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Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Heresy of Rapture: Debunking a common heresy among Protestants!

Image result for rapture 

People all over America and around the world for that matter, are still  talking about the ‘Rapture.’ A new series of bestselling books ‘Left Behind’ exposes this relatively new doctrine. The American evangelist Jack Van Impe preaches it on every one of his TV programs and on his internet channels. We have to examine this heresy and how the devil uses it to entrap people keeping them from getting to the truth about the end and the final things of life

What is this Rapture, and is it in the Bible?

The teaching first appeared in the 1800’s from John Nelson Darby (Scottish Dispensationalist) and transferred by CI Scofield into his “Scofield Reference Bible.” Prior to the 1800’s no one claiming Christianity before then ever heard of this doctrine.
Many psuedo-Christians or heretics (in particular ‘members of ‘Pentecostalism’ and ‘Catholic Charismatics’) use verses such as (I Thess. 4:13-17), when talking about the Rapture, meaning the Church will be taken up with God in the sky before the Great Tribulation and before a 1000-year reign of Christ on earth known as the pre-millennial view or millenarianism. You may have seen bumper stickers with “In Case of Rapture, this Car will be Unmanned.”

Dr. David Jeremiah on his radio program ‘Turning Point’ explains, “that we should be looking for Christ instead of the antichrist, for the Rapture will happen first, and then the antichrist will rise for the Great Tribulation. The Faithful will not have to endure the Great Tribulation.”

Dr. Jeremiah uses (2 Thess. 2:7-8) to show why he believes the Rapture happens before the Tribulation. It says, “…But the one who restrains is to do so only for the present, until he removed from the scene. And then the lawless one will be revealed.”

According to Dr. Jeremiah, “the one who restrains is the Holy Spirit and since the church cannot be without the Holy Spirit then the Rapture happens with the removal of the restraining one.” Dr. David Reagan on his radio program ‘Christ in Prophecy’ says somewhat the same thing. Dr Reagan believes the restraining one is the Church.

Dr Jeremiah, also reasons that we will not be around for the Tribulation because nowhere in the Bible explains how we should go through it.
There are other passages that seem to illustrate a pre-tribulational Rapture. (Matt. 24:40-41) states, “Two men will be out in the field, one will be taken, and one will be left.” (Luke 17:34-35) gives this account, “I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed: one will be taken, the other left.”

(I Thess. 4:13-17) has it best stating, “For the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (‘Will be caught up’ is Rapiemurin Latin, which we get the word ‘Rapture.’)

What are we to make of all this? First, we must be aware that there are many different forms of writing in Holy Scripture. These are called literary genres. They are easily understood when they are read within the culture of the time. The cause of the confusion is when we take a genre of a different culture from another time and place it within the same context of the present culture.

Apocalyptic writing such as the books of Daniel and Revelation is one literary genre common among the ancient Semites. It is filled with strange illusions, bizarre images and numbers that have symbolic meaning.

There are other genres used in Scripture such as the parable, the allegory, and the historical novel. In each literary form, the writer presents but not necessarily asserts the message of God. It is what the writer meant to assert that we must find out. With this in mind, Holy Scripture should be read within the historic context and living Tradition of the Church.

If this is not done, then the interpretations will vary with every whim and best guess of the reader and will ultimately end with denying the very Word of God. Scripture itself warns of traditions of men that will nullify the Word of God.

It is interesting to note that immediately after the paragraph used to proof text the Rapture theology, is found the very Scriptures that tell us about Sacred Tradition. (2 Thess. 2:15) “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.”

What about those passages of Scripture that seem to prove the Rapture?

One should ask how the early Church fathers interpreted these passages. Do other passages in Scripture clearly contradict those interpretations?
Without reading them in its historical and biblical context in accord to Church teaching, would be going against what Scripture itself says. As St. Peter warns, “Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of Scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20) and “In them there are some things hard to understand that the unlearned and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures.” (2 Peter 3:16)

Though many saints have preached a literal 1000-year reign of Christ on earth or millenarianism, never has there been taught this idea of the pre-tribulational Rapture. Scottish Dispensationalists invented this doctrine less than two hundred years ago and it has since become an American phenomenon accepted worldwide.

