Posts Tagged ‘Roman Catholicism’

Another Look at the Catholic Church

By Steve Blackwell
Indywatchman Blog

Some things are worth repeating. Dave Hunt wrote a book twenty years ago called A Woman Rides the Beast that needs to be revisited. I have friends who have joined the Catholic Church because they were seeking religion, and they have, without a doubt, found the ultimate religion. In Dave’s book he shows accurately with very much Biblical documentation that this ultimate religion, the Catholic Church, is in fact the woman who rides the beast, a whore who has committed fornication with the kings of the earth.

In 1993 Dave recorded a pre-book video lecture which I have embedded. Take a look at the video and I believe you will find it very, very hard to argue with Dave’s interpretation of Revelation 17:7. Click here for the source of this posting.

RICK WARREN, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTICS AND POPE FRANCIS

LTRP Note: This series by Roger Oakland is one of the most significant stories we have ever covered. You will come to understand this as the rest of the series unfolds. If you have not read our articles/booklets The New Evangelization From Rome or Finding the True Jesus or The Jesuit Agenda, we encourage you to do so to help come up to speed on the Road to Rome issue. Considering the millions of Christians being influenced by Rick Warren and the Purpose Driven movement worldwide, what is happening here simply cannot be ignored.

By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times

What did he say? This is exactly the direction we predicted he would go! It will be crucial that skeptics hear and see this interview. These were my thoughts when I first watched the EWTN interview with Rick Warren and Raymond Arroyo provided by YouTube. April 11, 2014. The comments by Rick Warren in response to Arroyo’s questions from an interview that took place at Warren’s church in southern California were stunning. There is no room for doubt: Warren’s march towards ecumenical unity with Rome is becoming clearer and bolder as time passes.

The interview opened with the following question from Arroyo:

The Purpose Drive Life is the bestselling book in the world – 36 million plus copies. It’s been translated more than any book except the Bible. What is the key to that success? Why were so many people touched by that book and continue to be? [1]

Warren’s response to this question provides insight to two very important questions – the inspiration behind the book and the reason why it was written. His own words confirm that Roman Catholic mystics and their writings have been a strong influence on him personally and his ministry. This affinity associates him with the emerging church as well as numerous other statements he has made in the past. Warren responded:

You know, Ray, There is not a single new thought in Purpose Driven Life that teresaavilahadn’t been said for 2,000 years. I’ve just said it in a fresh way. I said it in a simple way. When I was writing Purpose Drive Life it took me 7 months, 12 hours a day. I’d get up at 4:30 in the morning. I’d go to a little study. Start at 5 a.m. I was fasting til noon and I would light some candles and I would start writing and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. One of the things I did before I wrote the book was, um, I’d ask the question—How do you write a book that lasts 500 years? For instance, um, Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis, Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Ok? The Desert Fathers, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila. All of these great, classic devotional works. Any one of them—I just realized that in order to be timeless you have to be eternal. Click here to continue reading.

 

 

Multi-Sensory Worship: Prayer Stations, Icons, Incense, and Candles

by Roger Oakland 
Understand the Times
(author of Faith Undone: the emerging church—a new reformation or an end-time deception)

Stimulating images that provide spiritual experiences are an essential element of the emerging church. While many are bewildered as to why their churches are darkening their sanctuaries and setting up prayer stations with candles, incense, and icons, promoters of the emerging church movement say they know exactly what they are doing. Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Fellowship explains:

Everything in the service needs to preach–architecture, lighting, songs, prayers, fellowship, the smell–it all preaches. All five senses must be engaged to experience God.1

Often, Christians who have been attending church all their lives find the changes their pastors are implementing disconcerting, as they see the trend away from Bible teaching to multi-sensory stimulation. Dan Kimball quotes an older gentleman who had expressed his concerns about the implementation of an emerging style of mystical worship:

Dan, why did you use incense? I am not sure I like walking over to those prayer stations with all those props; can’t we just pray from our seats? Why aren’t you just preaching just the Bible? I wasn’t too comfortable when you had those times of silence, and it’s a little too dark in there for me.2

The comment by this gentleman in his seventies is typical of the comments I hear from many as I travel and speak at conferences around North America. But comments like this not only come from the elderly; many younger people are saying the same things. Both young and old are becoming concerned as they see multi-sensory mystical worship replace the preaching and teaching of the Word.

Nevertheless, Kimball and many others are convinced they are on the right path based on their view that emerging generations desire a multi-sensory worship experience. For example, in a chapter of Kimball’s book titled “Creating a Sacred Space for Vintage Worship” Kimball states:

[A]esthetics is not an end in itself. But in our culture, which is becoming more multi-sensory and less respectful of God, we have a responsibility to pay attention to the design of the space where we assemble regularly. In the emerging culture, darkness represents spirituality. We see this in Buddhist temples, as well as Catholic and Orthodox churches. Darkness communicates that something serious is happening.3

Kimball further states:

How ironic that returning to a raw and ancient form of worship is now seen as new and even cutting edge. We are simply going back to a vintage form of worship which has been around for as long as the church has been in existence.4

Of course, that is not really true. There is no evidence in the Bible that the disciples or the early church turned to a “raw” form of worship, especially one that needed darkness to help them feel more spiritual. If the early believers were in darkness, it would have been because they were meeting in secret to avoid arrest. To insinuate they were thinking about multi-sensory practices is an insult to their courage and devotion to God. Nowhere in Scripture is there even a hint of this. (For more on the emerging church, read Faith Undone.)

