Wednesday 2 December 2015

Prayers to saints?

The following was taken from previous articles which is not on the website for viewing anymore. There are however changes that differ from the previous article or articles. This paper shall be looking at Mary and the saints:*

Before reading the following on Mary and the saints, I would suggest reading the following papers on Mary:

Omnipresence and Multipresence are two different things. Read the following definitions:

With that out of the way, let's get started. Can Satan be in more than one place at once, be it omnipresence and multipresence? The answer is a resounding no. Satan cannot be in more than one place at one and even granting multipresence as an argument for Mary and the saints being prayed to, nothing from scripture has been offered and not even 2 Corinthians 4:4 counts:

"4 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God,[a] we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice[b] cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[c] for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

Some today contest whether or not the passage actually refers to Satan but let's for arguments sake it refers to Satan.

If it refers to Satan, The passage just simply having dominion and power over the whole world, that's it, it isn't suggesting he has multipresence. Whether or not it refers to God or Satan, the argument for multipresence has no weight.

Is it biblically sound to say Mary has this attribute of multipresence granted to her, NO. Mary is in heaven with the believers in Jesus, she is not going to be aware of what is transpiring on the earth since she is in heaven with Lord. Even if she possessed multipresence, she wouldn't hear the prayers of men since to this world, she is dead and cannot communicate with us.

If you pray to a saint and ask for their intercession, it is necromancy. No matter how you want to try and get around it, communication with the dead for ANY reason is necromancy and no the transfiguration is not a counter example:

There is nothing wrong with those being exalted to sainthood, that's not disputable, but that is no justification to pray to them or seek intercession.

Before anyone appeals to Jews going to the graves of their sainsts, Watch the following video by Rabbi Tovia Singer on why Jews go to the grave of their forefathers or great saintly men. This video by him should clarify some misunderstandings on the issue:
Rabbi Tovia Singer discusses the Jewish tradition of praying at a gravesite:

As for 2 Timothy 1:16-18, the context has nothing to do with the dead being prayed for but rather mercy is to be granted to the house of Onesiphrous for the good he did to Paul and that Onesiphrous may have mercy from the Lord when he comes and judges the world.
"15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.

16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. 17 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. 18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus."

Some appeal to Jeremiah 15 and Revelation 5 to try to justify their teaching on the saints, Let's look.

Moses and Samuel pleading on Israel's behalf in their day is fine, but this doesn't justify to praying to the saints who have passed on and gone into the presence of the Lord. In Jeremiah 15, The people of Israel's wickedness was so grievous that even if Moses or Samuel were there, he would not deter his anger from Israel, that is the point being made:

"Jeremiah 15:1 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! 2 And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;
those for starvation, to starvation;
those for captivity, to captivity.’"

This text cannot justify the Romanist position at all, it is simply not there.

Revelation 5 says:

"5 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. 2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” 3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. 4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. 5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

6 Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing at the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. The Lamb had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits[a] of God sent out into all the earth. 7 He went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
    and they will reign[b] on the earth.”"

An interesting observation has been made by.... Well, he needs no introduction, I have mentioned him many times.
"Revelation 5:8. Catholics often appeal to Revelation 5:8 (and 8:3-4 which basically says the same thing) as supposed proof for saints being prayed to as well as them presenting these prayers to God. The text says, And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Revelation 5:8; cf. 8:3-4). Arguing from this passage is Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch in theirIgnatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament: “The saints in heaven mediate the praises and petitions of the saints on earth (8:3)” (Scott Hahn, Curtis Mitch, Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament, [Ignatius Press, 2010], p. 499). The Catholics are guilty of distorting this text. First, the “twenty-four elders” who possess and present these prayers before God are not “saints” who are prayed to by believers. In fact, in 5:8-10 their song of praise differentiates them from people (i.e., saints) who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ. They are also differentiated from the saints in 11:16-18 and 19:1-4. Instead of beings saints they are, as Robert Mounce notes, “an angelic order who serve and adore God as the heavenly counterpart to the twenty-four priestly and twenty-four Levitical orders (1 Chron 24:4; 25:9-13)” (Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation: Revised, ed. Gordon D. Fee, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, [Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997], pp. 121-122). In agreement are New Testament scholars Alan F. Johnson and N. B. Stonehouse. Second, the evidence shows these twenty-four elders do not have prayers because they were prayed to, as Roman writers suggest. Instead, they have prayers which people offer to God alone, and they bring them to God because of His transcendence. As Mounce further observes,

“The idea of angels acting as intermediaries and presenting the prayers of saints to God is common in later Jewish thought. In Tobit 12:15 an angel says, ‘I am Rafael, one of the seven holy angels, who present the prayers of the saints, and who go in  and out before the glory of the Holy One.’ In 3Baruch 11 it is Michael the Archangel who descends to the fifth heaven to receive the prayers of people. It was the increasing emphasis in Jewish thought on the transcendence of God that made such intermediaries appropriate. In Revelation the twenty-four elders perform this function” (Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation: Revised, ed. Gordon D. Fee, The New International Commentary on the New Testament, [Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1997], p. 135).

Revelation 5:8-10 and 8:3-4 do not support the Roman practice of believers praying to saints and Mary and then them in turn presenting them to God. There is absolutely no biblical basis for this teaching whatsoever, and hence must be rejected by the believer. We go to God directly." Keith Thompson, Mary is not Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all Graces, and Advocate:

Answering Judaism.

Addendum: To the Rabbinic Jews reading this, if you have any points, let me know if you think the understanding presented by the Roman Catholics are the same as yours or not.

7th of January 2016* In light of recent events, the original article(s) is (are) up again.


  1. Very good article. I totally agree. Concerning Satan and his omnipresence argued from 2 Corinthians 4:4, I believe the context here does not argue "for" omnipresence at all. Although scripture teaches Satan has been given authority as the god of the "air ways," by the father, that does not necessarily mean omnipresence. This verse employs Hyperbole concerning that phrase. In hermeneutics, synthesis is Scripture interpreting Scripture. Since scripture interprets scripture, I do not find anywhere that satan, a created being, was ever given the ability by God to exhibit omnipresence. Therefore, this phrase in the verse must only be viewed as Hyperbole. Scripture cannot contradict itself. If it appears to contradict then our interpretation is incorrect. I totally agree with the author here I just wish he would have got into more detail, however it was excellent. The only disagreement I have concerning the article is the author stating "there is nothing wrong with those being exalted to saithood, that's not disputable." I beg to differ. Since Scripture is the final authority let's appeal to Scripture and what it teaches. Nowhere in Scripture is sainthood taught. In fact just the opposite. All believers are referred to as the Saints in the New Testament covenant. And Jesus said to his followers the first shall be last and the last shall be first. In the final judgment it will be God who exalts man, not man who exalts man. The belif in exalted sainthood is a distortion of the Scriptures. So therefore it is absolutely disputable. If you would like me to provide passages of Scripture to back this up I would be more than happy to do so. However this article was absolutely correct and excellent.

  2. What a mess of an article. One ironic tidbit though:

    "If you pray to a saint and ask for their *intercession*, it is necromancy"

    Later on:

    "Instead, they have prayers which people offer to God alone,* and they bring them to God* [ahem...intercession] because of His transcendence. As Mounce further observes,

    “The idea of angels acting as *intermediaries* and presenting the prayers of saints to God is common in later Jewish thought."

  3. The substance of your article was well thought out and good. Thanks for posting it. And to quinque, how is it a mess. You give one example for clarification. Actually you sound more hostile than helpful.