The Lunar Sabbath: Lost Ancient Truth? or Modern Invention?

Posted Jan 25, 2012 by Frank Klin in Adventist Issues Hits: 5,609

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In the middle of the night on June 10, 1990 Leonard William Armstrong, the head of the Tennessee White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and Damion Patton, a Skinhead, drove to the West End Synagogue in Nashville, Tennessee, United States, and Armstrong fired several shots into the Jewish temple. (taken from the incident summary)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (EP) -- Long-time Christian music producer Jonathan David Brown (pictured at left with Twila Paris) was convicted Aug. 20 of JDBhelping two men avoid prosecution for a 1990 drive-by shooting of a synagogue, and of two counts of perjury to a federal grand jury. CCM Update reported that Brown was convicted of helping Leonard William Armstrong and Damien Patton avoid prosecution for a drive-by shooting to which Armstrong and Patton later pleaded guilty. Prosecutors said Brown helped paint a car used in the shooting from white to black, provided a new license plate and a disguise, and sent money to Patton, who was fleeing to California. Evidence confiscated from Brown's home included signed membership cards for the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations, and a picture of Brown saluting a Nazi flag. Brown has produced albums for Twila Paris, Petra, the Gaither Trio, and Bob Bennett, and recently released an album of inspirational music. (Dallas/Fort Worth Heritage newspaper)

The court established that Brown helped Damion Patton, described by Nashville police as a juvenile "skinhead", hide from authorities and disguise his car after Patton and Leonard William Armstrong, the Grand Dragon of the Tennessee White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, carried out a pre-dawn drive-by shooting of a Jewish synagogue in Nashville, Tennesee on June 10, 1990. (Jonathan David Brown, wikipedia)

The court case revealed that in the evening of June 9, 1990, Brown attended a meeting of white supremacists known for their hatred of Jewish people. Patton and Armstrong were there as well. At 1:00 a.m. on June 10, Patton drove past the West End Synagogue in Nashville and Armstrong fired several shots through its windows with a TEC-9 assault pistol, injuring none as the building was unoccupied. On June 15, Brown's apartment was searched under warrant, with police looking for Patton. There, they seized articles belonging to Brown…In the days following the shooting incident, Brown helped Patton evade authorities by lying to police regarding Patton's whereabouts, by hiding him at his farm in Pleasantville, and by helping Patton change the color of his car from white to black with spray paint. Brown gave Patton a license plate from one of his trucks and supplied Patton with enough money to drive to Las Vegas and stay there. Some five months later, Brown allowed Patton to live again on his farm for a month. In September 1991, the FBI arrested Patton who plead guilty to his part in the synagogue shooting. (Ibid)

In 1992, Jonathan David Brown was sentenced to a 27-month federal prison term and fined $10,000 for accessory after the fact to a conspiracy to violate civil rights and for perjury. It was while in prison that Brown heard what he described as “the still small voice” that gave him a “prophetic revelation.”

After his release from prison Mr. Brown prepared the revelation and in 1998 published Keeping Yahweh’s Appointments, the original study promoting the belief that Yahweh ordained the observance of lunar sabbaths. He states in his book,

I tell you that Yahweh’s people are destined to return to all of His Natural Laws which were not added to merely atone for sin. It is my prophetic revelation that this is part of what is referred to as “the restitution of all things.” Acts 3:21

It was becoming more apparent to me that the “seven-day cycle” of the week was not even in line with the pagan Julian calendar months, January through December. Birthdays fall on a different day of the week each year, don’t they? At some point thereafter I heard the still small voice say, “the weekly sabbath is in the quarters of the moon where all the other feast days are.” I followed the voice.

An advertisement in The Hope of Israel’s July-Aug 2001 newsletter The Berean Voice says the book contains:

Evidence from scripture that the seventh-day Sabbath has always been found in the quarters of the moon cycle...

Evidence from the Dead Sea Scrolls proving ancient Hebrews counted Sabbaths in the quarter-moons...

Evidence from history that our current seven-day cycle began at the very earliest 515 B.C. and spread to Western Europe just prior to Yeshua's birth...

Evidence from history that the symbolic significance given to the number "7" was derived from the moon changing its phases at intervals of approximately seven days...

This document is not meant as a condemnation of any person. It is also not the intention of this study to belittle or downplay the genuineness of conversions by those in prison.  What is being addressed are the revelations received by Jonathan David Brown in prison and where they have led. May this bring about prayer, deep study and soul searching to see if these things are so.

Sabbaths

The original wikipedia citation on Jonathan David Brown stated that he was, “the first sabbath keeper in this [the 20th] century to begin the practice of counting the Sabbath from the New Moon day rather than using the modern seven day week.” It further went on to comment that, “the Lunar Sabbath movement has grown among the Messianic, Armstrong/Church of God and Christian Identity movements.” We would add a growing number of Seventh-day Adventists to the list. “Today Arnold Bowen, Matthew Janzen, and Troy Miller carry on the mantle of Lunar Sabbatarianism, while Jonathan David Brown concentrates on his musical work.”

