4 January 2011 (Shleshi/Bikkurim)|
Day #294, 5934 AM
Rosh Chodesh XI 5934
The True Biblical Sabbath Day Revealed
Millions of Jews, Messianic Jews, Messianic Israelites, Seventh-Day Adventists, Seventh-Day Baptists, followers of Herbert W. Armstrong, and 'Sabbatarians' in general claim they are being faithful to the Scripture commanding believers to observe the 'seventh-day Sabbath':
Millions of Muslims observe a day of rest on the 'sixth day' and a few Messianics, who observe the Enochian Calendar, observe the 'fourth day'. And millions more Christians, Mormons and others believe they are commanded to assemble on the 'first day' of the week. All of them agree that the 'first day' is Sunday, the 'fourth day' is Wednesday, the 'sixth day' is Friday, and the 'seventh day' is Saturday.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim (God). In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it" (Ex.20:8-11, NKJV).
(We will ignore the fact that in recent times the European Union decided to move everything a day back so that Monday is now the 'first day' of the week and Sunday is the 'seventh day' of the week, and we will also ignore the International Date Line (IDL) problem for now).
So there you have it - Christians, Sabbatarians and Muslims (to take the three major groups) all claim they are gathering to worship their God on the 'first', 'seventh' and 'sixth' days, respectively. But on whose calendar? Why, the Roman calendar, of course, and specifically, the current Gregorian one. Therefore they worship on Sundays in their churches, on Saturdays in their synagogues, and on Fridays in their mosques.
So my question is: have true believers always worshipped on Saturday? Could we take the passage of Scripture we just quoted and (at least as far as getting the right day of the week right) and rewrite it thus:
Could we do that? We could only claim that if it could be proved that the calendar the Romans used, and which we continue to use in the West and throughout the whole world, was the same one established by Yahweh in the beginning. We should therefore be able to go to the first Romans, find an identical calendar (and we are here only talking about the seven days in the week), and discover that they borrowed this same calendar from another culture, and so trace it all the way back to the beginning of recorded history. If Saturday is the seventh-day Sabbath, as so many confidently claim, then we actually have to be able to demonstrate this.
"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but Saturday is the Sabbath of Yahweh your Elohim (God). In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on Saturday. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it".
Most actually don't bother themselves with such questions. They defer to other authorities. I don't know if you are like me or not, but honestly I find such calculations very boring. I never did like Mathematics very much and calendars...well, let us just say I have never been able to generate any interest in them...until recently when I realised that I simply had to.
Most defer to the Jews whom, they say, have been faithfully keeping the true Sabbath day for centuries during their long exile. That's what I used to think too. Unfortunately, the Rabbis themselves admit they changed the calendar. They admit they abandoned the biblical one and exchanged it for the Roman one. And we've been observing a non-biblical one ever since. And Christians - by the pretended authority of the Roman Catholic Church - have simply been following that calendar, but have moved the day of worship forward one day so as to distance themselves from the Saturday-observing Jews...who had already abandoned Yahweh's Calendar.
However, let's go back to the Roman calendar. Did the Romans always have the same weekly calendar? No, they have not. The seven-day weekly calendar of days from Sunday to Saturday has only existed since imperial times. In Republican Rome they had an eight-day week known as a 'market week'. It was known as the Nundial Cycle. The First Day of the Nundian Week was Saturday and the last or eighth was the Nundina. 'Market Day' was the day that country people would come to the city and the day that the city people would do their weekly shopping, buying eight day's worth of groceries...a bit like contemporary 'Saturday', as it came to be called later, when most people used to do their shopping before the shops all closed on Sunday (that's, of course, all changed now, though Germany has now reintroduced this system). The old Nundial system did not finally fall completely out of use until the Emperor Constantine (around AD 321) who officially adopted the Julian system.
Today is Rosh Chodesh, the day the prophets are supposed to bring a word from Yahweh to the people gathered in worship. It's not a Sabbath day though it's very like one in many respects. Today I have been directed to tell you - if you think that Saturday is the 7th biblical day of the week, or if you think that Sunday is the 1st biblical day of the week, or if you think that Friday is the 6th Koranic day of the week - that you (myself included until now) have been duped. Though from time to time we may accidentally harmonise with the biblical sabbath day of the week, we have for the most part been plain wrong. We've not been observing the Sabbath properly. So irrespective of whether you believe we are supposed to assemble for worship on the 7th or 1st day of the week, we have been doing it all wrong and we have been honouring Yahweh on the WRONG DAYS. But isn't this what Yahweh tried to warn us of back in the days of Daniel, and as I spoke about three days ago? Do you remember what Daniel prophesied the Fourth Beast (Rome) would do?
How has he mocked Yahweh? He has mocked Yahweh by duping Sabbatarians, Jews, Messianics and Adventists into worshipping Yahweh on the Day of Saturn (Saturday) and antinomian (lawless) Christians on the Day of the Sun (Sunday)! And because I was too lazy to research the calendars out all these years, I sinned by promoting the worship of the pagan deites Saturn and Sol (the Sun) by following the Roman Calendar. Therefore I am publically repenting of that here and now, for the sin of carelessness, and for misleading thousands of people over the years even though I know Yahweh has shown me grace for the days of my ignorance.
