But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT AND THE POPE
“Thou shalt have NO OTHER GODS before me.” (Exodus 20:3) (Emphasis mine)
“The Lord left to Peter the governance not of the church only but of the whole world.” (Pope Innocence III)
“The Roman Pontiff judges all men, but is judged by no one.... What can you therefore make of me but God?” (Pope Boniface VIII)
A billion Catholics call the Pope ''THE HOLY FATHER”. They believe that when he speaks “ex cathedra” he is infallible. They claim he is in the apostolic line of succession from Peter.
Are they correct? Or is the Pope “another god” -- forbidden by the First Commandment?
THE HOLY FATHER?
Christ condemned the religious leaders of His day who loved to be called of men “Rabbi” and “Father” (Matthew 23:1-9). It is in THIS CONTEXT that we read our Lord's COMMAND:
“And CALL NO MAN your FATHER upon the earth: for ONE is your FATHER, which is in heaven.” (Matthew 23:9) (Emphasis mine)
Yet Roman Catholics still call each priest “Father” and the Pope “THE HOLY FATHER”. To whom should we render obedience -- to our Lord Jesus Christ? -- or to the Vatican?
THE FIRST POPE
In 313 A.D. Constantine became a “Christian” (to out-maneuver his pagan rival). He gave persecuted Christians freedom and official recognition alongside paganism.
The Emperor now had to be recognized as de facto head of the apostate elements of the Church. He convened the first ecumenical Council (Nicaea) in 325 A.D. He set its agenda, gave the opening speech, and presided over it.
Constantine's interest was not the Gospel, but the unity of the Roman Empire (the Council took notice of non-Catholic Rebaptizers and Puritans--called Anabaptists and Cathari in Greek and Puritani in Latin).
While heading the Catholics, Emperor Constantine continued to head the pagan priesthood, officiate at pagan celebrations and endow pagan temples. He refused Christian baptism until his deathbed.
As head of the pagan priesthood, Constantine was the “Pontifex Maximus.” Catholics honored him as “Bishop of Bishops.” He called himself “Vicarius Christi” (Vicar of Christ).
“Vicar of Christ”, when translated back into the original Greek of the New Testament is “Antichrist.” “Anti” in Greek can mean either “in place of” or “against.”
In the Middle Ages, the bishops of Rome began to claim that they were the sole representatives of Christ. They forbade other bishops to be called Papa (Pope).
They took to themselves the three titles of Constantine -- Pontifex Maximus, Bishop of Bishops and Vicar of Christ -- that they retain to this day. By Constantine's definition in Greek, they are all “Antichrist.”
The lives of the majority of these popes, as recorded in the Catholic Encyclopedia, read like an unbelievable soap opera of lust, madness, mayhem and murder. Some were condemned as heretics by their successors. Yet all were “infallible” according to Rome.
Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (178-200 A.D.) lived long before Constantine's marriage of Church and State. Irenaeus sealed his testimony with his own blood. He left us a list of the first 12 bishops of Rome.
Linus was the first. Peter's name does NOT appear.
Eusebius, the father of Church History, was a contemporary of Constantine. He NEVER mentions Peter as Bishop of Rome. The Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, greets many people by name, but NOT Peter. A strange omission if Peter was its first Bishop.
“... Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.... That thou art Peter, and upon this ROCK I will build my church....” (Matthew 16:16,18) (Emphasis mine)
In Greek, Peter is “petros” a small stone, while ROCK is “PETRA” a huge rock like Gibraltar.
This huge “petra” could only be Christ himself and Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ. Peter says that Christ is the chief cornerstone upon which the Church is built (1 Peter 2:6-8).
Paul likewise declares that the Church is “built upon the foundation of (all) the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). He assigns NO special place to Peter as the rock upon which the Church is built.
“For who is God save the LORD? or who is a ROCK save our God?” (Psalm 18:31) Thus Christ, not Peter, is the rock upon which the Church is built. Devout Catholic historians Von Dollinger and de Rosa admit that this was the position of ALL the early “Church Fathers.”
PAGAN ROME, PAPAL (CATHOLIC) ROME
Constantine donated his imperial palace in Rome to bishop Sylvester when he moved his throne to Constantinople. Rome remained capital of the western half of the Empire. The Popes developed power, not only as head of Catholics, but as de facto emperors of the West.
Papal Rome was the successor of Pagan Rome. The Popes were the successors of Emperor Constantine. Their natural propensity for evil (innate in all of us) found unusual opportunities afforded by their office. They lived in luxury and vice -- unlike Christ or Peter.
Thus the Popes are NOT the successors of Peter, but of Constantine. Like the pagan Roman Emperors before them, the Popes demand worship as gods (enforced by the SWORD, whenever possible). But they are false gods -- forbidden by the First Commandment.
 Dave Hunt, A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST (Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, OR, 1994) p. 46.
 Ibid. pp. 92, 161-176 and 506-507.
 Ibid. pp. 109-118
 Ibid. pp. 146-147.
 W.A. Jarrel, BAPTIST CHURCH PERPETUITY (Calvary Baptist Church Bookstore: Ashland, Kentucky, n.d. -- originally published by author, 1894 in Dallas) p. 289.
 Dave Hunt, A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST (Harvest House Publishers: Eugene, OR, 1994) pp. 124-125 and 229-307.
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows the Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss