In this first article: #1) We will examine how people twist history to erroneously “prove” the Bible is just another book of fables. #2) We will examine the awful reality of hell. #3) We will briefly explore four non-Biblical religions. #4) We will examine Satan the devil.
Attacks on the truthfulness of the Holy Bible come in many forms, here is an EXAMPLE: Many people and organizations publish articles that declare the word hades actually originated from ancient Greek mythology because Hades was the name the Greeks gave their mythological god of the dead. Upon that assumption they then declare that Moses stole the Greek word hades from the Greek language to describe hell in his holy writings that is first used in the Book of Deuteronomy.
Then they use that declaration to say the Holy Bible is just another mythological writing about a mythological god that has no basis in fact or reality and that God’s Holy Word (Bible) is just another writing about a mythological god. SO: Let us determine the origin of the word hades.
History of the Usage of the Word Hades
(Deut. 32:22 keywords: shall burn unto the lowest hell and set on fire) Moses wrote about hell. In the Hebrew definition of hell (both Hebrew words, sheol and hades, are used.). AGAIN: The whole purpose of these few paragraphs is to disprove the Bible critics who say Moses wrote about a pagan deity named Hades he had “stolen” from Greek mythology.
In every usage of the word hell in the Old Testament the Hebrew words used are hades and sheol and are defined as the world of the dead, grave, hell and pit. Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible (Torah) of which Deuteronomy is the last book. According to the Jewish Virtual Library Moses lived from 1393 to 1273 BC. Moses had lived 1393 – 1273 = 120 years which corresponds with (Deut. 34:7 keywords: And Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died).
(Deut. 34:9 key: Moses had laid hands on Joshua- Moses had given Joshua his anointing to lead Israel) After Moses died it is obvious (Deut. 34:5-12) Joshua had the anointing to finish writing the last 8 verses of the Book of Deuteronomy which describe Moses’ death.
Very Brief History of the Formation of Greek States into the Greek Empire
The complete details of the immediate post flood era to the scattering of the whole earth population at Babel are given in the commentary God, Satan and Man: the Relationship in Parts 10-13. You will be surprised! (Gen. 10:1 thru 11:2) After the flood it took several generations for Noah’s descendants to build a population that migrated to Shinar in Mesopotamia and build their tower, Babel. It is located in modern day Iraq near the Euphrates River. (Gen. 11:3-4) They were the whole world’s population.
(Gen. 11:5-9) The few wandering bands of people who had been scattered from Babel in Mesopotamia wandered in all directions to gradually start settling the vast emptiness of the wild, uncharted post flood world. As the generations and hundreds of years passed they gradually pushed further and further from their point of origin.
It is approximately 1,900 miles by land from the Euphrates River to Greece. They were a scattered (separated) people suspicious of each other because they were separated by the barrier of different languages. As they spread they adopted the phenomena of nature and/or beings of their own imagination as their gods.
It took hundreds of years for these sparsely spaced hunter-gatherer bands to migrate through what would be named southern Europe. A small band finally entered a land that would someday be named Greece in the far future. Over more hundreds of years other bands wandered into Greece and as the generations and hundreds of years passed their populations gradually grew and people slowly spread across this vast new land of Europe.
The Greek census at the end of 2014 was 10,858,018 citizens which is considered a moderate population density with an average of 82 people per square km. Greece is a relatively small nation but it was a vast new land when there were only a few hundred or a few thousand inhabitants in it. The hunting-gathering way of life gradually ceased as more and more bands settled down to farming and animal husbandry.
Generations of them were born and many years passed before a tribe finally contacted another tribe. Sometimes a greater tribe would annihilate or assimilate or become allied with a weaker tribe and, depending upon the circumstances, their various occult gods were either forgotten or adopted. What good is a weak god that lets you be defeated in a war or lets another tribe be wealthier or better armed than yours? Trade between various tribes developed. Gradually as the generations and hundreds of years passed settlements became towns and towns developed into cities.
Most Greek scholars believe the Greeks adopted a West Semitic (an area where Phoenician and Hebrew groups lived) version of their alphabet between 1100 and 800 BC. The population had enlarged enough to form Greek City States. Then Greece became a nation with a unified system of pagan god worship. Archeology tells us the earliest literary source concerning Greek mythology, the Iliad and the Odyssey, was written by the Greek poet Homer about 800 BC.
