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Who is the Biblical, Historical, Prophetic anti-christ?

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    NIMROD, THE KING and founder of Babylon, was not only its political leader, he was its religious leader also.  He was a priest-king.  From him descended a line of priest kings each standing as the head of the occult Babylonian mystery religion. This line continued on down to the days of Belshazzar of whom we read in the Bible.

    Many are familiar with the feast Belshazzar in Babylon when the mysterious handwriting appeared on the wall.  Some have failed to recognize, however, that this gathering was more than a mere social party!  It was a religious gathering, a celebration of the Babylonian mysteries of which Belshazzar was the head at that time.  They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, and of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone' (Dan. 5:41).  Adding to the blasphemy of the occasion, they drank their wine from the holy vessels of the Lord which had been taken from the Jerusalem temple. This attempt to mix that which was holy with that which was heathenism, brought about Divine judgment. Babylon was marked for doom.

    The prophets had told how the city would be destroyed (Jer. 50:39; 51 :62). Today there is a railroad which runs from Baghdad to Basra which passes close by the old site.  A sign written in English and Arabic says:  "Babylon Halt.  Trains stop here to pick up passengers." The passengers are tourists who come to inspect the ruins.  But though the city was destroyed, concepts that were a part of the old Babylon religion survived!

When Rome conquered the world, the sun worship that had spread from Babylon and developed in various nations, was merged into the religious system of sun worshiping Rome.  This included the idea of a Supreme Pontiff(Pontifex Maximus), an office that began to be held by the Caesars in 63 B.C, This is illustrated here by an old Roman coin of Augustus Caesar (B.C. 27-14 A.D.) with his title as the "Pont-Max," the head of the mysteries.  Coins such as this were in circulation during the days of our Lord's earthly ministry.  "And they brought unto him a penny. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?  They say unto him, Caesar's- (Matt. 22:17-22).

    The Roman emperors (including Constantine) continued to hold the office of Pontifex Maximus until 376 when Gratian, for Christian reasons, refused it. He recognized this title and office as idolatrous and blasphemous.  By this time, however, the bishop of Rome had risen to political power and prestige.  Consequently, in 378 ,Demasus, bishop of Rome, was elected the Pontifex Maximus-the high priest of the mysteries! Since Rome was considered the most important city in the world, some of the Christians looked to the bishop of Rome as "Bishop of bishops" and head of the church.  And this same man was claiming the title Pontifex Maximus a unique arrangement!  By this time, and through the years that followed, the streams of sun worship and Christianity flowed together, producing what is known as the Roman Catholic church, under the headship of the Pontifex Maximus the Pope.

    The title Pontifex Maximus is repeatedly found on inscriptions throughout the Vatican--above the entry of St. Peter's, above the statue of Peter, in the dome, over the Holy Year Door which is opened only during a jubilee year, etc.  The accompanying medal, struck by Pope Leo X just before the Reformation, illustrates one of the ways that the title "Pont. Max,"   has been used by the popes.

    But how could a man be at one and the same time both the head of the church and the Pontifex Maximus, the head of the sun worship mysteries?   In an attempt to cover this discrepancy, church leaders sought for similarities between the two religions. They knew if they could find even a few points that each side had in common, both could be merged into one, for by this time most were not concerned about details. They desired numbers and political power. Truth was secondary.

    One striking similarity was that the Supreme Pontiff of sun worshipers bore the Chaldean title peter or interpreter--the interpreter of the mysteries.   Here was an opportunity to "Christlanize" the sun worship office of Pontifex Maximus, the office the bishop of Rome now held, by associating the "Peter" or Grand Interpreter of Rome with Peter the apostle.  But this was not without its problems. To do so, it was necessary to teach that Peter had been in Rome. Thus tales about Peter being the first bishop of Rome, unknown and unheard-of in earlier times, began to be voiced. "And so," writes Hislop, "to the blinded Christians of the apostasy, the Pope was the representative of Peter the apostle, while to the initiated sun worshipers, he was only the representative of Peter, the interpreter of their well-known mysteries."

    Since the apostle Peter was known as Simon Peter, it is interesting to note that Rome not only had a "Peter," an interpreter of the mysteries, but also a religious leader named Simon who went there in the first century! This Simon, known to Bible students as Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9), is said to have later gone to Rome and founded a counterfeit Christian religion there! Because this sounds so bizarre, in order to make it clear there is no bias on our part, we quote the following right from The Catholic Encyclopedia about this Simon:

    "Justin Martyr and other early writers inform us that he afterwards went to Rome, worked miracles there by the power of demons, and received Divine honors both in Rome and in his own country. Though much extravagant legend afterwards gathered around the name of this Simon, it seems nevertheless probable that there must be some foundation in fact for the account given by Justin and accepted by Eusebius. The historical Simon Magus no doubt founded some sort of religion as a counterfeit of Christianity in which he claimed to play a part analogous to that of Christ."

