Miraculous, But By Whom? (Part 2)
As we saw last month, not everything that is "miraculous" is done by God. By looking at two examples, Job Chapters 1+2, and Exodus Chapters 7+8, we saw that Satan is truly the great counterfeiter, a master deceiver, able to even do the "super-natural." The Bible also says that by our words we can be judged. (Matthew 12:34-36) and that Jesus once stated,"....Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures..." So with these facts, let's compare the following viewpoints to Scripture. When my brother passed away, I was told, "we have another angel to pray to and watch over us." We've all just, recently, witnessed a phenomenal month or so, in which we heard about our favorite QB's father, who passed away, as to be providing some sort of "Divine Intervention" along with a "Packer rosary" to help our favorite team. And then, lately, a coworker of mine, wrote "Hi" in the snow to our boss that passed away this fall, fully convinced that he sees it. What does the Bible say about all of these ideas?
The Bible is clear concerning how God forbids praying to anyone but Him. As we saw last month, "Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth." (Deut. 6:14,15) The Bible says, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16) Isaiah adds (Isaiah 8:19) "... should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?" Remembering how Satan's schemes to deceive people in any way that he can, with the purpose of God not getting the glory and honor due Him, praying to anyone but God is simply a result of twisting Scriptures. Satan uses passages like this one from James 5:16, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective," and adds the verses from John 6, that state how Christians shall never die, but "...shall live for ever," as a clever, but forbidden way to get people to pray to others. The "logic" behind this is that if intercessor praying is Biblical, why can't those that are "alive with Christ" continue? However, the error is that Christians have died physically. So now for them to hear and intercede for you they'd have to have God like abilities. See how Satan works? Furthermore, consider the other Biblical facts below:
The Bible says that, "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." (Hebrews 9:27) So if an individual is not in Heaven, they can't help us as seen in Luke's account of the rich man, "Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." (Luke 16:27-31) On the other hand, if when the individual goes to Heaven, Paul tells us, "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." and "How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter." (2 Corinthians 12:7 and 1 Corinthians 2:9) The deceased individual is so blessed, so busy praising God, now that they are finally away from this sin cursed world. They now know for themselves what Paul couldn't tell us. And just as we see when comparing the first 35 chapters of Job to what God reveals in the last five chapters, we are left with the awareness of two basic facts. 1) Job 36:26 says, "Behold, God is great, and we know him not," and 2) The importance of knowing what does the Bible says about it instead of what we think.
The Bible is clear that people do not become angels. Hebrews 13:2 tells us that we should be, "... not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." So they may appear to us, in the form of a human, but they're still angels. Without getting too in depth here about angels, as I will do an article on angels in the future, I draw your attention to two verses in particular that distinguish a definite difference from angels and humans. "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" (1 Corinthians 6:3) Also, Peter tells us that, "but unto us they .... have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." (1 Peter 1;12) Angels are just, "...thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus..." (Revelation 19:10) and God uses them in a special way. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" Obviously, as you can see from these verses, people and angels are both created to serve God, but people never become angels.
Based upon these Biblical facts, that Satan can do, and does the "supernatural" to deceive, to draw our attention away from God and on to others, and knowing that God is a jealous God, let's take another look at the past few months. Was there some "Divine intervention" concerning the Packers? Consider further that this is about the same time a green and gold "Packer rosary" was promoted by an individual caught up with "Packer fever." Hummmmmm, a rosary - a set of prayers to Mary? (more on that next month) The more one considers what we've seen from God's word, one can only consider that the only "Divine Intervention" was done in Philadelphia!!! To this many would say, God has more important things to do then to worry about "the Packers" or if someone writes "hi' in the snow. However, my point was to show how far our beliefs in society are getting from what God wants simply because, as Jesus said, "...Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." The Bible says that our words and deeds reflect what we believe, thus we will be judged by them. And finally the Bible warns us of God's jealousy, and gives us plenty of warnings about following religious leaders that mislead the people! Part three of "Miraculous, but by whom? " continues next month with a look at the visions and apparitions of Mary.