Marcusmaxis’s Blog

October 31, 2009

THE HISTORY OF SUN-DAY WORSHIP

The History of Sun-Day Worship

 What would you think if I told you that sun worship is directly linked with the worship of Satan? Would this be significant? And what if this sun worship also affected the true worship of God? God does in fact have a day of worship and Satan has a counterfeit day of worship and this day is the “Day of the Sun.”

Most of the world is unaware that worshiping on Sunday did not begin with the advent of Christianity; it was in fact a religious day of worship two thousand years before Jesus Christ. It was shortly after the flood of Noah that Nimrod and his mother-wife, Semiramis, founded the great pagan religions. From its beginning at the tower of Babel, sun worship spread throughout the entire ancient world. History reveals that all religions except the true religion of the God of the Bible originated in Babylon. It is admitted by most Bible scholars and historians that the gods and goddesses of the ancient civilizations were all a part of the same religious belief system. However, the names of the various deities were different because of the confusing of the languages at the tower of Babel. (See Genesis 10 and 11) See also “The Two Babylons,” by Alexander Hislop. This remarkable book historically documents sun worship as the leading religion in all the ancient civilizations. God reveals many times in the Old Testament how much He despises sun worship and is why He allowed the destruction of the temple and for Israel to go into Babylonian captivity for seventy years. God calls it an abomination!

Deuteronomy 17:3-5 “And has gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 4 And it be told you, and you have heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: 5 Then shall you bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto your gates, even that man or that woman, and shall stone them with stones, till they die.

Jeremiah 8:1-2 “At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: 2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.

Ezekiel 8:15-16 “Have you seen this, O son of man? turn you yet again, and you shall see greater abominations than these. 16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

Alexander Hislop in his book The Two Babylons, p. 226 quotes, The beginning, then, of sun-worship, and of the worship of the host of heaven, was a sin against the light—a presumptuous, heaven-daring sin.

All the pagan religions, with their many and varied gods and goddesses, worshiped the sun as their main deity. Moreover, sun worship is the direct worship of Satan the Devil under the symbolism of worshiping the sun. One of the names of Satan in the Old Testament is Lucifer, which means “Light bringer.” This was Satan’s name before his rebellion against God.

Isaiah 14:12-14 “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [Light bringer] how are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! 13 For you have said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Fire and Sun Worship
Fire worship was just one of many forms of sun worship that in actual fact was also part of Satan worship.

Fire was worshipped as the enlightener and the purifier. Now, it was thus at the very beginning; for Nimrod is singled out by the voice of antiquity as commencing this fire-worship.(ibid. p. 226)

Ancient Israel not only transgressed the Sabbath of God by profaning and secularizing it when they worshiped Baal but in so doing they were also observing Sunday, because Baal worship is sun worship and Sun-day is the day when the sun is worshiped.

The sun, as the great source of light and heat, was worshipped under the name of Baal. … The sun, under that name, was worshipped in the earliest ages of the world… (ibid. p. 226)

2 Chronicles 34:4 “They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence; the sun-images that were high above them he hewed down; the Asherim and the graven images and the molten images he broke in pieces and made dust of them and strewed it upon the graves of those who sacrificed to them.

Baal was the principal deity of the Phoenicians, which was worshiped by the Semitic nations and means lord or master in the Hebrew tongue. Baal also represents the sun and therefore, Sun-day is Baal’s day and literally but somewhat blasphemously could be called the lord’s day. But Baal is not the Lord God of the Bible; rather it is the lord Satan. Satan is called the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and is worshiped as god by those who have been deceived into believing his lies. Since Baal means lord, every minor god is also a Baal. Note the ancient stone idol of Baal. All Baal’s are referred to as Baalim (Plural). Baal was also worshiped as Baalzebub. Baal just as the Dagon has a symbol. Here is an example of how God feels about Baal worship and the Babylonian Mystery Religion. 2 Kings 23:4-5 NIV “The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the priests next in rank and the doorkeepers to remove from the temple of the LORD all the articles made for Baal and Asherah and all the starry hosts. He burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron Valley and took the ashes to Bethel. 5 He did away with the pagan priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah and on those around Jerusalem– those who burned incense to Baal, to the sun and moon, to the constellations and to all the starry hosts.

The Sun and the Serpent
Paganism is mainly a religion of nature worship of which the sun and the moon are the predominant deities. The sun is usually the male and the moon the female (as Horus and Isis of Egypt.) It is very interesting to note in ancient mythology, the serpent was UNIVERSALLY THE SYMBOL OF THE SUN. Sun worship and serpent worship began side by side. The sun was proclaimed to be the source of all fleshly life and the serpent the origin of all spiritual life. But remember, Revelation 12 states that the serpent has “deceived the whole world.

