or… St. Peter Meets the Competition!
This is a great expose by the late Dr. E.L. Martin. It documents the true history of the Samaritans, the meaning of the word ‘peter’ in the ancient world and the “church” that was established at Rome by Simon the Sorcerer.
Acts 8:9-24 (KJv). 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: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. 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. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power ALSO, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the LORD for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.”
Right from the very beginning, Satan had his counterfeit “messiah” operating right in the true Messiah’s backyard. His name was Simon Magus, or Simon the Sorcerer, and it was this man, and not Simon Peter the Apostle, who went on to found the Universal Roman “church.” His career was the history of Roman Catholicism in miniature. For a long timehe bewitched the people with his false miracles. Since the year 800 A.D., Rome has bewitched the world with her false miracles of transubstantiation.
Simon believed and was baptized. Outwardly he was a Christian but his belief was only superficial and he was still a pagan at heart. He coveted the apostolic office, and saw the opportunity of using Christianity to make money — a business corporation masquerading as the ‘church of Christ’!!
From Simon Magus we get the word simony which means to buy a religious office with money.
After his encounter with St. Peter, this magician went to Rome and by tricks and false miracles established a “Christian church” in that city. This man can truly be considered as the first of the age long dynasty of Popes —many coming in Christ’s name and deceiving many (Matt. 25:5).
As in the case of Patrick and Palladius, the arch-fiend Satan, took advantage of the similarities of the one to supplant it with the other. We can be sure that Palladius took a big sack of gold with him when he set out for Hibernia. History does not record the encounter between the Roman and the Briton but we can be sure that St. Patrick told him the same thing that St. Peter told Simon Magus: “To hell with you and your money . . . for trying to buy the gift of God…….”
SIMON MAGUS by Ernest L. Martin
What were the origins of Catholic-Babylonian Christianity? What was Simon’s religion before he met Peter? Where did that religion originate? Read in this series of articles the detailed and documented account of Simon Magus and his great COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY!
THE FALSE religious system began very early — almost with Pentecost in 31 A.D. Even in the earliest of Paul’s epistles, he informs us that “the mystery of iniquity DOTH ALREADY WORK” (II Thess. 2:7). Paul wrote this in 50 or 51 A.D. The plot to supplant the Truth had already begun. In the later epistles of Paul and in those of the other Apostles, we find it gaining considerable momentum. However, even though the Apostles discuss the diabolical system which was arising, THEY NOWHERE MENTION HOW IT STARTED. They had no need in mentioning its beginning — that had already been done!
The book of Acts is the KEY to the understanding of Christian beginnings. Not only does it show the commencement of the TRUE Church, but it equally reveals the origins of the False Church masquerading as Christianity. Indeed, you would think it odd if the book of Acts did not discuss this vital subject.
The Book of Acts — the Key
First, let us recall two points of necessary understanding.
1) The book of Acts was written by Luke about 62 A.D.– some 31 years after the True Church began. Acts recalls ALL events which affected, in a major way, the True Church. It especially tells us about the beginnings of matters relating to Church history.
2) Acts does NOT record every single event relative to the Church, important as one might think them to be.
For example, Luke doesn’t mention a single thing about the activities of ten of the original twelve Apostles of Christ. Yet are we to assume that they did nothing important in the history of the Church? Absolutely NOT! They must have done many mighty works. But we can see from this omission that Luke recorded ONLY THOSE EVENTS WHICH WERE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for God’s Church of the future to know.
Notice that Luke’s geography leads him towards the Northwest and West of Palestine. He discusses Church history in Asia Minor, Greece and ROME. He wanted to leave us with the truth of what was going on in the West and North because the prophecies showed the false system arising in these localities.
All other activities of God’s Church — all about the other ten Apostles, etc. — fall into relative unimportance because the trouble wasn’t going to come from Palestine itself. It was to come from ROME and adjacent areas. It is no wonder that Luke spares no pains to tell us the truth of what was really going on in these critical areas, and that is the reason Acts concerns itself primarily with Paul. These are well-known principles that help us understand the overall viewpoint of Acts.
With the foregoing in mind, read the incident recorded by Luke, of the first encounter of God’s Apostles with a heretic. This encounter was not with an ordinary run-of-the-mill individual, but with one of the greatest men in the East at that time — Simon the Magus! (the original Mr. Magoo!)
The reason Luke describes the intentions of this man so thoroughly is the profound effect this man, and his followers, had on God’s Church in Asia Minor, Greece, and ESPECIALLY ROME. Actually, this man by 62 A.D., (when Luke composed the book of Acts) had caused the True Church so much trouble that Luke had to show the people that he was NOT, as he claimed to be, a part of the Christian Church.
All scholars realize that Luke tells about Simon’s beginning because of his later notoriety and danger to the Church.
In this regard, notice the comment of Hasting’s Dictionary of the Apostolic Church, Vol. 2, p. 496: “It seems beyond question that Luke KNEW THE REPUTATION which Simon acquired, and that he regarded the subsequent history of Simon as the natural result of what occurred in the beginning of his connection with the Christians.” If we assume that Luke recorded this encounter of the Apostles with Simon Magus simply to show that “simony” was wrong, we miss the point completely. There is a score of places in other parts of the Bible to show the error of buying ecclesiastical gifts.
Luke was exposing SIMON MAGUS HIMSELF. This IS the important point!! Luke was clearly showing that Simon was NEVER a part of God’s Church, even though by 62 A.D., many people were being taught that Simon was truly a Christian — taught that he was the HEAD of the only TRUE Christians; the Apostle to the Gentiles!
What Luke Tells Us About Simon Magus
Notice the points Luke places clearly before us. 1) Simon was a Samaritan, not a Jew — (Acts 8:9). Remember that the Bible tells us salvation was of the Jews — not of the Samaritans (John 4:22). 2) Simon Magus greatly used demonic powers to do miracles and wonders (Acts 8:9). 3) The whole population of Samaria (both small and great) gave heed to him (Verse 10). He was looked on as the greatest prophet — all Samaritans BELIEVED IN HIM! 4) The Samaritans WORSHIPPED him as “the Great One” — a god. “This man is that power of God called Great [that is the Almighty]” (RSV. Verse 10). Imagine it! They called him god in the flesh! 5) Luke is also careful to inform us that Simon had become firmly established in Samaria as “the Great One” and had practiced his powers “for a long time” (Verse 11). 6) Luke wants us to understand that he nominally became a Christian (“Simon himself believed”) and was baptized — that is, he physically, outwardly “entered” the Christian Church (Verse 13). 7) Simon even recognized that Christ’s power was greater than his but wanted to be associated with that great name (Verse 13). 8) Simon, seeing the potential of the Christian religion waited until the authorities, Peter and John, came to Samaria and then offered to pay them money to OBTAIN AN APOSTLESHIP IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (Verses 18-21).
Simon Coveted the Apostle’s Office
Those who carelessly read this section of Scripture may get the mistaken notion that Simon wanted only to buy the Holy Spirit. Yes, he wanted that — but his main intention went far beyond. He had eyes on becoming an APOSTLE! Peter immediately perceived his intention and said “You have neither PART nor LOT in this matter” (Verse 21). The true Apostles had been chosen after Christ’s death to take PART in the apostleship by LOT (Acts 1:25, 26). Peter was telling Simon he couldn’t buy an APOSTLESHIP.
Luke is showing that Simon wanted to be one of the APOSTLES — a top man in the Christian Church. He was after that office. After all Simon imagined himself to be fully qualified to be an APOSTLE, especially over the Samaritans since they already looked to him as the greatest religious leader of the age. However, Peter rebuked him sternly. 9) Peter perceived that Simon was in the “gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity [lawlessness]” (Verse 23).
NOTE: This verse has been misunderstood because the King James Version fails to give the full force of Peter’s accusation. This verse when understood in the manner Peter intended, is one of the most important of the whole chapter. IT IS A PROPHECY! Peter knew the mind of this man and what this man was to become. This is made plain by Sir William Ramsay in his Pictures of the Apostolic Church, p. 60. He says: “Peter rebuked him in strong and PROPHETIC TERMS. The PROPHECY is concealed in the ordinary translation: the Greek means ‘thou art FOR a gall of bitterness and a fetter of unrighteousness [lawlessness]’, i.e., a cause of bitterness and corruption to others.”
This makes it plain. Peter was uttering a prophecy by the Holy Spirit. He was telling what this Simon was to become; Lange’s Commentarysays: “Peter’s words, literally, mean: ‘I regard you as a man whose influence WILL BE like that of bitter gall [poison] and a bond of unrighteousness [lawlessness], or, as a man who has reached such a state’.” (Vol. 9, p. 148).
Not only was Simon, in Peter’s time, a great antagonist to the Church, but he would be the adversary in the future. This prophecy is the KEY that opens to our understanding the ORIGINS of the heresies mentioned in the letters of the Apostles. Peter clearly knew Simon wouldn’t repent. Verse 22 shows that in the original.
Gall of Bitterness Defined
It is also interesting to note Peter’s statement that Simon was to become a “gall of bitterness.” People today may not realize the exact meaning of such a phrase, but no Jew in the First Century was in any doubt as to its meaning. It was a figure of speech adopted from the Old Testament which denoted going over to the idols and abominations of the heathen. Read Deuteronomy 29:16-18 and see how plainly this figure of speech is used. When the Apostle Peter applied to Simon Magus the phrase “gall of bitterness,” he meant that Simon would be the responsible party for the introduction of heathen beliefs and idols into Christianity. The prophecy takes on a new and important scope when we realize this real meaning of Peter’s prophecy.
No wonder Jude later says, speaking about the very men who followed Simon Magus (including Simon himself): “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ORDAINED to this condemnation” (Verse 4). We can be confident that Peter recognized that Satan was going to use this Simon Magus as the GREAT PROTAGONIST OF FALSE CHRISTIANITY.
The later history of Simon Magus shows that Peter’s prophecy came true in a most remarkable way. Simon Magus Unrepentant 10) Even after Peter’s strong rebuke, Simon DID NOT REPENT! And Peter knew that he wouldn’t!
