Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Catholic Defender: The Cross of Christ

"Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, 'God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you'. He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do'. Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father's glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct" (Matthew 16-21-27).

This is a most important scriptural text coming from Our Lord. At Christmas time it seems that many attempt to remove Christ from Christmas.

I've seen "X-Mas" which means nothing to me. It is Christmas! Similarly, many want to detach Jesus from his cross.

St. Peter wanted to avoid the cross. Jesus told St.Peter, "Get behind me Satan" because Jesus knew this was his divine mission.

To go to the cross. More than that, Jesus calls for us to pick up our cross and follow him. Suffering is a part of life and we must endure our cross patiently with trust in God's providence. We must join our sufferings to that of the cross.

St. Paul writes, "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the Church, of which I am a minister in accordance with God's stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God, the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory" (Colossians 1:24-27).

In this life we have many trials, our Faith gives us peace and strength as we move forward with our eyes gazing upon the cross of Christ.

Through the cross we find victory!

St. Paul writes, "Death is swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin,and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:55-56).

St. Peter would pay the ultimate price for Our Lord as he would be crucified upside down at Vatican Hill near 67 A.D. He did not feel that he deserved the same death as our Lord. It is estimated that 1 out of every 4 martyrs for Christ took place in the 20th century.

Even now in America our future is not certain with the natural disasters hitting us hard, with our economy as tough as it is on workers and their families. Through the cross of Christ, we have our hope of salvation. St. Paul also writes, "Working together, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says: 'In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you'. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We cause no one to stumble in anything, in order that no fault may be found with our ministry; on the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves as ministers of God, through much endurance, in afflictions, hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, in a holy spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech, in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left; through glory and dishonor, insult and praise" (2 Corinthians 6:1-8).

We are called to pick up the cross of Christ and follow him. "Bear your share of hardship along with me like a good soldier of Jesus Christ. To satisfy the one who recruited him, a soldier does not become entangled in the business affairs of life" (2 Timothy 2:3-4). We are Soldiers of the Cross!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Catholic Defender: Rolling Down The Highway

Have you ever planned for a trip knowing exactly what you were going to do about Mass?

Do you ever plan for Mass when your traveling?

There are really few places that you might go that does not have a Catholic presence nearby.

At our local Parish, after Mass, before people are released, visitors are encouraged to stand up and let people know where they are coming from.

That has been getting a positive reception as people enjoy seeing where people are coming from. Since we are a military town, we get visitors from all over the world. What a great sign of our holy Catholic Faith.

2 Corinthians 8:16-19 states, "But thanks be to God who put the same concern for you into the heart of Titus, for he not only welcomed our appeal but, since he is very concerned, he has gone to you of his own accord. With him we have sent the brother who is praised in all the churches for his preaching of the gospel. And not only that, but he has also been appointed our traveling companion by the churches in the gracious work administered by us for the glory of the Lord himself and for the expression of our eagerness".

In the time of St. Paul, people traveled mostly in caravans because if was safer against wild animals, plus also there were robbers that would prowl about looking for opportunities.

It was ordinary that people would travel in caravans riding camels, donkeys, sometimes horses.

What a contrast today as we have high powered automobiles, trains, and planes. Even so, the mission is still the same.

As St. Paul and the Apostles traveled to reach the nations for Christ, we still have this objective. It's great to have the opportunity we have to travel as your capabilities allow. Think about this, most people never left their surrounding areas.

Today, it is rare to find someone who has never adventured more than 200 miles from home. We do a lot of traveling for many things, sometimes business, sometimes family, sometimes for recreation. We are to take the gospel to all the nations and today, what a blessing it is that the Catholic Church has had the 2,000 year foundation.

The road was paved by the Saints who have gone before us.

Their travels are marked with persecution, martyrdom, and victory.

At the beginning of Mass, I see the entrance procession of the Altar boys with the crucifix, the deacon, the priest transversing towards the the altar represents this journey that transcends time and space.

At the end of Mass, we are literally sent to go from the pews to go into the world, the highways and the byways to reach out to those we meet with what we ourselves received.

I encourage you to make the Mass the center of your life.

If you do, you will plan for Mass when you travel. By doing so, you will experience the richness of our Catholic Faith.

The Church moves as one voice all over the world. No matter where you happen to be down the highway, the Church is there as one accord with those down the road.

At Mass, you are able to renew the Covenant with our Lord and this should be our goal.

If we miss Mass, we know there was nothing we could have done. After 26 years in the Army, there were times especially during deployments when Mass was impossible.

I still tried to unite myself with the Lord through His word.

As you plan for your journeys, may you and your families travel safely to reach your destinations.

May you have a great time with your families and friends.

Please don't forget to include your best friend of all!

Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. You will be blessed beyond measure.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

*BEST OF DTB #98* The Catholic Defender: Authority of the keys

(Editors Note) Jesus asked, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is"? I will respond with a statement. When a person discovers who Jesus is, they find themselves as well!

One morning as I was in my office (when I served at the New Orleans MEPS) I placed my keys and wallet in or on my desk when I went out to do PT. When I came back, we were knee deep in applicants so I helped out with the physicals until almost noon when I went back into my office to change into my uniform.
At this time, I could not find my keys. I looked everywhere for them. I asked everyone to include going to the other sections in the MEPS, but to no avail. I could not find the keys. I ended up having to get a ride home with a friend. Gigi and Matt actually went back for me and got the jeep to bring it home.
The next day, I had to borrow Gigi's keys to drive the jeep to work. During the day, I could not find the keys and so another day passed and I was about to think the keys were gone for good. On the third day, I still did not find the keys and still borrowed Gigi's keys to drive the jeep.
About noon, I left the MEPS to go over to another base where they had an Army PX so I could get something from clothing sales. On my way back I decided to stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken for a quick pick up for lunch. I placed my order, drove around to the window, paid my bill and waited for my lunch.

