Seed picking with Philosophers


Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. Acts 17:18 NKJV.

Babbler, spermologos, Strong’s #4691: Athenian slang for:

  1. A bird that picks up seeds;
  2. Men lounging around the marketplace, making a living by picking up whatever falls from the loads of merchandise;
  3. A babbler, chatterer, or gossip retailing bits and pieces of misinformation;
  4. A pseudo-intellectual who insists on spouting off.

Tragically, the super-intellectuals on Mars Hill failed to see in Paul all the necessary ingredients for being a truth bringer.

Epicureanism (seeking tranquility as the highest good) and Stoicism (being free passion and passively accepting everything in life as inevitable, impersonal fate) were popular philosophies.



Thematic maps of the Apocalypse


A Blog by Betsy Mason & Greg Miller

These 15th-Century Maps Show How the Apocalypse Will Go Down

The triangles in this map from a 15th-century German apocalyptic manuscript predict the rise of the Antichrist between 1570 and 1600.  THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

The triangles in this map from a 15th-century German apocalyptic manuscript predict the rise of the Antichrist between 1570 and 1600.

In 15th-century Europe, the Apocalypse weighed heavily on the minds of the people. Plagues were rampant. The once-great capital of the Roman empire, Constantinople, had fallen to the Turks. Surely, the end was nigh.

Dozens of printed works described the coming reckoning in gory detail, but one long-forgotten manuscript depicts the Apocalypse in a very different way—through maps. “It has this sequence of maps that illustrate each stage of what will happen,” says Chet Van Duzer, a historian of cartography who has written a book about the previously unstudied manuscript.

The geography is sketchy by modern standards, but the maps make one thing perfectly clear: If you’re a sinner, you’ve got nowhere to hide. The Antichrist is coming, and his four horns will reach the corners of the earth. And it just gets worse from there.

The manuscript is also the first known collection of thematic maps, or maps that depict something that’s not a physical feature of the environment (like rivers, roads, and cities). Thematic maps are ubiquitous today—from rainbow-colored weather maps to the red-and-blue maps of election results—but most historians date their origins to the 17th century. The apocalypse manuscript, which now belongs to the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, was written two centuries earlier, Van Duzer writes in his recently published book, Apocalyptic Cartography.

According to the manuscript, the four horns of the Antichrist will extend to the ends of the earth between 1600 and 1606. The horns represent the ways he will persuade people to follow him: deceit, cunning, cruelty, and imitation of the Deity. THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

According to the manuscript, the four horns of the Antichrist will extend to the ends of the earth between 1600 and 1606. The horns represent the ways he will persuade people to follow him: deceit, cunning, cruelty, and imitation of the Deity. THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY

According to the manuscript, the four horns of the Antichrist will extend to the ends of the earth between 1600 and 1606. The horns represent the ways he will persuade people to follow him: deceit, cunning, cruelty, and imitation of the Deity.



The manuscript was made in Lübeck, Germany, between 1486 and 1488. It’s written in Latin, so it wasn’t meant for the masses. But it’s not as scholarly as other contemporary manuscripts, and the penmanship is poor, Van Duzer says. “It’s aimed at the cultural elite, but not the pinnacle of the cultural elite.”

The author is unknown. Van Duzer suspects it may have been a well-traveled doctor named Baptista. If so, he was in some ways very much a product of his time, yet in other ways centuries ahead of it.

The cartographic account of the Apocalypse begins with a map that shows the condition of the world between 639 and 1514. The earth is a circle, and Asia, Africa, and Europe are depicted as pie wedges surrounded by water. The text describes the rise of Islam, which the author sees as a growing threat to the Christian world. “There’s no way to escape it, this work is very anti-Islamic,” Van Duzer says. “It’s unfortunate,” he adds, but it was a widespread bias in that place and time.

THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY Unlike the Huntington manuscript, many works published around the same time, such as this hand-colored German book published in 1470, used pictures to depict the impending horrors of the Apocalypse. (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)

Unlike the Huntington manuscript, many works published around the same time, such as this hand-colored German book published in 1470, used pictures to depict the impending horrors of the Apocalypse. (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)

Subsequent maps, which you can see in the gallery above, depict the “Sword of Islam” conquering Europe, followed by the rise of the Antichrist, a massive triangle that extends from pole to pole. Another map depicts the gates of Hell opening up on Judgment Day, which the author predicts will occur in 1651. A small, featureless globe depicts the world after that.

