While WLC continues to uphold the observance of the Seventh-Day Sabbath, which is at the heart of Yahuwah's moral law, the 10 Commandments, we no longer believe that the annual feast days are binding upon believers today. Still, though, we humbly encourage all to set time aside to commemorate the yearly feasts with solemnity and joy, and to learn from Yahuwah’s instructions concerning their observance under the Old Covenant. Doing so will surely be a blessing to you and your home, as you study the wonderful types and shadows that point to the exaltation of Messiah Yahushua as the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the conquering lion of the tribe of Judah, and the Lamb of Yahuwah that takes away the sins of the world.
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The Merging of Christianity into Paganism

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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The pagan names of the planetary week have been perpetuated in the calendar in use among the so-called Christian nations. Every time we look at the calendar we have before us a constant reminder of the amalgamation [combining] of paganism and Christianity that took place as a result of the great religious apostasy – that "falling away" foretold by the apostle Paul, which occurred in the early centuries of the Christian church and made the modern Babel of conflicting sects and creeds which profess the name of Christ.1

It is understandable, though sad, that modern Christians assume the week as it is known today has cycled continuously and without interruption ever since Creation: the entire world has been united in using the Gregorian calendar for 60 years while the western world accepted the Julian calendar over 1,000 years ago! However, ignorance of truth does not change what is truth; as Yahuwah sadly observed in Hosea 4:6: "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." It is the responsibility of every individual to search out for themselves what is truth and live their lives by that knowledge.

The amalgamation (or blending together, the intermingling) of Christianity with paganism in the form of Mithraism was a process that took several hundred years. Once the process was complete, the true Sabbath of the 4thcommandment was lost under the assumption that the

modern form of the planetary week had come down unchanged since creation. While references to new Christians still clinging to pagan practices can be found in the New Testament, the biggest change crept in over calendation methods. The solar Julian calendar with its continuous weekly cycle was very different from the luni-solar calendar used by the Jews and apostolic Christians. Conducting business with a society that used a different method of tracking time was difficult. As early as the last part of the first century, Ignatius "pioneered the movement toward substituting the Sunday observance for the Sabbath observance." 2

The Christians in Rome were among the first to begin worshipping by the Julian rather than the Biblical calendar. This created confusion among the pagans. Around A.D. 175-178, Celsus, a Roman philosopher and Stoic, wrote On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians.3 This was a powerful denunciation of Christianity. While his writing "exhibits comparatively little of the bitterness which characterized [most pagans'] attacks"4 he nevertheless mocked Christians for copying the heathen. "The result of his work was to place the Christian in a very unfavorable light in the eyes of the Romans and their rulers."5

While no copies of Celsus' work still exist, much of it was quoted in a massive work by Origen, Contra Celsum. One quote in particular is fascinating because of its reference to Mithraism and the planetary gods.6 It is interesting to note, too, that Origen did not try to refute any parallels Celsus drew between Christianity and Mithraism, but instead simply sought to evade the charges.7

The extent to which some Christians were embracing pagan practices confused many of the pagan Romans. Tertullian (c. 160-225), an early Christian writer, wrote a defense of Christians which reveals the process then taking place with some Christians worshipping on Sunday, others on Saturday, still others clinging to the Biblical (lunar calculated) Sabbath. His statements clearly reveal that Christians had been mistaken for Mithraists:

Others, certainly more cultured, think the Sun is the god of the Christians, because it is known that we pray toward the east and make a festivity upon the day of the Sun. Do you do less? Do not most of you, in affectation of worshipping the heavenly bodies, at times move your lips toward the sun rising. You certainly are the ones who also received the Sun into the register of the seven days, and from among the days preferred it . . . . 8

It is easy to see how Christians worshipping on Sunday would be confused with pagans. The similarities between Christ and Mithra include:

  • Both claimed to be mankind's savior
  • Virgin birth, attended by shepherds
  • Traveling teacher; taught morality
  • Twelve followers
  • Miracles
  • Birthdate on December 25 9
  • Sacrificed self for world peace
  • Buried in a tomb; resurrected the third day
  • Known as the Good Shepherd and Light of the World; considered the Way, the Truth and the Life
  • Believers promised immortality

When Christians also adopted the Julian calendar for worship, the pagans could see little difference between Christianity and their own Mithraism, other than the Christian refusal to burn incense to the emperor, which was viewed as treason. Another quote by Tertullian is very significant, again revealing the differing practices among Christians, with some worshipping on Sunday, others on Saturday which he shows to be a deviation from Jewish practice (the apostolic Christians at this time were still keeping the Sabbath by the Biblical calendar):

We shall be taken for Persians [Mithraists], perhaps . . . The reason for this, I suppose, is that it is known that we pray towards the east . . . Likewise, if we devote the day of the Sun to festivity (from a far different reason from Sun worship), we are in a second place from those who devote the day of Saturn, themselves also deviating by way of a Jewish custom of which they are ignorant.10

This quote is fascinating because it affirms that worship on Saturday was itself a deviation from the Jewish custom of worship on Sabbath by the original calendar.

While assumptions are never safe, to assume in the area of religion is especially unwise. The study of Julian calendar history reveals that our modern worship days are merely assumptions founded upon tradition. Those who desire to worship Yahuwah on His Sabbath day need to know these facts so they may use the correct calendar to find the true, holy Sabbath day.

1Odom, Sunday in Roman Paganism, (TEACH Services, Inc., 2003), p. 202.
2Zerubavel, The Seven Day Circle, (University of Chicago Press, 1985), p. 22; Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Grand Rapids, Michigan: W. B. Eerdmans, 1956, James Donaldson and Alexander Roberts, eds., Vol. 1, pp. 59-65.)
3See On the True Doctrine, translated by R. Joseph Hoffman, Oxford University Press, 1987.
4"Celsus the Platonist", Catholic Encyclopedia, NewAdvent.org.
5Odom, op. cit., p. 54.
6 Origen, Against Celsus, book 6, chapter 22 in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 4, p. 583.
8Tertullian, Ad Nationes, Book 1, Chapter 13 in J. P. Migne, Patrologia Latina, Volume 1, columns 369-372, as quoted in Odom, op.cit., p. 111.
9While Yahushua was not born on Dec. 25, it remains Christendom's "official" birthday for the Messiah.
10Tertullian, Ad Nationes, Book 1, Chapter 13 in J. P. Migne, Patrologia Latina, Volume 1, columns 369-372, as quoted in Odom, op.cit., p. 167, emphasis supplied.