) so that we will not be deceived.  We are not to trust in men but in God alone.  Pastors and teachers are to follow Christ and His command to ‘preach the Word,’ and to ‘go and make disciples,’ and not be led astray by following the dictates of their deceitful hearts.

Not only have  some people lost sight of the Holiness of God, but also many have lost their fear of God.  Profanity in the pulpit is a common occurrence in many churches today, when God’s Word clearly says otherwise, concerning the speech and conversations of those who profess to be followers of Christ and leaders in the church, as you can see from some of the Scriptures I posted further down.

When friendships with certain people begin to eclipse our ability to discern, and if our acceptance by others slowly becomes more important that our desire to honor and please God, you can be sure that it will be the beginning of a continuous downward spiral.  And that is what I believe we are all witnessing concerning James and many pastors and teachers today –compromise for the sake of ‘unity’  and acceptance which not only causes one to harden their heart against the warnings and truth presented in God’s Word, but also hinders them from discerning truth from error. 

Here’s another example:  In January, James went away for some rest.  And by his tweet below you can see that on one of those days he attended Perry Noble’s Newspring Church.  And concerning Perry Noble’s new series on ‘CHANGE,’ he said the following:

Capture James MacDonald at New Spring Church Jan. 12, 2014

I haven’t yet listened to the actual sermon that James listened to on that particular Sunday, but it was entitled: Three Things That Must Happen For Change To Happen.’  If you’d like, you can go to Newspring Church’s website and listen to it in light of Scripture (Acts 17:11) and come to your own conclusion.

If you’d like to listen to a Biblical analysis of one of Perry Noble’s sermons in his series on Change, you can listen to Chris Rosebrough of Fighting For The Faith,’ at the link below.  That will give you a glimpse into how Perry Noble misapplies Scripture, and will also leave you wondering why James would publicly tell his followers on Twitter that one of Perry Noble’s sermons is “great.”  Maybe that particular one was, but by all the other ones I have heard him  ‘preach,’ I am sorry to say that it is highly unlikely that it was.

MISADVENTURES IN BAD HERMENEUTICS – PERRY NOBLE TURNS JOHN 3:16 INTO A TITHING TEXT

Here’s an example of how Perry Noble clearly takes  Scriptures out of context.  In this video Perry takes Scriptures that can only apply to Jesus and applies them to Steven Furtick!  It is not a stretch at all that Chris Rosebrough entitled the following video, THE BLASPHEMOUS GOSPEL OF STEVEN FURTICK BY PERRY NOBLE’

Another concern we should have with James and his involvement with — and promotion of — Perry Noble, is the fact that Perry Noble promotes the book, SACRED MARRIAGE by Gary Thomas.  In the following video Perry says:

It is the best book on marriage written,” and “…very excellent information that everybody needs to hear”

And in case you’re wondering why Perry Noble promoting that book by Gary Thomas is concerning to many, please consider reading the following articles at Lighthouse Trails at the link below this ‘quick capture‘ and you will understand why you should be concerned about Perry Noble or any pastor promoting a book by Gary Thomas.  Here’s an excerpt from one of those articles which clearly reveals why many are concerned about the unbiblical and even mystical teachings that Gary Thomas presents in his books:

Capture GARY THOMAS SACRED MARRIAGE AND MYSTICISMSOURCE

ARTICLES AT LIGHTHOUSE TRAILS-GARY THOMAS SACRED MARRIAGE AND MYSTICISM

 

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

“He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind; for He is not a human being, that He should change His mind.” (1 Samuel 15:29)

“I the LORD do not change.” (Malachi 3:6a)

“People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.  Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, He confirmed it with an oath.  God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrews 6:16-19a)

 

**2-9-14 ** PLEASE READ THESE SCRIPTURES WITH THIS QUESTION IN MIND: DO THE QUALITIES IN SOME OF THESE SCRIPTURES DESCRIBE MY PASTOR?

“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s suffering who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them–not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:1-3)

“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.  Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.  He must manage his own family well and see that his own family obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.  He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.”  (1 Timothy 3:1-7) 

“An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.  Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless–not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.  Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:6-9)

“The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.  For Scripture says,  “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”  Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.  But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning.  I charge you in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.” (1 Timothy 5:17-21)

“So Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip His people for works of service, so the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Ephesians 4:11-15)

“I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned.  Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.  By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.” (Romans 16:17,18)

“Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of any of you.  For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.  Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood.  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.  So be on your guard!  Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:26-31)

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the Word of truth.”  (2 Timothy 2:15)

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

“For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be.  I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.” (2 Corinthians 12:20)

“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good.  For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.  The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.  But I tell you that man will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.  For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:34-37)

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.  And live a life of love,just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.  Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or course joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.  For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure, or greedy person — such a man is an idolater — has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.  Therefore do not be partners with them.  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful to even mention what the disobedient do in secret.  But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.  This is why it is said,  “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”  Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:1-16)

“But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8)

“Let your conversations be always full of grace, …so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:6)

“Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by Him deeds are weighed.” (1 Samuel 2:3)

“To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” (Proverbs 8:13)

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)

“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 13:3)

“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advise.” (Proverbs 13:10)

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)

“A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.” (Proverbs 29:23)

“The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.” (Isaiah 2:11)