When investigating the Rapture theology, several problems immediately arise. In the foundation verse for the Rapture (I Thess. 4:15-17), we see that this Rapture happens with the coming of the Lord, “for we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, … Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up.” In (Matthew 24:29-31) and (Mark 13:24-27), we see that when Christ comes again it is immediately after the Great Tribulation. The psuedo-Christian heretic, the ‘pentecostal’ in particular, would have to conclude two second-comings of Christ to keep from contradicting these two passages, and particularly (2 Thess. 2:7-8).

On his TV program JVI Presents, Jack Van Impe denies two second-comings. He reasons that the Rapture happens when the Lord appears in the sky but doesn’t actually make His Second-Coming.

Since Van Impe uses (I Thess 4) to prove his position, he must conclude that very passage that says the “coming of the Lord” is not really the coming of the Lord because that must come later.

Also, the appearance of the Lord in the sky is precisely how Holy Scripture describes the Second Coming. See (Act 1:11)
The fact is the pre-tribulational rapture theorist must believe in two second-comings even if they refuse to acknowledge it as so. Two second-comings is not the historical Christian belief.

Jack Van Impe uses the historical belief in millenarianism to show why the Rapture should be believed. He also misrepresents Catholicism by using her books to show how the Catholic Church also believes in a pre-tribulational Rapture. Unfortunately, he reads into what he wants to see without looking at the whole picture.
Those verses found in (I Thess. 4) that speak of being “caught up” is simply speaking about the resurrection of the body for us all on the last day. It is a Christian dogma. As a matter of fact, on that same day the damned will find themselves being “caught down” in the same manner.

(Matthew 24:40), “One will be taken; and one will be left,” was fulfilled during the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. This whole chapter is on that event which serves as a prototype, or prefigure of the end of time. Look at this verse in light of the next chapter where Christ said he would separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep (Faithful) will be taken and caught up with their bodies, and the goats (unfaithful) will be left and taken down to hell in their bodies. This is the plain explanation of those passages.

In (2 Thess. 2:7), the restraining one might be referring to the hierarchy of the Church or perhaps it is St Michael. There is absolutely no reason to believe it is the Holy Spirit or the Church, unless of course you’re trying to make it fit into a new theology.
St. Paul writes as if the Thessalonians know what or who it is. No one knows for sure. It is important to know that whatever or whoever it is will be taken out and the antichrist will rise.

Dr. Jeremiah said Scripture doesn’t say how we should go through the Great Tribulation and reasons that men must be taken up before it happens.
However, (Matthew 10:22, 24:13) states he who endures and perseveres to the end will be saved. St. Matthew is stating quite emphatically that the Faithful might have to suffer greatly as it goes through the Great Tribulation.
(Hebrews 11:32-40, 12:1-13) is clearly saying that the Faithful may and will have to suffer greatly.

St. Peter, who holds the primacy in the hierarchy, in (I Peter 1:3-9, 2:18-25, 3:13-17, 4:1) speaks about suffering while (Matthew 10:16-18) warns us of the coming persecutions.

Dr. David Jeremiah, Dr Dave Reagan, Jack Van Impe, Hal Lindsey, Jerry Jenkins, Tim LaHaye and all those like them who profess a pre-tribulational Rapture, and thousands of their counterparts worldwide, are the very false teachers St. Peter warns us against. (II Peter 2:1)

As for the Rapture, our focus is on the coming of the Lord but this will be His Second Coming and we are not thinking about getting out of here before the Great Tribulation for we are now going through it. The number seven represents completeness or wholeness and is erroneous to believe that seven years must be a literal seven rather than a complete and whole time of trial. The number 1000 years also represents a round number of a long period of time. It is not to be taken as a literal 1000 years.

One could argue that 1000 years is a single day since Scripture also has it that a 1000 years is as one day to the Lord. (2 Peter 3:8) The point is there are other ways to view the 1000 years of peace rather than the pre-millennialists or millenarianists. Pope Pius XII declared this position couldn’t be safely held.

As for the Second Coming of our Lord, we will be judged as we live since that day will usher in the Final Judgment.

We hold fast to Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and profess in the Apostles’ 
Creed, “ He will come again to judge the living and the dead.” On that day, the same Apostles’ Creed continues with “I believe in… the resurrection of the body.”
The resurrection of the bodies to the souls of the Faithful is the true Rapture and it happens on the last day of time as we know it when we will enter the age of ages.

Presented by Malachy Mary Igwilo, 31st August, 2017, Feast of St. Raymund Nonatus

Sunday, 27 August 2017

You MUST Confess your Sins to a Validly Ordained Priest to gain forgiveness!