I was still upset about losing my keys that I left on my desk, when I asked St. Anthony to help me on this issue. I felt strange that he didn't pop up into my mind before this, when a stranger walked up from behind me, someone I never seen before, and asked me if these were my keys?

I was shocked as I sat there at Kentucky Fried Chicken, with my keys that I hadn't seen in three days, right in my hands. Nobody, not even me knew that I was going to be there when I was there. I almost decided to go up the road to McDonalds for a hamburger but at the last second turned in where I turned in.
The individual was civilian, would never had been on an Military base, and didn't know me from Adam. Shocked with my keys in hand, the stranger was gone as quickly as he came. I called Gigi to let her know what just happened and she thought I was high on something.
St. Anthony is a friend of my wife's too as she has found several things that she had lost, he's been a friend. This very day it looked like DTB and I were not going to have our interview with Dr. Gregory Thompson. We did not get the hook up for the clearance for the show until just four minutes before show time. It was lost it appeared until St. Anthony's name was mentioned!
Speaking of the 'keys', this is an excellent opportunity to discuss the issue of the keys and the authority Christ gave the Church.

The issue that most separates Catholics from Protestants is the question of authority. Is the Catholic Church authentic? Is it truly the faith that Jesus established? Are the Protestants correct in rebelling against it?
The name ‘Protestant’ is derived from the 16th century reformers who broke away from the Catholic faith.
A study of history is vital to discovering the truth. Who was right and who was wrong? Religious tradition is simply the record of how people handed down the faith through the generations. Apostolic Succession is the authority beginning with Jesus and His Apostles by which the Sacrament called ‘Holy Orders’ was instituted. For 2000 years the Catholic Church has taught with authority through ‘Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture.’

Protestants do not recognize Sacred Tradition because they reject tradition. Tradition is seen from two primary perspectives.
Firstly, they state that the ‘traditions of men’ have no foundation of truth in which to live because they recognize no divine establishment.
Secondly, they see tradition in the same light as how Jesus saw the Pharisees.
Jesus stated, “The scribes and Pharisees have taken their seat on the chair of Moses, therefore do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but do not practice.”

Protestants attempt to tie Catholic Tradition with Old Testament authority. From the Catholic position, the scripture itself is born out of the Sacred Tradition handed down from the Apostles. It is the word of God divinely inspired! Second Thessalonians 2:15 states, “Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours".

For almost four centuries, oral tradition was the authority by which Christians lived. From 33 396 A.D., hundreds of writings were utilized by the Christian communities and accepted as authentic writings on the faith. Then, at the conclusion of the Council of Hippo (393-396 A.D.), the canon (divinely inspired) writings were separated from the Apocryphal books, and the result was what we now call the New Testament.
The Catholic Church was the authority that put the Bible together. This is an historical fact. Just as the Holy Spirit wrote the scripture through inspired authors, the Holy Spirit used the Church to compile the Bible. Now the Holy Spirit uses the Catholic Church to maintain the Bible, and to teach the Bible.

A lot of the attacks Protestants will make with their interpretation of scripture were not issues in 396 A.D. Not everything the Church believes was explicitly written down in the Bible (John 21:24-25). The faith has been handed down by Apostolic Authority. The scripture does give the basis for the living tradition handed down by the Church Fathers.

Matthew 16:8-18, 19 states, "and I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The Protestant will attempt to gloss this passage over by rejecting the idea that Christ conferred anything significant upon Peter. They maintain that the ‘Rock’ refers to what Peter answered; “You are the Christ . . .” While agreeing that Jesus is the Rock, He is the Master Builder establishing His foundation upon St. Peter.
Catholics maintain that Peter’s new name was very significant. His name was originally Simon, son of Jonah, or Bar Jonah; ‘Simon’ meant ‘the winds that flow through the weeds.’ Jesus changed Simon’s name to ‘Peter’ meaning the ‘rock.’ Jesus is clearly establishing authority upon Simon Peter.

Jesus gives the keys to the kingdom to Peter, and the power to bind and loose on earth. Jesus has the authority to supercede the keys given to the Household of King David (Isaiah 22:22) to St. Peter (Matthew 16:19). This authority and power was not given to just every Joe Shmuck. It was given to Simon Peter.

Do not think that this authority and power would end with Peter’s death as the 'keys' designates an office or any of the other Apostles as well. According to Acts 14:22,23, “They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, ‘it is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God. They appointed presbyters for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith".
When ever the Lord would change the name of someone, this was always significant. Firstly, in Genesis 17:5, He changed Abram’s (Father) name to ‘Abraham,’ (Father of many nations) as part of God’s Covenant making Abraham the ‘Father’ of a host of nations.
Secondly, in Genesis 35:10, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel and stated, ”I am God almighty, be fruitful and multiply. A nation indeed an assembly of nations shall stem from you.”
Thirdly, He changed Simon, Bar Jona, to Peter, the Rock. I believe the Catholic Church makes the most sense, especially when you hear Protestants tell you from the TV set that the church and its teachings are not important. No wonder Protestants have branched to over 33,000 different denominations.
They take the keys and the power to loose and bind as an individual thing. Then, they give the Holy Spirit credit for their personal positions. This is not apostolic or even biblical.

The Apostles and the Bible reflect a great concern for those who would oppose their authority and teach doctrine other than the Church. Galatians 1:7-9 states, “But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one you received, let that one be accursed!"
In 2 Peter 3:16, Peter warns, “Speaking of these (referring to Paul‘s letters), in them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and the unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures.”

St. Peter, the first Pope, also states, “Know this first of all that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the Holy Sprit who spoke under the influence of God (2 Peter 20, 21).” This is a warning to those who would attempt to change things, which they do to their own ruin.

All Protestant churches have men as their founders, men who broke away from the Catholic church, or those who founded churches much later as the Protestant movement deteriorated. These churches (whom the Catholic Church may respect) were man-made, and clearly in violation to the scripture and the teachings of the Apostles.
The Protestants have built their foundation on the three major sola's; Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura, and Sola Christi. St. Peters warning addresses the need to rely upon the Church for authentic interpretation of the Scripture. A true Christian does not have to recognize the authority, or any ministers produced, of a church founded in 1917 in Arkansas.

