CONTROLLED BY THE CALENDAR

THE PAGAN ORIGINS OF OUR MAJOR HOLIDAYS
by David Allen Rivera

INTRODUCTION

 HOW IT ALL STARTED

The picture is indelibly etched in our minds. As Moses cowers on top of Mount Sinai, the voice of God commands: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." As he looks skyward, the finger of God burns the words of the Law on the tablets of stone- the Ten Commandments. I am, of course, referring to the 1956 American film classic starring Charlton Heston, which is my favorite movie. I mention it here, because it serves to illustrate the point I would like to make, which in turn will establish the basis for the underlying theme of this book- God's hatred of idolatry and paganism. Remember, it was the first commandment (Exodus 20:3), and because of that, one can assume that it was the issue most important to him.

When God revealed to Moses the final plague upon Egypt, which would prove to be the coup-de-grace, he went out of his way to address what seemed to be harmless inanimate objects: "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord." (Exodus 12:12) God would later command that man was not to make any "graven image, or any likeness," "gods of silver," or "gods of gold" (Exodus 20:4, 23); and he further commanded that man was not to "bow down" or "serve them". The given reason- "...for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God." (Exodus 20:5) In Exodus 23:13, he even forbid the "mention of the name of other gods..."

Exodus 22:20 mandated the punishment for anyone caught sacrificing to a false god. They were to be "utterly destroyed." This was not just a threat, or an exaggeration. After being on the mountain forty days and receiving God's law, Moses was ordered to return to the camp because Israel had made a golden calf to worship. To say that Moses was upset, would be putting it mildly. The idol was melted down into a form that could be ground into a powder-like consistency, which was then put into water. The children of Israel were made to drink it. (Exodus 32:20) On top of that, Moses demanded to know who was "on the Lord's side." Those not expressing their allegiance to God, about 3,000 men, were killed. (Exodus 32:27- 28)

How can it be that the all-powerful creator of all living things was jealous of a lifeless representation of a false, non-existent deity. We are given a clue in Exodus 23:33- "...for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee." There is an implication of deceit here. But, by who? Ironically, the apostle Paul referred to the "snare of the devil" (1 Timothy 3:7, 2 Timothy 2:26), and therein lies the answer.

It seems that the nation of Israel found it difficult to trust and worship a God they could not see, and this certainly was a contributing factor to their periods of falling back into idolatry. The fabrication of an idol enabled them to have something they could look to. So, to counteract their lack of faith, Moses built the Ark of the Covenant, and it became a symbol of the divine presence of God. We, as Christians, know that the idols of Biblical times, as well as the gods who represent various religions today, do not exist, and are in fact a manifestation of Satan, who has deceived its practitioners into believing that they do.

So you see, just as a father would shelter and protect his children, God was doing the same to the children of Israel. Knowing that Satan would try to trick people into worshipping him, God sought to prevent it by totally banning every aspect of idol worship, which included even the mere mention of their names. In this way, there would be no possibility of Satanic influence. Certainly Paul knew of God's intention, when he wrote in 2 Corinthians 2:11- "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices." His advice is just as good now, as it was then: "Abstain from all appearance of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

Once you understand why God has an intense hatred of idolatry, it is all the more incredible how we have allowed ourselves to be subjected to a calendar that is a testament to the overwhelming influence of false gods in our society. To begin with, all you need to do is to look at the basis for the names of some of the months, as well as for the days of the week. Our calendar actually honors false gods, in fact, when I learned these things in grade school, it caused me to get interested in Greek mythology. So in church, you learn about God; in school, you learn about false gods. I guess that is why there has to be a separation of church and state.

 PAGAN NAMES FOR THE MONTHS OF THE YEAR

January: From the Latin "Januarius," this month is named after the two-faced Roman God Janus who was able to look back at the past, as well as into the future. (1) One of the major gods of Roman mythology, Janus was initially known as the god of light and day, but later was recognized as the "god of the beginning of things." His help was solicited before important events. He was worshipped as the guardian of shipping and trade, and is sometimes said to be the masculine form of the goddess Diana. The beginning of the year was considered sacred, and a festival in his honor, Agonia, was held on January 9th. (2)

The Romans offered sacrifices to Janus, and in a tradition dating back to 747 BC, exchanged gifts with friends and family. The presents were called "strenae," named after Strenia, the goddess of strength. Christian emperors continued the new year tradition, but the pagan rituals became so widespread that the Church tried to prevent its observance through their method of substitution. (3) A Jewish custom, based on the Gospel of St. Luke, said that Jesus was circumcised when he was eight days old. (4) So, in 487, the date of his birth was set at December 25th, and the Church began celebrating the Feast of the Circumcision on January 1st, to observe the anniversary of the event. (5)

February: From the Latin "Februarius" (6) which is derived from the Latin verb "februare" which means "to purify." (7) Februa, the Roman festival of purification was celebrated on February 15th. (8)

March: From the Latin "Martius" (9), which is derived from Mars, the Roman god of war. It was the first month of the Roman year until the Julian calendar was initiated in 45 BC. (10)

April: The Romans regarded this month as being sacred to the goddess Venus, and honored her with a festival on the first day of the month. From the Latin "Aprilis," or "Aphrilis," which was derived from Aphrodite, the Greek equivalent to Venus. (11) However, there are some etymologists who maintain that the name stems from "aperire" a Latin verb which means "to open" and refers to all the blooming that is associated with Spring. (12)

May: Corresponds to month of Maius on the old Roman calendar (13), which was named after Maia Majesta, the Roman goddess of Spring. On May 1st, the Vulcan priests made sacrifices to her. In Greek mythology, she was the oldest of the Pleiades, the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, the Oceanid. In a Cyllene cave, she became the mother of Mercury (or Hermes) through Zeus. (14)

June: Corresponds to the Roman month of Junius, which had been named for the Roman goddess Juno. (15) Known as the queen of heaven, she was seen as the protector of women, and that is why June became accepted as the best month to marry. (16)

 PAGAN NAMES FOR THE DAYS OF THE WEEK

Monday: Derived from the Anglo-Saxon "Monandaeg" or the "Moon's day" because the moon was worshipped as the wife of the sun. (17)

Tuesday: Taken from the Anglo-Saxon "Tiwesdaeg" or "Tiw's day" in honor of Tyr, the Norse god of war. (18)

Wednesday: From the Anglo-Saxon "Wodensdaeg" or "Woden's day" to commemorate Odin, the Norse god of storms, who was the father of Tyr. (19)

Thursday: Came from the Anglo-Saxon "Thunresdaeg" or "Thor's day" for Thor, the Norse god of thunder. (20)

Friday: Derived from the Anglo-Saxon "Frigedaeg" or "Frigg's day" to honor Freya, the Norse god of love, who was the wife of Odin. (21)

Saturday: Comes down to us from the Anglo-Saxon "Saterdaeg" of "Sater's day," which is named after Saturn, the Roman god of agriculture. A festival in his honor, known as Saturnalia, was celebrated on December 17-23. (22)

Before I go on, let me make a point. I am not an alarmist. Some of you may think I am blowing things out of proportion, or that I am making mountains out of molehills, just to create an argument. In a way, I am. But I do so only to graphically illustrate the issue, and to show how it is contrary to God's word. It has been a tradition as old as time itself to name things after people, as a memorial to them and their accomplishments. For example, the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC were built as a lasting memorial to two of the greatest figures in American history, who are widely recognized as great Christian leaders. In fact, Washington was known to have said: "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." (23)

I am sure you'll agree that these men deserved to be memorialized, However, was it necessary to give such a distinction to false gods, unless it was actually the intention of the framers of our calendar to stimulate belief in and the worship of, these and other deities. We are in fact, giving honor to false gods through our calendar, and since that is the case, then it is clear that exposure to this influence is in complete disagreement with God's view in this matter.

