*BEST OF DTB #12* The Catholic Defender’s prayer

Posted by John Benko - July 31st, 2010

From the very beginning after I deployed to Iraq, I was in the habit of praying the rosary everytime I went out side the wire.

My Son Nathan had arrainged a song some years ago that stuck with me based from Psalms 23. I would always sing that as well.

I firmly believe the importance of prayer especially when you are preparing to go into harms way.

It was great to see our troops offering prayer before they went out on missions.

I would create a rosary group that I called “The Rosary Patrol” whose daily mission was to pray for those going out side the wire, for families separated due to the deployment, and for the needs of those present.

I alway held my wife and family as specific prayer intentions. We were blessed to have several people across the United States who would join us in prayer. We saw amazing things take place as prayer moved mountains.

I believe this prayer devotion had an important impact on our missions as we dedicated them for our Battalion and our missions. Early December 2006 while deployed to Iraq, I was serving as a Medical Platoon Sergeant for a forward deployed CAV unit. I was suppose to have 44 Medics in my Platoon but only had 25 Medics. This required that I use all assets on missions. This included myself so I ended up conducting many missions as medical support.

On one such day, I was supporting our Scouts platoons as they were conducting patrols at nearby villages. We stopped at one small village to speak with some of the leaders of the community. I was quickly called as the Shiek had a 3 year old daughter who suffered some burns due to boiling water. The burns were days old so I simply placed dry sterile wrappings on the major injuries and gave them instructions and supplies.

The people living in the village were in fear of the enemy who would attack them randomly. I spoke to one man who lost an uncle who was killed by Terrorists. When this mission was completed and we arrived back on base, I made a plan to help our Command using the Medical support provided. I went to our Battalion Surgeon with a proposel to create a kit that Medics could use specific to helping Iraqi civilians so that they would not be working out of their aid bags.

My plan was supported by Battalion and Brigade so I put the kits together with the supplies I created specific for medics in the field. I also was able to obtain Iraqi supplies so that Iraqi’s using supplies would not be caught with American supplies. That could get someone killed.

At this time, the Iraqi Department of Health was practically non-existant as issues continued between the Sunni and Shite factions and their ancient tribal conflicts. What I developed for the medics to use to treat Iraqi civilians, became an opportunity for our Companies when they would conduct patrols surrounding the villages within our area of responsibility. Through this effort, we were able to support thousands of missions helping many Iraqi families at the medic level.

One day my Company Comander wanted me to go on a mission to see what I could do to help an Iraqi infant. It was not believed that the child would survive but they wanted me to see what I could do for the parents. The next morning I was able to see the child and thankfully I found that the child was hydrated and able to eat though she had some allergies. The baby was born with a birth defect and there was little I could do regarding that.

What was so sad to me was the fact the parents held alot of hope that we could do something for them. They had no hope in their capabilities. The child did survive and I would see her again on different Medical Operations we conducted. Through our work, I was able to identify some of these children and through American channels were able to get them care outside the country.

Through this effort, our participation helping Iraqi civilians soon had a marked positive influence that changed the face of the war. Soon, Iraqi volunteers began to come forward to help Americans with information of enemy activity. Attacks on Americans continued to decline as our deployment extended to 15 months. Our Battalion Commander would recognize the importance we had in helping Iraqi civilians to change their direction.

I credit the rosary for many conversions in Iraq. We had many attacks where the entire engine would be blown out the vehicle but nobody recieved any serious wounds. We had many attacks upon us that nobody was hurt. More than once, it was noted that a rosary was placed at the front of the cab. Everything in front of the rosary would be completely demolished, yet everything behind it where the Soldiers were, nothing was damaged.

Prayer was the main effort of the Rosary Patrol and it still is. Thanks be to God for His grace and love. Prayer can make a difference for anyone for anything. Prayer, gotta have it!

*BEST OF DTB #11* The harlot and the rapture (revised 7/21/10)

Posted by John Benko - July 21st, 2010

One of the most frequently used tactics of rabid anti-catholics is to try and identify the Catholic Church with the Whore of Babylon found in the 17th and 18th chapters of John’s Revelation.

From Chapter 17:
1 And there came one of the seven angels, who had the seven vials, and spoke with me, saying: Come, I will shew thee the condemnation of the great harlot, who sitteth upon many waters, 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication; and they who inhabit the earth, have been made drunk with the wine of her whoredom. 3 And he took me away in spirit into the desert. And I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 And the woman was clothed round about with purple and scarlet, and gilt with gold, and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of the abomination and filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: A mystery; Babylon the great, the mother of the fornications, and the abominations of the earth.

6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And I wondered, when I had seen her, with great admiration. 7 And the angel said to me: Why dost thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast which carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. 8 The beast, which thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall come up out of the bottomless pit, and go into destruction: and the inhabitants on the earth (whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world) shall wonder, seeing the beast that was, and is not. 9 And here is the understanding that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman sitteth, and they are seven kings: 10 Five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come: and when he is come, he must remain a short time.

11 And the beast which was, and is not: the same also is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into destruction. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest, are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but shall receive power as kings one hour after the beast. 13 These have one design: and their strength and power they shall deliver to the beast. 14 These shall fight with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because he is Lord of lords, and King of kings, and they that are with him are called, and elect, and faithful. 15 And he said to me: The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples, and nations, and tongues.

Dave Hunt and other such fanatics point to certain clues they say identify the woman. In verse 4, the colors Purple and Scarlet as well as the golden cup could be taken as alluding to the Priestly vestments and the communion chalice of the Catholic Church but the precious stones and pearls are most decidedly out of place.
The verse taken in whole simply does not fit the Roman Catholic Church.
It does, however, fit another entity: The Temple in Jerusalem.
In the book of Exodus we see the vestments and adornments for the Jewish Temple.
From Chapter 28:

28:4 These are the vestments they shall make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a brocaded tunic, a miter and a sash. In making these sacred vestments which your brother Aaron and his sons are to wear in serving as my priests,
28:5 they shall use gold, violet, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen.

28:6 * “The ephod they shall make of gold thread and of violet, purple and scarlet yarn, embroidered on cloth of fine linen twined.
28:7 It shall have a pair of shoulder straps joined to its two upper ends.
28:8 The embroidered belt of the ephod shall extend out from it and, like it, be made of gold thread, of violet, purple and scarlet yarn, and of fine linen twined.
28:9 “Get two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel:
28:10 six of their names on one stone, and the other six on the other stone, in the order of their birth.
28:11 As a gem-cutter engraves a seal, so shall you have the two stones engraved with the names of the sons of Israel and then mounted in gold filigree work.
28:12 Set these two stones on the shoulder straps of the ephod as memorial stones of the sons of Israel. Thus Aaron shall bear their names on his shoulders as a reminder before the LORD.
28:13 Make filigree rosettes of gold,
28:14 as well as two chains of pure gold, twisted like cords, and fasten the cordlike chains to the filigree rosettes.
28:15 * “The breastpiece of decision you shall also have made, embroidered like the ephod with gold thread and violet, purple and scarlet yarn on cloth of fine linen twined.
28:16 It is to be square when folded double, a span high and a span wide.
28:17 * On it you shall mount four rows of precious stones: in the first row, a carnelian, a topaz and an emerald;


What about the Golden cup? Surely that must be the Catholics, right?

