Quite honestly, this happens to me all the time. I am so very certain to be under His care, always! I take the opportunity to thank God for the far and wide reach this my blog has! I find myself grateful to tears when I see in the stats that show it reaching China, Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Ghana, The Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, Nigeria, Kenya, among many others in throughout the world! Praise God!
In especial, I want to tell the dear ones who remain in the Roman Catholic Church to please realize that the truth is out there to be found! The telling of one lie makes one a liar, and then another lie is needed to cover the first, and there is no end to the lying!
This is exactly how the Roman Catholic Church was born: through a lie!
Since, lying is all that would justify its continued existence, thus so the papacy has spun the biggest web of lies within which it keeps its ignorant sheep.
After reading the book posted one can see very well why it is that the Roman Catholic Church has as much as banned the reading of the word of God in the past. Since the printing press has been developed and this was no longer possible, it, the Roman Catholic Church has taken it upon itself to propagate hundreds of PERVERSIONS of the word of God and call these "bibles," through which they have divested Christ of His Deity and called Joseph Jesus' father!
It's been an insidious, pernicious process which has had much success, unfortunately!
Thus it is that we have so much evidence that the Devil has won... so far!
in the form of the King James Bible,
for the English-speaking peoples!
For the Portuguese-speaking there is the
Joao Ferreira de Almeida FIEL edition.
Both these have counterfeit editions
one must be careful to be able to discern!
A sure way is to look for a copyright!
If there is one, it is a counterfeit!
Both the King James Bible and
the Joao Ferreira de Almeida FIEL
are of PUBLIC DOMAIN!
FRIDAY CHURCH NEWS NOTES
January 28, 2011 Volume 12, Issue 04
The Friday Church News Notes is designed for use in churches and is published by Way of Life Literature’s Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Unless otherwise stated, the Notes are written by David Cloud. Of necessity we quote from a wide variety of sources, but this does not imply an endorsement. For instructions on how to unsubscribe to this list or to change mailing addresses, please consult the information paragraph at the end.
POPE’S SWISS GUARD COMMEMORATES 505 YEARS OF HISTORY (Friday Church News Notes, January 28, 2011, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 866-295-4143 end_of_the_skype_highlighting)
- On January 22, the Vatican’s Swiss Guard commemorated 505 years of service to the pope, thus becoming the oldest standing army in the world (EWTN News, Jan. 23, 2011).
In 1506, the first 150 Swiss soldiers entered the Vatican by request of Pope Julius II to form the Pontifical Swiss Guard. Julius, who bribed his way to the papacy, was called the “Fearsome Pope” for instigating wars against Venice and France and leading troops in battle. He ordered the Dominicans in Germany to sell indulgences to pay for his military adventures and the building of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The term “pope” means father, and Julius lived up to his name by fathering three illegitimate daughters.
Currently there are 110 guards who are charged with ensuring the pope’s personal safety.
Peter, the alleged first pope, didn’t have an army, a palace, a throne, a crown, a chapel painted by Michelangelo, or a bank, but he did have a wife.
What were the origins of Catholic-Babylonian Christianity? What was Simon Magus' religion before he met the apostle Peter? Where did that religion originate? Read in this article the detailed and documented account of Simon Magus and his great COUNTERFEIT CHRISTIANITY!
"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).
"So these nations feared the Lord [calling themselves YEHOVAH’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).
...in its beginnings, in the first centuries when Christianity itself was fighting for its survival and seeking its own path, Gnosticism could still create the illusion that it was a Christian doctrine. It could do so on two essential counts: first, because of its content, since it borrowed a number of elements from the teaching of the apostles and the texts of the Gospels; second, in its form, for in the early days it was preached by men who, LIKE THE APOSTLES, travelled the highroads of Samaria, Palestine, Syria and Anatolia, and, in many places, came into direct confrontation with the disciples of Jesus.
The most ancient of these wandering GNOSTIC PROPHETS is known to history as SIMON MAGUS (The Gnostics. E.P. Dutton, NY: 1977. P. 44).
