“Lest ye corrupt yourselves… And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them”
(Deuteronomy 4:16 & 19)
“Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.”(2 Kings 23:5).
In spite of the warning, they still took part in sun worship. In Ezekiel 8, we read,
“He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? Even the
great abominations that the houseof Israel , that I committethhere should off from my sanctuary? But turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations. And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, gofar behold a hole in . thewall Then said he , untome Son , ofman dig now in : and when I had thewall diggedin the wall, behold a door. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. So I went in and saw ; andbehold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about. And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seenwhat the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? For they say, the LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these. 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.”
They had turned their back to the Most Holy, where the law of God was, to wor-ship the sun god, just as the law prohibited.
The origin of sun worship
The growth of sun worship
In Genesis 11 we read how God confused the people at the Tower of Babel and introduced different languages. As man dispersed they took the sun cult with them. As the languages changed, the sun god, the queen of heaven and the gods of the zodiac all received new names according to the various languages.
Sun worship in the Christian church
How exactly did the Roman Catholic church appear on the world scene? From the time when the Christians suffered martyrdom until Rome became Christian, there were a number of changes.
“Persecution ceased, and in its stead were substituted the dangerous allurements of temporal prosperity and worldly
honour. Idolaters were led to receivea part ofthe Christian faith, while they essential truths. They professed to accept Jesus as the Son of God and to believe in His death and resurrection, but they had no conviction of sin and felt no need of repentance or of a change of heart. With some concessions on their rejectedother partthey proposed that Christians should make concessions, that all might unite on the platform of belief in Christ. Now the church was in fearful peril. Prison, torture, fire, and sword were bless-ingsin comparison with this. Some of the Christians stood firm, declaring that they could make no compromise. Others were in favourof yielding or modifying some features of their faith and uniting with those who had accepted a part of Christianity, urging that this might be the means of their full conversion. That was a time of deep anguish to the faithful followers of Christ. Under a cloak of pretended Christianity, Satan was insinuating himself into the church, to corrupt their faith and turn their minds from the word of truth. Most ofthe Christians at last consented to lower , theirstandard and a union was formedbetween Christianity . andpaganism Although the worshipers professed to be ofidols converted,and united with the church, they still clung to their idolatry, only changing the objects of their worship to images of Jesus, and even of Mary and the saints. The foul leaven of idolatry, thus brought into the church, continued its baleful work. Unsound doctrines, superstitious rites, and idolatrous ceremonies were incorporated into her faith and worship. As the followers of Christ united with idolaters, the Christian religion became corrupted, and the church lost her purity and power”.
The Persian sun god Mithra was one of the most influential forms of sun worship adopted by the Romans. This happened before Christianity reached Rome. The first day of the week,
“In the early part of the fourth(The Great Controversy page 53).
centurythe emperor Constantine issued a decree making Sunday a public festival throughout the Roman Empire. The day of the sun was reverenced by his pagan subjects and was Christians; by honoured it wasthe emperor’s policy to unite the conflicting interests of heathenism and Christianity. He was urged to do this by the bishops of the church, who, inspired by ambition and thirst for power, perceived that if the same day was observed by both Christians , andheathen it would promote the nominal Christianity by pagans and thus advance the power and glory of the church. But while many God-fearing Christians were gradually led to regard Sunday as possessing a degree of sacredness, they still held the true Sabbath as the holy of the Lord and observed it in obedience to the fourth commandment. acceptanceof The archdeceiver had not completed . hiswork He was resolved to gatherthe Christian world under his banner and to exercise his power through his vicegerent, the proud pontiff who claimed to be the representative of Christ. Through , half-convertedpagans ambitious prelates, and he accomplished his purpose. Vast councils were held from time to time, in which the dignitaries of the church were convened from all the world. In nearly every council the Sabbath which God had instituted was pressed down a little lower, while Sunday was correspondingly exalted. Thus the pagan festival came finally to be world-lovingchurch-men honouredas a divine institution, while the Bible Sabbath was pronounced a relic of Judaism, and its observers were declared to be accursed.”
The first Sunday law was introduced by Emperor Constantine on the 7th day of March, 321 AD.