Notes:

1. “The National Reevaluation Forum: The Story of the Gathering,”(Youth Leader Networks – NEXT Special Edition, 1999, click here),pp. 3-8, citing Mark Driscoll, “Themes of the Emerging Church.”
2. Dan Kimball, The Emerging Church, p. 127.
3. Ibid., p. 136.
4. Ibid., p. 169.

Embracing Contemplative Shows Ill Effects at Moody Bible Institute in Ecumenical “Road to Rome” Event

For over seven years now, Lighthouse Trails has followed Moody Bible Institute’s continued promotion of contemplative spirituality. Although the organization has denied that they are promoting contemplative, the evidence has consistently existed. Those who have a good understanding of contemplative spirituality are aware of the inevitable outcome for followers of contemplative. This outcome is a change in spiritual attitude that leads to the following – ecumenism (a joining together of all religious traditions, in particularly Catholicism first, then Islam),  interspirituality (all paths lead to God), panentheism (God is in all), and eventually universalism (all are saved, regardless of belief – thus no need for the Cross).

We had hoped that at some point leaders and professors at Moody would seriously examine the contemplative issue and come to the conclusion that they do not want to go in that direction. Sadly, the indications of that happening are non-existent, and the probability of the complete embracing of contemplative spirituality is fast increasing. A case in point occurred just this month when the school allowed an ecumenical/road to Rome  event to take place on campus, where it was reported that over 300 people showed up, most of them being MBI students.

On December 3rd, emerging church figure John Armstrong (a convert from traditional evangelicalism to emerging) and Catholic priest Father Robert Barron spoke at a gathering at Moody Bible Institute. The event was presented by the Moody Student Theological Society. It was not broadcasted, and Moody’s website doesn’t seem to show anything about it so we have had to gather information from various other sources, including the Moody Student Theological Society’s Facebook page, which carries information about the event, which was called the “Evangelical and Catholic Ecumenical Dialogue.” (Photo from the “Dialogue”: 2nd from left: Liftin, next: Armstrong, next: Robert Barron)

We were first alerted to the ecumenical “dialogue” by a Lighthouse Trails reader, who stated:

Heads up to things stirring at Moody Bible Institute. (Also, please read this blog entry about it:  http://www.revangelicalblog.com/blog1/?currentPage=3   from Dec. 4, titled, “Can We Learn from Rome? Maybe… (A Reflection on Ecumenical Unity). This is by that young man I have mentioned to you before, who rubs elbows with Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Jim Wallis, et. al.

The blog entry mentioned by the LT reader was written by a senior at Moody Bible Institute (MBI). On the post, he has this photo of the Vatican:

The MBI student states:

As I myself have been in the process of rediscovering the beauty of the ancient Christian tradition [contemplative] offered to us via the Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and even Anglican versions of faith, I have also felt a tugging and noticed a trend of millennial evangelicals to convert to Catholicism- returning to Rome, if you will.

It is not our intention to draw attention to or scrutinize this student. Our issue is with MBI’s leadership and professors. We believe this and other students at Moody who are being drawn to contemplative . . . and Roman Catholicism  . . .  are merely reflecting the sympathies they have witnessed at Moody from professors and others in leadership. For instance, on John Armstrong’s website, he talks about his invitation to the “Evangelical and Catholic Ecumenical Dialogue” and points to one of the MBI professors:

Our dialogue tomorrow will begin with a welcome by a Moody student leader which will be followed by an introduction given by our moderator, Dr. Bryan Litfin (Ph.D. in the field of ancient church history at the University of Virginia). Dr. Litfin is a professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute. Bryan is also a first-rate patristics scholar and has often encouraged Christian dialogue as a part of his teaching. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers–An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007). Fr. Barron and I will each speak for about ten minutes and then we will field questions from the students.

It is interesting that Dr. Liftin was willing to moderate the event at MBI given that he is a Catholic convert to Protestantism. We decided to spend $13.99 to buy an e-book copy of Liftin’s book, Getting to Know the Church Fathers – an Evangelical Introduction. A better title for this book might be Why Evangelicals Should Not Think Too Lowly of the Catholic Church. Liftin says that the benefit of studying the “church fathers” is to “help us get in touch with the general thrust of the Christian faith”  (Kindle Locations 389-390, Baker Publishing Group). But from Liftin’s book’s point of view, the benefit of studying the church fathers is to see some good in the Roman Catholic church. Here’s one example in Liftin’s book where he whitewashes and minimizes the heretical teachings of Roman Catholicism:

[M]any Catholic teachings must be understood as continuous historical developments out of earlier thought. For example, though the theology has changed from biblical times, the breaking of bread and drinking of wine in the Mass is an evolution of the love feasts of the early Christians, for whom the elements represented the Savior’s body and blood just as they still do for Catholics. Likewise, recitation of the Lord’s Prayer is an ancient habit still practiced today. And there are not a few doctrines held by the Roman Church which every orthodox Protestant would hold as well. (Endnote section, #20, (Kindle Locations 4084-4088).

