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eCourses Completion Status

Persecuted for Rejecting Pagan Calendation

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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Do not assume that because some Christians accepted pagan calendation and practices that the change occurred without protest from other Christians. Apostolic Christians, those who strictly adhered to the teachings of the apostles and their immediate spiritual descendants, were greatly upset at what they saw as pagan apostasy creeping into the ekklesia. The prejudice against Christians was extreme. In fact, the main thrust of Tertullian’s work, the Apologeticum, was to defend Christianity against the unreasonable treatment of Christians by the pagans.

Tertullian, gifted with a biting wit and with great relish for irony, points out the inconsistent treatment of Christians versus common criminals by the magistrates.1Whereas a common criminal was tortured until he confessed to a crime, Christians who confessed to being "Christian" were tortured until they denied it.

The reason why we use Ekklesia and not church when referring to Yahuwah's faithful in WLC content is because the word "church" does not accurately convey the meaning of the original Greek, "Ekklesia." Throughout the New Testament, Ekklesia refers to the Called Out Ones. The word "church," which emphasizes a group, is therefore an erroneous translation and should never have been used. Christians are literally the Called Out Ones. The true followers of Yahushua are indeed the Called Out Ones from the organized denominations and religions of fallen Babylon. When the call to flee Babylon has been heard, none are to again return to Babylonian churches and forms of religion.

It is not for Christians today to judge those who lived through extreme persecution in the past. However, it should be understood that paganism made inroads into Christendom only under extreme protest and through the blood of martyrs. Those who refused to drop a pinch of incense in honor of the "divine" emperor would often be forced to hold a handful of incense mixed with burning coals. If the burning mixture was dropped out of reflex or if it fell only after the fingers were burned off, the pagans would rejoice that proper honor had been given the emperor.2

Christians were also expected to offer a pinch of incense to the other Roman gods. "Prayer to the planets on their respective days was a part of the worship of the heavenly bodies."3Some modern theologians acknowledge, "Yes, when the seventh-day Sabbath is calculated by the Biblical calendar, it will fall differently; but all that is required of us is to keep the seventh-day Sabbath by whatever calendar society uses." Such a belief reveals a tragic lack of knowledge of the issues at stake. The planetary week with the seven astrological gods was clearly seen by apostolic Christians to be linked to demon worship. Scripture is adamant that the rites of paganism are nothing but devil worship: "But I say, that the things which the Gentiles [pagans] sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to Yahuwah: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils."4

This illustration 5 found in Tortures and Torments of Christian Martyrs shows a martyr, figure A, illustration of a martyr being forced to hold a handful of burning coals being forced to hold a handful of burning coals.6The caption reads: "Martyr whose hand is filled with incense mingled with live coals, and who being constrained by the pain to scatter the incense, is said to have made sacrifice to the idol." The cluster of thunderbolts in the customary shape of an X with a thick bisecting bolt, reveal the idol to be the planetary god, Jupiter.7No true Christian, to save his life, would offer a pinch of incense to any planetary god, not even Saturn – even if the seventh-day Sabbath on that lunation happened to coincide with Saturn’s day. To do so would be acknowledging Saturn as "god" of that day.

Calendation encompasses much larger issues than has been understood. The day on which one worships reveals which Deity/deity is being worshipped. The early Christians knew well that to worship by a pagan calendar was to give homage to a pagan god. By worshipping on the Creator’s luni-solar calendar, they were declaring their allegiance to Yahuwah, maker of the heavens, the earth, the sea and all that is in them.

Christianity’s acceptance of pagan calendation did not happen overnight. Some Christians compromised on one point, others on another. Some adhered strictly to the luni-solar calendar, while others kept the lunar Sabbath, but also acknowledged Sunday. Still others kept both Saturday and Sunday, while some worshipped only on Sunday. The compromises of one generation were taken a little further by the next.

