MARY IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
A faithful Jewish woman called Miriam who played a vital role in bringing Jesus into the world through the miracle of the virgin birth.
She had other children in the natural way with Joseph after the supernatural conception and birth of the Lord Jesus – Matthew 13.55-56
Rejoiced in ‘God my Saviour’ – Luke 2.47
Present at the cross (John 19) and at prayer with disciples before Pentecost (Acts 1.14). Believed in Resurrected Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:
MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT,
THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS
AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS
OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marvelled with great amazement.Revelation 17.1-6
There is a lot of speculation about what this represents. The usual explanation is it represents the Roman Catholic church and that Mary is the woman riding the Beast, the Roman Catholic Mary I should say. But notice it also says that this all the nations have committed some kind of fornication with this Beast, with this woman, suggesting that this is some pervasive influence over all the nations. I think actually it’s more than Roman Catholicism; it is speaking about the whole religious system that has come out of Babylon.
And there’s a man (Alexander Hislop) who wrote a book called The Two Babylons and he says that all religions can trace themselves back to ancient Babylon.
There is a connection with all these religions going back to ancient Babylon and an influence which comes through them. And behind it, there is a false religious system which is connected to the Harlot who gives her favours to whoever comes along rather than the bride who is faithful to one God and represents the true church of Jesus Christ. If you go to Revelation 18 you see that this is translated not just into a religious system but also into a economic and political one. It says,
After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”
4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.Revelation 18.1-8
And so you have this Babylon Spirit which is behind the religious system. Notice she says, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ That’s almost a quote from Isaiah 47.
8 “Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures,Isaiah 47.8-9
Who dwell securely,
Who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow,
Nor shall I know the loss of children’;
9 But these two things shall come to you
In a moment, in one day:
The loss of children, and widowhood.
They shall come upon you in their fullness
Because of the multitude of your sorceries,
For the great abundance of your enchantments.
So, he’s saying that there is a connection between this and the Babylon economic system which will exist in the last days. It also says it’s going to be a haunt of demons; there’s going to be a demonic influence behind this system as it comes together.
And if you look around, you can see there are plenty of demonic influences that are bringing the nations together into the one world political and economic system of the last days.
So, you have the deceptive power of the Babylon religion.
I mentioned that there is an influence from this on Christianity, not on biblical Christianity but on what has come out of Christianity over the centuries. And the question I would like to put to you is:
Where do you find the most common images of the goddess, the Queen of Heaven?
MARY IN CATHOLICISM: MOTHER OF GOD & QUEEN OF HEAVEN
There’s the Virgin Mary with the 12 Stars around her head as the mother of God and the Queen of Heaven (an interesting designation) and as a mother with child.
In fact, according to Roman Catholicism, Mary was decreed as the Mother of God at the Council of Ephesus in 431 using the Greek word is theotocus (Θεοτόκος). She was also believed to have maintained her virginity throughout her life according to the Lateran Council of 649, she was immaculately conceived. Article 117 of the Catholic catechism says, ‘All mankind has contracted the guilt and stain of original sin except the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Divine son’. That was actually a Catholic Doctrine which emerged in 1854 so sometime afterwards.
And according to another decree made in 1950, she was assumed into heaven, in other words, she didn’t die like you and I die, she was taken straight up into heaven.
Therefore, we’ve got designations of Mary here as the Queen of Heaven. She is also instituted as a mediator alongside Jesus.
But there is a word used by Roman Catholicism to describe Mary which is ‘mediatrix‘, a title given to Mary the mother of Jesus and according to the Catholic teaching and which refers to (and I quote) ‘the intercessory role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a mediator in the salvific redemption by her son Jesus Christ and that he bestows graces through her’. In other words, the Roman Catholic Church is saying that the Virgin Mary is a mediator with Jesus to bring you salvation.
Can you see that? And the most common prayer which Roman Catholics say is, ‘Hail Mary full of grace pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our need’. In other words, you can pray to Mary and she’s going to forgive your sins. Mary then becomes a mediator. Does that come from the New Testament or does it come from Babylon? That comes from Babylon.
It’s the same thing I’m talking about here, it refers to the Queen of Heaven, the Harlot, the woman riding the beast.
Is it the true Mary? No, Mary was ‘Miriam’, a faithful Jewish woman who gave birth to the Messiah in accordance with the promise of Isaiah chapter 7.
13 Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.Isaiah 7.13-14
She accepted this task and was honoured in doing so. According to New Testament, she was not a perpetual virgin, she had other children. In fact, in Matthew Chapter 13 it says she had at least four sons and daughters.
