The word religion is also referred to as a “faith” or “belief system”. Religion is an organized set of moral and ethical beliefs and laws, established by an institution. The practices of religions and related organizations may include art, community activities, charitable events, concerts, feast days, dances, festivals, funerals, initiations, marriages, meditation, membership activities and parties, music, sacrifices, studies, dances, among other activities. Some religious organizations appear more like a social club than a faith.
Some organizations refer to themselves as a “religion” to conceal a more sinister agenda, such as participating in the occult, divination, witchcraft, conjuring up spirits and related practices.
So let’s try to untangle some of the truth, out of a myriad of religions, faiths, cults and belief systems full of half-truths if not wholesale deception, that have infiltrated the mind and soul of humanity since the very dawn of this age. Keep an open mind, and let’s begin.
Why are there so many Religious Organizations?
It is estimated that there are over 4,000 religions in the world. Why so many? Man has always yearned to worship someone or something. It is impossible for the spirit in man to persist in a vacuum. Absent of a relationship with God, the emptiness will immediately be filled with another spirit, or other worldly things such as entertainment, hobbies, work, drugs, games, and yes – a host of many other religions, idols, and gods that can feed mans spirit and or ego.
The spirit in man is a conduit to the supernatural realm, as designed by our creator. It will be filled either with immoral or divine code; either by choice or default.
The soul of man is a supernatural force. God reveals that he has set eternity in our soul (Ecclesiastes 3:11). As a result, there is a vacuum within our soul that only God can fully satisfy. Notwithstanding, when a spiritual vacuum exists, that person fills it by pursuing or worshiping either God or something else.
Mankind in general has inherited a proud and rebellious spirit (from the prince of darkness). This is why mankind has fabricated an untold number of religions, idols, and gods to fill a spiritual void. When people reject the true God, they begin to worship other idols, and objects.
Secular Humanism and the New Age Movement
This proud and rebellious spirit in man has led to secular humanism. A secular humanist turns to himself (to man) as the sole source, and rejects all religious dogma. The New Age Movement is a reaction to this atheistic view, but it is no closer to the truth than secular humanism is. The New Age Movement puts emphasis on our mind as the solution to all of our woes. So they reason that there is no need to worship a sovereign God, since we are all god. It is not just the New Agers who embrace this philosophy, but many other religions and cults follow the same philosophy.
The Forces of Darkness and its influence on religion
As the age of man grinds to a close, the forces of darkness have already succeeded in influencing and possessing a large number of mankind and the institutions which do not believe in the bible as the word of the sovereign God.
The prince of darkness (Satan) has done a masterful job in deceiving many into thinking that to be a saved Christian is to be shunned, avoided and is a sign of weakness. Today, many people, and nations shun and or censure the name of Christ.
Satan has perverted just about everything that God originally made for the good of mankind. He is the master of confusion, deception and lies. His spirit of evil and hate has infiltrated governments, nations, the media, churches, and the human soul. The adversary does not take light his quest to influence the eternal destiny of every living soul; yet most of humanity doubts that the devil even exists. He has succeeded in deluding many into thinking that he and the dark forces of the underworld are just mythical characters that impose no risk to the spiritual integrity of mankind.
Satan (the Devil) with the assistance of his myriad of principalities has been successful in deceiving many with his half truths. He is the one that has influenced mankind to create many false gods, idols, religions and doctrines, all designed to confuse the masses.
Indeed, mankind has created a multitude of religious choices and alternative unconventional philosophies. However, as we will see, many of these belief systems are diametrically opposed to or are derivatives of the ancient scriptures – the Torah and the Old and New Testament Bible. Many religions and myths seem to contain scriptural roots and or similarities to the fundamental principles contained in the Bible. How interesting!
Let’s review just a few of the gods and idols associated with ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman mythology and worship.
The Genesis of Mythology
Many mythological gods have evolved from the ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman mythology as well as Far Eastern cults has sprung a myriad of cults and religions including the modern versions such as the New Age Movement.
Among the many ancient gods we have: Adonis, Ashtoreth, Aphrodite, Apollo, Artemis, Diana, Europa, Persephone, Smyrna, and Zeus, just to name a few.
In actuality these mythological figures do not make for nice fairytale stories. Many have evil and demonic connotations. For example, Astaroth (also referred to as Ashtaroth, Astarot and Asteroth), in demonology, is a Crowned Prince of Hell.
