Was the Apostle Peter the First Pope?
In order to take the authority and leadership of local New Testament churches away from Jesus, Catholicism claims that Jesus founded "the Church" on Peter.
Nowhere in the Bible is there any indication that Peter was the first pope, nor did he ever reign in Rome. As a matter of fact, the word "pope" is not even in the Bible!
In the Right Reverend Bishop Richard Gilmour's book, Bible History, and authorized by Pope Leo XIII, himself, we read:
At first Peter confined himself to preaching to the Jews, passing through Judea and Samaria, then into Asia Minor, where for eight years he resided at Antioch. After this he passed over to Rome, where he fixed his see, and for twentyfive years, as Bishop of Rome, governed the whole Church. The Popes, being the successors of Peter, are also called Bishops of Rome, where with but short interruptions, they have always resided.
This is laughable, because, outside of the Roman Catholic "Church," there is no record in the Bible that Peter ever pastored in or even went to Rome. What account of Peter's "pastorate in Rome" there is in secular history has been received via the Vatican. It is true that God told Peter to minister to the Gentiles, but he never ministered to the Romans, directly. The Book of Romans we have in the Bible was written the the Apostle PAUL, not Peter.
In Acts 12:17-19 we see the last biblical record of Peter. Although God delivered him from execution by Herod, we later see that Peter settled in Caesarea, where, as Jesus had predicted, he was martyred. After God delivered Peter from jail:
. . . he (Peter), beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. 18: Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. 19: And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he (Peter) went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.
This is the last record in the Bible we have of Peter: settling in Caesarea--not Rome, where he was eventually found by Herod's troops and martyred. A story like this doesn't go too well with the Vatican, since it totally destroys their fabricated story that Peter was the Pope in Rome.
The other erroneous statement Gilmour makes here is that "The Popes . . .with but short interruptions. . .have always resided" in Rome, when in reality, the Roman Catholic "Church" had its birth with the military ruler Constantine in 313 A.D. when he merged "Christianity" and the Roman state; and Roman Catholicism became an embryonic organization with the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.
If anyone should have been the first pope, it should have been Constantine, who called and organized this first Catholic Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. The Vatican has filled in the gap between the time of Peter until Constantine with the names of phony Catholic Popes, who, although may have been local Catholic "bishops" in Rome, were not popes in the sense that they ruled over the "Christian" world. Any influence they may have had was local. Even all the lists Rome has "officially" distributed do not always agree with one another during this time! If the early "popes" were recognized by God, you'd think He could have kept better records and have preserved this "holy" succession!
Gilmour also states: where with but short interruptions, they have always resided. This "short interruptions" may be referring to the Great Schism, which Gilmour does not explain, but I will:
(to be filled in later)
The Hoax of "Apostolic Succession"
Rome claims that Jesus sanctioned Peter to be the first pope and that all the popes following Peter until now are because of "Apostolic Succession."
The one major problem with this is that the criteria to be an apostle was that the men chosen to be apostles had to have been chosen and "ordained" by Jesus, Himself! Even some sincere Christians claim that the apostles were those who had seen the risen Saviour, but unfortunately, Judas Iscariot, in the flesh, because he committed suicide, never saw the risen Saviour, but was chosen by Jesus; and hundreds of others who had seen the risen Saviour were never considered apostles! The Apostle Paul was the last chosen apostle to see Jesus on the road to Damascus, period! I will not go into detail on this matter, but those who were not apostles, but preachers of God's Word at that time, were called "prophets."
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. 2: Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3: Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4: Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. 5: These twelve Jesus sent forth. . . Matthew 10:1-5
Yes, Jesus even gave Judas Iscariot the same power the other eleven apostles had, yet he was a condemned man. It was Jesus' calling and power which made them apostles. By the way, Jesus never called Matthias (Judas Iscariot's supposed replacement), nor did He give him His power; and there is no Bible record that Matthias ever did anything during his "apostleship," but Paul sure did! I believe the choosing of Matthias was done spontaneously, where the apostles usurped God's timetable in choosing Paul. The following reference is scriptural proof that God chose the apostles and that Paul was Judas' successor:
And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; Luke 6:13 In other words, the twelve were disciples (disciplined ones) until He gave them His power, which made them apostles.
Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: Acts 1:2
But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he (Saul) had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. Acts 9:27
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, Romans 1:1
By whom (Jesus) we (Paul is speaking) have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Romans 1:5
For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: Romans 11:13
Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, I Corinthians 1:1
For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we (the apostles, which included Paul) are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. I Corinthians 4:9
Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord? I Corinthians 9:1 Paul (Saul) didn't see the Lord until He revealed Himself on the road to Damascus.
If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord. I Corinthians 9:2
Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas (Peter)? I Corinthians 9:5 (Sounds here like Peter was married.)
Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? I Corinthians 12:29 By now, we can see that not all are apostles, but twelve.
After that, he (Jesus) was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8: And LAST OF ALL he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. I Corinthians 15:78 I get the impression here that Paul was saying he was the last of the apostles!
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia: II Corinthians 1:1
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) Galatians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timotheus our brother, Colossians 1:1
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; I Timothy 1:1
Whereunto I (Paul) am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity. I Timothy 2:7
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus, II Timothy 1:1
Whereunto I (Paul) am appointed (by Jesus) a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. II Timothy 1:11
And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, not the 262 popes Rome claims to have had!
Pray, tell me, how could any "pope" after Peter claim Apostolic Succession when Jesus had already gone back to Heaven, and only called Paul after His resurrection? If anyone should have been considered a pope who could have claimed Apostolic Succession it should have been the Apostle Paul, and yet, Rome never recognized Paul or any other of the apostles (except Peter) as a pope!
I rather contend that Rome's "popes"
. . . are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. II Corinthians 11:13
This is exactly what the popes have done: transformed themselves into the apostles of Christ, because Jesus never called them, nor did He give them His power!
Although the church at Ephesus had some shortcomings, Jesus commended them for being able to discern false apostles:
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: Revelation 2:2
We, too, have seen by the Word of God that the Catholic system of Apostolic Succession is a lie and a hoax, spawned by the Father of Lies! Naturally, in Rome's eyes, that makes ME a heretic, anti-Catholic, and a hate monger fundamentalist! I am gladly a heretic who opposes the false Roman Catholic system and upholds Bible truths!
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