“SIN WILL BE WEDGED BETWEEN THE BUYING AND THE SELLING.” – WISDOM OF SIRACH 27:2
Throughout the history of the Christian church, every new crisis, war or plague has often brought renewed interest in apocalyptic prophecies and speculation on how those events of the time appear to be the fulfillment the prophecies spoken of in the Book of Revelation. We continuously hear the sound of the alarm: “the age of apostacy is now upon us, we are living in the last days of the antichrist” etc. Never mind and ignoring the fact that the church had already been faced with ten major persecutions in the early centuries, never mind that the church was faced with major apostacies, heresies and schisms through the middle ages, and forget the fact that two major plagues throughout the middle ages wiped out up to two-thirds of the worlds population. And yet, there is never any mention today of the major genocides of Christians at the hands of Islam at the turn of the twentieth century. Still, many Christians believe the prophesied apocalyptic persecutions, plagues and wars were still “not yet.” Now here we are again on the tail end of a new major pandemic crisis, and we are once again witnessed another round of panic and speculation that the fast roll-out of the vaccine will contain some sort of a secret substance that will allow the global government elites to be able to track and control those who have been immunized. The Orthodox world seems to have bought into the same ideas which sprang from Protestant Dispensationalism regarding the mark of the beast. And many Orthodox are now convinced that this vaccine is the mark of the beast described in the book of Revelation. Or at least they convinced themselves that the vaccine is some sort of “precursor” or “forerunner” event which will then lead to the mark of the beast very soon thereafter. “Christian science fiction” at its finest. Too much fear mongering and negativity of the future, and never any optimism is ever expressed by these people in the Apocalyptic prophecies. Biblical prophecies such as those in Revelation are meant to give us hope and encourage us to remain faithful until the end.
The prophecies of Revelation on the rise of future beasts or empires described in with difficult-to-understand symbols. These beasts and their activities should not necessarily be taken literally or at face value when reading the text, but unfortunately this is a common approach for some denominations. The reason for this obfuscation is because they were not meant to be understood until they come to pass. Neither were they meant to be understood by non-Christians and heretics. The fact still remains, biblical prophecy is sealed and intended to be impenetrable and only understood until after the fulfillment of the prophecy. Otherwise even the wise Pharisees would have have understood who Jesus was and would have never approached Him the way that they did. And even the wiser disciples of Jesus did not understand many of the messianic prophecies until after He had rose from the dead, when we are told in the gospels that Jesus spent time explaining the fulfillments of the scriptures to them after his glorious resurrection. In the book of Daniel, we read in chapter 12 that Daniel was told to “sealed up” the prophecies with hard-to-decipher words and symbols so as to hide their meaning until after the completion of the events. This is promised by the angel clothed in linen in Daniel 12:7 stating that only after a period of persecution and scattering of the saints were completed, the prophecies would then be understood and interpreted. In chapter one of the book of Revelation, we are told that these events would begin to unfold in quick succession, that is, “shortly come to pass”. That phrase “shortly come to pass” loses a little of it’s punch of we say that it would take over 2000 years before that statement is fulfilled. The Apocalypse is about the Revelation of Jesus Christ and the “Body of Christ,” or the church, over time. That is, it is a journey of the true faithful bride from the time of John until the Second Coming. And so we should expect to see that the most significant and notable events in the history of the Church would be contained within the chapters of the book.
And that brings us to the subject of todays article focusing on the “mark” and “number” of the beast and an examination of it from a perspective of church history. In our previous article related to “buying and selling” of Revelation 13, we examined St. Seraphim of Serov’s writings and some of the parables in the scriptures teach the act of “buying and selling” spoken in Revelation chapter 13 has more to do with the acquisition of the the Holy Spirit, and was not intended to be taken literally through the forced buying and selling of groceries and products through some sort of digital credit card or microchip implant. As St. Seraphim taught, the aim or “business” in life is to “buy” or acquire the holy spirit, to get as much profit as possible from the trade and accumulation of the “capital” of God’s grace. St. Seraphim states:
“Acquire the grace of the Holy Spirit also by practicing all the other virtues for Christ’s sake. Trade spiritually with them; trade with those which give you the greatest profit. Accumulate capital from the superabundance of God’s grace, deposit it in God’s eternal bank which will bring you immaterial interest“
To expand more on this concept of “trading” the Holy Spirit, we will examine the text of the latter part of Revelation 13 more closely. In the text of the chapter, we read a description of a Lamb-like beast with two horns of power who sought to deceive with sorcery and magic to perform great miracles in front of the people in order to cause them to worship the first beast. And this lamblike dragon-speaking beast would force “all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark” and they could not “buy and sell” unless they had the “mark” which is the NAME of the beast or the number of its name, and perform a number of miracles and made an image which forced many to worship the first beast. But before attempting to decode these passages further, we need to ask ourselves the question: doesn’t the story of this false lamb beast, that is, this false teacher or prophet who performing miracles to deceive those around him, sound familiar to us? Where have we heard such a story before? Indeed, we see a similar theme of the story of this second beast to someone else in the very pages of the New Testament, who also sought to “buy” or “purchase” the grace of the Holy Spirit, and use this power with his sorcery and magic which he practiced in others. Not only that, this very person traveled to Rome to complete with Peter the Apostle over the potential converts performing many so-called “miracles”, which is ominous given the fact that St. Irenaeus and St. Hippolytus tried to warn us that such a great apostacy would come from Rome identified as “Lateinos” calculated to be the number 666. And this man is known as Simon Magus, the author of the sin known as simony, the father of Gnosticism and all heresies in the Christian Church.
