Lunar Sabbath - The Big Lie

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Ángel Manuel Rodríguez
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The Big Lie
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Lunar Sabbath Exposed

The Challenge

Lunar Sabbath Lie

We know that the biggest deception is  yet in the future—when Satan impersonates Christ. Why does Satan do so? He does it in a desperate attempt to get one class of people who have not been a prey to his guile. They are ready to receive the seal of the living God and to be declared secure for eternity. He wants to have a last go at them.

In vivid details the Pen of Inspiration lays down this warning message:

As the crowning act in the great drama of deception, Satan himself will personate Christ. . . . he claims to have changed the Sabbath to Sunday, and commands all to hallow the day which he has blessed. He declares that those who persist in keeping holy the seventh day are blaspheming his name by refusing to listen to his angels sent to them with light and truth. This is the strong, almost overmastering delusion. (Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 624)

We are warned about great perplexity and confusion creeping in as a part of the enemy’s strategy to derail the precious faith of the saints:

The days are fast approaching when there will be great perplexity and confusion. Satan, clothed in angel robes, will deceive, if possible, the very elect….Every wind of doctrine will be blowing. (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 80)

God will purge His church, and He has many ways to do it. We are told one way is by the introduction of false doctrines:

When the shaking comes, by the introduction of false theories, these surface readers, anchored nowhere, are like shifting sand. They slide into any position to suit the tenor of their feelings of bitterness. (Ellen White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 112)

The Lunar Sabbath Deception

Of late, a strange doctrine seems to be trapping many precious souls into a great deception. Many times in the last century it has tried to pop up but since a decade or so, it has gained momentum, and it seems to be spreading rapidly on the Internet.

From the book of Revelation, we know that the final issue will be the seal of God versus the mark of the beast—the true Sabbath versus the false Sabbath.

Why does Satan impose the Sunday law? The only reason is to force the true Sabbath-keepers to stop keeping God’s day holy. The rest of the world he doesn’t need to force—he has deceived them already, and they are not keeping the true day.

As the Sunday law is to force Sabbath-keepers into disobedience of the true Sabbath, the lunar Sabbath doctrine is to deceive the Sabbath-keepers into disobedience of the true Sabbath. The targets of both are Seventh-day Adventists.

It is claimed that many tens of thousands of Seventh-day Adventists have left the faith and have aligned themselves to this new theory. A website which was till late staunchly defending the true Saturday Sabbath has moved into the grand deception of the lunar Sabbath doctrine. This site boasts of over ninety thousand members who have joined them in a period of less than a year. There are several other websites and independent ministries who are former Seventh-day Adventists promoting this spurious doctrine.

The Issues

What are the issues and challenges of the lunar Sabbath doctrine?

Its adherents agree that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath, but they say that the seventh day of the week is not Saturday or Sunday, and neither is its seventh-day Sabbath fixed on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday!

They say the Gregorian calendar that we are using now to identify the weekly Sabbath is not in harmony with the biblical calendar. The solar Gregorian calendar which we use has weeks that are continuous. They claim that the weeks during biblical times were based on the luni-solar calendar and that the weeks did not run continuously for more than four weeks.

How is the luni-solar calendar different from the Gregorian solar calendar that we use today? The Gregorian calendar is not guided by the phases of the moon. The new moon can fall on any date of our months. The months in our calendar have thirty or thirty-one days, except February which has twenty-eight or twenty-nine days.

In the luni-solar calendar, the new moon begins a new month, and the months have twenty-nine or thirty days. Why it is that one month has twenty-nine days and the next month thirty days? It is because there are about twenty-nine and one half days from one new moon to the next new moon. Since we cannot have half days, they alternate between twenty-nine and thirty days.

Now, twelve lunar months of twenty-nine and one half days will be about 354 days. That is close to eleven days short of a solar year that has about 365 days.

As the solar calendar adds one day (February 29) every fourth year, the luni-solar calendar adds one extra month (a thirteenth month) every two or three years. In a nineteen-year period, they add seven months extra.

In our calendar, the days of the week are independent of the months. Whether a month has twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty, or thirty-one days does not affect the weekly cycle. The weekly cycle is a continuous cycle, and the Sabbath comes every seventh day of the week, regardless of the number of days in a month.

The lunar Sabbatarians say that the week is regulated by the new moon. Now, the new moon is the beginning of a month in the Bible, and no one disputes that. According to them, the week-count begins the next day after the new moon, so the first day of the week is the second day of the month, and the first Sabbath of the month, therefore, will be on the eighth of the month.

The Sabbaths are, therefore, fixed for them. They are always on the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth of every month, and the first of every month is the new moon.

Lunar months alternate between twenty-nine and thirty days. Six times in the year the months have thirty days. What do they do with the extra day, the thirtieth day, because the twenty-ninth is their fixed Sabbath and the first is the new moon? They call the extra day either a transition day, a repairing day, or the translation day of the new moon.

We will now look at another issue of the lunar Sabbath doctrine.

Two or Three Categories of Days?

We believe that there are just two kinds of days—six work days and the seventh-day Sabbath. At no time in our calendar can the Sabbath come on a work day. That is because they are two distinct days.

They believe there are three kinds of days—six work days, the Sabbath day, and the new moon day. They quote a verse in Ezekiel, to prove their point, which says:

Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened. (Ezekiel 46:1)

In our present Gregorian calendar the new moon can fall on a Sabbath (it does once in a while) and based on the above text of Ezekiel 46:1, the gates had to be opened on new moon days and on Sabbath days. So, it is no problem—the gates can be opened if the Sabbath and new moon overlap.

Again, based on our present calendar, the new moon can also fall on one of the six work days of the week (and most of the time this is so). But if the new moon falls on one of the six work days of the week, “What has to be done?” they ask us. Are the gates to be opened or closed? The text in Ezekiel says to keep them open six working days and keep them closed on the new moon days. So, do we keep them opened or closed, they are asking us!

The problem, they say, is solved only when we consider the new moon as a third category of the days in the month. The three categories of the days, they say are—the new moon, the six work days of the week, and the seventh-day Sabbath. These are three distinct days, and they don’t overlap one another, according to them.

According to the lunar Sabbatarians, the new moon day, therefore, does not fall on a Sabbath or on the six working days of the week. The new moon day is the first day of the month. The first day is a worship day like the Sabbath, but is not a Sabbath day, neither is it a work day of the week.

If that is the case—that the new moon day is a separate category of a day that does not fall on one of the six working days—then there is a serious problem because then Saturday cannot be the seventh day of the week and cannot be the Sabbath!

(According to the Bible the new moon is always the first day of the month. The new moon starts a new month. The word month comes from the word moon. No one disputes that.)

The lunar Sabbatarians say—since the new moon is not a Sabbath, neither is it a work day of the week, therefore the work days of the week and the Sabbaths of the month are fixed on particular dates of the month, just like the new moon is.

The lunar Sabbatarians say the weekly Sabbaths are always fixed on the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth of each and every lunar month, without any exceptions. According to them, the biblical calendar is like this: the first is the new moon; the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth are Sabbaths; if there is a thirtieth day, it is the translation day of the new moon or an extra day of the new moon; and the remaining days are the work days of the week.

The Two Proofs: The Manna and the Crucifixion

The lunar Sabbatarians provide at least two proofs to show that the Sabbaths always fall on one of the above-mentioned dates.

The Old Testament proof they show is the manna, and the New Testament proof they show is the days of the week in the crucifixion account.

When did the children of Israel arrive at the wilderness of Sin?

And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. (Exodus 16:1)

So they arrived on the fifteenth day of the second month according to the above passage. When did God promise to give manna?

I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. (Exodus 16:12)

Based on the above two verses, they claim that the manna started to be given on the morning of the sixteenth. We shall investigate that later on.

Did God give them manna on the Sabbath?

Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. (Exodus 16:26)

If the commencement of the manna was on the sixteenth day of the month (according to them) and that was the first day of manna-giving, then the seventeenth was the second day of manna, the eighteenth was the third day of manna, the nineteenth was the fourth day of manna, the twentieth was the fifth day of manna, the twenty-first was the sixth day of manna, and the twenty-second was the seventh day with no manna because it was the Sabbath.

So if twenty-second of that month was a Sabbath, the next Sabbath would be seven days later—the twenty-ninth. The previous Sabbath before the twenty-second would be seven days earlier—the fifteenth—and the previous Sabbath before fifteenth would be seven days before that, the eighth of the month. This is their solid Old Testament proof that the Sabbaths are fixed always on eighth, fifteenth, twenty-second and twenty-ninth of each and every month.

Their New Testament proof is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the Passover day, and the Passover day is always on the fourteenth day of the first Jewish month:

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. (Leviticus 23:5)

The day after Jesus died was the fifteenth day of the first month, and wasn’t it the seventh-day Sabbath? Luke calls the day Jesus died as the preparation day, and the next day was the Sabbath. Luke wrote:

And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. (Luke 23:54)

If the fifteenth day of that month was a Sabbath, then seven days before that was the eighth, and seven days after the fifteenth was the twenty-second, and seven days after the twenty-second was the twenty-ninth. So even in the month Jesus died, you have the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second and the twenty-ninth as Sabbaths!

They claim these two great proofs (besides many others which we shall investigate later on) from the Old and New Testament make their point—that Sabbaths are always fixed on the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth. And it looks like they are almost indisputable!

We will now see yet another issue of this new doctrine.

Another Issue

Another serious issue the lunar Sabbatarians have raised is the reckoning of a biblical day. We believe a day is counted from sunset to sunset, but they say that a day is reckoned from sunrise to sunrise. They show many texts, but here are a few:

And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails. (Numbers 11:32)

In the above text we have “that day,” “that night,” and “the next day.” What they are saying is that there are two days mentioned in the above verse—“that day” and “next day,” and one night in between called “that night.” They say, if a new day begins at sunset, then the night should be called next night. Since it is called “that night,” it is a proof that the night belonged to the previous day and not the next day. So according to them, a day should be from sunrise to sunrise and not sunset to sunset.

Also, they quote the killing of the Passover lamb which was on the fourteenth day of the first month:

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. (Leviticus 23:5)

We know from the Scriptures that the death angel came at night. Now look at the wording of the Scripture carefully:

For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night. (Exodus 12:12)

The lunar Sabbatarians say if at sunset a new day begins and God was visiting His judgments on the Egyptians at midnight, then the night should be referred to as the next night but by calling the night of fourteenth as this night, it indicates that the night belonged to the fourteenth and not to the fifteenth! That is another proof for them that a new day is reckoned from sunrise to sunrise. They quote other similar texts as well.

We shall see how to rightly interpret such texts later on.

There is another serious issue in this lunar Sabbath doctrine and that is the Sabbath duration.

Twelve-Hour Sabbaths?

They also say that the Sabbath is only the daylight part of the day—just twelve hours—and is not twenty-four hours. They say that nowhere does the Scripture mention Sabbath night, but only says Sabbath day.

Just like we believe that the Sabbath ends at sunset, the lunar Sabbatarians, too, believe the same. But we say it is from sunset to sunset, but they say it is from sunrise to sunset.

The sunset ending is clearly indicated in the ministry of Jesus. When Jesus was healing the people on the Sabbath day, the leaders of Israel told the people not to come for healing on the Sabbath day.

And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. (Luke 13:14)

That is the reason we see people coming to Jesus after sunset:

And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. . . . And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils. (Mark 1:32, 34)

So ending at sunset is not an issue for either group. The difference is whether the Sabbath begins at sunset or sunrise.

For them, all the days begin at sunrise, so the Sabbath also begins at sunrise. They quote the story of the giving of the manna, as one of the proofs, that the Sabbath started in the morning.

And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD. (Exodus 16:23)

Their logic is this: If the Sabbath was to begin at sunset, Moses should have said tonight is the rest of the holy Sabbath; however, Moses said “to morrow is the rest.”