We are obligated to follow that authority which Jesus established upon this ‘Rock’ the Church of the Apostles. Ephesians 2:19-20 states, "So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone".

1 Timothy 3:15 states, "But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the Household of God, which is the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Foundation of Truth". Practically every page in the New Testament reveals authority that Christ gave the Apostles.

Pope Benedict XVI is the 265th successor of Peter. This succession is significant! Bishops, priests, theologians, and anyone else may have a lot to say, but if it does not coincide with the teaching Magisterial of the Catholic Church and through this body, it just does not carry any weight.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Catholic Defender: Dr. Gregory Thompson Responds

The following is a prepared response by Dr. Gregory Thompson to the actions taken at the Knights of Columbus Convention in Denver Colorado. I was personally shocked as he relayed the story to me which was affirmed by Kenneth Fisher who also spoke of the issues that took place. I call for people of good will to pray much for what is taking place in the Knights. This is a reflection of our times and in order to return to the basics of our faith we need to stand up for our principles. If we do not we will lose them. There are entities out there who want nothing more that to bring the Church down. This kind of in house fighting has got to stop and the leadership needs moral courage to get past this perception of weakness. Please pray for our leaders, religious and lay, that our nation will be strengthened. Ladies and Gentlemen, Dr. Gregory Thompson:

A response from Dr. Gregory Thompson to the actions of the Knights Convention in Denver.

To each of my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to send this to any publication, that Knights and Catholics will read, and know that you each have my permission to edit as needed*** please let me know if you do so, so that I have an answer if asked. My love and prayers in Christ, Gregory p.s. I attached this and put it in the body*** God be with you

Supreme Office of Knights of Columbus “Loss of Integrity and Right Arm”

St. John Bosco stated it well, “There is nothing more holy in this world than to work for the good of souls, for whose salvation Jesus Christ poured out the last drops of His Blood.” St. Vincent de Paul tells us that: “The salvation of men and our own are so great a good that they merit to be obtained at any price.”

The truth of these statements would be believed by every Catholic, but not practiced by the Supreme Office of the Knights of Columbus. Oh sure, there will be lip service that sounds like Principle, but the real life actions are pure pragmatism, which is a playground for Satan.

At the International Convention of the Knights of Columbus in Denver, two Knights, Ken Fisher, a 3rd Degree Knight and Dr. Gregory Thompson, a 4th Degree Knight, both in good standing with the Catholic Church, and with the Knights, were refused the Body and Blood of Christ. At the same time, others were allowed in to the Mass, who were not Knights, some were not Catholic, and also Knights that were not registered for the event. This action only adds repugnance to the Scandal that we were obligated as Catholics to expose. Scandal that harms the lives and souls of others. Ephesians 5:11, [11] “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”

This action is not so much an action against the conduct of the Knights of Columbus, as it is an action for the honor and glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Mary, and the Bride of Christ HIS Catholic Church, protecting both lives and souls of children and our neighbors at any price.

Jesus says in Luke 11:23, "you are either with me or against me, you either gather with me or you scatter" and that is pretty black and white. Yet the Leadership of the Knights in allowing deceit and fraud to take place have harmed us as individuals and as an Order that had purity of purpose, and started with principle, instead of the pragmatism of the past and present Supreme office, which God will not honor.

First, it would be prudent to define the terms, with the help of my brother in Christ, Rusty. Pragmatism is without question the ruling philosophy that guides leadership in America today. We see its influence in our pulpits, corporate America, amongst our campaigning politicians, entrenched amongst our elected officials, and soundly within the Leadership of the Knights of Columbus. Pragmatism is a leadership theory that is expressly concerned with what practically works. It is a philosophy that is concerned with what will make us successful. It is an ideology that seeks to accomplish goals without any serious consideration as to whether our guiding thoughts, our flowery words, or our brilliant methods are right or wrong. According to pragmatism, the ends can and will most likely justify the means.

Principle on the other hand is not driven by what works, but by what is right. It is a Biblical philosophy that is concerned with what is right specifically before the eyes of a Holy God to whom man must give an account on that Great Day. Principle in its purest form is the guiding tenets that are permanently fixed in what is right and wrong as God has defined these terms in His Law/Word. Therefore, when a leader is guided by principle instead of pragmatism the ends can never justify the means. Principled leadership seeks right motive as well as right action.

A principled leader is convinced that the Almighty not only has a will and a word, but a way that must be adhered to. It is a leader that despite any setback, humiliation, or temporary defeat that inevitably comes from living a principled life, will still rise or fall based upon the solid conviction of God's immutable principles.

Ah, now there lies the rub, the very crux of the matter that creates the conflict between pragmatism and principle. It is this apparent drawback that living by principle brings that makes pragmatism so appealing to our spineless generation of leaders in the K of C today. Most of them are willing to sacrifice what is right, even when they know deep down in their hearts the truth, in order to win elections, political points, power, or money, or any other advantage that may be gained by their compromises. Thus winning at all costs, even at the cost of selling out our most cherished values, becomes the paramount and chief value. In the Knights Leadership, it becomes in and of itself the primary "virtue" which is willing for temporary gain to sacrifice what is right, what is true, and what will last with the shaking of time, the winning of souls for eternity.

Brother Knights, the bottom line is, ideas have consequences and a belief system will lead us somewhere. The question is where? Have we really thought through the ramifications of rejecting the eternal principles of God for the sake of pragmatism? Is it really more important to be successful with many Knights and much money, than to be honest in our business dealings, and protect the lives and souls of God’s children? Do we really desire our children to follow the lip service of the K of C Leadership in order to be popular, or do we desire them to follow what is right, despite the mockery and scorn that they might have to endure for the cause of Christ? Do we really want Shepherds to tickle our ears and flatter us for the sake of “church growth” or do we want men of God to speak the truth in love to please God and convict us?

