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amcjwilson
Nov 18th 2013, 09:47 PM
I've prayed only to Jesus all my life, never thought about if anyone else in Heaven could hear my prayers. I always thought the Saints in Heaven were protected from struggle . Am I wrong? What's the bible say. My motives for asking this are out of love, nothing more, as God has guided someone into my life who has practiced asking Saints to pray for them because there in Heaven. John

jayne
Nov 18th 2013, 09:52 PM
Hi, John. Here's a explanation from gotquestions.org that has a lot of scripture on whom we are to pray to. It should be helpful.


Question: "Is prayer to saints / Mary biblical?"

Answer: The issue of Catholics praying to saints is one that is full of confusion. It is the official position of the Roman Catholic Church that Catholics do not pray TO saints or Mary, but rather that Catholics can ask saints or Mary to pray FOR them. The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that asking saints for their prayers is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for us. However, the practice of many Catholics diverges from official Roman Catholic teaching. Many Catholics do in fact pray directly to saints and/or Mary, asking them for help – instead of asking the saints and/or Mary to intercede with God for help. Whatever the case, whether a saint or Mary is being prayed to, or asked to pray, neither practice has any biblical basis.

The Bible nowhere instructs believers in Christ to pray to anyone other than God. The Bible nowhere encourages, or even mentions, believers asking individuals in heaven for their prayers. Why, then, do many Catholics pray to Mary and/or the saints, or request their prayers? Catholics view Mary and the saints as "intercessors" before God. They believe that a saint, who is glorified in Heaven, has more "direct access" to God than we do. Therefore, if a saint delivers a prayer to God, it is more effective than us praying to God directly. This concept is blatantly unbiblical. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we, believers here on earth, can "approach the throne of grace with confidence."

First Timothy 2:5 declares, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." There is no one else that can mediate with God for us. If Jesus is the ONLY mediator, that indicates Mary and the saints cannot be mediators. They cannot mediate our prayer requests to God. Further, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ Himself is interceding for us before the Father: "Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them" (Hebrews 7:25). With Jesus Himself interceding for us, why would we need Mary or the saints to intercede for us? Whom would God listen to more closely than His Son? Romans 8:26-27 describes the Holy Spirit interceding for us. With the 2nd and 3rd members of the Trinity already interceding for us before the Father in heaven, what possible need could there be to have Mary or the saints interceding for us?

Catholics argue that praying to Mary and the saints is no different than asking someone here on earth to pray for us. Let us examine that claim. (1) The Apostle Paul asks other Christians to pray for him in Ephesians 6:19. Many Scriptures describe believers praying for one another (2 Corinthians 1:11; Ephesians 1:16; Philippians 1:19; 2 Timothy 1:3). The Bible nowhere mentions anyone asking for someone in heaven to pray for him. The Bible nowhere describes anyone in heaven praying for anyone on earth. (2) The Bible gives absolutely no indication that Mary or the saints can hear our prayers. Mary and the saints are not omniscient. Even glorified in heaven, they are still finite beings with limitations. How could they possibly hear the prayers of millions of people? Whenever the Bible mentions praying to or speaking with the dead, it is in the context of sorcery, witchcraft, necromancy, and divination—activities the Bible strongly condemns (Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:10-13). In the one instance when a "saint" is spoken to, Samuel in 1 Samuel 28:7-19, Samuel is not exactly happy to be disturbed. It is clear that praying to Mary or the saints is completely different from asking someone here on earth to pray for us. One has a strong biblical basis; the other has no biblical basis whatsoever.

God does not answer prayers based on who is praying. God answers prayers based on whether they are asked according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). There is absolutely no basis or need to pray to anyone other than God alone. There is no basis for asking those who are in heaven to pray for us. Only God can hear our prayers. Only God can answer our prayers. No one in heaven has any greater access to God's throne than we do through prayer (Hebrews 4:16).

Recommended Resources: The Gospel According to Rome: Comparing Catholic Tradition and The Word of God by James McCarthy and Logos Bible Software.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/prayer-saints-Mary.html#ixzz2l2KRjqcz

amcjwilson
Nov 18th 2013, 10:13 PM
As I stated, when I pray, I pray to God . What I want to make sure of is, that when I pray, is the Trinity the only one that hears my prayers ? By the way,
the loved one I spoke of is Orthodox.

Vakeros
Nov 18th 2013, 10:33 PM
As I stated, when I pray, I pray to God . What I want to make sure of is, that when I pray, is the Trinity the only one that hears my prayers ? By the way,
the loved one I spoke of is Orthodox.
This has been discussed in Aeropagus as it leads into murky waters around what happens when you die. Paul writes that the dead in Christ sleep until they are raised at Jesus' return (1 Th 4:14). So ONLY God and the angels and the fallen angels (including Satan) can hear you. Of all of them only God is omnipotent and omnipresent - so He hears and is everywhere, the others are in heaven or out and about and don't hear you.

Francis Drake
Nov 18th 2013, 11:00 PM
I've prayed only to Jesus all my life, never thought about if anyone else in Heaven could hear my prayers. I always thought the Saints in Heaven were protected from struggle . Am I wrong? What's the bible say. My motives for asking this are out of love, nothing more, as God has guided someone into my life who has practiced asking Saints to pray for them because there in Heaven. John

1Tim2v5For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.


John16v23"In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. 24"Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.Ö

This could not be clearer. There is only one mediator between man and God, and that is Jesus.
Anyone telling you otherwise is deceived.

I don't think it matters who you pray to in the trinity, as Jesus told us that He and His Father are one anyway.