Along with the sun, as the great fire-god, and, in due time, identified with him, was the serpent worshipped. “In the mythology of the primitive world,” says Owen, “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.

  serpent-fire 

 

… 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.” … At all events, we have evidence, both Scriptural and profane, for the fact, that the worship of the serpent began side by side with the worship of fire and the sun.” (ibid. p. 227)

The religion of the serpent has passed down from one occult priesthood to another all the way down through the years as man was scattered throughout the earth from the time of the Tower of Babel. In the Orient today, everything is symbolized by that same serpent. A Buddhist temple in Thailand has two winged serpents adorning the sanctuary entrance. The serpent symbolizes a guardian to the temple in Alexandria, Egypt. Even the United States have adopted the serpent called Aesculapius in the medical field. In Greece, this serpent was the god of drugs and medicines, i.e., a counterfeit healer. The Romans adopted the worship of the serpent as a symbol of power that carries the soul to heaven. In the Archaeological Museum in Rome, a sarcophagus of the dead has two serpents pulling a chariot, taking these people to heaven. Rome also adopted this symbol of the serpent as the healer.

Referencing the previous quote, why is the serpent seen as the great enlightener of the spiritual and giving knowledge of good and evil? We can go to the very beginning of the Bible for the answer to this question where Satan is first pictured as a serpent. We also find that at the other end of the Bible, Satan is still pictured as a serpent. In Revelation 12:3, Satan is called “a great red dragon,” which could also be translated “a fiery dragon” or “fiery serpent.” There can be no doubt that the serpent represents Satan.

Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 20:2 “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

This historical background is vital to understanding that sun worship was the dominant religion in all ancient civilizations, and that it spread from “Mother Babylon” into all countries: 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 Roman Empire by the time of Jesus Christ, just as it was in ancient Babylon:

In Pagan Rome, this fire-worship and serpent-worship were sometimes separate, sometimes conjoined; but both occupied a pre-eminent place in Roman esteem.(ibid. p. 236)

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. (ibid. p. 238)

The Babylonian sun worship system made the king or emperor the direct representative of the sun god and as such, he was the god-king or king-god. He was the only one in whom the highest level of the spirit of the sun-deity resided. This spirit was NOT the holy spirit of God, but the spirit of Satan the Devil. This is why the pagan emperors were worshiped as gods.

After the kingdom of Babylon fell, the entire system of Babylonian and Egyptian mythology was transferred to Pergamos in Asia Minor. The teaching of the Babylonian religious practices by the Babylonian priests and their direct descendants continued in the city of Pergamum for centuries. They taught astrology (which likely included the science of astronomy) and the making of the amulets with the numbers 1 to 36 on them that totalled 666 in the special arrangements they commonly used and of course represented their supreme god the sun. John tells us in Revelation 2:12-13, Pergamos is called “Satan’s seat,” and was the headquarters of the original Babylonian sun worship until this system was carried into the City of Rome about 129 B.C. where they took over leadership, and is where the Roman Catholic Church now has its headquarters. This system was already beginning to work during the days of the apostles, but its fullness had not been revealed. Paul calls this entire hidden system of Worship “the mystery of iniquities” in Thessalonians 2:7 and in Revelation 17:5, John refers to it as “Mystery, Babylon the Great.” It is HIGHLY significant that Pergamos is called “Satan’s Seat” and not hard to see that God is telling us that this issue of sun worship that became sun-day worship in place of God’s day of worship is Satanic. This alone should tell us that what became of sun worship was Satan’s highest priority. The wise among us will realize that the attack on the fourth Commandment was Satan’s plan from the beginning, and that ALL Ten Commandments are in fact eternal as one SHOULD expect. We need to sit up and pay attention to this issue. The relocation of “Satan’s Seat” began in the person of Julius Caesar when as emperor he had supreme civil and religious rule.

When Julius Caesar, who had previously been elected Pontifex Maximus, became also, as Emperor, the supreme civil ruler of the Romans, then, as head of the Roman state, and head of the Roman religion, all the powers and functions of the true legitimate Babylonian Pontiff were supremely vested in him, and he found himself in a position to assert these powers. (ibid. p. 241)

In the year 46 B.C., Julius Caesar was made “Praefectus Morum” (supervisor of morals), which means he was made the head of Roman religions. And in the year 44 B.C., he was made dictator for life. (See Langer’s Encyclopaedia of World History)

It is crucial to understand that from that time forward, the Emperor of Rome was also the head of the state religions. This did not change until Emperor Justinian, who reigned from 527-565 A.D., submitted to the head of the Roman Catholic Church. From that time forward, the Pope was acknowledged by the Emperor to be Pontifex Maximus (Latin for head pagan priest) over all religions. The Pope now had supreme authority in religious matters, and the Emperors had control of the political power of the state.

Sun-Day: The Main Roman Day of Worship
The names of the days of the Roman week are very revealing in understanding about Sun-day worship before it allegedly became a “Christian” institution. Sun-day, or the day of the Sun, was the main pagan day of worship. Although other pagan gods had days named after them, only “dies solis” (Latin for “day of the sun”) was proclaimed to be holy.