    We know that the Roman Catholic church became expert in taking various ideas or traditions and mixing them together into its system of religion.  If Simon did build up a following in Rome, if he received Divine honors, if he founded a counterfeit Christian religion in which he played a part analogous to Christ, is it not possible that such ideas could have influenced later traditions?  Perhaps this "Simon" being in Rome was later confused with Simon Peter.  The popes have claimed to be 'Christ in office' on earth.  Apparently Simon the sorcerer made the same claim in Rome.  But we never read of any such claim being made by Simon Peter the apostle!

    Another mixture at Rome involved "keys."  For almost a thousand years, the people of Rome had believed in the mystic keys of the sun worship god Janus and the goddess Cybele.  In Mithraism, one of the main branches of the mysteries that came to Rome, the sun god carried two keys, When the emperor claimed to be successor of the "gods" and Supreme Pontiff of the mysteries, the keys came to be symbols of his authority.  Later when the bishop of Rome became the Pontifex Maximus in about 378, he automatically became the possessor of the mystic keys.  This gained recognition for him from the sun worshipers and, again, there was the opportunity to mix Peter into the story.  Had not Christ said to Peter, "I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 16:19)?

    It was not until 431, however, that the pope publicly made the claim that the keys he possessed were the keys of authority given to the apostle Peter.  This was over fifty years after the pope had become the Pontifex Maximus, the possessor of the keys.  Keys are shown as symbols of the papal authority.

    The key given to Peter (and to all the disciples) represented the gospel message whereby people could enter the kingdom of God.  Because some have not rightly understood this, it is not uncommon for Peter to be pictured as the gatekeeper of heaven, deciding who he will let in and who he won't!

    This is very much like the ideas that were associated with the sun worship god Janus, for he was the keeper of the doors and gates in Roman mythology.  Janus, with key in hand, is shown in the accompanying drawing.  He was represented with two faces-one young, the other old (a later version of Nimrod incarnated in Tammuz).  It is interesting to notice that not only was the key a symbol of Janus, the cock was also regarded as being sacred to him.  There was no problem to link the cock with Peter, for had not a cock crowed on the night that he denied the Lord? (John 18:27).

    It is certain that the title "supreme Pontiff" or "Pontifex Maximus" which the pope bears is not a Christian designation, for it was the title used by Roman emperors before the Christian Era.  The word "pontiff comes from the word pons, "bridge," and facio. "make."  It means "bridge-maker,"  The priest-king emperors of sun worship days were regarded as the makers and guardians of the bridges of Rome.  Each of them served as high priest and claimed to be the bridge or connecting link between this life and the next.

    That branch of the mysteries known as Mithraism grew in Rome until it became-at one time-almost the only faith of the empire.  The head priest was called the Pater Patrum, that is, the Father of Fathers.  Borrowing directly from this title, at the head of the Roman Catholic church, is the Papa or Pope-the Father of Fathers. The "Father" of Mithraism had his seat at Rome then, and the "Father" of Catholicism has his there now.

    The expensive and highly decorated garments that the popes wear were patterned after those of the Roman emperors.  The historians have not let this fact go unnoticed, for indeed their testimony is that "the vestments of the clergy...were legacies from sun worshiping Rome."

    The tiara crown that the popes wear-though decorated in different ways at different times-is identical in shape to that worn by the "gods" or angels that are shown on ancient sun worship Assyrian tablets.  It is similar to that seen on Dagon, the fish--god pictured here, Dagon was actually but a mystery form of the false Babylonian "savior."  The name Dagon comes from dag(a word commonly translated "fish" in the Bible) and means fish-god.  Though it originated in the sun worship of Babylon, Dagon worship became especially popular among the Philistines (Judges 16:21-30; 1 Sam. 5:5,6).

    The way Dagon was depicted on Mesopotamian sculpture is seen in the drawing reproduced below (second figure from left).  In his book Babylon and Nineveh, Layard explains that "the head of the fish formed a mitre above that of the man, while its scaly, fan-like tail fell as a cloak behind, leaving the human limbs and feet exposed."

    Later, in the development of things, just the top portion remained as a mitre, with the jaws of the fish slightly opened.  On several Maltese coins, a god (whose characteristics are the same as those of Osiris, the Egyptian Nimrod), is shown with the fish body removed, and only the fish-head mitre remaining.

    A famous painting by Moretto shows St. Ambrose wearing a mitre shaped like the head of a fish. This same type of mitre is worn by the popes.  Photo below right shows Pope Benedict XVI  in America in 2008 wearing the fish-head mitre.

    H.A. Ironside says that the pope is "the direct successor of the high priest of the Babylonian mysteries and the servant of the fish god Dagon, for whom he wears, like his idolatrous predecessors, the fisherman's ring."  'Again, in mixing sun worship and Christianity together, similarities made the mixture less obvious.  In this case, since Peter had been a fisherman, the fish-god ring with the title Pontifex Maximus inscribed on it was associated with him. 

    But a ring like this was never worn by Peter the apostle.  No one ever bowed and kissed his ring.  He probably didn't even have one, for, as he said to the lame man, "Silver and gold have I none"! (Acts 3:6).

