Who were the first pagans? Would you recognize a pagan if you saw one?
You do not fear to call "pagan" the ignorant, uncivilized naked pygmies of the dark African jungles, the head hunters of Borneo, or the Australian aborigines. But have you ever realized that many of your best — dressed, well — educated worldly friends and neighbors are also pagans? Impossible? Don't be too sure! Perhaps you don't know what a pagan really is.
What Is a Pagan?
Webster's Dictionary defines a pagan or heathen as, "An unconverted member of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of the Bible." But what does it mean to "acknowledge the God of the Bible"? Here is the answer from your Bible. "He that saith, I know him" — that is, I acknowledge Him — "and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (I John 2:4). Anyone who does not keep God's Commandments does not really "acknowledge the God of the Bible." He — or she — is a pagan. He may say, "Lord, Lord." But Christ will answer, "Why call ye me Lord, and do not the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46.) And again: "They profess that they know (acknowledge) God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate" (Titus 1:16). The "Christian world," which professes Christ and pays "lip service" to His name, is pagan. The people blindly follow the old pagan customs of Christmas and Easter, and the pagan doctrine of the "immortality of the soul." The "no works" doctrine falsely teaches we are saved by grace alone and there is nothing we are to do except believe. Then there is the pagan doctrine of the trinity. It has blinded them to the glorious truth that God is offering man the opportunity to be born into His Family — if only man will learn to obey and trust Him. Most of your unconverted friends have never even heard the marvelous truth that man can be born into the Family of God — to share with Him His power, His joy of being a Creator. They have been deceived by a worldwide conspiracy that has been masquerading as God's truth for the past 4,000 years.
When Conspiracy Really Began
In the very beginning God revealed to His angelic creation part of His Plan. The angels — but not all of them — were overjoyed to know God's great purpose — that they were to have a special part in bringing more members into the God Family (Luke 15:7; I Peter 1:12; Job 38:4-7). God placed a cherub named Helel in the Hebrew — Lucifer in Latin — in a position over this entire earth, and gave him the opportunity to help carry out this great Plan of creating new members of the God Family. His name meant "Light Bringer." He was chosen to bring the knowledge of this Plan of God to man. But Lucifer said in his heart, "I'm not content to be just an angel. I, too, want to become God." He further stated, "I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High" (Isa. 14:14). Lucifer knew he could never be born a son of God, for he was created for the purpose of being a servant to the God Family. When he understood that mere men were one day going to be exalted above him as members of the God Family, that men were one day going to be HIS GOD, he rebelled. His pride could not swallow this. He became determined to try to overthrow God's Plan. He wanted to be God, not the servant of the God Family. That is why he rebelled! As a result of this rebellion, Lucifer's name was changed to Satan — the Adversary. Instead of acknowledging God by obeying Him, Satan opposed his Creator. He declared war on the God Family and, with one-third of the angels, tried to take over God's throne (Rev. 12:4). These fallen angels became DEMONS (Rev. 12:4). Their minds became spiritually and mentally perverted.
The First Pagans
Although Satan had failed to conquer the Kingdom of God by a sudden, direct attack, he still hoped to thwart God's Plan. Creation week followed. Man was created. The first step in Satan's clever conspiracy was to subtly appeal to the human nature of Adam and Eve. Satan deceived Eve into thinking that she could disobey God and still become a member of His Family. "Ye shall not surely die," lied Satan (Gen. 3:4). Thus Satan deceived Eve into believing that she could follow the way that seemed right to her (Gen. 3:4, 5) and still become like God. Adam unthinkingly accepted his wife's reasoning. They both disobeyed God and followed the false lying way which Satan had taught them. Adam and Eve were the first pagans. Why? A pagan is "an unconverted member of a people or nation that does not acknowledge the God of the Bible." Adam and Eve acknowledged and obeyed Satan instead of God, as all pagans have done ever since. Even though Adam and Eve had walked and talked with their Creator, and they knew their God personally — they still did not acknowledge Him. They did not obey His every word. They acknowledged Satan by becoming his servants. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey" (Rom. 6:16). Almost all of Adam and Eve's descendants continued to acknowledge Satan by following his pagan doctrines, until mankind became so wicked that God destroyed all these pagans but righteous Noah and his family by the great Flood (Gem 6, 7, 8).