Wrong again.

Exodus 25:29 Of pure gold you shall make its plates and cups, as well as its pitchers and bowls for pouring libations.

From his work Antiquities, the Jewish prophet Josephus writes about the Temple in Jerusalem;

The holiest part of the Temple:
“Its front was covered with gold all over… But that gate which was at this end of the first part of the house was, as we have already observed, all over covered with gold, as was its whole wall about it; it had also golden vines above it, from which clusters of grapes hung as tall as a man’s height. But then this house… had golden doors of fifty-five cubits altitude, and sixteen in breadth; but before these doors there was a veil of equal largeness with the doors. It was a Babylonian curtain, embroidered with blue, and fine linen, and scarlet, and purple, and of a contexture that was truly wonderful.”

The exterior of the Temple:
“…the outward face of the temple in its front wanted nothing that was likely to surprise either men’s minds or their eyes; for it was covered all over with plates of gold of great weight, and, at the first rising of the sun, reflected back a very fiery splendor, and made those who forced themselves to look upon it to turn their eyes away, just as they would have done at the sun’s own rays.”

The priests’ vestments:
“But that girdle that tied the garment to the breast was embroidered with five rows of various colors, of gold, and purple, and scarlet, as also of fine linen and blue, with which colors we told you before the veils of the temple were embroidered also. The like embroidery was upon the ephod; but the quantity of gold therein was greater. Its figure was that of a stomacher for the breast. There were upon it two golden buttons like small shields, which buttoned the ephod to the garment; in these buttons were enclosed two very large and very excellent sardonyxes, having the names of the tribes of that nation engraved upon them: on the other part there hung twelve stones, three in a row one way, and four in the other; a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald; a carbuncle, a jasper, and a sapphire; an agate, an amethyst, and a ligure; an onyx, a beryl, and a chrysolite; upon every one of which was again engraved one of the forementioned names of the tribes.”


As you can see, Josephus describes the Jewish Temple with almost exactly the same words as John describes the Harlot. The likeness is inescapable.

In verses 8 and 9, we gain critical clues as to the identity of both the beast and the woman. We see that the seven heads of the beast have a dual interpretation of being both 7 mountains upon which the woman sits and 7 kings.
First, let’s tackle the clue of the mountains.
Mountains, not hills. From the Greek word Horos / Oros. This is a very important distinction.
For if John is talking about hills (The greek word Bounos), Rome would be a candidate, as would Edinburgh, Constantinople, Cincinatti and San Fransisco.
However, since the word Horos- mountain- is used, there is only one candidate- Jerusalem. That’s right, Jerusalem is the city that was known in antiquity as the city on Seven mountains because it is the only city in the world built on seven mountains. In fact, Jerusalem was actually called “The city on seven mountains” in John’s time and his contemporaries would have certainly understood the allusion. For the record, they are: Mt. Goath, Mt. Gareb, Mt. Acra, Mt. Bezetha, Mt. Zion, Mt. Ophel, and Mt. Moriah.
Rome, on the other hand is built on seven hills; Palatine, Aventine, Capitoline, Quarinal, Viminal, Esquiline and Caelian. Identifying these seven hills with the Catholic Church is even more problematic for Anti-Catholics. For Vatican City sits on the opposite side of the Tiber river on it’s own hill; Vatican Hill.

Indeed, we believe Revelation does talk prophetically of this city.

Chapter 20:

2 And I John saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice from the throne, saying: Behold the tabernacle of God with men, and he will dwell with them. And they shall be his people; and God himself with them shall be their God.
The contrast is clear. The OLD Jerusalem lost her birthright by playing the harlot. In fact, Jerusalem is condemned in such terms countless times in scripture. I will list several further into this article.
Now, moving on to the seven kings.
John tells us that 5 of the kings have fallen. That is, as of the writing of Revelation, 5 of the kings had died prior to his writing of this sacred letter. If the Kings are Roman Emperors- and I believe they were- John would be writing this during the reign of the Emperor Galba, the sixth.
The five fallen would then be Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Cladius and Nero.
The 7th King would be Othos and, exactly as Revelation prescribes, he reigned only a very short time- 3 months- before taking his own life. John then alludes that an eighth king would arise that would be a figurative reincarnation of one of the first seven, which John’s Revelation describes as the beast.
It is pretty difficult not to assign the label to Nero who, in addition to murdering his parents and brother, burned Christians to provide light for his outdoor parties. Nero also fits because he murdered Paul and Peter and, some writings say, eventually John.
Finally, Nero’s name in Greek has the required numerical value of 666.
The puzzle fits together almost perfectly. Almost.
If you follow John’s chronology, It is hard to doubt Nero as the beast and Galba as the 6th and Othos as the 7th kings. The problem comes in identifying Vittelius as the 8th. Like Othos before him- and Galba before him- Vittelius lasted only a few months. This led the way for Vespasian to become the 4th emperor in the year 69 AD. It is Vespasian who is the symbolically reincarnated beast. We can only interpret John as describing the beast as an eighth king in this list and not necessarily the eighth king in succession. Vespassian certainly fulfills the prophecy in verses 16-18

16 And the ten horns which thou sawest in the beast: these shall hate the harlot, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her with fire. 17 For God hath given into their hearts to do that which pleaseth him: that they give their kingdom to the beast, till the words of God be fulfilled. 18 And the woman which thou sawest, is the great city, which hath kingdom over the kings of the earth. 

This is an unmistakable allusion to the sacking of Jerusalem ordered by Vespasian and carried out by his son Titus. The verses even tell us that this is the ‘’great city’’.

All you have to do is read Revelation 11:8;

8 And their bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which is called spiritually, Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord also was crucified.
Christ was crucified in Rome? In Vatican city? No… He was crucified in Jerusalem.

Sodom and Egypt were both judged and received plagues of God’s wrath. John is assuring us that Jerusalem awaits the same fate. Revelation tells us that the whore has been judged guilty of the blood of both the prophets and martyrs (11:18, 16:6, 18:20 and 18:24)

Once again, there is only one city that qualifies;

LK 13:33 Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’
Here, the Savior, HIMSELF is telling you that the one and only candidate for the harlot is Jerusalem. Would you dare to dispute Him on this?

The following verses from Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekial all point to the identity of Jerusalem as the harlot.
How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.”

“For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.”

“They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the LORD. Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.”

“But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was. And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so. Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them, And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them.”

Jesus judgment on Jerusalem is as clear as crystal

In the Olivet discourse in Matthew 24, Jesus ends the discussion with a discussion of His second coming and end times events but He clearly begins it with a discussion of the wrath about to befall Jerusalem;

1 And Jesus being come out of the temple, went away. And his disciples came to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And he answering, said to them: Do you see all these things? Amen I say to you there shall not be left here a stone upon a stone that shall not be destroyed. 3 And when he was sitting on mount Olivet, the disciples came to him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the consummation of the world? 4 And Jesus answering, said to them: Take heed that no man seduce you: 5 For many will come in my name saying, I am Christ: and they will seduce many.


6 And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be pestilences, and famines, and earthquakes in places: 8 Now all these are the beginnings of sorrows. 9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then shall many be scandalized: and shall betray one another: and shall hate one another.


11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many. 12 And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. 13 But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom, shall be preached in the whole world, for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come. 15 When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand.