The MBI student (mentioned above) goes on to say:

The Catholic Church offers much of what many millennial Protestants are longing for – liturgy, artistic expression, scholarship, ancient tradition, and a robust and deeply rooted theology [i.e., the Desert Fathers and contemplative spirituality]. Rome offers one, united Christian body with many stripes, styles, and theological variations contained within one communion. And with the Roman Catholic Churches recent moves for ecumenical unity with the Eastern  church and a number of Protestant traditions, it seems to me that perhaps a return to Rome may be in some millenial Evangelicals future.

The MBI student expresses his own hope for the future:

My hope and prayer is that in the coming years, Evangelicals, Mainliners, Catholics, and Orthodox will find more and more common ground on which we can work together to expand the Kingdom of God. My prayer is that God would continue to cause us to rethink, reform, and renew our faith traditions and insodoing help us refine them to reflect more clearly the face of Jesus Christ- our common Lord and Savior.

When you consider that Moody has been promoting the contemplative tradition for so long and the Catholic Church uses contemplative prayer as a catalyst to bring in new converts, it makes perfect sense that a student attending Moody for three and a half years could say something like this.

In 2007, Moody posted a response to our criticisms that they were promoting contemplative. In that statement (which still sits on their site), they deny the allegations. But take a look at some of the related links we have provided below to see that indeed they have been promoting contemplative and continue to do so.

One person who would have been very upset about the recent “Evangelical and Catholic Ecumenical Dialogue” held at Moody is Harry Ironside, who was the pastor of the Moody Church (which also now promotes contemplative via its inclusion of sermons by contemplative/Spiritual Formation leader Larry Crabb [1]) from 1930-1948. He stated:

Every Roman Catholic priest will tell you that all  the claims of the Church of Rome stand or fall with the doctrine of the real  presence of Christ in the Mass. If the bread and wine used in the Sacrament of  the Mass, when consecrated by the priest, are changed in some mysterious way  into the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ so that the  communicant receiving the bread actually takes into his mouth and eats and  digests the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ-if this is  true, then the Church of Rome is the true church of Christ and every one of us  should be members of it. But if it is false, if it is absolutely opposed to the  teaching of the Word of God, then the Church of Rome is an apostate church and  every faithful believer should come out of her in order that he might not be  held accountable for her sins.

It was because the great reformers of the sixteenth  century saw this clearly and were assured in their own hearts that the doctrine  of the Church of Rome in regard to the Eucharist or the Mass was absolutely  opposed to the Word of God and was not only blasphemous but idolatrous, that  they came out in protest against that apostate system and they won for us at  tremendous cost of Christian blood the liberty that we now possess. And yet we,  unworthy children of such worthy sires, are frittering away our liberty and we  are allowing our children to be ensnared again by this evil system from which  our fathers escaped with such tremendous effort. (From Ironside’s “The Mass Versus the Lord’s Supper”)

What is happening in the evangelical/Protestant church today is significant and utterly devastating. The contemplative issue has not at all been addressed by Christian leadership but rather the majority of Christian leaders have either embraced it or ignored it. To really understand where this is all going, consider these words by Ray Yungen who is talking about Thomas Merton here:

In a letter to a Sufi [Islamic mystic] Master, Merton disclosed, “My prayer tends very much to what you call fana.” So what is fana? The Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult defines it as “the act of merging with the Divine Oneness.”

Merton saw the Sufi concept of fana as being a catalyst for Muslim unity with Christianity despite the obvious doctrinal differences. In a dialogue with a Sufi leader, Merton asked about the Muslim concept of salvation. The master wrote back stating:

“Islam inculcates individual responsibility for one’s actions and does not subscribe to the doctrine of atonement or the theory of redemption.”

To Merton, of course, this meant little because he believed that fana and contemplation were the same thing. He responded:

“Personally, in matters where dogmatic beliefs differ, I think that controversy is of little value because it takes us away from the spiritual realities into the realm of words and ideas … in words [doctrine] there are apt to be infinite complexities and subtleties which are beyond resolution…. But much more important is the sharing of the experience of divine light [i.e., contemplative] … It is here that the area of fruitful dialogue exists between Christianity and Islam.” (emphasis added – quoted from A Time of Departing, 2nd ed., pp. 59-60)

In other words, through mysticism, the world’s religions can come together and all can be one/unified. But, doctrines like the atonement, according to Merton, stand in the way and are “of little value.”

The Bible says in the last days there will be a harlot church. We are watching its formation right now; the tragedy is Christian leaders don’t even see it happening. And sadly, like so many other Christian campuses, Moody Bible Institute is falling into step with this apostasy.

If you have not read Roger Oakland’s recent article The New Evangelization From Rome or Finding the True Jesus Christ, we recommend you do to better understand the role that the Catholic church is playing in this apostasy.

Related Information/LT Coverage on Moody:

Concerns Grow as Moody Presses Forward Down Contemplative Path

Moody’s Pastors’ Conference Teaching Lectio Divina This Week – And Seven Years of Warning by Lighthouse Trails Go Unheeded

The Moody Church of Chicago Welcomes Contemplative Advocate Larry Crabb As Guest Speaker

Moody Publishers Release Prayers for Today: A Yearlong Journey of Contemplative Prayer

An Epidemic of Apostasy – Christian Seminaries Must Incorporate “Spiritual Formation” to Become Accredited

 

Time magazine names Pope Francis its ‘Person of the Year’ – “Captured the Imaginations of Millions”

 

LTRP Note: After reading the article below by the Washington Post, please re-read some of the 2013 Lighthouse Trails coverage on Pope Francis. (See the links below the article.) When you consider that the new pope is contemplative, interspiritual, ecumenical, and soft toward the homosexual issue – basically, an emerging “progressive” pope – it’s no wonder Time magazine (which promotes all of the above) named Pope Francis “Person of the Year.”

