Why does a Christian-professing civilization use a week named after pagan deities? What is its origin? When did the Church adopt it?
We take time for granted, yet we measure it with days named after pagan deities. Why? Our civilization is filled with pagan customs and superstitions which we never question.
Shortly after the Noachian 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 (Gen. 10:10; 11:1-5), and his wife Semiramis, known as the “Queen of Heaven” (Jer. 7:18), and Ashtoreth (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, and for what purpose?
When did God’s week originate? What was this week like which He has given to this world to use forever? Notice! When God re-made our earth, he said of the first evening and morning, “The evening and morning were the FIRST day” (Gen. 1:5).Then followed the SECOND day (v. 8), the THIRD day (v. 13), the FOURTH day (v. 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.
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 commands” (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 7-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 in tact? Or would he pervert it and thus try to “change times and laws?” (Dan. 7:25).
Here is what happened. In ancient Babylon “evil days” were gradually set apart which were observed on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th days of the month (Webster’s Rest Days, pl. 230).The 7th 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 himself, were soon changed into periods of “ill omens” or “Evil Days” (Webster’s Rest Day, p. 230)
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 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!
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 (mixture) of ideas derived from different sources. Babylonia, the motherland of divination, provided the doctrine of the influence of the stars on 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 the 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. has passed, thence to Alexander (Egypt) and about the age of Augustus (31B.C. – 14 A.D.) into the Occidental (Roman) lands” (Rest Days, pp. 218-219). Today’s week was born from mother Babylon!
How did the pagans, under the guidance of Satan, name the days of this week, our 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 moon. Also, we have seen, she identified her dead husband, Nimrod, with the Sun, ultimately making him the Sun-god. Satan, as we have learned, was Nimrod as the hidden 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 formed to commemorate some event, actual or imagined, that had happened in the life of herself or her husband. Is this Babylonian week the same 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 part of our present Roman calendar. God’s weekly cycle with its Sabbath on the 7th day has, of course, never been altered. 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!
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, the god up in the sky. She claimed this son was her dead husband Nimrod reborn, the son of the Sun-god. Notice that this event was actually patterned after the future birth of Jesus Christ.
What connection has 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 about 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 300 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. He was inspiring them to set apart a day Sunday on which he, through Nimrod his Sun-god, could be worshipped instead of God. The serpent, Satan, was (symbolically) entwined around the Sun!
When did the early Church adopt the practice of keeping Sunday, which the pagans who joined their Church 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?
“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 the growing influence of astrological speculations introduced by the converts from paganism” (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? It is said to be Sunday by many. And right they are! But, not in the way assumed by many evangelicals.
St. Augustine, one of the early “church fathers” (the “fathers being a group of men who formulated the teaching of the church 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” (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!!
Jesus Christ cut off “in the midst of the week” (Dan. 9:24-27) – Wednesday – and, after being three days and night in the tomb (Matt. 12:38-40), was resurrected on Saturday!( Read our article “Was Christ Resurrected on Sunday.”)
The Lord referred to here was not Jesus Christ! Sunday can’t be observed as the day of His resurrection! The “Lord’s Day” existed before Jesus Christ came to this earth.
Who then is “The Lord” that the people worship today when they keep Sunday, the “Lord’s Day”? The world today has been deceived by this 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, was said, according to the Mysteries, to have been impregnated with a beam (counterfeit of God’s Holy Spirit) from the Sun (counterfeit of God).She brought forth Ninus, Tammuz or Nimrod reborn (counterfeit of Jesus Christ begotten of God).Tammuz, who was believed to be Nimrod reborn (counterfeit of Christ resurrected to immorality), was worshipped as the sun-god (or son of God). (Hislop’s Two Babylons, p. 305).
The “Lord” Nimrod had been resurrected! It was he who was 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 spirit-created beings. What does this mean? It means that if we observe Sunday, we worship Satan as the Creator and Giver of Eternal Life instead of God, and show our obedience to Satan and not to God!
But who was responsible for the later widespread rise of Sunday, or “Day of the Lord” worship 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 Saturday 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 grafted into Christianity” (Rest Days, p. 222).
Do you grasp this? A human civil ruler, not God, established Sunday. 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 forty years of age in the practice of the established religion (paganism). His liberality restored and enriched the temples of the gods. 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 forty years of age. But it was also after he was forty that he brought his Sun-god – the “lord” and Sun-day into the “Christian “Church to stay by his legislation. 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.? “Let all magistrates and people rest on the venerable day of the sun” (Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia, article “Sunday.”)
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 week and worships on Sunday! (Be sure to read our articles “How Did The World’s Religions Begin?.” Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5)