About the Book
Table of Contents
Highlights on some of the chapters
1. My Visit to Tony’s Church
“The message today is on the evil deeds of Manasseh, King of Judah,” the Pastor began. He spoke on how Manasseh brought images into the house of God and how God punished the king for it.
This sermon fired my imagination and made me think of our late Pope John Paul II and his prolonged illness, which lasted about ten years. It then struck me that this could perhaps be God’s punishment to him for falling face down in worship before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal in 1982. I thought of God’s Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:2–17, particularly verses 4 and 5, where it clearly says, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them nor serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations…”
My belief that the errors of Pope John Paul II would have led to his decade of suffering with debilitating illness was further supported by live discussions on television with the President of The American Chesterton Society, Dale Ahlquist. During that discussion they mentioned those who had denied the existence of God or gone against the church. One of them, as said by the President, suffered for the last eleven years of his life. All the discussants were of the Roman Catholic faith. This confirmed the fact that the suffering of Pope John Paul II during the last ten years of his life was as a result of his prostrating before the statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
2. The Death of Pope John Paul I and Election of Pope John Paul II
3. His Travels and Primary Engagements
4. Prostrating in Front of the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima
TIME magazine of April 30, 2005, reported that the Pope was devoted to the Virgin Mary. His personal motto to her was Totus tuus (All yours), and he was known to prostrate himself before her statues. The report said that since the shooting occurred on the anniversary of the 1917 apparition of the Virgin near Fatima in Portugal, he was convinced that he owed his life to her. He made a pilgrimage of thanks to Fatima, and the near fatal bullet was fitted into a jeweled crown worn by her statue.
This was an error to me and disobedience of God’s Commandment that says, “You shall not bow down yourself to any image,” (Exodus 20:4). It is good to give thanks in recognition of a kind gesture and also good to recognize who was responsible for the kind gesture. The paralytic having been healed by Jesus thanked God for his healing. We were not told that the paralytic thanked those who took him to Jesus. Jesus recognized the faith of the four people that lowered the paralytic on to his presence through the roof of a crowded Synagogue. The love the four people had on the paralytic and the faith they had that Jesus would be able to heal him, made it possible for them to, in spite of all odds, carry him (the paralytic) to Jesus. When these men could not get into the crowded synagogue via the entrance, they went up to the roof and lowered the paralytic through the roof on to Jesus, (Luke 5:18-25).
5. Devotion to the Virgin Mary
However, the Pope’s action in prostrating before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, in his capacity as the leader of the largest Christian denomination reflected the beliefs of his congregation. He would have been the person to show an example on the keeping of the Ten Commandments of God.
The Pope went to prison to speak with the man who attempted to assassinate him and reiterated the forgiveness he uttered immediately after he was shot. That act was following Jesus’ command and was Christ-like. He would have equally shown a good example by teaching that we must not bow down ourselves to images. What explanation would be given to lay men and women on the street who may see bowing down to the statue of the Virgin Mary as a way of worship? Whatever the explanation, my understanding is that bowing down in front of any image is worshiping the image or statue and this, I believe, is idolatry.
In the Book of Revelation we see that the twenty-four elders around God’s throne put down their golden crowns and fall face down and worship Him that sits on the throne (Revelation 4:8–10). The process of willfully prostrating in front of an image is worship to that image. I cannot understand it differently.
6. Mother of God
The Pope therefore used this as an occasion to inspire forgiveness on the part of the warring factions in Beirut, Tyre, Northern Ireland, and Central America and the world as a whole. At this time our world was filled with such spectacles as terror and retaliation.
The pages of newspapers as well as the TV screens were filled with pictures of bodies on stretchers being anxiously moved towards the ambulances. The media was always happy to report such spectacles as long as they did not come from their own region, so they found more than enough news to report and publish. On the other hand, such images disturbed not only the world leaders but those living around the troubled areas.
Such images were equally pleasing to the manufacturers of weapons of death as long as the images of those on stretchers did not come from the regions around them. The world at that time, and even now, is filled with nuclear arsenals and unforgiving hatred, particularly on the part of those who think they are in a position to dictate to God and change God’s commandment that says, “Thou shall not kill” to “Kill others while committing suicide and be martyred.” There were also the hostile superpowers who believed that they were the policemen of the world. There were and still are the smaller, pitiless fanatics who believe that unless you belong to their sect you are an infidel. Taking of life does not mean anything to them because of the promise and indoctrination they have been given that they would be martyred and given seven virgins if they killed themselves while killing those they believe are infidels.
