Semiramis Expands Apostasy
In discussing the origin of the “Mystery” system we concluded our last segment with the death of Nimrod. The death of Nimrod seemingly halted the counterfeit pagan worship which he started. The Egyptians hold that Nimrod’s dead body was cut in pieces. It was sent to many cities throughout the country as a warning as to what would happen to others who might desire to apostatize (Wilkinson’s Egyptians, Vol. V, p. 17).
A similar example of this practice is recorded in the Bible. The dead body of the Levite’s concubine was cut in pieces and a part was sent to each of the twelve tribes of Israel (Judges 19:29).Another example is recorded in I Samuel 11:7; It was not an unusual practice.
This warning against paganism had a marked effect on would-be apostates. If one as powerful as Nimrod could be slain and disposed of in such a terrible manner, the people rightly reasoned that the same fate would happen to them if it were known that they were worshipping forbidden objects idols. The people were afraid to worship these although they desired to do so! If they were to continue to worship these same forbidden pagan idols, there was only one way in which it could be done. And that was for someone to initiate a system whereby the forbidden things of worship were represented by something else.
Thus the ones initiated into these “Mysteries” would know that they in reality were worshipping the forbidden Sun or Serpent when they worshipped these new objects, but the outsider would not know. It would be a “Mystery” to him!
Hislop’s The Two Babylons, p. 66, says, “In these circumstances, then, began that system of “Mystery” which, having Babylon for its centre has spread over the world.” Let us now see how this Mystery system actually did come into being and who created it and for what purpose! The world’s religions today are deceived by this very same system! How did this come about?
Here is the reason. At first it was explained to the worshipper what he was actually worshipping when he worshipped various symbols. But as time went by the practice of explanation was dropped. The people continued to worship the same symbols because of custom. But they didn’t know then, nor do people know now, just what is actually being worshipped!
Nimrod had been a man of unbounded ambition but the ambition of his wife Semiramis the future “Queen of Heaven” (Jer. 7:18) exceeded his. Nimrod, her husband, had become the greatest and most powerful figure in the world. He was dead. She clearly saw that if she were to continue to have the great position and power which she had exercised by being the ambitious wife of the most powerful man on earth, something must be done to assure continuance of her power.
Nimrod’s kingdom which consisted of most of the populated world of that time had fallen to her. Much of Nimrod’s power had come from his setting himself up as the human representative of the Sun-god. She must retain this worlds rule by any and all means. The religious control which had given so much power to her husband must be used by her also if she were to retain the maximum hold on her subjects. She, by way of Noah, the preacher of righteousness, had heard of the woman’s prophesied seed who was to come and by which mankind might obtain eternal life. This gave to her a daring idea.
“Though the death of her husband had given a rude shock to her power, her resolution and unbound ambition were in nowise checked. On the contrary, her ambition took a higher flight. In life her husband had been honored as a hero; in death she will have him worshipped as a god, yea, as the woman’s promised Seed who was destined to bruise the serpent’s head and who, in doing so, was to have His own heel bruised. The patriarchs, and ancient world in general, were perfectly acquainted with the grand primeval promise of Eden. They knew right well that the bruising of the heel of the promised seed implied His death and that the curse could be removed from the world only by the death of the grand Deliverer” (Hislop, pp. 58-60).
Here, then, was a perfect circumstance which Semiramis could use to perpetuate and even greatly augment her power! The world had been told of the coming of a Deliverer whose death would redeem them from eternal death. The world was awaiting such an event. They also believed that this deliverer would go about doing good deeds before His death. Nimrod, her husband the most powerful man on earth in his day, had been considered a benefactor, as we have seen.
She would combine or fuse the Sun-Serpent worship which her dead husband had furthered, with the teachings of the Eternal God concerning a coming Savior of mankind. She planned to make her dead husband, Nimrod, this Savior, and thus procure for herself power over her subjects by posing as the mother of a supernaturally conceived and reborn Nimrod (recall Christ’s supernatural conception).A factor of great aid to Semiramis was the popularity of Nimrod and the desire of the people to keep him in their memory.
