"To Seek out that which was Lost..."

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The Real Weekly ShaBBaT (Sabbath) Is Also Determined by the Sighting of the New Moon.

Weekly ShaBBaTs
  ) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Rest
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  9 10 11 12 13 14 15
  16 17 18 19 20 21 22
  23 24 25 26 27 28 29

This is not merely an Opinion or Interpretation but Scripturally Verifiable FACT!
For Proof See:
Calendar of Set-Apart days 2006

Is Lunar Shabbat observance Really disproved by the Feast of Weeks?

A Sabbath Study

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"To Seek out that which was Lost..."

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The Supreme Authority on the True Faith is our Saviour Yahushua Himself: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them . . . teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age," Matt. 28: 1820. All modern translations admit this correct rendering: "authority". He is the only One, Who, with the authority given to Him by His Father, can authoritatively decide on all spiritual matters - Matt. 23:8-10, Heb. 1:1-2, Matt. 7:24-29, Matt. 11:29, Jn. 18:37, Jn. 12:48-50, Lk. 9:35, Jn. 6:63 & 68, Jn. 8:31-36, Jn. 3:34, Jn. 14:6, Rev. 19:13, Rev. 19: 16, 1 Tim. 6:3-4, 2 Jn. v. 9 etc. We have no other Supreme Authority. In Colossians and in Ephesians He is repeatedly called the Head of the Body "head" having the figurative meaning of "authority".

What is Yahushua's supreme, ultimate and authoritative verdict on the great controversy between Sabbath and Sunday? First of all, He is our supreme example (1 Jn. 2:6, 1 Pet. 2:21, Jn. 10:27, Jn. 21:19 & 22 etc.) And it was His custom to keep the Sabbath - Luke 4:16; just like the custom that Paul followed too - Acts 17:2, Acts 13:14 & 42-44, Acts 16: 13, Acts 18: 4 & 11. Secondly, Yahushua commands us to keep His Father's Ten Commandments (of which the Sabbath is the Fourth Commandment), authoritatively and very clearly - Matt. 19:17, Lk. 10:28 and Jn. 12:50. Indeed, He clearly says that the keeping of His Father's Commandments is a condition for inheriting eternal life! Again in His final revelation to us, He repeats this in Rev. 22:14, "Blessed are those who do His Commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." This text has been changed later on to such an extent that the necessity of Commandment- keeping as a prerequisite for entry to the New Jerusalem is here completely hidden. Long before the New Testament books were canonised to form the New Testament as we know it, this correct rendering of Rev. 22: 14 (which stresses the necessity for keeping the Commandments) was quoted by Tertullian in the year 208, and again by Cyprian in the year 251. Yahushua, through John, defines the True Worshippers in Rev. 12: 17 and in Rev. 14: 12 as those who also keep the Father's Commandments. The Apostles also reaffirm this necessity in 1 Cor. 7: 19, 1 Tim. 6: 13- 14, 1 John 5:2-3, 2 John w. 4-6 Rom. 3:31, Rom. 2:26-29, Rom. 2:13, Rom. 7:22, Rom. 8:7 James 2:10-12, Heb. 10:16, and Heb. 8:10. According to James 2: 10-12 we are to keep all ten Commandments, not just some of them. But why not the Fourth Commandment, the keeping of the Sabbath, too? Why was it changed to Sunday? or simply done away with? If Scripture defines the Sabbath as the only sign of Separation (Sanctification)—Ex. 31:13 & 17, Eze. 20:12 & 20, dare we ignore it? Some might argue that the keeping of the Sabbath is not commanded in the New Testament - but it is! If they had only translated Heb .4:9 truthfully, there would have been no doubt. The Greek text reads as follows, "There remains a keeping of Sabbath to the people of Elohim" (see margin of KJV). This is confirmed by Dictionary of New Testament Theology, vol. 3, p. 411 (Ed. Colin Brown). The correct rendering "keeping of Sabbath" is also found in the Emphatic Diaglott, in the Rotherham Version, Henry Alford Translation and Lamsa Bible. This word sabbatismos means "the keeping of Sabbath" and nothing else. Barnes Notes on the New Testament comments, "It properly means: a keeping Sabbath." The authoritative Liddell and Scott's Greek - English Lexicon gives this as the only meaning. Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words agrees on this. In fact, almost all Greek dictionaries give this as the only meaning. Why has this word sabbatismos been translated theologically instead of literally and truthfully? The true rendering "keeping of Sabbath" clearly emphasises the present-time obligation, in fact, the exhortation for its present observance. The keeping of the Sabbath now is a type, a shadow, of the world to come. Colossians 2:17 speaks of the Sabbaths which "are [not 'was'] a shadow of things to come". The present obligation to keep the Sabbath, which is a shadow or type of the eternal rest to come, is mandatory, for the Sabbath is the only Scriptural sign of Separation (Sanctification) Ex. 31:13 & 17 and Eze. 20:12 & 20. Remember: without Separation (Sanctification) no one shall see the Sovereign - Heb. 12:14.