“The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks and make your home on the heights, you who say to yourself, ‘Who can bring me down to the ground?’  (Obadiah 1:3)

“The Word of the LORD came to me:  “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign LORD says,  “Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves!  Should not shepherds take care of the flock?  You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.  You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured.  You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost.  You have ruled them harshly and brutally.  So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.  My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every hill.  They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.  Therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD:  As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because My shepherds did not search for My flock but cared for themselves rather than My flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the Word of the LORD:  This is what the Sovereign LORD says:  I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for My flock.  I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves.  I will rescue My flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.  For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I Myself will search for My sheep and look after them.  As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them,  so will I look after My sheep.  I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.” (Ezekiel 34:1-12)

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7,8)

**UPDATE 2-9-14** If you have read all the Scriptures above, then please click HERE, and if your pastor is  JAMES MACDONALD OF HARVEST BIBLE CHAPEL ROLLING MEADOWS, please take the next hour or so to listen to his message from the ‘ACT LIKE MEN’ CONFERENCE in its entirety. 

If you have been one of those who have ignored the serious concerns that many of us have tried to warn you about concerning James MacDonald’s character, and how much he has changed, after listening to his message can you now honestly say that his character and speech honors Christ and matches the Biblical description of an elder?If you are a man and you brought your son or a man you were sharing Christ’s love and the gospel with to this conference, would you be proud of the speech of your pastor, or cringe and feel ashamed?  Or more importantly, what do you think Jesus thought of his message?  Did James truly glorify God with his whole message, or did he compromise in order to please men? 

Since James has become very good friends with Mark Driscoll — who is sadly referred to by many as “the cussing pastor,” — maybe he has been wrongly influenced by his behavior.  However, there is no excuse for James speaking as he did at the ‘Act Like Men‘ conference.  He knows full well how our speech and our behavior as a follower of Christ is to reflect Christ and not reflect the behavior of the world.

James’ brother is in extremely critical condition after suffering a massive stroke, and I am deeply sorry to hear that and am praying for him, but this issue needs to be dealt with and not ignored!

SECOND ITEM OF CONCERN:

A long time former member of Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows informed me that HBCRM sent out a very lengthy letter to those who have recently left Harvest.  (I have not received one yet.  Maybe they are sending letters only to those who have not already let them know why they have left).  Below is a ‘quick capture‘ of a condensed summary giving just the main highlights in the letter that this person received from HBCRM and was nice enough to share with me by email:

Capture HBCRM LETTER MAILED TO THOSE WHO HAVE LEFT HARVEST

So, former Harvesters, what would it take for you to return?  Would you even consider returning?  Would you return if James sincerely repented for the reasons that caused you to leave?  Are you planning on responding to this letter?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Someone who just read the recent HBCRMElder’s Update‘ informed me of the fact that James has agreed to take a pay cut and made many other commendable ‘lifestyle adjustments.’  But is this enough?  True change takes place in the heart when godly sorrow grips a person and they realize the wrong they have done and ask forgiveness from those they have offended and sinned against.  Are we seeing these changes take place in the heart and words of James?  Only God knows his heart, so we must not judge his intentions, but the evidence of true repentance must be more than superficial changes.

The elder update also speaks of “accountability between senior staff and Elder board,“and “the priority of seeking reconciliation in relationships with former church leaders.”  All good steps in the right direction, for sure!

But what about the ”ELDER VIDEO” in which the character of men were destroyed in front of all who attended Harvest that day?  What kind of impression did ‘first time visitors’ have if they attended that particular day? Below is a ‘quick capture’ of a review of HBCRM on ‘yelp,’ given by a person who attended HBCRM only a few times, and one of those times he attended was the day the ‘Elder Update‘ video was played for the entire congregation.  I accidentally came across this a couple of weeks ago:

Capture Review of HBC on yelp

The ‘elders video,’ incident  was bad enough, but what do you think a first time visitor thought if they came to HBCRM on Easter Sunday 2013 when James chose to preach on –money??!!  I never would have thought that James would have passed up an opportunity to preach the gospel on such a perfect day as the day we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  How utterly sad and even possibly blasphemous that he would choose to do such a thing!  Truly James has changed!

Personally, I would not return even if he had a sincere change of heart and repented and asked forgiveness from all the people he has hurt, although I am still continuing to pray that one day that will indeed happen. 

Even though I have forgiven James and long to be with some of my friends who are still there, I have found a church where the pastor has served faithfully for many years, and who preaches verse by verse without taking any verses out of context, or distorting it in order to add his own agenda.  My new pastor preaches every Sunday and does not get involved with pastors who distort the Word of God.  My new pastor knows me by name, and has talked with me almost every Sunday over the two years that I have now been there since leaving HBCRM.  I have even had lunch with my pastor and his wife and daughter, and he kindly and generously paid for my lunch.  Sadly, James would not even know me by name, even though I was a member for over 14 years and sat in the front of church within the first three or four rows, Sunday after Sunday.  A smaller, more intimate church where they sing hymns with lyrics that praise God, giving Him all the glory He is SO deserving of, and where people know one another and encourage one another has been the kind of church I have now found, and I am very happy and at peace there.  No more waiting for James to change and going home every Sunday feeling discouraged and righteously angry because of how he used certain Scriptures to insult those of us who have discernment and instead he labeled us as being “divisive.”