If you are unfamiliar with the lunar sabbath hypothesis, in layman's terms, the sabbath is calculated on a lunar-based shifting cycle instead of every 7th day. With each sighting of the new moon the calendar is reset and a new month begins. New moon day is a sabbath for some and also becomes the first day of the month. Seven days after the sighting of the new moon is the first sabbath of the month, so that they always fall on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th day of the month, which corresponds to the quarters of the moon. With this pattern the sabbaths can fall on any day of the week on the Gregorian calendar from Sunday to Saturday. Any days after the 29th without a new moon are not recognized, so the sabbath is not perpetually every 7th day.

 

Origin of the Belief

When you ask lunar sabbatarians where the origin of the belief came from they are apt to say, “Genesis chapter one.” Mr. Brown claims his concept comes from “prophetic revelation.” Because of his associations and personal testimony I posit that the lunar sabbath movement is a modern invention whose seed was germinated in the white supremacist movement while some Scripture and historical notes were adapted to fit. It was then repackaged as a lost ancient truth.

The following testimony comes from Larry and June Acheson, and can be found on their Ponder Scripture website.

June and I were probably first exposed to the thought process behind the observance of lunar Sabbaths back in 1987. That’s when we were invited to a meeting conducted by a group of white supremacists who had come to the conclusion that there was something to this thing about observing the Torah. The main speaker for this meeting was a man named Arnold Burns, who was from the state of Georgia. The meeting was held in a town by the name of Bowen, Illinois. Although he could not have been classified as a lunar sabbatarian, Mr. Burns nevertheless presented reasoning that I find typical of the reasoning offered for the observance of lunar Sabbaths. According to Mr. Burns, the “Scriptural” method of determining the “true weekly Sabbath” centers on the date of Pentecost. If Pentecost should happen to fall on a Wednesday, then the weekly Sabbath will also fall on Wednesdays for the next 12 months.

Some ten or eleven years later, I was officially introduced to the doctrine of lunar Sabbaths. A lunar sabbatarian named John Ouwenga, whom we had known for nearly a year, finally broke the news to me after our regular weekly Sabbath meeting had ended. In a private conversation, he “spilled the beans” that the day on which we were gathered wasn’t “really” the true weekly Sabbath. According to Mr. Ouwenga, the “true” weekly Sabbaths fall on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th days of each moon. Only a few years later, I attended a debate between a lunar sabbatarian from Georgia by the name of Arnold [Bowen] and a fellow Texan named Herb Solinsky… Later that year I met Arnold’s son-in-law, Matthew Janzen, at the 2001 Unity Conference held in Cisco, Texas, where Matthew presented the doctrine of lunar Sabbaths.

Arnold Bowen will not disclose who taught him about lunar Sabbaths, but on July 5, 2005 he expressed that he had been observing lunar Sabbaths for six or seven years, which would indicate that he likely began observing lunar Sabbaths in 1998, which coincides with the year the original lunar sabbath study [by Jonathan David Brown] was published…

Mr. Acheson believes that, “Jonathan David Brown’s book is the original study promoting the observance of lunar Sabbaths.” He deduced this from lunarsabbath.com, the website of fellow lunar sabbatarian Ernie L. Hoch, who also goes by the name Lewi H'Cohen, and identifies himself as H'CoHen - Tribe of Levi, House of Cohen - the Priest. On his website various lunar sabbath articles are promoted where Mr. Brown’s book is introduced with the following caption: “Here’s where it all begins.” Another place he states, “Many people around the world came to the basic understanding of the Lunar Sabbath by being introduced to the book, Keeping Yahweh's Appointments.”

 

The Christian Identity Movement

CIM1 christianidentity-2 CIM3

The Christian Identity movement is a movement of many extremely conservative Christian churches and religious organizations, extreme right wing political groups and survival groups. Some are independent; others are loosely interconnected. According to Professor Michael Barkun, one of the leading experts in the Christian Identity movement states, "This virulent racist and anti-Semitic theology, which is practiced by over 50,000 people in the United States alone, is prevalent among many right wing extremist groups and has been called the 'glue' of the racist right." (Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance)

The term "Christian Identity" has two distinct meanings:

Anglo-Israelism (a.k.a. British-Israelism): A theological belief that the Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Scandinavian, Germanic and associated cultures are the racial descendents of the tribes of Israel. Thus, by extension, Americans and Canadians, are composed of the descendents of the ancient Israelites of the Hebrew Scriptures.(ReligiousTolerance.org)

Racist, Christian-based faith groups: A number of small, extremely conservative Fundamentalist Christian denominations which have accepted Anglo-Israelism, and grafted it to racist…beliefs. They view the Jewish people as descendants of Satan. Followers tend to be involved in political movements opposing gun control…and militia movements. (Ibid)

