BibleTruth.cc

"Doctrines of Demons" Series

Sunday as the Lord's Day

Is Sunday a Sacred Day?

By David M Rogers

www.BibleTruth.cc

Published: 2004

Table of Contents

Sunday in the Bible

NT Believers Meeting on the Sabbath

The Lord's Day

The Origin of Sunday Worship

Constantine and the Venerable Day of the Sun

Conclusion


The typical Christian church, regardless of denominational affiliation, region, culture or language spoken, meets on Sunday for weekly worship.  And if you randomly ask any of them why it is that they meet on Sunday they will likely tell you that "Sunday is the Lord's Day."  And if you probe further, you will probably be given the standard answers which they mimic from their teachers and preachers: "Jesus was resurrected on Sunday, so that became His day," or, "Sunday is the Sabbath," or even, "Christ's apostles met on Sunday for worship and so do we."

Worship on Sunday has been deeply entrenched in the Christian tradition for nearly (but not quite) two thousand years.  Eager worshippers delight in getting up Sunday morning and donning their "Sunday best" clothing for this happy custom.  Sunday worshipping Christians affectionately refer to this happy day as "Son-day."  And sometimes they refer to the days of the week as "Monday, Tuesday,... Saturday, the Lord's Day."

Unfortunately for them, the Bible never teaches believers in Messiah to stop remembering the Sabbath and to worship him on Sunday instead.  Though this is commonly taught by finely-dressed and eloquently-speaking preachers and church leaders, they prove their position from human reasoning and logic rather than from any clear statement of Holy Scripture.  In contrast to the overwhelmingly popular custom of our day for Christians to worship Jesus on Sunday is the plain record of New Testament Scripture which over and over again records that the first century believers met on the Sabbath day to teach, preach and rejoice in the gospel of the Savior.

What does the Bible have to say about worshipping on the first day of the week?  Why do Christian churches continue to believe in and teach as doctrine the worship of Jesus on Sunday?  And when did Christians begin to worship on Sunday as our custom is today?

Sunday in the Bible

Since it is beyond debate that in the Old Testament, the Jews met for worship on the Sabbath, the first place we should look for evidence of when the New Testament followers of Christ met to worship is in the New Testament.  If Sunday became the day that Yahusha established for New Testament believers to worship Elohim, then we would expect to find a statement from him to that effect.  And if the first day of the week was the day that his disciples met for worship, then we should find evidence in the New Testament that this change was made by them and that they began to practice it then.

But none of those evidences exist in the New Testament Scriptures.  Nowhere does Yahusha change the day of worship from Sabbath to Sunday.  And nowhere in the New Testament do we read in the teachings of the apostles that they changed the day of worship to Sunday.  And the evidence that they actually began to meet regularly on Sunday for worship is conspicuously absent.  The proof of this is in the Scriptures.  Let's look at them.  Of course, the word Sunday does not appear in the New Testament.  But the phrase first day does appear.  Let's look at each of these and determine the import of the phrase first day in the New Testament. 

The phrase first day occurs thirteen times in all of the New Testament.  Three of those times it references the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (see Matthew 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:7).  There are two references to the first day that something (else) happened (Acts 20:18; Philippians 1:5).  Five of those occurrences of first day are in reference to what happened the day after Christ was resurrected.  Leaving only 3 times that first day is used in all of the New Testament to describe something which Christ's disciples were doing on Sunday.  Let's take a closer look at the last eight of these.

Five times in the New Testament the phrase first day is used to describe the events of the day following Christ's resurrection from the dead. 

Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.  And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. (Matthew 28:1,2)

Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.  They were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?"  Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. (Mark 16:2-4)

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared.  And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (Luke 24:1)

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb. (John 20:1)

These four all describe how the disciples found the empty tomb.  Christ was already resurrected and gone when they arrived early on the first day at the grave.  Note that none of these verses say precisely when Christ was resurrected.  They only say that he was gone.  Nor do any of these imply or hint or suggest that the disciples were on their way to the newly established Sunday morning gathering of believers for fellowship and that they decided to stop at the tomb on their way (pardon the sarcasm).

And the fifth citation of the first day in this context finds Christ appearing to Mary:

Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. (Mark 16:9)

The punctuation is incorrect in this NAS rendering of the text.  It should read, "now after he had risen, early on the first day of the week..."  Note that the text only says that He appeared to Mary on the first day, after He had risen.  It doesn't say exactly when he was risen.  Nor does the text imply anything about the time of worship of New Testament believers.