Obviously Moses had written the word hades (hell) in the Book of Deuteronomy at the very least (1273 BC Moses’ death – 800) = 473 years before Homer wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey. Obviously the Greeks had stolen the word hades from Moses’ ancient Hebrew writing.
Hell is not some mythological, occult, figment of some idiot’s imagination. It is God’s word which describes a place of torment!
It is odd how and why so many people work so hard to disprove the (1John 2:14-18) Word of a God they don’t even believe exists. Please read (2Cor. 11:13-15 esp. V.14 keywords: Satan is transformed into an angel of light then 4:3-4 esp. V.4 keywords: blinded the minds of them who believe not) Satan will do anything he can to stop man’s belief in the God of Eden. (read this: Heb. 11:6 then 7-40 and 1John 3:8) A person must believe in God to serve him BUT a person does not have to believe in Satan, the devil, to serve him.
And, of course, those Satan deceived Bible dis-provers don’t believe Satan exists either. (Rev. 20:10-15) They have been neatly trapped by a devil named Satan who blinds them so they will go to hell.
A VIEW OF HELL
(Heb. 9:27) “And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” Everybody knows every person will die so it is also true there is a judgment. (Luke 16:19-31) It is obvious Jesus told this simple story to illustrate both a moral and a spiritual lesson about a most terrible reality; thus it is a parable. Jesus gives us sufficient information so we can see, understand and even live the situation with the participants. (Matt. 15:24) Obviously both men were Jews.
(V.19) “There was a certain (representing a type of) rich (wealthy) man, which was clothed in purple (dyed blueish red) and fine (good) linen (white), and fared (good frame of mind, glad, merry, rejoice) sumptuously (to take, to get hold of, attain, obtain) every day.”
The word sumptuously reveals this man lived a very successful life because he was glad and rejoiced while he took, grabbed, attained and obtained wealth and possessions. His pride in his success is revealed in his external display of his wealth in his presentation of himself. It is obvious he was only concerned with accumulation, self-indulgence and display. The rich man had everything but God because he (self) was his own god whom he lavishly worshipped.
(V.20) “And there was a certain beggar (pauper) named Lazarus, which was laid (to lay with more or less violence, to throw, dumped) at his gate (portal, doorway of a city or a house), full (covered over) of sores (ulcerous),”
Lazarus couldn’t afford food, he was diseased and hope was but a tiny, dying flicker somewhere within him. Obviously somebody wanted him moved from where he had been because he was an embarrassment. They obviously didn’t try to help Lazarus and they dumped him at the gate of a person they thought might help him.
Every person determines his own greed by the value he sets on his possessions. They might have even prayed for Lazarus but they didn’t take the time or expend the effort and expense to answer their own prayers so they dumped him on someone else. Do you know any Christians like that?
(V.21) “And desiring (desire, long for) to be fed with the crumbs (a little bit or morsel) which fell (to fall down) from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs (a literal or figurative dog) came and licked his sores.”
Can you see Lazarus? He was filthy and emaciated, sick and starving, stinking and offensive. When the rich man left his yard through his gate his selfishness prevented compassion and he failed to see the opportunity to serve God.
His averted eyes refused to see Lazarus’ upraised, dirty, broken nailed, skeletal, beseeching hands. He refused to see Lazarus’ feverish, burning, pleading, desperate eyes. He refused to see Lazarus’ cracked, crusted lipped, rotted toothed mouth beseeching him. He refused to hear Lazarus, hoarse whisper; “Please sir, please, just a crust of your bread. Help me! Please, help meeee!” And he walked on into the goodness of his day.
Lazarus dropped his hands and his chin fell to his chest. His weakness had been ever increasing for days and today was the worst. Lazarus fell into an awful lethargy just breathing now and then. He slowly came to an awareness of horror that a mangy pack of some scrawny stray dogs sniffed him then they started licking the salty pus draining from his ulcerous, crust rimmed sores and Lazarus was too weak to shove them away.
Lazarus dimly became aware the dog’s wet, warm tongues were actually soothing. Lazarus looked far up the street and saw the rich man exiting one of his rental properties with money in his hand. At least the dogs were giving him this small comfort.
As Lazarus looked away his gaze settled on some people across the street who had stopped to watch. Lazarus shrank away from their cold, cold eyes and the expression of contempt on their faces. It was the final degradation. “Oh God, I have kept Moses law and lived righteous the best I could all my life, please help me.” Are Christian’s paths directed to people in need to test our love and compassion?
