How Do We Worship God

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By the fourth century, “Christianity” barely resembled the original church. Constantine the Great proceeded to turn Christianity on its head by blending it with pagan religions that the people were familiar with. It is out of this unholy syncretism that the Catholic church was born. The protestant reformation fell short in its opposition. The trappings of sun worship abound in the various denominations to this day. It is amazing that the Catholic church doesn’t mind exposing it’s pagan roots.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Constantine the Great (Historical Appreciation)
Constantine can rightfully claim the title of Great, for he turned the history of the world into a new course and made Christianity, which until then had suffered bloody persecution, the religion of the State. It is true that the deeper reasons for this change are to be found in the religious movement of the time, but these reasons were hardly imperative, as the Christians formed only a small portion of the population, being a fifth part in the West and the half of the population in a large section of the East. Constantine’s decision depended less on general conditions than on a personal act; his personality, therefore, deserves careful consideration. Directly after his victory Constantine granted tolerance to the Christians and next year (313) took a further step in their favour. In 313 Licinius and he issued at Milan the famous joint edict of tolerance. This declared that the two emperors had deliberated as to what would be advantageous for the security and welfare of the empire and had, above all, taken into consideration the service which man owed to the “deity”. Therefore they had decided to grant Christians and all others freedom in the exercise of religion. Everyone might follow that religion which he considered the best. They hoped that “the deity enthroned in heaven” would grant favour and protection to the emperors and their subjects. This was in itself quite enough to throw the pagans into the greatest astonishment. When the wording of the edict is carefully examined there is clear evidence of an effort to express the new thought in a manner too unmistakable to leave any doubt. The edict contains more than the belief, to which Galerius at the end had given voice, that the persecution were useless, and it granted the Christians freedom of worship, while at the same time it endeavoured not to affront the pagans. Without doubt the term deity was deliberately chosen, for it does not exclude a heathen interpretation.
 

Long before this, belief in the old polytheism had been shaken; in more stolid natures, as Diocletian, it showed its strength only in the form of superstition, magic, and divination. The world was fully ripe for monotheism or its modified form, henotheism (belief in one god without excluding others), but this monotheism offered itself in varied guises, under the forms of various Oriental religions: in the worship of the sun, in the veneration of Mithras, in Judaism, and in Christianity. Whoever wished to avoid making a violent break with the past and his surroundings sought out some Oriental form of worship which did not demand from him too severe a sacrifice; in such cases Christianity naturally came last. Probably many of the more noble-minded recognized the truth contained in Judaism and Christianity, but believed that they could appropriate it without being obliged on that account to renounce the beauty of other worships. Such a man was the Emperor Alexander Severus; another thus minded was Aurelian, whose opinions were confirmed by Christians like Paul of Samosata. Not only Gnostics and other heretics, but Christians who considered themselves faithful, held in a measure to the worship of the sun. Leo the Great in his day says that it was the custom of many Christians to stand on the steps of the church of St. Peter and pay homage to the sun by obeisance and prayers (cf. Euseb. Alexand. in Mai, “Nov. Patr. Bibl.”, 11, 523; Augustine, “Enarratio in Ps. x”; Leo I, Serm. xxvi). When such conditions prevailed it is easy to understand that many of the emperors yielded to the delusion that they could unite all their subjects in the adoration of the one sun-god who combined in himself the Father-God of the Christians and the much-worshipped Mithras; thus the empire could be founded anew on unity of religion. Even Constantine, as will be shown farther on, for a time cherished this mistaken belief. It looks almost as though the last persecutions of the Christians were directed more against all irreconcilables and extremists than against the great body of Christians. The policy of the emperors was not a consistent one; persecution was at first friendly towards Christianity; even its grimmest foe, Julian, wavered. Caesar Constantius, Constantine’s father, protected the Christians during a most cruel persecution.
 

Constantine moreover placed Sunday under the protection of the State. It is true that the believers in Mithras also observed Sunday as well as Christmas. Consequently Constantine speaks not of the day of the Lord, but of the everlasting day of the sun. According to Eusebius, the heathen also were obliged on this day to go out into the open country and together raise their hands and repeat the prayer already mentioned, a prayer without any marked Christians character (Vita Const., IV, xx).
 

(Origin of Date) Natalis Invicti
The well-known solar feast of Natalis Invicti, celebrated on 25 December, has a strong claim on the responsibility for our December date. For the history of the solar cult, its position in the Roman Empire, and syncretism with Mithraism, see Cumont’s epoch-making “Textes et Monuments” etc., I, ii, 4, 6, p. 355. Mommsen (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum, 12, p. 338) has collected the evidence for the feast, which reached its climax of popularity under Aurelian in 274. Filippo del Torre in 1700 first saw its importance; it is marked, as has been said, without addition in Philocalus’ Calendar. It would be impossible here even to outline the history of solar symbolism and language as applied to God, the Messiah, and Christ in Jewish or Chrisian canonical, patristic, or devotional works. Hymns and Christmas offices abound in instances; the texts are well arranged by Cumont (op. cit., addit. Note C, p. 355).
 

