Bible Study given 3 May 2003

Babylon and Simon Magus

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

A few articles have appeared in the press recently regarding an EU army, and also this rift between the United States and the EU. It says:

"Mr Tony Blair [Prime Minister of the UK when this sermon was first given, 3 May 2003] issued a warning yesterday, the world would be plunged back into an era of insecurity and tension reminiscent of the Cold War unless Europe and America quickly repaired the transatlantic relationship."

And it talked about Mr Blair dismissed suggestions that he was being snubbed by France and Germany and Luxenbourg. Another one goes on:

"No takers as old Europe goes ahead with the summit. The four European countries most hostile to the war in Iraq met in Brussels today to rekindle plans for a European defence force to rival NATO and show America that old Europe is down but not out."

It says:

"The summit's length and contents have been pared down, but its agenda reflects an ambition to establish Europe as a diplomatic and military counter-weight to America. That ambition has been fuelled rather than sapped by the war."

So we see things actually happening in Europe which is certainly along the lines that we have been expecting for many, many years. It says:

"More nations condemn euro army as a threat to NATO. Diplomatic warfare over proposals for a euro army intensified yesterday as Greece and Russia came out in support, while others including Britain condemned them as a divisive threat to NATO. Greece became the only other European union member to support a call by France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg to boost Europe's self-reliance in defence, a day after the four countries met in Brussels."

And another one, it says:

"Old Europe presses ahead with plans for a EU army. Old Europe threw down the gauntlet at the feet of Britain and the United States and the anti-Atlantic Alliance, with a mini summit yesterday unveiling plans for a new European army with its own military headquarters. France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg described by some in the US as the Axis of Weasel. It vowed to press ahead with a full-fledged defence union brushing aside warnings that the move would entrench the European union's bitter divisions over Iraq and could lead to the break up of NATO."

Now in several sermons I have shown, if you turn over with me to Revelation 12, that there is indeed a confrontation that is going to take place at the end-time. Revelation 12 and Revelation 13 are inset chapters. If you look at Revelation 11:15 it talks about:

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." (Revelation 11:15)

So when Christ returns and the kingdoms of this world are now just about to become the Kingdom of God, we have these two inset chapters; that's chapter 12 and chapter 13, which really show the two sides to the equation. They show, first of all the True Church and Israel on the one side, which is chapter 12; and then they show the false system or the false church in chapter 13 of Revelation. Now if we go on a little bit over to Revelation 17:1 we find it says:

"And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:" (Revelation 17:1)

Now we know that this is a false church. It is a false church that sits astride the beast. Revelation 17:2 says:

"With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication. So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns." (Revelation 17:2-3)

Now we can find out what the seven heads are; they are seven mountains, as it says in Revelation 17:9, they are seven governments or seven systems that last through the ages. And the ten horns then are right at the very end where is says; "And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet..." (Revelation 17:12). Right at the very end, and we are looking for these ten horns to arise in Europe now, which is why the news items that we have just read are significant.

These seven heads are going through Babylon to start off with, then Persia, the four in Greece - tie it across to Daniel 7 - and then you finally have Rome. It ends up with Rome. So you are looking at a Roman revival, a Roman empire. And this is again why this EU and why what is happening in Europe is significant.

But the question is, why is it called 'Babylon'? And what I want to do today is I want to really give the history, or trace the history of the false church and why it was labelled 'Babylon' by God. Now it is an introduction really. The Bible study last week was on the Old Testament canonisation, and how the Old Testament canon came into being. Next week I would like to talk about the New Testament canonisation. As I said, it was a series of three sermons, I thought I would alter the order of the sermons slightly; and talk about Simon Magus, talk about Babylon and talk about why it is actually labelled Babylon by God. Because it has a great deal to do with the New Testament canonisation period which, God willing, we will look at next week.

But it goes on here in Revelation 17:5 it says: "And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." (Revelation 17:5)

So we see here that the woman, the church that rides the beast is titled 'Babylon'; this is BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS. But you also find over in Daniel 2:38 that the Beast itself as well is Babylon. So that you are finding that the term 'Babylon' is lasting right the way down through the ages, it says:

"And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold." (Daniel 2:38)

This image; and you can go to Daniel 7 and see the seven heads specifically and the order of those seven heads. But it is a Babylonian system. It is a Babylonian revival that is taking place. So as I say, why was the woman called Babylon? And why is Babylon so inextricably linked to the very Beast, the civil authorities as well, that she is riding?

What I want to do is to view the time element as near God's way as we can. Because as we move into the end time we need to actually take notice of what in fact God's view of the present situation is. The five points I have got are:

1. A little on the pre-history on the Babylonish religions.

2. Why Babylon is treated as a beginning for the present era, and that is an important point. Why Babylon and why not Assyria; because Assyria actually held the areas of Babylon prior to Babylon coming on to the scene, prior to Nebuchadnezzar? So why not go Assyria or Egypt which held the area prior to them?

3. How the scriptures show that Peter did not begin the the Roman Catholic Church, and yet the Roman Catholics claim that he did.

4. Who did start the Roman Catholic Church? Where did he come from?

5. Why was he so successful in putting his ideas across? This leads into the canonisation periods of the New Testament; because much of this history has a great deal to do with why we have the scriptures that we have in the New Testament today.