By Lillian Cunningham
The Washington Post

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - DECEMBER 04: Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter's square for his weekly audience on December 4, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. At the end of his General Audience Pontiff called on everyone to pray for a group of nuns taken by force from the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Saint Tecla in the ancient Christian town of MaÕlula in Syria. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)The red border of Time magazine will frame Pope Francis as its 2013 Person of the Year, the magazine announced Wednesday morning. By the judgment of Time’s editorial staff, the pope — elected earlier this year after a surprise resignation by predecessor Pope Benedict XVI — was the most influential global newsmaker of the past 12 months. Earlier this week, Time narrowed the finalists down to 10, then five. Pope Francis ultimately won out over NSA leaker Edward Snowden, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Texas senator Ted Cruz and gay rights activist Edith Windsor.

“[W]hat makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all,” Howard Chua-Eoan and Elizabeth Dias write in the cover story. “In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church.”

Coverage by Lighthouse Trails:

United Nations Chief Hails Pope Francis as “a Spiritual Leader of the World”

The Implications of Pope Francis Recent Remarks about Homosexuality and Abortion

Pope Francis calls for intensified dialogue with Muslims – Everyone “a brother or
sister.”

Pope Francis – Spiritually “Founded” on a Contemplative Tradition

Evangelical Leaders Luis Palau and Rick Warren Salute Pope Francis – What Are the Implications?

The New Evangelization From Rome Or Finding the True Jesus Christ

The Catholic Church Continues Drawing In the “Lost Brethren” Through Eucharistic Adoration

Pope Francis

LTRP Note: For a number of years now, Lighthouse Trails author Roger Oakland has been warning the body of Christ about the Catholic Church’s “new evangelization” program, which is basically an effort to bring the “lost brethren” (Protestants) into the Catholic church. Roger has been stating all along that to do this the Papacy is using what they call “Eucharistic adoration.” The article below from the Vatican news agency is another current example of the reality of this happening. In Roger’s Booklet Tract The New Evangelization From Rome Or Finding the True Jesus Christ,  he explains:

The New Evangelization program will use Eucharistic adoration to rekindle Eucharistic amazement, and more and more people will be drawn by experience to the Eucharistic Christ. An experience-based Christianity not supported biblically is one of the most effective ways to lead people astray. If the New Evangelization points people to a Eucharistic Christ associated with profound experiences including healings, miracles, and signs and wonders, it has the potential to bring vast delusion. We are witnessing this today.

In what way does this tie in with what is happening in the church? Well, mainly through the contemplative prayer movement. Ray Yungen talks about this in his article  “Contemplative Spirituality – the Source of the Catholic Church’s Expansion,” where he says:

I had always been confused as to the real nature of this advance in the Catholic church. Was this just the work of a few mavericks and renegades, or did the church hierarchy sanction this practice [contemplative prayer]? My concerns were affirmed when I read in an interview that the mystical prayer movement not only had the approval of the highest echelons of Catholicism but also was, in fact, the source of its expansion. (emphasis added)

As we witness most of the major Christian figures today embracing contemplative spirituality, please know that this is moving things quickly toward the Catholic Church’s goal to envelope all non-Catholic Christian-proclaiming peoples to itself. And this always brings to mind the Christian martyrs identified  in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs who died painful torturous deaths because they would not embrace the Eucharistic “Christ” of the Roman Catholic Church. Those who think that those days could never happen again are only fooling themselves. The force behind those deaths – Satan – is at work today more than ever before because he knows the day of the Lord’s return as well as His final judgment draws near. 

From Zenit news in Rome (the Vatican news agency)

“Vatican Congregation Makes DVD About Eucharistic Adoration”

Cardinal Cañizares: There will be no ‘new evangelization’ without adoration

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments together with HM Television has just published a new DVD that will help the faithful rediscover the importance of Eucharistic Adoration in the life and mission of the Church. It is the second video in a series of four, entitled: “From the Visible to the Invisible.”  The video contains testimonies of conversion thanks to Eucharistic Adoration, as well as its history and the biblical foundations.

Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, has strongly supported and encouraged the production of this video precisely because he believes that, “the New Evangelization will not be possible if there is no Adoration.” Click here to continue reading.

NEW PRINT BOOKLET TRACT: The New Evangelization From Rome Or Finding the True Jesus Christ

 The New Evangelization From Rome Or Finding the True Jesus Christ written by Roger Oakland is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The booklet tract is 16 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of  The New Evangelization From Rome Or Finding the True Jesus Christ, click here. 

The New Evangelization From Rome—Or Finding the True Jesus Christ

By Roger Oakland

When Christians speak of evangelism, they are usually referring to efforts to fulfill the Great Commission.