The prominence of sun worship in the Roman Empire was attributed to two factors. First, it had been a part of the religious worship system of pagan Rome for a very long time. It was widespread, but not the official dominant religion. Next, the Eastern cult of sun worship, “Sol Invictus” (Invincible Sun), through the cult of “Sol Invictus Mithra” and “Sol Elagabal,” became the dominant religion of the Empire. Notice the “bal” at the end of the name; this signifies that it incorporated Ba(a)l worship.

Mithraism primarily was more of a private cult, though it numbered among its adherents magistrates and emperors. Sol Invictus Elagabal, on the other hand was a popular cult with grandiose temples and during the rule of the young Emperor Elagabalus (A.D. 218-222) was made the official cult of the whole empire.

It is clearly indicated by the famous astrologer Vettius Valens that the “Day of the Sun” already enjoyed pre-eminence by the middle of the second century. In his Anthology composed between 154-174 A.D., when explaining how to find the day of the week of any given birth date, he states, And this is the sequence of the planetary stars in relation to the days of the week: Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn.

The “dies solis” [Day of the Sun] was evidently the most sacred day of the week for those faithful to Mithra and so the days of the week were arranged to the gods, whose names the Romans had dedicated to certain stars. They called the first day of the week the “Day of the Sun” because they believed it was the ruler of all the stars.

The Sabbath to Sunday Change
Jesus said that every stone of the Temple would be “thrown down.” (Matthew 24:1-2) This occurred when the temple was destroyed by the Romans during “The First Jewish War” in 70 A.D. When the Romans made war again with the Jews from 132-135 A.D., the Roman Emperor Hadrian banished all Jews from Palestine. These Jewish Wars took place after the book of Acts was written and resulted in great pressure upon the early Christian Church to move away from anything that “appeared Jewish,” including the Sabbath. Since Sunday was already popular throughout the Roman Empire as a day for sun worship, some Christian leaders (now called the early “Church Fathers”) yielded to temptation and began shifting from “Sabbath to Sunday.” “Jesus Christ rose on Sunday!” became their rationalizing cry. Thus they used the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who “died for our sins,” which is the breaking of God’s Law (1 John 3:4), as an excuse to break one of the Ten Commandments.

Before the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., a strong Christian Church was planted inside the city of Rome itself in the heart of the Roman Empire. Paul wrote his letter, “The Epistle of Paul to the Romans,” to those early believers “in Rome.” Romans 1:7. But because it was surrounded by paganism inside the world’s mightiest capital, this Church soon experienced a “falling away” (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3) from the purity of the gospel and meta morphed into the wealthy and powerful Roman Catholic Church. This transition especially took place during the time of the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century who favoured the Roman Catholic Church above all other Churches.

In 312 A.D., prior to his pivotal victory over his rival Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge, Constantine became a “Christian” after claiming to see in broad daylight a vision of “a cross above the sun” with these words emblazoned, “in hoc signo vinces” (by this sign conquer). After defeating his enemies and becoming Emperor of Rome, Constantine presided in full royal pomp over the “First Council of Nicea” in 325 A.D.

As a shrewd political genius, his scheme was to unite Christianity and paganism in an effort to strengthen his disintegrating empire. He knew that pagans throughout the empire worshiped the sun on “the first day of the week,” and he discovered that many Christians and especially in Rome and Alexandria also kept Sunday because Christ rose from the dead on that day. So Constantine developed a plan to unite both groups on the common platform of Sunday keeping. On March 7, 321 A.D., he passed his famous national Sunday law:

On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost. (Given the 7th day of March, Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time [A.D. 321].) Source: Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol.3 (5th ed.; New York: Scribner, 1902), p.380, note 1.

Now a professed Christian, Constantine nevertheless remained a devout sun worshipper.The sun was universally celebrated as the invincible guide and protector of Constantine, notes Edward Gibbon in his classic Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. xx, par. 3.

Constantine even printed coins which bore on the one side the letters of the name of Christ, on the other the figure of the sun god. Arthur P. Stanley, History of the Eastern Church, lect. vi, par. 14.

Again, Constantine’s promotion of Sunday observance was part of his definite strategy to combine paganism with Christianity: The retention of the old pagan name of dies Solis, or ’Sunday,’ for the weekly Christian festival, is in great measure owing to the union of pagan and Christian sentiment with which the first day of the week was recommended by Constantine to his subjects, pagan and Christian alike, as the ‘venerable day of the Sun.’ Stanley’s History of the Eastern Church, p. 184.

In 330 A.D., Constantine moved his capital from Rome to Constantinople (modern Istanbul), thus preparing the way for the Roman Catholic Popes to reign in Rome as the successors of Constantine. As the Papal Church grew in power, it opposed Sabbath observance in favour of Sunday sacredness and made the day change official in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 363-364). At this time the Catholic Church decreed 59 Canon laws. Canon law 29 is as follows: Canon XXIX: Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.