The largest Christian Identity movement has traditionally been the Ku Klux Klan...The KKK slid into obscurity by the second World War, but was revitalized in the mid 1950's as a reaction to enforced racial integration in the southern US. (Ibid)

Other current organizations which follow Christian Identity beliefs are: American Nazi Party; Aryan Nations; Church of Jesus Christ Christian, Aryan Nations; Confederate Hammerskins; Jubilee, National Association for the Advancement of White People; The Order; radical modern offshoots of the original Posse Comitatus; Scriptures for America, White Aryan Resistance (WAR) and White Separatist Banner. Many small groups fade in and out of existence frequently. (Ibid)

In addition to their strict fundamentalist racial views Christian Identity adherents distinguish themselves from mainstream Protestant Fundamentalism in various areas of theology. Most Christian Identity adherents follow the Mosaic law of the Old Testament (e.g., dietary restrictions, the seventh-day Sabbath, certain annual festivals such as Passover). It is also commonplace for adherents to follow the Sacred Name Movement…using the original Hebrew names when referring to God (Yahweh) and Jesus Christ (Yahshua). (Christian Identity, wikipedia)

 

Inspiration for Jonathan David Brown’s Lunar Sabbath?

Friedrich Delitzsch, (1850–1922), was a German Assyriologist who specialized in the study of ancient Middle Eastern languages, and published numerous works on Assyrian language, history and culture. Delitzsch maintained that many Old Testament writings were borrowed from ancient Babylonian tales, including the stories of Genesisfried creation narrative and the Flood myth. Delitzsch also stridently questioned the historical accuracy of the Hebrew Bible and placed great emphasis on its numerous examples of immorality. (wikipedia)

In a series of three lectures under the title Babylon and the Bible held between 1902 and 1904, expanded on this thesis: The Sabbath had its origins in Babylonian ethics; the Lord’s sacred name (YHWH) appeared first in Babylonian texts; and Israelite monotheism was a lesser (and later) expression of a more noble Babylonian concept. Later Delitzsch even recommended that the Old Testament be excised from the Bibles of German Christians. Delitzsch struck a nerve that ran deep in German culture and society. A few charged him with anti-Semitism, which he claimed was impossible because of his scientific objectivity. (Bill T. Arnold and David B. Weisberg, Babel und Bibel und Bias)

Twenty years later, Delitzsch would repeat this proposal even more boldly in Die Grosse Täuschung (The Great Deception), his last publication before he died in 1922. (Ibid)

The so-called “Old Testament” is entirely dispensable for the Christian church, and thereby also for the Christian family. It would be a great deal better for us to immerse ourselves from time to time in the deep thoughts, which our German intellectual heroes have thought concerning God, eternity, and immortality.

Delitzsch assumed that the Babylonians were partly of Aryan stock…. Perhaps most shocking of all is his suggestion that Jesus himself was not Jewish, but Babylonian and probably in part Aryan, since the Aryan Babylonians had settled Samaria and Galilee. This suggestion became a conviction later in Delitzsch’s life, when he argued that Jesus was a Jewish proselyte (convert) rather than a Jew. His Galilean origins meant Jesus was not Semitic at all, but Babylonian and at least in part Aryan. (Bill T. Arnold and David B. Weisberg, Babel und Bibel und Bias)

In 1923, partly under the influence of Delitzsch, Kaiser Wilhelm argued that Jesus was not only Aryan, but in fact anti-Jewish, and that he actually opposed the message of the Hebrew Scriptures. Wilhelm tried to make the case for religious reforms under the banner “Out with Jewry and its Yahweh!” (Ibid)

When the twelve tribes of Israel invaded the land of Canaan, they entered a country which belonged absolutely to the domain of Babylonian civilisation… And not only the industry, but also the commerce and law, the customs and the science of Babylon were the standards of the land. Knowing this, we comprehend at once why the systems of measures, weights, and coins used in the Old Testament, and the external form of their laws ("if a man do this or that, he shall be punished after this manner or that") are Babylonian throughout. So also the sacerdotal customs and the methods of offering sacrifices were profoundly influenced by Babylonian models; and it is a remarkable fact that Israelitic traditions are altogether at variance in their accounts of the origin of the Sabbath,— as will be rendered apparent by a comparison of Exodus xx.11 and Deuteronomy v.15. But now the matter is clearer. (Friedrich Delitzsch, Babel and Bible, page 37)

The Babylonians also had their Sabbath day (shabattu), and a calendar of feasts and sacrifices has been unearthed according to which the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th days of every month were set apart as days on which no work should be done, on which the king should not change his robes, nor mount his chariot, nor offer sacrifices, nor render legal decisions, nor eat of boiled or roasted meats, on which not even a physician should lay hands on the sick. Now this setting apart of the seventh day for the propitiation of the gods is really understood from the Babylonian point of view, and there can therefore be scarcely the shadow of a doubt that in the last resort we are indebted to this ancient nation on the banks of the Euphrates and the Tigris for the plenitude of blessings that flows from our day of Sabbath or Sunday rest. (Ibid, page 37-38)

