By ART GABOT MADLAING*
The top story today is the beatification of Pope John Paul II, one of the steps necessary for his canonization as a Roman Catholic saint.
Pope John Paul II is very popular among the millions of Filipino Roman Catholics. He visited the Philippines in 1981 and in 1995 which coincided with the 10th World Youth Day celebration in the Philippines. He was described as the “Pope of the People” and the “most traveled pope” who visited more than 100 nations.
Pope John Paul II died on April 2, 2005 after years of suffering from Parkinson’s disease. During the beatification process at the Vatican in Rome, Italy last Saturday, April 30, 2011, Sister Marie Simone-Pierre, a Roman Catholic nun, narrated that she was cured from Parkinson’s disease after praying to the late Pope John Paul II.
Do you know that Pope John Paul II is the only pope who affirmed the complete and full authority of the Bible? This is one fact that was never mentioned in the radio, print media and the television coverage on the beatification of Pope John Paul II.
Zechariah Mbewe credits Pope John Paul II with pointing him toward the complete and full authority of the Bible (II Timothy 3:16-17) and to the churches of Christ(Romans 16:16 NKJV). Mbewe, a native of Zambia, was a devout Roman Catholic, training for the priesthood at the Vatican in Rome a few years after Pope John Paul II began his pontificate.
“Personally, John Paul was my teacher,” Mbewe said. Looking back on his years of training in Rome, Mbewe remembers one statement made by Pope John Paul II : “Something is not right because the church says it, or the pope says it. Something is right because the Bible says it.” (THE CHRISTIAN CHRONICLE, May, 2005 p. 14)
That statement caused Mbewe to reexamine his faith, and later met evangelist who preach the Gospel (Roman 1:16, I Corinthians 15:1-4), and was baptized for the forgiveness of his sins (Acts 2:38). He has since planted churches of Christ in Botswana and today teaches at Southern Africa Bible College in Benoni, South Africa.
With the complete and full authority of the Bible as affirmed by the late Pope John Paul II, do you know that a saint is alive, not a dead person? Check and read what the Bible says:
“To all who are in Rome, who are loved by God called to be saints.” . . (Romans 1:7, NKJV, NIV, RSV); “To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus called to be saints.” (I Corinthians 1:2 KJV, NKJV, RSV);
… “with all the saints who are all in Achaia” (II Corinthians 1:1 KJV, NKJV, NIV, RSV); … “to the saints who are in Ephesus.” (Ephesians 1:1 KJV, NKJV, NIV, RSV); “To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi.” (Philippians 1:1 KJV, NKJV, NIV, RSV) “To all the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are in Colosse.” (Colossians 1;2 KJV, NKJV, RSV) …”hearts of the saints.” (Philemon 1:1 KJV, NKJV, NIV, RSV)
With the complete and full authority of the Bible as affirmed by the late John Paul II, we need to pray directly to God in the name of Jesus (Matthew 6:5-15 NKJV). This is contrary to what Sister Marie Simone-Pierre did in praying to the late Pope John Paul II. All the early disciples, Christians or saints prayed directly to God in the name of Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul had this warning on so called “miracles” today : “The coming of the lawless one according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (II Thessalonians 2: 9-10)
The Bible teaches the danger of vain worship by following the commandments of men and the doctrines of men and demons. “In vain they worship me. Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:7-9, Mark 7:7, NKJV). “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons . . .forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (I Timothy 4: 1,3 NKJV)
*ART GABOT MADLAING is a commissioned Notary Public and DRE licensed Real Estate Broker (I.D. #00635976) in California since 1981. He is the Chief Operating Officer of JCC Alliance Network.