As we know St. John the Theologian often borrowed on symbols and themes throughout the Old and New Testaments. And it appears this is the case once again, we find many symbolic references to Ezekiel and the Book of Acts and one other critical apocryphal writing of the Church which existed at the time of John. And the history of the church records that simony, first executed by Simon Magus, is the very act of the “buying and selling” of salvation found through the sale of indulgences, offices, titles, relics, mandatory celebacy to inherit all of the wealth of the priests, all these things became a big business during the Middle Ages leading to the Protestant Reformation. That is, this act of simony gave rise to a great “Lateinos” power in the West through the the Rise of the Papacy, a figured described in Revelation coming from the earth “like a Lamb” with two horns of power, symbolized by religious and temporal powers. This possible link between Simon Magus , the “man behind the mark”, the city of Rome and the source of the future Latin leader’s power, will be the subject of this article.
Simon Magus (also known as Simon the Sorcerer or Simon the Magician) was a religious figure who lived in the first century and is considered to be the author of simony and potentially the father of Gnosticism. Irenaeus claimed him to be one of the founders of Gnosticism as well as the leader of the Simonians. He developed a counterfeit version of Christianity to compete with the the Apostles mission.
Simon boasted that he was ‘someone great’, amazed people in Samaria by his sorcery, and was acclaimed by them as ‘the Great Power of God’. We find a few sources say he had the ability to levitate and to fly at will. He came from the land of Samaria from the town of Gitta. According to Justin, nearly all the Samaritans were adherents of Simon of Gitta (or Getta), a village not far from Flavia Neopolis. According to Josephus, Gitta (also spelled Getta) was settled by the tribe of Dan. This should set off alarm bells for some! This is interesting with the fact that many church fathers say the “antichrist” would come from the tribe of Dan. Saint Paul in his epistles informs us that “the mystery of iniquity DOTH ALREADY WORK” (II Thess. 2:7). Was this a reference to Simon Magus? And was John drawing inferences to Simon Magus with the prophecy in Revelation 13?
Let’s take a closer look. We first learn about him with his confrontation and interaction with St. Peter in the Book of Acts:
“But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.” – Acts 8:9-24
Hasting’s Dictionary of the Apostolic Church says: “The author or FIRST REPRESENTATIVE [POPE] of this baptized heathenism…is Simon Magus, who unquestionably ADULTERATED Christianity with PAGAN IDEAS AND PRACTICES, with the aid and with the sanction of Christianity (so called) to set up A RIVAL UNIVERSAL (OR CATHOLIC) RELIGION” (Vol. 2, pp. 514, 566)
According to Clement, the early church father, Magus could, levitate items on command, speak with spirits, summon demons and place them into statues making the statues walk and talk, fly, and even raise the dead. Justin Martyr and Irenaeus record the story where after Simon Magus was cast out by the Apostles, he came to Rome with a woman named Helen and made claims to the Jews that it was he who appeared among the Jews as the Son, in Samaria as the Father and among other nations as the Holy Spirit.
Justin Martyr said that Simon performed such signs by magic acts during the reign of Claudius that he was regarded as a god and honored with a statue on the island in the Tiber which the two bridges cross, with the inscription Simoni Deo Sancto, “To Simon the Holy God” (First Apology, XXVI).
Hippolytus also records a folk-tradition which told how, having fallen foul of the Christian Apostles and come to Rome, Simon had several more disputes with Peter. At last, on the point of ‘being shown up’ again, Simon, in order to gain time, said that if he were buried alive he would rise again on the third day: ‘So he bade that a tomb should be dug by his disciples and that he should be buried in it. Now they did what they were ordered, but he remained there until now: for he was not the Christ.’