At every step in the course of the apostasy, at every step taken in adopting the forms of sun worship, and against the adoption and the observance of Sunday itself, there had been constant protest by all real Christians. Those who remained faithful to Christ and to the truth of the pure word of [Yahuwah] observed the Sabbath of [Yahuwah] according to the commandment, and according to the word of [Yahuwah] which sets forth the Sabbath as the sign by which [Yahuwah], the Creator of the heavens and the earth, is distinguished from all other gods. These accordingly protested against every phase and form of sun worship. Others compromised, especially in the East, by observing both Sabbath and Sunday. But in the west under Roman influences and under the leadership of the church and the bishopric of Rome, Sunday alone was adopted and observed. 8

Because the calendars were so different, every area of life was necessarily affected. Those who did not have a heart-commitment to pure doctrine found it easy to excuse away their compromise. Scholars believe that Eusebius of Caesarea was the first ecclesiastical writer to spiritualize the pagan name of "Sunday" to make it more palatable for Christians. He said of dies Solis, Sunday: "on it to our souls the Sun of Righteousness rose."9He further wrote of seeing "the face of the glory of Christ, and to behold the day of His light."10

A record of the Christian transition to pagan calendation has been preserved in various sepulchral inscriptions. One old Christian inscription refers to dies Mercurii (day of Mercury) in its text. The epitaph’s date is believed to be either A.D. 291 or 302.11Another Christian inscription, one of the oldest dated ones to be discovered in Rome, refers to dies Veneris (day of Venus). What sets this particular inscription apart is that it lists both the Julian date and the luni-solar date! Dated A.D. 269, it states:

In the consulship of Claudius and Paternus, on the Nones of November, on the day of Venus, and on the 24th day of the lunar month, Leuces placed [this memorial] to her very dear daughter Severa, and to Thy Holy Spirit. She died [at the age] of 55 years, and 11 months [and] 10 days.12

The "Nones" of November is November 5 which fell on the day of Venus, Friday. On that lunation this corresponded with the 24th day of the lunar month, or "Second Day" on the Biblical week.

This slow metamorphosis from pure, apostolic Christianity, to a Christianity intertwined with pagan calendation principles is largely responsible for the lack of knowledge existing today regarding the true calendar of the Creator. The pagan continuous weekly cycle reaches so far back in history, it is assumed that a continuous weekly cycle has always existed. The historical facts of the Julian calendar have been forgotten and circular reasoning has been used to "prove" that Saturday is the Bible Sabbath: the modern Gregorian week has continuously cycling seven-day weeks therefore weeks have always cycled continuously. Saturday, then, must be the "seventh-day Sabbath" of the fourth commandment.

Catholics and Protestants worshipping on Sunday, the first day of the Gregorian week, has been taken as further "proof" that Saturday is the seventh-day Sabbath of the Bible. After all, "If Saturday is not the true Sabbath, why would Satan bother with having people worship on Sunday?" This double deception has affirmed Saturday sabbatarians in their assumption that Saturday is the Bible Sabbath. The facts of history shine light through the darkness of error and tradition to reveal the pagan origins of both modern days of worship, Sunday and Saturday.

_____________________________________
1For further research, see www.tertullian.org.
2Antonio Gallonio, De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus, 1591. Published in English: Tortures and Torments of the Christian Martyrs, (Fortune Press, 1903), p. 143. The intent of the book was the "edification of the faithful" and published with the approval of the Roman Catholic Church. Digitized by Google.
3Odom, op.cit., p. 158.
4See I Corinthians 10:20.
5This illustration was a copper-plate engraving done by Antonio Tempesta of Firenza (Florence) taken after the designs of Giovanni de Guerra of Modena, painter to Pope Sixtus V.
6Gallonio, Tortures and Torments of the Christian Martyrs, op.cit., p. 138.
7 Jupiter’s Day, dies Jovis, corresponds to the modern Thursday.
8A. T. Jones, The Two Republics, A. B. Publishing, Inc., 1891, pp. 320-321.
9Eusebius, Commentary on the Psalms, Psalm 91 (Psalm 92 in A.V.), in J. P. Migne, Patrologia Gracca, Volume 23, column 1169, author’s translation as quoted in Odom, op.cit., p. 64.
10Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel, Book 4, chapter 16, translated by W. J. Ferrar, Vol. 1, p. 207 as quoted in ibid.
11E. Dichl, Inscriptiones Latinæ Christianæ Veteres, Vol. 2, p. 118, #3033.
12Ibid., p. 193, #3391. See also, J. B. de Rossi, Inscriptiones Christianæ Urbis Romæ, Vol. 1, part 1, p. 18, #11.