*BEST OF DTB #35* The Catholic Defender: The Anointing of the Sick

Posted by John Benko - October 25th, 2010

While stationed at Fort Campbell Kentucky, I use to go to St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Oak Grove just outside of the Military post.
I was very involved with the Parish through the Knights of Columbus, the RCIA, the Youth Group, CCD, Bible Studies, I even would take my 53 inch TV to present good Catholic programs after the Saturday Mass.
Without a doubt, one of the greatest honors I was given by Father David (Who had left but is now back), the opportunity to go with him when he would go on a call to administer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
Because I was in the medical field, he liked having me along with him. In the ancient world, oil was used for medication. Through Father’s Ministry, the Lord worked miracles of healing.
I first remember this great Sacrament offered to my Mother when I was in college. My Mother in the latter 1960′s was hit by a car broad side as it went through a red light.
My Mother had her back broke in a number of places and for about a year I had to live with relatives while Mom recuperated. For years my Mother suffered from severe headaches, spinal taps, and loss of mobility.
I remember Mom would be in her garden moving from one plant to the next kind of scooting along making her way. She could barely walk. One day at Mass Father invited anyone who had been sick to come up for this great Sacrament.
Mom went up along with about 12 other people and when Father came to her, she later explained she felt a warming sensation that went throughout her body. From that time on, Mom was able to move around at a much greater mobility and she never complained again of the headaches.
That was the first time I was exposed to something that God sometimes does to intervene in the life of His people.
James 5:13-15 states, “Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord, and the prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven”.
This certainly gives greater light to Mark 6:13 which says, “They (the Apostles) drove out many demons and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them”.
James is recognizing the presbyter as a true agent of God in the Ministry of the 12 Apostles. That is the connection between St. James and Mark’s context. Father David (and all Catholic Priests) whom I served holds the same Apostolic Ministry.

This Sacrament is the true extension of the Lord’s healing hand. Jesus is working within His Ministry.
I have long seen this scripture as important to Catholic teaching the need of the priesthood. It is quite noticeable that a presbyter is called upon to offer this great Sacrament.
Hence, the dreaded middle man some of my Protestant friends would reject? Also, through the action of the Priest, the person’s sins are forgiven, just as in the Sacrament of Confession. What a great blessing we have in this great Sacrament.
My Mother was able to do far more in her 50′s than she ever was in her 40′s. When I lived in Harrison Arkansas in the early 1980′s, the Catholic Priest of the Parish there told me of the time he was just ordained a priest serving in northern Arkansas in a mission territory.
He was instructing an elderly lady who was coming to him learning about the Catholic Faith. One night he receives a call from a daughter of this lady who asked for him to see her Mother.
She had been in a coma for five days, had not eaten anything or had anything to drink. When Father arrived, he administered Baptism to the Lady and then administered the Sacrament of the Anointing of the sick.
Just as he completed the task the lady opened her eyes and sat up saying “Thank God thank you Father”!
This totally surprised him as well as the family. Helping Father David at St. Michael’s only reinforced my beliefs. I would see this great Sacrament offered for both my Mother and also my wife. In our time, this Sacrament is being offered for those who are not only dying or very sick, but also for those preparing for a major surgery.
From the “Fish Eaters”:
The blessing of oils is performed by the Bishop of each diocese on Holy Thursday (Holy Week) in the Cathedral during the Chrism Mass. The oils are maintained in either metal or glass bottles called “Chrismatories”. These vessals are then stored in a cabinet called an “Anby” which is usually fixed to the wall of the sanctuary. Priests also have a portable “oilstock” which has a section for each of the three holy oils.


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*BEST OF DTB #34* The Catholic Defender goes on the offense against Pornography

