Sol Die, the day of the sun, or Sunday. The merger of pagan and papal Rome, Mithra and Christianity produced doctrines that are hard to identify with the Bible and even contradict it. We like to explore the origin of Sunday in regards to the day of worship!
The day of the "Sun" has been adopted into Christianity when and by whom? What is the origin of Sunday worship and why do we keep Sunday?
Early in the Christian Era, a new form of heathen worship sprang up and spread rapidly throughout the then Gentile world. It was known as "Mithraism," and had to do with the worship of the sun as did other forms of heathenism; but its philosophy was more fascinating than the more crude form of paganism and made a pretence of holding up high standards of morality.
Much like the Freemasonry, claiming to make good man better and so that the powerful change achieved by the gospel of JESUS CHRIST made unnecessary. This new heathenism soon captured the Caesars, invaded the Roman armies [legions] and the centres of learning, and was embraced by the higher classes of society.
Alexandria and Rome soon became important centres, and, in fact, history records that in "the middle of the third century Mithraism seemed on the verge of becoming the universal [catholic] religion," and that it "became the greatest antagonist of Christianity."
Some of the peculiar doctrines enunciated by its priests were "the immortality of the soul" "the use of bell and candle, holy water and communion; sanctification of Sunday and the 25th of December."---Encyclopedia Britannica [11th ed.] article "Mithras."
The devotees of Mithra held Sunday sacred because Mithra was identified with the "invincible sun."---Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., quoted in sunday,p.3
"They held Sunday sacred, and celebrated the birth of the Sun on the 25th of December."---The Mysteries of Mithra ,pp. 190,191.
There soon set in a life and death struggle between Mithraism and Christianity, and since apostasy was already rife in the Christian church, it was only a short step further for her leaders to agree upon a compromise. Many of these leaders had themselves come into the church as converts from Mithraism, and still had a certain veneration for the sun and those institutions held sacred to it. It was therefore agreed by them that, in order to facilitate the conversion of the heathen, and thus advance the cause of CHRIST over Mithra, they would incorporate many of the teachings and institutions of Mithraism into the church, and among these was the Sunday festival.
On this point we have the following striking testimony of the CATHOLIC WORLD, published in 1894:
"The church took the pagan philosophy and made it the buckler of faith against the heathen. She took the pagan Roman Pantheon, temple of all gods, and made it sacred to all the martyrs; so it stands to this day. She took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday. She took the pagan Easter and made it the feast we celebrate during this season...........
"The sun was a foremost god with heathendom..............There is, in truth, something royal, kingly, about the sun, making it a fit emblem of JESUS, the Sun of justice. Hence the church in these countries would seem to have said, 'Keep that old pagan name. It shall remain consecrated, sanctified.' And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated to Balder [the god of light and peace], became the Christian Sunday, sacred to JESUS.---Vol. 58, # 348, March 1894, p.809.
With the celebration of Sunday came the worship towards the east in the early morning hour, at the rising of the sun, and Christianity came so nearly to resemble the religion of the heathen world that many of its adherents were no longer able to distinguish between the two. Dr. Franz Cumont tells us in the following passage how that which should have been rendered to GOD was now often rendered to the dazzling sun:
"On the other hand, the ecclesiastical writers....contrasted the 'Sun of justice' with the 'invincible sun', and consented to see in the dazzling orb which illuminated man a symbol of Christ, 'the light of the world.' Should we be astonished if the multitudes failed always to observe the subtle distinction of the doctors, and if in obedience to a pagan custom they rendered to the radiant star of the day the homage which orthodoxy reserved for God?
In the fifth century, not only heretics, but even faithful followers were still wont to bow their heads towards its dazzling disc as it rose above the horizon, and to murmur the prayer, 'Have mercy on us.'---Mysteries of Mithra, p.193.
"The early Christians had at first adopted the Jewish seven-day week, with its numbered week days, but by the close of the third century A.D. this began to give way to the planetary week; and in the fourth and fifth centuries the pagan designations became generally accepted in the western half of Christendom. The use of the planetary names by Christians attests the growing influence of astrological speculations introduced by converts from paganism............................During these same centuries the spread of Oriental solar worship, especially that of "Mithra", in the Roman world, had already led to the substitution by pagans of 'dies Solis' for dies Saturni, as the first day of the planetary week...........................Thus gradually a pagan institution was engrafted on Christianity."---Prof. Hutton Webster, Rest Days,pp.220,221.
The day of the Moon-god became known as Monday etc.
