Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Seven Churches of Revelation, part ten

If you’re new to this series, go here to catch up:

Part 9 @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/the-seven-churches-of-revelation-part-nine/

Part 8 @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/the-seven-churches-of-revelation-part-eight/

Part 7 @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/the-seven-churches-of-revelation-part-seven/

Part 6 and prev @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/the-seven-churches-of-revelation-part-six/

Book of Revelation, Chapter 2, Verses 18-29:

To the angel of the church in Thyatira, write this:

The Son of God, whose eyes are like a fiery flame and whose feet are like polished brass, says this:

I know your works, your love, faith, service, and endurance, and that your last works are greater than the first.

Yet I hold this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, who teaches and misleads my servants to play the harlot and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

I have given her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her harlotry. So I will cast her on a sickbed and plunge those who commit adultery with her into intense suffering unless they repent of her works. I will also put her children to death.

Thus shall all the churches come to know that I am the searcher of hearts and minds and that I will give each of you what your works deserve.

But I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not uphold this teaching and know nothing of the so-called deep secrets of Satan: on you I will place no further burden, except that you must hold fast to what you have until I come.

To the victor, who keeps to my ways until the end, I will give authority over the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. Like clay vessels will they be smashed, just as I received authority from my Father. And to him I will give the morning star.

Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

I propose here that the Revelation letter to Thyatira refers to the Late Middle Ages – roughly 1,000 AD – 1,500 AD.

Plenty have identified “the woman Jezebel” with the Roman Catholic Church, but I’m not one of them. God isn’t concerned with institutions, but with individuals, something He makes very clear in every letter with “the victor” and “whoever has ears ought to hear.” These are messages to individuals.

I think a quick note is in order here about the 17th chapter of Revelation, which anti-Catholic rhetoric often cites to equate the whore of Babylon with the Roman Catholic Church.

Purple and Scarlet

She wears “purple and scarlet.”

Yes, these are the colors worn by Bishops and Cardinals, but these same colors were used for the veil in the Jewish Temple and the clothing of the High Priest officiating there. They were also used for many centuries by political leaders for their official robes – e.g., Alexander the Great, the kings of Ptolemaic Egypt, and the Seleucid, Roman and Byzantine Emperors. Why? Because the dye was difficult to make and therefore expensive.

She is “adorned with gold, precious stones, and pearls.”

On its own, this merely suggests ostentatious wealth, which is hardly unique to the Roman Catholic Church.

She holds “in her hand a gold cup that was filled with the abominable and sordid deeds of her harlotry.”

A gold cup full of sin is far too generic a symbol to point definitively to the allegedly false doctrine of transubstantiation (that the wine in the chalice becomes the real Blood of Christ) … particularly if you happen to believe the doctrine like I do.

She is “drunk on the blood of the holy ones and on the blood of the witnesses to Jesus.”

Yes, there was the shameful period of the Inquisition when torture and death were used by the Roman Church to punish its enemies, but again, that’s hardly a unique qualification. Many regimes, including Roman, Muslim, Protestant, Nazi and Communist, have done likewise.

Vatican is not on Seven Hills of Rome

The real kicker for anti-Catholic exegetes is the part about how the woman sits on a beast whose seven heads “represent seven hills upon which the woman sits.”

And while it is true that Rome lays claim to having been built on seven hills and that it is the home of the Catholic Pope, the interpretation breaks down as soon as one consults a map. The Vatican is not on the seven hills. In fact, no Pope has ever lived or had his “seat” (cathedra or cathedral) on any of the seven hills of Rome. The big bad Roman Empire now … that actually was built on the seven hills. But you can’t even make a good case for this interpretation. About 60 other cities world-wide lay claim to being built on seven hills. Astonishingly, these include Jerusalem (Judaism), Constantinople (Eastern Orthodoxy), Moscow (Russian Orthodoxy) and Mecca (Islam)!

