Why does a Christian-professing civilization use a week named after pagan deities? What is its origin? When did the Church adopt it? SYNOPSIS: We take "time" for granted — yet we measure it with days named after pagan deities.
Our civilization is filled with pagan customs and superstitions which we never question. The preceding articles in this series have revealed many startling facts which should make us question the basis of our "Christian" civilization!
Shortly after the flood Satan used the king and queen of the first organized civilization — Babylon — to establish a diabolical COUNTERFEIT of the PLAN of God. Through Nimrod, the king (Genesis 10:10; 11:1-5), and his wife Semiramis, known as the "Queen of Heaven" (Jer. 7:18) and Ashtaroth (Judges 2:13), the arch-deceiver Satan was able to counterfeit the teachings of Christ, the apostles and the Church over 2000 years in advance.
Was GOD'S WEEK also counterfeited — FOR A PURPOSE?
Origin of God's Week When did God's week originate? What was this week like, which He has given to the world to use forever? Notice!
When God remade our earth, He said of the first evening and morning, "The evening and the morning were the FIRST day" (Gen. 1:5). Then followed the SECOND day (verse 8), the THIRD day (verse 13), the FOURTH day (verse 19), and so on until the day following the sixth. He not only gave that day a number — He gave it a name — the Sabbath!
This, then, is when God's week originated. Note that it was composed of seven days, SIX OF THEM BEARING NUMBERS, and ONE OF THEM — the last, THE SEVENTH, BEARING A NAME (see Ex. 16:23).
GOD'S Week Corrupted Early In the library of Asshur-bani-pal of Assyria (a country which lay just north of ancient Babylonia), many clay tablets have been found relating the epic of creation. One of these tablets reads:
"On the seventh day He appointed a holy day, and to cease from all business He commanded" (Henry H. Halley Pocket Bible Handbook, p. 64).
Here is absolute PROOF from the ancient records collected by this Assyrian King, that long before the time of Moses, Babylonia knew of God's seven day week.
But recall that Babylon was the place which Nimrod and his Assyrian wife, Semiramis — called the "queen of heaven" in the Bible — ruled. It was the country in which Satan started his perversions.
Would Satan leave God's simple calendar intact? Or would he pervert it and thus try to "change times and laws"? (Daniel 7:25).
Here is what happened. In ancient Babylon "evil days," which were observed on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th days of the month, were gradually set apart (Webster's Rest Days, p. 230). The seventh day of each Babylonian week was called a SHABATTUM — the pagan corruption of the SABBATH. Thus the sabbaths of God — times when man might enjoy spiritual pursuits — were soon changed into periods of "ill omens" or "Evil Days" (Webster's Rest Days, p. 232).
On these "Evil Days" the pagans had to afflict themselves — they had to do penance. They could not eat flesh cooked upon coals, nor change garments, nor could the physician lay hand upon the patient. At night, the king was to bring his gift before the images of Marduk (Nimrod) and Ishtar (the "Queen of Heaven," Semiramis) and offer sacrifice (Rest Days, p. 232).
The point is that even then, Satan was having other gods — Nimrod and his wife — worshipped on this crude imitation of God's Sabbath day. SATAN HAD CORRUPTED THE SABBATH AND THEREBY THE TRUE WEEK OF GOD. Did he establish a COUNTERFEIT WEEK OF HIS OWN? Yes!
Satan Produces His Own Week — Today's Week How did the pagans, under Satan's influence, formulate the week — the planetary or astrological week WHICH THE WORLD STILL RETAINS TODAY?
Here is the answer: "The planetary week presents itself as a curious amalgam [or mixture] of ideas derived from different sources. BABYLONIA, THE MOTHERLAND OF DIVINATION, PROVIDED THE DOCTRINE of the influence of the stars upon human destinies: Greece furnished the mathematical astronomy which grouped the planets according to their distance from the earth... upon these foundations astrologers of the Hellenistic (Greek) era, familiar with the cult of seven and with the division of days into twenty-four hours, built up what was, at the outset, an entirely PAGAN INSTITUTION."
Notice the origin of our week — a pagan institution!
Continuing, "This seven day week, in its astrological form... probably first appeared... [in] Syria, certainly not before the 2nd century B.C. had passed... thence to Alexandria (Egypt)... and about the age of Augustus (31 B.C. — 14 A.D.)... into the Occidental (Roman) lands" (Webster's Rest Days, pp. 218, 219). Today's week was born from mother Babylon!!
