The Assumption of Mary?
Even Eastern churches do not agree with Roman Catholics on the dreams that we are studying these days in the above-mentioned article, but Roman Catholics do not admit yet that they need reformation… We have seen in our previous study how the immaculate conception is just a big dream that has no basis in the Word of God and, on the contrary, clearly contradicts the teaching of the Word of God. Now, a natural conclusion from the sinlessness of Mary (taught by Roman Catholics) would be that she could not die, because death is the result of the original sin… Jesus would not die if it were not for our sins. And indeed, many Roman Catholics in the West believe that Mary was not dead, but that she was assumed into Heaven, body and soul, while she was still alive… There are even papist Catholics in the East that disagree with the Western Roman Catholics, as they believe Mary died and then rose from the dead and was assumed into Heaven… After all, this is a dream which is not mentioned in the Bible and which contradicts the teachings of the Bible and the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, so each group may invent their own views concerning what should have happened to Mary after Acts 1 where she is mentioned for the last time in God’s Word (and Acts 2 where she is indirectly mentioned in Acts 2:1). But the Word of God is more than clear concerning what happens to every human as long as the Lord Jesus has not returned: “it is the portion of men once to die, and after this judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). This is the portion of every human, including Mary who is a human by the way… Death is the portion of every human since sin and death have entered the world through the sin of that one man, their first parent Adam: “For this [cause], even as by one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death; and thus death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). Mary also is a child of Adam; she’s fully human and she has nothing divine in her nature; so she has surely died like all humans. Although the Bible does not tell us anything about what happened to her after Acts 2, but we know that Romans 5:12 and Hebrews 9:27 are true about her as well as about all humans. If anything else happened to Mary, the Apostles would tell us. Mary admitted that God is her Savior (cf. Luke 1:47), and we have seen how this Salvation is by the forgiveness of sins (cf. Luke 1:77). Mary, just like all believers, was justified by faith and was sanctified during her whole life, but she still didn’t receive the adoption, the redemption of her body; she’s still waiting with us all for the resurrection or the change of our bodies: “And not only [that], but even we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we also ourselves groan in ourselves, awaiting adoption, [that is] the redemption of our body. For we have been saved in hope; but hope seen is not hope; for what any one sees, why does he also hope? But if what we see not we hope, we expect in patience.” (Romans 8:23-25) Mary who died almost 1900 years ago is still waiting, with all the saints who have fallen asleep, for the resurrection.
But Roman Catholics and many heretics like them have another agenda: They just can’t believe that Mary is a mere human like all of us… so they think that she should have been assumed into Heaven… So let’s see what this dream of the Assumption is, and then we can answer the false “arguments” that Roman Catholics use in defense of this dream…
The Assumption of Mary: Definition
The Assumption of Mary is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church declared by the Pope Pius XII in 1950 in the following way:
“The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII, 1950).
Thus Roman Catholics believe that Mary went to Heaven body and soul. And look at the biblical reference that the Pope gave: None… Although Pope Pius XII was clear in his document that Mary did die, but the doctrine is not clear whether Mary died before being taken to Heaven body and soul. Some believe she died and then was risen to Heaven body and soul; others believe that Mary never died, but was immediately taken to Heaven…
The history behind this heretical doctrine, and the implications of this history
The doctrine of the Assumption of Mary is not mentioned in the Bible. The Apostles knew nothing about this heretical teaching. Roman Catholics admit that this teaching is not found in the Scripture:
Since the Immaculate Conception and Assumption are not explicit in Scripture, Fundamentalists conclude that the doctrines are false. (Immaculate Conception and Assumption, Catholic Answers)
The doctrine of the Assumption of Mary grew in the human traditions of Christians from a simple belief in a certain miracle after her death to a doctrine of her assumption body and soul to Heaven. As the concentration on Mary began around the council of Chalcedon, when the Nestorian controversy had begun (see this article for more details), so it is around this time that speculations began to grow about what should have happened to Mary after Acts 2… As there was not any certain information about the death of Mary, so each community of Christians began to invent its own story about the end of her life. In 377 A.D., Church Father Epiphanius said that no one knows Mary’s end: “But if some think us mistaken, let them search the Scriptures. They will not find Mary’s death…for her end no-one knows.” (Epiphanius, Panarion, Haer. 78.10-11, 23. Cited by Juniper Carol, OFM, Mariology, vol. II, pp. 139-40). But other Christians began to speculate that Mary should have died and should have risen after her death… Thus after a while, in the Byzantine Empire around the 6th century, an annual feast honoring Mary gradually grew into a commemoration of Mary’s death called the Feast of Dormition (“falling asleep”). Later an emphasis was placed on Mary’s supposed resurrection, and the glorification of Mary’s body as well as her soul, and the name of the feast was thus changed to the Assumption. It is still observed on August 15, as it was in the Middle Ages. By the 13th century most Roman Catholic theologians accepted the belief of the Assumption, but the Assumption of Mary was not made an official dogma of the Roman Catholic Church until 1950 when Pope Pius XII made that official declaration.