Posted by John Benko - October 25th, 2010

It was August 22, 1984, I was rather anxious about this particular evening. The past year I was part of a Charter member of Council No 8410 (Harrison Arkansas), the Grand Knight was a good friend of mine, Walter Israel.
This evening was specific to me because I was being honored as “Knight of the Year” by the Council.
I was a committee chairman who was responsible for a number of volunteer work: orchestrating prolife events, conducting presentations on contemporary music, fighting pornography, fund raising, putting together the local bulletin, established a church softball team, organizing Christian music concerts for our youth, and several other tasks for the Council.
Looking back, I can see where the experience helped shape me from being an energetic young college guy to being a community organizer, a leader representing the Church. The fight against pornography was one that was very rewarding to me because of the impact we had for the community.
At this time, pornography was working itself into the minute marts, the video stores, and ordinary outlets. I was able to get a number of these x-rated videos from such outlets and through the (then)Prosecuting Attorney, Gorden Webb.
We were successful in getting the pornography out of these stores. I would have women showing up to my door with pornography to give to me to help fight porn. They began finding this porn in their homes after discovering their husbands had been hiding it between the mattresses under their beds. So my name was getting out there in the public eye.
Letters to the editer began showing some discontent with the success we were having. There is no question that pornography plays a vital role in the destruction of the moral foundation of America, the moral decline of America.
Pornography has played a role in attacking marriage causing untold divorce. Romans 1:20-27 states, “Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity”.
So much of the Scripture speak of the poison that we place in the heart, the obvious results. Ephesians 5:1-5 warns, “So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. Immorality or impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no immoral, or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God”.
During the middle 1990′s, while stationed at Ft. Campbell Kentucky, I became involved in a fight against pornography. There was a porn store opening up in the Clarksville community near a park, a school, and a church.
In a 90 day period, I would go stand at the sidewalk arm in arm with several other groups carrying signs saying “Pornography destroys”. I stood out there in the rain and heat making a difference in this fight.
I would bring my video camera which really thwarted many who did not want to be pictured in front of this store. The local college, Austin Peay University held a debate about pornography and my video camera became a sore subject of discussion for the pro-porn crowd.
We were able to get passed into legislation that no porn store could open up within 2,000 feet of a park, a school, or a church. “What it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing”.
This is a major fight for the soul of America. The past few years we have been conditioned by the media and the liberal outlets i.e. higher places of learning, judicial system, politicians with no backbone, and the destruction of the family contributes to the problem.
We are fast moving to a society that is seeing porn and homosexuality as rights while the Church is being pushed more and more into a corner. If we do not wake up soon, we may find ourselves in a very different America.
St. Paul encourages us writing, “Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says: ‘In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you’. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold now is the day of salvation”.
Do not put off for tomorrow what should be done today. We need to strengthen our families, teach our youth the ways of the Lord or else they will fall into an others manipulation with impure motives.
It was an honor to have received this “Knight of the Year” award from among my peers but the fight is far from over. We must work to reverse the gains that the porn industry has made.
Women are enslaved by it, it creates an underworld where people lurk in the darkness destroying untold lives robbing them of their youth. Families are torn apart by human trafficking, this must be stopped and the laws enforced.

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*BEST OF DTB #33* The Catholic Defender defends the Sacrament of Marriage

Posted by John Benko - October 25th, 2010

Marriage is one of the seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church.
It is really the first Covenant between Adam and Eve (Covenant of marriage).
Genesis 2:23-24 states, “the man said: ‘This one at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called woman, for out of her man this one has been taken’. That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body”.
In the Old Testament, a Covenant is an exchange of persons in contrast to a contract which is an exchange of things. Marriage fits this perfectly as it mirrors the Covenant God makes with his people. It is interesting that God referred to Israels unfaithfulness to Him as adultery when they chose to follow false gods.
The Israelites were allowed to marry anyone they pleased, “provided they marry into a clan of their ancestral tribe so that no heritage of the Israelites will pass from one tribe to another, but all the Israelites will retain their own ancestral heritage” (Numbers 36:6-7).
Moses will eventually grant a written bill of divorce because of the hardness of heart. Deuteronomy 24:1-4 states, “When a man, after marrying a woman and having relations with her, is later displeased with her because he finds in her something indecent, and therefore he writes out a bill of divorce and hands it to her, thus dismissing her from his house: if on leaving his house she goes and becomes the wife of another man, and the second husband, too, comes to dislike her and dismisses her from his house by handing her a written bill of divorce; or if this second man who has married her, dies; then her former husband, who dismissed her, may not again take her as his wife after she has become defiled. That would be an abomination before the Lord, and you shall not bring such guilt upon the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you as a heritage”.
Jesus refers to this speaking to some Pharisees who had approached Him. He was asked about divorce, Jesus responded, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate. They said to Him, ‘Then why did Moses command that a man give the woman a bill of divorcee and dismiss her’? He said to them, ‘Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery” (Matthew 19:3-9).
This is a very important scripture here! Who is it that declares a marriage “unlawful”?
Can any husband call his marriage unlawful?
No, he or she cannot make that claim. The “annulment” of a marriage is not a divorce, it is a marriage that is dissolved because it was found to be unlawful. It was never a true Sacramental marriage.
What is the process to obtain an annulment?
What is the base for having an annulment?
A man or woman is not capable of declaring whether a marriage is annulled or not. It has to come from the Catholic Church who provides a tribunal to investigate if a marriage can be annulled.
Matthew 18:15-18 states, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen to you, so that ‘every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church. If he refuses to listen even to the Church, treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector. Amen, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven”.
You take the matter to the Church and the tribunal will decide. Today, there are allot of annulments taking place, it is like Canon Lawyers have taken this scripture “unlawful marriage” and builds each case just like a regular case in court.
It has a feel very much like a court. You have a Canon Lawyer who defends the marriage while you have an advocate who tries to prove your case based on the evidence. It can take sometimes more than a year or longer for such a decision.
If there has been no remarriage, the individuals involved are not banned from the Sacraments. If there has already been a “remarriage” the individuals cannot receive the Sacraments until a positive decision has been reached and the current marriage validated.
We are living at a time when marriage is being attacked as divorce is more than 50% in the United States, there are Socialistic teachers and followers who are wanting to change what marriage is.
There are liberal Judges who are legislating from the bench trying to justify homosexual marriage. This is becoming a threat to the Sacrament of marriage.
Pope Pius XII in 1950 at the canonization of St. Maria Goretti warned that in the future the attacks on marriage would be great. The creation of the Birth Control Pill had much to do with the advent of the sexual revolution.
Pope Paul VI recognized the threat as the attack on the family became evident. Not all marriages are blessed as many are conducted outside the Church. Jesus warns, “For as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man”.
We know that Jesus blesses valid marriages such as the wedding feast of Cana (John 2:1-12).
Jesus is clearly referring to a secular humanistic condition of many in the last days.
Many times I have spoken to couples encouraging them with my triangle formula. Christ is at the top of the triangle, both spouses are at either end of the other two points.
The closer they move towards Jesus, the closer they move to each other building that foundation that will help them through any valley or any mountain they have to cross over. Not a day goes by that my wife and I tell each other of our love for each other. She is God’s greatest gift to me.
To many times people are quick to abandon their vows. Marriage is a gift to His people. It is the perversion of this gift that is the problem. The Lord wants to bless you abundantly but many times because of our hardness of hearts, we fall into sin many times leading us into a spiritual condition where we are out of the Church.
There are those who have abandoned the Catholic Faith because they are divorced and remarried who rejects the authority of the Church. There are those who forsake marriage for a life of immorality, for orgies, and the like.
There are those who want to make homosexual union a “marriage” which is an abomination against God. All of this us unlawful, St. Paul warns, “We know that the law is good, provided that one uses it as law, with the understanding that the law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, the unchaste, sodomites (homosexuals), kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which I have been entrusted” (1 Timothy 1:8-11).
The gospel St. Paul was entrusted has been given to us through this ministry. The (Catholic)bishops today is the authority for us to believe the gospel message. Let us pray for all Christian men and women that their marriages will be built upon the foundation of the gospel of peace. That children will be raised in loving households being shown good examples of what a father and mother should be. Let forgiveness be center for all of our faults.

