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Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: An Overview

Selected Scriptures April 02, 2006 90-314

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Tonight, as was made clear this morning, we are going to be looking at the subject of the idolatry of worshipping Mary.  And I want to say a few things before I say a few things by way of introduction.  The first thing to say is my objective and my goal is to make known to you the truth for the sake of the truth, for the sake of the God of the truth who is to be honored.  The second and corollary purpose is to let you know that the worship of Mary is, in fact, an idolatry that is displeasing to God.  And I say that because it’s critically important that we understand what it is that God desires and what it is he blesses and what it is that he rejects and punishes. 

Now I want to break this up into several components.  It’s important to begin with to understand what the Roman Catholic Church and the people in the Roman Catholic system have and do believe about Mary.  And so we’re going to begin with a look at what has been written and said and established about her.  Then we’re going to move from that into specific dogma where the church has actually laid down an absolute dogma regarding Mary.  We’ll take a look at that.  Thirdly we’ll compare that with Scripture and then finally we’ll conclude with a comparison of this to other texts of Scripture that relate to forms of idolatry, false gods, and the blasphemy of worshipping any other than the true and living God.

We’re not surprised that some people worship people.  Romans 1 says that when people suppress the truth of God and reject that which can be known of God that is in them in the place of God, they create their own idols in the form of man as well as beasts and other animals.  It is a little bit unusual, however, in our society to worship dead people.  There is a group of Jews in New York City called the Lubavitches and they worship a dead rabbi.  Perhaps even more strange is the growing worship of the former emperor of Ethiopia.  He was crowned emperor on November 2, 1930.  He died in 1975.  For 45 years he was the emperor of Ethiopia.  You would know him and history knows him as Haile Selassie number one or the first, but among his followers Haile Selassie I.

That is not his actual name, that’s a name he took and what it means is “the power of the trinity.”   He took that name for himself.  He also took other names for himself, King of Kings, Lord of Lords and borrowing from Revelation 5:5, the Conquering Lion of Judah, a messianic title.  His precoronation name, the name that he was given at birth, an Ethiopian name, Ras Tafari Makonnen.  He was raised in the Ethiopian orthodox religion.  He was particularly interested in the Bible and most of all in the Old Testament.  Some of you will remember him.  If you’re old enough you will remember Haile Selassie.  He showed up at all kinds of world events for the 45 years of his reign, including, I believe, the funeral of John F. Kennedy. 

He was a remarkable man, 5-foot-3 or 5-foot-4 with lifts, and always, no matter what the occasion, bedecked with a panoply of medals – dozens of them – all over this coat.  He actually claimed to be the 225th in an unbroken line of Ethiopian kings descending from a union between Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.  He actually went to far as to say Psalm 87:4-6 prophesied his coronation.  That all seems very bizarre to us, but you might want to know that there are well in excess of one million people who today, as I speak to you, worship him as God.  They call him Jah, short for Yahwey.  They call him the King of Creation, they call him the Living God, and they call him God Incarnate.  Some identify him with the title The Black Messiah of the World.  He is believed to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.  The religion that subscribes to these bizarre ideas about the man is drawn from his original name.  His original name, I told you, Ras Tafari.  His worshippers are called Rastafarians. 

Strangely this started not in Ethiopia, but in Jamaica and it started in 1930, the year of his coronation when among the very poor and disenfranchised Jamaicans, they took seriously his claim to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords, his claim to be the Conquering Lion of Judah, and they began to worship him as God.  The characteristics of the religion began to develop and they are fairly well-fixed today.  They believe only in the King James Version of the Bible or the Amharic version, which is in the Ethiopian language.  If you’re in that religion you have a personal relationship to Ras Tafari.  That’s why you are a Rastafarian; just as if you have a personal relationship to Christ you are a Christian. 