Names of the Days How did the pagans, under the guidance of Satan, name the days of this week — today's week? As we have seen, old Babylonia provided the doctrine of the influence of the stars on human destinies. Remember the "Queen of Heaven," Semiramis, had identified herself with the planet Venus. Also we have seen, she identified her dead husband, Nimrod, with Saturn, and then with the SUN, ultimately making him the SUN-god.
Guided by these Babylonian influences, the pagans of a later time named the days of this new planetary week for these ancient heroes who became honored as gods: Sunday was at first set apart for the "god of this world" — Satan, the Sun-god — but was later associated with Nimrod after his supposed "Sunday" resurrection. Monday was set apart for the moon (Cush, the first husband of Semiramis, the "Queen of Heaven"); Friday for Venus or Frigga (Semiramis); and Saturday for Saturn (Nimrod, when he was associated with the planet Saturn as the hidden god — the pagan "Savior" who was hid in the grave on Saturday after being killed on Friday). Nimrod's fabled "Sunday" resurrection led the pagans into honoring him on Sunday as the Sun-god.
The other days of the week received their names in similar fashion. Each received its name from a heavenly body which had been associated with some old Babylonian god or goddess which the "Queen of Heaven" — Semiramis — had named in honor of herself and her husband, and of Ham, Cush, Horus, and Asshur — the first apostates!
Is this the week that God gave us — a week with its seventh day, only, bearing a name — the Sabbath, and its other days bearing only numbers? No!
HERE IS A STRANGE WEEK. Here is a week whose days bear the NAMES of pagan gods. The Sabbath day nowhere appears in this week. But Sunday, the Day of the Sun — the SUN AROUND WHICH THE PAGANS SYMBOLICALLY ENTWINED THE SERPENT — the DEVIL — does appear! It is the one day which is most observed by all the earth TODAY !
This new planetary week which the world uses today is a part of our present Roman calendar.
God's weekly cycle with its Sabbath on the seventh day has, of course, never been altered. (Read our free booklet "Has Time Been Lost?") But SUNday was made to come on the first day of God's true week. SUNday WAS PLACED NEXT TO GOD'S SABBATH! This proximity causes confusion!
Why Was Sunday Created? The world after the Flood knew and understood that a Savior was to come (Gen. 3:15). So did Satan! What did he do about it?
Satan, as we have seen, inspired Nimrod to become the priest of the SUN, whose worship he initiated and furthered after the Flood. At Nimrod's death, his wife Semiramis, for purposes of prestige, contrived to convince the people that one of her illegitimate sons was miraculously conceived of her by the SUN — her god-husband up in the sky. She claimed this son was the son of the SUN-god. Notice that this event was actually patterned after the future birth of Christ.
What connection have these events which occurred 4000 years ago, to do with the day of the SUN — SUNday of our time? A great deal! Let us examine!
In Egypt shortly before 2000 B.C., (the very time when the "Queen of Heaven" — Semiramis — was most active in having her dead husband Nimrod worshipped as the SUN-god) worship of the sun became completely dominant. Sun worship became associated with almost every god which had not received a clear cosmic function at an earlier time (Gray's Mythology of All Races, vol. XII, p. 28).
Now it can be understood why the PAGANS, about three hundred years before Christ's coming, came forward with the week that is used by the world today — a week which CONTAINS THE DAY OF THE SUN — SUNday — A DAY ON WHICH THEY WORSHIPPED THEIR GOD THE SUN!
Satan was again inspiring his agents. Satan was influencing them to set apart a day — SUNday — on which he, through the dead Nimrod, the SUN-god, could be worshipped instead of God. The serpent, Satan, was (symbolically) entwined around the SUN!
Sunday — The "Lord's Day" — Enters Early Church When did the churches adopt the practice of keeping SUNday, which the pagans who joined their congregations brought with them?
When was the planetary week — the week the world uses today — adopted by the early church in place of the week which God commanded at creation?
Here is the answer!
"The early Christians had at first adopted the seven-day week [God's] with its numbered weekdays, but by the close of the 3rd century A.D., this began to give way to the planetary week [Satan's]. The use of planetary names [Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc.] attests to the GROWING influence of astrological speculations introduced by the converts from paganism" (Webster's Rest Days, p. 252).