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*BEST OF DTB #32* The Catholic Defender looks at demon possession

Posted by John Benko - October 23rd, 2010

A couple of days ago I was watching on the Discovery channel, a story of the original exorcist.

The story is actually based on a boy from St. Louis taking place in 1949. I use to have a video on the subject but this episode was an update that had been recently documented.

From this presentation, it gave both sides of the commentary, those who believe it to be fact and those who tried to give a humanist answer to the symptoms of the boy.

This is a subject that is rarely seen in our day and time. With modern medical evaluations, demon possession is not high on the list for diagnosis. I think most people would categorize the subject as “superstitious” or “medieval”.

If you have seen the movie, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”, this issue is debated in a dramatic court scene.

A Catholic Priest is standing trial for the death of a young woman who was demonically possessed. This movie is unique in that it presents the Catholic Church in a favorable light as you watch the movie. The woman in which the movie was based actually becomes seen as a heroine for God.

That was something I really enjoyed about the movie. Pope Paul VI was quoted by the Catholic Magazine “Immaculata” from a book they produced called “The Devil and Exorcism” (April 1974) saying, “show the devil to Christian souls as he really is, and his ugliness will not attract them; hide the devil and in ignorance they will follow him. The devil has been hidden too long. Not by the Church but by those who have little faith or no faith in the supernatural. The power of the devil weakens as soon as his pretenses are exposed”.

St. Paul sees this problem as very important as he states, “Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things (sin) the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. So do not be associated with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the fruitless works of darkness; rather expose them (Ephesians 5:6-11)…

In an age when the supernatural is being explained by humanist reasoning, you can certainly loose the devil in the details. I see a bigger problem than demon possession, something I will call “demon oppression“.

This is where a person is not demon possessed physically, but a person becomes so blind to the truth that they can’t see the gospel. It is bondage from personal ignorance or willful refusal to follow God. We consent to this when we turn our back on God and willfully choose to walk away from God.

Demon possession we can see the biblical accounts throughout Jesus public Ministry. Matthew 17:14 -20 says, “When they came to the crowd a man approached, knelt before him (Jesus), and said, ‘Lord have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him’. Jesus said in reply, ‘O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him here to me’. Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, ‘Why could we not drive it out’? He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have the faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you”.

St Mark (Mk 9:29) adds Jesus saying, “This kind (demonic possession) can only come out through prayer”.

Jesus gives the Catholic Church this power and authority to cast out demons as a sign of His presence, “These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages” (Mark 16:17).

Acts 5:12-16 shows this is what the Apostles did, “Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles. They were all together in Solomon’s portico. None of the others dared to join them, but the people esteemed them. Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord, great numbers of men and women, were added to them. Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and mats so that when Peter came by, at least his shadow might fall on one or another of them. A large number of people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem also gathered, bringing the sick and those disturbed by unclean spirits, and they all were cured”.