 CONSTANTINE AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC INFLUENCE

Before I deal with the background information regarding Sunday, I need to give you a little historical perspective so you will have a clear understanding of how we have gotten to the point where time is literally against us, as far as our theological beliefs.

In 305, two Roman emperors, Diocletian and Maximian, stepped down, and were succeeded by their deputies, Galerius and Constantius. Constantius was then replaced by Maximinus Daia in the east, and Severus in the west. (24) After Constantius died, his son Constantine was proclaimed emperor by his father's army, and they prepared to march against Rome. On the evening of October 27, 312, he came face-to-face with the legions of Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge on the Tiber River. (25) According to the story, knowing that his small army could never match the military might of Rome, Constantine vowed that if God would help him conquer the city, he would institute Christian rule.

The earliest account of this incident was recorded in volume 9 (pages 260 - 340) of Ecclesiastical History, by Eusebius (264 - 340), the bishop of Caesarea, who, in 325, became a member of Constantine's Court. (26) He wrote: "Constantine...calling in prayer upon God who is in heaven, and his Word, even Jesus Christ the Saviour of all, as his ally, he advanced in full force, seeking to secure for Romans their ancestral liberty..." (27) Lactantius, who tutored Crispus, Constantine's son, sometime between 313 - 318, wrote a pamphlet called On the Deaths of the Persecutors. He added a little more detail to the incident: "Constantine was admonished in a dream to inscribe on the shields (of his men) the heavenly sign of God and thus to commit himself to battle. He obeyed and inscribed (the sign of) Christ on the shields: the (Greek) letter X intersected by the (Greek) letter I, bent at the top. Armed with this sign the army took up their swords." (28)

The third source for the account was the Life of Constantine, believed to have been written by Eusebius shortly before his death in 340. In Volume One he wrote:

"Being convinced, however, that he needed some more powerful aid than his military forces could afford him...he sought Divine assistance...He considered, therefore, on what god he might rely for protection and assistance...(he) felt it incumbent upon him to honor his father's god alone. Accordingly he called on him with earnest prayer and supplications that would reveal to him who he was, and stretch forth his right hand to help him in his present difficulties. And while he was thus praying, a most marvelous sign appeared to him from heaven, the account of which it might have been difficult to believe had it been related by any other person. But since the victorious emperor himself long afterwards declared it to the writer of this history, when he was honored with his acquaintance and society, and confirmed his statement by an oath, who could hesitate to accredit the relation, especially since subsequent testimony had established the truth? He said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, bearing the inscription 'In this Conquer' ("Hoc signo victor eris" which, in other sources has been translated as "In this sign you shall be the victor"). At this sight he himself was struck with amazement, as was his whole army...which witnessed the miracle...And while he continued to ponder its meaning, night suddenly came on; then in his sleep the Christ of God appeared to him with the same sign which he had seen in the heavens, and commanded him to make a likeness of that sign...and to use it as a safeguard in all engagements with his enemies..." (29)

"Now it was made in the following manner. A long spear, overlaid in gold, formed the figure of the cross by means of a transverse bar laid over it. On top of the whole was fixed a wreath of gold and precious stones; and within this, the symbol of the savior's name, two letters indicating the name of Christ by means of its initial characters, the letter P (the Greek letter "rho") being intersected by X (the Greek letter "chi") in its center; and these letters the emperor was in the habit of wearing on his helmet at a later period....Being struck with amazement at the extraordinary vision, and resolving to worship no other God save Him who had appeared to him, he sent for those who were acquainted with the mysteries of His doctrines, and inquired who that God was, and what was intended by the sign in the vision he had seen. They affirmed that he was God, the only begotten Son of the one and only God..." (30)

"Assuming therefore the Supreme God as his patron...and setting the victorious trophy, the salutary symbol, in front of his soldiers and bodyguard, and third divisions of the tyrant's forces, defeating them all with the ease at the first assault, and made his way into the very interior of Italy." (31)

"Accordingly, he immediately ordered a lofty spear in the figure of a cross placed beneath the hand of a statue representing himself, in the most frequented part of Rome, and the following inscription to be engraved on it in the Latin language: 'By virtue of this salutary sign, which is the true test of valor, I have preserved and liberated your city from the yoke of tyranny'." (32)

The historian Eusebius said that he had been given this account by Constantine himself, yet he didn't write about it until after the emperor's death. Most writers of the period never acknowledged the glorified account, nor was it ever mentioned by any of the 40,000 soldiers.

However, in The History of the Church, it was reported by P. Schaff, that in 308, Constantine presented gifts to Apollo. (33) Also, in 310, while on a march from Gaul, Constantine had an earlier vision. (34) At a pagan temple either in the Vosges, or near Autun, he had a vision of Apollo, the Roman god of sunlight. (35) Since then, he had been a follower of Apollo, whom he considered a manifestation of Sol Invictus ("Unconquered Sun") the god that had been worshipped by his father, Constantius Chlorus. (36)

The worship of Sol Invictus had originated in Syria as Mithraism, and made its way to Rome over a hundred years earlier. Mithra was the Persian sun god, (37) and the feast to honor his rebirth was held on December 25th, during the winter solstice. (38) Mithra was identified as the god who rose to heaven with the sun. (39) Mithraism became the religion of the Roman legions after having been indoctrinated by Vespasian (9-79 AD) after the victory at Commagene, a province in the Taurus mountains, in what is now the country of Turkey. He was known as the god of bravery and fidelity. (40) Sun worship was made the official religion of Rome during the rule of the Roman emperor Aurelian (270-275), (41) and in 270, he built a temple in Rome dedicated to Palmyrene Baal, the sun lord of the Roman power (sol dominus imperii romani). (42) In 307, the Roman emperor Diocletian (284 -305) dedicated a temple to Mithra at Carnuntum. (43)

Though the worship of Sol Invictus was a mixture of Babylonian, Persian, Syrian, Egyptian, and Greek sun worship, (44) it was considered monotheistic because it made the sun god the chief over all others. (45) Many had believed that Maxentius was more powerful than the pagan gods, so Constantine prayed to the only god that was left, which was the supreme god his father worshipped. (46) It has been theorized that he identified Christ with Sol Invictus, because the "Sun of Righteousness" in the Old Testament was prophetically linked to Jesus, who was sometimes called Sol Justitiae, and was depicted looking like a young Apollo. (47)

Historians now feel that the incident prior to the battle at the Milvian Bridge on October 28, 312 was a myth concocted either by Eusebius, or even Constantine. There are many things that just do not line up. For example, we are expected to believe that there was enough time between the occurrence of the dream, and the commencement of the battle, (48) to paint this sign of God on their weapons, helmets, shields, banners, and clothing; as well as the fabrication of the actual battle standard. (49)

The emblem that was reproduced, was not the cross he claimed to have seen, or the battle standard created with a spear and a crossbar, but was a symbol known as the labarum. (50)  

It was formed by an X (the Greek letter "chi"), intersected by the letter P (the Greek letter "rho"), which were the first two letters of "Christos," the Greek word for Christ. (51) The earliest known use of the symbol was found on a tomb in Pompeii, put there over two hundred years before Constantine. (52) It also formed part of an epitaph engraved in Rome in 269. However, it had become a commonly used symbol as an abbreviation for Greek words that began with chi-rho, such as "chrestos" (which means "useful"). It is possible that the symbol became part of a psychological strategy against Maxentius and his men when they realized that it was a sign associated with Jesus. (53)

