Friday, October 9, 2015

Those Familiar Wolves At The Harlot's Table

Pope Francis' recent visit to the US was by no means just another state visit of a head of state from another country. It was regarded as a milestone event being the pontiff's official first visit to the US. Many pundits from both the secular media and religious groups have been abuzz with their synonymous take that the pope's visit would usher the fulfillment of biblical prophecies.

As to which biblical prophecies have been fulfilled that remains debatable, but one thing is clear and beyond argument, and after all dust has settled, God has revealed those who consistently prostitute his truth in the name of false love, false peace, and false unity. And there you have it, people won't be reeling from shock as everyone's usual suspects spontaneously come out united in revealing who they really are: wolves in sheep's clothing.

If there was anything "true and sincere" (albeit a great abomination to God) that the world has witnessed, it was the multitude's show of devotion and adoration to the pope that had the sovereign God of heavens seemingly shoved off His throne. 

Don't get me wrong, as Christians we should love the pope as someone whom Jesus died for and whose soul needs salvation. He needs to repent of his sins and acknowledge the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ through the redemptive power of His blood. We also need to pray for every Catholic who puts their faith in the Catholic church for their salvation. But we cannot be one with them  and approving of and thereby sharing their sins.

Wait a minute, we almost feel this topic about the pope as being recurringly redundant. And along comes the burning question, why can't some Christians seemingly don't get it when all the pope desires, is for all the world to come together in unity amid all the troubles of this world? Why the fierce criticism when all T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen yearn for is to giggle at the presence of the pope and express their admiration for him for his being so cool and humble?

Here it goes: The Scripture in itself is the word of God, its nature infallible and immutable, it is the final authority and the moral compass which all humankind is called to live by. The Scripture reveals to man God's grand design of redemption from sin through His son Jesus Christ who took the form of a man, was sinless, and gave His life as a ransom for all our sins.The Scripture also speaks of Jesus as being the only Way, the Truth, and the Life, so that no one comes to the Father but by Him. So in essence, Jesus has the sole authority to forgive sinners if they repent and turn their backs from sin and follow Him. All other religious figures in history such as Mohammed, Buddha, and many others have all died and will never return again while Jesus has spoken of his return to judge the living and the dead. Basic kindergarten lesson we have here.

So what has the pope anything to do with this? As a matter of tradition, the pope so believes that Jesus died on the cross, unlike the Muslims who believe in their Quran that says Jesus did not die but that their god Allah deceived the Jews into believing such lie. Quran 3:54 even corroborates that their god Allah is the greatest deceiver of all. There you have it! In principle, the contradiction in belief is poles apart, yet the pope allows Quranic prayer be recited in the Vatican and he himself even offered prayer inside a mosque in Turkey.

Here are some of the obvious reasons why true born-again believers should not associate themselves with almost about anything the pope promotes:

The Catholic church endorses Marian worship and countless other idols

The Catholic church for centuries has been unequivocal in affirming the deity of Mary in its doctrines and bestowed her a litany of titles such as "the queen of heavens", "mother of God",  "the mediatrix", etc. Obviously, nowhere in Scripture has Mary been crowned as queen of heavens as though there existed a vacant throne that needed occupancy. Catholic dogma even claims that Mary was taken up to heaven both her soul and body on the third day after her death.

In fairness to Mary, when she was called blessed among women she exclaimed, "my spirit rejoiced in God my Saviour" (Luke 1:47). She herself acknowledged that she needed a saviour because she was no god. Well, Catholics have the propensity to analogize that if Jesus is God so are his mother and Father. And no chance on earth they'd lose this argument. I vividly recall my sister-in-law who strongly brushed off biblical truth saying, "I was born a Catholic and I will die a Catholic".

The Bible explicitly says that the God of the universe is a jealous God (Deuteronomy 6:14,15) who is not willing to give His glory to anyone and His praises to graven images (Isaiah 42:8). In essence, God hates the worship of idols that cannot see, speak, hear or feel and cannot even defend themselves. His disdain for idol worshippers is such that He calls them fools and shameless (Isaiah 44:9-20). And who would dare challenge a holy and righteous God? You share this truth lovingly and compassionately to a hardened Catholic if not you're shown the door in rage or get blocked on facebook.