The Main Points

Let us summarize the main points in the lunar Sabbath challenge:

a) The Sabbaths are fixed on the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth of every month in the Bible.

b) A day is reckoned from sunrise to sunrise and not from sunset to sunset.

c) The holy hours of the Sabbath are only the twelve hours of daylight and do not include the twelve hours of night.

 

 


 

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When Does a Day Begin?

When Does a Day Begin?

We say a biblical day begins at sunset. The day is from sunset to sunset. The lunar Sabbatarians say a biblical day begins at sunrise. They say the day is from sunrise to sunrise.

Let Us Investigate

What is mentioned first in the first chapter of the Genesis creation record—darkness or light?

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (Genesis 1:2)

Darkness was there even before the light was introduced. Logically speaking, the light that came later cannot be placed ahead of darkness in regard to time. That is exactly what the word of God says about each creation day—darkness first, light next.

God then proceeds to make two distinct periods of time where previously only one—darkness— existed:

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3, 4)

God then names those two periods of time:

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. (Genesis 1:5)

So, “light” and “day” are synonyms, and “darkness” and “night” are synonyms.

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:5)

There are only two segments in the twenty-four-hour orbit of the earth—light and darkness. We now have different terminologies for the two segments of time in the above verse of Genesis 1:5—light, day, darkness, night, evening, and morning. Light, day, and morning are synonyms. Darkness, night, and evening are synonyms.

Look at the order of the two periods of time:

And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:5)

There are only two periods of time—darkness/night/evening and light/day/morning. So, “evening and morning” means night and day or darkness and light.

How do we know that “the evening and the morning” of Genesis 1 embraces a twenty-four-hour period and not a twelve-hour period, as the lunar Sabbatarians believe?

This same phrase of “the evening and the morning” is used also in the book of Daniel and is clearly a twenty-four-hour period of time. This is the only other place, apart from Genesis 1, where the phrase “the evening and the morning” is used:

And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days. (Daniel 8:26)

How many days are “the evening and the morning” of Daniel?

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. (Daniel 8:14)

The Hebrew words translated days in Daniel 8:14 are the same words in the Hebrew of Daniel 8:26, where it is translated as “evening” and “morning.” The Hebrew words are ereb and boqer which are the exact words used in Genesis 1 for “evening” and “morning.”

The two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings are two thousand three hundred full twenty-four-hour periods. The lunar Sabbatarians also agree to this. If “the evening and the morning” is a twelve-hour period only, the two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings would be just 1150 days (half of two thousand three hundred days) and would end in AD 694 instead of in AD 1844.

So, if the lunar Sabbatarians agree to the two thousand three hundred evenings and mornings as two thousand three hundred twenty-four-hour days, then it is inconsistent to interpret “the evening and the morning” of Genesis as just compassing twelve hours.

From the very first chapter of the Bible, we see when a new day begins. It begins in “the evening,” at darkness.

The Unleavened Bread

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:6)

So, the feast of the unleavened bread starts on the fifteenth day, and it continues for seven days. If a reckoning of a twenty-four-hour day begins at sunrise, then it has to start on the morning of the fifteenth but as we saw in the Genesis creation record, a twenty-four-hour day begins at “evening.” Notice when the fifteenth day begins:

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses. (Exodus 12:18, 19)

Genesis gave us the rule of how to reckon a day and from when to reckon it. Exodus confirms the same reckoning—it is from “even”” to “even” or evening to evening.

The Day of Atonement

Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. (Leviticus 23:27)

Notice, when does the tenth day begin, according to God, on the morning of the tenth or on the evening of the ninth?

It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. (Leviticus 23:32)

Here we have the first three books of the Bible in a row—Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus—all attesting to the evening as the beginning of a new day!

The Time of Nehemiah

And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. (Nehemiah 13:19)

The Sabbath begins when it is dark, when the sun is set. “Began to be dark” is the time when the sun is beginning to set, just before the Sabbath. The gates were closed just before the Sabbath commenced.

The above phrase “began to be dark before the Sabbath” clearly indicates that the Sabbath began when it was dark. “Began to be dark” means the darkness was imminent—darkness followed not later, but immediately. “Before the sabbath” means the Sabbath was imminent—the Sabbath followed not later, but immediately.

The Crucifixion

A person worthy of death was to be hanged on a tree, but God instructed His people to follow a procedure; they were not to remain hanging at night.

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. (Deuteronomy 21:22)

Joshua followed this rule when he hanged the king of Ai:

And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree. (Joshua 8:29)

At the time of Jesus, this rule was followed as well.

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)

The bodies were not to remain on the cross during any night. How much more so when it was a Sabbath night!

If the Sabbath only began at sunrise, then why were they rushing to break the legs of the thieves and take them down from the cross nearly fifteen hours before the Sabbath began?

There is no command in the Old Testament that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath. The command was that the bodies should not remain on the cross at night. It does not say in John 19:31 that the bodies should not remain on the cross at night, but that “the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day.” This clearly implies that the Sabbath started that night, at sunset, and not at sunrise.

This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. . . . And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. (Luke 23:52, 54)

The Revised Standard Version translates Luke 23:54 this way:

It was the day of Preparation, and the sabbath was beginning.

“The sabbath drew on” or “the sabbath was beginning” does not make sense if the Sabbath was beginning nearly fifteen hours later!

This again shows that the Sabbath began not at sunrise, but at sunset, the end of the sixth day.

The Resurrection

The apostle John gives us the period during which Mary Magdalene visited the sepulchre to anoint the body of Jesus:

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. (John 20:1)

When it was “yet dark” means the sunrise had not yet taken place. John calls this time, the time before sunrise, as “the first day of the week.”

This proves that the first day of the week started even before the sun could rise! That means the first day of the week, according to John, did not start at sunrise but at sunset the previous night.

The Third Day Resurrection

For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. (Mark 9:31)

The lunar Sabbatarians agree that Jesus died on Friday, the sixth day of the week, at 3 p.m. According to the above text of Mark 9:31, after Christ was killed, the third day He would rise.

The day of His death was Friday (sixth day of the week), the next day after His death was Saturday (seventh day of the week), and the third day was Sunday (the first day of the week).

If sunrise is the beginning of a new day, according to the lunar Sabbatarians, and not sunset, then Jesus rose on the second day and not the third day! Here it is—John wrote:

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. (John 20:1)

If the stone was removed from the sepulchre while it was “yet dark,” it means Jesus rose while it was “yet dark”!

Let’s count it from the lunar Sabbatarians’ viewpoint: On the sixth day of week Jesus died (the first day of His death), the seventh day of the week Jesus rested (the second day from His death), and the first day of the next week Jesus rose before sunrise (still the second day).

If sunrise begins a new day, then Jesus rose on the second day and not the third day!

Sabbath—Twelve Hours or Twenty-Four Hours?

The lunar Sabbatarians believe that the holy hours of the Sabbath are just twelve hours and not twenty-four hours. The reason they believe this is because if the Sabbath is twenty-four hours long, then the quails pose a very big problem. The lunar Sabbatarians believe that the fifteenth of any month in the Bible was a Sabbath, but God sent quails on the fifteenth!

. . . on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. . . . And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp. (Exodus 16:1, 13)

So how do they escape? Since quails came in the evening, after sunset, the lunar Sabbatarians came up with the theory that the holy hours of the Sabbath are only the daylight part and not the dark part! This is what they say:

Have you ever heard of a Sabbath night mentioned in Scripture or were we only told to remember the seventh DAY? (Elesha YisraEl, quoted by Troy Miller in “When does Scripture say a day begins?” p. 10; emphasis in original; accessed at www.creationcalendar.com at the link entitled “When does a day begin, evening or morning, midnight or noon?”)

That explanation is totally unacceptable and illogical. For example, when a person is born in the night, it is still called birthday and not birthnight! Don’t people have birthday celebrations in the night as well—is that wrong? It doesn’t matter at what part of the twenty-four-hour period an event occurs—it is still called—Independence Day, Liberation Day, Anniversary Day, etc. And those who work on night shifts, while on vacation, they say I am on holidays, and not holinights! Just because it is called Sabbath day, to conclude there is no Sabbath night is absurd!

The day before the Sabbath is called the preparation day:

And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath. (Mark 15:42)

If the Sabbath hours are only from sunrise to sunset (twelve hours), then why do we need a preparation day, just the preparation night might be all that would be required!

Having a preparation night, instead of a preparation day, could make sense if the Sabbath were just twelve hours!

Does Day Mean the Daylight Part Only?

The lunar Sabbatarians keep emphasizing that a day in the Bible is only the daylight part and not the night:

The word day refers to light only. (YisraEl, p. 10; emphasis in original)

They forget to realize that the word day has more than one meaning in Scripture and also in English and other languages.

Yes, day can mean the daylight period, when the sun shines, in contrast to the night, the dark part:

Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world? (John 11:9)

But day in Scripture can also mean a twenty-four-hour period—the dark part and the light part combined:

Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread . . . In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. (Exodus 12:15, 18)

So here, seven days means seven days and seven nights. Day in Scripture can also mean a bigger period of time:

For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Can anyone say that since salvation is called the “day” of salvation, one cannot accept the gospel message in the night?

The lunar Sabbatarians keep saying day means day and night means night, and you can’t make the day as night and the night as day. Then what do they do with the following text?

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. (2 Peter 3:10)

Though the Lord comes as a thief in the night, it is called “the day of the lord” and not the night of the Lord!

If it is true, as quoted earlier, that “the word day refers to light only,” what do we do with the words of Jesus in gospel of Mark?

And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. (Mark 14:30)

The above statement was made during the night hours, after the Lord’s Supper was over, while they were heading towards Gethsemane. And Christ called the night as day! They have nothing to say for this.

The lunar Sabbatarians are twisting simple math. In the website article quoted earlier, this is what they say:

According to Leviticus 8:35, Aaron and his sons were to remain at the door of the Tabernacle, day and night, seven days. How many nights did they remain?

(A) - Six nights. Count ’em . . . D – N – D – N – D – N –D – N – D – N – D – N – D [A for answer, D for day, N for night]. (YisraEl, p. 11; emphasis in original)

First, please note that they are mistaken and then, let’s expose their mathematical tricks. The “day and night, seven days” ends on the eighth day and not on the seventh day. Just two verses later, in the very first verse of the next chapter, Moses writes about the day when Aaron and his sons came out of the Tabernacle:

And it came to pass on the eighth day . . . (Leviticus 9:1)

So, if it ended on the eighth day, the seventh night is included in the “day and night, seven days.” Period!

Let us see a parallel reckoning of time. For how long did it rain in Noah’s time?

And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. (Genesis 7:12)

A little further down, the Bible uses a little different method of counting:

And the flood was forty days upon the earth. (Genesis 7:17)

When we compare the above two passages, there is no contradiction for us—forty days equals forty days and forty nights—but for the lunar Sabbatarians who say the word day means light only, there is a problem! Did it rain just during the light hours, as per Genesis 7:17? Or did it rain during the light and dark hours, as per Genesis 7:12? Or were there two floods—one for forty days only and the other for forty days and forty nights?

From creation to resurrection we have clear proofs from the word of God that a biblical day is counted from “evening to evening,” from sunset to sunset, and not from sunrise to sunrise!

Also, we have seen the word day doesn’t always mean the light part, when the sun shines. Day also means the dark and light parts combined as well, apart from having other meanings too.

Only Twelve Hours of Worship?

The lunar Sabbatarians use the text of Psalm 113:3 to prove that Sabbath worship is just twelve hours—from sunrise to sunset:

If the celebration of our Sabbath days and our new moons (Isaiah 66:23) begins in the evening when the sun is going down, why would Our Creator state that all nations shall praise His Name and worship Him from the “rising of the sun until the going down of the same (sun)”? From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same YHVH’s name is to be praised (Psalm 113:3).

(A[nswer]) If the Sabbath started in the evening, as many of our people believe, then this verse would make no sense whatsoever. (YisraEl, p. 11; emphasis in original)

The above quoted verse or even the entire Psalm of 113 does not mention the Sabbath or Sabbath worship at all! If that text of Psalm 113:3 is the recommended time to worship God, what about Psalm 55, which comes before Psalm 113?

Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice. (Psalm 55:17)

This looks more like Sabbath worship, for it starts at evening, then morning, and then noon. But we don’t interpret scriptures based on assumptions. If Psalm 113:3 is the recommended time of worship for them, then what about Paul and Silas praising God at midnight?

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. (Acts 16:25)

This text of Acts 16 looks more like a congregation at worship than does Psalm 113. In Acts 16 there was a gathering of people (prisoners) present too, apart from Paul and Silas—preachers and singers! And, it was a midnight service, not midday!

Again, we don’t build our doctrines on assumptions! We build our doctrine on the plain command of Scripture which says, “From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath” (Leviticus 23:32).

“The evening and the morning” of Genesis 1

What do the lunar Sabbatarians have to say to these many clear-cut proofs that we have for a sunset reckoning? We will now look at their explanations to the texts we have quoted and see why their interpretations are flawed and not sound. This is what they say:

The Genesis account defines the day as evening and morning, which are the two parts of the radiant sunshine of “daylight”, and have nothing at all to do with the night. ( Kerrie L. French, “Three Months in a Row, Part 2 – The Manna”; accessed at http://www.thecreatorscale-ndar.com/Articles/three_months/2_02_The_Manna.html#.Uh-hERafMpo)

Evening and morning is not synonymous with night and day, but rather evening and morning are two halves of the “daylight” hours . . . (Kerrie L. French, “Part 3 – The Mountain”; accessed at http://www.thecreatorscalendar.com/Art-icles/three_months/3_02_The_Mountain.html#.Uh-jBhafMpo)

The evening together with the morning make up the first daylight. This is a simple math equation: .5 + .5 = 1 whole daylight. Therefore the first daylight was made up of two parts, morning and evening. Morning begins at dawn and ends at noon; evening begins at noon and ends at dusk. (Unknown author, “When Does a Day Begin?”; accessed at http://www.worldslastchance.com/yahuwahs-calendar/when-does-a-day-begin. html)

If God meant the evening and the morning to be the “two halves of the ‘daylight’ hours,” as they claim, then there was an easier way of putting it. God should have said it the other way around—the morning and the evening were the first day, etc., and not “the evening and the morning”! Was God calculating backwards?

The lunar Sabbatarians say, as quoted above, that “the evening together with the morning make up the first daylight,” but the Bible says that “the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5). The Bible doesn’t say first daylight, it just says “first day”! The lunar Sabbatarians are making people believe something that the Bible does not say!

The lunar Sabbatarians also say, as quoted above, that “the Genesis account defines the day as evening and morning, which are the two parts of the radiant sunshine of ‘daylight’, and have nothing at all to do with the night.” Now look at a story where God sent quails in the evening and manna in the morning:

At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.” (Exodus 16:12)

The quails came on the evening of the fifteenth (they agree to this). If evening and morning are the two parts of the “daylight,” did the quails come on the daylight of the fifteenth? And if quails came during the daylight of fifteenth, then by their own rule the quails came on the daylight of the Sabbath! (For them, the daylight of the fifteenth of any month is a Sabbath.) That should be the end of all issues regarding the lunar Sabbaths!

So you can see how they have misinterpreted the Genesis reckoning of time of “the evening and the morning.” 

The Unleavened Bread

Let us see how the lunar Sabbatarians twist the calculation of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread:

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:6)

In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at even, ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month at even. Seven days shall there be no leaven found in your houses. (Exodus 12:18, 19)

From the above passages of scripture, we understand the feast was to be celebrated from the evening of the fourteenth day to the evening of the twenty-first day, a total of seven days. Now look at how they twist the simple statements of scripture to fit their ideas:

Unleavened bread was eaten on the 14th day of the first month at evening, (along with the rest of the Passover meal, Exodus 12:8) and was to be eaten until the 21st at even. This is parts of 8 days, yet Exodus 12:15 says to eat it for seven days. And so it is. The day part of the 14th is over when eaten on the 14th, so unleavened bread is only eaten on “DAYS” 15 through 21. (Troy Miller, When Does Scripture Say A Day Begins?, p. 4; accessed at www.creationcaldendar. com; emphasis in original)

That seems to be a very smart way of getting out of trouble. But trouble is still there! It is not just the eating of unleavened bread that the passage mentions, but also the putting away of leaven from the houses, and notice when the leaven has to be put out of the houses:

Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses. (Exodus 12:15)

If the first day is the daylight of the fifteenth, then they had to have put away the unleavened bread on the morning of the fifteenth, but we see they ate the unleavened bread on the previous night (the night of the fourteenth) which means the leaven was put out of the houses not on the morning of the fifteenth, but on the previous night! So a day doesn’t begin in the morning, but on the previous night!

Another lunar Sabbatarian camp agrees that the Feast of the Unleavened Bread (or the Feast of the Passover, as it is commonly called), which begins on the fifteenth day of the first month, began on the night of the fourteenth. Here is their statement:

. . . because it was the Feast of Passover, a Holy Convocation, and also called a yearly Sabbath. This Feast of Passover was the only Holy convocation to be kept during the dark hours, which began at sunset on the 14th of Abib. This was not because a seventh-day Sabbath was to begin at sunset. (Accessed 10-20-13 at http://www.worldslastchance.com/when-does-a-day-begin/i-was-taught-that-the-yahushua-was-crucified-on-a-friday.html; emphasis in original)

They have not found a way of escape from this plain text of scripture which proves that a day begins at sunset; therefore, they say that this is the “only holy convocation to be kept during the dark hours which began at sunset on the 14th of Abib.” The very fact it is called a “Sabbath” shows that it is related to the seventh-day Sabbath rest. Then how can the seventh-day Sabbath be only from sunrise to sunset, when a yearly Sabbath, based on the pattern of the seventh-day Sabbath, begins it holy hours, called Sabbath, at sunset?

So again the lunar Sabbatarians are flawed in their interpretation.

The Day of Atonement

One of the clearest passages of the Bible where the reckoning of a biblical day is given is in the feast of the Day of Atonement.

Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD….It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. (Leviticus 23:27, 32)

Listen to what the lunar Sabbatarians have to say about this most clear passage of scripture:

Notice it says that this appointed time was to begin on the 9th at even, and end on the 10th at even. If the 10th day of the seventh month is Day of Atonement, why didn’t YHVH just say keep the 10th as a fast? The point is, the affliction of the soul begins on the 9th day at even (this does not mean the beginning of the day) and ends on the 10th day at even. This time of affliction is spread over two days. (Miller, Ibid.)

Does the scripture say the affliction spreads over two days?

For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from among his people. (Leviticus 23:29)

There are not two days of affliction during this single Day of Atonement. If the affliction lasted two days, then the word day should have been plural—days—but Moses wrote “that same day.”

Apart from Leviticus 23, there are two other places in scripture that mention the Day of Atonement and the affliction, and in none of these passages will you see that the affliction is for two days. It is only on the single Day of Atonement.

And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you. (Leviticus 16:29)

And ye shall have on the tenth day of this seventh month an holy convocation; and ye shall afflict your souls: ye shall not do any work therein. (Numbers 29:7)

So the Day of Atonement is on the tenth day of the seventh month. It is a day of affliction, and it is called a Sabbath because no work was to be done on that day, just like the weekly Sabbath was a day of rest. The scripture is absolutely clear as to when the Day of Atonement (called also the Sabbath) starts and finishes—“from even to evening.”

Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall afflict your souls, and offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD….It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath.” (Leviticus 23:27, 32)

So we have seen how the lunar Sabbatarians are flawed in their interpretation of the Day of Atonement.

In the Time of Nehemiah

The book of Nehemiah is specific as to the timing of the beginning of the Sabbath. It commences when it is dark and not when it is bright.

And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. (Nehemiah 13:19)

What do the lunar Sabbatarians have to say about this clear text?

Nehemiah was “guarding the edges of the Sabbath” so to speak. The Sabbath did not start until dawn . . .” (http://www.worldslastchance.com/when-does-a-day-begin/what-about-nehemiah-1319-it-gives-support-to-sunset-to-sunset -day-length.html)

If the Sabbath was to start twelve hours later, how can sunset be the “edges” of the Sabbath? What about the edges of the Sabbath the other side, that is, after the Sabbath? Would the guarding extend twelve hours after the Sabbath is passed? The whole passage in Nehemiah 13:15–22, is not talking about guarding the edges of the Sabbath, but about guarding the Sabbath itself!

When something is on the edge of something else, it means it is touching the other thing. Let me illustrate. If a person is sitting at the edge of a bench it means he is in contact with the bench. If he is outside the bench then he is not at the edge of the bench, but close to the bench.

When were the gates shut? “… began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut” (Nehemiah 13:19). The gates were shut before the Sabbath, while it was beginning to be dark. When were the gates opened? “… and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath” (Nehemiah 13:19). They were opened after the Sabbath.

All of us agree that the Sabbath ends at sunset. So the gate was opened after sunset. Why did Nehemiah close the gates? “…that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day” (Nehemiah 13:19).

According to the lunar Sabbatarians the holy hours of the Sabbath are only twelve hours—from sunrise to sunset. Instead of closing the gates for just over twelve hours, Nehemiah closed the gates for close to twenty-four hours! That’s not allowing trade for two different days! But Nehemiah shut the gate so that “no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.” He was only guarding the hours of the Sabbath day which were twenty-four hours—from sunset to sunset.

If the Sabbath began at sunrise and Nehemiah was to close the gates from trade and commerce during the Sabbath hours, then the text should have read when the gates of Jerusalem ended to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, but Nehemiah wrote “when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath” (Nehemiah 13:19).

The reason the ancient cities had gates was to protect the city from strangers entering in at night. The gates of the cities were closed every night. This was a custom that was practiced by all. For example, look at the city of Jericho. They, too, closed their gate when it was night, when it was dark:

And it came to pass about the time of shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out. (Joshua 2:5)

But Nehemiah shut the gates of Jerusalem, before the usual time because he wanted to protect the Sabbath hours from trade and commerce! Why? Because Sabbath starts at sunset and not sunrise!

So we see the lunar Sabbatarians are also flawed in their explanation of the passage of Nehemiah.

The Crucifixion and the High 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)

The lunar Sabbatarians agree that a high Sabbath or a high day is when the yearly Sabbath and the weekly Sabbath coincide:

A High Sabbath was the term used when a yearly appointed Feast Sabbath landed on a regular seventh-day Sabbath. (Kerrie L. French, The Twelve Criteria of the True Crucifixion Date, p. 3; accessed at http://www.thecreatorscalendar.com/ Articles/Twelve_Criteria/03_Twelve_Criteria.html)

I couldn’t find their reason as to why the legs of the thieves were broken in a hurry before sunset, but I found the passage where they give a reason as to why the embalming of Jesus’ body was not done immediately after his death that night.

The only reason Yahushua’s body was not embalmed during the dark hours after His death was because it was the Feast of Passover, a Holy Convocation, and also called a yearly Sabbath. This Feast of Passover was the only Holy convocation to be kept during the dark hours, which began at sunset on the 14th of Abib. This was not because a seventh-day Sabbath was to begin at sunset. (http://www.worldslastchance.com/when-does-a-day-begin/i-was-taught-that-the-yahushua-was-crucified-on-a-friday.html; emphasis in original; accessed 10–13–13)

French is quoted above as saying a high Sabbath is when the “Feast Sabbath landed on a regular seventh-day Sabbath,” but in the immediate quotation above, World’s Last Chance (author unknown) states the feast Sabbath began on 14th night and the weekly Sabbath began on 15th morning. They are being inconsistent! How can an annual Sabbath be twenty-four hours and the weekly Sabbath be just twelve hours?

John clearly indicates that the High Sabbath was beginning that night; therefore, they did not want the bodies to remain on the cross. Now a high Sabbath, according to their belief as well, is when both Sabbaths meet together. So, that night both Sabbaths started. If this were not so, John should not have called it the “high day” but should have only called it the yearly Sabbath day.