Conclusion: This means that Simon thought he deserved to be an Apostle — if not the chief Apostle — in the Christian Church. He became baptized which, in a physical way, made him ostentatiously a “member.” It is important to remember that he DID NOT REPENT of his error. There is not the slightest hint that he gave up believing that he had divine right to be an Apostle.
He deliberately continued in this error, with his later followers — calling himself “Christian”! It is because of the later deceptive activities of this would-be Apostle that Luke was compelled to show his ignominious beginning and to reveal what Peter prophesied about him.
It is by identifying the real beginning of the great false church system with this Simon that opens up a whole new vista of understanding in regard to the counterfeit Christianity which began even in the infancy of the Church. What Did Simon and the Samaritans Believe?
One of the most scholarly of early church historians was Harnack, who wrote an extensive seven-volume work titled The History of Dogma. This man is recognized as one of the top authorities in the world on this subject. He states: “Long before the appearance of Christianity, combinations of religion had taken place in Syria and Palestine, ESPECIALLY IN SAMARIA, insofar as the ASSYRIAN and BABYLONIAN religious philosophy . . . with its manifold interpretations, had penetrated as far as the eastern shore of the Mediterranean” (Vol. 1, pp. 243, 244). Notice he says the Babylonian religion had come ESPECIALLY TO SAMARIA! !
And why not? The Samaritans were largely Babylonian by race. The Bible tells us in II Kings 17:24 that most of the Samaritans had been taken to Samaria from Babylon and adjacent areas. Later on, Ezra informs us that others who were mainly of Babylonian stock came to Samaria (Ezra 4:9-10). These people amalgamated their Babylonian religious beliefs with some of the teachings from the Old Testament. But they NEVER DEPARTED basically from their own Babylonian-Chaldean religious teachings.
If anyone doubts that these Samaritans practiced outright paganism under the guise of YHVH worship, let him read the extraordinarily clear indictments recorded in the inspired Word of God (II Kings 17:24-41).
A Brief History of the Samaritans
There were originally five Babylonian tribes who had been transported to the area where Northern Israel once lived before Israel’s inglorious defeat and captivity by the Assyrians. When these five tribes moved INTO the vacant land of Samaria, they brought their Babylonian and Assyrian gods with them.
After a short while in their new country, they were ravaged by lions. They interpreted this punishment as coming upon them because they failed to honor the god of the new land — not realizing that there is only One Great GOD, who is not confined to any one land. These Samaritans didn’t have sense enough to realize that the True God of the land had sent Israel into captivity because of their calf-worship and their introduction of Phoenician religion. They asked the Assyrian king to send back one of the priests of Israel to teach them the former religion in order that the plague of lions would be stayed.
The Israelitish priest who was sent to them taught the religion of Northern Israel. Remember that the priests of Northern Israel were NOT Levites. At the time of Jeroboam, the true priests of God were forced to flee to Jerusalem and Judea (II Chron. 11:14). Jeroboam set up his own form of religion with the calves at Dan and Bethel (I Kings 12:28-30). He moved the Holy Days from the seventh to the eighth month. He made priests of the lowest of the people, those who were NOT of Levi (I Kings 12:31).
All of these acts of Jeroboam were outright violations of God’s law. It was from the time of Jeroboam down to the time of Israel’s captivity, that the majority of Israel was NOT worshipping the True God at all! Jerusalem and God’s temple had been repudiated, and paganism had been introduced on a grand scale. When these transplanted Babylonians who were being afflicted by lions in Samaria asked for a priest of the former people — THEY GOT ONE! But that priest was one of the former calf-worshipping priests of the rebel Israelites. He was almost as pagan as the Babylonians themselves!
This priest of Israel taught the Babylonians (now called Samaritans) to adopt the former worship of the Northern Israelites. The priest taught them to revere YHVH as the “God of the Land.” Thus, these Samaritans finally took upon themselves the NAME: The People of YHVH; but their religion was outright paganism — a mixture of Israelitish calf-worship and Babylonianism — just as Simon Magus later was eager to appropriate Christ’s NAME, but continue his pagan abominations!
Notice what God says about the final condition of these Samaritans. “So these nations feared the Lord [calling themselves God’s people], AND served their graven images, both their children, and their children’s children: as did their fathers [the Babylonians], so do they unto this day” (II Kings 17:41).
These people called themselves the worshippers of the True God, but were actually Babylonian idolaters.
What deities did the Samaritans worship?
It will pay us to notice the gods and goddesses that these forefathers of Simon Magus brought with them to Samaria. The people from the City of Babylon adored SUCCOTH-BENOTH; the Cuthites: NERGAL; the Hamathites: ASHIMA; the Avites: NIBHAZ and TAR-TAK; the Sepharvites: ADRAM-MELECH and ANAM-MELECH.
The first deity is SUCCOTH-BENOTH, a goddess. It was Semiramis in the form of Venus. Listen to Jones in his Proper Names of the O.T., p. 348. He says the name signifies “Tabernacles of daughters.” It means: “Chapels made of green boughs, which the men of Babylon, who had been transported into Samaria, erected in honor to Venus, and where their daughters were PROSTITUTED by the devotees of that abominable goddess. It was the custom of Babylon, the mother of harlots, and therefore HER SONS DID THE SAME THING IN SAMARIA.”
What about the god NERGAL of Cuth?
We are informed by McClintock and Strong’s Encyclopediathat the name signifies “the great man,” “the great hero” or “the god of the chase,” i.e., the Hunter. In other words, as the Encyclopedia further points out, he was a form of NIMROD. This Hunter-god was honored by the people of CUTH for Arabian tradition tells us that CUTH was the special city of NIMROD (vol. VI, p. 950).
The next god was that of Hamath: ASHIMA. Jones shows us that he was the great pagan god of propitiation, i.e., the god who bore the guilt of his worshippers (p. 42). This god was the pagan REDEEMER — the OSIRIS of Egyptian fame or the dying NIMROD.
The Avites worshipped NIBHAZ (masc. — the god of HADES) and TAR-TAK, “the mother of the gods”. This last-mentioned goddess was supposedly the mother of the Assyrian race, or, as Jones says, she was SEMIRAMIS (see p. 354).
The fifth Babylonian tribe worshiped pre-eminently two gods. ADRAM-MELECH and ANAM-MELECH. The first was the “god of fire,” the Sun or the Phoenician Ba’al(Jones, p. 14); the second was “the god of the flocks” or the Greek HERMES, the Good Shepherd (p. 32).
(It is self-evident that these gods and goddesses were the major Babylonian deities, and at the same time, the very gods and goddesses which the Roman Catholic Church deifies today as Christ, Mary, etc.)
Simon Magus grew up in this mixed-up society. The Samaritans called themselves the people of the True God, but religiously were practicing Babylonians. Simon himself was a priest of these people (the word “Magus” is the Chaldean/Persian word for “priest”). Thus, in the encounter of Peter with Simon Magus, we find the first real connection of true Christianity with the Chaldean priest who was prophesied to bring in its false counterpart. Next, we will see how Simon Magus managed to startle the Roman world with his plan to bring in one universal religion under the guise of Christianity.
Simon Magus Begins UNIVERSAL Church
History comes alive with the startling story of how Simon Magus — branded a FALSE PROPHET by the book of Acts — established HIS OWN UNIVERSAL church!
SIMON MAGUS was a Babylonian priest. He was a part of the Babylonian community that had been living in the land of Northern Israel ever since the Northern Ten Tribes were carried away captive by the Assyrians. God tells us that these Samaritans, as they were called, were claiming to be the true people of God while at the same time practicing many heathen rites which came directly from Babylon (II Kings 17:41).
This was the type of religious environment in which Simon Magus was born. This was the environment in which he commenced his own ministry and was finally proclaimed the “great one . . . the great power of God” — that is, God Himself (Acts 8:9-10).
He so swayed the whole of the Samaritan nation that all gave heed to him — they did for a very long time (Verses 9-11). But when he saw the potential of Christianity, he endeavored to buy an apostleship in the Church. Peter rebuked him sternly.
Simon Magus and HIS Universal Church
Simon Magus, after his rejection by Peter, began to fashion his own “Christian” church — a church of which HE was head — a church designed to completely overthrow the True Church of God. His idea was to blend together Babylonian teaching with some of the teachings of Christ — especially to take the name of Christ — and thus create ONE UNIVERSAL CHURCH! But a church with Babylonianism as its basis. Harnack, a church historian, states that Simon Magus “proclaimed a doctrine in which the Jewish faith was strangely and grotesquely mixed with BABYLONIAN myths, together with some Greek additions. The mysterious worship . . . in consequence of the widened horizon and the deepening religious feeling, finally the wild SYNCRETISM [that is, blending together of religious beliefs], whose aim WAS A UNIVERSAL RELIGION, all contributed to gain adherents for Simon” (Vol. 1, p. 244).
Simon can be classified among the major group of so-called Christians (and Simon called himself such), called by Harnack the: “decidedly anti-Jewish groups . . . . They advance much further in the criticism of the Old Testament and perceived the impossibility of saving it [that is, the Old Testament] for the Christian UNIVERSAL RELIGION. They rather connected this [universal] religion with the cultus-wisdom of BABYLON and SYRIA” (VoI. 1, p. 246). With this background, we can understand why Peter so strongly rebuked Simon for his Babylonian ideas. Peter prophesied that this was the man who was to be the “gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity” to the True Church. Simon’s attitude was corrupt in the extreme!
The Bible shows he had been working through demons. And yet, he finally called himself a “Christian.” Dr. McGiffert, speaking of Simon Magus, says: “His effort to rival and surpass Jesus very likely began after his contact with the Christians that Luke records. His religious system was apparently a SYNCRETISM of Jewish and Oriental elements” (Hasting’sDictionary of the Apostolic Church, Vol. 2, p. 497).
