Worshipping on the day of the sun or Sunday goes back at least two thousand years before Jesus Christ. Shortly after the flood in Noah's time, Nimrod and his mother-wife, Semiramis, founded the great pagan religions. Sun worship is related to fire worship and we find this in many histories of ancient times. From the beginning at the Tower of Babel, sun worship spread throughout the ancient world.
In the book The Two Babylons written by Alexander Hislop we find many pagan customs, teachings and influences that have crept into the Christian church . On pages 226-227, Hislop states, "Nimrod is singled out by the voice of antiquity as commencing this fire-worship . . . . The sun, as the great source of light and heat, was worshipped under the name of Baal [another name for Nimrod] . . . . the sun, under that name [Baal] was worshipped in the earliest ages of the world . . . . The beginning, then, of sun- worship and of the worship of the host of the heaven, was a sin against the light -- a presumptuous, heaven-daring sin. As the sun in the heavens was the great object of worship, so fire was worshipped as its [the sun's] earthly representative . . . . Along with the sun, as the great fire-god, and, in due time, identified with him, was the serpent worshipped . . . the serpent is universally the symbol of the sun. In Egypt, one of the commonest symbols of the sun, or sun-god, is a disc with a serpent around it. The original reason of that identification seems just to have been that, as the sun was the great enlightener of the physical world, so the serpent was held to have been the great enlightener of the spiritual, by giving mankind the 'knowledge of good and evil' . . .."
Sun-worship was the dominant religion in all ancient civilizations, spreading from Mother Babylon to India, China, Africa, Greece, Rome, Mexico, South America, Egypt and Europe. Sun worship was a very prominent religion and Sunday was the main day of worship in the pagan Roman Empire by the time of Jesus Christ, just as it was in ancient pagan Babylon.
Hislop, on page 238, "Now, if this worship of the sacred serpent of the Sun, the great fire-god, was so universal in Rome, what symbol could more graphically portray the idolatrous power of Pagan Imperial Rome than the 'Great Fiery Serpent'? No doubt it was to set forth this very thing that the Imperial standard itself -- the standard of the Pagan Emperor of Rome, as Pontifex Maximus, Head of the great system of fire-worship and serpent-worship -- was a serpent elevated on a lofty pole, and so coloured, as to exhibit it as a recognised symbol of fire-worship."
Julius Caesar became Pontifex Maximus 40-50 years B.C. From that time until Emperor Justinian, the Roman Emperors were heads of the state religion of fire- serpent-sun worship. In the 6th Century A.D., Justinian submitted to the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Thereafter, the Popes became the Pontifex Maximus of the state religion of fire- serpent-sun worship.
Historically, pagan Babylon worshipped the sun as a deity, and pagan religions also worshipped the invincible sun. The pagan ideas crept into the early church and with the assistance of Constantine, his civil Sunday law transferred the Sabbath rest to the Sun Day, and filled the church with commonly used pagan images and symbols of the sun.
Many of the pagan sunburst images used by the church show up in various forms of church art. An artifact was unearthed in the holy of holies of the pagan temple in the Canaanite city of Hazor / Hatzor, in northern Israel, that dates to 1400 years before the time of Christ. It is described as follows:
"a basalt offering table, pillar-shaped, with a carved symbol of the storm god Baal on its side. That symbol was a circle with a cross in the center"
In a large number of the churches altars you can find the same general Babylonian sun symbol. Some have tapestry with a sunburst design nearly identical to the pagan sun-god symbol of Baal / Shamash. This tapestry is called the altar frontal, antipendium (antependium), or pallium altaris.
"In Egypt, the disk of the Sun was represented in the temples, and the sovereign and his wife and children were represented as adoring it . . . . In the great temple of Babylon, the golden image of the Sun was exhibited for the worship of the Babylonians . . . . In the worship of Baal, as practised by the idolatrous Israelites in the days of their apostasy, the worship of the sun's image was equally observed; and it is striking to find that the image of the sun, which apostate Israel worshipped, was erected above the altar. When the good king Josiah set about the work of reformation, we read that his servants in carrying out the work, proceeded thus (2 Chron. xxxiv.4): 'And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence, and the images (margin, SUN-IMAGES) that were on high above them, he cut down.' . . .
Israel profaned the Sabbath and substituted Baal worship, which is sun worship:
"And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word."