If in the well-known calendar of festivals (IV. R. 32/33) the seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-eighth days of a month are expressly characterised as days whereon every kind of labor should rest, should we not see in these days no other than the sabbatu-day? (Ibid, page 156)

Accordingly we must acquiesce in the fact that the Hebrew Sabbath, ultimately is rooted in a Babylonian institution. (Ibid)

The setting apart of the seventh day as the day in which we are to refrain from labors of any kind finds its explanation, as I showed years ago, in the fact that the number seven was in this as in other instances to the Babylonians an 'evil' number, and this is the reason why the seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first, twentyeighth days in the above-mentioned calendar are called UD. HUL. GAL., i.e., evil days. (Ibid)

Alfred Jeremias (1. c, p. 25) aptly recalls the Talmudic story, according to which Moses arranged with Pharaoh a day of rest for his people, and when asked which he thought the most appropriate for the purpose, answered: "The seventh, dedicated to the Planet Saturn, labors done on this day will anyhow not prosper, in any case." (Ibid)

Instead of immersing ourselves…in the rule of God among our own people, from Germany’s primitive times to the present, we continue granting a “revelation” status to those old Israelite oracles, either out of ignorance, apathy, or blindness. But this no longer stands up in the light of science, nor that of religion, nor ethics. (Lehmann "Friedrich Delitzsch", page 244, cited in A Centennial Review of Friedrich Delitzsch's "Babel und Bibel" Lectures, Author(s): Bill T. Arnold and David B. Weisberg)

 

A White Supremacist Meets the “Lost” Tribes of Israel

As noted before, Jonathan David Brown’s book Keeping Yahweh's Appointments was published in 1998. In January of 2000 a new disciple takes the Lunar Sabbath concept and introduces this “lost truth” to a wider audience through the Hope of Israel Ministries, an offshoot of Herbert Armstrong’s 7th Day Sabbath keeping Church of God. This group falls under the Anglo/British-Israelism category of the Christian Identity movement.

John D. Keyser, the founder of Hope of Israel Ministries introduces his hypotheses in the Editorial of the inaugural issue of his ministry’s bi-monthly magazine The Berean Call.  Notice how the Jews are introduced as being utterly deceived concerning the Sabbath. And now because of their error mankind’s concept of time has been thoroughly distorted.

Satan has done a masterful job. Not only has he confused mankind in general about the nature of the true God, but he has also confused those who purport to be worshipping that true God! He has led the so-called Christian world into pagan customs and days -- such as Easter, Christmas and Sunday-worship -- while, at the same time, he has utterly deceived the Jews into keeping God's weekly Sabbath at the wrong time! (John D. Keyser Berean Voice, Newsletter Editorial, Jan-Feb 2000)

Satan, through his human agents, has led the Christian churches into a centuries encompassing debate over whether God's Sabbath day falls on a Saturday or Sunday – thus completely hiding the fact of the lunar Sabbath behind a smokescreen of deception and religious animosity. To further confuse God's people, Satan has thoroughly distorted mankind's concept of time and, in particular, the weekly cycle. Time has become so detached from the original week God instituted in Genesis that in no way can we know for sure when the Sabbath was being kept at the time of Christ – or earlier -- without some heavenly signpost to guide us. (Ibid)

In this inaugural issue of The Berean Voice, we expose the machinations of Satan and show how this arch-enemy of mankind used the Jewish and Roman calendars – as well as the power of Rome and the compromising rabbis of Babylonia -- to lead the saints of God off the straight and narrow path that leads to salvation. (Ibid)

But God didn't allow Satan to destroy all the evidence. For those who search the scriptures daily and test every self-appointed prophet of God, the truth can be found within the pages of the Bible and books of secular historians and anthropologists. (Ibid)

We know all the days of the week were at some point named after pagan gods. Has the debate among Christian churches over the centuries truly been whether God’s Sabbath falls on a Saturday or Sunday? or is it actually over whether mankind would remember to keep every 7th day as the Father’s holy Sabbath, or follow the dictates of man and keep the 1st day unto the Lord, regardless what name the world has given to those days? Should the Bible be its own expositor before the books of secular historians and anthropologists are consulted to uphold truth?

 

Have We Been Observing the Sabbath at the Wrong Time All These Years?

This is the question Mr. Keyser asks and answers in his first article on the lunar sabbath.  After the introduction notice the source of his very first quote.