Constantine’s plan was successful and his sun-day law from sun worship was accepted by the Papal Church and the Sabbath to Sunday change complete.

In spite of the rising popularity of Sunday sacredness, Church historian Socrates Scholasticus (5th century) wrote: For although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries [of the Lord’s Supper] on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this. Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, Book 5, ch. 22. Another historian also confirmed this by stating, The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria. Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, Book 7, ch. 19. Thus even in the 5th century, Sabbath keeping was universally prevalent (except in Rome and Alexandria where the Babylonian religion came to rest), along with Sunday keeping. Many Christians kept both days. But as the centuries wore on, Sunday keeping grew in prominence and especially within Roman Catholic territories.

History and scripture show that in pagan Roman times (before, during, and after the coming of Jesus Christ), Sun-day was the most prominent day of worship in the Roman Empire. Most of the Christian religions today wrongly assume that this pagan day of worship is holy. God knew from the beginning that Satan and man would falsify His appointments by changing the time. His handiwork is His creation which points back to the Creator. The pagan week certainly does not give glory to the Creator but only to the Babylonian pagan gods and we know who is behind them.

Revelation 13:2 says that the dragon (Satan/Serpent) gave power to the beast (Kingdom/Papal Church) and Daniel 7:25 states that they would think to change God’s times and laws. Scripture leaves no doubt that Satan gave power to the Roman Catholic Church. What was Satan’s purpose here? The predominant reason was so he could institute his own day of worship right into the Christian Church and receive worship by representation, and very significantly, in opposition to God’s true day of worship.

One religion absorbed by Rome involved the Philistine idol of the fish-man god called Dagon, which was also referred to as the devil. The most famous temples of Dagon were at Gaza (Judges 16:21-30) and Ashdod (1 Samuel 5:3-7; 1 Chronicles 10:10). Dagon was represented with the face and hands of a man and the lower half the body as the tail of a fish (1 Samuel 5:3-4). The fish like form was a symbol of fruitfulness and as such was likely to be adopted by seafaring tribes in the representation of their gods, which is why Rome who ruled the seas easily adopted this religion.

dagon4

hazor-baal-2

shamash-tablet

hazor-baal

These images are just one of many proofs that this Babylonian system went not just to pagan Rome but also was adopted by the Church of Rome now being the rich and powerful Roman Catholic Church. The first image shown here is the Sun symbol of Baal. Now take a look at the Pope with the symbol of “Baal” (sun worship) at the forefront of his mitre, which also symbolizes the Dagon god. The symbol of the Dagon is in the form of a hat or mitre. The Pope, being Satan’s representative on earth must wear the mitre, (hat), of the Dagon god. Notice the open mouth of the fish at the top of the Pope’s mitre. Also notice the Pope holding the symbol of the sun before him during services. 

dagon-symbolism

jp2-mon

One can also see the body of the fish running down the back of the mitre of the Dagon. Note also the carvings and diagrams of Dagon priests and their fish head hats along side the Pope with his similar fish head hat holding the crooked cross of Mithra. The carving on the left shows the Dagon priests sprinkling holy water.

The pagan week is still named after the seven heavenly lights according to their risings that rule over the first hour of each day, i.e. they are the LORDS or MASTERS ruling that day. The seven-day week as created by God is shown by His weekly Sabbath, not by the risings of these seven pagan gods of the Babylonian Mysteries. So there would be no question as to when His week began and ended, God created the true weekly Sabbath, the appointed time for meeting with God, the day that is sanctified and set apart by God at creation. Exodus 31:13-17 states the Sabbath is God’s sign/mark between Him and us FOREVER so we may know that He is the LORD that sanctifies us. The true day of worship gives glory and points to the Creator.

H226 oth Probably from H225 (in the sense of appearing); a signal (literally or figuratively), as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.: – mark, miracle, (en-) sign, token.

A sign and a mark can be synonymous and in the Strong’s dictionary we find that the word translated “SIGN” in Exodus 31:13 and other similar verses can also be translated as “MARK.” We know that Satan counterfeits many things of God and so if the true Sabbath is God’s sign and mark, then the mark of the beast and 666 as Satan’s counterfeit has to be referring to keeping of a false day of worship created by the devil and his Babylonian Mystery System. This false Sabbath and appointed time is Satan’s way of leading mankind away from God. As Revelation 12 says, that old serpent, dragon, Satan the Devil has deceived the whole world. When Israel apostatized and were almost universally worshiping Baal, what appeal did Elijah make to them?

“How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21.

History of Sun-Day worship Summary
Most Christians have no idea how extremely significant the fourth Commandment is to God and yet we find that Satan from the very beginning has been working towards his own day of worship with his intention to have it replace God’s true day of worship. Having a close look at the history of Sun-Day worship reveals that Satan had a long term plan and has gone to a tremendous amount of effort to achieve his goal. Why would Satan go to so much trouble if the fourth Commandment is not pertinent as our adversary would have us believe? Could it be that all Ten Commandments are to last as long as Heaven Earth as Jesus told us? If Christians could only grasp that the fourth Commandment is just as much an eternal Moral law as the other nine.