Pre-history of the Babylonish Religions (PLAY FROM 09:28)

So let's deal with this first point - the pre-history of the Babylonian system. Obviously the origin is really Satan. If we look over in Genesis 9 we find what actually happened after the flood and we see how Noah landed on Ararat. Now Ararat is between Armenia and also modern day Turkey. A little bit further south you get to the Kurds and you get all the problem in Iraq, which we have been witnessing in the news recently. And from there you can follow the Tigris from the mountain ranges of Ararat and that area, and you come to Babel, or Babel in Shinar. So that will come down into the area where all the war as just been going on. In that area it's the kind of crux, or the cusp, of modern civilisation.

You see therefore that there is some pre-history in the area; but it doesn't still explain why God uses the term Babylon to describe the religion at the end time and specifically also ties it so inextricably back from Nebuchadnezzar forward. Because it is Nebuchadnezzar and that time that you are starting really what we see today. In Genesis 9:18 it says:

"And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan." (Genesis 9:18)

Now we go on down a little bit to Genesis 10:6:

"And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan. [Cush is also known as Menes and apparently Semiramis plotted to kill Menes, now verse 8:] And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before [he put himself before] the [Eternal]: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the [Eternal]." (Genesis 10:6,8-9).

And from there we get Horus who was the son of Nimrod and Horus, as far as we know, is Gilgamesh - the Gilgamesh epic, and so on. But this in fact is the start of Babylon, the ancient Babylon. But you find if you do a little research, Nimrod did not just begin Babylon; he began Egypt, he began Italy, Rome; and so you can actually trace the roots back for all of these areas. So why is Babylon specifically chosen as the area that begins what we see in our modern era and what Christ will eventually fight against? Christ will take on this false church which is labelled Babylon and the Beast which is Babylonian which is underneath her and it is a question of why this actually takes place.

Why Babylon is the Beginning of this Present Era (PLAY FROM 13:10)

Now let's ask the question then, why does Babel or Babylon begin the present era? And in order to learn and understand a little bit about that I want to read some quotes from a book which is called; 'The Origin and Goal of History' by a man called Karl Jaspers. I believe he is German, but in his book he talks about a period of time called the 'axial period'. Now an axial period is a period of time which other periods revolve around. I want to deal very briefly with the fact you can go back, and certainly if you go to Alexander Hislop's 'Two Babylons' you will find details of the traces and the links going back to Nimrod, but there is more to it than that.

The actual period of time that we are looking at in the future, the period of time when Christ is going to be fighting against a system, a church ruling a system, ruling a governmental system - you are really seeing an image or a Beast that dates from Nebuchadnezzar. It is not a Beast that goes all the way back to ancient Babylon, even though these mystery religions started all the way back in Babylon. Now here in Jaspers' 'The Origin and Goal of History' he mentions the following:

"It would seem that the axis of history is to be found in the period around 500 BC. In the spiritual process that occurred between 800 and 200 BC it is there around 500 BC that we meet with the most deep cut dividing line in history. Man has we know him today [that is mankind in his present civilisation – what we actually see Christ fighting against in the future] came into being. For short, we might style this [this period of time in history], as the axial period."

In other words it is the bit like an axle - you have got the wheels going round the axle. You have the axial period, all the periods of history revolve around this particular period, around about 500 BC. Now 500 BC or around about that, and a little bit before that, you are looking at the rise of Babylon. This really holds the key to the reason why the present system that we see within the world even today, and we see rising in Europe, and also the Catholic Church. Remember that 'Catholic' means worldwide - it means global in nature.

It is interesting that we have got these anti-globalisation marches taking place down in London and they are against this globalisation. It is interesting that Catholic means global. All the terms that we use for ourselves. The Catholic Church is a global church. It is a worldwide church, an international church. It encompasses all the different nations of this world. It is a counterfeit religion.

You see the prophet around at this time of the axial period was indeed Jeremiah; and I want you to notice what the commission of Jeremiah was, it says in Jeremiah 1:5

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee [I set you apart], and I ordained thee a prophet unto [notice:] the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)

Plural! It is not just the nation, it is the nations - plural. This prophet Jeremiah, his prophecies were not just about Israel, and Judah specifically. Israel had already gone by this time. Israel had been taken away by the Assyrians. But his job wasn't towards Judah specifically. It was towards the nations, plural, so it included more than just that one nation. If we go onto Jeremiah 1:10 it says:

"See, I have this day set thee over the nations [plural] and over the kingdoms [plural], to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant." (Jeremiah 1:10)

Now we certainly saw that within the way he took the king's daughters over to Ireland and planted the king's daughters and healed the rift between Phares and Zara, but nevertheless there was more to Jeremiah than just that. He had a greater job to do because of the time in history that he was actually living.

As we go forward in time we are going to live through another axial period, and we need to be aware of the axial period that brought about the civilisation that we have got today in today's society, because that society will be destroyed and it will be replaced by the Kingdom of God. So to look at it the way God looks at it, you have got to go back that far. You go back to Nebuchadnezzar and you start to look at the present situation and you start to actually see what we will be witnessing in a very few years. And when we do that we start to get the mind of God on the subject. This is why it is important. History is being trashed in schools today but it is an important topic. Just continue on from what Jaspers had to say in this 'The Origin and Goal of History', he says that:

"The thousands of years old ancient civilisations [he is talking about this axial period over in 500 BC, or around that time, coming up to 500 BC] are everywhere brought to an end by the axial period which melts them down, assimilates them, or causes them to sink from view. It was age of simultaneous destruction and creation."