The Death of Simon Magus, in front of Peter and Nero in Rome
We also can read in the apocryphal “Acts of Peter” and “Acts of Peter and Paul” The Acts of Peter describe a tale of Simon Magus’ death while performing magic in the Forum, in order to convince the crowd that he was a god. He levitates up to the air and the Apostle Peter prays to God to stop his flying, in which he is stopped mid-air and falls to the ground, breaking his legs into three parts, after which he is stoned then carried away to his death. In the Acts of Peter and Paul, we have a modified version of this story where this debate between Peter and Paul in front of the Emperor Nero. In this version, Paul and Peter watch Simon levitate from a high wooden tower and dies and divided into “four parts” after his fall. Peter and Paul were then imprisoned by Nero while Nero kept Simon’s body for three days thinking he would rise again after three days. The fact that Peter, Nero and Simon Magus are simultaneously in Rome during this story is VERY significant and ominous, and will show a relationship to the calculation of the number 666, and the authority and place by which the Second Beast would rule “out of the earth”. We find a reference to similar deceptive miracles and sorcery performed in Revelation 13 by the second beast of the earth who would force the mark upon the followers:
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; (…) And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak (…)” – Revelation 13:13-15
These verses, along with the subsequent “buying/selling” verse identifying those who would accept submit through the “mark,” have strong parallels to the stories and myths of Simon Magus from the Book of Acts and apocryphal writings. We certainly can acknowledge that Simon’s imprint is all over the latter half of Revelation 13 based on the deceptive miracles and the desire to “trade” the power of the Holy Spirit through financial means.
Simon Magus & ROME’s connection to the Second Beast
First we can identify the financial association of 666 to the temple revenue of King Solomon through “buying and selling” or trading transactions. The Old Testament does offer a financial link to the number 666 by King Solomon. We read in 1 Kings: “The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold not including the revenue from the merchants, traders, and all the Arabian kings and governors of the land” – 1 Kings 10:14-15. So the 666 calculation has to be related to a financial act in some way.
Recall earlier we established an association with Peter and Simon Magus in the city of Rome along with Emperor Nero. Some commentators often identify Nero with the 666 calculation. particularly Preterist commentators. The 666 calculation to Nero as there are gematria calculations of Nero which add up to 666. However we will see later that Nero’s connection to 666 is related in a way to the rise of the Temporal Power of the Papacy through the Donation of Constantine and the desire to become Pontifex Maximus in the revived Holy Roman Empire. Is there a connection to Nero, Simon Magus and the Lateinos spoken of by Ireneaus?
Simon also has the same first name as the Apostle Peter’s name – Simon Bar Jonah. Both were present in front of Nero in Rome. Why is this important, because their association with Rome is very closely linked to the calculation. St. Hippolytus who was a Roman and lived from the second half of the second century to the beginnings of the third century A.D., says:
“… because when he appears, then time will show the wanted solution… so (this number 666) applied to one name becomes Lateinos (the Latin one) … because when the times actually come then also he, about whom these things have been prophesied, shall become manifest, and the very name shall openly be signaled to all.”
And we have from Ireneaus the 666 calculation of “Lateinos” by Irenaeus. The letters meaning the beast’s name make the number 666; and the letters of his name, being a man’s name, must sum up 666. This name is “Lateinos” (a Latin), is calculated as follows: L=30, a=1, t=300, e 5, i=10, n=50, o=70, s=200. Therefore, 30 + 1 + 300 + 5 + 10 + 50 + 70 + 200 = 666.
Both of these Fathers, Hippolytus and Irenaeus, lived about six centuries before the beast appeared. To identify the rise of this beast, Andrew of Caesarea said in his commentary on Revelation: “Time and experience will reveal to sober researchers the precision of the number and the other things written about it.” So he says that time and experience, that is the realization of the prophecy, the events to be brought about by one man in accordance with what the Revelation writes about this beast, will reveal the confirmation of the name of the beast bearing a man’s number 666. But time and experience will reveal these data to sober men only; to those being spiritually wakeful, possessing clean souls and spiritual eyes. Such eyes existed in the saintly Fathers Photios, Markos Eugenikos and in innumerable others and in the majority of the Hellenic people; so when the beast made its appearance from the abyss, they struggled against it.
But these statements by Irenaeus and Hippolytus do not align well with many of the more recent elder prophecies identifying the 666 mark with a vaccine or chip ID implant. These recent spiritual fathers appear to take a more literal interpretation like the Protestant Dispensationalists and less symbolic or allegorical on interpreting these symbols of the Apocalypse. Instead, they look to a future antichrist coming from the Tribe of Dan who would construct a deceptive temple in Jerusalem and force everyone to take some sort of digital currency or ID chip. This after taking the precursor to the mark, the vaccine which will require some sort of vaccine passport in order to buy and sell plane tickets.