To be continued …

————

Sources:

Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity [Eerdmans Publishing, 1977]

The New Bible Dictionary [Eerdmans Publishing, 1962]

New American Bible online @ http://www.usccb.org/bible/

Whore of Babylon @ http://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/whore_of_babylon.htm

Tyrian purple dye @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrian_purple

The color of Liturgical Vestments @ http://catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0172.html

Seven hills of Rome @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_hills_of_Rome

Seven hills @ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cities_claimed_to_be_built_on_seven_hills

16 Comments

Filed under Bible Prophecy

Boxing Day

King Size Bed

And they laid Him to rest in a box. Today’s children still understand … it’s all about the box! Go to the link below and check out the adorable photos and stay to read the touching and funny comments.

http://twitchy.com/2012/12/26/15-adorable-kids-whod-rather-play-with-cardboard-boxes-than-christmas-toys/

10 Comments

Filed under Holidays

A Special Merry Christmas to Grunt!

With all the goofiness we’ve had in this wonderful garden spot lately, I noticed a decided LACK in the Grunt of Monte Cristo jokes. Finally, I not only found his doppelganger, but also the Secret Weapon for getting der Grunt-meister to do vateffer ve vant !  Boowahahahaha.

7 Comments

Filed under Funny Stuff, Holidays

Stupid People Tweet

Today’s Feature Tweets are by Al Gore and Bette Midler.

WHY AL GORE IS STUPID (AND WRONG)

2012_12 23 Al Gore and Bette Midler are stupid

According to the November 2012 (latest) Rasmussen poll, U.S. Likely Voter opinion on the causes of global warming:

41% Human Activity

38% Planetary Trends

7% Other Reasons

14% Don’t Know

In other words, 6 in 10 reject the ESSENCE of the Gore-acle’s “We must tax carbon” argument. That’s very interesting, especially since about 18 times more of us get our news from a Left-Biased source than from a Fair-and-Balanced source (37 Million ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC vs. 2 Million FOX News).

18 to 1 Media Bias on AGW

4 to 6 Opinion Bias on AGW

WHY BETTE MIDLER IS STUPID (AND WRONG)

2012_12 23 Al Gore and Bette Midler are stupid

Bette’s blog posting at Twitchy is dated December 23d, at which time @NRA had 80,965 Twitter followers, not 60,000. In the last 24 hours, nearly 2,000 more people have signed on as followers. The NRA also currently has 4 million members and its Facebook page has 1,757,565 likes.

This afternoon @BetteMidler, the anti-NRA, pro-gun-control and Republicans-suck tweets are in full flower, but her stupid remark about 60,000 NRA followers has been deleted. Too bad for her that Twitchy is forever. ::snork::

And Rasmussen demonstrates that the 18:1 Democrat’s anti-gun media bias fails even worse (2.7 in 10) than their anti-carbon bias. December 19, 2012 Rasmussen opinion poll about what would do the MOST to prevent shooting sprees like Newtown’s:

48% said more action to treat mental health issues

27% said stricter gun control laws

15% said limits on violent movies and video games

10% said undecided

———-

Sources:

http://twitchy.com/2012/12/23/fact-challenged-bette-midler-nra-only-has-60000-followers/

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/environment_energy/energy_update

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/december_2012/following_school_shooting_86_want_more_action_to_identify_and_treat_mental_illness

http://stateofthemedia.org/2012/network-news-the-pace-of-change-accelerates/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_turnout

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html

http://stateofthemedia.org/2011/network-essay/data-page-5/

http://press.foxnews.com/2012/01/fox-news-channel-marks-decade-as-the-number-one-cable-news-network/

Comments Off on Stupid People Tweet

Filed under Al Gore, Climate, Gun Control, NRA

THE LAST CHRISTMAS GRUDGE

Tomorrow’s the big day.On Dec. 26 all the Christmas-related material I have will be as irrelevant as we patriots became on Nov. 7.

18 Comments

Filed under Funny Stuff, Holidays

Ho-Ho-Hope

Thanks to Obama-Grinch and his “Affordable Care Act” elves, health insurance premiums are skyrocketing just in time for Christmas!

Ho-Ho-Hope

Tweets at Twitchy:

That lump of coal in your stocking? Baracka Claus built that.

Just found out my Health insurance premiums up 10% beginning 1-1-13 Thanks ObamaCare for keeping those costs down!