53 Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished these parables, that He departed from there. 54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him.
But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.Matthew 13.53-58
It doesn’t tell you how many sisters but that’s at least six other children. Mary wasn’t a perpetual virgin, she had at least six more children after Jesus. It also says that she ‘rejoiced in God my Saviour’ which means that she herself was not one who could bring Salvation but she needed to be saved.
46 And Mary said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,Luke 1.46-55
47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with His arm;
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
54 He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
55 As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
And she believed in Jesus. She believed in Him as her Saviour because she saw Him risen from the dead and she joined with the apostles in the early prayer meeting in Acts chapter 1 before the day of Pentecost whereby we can see that she was a member of the body of Christ who believed in Jesus as the Saviour. Finally, she was present at the cross and at the prayer meeting with the disciples Mark chapter 1 because she believed in the resurrected Lord Jesus.
12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. 13 And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.Acts 1.12-14
So, Mary was not the Queen of Heaven and she is not a mediator. Where did this idea come from?
Just an interesting little snippet of history here: there’s nothing about Mary being a mediator in the New Testament or in early church writings until about 430 A.D 430 A.D there was a council at Ephesus which exalted Mary as the mother of God.
Ephesus itself is interesting because if you read in the Book of Acts chapter 19 Ephesus had a shrine to Diana who was believed to be a goddess which caused Paul a bit of grief but it was a place of worship of the Queen of Heaven.
23 And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. 24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Diana, brought no small profit to the craftsmen. 25 He called them together with the workers of similar occupation, and said: “Men, you know that we have our prosperity by this trade. 26 Moreover you see and hear that not only at Ephesus, but throughout almost all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are not gods which are made with hands. 27 So not only is this trade of ours in danger of falling into disrepute, but also the temple of the great goddess Diana may be despised and her magnificence destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worship.”
28 Now when they heard this, they were full of wrath and cried out, saying, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!” 29 So the whole city was filled with confusion, and rushed into the theatre with one accord, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians, Paul’s travel companions.Acts 19.23-29
Therefore, what happened was that as Christianity spread, and particularly after the conversion of Constantine, Christianity became an official religion in the Roman Empire.
It became quite advantageous to become a Christian. Instead of being persecuted Christians were now in a good position. So, large numbers of pagans became ‘so-called Christians’ without actually being converted or having any experience of repentance and faith. They just joined the church and that was good for them.
One of the problems which they found was that, as these new converts came from a pagan background, they were looking for the goddess, the mother of God figure, to believe in and they couldn’t find any in Christianity.
So they looked around in the New Testament and they realised, ‘Well, there’s a woman who we could put in that place, Mary. Let’s exalt her to becoming the goddess figure!‘ They invented the story of Mary as the Queen of Heaven and as the mediator even though it is not there, it is nowhere to be found in the New Testament.
It became a way in which they could begin this process which would lead to what Luther described as ‘The Babylonian Captivity of the Church’, Luther wrote a book with that title and you can see the spirit of Babylon taking over the church as it drew in influences which came from ancient Babylon. Not in the Bible at all.
And it’s something which has actually caused many people, typically Jewish people, to totally disbelieve Christianity, because they look at this and say, ‘Well, this is all paganism, it’s all image worship and it’s also antisemitic, so we won’t believe in it’.
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There is also an interesting connection to Islam because we find that, in Islam, Mary is given honour. The Qur’an also adds another woman called Fatima, one of Muhammad’s daughters, and interestingly, in recent times – some 100 years or so – there was a very famous event which took place when three young girls had a vision or an apparition of Mary in a place called Fatima, in Portugal. Apparently, the vision of Mary gave them some revelations about what was going to happen in the last days and how they should commit themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Roman Catholic church. It happened in a place called Fatima and the Roman Catholic church has actually said that Fatima in Portugal, (here is another deception, another false experience) has now become a place of pilgrimage for Catholics and for Muslims. They say,
The Catholic church saw this as a way to bring together Catholics and Muslims which is another big program of the Pope today, to bring forth the One-World religious system which will embrace all religions into the One-World System.
And you can see that woman of Revelation 17 and 18 bringing together the world religions which is very much part of the world agenda today. This is not from God, it’s from Babylon and if you see the coming together of religions into one, then get out of it because that’s not from God.
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.Revelation 18.4
Jesus says there’s one way to God.
I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.John 14:6
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all1 Timothy 2.5-6
Who died for us and rose from the dead.