16 Then they that are in Judea, let them flee to the mountains: 17 And he that is on the housetop, let him not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 And he that is in the field, let him not go back to take his coat. 19 And woe to them that are with child, and that give suck in those days. 20 But pray that your flight be not in the winter, or on the sabbath.


21 For there shall be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be. 22 And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved: but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened. 

In many other places in the Gospels, the Judgement on Jerusalem is made manifestly clear;

23:33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how can you flee from the judgment of Gehenna?


23:34 * Therefore, behold, I send to you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and pursue from town to town,


23:35 so that there may come upon you all the righteous blood shed upon earth, from the righteous blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.


23:36 Amen, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.


23:37 * “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, but you were unwilling!


23:38 Behold, your house will be abandoned, desolate.

Note 2 things. First Jesus says that all these things will be borne by the current Generation.That means Daniel’s 70th week and the fall of Babylon.

Second, Jesus says right here, about Jerusalem, that her house will be left abandoned and desolate.

Compare to Chapter 18:

16 And saying: Alas! alas! that great city, which was clothed with fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and was gilt with gold, and precious stones, and pearls. 17 For in one hour are so great riches come to nought; and every shipmaster, and all that sail into the lake, and mariners, and as many as work in the sea, stood afar off. 18 And cried, seeing the place of her burning, saying: What city is like to this great city? 19 And they cast dust upon their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying: Alas! alas! that great city, wherein all were made rich, that had ships at sea, by reason of her prices: for in one hour she is made desolate.
Still more words from Jesus concerning the fate of Jerusalem;

Luke 21:20 * “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, know that its desolation is at hand.

21:21 Then those in Judea must flee to the mountains. Let those within the city escape from it, and let those in the countryside not enter the city,

21:22 for these days are the time of punishment when all the scriptures are fulfilled.

21:23 Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days, for a terrible calamity will come upon the earth and a wrathful judgment upon this people.

21:24 They will fall by the edge of the sword and be taken as captives to all the Gentiles; and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles * are fulfilled.

And more;

Luke 23:26 * As they led him away they took hold of a certain Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country; and after laying the cross on him, they made him carry it behind Jesus.

23:27 A large crowd of people followed Jesus, including many women who mourned and lamented him.

23:28 Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children,

23:29 for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.’

23:30 At that time people will say to the mountains, ‘Fall upon us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’



How could there even be further doubt? The fall of Babylon refers to the fall of Jerusalem.


The Jewish Prophet Josephus described the utter destruction;


“Now the number of those that were carried captive during this whole war was collected to be ninety-seven thousand; as was the number of those that perished during the whole siege eleven hundred thousand, the greater part of whom were indeed of the same nation [with the citizens of Jerusalem], but not belonging to the city itself; for they were come up from all the country to the feast of unleavened bread, and were on a sudden shut up by an army, which, at the very first, occasioned so great a straitness among them, that there came a pestilential destruction upon them, and soon afterward such a famine, as destroyed them more suddenly. And that this city could contain so many people in it, is manifest by that number of them which was taken under Cestius, who being desirous of informing Nero of the power of the city, who otherwise was disposed to contemn that nation, entreated the high priests, if the thing were possible, to take the number of their whole multitude….
The four horsemen of the Apocalypse are known as Famine, Pestilence, War and Death. All 4 are SPECIFICALLY mentioned in Josephus recounting of Jerusalem’s fall! Continuing…..
…Now this vast multitude is indeed collected out of remote places, but the entire nation was now shut up by fate as in prison, and the Roman army encompassed the city when it was crowded with inhabitants. Accordingly, the multitude of those that therein perished exceeded all the destructions that either men or God ever brought upon the world (Matthew 24:21); for, to speak only of what was publicly known, the Romans slew some of them, some they carried captives, and others they made a search for under ground, and when they found where they were, they broke up the ground and slew all they met with. There were also found slain there above two thousand persons, partly by their own hands, and partly by one another, but chiefly destroyed by the famine; but then the ill savor of the dead bodies was most offensive to those that lighted upon them, insomuch that some were obliged to get away immediately, while others were so greedy of gain, that they would go in among the dead bodies that lay on heaps, and tread upon them; for a great deal of treasure was found in these caverns, and the hope of gain made every way of getting it to be esteemed lawful…And now the Romans set fire to the extreme parts of the city, and burnt them down, and entirely demolished its walls (Revelation 18:16)
The countryside like the City was a pitiful sight; for where once there had been a lovely vista of woods and parks there was nothing but desert and stumps of trees. No one – not even a foreigner – who had seen the Old Judea and the glorious suburbs of the City, and now set eyes on her present desolation, could have helped sighing and groaning at so terrible a change; for every trace of beauty had been blotted out by war, and nobody who had known it in the past and came upon it suddenly would have recognized the place: when he was already there he would still have been looking for the City.
 

People who are looking for an end-time fulfillment of these chapters are simply wasting their time. In creating fantastic and fanciful interpretations about bar codes and one world orders, they have missed the whole point of this holy book.
The Millennium reign is not to be taken literally as an exact, literal thousand years. It represents a long period of time. Nor is the Millennium reign a future event. At least, not in our future. It refers to the reign of the Priestly Church on earth. Revelation 5:10 : And hast made us to our God a kingdom and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.


This is why the Millenium (Chapter 19) coincides with the New Jerusalem. This is also why the Dispensationalist or Pre-millenialist view simply does not work. Jesus has no intention of raising and recreating the Old Jerusalem. The old Jerusalem is gone from God’s favor. It has been replaced by a New Jerusalem which is the Church.
Chapters 17-21 of the Book of Revelation speak of the Judgment on, and Destruction of, the city of Jerusalem and the creation of the Christian Church.
It has all been fulfilled.

The evidence of this in scripture is overwhelming.
The word Church appears more than 110 times in the New Testament. It is described as Christ’s bride and the city on the hill. The Bible tells us that Jesus will reign on earth for a thousand years. The thousand years is figurative for a long period of time.
That reign on earth is occurring right now. Near it’s end a great chastisement or tribulation will be faced by the Church. I believe that Chastisement has begun. At it’s end, Christ will return, the dead shall rise and the saints will be caught up to the Lord. The sinners will be judged and sent away to eternal punishment.
There will be no restoration of the earthly city of Jerusalem, no rebuilding of the Temple and, most assuredly, no pre-tribulation Rapture.
The Old Covenant is gone. The Old Covenant was but a shadow anyway. The Christian Church is the new Israel and the Vatican is the New Jerusalem. People who are waiting for a Rapture are wasting their time. There is nothing in Scripture that indicates 3 comings of Christ.



Let’s look at some of the verses used to support the Rapture doctrine;

Matthew 24

36 But of that day and hour no one knoweth, not the angels of heaven, but the Father alone. 37 And as in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark, 39 And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away; so also shall the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then two shall be in the field: one shall be taken, and one shall be left.

41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill: one shall be taken, and one shall be left. 42 Watch ye therefore, because ye know not what hour your Lord will come.

Sure! You read these 7 verses and you could easily conclude “SEE! One is taken, one is left behind!”

Well…. Let’s apply some context, shall we?

38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the ark, 39 And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away; so also shall the coming of the Son of man be. 40 Then two shall be in the field: one shall be taken, and one shall be left.

