FMH Childrenís Club International
P.O. Box 640109
El Paso, TX 79904
The following letter-form was brought about as a means of teaching my children the Word of God through the mail. And of course, quite naturally so, thatís the reason I begin these letters with "Dear Children" and end them with "Love Dad". So for the rest of you who participate in these weekly messages, please keep their original intended purpose in mind.
8 February, 1998
This week I want to tell you about a very special lady who I know at work. You see it was several weeks ago that I learned this particular lady was having some pretty bad family problems. And since I work with her most of the day it was easy enough for me to notice that she was very unhappy. So it was only natural that I gave her the only remedy for her illness; I told her about Jesus. And it was only because of my very own personal experience with similar problems that I was able to tell her about trusting in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. You see I had already been there and done that and I wasnít ashamed to tell her because I know that it works.
And it was only a day or so later that she came into my office to tell me about a strange thing that had happened to her the night before. You see she was raised in a Catholic family and because of that fact she had been taught very early in her life to pray a special prayer. And even though she didnít feel any close ties to the Catholic church she still continued to pray, night after night, that same prayer she had been taught so many years earlier; that is until that very special night.
But before I finish this story I must first tell you that what Iím about to say is being said because God wants it to be said. You see what Iím about to say and what Iím about to show you in the Word of God will not make some of you readers happy. In fact for some of you this message that Iím about to give will only get under your skin. And likewise itís some of these same people who support the FMH Childrenís Club with cash donations. So why in Godís universe would I do something so stupid as to say something that will upset those people who I depend on for help?
Well thatís where this thing called "faith" comes in. You see in order to do the work of God we must first trust totally in him. And in order to trust totally in Him we must do what His Word says without worrying about the consequences. Because if we keep quiet about what God wants us to say, just so we can keep people happy and likewise keep the money coming in, then we have not served God but Satan. And I donít know about you but I absolutely donít want to have anything to do with that Devil of all devils. So what Iím about to say is the truth, and it will set each and every one of you free, but only if you believe it.
And having said all that, can you guess what this prayer was that the lady prayed every night before she went to bed? It was one of the most cherished prayers of the Catholic followers and it goes like this: "Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen."
And that was the prayer she prayed every night until that night when she didnít pray it. And the reason that she didnít pray it was because she couldnít remember the words. And it was because of this strange happening that she came into work the very next day and asked me "why?" And it was my reply, "because God doesnít want you praying to Mary!" And thatís what this message is all about.
So letís start this weekís investigation off by reading for ourselves the story of Mary from Luke 1:26-49, "And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto the city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virginís name was Mary. And the angel came unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be."
As always we must understand the entire story, just as it happened, or we will get all mixed up and confused about what God is trying to tell us. So as we have just read, one of Godís angels from Heaven (Gabriel) came to earth on a special mission from God the Father. You see it was his job to inform Mary that she too had been chosen for her very own special mission. In fact her mission was so important that the entire world with all of itís people, from the beginning of time until the eternal distant future, would depend on what she was about to go through so that they might escape the cold eternal death grip of Satan. She was the one and only woman who was chosen to do this once and forever special job.
Now with that thought in mind there ainít no doubting the fact that she was special, but she was only a special human being. You see unlike Jesus she had to be conditioned to accept her God-called part in this everlasting plan of God, because as the Scripture said, "she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be." I mean just think about it. Mary was a very humble person who didnít consider herself above others, and then this angel tells her she has been chosen above all women to do this extra ordinary thing. And it was this message that literally blew her away; and it was only the introduction to the message at that.
Because thatís when the angel goes on to tell her the rest of the story. "And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
So Gabriel did everything he could to calm her down and then he told her the exciting news. She had been chosen to give birth to the Savior of the world. She was going to bring about (through the process of natural birth) God in man, and this was exactly what the Jewish people had been waiting for. So it seems as though she was starting to feel just a little bit more comfortable about her new mission and thatís when she loosened up by asking Gabriel a few more questions. "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible."
So Gabriel was finally able to convince her that this was not a dream but the real thing, and thatís when Mary finally accepted this great big awesome challenge. Because as we will find out in the remaining verses, "And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her... And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name."
Now there are several things that we must consider in these verses. First of all the word handmaiden means nothing more than a slave, and thatís what Mary called herself. She was nothing more than a humble human being who was dedicated to serving her Master and Savior God. And it was because of this fact (she was a normal human being born into sin) that she had to be saved from her sin through her Savior God. She was not like Jesus who was God in the flesh, but instead a very special woman with a very special mission in life. She was called of God to do what no other woman would ever have an opportunity to do again. And it was because of her dedication to God that she was chosen to be a one of a kind person. And likewise it was through her obedience to God that all generations would resultantly call her happy (blessed) because she was the one chosen. But even with all the special attention she would receive, it still didnít make her a part of the Godhead (the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost).
