The Noonday Devil is on the Prowl

Posted on 2024-05-07
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I am slow to get into religious disputes with people of good will. If I think them to be in error, I figure God will enlighten them – or me – in His own good time. He may very well have some critical things to teach us during the period of error. I mainly get agitated if someone is following an error I consider to be mortally dangerous. Start talking about the Rapture or the concept of refuges as a place where God will send angels to lead all the righteous to sit in safety while the storm plays out and I will jump in every time. That is because these are deadly dangerous deceptions, calculated to cause otherwise decent people to fall into mortal despair at an existential moment. When they are not raptured or taken by an angel to a place of safety during crisis, people might easily lose all hope and perish to eternity. I will not have that. Thus, I will not abide any discussion of Fr. Michel Rodrigue or John Leary on this site. I have no clue whether they are well-meaning or not…but what they teach is so dangerous I just will not have it. Other than that I am pretty well content to leave people to discern for themselves in their own time.

It chills my heart, though, when people follow frauds that have been fully exposed to be intentional frauds. I saw some favorable comments about fraudulent mystic Maria Divine Mercy on an affiliate site…and wanted to cry. That woman was fully exposed in 2015. She is Mary Carberry (nee McGovern) of Dublin, Ireland. Her “messages” were, from the start, a marketing scheme to separate gullible Catholics from their pocketbooks. She succeeded to the tune of several million dollars, cutting and pasting some authentic prophecies with her own idiosyncratic twists to produce a creep show for Christians that sold quite well. This was well-publicized.

Discernment is a daunting task. You will make mistakes. But if you go following fully exposed frauds without doing any research (which is the ONLY way anyone could still be following Ms. Carberry) you are just begging the devil to take you down and get it over with.

I also get occasional missives touting the messages received by “the Little Pebble,” known in less ethereal circles as William Kamm of New South Wales, Australia. He is a convicted pedophile with convictions going back to the 90’s and facing new charges shortly after having been released on parole. But peddling “messages from God” keeps him going between little girls.

I suspect that most people who claim to have received messages from God are well-intended, if deceived. I deal with them from the standpoint of Isaiah 42:3 (which Jesus also quoted in Matthew 12:20): “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice.” Even those who are authentic misinterpret what they have heard or been shown sometimes. But for heaven’s sake (literally), surely we can dismiss the transparent, intentional frauds!

I have always hated repeating my mystical experiences. Part of it is because I am not a messenger, I have a mission – a mission which requires some such visitations. But the reality is that most people, when they say, “God told me…” are just trying to lend divine authority to what is merely their opinion, considered or otherwise. It is a deadly dangerous thing to do if you have any clue what it is you are about. Frankly, I liked it better when nobody knew I claim a divine cheat sheet and many just considered me a genius for my frequent deep insights. After I went public, any errant detail was considered by some as evidence for my dismissal. So why did I speak about these things at all? Because I knew the Storm was coming and if I spoke of it before it was obvious to everyone, it would give credibility to the main message I need to convey: this is NOT the end – and God has work for us to do if we will take it up.

When I speak of mystical things now, it is not an effort to persuade you. Rather, it is to candidly explain the motivations of my interior life in leading this movement of the ordinary man. The fact is that Jesus said a tree will be known by its fruit – and the fruit or lack thereof is all that counts. I was instructed early on to take complete responsibility for all I said, blaming nothing on God – for I was clearly shown that despite my very best efforts, I would err at times, sometimes badly. We hold what treasures we have in earthen vessels.

I look at these things paradoxically. On the one hand I think that almost everyone who says, “God told me…” publicly is just trying to give heft to his own opinions (I do not speak here of people speaking privately in trying to discern what is right). On the other hand, I also think that God speaks to each of us a thousand times a day and our perception is so limited we are lucky if we perceive much of any of it. But whether you believe your instructions come from God or from your own devising, you – and you alone – are responsible to God for what you do. You cannot escape that accountability or abrogate it to anyone else.

And now, the devil is prowling around like a snarling beast, not waiting for night to ensnare people but prancing about in the noonday sun. Some people are enraptured by the prancing, thinking that anyone who claims to hear directly from God must surely have their best interests at heart – and so walk right into the snarling beast’s mouth.

Do you think the devil is clumsy? Do you think he is a dull-witted strategist? Do you think, because he is the father of lies, that palpable lies are the only arrow in his quiver?

