Origin of Today’s Religious Counterfeits
Semiramis of Babylon originated counterfeits. As we have seen, Semiramis possessed the knowledge of true salvation. It was known because of Noah, the preacher of righteousness (II Peter 2:5).
Queen Semiramis of ancient Babylon deified herself, her son, and her dead husband, Nimrod, by introducing various types of images, titles and rituals (Rom. 1:21-23).She circulated stories of actual or imagined events which had, or were supposed to have, occurred in their lives. The stores made them appear as liberators, heroes, emancipators and saviors – delivering men from the rule of God.
These innovations made her and her son appear as the woman and her promised “seed” through which salvation was to come. This promise was foretold by God in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15).
Holidays were set apart on which the new divinities were to be worshipped. Almost all the principal Bible teachings of salvation were counterfeited by this system – an evil twist being given to them. These Mysteries or ceremonies appealed to the physical senses, to the carnal nature with which man is born (Rom. 7:14). They became very popular.
What better way could Satan play upon human lusts and desires! Thus men accepted a false purpose and a counterfeit way of salvation. Fables smothered God’s true way to salvation by confusing the people.
Eternal life was promised through the false messiah. The people of the earth gladly gave the rule of their lives on this earth over to him. The mother and son promised security and guaranteed eternal life through rituals and penance. The extremely ambitious and unprincipled Semiramis saw her opportunity. Using all the might of her great empire to back her lie, she enforced her claim to be the mother of the great Savior (her illegitimate son Tammuz, whom she knew she could control).
Thus, she became the original religious ruler over the kings of the earth (Rev. 17:1-2).Both her own and Satan’s desires were fulfilled! “She ruled the earth and Satan obscured the rule of God which alone can bring life everlasting.
Babylon was the primeval source from which all systems of idolatry flowed (Herodotus’’ History, lib., 11 p. 109). Layard in his Nineveh and Its Remains, vol. 11, p. 440, speaks of this Babylonian system of worship. He writes that we have the united testimony of sacred profane history that idolatry originated in the Assyrian (Babylonian) area and is believed to be the most ancient of religious systems!
This was the first Babylon. Today, the world is still in Babylon the Great (Rev. 17:5)! Isaiah 47:1 describes the system which rules the earth today as the daughter of the original Babylon and Revelation 18:3 says all nations have drunk of the wine of her spiritual fornication or false doctrines!
As the language in each country was different, naturally the names of Nimrod, Semiramis, and Semiramis’ illegitimate son, Tammuz – the false messiah whom she palmed off as the resurrected Nimrod-- were different.
The Devil continued to twist God’s word and the truth which the early inhabitants of the earth had known. Semiramis, inspired by Satan, duplicated all things which were revealed by God. She credited her family with divine attributes to enhance her earthly power and prestige. Among these was her counterfeit of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
One of the pagan concepts originating with Semiramis is the false idea of a “Trinity.” How does this compare with what the Bible reveals to us? Let us examine Genesis 1:1-2: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . . . and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Hebrew word for “God” here is “Elohim,” which is plural. The Father and He who was to become the Son are here referred to (John 1:1). The word “Spirit” means the Holy Spirit of God – that divine force by which so much good is accomplished and which resides in both Father and Son.
Genesis 1:1 says that during the creation period “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” It is this same spirit which God says He will pour out on all flesh in the future: “It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy” (Joel 2:28).The same Hebrew word “ruwach” is used in both cases for “spirit.”
Actually, God is a family, not a trinity of persons. God is a family composed of two beings with a common spirit. It is into this Divine Family that we may be born (John 3). Note now that the pagans made the Holy Spirit a Being equal to the Father and Son. They wrongly made a Trinity. Satan was confusing mankind.
An examination of the triune emblem of the supreme Assyrian divinity clearly shows a knowledge of the original truth. The emblem had the head of the old man (the Father). Next there is the zero or circle, which stood in the Chaldean (Babylonian) language for “a circle” or “seed” (the Savior). Lastly, the wings and tail of the dove (the Holy Spirit, which Semiramis soon supplanted).