For hundreds of years a controversy has been raging between those who advocate a Sunday sabbath and those who keep a Saturday sabbath. Most people have been reared in a Sunday observing world and, naturally, have taken Sunday observance for granted. Nostalgic memories of musty pews, church picnics, choirs and family togetherness are firmly lodged in the minds of millions. The idea of a different day for the Sabbath day strikes them as fanatical and absurd. Some people believe Saturday is the right day and insist that Saturday is the only day the Bible anywhere commands us to keep. They even go as far as saying that people are sinning -- that they have the "mark of the beast" and shall suffer the seven last plagues -- if they observe Sunday instead of keeping the seventh day on Saturday! To most Protestant Church Christians, these "Saturday keepers" are legalistic, ritualistic and are decidedly on the "fringe" of accepted mainstream religion --out of step with the majority and perhaps a little strange! (John D. Keyser, Have We Been Observing the Sabbath At the Wrong Time All These Years?, Berean Voice Newsletter, Jan-Feb 2000)

Notes author Jonathan Brown: In our day disputes between "Sabbatarians," (Saturday sabbath) and "Lord's Day" keepers are of such a variety that they now even include the theories of whether a "day" includes the "night" or dark hours where there is no sunlight; and whether sabbath begins at noon because noon is actually the "evening." These arguments are all based upon the assumption that our current seven-day cycle is something which has always been with mankind. Indeed, the Seventh-Day churches fervently argue that Sunday through Saturday has run continuously from creation. However, just because we grew up with this cycle doesn't mean it always existed (Keeping Yahweh's Appointments, 1998. Pp. 40-41). (Ibid)

Jonathan Brown must be one “self-appointed prophet of God” that passed the test as John Keyser cites him throughout his article. Mr. Brown is also quoted as discovering the origin of the lunar sabbath cycle. John Keyser tells us this discovery is “exactly the SAME cycle that God revealed to the Israelites in Exodus 16.”

There are approximately 29.5 days in the lunar cycle beginning with the sighting of the first small crescent just after sunset. Lunar months are most conveniently estimated at 30 days, but when laid out in a succession of months, they can be most conveniently calendarized ONLY BY periods of 29 and 30 days in alternation (Rest Days, pp. 178-179). None of these numbers, obviously, are divisible evenly by 7. "However," relates Jonathan Brown, "in a Babylonian calendar dated at about 700 B.C., a scheme of rest days on 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th of the moon cycle are recorded. Those days coincide with the first quarter (half-moon), full moon, third quarter (half-moon in reverse), and the day of the moon's disappearance" (Keeping Yahweh's Appointments, p. 51). This is exactly the SAME cycle that God revealed to the Israelites in Exodus 16! (John D. Keyser, Have We Been Observing the Sabbath At the Wrong Time All These Years?, Berean Voice Newsletter, Jan-Feb 2000)

The New Schaff-Herzog Religious Encyclopedia notes that "there is general agreement that the seven-day period [as observed by the Hebrews] was derived from Babylonia, where it was employed in pre-Semitic times -- this is confirmed by the fact that not only were the seventh, fourteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-eighth days of the month observed, but that the nineteenth was also a special day..." (vol. VII, 1910. P. 492). The reason for the one-day discrepancy here as compared to the days God set apart in Exodus 16 is because the days 7, 14, 21 and 28 are reckoned from the first crescent of the moon, whereas the numbers 8, 15, 22 and 29 are reckoned from "day one" from the "dark" of the moon. (Ibid)

Isn’t it interesting that this revelation is comparable to what we read from Friedrich Delitzsch, but with a twist? Remember in the racist faction of the Christian Identity movement the “Jews” are referred to as the descendants of Satan while the Babylonians were the superior partly Aryan race. Did God give the lunar sabbath to the “Jews” and Babylonians? If the “Jews” were originally observing a “lunar sabbath” and then fell into apostasy and went after other gods did that apostasy include keeping a consecutive weekly 7th day Sabbath? If this is the case then God must have had the “Jews” taken into Babylonian captivity as punishment, and to bring them back to the lunar sabbath, right?

Running with this hypotheses imagine the “Jews” observing the Babylonians following their curious lunar rest days and suddenly coming to the realization that these heathens were keeping the sabbath they had trampled on and forgotten. When they had fully repented of their sin and returned to the “true” sabbath they were allowed to go home to Israel, rebuild the temple, and restore the sabbath. This gives new meaning to the admonition, “Come out of her (Babylon) my people.” The “Jews” did not want to return to captivity so, we are told by the proponents of the doctrine, they faithfully kept the (Babylonian) lunar sabbath through the time of Christ and the apostles. John Keyser assumes why this must be:

Let's make some basic assumptions here. The fact that Jesus Christ DID NOT denounce the Jews of His day for keeping the Sabbath day on the wrong day of the week, but denounced them for making the Sabbath a "day of bondage," clearly indicates that the Jews were then correct as regards to which day of the week to keep. Later, in the works of the apostles Peter and Paul, we similarly find no trace of these stalwart men of God condemning the Jews for keeping the wrong day. Since Paul was martyred in 67 A.D., and Peter followed him the next year, it is probably safe to say that the Jews were keeping the correct Sabbath day right up to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by the Romans. (Have We Been Observing the Sabbath At the Wrong Time All These Years?, Berean Voice Newsletter, Jan-Feb 2000)

So what happened to the lunar sabbath?  Once again we have an explanation:

