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SIMON MAGUS SERIES - A "PETER" Was in Rome Two Thousand Years B.C.!
Ernest L Martin   
Church of God

Born: April 20, 1932
Died: January 16, 2002
Member Since: 1955
Ambassador College: 1958
Ordained: January 2, 1959
Office: Elder

Who was the first "Peter" of Rome? What were his successors called? The history of ancient religion reveals the plain truth about the original Peter of Rome. The truth about his real successors is now clear to us but hidden to the world. Here is what history shows us of the ORIGINAL Peter of Rome. The truth is startling!

   THE BIBLE records that in the earliest ages, right after the Flood of Noah, men began to rebel against the teachings of God. They began to build cities, found religions, bring in idolatries. Pagan temples were erected the Tower of Babel came on the scene. All of these things started within the first two hundred years after the Flood.

Pagan Gods Called "Peters"

   Surprising as it may sound, it is a well-known fact among students of ancient religion, that the chief pagan gods worshipped in the early civilizations were generally known by the name PETER. It is also known that the priests of those heathen gods were also called PETERS. That same name in one form or another, was even applied to the pagan TEMPLES consecrated to those gods.
   Notice what Bryant, in his work "Ancient Mythology" says: "Not only the gods, but the Hierophantae [special priests], in most temples; and those priests in particular, who were occupied in the celebration of mysteries, were styled PATRES" (vol. 1, p. 354).
   This is significant! The word PATRE is the same as PATOR or PETER in meaning and pronunciation.
   Bryant continues: "PATRE was undoubtedly a religious term.... the same as PATOR and PATORA."
   The ancient pagan gods, the priests who were their ministers, and their sacred sanctuaries their temples were ALL called PETORS or PETERS (either spelling is acceptable since vowels are fluid in all languages especially the Semitic).

The Meaning of "Peter"

   What did the word PATOR or PETER really mean to the ancients? Surprisingly enough, the word is in the Bible. When Moses wrote about the Egyptian priests, he shows they were called PETERS or "interpreters" interpreters of the ancient Egyptian mysteries.
   Notice Genesis 41:8. Davidson shows in his Hebrew Lexicon that the consonantal word P-T-R (PETER) signifies "to interpret" or "interpretation" (p. 638; of Brown, Driver, Briggs, p. 837; and Gesenius, p. 877 and p. 843). Bryant points out that "the term always related to oracle interpretation" (p. 308).
   The pagan priests of the mystery religions were called PATORS or PETERS. They had the power to interpret the heathen mysteries. This is further brought out by Bunson in his Hieroglyph, page 545, where he shows that the Egyptians as the Bible also indicates called their "interpreters" or priests: PETR, that is, PETER.
   The term PETER was one of the earliest names for the pagan gods. It lasted as late as Greek and Roman times. But by that time the term also took on a widespread secular meaning. It came generally to mean "father" or "parent." But this was not its primary meaning at all. Bryant continues: "The word PATER, when used in the religious addresses of the Greeks and Romans, meant NOT, as is supposed, a father or parent; but related to the divine influence of the Deity, called by the people of the East, PATOR" (Ibid., p. 353).
   In many ancient religions the father was the chief priest of the family. That is the reason the head of the family became known as PATOR or "father."
   The father, because of his priestly position, became known as the ARCHPATOR, or, as it is commonly rendered, PATRIARCH. This is how the term PATOR came to signify, in a secular sense, "a father." But originally, it always meant, "interpreter" especially one of the mystery religions.

