St. Cyprian of Carthage (beheaded 257 AD) one hundred and fifty years before the New Testament writings were collected into one book called “The Bible”:

“The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven.’

“And again He says to him after His resurrection: ‘Feed my sheep.’ On him He builds the Church, and to him He gives the command to feed the sheep; and although He assigns a like power to all the Apostles, yet He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair.

“So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the Apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?”

To read the whole article and see all the pictures, click here or on the pictures above.

For my DVD “Peter, Keeper of the Keys” and my book “Upon this Rock: Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church”, click here http://www.SteveRaysStore.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my talk on “Peter: the Rock, the Keys & the Chair” Hope you enjoy it and find it helpful!

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Prepare for the Skyline of the Future: Islam!

by Steve Ray on February 22, 2019

I wrote this several years ago while in Adana Turkey and thought it worthy to post again, especially since I am seeing it again, everywhere I go in the world. I my country hometown in Michigan the Muslims have built the largest mosque in America. But I shouldn’t get ahead of my story.

Europe is full of magnificent churches—Gothic, Baroque and even modern. Their steeples and crosses still dominate much of the skyline. They stand as impressive monuments to the Christian faith that built the free world and brought beauty and justice out of a pagan, barbarian wilderness.

Notre Dame.jpgToday the churches in Europe are becoming museum pieces recalling the lost faith and  collapsing backbone of Europe. (Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral to left)

Paganism is on the rise — and along with it something just as alarming. The skyline will soon change, not only for Europe but for the whole Western World, including the United States. You will soon see new structures piercing the sky!

But before I tell you how your view of today’s horizon will change, let me tell you about what happened to Turkey. Then you will see that it can happen—and if we don’t move quickly, it will happen again.

Janet and I are now in Turkey with our Skyline Productions video crew working on our next documentary Apostolic Fathers for the Footprints of God series. We are driving/flying with our crew from one Christian site to another. This country is often called the Second Holy Land—why? Because it contains more Christian sites than anywhere other than Israel.

For a few examples: Antioch is where we were first called Christians, Tarsus was the home town of St. Paul, and Lystra the home city of St. Timothy.

JohnsTomb.jpgBut, Turkey is also home to the Seven Church of Revelation. The Blessed Virgin Mary lived here with the Apostle St. John. Selçuk still boasts the tomb of St. John (see picture to right). Istanbul (Constantinople) was once a proud patriarchate of the Catholic Church and home to Ecumenical Councils.

Actually, the first Seven Ecumenical Councils were held here, including Constantinople, Chalcedon, and Nicea—from which we got Nicene Creed recited each Sunday. And don’t forget the Council of Ephesus which defined Mary as the Theotokos, the Mother of God.

And if you remember your New Testament, you will recognize cities that were in today’s Turkey: Galatians, Ephesians and Colossians. Turkey is also the land of martyrs, Fathers and Doctors of the Church like Sts. Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom, and Basil the Great to name just a few.

So, when I look out over the horizon from my hotel room window, do I see the beautiful churches that once marked the skyline of Asia Minor (modern day Turkey)?

Nope. Sorry. I see something else.

skyline.jpgFrom my window just now, I counted no less than nineteen minarets! What are minarets? They are the tall slender towers above an Islamic mosque from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer (Notice two pictures from my hotel window–one wide shot with no less than five minarets; the second at the bottom of this blog showing a large mosque across the river. There is only one Catholic Church within a hundred miles of where I am now).

What happened to the churches? Let’s go to Istanbul together and I will show you! I have frequently visited the Hagia Sophia—the Church of Holy Wisdom. It was the glory of Christendom and for over a thousand years it had the largest dome — until St. Peter’s was built in Rome. Many people thought the dome stayed up by a direct miracle of God. How else could something so expansive stay up without crashing down?

Hagia1.jpgBut when the Muslims conquered Contantinople they defaced the church, painted over the golden icons of our Blessed Mother and turned the spectacular church into a mosque. The crosses came down and the minarets went up.

Today the Hagia Sophia is a museum! (picture of modern Hagia Sophia to left)

It has been predicted that within fifty years Europe’s skyline will change. It will become a Muslim empire. Steeples will come down and minarets will go up. No longer will you hear bells — you will hear muezzin wailing from the balconies of slender minarets.

And America? We are losing our faith too, and our backbone. Will we be far behind Europe? I don’t think so. Islam has 1 billion followers, many of who will stop at nothing short of world domination. They won’t call it that, of course. They will say the world is now as Allah willed it.

Skyline3.jpgAnd like the Hagia Sophia—your church, and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC and St. Patrick’s in New York will still pierce the skyline, but no longer as steeples. They will sport the latest in minarets. And our grandchildren’s’ children will wonder why we caved in so easily—why we lost our faith and our backbone.

Oh, so you don’t believe it can happen to us? Neither did the Byzantine Empire, the powerhouse of Christianity in the East! But, the East fell to Islam and the West may fall as well. Maybe not by military might, but by religious indifference, population control, and secularism. Islam can overtake us by persistence, population growth, and religious fervor.

What was once part of a powerful Christian Empire is now 99% Muslim. Out of a population of about 75 million, there are only 60,000 Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, Protestants, etc.). The past screams to us but will we listen.

Prepare to see the new skyline; prepare to be awakened at 4 AM with the wail of the muezzin.

Far-fetched? Read this article about Holland.

St. Ignatius, pray for us. Sts. Polycarp, Irenaeus and John Chysostom, pray for us!

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Today is the last full day of our pilgrimage. For those who started with us and Jordan it has been two weeks of adventures together. For those who joined us in Israel we’ve had eight days together. All has gone amazingly well but unhappily several people have come down with colds and fevers.