But was John trying to teach us something else entirely different, which would have more severe catastrophic consequences on the unity and Christology of the Church? Was the theologian perhaps drawing the analogy of the mark of the beast to what is taught in Ezekiel 9:4 on the nature of the visible characteristics of the mark? As such, then is it possible the lamb-like beast already came and we “missed the mark”? To answer this question, the testimony of the Fathers combined with the history of the Church will help us to answer this question. The Church Fathers tell us that the history of the beast will be in perfect agreement with the prophecies about it in the Revelation. The history of pseudo-Christian Lateinos Beast fully agrees with the prophecies regarding the time of its appearance and its life time, and its deeds and name. But then again, is quite absurd to think that when this man symbolized by the beast appears he will have as his surname the word “Lateinos” or any other name of those that can be found corresponding to number 666, and bear upon his forehead the writing: “I am the prophesied beast with the number 666.” But we have Irenaeus, the ‘disciple of the disciple’ of St. John the Theologian who was the author of Revelation, tells us this pseudo apostacy would from the land of the Latins and for this reason he is called so; and this can be seen by sober men through their spiritual eyes. And history is quite clear in the identity of this beast, and in what manner he would rise. It would be with sorcery, deception, forgeries and lastly, powerful acts of simony. This lamb-like beast coming in the form of a Lamb of God, would rule with two horns of authority, religious and temporal authority, and this mystery is associated with the rise of the Roman Papacy in the Middle Ages. Lets not decode some of the key verses of Revelation 13.
The Practice of Simony, Forced Celibacy and Indulgences
“It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark (…) so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.” – Revelation 13:16-17
The term “buy and sell” referred to the practice of simony, forced celibacy, selling indulgences which lead to the Protestant Reformation. Recall from our previous article on this verse, the “great and small” and “free and slave” refer to scriptures specifically to the holy orders, the priests and bishops, whereas the “rich and poor” relate to the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man and is a direct reference of the forced selling of indulgences to attempt to get a free pass out of purgatory. Now lets examine the definition and history of simony within the church.
Simony can be defined as follows: The act of buying and selling ecclesiastical offices and pardons. The buying or selling of ecclesiastical offices or of indulgences or other spiritual things. The impious buying or selling of sacraments, church benefices, etc.
Simony was virtually unknown in the first three centuries of the Christian church, but it became more of an issue when the church had positions of wealth and influence to offer. Being a bishop in the rise if the imperial church now granted access to the highest positions of power and living in large state-purchased palaces rather than a path to potential martyrdom during the earlier era of the persecutions. Simony eventually developed into one of the most controversial issues in the medieval church and it became widespread in the Catholic Church in the West in the 9th to 12th centuries. Simony was often committed in three ways – in promotion to orders, in presentation to a benefice, and in resignation of a benefice. In spite of all the provisions of the canon law it was well established that simony was deeply rooted in the medieval church. Numerous examples of simony had come before the courts in which clergy of the highest rank had been implicated. Higher church leaders began to demand payment for the granting of offices and positions to their peers. This also led to lay investiture, and clerical marriage and celibacy in the Catholic Church. Secular leaders demanded similar tributes be paid to them by church leaders. In the Corpus Juris Canonici, the Decretum and the Decretals of Gregory IX dealt with the subject. The offender whether simoniacus (the perpetrator of a simoniacal transaction) or simoniace promotus (the beneficiary of a simoniacal transaction), was liable to deprivation of his benefice and deposition from orders if a secular priest, or to confinement in a stricter monastery. Pope Gregory VII (1073–85) rigorously attacked the problem, and the practice again became occasional rather than normal. Dante placed 13th-century Nicholas III in his “Inferno” due to that pope’s notorious simony. After the 16th century, it gradually disappeared in its most flagrant forms with the disendowment and secularization of church property.
Girolamo and cardinal Marco Corner investing Marco, abbot of Carrara, with his benefice, Titian, c. 1520
By the time of the Reformation, simony had become an insidiously widespread and widely recognized problem in the Western Church. Simoniac clerics held top positions throughout the church, and bribery even determined papal elections — most notoriously with Rodrigo Borgia’s election as Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503). Pope Alexander VI bought his election as pope by providing more church positions for the cardinals who elected him. Nepotism became rampant as many bishops often sold church offices to their relatives. Their vested personal interests in this system of buying and selling church offices and spiritual indulgences meant that reform from the inside proved difficult.
Those accused of simony Dante showed buried upside-down in hell. Dante placed 13th-century Nicholas III in his “Inferno” due to that pope’s notorious simony
Rise of the “Like a Lamb” or “Vicar of Christ” in Revelation 13
“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.” – Revelation 13:11
This second beast had 2 “horns” or symbols of power and authority: In outward appearance he appeared “like a lamb“, as Jesus is described in the scriptures as the “Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world“. This beast gives the important clue that it would become the “apparent lamb”, “like that of Christ“, the “representative of Christ” or the “Vicar of Christ“.
