FAITH ALONE Was Not Discovered By Protestants, It Was Founded By The Catholic Church

FAITH ALONE Was Not Discovered By Protestants But By Orthodox Who Believed In The Intercession of Saints

By Walid Shoebat (Shoebat Exclusive)

Let me say it loudly and boldly, long live Christ the King, Viva Cristo Rey, Christ did it all for me, I rejoice to the heavens weeping in jubilation that on the day of Christ’s resurrection, that even the dead came out of their graves (Matthew 27:53) and appeard to many. Even with our Lord during His transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8) Moses and Elias — God’s righteous men, were ALIVE! This is Christ’s Victory, I scream it from the mountain tops, Viva Cristo Rey that it is as if your beloved son drowned and God came from the heavens, brought him from down under, resuscitated him and you cried out he’s alive, he’s alive, glory to God, he’s alive, glory to the heavens and glory to the city of God, he’s alive even though one day he will die, yet he still lives in Christ’s presence, Viva Cristo Rey.

To comprehend what I say here, the heavenly Jerusalem, I just fully discovered that is from above, you must complete the journey which I will walk you through, from the world of confusion, which needs serpentine wisdom to conquer, then continue to the God of heaven, the God of saints, the God of angels and the God of the heavenly Jerusalem.

For confusion in interpreting scripture stems from when someone attributes to what is obvious as “not so obvious” and that what is clear, they say “is not so clear” assuring you that you see a mirage when you don’t and that you see a clear ocean when in fact their interpretations are mirage. Such is what the devil used when he asked Eve saying: “You will not certainly die” when God in fact said exactly the opposite, “you will certainly die” and she did not listen to God instead she listened to the devil who asked: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

It’s the first warning in Scripture, that when someone doubts an obvious verse “does the verse really say that?” is when you ought to run for your soul no matter how popular that teaching is or the millions upon millions who follow it.

Let me say it loud and clear: the Protestant is right we are not saved by works, but does the Catholic deny this?

Yet, we continually argue over grace vs. works. False doctrine vs. true doctrine. Bible vs. Tradition. So many issues. We fight and we squabble to no avail. How can Christians reconcile their differences? Who started the fight? How can we come to terms and have peace and fulfill the mandate Christ ordered all of us Christians to do when He said “blessed are the peace makers”? How can we become one as Christ is one? We are shattered, like the chaff in the wind if we do not reconcile and face an arising threat.

But such questions can never be answered in a less than a thousand words article and perhaps the short fuse and lack of patience which are not Christian virtues is the hindrance to us all.

On the main issue of salvation we continually squabble over, I ask, so when Scripture says “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” should I listen to anyone who says “did God really say to work out your salvation with fear and trembling?” Dare I ignore a verse and listen to all the hoopla on cheap grace or how work is non-essential or that when Christ told the apostles “whatever sins you forgive it shall be forgiven” that I should not trust what it says, that the apostles had such authority stemming directly from Christ (who is the sole forgiver of sins) in which He passed down to the ones He entrusted to run His church with certain authority? And then to deal with these sins the Bible says to “confess your sins to one another” is this not what it says about “confession” and I should listen to a slick theologian just because the world made him popular saying “did God really say to confess your sins to one another?” That while confession is done directly to Christ but that confessing sins to someone who might scold you and then advise you on how to get rid of it should be deemed inappropriate just because we also must confess directly to Christ crying to the Son of God “Mia Culpa, Mia Culpa, Mia Maxima Culpa” while I pound my chest weeping in the agony of my sins?

Sure, the Bible is not at times easily understood, that at times we need keys to unlock it. Faith is defined in scripture and as was taught by the early church is not simply “belief”, but that man freely cooperates in working out his salvation with fear and trembling, just as the Scripture says. But God forbid, such working out is not to be seen as the definition of salvation, we should all agree on this point. Man’s free cooperation is itself the result of grace through the Holy Spirit whom guides us unto faith and all good works, that saving faith is “faith formed by charity” since its our actions that proves faith. Perhaps its shocking to my Protestant brethren that what I had just said did not stem from the reformers, but from all the centuries prior to the reformers and was believed by Catholic, Orthodox and Copt …

Yet at times we squabble over one verse that man is “not saved by faith alone” and if we search the scriptures all this is saying is that “faith” is not simply “belief”, that faith is defined by “belief” accompanied by “action” as if one loves a woman, he must also ask for her hand in marriage. So when the Bible says that “faith without works is dead” is what it says, so faith without works is not true faith, and if James says “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” what it says is what it means; there is no need for a slick interpreter since Hebrews defined faith as such that Abraham did not isolate faith that is void of works. And if it says that “Abraham our father was justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar” then he was justified by works since his “faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works” (James 2:22) and when Noah had faith he spent over a century doing works building an ark. Faith therefore cannot be isolated and is defined by action and while the action itself ‘alone’ does not save, but that it emanated from that faith which does.

