Heresy and Simon the Sorcerer

    While history does not support the fact that Simon Peter the apostle went to Rome, it does substantiate that Simon Paeter, the "Magus of Samaria", who as stated earlier had been excommunicated from the church by Peter (Acts 8:20-23), in fact did.  History records Simon's presence in Rome in A.D. 45 during the reign of Claudius Caesar.  

    According to the second century apologist Justin Martyr, Simon became as popular in Rome as he had been in Samaria.  Cults deifying him as the redeemer or "Christ", sprang up throughout Rome and a statue was erected of him there in the river Tiber between the two bridges.  An inscription on it read -    
    "Simoni Deo Sancto", which in translation is - 
    "To Simon the Holy God". 
    The base of this monument was discovered in 1574. 

    The early church theologians, Irenaeus (who often spoke of his friend Polycarp) and Hippolytus trace all heresy back to him.  He is credited as being the father of Gnosticism (a blend of his mystery religion with Judaism and Christianity), which became increasingly more popular throughout the empire.  Even after his death, a disciple of Simon's at Antioch referred to as "Menander the Imposter", continued to spread this heretical, hybridized, Christianity as did his followers after him, stealing many from the "True Church". 

    This was the beginning of "Apostasy", the Falling Away 
of True Christians to false man-made theology. 

    Simon was in fact the first "Apostate". 
    After his baptism and subsequent rejection by Peter, Simon, considering himself to be a Christian, began to subvert the Church by perverting the True Gospel of Christ with his own philosophies and false beliefs. 
    And so began an apostasy that would last almost 1900 years - 

    And culminate, in a final fulfillment of that prophecy, with a "Great Apostasy", the falling away that will herald in the End Time Tribulation and signal the rise of the Antichrist - "who is to be revealed in his own time".

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The Great Falling Away by Joseph Santora --- ©1998-2002 True Christian Ministries