Chief Pagan Gods Called PETERS

   We have clear evidence showing that the ancient Romans called their chief gods PETERS the divine interpreters. The early Roman writer Lucilius, mentions Neptune, Liber, Saturn, Mars, Janus and Quirnus all were PATERS. (See the Lucilii Fragments.) He did not mean they were "father-gods." He meant they were gods of PETER-rank the chief gods.
   Lucilius doesn't exhaust the list. In fact, he leaves out JUPITER, the "Father" of the Roman gods. But it was unnecessary to mention him as a "PETER-god." Due to his high rank, the title PETER was actually incorporated as a part of his name. He was called JUPETER.
   Gladstone in his work on the antiquities of Greece, shows that Jupiter and the Greek god ZEUS were one and the same, JU-PETER was the Roman way of saying ZEUSPETER, the chief god of the Greeks (Homer and the Homeric Age, vol. I, p. 287), PETER was the name that came to signify high rank among the gods and among their priests

Greeks Used Term "Peter"

   The Romans were not the only ones who called their gods PETERS, The Classical Manual reveals that the Greeks used the term PETER (or its variants) as often as did the Romans. For example, Apollo was called PATRIUS and his followers APOLLO PATRIUS (p. 23). Pausanius tells us that Artemis and Bacchus were called PATORA, that is PETER-gods (Books 1, 2). Pindar speaks of Poseidon Petraios. He says the Thessalians worshipped Neptune under this title (Pyth. Ode 4).
   In Egypt, the Ammonian priests who headed one of the chief pagan oracles of ancient Egypt were called Petors, as Bryant also says: "The chief instrument (idol) in their hands was styled PIETAURUM" (Ibid., p. 356).
   This idol on many occasions took the form of a pole or upright stake (Ibid., p. 358). The pagan god Artemis is often pictured standing by a stone pillar which is called PATROA or PETER (Pausanius, Bk. 1). These pillars, and all the phallic symbols like them, came to be known as PETRAS the sacred PETERS. (It is still common among the vulgar to refer to the male member by its original religious name PETER.) These phallic Peter-stones can be found all over the ancient world. In fact, there is not a mention of an ancient pagan oracle temple without some notice being given to a PETER emblem the sacred stone.
   Like the word PATOR which came to indicate simply a "father" or "parent" the word PETRA came to mean any large stone. But in the earliest times, it conveyed only the original religious meaning.
   "The term PETRA came at length to signify any rock or stone and to be in a manner confined to that meaning. But in the first ages it was ALWAYS TAKEN IN A RELIGIOUS SENSE; and related to the shrines of Osiris, or the Sun (Baal), and to other oracles which were supposed to be exhibited" (Bryant, p. 359). In other words, the term PETRA meant the sacred PETER-stone a stone usually phallic in design.

"Petras" in Pagan World

   Notice some references to these sacred PETRAS found throughout the pagan world.
   At the temple of Delphi in Greece, the chief object in the ritual was the PETRA (Pausanius, Bk. 10). At the Acropolis in Athens, Euripides tells us, the niches which held the idols were called the PETRAE (verse 935). It is well-known that even the sacred book which was used in the celebration of the Eleusinian mysteries, was entitled "Book PETROMA," PETER-ROMA PETER'S BOOK (see Potter's Antiquities, vol. 1, p. 356).
   Remember that the pagan temples were also called after the PETERS. The temple at Elis in Greece was called PETRON (Lycophron, verse 159). Pytho at Delphi was called PETRAessa (Olymp. Ode 6). The oracle temple dedicated to Apollo in Asia Minor was called the PATARA and the oracle there was called PATAReus ("Eus" means "person who, one") (Lempriere's Classical Dictionary, p. 438).
   Also PATRAE an ancient town where DIANA had a temple (p. 438), and the oracle in Achaia was called PATRA (Jones, Proper Names of the Old Testament, p. 296).
   Examples are too numerous to mention, but this should be enough to show that the name PETER, or its variants, figured very high in every phase of pagan worship. These PETER stones and temples were found all over the ancient world.
   "There is in the history of every oracular temple some legend about a stone; some reference to the word PETRA" (Bryant, p. 362).

