(Continued from page 348)
'Lectio Divina' is said to be adaptable for people of other faiths in reading their scripture - whatever that might be!?
Why would a Roman Catholic quote occultist H. P. Lovecraft?
Noticeably, there is no 'warning label' on the DVD, 'Be Still And Know That I Am God', and Foster describes the method of contemplative prayer rather differently in the film, possibly because it proves to be a watered-down version of lectio divina. The listener is required to read a page of scripture several times looking for the important passages, then to read it again focussing on one passage that they feel is relevant to them at that moment in their life. It would appear that the DVD is just a means to suck the innocent and ignorant into deeper involvement in the methods and the Bible is used to select words/phrases to use in these mystical techniques, effectively as a tool to practice the meditation techniques, rather than as the Word of God and a sure path to really knowing the Holy and True God.
Foster finds time to praise the early mystics, such as Madame Guyon, on this DVD and his book 'Devotional Classics', gives her views on reading the Bible:
"[M]ake use of scripture to quiet your mind. First read a passage of scripture. Once you sense the Lord's presence, the content of what you read is no longer important. The scripture has served its purpose; it has quieted your mind; it has brought you to him. You should always remember that you are not there to gain an understanding of what you have read; rather you are reading to turn your mind from the outward things to the deep parts of your being. You are not there to learn or to read, but you are there to experience the presence of your Lord!"
The idea that any Christian would ever read the Bible without seeking to understand what they are reading so that they gain a greater knowledge of their God, and what He requires of them, is simply too preposterous to 'contemplate'. Guyon proves herself as demonically possessed as Julian of Norwich.
The Bible informs us clearly:
Revelation 5:6-7 - And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne.
The Lord is already sitting at the right hand of the Father and we are securely anchored by Him:
Hebrews 6:19-20 - Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
True believers already know these facts and have no need to "practice the presence" or attempt any kind of method or procedure (particularly those derived from false religions/the occult) because they do not agree with the Word of God and are clearly forbidden by Him.
As with all deceptions, the practitioners prove that the Word of God is not enough for them and they seek a 'special knowledge (Gnosis)' and, in doing so, they prove the warnings of the Apostles to be apt:
1 John 4:1 - Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
The deceivers of Papal Rome and those who have foolishly joined themselves to them have failed to apply such Scriptural tests - as we are warned:
Ephesians 4:11-15 - And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ.
Papal Rome continues to be 'tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error' because they are led to fallible men, such as Pope Benedict XVI, who said in a 2005 speech:
"I would like in particular to recall and recommend the ancient tradition of lectio divina: the diligent reading of Sacred Scripture accompanied by prayer brings about that intimate dialogue in which the person reading hears God who is speaking, and in praying, responds to him with trusting openness of heart."
Benedict wrote extensively on this colossal error later in his sad career (read Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010), thus proving his connection to occultic mysticism.
The 'method' is also said to be adaptable for people of other faiths in reading their scripture - whether that be the Bhagavad Gita, the Torah, the Koran, the Book of Mormon - or even the 'Satanic Bible'?
If this were true you need to ask yourself the obvious question: Would the God of the Bible really allow adherents of false religions to 'obtain answers from Him' using lectio divina; and when and how could they know who was answering their prayers?
Taking a supernatural approach to the text (apart from the obvious content of the miraculous clearly inserted by the inspired writers) tends to disconnect it from its context and natural meaning and, instead, apply it in a subjective, individualistic, experiential way for which it was never intended. Lectio and Gnosticism share an obvious similarity and Christian Gnosticism, the belief that one must have a "gnosis" (Greek gnosko, "to know") or mystical, inner knowledge obtained only after one has been properly initiated, is easily refuted by careful examination of Scripture. Not everyone can possess some kinds of knowledge that God wishes to impart to his people:
1 Corinthians 12:8 - For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge (Greek gnosis, knowledge) by the same Spirit;
If God promises these gifts from the Holy Spirit, how should the one given 'the word of wisdom' then determine to get gnosis by an un-Biblical method called lectio divina when God never gave them permission to have special knowledge but has blessed them with a wonderful gift of wisdom?
Remember Simon the Sorcerer who tried to buy the gifts of the Spirit?:
Acts 8:9-24 - But there was a certain man, Simon by name, who beforetime in the city used sorcery, and amazed the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is that power of God which is called Great. And they gave heed to him, because that of long time he had amazed them with his sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching good tidings concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. And Simon also himself believed: and being baptized, he continued with Philip; and beholding signs and great miracles wrought, he was amazed. Now when the apostles that were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: for as yet it was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay my hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said unto him, Thy silver perish with thee, because thou hast thought to obtain the gift of God with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right before God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee. For I see that thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity. And Simon answered and said, Pray ye for me to the Lord, that none of the things which ye have spoken come upon me.
The testimony of history and the Bible is that gifts are given by God through the Holy Spirit and cannot be bought or sought through money, pride, or any other manner. God the Holy Spirit knows who to give special gifts to and it is not for man to decide:
1 Corinthians 12:8-12 - For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as He will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.
While the idea of having special knowledge might be very appealing to some and even make them feel important and unique in that they have a special experience with God that no one else has, it is perfectly clear from Scripture that this is not instructed by God and, as Peter warned, '...thy heart is not right before God ... Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray the Lord, if perhaps the thought of thy heart shall be forgiven thee...For I see that thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity'. Those seeking special knowledge that the masses are not in possession of and only the truly "enlightened" can experience, are treading on dangerous ground and some have even been possessed by demons through chanting using lectio divina and other dangerous techniques taken from Eastern religions, New Age cults, and other un-Biblical sources. This is how lectio divina and contemplative, or centring/centring, prayer - a meditative practice that focuses on having a mystical experience with God - have been taken up by 'the ignorant and unstable' (2 Peter 3v16) in Papal Rome & the 'Protestant' Church.
The dangers inherent in opening your mind, listening for 'voices' after you've switched off your reasoning powers, and then assuming the voice you hear is God (even though He never told you to do this!) should be obvious to all but the most ignorant and foolish. But so many are desperately eager to hear something, almost anything, that they can believe is God speaking to them, that they can lose the objectivity needed to discern between God's voice (we can all imagine the voice of God from Hollywood films or a 'spiritual sounding' voice), their own thoughts, and the infiltration of demons into their minds. Satan and his minions are always eager for inroads into the minds of the unsuspecting and, to open our minds using methodology gleaned from false religions, is to invite disaster - many have been demonised through lectio divina and its related methods! We must never forget that Satan is ever on the prowl, seeking to devour our souls (1 Peter 5:8) and can appear as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), whispering his deception into our open and willing minds.
Finally, the attack on the sufficiency of Scripture is a clear distinctive of lectio divina and, because Papal Rome denies Sola Scriptura, an obvious reason for its appeal to Papal Roman Catholics. Where the Bible claims to be all we need to live the Christian life (2 Timothy 3:16), the adherents of lectio divina deny that. Those who practice "conversational" prayers, seeking a special revelation from God, are asking Him to by-pass what He has already revealed to mankind, as though He would now renege on all His promises concerning His eternal Word. Psalm 19:7-14 contains a very clear and definitive statement about the sufficiency of Scripture:
Psalm 19:9-14 - The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
God clearly meant all that He said in this Psalm and there is no need for additional revelation and to ask Him for one is to deny what He has already revealed and prove that the one who seeks further Word from God does not fear Him but is a bold, presumptuous, sinner!