41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill: one shall be taken, and one shall be left.

Listen to what it says here folks! It will be as it was in the days of Noah when v39 says, the flood came and took them away. The FLOOD took them. Jesus says it will be, at His coming, the same way. Some will be TAKEN. Taken? Taken where?

Folks, these people are going to be taken to HELL! There is nothing that suggests second chances. The verses suggest that time is up! 48 But if that evil servant shall say in his heart: My lord is long a coming: 49 And shall begin to strike his fellow servants, and shall eat and drink with drunkards: 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day that he hopeth not, and at an hour that he knoweth not:

51 And shall separate him, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Secondly, Rapture supporters, who point to these verses to support an invisible, secret rapture, need back up to these verses;

29 And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty.

31 And he shall send his angels with a trumpet, and a great voice: and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them.

An Eclipse, a meteor shower, A sign of the cross in the Sky, A trumpet blast and Jesus appearing in a way such that every eye will see Him. Folks, this is going to be the worst kept secret in human history!

If these were the only objections to the pre-trib rapture, they would be more than sufficient for me. However, the case is so much more than solid against this doctrine.

Mark 13: 24-27 magnifies the words of Matthew that everyone will see Jesus when He comes again. There simply is no provision for an invisible return.

13:24 “But in those days after that tribulation

the sun will be darkened,

and the moon will not give its light,

13:25 and the stars will be falling from the sky,

and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

13:26 * And then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in the clouds’ with great power and glory,

13:27 and then he will send out the angels and gather (his) elect from the four winds, from the end of the earth to the end of the sky.

II Thessalonians 2:1-17 that Jesus will certainly not return before the great apostasy and the rise of Anti-Christ. It also tells us how we are to be acting.

2:1 * We ask you, brothers, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling with him,

2:2 not to be shaken out of your minds suddenly, or to be alarmed either by a “spirit,” * or by an oral statement, or by a letter allegedly from us to the effect that the day of the Lord is at hand.

2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed, * the one doomed to perdition,

2:4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple of God, * claiming that he is a god–

2:5 do you not recall that while I was still with you I told you these things?

2:6 And now you know what is restraining, * that he may be revealed in his time.

2:7 * For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he is removed from the scene.

2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord (Jesus) will kill with the breath of his mouth and render powerless by the manifestation of his coming,

2:9 the one whose coming springs from the power of Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie,

2:10 and in every wicked deceit for those who are perishing because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved.

2:11 Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie,

2:12 that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned.

2:13 But we ought to give thanks to God for you always, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits * for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in truth.

2:14 To this end he has (also) called you through our gospel to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2:15 Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.*

2:16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace,

2:17 encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.

Hold fast to the traditions you were taught either by oral statement or by letter! Paul is upholding Catholic Sacred tradition here!

1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 tells us that the living in Christ certainly will not be taken before those who are asleep are drawn up.

4:15 Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who arealive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, * will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep.

4:16 For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of anarchangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven,and the dead in Christ will rise first

Of course we know that that happens at the Judgment.

RV 20:12 I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls.

Advocates of the pre-trib rapture doctrine raise so many doctrinal dilemmas that they are difficult to count.

First, I have many good friends who are not doubt good Christians and heaven bound in my estimation, who believe in this doctrine. Even some in my church hold to it.

Yet, it has been my experience that many who hold to the view of this doctrine most passionately are fervent, rabid anti-catholics. This creates two distinct ironies.

1) To arrive at the word “Rapture”, meaning caught up, one must glean it from the mother of all Catholic Bibles- the latin Vulgate and the word Rapiemur.

2) To arrive at the doctrine of the “Rapture”, one must concede that those left behind can be saved through tribulation, thus allowing for cooperative grace and refuting the doctrine of salvation by faith alone.

Yet, we all know that the doctrine of the Rapture is hardly 200 years old and traces back to Darby and Scoffield. Further, widespread acceptance of the doctrine is a scant thirty years old and relies heavily on discredited pseudo-prophets like Hal Lindsay.

There are entire websites dedicated to this doctrine and all things futuristic and sensational.

In doing so, they can’t see the forest for the trees. Compelling arguments against this doctrine can be gleaned right from the Scriptures.

MT 5:10 Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

MT 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

JN 15:20 Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.

Nowhere in Scripture does the Savior promise the Church a great escape in a pre-tribulation Rapture. Not only were Stephen and Paul and Peter martyred for the faith, but were Christians in century after century up until this day. The 20th century was the bloodiest century in human history and the 21st is not off to a great start. Right now- TODAY- Christians are tortured, imprisoned and killed for their faith in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran, China and dozens of other places.

The single most compelling argument that can be made against a pre-tribulation Rapture is that the pre-tribulation part is over. Around the world, MILLIONS of Christians are suffering, right now, in unimaginable ways for the faith. They are suffering at the hands of Islamic extremism, Atheistic Communism, Buddism, Pantheism and Secular Humanism. Even in America, religious freedom for Christians is evaporating before our eyes as the blood of the innocent unborn is poured out upon the altar of sin and immorality.

In my view, sitting around waiting for the rapture is un-Christian in the extreme.

There is a Rapture related website that some friends of mine frequent that is full of feel easy religion and futuristic fantasy and sensationalism. It’s all well and good if you are into that kind of thing.

Where are the articles about loving thy neighbor and being a voice for the persecuted? The only concern the creators of this site seem to have is with preserving their prophetic timeline.

The problem with that is that while you are living out your space aged fantasy, real Christians are dying for want of real food and water, as the suffer real pain, lanquishing in real prisons and torture chambers.

My view is that some people need to spend a lot more time in the Gospels. The more you read the Scriptures intently, studying them with reliable resources and helps, the more you will find them confirming the Catholic position that I am my brother’s keeper and that we will be judged by our actions, not by our prophetic ability

7:22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?’

7:23 Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I never knew you. * Depart from me, you evildoers.’

7:24 * “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.

7:25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.

7:26 And everyone who listens to these words of mine but does not act on them will be like a fool who built his house on sand.

7:27 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.”

These words may be hard to hear for some and I certainly mean no disrespect. My friends who are involved with this site are very good people. The founders of the site may be as well.

I just feel that the aim of the site misses the mark of what Christianity is really about.

This has been Deeper Truth. Thank you very much.


http://www.blogtalkradio.com/deeper-truth
deepertruth@comcast.net

* BEST OF DTB #10* The Rosary is THE weapon!

Posted by John Benko - July 21st, 2010

Saint Padre Pio once called the Rosary of Our Lady THE weapon. He was right in a good way and a bad way. He was right in the sense that the Rosary is the scourge of the Devil. It is the single most effective devotional there is.

Unfortunately, it is also often the case that the Rosary is THE weapon of choice for anti-catholics to demonize catholics as an anti-Biblical church.

Does their case hold water? Of course not.

However, few Catholics truly understand how to get past their clever arguments to the plain and simple truth below. I am going to help to show you how to do that.


Protestant objections

Protestants have many objections to the Rosary. I will try to list as many of their claims as possible and we can address them.