This leaves only three texts in all of the New Testament which say anything about what New Testament believers did during the New Testament times on the first day of the week (Sunday)!  But even these three texts say nothing about what the believers in Christ might have made a habit of doing (i.e. habitually meeting for worship on that day).  Let's look at these three individually.

So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be with you."  And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. (John 20:19,20)

This text, of course, describes what happened on the evening of the first day of the week after he was resurrected and had begun to appear to his disciples.  But what is the reason that his disciples were gathered together on Sunday evening?  Had they begun meeting because this was now the day they recognized as being the appropriate day to do so for worship?

Of course not!!  They were gathered together because they were both frightened and excited about the events that had just transpired that day.  The believers were together for support and exhortation.  They were meeting to share and discuss the personal experiences which several of them had had that day.  They were discussing and debating the reality of the resurrection.

In no way does this text imply something which was the habit or custom of believers.  Quite the opposite, this meeting on Sunday evening was rather uncustomary!  It was a meeting which happened because of unusual events, not because of a customary or traditional mandate (such as meeting on the Sabbath).

Next, Luke describes in the book of Acts a Sunday meeting of Paul with the believers in Troas:

On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight. (Acts 20:7)

Why were the believers at Troas gathered together with Paul on Sunday?  Because Paul had given them Sunday as the regular time of worship to replace the Sabbath?  Ridiculous!  The text plainly tells us why they were gathered on Sunday.  They were gathered on Sunday because Paul was leaving the next morning!  Naturally they would want to fellowship with him and hear his teaching as much as they could before he left them.  So they met, stayed up late and saw him off the next day.

In fact, the only reason this incident is even mentioned in the record is not because Luke, the historian (and physician), was trying to communicate a pattern of meeting on the first day for worship, but rather, because of the unusual incident involving the young man who fell out the window, whom Paul raised back to life.  If, indeed, Luke was trying to show us that the apostles were doing a new thing - meeting now on Sunday instead of the Sabbath - then Luke most certainly would have documented numerous times when Paul had done this.  But the absence of any such recording of events argues persuasively that the apostles did no such thing!

The final occurrence of the phrase first day in the New Testament occurs in Shaul's (Paul's) letter to the Corinthians:

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.  On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:1.2)

Again, this text does not even address the topic of when believers gathered for worship regularly.  It only suggests an orderly way of storing up funds to be given to the apostle at his next visit.  The first day of the week may be suggested here as a good time to collect money for several reasons.  As business transactions began again following the Sabbath, this would have been the appropriate time to set aside the "firstfruits" of ones increase.  Secondly, because of the blessing of the Sabbath experience, a believer would perhaps have a disposition to give more generously.

In any case, it is difficult to conclude from this single text, which is vague in meaning at best, that Shaul had changed the Sabbath worship of believers to Sunday.  Worship on the Sabbath day was such a monumental cornerstone of worship of the living Elohim, according to the Tanak, that, if the Sabbath had been done away with and Sunday had been put in its place, we would expect to find volumes of information plainly stating it by the apostles.  We would expect to find fierce debates on the keeping of the Sabbath from the non-believing Jews.  If Christ or the apostles had made such a dramatic change to what may arguably be the single most important element of Jewish faith (i.e. the Sabbath), then the evidence of this change would be the hottest topic of teaching and discussing in the New Testament writings.  But the testimony of Scriptures provides only a single, vague at best, reference to something happening on Sunday which alludes to worship (1 Corinthians 16:1,2).  We must conclude by this, emphatically, that a change of worship to Sunday was not on the mind of the apostle when he wrote this.

NT Believers Meeting on the Sabbath

In stark contrast to the glaring lack of any substantive evidence from the New Testament that believers in Yahusha the Messiah began to worship on Sunday, is the strong and verbose testimony of Luke that Christ's people met habitually and customarily on the Sabbath for worship and for proclamation of the gospel.  It should be kept in mind that all of Christ's apostles were Jewish!  Their custom was to observe the Sabbath day as it is commanded by Yahuwah in the fourth commandment.  And since Yahusha the Messiah kept all of the commandments perfectly and taught his disciples to do the same, we most naturally would expect to see the disciples of Christ to be following the biblical traditions, including worship of Yahuwah on the Sabbath day.  And we are not disappointed.

Luke records the activities of the early church with an emphasis on the ministries of Peter and Shaul (Paul).  Over and over again, Luke reports that the disciples met on the Sabbath day for worship.