Thirdly, in His prophecy on the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:14,15-21), Yahushua foresaw His followers continuing to observe the Sabbath, and He is concerned that they will be confronted with the problem of fleeing on the Sabbath. He said in Matt. 24:20, "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath." Our Messiah clearly foresaw the permanence of Sabbath-keeping by True Worshippers. Yahushua did not abolish the Sabbath, which is part of the Ten Commandment Law. He explicitly stated: He did not come to destroy the Law. The correct and literal rendering of Matt. 5:17-19 from the Greek text is, "Do not think that I came to destroy [or abolish or annul] the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy [or abolish or annul] but to fill. For verily I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law till all come to pass [or be accomplished]. Whoever therefore breaks one of these Commandments the least, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches [them], he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." This word "fill" in v.17 (Greek pleroo) has different meanings when used figuratively. The New English Bible renders it as "complete", and so does the Canisius Translation. This word pleroo cannot mean "annul" or "abolish" here in v.17, because, firstly, then Yahushua would have contradicted Himself in one and the same verse. Secondly, this same word pleroo is used in Matt. 3:15 and Col. 1:25 where it would be preposterous to even suggest a meaning of "annul" or "abolish". The word pleroo in Matt. 5:17 can best be rendered as "fill" or "complete". The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, like others, suggests: complete, confirm, meeting the full requirements, corroborate, establish, totalise or even: fully preach (the best rendering for Col. 1 :25). Others have suggested: execute, or live up to, or comply with, as the best rendering, especially in Matt. 3:15. In Matt. 5:19, the correct rendering of "breaking one of these Commandments the least" (see any Interlinear or the Rotherham Version), clarifies the difficulty created by the ordinary translations and brings it into harmony with all Scripture. In Luke 16:17 Yahushua confirms the permanent validity of the Law: "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Law to fail." Dare we appeal to any other human authority in an attempt to evade Commandment-keeping, including the Fourth - the Sabbath? We cannot over-emphasise Yahushua's statement, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth," Matt. 28:18. He is our only Supreme Authority. He is the only Head (authority) of His Body, the congregation or assembly. Read also 1 Tim. 6:3-4 and 2 John v.9.

What about the Pharisees' accusations that our Messiah was breaking the Sabbath? What about the many allegations made through the centuries that Yahushua annulled the Sabbath? First of all, the Pharisees' accusations did not hold against Yahushua's authoritative replies. When the time of His trial had come, they were no longer attempting to raise this accusation against Him, which had been proven false by Him. Secondly, a thorough study of the New Testament, together with a knowledge of how the Pharisees had brought in added burdens in Sabbath-observance, will clarify any argument. Yahushua was simply refuting the man-made 39 additional traditional laws pertaining to Sabbath- keeping which the Jews had legislated in their Mishnah, Shabbath 7,2. He strongly reprimanded the Pharisees for not keeping the Commandments of Yahuweh while holding fast to their own man-made laws, their traditions, Matt. 15: 3-9 and Mark. 7 7: 5-13. These traditional laws are still upheld by the Jews today and are commonly known to them as the "oral law". The Dictionary of New Testament Theology discusses this alleged Sabbath-annulling by Yahushua, and then concludes, "We may conclude then, that though [Yahushua] broke through the rabbinic tradition about the Sabbath, there was no annulling of the observance of the day."

Why then has Sunday become the day of worship instead of Sabbath? Why are we not keeping Sabbath while Sabbath-observance will be practised in the new earth by those who have survived the end-time judgment? Isa. 66:23. Who then changed the Sabbath to Sunday? Is the change Scriptural? Cardinal Gibbons in Faith of Our Fathers, 92nd ed., p. 89, says, "You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday, a day which we never sanctify." During the many centuries of the Dark Middle Ages the ordinary people had no access to the Scriptures. When it eventually became available to them, because of the Reformation and the invention of the printing press, the supreme authority of the Scriptures was contested. Finally, after debating this issue for many years, the Archbishop of Reggio at the Council of Trent in 1562 set all hesitation aside by openly declaring that tradition stood above Scripture! His words were, "The authority of the Church could therefore not be bound to the authority of the Scriptures, because the Church had changed . . . the Sabbath into Sunday, not by the command of Christ, but by its own authority." Canon and Tradition, p. 263. Similar confessions as to the unscriptural origin of this change are to be found in theological works of all the major denominations.