They were two men at the extreme ends of the spectrum of wealth. One had everything and the other had nothing. One had dined on a sumptuous breakfast and the other dimly felt the beginning of a horrid gnawing pain as his many days empty, shrunken stomach began digesting itself with its own acid.
One was dressed in finery and the other was only partially dressed in filthy, pus-soaked rags. One was glad and merry the other was hopeless and abandoned. One had everything but God and the other had nothing but God!
(V.22) “And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried (to bear off, to carry away, literally- in the sense of Rev. 17:3 & 21:10 the living soul left the dead body) by the angels (spiritual beings) into Abraham’s bosom (a paradise): the rich man also died (physical death), and was buried (funeral rites);”
The gawkers moved on, finally the dogs drifted away and Lazarus was aware something within him was changing. A strange weakness and lassitude engulfed him and he felt his tiny, remaining energy steadily seeping away. Lazarus dimly realized his life was departing. Somehow it was painless now, Lazarus knew he was dying and he didn’t care. Lazarus was astonished that somehow he no longer felt abandoned and alone, there was something. Someone? There?
Then tender hands started helping him and suddenly he was being lifted free from his starvation and pain wracked body. That leaving was the exact moment Lazarus could see it was tender eyed, soft handed, kindly, happy angels who had him and they were taking him with them.
Lazarus suddenly realized he was pain free, he was clean and pure, and vast wonder and excitement filled him. Then they were there and Lazarus realized he was in Abraham’s bosom (a paradise) because he had never been so comforted and he whispered; “I am in forever.”
NOTE: For a complete and detailed view of Abraham’s bosom please see the Jesus Takes the Keys to Hell and Death article in the Jesus commentary on this website. You will be shocked to learn about the places Jesus went in His spiritual body while His physical body lay in its grave.
Abraham’s bosom is the name God gave a holding place for the departed righteous Jews to honor Abraham (Rom. 4:16 keywords: all the seed then father) because in God’s word Abraham is the father of all the faithful.
(Luke 23:43) Abraham’s bosom is a paradise (a park, an Eden which is to be soft and pleasant, of delicate delight, to live voluptuously) for the righteous people (Jews) who had lived righteous before Jesus shed His blood on Calvary so any man, including them, could enter into the presence of God. END OF NOTE.
The rich man had eaten his mid-day meal in his favorite high class eatery and, as he had anticipated, it was a delicious, perfectly prepared meal of expensive meat, vegetables and bread generously washed down with the best wine the establishment had to offer. It befitted his expansive view of himself. “I deserve the best because I am special.” It would have been bad manners to express his thought audibly but to anyone who was looking it was obvious he highly esteemed himself.
He belched contentedly and wiped his lips on a clean linen napkin while he waited for his favorite desert. A certain feeling of fullness started growing in his abdomen; “$%#&%, I must have eaten too much.” The waiter was coming with his dessert but the rich man waved him away. He got up to leave and a tiny pain started deep within him between his left shoulder blade and his spine; “The fresh air will do me good.” He did not know all the fresh air in the whole world could not help what was developing in his chest.
As he walked down the street nausea started and quickly overcame him. He leaned against a building, humped over and holding himself. He suddenly and violently vomited and it seemed as if he was never going to catch his breath. His left arm was in an agony all its own. That’s when the smothering started and the violent pain in his chest was a searing pressure that felt as if he would burst. The pain was so intense he could only whisper; “Help me!”
He was unaware he had sunk to his knees until he looked up into the puzzled, cold eyes of some passersby who had stopped to stare at him. His grey, pain grimaced, contorted face and staring eyes were a silent plea for help and he never knew that by instinct he had raised a soft, pudgy, beseeching hand toward them asking for help just like Lazarus had. An awful weakness had him and he fell forward and dimly felt his face strike the rough cobblestones.
His chest was bursting from the agonized nerves in his dying heart. He didn’t know his heart was dying but that was when the horror started because he was supernaturally staring into an opaque darkness that was coming at him and then he knew he was dying. Unlike Lazarus he felt every muscle, sinew, bone, skin and organ dying.
His lips moved and he tried to whisper; “Oh G...” but he couldn’t talk anymore because he was in the agony of physical death. (Eph. 6:12 keyword: darkness) The darkness was inhabited by fierce, howling, cursing, snarling, angelic beings.
