A Look At the Historical Origins of Easter
Starting from the beginning
Many are familiar with the story of Easter as it is told in the traditional Christian fashion, but very few people can explain where it got its name, where the symbols of bunnies and eggs came from and how the day is selected to celebrate it on. Why aren't these things more common knowledge? The answers may surprise you.
Our story begins from a publication entitled, "Easter: Where It Came From," printed may years ago, by Southern Publishing Association. An old man is speaking:
"Sunday was held sacred centuries before Sinai; Dec.25 was highly honored; the time of Easter was a religiously observed cycle and Lent was a time of fasting,-- all thousands of years before the coming of the Babe to Bethlehem!"
The children had gathered around the huge, open fireplace. The lights were turned out and the shooting flames of the great wood fire danced upon their faces. Farther back, in a huge rocker, sat the Wise Man. In the daytime he was a very prosaic figure known as grandpa, but on special nights when the children were allowed to "stay up" the fire light played on what seemed to be the very soul of the old man, his face, and he became a mystic form, infinitely removed and yet very close to them. They called him the Wise Man then.
This Easter night the children begged for the story of Easter. They did not understand the first part of his reverie, but afterward they understood nearly all of it.
"After the Flood," he went on to say, "the Garden of Eden was no longer on the earth. You remember the Lord had placed angels with flaming swords at its gates. As the people came to the gates to worship God, their faces were toward the west, for the gates were on the east side of the Garden. When Eden was taken up to God's dwelling place, and no one knows just when that was, Satan had so confused some that they worshiped the things that God had made, instead of God himself. The next brightest thing men saw was the sun, and they began to worship it. God at creation had given them the Sabbath, to remind them every week that it was He that had made everything, but Satan has always tried to make men forget the Sabbath so they would forget the one and only true God.
The Origin of Sun Worship
"One of Noah's great-grandsons was called Nimrod. Nimrod was a great leader, and was the first empire builder. His wife, history says, was named Semiramis, and she was a very great queen. Satan was working to counterfeit God's plan of salvation; and when Nimrod died, the people said he was a great god. Semiramis told them that he was indeed the sun god, and that his spirit was still living, dwelling in the sun.
"In order that the people should love her as queen as long as she lived, Semiramis told them that her's was the spirit of the moon, and when she died, she would dwell in the moon as Nimrod already dwelt in the sun.
"Satan was laying the foundation for every system of falsehood and error the world has ever known. The sun god, under different names, was worshiped in Babylon, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. These conquering nations were conquered by the religion of their captives.
A Pagan Holiday
"Every year when the cold season began, the people believed their sun god was leaving them. They came to learn that his lowest dip on the horizon, about Dec.21, was followed by his gradual return, until in midsummer he was directly overhead at noon-day. It was on the 25th of December that they noticed, each year, the slow return of their god. This day they called the birthday of the sun. It was this belief in the annual journey of their god that Elijah alluded to in his conflict with the priests of Baal, the Syro-Phoenician sun god. [1 Kings 18:27]
"After the death of Nimrod, Semiramis never married again--indeed how could the queen of heaven marry an ordinary man?--but some years later she gave birth to a son. His name was Tammuz, and he was born on the 25th day of December! There was wild rejoicing in the nation over which Semiramis was queen. She told the people that the spirit of the sun, her husband Nimrod, was the father of Tammuz, and thus through her sin, Satan persuaded the people of the counterfeit of the birth of Jesus; for Jesus was really born of a virgin.
"Tammuz was hailed as the Son of the Sun, and the first letter of his name became in time the symbol of sun worship. Human sacrifices to the sun god were offered on his initial letter, made of wood, known as the cross. His birthday, December 25th, was honored more and more, and the first day of the week was called the Sun's day, or Sunday. The people forgot God's Sabbath, and honored the day of the sun. To honor Semiramis they set aside a time in honor of the moon. This was the first full moon after the vernal equinox (the beginning of spring), or the twenty-first of March. The first Sunday after this full moon was indeed a gala day, for on this day they honored Semiramis, the queen of heaven, by dedicating it to the rebirth of life and fertility. Rabbits and eggs were used in the celebration as symbols of reproduction, as well as other practices not worthy to mention. There was nothing Christian about it, yet today the very same day, determined by the very same method on the calendar is hailed as a holy day of God. The actual day of Jesus' resurrection rarely falls on this day called Easter.
"While yet a young man, Tammuz, a hunter like his supposed father, was killed by a wild boar. What weeping there was in the kingdom! And the forty days before the time of the celebration for the moon were set apart as days of "weeping for Tammuz." [Ezekiel 8:14.]
