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50. "The reason that Marian appearances cannot be from God is because there is no historical precedent in Scripture!


"The reason that Marian apparitions (appearances) cannot be from God is because there is no historical precedent in Scripture for people appearing from the other side."  This very emphatic statement was made by a lawyer.  I could have simply told him he was wrong, but instead, I asked him a question; "Who were the two people who appeared with Jesus... on the Mount of Transfiguration?"  He hesitated for a moment, seemingly somewhat embarrassed, and yelled, "Good one!"  He could have answered Moses and Elijah, but then he would have been a contradicting himself.   

After yelling, "Good one!" he hesitated again and said, "But they couldn't talk!"  By saying that they couldn't talk, he was suggesting that there could be no communication with the people on the other side, hoping by this to discredit any and all messages given by Mary.  Well, he was wrong about this too:  "And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah" (Lk 9:30).  He is actually a very good lawyer; he simply made the mistake we have all made from time to time, and that is making a very emphatic statement only to have someone point out the obvious

Can People appear from the other side?

Along with this, other people suggest that those who have gone before us cannot in any way affect us.  These people are simply dead saints and in no way can they help us; thus Mary cannot help us.  I asked one individual, "Where does it say in Scripture that people from the other side cannot in any way help us?"  She responded with another question, "Where does it say that they can help us?"  The reason she answered my question with a question is because there is nothing in Scripture that prohibits people on the other side from involving themselves with us.  In fact, we already determined from Luke that people can appear and speak from the other side.  However, her question is a very good one.  Is there any indication in Scripture that people on the other side can affect us?  Actually the Bible is very clear about this; for example, we have Elisha performing marvelous deeds after death (Sir. 48:14), and one of these deeds happened when they threw a dead man on to the bones of Elisha.  "He came back to life and rose to his feet" (2 Kgs. 13:21).  To her question, "where does it say they can help us?"  Elisha answers with performing marvelous deeds after his death, and one of his deeds was raising the dead back to life.  This union with the saints on this side and the saints on the other side is referred to as the communion of saints in the Apostles Creed. 

The Church proceeds with caution:

The Church's stand on new apparitions is always one of caution because we know that Satan, the adversary, can appear as an angel of light, so there must be proper discernment.  The Church proceeds with caution and after a time, usually years, the Church speaks for or against such apparitions.  The Church does not require anyone to believe any apparition even when an appearance is judged worthy of belief.  It would not be proper to assume that all appearances from the other side are from God, just as it would not be proper to assume that all appearances are from some type of evil spirit.  Ultimately, you judge a tree by its fruits.

Mary humbles herself, and Jesus exhalts her!  If we have found that in some way we have been talking down to Mary rather than exalting her, we need to humble ourselves, and listen to Mary as she continues to say, "Do whatever He tells you" (Jn 2:5). And what Jesus tell us is that, "the one who humbles himself will be exalted" (Lk. 14:11).  Mary humbled herself when she said, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord.  May it be done to me according to your word"( Lk 1:38).   Jesus says the humble will be exhulted; therefore we exult Mary in imitation of Jesus.  We find God exalting her through the angel Gabriel:  "Hail, favored one!  The Lord is with you" (Lk. 1:28).  Elizabeth exalted her when she said, "Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb" (Lk. 1:42).  The question is often asked, "Why the great emphasis on Mary; why should we favor Mary?"  And the answer is simple; because God favored her first, "Mary, for you have found favor with God" (Lk. 1:30).  If God favors Mary, who are we not to do likewise?  The people who refuse to exhalt the humble handmaid of the Lord (Mary) are at odds with Jesus.