Why would our God of infinite wisdom place a Temporary law in an Eternal law or a law that is NOT love in a law that IS love? Our God is not a fool and “is not the author of confusion…” 1 Corinthians 14:33. God included the fourth Commandment in His Moral Law of Love because it is a Law of Love and a very special one that is a SIGN it is God we Love and Worship and that we are His children. It is also a SIGN that it is God that sanctifies us and makes us His Holy children. It is NOT a sign when we keep another day. To do so is to profane the Holy and to try and make Holy the profane. Only God can make a day Holy. Having said this, let’s finalise and sum up this important topic.

It was after the great flood of Noah that Nimrod and Semiramis founded the great pagan religions. From its beginning at the tower of Babel, sun worship spread throughout the entire ancient world. This is idolatry at its worst that God detests. What was the driving force behind this?

God frequently punished Israel for the idolatrous practises that involved worship of the sun and other heavenly bodies. What spirit was behind Israel’s disobedience and sun worship?

God eventually sent Israel into Babylonian captivity because of their continual idolatrous practises such as sun worship, which of course had also resulted in them profaning God’s Sabbath. Sun worship of course was Hugh throughout Babylon also being the origin of astrology. What spirit was behind this?

When the Medes and Persians conquered Babylon, (539 B.C.) the Babylonian priests took their mystery religion to Pergamos. In Pergamos, sun worship and their mystery religion flourished. Who was behind this? Revelation 2:12-13 gives that answer and exhorts that Pergamos was the seat of Satan.

From Pergamos the Babylonian priests saw an opportunity and went to Rome (Approx 129 B.C.) and it was not long before Rome filled with their religious teachings and practices also. It became so pervasive that people called Rome the “New Babylon.” Need I ask what spirit was behind this?

From pagan Rome, the practices and beliefs of the Babylonian religion went right into the Church of Rome. Historians have said that it seemed like almost the entire city of Rome converted virtually overnight to Christianity, but what actually happened is the Babylonian religion was simply brought into the Church. What spirit was behind this and what is the goal?

Constantine became a “Christian” after claiming to see in broad daylight a vision of “a cross above the sun” with these words emblazoned, “in hoc signo vinces” (by this sign conquer). Constantine’s scheme was to unite Christianity and paganism in an effort to strengthen his disintegrating empire. He knew that pagans throughout the Roman Empire especially worshiped the sun on “the first day of the week,” so he developed a plan to unite both groups on the common platform of Sunday keeping and passed his famous Sunday law (A.D. 321). What spirit was behind the uniting of paganism and Christianity and Constantine’s vision?

Revelation 13:2 says that the dragon (Satan) gave power to the beast (Catholic Church). We won’t ask who was behind this since we are told. Why did Satan do this? From sun worship in Rome came Sunday worship in the Church. The Roman Catholic Church made keeping the Seventh-day Sabbath illegal in the Council of Laodicea (A.D. 364). So what spirit was behind this step by step transition to Sun-day worship? During the dark ages of Papal persecution, millions died in their determination to keep God’s Seventh-day Sabbath Holy and it was nearly murdered out of existence. And again what spirit was behind this? So now when the Protestant reformation began, all the new Protestant Churches that came from it continued keeping Sunday in ignorance. Today most Christians fight with all their heart to avoid the truth about this one Commandment that Satan went to work on right from the beginning so he could receive worship by representation in place of God as he wanted to be like the most High. Pretty obvious what spirit was behind this? Even though there is a growing count of over five hundred different denominations that keep the Seventh-day Sabbath, the majority of Christians are still not keeping God’s true day of worship, but instead keep the day that Satan instituted. This was always Satan’s plan and most do not want to find the real truth but instead have one of hundreds of different perpetuated excuses they have heard. What spirit is behind this? The answer remains the same. It is our adversary Satan that has deceived the entire world!

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2000 Years of False Predictions About the End of the World

By Thomas Williamson
3131 S. Archer Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60608

