* BEST OF DTB #208* The Catholic Defender: The Great Commission

Posted by John Benko - November 11th, 2013

Moses once said, “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kinsmen; to him you shall listen. This is exactly what you requested of the Lord, your God, at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘let us not again hear the voice of the Lord, our God, nor see this great fire any more, lest we die” (Deuteronomy 18:15-16).

A prophet like Moses has come, one who is much greater. St. John writes, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16).

As important it is that the Father sent his only begotten Son into the world, it is important to understand that the Son so loved the world that he sent his Church into the world. The connection here cannot be missed especially through the covenant the Lord has made with his people.

Jesus said, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Jesus instructs his Apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so for nine days they awaited until Pentecost. The Holy Spirit came upon them in tongues of fire and they spoke to the world through tongues and languages.

From this point forward, the Catholic Faith went out from behind locked bolted doors and took the gospel to the nations. This event took place 1967 years ago today.

The Holy Spirit continues to hear the voice of the Lord and keep the Church in step to the Lord’s will (John 16:13, John 14:26).

I was once asked by a Non-Catholic why the Holy Spirit could not move in a Protestant setting.

I answered him this way, “The Lord sent the Church into the world to baptize the nations and to teach them the gospel. Even the Baptism that most Non-Catholics use comes from the Catholic Faith. These people are being baptized into the Church. However, because their understandings have deviated through rebellion, their teachings are not truth. A person can receive the Holy Spirit yet because of their bended minds, do not understand or know the voice of the Lord”.

His response was, “St. Paul said, “And no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’, except by the Holy Spirit”. He asked me what this meant, so I responded this way:

Isaiah 29:13 states, “The Lord said: ‘Since this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me, And their reverence for me has become routine observance of the precepts of men, Therefore I will again deal with this people in surprising and wondrous fashion”.

“Jesus recalls this warning, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts” (Mark 7:6-7).

Through the power of the Spirit, when we say Jesus is Lord, we must bend the knee! Jesus must be Lord of our lives, not just in principle, but in fact. As a Non-Catholic, can you truly call Jesus Lord when you deny the Church he established? Can you call Jesus Lord when you reject the Church’s teaching on Artificial Birth Control? Is the Lord sovereign? It’s easy to give “lip service” but it is totally something else to put this in practice.

St. Paul says, “For the grace of God has appeared,saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and our savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good. Say these things. Exhort and correct with all authority. Let no one look down on you” (Titus 2:11-15).

We cannot call “Jesus is Lord” by the power of the Holy Spirit while at the same time still living these worldly desires. The anointing of saying “Jesus is Lord” comes from God. If it doesn’t come from God it is still “lip service”
After about three months of discussion, my non-Catholic friend was recieved into the Catholic Faith.


*BEST OF DTB #189* The Catholic Defender: Pentecost

Posted by John Benko - May 19th, 2013

Pentecost, the Greek name for “Fiftieth Day“! It takes place 50 days from Easter! In Hebrew,(חג השבועות Hag haShavuot or Shevuot known as “the Feast of Weeks.” Pentecost also marks the 1980th birthday of the Catholic Faith. Some might say Ascension Thursday is the birth of the Papacy, regardless, this is when we were sent out by the coming of the Holy Spirit!

This was the event the Lord called for his Apostles and disciples to wait in Jerusalem. This was the event that would change the world forever.

In the Old Testament, the work of the Holy Spirit was shown through powerful signs and wonders among the Israelites.

“So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. Gathering seventy elders of the people, he had them stand around the tent. The Lord then came down in the cloud and spoke to him. Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, he bestowed it on the seventy elders; and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied.
Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp. They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent; yet the spirit came to rest on them also, and they prophesied in the camp. So, when a young man quickly told Moses, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses aide, said, “Moses, my lord, stop them”. But Moses answered him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets? Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all”(Numbers 11:24-29)!

Think of what Moses just said, “Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all”? The Lord had this in mind all along. This was why Jesus instructed the Apostles to wait upon the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem.

This would become the first Novena of the Catholic Church as they awaited for the glory of the Lord. Unlike the Old Testament when the Spirit of God would come upon the Lord’s people through His Ministers, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit 24/7.

“When he reached Lehi, and the Philistines came shouting to meet him, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him (Samson): the ropes around his arms became as flax that is consumed by fire and his bonds melted away from his hands. Near him was the fresh jawbone of an ass; he reached out, grasped it, and with it killed a thousand men. Samson cried out to the Lord, “You have granted this great victory by the hand of your servant. Must I now die of thirst or fall into the hands of the uncircumcised? Then God split the cavity in Lehi, and water issued from it, which Samson drank till his spirit returned and revived” (Judges 15:14-19).

The New Testament, Jesus states, “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you”(John 14:25-26).

John 16:13 Jesus says, “But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you”.

Jesus Said he would build his Church and the Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus through his Catholic Church.

The Holy Spirit declares the truth to the people of God. This is important because many false prophets have come and they give the Holy Spirit credit for their interpretations and opinions. That is dangerous and the Catholic believer must be aware of this.

With Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles (50 days after the Resurrection of the Lord), we have seen the glory of the Lord.

The Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles and Disciples along with Mother Mary, in the form of tongues of fire.

The Holy Spirit filled them all as they spoke in different tongues to the people. As the Holy Spirit scattered the people building the Tower of Babel with diverse languages (Genesis 11:7-9), the Lord was bringing the people to the Church through languages (Acts 2:5-12).

With the coming of the Spirit on Pentecost, the Catholic Church is enabled by the Lord to accomplish his will to take the gospel to all the nations. Praise the name of the Lord! Veni Creator Spiritus!


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