As we have seen, around the time of the Nestorian controversy that led to speculations about Mary, a Church Father, Epiphanius, was warning that nobody knows anything about the end of Mary’s life. None of the Church Fathers of those times and before said anything certain about the end of Mary’s life, let alone any possible bodily assumption… For several centuries in the early Church, there is NO mention of a bodily assumption of Mary. Irenaeus, Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose and other Church Fathers said nothing about it, nothing at all! By the admission of the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia itself, the first “genuine” written references to the Assumption come from authors who lived in the sixth to the eighth centuries! Let’s read this in that Encyclopedia(*):
If we consult genuine writings in the East, it is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and others. In the West, St. Gregory of Tours (De gloria mart., I, iv) mentions it first. The sermons of St. Jerome and St. Augustine for this feast, however, are spurious.
St. Modestus of Jerusalem lived in the 7th century! St. Andrew of Crete and St. John Damascene lived from the middle of the 7th century to the eighth century, more than 600 years after the time of the Apostles of the Lord and the Apostolic Fathers!! The one who mentioned the Assumption first in the West, St. Gregory of Tours, lived in the 6th century! I wonder HOW these make any authority to tell us what the Apostles said about Mary when those Apostles said NOTHING at all about the end of Mary’s life, and the Apostolic Fathers as well said NOTHING!
Now, this whole matter becomes more interesting when we know that, not only the early Church Fathers mentioned nothing about the Assumption, but also the first mentions of this assumption are found in the teachings of heretics! The belief of the Assumption is based on apocryphal and spurious writings! Here again, the Roman Catholic Encyclopedia itself(*) comes to confirm what I just said:
The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae, bearing the name of St. John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. It is also found in the book De Transitu Virginis, falsely ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis, and in a spurious letter attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite.
Who makes such apocryphal and spurious books attributing them to Apostles and Church Fathers other than heretics who want to impose their false teachings through this dishonest method?!
Again, the first Church author to speak on the assumption, Gregory of Tours, based his teaching on the Transitus, maybe because he accepted them as genuine! And we know that in 459 A.D. Pope Gelasius issued a decree that officially condemned and rejected the Transitus along with several other heretical writings. Pope Hormisdas reaffirmed this decree in the sixth century.
The sad fact is that these same heretical teachings which were even condemned by Roman Catholic Popes were later promoted within the Roman Catholic Church, until eventually they led to the dogma of the Assumption in the twentieth century… This was just like Pelagianism! Condemned by the Church, Pelagianism later became the doctrine of Trent under another form! And just as Trent declared anathemas (curses) on those who refused those semi-pelagian teachings, in the same way the Roman Catholic Church got to a place where, sadly, it condemned those who refused this heretical teaching of the Assumption! In the same document in which Pope Pius XII officially declared the doctrine of the Assumption (Munificentissimus Deus), we read the following condemnation against all those who deny this heretical teaching:
Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.