The Pope had hoped that the meeting with his would-be assassin would serve as an example to the world of the healing powers of forgiveness. But in this world today we find that the act of forgiveness is amazingly complex. It becomes difficult when the spirit of forgiveness is looked upon to take center stage for public policy. John Paul II’s gesture in this regard was to enunciate an exemplary message to the world. His action seemed to raise the question whether forgiveness was simply a personal transaction, or could it be used politically to reconcile enemies?
He continued to say that violence was unacceptable as a solution to problems and that violence was unworthy of man. Geoffrey Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales put it this way that the outcome of violence is uncertain. He added that there is honor in peaceful settlement. Pope John Paul II’s qualification of violence did not just stop at that. He said that violence was a lie, for it goes against the truth of our faith and the truth of our humanity. The Pope’s meeting with Agca, his would be assailant, showed the world that it was possible to combine the moral action of public with private dimensions of human activities.
9. Our Lady of Lourdes
10. Our Lady of Czestochowa
11. Our Lady of Guadalupe
12. Damages to Christianity
It is as a result of these images that Christianity is constantly under attack by the enemy and through such authors as Dan Brown, who wrote The Da Vinci Code. If it were not for images in places of worship such a book would not have been written. This is because the author based his argument on an image of the disciples with Jesus Christ on a church window in France. I wish to state that the enemy has been constantly attacking humankind. We know that from the time of creation when Adam and Eve were attacked by Satan and disobeyed God’s commandment, the enemy has not ceased to attack. It was the enemy that cunningly introduced the idea of images in places of worship. The enemy also caused the day God set aside as the Sabbath to be changed by the Christians and Muslims.
Worship out of love gives us an edge over others who worship out of fear of losing out in heaven or going to hell. The twenty-four elders worship God round the clock not because they are looking for salvation; this is because they are already in the presence of God, (Revelation 4). They worship God because they love Him and because He is the Creator.
Such damages we find in the Christian churches today shows that sacredness seems to have been lost because people look at the images in places of worship and write whatever they think fit but is damaging to the Christian churches. These writers, may either be led by the devil or because they are sponsored by the anti-Christ in order to do damage to Christianity.
One such book is The Secrets of the Code by Dan Burstein—the unauthorized guide to the mysteries of The Da Vinci Code. In this book the writer asserts that it was Pope Gregory who was the architect that placed the scarlet letter of prostitute on Mary Magdalene. He went further to say that perhaps this was the beginning of the great cover-up to deny the marriage of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. If the church did not give into Satan in going against God’s Ten Commandments there would not have been such stories as written by Dan Burstein.
13. Other Images in Places of Worship
Many Christian churches do not practice pictorial type of Christianity as do the Roman Catholics, the Orthodox Christian churches and the Church of England. This is probably because to them it is idolatry. There could be other images that are not physical. Anything we love more than we love God is idolatry. The love of money leads to evil, (Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, The Pardoner’s Tale). Evil is the result of misuse of our free will…
…Some church leaders exaggerate the payment of tithes as if those who do not pay the tithe have no place in heaven, or as if that is the most important part of scripture. They see it as even more important than the Ten Commandments of God. Jesus was asked which of the commandments was the greatest. He replied “LOVE.” In these churches, they do not have physical images, but whatever one loves more than God is idolatry. “How hard it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus said; (Luke 18:23). He made this statement following his advice to the man who had asked to know what he would do to be saved, “Go, sell all your belongings and follow me,” Jesus told him. This man walked away in sorrow, (Luke 18:22)…
…These church leaders (mostly the Pentecostal Churches) keep acquiring without considering those members of their congregation who can hardly afford a day’s meal. What are they doing to alleviate their suffering? Don’t get me wrong, tithing is OK, but what are the leaders doing with it? Quincy Jones made a statement once that he cannot be eating while others are starving and so he was investing his money on making sure that he helps the poor. In the same manner, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, established The Gates Foundation. So far he and his wife had given a lot of money to fight malaria in tropical countries, and they are still giving. There are some other people who are extremely wealthy who have been giving but have not been brought to the public’s knowledge…