So this is an historian, nothing to do with the Bible, who recognises that this particular period in history is a simultaneous destruction and creation. And in the case of Jeremiah he is told that he is to destroy, throw down and to build and to plant. It was a case of one civilisation was going to be destroyed - Assyria was destroyed which was a predominant civilisation prior to that time; and the predominant civilisation after that time was Babylon. That is what arose. And in other areas of the world other civilisations also arose. To quote another part from this book, it says:

"The axial period, this key to history, which grows more mysteriously the more closely that we examine it, it might seem [and he says, and here is a secular historian speaking]... it might seem as though I was out to prove [through these events of the axial period] a direct intervention on the part of the deity without saying so openly."

He could see just from an historical point of view; it is as if somebody has got this great hand, and has actually controlled the events around this crucial axial period of history, just back a bit from the 500 BC. He goes on, it says:

"If the axial period gains an importance with the degree to which we immerse ourselves in it, the question arises, is this period or its creation the yardstick for all that follows?"

I will explain a little bit more as to the reason why he is saying these things. Why he is actually making these kind of claims. But if we go over to Jeremiah 25:15, notice what his job was. It was to the kingdoms, to the nations, plural. It was not just to Judah - even though he was there within Jerusalem, he was put into a pit and all the various other things, he went to the head people in Jerusalem - his direction was towards the nations, plural. And we find this, notice it says:

"For thus saith the [Eternal] God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations [plural], to whom I send thee, to drink it [he was sent to these nations, and whether he wrote to them, whether he actually went to them, it is not always clear; but it says:]... And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. Then took I the cup at the [Eternal's] hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the [Eternal] had sent me:" (Jeremiah 25:15-17)

So here he was going to specific nations, Jeremiah 25:18:

"To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah [so yes, they were his primary perspective], and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day; Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people; And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod, Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon, And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea, Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners, And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert, And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes, And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them." (Jeremiah 25:18-26)

You see all these kings, all these kingdoms were prominent kingdoms at that time. "...and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them." (Jeremiah 25:26). Turn over to Jeremiah 51:41, you will find out who the King of Sheshach was, here it is talking about the prophecy to Sheshach, notice it says:

"How is Sheshach taken! and how is the praise of the whole earth surprised! how is Babylon become an astonishment among the nations!" (Jeremiah 51:41)

So this was the destruction being prophesied of Babylon, the King of Sheshach. If you go back now to Jeremiah 25:26, the King of Sheshach who will drink after these kings at this axial period was Babylon; and it was from that start that we have the present civilisations that we see today. It was an axial period, a turning point in history such as the like we have never seen. But we will see it, because there is going to be another turning point in history; another axial period, that will come upon this earth and we will live to see this. "...This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:34), and the indication is that we will live to see this. Certainly some of us are going to live through to that time to actually see this occur. In Jeremiah 25:26 it says:

"And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them. Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the [Eternal] of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you. (Jeremiah 25:26-27)

These nations were to be completely subsumed by this King of Sheshach, by Babylon. And there was something very different about the way that Babylon did things; and this difference is very largely what we are seeing that people are protesting against, this universalism, the globalisation, this subsuming of all these different kingdoms. If we go on and just read a little bit more from Jaspers, talking about this particular time, this age he says:

"In this age, this axial period, were born the fundamental categories within which we still think today and the beginnings of the world's religions by which human beings still live were created [the religions that we see today were created at this time, this beginning]. The step into universality [in other words, Catholicism] was taken in every sense where our present civilisations have actually come from."

That is on page 2 of this book, which is about this particular period, 'The Origin and Goal of History' where our present civilizations have actually come from. He goes on a little bit further, he says on page 5:

"Mighty empires made by conquest arose almost simultaneously in China... in India... and in the west, the Hellenistic empires and the Roman empires, which came from the Babylonian empire. Everywhere the first outcome of the collapse of the ancient world, the axial period, was an order of technological and organisational planning."

So from this period going forward. It is not just a case of Babylon specifically. Babylon started that process, it flowed into the Medes and Persians, it flowed into the Greeks which flowed into the Roman Empire; and that is what we see today, that is what we are looking at rising in Europe today. Another comment on page 8, it says:

"It cannot possibly be an accident that 600 years before Christ [so we are looking about 600 BC] Zarathustra in Persia, Gautama Buddha in India, Confucius in China, the prophets in Israel, King Numa in Rome and the first philosophers in Helios made their appearance pretty well simultaneously as the reformers of the national religion."

They all suddenly came into being. It was around this period that all of these religions actually started. We see therefore Babylon really as a start of this world's system. The whole shooting-match of what we actually see today came from this time; the axial period from about the 8th century to the 6th century BC. That was the actual start of it.