These signs and wonders were becoming known throughout the area. Acts 19:13-20 gives an interesting account of those who wanted to imitate the authority of the Apostles: “Then some itinerant Jewish exorcists tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those with evil spirits, saying, ‘I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches’. When the seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish high priest, tried to do this, the evil spirit said to them in reply, ‘Jesus I recognize, Paul I know, but who are you’? The person with the evil spirit then sprang at them and subdued them all. He so overpowered them that they fled naked and wounded from that house. When this became known to all the Jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus, fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in great esteem. Many of those who had become believers came forward and openly acknowledged their former practices. Moreover, a large number of those who had practiced magic (the occult) collected their books and burned them in public. They calculated their value and found it to be fifty thousand silver pieces. Thus did the word of the Lord continue to spread with influence and power”.

It is interesting to note that the boy from the documentation on exorcism on the Discovery channel had an Aunt who introduced him to the Ouija Board where they spent hours seeking the spirits of the dead. The family were not Catholic, but they were Lutheran who through their traumatic experience converted to the Catholic Faith.

A good question has been asked of me about non-Catholic groups and some of them such as Pentecostals believe in demonic possession. Just as the demons messed with the Jewish sons of Sceva, they play havoc with those who cast out demons from these groups, yet the individual in question has more demons or are left in the false doctrines of those influencing exorcisms.

Sometimes this itself can be confusing when you see people no longer bound by alcohol, cigarette, or drug addictions. False doctrines also come from demonic instructions.

As Catholics, no one should attempt to speak with demons or cast them out unless you are authorized by the Catholic Church to do so. Each Diocese should have a Priest appointed to do such work, though the incidence of demonic possession has been greatly decreased.

The Devil casts out his many webs of deception so that people place themselves under demonic instructions (1 Timothy 4:1) hence, “demonic oppression“. People are lured by the fascination with the Occult or any false philosophy. Today, we have many voices out wanting to sell a “product” that sells, sex, the Occult, Secular Humanism, Indifferentism, Modernism are powerful heresies of our time. My Rock is founded from Christ who is the Master Builder. He established the Church upon the foundation of St. Peter and the Apostles. This is the only safe ship to pass on stormy seas!
The Catechism reminds Catholics to put all their faith totally in God:

“2110 The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion.”

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*BEST OF DTB #30* The Catholic Defender takes a look at signs and wonders

Posted by John Benko - October 10th, 2010

As I was working on the “Last Daze” series focusing on the last times, I was looking at something St. Paul had said.
2 Thess 2:9 states, “…the one whose coming springs from the power of Satan in every mighty deed and in signs and wonders that lie….”
I couldn’t help but think about the great fear people have of the Catholic Faith. They fear the supernatural and because of this, they end up taking positions that are not biblical.
How many times have they attacked religion denying the importance of the practice of it? Speaking of the biblical importance of religion, St. Paul refers to a number of terrifying signs of the end times.
Irreligious is listed among those signs. According to the Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, a person who is irreligious is “Neglectful of religion: lacking religious emotions, doctrines, or practices, that they exploit popular religion for professional purposes”.
I would say that some oppose religion because they cannot accept the truth of the Catholic Religion so they are vocal against religion yet they create their own personal religion calling it a ‘relationship’.
St. Paul goes on to say, “they make a pretense of religion but deny it’s power. Reject them” (2 Timothy 3:5).
St. Paul says that such people “oppose the truth , are people of depraved mind, unqualified in the faith”.
That is an amazing thing he says. I think there is a connection of those who oppose religion with those who have problems with ‘signs and wonders’.
If you do not believe in the Catholic Religion, your going to challenge it’s “signs and wonders” because of 2 Thess 2:9.
Does this mean that “signs and wonders” are evil?
Is there a means to know what is true from false?
Jesus established the Church giving it the truth with the ability to test the spirit (1 John 4:1), the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18), that he would remain with the Church (Matthew 28:20).
Concerning the last times, St Luke quotes the prophet Joel, “It will come to pass in the last days, God says, ‘that I will pour out a portion of my spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. Indeed, upon my handmaids I will pour out a portion of my spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy. And I will work wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below; blood, fire, and cloud of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and splendid day of the Lord, and it shall be that everyone shall be saved who calls on the name of the Lord” (Acts 2:17-21).
Because people hear of supernatural occurrences, they let their bias against ‘religion’ affect their understanding of the signs and wonders of the Lord.
Yes, there are supernatural signs that we should be concerned about such as those who claim witchcraft, those who dabble in the Occult, those who believe in reincarnation, false religion is everywhere.
I will tell people that I only believe in one religion, I may respect other people in their religion, but only one do I recognize because Christ is the founder of that one Religion.
The Catholic Church investigates all these miracles to ensure for the faithful that the event is not from the Devil or his minions. We can trust the Lord’s promise.

*BEST OF DTB #29* The Catholic Defender takes a look at the ten horns

Posted by John Benko - October 8th, 2010

(Editors note) I wanted to bring this older article because I’ve been doing a work on this subject in August.

To recap, 14 May 1948, Israel becomes a nation after 2,500 years (Joel 1:7, Hosea 9:10, Matthew 24:32).

Pope Pius XII told a large crowd at Vatican City, Easter Sunday, 1960 that one of the last signs of bible prophecy concerned the restoration of Jerusalem back into the hands of the Jewish people. He didn’t live to see this happen in 1967 as a result of the 6 day war.

