Pope Francis recently visited Fatima, Portugal, the location of the most famous alleged sighting of the virgin Mary, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the supposed event. However, a closer look into the Bible reveals the truth about these professed sightings and others like them.
[Darris McNeely] Recently, Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, made a trip to Fatima in Portugal. It was in Fatima that, a hundred years ago, supposedly – according to the story – the Virgin Mary appeared to three small peasant children several times, delivering certain messages that were very secret – kept secret by the Vatican for a number of years – predicting future events. The pope – current pope, Francis, went there 100 years to the day of the first of those sightings to mark the event and to also canonize as saints two of these small children who had seen these supposed visions of the Virgin Mary.
Now, visions of Mary are quite common in Roman Catholicism. There have been multiple visions in various locations around the world of different natures of the vision – either an apparition of the Virgin, or people feeling that they might be seeing the Virgin Mary in certain other phenomenon – statues that bleed. It’s quite a common occurrence and is an active part of faith for the Roman Catholic Church.
This 100th anniversary of the sightings at Fatima in Portugal probably mark what is the most famous or well-known of the apparitions of the supposed appearances of the Virgin Mary. I know I’ve heard about that all my life and was not up on a particular date, but 100 years to that time is when this took place.
What does the Bible say about such events? How does the word of God tell us to view certain things like this? The Bible talks about idolatry, the Bible talks about even visions that people had of various things, even visions from the demonic spirit world. And longtime viewers of Beyond Today understand our position on such matters as this, but let me take you to a couple of Scriptures to help us to understand something about how we worship God and certainly, how to avoid even these idols and these false visions that are even prophesied to take place, both in the past, and in the future.
In Zechariah chapter 10, there is a fascinating scripture that talks about this, in verse 2, where God says, “For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies and tell false dreams” (Zechariah 10:2 Zechariah 10:2For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.
American King James Version×). Idols speak delusions, and diviners – people who are in touch with the spirit world who pretend or say that they have contact with the dead, channeling other spirits – all of this a type of witchcraft or divining or contact of the spirit world and even outright idolatry, God says are false. They are delusions and they speak lies. “They comfort in vain.” You know, one of the reasons that apparitions like that in Fatima and other places are so prevalent is because people want hope, they want something beyond their lives to give them a sense of meaning. Unfortunately, they find it in falsehood. They find it in false images and apparitions like this and where there may be something that does appear – look, the Bible tells us that even Satan believes and trembles at the word of God, and demons can manifest themselves in many different ways and deceive people into worshiping falsehood. That’s exactly what he’s saying here in the book of Zechariah. “The people,” he says, “wend their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd.”
False shepherds – false teachers – feed off of people’s desire for something beyond themselves and truth, and unfortunately lead them deeper into deception. In John chapter 4, Jesus Christ had something to say about this, as well, as He talked to a woman in Samaria. He said to a woman that was at a well, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming where you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming,” He said, “and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.” Spirit and truth. “The Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24 John 4:21-24 21 Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
American King James Version×).
Our focus of worship must be upon God and His Son, Jesus Christ – not the mother of Jesus, Mary, as Catholicism talks about and worships her as a divinity. Our worship must be of God and our worship must be of God in spirit and in truth. Look to the Bible to see what it says and don’t be caught up by anything that detracts from worshiping God in that particular way.
That’s BT Daily . Join us next time.