How then did this change come about? All books of history tell the same story: Just before and after the time of Messiah Yahushua, Sun-worship became popular and the Sun-deity was assimilated to all the known deities. All the deities of the nations were identified with the Sun-deity. When Christianity came to Rome a struggle between Sun-worship and Christianity ensued, for by then the Sun-deity had taken over from the older pantheon of Rome. This struggle eventually ended when Constantine fused Christianity and Sun- worship. Even before Constantine fused these two religions, Christianity had already been joined by unconverted pagans and the half-Christian Gnostic sects were thriving. These Gnostic sects were, in a variety of forms, an admixture of Christianity, Neoplatonic philosophy, Sun-worship and the worship of some of the older idols. The difference between them and Christianity (which by now consisted mostly of Gentiles), was at times difficult to determine. Clement, Origen, Cyprian, Jerome, Tertullian, Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, were all guilty of justifying certain Sun-worship practices. Also, Ignatius, Justin, Chrysostom and Barnabas all had a major share in promoting anti-Judaism, which made the rejection of the "Jewish Sabbath" an almost natural consequence. At the beginning of the 4th century the conditions were more than ripe for the fusion to take place. Firstly, in the year 313, Constantine, together with Licinius, held a conference at Milan where they concluded a friendly alliance and adopted a policy of universal religious freedom. 12 Some have called these documents the "Edict of Milan". This ended the long-standing persecution of the Christians, giving them the freedom to observe their own form of worship, unrestricted. This promoted a thankful attitude and an affinity towards Constantine, and likewise, he too was beginning to show some partiality towards the Christians. Subsequently he extended further rights and concessions towards them. The next great step further, the decisive breakthrough for Sun-worship, was the famous Edict of Constantine in the year 321.

Let us first consider what influence Sun-worship had amongst Constantine's predecessors, the emperors before him. Elagabalus, Nero, Diocletian and Aurelian were each involved in Sun-worship, especially Elagabalus and Aurelian. Likewise, Constantine's family had been Sun-deity worshippers, and so was Constantine himself. Constantine called the Sun- deity: "Unconquered Sun, my companion". His edict in the year 321 legislated the "venerable day of the Sun" to be a rest day. This rest was commanded in honour of the Sun, and not in honour of Messiah. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible emphasizes the motive of Constantine for legislating the Sunday as a day of rest, and stresses "the general importance of the Sun-god in the Empire. Indeed, this god was the titulary divinity of Constantine's family, and from the fourth century there is an increasing assimilation of Christ to the Sun-god (as Sun of Righteousness), the Christos Helios (cf. Eusebius Life of Constantine 1.4.18; and the notable mosaic of Christos Helios recently uncovered in the tomb of the Julii under the Vatican)." But this theme of "Christ-the-True- Sun" had already been diffusely proclaimed by Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150-215) in many of his writings. Origen followed in the footsteps of Clement, his teacher, and proclaimed our Saviour to be "the Sun", "the True Sun". Cyprian also called our Saviour "the True Sun''. Because of this, Bishop Zeno of Verona elaborated at great length on Christ-the-Sun as the True Sun, as the Eternal Sun. Some might say that Helios also means the sun as the physical sun. But, all encyclopaedias affirm that, in religion, Helios means the Sun-deity.

This assimilation of our Saviour to the Sun-deity was not difficult, for the pagans of the Roman Empire were steeped in Sun-worship and they referred to their Sun deity as their "Lord" (Kurios). Helios, the Sun-deity, was called "the Lord (Kurios) of the heaven and the earth." Indeed, certain historians have felt that Sun-worship has really given Sunday the name "Lord's day". A. Paiva writes, "The first day of each week, Sunday, was consecrated to Mithra since imes remote, as several authors affirm. Because the Sun was god, the Lord par excellence, Sunday came to be called the Lord's day, as later was done by Christianity." Our Saviour was called "Lord" (Kurios) and the Sun-deity was also called "Lord" (Kurios), the "Lord par excellence". So, the name-titles being easy to unite, it made it easier to identify our Saviour's "day" with the day of the Sun-deity! Thus, civically the "venerable day of the Sun" was legislated to be the rest-day. It now only remained for the Church to fall in line with the civil law of Constantine, who, although being a Sun-worshipper, had already showed some affinity towards Christians, especially by ending their persecution. This change-over to Sunday by the Church happened in the year 336 (some authorities give the date as 364) at the Council of Laodicea, Canon 29: "Christians must not Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day honouring rather the Lord's day by resting, if possible, as Christians. However, if any shall be found Judaizing, let them be shut out from Christ."