"Of course, I quiet well know that Sunday did come into use in early Christian history as a religious day, as we learn from the Christian Fathers and other sources. But what a pity that it comes branded with the mark of paganism, and christened with the name of the sun god, when adopted and sanctioned by the papal apostasy, and bequeathed as a sacred legacy to Protestantism!"---Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author of The Baptist Manual, in a paper read before a New York City Minister's Conference, held in Nov.13, 1893.
Eusebius, a bishop who sought the favor of princes, and who was the special friend and flatterer of Constantine, advanced the claim that Christ has transferred the Sabbath to Sunday. Not a single testimony of the Scriptures was produced in proof of the new doctrine. Eusebius himself unwittingly acknowledges its falsity and point to the real authors of the change. "All things," he said, "whatever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord's day."---Robert Cox, Sabbath laws and Sabbath duties,p.538.
"Now it is a very common error to suppose that a practice which is very old, and can be traced back somewhere near the apostolic church, must be correct. But this is an evident mistake, for apostasy commenced so early that there is no safety in accepting tradition on any subject. Our only safety is in the Scriptures themselves. Protestants claim to relay wholly on this authority, leaving traditions to Catholics; and yet, on this subject, as well as some others, they follow Rome, because the Bible gives them no help.........
Now the question arises, just when did the practice of Sunday keeping commence? No one can tell exactly. Why?
If the change had been made by divine authority, we could put our finger on the exact point, and show where it was done. But, like error, its introduction was gradual. You cannot follow a river into the ocean, and put your finger down and say, There, just at this spot the fresh water stops and the salt water begins; neither can you tell where Sabbath keeping stopped and Sunday observance began, as there was a gradual mingling of truth and error.
"You will hear men say with all confidence that, while the seventh day was kept to the crucifixion, the practice of the church since then has been unanimous in keeping the first day. I do not see how a man can be honest and say this, unless he is very ignorant, as the most trustworthy historians.....testify to the contrary......
"When it [Sunday] was introduced, it did not come in as a Sabbath. Look at the word itself, 'Sunday'. Webster defines it as 'so-called, because this day was anciently dedicated to the sun;' and the North British Review styles it 'the wild holiday of all pagan times.' Now, how did it creep into the church? I'll tell you how. When the early Christians evangelized the heathen tribes, they would go to the head, or chief, and labour with him to convince him of the superiority of the Christian religion. If he became convinced, he would command his entire tribe to be baptized. They were pagans, and kept Sunday as a festival in honour of one of their gods, the sun; and when they outwardly accepted Christianity, they kept up their observance of Sunday, which gradually supplanted the Lord's Sabbath.
And while some of these might have been soundly converted, there is evidence to show that the Sabbath was kept, Sunday was also observed as a kind of holiday, but with no idea of sacredness attached to it.......... "And so we might trace the history down through the first centuries. The observance of Sunday, introduced as a holiday, or festival, gradually assumed more importance as a rival of GOD'S Sabbath, until, by the influx of half-converted pagans into the church, bringing with them their solar holiday, it began to supplant its divinely appointed rival.......It was not until the Council of Orleans, 538 A.D., that Sunday labour was prohibited, and thus, as Dr. Paley remarked, it became 'an institution of the church,' and of that church into whose hands the saints, times, and laws were to be given for 1260 years; and it may be something more than coincidence that 538 A.D. was the beginning of that period." --- D. M. Canright, Tabernacle Lectures, Lecture # Ten,pp.76-83.
One more important quote from the Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches:
"Appealing to the fact that the Sabbath was changed to Sunday---contrary, to the Ten Commandments. No case is appealed to and urged so consistently as the change of the Sabbath, for thereby they wish to maintain that the power of the church is indeed great because the church has dispensed from and altered part of the Ten Commandments."--- Thomas Aquinas, Suma theologica, II,q.122,a.4 ad 4.
The Augsburg Confession, Anniversary ed, 1980, reprint from the book of Concord,p.50 Lutheran Publ. House, Adelaide, South Australia.
This thinking of having the power over GOD'S holy law to change it, is what is meant in Daniel 7:25 and only by attempting to change it, can it be said, that they put themselves above GOD, which is the "Mark of the beast" the animal nature that is opposing GOD'S law [see Romans 8:7; Revelation 12:17]. It is the apostasy or moral fall prophesied as fallen Babylon.
A further corruption of Christianity came with celibacy of priests, monks and nuns and cloisters that the Bible identifies as those who hold doctrines of demons [1.Timothy 4:1-4] and when we corrupt the Word of GOD and add to it, demons have the right to enter. We give them a foothold. Adam's sin opened to us the flood gates of sin and demons.