"God's people were constantly being tempted to follow this religion instead of that of the Bible. Often Satan succeeded in his purpose. In the eight chapter of Ezekiel we read of the women's weeping for Tammuz; and the people's turning their backs on the temple of God, and worshiping the sun toward the east. They also worshiped the moon goddess, who became associated with fertility, making cakes to this "queen of heaven." [Jeremiah 7:18]. These were round cakes on which had been cut a cross; known today as hot cross buns.
"The great distinguishing mark of the heathen was their Sunday; and the mark of God's people was the Sabbath. [Ezekiel 20:12, 20]. Side by side through the centuries were God's people, worshiping Him, obeying His commandments, keeping His Sabbath, and the heathen, worshiping the sun, keeping Sunday, and offering their children in the fire as a sacrifice to the sun, or crucifying their human victims to turn away his supposed anger.
"One writer in a noted periodical says that 'Sunday was the wild, solar holiday of all pagan times.' It was on this day that the worst features of sun worship were practiced. Too often Israel did these things also, but God constantly sent them messengers to persuade them to return to Him and obey Him.
The Genuine Appears
"Finally Christ, the Son of God, was born. The exact day of His birth no one knows, but it was probably in October. He was just thirty-three and a half years old when He was crucified, in April, at the time of the Passover. How Jesus loved His people! He loved them so much that He was willing to suffer abuse and mocking, scourging and death. Remember Tammuz was exalted by Satan to be the great rival of Jesus, and the symbol of the cross was the sign of sun worship. How appropriate it must have seemed to Satan and his demons that Christ should die on the very symbol that the forces of evil had setup for their counterfeit religion. Through all the years it had seemed that the sun god was greater than the true God, for Israel alone followed God, but often even Israel including spiritual Israel today have followed the sun god.
"O yes, Jesus loved His people! He came into a world that had forgotten Him, its creator, suffered every insult at its hands, and finally died upon the symbol of sun worship, 'even,' says Paul, 'the death of the cross.' [Phil. 2:8].
"What rejoicing then by the demons! The Son of God, delivered by His own people and crucified by the sun-worshiping Romans on the symbol of sun worship! O the condescending Jesus! How He must love His people!"
The old man's face softened, and the children saw tears in his eyes. After some time he collected his composure and went on. His eyes were shining now.
"But God honored that sacrifice! On the third day after His crucifixion, the first day for sun worship, while the spirit of demons were in the wildest orgy of celebration over their victory; for though many men did not realize it, Satan's angels all rejoiced in the victory of false worship; on that very day, set aside and honored by the name of the sun, God raised His Son from the grave a conqueror! As after creation He had rested, so after redemption, He rested in the tomb on His Sabbath [Mark 2:28], and now on the day of the sun He was raised, eternal victory over sun worship and all false systems of worship! That was why God raised Him on Sunday. The seventh day Sabbath is God's sign between Him and His people. [Ezekiel 20:12,20]. His disciples kept it while they lived. Jesus went back to work on our behalf on the first day of the week to show that it was not the holy day of rest He had set aside.
The Master Deception
"But Satan was not yet through with the world. First, he persecuted God's people, and then he tempted them again. The heathen were still keeping Sunday and as Christians were scattered throughout the world, Satan whispered in the ears of God's people that they should try to gain favor by being more like the heathen. Was not Christ born toward the end of the year? The exact date was uncertain. Why not call it the same date as the birth of Tammuz? So December 25th became Christmas.
"Again, Christ was crucified and resurrected in the spring near the time of the moon festival. Why not use the same time as the heathen, and even do as they do, but call it in honor of Christ's resurrection. The cakes made to the queen of heaven became the hot cross buns of today. The forty days of 'weeping for Tammuz' became Lent, and at the close of Lent came Easter Sunday, a counterfeit masterpiece."
The voice was silent for a time. The old man's face darkened as he seemed to see in the embers of the fire a sinister event against which he would cry out. Suddenly, there rang out in the dense stillness the trumpet-like tones that had called to the men on the battlefield, when as a drummer-boy he had snatched up the colors where a dying bearer had fallen, and rallied a regiment that had nearly broken.
"O the cowards! The cowards! They allowed the flag of God, His holy Sabbath, to trail in the dust; they trampled it under their feet, they exalted the sun's day in its place, they broke the command of God, and they did it all in the name of the One who had given His life to save His people from that very thing!
