Pagan Names (Part 4)

The outline is attached below.


VI. Didn't God name the days of the week? Shouldn't we use those names? 1. Moses (who wrote Genesis) numbered the first seven days of creation in his account of it. A. He wrote that "the evening and the morning were the first (second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth) day" (Gen 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). i. These are not proper names of the days of the week. ii. "the first", etc. is an adjectival phrase describing the day it prefaces. iii. "The first day", etc. was the first day of creation; it was not a title. B. God rested on "the seventh day" after creation began (Gen 2:2-3). 2. The days of the week were often referred to by their order number in the Bible. A. Phrases such as "the first day", etc. are really more descriptions than names (Exo 12:15-16). B. "The first day" is short for "the first day of the week" (Mat 28:1; Act 20:7; 1Co 16:2). C. "The first day of the week", or in other words, "the first day" is therefore not really a name of that day of the week, but a description of it. 3. A person could call Sunday "first day" and Monday "second day", etc., but that is not how the days of the week are called in the Bible. A. Every single place in the entire Bible (with two exceptions) where the words "first day", "second day", "third day", "fourth day", "fifth day", "sixth day", and "seventh day" are used they always are preceded by "the" (i.e. "the first day"). i. There are only two exceptions are Neh 9:1 and Neh 6:15 which say "the twenty and fourth day of this month" and "the twenty and fifth day of the month" respectively. ii. Therefore, the days are never called "first day, "second day", etc. in the Bible. B. "First day", "second day", etc. would be considered names. C. But "the first day", "the second day", etc. which are short for "the first day of the week", "the second day of the week", etc. are descriptions, not names. D. Therefore, God didn't really give names to the days of the week, except for the seventh day which was called the sabbath day (more on this below). 4. Since God didn't give actual names to the days of the week, we are not changing their names by calling them by the customary names of Sunday, Monday, etc. A. We would rather be giving them names. B. God permitted His people to give names to, and even change names of, the months of the year (see Section III, 6). C. God even permitted them to use names from the calendar of a pagan country for the months of the year (see Section III, 6). D. God permitted his people to be given names after pagan gods, and God permitted his people to have their names changed to the names of pagan gods (see Section III, 3). E. That being the case, it is therefore not a sin to call the names of the days of the week by their current names which come from the names of pagan gods. 5. The seventh day of the week was called the sabbath day in the law of Moses (Exo 20:8, 11). A. Sabbath n. - 1. a. In the original use: The seventh day of the week (Saturday) considered as the day of religious rest enjoined on the Israelites by the fourth (or in mediæval reckoning the third) commandment of the Decalogue. Phrases, to keep, break the Sabbath. B. The word "sabbath" comes from the Hebrew word shabath which means "to rest." (OED) C. There were sabbath days in the Old Testament (Col 2:16). i. These sabbath days didn't always fall on Saturday (the seventh day of the week) (Joh 19:31). a. This is evident from the fact that Jesus was crucified the day before the sabbath (Joh 19:31) and was in the grave for three days and three nights (Mat 12:40). (i) This means that Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday and was resurrected on Saturday evening (count three days and three nights on your fingers if you need to). (ii) Therefore, the sabbath day in Joh 19:31 was on a Thursday. b. There were numerous sabbath days which did not fall on the seventh day of the week in the law of Moses (Lev 23:24-39). c. There was a sabbath day on the following days of the seventh month: (i) The 1st day (Lev 23:24). (ii) The 10th day (Lev 23:27-32). (iv) The 15th day (Lev 23:34-35). (v) The 22nd day (Lev 23:39). ii. In that there were multiple days of the week on which a sabbath was to be kept under the law of Moses, this means that "the sabbath day" could sometimes refer to Thursday (Joh 19:31), or other days of the week as well (Lev 23:24-39). D. The reason that Saturday (the seventh day of the week) or sometimes Thursday (the fifth day of the week) (Joh 19:31) were called "the sabbath day" is because a sabbath (day of rest) was kept on those days. i. The sabbath law was only ever given to the nation of Israel (Exo 31:12-17; Deut 5:15). ii. It was never given to any other nation (Psa 147:19-20). iii. The law of Moses which commanded sabbath observance was abolished by Jesus Christ when He died on the cross and thereby instituted the New Testament which replaced it (2Co 3:6-14; Eph 2:15; Col 2:14-17; Gal 3:19). iv. The sabbath law was not carried over into the NT. a. It was not among the laws that the apostles determined were binding on Gentile Christians (Act 15:19-20). b. There is not one commandment in the NT after the death of Jesus Christ for a Gentile Christian to keep the sabbath. c. The word "sabbath" occurs only ONE TIME in all of the epistles of the New Testament (Romans through Revelation). (i) The only time the sabbath is mentioned in the epistles is in Col 2:16 when Paul tells the Gentile Christians to not let anyone judge them in respect of the sabbath days because they were taken away when Christ died on the cross and abolished the law of Moses (Col 2:14-17). (ii) The epistles (Romans through Revelation) are the apostles' instructions to NT (mainly Gentile) Christians on how they should obey and serve God. (iii) Certainly if Gentile Christians were under the sabbath law, then Paul, James, Peter, Jude, and John would have at least mentioned it once to them! (iv) The sabbath law is not once commanded in the epistles because it was taken away by Jesus Christ who fulfilled it and is our rest (Heb 4:3-11; Mat 11:28-30). v. See the series called "The Christian and the Old Testament" for further proof of this: E. Therefore, since the sabbath law has been abolished, there is no basis for calling the seventh day of the week "the sabbath day" today. VII. Why is it wrong to celebrate pagan holidays such as Christmas and Easter, but it's not wrong to use pagan names for the days of the week and months of the year? 1. The issue comes down to whether doing or saying a thing is an act of worship or not. 2. God commanded His people in both the Old and New Testaments to not worship Him the way that pagan idolaters worshiped their gods (Deut 12:29-32; Jer 10:2-4; 1Co 10:20-21; 2Co 6:14-18). A. Christmas is a Roman pagan sun worshiping holiday (Natalis Solis Invicti) which the Catholic Church adopted into Catholicism and changed the name of. i. The Catholic Church adapted the holiday into "Christianity" by substituting the worship of the rebirth of the sun with the worship of the birth of Christ. ii. See sermon called "Christmas - The Winter Solstice is the Real Reason for the Season": B. Easter is a pagan fertility holiday in honour of the pagan goddess Eostre or Ishtar. i. Easter: “Baeda Temp. Rat. xv. derives the word from Eostre, the name of a goddess whose festival was celebrated at the vernal equinox; her name shows that she was originally the dawn-goddess.” (Etymology of Easter, Oxford English Dictionary) ii. The Catholic Church adopted Eostre into "Christianity" by changing the name to Easter and substituting the worship of the regeneration of nature in the springtime with the worship of the resurrection of Christ. iii. See sermon called "Easter - The Spring Equinox is the Real Reason for the Season": C. Incorporating Natalis Solis Invicti and Eostre into the worship of God by changing their names and doing the same religious practices (green trees, gift giving, holly, merry making, eggs, rabbits, sunrise services, etc.) in honour of Jesus Christ is exactly what the Bible forbids in the above cited verses. 3. On the other hand, using pagan names for the days of the week or the months of the year is not an act of worship. 4. Such is no more an act of worship of pagan gods than is calling Daniel, Belteshazzar; Hananiah, Shadrach; Mishael, Meshach; Azariah, Abednego; Hadassah, Esther; and Apollo, Artemas, Hermas, Hermes, and Zenas by those names which were given to them after the names of pagan gods.
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