How a Pagan God Infiltrated Christian Doctrine
- (2Corinthians 10:3-6) 3—For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4—(for the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through YHVH to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5—casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of YHVH, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6—and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
The following is an excerpt from my New Testament Bible Study Series. Let it be understood that the Judeo/Christian Bible states that YaHavah is one! The one and only true and living God. YaHavah (YHVH) and Jesus have no part in paganism and the idols associated with various pagan beliefs.
MATTHEW 2 — Homage, Threat, Escape
- Matt. 2:1-3 — Who are the Wise Men?
- 1—Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2—Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Judeans? For we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him. 3—When Herod the king had heard [these things], he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
The Wise Men came from the East, which identifies them as the Magi of the ancient Eastern Zoroastrian religion centered in Persia. Zoroastrianism began as monotheistic, believing in one God, Ahura-Mazda, who was believed to be the father of the sun-god, Mithra. Hmm, isn’t that two gods?
- "Ahura Mazda (also known as Ohrmazd, Ahuramazda, Hourmazd, Hormazd, Harzoo and Hurmuz, Lord or simply as spirit) is the Avestan name for the creator and sole God of Zoroastrianism, the old Mede and Persian religion which spread across Asia predating Christianity." (Wikipedia – Ahura Mazda)
People generally think that if something happened before Jesus’ birth and ministry, it predates Christianity. However, the Bible is very clear that YaHavah created the heavens and earth for Jesus. Jesus was in YaHavah’s plan of salvation and destruction of sin before creation. (Jesus was not physically alive in any form.) Sin predated creation, because it was the angel, Lucifer, aka, Satan, who first rebelled against YaHavah; then after creation, he enticed Adam to sin, and his sin became the knowledge of good and evil that is passed on to all humanity through every human father. Jesus did not have a human father, so he was not born with Adam's burden of sin. He was sinless.
- (Romans 3:23) 23—for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of YHVH;
Most religions from Adam’s first son, Cain, was polytheist; believing in one main god with many supporting gods to care for every need. YaHavah destroyed that generation with the Great Flood, but polytheism found its root again in human imagination after the Flood. Polytheism is false gods displayed as lifeless idols made of stone, metal, or wood. If they were real living gods, they would likely outnumber the angels of heaven.
Polytheism is pagan and born in human imagination.
Monotheism is the worship of one god for everything, yet, adding another god for any reason under any special title, changes the belief system to polytheism, or “monotheism” in denial.
In contrast, throughout the Judeo/Christian Old Testament, one El (God) Almighty is shown to be the creator of all, who cares for every need, even the ones you don’t know about. He is, in transliterated Hebrew, YHVH Elohim, the same Elohim who created the first human, whom he named Adam. Adam’s third son, Seth was the beginning of the righteous line who obeyed and worshipped YaHavah, even through the Great Flood, leading to the Son of YaHavah. (Genesis 4:25-26) Christianity is the continuance of the righteous line by the gift of regeneration and remission of sin through YaHavah’s Son, Jesus.
Franz Cumont, an archaeologist with a focus on religious research, traveled throughout the Middle East and Europe in the late 19th century in search of whatever remained of the Mithraic religion through the study of ancient bas-reliefs, statuary, altars, and writings. Cumont's years of travel and research culminated in his book, "The Mysteries of Mithra," (French publication,1903). I found a 1956 English edition in the San Diego, CA public library in 1990.
His purpose was to show how and why this Mazdean sect failed to become the dominant religion of the Roman empire. It may not have been his intention, but his research also shows how the Mazdean Mithraic religion made a lasting imprint on many Christians and Jews of the second and third century. That imprint still exists like a dinosaur print in ancient rock.
- "We are concerned here with one epoch only of this decisive revolution, it being our purpose to show with all the distinctness in our power how and why a certain Mazdean sect failed under the Caesars to become the dominant religion of the empire." (Preface page 1, Mysteries of Mithra, by Franz Cumont, copyright 1903; https://archive.org/details/CumontMMMTomeII)
Actually, in the third century, Constantine the Great (272 AD – 326 AD), Emperor of Rome, was believed to have been a true Christian but managed to transition Mithraism into Christianity through the Roman Catholic Church.