Why can’t things be that simple? Indeed they are. Why then do we write endless diatribes over the issue as if one side believes this and the other side denies it when it doesn’t? Everything I said so far is agreed by both Protestant and Catholic. Centuries of suspicion and slander needs to stop.

You doubt that what I say here is true? The hoopla started when Luther thought that “faith formed by charity” is not pure “faith alone” and all the fuss was over arguing over Luther’s Imputed righteousness vs. Catholic Imparted righteousness, yet in Methodist theology, they adhere to Imparted righteousness that salvation is the gracious gift of God given at the moment of the new birth which enables a Christian disciple to strive for holiness and sanctification. If this all sounded good for the geese (the Protestant)  it also was good for the gander (the Catholic) as it is for the Methodist who are Protestants.

John Wesley believed that imparted righteousness worked in tandem with imputed righteousnessImputed righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus credited to the Christian, enabling the Christian to be justified; imparted righteousness which makes sense is what God does in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit after justification, working in the Christian to enable and empower the process of sanctification (and, in Wesleyan thought, Christian perfection).

All this fuss, and so they tell me that Luther was necessary since the devil corrupted the Church which added that “salvation is by works” and so we needed a reformation which sprung up when someone said that “salvation is by faith alone”.

But was it only Martin Luther who added the word “alone” with the word “faith” in the same phrase? Such myth is busted since “faith alone” was used way before Martin Luther arrived to the scene by Origen (1) Hilary (2), Basil (3), Ambrosiaster “sola fide justificati sunt dono Dei,” (4), “through faith alone they are justified by a gift of God”, John Chrysostom (5) Cyril of Alexandria (6), Bernard and Theophylact (7) who clearly said that man “is justified by faith alone” (8).

The difference was that these were Catholic (you heard it right) and they were pro-James while Luther was vehemently anti-James: “Only the papists accept James on account of the righteousness of works, but my opinion is that it is not the writing of an apostle. Someday I will use James to fire my stove.” (9)

It was Luther’s inability to understand James. Luther questioned James as if “did God really say that man is not justified by faith alone?” and by that accusation alone against James one should run for their soul, not everything Luther said was biblically Kosher. The apparent contradiction is easily resolved when we conclude that faith is not defined to only mean “belief alone” as some nutty pastors make it to be but that it meant what the Orthodox taught “believe by action” as one claims to love but also ties the knot and gets married while another who tells a girl he loves her and year after year refuses to tie the knot. James said “Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” is as if one says to another “show me your love to Nancy apart from your wedding and I will show you my love for Margaret by my wedding”. If the repentant prostitute and the repentant tax collector, who after reading these verses, can overlook each other’s sins, then fall in love through love, decide to tie the knot by marriage, and these two can deduce such simple biblical analogy, why can’t the theologian sophist and the polished debater do the same?

The true and positive fundamental principle of Protestantism was there all along prior to Luther that the gratuitousness of salvation (sola gratia) is a gift provided by God without merit which originates outside of man by and through God’s grace so the early church and way before Luther had salvation defined. Throughout Church history in Catholic and Orthodox theology salvation has always been defined by Grace Alone plus nothing. Yes, you heard it right. I repent from all the falsities I have been taught, Mia Culpa, Mia Culpa Mia Maxima Culpa. Justification imparts the righteousness of Christ to man, transforming him by grace through the Holy Spirit into a child of God which is what was taught all along.

They were even more conservative than Luther in that as the Second Council of Orange (529) which declared that saving grace is itself the result of grace which we do nothing by our natural powers, we can neither think as we ought nor choose any good pertaining to salvation. We can only do so by the illumination and impulse of the Holy Spirit. Yet this was established before Calvin was pre-destined to be born.

I am yet to find a single Christian regardless of being Protestant or Catholic who says that we work our way to heaven, that is if he is  being true to Protestantism or to Catholicism, everything positive I find that I love in Protestantism was already there pre-Luther, name it and I can find it.

I refuse to listen to all the hoopla, that if Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” they would question did Jesus really say “water”? It is the Cain mentality that questions the Word of God that when God wanted a blood sacrifice Cain should ask “does God really care if I offer grapes instead of blood?” That when Christ drank wine and said, “This is my blood” I should listen to someone who says, “Did Christ really drink wine or did He drink grape juice?”

Or are such voices coming from a devil in disguise? Dare I ask if you have any objections so far? Of course, most have shunned me already. But should I question when Jesus said that “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me” should really mean the opposite that truth always wins through a popularity contest?