If the Sabbath only began at sunrise, then why were they rushing to break the legs of the thieves and take them down from the cross nearly fifteen hours before the Sabbath began?

This is the precise reason why they did not embalm the body of Jesus that very night (because it was a High Sabbath), and that is also the precise reason why they broke the legs of the thieves so that they wouldn’t be hanging all night, as the High Sabbath (that is—both Sabbaths) would commence that sundown.

So we see the lunar Sabbatarians are contradictory in their interpretation on the High Sabbath. Their explanations are flawed.

The Third Day and the Resurrection

The Bible says in the gospel of John that Mary found the stone rolled away when she reached the tomb while it was “yet dark”:

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. (John 20:1)

What do the lunar Sabbatarians have to say about this clear text?

“Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb” John 20:1 (NKJV)…This is one of the cases where there is some discrepancy in the Gospel Accounts. (www.worldslast chance.com, “Doctrine and Practice”; article not available on 10–13–13)

When it was “yet dark” means the sunrise had not yet taken place. John calls this time, the time before sunrise, as “the first day of the week” which clearly indicates that a new day began before sunrise.

The text of John poses a problem to them. So they prefer quoting Matthew, who uses the phrase “as it began to dawn,” and Mark, who writes “at the rising of the sun.” So the first day of the week is “as it began to dawn” or “at the rising of the sun,” and that suits their idea of a day beginning at sunrise.

But since John calls the “yet dark” period as the first day of the week, it’s puzzling to them, and they say there is “some discrepancy in the gospel accounts”! For us, it is no discrepancy.

The “yet dark” period and the “rising of the sun” both perfectly fit the first day of the week for us because the first day of the week started at sunset Saturday evening and ends sunset Sunday evening.

John wrote that when Mary came to the tomb it was “yet dark,” and the other gospel writers wrote it was “as it began to dawn” or “at the rising of the sun.” That is no contradiction, if we carefully see what each of them wrote.

John mentions only one person, Mary, coming to the tomb:

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. (John 20:1)

Matthew mentions two people:

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. (Matthew 28:1)

Mark mentions three people:

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. (Mark 16:1)

Luke mentions more than three people:

It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. (Luke 24:10)

Now were there one, two, three, or more than three women at the tomb? The answer is they all did not come there as the same time. They were not all staying in the same house. They would all come from different directions and meet at the tomb. Putting all the records together, we can conclude Mary Magdalene came first, while it was “yet dark,” Mary the mother of James joined Mary Magdalene when it “began to dawn,” and Salome joined the two Marys at the “rising of the sun.”

Here is a confirmation, from the pen of inspiration, of the order of events as we have just seen it from the Bible itself:

The Sabbath was past, and Mary Magdalene came early in the morning, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher. Other women were to meet her there, but Mary was the first at the sepulcher. (Christ Triumphant, p 284)

Mark also confirms that Jesus appeared to Mary first, for she was the first one to come at the tomb.

Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene. (Mark 16:9)

So, you see, for the lunar Sabbatarians there is “some discrepancy in the Gospel Accounts,” but for us there is a perfect and harmonious gospel account of the resurrection of our Lord that took place on the first day of the week, even while it was “yet dark” before sunrise, and that shows a new day is reckoned, not at sunrise, but at sunset.

Talking about the timing of the resurrection, the pen of inspiration records:

“The night of the first day of the week had worn slowly away. The darkest hour, just before daybreak, had come” (The Desire of Ages, p. 779).

In the above quotation the pen of inspiration puts the night of the first day of the week before the day of the first day of the week.

At the brightest hour of the day, there was darkness at the cross. Now at the darkest hour of the night, there was brightness, at the tomb, when the angels of light and glory descended!

The Night Belonged to Which Day?

We have seen that the night comes first, then comes the day in God’s reckoning of time. The biblical time is important to us when it comes to the sacred hours; otherwise, it doesn’t really matter to us as to which comes first—night or day.

God’s people were under different foreign rules from time to time—the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Medo-Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, etc. As they were living in different influences and cultures, it was natural for them to communicate daily in the most natural way to them.

For example, though we all believe in the biblical time-reckoning, how do we speak today in reference to time? When I ask you about the timing of your breakfast, lunch, and supper, you will answer me in today’s manner of speaking.

For example, breakfast at 8 a.m., lunch at 1 p.m. and supper at 7 p.m. But this is incorrect as far as the biblical reckoning of time goes—8 a.m. is eight hours after midnight (the Roman reckoning of a new day is at 12 midnight), 1 p.m. is thirteen hours after the new day began, and 7 p.m. is nineteen hours after the new day began.

God’s time of reckoning would be breakfast at the second hour (after sunrise, if sunrise was at 6 a.m.), lunch at the seventh hour (after sunrise at 6 a.m.), and supper at the first hour of the night (after sunset).

The lunar Sabbatarians think that the hours in the Bible are only the twelve hours of the day from sunrise to sunset. They say, “The nights are not defined by hours, but by an altogether different system of measurement known as the four watches.” (Kerrie L. French, http://www.thecreators calendar.com/Articles/three_months/3_02_The_Mo untain.html).

But the Bible talks about the hours of the night as well:

And he called unto him two centurions, saying, Make ready two hundred soldiers to go to Caesarea, and horsemen threescore and ten, and spearmen two hundred, at the third hour of the night. (Acts 23:23)

Are we wrong in using the Roman reckoning of time in our daily speeches? No! The Bible uses it as well. When was Jesus crucified? Mark says it was the third hour.

And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. (Mark 15:25)

That is the Jewish method of calculating time (3rd hour from sunrise—9 a.m. our time). But look at how the Apostle John writes:

And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. (John 19:14–16)

Sixth hour Jewish time would be twelve noon for us. But we know that Jesus was crucified at the 3rd hour—9 a.m. our time.

John was using the Roman method of calculation here. At twelve midnight a new day begins in the Roman reckoning, and the sixth hour would be 6 a.m.

It is not that John always used the Roman time-reckoning; he mixed both. In chapter 4 we see John using the Jewish time-reckoning:

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. (John 4:6)

That is twelve noon.

When the Bible says “tonight” or “this night” as in Exodus 12, or “tomorrow” or “morrow” as in the giving of the manna in reference to the morning hours, or “yesternight” as in the case of Lot’s story, it is the most natural way of saying it. We who also honor the biblical holy hours speak the same way.

And don’t forget the Israelites were used to speaking in the Egyptian reckoning of time when they came out of Egypt, as we are used to speaking in the Roman reckoning of time even today being under the Roman influence as far as the daily manner of speaking goes in reference to time.

Pliny, the great Roman author of the first century, gives us details of how different people and nations reckoned time:

The Babylonians count the period between two sunrises, the Athenians that between two sunsets, the Umbrians from midday to midday, the common people everywhere from dawn to dark, the Roman priests and the authorities who fixed the official day, and also the Egyptians and Hipparchus, the period from midnight to midnight. (Pliny, Natural History bk. 2, ch. 79, p. 188, as cited by Jack Finegan in Handbook of Biblical Chronology, p. 8 and by Robert L. Odom in Sunday in Roman Paganism, p. 215)

So to make a new doctrine based on passages that refer to the common way of speaking is to make unsound doctrine. Would anyone like to make a new doctrine that Jesus was crucified twice; because Mark says he was crucified at the third hour and John says he was still in Pilate’s hall the sixth hour the same day?

Paul cautions us of such kinds of deceptions:

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. (Ephesians 4:14)

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 4:2)

The truth is crystal clear for all who want to see it. The holy hours of the Sabbath are twenty four hours. The biblical Sabbath day is from sunset to sunset.

From even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. (Leviticus 23:32)


 

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Two or Three Categories of Days

Two or Three Categories of Days

If there are three categories of days—new moon days, six work days, and Sabbath days—then the possibility of Sabbaths being fixed on the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth of every lunar month is feasible.

But if there are only two categories of days (six work days and the seventh-day Sabbath), then the lunar Sabbath theory falls apart!

The lunar Sabbatarians say that there are three distinct categories of days. They quote Ezekiel 46:1:

Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.

Their argument goes like this:

What happens if new moon falls on a Tuesday (on man’s calendar)? Is the gate open or shut? There is no right answer. The solution is that the new moon never falls on a work day because it is not a work day. It is a third category of day. The gate is closed on all six work days. . . Do the math—you will discover that there are three separate categories of days in YHWH’s calendar: new moon days, work days, and Sabbaths. Since Scripture indicates that these days cannot take place at the same time, do not overlap or share the same space, then we need to rework our understanding of the calendar. (Troy Miller, Three Distinct Categories of Days, pp. 1, 2; accessed at http://www.4angelspublications.com/pdf/ThreeDistinctCategoriesDays.pdf; acces- ed on 10–13–13; emphasis in original)

Their argument may sound logical. If the new moon falls on Tuesday (or on any of the work days of the week) in our calendar and if we open the gate because it is new moon, then we are violating the other part of it which says the gate has to be closed on the six working days. The same is true the other way around. If we close it because Tuesday is a work day, then we are violating the other instruction to open it on new moon days.

If the new moon day is a third category of a day, the problem is solved because then it will never overlap, then the command in Ezekiel can always be obeyed, and then all the dates of the months are fixed permanently to the day of the week—the first is new moon; the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth are Sabbaths; and the rest of the days in the month are work days.

Let’s Investigate

Based on the three great accounts of the Bible on the categories of days in Genesis and Exodus, the foundational books of the Bible, we find only two categories of days and not three.

The Genesis account of creation has six work days and the Sabbath day.

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:3)

There are only 2 categories of days—six work days and the seventh-day Sabbath.

In the Exodus account when God was feeding his people miraculously for forty years with manna from heaven, God recognized only two categories of days:

Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. (Exodus 16:26)

Again at the giving of the law, we see only two categories of days—the same two categories—six work days and one rest day.

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work. (Exodus 20:9, 10)

Based on these three foundational accounts of scriptural categories of days, there cannot be another category of day. Every other special day has to fall on either the six working days or on the seventh-day Sabbath.

To the lunar Sabbatarians’ question on what has to be done when the new moon falls on a work day—should the gate of the temple be opened or shut—our answer is open the gate because it is a new moon day. If the new moon is a worship day, then it supersedes the work day.

Here is their question back to them. Let’s look at the Day of Atonement:

Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement: it shall be an holy convocation unto you … And ye shall do no work in that same day: … It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest. (Leviticus 23:27, 28, 32)

According to the lunar Sabbatarians, the eighth day is a Sabbath on any month; so the tenth is the second day of the workweek. Our question to them is—do you work on the Day of Atonement, for it is the second day of the workweek and according to the ten-commandment law, “six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work,” or do you rest according to Leviticus 23:28?

To solve this do the lunar Sabbatarians want to have a fourth category of days? And maybe they should have a fifth category of days, as well, because the final day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which falls on the twenty-first of the first month (the sixth work day of the week according to the fixed lunar calendar), is also a day of rest. Do you rest or work? is our question to them. Whatever their answer will be to our question, the same will be our answer to their question on Ezekiel 46:1 as to whether the gate should be opened or closed if the new moon falls on a week day!

If Ezekiel 46 is taken to prove there are three categories of days, based on the same method of calculation, then Leviticus 23 has five categories of days!

Also Ezekiel 46:1 doesn’t say anything about what should be done to the gate on the 30th! According to the lunar Sabbatarians the 30th is not a part of the Sabbath or the new moon or the 6 working days of the week. So should the gate be opened or closed on the 30th? They don’t address this matter at all, but they boldly ask us what should be done if the new moon falls on the 6 working days!

Another text the lunar Sabbatarians keep using to prove that there are three categories of days is found in 2 Kings. When the Shunammite woman wanted to meet Elisha the prophet, her husband asked her, “Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well” (2 Kings 4:23).

The lunar Sabbatarians say:

“It was during a work day that the Shunammite woman’s husband asked” (Troy Miller, Three Distinct Categories of Days, p. 2; accessed at, http://www.4ang elspublications.com/pdf/ThreeDistinctCategoriesDays.pdf on 10–13–13)

The text of 2 Kings proves nothing about three categories of days. Even in the present Gregorian calendar, the above text perfectly fits.