Peter Did Not Start the Roman Catholic Church (PLAY FROM 30:26)

Now let's ask another question; you see, the Catholic Church claims that Peter began the Roman Catholic Church; and they claim that the date at which Peter came to Rome was 45 AD. They then use Matthew 16:18 as their justification for doing what they do, it says:

"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [Petros, Strong's G4074], and upon this rock [which is Petra, Strong's G4073] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18)

And they quote this extensively and they say that Peter came to Rome in 45 AD, and actually started the Catholic Church at that particular time. I would like to go through several scriptures that show that this simple isn't true. Peter did not start the church over in Rome. There is absolutely no way whatsoever that Peter could start that church over in Rome. Let's turn over to Galatians 2:7 first of all; remember Rome was a Gentile city, it was the head of the Gentile cities at that time. It was the Roman Empire after all, notice it says:

"But contrariwise, when they [this is Paul speaking in Galatians] saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me [that's to Paul], as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;" (Galatians 2:7)

So Peter was actually in control of the circumcision, the Jews, the uncircumcision was in fact given to Paul. Galatians 2:9:

"(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles [or 'it', the Holy Spirit of God]:) And when James, [Peter], and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the [nations] heathen, and they unto the circumcision." (Galatians 2:8-9)

So it is very clear from this scripture that it was Paul who went to the Gentile nations not Peter. In II Timothy 1:11. Again here is Paul and it says:

"Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles." (II Timothy 1:11)

Again this backs that up. When we look at the specific book, the Book of Romans - again if it was Peter who was the apostle to the Roman Catholic Church, what on earth is Paul doing writing the Book of Romans and being the only one who is actually preserved for us? But if you turn over to Romans 15:15 it is very clear, that again, it was Paul and not Peter who was their apostle, notice it says:

"Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God [the grace is a free gift, that was given to Paul], That I should be the minister [or the servant] of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering [or administering] the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:15-16)

And that is why, as it says in Romans 15:15, that he has written to them; because they were Gentiles. It was very clear that Paul was the apostle sent to them, to the Romans, specifically to the Romans. Go back to the beginning of Romans...what he was actually saying here, and remember this was written about 55-56 AD, written by Paul to the Roman Church, or the people starting to believe over there. It was supposed to be that Peter had been there from 45 AD. So you are looking at 10 years, 11 years before, and yet it says here in Romans 1:11:

"For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;" (Romans 1:11)

The reason for him writing was to give them the grace that was given to him, Paul, to establish the Church there. Now if Peter had already been there and Peter was the chief apostle for ten or eleven years what on earth is Paul doing saying that he is going to go ahead and establish the Roman Church? Impossible, utterly, totally impossible.

Let's go over to Romans 15:20 again and have a look at another thing that Paul is saying; in the way in which Paul was writing, in the way Paul dealt with people. Remember he had just said; "...I have written the more boldly unto you...because of the grace that is given to me of God, That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles..." (Romans 15:15-16). Notice what he says in Romans 15:20:

"Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you." (Romans 15:20-22)

If Peter had been there for ten or eleven years, it was an incredible slight. He obviously could not have been there at all previously. But it says in Romans 15:23:

"But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you; Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company." (Romans 15:24)

So his plan was to try and call in there as he was trying to get through to Spain; and the context in which he is saying that, is that he will not build upon another man's foundation. It was clear, absolutely clear that there is no Peter there at all. Peter could not be in Rome at 45 AD... ten or eleven years before this book was written. Utterly, totally impossible.

If you go into Romans 16 there are a whole load of people mentioned here. You can go through and you will find there are 28 names mentioned within Rome, 28 names mentioned of greetings here and greetings there, this person, and that person, and so on. People that had gone to Rome, because remember Rome was the capital at that time. And yet not one solitary mention of Peter whatsoever. Nothing - so again totally, utterly impossible. When you find the time when Paul did get to Rome, in Acts 28:12, notice it says:

"And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days. And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli: Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome. And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage." (Acts 28:12-15)

Now this is a very amusing scripture among the British public because there is a beer called 'Courage' and there are many, many pubs called 'The Three Taverns'; so it looks like he is going down a local pub. But in fact, he took courage because he actually met the brethren. But there is no Peter there at all. If you go on a little bit further to Acts 28:16:

"And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him. And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me. But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of. For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain. And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee. But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against." (Acts 28:16-22)

So they saw that it was spoken against, they had heard about it, but they did not know anything about it. Now that would be utterly impossible if the one that was sent to the circumcision, which was Peter, had gone to Rome ten or eleven years, or more even before that. I am not sure what year this was - about 14 years before. They still knew absolutely nothing at all.

If you go through and you check Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon and Hebrews as well, although people dispute whether it was Paul who wrote Hebrews, but there are many, many, indications that it was. But you go through Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians and Philemon there is not a single mention of Peter and yet they were written from Rome. Not a single mention of anything to do with him being in Rome at all.

If we go to the second time that Paul went to Rome, over in II Timothy 4:6; he actually appeared initially and then he went back for another appearance where he eventually was beheaded, I believe at that second appearance or slightly later than that. Now this is 65 AD, notice it says:

"At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge." (II Timothy 4:16)

Now if Peter was the apostle sent to Rome, if he was the beginning of this Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church was coming out of this, and he had been there since 45 AD? Impossible! This just could not be. Notice in II Timothy 4:11:

"Only Luke is with me..." (II Timothy 4:11)

The only one at that time was Luke, that was the only one that was with him; and you can understand it - Paul was protected because he was a Roman citizen, he would have his head chopped off. These other people wouldn't have had such kind treatment. So you can almost understand them doing what they had done. But there is no Peter mentioned at all; and you would have thought he certainly would have said that.

