To completely grasp the reasons for modern Sunday Worship among "Christians", it is necessary to explore the history of its observance. This is an important exercise for all Essene-Nasarenes who wish to truly keep the "Sabbath" and the "Lord's Day" sacred.
"With which eyes do you look at the Lord's Day, you who have dishonored the Sabbath? Do you perhaps ignore that the two days are brothers, and that if you hurt the one, you strike at the other? Gregory of Nyssa
Understanding of the Roman, not Essene, influence in weekly calendar observance leads to a correct understanding and implementation of true seventh day observance. Many assume the modern week goes all the way back to creation, when in fact its origin is much more recent:
"The dedication of the days to the seven stars, which are called planets, was established by the Egyptians, and it spread also to all men not so very long ago" - Dio Cassius Historia
"When the oriental seven day period, or week, was introduced, in the time of Augustus, the first seven letters of the alphabet were employed in the same way as done for the nundinae, to indicate the days of this new division of time" - Thurston
In 274 C.E. the Roman Emperor Aurelian begins new Sun cult.
"In 274, Aurelian created a new cult of the Invincible Sun. Worshipped in a splendid temple, served by pontiffs who were raised to the level of the ancient pontiffs of Rome, celebrated every fourth year by magnificent games, Sol Invictus was definitely promoted to the highest rank in the divine hierarchy and became the official protector of the Sovereigns and of the Empire He [Aurelian] placed in his new sanctuary the images of Bel and Helios, which he captured at Palmyra. In establishing this new State cult, Aurelian in reality proclaimed the dethronement of the old Roman idolatry and the accession of Semitic Sun-worship
[p. 56] This sidereal theology, founded on ancient beliefs of Chaldean astrologers, transformed in the Hellenistic age under the twofold influence of astronomic discoveries and Stoic thought, [was] promoted, after becoming a pantheistic Sun-worship, to the rank of official religion of the Roman Empire. - Source: Franz Cumont, Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans (reprint; New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1960), pp. 55, 56.
First Sunday Law enacted by Emperor Constantine - March, 321 A.D. This Emperor is the true legislator of Sunday worship, not Amen as some suppose.
On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations the bounty of heaven should be lost. (Given the 7th day of March, Crispus and Constantine being consuls each of them for the second time [a.d. 321].) - Source: Codex Justinianus, lib. 3, tit. 12, 3; trans. in Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 3 (5th ed.; New York: Scribner, 1902), p. 380, note 1.
Transition from Pagan to Christian
"This legislation by Constantine probably bore no relation to Christianity; it appears, on the contrary, that the emperor, in his capacity of Pontifex Maximus, was only adding the day of the Sun, the worship of which was then firmly [p. 123] established in the Roman Empire, to the other ferial days of the sacred calendar
[p. 270] What began, however, as a pagan ordinance, ended as a Christian regulation; and a long series of imperial decrees, during the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, enjoined with increasing stringency abstinence from labor on Sunday. - Source: Hutton Webster, Rest Days, pp. 122, 123, 270. Copyright 1916 by The Macmillan Company, New York.The Church made a sacred day of Sunday largely because it was the weekly festival of the sun; for it was a definite Christian policy to take over the pagan festivals endeared to the people by tradition, and to give them a Christian significance. - Source: Arthur Weigall, The Paganism in Our Christianity, p. 145. Copyright 1928 by G. p. Putnams Sons, New York.Q. What is Sunday, or the Lord's Day in general?
A. It is a day dedicated by the Apostles to the honor of the most holy Trinity, and in memory that Christ our Lord arose from the dead upon Sunday, sent down the holy Ghost on a Sunday, and therefore is called the Lord's Day. It is also called Sunday from the old Roman denomination of Dies Solis, the day of the sun, to which it was sacred. - Source: Source: The Douay Catechism, (An Abridgment of the Christian Doctrine) of 1649, by Henry Tuberville, D.D., published by P. J. Kenedy, Excelsior Catholic Publishing House, 5 Barclay Street, New York, approved and recommended for his diocese by the Right Rev. Benedict, Bishop of Boston, April 24th, 1833, page 143.
The non Nasarene Church decrees the fixed day of Sunday sacredness- Canon Laws of the Council of Laodicea (343-381?). If the original Nasarenes had kept Sunday sacred, there would have been no need for emperial laws to change an ancient custom. The very existence of this Canon declarations concerning Sunday reinforce the fact that it was a new and not original practice.
"Can. 16. On Saturday [Greek sabbaton, the Sabbath] the Gospels and other portions of the Scripture shall be read aloud.
Can. 29. Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday, but shall work on that day; but the Lords day they shall especially honor, and, as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If, however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out [Greek anathema] from Christ.
Can. 49. During Lent, the bread shall not be offered, except on Saturday and Sunday.