It important to know that each person MUST confess his or her sins to a Validly Ordained Catholic priest to gain forgiveness!

This means that ALL Novus Ordo/Vatican II religion’s confessions are invalid! This is the main plan of the devil to prevent people from getting a valid confession! In this world today, there are at least 1 billion people, claiming to be Catholics but who are NOT. They are indeed members of the false religion of Novus Ordo/ Vatican II which came into existence in 1958. Its priesthood is INVALID. For more on why the Novus Ordo/ Vatican II religion’s priests are non-Catholic priests please click here.

Also the Protestant/ ‘Pentecostals’ have no assess to confession! This is indeed VERY sad since they are not able to confess their sins without a priest and since the do not know what PERFECT CONTRITION is, they are looking at the fires of hell not matter how good the are as persons!

We must always remember that ‘nothing impure can enter heaven, the New Jerusalem’ (cf Rev. 21:27)

To claim that you confess ‘directly to God’ is invalid! You cannot do that and hope to get absolution!

The sacrament of confession is even rooted in the Old Testament and beyond. The Bible shows that a priest is needed for ANYONE to gain forgiveness of sin!

In Leviticus 5:5-6, we read:

 “then whoever is guilty in any of these cases shall confess that sin that he has incurred, and as his sin offering for the sin he has committed he shall bring to the Lord a female animal from the flock, a ewe lamb or a she-goat. The priest shall then make atonement for his sin.”(Underline added)

And in Numbers we read:

 “And the Lord said to Moses, “Say to the people of Israel, When a man or woman commits any of the sins that men commit by breaking faith with the Lord, and that person is guilty, he shall confess his sin which he has committed; and he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it, and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong. But if the man has no kinsmen to whom restitution may be made for the wrong, the restitution for the wrong shall go for the priest, in addition to the ram of atonement with which atonement is made for him. And every offering, all the holy things of the people of Israel, which they bring to the priest, shall be his; and every man's holy things shall be his; whatever any man gives to the priest shall be his.”” (Nm 5:5-10)

So, what are we seeing in the quoted Old Testament passages are: We see (1) confession of the sin committed, (2) a form of penance, specifically in these cases a “sin offering” AND “restitution” for the sin and (3) the person is NOT to go straight to God, but through a priest!

God set it up so that they were to go through a priest for confessing their sins, and this going through a priest is a foreshadowing of things to come when Christ establishes his priesthood (cf. Hebrew 10:1, Mt 5:16-18).

So, what do we see in the New Testament?

“...and they were baptized by him [John the Baptist] in the river Jordan, confessing their sins” (Mt 3:6).

Okay, so it looks like the Jews are still observing the confession of sins to a man...whom they believe is a prophet...a man whom God works through, in this case John the Baptist. Let's look further, in Mt 9:2-8, along with Mk 2:7, which is the same story.

Jesus tells a paralytic to “take heart”, that his “sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2).

But the people were astounded by Christ’s forgiving a man’s sin. Remember that people did not at that time know that Christ is the Messiah so they protested saying:

“This man is blaspheming” (Mt 9:3, Mk 2:7), “who can forgive sin but God alone?” (Mk2:7).

But we know that it is the Scribes that made this objection, and as Christ points out, while it is true that God alone forgives sins, this statement betrays a limited understanding of God's Power. Jesus shows them the shallowness of their words when he told them, “that you may know the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Mt 9:6). What happened then after Christ have said this? “When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men” Which means they now understood that God can give authority to men to forgive sin! (Mt 9:8). It says, “to MEN”, plural...not just to “a Man” (Jesus) but to MEN.

Understanding Confession to a Valid Catholic Priest

The Author of the Sacrament of Confession is Jesus Christ himself, who said to His Apostles and all His successors:
‘Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them.’ (Jn.20:23)

About the word “penance,” some authors say that it derives from the Latin poenam tenere (to bear a penalty), because the penitent receives or imposes on himself a penalty in order to satisfy God. Others affirm its origin is the term penitus (deep within) that is, something intimate, deep, that afflicts the heart.