Some coins of that period portrayed the cross in saltire, in the form of an X, which was known as the crux decussata (from the Roman "decussis" and the symbol for the numeral 10), which became known as the cross of St. Andrew, and used by the Celts. Some researchers feel that Constantine modified this version of the cross to form the initials which represented the name of Christ. (54) Even though he could have very well put the symbol on his helmet, as indicated by Eusebius, the only hard evidence concerning the use of the symbol, was when it began appearing on Roman coins in 317. (55) To the Catholic Church, the symbol became known as the "pax christus" or the "peace of Christ," and is used when one is made to suffer for Mary, who will then go to Jesus to intercede for them. The belief is, that Mary also suffered while Jesus was on the cross, and there is no peace without sacrifice. So to gain the sympathy of Mary, one must suffer. (56)

Regardless of what actually happened, he won the battle, taking over the government of Rome. From 312-324, Constantine Augustus ruled the Western Empire, which consisted of Britain, Gaul, Spain, Italy, and North Africa; while Licinius Augustus ruled the Eastern section. (57) Constantine would later defeat him in 324. (58) In February, 313, he and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan, which bestowed religious freedom, (59) and restored any personal property and real estate that had been confiscated. (60) However, this document merely echoed a decree already made by Galerius, the Eastern emperor, in 311, known as the Edict of Toleration, which permitted the existence of the Christian religion. (61)

While Constantine appeared to align himself with the God of the early Christian Church, it appeared, through word and deed, that he never acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah, and may have in fact tried to usurp that distinction, because he achieved what Jesus seemingly failed to do. (62) The triumphal arch in Rome that was built to celebrate Constantine's victory, indicated that he won "through the prompting of the Deity." (63) This deity is not named, but it certainly was not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, because coinage issued by Constantine featured the name of Christ on one side, (64) with Sol Invictus (and the inscription "sol invicto comiti" which means "committed to the invincible sun" or, more precisely, as an e-mail I received indicated, "to the unconquered sun, (our) companion"), (65) as well as Apollo, Mars, Jupiter, and Hercules. (66) In addition, while he would build a Christian church in one part of the city, in another part, he would build one that would contain statues of Sol Invictus, and Cybele, the mother goddess. (67) P. Schaff wrote in The History of the Church that sometime after 321, Constantine dedicated his home in Byzantium to the god of martyrs and the goddess of fortune, to receive their protection. (68)

Constantine had his soldiers, and others, sprinkled in baptism, proclaiming them to be "Christians," although they spiritually weren't. However, those who adhered to the Babylonian mysteries wanted to retain some aspects of their religion in the new Christian movement. Thus, Mithraism would become part of the Christian movement, allowing paganism to infiltrate the Church, which would come to be known as the Roman Catholic Church. The historian Jerome wrote, that "the devil had by way of imitation introduced the very Christian solemnity into the mystery of Mithra." Justin Martyr also wrote that the Mithratic tradition was the devil's trick to mislead Christians. (69)

To explain the Babylonian mysteries, we have to go back to the days of Noah. The book of Genesis talks about his three sons: Ham, Shem and Japheth. Well after Noah and his family landed on the mountains of Ararat, Ham's son, Cush, had a son called Nimrod, who became "a mighty one in the earth." (Genesis 10:8-10) He built the cities of Babel (where the tower to heaven was attempted), Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land known as Shinar (which is referred to by archaeologists as Sumer) between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The name Nimrod, in Hebrew, comes from the word "marad" which means "we will rebel." (70)

Nimrod instituted a Satanicly-inspired occult-based religion, which included the sacrifice of babies. (2 Chronicles 33:6) It is interesting to note, that A. G. Mackey wrote in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, that Nimrod was one of the founders of Masonry. (71) He also married his mother, Semiramis. His great uncle Shem was so repulsed and outraged, that he had Nimrod killed. (72) As a warning, his body was chopped up into little pieces and sent to various cities as a warning. (73) Semiramis took over as leader of the mystery religion, and announced that Nimrod had become a god. (74) She claimed that his spirit took possession of the sun, and he became the sun god. (75) As such, as his mother/wife, she became a goddess, and called herself the "Queen of Heaven" (76) She assumed the task of retrieving Nimrod's body parts, and got them all back, except for his penis. She then created the symbol of the obelisk and established phallic worship. (77)

Nimrod was symbolically portrayed as a dead tree that had been cut down, with the serpent Aescalapius wrapped around the stump. (78) Semiramis claimed that a full- grown evergreen tree sprouted overnight from a dead tree stump, which she said was an indication of the entry of new life into the deceased Nimrod. (79) Every year, on the anniversary of his birth, said to be on December 25th, she would leave gifts at this tree, which was where the Christmas tree originated. (80)

After the death of Nimrod, Semiramis became pregnant, even though she claimed to be a virgin. (81) She said that she conceived after being visited by the spirit of Nimrod. (82) She gave birth to a son, whom she called Tammuz (Dumuzu), and claimed that he was a reincarnation of Nimrod. Together, they became a Satanic holy family, and would became the basis for all other gods and goddesses all over the world. (83) Semiramis ordered her people to observe the birthday of her son, which she said was December 25th, the time of the winter solstice, when the sun was the farthest away from the earth. In the course of this celebration, trees were decorated with little balls to represent the sun. (84)

Tammuz was later killed, but it was believed that he came back to life. (85) After being killed by a wild boar, his mother was so overcome with grief, that she went into the depths of the underworld to reclaim him from death. This symbolic mourning for Tammuz was observed by the Babylonian women on the second day of the month bearing his name. In the Jewish calendar, the fourth month bears his name. (86) To the Greeks, he became known as Adonis. (87)

Most Christians believe that the symbol of the cross originated during the time of Christ. Not so. It was used since the days of Babylon in sun worship. (88) It was a fabrication of Semiramis to commemorate her son Tammuz, (89) and it was shaped to represent the letter "T" to symbolize the sun god. (90) The vertical beam indicated the path to heaven, while the horizontal cross bar represented heaven. (91) For anyone crucified on a cross, it was done not only as a punishment, but to be considered as a sacrifice to pagan gods. The Bible, when referring to the cross, does so as a representation of self-denial, and in reference to the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus. It was never used a Christian symbol. (92)

The Chaldean name of Bil-Nipru, meaning "lord" and "hunter" (which equates to the "mighty hunter" which is mentioned in the Bible), has been found in excavations, and is believed to refer to Nimrod. His mother/wife is referred to as Beltis, and their son, as Nin (or Ninus). (93)

In Babylon in 586 BC, the original Chaldean name of Bel was changed to Merodach, then back to Bel (or Baal). (94) The Greek gods were merely renamed Chaldean gods which dated back to the time of Nimrod. (95) The ancient historian Herodotus wrote about a temple in Babylon in honor of Zeus Belus, when meant that the Greek god Zeus was actually Bel. To the Romans, he was known as Jupiter. (96)

Out of fear, the religion became secret, and went underground. Statues soon appeared of her holding the baby Nimrod. She was symbolized by the moon, and Nimrod, her son/husband, was called Baal, and was symbolized by the sun. They initiated a religious system of mother and child worship. After the fall of Babylon, the religion was spread to Egypt, where she became known as Isis, and Nimrod became known as Osiris, and their son Horus (who was also born on December 25th). (97) The Eye of Horus, representing sun worship, became known as the "All-Seeing Eye" of Freemasonry, and can be seen on the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States which appears on the back of the one dollar bill. (98) Herodotus associated Zeus with the Egyptian god Osiris. (99)