In fact, we can equate the term “like a lamb” to be a symbolic term meaning “Vicar of Christ”. And we know that the phrase was first used in the forged Donation of Constantine, which claimed that the Pope was the “Vicar of the Son of God” or in Latin: Vicarius Felii Dei. Incidentally, the characters in Latin for Vicar of the Son of God which is the title used in the Donation also ominously add up to 666. This is interesting. The phrase in the forged document has a strong association to the phrase “like a lamb” in Revelation 13. And we know this was the document used by the popes to claim religious supremacy over the Eastern Byzantine Empire. The Papal Beast demanded that the Eastern Christians “make an image to the beast” or recognize the papal authority and supremacy of the Pope as the head of the Church. The Papacy also used the Donation of Pepin to establish temporal powers, and the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals, other forged documents to attempt to establish the Church of Rome as the supreme authority within the Church. Through the sorcery and magic practiced by these forgeries, the Papacy was able to launch a campaign to establish the authority within the Church, and deceive others through these miraculous documents which surfaced conveniently centuries after Constantine.
This beast represents the religious power of the papacy established after the fall of the worldwide empire of Rome and enters the scene of dramatic action after the ascent of the first beast. The second beast possesses two distinguishing characteristics–“two horns like a lamb,” but its voice and tongue are those of the dragon. Outwardly it appears wielding authority in the name of Christ and the Gospel, but inwardly it is actuated by the Devil, who speaks through it and leads astray the inhabitants of the earth. The papal authority of the Middle Ages was founded upon two bases from which there grew the “two horns” of the beast “like a lamb,” symbols of the two authorities of the papacy–the religious and the political. The first basis of the political authority of Papacy was the ceding of the principality of Ravena to the throne of Apostle Peter by Pepin the Short and its consummation by his son Charlemagne (Charles the Great), whom Pope Leo III crowned emperor of the Romans in the church of St. Peter on Christmas Day in the year 801, as a reward for the great benefactions received from him by the pope.
The second basis of the religious authority of the popes was the collection of pseudo-Isidorian decretals forged in the year 829 and attributed to St. Isidore, an ancient bishop of Spain. According to this collection the pope is by divine right proclaimed to be the supreme ruler of the catholic Church and endowed with the privilege of judging all, but subject to judgement of none himself. The first pope who took advantage of this false basis of pseudo-Isidorian canons was, according to historic record, Nicholas I, who quarreled with the patriarch of Constantinople, Photios, purposing to effect the permanent establishment and consecration of papal universal monarchy and thus proving the cause of the resulting separation of the two churches. The Papacy, having been founded upon these two bases, and having broken away from the head of the Church and the teaching of the Gospel came “up out of the earth” as a beast having “two horns like a lamb” but a heart and a tongue of a proud and apostate dragon. But what has the tongue and the doctrine of the popes been from the period of the schism to the present day?
- That they are the only custodians and trustees of Christ upon earth, having the authority to tie and untie and do whatever they will without censure or responsibility.
- That they rank far above not only the higher clergy but all the kings, and have the divine right to depose and vote not only the higher clergy but also the rulers and potentates of Christian peoples and nations.
- That by special privilege they are infallible and sinless in their doctrine of faith dogmas.
- That the ecumenical synods without the vote of the popes are invalid and that only the pope has the privilege and right to call synods and to confirm their opinion.
In the Roman Catholic Church, it is held to be a fundamental and salutary dogma that the Pope of Rome is a representative of Jesus Christ and a successor of St. Peter the Apostle, and that he is consequently the chief and highest of all bishops and one to whom all Christians owe blind obedience and submissiveness. This fact was proudly expressed in writing during the thirteenth century by Pope Boniface to King Philip of France. His letter to the king said verbatim:
“We state and proclaim that the belief that every human creature is subject to the Pope of Rome is necessary for future bliss.”
In the creed of Pope Pius IV is read the following confession:
“I confess the Holy Catholic Roman and Apostolic Church to be the mother and mistress of all the other churches, and I promise true submissiveness to the bishop of Rome, successor of St. Peter, prince of the Apostles, and representative of Jesus Christ.”
This is also the dogma sanctioned by the Council of Roman Catholics held at Trent, in which the primacy of the Pope was invested with “divine” validity. One consequence of this dogma concerning the primacy of the Pope was the notorious dogma concerning the infallibility of the Pope, and its corollary of inerrability and sinlessness – for, as we shall show in what follows, he that is infallible does not err or sin.
And we also find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaching:
“The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, ‘is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.’
‘For the Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise.” [Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition (Washington, DC: US Catholic Conference, 1994, 1997) #882.]
The Lateinos pope is known by many titles, such as supreme pontiff (Pontifex maximus) or the Roman pontiff (Romanus Pontifex), is the bishop of Rome, head of the worldwide Catholic Church and the head of state or sovereign of the Vatican City State. The title Pontifex Maximus used by the Papacy was used by Caesar Augustus and was thus associated with Nero (Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus).
