Authored by: Kenneth M. Hoeck
Upon reading the title one might assume that this is a study of the First and Second Epistles of Peter from the New Testament. As edifying as that would be... the scene we set here is much different, one of mistaken identity, secret agendas and deception. The Roman Catholic Church claims that it was founded upon Simon Peter, the Apostle, and that this Peter was the first Pope or "Father" of "Christianity". We offer evidence to challenge that claim and to orate the tale of "another Peter" who was the Head of the religion practiced by this "Mother Church".
The claim of the Catholic Church, per Jerome circa 240 AD, is that Peter went to Rome in the second year of the reign of Claudius or about 42 A.D. Of course they say he was first bishop at Antioch, and then ministered in Pontus, Galatia, Asia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia, before coming to Rome (to oppose Simon Magus), and was bishop of that church for 25 years, who was martyred by being crucified upside-down in the last year of Nero's reign (67 A.D.) and was buried on the Vatican hill. They say that Peter's entombed bones are under the high altar of "St. Peter's" church in Rome.
The Roman Catholic Church bases their position concerning Peter being the First Father or "cornerstone" of the church on these verses: Matthew 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
They seem to think that when Jesus said "upon this rock" that He meant on Peter. A quick trip back to the original Greek text on a couple of these words gives us a little more insight on what Jesus is saying here. Matthew 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (Greek is "Petros" or little, movable stone) , and upon this rock (Greek word "Petra" or unmovable stone/rock -is Christ speaking of Himself.) I will build my church; and the gates of hell (Greek = "Hades" meaning "the grave") shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Peter is the little stone while Christ is the Rock, the difference is distinguished in the Greek wording. Christ had surnamed this Simon BarJona in John 1:42 "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone." In this verse Christ had used the Aramaic form of the Greek Petros or Peter. Christ is clearly the subject of the latter half of the first verse (18)shown. It is He who holds the keys to the gates of hell for it is only He who conquered death's hold by His resurrection. Revelation 1:18 "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. " Peter and the other disciples, inclusively, were given the keys to the kingdom of heaven and thusly are the subject of verse 19. They, like Christ, would not bind or loose anything contrary to God's holy spirit or His commandments.
Peter himself understood what Christ meant. He knew that Christ was the only foundation stone and that he himself, and the rest of God's Chosen Ones, were little building blocks upon that foundation. I Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. " Paul also said in agreement in I Corinthians 3:11 "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
These other scriptures back this up quite solidly. Isaiah 28:16 "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." Jesus Himself quoted this in Matthew 21:42" Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? 43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder." And Paul said in his letter to the Ephesians 2:20 -"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
Was Peter ever the ruler of God's church? No, Christ is clearly the Head as we read in Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body". Was Peter ever the head of ANY church? Not as far as the scriptures tell us. Was Peter Ever in Rome? Again, this cannot be confirmed by the scriptures.The Roman so-called "Mother" Church believes Peter was bishop at Rome from 42 A.D. to 67 A.D. Let us look into the biblical history to see if this is true.
Paul was converted between 35-37 A.D. Paul states in Galatians 1:17 "Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days" This takes us to approximately 40 A.D. and we still find Peter in Jerusalem.
Acts 9:32 "And it came to pass, as Peter passed throughout all (quarters), he came down also to the saints which dwelt at Lydda." In Acts 9-11, we follow Peter as he made his missionary journey through the western part of Judea, to Lydda, to Joppa, to Caesarea, and back to Jerusalem . Then, in Acts 12, he is imprisoned under Herod Agrippa I and is freed by the angel of the Lord. Acts12:19 "And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode." According to the notable first century historian, Josephus, the death of Agrippa occurred in the fourth year of the reign of Claudius. This would be about 45 A.D., and do we find Peter in Rome yet? No, he is still in Palestine. Let us look at more evidence.
The apostle Paul, fourteen years after his first visit to Jerusalem, returns to visit Peter as told in the second chapter of Galatians. The first journey was 40 A.D and fourteen years later places the date around 54 A.D. Where is Simon Peter? Peter is still in Judea! Let us quote a book titled "The Papacy": "The Romanists affirm that Peter was Bishop of Rome during the twenty-five years that preceded his martyrdom. His residence in the capital began, according to them, in A.D. 43. He was marryred in A.D. 68. But on Paul's first visit to Jerusalem in A.D. 51, he found Peter there, when, according to the Romanist theory, he should have been in Rome. It appears also, from the 1st and 3rd chapters of Galatians, that from Paul's conversion till his second visit to Jerusalem, that is seventeen years, Peter had been ministering to the Jews, and as shewn in the text, he was not at Rome af the time of Paul's imprisonment and martyrdom" (The Papacy.- Dr. Wylie, p. 233).