This concept of God preceded the counterfeit of Semiramis which was soon introduced. At that very early period, an important change took place in regard to the divinity: the Spirit of God, according to the harlot-Queen Semiramis, became incarnate in a human mother, and the Divine Son became the fruit of that incarnation (Hislop, p. 18).
Semiramis, through her mysteries, hundreds of years before Christ’s birth, duplicated the truly miraculous event! She foisted of her own illegitimate son Tammuz as the “Savior”! How baffling it must have been for the pagans, who had once known God, to now perceive this “new” truth!
Semiramis identified herself as this Spirit and ascribed to herself the power of aiding in the creation of the world. Through her method of deification, she taught her followers that she, in one of her forms, had been the dove, a symbol of the Spirit that “moved” upon the face of the waters” at creation. She moved or “fluttered”- “on the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2) (Hislop, p. 303).She claimed to be one of the “Trinity.” She had become “as the Gods.”
Please recall that it was the dove that lighted on Christ’s shoulder at his baptism. Far in the future, in the day of Christ, this identical symbol – the dove-- pictured the descent of the Holy Spirit on Christ (John 1:32)! It is becoming clear, isn’t it, that there was a plan behind these pagan similarities!
To symbolize the “Trinity” doctrine, the equilateral triangle was used, just as the Church uses it today (Layard’s Babylon and Ninevah, p. 605). Some churches in Madrid have an image of a Triune God with three heads on one body (Parkhurst’s Hebrew Lexicon, p. 605).Thus we see the origin of the false doctrine of the “Trinity”!
Here again is seen the influence of the Babylonian Mysteries on religion as it is being carried on today! “The recognition of a Trinity was universal in all the ancient nations of the world, proving how deep-rooted in the human race was the primeval doctrine on this subject, which comes out so distinctly in Genesis” (Hislop, p. 16). In Japan the great divinity Buddha has one body and three heads (Gullespie’s Sinim, p. 60), and Japet, p. 184, shows that the pagans of Siberia worshipped a god with a similar body.
Later the Father was overlooked. As the Great Invisible taking no immediate concern in human affairs, He was to be worshipped through silence alone (Jamblichus’ On the Mysteries, sect. viii. chap. 111).Today, in some churches we hear much about the Mother and Child (Christ being depicted as being dependent of His mother), but little about God the Father. A human woman is thus made supreme.
The true teaching of the Bible is that the Father and Son at this time comprise the One Kingdom or Family of God. The Holy Spirit is the common nature, mind, and force of God (Gen. 1:2; John 1:1). Jesus said, “God is Spirit” (John 4:24). “God” is a Divine Family composed of Spirit, not material flesh. As we have seen above, at present only two persons – Father and Son-- comprise this Family. But we can become members of that Family!
Is there a mention of the pagan counterfeit of God in the Bible? Yes. It is spoken of in Isaiah 66:17. In the King James Version you will find the ambiguous words, “behind the tree in the midst.” The proper translation should be “after the rites of the Only One.” The concept of the False Triune God!
The proper reading then is, “They that sanctify and purify themselves after the rites of the Only One, eating swines flesh shall be consumed” (Hislop’s The Two Babylons, p. 16). The ancient pagan deity “Only One” was the triune counterfeit of God. Those who take part in the rites of this counterfeit god shall be destroyed!
We have found how Semiramis used the God-Kingdom, spoken of in Gen. 1:1-2, to fit into her mysteries. But how did she fit the Serpent or Devil (Rev. 20:2) into these?
Plutarch’s De Iside, vol. 11, pp. 362, 364, says of the serpent (Gen. 3:1): “First Tammuz (Nimrod as the resurrected ‘Savior’) was worshipped as the bruiser of the serpent’s head, meaning thereby that he was the appointed destroyer of Satan’s kingdom. Then the dragon himself, or Satan, came to receive a certain measure of worship, to ‘console him,’ as the pagans said, ‘for the loss of his power,’ and to prevent him from hurting them. The same is true of the Mysteries of Greece (Potter’s Antiquities, vol., 1, p. 400).