Why is it that what seems to be so obvious needs to become not so obvious? And why am I forbidden from stating the verses without any complex re-interpretations, the verses say what they say and if Luther was a mere sinner are any of us unqualified to become reformers?

Why is it then that I find that every time I try to reform the reformation I myself travel back to pre-reformation? Why do I find everything positive from the Protestant Reformation was already in existence pre-reformation? Why aren’t we all then united? Why then must I have another reformation when what is needed is a restoration to what Christians had for one and a half millennia before the ‘Almighty Trinity’: Luther, Calvin and some guy named Zwingli showed up?

And by now, you are probably machine gunning bullets, but what about Mariology, Tradition, Intercession of Saints …..bang bang he shot me down, bang ban I hit the ground bang bang that auful sound…

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But what about what I have just written? In these times, before Luther they believed everything I just said which is written plainly in Scripture. I shall take only one bullet you just shot that hit my liver. Its easy to fire a bullet, but it takes a surgeon to take it out and fix the wound. Christ called us to be surgeons not butchers. So why are most of us butchers, quick draws and slanderers? Its as if church was a saloon during gold rush days and while one spits chewed tobacco, the other challenges a poor soul for a quick draw outside.

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The Church Today

Intercession of Saints? Tell us then, that when the Bible says “to be absent of the body is to be present with the Lord” should I listen to the drunk next to me saying “did God really say that dead saints souls are present with the Lord”?

That when Jesus warned us not to offend the “little ones”, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 18:10), that it means what it says, “their angels…” are the “little one’s” angels assigned to watch over them. So who are these “little ones”? Are we not to “become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”? Little here is Micros in Greek, which is a clear distinction from “little child” (Greek: paidion) as for infant, child, Micros is simply a reference to the least esteemed in the flock, the repentant prostitute and the repentant tax collector.

Yet I am told that angels here are not angels but “messengers” and I ask, how do these “messengers” “see the face of my father”? Is it so easy to explain away the heavens?

So now after the culture of Puritans that was passed down through generations, that when someone prays for protection by angels, must we condemn them as “anathema,” have a conniption fit and burn them at the holy altar of reformation theology? Must we always believe that when one cries out “saints in heaven” that we only think of the dead while we forget the souls of living saints and every time one cries out “angels” we think of only “fallen angels” and forget the good angels that have 1) guaranteed intercessory access to the Father on behalf of the children and helped protect (see Daniel 6:20-23; 2 Kings 6:13-17), 2) reveal information (see Acts 7:52-53; Luke 1:11-20), 3) guide (see Matthew 1:20-21; Acts 8:26), 4) provide for (see Genesis 21:17-20; 1 Kings 19:5-7), and 5) minister to believers in general (Hebrews 1:14).

Many were the times I was assured death to only within seconds be rescued, one bombing during my terroristic days in which I should have been dead and another incident in which I had no chance having been chased by gangsters in the most dangerous parts of Chicago to only have a good Samaritan appear from nowhere in a vehicle asking me to jump in.

And lest I get called a heretic for simply reading simple biblical text let me proclaim, Christ is the only God-man and the Mediator of the New Covenant, Jesus is the only mediator between man and God (1 Tim. 2:5), but this in no way means we cannot or should not ask our fellow Christians to intercede for us through prayer with us and for us (1 Tim. 2:1–4), but dare I say that we should ask the intercession of those who are “present with the Lord” in heaven, who are “absent from the body” and have already had their sanctification completed, for “[t]he prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects” (James 5:16), are we who are “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” more righteous than they?

By now, I probably lost you and I am already declared an anathema but the intercession of the Saints is probably the most that generates heated debates, but it is also the most proven theological case that as early as the church can be found all the way until the trinity-reformers (Luther, Calvin and a guy named Zwingli) showed up, when one examines the volumes written about the subject during Church history regardless of how much we try to cover and play with history, is the most solid case whom and regardless of how prolific the debater against it is, he would have to out rightly denounce Bible, history and church fathers in order to plan mere suspicion “did they really teach the Intercession of Saints?”

And from a biblical perspective, the saints are living not dead, for if they were dead then Christ is a liar when the New Testament clearly stated, not just in II Corinthians that “to be absent of the body is to be present with the Lord” (II Corinthians 5:6-8) but also in 1 Philippians 1:23 “… I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far …” yet scoffers tell me that the early Church Fathers lied and did not clearly recognize the biblical teaching that those in heaven can and do intercede for us, that throughout the centuries that they falsely applied this teaching in their own daily prayer life. When scripture says “I desire to depart and be with Christ” in no way means that Christ is going to hang out with a dead carcass but a living spirit, perfected and refined.

The confusion stems of not making a difference that 1) prayers of intercessory solicitation are in scripture (1 Tim 1:2-4) and that 2) atonement intercession, which only belongs to Christ (1 Tim 2:5) is a separate matter altogether.