"Oh, how Jesus in heaven must have wept when His so called followers, to gain influence, set up the mark of rebellion against heaven, -- Sunday! And how He must weep today when people profess to honor His resurrection by trampling on His day and honor the flag of the defeated foe. God forgive the ministers and people of this country for being blind. They think they are honoring You by trying to make legislation to honor the Sunday. Soon they will pass laws to make void your law. Lord, hold back the winds of strife yet a little while longer, and give them time to see their folly. Open their eyes, Lord, and reveal to them the truth concerning Your holy Sabbath day."
-- Southern Publishing Association.
Easter began long before the time of Christ. Easter was the Ishtar celebration. Ishtar, Astarte, Ashtoreth were all the same deity and originated from the legends of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz. It was a single pagan goddess that was worshiped under various names in different countries over the centuries. As we trace the historical background of this goddess, we can see where Easter got its name, how our modern practice of sunrise worship originated, and why it is always commemorated at a certain time each spring. The story of Easter also helps explain where Sunday sacredness began, and the origin of virgin worship:
This mother goddess was variously known as Astarte, Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Cybele, Demeter, Ceres, Aphrodite, Venus, and Freya.
"Astarte was the most important goddess of the pagan Semites. She was the goddess of love, fertility, and maternity for the Phoenicians, Canaanites, Aramaeans, South Arabs, and even the Egyptians. Her name was Ishtar (hence the name Easter) in Babylonia and Assyria, where she was also the goddess of war. Some Old Testament stories call her Ashtoreth and describe the construction of her altar by King Solomon and its destruction by King Josiah. Astarte was identified with the planet Venus. The Greeks called her Aphrodite, and the Romans knew her as Venus."-World Book, Vol. 1, p.782.
Astarte In Phoenica: Astarte was the goddess of the ancient Phoenicians. She loved Adoni (Adonis), who was slain by a boar (a wild pig), but rose from the dead and then ascended to heaven in the sight of his worshipers.
Astarte In Syria: In Syria, Astarte was the Great Mother goddess and queen of prostitutes. Her worship culminated at the vernal equinox. This is about March 21 of each year when the day and night is of equal length; we today call it the first day of spring. The well-known historian, Will Durant, explains how the celebration of her lover, Adonis, was celebrated by the pagans on that day by sexual orgies:
"Religious prostitution flourished, for in Syria, as throughout western Asia, the fertility of the soil was symbolized in a Great Mother, or goddess, whose sexual commerce with her lover gave the hint to all the reproductive processes and energies of nature; and the sacrifice of virginity at the temples was not only an offering to Astarte, but a participation with her in that annual self-abandonment which, it was hoped, would offer an irresistible suggestion to the earth, and insure the increase of plants, animals, and men. About the time of the vernal equinox, the festival of the Syrian Astarte, like that of Cybele in Phrygia, was celebrated at Hierapolis with a fervor bordering upon madness. The noise of flutes and drums mingled with the wailing of the women for Astarte's dead lord, Adoni; eunuch priests danced wildly, and slashed themselves with knives.. Then in the dark of the night, the priests brought a mystic illumination to the scene, opened the tomb of the young god, and announced triumphantly that Adoni, the Lord, had risen from the dead. Touching the lips of the worshipers with balm, the priests whispered to them the promise that they, too, would some day rise from the grave."-Will Durant, History of Civilization, Vol. 1, pp.296-297.
Ashtoreth in Israel: The Israelites referred to Astarte as "Ashtoreth." In the Bible, the prophets of God denounced the worship of Ashtoreth, but many of the people worshiped her and her consort, Baal, the sun god. This worship was done amid groves of trees, on the summits of mountains. Here they worshiped sacred stones, practiced divination, and engaged in orgies as part of their worship of Ashtoreth and Baal. Because the myth of Astarte included the idea of a resurrected sun god, the sacred grove worship was carried on at daybreak as the sun was coming up.
The northern kingdom of Israel (Samaria) was destroyed because of such idolatry. Later, king Josiah of Judah marched through it and tore down the altars to Baal, "and them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets." He "defiled Topheth, . . that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to molech"; and he smashed the altars that Solomon had built for Chemosh, Milcom and Astarte." (See 2 Kings 23:2,4,10,13). Ishtar in Sumeria and Babylonia: Ishtar was the love goddess of the Babylonians. Her worship came down from earliest times in Sumeria, where her lover was Tammuz. She was the goddess of mothers and prostitutes, and of love and war.