And likewise thatís why God didnít want this lady at work, the one I was telling you about earlier, to continue praying this "Hail Mary" prayer to Mary. And thatís also why I believe she developed amnesia (a bad case of I donít remember) just in time. You see the Word of God is very absolute (ainít no doubt about it) when it comes to prayer. And we can see this by reading the wordís of Jesus as found in Matthew 6:5-13, "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen."
Seems pretty straight-forward doesnít it? Not one single time, in this Scripture or any other Scripture for that matter, was Mary or any other saint mentioned as the ones we should be praying to. So why in the world do you think the Catholics are having all the confusion as to who they are suppose to pray to? I guess the only good answer to that question is that they must believe those who are running their church more than they believe Who the Church should be serving (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost). Because Jesus goes on to say in John 16:22-28, as He was preparing for His departure into Heaven (His death and resurrection), "And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you... For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father."
What we must all remember is that Jesus was the only Person of God who walked the face of this earth. He was born into that position and He likewise knew very early in life (unlike Mary) what He was suppose to do; and thatís why it didnít come as a shock to Him. Because we find in Luke 2:41-50, "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it... And when they found him not, they turned back... And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them. How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Fatherís business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them."
Can you see the difference in the lives of Jesus and Mary? Jesus was of God and He showed it through His extraordinary knowledge and wisdom. He knew what He was born to do but on the other hand Mary was not so Heavenly minded. You see she was only a human like the rest of us and likewise thatís why she didnít understand why Jesus was the way He was at such an early age. Even though she had been told (through the visit of an angel) about this great child she was going to give birth to she still didnít even come close to understanding what His life would be like. Mary acted the role of a normal dedicated child of God who made a lot of human type mistakes. And thatís what Iím a gonna prove to you.
So turning to Mark 3 and reading, "And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand... Stretch forth thy hand... and his hand was restored whole as the other. And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel... how they might destroy him. But Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the sea: and a great multitude from Galilee followed him... when they had heard what great things he did... For he had healed many... And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And he straitly charged them that they should not make him known."
And that was just a quick look at what Mark had to say about the same story we read about several weeks ago from the book of Matthew. Jesus was beginning His ministry and things were getting pretty much out of hand already. You see He was running up against a brick wall which just so happened to be the established church of that time. So here we have Jesus (the Word of God) who originated every law of God being challenged on His knowledge of the law. They were telling Him that it wasnít right to heal the sick on Sunday (sabbath) but Jesus did it anyway. And that ainít all! Jesus was doing many things that were upsetting a whole lot of religious people, and this thing about demonic spirits inside of people making them bow down and call Him the Son of God was just added fuel for the fire.
And if those things werenít bad enough, just take a look at what He does next! "And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils... And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, he is beside himself. And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils."
Are you getting the picture? Here we have a man who was born into a very humble carpenterís family doing all these wild and crazy things. He actually spoke life back into a manís hand that had been all dried up and withered like a prune for many years, He had demon possessed people to fall down and worship Him as the Son of God, He started what the scribes considered a cult movement by choosing twelve men as His followers, and then, to top it all off, the crowds went wild by flocking to see Him. And it was then that, "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, he is beside himself ." You see these friends of His were really His family. And the part about "being beside himself" meant to be out of your mind. So His family came to get Him because they had figured, due to all the wild and crazy things that were going on, that He (Jesus) was totally wacko, bongos, and out of it.
And guess who one of them was? Reading on into verse 31, "There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him. And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother."
Now at this point of the message letís go back to the prayer that the Catholics pray to Mary: "Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen." As you can see by reading it for yourself, this prayer professes (proclaims) that Mary is the Mother of God. And with all good reasoning, since Jesus is the Son of God then Jesus is definitely God. But because He is God and Mary was His mother (small "m") does that make Mary the Mother of God (large "M" equals deity)? NO!!!!!!!
You see this Scripture from Luke brings out the very important fact that all of us, including the Catholics, need to keep in mind. Mary was a human being who was very dedicated to doing Godís will but she was only that; a dedicated human being. And as Jesus so well pointed out, there is only the three in His immediate family of one; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. There just ainít no other family members in His immediate family, and that includes his mother, because He didnít have a Mother.