Bishop Eusebius (270-338 C.E.), who worked with Constantine, admits the Church's decision to change from Sabbath to Sunday, "All things whatsoever that it was duty to do on the Sabbath, these we have transferred to the Lord's day." (Eusebius, Commentary on the Psalms, quoted by Moses Stuart, Commentary on the Apocalypse, vol. II, 9.40.) The Church had succumbed, the fusion was virtually accomplished. The Unconquered Sun, the Sun deity, was proving the merit of its name - it was invincible !

With the accession of the Severan dynasty, Sun-worship had become dominant in Rome. The Sun as deity was a superb symbol and rallying-point for the Empire. "The Unconquered Sun had taken over the role of Jupiter, the Great Sky-god, as protector of Rome and of the Empire." Upon the Sun were bestowed as many attributes and symbols and names of "gods" or "goddesses" as possible. Serapis, the great deity of Alexandria, as well as Mithras and Attis, "were all identified with the Sun, whom philosophers like Pliny and Macrobius declared to be the one supreme god concealed behind the innumerable lesser deities of the Graeco-Roman pantheon. Even the Christians could not long hold out against the flood, and the marks of the compromise to which the Catholic Church came in the matter may perhaps, be seen in the coincidence of the Lord's Day with Sunday .... It is certainly by no accident that the emperors whose reigns immediately preceded the establishment of Christianity all turned towards the worship of the Sun-god who was looked upon as the peculiar divinity of the family to which Constantine belonged." The great scholarly and honest Roman Catholic theologian, Dr. F.J. Dolger, wrote, (I translate), "In his Sunday-law (edict), Constantine probably instituted the meaning of the familiar usage 'Sunday' without far-reaching intent; the expression could be used without causing offence among the pagans of his portion of the Empire. Since the days of emperor Aurelian in the second half of the 3rd century, the Sun-god cult, under the title of Sol invictus, i.e. 'Unconquered Sun', had experienced a tremendous furtherance at the hands of the state. Other pagan cult groups of that time also likened their supreme deity to the Sun-god or completely equated it to the Sun-god. Attis was a Light-deity, Osiris too was Sun-god. Baal Hammon of Carthage was Sun-Baal, Jupiter Anxur of Terracina and Jupiter of Doliche and Heliopolis were all Sun-god, Sabazios had become one with the Sun-god and the Persian Sun-god Mithras had instituted a missionary campaign as no other religion next to Christianity. For all these religious fellowships the imperial Sunday-law (edict) meant a privilege, they all felt themselves honoured when the Sunday was specially feastly dedicated to their deity, the Sun." The Unconquered Sun, which had conquered all other religions, had finally conquered its last major rival, Christianity, by joining it, by being fused with it.

The Messianic Faith, being united with all the Sun-worshipping cults, was to become one strong body which gradually overrun, assimilated and syncretised all remaining obstacles, either by force, or by "assimilation and compromise". The many half-Christian and mostly Sun-worshipping Gnostic sects, heavily leaning towards allegorisation and Neoplatonism, had already influenced or infiltrated the Christianity of Alexandria and of Rome. Clement of Alexandria and Origen had already been quoting freely from the books of the Gnostics Valentinus and Heracleon. Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hippolytus later on also did likewise with the writings of Valentinus and Ptolemy. Already in the year 124 emperor Hadrian wrote from Alexandria (on his visit there) the following, in a letter, "Those who worship Serapis are Christians and those who call themselves bishops of Christ are vowed to Serapis." (Serapis being the Sun deity of Alexandria). The intermingling between Christianity and Gnosticism is typified by the Christian leader Clement's repeated praise of the "true Gnostic", meaning thereby the perfect Christian! Speaking of the Gnostics, Legge states, "Most of them, ,moreover, sooner or later abandoned their Gnosticism, and became practising members of the Catholic Church, who sometimes went a long way to meet them. As Renan has said, none of them ever relapsed into paganism, and in this way the so-called heresies became at once the feeders of orthodox Christianity and its richest recruiting ground. They offered in fact an easy road by which the wealthy, the learned, and the high-placed could pass from paganism to Christianity without suffering the inconvenience imposed upon the first followers of the Apostles ... The Gnostics brought with them into their new faith, the use of pictures and statues . . . and of all the paraphernalia of the worship of heathen gods."And in a footnote, Legge states, "Clement of Alexandria seems to have been initiated into most of the heathen mysteries then current . . . Origen too, . . . professes to know all about the Ophites' [a Gnostic sect] secret opinions." Eusebius, who later wrote, was so upset about these Gnostics being absorbed into Christianity, that he raised his voice in the following words, "savage beasts crept secretly into the Church." Legge comments on Eusebius' statement and adds, "and continued to disseminate their doctrines by stealth.'' Some well-known Church Fathers who came from Gnosticism were: Epiphanius who had been a Nicolaitan, Ambrose of Milan who had been a Valentinian, and Augustine who had been a Manichean for 9 years before joining the Catholic Church. All these Gnostic sects were distinguished by their rejection of the Old Testament Law, some of them even rejecting the Mighty One of the Old Testament, and some of them even equated the Mighty One of the Old Testament with the Evil One! In their rejection of the Old Testament Law, the Valentinian Gnostics even rejected all moral laws, leading to scandalous living. This Valentinianism acted as a half-way house for two hundred years between heathenism and Christianity. The Marcionites were later on refuted, but they also contributed toward the aversion to, and even rejection of, the Old Testament. Sun- worshipping Mithraism, who advanced Babylonian (Chaldean) astrology with the Sun at the centre of it, played a major role in the resultant fusion between Sun-worship and the Messianic Faith. Manes and his followers, the Manicheans, from among whom Augustine came, "looked on Judaism with horror, rejected the Old Testament entirely, and [Manicheism] was not improbably born in an outbreak of anti-Semitic fury." The Manicheans (who were half Christians) kept Sunday in honour of the Sun, and not in honour of the Resurrection day.