His dying was finally done. As his shrieking soul was leaving his body the darkness enveloped him and the demons grasped him with rough, hot, cruel clawed hands and they took him to a vast pit with fire shimmering below and without ceremony they threw him off the precipice and he was in hell. Good angels had taken Lazarus. Somebody had to take the rich man to his forever because he would never have gone voluntarily even if he had known the way.
(Luke 16:19-31) In Jesus’ parable of this event is a situation that is extremely hard for us to understand because we see only this side of death and our body, soul and spirit cannot be separated but Jesus makes it very plain that when a person’s soul and its spirit of life from God leave the dead body the soul will still have all the physical, emotional and intellectual attributes as a person living on this side of death even though their dead body with its dead sensory organs and brain is left behind.
Man is spirit (life itself, the vital principal, the essence of life that has nothing to do with breathing), soul (spiritual self, me, personality) and body (physical self) (Gen. 1:26) made in God’s image. (Col. 1:13-17 esp. V.15) Jesus is the image (representation) of the invisible God. When God said; “Let US make man in our image” God’s body, soul, and spirit was the US and man, made in God’s image, (1Thess. 5:23) is also body, soul and spirit.
(Rom. 1:20) The Godhead (Supreme Divinity) is one who is composed of three who are totally and completely one in identity, thought, power, purpose and will. God’s presentation of Himself to man is (Gen. 1:1-31) #1 God-spirit- life itself/Creator, (John 4:29-42) #2 Jesus-body/Saviour and (John 14:15-26) #3 Holy Spirit-soul/Comforter. (Col. 2:8-9) In Jesus dwells all the Godhead bodily.
The choice: There are only 2 gods from which to choose. (Matt. 28:18, John 5:22 & 1Tim. 3:16) Jesus is the embodiment of the God of heaven. (John 14:30, 2Cor. 4:3-4 & Eph. 6:11-12) Satan is the god of this world. (Rom. 5:8 & 1John 4:16) Jesus is love. (John 8:44) Satan is hate. (John 14:6) Jesus is truth. (John 8:44) Satan is a liar and the “father of it”.
Satan lied to Eve in the Garden of Eden, he is the original liar. (John 14:6) Jesus is life. (John 8:44) Satan is death. (John 14:6) Jesus gives eternal life. (John 10:10) Satan causes eternal death.
There are several lessons Jesus is teaching in this situation, some are hidden and some are very open. The most basic lesson is that (Rev. 20:10 thru 21:4) each of us, even you, are an eternal person and each of us will be sent to live with the God we have chosen while we are in this thing called lifetime on earth. We do have the power of choice. So CHOOSE carefully because you will be alive someplace forever.
(1Tim. 2:1-6) God is infinitely fair! At the very end of time as we know it (Rev. 20:10-15) the people who, by their refusal to accept Jesus, have chosen Satan will be sent to be with their god in his place (V.10) “for ever and ever” (Rev. 21:1-7) and the people who have refused Satan and chose Jesus will be taken to be with their God in his place (Rev. 22:1-5) “for ever and ever”. Death eliminates any third choice.
(Rom. 4:16-22) Abraham is figuratively the father of all the faithful because of the covenant God made with him and Abraham was given a position of authority, knowledge and communication yonder in Paradise.
(Luke 16:19-31) SO: (V.22 & 25) Lazarus was an obedient Jew or he would not have been taken to paradise where he was comforted which tells us he had all the emotions, intellect and physical sensations of a natural body even though he had left his natural body behind AND the rich man had the very same ability as Lazarus but the rich man’s sensations in hell are thoroughly described.
He could still (V.23) see around him and see Lazarus in paradise, (V.24) talk, taste (cool), smell (flame), remember Lazarus, ask, touch (feel pain, burning, torment), (V.25) hear, (V.26-27) recognized confinement, (V.27) pray, (V.28) retained memory of his life, see, feel love and concern (emotions) for his brothers still on earth, (V.30) reason, make an argument based on reason (intellect) (V.31) and feel disappointment. (V.28) Memory is a curse when you can’t forget what could have been.
(V.23) “And in hell (a place and state of departed souls) he lift up his eyes, being in torments (anglicized Greek word basanos- torture- physical sensations), and seeth (to look at) Abraham (the person of Abraham) afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom (a paradise).”