Let me tell you a little about the devil. He will tell you a thousand truths just to make you comfortable receiving the one lie he desperately wants you to believe. He will not just use your weakness, your fear, your penchant for sin to lead you into the valley of death. Oh no, he is much more clever than that. He will pervert your love, your compassion, your very desire for righteousness to lead you astray. He will transform himself into an angel of light to deceive you (2 Cor 11:14). I spend a lot of time consoling people after a disaster of their own making who thought they were doing good. Most people are only prepared for Devilry 101 – but the actual devil is the Doctor of Deception.

Just around the turn of the millennium, my angel warned me that the devil was going to send me false visions and, so, to beware. Sure enough, I had some of the most consoling visions of my lifetime – but each subtly denied some truth of the faith. So, I dismissed each I discerned. I was feeling pretty proud of my discernment until my angel appeared to me, clearly irritated, and said, “He is not trying to convince you of what is in the visions. He is trying to convince you that he is clumsy.” The message was that, even though I already knew the devil would use my best instincts to cause me to founder – and so was not prone to believe something just because it was comforting or mirrored what I already suspected – he was still far more clever than that.

I have never been offended by anyone who approaches my claims with skepticism. I get offended when some people lie or maliciously twist what I say, but even then, it comes with the territory. I do expect people to be at least as skeptical of my experiences as I have been most of my life. An authentic mystic is caught in a divine conundrum: he may just be a little nuts – and so could do damage to the people of God, himself becoming a temptation to lead others astray. On the other hand, if it is an authentic call from God and he ignores it, he has defied God. I struggled with that for decades. I finally decided to quit doing the “to be or not to be” routine and go forward “as if” what I was shown was true and needful. But not before having some clear guidelines and guardrails in place, in case I was deceived and for those times when I erred. First and foremost was obedience to lawful authority. Second was to abide no belief that, if followed to its logical conclusion, would destroy the foundation of faith. For example, I believe in Vatican II. I do NOT believe in the noxious “spirit of Vatican II” that many perniciously dissident clerics and commentators have used to promote false and licentious doctrine. But if I were to believe, as with some overly pious cranks, that Vatican II was, itself, a great error, I would have to believe that a solemn council of the Bishops of the world presided over by the Pope had formally taught error. In that case, the faith of the universal Church would have failed and the gates of hell would have prevailed. If that were the case, then Christ would have been wrong in His assurance to us. If He was wrong, He would not be God and our religion would be a fraud. None of that is true – but it would be if the musings of those who peddle it were true. Mouthy pious scolds should consider where their logic ultimately leads before so fatuously attacking the very foundation of faith.

Recently, I dismissed the messages promulgated by a Mission in Texas which is constituted by what I believe to be very good people. But they promulgated those messages in defiance of their Bishop’s lawful direction, believing the messages were too important to be obedient. For crying out loud, this is the very sort of situation I was confronted with at the turn of the millennium when I was given to the satan to be sifted. He showed me things I wanted to believe, things that I thought were urgent. But there are two major things wrong with this kind of thinking: first, believing that you can accomplish good by defying Christ’s clear command of lawful obedience. Second is a complete lack of faith – believing that if you don’t act now God’s will will be thwarted. I believe I have a divinely appointed mission and I focus on it constantly. I also know that if I die tonight, God will accomplish His will.

I don’t care whether anyone believes the mystical stuff I speak about. If I could, I would go back to the way things were before I went public. But the toothpaste is not going to be squeezed back into the tube. I do insist that I be judged by what I do, not by any sort of purported intimacy with God. My message is not that God is close to me, though I pray that is the case. My message is that God is close to each and every one of you, right at hand. Keep His commandments in all things while trying to take the next right step. That is your guide.

But I see signs that the devil has launched his initiative to ensnare the pious by deceiving them into doing his will, thinking it is good. I learned long ago that I would err sometimes. I told you when I first began writing these things that it would be so. I will err again – and when I do I will tell you as soon as I know and will correct my course. Discernment is very hard, particularly when the devil starts churning things up designed to deceive the most pious. You will err, too. Not to worry, God is with you if you take responsibility and confess your errors.

But for heaven’s sake, at least weed out the “mystics” and writers who are transparent, open frauds or who counsel courses that destroy the foundation of faith. God expects us all to stretch out our hand to Him to be healed. Don’t walk blithely into the mouth of the snarling beast.

If communication goes out for any length of time, meet outside your local Church at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings. Tell friends at Church now in case you can’t then. CORAC teams will be out looking for people to gather in and work with.

Find me on Twitter at @JohnstonPilgrim

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