When the news first spread abroad concerning the violent death of this mighty man, cut off in the midst of his career, it was a great shock and loud were the wails everywhere. Nimrod at the time of his death was well and favorably known by the little groups which had been formed after God confused their various languages at the Tower of Babel. They later formed the large nations of the earth as we know them today by gradually migrating outward to far distant areas after Semiramis’ time. Nimrod’s popularity is known by the fact that hundreds of years later these nations still lamented the violent death of their hero-Nimrod or Tammuz.
Japan, China, India, Scandinavia, and Iceland each have their own gods in whose life this event occurred, and each weeps for these at the proper time. In Iceland and throughout Scandinavia, the idea of the weeping is that if everyone on earth would weep for their dead god Balder (Nimrod) he would be restored to life.
The central theme of the whole idolatry in Egypt was the violent death of Osiris (the Egyptians’ god representing Nimrod). As the women of Egypt wept for Osiris so did the Phoenician and Assyrians weep for their gods representing the resurrected Nimrod. In Greece and Rome the women wept for Bacchus whose name means “The Bewailed,” or “Lamented one.” Japan, China, India, Scandinavia, and Ireland each had their “Lamented One” for which they bewailed annually (Hislop, pp. 55-57).
In these Bacchanal lamentations, a spotted fawn was used to represent Bacchus (the Grecian name for Nimrod). At certain stages in the mystical celebrations, the fawn was torn in pieces thus expressing what happened to Bacchus (Nimrod or Tammuz remember Nimrod was cut in pieces).The way of disobedience to God is very popular with mankind! Even the Israelites in their time wept for the death of Tammuz: “There sat women weeping for Tammuz” (Ez. 8:14).So we see that in life the people of the early earth had looked upon Nimrod almost as though he were a god. In death Semiramis would make him the Savior of mankind!
Her plan was aided by her own great beauty. Her beauty is said to have once quelled a rising rebellion among her subjects on her sudden appearance among them (Valerius Maximus, lib. Ix, chap. 3, p. 2). Semiramis gained glory from her dead and deified husband; and in the course of time, both of them under the names of Rhea and Nin, or ‘Goddess-mother and son,’ were worshipped with an enthusiasm that was incredible and their images were everywhere set and adored. Whenever the Negro aspect of Nimrod was an obstacle all that was needful was to teach that Ninus (Nimrod) had reappeared in the person of a posthumous son, of a fair complexion, supernaturally borne by a widowed wife,” herself (Hislop, p. 69).For this purpose she used one of her many illegitimate children. She was fair complexioned and had several of these.
Nimrod was said to have been the first that invented magic arts. He used tricks of magic to impress his converts (Justinius Historia, lib. 1, vol. 11, p. 615). After Nimrod’s death, tricks of magic and deceptions were used by Semiramis to impress the converts to her system of Mystery with the power of these imaginary gods which she had concocted.
She deified Nimrod, herself, and their son Tammuz and, due to opposition, gave them secret forms known only to the initiated, and these forms were worshipped. These, then, were the Mysteries. Those on the outside of these new religious practices could not see that these new practices of worshipping were symbols such as a calf or tree, were actually the same as the worship of Nimrod or Semiramis who represented the Sun and Serpent (Satan) and were actually the worship of the same things which Shem had suppressed Sun-Serpent worship!
Those who wished to be initiated into these Mysteries in Semiramis’ time had to have their meaning explained to them before they could understand them. The title of the priest who explained these Mysteries to the initiated was called “Peter” in the primitive Chaldee, the real language of the Mysteries; this means “Interpreter” (Parkhurst’s Hebrew Lexicon, p. 602). It was one of these interpreters, called “Peter,” who was in pagan Rome long before Christ. He was confused with Peter the apostle of Christ in his time.
Using every means within her power, ambitious Semiramis left no stone unturned to advance this Pagan religious system of mystery which she had formulated. By doing so, she, as head of this system, strengthened her hold over her subjects. Petty kings had arisen over small groups of people having different languages, which were the beginning of the nations of the earth. These groups had resulted by God’s giving to them different languages in order to confuse them and there by stop their building of the city and tower of Babylon (Gen. 11:7-9).When, as one group with one language, they had established at Babel, or Babylon, a central place of authority of their own, so they could rule in God’s stead. Then God divided them “after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations” (Gen. 10:20). Never could they establish their own authority over the peoples of the earth as easily if they spoke different languages.