The earliest rapprochement of the births of Christ and the sun is in Cypr., “De pasch. Comp.”, xix, “O quam pręclare providentia ut illo die quo natus est Sol … nasceretur Christus. ” - “O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born … Christ should be born.” - In the fourth century, Chrysostom, “del Solst. Et Ęquin.” (II, p. 118, ed. 1588), says: “Sed et dominus noster nascitur mense decembris … VIII Kal. Ian. … Sed et Invicti Natalem appelant. Quis utique tam invictus nisi dominus noster? … Vel quod dicant Solis esse natalem, ipse est Sol iustitię.” - “But Our Lord, too, is born in the month of December … the eight before the calends of January [25 December] …, But they call it the ‘Birthday of the Unconquered’. Who indeed is so unconquered as Our Lord …? Or, if they say that it is the birthday of the Sun, He is the Sun of Justice.” Already Tertullian (Apol., 16; cf. Ad. Nat., I, 13; Orig. c. Cels., VIII, 67, etc) had to assert that Sol was not the Christians’ God; Augustine (Tract xxxiv, in Joan. In P. L., XXXV, 1652) denounces the heretical indentification of Christ with Sol. Pole Leo I (Serm. xxxvii in nat. dom., VII, 4; xxii, II, 6 in P. L., LIV, 218 and 198) bitterly reproves solar survivals -- Christians, on the very doorstep of the Apostles’ basilica, turn to adore the rising sun. Sun-worship has bequeathed features to modern popular worship in Armenia, where Chistians had once temporarily and externally conformed to the cult of the material sun (Cumont, op. cit., p. 356).
 

Good Friday to Easter Sunday

And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. Luke 11:29-30
 

Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. Matthew 12:38-41

Try to count three days and three nights between Good Friday sunset until Easter Sunday sunrise. I get one day and two nights. What do you get? Did Jesus make a mistake?

When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Matthew 27:57-63
 

And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment. Luke 23:50-56

“When the even was come” Joseph of Arimathaea came to ask for the body of Jesus to bury him. He took down the body and prepared it for burial on the preperation day as the “sabbath drew on.” “And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” Which sabbath?

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. John 19:31

That particular sabbath “was an high day.” So we see that Jesus was burried just before sunset on the preperation day in order to avoid breaking the sabbath, therefore, in order for him to rise after three days and three nights, he must have risen just before sunset three days later.

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. Matthew 28:1-7

When the two Marys arrived at the sepulchre just before dawn, “as it began to dawn,” the angel told them that Jesus was not there. He had already risen. Jesus didn’t rise on the morning of the first day. He rose at the end of the seventh day. He was already gone.

Unlike the modern day where we count the day beginning at midnight, the Jews counted the day beginning at sunset. Now count backwards three days and three nights from sunset on the seventh day, our Saturday. Did you end up on Wednesday just before sunset? If Jesus’ prophecy is to be believed, and I believe it, He was crucified on Wednesday and burried just before sunset that same day to avoid breaking the sabbath.

Remember “that sabbath day was an high day.” The Jews have annual sabbaths that may fall on any day of the week (i.e. 15 nisan/25 December). That particular sabbath was on a Thursday and Wednesday was the preparation day for that sabbath. In the passover week there may be more than one sabbath in the week.

Jesus was resurrected on the seventh day at sunset. The justification for Sunday worship based upon the first day dawn resurrection of Jesus is unfounded. Jesus didn’t change the sabbath. If he had he would have broken the fourth commandment . Ex 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. So how did the traditions of Easter Sunday come to be prevalent in Christianity?

Constantine the Great’s so called “conversion” to Christianity in the fourth century led to the so called “Holy Roman Empire” and the beginning of the so called Catholic “church.”

Easter is the Anglicized word for Ishtar, Astar, Astarte” the ancient goddess of fertility from whence we derive the fertility symbols of eggs and rabbits on Easter. She is the mother of the sun god, not the mother of the Son of God. Does any of this matter? If not, then Elijah routing out the prophets of Baal was in vain.
 

New World Religion

Religion is a poor imitation of, and a poor substitute for a genuine relationship with God. The father of lies says that all religions are different paths leading to god. What he usually does not tell us is that he is that god. There is but one road that leads to the true God. But if we are always engaged in a babel of religious confusion we will never find Him.

Satan, the “author of confusion”, has been busy laying down a barrage of religious flak since time began. His purpose is to confuse the enemy. We are the enemy. In our quest to find God, we must feel our way through a smoke screen of religious distraction designed by the enemy to prevent us from discovering God. If he can keep us bewildered, stumbling through religions that only lead to him, he can defeat us.

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. I Corinthians 10:20
 

…when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:21-32
 

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:13-14
 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

There is no religion but the truth of Jesus Christ. Whether we call it Catholicism, Protestantism, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, agnosticism, or atheism; they are nothing more than figments of superstitious imaginations.

God has revealed Himself to us through His Son Jesus Christ. In order to enter into a relationship with God you must first come in the right “way.” By the common definition, “religion” has nothing whatsoever to do with an honest right relationship with God. God is not accessed by rituals, rites, ceremonies or symbols. No rosary, cross, steeple or goddess can bring you close to Him. Our’s is the God of the temple of the heart.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27
 

But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24

New world religion is not new. It is as ancient as the fall of Lucifer and was the cause of the fall of man in the garden of Eden. True religion requires no rites, rituals, ceremonies, or talismans. The ingredients of faith are a personal relationship with the Father through the Son, guided by Their Holy Spirit;...no water added. The beauty of it is the simplicity of it, and simplicity is hard to accept. It sure takes the burden off though.

Related Articles:
Understanding the Bible
Who Is Jesus
What is Salvation (What are we saved from?)
Who or What is the Holy Spirit
What About Baptism
 

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