25 June 2007

Apparitions


Much has been said recently about apparitions and other strange phenomena.

While we must distinguish between natural causes (such as fraud and psychiatric disorders) and supernatural ones, we must also keep in mind that the latter may be of divine or demonic origin.

The Bible warns that 'Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light' (2 Corinthians 11:14). The word 'angel' simply means a messenger; 'light' is symbolic of truth, righteousness and God himself. Therefore, Satan, whom Jesus calls the father of lies, changes his form into the likeness of a messenger of God! He can certainly appear in the form of Mary and deceptively claim to come from heaven.

So at least we should admit that some, if not all, of the supposedly Marian apparitions, could be deceptive apparitions of the Devil. Even the Roman Catholic Church does not officially acknowledge all apparitions as authentic. The Catholic Church endorses some apparitions, but not others. Often there is no official directive from the Church, leaving many Catholics in danger of demonic deceit.

Many devout Catholics give great importance to apparitions. It is all the more important that they should exercise great caution and discernment so that they would not be lead astray. Since the Devil's purpose is to deceive us, he would cleverly word his messages to sound authentic. It is not surprising that he would include appeals to convert our lives and turn to her Son. The old serpent speaks enough truth to sound credible; enough lies to poison his victims.

We need a message from heaven. We need God to answer our most important question: What must I do to be saved? Praise God, he has spoken. His answer is neither far away nor is it hidden. We have his inspired Word written in the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation which is by faith in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15).

Since the Bible is sufficient for the purpose of showing us the way of salvation, we do not need any additional messages (not to mention the Bible's warning about Satan's deceptions). We would do well to hold on to what is written in the Scriptures. It alone is a sure and safe guide to heaven.