But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. (Acts 13:14,15)

This text is important because it shows that Shaul and those with him continued in the Jewish tradition of meeting for worship on the Sabbath in the synagogue, and that they participated in the standard reading of the Torah and Haftorah (the law and the prophets).  Again, nothing is said here about any effort by Shaul to change the prevailing custom of meeting on the Sabbath day.

At that same assembly, Shaul preaches to the people of Antioch and he mentions the custom of every Jew of reading the prophets on the Sabbath:

For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. (Acts 13:27)

This repeat of information, as recorded by Luke, shows that rather than changing the day of worship to the Sunday, Luke was very emphatic about the continuing walk of Shaul in the traditional Sabbath meeting for worship.  This is again confirmed in the verses that follow in the response of many of the people who heard Shaul preach that Sabbath day:

And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.  Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.  And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. (Acts 13:42-44)

Without intending to be redundant, here Luke repeats the activity of Shaul to meet and preach on the Sabbath day.  But what may be of greater significance in this text is the fact that it was the Gentiles who requested that Shaul preach to them the next Sabbath.  Evidently, even the Gentiles met and worshipped on the Sabbath, so why would there be any need to change the day of worship to Sunday?  More to the point, if Shaul had indeed established the "Gentile" church in the worship of God on Sunday, why didn't Luke take the time here to explain that?  This would have been the perfect opportunity to have made this point.  So why didn't he?  Obviously, because that never happened!

The next significant text describing the practice of the church in meeting and worshipping on Sabbath occurs during the meeting of the elders in Jerusalem over the issue of what Gentiles Christians should be required to do!!

For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. (Acts 15:21)

If the apostles and elders of Christ's New Testament church had taught that believers (especially Gentile believers) should now no longer have to keep Sabbath but should meet on Sunday instead, this would have been the watershed opportunity to proclaim it.  But that doesn't happen here, either!

Quite the contrary.  What the apostles and elders recommend regarding the Gentile believers is quite the opposite as today's Bible teachers and preachers would like us to believe!  The recommendation of the Jerusalem Counsel to to require of the Gentiles that they conform to the most basic of the biblical laws concerning conduct.  They were to abstain from eating blood, having illicit sexual activity, murder and eating meat sacrificed to idols.  But is this all that is required of the Gentile believers?  What about a day for worship.  The answer is astounding.  We just read it.  So, let's look at it again:

For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day. (Acts 15:21)

The Gentiles, who don't yet understand the will of God in Christ for their lives have a wonderful opportunity to learn what his will is.  In fact, the will of God is written in the Torah ("Moses") and is read in the synagogues in every city on the Sabbath!!  So, let all the Gentiles do what the Gentiles in Antioch in Pisidia had been doing.  Let them meet on the Sabbath with all others who have faith in Elohim, and listen to Moses being read so that they, too, can come to a complete understanding of God's way.  The text of Acts 15:21 is clearly implying that the elders and apostles want and invite all Gentile believers to join in on the reading, preaching and teaching of the Word of Elohim on the Sabbath.

Later, Luke records that on another Sabbath they went out to pray by a river:

And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.  And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. (Acts 16:13,14)

The connection between prayer and the Sabbath is conspicuous.  The implication is that they were leaving the synagogue and were looking for another appropriate Sabbath activity.  They decided that prayer would be that activity.

Furthermore, we are told by Luke, meeting on the Sabbath to preach Christ was Shaul's custom and regular practice:

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. (Acts 17:2,3)

Nowhere are we ever informed that Shaul changed this regular practice of his of meeting on the Sabbath to preach Christ to meeting on Sunday to preach Christ.  Nor are we ever told of the first Sunday School class Shaul taught to the Gentiles.  And this is simply because he never did such a thing.  Indeed, Shaul's custom was a very scriptural custom.

And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. (Acts 18:4)

The Lord's Day

In an interesting irony, Christians refer to Sunday as the Lord's day.  It is ironic because the term Lord's day occurs only once in the New Testament and it refers to the Sabbath, not Sunday.  Let's look at the text:

I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day... (Revelation 1:10, NAS).

Here John is describing the circumstances he was in when he received the great vision which he wrote down in the book we call the Revelation.  John was imprisoned on the island of Patmos because of his witness for Christ.  And he was "in the Spirit on the Lord's day" when Elohim revealed to him what the future holds.