Please keep James and his brother in your prayers as I will be doing.  It is not my intent to “bash” James— it saddens me to post this, especially knowing his brother is now in such serious condition, but I found this audio from the ‘Act Like MenConference before I heard about his brother, and had been planning on updating this post with more information since I wrote it on Jan. 23, 2014.  My sole intention of adding the audio clip is that I am hoping and praying that God will use it to help those of you who are not only continuing to cling to the idea of “how much James has accomplished in the past,” but also to help those of you who are refusing to listen to the concerns that many have expressed on ‘The Elephant’s Debt,’ (especially on their latest and possibly last post —TO EVERY SEASON’ ).  It is my prayer that many of you will finally realize — after first reading the Scriptures I posted and then listening to his message — that indeed the character of James does not line up with the godly character traits that an elder must have according to God’s Word, and that all of you will begin to think and pray about what God would have you to do.

Scott and Ryan have shed light on many serious concerns regarding the conduct and character of James MacDonald.  Many godly men have come forward to give their statements concerning why they have left, and they have shared their personal stories of their experiences with James.  It’s time that all of us get our focus on Jesus, and not on any man and his ministry.  It’s time to examine the evidence and seek God in prayer for answers and wisdom as to what He would have you all to do.

Men, no matter who your pastor is, you are ordained by God to be the spiritual leader for your family.  You will have to stand before God one day and give an account for how you have led your wife and your children spiritually, so please make sure you are testing all the messages that your pastor is preaching against the Word of God, (Acts 17:11) and if necessary, find a new church home where the Word of God is accurately preached and the pastor’s character reflects the character of Christ Himself.

HBCRM members and attendees, spend time praying for God to change James’ heart, but seek God as to how much longer He would have you wait to see true repentance take place.  Or maybe in your time of prayer He will lead you to begin a search to find a new church where the pastor is accountable to godly men who have been appointed as elders by the votes of members of the church, and where the pastor will be faithful to preach God’s Word and will not give in to compromise.

**UPDATED 3-5-14** 7:05 p.m.** IN CLOSING

There was a time when most men of God were faithful to the call of God to go and preach the gospel and make disciples and correct and rebuke those who were in error.  But sadly today some pastors simply view the church as an ‘organization’ and some even go as far as saying, “I think that Jesus is the product” (that they attempt to sell) as T D Jakes stated in the following interview:

Many mega-pastors use worldly marketing strategies and some use feel-good messages that appeal to the desires of their ‘consumers’ to grow their church instead of preaching a gospel of sin and repentance and the glorious good news of the gospel of God’s mercy and grace.  Many may leave feeling good and many will probably even come back, but without hearing the truth that we are all sinners on the road to a real eternal lake of fire, their ‘best life’ will be only the good they experience here ‘now’ on this earth, and those who have ‘preached’ a ‘gospel’ that has no power to save will have to stand before God one day and answer for what they have done and failed to do.  The blood of their people will be upon their hands. 

And some pastors go to the other extreme and focus more on the law and make their people feel condemned because of their sins, and they do not share the ‘good news’ of the gospel that if they repent and receive what Jesus did when He not only took upon Himself the detestable sins  that we have committed, but also Jesus took upon Himself the full wrath of God that was intended for us because of our sins, and that we can be completely forgiven and clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and our sins will then be as far as the east is from the west, and cast into the depths of the sea.  

Presently we are seeing more and more pastors and teachers focusing on ‘unity’ and focusing less and less on Biblical truth.  Few today are men of God who have remained faithful to preach and to teach God’s Word to their congregations –all because they have not allowed the pressure to conform to the new standards to measure success as a church by, which seems to be,“It’s all about the numbers,” as mega-pastor Steven Furtick has been known to say.  More and more these types of pastors continue to lose sight of their mission of preaching the gospel and equipping the saints, and instead seek to build more and more churches which have become their empires destined to crumble if these pastors do not repent and return to Jesus, their first love.

The true gospel is about preaching sin and repentance to people to make them see their need for a Savior, and realizing that God alone has the power to convict someone of sin and to lead someone to repentance.  To use emotionally manipulating tactics — such as playing music when the pastor is preaching or about to give an altar call, or planting people in the service to come forward so as to motivate others to follow and come forward in an altar call — (as many of us have discovered is being done by seeing the latest news coming out concerning Steven Furtick, Elevation Church, and so-called ‘spontaneous baptisms‘), or to present sermons and music in a worship service that appeals to the sinful nature of men, implies that the good news of the gospel no longer has the power nor is it sufficient any longer to save someone.  And nothing could be further from the truth!