They say he didn’t really die, his death was a scam, and he’s coming back to Africa on the Day of Judgment.  They believe that only half the Bible has really been written.  There’s another half to the Bible that was stolen from black people in Africa by white people and is to be found hidden in the Arc of the Covenant if the Arc of the Covenant can be found.  And in that half of the Bible is a repository of African wisdom.  They believe in physical immortality for devout believers; that is you don’t die physically.  They believe that Haile Selassie – Ras Tafari – is God the Father and God the Son and his followers are the Holy Spirit.  He is the head and they are the body.  They believe that in a reincarnation prior to that of Jesus, he came into the world as Melchizedek.  Now if you were to go to a Rastafarian service, it would involve smoking marijuana while singing, dancing, feasting, reading the Bible and listening to their most popular prophet, Bob Marley. 

Bob Marley took the Rastafarian concept and developed it into a form of music called reggae.  You associate reggae music with Rastafarians, and also dreadlocks, which is the idea of going back to nature by never taking care of your hair – a kind of play on the Nazarite vow.  All this seems ridiculous, bizarre, ignorant, corrupt, perverse, foolish; to worship a dead Ethiopian who is now in hell.  It is really no more foolish than worshipping a dead woman who is now in heaven.  Equally ridiculous, equally bizarre, equally blasphemous and idolatrous, equally foolish is the worship of Mary.  It is the same thing and far more deadly; far more deadly because of the massive influence of the Roman Catholic system and its deceptiveness. 

There millions all over the world who worship Mary.  Millions of images of her in every imaginable form are scattered throughout the world.  They’re obviously not able to be counted – millions of them in every form and every location:  churches, cathedrals, houses, cars, wallets.  Everywhere are images, pictures, representations of Mary.  Millions upon millions of people every day pray to her.  They pray to her to save them.  They pray to her to protect them.  They pray to her to help them, to comfort them, to rescue them, to bring them to heaven, and she has never heard one of those prayers.  Ever. 

By any honest definition, this is idolatry.  This is a severe violation of the first commandment, “To have no other gods but the true and living God.”  It’s no different than pagan idolatry, which God totally condemns as an abomination.  So let’s just get that clear at the beginning.  Roman Catholics worship Mary as if she were God.  Cathedrals elevate her above God and above Christ.  We were talking this evening about a cathedral in Pisa where we have visited which depicts Mary at the pinnacle, as they almost all do, all through Europe.  She’s at the top, Jesus and God are below her, and in that particular cathedral in Pisa, you have Jesus and God offering their crowns to Mary.  People kiss her image.  They kiss her statue.  They kiss her picture.  They crawl on their knees in penitential pain as some kind of preparation to come before statues of her.  They pray to her regularly using the rosary.  The rosary is a series of 10 prayers.  There are five of the tens, making 50 prayers and there are five prayers in between.  The 50 are to Mary, the five are to God.  There are five Our Fathers.  There are 50 Hail Marys.  For every time you pray once to God the Father, you pray 10 times to Mary for five to God, 50 to Mary. 

This is no different than worshipping Baal or Moloch or Caesar or Buddha or Krishna or Haile Selassie.  And the whole cult of Mary worship would be an unspeakable horror to Mary if she ever knew.  She never will.  Now the Catholics try to wiggle around a little bit out of this by saying there are different kinds of worship.  There is dulia, the worship of saints and angels, there is latria, that is the worship of God, and there is hyperdulia, which is the worship of Mary alone.  This is not just dulia, which is a sort of low-level worship of saints and angels, this is hyper or upper-level dulia.  Not quite latria.  This is a silly, artificial kind of distinction that even Roman Catholic people can’t sort out.  They worship saints.  They venerate or worship angels.  Far above saints and angels they worship Mary and they attempt to worship God.  But if you’re worshipping those who are not God, God does not accept your worship. 

It is an artificial distinction, dulia and latria, from Greek words, are synonyms.  They do not distinguish worship at all.  Mary is believed to hold the sovereign authority of God.  Now I don’t want to assign to the Catholic Church anything that they don’t say, so I am about, at this point, to let you hear Rome speak.  Now this is going to be a little bit beleaguering, but it’s very important for you to understand that this is not coming from me.  These are their claims for Mary. In the celebration of the Marian year, Pope Pius XII accurately reflected the church’s view of the Virgin Mary when the Pope stood up to give this following pontifical prayer – and I quote.

