The Marian Phenomenon
The Marian phenomena, which consists of tens of thousands of sightings, or apparitions of Mary, the mother of Christ, is
clearly known to Adventists to be a deception on a massive scale. With the
knowledge of the Biblical teaching on the state of the dead we know that each
and every sighting is a manifestation of the miracle working power of demons,
since Mary, the mother of Jesus, is still resting in her grave awaiting the
return of Jesus and the resurrection. Yet, the enormous numbers of sightings and
the impact that the Marian movement is having, coupled with an understanding of
last day events, as given in scripture and in the Spirit of Prophecy, compels us
to examine this phenomena. This examination reveals astonishing events that lead
us to believe that we may well be seeing the evidence of the devil's
overmastering deception that is calculated to deceive the world.
the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are replete with warnings about deceptions
that God's last day people, His remnant church, will face in these closing days
of the great controversy. In 2 Thessalonians 2: 8-12 we read: "And then shall
that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His
mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: Even him, whose
coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they
received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause
God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they
all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in
unrighteousness." Paul is trying to tell us here that there is no middle ground.
Either we know and love the truth or we will be deceived. "Only those who have
been diligent students of the Scriptures and who have received the love of truth
will be shielded from the powerful delusions that take the world captive. By the
Bible testimony these will detect the deceiver in his disguise." The Great
We are warned of strong, almost overmastering
delusions and told that if possible even the very elect should be deceived. "As
the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate
Christ . . . He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day
are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with
light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion."
The Great Controversy, 624, 625.
"Then if any man shall say unto
you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false
christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great wonders; insomuch that, if it
were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24: 23.
Today, Satan's two great masterpieces of deception are at work to try to destroy God's elect. Inspiration defines these clearly for us.
masterpiece of deception is popery; and while it has been demonstrated that a
day of great intellectual darkness was favorable to Romanism, it will also be
demonstrated that a day of great intellectual light is also favorable to its
power." Signs of the Times, February 19, 1894.
"Spiritualism is the
masterpiece of deception. It is Satan's most successful and fascinating
delusion." Signs of the Times, August 26, 1889.
popery are the methods used by Satan to spread his two most seductive errors.
"Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday
sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former
lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with
Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their
hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over
the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this
threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on
the rights of conscience." The Great Controversy, 588.
the Marian apparitions are spiritualism. The dictionary defines spiritualism as,
"A belief that spirits of the dead communicate with the living." Through these
apparitions, Satan is preparing the world for his ultimate deception which will
take place when he personates Christ in a false second coming.
Books such as The Thunder of Justice, by Ted and Maureen Flynn and The Keys of This Blood, by Malachi Martin (both Catholic authors) tell us the history of the sightings of "Mary." They also reveal the plans and goals, which have been
clearly announced by Papal leaders or by the apparitions themselves, and give
timelines of future predicted events. As we examine Satan's timetable and plans,
it is important to remind ourselves that Satan is a mighty foe but he is not in
control of events in the universe.
"But God's servants are not to trust to
themselves in this great emergency . . . The world is not without a ruler.
The program of coming events is in the hands of the Lord. The Majesty of
heaven has the destiny of nations, as well as the concerns of His church, in His
own charge." Testimonies, vol. 5, 753. [Emphasis supplied.]
times are in God's hands, not the devil's. Satan, through his knowledge of
scripture and his ability to manipulate events, is able to accurately predict
some events, but he is not in control and his predictions are faulty. As part of
his masterpiece of deception he works to counterfeit last day events. So, while
we are waiting and watching, it is vital that we study to understand last day
events so that we will be able to distinguish between the true and the false.
The History of the Marian Movement
"Mary" first appeared on May 13, 1917, to three children in Fatima, Portugal. According to the children's report, she gave them instructions to say the rosary daily and showed them a vision of hell and told them, that in order to save poor sinners God wants to establish, throughout the world, the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In October of 1917, 50,000-70,000 people were present when another sighting occurred in Fatima which was accompanied by wonders in the sky and miracles. The message was that a chapel was to be built at the site. A prediction was also made that World War I would soon end. Another prediction that was fulfilled was that two of the children would soon die.
