I thought my ears were burning today! I don't know what else I can add that already hasn't been said in this post. I thought Sphinx and Kim gave very impressive replies.
Perhaps there is just one thing I can add... In Isaiah, it mentions how "the Word" percipitates down into man's consciousness, where it's processed and hopefully returns to source:
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." - Isaiah 55:9-11
I would say that this cyclical process is one of the processes that has helped the pagan "saviour" stories come to us. As Lawrence Gardner has said, the "Grail" bloodline of royalty and rulership stretches back to the Anunaki. These are the Nephilm, the offspring of fallen angels and human women (this story is also told outside of the Biblical canon). These giants, "heroes of old" and "men of renown", as Genesis calls them, would have been very aware of "the Word" and of Jesus and it doesn't take much of a leap to figure out why most organised religions contain features that can be traced back to ancient Babylonian and Egyptian mystery school teachings because this is where it all began, where the Nephilim and their early royal descendents had their base, in the region of Sumer.
The Roman Church would not have come into existence without the considerable support of Emperor Constantine, the first throned "Chrisitian" who some maintain exploited Christianity for political purposes. It was Constantine who convened the Council of Nicaea. Its declared purpose was to decide on theological disputes which had arisen concerning the essence and nature of Christ!
It's also no coincidence that the head of the world wide body of the Church of England is Royalty.
In the East too, emperors have also historically been seen as the figure heads of religion. But even if we discount the possibilty of the royal blood lines originating back to ancient Sumer and the surrounding region, it's not difficult to show that the ancient Babylonian and Egyptian "secret faith" is still to this day guiding civilisation globally. The fingerprints of this "secret faith" are to be found in the symbols, rituals, regalia and "invisible societies" surrounding governement, of every sovereign state on earth. Jesus was right not to challenge Satan when Satan said all these kingdoms were his and to whomever he so desired he had the authority to give it. The book of Revelation also confirms this at the point where John sees an angel pour the contents of a bowl on Satan's throne:
"And the fifth one poured out his bowl upon the throne of the wild beast." - Revelation 16-10a
The pouring out of the bowl upon the throne of the wild beast involves a proclamation revealing the true role that the Dragon has played and still plays in supporting and promoting world governments. Revelation continues, showing the result of this proclamation:
"And its kingdom became darkened, and they began to gnaw their tongues for their pain, but they blasphemed the God of heaven for their pains and for their ulcers, and they did not repent of their works." - Revelation 16:10b-11
I said "hopefully", in the lead up to the verses from Isaiah above because at the present time not everything is returning back to God as intended. This is because false doctrines and creeds have sprung up all over the place like weeds choking a garden, thus syphoning off precious energy, which accounts for all of humanity's ills.
This startling situation was remarkably portrayed in John's vision on Patmos, where he saw the Lamb symbolically bleeding with a wound at the throne of God. This wound is the gap caused by the suffering of mankind due to "the Word" not returning back to God in its entirety. It is this gap or this abyss, to be more descriptive and accurate, that is the difference between the man-made common reality matrix and the natural, innocent, pure and unadulterated reality.
It is the abyss which "Milo" perceives, in the film "The Phantom Tollbooth", when he first sees the Castle in the Air. He wonders how on earth he's going to cross this abyss but he takes courage and like the fool, he puts one foot out into the canyon. A symbolic step in a staircase suddenly supports his feet. As Milo gains confidence, the staircase extends and delivers him to the Castle in the Air, where he hopes the Princesses of Ryhme and Reason can resolve mankinds squabbles.
We are all "Milos", just as we are all "Dorothys" or "Frodos". We can all make a connection to the Christ consciousness by letting go of our selfish and materialistic modes of thinking. It's an ongoing refinning spiritual process.
Our wound will begin to be healed as we enter this new consciousness, as John perceived symbolically in his visions, when the nations are cured by the leaves of the Trees of Life...
"And he showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of its broad way. And on this side of the river and on that side there were trees of life producing twelve crops of fruit, yielding their fruits each month. And the leaves of the trees were for the curing of the nations. And no more will there be any curse. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his slaves will render him sacred service; and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads." - Revelation 22: 1-4