But when the church started to claim that Peter was the foundation of Christianity, the Protestant Reformers had the rights to call the chair of St. Peter's in Rome "Anti-Christ. JESUS never said to Peter that on him He would built His church, but on Peter's colossal statement, that CHRIST was the Son of GOD. CHRIST played on words, because Peter or Petros means a small stone or pebble such as is used in feature walls but never strong enough for any foundation.
Furthermore, the Reformers pointed out that the title "POPE", Papa or father, is forbidden by the Gospels as a religious title [Matthew 23:9] and that the pope calls himself by the name of GOD, namely "HOLY FATHER" is utter blasphemy and seen in 2.Thesselonians 2 described as the man of sin and lawlessness that would stand revealed in these last days.
This would also fit the description of the little horn power in Daniel 7:25 that thought himself able to be above GOD and change His laws and times. Papal Rome removed the second out of the 10 Commandments completely in order to introduce the false worship of idols and images, Mother Mary, saint and relics, statues etc. and when you transgress only one of the 10 Commandments, you become guilty of violating all ten [James 2:10-12]. But leading others into sin is a much more serious crime in GOD'S eyes.
Sunday worship led people away from CHRIST and His Sabbath [Matthew 12:8] and using political force, caused many to sin until it became universally established.
The observance of Sunday as a Christian institution had its origin in that "mystery of lawlessness" [2.Thessalonians 2:7 R.V.] which, even in Paul's day, had begun its work. Whenever we see the forbidden titles of "Early Church Fathers", they mean people like Justin Martyr, a pagan philosopher from the east where Mithra came from set up his school in Rome promoting Greek Philosophy and easter [or ester] Sunday and life after death. The Bible forbids Necromancy, the art of speaking to the dead. He also promoted the corruption of the Lord's supper into the Eucharist.----History Of Early Christianity, Leighton & Pullan, 1898 ed., p. 290
St. Paul's use of Sunday
On examining Acts 20:7 where Paul mentions the first day of the week and the context, it will be seen that this meeting was not held upon the first day of the week because any sacredness was attached to it by those who held it, but because of the circumstances connected with the occasion.
At the meeting, which was held at Troas, Paul preached to the people, "and continued his speech until midnight. And there were many lights in the upper chamber."---Acts 20:7,8
By this it will be seen that this was a night meeting. It was, therefore, held during the night, or dark part, of the first day of the week, which corresponds to our Saturday night, as the dark part of each day comes first, according to the Bible reckoning of the days of the week, one day ending at sunset and the next day beginning at that point.
"The evening and the morning were the first day".---Genesis 1:5 "From even unto even, shall you celebrate your Sabbath".---Leviticus 23:32
The Jews, as well as CHRIST and the apostles, reckoned sunset as the ending of one day and the beginning of another. "At even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased."---Mark 1:32
They waited until the Sabbath was past at sundown before bringing their sick to be healed; therefore, the Sabbath ends at sundown Saturday evening, and the first day [Sunday] begins. The occasion of this particular meeting was this:
The apostle Paul was on his way to Jerusalem, after having visited many churches which he had raised up throughout Macedonia and Asia. The Spirit of the LORD had made it plain to Paul that in Jerusalem bonds and affliction awaited him, and he knew that it would not be his privilege to meet with these Believers again, that he would never again see their faces.---Acts 20:23,37,38.
Naturally, he had many things to say to them, and as a final and fitting farewell he desired to break bread with them; after which they all wept, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him and said good-by, sorrowing most of all for the words he had spoken to them, that they would ot see his face no more.---Acts 21:13,14.
That the apostle and these early Christians did not regard this first day of the week [Sunday] as holy, is clearly seen from two facts:
First, while Paul was preaching and breaking bread with the disciples at Troas, the other disciples were sailing the ship, which was doubtless a laborious task, around the promontory from Troas to Assos, a distance of about thirty-four miles. This is something they certainly would not have done if they had regarded the day as the Christian Sabbath.---Acts 20:13,14.
Second,, at break of day, which would be the beginning of the light part of the first day of the week, or Sunday morning, Paul himself started on foot on a journey of nineteen miles by land to Assos; which proves that he did not regard the day with the least degree of sacredness, as such a journey would not comfort with his idea and custom of Sabbath keeping. Therefore, there is no evidence in this text for Sunday observance.
Another text in which Paul mentions the first day of the week [ Sunday], is 1 Corinthians 16:1,2. "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do you. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay be him in store [at home], as GOD has prospered you, that there be no gatherings [collecting] when I come."