See if you can fathom this one. The Apostle Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans about the year A.D. 60. In his epistle to those of the true church in Rome, Paul said in his salutation: Romans16:1 "I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. 3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ. 6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. 7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord. 9 Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10 Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household. 11 Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord. 12 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord. 13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them. 15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them. 16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you. " It is inconceivable that Paul sends his regards to no less than twenty-six of the saints in Rome by name plus others and doesn't even mention Peter ... if Peter was in Rome. Notice also that the Church had met in the house of Priscilla and Aquila and not in a dedicated church or synagogue building. Paul offers salutations to everybody else in Rome ... yet he sends no greetings to Peter, who must have been the most prominent of all the saints at Rome, if he were then indeed Bishop of Rome? But He was not!
"What ground is there for believing that the Apostle Peter was ever the Bishop of Rome? The only ground is that the Roman Church asserts it. EVIDENCE there is absolutely none" ~The Bible or the Church?-quoting the late great lawyer -Sir Robert Anderson
Bear with the following short explanation as we tie a few facts together.
1.)Paul tells us explicitly that the church at Rome was a Gentile church. Romans 1:13"Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. "
2.)We discover through Paul's writings that Jews were exiled from Rome by the Emporer Claudius during much of the time that Peter was supposed to be bishop of Rome. Acts 18:2 And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them.
3.)Galatians 2:7 "But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9 And when James, Cephas (Peter) , and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision." At this conference at Jerusalem it was clearly and repeatedly established that Peter should go to the Jews (or those of the circumcision) and Paul to the Gentiles (or the heathen...referring to other nations). There were few Jews in Rome per Claudius' command so Peter would have little reason to go there to preach the gospel!
Paul gives us a bit more insight in Romans 15:20: "Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: 21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand." Paul clearly did not want to build on another apostle's work. Paul wanted to bring the good news of Christ Jesus to those who had never heard of him. He could only do this in Rome if Peter was not already there for years as "bishop" of Rome. We also know that Paul's first Roman imprisonment sentence was somewhere around 58 A.D. to 64 A.D. The four gospel letters - Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. were written from his prison during these years. In these letters, as we read in Romans, Paul mentions several of his fellow Christians in Rome where he was locked up, but he never once refers to Simon Peter.
Paul was jailed again around 66-67 A.D and the Catholic Church imagines that Peter was with him. "But Nero, exasperated at seeing himself and the Romans set at nought, ordered St. Peter and St. Paul to be cast into the Mamertime Prison, on the Capitol. There they were kept in strict confinement for nine months. From that prison St. Paul wrote his second letter to St. Timothy, requesting him to come to Rome, to be witness of his martyrdom, which was at hand" (Catholic Belief, p. 311). It would not be very likely that Paul would have written to Timothy and not mention that Peter was a fellow prisoner! Before his martyrdom by Caesar Nero, Paul wrote his letter to Timothy. Again, Simon, who is called Peter, is not in Rome as Paul says that only Luke is there with him. II Timothy 4:11" Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry." Do you read about Paul mentioning anything of Simon Peter? Neither do I. Did the Apostle Paul lie? No...the scriptures uphold that Peter was not in this Roman prison and it is very probable that he may never have been in Rome at all.
The facts have proved the truth out. Peter was not the bishop of Rome. The true Christian church at Rome was in someone's house. Peter was clearly not the "first Pope" over the Roman Catholic church....but ....who was then? Could there be some confusion or possibly a counterfeit Simon Peter?
See Simon's hero depicted to the far right. Ever wonder where the images of the mainstream "Jesus" come from?
|There is no substantiation that the following ever
occurred but is presented as a possibility.