These words were spoken by a rugged prophet of God as he stood on the top of Mount Carmel face to face with a people who claimed to be the chosen people of God, but a people who had turned from the worship of the true God to the worship of Baal, the Sun-god.
A chosen people who had followed the cloud by day and the fire by night through the wilderness experience and then encamped at the foot of Mt. Sinai had heard God's voice in thunder-like tones proclaim His law of Ten Commandments. And even while Moses was receiving the law on tablets of stone they had turned to the sun worship of Egypt. Just so had Israel permitted the wicked Jezebel to again introduce sun worship.
The time had come for a test with this false religion. And on the top of Mt. Carmel they hear Elijah cry out, "How long halt ye between two opinions, you must decide between God and Baal."
The crowd looked over at Elijah, and they saw him standing there alone. Then they looked and saw hundreds of the priests of Baal, dressed in their rich, flowing robes, and they asked the question that has been asked ever since sin opened the gate to the road of the broad and easy way that many follow:" "Can Elijah be right and all these priests of Baal be wrong?" God showed that day what a abomination the false religion of sun worship was to him.
Samuele Bacchiocchi, in his book, From Sabbath to Sunday, pages 242-246, gives evidence that the planetary week was in popular existence in Rome before the time of Christ. "Various Sun-cults were predominant in ancient Rome by the early part of the second century [A.D.]. That these attracted the imagination and interest of Christian converts from paganism, we found evidenced by the development of the theme of Christ-the-Sun, and by the adoption of the eastward orientation for prayer [true Christians are inclined to pray to the north, where God's throne is located, Psalms 48:2] and of the date of the 25th of December . . . . The valorization of the day of the Sun over that of Saturn, as a result of the diffusion of the Sun-cults, possibly oriented Christians (who desired to differentiate themselves from the Sabbath of the Jews) toward such a day. This choice however, it must be stated again, was not motivated by their desire to venerate the Sun-god on his day, but rather by the fact that its symbology could fittingly commemorate two important events of the history of salvation -- creation and resurrection: 'it is on this day that the Light of the World has appeared and on this day that the Sun of Justice has risen.' Moreover, the day of the Sun enabled Christians to explain also the Biblical mysteries to the pagan world by means of an effective symbology that was very familiar to them." (pages 268-269).
"The early Christians had at first adopted the 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. The use of planetary names [Monday, etc.] attests to the growing influence of astrological speculations introduced by the converts from paganism" (Webster's Rest Days, page 252).
"[Roman Emperor] Constantine's famous edict (321 A.D.) definitely enrolled Sunday among the holidays of the Roman State religion. The change from Saturn's day [Saturday, the Sabbath] 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 Son of Righteousness [supposedly] rose from the dead. Thus a pagan institution [Sunday observance] was engrafted upon Christianity" (Ibid., p. 222). This edict commanded that "On the venerable day of the sun let all magistrates and people . . . rest" (Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, article "Sunday Legislation").
Emperor Constantine was a pagan sun worshiper who saw that religion could be a unifying factor in his kingdom. "Constantine . . . persevered till he was near 40 years of age in the practice of the established religion [of pagan sun worship]. 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," (Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. I, pages 636-638).
Even after Constantine's supposed "conversion," he continued his devotion to the Sun. His enforcement of Sunday worship, under the guise of Christianity, continued to brand followers of the state catholic religion with the mark of pagan sun worship.
"The SABBATH -- which word means 'REST' -- depicts the kind of eternal REST from sin which God has in mind for man. (Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course, Lesson 30, page 5).
But ironically, Satan by deluding man into keeping the fiery pagan day of the Sun -- SUNDAY -- causes man to commemorate something else than what God set forth.......
Hislop pieces together facts from ancient history, and it seems that this Nimrod married a very beautiful and also very wicked woman named Semiramis. King Nimrod and his queen were worshipped by the people of Babylon. Semiramis came to be called the 'Queen of Heaven' many centuries before Mary the mother of Jesus was born. (See Jeremiah 7:18).
Nimrod was so evil, legend has it that his great uncle Shem had him killed. After Nimrod's death, Semiramis had a huge problem on her hands. How would she hold the kingdom together? From the worship that evolved in Babylon after Nimrod';s death, it can be surmised that Semiramis, told the people that Nimrod had gone to live in the sun and would rule and protect them as the sun god. The people could worship him by worshipping the sun. This was the beginning of sun worship.
The Bible is filled with references to and condemnations against sun worship. There is good evidence that points to Ancient Babylon as the source of paganism.