In Greek the appropriate word could be μετάνοια or metanoia, a change of mind or soul. But it must be remembered that the Catholic Church condemned as heretical the doctrine of Martin Luther that pretended penance was only the amendment of life. The Church Magisterium(teaching authority) was clear in this regard:
Condemned proposition: ‘The proverb is very truthful and superior to the doctrine hitherto taught by all on contrition: The greatest penance is not to do it [the offense] henceforth, the best penance is the new life.” Condemned. (See Denizinger 747)

‘As far as temporal punishment is concerned, if anyone says that for sins there is no satisfaction at all made to God through the merits of Christ by the punishments He inflicts and are patiently borne, or by those imposed by the priest, or those voluntarily undertaken by the penitent – fasts, prayers, almsgiving or also by other works of piety – and that, therefore, the best penance is only a new life: let him be anathema.’ (D 923)
Sacramental confession: Confessing to a Priest

Now, what is sacramental confession? Sacramental confession is the accusation of sins committed after Baptism, made before the valid priest to receive his absolution. (1) This is also affirmed by the Council of Trent (cf. D 899).

Conditions for confession

Ancient authors followed by St. Thomas listed certain conditions for confession, some necessary and others convenient. A good confession must be:
Vocal, which means spoken and not by signs or writing, unless there is a just cause;
Secret, no one is obliged to publicly confess his sins or to use an interpreter;
Simple, that is, free of every useless narration and only about one’s own sins; 
Pure, that is, with the intention of receiving absolution; 
Discreet, which means not to expose or make known any accomplice to the sin without necessity, especially using careful and appropriate words in sins against the 6th Commandment; 
Strong and accusatory, that is, without hesitation or vainglory of sins; 
Truthful, which means absent from all lies.
Regarding this last point, it is good to remember that the one who lies in confession about a grave action that he must necessarily declare, commits a serious sacrilege and makes the confession invalid. To lie about something else that does not need to be confessed is a slight or serious sin, depending upon to the matter.

Matter of Confession

When confessing one's sins, it is necessary to state the following:
What sins the penitent has committed; 
How often he has committed that sin; 
All relevant circumstances that can increase the severity of the sin. For example, each of these cases is different: a. to scandalize one person or many, b. to say bad words carelessly or to blaspheme God intentionally. 
Whoever unintentionally forgets some mortal sin does not make a bad confession and is forgiven his sins, but he has the obligation to confess them in the next confession he makes.


Contrition, which occupies first place among the acts of the penitent, is sorrow of the soul and detestation of the sin committed with the intent to not sin in the future. Contrition is, therefore, repentance and the purpose of amendment.

In order to have repentance it is necessary:

1. To have sorrow for the sins committed. Sorrow for sins is the detestation of evil for having offended God or because we can go to Hell.

We say that the penitent has contrition when he repents moved by the sorrow for having offended God; we say that he has attrition when he repents moved by the exclusive fear of Hell. Perfect contrition allows a penitent to go to Heaven without sacramental confession WHEN A PRIEST IS TRULY NOT AVAILABLE, attrition requires sacramental absolution of the priest to have the same effect.

Sacred Scripture requires the sinner to make penance for the sins he has committed. It asks for the inner feeling of sorrow and also encourages external works of penance. (2)

The Council of Trent, in turn, teaches: “Contrition, generally considered, is sorrow of the soul with the detestation of the sin committed and the purpose to sin no more.” (3)

The constant doctrine of the Church tells us that sorrow for the sin is of a spiritual nature, so that it generally transcends the capacity of the senses and is only certainly perceived by the faculties of intelligence and will. Hence, even while the sinner must be internally sorry for his sin in order to make a good confession, he does not always and necessarily experience an intensitas doloris [intense sorrow]. Thus, in order to clarify this point, the theologians teach that to recognize this inner sorrow it is enough to sincerely express contrition. (4)

The penitent must have not only sorrow but also detestation, because it is the hatred of the sin that produces the sorrow. There may, however, be detestation of sin without sorrow or pain, as it exists among the blessed.

Sorrow is the detestation of the external or internal evil that afflicts us. Sadness is one of the types of sorrow and is characterized by the detestation of the internal apprehension of an evil. In conclusion, an indispensable part of sorrow for sin is detestation of evil.

2. To have a firm purpose of amendment. For the validity of the sacrament at least an implicit purpose of amendment is necessary. This purpose is part of contrition.

The Council of Trent considers the purpose not to sin again implicitly included in contrition. Indeed, according to it, the purpose of amendment must be:
Firm: This means the desire to firmly avoid sin henceforth. What is required, then, is a real hic et nunc [here and now], sincere and firm intention not to sin again. A relapse in the future generally does not mean a lack of firmness at the moment of confession.
Effective: This means an effectiveness of purpose, which implies: a. adopting the necessary means to avoid sin; b. avoiding as much as possible occasions of sin; c. repairing the damages caused to one's neighbor by the sin. (5)
Universal: This is the intention to not commit any mortal sin.