Let us assume: If the new moon is on the eleventh of a particular month in the Gregorian calendar, and the Sabbath is on the fourteenth, the woman going to meet Elijah on the ninth perfectly fits!

The ninth (Monday) is not the new moon (the eleventh—Wednesday), nor the Sabbath (the fourteenth—Saturday). You don’t need to have their luni-solar calendar to make the text of Second Kings fit. It fits perfectly in the present Gregorian calendar, as well!

Are All New Moon Days Non-Commerce Days?

Another text the lunar Sabbatarians keep using to prove that there are three categories of days is this text in Amos:

Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat. (Amos 8:5)

Again this text perfectly fits in our Gregorian calendar, as well, the same way the Shunammite woman’s story of Second Kings fits.

The lunar Sabbatarians assume that they believe the new moon is a non-commerce day always, based on this text. That’s the way they can have a third category of a day.

The New Moon is not a weekly Sabbath; a new moon day is a non-commerce day; a commerce day is not a worship day. The Sabbath and new moons are worship days. (Troy Miller, Three Distinct Categories of Days, p. 2; http://www.4an gelspublications.com/pdf/ThreeDistinctCategoriesDays.pdf; acces- sed on 10–13–13)

Scripture reveals that New Moons, like the seventh-day Sabbath, are worship days. . . .

Ezekiel 46:1 places New  Moons together with the seventh-day Sabbath, as opposed to the other six working days . ..

. . . the work abstained from on New Moons, is linked to the same restraint from work on the seventh-day Sabbaths. . . .

If work were allowed on New Moons, the backslidden people would not have been longing for the days of worship to be over so that they could go back to their buying and selling. (“Can we work on New Moon day?; accessed on 10–13–13 at http://www.worldslastchance.com/new moon/can-we-work-on-new-moonday.ht- ml)

The lunar Sabbatarians are clear that new moon is not a work day; it is a worship day like the Sabbath. The fact is that the Bible talks about only one new moon as a special day of rest among the twelve months of the year:

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD. (Leviticus 23:24, 25)

If all new moons were rest days, holy convocation days, like the Sabbath, then what sense does it make for God to specify all these details? Every first day of the month they would naturally be doing all this—no working, resting, etc.

It is abundantly clear from several passages of scripture that God’s holy men never considered all new moon days as worship days, where rest was commanded.

Consider Ezra the great scribe of God. He traveled from Babylon to Jerusalem. When did he start his journey and when did he reach his destination?

For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. (Ezra 7:9)

Why would the good hand of God lead him to start and arrive on the new moon day if the new moon was strictly a worship day? Traveling long distance, from one country to another, is not worship, but work!

God clearly commanded that no work was to be done on the Sabbath while building the Sanctuary, even though it was the Lord’s tabernacle that was being built! How sacred is the day of worship and rest!

Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. (Exodus 35:2)

The same Lord instructed Moses when to start building and setting up the sanctuary:

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation. (Exodus 40:1)

Surely the new moon (first of every month) was not a rest day like the Sabbath. It was like a normal day of work.

Also, look when they finished the work in the setting up of the temple. Again, it was on the new moon, the first of the month!

And it came to pass in the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was reared up. (Exodus 40:17)

From Scripture we see only one new moon day was a day of rest—the seventh month, because that day was the feast day of Trumpets.

So, the text of Amos 8:5—of no selling on the new moon—was a reference to the seventh-month new moon and not to all new moon days.

Theologians from other churches also understand that there is no command that every new moon was to be a holy and rest day. Dr. Adam Clarke, the Methodist Bible commentator, comments on this text of Amos 8:5: “When will the new moon be gone—This was kept as a kind of holy day, not by Divine command, but by custom. The Sabbath was strictly holy.”

The New Moon and Sabbath of Isaiah 66

The lunar Sabbatarians always quote Isaiah 66:23, as well, to prove that new moon is the third category of a day.

For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make…And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. (Isaiah 66: 22, 23)

This passage in no way indicates that there are three categories of days. Because new moon and Sabbaths are listed separately doesn’t mean the new moon and Sabbath can’t overlap. If listing it separately means they are different categories of days, then what about Colossians 2:16?

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days. (Colossians 2:16)

Here, apart from new moon and Sabbaths, “holyday” is mentioned, as well. So according to this faulty reasoning, there would be four categories of days—work days, new moon, Sabbath day, and holydays.

The lunar Sabbatarians ask us as to how we interpret Isaiah 66:22, 23. Well, to understand the text in Isaiah we have to see what the Bible says elsewhere about the new moon in the new earth. In the city of God there is the tree of life right in front of God’s throne. That tree yields its fruit, every month (or every new moon):

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Revelation 22:1, 2)

That is the reason we come before God’s presence in the new earth on the new moon, not because it is a separate category of a day but because on that day we will be eating of the tree of life!

The Creation Account

We know that in the Genesis creation account there are only six work days and a Sabbath day. Look at what the lunar Sabbatarians say about it:

Now in Genesis chapter one is the account of creation week where we also find the six working days, the sabbath and the new moon day. New moon day would have to be that day before the first day of the week as there are no other types of days left to choose from in scripture. So from this bit of information extracted from scripture we find that we start off with the new moon day then the six working days ending with the sabbath. New moon day is not a week day but is the first day of the month. (www.worldslastchance.com, “Messiah settles the issue forever”; article no longer available online)

You cannot find a greater twist than this! There are only seven days mentioned by God in the Genesis account of creation. Where does it say there are eight days? There as six working days and one Sabbath day. There is no new moon day mentioned at all.

Truth is never assumed; it is never speculated upon. The lunar Sabbatarians are speculating and imagining it.

We all know from the account of scripture that the moon was introduced only on day four, yet the lunar Sabbatarians are seeing a new moon in Genesis 1:1, 2 because they need to find three categories of days somehow in this most foundational passage of scripture. Here is the new moon for them:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1, 2)

For them, the phrase “God created the heaven” means God created the sun, moon and stars in the sky before day one.

Obviously, there were many things created prior to “day one” when light was created. What was the first thing created (as far as mam [sic] is concerned)? The heavens and the earth! . . .

. . . on this un-numbered creation event Yah put into place all the material He would need, then He advanced upon this material for six days before He rested. (Troy Miller, The Moon Regulates the Weekly Sabbath, p. 6; accessed on 10–14–13 at http://www.lightbearerministries. com/files/3713/8039/1672/The_Moon_Regulates_The_Weekly_Sabbath__As_Proved_By_The_Creation_Account_In_Genesi-s_1__Are_You_Surprised.doc.pdf;empha-sis in original)

Since the new moon is dark, the “darkness” of Genesis 1:2 is the new moon that was created, according to them.

Some others believe that the “darkness” of Genesis 1:2 was the devil, as the devil is the prince of darkness. God never said that it was the devil or the new moon in Genesis 1:2. Truth is never based on speculations.

Looking at what God declared and wrote on Sinai, we come to know God never included the period before day one into His reckoning of time for us:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:11)

If God included Genesis 1:1, 2 as part of the reckoning of time, as the lunar Sabbatarians do (for creating heaven and earth is work as well), then He should have said—in seven days God made heaven and earth and rested on the eighth day!

The period before the first day account of Genesis cannot be the new moon because:

a) The Scripture is silent on this—that the moon was created on the fourth day and not on the first day.

b) If the un-illuminated “sun, moon and stars” were created during that period, God’s word should say that—and it doesn’t. (Rather the lunar Sabbatarians are saying it six thousand years later!)

c) We know that a new moon day has the same length of time, twenty-four hours, in today’s calendar. If that period was the new moon, it should be twenty-four hours like the rest of the days of the Genesis creation account. Then why do they keep emphasizing it is an “un-numbered” creation event?

d) If the new moon was created prior to day one, God should have named his first work period of creation as day one and the Sabbath as day eight of creation.

e) When God is not counting that period, who are we to count it? When God says in the creation account that only six days are counted and then the Sabbath arrives, why are they counting something that God doesn’t count?

Let me illustrate how ridiculous their calculation is: We know Jacob had seven children through Leah—six boys and a girl (like the six work days and the Sabbath). For us it is no confusion as to how many children Jacob bore through Leah, but with the lunar Sabbatarian’s ridiculous method of calculations Jacob would have had eight—six boys and two girls. And you may want to ask them how, and from where did they get that extra person? They would then say, did you forget to count the first lady, Leah, whom he married in the darkness (like Genesis 1:2 darkness) before the kids were born? But the fact is we don’t count Leah even though she was a part of Jacob’s family. We are just counting the children of Jacob through Leah—and that is six sons and one daughter. The same way in the creation account—God says he has six work days and one Sabbath day. Who are we to put in that extra period of time and to make it a total of eight days?

We shall deal more on the folly of their interpretation of Genesis 1:2 in a future chapter.

We have investigated and seen that there are not three categories of days at all in scripture; there are only two categories of days—the six work days and the seventh-day Sabbath.

All other days—new moon days, yearly Sabbath days, and feast days—fall either on the six work days of the week or on the seventh-day Sabbath.

 


 

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The New Moon and the Translation Day

The New Moon and Translation Day

Before continuing our study, we want to present Dr. Siegfried H. Horn’s research on the month, as presented in the The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary:

A division of the year derived from the period required by the moon to pass through its 4 phases, as from one new moon to the next. Since the time of the moon’s circuit around the earth is neither an exact number of days nor a commensurable part of the year—its synodical revolution, approximately 29 1/2 days—a calendar month must be either a variable or an artificial period.

The Hebrew month was lunar, beginning with the evening on which the crescent moon appeared. The 1st day of the month was called the new moon (see 1 Sa 20:24–27), and was a day of special observances (see Num 10:10; 1 Sa 28:11–15). At first, visual observation was used to determine the appearance of the crescent. If the crescent was seen on the evening following the 29th day of the month, a new month had begun; if not, another day was added so that that particular month had 30 days (a month never had more than 30 days). Later, methods of calculation were devised by which it could be known in advance whether a given month should have 29 or 30 days. Jewish tradition tells of the method of examining at Jerusalem witnesses who claimed to have seen the crescent, to determine whether they had actually seen it or not. It tells also of fire signals that were used to announce the beginning of the new month to the outlying areas.

The Babylonians, like the Greeks, had lunar months. The Egyptian months were 30 days each, with 5 extra days after the 12th month. The Roman months, originally lunar, were changed to the 30, 31, and 28 (29) days that we know today. Modern Jews still use their Biblical months for religious purposes. These months generally alternate between 30 and 29 days, which have been calculated for centuries according to variable but standardized rules, and are no longer dependent on the moon. The Moslems, on the other hand, still depend on the actual sighting of the crescent moon each month for their religious calendar.

Neither the 30-day month implied in the Flood narrative (150 days totaling 5 months; Gen 7:11, 24) nor the 30-day prophetic month (42 months equaling 1260 days; Rev 11:2, 3; see Time, 5), has anything to do with the Jewish calendar month. Genesis does not furnish enough information to warrant drawing conclusions as to the sort of calendar Noah might have employed, and the 30-day month of Revelation is prophetic and symbolic, not literal, for no known calendar runs in an unbroken series of 42 30-day months. However, the idea of a theoretical or ideal month of 30 days was logical to the Jews, who called 30 days a “full” month; a 29-day month they spoke of as “hollow,” or “deficient.” Because of the variability of the moon’s motion, lunar months do not invariably alternate 29 and 30 days. Consequently it was impossible for the ancient Jews and Babylonians to predict the exact number of days in a period of months or years ahead. Thus the logical method of reckoning a future period was to count by “full” months, that is, theoretical months, of 30 days each (even as we today sometimes count 30 days to the month in computing interest). The Babylonians did this and quite possibly the Jews did also. Since not even Jewish readers of the book of Revelation could tell exactly how many days were in 42 Jewish months without knowing which months they might be (nor could the Gentiles using the Roman calendar, without taking leap years into account), the most logical method of reckoning a prophecy expressed in months and relating to future time would be by theoretical, rather than calendar, months. And the fact that the 42 months are of 30 days each is clear from the equation with 1,260 days. Further, months in symbolic prophecy are not literal, but symbolic months (which, interpreted by the year-day principle, are each 30 years) ( pp. 757, 758)

Three Categories of Days?