ChangedByHim
Nov 19th 2013, 12:52 AM
This has been discussed in Aeropagus as it leads into murky waters around what happens when you die. Paul writes that the dead in Christ sleep until they are raised at Jesus' return (1 Th 4:14). So ONLY God and the angels and the fallen angels (including Satan) can hear you. Of all of them only God is omnipotent and omnipresent - so He hears and is everywhere, the others are in heaven or out and about and don't hear you.

I don't believe that forum rules allow you to advance that false teaching in the Bible Chat forum.

Aviyah
Nov 19th 2013, 01:25 AM
Paul writes that the dead in Christ sleep until they are raised at Jesus' return (1 Th 4:14).

For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Hmm, you're right! I never noticed this. I'm on the fence about the idea though. But this verse does seem to indicate that dead Christians will be awakened in the same way that Jesus died and rose. It also explains why "the dead in Christ shall rise first," whereas traditional explanations would seem to demand that the dead in Christ descend (from heaven) first. Just something to think about.

ChangedByHim
Nov 19th 2013, 01:54 AM
For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

Hmm, you're right! I never noticed this. I'm on the fence about the idea though. But this verse does seem to indicate that dead Christians will be awakened in the same way that Jesus died and rose. It also explains why "the dead in Christ shall rise first," whereas traditional explanations would seem to demand that the dead in Christ descend (from heaven) first. Just something to think about.
If he is bringing them with Him, how can it be anything other than their bodies that are asleep?

Aviyah
Nov 19th 2013, 02:31 AM
If he is bringing them with Him, how can it be anything other than their bodies that are asleep?

Mainly because it doesn't say just the bodies are asleep.

ChangedByHim
Nov 19th 2013, 02:38 AM
Mainly because it doesn't say just the bodies are asleep.

Then what part of them is Jesus bringing back with Him?

Aviyah
Nov 19th 2013, 02:40 AM
Then what part of them is Jesus bringing back with Him?

Jesus isn't bringing anyone back with Him, it says God brings them back with Jesus. And because it doesn't make sense for God to "bring" Jesus anywhere except from the dead, it seems to be understood that He will bring the rest of us from the dead - and that death is to be understood as sleep.

Thomas Forward
Nov 19th 2013, 02:53 AM
I've prayed only to Jesus all my life, never thought about if anyone else in Heaven could hear my prayers. I always thought the Saints in Heaven were protected from struggle . Am I wrong? What's the bible say. My motives for asking this are out of love, nothing more, as God has guided someone into my life who has practiced asking Saints to pray for them because there in Heaven. John

What a great and timely question! I had always discounted the prayers to the saints in heaven but recently Rev 5:8 was pointed out to me.

"And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."

This scene is most certainly in heaven. And the elders with the golden bowls are either dead saints in heaven or angels or both. The fact that the elders have IN THE BOWLS the prayers of the saints - who must be still alive - to me can only mean that those elders receive prayers and pass them on to Jesus. What else could it mean?? For myself, I'm pretty much convinced that prayers to saints for them to pray for us is what's in view there.

Blessings to you.

Thomas Forward
Nov 19th 2013, 03:09 AM
Hi, John. Here's a explanation from gotquestions.org that has a lot of scripture on whom we are to pray to. It should be helpful.

Jayne, you're mistaken; he bible consistently exhorts us to pray for each other. This is exactly what the Catholic teaching has in view, for the passed brother or sister, whether regarded as "Saint" or not, to pray to God on their behalf. The Catholic church also teaches its members that yes absolutely they should pray directly to God, boldly as Hebrews says. The difference is that, where a protestant Christian might make a prayer request known to the congregation and they pray for that need, the Catholic believes that the congregation includes those who have died and gone to heaven. And the prayers of those in heaven, since those people are glorified, aren't hindered by our sinful natures or distraction or fatigue or anything else. The Catholic asking a "Saint" or anyone else who's gone to heaven for prayer is exactly the same type of request most churches persue. Only the person being asked is perfected, sinless, glorified, and unhindered by time or space or sin.

Please check closely Rev 5:8. Those elders had the prayers of the (living) saints in golden bowls. How did they get them? Why did they have them?

"And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."


Blessings to you.

ChangedByHim
Nov 19th 2013, 03:17 AM
Jesus isn't bringing anyone back with Him, it says God brings them back with Jesus. And because it doesn't make sense for God to "bring" Jesus anywhere except from the dead, it seems to be understood that He will bring the rest of us from the dead - and that death is to be understood as sleep.



For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. (I Thessalonians 4:14 NKJV)

Who is He bringing with him? Those who sleep in Jesus. When He returns He is bringing the saints of God who are in heaven with Him.

Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, (Jude 1:14 NKJV)

Aviyah
Nov 19th 2013, 03:40 AM
Jayne, you're mistaken; he bible consistently exhorts us to pray for each other.

Praying FOR each other is different than praying TO each other.


Please check closely Rev 5:8. Those elders had the prayers of the (living) saints in golden bowls. How did they get them? Why did they have them

I'd be careful about building doctrine on an intensely figurative book alone. Leviticus, which is not figurative at all, says this:

Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. (19:31)
Men and women among you who act as mediums or psychics must be put to death by stoning. They are guilty of a capital offense. (20:27)

Also in Deuteronomy:

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. (18:10)

And Isaiah:

When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? (8:19)

amcjwilson
Nov 19th 2013, 03:42 AM
This has been discussed in Aeropagus as it leads into murky waters around what happens when you die. Paul writes that the dead in Christ sleep until they are raised at Jesus' return (1 Th 4:14). So ONLY God and the angels and the fallen angels (including Satan) can hear you. Of all of them only God is omnipotent and omnipresent - so He hears and is everywhere, the others are in heaven or out and about and don't hear you.