However, the Council of Laodicea's directive in the year 336 (or 364), that Christians are not to Judaize by resting on the Sabbath, was apparently only obeyed in Rome and in Alexandria, the two centres where Christianity was infiltrated by, and mixed with pagan religions. Two contemporary historians, namely Sozomen in the year 440 and Socrates in the year 439, both recorded this remarkable situation. Socrates wrote, "although almost all churches throughout the world celebrate the sacred mysteries on the Sabbath of every week, yet the Christians of Alexandria and at Rome, on account of some ancient tradition, have ceased to do this." Sozomen confirms this, "the people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week," such a "custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria." But gradually the influence and power of the Roman Church grew, supported by political and civil authorities with their power. Sabbath-keeping dwindled until there was hardly a remnant left, scattered and persecuted.

So, the first contributory factor for the adoption of Sunday instead of the Sabbath, was the assimilation of our Saviour to the Sun, even the Sun as deity, Him being made into Christ Helios, Christ the True Sun, Christ the Eternal Sun. The second contributory factor was the general importance and popularity of Sun-worship that had become deeply rooted in Alexandria and in Rome. The third contributory factor was the strong anti-Judaism that prevailed, as has been mentioned already. The fourth contributory factor was the Eastward orientated prayers and worship. We have already touched on this subject, but we need to study its origin, particularly in order to realise the seriousness of the revelation and warning given to Israel, through Ezekiel, in Eze. 8:9-16, Elohim calling this a "wicked abomination". In verse 16 we read of the 25 men "worshipping the Sun towards the East." Israel was commanded to shun such an abominable practice by rather praying towards Jerusalem, 1 Kings 8:29-48, Ps. 138:2 and Dan. 6:10. In the Law, Israel was sternly warned against Sun-worship, Deut. 4:19, as we have already seen. .J. Dolger, in his comprehensive Sol Salutis, devoted many pages to this Eastward orientated prayer and worship. The Roman Christians, whose ranks were flooded with half-converted believers coming from pagan worship, especially Sun-worship in its various forms, simply continued the practice of worshipping the Sun towards the East, or praying to the Sun in the East. This manner of Sun-worship was a well-known custom of the Manicheans37 and the Mithras-cult, two of the most popular forerunners and cradles of the fused Church. This Eastward orientated Sun-worship had come from Apollo worship, the Greeks, the Syrians (Antioch and Baalbek or Heliopolis), the Persian religions, from India, Babylon, Assyria, Ethiopia, Arabia, Egypt, the Hermetic religion, the Osiris religion, from Carthage (Tunis), the Phoenicians, and Thrace.39 Other contemporary and preceding cults practising Sun-worship were the Pythagoreans, the Therapists and the Magi.40 Prayer and worship towards the East was also practised by Socrates, and later by the Neoplatonists too. But perhaps the strongest influence was that of Alexandria, firstly because of its spreading Serapis-Isis cult (both these idols being identified with the Sun), and secondly and more dangerously, the Hellenised, allegorising, syncretistic Alexandrian Christianity, the product of Clement and Origen. These two teachers, through their many writings, had done much to justify the adoption of Greek philosophy, Gnostic teachings and also Sun-worship, into Christianity. Origen not only called our Saviour "the True Sun", as mentioned before, but both Clement and Origen attempted to justify Eastward orientated prayer and worship. Clement tried to justify this by allegorising Ps. 132:7, 2 Cor. 4:6, and Matt. 4:16 (Isa. 9:2). Origen. his scholar, continued this allegorisation of Scripture to justify Sun-worship, and quoted Zech. 6:12 from the Greek Septuagint, where the Hebrew "branch" had been badly mistranslated as anatole (rising, east or day spring). Justin was also intrigued with this anatole and often quoted anatole as if pointing to the Messiah, also by attempting to identify the Messiah as the "sun" of Ps. 72:17.43 Origen, in his Genesin Homilia 1,5 and 1,8 identified the Messiah with the Sun. Even Tertullian, in the year 197, as previously stated, was perturbed at the praying towards the Sun in the East, but found it acceptable if this was done "on other grounds than Sun-worship"! The other text that was used in an attempt to justify the identifying of our Saviour with the Sun, was the well- known Mal. 4:2, which I discussed earlier. We also read of Origen's Commentary on John, wherein he equates Messiah's resurrection with the rising Sun in the East. They also twisted Matt. 24:27 in an attempt to prove the Messiah's Second Coming to be from the East.45 They did the same with Mal. 1:11.