Paganism's Rebirth After the Flood
Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives were the only persons who lived through the Flood. They were commanded to "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth" (Gen. 9:1). While Noah's descendants were still few in number, Satan began searching for a vain, ambitious individual he could use. Satan soon found in the grandson of Ham, Nimrod, a man full of ambition and lust for power, a man who wanted to rule the whole world — a man who could and would teach his followers Satan's ideas (Gen. 10:9). Nimrod taught men to worship Satan as the great Emancipator the great "Light Bringer." Through Nimrod and his wife, Semiramis, Satan founded a world-ruling false pagan religion, 2,000 years before the birth of Christ. This pagan religion appealed to the physical senses — touch, taste, and smell. It replaced God's Plan of Salvation, which requires repentance and a complete change of heart, with a system of physical rites, idols, myths, fables, and superstition — all masquerading as truth. Shem, the son of Noah, opposed Nimrod's apostasy and executed him. Shem chopped up Nimrod's body into pieces and sent it to the various families of earth as a warning from God that following Satan's false pagan religion leads to death. The pagans, out of fear, no longer dared worship Satan openly. They went underground as did the Nazis after World War II. These pagans soon found that Semiramis, Nimrod's wife, would carry on the false, pagan religion of her dead husband, for she was a vain, greedy, ambitious woman, eager to assume leadership over all paganism. The record of history shows that Semiramis, called the "Queen of heaven," was strikingly beautiful, and that she used her beauty to ensnare the kings of the earth, just as the Great Whore of Revelation 17:1 — the great false church — does today. She told these kings — who this soon after the Flood were still only the heads of families and small cities — that they could commit adultery with her if only they would accept and teach their families her religion. She was so beautiful that these carnal-minded men readily submitted to her seductions (Hislop, The Two Babylons, pages 63, 68, 74; and Dr. C. P. Meredith's Satan's Great Deception, page 34). Semiramis deceived mankind by pretending that one of her illegitimate sons was the resurrected Nimrod, the promised Savior of the world. Because Semiramis feared that Shem might also punish her — as he had punished Nimrod for teaching an apostate religion — she did not teach her pagan religion openly, but secretly. Semiramis taught her followers to use MYSTERIOUS symbols — the Christmas tree, the Easter egg, the hot-cross bun, the rosary. Only those who were initiated into her secret religious society knew what the symbols really represented. To these she added the counterfeit pagan holidays, Christmas, Easter, Hallowe'en — days which celebrate the birthday and the supposed resurrection of Nimrod. Satan's pagan mystery religion, centered at Babylon, continued to deceive the entire world down to the time of Jesus Christ.
Paganism Steals the Name of Christ
After the death of Jesus Christ and the apostles, Satan inspired the agents of this mystery religion to secretly mingle with God's Church so they could claim Christian names on their pagan deceptions. These pagan priests then left the church, but gave the illegitimate son of Semiramis Christ's name and called their pagan god the true Messiah! This paganized counterfeit religion of Satan placed respectable Christian names upon all the pagan rites, the pagan doctrines, and the pagan myths of ancient Nimrod and Semiramis — and called it all "Christian." Jesus Christ said of this great false church of which Semiramis was a type, "I will shew unto thee... the great whore... with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication" (Rev. 17:1-2). This false church — a pagan church — is not, and never was, the true Church of God. It had already COMPLETELY counterfeited the beliefs and practices of the Bible over 2,000 years before the birth of Christ. It was the Babylonian Mystery revived!
Who Are the Modern Pagans?
Do the modern-day preachers who claim to be ministers of righteousness acknowledge the words of Jesus Christ? They claim that Christ came to nullify the Law — when Christ very plainly warned, "THINK NOT that I am come to destroy the law" (Matt. 5:17). When these modern ministers refuse to accept the plain teachings of Jesus Christ, they condemn themselves as pagan. The churches of this world do not "acknowledge the God of the Bible." They do not believe and obey His every word. They are by definition heathen — real pagans. They have a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof. "From such turn away," so commands your God (II Tim. 3: 5). We have proven in past articles of The PLAIN TRUTH and the Good News that the many Protestant sects and all the other pagan deceptions such as "modernism," "German rationalism," "atheism," and "evolution" have come out of this great pagan mystery religion. Those who follow this modern-day paganism are just as pagan as those who followed the very same lies in the days of ancient Nimrod and Semiramis.
We Must Not Be Pagan
God called us out of this world — out of this paganism. "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins" (Rev. 18:4). God's Church has come out of this world. It has God's truth. God's Church believes, teaches, and diligently strives to obey His every word (Matt. 4:4). But have all its members been doing the same? God commands us not to allow ourselves to be lured back into this system of paganism, not even to have one foot in it! (Jer. 10:2.) God warns those who long to go back into paganism, "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning" (II Peter 2:20). This need never happen to one of God's begotten sons. The Almighty Creator promises that Christ "is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy" (Jude 24). You have your responsibility in it, too. "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths" (Prov. 3:6).