Remember that the Fall of Jerusalem as a result of the Jewish/Roman war (67-70 A.D.) fulfills Jesus prophecy the very generation he spoke “Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place” (Matthew 24:34).

Can the Scripture have a dual meaning to also cover the last daze?

Catholic Tradition seems to support that. Also, the same year 1948, the European Union (EU) began in Holland. Holland in the 1840′s and 50′s thanks to the Ana-Baptist from there developed the doctrine of the Rapture, it was also here that the EU was formed.

This organization would expand to ten nations (the ten horns), and work towards a one world government. It will eventually go world wide (Rev 13:3). Daniel 2 speaks of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream which left his spirit restless and he could not sleep.

He called for all his magicians, enchanters, and sorcerers which were no help in solving the meaning of the dream. Daniel was called upon and God gave the meaning to his servant. Daniel 2:31 states, “In your vision, O King, you saw a statue, very large and exceedingly bright…

The head of the statue was pure gold,

it’s chest and arms were silver,

it’s belly and thighs bronze,

the legs iron, it’s feet partly iron partly tile”.

This statue represents the kingdoms from Daniels time to the end of the age. As world powers, Assyria and Egypt had already came and gone.

Who was the head of gold? Daniel said it was King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonian Empire (Daniel 1:1 about 586 B.C.).

The chest and arms of silver was Medopersia (Daniel 5:28, 8:20 about 539 B.C.).

The belly and thighs of bronze was Alexander the Great and the Greco Empire (Daniel 8:21, 11:2 about 331 B.C.).

Other events will be very important such as the destruction of the Temple by Antiochus which will usher in the Messiah 490 years after Daniel.

The legs of iron was the Roman Empire (Romans 1:7 about 63 B.C. to present). The Roman Empire was in power during the time of St. John (Rev 17:10).

Who does the feet of iron mixed with clay represent?

Who is this kingdom to come that St. John speaks of?

The Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) believe that the ten nations were the “Visigoths, Anglo-Saxons, Franks, Alemani, Burgundians, Lombard’s, Suevi, Heruli, Ostrogoth’s, and the Vandals”.

The SDA teach that the last three kingdoms listed were “rooted up” by the Catholic Church. My response to this is simple. These various peoples could not be those depicted by Daniel for the end days.

Daniel 12:4 states, As for you, Daniel, keep secret the message and seal the book until the end times; many shall fall away and evil shall increase”.

The conclusion is obvious; the information in Daniel’s book would be ‘sealed’ until the last days. The situations with the tribes listed above took place over 1500 years ago. At that time the Catholic Church was not in any complicity to do much against anybody.

The SDA were founded and organized in 1863 by Ellen G White, prophetess of Seventh Day Adventist.

In the 1960′s there were about 400,000 who professed the SDA. Today they number between 12,000,000 to 14,000,000 followers many of who are former Catholics as they sharply seek out Catholics.

This is why Catholics need to know their faith because we can be susceptible to allot of these groups.

This is part of the Mission Statement of deepertruth, to equip Catholics, to encourage them to be Catholics of conviction, not chance.

Going back to King Nebuchadnezzar’s statue, is there a prophecy for the Catholic Church found here? Daniel 2:34 states, “While you looked at the statue, a stone which was hewn from a mountain without a hand being put to it, struck it’s iron and tile feet, breaking them in pieces”.

Jesus refers to himself as “the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone (Luke:20:17)”. Jesus is the “Capstone” who built the foundation of his Church upon the foundation of Apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:19-22).

Daniel 2:44 states, “In the life time of those kings the God of Heaven will set up a Kingdom that shall never be destroyed or delivered up to another people; rather, it shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and put an end to them, and it shall stand forever”. Jesus established the Catholic Faith giving it his protection (Matthew 16:18), his presence (Matthew 28:20), and his seal (John 14:15-26).

The Roman Empire finally converted to Christianity with Constantine through his famous ‘Edict of Milan’. After 476 A.D. with the fall of the Roman Empire in the West, the Catholic Church remains as a testimony to the truth of Jesus that he is the Rock on which all truth comes.

He is the Christ as St. Peter recognized. The Papacy was built by Christ to be his Chief Stewart. It is true to say St. Peter is the ‘Rock’ and Christ the Master Builder!

To get back to The EU, remember this organization begins in 1948, the same year that Israel becomes a nation after 2,500 years. The EU begins with Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

In 1957, Italy, France, and Germany joined into the EU. This was ratified by what is called “the Treaty of Rome”! See the importance of this?

In 1973 England, Ireland, and Denmark joined the EU. Then in 1981 Greece became the tenth nation making up the ten toes and ten horns of prophecy.

Brussels Belgium is where the executive branch headquarters are located. Parliament is located in Luxembourg. They are working for a United States of Europe that resembles the United States of America with it’s own currency.

Other Countries have joined in to include Austria in January 1995. President Obama recently has been wanting to change our system of Government more to the Socialistic view of the EU. Today’s politics seem to be falling into biblical prophecy?