“Enraptured by the splendor of your heavenly beauty and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother.  Mary, we adore and praise the peerless richness of the sublime gifts with which God has filled you above every other mere creature from the moment of conception until the day on which, after your assumption into Heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.  O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our hearts with your heavenly perfume! O Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell! O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cries which rise up from every heart in this year dedicated to you.  Then tenderly, O Mary, cover our aching wound. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and the oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatred, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity, protect the holy Church.  In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognize that all are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family.  Receive, O sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us on that day, happy with you, that we may repeat before your throne that hymn which is sung today around your altars. You are all-beautiful, O Mary! You are glory, O Mary.  You are the joy, you are the honor of our people!”

Now if that is not worship, I don’t know what worship is.  There is no other definition for that; none whatsoever.  Rob Zins writes, “The snowball of Mary in superiority will roll down the slope of Catholic fantasy until she becomes, in their minds, immaculately conceived, sinless, assumed into heaven, and finally redemptress and co-redeemer with Jesus Christ.”  And that is exactly right.  In fact, Roman Catholics refer to her as Theotokos, God-bearer.  They say she gave birth to God and thus is to be elevated and adored.  She gave birth to God.  That is a terrible misconception.  She gave birth to Jesus in his humanity.  She did not give birth to God.  God was never born. 

Now someone may think I’m overstating or exaggerating the blasphemy toward God that comes in Mary worship, so I have to do this very distasteful exercise to let you hear from the sources themselves.  1745, St. Alphonsus de Liguori wrote a massive book called The Glories of Mary.  It is 750 pages, all of which I read.  That was a very painful exercise, believe me.  It has been published many, many times since 1745.  It is fully authorized by the Roman Catholic Church.  Its latest edition that I have is a smaller, abridged version of it published by the Catholic Book Publishing Company of New York and officially stamped by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of New York.  The original was fully sanctioned as well.  One of the sanctioners of this are the Redemptorist Fathers and they sanctioned it, an edition of it, in 1931 through the cardinal in New York City.

The purpose of de Liguori, his work, is “to make the impression of wonder and awe at the realization of Mary’s power.”  She is viewed as powerful.  The book, then, and all its subsequent publishings and in all of its subsequent formats, calls on all of us to be loyal and faithful to Mary for everything we need spiritually, including our salvation.  I went back to the original edition which has been published again and again and again.  The one I have is a 1931 reprint which was, as I said, sanctioned by the Redemptorist Fathers and the cardinal in New York City.  Here are some of the prayers.  Listen to this.

“O Mary, sweet refuge of poor sinners.  Assist me with thy mercy.  Banish me from the infernal enemies and come thou to take my soul and present it to the eternal judge.  My Queen, do not abandon me.  I give you my heart and soul.”  What de Liguori did was collect all the great tributes to Mary going all the way back to the 5th century, and amasses them in this huge tome.  Collective tribute from all the ages to Mary.  That one came from page 670.  Here’s another one:  “O immaculate and holy pure Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Queen of the World, thou art the joy of the saints.  Thou art the peacemaker between sinners and God.  Thou art the advocate of the abandoned, the secure haven of those who are on the sea of this world.  Thou art the consolation of this world, the ransom of slaves, the comforter of the afflicted, the salvation of the universe.”

Here’s another one:  “We have confidence, but in thee O most faithful Virgin.  O great Mediatress of peace between men and God, the love of all men and of God to whom the honor and benediction with the Father and the Holy Ghost.  Amen.”  Here’s another one:  “O sovereign Lady, saint of all saints, our strength and our refuge.  God, as it were of this world, Glory of Heaven, accept those who love thee.”  Another one:  “O sovereign Princess.  Turn, O Mary, thy loving eyes on me.  Look at me and draw me to thee.”  Another one:  “Mary, Blessed Virgin, Immaculate Queen, I dedicate my family forever to thy service.  I appoint thee ruler of my whole house.  Bless us, defend us, provide for us, counsel us, comfort us, assist us in our infirmities, especially in the sorrows of death.  Granted, we may go to heaven.”