These little Gnostic sects and groups ALL lived in the conviction that they possessed a secret and mysterious knowledge, in no way accessible to those outside, and not based on reflection, on scientific inquiry and proof, but on revelation. It was derived directly from the times of primitive Christianity; from the Saviour himself and his disciples and friends, with whom they claimed to be connected by a secret tradition, or else from later prophets, of whom many sects boasted. It was laid down in wonderful mystic writings, which were in the possession of the various circles (Liechtenhahn, Die Offenbarung im Gnosticismus).
In short, Gnosticism, in all its various sections, its form and its character, falls under the great category of mystic religions, which were so characteristic of the religious life of decadent antiquity. All alike boast a MYSTIC REVELATION and a DEEPLY-VEILED WISDOM. As in many mystic religions, so in Gnosticism, the ultimate object is individual salvation, the assurance of a fortunate destiny for the soul after death....And as in all mystical religions, so here too, HOLY RITES and FORMULAS, ACTS OF INITIATION AND CONSECRATION, all those things which we call SACRAMENTS, play a very prominent part. The Gnostic religion is full of such sacraments. Indeed, sacred formulas, NAMES AND SYMBOLS are of the highest importance among the Gnostic sects (1943 edition. Vol. 10, p. 453).
...the essential part of most of the conceptions of what we call Gnosticism was already in existence and fully developed before the rise of Christianity. But the fundamental ideas of Gnosticism and of early Christianity had a kind of MAGNETIC ATTRACTION for each other. What drew these two forces together was the energy exerted by the universal idea of salvation in both systems. Christian Gnosticism actually introduced only one new figure into the already existing Gnostic theories, namely that of the historical Saviour Jesus Christ....Above all the Gnostics represented and developed the distinctly ANTI-JEWISH tendency in Christianity....In approximately all the Gnostic systems the doctrine of the seven world-creating spirits is given an anti-Jewish tendency, the god of the Jews and of the Old Testament appearing as the highest of the seven (1943 edition. Vol. 10, p. 454).
The Gnostic religion also anticipated other tendencies. As we have seen, it is above all things A RELIGION OF SACRAMENTS AND MYSTERIES. Through its syncretic origin Gnosticism introduced for the first time into Christianity a whole mass of sacramental, mystical ideas, which had hitherto existed in it only in its earliest phases. Gnosticism was also THE PIONEER OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH in the strong emphasis laid on the idea of salvation in religion.
Finally, it was Gnosticism which gave the most decided impulse to the consolidation of the Christian Church as a church. Gnosticism itself is a free, natural-growing religion, the religion of isolated minds....Its adherents feel themselves to be the isolated, the few, the free and the enlightened, as opposed to the sluggish and inert masses of mankind degraded in matter, or the initiated as opposed to the uninitiated....This freely-growing Gnostic religiosity aroused in the Church an increasingly strong movement towards unity and a firm and inelastic organization, towards authority and tradition. An organized hierarchy, a definitive canon of the holy scriptures, a confession of faith and a rule of faith, and unbending doctrinal discipline, these were the means employed. A part was also played in this movement by a free theology which arose within the Church itself, a kind of Gnosticism which aimed at holding fast whatever was good in the Gnostic movement, and obtaining its recognition within the limits of the Church (Clement of Alexandria, Origen). -- Encyclopedia Britannica, 1943 edition. Vol. 10, p. 454).
The conception of a resurrection of the body, of a further existence for the body after death, was unattainable by almost all of the Gnostics, with the possible exception of a few Gnostic sects dominated by Judaeo-Christian tendencies. With the dualistic philosophy is further connected an attitude of absolute indifference towards this lower and material world, and the practice of asceticism. Marriage and sexual propagation are considered either as absolute evil or as altogether worthless, and carnal pleasure is frequently looked upon as forbidden. Then again asceticism sometimes changes into wild libertinism. Here again Gnosticism has exercised an influence on the development of the [Catholic] Church by way of contrast and opposition....It was just at this point, too, that Gnosticism started a development which was FOLLOWED LATER BY THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. In spite of the rejection of the ascetic attitude of the Gnostics, as a blasphemy against the Creator, a part of this ascetic principle became at a later date DOMINANT THROUGHOUT ALL CHRISTENDOM [read, Catholic Church]. And it is interesting to observe how, e.g., St. Augustine, though desperately combating the DUALISM of the Manichaeans, yet afterwards introduced a number of dualstic ideas into Christianity, which are distinguishable from those of Manichaeism only by a very keen eye, and even then with difficulty (1943 edition. Vol. 10, p. 454).