Most folks always object when one speaks of intercessory prayers quickly shoot a bullet-comment that “Christ is the only redeemer”, indeed While 1 Tim 2:5 speaks of atonement, no one can deny that intercessory prayers of all Christians in flesh and in spirit are scriptural, so that such argument that “Christ is the only redeemer” is misapplied, for all ask their pastor to do intercessory prayers on our behalf.

To say “no one comes to the Father but by me” does not mandate that others who are alive on earth or with Christ in heaven cannot solicit on your behalf and appeal to Christ. Is your Calvinist pastor higher than Peter in heaven? Isolating verses and theological concepts has always been used by scoffers abusing the word “alone” and dealing with it irresponsibly. For example, the Holy Spirit has not ‘built’ Jesus’ from Him alone, but also from humanity, from Mary, and we see Jesus praying in His humanity for the Church, indeed the man-God prayed in which He too did as we all should participate in the glory of the Father by the power of the Holy Spirit in the shape of the cross; both 1) horizontal relationship with the brethren, rooted as well 2) vertically with the Trinity and the heavenly Jerusalem from above.

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It is so sad that the Book of Revelation is taught that its all about taking the mark of the beast in a form of computer chip and whatever the History Chanel dishes out of natural disasters and asteroids. What do we make of all the saints who “fell down before the Lamb . . . with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” they appear to have other saint’s prayers to be presented to God. So why are dead saints presenting the prayers of other living saints to God?

Why can’t the Bible say what it says and mean exactly what it says, if saints in heaven “fell down before the lamb” “with golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints” then it must be saints who fell before the lamb with golden bowls full of incense which are the prayers of the saints and that God has no problems with incense, He must love the smell and He sure would not mind some being burnt in the Church while we pray. Has His nostrils changed from when He was listening to the Hebrews in the Temple from the time prior to God discovering that smoke caused cancer as proven to Him by Dr. Zwingli?

These must have heard the initial prayers or were granted knowledge of them through the power of God. Revelation 8:3-4 is even more explicit. Rather than equate incense and prayers, it actually distinguishes between them, and presents the scenario that the prayers and incense are presented together:

And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God.

So what is this angel doing with “prayers of the saints” presenting them to God? Are angels not involved as intercessors since they are extremely deaf and they do not rejoice when a sinner repents? Do they not have knowledge above our comprehension? God is “not the God of the dead, but the God of the living”:

“But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, “I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.” (Mark 12:26-27)

Either Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are dead in the supernatural realm and God is not their God, which would make God a liar — an impossibility! — or Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are ALIVE and God is their God just as He said.

Let me say it loudly and boldly, long live Christ the King, Viva Cristo Rey, Christ did it all for me, I rejoice to the heavens weeping in jubilation that on the day of Christ’s resurrection, that even the dead came out of their graves (Matthew 27:53) and appeard to many. Even with our Lord during His transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8) Moses and Elias — God’s righteous men, were ALIVE! This is Christ’s Victory, I scream it from the mountain tops, Viva Cristo Rey that it is as if your beloved son drowned and God came from the heavens, brought him from down under, resuscitated him and you cried out he’s alive, he’s alive, glory to God, he’s alive, glory to the heavens and glory to the city of God, he’s alive even though one day he will die, yet he still lives in Christ’s presence, Viva Cristo Rey.

And what is with all this “hall of faith” in Hebrews 11 which gives us wherein the lives of many Old Testament saints are mentioned being in heaven in which God encourages the persecuted for their faith (10:32-35), to consider that they are “surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,” encouraging them to “run the race” of faith set before them?

And why does Revelation 12:18, he encourages these New Covenant faithful by reminding them that their covenant—the New Covenant—is far superior to the Old:

“For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing 
fire … darkness … gloom … and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them…But you have come to… the city of the living God… and to innumerable angels… and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven… and to… God… and to the spirits of just men made perfect… and to Jesus…”

So I consume these wonderful verses with joy and excitement, all of the sudden I discover I am to be part of superior covenant in the “city of the living God” which I can participate while on earth with “innumerable angels” and an “assembly of the first-born” who already enrolled “in heaven” “spirits of just men” before me. Wow.

To be absent of the body is not dead carcass, but “spirit of just men”, hallelujah, hearing this makes me feel more charismatic than any charismatic I have ever met.

Or must I post a comment on God.com that says: “God, I have decided to unsubscribe from your newsletter. God, can you strike John’s carcass with lightening for writing such a lousy article? The Bible teaches that only Jesus is our intercessor. Saints are only creatures, infinitely less than You, able to only be at one place at a time and can only do one thing at a time. I know that You said that eye has not seen and ear has not heard … but please, once in while be logical. Good bye God”!

