……. Though they were aware of an “ unknown God” due to their plagiarizing of Moses and Prophets such as Jeremiah and Ezekiel, as well as the prophecy of Balaam, none of the Philosophers and wise men of the heathen “ gave Him credit or glory”, as the Apostle Paul in Romans confirms. “ ALL the gods of the nations are demons” is a literal fact which both St Paul in the New Testament and King David in the Old Testament, adumbrate in no uncertain terms.
Though pagan wisdom could sire insights and prognostications via divination, as we find in the case of Balaam, Jannes and Jambres in Egypt, and of the three Zoroastrian Magi who, as astrologers, had some remnant knowledge of the effect of the ordering of the stellar realm in relation to the waning and waxing, births and deaths, of Kings and potentates, it was impossible for them to fully comprehend, or even to garner a glimpse of, the unfathomable riches of the religion of the Hebrews and their ultimate Deity. They could potentially “ know of” an ultimate Deity, but they could never “ know” that ultimate Deity, unless they converted to the Hebrew religion as proselytes.
Though the Philosophers have stolen much from Moses and the Prophets, they were never regarded as proto-Christians or proto-believers but, according to the great Christian apologists such as Justyn Martyr, Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons and Bishop Hippolytus of Porto, they were ALL ( without exception) the originals of every subsequent error and heresy in and out of the Church.
No Gentiles or Heathen Nations were ever regarded as “ God worshippers”: only Hebrews or Hebrew Proselytes. For this reason even the figure of Melchizedek, the contemporary of Abraham, was regarded by the early Syrian Christian Church as of the genealogy and Faith of Noah through the line of Shem ( though not Shem himself), and the son of Cainan who was omitted from the Hebrew genealogies ( as noted by Saint Stephen, when quoting from the Septuagint Scriptures, just prior to his martyrdom).
Though some language and forms were inherited from the speculations of the Philosophers at Alexandria during the formative years of the early Christian Church at Alexandria, there was an incredible divide in perspectives and teachings which apologists of our Faith such as Clement of Alexandria often ( and at other times reluctantly) accentuated, but men of weaker discernment and much greater heretical tendencies, such as Origen and Arius, decidedly placated, to the peril of the Church at Alexandria and beyond. By the time of Lactantius, however, the “ divide of discernment” had been bridged, and even the Montanist “ daughters of Cybele/ Jezebel” ( the Roman Sybills) and Apostates and heretics such as Hermes Trismegistos ( the Hiram Abiff of Solomon Temple fame, who apostasized from the Faith of Abraham, being of the tribe of Dan, from which lineage the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah prophesied the coming of the final Antichrist) the author of pagan “ Hermeticism” ( which Daniel calls “ knowledge of Dark Sentences”, ie, the “ Black Arts”), were treated on equal terms and validity as the greatest prophets of the Old Testament themselves. Even the Apostles of Jesus Christ, who laid down their lives for the defence of truth and Saving Christian Doctrine and praxis in perpetual opposition to ALL pagan philosophy and magia, and, in the case of the Apostle Paul, ALL pagan “ philosophy”, “ gnosis” and “ science falsely so-called”, were deemed to be equal in authority to the murky pagan prophets such as Zoroaster, Hermes, Pythagoras, Plato, Apollonius of Tyana, the Sybills etc et al…
Plato’s “ Apology” ( Trial of Socrates) distinctly, when speaking of and as the genii/ daemon Hermes, equates the daemonic deity with the incarnate “ word/logos/speech/reason”. The heathen “ most high daemon/deity” found itself incarnate, and walking among men ( at least in the minds of all heathen nations) in the form of Hermes/Mercury/Odin. Hermes, like Cadmus who gave letters to the Greeks, and like Thoth to the Egyptians, was a Phoenician ( or more accurately a Tyrian) daemonic deity. The original name in Phoenician was “ Hiram”..The Rosicrucian Theosopher William Wynn Wescott unequivocally confirms that the THIRD Hermes ( Hermes Trismegistus) was no other than the Hiram Abiff of the Bible, whom Gnostic Freemasonry worships as Hermes Trismegistos ( see Manly Palmer Hall’s Gnostic work to this effect also).
Hiram Abiff, referred to Biblically as the evil apostate of the tribe of Dan ( please refer to Jeremiah’s references to the line of Antichrist coming from Dan with “ the neighing of his horses”. Both Hippolytus and Irenaeus as well as the almost universal choir of early church apologists confirmed in concert that the Antichrist was to issue from the line of the idolatrous tribe of Dan) was known universally ( and Biblically) as the original of the “ Prince of Tyrus”, due to his renowned “worldly wisdom”. It is from his tradition and lineage (“ knowing dark sentences” or “ black arts”, ( known to history as the Hermetic arts and sciences), according to the prophet Daniel) that the Antichrist is to come. Hiram Abiff was known in Scandinavia as ODIN, who established a Phoenician colony in Denmark in honour of Hercules Melkhart, worshipped in Israel as the “ Maoz”, “Mahuzzim”, or “ God of Forces” as, once again, confirmed by the prophet Daniel.