…The LORD had ministered to these people, perhaps pointing out to them that poverty is usually either as a result of idleness on the part of the poor or injustice on the part of the system in the distribution of resources. When the Roman Catholic Pontiff assumes office, he takes the vow of poverty. Although he is in control of his denomination he has nothing to do with the funds. The Roman Catholics have championed the building of hospitals and schools in areas of the world where poverty has been identified…
…At this time I told my wife that these people seemed to be teaching the wrong doctrine in connection with speaking in tongues. One year later I was invited to attend the 36th World Convention of the Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship International in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and there I was able to discuss with two people, who introduced themselves as Bible teachers, line by line through 1 Corinthians 14 on what Paul says about speaking in tongues. This is another image the Pentecostal churches have employed in their worship. Whatever one loves more than God is idolatry…
14. Divorce and Abortion
15. The Last Days of Pope John Paul II
16. What Happens at Death
17. Pope Benedict XVI
18. Jesus the Master Teacher
We are told in Luke 2:52 that Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men. Jesus began his ministry not like any of the prophets or John the Baptist crying of wrath to come, but by teaching lessons that were simple, direct, and full of hope. The difference between Jesus’ teachings and those of all the prophets was the directness with which Jesus spoke and taught. All the prophets enunciated “Hear the word of the LORD,” or “The LORD our God says…” as we can find in the book of Deuteronomy 6:1 “Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God Command to teach you…” Another example is found in II Kings 7:1 “Then Elisha said, hear the word of the LORD…” These are just two examples of the many scattered all through the Old Testament or the Hebrew Holy Bible…
Jesus spoke as a law-giver, the like of which could only be found in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy in the giving of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21). In these two versions of the Decalogue we see the difference as in the directness and authority of the Giver, so also in the Sermon on the Mount, the directness and authority with which Jesus spoke depicted him as a law-giver and not a messenger…
He taught using imagery and parables, and drew from the rich simplicity of nature. One such example of imagery was that of the lilies and how they grow; they neither toil nor work but that even Solomon was not arrayed like one of them, (Matthew 6:25-32). Most of the people who heard him understood because he was talking about the labor of their lives. Jesus used the woman at the well (John 4: 1-42) to teach that it is not where we worship that matters but how we worship and the contents of our hearts. Jesus said to her and to us that time is coming and now is when the true worshipers will no longer go to Jerusalem or the mountains to worship but will worship the Father in truth and in spirit. He added that such are those the Father seeks to worship Him. Jesus used the healing of the ten lepers (Luke 17:12-19) to teach us to be thankful. There were ten lepers that approached Jesus for healing and he told them to go and show themselves to the priest. At that time leprosy meant any serious skin illness. While on their way, they discovered that they had been cleansed of their leprosy. One out of the ten went back to thank Jesus while the other nine continued on their way to show themselves to the priest.
Jesus used the woman caught committing adultery (John 8:4) to teach us that as we point accusing fingers at someone that we just have to remember that the other three fingers are pointing at us. Besides, it takes two to commit adultery; where was the other person with whom she committed adultery? Perhaps being a patriarchal society, it did not matter on the part of the man. Jesus equally used this to teach us that true and genuine love for our neighbor could make such an impact in their lives that they would see a new dimension in people’s attitude and so be transformed. The pardon that Jesus accorded her was so absolute and real. She had never been so loved and that brought about a complete transformation in her life…
19. Thoughts of Where I Would Spend Eternity
…In that visit Pope John Paul II spoke with clear emotion. He sometimes seemed short of breath but often lowered his voice for emphasis as about 600,000 people listened in engrossed attention. He said that it was impossible merely to visit Auschwitz, without thinking with fear how far hatred can lead one, how far man’s destruction of man can go and how far cruelty can go.
God expects us to be fully alert and willing to worship him in truth and in spirit. His allowing me to read into the works of all the other occultic institutions was for me to see the difference between Him who is our Creator and the others who claim authority. Without Him these so-called masters can do nothing. This book is a must read. Click Buy Now you won’t regret it. The book is transformational.
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