Just before ascending to heaven, Jesus commissioned every believer to proclaim the good news when He said: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

This Gospel of Jesus Christ is very simple. It is a message that even a child can understand. It is about God’s plan to save us from our sins. Since the fall of man, all have been born into this world separated from God, our Creator, by sin. About two thousand years ago, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, supernaturally came to this earth, born of a virgin. While here on earth, Jesus lived a sinless life. He died upon the Cross at Calvary, and His blood was shed as a sacrifice for our sins. All those who accept and believe in Jesus (that is, who Jesus is and what He has done) can enter into a relationship with Him, the Creator of the universe. This relationship will then last for eternity. This is the simple Gospel.

Unfortunately, Satan has always had an agenda to complicate the Gospel or confound people into believing in something less or something more than what the Gospel message teaches. Paul talked about “another gospel” when he warned the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 11:4) and the Galatians (Galatians 1:6) about the dangers of being deceived. Satan is a clever schemer. Deceiving people in the name of the Savior is part of the devil’s ultimate plan.

Not everything labeled the gospel is the true Gospel. Further, it follows that the term evangelization, if it is based on a counterfeit gospel, will seduce people into believing they are going to heaven, when instead they may be on their way to hell.

In this booklet, we will be dealing with The New Evangelization, a program currently being promoted by the Catholic Church and designed to win the world to Christ—the Eucharistic Christ.

What is the New Evangelization?
The New Evangelization is a missionary effort of the Catholic Church to bring the “Lost Brethren” (Protestants) back into the “fold.” Most of this effort is aimed at stirring up interest in the Eucharist.

An article published by Zenit (“The World Seen from Rome”) presented a news item based on an announcement made by Pope John Paul II about the Eucharist. The article was titled “Why the Pope Would Write an Encyclical on the Eucharist: To Rekindle Amazement.”1 The pope had already declared the Eucharist to be the focal point for the Catholic Church’s missionary vision at the Eucharistic Congress in June of 2000, but now the pope had written an Encyclical on the Eucharist. The following statement made by John Paul is very enlightening:

[T]he Church will only be able to address the challenge of the new evangelization if she is able to contemplate, and enter into a profound relationship with Christ in the sacrament that makes his presence real.2 (emphasis added)

This statement confirms how this New Evangelization program is directly linked to the Eucharistic Christ. Further, the Zenit article gave more details on how the pope wanted to see this program develop:

I would like to rekindle this Eucharistic “amazement” by the present Encyclical Letter, in continuity with the Jubilee heritage which I have left to the Church in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte and its Marian crowning, Rosarium Virginis Mariae. To contemplate the face of Christ, and to contemplate it with Mary, is the programme which I have set before the Church at the dawn of the third millennium, summoning her to put out into the deep on the sea of history with the enthusiasm of the new evangelization.3

Making it clear that the New Evangelization program would be tightly associated with the sacrament of the Eucharist, John Paul concluded:

To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize him wherever he manifests himself, in his many forms of presence, but above all in the living sacrament of his body and his blood. The Church draws her life from Christ in the Eucharist, by him she is fed and by him she is enlightened.4 (emphasis added)

The Facts about the New Evangelization
There are many sources available confirming such a program exists. For example, on the EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) website under a heading “The New Evangelization: Building the Civilization of Love,” it reads:

As the Holy Father entrusts the Third Millennium to the Blessed Virgin Mary, EWTN inaugurates its New Evangelization specialty site. . . . Under the protection of St. Therese of Lisieux, Patroness of the Missions, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, to whom the Pope has committed the New Evangelization, may the Spirit of God bring about the New Pentecost to which the Church looks forward with hope.5

This above statement may come as a surprise to Protestants who are enthusiastically joining hands with Catholics for the sake of “evangelism.” The Catholic program is committed to “Our Lady of Guadalupe” (Mary).6 Remember, Paul warned the Corinthians about “another spirit” that was associated with “another gospel” and “another Jesus.”

More Evidence
Now, if the Catholic Church was “searching for” a method of evangelization for the “new evangelization” in the year 2000, apparently that method has now been discovered and endorsed. Remember, John Paul II called for a “rekindling of Eucharistic amazement” associated with the New Evangelization.
Another piece of evidence that the Eucharist is a key to understanding the New Evangelization comes from an advertisement in Envoy Magazine titled “Will you answer our Holy Father’s call for the New Evangelization?”7 Beneath the title was an appeal to help purchase and distribute books, tapes, and other literature.

As part of the advertisement, a booklet was shown bearing the title The Most Blessed Sacrament: Our Lord is truly present: Body, Soul and Divinity to make you happy now and for all Eternity! by Catholic priest Stephano Manelli. On the front cover of this booklet was a monstrance. In the location where the wafer would normally be found was an actual face—supposedly the face of Jesus. Consider the following excerpt from the booklet:

Let us ask the question: What is the Eucharist? It is God among us. It is the Lord Jesus present in the tabernacles of our churches with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. It is Jesus veiled under the appearance of bread, but really and physically present in the consecrated Host, so that He dwells in our midst, works within us and for us, and is at our disposal. The Eucharistic Jesus is the true Emmanuel, the “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)8

Or the following statement that defies any biblical basis:

With Communion, Jesus enters my heart and remains corporally present in me as long as the species (the appearance: of bread) lasts; that is, for about 15 minutes. During this time, the Holy Fathers teach that the angels surround me to continue to adore Jesus and love Him without interruption.9