The Greek behind the English designation "on the Lord's day" is an interesting and informative study.  It reads,

evn th/| kuriakh/| h`me,ra|

The adjective kuriakh/| or kuriakee, means "belonging to the Lord" or "belonging to Yahuwah."  Much of the Greek of the book of Revelation and, for that matter, the entire New Testament, follows the Hebrew in the grammatical formation of the adjective.  In Hebrew, the adjective normally follows the noun.  For example, "the good man" would read in Hebrew, "the man, the good (one)."  An example of this in the Greek comes two verses after the one cited above.  Revelation 1:12 reads,

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands.

Kai. evpe,streya ble,pein th.n fwnh.n h[tij evla,lei metV evmou/(  kai. evpistre,yaj ei=don e`pta. lucni,aj crusa/j

"Seven golden lampstands" literally reads "seven lampstands golden (ones)."  This style is quite common in the Greek New Testament and is a strong argument that the original documents of the New Testament were written in Hebrew or Aramaic.

The point of this original language demonstration is to suggest that the document was indeed written originally in Hebrew (or Aramaic).  As such, the translator sometimes followed the more proper Greek construction, in which the adjective is inserted between the definite article and the noun, as in verse 10 (which is good Greek), but he sometimes translated literally from the original language, as in verse 12 (leaving an awkward Greek expression).  This kind of decision is made by modern day translators all the time - the decision to translate literally from the original, as in verse 12, or to translate the text using the forms, idioms, expressions, etc, of the recipient language, as in verse 10.

All of this goes to show that in the original language (Hebrew or Aramaic), the expression   evn th/| kuriakh/| h`me,ra was translated from the expression, hw"hy>-~Ayb or, "in the day of the Lord" or, "in the day of Yahuwah" or, "Yahuwah's day."  So, when we restore the sacred name to the text, "on the Lord's day" literally should be understood as "on the day of Yahuwah" or "on Yahuwah's day."  When we bring this information to the table, it sheds a new light on what John was seeing.  He was taken, in vision, into the prophetic time of the fulfillment of the "day of the Lord" or "the day of Yahuwah."  And what he proceeded to see in vision was the accomplishment of all that the prophets had described - the wrath of God on a disobedient world and the inauguration of the kingdom of Christ.

But what day of the week did John have this vision?  Was it Sunday?  Was it the Sabbath?  It is possible that John did not intend to convey that thought at all.  His intention may only have been to tell us that he was "in the Spirit" - that is, filled with the Holy Spirit, "on the day of Yahuwah" - that is, taken in vision to that day of the fulfillment of the prophets.

However, if John was also trying to convey to us which day of the week he received this vision, then he must have been speaking of the Sabbath.  The reasons for this are many, but here it is in a nutshell:  The Sabbath has always been a picture or foreshadowing of the time of Elohim's kingdom on earth, sometimes referred to as the "day of Yahuwah."  Secondly, the Sabbath has been uniquely, since creation, "Yahuwah's day."  And third, Yahusha spoke of himself as "the Lord of the Sabbath."  Nowhere in all of the Scriptures is Sunday ever elevated to the status of kuriakh, or "belonging to Yahuwah."  So, John, if he were referring to any day of the week must have been referring to the Sabbath day, not Sunday, as "the Lord's day.".

The Origin of Sunday Worship

The Holy Scriptures, from beginning to end, declare the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath, as the day on which Elohim is to be honored and worshipped by his people.  Since it is so evident that Sunday was not given a place of prominence in the Scriptures or by Christ and his disciples, then the next questions naturally follow:  Where did worship on Sunday come from?  When did the church begin worshipping on Sunday?  Who made the change?  And why?

For many people of the world, and long before Yahusha arrived in the manger, Sunday was the day of worship.  But not worship of Yahuwah, the creator of the universe.  Sunday was the day on which all the other nations of the world worshipped their gods.  The very name "Sunday" is derived from the day on which the sun was worshipped.  Sun worship can be traced through just about every ancient civilization known to man. The Chaldeans, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, the Grecians and the Romans were sun worshippers.

Worship of the sun began just after the flood of Noahs day.  Nimrod, Noahs great grandson began the kingdom of Babel. Babel, or Babylon  is also known by historians as Chaldea.