Filioque And The Great Schism, Crusades and Inquisitions
“…and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to bow down to the first beast whose deadly wound was healed.”– Revelation 13:12
The earth adoring “the, first beast” through the operations of the second is the Eastern Roman empire, the capital of which is Constantinople. “The first beast whose deadly wound was healed” and which lived, conquered Constantinople and destroyed the Eastern Roman empire through the operations land the cooperation of the second beast. The second beast, by means of the crusades which lasted for two centuries, from 1096 to 1291 waged war mainly upon the Christians of the East and ruined their lands. And in 1204 the Crusaders instead of Jerusalem, conquered Constantinople and committed such abominable and barbarous deeds that the name of the Franks became much more loathsome than that of the Turks to the Eastern Christians who preferred “the Turban to the Mitre in Constantinople” and thus preferred “to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healed” and which lived, than what possessed outwardly the appearance of a lamb (or the vicar of Christ) but inwardly served as the dragon’s den. Therefore, the popes first, through the crusades, enslaved the kingdom of the East, greatly reducing it in size. And then, after the “deadly wound” of “the first beast” “was healed” and it lived, and threatened Constantinople, which was finally regained by Michael Paleologus from the crusaders in 1261, the pope did not permit the rulers of the West to aid the endangered Byzantines until the latter had recognized the supremacy of the pope over the entire Church. By means of such operations, the beast which came up out of the earth forced the inhabitants of the East to submit to the yoke of the first beast after its “deadly wound was healed” and it lived. For the dragon which dwelled in both beasts waged war through them against the Eastern Church and all genuine Christians.
The siege of Constantinople in 1204 by the Fourth Crusade
“And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.”– Revelation 13:13
The “great wonders” are the spurious miracles by means of which the Western Christians until today been subtly deceived. We can associate multiple fulfillments associating the “fire” with the papacy. For example, the “fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men” is the excommunications of kings and potentates and everyone opposing or attacking the authority of the pope. For excommunications by the pope were looked upon as equivalent to casting the guilty ones into fire of eternal damnation. The scriptures teach that the Holy Spirt is fire. This simoniacal magic trick “making fire come down from heaven” or from the top Apparent Lamb within the Church (i.e. the visible kingdom of God) is represented by Papal Infallibility with respect to making thunderous proclamations without the need for calling an ecumenical council. Moreover, another fulfillment of the prophecy we find that the popes had fires made in the squares of cities before the people and burned the heretics, convincing the populace that this was done according to the will of God. And lastly, perhaps this verse gives us a subtle clue to the Filioque, and the procession of the Holy Spirit through the son, and was the cause of the Great Schism of 1054 between the Eastern and Western Christendom.
Papal Supremacy and Making an “Image” to the Lamb “Beast”
“And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword and did live.”– Revelation 13:14
Here in this interesting play on words St. John the Theologian uses the concept of making an “image” to the “lamb” beast. The beast wants a graven image made to himself. We have another reuse and parallel that John draws upon from Daniel chapter 2 and Nebuchadnezzar, the king of the original Babylon. Only this time another one from the new Babylon seven-hilled city, Rome would make a similar request for the making of the graven image. In what way? St. Paul teaches us in Colossians 1:15 that the “Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation”. St John also taught us that the Son Jesus Christ is also the “lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). So now, we have the Apparent Lamb of Revelation 13 having the “power” to “give life” to the “image of the beast.” The phrase “image of the beast” is another way of expanding the earlier phrase “like a lamb” who was granted authority by the Dragon to “speak” for Christ Himself. These phrases “image of the beast”, “had power to give life to” and “speak” are symbolic terms for Vicar of Christ, Papal Supremacy and Papal Infallibility, offering confirmation of the beast who was “like a lamb.” How was “life” given to the beast? Through of course the magic and sorcery used in the forged documents like the Donation of Constantine and the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals which granted “life” to the “image of the beast” and led to a general progression of Papal Supremacy and Infallibility out of the New Babylon, by the New Nebuchadnezzar, also known as the New Nero Caesar, now adorned with his newly acquired temporal powers, as the Supreme Pontiff, or Pontifex Maximus of a revived Holy Roman Empire.