Unlike the Huntington manuscript, many works published around the same time, such as this hand-colored German book published in 1470, used pictures to depict the impending horrors of the Apocalypse. (LIBRARY OF CONGRESS)



All the maps in the manuscript are symbolic, but the post-apocalyptic map takes minimalism to the max. “There’s nothing on it, but it’s very clearly labeled as a map,” Van Duzer says. “It raises the question of what is a map, and it explores that boundary.”

The text is filled with idiosyncratic details. The author calculated the distance to Paradise: 777 German miles from Lübeck to Jerusalem, and thence another 1000 miles to the eastern end of the Earth (a German mile is an obsolete measurement with many variations, making it difficult to pin down the modern equivalent). He also calculated the circumferences of Earth and Hell (8,000 and 6,100 German miles, respectively, though his use of different numbers for pi suggests a shaky grasp of geometry).

In addition to the apocalyptic section, the manuscript includes a section on astrological medicine and a treatise on geography that’s remarkably ahead of its time. For example, the author writes about the need to adjust the size of text to prevent distortions on maps and make them easier to read, an issue cartographers still wrestle with today. (At the same time, he also chastises mapmakers for placing monsters on maps in places where they didn’t exist, an issue cartographers rarely wrestle with today.)

The geographical treatise ends with a short discussion of the purpose and function of world maps. It’s here, Van Duzer says, that the author outlines an essentially modern understanding of thematic maps to illustrate characteristics of the people or political organization of different regions.

“For me this is one of the most amazing passages, to have someone from the 15th century telling you their ideas about what maps can do.”

—Greg Miller



The Pope who claimed to be Jesus Christ in the flesh


Does the pope speak?
It is Jesus Christ who is speaking!

“The Pope is not simply the representative of Jesus Christ. On the contrary, he is Jesus Christ Himself, under the veil of the flesh, and who by means of a being common to humanity continues His ministry amongst men … Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ Who is speaking. Does he teach? It is Jesus Christ Who teaches. Does he confer grace or pronounce an anathema? It is Jesus Christ Himself Who is pronouncing the anathema and conferring the grace. Hence consequently, when one speaks of the Pope, it is not necessary to examine, but to obey: there must be no limiting the bounds of the command, in order to suit the purpose of the individual whose obedience is demanded: there must be no cavilling at the declared will of the Pope, and so invest it with quite another than that which he has put upon it: no preconceived opinions must be brought to bear upon it: no rights must be set up against the rights of the Holy Father  to teach and command; his decisions are not to be criticized, or his ordinances disputed. Therefore by Divine ordination, all, no matter how august the person may be — whether he wear a crown or be invested with the purple, or be clothed in the sacred vestments: all must be subject to Him Who has had all things put under Him.”

Source: Evangelical Christendom, Vol. 49, January 1, 1895,  pg. 15, the organ of the Evangelical Alliance, published in London by J. S. Phillips. (See also Index pagepg. 14)

Frequently quoted, this blasphemous claim is attributed to the inaugural sermon (given in St. Mark’s) of Cardinal Giuseppe Melchior Sarto, Patriarch of Venice (1893-1903). His elevation to Cardinal and Patriarch, in June of 1893 by Pope Leo XIII, was contested and delayed for 18 months by the Italian government, who claimed the right of exequatur, but withheld their approval. (See Evangelical Christendom, Vol. 48, May 1, 1894, pg. 142.) During that time, Cardinal Sarto was even denied entry into the city of Venice. King Humbert finally relented September 5th of 1894, giving his assent to the appointment. In his first pastoral letter to the Venetians, Cardinal Sarto then wrote:

“Harmony between the different social classes must be re-established; peace must reign on earth. This is the task I intend to perform for you; this is the duty I promise to fulfil that all may once again be subject to the dominion of God, Jesus Christ and His Vicar on earth.”

Source: Saint Pius X, The New Italian Life Of The Saint, by Fr. Hieronymo Dal-Gal, translated and adapted by Rev. Thomas F. Murray, M.A., fourth revised impression, published by M. H. Gill and Son Ltd., 50 Upper O’Connell Street, 1954, pg. 104.