Didn't mean to pick at a sore, I went back and read all 32 pages of your post in areopagus , What happens after you die. I fall into the camp that believes absent of the body present with the Lord. This was not were I wanted this thread to go, but I also can understand why my original question would lead some there. It was a good read and I am trying to prepare myself for some of these tough questions as I know I will soon be asked by people who mean a great deal to me. God Bless

Aviyah
Nov 19th 2013, 03:52 AM
This was not were I wanted this thread to go, but I also can understand why my original question would lead some there.

Whoops! We derailed it.

Well, the verses I listed in my last post actually do apply to the OP as well. If we aren't meant to pray to the dead, it's my understanding that only God can hear our prayers (or possibly anyone can hear a prayer directed to them, but we aren't supposed to pray to anyone but God so this doesn't matter).

Obfuscate
Nov 19th 2013, 02:59 PM
The Orthodox Christians are a humble, dedicated, and often persecuted group that have been spreading the Gospel and preserving the Word of God for 2,000 years. They separated from the Roman Catholic Church over Papal Supremacy and the addition of the Pope of the Filioque in the Nicene Creed in 1054. They clearly trace their history back to the Apostles of Jesus Christ, something Protestants can’t do. Like noted above they do not believe they are praying to the dead but are asking those alive in Christ to pray for them. Does anyone believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus is a necromancer or sorcerer? I don't think so.

What concerns me most is what if you are asking a "Saint" who is in heaven to pray for you and they are not in heaven? An example in Roman Catholicism would be Thomas Moore, who as a saint of the Church can be asked to him to pray for Roman Catholics. Well, Thomas Moore had people put on the rack and burned alive for owning Tyndale Bibles. He had a prison in his home where he put the Lutherans who had Lutheran reading material. Now, I don't have any idea if he's in hell or heaven but I’m not going to trust asking for his intercession. I also don’t think it’s necessary since we can go to Christ himself who is our intercessor.

For those who claim Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics are not Christian. Ask them where did the church go that the gates of Hell would never prevail from 100AD to the 15th Century when there was a Reformation? I say this as a Lutheran not a Catholic or Orthodox.

Francis Drake
Nov 19th 2013, 04:39 PM
The Orthodox Christians are a humble, dedicated, and often persecuted group that have been spreading the Gospel and preserving the Word of God for 2,000 years. They separated from the Roman Catholic Church over Papal Supremacy and the addition of the Pope of the Filioque in the Nicene Creed in 1054. They clearly trace their history back to the Apostles of Jesus Christ, something Protestants canít do. Like noted above they do not believe they are praying to the dead but are asking those alive in Christ to pray for them. Does anyone believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus is a necromancer or sorcerer? I don't think so.



Nobody is accusing Mary herself of necromancy or sorcery, nevertheless, as Aviyah has pointed out, the bible forbids communication with the dead. Despite that, millions communicate with what they believe is Mary, but in reality is a demonic religious stronghold, that draws people away from Jesus to manmade idols.

Mary may have been a wonderful and Godly woman but she is now dead! Her spirit is in heaven with God and out of reach, but that doesn't stop the garbage that people attribute to her today.
Let me ask you Obfuscate, is Mary really the Mother of God? Is she really the Queen of Heaven? If not, then why not? After all, millions of Catholics declare her to be such, so it must be true, eh?
If you agree with me that those titles for Mary are false, just invented by Catholic tradition, then believing that Mary can intercede for us is also false.



What concerns me most is what if you are asking a "Saint" who is in heaven to pray for you and they are not in heaven? An example in Roman Catholicism would be Thomas Moore, who as a saint of the Church can be asked to him to pray for Roman Catholics. Well, Thomas Moore had people put on the rack and burned alive for owning Tyndale Bibles. He had a prison in his home where he put the Lutherans who had Lutheran reading material. Now, I don't have any idea if he's in hell or heaven but Iím not going to trust asking for his intercession. I also donít think itís necessary since we can go to Christ himself who is our intercessor.


Why play the guessing game, its not just Thomas Moore, but perhaps a huge portion of historic canonised saints who have blood on their hands. As you said, we have Christ, so why go to anyone else, even Mary.
Lets just believe the scriptures that put communicating with the dead out of bounds. As my previous post makes clear, we have but one mediator between man and God, the man Jesus Christ. Looking to others is denying what scripture speaks plainly, and that denial of truth opens the door to doctrines of demons entering the person and congregation.



For those who claim Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics are not Christian. Ask them where did the church go that the gates of Hell would never prevail from 100AD to the 15th Century when there was a Reformation? I say this as a Lutheran not a Catholic or Orthodox.


This is laughable. Do you seriously think that the only place to find early saints would be the Catholic or Orthodox churches? I don't know about the Orthodox, but the Catholic church all the way to the 15th century and beyond were responsible for slaughtering countless real believers.
Jesus was and is the Rock that the church is built on. The church is not a man made religious institution that creates its own doctrines at will. There was and always will be a remnant outside the system who will not bow the knee to Baal.

Thomas Forward
Nov 19th 2013, 05:11 PM
Praying FOR each other is different than praying TO each other.

I'd be careful about building doctrine on an intensely figurative book alone. Leviticus, which is not figurative at all, says this:

Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God. (19:31)
Men and women among you who act as mediums or psychics must be put to death by stoning. They are guilty of a capital offense. (20:27)

Also in Deuteronomy:

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. (18:10)

And Isaiah:

When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? (8:19)



I do understand where you're coming from, Aviya.