Because of the fact that the pope incited continuous crusades against the Turks and because Jerusalem was at first most miraculously conquered by a small number of crusaders (“by the means of those miracles”), the Byzantines and especially their last few emperors were deluded (“deceiveth”) into thinking that through an alliance with the pope they would be enabled to drive the Turks from the East and thus escape submission to the Turkish yoke. The popes, taking advantage of the oppressed Byzantines, would say to them, “make an image to the beast” and worship it that you may be saved. The phrase, “make an image to the beast,” signifies a recognition of the authority of the pope as the head of Christendom, who is the image of the first beast in both a religious as well as a political sense, and promises to secure papal aid for the Byzantines so that they may escape the danger of the first beast. For the Eastern Christians did not recognize the pope as the high-priest of high-priests and the king of kings, or as the only lieutenant of Christ to whom all must submit. And when the last Byzantine emperors appealed for aid to the pope for the repulsion of the attacking Turks, the pope said to them: “Recognize me as the lieutenant of Christ and the head of the church.” And those who recognized him as such made “an image” of him similar to that of the first beast, and in thus worshipping the pope they worshiped the representative of Mohammed and of the dragon, not the lieutenant of Christ. And so all those who recognize the pope as a religious and political leader of Mohammed’s type make “an image” similar to the beast or Mohammed.
St. Mark of Ephesus and the infamous Council of Florence
“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”– Revelation 13:15
“Life” was given “to the image of the beast” through the illegitimate Council of Florence in 1438 during the reign of Pope Eugene IV and John Paleologus, the emperor of Constantinople. The latter, looking forward to papal aid, took with him Patriarch Joseph, the foremost bishops of the Eastern Church, and the wisest men of Byzantium to attend the Florence synod by way of contributing toward the union of the two divided churches in accordance with the contentions of the Latins – a union effected by immoral and lawless means. At the conclusion of the synod Pope Eugene announced through an encyclical that he had been recognized by the Eastern Christians as a true lieutenant of Christ and the head of the entire Church. Moreover, he ordered that everyone who did not worship him as “an image of the beast” should be condemned to death. As a result, great numbers of people who opposed and disapproved of the Florence pseudo-synod were put to death. And not only today in the East does “the image of the beast” speak; but also, in the past it spoke such language through the West as caused all those to be put to death who did not worship this “image of the beast” which was confirmed by the spirit and the opinion of the convened ecumenical pseudo-synods. A few years before the Florence synod, John Oussios was condemned by the Constantia synod to be burned to death for teaching that the popes, judged by their deeds, had proved themselves, antichrists rather than Christ’s lieutenants or representatives.
The twelve Monk-martyrs of Vatopedi Monastery (commemorated Jan 4th)
Holy Martyrs of Iveron Monastery Killed by the Latin Crusaders (commemorated May 13 (26))
The 26 Monastic Martyrs of Zographou, Mount Athos (commemorated Oct 10th)
Simony IN THE EASTERN CHURCH and ITS Western Influence
The Eastern Church was not immune to the practice of Simony after the fall of Constantinople. This was more encouraged by the Sultans who sought monetary compensation for the election of the patriarchs. The Muslim sultan sold the office of patriarch to the highest bidder and changed the occupants often to keep the money train rolling in. From 1453 to 1923, the Turkish sultans deposed 105 out of 159 patriarchs. Six were murdered and only twenty-one died of natural causes while in office. But this practice even continued by the church in the west which sought to influence the elections of the Patriarchs from the east with additional acts of simony. It was not just a case of Orthodox candidates bribing the Turks. The Turks demanded huge sums of money to approve a new Patriarch. The Roman Catholics manipulated this system. They would often pay the Sultan immense sums of money and ensure the Sultan approved the Patriarch they preferred. We read in the Encyclopedia Britannica:
Relations with the West, especially after the 17th century, were often vitiated in the East by the incredible corruption of the Turkish government, which constantly fostered diplomatic intrigues. An outstanding example of such manipulation was the kharāj, a tax required by the Porte at each patriarchal election. Western diplomats were often ready to provide the amount needed in order to secure the election of candidates favourable to their causes. The French and Austrian ambassadors, for example, supported candidates who would favour the establishment of Roman Catholic influence in the Christian ghetto, while the British and Dutch envoys supported patriarchs who were open to Protestant ideas. Thus, a gifted and Western-educated patriarch, Cyril Lucaris, was elected and deposed five times between 1620 and 1638. His stormy reign was marked by the publication in Geneva of a Confession of Faith (1629), which was, to the great amazement of all contemporaries, purely Calvinistic (i.e., it contained Reformed Protestant views). The episode ended in tragedy. Cyril was strangled by Turkish soldiers at the instigation of the pro-French and pro-Austrian party. Six successive Orthodox councils condemned the Confession: Constantinople, 1638; Kiev, 1640; Jassy, 1642; Constantinople, 1672; Jerusalem, 1672; and Constantinople, 1691.