How to make a confession

The penitent begins by making the Sign of the Cross.
A simple formula is good to start: “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was… days/months/years ago and these are my sins.”
The penitent, then, lists the kind and approximate number of his sins (e.g. I missed Mass 3 times; I lied 20 times, etc).
If it is necessary, the priest may ask him questions.
The priest will give him an appropriate penance.
The priest, then, asks the penitent to make an Act of Contrition.
Act of contrition

After confessing all one's sins, if the absolution follows, the priest will indicate that it is time to pray the Act of Contrition.

Here are two examples of Act of Contrition ( this prayer has been destroyed in Novus Ordo/ Vatican II religion. Their own does not mention the ‘pains of hell and loss of heaven’. Their purpose is to help people forget the fires of hell) :

1. I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the Saints, and to you, Father, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed: Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Saints, and you, Father, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

2. O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell. But, most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sin, do penance and amend my life. Amen.


It is imperative to fulfill the penalty imposed by the priest as soon as possible.

The rules for a priest to determine the type and quantity of the penance rely on the gravity and number of sins committed by the penitent as well on the ability of the penitent to fulfill it.

The Council of Trent says: "The priests of the Lord must, as soon as their spirit and prudence suggest, according to the condition and possibilities of penitents, impose suitable and healthy penances, and not close their eyes to the sins or act with too much indulgence with penitents, thus becoming partakers of the sins of others [cf. I Tim. 5,22] by imposing certain very light penances for very serious crimes. And they should consider that the satisfaction (penance) they impose must be not only to give a new life and a medicine for a disease, but also be in reparation and punishment for past sins ... " (6)

Similarly, the Code of Canon Law(1917) says:
"The confessor must impose healthy and convenient penances, proportionate to the class and number of sins and to the conditions of the penitent, and the latter has an obligation to accept them with good will and to fulfill them personally." (7)

Certainly, in very few areas can the catastrophic results of modern "theology" be observed more clearly than in Morals. Today, the academic study of Morals is almost completely distorted; even more so is the practical application of the principles of Moral Theology. Sacramental confession, in this sense, has been practically neglected (the very concept of sin was stripped of clarity and objectivity). This evil is staunchly promoted by Novus Ordo/Vatican II religion!

And if a priest – by a miracle – continues hearing confessions, penances hardly seem to correspond adequately to the seriousness of certain sins. Nothing is more opposed and contrary to the daily battle to increase in Catholic virtue; nothing goes so drastically against the command to daily "fight the good fight of faith" than to lead the faithful to believe that it is not necessary to strive to fulfill a just penance in reparation for offenses made to God.

As for the types of penance, St. Thomas teaches that the general rule is that we should deprive ourselves of something in honor of God. We have only three goods: goods of the soul, goods of the body and goods of fortune. We deliver the latter by almsgiving; those of the body, by fasting. The goods of the soul such as peace should not be subtracted from what is essential or diminished, since it is by them that we become pleasing to God. Rather, they can serve to give greater glory to God, such as prayers.

Even though it is true that nothing can be taken from God, nonetheless, the sinner, by his sin, diminishes the glory God deserves and in this sense takes something from Him. Therefore, in order to compensate this loss, it is necessary for the sinner to give something in order to honor God. The prayer of one who – humbly and repentantly – receives absolution is accepted by God as just penance.

Let us remember that every confession can be our last confession. Should we not be careful to make it in the best way possible if our eternal salvation depends on it?

Important reminders

All the aforementioned points suppose that in confession one comes to accuse oneself, not to excuse oneself or to seek spiritual direction.

The confessional is first of all a tribunal in which the criminal accuses himself and asks for absolution and the corresponding penance in order to be acquitted of his guilt and penalty and return to the possession of the state of grace.

Consequently, the penitent has to concisely reveal the sins he previously listed when he made his examination of conscience. Negligence in the examination of conscience and a shame to state one's sins are perhaps the worst enemies of a good confession. It is worth remembering here what the Curé of Ars, St. John Mary Vianney, said about this:

"The Devil takes away the shame from the sinner when he commits the sin, but he gives it back again, as a false shame, before confession."

The Sacrament is seriously profaned if some mortal sin is omitted maliciously or if one does not want to give up the intention of returning to sin.