“On the Venerable Day of the Sun [“
venerabilidie Solis” – the sacred day of the Sun] let the magistrates and people residing in the 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 suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost.
(“Codex Justinianus,” lib.3, tit.12,3; trans. In Phillip Schaff, His-tory of the Christian Church. Vol. 3 page 380.)
“This [Constantine’s Sunday decree of March, 321] is the ‘parent’ Sunday law making it a day of rest and release from(Walther W. Hyde, “Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire,” 1946, p.261)
labour. For from that time to the present there have been decrees about the observance of Sunday which have profoundly influenced European and American society. When the Church became a part of State under the Christian emperors, Sunday observance was enforced by civil statutes, and later when the Empire was past, the Church in the hands of the papacy enforced it by ecclesiastical and also by civil enactments.”
Remains of the struggle are found in two institutions adopted from its rival by Christianity in the fourth century, the two Mithraic sacred days, December twenty-fifth, dies natalis solis, as the birthday of Jesus, and Sunday, ‘the vener-able day of the Sun,’ as Constantine called it in his edict of 321.”(Walter Wood-burn Hyde, Paganism to Christianity in the Roman Empire, p. 60.)
“Constantine(H.G.Heggtveit, “Illustrated Church History,” 1895, p.202, Noed.)
labouredat this time untiringly to unite the worshipers of the old and the new into . onereligion All his laws and contrivances are lawful means melt together a purified heathenism and a moderated Christianity… Of all of his blending and melting together of Christianity and heathen-ism, none is more easy to see through than this making of his Sunday law: The Christians worshipped their Christ, the heathen their Sun-god… [so they now should be combined].” andpeaceable
The Catholic church itself says,
“You may read the Bible from Genesis to rev-elation, 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 (Catholics) never sanctify.”(James Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of Our Fathers, p. 111, 16th ed., 1879.)
“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which(Revelation 12:17)
keepthe command-mentsof God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” .
“(The History of the Norwegian Church under Catholicism, F. Keyser, Vol. 11, page 488, Oslo, 1858)
It had the ears of the archbishop that people in different places of the kingdom had cometo ventured the keeping Saturday. It is strictly forbidden – it is stated – in the Church-Law, for holyof any oneto keep or to adobtholy days, outside of those which the pope, archbishop, or bishops appoint” .
Norway, 1435 (
“(The Catholic Main Seat in Bergen, Norway, volume 7, page 397).
We are informed that in different districts of the kingdom, have adopted and observed somepeople Satur-day keeping. It is – severelyforbidden in holy – churchcanon one and all days excepting those which the holy Pope, archbishop, or the bishops command. toobserve Saturday-keeping must under no circumstances be permitted here-after further than the church . Therefore, we counsel all the friends of God throughout all Norway who canoncommands wantto be obedient towards the holy church to let this evil of Saturday-keeping alone; and the rest we forbid under the penalty of severe church punishment to keep Saturday holy.”
Norway, 1436 (Church
“(History of the Norwegian Church, page 401)
It is forbidden under the to keep Saturday holy by refraining from samepenalty labour”.
“About 590, Pope Gregory, in a letter to the Roman people, denounced as the prophets of Antichrist those who maintained that work ought not to be done on the seventh day.”
(James T. Riggold in the Law of Sunday, page 267).
“Gregory, bishop by the grace of God to his well-beloved sons, the Roman(Epistles, book 13: epistle 1)
citi-zens: It has come to me that certain men of perverse spirit have disseminated among you things depraved and opposed to the holy faith,so that they forbid anything to be done on the day Sabbath. What shall I call them except preachers of antichrist?” ofthe
“Christians shall not Judaise and be idle on Saturday [“
sabbato”], but shall work on that day; but the Lord’s day they shall especially honour, and, as being Chris-tians, shall, if possible, do no work on . If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out [“anathema,” – excommunicated] from Christ.” thatday
(Counsel of Laodicea, 337 AD, Canon 29, quoted in C.J. Hefeles book “A His-tory of the Councils of the Church”, vol. 2, page 316)
“The papal author, Bonacursus wrote the following against ‘Pasagini’: “Not a few, but many, know what are the errors of those who are called Pasagini… First, they teach that we should obey the Sabbath. Furthermore, to increase their terror, they condemn and reject all the church
Fathers,and the whole Roman Church.”