This act of offering simony and lay investiture of the western clerics and government leaders to the sultan, in addition to the big marketing of “relics” stolen from Constantinople and traded around Europe, was foretold in St. John’s Apocalypse in Chapter 11, after the church completed her testimony of the seven councils, the Islamic beast rose in the Great City of Constantinople to keep her subjected under torment for three and a half centuries, for which we read in Revelation 11:
“The inhabitants of the earth will gloat over them and will celebrate by sending each other gifts, because these two prophets had tormented those who live on the earth. – Revelation 11:10
“They that dwell on the earth” are the Latins and conquering Turks, for by “earth” the Apocalypse reveals former lands of the the cultured Roman empire in both Rome and Constantinople. The Latins would very naturally rejoice at the subjugation of the Eastern Church by the Turks, and at the death of the two witnesses; and they would delight in saying, “their lot is well deserved, since they would not bow down to the pope; divine judgment is upon them.” And upon hearing the most joyful and welcome news regarding the fall of Constantinople and the death of the two witnesses, who are to be silent in the future and unable to rebuke them as before, the Latins sent gifts to one another in gathering the enormous holy relics, classic Greek literature, priceless manuscripts and artwork which was smuggled and brought to the West by those Greeks fleeing the Great City of Constantinople. And this in addition to the priceless works stolen during the sack of Constantinople in 1204. In addition the Latins would work to send monetary gifts to the conquering Ottoman Sultans in the new Great City to control the elections of the Patriarchs, glad that they have been relieved of the resistance of the two prophets like those during the days of Photios and others who held the papacy’s supremacy and infallibility in check.
Simon Magus, a Samaritan from the town of Gitta, known to be a town settled by those from the tribe of Dan, is undoubtedly the original “mystery of iniquity” who was already at work during the apostolic era. Many were looking for the “man of lawlessness” to come from the Tribe of Dan This is it, look no further. The profile of Simon Magus through the scriptures, apocrypha and church fathers present a picture of apostacy and sorcery and worship similar to what is described in the Revelation 13. The scriptural and historic evidence of the man behind the “number of the beast” points us to Simon Magus, who left his “mark” on the church through his blasphemous act of simony, which took root like a bad weed in the church through those who sought to sell and market the holy spirit to the highest bidders. The weed grew and affected the future leaders of the church. The Papacy took advantage of various acts of simony or “buying and selling” of salvation through the sale of ecclesiastical titles of the bishops to the highest bidders, sold indulgences to free souls from purgatory, marked relics and forced celibacy on all priests, in an effort to acquire enormous wealth for their grand basilica in Rome. These corruptions, in addition to barbarous acts and slaughter of innocent saints and additional innovations created after the great schism eventually drove the West to the Reformation led by Luther’s efforts to confront the sin of simony such as the sale of papal indulgences
The Catholic Church continues even today to justify Papal Infallibility and Papal Supremacy as the direct successor to St. Peter, also known as Simon Bar Jonah, as the head and leader of the church. They say, this is because the keys were given to Peter who established his church in Rome. The irony in all of this, is that the Latins have derived their power from the other Lateinos religious authority who challenged Simon Peter in Rome, and also temporal authority from the Lateinos figure known as Nero Caesar (666) in a revived Holy Roman Empire, as predicted accurately by our early church fathers Irenaeus and Hippolytus. And this two-horned religious/temporal power was instead derived by the “other Simon” (Magus) who traveled to Rome to compete for the minds of the Christians there. That is, this irony of deriving their succession from a different Simon from Rome is described following the original apocryphal myth once again in Revelation chapter 13. Therefore, the Latin Church’s apostolic succession and power is derived from Simon Magus, and not Simon Bar Jonah. Therefore, the Papacy has established their supremacy and infallibility upon the wrong “rock” upon which they built their prestige mother church which gave birth to many daughters. This quest for supremacy was carefully crafted by the sorcery and magic of forged documents used to declare supremacy over the Eastern Christians. The Papacy used the so-called “miracles” of the Crusades limited success in Jerusalem to demand the Eastern Christians “make an image to the beast” or recognize the Pope as the head of the church at the Council of Florence before. But when such a union of the churches collapsed, that help never came and as a result, the prophetic evidence suggests that the Pope is the primary cause for those who dwelt on the earth to worship the first beast, and for those wo did not “make an image” to the lamb “beast” and recognize him as the supreme leader representing the image of Christ were killed, as documented numerous times throughout the history of the middle ages through the numerous massacres, inquisitions and holy wars.
A tree is known by it’s fruit. And history confirms the fruit-bearing acts by the popes of Rome. Such is the fruit of simony and “buying and selling” has caused upon the church. The power of Simon Magus brought about by the Lateinos (666) and Apparent Lamb known as the Vicar of the Son of God (666) has brought nothing but division, destruction and decay upon the church. And that time is coming to a close in a few short years as we approach the completion of the 1260-year reign of the Second Beast. This time period measured from the moment in history that this two-horned apparent lamb ruled politically and religiously within the church. The time has come to shake off our moral slavery of the New Babylon. As the True Lamb standing on Mount Zion proclaims: “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
© 2021 by Jonathan Photius