Many pastors and teachers — and all of us who are followers of Christ, for that matter — may start out with pure motives and a heart that desires to follow God without compromise, however, what really matters is how we finish on this road called ‘life.’  This thought came to mind towards the end February of this year as I was doing my daily Bible reading.  As I often do at the start of a new year, I began reading through the Old Testament.  On this one particular day as I was reading through 2 Chronicles, I began to reflect upon the many kings of Israel who started out serving God, but in the end they began to compromise and did not remain faithful to God.  Here are just a few of them:

“Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD.  He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones, and cut down the Asherah poles.  He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to obey His laws and commands.  He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him.  Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with a vast army and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah.  Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said,  “LORD, there is no one like You to help the powerless against the mighty.  Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this vast army.  O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You.”  The LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah.  The Cushites fled, and Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar.  “The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded.  He went out to meet Asa and said to him,  “Listen to me, Asa and all and all Judah and Benjamin.  The LORD is with you when you are with Him.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.  But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”  When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage.  He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim.  He repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD’s temple.  They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul.  All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.  They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting, and with trumpets and horns.  All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly.  They sought God eagerly, and He was found by them.  So the LORD gave them rest on every side.  King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole.  Asa cut the pole down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley.  Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life.  “At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa King of Judah and said to him,  “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand.  Were not the Cushites and the Libyans a mighty army with great number of chariots and horsemen?  Yet when you relied on the LORD, He delivered them into your hands.  For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.  You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.  Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison.  At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.  The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.  In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet.  Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians.  Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his fathers.” (2 Chronicles 14:2-5,9-13a,15:1,2,8,9,12-17,16:7-13)

“Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years.  His mother’s name was Jehoaddin; she was from Jerusalem.  He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but not wholeheartedly.  When Amaziah returned from slaughtering the Edomites, he brought back the gods of the people of Seir.  He set them up as his own gods, bowed down to them and burned sacrifices to them.  The anger of the LORD burned against Amaziah, and He sent a prophet to him, who said,  “Why do you consult this people’s gods, which could not save their own people from your hand?”  While he was still speaking, the king said to him,  “Have we appointed you as an adviser to the king?  Stop!  Why be struck down?”  So the prophet stopped but said,  “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my counsel.”  From the time that Amaziah turned away from following the LORD, they conspired against him in Jerusalem and he fled to Lachish, but they sent men after him to Lachish and killed him there.  He was brought back by horse and was buried with his fathers in the city of Judah.” (2 Chronicles 25:1,2,14-16,27,28)

“Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem fifty-two years.  His mother’s name was Jecoliah; she was from Jerusalem.  He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father Amaziah had done.  He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God.  As  long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.  God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal, and against the Meunites.  The Ammonites brought tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread as far as the border of Egypt, because he had become very powerful.  But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall.  He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.  Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in.  They confronted him and said,  “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD.  That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense.  Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God.”  Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry.  While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead.  When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead, so they hurried him out.  Indeed, he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him.  King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died.” (2 Chronicles 27:3-5,7,8,16-21)

After reading all the many accounts of the kings of Israel, suddenly I thought of many popular pastors and teachers who no longer serve God wholeheartedly and who began to change and who have given in to compromise.  These pastors no longer contend for the faith and no longer protect their sheep from false teachers as they once did.  Instead they invite them in to preach from their very own pulpits!  On the day they stand before a Holy God who alone knows their hearts and their motives, it won’t matter how many churches they planted, or how many people came forward in an altar call, or how many came forward to be baptized.  What will matter is did they really place their trust in Christ.  And, if so, were they faithful to preach the gospel without compromise?  Were they faithful to earnestly contend for the faith?  Were they faithful to preach His Word in season  and out of season and teach their people how to rightly divide His Word?  Did they bring correction when it was needed?  Did they expose error and protect their people lovingly and fervently as a shepherd protects his sheep from wolves whose main intent is to kill and destroy them?

Many pastors and teachers — and many ordinary followers of Christ, as well — need to have a fresh realization of the Holiness of God.  Because, sadly, many obviously have lost their fear of God, or they would not be doing some of the many things that they are doing these days and claiming that ‘God told them to do it.’  We all need to have our focus on Jesus Christ alone, and seek Him in His Word alone.

We also need to pray for our pastors and teachers, and pray for one another that God would fill our hearts with repentance and that we would seek Him wholeheartedly so that we will not change along with the culture of this world that is so obviously in rebellion against a Holy God.

As always, God has a remnant of believers who will not give in to compromise and who will continue to earnestly contend for the faith.  Will you be one of them?

WHY I WROTE THE FOLLOWING POEM

I began writing this poem a few months ago out of concern because of what I see happening in mega-churches in general.  However, after listening to a video of a sermon from the weekend of January 4th and 5th 2014 preached by James MacDonald — my former pastor for over 14 1/2 years — and hearing how he enticed the people in his congregation by saying,“The biggest miracle that’s ever happened in the history of Harvest Bible Chapel is happening right now,” and how he went on to say that ‘he couldn’t tell everyone about it yet, but would in a few months,’ and upon learning from an ‘inside source‘  at the very end of December that “the [giving] “envelopes” were on every chair as people entered the auditorium,” and that “…the give stage was set from the beginning,” I was then strongly motivated to finish this poem so that I could warn people of not only the manipulative tactics that some pastors use to lure them in and to keep them there, but also I again realized the need to remind people of the importance of  looking to Jesus Christ alone and studying God’s Word so that people would not be deceived by  men and lured and  captivated by their ‘vision casting’ plans that are presented to them by these pastors. Therefore, the following poem has some verses that are much longer than the verses in most of my other poems because whenever I attempt to express my concerns about serious matters, I find it very difficult to condense my thoughts into short verses.  I apologize for how it appears, but I hope the message comes across without the lengthy verses being a distraction to you.

Thank you very much for stopping by and taking time out of your busy day to read some of my posts and poems.