Or this statement that seems to reflect a strong spiritual experience that acts as a powerful attraction to the Eucharistic Christ:

All the saints have understood by experience the Divine marvel of the meeting and the union with Jesus in the Eucharist. They have understood that a devout Holy Communion means to be possessed by Him and to possess Him. . . . It is not possible to have a union more profound and more total: He in Me and I in Him; the one in the other. What more could we want?10

New Focus on the Eucharist
In an article titled “New Focus on the Eucharist,” Catholic Herald reporter Russell Shaw summarized the various events Pope John Paul promoted and then asked a very important question: “Pope John Paul and the Vatican lately have been devoting more than ordinary high-level attention to the Eucharist, and now they apparently mean to devote even more. That raises an obvious question: Why?”11 A website called “Apostolate for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration” seems to answer that question with the following two statements:

The regular practice of Eucharistic adoration, which perpetual adoration fosters, must be at the root of our response. It enables us to respond to the Holy Father’s call with “generosity and holiness.” . . . It will prepare us for the “new evangelization” which will help restore all things in Christ.12

In his encyclical letter on the Eucharist, “Dominicae cenae,” Pope John Paul II said: “May our adoration never cease.” That is what perpetual adoration is: adoration that never ceases. So let us continue to work hard for the spread of perpetual adoration, so that our Holy Father’s wish for perpetual adoration in every parish in the world may be fulfilled and that Christians of this millennium may witness the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Eucharistic Reign of Christ.13

The New Evangelization program will use Eucharistic adoration to rekindle Eucharistic amazement, and more and more people will be drawn by experience to the Eucharistic Christ. An experience-based Christianity not supported biblically is one of the most effective ways to lead people astray. If the New Evangelization points people to a Eucharistic Christ associated with profound experiences including healings, miracles, and signs and wonders, it has the potential to bring vast delusion. We are witnessing this today.

Finding the True Jesus Christ
The biblical Jesus is no longer in the tomb. He is not confined in any earthly vessel or chamber. Jesus warned His disciples about those who say, see he is here or he is there as if physically present on the earth. According to the Gospel, He is physically present seated at the right hand of the Father until His second coming, and through His Spirit dwells in the hearts of every true believer. He cannot be made any more present than He already is.
By contrast, the Catholic “Gospel” makes Jesus physically present at every mass around the world.

The question we each must ask is—Will the Eucharistic Jesus reign in my heart? Will we trust another Jesus because of Rome or because apparitions endorse him? Will we trust another Jesus because of miracles, healings, or the supposed presence of God? Or will we follow the Jesus of the Bible?

Only the Bible, the Word of God, is infallible (2 Peter 1:20-21). It is truth (John 17:17). We know this by its fulfilled prophecies. Dozens of prophecies concerning Christ alone have been fulfilled to the letter. In addition, hundreds of prophecies concerning Israel and the Gentile nations have come to pass. The probability of all this happening by chance is too small to consider. No other book can boast of design with such intelligence. This amazing book records the life of the only perfect Person. No other book and no other man can compare. There is no risk in accepting the Bible as our final authority.

Feelings, Experiences, and Deceptions
A universal commonality associated with the Eucharist and the apparitions involves reports of intense encounters and gratifying feelings. Many experience a sense of serenity. Others encounter a spiritual presence or warmth. Some see visions, while others commune with an apparition. However, as the Scriptures explain, Satan and his demons can conjure false signs, feelings, and experiences. These experiences can give the recipient a false sense of peace with God while in reality they are leading the person into a trap.

While the Bible acknowledges that believers can experience God in unique and sometimes intense ways, these must be tested by God’s Word. “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). If our spiritual filter is not God’s law, His testimony, and His Word, we will be led astray.

What’s more, the Bible states: “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). It cautions us not to walk by sight (or appearances or visions or feelings or emotions). We all know that appearances can be misleading. Our senses can be deceived. Jesus warns us, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). During the last days, seductive deceptions will multiply, as Scripture warns:

But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13)

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. (1 Timothy 4:1)

Follow Your Heart or God’s Law?

The world tells us to follow our heart—go with our feelings. The Bible, on the other hand, states emphatically: “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26).

Our senses and feelings can direct us on a path that leads to destruction rather than life. We need a new heart—one guided by God and His trustworthy testimony. As the Bible states:

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

God tells us we need new hearts. You may ask, “What’s wrong with the heart I have?” Once again, it is God’s Word that acts like a divine flashlight showing us the darkness and depravity of our old heart:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life. (Proverbs 6:23)

The Bad News
God tells us we need new hearts. But how do we receive this new heart? Before explaining God’s gracious provision, we must first understand mankind’s dilemma. The Bible states that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Scripture is utterly clear: “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:3). This is why we cannot trust our old hearts. Our hearts are inclined to error and sin.

To see if God’s assessment is fair and accurate, we need to look at His Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). Consider here just a few of them—

Have you ever used your Creator’s name (Jesus Christ or God) in vain, or worse, as a curse word? Think of how offensive this is to your Creator. This is the God who wove you in your mother’s womb. He blessed you with eyes that behold His beautiful creation and taste buds that delight in His great variety of foods. Think of the wonder of your ears, and how music can inspire and refresh you.

Have you ever lied? White lies and fibs are lies in God’s eyes. We’re commanded to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Have you?