Value of the confession

Now, the confession carried out under the conditions requested by the Church is a means of great sanctifying efficacy, since the Sacrament purifies our souls, gives an increase of grace, generates a psychological disposition of peace that helps us in the struggle for perfection, and gives us greater spiritual lights for our daily life. For example, we better understand the need to forgive offences, seeing how mercifully Our Lord has forgiven us, or we are able to see more clearly the malice of sin. Confession also increases the soul's strength to overcome temptations and strengthens it for the fulfillment of duty.

Presented by Malachy Mary Igwilo, 27th August 2017, feast of St. Joseph Calasactius

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Mary Mother of God the Son is the New Ark of Covenant 1

Those who do not adore Mary, as Mother of God are children of the Devil. These will surely NOT inherit the kingdom since to reject Mary is to reject Christ.

Never mind the shouting of ‘In Jesus Name’ that fills the world today. The Jesus which the haters of Mary are calling is NOT the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Son of Mary. It is another Jesus created and presented by the Devil and which millions gladly accept while on their way to damnation.

How sad it is that people with their eyes open reject Mary, Mother of the true Jesus and maintain this rejection at all cost! They refuse to venerate Her, honor Her or have anything to do with the Mother of God, the Son from whose death redemption was given to the world!

What an easy way to lose one’s soul!

The Bible shows us many things about Mary even before Mary was born as the purest of ALL human beings. When Mary was eventually born, her life represented what is already foretold and what happened.

Today, the true ONE TRUE Church, the Catholic Church venerates Mary as the new Eve and as the New Ark of the Covenant! Imagine this Plan of God which shows who Mary is!

On the day of the inauguration of the original Ark of Covenant in the Old Testament, there were 120 priests present for this inauguration and they officiated using the trumpet. (2 Chronicles 5:12). That same day, Fire came down from heaven and consumed the Sacrifice as a sign of the Old Covenant based on the Ark!

Compare this with what happened at Pentecost. 120 Apostles and Disciples were present as well with the New Ark of the New Covenant, Mary! Also Fire came down from heaven and ‘consumed’ those present! They were made new and they were used for the propagation of the Gospel and as sign of a New Covenant represent by Mary! (cf. Acts 1:15)

The question that would arise in the minds of those who hate Mary or those who are confused of Her plenitude of Grace given to Her by God is: 

Why do Catholics call Mary the Ark of the New Covenant? Answering that question will take us on a thrilling journey through the Old and New Testaments.

For example, Luke wove some marvelous things into his Gospel that only a knowledgeable Jew would have understood—a Jew who knew Jewish Scripture and had eyes to see and ears to hear. One of the things he would have understood is typology.

We all know that the Old Testament is full of stories, people, and historical events. A type is a person, thing, or event in the Old Testament that foreshadows something in the New Testament. It is like a taste or a hint of something that will be fulfilled or realized. Types are like pictures that come alive in a new and exciting way when seen through the eyes of Christ’s revelation. The Great St. Augustine said that "the Old Testament is the New concealed, but the New Testament is the Old revealed" (Catechizing of the Uninstructed 4:8).

The idea of typology is not new. Paul says that Adam was a type of the one who was to come—Christ (Rom 5:14). Early Christians understood that the Old Testament was full of types or pictures that were fulfilled or realized in the New Testament.

Here are a few more examples of biblical typology:

Peter uses Noah’s ark as a type of Christian baptism (1 Pt 3:18-22).

Paul explains that circumcision foreshadowed Christian baptism (Col 2:11-12).

Jesus uses the bronze serpent as a type of his Crucifixion represented in the image of the Crucifix, the cross with the image of Christ on it. (Jn 3:14; cf. Nm 21:8-9).

The Passover lamb prefigures the sacrifice of Christ (1 Cor 5:7).

Paul says that Abraham "considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead; hence, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back" (Heb 11:19).

The Ark of the Old Covenant

God loved his people and wanted to be close to them. He chose to do so in a very special way. The prayer of the people of God flourished in the shadow of the dwelling place of God’s presence on earth, the ark of the covenant and the temple, under the guidance of their shepherds, especially King David, and of the prophets. 

God instructed Moses to build a tabernacle surrounded by heavy curtains (cf. Ex 25-27). Within the tabernacle he was to place an ark made of acacia wood covered with gold inside and out. Within the Ark of the Covenant was placed a golden jar holding the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant (cf. Heb 9:4).