For 2000 years now, misguided Christians have misused the prophecies of the Bible, especially the book of Revelation, to do that which Christ forbids us to do in Matthew 24:36 – set dates for Christ’s Second Coming. Some of the biggest money-making prophecy books of our time have been those which relate events in Revelation to our own time, thus leading to the conclusion that we are now in the “Terminal Generation.” But there is nothing new about this genre of prophetic malarkey.
Jonathan Kirsch, in “A History of the End of the World,”, notes that “More than a few readers of Revelation in every age, including our own, have thrilled at the idea that the end is near. . . . they persist in poring over the text of Revelation in a fresh attempt to figure out the precise date when it will [end]. They have always been wrong, too, of course, but nothing has discouraged the so-called date setters who study the text, crunch the numbers, and come up with dates when the world must end. Not a single century has passed since the ink dried on the first copy of Revelation without some new prediction of the precise date when its prophecies will finally come to pass.” The first known date-setters were the Montanists, who arose about 156 AD. One of their prophetesses, Maximilla, predicted, “After me there will be no more prophecy, but the End.” The Montanist Church Father Tertullian (late 2nd Century) said, “The biblical command, ‘increase and multiply,’ is annulled by the fact that we are living in the last age.” Pope Gregory the Great, about 600 AD, said, ‘I don’t know what is happening in other parts of the world, but in this country where we live the world no longer announces its end but demonstrates it.” In 775 the Spanish monk Beatus of Liébana announced that the end would come about 800 AD: “Every catholic ought to ponder, wait and fear, and to consider these 25 years, as if they were not more than an hour, and should weep day and night in sackcloth and ashes for their destruction and the world’s, but not strive to calculate time.” Pope Gregory VII, in the 11th Century, said, “The nearer the time of Antichrist approaches, the harder he fights to crush out the Christian faith.” Joachim of Fiore about 1184, taught that the final battle between God and Satan “will not take place in the days of your grandchildren or in the old age of your children, but in your own days, few and evil.” He identified the Muslim general Saladin as one of the 7 heads of the Beast of Revelation 13. He informed King Richard the Lion-Hearted that the Saracen army was the Beast rising out of the sea of the book of Revelation, and that the Antichrist (the Pope) was already residing in Rome. The Spiritual Franciscans, in the 13th Century, saw their founder Francis of Assisi as the “Angel of the 6th Seal” and as one of the 2 witnesses of Revelation 11. They also fingered Pope John XXII as the Antichrist. Prophecy experts saw the Mongol invasion of 1237 as a fulfillment of the prophecy of the “Kings of the East” and the drying up of the river Euphrates. Ubertino de Casale, (1259-1330), identified Popes Boniface VIII and Benedict XI as the Land and Sea Beasts of Revelation 13, and calculated the value of Benedict XI’s name as 666. A “Brother John” predicted that 2 Antichrists would arise in 1365 and 1370, and that Jerusalem would soon be rebuilt to serve as the capital of the coming millennial kingdom on earth. Michael Stifel, a German mathematician, used the pulpit of Martin Luther’s church to announce that the end times would begin on October 19, 1533 at 8:00 AM. In 1606 Nicholas Raimarus published a book in Nuremberg, Germany entitled  ronological, Certain, and Irrefutable Proof, from the Holy Scripture and Fathers, That the World Will Perish and the Last Day Will Come Within 77 Years.” The “Fifth Monarchy Men” proclaimed the imminent advent of Christ’s theocratic kingdom, and almost took over the English Parliament in 1653. When Oliver Cromwell sent troops to suppress them in 1656, they cried, “Lord, appear, now or never!” You guessed it – Christ didn’t show up. George Bell announced that Christ would descend to earth on February 28, 1763. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, opposed that teaching and preached all night on the day Christ was supposed to come, to try to calm the nerves of the agitated crowds. In 1971, Ronald Reagan declared a recent coup in Libya to be a sign of the end: “That’s a sign that the day of Armageddon isn’t far off. Everything’s falling into place. It can’t be long now.” Supposedly Libya was to fulfill end-times prophecies by aligning with the Soviet Union. Since that time, the Soviet Union has fallen and Libya is now aligned with the United States. (So much for all the signs of the times “falling into place).” In 1980 televangelist Pat Robertson announced that “The onrush of events toward the end of the year may see the world in flames. I guarantee you by the fall of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world.” In 1979 Jerry Falwell denounced the Camp David peace treaty between Israel and Egypt, saying, “This treaty will not be a lasting treaty. You and I know there’s not going to be any real peace in the Middle East until the Lord Jesus sits down upon the throne of David in Jerusalem.” After almost 30 years, the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt has remained intact. These are just a few of the hundreds of examples that could be given, from the 2nd Century up to modern times, of predictions based on the Book of Revelation or other Bible prophecies, that failed to come true. There is a constant torrent of new prophecies of this nature coming forth today, and they need to be regarded with skepticism. Everything that the Bible teaches is true, but the Bible was never meant to reveal the date of Christ’s coming or the other detailed scenarios of end-times events that are falsely deduced from obscure Bible verses lifted out of context.