In an age when Christianity, even the Gentile version, was a prohibited religion, it is not surprising that the Church in the Imperial City soon found itself pastored by bishops who compromised with their conscience and with the national worship which "was not held incompatible with foreign cults" (The Student's Roman Empire, Murray, p. 577).
"It is one of the paradoxes of history that the State-cult of Rome...proved THE MODEL for the organisation of institutional Christianity..." (Phases in the Religion of Ancient Rome, Bailey, p. 275).
Bailey explained also that Christianity in its TRADITIONAL FORM was INFLUENCED BY MYSTERY RELIGIONS and contemporary philosophy. The Greek and Latin fathers failed to distinguish between the character of apostolic Christianity and that of the Roman Church in the latter half of the second century (ibid., p. 114).
"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).
"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).
"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).
"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.) [actually, 42 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).
Onuphrius, a man of great learning and industry in all matters of antiquity...goes away by himself...and...afirms, that he [Peter]...having spent almost the whole reign of Nero in several parts of Europe, RETURNED, in the last of Nero's reign, TO ROME, AND THERE HE DIED...(The Lives of the Apostles, Oxford, 1840).
The Acts tell us that IN 43, after the death of James, Peter left Jerusalem "for another place" (Acts 12:17). He is lost from sight until 49, when we find him at the council of Jerusalem. No canonical text has anything to say about his missionary activity during this time. But Eusebius writes that he CAME TO ROME, ABOUT 44, at the BEGINNING OF CLAUDIUS' REIGN (The Christian Centuries, p. 28).
This Simon [Magus] deceiving many by his sorceries in Samaria was reproved by the apostle and was laid under a curse, as it has been written in the Acts. But he [Simon Magus] afterwards abjured the faith and attempted [these practices], and journeying as far as Rome, HE FELL IN WITH THE APOSTLE [PETER], and to him, deceiving many by his sorceries, PETER OFFERED REPEATED OPPOSITION (Philos, vi, 15).
Available evidence clearly shows that "Babylon" refers to the city on the Euphrates and NOT to Rome, as some have claimed. Having been entrusted with "the good news for those who are circumcised," Peter could be expected to serve in a center of Judaism, such as Babylon. (Ga 2:8, 9) There was a large Jewish population in Babylon. The Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1971, Vol. 15, col. 755), when discussing production of the Babylonian Talmud, refers to Judaism's "great academies of Babylon" during the Common Era. Since Peter wrote to "the temporary residents scattered about in [literal] Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia" (1Pe 1:1), it logically follows that the source of the letter, "Babylon," was the literal place by that name (International Bible Students Association, Brooklyn, NY: 1988. P. 621).
Moreover, as has often been observed, the countries of the persons addressed in the epistle (1,1) are enumerated in the order in which a person writing from Babylon would naturally arrange them, beginning with those lying nearest to him, and passing in circuit to those in the west and the south, at the greatest distance from him.
"There is plenty of evidence to show that Peter visited Britain and Gaul (France) several times during his lifetime, his last visit to Britain taking place shortly before his final arrest and crucifixion in Nero's circus at Rome....Of his visits in Britain we have the corroboration of Eusebius Pamphilis, A.D. 306, whom Simon Metaphrastes quotes as saying: 'St. Peter to have been in Britain as well as in Rome" (George F. Jowett, The Drama of the Lost Disciples, Covenant Publishing Co., London: 1980).
"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."
Jerome writes as follows: "Simon Peter, prince of the apostles, after an episcopate of the church at Antioch and preaching to the dispersion of those of the circumcision, who had believed in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, in the 2nd year of Claudius goes to Rome to oppose Simon Magus and there for 25 years beheld the sacerdotal chair until the last year of Nero, that is the 14th." Now here amidst a CERTAIN CONFUSION...a definite date is given for Peter's first arrival in Rome, and, be it noted, it is the date of his escape from Herod Agrippa's persecution and his disappearance from the narrative of the Acts (London: 1913. Pp. 50-51).