Lucia, one of the three
original children, was given a message for the pope. He was instructed that
Russia could be saved if all of the bishops of the world would unite in making a
consecration of Russia to Mary's Immaculate Heart. In 1984, a Catholic bishop
secretly made a consecration of Russia, while in that country. Not long after
this, the Communist empire was broken up and the way was opened for the
"conversion" of Russia.
The years since have seen many renewed calls for
more adoration of Mary and declarations by the Catholic church that these
apparitions were supernatural. Feasts have been instituted and a basilica built
at Fatima, and the world, not just Russia, has been repeatedly consecrated to
the immaculate heart.
The Marian phenomena is seen in visions,
appearances, weeping statues, bleeding icons, cures, signs in the heavens and
messages received by the uneducated for popes and presidents. Sightings have
occurred around the world. These are claimed, by believers, to fulfill the words
of Joel, that God's spirit will be poured out upon all flesh.
Papal Devotion to the Marian
On the anniversary of the first Fatima apparition, on May 13, 1981, Pope
John Paul II was shot. He felt that he was saved by Mary, because, at the moment
the gun was fired, he leaned toward a child who was carrying a picture of Our
Lady of Fatima, and the shot, which was intended to be fatal, only wounded him.
And so began his devotion to the Marian movement. During his recovery he
exhaustively examined documents and questioned living witnesses and participants
connected with Fatima.
According to the Catholic scholar, Malachi
Martin, the pope believes that he received a vision from heaven giving him "the
great design of God for the New World order." The Keys of This Blood, 48.
Also, he says, that in this vision, Mary told him he had been spared for a
special mission to bring peace to the world. Under conviction that the messages
of Fatima were not for a distant time, but that they had an immediate timetable,
the pope began to carry out a program of world travel and redoubled his
political efforts to prepare the world for the New World Order, with the Church
of Rome as its supreme ruler. To show his devotion to "the virgin," he wears an
inscription on the side of his robe, in Latin, stating, "Mary, I'm all yours,"
and has an M for Mary on his coat of arms.
According to Catholic sources,
Pope John Paul II is waiting for the greatest of all apparitions when "Mary"
will declare, from heaven, the day and the hour of Jesus' coming. (God has told
us that He Himself will declare the time of Jesus' return in glory. In The
Great Controversy, 640, we read, "The voice of God is heard from heaven,
declaring the day and hour of Jesus' coming.") "Mary" is to appear as a woman
clothed with the sun giving birth to a child who will rule the nations with a
rod of iron.
What does inspiration say about these events?
little he [Satan] has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the
development of spiritualism. He has not yet [in Ellen White's day] reached the
full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant
of time." Ibid., 561. "Fearful sights of a supernatural character will soon be
revealed in the heavens, in token of the power of miracle-working demons."
The devil will counterfeit every truth and end time event.
God's people will see many miracles and marvelous workings of Satan, but God has
given us a source of knowledge that we need not be deceived, if we diligently
"`To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this
word, it is because there is no light in them.' Isaiah 8:20. The people of God
are directed to the Scriptures as their safeguard against the influence of false
teachers and the delusive power of spirits of darkness. Satan employs every
possible device to prevent men from obtaining a knowledge of the Bible; for its
plain utterances reveal his deceptions. At every revival of God's work the
prince of evil is aroused to more intense activity; he is now putting forth his
utmost efforts for a final struggle against Christ and His followers. The last
great delusion is soon to open before us. Antichrist is to perform his marvelous
works in our sight. So closely will the counterfeit resemble the true that it
will be impossible to distinguish between them except by the Holy Scriptures. By
their testimony every statement and every miracle must be tested." The Great
"None but those who have fortified the mind with the
truths of the Bible will stand through the last great conflict."
There have been several predictions made by "Mary," in different
locations and at different times, that relate to the time when this event will
happen. Lucia (the woman who saw many of the Fatima apparitions) was told that
she would be alive to see the culmination of all these things. Also apparitions
have said that the current pope will be the last. (Both the pope and Lucia are
now very old.) The last decade of this century has been predicted to bring the
completion of all things. However, some of the predictions made by these
apparitions have already failed to occur. This alone would be evidence enough to
prove that they are not of divine origin. For we know that God never fails!