There is evidence that the Chaldeans knew Elohim of Genesis who created heaven and earth.... The Cushite Chaldeans became polytheistic: worshipping the sun, moon and planets.... Bil-Nipru, which many scholars believe to be the Nimrod of the Bible, was elevated by man to the status of god and worshipped as the chief deity.  Mother goddess worship was also an important part of the Chaldean culture. Beltis, the wife of Bel-Nimrod and mother of his supposed son Nin, was worshipped as the "Mother of God". The proposed re-incarnation of Bel-Nimrod as Nin, made Beltis the "mother of god". It has been documented that the worship of Beltis and Nin originated the veneration of the "mother and child."  The various actions of the sun were imagined to be representative of the birth, death, and resurrection or rebirth of the sun god.  Shalmaneser III, King at the time the Black-Obelisk was inscribed, honors Bel, the father of the gods, Beltis, the mother of the gods, and the sun god Shamas and Ishtar at the beginning of the inscription. He calls Asshur the king of all the four regions, the sun god of the multitude of mankind. (Richard Rives, Too Long in the Sun)

The later Babylonian culture featured a mother/child religion nearly identical to that of Chaldea.  Only the names were changed, all else was the same.  So, the religion of Nimrod was still being practiced in that part of the world at the time of Judah's captivity to Babylon.

Subsequent kingdoms and cultures, including Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, likewise featured a religion which included worship of the sun on the day of the sun and mother/child adoration.  Special celebrations included a joyous festival at the winter solstice in honor of the birth of the son, and a celebration at the spring equinox to rejoice over the resurrection of the son who was killed by a wild boar.  Thus, on Sunday following the spring equinox, celebrants slew and roasted the pig to honor the son's victory of death which the swine brought about.

The earliest form of the religion of the Medo-Persians is described in ancient manuscripts known as the Zendavesta. Ahura-Mazda was known as the creator of all things: heaven and earth, light and darkness, the originator of all laws and judge of the world. In the earliest periods of Ahura-Mazda, the worship of many gods is apparent, including: Indra ( Storm), Aramiti (Earth), Agni (Fire), Soma (intoxication), Vayu (Wind), and most important to our study, Mithra or (Sunlight). (Ibid.)

To the Persians, and later, the Romans, Mithras was the name of the sun god.  Mithraism featured worship on Sunday and celebration of the birth of the sun on December 25.  Some historians are bewildered that during the fourth century, Mithras "mysteriously" disappeared from the face of the earth.  This is the precise time when Constantine declared Christianity to be the official religion of the Roman Empire.  Coincidence?  Hardly!  The Christianity that emerged was nothing like the religion of Christ and his apostles, but was a polluted and corrupt "Christianity" lacking few Mithraic rituals.

Constantine and the Venerable Day of the Sun

In the early fourth century, Emperor Constantine established Christianity as the official state religion of the Roman world.  Christians of our day think that Constantine was something of a hero for Christianity.  Stories are told how he had a vision in which he saw the sign of the cross of Jesus and was told by a voice from heaven to conquer the heathen peoples by the sign of the cross.  He subsequently, according to the stories, converted to Christ and was compelled to use his status and influence to bring the rest of the world to Christ by enacting a law stating that the Christian religion was the only religion recognized by Rome.  Well, the stories are greatly exaggerated and distorted. 

Fact: Constantine did enact a civil law in 321 which prohibited manual labor on Sunday and that Sunday be observed and honored.  But he did not do this because he was a genuine Christian.  On the contrary, he used the Christian label to promote and honor the sun god, whom he worshipped. 

Fact:

He enjoined the observance, or rather forbade the public desecration of Sunday, not under the name of Sabbatum, but under its old astrological and heathen title, Dies Solis. familiar to all his subjects, so that the law was as applicable to the worshippers of Hercules, Apollo, and Mithras, as to the Christians. There is no reference whatsoever in his law either to the fourth commandment or to the resurrection of Christ (Richard Rives, www.toolong.com\remember.htm).

Fact: Constantine was a pagan to every inch of his body.  He was a non-discriminatory heathen.

Constantine worshipped all the gods - especially Apollo the god of the sun. He held the title Pontifex Maximus which was the title of the high priest of paganism. These and other considerations make it clear that Constantine's form of Christianity was actually a modified version of mystery religion. - The Mystery of Iniquity that had been at work since the time of Babel (Ibid.)

Constantine saw something that the emperors before him did not see - the opportunity to make peace through compromise.  He never really converted to Christianity.  But what he did accomplish was to convert Christianity to paganism.  He was a pawn in Satan's hand to pervert the Christian faith with all of paganism's trappings.