For many of these kings, Nimrod, when he had been alive, built cities or towns as we have seen (both he and Semiramis were given titles as builders, after they were deified).These kings he controlled. The other kings of the earth were subservient to him because of his great conquests. How did Semiramis use these kings to further her own ambition when this great empire fell to her because of her husband’s death?
The Bible tells us! She was the original fallen woman that the Bible describes in Rev. 17:1-2 when it says “I will show thee the great whore that sits upon many waters (nations): with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” (Her character in regard to fornication was well known.) In return, these kings furthered her self-conceived system of religion the religious Mystery system spoken of in Rev. 17:4-5. The system formed by the fusion of the true teachings of the Eternal with the teachings of Semiramis concerning her self-conceived gods. She, the head of this counterfeit of the true Church of God, gave herself to these kings or civil rulers of the earth of her time, in order to further her own counterfeit system of Satan inspired religion onto the nations of the earth.
No wonder Revelation 17 uses the symbol of a fallen woman to represent a great unholy church! But Revelation 17 is prophetic it is dual - these same words tell of the arising in strength of this same system of Semiramis in our day, furthered by another woman (church) which will unite with the civil kings or rulers of the earth to force her religion (including the “mark of the beast”) upon the earth of our time!
No wonder this counterfeit religion of Semiramis, impressed upon the nations of the earth in their beginnings was carried by them to the fartherest places of this globe as they migrated outward from this central point!
So here we have a religion set up over 2,000 years before Christ which was calculatedly patterned on the future coming of Christ! No wonder there were so many similarities to the real Christ and his teachings extant when he came 2,000 years later!
Here was a man who was killed for the supposed good he had accomplished, just as Christ would be later; this man was also “resurrected”; he was born “supernaturally”; and he became a god. Did he also offer eternal life to his followers? We will see later that he did. We read in Acts 4:11-12 that the only way to salvation is by Christ, yet here we will find one who recommended similar ways.
We will find many of the practices of this religion to be similar to, yet counterfeits of, the true teachings of God, but different enough to prevent its followers from receiving eternal life. The Mystery of Iniquity of our day was taking shape then! The object of these mysteries was “to bind all mankind in blind and absolute submission to a hierarchy entirely dependent on the sovereigns of Babylon” (Hislop, p. 5). Vast numbers today are also in blind and absolute submission to a great church.
We have already seen how Nimrod, after his death, was said by Semiramis to have been reborn in the form of her illegitimate child Tammuz. That the child (Semiramis’ counterfeit of the coming Savior) who was worshipped in the various countries was really one person Nimrod-- there is much evidence. An examination of the legends and characteristics assigned to those gods by their worshippers show these coincide with the characteristics of Nimrod and events in his life. (Now as we proceed, please recall that Nimrod was deified by Semiramis and worshipped after his death, but also, in her Mysteries, she said he was “reborn” as her fair skinned child.)
Egyptian tradition shows that their god Osiris (Nimrod) was black. (Plutarch’s De Isid, et., Os., vol. 11, p. 359). This then clearly shows that the man they worshipped was not of their own nationality.
This negro-featured Osiris was clothed from head to foot in a spotted dress, the upper part being a leopard’s skin (spotted) and the lower part a spotted dress (Bunsen, vol1, p. 425).The name Nimrod means “subdue of the leopard” from Nim, a “leopard” and rod “to subdue.” This name seems to imply that as Nimrod had gained fame by subduing the horse, he had subdued the leopard and used it in hunting (Hislop, p. 44). In India this has been a custom (Wilkinson, v. 111, p. 17). Persian legends shows that Hosang (Cush) the father of Tahmurs (Nimrod) who built Babylon, was the “first who bred dogs and leopards for hunting.” (Sir William Jones’ Works, vol. iv, pp. 341-353). The Egyptian high priest’s robe of office was the leopard’s skin. Here, then, the leopard skin, was the common covering for the main deity in these two countries!
Nimrod, by the same spotted covering, is identified as being the god Bacchus of the Greeks. Leopards were employed to draw this god’s chariot; he was represented as attired in leopard’s skins and his priests were attired in the same manner or with the spotted skin of a fawn. This latter seems to have come from Assyria (Vaux’s Ninevah, chap. Viii, p. 233) indications again of the principal gods being covered with leopard’s skins in yet two countries. The similarity to one man Nimrod is marked!