Uniting the World
As Satan's designs are fully accomplished, the world will be united.
It seems very possible that it will be "Mary" who will appeal to everyone,
according to their beliefs. She will say that the one whom they most need is
coming to bring love, unity, peace, justice, and prosperity. All the world will
wait in great expectation, hope and joy, for the coming of their Savior, who
will actually be Satan in a counterfeit second coming.
"As the crowning
act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. The
church has long professed to look to the Savior's advent as the consummation of
her hopes. Now the great deceiver will make it appear that Christ has come. In
different parts of the earth, Satan will manifest himself among men as a
majestic being of dazzling brightness, resembling the description of the Son of
God given by John in the Revelation. Revelation 1:13-15. The glory that
surrounds him is unsurpassed by anything that mortal eyes have yet beheld. The
shout of triumph rings out upon the air: `Christ has come! Christ has come!' The
people prostrate themselves in adoration before him, while he lifts up his hands
and pronounces a blessing upon them, as Christ blessed His disciples when He was
upon the earth. His voice is soft and subdued, yet full of melody. In gentle,
compassionate tones he presents some of the same gracious, heavenly truths which
the Savior uttered; he heals the diseases of the people, and then, in his
assumed character of Christ, he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday,
and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those
who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing
to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong,
almost overmastering delusion. Like the Samaritans who were deceived by Simon
Magus, the multitudes, from the least to the greatest, give heed to these
sorceries, saying: This is `the great power of God.' Acts 8:10." The Great
By appearing in Fatima, the devil has planned a
masterful deception to include the entire Moslem world. The Moslems now bow down
to worship the images of Mary in the processions of the North African Catholics.
It is believed that they will be led to worship her "Son" at his coming. If she
were to appear as a woman clothed with the sun, as has been predicted, the pagan
religions, based on sun worship, would be likely to join the multitudes in
The Marian phenomena could be what will unite the world. For
"Mary" could introduce the "second coming" to the Jews as their Messiah, and to
the Chrisitians as Jesus Christ and to Moslems as their Iman Mahdi. Buddists
might recognize their Buddha in his fifth incarnation. Hindus could find Krishna
and the new age could find the Matryeia, the Cosmic Christ. All, but the
very elect of God, will welcome Satan as their savior.
world believes, according to Malachi Martin, that, at this spectacular
appearing, "Christ" (really the devil in disguise) will hand over the keys to
the pope. It will then appear that Satan, the Papacy, and the New World Order
are the winners of the great controversy.
What will the condition of
God's people be at this time?
"I saw our people in great distress, weeping, and
praying, pleading the sure promises of God, while the wicked were all around us,
mocking us, and threatening to destroy us. They ridiculed our feebleness, they
mocked at the smallness of our numbers, and taunted us with words calculated to
cut deep. They charged us with taking an independent position from all the rest
of the world. They had cut off our resources so that we could not buy nor sell,
and referred to our abject poverty and stricken condition. They could not see
how we could live without the world; we were dependent upon the world, and we
must concede to the customs, practices, and laws of the world, or go out of it.
If we were the only people in the world whom the Lord favored the appearances
were awfully against us. They declared that they had the truth, that miracles
were among them, that angels from heaven talked with them, and walked with them,
that great power, and signs and wonders were performed among them, and this was
the Temporal Millennium, which they had been expecting so long. The whole world
was converted and in harmony with the Sunday law, and this little feeble people
stood out in defiance of the laws of the land, and the laws of God, and claimed
to be the only ones right on the earth." Maranatha, 209.
This pope has referred to this century as the "Marian times." What
does this mean? Ted Flynn, a Catholic author, explains that in Old Testament
times God spoke through the prophets and in New Testament times Jesus spoke, but
that now, God is speaking through "Mary." (See The Thunder of Justice,
171.) It is the devil's plan to put himself in the place of Jesus in the hearts
of mankind. First he uses the guise of "Mary" and then he comes personating
Saying the rosary replaces praying to our Father in heaven.