I believe it's high time the Knights of Columbus Leadership and all that call themselves Catholic return from the abyss of pragmatism to the understanding that we, especially as Catholics, are called to be faithful to the truth, whether we win or lose, become popular or unpopular. It is God's responsibility to determine outcome. It is God's domain to determine results. Unfortunately, it is this very allurement of “outcome” and “results” that reveals yet another temptation for becoming a pragmatist in the Knights of Columbus. It deceives us by subtly suggesting that we, apart from God, can determine outcome and manipulate results. All we have to do is just compromise our principles, lower the standards of God’s way, and never, under any circumstance, give a consequence to any politician or other person who are Knights, that can give us what we want.

Pragmatism, thus armed with its compromised strategy that is only concerned with outcome, continues to dominate Knight and some Catholic leadership. The fallout of this brand of waffling leadership is that they never seem to give serious thought to the long-term ramifications of its double-minded ways. It never seems to occur to the pragmatists that they are replacing the solid, righteous foundation of God's principles to rebuild God’s house on shifting sand. In the long run, they are simply crafting a broken cistern that will not and cannot hold lasting water for the K of C and Church future. Thus, those who are addicted to pragmatism today would probably scoff at this principled statement by the father of our country, George Washington. He stated, “If to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disapprove, how can we afterward defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the event is in the Hands of God.”

Why do I say deceit and fraud? When you say that you stand for something but by omission or commission support or allow those things that are contrary to Catholic teaching, is this a type of deceit used to bring in new recruits to pay dues and buy insurance, because you give lip service to Catholic teachings, but hide the fact that you allow those willing to Murder babies, and breakdown the families by supporting Sodomy, to say that they are your brother Knight.

When the Knight Leadership did not allow me to receive the Real Presence of Christ on Thursday at the K of C International Convention, I had a sign that day that read, "I love Jesus, I love Mary, I love the Catholic Church, I love the K of C. We are obligated because of Love to suspend those Knights that promote Murdering Babies, until they repent and get themselves right with God and HIS Church." Souls of those promoting Murdering Babies, and promoting Sodomy, are at risk of Hell for eternity, as well as those in the Knights Leadership that by omission and commission fail to address this for the good of their brothers in Christ. Most Knights, my brothers, when I acknowledged them with a blessing, would not even talk to their brother Knight in love, and some priests when asked, would not give a blessing to one of their lambs, I believe because of the conduct and attitude of the Knight Leadership who we exposed as part of the Scandal. Why, because we follow Jesus and love their souls and agree their salvation should be obtained at any price.

I did not say kick them out of the Church, although you cannot call yourself Catholic and be for the Murder of babies, let them attend to hear the Word of God, but not receive the Eucharist until they have repented. I did not say kick them out of the Knights, even though a Knight has to believe in the teachings of the Church, and thus cannot publically take a stand for the Murder of Babies or the promotion of Sodomy. The Leadership of the Knights have the power to make it right within the Constitution of the Knights. As a Knight you have to be a practicing Catholic, and cannot cause Scandal. We are Catholic first, or being a Knight is nothing, and a Knight who is openly against the teachings of the Catholic Church is repugnant to the good of the Order.

Matthew 18:6, 7 “[6] But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea. [7] Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.”
Please Pray, Pray, Pray, So that the millstones prepared for any Knight Leadership or Church Shepherds, will be put aside. One last call, for the good of the souls of our Shepherd Leadership in the Catholic Church, who should guide the Knights Leadership and Knights Politicians to do the right thing in the eyes of God, as a Catholic, or be subject to Canon 915. We cannot hide behind lack of action by our Knight or Church Leadership, we must reprove and correct with Catholic Church teachings, those we love, including all Leadership who have souls that Jesus wants.

Thank you Ken Fisher and John O’Gorman for being Loving Servant Warriors for the King of Kings, HIS Mother Mary, and HIS Bride, the Catholic Church. Your vigilance, research, and efforts have strengthened me, and I believe many others in their service to the Lord. And your efforts I believe will help some turn back to God that were blinded by the powers and principalities.

Love and prayers in Christ, Dr. Gregory Thompson

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The Catholic Defender: Many Knights are Positive

The past two weeks I have been coming down hard on the leadership of the Knights of Columbus because of the rogue Knights who are responsible for the passing of Gay "marriage" in New York and Massachuseets.

Also because of the way they treated fellow Knights in Colorado banning them from Mass among other things.

Well, this small article is for the vast majority of faithful Knights who do love the Lord and his Church! Many of whom are my friends!

Let us all pray that the conflict within the Knights will be resolved with a positive outcome, more importantly, that families will be more enriched and strengthend in their holy Catholic Faith!

Like the Musketeers, "all for one and one for all", or the old Army slogon, "an Army of one"! There are many Knights out there who do great things with the right motivation. May it continue!

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Friday, August 5, 2011

The Catholic Defender: Knights in Conflict

Since the early 1980's I have been a member of the Kinghts of Columbus.

I have been involved with helping create two new Councils, one in Harrison Arkansas and the other at Oak Grove Kentucky.

The Council in Arkansas paid my dues for most of the time I was in the Army as they supported me.

Before I entered in the Army in February 1985, I had been very active in the Knights.

I was involved as the Community Activities Chairman and I was very much involved in getting pornography off the shelves.

We made some real head way in those times as I was able to get x-rated videos and we turned in to the Proceecuting Attorney (then), Gorden Webb.

I was putting together pro-life marches, doing presentations on Rock music, and helped worked with the local bullitin.

I was also part of the 1st degree team.

On August 22, 1984, I was recognized by our local Council as "Knight of the Year"! Walter Israel was the Grand Knight.

When the Church at Oak Grove Kentucky was established, I decided to transfer to the Oak Grove Council to help here.