The lunar Sabbatarians have three categories of days each month: The first category is the new moon day. There was one new moon day each month. It was the first day of the month. The second category of day is the working days. There would be four sets of six continuously work days, the second to the seventh, the ninth to the fourteenth, the sixteenth to the twenty-first, and the twenty-third to the twenty-eighth days of the month. The third category of days is the Sabbath. There would be four Sabbath days, the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth days of the month. There is still what is called the translation day, for which there must be an accounting.

The 30th day, known in astronomical terms as “translation day,” is simply a work day, but is not part of a six day week followed by a seventh-day Sabbath. The “full” New Moon day is always the first day of the new month. The New Moon day is never a seventh-day Sabbath or one of the six working days, and never a translation day. (Kerrie L. French, “Three Months in a Row, Part 1-The Exodus”; accessed at http://www. thecreatorscalendar.com/Articles/threem-onths/1_04_The_Exodus.html on 10–30–13; emphasis in original)

Elsewhere this is what is said about the translation day connected with the new moon:

There are four complete weeks and 1–2 new moon days in each month.” (Troy Miller, “Tomorrow is the New Moon,” p. 5; accessed on 10–30–13 by clicking the link “David said, ‘Tomorrow is the new moon.’ When is New Moon?” at www.creationcalendar.com)

The one to two new moon days in each month, according to them, are the first day of the month and the thirtieth day of the month, whenever there is a thirtieth.

There can only be 2 days of the moon in conjunction and when that occurs it appears that the ‘odd’ day should be treated as a work day or as an extended Sabbath since the scriptures do not specify. (Quotation taken from discussion of “Three Months in a Row” at www.worldslastchance.com; no longer posted)

Here they are not sure whether to connect this “odd” day with the work days, with the Sabbath day, or with the new moon day!

The translation day—the thirtieth—is hanging nowhere. It would be better if they had a fourth category of day, instead of just three, because the translation day seems to be fitting nowhere in their design of things!

They say it is the translation of the new moon day, and try to attach it with the new moon, and at the same time they say it is a work day, and try to attach it with the work days of the week. Trying to attach it with the Sabbath is ridiculous because God only rested on and sanctified one day!

David and Jonathan

In an attempt to show that there is an extra day of the new moon in the Bible, the lunar Sabbatarians quote the story of David and Jonathan found in 1 Samuel 20, where the new moon celebration was held for two days. So those two days should be the translation day and the new moon day:

The 30th of a month was a transition from one month to another, a dark day, which we now call translation day as mentioned above, and was a regular work day not considered as a Holy Day or feast day. (1 Samuel 20.) (“Printable Luni-Solar Calendar” accessed on 10–31–13 at http://www.worldslastchance. com/printable-luni-solar-calendar.html; emphasis in original)

After the last Sabbath (the 29th) in a 30 day month, there is a two day new moon celebration (day 30 of the old month followed by day 1 of the new month). (Troy Miller, “Tomorrow is the New Moon,” p. 4, accessed on 10–31–13 at http://www.creationcalendar.com by clic- king the link entitled “http://www. creationcalendar.com/CalendarIssue/06-ConjunctionStudy.doc”; emphasis in original)

Let us look at the passage of the Bible that records the new moon celebrations.

And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat. (1 Samuel 20:5)

David did not attend the new moon dinner with King Saul which was customary:

And the king sat upon his seat, as at other times, even upon a seat by the wall: and Jonathan arose, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, and David’s place was empty. (1 Samuel 20:25)

Now on the second day celebration of the new moon, David’s seat was still empty:

And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day? (1 Samuel 20:27)

Yes, from the above passage of scriptures we understand that there were two days of celebration of the new moon. Now, please note: When were the two days of celebration?

And it came to pass on the morrow, which was the second day of the month, that David’s place was empty: and Saul said unto Jonathan his son, Wherefore cometh not the son of Jesse to meat, neither yesterday, nor to day? (1 Samuel 20:27)

The second day of celebration of the new moon was “the second day of the month.” The lunar Sabbatarians say the two days of celebrations were the thirtieth of the old month (the translation day) and the first of the new month:

There is a two day new moon celebration (day 30 of the old month followed by day 1 of the new month. (Miller, Ibid.; emphasis in original)

But the only place where the Bible records the two new moon day celebration places it as the first and the second of the month!

With this, their calendar is all upside down. If the second day of the month were still the new moon, then the first day of the week (according to their theory) begins the next day of the new moon which would be the third day of the month; and Sabbath, therefore, in that month would be on the ninth and not on the eighth as they claim it always was on! Look at what they say to this:

David understood that there would be two days of feasting (Day 30 and Day 1) which is why he requested that Jonathan come into field to shoot the arrows on the third day (the day following the second day of the new moon celebration). The underlying Hebrew in 1 Samuel 20:27, 34 literally means the 2nd day of the new moon (celebration) not the 2nd day of the month as translated. (I asked a Hebrew student). (Miller, Ibid., p. 5; emphasis in original)

Interestingly, some translations of 1 Samuel 20:27, 34 translate them as “the second day of the new moon” or something similar. (See the Lexham English Bible, the New English Translation Bible, the New American Standard Bible, and Young’s Literal Translation.) However, the great majority of Bible translations give the translation as “the second day of the month” or a similar phrase. I found at least sixteen translations which do this (ASV, KJV, BBE, NKJV, NCV, NLT, RSV, NRSV, NIV, NIRV, ESV, GWT, HCSB, GNT, Darby, and even the Douay Rheims (a ratio of 4 to 1 over the other choice). Also the Greek Septuagint agrees with the latter translation. (See The Lexham English Septuagint and The Septuagint with Apocrypha translated by Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton.)

The teachers of the lunar Sabbath are still trapped, even if they interpret 1 Samuel 20:27, 34 out of the normal. Only the first day of the celebration is called the new moon and not the second day celebration in the passage of 1 Samuel 20.

And David said unto Jonathan, Behold, to morrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to sit with the king at meat: but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even. (1 Samuel 20:5)

According to the lunar Sabbatarians, the translation day (the thirtieth) is before the new moon day (the first). So the two days of celebration should end on the new moon day (the first of the month).

In 1 Samuel 20, the new moon day is identified as the first day of the celebration. According to the lunar Sabbatarians, the new moon day (the first of the month) should have been the second day of celebration, the translation day (thirtieth) being the first day. So, you see, they can’t get out of this mess.

Their Sabbaths being fixed on the eighth, fifteenth, twenty-second, and twenty-ninth stand exposed. In this month it would then be the ninth, sixteenth, twenty-third, and thirtieth!

An Orphan Day

The Bible is clear that there are six work days, and the work days are continuous and culminate with the Sabbath rest:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth. (Exodus 20:11) [God’s work]

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. (Exodus 20:9) [Our work]

Six days ye shall gather it [manna]. (Exodus 16:26)

The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days. (Ezekiel 46:1)

There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. (Luke 13:14)

There is nowhere in scripture that shows or even indicates that there is a work day that is not a part of the six work days that are continuous. All the above texts show that the work days are only six, and they are continuous.

So how can one work day—the thirtieth—stand all alone, sandwiched between a Sabbath and a new moon? The lunar Sabbatarias admit it is a work day:

The 30th of a month was a transition from one month to another, a dark day which we now call translation day as mentioned above, and was a regular work day not considered as a Holy Day or feast day. (1 Samuel 20.) (“Printable Luni-Solar Calendar” accessed on 10–31–13 at http://www.worldslastchance. com/printable-luni-solar-calendar.html; emphasis in original)

Week and Sabbaths

It is very interesting to note the Greek word in New Testament for week and for Sabbath is the same—sabbaton.

In the end of the Sabbath (sabbaton), as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week (sabbaton), came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. (Matthew 28:1)

In the above passage of Matthew, the first day of the week is literally called the first day of the Sabbath. Why? The week revolves around the Sabbath. The week count ends with the Sabbath, and a new week count begins after the Sabbath.

The lunar Sabbatarians may say that it is true for just four weeks within a month that the week count begins the day after the Sabbath, but not at the beginning of the month where the new moon interrupts the four continuous weeks.

In Acts chapter 20 we have the week (sabbaton) mentioned. This week is, according to the lunar Sabbatarians themselves, the first week of the month:

The seventh day of their stay at Troas was the second day of the month which Paul refers to as the first day of the week. (“The WLC Sabbath Challenge”; accessed on 10–31–13 at http://www. worldslastchance.com/wlc-challenge. html?sms_ss=twitter&at_xt=4d4b4981d3e5f6bf,0)

Acts 20:7 says, “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread.” The Greek reads “And upon the first day of the sabbaton.” How can it be the first day of the sabbaton if there was no Sabbath the previous day? If new moon reset the week, it should have read upon the first day of the noumenia (new moon). If they want clear proof that the weeks are a continuous cycle of seven uninterrupted by the new moon, this is it.

We have seen that the scripture presents the Sabbath coming on the seventh day after six working days, week after week, but with the lunar Sabbath theory that the new moon interrupts it at the month end/beginning, we have eight to nine days between the two Sabbaths of the month end and the month beginning.

. . . there are (admittedly) 8–9 days between the last Sabbath of a month (the 29th day) and the first Sabbath (the 8th day) of the subsequent month. Indeed, there are one or two new moon days during this segment of time. (Troy Miller “The Moon Regulates the Weekly Sabbath,” p. 10; accessed on 10–31–13 at http://www.creationcalendar.com/CalendarIssue/07-MoonRegulatesTheSabbath. pdf)

These are all irrational concepts that are non-existent in the Bible and only exist in the minds of these lunar Sabbath believers!

The New Moon, Translation Day, and Manna

We know from scripture that God sent manna only on the six working days that were continuous and never on the Sabbath day. Since we believe that there are only two categories of days—six working days and the seventh day Sabbath—the manna poses no problem to us. But since the lunar Sabbatarians believe that there are three categories of days—the six working day, Sabbath days and new moon days (and the lunar Sabbatarians are divided where to attach the translation day, the thirtieth)—the coming of the manna poses a real problem to them.

The picture is simple. Did God send manna on the translation days and on the new moon days? If they say no, then two possibilities exists:

First possibility—God sent enough manna to last for four days on the final sixth day of the week of the month (the twenty-eighth, the twenty-ninth, the thirtieth, and the first).

Second possibility—They (men, women, and children) fasted for two full days (30th and 1st).

On the first possibility, if God sent manna on the twenty-eighth (the sixth day of the week) for a four days’ provision, it means it was a bigger miracle than what happened on the Sabbath day—the manna did not stink or breed worms for four days continuously! It would show that all of those three days were equal in importance.

The very purpose of the manna not coming down only on one day was to identify and show the greatness of the Sabbath day!

For the second possibility, God making them fast for two days, including the old people and the children, would reveal an unsympathetic God. That is in contrast to what He is—the One who gives us “our daily bread.”

If they say, Yes, God sent manna on the translation day and on the new moon day, then that is the right answer, for God said, “the seventh day, which is the Sabbath in it there shall be none.” This means every day other than the Sabbath it would fall. But God also said, “Six days ye shall gather it” Exodus 16:26. There would not be at any time more than six days of God continuously sending down manna. And further, there would be only one day after the six that God would not send manna which means:

a) There are only two categories of days—six work days and Sabbath day, and,

b) Sabbaths come continuously every seventh day uninterrupted by translation or new moon days.

And that should be the end of the lunar Sabbath theory that Sabbaths are fixed on the eighth, the fifteenth, the twenty-second, and the twenty-ninth!

Manna on the New Moon: Yes or No?

The lunar Sabbatarians are not sure what happened to the manna-giving during the month-end. They give different opinions.

One group believes that manna was not given, so they fasted.