The first torment was the rich man was burning (tortured) in the flames but he could not be consumed and the fire could not be extinguished. (V.23 keywords: seeth) A second torment was that he could see Lazarus in paradise living in comfort and he knew what he had thrown away (memory). A third torment was that he emotionally, intellectually, physically and overwhelmingly felt all the agony and sorrow he had ever done to other people that caused them pain.
A fourth torment was that he could see his own twisted, open mouthed body he had left behind and there was money dribbling out of its pockets and he was horrified by the uselessness of his life of accumulation and self-pleasure.
(V.27-28 key: he had to see into our physical world to know) A fifth torment was his 5 younger brothers looking at each other with cold, greedy eyes, each one calculating how to obtain more of his vast fortune than any of the others. A sixth torment was the rich man could see the lavish funeral that was afforded him but no one wept except the hired mourners.
His sense of failure to guide his brothers into righteousness instead of guiding them into taking and accumulating was overwhelming.
He felt an awful longing: “I’d give all my tomorrows for one single yesterday” but he was out of tomorrows, he had squandered them all by choice and all he had left was his forever in the burning, overwhelming agony of emotional, intellectual and physical torment (Matt. 25:41-46) in everlasting, unquenchable fire.
God’s Biblical number of perfection is 7. The rich man did not realize his seventh torment had not yet been manifested. The rich man had followed the world’s way of do anything to please self. Satan is a (John 8:44 keywords: murderer, liar John 10:10 keywords: thief, steal, kill, destroy 1Pet. 5:8 keywords: adversary, devour) and Satan (2Cor. 4:3-4) blinds people so they will ignore a relationship with God (Isa. 14:12-14 keywords: I will be like the most High) and he can be their god.
The rich man’s seventh and most unimaginably horrifying torment would be when (Rev. 20:10-15 esp. V.15 keywords: lake of fire) Satan, the devil, the god he had chosen, came to be with him forever in the lake of fire. The devil, Satan, would be turned loose in his wildest, most cruel, most powerful, most hateful self to rip, tear at, torture, humiliate and degrade the rich man (Matt. 25:41-46 esp. V.41 keyword: everlasting) in everlasting fire.
The number 7 is God’s number of perfection. The message is that the rich man would be in perfect torment, it couldn’t get any worse. All of him body (physical), soul (emotions) spirit (life) and intellect (ability to reason) was trapped there because he would be alive forever. The rich man was in his predicament simply because he HAD CHOSEN TO FOLLOW THE WAYS OF THE WRONG GOD.
(V.24) “And he cried (loud voice- same word as Acts 16:28) and said Father (literal- actual- or figurative- metaphor- parent) Abraham, have mercy (compassion, pity) on me, and send (dispatch, transmit) Lazarus, that he may dip (moisten) the tip (extremity) of his finger in water and cool (refresh) my tongue: for I am tormented in this flame (blaze).”
Think of the magnitude of that. The moistening of the tip of your finger would contain only a few molecules of water, not even an eighth of a drop, and the rich man was begging for the man who had been a beggar to bring it. I wonder, how many wells and livestock watering ponds the rich man had owned? The rich man could see his brothers and of course he could see the cool waters of the Jordan River.
(V. 25) “But Abraham said, Son (child, meaning the man was a Jew), remember (recollect, bear in mind) that thou in thy lifetime (*period of natural life: Note: they were in spiritual life) receivedst thy good (*high qualities) things, and likewise Lazarus evil (bad, injurious) things: but now he is comforted (to call near, consolation, give to), and thou art tormented (a different anglicized Greek word odunao- grieved which is emotional grief- torment while the other grieved basanos in V.23 is physical grief- torment).”
That awful knowledge of what he could have been and wasn’t, what he could have done and didn’t and where he could have been but wasn’t was a permanent agonizing, cringing, twisting, sickening, regret filled, stunning emotional and intellectual grief. The hidden statement is that Lazarus obviously had been too old or too sick to work but he was righteous and would not steal, deal crookedly or lie to obtain what he needed to sustain his life. Begging was all he had left.
(V. 26) “And beside all this, between (across the space separating two objects) us and you there is a great (very wide + fear, mighty + afraid) gulf (chasm, vacancy, impassable) fixed (set fast): so that they which would pass (to move in a specified direction) from hence (here) to you cannot; neither (not either) can they pass to us, that would come from thence (there).”