Some people took the option to have this as a free day and are scattering to visit friends, visit sites they want to see, or just stay back and rest.

The rest of us started the day with Mass at St. Stephen’s in honor of the eight deacons that we have with us. Deacon Dave’s homily here. From there to the Israel Museum to see the Temple Model and the Dead Sea Scrolls before heading down to the Jordan River.

We have an exciting thing happening at the Jordan River! A young lady with us will be baptized in the river with the approval of her pastor back home and Fr. Dan here. Everyone’s excited for that.

We’ll have lunch in Jericho, go to Qumran, swim in the Dead Sea and ride camels before coming back to the hotel for dinner, a short night’s rest and the flights back to the United States.

END OF DAY AND FAREWELLS

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Baptist at the door, “Are you born again?” Prepare yourself to answer them!

February 21, 2019

Grilled salmon sizzled on his plate as Andy and his family sat down for dinner. No sooner had they crossed themselves to bless the food than the doorbell rang. Andrew dragged himself to answer the door while his family began eating. Two smiling faces peered in the door. “Good evening, we hope we’re not interrupting […]

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To the Cross with Jesus: Via Dolorosa, Mass at Calvary, Visit the Tomb, Western Wall, Dinner on the Roof

February 20, 2019

We walked out the door of the hotel at 3:30 AM and we carried our crosses along that Via Dolorosa. We all touched the top of Calvary before we had Mass where Jesus hung bleeding for our sins. It’s a good thing we started early this morning because by 5:00 AM the church was already […]

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Protestant Acknowledges “Five Things We Lost because of the Reformation” – one of the best I’ve read on it

February 20, 2019

This article was published by Nick Page in Premier Christianity Magazine in October 2017. He is trying to help Protestants understand that there were problems created by the Protestant movement. He explains five big loses: 1) Loss of unity, 2) Loss of monasteries, 3) Loss of silence, 4) Loss of “doing things”, and 5) Loss […]

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Gethsemane, Mount of Olives, Mount Zion, Upper Room and more

February 19, 2019

We started the day with Mass at Gethsemane. The homily was exceptional and you can see/hear it here. From there we went to the top of the Mount of Olives to visit the cave where Jesus taught his disciples to pray the Our Father. It is also from here that Jesus ascended into heaven. Then […]

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Did Jesus Ascend into Heaven from Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12) or from Bethany (Luke 24:50)?

February 19, 2019

Since we are on the Mount of Olives today I thought I would address a common concern. One of our past pilgrims wrote to me expressing an apparent contradiction in the Bible about what I had said in Israel. The wording in the two verses below is what caused the confusion. Acts 1:12  “[After the Ascension] they […]

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All Day Bethlehem!

February 18, 2019

All day in amazing Bethlehem. I gave my overview of the history of Bethlehem as were driving through the checkpoint into the Palestinian West Bank. We give everyone time for shopping (which is our one and only time for doing such). Mass in a cave at Shepherds Field Next to the Church of Nativity to […]

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Explaining Catholic View of Covenants with a Dispensational Baptist

February 18, 2019

A Baptist antagonist claimed he had the proper view of God’s plan of salvation – working through dispensations. I explained to him the more substantial, biblical and Catholic concept of covenants. I think you will enjoy the chart which makes salvation history easy to visualize and comprehend. ********************************************** Hello Jerry: It was good talking with […]

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Israel Day 4: Capernaum, Boat Ride, St. Peter’s Fish, Visitation and Jerusalem!

February 17, 2019

Mass at Capernaum is always a great way to start the day. The readings are from the Gospel of St. John chapter 6 “ Eat My Flesh and Drink My Blood.” Fr. Dan’s excellent homily here. I give my talk There entitled “Defending the Eucharist.” From there we get on a boat and voyage out […]

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Find the missing books of the Bible

February 17, 2019

Read the following paragraph and see if you can find the name of sixteen books of the Bible that are hidden in the text: I once made a remark about the hidden books of the Bible. It was a lulu, kept people looking so hard for facts and for other it was a revelation. Some were […]

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Beatitudes, “You are Peter (Rock),” Golan, Multiplication, Peter’s Primacy and more

February 16, 2019

Mass and prayer at Mount of Beatitudes. Homily at Beatitudes here. North to Banias (Caesarea Philippi) where Jesus appointed Peter as Royal Steward of his kingdom (Matt16). Druze lunch and driving through the Golan Heights. Drive near Syrian border with profound explanation of situation in Middle East by Amer. Back to Sea of Galilee to […]

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Is Faith Alone the Basis for the Final Judgment?

February 16, 2019

Dear Jerry: I had no intention of writing you again this soon but after having dinner with your brother the other day and picking up a copy of a booklet you gave him entitled Studies In Contrasts: The Doctrine of Salvation (by Herb Vander Lugt and published by the Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, MI.), […]

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Israel Day 2: Transfiguration, Cana and Nazareth

February 15, 2019

We have 2 priests, 8 deacons and 1 Catholic Radio Personality – Teresa Tomeo! What a line up for this amazing pilgrimage. This was our first full day and what a blessed day it was. Three Rosary Mysteries prayed on site today. We started with Mass on top of Mount Tabor – the Mountain of Transfiguration. You […]

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Hundreds of my Audio and Visual Presentations & Radio Shows

February 15, 2019

Some have asked me how to access my talks and radio shows. First, you can search YouTube with “Steve Ray” and there are scores of them for free. We also have a webpage with links to hundreds of past talks, radio interviews, etc. Hope you find them helpful to build and support your Faith in […]

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