Is God a liar, or was it that God in the Old Covenant the faithful approached Him alone and with trepidation while in the New Covenant, the faithful have experienced a radical change “But you have come to … and 
to … and to … and to”. So why can’t I believe the Bible that if it says we can approach “Jesus” directly including “angels” and “spirits of just men made perfect” to be just what it says, to approach Jesus and the “spirits of just men made perfect”? God forbid I call these “saints in heaven” I guess I should not out of Christian political correctness? Or should I ask: “did God really say that we can approach ‘spirits of just men made perfect’”?

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I am not done, in Romans it says that the Holy Spirit also does intercessory requests for the saints:

“Likewise the Spirit also help our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself make intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that search the hearts know what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he make intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.” – Romans 8:26-27

And why is it that most of the post-reformation puritan commentaries they question “is this what it says it is?” (10) yet everything pre-reformation says that what it says, is exactly what it says, the Holy Spirit does intercessory prayers on behalf of the saints.

So don’t just jot me a line or two worth of complaints, please send your complaints to God.com, but before you do, perhaps you need to explain when and how such teaching has departed until the so-called reformation?

Why would the Church and why would God dim the light in gaining the intercession of saints, the fellowship, the aid and encouragement of the whole family of God, especially when it is chiseled in Scripture?

I still ask, how can we apply such a strict form of Scripture alone when in Joel’s prophecy it says that: “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” in which we will reply to these “visions” and “prophecies” insisting that these “visions” are “not in my Bible”?

Was Joel only speaking of the end times when in the New Testament Peter quoted an end-times prophecy when the tongues of fire appeared and Peter stood up and declared that this is a type of fulfillment, “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy …” (Acts 2:14-21)

Such types of fulfillments speak of specific visions not mentioned in the Bible, which must occur after the Bible and I ask: where are they? Are they only revealed to the TV televangelist only when he goes roundabout saying that the “Lord revealed to me in a vision that we need to send in money for the harvest”? Are only the visions of today’s charismatic true and all the visions revealed to the Copt in Egypt fake?

If so, why in Revelation 11-12 John saw a vision of Mary, the Church and Israel in which he expounds on the woman who gave birth to “the man-child” and she is being seen by John coming down from heaven, in the end of days and even with the crescent “moon under her feet”?

“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple” “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child” (Revelation 12:1-2).

Is there another woman who gave birth to the man-child besides ‘God forbid’ Mary?

And why is she depicted here as the Ark of the Covenant, revealed by God to John?

Indeed, the Ark had multiple meanings as well. But here it’s strictly speaking of Mary while it reveals the persecution of the Church. She was seen bearing the child who would rule the world with a rod of iron (Revelation 12:5). I have written so much on this issue in my other article titled “The Ark of the Covenant Finally Discovered”.

Could it be that God forbid that what Joel spoke about and what John prophesied for the end has types in many visions of Mary, lets say at Zeitoun, Egypt in which 10,000 people who saw Mary come down from the heaven and in one voice, in a stronghold of Islamic fanatics, chanted hymns and songs. The event was so marvelous that the Egyptian media, which never mention anything uplifting about the persecuted Copts, yet this time it could not deny it, especially that the apparition came at a time when a new wave of persecution was starting, and it gave a great support to the Coptic nation to pass these troubles.

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But I forgot, Dave Hunt, who wrote Woman Rides The Beast said that these “apparitions” are demonic. So if this were all demonic, why would the devil want to rescue the Christian Copts from Islamic persecution? Had I lived at the time of Christ, would I be like the Pharisees that when He healed the blind I would accuse Him of being demonic, especially when He challenged: “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself”. (Matthew 12:26) Such apparitions date back since Egypt was the nation that offered refuge to the Holy Family. The holy sites that they visited are still in Egypt. It was a Copt (St.Cyril) who defended the title of the Theotokos, and the Coptic nation, which was instrumental in confirming the divinity of Christ that was denied by Nestorius, Diodore, Theodore, Theodret, Ibas and other heretics. Is it no wonder why Christ also in the Bible is said to land in Egypt? Out of all places besides the Holy city of Jerusalem that Christ lands, the west forgets that Egypt is in route to defend the Coptic Church:

“And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of Hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them.” (Isaiah 19:20)