Just got a notice that my health insurance has gone up $3600 per year! Merry Christmas from #Obamacare! Things are MUCH better!

Merry Christmas to me from Kaiser…health insurance going up to 700 a month! Whoohoo!

Merry Christmas I get to use my Christmas bonus for medical bills because my health insurance is garbage f u Obama!

My health insurance just went up by $36/month. What happened to @BarackObama getting us all affordable health care?

I just found out my health insurance is going up $80/month starting in January. Boo!

My health insurance premium has gone up another $100 starting this month. THANK YOU President Obama!!!!

WOW! My health insurance went up $120 this month! Merry Christmas to me, I guess… #ouch

My Christmas present from Blue Cross was a $1200 increase in my healthcare premiums. YAY OBAMACARE.

Our health insurance, HSA, no prescription plan, just bumped us up to over $1700 a month. Does ANYONE have a cheaper plan? I’m just crushed.

Source:

http://twitchy.com/2012/12/22/ho-ho-hope-and-change-health-insurance-premiums-skyrocket-just-in-time-for-christmas/

10 Comments

Filed under Obamacare

The Seven Churches of Revelation, part nine

If you’re new to this series, go here to catch up:

Part 8 @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/the-seven-churches-of-revelation-part-eight/

Part 7 @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/the-seven-churches-of-revelation-part-seven/

Part 6 and prev @ https://polination.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/the-seven-churches-of-revelation-part-six/

Book of Revelation, Chapter 2, Verses 12-17:

To the angel of the church in Pergamum, write this:

The one with the sharp two-edged sword says this:

I know that you live where Satan’s throne is, and yet you hold fast to my name and have not denied your faith in me, not even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was martyred among you, where Satan lives. Yet I have a few things against you. You have some people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block before the Israelites: to eat food sacrificed to idols and to play the harlot. Likewise, you also have some people who hold to the teaching of [the] Nicolaitans. Therefore, repent. Otherwise, I will come to you quickly and wage war against them with the sword of my mouth.

Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the victor I shall give some of the hidden manna; I shall also give a white amulet upon which is inscribed a new name, which no one knows except the one who receives it.

Finally, finishing Pergamum as a type for the church during the Early Middle Ages (roughly 313 AD to 1,000 AD) with the white amulet as a sign of Baptism.

From the earliest days of the Church, Christian worship services started with preaching, teaching and prayer open to all, but the second part at which believers shared the Lord’s Supper was restricted to baptized believers only. During the Early Middle Ages, the Church defined the doctrine of Original Sin which in turn made it necessary to define Baptism as necessary for salvation.

I want to talk briefly about “a new name, which no one knows except the one who receives it” because it’s quick, which the white amulet is not. Bible readers will be familiar with what a big deal God makes about names and naming. It starts right at the beginning with God giving Adam the right to name all the creatures. Later on, God gives new names to some as a sign of a change in their status or calling. E.g., Abram-Abraham, Sarai-Sarah, Jacob-Israel. Then, there’s the huge deal with Moses wanting to know God’s name. Apparently, there was a tradition that knowing a person’s true name gave you power over them.

Infants are named at Baptism; adult converts often take a new name at Baptism. Jesus says in the letter to Pergamum that He is going to personally give victors extra heavy duty special names which only He and they will know! I love that!

About the white amulet … most of the Bible translations I checked use the word stone in this spot. A couple use pebble or counter. Only the New American Bible seems to have chosen amulet, but there’s nothing in the footnotes about why. However, the commentaries I found likened the stone/pebble to such a wide range of objects and uses that I’ve ended up thinking amulet was an inspired choice. In English, stone and pebble don’t have many referents; in the original Greek, there were a lot of meanings with broad cultural references about objects imbued with meaning (i.e., amulets).

For example, in New Testament times there was a custom in which jurors cast their votes by means of a stone. A white stone signified acquittal, a black one condemnation. In Acts 26:9-10, Paul talks about his own persecution of the Christians before his conversion:

“I imprisoned many of the holy ones with the authorization I received from the chief priests, and when they were to be put to death I cast my vote against them.”