It is held by Sunday observers that the churches were accustomed to meet for divine worship on the first day of the week, and that Paul instructed them to take up a public offering at these meetings for the poor saints at Jerusalem; but they assume that which the text does not teach. This Scripture does not give such instructions. A regular weekly meeting is not even hinted at, and instead of a public collection, 'each one' was to 'lay by him in store'; and many translations of the passage render it "by himself at home."
Where was it to be laid by? "By him in store," not placed in the collection basket. There is no proof whatever that the day was or should be observed as the Sabbath. With this text dies the last hope of Sunday sacredness in the New Testament.
The LORD'S Day!
There is one text, which first day observers use in support of their claim, although it does not mention the first day of the week [ Sunday ], and we will notice in a moment. It is found in Revelation 1:10, where John says: "I was in the Spirit on the LORD'S Day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet."
It is claimed that Sunday should be more properly be called the LORD'S Day instead of the Sabbath, and that it was to the first day of the week that John referred in his expression, "The LORD'S Day." But is this so? Did he refer to the first day of the week?
This text certainly does not say so. You will have to go to some other Scripture than Revelation 1:10 to find out which day is the LORD'S Day; and the Bible unmistakably points out the day, and the only day, to which such a term as "LORD'S Day could apply. In Mark 2:28 CHRIST says:
" The Son of Man is LORD also of the Sabbath" Now if CHRIST is LORD of the Sabbath day, then candidly, what day is the LORD'S Day? There can be but one answer --- The Sabbath.
Again the LORD, through the prophet Isaiah, speaks these words: "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable" etc.---Isa.58:13
What day does the LORD here call His holy day? - the Sabbath. Then if the LORD calls the Sabbath His holy day, what day is the LORD'S Day? Again the answer is, The Sabbath, the seventh day of the week [Saturday]. And Revelation 1:10 only proves that the beloved disciple John, banished to the lonely isle of Patmos, almost seventy-five years after the cross, was still a faithful observer of GOD'S holy Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, and not Sunday.
Note: While John of the Apocalypse received GOD'S visions on CHRIST'S Sabbath [Rev.1:10] and was there banished for the word of GOD and the testimony of JESUS [Rev.1:9], Justin Martyr was not. He was welcomed in Rome with his heresy of the Eucharist and Sunday sacredness in opposition to the true LORD'S Day.
If Easter, which occurs once a year, is in celebration of the resurrection, why than is the weekly Sunday-Sabbath suppose to be in honour of the resurrection also? Both of which are un-biblical. The baptism by immersion, the dying to self and sin, and the rising to walk in newness of life with JESUS, together with the breaking of communion bread without yeast, are the two emblem we are told to remember the resurrection by. Whilst the unfermented wine represents the blood of JESUS shed for our sins.
Soon as the new "SUNDAY" law will be enforced in Protestant America, as the "MARK OF THE BEAST" in the no buy, no sell boycott pictured in Revelation 13, the World can see that our interpretation of prophecy is true and our opposition is false. From America it will spread to all other parts of the World and when the boycott is insufficient to starve the Sabbath keepers, the death penalty will be invoked.--- Revelation 13:15.
Here in Australia, the churches have been lobbying for Sunday and the Prime Minister favouring the State Churches of the Christian world is about to incorporate into Australian Law Sunday Sacredness in breach of the 100 year old constitution that Seventh Day Adventists helped to set up. Here is what the Australian Constitution has to say:
"The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth."
ROMANS 14 [opens up in a new window]
This chapter is all about eating. Days of fasting are of our choosing but never the day of corporate worship. There is not a single word about the day of worship in Romans chapter 14. It is read into it by some.
GOD does not change. His law, a reflection of His holy character does not change. The Lord still owns the day [Matthew 12:8] and it is not given to the Jews but to all mankind [Mark 2:28]. We are followers of JESUS CHRIST and not those who want to defend the tradition of Sunday at all costs.
The New Testament is completely silent on any controversy over the Sabbath in the New Testament Church. The issue of circumcision nearly split the Church. There is no immediate punishment for any sin or sins in the New Testament because deathbed repentance was not allowed previously. All New Testament sins if not repented of are deferred to the day of judgment where the righteous scarcely be saved [1.Peter 4:17,18]. Colossians 2:14-16 refers to the seven annual Sabbaths [plural] and not to the weekly single Sabbath of the Lord and the Ten Commandments given to all mankind. Aka Saturday and not Sunday.
The "Sun Monstrance" is still the most sacred holy vessel of the Roman Catholic Mass. Because Sunday is un-biblical, it is work's of the flesh, or self-righteousness. "Anything not of faith [unbiblical] is sin."--Romans 14:23
Not only the sun and the Sun Monstrance as well as the Mass is considered blasphemy by many Protestants.