As for Mary's mediatrix title, it doesn't get more blasphemous than that to claim Mary possesses a greater level of intercessory powers than any other saint because Jesus can in no way turn His back on the woman who gave Him life. You pray to Mary being the mother of God and narrate your petitions, the moment she brings your cause to her son no matter how unlikely your petitions will be granted by Jesus, His heart can only melt away at the sight of His mother in tears, and voila your petition is granted. This is why Catholics have a special fondness for their idol, the "Mother of Perpetual Help".

But what the Scripture has to say with respect to such belief is beyond confounding to those who refuse to open their eyes and refuse to read and be guided by the truth of Scripture. Does God really listen to the prayers of unrepentant and idolatrous people? And who is the true mediator who brings our petitions to God?

"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." ~ Psalm 66:18

"Now we know that God hears not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and does His will, him he hears." ~ John 9:31

"For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." ~ 1 Timothy 2:5

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." ~ Hebrews 4: 14,15

The Pope believes Allah the god of Islam and Yahweh the God of the Bible are one

We've been hearing it a gazillion of times over, people would conveniently blurt out: "oh yeah, of course, I believe there is only one God and our only disagreement stems from how we address him by name."

Don't be deceived, the god of the Quran doesn't have a son, as opposed to Yahweh the Father who has a begotten Son named Jesus who took a human form, ministered to the sick and needy, offered His life, was buried and raised from the dead, and He will return to judge both the living and the dead. While the Quran explicitly narrates that Allah hid his prophet Issa from the Jews, deceived them into believing that he died (but never crucified), and Allah took him up to heaven.

Let us check the following verses:

"In fact. the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of the blood there is no forgiveness." ~ Hebrews 9:22

"For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." ~ Matthew 26:28

"In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." ~ Colossians 1:14

Clearly, it is only the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ that can wash away mankind's sin and forgiveness can only be obtained through His blood, that's why Jesus died by crucifixion, was buried and was raised from the dead. But the Quran belies these facts by claiming that not one of these had ever happened. To them, the Bible is a lie and corrupt and the Quran is the real deal. Perhaps Pope Francis is so enamored with the Quran that he invited an Imam to recite a quranic prayer inside the Vatican. He even offered prayer (facing Makkah) alongside a mufti at a mosque in Turkey.

The Pope believes atheists can get to heaven

Previously, Pope Francis made a bold declaration that atheists can get to heaven if they do good, effectively invalidating the power of the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Such brazen rebellion against the truth of God won him over adoring fans worldwide and media accolades despite his obvious disdain for the truth of God's word. Ephesians 2:8,9 says, "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."  We could only assume that in all his years as a Catholic let alone his being a pontiff, he has not come across this verse yet. But we all know that is not the case.

This pope certainly has a way to draw controversies, and they are by no means negligible. His words and actions impact billions of souls and his influence limitless, after all he is the "vicar" of Christ on earth, and when he speaks it is as if God speaks through him. Yet it can't get as blasphemous as this saying, "Jesus failed on the cross". Scripture says before Jesus breathed His last on the cross, he uttered, "it is finished".  He had won the victory on the cross! Yet, wonder of wonders the pope believes otherwise! In his homily on his recent trip to America, Pope Francis said, "Jesus failed on the cross"!

The cross was a fundamental part of Jesus' life. It's why he was born and was a fulfillment of why he came. To call it a failure is about as high a blasphemy as could be spoken by a false prophet, striking at the very foundation of Christianity.

Since Pope Francis assumed the papacy there has never been a dearth in controversies appended to him. His initiatives to bring all religions together in the name of peace and  unity is about as good a fulfillment in the book of Revelation that speaks of a harlot who committed adultery with the inhabitants of the earth. But what mortal can resist his charm? Notwithstanding, God warns us to come out of her and be not partakers of her sin (Revelation 18:4).