    Another clue to help us solve the mystery of Babylon modern may be seen in the use of the pallium which the pope wears over his shoulders.  The unabridged dictionaries define it as a garment that was worn by the sun worship clergy of Greece and Rome, before the Christian Era.

    In modern times, the pallium is made of white wool which is taken from two lambs which have been "blessed" in the basilica of St. Agnes, Rome.  As a symbol that the archbishops also share in the plenitude of the papal office, the pope sends the pallium to them.  Before it is sent, however, it is laid all night on the supposed tomb of St. Peter-such being a copy of sun worship that was practiced among the Greeks!

    Over the centuries the Roman Catholic church has claimed to possess the chair in which Peter sat and ministered at Rome.  But this would be a strange chair for Peter!  Even The Catholic Encyclopedia explains that the plates on the front of the chair show fabulous animals of mythology as well as the fabled "labors of Hercules."  
    In another volume of The Catholic Encyclopedia. we find these words: "Gilgamesh, whom mythology transformed into a Babylonian Hercules...would then be the person designated by the Biblical Nemrod (Nimrod)."   It is curious that Nimrod is likened to Hercules and carvings associated with Hercules appear on the so-called "Chair of Peter"!  None of these things would cause us to think of this chair as being of Christian origin.

     A scientific commission appointed by Pope Paul in July, 1968, reported that no part of the chair is old enough to date from the days of Peter. Carbon dating and other tests indicated that the chair is no older than the ninth century.  Clearly, the earlier ideas about Peter's chair were interesting, but not accurate.

    Near the high altar of St. Peter's is a large bronze statue of "Peter."  Some old writers have argued that this was originally a statue of Jupiter!-renamed as Peter. Such was the opinion of the Emperor Leo who published an edict in 628 against the use of statues in worship. Nevertheless, this statue is looked upon with the most profound veneration and its foot has been kissed so many times that the toes are nearly worn away! (notice photo on the left)

    The practice of kissing an idol or statue was borrowed from sun worship. As we have seen, Baal worship was linked with the ancient worship of Nimrod in deified form (as the sun-god). In the days of Elijah, multitudes had bowed to Baal and kissed him. "Yet," God said, "I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him" (1 Kings 19:18). In one of his "mystery" forms. Nimrod (incarnated in the young Tammuz) was represented as a calf.  Statues of calves were made, worshiped, and kissed!  "They sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say to them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves" (Hosea 13: 1-3). Kissing an idol was a part of Baal worship!

    Not only was the practice of kissing an idol adopted by the Roman Catholic church, so was the custom of religious processions in which idols were carried. Such processions are a common part of Roman Catholic practice, yet these did not originate with Christianity. In the fifteenth century B.C., an image of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar was carried with great pomp and ceremony from Babylon to Egypt. Idol processions were practiced tn Greece, Egypt, Ethiopia, Mexico, and many other countries in olden times.

    The Bible shows the folly of those who think good can come from idols-idols so powerless they must be carried!  Isaiah, in direct reference to the gods of Babylon, had this to say: "They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down yea, they worship.  They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him" (Isaiah 46:6,7).

    Not only have such processions continued in the Roman Catholic church in which statues are carried, but the pope is also carried in procession. In Isaiah's time the people lavished silver and gold on their god.  Today expensive garments and jewels are placed on the pope. When the sun worship god was carried tn procession, the people fell down and worshiped, so on certain occasions do people bow before the pope as he is carried by.  Even as the god was carried 'upon the shoulder,' so do men carry the pope, the god of Catholicism, upon their shoulders in religious procession!

    Over three thousand years ago, the very same practice was known in Egypt, such processions being a part of sun worship there. The illustration bottom right corner shows the ancient priest-king of Egypt being carried through worshipful crowds by twelve men.  A comparison of the papal procession and the ancient sun worship procession, shows that one is a copy of the other. In the drawing of the Egyptian priest-king, we notice the use of the flabella a large fan made of feathers, later known as the mystic fan of Bacchus.  These fans are also carried with the pope on state occasions.
    The Encyclopedia Britannica says, "When going to solemn ceremonies, (the pope) is carried on the sedia, a portable chair of red velvet with a high back, and escorted by two flabella of feathers." That these processional fans originated in the sun worship of Egypt is known and admitted by Catholic writers.
    The four strong iron rings in the legs of the "Chair of Peter", were intended for carrying-poles.  But we can be certain that the apostle Peter was never carried through crowds of people bowing to him! (Acts 10:25,26).

    That the papal office was produced by a mixture of sun worship and Christianity there can be little doubt. The pallium, the fish-head mitre, the Babylonish garments, the mystic keys, the title Pontifex Maximus, were borrowed from sun worship.  All of these things, and the fact that Christ never instituted the office of Pope in his church, plainly show that the Pope is neither the Vicar of Christ nor the successor of the apostle Peter.

“Signs and symbols rule the Sun Worship world, not words nor laws.”