(D’Achery, “Spicilegium,” 1, f.211-214; Muratory, “Antiq.Med.Aevi,” 5,f.152, Hahn, Volume 3 page 209; The Sabbath of Jesus Christ Through the Ages, J.F.Coltheart, Truth for Today, 1997).
“Robinson gives an account of some of the Waldenses of the Alps, who were called Sabbati, Sabbatati, Insabbatati,(General History of the Baptist Denomination, Volume II, page 413)
but Inzabbatati. ‘One says they were so named from the Hebrew word sabbath because they kept the Saturday for the Lord’s day.” . morefrequently
“To destroy completely these heretics (Waldenses, France) Pope Innocent III sent Dominican inquisitors into France, and also crusaders, promising “a(Catholic Encyclopaedia, Vol.XII, article. ‘Raymond VI,’ page 670).
ple-naryremission of all sins, to those who took on them the crusade …against the Albigenses.”
Aphonse, King ofAragon, etc., to , allarchbishops bishops and to allothers ..We command you that heretics, to wit, Waldenses and Insab- bathi, should be expelled away from the face of God and from all Catholics and ordered to depart from our kingdom.”
, Praefatio in Lucam Tudensem,” found in “Macima Bibliotheca Veterum Patrum,” Volume 35, page 190)
“France – King Louis IX, 1329. Published the statute “Cupientes” in which he charges himself to clear southern France from heretics as the Sabbath-keepers were called.”(The Sabbath of Jesus Christ Through the Ages, J.F.Coltheart, Truth for Today, 1997).
“Thousands of God’s people were tortured to death by the Inquisition, buried alive, burned to death, or hacked to pieces by the crusaders. While devastating the city of
Biterre, the soldiers asked the Catholic leaders how they should know who were heretics; Arnold, Abbot of Cisteaux, answered: “Slay them all, for the Lord knows who are His.”
(The Sabbath of Jesus Christ Through the Ages, J.F.Coltheart, Truth for Today, 1997; “History of the Inquisi-sion,” page 96).
“The inquisitors… [declare] that the sign of a(History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages,” H.C. Lea, Vol.1).
deemed worthy of death, was that he followed Christ and sought to obey the commandments of God.” Voudois,
that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
“For professing faith contrary to the teachings of the Church of Rome, history records the martyrdom of more than one hundred million people. A million Waldenses and Albigenses [Swiss and French Protestants] perished during a crusade proclaimed by Pope Innocent III in 1208. Beginning from the establishment of the Jesuits in 1540 to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed. One hundred and fifty thousand perished by the Inquisition in thirty years. Within the space of thirty-eight years after the edict of Charles V against the Protestants, fifty thousand persons were hanged, beheaded, or burned alive for heresy. Eighteen thousand more perished during the administration of the Duke of Alva in five and a half years.” .(Brief Bible Readings page 16)
And upon her forehead wasa name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”
“For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.” (Revelation 16:6). “In the centuries that followed, persecution against believers in the Bible Sab-bath intensified until very few were left alive. When the Reformation began, the true Sabbath was almost unknown.”(Editor of Harvestime Books “The Mark of the Beast”.)
The fourth commandment was given as a memorial of the true Creator of all life.
And Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God.” hallowmy
During all this confusion, when the Isra-elites adopted sun worship, the Lord reminded them over and over again about this commandment. It was a sign that it was the true Creator they worshipped, He who created the earth in six days and rested the seventh, and not the sun god. Satan,
The foundation of Roman Catholicism
“On the one hand, the two religions [Mithraism and Christianity] in outlying regions of the Empire, long followed different lines of dispersion. Christianity from it’s origin in the religion of Israel, spread at first among the cities on the Mediterranean, chiefly where there were colonies of Jews. On the other hand, outside Italy, Mithraism, which was propagated by soldiers and imperial officers, followed the line of the camps and
centresof commerce chiefly along the great rivers of the northern frontier. Yet at Ostia and Rome and elsewhere, the two eastern religions must have been early brought face to face. In the syncretism of that age, the age of Gnosticism, rites and doctrines passed easily from one system to another. Mithra certainly absorbed much from kindred worships of Asia Minor, from Hellenic mysteries, and from Alexandrian philosophy. It is equally certain that the Church did not disdain a policy of accommodation, along with the consecration of altars of Christ in the old shrines of paganism. The Cult of local heroes was transferred to saints and martyrs. Converts found it hard to part with consecrated phrases and forms of devotion, and might address Jesus in epithets sacred to the Sun. Some Christians in the fifth century still saluted the rising sun with a prayer”
(The Society from Nero to Marcus Aure-lius, page 622, Samuel Dill, 1964, USA)
“The birthdays of Sol Invictus and of Mithra were celebrated on 25th December, close to the time of the winter solstice. In 353 or 354 CE Pope Liberius set his date as the Feast of the Nativity and a few years later he founded the Church of Santa Maria(The Encyclopaedia of Religion, Volume 14, Mircea Eliade, USA, 1997)
dellaNeva, now know as Santa Maria Maggiore, which become the centreof the Roman celebration of Christmas. The Nativity gradually absorbed or supplanted all the other solstice rites. Solar imagery came increasingly to be used to portray Christ ( therisen who was Sol Invictus), alsocalled and the oldsolar disk that had once appeared behind the head of Asian rulers became the Christian Saints. haloof Excavation underSaint Peter’s Basilica, under-taken in hope of finding the tomb of Peter, found a very early Christian mosaic that showed Christ driving a chariot, with rays above His head. [Common way to picture Mithra and Jupiter]”.
“Christianity came face to face with the Babylonian paganism in various forms
that had been established Roman Empire. inthe The early Christians have anything to do with refusedto itscustoms and beliefs. Much persecution resulted. Many Christians were falsely accused, thrown to the lions, burned at the stake, and in other ways tortured . andmartyred Then great changes began to . bemade The emperorof Rome professed Christianity. conversionto Imperial orderswent forth throughout the empire that persecutions should cease. Bishops were given high honours. The church began to receive worldly recognition and power. But for all of this, a great price had to be paid. Many compromises were made . withpaganism Instead of the church being separate from , theworld it becamea part of this world system. The emperor showing demanded a place of leadership in the church; for in paganism, emperors were believed to be gods. From here on, wholesale mixtures of paganism into Christianity were made, especially at Rome.” favour,
(Babylon Mystery Religion, R.E. Woodrow, 1990 Edotion, USA)
“We know that Mithraism was a state-religion in Rome at the time the Christian church was established in this area. Certain rituals from this pagan religion, like keeping
“From the forgoing, which treats merely of the more important solar festivals, it is clear that these products of paganism are as much in force at present from a symbolic point of view, as they ever were, and that Christianity countenances, and in many cases(Sun Lore Of All Ages, William Tyler Olcott, 1914, page 248).
hasactually adopted and practises, pagan rites whose heathen significance is merely lost sight of because attention is not called to the sources whence these rites have sprung. In short, Sun worship, symbolically speaking,
lies at the very heart of the great festivals which the Christian Church celebrates today, and these relics of
heathenreligion, through the medium of their sacred rites, curiously enough blended with practices and beliefs utterly antagonistic to the spirit that prompted them. The reason for the survival of many of the sym-bolsof Sun worship and the practice of many customs peculiar to this ancient form of idolatry, lies in the fact that the early Christian teachers found the people so wedded to their old rites and usages, that it was in vain to hope for the com-pleteabandonment of these long-cherished practices. Hence a compromise was wisely effected, and the old pagan customs were deprived of the idolatry that
was so obnoxious to the Christian, and transferred as meaningless symbols and empty forms to the Christian festivals.”
Sun worship under a new name
Sun worship is something that God detests according to the Bible. Sun worship in ancient Babylon was connected to astrology, and as mentioned earlier, the sun was a symbol of the serpent, the dragon, or Satan. The fact that sun worship is now
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