"On the day that Simon Magus was to delight the Romans by an ascent in the air, and they were in most anxious expectation to see such a prodigy, St. Peter and St. Paul went to the spot where this was to take place, full of confidence in God that He would confound the impostor and undeceive the people. And so it was: as Simon Magus, before an immense crowd of people, was carried by the wicked spirits on high in what appeared to be a carriage drawn by fiery horses, St. Peter made a fervent prayer to God that He would abase that man, and behold, in an instant, the fiery horses and chariot vanished away, and Simon Magus fell headlong to the ground and died.~Catholic Belief
Other similar tales end with Magus only falling and breaking his leg. Another story has Simon telling Nero to bury him and he would rise up alive three days later but Simon never rose.
Does this person [Zoroster] have a familiar face? And glow? and sign of the hand? and rod?
Simon the Pater
This man was Simon the Magician or the Magus. The Magi were a sect of religious magician-priests; originally from an hybrid race related to the Israelites, called Parthians from the region called Parthia - which is Persia. The 1st Century BC Roman writer Strabo wrote " That the council of the Parthians...consists of two groups, one that of the kinsmen, and the other that of the wisemen and magi..." Yes, this was the same priestly caste of "wisemen" as those who were come from the East (Parthia) and visited the baby Jesus. Their worship included the use of symbols and fire but they claimed to use the symbols to direct their minds to their god and detested being called idolaters or fire-worshippers.
These Magi may very well have been descendants of the tribe of Levitical priests. Since the birth of Christ this group of wisemen had begun intermixing the name of Jesus Christ and their own religion of Zoroastrianism. The notes of Greek historian Herodotus confirm that these Magi had become Zoroastrian priests and did most of their worship in caves and underground catacombs. This is substantiated by the 1944 Standard American Encyclopedia "His (Zoroaster's) teachings spread to Media and Persia and were the basis of the national religion of Persia. He taught the worship of one god, the creator of the world, to whom all worship should be paid. Other doctrines are heaven and hell, immortality, a day of judgement, the resurrection of the body, and the coming of a Messiah. Pastoral labor, tillage, and thrift were encouraged." Notice the resemblances to the modern 'Christianity'.
These magi priests also absorbed many of the teachings of Mithraism into their hybrid "Christianity". These customs included a bread and wine ceremony, a baptism of the faithful, heaven and hell doctrines, veneration of their god on Sunday, and celebration of Mithra's birth from the Virgin Anahita on December 25th. Again, notice the similitude to modern 'Christian' doctrinal beliefs. Taking this pagan ecumenical religion to Palestine was Simon Magus who was mixing (or purposefully confusing) it further with true Christianity . This began Gnosticism in its many forms. The Standard American Encyclopedia 1944 edition states: "Gnosticism, a form of primitive Christianity which existed prior to the formation of the Catholic Church. The concepts of the Gnostics, regarded by them as mystic and sacred revelations, were accepted as a matter of faith, and not derived from any logical system subject to proof.""Jesus Christ figured as the chief of those beings resulting from the union of two holy spirits called Aeons." Here is the trinity and the other "christian" concepts.
Let us read the familiar scriptural tale of this Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8:5 "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. 9 But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: 10 To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. 11 And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
Simon practiced the magic arts and must have been very adept at it. Simon wanted people to be in awe of him....to show him respect and admiration. He held the people "bewitched" (or deceived by working "miracles") that his great power was from God. Seeing Phillip working great miracles by God's power made Simon envious of that power and it is believed by some that he began to infuse this "new" Christian thinking into the "illuminated knowledge of Gnosticism" creating the beginning of the greatest counterfeit religion mankind had ever seen to date."Gnostic motifs were already felt in Christian circles in the Age of the Apostles. Early church tradition attributes the rise of Gnosticism to Simon Magus, briefly mentioned in Acts 8:9-24.- Harold O.J. Brown, Heresies. The second-century "Christian" writer Hegesippus tells us that the gnostic movement was in motion prior to the ministry of Christ in Palestine and that Gnosticism was a byproduct of 'seven Jewish heresies'. These are the heresies brought out of the Babylonian exile, a portion of the Babylonian mystery religion.
Gnosticism claimed to be the only true form of Christianity. It was like a poisonous fungus growing on and destroying the true vine of Christian teachings. Its popularity was spreading and its growth was so immense that there seemed such danger of its stifling Christianity altogether that the earliest "Christians" devoted their time and energy to uprooting it. Gnosticism absorbed a false air of Christianity and the true worship of God in spirit and truth was forced underground as a remnant of the true vine's seed. Numerous gnostic sects developed with very diverse doctrines many of which were in opposition to one another. The strongest of these supplanted the true Christian church and became the teachings of what would later be called Catholicism which thusly suppressed and opposed other sects as being heretical. What a prime example of true hypocrisy. Let us examine some interesting common themes and practices of these old pagan mystery religions and the church professing to be of Christ.