"Though her worshipers repeatedly addressed her as 'The Virgin,' 'The Holy Virgin,' and 'The Virgin Mother,' this merely meant that her amours were free from all taint of wedlock."- Will Durant, History of Civilization, Vol. 1, p. 235.
Ishtar was said to be the daughter of Sin, the moon-god. Her lover was Tammuz, the sun-god. She was called the "Queen of Heaven" by her worshipers and their priests. According to the ancient myth, when Tammuz was slain by a wild animal, Ishtar raises him to life. Because of this, a yearly spring festival was held in honor of Ishtar, the mother goddess.
"[This is the] myth of Ishtar and Tammuz. In the Sumerian form of the tale, Tammuz is Ishtar's young brother; in the Babylonia form, he is sometimes her lover, sometimes her son; both forms seem to have entered into the myths of Venus and Adonis, Demeter and Persephone, and a hundred scattered legends of death and resurrection . . To the Babylonians it was sacred history faithfully believed and annually commemorated by mourning and wailing for the dead Tammuz, followed by riotous rejoicing over his resurrection."-Ibid, pp.238, 239.
Sumeria: Even earlier in history, the Sumerians worshiped Innini, or Ishtar. Here is Durant's description of her:
"[The city of] Uruk worshiped especially virgin earth-goddess Innini, known to the Semites of Akkad as Ishtar- the loose and versatile Aphrodite-Demeter of the Near East. Kish and Lagash worshiped a Mater Dolorosa, the sorrowful mother-goddess Ninkarsag, who, grieved with the unhappiness of men, interceded for them with the sterner deities."- Ibid, p.127.
Cybele in Phrygia: Essentially the myths surrounding Cybele were so much like those of Greece, that the Greeks called the latter Rhea Cybele, and considered the two divinities one. In Greece, her temple was at Athens. As usual, she resurrected her lover, Attis, each spring at the vernal equinox.
Dometer in Greece:
Throughout the Near East, this mother goddess was variously known
as Astarte, Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Cybele, Demeter, Ceres, Aphrodite,
Venus, and Freya.
She had a special lover (sometimes called her son; and in one case, her daughter). Thus, for example, we have Isis and Horus the sun-god (Osiris was the son) in Egypt (in later Egypt, Osiris was called Serapis), Ishtar and Tammuz in Babylon and Sumeria, Cybele and Attis in Phrygia, Aphrodite (or Adonis) and Adonis in Syria, Atys and Bendis in Asia, and Anaita and Haoma (later called Mithra) in Persia.
She also had a special son (who was sometimes the same as his father), so we have Isis and Osiris in Egypt, Ishtar and Tammuz in Babylonia, Astarte and Adonis in Syria, Demeter and Persephone (and daughter) in Greece, and Cybele and Attis in Phrygia.
In Greece, she was called Demeter, and she obtained the yearly resurrection each spring of her daughter (not a son in this instance), Persephone.
"Essentially it (the myth of Demeter and Persephone) was the same myth as that of Isis and Osiris in Egypt, Tammuz and Ishtar in Babylonia, Astarte and Adonis in Syria, Cybele and Attis in Phrygia. The cult of motherhood survived through classical times to take new life in the worship of Mary the Mother of God."-Will Durant, History of Civilization, Vol.2, p.178.
Artemis in Iona: Ephesus was the major city of Iona, and its temple of Artemis (called Diana in Acts 19) was famous, for it was the largest Greek temple ever built.
Ceres in Poseidonia: The temple of Ceres stood on the site of an earlier temple to Poseidon. Here Cores was venerated.
Venus of the Romans: Venus (also called Aphrodite) was equivalent to the earth-fertility and love goddess of the other Near Eastern nations. According to some stories, her son was Aeneas, the ancestor of the Romans; according to others, Cupid. In Rome, every month was dedicated to a god, and April belonged to Venus. She was worshiped as the Mother goddess of their race, since they were supposed to be descended from her through Aeneas. Later, they dedicated their days to gods, and borrowed from the Persians the sacred sun-day, the first day of the week, and worshiped the Persian sun god, Mithra, on that day. Mithra's birthday was December 25 and was later christened and adopted as "Christmas" by the Roman church.
Anaita of Persia: As we pass down through time, we come to Persia and the goddess Anaita, the love or earth goddess. Their chief god was the sun god, Ahura-Mazda, who later became known as Mithra (or Mithras). Under the name, Mithra, he became the most important god in Rome before Christianity won out.