Ancient history reveals that the pagan deities worshipped by the Babylonians and the Greeks were known as PETERS. "Not only the gods but the Hierophantae (special gods), in most temples, and those priests in particular who were occupied in the celebration of mysteries, were styled PATRES" (Bryant, Ancient Mythology, Vol. 1, p. 354). Davidson's Hebrew Lexicon shows that the consonantal word P-T-R (PETER) means "TO INTERPRET."
The priests of the Babylonian and other mystery religions claimed to have the power to INTERPRET THE PAGAN MYSTERIES.
In the Luceii Fragments we find that ancient Romans regarded Neptune, Saturn, Mars and Liber as "gods" of PETER-RAND -- i.e. CHIEF GODS. In the first century Rome was known as "THE CITY OF THE GODS." All the "gods" of paganism were strongly represented there.
When SIMON MAGUS went to Rome he bewitched the inhabitants with his "magical" (demoniac) powers and soon became known as SIMON PETER -- SIMON THE INTERPRETER (of the BABYLONIAN MYSTERIES).
Simon...had taken the name of Jesus Christ and much of the terminology of Christianity and was using these tools to expand his own sphere of influence (Triumph Publishing Co., Altadena, CA. 1981. P. 66).
In the Eleusinian Mysteries at Athens, when the candidates for initiation were instructed in the secret doctrine of Paganism, the explanation of that doctrine was read to them out of a book called by ordinary writers the "BOOK PETROMA;" that is, as we are told, a book formed of stone. But this is evidently just a play upon words, according to the usual spirit of Paganism, intended to amuse the vulgar. The nature of the case, and the history of the mysteries, alike show that this book could be none other than the "BOOK PET-ROMA;" that is, the "BOOK OF THE GRAND INTERPRETER," in other words, of HERMES TRISMEGISTUS, the great "INTERPRETER OF THE GODS." In Egypt, from which Athens derived its religion, the books of Hermes were regarded as the divine fountain of all true knowledge of THE MYSTERIES. In Egypt, therefore, Hermes was looked up to in this very character of GRAND INTERPRETER, or "PETER-ROMA" (The Two Babylons. Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, NJ. 1959. Pp. 208-209).
"There is in the history of every oracular temple some legend about a stone; some reference to the word PETRA" (Bryant, p. 362).
...before the Christian era, and downwards, there was a "PETER" at Rome, who occupied the highest place in the PAGAN priesthood. The priest who explained THE MYSTERIES to the initiated was sometimes called by a Greek term, the Hierophant; but in primitive Chaldee, the real language of the Mysteries, his title, as pronounced without the points, was "PETER" -- i.e., "THE INTERPRETER." As the revealer of that which was hidden, nothing was more natural than that, while opening up the esoteric doctrine of the Mysteries, he should be decorated with the KEYS of the two divinities whose mysteries he unfolded. Thus we may see how the KEYS of Janus and Cybele would come to be known as THE KEYS OF PETER, the "INTERPRETER" of the Mysteries. Yea, we have the strongest evidence that, in countries far removed from one another, and far distant from Rome, these KEYS were known by initiated pagans not merely as the "KEYS OF PETER," BUT AS THE KEYS OF A PETER IDENTIFIED WITH ROME (The Two Babylons, p. 208).
It has always been a matter of amazement to candid historical inquirers how it could ever have come to pass that the NAME OF PETER should be ASSOCIATED WITH ROME in the way in which it is found from the Fourth Century downwards -- how so many in different countries had been led to believe that Peter, who was an "apostle of the cicumcision," had apostatised from his Divine commission, and become bishop of a Gentile Church, and that he should be the spiritual ruler IN ROME....But the book of "PETER-ROMA" accounts for what otherwise is entirely inexplicable. The existence of such a title was too valuable to be overlooked by the PAPACY; and, according to its usual policy, it was sure, if it had the opportunity, to turn it to the account of its own aggrandisement. And that opportunity it had. When the POPE came, as he did, into INTIMATE CONNECTION WITH THE PAGAN PRIESTHOOD; when they came at last, as we shall see they did, UNDER HIS CONTROL, what more natural than to seek not only to RECONCILE PAGANISM AND CHRISTIANITY, but to make it appear that the Pagan "PETER-ROMA," with his KEYS, meant "PETER OF ROME," and that that "PETER OF ROME" was the very apostle to whom the Lord Jesus Christ gave the "KEYS of the kingdom of heaven"?