"The first two teachers to propagate gnostic ideas within Christian circles were Simon and his successor Menander. Unlike later and more famous representatives of Gnosticism, both Simon and Menander claimed divinity for themselves. According to Acts 8:9-11, Simon called himself the 'great power of God'."- Harold O.J. Brown, Heresies. Simon the "Christian" "made himself out to be a great one". He pridefully exalted himself before the people who wondered at his sorceries. "...Simon Magus, who in the Acts of the Apostles earned a condign and just sentence from the Apostle Peter. He had the hardihood to call himself the Supreme Virtue, that is, the Supreme God; and moreover, (to assert) that the universe had been originated by his angels; that he had descended in quest of an erring daemon, which was Wisdom; that, in a phantasmal semblance of God, he had not suffered among the Jews, but was as if he had suffered. -Tertullian, AGAINST ALL HERESIES. Here we see that he set himself up as a Christ..a false Christ. Paul warned of such men in II Corinthians 11:4 "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." And Paul continued this warning on into II Corinthians 11:13 "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." Jesus Himself had uttered a like-caution in Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Let us continue the story of Simon in Acts 8:12 "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done."
Simon believed the gospel and was even baptized....does this mean he was saved? No, God requires more than just belief...He asks our heartfelt love and obedience. James 2:17 "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" Here it is shown that the demons also believe in Christ but they will not be saved! The New Testament clearly states this but many modern "Christians" only "believe"...just like Simon. Zoroastrianism taught this as well, so it is no wonder that Simon supposed himself converted.
Simon's heart was not right with God. Acts 8:18 " And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. 24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me." Simon was not truly converted he did not circumcise his heart. He would not even ask God for forgiveness but asked Peter to pray to God for him...for his sins....if this sounds like the role of a Catholic priest today it is very similar as their priests pray to many intercessors for the laity. This was the way of Simon and his gnostic-christianity.
It seems he may have taught in his Christian-Gnosticism that "belief" was all that was needed for salvation- just as it was in the old Zoroastrian/Mithraic religion. Simon "met a certain Helena in a brothel in Tyre and discovered that she was a reincarnation of the primordial Ennoia ('Indwelling Mind'), the first conception of the spirit of God. As Ennoia she generated angelic powers, some of which rebelled against god, captured her, and imprisoned her in a mortal body. Reincarnated many times, she was once Helen of Troy...She is the lost sheep of Jesus' parable (Matthew 18:10-14). To save her, the highest God himself appeared in Simon. Characteristically, Simon taught that the Old Testament was the revelation of malicious angels, and hence oppressive. To believe in him was to be free from its bondage."- Harold O.J. Brown, Heresies
These Gnostics were antinomian, that is, they taught that there are no binding moral laws and that contempt for such restrictions is a prelude to liberty. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "antinomian" : somebody who holds that under the gospel dispensation of grace, the moral law is of no use or obligation because faith alone is necessary to salvation. These Gnostics believed that since we are saved by grace it does not much matter how we live, oh, they believed in doing good works but said we have no laws to obey; or by which to regulate and govern our lives. Obedience, character and conduct are not to be focused on as all one has to do is believe to be emancipated from the law of sin. Does this theology sound familiar? It should!
Our study encountered that Simon Magus studied "Christianity" under Dositheus who deviated from being a disciple of John the Baptist into forming a heretical cult of his own. Simon had turned many people into following and worshipping him. This Simon practiced the magic of Zoroaster-Mithraism while he studied true Christianity, which was to be melted into this Mystery religion. He was a wiseman (magi) and was said to interpret dreams and was thusly called Simon "the Pater" (interpreter). Pater means "father" as we find in the word "paternal". We find this "other Peter" calling himself "Simon the Father". "Christian" Bishops of Rome pre-empted the old Mithraic high priest's ancient title of Pater Patrum, which became Papa, or Pope; meaning "father". Being mistaken as Peter Simon probably worked well for Simon "Pater" in drawing more disciples. The term Peter Roma once was Petroma, the pagan High Priest of the city of Rome. The present Pope still retains this Mithraic identity tag having the audacity to call himself "Holy Father"...or God! ! Jesus Christ Himself denounced this practice in Matthew 23:8 "But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." Simon Magus was called, also, "The Standing One" giving reference to an erect phallus, even placing such a "bishop"-shaped hat upon his head.