Astrology originated in ancient Babylon along with sun worship and this is why in the Bible, Babylon is the mother of all harlot religions and all the pagan abominations and false worship that exists on earth
According to Hislop, one Spring, after her husband Nimrod's death, Semiramis was found to be pregnant. She told the people that she had become impregnated through the rays of the sun, and that the child she was carrying was half-human and half-divine, A God man! She called him Tammuz. The website http://JewishEncyclopedia.com says this about Tammuz: 'A Babylonian deity referred to in Ezek. viii. 14. He is regarded as the husband, or sometimes as the son, of the goddess Ishtar . . .He is accordingly supposed to represent the spirit of the spring vegetation; and there was a period of mourning in Babylonia to mark the discontinuance of growth. The myth of Adonis in classical literature has also been associated with the legend. The reference in Ezekiel to the women weeping for Tammuz certainly shows a trace of a cult in early Israel' W. Robertson Smith attempted to associate the Tammuz-worship with the sacrificial rites connected with 'the king of the woods.';"
According to legend, Tammuz died saving a friend from the attack of a wild boar. His death was called a sacrificial one. So here was the son of the sun god dying to save others. This was the counterfeit savior! Tammuz was the world's first false 'savior.' Satan was working on his plan to counterfeit Christ Jesus and the true worship of God!
Pagan Babylon';s rituals, customs and sun worship crept into the church. According to book The Pagan Side of Easter. 'The observance of the 40 days of Lent during the northern Spring season was derived from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. This 40 days of Lent is still observed by the Yezidis (pagan worshippers) of Koordistan, inherited from their Babylonian ancestors. The Lent of 40 days were also observed by the Pagan Mexicans, and the Egyptians who observed this tradition in honor of the goddess Osiris, also known as Adonis in Syria and Tammuz in Babylonia.'
The Word of God makes it clear that the sun worship of Tammuz had definitely infiltrated the true worship of God! See Ezekiel.
"Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? For they say, Yahweh seeth us not; Yahweh hath forsaken the earth. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do Then he brought me to the door of the gate of Yahweh's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz." (Ezek. 8:12-14).
In the above verses we can see how even in early times, the pagan religion of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz polluted the true worship of God. After Tammuz died, it was said that he now resided in the stars. When Semiramis died, she was said to reside in the moon ; and was called the 'Queen of Heaven.' Nimrod was worshipped as the sun god, and this is where the Zodiac signs and astrology originated. Nimrod was known by many names in other parts of the world, in Egypt he was called 'Ra', in Assyria 'Baal', in Canaan he was called 'Molech'. In Persia Nimrod was called 'Mithras,' In Greece, he was called 'Helios,' and in Rome he was called 'Sol Invictus' the 'unconquerable sun.' The Bible says this about the evil practice of sun worship.
"Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name." (Lev. 20:2-3).
Interestingly, in Samaria he was called 'Anu.'The Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th Edition, Vol. 1, p. 432, says this about Anu: 'Anu was associated with the city of Erech in Southern Babylonia . . . Anu was regarded as the god of the heavens.'
The Bible says this:
"And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." ( Gen. 10:10). In the above quote the city of Erech is described as one of the cities of Nimrod. Yet in the quote from the encyclopedia, it associates Erech with Anu. Here we can see that Nimrod was known by different names.
It was from this false sun-worship that we get the name Sunday for the first day of the week. 'Sunday is the first day of the week, adopted from the Roman calendar because it was dedicated to the worship of the sun.' Unger's Bible Dictionary under the article 'Sunday.'
In fact, the names for the days of the week came from pagan Gods or worship. Sunday was named after the sun. Moon-day named from the worship of the moon became Monday. From the worship of the pagan god Tiu came Tiu's-day or Tuesday. From the pagan god Woden came Woden's-day or as we know it today Wednesday. Thor's-day became Thursday. Frigga's-day became Friday, and Saturn-day became Saturday.
In the Bible the only day that had a name recognized was the seventh-day Sabbath. Sunday was simply called in the Bible 'the first day of the week.' (See John 20:1). So the false religion of sun worship in Israel was Baal, its very clear and though other names were used in different languages, it all came from the same source, and God clearly says to come out of that false religion, whose source is 'Babylon'....
Thanks for posting that very interesting information I can see the devil has laid the groundwork for Sunday from the dawn of time. Anyway, no one will be having the Mark of the Beast until they have been able to fully understand the issues as I understand it according to last quarters SS lessons.