All of these are prayers that belong only to whom?  To God.  God says, “My glory will I not give to another.”  If Jesus were here today he might go into a Catholic Church and make a whip and throw the moneychangers out.  There are weekly prayers to Mary.  Here’s a Sunday prayer:  “Behold, O Mother of God, at thy feet a miserable sinner, a slave of hell who has recoursed to thee and trusts in thee.  I do not deserve that thou shouldest even look at me, but I know that thou, having seen thy son die for the salvation of sinners, hast the greatest desire to help them.  I hear all call thee the Refuge of Sinners, the Hope of those who are in despair and the Help of the abandoned.  Thou art then my refuge, my hope and my help.  Thou hast to save me by thy intercession. 

“Help me, for the love of Jesus Christ.  Extend thy hand to a miserable creature who has fallen and recommends himself to thee.  I know that thy pleasure is to help a sinner to thy utmost.  Help me, therefore, now that thou canst do so.  By my sins I have lost divine grace and with it I have lost my soul.  I now place myself in thy hands.  Tell me what I must do to recover the favor of my Lord and I will immediately do it.  He sends me to thee, that thou mayest help me and He wills that I should have recourse to thy mercy, that not only the merits of thy son, but also that thy intersession may help me to save my soul.  To thee, then, I have recourse.  Do thou who prayed for so many others, pray also to Jesus for me.  Ask him to pardon me and he will forgive me.  Tell him that thou desirest my salvation and he will save me.  Show how thou canst enrich those who trust in thee. Amen. Thus I hope thus may it be.”

Praying to Mary on a Sunday prayer for your salvation and Jesus will do what Mary wants him to do.  On Wednesday, they pray this prayer:  “My Most Beloved Lady, I thank thee for having delivered me from hell as many times as I have deserved it by my sins.  Miserable creature that I was, I was once condemned to that prison and perhaps already after the first sin, the sentence would have been put into execution if thou, in thy compassion, hadst not helped me.  Thou, without even being asked by me, and only in thy goodness, didst restrain divine justice.  And then conquering my obduracy, thou didst draw me to have confidence in thee.  O, into how many other sins should I have afterward fallen in the dangers in which I have been hadst not thou, my Loving Mother, preserved me by the graces which thou didst obtain from me.  Ah, my Queen, continue to guard me from hell, for what will thy mercy and the favors which thou has shown me avail if I am lost?  If I did not always love thee, now at least after God, I love thee above all things.  Never allow me to turn my back on thee and on God, who by thy means has granted me so many graces.  My Mother, most amiable Lady, never allow me to have the misfortune to hate thee and curse thee for all eternity in hell.”

It goes on:  “Will thou endure to see a servant of thine who loves thee lost?  O, Mary, what sayest thou?  I shall be lost if I abandon thee.  But who can ever more have the heart to leave thee?  How can I ever forget the love thou has borne me?  My Lady, since thou has done so much to save me, complete the work, continue the aid.  Will you help me?  But what do I say if at a time when I live forgetful of thee, thou didst favor me so much.  How much more may I not hope for now?  That I love thee and recommend myself to thee.  No, he can never be lost who recommends himself to thee.  He alone is lost who has not recourse to thee.  Ah, my Mother, leave me not in my own hands for I should then be lost.  Grant that I may always have recourse to thee.  Save me, my Hope.  Save me from hell, but in the first place save me from sin which alone can condemn me.”

You wonder why Catholics are attached to Mary?  If you don’t love Mary, you don’t have any hope of being saved.  She’s the one who holds off divine justice.  She’s the one who talks God into accepting sinners.  Page nine of that book it says, “It is God’s own goodness which comes to us through Mary’s intercession.”  We shall learn in this study that no grace of any kind is distributed to anyone any time that doesn’t pass through Mary.  That’s why you want to adore Mary, because if Mary feels your love, you’re going to get what you have to have and if she doesn’t, you’re just not going to get it because it all comes through Mary or it doesn’t come at all.

