Steve’s Writings

Since Pentecost is upon us, I thought I would share this again…

The room was pretty full. It was warm but a gentle breeze was blowing—that would change. There was fear in the room. The Roman army was a thing to be feared, they had just crucified Jesus and it was a dangerous thing to associates of an executed criminal.

They were also anxious about the promise. The only thing they knew about God descending in fire was the experience of their ancestors at Mount Sinai. When that happened they all ran and hid and said to Moses, Never let God speak to us again; you go talk with Him and come back and tell us what the said.

Pentecost was approaching. Pentecost means “the 50th day.” Fiftieth day from what? From the Passover. Almost fifty days ago the Passover lambs had been slain, and so had THE Passover Lamb. Then there was the forty mystery days when Jesus was gone but not gone—with them but not with them, at least not like before. And he kept just appearing and then disappearing.

He taught them a lot in those forty days, He had breathed on them, gave them power to forgive and retain sins, fed them loaves and fish, appointed Peter as his shepherd, commanded them to go out from Jerusalem to the world. He explained to them much about the Kingdom of God and their tasks as His emissaries.

The last meeting was the most unusual of all. He answered a few questions, gave a few instructions and without even a formal Good-bye He started going up—and continued going up until all they saw was the bottom of his sandals as he disappeared into a cloud. Daniel 7:13-14 says he went back to the glory of heaven.

They looked at each other with obvious concern on their faces—they were fearful. They locked themselves in the Upper Room to pray as He had commanded. They were praying for what they feared—fire upon a mountain, Mount Zion. They prayed for nine days, the first Novena, before the promise of the Holy Spirit fell.

We are specifically told that there were about 120 people in the room. Actually the word is “names” not people. How strange. Can you imagine me saying, “About 120 names came on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land”? This made me curious so I looked up 120 in early Jewish literature and law. Sure enough, my research paid off.

In Israel is a group of Jews desiring to leave the big city and start their own new community they needed a minimum of 120 names on a list. What was happening here in the Upper Room? A new community was being started. The word “church” in the New Testament is ecclesia which means “a group of people called out.” Even today the Knessett (lawmaking body in Israel) is made up of 120 representatives.

This certainly implies the Church is not just a loose association of like-minded followers of Jesus. It is a social structure with legal boundaries. It has it’s own legislature, courts and hierarchy. It is a “new city” with a constitution and authority. You are in or out. This is exactly what the Church is – with leaders having the authority to bind and loose, make laws and adjudicate them, include or exclude people from the organization, to forgive or retain sins. Only the worldwide Catholic Church could even begin to claim this status.

Mary is listed among the believers in that Upper Room. It was important that she is listed among the names with others. She is the mother of Jesus. She gave birth to him in Bethlehem as was, in a sense, giving birth to him again on Pentecost. What is our affectionate term for Pentecost? Can you sing “Happy Birthday, to you…”? Yes, it is the Birthday of the Church. What is being born? The Mystical Body of Christ. Who is there for the birth? The mother of course. Mothers have to be present when their child is born. Mary is the mother of Jesus the God-Man and Mary is the Mother of the Church, the Body of Christ. She was necessarily present at both births.

Mary was also there because the others were afraid of the descent of God in fire on this new mountain. I am convinced they trembled in fear not only of the Jews and Romans outside, but of the prophesied “baptism of fire” within—as they wondered and feared that might be. The gentle breeze was about to become a rushing wind.

But Mary was there to calm their anxieties. I bet she said something like, “Don’t be afraid my friends, the Holy Spirit has already overshadowed me and He was pure love. Just wait until you are bathed in His love!” The gentle breeze became a rushing wind but it was warm and

After nine days of praying the Holy Spirit fell in fire on the tenth day—which was the 50th day from the death of the Passover Lamb Jesus on the cross. The Jewish festival of Pentecost also celebrated the first fruits of the harvest.

Remember, Jesus said he was like a grain of wheat that would be buried in the ground. The grain must be buried and die to bear its fruit. Jesus died, was buried in the ground and rose from the dead as the first fruit. Now on the “Feast of First Fruits” the first of the harvest is brought to God. We learn that 3,000 people were added to the Church that day—all in keeping with the tremendous symbolism and deeper meaning to all these events.