What is the real significance of all this? Remember that it was for supporting the rites of serpent worship and sun worship that Nimrod was killed by Shem. So, first, Semiramis cautiously introduced Tammuz, her illegitimate son, as the bruiser of the serpent’s head.
But as soon as the way was paved, she cautiously reintroduced a certain measure of the serpent worship which Nimrod had first introduced. The serpent (dragon), Teitan, or Satan, ultimately became the supreme object of worship. Semiramis now changed her position in her Mysteries. She claimed to be the wife of Pluto, the god of hell, or the serpent in order to fit her new position as sponsor of serpent or devil worship. “Under the name of the ‘Dove’ she was worshipped as the Incarnation of the spirit of God and was known herself as the ‘Virgin’ mother. Under the name of Proserpine she was celebrated as the mother of the first Bacchus, and known as ‘Pluto’s honored wife’!” (Hislop, p. 126).
Where did the idea of hades or purgatory originate? Bacchus, as we have seen, was the Grecian god who represented Tammuz. Pluto represented Satan. Now consider the following: “How vitally important was the place that Teitan or Satan occupied, may be judged from the fact that Pluto, the god of hell, was looked up to as the great god on whom the destinies of mankind in the eternal world did mainly depend; for it was said that to Pluto it belonged to ‘purify the soul after death’” (Taylor’s Pausanias, vol., 111, p. 321). Pluto was the Greek name for the Babylonian god Kronos.
Semiramis, as was her custom in forming her “Mysteries,” linked her deified family with notable characters, whether they were good or bad. She used whichever one best fitted the times. She soon found it helpful to identify her deified husband as Kronos or Saturn – the devil himself! Scattered notices of antiquity say that the name of the first deified king of Babylon was Kronos or Saturn (Hislop, p. 31).She had been guided by the devil in order that the devil might be worshipped!
The Bible says that the wages of sin is death – eternal death (Rom. 6:23).And II Peter 3:10-12, and Revelation 20:14 indicate that eternal death will be caused by this whole earth burning up and causing the destruction of all who have not become spirit beings in the Kingdom of God. Nowhere does the Bible teach there is a place under the ground where people are tormented by fire. This is another of the false conceptions handed down by Semiramis. Satan has the people of the earth so confused today that they actually do not know whether they are coming into the true knowledge which will lead to eternal life or actually going the way which will lead to eternal death. Only the inspired Word of God – the Bible closely studied, shows us the right way and the actual destinations of sinner and the saved!
Here we see that Pluto (the Greek name for their god representing Nimrod), merely different names for the devil or serpent, instead of burning people up, was purifying them by fire after death!
Purgatory in Paganism was the grand hinge of priest-craft and superstition. “The serpents were the supreme of all the gods and princes of the universe.” No wonder that it came at last to be firmly believed that the Messiah, on whom the hopes of the world depended, was Himself the “seed of the serpent”! (Eusebius- Proeparatio Evang. Vol., 1, p. 50).
“This was manifestly the case in Greece; for the current story there came to be, that the first Bacchus (the Grecian name of Tammuz) was brought forth in consequences of a connection of the part of his mother with the father of the gods, in the form of a ‘speckled snake.’ Thus the (devil) got himself almost everywhere recognized as in ever deed ‘the god of this world’” (Ibid). The devil, through one form or another, obtained the worship of this world!