It’s understandable why they worship Mary.  They don’t have any hope without her.  Here are some quotes:  “As Queen, she possesses by right the whole kingdom of her son.”  That is to say she possesses everything that is within the kingdom of her son to dispense by right.  Another one:  “There are just as many creatures serving Mary as there are serving God.”  Another one:  “All things in heaven and earth are under God’s dominion so that they are, at the same time, under Mary’s dominion.  She has dominion and power over all creation.”  Another one:  “Jesus is King of Justice.  Mary is Queen of Mercy.”  Now you’re starting to get to the core of this thing.  Jesus operates on justice.  Mary operates on Mercy.  You don’t want justice, you want mercy.  It’s hard to get mercy out of Jesus.  It’s easier to get it out of Mary because she’s compassionate and Jesus can’t resist his mother when she pleads for mercy on behalf of someone who’s asked her for it.  Love Mary and she’ll get the mercy you need from Jesus because Jesus can’t resist his mother, which is a blasphemy against the nature of God as a savior and the heart of Christ as a compassionate savior.

Another quote from de Liguori’s treatise:  “Every prayer of Mary’s is like an established law for our Lord.  She establishes the law by which God acts.”  Further:  “Every prayer of Mary’s is like an established law for our Lord obliging him to be merciful to everyone for whom she intercedes.”  Why are Catholic people so caught up with Mary?  Because God has to do what Mary asks Him to do.  That’s His obligation.  She sets the law for God.  Another one:  “Mary throws open the door of God’s mercies to anyone she pleases, when she pleases, as she pleases.”  Who determines who gets mercy?  Mary.  Who determines who got saved?  Mary.  Who determines who got help?  Mary, so you want to be in with Mary. 

Further quotes:  “There are no sinners who will be lost, no matter how great their crimes, when Mary intercedes for them.”  Another one:  “She has great compassion for sinners who come to her determined to do better.”  There’s a little window on the works system.  Here’s another quote:  “Nothing resists her power, for God the Father looks upon her glory as if it were His own.”  Pretty frightening, isn’t it?  Equal glory with God?  Equal power with God?  Sovereignty over who is saved?  Sovereignty over God?  “For she sets the law by which God operates?”  Another quote, from page 22 of de Liguori’s book, “Nothing resists her power for God the Father looks upon her glory as if it were His own and” – finishing that quote – “God the Son, taking delight in glorifying her, grants her every perfection as if he were paying a debt.”  God has to do what she says and Jesus has to do what she says as if He were paying a debt.

The following page, page 23 – and these quotes come from the history of Catholic devotion to Mary.  I’m not giving you every date.  I’m just quoting them from the authorized book.  Page 23:  “The son is under great obligation to her.  Jesus, to pay what he owes to Mary, listens to her requests and grants them.”  So you’ve got God and Jesus doing what Mary tells them to do.  Page 25 and 26:  “Mary is the Mother of our souls.  Mary is our spiritual Mother.  She is sovereign.  She sets the heavenly law.  She operates with glory equal to God.  God and Jesus do what she tells them to do.  She is the source of spiritual life.  She gives life to our souls.  She gives birth to our souls.”  And here’s the sum of it on page 40:  “If I love Mary, I will attain from God whatever I want.”  If I love Mary, I will attain from God whatever I want.  I expect that if you begin to attack Mary, this is pretty traumatic stuff for people who are caught in Roman Catholic deception because all their lives they’ve been trained that whatever they want is going to come through Mary.  You disconnect them from Mary, they have to reinvent their whole understanding of religion, as they should.

Another quote from page 43:  “Those who want to be children of this great mother must first give up sin.”  Oh, so that’s what it takes, give up sin?  First give up sin and then they can expect to be accepted as her children.  So Mary justifies the righteous while Jesus justifies the ungodly.  Further, from page 45 and 46:  “As long as sinners remain obstinate, Mary can’t love them.  But if they repent and plead with her to lift them out of their state of sin, this good mother will reach out her strong hand to them, break loose their chains and lead them to salvation.”  Wow.  That’s just amazing.  She lifts people out of sin when they repent to her.  She breaks the chains of sin and leads sinners to salvation.  It also says on page 46, “She reconciles sinners to God.”  You see?  Are you beginning to put the picture together?  She has all the properties of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. 