The Old and New Testaments are words from God to be studied, meditated upon, prayed over, and memorized for the knowledge and objective meaning they contain and the authority from God they carry, and not for the mystical experience or feeling of personal power and inner peace they may stimulate. Sound knowledge comes first; then the lasting kind of experience and peace comes as a by-product of knowing and communing with God in the way He has commanded. The person who takes this view of the Bible and prayer is engaging in the same kind of meditation and prayer that Bible-believing followers of Christ have always commended.
These mystical methods and techniques are not found in the Bible and no prophet or apostle, New Testament or Old, practiced any of these "spiritual" exercises - so how can these exercises be considered God's way of knowing Him? This mystical movement, with its mystical saints and works is from Papal Rome and clearly seeks to advance such garbage as the "check your mind at the door" teachings of St. Ignatius found in his spiritual exercises such as this infamous example:
"If we wish to proceed securely in all things, we must hold fast to the following principle: What seems to me white, I will believe black if the hierarchical [Roman Catholic] Church so defines"? (St. Ignatius, 365.13)
The Bible represents God's revelation, His written communication to his people, and any honest seeker who reads the Word of God (found only in the canon confirmed on our pages by careful examination by a host of orthodox believers) will encounter His very presence. The Holy Spirit uses the Bible it inspired to speak to God's people and some accuse true believers of "bibliolatry" in an effort to persuade them to listen to heretical 'doctrines of demons' (1 Timothy 4:1-3) - as Papal Rome does! True Christians do not worship the Bible itself but believe that the Bible is God's written Word to us and, as we listen faithfully and expectantly to its Spirit-mediated message, we believe that we hear the Voice, the Logos - the Lord Jesus Christ. In Scripture we hear the voice of the loving Heavenly Father whose instruction and counsel we should seek and welcome. Thus, when you are led by the Holy Spirit, the Bible forms the inner being of the believer. When we engage in a careful and faithful reading of the Bible, God nurtures our spiritual lives and opens our minds to the meanings and principles, reveals examples to follow or to avoid. As we exult in God's works on our behalf, we reflect on their implications for our lives, ministries, and relationships and all these and more give clear instruction to the person who seeks to follow God. Bible studies require all due diligence, using sound principles of Biblical interpretation, and we must seek to follow those in our walk with God and not allow false ideas from other sources to deflect us from our following our Lord and Saviour.
But this is where Papal Roman Catholics fall under the influence of evil, false teachers who have embraced 'doctrines of demons' (1 Timothy 4:1-3) and who demand the 'the ignorant and unstable' (2 Peter 3v16) follow their words and deeds (as we have proved repeatedly in our articles on the Cult of Papal Rome).
On the surface the lectio divina (sacred reading) method of reading Scripture describes a process that may appeal to many Bible readers who seek a deeper understanding of the things of God. Devotees of lectio divina claim that, instead of being in control by seeking the author's intended meaning in the text, we let the text itself control the process under the prayerful guidance of the Holy Spirit. The fact that this meditative kind of reading does not seek so much the meaning in the text as the meaning of our lives under the text's mastery makes the danger obvious. The claim is made that there are four stages in this type of 'reading': first one reads in a reflective, gentle, slow manner; the goal is to listen carefully, not to read through the text quickly. Second, one meditates on the significance of the text, seeking to engage what you have read with the heart, thoughts, feelings, motivations - and the like. Third, one responds to this meditation in prayer, with cries from the heart to God that emerge from our meditation on the Word. Finally, one rests in quiet contemplation - supposedly only in the presence of God as you enjoy a time of rest and peace with Him. It is claimed that these are not 'mechanical steps' or a 'set formula' but a 'holistic' attempt to engage God in his Word. It is denied that this approach to study is in opposition to reading the Bible for "information" only - as if this is all believers seek - but adherents to lectio divina say we dare not allow an 'informational approach' to crowd out the Bible's "formational" role because we must allow God's Spirit to speak at the core of our being and, 'however we do that, it must be done!' They say that we ought not merely to "know" what the Bible means but we need to ingest it internally, for the goals of both 'informational' and 'formational' Bible reading are that we be motivated spiritually and directed by internal Biblical principles, not simply those of the culture around us.
Adherents claim that lectio divina simply means to read a passage of Scripture slowly (i.e. "praying the Scriptures") then ponder, think on, or 'meditate' on that Scripture. While that is seemingly a part of lectio divina, if you ask mystics or 'contemplatives' what it entails they will tell you that lectio divina always includes taking a passage of Scripture (or other writings), reading it slowly, then working your way through the text before you until you select just a word or small phrase from the passage that you are meditating on - and repeat this over and over until you begin to sense/feel God is speaking to you. But the truth is that you have been deceived into using a mantra-like word or phrase that has been extracted from a passage of Scripture (or other source, these being corrupt mystics from Papal Rome or similar cultic background). According to these mystics/contemplatives your chosen word/phrase, if repeated for several minutes, will enable you to rid yourself of thoughts and distractions so that you can hear the voice of God and feel His presence.
'Mystic Catholic' Fr. Thomas Keating (author of the occultic book, Intimacy with God) explains that lectio divina is not traditional Bible study, not reading the Scriptures for understanding and edification, and not praying the Scriptures (though he agrees that praying the Scriptures can be a form of lectio divina when a word or phrase is taken from the Scriptures to focus on for the purpose of going into "God's presence"). Keating admits that lectio divina is an introduction into the more intense practices - contemplative prayer and centring prayer (both occultic).
So lectio divina is not just reading Scripture slowly, for there is certainly nothing wrong with reading Scripture carefully and thoughtfully, but the focussing on and repeating a word or small phrase to facilitate going into the "silence" (that you believe is communion with God) is the real danger. In eastern-style meditation (and in 'contemplative prayer') thoughts are the enemy, as Eastern-style mystic Anthony De Mello explains in his book, Sadhana: A Way to God:
'To silence the mind is an extremely difficult task. How hard it is to keep the mind from thinking, thinking, thinking, forever thinking, forever producing thoughts in a never ending stream. Our Hindu masters in India have a saying: one thorn is removed by another. By this they mean that you will be wise to use one thought to rid yourself of all the other thoughts that crowd into your mind. One thought, one image, one phrase or sentence or word that your mind can be made to fasten on. (ibid. p28)
Ray Yungen explains this silence that 'contemplative mystics' seek:
When [Richard] Foster speaks of the silence, he does not mean external silence. In his book, Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home, Foster recommends the practice of breath prayer (p122) - picking a single word or short phrase and repeating it in conjunction with the breath. This is classic contemplative mysticism ... he [Foster] ties in a quote by one mystic who advised, "You must bind the mind with one thought" . . . I once related Foster's breath prayer method to a former New Age devotee who is now a Christian. She affirmed this connection when she remarked with astonishment, "That's what I did when I was into ashtanga yoga!" (A Time of Departing, p75)
With lectio divina, the word or phrase one repeats can eventually lose its meaning, and this repetitive sound can start to put the practitioner into an altered mind state that is the goal of all Eastern religions! Yungen explains:
"Keeping the mind riveted on only one thought is unnatural and adverse to true reflection and prayer. Simple logic tells us the repeating of words has no rational value. For instance, if someone called you on the phone and just said your name or one phrase over and over, would that be something you found edifying? Of course not; you would hang up on him or her. Why would God feel otherwise? And if God's presence is lacking, what is this presence that appears as light during meditation and infuses a counterfeit sense of divinity within?' (p76).