Dal-Gal continues:

“On the afternoon of November 24th 1894, a steamboat of the Royal Marine carried Cardinal Sarto over the peaceful waters of the Grand Canal, stopping in the close vicinity of the Golden Cathedral of St. Mark. All the bells of the city announced the joy and triumph of the multitudinous throngs lining the canals and crowding at the windows of the palaces. They waved their white flags beneath the rich marble balconies and shouted a prolonged chorus of jubilation as the Cardinal in his scarlet robes passed by, blessing them as a father does his children. … Midst such festivity, flourish and magnificence did the humble Patriarch enter the city of the Doges; … [pg. 107] Cardinal Sarto’s first real meeting with the Venetians took place the following morning when he celebrated Solemn High Mass in the Cathedral of St. Mark and addressed his first words to them from the pulpit. The Cathedral was brilliantly illuminated, and a huge crowd of people hastened to take a closer glance at their new Patriarch and listen to his words.”

Source: Ibid, pgs. 106 & 107.

As first reported by Evangelical Christendom, the Cardinal’s homily was, in context, boldly asserting the Pope to be the sole authority to appoint the Princes of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Sarto later became Pope Pius X (1903-1914). His sermon was also cited in:

  • Catholique Nationale, July 13, 1895 (Reported in the Protestant Church Review of October 3, and November 14th, 1895, and the India Watchman, in The Friend, A Religious And Literary Journal, Volume LXIX, 1896, Philadelphia, pg. 154.)
  • Daniel and the Revelation: The Chart of Prophecy and Our Place In It, A Study of the Historical and Futurist Interpretation, by Joseph Tanner, published in London by Hodder and Stoughton, 1898, pages 153, 154.

In Publications of the Catholic Truth Society, Volume 29, 1896, The Catholic Truth Society of London published a booklet by Rev. Sydney F. Smith S. J. titled Does The Pope Claim To Be God. On pages 10 and 11 it reveals that Cardinal Sarto was queried about the alleged homily, and that he gave the following reply in a letter written sometime before Jan. 10, 1896:

“… I have read all the homilies I have made since my coming here in Venice, and only in the sermon for the anniversary of the election of the Holy Father, I said these exact words: ‘The Pope represents Jesus Christ Himself, and therefore is a loving father. The life of the Pope is a holocaust of love for the human family. His word is love. Love, his weapons; love, the answer he gives to all who hate him; love, his flag, —i.e., the Cross, which signed the greatest triumph on earth and in heaven.’ … &c.”

The Pope at the time, Leo XIII, was elected on February 20th, 1878, so the date referred to by Cardinal Sarto for his homily celebrating the Pope’s anniversary would have been on or about February 20th of 1895, while the blasphemous homily attributed to him was given at the first Mass he celebrated in St. Mark’s, which was on Sunday November 25th, 1894, some three months earlier. Note that the above article in Evangelical Christendom was already in print and on the street some two months before Cardinal Sarto gave the sermon he offers as the genuine one!  I find that very curious indeed.

Clearly when Cardinal Sarto was contemplating his reply, he was not aware of the Evangelical Christendom article of January 1st, 1895, that essentially pinpointed the homily as the one he gave the day after he had so triumphantly entered the city of Venice as its new Patriarch, a mere five weeks earlier. And who would need to check their records in order to ascertain if they had ever given such a sermon and made such claims? I would suggest that rather than being a credible denial, Cardinal Sarto (Pius X) offered an evasive and inadequate reply that does not exonerate him, rather it tends to support the reported blasphemous homily as being completely genuine.

A new and revised edition of Rev. Smith’s booklet titled Does The Pope Claim To Be Divine? published in 1929 makes no mention of, or defense of, Cardinal Sarto’s homily. Very curious indeed.———-Do you wonder why? 

Calvinism’s Misrepresentation of God.

A long overdue enlightenment has come to me from a book written by Dave Hunt. It is entitled “What love is this?” The book takes the teachings of the much beloved John Calvin and its miss representation of the love of God among a whole plethora of absolute unchristian theology.

Calvin has been acclaimed as a godly example who based his theology and actions upon Scripture alone. But much that he did was unbiblical in the extreme, though consistent with his theology. Is not that fact sufficient reason to examine Calvinism carefully from Scripture? Dave Hunt’s book just does that.