Have you ever stolen anything—the value is irrelevant? Cheating on a test or fudging the tax numbers is stealing. Please remember, God sees the past as the present.

Have you ever committed adultery? Or have you secretly desired to? Jesus said:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

Have you ever committed murder? Most plead innocent until they realize that hatred in the heart is murder in God’s eyes: “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him” (I John 3:15). Think of the people you would like to get out of the way. Reflect on the many people who annoy you and those who caused you pain or embarrassment. To hate them in your heart is murder.

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then according to Scripture you have broken the whole Law (James 2:10) as it is not a part and parcel proposition where we can weigh our good deeds next to our bad deeds. When we break God’s Law at any point, we come under the full condemnation of the Law. And God warns us that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Sin causes both physical death and eternal punishment in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:15).

The Good News
Fortunately this is not the end of the story. The Good News is that God does not want anyone to perish “but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). In His great love, God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ, to fulfill the Law and to pay the penalty which our sins demanded. We sinned, yet Jesus died in our place. The Bible declares:

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

Jesus died in our place. He then rose from the dead, defeating death. All who recognize their sinfulness, repent from their sins,* and put their trust in Him will be saved. This is how we receive new hearts—and eternal life. This is what Jesus meant when He said we must be born again (John 3:3, 7). Our spirit is made alive when we believe in the Lord and His provision. (*Dr. Harry Ironside said “Repentance is the sinner’s recognition of and acknowledgment of his lost estate and, thus, of his need of grace” (“Except Ye Repent”).)

The Free Gift
God offers salvation to all as a free gift. Only Jesus could pay the penalty that our sins demanded. We cannot bribe God with our good works or church attendance. No ritual or sacrament can appease His divine justice. Salvation is strictly on the merits of Jesus Christ and His mercy and grace toward all who accept Him by faith. The Bible states:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9; emphasis added)

Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 2:16)

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:28-29)

Also, since salvation is a free gift, we can have assurance of salvation because it depends on what Christ has done and not on our own merits or performance. John writes of this assurance:

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5: 11-13)

By contrast, the Catholic “Gospel,” being works oriented, cannot offer any assurance of salvation but must rather categorize such assurance as the sin of pride and presumption. This is brought out succinctly by the testimony of a former Catholic priest:

In the seminary where I was living we . . . had to perform certain penances and acts of self-denial which included fasting and abstinence. We also had to go to the confessional and practise meditation . . . We were taught that in spite of all this we could not be certain of our salvation since one of the dogmas of the Church is that anyone who claims to be sure of his salvation is certainly lost.14

The Ultimate Sacrifice
The Catholic Jesus is the Eucharistic Jesus. The Marian apparitions’ Jesus is also the Eucharistic Jesus. However, the Eucharistic Jesus is not found in the Bible.

The Bible tells us that Jesus is immutable and unchanging (Hebrews 13:8) and that He is now seated at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19). Furthermore, it tells us that God “dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts 7:48), and Jesus said, “if they shall say unto you . . . he [Jesus] is in the secret chambers; believe it not (Matthew 24:26). Yet, Catholic doctrine violates all of these Scriptures when it says that Jesus can be found in a host and contained in a monstrance.

The idea of Transubstantiation was extracted from Scripture where Jesus said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53). Unfortunately, Catholic scholars were remiss in examining the context of the Scripture, where his disciples were murmuring of what Jesus could have meant by saying these things. If we read further, Jesus explains His meaning:

Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:60-63)

First, Jesus makes it clear that He could not have meant this in the physical sense because He was soon to be gone (“ascend up where He was before”). Second, Jesus tells them He had been using a figure of speech by speaking in spiritual terms (which He did regularly): “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit.” Third, Jesus tells them that “the flesh profiteth nothing” where the word “flesh” is the same Greek word that Jesus used in John 6:53 above. What’s more, the idea of partaking of blood becomes even more difficult when we consider that partaking of blood was forbidden in the Law, while the consumption of human blood was an unthinkable abomination. Clearly, Jesus had used a statement earlier that can only be correctly interpreted as a figure of speech. Later, at the Last Supper, Jesus made it plain again that He had been speaking figuratively when He said, “this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19) as opposed to telling them they would be participating in a new event.

Does this Catholic doctrine of the Eucharistic Christ really matter? Apparently, it did to Mrs. Prest of 16th century England who lived during the reign of Queen Mary. This godly woman was burned alive at the stake by the Roman Catholic Church. Her crime—opposing Roman Catholicism, primarily that of the Eucharist. When challenged on that point by a bishop, she replied:

I will demand of you whether you can deny your creed, which says that Christ does perpetually sit at the right hand of His Father, both body and soul, until He comes again; or whether He be there in heaven our Advocate and to make prayer for us unto God His Father? If He be so, He is not here on earth in a piece of bread. If He be not here, and if He do not dwell in temples made with hands but in heaven, why shall we seek Him here? If with one offering He made all perfect, why do you with a false offering make all imperfect? If He is to be worshipped in spirit and in truth, why do you worship a piece of bread [the Eucharist]? Alas! I am a poor woman, but rather than to do as you do, I would live no longer.15

The fact that Mrs. Prest was later burned alive awakens to us the horrors of what she must have endured. But we should not allow the testimony of how she died overshadow the message of why she died. We dishonor the martyrs when we forget what they died for.