Simon’s Later Activities
To read all the material that the writers of the second to the fourth centuries wrote about this man and his followers, would literally take days. He has been called by many of them “the father of HERESY,” and, apart from the Bible, the amount of literature devoted to him and his activities, shows he lived up to that title. Some of the following authorities to be brought forth were eyewitnesses of many of the things mentioned, and they were writing to others who were likewise eyewitnesses. Much of the testimony to be mentioned is conclusive and cannot be set aside.
With this evidence of Simon’s activities after his rejection by Peter, we will clearly be able to see why Luke thought it most important to tell the real condition of this man, proving that he was in actuality NEVER an Apostle of Christ. In this regard, notice the comment of Hasting’s Dictionary of the Apostolic Church,Vol. 2, p. 496: “But it need NOT be supposed that when Simon broke with the Christians HE RENOUNCED ALL HE HAD LEARNED. It is more probable that he carried some of the Christian ideas with him, and that he wove these into a system of his own. This system did contain some of the later germs of Gnosticism. Thus he became a leader of a retro-grade sect, perhaps nominally Christian, and certainly using some of the Christian terminology but in reality anti-Christian and exalting Simon himself to the central position which Christianity was giving to Jesus Christ” (Ibid). Simon Magus Blends Paganism With Christianity!
What Simon did was to bring the Babylonian and Greek religious beliefs into a form of Christianity in order to bring about, as Harnack says, a UNIVERSAL [Catholic] religion.
“The amalgam of paganism and Christianity which was characteristic of Gnosticism, and which was especially obvious in the Simonian system, is readily explicable in the teaching of Simon Magus, who, according to the story in Acts, was brought into intimate contact with Christian teaching without becoming a genuine member” (Ibid., p. 496).
We further find in Schaff’s History of the Churcha reference to this Simon Magus. He says: “The author, or first representative of this baptized HEATHENISM, according to the uniform testimony of Christian antiquity, is Simon Magus, who unquestionably adulterated Christianity with pagan ideas and practices, and gave himself out, in a pantheistic style for an emanation of God” Apostolic Christianity, ol. 2, p. 566).
Simon only used the name of Christianity to bring about his own desired ends. The Dictionary of Religion and Ethicssays that Simon was “a false Messiah, who practiced magical arts and subsequently attempted, by the aid and with the sanction of Christianity, to set up a rival UNIVERSAL [Catholic] RELIGION” (Vol. 11, p. 514). Again, what do the histories tell us Simon’s doctrines consisted of primarily?
“Two independent traditions profess to preserve the teaching of Simon, the one betraying the influence of Alexandrian allegory, the other of Syrian and Babylonian religion” Dictionary of Religion and Ethics, Vol. 11, p. 516). It is no wonder that Luke hits hard at the infamy of Simon — for Simon claimed to be a Christian — even an Apostle — and yet was preaching Babylonian paganism. HE WAS CALLING PAGANISM BY THE NAME OF CHRISTIANITY!
“Evidently the Simonian heresy always had a Christian tinge. This made it more dangerous to Christians than a Gnostic which did not affect any Christian influence. Luke therefore would be anxious to disclose the true circumstances that accounted for the origin of the sect — circumstances highly discreditable to Simon” Hasting’s Bible Dictionary, p. 498).
The reason Luke recorded this encounter with Simon was its far-reaching effects. As Hasting’s explains, the important reason was that of “Luke’s well-known plan of describing THE FIRST MEETING between Christianity and rival systems” (Ibid., p. 498).
Luke gives in detail the principal character who established the so-called Christian counterpart of the Truth in the Apostles’ days. This is the reason the Apostles in their Church letters many times mention the false system as ALREADY IN EXISTENCE, but fail to describe its origin. They didn’t have to. That was already done RIGHT AT THE FIRST by Luke!
Who History Says This Simon Became!
“When Justin Martyr wrote [152 A.D.] his Apology, the sect of the Simonians appears to have been formidable, for he speaks four times of their founder, Simon; and we need not doubt that he identified him with the Simon of the Acts. He states that he was a Samaritan, adding that his birthplace was a village called Gitta; he describes him as a formidable magician, and tells that he came to ROME in the days of Claudius Caesar (45 A.D.), and made such an impression by his magical powers, THAT HE WAS HONORED AS A GOD, a statue being erected to him on the Tiber, between the two bridges, bearing the inscription ‘Simoni deo Sancto’ (i.e., the holy god Simon)” Dictionary of Christian Biography, Vol. 4, p. 682).
That these things actually happened CANNOT BE DOUBTED! Justin was writing to the Roman people at the time and they could certainly have exposed Justin’s credulity if what he said was not so. And, that a statue of Simon was actually erected is definite, for Justin asks the authorities in Rome to destroy it!
There are many writers, who lived in Rome itself, who afterwards repeated Justin’s account. Those who want to reject these clear statements have nothing in their favor. Justin is clearly giving us fact!
Hasting’s Dictionary of the Apostolic Church,Vol 2, p. 496, states that there is “very slight evidence on which to reject so precise a statement as Justin makes; a statement he would scarcely have hazarded in an apology addressed to Rome, where every person had the means of ascertaining its accuracy. If he made a mistake, it must have been at once exposed, and other writers would not have frequently repeated the story as they have done.”
At the time of Claudius, it was illegal to erect a statue to any man as a god or greatly honored person unless the permission of the Emperor and the Senate had been secured. The statue was still standing in Justin’s day (152 A.D.), people were still giving regard to it.
There are many other accounts of Simon’s traveling to Rome and becoming one of the great gods to the city and to the people of Rome. There are records which show that Simon “prophesies that Rome will be the scene of his crowning glory, when he will be adored as a god” Dictionary of Religion & Ethics, Vol. 11, p. 522). Simon Peter NOT With Simon Magus in Rome.
Later, about the fourth century, a flood of works came out about Peter encountering Simon Magus in Rome and overthrowing him. But these works are clearly fiction. Almost all scholars realize the absurdity of maintaining such a thing. In the first place, it can be Biblically shown that Peter the Apostle was NEVER in Rome when these fictitious writings say he should be.
It was NOT Simon Peter who went to Rome to become Apostle to the Gentiles, but the SIMON in Rome was SIMON MAGUS!
That Peter the Apostle was not with Simon Magus in Rome is made plain by the Encyclopedia Biblica, col. 4554. “The attempt has been made to meet this by pointing out that church fathers mention the presence of SIMON in Rome while at the same time NOT speaking of controversies between him and PETER. This is indeed true of Justin [one of the earliest witnesses — 152 A.D. who knows nothing of any presence of Peter in Rome at all, as also of Irenaeus.”
Not only did Justin feel that Peter was NOT in Rome at the time, but his deliberate silence shows he didn’t want to perpetrate such fiction. After all, Justin lived very early in the history of the church, and the legend of the Apostle Peter’s being in Rome HADN’T GOT STARTED YET! Continuing with the Encyclopedia Biblica about Justin’s reference to SIMON MAGUS: “One part of this tradition — that about Simon’s presence in Rome — he [Justin] found himself able to accept [in fact he held it to be confirmed by the statue, which he brought into connection with Simon]; the other — that about Peter’s presence in Rome — he was unable to accept” (col. 4555).
Of course Justin was unable to accept the latter teaching. The fact is, Simon Peter was NOT in Rome. It was another Simon who went there — SIMON MAGUS, the one bringing “Christianity” to them in the guise of the old Babylonian mystery religions. Simon came to Rome with the grand idea of e stablishing a UNIVERSAL RELIGION in the NAME of Christianity! And what is remarkable, he did just that!
Next, we will see how Simon Magus became later confused with Simon Peter and how he cleverly brought into “Christianity” the mystery religions of Babylon.
Peter Was NOT The First Pope!
Here are TEN solid, Biblical proofs that Peter was not at Rome. Mark each in your Bible and understand them well, so YOU will not be deceived.
THE PRIMACY of the Roman Catholic Church depends upon one fundamental doctrine: the claim that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome and the founder of the Roman Church.
The teaching of Catholic historians tells us that Simon Peter went to Rome at the same time as Simon Magus in order to thwart his evils. This was during the reign of Claudius. After successfully combating the Magus, they tell us, Peter assumed the Roman bishopric and ruled it until the Neronian persecutions of 68 A.D., during which Peter was supposed to have been crucified upside down on Vatican hill. This is the basic story and Catholic writers never shirk in attempting to defend it. Some of them say that this general account is one of the most provable of historical events. But is it? The fact remains, many ecclesiastical authors of the second century, Justin Martyr among them, give information completely negating Peter’s supposed Roman bishopric. This is admitted by virtually all scholars — except conservative Catholics (Ency. Biblica, col. 4554). But, more important than this, the records of the True Church of God — the writings of the New Testament — absolutely refute the Roman Catholic claim.
It is time that the world gets its eyes open to the truth of this matter — the truth, which is clearly revealed in the Word of God. The Apostle Peter was NEVER the Bishop of Rome!
The Bible Teaching
There are ten major New Testament proofs which completely disprove the claim that Peter was in Rome from the time of Claudius until Nero. These Biblical points speak for themselves and ANY ONE of them is sufficient to prove the ridiculousness of the Catholic claim. Notice what God tells us! The truth IS conclusive!
PROOF ONE: We should consider Christ’s commission to Peter. This is often very embarrassing to Catholics, because Christ commissioned Peter to become chief minister to the CIRCUMCISED, not to uncircumcised Gentiles.
“The gospel of the CIRCUMCISION was unto Peter; (For He that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)” (Gal. 2:7-8).
Here we have it in the clearest of language. It was Paul, NOT Peter, who was commissioned to be the chief Apostle to the Gentiles. And who was it that wrote the Epistle to the ROMANS? It certainly WASN’T Peter!
“And when James, Cephas [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace [i.e., the gift or office] 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” (Gal. 2:9).
Paul further mentioned his special office as the Gentile Apostle in II Timothy 1:11: “Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”
PETER is NOWHERE called the Apostle to the Gentiles! This precludes him from going to Rome to become the head of a Gentile community.