Scott Hahn, former protestant evangelical minister and current Catholic apologist, gives far better explanation than I could, so I'm taking a snip from his article at LINK (http://catholiceducation.org/articles/apologetics/ap0151.html).

<< START COPY AND PASTE >>

Saints: Holy Siblings
SCOTT HAHN
To approach the veneration of the Saints from a Biblical perspective, Scott Hahn begins with the Book of Hebrews and the "Old Testament Hall of Fame".

In order to approach the veneration of saints from a Biblical perspective, I would like to begin our time in the New Testament Book of Hebrews. We can just keep a finger on Hebrews 11 and see what we really need there because we go through the Old Testament Hall of Fame rapidly. Hebrews 11, verse 1 begins, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen, for by it the men of old received Divine approval, and by faith we understand that the world is created by the Word of God so that what is seen was made out of things that do not appear."

Then he begins to pick off this list of great saints of the Old Testament family of God beginning with the first martyr, Abel, who offered an acceptable sacrifice. And then Enoch and then Noah and then Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Sarah. And then it goes on to talk about Abraham some more and Isaac and Jacob and all the sufferings they endured because their hope was ultimately not in the earthly Jerusalem but in the heavenly Jerusalem, not in the earthly Promised Land but in the heavenly Promised Land.

Then in verse 23 it speaks about Moses and all that he gave up in order to gain this glorious inheritance in heaven, and likewise, Israel. And then Rahab, the harlot in Jericho: even her faith is extolled. Then Gideon, Barak, Sampson, Jethrop, the Judges, David the king, Samuel and the prophets who through faith conquered kingdoms and forced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions and quenched raging fires, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. All other great deeds are being recounted not just to go through history but principally, as you will see, to inspire greater faith, hope and love within us.

Verse 36, "Others suffered mocking and scourging, even chains and imprisonment." And the readers of this epistle, the initial readers, could relate to all that. They were stoned. They were sawed in two like Isaiah was supposed to have died. They were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated, of whom the world, this world, that is, was not worthy. Wandering over deserts and mountains and in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, the well-attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God has foreseen something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect."

So, in a sense, the coming of Christ and the New Covenant economy brought great blessing and glory for these Old Testament saints, greater glory than they received just simply when they died. Something new was inaugurated when Christ was raised, when he was ascended and when he was enthroned. He opened up a new vista, a new door, the front door of heaven, for his younger brethren to come home. And we will see in the next few minutes how this glorious family kingdom in heaven has placed within it thrones and on them sit these great saints, as well as the New Covenant saints. And they are priests and they are giving judgment to serve Christ and to pray on our behalf.

But notice that the writer of Hebrews is recounting all of this to inspire us to emulate their example. This is going to be one fundamental consideration as we understand the Biblical rationale for the veneration of the saints. Heroic examples inspire heroic virtue. But let's take a look now at Hebrews 12, "Therefore," in one of the most basic interpretive principles of Biblical studies that whenever you see that word, "therefore," you ask yourself what it's there for because it basically sums up everything before it and draws a very practical conclusion, especially so in the Book of Hebrews. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every way and sin which clings so closely and let us run with perseverance, the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin, you haven't resisted yet to the point of shedding your blood. Have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons?"

And it goes on to talk about the discipline of the Lord and the chastening and the suffering which is proper for children of God to mature and grow up. Then in verse 12, "Therefore, lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed."

The whole picture in Hebrews 12 is the big race and who's in the crowd? All of the saints. And what do they form? Verse 1, "a cloud of witnesses." What do you mean a cloud? Well, if you do a little bit of Biblical background study, that cloud is the same cloud that you can trace all the way back in the Old Testament. It's the shechena glory cloud that Moses ascended up into on Mount Sinai. It's the same cloud that came down when Jesus ascended before the eyes of the disciples. This cloud in a sense is a portable manifestation of what it is like to be "in the Spirit" like John was in the Book of Revelation: "I was in the Spirit of the Lord's day," and that glory cloud, the shechena, is full now of our older brothers and sisters. And they constitute a cloud of witnesses and it's not just a cloud that comes and goes depending upon the way the wind blows. It's a cloud that's a crowd for the purpose of cheering us on.

You know, why is it that the Pittsburgh Pirates have a much better home record than with away games? Or, I probably suspect it's true for your beloved Mets, unfortunately, although we're a half game in front. Why is that? Why consistently even do last place teams do better at home games than away games? Because their people are there. I mean you could say, "They know the stadium better." Yeah, perhaps so. But there's always an incredible psychological edge especially in the championship games.

You know basketball teams and football teams know, even Jimmy the Greek will tell you that if it's a home game add six points for the home team. And here we have a home game and there's a huge cloud of witnesses, all our older family members are cheering us on. It isn't like, you know, we've got family members who have never run the race before, saying, "Go for it. Go for it," although they've never gone for it. I mean these people raising up their hands, cheering and looking and you can see the scars on their hands and their feet and their faces and on their backs. You know that they've run the race and they are calling you to do the same.

And the greatest and loudest cheerleader of them all is Jesus himself, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, the firstborn among many brothers and sisters, Romans 8 tells us. I mean the whole stadium is full of our family. And it inspires ardor and courage, vigor and sacrifice. And you know what? The writer of Hebrews never considers it important for a second to argue that this is so. He takes it for granted and he thinks you should take it for granted, but that you should ponder it and then draw inspiration from it.