Thus, it is so bad for a Roman Catholic to deny this teaching which was based on what heretics taught!… As we have seen, the early Church knew nothing about this doctrine, so maybe the Pope thinks the whole early Church had fallen away from the true Faith… Even some Popes condemned those heretical books that taught the Assumption! So maybe Pope Pius XII thinks those Popes also had fallen away from the Catholic Faith?… We would like to inform the Roman Catholics that those who have fallen from the true catholic Faith are not those who deny this false doctrine, but the apostates who have invented this novel doctrine. The true believers are those who, together with the early Christians, faithfully uphold the Faith of the New Testament.
Dear friends who still think you should stay in the corrupted system of Roman Catholicism, and you even embarrass yourselves to defend their heretical doctrines, please note how you are being deceived by this system! Please, wake up! Do not build your faith on sand by trusting this deceitful system! Does not the Roman Catholic Church teach you in theory that the sacred deposit of the Faith (the Word of God) is contained in Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition, and that the Magisterium gives an authentic interpretation to the Word of God WITHOUT adding anything to its content (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 84-86)?? However, we have seen in this article that in practice the Roman Catholic Church teaches doctrines that are NOT drawn from the deposit of Faith! The Assumption is neither found in Scripture nor in the early Church tradition! Even worse: this doctrine comes from heretics condemned by Church Fathers and even by Popes! Please, don’t be deceived! This system is turning your eyes away from the Lord Jesus Christ in whom ALONE you can have life. It is true that they say that they honor and worship Christ, but in practice they deny all what they say!
What does God’s Word, the Bible, say about all this?
The Holy Spirit has warned us in the Book of Proverbs a long time ago:
“Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6)
This was a clear warning that all those who add to God’s Word will be proved liars. Similar warnings are found in Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelation 22:18-19 . The Lord Jesus condemned any human tradition added to God’s Word and trying to interpret God’s Word (cf. Matthew 15:1-9).
Well, God’s Word clearly says that all humans are sinners:
“for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
And this is not just a matter of some personal sins that people do, but it is about the sinful nature called “sin” (in singular) that has entered the world through one man, Adam, and which is called “original sin” (again in singular) by the Christian theologians. This is explained in the following passage:
“For this [cause], even as by one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death; and thus death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
As this verse explains, it is because of this original sin that humans die; so the biological death is clearly linked to the spiritual death caused by sin and about which God told Adam:
“but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt certainly die.” (Genesis 2:17)
Again, God’s Word insists on the fact that sin causes death as the certain wages of sin:
“For the wages of sin [is] death” (Romans 6:23).
And this is not only true about unbelievers, but about the believers as well. Although the true believers in Christ are already saved from sin and spiritual death, and yet they still don’t have the consummation of this Salvation, i.e. the redemption of their bodies, but they only have it in sure hope as they are already alive in the Spirit of life and they know for sure that they will inherit the life by the Grace of the One who saved them. So the believers also die biologically because of sin, and they wait for the day of resurrection and of the redemption of their bodies:
* Death of believers in Christ because of sin, although they are saved from spiritual death (they have life in the Spirit): “but if Christ be in you, the body is dead on account of sin, but the Spirit life on account of righteousness.” (Romans 8:10)
* Believers in Christ wait for the resurrection and for the redemption of their bodies, and they have this as a sure hope: “And not only [that], but even we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we also ourselves groan in ourselves, awaiting adoption, [that is] the redemption of our body. For we have been saved in hope; but hope seen is not hope; for what any one sees, why does he also hope? But if what we see not we hope, we expect in patience.” (Romans 8:23-25)
