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We are a Christian Fellowship meeting in North London with a strong interest in teaching the Bible and understanding our time in

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Will the real Mary please stand up!

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Time magazine reports that, In an era when scientists debate the causes of the birth of the universe, both the adoration and the conflict attending Mary have risen to extraordinary levels. A grass-roots revival of faith in the Virgin is taking place worldwide. Millions of worshippers are flocking to her shrines, many of them young people. Even more remarkable are the number of claimed sightings of the Virgin, from Yugoslavia to Colorado, in the past few years. (December 30th 1991)

 

Many of these supposed visions bring messages of a coming spiritual renewal which will lead to a new age of peace and love or to the second coming of Jesus. According to the visitations at the Spanish village of Garabandal shortly before the lasting sign is erected, everyone in the world at the same moment, at the same time no matter where they are will receive from God an instant and complete and total correction of conscience. After this correction of conscience everyone on earth will see their soul exactly as God sees it. They will see the sins of their life and the impact of these sins, and they will receive direction on how to live according to the will of God. This teaching is actually remarkably similar to New Age teaching. Barbara Marx Hubbard, a New Age prophetess, tells us that very soon we will experience a Planetary Pentecost in which we will all hear, in our own inner voices and in our own languages, the mighty words of God ... millions who are prepared will realize at one instant in time a demonstrable change. (Information from SCP newsletter Winter 1995)

 

An advert in an American newspaper spoke of the benefits of making pilgrimages to the many sites where Mary is supposed to have appeared and how those who went returned home with a renewed faith in God, peace in their hearts, and a desire to live the Gospel message. It goes on to claim: The Blessed Virgin Mary was the vessel that brought Jesus into the world the first time. Could it be that she is heralding his second coming?

 

The Roman Catholic church is in fact facing a problem due to the conflicting claims of different Marys who have appeared at various locations in the world. Some teach orthodox Roman Catholic doctrine, others outright New Age ideas. Much of the responsibility for this phenomenon must go to Pope John Paul II himself. He is in the forefront of promoting Mary as the hope of the world. He has said, Mary should inspire all who co-operate in the Church’s apostolic mission for the rebirth of humanity. The Church journeys through time along the path already trodden by the Virgin Mary. He has dedicated himself and his Pontificate to Our Lady. His personal motto embroidered on the inside of his robes in Latin is totus tuus sum Maria (Mary I am all yours).

 

The attempted assassination of the Pope occurred on May 13th 1981, the anniversary of the Virgins alleged first appearance on May 13th, 1917 at Fatima, Portugal. At this most famous of all alleged appearances of Mary, she had declared that the Lord had confided the peace of the world to her. In a vision during his convalescence Mary told him that she had spared his life for a special mission he must fulfil in bringing peace. He attributed his protection from assassination and recovery to the Virgins intervention and one year later on May 13th 1982 he made a pilgrimage to Fatima where he prayed before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and consecrated the world to Mary as she had requested. As he made special mention of the Russian people in his prayers he gives credit for the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Soviet communism to the intervention of Mary.

 

The spirit behind Mary worship

 

All this is evidence of the tremendous spirit of deception now sweeping the world, especially the religious world in preparation for the coming Antichrist and the False Prophet who, according to Revelation 13, bears witness to him. All pagan religions have a goddess figure who is more accessible and often in practice more powerful than the male god. When a form of Christianity took over the Roman Empire in the fourth century it covered Roman paganism with a veneer of Christian terminology. Looking for a goddess figure to incorporate into the new religion it took Mary, the most prominent woman in the New Testament and made her into the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven. The term Mother of God never appears in the Bible, and Queen of Heaven appears only in Jeremiah 44 where the Israelites are condemned for burning cakes to the pagan goddess and thus bringing Gods judgment upon themselves.

 

Today’s apparitions of Mary are not in fact manifestations of the Mary of the New Testament, but demonic visitations of the ancient goddesses of pagan religions. It is significant that the messages they bring all deny the basic Christian message, that salvation is through repentance and faith in Jesus the Messiah who is the one mediator between God and humanity. Mary has even been spoken of in Roman Catholic theology as co-Redemptrix a partner in redemption. In fact it would seem that Jesus is the junior partner, because in many statements attributed to her, Mary plays a much greater role than Jesus. The apparition at Fatima declared, I promise to assist at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for salvation all those who ... keep me company for a quarter of an hour while meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary with the intention of making reparation to me.