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

 

YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN THE FOLLOWING:

**ADDED 2-26-14** THE CULT OF THE VISIONEER – TODD PRUITT, REFORMATION 21 BLOG

**ADDED 3-5-14** PAUL PROCTOR – THE PEOPLE’S CHURCH WILLOWCREEK AND THE CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT

 

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UNCHANGING

I serve a God who is unchanging, His Word is living and complete

Yet some ignore this truth, to seek new revelations and experiences at His feet

Then there’s the mighty mega-pastor, who once lived in humble, simple ways

When asked the reason for his success, he would always give God the praise

A foundation once built on Christ and on His Word alone

Has given way to building using strategies of men, and God’s Word is twisted

so his own agenda can be shown

Many eyes are now being opened, discernment and knowledge are some

reasons why

As God’s Spirit and godly men reveal what’s hidden in darkness, the truth is

then hard to deny

Rather than repent, these men seem to just continue to plan and to scheme

They hype up their sheep with hints of exciting things to come; the newest

mega-pastor’s dream

Their hope is to keep the devoted ones coming and giving, so as not to foil their

slightly revealed vision casted plan

Sadly these pastors have drifted far from their calling, to preach God’s Word

and to reveal a Holy God to sinful man

Shouldn’t it be enough to proclaim what Christ has done

To proclaim the unchanging glorious gospel; sin has been atoned for, it is

finished, Christ has won

Shouldn’t we simply bow in humble reverence, and praise His Holy name

And not continually praise how great our church is, and focus on its growth

and its fame

What about instructing their sheep in sound doctrine, and dying to self and

turning from sin

And warning of wolves in sheep’s clothing, instead they’re uniting and inviting

them in

God’s Word is unchanging, His truth is what sets men free

But many pastors fail to teach God’s Word or to prepare their people for

eternity

Caught up in being relevant and planting churches, many have strayed off the

straight and narrow path

They have changed their once powerful gospel message, without repentance

these pastors will sadly face God’s wrath

Abandoning their sheep, giving in to compromise, no longer faithful to love

and to lead

These pastors leave a trail of wounded people, they have turned a deaf ear to

the truth when they plead

There is still hope for change through repentance, if they choose to surrender

to conviction and no longer rebel

If ignored, the cost to themselves and their hearers, will be none other than the

fires of hell

The methods and messages of some pastors truly are changing, but our God is

unchanging and His Word makes it clear

That we must contend for the faith, for deception is great, and proves Christ’s

return is indeed drawing near

Copyright© 2014 Mary K. Dalke/Living4HisGlory/Living For His Glory All rights reserved.

**UPDATED AND COMPLETED WEDNESDAY, 3-5-14** 7:17 P.M.

**UPDATED WEDNESDAY 3-5-14 10:00 A.M.** ADDED ARTICLE ON THE CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT BY PAUL PROCTOR. SEE UNDER ‘FURTHER READING.’ DATED IN RED.

**UPDATED TUESDAY 3-4-14 6:02 P.M.**  ADDED INFORMATION CONCERNING STEVEN FURTICK.  SEE UNDER ‘FINAL POINT WHY YOU SHOULD BE CONCERNED ABOUT STEVEN FURTICK,’ DATED IN RED.  WILL ADD CLOSING THOUGHTS WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS WHICH WILL FINALLY COMPLETE THIS POST.

**UPDATED SATURDAY 3-1-14 3:30 P.M.**  ADDED SOME CLOSING THOUGHTS.  SEE UNDER ‘IN CLOSING’ AND ‘WHY I WROTE THIS POEM,’ DATED IN RED.  ALMOST FINISHED…JUST A LITTLE MORE TO GO.  LORD WILLING, SHOULD BE COMPLETED BY EARLY NEXT WEEK.

**UPDATED FRIDAY 2-28-14 10:10 P.M.** ADDED SOME ‘CONVERSATION’ BETWEEN JAMES MACDONALD, PERRY NOBLE, AND MARK DRISCOLL FROM ‘ELEPHANT ROOM 1’ CONCERNING PERRY N. PLAYING ‘HIGHWAY TO HELL.’  ( DATED IN RED – SEE UNDER ‘INFORMATION CONCERNING JAMES MACDONALD’)

**UPDATED THURSDAY 2-27-14  9:17 p.m.** ADDED MORE INFORMATION CONCERNING JAMES AND PERRY NOBLE (DATED IN RED) JUST NEED TO ADD MY CLOSING COMMENTS, BUT MAY NOT BE ABLE TO FINISH TOMORROW.  HAVE AN IMPORTANT FAMILY MATTER TO ATTEND TO THAT CAME UP.  LORD WILLING, I WILL COMPLETE THIS POST WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS.  THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY, AND THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

**UPDATED WEDNESDAY 2-26-14 9:00 p.m.**  ADDED ARTICLE ‘THE CULT OF THE VISIONEER’ BY TODD PRUITT UNDER ‘FURTHER READING,’  SOME INFORMATION CONCERNING JAMES MACDONALD, AND AN ARTICLE CONCERNING JAMES BY CAMERON BUETTEL.  (DATE IN RED).  LORD WILLING, I AM HOPING TO COMPLETE THIS POST BY THE END OF THIS WEEK.  THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

**UPDATED FRIDAY 2-21-14 12:00 P.M**. ADDED ‘STAND UP FOR THE TRUTH’ PODCAST CONCERNING STEVEN FURTICK -“WHEN DOES A CHURCH CROSS INTO A CULT” AND VIDEO OF STEVEN F. ENCOURAGING ‘ELEVATION CHILDREN’ TO LEARN ‘THE CODE.’