Origin of Ancient PETER-worship

   PETER-worship can be traced directly back to MESOPOTAMIA. It was there that idolatry had its beginning. There is where the Tower of Babel was erected. It is no wonder that in Mesopotamia we find the first mention of a PETER-temple. In Numbers 23; 22:4-5 we read that the false prophet Balaam was called to prophesy against Israel. Further, in Deuteronomy 23:4, we read that this Balaam had been called from "Pethor of Mesopotamia" that is, from the PETER of MESOPOTAMIA.
   This Pethor or Peter (either spelling is correct) was the place of an oracle temple. In the dictionary Proper Names of the Old Testament, edited by A. Jones, we find that Balaam's PETHOR was the sacred high place "where there was an oracular temple, and hence called PETHOR, and PETHORA, which meant, place of interpretation, or oracular temple. Here was, no doubt, a college of priests of whom Balaam had been appointed chief PATORA" (p. 296).
   Yes, Balaam was the chief PATORA (Peter) of the PETHOR (Peter-temple) of Mesopotamia.
   It was customary for each pagan country to have a chief oracle or tempIe. The PETHOR or PETER in Greece was Delphi, In Egypt it was Ammon. In Asia Minor it was Lycia and later Pergamos. Professor Jones tells about the other PETHORS throughout the world. Notice: "These 'high places' were scattered about in many parts. There was a city of 'interpretation' in Acaia, called PATRAE, and another in Lycia, called PATARA, where Apollo had an oracle. PETHOR was in after times celebrated for the worship of Ailat" (Ibid., p. 296).

Balaam "Chief Peter"

   But Balaam came from PETHOR on the Euphrates the oracle of Mesopotamia. He was no less than the CHIEF PATORA (as Jones mentions) of the VERY HOME of idolatry and false religion.
   The very meaning of the name "Balaam" shows he considered himself as sitting in the very chair of Nimrod, the beginner of the mystery religions. The name "Balaam" means in Semitic tongues "Conqueror of the People." This was the exact proper name the Greeks used to designate NIMROD. They called him NICOLAUS, which also meant "Conqueror of the People."
   In the New Testament we read of people following the doctrines of NICOLAUS (Nimrod). They were called Nicolaitanes. McClintock and Strong's Encyclopaedia speaking of them says: "The sect of the Nicolaitanes is described as following the doctrine or teaching of Balaam and it appears not improbable that this name is employed symbolically, as NICOLAUS is equivalent in meaning to BALAAM" (vol. 1, p. 621).
   Yes, the two names NICOLAUS and BALAAM are exactly the same in meaning they both point to NIMROD, the originator of paganism. We also find that when Simon Magus (alias Simon Peter) "Christianized" the religion of NIMROD, John the Apostle plainly labels his followers NICOLAITANES and followers of BALAAM. All of the heresies mentioned in the Seven Churches are of only ONE system the system of NIMROD, under the leadership of Simon Magus.

Balaam Represents Nimrod

   The name of Balaam is another name for NIMROD. But, understand this clearly the "Balaam" who met Israel on their way out of Egypt was NOT the original Nimrod. He had been killed several hundred years before. This Balaam merely represented Nimrod as his successor. We are all aware that Joshua, being a successor of Moses, was looked on as sitting in Moses' seat. Even in Christ's time the scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses' seat of authority (Matt. 23:1-4).
   So it was with Balaam. He maintained one of the proper names of Nimrod to signify that he was the legitimate successor of the Arch-Rebel. And to emphasize his authority, Balaam could point to his headquarters as the PETHOR or PETER of Mesopotamia. Therefore, the Moabites in their hatred for Israel called for the chief priest of the pagan world. They ignored the priesthood of their own national gods going to the highest authority they knew! Josephus represents this false prophet as "Balaam, who lived by the Euphrates, and was the greatest of the prophets of that time" (Ant. IV, 6,2). Balaam was the successor of Nimrod the PONTIFEX MAXIMUS of the pagan world. His headquarters was the "PETER on the Euphrates" the SAINT PETER'S OF MESOPOTAMIA, the chief oracle of paganism. This is a shocking revelation but one which stands the test of the Bible and ancient religious history.