Yungen exhorts believers that "the goal of prayer should not be to bind the mind with a word or phrase in order to induce a mystical trance but rather to use the mind to glory in the grace of God. This was the apostle Paul's counsel to the various churches: 'Study to shew thyself approved' (II Timothy. 2:15) and 'we pray always' (II Thessalonians 1:11) as in talking to God with both heart and mind'. (p75)
Catholic priest Luke Dysinger claims: "Once again we practice silence, letting go of our own words; this time simply enjoying the experience of being in the presence of God."
Thomas Merton describes the meditation performed in lectio divina and other Catholic contemplative practices:
"Meditation is ... a series of interior activities which prepare us for union with God" (Spiritual Direction and Meditation, 1960, p54).
"Meditation is more than mere practical thinking" (p55).
"... the fruitful silence in which words lose their power and concepts escape our grasp is perhaps the perfection of meditation" (p57).
"More often than not, we can be content to simply rest, and float peacefully with the deep current of love, doing nothing of ourselves, but allowing the Holy Spirit to act in the secret depths of our soul" (pp101-102).
Richard Foster, who has deceived many naive 'Protestants' with his contemplative practices, quotes Catholic mystic Madame Guyon as follows:
"Once you sense the Lord's presence, the content of what you read is no longer important. The scripture has served its purpose; it has quieted your mind; it has brought you to him. ... You should always remember that you are not there to gain an understanding of what you have read; rather you are reading to turn your mind from the outward things to the deep parts of your being. You are not there to learn or to read, but you are there to experience the presence of your Lord (TCE: Which 'Lord'?)!" (Devotional Classics).
It is obvious that the lectio divina method of meditation and prayer is far removed from simply contemplating on the Scripture before the Lord, seeking better understanding of it, talking with God about it, and applying it to one's life by the wisdom and power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is also clear that lectio divina associates the practitioner with centuries-old heresy for it was invented by the heretic Origen in the third century and adopted as a Catholic practice in the Dark Ages. Origen has long been recognised as a dangerous heretic (although many popes are oblivious to this fact), for he denied the infallible inspiration of Scripture and the literal history of the early chapters of Genesis, taught baptismal regeneration and universal salvation, and believed that Jesus is a created being!
The practice of lectio divina was incorporated into the rules of Rome's dark monasticism and systematized into four steps in the 12th century by Guido II, a Carthusian monk, in "The Ladder of Four Rungs" or "The Monk's Ladder." The four steps are reading, meditation, prayer, and contemplation, which are supposed to be the means by which one "can climb from earth to heaven" and learn "heavenly secrets." Again, this is sheer Gnosticism and not one verse of Scripture supports the idea!
Thus, lectio divina is intimately associated with Roman Catholicism and its false gospel. Modern lectio divina gurus such as Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating follow in the footsteps of ancient Catholic heretics by intertwining this practice with the heresies of Rome. Merton, for example, associates lectio divina with the Mass (which he describes as a "living and supremely efficacious re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice"), baptismal regeneration, meriting union with God, prayers to Mary, and salvation through works (Spiritual Direction and Meditation, pp62, 71, 72, 74, 108).
Bible believers have maintained rich devotional practices throughout the church age without resorting to something invented by heretics and developed in the bosom of the Harlot Church of Rome.
Lectio divina is typically used as a means of receiving personal revelation and mystical experiences beyond the words of Scripture. Thomas Keating wrote: "The early monks ... would sit with that sentence or phrase ... just listening, repeating slowly the same short text over and over again. This receptive disposition enabled the Holy Spirit to expand their capacity to listen" ("The Classical Monastic Practice of Lectio Divina"). Again, this describes Eastern religious error that ushers in the presence of demons and is clearly against the instruction of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mt 6:6-7) to avoid vain repitition.
The danger of the lectio divina method is illustrated by the fact that its practitioners regularly produce heresy by this means as proven in the writings of Catholic 'mystic saints' for more than a millennium. Consider a revelation that Basil Pennington said he received through lectio divina. He said that he chose Christ's words "I am the way" from John 14:6 and repeated them during his meditation and throughout the day. At the end of the day when he was tired and wasn't looking forward to singing evening prayers at the monastery he says the Lord spoke to him and said, "Oh yes, you are the way," so he "went and sang Vespers and had a great time" (interview with Mary NurrieStearns - formerly published on the Personal Transformation website, www.personaltransformation.com - page now removed.
Note that "the Lord" allegedly took the declaration that Christ is 'the way' and applied it to Pennington, instructing him that he, too, is the way, which is blatant heresy and very similar to other New Age heresies applied by such infamous luminaries as Shirley McLaine who chants "I am God, I am God, I am God....". (see this page ).
Studying Scripture and seeking God's illumination of it is done through a process of interpretive Bible study and active contemplation (e.g., Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3; 2 Timothy 2:15), rather than through a mystical process that seeks to go beyond the Bible's words and is intimately associated with heresy.
Former psychic Brian Flynn warns:
"By taking passages of Scripture, which have an intended meaning, and breaking them down into smaller, separate segments, often for the purpose of chanting over and over, the true meaning of the passages is lost. Rather a form of occult mysticism is practiced - with the hope and intention of gaining a mystical experience that God never intended when He gave the inspired words to His servants" (Running against the Wind, p136).
The traditional practice of lectio divina involves the search for a "deeper" meaning of Scripture and refers to Origen's spiritualized meaning that is beyond the literal, for he claimed that Scripture has four levels of meaning. He spoke of the letter and the spirit, the exterior and the interior. While acknowledging a historical, literal meaning, he emphasized the "allegorical" sense. He likened the literal meaning of Scripture to water, whereas the deeper allegorical meaning is the wine. Following Origen, Gregory the Great interpreted the "wheel within the wheel" of Ezekiel 1:16 to mean that the allegorical meaning is hidden within the literal meaning of Scripture. This error leaves the interpretation of Scripture up to the imagination of the reader, because if the Bible does not mean what it says when interpreted by the normal-literal method, then we cannot know for certain what it does mean. This is one of the foundational errors of Roman monasticism and many 'Protestants' who never got far enough away from Rome are also being sucked into it in the 'Great Apostasy' which is now under way.