Unfortunately, in the fourth century A.D., the rabbis of Babylonia polluted God's sacred calendar by introducing the continuous week and postponements to prevent certain days from clashing with the Saturday sabbath which they had created. When Hillel II introduced these changes, not all of the religious leaders of the Jews went along with it. In fact, a large number of the leaders continued to observe the new moons by observation -- as was done in Jesus' day. (John D. Keyser, God's Sacred Calendar, Berean Voice Newsletter, March-April 2000)

In the book Saadia Gaon: His Life and Works, by Henry Malter, we read… It was only after the close of the Babylonian Talmud, in the sixth or perhaps later, in the seventh century, that the observation of the moon was entirely given up, and a complete and final system of calendation introduced. This was adopted by all the Jews of the Diaspora, and has been accepted as binding down to the present day. (Ibid)

With the obvious polluting of God's sacred calendar by Hillel II and the rabbis of his sect, the present Jewish calendar cannot be trusted in the determination of God's Holy Days and Sabbaths…(Ibid)

In our day, notes author Jonathan Brown, "disputes between 'Sabbatarians,' (Saturday sabbath) and 'Lord's Day' keepers are of such variety that they now even include the theories of whether a 'day' includes the 'night' of dark hours where there is no sunlight; and whether sabbath begins at noon because noon is actually the 'evening.' These arguments are all based upon the assumption that our current seven-day cycle is something which has always been with mankind. Indeed the Seventh-Day churches fervently argue that Sunday through Saturday has run continuously from creation. However, just because we grew up with this cycle doesn't mean it always existed" (Keeping Yahweh's Appointments, p. 41). (John D. Keyser, The New Moon and the Weekly Sabbath -- Side-By-Side!, Berean Voice Newsletter, Jan-Feb 2000)

 

Satan’s Day of Worship

Lunar sabbatarians are hung up on the false premise that perpetual 7th day Sabbath observance is a call to worship on Saturday, which they say is Satan’s day of worship. When the lunar sabbath falls on a Saturday they are quick to point out that it is the 7th day they are worshipping on and not Saturday. 

In the Babylonian Mysteries Nimrod was given the name of Saturn -- the hidden god. Down through history nation after nation gave glory and tribute to the hebdomadal gods of Babel, and sabbath days were declared and set aside in their honor -- Friday, the day honoring Venus; Saturday, the day honoring Saturn; and Sunday, the day honoring the Sun god. Nimrod and his Babylonian Mystery worship are alive and well in the world of today! (John D. Keyser, History of the Sabbath, Berean Voice Newsletter, May-June 2000)

Genesis 10:10 states that Babel was the beginning of Nimrod's Kingdom. "Saturn" was the name given to the pagan worship of the Babylonian ruler Nimrod, who was known as the GOD OF THE CHALDEAN MYSTERIES. The name Saturn in Chaldee is pronounced "Satur" but in Aramaic it is spelled "Stur" as shown in the book The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop. "Stur" has the numerical value of "666." "Saturn" means "The Hidden One," which relates that this whole pagan religion is HIDDEN -- secret. In Greek, Saturn was known as "Kronos," which means "TIME." (Saturn was given a day of TIME in the pagan week -- Satur-day.) In Egypt, Saturn was known as Apis -- the bull god of Memphis. The golden calf at Mt. Sinai was none other than the image of Apis, the bull of Memphis. After the Israelites made this golden calf, a false feast was declared to honor Jahwah: (Deborah Taylor, The Mysteries of Babylon and Pagan Sabbaths, Berean Voice Newsletter, Jan-Feb 2000)

Thus when Aaron saw it (the golden calf), he built an altar before it; and Aaron made a proclamation, and said, "TOMORROW IS A FEAST TO JAHWAH (Exodus 32:5-6). (Ibid)

(Note: This was not a true appointed-time feast for Jahwah; it was a FALSE FEAST. Could this have been the false weekly Sabbath dedicated to Saturn/Apis/Nimrod, i.e. Saturday/Saturn's day?) (Ibid)

Tracing the history of the Saturday Sabbath (as observed by most Jews and certain "Christian" groups today) is indeed fascinating, and can be quite shocking to those who hold that the Saturday "Sabbath" is inviolate and is the same today as it was back in the second chapter of Genesis. To realize that Satan has blinded the Jews in general, and almost all of so-called Christianity, is a pill that most people find hard to swallow. (John D. Keyser, History of the Sabbath, Berean Voice Newsletter, May-June 2000)

To even contemplate that God's true Sabbath day went into eclipse and was replaced by the Saturday Sabbath, is something that most unconverted people will not dwell upon. Only a few out of modern "Israel" will hear and obey these words of truth. The majority will stop their ears so they cannot hear. Religious groups (including the Churches of God) will condemn you. The secular world will in no way understand. They will brand you as crazy and of unsound mind. Your family will separate from you. You will indeed be a "peculiar" people separated unto Yehovah. (Ibid)