Delusion of the Millerites – No One to Be Saved After 1844
The story of the Millerite movement in the Northeastern USA, which taught that Christ would return on October 22, 1844, is well known. Their delusion was amply supported by prophecies wrenched out of their historical context from the Books of Daniel, Revelation, etc. Those who refused to embrace the 1844 date for Christ’s return were accused of apathy, of spiritual blindness and of perhaps not even being saved. In 1836, William Miller wrote, “I did not think the door would be closed until about AD 1839 – but what does this general apathy mean. After the door is shut – he that is filthy will remain so.” Joseph Marsh, on October 2, 1844, proclaimed that soon “The door of salvation will be forever closed.” When Christ was a no-show in 1844, some Adventist groups continued to teach the “shut-door” doctrine which insisted that it was impossible for anyone not already saved before October 22, 1844 to come to salvation. After the passage of some years, it became necessary to quietly drop this inconvenient notion, in order for the Adventist churches to be able to admit new converts as members. Whitney Cross, in his book “The Burned-Over District,” reports on how the Millerites and Adventists found “signs of the times” in all the news events and social trends of their day: “The breaking and scattering of churches; reluctance to imbibe sound doctrine; the spread of seducing beliefs like Shakerism, Catholicism and free thought; false prophets and teachers; and the ‘scattering of holy people’ – such occurrences received increasing attention. . . . They found the world beyond rescue, legislatures corrupt, and infidelity, idolatry, Romanism, sectarianism, seduction, fraud, murder and duels all waxing stronger. One of the chief reasons for a sudden terminus was the feeling ‘that every associated body . . . when once occupied . . . has never been regenerated; but has fallen into pollution.’ Church and state alike had filled ‘the cup of iniquity’ and were ‘now fitted for destruction.'”
This type of negative, pessimistic preaching about how things are inevitably and irretrievably getting worse and worse, thus “proving” that Christ must return soon, is as prevalent today as it was during the Millerite excitements. But such preaching has no more predictive value today, as to the timing of Christ’s return, than it did when the Millerites used it to prove the 1844 return of Christ.

Delusion of the Jehovah’s Witnesses – Date Setting Frenzy
In 1917, the Jehovah’s Witnesses proclaimed, “In the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by the millions, it shall be that any escape shall come through the works of Russell.” (Charles Taze Russell was the founder of the Russellites, or Jehovah’s Witnesses). In 1918 the book “Millions Now Living Will Never Die,” confidently stated that “Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the conditions of human perfection.” Watchtower magazine on August 15, 1968 stated that “The Battle of Armageddon will be over by the autumn of 1975. It may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years.”

Delusion of the Branch Davidians, the Wackos of Waco
The Mount Carmel compound of the Branch Davidians, near Waco, Texas, was established in 1935 by Bulgarian-American prophet Victor Houteff, who chose the state of Texas, based on a reference in Isaiah 19:24 to “in the midst of the land” which Houteff interpreted to be Texas. (Such interpretations may seem bizarre, but they are no more so than those of respected prophecy teachers who find references to “the United States in prophecy” in such obscure places as “beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,” Isaiah 18:1, and Tarshish or Tartessus, a city in southern Spain, Isaiah 60:9. These are the folks who endlessly boast about their “literal interpretation” of Bible prophecy and yet change Spain and Ethiopia into “the United States.” Or maybe they are just really lousy at geography). In 1955, Houteff’s widow Florence Houteff, announced that God’s earthly kingdom would be established on April 22, 1959. Mrs. Houteff prophesied that on that date, “the faithful would be slaughtered, resurrected and carried up to heaven.” A whole lot of other stuff was supposed to happen on that day: War would break out in the Middle East, all Jews and Arabs would be cleared out of Jerusalem, the Davidic Kingdom would be ushered in, Victor Houteff would come back from the dead, etc. One thousand faithful followers gathered at Mount Carmel to be wafted up to heaven, having previously given up all their possessions. But nothing happened. When that prophecy failed, Ben Roden, who had argued for a 1960 date for the end, formed a splinter group called the Branch Davidians. Vernon Howell eventually made himself leader of this group and changed his name to David Koresh. Koresh saw himself as the Seventh Angel of Revelation 1 and the Lamb of Revelation 5, and believed that he and his followers were living in the time of the breaking of the Seven Seals. When federal agents besieged his compound in 1993, he regarded their activities as the necessary fulfillment of the prophecy of the Fifth Seal, and refused to surrender. As a result, he and almost all of his followers were killed after the compound was set on fire as federal agents sought to break in.