In China, Semiramis was called Shing Moo; (100) to the Canaanites (101) and Phoenicians, she was known as Astarte; to the Assyrians and Chaldeans, she was known as Bilta (Bilta-Nipruta) and Ishtar; to the Mendaeans, she was known as Ashtar; to the Hebrews (102) and Sidonians, she was known as Ashtoreth (103) and Asherah; (104) to the Akkadians, she was known as Ishtar; (105) to the Ephesians and Asia Minor she was called Artemis and Diana; to the Phrygians, (106) and in Rome, she was called Cybele and Venus; (107) in Greece she was known as Gaea, and Aphrodite; and in India she was called Kali. (108)

Another way to see the connection between the various gods and goddesses, is to look at how many cultures celebrate the winter solstice. To the Arabians, this time was called "the birthday of the Lord, that is the moon"; the Romans had their "feast of Saturn"; and in Egypt, the son of Isis was born at that time. The reason for different cultures celebrating similar events, at the same time, is that they are all rooted in the same Babylonian mystery religion. (109)

As the Catholic church came to power, the pagans who fell under its authority were able to bring their idols into the church by changing Semiramis (110) and Tammuz (111) into Mary and the baby Jesus. The halos around their heads symbolized sun worship. (112) It has even been suggested that Mary replaced the Greek goddess Maia, who, as previously stated, was the inspiration for the month of May. (113)

In his book, The Rise of Christianity, W.H.C. Frend, Emeritus Professor of Ecclesiastical History, wrote that by the mid-fifth century the "Virgin and the saints had replaced the gods as patrons of cities." Pope Leo I (440-61) even claimed that St. Peter and St. Paul had "replaced Romulus and Remus as the city's protecting patrons." (114)

The Bible talks about the abomination of sun worship in Deuteronomy 4:19, and 17:3, 2 Kings 23:11, and in Ezekiel 8:16-18.

In 325, Constantine set up the Council of Nicaea, and presided over it as the "Summus Pontifex" (which is the official title of the Pope), considering himself to be the head of the church, even though the Bishop of Rome (later to be known as the Pope, which was Italian for "father"), was the recognized head. (115) To the pagans, he was the Pontifex Maximus; to the deceived Christians, he was known as the "Bishop of Bishops"; however, Constantine referred to himself as the Vicarius Christi ("Vicar of Christ"). The Greek "anti" is translated in Latin as "vicarius," so this title, quite literally, meant "antichrist." (116)

In 303, emperor Diocletian destroyed all of the Christian writings he could find around Rome. So, in 331, when Constantine commissioned a Bible to be used by the Church, the lack of authentic manuscripts made it real easy for them to alter the Scriptures to fit the point of view they wanted to convey. (117)

Also, as the early Christian church began to spread the teachings of Jesus as part of the Great Commission, its leaders fell prey to a Satanic campaign whose intention was to stop the movement, and to prevent the true word of God from reaching people all over the world.

According to The Bloody Theater (or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians by Thieleman J. van Braght (Herald Press: Scottsdale, PA 1950): Stephen, who was a deacon in the first Christian Church in Jerusalem, was stoned to death in 29 AD; James, the son of Zebedee, was beheaded in Jerusalem in 45; Philip was tied to a pillar at Phrygia in 54, and stoned; James, the son of Alpheus, was dragged from the temple, stoned, and beaten to death with a club in 63; in 64, Mark (author of the Gospel bearing his name) was seized by a group of pagan priests and worshippers, who tied a rope around his neck, and dragged him through the streets of Alexandria till he died; Paul (Saul of Tarsus) was persecuted, then beheaded in Rome in 69; Simon Peter was crucified upside-down in Rome in 69; Andrew was tied to a cross, and left there three days till he died; Bartholomew was severely beaten in Armenia, then beheaded in 70; at Calaminia in 70, Thomas was thrown into a furnace, then speared to death; in 70 at Nad-davar, Matthew was nailed to the ground, then beheaded; Simon, the Canaanite, was crucified in Syria in 70; in 70, Judas Thaddeus was beaten to death with sticks; in 70, Matthias (who replaced Judas Iscariot as an apostle after he committed suicide) was tied to a cross, stoned, and then beheaded; Luke (another writer of the Gospels) was hung from an olive tree in Greece in 93; and in 98, Timothy was stoned to death by idol worshippers. (118)

John, the brother of James, the last of the disciples, was exiled to a penal colony on the island of Patmos in 97. He was instrumental in preserving the holy writings by informing Christians which of the manuscripts were genuine. (119) These manuscripts were then kept hidden in the cellars of the great monasteries by such Christian and semi-Christian sects like the Waldenses, Montanists, Bogomiles, Donatists, Anabaptists, Albigensians, (120) Cathari, Patori, and Lollards. These original manuscripts were guarded with their lives in order to insure the survival of the true word of God. (121)

The task of producing 50 new Bibles for the Church, fell to Eusebius, a church historian who had become Constantine's confidant and chief religious advisor. He studied at Origen's School of Religion and Philosophy in Alexandria, which had become the home of many gnostic scholars. He wasn't a true Christian, and believed Jesus to be a lesser god. After reading the original manuscripts from Antioch, which were not believed to be the word of God, his translation altered them to eliminate anything that challenged Church doctrine. It was this translation that formed the basis for the Latin Vulgate Bible, written by Jerome (382-404), that became the official Bible for all Roman Catholics. (122) It wasn't until the King James Bible was released in 1611 that the true word of God was readily accessible. They used the Hebraic Massoretic text of the Jews, as the source for the Old Testament, rather than the Greek Septuagint; and they used the uncorrupted Antioch manuscripts for the New Testament. (123) Standing the test of time, even in the light of archaeological discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, it continues to be the most widely used text of the Holy Scriptures.

Hopefully, I have been able to convey the true nature of Constantine, and how he influenced the origin of the Roman Catholic Church. This background information was necessary in order to understand my interpretation regarding Sunday. Again, bear with me, because I want you to see the full picture.

 THE FACTS ABOUT SUNDAY

Sunday, as you are well aware, is the traditional day of worship for Christians. In the January, 1988 edition of his ministry's publication The Evangelist (page 11), Rev. Jimmy Swaggart gives a lengthy list on why Christians should worship on Sunday. His major points are that the sabbath law of Moses was abolished (Colossians 2:14-17); Jesus didn't recognize nor does the New Testament command any particular day to be observed, and Christians are free to choose their own day of rest (Romans 14:5, 6; Galatians 4:9-11; Acts 15:1-29); the New Testament doesn't mention any Christian gatherings on the sabbath, yet speaks of meeting on the first day of the week or the "Lord's Day" (Acts 20:6-12; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2); and Jesus rose from grave on Sunday.

The matter of Sunday worship is one of the most divisive subjects in religion. The point of contention is the commandment in Exodus 20:8 which says: "Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy." The way in which it was given leads us to believe that it was a time already mandated as special, yet Adam was never told to observe the day, there was nothing recorded anywhere in the Scripture until it was given as part of the Mosaic law. (124) Just as the rainbow sealed the covenant with Noah, and the ritual of circumcision was representative of the covenant with Abraham, the sabbath sealed the covenant with Moses, and it is argued, that it only pertained to the Jews. (125)

Peter said that the Gentiles were not to be controlled by the Jewish law (Acts 15:7-11) (126) and Paul criticized the church at Galatia for keeping the sabbath. (Galations 4:10) (127) The accusation was even made that Jesus didn't honor the sabbath. (John 5:18) (128) Of the ten commandments, only nine are mentioned in the New Testament. Except for two passages which discourages its observance, the only one not mentioned, concerns the sabbath. (129) It is theorized that this is the case because the sabbath is perceived as being strictly ceremonial. (130) Leviticus 23:3 refers to the day as a "holy convocation"- a term also used in the next verse to describe the various feast days. (131) It has been said that if the sunset-to-sunset sabbath is to be pertinent today, then the strict stipulations regarding it should likewise be enforced, as well as the punishment for not observing it- which was death. (132)

It is really amusing to see all the posturing in regard to the Mosaic law. Who is responsible for deciding which of the laws are to be scrapped because they are outdated. Except for those which are "mala en se," Latin for "bad in and of itself," laws like those having to do with the sabbath and diet restrictions have been ignored, because they are not convenient. Yet, tithing, another divisive issue, is strongly urged, without regard to the Biblical guidelines for its true purpose.