Justin also encouraged prayer towards the East, quoting the Greek Septuagint's incorrect rendering of Ps. 68:34. As an expression of our longing for Paradise, they also tried to justify prayer towards the East because of the garden that was "planted eastward in Eden" (Gen. 2:8). This is well documented in the writings of Basilius, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, Severus, Cyrill of Jerusalem. Archbishoo Germanos of Constantinople, John of Damascus and also Thomas of Aquina. Although Justin, Gregory of Nyssa, Athanasius and Augustine rejected the heathen belief that the Almighty lived in the Eastern heavens, heathen converts must have been responsible for this continued belief. In the Orient this prayer towards the East was a counter-measure against Judaism. This prayer towards the East was very much alive in the Roman religion in the 6th and 7th centuries and continued right up to the year 1300. F.J. Dolger summarises the outcome of it all, as follows, "The Gentile Christians, with the Eastward orientated prayers, simply retained an inborn custom of their heathen past. They filled this custom with new contents, being freed from heathenism through it and at the same time being made a sign of distinction between Judaism and Christianity." Indeed, this practice probably originated from Brahman India. Ambrosius admitted that this was adopted "from the custom of the Brahmans" (the upper class of Indians).

With this deeply rooted and generally prevailing Sun worship as background, it was easy to accept the resemblance between the day of our Saviour's resurrection and the day of the Sun, i.e. Sunday. Clement, Justin, Ignatius, Jerome and others following, put emphasis on the day of the resurrection, thereby attempting to identify the Messiah with "the True Sun", the One who has been behind it all along! In fact, Firmicus identified our Saviour with the Sun-deity in his writings in the year 343, and Garruci painted our Messiah with sun-rays around His head, thereby clearly identifying our Saviour with the Sun-deity, now being called "Christ Helios", "Sun of Resurrection", "the True Sun". Clement of Alexandria wrote, quoting Menander, "Sun, one must venerate you as the first of the gods; through you we are capable of looking at the other gods." The solarisation became even worse. In the 5th century, the Messiah was not only called "the True Sun", but also "the true Apollo", the age-old Sun-deity of the Greeks! Other paintings and pictures followed, as well as statues and images of our Messiah with sun-rays or a nimbus (sun- disc) about His head. There are a great number of these illustrations to be found in ecclesiastical books.

To summarise: Because of their inborn heathen custom of Sun-worship, and because of anti-Judaism, the Gentiles who became Christians in a nominal way, were easily persuaded to accept "the True Sun", "the Sun of Righteousness", "Christ Helios", "the True Apollo". Emperor Constantine was the one who put an end to the enmity between frank Sun- worship and the Messianic Faith. For many years it remained quite obvious that frank Sun- worship was being adapted to Christianity. The remarks, and concern, by Tertullian, Pope Leo the Great, Eusebius, and also by Cyrill of Jerusalem, testify to this. Cyrill contended against this in 348 C.E., "Let the heresy be silenced which blasphemes the Messiah, the Son of the Mighty One. Let those be silenced who say that the Sun is Messiah, because He is the Creator of the Sun, and not the visible Sun itself." Augustine, who himself had previously been a scholar of the Manichean Gnostic Sect (known for worshipping the Sun all day long as it passed through the sky), also compromised, but cautioned against the frank Sun-worship of the Manicheans and warned, "Eventually we shall yet be taken to be Persians"- the latter being known for their Sun-worship and being the place of origin of the Manichean-cult. The Unconquered Sun, Sol Invictus, Sol Helios became the conquerer! Paul Schmitt, author of "Sol Invictus" in Eranos Jahrbuch 1943 X, ends his article, "The religious polity of Constantine characterised itself in a striking manner by the establishment of Dies Solis (Sun-day), as a mutual feast-day for the heathen and for the Christians, in the year 321. So the heathen, the Christians and Manicheans of the territory of the empire thus had a mutual feast-day, Sun-day, in the sign of Sol-Helios that excluded them from the Jews."