 

The New Testament tells us that salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ alone: He said, I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by me. (John 14.6). Peter said of Jesus Christ,

 

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4.12)

 

Today’s apparitions of Mary are bringing together different religions in a common search for the goddess who will unite humanity. New Agers look to Gaia the earth goddess and as has been pointed out already many messages channelled through Mary are similar to New Age messages. Liberal Protestants are increasingly embracing feminism and seeking to overthrow the patriarchal image of Father God. The controversy over women priests often brings with it an emphasis on God as Mother. Charisma magazine contained an article in which Korean theologian Chung Hyun Kyung urged Christians to adopt a new Trinity composed of Buddhist, Hindu and Filipino goddesses.

 

Mary is a goddess suitable for all religions including even the Muslims. A British Catholic magazine reported that a Marian revival is spreading throughout Africa with alleged apparitions of the Virgin Mary finding a following among the Muslims. African Muslims themselves are seeing the apparitions of the Virgin Mary and are not required to become Christians. Bishop Sheen has predicted that Islam would be converted to Christianity through a summoning of the Muslims to a veneration of the Mother of God. He writes of the honour given to Mary in the Koran and that the only possible female rival to her in Islam is Fatima, the daughter of Muhammed himself. But after the death of Fatima, Muhammed wrote: Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary. Sheen goes on to say how remarkable it was that our Lady had the foresight to appear in the Portuguese village of Fatima (named after Muhammeds daughter during the Muslim occupation) and thus become known as Our Lady of Fatima.

 

Rome’s theology increasingly embraces all religions and John Paul II has claimed that all gods are the same, while denouncing fundamentalist Christians. In the Marian revival and the coming together of different religions under the leadership of Rome we see the fulfilment of Revelation 17:

 

And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of the names of blasphemy ... And on her forehead a name was written: Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Prostitutes and Abominations of the earth. And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her I marvelled with great amazement. Revelation 17.3,5-6

 

Dave Hunt has written: Soon the alliance will be between the world ruler and the Vatican. Indeed the woman will ride the beast, so vital will be her role. Antichrist will know that there can be no political peace without religious peace. Until all the religions are willing to embrace one another as partners in working towards common goals there can be no global peace - and the Pope will be essential to establish full ecumenism. Robert Muller, a Catholic and former UN Assistant Secretary General and Chancellor of the University for Peace has said; We need a world or cosmic spirituality... I hope that religious leaders will get together and define the cosmic laws which are common to all their faiths. We must also hope that the Pope will come before the year 2000 to the United Nations, speak for all the religions and spiritualities on this planet and give the world the religious view of how the third millennium should be a spiritual millennium. (A Woman rides the Beast by Dave Hunt from which much of the information in this article is taken.)

 

The real Mary

 

The real Mary was in fact known in her life time as Miriam, a devout Jewish girl who was chosen of God to bring the Messiah into the world. This was a supernatural virgin birth in order that Jesus could be both fully man and fully divine, thus fulfilling the prophecies of Isaiah 7.14, 9.6 and Micah 5.2. After the birth of Jesus, Miriam had other children in the normal way by her husband Joseph (Matthew 12.46-50). She believed in Jesus as her Saviour and is now rejoicing in the presence of the Lord along with millions of believers who have followed her advice, Whatever he says to you, do it. (John 2.5). He says, You must be born again, not of the flesh or human effort to reach God by repeating prayers, good deeds, acts of penitence, but simply by repentance and faith in the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

 

Mary is worthy of honour as a wonderful example of trust and obedience to the Lord. But so are other figures we meet in the pages of the Bible and nothing anywhere suggests that she has any present role in our redemption. Nor can she appear in visitations today because the Bible teaches that there is no communication between the living and the dead. Therefore, all apparitions described in this article must be deceptions leading people away from genuine faith in the Lord, not into it. The word of the Lord concerning the world religious system that participates in these apparitions is:

 

Come out of her my people, lest you share in her sins and lest you receive of her plagues. (Revelation 18.4)

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