So where was he? Where was Peter at this particular time? Turn over to Acts 12:2. This is all leading into the canonisation of the New Testament. It is trying to give a view of the current axial period that is coming, that we will be witnessing. It is showing how these things spread from Babylon across to Rome and into the very societies that we have today and the religions as well that we have today. But this is about 45 AD - which is the date that Peter is supposed to be going to Rome remember - it says:

"And he [Herod] killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after [Pasha] to bring him forth to the people." (Acts 12:2-4)

So here he was, he was in prison in 45 AD; that is where Peter was at the time that he was supposed to be in Rome. If we go over to Acts 15, this is about 49 AD and you find Peter very prominently being mentioned here within the Jerusalem Council. He is the one that made the final decision at the Jerusalem Council, leaving James to then to put the stamp on to it as the Chairman for the Church at Jerusalem. But Peter was still very much the apostle sent to the circumcision, here in this particular section. Paul and Barnabas were then the ones who showed what was happening in the Gentile areas. But Peter made the decision, and he was in the Jerusalem Council. As I said, this was about 49 AD. If we go on a little bit more over in Galatians 2:11, notice here, this is about 51 AD, Paul was in Antioch and he met Peter, it says:

"But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision." (Galatians 2:11-12)

Now that doesn't sound to me like the first Pontiff of Rome, who dealt with the Gentiles. This was 51 AD, you are looking at six years after he was supposed to be happily ensconced in his Pontiff role over in Rome. And yet here he was withdrawing because of James, very much still having the Jewish ideas. He was not dealing with Gentiles, hardly at all. It was something quite different. And when we get to 66 AD, turn over to I Peter 5:13. First Peter was written around about 66 AD, and written from... notice:

"The church that is at Babylon, elected together with you, saluteth you; and so doth Marcus my son. Greet ye one another with a kiss..." (I Peter 5:13-14)

So here he was 66 AD in Babylon writing this book of I Peter and he was writing to these areas in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. These are the northern areas and these are areas where the Jews really had fled at the start of the persecution, and the major area that they fled to was Babylon. That's where he actually was. This was before finally Titus took Jerusalem and completely and utterly destroyed it. But you are looking at him writing there from Babylon and it is quite clear that he is indeed writing from Babylon. The very book itself - it is admitted by people that study languages - that his writings were Aramaic in their style. He would be speaking Aramaic much as the Jews would be over in that Babylonianish area. He wasn't speaking Latin. He was not speaking Latin or Greek because there was an Hellenic culture at that time.

So it is very clear from the scriptures I have just shown you that it was utterly, totally impossible for Peter to be in Rome at that date – 45AD – when the Catholic church says that Peter actually began the Catholic Church and started what we see as the Catholic Church today. Totally, utterly, completely impossible. But I am telling you Peter was in Rome, but he was a different Peter. A very, very different Peter that was in Rome.

Who Did Start the Roman Catholic Church (PLAY FROM 50:17)

You see the word 'peter' means a bit more than 'stone.' Clearly Christ was indeed going to be the Rock, 'Petra'; Peter was the 'petros', the pebble. But when he was to be converted it would be the Petra, living in the petros, that actually would be founding that Church. And would be working within that Church, and would be doing the work of founding the very Church: Christ was the one that founded it.

If you want to turn over to Genesis 41:8 we find an interesting Hebrew word. It gives a hint as to why there was a Peter in Rome who actually started the Catholic Church, but it wasn't the apostle Peter, it says:

"And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled [talking about Pharaoh and Joseph]; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh." (Genesis 41:8)

Now if you go back to the original Hebrew and you look at the word 'interpret' you find that it is 'pathar', Strong's H6622. It only had three letters in that particular word: p-t-r – Peter. The word 'interpret' is an oracle, the Hebrew for interpret, it is in the sense of interpreting an oracle and if you look at certain words that we even have in the English language you see the same word being used to this day. Jupiter – Ju-peter. Now Ju is Zeus in Greek, now he wasn't just Ju which is Zeus - which came in from the Greek side - and you are looking really at the way in which the gods were actually moved. You will find them in the Iliad - how they moved the gods over from that area, from Asia Minor, from Troy and brought them across to Rome and Ju-peter is the chief god. 'Peter' gives the indication that he was the chief god.

You find all these obelisks - these great huge obelisks with points on - they are also called petroas. And you find Egyptian obelisks and various other places, and petra is this rock, obviously. You can see why Christ described Himself as the Rock that followed them within the Church in the wilderness. And Satan could see this actually coming, how it would be a rock. So however he understood this, it is a counterfeit. It is a counterfeit of the true Rock that we have, that we look to.

The pagan temples were called petrons. At Delphi, there was an oracle there, the 'Pytho' or Pythia, the petra-ess. It goes down; you have 'padre' within the Catholic church. It is not father, as we understand the word father, it is the fact that he is a 'peter', a head, a chief one. We find it quite clearly mentioned over in Numbers 22:1. This is why we have got St Peters in Rome, it has nothing to do with the apostle Peter at all. It is to do with the chief oracle, the chief of the pagan religions, that had this oracle on the Vaticanus Hill. But here we notice:

"And the children of Israel set forward, and pitched in the plains of Moab on this side Jordan by Jericho. And Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. And Moab was sore afraid of the people, because they were many: and Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. And Moab said unto the elders of Midian, Now shall this company lick up all that are round about us, as the ox licketh up the grass of the field. And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. He sent messengers therefore unto Balaam the son of Beor to Pethor [or Peter, you have got your consonants, it's a similar word; this Pethor or St Peters, you could probably call it], which is by the river of the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, Behold, there is a people come out from Egypt: behold, they cover the face of the earth, and they abide over against me:" (Numbers 22:1-5)