PROOF TWO: Paul specifically told the Gentile Romans that HE had been chosen to be their Apostle, not Peter. “I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable” (Rom. 15:16).
How clear! Paul had the direct charge from Christ in this matter. He even further relates in Romans 15:18 that it was Christ who had chosen him “to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed.”
PAUL Established Only TRUE Church at Rome
PROOF THREE: We are told by Paul himself that it was he — not Peter — who was going to officially found the Roman Church. “I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established” (Rom. 1:11).
Amazing! The Church at Rome had not been ESTABLISHED officially even by 55 or 56 A.D. However, the Catholics would have us believe that Peter had done this some ten years before — in the reign of Claudius.
What nonsense! Of course you understand that NEITHER Peter nor Paul established the Catholic Church! But these proofs are given to illustrate that it is utterly impossible for PETER to have been in any way associated with ANY Church at Rome.
PROOF FOUR: We find Paul not only wanting to establish the Church at Rome, but he emphatically tells us that his policy was NEVER to build upon another man’s foundation. “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation” (Rom. 15:20). If Peter had “founded” the Roman Church some ten years before this statement, this represents a real affront to Peter. This statement alone is proof that Peter had never been in Rome before this time to “found” any church.
Peter Not in Rome
PROOF FIVE: At the end of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans he greets no fewer than 28 different individuals, but never mentions Peter once! See Romans 16 — read the whole chapter!
Remember, Paul greeted these people in 55 or 56 A.D. Why didn’t he mention Peter? — Peter simply wasn’t there! PROOF SIX: Some four years after Paul wrote Romans, he was conveyed as a prisoner to Rome in order to stand trial before Caesar. When the Christian community in Rome heard of Paul’s arrival, they all went to meet him. “When THE brethren [of Rome] heard of us, they came to meet us” (Acts 28:15).
Again, there is not a single mention of Peter among them. This would have been extraordinary had Peter been in Rome, for Luke always mentions by name important Apostles in his narration of Acts. But he says nothing of Peter’s meeting with Paul.
Why? Because Peter was not in Rome!
PROOF SEVEN: When Paul finally arrived at Rome, the first thing he did was to summon “the chief of the Jews together” (Acts 28:17) to whom he “expounded and testified the kingdom of God” (Verse 23). But what is amazing is that these chief Jewish elders claimed they knew very little even about the basic teachings of Christ. All they knew was that ‘‘as concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against” (Verse 22). Then Paul began to explain to them the basic teachings of Christ on the Kingdom of God. Some believed — the majority didn’t.
Now, what does all this mean? It means that if Peter, who was himself a strongly partisan Jew, had been preaching constantly in Rome for 14 long years before this time, AND WAS STILL THERE — how could these Jewish leaders have known so little about even the basic truths of Christianity? This again is clear proof Peter had not been in Rome prior to 59 A.D.
No Mention of Peter in Paul’s Letters
PROOF EIGHT: After the rejection of the Jewish elders, Paul remained in his own hired house for two years. During that time he wrote Epistles to the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Colossians, Philemon, and to the Hebrews. And while Paul mentions others as being in Rome during that period, he nowhere mentions Peter. The obvious reason is — the Apostle to the circumcision wasn’t there!
PROOF NINE: With the expiration of Paul’s two year’s imprisonment, he was released. But about four years later (near 65 A.D.), he was again sent back a prisoner to Rome. This time he had to appear before the throne of Caesar and was sentenced to die. Paul describes these circumstances at length in II Timothy.
In regard to his trial, notice what Paul said in II Timothy 4:16. “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men [in Rome] forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.”
This means, if we believe the Catholics, that Peter forsook Paul, for they tell us Peter was very much present at Rome during this time! Peter once denied Christ, but that was before he was converted. To believe that Peter was in Rome during Paul’s trial, is untenable!
PROOF TEN: The Apostle Paul distinctly informs us that Peter was not in Rome in 65 A.D. — even though Catholics say he was. Paul said: “Only Luke is with me” (II Tim. 4:11).
The truth becomes very plain. Paul wrote TO Rome; he had been IN Rome; and at the end wrote at least six epistles FROM Rome; and not only does he NEVER mention Peter, but at the last moment says: “Only Luke is with me.” Peter, therefore, was never Bishop of Rome!
Where Was Peter?
Near 45 A.D., we find Peter being cast into prison at Jerusalem (Acts 12:3, 4). In 49 A.D., he was still in Jerusalem, this time attending the Jerusalem Council. About 51 A.D., he was in Antioch of Syria where he got into differences with Paul because he wouldn’t sit or eat with Gentiles. Strange that the “Roman bishop” would have nothing to do with Gentiles in 51 A.D.!
Later in about 66 A.D., we find him in the city of Babylon among the Jews (I Pet. 5:13). Remember that Peter was the Apostle to the CIRCUMCISED. Why was he in Babylon? Because history shows that there were as many Jews in the Mesopotamian areas in Christ’s time as there were in Palestine. It is no wonder we find him in the East. Perhaps this is the reason why scholars say Peter’s writings are strongly Aramaic in flavor — the type of Aramaic spoken in Babylon. Why of course! Peter was used to their eastern dialect.
At the times the Catholics believe Peter was in Rome, the Bible clearly shows he was elsewhere. The evidence is abundant and conclusive. By paying attention to God’s own words, no one need be deceived. Peter was NEVER the Bishop of Rome!
A “PETER” Was in Rome Two Thousand Years B.C.!
Who was the first “Peter” of Rome? What were his successors called? The history of ancient religion reveals the plain truth about the original Peter of Rome. The truth about his real successors is now clear to us — but hidden to the world. Here is what history shows us of the ORIGINAL Peter of Rome. The truth is startling!
THE BIBLE records that in the earliest ages, right after the Flood of Noah, men began to rebel against the teachings of God. They began to build cities, found religions, bring in idolatries. Pagan temples were erected — the Tower of Babel came on the scene. All o these things started within the first two hundred years after the Flood.
Pagan Gods Called “Peters”
Surprising as it may sound, it is a well-known fact among students of ancient religion, that the chief pagan gods worshipped in the early civilizations were generally known by the name PETER. It is also known that the priests of those heathen gods were also called PETERS. That same name in one form or another, was even applied to the pagan TEMPLES consecrated to those gods.
Notice what Bryant, in his work Ancient Mythology says: “Not only the gods, but the Hierophantae [special priests], in most temples; and those priests in particular, who were occupied in the celebration of mysteries, were styled PATRES” (vol. 1, p. 354).
This is significant! The word PATRE is the same as PATOR or PETER in meaning and pronunciation. Bryant continues: “PATRE was undoubtedly a religious term . . . . the same as PATOR and PATORA.” The ancient pagan gods, the priests who were their ministers, and their sacred sanctuaries — their temples — were ALL called PETORS or PETERS (either spelling is acceptable since vowels are fluid in all languages — especially the Semitic).
The Meaning of “Peter”
What did the word PATOR or PETER really mean to the ancients? Surprisingly enough, the word is in the Bible. When Moses wrote about the Egyptian priests, he shows they were called PETERS or “interpreters” — interpreters of the ancient Egyptian mysteries.
Notice Genesis 41:8. Davidson shows in his Hebrew Lexiconthat the consonantal word P-T-R (PETER) signifies “to interpret” or “interpretation” (p. 638; of Brown, Driver, Briggs, p. 837; and Gesenius, p. 877 and p. 843). Bryant points out that “the term always related to oracle interpretation” (p. 308).
The pagan priests of the mystery religions were called PATORS or PETERS. They had the power to interpret the heathen mysteries. This is further brought out by Bunson in his Hieroglyph, page 545, where he shows that the Egyptians — as the Bible also indicates — called their “interpreters” or priests: PETR, that is, PETER.
The term PETER was one of the earliest names for the pagan gods. It lasted as late as Greek and Roman times. But by that time the term also took on a widespread secular meaning. It came generally to mean “father” or “parent.” But this was not its primary meaning at all. Bryant continues: “The word PATER, when used in the religious addresses of the Greeks and Romans, meant NOT, as is supposed, a father or parent; but related to the divine influence of the Deity, called by the people of the East, PATOR” (Ibid., p. 353).
In many ancient religions the father was the chief priest of the family. That is the reason the head of the family became known as PATOR or “father.” The father, because of his priestly position, became known as the ARCHPATOR, or, as it is commonly rendered, PATRIARCH. This is how the term PATOR came to signify, in a secular sense, “a father.” But originally, it always meant, “interpreter” — especially one of the mystery religions.
Chief Pagan Gods Called PETERS
We have clear evidence showing that the ancient Romans called their chief gods PETERS — the divine interpreters. The early Roman writer Lucilius, mentions Neptune, Liber, Saturn, Mars, Janus and Quirnus — all were PATERS. (See the Lucilii Fragments.) He did not mean they were “father-gods.” He meant they were gods of PETER-rank — the chief gods.
Lucilius doesn’t exhaust the list. In fact, he leaves out JUPITER, the “Father” of the Roman gods. But it was unnecessary to mention him as a “PETER-god.” Due to his high rank, the title PETER was actually incorporated as a part of his name. He was called JU-PETER.
Gladstone in his work on the antiquities of Greece, shows that Jupiter and the Greek god ZEUS were one and the same, JU-PETER was the Roman way of saying ZEUS-PETER, the chief god of the Greeks (Homer and the Homeric Age, vol. I, p. 287), PETER was the name that came to signify high rank among the gods — and among their priests, Greeks Used Term “Peter”.
The Romans were not the only ones who called their gods PETERS, The Classical Manual reveals that the Greeks used the term PETER (or its variants) as often as did the Romans. For example, Apollo was called PATRIUS and his followers APOLLO PATRIUS (p. 23). Pausanius tells us that Artemis and Bacchus were called PATORA, that is PETER-gods (Books 1, 2). Pindar speaks of Poseidon Petraios. He says the Thessalians worshipped Neptune under this title (Pyth. Ode 4).