The keys that this Peter held were not those of Death, Hades, or those to the Kingdom."The keys that the Pope bore were the Keys of a "Peter" well known to the Pagans initiated in the Chaldean Mysteries. That Peter the apostle was ever Bishop of Rome has been proved again and again to be an arrant fable. But,....while this is the case with Peter the Christian, it can be shown to be by no means doubtful that before the Christian era, and downwards, there was a "Peter" at Rome, who occupied the highest place in the Pagan priesthood. The priest who explained the Mysteries to the initiated was sometimes called by a Greek term, the Hierophant; but in primitive Chaldee, the real language of the Mysteries, his title, as pronounced without the points, was "Peter"--i.e., "the interpreter." As the revealer of that which was hidden, nothing was more natural than that, while opening up the esoteric doctrine of the Mysteries, he should be decorated with the keys of the two divinities whose mysteries he unfolded. Thus we may see how the keys of Janus and Cybele would come to be known as the keys of Peter, the "interpreter" of the Mysteries. Yea, we have the strongest evidence that, in countries far removed from one another, and far distant from Rome, these keys were known by initiated Pagans not merely as the "keys of Peter," but as the keys of a Peter identified with Rome. In the Eleusinian Mysteries at Athens, when the candidates for initiation were instructed in the secret doctrine of Paganism, the explanation of that doctrine was read to them out of a book called by ordinary writers the "Book Petroma;" that is, as we are told, a book formed of stone. But this is evidently just a play upon words, according to the usual spirit of Paganism, intended to amuse the vulgar. The nature of the case, and the history of the Mysteries, alike show that this book could be none other than the "Book Pet-Rome;" that is, the "Book of the Grand Interpreter," in other words, of Hermes."- Alexander Hislop The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship
It would seem that this Simon Pater delved deeper into the academic study of "the faith once delivered to the saints" migrating the Zoroastrian/Mithraic hybrid into altered "Christianity". The apostle Paul warned of such heretical teachings. I Timothy 6:20 "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen." The word "science" here is translated from the Greek word ginosko meaning to learn by experience or effort; which would form the acquired gnosis or knowledge from whence we gain the term Gnostic. Notice that Paul labels it as false knowledge. It is "knowledge of God" that looks right but is false.
Simon attributed deity to himself and adopted some of the characteristics and circumstances of God and of Jesus Christ. Irenaeus of Lyons (circa 130-202) Adversus haereses (inter A.D. 180/199) speaking of Simon the Magus -He, then, not putting faith in God a whit the more, set himself eagerly to contend against the apostles, in order that he himself might seem to be a wonderful being, and applied himself with still greater zeal to the study of the whole magic art, that he might the better bewilder and overpower multitudes of men. Such was his procedure in the reign of Claudius Caesar, by whom also he is said to have been honoured with a statue, on account of his magical power. This man, then, was glorified by many as if he were a god; and he taught that it was himself who appeared among the Jews as the Son, but descended in Samaria as the Father while he came to other nations in the character of the Holy Spirit. He represented himself, in a word, as being the loftiest of all powers, that is, the Being who is the Father over all, and he allowed himself to be called by whatsoever title men were pleased to address him.- Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Simon exalted himself as God...even taking the pagan title of Pater Patrum or Pope....now we start to see exactly who the "Peter" that founded Catholicism truly was!
Let us quote Iranaeus in this amazingly insightful comment. Yet, little did this early Catholic realize how bad the original doctrines of Christ were perverted and already amalgamated into the new mystery religion of Roman Christianity."All those who in any way corrupt the truth, and harm the teaching of the church, are the disciples and successors of Simon Magus of Samaria...They put forth, indeed, the name of Jesus Christ as a kind of lure, but in many ways they introduce the impieties of Simon...spreading to their hearers the bitter and malignant poison of the great serpent, the great author of apostasy."- Irenaeus, Libros Quinque Adversus Haereses. Iranaeus knew but was already victim himself of the same trap...the same apostasy.