Now this particular individual is Balaam in Pethor, or Peter, and it says by the river of the land of the children of his people. It sounds like just a little hick prophet up in the hills somewhere. And it was anything but. If you turn over to Deuteronomy 23:2 you find here how it talks about the various people who couldn't go into the house of God, it says:

"A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the [Eternal]; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the [Eternal. [That is an interesting thing that today we put no credence on that in our society, and yet to the tenth generation they weren't allowed to enter into the congregation] An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the [Eternal]; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the [Eternal] for ever: Because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse thee." (Deuteronomy 23:2-4)

Now Mesopotamia is that area between the Tigris and Euphrates, it is the area that you come down from Ararat and you come down into. It is the land of Shinar. It is Babylon. And this particular man living in Pethor on the side of the river. It is about 400 miles from where Balak was. So he sent his messengers - several times - 400 miles, an 800 mile round trip, to see this man. He was not just your average prophet. He was the chief, the kingpin. You know if you really are wanting a job done to curse somebody you would go and get the kingpin to do the cursing; and that is what Balaam was. He was the kingpin of the pagan world.

It is interesting that God had to humble this man because he suddenly realised that here was the Eternal speaking to him, not his demons that he normally had dealings with. But the Eternal started using him, and he was claiming this and claiming this for himself. And he started to get the 'bighead' and so God talked to him through an ass, through a donkey, saying; "I can talk through whoever I want." God talks through donkeys if He needs to; this great pagan priest is only a donkey as far as God is concerned.

So when we are looking at which Peter was in Rome: Peter or Pethor, or petra, or petron, and all these types of p-t-r, were used extensively within the pagan religions as a mighty man, as a mighty leader within the pagan religions. And the fact that he was at this Pethor, this Balaam. If we look now in II Kings - we looked at this a little in the sermon on Old Testament canonisation. And remember we are looking at the system that we have today, the system which the axial period that will take place that we will live through will overturn; about which it will all revolve. We are looking at the start of it; Babylon, and the very woman, and religious system, it is all starting from this time. In II Kings 17:24 it says:

"And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah [or Cush], and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel..." (II Kings 17:24)

So we see here people coming into Samaria, and they were coming in from this area of Babylon. And it was the time of the Assyrians. Now this was before Babylon actually rose as a prominent nation. But they were people that were still worshipping the old Babylonian religions and the Babylonianish gods, and here they were being put into the cities of Samaria. And the lions attacked them so they went and got various priests, brought back from the northern ten tribes and they were pagan priests anyway, they worshipped the Eternal in their own way. But notice what is says in II Kings 17:33:

"They feared the [Eternal], and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence." (II Kings 17:33)

So they were there fearing the Eternal and they were mixing the religion. This is what the difference was between Babylon and these other kingdoms it subsumed; Babylon mixed its own religion with the other religions. This is why you get this globalisation march over in London. Globalisation is mixing ideas, it is bringing ideas from across this globe and mixing them together. There is going to arise a system which is mixed and it is going to be over all nations and countries and kingdoms. We will see this arise and it will be a Catholic Church that is over them. A mixing of ideas and this has been going on since Babylon started. Notice II Kings 17:41:

"So these nations feared the [Eternal], and served their graven images, both their children, and their children's children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day." (II Kings 17:41)

Now 'to this day' would have been probably added by Ezra, because this was, in fact, the final canonisation of II Kings and it would have been in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. And this was this 'syncretism'. It is where you take philosophies or religions and you mix one with another and you start to mix the ideas and what you get is then a syncretic religion. And Babylonian religion was a syncretic religion. It is the place where God confused the languages, confused the word, and yet the word is truth. The word that we should have is pure, it is clean. The true Church is a virgin, it is not syncretic in any way. It does not commit fornication with all the nations of the world. It does not mix its religion up. And yet this is what exactly what came out of Babylon.

And it came into Samaria, and it came into Samaria at the time of the Assyrian invasion and these people then stayed in that area of Samaria all the way through. They stayed and when Nehemiah and Ezra came back. And the reason why, you go through particularly Chronicles you find that they are constantly talking about this group of people, and trying to verify that Jerusalem is the place where God's name is to be held. But you find in Acts 8:9 coming in a little bit nearer to the present time, you find a great one, a Peter in this area of Samaria. Notice it says:

"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 [some Peter, some pater of the pagan religion]: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God [he is the great God, they even worshipped him as a god, he stood in the place 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 Spirit: (For as yet [it] 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 Spirit. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands [notice, the apostles hands] the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit." (Acts 8:9-19)

Now if I just read from Unger's Bible Dictionary, he makes mention of Simon Magus here, it says:

"...According to Justin Martyr, he was born at Gitton, a village of Samaria, identified with the modern Kuryet Jit near Nabulus."

Now that is very near to Gerizim. He was in that area of Gerizim. He was the great one of this Samaritan religion. Nabulus is very close to Shechem. It used to be known as Shechem, it is known as Nabulus today. And he is from that area. And it is slightly south of there you come to Gerizim, and on the foothills to this day you find a monastery there and to this day the Samaritan religion, that is their headquarters and they do not like the Jews one little bit.