We must remember that in the beginning God (the Trinity) created both man and woman, and without the help of a woman. God said it was going to happen and it happened. Thatís all it takes for Him because He has the ability to speak things into existence. And the same would have held true with the birth of Jesus except for the fact that He had to be born through the natural birth process in order to keep this fight with Satan on the up and ups. God was taking on Satan in the battle of all battles (the fight for our lives) but He had to do it through the same natural birth process that had (from the beginning of time) continued to pass down the first original sin of Adam. And the way God "fudged" the system, the way He kept Jesus from inheriting the sins of Mary but yet satisfied the rules of the battle, was through this birth process that He carried out with Mary. Jesus had to be a perfect man but He also had to be born through an imperfect woman. This was absolutely necessary or the whole deal would have been called off. And thatís why Maryís responsibility as mother was only to carry the baby Jesus in her womb.
And thatís why Jesus said what He said when He said, "...Who is my mother... whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother." You see we can all be relatives of Jesus Christ in the form of brothers, or sisters, or mothers, but we canít be His father. And of course the reason for this is because He can have no other father but His Heavenly Father. But on the other hand, if you just so happen to be a female who is old enough to be Jesusís mother, and if you have accepted Him as Lord and Savior, you can be called His mother (in the family of God) . And the reason that you can do this is because, just as Jesus said, He has no real mother (egg producing type) on earth or in Heaven. Mary was not the Mother of God but instead a very dear woman who obeyed God by allowing herself to be used by God as she was.
And if that ainít proof enough letís turn to Luke 11:14-28 and read once again from the Scriptures. "And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth... He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth... And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it"
And thatís why these things called religions and denominations are so tricky. Many of them appear to be of God but they donít adhere to (follow) the Word of God completely. And thatís exactly why Jesus went on to say, "He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth..." You see unless we believe in the Word of God as it is written, without adding to or taking away from it, we will not be able to follow the plan of God (Salvation). And if we donít fully believe in His Word only, and we profess (tell) our wrong beliefs to others, then it is a given that what we believe in will work against God Himself. And anything other than the Word of God (including Mary worship) will only end up scattering His flock (His children) like a bunch of confused sheep. And of course everyone should know by now that when a flock of sheep gets scattered the wolf of all wolves (Satan) pigs out (fills himself full) on lamb chops.
Now with all of that having been said, Jesus then had the opportunity of correcting a lady who said, "Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked." And just in case you donít understand the terminology (wording) this lady was in so many words starting off the very early stages of the "Hail Mary" prayer that the Catholics adore so much today. You see she was speaking to Jesus and was in effect saying, "Blessed is Mary your mother who brought you into this world and gave you life." But Jesus put her in her place by saying, "Yea rather blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it."
Mary was blessed but only because she finally recognized that all the seemingly crazy things her Son was doing was because He was God. You see for a while she was trying to stop the work of God by stopping the ministry of Jesus Christ. She, like so many of us do, got so caught up in the things of the world that the things of God just didnít make sense. In fact it was because of this that the things of God, the oneís Jesus was doing, appeared to be the exactly opposite of God, and thatís why they thought He had gone fool crazy.
But of course we all know that He hadnít lost His mind and it was soon after His death and resurrection that Mary fully realized Jesusí role in her very own Salvation. Because reading from the book of Acts, chapters 1 & 2, "...Jesus... Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs... And then being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."
Jesus made the promise of the Holy Spirit to all who believe on Him, and guess who was included in this promise. Reading on into verse 12, "Then they returned they unto Jerusalem... And when they were come in they went up into an upper room... These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren... And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit of gave them utterance."
What a perfect ending for the story of Mary the mother of Jesus. On the day of Pentecost she too received the gifts of the Holy Spirit. So I hope you all can now see the truth; that Mary was a just a very special lady who obeyed the call of God. She was not what the Catholics have made her out to be. And just so you can see it with your own eyes, reading from Handbook For Todayís Catholic, "As Vatican II puts it: "The Virgin Mary, who at the message of the angel received the Word of God in her heart and in her body and gave Life to the world, is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer" (The Church, 53) [484-507,966]. As Mother of the Lord, Mary is an entirely unique person. Like her Son, she was conceived as a human being (and lived her whole life) exempt from any trace of original sin. This is called her Immaculate Conception [490-493, 508]. Before, during, and after the birth of her son, Mary remained physically a virgin. At the end of her life, Mary was assumed---that is, taken up---body and soul into heaven. This is called her Assumption ."
And boy do I wish I could continue on, but this is the end. So once again, in closing, I hope you can all see that the Mary invented by the Catholic Church is not the Mary of the Holy Bible (see Chick Publications Why Is Mary Crying for additional information). To believe in and pray to the Catholic Mary will only get you into Hot Water (the Lake of Fire)!!! So donít believe their lies but keep the faith!!!
(For questions from our readers on this sermonet see Questions And Answers.)
Dad (Bruce Hallman)
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