"For a while, under Darius 1 [52-486 B.C.], it (the worship of Ahura-Mazda] became the spiritual expression of a nation at its height . . Underneath the official worship of Ahura-Mazda the cult of Mithra and Anaita -- god of the sun and goddess of vegetation and fertility, generation and sex -- continued to find devotees: and in the days of Artaxerxes II (404-359 B.C.) their names began to appear again in the royal inscriptions. Thereafter Mithra grew powerfully in favor and Ahura-Mazda faded away until, in the first centuries of our era, the cult of Mithra as a divine youth of beautiful countenance -- with a radiant halo over his head as a symbol of his ancient identity with the sun -- spread throughout the Roman Empire, and shared in giving Christmas to Christianity. [Footnote on the same page:] Christmas was originally a solar festival, celebrating, at the winter solstice, the lengthening of the day and the triumph of the sun over his enemies. It became a Mithraic, and finally a Christian, holy day."-Will Durant, History of Civilization, Vol.1, p.372
The leading gods of ancient Persia were Mithra, the sun god, Anaita the nature goddess, and her lover Haoma, who rose to life again. Later, the dying-rising Haoma became transformed into the dying-rising Mithra, the saviour god, who, in the hands of Satan, became the chief competitor to Christianity in the Roman Empire after the time of Christ. Mithra worship was a carefully contrived counterfeit of Christianity, which Satan suggested to the minds of men over the centuries.
But then, in the fourth century A.D., when Christianity won out over Mithraism, Mithraic and Ishtar elements of worship were incorporated into Christian worship.
Because Mithra was always shown with a solar halo around his head, portraits and statues of Christ (and shortly, Mary and the saints) with halos around their heads became abundant.
Because worshipers of Ishtar presented her with two fertility symbols -- eggs and bunny rabbits, -- these became part of the Christian Easter service.
Because sunrise on Sunday morning at the beginning of spring was, besides December 25th, the holiest day in the Mithraic calendar, the practice of Easter sunrise services continued on into Christianity.
Because Mithra was worshiped on the first day of the week, which the Persians and Romans called the sun-day, Sunday sacredness -- which is nowhere to be found in the Bible -- came into the Christian church.
Because Mithra the sun, "died and rose to life" each year on December 25 (when the sun became lowest in the sky), the birth of Christ began to be celebrated on that date (although it is reasonably clear from facts in the Bible that He was born in the fall of the year -- the taxation census took place near the end of summer or early fall).
Because the Ishtar (Astarte, Ashtoreth, etc.) celebration was held each spring on a Sunday close to the vernal equinox, the resurrection of Christ was changed the 16th day of the first month of the Jewish calendar -- three days after the beginning of Passover as told us in the Bible -- to the annual Easter celebration. (Something you may not have realized is that "Easter" in Acts 12:4 is a mistranslation. The original Greek in that passage is paska, or Passover, not Easter.)
All this began centuries before in paganism, with the Ishtar and Tammuz legend.
At the beginning of earth's history. God created the entire world in six days and rested on the seventh day and sanctified it, or set it apart, as a special day for men to worship Him on (Gen. 2:1-3). This is God's own day -- His day -- the Lord's Day -- given to man to worship Him on.
Jesus Christ created all things (Col. 1:16; John 7:3: Hot. 7:7-3) and He calls Himself the Lord of the Sabbath (Matt. 12:8; Mark 2:28). It is His day. The Lord's Day (Rev. 1:10).
He made it for man -- all mankind -- (Mark2:27) and not just for the Jewish race. God gave the sabbath at the foundation of the world (Gen. 2:1-3), and His followers kept it before it was given on Mount Sinai (Ex. 16). On Mount Sinai He spoke and wrote His Law, so that all the world might more clearly know it (Ex. 20:6-11). It is the seal of the law and the sign that He is our Creator (Ex. 31:17) and our redeemer (Ezekiel 20:12) and that we belong to Him (Ezekiel 20:20).
Jerusalem was destroyed and His people were led into captivity because they were so prone to idolatry and refused to obey Him and keep His Sabbath. (Jer. 17:19-27; 52:1-13).
While here on earth, Jesus gave us a careful example of obedience to the Sabbath day which He had given mankind (Luke 4:16), and rebuked man-made changes in His laws (Matt. 15:9, 6). He magnified the law and made it honorable (Isa. 42:21).
Just before His death He predicted the destruction of Jerusalem thirty-nine years later, in A.D. 70, and at the end of the world (Maw 24). He also cautioned His followers to continue to carefully observe the Sabbath even when those terrible events should come to pass years and even centuries later (Man 24:20).