In Egypt, the Ammonian priests — who headed one of the chief pagan oracles of ancient Egypt — were called Petors, as Bryant also says: “The chief instrument (idol) in their hands was styled PIETAURUM” (Ibid., p. 356). This idol on many occasions took the form of a pole or upright stake (Ibid., p. 358). The pagan god Artemis is often pictured standing by a stone pillar which is called PATROA or PETER (Pausanius, Bk. 1). These pillars, and all the phallic symbols like them, came to be known as PETRAS — the sacred PETERS. (It is still common among the vulgar to refer to the male member by its original religious name — PETER.) These phallic Peter-stones can be found all over the ancient world. In fact, there is not a mention of an ancient pagan oracle temple without some notice being given to a PETER emblem — the sacred stone.
Like the word PATOR — which came to indicate simply a “father” or “parent” — the word PETRA came to mean any large stone. But in the earliest times, it conveyed only the original religious meaning.
“The term PETRA came at length to signify any rock or stone and to be in a manner confined to that meaning. But in the first ages it was ALWAYS TAKEN IN A RELIGIOUS SENSE; and related to the shrines of Osiris, or the Sun (Baal), and to other oracles which were supposed to be exhibited” (Bryant, p. 359). In other words, the term PETRA meant the sacred PETER-stone — a stone usually phallic in design.
“Petras” in Pagan World
Notice some references to these sacred PETRAS found throughout the pagan world.
At the temple of Delphi in Greece, the chief object in the ritual was the PETRA (Pausanius, Bk. 10). At the Acropolis in Athens, Euripides tells us, the niches which held the idols were called the PETRAE (verse 935). It is well-known that even the sacred book which was used in the celebration of the Eleusinian mysteries, was entitled “Book PETROMA,” PETER-ROMA– PETER’S BOOK (see Potter’s Antiquities, vol. 1, p. 356).
Remember that the pagan temples were also called after the PETERS. The temple at Elis in Greece was called PETRON (Lycophron, verse 159). Pytho at Delphi was called PETRAessa (Olymp. Ode 6). The oracle temple dedicated to Apollo in Asia Minor was called the PATARA and the oracle there was called PATAReus (“Eus” means “person who, one”) — (Lempriere’sClassical Dictionary, p. 438).
Also PATRAE — an ancient town where DIANA had a temple (p. 438), and the oracle in Achaia was called PATRA (Jones, Proper Names of the Old Testament, p. 296).
Examples are too numerous to mention, but this should be enough to show that the name PETER, or its variants, figured very high in every phase of pagan worship. These PETER stones and temples were found all over the ancient world.
“There is in the history of every oracular temple some legend about a stone; some reference to the word PETRA” (Bryant, p. 362).
Origin of Ancient PETER-worship
PETER-worship can be traced directly back to MESOPOTAMIA. It was there that idolatry had its beginning. There is where the Tower of Babel was erected. It is no wonder that in Mesopotamia we find the first mention of a PETER-temple. In Numbers 23; 22:4-5 we read that the false prophet Balaam was called to prophesy against Israel. Further, in Deuteronomy 23:4, we read that this Balaam had been called from “Pethor of Mesopotamia” — that is, from the PETER of MESOPOTAMIA.
This Pethor or Peter (either spelling is correct) was the place of an oracle temple. In the Dictionary of Proper Names of the Old Testament, edited by A. Jones, we find that Balaam’s PETHOR was the sacred high place “where there was an oracular temple, and hence called PETHOR, and PETHORA, which meant, place of interpretation, or oracular temple. Here was, no doubt, a college of priests of whom Balaam had been appointed chief PATORA” (p. 296).
Yes, Balaam was the chief PATORA (Peter) of the PETHOR (Peter-temple) of Mesopotamia. It was customary for each pagan country to have a chief oracle or tempIe. The PETHOR or PETER in Greece was Delphi, In Egypt it was Ammon. In Asia Minor it was Lycia — and later Pergamos. Professor Jones tells about the other PETHORS throughout the world.
Notice: “These ‘high places’ were scattered about in many parts. There was a city of ‘interpretation’ in Acaia, called PATRAE, and another in Lycia, called PATARA, where Apollo had an oracle. PETHOR was in after times celebrated for the worship of Ailat” (Ibid., p. 296).
Bala’am “Chief Peter”
But Bala’amcame from PETHOR on the Euphrates — the oracle of Mesopotamia. He was no less than the CHIEF PATORA (as Jones mentions) of the VERY HOME of idolatry and false religion.
The very meaning of the name “Bala’am” shows he considered himself as sitting in the very chair of Nimrod, the beginner of the mystery religions. The name “Bala’am” means in Semitic tongues “Conqueror of the People.” This was the exact proper name the Greeks used to designate NIMROD. They called him NICOLAUS, which also meant “Conqueror of the People.”
In the New Testament we read of people following the doctrines of NICOLAUS (Nimrod). They were called Nicolaitanes. McClintock and Strong’s Encyclopaediaspeaking of them says: “The sect of the Nicolaitanes is described as following the doctrine or teaching of Bala’am — and it appears not improbable that this name is employed symbolically, as NICOLAUS is equivalent in meaning to Bala’am” (vol. 1, p. 621).
Yes, the two names NICOLAUS and BALAAM are exactly the same in meaning — they both point to NIMROD, the originator of paganism. We also find that when Simon Magus (alias Simon Peter) “Christianized” the religion of NIMROD, John the Apostle plainly labels his followers NICOLAITANES and followers of BALAAM. All of the heresies mentioned in the Seven Churches are of only ONE system — the system of NIMROD, under the leadership of Simon Magus.
Bala’am Represents Nimrod
The name of Balaam is another name for NIMROD. But, understand this clearly — the “Bala’am” who met Israel on their way out of Egypt was NOT the original Nimrod. He had been killed several hundred years before. This Bala’ammerely represented Nimrod as his successor. We are all aware that Joshua, being a successor of Moses, was looked on as sitting in Moses’ seat. Even in Christ’s time the scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses’ seat of authority (Matt. 23:1-4).
So it was with Bala’am. He maintained one of the proper names of Nimrod to signify that he was the legitimate successor of the Arch-Rebel. And to emphasize his authority, Bala’amcould point to his headquarters as the PETHOR or PETER of Mesopotamia. Therefore, the Moabites in their hatred for Israel called for the chief priest of the pagan world. They ignored the priesthood of their own national gods — going to the highest authority they knew! Josephus represents this false prophet as “Bala’am, who lived by the Euphrates, and was the greatest of the prophets of that time” (Ant. IV, 6,2). Bala’amwas the successor of Nimrod — the PONTIFEX MAXIMUS of the pagan world. His headquarters was the “PETER on the Euphrates” — the SAINT PETER’S OF MESOPOTAMIA, the chief oracle of paganism. This is a shocking revelation — but one which stands the test of the Bible and ancient religious history.
PETER-gods Come to Rome
It is well-known history that in the earliest ages, the center of civilization was in Asia and Mesopotamia. In later times, political power passed to the Greeks and then to the Romans. It is also well-recognized that the religions of Asia, by Greek and Roman times, had also passed to the West. By the First Century, the mystery religions of the Babylonians were centered primarily in Rome! By that time, Rome had become the chief city of the world. Early records mention this transference of pagan religion from Asia right to the city of Rome. The First Century book by Virgil, The Aenid, in Imperial times became a type of Roman “Bible.” It gives the story of one Aeneas who wandered away from Asia right after the Trojan War and settled in Italy.
The main theme of the book concerns the so-called “sacred task” of Aeneas: bringing the pagan gods of Asia to Italy! Virgil spares no words in glorifying Aeneas’ journey. He shows how Aeneas brought the Romans ORGANIZED RELIGION — with all the pagan gods and goddesses necessary for performing it. And most important: Virgil constantly says that these deities were the PATRII of Asia. (See the CIassical Manual, page 592, for full information confirming this.) These gods and goddesses were the PETER-deities — the chief deities which were destined to favor Rome and Italy above all other countries.
Asia had been the original home of the PETER-gods. Through Virgil we find them being transported to the doorstep of Rome. And why not? By the First Century, Rome was considered “the home of the gods.” Prudentius, an ancient Roman himself, says that there wasn’t a single pagan deity that did not in the end find its headquarters at Rome.
Notice what he says: “There came to be one single home for all earth-born gods, and you may count as many temples of gods AT ROME as tombs of heroes in all the world” (Symmachus, 189 to 197).
It could hardly be clearer! By Imperial times, Rome became the headquarters of pagan religion. It was the chief oracle of the world, the PETER for the earth.
The Chief Gods of Rome
There were two gods of ancient Rome which were pre-eminently worshipped as PETER-gods. One was JU-PETER (Zeus-Peter). The other, says the Classical Manual, was JANUS, called PATER or PETER (see page 389). Sometimes these two gods are confused. But they are to be reckoned as distinct — relative to Roman paganism of the First Century. The latter god, JANUS-PETER, had some interesting roles to play in the pagan religion at Rome. These roles answer the question: Who was the original Peter of Rome? Notice a brief history and some of the activities of this god.
Plutarch in his life of Numa, gives us the identity of JANUS. Originally, according to Plutarch, Janus was an ancient prince who reigned in the infancy of the world. He brought men from a rude and savage life to a mild and rational system. HE was the first to build cities and the first to establish government over men. After his death he was deified. There can be no mistaking who this JANUS was! This title was just another of the many names of Nimrod. This ancient prince who was violently killed, was later deified by the pagan religions. Because of his high authority, he was called a PATOR or PETER.
Here are some of the religious activities of which JANUS-PETER was in charge. It was JANUS-PETER who was pre-eminent in interpreting the times — especially prophecy. “The past and the future was always present in his mind” (Classical Manual, pages 388 and 389). He was pictured as being double-faced. Plutarch said this was a symbol of his endeavor to change men from barbarism to civilization — that is, bring them to the civilization of NIMROD. One of JANUS’ roles, after his deification as a god, was the continuation of his sacred task of “civilizing” men. But let us go a little farther.