Recall that in Babylon, after Nimrod was slain by Shem’s followers, Semiramis used secret or mysterious symbols to represent him so that he could be worshipped through these symbols as a god. In Greece to secretly or mysteriously show that Nimrod and their god Bacchus were the same, Bacchus was symbolized as a spotted fawn. The rites of the Egyptian Osiris and the Grecian Bacchus are the same, and those of the Egyptian Isis (Semiramis) and Ceres, (the Grecian Semiramis) exactly resemble each other (Bibliotheca, lib., 1, p. 9).
In Egypt, Osiris, as we recall, was mystically represented as a young bull or calf the calf Apis. “Apis,” being only another name for Saturn, “the Hidden one.” The name Apis in Egyptian is Hopi, evidently from the Chaldee (Babylonian) word “Hop,” “to cover” (Bunsen, vol., 1, vocab. P. 462). Other evidence is overwhelming that Semiramis had made her dead husband the great god of the world of that day. Mankind was deifying himself by causing others to worship him. Here is a very important subject that should be looked into.
A factor that aided Semiramis in her deification of Nimrod after his death was the way in which statues were made of the mighty men of renown of that time. As the first of the “mighty ones” on the earth after the flood, Nimrod was symbolized as a bull. But there was yet another way by which his power was shown. Says Hislop, p. 37-39, a synonym for “Gheber,” which means “The mighty one,” was “Abir.” But “Aber” signified a wing.
Hislop continues, “Nimrod, as Head and Captain of those men of war who were instruments of establishing his power, was Baal-aberin ‘Lord of the mighty ones.’ But ‘Baal-abirin’ signified ‘The winged one.’ Therefore he was represented as a winged bull showing not merely that he was mighty himself, but that he had ones under his command who were ever ready to carry out his command, this alone explains the remarkable statement of Aristophanes, that at the beginning of the world ‘the birds’ were first created, and then, after their creation, came the ‘races of the blessed immortal gods.’ Let it be borne in mind that ‘the birds’ - that is, the ‘winged ones’ - symbolized ‘the Lords of the mighty ones,’ and the meaning is clear that men first began to be mighty on the earth, and then, that the ‘Lords” or leaders of ‘these mighty ones’ were deified.”
Nimrod was unquestionably the first of those deified after the flood. He became the “father of the gods” the first of many “mighty one” who might be deified after him. The same general method applied to Semiramis she became the “mother of the gods.” But what deeper meaning did this have?
Man had brazenly dared to make of himself a god, a god to be worshipped and obeyed by others! He left the True God out of his life. The Ten Commandments say, “Thou shalt have no other gods before be” (Ex. 20:3). Many times in the Old Testament when people sinned, God said words to the following effect: ”I will punish them that they may know I am God.” Who first wanted to be like God? The Devil! “I will be like the most High” (Isa. 14:14).
What did Satan tell Eve would happen if she and Adam would follow his advice and eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which God had forbidden? “Ye shall not surely die ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:4-5). Satan in effect said, “You will not die, you can be as gods, deciding for your selves what is right and what is wrong you can attain eternal life this way.” The churches of Satan have been teaching this philosophy ever since. The philosophy that Adam and Eve followed in Eden is the type of philosophy the world has followed from that day to this: it is basically a type of disobedience. The Devil’s suggestion sounds good to mankind.
God had said they would die if they disobeyed His command and eat of this tree (Gen. 2:17). They did not know God yet they did not fear Him: “The fear of the Eternal is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111:10). They did not know they must obey Him above all beings or suffer dire consequences, so they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They usurped God’s prerogative, they decided what was good and what was evil! They made their own laws by deciding that to eat of the forbidden tree was right and not a sin. They followed their law and broke God’s. They became “as gods” to make their own law, but after they had sinned they were afraid (Gen. 3:10).They realized their folly, for God then said, “Man is as one of us, to know good and evil” (Gen. 3:22).
They had learned by experience. They realized they needed a different kind of clothing than their carnal minds gave (Rom. 8:7).Paul says mankind had been made to desire vain things (Rom. 1:32).