DO WE BELIEVE YAHUWEH WHEN HE SAID THAT HIS COVENANT IS "ETERNAL", "FOR EVER"?—THAT THE SABBATH IS THE SIGN OF THIS ETERNAL COVENANT, FOR EVER? HE MADE HIS ETERNAL COVENANT WITH NO OTHER PEOPLE THAN WITH ISRAEL (capitals mine). Israel were the people who received the Covenants, the Laws, the Worship, the Promises from Yahuweh - Rom. 9:4 NIV, NEB and GNB. These precious values were not given to any nation, but to Israel. The Good News Bible in this verse even says of Israel, "They are Elohim's people . . . they have the True Worship . . ." So, what happened at the time of Constantine? By rejecting the Sabbath, the Sign of the Eternal Covenant, the Church rejected the Covenant Law that Elohim has made with His people, Israel - the Ten Words. Therefore Elohim turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, just as He has done previously - Acts. 7:42. Even the New Covenant, the Renewed Covenant, is only promised to the house of Israel and the house of Judah, Heb. 8:8. This might come as a surprise to those who are ignorant of this Scripture. The New or Renewed Covenant is not promised to any other nation! Any convert from the Gentiles has to be grafted into Israel if he wishes to become a "partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree," Rom. 11:17. We will come to that later. Please note: Renewed Covenant is the better rendering, for Heb. 8:8 is quoted from the Hebrew of Jer. 31:31. The Hebrew chawdawsh is derived from the verb chawdash, which means "renew" (see any Hebrew lexicon). Even the Greek equivalent, kainos, is best rendered as "fresh" or renewed".

The day of the resurrection received such eminence, that it became an excuse to justify the change from the Sabbath to the day of the Sun, the Dies Solis, the day of the Unconquered Sun, the Sun-deity of emperor Constantine and of his empire - a rest-day which Constantine had legislated in the year 321 in honour of the "venerable day of the Sun". The origin of the legislation of the keeping of Sun-day is important to know. It is also important to know the origin of the change of Sabbath to Sun-day, namely by the Council of Laodicea in the year 336 (or 364). The keeping of the day of the resurrection may make sense, but this is not legislated in Scripture. However, the fact remains that it has taken the place of Sabbath-keeping, thereby trampling the Fourth Commandment underfoot. Thus, the prophecy was fulfilled of "the horn" ... that "shall intend to change times and law," Dan. 7:25; and the prophecy of the end-time judgment upon the earth, in Isa. 24: 1-6, "Because they have transgressed the Laws, changed the ordinance, broken the Everlasting Covenant," Isa. 24:5. This is the very same Everlasting or Eternal Covenant which we found in Exod. 31: 16, of which the sign is the Sabbath!

We cannot keep some of the Commandments and not all ten of them - James 2: 10- 12 and Deut. 4:2. Our Messiah commands us to keep the Father's Commandments if we are to enter into eternal life - Matt. 19: 17, Lk. 10:28, Jn. 12:50 and Rev. 22:14. He says, "the Word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day," Jn. 12:48. "Let Elohim be true and every man a liar," Rom. 3:4. Likewise, Paul commands us to keep the Commandments "without spot, blameless," 1 Tim. 6:13-14 (the singular word "Commandment" is very often used as a synonym for "Commandments", e.g. Rom. 7:12, 2 Pet. 2:21, Dt. 17:20, Dt. 30:11, PS. 19:8, Ps.119:96, Ex. 24:12, Prov. 6:23, Prov. 13:13 etc.). Peter also strongly admonishes and warns us against "turning from the Holy Commandment" which is the "Way of righteousness" 2 Pet. 2:21. John reminds us that the only way to show and to prove our love towards Yahuweh is to keep His Commandments, 1 John 5:3 and 2 John v. 6, just as we read in Ex. 20:6, Deut. 7:9, Neh. 1:5 and Dan. 9:4. The Great Enemy of our souls has always been determined to keep us in bondage to sin (John 8:34, Rom. 6:16-20,2 Pet. 2:19). Sin is lawlessness (1 John 3:4), transgression of the law, the opposite to law-keeping (Rom. 7:7, Rom. 3:20, Rom. 4: 15, Ex. 20:20). The Great Enemy of our souls wants to sever us from Elohim (Isa. 59:2, Prov. 28:9) by enticing us and deceiving us to break the Commandments of Yahuweh, thereby preventing us entering the New Jerusalem - Rev. 22: 14, Matt. 19:17, Lk. 10:28, Jn. 12:50. This Enemy never ceases with his efforts to hide from us the Glad Tidings, the real purpose of our Saviour Yahushua's work in us, namely: "For He will save His people from their sins," Matt 1:21; and, "Elohim . . . sent Him to bless you, in turning every one of you from your iniquities," Acts 3:26; and, our Saviour "Who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed" ("all lawlessness" Greek text), Titus 2: 14.