**UPDATED THURSDAY 2-20-14 9:13 P.M.** ADDED MANY LINKS TO INFORMATION ON PERRY NOBLE, PERRY NOBLE VIDEO, ARTICLE BY DR. RANDY WHITE CONCERNING THE ‘CHURCH GROWTH MOVEMENT.  (DATED IN RED).

**UPDATED WEDNESDAY, 2-19-2014** ADDED  INFORMATION ON STEVEN FURTICK AND ELEVATION CHURCH, AND MORE ON FRANCIS CHAN.  ALSO ADDED LINK (COLORED IN RED) TO THE ‘ELDER  VIDEO.’ ALL INFORMATION DATED AND COLORED IN RED.  THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

**UPDATED MONDAY, 2-17-14 6:20p.m.** ADDED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GREG LAURIE AND INFORMATION ON FRANCIS CHAN.  SEE INFORMATION DATED 2-17-14

** UPDATE 2-15-14 9:26 P.M.**  I WAS HOPING TO FINISH THIS POST BY TODAY, BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT I NEEDED TO TAKE CARE OF FIRST.  LORD WILLING, I HOPE TO FINALLY COMPLETE THIS POST BY WEDNESDAY.  ONCE AGAIN, I AM VERY SORRY, AND APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE.

**UPDATED 2-12-14**SEE UNDER THE FIRST SET OF SCRIPTURES. DATE IN RED.  LORD WILLING, HOPE TO HAVE THIS POST COMPLETED BY THE END OF THIS WEEK

**UPDATED 2-9-14 9:01 p.m.**  ADDED LINK TO JAMES MACDONALD’S MESSAGE FROM HIS ‘ACT LIKE MEN’ CONFERENCE WITH SOME THOUGHTS FOR YOU TO PRAYERFULLY PONDER, AS WELL AS A HBCRM REVIEW I CAME ACROSS ON ‘YELP,’ AND INFORMATION ON A LETTER RECENTLY SENT TO MANY WHO HAVE LEFT HBCRM.  (ALL UPDATES DATED IN RED

UPDATE 2-6-14  3:32P.M. ADDED MORE SCRIPTURES**  WILL TRY TO COMPLETE POST WHEN TIME ALLOWS…NEED TO CATCH UP ON SOME THINGS FIRST.  THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

UPDATE 1-31-14 11:38A.M.**  FOR THE PAST WEEK I HAVE BEEN GATHERING INFORMATION TO SUPPORT SOME OF THE COMMENTS I WILL BE ADDING TO FINALLY FINISH THIS POST.  LORD WILLING, I HOPE TO HAVE EVERYTHING I AM SEARCHING FOR — AND THIS POST COMPLETED — BY EARLY NEXT WEEK –MAYBE SOONER.  THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

 

Save

Tenth Avenue North – Worn

INTRODUCTION

I’m sure that many of you who are Christians can identify with the feeling of being ‘worn’ by the circumstances that life continues to bring, in spite of a deep and abiding faith in Christ and belief in His Sovereignty.  This poem sums up what I have been ‘feeling’ over the past few months, but we as Christians must not be led or controlled by our feelings.  If we have repented (turned from sin because of sincere sorrow in our hearts – 2 Corinthians 7:10) and have placed our complete trust in Christ providing full payment for our sins and satisfying God’s wrath that He has towards us because of  our sins,  and have submitted our lives to Him, then we must choose to trust Him and respond in the midst of trials in a way that seeks to honor and glorify God, and not in a way that satisfies our human sinful nature.  And, as those of us who are truly Christians know — as hard as we may try, in our own strength that is not always possible.  At times we may still try and take matters into our own hands and react in the flesh, instead of responding with self-control and relying upon God’s strength and out of a desire to glorify God.

For those of you who do not yet personally know Jesus Christ, but may just possibly have a head knowledge of who He may be, may I suggest to you that God may be using the difficult circumstances of your life right now to draw you to Himself?  Sometimes if the kindness He shows you does not draw you to Himself, the only way you may see your need for Him is if your whole world comes crumbling down around you.  I pray that if this is you, that you will consider reading His Word, the Bible, and allow Him to reveal Himself to you.  Lay your life down at the foot of the cross and accept the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on your behalf when He bore your sins and guilt when He hung upon the cross and died in your place.  Be willing to turn from your sins, and to learn of Him and His truth in His Word, the Bible.  I promise you, that even though your life will continue to be filled with sorrow and disappointment at times, you will have His peace that surpasses all human understanding, His grace and strength that is always sufficient to see you through, His love that will never end for you, and His wisdom to help you make the many decisions you will have to make as you continue to walk down this road we call ‘life.’

God bless you, and thank you for stopping by.   And thank you to those of you who take the time to read my posts and poems.  I pray that somehow God will bless and encourage you through what I write.  Above all, I pray God will reveal His truth to you and encourage you through the Scriptures I continue to post with each blog post I write.