Israel apparently fasted on new moon . . . (A Quick Thought: Did Israel gather or eat Manna on New Moon days?; accessed 11–4–13 at http://www.creation calendar.com/CalendarIssue/05-QT-Man- na.pdf)

That means old people and kids, too, fasted for two continuous days when there was a translation day every second month.

On the other hand, the same author in the same article says that God could have blessed them with a four days’ portion on the last day of the last week, and he compares it with the year of the Jubilee, where God blessed them for four years in advance:

. . . the 48th year of the Jubilee cycle had to provide produce for FOUR years (the 48th, 49th, 50th and the first year of the subsequent Jubilee cycle). (Ibid.; emphasis in original)

Collecting manna for four days wasn’t a problem. The people tried to collect more than what they required for one day, and it stank and bred worms. Preserving it for four days was a problem. If God provided manna for four days and preserved it for them, as He provided extra grain during the end of the jubilee cycle, He should have mentioned it to them, as He mentioned it in the Jubilee cycle period!

Another lunar Sabbath promoter is still not sure whether or not manna was given during the translation and new moon days. They are inclining towards manna been given, though:

Since New Moons are not seventh-day Sabbaths, it is possible that they would have gathered manna on New Moon days… The jury is still out on whether the Israelites were to gather manna for any New Moon days or Feast days other than the seventh-day Sabbath. My inclination is toward their not gathering a double portion on the previous day to a New Moon day and the other feasts.” (“Three Months in a Row” accessed at www.worldslastchance.com; paragraph no longer available)

Even though the above quotation is no longer available online, this quotation is:

Since the “full [sic— no end quotation mark is supplied] New Moons are not seventh-day Sabbaths, it appears plausible that they would have gathered manna on New Moon days. . . . While the seventh-day Sabbath is a feast, all feasts are not seventh-day Sabbaths. Therefore it appears that Israel would have gathered manna on all feast days except the first day of Unleavened Bread and the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, as both of these always fall on the seventh-day Sabbath. (Kerrie L. French; accessed 11–4–13 at http://www.thecreatorscalen dar.com/Articles/three_months/3_02_The_Mountain.html)

Lunar Sabbatarians triumphantly try to ask us whether the eastern gates of the temple were to be opened or shut (Ezekiel 46:1) if the new moon falls on the week day. Yet, they are not sure whether the manna fell on new moon days, translation days, feast days, etc!

A Bold Accusation

The lunar Sabbatarians are bold when they say that those who worship God on Saturday are worshiping the Saturn god and not the Creator:

While modern Saturday Sabbatarians do not worship by burning their children, the fact remains that the day on which one worships, honors the god of that day. Saturn is the god of Saturday. YHWH, the Creator God, is the God of the seventh-day Sabbath, calculated by His luni-solar calendar., p. 8; accessed 11–4–13 at http://4angelspublications.com/articles/Saturday_in_Scripture.pdf)

Here’s another statement:

The truth is that worship on the seventh-day of a pagan calendar does not direct one’s worship to the Creator. When one worships on Saturday, he is showing allegiance to the god of that day, the cruelest, most blood-thirsty of all the gods: Saturn. (Ibid., p. 10)

If that is so, that we are worshiping the saturn god because we worship on Saturday, then they are worshiping the sun god, moon god, tyr god, wodan god, thor god, frigg goddess and also the saturn god, for their Sabbaths keep falling on different days of the week—thus they honor all the planetary heathen gods and not just one!

Because the seventh day of the week has a pagan name today the holiness of that day does not vanish.  In the Bible the first month is called Abib, but later the Israelites called the first month Nisan, the way the Babylonians called it.

…for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. (Deuteronomy 16:1)

In the first month, that is, the month Nisan (Esther 3:7)

If the Bible uses the Babylonian names to address months, there is nothing wrong if we use the Roman names to address the days of the week!

They say that we who worship God on Saturday will be punished on the Day of Judgment if we don’t follow the beacon of lights in the heavens. Well, it is the other way round! God saw these moon gazers and predicted their judgment well in advance.

You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons predict what shall befall you. Behold, they are like stubble, the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No coal for warming oneself is this, no fire to sit before! (Isaiah 47:13, 14 RSV).

The light, not from the sky, but from the word is going out again to them because God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).


 

Tags: Lunar Sabbath, Lunar Sabbaths, Luni-solar Calendar, Creation calendar, New moon Sabbath, Lunar Calendar, Yahweh’s Calendar, God’s Calendar, Biblical Calendar, Old Testament Calendar, Floating Sabbath, Jews Calendar, Jewish calendar, Bible Calendar, true calendar, 8th 15th 22nd and 29th Sabbaths, Floating weekly Sabbath, Sabbath, Seventh day Sabbath, World’s last chance, WLC, WLC challenge, calendar fraud, Hebrew Calendar, 12 hour Sabbath, Sabbath sunrise to sunset, www.worldslastchance.com, www.creationcalendar.com, www.4angelspublications.com, Starting date, Three categories of days?, David and Jonathan, An orphan day, The new moon/ translation day and the manna, Manna on new moon: yes, no, A Bold Accusation

 

 

 

 

 

Does the Moon Regulate the Weekly Sabbaths?

Does the Moon Regulate the Weekly Sabbaths?

It is argued by the lunar Sabbatarians that the weekly Sabbath is regulated by the moon. They compare a few texts and come to this conclusion. Let us investigate their view.

From Scripture we find that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the Creator’s week and that there is a luminary that regulates the appointed times, including the Sabbath (Genesis 1:14, Psalm 104:19, Leviticus 23:1-3). (Troy Miller, The Moon Regulates the Weekly Sabbath, p. 2; emphasis in original; accessed 11-4-13 at www.creationcalendar.com under the link entitled “Proof from Genesis One that the Sabbath is regulated by the moon!”)

Let us look at those texts and see what connections they are making.

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. (Genesis 1:14)

He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. (Psalm 104:19)

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. (Leviticus 23:1-3)

Yes, the word seasons in Genesis 1:14 and in Psalm 104:19 and the word feasts in Leviticus 23:1-3 are translations of the same Hebrew word mow’ed.

And mow’ed means,

“an appointment, i.e. a fixed time or season; specifically a festival . . . an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation . . . ” (James Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, #4150)

Their conclusion is simply this: Based on Psalm 104:19, the moon is appointed to regulate the seasons (mow’ed), and the Sabbath is also a feast (mow’ed), so the moon regulates the seventh-day Sabbath.

Well, the word mow’ed is also used for different purposes and not just for the appointed feasts. In the book of Jeremiah we see the prophet using the word mow’ed in reference to the timing of a bird’s travel:

Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jeremiah 8:7)

The Hebrew word translated appointed times is mow’ed. It has nothing to do with God’s sacred feasts. Mow’ed is “her appointed time.”

In the book of Judges we see the word mow’ed used as a sign or signal:

Now there was an appointed sign between the men of Israel and the liers in wait, that they should make a great flame with smoke rise up out of the city. (Judges 20:38)

The Hebrew word translated appointed sign is mow’ed and has nothing to do with the moon regulating it!

In the book of Daniel, the word mow’ed is used in prophetic language:

And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. (Daniel 12:7)

The Hebrew expression translated time, times is mow’ed mow’adim, and it has nothing to do with the sacred feasts. The total is three and one half years, and years are not regulated by the moon, but by the sun!

Just because mow’ed is used in Genesis 1:14, in Psalm 104:19, and in Leviticus 23:1-3, concluding dogmatically that the moon regulates the weekly Sabbath because the Sabbath is also called a feast, is not a sound method of interpretation, unless all other texts say the same thing.

Illustration: “Son of man”

Let me illustrate: Jesus is called “Son of man” more than seventy-five times in the Bible. Here’s an example:

And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. (Luke 6:5)

The prophet Ezekiel, too, is addressed “son of man” more than seventy-five times. Here’s an example:

But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. (Ezekiel 2:8)

Because Jesus, who is called “Son of man,” is the “Lord of the Sabbath,” do we conclude that prophet Ezekiel, who is also referred to as the “son of man,” is also “the Lord of the Sabbath”? Just because the same title is used it doesn’t mean it refers to the same person. The context has to be checked.

The “son of man” in the book of Ezekiel was just human; the “son of man” in the gospels is human and divine. To say both are the same is denying the other passages of scripture and is unsound interpretation.

Two Sets of Feasts

In the same way, though the seventh-day Sabbath is called a “feast,” God clearly differentiates between this feast and the other feasts.

Notice carefully that there are two lists of feasts in Leviticus 23. In the first list only the weekly Sabbath is mentioned:

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. (Leviticus 23:1-3)

Now under the second list of feasts, the rest of the feasts are given:

These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons. In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:4-6)

Why would God give two lists of feasts if all are of the same category? Please notice that the feasts in the second list are connected with the month (or moon), but not the feast in the first list!

Feasts in the second list

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’S passover. (Leviticus 23:5)

And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:6)

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets (Leviticus 23:24)

Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a day of atonement (Leviticus 23:27)

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34)

The feast in the first list:

Now notice the only feast in the first list has nothing to do with months (moons) at all:

Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the LORD in all your dwellings. (Leviticus 23:3)

The six working days revolve around the seventh-day Sabbath. There is no moon involved to regulate, control, or reset it!

Though some of the yearly feast days are called Sabbaths, just like the seventh-day Sabbaths, there is a huge difference between them both.

  1. It was only on the weekly Sabbath that God personally rested!
  2. The seventh-day weekly Sabbath is the only Sabbath that is part of the creation record.
  3. The other Sabbath feasts came two thousand five hundred years later.
  4. The seventh-day weekly Sabbath is also the only Sabbath that is part of the eternal Ten Commandment law.

Lest people do not differentiate the two sets of feasts, the two kinds of Sabbaths, at the end of the lists of feasts God emphasizes the difference:

These are the feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations . . . Beside the sabbaths of the LORD. (Leviticus 23:37, 38)

So mixing both of the kinds of feasts, both of the kinds of Sabbath, is bluntly rejecting the counsel of the Lord Himself!

God has seen people doing this and has warned us against “handling the word of God deceitfully” (2 Corinthians 4:2).

Having seen how they have misinterpreted the word mow’ed in Leviticus 23, we will now see what they say about the first Sabbath on planet earth.

The First Sabbath

From the Genesis account of creation, we see that the moon was made on the fourth day, and the Sabbath rest on the seventh day. Even a child who knows how to read can understand it plainly.

Now according to their theory, the first Sabbath is on the eighth day of the new moon. Even if God created a new moon on the fourth day, there are only three days between them.

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. . . .And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. (Genesis 1:16, 19)

And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:2, 3)

To come out of this terrible mess that the lunar Sabbatarians face in the very first chapter of the Bible, the very foundational Sabbath of the Bible, they have interpreted scripture in the most irrational way. The psalmist says,

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

The lunar Sabbatarians say that the moon was created (along with the sun and the stars), not on the fourth day but a day before the first day count began. That way it fits their theory that the Sabbath comes the eighth day from the new moon. There is nothing said in the Bible about this. This is what they imagine. And they are doing their level best to make a new moon earlier than God made it!

What do they have to say about the scripture that clearly says that the sun and the moon were created on day four?

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night . . . And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. (Genesis 1:16, 19)

. (Miller, The Moon Regulates the Weekly Sabbath, p. 8; emphasis in original; accessed 11-5-13 at http://creation calendar.com/files/7-MoonRegulates The Sabbath-SDA.pdf [this article has been uploaded in reverse order so that the first page of the article appears last])

Though they state both meanings are possible, they hold on to only one of the meanings, as if the other meaning is impossible.

In fact, in the creation account, the word “made” has only one meaning. It is synonymous with the word created.

And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:3)

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens. (Genesis 2:4)

This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him (Genesis 5:1)

If they stress that the word created always comes before the word made, as in the above texts, then the order of the two words in the formation of man destroys their interpretation that made means advance upon and created means to start from scratch! Notice the word make (asah) comes before the word created (bara). Logically speaking, according to their interpretations of those words, “created” should come first and “make” come second. Carefully observe the words make and created in the text below.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…So God created man in his own image. (Genesis 1:26, 27)

Was God advancing upon (appointing man his work), before creating him?