Janus-Peter Had “Keys”
The PETER-god JANUS was to the ancient Romans the “KEEPER OF THE GATES OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.” “HE IS REPRESENTED WITH A KEY IN ONE HAND . . . as emblematic of his presiding over GATES and highways.” How shocking! The pagan Romans were calling their JANUS a PETER hundreds of years before the birth of the Apostle Peter. It was this JANUS who was in charge of the “pearly gates”! The very word JANUS means “gates,” that is, the one in charge of the GATES.
The Classical Manual continues: “Ovid speaks of him [Janus] in the first book of his Fasti; his face is double to denote his equal empire over the heavens and the earth — [does not the Pope claim the same power today?] — and that all things are open and shut to him AT HIS WILL — [he was infallible and answered to no one for his actions, so the Pope] — that he governs the universe [Catholicum], and alone possesses the power of making the world revolve on its axis; THAT HE PRESIDES OVER THE GATES OF HEAVEN.”
Catholics Claim “Keys”
The Catholic Church claims Peter gave to it the keys of the gates of heaven and that no one will enter into God’s presence unless that church opens the gates. The very word “Cardinal” means “hinge.” The Cardinals of the Roman Church are the HINGES upon which the GATE — the Pope — is able to turn.
The Classical Manual continues: “the successions of day and night are regulated by his influence; and that the east and the west is at one moment open to his view.” It was JANUS-PETER who also controlled the calendar by his priests. The first month of the year was named after him to show his control over the years. So, today, we still have JANU-ary as the first month. The Catholic Church, like the priests of Janus, feels it has this same authority over the calendar today.
Another Name for Nimrod
Finally, it is necessary to notice at least one more name under which Nimrod masqueraded — the name MITHRAS, the Persian name for Baal, the sun god. This Mithras-worship of Nimrod was popular and was one of the last to plant itself in Rome, but it had a very old theme — outright PETER-worship. “Mithras was styled by the nations of the East PATOR; his temples were PATRA and PETRA and his festivals PATRICA” (Bryant, vol. 1, p. 370). Yes, even Nimrod under the name Mithras, the sun-god, was called PETER!!!
Sir James Frazer tells us of this religion of Mithra — the religion of the pagan PETER — coming to Rome. Notice it. “Among the gods of eastern origin who in the decline of the ancient world competed against each other for the allegiance of the West was the old Persian deity of MITHRA. The immense popularity of his worship is attested by the monuments illustrative of it which have been found scattered in profusion ALL OVER THE ROMAN EMPIRE. In respect both of doctrines and of rites the cult of MITHRA appears to have presented many points of resemblance not only to the religion of the Mother of the Gods but also to Christianity” (Golden Bough, St. Martin’s ed., vol. 1, p. 471).
Catholics Accept “Peter” Worship
What he means is that the Christianity of the third and fourth centuries had already by that time inherited so much from pagan beliefs, that this PETER-religion coming from the East found many similarities with Roman Christianity. The Catholics had already, by this late date, accepted the pagan festivals of Christmas, Easter and a host of other rituals and beliefs. Frazer continues: “Taken altogether, the coincidences of the Christian with the heathen festivals are too close and too numerous to be accidental” (Ibid., p. 475). It was this pagan MITHRAISM which gave most to “Christianity.”
Bryant shows that the chief name of MITHRA in the East was PATOR or PETER — “his temples were PATRA and PETRA and his festivals PATRICA.” Everything connected with this ancient pagan religion can be traced right back to the original PETER — the original “interpreter of the mysteries” who was none other than NIMROD. This is the same mystery system which the Roman Catholics have absorbed.
Sits in “Peter’s” Chair
No wonder the Roman Catholic Church claims to sit in PETER’S CHAIR and that the chief temple of the world is today called SAINT PETER’S. That Church has accepted the practices and symbols of the oldest pagan religion on earth: PETER-worship — the religion of Nimrod.
This pagan religion was believed and practiced before Christ ever told the Apostle Peter and the other Apostles that they were to have the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 16:19). Satan counterfeited God’s true religion centuries before Christ came!
This was Satan’s attempt to smother God’s true religion with a counterfeit that to the untrained eye looks genuine. He did this principally through Simon Magus (Pater) who amalgamated all the pagan religions into one UNIVERSAL religion and called the system “Christianity.”
The Bible tells us to come completely out of this false religious system masquerading under the name of Christianity. We are to get back to the faith once delivered to the saints. We can thank God for His goodness in giving to His Church the TRUTH.
Simonites Establish UNIVERSAL CHURCH
Elevating his personal teachings above the Bible, and preaching a “no-works” doctrine of salvation, Simon Magus soon had a universal, popular following. Deified by the Romans, he was buried on Vatican Hill. Read how it happened in this article.
SIMON Magus, just like his Samaritan forefathers, deliberately blended together the teachings of Babylon with Biblical phrases.
One of his main intentions was to appropriate a Christian vocabulary to the Babylonian ceremonial system. In other words, he kept on with his heathenism, but now called his system “Christian” in origin.
Let’s go on. “But he [Simon] promised that the world should be dissolved, and that those who were his own should be redeemed. And accordingly, HIS PRIESTS, Irenaeus tells us [yes, Simon established a priesthood], led lascivious lives, used magic and incantations, made philtres, HAD FAMILIAR SPIRITS by whose aid they were able to trouble with dreams those whom they would. They had IMAGES of Simon and Helen, in the forms respectively of JUPITER and MINERVA” (Dict. of Christian Biography, vol. 4, p. 683).
Simon Honored as Jupiter
People who had demonic powers as Simon did, were honoured as gods in the first century — even sacrifices were offered to them. Does this seem unlikely? Then read Acts 14:11-13. After seeing the great miracles that Paul and Barnabas had done through the Holy Spirit, Luke says: “When the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercury.” Then the priest of Jupiter came out to offer them sacrifice.
Paul and Barnabas “rent their clothes” at such action. What would SIMON MAGUS have done? Or rather, what did Simon Magus do? He let the Roman Senate with the approval of the Emperor Claudius deify him as a god and erect a statue to him. And, the people who followed SIMON called him JUPITER — at the same time calling themselves Christians. The statue that must have been dedicated to Simon was in the likeness of the chief god of the pagan world — the god that desolated the Holy Place in God’s temple — Jupiter Capitolinus.
The Death of Simon Magus
The records regarding Simon’s death vary widely. Many of the stories try to incorporate some fiction from the Greek and Egyptian myths to enhance the reader’s interest in this fascinating character. But the earliest records say that he was buried in Rome after a long period of great honour and deification.
It is not clearly known where Simon Magus alias Simon Pater or Simon Jupiter was buried. But this much is known. The place of burial for ALL prophets and holy men of the Romans was in the sacred cemetery on Vatican Hill. This much is certain.
Notice what Werner Keller in his The Bible as Historysays about the so-called burial of the Catholics’ Peter. (Before reading Keller’s statement, let us remember that he is a thorough-going Catholic and firmly, himself, believed that the Apostle Peter was buried in Rome. However, the Bible shows nothing of the kind. Now, let’s read Keller’s comment — the official comment of the Roman Catholic Church):
“On the night of his death on the cross Peter’s followers BURIED his body. As in the case of Jesus on the hill of Calvary it was wrapped in linen and secretly taken to a PAGAN BURIAL GROUND on the Via Cornelia, behind the stone structure of the arena. This PAGAN CEMETERY lay on a knoll called VATICANUS: the Latin word ‘vatis’ means a ‘prophet’ or ‘SOOTHSAYER’. In days gone by there had been an Etruscan oracle on this spot” (p. 368). What an admission!
Keller ought to have better sense to know that this Peter buried in this cemetery, of all places, could NOT be the Apostle Peter. In the first place, Peter was a Jew, and they had to be buried in their own cemeteries. And even if by a happen-chance a Jew could be buried in a Roman cemetery, it is most unlikely that a Jew — especially one who attacked the Roman religion as the Apostle Peter did — would ever have been allowed into the most holy of pagan cemeteries! This cemetery was reserved for prophets, soothsayers and the great ones of pagan Rome. It would be as sensible to say that Hitler could find a place of burial in Westminster Abbey. And too, can you imagine TRUE Christians searching out a PAGAN CEMETERY — the chief one — in which to bury the chief Christian Apostle, the inveterate enemy of PAGANISM?
This place, of all places, could not be the place of the Apostle Peter’s burial — even if he had been in Rome. But, there is really no better place for the burial of SIMON MAGUS. He had been, and was being, honoured as a god — not only by the people of Rome, but even by the Emperor and the Senate.
Yes, Keller and his Catholic friends have undoubtedly found a SIMON, but not the Apostle Peter.
The Catholic Church Accepts SIMON MAGUS’ Teachings
We have the record of history which tells us that Simon’s teaching spread like wildfire — especially in Rome where he was honoured as a god. In fact, after going there he made that city his headquarters. But let us recall that the followers of Simon called themselves TRUE Christians.
Simon steadfastly adhered to this. In fact, it finally became the desired name for his followers to use. The names Simonians and Samaritans began to die out in the 2nd century A.D. Justin tells us that some were still going by the parent name in his day (152 A.D.). But by the time of Origen (220 A.D.), he states that there were hardly 30 people in the world which went by the parent name. Yet Eusebius, who lived about 100 years later, said they were indeed still numerous all over the world.
The fact is, they were divorcing themselves from the use of the name SIMON or Samaritans because by the fourth century their names were beginning to have an odious connotation to them. Nonetheless the Simonians were very much around — this time with the name of “Christian.” And we have the exact testimony of Eusebius himself (325 A.D.) that these people were flocking into the Catholic Church.