PETER-gods Come to Rome

   It is well-known history that in the earliest ages, the center of civilization was in Asia and Mesopotamia. In later times, political power passed to the Greeks and then to the Romans. It is also well-recognized that the religions of Asia, by Greek and Roman times, had also passed to the West. By the First Century, the mystery religions of the Babylonians were centered primarily in Rome! By that time, Rome had become the chief city of the world.
   Early records mention this transference of pagan religion from Asia right to the city of Rome. The First Century book by Virgil, The Aenid, in Imperial times became a type of Roman "Bible." It gives the story of one Aeneas who wandered away from Asia right after the Trojan War and settled in Italy.
   The main theme of the book concerns the so-called "sacred task" of Aeneas: bringing the pagan gods of Asia to Italy! Virgil spares no words in glorifying Aeneas' journey. He shows how Aeneas brought the Romans ORGANIZED RELIGION with all the pagan gods and goddesses necessary for performing it. And most important: Virgil constantly says that these deities were the PATRII of Asia. (See the Classical Manual, page 592, for full information confirming this.) These gods and goddesses were the PETER-deities the chief deities which were destined to favor Rome and Italy above all other countries.
   Asia had been the original home of the PETER-gods. Through Virgil we find them being transported to the doorstep of Rome. And why not? By the First Century, Rome was considered "the home of the gods." Prudentius, an ancient Roman himself, says that there wasn't a single pagan deity that did not in the end find its headquarters at Rome.
   Notice what he says: "There came to be one single home for all earth-born gods, and you may count as many temples of gods AT ROME as tombs of heroes in all the world" (Symmachus, 189 to 197).
   It could hardly be clearer! By Imperial times, Rome became the headquarters of pagan religion. It was the chief oracle of the world, the PETER for the earth.

The Chief Gods of Rome

   There were two gods of ancient Rome which were pre-eminently worshipped as PETER-gods. One was JU-PETER (Zeus-Peter). The other, says the Classical Manual, was JANUS, called PATER or PETER (see page 389). Sometimes these two gods are confused. But they are to be reckoned as distinct relative to Roman paganism of the First Century. The latter god, JANUS-PETER, had some interesting roles to play in the pagan religion at Rome. These roles answer the question: Who was the original Peter of Rome? Notice a brief history and some of the activities of this god.
   Plutarch in his life of Numa, gives us the identity of JANUS. Originally, according to Plutarch, Janus was an ancient prince who reigned in the infancy of the world. He brought men from a rude and savage life to a mild and rational system. HE was the first to build cities and the first to establish government over men. After his death he was deified.
   There can be no mistaking who this JANUS was! This title was just another of the many names of Nimrod. This ancient prince who was violently killed, was later deified by the pagan religions. Because of his high authority, he was called a PATOR or PETER.
   Here are some of the religious activities of which JANUS-PETER was in charge.
   It was JANUS-PETER who was pre-eminent in interpreting the times especially prophecy. "The past and the future was always present in his mind" (Classical Manual, pages 388 and 389). He was pictured as being double-faced. Plutarch said this was a symbol of his endeavor to change men from barbarism to civilization that is, bring them to the civilization of NIMROD. One of JANUS' roles, after his deification as a god, was the continuation of his sacred task of "civilizing" men.
   But let us go a little farther.

Janus-Peter Had "Keys"

   The PETER-god JANUS was to the ancient Romans the "KEEPER OF THE GATES OF HEAVEN AND EARTH." "HE IS REPRESENTED WITH A KEY IN ONE HAND... as emblematic of his presiding over GATES and highways."
   How shocking! The pagan Romans were calling their JANUS a PETER hundreds of years before the birth of the Apostle Peter. It was this JANUS who was in charge of the "pearly gates"! The very word JANUS means "gates," that is, the one in charge of the GATES.
   The Classical Manual continues: "Ovid speaks of him [Janus] in the first book of his Fasti; his face is double to denote his equal empire over the heavens and the earth [does not the Pope claim the same power today?] and that all things are open and shut to him AT HIS WILL [he was infallible and answered to no one for his actions, so the Pope] that he governs the universe [Catholicum], and alone possesses the power of making the world revolve on its axis; THAT HE PRESIDES OVER THE GATES OF HEAVEN."