THE USE OF THE PLANETARY WEEK BY THE EARLY CHRISTIANS WAS A YARDSTICK WHICH MEASURED HOW MUCH THEY WERE BEING AFFECTED BY PAGANISM.
But what about the "LORD'S DAY" which we hear so much of today? By many it is said to be Sunday. And right they are!
St. Augustine, one of the early "church fathers" (the "fathers" being a group of men who formulated the teachings of the churches after the days of the apostles), said that the "Lord's Day" was DECLARED NOT TO THE JEWS — which it should have been if it had been declared to Christ or the apostles, as they were Jews — but to the "Christians" (the newly "converted" PAGANS) by the resurrection of "the Lord" (from the Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, vol. 2, under "Lord's Day").
St. Augustine here declares the "Lord's Day" is the day of the week on which the "Lord" was resurrected. Could this "Lord" be Christ? No!
Christ was cut off "in the midst of the week" (Dan. 9:24-27) — Wednesday — and, after being three days and three nights in the tomb (Matt. 12:38-40), WAS RESURRECTED — ON SATURDAY!
THE "LORD" REFERRED TO BY AUGUSTINE WAS NOT CHRIST! SUNday CANNOT BE OBSERVED AS THE DAY OF HIS RESURRECTION!
Then whose day was it?
"Lord's Day" Among Pagans The "LORD'S DAY" EXISTED BEFORE CHRIST CAME!
Who then is "The Lord" that the people worship today when they observe Sunday — the "Lord's Day"? The whole world today has been deceived by this surprising counterfeit!
THE PAGANS WHO FLOCKED INTO CHRISTIANITY WERE CARRYING IN MIND THEIR "LORD" NIMROD, THE FIRST GREAT LORD OR BAAL OF THIS EARTH. The word "baal" means a LORD or master. You probably never understood this before.
It was Nimrod's wife, Semiramis (counterfeit of Mary), who, after her husband's death, misled the ancient pagans to believe that THE "LORD" NIMROD HAD BEEN RESURRECTED! It was he who was supposedly "resurrected" on SUNday!
Nimrod, according to this, was the first of Satan's (the Sun's) created beings, just as Christ is the first-fruits of God's created spirit-created beings. What does this mean? It means that if we observe Sunday, we serve Satan instead of God, as the Creator and Giver of Eternal Life, and show our obedience to Satan and not to God!
Why Sunday Worship Is Widespread Today But what was responsible for the later widespread rise of SUNday or "Day of the Lord" worship which prevails today?
Constantine, a civil — not ecclesiastical — ruler of the Roman Empire, had the most to do with the ascendancy of Sunday as the day of worship. "Constantine's famous edict (321 A.D.) definitely enrolled Sunday among the holidays of the Roman state religion. The change from Saturn's day to Sunday must have further commended the planetary week in Christian circles, where the Lord's Day... beginning the week, had long been observed as the day on which Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, rose from the dead. Thus a pagan institution was engrafted in Christianity " (Webster's Rest Days, p. 222).
Do you grasp this? A human civil ruler — not God, established the custom of observing Sunday as a time of "Christian" worship.
What was Constantine's own religion? Gibbon, the authoritative historian, in his Decline and Fall of The Roman Empire, vol. 1, pp. 636-638, tells us: "Constantine... persevered till he was near forty years of age in the practice of the established religion (paganism)... But the devotion of Constantine was more peculiarly directed to the genius of the Sun... The Sun was universally celebrated as the invincible guide and protector of Constantine."
Notice that Constantine became a "Christian" after he was about forty years of age. But, it was also after he was about forty that he, by his legislation, brought his Sun-god — the "lord" — and Sun-day into the "Christian" Church to stay. Today, the vast majority of "Christians" are still following in his footsteps.
What were the words of Constantine's famous edict of 321 A.D.? "On the venerable day of the sun let all magistrates and people... rest." (Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article "Sunday Legislation").
Satan wants, as always, to be God! He has substituted his week and his day — Sunday. He, Satan, wants to be known as the Creator of all things — including time — and Giver of Eternal Life. Yes, Satan has been successful in this deception. The earth today has adopted his pagan week and Sunday worship!
Next Installment 8: Source of Today's Religious Confusion