And if in doubt who this “Mighty One” is, read the first verse “the Lord comes riding on a swift cloud and is coming into Egypt”. “The Lord”, God is “coming into Egypt”. Does this need any interpretation?
It seems that the Theotokos therefore intercedes on the behalf of the Copts, who defended the divinity of the Son and her title, at all times. In the 10th century, in the most difficult crises under the Islamic rule that faced the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Holy Virgin appeared to Pope St. Abraham and told him about an unknown saint (St. Samaan the Tenner). The latter would move the Mukatam mountain as requested by the Khalif EL-Muez, the great Fatimite Khalif, who thought at the time to trap the Church by verifying the scripture or the whole Coptic Nation would be exterminated. It was moved by the prayers of Pope Abraham, the humility of St. Samaan the Tenner and before all, the intercession of the Theotokos. The Khalif became a monk, his body is in the monastery of Muharak in Egypt, and the Coptic Orthodox Church was saved. (11)

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Mokattam Mountain. At that time, Egypt was ruled by the Fatimid Caliph Al Mu’izz Ledeenallah Al Fatemy. During this period, the Coptic church was under the direction of the 62nd Coptic Pope, a Syrian by the name of Anba Abram.

During the Abbasids rule of Egypt, another miracle saved about 600 churches from demolition and destruction. We can go on and on, miracles that surpass any tele evangelist request to replenish his bank account.

As one Copt wrote: “We were blessed to defend the Theotokos against the whole heretical churches, and by that defend the divinity of Christ, and we have been blessed by the amazing love of the Theotokos in her apparitions.”

In Proverbs 8:15 God says: “By Me kings reign, and princes decree justice.” While all tyrannical edicts pass through the devil, all righteous edicts “decreed justice” “by Me [God]” can be passed. For if this is untrue then God lied when He declared throughout scripture that He is in control. So then could we deny that it was Him who made these Caliphs soften their hearts and passed decrees to stop the persecution through an apparition of Mary? Was God lying when He said that she is “highly favored”?

From as back as 80 AD we find Christians asking the saints of heaven for intercessory prayers:

“[The Shepherd said:] ‘But those who are weak and slothful in prayer, hesitate to ask anything from the Lord; but the Lord is full of compassion, and gives without fail to all who ask him. But you, [Hermas,] having been strengthened by the holy angel [you saw], and having obtained from him such intercession, and not being slothful, why do not you ask of the Lord understanding, and receive it from him?’” (Hermas, The Shepherd 3:5:4 [A.D. 80]).

And later Clement of Alexandria (12), Origen (13) Cyprian of Carthage (14), Methodius calling Mary “Hail to you for ever, Virgin Mother of God”, (15) and Cyril of Jerusalem (16) then Hilary of Poitiers (17) and Ephraim the Syrian (18) and The Liturgy of St. Basil (19) and Pectorius (20) and Gregory of Nazianz (21) and Gregory of Nyssa (22) and John Chrysostom (23) and Ambrose of Milan asking Peter for intercessions (24) and Jerome (25) and Augustine (26)

But this is from the past, but how about the apparition in Zeitoun seen by even countless Muslims who confirmed these visions as genuine.

Throughout the years, we ripped Maccabees out of our bibles. There, it describes Judah’s vision in which St. Onias the high priest shows him Jeremiah the prophet, now in heaven:

“And Onias spoke, saying, ‘This is a man who loves the brethren and prays much for the people and the holy city, Jeremiah, the prophet of God” (Maccabees 15:14).

Will Christ condemn me for honoring the Maccabees? Judas, Matthias, and the Christ like champion who refused to burn incense to the devil and was martyred as Christ. Should Christ deny me for observing the Menorah of God and that small amount of ritually pure oil that beyond expectation burned for eight days? For the Holy Spirit guides, the everlasting oil that burns in my heart to light the way for the persecuted children of God, Christ’s body that when they say “we are hungry” I feed them, that when they cry out “we are naked” I cloth them, that when they cry out “we are in prison” I send someone to rescue  them just as Christ fed me from His everlasting waters.

Theological interpretations are like aged wine, the farther we go back the sweeter, for I drink the wine of Canna and I reach out to the family of God in the heavens, all this is why I chose to listen to someone named Athanasios and avoid someone named Calvin, Luther, Piper, Alton Nolen, Rick Warren or James White who daily belabor correct formulas, yet mix them with a different wine than of that recipe which was provided from the seasoned early church. It is for this reason why we have 2 Thessalonians which tells us of a passed down teaching warning us that if an angel or if someone … do not listen, turn off the TV embrace your lovely children, your lovely spouse, and pray for intercession from the whole city of the living God.

SOURCES

(1) Origen, Commentarius in Ep. ad Romanos, cap. 3 (PG 14.952)

(2) Hilary, Commentarius in Matthaeum 8:6 (PL 9.961).

(3) Basil, Hom. de humilitate 20.3 (PG 31.529C).

(4) Ambrosiaster, In Ep. ad Romanos 3.24 (CSEL 81.1.119)

(5) John Chrysostom, Hom. in Ep. ad Titum 3.3 (PG 62.679 [not in Greek text]).