“I put on righteousness and it clothed me” (Job 29:14). They tried to clothe themselves with their own righteousness, “They sewed fig leaves together and made girdles” (Gen. 3:7) a symbol of their kind of righteousness, but Isaiah, inspired by God, says, “All our righteousness are as filthy rags” (Is. 64:6). The Bible says of God’s commandments, “All thy commandments are righteousness” (Ps. 119:172). If we obey God’s commandments as revealed by God’s spoken Word, and now by the Bible, we clothe ourselves with God’s kind of righteousness and are acceptable to God. We cannot make our own laws here on this earth! God said Adam and Eve must for their sin be separated from the tree of life at that time. They must die. They needed a Redeemer who could pay the penalty of death in their stead if they were to have eternal life. This was promised very soon afterward (Gen. 3:15).
Now we can see how the Devil rules this world today! Are we doing today as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden? Are we choosing our own way, deciding for ourselves, ignoring God’s Word, what is right and wrong?
It can now be easily seen that if we, today, are following the same deceptive suggestion that our human forebears did in Eden making their own laws-- then we are “as gods.” If Satan has thus deceived us, then our punishment will be the same as that given to Adam and Eve denial of access to eternal life. Remember, to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” (Rom. 6:16). The Devil, then, rules over us by suggestive deception! And we have yielded to him!
Do the nations or individuals today consult what the Bible says about divorce, abortion, or homosexuality for example, before they make their decisions and their laws! They do not! They have become “as gods” to make their own laws! They rule by popular opinion. The world, then, is Babylon. We are told to come out her (Rev. 18:4). This we can do by giving God’s law precedent in our lives, being ruled by Him! The proper form of government is Theocracy being ruled over by God and by His laws. This form will soon be set up on this earth.
Like Adam and Eve, when they became “as gods” and made their own laws, the people today, in these end times, are having their eyes opened (Gen. 3:5), because of the results of following their own laws. They do not see things through God’s eyes but through their own carnal desires.
The tendency of mankind to elevate himself is constant. After Satan had tried to ascend and be like God, Adam and Eve tried it and were denied eternal life at that time. In Genesis 6:4-5, we see that mankind had deified itself. These people become “sons of gods.” Wickedness increased. Verse 11 says the earth was corrupt and filled with violence the inevitable result when mankind makes their own laws! Today we have followed this same pattern. What happened? God drowned all on the earth except Noah and seven others! Our fate lies yet ahead!
After the flood, Nimrod and Semiramis set the pace for self-deification as we have seen. Israel was guilty of the same thing. In Ezekiel 20 there is a summary of why God said he was going to punish the Israelites. He repeats six times his reason: “That they may know that I am the Eternal.” Judges 21:24, a summary of Israel’s actions, says, “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Like Adam and Eve, they decided what was right and wrong they were “as gods.”
Today, we see the whole world deifying itself by making its own laws and leaving God out of the picture. It is taught that Mary, Christ’s mother, has ascended bodily to heaven, and one person sits in Rome, claiming he rules in place of God! Very soon one of this group will show himself that he is God, “That day shall not come, except that man of sin be revealed who exalts himself above all that is called God. Sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (II Thess. 2:3-4).
There is an outstanding example of man deifying himself a few years ago. “Joseph Stalin has long been eulogized by the Soviets as the world’s great master. No words have been considered too extravagant. Children were asked to pray-- not to God but to Stalin his plans always come true” it was said (Los Angeles Times, March 5, 1953). Only God is worthy of the things this cult ascribes to Stalin!
God knows the world will not voluntarily stop doing this. Soon Jesus Christ is coming to chain that deceiver, Satan the Devil (Rev. 20:2), and Christ will rule with a rod of iron (Rev. 2:27).Then those on the earth will have to decide whether they will stop deifying self or follow the real deity God.
You and I today wish that this war within ourselves would cease, this inner desire which makes us, against our will, do things that we know the Bible says not to do. It makes us not want to do the things the Bible commands us to do. This is the internal battle that even Paul described as raging in himself. (Romans 7:18, 23).
The answer to this provides the explanation that reveals why the Devil can rule this earth by deceptive suggestion! Never once does the Bible show that the Devil has used physical force to rule mankind.
God has made mankind so we will desire (lust) to go contrary to His laws! Unbelievable, but true! “The law is spiritual but I am carnal” (Rom. 7:14). Carnal flesh does all sorts of evil things (Gal. 5:19-21).”The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Rom. 8:7). The carnal mind today is making carnal laws to take the place of the higher spiritual laws which God has set in motion to govern us. Mankind’s laws seem right in our own eyes. They seem “fair” and “equal”! The flesh we are born with desires to lust, “Ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). See also II Peter 2:18 and I Peter 4:2. “The creature (mankind- the thing created by God) was made subject to vanity” (Rom. 8:20). Mankind was made to desire things of no value corruptible and sinful things, by God himself!