Hence, from the mere jingle of words, persons and things essentially different were confounded; and Paganism and Christianity jumbled together, that the towering ambition OF A WICKED PRIEST might be gratified; and so, to the BLINDED CHRISTIANS OF THE APOSTACY, the POPE was the REPRESENTATIVE OF PETER THE APOSTLE, while to the INITIATED PAGANS, he was only the representative of PETER [PETR], the INTERPRETER OF THEIR WELL-KNOWN MYSTERIES (The Two Babylons, pp. 209-210).
"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).
Firstly, they considered that the reliability of the traditions of the Church could be equated with the reliability of the authenticity of their form of Christianity as being the original. This in turn meant that the reliability of the accepted traditions had to be substantiated. This led to the admission that the apostles alone could be the bearers of apostolic tradition.
The next step in the reasoning of the bishops is where their logic breaks down. They then maintained that their traditions derived from that which the apostles received from Christ, not only as transmitted in the apostolic writings, but also as received ORALLY. That included traditions which Christ supposedly REVEALED AFTER THE RESURRECTION. Hence the CHURCH becomes the supposed authority which expediently DECIDES that which was received from Christ orally! (ibid., p. 93).
"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).
having asserted that he was himself a god, and could raise the dead, Peter...rebuked his impiety, and challenged him to a trial of skill in the presence of the emperor [actually, the prefect of Rome]. The arts of the magician failed; Peter...restored the youth to life...at length he [Simon Magus] undertook to FLY UP TO HEAVEN in sight of the emperor [prefect!] and the people; and crowned with a laurel, and supported by MENONS [DEMONS], he FLUNG HIMSELF FROM A TOWER, and appeared for a while to float thus in the air, but St. Peter, falling on his knees commanded the menons to let go their hold, and SIMON MAGUS, PRECIPITATED TO THE GROUND, AND WAS DASHED TO PIECES (Sacred and Legendary Art, by Anna Jameson. P. 209).
Such was the end of this miserable and unhappy man (Simon Magus): which no sooner came to the ears of the emperor [Nero], to whom by wicked artifices he [Simon Magus] had endeared himself, but it became an occasion of HASTENING PETER'S RUIN. The emperor probably had been before displeased with Peter, not only upon the account of the general disagreement and inconformity of his religion, but because he had so strictly pressed temperance and chastity....(The Lives of the Apostles).
...straight down, a simple slab grave was encountered, holding a portion of a skeleton. When the grave proved to be of the fourth century, the bones were removed and the slabs cleared away. Another foot down and the foundations of the wall came into view. They were made of plain brick with a waterproof outer layer, and they rested directly atop another slab grave. To the excavators' delight, this grave proved to be of the FIRST CENTURY (The Bones of Saint Peter, p. 53).
However, we have ordered the blessed gifts of the holy martyrs, that is, the relics of the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, and of the holy martyrs Laurentius, John, and Paul, and Gregory, and Pancratius, to be delivered to the bearers of these our letters, to be by them delivered to you (Bede's Ecclesiastical History, bk. III, ch. 29).
In the summer of 1968 it was announced by Pope Paul VI that the skeletal remains of St. Peter had at last been found and satisfactorily identified. The revered bones had been unearthed some time before, he said, from the tangle of ancient structures that lay deep beneath the magnificent high altar of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Paul was careful to explain that his statement rested on long and intensive study by experts, but then he deliberately WENT FURTHER, adding the weight of his own prestige. In light of the archaeological and scientific conclusions, he said, "the relics of St. Peter have been identified in a manner which WE BELIEVE convincing...very patient and accurate investigations were made with a result which WE BELIEVE positive." Firmly persuaded as he was, he had felt it nothing less than a duty to make "this happy announcement" at the earliest possible moment (The Bones of Saint Peter, pp. 1-2).