And Mary is one of these believers who has the hope of the redemption of her body which is dead because of sin. Mary is a child of Adam, and she has the same sinful nature of Adam because of which humans die. And Mary admitted this when she said: “and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:47) Mary admitted that God is her Savior, and we have seen how this Salvation is by the forgiveness of sins (cf. Luke 1:77). Mary, just like all believers, was justified by faith and was sanctified during her whole life, but she still didn’t receive the adoption, the redemption of her body; she’s still waiting with us all for the resurrection or the change of our bodies. We have seen the biblical argument about how Mary had the original sin in our previous study: Immaculate Conception? Only the Lord Jesus Christ was sinless, and He would not die if it were not because of our sins which He took on Himself: “For we have not a high priest not able to sympathise with our infirmities, but tempted in all things in like manner, sin apart.” (Hebrews 4:15) Again, we have seen the details about this in our previous study: Immaculate Conception? Furthermore, God’s Word says that for this reason Jesus is the firstborn of the dead, i.e. the first risen from the dead as our Representative and our Head in whom we also (including Mary) will rise some day (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:20, 49, Colossians 1:18, Revelation 1:5). All the believers in Christ still wait for this hope of the redemption of our bodies, as we have seen. It is a false teaching when someone says that the resurrection has already happened, even if he means it about one of the believers, be it Mary or anyone else: “men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:18) No human, except Jesus Christ, has ever risen, because the resurrection has not happened yet. Yes, some have risen to die again, but no one has risen forever like Jesus. Note that Enoch (cf. Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (cf. 2 Kings 2:11) were NOT risen from the dead, but they were taken to Heaven without being dead, and that’s not a resurrection. Resurrection has not happened yet. Note also that Enoch and Elijah were not sinless (read for example James 5:17), and they were taken to Heaven as special witnesses to the old people about the resurrection power of God and the resurrection of and in Christ, and not because they were sinless.
So as Mary was a normal human like all of us, i.e. a child of Adam to whom sin passed from that one man, Adam, so she also died a natural biological death just like all humans: “it is the portion of men once to die, and after this judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
Thus, God’s Word does not say anything about an assumption of Mary, not even indirectly, but on the contrary, God’s Word clearly refutes that dream and clearly argues against it, as we have seen.
Answers to some false “arguments”
We have seen how this doctrine of the Assumption of Mary is not based on God’s Word but on some heretical teachings. But, as usual, the Roman Catholics take a doctrine based on a human tradition and try to prove that it is based on Scripture, because they want to prove that their human-made tradition is just the Church’s interpretation of Scripture… They try to find biblical verses that may support their already invented doctrine… They first invent a doctrine, building it on human traditions and not on the Word of God, and then they try to find a way to reconcile it with what God says… This is what Pharisees also used to do, therefore the Lord condemned their practice.
In this section of our article, we will see some false arguments brought by Roman Catholics to defend this human-made doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. We will only see the arguments used by the author of the Roman Catholic article that we are studying.
“Mary’s assumption is not necessarily about elevating the person of Mary, as it is a preview and symbol of our own future resurrection.”
We have seen that God’s Word says that it is JESUS who is the firstborn of the dead. God’s Word says that as Jesus is the only sinless human, so it is JESUS who is the firstborn of the dead, i.e. the first risen from the dead as our Representative and our Head in whom we also (including Mary) will rise some day (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:20,49, Colossians 1:18, Revelation 1:5). All the believers in Christ, including Mary, still wait for this hope of the redemption of our bodies, as we have seen. It is a false teaching when someone says that the resurrection has already happened, even if he means it about one of the believers, be it Mary or anyone else: “men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.” (2 Timothy 2:18) No human, except Jesus Christ, has ever risen, because the resurrection has not happened yet. Mary is not our representative, but Christ is! So saying that Mary’s assumption would be the symbol and first fruit of our resurrection IS a replacement of Christ by Mary, and thus it IS about elevating the person of Mary to the level of Christ’s Person.
“However, special people…”
This refutes the first argument, as it shows that the real agenda of Roman Catholics is to back up the immaculate conception through which Mary is “special” according to them, as we have seen in our previous studies.
“However, special people are often taken to heaven in special ways. The Bible tells us Elijah was assumed into heaven. Moses was thought to be taken into heaven in a special manner, mentioned in the apocryphal Assumption of Moses, a work quoted in the New Testament Letter of Jude.”