Page 51:  “All you who hunger for the Kingdom of God, honor the blessed Virgin Mary and you will find life and eternal salvation.”  The way to be saved is to honor Mary.  Page 53:  “Mary is the arc which saves from eternal destruction anyone who takes shelter in it.  Under the shelter of Mary, sinners are saved.”  Page 55:  “She will welcome us and secure our salvation.”  Same page:  “If Mary ignores or condemns anyone, that person is inevitably lost.”  What a grip.  If Mary isn’t for you, you’re going to hell.  If she is, you’re going to heaven.  “Whoever” – page 153 – “Whoever bears the mark of devotion to Mary, God recognizes as His own,” a few more blasphemous notions.

Page 30 and 31 has these statements:  “To honor the Queen of Heaven, the Queen of Angels, is to gain eternal life.  This most gracious lady will honor in the next world those who honor her in this world.  Let us therefore always, with our hearts and tongues, honor this divine mother in order that we may be conducted by her into the Kingdom of the Blessed.  Salvation of sinners should come from the remembrance of her praises whose womb was made the way through which the Savior came to save sinners.  All graces are dispensed by Mary.  All who are saved are saved on by the means of this divine Mother.  The salvation of all depends upon Mary and her intercession.  Blessed are they who bind themselves with love and confidence to these two anchors of salvation, Jesus and Mary.  They will not be lost.  Farewell, until we meet in paradise at the feet of this most sweet mother and this most loving son; there to praise them and to love them face to face for all eternity.”  Is that what heaven is, the worship of Mary? 

Catholic Catechism 1994, paragraph 2,677 says – Catholic Catechism – “By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the Mother of Mercy, the All Holy One.”  I can’t figure out how God is any different; the All Holy One, the Sovereign One, the source of salvation, the source of all graces, the comforter, the sympathizer.  That is why, on page 402, it says this:  “The Divine Mother can be called the savior of the world.”  Same page, page 402, “When God was about to redeem the human race, he deposited the whole price in Mary’s hands.”  Next page, 403, “The son can deny nothing to such a mother.”  In de Liguori’s book and some other sources, there are hymns to Mary.  You’ll notice there are none in our hymnal.  Unless you’ve been raised in a Catholic Church, you’ve never seen such a thing.  But there are a number of hymns that have been written to Mary and are sung to Mary.  They’re really distasteful. 

I picked out just one verse: “Queen art thou whom all things worship/Earth and Hell and Heaven above/But thy heart o’er flows with goodness/just and sinners feel thy love.”  All creation worships here, Earth, hell, heaven and her heart o’er flows with goodness to everybody.  Now it should be noted, historically, that the official worship of Mary was established in 431 A.D.  431 A.D.  Prayers to Mary came around 600 A.D., a few hundred years passed before this cult developed.  It really is a form, an old, old pagan form of the goddess worship:  Baal and Ashtoreth, Isis and Osiris in Egypt.  You can trace the Babylonian mystery religions.  You can trace the mother/child cult all the way back to pagan goddess worship.  You can find references to that in The Da Vinci Code.  That’s a huge issue for the feminists who think that modern-day Christianity has reinvented religion’s true understanding and replaced the goddess, who is the true ruler of the universe, with a male figure.

But this goddess worship has been around for a long, long time.  Even the idea of the Queen of Heaven has been around for a long, long time.  I want you to turn to Jeremiah 44 for a minute.  In Jeremiah 44 – actually go back.  That’s 37 chapters too far or so.  If you go back, remember now Jeremiah is prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Lord’s house which came to pass in the Babylonian captivity.  The Jewish people are going to be punished by God severely.  Babylonians are going to come, destroy Jerusalem, destroy the temple, slaughter and massacre people and then take some captive back to Babylon where they will be for the duration of the Babylonian captivity.  What are the sins that have brought about the judgment of God?  Go to verse 17.  Do you not see what they’re doing in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem?  What are they doing?  Children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire and the women knead dough to make cakes for whom?  For whom?  For the Queen of Heaven.  For the Queen of Heaven.  By the way, heaven has no queen, do you know that?  It is a king.  It has no queen.  This is paganism; blatant, outright paganism.  It is the paganism, the false form of worship for which the people if Israel were judged.  They were offering their cakes baked to the Queen of Heaven as part of the libations and other things given to God’s false gods. 

