Lunar Sabbath Keeping?

by

Nader Mansour

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 Lunar Sabbaths

(A personal testimony)

 

Dear brethren,

 

Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. My purpose in this message is to give a brief personal testimony regarding the issue under discussion.

 

When I was first introduced to this idea I found it both new and fascinating. It seemed to make good sense. It also seemed to present a very good argument in support of it. But it also brought into question the entire Advent movement and the platform of truth. So, not desiring to make a hasty decision on such a critical and decisive issue, I decided to study the matter out properly testing it with inspiration. This examination confirmed my faith in the foundation of the Advent movement and that this lunar Sabbaths idea was false doctrine.

In light of the fact that some seem to be taken with this idea I would like to share some of the things that helped me reach my conclusions. It may be, perhaps, that someone might be benefited by my experience before it is too late. I just hope that none have made a final decision. We are admonished to sound the trumpet when we see danger approaching, and may this personal testimony be such at this time. Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. (Ezekiel 33:4, 5).

 

I will share some of the evidence that convinced me that the lunar Sabbaths idea is dangerous error. I will not go into fine details (for the sake of brevity) but will provide a summary. My purpose in sharing this is not to start a debate over the matter. This is merely my personal testimony and it is up to everyone to take it or leave it as they see fit.

The lunar Sabbath idea is based on a number of principal arguments which if proven false will show the truth of the matter without going into every intricate detail.

 

One principle argument is that the seventh day Sabbath is part of the feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23:2, 3) therefore we determine the Sabbath by the moon just like the feasts. But the truth is that the seventh day Sabbath is not part of the feasts (Leviticus 23:37, 38), but is a distinct institution and therefore not governed by the moon (or month) like the feasts are. (See this link for more information)

 

Another principal argument is that the 7th day Sabbath is based on a calendar of some sort. This is contrary to the fourth commandment which bases the Sabbath on the succession of days, not on any calendar. The very fact that it is called seventh day means that it is based on the succession of days. 2

Another point made is that the first Sabbath (in creation) was based on the moon. This is pure speculation. The first Sabbath was based on the fact that it was the seventh day not on the moon.

Another principle argument is that the weekly cycle has not been a continuous one. But the truth of the matter is that history and prophecy say the exact opposite. The weekly cycle has continued down through history to our day (and will continue till the end).

 

“The great God, in his days of creation and day of rest, measured off the first cycle as a sample for successive weeks till the close of time. "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created." God gives us the productions of his work at the close of each literal day. Each day was accounted of him a generation, because every day he generated or produced some new portion of his work. On the seventh day of the first week God rested from his work, and then blessed the day of his rest, and set it apart for the use of man. The weekly cycle of seven literal days, six for labor and the seventh for rest, which has been preserved and brought down through Bible history, originated in the great facts of the first seven days.” {1SP 85.1}

 

Ask yourself the question: what does “successive weeks” mean? What does “till the close of time” mean? This statement is too plain but the lunar Sabbath idea turns it around to mean the opposite of what it says. This alone should be enough evidence. But God led me to further historical evidence confirming the same. I would direct the attention of all to a study of the books History of the Sabbath by J. N. Andrews and The Change of the Sabbath by G. I. Butler.

 

“"The week, another primeval measure, is not a natural measure of time, as some astronomers and chronologers have supposed, indicated by the phases or quarters of the moon. It was originated by divine appointment at the creation - six days of labor and one of rest being wisely appointed for man's physical and spiritual well-being." - Bliss' Sacred Chronology, p. 6; Hale's Chronology, vol. i. p. 19. "Seven has been the ancient and honored number among the nations of the earth. They have measured their time by weeks from the beginning. The original of this was the Sabbath of God, as Moses has given the reasons of it in his writings." - Brief Dissertation on the first three Chapters of Genesis, by Dr. Coleman, p. 26.” {Quoted in History of the Sabbath, p.31 by J. N. Andrews}

 

It is a well-attested historical fact that the weekly cycle was observed, and the seventh day was kept sacred, by nearly all the most ancient nations of the earth besides the Jews. There are decisive evidences to show that the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Arabians, Greeks, and Romans, and even the Chinese, knew of the Sabbath, and at an early period regarded it as a sacred day. We may notice this point more fully hereafter, but will introduce brief evidences of it here. John G. Butler, a Free-Will Baptist author in his Natural and Revealed Theology, p. 396, says: "We learn, also, from the testimony of Philo, Hesiod, Josephus, Porphyry, and others, that the division of time into weeks and the observance of the seventh day were common to the nations of antiquity. They would not have adopted such a custom from the Jews. Whence, then, could it have been derived but through tradition, from its original institution in the garden of Eden?"” {The Change of the Sabbath, pp. 20, 21, by G. I. Butler} 3

 

“Gilfillan, in his large book on 'The Sabbath,' published by the American Tract Society, says:

The Week From Antiquity

 