It wasn't long before I was involved in helping get this Council up and going.

It was at this time that I became a 4th degree Knight in Clarksville Tennessee. Unfortunately, most of my military service kept me away from being active in the Knights.

I was in Germany for three years, Korea for another year. The Middle East for more than three years and many deployments around the Country.

I started to get back involved when I was stationed in New Orleans, but finally, I have been involved helping our local Council at Fort Hood Texas.

Copperas Cove will be where I will probably settle done eventually as this is my home Parish now.

During this time of nearly 30 years, I have always been proud of being a Knight even when I was not activated due to deployment.

Because of this, I have a strong loyalty for the Knights of Columbus. Events recently is making the news about the leadership of the Knights of Columbus allowing an extreme left wing to remain in the Knights of Columbus.

"In the United States, the Knights of Columbus uphold the Catholic Church's positions on public policy and social issues. They have adopted resolutions advocating a Culture of Life, defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and promoting Catholic practices in public schools, government, and voluntary organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America. The Order also funded a postcard campaign in 2005 in an attempt to stop the Canadian parliament from legalizing same-sex marriage".

However, currently, there are a number of "rogue" Knights who have been responsible for supporting Abortion and legalizing Same Sex Marriage.

This is causing some tension among the ranks. I watched the recent Michael Voris episodes of "The Vortex" and he really does a good job in explaining and defining the problem.

On 12 August, 2011, this next coming Friday, deepertruth is going to do a show on this very problem.

I have two 4th degree Knights that will appear on the show who were in Denver this past week.

From their report, they were there with signs showing support for the Knights, their love for the Lord, His Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.

But the Organization of Knights totally disregarded them, didn't even allow them to participate in the Mass. They did get several thumbs up from some, but over all, they were largely ignored and banned.

Johm, my co-host is also a 4th degree Knight and we all love the Church.

I wish I could talk Michael Voris to reconsider, but he is going to Spain for World Youth Day.

(Editors note) Psalms 78:5-11 states, "God set up a decree in Jacob, established a law in Israel: What he commanded our ancestors, they were to teach their children; That the next generation might come to know, children yet to be born. In turn they were to recite them to their children, that they too might put their trust in God, And not forget the works of God, keeping his commandments. They were not to be like their ancestors, a rebellious and defiant generation, A generation whose heart was not constant, whose spirit was not faithful to God, Like the ranks of the Ephraimite archers, who retreated on the day of battle. They did not keep God's covenant; they refused to walk by his law. They forgot his works, the wonderous deeds he had shown".

This is very important as we journey to the next generation. What one generation tolerates the next generation excepts. 2 Chronicles 7:14 still holds true, "and if my people, upon whom my name has been pronounced, humble themselves and pray, and seek my presence and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land".

It would be nice if Michael Voris could call in from Spain, if he gets the opportunity. I also hope to have a representative of the Knights to be a part of the program that will air this Friday at 6:00 P.M. Eastern, 7:00 Central. I personally hope that we can stop the bleeding and keep the Knights alive for another generation supporting the Catholic Church and the teaching we vow to uphold.

This should be a lively debate but the intent is not to run the Knights down, but to see what can be done to get the Knights back on the right path. For more information click here:

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The Catholic Defender: Seven Headed Dragon

Revelation 17:7 states, "The angel said to me, Why are you amazed? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and the seven heads and the ten horns".

This woman is identified with the dragon, Revelation 12:3 states, 'Then another sign appeared in the sky; it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns".

So we are dealing with pure evil and this is why the anti-Catholic spends their energy against the Catholic Faith.

For the anti-Catholic, their focus is to oppose the Catholic faith because they see the Pope as the anti-Christ and the Catholic Faith the "Whore of Babylon".

With all the issues facing our nation today, the moral decline of America, the anti-Catholic is dedicated first and foremost to attack the Catholic faith.

They may verbally oppose abortion, homosexuality, incest and murder, but they will give their full energy to oppose the Catholic Faith. They see the Catholic Faith as pure evil, an apostate church.

This is why Catholics need to have an understanding of this. I'm not addressing general Protestantism, but primarily the anti-Catholic. There are Protestant denominations that are built on this premise.

There are many others who have soften over the years and have moved more towards the center. With all this in mind, lets take a closer look who this dragon is.

Rev 12:3: Huge red dragon: The devil or Satan, this dragon symbolizes the forces of evil. Psalms 74:13-14 states, "You stirred up the sea in your might; you smashed the heads of the dragons on the waters. You crushed the heads of Leviathan, tossed him for food to the sharks".

Psalms 89:11 states, "You crushed Rahab with a mortal blow; your strong arm scattered your foes".

Rahab was a mythological sea monster whose name is used in the bible mainly as a personification of primeval chaos.

Isaiah 51:9 states, "Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord! Awake as in the days of old, in ages long ago! Was it not you who crushed Rahab, you who pierced the dragon"?

Clearly, this dragon is pure evil. So who is the seven heads? St. John identifies these seven heads with seven hills.

Rev 17:9 states, "Here is a clue for one who has wisdom. The seven heads represent seven hills upon which the woman sits. They also represent seven kings: five have already fallen, one still lives, and the last has not yet come, and when he comes he must remain only a short while".

There are two schools of thought: The seven heads represent seven kings or seven kingdoms. The traditional view is that these seven heads represent the early Roman Emperors who persecuted the Catholic Faith with Nero being the "Anti-Christ" or the "one who still lives".

Revelation 13:3 says, I saw that one of it's heads seemed to have been mortally wounded, but this mortal wound was healed".

Traditionally, this is believed to be Nero who took his own life in 68 A.D.

St. John also said, "and the last has not yet come, and when he comes he must remain only a short while. The beast that existed once but exists no longer is an eighth king, but really belongs to the seven and is headed for destruction".

Traditionally, many believed that the Roman Emperor Domitian (A.D. 81-96) embodied all the cruelty and impiety of Nero and placed him in this yet to come category. It is possible that these early "Pagan" Roman Emperors were seen by St. John to be the seven heads.