Let us note the message of God to His true churches over 60 years after Christ’s time. What did He reveal through Christ in Revelation regarding pagan worship of Satan? God addressed His message to the church at Pergamos. It was the true seat of Babylonian devil worship after Belshazzar’s time (Hislop, p. 240). In Rev. 2:13-14, Christ, speaking to the church of Pergamos, says, “I know thy works, even where Satan’s seat is – thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam.” In Pergamos, which was outstandingly “Satan’s seat,” the Sun-Divinity Baal – Balaam’s doctrine was idolatrous sun worship (Num. 25:1-3; 31:16) was worshipped under the form of a serpent and under the name of Aesculapius, “the man instructing serpent” (Macrogius Saturnalia, lib., 1. p. 650). In Satan’s seat over 60 years after Christ’s time, the main worship was sun and serpent! This sun and devil worship was transferred to Rome when Pergamos became a part of the Roman Empire.
According to the fundamental doctrine of the Mysteries, as brought from Pergamos to Rome, the sun was the only god. In Pergamos the sun had been worshipped as a Serpent!
In Genesis, chapters 2 and 3, God has given us an account of the deception by Satan of Adam and Eve. We have already seen the importance to mankind of understanding this event. It furnishes a clue as to how mankind has been misled by the devil and as to the ultimate results. Also, we have seen that mankind at first did know the significance of this event in Eden. Would the devil leave this warning to the people stand, or would he, through human means, counterfeit it and keep mankind under his control? Would he let man remember how he deceived Eve? We shall see.
Let us remember the following: Eve sinned because she saw that the tree appeared to be good. She gazed. The Pagans knowing of this event typified her in the position of looking or gazing by their idols. They remembered this event and Satan’s deception!
There is, in Paganism, a goddess-mother, or “Queen of Heaven,” in the province of Puhkien, that is worshipped by seafaring people under the name of Ma Tsoopo which is believed to mean “gazing mother” (Gullespie’s – Land of Sinim, p. 64) The name of the great Egyptian mother, Mut, in one of its vocabulary forms signifies “to look” or “gaze” (Bunsen’s Vocabulary, vol., 1, p. 471).
The Egyptian goddess-mother Mu or Mut was symbolized by either a vulture, or an eye surrounded by vulture’s wings (Wilkinson, vol., v. p. 203). The vulture is noted for its sharp sight, and the great mother of the gods (recall that Semiramis was known as the “mother of gods”) in Egypt had been known as “The Gazer.” The Athenian Minerva wore a helmet with two eyes or eye holes in its front (Vaux’s – Antiquities, p. 186).
What have these similar Pagan deities to do with the lesson God wanted mankind to learn at Eden? It was believed by the Babylonians that Rhea (Eve) conceived by Kronos (Satan), and brought forth a child called Muth or Death (Sanchuniathon, pp. 16-19).
Sanchuniathon shows that this is in accord with Genesis for Eve’s lust, inspired by Satan, “when it had conceived did bring forth death.” ”When lust had conceived, it brings forth death” (James 1:15). How did Satan remove this lesson of his deception and even turn it to his advantage?
Again, we find the answer in the goddess queen of Babylon. The goddess queen of Babylon held a pomegranate in her hand. Astarte or Cybele (Syrian and Roman names, respectively, for their goddesses corresponding to Semiramis) was also called “Inaia Mater” which signified “the mother of knowledge,” in other words our mother Eve, who first coveted the “knowledge of good and evil.” The pomegranate was represented as the fruit of the forbidden tree (Hislop, pp. 110-113).
Notice the clever deception! Men were taught to look upon Semiramis as their grand benefactress, as gaining knowledge which they might otherwise have sought in vain! Satan thus taught good came to mankind by Eve’s disobedience to the Eternal and obedience to Him. According to the classic pagan story, it was God who was the snake that would not let man eat of the desirable tree of knowledge of good and evil. The false Messiah, Tammuz (as Hercules) slew it (Hislop, p. 112).
We have seen why the gospel that Christ proclaimed was counterfeited hundreds of years before Christ. From history it has been proved that these counterfeits do have their effect on religions today!
The next chapter will deal with counterfeits of true salvation doctrines and other deceptions which originated with Semiramis – counterfeits which have been used to blind mankind and rob us of happiness now and eternal life later!