Volumes are spoken here that are hidden. Paradise (comforted) was so filled with love, happiness, kindness, mercy, splendor, exotic food and drink so smooth and pure that, had they known, the inhabitants would have tried to go help the rich man and those like him. They could not have known about hell because it would have caused a sadness there in the place of happiness and kindness. They couldn’t see across the great gulf.
The great gulf was a barrier for the inhabitants of hell who would have surely made the effort to get to paradise. Being trapped is a smothering, hateful, agonizing thing and they were trapped in hell. But the rich man could easily see into paradise.
(V. 27) “Then he said, I pray (beseech, intreat) thee therefore, father (Abraham), that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house (a dwelling, implying a family):”
(V.28) “For I have five brethren (brothers), that he may testify (to attest, witness) unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment (anglicized Greek word basanos- sensation of physical torture).”
Finally, finally, finally the rich man had thought of someone else he loved besides himself but his focus was narrowed to his immediate family (Matt. 25:34-40) just like a lot of Christians today.
(V.29) “Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses (the Hebrew lawgiver) and the prophets (foretellers, an inspired speaker or writer); let them hear (understand) them.”
Abraham was saying; “Everybody gets an equal chance to be obedient. You’ve had yours and they have theirs.” The most terrible thing about this whole episode is that the rich man did not ask to be removed from hell. He knew he deserved to be exactly where he was. It is an unimaginable hopelessness.
(V.30) “And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead (deceased), they will repent (think differently, reconsider).”
The rich man still didn’t care about Lazarus. (V.27) The rich man still considered Lazarus a nothing, a nobody, or he wouldn’t have wanted Lazarus to leave paradise to go back to the hatefulness (Gen. 3:16-19) of a cursed life in a cursed world and have to die all over again.
(V.31) “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded (convinced), though one rose (arise, to stand up) from the dead (deceased).” (1Cor. 15:3-8) One did rise from the grave (Matt. 27:20-25) but Judah (Israel) the nation did not hear him.
FOUR NON-BIBLICAL RELIGIONS
NOTE: These 4 descriptions barely scratch the surface of the complexity of the 4 religions. For an in-depth study of their various aspects of faith, practices, worship and their various writings please check internet information. They are not in the order of their size by their number of adherents.
Humanism is a system of thought attaching prime importance to the potential value and goodness of humans, it emphasizes common human needs and seeks solely rational ways of solving human problems. Philosophy is the study of the nature of knowledge, reality and existence. Secular humanism is the belief that humanity is capable of morality and self-fulfillment without God.
(1John 4:8 & 16) God is love. (Col. 1:9-17 esp. V. 16) “all things were created by him and for him (God):” God created man with a “God Place” within him and every person worships something to fulfill that “God Place”; think about it very seriously before you laugh. Example: Pleasure, a work, a position, an ownership, a relationship, an imagined god, wealth, a religion, an electronic device fixation, and just whatever you devote yourself to can be your god. END OF NOTE.
#1) Chinese Folk religion is not an organized, unified system of beliefs and practices. It has no leadership, headquarters, founder or denominations. It is called a religion but it is a complex interaction (mixture) of philosophical traditions, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, which are based on the philosophical writings of various sages.
The practices vary from locale to locale depending upon whatever mixture of disciplines their particular teacher teaches. Part believe polytheism (many gods) and part believe everything, including selves, is part of god. The collective “us” is god. Humanism through philosophy bolstered by works is what they worship.
#2) Confucianism is a philosophical teaching, sometimes called a religion, which is actually a type of humanism based on the teachings of Confucius, a Chinese sage born in 551 BC, who was a notable student of poetry and history and taught moral meaning based on the past; “Study the past if you would divine the future.” The oldest and most enduring Confucian ritual practice is ancestor worship. Ancestor worship has been adopted into nearly every religious tradition in China.
His teaching deeply influenced mysticism, social and political life in Eastern Asia. It is more about finding peace and harmony here on earth among their fellow men with very little concern about what comes after life is finished on earth.
Confucians typically do not hold beliefs about the individual salvation or damnation of persons beyond this life. They cultivate devoted, respectful, affectionate and loving reverence to their ancestors and harmonious relations in society. Humanism through philosophy bolstered by works is what they worship.