This certainly has a traditional foundation in the Catholic Faith and many accept this.

Also, the bible is filled with "types" to point to a deepertruth for a later time. Can there be an "anti-Christ" that will emerge at the end of time?

Most certainly, and this has a strong traditional foundation as well as scriptural. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 states, "Let no one deceive you in any way. For unless the apostasy comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one doomed to perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship, so as to seat himself in the temple of God, claiming that he is a god".
(Editors note) This is why the anti-Catholic places so much energy in trying to get us to see the Pope as the "anti-Christ", to even forge the believe that the Popes call themselves god.

St John echos St. Paul stating, "Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the anti-Christ was coming, so now many anti-Christs have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion show that none of them was of our number" (1 John 2:18-20). (Editors note) Notice that Both St. John and Paul allude to an "anti-Christ", the son of perdition. Notice that they both refer to an apostasy from the Catholic faith. I spoke of a second possibility of identifying who the anti-Christ is, or at least will emerge from. Remember 17:9-10, speaking to the seven heads as seven hills upon which the woman sits?

The seven kings, five have fallen, one still lives, and at the last has not yet come... The five fallen kingdoms were Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece.

The kingdom that was in power during the time of Jesus was the Roman Empire.

There is one final kingdom that is to come that will arise from the foundations of the old Roman Empire. It is believed that this anti-Christ will emerge from this last kingdom.

In 1948, the European Community, now known as the European Union (EU) began with Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. In 1957, Italy, France, and Germany joined the EU. The "TREATY of ROME" ratified the EU!

In 1973 England, Ireland, and Denmark joined the EU.

Then in 1981 Greece became the tenth nation to follow into the EU. Could this be the "Ten Horns" identified with the the seven heads? Quite possibly.

The EU, in January 1995, gained Austria which became the 13th nation to join this federation. The EU has become a potential political power that can rival America and perhaps overcome it.

The push for the one world Government has infiltrated much of American politics. Our current political power in America is modeling European socialism that is breaking down our economy.

Is this setting us up for something?

Pope Benedict XV (1922) cautions this push for a one world government saying, "This State will vanquish all national loyalties. If these ideas are put into practice there will inevitably follow a reign of unheard of terror".

It is clear from the scriptural text that the "Whore of Babylon" was Jerusalem and the "Beast" was Pagan Rome.

It is interesting that both Jerusalem and Rome sit on seven hills or even seven "mountains".

This is not the Catholic Faith. If my second hypothesis is true, then the anti-Christ would be coming from the EU.

It is tradition that this anti-Christ would be Jewish probably from the tribe of Dan. (Editors note) The anti-Catholic knowing this, try to tie the origins of the Catholic Faith to Constantine. This is why they throw emphasis on Constantine claiming he introduces Babylonian paganism. The Seventh Day Adventist claims that the date 538 marks the beginning of the Catholic Faith. They tie this into their 1260 day (year) belief system ending in 1798 marking for them the wounding of this anti-Christ. They see the Papacy as anti-Christ marked by Sunday worship.

All the anti-Catholics are in error as the Papacy was established by Jesus Christ and no weapon set against it shall stand.

Jesus promised the gates of hell will not prevail, that he would remain with it forever, and he gives it the Holy spirit.

This is a sure foundation, it is the rock of Christ who is the Master Builder.

The Catholic Faith is the city set upon a mountain (Vatican Hill) so that all the world can know who she is, the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ.

It is the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are to as we are part of his Church!

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The Catholic Defender: Captain America

Tonight I had the opportunity to go and see the movie, "Captain America" and for about two hours I felt like I was entertained.

It took me back to a time when the good guys really were the good guys. I felt almost like a kid as I bought a large coke and a large tub of popcorn. This is one movie the Catholic Defender does not mind to promote.

I will not give the movie away for those of you who have not seen it yet, but I highly encourage you to see it. Even if your not big into action heroes, it is still a good movie.

The character who plays "Captain America" is a big hit with me, kind of reminds me of myself in my younger days!

Except I had to work real hard for what I got in terms of physical conditioning. I thought there was some good biblical support behind our hero in this movie.

One, he does not use foul language, he has never been with a woman, he was raised with a love for America, he displayed a lot of courage.

How can you beat a hero like this. He takes on the villains and keeps his sound moral judgement.

1 Thessalonians has a great verse for our character!

1 Thess 5:7-8 say, "Those who sleep go to sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night. But since we are of the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet that is hope for salvation".

That's Captain America! Of course, we have to fill in the gaps that the movie does not portray. He has to have a rosary, has to be a practicing Catholic, has to stand up for those who are victimized by evil.

Yes, Captain America is a comic book character and the movie is a form of escape to our own fantasy. I am very happy that our hero truly was a good guy.

If and when you go see this movie, please respond here and encourage my cohost, John to go see this movie.

Since he has not taken in to Cheyenne, maybe Captain America might be able to move him!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Catholic Defender: The Golden Cup

Revelation 17 is a major chapter that the anti-Catholics refer to in their attacks on the Catholic Faith.
There are several groups out there that have developed their own systems of anti-Catholic rhetoric, but they all seem to come down to these basic scriptures in Revelation with the intent of giving a base for their own self existence.

No matter how far apart that these groups diversify in their own understanding, they still have this common agreement in attacking the Catholic Faith.

I recently took a look at the colors "purple and scarlet" because of the misrepresentation people use to attack the Catholic Faith. At this time, I want to continue with another point of scripture that is used to identify the Catholic Faith with the Whore of Babylon. Revelation 17:4 says in part, "She held in her hand a gold cup that was filled with the abominable and sordid deeds of her harlotry". Does this verse properly describe or point to the Catholic Faith?

Jeremiah 51:7 says, "Babylon was a golden cup in the hand of the Lord which made the whole earth drunk; the nations drank its wine, with this they have become mad". /div>

You can see why the anti-Catholic wants to tie the Catholic Faith to ancient Babylonian Paganism?