1. Often taken to Heaven?? Only two persons, Enoch and Elijah were taken to Heaven in a special way, so I wonder how this makes it an “often” happening experience…
2. As we have seen above, Enoch (cf. Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (cf. 2 Kings 2:11) were NOT risen from the dead, but they were taken to Heaven without being dead (cf. Hebrews 11:5), and that’s not a resurrection. Resurrection has not happened yet. Note also that Enoch and Elijah were not sinless (read for example James 5:17), and they were taken to Heaven as special witnesses to the old people about the resurrection power of God and the resurrection of and in Christ, and not because they were sinless. As for the case of Mary’s death, Jesus had already risen, so no new image of Christ’s resurrection and of the resurrection power of God is needed, so there is no need for her to rise before the resurrection Day. And the Canon of Scripture is closed  with no mention of anything about any kind of assumption of Mary! Those who open the Canon to add this dream to it are adding to God’s Word. Moreover, the Bible argues against the resurrection of Mary, as we have seen.
3. Moses was not assumed to Heaven in his body, but he is still dead, waiting for the Day of resurrection: “So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day.” (Deuteronomy 34:5-6) So Moses died and was buried. Who said that Moses was taken into Heaven? Once again, an apocryphal book… This Roman Catholic admits that this book is apocryphal, and yet wants to build on it an argument for the Assumption of Mary… This is not strange as the Assumption of Mary itself is built on apocryphal books, as we have seen… Note that the Epistle of Jude is an inspired Book in God’s Word, and of course Jude was not quoting any apocryphal book, like this author dreams, but he has received a new revelation about Moses’ body. If a book is written first, this doesn’t mean that it is the genuine story from which God needs to quote. For instance, there were many creation stories in the East, but Moses was not quoting them when he wrote Genesis, but he has received the true revelation about creation.
“the Assumption is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible… We must remember that neither Catholic nor Orthodox Christians hold to the Reformation tradition of sola scriptura, i.e. that all doctrine must be proved by Scripture alone. Catholics and Orthodox (and the early Church) see no contradiction between the two, and recognize that truth unfolds through Holy Tradition. Thus something hinted at in Scripture, like the Assumption of Mary, is more fully demonstrated by Tradition.”
Thanks for admitting that the Assumption is not mentioned in the Bible. But this is not only “not explicitly”, but not even indirectly, as we have seen. Absolutely nothing is said about any kind of assumption of Mary or of any human except Jesus Christ! On the contrary, the biblical principles show that Mary, who is a natural child of Adam, should have died.
But if you say that all doctrine does not need to be proven by Scripture alone, then why are you trying to prove it is mentioned in the Bible at least indirectly? Is it not because the “Holy Tradition” of yours should not contradict the Scripture? This alone shows that the Scripture is the rule according to which any tradition should be judged whether it is a true tradition or not… This is another way to say Sola Scriptura… You are fighting against a misunderstanding of the Sola Scriptura as it is clear…
So Roman Catholics believe that their “Holy Tradition” should not contradict the Scripture, but should only be the true interpretation of what the Scripture says. Indeed, we have seen that the Roman Catholic Church teaches in theory that the sacred deposit of the Faith (the Word of God) is contained in Sacred Scripture and Holy Tradition, and that the Magisterium gives an authentic interpretation to the Word of God WITHOUT adding anything to its content (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 84-86)… However, we have seen in this article that in practice the Roman Catholic Church teaches doctrines that are NOT drawn from the deposit of Faith! The Assumption of Mary is neither found in Scripture nor in the early Church tradition! Even worse: this doctrine comes from heretics condemned by Church Fathers and even by Popes!
“However, in Revelation we read of a “woman clothed with the sun,” thought to be Mary in ancient Christian Scriptural interpretation. If this interpretation is true, then St. John attests to Mary’s presence in heaven, body and soul.”