Probably the most convincing argument for the preference of observing Sunday, the first day of the week, instead of Saturday, is the fact that the resurrection of Jesus occurred on Sunday (Mark 16:9, Luke 24:1, John 20:1), (133) and the disciples had gathered in Trois to commemorate the day. (Acts 20:7) (134) It has been an accepted tradition that Pentecost, the event that initiated the establishment of the Church, occurred on Sunday. (Leviticus 23:16, Acts 2:1) (135) Various historical records concerning the early Church, mention Sunday as the day of choice to worship, referring to it as the Lord's Day, in remembrance of the resurrection. (136) It appears that Ignatius (30 - 107), who wrote the noncanonical book The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians about 101, was one of the first to refer to Sunday as the Lord's Day, however, the early Church as a whole didn't adopt that term until after the second century. (137)

You know it's funny, but five people can read a particular passage of Scripture and come up with five different interpretations. Whatever interpretation is adopted by the majority, is usually the one that becomes the accepted view. But is it the right view? Every argument for Sunday worship can be countered with a Biblical opinion that indicates that the sabbath should still be observed.

The Law had always existed. And though it is referred to as Moses' Law, it is actually God's Law. The Ten Commandments, the keystone of many laws, was simply an organized codification which became a covenant between God and the children of Israel. (Exodus 31:17) (138) Though there are four divisions- Moral Law, Civil Law, Ceremonial Law, and Dietary Law- the sum of their parts, is that it is still the law. (139) The sabbath law was not a ceremonial law- it was a moral law, and that is why it was written in stone, rather than in the book of laws. (140) The sabbath was not just made for the Jews, because it was observed before their emergence as a race. The word Hebrew doesn't appear till Genesis 14:13 with the story of Abraham, and the children of Judah (Abraham's great grandson), are considered to be the first Jews. The first sabbath was when God rested on the seventh day after completing his renovation of the earth.

When comparing the Creation passage of Genesis 2:1-3 to the fourth commandment in Exodus 20:8-11, the Hebrew words for "blessed" and "hallowed" in Exodus are from the same root words used in Genesis for "blessed" and "sanctified." Both passages use the Hebrew term "yom hassbi'i" for "the seventh day," and the Hebrew word "sh" for "made". In addition, the Hebrew word "shabbat" (sabbath) used in Exodus, comes from the root word "shbt" ("sabat"), which means "to cease from labor," which is used in Genesis. These connections point to the fact that the fourth commandment is a reflection of the Creation day of rest. It is a day to commemorate the creation of all living things by the almighty God, and therefore is a day to be observed by everyone- not just the Jews. (141)

The penalty for not observing the sabbath was death, and it was one of the reasons that God allowed Israel and Judah to be exiled, because they didn't observe the sabbath. (Exodus 31:14) (142)

The mandate to observe the sabbath was not noted in Genesis, because this book does not deal with the law. (143) In fact, it must be pointed out that the obligation to observe the sabbath was mentioned before the Law of Moses. Two weeks before receiving the word of the Law, when the children of Israel were being miraculously fed by manna sent from Heaven, they were instructed to gather twice as much on the sixth day, because the Lord would not provide any on the sabbath. (Exodus 16:25-30) (144)

In Mark 2:27-28, we find out how Jesus felt about the sabbath: "And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is also of the sabbath." This comment was in response to the Pharisees criticism of the disciples for pulling off some ears of corn, because they were hungry. Invoking the seventh day of the Creation, Jesus was telling them that the day was given to man (and not just the Jews) to rest, but not as a restriction to hamper them. He was also saying that he believed in observing the sabbath. (145) Just as he said that he didn't come "to destroy the law" (Matthew 5:17), it is clear that he did indeed observe the sabbath. (Luke 4:16) (146)

Now let's look at the verse that is most used to prove Sunday worship. That is Acts 20:7, which says: "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." According to the Bible, a day is measured from sunset to sunset. Genesis 1:5 says: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day." Evening is mentioned first, because the world emerged out of darkness. (Genesis 1:2) Thus, the first day actually begins at sunset on Saturday, and ends at sunset on Sunday (see also Exodus 12:18, Leviticus 22:6-7, Judges 14:18, Nehemiah 13:19). (147) The next verse also refers to lights in the upper room, which certainly indicates evening, and means that the disciples actually met on Saturday, and not Sunday. (148)

If you'll take notice, in the King James Version of the Bible, the word "day" is in italics. That is because it is not found in the original Greek manuscripts. The word was used only as a reference help by the English translators. In the Interlinear Bible by J.P. Green, which is translated directly from the original Greek, the passage reads "on and the one of the sabbaths." Also, the word "week" is the plural of the Greek (#4521) in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and means "sabbath," as does the Hebrew (#7676). (149)

As for this meeting being a gathering to celebrate communion, there is no mention of the cup containing the "fruit of the vine." The "breaking of the bread" does not necessarily refer to the communion observance (Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19), as evidenced by its mention in Acts 2:42, 46 and Acts 27:35, which merely illustrates the process of tearing off of a hunk of bread from the loaf, and dipping it in a sauce or broth. So, this verse is actually referring to a farewell dinner for Paul. (150)

With the explanation of what actually constituted a day, we can better analyze another major reason for the Sunday argument. According to Matthew 12:38-40, Jesus said he would be buried in the earth for three days and three nights, just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale for the same period. As such, we can surmise that the Crucifixion occurred on Wednesday afternoon, and he was buried before sundown. So, Jesus was in the tomb on Wednesday night, Thursday night, and Friday night; as well as the days of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. (151) Matthew 28:1 says: "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre (see also Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19; 1 Corinthians 16:2). The two women had waited until the sabbath was over to come to the grave- which would have been after sundown on Saturday. The word "end" comes from the Greek word "opse" which means "even" or later in the day. This would seem to indicate that it couldn't be referring to early morning, as that would have been the Greek word "epiphosko," which means to "draw on." (152) John 20:1 even mentions that it was dark, and that the stone had already been rolled away- reiterating the fact that he had already risen. (153)

Much has been said about Paul's teaching concerning the law of Moses. In Galatians 3:13 he said that "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law..." About 63, after receiving a great revelation, Paul began speaking more in-depth concerning the theological position of Christians in relationship to their responsibilities to God. These teachings are found in Ephesians and Colossians, and they have been interpreted to indicate that the life of Jesus was a substitute for the lives of all Christians. Since he kept the law, and the commandments, died and was resurrected to sit at the Father's right hand, then, through reciprocity, Christians have advanced to a higher stage of theological development which eliminates the need for rituals, because they are now part of the body of Christ. (154)

This assessment may be unfounded based on a closer scrutiny of the Scriptures. For example, Galatians 4:10 and its reference to the observance of "days, and months, and times, and years" have been interpreted to criticize the observance of the sabbath, as well as the feast days. When, in fact, if you read it in the context of verse 8, actually refers to the observance of pagan holidays. Nowhere in the Bible does it use this term to describe any of the holy days. (155)