"He was probably educated at Alexandria, [which is another pagan area] and there became acquainted with the eclectic tenets of the Gnostic school [you can go through the epistles and you find Gnosticism constantly being battled against by the apostles]. Either then or subsequently he was a pupil of Dositheus, who preceded him as a teacher of Gnosticism in Samaria, and whom he supplanted with the aid of Cleobius. He is first introduced to us in the Bible as a practising magical arts in the city of Samaria, perhaps Sychar, and with such success that he was pronounced to be 'that power of God that is called Great.'" (Unger's Bible Dictionary)

Literally that is what it means, down here it says, 'This man is the great power of God', it literally means he is the power of God, which is great. That is a better translation of that section. So in this section of Acts 8:19:

"Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Spirit. 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 [he is talking about apostleship, wanting to buy apostleship, and he had neither part, because the original apostles had the part, they were given jurisdiction over the 12 tribes of Israel, that was their part. Or lot - remember the lot fell on Matthias]: 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 [here he really goes into the problem] I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity." (Acts 8:19-23)

Now to a Jew in the first century that was much more than; "Oh you're a rotten bounder." That is not what is being said. There is a great deal more in that phrase that is being used; "...the gall of bitterness..." (Acts 8:23). You will find the phrase, or the thing that he was alluding to over in Deuteronomy 29:1. And there and we find what the Jews of the first century would have understood as this 'gall of bitterness' because it is actually laid out for us here. Again we need to be aware of this. We have lived through times of people indoctrinated with this gall of bitterness. We have been corrupted ourselves by it. We are going through an axial period, we are heading towards an axial period where the Kingdom of God is going to replace it.

"These are the words of the covenant, which the [Eternal] commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb." (Deuteronomy 29:1)

Now this is the covenant made just before they went into the land. Notice over in Deuteronomy 29:10:

"Ye stand this day all of you before the [Eternal] your God; your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, Your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water: That thou shouldest enter into covenant [here was the covenant of God - an agreement with God and His people, a pure people, the people of Israel, as they should have been] with the [Eternal] thy God, and into his oath, which the [Eternal] thy God maketh with thee this day: That he may establish thee to day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; But with him that standeth here with us this day before the [Eternal] our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day:" (Deuteronomy 29:12-15)

This was a covenant, an agreement that was being made between God and His people. Deuteronomy 29:16:

"(For ye know how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt; and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; And ye have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them [here was the real problem - this was a covenant between God and His people and they had seen the gods of the land]:) Lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the [Eternal] our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall and wormwood;" (Deuteronomy 29:18)

And that is the phrase that would have been referred to within the minds of the Jews of the first century. They would have gone back and they thought; "Well this is the covenant that was made between my ancestors and God." And there was warning linked into that very covenant for someone who goes after other gods that syncretizes, mixes the religion with the true God:

"And it come to pass, when he heareth the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of mine heart, to add drunkenness to thirst:" (Deuteronomy 29:19)

Or add the drunkard to the thirsty, or the drunken to the thirsty. And you find the cup of our fornication and they drink and they are drunk with this. What Peter said to Simon Magus, was a prophecy. It was a prophecy, that you are for this, this is the way you are heading. This in fact is what is going to happen. God gave him the insight to see just who this individual was. It is this individual, this Simon Peter, this Simon petra, petros or whatever, padre or Pope, whatever you want to call him - this is the Simon Peter that in 45 AD went to Rome. And it is quite clear from historical records that is was the Simon, this Simon Magus, history shows went to Rome in 45 AD. The date that the Catholics claim that the true apostle Peter went to Rome. This is the one who went to Rome.

Now if I just read a couple of sections, first of all from; 'The Bible as History'. This is written by a Catholic describing the death of the "apostle Peter." This is coming from Werner Keller's 'The Bible as History,' written by a Catholic it says:

"On the night of his death on the cross Peter's followers buried his body. As in the case of Jesus on a 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 the Vaticanus."

So he was taken after he was crucified. He was crucified as a criminal presumably, and then he was taken to this pagan cemetery just by the Vatican Hill.

"The Latin word 'vatis' means a prophet or a soothsayer. In days gone by, there had been an Etruscan oracle on this spot." (The Bible As History, p368)

St Peters, the peter. Now that is where this Peter, that they reckon was the apostle Peter was buried. There is no way that a Jew would be allowed to be buried in the most prominent pagan cemetery in the entirety of Rome! Unheard of, never, ever would be allowed. But Simon the magician, the pater of Samaria, of course they would. That is where they would bury him. He actually had a statue of himself erected, this Simonite, had a statute of himself erected - part of Jupiter Olympus - within Rome. And had the pagan authorities erect this thing to himself - made in the fashion of Ju-peter Olympus. And yet when you come to Eusebius which is 325 AD when he starts talking about this Simon, this Simon the magician, he says:

"What is more surprising, the same thing is done even up to this day by those who follow this most impure heresy. For they after the manner of their forefathers slipping into the church like a pestilential and leprous disease greatly afflict those into who they are able to infuse their deadly and terrible poison concealed in themselves."