The use of fire, water, statues and symbols were common in early-Gnostic worship. "They also have an image of Simon fashioned after the likeness of Jupiter, and another of Helena in the shape of Minerva; and these they worship"- Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers quoting St. Irenaeus of Lyons (c. 130-202) Adversus haereses (inter A.D. 180/199) The worship of these two through the symbols, statues, and images was not thought by these Gnostic-Christians to be idolatry. Does this bear any resemblance to any religion today? Simon Magus was reported in the Clementime Recognitiones as boasting that he "can render statues animated, so that those who see them suppose that they are men." Is this a type of the prophecy in Revelation 13:15 "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." Just a thought to dwell upon ...this is not doctrine.
Let us take just a moment to reflect on some similarities uncovered here.
(In Zoroastrianism,) "The great god is Ahura Mazdah, the God of Wisdom. He is "the First and the Last". He it was who in the beginning thus thought, 'Let the blessed realms be filled with lights' "~ Living Religions of the East (1922), Sydney Cave, D.D. It is interesting to note that this "god" is also referred to as the lord of light, lord of truth and the good shepherd. In repeated prayers(7-8 times daily) the devout pray for this omniscient god to take away their sin and open them to good thoughts, good words, and good actions.
The second great component of Gnostic thought is magic, properly so called, i.e. the power ex opere operato of weird names, sounds, gestures, and actions, as also the mixture of elements to produce effects totally disproportionate to the cause. ~The Catholic Encyclopedia. Our comment: Ever witness a Catholic Mass?
"The lowest degree of initiation was known as the Sacrament...and it symbolized, according to present-day Mithraists, the death of the new member, from which he would arise reborn as a new man." - Arkon Daraul, Secret Societies. Eating of the bread wafer, the body of Lord Mithras, was one of the seven Mithraic sacraments. It was called mizd, in latin-missa, in english- mass. Have you ever heard the term?
"The Mithraic Holy father wore a red cap and
garment and a ring, and carried a shepherd's staff. The Head Christian adopted
the same title and outfitted himself in the same manner. Christian priests,
like Mithraic priests, became 'Father', despite Jesus' specific proscription
of the acceptance of such a title (Matthew 23:9). That Jesus had been
repudiating, not the Mithraists with whom he was unfamiliar, but the Sanhedrin,
whose President was styled Father, is hardly relevant.
"Mithra's bishops wore a mithra, or miter, as their badge of office. Christian bishops also adopted miters. Mithraists commemorated the sun-god's ascension by eating a mizd, a sun-shaped bun embossed with the sword (cross) of Mithra. The hot cross bun and the mass were likewise adapted to Christianity. The Roman Catholic mizd/mass wafer continues to retain its sun-shape, although its Episcopal counterpart does not.
"All Roman Emperors from Julius Caesar to Gratian had been pontifex maximus, high priest of the Roman gods. When Theodosius refused the title as incompatible with his status as a Christian, the Christian bishop of Rome picked it up. Magi, priests of Zarathustra, wore robes that featured the sword of Mithra. Identical robes are worn by Christian priests to this day." - William Harwood, Mythologies Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus
The devil has known about God's plan from the beginning. Satan has firsthand knowledge of God. He has laid intricate traps to snare the foolish who profess to be wise. He knew of the true Christ ...of His bread & wine Passover and of other Christian ideals and he perverted them. He twisted them into something that looks similar but has the end which is death. He poised himself as "an angel of light" attempting to disguise the true Light and led people away from the narrow path of Truth. In the garden of Eden there stood two trees. One was an uncomely tree which would provide eternal life through obedience to God while the other was a lovely tree which would provide gnosis or learned knowledge of God. Man chose the wrong tree in Eden just as he has with the "two Christianities".
One last item of interest...Do you remember that the Catholics say that their "St. Peter's" bones are buried in vatican hill? The Basilica of St. Peter, in which the most important ceremonies of the Catholic Church are celebrated, stands on the site of a much smaller basilica erected in the years of and by the will of the Roman emperor Constantine. This structure was erected to supposedly honour the tomb of the first Pope -the apostle Peter but it may actually belong to a different "Peter". Do you know where the Catholics acquired that site? Mithra's cave-temple on the Vatican Hill was seized by the "Christians" in 376 CE. Who do you think is buried in this Mithraic temple? Could it be Simon The Pater (Peter), the Gnostic-Christian who pulled the veil over the eyes of the world?
Try this related article: Mainstream Christianity or Cult?
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