Verse 20:  “My anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place; on man, on beast, on the trees of the field, on the fruit of the ground.  It will burn and not be quenched.”  This is serious.  God is going to bring about horrific judgment on those who worship the Queen of Heaven.  It comes again in the 44th chapter.  You can jump ahead.  In the 44th chapter it appears again.  Verse 17, Jeremiah 44.  There’s an obstinacy – a real obstinacy among the Jews.  Even when Jeremiah confronted them and said you have violated the law of God, you have blasphemed God with your worship of false gods, in particular this worship of the goddess, the Queen of Heaven.  This is blasphemy.  The people didn’t care, they didn’t listen.  They hated Jeremiah.  Remember eventually they threw him in a pit to silence him?  Some of them went down into Egypt knowing that the punishment was going to come.  They ran to Egypt, to think that they could get away from it they could go down to Egypt and they could ply their idolatry down there and escape judgment.  And God reminds them in verse 13, “I’ll punish those who live in Egypt as I have punished those who live in Jerusalem.”  You’re not going to get away from me, I don’t care where you go.  And that’s exactly what happened.  There were Jews who went to Egypt to be saved and Egypt had a great invasion and terrible destruction as well.  And again, what was the issue here?  Verse 15:  “The men who were aware of that their wives were burning sacrifices to other gods.”  Women were sort of leading this parade as women have always been drawn to this goddess worship.

Verse 17:  “Their defiance is expressed, but rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths.”  We don’t care what you say, Jeremiah, we will not listen.  We will not change.  We will burn sacrifices to the Queen of Heaven, pour out libations to her, just as we, ourselves, our forefathers, our kings our princes did in the city of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem.  Wow, was this pretty pervasive?  The whole country is caught up in the worship of this goddess, this Queen of Heaven.  There is nothing anywhere in the pages of the New Testament that attributes to Mary any of these ridiculous attributes of sovereignty, supernatural power.  Nothing.  This is just a woman like any other woman.  But there’s plenty in pagan history to point to the worship of a queen in heaven and paganism on a number of fronts has infiltrated Roman Catholicism.  It is steeped in paganism and the Queen of Heaven is right out of paganism and it was pervasive, our forefathers.  It had been going on for a long time, generations.  Our kings, our princes everywhere, in all the cities, the common people in the streets, for them we had plenty of food. 

When we were worshipping the Queen of Heaven, everything was going good.  She was giving us everything we asked for.  It was all going well.  There was no misfortune, end of verse 17, but since we stopped burning sacrifices to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out libations to her, we’ve lacked everything and met our end by the sword and by famine and now look what’s happened.  Now we’re being conquered because we stopped worshipping the Queen of Heaven.  This is the bottom line, folks, the lie of paganism.  The lie is as long as you keep worshipping the Queen of Heaven you’re going to get all the good stuff.  If you ever stop then there’s no channel for the blessing of God.  Verse 19:  “So said the women, “We were burning sacrifices to the Queen of Heaven and we were pouring out libations to her.  Was it without our husbands that we made for her sacrificial cakes and poured out libations to her?”  Of course not, they were all in agreement.  It was the rulers and the men and the women and everybody.  And everything was going fine and all of a sudden now look at us.  We’re under siege and we’re in the midst of judgment and we stopped doing that and now look what’s gone wrong. 

Jeremiah 24 said to all the people, including the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt.”  Those of you who think you can escape down there to Egypt and worship the Queen of Heaven, the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel says as follows:  “As for you and your wives, you have spoken with your mouths, fulfilled it with your hands saying, “We will certainly perform our vows that we have vowed to burn sacrifices to the Queen of Heaven and pour out libations to her.  Go ahead and confirm your vows and certainly perform your vows.”  Have at it, folks.  Go worship the Queen of Heaven.  Nevertheless, hear the Word of the Lord.  If you’re down there in Egypt where this was going on and they were sustaining it down there, there had been a cessation of it in Judah, under the threat of judgment – the judgment had come and they said, “Well, we’ve stopped,” and this is why the judgment has come.  The truth is, the judgment had come because they had done it for so long, but some escaped to Egypt and said, “We’re going to keep doing what we’re going to do,” and he says to them, “All Judah who are living in the land of Egypt, I have sworn by My great Name,” says the Lord, “Never shall my name be invoked again by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt saying as the Lord God lives.”  I’m finished with you.  You will never have My name in your mouth again.  “I am watching over them for harm and not for good, and all the men of Judah who were in the land of Egypt will meet their end by the sword and by famine until they’re completely gone.”  There will just be a remnant left. 