This is from Eusebius. And he goes on and he says:

"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 his purity of life. But they nevertheless have embraced again the superstition of idols which they seem ostentatiously to have renounce. And they fall down before pictures and images of Simon himself and of the above mentioned Helena who was with him [images of Jupiter and Minerva which you see as the mother and child basically]. And they venture to worship them with incense, sacrifices and libations."

Now this was just in 325 AD that that quote was made.

Why Was Simon Magus so Successful? (PLAY FROM 1:18:17)

But it is interesting that when we look at this situation where you see this Simon the Pater, having such success in Rome. Why? How on earth did he do it? If you notice over in Jeremiah 50:9 it says:

"For, lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country: and they shall set themselves in array against her; from thence she shall be taken: their arrows shall be as of a mighty expert man; none shall return in vain. And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the [Eternal]." (Jeremiah 50:9-10)

But I want you to notice over in verse 37:

"A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her..." (Jeremiah 50:37)

Now 'within the midst of Babylon'. Remember the way that Babylon conquered nations was to absorb their ideas, and synchretise their concepts. This is why you won't find the same Catholic Church over in Southern America from the Catholic Church over in Asia or the Catholic Church down in Africa; they are all different because they have absorbed the nation's customs and ideas, and it is quite permissible to do so. As long as you have the name of Christ it is all you need to do. You absorb all the nation's customs; this is why you have this Mardi Gras and all the rest of it everywhere. In Jeremiah 50:37 it says:

"...and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed." (Jeremiah 50:37)

In other words, here are all these mingled people, and what would happen as this sword comes in? Notice verse 16:

"Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land." (Jeremiah 50:16)

That is what happened when Babylon was taken over. All the nations - because they absorbed all these nations into the centre of Babylon - and when you have got the Medes and the Persians coming in, they were a very different people. And the main difference between Babylon and the Medes and the Persians was the Medes and Persians were iconoclastic; in other words they did not tolerate idols, and Babylon was full of idols. So what happened to all the mystery religions?. They went underground and they fled back to their own lands. And they took all this synchretised religion of Babylon out with them.

So when you get Alexander, who actually comes later on and he goes through all the different lands that he conquers, which were at one time owned by Babylon, and other lands as well; he gets inculcated into the mystery religions of every single nation that he went through. He went as far as he possibly could. He got priests and he had them inculcated into that mystery religion; and he says that he found that every single one of them was identical. And the reason was they had all flowed from Babylon.

This is why Babylon is; "...THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." (Revelation 17:5). It spread from that time; because you had this iconoclastic people pushed in. Even things like the Iliad and the Odyssey, you find that Aeneas took the gods to Rome within the Iliad, in the Trojan war 676 apparently BC. The only god that wasn't taken was this great mother of Pergamos which was a black statue, an icon, which you do wonder whether it was the 'Black Peter'.

Because again - what happened? You have Simon Magus who made a liaison with a prostitute from Troy, from that area around Pergamos, and the two of them set up in Rome. There you have got this mother aspect as well. They saw themselves almost as reincarnations of the original mother and son, which is going back to Mythras and all the rest of it, and all the utter chaos that was there.

So why did he have such success? Well these people had already come across into this area. They carried their religion with them. In addition to that there were many things that were going on.

First of all there were Punic Wars which were over on the other side there. They were depleting the people, the actual Roman people. You look at the Romans today; the Romans today are not the Romans. Italians today are not Romans, the Italians today are a difference race, they are the slaves of the Romans. The slaves of the Romans stayed because the Punic Wars took the people away. The Romans themselves didn't want children. The same as we have today, we see it within the western society. The Romans didn't want children, they had this lifestyle. They wanted their own lifestyle. It was Imperial Rome and they had these kind of ideas.

The men were taken into the legions and they were then drafted into all the different areas of the Empire. And many times they would settle then in the overseas colonies. They would go up into Gaul and Britain. And in addition to that the slaves were constantly being imported. And they were being imported from the areas they were conquering. They came in from the areas of Greece, they came in from the areas of Samaria and all these areas and they spread across into Rome. So we see quite clearly happening and taking place. And we also see Simon Magus, who was able to get this religion into Rome as the 'Peter.' Go back to Daniel 2:36 it says:

"This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory." (Daniel 2:36-37)

God allowed this to take place. He allowed it to train us, so that we come in contact with a syncratic mixed up, godless system. It has got to be to train us. God could do it a different way but He has allowed it to happen this way; and we have indeed seen the synagogue of Satan right in the very heart of the Church, and we have witnessed it first hand. Even those grown up in the Church have witnessed it first hand, this mixing. Daniel 2:38:

"And wheresoever the children of men dwell [a global, catholic, worldwide, religion], the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet [these ten kings, ten horns in the end time] were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not [stick] one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings [these ten kings that have been spread with the seed of men around the earth in a globalisation that will take place, risen by a church which is also catholic in its nature, very catholic tastes wherever it happens to be, having catholic tastes which is a diverse taste] shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed [another axial period]: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." (Daniel 2:38-44)

That is the axial period we are looking forward to. So we need to keep our minds on that, and view time as God does to get the true picture; and see this confrontation between the true people of God and this Babylonish woman sitting astride this Babylonish Beast in its true perspective. It is the modern system that we see and it is going to, in fact, arise within Europe. And it is going to be ridden by a Catholic church. We are going to see these things and it is helpful that we keep in mind that God's perspective is very much broader than ours. It is not just going to come out of nowhere. It has got a great history that lies behind it.