But not so. If the saints don't know what we're doing, and we have no idea what they're doing. In other words if we have no contact, no communication, this kind of description is just simply a weak and quaint metaphor. But that's not what it is. This is the spiritual reality perceived by the eyes of faith, the eyes that are open to the spiritual truths of this great Credo statement, "I believe in the Communion of Saints."

Now it isn't just because we all believe the same thing that we have this real nice but eerie feeling that we are all united by this bond of doctrinal confession and liturgical worship. It's much more than that. It's more than just being a fellowship of the like-minded. We say, "I believe in the Holy Spirit," and that's why we believe in the holy Catholic Church because apart from the Holy Spirit, we would only be another human organization. But the Holy Spirit, the Church teaches de fide, is the soul of the Church. The Mystical Body of Christ is animated and draws its supernatural life from the Holy Spirit. So we say, "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church — what? — the communion of saints."

Now how can you have communion with people that you have no communication with? How can you possibly be in communion with people that really share nothing in common together in terms of everyday experience? I'm not saying that the Lord has told us to have daily conversations. All right, some people are gifted with those mystical revelations. But whenever somebody says, "Well, you're communicating with the dead and that is wicked sin judged by Old Testament and New Testament standards because that's divination, that's sorcery or whatever." You say, "They're not dead. They're more alive than we are. Blessed are those who die in the Lord, henceforth." Why? Because their works follow them into heaven. The Old Testament saints had to wait for the Messiah, but the waiting is gone. Those martyred saints are with the Lord and a crowd, and they are cheering us on. We need not just eyes but ears with faith, to hear and so it goes.

Veneration of Saints does not Violate the Sole Mediatorship of Jesus

Now I want to move on from that, though. I want to say one thing and that is, before I move on I want you to know that the saints are not an alternate route to God, as opposed to Christ. If you think that, then stop praying to the saints until you get your spiritual life readjusted back on course. Because you're not a good Catholic. The fact is there is one sole mediator between God and man and that's the man, Jesus Christ. Paul couldn't make that any clearer than he does to Timothy. He says, "There is one mediator — one and only one mediator — between God and man."

Let's turn to 1st Timothy, chapter 2, to see what he is saying. 1st Timothy, chapter 2 verse 5 says, "There is one God and there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus who gave Himself as a ransom for all." Now what conclusions can we draw from that? Can we draw from that the false conclusion that because we've got one mediator, therefore it's undermining the work of Christ to go through the saints and ask them to intercede on our behalf? No, of course not. Forget the fact that saints are the Christians in heaven, we're also aware of the fact that Christians on earth are continually addressed in the New Testament as saints. That's who we are. That's who we must become, and if we continue on and hold fast to the faith, that's what we will be for eternity. But we are saints if we are in Christ right now.

Now saints, Catholic and non-Catholic, if somebody asks you to pray for them, to intercede for them to God on their behalf, do you go around and say, "How dare you undermine the sole mediation of Jesus Christ, the only High Priest?" Of course not. Why? Because what does Paul say in the first four verses before 1st Timothy, 2:1, "First of all then, I urge the supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men." By Jesus alone? Of course not. By us, "for kings and all who are in high positions in order that we might lead a quiet and peaceful life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good and is acceptable by God our Savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and there is one mediator between God and man."

((((Thomas Forward edit - here he is explaining how he had completely misinterpreted those passages throughout his time as a protestant))))

How often did I used to pull that text out of context and use that to undermine the proper veneration of the saints which is rooted in two things, asking them for intercession and supplication and being inspired to follow their example. We could add a third and we are going to; that is, we honor them. We glorify them when we venerate them. But why? Because we're just a little bit bored after ten or fifteen hours of honoring Christ? No. It's precisely because we honor Christ. It's precisely because we imitate Christ. We imitate Christ, and so if we see Him honoring those who have died for the truth, those who have confessed to the faith with much pain, we do what Christ does and we honor those whom He honors. Those whom He blesses, we bless.

<< END COPY AND PASTE >>


It may be quite a bit of information there but I do hope you take the time to really evaluate it.

Blessings to you!

Aviyah
Nov 19th 2013, 11:36 PM
Thanks, I read through it, but unfortunately it doesn't appear as if he lists any verses which argue a positive case for praying to dead Christians. The part you bolded is a good representation of his argument - one more based on human reasoning than what God actually says:


But whenever somebody says, "Well, you're communicating with the dead and that is wicked sin judged by Old Testament and New Testament standards because that's divination, that's sorcery or whatever." You say, "They're not dead.

This is inherently false. The saints who lived in the past absolutely are dead.

From 1 Thess. 4:16 - "... And the dead in Christ will rise first."
And John 11:14 - "So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead,"
1 Cor. 15:18 - "Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished."
Finally Josh. 1:2 - "Moses my servant is dead."

And so Deuteronomy most certainly applies to dead Christians. (Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.)

Francis Drake
Nov 19th 2013, 11:51 PM
I do understand where you're coming from, Aviya.



Now how can you have communion with people that you have no communication with? How can you possibly be in communion with people that really share nothing in common together in terms of everyday experience? I'm not saying that the Lord has told us to have daily conversations. All right, some people are gifted with those mystical revelations. [SIZE=4]But whenever somebody says, "Well, you're communicating with the dead and that is wicked sin judged by Old Testament and New Testament standards because that's divination, that's sorcery or whatever." You say, "They're not dead. They're more alive than we are. Blessed are those who die in the Lord, henceforth." Why? Because their works follow them into heaven. The Old Testament saints had to wait for the Messiah, but the waiting is gone. Those martyred saints are with the Lord and a crowd, and they are cheering us on. We need not just eyes but ears with faith, to hear and so it goes.