Thomas Keating writes: "By 'ruminating' I mean sitting with a sentence, phrase or even one word that emerges from the text, allowing the Spirit to expand our listening capacity and to open us to its deeper meaning; in other words, to penetrate the spiritual sense of a scripture passage" ("The Classical Monastic Practice of Lectio Divina").
It is obvious that this "deeper meaning" carries one beyond the true meaning of Scripture, since it is a practice that causes Papal Roman Catholics to love the heresies they come up with and, for centuries, Catholic monks and nuns have "meditated" on the Scripture via the method of lectio divina, but have never come to the knowledge of the truth while becoming more confirmed in their commitment to Rome's heresies.
The practice of lectio divina never includes a strong warning about the potential for spiritual delusion and the danger of receiving "doctrines of devils."
Catholic priest Luke Dysinger wrote: "Rejoice in the knowledge that God is with you in both words and silence, in spiritual activity and inner receptivity" ("Accepting the Embrace of God: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina").
Fr. Luke Dysinger is a Benedictine monk at Saint Andrew's Abbey in Valyermo, California, and if he would practice Biblical devotion in true communion with the Spirit of truth he would recognize that Romanism is heresy and would flee from it, but because he is practicing contemplative practices from a position of un-regeneracy, spiritual blindness, and unthinking openness to deception he is taking himself off to Hell - and others with him.
Brian Flynn gives an important warning about this practice when he writes:
"I was having a discussion over lunch with a pastor who taught Lectio divina at a local seminary, and he attempted to defend the practice. He stated that in the process of reading a page of scripture over and over again a word will 'jump out' at you. He said that the Holy Spirit chooses this word for you. However, how do I know that this concept is true? First, there is no reference to Lectio divina in the Bible. Secondly, how do I know what this word is supposed to mean to me? If it were 'love', does that mean I should concentrate on love for self, God, the world, sister, mother, brother? There is no way of knowing other than using my own imagination or desire. ... by using this practice, we are turning the bible into a mystical device for personal revelations rather than a source of knowledge. By taking passages of Scripture, which have an intended meaning, and breaking them down into smaller, separate segments, often for the purpose of chanting over and over, the true meaning of the passages is lost" ("Lectio Divina - Sacred Divination").
As we have already expressed, the practice of lectio divina is contrary to the Bible's instruction about Scripture study. The New Testament does not instruct the believer to sit in silence before God or to put himself into a contemplative-receptive state. It does not instruct us to use the Scripture to try to "experience God." It instructs us to study as a workman (2 Timothy 2:15). This is an active process rather than a passive one. In the proper practice of Bible study, the mind is fully involved and man's spirit is fully submitted to the Holy Spirit to seek God's wisdom while being wary of deception. We prayerfully ask God to protect us and guide us at all times and we seek divine help through the Holy Spirit who will lead us 'into all truth' (John 14:26; 16:7ff. etc.). The wise Bible student knows that it is dangerous to isolate Scripture, so he carefully analyzes the context and compares Scripture with Scripture. He does not depend upon his own intuitions about the meaning of Scripture exclusively but consults trusted men of God and carefully uses dictionaries and commentaries written by such men who have proven themselves full of the Spirit of Truth by their lives and actions.
To summarize, Lectio divina is not an innocent means of meditating upon Scripture. It is an un-Scriptural practice that insults God and gives Satan and his demons the freedom to draw the practitioner into fellowship with demons - as the 'doctrines of demons' (1 Timothy 4:1-3) of Papal Rome prove.
In order to help those you care about stay clear of contemplative spirituality and spiritual deception, it is important for you to understand how lectio divina plays a significant role in leading people toward full blown meditative practices. And it is clear that this "presence" that is reached during the "silent" altered states of consciousness obtained by repeatedly muttering/saying/chanting a word or phrase (or focussing on the breath or an object) is not God's presence. God has not instructed us in His Word to perform "special kinds of process[es] or formula[s]", as the heretic Thomas Keating calls lectio divina, so that we can rebelliously induce mystical experiences that are nothing more than vain imagination or demonic attacks which may lead to complete possession and a lost life of Eternal Damnation!
Christians should all be aware that Jesus condemned as heathen "vain repetitions" in prayer:
Matthew 6:6-7 - But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thine inner chamber, and having shut thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret, and thy Father who seeth in secret shall recompense thee. And in praying use not vain repetitions, as the Gentiles do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
Deuteronomy 18:9-11 - When thou art come into the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found with thee any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that useth divination, one that practiseth augury, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a consulter with a familiar spirit, or a wizard, or a necromancer.
Both lectio divina and 'contemplative prayer' totally lack Biblical support. The Bible makes it clear that we can only come to God on His terms and conditions which are clearly written down in the Word of God. Whenever we read of men trying to come to Him by their terms and conditions we read of disastrous consequences, whether it is Cain (Genesis 4v3ff.), Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10v1), or Saul (1 Samuel 13v9; 28v7ff.; 31v2ff.). And approaching God through a practice taught by mystics during the Dark Ages (which they borrowed from occultic Eastern religions) is clearly far from coming to God on His terms!
Warning about lectio divina is totally warranted and, should anyone doubt the horrendous doctrinal errors that arise from following Papal Roman Catholic 'methods' of praying, just go back and read the heresies that spewed forth from Julian of Norwich in her little anchorite cell!
Why Padre Pio has never been the 'the most photographed and famous man in the world'!
TCE: So now we know why your demons finally took over your writing totally and caused you to slip into full blown occultic terminology by causing you to write 'the Saint realizes that to gain an access from beyond the threshold of magnitude - from beyond Angled space; one must be in touch with authentic spiritual forces.'
Bible scholars will know that these phrases in red are entirely un-Biblical - but many readers may not have heard of the probable originator of these ideas - the occultist H. P. Lovecraft. So, first, some history:
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (20 August 1890 - 15 March 1937) was an American author of fantasy, horror, and science fiction, noted for combining these three genres within single narratives and most famous for the creation of the Cthulhu Mythos, fictional deities, including the "Great Old Ones" and the "Outer Gods", with sporadic references to other miscellaneous deities (e.g. Nodens). He is considered by fans of his genre, along with Edgar Allan Poe, to be one of the greatest Horror writers. One of his infamous quotes declares:
'There is no field other than the weird in which I have any aptitude or inclination for fictional composition. Life has never interested me so much as the escape from life'.
He had a love of 'hideous names', such as "Azathoth", and occultic tales involving characters such as 'wizard Ephraim Waite' ("The Thing on the Doorstep"), 'daemon-sultan Azathoth', The Gods of Pegana, a creator deity "who made the gods and thereafter rested."
Lovecraft referred to 'Azathoth' in "The Whisperer in Darkness" (1931), where the narrator relates that he "started with loathing when told of the monstrous nuclear chaos beyond angled space which the Necronomicon had mercifully cloaked under the name of Azathoth".
So, when your demons make you write 'Catholic Saints and Padre Pio are a prime example' they get it right - they are a prime example of demons in action in the Papal Roman Catholic Church!
How foolish hagiography has led Rome to the blasphemous doctrine of Mariolatry by 'wresting Scripture'!