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*BEST OF DTB #28* The Catholic Defender identifies the Woman of Revelation 17

Posted by John Benko - October 8th, 2010

What does the seven heads and ten horns refereed to by St. John mean (Rev 17:7)”? This is a loaded question that rouse some very interesting opinions.
The Catholic Church may point to the seven heads as being identified with the early Roman Emperors.
Nero being the 1st Beast of Rev 13:1. St. John says, “Here is a clue for one who has wisdom. The seven heads represent seven hills upon which the woman sits. They also represent seven kings; five have already fallen, one still lives, and the last has not yet come…(Rev 17:9-10)”.
If Nero and other Roman Emperors make up the seven kings, then you can identify the seven hills with Rome. This is possible to make this connection. This also helps identify who the “Whore of Babylon” (Rev 17:1-6) is.

Along with the Beast of Rev 13, there is a false prophet (Rev 13:11) who is identified with two horns of a lamb but speaks like a dragon. During the time of St. John’s writing the book of Revelation, the only religious body that could fit this description would be Jerusalem.
The Woman is identified as having intercourse with the kings of the earth, she plays the harlot, she is seated on a scarlet beast (Rome) wearing purple and scarlet adorned with gold, precious stones and pearls (Exodus 28:6, 35:22).
She has a golden cup filled with abominations (Jeremiah 51:7). She is responsible for the blood of the saints (Acts 12).
During the time of St. John, the only possible role of this woman is Jerusalem. Rome is the beast. If there is a secondary prophecy found in this text of scripture, if the seven kings are representative of kingdoms, it’s possible that could be Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medopersia, and Greece are the 5 fallen kingdoms, the power at the time would be Rome.
This fits perfectly with the Dream of King Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:1-45) and Daniel (Daniel 7:1-27). The Question remains, who is the Kingdom that is to come? Anti-Catholics build theories that it is the Catholic Church. This is error!
Jesus established the Catholic Faith and was who St. John represented as an Apostle in union with the other’s. If the Anti-Christ comes from an revised “Roman” Empire, the Euoropean Union fit’s the bill. If there will be another powerful Roman Emperor, that still is yet to be seen.

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*BEST OF DTB #27* The Catholic Defender contnues on the Last Daze

Posted by John Benko - October 7th, 2010

Jesus states, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be” (John 14:3).
St. John writes, “And now children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not be put to shame by him at his coming” (1 John 2:28).
Israel returned as a Nation in 1948. In 1882, the records show that there were about 2500 Jews living in the Holy Land, today there are almost 5,730,000 Jews living there.
Almost 80% living there are Jewish. Amos 9:15 states, “I will plant them upon their own ground: never again shall they be plucked from the land I have given them, say I, the Lord, your God”.
Of this prophecy, Jeremiah writes, “In those days the House of Judah will join the House of Israel; together they will come from the land of the North which I gave to your fathers as a heritage” (Jeremiah 3:18).
If you were to trace a ruler directly north of Jerusalem, you would find yourself right in Moscow. Since 1989, after the Berlin wall came down, abut 1,000,000 Jews departed Russia for Israel.
The Prophet Jeremiah speaks of Jerusalem as the “Lords Throne” referring that once held in Jewish hands, would never again be taken over by the Gentiles (Luke 21:24, Jeremiah 3:17).
Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister of Israel, born in Poland, was assassinated in 1996, stated that Jerusalem was not negotiable. Jerusalem is the only Capital for the Jews. Jerusalem would never be on the negotiating table in the future.
The Old Testament gives 17 prophecies that Russia, land of the north, would invade Israel to take Jerusalem in the last times. Today, nearly 2,500 years later, this is possible.
Who is to say that a future Russian President wouldn’t attack Israel? The Catholic Church is the “New Israel” in the New Testament, but there is much debate about Israel in the last times.
The rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem is important to this debate because of the anti-christ taking over the Temple as a god (2 Thess 2:3-4).
It is interesting that some of our Protestant friends will take this passage and base this on the Pope. That’s how they see him as the “anti-christ”. Totally untrue.
The following are more signs not easily explained:
Jesus States, “There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, ad plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky” (Luke 21:11).
Natural disasters are part of the signs that relate to the Lord’s Second Coming. As with all signs, some will argue that “earthquakes and natural disasters have always been a part of God’s Creation”.
It is important to note that prophecies concerning natural disasters speak of the dramatic increase of these signs (Matthew 24:32-35).
According to the Canadian Global Almanac reported, “Earthquakes that range from 6.5 and greater on the rector scale between 1900-1969 there were 48 earthquakes of that magnitude. From July 1990 to October 1992 there were 133 such earthquakes”.
That is a huge recordable increase, nearly 2300%. There are literally thousands of rumblings and earthquakes in California alone and it hasn’t been political as the election season justbegan?
From the World Press Review, they reported “There have been four times as many destructive storms assailing the earth in recent years as there were in 1960″.