Catholics Claim "Keys"

   The Catholic Church claims Peter gave to it the keys of the gates of heaven and that no one will enter into God's presence unless that church opens the gates. The very word "Cardinal" means "hinge." The Cardinals of the Roman Church are the HINGES upon which the GATE the Pope is able to turn.
   The Classical Manual continues: "the successions of day and night are regulated by his influence; and that the east and the west is at one moment open to his view."
   It was JANUS-PETER who also controlled the calendar by his priests. The first month of the year was named after him to show his control over the years. So, today, we still have JANU-ary as the first month. The Catholic Church, like the priests of Janus, feels it has this same authority over the calendar today.

Another Name for Nimrod

   Finally, it is necessary to notice at least one more name under which Nimrod masqueraded the name MITHRAS, the Persian name for Baal, the sun god. This Mithras-worship of Nimrod was popular and was one of the last to plant itself in Rome, but it had a very old theme outright PETER-worship. "Mithras was styled by the nations of the East PATOR; his temples were PATRA and PETRA and his festivals PATRICA" (Bryant, vol. 1, p. 370).
   Yes, even Nimrod under the name Mithras, the sun-god, was called PETER!!!
   Sir James Frazer tells us of this religion of Mithra the religion of the pagan PETER coming to Rome. Notice it. "Among the gods of eastern origin who in the decline of the ancient world competed against each other for the allegiance of the West was the old Persian deity of MITHRA. The immense popularity of his worship is attested by the monuments illustrative of it which have been found scattered in profusion ALL OVER THE ROMAN EMPIRE. In respect both of doctrines and of rites the cult of MITHRA appears to have presented many points of resemblance not only to the religion of the Mother of the Gods but also to Christianity" (Golden Bough, St. Martin's ed., vol. 1, p. 471).

Catholics Accept "Peter" Worship

   What he means is that the Christianity of the third and fourth centuries had already by that time inherited so much from pagan beliefs, that this PETER-religion coming from the East found many similarities with Roman Christianity. The Catholics had already, by this late date, accepted the pagan festivals of Christmas, Easter and a host of other rituals and beliefs. Frazer continues: "Taken altogether, the coincidences of the Christian with the heathen festivals are too close and too numerous to be accidental" (Ibid., p. 475).
   It was this pagan MITHRAISM which gave the most to "Christianity."
   Bryant shows that the chief name of MITHRA in the East was PATOR or PETER "his temples were PATRA and PETRA and his festivals PATRICA." Everything connected with this ancient pagan religion can be traced right back to the original PETER the original "interpreter of the mysteries" who was none other than NIMROD. This is the same mystery system which the Roman Catholics have absorbed.

Sits in "Peter's" Chair

   No wonder the Roman Catholic Church claims to sit in PETER'S CHAIR and that the chief temple of the world is today called SAINT PETER'S. That Church has accepted the practices and symbols of the oldest pagan religion on earth: PETER-worship the religion of Nimrod.
   This pagan religion was believed and practiced before Christ ever told the Apostle Peter and the other Apostles that they were to have the "keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 16:19). Satan counterfeited God's true religion centuries before Christ came!
   This was Satan's attempt to smother God's true religion with a counterfeit that to the untrained eye looks genuine. He did this principally through Simon Magus (Pater) who amalgamated all the pagan religions into one UNIVERSAL religion and called the system "Christianity."
   The Bible tells us to come completely out of this false religious system masquerading under the name of Christianity. We are to get back to the faith once delivered to the saints. We can thank God for His goodness in giving to His Church the TRUTH.
   Next month you will come to understand how Simon Magus created a "No works" religion!

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Good News MagazineJuly 1964Vol XIII, No. 7
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