This is an example of how Roman Catholics first invent their human-made doctrines and then try to reconcile them with Scripture. No Church Father before the Chalcedonian controversy has ever interpreted this passage of Revelation the way Roman Catholics interpret it today, because, as we have seen, none of them believed in the assumption of Mary. But later, when this human-made doctrine was invented, and then the biblical Christians asked the Roman Catholics for their biblical proof, they began to try to reconcile those passages with their doctrines, thus interpreting God’s Word by their human opinions or traditions, which is very wrong.
It is noteworthy that the mentioned passage from Revelation, if interpreted the way Roman Catholics interpret it, refutes the Roman Catholic doctrine and does not defend it! Roman Catholics build the dream of the Assumption on the heretical doctrine of the Immaculate Conception which is clearly contradicted by the above mentioned passage of Revelation. If Mary was clean from the original sin, then the following judgment that came on original sin should not apply to her: “To the woman he said, I will greatly increase thy travail and thy pregnancy; with pain thou shalt bear children; and to thy husband shall be thy desire, and he shall rule over thee.” (Genesis 3:16) Besides this, any such pain of childbirth would make Mary lose her physical virginity, something denied by the Roman Catholic doctrine of the ever-virginity of Mary, as we have seen; they believe Mary gave birth to Jesus in a supernatural way, without losing her physical virginity… So any pains of childbirth will refute both the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and of the ever-virginity of Mary… And yet, Revelation 12 says about this woman who is clothed with the sun: “and being with child she cried, [being] in travail, and in pain to bring forth.” (Revelation 12:2)… So how could Mary be in pain of childbirth when she had not the original sin?…
But does Revelation 12 really talk about Mary? If every time a Roman Catholic reads in the Bible the word “woman” and interprets it in the plain sense of a human woman, then he will get in a big trouble… especially in the Book of Revelation which is full of symbols… For instance, in Revelation 17 a Roman Catholic would think that the topic is about a vampire woman who drinks blood (see Revelation 17:6); however, this passage is about a city or a people, as Revelation 17:18 reveals, and Revelation 18 later reveals that this city is Babylon with all what it represents as rebellion against God…
It is not new for John who wrote the Revelation to call a people by the symbol of a woman or a lady (cf. 2 John 1:1). And it is not new for God to call a people by the symbol of a woman! In the whole Old Testament, Israel as the people of God is the wife of God! Indeed, the people of God is described with the glory of the sun in Song 6:10 just like in Revelation 12:1: “Who is she that looketh forth as the dawn, Fair as the moon, clear as the sun, Terrible as troops with banners?” (Song 6:10) This woman of Revelation 12 has on her head a crown of 12 stars who are the twelve tribes of Israel according to Genesis 37:9-10 and Genesis 49:1-28: “And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamt another dream, and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowed down to me. And he told [it] to his father and to his brethren. And his father rebuked him, and said to him, What is this dream which thou hast dreamt? Shall we indeed come, I and thy mother and thy brethren, to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?” (Genesis 37:9-10) This woman of Revelation 12 has the pain of childbirth, and this is indeed said to happen to the people of God: “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Can a land be made to bring forth in one day? shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her sons. Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith Jehovah; I who cause to bring forth, shall I shut [the womb]? saith thy God. Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all ye that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn over her: because ye shall suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; because ye shall drink out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. For thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing torrent; and ye shall suck, ye shall be carried upon the side, and be dandled upon the knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 66:7-13); “Now why dost thou cry out aloud? Is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished, that pangs have seized thee as a woman in travail? Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail; for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon: there shalt thou be delivered; there Jehovah will redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.” (Micah 4:9-10). And of course, all this is not about the whole people of Israel, but about the remnant of Israel who are the real people of God and who are ONE people with the Church of Christ; thus the twelve stars on the head of this woman are symbols of the twelve Apostles of Christ who represent the twelve tribes of the remnant of Israel in unity with the Church. This one people is called “Jerusalem above”: “but the Jerusalem above is free, which is our mother. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break out and cry, thou that travailest not; because the children of the desolate are more numerous than [those] of her that has a husband.” (Galatians 4:26-27) It is indeed Jerusalem ABOVE, as Revelation 12 also pictures this woman as being in Heaven (cf. Ephesians 2:6, Revelation 21:2). Thus the people of God is both the mother of Christ through the remnant and the bride of Christ through the Apostles! For more details about this, please read our articles Who is the mother of believers? and “A woman shall encompass a man” – What does this mean? As you see, the passages quoted here in this paragraph contain details explained in Revelation 12, like the pains of childbirth and the going to the wilderness or to Babylon. In Revelation 12:4 the dragon wants to devour the newborn Child as soon as He is born, and this is indeed what happened when Jesus was born: Herod wanted to kill Jesus, so he murdered the babies of Bethlehem. On the occasion of this massacre of the babies of Bethlehem, God gives us an example of how this woman of Revelation 12 is in pains of childbirth, for the murder of babies was indeed a pain of Christ’s birth! On this occasion the woman is mentioned to have cried in this pain of childbirth: “A voice has been heard in Rama, weeping, and great lamentation: Rachel weeping [for] her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” (Matthew 2:18) Of course, this is not the place to study the whole chapter 12 of Revelation, but what has been said is enough to show that this is not Mary. Besides all this, Revelation 12 does NOT say that this woman took wings to fly to Heaven, because this is not about the Roman Catholic Mary… The passage says that this woman fled to the wilderness, and not to Heaven (read Revelation 12:6,14), and that is just for three years and a half and not forever as Roman Catholics think about Mary… The interesting is that this going to the wilderness is explained in the Word of God, both in the Old Testament (in the passages quoted above, especially in Micah 4:10-11) and in the New Testament, in this same Book of Revelation (cf. Revelation 11:2). As I said, I can’t do a detailed Bible study about this passage in the limit of this article, but it is clear that this is not Mary, because Mary did not flee to the wilderness by getting wings of an eagle, and because the Bible clearly explains who this woman is, as we have seen.
The author of the Roman Catholic article says about the interpretation of Revelation 12 as being about Mary: “If this interpretation is true, then St. John attests to Mary’s presence in heaven, body and soul.” Well, we have seen that this interpretation is wrong, as it contradicts what the Bible says.
Once again, we saw how Roman Catholics try to replace Jesus with their version of Mary. The Bible says that the resurrection from the dead was the declaration of Christ being the Son of God (read Romans 1:4), but Roman Catholics give this glory of the resurrection to Mary as well, thus making her share Christ in His divine attributes! There are even people among them who say she rose again on the third day, exactly like what happened with Jesus… Roman Catholic theology has exalted Mary to the heavens, and it is therefore natural for Roman Catholics to look to her for their spiritual needs: “O most sweet Lady and our Mother, thou hast already left the earth and reached thy kingdom, where, as Queen, thou art enthroned … From the high throne, then, to which thou art exalted, turn, O Mary, thy compassionate eyes upon us, and pity us.” (Of the Assumption of Mary, St. Alphonsus de Liguori). But the Bible says that only Jesus has gone to Heaven body and soul as our High Priest, so it is He alone who can intercede for us and hear our prayers: “Whence also he is able to save completely those who approach by him to God, always living to intercede for them. For such a high priest became us, holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and become higher than the heavens“ (Hebrews 7:25-26). Therefore, when we want to worship or pray, we have no one in Heaven other than the Lord: “Whom have I in the heavens? and there is none upon earth I desire beside thee.” (Psalm 73:25) But Roman Catholics worship Mary by praying to her, as they have placed her in the position of Jesus… This will be the topic of another article, if the Lord wills.
Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ
1. More details about this are found in our article The Canon of Scripture.
Posted in Religious Movements | Roman Catholicism and similar heresies
This is part 9 of the series: Roman Catholic desperate defense of Marian worship