This Babylonian system of idolatrous worship spread all over the world as the inhabitants of the city itself were scattered (Genesis 11:9). As they went from Babylon, these men took their worship of mother and child and the various “mystery” symbols with them. Herodotus, the world traveler and historian of antiquity, witnessed the mystery religion and its rites in many countries, and wrote of how Babylon was the prime evil source from which all systems of idolatry flowed. In his noted work Nineveh and Its Remains, Austen Henry Layard wrote that we have the united testimony of sacred and profane history that idolatry originated in the area of Babylonia. Alexander Hislop quotes these historians and others confirming this point in his remarkable treatise mentioned above.

Later, the Roman Empire assimilated into its system the gods and religions of the countries over which it ruled. Since Babylon was the source of this paganism, we can easily see how Rome’s early religion was a form of Babylonish worship that had developed under different forms and different names in the countries to which it had gone. In his well-documented book Pagan & Christian Creeds: Their Origin and Meaning, Edward Carpenter wrote, “The similarity of ancient pagan legends and beliefs with Christian traditions was indeed so great that they excited the attention and the undisguised wrath of the early Christian [who]… not knowing how to explain it fell back upon the innocent theory that the Devil… centuries before, caused the pagans to adopt certain beliefs and practices” (p. 25).

Carpenter also quoted Tertullian, an early “church father” living between 160–220 AD, as saying that “the devil by the mysteries of his idols imitates even the main part of the divine mysteries.”

Also, Carpenter, noted, “Cortez, too… complained that the Devil had positively taught to the Mexicans the same things which God had taught to Christendom.” The famous Spanish explorer found that the originally pagan inhabitants of Mexico were already practicing the same pagan rites and had many of the same pagan beliefs that the Roman Catholic church had assimilated!

Since the practices of today’s churches are not the same as the early true Church recorded in the New Testament, it is vital to know whether there has been a purposeful mixing of false pagan practices with the true teachings of Christ, the Apostles, and the Bible. Many historians, such as Edward Gibbon, have noted the change brought about by great numbers of pagans flocking into the early Christian Church and mixing their pagan customs and beliefs with those of the Church (see The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chapter 15).

Notice how today’s churches have sprung from the same root as paganism. Satan has created an entire system of “counterfeit Christianity.” He has cleverly guided vain religious leaders to introduce completely pagan ideas, concepts, and practices into “Christianity.” Since the word “Christianity” is stamped on the outside of the package, most people assume that the religion of Jesus Christ is being offered. Little do they realize that totally false concepts of God, of Jesus Christ and His message, of the purpose of eternal life, and of the way to eternal life have been wrapped up in a package called “Christianity.” But theirs is a “counterfeit Christianity that has cut most of mankind off from the true God and has caused enormous confusion, suffering, and death!

Note these excerpts from Carpenter’s Pagan and Christian Creeds: “Meanwhile the Christian Church from these speculations has kept itself severely apart—as of course representing a unique and divine revelation little concerned or interested in such heathenisms; and moreover (in this country at any rate) has managed to persuade the general public of its own divine uniqueness to such a degree that few people, even nowadays, realise that it has sprung from just the same root as Paganism, and that it shares by far the most part of its doctrines and rites with the latter” (pp. 11–12).

At the time of the life or recorded appearance of Jesus of Nazareth, and for some centuries before, the Mediterranean and neighboring world had been the scene of a vast number of pagan creeds and rituals. There were Temples without end dedicated to gods like Apollo or Dionysus among the Greeks, Hercules among the Romans, Mithra among the Persians, Adonis and Attis in Syria and Phrygia, Osiris and Isis and Horus in Egypt, Baal and Astarte among the Babylonians and Carthaginians, and so forth. Societies, large or small, united believers and the devout in the service or ceremonials connected with their respective deities, and in the creeds which they confessed concerning these deities. And an extraordinarily interesting fact, for us, is that notwithstanding great geographical distances and racial differences between the adherents of these various cults, as well as differences in the details of their services, the general outlines of their creeds and ceremonials were—if not identical—so markedly similar as we find them (p. 20).

Not only were these pagan creeds and ceremonies, which had existed centuries before Christ’s coming, markedly similar to each other; they were also similar to true Christianity—a fact that cannot be considered accidental. As an example of this, of eleven main deities from seven countries, it was believed of all or nearly all that these deities’ births were on or near Christmas, of a virgin mother, in a cave underground, and that they led a life of toil for man. They were called light bringers, healers, mediators, and saviors. They were thought to have been vanquished by the powers of darkness, descended into hell or the underworld, to have arisen and become pioneers of mankind to a heavenly world (pp. 21–23).

Carpenter went on to write, “There is no doctrine in Christianity which is more reverenced by the adherents of that religion, or held in higher estimation, than that God sacrificed his only Son for the salvation of the world… here, it might easily be thought, is a belief… at any rate unique, and peculiar to that Church. And yet the extraordinary fact is that a similar belief ranges all through the ancient religions, and can be traced back to the earliest times” (p. 131). These unusual customs were so similar to the truth that they strongly suggest there must have been some guiding force behind them. A counterfeit Christianity was being created by the invisible “god” of this age whom Jesus Christ called the “father” of lies (John 8:44).