(6) Cyril of Alexandria, In Joannis Evangelium 10.15.7 (PG 74.368 [but alludes to Jas 2:19])

(7) In Canticum serm. 22.8 (PL 183.881)

(8) Expositio in ep. ad Galatas 3.12-13 (PG 124.988)

(9) Weimar, “Tischreden “ (5) p. 5854

(10) John Gill: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession, for us, with groaningswhich cannot be uttered;
not the spirit of a man; or the gift of the Spirit in man; or a man endued with an extraordinary gift of the Spirit; but the Holy Ghost himself, who makes intercession for the saints: not in such sense as Christ does; for he intercedes not with the Father, but with them, with their spirits; not in heaven, but in their hearts; and not for sinners, but for saints: nor in the manner as Christ does, not by vocal prayer, as he when on earth; nor by being the medium, or way of access to God; nor by presenting the prayers of saints, and the blood and sacrifice of Christ to God, as Christ does in heaven; nor as the saints make intercession for one another, and for other persons: but he intercedes for them, by making them to intercede; he indites their prayers for them, not in a book, but in their hearts; he shows them their need, what their wants are; he stirs them up to prayer, he supplies them with arguments, puts words into their mouths, enlarges their hearts, gives strength of faith in prayer, and all the ardour and fervency of it; he enables them to come to God as their Father; and gives them liberty and boldness in his presence, which requires an heart sprinkled from an evil conscience, faith in the blood and righteousness of Christ, and a view of God, as a God of peace, grace, and mercy: and this intercession he makes, “with groanings which, cannot be uttered”; not that the Spirit of God groans, but he stirs up groans in the saints; which suppose a burden on them, and their sense of it: and these are said to be “unutterable”; saints, under his influence, praying silently, without a voice, as Moses and Hannah did, ( 1 Samuel 1:13 ) , and yet most ardently and fervently; or as not being able to express fully what they conceive in their minds, how great their burdens are, and their sense of their wants.

(11) Cyriacus: This is excerpted from Intercession of the Saints by Deacon Morris Demetrious, a dual English-Arabic volume:


— Quote —Apparition of St Mary, to the 62nd Pope of Alexandria, Anba Abraam Abu Zaraa (departed the year 970 AD):

St. Mary appeared to him when he was in great distress about the request of the Moslem ruler El-Khalifa El-Moez, to move the Mocatam Mountain from its place. El-Khalifa El-Moez was challenging him about the validity of the verse in the Bible, from Mathew 17:20, “Jesus said to them, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, Move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible you.” [sic] Otherwise the church would be under a great persecution.

 The pope was given three days to move the mountain from its place. The pope, in his great distress, was praying and fasting with all the church bishops and monks. Then at the dawn of the third day St. Mary appeared to him at the church of the Moalaka. She told him that a righteous man, a tanner whose name is Simon, along with God, will complete this miracle. On the appointed day, the two groups met. The pope and his people with Simon from one side, and Khalifa El-Moez and his people on the other side. The Pope and his people bowed to God crying “Lord have mercy” and the mountain began to move. The Khalifa was astounded. On his horse, he approached the pope and thanked him respectfully. As a reward to the pope and the Christians, he helped build all the churches, which the pope asked to be built. 

St. Mary appeared to the Moslem Khalifa Haron El-Rashid at his castle in Baghdad, to warn him about the continuing destruction of the churches in Egypt. She ordered him to send an order to his Moslem Governor in Egypt. The message was carried by an angel, in the form of a dove, to the Governor who immediately ordered that the persecution against the Christian Churches be stopped…

(12) Clement of Alexandria “In this way is he [the true Christian] always pure for prayer. He also prays in the society of angels, as being already of angelic rank, and he is never out of their holy keeping; and though he pray alone, he has the choir of the saints standing with him [in prayer]” (Miscellanies 7:12 [A.D. 208]).

(13) “But not the high priest [Christ] alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels . . . as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep” (Prayer 11 [A.D. 233]).

(14) Cyprian of Carthage “Let us remember one another in concord and unanimity. Let us on both sides [of death] always pray for one another. Let us relieve burdens and afflictions by mutual love, that if one of us, by the swiftness of divine condescension, shall go hence first, our love may continue in the presence of the Lord, and our prayers for our brethren and sisters not cease in the presence of the Father’s mercy” (Letters 56[60]:5 [A.D. 253]).