You write: Padre Pio was the most photographed and famous man in the world at his time, he died in 1968. He performed so many miracles, healings,resurrections, cured the blind, - he bilocated numeorus [sic] times and flew overlarge crowds of people - while going to enter the Tribunal of the Confessional. His levitations were truly astounding and that of the Saints. During WII he flew into the sky and stopped allied bombers from dropping bombs on Rotondo Italy, the flight commanders were forced to report on base that their airplanes were being turned automatically back and that the bombs dropped by themselves into the woods undetonated - while the planes were being turned back. They also reported seeing a bearded Monk waving his hands in the mid air and telling them to stop. Commander Bob Currie later paid him a visit and more fantastic occurrences and events happened.In a famous case, he restored sight to a girl born blind, Gemma de Giorgio in 1947. She was born without pupils and still has none, and it is scientifically and anatomically impossible to see without pupils. She is 72 years old and world class expert doctors have examined her from her youth till now call her case inexplicable.
TCE: Firstly, Padre Pio has never been the 'the most photographed and famous man in the world'! Ask anyone in the street about Pio and a great percentage will never have heard of him! Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Muhammad Ali - Yes! Padre Pio - definitely not!
Remembering the levitation of the fake Christian, Simon Magus, you may now have woken up to the fact that levitation is an occultic practice - and there are no cases of Christians or Old Testament saints ever levitating! The total absence of genuine evidence of these so-called 'miracles' leaves the 'the ignorant and unstable' (2 Peter 3v16) believing any account by the 'Saints' of Papal Rome because of foolish hagiography - no matter how ridiculously unbelievable and utterly un-Scriptural the account might be!
Claims for the miraculous sight of Gemma de Giorgio are not backed by credible scientific evidence!
Having observed the incredible extent of gullibility of Papal Roman Catholics at such Papal 'events' as Medjugorje and Guadalupe we know that the deceived mind will believe anything, for example, the image of 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' is credited with miracles (none of them accredited by proven authorities) and we have observed some of the honour she receives, which includes flower-adorned shrines to the Virgin on the dashboards of public buses, factories which post pictures of the Virgin to discourage bad behaviour and tens of thousands of annual pilgrims to the Basilica where people finish their journey by crawling on their knees. All of these occur in countries where Papal Rome holds sway and has so thoroughly brain-washed the population that they are fearful of eternal damnation (if they were to deny anything the cult leader might declare 'saintly') and therefore accept any superstition!
While Genesis 3:15 provides the first promise of the Messiah when God speaks to the serpent (Satan):
"I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it [the seed of the woman, i.e., the virgin-born Messiah] shall bruise thy [the serpent's] head, and thou [Satan] shalt bruise his [the Messiah's] heel'.
we note that Papal Roman Catholic translations of Genesis 3:15 have, for many years, wrested this Scripture so that it reads: "she [the woman] shall bruise thy head."
This abominable usurpation, by the fictitious Catholic Mary, of Christ's place as victor over sin and Satan persists as one of Papal Rome's major perversions of truth. In Pius IX's (1849) encyclical, Ubi primum, he declared that Mary's "foot has crushed the head of Satan" and that it was Mary herself who "always has delivered the Christian people from their greatest calamities and the snares and assaults of all their enemies, ever rescuing them from ruin." This is heresy - Mary would have to be God to do so!
On November 27, 1830, Mary allegedly appeared in Paris to Catherine Laboure with her heel on the serpent's head and ordered that a "medal" be cast with this depiction of her victory over Satan. (Time, December 30, 1991, p 62-63). "Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal" became extremely popular and is still worn around the necks of millions of Catholics for protection, while many of whom swear that miracles have occurred for them as a result of wearing this amulet. "Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal" is only one of literally thousands of alleged appearances of the Catholic "Virgin Mary" around the world and down through the centuries and, as the End Times loom, such apparitions multiply and their frequency accelerates. Why does Papal Rome not recognize all of them as legitimate? But, whether officially acknowledged or not, millions of Papal Roman Catholics look to these supposed miracles as evidence that Papal Rome is the 'True Church' and the Catholic Mary is the hope of the world. And the Lord Jesus Christ has become the 'bit player' in Papal Rome's theology!
On 24 June 1981, young Mirjana Dragicevic and Ivanka Ivankovic reported seeing an apparition of the Virgin Mary in a village in what is now in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The following day another vision was reported, this time also by four other young people:, Marija Pavlovic, Jakov Colo, Vicka Ivankovic, and Ivan Dragicevic. The children claim that they saw an apparition on the hill Crnica (on the place called Podbrdo) of a white form with a child in her arms. Surprised and scared, they did not approach the vision but, the next day four of the youths returned and were later joined by the other two. For several years the six visionaries reported seeing daily apparitions from the Virgin Mary and Medjugorje became crowded with pilgrims. 'Our Lady of Medjugorje' has supposedly been appearing daily to three of these visionaries ever since, although some say that they have stopped having daily apparitions.
In the nearly 33 years that she has purportedly been appearing to the six visionaries, they have been reporting receiving messages from the Virgin Mary asking for people to pray often, fast and do penance.
Many phenomena have been reported at Medjugorje, such as the sun spinning, dancing in the sky, turning colours, or being surrounded by objects such as hearts or crosses. Many have reported that they have been able to look at the sun during those times without any damage to their eyes. The tall cement cross erected on Mount Podbrdo (where many of the apparitions had supposedly taken place) has reportedly disappeared and reappeared or else glowed as if lit with lights, although there is no electricity on the mountain. Not everyone reports seeing the same miracles at the same time. Miraculous healing has also been reported.
Claims for 'advancement of the human potential' are straight from New Age/occultic nonsense!
Regarding your claims for 'Gemma de Giorgio ... born without pupils and still has none ... scientifically and anatomically impossible to see without pupils ... world class expert doctors have examined her from her youth till now call her case inexplicable' an internet search reveals the usual accounts of unqualified opinions and blind belief lacking genuine examination of the facts.
What is missing, in every case you cite, is careful scientific recording and assessment of the evidence. Like all other faiths the Papal Roman Catholic is willing to suspend disbelief and accept the claims of the magisterium in blind obedience while ignoring the Word of God which speaks clearly against these supposed miracles because the source of them is clearly explained in Scripture and reveals that the 'signs and wonders' are counterfeit - as we have detailed!
The Bodies of the Saints don't rot or corrupt so Papal Rome displays them?!
You write: Catholics are 'an advancement of the human potential'. We know what it means to really be human. To be a human becoming. We do not try to impress anybody with numbers or with what we know - but we show[ed] by doing.
TCE: Any talk of 'advancement of the human potential' is straight from New Age/occultic nonsense (there are plenty of charlatans advertising these facts on the internet) and an insult to the God of the Bible who promised us a far greater gift! Jesus made this clear when He said (John 3:3):
'Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God '.
And the Lord Jesus Christ also said (Matthew 11:11):
Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not arisen a greater than John the Baptist: yet he that is but little in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
The demonic doctrines that promise 'great human potential' outside of the promises of the Most High God, who promises Eternal Life as a free gift, are simply laughable!