The writings of the Old Testament (bible) predate Greek and Roman mythology. From the book of Exodus we learn that the Hebrew were slaves in Egypt way before that Greeks came to power. Many years after the Exodus, the Greeks would invade Egypt and adopt many of their customs and gods, including the Egyptian demigod “Hercules”.
So as we read about the similarities between some mythological stories and their gods, and the original biblical accounts, remember that the ancient scriptures of the Old Testament bible predates Greek and Roman mythology by a couple thousand years..
Let’s Read some of the similarities
– Both Christianity and Greek mythology provide an account of a great flood Genesis 7; Tripp 608). In the Greek flood story, we see that Zeus is a less merciful and compassionate god, since when Zeus becomes very angry with man he decides to spare no one (Tripp 608). However, Prometheus, tells his son, Deucalion, to build an ark to escape the wrath of Zeus.
– In both the Christian and Greek creation accounts, at the beginning the earth was full of darkness and was void (Genesis 1:2; Tripp 159).
– In the biblical account the creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:1-18) and their offspring is comparable to the Greek account of Eros whom Chaos bore.
– Unlike Chaos, God is not a void or nothingness, but the beginning and end of all things.
– In both the biblical and Greek accounts, there was also a falling from grace between man and their respective God. In both cases the fall was a result of deceit, and disobedience for the sake of some mystical power through food. In the Christian case the food here is actually symbolic with completing a covenant with death for swallowing the food – the lie of the devil (Genesis 3:1-6)
– In both accounts, the woman leads man to sin and to fall from grace; and both are expelled from the Garden of Eden.
– Both also speak of a child that must be sheltered from an angry god (Greek) or king (Bible).
– In the Greek version the Greek god cronos attempts to swallow up all of his children at birth upon hearing that one of his children would overthrow him (Tripp, 177). But Rhea (Cronos’ wife) successfully manages to shelter their youngest child Zeus from his father Cronos. Eventually Zeus does manage to dethrone his father Cronos as the “chief of gods”.
– In the biblical account, King Herod decides to kill every child in Bethlehem after the three wise men tell Herod of the birth of the future Jewish king (Jesus). But an angel of the Lord warned Jesus’ parents of this plot and they escape to Egypt (Mathew 2:1-9, 13-16).
Note: Here we have somewhat similar accounts but it is important to notice that in the Greek, their deity god again wants to kill off ALL HIS children, whereas the God of the bible is protecting His only son Jesus from Herod (a symbol of Satan).
Now let’s discuss one of the many deities of the ancient Greeks. Let’s discuss Zeus as an example of ancient deity worship. Zeus has been worshipped as the god of the sky and thunder, and ruler of the Olympians of Mount Olympus. The major center where all Greeks converged to pay honor to their chief god was Olympia -and Zeus was considered the chief of all gods. Some civilizations connected Zeus with Jupiter (such as Rome). Yet to many ancient Greeks he was the embodiment of Greek religious beliefs and the archetypal Greek deity.
The ancient Greeks attributed all gods, even those not fathered by Zeus as his children. The Greeks considered Zeus as the King of the gods and the king of heaven
Here again we see division of powers so that there is not one sovereign God (as there is in Christianity); not even when it comes to Zeus – the chief of Greek gods. So we see how ancient mythology planted the seed to the “modern” day mantra that there are many gods and many ways to god.
Zeus was identified with the Roman god Jupiter and was also associated with other gods such as Ammon (Egyptian god). In summary, Zeus was worshipped as a substitute for God by the pagans who rejected or did not know the God of the bible (Yahweh).
Biblical Perspective on Zeus
In Olympia, Greece there was an altar to Zeus made of ash! It was the accumulated remains of many centuries’ worth of animals sacrificed there. So many sacrificed animals to Zeus just as the Hebrews sacrificed kosher animals to Yahweh (the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob).
Throughout the age, many have chosen to worship Zeus, a deity who raped and who was an adulterer; but more significant – one who rebelled against his own father. This is a clear picture of Lucifer/Satan who rebelled against God.
The goddess Europa
The Phoenician goddess Europa was first referenced in the Iliad, which is believed to be dated to the 8th century B.C. The continent of Europe was named after this goddess. She is featured in currency and landmarks across Europe.
She is also depicted in statues across Europe as the woman riding Zeus in the form of a bull. A similar depiction is also found in the book of Revelation (Rev. 17:3). Currency from Lebanon depicting Europa riding the bull is further proof of Europa’s Phoenician origin.