According to http://whitestoneweb.com/index.php/archives/238, the word used for vote in this passage is the same word used for stone in the letter to Pergamum.  In other words, the victors will get Jesus’ vote for acquittal on Judgment Day. Very apropos for our Baptism reference.

Stone could also mean any of a variety of things, many that were also called tessera. In early antiquity, mosaic artwork was made from naturally-formed colored stones – i.e., pebbles. But by 200 BC, it had become common to cut marble or limestone into small cubes which were called tesserae (probably from the Greek for four, because of the corners).

Roman mosaic made from tesserae

Stone and tessera got used for all kind of small objects made from a variety of materials and in many shapes. These were used in ways we would use paper now. E.g., as tickets to the games or theater. Permission to enter … a very nice reference for Baptism, no? There was also the tessera frumentariae which were issued to the poor like food stamps or welfare checks. Another excellent reference for God’s free gift of salvation and the Baptism that allowed converts to attend the Lord’s Supper!

Tessera frumentariae

Tesserae militaris were used by Roman commanders to circulate orders and each night’s new password to the troops. The war and victor references in the passage we’re studying make this one particularly pertinent. I especially like the password “permission to enter” thing.

Tesserae militaris reproductions

Probably the most powerful of referents for our white amulets were the tesserae hospitalis which were used to seal and signify a compact of mutual friendship and hospitality between two persons. These objects and the bond they represented was one of the oldest and most sacred known among the Romans and was scrupulously observed. How beautiful is the image of Jesus giving each victor a token that guarantees entrance into eternal life!

Tesserae hospitalis lion + hands

————

Sources:

Eerdman’s Handbook to the History of Christianity [Eerdmans Publishing, 1977]

The New Bible Dictionary [Eerdmans Publishing, 1962]

New American Bible online @ http://www.usccb.org/bible/

Tessera @ http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Tessera.html

Roman mosaic to illustrate tesserae @ http://newsroom.unl.edu/releases/2012/09/18/UNL+archaeological+team+unearths+giant+Roman+mosaic+in+southern+Turkey

Jesus photo mosaic @ http://www.picturemosaics.com/gallery/zoom.php?i=160&rows=3&page=1&term=jesus

Tessera Hospitalis @ http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/10/?event_id=5476

Tessera Hospitalis @ http://www.bible-history.com/ibh/Roman+Travel/Travelling+Customs/Tessera+Hospitalis

Various types of tesserae @ http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Tessera.html

http://www.ridingthebeast.com/articles/colors/

Tessera frumentariae @ http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/808151/item808151biblicalartifacts.html

Tessera militaris @ http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/17-roman-military-history-a-archaeology/287646-tessera-militaris.html and http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Castra.html#discipline.watchword

3 Comments

Filed under Bible Prophecy

PETE’S VIDEO CARD TO ALL MY FRIENDS

Posted by Pistol Pete

I wish I could send each and every one of you a personal greeting with a special message.Through the miracle of the internet I cand best wishes for peace and love to everyone.We will surely need each others’ support through the dark years.I don’t know if you can play youtubes through a bigscreen TV,but if you could,playing the first block on fullscreen in a darkened room would be awesome.There are some amazing light displays.

I am also posting some Christmas classics.Please enjoy them in the spirit which I’m offering them to you.

f_e578f05b39

funny-dog-pictures-white-christmazfunny-pictures-christmas-cat-wakeup

godless

over-dramatic

DB102709001

jesus_original_gps

thCAIZJ13MthCAJCCFE2

25 Comments

Filed under Funny Stuff

Our Church Tag Baby’s Toy

I was so tickled to learn that Daddy Buzz has dubbed my favorite scrappy fabric project “Grammy Ball.” (I’m Grammy Hyphen to the wee ones.)

2012_12 23 Church Tag Baby's Grammy Ball

Comments Off on Our Church Tag Baby’s Toy

Filed under Little Sprouts

Mama Buzz has a real gift for photo montages!

2012_12 21 Pics for &Y

Comments Off on Mama Buzz has a real gift for photo montages!

by | December 23, 2012 · 8:41 am