Veneration of Saints does not Violate the Sole Mediatorship of Jesus

Now I want to move on from that, though. I want to say one thing and that is, before I move on I want you to know that the saints are not an alternate route to God, as opposed to Christ. If you think that, then stop praying to the saints until you get your spiritual life readjusted back on course. Because you're not a good Catholic. The fact is there is one sole mediator between God and man and that's the man, Jesus Christ. Paul couldn't make that any clearer than he does to Timothy. He says, "There is one mediator ó one and only one mediator ó between God and man."

Let's turn to 1st Timothy, chapter 2, to see what he is saying. 1st Timothy, chapter 2 verse 5 says, "There is one God and there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus who gave Himself as a ransom for all." Now what conclusions can we draw from that? Can we draw from that the false conclusion that because we've got one mediator, therefore it's undermining the work of Christ to go through the saints and ask them to intercede on our behalf? No, of course not. Forget the fact that saints are the Christians in heaven, we're also aware of the fact that Christians on earth are continually addressed in the New Testament as saints. That's who we are. That's who we must become, and if we continue on and hold fast to the faith, that's what we will be for eternity. But we are saints if we are in Christ right now.

Blessings to you!

I might possibly fall for some of this theological nonsense, if perhaps the catholic church were to burn all its idols of dead men and women. Until that time, its just another scam to justify idol worship.

Or as it was properly called in the OT, Baal worship.

Thomas Forward
Nov 20th 2013, 12:52 AM
Thanks, I read through it, but unfortunately it doesn't appear as if he lists any verses which argue a positive case for praying to dead Christians. The part you bolded is a good representation of his argument - one more based on human reasoning than what God actually says:



This is inherently false. The saints who lived in the past absolutely are dead.

From 1 Thess. 4:16 - "... And the dead in Christ will rise first."
And John 11:14 - "So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead,"
1 Cor. 15:18 - "Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished."
Finally Josh. 1:2 - "Moses my servant is dead."

And so Deuteronomy most certainly applies to dead Christians. (Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead.)


And yet Jesus says the LORD is the God of the living and the dead:

"And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:31-32, ESV)"

"And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are quite wrong.” (Mark 12:26-27, ESV)"

"And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him.” (Luke 20:34-38, ESV)"

There is no passage to support the idea that the saints who've died simply are put on pause until the resurrection. Please provide scripture if you have it that demonstrates that clearly. The martyrs in Revelation cry out and the 24 elders have the prayers of the saints and many, many other instances. The maybe-parable of Lazarus and the rich man and the thief on the cross next to Jesus and on and on. The support to say that physical death means the end of purpose and use is simply missing from scripture but on the other hand, there are many, many examples of the opposite.

Blessings to you, Aviya.

Thomas Forward
Nov 20th 2013, 01:01 AM
I might possibly fall for some of this theological nonsense, if perhaps the catholic church were to burn all its idols of dead men and women. Until that time, its just another scam to justify idol worship.

Or as it was properly called in the OT, Baal worship.


Let me pose a question, Francis Drake. At Christmas time, do you put out a nativity display or somehow decorate with spiritual paintings depicting the birth of Christ or other such thing?

Aviyah
Nov 20th 2013, 02:13 AM
There is no passage to support the idea that the saints who've died simply are put on pause until the resurrection. Please provide scripture if you have it that demonstrates that clearly.

That's not the issue, friend. There are verses which very explicitly testify to saints being dead. Ex:

Josh. 1:2 - "Moses my servant is dead."
Dt. 18:10 - "Let no one be found among you who... consults the dead."

If Moses is dead according to Joshua 1:2, and God says not to consult the dead in Deuteronomy 18:10, then God's command includes consulting Moses. I'm sorry, but there is no way around this without changing the meaning of words in Scripture.

Thomas Forward
Nov 20th 2013, 07:47 AM
That's not the issue, friend. There are verses which very explicitly testify to saints being dead. Ex:

Josh. 1:2 - "Moses my servant is dead."
Dt. 18:10 - "Let no one be found among you who... consults the dead."

If Moses is dead according to Joshua 1:2, and God says not to consult the dead in Deuteronomy 18:10, then God's command includes consulting Moses. I'm sorry, but there is no way around this without changing the meaning of words in Scripture.



Aviyah, what of Rev 5:8 then?

"And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." (Revelation 5:8 ESV)

Again, where do they get the prayers of the saints and why? Some parts of Rev are admittedly difficult but this one seems not to be hidden in metaphor or hyperbole.


Blessings.

Francis Drake
Nov 20th 2013, 07:52 AM
Let me pose a question, Francis Drake. At Christmas time, do you put out a nativity display or somehow decorate with spiritual paintings depicting the birth of Christ or other such thing?

No way, don't be daft. Christmas is a pagan celebration just like the festival of Ishtar, now called Easter. When the Catholic church invented these celebrations, they just renamed pagan feast days. In fact most of early church buildings were just pagan temples.
Nevertheless even if I did put a nativity display out, it is just a pictorial model like the models of the temple we sometimes see. Idols to dead people are a totally different notion. Catholics bow down, kiss, and pray before them, so don't pretend that isn't idolatry.

Thomas Forward
Nov 20th 2013, 11:50 AM
No way, don't be daft. Christmas is a pagan celebration just like the festival of Ishtar, now called Easter. When the Catholic church invented these celebrations, they just renamed pagan feast days. In fact most of early church buildings were just pagan temples.
Nevertheless even if I did put a nativity display out, it is just a pictorial model like the models of the temple we sometimes see. Idols to dead people are a totally different notion. Catholics bow down, kiss, and pray before them, so don't pretend that isn't idolatry.