None of the Philosophers of the heathen nations were free of “ the gods”; not even their most popular “rebel against the rule of the gods”: Socrates; the tutor of Plato. Though holding out against the charge of “ unbelief ” by a final sacrificial act in his very last moments, even Socrates finally succumbed and revealed the true nature of his allegiance by offering sacrifice to Asclepius; the “ crooked serpent” ( satan) of the Bible. This so-called “pious act” has been repeated, particularly since the Renaissance by countless “ pagano-Christians” such as Pico Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino, and other members of the Medici Platonic Academy, who have foolishly embraced the Socratic tradition by imitating the sacrifice of Socrates to Asclepius: the demon of the Rosicrucian/ Medical Fraternity, and thereby forefeiting their souls. Asclepius has NOTHING in common with the brazen serpent tradition of Moses, as the great Christian Apologist, Justyn Martyr, affirmed over eighteen centuries ago.
Had Socrates finally in his dying moments sacrificed to Aesclepius out of mere “jest” he could never have maintained his reputation posthumously as a philosopher, nor could he have sacrificed as a hypocrite, despite being an unbelieving heathen who at best could only acknowledge the existence of an “ unknown God”, but who had no inkling of His nature or worship. Asclepius, the “ crooked serpent” ( Satan) of Scripture, was the presiding genii of the ancient medical profession, ( as attested in the Hippocratic Oath of the Medical Fraternity) and remains so, in the esteem of many practitioners, as such even to this day.
Christ and the Cross remain and remained a complete mystery to the Gentiles, and none of them were ever referred to as “ God Worshippers” unless they became true Proselytes to the Faith of Abraham. This, especially, was true of ALL the Gentile/Heathen Philosophers, including Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Socrates, Aristotle and Plato.
When Paul and Barnabas were accosted by the locals at Lystra on one of their Missionary Journeys, as recorded by Luke in the Book of Acts of the Apostles ( Acts 14: 8-18), the locals attempted to offer Sacrifice to Paul and Barnabas precisely because they expected the arrival and incarnation of the false Prophet ( Jupiter/Zeus/Thor) AND the Emperor Antichrist ( Mercury/Hermes/Odin) in light of the miraculous work the Apostles had done which, in the minds of the Lystrians, was a qualification and requisite of the future “ world saviours” of the revived Golden Age of Saturn. The Lystrians, as with all mystery religions of the heathen nations, expected the incarnation of Jupiter and Mercury at the future time of the Age of Saturn/Chronos ( the “Moloch” of the Jews); the new “ Golden Age” of the world which the heretic Cerinthus also prophesied of under the guise of a false chiliasm.
…..And if we assert that the Word of God was born of God in a peculiar manner, different from ordinary generation, let this, as said above, be no extraordinary thing to you, who say that Mercury is the angelic word of God. (Justin Martyr. First Apology Ch: 22)
And when he [the devil] brings forward Æsculapius as the raiser of the dead and healer of all diseases, may I not say that in this matter likewise he has imitated the prophecies about Christ? ( Justin Martyr. Dialogue with Trypho Chapter 59)…..
“A martyr faithful unto death at Pergamos (Rev 2:13). “I know … where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is” (the idol AEsculapius was worshipped there under the serpent form); “and thou holdest fast My name, and hast not denied My faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was My faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.” Satan, the old serpent, instigated the idol’s devotees, through the magistrates at Pergamos, to slay Antipas. Compare Rev 2:10; Rev 12:1-17.”
(Fausett’s Bible Dictionary article on “Antipas”)
The following excerpts illustrate the erroneous beliefs of the heathen Philosophers regarding the doctrine of the “ logos” , with some refutations of such errors by the early Christian Fathers and Apologists, particularly against the heathen notions of the logos being an “ angelic” or a “generated/created” INTERMEDIARY entity and spirit, ( namely the genii/daemon HERMES), and are referenced by the internet link below:
The Logos of Philo is an intermediary: “The Father who engendered all has given to the Logos the signal privilege of being an intermediary (methorios) between the creature and the creator . . . it is neither without beginning (agenetos) as is God, nor begotten (genetos) as you are [mankind], but intermediate (mesos) between these two extremes “(Quis rer. divin. haeres sit, 205-06).
“The Word of St. John is not an intermediary, but a Mediator; He is not intermediate between the two natures, Divine and human, but He unites them in His Person; it could not be said of Him, as of the Logos of Philo, that He is neither agenetos nor genetos, for He is at the same time one and the other, not inasmuch as He is the Word, but as the Incarnate Word (St. Ignatius, “Ad Ephes.”, vii, 2).”