Did you really think that, by copying and pasting occultic 'psycho-babble' waffle (complete with illogical brackets [ ]!), we would be impressed or confused?!
Perhaps Tom Cruise, et al, would like to share their occult Scientology with you, although there are many other cults in the world just dying to invite you to 'advance [your] human potential [by] combining Modern Science with Ancient Wisdom' - and take your money before they take you to Hell.
A Roman Catholic claim: 'Sodomites in all their varieties and forms are possessed by the demon of Lust'!
You write: The Bodies of the Saints don't rot or corrupt. Infact [sic]- the Church has the bodies of many Saints on display, uncorrupted and hundreds of years old even thousands.
TCE: there is a world of difference between the incorruption taught by the Bible as a result of becoming 'born again', as the Lord Jesus Christ revealed (John 3v3ff.) and the inspired Apostle Paul taught:
1 Corinthians 15:42-45 - So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
Even pagan embalmers know how to preserve dead human bodies and keep them in excellent condition for centuries, so it is no surprise that Papal Rome can do the same. But this is a world away from the promise the Apostle Paul wrote about.
You write: Padre Pio and the Saints often traversed great distances in their physical and mystical flights and travels all over the world. They were swift and agile, increasing the fame of Christ to exceeding magnitude.
TCE: since there are no witnesses to your vain imaginings there is no way your heretics could ever 'increas[e] the fame of Christ to exceeding magnitude' and only heretics would even suggest this could be possible!
Our section on 'Cafeteria Catholics' confirms the lack of Biblical knowledge held by most believers in Papal Rome!
Then you descend into more demonic rambling:
To gain a greater access to the powers from beyond magnitude, one must be in tune with the authentic powers from beyond Angled space and interdimensional forces. For to gain the forces, there are only 2 sources for that - Good or Evil. Please be advised that psychics and others beyond the pale of the Catholic Church - have attained the Critical Faculty through possession by the Evil intellects of hyperspace. These hyperspacial beings assist their servants to their doom, but it is not worth it. The authentic intellects and consciousnesses are good and help those who are severely adept at the ascetic life. Padre Pio felt the pains of the 'inferno regions'. He so acutely felt it that it was so absolutely indescribable and inconceivable. As a test, if you want to see the forces on display, go inquire and get some sodomites (Homos), ask whether they are willing to have a mass exorcism performed on them. Sodomites in all their varieties and forms are possessed by the demon of Lust. I have an Exorcist that is ready to drive these Evil spirits out of their bodies. During Exorcisms, Exorcists talk to these spirits and gain pertinent information from them. Padre Pio was a mystic, prophet,ascetic, mind reader, levitator, Thaumaturgus, seer, bilocator, and wonderworker on a world wide scale.
If you really believe that 'Sodomites in all their varieties and forms are possessed by the demon of Lust' you must know what you are admitting about the fake 'priesthood' of Papal Rome when such a high percentage of them are recognised as possessing homosexual inclinations? So what do you accept to be the truth about your large percentage of paedophile clergy?
You write: Lord Jesus Christ said: Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do.(John 14:12) That's a pretty amazing claim. Lord Jesus Christ says his followers will not only do the miracles he did, but even greater ones! Jesus changed water to wine, raised men from the dead, and made blind men see. Jesus says his followers will do those and even greater works. So… where are they? Where are the Christians making blind men see? Raising men who have been dead for days? What about greater things - something like, say, having an amputee grow a limb back? No takers? (Only Catholic Saints have done this) Does this mean no True Christians really exist?
TCE: Again, there are no genuine witnesses of your fictional claim which is just another figment of your imagination.
More fantasy regarding Padre Pio!
You write: Protestants, of course, are quite willing to make this verse mean something entirely different - because if it were true,they couldn't call themselves followers of Christ. So many interpret "greater works" to mean "bring salvation." That is, they can convert more people than Jesus. Doesn't that just adulterate Jesus' meaning? But what else can they do?(Also, this doesn't necessarily help them - does this mean they are not Christians unless they can draw greater crowds than Jesus?) They certainly can't take Jesus literally - they can only take him literally when it fits their little box. When it doesn't, the meaning must be changed. They'll insist on taking Genesis literally, but when it comes to obviously literal teaching,they'll turn it on its head.So much for consistency and "rightly dividing the word of God."
TCE: Again, you foolishly hurl accusations around without supplying a single example to support your claim! We do not know of any orthodox Christian who interprets Jesus words in the way you suggest. Let us see you supply a genuine example of such foolishness and then prove the background of the teacher of such nonsense - the world is full of cults with idiotic, un-Biblical beliefs - but none more foolish than Papal Rome.
As we explained in detail on our pages addressed to Jehovah's Witnesses, the word translated 'greater' that Jesus spoke to His disciples ('Truly, truly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father' - John 14v12) cannot mean what you, and many other cultists, think it means.
How is it possible that Jesus could say to the disciples that they shall do greater (Greek: meizon) works than He had shown them? After all, He had raised the dead, healed the sick, cast out demons, and forgiven sins - and only God can forgive sins! (Matthew 9v2,5; Mark 2v5,9; Luke 5v20,23 & 7v48).
According to Greek expert, W.E. Vines, the Greek word, meizon (meizona) is the comparative degree of megas, e.g., Matthew 11:11; in Matthew 13:32, the RV rightly has "greater than" (KING JAMES VERSION, "the greatest among"); 23:17; in Luke 22:26, RV, "the greater (among you)" (KING JAMES VERSION, "greatest"); in Jas. 3:1, RV, "the heavier (marg., greater) judgment" (KING JAMES VERSION, "the greater condemnation"); it is used in the neuter plural in John 1:50, "greater things"; in 14:12, "greater works" (lit., "greater things"); in 1 Corinthians 12:31, RV, "the greater," KING JAMES VERSION, "the best".
The examples from Vines shows how the word is used in a comparative manner. Thus Christ tells His disciples that the reason they can expect to do these 'greater' works is: 'because I go to the Father.' So Jesus explains, as we see in the surrounding chapters, that this is the reason they will do 'greater' things: 'but I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (advocate) shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.'
Now, the reason that the disciples will do 'greater [than] these' (Greek: meizona touton) is because of the Holy Spirit working in them. But how can men possibly do greater works than Jesus? When the WBTS claim that the word 'greater' makes Jesus inferior to 'Jehovah' they also have to conclude that the Holy Spirit - and/or the disciples - are greater than Jesus!
Clearly this Greek term 'greater' is shown to be a comparative, numerical or positional 'greater'. The disciples will do 'greater' things (although they are positionally much lower as mere men) only in a numerical sense.
So, yet again, we do not apply Scripture and facts the way you claim we do - and you only prove your own ignorance!
Fantasy claims for the totally un-Biblical '15 Decade Most Holy Rosary'!