Since the 1990′s we have seen a huge increase of destructive hurricanes such as when Katrina and Rita hit New Orleans August/September 2005.
More tornados and floods across the country effect crops. Since 1995 there have been record heat waves creating a scare of global warming.
The largest and most dangerous o-zone hole opening over Europe, will take 15-20 years to naturally repair itself.
The increase of Natural disasters due to drought and hunger “affect more than 26,000,000 men, women, and children in East Africa.
Other problems concening Brazils tropical rain forest, the poisoning of the rivers and oceans to include the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The growth of desert lands, polution, disease of livestock, the attack of animals, even domesticated pets are n the rise. If we can alert ourselves about the rise of natural disasters, what are we to do about this? Jesus gives us words of encouragement stating, “But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand” (Luke 21:28). The signs are for our benefit. We should not be caught living in sin especially if we can recognize the Lord’s presence, his judgement.

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*BEST OF DTB #26* The Catholic Defender discusses the Last Daze

Posted by John Benko - October 7th, 2010

There are allot of groups out making all kinds of attacks and misrepresentations against the Catholic Faith.
Especially regarding the end times. Movies have been wonderfully made regarding the Rapture based from the Left Behind series.
Allot of discussion has been made on the subject. The Second Coming of Christ is centered from Catholic Tradition and Scripture.
From the Nicene Creed we proclaim “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his Kingdom will have no end” (2 Timothy 4:1). As I look into his truth, it is important to note that no one knows the exact day or hour of his return (Matthew 24:36).
However, Jesus revealed signs for us to watch so we would not be caught sleeping (Matthew 24:3-31). The Church reminds us to be alert for his coming so he will not come “like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2).”
The Church wants us to be ready on a daily basis, as if this could be the day. Many will rise on any given day not aware that today is their final day. Accidents happen along with violence that impact thousands of people every day.
The Catholic Church certainly desires peace that only Christ can give under such circumstances. Christians have always believed from the beginning that the Lord’s return was imminent. St Paul warns the Church not to get caught listening to every alarming statement from a teaching “allegedly from them ‘the Apostles” (2 Thess 2:2).
Jesus told the people of his time “You know how to judge the appearance of the sky, but you cannot judge the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3).
What makes our generation different? One of the most important bible prophecy to be fulfilled is Israel’s return to their homeland. This happened on May 14, 1948.
Pope Pius XII announced to the world on Easter Sunday 1957 in front of a large crowd at Vatican City that the capture of Jerusalem would be one of the last major fulfillment of scripture.
This might set up the stage for the end time drama. I want to pause here for a moment to speak on the Catholic Church’s teaching on this.
The Catholic Church takes the position on the end times called “amillennial” which is based from St. Augustine’s teaching that the 1,000 reign of Christ in Rev 20:4 is symbolic.
Much of the Scripture is symbolic. Much of the prophecy has already happened such as Nero was traditionally believed to be the beast in Rev 13.
Can such scripture have double meaning for the last days?
That is an interesting question. Regardless how this plays the Lord will always be with his Church through all of it and His promise will always be true.
Going back to Pope Pius XII, after 2,500 years Israel would be set up in their homeland and Jerusalem no longer in the hands of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24).
Jews from all over the world have returned to Palestine, they came from 120 Nations speaking 83 languages setting up their own government and Army.
The flag bearing the Star of David has been waving ever since 14 May 1948. In 1967 the Jews reclaim Jerusalem as a result of the six day war.
The Late Great Pope John Paul II traveled to Israel for the year of jubilee. What are some signs the bible speaks of that we should be watching for?
Take a look at inequity, this word inequity is refereed to in the bible over 275 times. When it is used for in prophecy, it always implies dramatic increase. According to Websters Dictionary, inequity stands for “wickedness, an iniquitous act or thing: Sin”.
Jesus states, “Many false prophets will arise and deceive many and because of the increase of evil doing, the love of many will grow cold”(Matthew 24:11-12).
Some people will argue that sin and vice have always been with us. Jesus states “Learn a lesson from the fig tree. When it’s branch becomes tender and spouts leaves, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, know that he is near, at the gates. Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place (Matthew 24:32-35)”.
2 Timothy 3:4 states in part that people would become “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, as they make a pretense of religion but deny it’s power”.

With the creation of Television and the promotion of the Birth Control Pill, the 1960′s usurped in the sexual revolution. The American family has bore the blunt of this attack on morality.
Casualties are found and experienced by most families and solutions are not easily reconciled. As a result to this rebellion against God’s teaching, something like 1-5 Americans are presently infected with a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
With the aid of the electronic media age, STD’s are the most common disease in America next to the common cold and flu. 12 million new STD cases are reported each year, 33,000 per day.
45 million Americans are infected with an incurable STD. There are more than 60 different kinds of STD’s, 20 different STD’s are rampant among teenagers. 63% of all STD’s occur in persons less than 25 years of age. STD’s infect 3 million teenagers each year. 60-80% infected with an STD do not develop initial symptoms.
Since 1973 with the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision there have been nearly 50,000,000 abortions in America. About 1 in 3 pregnancies will end with abortion.
Divorce in America will end more than half of all marriages. Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry in America. 1 out of 3 girls will be molested most of which by a close relative and 1 in 7 boys will be molested.
In America there has been a rise of homosexual activity and acceptance/toleration promoted by left wing special interest groups. The Catholic Church’s teachings are under attack or largely ignored.
Those of us who are faithful and loyal to the teachings of Christ have Jesus promise, “But the one who perseveres to the end Will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).
The bible also offers this great hope as long a his grace shall flow, “And if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and urn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land” 2 Chrnicles 7:14.