But the evidence for God's weekly Sabbath day being tied to the phases of the moon is OVERWHELMING. In the search for truth we have uncovered vital new truth that is going to separate the men from the boys. I pray that you, the reader, will be one of the men. (Ibid)

Interesting Observations and a Confession

Have you been overwhelmed by the evidence? Jonathan David Brown himself became a contributing writer for the Berean Voice in the November-December, 2000 issue utilizing excerpts from his book Keeping Yahweh's Appointments revised with supplemental studies. In 2009 he published his calculated lunar calendar for the year 2010/2011 and makes interesting observations and a confession:

I do not, and will not, consider myself and these dates to be without error. They are the best I can do after looking at the lunar cycle for about 18 years now. Last, one or two religious “experts” have criticized me harshly if I render three months in a row with either two new moon days, or three. They have forgotten that the lunar cycle does not fit into whole numbers - ever - it is what it is; Yah’s beautiful creation. Please feel free to adjust any dates you believe are incorrect, and drop me a note at your convenience.

It’s interesting that after observing the lunar cycle for 18 years Mr. Brown could not nail down how to keep the “sabbath” because the moon was not playing fair in several ways, so his calendar was constantly being tweaked.

“Please feel free to adjust any dates you believe are incorrect” is also a profound statement about the lunar sabbath movement. It is the natural progression of what happens when so called lost “truth” is not truth at all, but the inventions of man.  Left to our own devices we will perform what seems right in our own eyes in a quest for something new and strange. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Sadly many well meaning people, including Adventists, have, opened the door to confusion. Following the Scripture admonition of perpetual six days work, seventh day Sabbath will not bring this confusion. Our heavenly Father’s Sabbath is not proclaimed through the sighting of any heavenly body, or connected to any calendar. It is a memorial of creation that stands on its own apart from everything.

 

The Church in the Wilderness

We have not shared the lunar sabbatarian understanding of Scripture. That is for another study. One Scripture observation that puzzles is the assertion that the moon was created before the 4th day of creation and the consecutive weekly 7th day Sabbath was the invention of “Jews” and never followed by the Son of God or any of His apostles.

If the apostles that made up the early Christian church were keeping a lunar sabbath, who invented the consecutive weekly venerable day of the Sun promoted by Emperor Constantine in 321 A.D (4th century), and followed today by the Catholic church and a majority of the Protestant Christian world?

If in the fourth century A.D., the rabbis of Babylonia polluted God's sacred calendar by introducing the continuous week and postponements to prevent certain days from clashing with the Saturday sabbath which they had created,” why did the Synod of Laodicea, also in the 4th century, attempt to outlaw the keeping of this supposed “new” Sabbath which was observed consecutively every 7th day?

Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ. (Canon 29, Synod of Laodicea, 4th century)

We read previously that some “Jews” kept a lunar sabbath until “the sixth or perhaps later, in the seventh century, [when] the observation of the moon was entirely given up.” This brings us to Muhammad, the founder of the religion of Islam who rose to power in the 7th century, and his relationship with the Jews of Medina. If Islam utilizes a lunar calendar because those of the Muslim faith supposedly worship a moon god, then why did Muhammad in Medina begin to keep the 6th day for worship consecutively every week instead of a floating lunar worship day?

Muhammad’s relations with the Jews of Medina deteriorated as his own power grew. Muhammad viewed many biblical ?gures as prophets, or as men to whom God had spoken. He respected Jews and Christians as “People of the Book,” since they worshiped God as revealed by sacred scriptures. Why could he not have been more magnanimous in Medina? In part, he expected the Jews to recognize him as God’s messenger, just as he had accepted their prophets; but they could not reconcile his Quran with their sacred scriptures…They opposed the Constitution of Medina…publicly mocking him and his followers. The split widened. Following a Quranic revelation, Muhammad changed the direction of prayer—south toward Mecca instead of north toward Jerusalem. The one-day fast of Yom Kippur ceased to be obligatory, and Muslims started fasting instead during the daylight hours of Ramadan, the month in which Muhammad’s ?rst revelation had come. Sabbath ob-servance was replaced by Friday congregational worship with a sermon. Dietary laws were eased. Islam was becoming more distinct and also more Arabian.” (Arthur Goldschmidt, Jr., Lawrence Davidson, A Concise History of the Middle East, 9th Edition, page 34)

There are other important questions that need answered because the book of Revelation speaks about two women who represent two churches. One a harlot “sitting on a scarlet coloured beast”, the other “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” Of the pure woman we read:

 

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. - (Revelation 12:17)

If the apostolic church and its successor church in the wilderness, represented by the pure woman, were keeping the commandements of God, including a lunar sabbath, until the 7th century, what sabbath was the very same church in the wilderness keeping after the 7th century? According to prophecy in Scripture the faithful and true church was protected in the wilderness from 538 A.D. until 1798 A.D. The “loss” of the “correct” sabbath in the 7th century would negate that prophecy. Another curiosity is there is not a single personal testimony or book in all of history prior to 1992 documenting in detail the lunar sabbath practice and its calendar. Are we to believe that our Father in heaven would actually allow His Sabbath to be “lost” for 1200 years only to reveal it to a man in prison in 1992? If this indeed is the case, which prophecy in Scripture reveals this loss and restitution?