He carefully instructed His disciples to keep His day holy, and He wanted them to "remember the Sabbath day" (Ex. 20:8) long after He had returned to heaven. His followers faithfully kept it after His death (Luke 23:56) and later in their missionary work (Acts 13:14-16; 40-46; 16:12-15; 17:1- 4). They declared that we ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), and Paul could sincerely say of himself and his fellow believers: "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." (Rom. 3:31). The Word of God was being fulfilled in order that the Gentiles would one day faithfully keep the Sabbath that the Jews were desecrating (Isa 56:3-7).
The Bible predicted that a great desolating power was to arise in later centuries that would seek to destroy the atonement and God's laws from among His people (Dan. 7:8, 20-21, 25; 8:9-12).
The attempt by this power to change God's laws, and especially His law regarding time, was specifically predicted in Daniel 7:25. Only God can change the law, and so Paul predicted the rise of a man who would call himself God (2 Thess. 2:3-4). With boldness this power would sit in the temple of God and call itself God (2 Thess. 2:4), and boastfully admit what it had done, declaring it to be the mark of its authority -- and indeed is it not?
You see, it's like this: I acknowledge and honor God's authority when I obey His commands and encourage others to do So. I declare my independence of God when I set aside His law and refuse to keep it. But I set myself up as a rival god when, having set aside His law, I establish in its place a counterfeit and then require others to keep it in place of the law that God commanded!
"Whom ye obey, his servants ye are." (Rom. 6:16). God's Word declares that obedience to this man-made god by keeping his counterfeit day of worship (while knowing that there is not one word or hint in all of the Scriptures to keep that false day in place of the true Bible Sabbath) will soon bring upon oneself the Mark of the Beast (Rev. 13:16-17; 14:6-12). Only the remnant who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus will at that time resist it (Rev. 13:8; 14:612; 12:17). In fact, the Bible predicts a return to the true Sabbath as God's people will rebuild the torn-out place in the law of God by again keeping His true Sabbath (Isa- 58:13-14). And thank God, the assuring prophecy is given that the saved of all ages will one day soon honor the holy Sabbath of God through out all eternity in the new earth (Isa 66:22-23).
SUNDAY IN THE BIBLE
Sunday is never called sacred or holy anywhere in the Bible. lt is never called the Sabbath or the Lord's Day. Sunday is only mentioned eight times in the Bible. The first time is Genesis 1:5, where the first day of creation week is spoken of. The next five times refer to Jesus' appearances on Sunday to His disciples after His rest in the tornb on the Sabbath (Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:1-2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19). Jesus went and found them and told them the good news that he was alive. There is nothing here about Sunday sacredness. The seventh time is in Acts 20:7-8, where Paul speaks to the Ephesian leaders. A few versus later (Acts 20:15-38), he speaks to another group in the middle of the week, but that doesn't make that day any more sacred then the Sunday preceding it. For only a direct command of God can make a day holy. Repeatedly in Acts, Paul kept the Sabbath holy (Acts 13:14-16; 40-46; 16:12-15; 17:1-4) just as his Master had done before Him. Acts is as silent on Sunday sanctity as is Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The eighth and last text is found in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 where Paul instructs the believers to do their bookkeeping at home on Sunday mornings. The first working day of the week was a good day for this since Friday they were busy preparing for the Sabbath. This is the only one mentioned in all of Paul's writings of the first day of the week.
John the Revelator saw Christ in vision on the Lord's Day (Rev. 1:10). This was the Day of the Lord. The Sabbath is the day unto the Lord (Ex. 16:23, 25; 31:15; 35:2), the day of the Lord (Ex. 20:10; Lev. 23:3; Deut. 5:4), and His own day (Isa. 58:13). Jesus is the Creator who gave us the Sabbath (Eph. 3:9; John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2; Gen. 2:1-3), and John had heard Him call Himself, "the LORD of the Sabbath day." (Matt. 12:8; Mark 2:28). John well knew which day was the Lord's Day. This day is the memorial day of the Creator (Gen. 2:13; Ex. 31:17), the memorial day of the Redeemer (Eze. 20:12, 20). It is the Lord's Day... a day that God wants to share with you. He plans to keep it with you through all eternity to come (Isa. 66:22- 23). Come, worship Him on the best day -- His day -- the only day of worship your God ever gave you.
Altamont, TN 37301 USA
For more information on pagan customs that have entered Christianity see the book:
Babylon, Mystery Religion, by Ralph Edward Woodrow
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