Delusion of Herbert Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God – “Prediction Addiction”
Joseph Tkach, in the book “Transformed by Truth,” noted that Worldwide Church of God founder Herbert Armstrong set dates for the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth: “Mr. Armstrong . . . offered many predictions about its timing (all of which failed to come true). He said that the Worldwide Church of God would first be miraculously transported to a place of safety, probably Petra – an ancient, walled city in the south of Jordan, a place of protection against the terrors of Armageddon – in 1936. He later mistakenly predicted that this event would occur in ‘43 and then again in ‘72. Three and a half years after the church was taken to safety, Christ would return and the battle of Armageddon would commence. When all these predictions failed and numbers of people left the church in response, he became much more careful about setting prophetic dates.” Tkach, himself a prominent Worldwide Church of God leader, goes on to list more false prophecies of Herbert Armstrong that appeared in the Plain Truth magazine: “When the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1980, Mr. Armstrong wrote, ‘In the past 2 weeks, this world has entered into a “whole new ball game.” The intervention of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan changes the whole world picture.’ A few pages later he asked, ‘Can WE discern the signs of the times? END-TIME EVENTS are going to happen FAST from here on! The 80s well might see the END of this present world; WAKE UP!’
“A few months later Mr. Armstrong wrote, ‘Signs are now fast appearing that our Work of the GREAT COMMISSION may be much more near completed than we have realized.’ And in a related article in the same publication he ventured his prediction that ‘God’s great work through His church Philadelphia era) may be FINISHED in a matter of months.’ “On June 30, 1980, Mr. Armstrong wrote, ‘This present election travesty may well be the very LAST political election for the presidency of the United States, with little incompetent men vying for the coveted prize.’ “On March 6, 1981, Mr. Armstrong said that ‘conditions in the world fulfilling biblical prophecies are now fast accelerating, indicating that we are indeed in the last of the last days’ and predicted that ‘terrible, frightful things are going to happen in the next few years that are going to take the lives of probably 2/3 or more of all the people now living on the face of the earth.'” Tkach admits that “We also made more than 100 prophetic predictions that failed. For one, we said that Europe was going to unite and take the American and British people into subjection and slavery. We predicted this would happen by the early 1970s – and of course, it didn’t. “The sad fact is that for 50 years we predicted the end of the world would come in just 4 to 7 short years. When those 4 to 7 years passed into history without our predictions coming true, we’d say that the world would end in another 4 to 7 short years. . . . ”
Tkach goes on to list false prophecies by WCG minister Roderick Meredith published in the Plain Truth: 1957 – “After 1965, we are destined to run into increasing trouble with the Gentile nations. America and Britain will begin to suffer from trade embargoes imposed by the brown and oriental races . . . We will begin to experience the pangs of starvation and the scarcity of goods!” 1963 – “You might as well wake up and FACE FACTS! The world you live in won’t be here 15 years from now!” 1965 – “Frankly, literally dozens of prophesied events indicate that this final revival of the Roman Empire in Europe – and its bestial PERSECUTION of multitudes of Bible-believing Christians – will take place within the next 7 to 10 years of YOUR LIFE!” Tkach concludes his review of false WCG prophecies by saying, “Our prayers are that God will touch the hearts of those still gripped by such cognitive dissonance, those who are suffering from prediction addiction.” It will come as no surprise to some that the Worldwide Church of God discredited itself by propagating so many wacky, zany false prophecies. There was no reason to expect anything different – after all, they were a false cult.
The problem is that there are many basically orthodox, evangelical, Trinitarian ministries that are still putting out their date-setting and prophetic speculations, in the same manner as the WCG used to do. Just as the WCG discredited their whole cultish, anti-Trinitarian, British-Israelite system by their failed prophecies, we who are true evangelicals tend to discredit our basically sound system of doctrine when we put forth our false, speculative prophecies. I respectfully disagree with men such as Hank Hanegraaff and Jack Hayford who felt that the Worldwide Church of God reformed itself enough to be accepted as a true New Testament church with totally sound doctrine. I don’t see it that way. However, I do feel that Joseph Tkach and the WCG deserve credit and gratitude for the way they have publicly repudiated and apologized for the false prophecies and “Prediction Addiction” of their denomination. Many of us as evangelicals and fundamentalists need to make our own apologies, and renounce our date-setting errors and “Prediction Addiction.”

Date-Setting – An Unethical Ministry Tool
Date-setting for Christ’s Second Coming is a ministry tool that has been used by orthodox, Bible-believing groups (Millerites, Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe, etc.) as well as heretical cultish groups (Jehovah’s Witnesses, Branch Davidians, Worldwide Church of God). It is an effective ministry tool, a tactic that works for various types of groups, because there are always plenty of people who are seeking otherwise forbidden and unavailable knowledge about the details of the future and the timing of Christ’s Second Coming. Any preacher who wants to build up the crowds, donations, and book and video sales needs only to start offering inside information on the dating of Christ’s Second Coming and the signs of that coming. In many cases, the preacher may sincerely believe his own predictions and not necessarily be motivated by desire for monetary gain. Yes, date-setting and signs of the times preaching are effective ministry strategies, but they are ultimately invalid and unethical, because these predictions over a period of 2000 years have always been wrong, and because the Bible tells us we are not authorized to have this type of specific knowledge about the future (Mark 13:32, Acts 1:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2, etc.) The favorite proof text for the date-setters is Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” This, like the other proof texts, they use, has been lifted from its context. Amos is speaking here of God’s promise to reveal the coming judgment on Israel by the Assyrians, which took place in 722 BC. God says He will reveal this secret to His prophets who are under divine inspiration, including Amos. We do not have any such inspired prophets today. We have no promise from God that He will let us know the date of Christ’s return. “Therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44)

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