Ahh. You don't buy that whole pagan holiday thing, do you? Where Easter was created from Ishtar in the 5th century? You may not know about this but there are records still existing of councils held to determine on which Sunday Easter should be observed in relation to the Jewish Passover nearly 200 years before it was supposedly created from pagan holidays by the Catholic church in the 5th century. Early Jewish Messianic Christians kept forms of these feast days and Passover was one which came to be called Easter. They were arguing over which day it should be at least 200 years before.

The reason I ask this is that I believed all the same stuff about Catholic teaching. Just taking what I'd been told by some source without question. Recently I started listening and paying attention to what they teach.

So, have you asked some Catholics, maybe a priest or deacon or folks that are knowledgeable and fairly solid in their faith if they really are worshiping those "idols" as you call them? Or are they paying respect to the person who that statue may represent (the real person, not the cold stone statue) and looking to them as an inspiration in their own walk with God. Please understand, I fully realize the way those actions appear at first glance but I've found myself completely off base.

Have some meaningful, slow, open conversations with some solid Catholics to see what's really going on past the first glance.

Blessings to you.

Vakeros
Nov 20th 2013, 01:13 PM
The whole picture in Hebrews 12 is the big race and who's in the crowd? All of the saints. And what do they form? Verse 1, "a cloud of witnesses."
This is actually the key verse to get right. What does it mean - a cloud of witnesses. Let's turn this around a little bit and understand what the word witness means. This is where many go wrong and introduce their own paradigm instead of seeing what is written.
If you are a witness, then it either means you WILL witness something, which is a future idea, or you HAVE witnessed something. We have just been told about all these dead saints, WILL they witness something or HAVE they witnessed something. The context shows what they have witnessed and even more importantly that they are WITNESSING to us. IOW when we look at them, then we see their witness, their testimony to living for God. This is what Heb 12:1 is about. Now we have the witness of these saints of the past, let us emulate them.
This verse is NOT speaking about the dead watching and witnessing what we do.

Furthermore no one has been resurrected yet apart from Jesus who was the first. We know from the Bible that there have been people raised from the dead, but note what this raising from the dead was - a bringing back to this present life. Jesus though triumphed over death, no more to die. Those who were raised in the OT and NT have died again, including Lazarus.

Paul wrte 1 Thess 4 & 5 to believers who were basically questioning what happens when you die. They had been expecting Jesus' return and whilst waiting some among them had died. Paul writes to tell them what the state of those who had died was and what their future state would be. Notice that Paul didn't write "Don't worry, your loved ones are with Jesus looking down from heaven watching what you are doing, waiting for when you can be reunited with them when Jesus returns." Instead he wrote that they would only be reunited in the resurrection when Jesus returned.

When we understand that those who died in Christ are sealed by the Holy Spirit and will be resurrected at His return, then we know there is no point asking the dead to pray for us, because they can't hear. The only ones who hear are those physically around you, who are alive and can hear what you say, and the spiritual forces.

To answer the final point about Rev 8:3. This is a bowl which has collected the prayers of the saints through time. If you like you can see it as a scale where each prayer puts a bit more on the one side until it is filled.

The Bible teaches many things about prayer, but the most important one that many don't grasp is the importance of agreeing with each other. This is the most powerful kind of prayer - one that is in agreement with God and your fellow servant in Christ. Acts 4:24 -31. Note it is what they said together that led to the whole place being shaken.

Aviyah
Nov 20th 2013, 03:29 PM
Aviyah, what of Rev 5:8 then?

"And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." (Revelation 5:8 ESV)

Again, where do they get the prayers of the saints and why? Some parts of Rev are admittedly difficult but this one seems not to be hidden in metaphor or hyperbole.


Blessings.

I'm not sure what Rev 5:8 means, but we can be certain about what it does not mean based on the Law. God stated repeatedly that we are not to pray to the dead - so that would include dead Christians. Our interpretation of the symbolism in elders who had been given the bowls cannot override God's command. If we build doctrine on Revelation alone, we can almost make anything sound Biblical due to its figurative language throughout. Luckily, this issue is non-negotiable, because at least three or four separate books plainly state it is a grave sin to pray to the dead.

ChangedByHim
Nov 20th 2013, 03:42 PM
Just because the 24 elders are holding the bowls with the prayers of saints does NOT mean that these elders were the ones being prayed to. That is quite a leap, and not founded on the Word.

Francis Drake
Nov 20th 2013, 04:55 PM
Ahh. You don't buy that whole pagan holiday thing, do you? Where Easter was created from Ishtar in the 5th century? You may not know about this but there are records still existing of councils held to determine on which Sunday Easter should be observed in relation to the Jewish Passover nearly 200 years before it was supposedly created from pagan holidays by the Catholic church in the 5th century. Early Jewish Messianic Christians kept forms of these feast days and Passover was one which came to be called Easter. They were arguing over which day it should be at least 200 years before.

The reason I ask this is that I believed all the same stuff about Catholic teaching. Just taking what I'd been told by some source without question. Recently I started listening and paying attention to what they teach.

So, have you asked some Catholics, maybe a priest or deacon or folks that are knowledgeable and fairly solid in their faith if they really are worshiping those "idols" as you call them? Or are they paying respect to the person who that statue may represent (the real person, not the cold stone statue) and looking to them as an inspiration in their own walk with God. Please understand, I fully realize the way those actions appear at first glance but I've found myself completely off base.

Have some meaningful, slow, open conversations with some solid Catholics to see what's really going on past the first glance.