Wolves in sheep's clothing share table with the harlot

It is no secret Joel Osteen is one of the biggest fans of the pope. When he profusely heaps praises on him, his face glows like all the hopes of this world is pinned on that one man. That if he can only convince skeptics to pay attention to the message of this man, then the world will be a better place. This same Joel Osteen who seldom mentions the name Jesus, if none at all in his sermons and in his books. He is the same Joel Osteen who fondly describes the pope as "very cool and humble" yet steers clear of mentioning Jesus as the perfect example of humility, being born in a manger, and "had no place to lay his head" during His earthly ministry. If anything, these pictures are perfect contradiction to "your best life now" that Joel Osteen endorses: a life filled with financial and material blessings, health and wealth bonanza, and even going to places you've never been.

Proof that Pope Francis has no shortage of fans even in the evangelical community is the no-nonsense endorsement of his agenda by well-known mega pastors such as Kenneth Copeland, T.D. Jakes, and Rick Warren, among others. Jakes and Warren were even among the VIPs and dignitaries who had a front-row seat at the White House papal reception. It is no surprise seeing Rick Warren joining in spiritual oneness with the pope whose agenda is in sync with the former's Chrislam advocacy. And what about T.D. Jakes? Well, he's got no problem with homosexuality in the church just as the pope wants  homosexuals and lesbians to fill the pews but refuses to rebuke them of their lifestyles. After all, "who am I to judge?"

The Kim Davis Fiasco

She would have been doing well, at least after she emerged from prison. She was touted by fellow Christians around the world as a champion of faith circa pre-tribulation. She stood her ground even to the point of going to prison, still she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses as it violates her conscience and religious belief. Imagine a deluge of articles and Christians blogs dedicated to her exploits and heroism; multitudes of Christians got fired up to fight for their faith. Even some Republican presidentiables had their rating shot up for siding with her. In the end, good triumphed over evil.

Not until, the man of the hour Pope Francis set foot on American soil that a certain Kim Davis, a renowned champion of faith had her bout with starstruck syndrome induced by the presence of the man from Vatican. It was reported she had a private audience with the pope in Washington, she even asked an aide to the pope "if I could hug the holy father". Her request was granted and he hugged her back. He asked her to pray for him and she reciprocated the request. He thanked her for her courage and told her to "stay strong".  At the culmination of that private audience, the pope gave her and her husband rosaries which in turn she would later give to her parents. And here's the mother of ironies: prior to her meeting with the pope, the day before, two homosexuals who are partners for 19 years had a real audience with the pope; turns out one of them is a long- time friend of the pope back home in Argentina.

Kim Davis was in awe of the pope: in her own words she could not believe a man of great stature would want to see her. He thanked her for her courage, presumably the courage of standing her ground. Then we can only assume that the day before, he lovingly admonished his homosexual friend and his partner that their lifestyle is something God does not approve of, but as reports would have it, everyone came out from that rendezvous wearing a big smile.

And as for the rosaries as gift of the pope to her and her husband, it is not expected of her to win her parents back to Catholicism if her intentions were anything to go by. She should be evangelizing them for the Lord and not to encourage them to pray the rosary.

Deception as the preeminent sign of Jesus' return

In Matthew 24, when Jesus went out and departed from the temple, his disciples marveled at the buildings of the temple, but Jesus said there shall be no stone left upon another that shall not be thrown down. And His disciples asked what shall be the signs of His coming and the end of the world. And Jesus answered, "take heed that no man deceive you". The Gospel chapters of Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 otherwise known as the Olivet Discourse where Jesus spoke of the signs of His return and the end of days contain repeated warnings of deception that shall abound. Jesus has put emphasis on many that shall be deceived, even the elect if possible.

Truth be told, today's Christians suffer from spiritual famine: the lack of discernment, lack of knowledge and indifference towards biblical truth in favor of the  doctrines of demons that constitute a surefire way to damnation. Christians are called to put on the full armour of God, with the belt of truth buckled around the waist and the breastplate of righteousness in place. But once your belt of truth is compromised and it falls, so is your righteousness.

The Laodicean Warning

The state of Christianity today can be likened to that of the church in Laodicea but God is faithful, those He loves He chastens, and calls them to repent so that they won't be caught off-guard when He comes like a thief.

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel youn to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that ou may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint you eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and I will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches." ~ Revelation 3: 15-22

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