It is in Heraclitus that the theory of the (pagan) Logos appears for the first time, and it is doubtless for this reason that, first among the Greek philosophers. For him the Logos, which he seems to identify with fire, is that universal principle which animates and rules the world. This conception could only find place in a materialistic monism. The philosophers of the fifth and fourth centuries before Christ were dualists, and conceived of God as transcendent, so that neither in Plato (whatever may have been said on the subject) nor in Aristotle do we find the theory of the Logos.
It reappears in the writings of the Stoics, and it is especially by them that this theory is developed. God, according to them, “did not make the world as an artisan does his work, but it is by wholly penetrating all matter that He is the demiurge of the universe” (Galen, “De qual. incorp.” in “Fr. Stoic.”, ed. von Arnim, II, 6); He penetrates the world “as honey does the honeycomb” (Tertullian, “Adv. Hermogenem”, 44), this God so intimately mingled with the world is fire or ignited air; inasmuch as He is the principle controlling the universe, He is called Logos; and inasmuch as He IS the germ from which all else develops, He is called the seminal Logos (logos spermatikos). This Logos is at the same time a force and a law, an irresistible force which bears along the entire world and all creatures to a common end, an inevitable and holy law from which nothing can withdraw itself, and which every reasonable man should follow willingly (Cleanthus, “Hymn to Zeus” in “Fr. Stoic.” I, 527-cf. 537).
Conformably to their exegetical habits, the Stoics made of the different gods personifications of the Logos, e.g. of Zeus and above all of Hermes. At Alexandria, Hermes was identified with Thoth, the god of Hermopolis, known later as the great Hermes, “Hermes Trismegistus”, and represented as the revealer of all letters and all (pagan) religion. Simultaneously, the Logos theory conformed to the current Neoplatonistic dualism in Alexandria: the Logos is not conceived of as nature or immanent necessity, but as an intermediary agent by which the transcendent God governs the world. This conception appears in Plutarch, especially in his “Isis and Osiris”; from an early date in the first century of the Christian era, it influenced profoundly the Jewish philosopher Philo…..
…..In Stoicism, as it developed after the 4th century BC, the Logos is conceived as a rational divine power that orders and directs the universe; it is identified with God, nature, and fate. The Logos is “present everywhere” and seems to be understood as both a divine mind and at least a semiphysical force, acting through space and time. Within the cosmic order determined by the Logos are individual centers of potentiality, vitality, and growth. These are “seeds” of the Logos (logoi spermatikoi). Through the faculty of reason, all human beings (but not any other animals) share in the divine reason. Stoic ethics stress the rule “Follow where Reason [Logos] leads”; one must therefore resist the influence of the passions-love, hate, fear, pain, and pleasure…..
….Heraclitus was the earliest Greek thinker to make logos a central concept. He urges us to pay attention to the logos, which “governs all things” and yet is also something we “encounter every day.” We should probably emphasize the linguistic connections of logos when interpreting Heraclitus’s thought. In our efforts to understand the world, we should look to our language and the order embodied in it, rather than to scientific or religious views that neglect this….
…..In the 3d century BC the proponents of Stoicism borrowed the idea of logos from Heraclitus (neither Plato nor Aristotle had given the term prominence) and used it for the immanent ordering principle of the universe – represented, at the level of language, by humankind’s ordered discourse. Nature and logos are often treated as one and the same; but logos is nature’s overall rational structure, and not all natural creatures have logos, or reason, within them. Humans are urged to “live consistently with logos.”…..
Clearly, the above notions concerning the pagan ” logos” are in complete opposition with the ” dabar” of the Old Testament Hebrews, and the ” logos” of the New Testament Christians, as Justyn Martyr and other early apologists of orthodox Christianity, taught. The exhortations by the Philosophers to ” live consistently with logos” is far from any Christian of truly Jewish concept to that effect, since the Philosophers were invariably referring to a fallen genii/ daemon, that of Hermes, when being mindful of the concept of the Logos, and NEVER the “ Dabar” of the Hebrew Scriptures. ” The Word ( Dabar, Logos) became Flesh” is true of only one historical Incarnation; that of Jesus Christ, whereas the Philosophers sought a cyclic Incarnation of Hermes/Mercury/Odin ( the Spirit of the Antichrist) as their counterfeit ” mirific word/logos” false world savior. Christ Jesus is THE only ” mediator between God and Man”, but certainly not an ” intermediatory angelic being or psychopomp” as the heathen philosophers taught of the genii/daemon Hermes.
There is no other name given under Heaven by which we may be saved, except the name of Christ Jesus…