Paul says in Acts 24:14, "...that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets." This doesn't sound like someone discouraging the observance of Mosaic law. (156) He is quoted as saying in 1 Corinthians 11:1 : "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ." Since I have shown that Jesus did observe the sabbath, Paul is indicating here that he also observes the sabbath, and he is telling other Christians to do so. (157) There are Scriptural references that prove that the Sabbath was not only being observed by the early Church, but by Paul himself (Acts 13:42, 44; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4). (158) Plus, Acts 20:6 indicates that Paul also observed the feast days. (159)

History shows that during the first century, the sabbath was widely observed. In the writings of Flavius Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, he talked about the sabbath being observed in the Roman empire: "...the multitude of mankind itself have had a great inclination of a long time to follow our religious observances; for there is not any city of the Crecians, nor any of the barbarians, nor any nation whatsoever, whither our custom of resting on the seventh day hath not come..." (160)

Another first century historian, Philo, in Alexandria (Egypt), recorded his observations: "And in short, it is very nearly an universal rule, from the rising of the sun to its extreme west, that every country, and nation, and city, is alienated from the laws and customs of foreign nations and states, and that they think that they are adding to the estimation in which they hold their own laws by despising those in use among other nations. But this is not the case with our laws which Moses has given to us; for they lead after them the inhabitants of continents, and islands, the eastern nations and the western, Europe and Asia, in short, the whole inhabitable world from one extremity to the other. For what man is there who does not honour that sacred seventh day, granting in consequence a relief and relaxation from labour, for himself and for all those who are near to him, and that not to free men only, but also to slaves, and even to the beast of burden." (161)

Other historical references bear witness to the fact that the sabbath was recognized by the early Christians. Athanasius wrote in 340: "We assemble on Saturday, not that we are infected with Judaism, but only to worship Christ, the Lord of the Sabbath." (162)

Socrates wrote in 412: "Touching the Communion, there are sundry observations; for almost all the churches throughout the world do celebrate and receive the holy mysteries every sabbath. Yet the Egyptians and adjoining Alexandria, together with the inhabitants of Thebes, of a tradition, do celebrate the Communion on Sunday, when the festival meeting throughout every week was come. I mean the Saturday, and the Sunday, upon which the Christians are wont to meet solemnly in the church." (163)

The writings known as the "Apostolic Constitutions" make a reference to Sunday, but call for the observance of the sabbath on Saturday. (164)

I believe that about nullifies all of the arguments concerning Sunday being regarded as the sabbath. Jesus never taught against the sabbath, and in fact observed it. In his Olivet discourse in Matthew 24:20, when Jesus was talking about the events of the last days, he said to pray that the abomination of desolation wouldn't happen in the winter or on the sabbath. So, he fully expected the sabbath to still be observed at this time. The resurrection of Jesus did not occur on Sunday, it happened on Saturday. Paul did not teach against the Mosaic law, but is on record as having observed the law in regard to the sabbath and the feast days. The early Church likewise observed the sabbath when they gathered. There is nothing to indicate that Sunday was ever adopted as the day of the Lord by the early Christians.

The commandment to adhere to a day of rest certainly would have made life a lot easier. In this era of 24-hour lifestyles, drive-through convenience, and service while-you-wait, what would happen if there was a day when everything just shut down. One day, out of every week, to rest your mind and body. I wonder what that would do to alleviate mental stress in the world. I think God knew what He was doing. He gave us a day to "be still, and know that I am God..." (Psalms 46:10), to think on Him, and to give thanks for His many blessings. The Jews did this by refraining from work and business, and by gathering at the synagogues for reading and teaching from the Holy Scriptures.

If the sabbath were to be observed today, it wouldn't necessitate the elimination of Sunday worship in order to remain Scriptural. There are no stipulations in regard to any religious activities on Saturday- only that it is a day of rest. (165) And just as you worship every day of the week during a revival, you can observe the sabbath, by resting; and you can still worship God on Sunday, or any other day of the week.

However, the very origin of the word Sunday denotes the reason why it should not be accepted as the day of worship over the Biblically mandated sabbath. It comes from the Anglo-Saxon word "sunnandaeg" or the "sun's day," and stems from ancient sun worship which took place on that day. (166) As I have shown, Constantine was not a true Christian because he actually worshipped the sun god. In 321, he decreed Sunday to be a Roman holiday: "Let all the judges and town people; and the occupation of all trades, rest on the venerable day of the sun; but let those who are situated in the country, freely and at full liberty attend to the business of agriculture because it happens that no other day is so fit for sowing corn and planting vines; lest the critical moment being let slip, men should lose the commodities granted by heaven." (167) It was identified as the "day of the sun," not the "day of the Lord," never mentioning the resurrection of Jesus- which should prove the intent.

When it comes to sun worship, it is important to note the background for its underlying basis. When Satan was an angel, he was known as Lucifer, which in Latin, means "light-bearer." (168) But now, he is called the "prince of this world" (John 12:31) and "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4) and he is behind every false religion and doctrine which seeks to deceive men from the truth that is contained in God's word. Sun worship is actually the worship of Satan.

In 363, the Roman Catholic-sponsored Council of Laodicea decreed: "Christians must not Judaise by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord's day." Thus, in an expression of anti-Semitism, a move was made to distance the Church from God's chosen people, who observed the Mosaic law. Thus, the official day of worship was changed from Saturday to Sunday. Those Christians keeping the sabbath were arrested, and sometimes put to death. (169)

On page 168 of Church History, Dr. Neander wrote: "Opposition to Judaism introduced the particular festival of Sunday, very early, indeed, into the place of the Sabbath. The festival of Sunday, like all other festivals, was always only a human ordinance and it was far from the intentions of the apostles to establish a divine command in this respect, far from them, and from the early apostolic church, to transfer the laws of the Sabbath to Sunday. Perhaps at the end of the second century, a false application of this kind had begun to take place: for men appear by that time to have considered laboring on Sunday a sin." According to the Theological Dictionary by Rev. Charles Buck, a Methodist minister: "Sabbath in the Hebrew language signifies rest, and is the seventh day of the week...and it must be confessed that there is no law in the New Testament concerning the first day. (170)

How about the Catholic view. On page 89 of the book Faith of Our Father by Cardinal Gibbons it says: "You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctified." (171) In his monthly newspaper, Bro. R.G. Stair published a copy of a letter from the Catholic Extension Magazine that was an official response to a May, 1934 letter written to the Pope concerning the change to Sunday worship by the Church. The Editor, Peter R. Tramar, wrote: "That Protestants, who accept the Bible as the only rule of faith and religion, should by all means go back to the observance of the Sabbath. The fact that they do not, but on the contrary observe the Sunday, stultifies them in the eyes of every thinking man...We also say that of all Protestants, the Seventh-Day Adventists are the only group that reason correctly and are consistent with their teachings. It is always somewhat laughable to see the Protestant Churches, in pulpit and legislature, demand the observance of Sunday, of which there is nothing in the Bible."

Okay, okay, I know I'm beating the proverbial dead horse, but I want no doubts in your mind in regard to the pagan origin of Sunday.

 THE PAGAN INFLUENCES ON CHRISTIANITY

Up to this point, I have outlined the pagan origins for half of the months, and all seven days of the week, so you should have a grasp on the seriousness of my contention, and why I felt it was necessary to write this book. But before I finish up this chapter, I want to deal with one more thing that will further illustrate the extent to which paganism has become entrenched within the Church.