God has made mankind with the inherent capacity to be upright but has given them a carnal mind (Ecc. 7:29)! We have been made to be free agents to make our own laws; to provide our own plans whereby we think (wrongly) that we will obtain happiness. Mankind firmly believes that the capacity to do this lies within himself. We evidently believe God gave this capacity to us, or else how do we think we received it? This is the very condition which makes it easy for the Devil to deceive us.
Today, God is letting the world prove that He has not bestowed on human minds the capacity of working out laws of happiness for themselves! He is letting them prove that happiness is beyond their reach as they are now constituted. It is no wonder then that God is perfectly willing that the Devil deceive the world now by encouraging the people in it to be “as gods.” He turned even Job, the most perfect man on earth (Job 1:8), over to Satan to be strengthened (Job 1:12; 2:6 and 23:10).
God declared the end result from the beginning (Isa. 46:9-10). He planned it this way! After we learn the folly of our ways God says “the creature shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption” (Rom. 8:21) and be “created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10). God says He will then (and only then) go a step further in creating us. He will change our fleshly bodies into Spiritual bodies fashioned to do good works.
God has promised to do just this! We must desire this new eternal body; we must repent (Acts 2:38) and show by actions that we realize that our usurping of our Creator’s authority was wrong. Then He will beget us as His children and afterward give our bodies this new form. Lucifer, a spirit being, who became the Devil, never did learn his God given capacity he fought against his Creator.
How does Satan rule? Paul said, “I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (II Cor. 11:3, 13-14). Satan may suggest evil courses of action to us through evil people over whom he has sway. The ministers of the false churches are here referred to. Notice that Satan is behind such people. Paul says these are “false apostles, deceitful workers transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. “They corrupt our minds! Sometimes demons enter people and rule them by taking complete possession of their bodies. Luke tells of devils coming of many people in Christ’s time (Luke 4:41).
Satan lays traps for us. He brings about circumstances which tempt us to do evil things. Paul warns us lest we fall into the “snare of the devil” (I Tim. 3:7). Does our acting on Satan’s evil suggestions bring us under Satan’s rule? Yes. The Bible says so. “His servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness” (Rom. 6:16).We are urged to recover ourselves “out of the snare of the Devil if we are taken captive by him (II Tim. 2:26). Satan is called the prince of this world (john 14:30. He rules it.
The evil spirit helpers of Satan can directly influence the human mind. A spirit in Old Testament times told how he would persuade an ancient king’s prophets to lie to this king. He said, “I will persuade him (the king) I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets” (I Kings 22:21-22).
Satan “deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). Notice that Satan deceives people everywhere. As a deceiver he makes things seem what they are not. A man because of his own lusts can deceive his own heart and this makes Satan’s work easier (James 1:26).
Paul says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against rulers of the darkness of this world” (Eph. 6:12). We wrestle against spiritual powers Satan and his helpers. But how does Satan rule over the large groups of people on this earth? Let us see. Revelation 12:3 tells of a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns and Revelation 13:1 describes this same beast again. This is a civil government system of four succeeding empires which are to rule this earth until Christ comes. One beast had 4 heads and each of the other three had one head which makes a total of seven heads. Daniel 7:6, 17-18 describes this in greater detail. Notice that the dragon, identified as Satan (Rev. 12: 9), is head of this system. Through it he rules this earth!
But now a second system through which Satan sways the millions: “I beheld another beast and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon (Satan) and he causes the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast” (Rev. 13:11-12). This is a great religious government or church through which Satan deceives the earth as to the true way of becoming actual sons of God! Revelation 17:3 gives more of a description of this system. Through these two agencies Satan truly rules over all for a time. But Satan knows his time is short (Rev. 12:13).
We have seen how Satan, through Semiramis, perpetuated the Sun-Serpent worship after her husband Nimrod’s death, and why God allows this deception to go on. How did Satan pattern these deceptions so they would be usable to smother out and replace the teachings of Christ when He came? We shall see in the next chapter.