This is our fourth week in the series on the Bowls of Revelation. The First Bowl of judgment is a weeping sore that afflicts the men who worship the Image of the Beast. We understand this to be the Stigmata, a weeping, bleeding sore that is highly correlated to eucharistic adoration. Francis of Assisi was the first recipient in 1224 A.D., and many eucharistic worshipers suffer from it to this day. Roman Catholics have historically considered the Stigmata to be a sign of God’s blessing, but it is in fact a curse from Him.
The Second Bowl is a plague in which all those affected by it die at sea. We understand this to refer to the plague of scurvy, which killed millions of men on the long-haul sea journeys around Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope in search of Indian spices between 1453 and 1800 A.D.. The Spanish and the Portuguese considered the discovery of the eastern and western sea routes to India to be a great blessing from God, but those long haul voyages became a curse to them and their crews.
At the pouring of the Third Bowl, all the “rivers and fountains” are turned to blood. Because we understand “rivers and fountains” both here and in the Third Trumpet to refer to the Word of God, we understand that the “rivers and fountains” became bitter with Wormwood in the Third Trumpet when Jerome produced the Latin Vulgate, but they turned to blood in the Third Bowl when the dogma of Papal Infallibility was proclaimed by Vatican Council I in 1870. By proclaiming the dogma, the Council had essentially subjugated the Word of God to the word of the Pope. Roman Catholics consider Papal Infallibility to be a great blessing from God through which the successors of Peter are alleged to guard infallibly the purity of the faith. In reality, by pouring out the dogma of papal infallibility on Roman Catholics, God “hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy” (Revelation 16:6).
Those who have been following this blog have at least some passing familiarity with the eschatology we espouse. As we have written in many entries thus far, we hold that Papal Rome is the Beast of Revelation (Revelation 13:1-10), that the Apparition of Mary is the False Prophet (Revelation 13:11-14), and that the Eucharist is the Image of the Beast (Revelation 13:14-16). Continue reading When “Mary” Got Busy→
There are certain names our evangelical readers may hear from time to time on Sunday mornings from the pulpit, or in Sunday School, or perhaps in a small bible study fellowship, or in the latest book to fly off the shelves of the book stores. These names pop up quite frequently, and they are usually offered up as examples of a bold or simple faith, godliness and a lifestyle of prayer and contemplation. What may surprise our evangelical readers is the fact that the people being offered as examples are Roman Catholic counter-reformational mystics who worked tirelessly against the Protestant Reformation to try to stamp it out. Continue reading And the Diviners Have Seen a Lie→
As a young lady, Mary Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) attended a dance one evening with her friends. During the dance, she experienced a vision of “Jesus,” and was no longer able to concentrate on the festivities. Not knowing what else to do, she slipped out of the dance to the local cathedral and cast herself down to worship the Eucharist, asking “Jesus” to tell her what to do. “He” did: Continue reading Wolves Within the Gate→
[This is the third installment of a three part series.]
When former Protestant, Taylor Marshall, wrote Eternal City, he sought to explain why Christianity is necessarily Roman. “The Church,” he wrote, “receives the Roman empire” from its previous custodians. But in concluding this, Marshall has mistakenly transposed two kingdoms—both of which Daniel addressed, and both of which Daniel set against the background of the rise and fall of four world empires. One kingdom is of earth and the other of heaven, and Marshall has unfortunately confused the two. Continue reading One Kingdom Too Late→
[This is the first installment of a three part series.]
This week, two “Marian” Popes are to be canonized as saints of the Roman Catholic church: Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. Both were very public about their devotion to Mary and frequented the sites of Marian apparitions. John XXIII was particularly devoted to the apparition of Mary at Lourdes, and emphatically commended “her” message to the faithful. In 1959, at the close of the 100-year anniversary celebration of the Apparitions of Mary at Lourdes, John XXIII said:
John Paul II was also devoted to the apparitions of Mary, and believed that Mary of Fatima had protected him throughout his papacy. On a papal visit to Fatima on May 13, 2000, a message from John Paul II was read to the faithful gathered there:
On this solemn occasion of his visit to Fatima, His Holiness has directed me to make an announcement to you. As you know, the purpose of his visit to Fatima has been to beatify [two of the visionaries]. Nevertheless he also wishes his pilgrimage to be a renewed gesture of gratitude to Our Lady for her protection during these years of his papacy. (Announcement by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State)
In that same message, John Paul II had it announced that he would finally make public the “third secret of Fatima,” a prophecy that had been delivered to the popes from the vision of Mary through the visionary, Lucia.
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Last week, we discussed the propensity of Roman Catholics to rely on visions of Mary “to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation” despite the clear instructions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church not to do so (paragraph 67). Taylor Marshall relied on several visions of Mary to bolster his argument that Jesus was born on December 25th, and Fr. Livius relied on a private revelation to help him determine the meaning of the writings of several Church Fathers. But as apologist Fr. William Most has said, “In public revelation, the Church has the promise of divine protection in teaching,” while on the content of private revelation, including apparitions, “the Church does not have such a commission.” Thus it is true that while Roman apologists cite apparitions of Mary to bolster their arguments, it is also true that Roman Catholics “can refuse assent to such revelations … provided this is done … for good reasons.” It is not uncommon (in our experience) for a Roman Catholic on the one hand to cite the many examples of apparitions as evidence that Roman Catholicism is the true church, and then, on the other hand—when the actual content of the visions is brought forward—to dismiss those same apparitions “because we are not required to believe them anyway.”
According to the Catechism of the Roman Catholic Church, everything that is to be known and taught by the Church is to be found in the original “Deposit of Faith,” beyond which, “no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Catechism, p. 66).
As we have discussed elsewhere, Mary is alleged to have appeared many times and in many places over the last 2,000 years. During those appearances, the visions of Mary leave behind explicit instructions and other information: one provided a design for a medal for a particular form of devotion; another provided the design for an image to be venerated; others have provided private messages for the pope; and others have left behind prophecies of things to come. These visions of Mary, or what we call “apparitions of Mary,” have very much to say. “However,” warns the catechism, “They do not belong … to the deposit of faith“: Continue reading Mother Mary Speaks to Me (part 1)→
One of the most fervent forms of devotion in Roman Catholicism is to the visions of Mary, commonly called “apparitions.” For many centuries, in many locations around the world, Mary is alleged to have appeared to visionaries of the Roman Catholic Church. These visionaries typically report conversations with Mary, and the apparition of Mary has many times delivered messages that have been documented through the official channels of the Roman Catholic Church. There have been many hundreds of alleged apparitions throughout history, but only a few have been approved officially by the Roman Catholic Church. These few are considered to be actual bodily appearances of Mary, and therefore “worthy of belief.” Among them are the Apparitions of Mary at Guadalupe, Mexico (1531); Paris, France (1830); La Salette, France (1846); Lourdes, France (1858); and Fatima, Portugal (1917).
The approval process for an alleged apparition can take many years, and it is rare for one to be elevated formally to the same level as those listed above. When that approval becomes official, it provides a tremendous amount of insight into the visions of Mary themselves because interviews with the visionaries are meticulously inspected, and the vision’s messages and teachings are rigorously documented through the approval process. It also provides tremendous insight into the Roman Catholic Church, because the teachings of approved apparitions are consistent with Roman Catholic teaching—otherwise they would not have been approved.