You write: What is the purpose of miracles? The miracle working St. Thomas Aquinas defined a miracle as an effect produced by God in the bodily universe, outside the order of created nature. According to The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911 edition) miracles occur as"evidences attesting and confirming the truth of a divine mission, or of adoctrine [sic] of faith or morals…." Therefore, a supernatural miracle is an event that occurs outside of the normal course of nature, often superceding the natural laws. Miracles can give the divine stamp of authority to the mission of a man chosen by God and always serve as a testament to the soundness of one or more doctrines of the Catholic Faith. Or, as Cardinal Pie (a famous nineteenth century defender of the Faith) once said, "Now for the conversion of the people the thaumaturgus [miracle worker] is more powerful than the teacher;and,[sic] consequently, in the memory and worship of the people, the teacher is eclipsed and effaced by the thaumaturgus." Our Lord promised that miracles would testify to the truth of His Gospel (Mark 16:17-18). After this promise of His, we are told: "But they going forth preached everywhere: the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs that followed"(Mark 16:20). St. Paul uses the argument from miracles when he relates of the Apostles that: "God [was] bearing them witness by signs and wonders and diverse miracles and distributions of the Holy Spirit, according to his own will" (Hebrews 2:4). The argument from miracles is found also in the writings of the Fathers. Chapters 8 to 10 of Book XXII of St. Augustine's City of God are a good example of this. God suspends the laws of His own making in order to testify to the supernatural origin of His Church. All the miracles of Pio of Pietrelcina are, therefore, proofs of the divine origin of the Catholic Faith. Miracles are regarded as the indispensable mark of the divine, and as the sign of the prophetic vocation.
TCE: When you write 'Miracles can give the divine stamp of authority to the mission of a man chosen by God and always serve as a testament to the soundness of one or more doctrines of the Catholic Faith' you have an obvious contradiction. They either 'always' do both - or they fail to do either! And you would never have written this sentence if you believed, or even knew Scripture. Why? Because the Word of God makes it clear that 'signs and wonders' alone do not prove that they are being performed through the God of the Bible. The classic proof is revealed in Exodus 8 when Moses performs miracles before Pharaoh in order to prove God is with him when he demands the release of Israel:
Exodus 8:1 - And Jehovah spake unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith YHWH, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
But, after God works the miracles, we read:
Exodus 8:7 - And the magicians did in like manner with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.
Until we read:
Exodus 8:18 - And the magicians did so with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they could not: and there were lice upon man, and upon beast.
At this point the magicians admitted defeat:
Exodus 8:19 - Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as Jehovah had spoken.
So we learn that people involved in the occult can mimic the miracles of God - but only up to a point!
Further, we learn from the New Testament that people who claimed to be working for God are not all doing it with His approval:
Matthew 7:15-23 - Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The history of Papal Rome reveals a false Gospel, a false Christ and hatred of true, Bible-believing Christians who your popes have persecuted and killed for centuries (as we have proven by solid facts on many pages already)! Any miracles you believe Papal Rome has performed would never over-ride these facts. This is apart from the fact that there is a complete lack of genuine evidence supporting the host of claimed miracles you supplied.
For example, your claim that 'During WII [Padre Pio] ... flew into the sky and stopped allied bombers from dropping bombs on Rotondo Italy, the flight commanders were forced to report on base that their airplanes were being turned automatically back and that the bombs dropped by themselves into the woods undetonated - while the planes were being turned back. They also reported seeing a bearded Monk waving his hands in the mid air and telling them to stop. Commander Bob Currie later paid him a visit and more fantastic occurrences and events happened ' is the stuff of Comic Books, or 'the Funnies' as they are called in some parts of the world!
Send any genuine researcher to investigate the accounts from people who supposedly witnessed these 'events' and you will find the fairy stories are exploded and proved to be mythology. As we have already shown, many people are discouraged from trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ because of this kind of idiotic exaggeration and plain invention!
You claim that 'Cardinal Pie (a famous nineteenth century defender of the Faith) once said, "Now for the conversion of the people the thaumaturgus [miracle worker] is more powerful than the teacher;and,[sic] consequently, in the memory and worship of the people, the teacher is eclipsed and effaced by the thaumaturgus".
Scripture has many verses dealing with 'signs and wonders' - both those permitted by God and those faked through Satan and occultic workers:
For there shall arise false Christ's, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you before-hand, Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22
Unless you see signs and wonders, John 4:48
And I will show wonders in the heaven above, And signs on the earth beneath; Blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke, Acts 2:19
and many wonders and signs were done, Acts 2:43; 5:12
they were filled with wonder and amazement, Acts 3:10
And Stephen … did great wonders, Acts 6:8
granting signs and wonders to be done, Acts 14:3
related what signs and wonders God had done, Acts 15:12
by the power of signs and wonders, Romans 15:19
And no wonder, for even Satan fashioneth himself into an angel of light, 2 Corinthians 11:14
Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, by signs and wonders and mighty works, 2 Corinthians 12:12
And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming; even he, whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceit of unrighteousness for them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, 2 Thessalonians 2:8-10
God also bore witness by signs and wonders, Hebrews 2:4
Jesus had clear warnings for those who sought 'signs and wonders':
John 4:47-48 - When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. Jesus therefore said unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will in no wise believe.
Without exception, miracles, signs, and wonders accompanied the ministry and preaching of early church leaders and Peter reminded the people that Jesus' credibility was based on His miracle ministry and the same credibility accompanied those set apart in leadership, such as Stephen, Philip, Barnabas, Silas, and Paul, as well as the original apostles (Acts 6:8; 8:6; 15:12; 19:11-12). Miracles, signs, and wonders were commonly accepted in the early church; and leaders led the way in giving place to such ministry. Also, the early church leaders prayed for miracles (Acts 4:30), seeing them not as random, occasional events, but as worthy evidences of God's anointing continually glorifying Christ through the church, and therefore to be sought and welcomed.
But the evidence from Papal Rome is that 'another Jesus' (2 Corinthians 11v4) and 'another gospel' (Galatians. 1v6-9) are preached and any 'signs and wonders' claimed by such as Pio (which we have already analyzed on other ages already cross referenced) are the result of demonic possession and not the work of the Holy Spirit through them!
Papal Rome's doctrines are warned about in many passages, e.g.:
Romans 16:17-18 - Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them that are causing the divisions and occasions of stumbling, contrary to the doctrine which ye learned: and turn away from them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly; and by their smooth and fair speech they beguile the hearts of the innocent.
1 Timothy 1:3-4 - As I exhorted thee to tarry at Ephesus, when I was going into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine, neither to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questionings, rather than a dispensation of God which is in faith; so do I now.
1 Timothy 6:3-5 - If any man teacheth a different doctrine, and consenteth not to sound words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is puffed up, knowing nothing, but doting about questionings and disputes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, wranglings of men corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, supposing that godliness is a way of gain.
Finally, there are easy tests for your 'signs and wonders' healers to take, e.g:
Mark 16:16-18 - He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
It has been easy for sceptical atheists such as James Randi to expose fraudsters such as Pio by careful, intelligent examination of the workers and the scene where supposed 'signs and wonders' are carried out. But Mark 16 reveals another test (the Vulgate contains the same verses). Which worker of 'signs and wonders' would really allow an atheist to give him an unknown poison to drink knowing that death is on the line? We know the 'snake handlers' in some bizarre fake Christian sects believe they can perform this part of the verse - but we have also witnessed the snake poison injuries and deaths that also result!