 

What day is the Sabbath, Lunar Day, Saturday, Sunday, Friday or 7th Day?

Will the real Sabbath please stand up! This section is for my brothers and sisters in the Adventist faith. Whether or not you accept the council of Sister White, her writings uphold Scripture as to the identity of the true Sabbath.

The seventh day is God's chosen day. He has not left this matter to be remodeled by priest or ruler. It is of too great importance to be left to human judgment. God saw that men would study their own convenience, and choose a day best suited to their inclinations, a day bearing no divine authority; and He has stated plainly that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord. {Ellen G. White, The Sabbath of the Lord, Signs of the Times, March 31, 1898}

The first week, in which God performed the work of creation in six days and rested on the seventh day, was just like every other week. 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." (Genesis 2:4) God gives us the result of his work on each of the days of creation. 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 labor, 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. {Signs of the Times, March 20, 1879 par. 1}

Has God made a distinction between the Sabbath and the six working days? If He has done this, man must abide by His decision. The question is not left for each one to decide as his human wisdom shall dictate. God has not left His law for men to sanctify or profane. They are not left to cut and carve for the Almighty. They are to obey the laws of God instituted in Eden, and proclaimed from Mount Sinai in such awful grandeur that the people "did exceeding fear and quake." The Lord's chosen ones must take His law just as He has given it to them, and obey it right loyally, without seeking to change or alter one jot or tittle.--Ms 34, 1897, pp. 9, 10. ("Two Opposing Armies; The Sabbath, the Real Test," undated.)  {Manuscript Releases Vol. 5, page 80 par. 1}

Those who venture to lightly esteem the day upon which Jehovah rested, the day which he sanctified and blessed, the day which he has commanded to be kept holy, will yet know that death is the reward of the transgressor. On account of the special honors God conferred upon the seventh day, he required his people to number by sevens lest they should forget their Creator who made the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. {Spiritual Gifts Volume 3, page 53 par. 1}

Replacement Theology

Because of conditioning there is for many a deep rooted and subconscious hatred of, or aversion to, the appearance of anything Jewish. The Christian Identity Movement is a vocal part of that conditioning. They give the appearance of staying true to Scripture when actually they are adapting the Word to fit their own belief in promoting superiority to the Jews. Constantine was a forerunner of the modern effort to dissociate the church from Judaism. In the 4th century he legitimized beliefs and practices the church had drifted into as it struggled to assimilate pagan converts, and his voice is heard today through those who ignorantly or blatantly have defied God for the past two thousand years by saying, “Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd; for we have received from our Saviour a different way” (Eusebius, “Life of Constantine”). This is “replacement theology.” Satan in his kingdom would have it so.

The truth is not about a “Christian” versus “Jewish” dispensation with Jesus standing between the Old and New Testament as a dividing line. When we fall into the anti-Jewish trap we will eventually replace Who we worship with a god of our own choosing.  This is what the Seventh-day Adventist church and a majority of the Christian world has done through the doctrine of the trinity.

the simple monotheism of Judaism has to give way to a broader understanding of deity. God is one—but in three coeternal Persons. This teaching, which stretches our intellectual powers but which resonates in our life of faith, also is grounded in Scripture(William G. Johnsson, Adventist Review, February 15, 1996)

We also nail to the cross what the church calls the feasts of the “Jews” and have replaced them with feasts of our own design like Easter, Christmas, and many others.

Revered as an Early Church Father, and one of the four great doctors of the Catholic Church, John Chrysostom voiced in the 4th century,

The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now." (“Discourses Against Judaizing Christians”, trans. Paul W. Harkins) Interestingly, the “Christian” church has dedicated several feast days to him.

[A]t Rome…Sunday became the Christian feast of Easter...Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I calls it the greatest feast, and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. (Catholic Encyclopedia)

Thus, it is necessary to promote reflection and efforts at reconciling the demands and the periods of work with those of the family and to recover the true meaning of the feast, especially on Sunday, the weekly Easter, the day of the Lord and the day of man, the day of the family, of the community and of solidarity.” (Excerpt from the translation of the letter Pope Benedict XVI sent to the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family regarding the 7th World Meeting of Families, which will be held in Italy, May 30, 2012)

The 4th commandment anchors the 10 commandments because it identifies Who, how and when we are to worship. It begins with the simple word “Remember.” The perpetual 7th day Sabbath will also be replaced with another when we forget Who is Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was made to bless and help us remember our identity in the Father and His Son. My prayer is that we will pray for discernment as we allow the Spirit of Christ to write His law on our hearts. The faith and testimony of Jesus is in the Sabbath that He created and kept. Don’t allow anyone to take His day away from you.

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. - (Galatians 1:8-9 KJV)