But who is this people that Jeremiah was speaking about? Who are the people of the "golden cup"?

Exodus 25:29 states, "Of pure gold you shall make its plates and cups, as well as its pitchers and bowls for poring libations".
Was St. John aware of Jerusalem being identified with Babylon?

Revelation 11:8 He certainly identifies Jerusalem with "Sodom" and "Egypt" which were symbolic names concerning Jerusalem's harlotry and idolatry.

The key is discovering who this "great city" is.
Revelation 16:19 states, "The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath".

Revelation 17:18, "And the woman that you saw is the great city which has dominion over the kings of the earth."

At the time of St. John, he would have recognized the authority of God so it is clear that he would have recognized the importance of Jerusalem to the world.

Revelation 18:10, "they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, "Alas! alas! thou great city, thou mighty city, Babylon! In one hour has thy judgment come." Alas, alas, for the great city that was clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, bedecked with gold, with jewels, and with pearls! And cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning, what city was like the great city?" And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, crying out, Alas, alas, for the great city where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! In one hour she has been laid waste. Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, So shall Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and shall be found no more".

The great city is Jerusalem. St. John is clearly recognizing Jerusalem as the "Whore of Babylon".

We see St. John identifying Jerusalem because Jesus was crucified outside the gates of the "great city".

St. John also refers to the great city as "Babylon" that was destroyed in one hour.

The people of the "golden cup" were the Jews. With all this said, Rome was also identified with "Babylon", Rome would be identified with the "beast" whom the Whore of Babylon drank the cup of infirmity.

The following are footnotes coming from the New American Bible from Revelation 17:

Rev 17:1-19: The punishment of Babylon is now described as a past event and metaphorically, under the image of the great harlot who leads people astray into idolatry. (Editors note: Consider Revelation 13:11 and the false prophet who leads the world to the first beast (anti-Christ). He has two horns of a lamb which identifies him with Christ, yet he speaks like a dragon, clearly apostasy).

Rev 17:1-6 Babylon, the symbolic name of Rome, is graphically described as "the great harlot".

Rev12:2: Intercourse... harlotry: Rev 14:4 footnote says, Virgins: metaphorically, because they never indulged in any idolatrous practices, which are considered in the Old Testament to be adultery and fornication (Rev 2:14-15, 20-22, Rev 17:1-6, Ez 16:1-58, 23:1-49). The parallel passages (Rev 7:3, 22:4) indicates that the 144,000 whose foreheads are sealed represent all Christian people. The pagan kings subjected to Rome adopted the cult of the emperor.

Rev 17:3: Blasphemous names: divine titles assumed by the Roman emperors.

Rev 14:4: Reference to the great wealth and idolatrous cults of Rome. (Editors note: This is why the anti-Catholics want you to believe that the Catholic Church worships the Pope and statues. This is why they believe the Pope makes blasphemous statements against Christ).

Rev:17:8: Allusion to the belief that the dead Nero would return to power.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Catholic Defender: Official Church Colors

Many anti-Catholics will charge that the Catholic Faith is the "Whore of Babylon" citing Revelation 17:4, "The woman was wearing purple and scarlet and adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls".

The Anti-Catholic is attempting to tie the colors purple and scarlet with the Catholic Faith. Is this a true representation that the Anti-Catholics are showing? No, not even close!

They want you to believe that the Catholic Faith is the "Whore of Babylon" that is the mother of harlots. Before I want to get into the colors of the Church, I think I have scripture that does point who this "Whore" is! Exodus 25:3 says, "These are the contributions you shall accept from them: gold, silver and bronze; violet, purple and scarlet yarn;"

These are not the official colors of the Catholic Faith, but from the Old Testament Israelites (Read the whole chapter of Exodus 26).

St. John is showing that the Jewish people had literally rode on the back of the Roman Empire and he identifies the priesthood of the Israelites. So, what are the colors of the Church and what is their purpose? The following is taken from ABC News, "Reading the Colors of the Vatican":

White or Gold: Worn during Christmas and Easter, symbolizing the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These colors are also worn during funerals because they symbolize life rather than mourning. These are the pope's colors since the pope is the closest representative of Christ in his glory.

Red: The color of blood and, therefore, of martyrdom. Worn on the feasts of martyrs as well as Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Good Friday and celebrations of Jesus Christ's passion. The cardinals wear red because they are considered the closest advisers to the pope and therefore should be ready to shed their blood for the church and Christ.

Purple: Worn during the Advent and Lent seasons, purple reflects sorrow and suffering. Sorrow as the faithful await the arrival of the Savior and suffering to mark Jesus Christ's 40 days in the desert (Lent). The color also came to symbolize wealth, power and royalty because in antiquity purple dye was very expensive.

Pink: A special color worn only twice during the liturgical year. It represents a time of joy amid a period of penance and prayer.

Green: The default color for vestments representing hope of Christ's resurrection.

Blue: Symbol of the Virgin Mary. Usually worn on Mary's Feast day.

Black: Used in Masses for the dead as a sign of mourning. It is the color of clerical garb in everyday life.

The following is taken from "Catholic News Agency" (CNA) the article called, "The Story behind the White and yellow colors of the Vatican Flag":

L’Osservatore Romano published an article last week explaining how Pope Pius VII decided in 1808 that the Vatican colors would be white and yellow. Historian Claudio Ceresa explained the history behind the Pope’s choice.

In an article entitled, “Two centuries of yellow and white as the papal colors,” Ceresa explained that in order to understand why the colors were chosen, one must consider the “occupation of the city by Napoleonic troops in February of 1808.”

“The commander of the French forces, General Miollis, posted notices on the walls informing that the Pope’s army would be incorporated into the imperial forces. Those officials who remained loyal to Pius VII were to be arrested and deported,” Ceresa explained. “Reaction was minimal because it was reported that the Pontiff was aware and did not resist. Only a small group of loyalists were deported to a prison in Mantova.”