French theologian John Calvin attempted over a period of eight years to orchestrate the marriage of Church and State in Geneva, Switzerland. With fiendish determination he set his plan to transform the city into a model of God’s kingdom on earth, Calvin established numerous detailed “reforms” as well as devising a system to police citizens through regular home inspections—questioning the residents on all aspects of their beliefs and practice.

Quotes from historian Will Durant point out some of these un-Christ like “reforms,” for example, “The allowable color and quantity of clothing, and the number of dishes permissible at a meal… Jewelry and lace were frowned upon. A woman was jailed for arranging her hair to an immoral height (whatever that was) …To speak disrespectfully of Calvin or the clergy was a crime. A first violation of these ordinances was punished with a reprimand, further violation with fines, persistent violation with imprisonment or banishment. Fornication was to be punished with exile or drowning, adultery, blasphemy or idolatry (Oh my, (American idol) with death…a child was beheaded for striking its parents.”

I will skip over for now the burning at the stake of Miguel Servetus: The Arch Heretic. You may find this despicable event on a name search on Google. Again, referring to the “reforms” of Calvin beheading was the penalty for civil crimes burning at the stake was for theological heresy.john-calvin

Gee, why haven’t we seen any burning at the stake of Jehovah’s Witnesses or Mormons, Wiccans or Witches?

Does any of what has been noted here speak of a Christ like character? Did Jesus teach revenge against one’s enemies or the use of violence in the cause of Christ—much less the death sentence for heresy that was enforced in Calvin’s Geneva. Still today the multitude of Calvinists supporters have swept under the rug Calvin’s un-Christ like conduct.

Is not Christ alone the standard for His disciples? And is He not always the same, unchanged by time or culture (Hebrews 13:8). Can the popes be condemned (and rightly so) for the evil they have done and are doing under the banner of the Cross, while skinny Calvin is excused for doing much the same, though on a smaller scale?

Dave Hunt points out two Scriptures among many that condemn Calvin: But wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy (James 3:17). He that saith he abideth in him (Christ) ought himself also so to walk, even as he (Christ) walked (1 john 2:6).

It is a mystery to me how so many of today’s Christian leaders can continue to praise a man whose behavior was often so far removed from the life of Jesus and the examples of Scripture quoted.

In closing, the book covers the tyrannical kingdom of John Calvin and his experiment in “Christian” Dominionism.

A moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips.

“Pilgrim Poem” ~ Author Unknown                                                  

Many years ago the Pilgrims came.

They sailed on a ship – the Mayflower was its name.

They sailed across the Atlantic blue,

So they could worship the way they wanted to.

Many people died along the way,

And the first winter was hard they say.

The Native Americans were already here.

They helped the Pilgrims plant corn and hunt deer.

They all got together to share food and pray,

And that’s why we celebrate Thanksgiving Day!


“Thank you for the World so sweet” ~ Author Unknown

Thank You God for the world so sweet,

Thank You God for the food we eat,

Thank You God for the birds that sing,

Thank You God for everything!

Blessings to all this holiday season.

Are we Participating in God’s Grace?

We give thanks to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth…Col.1:3-6 NKJV.

Perceived, epiginosko, Strong’s # 1921. There is nothing new under the sun, as it was when the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Colossians, we face the same assault of supposed knowledge. The word gnosis (#1108) “knowledge.”

To contend with this heresy of knowledge, Paul uses a compound word, epignosis made up of the preposition epi which is used as an intensive, “on top of, in addition to,” and gnosis (1922). The verb from which gnosis is derived is ginosko (1097), and the verb from which epignosis is derived is epiginsko (1921).

The difference between these two verbs is that ginosko sometimes means “to merely take notice or to recognize a thing unintentionally,” while epiginsko implies at least a special participation in the thing known.
Compare the use of the two words, John 8:32, ginosko, “Know” the truth with 1 Tim. 4:3, “those who have had a full appropriated knowledge” of the truth, epegnokosi, the perfect active of epiginosko which means not only knowing the truth in its initial state, but also having appropriated it. *

Our text clearly shows the Colossians knew the grace of God in truth and were participating in it.  colossians_1_6_the_gospel_is_bearing_fruit_powerpoint_church_sermon_Slide03



*The extended notes are from the Hebrew –Greek Key Study Bible. ©

Does anybody really care?

Imam recites Quran for the first time in the Vatican

Presented for your listening pleasure, as well as a leg up on the new catechism. The pointy headed leader of the world’s Roman Catholic Church is on a roll in his effervescent outreach to blend all religions into Rome; after all, all roads lead to Rome.