In 2 Thessalonians 2, Shaul spoke about the mystery of iniquity:

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work... then that lawless one will be revealed (2:7,8)

There was already a work of Satan going on in the days of the apostles which has as its goal the establishment of Satan's government on earth with the lawless one as its leader.  This conspiracy was "at work" in Shaul's day, but had its beginning much earlier.  Part of the plan of that conspiracy was to replace God's laws and commandments with his own.  Thus, Daniel prophesied:

He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law (Daniel 7:25)

Satan did successfully wear down the saints through persecution over several hundred years.  So, by the early fourth century, the Christian church was ready and willing to compromise their faith and practices to gain peace and acceptance by the Roman government.

Emperor Constantine sensed the condition of believers in Christ in his day and realized that he could corral the entire Christian church unto himself.  He proposed a slight change for the Christians to bring them in line with all of the other faiths in the Roman world.  He declared Sunday to be the official day of worship for Christians, thereby successfully altering "times and law" - that is - the times for worship of Yahuwah as written in His Torah.  His offer of compromise saw the Christians gain both acceptance of their peers and an end of persecution.  Christians also gained a few others things in the compromise.  They gained a new day of worship - Sunday which replaced Sabbath.  They gained a new celebration - Christmas, which replaced the Festival of Tabernacles.  They gained a new festive celebration in Easter and gave up the old "Jewish" custom of Passover.

Shaul referred to this work of Satan as the "mystery of lawlessness" because the changing of Yahuwah's laws is at the heart of it.  The Sabbath has always been the day on which Yahuwah wants his people to worship Him.  But Satan perverted this by changing the day to Sunday when the Christian Church was at its weakest point.  By "wearing down the saints" he succeeded in changing God's laws.  Thus it was a smooth transition the Christian church had to make.  Believers gave up their "Jewish" customs and took up the pagan customs, which were simply renamed to make them palatable.

And the term "mystery" used by Shaul alludes to the pagan mystery religion, which originated in Babylon and featured a mother and her child.  By featuring "mysteries" in his religious system, Satan was able to both hide the lies he propagated from being exposed, and he made it intriguing for people to investigate the "hidden things."

This same system, characterized by the shrouding of truth in secrecy and the manipulation of the truth in order to achieve its ends, set out, in the third century (sic), to combine paganism with Christianity. These goals were partially accomplished through the proclamation on March 7th 321 A.D. of Constantine the Great, stating, "All judges and city people and the craftsmen shall rest upon The Venerable Day of the Sun." (Ibid.)

By changing the Sabbath to Sunday, Constantine effectively sealed the Christian church into a pursuit of "lawlessness" - that is, a way of worship contrary to Yahuwah's Torah (law), which the church is indulged in to this very day.

Further proof that Constantine was no more of a Christian than the Pope is a Protestant can be seen in his actions following his "conversion."  He had

his wife and eldest son murdered and had a bronze statue of himself set atop a tall column as Apollo, the sun god. (Ibid.)

And he minted a coin in his own honor.

On one side is the head of Constantine. On the other side is the sun god Sol Invictus with the inscription "Sol Invicto Comiti" - "Committed to the invincible sun." (Ibid.)

Is it any wonder that Sunday is so named?  It is the day for worshipping the sun and it was established for the church by an emperor who was committed to the worshipping of the sun.

Are you shocked yet?  To find out for the first time that the way of life and worship in most Christian churches is nothing but a counterfeit of the true way Elohim wants his people to follow can be a devastating experience.  But Yahuwah is calling out his people from the practices and traditions of paganism which have crept into and have dominated the people called by his name.  It is time to repent and to return to the ways of Yahuwah Elohim.

Conclusion

The Christian Church has been duped into thinking that Elohim has setup Sunday as the day for worshipping Yahusha the Savior.  But Yahuwah never did this.  The establishment of Sunday in place of the Sabbath as the day of worshipping the Creator is part of the work of Satan to establish his own government on earth.  Constantine, who was thoroughly pagan, changed the Sabbath to Sunday by official decree.  And Christians have been worshipping their God on Satan's day ever since.

Yahuwah established the Sabbath, at creation, to be set apart as holy unto Himself.  The Sabbath is the time when Elohim wants all of his people to cease their labor and to honor Him and fellowship with Him.  The Scriptures are full of references to the Sabbath as the appropriate time for worship.  But, in stark contrast, the Bible says absolutely nothing about Sunday as a sacred day.  How much clearer does it have to be to convince a Christian people to leave behind their pagan customs and traditions and return to the biblical practice of obeying the commandments which honor the Creator.

END