"Mary" is referred to as theMediatrix; yet, we know that the Bible teaches
us, "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ
Jesus." 1 Timothy 2:5. "Mary" claims to be the refuge and ark, advocate and
intercessor, and the mother of the church. There are even claims that "Mary"
will place her "motherly seal" on all those who have consecrated themselves to
her immaculate heart.
All this has been predicted, has it not? "The time
is at hand when Satan will work miracles to confirm minds in the belief that he
is God. All the people of God are now to stand on the platform of truth as it
has been given in the Third Angel's Message. All the pleasant pictures, all the
miracles wrought, will be presented in order that, if possible, the very elect
shall be deceived. The only hope for any one is to hold fast the evidences that
have confirmed the truth in righteousness. Let these be proclaimed over and over
again, until the close of this earth's history." Review and Herald,
August 9, 1906.
Ecumenical Associations Ensnare Adventism
Pope John Paul II plans to unite the world by the year 2000. The
pope has laid out specific plans for each year of this last decade of the
century. There are special plans being made by thousands of organizations
representing the United Nations, governments, businesses, educational and
religious bodies for that special time. Inter-religious dialog is taking place
under the guidelines of the second Vatican council.
Sister White wrote
about this very thing in Christian Service, 50:
"The world is a theater;
the actors, its inhabitants, are preparing to act their part in the last great
drama. With the great masses of mankind, there is no unity, except as men
confederate to accomplish their selfish purposes. God is looking on. His
purposes in regard to His rebellious subjects will be fulfilled. The world has
not been given into the hands of men, though God is permitting the elements of
confusion and disorder to bear sway for a season. A power from beneath is
working to bring about the last great scenes in the drama,--Satan coming as
Christ, and working with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in those who are
binding themselves together in secret societies. Those who are yielding to the
passion for confederation are working out the plans of the enemy. The cause will
be followed by the effect."
There have been worship services on the
steps of the capital in Washington where Jerry Falwell said, "We must network
together or we will lose this country." Oral Roberts prayed for "miracles,
healings, and deliverance." And Benny Hinn held a "faith-healing ceremony."
Announcements are regularly coming in the press of union between various
"When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon
such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state
to enforce their decrees and sustain their institutions, then Protestant America
will have formed an image of the Roman Hierarchy, and the infliction of civil
penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result." The Great Controversy,
How are these plans affecting the Seventh-day Adventist Church? The
news is not good. The plans for dialog between various churches are seen
reflected in Adventism. The Adventist Review reported dialog with the
leaders of the Lutheran Church. Also, during 1998, the master plan of the pope
called for an emphasis on the Holy Spirit in the developing spirit of unity. In
the fall of 1998, the Adventist Review issued a special edition on the
Holy Spirit. Because of the deep involvement with the World Council of Churches
there are demands of cooperation with the ecumenical program as planned by the
pope. In the year 2000, there are plans for all churches to be represented in
Jerusalem, to celebrate the Eucharist together. Will the Adventist church be
represented? If so, there is but one step left to embracing the Sunday law.
"Never did this message apply with greater force than it applies today.
More and more the world is setting at nought the claims of God. Men have become
bold in transgression. The wickedness of the inhabitants of the world has almost
filled up the measure of their iniquity. This earth has almost reached the place
where God will permit the destroyer to work his will upon it. The substitution
of the laws of men for the law of God, the exaltation, by merely human
authority, of Sunday in place of the Bible Sabbath, is the last act in the
drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. He
will arise in His majesty to shake terribly the earth. He will come out of His
place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity, and the earth
shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain." Testimonies,
vol. 7, 141.
How vital it is that God's people be unified in the battle
against this deceptive power. We must remember who the enemy is and fight
together as an army under the banner of Christ, where there will be perfect
order and harmony.