HISTORIC FIRST EVER ISLAMIC PRAYERS AT VATICAN SIGNALS START OF ONE WORLD RELIGION.historic-first-muslim-prayers-vatican-pope-francis-revelation-17-false-prophet-one-world-religion

“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” Revelation 17:14
The book of Revelation is quite clear when it discusses the Catholic system in chapters 17 and 18. The Vatican sitting on seven hills is called the “mother of harlots”, a pagan system of worship that has control over the whole world. She is carried by the beast, and is the enemy of God. More than that, she will rule for a period of time with complete power over kings, mighty men and all the inhabitants of the earth. The One World Religion during the time of the Great Tribulation.
Historic-first-muslim-prayers-vatican-pope-francis-revelation-17-false-prophet-one-world-religion “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4
So it is with great interest that we note that the Vatican, which represents 1 billion+ Catholics around the world, and Islam which claims more than 1 billion+ Muslim adherents, have begun to merge and join forces.

The Roman Catholic Church startled the religious and secular world today, with the official announcement – admitting: “ISLAM has now become the world’s largest religion – the Vatican newspaper said in Sunday’s “Vatican City” ‘For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us,’ Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Al Arabiya reports this: For the first time in history, Islamic prayers and readings from the Quran will be heard at the Vatican on Sunday, in a move by Pope Francis to usher in peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Holy See officials on Friday said the evening prayers would be a “pause in politics” and had no political aim other than to rekindle the desire for Israeli-Palestinian peace at the political and popular level.

Here is what Muslims think about Jesus.muslim-koran-what-they-say-about-jesus


This from followers of a man who was illiterate, a bandit and took a  9 year old girl as his wife. Now there’s a theology that “The religion of men” can be proud of. Have you ordered your foot bath yet?




TWO NEW MYTHICAL SAINTS(Friday Church News Notes, May 2, 2014,, 866-295-4143) – Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII are the latest editions to Rome’s mythical sainthood. The Vatican Information Service reported that half million people crowded into St. Peter’s Square and the surrounding area to witness the canonization ceremony on the morning of April 27.zz_2popes

Delegations attended from over 100 countries. There were 20 heads of state and many figures from the world of politics and culture, including the king and queen of Spain, the king and queen of Belgium, the president of the European Union, and the president of the European Commission. Special hymns were written and sung to both popes. Pope Francis made the following pronouncement: “We declare and define Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II be Saints and we enroll them among the Saints, decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole Church.” John Paul II was put on a fast track to sainthood because of his great popularity and his role in vastly increasing the stature and popularity of Roman Catholicism in this generation.

Both popes had a massive role in promoting end-time ecumenism. John XXIII was the convener of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s which opened the door for Rome’s ecumenical relations with Protestants and Baptists and prepared the way for the creation of the apostate one-world “church” described in Revelation 17. Both popes were great venerators of Mary.

Engraved in John Paul II’s wooden coffin, viewed at what has been called “the world’s largest funeral,” was a large letter M for Mary (The Evening Standard, London, Apr. 8, 2005). When elected pope in 1978, he dedicated his papacy to Mary, taking as his episcopal motto the Latin words “Totus Tuus,” meaning “Totally Yours” (“John Paul II’s Devotion to Mary,” Inside the Vatican, special insert, May 1996). He had these words of blasphemous devotion to Mary embroidered on his papal robes.PopeJohnPaul-Ext-02-HP-Up

In his autobiography Crossing the Threshold of Faith, which sold four million copies the first year alone, he said: “During the Second World War, while I was employed as a factory worker, I came to be attracted to Marian devotion. … Mary is the new Eve, placed by God in relation to Christ, the new Adam … the Mother of God shares in a unique way in the Resurrection and in the Glory of her own Son…” The Bible condemns this heresy in the clearest terms. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images” (Isaiah 42:8).

Manny’s thoughts:

The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) has throughout its history recognized certain individuals as official saints. It “canonizes” them for extraordinary deeds of charity and faith, an gives them public recognition. But on November 1st, commonly called “all saints day,” the RCC also recognizes every believer as an unoffical saint. In Ephesians 1:1, Paul instructs us that even if we don’t feel like we deserve such a title, God sees each believer as a saint.