To find out the origin of Sunday worship, we need to go through some history, as this goes all the way back to ancient times. In the ancient world, 'sun worship' was one of the most common forms of pagan idolatry. Immediately after Israel left Egypt, God warned His people against being "driven to worship the sun."
Deuteronomy 4:19 ...'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, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.'
Yet Israel later yielded to temptation, compromised with the nations around them, and dedicated their "horses ... to the sun." 2 Kings 23:11. During a time of revival, King Josiah purged much of Israel and "burned the chariots of the sun with fire." 2 Kings 23:11. Before the Babylonian captivity, many Israelite leaders rejected their Creator, yielded again to idolatry, and "worshipped the sun toward the east."
Ezekiel 8:16 ...'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.'
Sounds a lot like the 'sunrise service' many churches have at Easter.
At the same time, God declared that they "hid their eyes from My Sabbaths." Ezekiel 22:26. Thus ancient Israel shifted from Sabbath keeping to sun worship.
Sun worship, the day of the sun, and Sunday: "The Romans called the sun god Mithra and Apollo, and they especially worshiped the sun on the first day of the week, also called Dies Solis (Latin), which means, day of the sun. The name Sunday was adopted because ...'this day was anciently dedicated to the sun, or to its worship. The first day of the week." (Webster's Dictionary; 1929 edition).
"The retention of the old pagan name of Dies Solis, for Sunday is, in a 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." (Arthur P. Stanley, History of the Eastern Church, p. 184).
"On the venerable day of the Sun let the Magistrates and the people residing in the cities rest, and let all workshops be closed." (Edict of Constantine A.D. 321).
The names of days in today's English come from ancient paganism, where they were originally associated with celestial objects and heathen gods.
dies solis Sun Day . Sunday
dies lunae Moon Day . Monday
dies martis Mars' Day Tiw's Day Tuesday
dies mercurii Mercury's Day Woden's Day Wednesday
dies jovis Jupiter's Day Thor's Day Thursday
dies veneris Venus' Day Frigg's Day Friday
dies saturni Saturn's Day . Saturday
The adoption of the 25th of December for the celebration of Christmas is perhaps the most explicit example of sun worship's influence on the Christian liturgical calendar. It is a known fact that the pagan feast of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti - the birthday of the Invincible Sun, was held on that date.
One of the Roman names for this "Invincible Sun" god in the days of the apostles was Mithras. There are striking similarities between the ancient worship of Mithras and today's Christianity, leading some to think early Christians adopted Sunday worship from heathen customs.
For instance, Mithraism's sacred day of Sunday was said to be called "the Lord's Day." Donald Morse, a retired professor at Temple University, wrote a 1999 essay comparing the tenets of Mithraism to modern Christianity, explaining Mithras was worshipped on Sunday; was born of a virgin known as the "mother of God" on Dec. 25; was part of a holy trinity; and had a "Last Supper" with his 12 followers before his death and resurrection at Easter time near the spring equinox. Mithraists were also taught they had immortal souls that went to a celestial heaven or an infernal hell at death.
All of these religions intermingled in those days. And the same is being repeated today, with this ecumenical movement spearheaded by Rome.
As Christianity spread through the pagan Roman Empire, it was finally given official toleration in the year 312 by Emperor Constantine, who supposedly had a vision that prompted his soldiers to fight under a symbol of Christ, leading to a key military victory. The emperor then restored confiscated church property and even offered public funds to churches in need.
Sunday observance received a historic boost when Constantine - himself a pagan who is said to have adopted Christianity at least nominally - established Sunday as the first day of the week in the Roman calendar and issued a mandatory order prohibiting work on that day, in honor of the sun god. On March 7, 321, he decreed, "On the venerable Day of the Sun, let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed." Farmers were given an exception.
"The importance of the actions of Constantine cannot be overstated," says author Richard Rives in 'Too Long in the Sun'. "During his reign, pagan sun worship was blended with the worship of the Creator, and officially entitled 'Christianity'."
Before the end of the 4th century, Sunday observance prevailed over Saturday.