- "In 321, he legislated that the venerable day of the sun should be a day of rest for all citizens. . . Furthermore, Constantine's coinage continued to carry the symbols of the sun. After the pagan gods had disappeared from his coinage, Christian symbols appeared as Constantine's attributes: the chi rho between his hands or on his labarum, as well on the coin itself. . . in 325 he summoned the Council of Nicaea, effectively the first Ecumenical Council (unless the Council of Jerusalem is so classified), most known for its dealing with Arianism and for instituting the Nicene Creed." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great)
The Nicene Creed was initially created to settle the dispute between Arius and the Church concerning the deity of Jesus. Arius (Arians) taught that Jesus was not a god and that he was not the son of God. The Church determined that Jesus was an incarnate God, that the Father is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. Modern creeds define these as three Gods in one, or the Trinity under one Godhead, just like Mithraism. Of course three Gods is polytheism, so they fixed that by saying the three were under one godhead. Schools of Theology teach that the Trinity is the foundation of the Church.
The Trinity doctrine is three gods under an imagined godhead, or “Monotheism” in denial.
Before any of man’s mythic gods (idols), there was YaHavah. Mithra is just one of many attempts of Satan to alter our understanding of YaHavah, Jesus, and Jesus’ purpose. Satan has always been aware of YaHavah’s plan of salvation through His son, Jesus. From the Garden of Eden to the end, he has and will continue to pervert the truth of Jesus’ first and second coming with his counterfeit gods to imitate the relationship between YaHavah and Jesus.
These images of Mithra, mythic son of Ahura-Mazda, are copied from pages 105 and 106 of “The Mysteries of Mithra” by Cumont, Franz Valery Marie, (1868-1947). Published 1903. (From archive.org on the Mysteries of Mithra)
Before Mithra, there was Tammuz, a god dating back to Nimrod shortly after the Great Flood. Later, the Persians (Zoroastrians) in Daniel’s time believed that Ahura-Mazda was the god of the sky and the father of Mithra. When the Greeks ruled the world, they merged the Persian Ahura-Mazda with their own Zeus and his gods. The Greeks believed that Zeus created Mithra and established him to maintain and watch over the earth. Then, with Roman rule, all were merged again into the Roman god Jupiter and his entourage of gods, including Mithra. Romans were big on beauty, so the ugly lion-headed Mithra was transformed into a handsome god shown on this Tauroctony. The hat represents the head of the serpent entwining the lion-headed Mithra.
The mysteries of Mithra gained prominence in the first century throughout Asia-Minor and Rome. Bas-reliefs now located in Germany, Rome, and Britain show either Mithra or Ahura-Mazda with great kings, such as Artaxerxes I (465 BC - 424 BC.), Antiochus I (324 BC - 262 BC), and some Caesars. Monarchs are said to have prayed to Mithra before going to battle to insure their success. It is interesting that these Monarchs are also three of the four conquering beasts (Babylon, Persia, and Greece) of Daniel’s prophecies.
There are still Mithraic Tauroctonies and sacrificial altars in the lower chambers of the Vatican, recently opened for excavation by archeologists. The same images are in many Mithraic religious centers worldwide. Mithra was widespread.
It is said that Constantine did many good works and gave liberally to the Church. He was praised for being a Christian Roman Emperor. However, he also maintained his positions in paganism demonstrated by his coinage with the image of the sun, as well as the arch of Constantine in Rome decorated with pagan gods. He played both sides. It is said he ruled over the Nicene Council but did not vote, yet, as Roman Emperor, he no doubt had much influence. The Church’s acceptance of Jesus’ birthdate of December 25th is proof of that. Constantine brought the pagan god, Mithra, into Christianity by subtly merging the similarities of Mithraism and Christianity, even though the Church was and is against paganism. These are observations I’ve been publishing for nearly thirty years.
Today there are many internet resources for Mithra. If research is done, beware of persons and organizations who deny biblical truths about Jesus. Mithraic doctrine bears many biblical similarities to Christian doctrine; however, it does not void what the Bible teaches about creation, YaHavah, and Jesus. Be cautious.
Although five hundred years apart, both, the Roman Constantine and the Greek Antiochus IV, Epiphanes worshipped the sun-god Mithra. Mithra’s birthday is said to be in the winter solstice. Antiochus IV was born on December 25 in the winter solstice; therefore, he closely associated himself with Mithra to the extent of thinking himself to be the incarnation of Mithra. The incarnation of a god is pagan. He was against the Jewish faith, so he defiled the Jewish altar with the sacrifice of a pig, then ordered the people to worship him and Mithra on his birthday, December 25 (in winter solstice). Daniel Chapter Eleven describes the entrance of one like or in the line of Antiochus IV during the last seven years of Daniel’s seventy sevens prophecy. More on that in the Revelation Study/Commentary.