And with these deep mysteries and truths we are just scratching the surface. Come to the Holy Land with us, get out your Bibles and study books (or Verbum Catholic Bible Study software) and dig deeper. “There is gold in them there hills” for those with eyes to see and ears to hear and hearts and minds to learn. Enter promo code STEVERAY for a 10% discount.

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The Trail of Blood

by Steve Ray

What is the history of Baptists? Can they trace their roots back to the 1st century? Many “fundamentalist” Baptists believe they can. Are they correct?

There is a booklet that is very popular among this fundamentalist crowd. It is entitled “The Trail of Blood“. The booklet claims that Catholics persecuted the true Christians — the Baptists — leaving behind a trail of blood.

I used to believe this premise and now that I have looked more carefully I wrote an article about this booklet and this the idea Baptists are the true Christians that have survived Catholic attempts to destroy them. Here is how my article begins:

“When Baptists attempt to discover the origins of their tradition they are faced with a historical dilemma. The search for Baptists roots hits a dead end in the sixteenth century.

Most acknowledge that Baptist tradition is a tributary flowing out of the Protestant Reformation, but others attempt to discover a line of historical continuity, of doctrine and practice, back to Jesus and even John the Baptist. These Baptists are commonly referred to “Baptist Successionists”. . . “

Audio Podcast here.

-For my full article on the Trail of Blood, click here (pdf).
-For more such articles and letters, click here.

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In discussion with a friend, I wrote the following and thought I would share it. Of course, the greatest danger is our own selves as we abandon the Judeo-Christian worldview and increasingly adopt a Marxist, Materialist, Humanist perspective.

But, these musings are related to outside dangers which become relevant mainly because of our shift away from the Christian worldview that made the West great.

“Everywhere we travel in the world it is acknowledged that “as America goes, so goes the world.” Most countries and people who love freedom and democracy say that if America falls the whole world will fall.

Who will it fall to? I used to think it was the Muslims who are our biggest threat. They used to conquer with the sword but now they conquer with immigration and the population bomb.

downloadNow my thinking has shifted. I think that China is more likely our greatest enemy, more than Islam. And they will be much more ruthless than the Nazis and the Soviets.

Like Protestantism, Islam is very divided and therefore can never unite to become conquerors of the world — there are too many factions within Islam that oppose and fight against each other. “United we stand, divided we fall.”

This is also what happened in Europe. When we were following “the footprints” of Martin Luther through East Germany in 2017 with a group (mostly converts) commemorating the 95 Theses and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation (“Deformation”), our guide said that Germany is atheist and lost its faith because of years of Soviet Communism.

I told her and my group that she was incorrect. The whole problem in Germany was started by Martin Luther when he divided Christianity. “United we stand and divided we fall.” Had Germany stayed united and strong in the Catholic faith there is nothing that the Communists could’ve done to crush their national pride, unity and Christian faith.

Poland is a good example of a country that stayed faithful to the one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. And they still stand strong today having survived Nazism and Soviet Russia. Germany collapsed.

If Christianity was united institutionally and morally and philosophically — Islam and China would have no chance against us.

However, we in the West have given up the worldview that made us such a powerhouse of good with enterprise and ingenuity that has never been rivaled. We are now very near collapse from within.

China is quite different than Islam. They have a powerful unified communist government. They are ruthless and have goals to conquer the world.

I told my kids that we have two enemies — one to the east and one to the west. The Chinese and the Muslims are rising up against the West on both sides. And right when we in the West should be strong and resilient, we are collapsing morally, economically, militarily and philosophically.

President Trump was only a short parenthesis to the decline. Biden is now speeding up the fall of the West. The two powers of Islam and China are powerful and our great-grandchildren will live under the rule of one or the other.

Unless of course, the Lord causes a huge revival or the 2nd Coming of Christ happens. Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

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What Do We Mean by “Unanimous Consent of the Fathers”

November 19, 2020

Unanimous Consent of the Fathers By Steve Ray The Unanimous Consent of the Fathers (unanimem consensum Patrum) refers to the morally unanimous teaching of the Church Fathers on certain doctrines as revealed by God and interpretations of Scripture as received by the universal Church. The individual Fathers are not personally infallible, and a discrepancy by […]

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Setting aside politics for a time to finish the editing of my commentary on Genesis

November 6, 2020

Ignatius Press sent back my manuscript on Genesis for editing. It is too long so I have to cut over 100 pages from the text. It will painful, but a good exercise, and hopefully make it much tighter, easier to read, and rich with content. So, pray for me as I “bury myself” in this […]

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How Many Denominations are Too Many?