At the Council of Laodicea in 363, the Church of Rome - today known as the Roman Catholic Church - declared: "Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord's Day [Sunday]; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ."
The roman catholic church brought Christianity and sun worship together, by changing the 7th day Sabbath to the 1st day ...day of the sun ... Sunday! They have boasted throughout history that they were the ones to change the Sabbath day. They admit that the true Sabbath Day is the 7th day of the week, but claim to have the authority to change the law of God.
This Sunday law enacted by Constantine and the Roman Catholic Church will be enforced again one day soon, which will end up being the mark of Revelation's beast.
Notice the picture of the Vatican. Take a look at the large wheel marked on the floor of St Peters. This is a symbol of sun worship. If you do some searching, you will find countless sun worship symbols and images right throughout the Roman Catholic Church.
In 380, Emperor Theodosius made Sunday-keeping Catholic Christianity the official religion of the empire, outlawing all other faiths: "We authorize the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in our judgment they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics."
While some went along with the decrees, others apparently did not. A letter from Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, reveals differences in Sabbath practices in his own city from those in Rome. It led to the well-known proverb, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
Once Sunday had the imperial power of the Roman Catholic government behind it, Saturday Sabbath-keepers became less visible, though some Sabbatarian websites have documented mentions of seventh-day observers through the centuries. For example, the Catholic Church persecuted Sabbath-keepers in the 15th century. At the Catholic Provincial Council of Bergen, Norway, in 1435, it was said: We are informed that some people in different districts of the kingdom, have adopted and observed Saturday-keeping.
See THIS SITE for more information on the changing of the Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday.
"We are informed that some people in different districts of the kingdom, have adopted and observed Saturdaykeeping. It is severely forbidden - in holy church canon - [for] one and all to observe days excepting those which the holy Pope, archbishop, or the bishops command. Saturdaykeeping must under no circumstances be permitted hereafter further than the church canon commands. Therefore, we counsel all the friends of God throughout all Norway who want to be obedient towards the holy church to let this evil of Saturdaykeeping alone; and the rest we forbid under penalty of severe church punishment to keep Saturday holy." (Catholic Provincial Council at Bergen. 1435 Dip. Norveg., 7, 397)
The Catholic Encyclopedia even refers to Sabbath-keeping as "the superstitious observance of Saturday," noting it was forbidden by that council. And yet observance of the seventh day sabbath is a COMMANDMENT OF OUR CREATOR GOD!!
So, we have seen that the Word of God declares the true Sabbath Day that was instituted at creation, and history proves the true rise of Sunday observance. We know that man has not been given the authority to add to, or take away from the precepts of God. Yet, as in the garden of Eden, the serpent (satan) continues to deceive.
When the Word became flesh and dwelt among men, the most religious of all those calling themselves followers of God, were found by Christ, to be of the "devil", "serpents and vipers." These people, although very religious, had through tradition, made God's laws "of none effect." Christ told them: "Ye neither know me, nor my Father" yet they claimed the highest position of leadership and authority.
It has been shown over and over again that many traditions taught by today's leaders, have absolutely no Biblical authority. In addition, it has been shown that they are, in fact, customs developed by pagan sun worshippers in honor of other gods.
The attempt to substitute non-Biblical doctrines "the commandments of men", in place of God's commandments, is in vain. Who is being honored? - Who is being worshipped? - Not Christ!
We have been warned that not every one that calls Christ Jesus "Lord" will enter into the kingdom of heaven, but only those doing the will of His heavenly Father. Even though many have done wonderful works in His name, they will be told that, as transgressors of God's law, they must depart from Him: "I never knew you".
It is high time that we started to serve God and God alone!
This is the truth about the origin of Sunday worship and Sunday keeping. A man made law is coming that will end up being the mark of the beast, and all who accept it will be forever lost! Please turn away from Sunday worship and Sunday "sabbath" keeping and turn to God and keep His Holy day, the seventh day sabbath (known today as Saturday).
Click The Sabbath Day in Bible Prophecy to continue with this study.