  1. The Rosary is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible.
  2. The Bible does not instruct us to pray to Mary or the Saints.
  3. The Bible condemns communicating with the dead.
  4. Praying to Mary is an act of worship.
  5. The Bible condemns “vain repetitions”
  6. The Rosary contains 10 times as many prayers to Mary as to God.
  7. There is no evidence that Mary can even hear our prayers.
  8. Why go through Mary when you can go straight to Jesus? After all, the Bible tells us that there is only one mediator.
  9. Jesus corrects the woman in the crowd for elevating Mary.
  10. Salvation is by Jesus alone!
  11. The Bible condemns the so-called ‘Queen of Heaven’
  12. The Rosary is based on private revelations.

I hope I didn’t leave any out.

Let’s tackle these, one at a time. Maybe, on the way, you will learn that the Rosary isn’t quite what you thought.


“The Rosary is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible”

Nor does it need to be…. at least not specifically. The Rosary is a devotional. It is an answer to the Biblical calls both to pray and to meditate on the things of God.

The primary focus of the Rosary is meditation. To ponder these things in our hearts, just as Mary did (Luke 2:19, 2:51)

There are 20 such events the Rosary calls upon us to ponder. We reflect on the meaning of these events in our life. They are;

  1. Jesus agony in the garden of Gethsemene.
  2. His scourging at the Pillar.
  3. His crowning with thorns.
  4. The carrying of the cross.
  5. The cruxifiction.
  6. The Angel Gabriel’s appearance to Mary.
  7. Mary’s journey to visit Elizabeth in the hill country.
  8. The birth of the Saviour.
  9. The presentation of the Baby Jesus in the temple.
  10. Finding the 12 year old Jesus in the Temple.
  11. The Resurrection of Jesus.
  12. His Ascension into Heaven.
  13. The descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
  14. Mary’s Assumption into heaven.
  15. Mary’s coronation as Queen of heaven.
  16. The miracle at the wedding at Cana.
  17. Jesus baptism in the River Jordan.
  18. The Transfiguration.
  19. The preaching of the coming of the Kingdom.
  20. The institution of the Eucharist.

As far as I can see, any protestant would be forced to concede the first 13, and at least 17 or 18 of the 20 events, (Catholics call them “mysteries”) as being Biblical.

True, we may disagree- for now- on #14, #15 and possibly #20. However, to say that we need a specific Biblical mandate to examine and weigh and meditate on these things is silly, to say the least. Do Protestants provide Biblical instruction for all their devotions?


“The Bible doesn’t instruct us to pray to Mary or the Saints”

Does the Bible instruct you to wash your clothes? feed the dog? take out the trash? The Bible cannot tell you everything to do explicitly. The questions at hand are;
  1. Is prayer to the Saints something the Bible allows you to do?
  2. Can the idea of praying to the Saints be inferred from Scripture?
  3. Did the early believers pray to the Saints.

The answer to all 3 questions is yes. Protestants would probably have answered no to all 3 questions and that is getting down to the marrow of why they have so much trouble with the Rosary.

I could write a page on each of these three topics. That won’t fit in what I am doing here. So let me just leave you with these thoughts. If the Angels can hear our prayers, and take them to God (Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4), and the saints are to be as the Angels (Matthew 22:30), why is it so hard to believe that they, also, can hear our prayers and take them to God?

Secondly, if this idea is so much in error, why is there so much evidence that even the earliest church practiced this?

Clement of Alexandria

“In this way is he [the true Christian] always pure for prayer. He also prays in the society of angels, as being already of angelic rank, and he is never out of their holy keeping; and though he pray alone, he has the choir of the saints standing with him [in prayer]” (Miscellanies 7:12 [A.D. 208]).

Origen

“But not the high priest [Christ] alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels . . . as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep” (Prayer 11 [A.D. 233]).

Cyprian of Carthage

“Let us remember one another in concord and unanimity. Let us on both sides [of death] always pray for one another. Let us relieve burdens and afflictions by mutual love, that if one of us, by the swiftness of divine condescension, shall go hence first, our love may continue in the presence of the Lord, and our prayers for our brethren and sisters not cease in the presence of the Father’s mercy” (Letters 56[60]:5 [A.D. 253]).


“The Bible condemns communicating with the dead”

and well it should….

Deuteronomy 18:10 Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire, nor a fortune-teller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, 18:11 or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts and spirits or seeks oracles from the dead.

There are a couple of distinctions here.

First, what type of behavior is being condemned here?

What is being condemned here is some of the darkest, most evil human conduct imaginable.

  • parents burning their children to death.
  • necromancy
  • witchcraft
  • divination
  • communing with evil spirits
  • black magic

Pretty serious stuff by any measure.

Demonic stuff.

Is this comparable with praying the rosary? Hardly.

To understand the difference is to understand the difference between those who are dead and those who are living. It is God who gives eternal life. Those who are with God are not merely alive but far more so than are we.

Matthew 22:32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

Mark 12:27 He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.”

Luke 20:38 and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.

Matthew 7:14 How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

Matthew 18:8 If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire.

Matthew 19:16 Now someone approached him and said, “Teacher, what good must I do to gain eternal life?”

Matthew 19:17 He answered him, “Why do you ask me about the good? There is only One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.

Matthew 25:46 And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

The Bible certainly goes to great extent to show that the saints are certainly not dead.

Secondly, in praying to saints for intercession, we are not consorting with them or consulting with them or asking them for powers. There is not a two-way converstaion here, or some kind of collusion.

We are not adoring them as gods, nor affording them anymore credit or glory than they deserve, as human examples.

In fact, we ask the saints for just one thing….. to pray for us. This is no different from asking someone in our church to pray for us, except that the saints are in a better position than your churchgoers.


“Praying to Mary is an act of worship”

This is a brief, but in-depth, article I wrote, giving 10 separate arguments demonstrating that Catholics do not worship Mary. In invite you to read it. I will only include argument #1 here…. it is enough.

Pose this scenario to a fundamentalist.

Theresa lives a very good life. She seldom, if ever misses Church on Sunday, doesn’t curse, smoke or drink. She gives genoursly over her time and money to the poor. Theresa is a devoted and faithful wife and mother who has never stolen, murdered or committed adultery.

This is not to say she is perfect, no one is. However, on balance, Theresa is a very decent person who tries her best to serve the Lord.

There is just one thing. Theresa has never been ‘saved’ in the manner fundamentalists describe it. She has never actually said the specific words;

“Jesus, I accept you today as my personal saviour”.

Bob is Theresa’s husband. 30 years ago, Bob was saved at an altar call. He was a devoted Christian for about 10 years then started to backslide a bit.

Now, 30 years later, Bob only goes to church at Easter and Christmas. He smokes, drinks to excess, and watches porn on his computer. Bob is currently having an affair on Theresa.

Which of these 2 are ‘saved’?

If you are a true devotee of Sola Fide and Calvinism, you have no choice but to say that Bob goes to heaven and Theresa goes to hell.

The only thing that matters is an assent of faith. To be a Christian is to worship Christ as Lord and Savior and that worship is only possible with an assent of faith. Free will demands that you make a choice to accept and worship Christ.

Yes?

Isn’t it ironic that some of these same people accuse Catholics of worshiping Mary despite the fact that there is a complete abscence of, even an open denial to, such a assent of worship of Her?


“The Bible condemns ‘vain repetitions’”


Matthew 6:7
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

This is actually a poor translation, found in the error-prone King James Version. A better translation is “do not babble”.