As the [flash]light continued slowly to search into cracks and crevasses, Kirschbaum spotted another feature he had missed. At the bottom of the niche in the red wall foundations, where they disappeared into the dirt floor, there was a small opening. He inserted an exploratory hand but felt nothing. Then he scraped away some of the dirt. The space was not just an opening, it was a large gap in the structure of the wall itself, shaped like an inverted V, apparently a rise and fall in the foundations. Running his hand over the dirt that almost filled the gap, he felt his fingers brush something hard embedded in the earth. He scraped around the object, then gently pulled it free. Holding it up, he saw that it was a bone, about five inches long....More bones, deeply embedded, were piled in and around the same spot...workmen were sent to procure some of the special lead-lined boxes that had been prepared for holding any random bones turned up in the digging....
During the next several hours, bone after bone was gingerly passed out, some broken or reduced by decay, many more only fragments, and all were carefully deposited in the boxes...(The Bones of Saint Peter, pp. 57-58).
As the work beneath the body of the basilica brought to light stray parts of skeletons, he [Monsignor Kaas] had made it his personal duty to see that no human bones should, in the confusion of cleaning up, become mixed with the mounds of dirt and debris and be accidently thrown out. Whenever bones were found, including an occasional skull, he had them placed in special boxes and stored away for reburial.
One evening early in 1942, a day or so after the team had first exposed the graffiti wall and peered briefly into the man-made cavity, intending to return later for a close look, Kaas had come to the area on his rounds, along with the foreman. Segoni, flaking off some of the plaster rim for a better view, inspected the cavity with a light. When he reported what appeared to be a NUMBER OF BONES mixed with some debris, Kaas unhesitatingly told him to REMOVE THEM for safekeeping (ibid., p. 79).
Concerning the Tropaion's design, only one answer will satisfy. The close similarity to PAGAN ARCHITECTURE, and the TOTAL LACK OF ANY CHRISTIAN ELEMENT were no accidents. The form was DELIBERATELY CHOSEN, and therefore could only have been meant as a disguise, a means of hiding the monument's real function....No wandering visitor, passing to view the site, would have had any cause to suspect the presence of the outlawed faith (ibid., p. 133).
In the discussion so far, based on the theory of a HIDDEN GRAVE, it must be admitted that there lurks a difficulty, or an apparent difficulty. If the LOCATION of the grave was always to be kept a secret, then WHY did the church erect over it a CONSPICUOUS MONUMENT, THE TROPAION, surrounded by other substantial structures? Even though disguised, all this hardly added to the grave's concealment (ibid., p. 140).
"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).
"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).
Irenaeus wrote about SIMON, a Gnostic leader who "redeemed from slavery at Tyre, a city in Phoenicia, a certain woman named HELENA. He was in the habit of taking her around with him, declaring that she was the first conception of his mind, the matter of all..." Helena was a prostitute, and from this Irenaeus concluded about SIMON'S SECT that: "the MYSTIC PRIESTS belonging to this sect both lead profligate lives and practice magical arts....They use exorcism and incantations, love potions, too, and charms...." Justin Martyr also mentioned SIMON, who he said "was CONSIDERED A GOD....and almost all the Samaritans, and a few even of other nations, WORSHIP HIM, and acknowledge him as the FIRST GOD; and a woman, HELENA, who went about with him at that time, and had formerly been a prostitute, they say is the first idea generated by him." Eusebius quoted this passage by Justin, and then with reference to Irenaeus he ADDED that THE SECRET RITES performed by Simon's followers were so evil that they could not be put into writing and could not even be uttered by decent men. On closer examination it appears that the prostitute Simon converted was A SYMBOL OF THE FALLEN SOUL, temporarily imprisoned in the world of senses (the brothel) until liberated to return to its heavenly abode. We can only imagine, however, how this theology found expression in the liturgy of SIMON'S GNOSTIC SECT, and the nature of those unspeakably bad elements in it mentioned by Eusebius. The service must have had a strong Phoenician-Syrian element to it, that is, it was sexually oriented (Pagan Rome and the Early Christians. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis. 1986. Pp. 63-64).