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it.  Though I did regret it–I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while– yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.  For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.  Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret but worldly sorrow brings death.”  (2 Corinthians 7:8-10)

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you towards repentance?  But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath when His righteous judgment will be revealed.”  (Romans 2:4)

“Say to them,  ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.  Turn!  Turn from your evil ways!'”         (Ezekiel 33:11)  

Jesus said,  “I tell you, no!  But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”  (Luke 13:3)

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”  (Acts 3:19)

“The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.  Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?  You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with Him.”  (2 Peter 3: 9-14)

“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in His flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.  His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility.  He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.  For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”  (Ephesians 2:14-18)

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”         (Romans 5:8)

“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  (1 John 4:9,10)

“You believe that there is one God.  Good!  Even the demons believe that — and shudder.”  (James 2:19)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”  (John 3:16-21)

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”  (John 3:36)

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  (John 14:27)

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, for when I am weak, then I am strong.”  (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)

“If God is for us who can be against us?”  (Romans 8:31)

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”  (1 Peter 3:9)

“It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good, than for doing evil.  For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”      (1 Peter 3:17,18)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  (James 1:2-4)

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade — kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes, even though refined by fire — may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”      (1 Peter 1:3-9)

“But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.  My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside.  I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.”  (Job 23:10-12)

WORN BUT DETERMINED

Weary from life and from all the hurt and change it brings

And yet my heart cries out to You, O Lord, to You its praises sings

Sorrow upon sorrow, it seems that’s all that I endure

But in Christ’s strength I rest in knowing that in You I am secure

Desiring to bring You glory, and never to bring You shame

I choose to submit to every challenge, as I call upon Your name

In You I find my strength when I am so very weak

As well as words of  truth and wisdom when there is the need to speak

Lord, You see how I am wrongly accused and judged, there’s nothing more that I can do

All I ask is that You’d have Your way, I place all my trust in You

My worth has been diminished as my age begins to grow

Regardless of my faithfulness, it seems he’d rather see me go

I base my worth on Christ and all He did for me

And yet words still have a way of hurting, even though from the damage of verbal abuse

You healed and set me free

If it be Your will please clear my name, and give me favor in his eyes

Or lead me to another place, where there’s peace and no compromise

I may never understand why things turn out the way they do

But I know that You are Sovereign and Your Word is ever true

Yes, weary and worn from life, but never weary from living for You

Or contending for the faith and standing for what is true

I am worn but determined to finish this race

And will press on through the strength of Christ and by His all sufficient grace

Copyright©2013 Mary K. Dalke/Living4HisGlory/Living For His Glory All rights reserved.

COMING SOON:

POEM – ‘WOE TO THE SHEPHERDS’

POST – MY TESTIMONY: FROM FEAR AND UNCERTAINTY, TO PEACE AND ASSURANCE – HOW GOD REVEALED THE TRUTH TO ME AS I WAS READING A CATHOLIC NEW TESTAMENT BIBLE – PART 2

What some Christians may view as discouraging, other Christians see as opportunities to share God’s love and truth. Case in point: Yesterday morning, February 7, 2013, I received a comment on my ABOUT page from someone who chose to go by the name of ‘satan,’who said the following to me:

Capture Comment from satanI decided to devote a whole post to my reply to this person because of all I’d like to say, and because I’d also like to ask those of you who are Christians to please pray for this person.

I would also like to remind myself, as well as tell all of you who are Christians, to always remember how important it is to ‘make the most of every opportunity’ that God presents to us, and not to just dismiss comments such as these, or to reply in a manner that does not glorify the God whom we serve when we share the gospel with someone or when we expose spiritual deception that is taking place within the church with other believers. 

The truth we share with others will not always be understood or received.  Instead, the valid warnings and Biblical truth we share with unbelievers will be rejected many times, and we may be called divisive, judgmental, unloving, etc. by believers with whom we try to warn concerning what is taking place in the name of ‘Christianity’ today.  Okay, enough said; I think you ‘catch my drift.’  On with my reply to ‘this person’ after seeking God and praying that I will be led by His Holy Spirit to reveal truth from God’s Word to him/her…

Thank you for taking the time to make a comment, ‘satan.’  On the contrary. I am not “pushing people away from Christianity,” as you said in your comment, but rather away from what masquerades as true Christianity.  There is a vast difference between what many claim to be Christianity today, and true Biblical Christianity.  What I see (and what many other Christians see, as well) are men in ministry exalting themselves and their ministries, as well as one another and their ministries, instead of exalting Jesus Christ.  Some pastors seemed to have forgotten their most important role, and that is to make people realize that we are all lost sinners headed to a real place called hell, where one will burn in fire for all eternity.  Instead, they entertain the people who attend their churches with stories about themselves, and twist Bible verses to say things that God did not intend them to say, and they also use these verses in a way that will feed the sinful nature of those who attend their churches.

The ten commandments were given to us by God to show us what sin is, (Romans 3:20) so that we might realize our inability to live up to God’s standard of 100% perfection.  We can never be accepted by a completely holy God because we are all sinners.  Pastors who neglect to make that truth a prominent part of their messages will bring judgment upon themselves because they are failing to make the people who are listening to their message aware of their need of a Savior from their sins, and their need to repent — which means  they are to turn from their sins and turn to God.