Blessings to you.

Why would I ask deluded idolaters for advice?
Nevertheless I have a Catholic Church publication which details the worship of a circular wafer enclosed inside an image of the sun god. They call it the adoration of the monstrance, or worship of the eucharist. ie. worship of a wafer or a bit of bread. That is idolatry.
Google an images search under sun god, then do the same for Catholic monstrance. Haha.

Leviticus26v1"'Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God

Leviticus spells it out crystal clear with no loopholes or obfuscation for catholics to hide behind.

You are regurgitating the same old excuses, but they just won't wear. If you bow down to these idols or images, Thomas, then however you wriggle around the subject, you are an idolater. Period!
That's what idolatry means, bowing down to what is written above. Idols, images, sacred stones, carved stones. etc. Leviticus doesn't give you the freedom to pretend you are bowing and scraping to the dead person behind it. Scripture makes it clear that you are bowing down to demons.

And as for Easter, nobody taught me. I noticed it myself and then went to search. Its far too obvious that Easter and Ishtar are one in the same. Any dummy can see that. If it was truly the passover, then why not call it the passover?

Aviyah
Nov 20th 2013, 05:04 PM
And as for Easter, nobody taught me. I noticed it myself and then went to search. Its far too obvious that Easter and Ishtar are one in the same. Any dummy can see that. If it was truly the passover, then why not call it the passover?

I don't think there's anything wrong with having a day where we remember the Cross, although I don't believe it should be confined to one day a year. However, there's definitely a lot of paganism in Easter which is why I don't celebrate it anymore.

Francis Drake
Nov 20th 2013, 08:19 PM
I don't think there's anything wrong with having a day where we remember the Cross, although I don't believe it should be confined to one day a year. However, there's definitely a lot of paganism in Easter which is why I don't celebrate it anymore.

Amen Aviyah, but lets go one better. Why just one day to remember the cross?

1Cor11v24and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, "This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 25In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes.Ö


Nowhere are we told to have a special day to remember the cross. If we lose sight of the cross we lose sight of our deliverance and freedom.

My wife and I take the bread and wine every day together as we have breakfast. Every morning, out loud, we proclaim the Lord's death. We don't need a specially robed person from the hierarchy, with a special chalice, with special wine, and special circular wafer. Just a bit of our breakfast bread reserved from the toast, and a half inch of wine from whatever bottle that's open.

We took communion again an hour ago with a dinner guest, using the bottle of wine she brought. Wonderful and liberating to celebrate what the Lord has done without all the paraphernalia of the system to clog it up with procedural or traditional "correctness".

Aviyah
Nov 20th 2013, 08:25 PM
My wife and I take the bread and wine every day together as we have breakfast. Every morning, out loud, we proclaim the Lord's death. We don't need a specially robed person from the hierarchy, with a special chalice, with special wine, and special circular wafer. Just a bit of our breakfast bread reserved from the toast, and a half inch of wine from whatever bottle that's open.

We took communion again an hour ago with a dinner guest, using the bottle of wine she brought. Wonderful and liberating to celebrate what the Lord has done without all the paraphernalia of the system to clog it up with procedural or traditional "correctness".

That's awesome! I plan to "do this in remembrance" every Saturday before dinner if I have a family.

Thomas Forward
Nov 21st 2013, 07:00 AM
Why would I ask deluded idolaters for advice?
Nevertheless I have a Catholic Church publication which details the worship of a circular wafer enclosed inside an image of the sun god. They call it the adoration of the monstrance, or worship of the eucharist. ie. worship of a wafer or a bit of bread. That is idolatry.
Google an images search under sun god, then do the same for Catholic monstrance. Haha.

Leviticus26v1"'Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God

Leviticus spells it out crystal clear with no loopholes or obfuscation for catholics to hide behind.

You are regurgitating the same old excuses, but they just won't wear. If you bow down to these idols or images, Thomas, then however you wriggle around the subject, you are an idolater. Period!
That's what idolatry means, bowing down to what is written above. Idols, images, sacred stones, carved stones. etc. Leviticus doesn't give you the freedom to pretend you are bowing and scraping to the dead person behind it. Scripture makes it clear that you are bowing down to demons.

And as for Easter, nobody taught me. I noticed it myself and then went to search. Its far too obvious that Easter and Ishtar are one in the same. Any dummy can see that. If it was truly the passover, then why not call it the passover?


Ahhhh, of course. Some publication that may or may not be anything to do with the Catholic church. Kind of like reading a book about dentistry and then doing my own dental work because I read some other book about bad dentists and made up my mind they must all be evil. Makes sense.

I dare you to find what you describe as graven idol worship and insist they actually do in practice in any official Catholic doctrine, from an official Catholic source. All this information is freely and easily available.

Alright, well, it's on you really to prove what you're claiming is Catholic doctrine.

Peace and blessings to you. I am out of this thread.

Francis Drake
Nov 21st 2013, 07:56 AM
Ahhhh, of course. Some publication that may or may not be anything to do with the Catholic church. Kind of like reading a book about dentistry and then doing my own dental work because I read some other book about bad dentists and made up my mind they must all be evil. Makes sense.

I dare you to find what you describe as graven idol worship and insist they actually do in practice in any official Catholic doctrine, from an official Catholic source. All this information is freely and easily available.

Alright, well, it's on you really to prove what you're claiming is Catholic doctrine.

Peace and blessings to you. I am out of this thread.

Thomas, you do well to escape the conversation. That was an official catholic church publication taken from London Westminster Cathedral bookshop. I was delighted to find it as it demonstrated exactly what I said. Idolatry!