#3) Buddhism is a religion based on the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama who lived in 500 BC in what is now Nepal and northern India. Gautama claimed an enlightening experience in which he was awakened (awakened is called Bodhi in the Sanskrit language and Buddha in English). After his awakening (Bodhi- Buddha) Gautama taught that believing in gods was not useful.
Buddhism teaches a philosophy that through an eightfold path based on four noble truths in endless layers of teachings on the nature of existence, self, life, suffering and death the individual can realize truth for himself in which one reaches an ever higher plane of existence until perfection is reached.
It teaches that man, through meticulous study, can reach a purer state of perfection until he is perfect. Images of Buddha play a large part in their worship. Humanism through philosophy bolstered by works is what they worship.
#4) Hinduism does not have a “founder” that came up with some new system of thought or revolutionary ideas of philosophy or religious ideas. Archaeology has discovered ancient relics that show a type of Hinduism that worshipped the occult, pagan god Pashupati (shiva linga, the Hindu god now known as Shiva) that has existed for centuries.
Be sure and see the images of Shiva on the internet, especially the serpent. Hinduism embraces a wide spectrum of philosophers who developed new systems as the centuries passed and that accommodation mindset embraces new philosophical systems even today.
Hinduism is basically comprised of 6 religions with 33 divines that, when analyzed, represent the basics of the earth; fire, water, air, sun and etc. which are essential to life on earth. Above those 33 gods are 3 gods named brahma, viShNu and rudra.
These 36 gods represent multiple perspectives of the individual Hindu’s idea of god. Basically its adherents are left to use their own discretion to find their own suitable path through the teaching/writing of whatever philosopher or philosophers they choose to follow.
The basic concept of Hinduism is reincarnation and karma. Reincarnation is the Hindu belief that at death a person is born into another existence such as human, bird, plant, animal, or just whatever thing has earthly life and sometimes even as one of the 33 divines. Karma leaves the body with the soul and is an account of the deeds that particular soul has done in its past lives. As the soul progresses from life to life it suffers the effects of its bad deeds and enjoys the fruits of its good deeds.
Hindus conceive of a formless, nameless, faceless, soulless, unknown, supreme god like this quote from Tiruvacakam; “Let us hail the god, who does not have a name or a form or anything like that, by singing thousands of its names.” Hinduism places much importance on symbols from the mark on the forehead to the idol representation of their deities.
The Hindu concept of a single god is so abstract they use the idols to represent whatever deity they worship. When a soul has finally performed enough good deeds to cancel out the bad deeds the reincarnation cycle is broken and the soul enters a state of liberation. Humanism through philosophy bolstered by works is what they worship.
It is obvious the 4 religions given above focus on self perfecting self through philosophy by performing certain works. They each have constructed their own list of rituals and their own list of behaviors that will earn them (you owe me) whatever paradise they believe in. But God said; (Col. 2:8) “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
Remember this: (2Cor. 11:14-15) “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (to make manifest, an illuminator). Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” Satan, the fallen angel of light, is the spirit worship leader of Christless religions.
(Rev. 12:9) Satan deceives the whole world, he has the power to make falsehood (lies) appear to be an illumination of truth and through that Satan, the devil, inspires men to found false religions (Eph. 6:11 keywords: wiles of the devil and V.12 keywords: spiritual wickedness) and he is the unholy spirit that guides them.
SATAN THE DEVIL
A Brief Study of Lucifer, (Rev. 12:9) “the Great Dragon (Isa. 27:1 keyword: leviathan), that Old Serpent, called the Devil, and Satan which deceiveth the whole world:”
Old serpent identifies Lucifer from the Garden of Eden as Satan the Devil (Gen. 3:13-15) because he left there as the serpent. (Isa. 14:12-15) Here Lucifer is called son of the morning and his five "I wills" against God are given; #1) “I will ascend (to be high, to take away) into heaven, #2) I will exalt (proud, presumptuous, take away) my throne above the stars (princes) of God: #3) I will sit also upon the mount (mountain) of the congregation (place of meeting), in the sides of the north (gloomy and unknown): #4) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; #5) I will be like the most High (God).”
These five explain the above five “I wills”: (Rev. 12:3-4 esp. V.3 keyword: dragon- defined as a fabulous serpent that fascinates) #1) (V.3) Satan (described as a great red dragon) planned to take over the angels in heaven. #2) (V.4) One third of the angels did follow him.