The Law cannot save us. However, the Law was given to us by Yahuweh for a purpose, as Moses said, "for Elohim has come to test you, so that you may not sin," Ex. 20:20. After Yahushua had healed the man who had an infirmity at the pool of Bethesda, He said to him in Jn. 5:14, "See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." After He had forgiven the adulteress, He said to her in Jn. 8:11, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." A sinner that has come to conversion is commanded to "sin no more", to prove his love towards Yahuweh by keeping His Commandments, 1 John 5:3 and 2 John v. 6; to be careful not to "sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth," Heb. 10:26, Numbers 15:30, Psalm 19:13.

We dare not elevate the Sabbath Commandment above the others, but the Scriptures are very emphatic that the Sabbath is the only Sign of Separation (Sanctification). There is no other Sign of the Everlasting Covenant, the Eternal Covenant, given to us in Scripture. If we are outside of a Covenant-relationship with Yahuweh, we are still "outside"! If we do not enter the rest of Sabbath-keeping now, we cannot enter the Millennial Rest - Heb. 4:9, Heb. 4:1-11. "Blessed are those who do His Commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city," Rev. 22:14. The Almighty is calling out to the Christian world: "Awake to righteousness, and do not sin," 1 Cor. 15:34. Shall we not ask the Saviour to deliver us from the bondage to sin, to deliver us from "the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience," Eph. 2:2. "If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practises righteousness is born of Him," 1 John 2:29. "Little children let no one deceive you. He who practises righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins, is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of Elohim was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil," 1 John 3:7-8. The spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience is the spirit of the devil, the one who holds the sway over the whole world (1 John 5:19 and 2 Cor. 4:4), and who succeeded in getting the True Worship mixed with Sun-worship. The Great Deceiver (Rev. 12:9) had planned and succeeded in his onslaught on the only Sign which Yahuweh gave to us for us to know that we are part of His Covenant-people: the Sabbath. May we repeat Paul's command in 1 Tim. 6:13-14, "I charge you to keep the Commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Sovereign ...," Revised Standard Version. Remember also the writer of Hebrews' exhortation in Heb. 4:9, "Therefore, there remains a keeping of Sabbath for the people of Elohim," Greek text.

Yahushua commands us, "learn from Me" -- Matt. 11 :29, "follow Me" -- no less than 18 places in the four Evangels. John says in 1 John 2:6, "He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." Peter says in 1 Peter 2:21, that we are to follow Messiah's steps. Our Messiah committed no sin (1 Pet. 2:22) and said, "I have kept My Fathers Commandments and abide in His love," John 15:10. He kept the Sabbath as we read in Luke 4: 16, "And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." Sabbath-keeping was His custom, and Paul walked in His steps and continued in the custom of Sabbath-keeping (Acts 17:2), preaching to Jews and Gentiles alike on every Sabbath (Acts 18:4, Acts 13:42). We also read of Lydia and the other women who "customarily" gathered on the Sabbath to pray (Acts 16:13). Paul testifies of his obedience to the Law in Acts 25:8, "Neither against the Law of the Jews nor against the Temple nor against Caesar have I offended in anything at all." Again he says in Acts 24:14, "so I worship the Elohim of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets." Again he says in Acts 28: 17, "I have done nothing against . . . the customs of our fathers." In Rom. 7:22 Paul says, "For I delight in the Law of Yahuweh according to the inward man," just as the Psalmist who delights in the Law of Yahuweh - Ps. 1:2, Ps. 112:1, PS. 119:35,47,70,77,174.

Man took it upon himself to "change times and law" (Dan. 7:25), to "have transgressed the Laws, changed the ordinance, broken the Everlasting Covenant," Isa. 24:5. However, when He returns, the "Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire,'' Matt. 13:41-42. Thereafter, in the new heavens and the new earth the Sabbath will still be kept by those who escaped the fiery judgment of Yahuweh (Isa. 66:22-23 and 14-17), and "they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me . . . ," said Yahuweh in Isa. 66:24. Read also of the blessed promise for end-time Sabbath-keeping, the promise which includes foreigners (non- Israelites), in Isa. 56:6-7, "Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to Yahuweh, to serve Him, and to love the Name of Yahuweh, to be His servants -- everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My Covenant -- even them I will bring to My Separated (Holy) Mountain . . ."



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