What Day is the Sabbath?
Scott Nelson 3/2011
If Sabbath observance is indeed an important key to being taken out of this world before the great tribulation (as I have argued in my article Sabbath Observance and "The Rapture"), then it is obviously imperative that we make absolute certain we are observing the right day.
To those who are not aware of any alternative to our modern determination of the week, this question of what day the Sabbath is will undoubtedly come as a surprise. It certainly did for me when the debate was presented to me almost two years ago. For years, I had assumed as most people that the Sabbath was the seventh day of our calendar's week ...Saturday. I believed what I had been taught. Supposedly, there had been an unbroken sequence of consecutive seven-day weeks accurately kept by the Jews, at least since the time of Moses, if not by the patriarchs since the original creation week itself. But new information that was presented as indisputable historical fact was brought to my attention and I was again compelled to change my mind and turn my back on things I had believed all my life. And when I say I was "compelled" to change my mind, that's putting it mildly. When the historical facts are as indisputable as they are on this issue, to say I was "forced" to change my mind would not be an overstatement.
The truth concerning which day is the Sabbath is an issue that is similarly as indisputable as that of Yeshua's name. Whereas it is a fact of history, that for nearly 1500 years after Yeshua walked the earth the world never heard the name "Jesus", it is at least as much a documented fact of history that our modern calendar is another 4th century concoction of Constantine and the council of Nicaea that was originally designed for the very purpose of eliminating the Hebrew calendar. It is also a fact of history that the last president of the Sanhedrin (Hillel II) was compelled under the threat of persecution to rationalize and comply with Constantine and subsequently instituted his fixed-week calendar. This effectively established for all future generations of Jews the calendar that continues to be observed by nearly all Jews today.
The notion that there has been an unbroken consecutive chain of seven-day weeks is, in short, a lie. In fact, the historical evidence makes it painfully obvious that the calendar of the Jews from the time of Moses, through the time of Yeshua and up till the time of Hillel II, was a lunar calendar. Months were established by the cycle of the moon, and weeks were divisions of the month that renewed with each month. This fact is well documented by Jewish historians themselves. It was God's established calendar of natural cycles that anyone could read. It could be read as easily as a day is observed by the cycle of sunrises, and a year is observed by the cycle of seasons. It is one that cannot be lost to gaps and mistakes in record keeping, or by travel around the world (which can cause the loss or gain of a day in record keeping), but one that can be read and reset at any time ...even today. It is the calendar that was observed by Yeshua himself!
It would be an exercise in redundant futility for me to attempt to present this case myself in light of the volume of excellent work that has already been done by others. It is therefore my intention to direct the reader to a number of my favorite works on the subject. Below is a list of links to articles, books, and websites that have documented the historical facts. (Please see disclaimer and notes below this list.)
History of a Lie by eLaine Vornholt and Laura Lee Vornholt-Jones (PDF file) (Note: This great article grows increasingly better with each section. So don't put it down too early.)
Josephus, and the Essenes had something in common
They all recognized the Lunar Sabbath of the creation calendar by Troy Miller (PDF file)
Moadai Tishmoru Discovering The Sabbath by Rav. David Pollina A great book available at Amazon
The Attack on God by Charles Saffell (Word file)
"The Principles that Rule in the Heavens" by Kerrie French (PDF file)
Where Months Divide Evenly Into Years in Lunar Sabbath Scenario (PDF)
More to come.
As it is with most issues, there are variations within groups of similar belief. The issue of the lunar Sabbath is no exception. So it goes without saying that I do not subscribe to everything that is presented in these resources, but the main thrust of the lunar Sabbath teaching is one with which I fully agree.
There are a couple of aspects of lunar Sabbath observance that have left many in the movement wondering when the exact times of observance should be. There are a number of schools of thought concerning these problems, but without getting into what they are and the pros and cons that I see in each, I would simply like to offer my position on what these times of observance should be.
Here are the premises that constitute my flow of logic on this issue.
I am of the persuasion that there is only one clock and one calendar in heaven, and that God has synchronized the natural cycles of the heavens with His clock. This I deduce from the fact that the length of a day had already been established before God even created the sun. It wasn't until the fourth day that Genesis says God created the sun and the moon as "signs" or markers of "seasons, days, and years".
God has only one clock. Since each of the days of creation began and ended at specific moments in time, likewise in continuation, when God's clock says it's morning, it is morning no matter where one finds themselves on the earth ...even if the sun is in the process of going down where they are.
Since the observation of God's clock in the sky differs (and sometimes greatly) depending on where a person is located on the earth, we must assume that the one place on earth where the observation is perfect sync with God's clock is in Jerusalem. One might even surmise that God chose Jerusalem because of its location. It is in sync with His clock and the times when He desires certain times to be observed.
When God commands rest for 24 hours, then the whole world should rest as one for the same 24 hour period.
This observance has the effect of drawing incredible focus and attention on Jerusalem ...which is where our attention should be!
So, needless to say, I observe God's appointed times at the same time they are observed in Jerusalem.