"As we approach the last crisis, it is of vital moment that
harmony and unity exist among the Lord's instrumentalities. The world is filled
with storm and war and variance. Yet under one head-the papal power-the people
will unite to oppose God in the person of His witnesses. This union is cemented
by the great apostate. While he seeks to unite his agents in warring against the
truth he will work to divide and scatter its advocates. Jealousy, evil
surmising, evil speaking, are instigated by him to produce discord and
dissension. The members of Christ's church have the power to thwart the purpose
of the adversary of souls. At such a time as this let them not be found at
variance with one another or with any of the Lord's workers. Amidst the general
discord let there be one place where harmony and unity exist because the Bible
is made the guide of life. Let the people of God feel that a responsibility
rests upon them to build up His instrumentalities." Testimonies, vol. 7,
We are seeing before us the union of the fallen churches. Papal
documents have already called for worldwide enforcement of Sunday observance
with violators to be punished as heretics. Surely the day is not far off when we
will see the conclusion of all things. We are living in solemn times. God's
church will be united and ready. May each of us be part of that
Editor's Note: The material for this article was gleaned
from a series of sermons by Elder Lawrence Nelson, produced earlier this year
under the title Spiritualism, 1-5. Much of his research was taken from The
Great Controversy Endgame, by John Janiuk and Sunday's Coming, by G.
Edward Reid. You may obtain the entire series by writing: Keep the Faith Audio
Tape Ministry, PO Box 808, Myrtle Creek, OR 97457. Condensed and edited by
Cynthia Gaye Clark.
Omega Countdown's Commentary on the Marian Movement
A large part of the Fatima Prophetic Marian Movement, as you will see when visiting the Fatima Web Sites cited below, is the "prophecy of Mary" at Fatima, that if the Pope and his bishops would pronounce a consecration of Russia, Mary would then interpose to evangelize Russia to become a Catholic country. This was supposed to have taken place in 1960, but the Pope has never made this consecration.
It is interesting to ask why the Pope and his bishops have not consecrated Russia, as the "seer" of Fatima was "shown" they should. It sems that Satan does not have much faith in his own prophets! But that is not the real reason. The reason Satan, and his vicegerent, the Pope, ahve not consecrated Russia to Mary, is because Satan is the god of forces, Daniel 11:398, and his real agenda is to FORCE everyone in the world to worship his system whether they so wish or not. Satan knows tht Mary is in the grave and that she could not effect the conversion of masses of Russians to Catholic Christianity. Satan knows that the apparitions of Fatima are a false delusion that he caused to take place as one of the false "miracles" durng the last days showing signs and wonders. The fact that Satan is able to work such miracles at the end-time, is the reason why such miracles should not be used as a test of truth:
"Even him, whose coming is after the wroking of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders." 2 Thess. 2:9.
"And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and the worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who i able to make war with him?.....
And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image ot the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the best should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." Revelation 13:14, 15.
Catholics make a great mistake is placing great credence to miracles at the end-time, when Satan is able to create such miracles. They say that these miracles are proof of the validity of what they associate with the miracles, the Testimony of Mary!
The "Fatima visions" and the failure to heed them, are just a temporary "red-herring" furbished and furnished by Satan to provide a temporary answer for the dwindling faithfulness to Catholicism the world over. Satan has two large systems running concurrently--atheism via communism, and religious error via Catholicism. One necessarily conflicts with the other until the real agenda comes into play. Neither Satan nor Mary (Mary being in the grave) can get Russia to convert to Catholic brand Christianity voluntarily.
So, Satan's real agenda is to soon cause (force) the entir eworld to wander after the beast power by force, which consists of the Pope getting the power along with the Protestant churches, to get the entire world FORCED TO KEEP SUNDAY, and pay homage to Rome, by a National Sunday Law, which will contravene the Seventh-day Sabbath Command of God Almighty! This is what the beast power does. It changes times and laws, and that would not matter unless the times and laws changed are God's times and laws! This is why Satan and the Pope are not consecrating Russia to Mary! They have another agenda that is guaranteed to come into play according to Scripture. Satan knows he will be given rule over the saints for forty-two months, or three and one-half years, Revelation 13:5.
The Pope knows that the fallen daughter churches of Mother Rome, are coming into confederate fraternity via the ecumenical movement, and he is biding his time until this comes to fruition. This is a prophecy of God, not a dead Mary who remains in the ground until the resurrection! This is a sure thing, and Satan and the Pope know this is so!
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