Notice what Eusebius says, after stating that Simon Magus in the days of the Apostles received baptism and feigned Christian belief: “And what is more surprising, the same thing IS DONE EVEN TO THIS DAY by those who follow HIS most impure heresy. For they, after the manner of their forefather, SLIPPING INTO THE CHURCH, like a pestilential and leprous disease GREATLY AFFLICT THOSE [a great number of people] into whom they are able to infuse the deadly and terrible poison concealed in themselves” (Eccl. Hist., II, ch. I, sect. 12).
This is amazing testimony, for Eusebius is telling us that these people were now “Christians” and that they were corrupting the entire church as a pestilential disease which hits the whole body. Eusebius later maintains that the chief troublemakers were being expelled from the Catholic Church. But how could they expel all of them? Almost the whole church by this time was affected.
It is not to be supposed that all of the early heretical sects were direct branches of the Simon Magus religion. By the end of the first century there were at least 50 minor sects. The Simon Magus group represented several of these sects, but not all of them. The truth is, the Simonians, whose headquarters were at Rome, finally absorbed ALL these minor sects by the fifth century.
Simonism IS Catholicism
It is also true that even some of the Catholics (in Eusebius’ time) were unwilling to go all the way and accept the SIMON MAGUS doctrines of IMAGES, PICTURES, INCANTATIONS, etc., but within another hundred years, history shows the bars were let down completely.
But in Eusebius’ day, he even balked at their bringing outright images into the churches and worshiping them. Notice what he finally says of these “Christians” of SIMON: “Simon was the author of all heresy. From his time down to the present those who have followed his heresy have FEIGNED the sober philosophy of the Christians, which is celebrated among all on account of its purity of life. But they nevertheless have embraced again the superstitions of idols, which they seemed [ostentatiously] to have renounced; and they fall down before pictures and images of Simon himself and of the above-mentioned Helena who was with him [that is, the images of JUPITER and MINERVA — the Catholics do exactly this today]; and they venture to worship them with incense and sacrifices and libations” (Eccl. Hist. II, 13, 6).
What clear and revealing statements! Eusebius is not talking about what he considers distinct heretics outside the Catholic Church. He is talking about the MAJOR group IN THAT CHURCH which was continually adding more and more on a large scale. He attributes these evils to the “Christians” who followed SIMON MAGUS. They were so active in his day INSIDE THE CHURCH as to give him grave concern. But what happened?
Did the few Catholic leaders of the fourth century who abhorred outright IDOLATRY manage to persuade the masses to give it up and turn away from the SIMONIANS (now called Christians) who were the cause of it all? The answer from history is NO!
The Simonian “Christians” won out. Imagery, idolatry and paganism — became the Universal Church just as planned in the very beginning by SIMON MAGUS — or by the Devil who possessed him.
Can we now understand why God, through Luke, devotes a whole section of Acts to warn us of this man’s origin. He was NEVER a part of the Church of God — NEVER!! But he, and his followers — from clear history — have succeeded in bringing in their UNIVERSAL religion — a pagan blend, called “Christian”!
Magus Counterfeit Marked Throughout New Testament
WHILE the book of Acts gives us the KEY which shows the beginnings of the false religious system under Simon Magus, it does not describe its activities in any great detail. The Acts, however, performs its purpose in exposing who started the whole mess. God leaves it to the epistles, Revelation, and also the Gospel of John to describe the heresy IN DETAIL. We are certainly NOT left in doubt concerning its abominable teachings.
The Chief Books of Expose
There is hardly an epistle that does not mention the religion of Simon Magus. Even the scholars who have studied Church History have clearly seen that almost ALL of the references in the New Testament epistles exposing the errors in the first age of the Church are directed exclusively to Simon Magus, or his immediate followers.
Schaff’s History of the Church says the following about Simon Magus and his doctrines: “Plain traces of this error appear in the later epistles of Paul (to the Colossians, to Timothy, and to Titus), the second epistle of Peter, the first two epistles of John, the epistle of Jude, and the messages of the Apocalypse to the seven Churches.”
“This heresy, in the second century, spread over the whole church, east and west, in the various schools of Gnosticism” (Apostolic Christianity, vol. 2, p. 556).
But to single out the one Apostle who seems to have made the most deliberate and planned attack on the false Christianity of Simon Magus — we must look to John.
Take his Gospel for instance. While he records a history of Christ’s ministry, he has an entirely different approach to the subject than the other three.
John wrote late. Times had changed. John knew that the teachings of Christ were being corrupted by a well-known plot to destroy the TRUTH. To understand John’s approach to his Gospel we must be aware of his endeavour to expose this false system which had arisen and was gaining momentum.
Notice how John constantly hits at the necessity of keeping the commandments of God. Why? Because the false system was preaching LIBERTINE doctrines. Notice also John’s particular geographical settings for his Gospel. He was the one who mentions Christ’s meeting with the woman of Samaria. John is clearly striking home at something in this Samaritan incident that the Church of his time NEEDED to know.
All the other Gospels mention SAMARIA about five times, and even then only casually or in order to give a simple geographical indication. But, when we get to John, writing years after the others, he devotes more space to matters in SAMARIA than is done in all the rest of the New Testament put together. He had a definite and precise REASON for doing so.
John is noted for his plan of “tying up” or “capping off” the Gospel accounts of Christ so as to give the Church a well-rounded Gospel — bringing in the extra points which were necessary for our knowing. Also, John’s epistles are jam-packed with specific information regarding the conspiracy to overthrow the Truth. But yet, none of these works of John mentioned above represent his LAST efforts to warn the Church of that conspiracy which was very much present. John’s last witness to God’s Church before his death was the book of Revelation.
Christ gave His last written message of WARNING of this system through John in Revelation! He tells us specifically the VERY NAMES OF THE SYSTEM TO WATCH in a remarkable and hidden way. Hidden, and yet SO PLAIN once the KEYS are understood. God certainly does NOT leave His Church in the dark.
The Book of Revelation
This book is perhaps the most important towards our study of SIMON MAGUS’ Christianity. Why? Three clear-cut reasons.
The book of Acts gives us the PAST history of the Church. It tells us about Simon Magus who started the false system. Without the book of Acts identifying the MAN behind it all, the activities of that false system as recorded in the epistles becomes obscured and in some cases unintelligible. So, the book of Acts is vitally important! !
The epistles then come on the scene, describing the false system. With the epistles, the incident of SIMON MAGUS in Acts represents dynamite!! Each section of Scripture is designed to fulfill specific duties. It is when we understand those duties that the Bible really makes sense. (3) Now to the all-important book of Revelation. While Acts describes the beginning of the false system; the epistles nail down its doctrines and describe its activities; the Book of Revelation next comes to the foreground showing the false system’s PROPHETIC HISTORY THROUGH ALL ERAS OF THE CHURCH. We must remember that Revelation intends to show us “things which shall be hereafter.” This is its duty — and it marvelously performs what it was intended to do.
The Seven Churches of Revelation
This section of Revelation gives a big KEY. It describes a brief prophetic history of the Church until the coming of Christ. But also — and this is important — it continually shows the false system with which the TRUE Church would come in contact. Though different names are used to describe the corrupters of the Truth, careful study shows Christ is referring to ONE general false system — perhaps with ramifications, but nevertheless ONE system which will counter the True Church in its entire history.
And in regard to this, Christ tells us in the plainest of words what people it will be, who represent this false system. He tells us it will be SAMARITANS! That is, it will be Samaritans, alias Christians or, plainly, the followers of SIMON MAGUS!
Christ gives us double witness of this identification in a most remarkable way. What He tells us in Acts of SIMON MAGUS being the beginning of the diabolical scheme, He reinforces by telling us in Revelation that Simon’s followers will make up the false system until Christ returns to this earth. Remember that Dr. Schaff, speaking of Simon Magus, says that “plain traces of this error appear in . . . the messages of the Apocalypse to the seven Churches.”
But before seeing these clear references, I must say that the material to follow would have been in the past classified as ABSURD in the extreme, but recent discoveries put a whole new complexion on the matter. Let us see.
Christ identifies the people behind the false system with several names, but these are simply different names of the same system. Notice this. In two distinct AGES of the Church we read of these people with a distinct description. “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do LIE; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet” (Rev. 3:9).
This is a promise for US today in the Philadelphia Church. We also read of these false people called by this same name afflicting the Christians of the Smyrna church era (Rev. 2:9). The identification is repeated TWICE and both are describing conditions hundreds of years apart. Now the question remains: WHO ARE INTENDED? The answer is so clear. They are Samaritan-Christians, that is, the followers of SIMON MAGUS the Samaritan!
Look again at this verse “. . . . which say they are Jews, and are not, but do LIE,”
If we would take that expression out of its Biblical context and, for example, place it into an ordinary secular work written in the first century, that expression could IDENTIFY only one people — and especially if a Jew was doing the writing: THE SAMARITANS.
The Samaritans were the only distinct people in the world in the first and second centuries who said they were Jews, and yet were NOT Jews and they knew it. The Samaritans were LIARS!!
Notice what Josephus said at the end of the first century — just about the time John wrote Revelation. He is speaking of the Samaritan nation: “When the Jews are in adversity they [the Samaritans] deny that they are kin to them, and THEN THEY CONFESS THE TRUTH; but when they perceive that some good fortune hath befallen them, they immediately PRETEND to have communion with them, saying, that they belong to them, and desire their genealogy from the posterity of Joseph, Ephraim, and Manasseh” (Antiquities, XI, 8, 6).
This is plain history! The Samaritans, if to their advantage, called themselves Jews. But they were LIARS! They knew better. Their own records showed they came from Babylon and adjacent areas. This is exactly what the Old Testament says. They were clearly Gentiles.
Josephus continues about these Samaritans: “And when they see the Jews in prosperity, they PRETEND they are changed and allied to them, and call them kinsmen, as though they were derived from Joseph, and had by that means an original alliance with them; but when they see them falling into a low condition, they say that they are no way related to them, and that the Jews have no right to expect any kindness or marks of KINDRED from them, but they declare that they are sojourners, that come from OTHER countries” (Antiquities, IX, 14, 3).