As proved earlier, the words made and created are synonyms, in the creation account. They have the same meaning, and not as the lunar Sabbatarians claim.

So God didn’t advance upon the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day, but God on the fourth day created them and appointed them their work.

Doesn’t it sound absurd and irrational that God creates them on a particular day, and then God comes back to them four or five days later and then appoints them their work? Why, Did God forget to tell them their jobs?

God created and made man on the sixth day. God created and appointed his work on the same day. Again you see how irrational and unsound they are in their interpretation of scripture.

We shall still proceed to see what they say about the creation of the moon and when it was.

Eight “days” after the initial creation event (Genesis 1:1) Yah ordained the first Sabbath. Which was indeed the 7th day of the week, but it was the 8th period or cycle from the initial creation event in Genesis 1:1, again proving that the new moon is not a week day. (Miller, Ibid., p. 10; emphasis in original)

The evidence from Scripture reveals that the sun was ignited on DAY ONE!

Friends, YHVH created the heaven and the earth on this un-numbered creation event that took place before the “first day”. Earth was without form and void. Evidently the other heavenly bodies must not have been in much better shape. On this un-numbered creation event Yah put into place all the material He would need, then He advanced upon this material for six days before He rested. (Ibid., p. 7; emphasis in original)

What does Genesis 1:1, 2 say?

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (Genesis 1:1, 2)

For the lunar Sabbatarians, the “in the beginning” creation of “heaven and the earth” was the day one of creation, when God created every raw material in the “darkness.” Since the sun, moon and stars are in the heaven, they say they were created at that time, but they were not ignited because it was “darkness” everywhere. Let’s read what they say.

Here’s the scenario: YHVH created the earth and other celestial bodies at a certain point in time. He doesn’t call it a day because the time piece that regulates the day was not yet ordained as such. Then on day one, YHVH lights the sun creating light and, of course, day and night as a result. If the earth and sun were created during the initial event, it is plausible that the planets, moons, etc., were created at the same time as well. We are not wresting Scripture when we make this statement because the underlying Hebrew could have been (and we are suggesting—should have been) translated in this way. (Ibid., p. 8)

One more statement from them, before we prove them wrong:

So as strange as it sounds, it appears that the other heavenly bodies were created at the same moment that this blob of earth was initially created. This is made evident by the phrase: In the beginning, Elohim made the heaven and the earth. So YHVH lit the sun on the first day of creation therefore creating light (and Day and Night as a result). The proof for such an odd statement is found in the language used in the fourth day creation account . . . (Ibid.; emphasis in original)

It sounds strange not only to us, but also to them! It is an “odd statement” by their own confession. Yet they want to believe this “odd statement” of theirs and the “strange as it sounds” doctrine! And surprisingly there are many who believe they are right without examining them properly.

They place the moon (the dark moon) a day before God said “let there be light.” Thus they have eight days from the “darkness” of the moon until the first Sabbath.

Some other group of people say the darkness in Genesis 1:2 was Satan, the prince of darkness, the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2.), as air is also referred to as heaven.

These are all mere speculations. The darkness was neither the new moon darkness nor the devil’s presence. We don’t imagine what truth is; truth declares itself plainly!

Let us assume that God created the sun, moon and stars in the Genesis 1:2 period of time. Now look at the conclusion in Genesis 2:1-3:

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3)

Is Genesis 1:1, 2 God’s act of creation, just like the other accounts of creation in that chapter? Yes, of course. God says everything He finished creating and making in six days and says He rested on the seventh day, and that includes Genesis 1:1, 2, in the six days of the creation work week!

Look at the declaration of the law at Sinai and what God says about the creation work and rest:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:11)

Again, isn’t Genesis 1:1, 2 a part of God’s creation act? Then it all happened only in six days. There is no extra day for the lunar Sabbatarians to place their new moon in the orbit of heaven. Sad to say, it is only seen in the orbit of their own minds!

If there is no gap between Geneses 1:1, 2, and the rest of the chapter, then it all took place in six days, and their hypothesis falls apart!

If there is a gap between Genesis 1:1-2 and Genesis 1:3 onwards, then placing the dark moon in that first period means the dark moon was there not eight days before the Sabbath, but for the long period of time called “in the beginning.” That means, there were possibly millions of dark moon days/periods before the first Sabbath was made. It does not fit the lunar calendar to have more than one new moon in the beginning of the month!

Also they state that Sabbath comes on the eighth day after the sighting of the crescent moon.

Biblically, the “new moon” was the first visible crescent seen in the Western sky after sunset . . . (Crescent Moon Sighting Instruction, www.worldslastchance.com; article no longer available, but the quotation is available on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/per malink.php?story_fbid=199053880132205&id=132685966794289; accessed 11-5-13)

First of all who could sight the moon in that pitch darkness? So the first Sabbath itself is faulty!

The moon is not a self-generating source of light; it only reflects the light of the sun. The moon can start its function of being a reflection of light only after the sun is lit and not before. If the sun was lit on day one as they claim, then the moon starts its function as a luminary in the sky not before day one.

And since it was pitch darkness in Genesis 1:2, and if there were a moon hanging up there, it was definitely not a crescent new moon but the dark moon or astronomical new moon, the new moon at conjunction with the sun. And that will again blow up their theory! Their Sabbaths are counted from crescent moon and not dark moon.

They try to say the position of the moon in the orbit was perfectly placed so that the first Sabbath came exactly on the eighth day, based on the crescent moon.

The position of the moon in the sky is immaterial to the arrival of the new moon. If the position is what matters, then the conjunction of the moon should be taken and not the crescent moon, and the position of the crescent new moon is not uniform.

Moon for Signs

One more point that they emphasize to prove that the moon regulates the Sabbath is the word sign in Genesis 1:14:

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. (Genesis 1:14)

The Hebrew word translated as signs is ôwth (Strong’s H#226) and means signal or beacon—like the lights of a radio tower or a lighthouse. These lights turn on and off just like the moon, which just happens to enter a different phase approximately every 7 days. (Miller, Ibid., p. 9; emphasis in original)

Need more evidence? Read Ezekiel 20:12 and 20:20. These are two witnesses. The Sabbath is a sign between YHVH and His people. That word sign [ôwth] is the identical Hebrew word used in Genesis1:14 (signs, seasons, days and years). Ibid., p. 10; emphasis in original)

Because the word sign is used in Genesis 1:14 in regard to the moon, to conclude it regulates the Sabbath because the same word sign is used for the Sabbath is not the method to interpret scripture. If it were, what would they make of these texts?

And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. (Genesis 17:11)

The word token is the same Hebrew word ôwth used as sign in Genesis 1:14. So is circumcision also regulated by the moon?

And again,

And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and multiply my signs and my wonders in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 7:3)

Were the miracles and the plagues which were called signs (ôwth) controlled by the phases of the moon?

One more,

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

Was that great sign (ôwth) of Jesus’ birth determined by the movements of the moon?

They tried their best to twist what they could in the creation account, but they could not twist everything. They stand exposed. Lies can appear to be the truth, but upon close examination will fail the test!

The Bible says that the moon rules the night, and not the day: “And the lesser light to rule the night” (Genesis 1:16). The lunar Sabbatarians say that the holy hours of the Sabbath are only from sunrise to sunset and not during the dark hours. How do they say then that the moon rules and regulates the Sabbath day if it rules at night and the Sabbath is only daylight part? It sounds very absurd to anyone who thinks.

Yes, we agree that the yearly feasts and yearly Sabbaths which are on fixed dates of the year were regulated by the moon, but never the weekly Sabbath! The week count started before the moon was created on the fourth day, and it is independent thereof.

Only Two Phases of the Moon

The lunar Sabbatarians keep emphasizing that there are four distinct phases of the moon, as we see by Vornholt and Vornholt-Jones’s inclusion of a quotation from Emil G. Hirsch’s article in the online Jewish Encyclopedia entitled “Week: Connection with Lunar Phases” in their article entitled “Time by Design”:

“…dividing the interval between the successive new moons into four groups of seven days each.” (eLaine Vornholt, Laura Lee Vornholt-Jones, “Time by Design,” p. 5; quoting Emil G. Hirsch and accessed at http://www.jewishencyclo pedia.com/articles/14813-week)

Here’s another statement from another source:

These lights turn on and off just like the moon, which just happens to enter a different phase approximately every 7 days. (Troy Miller, “The Moon Regulates the Weekly Sabbath As proved by the Creation account found in Genesis 1,” p. 8; accessed 12-8-13 at www.creationcale ndar.com,“The Moon Regulates the Weekly Sabbath.” http://www.google.com /url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&ved=0CDEQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.creationcalendar.com%2FCalendarIssue%2F07-MoonRegula tesTheSabbath.doc&ei=WhKlUqbbBY_1oATQoILoBg&usg=AFQjCNHBmx0GWKbYOxQH95Hc4dXd0EANBQ&sig2=1Y0B1PD_PoMOxPnaReOzDg)

According to them the moon enters a “different phase approximately every 7 days.” The Sabbath is not approximately every seven days—it is exactly every seven days. So the phases of the moon cannot guide it!

If the days from one new moon to next new moon were perfectly divisible by seven, then we could probably think about it, but it takes about twenty-nine and one half days to complete its cycle. So that is one and a half days more than what they would like. I believe God purposely made it this way so that it would not be very easy to come up with a false theory, and yet people believe! How true is the statement of the apostle in this case:

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth . . . (2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12)

But the Bible only talks about two phases of the moon and not four, as the lunar Sabbatarians would have loved. The two phases are the new moon and the full moon.

Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. (Psalm 81:3 RSV)

The gap between the new moon and the full moon is approximately fifteen days. These are the only two phases to the moon the Bible mentions. If there are four phases, as they say, then what about the quarter moon and the three-quarters moon? We could have many phases, not just four. Every day is a new phase.

If the weekly Sabbath was to be regulated by the moon phases, where are the four phases mentioned in the sacred scriptures? Stick to the Bible—there are only two phases! The two phases comes approximately every fifteen days, and the Sabbath comes every seven days!

If the four phases of the moon were to be the correct way of identifying the weekly Sabbath, then God missed the best opportunity to teach an entire nation this secret for forty years! If that were the case, God should have told them just look up at the sky and watch the phases of the moon, and you will, for sure, know which day is the Sabbath, week after week!

God did not use the moon to identify the Sabbaths, but he used manna! Why? Because with the moon you can’t identify the Sabbath! If it were possible, God would have done it.

And the manna came during the day, when the moon is hardly ever seen!

Evidence from Other Sources

In close to one hundred fifty ancient and modern world languages, the Gregorian Saturday is called Sabbath.

Also the Jews who were dispersed all over the world at various invasions—Assyrian, Babylonian, Roman, etc.—kept and are still keeping the Gregorian Saturday as the Sabbath. This uniformity would not possible if it were not the true Sabbath that has come down.

Even the Muslims, who follow an exclusively lunar calendar, have their feasts based on the phases of the moon, but their worship day, the sixth day of the week, is independent of the moon phases. It is continuous cycle of seven even for them!

The pen of inspiration confirms the weeks and the Sabbaths have come down from creation to the end of time as “successive”:

Like the Sabbath, the week originated at creation, and it has been preserved and brought down to us through Bible history. God Himself measured off the first week as a sample for successive weeks to the close of time. Like every other, it consisted of seven literal days. Six days were employed in the work of creation; upon the seventh, God rested, and He then blessed this day and set it apart as a day of rest for man. (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 111)

According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, successive means “uninterrupted course.”

If Ellen White meant, as they say, future weeks, she should have used the phrase succeeding weeks, not “successive weeks.”

Successive weeks and Sabbaths mean the weeks and Sabbaths have never been interrupted in their cycle of seven from creation week till now!

The seventh-day weekly Sabbath is never regulated by the phases of the moon.

 


 

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Pastor Michael Pedrin Preaching