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*BEST OF DTB #25* The Catholic Defender rejects the "Whore of Babylon"

Posted by John Benko - October 3rd, 2010

Since I was a young man, especially since my college days, there have been those few faithful ones who call the Catholic Faith the “Whore of Babylon” and the Pope the “anti-Christ”.
Protestants like Tony Alamo and Jack Chick make their living with this rhetoric. I remember 1982-83 time period, Tony Alamo held “revivals” in Harrison Arkansas.
The next day after they left, you could see the anti-Catholic garbage pasted all over the town’s trash cans, windows of businesses, light poles, some cars. They get themselves in a feeding frenzy and like sharks they go for blood.
In YouTube land there are a group of them that position themselves together and gang up on Catholic Channels. It can get ugly out there as their hate intensifies when they smell blood?
Groups like the Seventh Day Adventist teach as doctrine the Catholic Church is this biblical whore.

They were founded in 1863 being the largest remnant of followers of William Miller. Miller and his some odd 50,000 followers sold everything (all their possessions), dressed up in white robes and waited for the Lords return up on Mount Kelloggs.
They believed that the Lord was returning there to pick them up (1850). That day is remembered as the “great day of disappointment”.
One of the titles of the Pope is “Servant of the Servants of God”, a title based from the Christ’s instructions that those who want to be leaders in the Church must be servants.
The SDA and others want to pass off this title from Latin to mean “666″. They also want you to believe that Catholics worship the Pope as a ‘god’. The truth of God is a stark contrast to these claims of the SDA.
The SDA sponsors a seminar called “Amazing Facts” that base their doctrines from their claims. The Papacy began with Jesus who had promised to Simon, Son of Bar-Jona, the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus changed Simon’s name to “Kapha” or Rock. We call him St. Peter. Pope Benedict XVI is the 265th successor of St. Peter.
Throughout the history of the Church, there have been times when men have attempted to take over the papacy. Emperors and rulers tried to control or influence the Papacy to further their own ambitions. In some cases, they appointed ‘anti-popes’ to support them deposing the true Pope according to Canon Law.
An anti-pope is a man who has been improperly elected appointed as Pope. The first anti-pope was Hippolytus (217 A.D.) and the last anti-pope was Felix V (1440-1449). In all there have been 27 anti-popes none of which are listed in the line of the Popes.
It is the teaching of he Catholic Church that in the final days prior to the Second Coming of Jesus, there will be a final anti-pope. Revelation 13:11 states, “Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb’s but spoke like a dragon”.
The horns of a lamb may be an inference to Christianity, but speaking like a dragon would be a rebellious one. Mark 13:22 states, “False messiahs and false prophets will appear performing signs and wonders to mislead, if it were possible, even the elect”.
This apostasy will be world wide and people will flock to the anti-christ through this false prophet. Society today seems to be setting up for such a leader as never before have we seen such rebellion against official Church teaching. Christians today are accepting compromise like never before.
It is common for people to hold that you can dissent from official Church teaching and it is alright. “Go by your own conscience”? Serious issues as Artificial Birth Control, Homosexuality, Divorce and remarriage (without an annulment), shacking up before marriage, missing Mass through one’s own fault, issues of obedience.
Society seems to be setting itself up for such a false prophet? Our Protestant friends who oppose the Catholic Faith are already set up for this anti-christ. Do we really think Satan will be that obvious? Sola Scriptura helps set this up rather nicely.
One thing is for sure, faithfulness to the Church will be cornered and looked down upon, it will be persecuted. Pope Pius XII warned that to be a true Christian in the latter 20th century you would have to be a ‘living martyr’ as the attack on the family and faith will be great.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 St. Paul refers to this apostasy before the man of lawlessness and calls for the Church to remain vigilant. Jesus instructs us to persevere to the end in order to be saved. St. John warns, “They will fight the Lamb, but the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings” (Rev 17:14).
Catholics do not worship the Pope! We recognize he is the true successor of St. Peter. As great crowds flocked to St. Peter, so they do today looking to be spiritually fed and blessed by ‘Peter in our midst’.
The traditional Christian values are being exchanged for a lie, that ultimately man is in control, man controls his own destiny. This thinking is the great deception of our time. It goes back to the lie in the Garden of Eden when Eve listened to the devil (Genesis 3:1-5).
The anti-Catholics today have some very well made presentations wanting to warn you of the Catholic Faith. Hosea 4:6 God laments that his people are destroyed because of the lack of knowledge.
We need to seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit and listen to the voice of the Lord. St. Luke says it best, “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me”. It’s not Sola Scriptura that we must listen to, but the pillar and foundation of truth (the Catholic Faith). If we do this, we will not fall prey to the false prophet nor the anti-christ.

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