Fakers are always very careful to avoid controlled conditions to make sure they are only surrounded by the utterly gullible and desperate - and, unlike the healings by the Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11), you never see contemporary 'healers' bringing about unfakeable healings - such as withered or missing limbs being restored. Fake healers claim many kinds of healings that cannot be disproven by visual evidence - so they claim to heal the deaf or to heal those with cancer etc. But when genuine evidence is sought that can be scientifically verified by experts - there is none!
You write: To establish connection, vigorous and vivifying, with theOUR [sic] LORD JESUS CHRIST, it is of necessity to pray the 15 Decade Most HolyRosary [sic] assiduously, perennially, whilst advancing rapidly in magnitudes ofvirtue [sic] and Mystery.
Regarding the Holy Rosary, thereal [sic] Sister Lucia told Father Fuentes in a famous1957 interview:
"Look, Father, the Most HolyVirgin [sic] in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to therecitation [sic] of the Holy Rosary. She has given this efficacy to such an extentthat [sic] there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whethertemporal [sic] or above all, spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, ofour [sic] families, of the families of the world, or of the religious communities, oreven [sic] of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary.There is no problem I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannotresolve [sic] by the prayer of the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary, we will saveourselves.[sic] We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain thesalvation [sic] of many souls."
TCE: The 'Holy Rosary' is an un-Biblical invention and, while the first part of the 'Hail Mary' is almost a direct quotation from Luke 1:28, the whole second half and portions of the "Hail, Holy Queen" are blatantly un-Biblical and have absolutely no power from God. Any miracles imagined through its use are by Satanic deception alone. We understand many worshippers of Mary pray regularly for 'World Peace'. Clearly, 'Mary' has no power, or is not listening?
The fact that you write 'With the Holy Rosary, we will saveourselves.[sic] We will sanctify ourselves. We will console Our Lord and obtain thesalvation [sic] of many souls' reveals the blasphemous doctrines behind this Satanic ritual.
The simple truth is that one can be saved and can be sure that he is saved. All he has to do is to trust in the finished work of Christ and to receive from Him the gift of eternal life. For His Word declares: "He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life" (John 5:24). "He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).
The Bible clearly tells us that "the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin" (1 John 1:7), and that to be "absent from the body" is to be "at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8). Paul expected that at his death he would go into the immediate presence of Christ, for he wrote to the church in Philippi: "But I am in a strait betwixt the two, having the desire to depart and be with Christ; for it is very far better (no purgatory to fear!): yet to abide in the flesh is more needful for your sake" (Phil. 1:23). And in the parable that Jesus gave of the rich man and Lazarus, Lazarus was carried by the angels directly from earth to Abraham's bosom (Luke 16:19-31).
Furthermore, Christ is able to keep His people saved, not because of their goodness or faithfulness, both of which are very erratic, but because of His power and grace: "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father who hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand" (John 10:28-29). This eternal life of which Christ speaks is a gift (John 3:16); it is made effective by a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in the soul which is called "regeneration" (Titus 3:5), or a new birth, a being "born anew" or "from above" (John 3:3), and as such it is irrevocable, "for the gifts and the calling of God are not repented of" (Romans 11:29). Nothing less than a supernatural act on the part of God (regeneration) can bring a soul from a state of spiritual death to a state of spiritual life; and nothing less than another supernatural act of God could reverse that condition. This is the true "perseverance of the saints" - not that we persevere in holding on to God, but that He perseveres in holding on to us.
God has made it clear that He desires all to be saved, and He wants those who accept full salvation in Christ Jesus to know that they are saved. He has told us this clearly in His Word (as we have expounded in many places on the website). True believers have a salvation that is complete, meeting all the needs of the sinner. In True Christianity salvation is immediate from the moment of recognising Christ as Lord and Saviour as 'the thief on the cross' (Luke 23v39-43) did and was told by Jesus (v43): 'Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise'. In Papal Rome salvation is possible in the future, after you have suffered purgatory (a totally un-Biblical doctrine), and only then if you have "good works" added to confession, penance, and communion (all clearly un-Biblical ideas). In True Christianity salvation is a free gift of grace - as Ephesians 2v8-10 makes totally clear. In Papal Rome one must work hard for it and pay dearly for it but, even after all that the priest has prescribed to the Papal Roman Catholic is completed, he still cannot know whether he is saved or not. Further proof of the Satanic nature of Papal Rome is the anathema(s) that the Council of Trent declared against all who affirm the certainty of their salvation. Nowhere can be found a consistent Papal Roman Catholic (who believes all the ordinances of Rome!) who can ever enjoy the assurance of eternal life. This makes the 'gospel' of Papal Rome no better than any other religion in the world - and that includes the pagan religions! Only the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ can give that assurance and Rome's false gospel is condemned by Scripture:
Galatians 1:6-9 - I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; which is not another gospel only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema.
In case any foolish Papal Roman Catholic tries to argue that these words are not addressed to Papal Rome, we advise them to read more carefully than previous Catholic writers to us managed, for this is a passage to all who bring a false gospel - as Papal Rome does.
Papal Rome is a past master at hiding evidence of the flaws that reveal the truth about the cult and its popes. In 1958 Pope Pius XII died and, shortly afterward, his personal physician, Dr. Galeazzi-Lisi, wrote an article for publication in a Rome newspaper in which he described "the agonizing death of Pope Pius XII," and told of the pope's fear and insecurity regarding the future. But the article met strong disapproval on the part of the church authorities. Copies of the newspaper were confiscated before they could be distributed, and Dr. Galeazzi-Lisi was promptly dismissed from his position. Dr. Walter M. Montano, at that time editor of Christian Heritage (December, 1958), recalled that when pope Benedict XV died in 1922 a similar report was given of his death, and added:
"One can feel only a sense of pity for the last end of such a man. How is it possible that the ecclesiastical demigod who had the keys of heaven and earth is unable to use those keys to gain entrance into his own eternal salvation? What a pathetic ending for a man who has devoted his life to religion; who has directed, as they say, 'the barque of St. Peter'; who was infallible; who has elevated the Virgin Mary to a state that no other pope had dared to imagine. ... At the end of his life he dies in fear and agony, not knowing what the future holds in store for him. All the pomp and ceremony, all the masterfully devised rituals in his honor may impress the people, especially Roman Catholics, but they cannot gain him one inch of heaven. And what about his soul and his eternal destiny? What Roman Catholic knows where this pope is right now? The doctrine of the Roman Church established that anyone who can say 'I am saved' at any time in his life commits a mortal sin. ... If pope Pius XII had had the courage to express faith in the only One who died for our sins; if he had realized that there is only one Mediator between man and God; if he had accepted the fact that Christ's death invalidated any other sacrifice and that once for all He died for the sins of the world - then pope Pius XII would not have faced a death of fear and desperation, an 'agonizing death.' Instead, he would have been able to say: 'I know whom I have believed!'"
(Continued on page 350)