Jesus said:  “No, I tell you; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3)

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (Acts 3:19)

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Those of us who are true Bible believing, Jesus Christ following Christians, have not only the responsibility of warning others of the wrath of God that is coming upon those who reject the only provision that God has made for us so that we would not come under His deserved judgment, (which He did by sending His one and only Son — Jesus Christ, who is God in the flesh — into this world to willingly die in our place and to take God’s wrath upon Himself that we rightly deserve for the sins we have committed), but also the privilege of sharing the ‘good news,’ which is the gospel of God’s grace and mercy.  1) God’s grace, because we can receive what we don’t deserve –God’s complete forgiveness for all of our sins, and cleansing of the guilt of our sins that weighs heavily upon our conscience by being willing to turn from sin and placing our trust in the fact that Jesus paid our debt to sin in full when He died in our place on the cross, and arose from the dead, and 2) God’s mercy, because we will not receive what we do deserve because of our sins, and that is death and separation from God and eternal torment in hell! (Matthew 25:41)

These are the important things that are missing from many of the sermons and so-called ‘revivals’ of today, and what motivates me in part to speak out, and why you may see me (and possibly others) as “pushing people away from Christianity.” I am warning Christians, as other Christians are doing who are concerned about what we see taking place in the name of ‘Christianity’ today, because I/we care about people.  We do not want to see Christians — as well as other people — led astray because they may walk into a church where a pastor seeks to meet their felt-needs, rather than to plead with these people to be reconciled to God, as His Word shows us that we as Christians are to do. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

Those of us who are true Christians also need to expose spiritual deception that Satan and his demons are attempting to bring into the church (1 Timothy 4:1) as mystical experiences (which I will also be writing about on my blog in the future, Lord willing) that claim to draw us closer to God, but in fact will cause one to encounter the demonic realm, and be led into spiritual deception instead.

It grieves me to have to speak about pastors who promote these things and those who fail to preach the gospel that is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16), but in God’s Word, the Bible, we are shown of many who exposed false teachers, and we are to do likewise.  We as Bible believing Christians are also to warn other Christians of the importance of testing the words and actions of men (and women) who claim to speak for God, against the truth of God’s Word.  (Acts 17:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:21,22)

Not knowing what you may have been through in life, I can only assume that you must have been hurt or deeply disappointed by someone close to you, and therefore have chosen to reject Christianity, blaming God for the hurt you may have been through because of this person’s selfishness and sin against you, and you may have chosen the name ‘satan’ to reflect your hurt, as well as your anger and rebellion against the God who created you, rather than cry out to Him for His help as many of us have done in the midst of our pain that comes to all of us as we walk through this road called life. 

The only other choice is that you are one of the many who have decided to act as if there is no God to whom we will be held accountable to for the choices we make during our lives.  Many do so in an attempt to silence the guilt for sin, so they can continue in their sin that may be pleasurable for a brief moment, but in just a matter of time it will bring guilt and consequences that will bring destruction into our lives, and will sadly devastate many others, as well.

Turning to God is not a sign of weakness, but rather a humbling of one’s self to admit our inability to solve the problems in our lives, as well as to acknowledge Him as Creator and Lord, and to admit that we are sinners so that we may also receive His love and forgiveness that He freely offers to us through receiving the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.  He gave His life willingly, (John 10:18) and willingly we must come to Him, because God does not force His love upon us.

He is Creator and Lord,  whether we will admit that or not, and one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, whether one chooses to do that on this earth or not.

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!  Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  (Philippians 2:5-11)

I pray that God will open your mind and prepare your heart to receive His truth presented in the following Scriptures, and that His Word will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sends it, and that you will one day come to grasp and to receive His love and forgiveness. 

God bless you, whoever you are, and whatever your real name may be. I will be praying for you.

VERSES FOR YOU THAT RELATE TO WHAT I SHARED WITH YOU:

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:9,10)

“For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”            (Colossians 1:19)

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe.  The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word.  After He had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.  So He became as much superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs.  For to which of the angels did God ever say,  “You are My Son; today I have become Your Father.” ?  “But about the Son He says,  “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of Your kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:1-5, 8)

“The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life–only to take it up again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord.”           (John 10:17,18)

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” (Romans 3:20)

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

“Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 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, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:17-19)

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.”    (Proverbs 16:25)

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

“Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men.”   (2 Corinthians 5:11) 

“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.  And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.  So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”                                             (2 Corinthians 5:14-20)

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son of God will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. (John 3:36)

“We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son.  And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have life.  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:9-13)

“Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them.  Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear bad fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.  Not everyone who says to Me,  ‘Lord, Lord,’  will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me on that day,  ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly,  ‘I never knew you.  Away from Me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:15-23)

“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.  For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment, if He did not spare the ancient world when He brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if He rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)–if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.  This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the sinful nature and despise authority.  (2 Peter 2:1-10)

“Then He will say to those on His left,  ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41)

“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body has power to throw you into hell.” (Luke 12:5)

“…hell, where the fire never goes out.”  “…and be thrown into hell, where “their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’  (Mark 9:43,47,48)

“The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

“For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only  Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.  Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.  This is the verdict:  Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”  (John 3:16-21)

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–His eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-20)

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report, or letter supposed to have come from us, saying the day of the Lord has already come.  Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for [that day will not come] until that rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple proclaiming himself to be God.  Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?  And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.  For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming.  The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs, and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing.  They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

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