Pretty serious stuff to worship the Queen of Heaven.  The false Mary of Roman Catholicism is a lie and a deception.  It is pagan goddess worship imported into Christianity.  It steals glory from God the Father.  It steals glory from God the Son.  It steals glory from God the Holy Spirit and you cannot worship the true God and sit at the table of demons.  You can’t.  It’s an abomination.  The Queen of Heaven is nothing but an occult concept; the Catholic cult of the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven leads people into demon worship because demons impersonate false gods.  The Roman Virgin Mary is included, by the way, on some websites.  The Roman Virgin Mary is included on some websites of goddesses.  If you want to look at them, there’s a website called The Spiral Goddess Grove, another one, called The White Moon and Goddess 2000, and Mary is one of the goddess figures.  She is considered to be the divine feminine.  In reality this is Satan transforming himself into an angel of light, getting people to worship a dead woman – dead in terms of any connection to this world.  She hears no prayers, she has no supernatural divine power, she does not operate on her own, she answers no prayers, she sends no grace, she does nothing.  Really, you’d have to believe that the two greatest hoaxes that have ever been perpetrated on the world in any connection with Christianity, are that the Pope is the representative of Jesus Christ in the world and that Mary is the source of all spiritual graces, two horrific lies right out of the pit. 

Pagan goddess worship dressed up in Roman Catholic fantasy.  Just as idolatrous as the ancient worship of the Semitic goddess Astarte, known as Ishtar, originally, among the Babylonians.  The veneration shown to Mary in Roman Catholicism is no less offensive than the worship of Ishtar and Astarte, the worship of Semiramis, the worship of Isis.  It is no less offensive to God than the worship King Manasseh gave to the Tyrian goddess Asherah.  Remember?  He had a carved image set up in the House of the Lord?  Remember 2 Kings?  You can read it.  Second Kings 21, he set up a goddess in the House of the Lord.  Second Kings 21:12 says, “For this abomination, God sent calamity on Jerusalem and Judah.”  The Roman Catholic Church has set up an idol in every church, every cathedral, every Catholic home, and the image is everywhere.  It is virtually indistinguishable from Roman Catholicism.  The church enthrones Mary in heaven.  From the viewpoint of the people she is above Christ because Christ and God have to do what she asks.  I ask you, can the Roman Catholic Church escape the judgment of God?  I don’t think so. 

And who’s behind all this?  Not God.  God doesn’t give His glory to any other, but Satan steals the glory of God whenever he can.  Now that is the general background that you need to know.  Next Sunday night, because our time is gone, I am going to talk about specific Roman Catholic dogma about Mary.  I can give you a quick rundown:  the immaculate conception, sinlessness, perpetual virginity, assumption or ascension into heaven.  We’ll even talk more about Queen of Heaven, apparitions – so-called appearances of Mary – which is part of the dogma of Mary, and most disturbing, that she is Mediatrix or Mediatress, that is she mediates all divine graces to us because she is co-redeemer with the Lord Jesus Christ.  We will go through all of those right out of the Catholic theology books.  And then, one final exercise will be to compare that with Scripture and to send out a very, very impassioned, strong, loving warning for people to run with all their might from this damning idolatry which is a horrible dishonor to Mary, and more importantly to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

Father, this is so difficult for us to talk through these things and yet so necessary because it must be addressed.  It must be addressed.  When we look at what the Bible actually says about Mary, it’s so beautiful, so simple.  She knew her place.  The one statement that we have that came from her lips, her praise, she celebrated that You, God, are her Savior.  How wonderful that she knew she was a sinner who, like every other sinner, needed a savior.  Help us, Lord, to hold fast to the truth and to run with all our might from lies and deception. Rescue people, Lord, from this horrible, horrible deception that they might come to the true and pure grace that comes only through you, our triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  These things we ask for the glory that is Yours and Yours alone.  Amen.