Nevertheless, VAIN prayer is what is being condemned, not repetitive prayer.

Psalm 136

136:1 I
* Praise the LORD, who is so good;
God’s love endures forever;

136:2 Praise the God of gods;
God’s love endures forever;

136:3 Praise the Lord of lords;
God’s love endures forever;

136:4 II
Who alone has done great wonders,
God’s love endures forever;

136:5 Who skillfully made the heavens,
God’s love endures forever;

136:6 Who spread the earth upon the waters,
God’s love endures forever;

136:7 Who made the great lights,
God’s love endures forever;

136:8 The sun to rule the day,
God’s love endures forever;

136:9 The moon and stars to rule the night,
God’s love endures forever;

136:10 III
Who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
God’s love endures forever;

136:11 And led Israel from their midst,
God’s love endures forever;

136:12 With mighty hand and outstretched arm,
God’s love endures forever;

136:13 Who split in two the Red Sea,
God’s love endures forever;

136:14 And led Israel through,
God’s love endures forever;

136:15 But swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea,
God’s love endures forever;

136:16 Who led the people through the desert,
God’s love endures forever;

136:17 IV
Who struck down great kings,
God’s love endures forever;

136:18 Slew powerful kings,
God’s love endures forever;

136:19 Sihon, king of the Amorites,
God’s love endures forever;

136:20 Og, king of Bashan,
God’s love endures forever;

136:21 And made their lands a heritage,
God’s love endures forever;

136:22 * A heritage for Israel, God’s servant,
God’s love endures forever.

136:23 V
The LORD remembered us in our misery,
God’s love endures forever;

136:24 Freed us from our foes,
God’s love endures forever;

136:25 And gives food to all flesh,
God’s love endures forever.

136:26 VI
Praise the God of heaven,
God’s love endures forever.


“The Rosary contains 10 times as many prayers to Mary as to God”

This is a false dichotomy. The person making this argument is alleging that you can either seek help from the saints or from God, but not from both. This is like seeking help from your pastor would mean not seeking help from God.

An even more extreme example are irresponsible parents who refuse to get medical care for their kids because they claim faith.

When I ask my friend to pray with me 10 times, I am not petitioning God 1/10th as much but 10 times as much. When that friend is Our Blessed Lady, it is immeasurably more.

If I say the full, 20 decade Rosary, I make the same simple plea to our Lord’s Mother more than 200 times- “pray for us”. That is more than 200 more prayers to God on my behalf. We sinners need all the help we can get.


“There is no evidence Mary can even hear our prayers”

I can only sigh when I hear people make such a ridiculous claim. They clearly have a very myopic view of heaven.

There are two quick observations;

1) Clearly, the Bible tells us that the Angels hear our prayers, and take them to God, (Revelation 5:8, 8:3).

2) Clearly, the Bible tells us that the saints will be like the Angels (Matthew 22:30).

It is preposterous to say that the Saints, who live outside of time and space, are not united to us in prayer. After all, what did Paul mean by the great cloud of witnesses? (Hebrews 12:1).


“Why go through Mary when you can go straight to Jesus? After all, the Bible tells us that there is only one mediator.


1Timothy 2:5 For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human,

Protestants like to pounce on the fact that we call Mary a co-mediatrix, incorrectly surmising that ”co” means equal. It doesn’t. It means ”with”. Calling Mary co-mediatrix does not make her a mediator between God and Man. Only Jesus can do that for the obvious reason that only He is both God and Man.

Nevertheless, Jesus mediation depended, in part, on Mary because it was by her assent, that He came to be with us.

In the same way, we do not go to Mary instead of Jesus, or go through Mary to get to Jesus. We go to Jesus, with Mary.

It is silly to suggest that we cannot ask Mary and the Saints to assist us, by praying for us. That is exactly what we should be doing.


“Jesus corrects the woman in the crowd for elevating Mary”

Not so….

From my article of July 20th, 2010..

One of the most cleverly veiled arguments against Catholics is the short exchange between Jesus and a woman in the crowd. Anti-Catholics assert that this exchange refutes the practice of Marian devotion.


What was Really said?

The exchange is recorded in two verses in the 11th chapter of Luke’s Gospel. The Douai Rheems records it this way;

[27] And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck. [28] But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.

The New American Standard Version:

27While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.”

28But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

The King James:
27And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

28But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

However, my adversary chose to quote this passage from the New International Version.

27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
28He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

The difference may appear subtle at first blush but it really is an important distinction to understanding this passage.


Literal vs Dynamic


To understand the different ways this passage is rendered, one must understand the difference between literal Bible translations and dynamic translations.

Literal does not necessarily mean accurate


A literal translation is a translation that seeks to translate the passage as close to a word-for-word rendering as possible. This type of version is good for advanced study. Bear in mind that calling a Bible a literal translation does not indicate that it is necessarily an accurate translation. It only indicates a type of translation.

The King James Version is a literal translation but it is certainly not an accurate one. There are thousands of documented errors in the KJV.

The good thing about literal translations is that they are very good at getting to the actual exegesis of the passage. The bad thing is that they give no credence to the culture of the time, the literary style or the difficulty of translating a passage from Hebrew/Aramaic to Greek to Latin and then to English. This creates a slew of terms that lose meaning in the translation.

One example is the fact that there is no New Testament word for cousins, so these are rendered as brothers. As a consequence, uneducated readers misread many passages by not understanding these factors and assuming the english translation translates itself.


Dynamic translations are, themselves, interpretations (and the New International is one of the very worst).

A dynamic translation is designed to be easier to read by putting the passage into language the modern reader will understand. In short, the dynamic translation seeks to interpret the passage for you. Needless to say, this is a much more liberal way to translate scripture and some pretty awful translations have resulted.

The New International version is just such an example and it’s translation of Luke 11:27-28 is a classic example.

Let’s read it again;

27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
28He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Whereas the other translations quoted the woman as blessing Mary’s womb and breasts (her maternity, in other words), the NIV quotes her as addressing the person of Mary, not her motherhood.

Do not be fooled. This is not as subtle a difference as you suppose. However, before I explain why the NIV’s translation is misplaced, I must prove it is inaccurate.

There are two greek words for ‘mother’ that appear in the New Testament, pronounced Maytare and Pentherah. Neither of these two words are present in Luke 11:27. The insertion of the word ”mother” into the text is the translators’ attempt at their own interpretation.


The NIV says what many protestants believe……but they are wrong.

In it’s defense, the NIV is only expressing what many protestants believe- that the woman in the crowd is blessing (elevating) Mary and that Jesus is saying, at a minimum, that Mary is no better than anyone else who hears and obeys the word of God.

If you read the NIV’s translation of the passage, you are mislead into such a conclusion, especially, if you do not understand the actual exegesis of the passage.

In short, protestants believe that the woman is calling Mary- the person- ”blessed” and the Jesus is rejecting such an assertion.

I have already demonstrated that the woman is not directly blessing Mary- the person- but her maternity. In actuality, Jesus does not disagree….but we’ll get to that in a minute.


Mary is not blessed? Sorry….the Bible doesn’t support that notion.

So that I can not be accused of misrepresenting the protestant position, let me quote one of the heretical statements from the person I was debating. To be honest, I was shocked that he actually had the temerity to enunciate this position.