I have already dealt with the Roman Catholic Church in what may seem to be an unfavorable manner. But, as a researcher, I have to look at history as it actually happened, and not at the altered form in which it is found in biased presentations. I am not engaging in Catholic bashing, I am merely presenting the facts. Unfortunately the facts do not paint a pretty picture. Is it any wonder that the origin and history of the Roman Catholic Church make it the likely candidate for the "great whore" of the book of Revelation. Rome is referred to as the "city of the seven hills" (172) and it is the only city in the world that possesses these geographical attributes. In Revelation 17:9, the woman identified as "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots," who represents the one-world single-religion super church, sits on "seven mountains." Coincidence? I think not.

One particular piece of Catholic doctrine uses an untruth to mask an incredible deception that your average Catholic just doesn't know. At the Council of Trent in 1545, that was called by Pope Paul III (1534-1549) to fight the Reformation, one of the two great pillars of doctrine was established, and that was the apostolic succession of Rome. They claimed that St. Peter was the first Bishop (or Pope) of the Church, and each Pope is said to be his successor. However, there is no evidence that he had ever been to Rome, as he had been dispatched to preach to the Jews in Jerusalem, while Paul was sent to preach to the Gentiles. Peter never claimed that distinction. Plus, Peter was married. (Mark 1:30) It was even believed that the Vatican had his bones, until a report surfaced that they may have been found in Jerusalem. (173)

The rationale for this was that Jesus said to Peter (originally known as Simeon or Simon): "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (from the Latin "petros," a large movable stone), and upon this rock(from the Latin "petra," a huge unmoveable rock, or Jesus) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) The fact that Jesus was referring to himself as the rock can be verified by 1 Corinthians which refers to Jesus as the "foundation." (174)

While Biblical history doesn't, secular history does account for the presence of a "Simon Peter" in Rome during the first century. Is this a contradiction of the facts. No it's not. Let me explain. After the establishment of the early Church, a man known as Simon Magus, a Samaritan (175) well-schooled in the Babylonian mysteries, gained prominence. The Samaritans were known to have lived between Judaea and Galilee, and claimed to have descended from the Ten Tribes of Israel who had been captured by the Assyrians around 8 - 7 BC. They returned to the Palestine area, where they settled around Samaria and Shechem. The Bible contradicts that lineage by saying that they were a group of people consisting a five Babylonian tribes, who worshipped five different gods, and combined their religious worship with Old Testament teaching. (176)

According to Acts 8:9-11, Simon "used sorcery, and bewitched the people...giving out that himself was some great one." Many people "from the least to the greatest" were impressed with him, thinking him to be "the great power of God." He was, in fact, combining pagan rituals with the Mosaic law. When the apostle Philip began to preach the gospel, and perform miracles in Samaria, Simon tried to buy his way into an apostleship, without repenting his sins, but was rebuked. He ended up adopting some of the Christian teachings, interweaving it into a combination of Judaism, Samaritanism, and pagan teaching that became known as Simonianism. (177)

The Dictionary of Christian Biography (Volume 4, page 682) said: "...when Justin Martyr wrote his 'Apology' (154 AD), the sect of the Simonians appears to have been formidable, for he speaks four times of their founder, Simon...and tells that he came to Rome in the days of Claudius Caesar (45 AD), and made such an impression by his magical powers, that he was honored as a god, a statue being erected to him on the Tiber, between the two bridges, bearing the inscription 'Simoni deo Sancto' (or the 'holy god Simon')." (178) By the third century, the followers of Simon Magus, simply began calling themselves Christians, (179) and it was this type of Christianity that was usurped by the Constantinian Church. (180)

The pagan gods of the Babylonians and the Greeks were identified by the name Peter (or Patres). The Romans referred to Neptune, Saturn, Mars, and Liber, as "gods" of the Peter-rank. Going as far back as Nimrod, Deuteronomy 23:4 says that Balaam of Pethor was a sacred high place where there was an oracle temple. "Balaam" was the chief Pantora (or Peter) and successor to Nimrod, and "Pethor" meant "place of interpretation." The Hebrew lexicon indicates that the consonantal word P-T- R or Peter, means "to interpret." Thus, Simon Magus, who had become the interpreter of the Babylonian mysteries, became known as Simon Peter. The Vaticano Illustrato II even says that the Babylonian statue of Jupiter was renamed "Peter." (181)

This conversion of idols to saints and other religious figures came when Emperor Theodosius (378-398) made Christianity the official state religion. This edict forced many heathens, idol worshippers and pagans into the Church, and guaranteed the dilution of the true gospel of Christ. (182)

It is at this time that we see the pagan influence affecting the representation of Jesus. The first pictures of Christ, done in the second and third centuries, were found on the walls of the catacombs below Rome, where the early Christians were forced to worship in secrecy. It is believed that they were accurate depictions, having been based on descriptions by the apostles. One such picture "is a painting of the resurrection of Lazarus in which Christ is shown youthful and beardless with short hair and large eyes...Although it is now only barely recognizable, this picture is of great interest since it is the oldest representation of Jesus that is preserved anywhere." Another similar portrayal was found during a 1931-32 excavation by Yale University at a small Christian church at Dura-Europos in the Syrian Desert. Dating back to the third century, he is shown as being "young and without a beard and wearing the ordinary costume of the time." (183)

Augustine, a fourth century Catholic leader, said that "in his time, (there were) innumerable pictures of Christ, which were all different." Initially, the Greek god Orpheus (a master musician) became Christ: "Orpheus becomes a prophecy of him...and the Good Shepherd bears the lamb on his shoulders precisely as Hermes (another pagan god) had been wont to do, but with a new tenderness. The portrait of Christ is but seldom found, but when we do find a presentation of Him...He is represented as young and bearded, with a smile on his lips, splendid as Apollo." Roderic Dunkerly writes in his book Beyond the Gospels that it wasn't "until the fourth century that the familiar bearded face appears." (184)

In light of Exodus 20:4 which forbids making graven images, and Numbers 33:52 which commanded Israel to destroy the pictures, molten images and high places of their enemies, most Church officials did not allow any pictures of Jesus in the sanctuary. However, that changed in 691, when a meeting of Catholic Church leaders in Constantinople officially approved the use of images and pictures in their churches. All opposition to this ruling ended after another Council in 842. (185)

The Egyptian god Serapis had been worshipped in Egypt for 600 years by the time the movement had spread to Rome, where he was compared to the supreme Greek god Zeus and Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine (who was the son of Apollo, and whose staff with a snake coiled around it became the symbol of the medical profession) (186) The people wanted Jesus to look like their pagan gods, because their long hair and beards symbolically represented their ancient wisdom and godliness. (187) So, they adopted the image of Serapis, who actually represented Zeus, and began calling him Jesus, yet, they were still worshipping Zeus. (188)

Most people have some sort of picture of Jesus in their home, and I am no exception. Probably the most well known, is the portrait by Warner Sallman. But despite religious tradition, the simple fact of the matter is, Jesus did not have long hair. The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:14 that it is a shame for a man to have long hair. The Jewish historian Josephus described the Jews as having "close-cropped hair." (189) Ezekiel 44:20 stipulates that the Levite priests were not to "suffer their locks to grow long." This is echoed by the Jewish Talmud which commanded that all priests were to have their hair cut every 30 days (Ta'anith 17a), in a style specified as a "Julian" (or "Caesar") cut (Sanhedrin 22b). Also, if you look at any busts and statues of any Greek and Roman dignitaries from that period, they all have short hair. (190)

By proving that Jesus didn't have long hair, the point is further made of how much paganism has affected our society. It is unfortunate that this poison, for the most part, has been spread by the Catholic Church. There seems to be no doubt that this institution will indeed be the world church of the last days. Pope Leo X (1513-21) proclaimed that all human beings must be subject to the Roman Pontiff for salvation and said: "It has served us well, this myth of Christ." Pope Plus X (1903-14), when he was Archbishop of Venice said: "The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but he is Jesus Christ himself, hidden under the veil of flesh." And in 1928, Pope Plus XI (1922-39) said that the Roman Catholic Church was the only Church of Christ. (191) Certainly, as most evangelicals and charismatics know, these are not Biblical statements, and they are presented here as an omen of things to come.