“In order to underscore the unification, and probably to increase the situation of uncertainty as well,” Ceresa continued, “the papal soldiers were allowed to continue using the distinctive yellow-red colors on their hats.”

Ceresa afterwards noted that the Pope “did not want the Vatican State to be subject to Napoleon, and therefore on March 13, 1808 he forcefully protested. He ordered, among other things, that the units that were still loyal to him substitute the Roman insignia colors with white and yellow.”

Abbot Luca Antonio Benedetalla wrote in his diary on the same date that “in order not to confuse the Roman soldiers who were under French command with the few that remained in his service, the Pope ordered the new yellow and white insignia. The noble guard and the Swiss have adopted it. They like it,” he wrote.

Ceresa explained that three days later, on March 16, 1808, Pius VII sent the order in writing to the diplomatic corps, the document is considered to be the act creating the colors of the current flag of Vatican City.”

The colors of the Catholic Faith is not "scarlet and purple" yet people can fall for this kind of attack because they don't know their own history and what the colors mean. The following is taken from the New American Bible (NAB) footnotes covering Rev 13:1-10:

Rev 13:1-10: This wild beast, combining features of the four beasts in Daniel 7:28, symbolizes the Roman Empire: the seven heads represent the emperors; There is little agreement as to the identity of the Roman Emperors alluded to here. The number seven suggests that all the emperors are meant (Rev 17:10). An example of seven can be seen in Rev 1:4 footnote, "Seven churches in Asia: Asia refers to the Roman province of that name in western Asia Minor (modern Turkey); these representative churches are mentioned by name in Rev 1:11, and each is the recipient of a message (Rev 2:1-3:22). Seven is the biblical number suggesting fullness and completeness; thus the seer (St. John) is writing for the whole Church.

Rev 13:2: Satan (Rev 12:9), the prince of this world (John 12:31), commissioned the beast to persecute the Church (Rev 13:5-7).

Rev 13:3:This may be a reference to the popular legend that Nero would come back to life and rule again after his death (which occured in A.D. 68 from a self-inflicted stab wound in the throat); Rev 13, 14; 17:8. Domitian (A.D. 81-96) embodied all the cruelty and impiety of Nero. (Editors note) This is important to the anti-Catholics who want to claim that the Catholic Church killed 120,000,000 people during the Inquisitions in a 6 century span. The actual numbers are between 2500-5000. What they will not tell you is that 9 out of every 10 persons brought before a tribunal were aquitted of heresy. Many others were offered the chance to repent and recant.

Rev 13:4 Worshiped the beast: allusion to the emperor worship, which Domitian insisted upon and the ruthlessly enforced. Who can compare with the beast: perhaps a deliberate parody of the name Michael; Rev 12: 7-12, Michael, mentioned only here in Rev, wins a victory over the dragon. A hymn of praise follows. Michael: the archangel, guardian and champion of Israel (Daniel 10:13-21, 12:1, Jude 9). In Hebrew the name Michael means, "Who can compare with God"? (Editors note) This is why the anti-Catholics push for forgeries to try and claim that the Pope called himself a "god" which is totally false. This is why they try to convince people that "Catholics worship the Pope".

Rev 13:5-6: Domitian, like Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Daniel 7:8, 11, 25), demanded that he be called by divine titles such as our lord and god and Jupiter. Rev 11:2 footnote, The Outer court: the Court of the Gentiles. Trample...forty-two months: the duration of the vicious persecution of the Jews by Antiochus IV Ephiphanes (Daniel 7:25, 12:7); this persecution of three and a half years (half of seven, counted as 1260 days in Rev 11:3, 12:6) became the prototype of periods of trial for God's people; Luke 4:25, James 5:17. The reference here is to the persecution by the Romans. (Editors note) this is important to the anti-Catholics who try to attach the "1260" days to the Papacy. The latest SDA version shows that 538-1798 reveals the Papacy as the "antiChrist". Since the Catholic Faith is nearly 2,000 year old, people can creat what ever formula they want to create. Jesus promised the gates of hell would not prevail against it so no weapon formed against it will stand.

Rev 13:5: Forty-two months: this is the same duration as the profanation of the holy city (Rev 11:2), the prophetic mission of the two witnesses (Rev 11:3), and the retreat of the woman into the desert (Rev 12:6, 14)

Rev 13:11-18: The second beast is described in terms of the false prophets (Rev 16:13, 19:20, 20:10) who accompanied the false messiahs (the first beast) Matthew 24:24, Mark 13:22, 2 Thess 2:9, Daniel 13:2-4. Christians had either to worship the emperor and his image or to suffer martydom. (Editors note) The anti-Catholics use this to attack Catholics claiming we worship the Pope, statues, Mary, the Saints. In reality, the Lord is refering to those who would come claiming to be gods, or false prophets who rebell against the Catholic Faith.

Rev 13:18: Each of the letters of the alphabet in Hebrew as well as in Greek has a numerical value. Many possible combinations of letters will add up to 666, and many candidates have been nominated for this infamous number. The most likely is the emperor Caesar Nero, the Greek form of whose name in Hebrew gives the rquired sum. (The Latin form of this name equals 616, which is the reading of a few manuscripts). Nero personifies the emperors who viciously persecuted the Catholic Church. It has also been observed that "6" represents imperfection, falling short of the perfect number "7", and is represented here in a triple or superlative form. (Editors note) This is important because the anti-Catholics want you to believe the Pope is the anti-Christ. They will claim that the Pope has 666 on the tiria, or that the title Vicarius Filii Dei. The SDA claim this means "Vicar or Representative of the Son of God", it was a phrase first used in the forged medieval document called "Donation of Constantine". The Popes have never used this as a title! It is applied by the enemies of the Church. The actual title is Vicarius Christi; Vicar of Christ; a vicar is the "earthly representative of Christ.