Marked as s…………… Now lets look at Luke11:27-28 shall we————> As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” The Woman was obviously corrected (just catholics are just like the Woman in the crowd blessing Mary)……..

This person’s own words condemn him. he is saying- flat out- that Jesus has instructed us not to bless Mary. This is actually a blasphemous assertion. The Bible demands that we honor our father and mother. This person is accusing Jesus of violating one of the Ten Commandments!

Jesus even spells out the gravity of this very truth to the Pharisees.

Matthew 15:4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’

but that is a violation of the scripture by extrapolation. We do not even need to do go that far, for the Bible tells us EXPLICITLY that Mary is to be blessed among all women (Luke 1:42) and by all generations! (Luke 1:48).

Why would the Holy Spirit allow the gospel writer to record Mary saying of herself that all generations would call her blessed, only to see Jesus reject such a claim less than 10 chapters later?

This is an absurd suggestion!


Let’s get down to brass tacks

Now that we have examined what the passage clearly doesn’t say and what it clearly cannot say, there is only one thing left to do….

Let’s look at what the passage actually does say. The answer may surprise you.

The Woman in the crowd says “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” The greek word for womb is pronounced koyleeah and the word for breasts mastos. That the woman is blessing Mary’s maternity of Jesus is inescapable.

So, why does Jesus disagree?
11:28 He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

He doesn’t. The mistake you are making is in misinterpreting the word rather.

rath·er

rather pronunciation (rā th ‘ər, rä’ th ər)
adv.
  1. With more logic, wisdom, or other justification.
    1. More readily; preferably: I’d rather go to the movies.

    More exactly; more accurately: He’s my friend, or rather he was my friend.

  2. To a certain extent; somewhat: rather cold.
  3. On the contrary.
  4. (rā’ th ûr’, rä’-) Chiefly British Most certainly. Used as an emphatic affirmative reply.

Protestants imply that Jesus is using definition #4, on the contrary, but that is not at all the case. Jesus is actually using a term that denotes agreement with the woman to an extent, but showing emphasis on Mary’s obedience rather than her maternity.

The exegesis of the word bears this out unmistakably.

The word rather, in this passage, is translated from a greek word pronounced menoongeh. This word is a conjunction of the words men (to affirm), oon (accordingly) and gheh (which denotes emphasis).

It is very clear that Jesus is not saying “not ‘A’ but ‘B’” but is, in fact, saying, “yes ‘A’ (men) and (oon), even more than that (gheh) “B”.

So, to paraphrase….

Woman: Blessed is your mother for carrying you and nursing you.
Jesus: Yes, but more blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey.


A fair objection


A fair minded person, considering my words, would concede several points.
  1. Mary is clearly blessed.
  2. On this point, Jesus agrees with the woman.
  3. Though Mary’s maternity is worthy of blessing, more worthy is hearing and obeying the word of God.

If the person is fair enough to concede those three obvious points, I should be fair enough to concede an obvious objection that could be raised.

Objection: Fair enough! It says Mary is to be blessed…but not anymore than any other person who hears the word of God and obeys.

That is a conclusion you could come to by reading the text. After all, the verse implies that the greater blessing goes to they (plural, inclusive) who hear the word of God and obey. This means that all who hear the word of God and obey are blessed in this way.

I gladly concede the point.

Yet, you must concede that the greater blessing goes to the one who shows the greater obedience. Thus, the Bible tells us that John the Baptist was the greatest (most blessed) among men born purely of women (Matthew 11:11, Luke 7:28) and that Mary was most blessed among Women (Luke 1:42).

So, the logic brings it back full circle and closes the discourse between the woman and Jesus. For, though it is true that the Bible is saying that all who hear and obey the word of God are deserving of this special blessing, it tells us, by inference, that Mary is at the top of this list because she is most blessed among women and is to be so for all generations.

So, Jesus is, in essence, saying “Yes, she is blessed for her motherhood, but most because she heard and obeyed.

Of course, what Jesus says of Mary, implicitly, is what Elizabeth says explicitely;

Luke 1:45 Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”


“Salvation is by Jesus alone”

…and no Catholic has ever suggested any different. What we differ on your refusal to recognize how Jesus uses people to work His will. People through whom you reach Jesus, people through whom Jesus reaches you.

Mary is one of those such people. In fact, the highest of such people.


“The Bible condemns the so-called ‘Queen of Heaven’”

So it does….

Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, their fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven, while libations are poured out to strange gods in order to hurt me.

First, let’s identify who this ‘Queen of Heaven‘ is. She is the babylonian goddess Ishtar. Second, notice what is occuring. Sacrifices and libations are being offered to her. She is being worshipped.

No Catholic worships Mary. No Catholic offers sacrifices to her. No Catholic sees her as a goddess.

But what of this title ‘Queen of Heaven’? Is it Biblical? It certainly is.

Revelation 12:1 A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Revelation 11:19- 12:17 is rich in marian doctrine. It shows Mary as the Ark of the Covenant, the Assumed, the Mother of God, The Mother of believers and, yes, the Queen of Heaven.

What we see here are the Olt Testament types fulfilled in the person of Mary. The mother of the King is given the office of the Queen Mother (2 Kings 10:13).

Just as people would ask the Queen Mother to intercede, on their behalf, with the King, we do likewise.

No one denies that Jesus is the King of Heaven, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Mary, by virtue of her position as Mother of the King would be the natural fulfillment of this office. Revelation 12:1 confirms this.


“The Rosary is based on private revelations”

There is some truth to that being partially true, certainly. Although the miracles at places like Lourdes and Fatima, with their thousands of witnesses, certainly stretch the definition of the term “private revelation”. The genesis of the Rosary grew from monks who would pray the entire 150 Psalms.

The Rosary was created as a devotion- a means of deep meditation and prayer.

It has certainly expanded over the years and- yes- we do believe that heaven has shown it’s approval.

JOEL 3:1 Then afterward I will pour out my spirit upon all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Miracles have never ceased in the Catholic church and there is no reason to believe they ever would.

Testing the spirit is always a good idea. (1 John 4:1)

Mary has always encouraged believers to renounce sin, to fast, to pray the Lord’s prayer, to pray the Creed, to trust in Jesus and to renounce the vanity of this world.

Hardly what the Devil would advocate.

Miraculous stories such as those of Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe and Betania are not something that Catholics are afraid of embracing.

Luke 21:28 But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”

If there are no miracles in your church, you belong to a false church with a vain worship. Religion has power. Anyone who denies this is to be rejected. (1 Timothy 3:15)


Conclusion

The Rosary is the most powerful devotion ever created. It is totally Biblical. The Hail Mary is taken almost word for word from the 1st and 2nd chapters of Luke’s gospel.

The Rosary forces us to take the miraculous events of scripture and meditate on them to understand their depth. The Rosary is a true participation in the communion of saints. It allows us to tap into the help of that great cloud of witnesses God has given us.

If you wish to go deeper into an intimate relationship with the Holy Trinity, it is difficult to do better than the Rosary of Our blessed lady.

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*BEST OF DTB #9* The Woman in the crowd (Luke 11:27-28)

Posted by John Benko - July 20th, 2010

One of the most cleverly veiled arguments against Catholics is the short exchange between Jesus and a woman in the crowd. Anti-Catholics assert that this exchange refutes the practice of Marian devotion.