What was it that troubled Mrs. Prest so much about the Eucharist that she was willing to die a martyrs death? It had much more to do than the fact that the Roman Catholic Church contradicts Scripture over where Jesus is physically present. The real issue is that the Catholic Church has established another Jesus and another Gospel. The true Gospel tells us that we are saved by faith alone through the one-time sacrifice of Jesus at the Cross:

By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God. (Hebrews 10:10-12)

The Catholic “Gospel” maintains that we are saved by our participation in the Mass where the sacrifice of Calvary repeats itself again and again. This works-based “Gospel” is unable to save anyone. Only when one comes to Christ in humble repentance and puts one’s faith in Jesus Christ and believes in the one-time sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is one born again from above, born of the Spirit, with the Holy Spirit dwelling in his or her heart. The true Gospel offers assurance of salvation, but the Catholic gospel offers no such assurance as it is based on our performance.

Further, the fact that the Eucharistic Jesus is re-sacrificed at each Mass demonstrates another major conflict with the Bible. Once again, in the Book of Hebrews, this is illustrated:

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. (Hebrews 9:15-17)

In other words, for the New Testament to be in effect, Jesus had to die “once for all” (Hebrews 10:10), which was the ultimate sacrifice and proof of His divine perfection. To propose a re-enactment of the one offering once made is to denigrate the very will and purpose of the Father and the majesty, power, and absolute perfection of Jesus Christ the Lord. And as Hebrews 10: 11-12 explains, the contrast of the two offerings (man’s versus God’s) is man’s offering can “never take away sins” and God “offered one sacrifice for sins for ever.”

The Catholic “Gospel” makes Jesus’ sacrifice like the repeated sacrifices of bulls and goats of the Old Testament that could never take away sins (Hebrews 10:4). Jesus has “obtained eternal redemption.” “It is finished” (John 19:30), as Jesus said. The upper room is vacated. The cross is bare. And the tomb is empty. Jesus has been resurrected. Hallelujah! He now dwells in the hearts of those who have trusted and believed on Him. Truly, this is reason for rejoicing!

Jesus said, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). The apostle Paul tells us that Christ dwells in every believer’s heart (Ephesians 3:17). Christians are the temple of God—the Spirit of God dwells in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). If ingesting consecrated bread was the true way to receive Christ, it would only bring His presence for a short time. Only while the bread remained in the digestive tract would Christ be in us. The rest of the time He would be absent. Yet, the biblical Jesus tells us, “Abide in Me, and I in you” (John 15:4), and “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

Serious Consequences
The Book of Hebrews includes a warning to those who crucify Christ repeatedly and put Him to an open shame. In the sixth chapter, we read:

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:1-6)

Are you willing to risk the chance of putting Jesus to an open shame by rejecting the biblical plan of salvation for the Eucharistic Christ? Keep in mind that Jesus was crucified once for sins. He shed His blood on the Cross one time for all. The sacrifice has been made. Our sins have been paid in full.

Call Upon the True Jesus
If we repent of (turn from and forsake) our sins and acknowledge what He has done and ask Him to forgive us for what we have done, then we can enter into a relationship with Jesus, our Creator and Redeemer, that will last forever. As Paul wrote to the Romans:

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:8-13)

Jesus Christ offers freedom and eternal life for all who “confess” Him, “believe” that God has raised Him from the dead and “call upon Him.” Jesus Christ has answered all demands of the all holy God against sin; in Him, sinners are acquitted and vindicated. His words of assurance are:

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. . . . If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11: 9-10, 13)

If we come before Him with a sincere heart and ask him to forgive us for our sins, He will. In the Book of Acts, Luke recorded:

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:8-12)

It is this Jesus, the Jesus of Nazareth, the “Jesus” Peter spoke about, who is the true Jesus. Let each one of us be sure we know who He is because we know His Word.

To order copies of  The New Evangelization From Rome Or Finding the True Jesus Christ, click here. 

Endnotes:

Endnotes:
1. Zenit (The World Seen From Rome), “Why the Pope Would Write an Encyclical on the Eucharist: To Rekindle Amazement” (http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/why-the-pope-would-write-an-encyclical-on-the-eucharist).
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. “The New Evangelization: Building the Civilization of Love” (Eternal Word Television Network, http://www.ewtn.com/new_evangelization/Novo_millennio.htm, ).
6. Ibid.
7. Envoy Magazine, Volume 7.2, 2003, p. 9.
8. Fr. Stephano Manelli, O.F.M., The Most Blessed Sacrament (Havertown, PA: Children of the Father Foundation, 1973), p. 4.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. Russell Shaw, “New Focus on the Eucharist” (Catholic Herald, October 2003, http://www.catholicherald.com/stories/New-Focus-on-the-Eucharist,3444).
12. http://www.perpetualadoration.org/ws2000.htm.
13. Ibid.
14. Richard Bennett and Martin Buckingham, Far From Rome, Near to God: Testimonies of Fifty Converted Roman Catholic Priests (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, First Banner of Truth Trust Edition, 1997), p. 212, citing Mariano Rughi.
15. John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (Eureka, MT: Lighthouse Trails, 2010), pp. 266-270

To order copies of  The New Evangelization From Rome Or Finding the True Jesus Christ, click here. 


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