"'Let it suffice, however, in a matter on which there is so general an agreement, to present the words of four eminent authors: "The septenary arrangement of the days," says Scaliger, "was in use among the Orientals from the remotest antiquity." "We have reason to believe," observes President DeGoguet, "that the institution of that short period of seven days, called a week, was the first step taken by mankind in dividing and measuring their time. We find, from time immemorial, the use of this period among all nations, without any variation in the form of it. The Israelites, Assyrians, Egyptians, Indians, Arabians, and, in a word, all the nations of the East, have in all ages made use of a week, consisting of seven days. We find the same custom among the ancient Romans, Gauls, Britons, Germans, the nations of the North, and of America." According to Laplace, "the week is perhaps the most ancient and incontestable monument of human knowledge." It would appear that the Chinese, who have no Sabbath, at one time honored the seventh day of the week.' Pages 364, 365.” {Quoted in In Defense of the Faith, p. 95, by William Henry Branson}

(For an excellent historical documentary on this issue see the series at this link)

 

Another point used to support the lunar Sabbaths is the use of the Spirit of Prophecy. This is one of the most obvious blunders of this idea. The only Sabbath supported by the Spirit of Prophecy is the Sabbath we have all kept for the past 100+ years!

 

“When thinking men find that our restaurants are closed on the Sabbath, they will make inquiries in regard to the principles that lead us to close our doors on Saturday. In answering their questions we shall have opportunity to acquaint them with the reasons for our faith. We can give them copies of our periodicals and tracts, so that they may be able to understand the difference between "him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not."” {CH 491.2}

 

According to the Spirit of Prophecy the Sabbath = Saturday.

“Another brother says it is only a few months since he has been enlightened in regard to the truth by reading a Review. He received the Signs of the Times also; and became convicted through reading these papers that Saturday was the Sabbath of the Lord. He felt that he must have something more than merely the light upon the Sabbath. He wanted to know some things for himself which had never been told him. He offered his first prayer forty miles from home while in camp. He sought the Lord then and there, and had come to this meeting to obtain further light and to follow it. This brother received the ordinance of baptism, and fully identified himself with this people.” {RH, May 11, 1876 par. 19}

 

This point is important to note. The entire church at the time (including the living prophet) taught that the Sabbath was on Saturday. Remember that this conclusion was reached by deep Bible study in the early days of our movement. This Bible study laid the foundation for all our doctrines including the Sabbath of course. Mrs. White said that the foundation was built by the Master Worker and must not be changed. Though new truth will come, it will never contradict the foundational truths. Thus, the lunar Sabbath theory must either abandon the Spirit of Prophecy or return to the true Sabbath. Keeping both is self-contradictory.

 

“The subjects of the Sabbath, the nature of man, and the testimony of Jesus are the great and important truths to be understood; these will prove as an anchor to hold God's people in these perilous times.” {Testimonies Vol.1, 300.1} (Note: This was written in 1862 when the entire church kept the true Sabbath of the 4th commandment. This truth is an anchor for us in these times!) Remember, also, that soon after the 1888 message was given we are told that Christ would have come had the message been accepted. The entire church at the time was keeping the seventh day Sabbath on Saturday. Were they wrong in this practice? How come Christ was going to come then? These brief evidences demonstrated to me that falsehood of the lunar Sabbath idea. This idea is not part of the foundation of truth built by Jesus Christ. It is dangerous in that it turns people from the true Sabbath of the fourth commandment to a false Sabbath of the moon. Please, brethren, beware lest Satan steal your crown. Let us hold fast to what we have received and heard. There is a serious warning to all of us regarding this issue. The following fearful prophecy is warning to all:

 

“Then I was shown a company who were howling in agony. On their garments was written in large characters, "Thou art weighed in the balance, and found wanting." I asked who this company were. The angel said, "These are they who have once kept the Sabbath and have given it up." I heard them cry with a loud voice, "We have believed in Thy coming, and taught it with energy." And while they were speaking, their eyes would fall upon their garments and see the writing, and then they would wail aloud. I saw that they had drunk of the deep waters, and fouled the residue with their feet--trodden the Sabbath underfoot-- and that was why they were weighed in the balance and found wanting.” {EW 36.2}

 

When I read that I thought “Thank you Lord! Keep me faithful, I don’t want that to be me.” Will that be you? I sincerely hope not. How else do you think the devil will convince Sabbath keepers to give up the Sabbath? Please don’t fall for any idea that will lead you to give up the Sabbath that God restored to us as a people. Don’t let Satan laugh at you! He knows which is the true Sabbath!

 

"Until the great decisive blow shall be struck, our efforts against commandment-keepers must be untiring.” Satan (quoted by Mrs. White) {4SP 340.1}

 

"But before proceeding to these extreme measures, we must exert all our wisdom and subtlety to deceive and ensnare those who honor the true Sabbath.” Satan (quoted by Mrs. White) {4SP 339.1}

May God bless you and have a blessed Sabbath (you know which one I meanJ)

 

Nader Mansour

For more information visit: www.acts321.org

 

http://worldslastchance.proofdirectory.com/articles/jewish-encyclopaedia/

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2ntv51VNP8

 

Because some of the links in this document do not work, I suggest this Website article:

 

http://www.acts321.org/studies/lunar-sabbaths/

 

Note by rwb: There are some who are ever searching for some new “works” to do when we will do well to keep the commandments and the three angel’s messages. Some are teaching that we must keep the Feast Days to be among the 144,000. That is patently false! However, we would do well to remember the types that have not been fulfilled.