#3) (2Cor. 4:4 & Eph. 6:12) Satan is the gloomy, unknown spirit (2Cor. 4:4 keyword: blinded & Rev. 12:9 keywords: which deceiveth the whole world) who is the actual god of the false religions. #4) (1Chron. 21:1 & 1Pet. 5:8) Satan plans to defeat God’s true people, #5) (Isa. 14:14) defeat God and become God. Do not underestimate him!
(Ezek. 28:13-17) This scripture describes Lucifer and states he had been in Eden, the garden of God, that he had a heart (mind, emotions, soul), that he was lifted up (proud) because of his beauty and he is the anointed (to rub with oil) cherub that covereth (to defend and protect).
Satan was an especially beautiful angel with a special anointing to do the assigned job of defend and protect Adam and Eve from disobeying God (Gen. 3:1-7) but he rebelled against God’s orders, sweetly tempted Eve (Gen.2:19) so they would disobey God (sin) and die. He has the same plan for you. Satan is proud, rebellious and willful!
(Ezek. 28:13-17) (V.15) The iniquity (wickedness, evil) in Lucifer had been revealed by his teaching and deception of Eve in Eden (V.17) and it had sprang from Lucifer's pride (lifted up) in his beauty (harmony of form and color, excellence of craftsmanship), wisdom (to be wise, to teach) and his brightness (splendor). AND:
(Gen. 1:26 & 2:7) His pride caused his jealousy because God had given special attention to this man (Adam) He had formed (to mold as a potter) out of the dust of the earth in His own image, God had given Adam the breath of life (Gen. 2:8-25) and then God had started a companionship, friendship relationship with Adam whom He had formed. Satan is proud, jealous, wise and he teaches!
God changed Lucifer's name to Satan (adversary) due to Lucifer's rebellion in Eden (Isa. 14:12-15) because he had become God's adversary through his five "I wills" (John 8:44) The devil is a murderer, he is a liar and the father of lying and liars. (Matt. 4:3) The Devil is called the tempter (tester).
The word Devil is defined a slanderer, a false accuser, a traducer. A traducer speaks falsely, maliciously, to lead. Satan is a tempter (tester), a false accuser, a slanderer, speaks maliciously and he leads!
(Isa. 14:29 keyword: serpent's) Serpent's defined is to hiss like a snake, #1) to whisper, #2) to prognosticate, #3) is an enchanter, #4) and uses incantation.
#1) To whisper is to speak softly and secretly, to hiss quietly. #2) To prognosticate means to diligently observe and learn by experience and to predict by using present indications as a guide. #3) To enchant means to cast under a spell, bewitch, to attract and delight completely. #4) An incantation is verbal charms spoken, chanted or sung designed to produce a particular emotional effect.
All four are the basis of sorcery, magic, witchcraft and (Acts 17:16-34 esp. V.18 & Col. 2:8 keyword: philosophy- which is the study of existence, knowledge, values, reason, morality, ethics, logic).
From the above we see that Satan fascinates, grasps, entraps, takes, whispers into man's thoughts, diligently observes, learns by experience, predicts by using present indicators such as a person’s thoughts, actions, reactions and emotions as a guide.
Satan casts under a spell, bewitches, attracts and delights completely, inspires people by verbal charms spoken, chanted or sung (music) which is designed to produce a particular effect, which enhances the mood (emotions) for one to commit sin. He inspires sorcery, magic and witchcraft which is occultist idolatry.
Satan has had almost 6,000 Biblical years to observe mankind and learn about us and he can accurately predict what we will do under certain influences, suggestions and situations because basic man has not changed. Satan’s eyes are upon you and his ambition is to destroy you. The situation (your power of choice) from Eden has not changed.
Satan is the ruler of a kingdom. (John 12:31 & 14:30 keyword: prince) Satan is the prince (first in power, chief, ruler) of this world (Eph. 6:12) which is his kingdom of darkness with an organized hierarchy of fallen, evil angels in which he has power and purpose. (Matt. 12:25-26) Satan's kingdom is a united kingdom of all devils over which he is the ruler. (Rev. 20:10-15) Satan will have his eternal kingdom!
(Matt. 4:3-10, Luke 8:27-31, 22:3 & 22:31) They recognize and know people, they know you, they have a self-will, have self-awareness, have knowledge, have power over people, speak through men's mouths (James 2:19 keyword: tremble) and have emotions.