When the ark was completed, the glory cloud of the Lord (the Shekinah Glory) covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Ex 40:34-35; Nm 9:18, 22). The verb for "to cover" or "to overshadow" and the metaphor of a cloud are used in the Bible to represent the presence and glory of God. 

The Church explains that  in the theophanies of the Old Testament, the cloud, now obscure, now luminous, reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory—with Moses on Mount Sinai, at the tent of meeting, and during the wandering in the desert, and with Solomon at the dedication of the temple. In the Holy Spirit, Christ fulfills these figures. 

The Spirit comes upon the Virgin Mary and "overshadows" her, so that she might conceive and give birth to Jesus. On the mountain of Transfiguration, the Spirit in the "cloud came and overshadowed" Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John, and "a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’" Finally, the cloud took Jesus out of the sight of the disciples on the day of his Ascension and will reveal him as Son of Man in glory on the day of his final coming. The glory of the Lord "overshadowed" the ark and filled the tabernacle.

It’s easy to miss the parallel between the Holy Spirit overshadowing the ark and the Holy Spirit overshadowing Mary, between the Ark of the Old Covenant as the dwelling place of God and Mary as the new dwelling place of God.

God was very specific about every exact detail of the ark (Ex 25-30). It was a place where God himself would dwell (Ex 25:8). God wanted his words—inscribed on stone—housed in a perfect container covered with pure gold within and without. How much more would he want his Word—Jesus—to have a perfect dwelling place! If the only begotten Son were to take up residence in the womb of a human girl, would he not make her flawless?

The Virgin Mary is the living shrine of the Word of God, the Ark of the New and Eternal Covenant. In fact, St. Luke’s account of the Annunciation of the angel to Mary nicely incorporates the images of the tent of meeting with God in Sinai and of the temple of Zion. Just as the cloud covered the people of God marching in the desert (cf. Nm 10:34; Dt 33:12; Ps 91:4) and just as the same cloud, as a sign of the divine mystery present in the midst of Israel, hovered over the Ark of the Covenant (cf. Ex 40:35), so now the shadow of the Most High envelops and penetrates the tabernacle of the New Covenant that is the womb of Mary (cf. Lk 1:35). 

King David and Elizabeth

Luke weaves additional parallels into the story of Mary—types that could be overlooked if one is unfamiliar with the Old Testament. After Moses died, Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Joshua established the Ark of the Covenant in Shiloh, where it stayed for more than 200 years. One day the Israelites were losing a battle with the Philistines, so they snatched the ark and rushed it to the front lines. The Philistines captured the ark, but it caused them great problems, so they sent it back to Israel (1 Sm 5:1-6:12).

David went out to retrieve the ark (1 Sm 6:1-2). After a man named Uzzah was struck dead when he touched the ark, David was afraid and said, "How can the ark of the Lord come to me?" He left the ark in the hill country of Judea for three months. We are also told that David danced and leapt in front of the ark and everyone shouted for joy. The house of Obed-edom, which had housed the ark, was blessed, and then David took the ark to Jerusalem (2 Sm 6:9-14).

Compare David and the ark to Luke’s account of the Visitation:

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." (Lk 1:39-45)

Mary arose and went to the hill country of Judea. The place Elizabeth lived in is today's Ein Kerem (where Elizabeth lived) and Abu Ghosh (where the ark resided). Today we have seen that these two places are only a short walk apart. Visitors to Israel can confirm this. Mary and the ark were both on a journey to the same hill country of Judea.

When David saw the ark he rejoiced and said, "How can the ark of the Lord come to me?" Elizabeth uses almost the same words: "Why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Luke is telling us something—drawing our minds back to the Old Testament, showing us a parallel.

When David approached the ark he shouted out and danced and leapt in front of the ark. He was wearing an ephod, the clothing of a priest. When Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, approached Elizabeth, John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb—and John was from the priestly line of Aaron. Both leapt and danced in the presence of the ark. The Ark of the Old Covenant remained in the house of Obed-edom for three months, and Mary remained in the house of Elizabeth for three months. The place that housed the ark for three months was blessed, and in the short paragraph in Luke, Elizabeth uses the word blessed three times. Her home was certainly blessed by the presence of the ark and the Lord within.

When the Old Testament ark arrived—as when Mary arrived—they were both greeted with shouts of joy. The word for the cry of Elizabeth’s greeting is a rare Greek word used in connection with Old Testament liturgical ceremonies that were centered around the ark and worship (cf. Word Biblical Commentary, 67). This word would flip on the light switch for any knowledgeable Jew and a good bible student.