Rome was also known for its Gnostic Christianity, a sect of Philosophers who taught that Salvation rested in knowledge, not in faith.---Compact Dictionary, Thomas Nelsons & Sons. P/L.
John H. Morrison, Prof. of New Testament studies and Prof. of Ecclesiastic History of Harvard Divinity School, says that early New Testament Christianity was very diverse and not unified. There was no fixed formulation of what the Christian belief should be.---unquote.
That is why the Bible must be the formula itself and the Holy Spirit of GOD the Interpreter. The just must live by faith.
There were seven degrees of initiation into the mithraic mysteries. The consecrated one (mystes) became in succession crow (corax), occult (cryphius), soldier (miles), lion (leo), Persian (Perses), solar messenger (heliodromos), and father (pater). . . Crows, occults and soldiers formed the lower orders, a sort of catechumens; lions and those admitted to the other degrees were participants of the mysteries. The fathers conducted the worship. The chief of the fathers, a sort of pope, who always lived at Rome, was called "Pater Patrum" or Pater Patratus." The members below the degree of pater called one another "brother," and social distinctions were forgotten in Mithraic unity.--Catholic Encyclopedia, © 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Electronic version copyright © 1997 by New Advent, Inc.
The Roman Catholic Church always claimed that their priestly dress is that of the Old Testament, but no O.T. priesthood has ever worn such as they do:
Mithra's bishops wore a mithra, or miter, as their badge of office. Christian bishops also adopted miters. Mithraists commemorated the sun-god's ascension by eating a mizd, a sun-shaped bun embossed with the sword (cross) of Mithra. The hot cross bun and the mass were likewise adapted to Christianity. The Roman Catholic mizd/mass wafer continues to retain its sun-shape, although its Episcopal counterpart does not.
All Roman Emperors from Julius Caesar to Gratian had been pontifex maximus, high priest of the Roman gods. When Theodosius refused the title as incompatible with his status as a Christian, the Christian bishop of Rome picked it up. Magi, priests of Zarathustra, wore robes that featured the sword of Mithra. Identical robes are worn by Christian priests to this day.--William Harwood,Mythology's Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus
Whenever we see the Mother and child that suppose to be Mary and JESUS, we see the circle of the sun above their heads that is called a halo, as if to say, see the power of the sun or "SUNDAY", the Pope's Mythra headgear and the disc of the sun behind the heads of the ordinary Bishops:
LOVE contents for the faith.
"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."---Jude 3.
Notice how this responsibility is described. The loving Holy Spirit uses the word epagonizomai. It is a very strong word and is well translated in our Authorized Version by the English words "earnestly contend." It means to strive for, to fight for, to defend against, but also to do in a vigorous, earnest manner.
And notice more carefully exactly what we are to fight for --- "the faith once delivered to the saints."
This tells us that the Christian faith was completed in the days of the apostles. It was not left for some Catholic Church council hundreds of years later to decide what the faith was. The Christian faith was delivered to the Apostles by the Holy Spirit of GOD, and it was completed in their day.
The New Testament tells us that the Testament cannot be altered once the Testator, in this case, JESUS CHRIST had died [ Heb 9:15-17 ] which includes the seventh day [ Heb 4 ] and the ark of the testament includes all of the 10 commandments [ Revelation 11:18,19 ] and the Sunday law came in too late to be included.
The World does not want the sacredness of CHRIST'S Seventh-Day Sabbath observed, it prefers opting for the worldly counterfeit and does not care to break any of the 10 Commandments of which the true LORD'S Day forms a solid part and which transgression constitute sin.
GOD says that He will sent Elijah before that terrible day of the Lord [Malachi 4:5]. Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament. It is not Elijah in person, but his message: "How long will you hold between two opinions?" We think that we have this message and posing this very same question to you today: "How long hold you between two opinions? If the Lord be GOD follow Him; but if Baal [the sun god], then follow him." [1.King 18:21]. Now we are not suggesting that people who go to Church on Sunday are worshipping Baal. But GOD is the owner of the Sabbath day [aka Saturday] and Sunday bears the title of the sun god, the day of the sun. You are either choosing to obey GOD the Lord of the Sabbath or you choose to disobey the fourth of the Ten Commandments.
Do not let someone mislead you by saying that the Jews will keep the Sabbath in the earth made new. The Bible says that : "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before Me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before Me, saith the Lord." Isaiah 66:22,23.
It says all flesh and not Jews.