May 18, 2020

We are currently in Israel with a group of 152 excited pilgrims. I have written a paper on the scandal of demoninations. This blog is an introduction to that paper I wrote entitled “The ‘Myth’ of 33,000 Denominations and Swallowing the Holy Ghost Feathers and All.” In the meantime, this morning I post my discussion on the […]

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Special Lenten Bundle for a Great Price

April 6, 2020

Steve Ray’s exciting one hour talk – a virtual tour of the Stations of the Cross from a medical, historical, typological, biblical basis. This is something Steve has actually walked in Jerusalem over 100 times. Also Steve’s 1 hour presentation of every aspect of the crucifixion in graphic detail to help you realize the cost […]

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My Response: Defending the Assumption & Queenship of Mary

February 16, 2020

Reposting a blog on Assumption I wrote ten years ago. Link to my long defense is here. The Assumption of Mary always ruffles the feathers of anti-Catholics. I understand why. I used to be in their camp — I joined them in lockstep chanting the same slogans and mantras against “Catholic Tradition” and “man-made dogmas.” But […]

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Discussing St. John’s Gospel with Al Kresta

January 10, 2020

Yesterday I was on Al Kresta’s Show on Ave Maria Radio for an hour discussing my book “St. John’s Gospel, a Bible Study Guide & Commentary.” I have provided the audio link below so you can listen to the podcast. It was a very fun and interesting romp through the deep and intriguing Gospel of St. John. […]

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Lots of my Talks, Books and DVDs on Sale and in Bundles

December 11, 2019

Check out my store for lots of sales and bundles and free shipping. I have added 11 new talks never before available. All 11 can be purchased as a bundle for discounted rates. Visit SteveRaysStore.com. A special deal on all my Footprints of God DVDs with included Study Guides.

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Steve’s Short Story “The Last Nightmare” Might Scare the Hell Out of You!

October 4, 2019

The Last Nightmare A Short and Terrifying Story by Steve Ray Everything went blank for a moment, but that moment seemed like eternity. He felt a motion, not with wind and breeze, but a motion none the less. He was traveling, moving, floating, transcending-he wasn’t really sure. The sudden blackness gave him time to regain […]

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Purgatory? Doesn’t that Deny the Work of Christ?

September 18, 2019

What’s the Deal with Purgatory? by Steve Ray Isn’t the finished work of Christ sufficient? Didn’t he pay for all my sins? Why the heck do Catholics teach that we have to suffer in Purgatory for our sins? Plus, the Bible never mentions purgatory so it must be an unbiblical doctrine, right. Wow! Sounds like […]

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The Cross & the Crucifix: Letter to a Fundamentalist

August 21, 2019

The Cross & the Crucifix (From a letter Steve wrote to a Evangelical Protestant who asked about the Catholic Crucifix) Dear Evangelical Friend: You display a bare cross in your home; we display the cross and the crucifix. What is the difference and why? The cross is an upright post with a crossbeam in the […]

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A Page from my New Book on Genesis

July 31, 2019

This book has been on the back burner for quite a few years. But I took five weeks off this summer to finish it. About 12 hours a day since June 28 and I am almost done. Just putting the finishing touches on it this week before leaving for the Family Conference in Wichita, two […]

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Finalizing My Book on Genesis…Here are a Few Favorite Paragraphs about Creation

July 17, 2019

Here are a few paragraphs from my new book on Genesis which is nearly done. Genesis 2:7 is foundational and crucial to the whole story of the cosmos, Man and salvation. God takes dust or clay from the ground and like a potter he fashions a human being. The scientific formulas used by God still […]

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Sympathy for Cradle Catholics Who Can’t Explain or Defend the Faith

July 5, 2019

I thought of a helpful illustration to explain why “cradle Catholics” are often unable to explain and defend the Catholic faith. The example has its weaknesses, but it does help get the point across. As an American I asked myself this question: if some one trained to attack America intellectually approached me on the street […]

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