Below are some of the characteristics and attributes of Europa
– In Astronomy, Europa is the sixth-closest moon of the planet Jupiter. It is the sixth largest moon in our Solar System. It was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei.
– She was abducted and raped by Zeus who disguised himself as a white bull.
– Her three sons became the three judges of the Underworld after their death.
According to mythology Zeus re-created his shape of a bull into a star group, which is now referred to as the constellation “Taurus the Bull”.
It is very interesting how in bible prophecy, we have the same or similar image in the book of Revelation of a woman riding a beast (Rev. 17). In this prophecy the beast is actually Satan! This is why I along with other bible prophecy scholars, believe that Zeus may be symbolic of an antigod; such as the anti-Christ or Satan himself. Also interesting how some ancient cities worshiped Zeus as a snake god; considering that Satan is depicted as a snake, and serpent throughout the Bible!
BIBLICAL references to Europa
It should perhaps also be noted that nymphs were unmarried semi-goddesses that frequently were involved in fornication in mythology. Apparently then, Europa was a nymph; and in Revelation 17:3-5 we read how the Woman riding the beast is also referred to as a harlot; committing fornication with the peoples/nations of the earth at the time of the end.
In Syria, Europa was equated with Astarte, an adaptation of the demonic spirit referred to in the bible as the queen of heaven. She has also been equated to Ishtar as one of Ishtar’s sacred symbols was the bull.
So we see how many of these gods and goddesses are intertwined and all point to the ultimate source; the devil who has inspired mankind from the cradle of civilization, and has attempted to desecrate the holiness of the true God with untold false gods designed to confuse mankind away from the sovereign God and ultimately from salvation.
In Europa as well as the stories behind the other “gods” goddesses and demigods, we can see that “anything goes”! We see these liberal and at times strange belief systems not just in the ancient Greek, but in Egyptian, Roman, and Babylonian mythology, and many of the cults that have surfaced over the past century.
Although some of these stories are quite bizarre, we can find parallels to certain key teachings and foundational principles found in the bible. Why is this? My take on this is that it is Satan’s cunning at his best, as he attempts to distort, and disguise the truth and the true God behind countless myths, false gods and the like. Sadly, many have drunk of the cup full of Satan’s lies, half-truths, and abominations, and as a result those who choose to worship the anti-Christ will drink of the wine of the wrath of God into the coming apocalypse (Rev. 14:10).
The Zodiac and Other Heavenly Bodies Have also Influenced Mankind
The comparisons that we just covered are strikingly similar to the biblical stories, making some wonder where did these mythological accounts come from? They had to originate from somewhere. They did; they come from the signs in the constellations – the Zodiac signs. In the book “Signs in the Heavens” the author discusses how the zodiac signs (the constellations) have been adopted by Greek mythology and many other ancient cults and mystery religions, and how many of their stories come from these cosmic signs.
Just like everything else, the Zodiac signs seem to portray two sides of the same story. Notwithstanding, when one fully understands the scriptures and prophecies it is quite interesting how the zodiac signs actually narrates the biblical account more so than any other mythological story!
The Dangers of Mythology and other Occult based faiths and practices
From the mythological (as well as some Far eastern) influence has evolved more malignant faiths, and occult practices such as astrology, black magic, necromancy, medium-ship, witchcraft and other forms of sorcery. It is important to understand that engaging in any of these practices may open portals to the underworld that invite the forces of darkness into your home, life and mind. These forces do not come to bring good fortune, as the uninitiated may believe; they only come to take over your soul and deliver it to the prince of darkness. Many folks make light of this, and never understand why their life and the life of their loved ones seems to constantly meet with tragedy, sickness and misfortune.
In summary, there is no way to believe in both the God of the bible and any of the other mythological deities such as Apollo or Zeus as they are opposing deities. As already noted Zeus was worshipped as a substitute for God by the pagans who rejected or did not know the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Yahweh); the God of the Bible.
I have just scratched the surface on the mystery behind the Mythological dogma sect of religion, but I think you get the point. Many of its adherents believed that worshipping these gods would offer them protection and blessings, unaware that they were playing with fire when it came to their spiritual state. They had no idea that they were in reality worshipping malevolent deities from the underworld.
It is very interesting how the stories behind many mythological figures seem to mimic biblical accounts, and stories. While some of the mythological stories and figures defile or mock the deity of the bible, by virtue of many similarities, they also seem to lend credence to the validity and accuracy of the ancient scriptures found in the bible.