Can. 51. During Lent, no feast of the martyrs shall be celebrated, but the holy martyrs shall be commemorated on the Saturdays and Sundays of Lent. - Source: Charles Joseph Hefele, A History of the Christian Councils, Vol. 2, trans. and ed. by H. N. Oxenham (Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1896), pp. 310, 316, 320."The Council of Orleans (538), while protesting [p. 106] against an excessive Sabbatarianism, forbade all field work under pain of censure; and the Council of Macon (585) laid down that the Lords Day is the day of perpetual rest, which is suggested to us by the type of the seventh day in the law and the prophets, and ordered a complete cessation of all kinds of business. How far the movement had gone by the end of the 6th cent. is shown by a letter of Gregory the Great (pope 590604) protesting against the prohibition of baths on Sunday. - Source: M. G. Glazebrook, Sunday, in James Hastings, ed., Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (New York: Scribner, 1928), Vol. 12, pp. 105, 106.
Nasarene Sabbath keepers denounced as Antichrist by Pope Gregory I (590-604)
"Gregory, servant of the servants of God, to his most beloved sons the Roman citizens. It has come to my ears that certain men of perverse spirit have sown among you some things that are wrong and opposed to the holy faith, so as to forbid any work being done on the Sabbath day. What else can I call these but preachers of Antichrist, who, when he comes, will cause the Sabbath day as well as the Lords day to be kept free from all work. For, because he pretends to die and rise again, he wishes the Lords day to be had in reverence; and, because he compels the people to Judaize that he may bring back the outward rite of the law, and subject the perfidy of the Jews to himself, he wishes the Sabbath to be observed. - Source: Gregory I (Pope, 590604), Selected Epistles, bk. 13, Epistle 1, trans. in NPNF, 2d series, Vol. 13, pp. 92, 93.
Pope Gregory I was alluding to the following passage in Daniel, which is speaking of the little horn, the AntiChrist. In reality it was his Roman predecessors who changed the ancient Lunar Sabbath times, not their surviving remnants trying to preserve this ancient practice.
And he shall speak great words against the most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the most High,
and think to change times and laws: [of the most High God]...
Q. Have you any other way of proving that the Church has power to institute festivals of precept?
A. Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her; --she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority. - Source: A Doctrinal Catechism by Stephen Keenan, Imprimatur by John Cardinal McCloskey, Archbishop of New York, Copyright 1876 by T. W. Strong, p. 174.
Thus is the history of the enactment of Sunday as the day of worship. All true Essene-Nasarenes should realize that the supposed specialness of the fixed day of the Sun has nothing whatsoever to do with observance of the divine Shawui calendar which mandates the seventh and first days of the lunar week as special fast and feast days.
Sunday observance is a result of a strong, anti-Jewish movement which warred against all things Jewish and Nasarene, including the true calendar. This resulted in rejection of the Shawui calendar and the acceptance of a non-Nasarene calendar and a planetary week which arose out of Egypt.
"The social tension that existed between Jews and Christians, as well as the Roman anti-Jewish policy, greatly conditioned Christians in their negative evaluation of significant Old Testament institutions like the Sabbath." From Sabbath to Sunday - Samuele Bacchiochi
"Let us have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd..." Eusebius, Life of Constatine
"Let us no longer keep the Sabbath after the Jewish [Nasarene] manner . . . and not eating things prepared the day before, nor using lukewarm drinks." Pseuso Ignatius, Epistle Magnesians
Some "Christian" writers even stated that ancient institutions, like the Sabbath, were actually a curse and a punishment imposed upon Jews by an angry God:
"It was by reason of your sins and the sins of your fathers that, among other precepts, God imposed upon you the observance of the Sabbath as a Mark . . . the purpose of this was that you and only you might suffer the afflictions that are now justly yours! - Greek Justin Dialogue 16
"We desire to show . . . that Christians need at no time . . . to walk in blindness and stupidity behind the Jews as though they did not know what was the day of the Passover." Pseudo-Cyprian - De Pashc Computus 243 A.D.
"Having eliminated the Judaizing Quartodeciman tradition [lunar calendar], repudiating even the Jewish computations, making their own time calculations, since such dependence on the Jews [Nasarenes] must have appeared humiliating." M. Righetti, Renowned Liturgist
Realizing the depth of animosity and hatred felt by early gentile Christians toward all semite customs and people, one can easily see how the early Roman church was able to supplant original Nasarene leadership and customs. By rewriting scripture and history, and by altering original customs and practices, the Roman Church was able to create a Christianity that bore only surface similarities to the original Nasarene religion taught by Yeshua. Through centuries of careful editing and eradication of original documents and witnesses, this Roman Christianity was able to create the illusion of complete historical continuity with the early Nasarene Movement. Careful analysis of this claim, however, reveals that Roman Christianity is not the true preserver of the original tradition. The Essene-Nasarenes claim to be a modern restoration of the original Nasarene Essenism once supplanted by Roman influence.
The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
Copyright © 1999-2006. All rights reserved.
The Essene Numerology Chart | Ministerial Training Course