...two features characterize his [Simon Magus'] life and his teaching: he travels the roads in the company of a woman called HELEN, a former prostitute whom he found in a brothel in Tyre, and he declares, by turns, THAT HE IS THE SUN, and HELEN THE MOON, that he is ZEUS and she ATHENE, and that HE IS THE SUPREME POWER and she is ENNOIA (SOPHIA), Wisdom descended from the heavens, THE MOTHER OF THE UNIVERSE.
And so the Father and Mother of the universe tramp the roads, preach, convert and, as the Acts of the Apostles attest, amaze the crowds by the miracles and the prodigious feats they perform. This takes place exactly seventeen years after the death of Jesus...(The Gnostics. E.P. Dutton, NY:1977. Pp. 45-46).
"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).
"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.).
Christian churches had scarcely been organized when men rose up, who, not being contented with the simplicity and purity of that religion which the Apostles taught, attempted innovations, and fashioned religion according to their own liking.
with Victor, the successor of Eleutherus, A NEW ERA begins. Apparently the first Latin prelate who held the metropolitan see of Latin Christianity [?], he was moreover the first Roman Bishop who is known to have had intimate relations with the imperial court, and the first also who advanced those claims to UNIVERSAL [CATHOLIC] DOMINION which his successors in later ages have always consistently and often successfully maintained...the close of the second [century] witnessed the autocratic pretensions of the haughty pope Victor, the prototype of a Hildebrand or an Innocent (pp. 223-224).
When the Roman or Latin form of Christianity became the state religion of the empire under Constantine, men saw less need for the return of Christ and sought to establish their own ecclesiastical empire, with ROME, not Jerusalem, as its headquarters.
The "little flock" which constituted the true Church of God were now classified as "heretics" by Constantine's "Christian" empire and true to prophecy (Dan. 12:7, Rev. 12) were forced to flee into the wilderness or die as martyrs for their faith (The Incredible History of God's True Church, Triumph Publishing Co. Altadena, CA. 1984. P. 131).
Pagan Rome made sport of throwing to the lions, burning and otherwise killing thousands of Christians and not a few Jews. Yet "Christian" Rome slaughtered many times that number of both Christians and Jews. Beside those victims of the Inquisition, there were Huguenots, Albigenses, Waldenses, and other Christians who were massacred, tortured, and burned at the stake by the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS simply because they refused to align themselves with the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH and its corruption and heretical dogmas and practices. Out of conscience they tried to follow the teachings of Christ and the apostles independent of Rome, and for that crime they were maligned, hunted, imprisoned, tortured, and slain (ibid., p. 81).
In the opinion of a general conflagration, the faith of the Christian very happily coincided with the tradition of the East, the philosophy of the Stoics, and the analogy of nature; and even the country, which, from religious motives, had been chosen for the origin and principal scene of the conflagration, was the best adapted for that purpose by natural and physical causes; by its deep caverns, beds of sulfur, and numerous volcanoes of which those of Aetna, of Vesuvius, and of Lipari, exhibit as very imperfect representation (Vol. 1, p. 263, ch. 15).
I behold everywhere -- in Rome, near Rome, and through the whole region from Rome to Naples -- most astounding proof, not merely of the possibility, but the probability, that the whole region of central Italy will one day be destroyed by such a catastrophe (by earthquakes and volcanoes). The soil of Rome is tufa, with a volcanic subterranean action going on. At Naples the boiling sulfur is to be seen bubbling near the surface of the earth. When I drew a stick along the ground, the sulfurous smoke followed the indentation; and it would never surprise me to hear of the utter destruction of the southern peninsula of Italy. The entire country and district is volcanic. It is saturated with beds of sulfur and the substrata of destruction. It seems as certainly prepared for the flames as the wood and coal of the hearth are prepared for the taper which shall kindle the fire to consume them. The divine hand alone seems to me to hold the element of fire in check by a miracle as great as that which protected the cities of the plain, till righteous Lot had made his escape to the mountains. (Quoted in part from Barnes Commentary, p. 399-400)
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