Now this should begin to make sense. At the time of Simon Magus it was clearly an advantage to the Samaritan followers of Simon (and Simon himself) to call themselves JEWS. Why? ALL the prophecies stated that Christ and Christianity would come from the Jews. There was no way around this. So Simon went over to the time-honored custom of his Babylonian ancestors and contemporaries of calling themselves Jews WHEN IT WAS TO THEIR ADVANTAGE.
The Jews, however, never had any real association with these Babylonian imposters. Even when Christ discussed matters with the Samaritan woman at the well, she acknowledged — with amazement because Christ, a Jew, talked with her — that “the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). But even though the Samaritans were Gentiles, they consistently lied about their origin when it was profitable to them.
Notice that the woman at the well carried on the fiction of kinship with the Jews when she said, “Art thou greater than OUR father Jacob, which gave us the well?” (John 4:12). They claimed to be a type of Jew, but they were LIARS. This is made plain by Christ Himself when He first sent forth the twelve. He charged them: “Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 10:5, 6).
Pretty plain, isn’t it? The Apostles were to go to the Jews and Israel — but not to the Gentiles or Samaritans. The Samaritans were plainly Gentiles — NOT Jews!
With theforegoing in mind, let us now go back to the two identifying scriptures in Revelation. The whole matter becomes so plain when the KEY about Simon Magus and the Samaritan-Christian heresy is realized. “Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan [inspired by Satan himself], which say they are Jews, and are NOT, but do LIE; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet” (Rev. 3:9).
The synagogue of Satan are those “Samaritan-Christians” — the followers of Simon Magus.
The phrase “which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie” could easily be set off by brackets, for that is the way John intended it. He meant only one people — the “Christian” Samaritans.
The Other Churches of Revelation Two and Three
When we now look at the other indications about this heretical system, the Simon Magus (and followers) identification becomes exact. Look, for example, at the Ephesus Church era. Notice the group they had to counter. “And thou hast tried them WHICH SAY THEY ARE APOSTLES, and are NOT, and hast found them LIARS” (Rev. 2:2).Now, if we let the Bible be our guide in understanding this matter, it shows only one man who heretically sought an APOSTLESHIP and never repented of his desire to have that office — it was Simon Magus. History shows us that Simon established his own “Christianity” with his own apostles.And also, notice this important point. Compare the statements about the Samaritans — “Which say they are JEWS, and are NOT, but do LIE” (Rev. 3:9) — with our present Scripture under discussion “which say they are APOSTLES, and are NOT, and hast found them LIARS” (Rev. 2:2).The only differences are the words “JEWS” and “APOSTLES.” But — if we get the point at which John is driving — he is saying that these people were calling themselves JEWISH APOSTLES, but that they were all LIARS.The Female Counterpart of SimonIt is well-known that the history of Simon and his religion is connected with the old Babylonian idea of the male and female religious principles. Simon’s Helen (alias Semiramis) figured high in his system.
It would seem odd if the book of Revelation didn’t mention something of the female side of the false system. However, Christ seems to emphasize the male portion of the system in six of the Church eras — the genders are all masculine. But, when He comes to the Thyatira era, Christ switches remarkably to the female part. Yet, there are not different false systems being discussed, but only the various divisions of the ONE system.
It is when we come to Thyatira that we find the system described under the symbol of a woman — the woman Jezebel. This analogy was deliberately chosen for many obvious reasons. Reasons so plain that John’s first century readers could not help but comprehend what he was talking about.
We must remember that John was writing to seven literal Churches all contemporaneous with one another, and he was using language or symbols with which they were acquainted. We, of course, realize the prophetic meaning of the seven churches, but we know that John also had distinct and pertinent messages to the seven congregations which existed in his day. By keeping this obvious fact in mind, the real truth of what John was talking about is made clear to us today.
First, we notice that John says this “Jezebel” called herself a “prophetess” (Rev. 2:20). There must have been a particular false prophetess which had caused God’s servants to commit fornication and to eat things sacrificed to idols. By looking on this “Jezebel” as having been contemporaneous with all the heresies of the other Churches — and that these heresies were in reality only ONE false system which originated with Simon Magus — we can then easily see that this “Jezebel” can be equated with the “Female Principle” which Simon introduced into his “Christianity.” None other than Simon’s Helen — the reclaimed temple prostitute from Tyre. Helen WAS a prostitute — what better type of person is there who could so expertly “teach” and “seduce My servants to commit fornication,” literally as well as spiritually?
Simon Magus came in contact with a priestess of Tyre who had been a temple prostitute. The Samaritans worshiped SUCCOTH-BENOTH who was the goddess VENUS. Her devotees continually prostituted themselves. It was their religious duty to do so.
This woman was overawed by Simon’s demonic power and was persuaded to follow him — to live with him — to become the female principle, the necessary counterpart to his claim as being a type of male deity. Relative to this, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. 25, p. 126, quoting from Justin states: “And almost all the Samaritans and a few among the other nations, acknowledge and adore him as the first god. And one Helen, who went about with him at the time, who before had had her stand in a brothel, they say was the First Thought that was brought into being by him.”
This is interesting because Justin was himself a Samaritan — born and reared in the country. He certainly knew his people’s native traditions and teachings. What he says agrees exactly with the New Testament revelation of how the Samaritans regarded Simon. They actually called him the “great power of God” (Acts 8:10). It is because of this that they believed him to have creative powers. He himself said he created Helen, his female companion whom he later elevated to a goddess.
“Irenaenus, Theodoret, and Epiphanius agree in identifying Simon with the Supreme God and Helena with ennoia, the first conception of his mind and his agent in creation” (Dict. of Religion of Ethics, vol. 11, p. 517). What blasphemy!! But this is what he taught everywhere he went — and under the guise of Christianity.
There always had to be the Man and Woman divinities in paganism. Or, to make it plain, Nimrod and Semiramis. Now notice what the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics says about this teaching of Simon which he took to Rome and they accepted: “The original of Simon’s Helena is the moon-goddess of Syria and Babylonia.
In the Clementine Recognitions Helena is always translated ‘Luna.’ The theory that Simon was accustomed to borrow from paganism IS CORROBORATED by the assertion of the Fathers that he and Helena were worshipped by their sect with the attributes of ZEUS and ATHENE and received the cult-title ‘Lord’ and ‘Lady’ (i.e. our Lord and our Lady)” (ibid. p. 518).
As stated before, it was Simon’s plan to bring about a UNIVERSAL religion under the powerful name of Christianity. Remember that Simon NEVER gave up the Christian name.
His followers were called Christians. In amalgamating the pagan Babylonian religious beliefs with Christianity, he placed himself at the head — the personification of the chief pagan gods of old, and Helena as his companion in creation, the personification of the female deities. The name Helena for his consort fit his plan exceptionally well. “There existed a wide-spread cult of the moon goddess in Syria and Egypt under the name Helene; she was identified with Aphrodite, Atargatis, and the Egyptian Isis, who was after represented with Horns to betoken her relation to the moon. One feature of the myth of Helen can be traced to the very ancient connection of the religion of Osiris with Syria. According to legend, Isis spent ten years at a brothel in Tyre during the course of her wanderings in search of the scattered limbs of her husband. The imprisonment of Helen (Simon’s Helen) is then only a variant of the many myths relating the degradation of the Queen of Heaven” (ibid.).
How important these observations are, for Osiris was clearly Nimrod and Isis was Semiramis. Thus, Simon Magus said that he had been the power that motivated Nimrod and that Helen was Semiramis — the Queen of Heaven. Now let us carefully note that Simon brought his “Female Principle” from the City of TYRE. And who was the original Jezebel — the woman who seduced Israel to worship BAAL? She was the daughter of the king of the Sidonians whose capital city was TYRE. (I Kings 16:31). The original Jezebel was also from TYRE.
And not only that, Helen claimed herself to be the creation of Simon — that it was Simon who brought her into existence (Ency. Britannica, vol. 25, p. 126). She was, in a sense, the daughter of Simon. But, the original Jezebel WAS THE LITERAL DAUGHTER OF THE KING OF TYRE (I Kings 16:31).
The Gospel of John
With all of these things in mind, we can see why John hits hard at the Samaritans in his Gospel, as well as the book of Revelation. He was the only Gospel writer who mentions the incident of the Samaritan woman at the well. He saw it absolutely necessary by his time, for doing so.
Actually, the whole incident at the well is of relative unimportance if it was simply put there to show us that Christ could perceive that the woman had had five husbands. But there was MUCH more to it than that. If we will carefully notice what the conversation between this Samaritan woman and Christ was, we will see that John is giving the DEATH BLOW to the claims of the “Christian” — Samaritans of his day — the anti-Christ system. Since these false Christians DID NOMINALLY REGARD Christ as the (or perhaps better) a founder of the “Christian Church,” John tells them what Jesus informed the Samaritan woman:
“Ye worship ye know not what” (John 4:22). Christ meant by those words that the Samaritans were NOT worshiping the True God at all. They were worshiping something foreign to the God of the Bible. It was the Devil.
“We KNOW WHO (we become ONE with the One whom) we worship: FOR SALVATION IS OF THE JEWS” (v. 22). We can see why John saw the necessity of explaining what Christ really said on this matter. Christ said the JEWS would give forth salvation, NOT the Samaritans — and He was even talking to a Samaritan at the time.
John put this here primarily to show that Simon Magus, the Samaritans and his followers, were in COMPLETE error in their grandiose claims.And to further emphasize the true Messiahship of Christ — who was a Jew — John records that one whole city even of the Samaritans recognized Jesus as the Christ (vs. 39-42). He was showing that some of the people in Simon’s own home-ground knew that Jesus Christ and the Jews were responsible for salvation.
John tells us that the woman at the well had FIVE husbands. This is to be taken literally, but isn’t it remarkable that the original Babylonian tribes which became the Samaritans were FIVE in number — and they each brought their false deities with them. Thus, according to the figurative language of the Old Testament, these Samaritans — who claimed to be worshippers of YHVH — were in reality, like the woman at the well, committing adultery with FIVE spiritual “husbands.”