(15) Methodius “Hail to you for ever, Virgin Mother of God, our unceasing joy, for to you do I turn again. You are the beginning of our feast; you are its middle and end; the pearl of great price that belongs to the kingdom; the fat of every victim, the living altar of the Bread of Life [Jesus]. Hail, you treasure of the love of God. Hail, you fount of the Son’s love for man. . . . You gleamed, sweet gift-bestowing Mother, with the light of the sun; you gleamed with the insupportable fires of a most fervent charity, bringing forth in the end that which was conceived of you . . . making manifest the mystery hidden and unspeakable, the invisible Son of the Father—the Prince of Peace, who in a marvelous manner showed himself as less than all littleness” (Oration on Simeon and Anna 14 [A.D. 305]). “Therefore, we pray [ask] you, the most excellent among women, who glories in the confidence of your maternal honors, that you would unceasingly keep us in remembrance. O holy Mother of God, remember us, I say, who make our boast in you, and who in august hymns celebrate the memory, which will ever live, and never fade away” (ibid.). “And you also, O honored and venerable Simeon, you earliest host of our holy religion, and teacher of the resurrection of the faithful, do be our patron and advocate with that Savior God, whom you were deemed worthy to receive into your arms. We, together with you, sing our praises to Christ, who has the power of life and death, saying, ‘You are the true Light, proceeding from the true Light; the true God, begotten of the true God’”

(16) Cyril of Jerusalem “Then [during the Eucharistic prayer] we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition . . . ” (Catechetical Lectures 23:9 [A.D. 350]).

(17) Hilary of Poitiers “To those who wish to stand [in God’s grace], neither the guardianship of saints nor the defenses of angels are wanting” (Commentary on the Psalms 124:5:6 [A.D. 365]).

(18) Ephraim the Syrian “You victorious martyrs who endured torments gladly for the sake of the God and Savior, you who have boldness of speech toward the Lord himself, you saints, intercede for us who are timid and sinful men, full of sloth, that the grace of Christ may come upon us, and enlighten the hearts of all of us so that we may love him” (Commentary on Mark [A.D. 370]). “Remember me, you heirs of God, you brethren of Christ; supplicate the Savior earnestly for me, that I may be freed through Christ from him that fights against me day by day” (The Fear at the End of Life [A.D. 370]).

(19) The Liturgy of St. Basil “By the command of your only-begotten Son we communicate with the memory of your saints . . . by whose prayers and supplications have mercy upon us all, and deliver us for the sake of your holy name” (Liturgy of St. Basil [A.D. 373]).

(20) Pectorius “Aschandius, my father, dearly beloved of my heart, with my sweet mother and my brethren, remember your Pectorius in the peace of the Fish [Christ]” (Epitaph of Pectorius [A.D. 375]).

(21) Gregory of Nazianz “May you [Cyprian] look down from above propitiously upon us, and guide our word and life; and shepherd this sacred flock . . . gladden the Holy Trinity, before which you stand” (Orations 17[24] [A.D. 380]).

“Yes, I am well assured that [my father’s] intercession is of more avail now than was his instruction in former days, since he is closer to God, now that he has shaken off his bodily fetters, and freed his mind from the clay that obscured it, and holds conversation naked with the nakedness of the prime and purest mind . . . ” (ibid., 18:4).

(22)  Gregory of Nyssa”[Ephraim], you who are standing at the divine altar [in heaven] . . . bear us all in remembrance, petitioning for us the remission of sins, and the fruition of an everlasting kingdom” (Sermon on Ephraim the Syrian [A.D. 380]).

(23) John Chrysostom “He that wears the purple [i.e., a royal man] . . . stands begging of the saints to be his patrons with God, and he that wears a diadem begs the tentmaker [Paul] and the fisherman [Peter] as patrons, even though they be dead” (Homilies on Second Corinthians 26 [A.D. 392]). “When you perceive that God is chastening you, fly not to his enemies . . . but to his friends, the martyrs, the saints, and those who were pleasing to him, and who have great power [in God]” (Orations 8:6 [A.D. 396]).

(24) Ambrose of Milan “May Peter, who wept so efficaciously for himself, weep for us and turn towards us Christ’s benign countenance” (The Six Days Work 5:25:90 [A.D. 393]).

(25) Jerome “You say in your book that while we live we are able to pray for each other, but afterwards when we have died, the prayer of no person for another can be heard. . . . But if the apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, at a time when they ought still be solicitous about themselves, how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?” (Against Vigilantius 6 [A.D. 406]).

(26) Augustine “A Christian people celebrates together in religious solemnity the memorials of the martyrs, both to encourage their being imitated and so that it can share in their merits and be aided by their prayers” (Against Faustus the Manichean [A.D. 400]).

“There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for the dead who are remembered. For it is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended” (Sermons 159:1 [A.D. 411]).

“At the Lord’s table we do not commemorate martyrs in the same way that we do others who rest in peace so as to pray for them, but rather that they may pray for us that we may follow in their footsteps” (Homilies on John 84 [A.D. 416]).

“Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ” (The City of God 20:9:2 [A.D. 419]).

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