Following the deaths of the apostles, Peter and Paul, the counterfeit-Christian church gained acceptance over the true Christian church. By the end of the First Century, the pure and unpretentious teachings of Jesus were being set aside in favor of pomp and circumstance, ornate robes of purple and scarlet, and the crown-like headdresses. In addition, there were mysterious rites and incantations, false teachings, and idols. At some point, the popes were selling tolerances as forgiveness of bad behavior. The popes decided that they were like gods and everything had to have their authorization. No longer could a person have a personal relationship with Jesus. They had to confess their sins to a priest who claimed to have the power to forgive. And then, the priest would give out some kind of punishment for whatever offense the person committed. So powerful were the popes and bishops, that by the end of the First Century, they could order the ex-communication of true-church members because they would not accept the pagan practices of the counterfeit-Christian church.
During the Second Century, Pope Victor was the first Roman pope who was clannish with the Imperial Court resulting in the pope pressing claims for Universal (Catholic) Dominion. The outcome of a conflict with the Christian churches at Ephesus and Smyrna created another change in the church. The Roman members claimed that Jesus could be praised, but they did not believe He would neither return, nor set up the kingdom of God. They also wanted the church to be established in Rome instead of Jerusalem. This group of believers ended up charged with being heretics and had to escape the reach of the pope by fleeing to the mountains in Europe or stay and be martyred.
Simon Magas’ counterfeit-Christian church gained further power over governments for the next 1,000 years. The pope also was endowed with the authority to massacre thousands of people who would not accept the false teachings of the Catholic Church. According to Dave Hunt (1994), three million people were killed in Spain during the Inquisition; in Rome, true Christians by the hundreds of thousands were massacred. Pope Innocent III ordered the deaths of more than one million people; the Jesuits killed 900,000 people from 1540 to 1580, and many more thousands were hanged, beheaded, burned a the stake, buried alive, and tortured to death. It was a join-or-die situation. The pope also attempted to halt the Reformation in Germany and Switzerland. Historians have estimated that during the 1000-year reign of the universal or Catholic Church that over 50 million people were killed in the name of Christianity.
Rome has been called Second Babylon because the origin of the counterfeit church started there through Simon Magas. He was a Samaritan who was a captive of the Assyrian war and held in Babylon for some time until he was released and returned to his homeland. However, he had accepted the Babylonian culture with its pagan and mystery religions and brought these abominations with him. Historians, in general, believe the woman riding the beast in Rev, 17 and 18 represents the great city of Rome [second Babylon or Vatican City]. She is dressed in purple and scarlet and drunk with the blood of the saints. The seven heads may represent the famous Seven Hills of Rome. The 10 horns are the 10 divisions of the early Roman Empire as follows: Franks, Huns, Visigoths, Ostrogoth’s, Heruli, Lombards, Anglo-Saxons, Suevi, Vandals, and Burgundians; many waters = masses of people. Furthermore, Rev. 18: 8 says that the seat of the Roman whore will be consumed by fire. Of course, there are other interpretations and you should read and pray for wisdom and understanding.
By the 4th Century, mentions of the words “Simon and Samaria” were seldom used concerning the counterfeit church. Later, ‘Christian’ also faded and Simon Magas’ church became ‘the Universal or Catholic Church.’ However, only the name changed, not the paganism. In addition to this change, 50 or more popular sects were formed that were quickly persuaded to join the Catholic Church. Before another century passed, Simon Magas’ dogma of permitting images, incantations, libations, and other pagan practices were a part of church doctrines. There were attempts by some Christians to rid the church of its paganism, but their efforts failed.
Eusebius Pamphilus, Bishop of Caesarea, wrote a history of the Catholic Church covering the era from 1CE To 324 CE. He reports that members of the counterfeit church fell in front of pictures, images, and idols as if they were gods. Simon Magas and his partner, Helena, a pagan temple prostitute, were treated as they were the gods, Jupiter and Minerva. The Gospel of John warns of a plan to overthrow the true church. The Book of Acts of the Apostles opened the door for us to see the corruption that would infect the early Christian church. Revelations identify those who created the false doctrines that infected the True Church.
Discussion of new information and wrap-up of the series.
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Acts 8: 9-21; 1: 23-26
II Thess. 2: 7
Matt. 10: 5-6
John 4: 9, 12
Rev. 2: 9; 3: 9; 2: 2; 2:20; 17; 18
I Kings 16: 31 Jezebel
I Kings 12: 28-30
II Kings 17: 24-41
II Chron. 11: 14
Num. 23; 22: 4-5 Peter temple
Deut. 23: 4