The Roman Catholic Church fervently attempted to make it appear as though they were eradicating pagan worship, and festivals; and one way to do that, was to accept the local date, but to change its meaning. Thus, the observance would be toned down and Christianized- but in reality, they would not be giving up their superstitions and traditions. Instead, the intent was to "blend and incorporate with the new faith." (192) Therein lies the theme behind the rest of this book, which will deal with the origin and background of the major holidays we now celebrate, and how the intent that instigated them was driven by pagan loyalty and fanaticism.

And today, they are driven by profit and greed. Patrick Polk, the archivist for the Department of Folklore and Mythology at the University of California at Los Angeles, said: "All those ancient traditions became a marketing tool. And the people looking to make money off the holidays were never interested in the most important thing- the religious part." (193)

 FOOTNOTES

1) # 38 Pg 15

2) # 39 Pg 1

3) # 39 Pg 2

4) # 39 Pg 13

5) # 39 Pg 2

6) # 40 Vol 4, Pg 77

7) # 39 Pg 75

8) # 38 Pg 15

9) # 40 Vol 6, Pg 601

10) # 39 Pg 152

11) # 39 Pg 198

12) # 38 Pg 15

13) # 40 Vol 6, Pg 718

14) # 39 Pg 250

15) # 40 Vol 5, Pg 635

16) # 39 Pg 317

17) # 39 Pg 681

18) # 39 Pg 682

19) # 39 Pg 682

20) # 39 Pg 682

21) # 39 Pg 682

22) # 39 Pg 682

23) # 41 Pg 18

24) # 40 Vol 5, Pg 71

25) # 16 Pg 19

26) # 42 Pg 3

27) # 42 Pg 9

28) # 42 Pg 11

29) # 42 Pg 13-14

30) # 42 Pg 14

31) # 42 Pg 14

32) # 42 Pg 14

33) # 133 Pg 174

34) # 40 Vol 5, Pg 72

35) # 43 Pg 366

36) # 42 Pg 2

37) #133 Pg 62

38) # 133 Pg 63

39) # 133 Pg 227

40) # 133 Pg 226

41) # 133 Pg 65

42) # 133 Pg 226

43) # 133 Pg 65

44) # 133 Pg 227

45) # 47 Pg 41

46) # 44 Pg 101

47) # 45 Pg 135

48) # 44 Pg 104

49) # 42 Pg 17

50) # 44 Pg 102

51) # 42 Pg 24

52) # 43 Pg 366

53) # 44 Pg 103

54) # 42 Pg 35

55) # 44 Pg 104

56) # 48 Pg 31

57) # 46 Pg 28

58) # 46 Pg 32

59) # 46 Pg 28

60) # 60 Vol 5, Pg 72

61) # 45 Pg 156

62) # 47 Pg 44

63) # 43 Pg 366

64) # 133 Pg 174

65) # 133 Pg 174

66) # 46 Pg 26

67) # 47 Pg 43

68) # 133 Pg 174

69) # 133 Pg 227

70) # 146 Pg 9 OT

71) # 49 Pg 30

72) # 49 Pg 14

73) # 16 Pg 17

74) # 49 Pg 14

75) # 124

76) # 49 Pg 14

77) # 50 Pg 215

78) # 125 Pg 5

79) # 103 Pg 11

80) # 50 Pg 215

81) # 48 Pg 26

82) # 124

83) # 48 Pg 11

84) # 48 Pg 26

85) # 140 Pg 82

86) # 146 Pg 812 OT

87) # 105 Pg 8

88) # 133 Pg 137

89) # 48 Pg 29

90) # 133 Pg 139

91) # 133 Pg 137

92) # 48 Pg 18

93) # 133 Pg 18

94) # 133 Pg 35

95) # 133 Pg 56

96) # 133 Pg 35

97) # 103 Pg 11

98) # 49 Pg 15

99) # 133 Pg 59

100) # 16 Pg 18

101) # 133 Pg 68

102) # 133 Pg 22-23

103) # 133 Pg 68

104) # 51 Pg 26-27

105) # 133 Pg 118

106) # 133 Pg 68

107) # 133 Pg 37

108) # 51 Pg 26-27

109) # 140 Pg 17

110) # 49 Pg 27

111) # 124

112) # 16 Pg 23

113) # 52 Pg 441

114) # 52 Pg 95

115) # 16 Pg 20

116) # 52 Pg 45-46

117) # 50 Pg 218

118) # 50 Pg 216

119) # 50 Pg 217

120) # 16 Pg 24

121) # 50 Pg 219

122) # 50 Pg 218-219

123) # 16 Pg 28

124) # 53 Pg 38

125) # 53 Pg 31

126) # 53 Pg 22

127) # 53 Pg 99

128) # 53 Pg 25

129) # 53 Pg 50-51

130) # 53 Pg 67

131) # 53 Pg 69

132) # 53 Pg 73

133) # 53 Pg 13

134) # 53 Pg 15

135) # 56 Pg 48

136) # 53 Pg 81-85

137) # 56 Pg 45-46

138) # 54 Pg 66

139) # 55 Pg 81

140) # 133 Pg 191

141) # 54 Pg 51-53

142) # 133 Pg 192

143) # 54 Pg 61

144) # 54 Pg 55

145) # 59 Pg 14

146) # 54 Pg 79, 83

147) # 55 Pg 49-50

148) # 60 Pg 1

149) # 60 Pg 3

150) # 60 Pg 2-3

151) # 59 Pg 14

152) # 61 Pg 1

153) # 61 Pg 3

154) # 58 Pg 106-108

155) # 61 Pg 5-6

156) # 57 Pg 56

157) # 59 Pg 14

158) # 61 Pg 8

159) # 60 Pg 2

160) # 133 Pg 163

161) # 133 Pg 163-164

162) # 133 Pg 179

163) # 133 Pg 179-180

164) # 133 Pg 180

165) # 133 Pg 191

166) # 39 Pg 681

167) # 47 Pg 42

168) # 66 Pg 713

169) # 59 Pg 13

170) # 59 Pg 13

171) # 59 Pg 13

172) # 40 Vol 15, Pg 1071

173) # 62 Pg 19-20

174) # 62 Pg 19-20

175) # 63 Pg 29

176) 63 Pg 33-34

177) # 63 Pg 61

178) # 50 Pg 216

179) # 63 Pg 39

180) # 63 Pg 61

181) # 50 Pg 218

182) # 41 Pg 760

183) # 64 Pg 2-3

184) # 64 Pg 3

185) # 61 Pg 2

186) # 40 Vol 1, Pg 572

187) # 64 Pg 3

188) # 58 Pg 166-167

189) # 58 Pg 168

190) # 65 Pg 22-23 

191) # 50 Pg 221-222

192) # 12 Pg 2

193) # 92



Copyright © 1984, 1994, 1997 by David Allen Rivera

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 94-93854

The foundational information in these files are the result of research done from 1978-1994 to trace the origin and history of the movement toward one-world government. Further research is ongoing to create an on-line Commentary that will enable easy navigation and a better understanding of how Bible prophecy is being fulfilled.

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