What was Really said?

The exchange is recorded in two verses in the 11th chapter of Luke’s Gospel. The Douai Rheems records it this way;

[27] And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck. [28] But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.

The New American Standard Version:

27While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.”

28But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

The King James:
27And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

28But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

However, my adversary chose to quote this passage from the New International Version.

27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
28He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

The difference may appear subtle at first blush but it really is an important distinction to understanding this passage.


Literal vs Dynamic


To understand the different ways this passage is rendered, one must understand the difference between literal Bible translations and dynamic translations.

Literal does not necessarily mean accurate


A literal translation is a translation that seeks to translate the passage as close to a word-for-word rendering as possible. This type of version is good for advanced study. Bear in mind that calling a Bible a literal translation does not indicate that it is necessarily an accurate translation. It only indicates a type of translation.

The King James Version is a literal translation but it is certainly not an accurate one. There are thousands of documented errors in the KJV.

The good thing about literal translations is that they are very good at getting to the actual exegesis of the passage. The bad thing is that they give no credence to the culture of the time, the literary style or the difficulty of translating a passage from Hebrew/Aramaic to Greek to Latin and then to English. This creates a slew of terms that lose meaning in the translation.

One example is the fact that there is no New Testament word for cousins, so these are rendered as brothers. As a consequence, uneducated readers misread many passages by not understanding these factors and assuming the english translation translates itself.


Dynamic translations are, themselves, interpretations (and the New International is one of the very worst).

A dynamic translation is designed to be easier to read by putting the passage into language the modern reader will understand. In short, the dynamic translation seeks to interpret the passage for you. Needless to say, this is a much more liberal way to translate scripture and some pretty awful translations have resulted.

The New International version is just such an example and it’s translation of Luke 11:27-28 is a classic example.

Let’s read it again;

27As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”
28He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Whereas the other translations quoted the woman as blessing Mary’s womb and breasts (her maternity, in other words), the NIV quotes her as addressing the person of Mary, not her motherhood.

Do not be fooled. This is not as subtle a difference as you suppose. However, before I explain why the NIV’s translation is misplaced, I must prove it is inaccurate.

There are two greek words for ‘mother’ that appear in the New Testament, pronounced Maytare and Pentherah. Neither of these two words are present in Luke 11:27. The insertion of the word ”mother” into the text is the translators’ attempt at their own interpretation.


The NIV says what many protestants believe……but they are wrong.

In it’s defense, the NIV is only expressing what many protestants believe- that the woman in the crowd is blessing (elevating) Mary and that Jesus is saying, at a minimum, that Mary is no better than anyone else who hears and obeys the word of God.

If you read the NIV’s translation of the passage, you are mislead into such a conclusion, especially, if you do not understand the actual exegesis of the passage.

In short, protestants believe that the woman is calling Mary- the person- ”blessed” and the Jesus is rejecting such an assertion.

I have already demonstrated that the woman is not directly blessing Mary- the person- but her maternity. In actuality, Jesus does not disagree….but we’ll get to that in a minute.


Mary is not blessed? Sorry….the Bible doesn’t support that notion.

So that I can not be accused of misrepresenting the protestant position, let me quote one of the heretical statements from the person I was debating. To be honest, I was shocked that he actually had the temerity to enunciate this position.

Marked a…………… Now lets look at Luke11:27-28 shall we————> As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” The Woman was obviously corrected (just catholics are just like the Woman in the crowd blessing Mary)……..

This person’s own words condemn him. he is saying- flat out- that Jesus has instructed us not to bless Mary. This is actually a blasphemous assertion. The Bible demands that we honor our father and mother. This person is accusing Jesus of violating one of the Ten Commandments!

Jesus even spells out the gravity of this very truth to the Pharisees.

Matthew 15:4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever curses father or mother shall die.’

but that is a violation of the scripture by extrapolation. We do not even need to do go that far, for the Bible tells us EXPLICITLY that Mary is to be blessed among all women (Luke 1:42) and by all generations! (Luke 1:48).

Why would the Holy Spirit allow the gospel writer to record Mary saying of herself that all generations would call her blessed, only to see Jesus reject such a claim less than 10 chapters later?

This is an absurd suggestion!


Let’s get down to brass tacks

Now that we have examined what the passage clearly doesn’t say and what it clearly cannot say, there is only one thing left to do….

Let’s look at what the passage actually does say. The answer may surprise you.

The Woman in the crowd says “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” The greek word for womb is pronounced koyleeah and the word for breasts mastos. That the woman is blessing Mary’s maternity of Jesus is inescapable.

So, why does Jesus disagree?
11:28 He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

He doesn’t. The mistake you are making is in misinterpreting the word rather.

rath·er

rather pronunciation (rā th ‘ər, rä’ th ər)
adv.
  1. With more logic, wisdom, or other justification.
    1. More readily; preferably: I’d rather go to the movies.

    More exactly; more accurately: He’s my friend, or rather he was my friend.

  2. To a certain extent; somewhat: rather cold.
  3. On the contrary.
  4. (rā’ th ûr’, rä’-) Chiefly British Most certainly. Used as an emphatic affirmative reply.

Protestants imply that Jesus is using definition #4, on the contrary, but that is not at all the case. Jesus is actually using a term that denotes agreement with the woman to an extent, but showing emphasis on Mary’s obedience rather than her maternity.

The exegesis of the word bears this out unmistakably.

The word rather, in this passage, is translated from a greek word pronounced menoongeh. This word is a conjunction of the words men (to affirm), oon (accordingly) and gheh (which denotes emphasis).

It is very clear that Jesus is not saying “not ‘A’ but ‘B’” but is, in fact, saying, “yes ‘A’ (men) and (oon), even more than that (gheh) “B”.

So, to paraphrase….

Woman: Blessed is your mother for carrying you and nursing you.
Jesus: Yes, but more blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey.


A fair objection


A fair minded person, considering my words, would concede several points.
  1. Mary is clearly blessed.
  2. On this point, Jesus agrees with the woman.
  3. Though Mary’s maternity is worthy of blessing, more worthy is hearing and obeying the word of God.

If the person is fair enough to concede those three obvious points, I should be fair enough to concede an obvious objection that could be raised.

Objection: Fair enough! It says Mary is to be blessed…but not anymore than any other person who hears the word of God and obeys.

That is a conclusion you could come to by reading the text. After all, the verse implies that the greater blessing goes to they (plural, inclusive) who hear the word of God and obey. This means that all who hear the word of God and obey are blessed in this way.

I gladly concede the point.

Yet, you must concede that the greater blessing goes to the one who shows the greater obedience. Thus, the Bible tells us that John the Baptist was the greatest (most blessed) among men born purely of women (Matthew 11:11, Luke 7:28) and that Mary was most blessed among Women (Luke 1:42).

So, the logic brings it back full circle and closes the discourse between the woman and Jesus. For, though it is true that the Bible is saying that all who hear and obey the word of God are deserving of this special blessing, it tells us, by inference, that Mary is at the top of this list because she is most blessed among women and is to be so for all generations.

So, Jesus is, in essence, saying “Yes, she is blessed for her motherhood, but most because she heard and obeyed.

Of course, what Jesus says of Mary, implicitly, is what Elizabeth says explicitely;

Luke 1:45 Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

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