Mithraism morphed from one polytheist set of gods to another in the same way gods have morphed in man’s imagination from the beginning for power, control, and help. Satan is behind it to destroy faith in the one true creator, YaHavah. Satan couldn’t keep Jesus from fulfilling YaHavah’s prophecies, so he concentrates on the destruction of faith and hope in YaHavah and Jesus by cunning distractions and pagan adaptations.
YaHavah is one living God (Elohim) who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, he is infinite. His son, Jesus, was born human, yet his purpose is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Ahura-Mazda (Jupiter, Zeus) and Mithra are Satan’s imitations; yet, we cannot call them lifeless because Satan is their life in the same way he is the life of the Trinity Doctrine; so deeply rooted, it is considered the foundation of Christianity, even though the Bible teaches that Jesus is the foundation of Christianity.
- Matt. 2:4-12 — For a Light to the Nations
- 4—And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where [the] Christ should be born. 5—And they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, 6—and you Bethlehem, [in] the land of Judah, are not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of you shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel. (Micah 5:2)
- 7—Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, asked of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8—And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when you have found [him], bring me word again, that I may come and worship him, also.
- 9—When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, until it came and stood over where the young child was.
- 10—When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11—And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, fell down, and worshipped him. When they had opened their treasures, they presented to him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 12—And being warned of YHVH in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
Isaiah’s prophecy states that the promised son of YaHavah is “for a light to the Nations.” He is a covenant.
- (Isaiah 42:6-7) 6—I, YHVH, have called you in righteousness and will hold your hand and will keep you and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light to the Nations; 7—to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, [and] them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
Compare this to what we’ve learned about Mithra. The Magi were Persian Zoroastrian wise men. Mithra was believed to be the son of their main god, Ahura-Mazda. Mithra was the sun-god and bearer of the great light of the sun. Yet, when the Magi followed the star to Bethlehem, they were following a light provided by YaHavah, to lead them to Jesus, the true light to the Nations. The moving light was more likely an angel rather than a star, because stars maintain a perfect position in outer space.
- (John 8:12) 12—Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
The light spoken of here is not the sun. Keep in mind that YaHavah created the sun worshipped by pagans. Jesus is the light because YaHavah anointed him in his Spirit; the light of YaHavah shines through Jesus. Jesus is the light to the world by the anointing given him by YaHavah. Jesus is Immanuel, “YaHavah with us.” His light is life and has nothing to do with him being a supposed incarnated god, especially, not Mithra.
The point I hope I made here is that YaHavah is the only true living God of creation. Other gods exist only in the imaginations of their creators as imitations of the one true living YaHavah. Satan is the subversive power behind other gods; he is the only life they have.
Many things I say in this study series may sound harsh and dogmatic, but consider the forthrightness of the Bible. Those whom YaHavah inspired to write his words were also harsh and dogmatic in much of their content, because they spoke what YaHavah gave them to speak, whether in love or reprimand. Everything the Bible teaches in its original languages is well coordinated, balanced, and testimony of YaHavah’s love for his creation.
The Magi went to Jerusalem and inquired about the location of the child born to be the King of the Judeans. Herod heard of their presence and demanded his chief priests to explain what the Magi were seeking. They cited Micah 5:2. Herod then secretly called the wise men to find out more about this “King.” He slyly asked them to continue seeking this child, then report back to him. He was worse than sly, he was devious and dangerous, but YaHavah knew his heart and intentions.
The Magi followed the movement of the light in the sky to the home of Mary and Joseph who still lived in Bethlehem. Jesus was a child of around two years by this time. The Magi presented Jesus with the gifts they brought to honor him. That night, in a dream, YaHavah told them to not return to Herod, but to proceed back to their own country by a different route. There are many instances of YaHavah speaking to pagans to accomplish His will.
YaHavah also told Joseph to go to Egypt. Something awful was about to happen. Herod ordered all children ages two and under in and around Bethlehem to be killed. After Herod died YaHavah instructed Joseph to return to Israel. Joseph skirted around Jerusalem and settled in Nazareth, where it was safe from Herod's son.
I hope this information about the amalgamation of Mithra and Christianity shines a light on the many hidden errors existing within Christianity for nearly 2,000 years. Be aware that, Just because a belief is old and established by Church Fathers, doesn’t mean it is right, with the exception of unaltered Bible truth.