The ark returns to its home and ends up in Jerusalem, where God’s presence and glory is revealed in the temple (2 Sm 6:12; 1 Kgs 8:9-11). Mary returns home and eventually ends up in Jerusalem, where she presents God incarnate in the temple (Lk 1:56; 2:21-22).

It seems clear that Luke has used typology to reveal something about the place of Mary in salvation history. In the Ark of the Old Covenant, God came to his people with a spiritual presence, but in Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant, God comes to dwell with his people not only spiritually but physically, in the womb of a specially prepared Jewish girl.

The Old Testament tells us that one item was placed inside the Ark of the Old Covenant while in the Sinai wilderness: God told Moses to put the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments inside the ark (Dt 10:3-5). Hebrews 9:4 informs us that two additional items were placed in the Ark: "a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded." Notice the amazing parallels: In the ark was the law of God inscribed in stone; in Mary’s womb was the Word of God in flesh. In the ark was the urn of manna, the bread from heaven that kept God’s people alive in the wilderness; in Mary’s womb is the Bread of Life come down from heaven that brings eternal life. In the ark was the rod of Aaron, the proof of true priesthood; in Mary’s womb is the true priest. In the third century, St. Gregory the Wonder Worker said that Mary is truly an ark—"gold within and gold without, and she has received in her womb all the treasures of the sanctuary."

While the apostle John was exiled on the island of Patmos, he wrote something that would have shocked any first-century Jew. The ark of the Old Covenant had been lost for centuries—no one had seen it for about 600 years. But in Revelation 11:19, John makes a surprising announcement: "Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple."

At this point chapter 11 ends and chapter 12 begins. But the Bible was not written with chapter divisions—they were added in the 12th century. When John penned these words, there was no division between chapters 11 and 12; it was a continuing narrative.

What did John say immediately after seeing the Ark of the Covenant in heaven? "And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child" (Rv 12:1-2). The woman is Mary, the Ark of the Covenant, revealed by God to John. She was seen bearing the child who would rule the world with a rod of iron (Rv 12:5). Mary was seen as the ark and as a queen.

But does this passage really refer to Mary? Some say the woman represents Israel or the Church, and certainly she does. John’s use of rich symbolism is well known, but it is obvious from the Bible itself that the woman is Mary. The Bible begins with a real man (Adam), a real woman (Eve), and a real serpent (the devil)—and it also ends with a real man (Jesus, the Last Adam [1 Cor 15:45]), a real woman (Mary, the New Eve [Rv 11:19-12:2]), and a real serpent (the devil of old). All of this was foretold in Genesis 3:15.

John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote about this passage in Revelation:

What I would maintain is this, that the Holy Apostle would not have spoken of the Church under this particular image unless there had existed a Blessed Virgin Mary, who was exalted on high and the object of veneration to all the faithful. No one doubts that the "man-child" spoken of is an allusion to our Lord; why then is not "the Woman" an allusion to his mother? (On the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Later in the same chapter we read that the devil went out to persecute the woman’s other offspring—Christians—which certainly seems to indicate that Mary is somehow the mother of the Church (Rv 12:17).

Even if someone rejects Catholic teaching regarding Mary which is unfortunate, if the person has ANY honesty at all in him, he cannot deny that Catholics have scriptural foundations for it. And it is a teaching that has been taught by Christians from ancient times. Here are a few representative quotations from the early Church—some written well before the New Testament books were officially compiled by the Catholic Church, into the final New Testament canon:

St. Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 296–373) was the main defender of the deity of Christ against the second-century Arian heretics. He wrote: 

"O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O [Ark of the] Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides" (Homily of the Papyrus of Turin).

St. Gregory the Wonder Worker (c. 213–c. 270) wrote: "Let us chant the melody that has been taught us by the inspired harp of David, and say, ‘Arise, O Lord, into thy rest; thou, and the ark of thy sanctuary.’ For the Holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary" (Homily on the Annunciation to the Holy Virgin Mary).

The early Christians taught the same thing that the Catholic Church teaches today about Mary, including her being the Ark of the New Covenant

So let the haters of Mary, especially those who promote this hatred, Novus Ordo/Vatican II religion wake up and convert urgently to save their souls!

Presented by Malachy Mary Igwilo, 23rd August in the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, 2017, Feast of St. Philip Benizi, eve of St. Bartholomew the Apostle.