"He shall speak pompous words against the Most High (Yahweh), shall persecute the set-apart ones (saints) of the Most High, and shall intend to change times (zemam, seasons, appointed times) and law (dath, decrees)" (Dan.7:25, NKJV).
The battles between Christians, Jews and Messianics over the true Sabbath day have been a complete and utter waste of time. They're both wrong because the true Sabbath isn't on a 'Saturday' or a 'Sunday - it isn't on a 'Monday', 'Tuesday', 'Wednesday', 'Thursday' or 'Friday' either! It isn't on any Roman day at all.
'Has Lev gone completely nuts? Is he saying that the Sabbath has been abolished??' some antinomian Christian might be asking? And then, thinking that this is what I have been saying, be tempted to cry out: 'Hallelujah!'
Hold your horses, I have never said that the Sabbath has been abolished. And I am not saying it now. This is no victory for antinomians (lawless believers). No, the Seventh-Day Sabbath is still commanded - it's an eternal ordinance. All I am saying is that the Seventh-Day Sabbath isn't on any 'Monday', 'Tuesday', 'Wednesday', 'Thursday', 'Friday', 'Saturday' or 'Sunday'. It could, however, and frequently is, on all of these Roman days of the week. And the reason that is the case is because Yahweh's Set-Apart, Holy, Biblical Calendar is not reckoned in the same way that the Western, Roman calendar is. It is not an eternal, repeating, linear seven-day cycle as we have been raised to believe: the biblical seventh-day is a sequence of four seven-day weeks within a unique cycle of ~29/30 days, designed by Yahweh to bring continuity and constancy in a very unstable cosmos. You see, the orbits of the earth and moon have periodically changed owing to comet and meteorite impacts on the moon and earth, and the gravitational wobbles caused by planets passing close to earth at different times. In fact, I discussed this about four months ago, you may remember, when I talked about how the annual calendar once consisted of 360 days in the time of Noah (see 360°: A Sacred Number and the Calendar).
A few months ago the moon was 'wobbled' again when some object impacted its far side. It is setting differently in different parts of the world now. And according to biblical prophecy there are going to be more joltings of the earth and moon before Yah'shua returns that may well change the number of days it takes us to orbit the sun from the current 365¼ days to something else, and may alter the periodicity of the moon too.
Yahweh has designed an ingenious way of accurately setting our calendars no matter what cosmic 'accidents' may occur. Moreover, we don't need to know what went before because the calendar is reset or recallibrated every lunar cycle with the main annual callibration on the 1st of Aviv. His calendar is not a linear sequence of sabbaths every seven days as we have been taught according to Roman calculations (though it may very well have been in pre-Fall Eden) but a combination of 1 New Moon observance and 4 Sabbath observances each month.
In Yahweh's system the New Moon or Rosh Chodesh is critically important. And yet, in those days when I was blinded by the Roman Calendar, I could make no sense of the monthly New Moon Festival, and indeed it was the last of the moedim we started to observe because prior to then it didn't seem to 'fit' into the Roman Cycle. It made 'sort of' sense for calculating the Annual Festivals yet there were always problems with High Sabbaths at festivals because in Yahweh's system they always fall on a regular Sabbath but using the Roman system you are forced to invent extra sabbaths.
These Roman-forced anomalies have led to all the conflicts between Messianics as to how to calculate the sabbaths and festivals accurately. For, you see, the Jews and Messianic Jews have simply forced the festivals into the Roman Calendar and have in consequence got the days all wrong. That is why year after year I would have a headache trying to figure out the days of the festivals. I was trying to fit two systems together (like nearly all other Messianics) and was getting confused. Just adopting one calendar dogma over another made no sense and the discussions between proponents of competing dogmas just sent my head spinning.
In Yahweh's Biblical System there is no confusion. Indeed there is perfect order. It all fits together - smoothly, no matter whether the earth or moon have changed orbits - as one would expect of the Most High. Moreover, you can't observe the True Sabbath without observing all the other Festivals either. Those who pick out Sabbath-observance but refuse to observe the Festivals or New Moons are entirely missing the point...because you can't divide them from each other. It's all or nothing, like Yah'shua (Jesus) said (Mt.5:17:20). They are the cogs and wheels of a finely-tuned mechanical watch. Each part needs every other part for the watch to work. And it demonstrates that you cannot serve two masters.
I don't propose to go into the detailed evidence today but rather simply illustrate how it works with a typical Hebrew (as opposed to a Roman) month and leave some more reading materials for you at the end. Since the beginning of the Year is 1st Aviv we will take the First (Rishon) Month as an example. This is how it works (please follow with me in the diagram below):
The New Month begins with the New Moon or Rosh Chodesh on Day #1, starting at sunrise. Israel is commanded to assemble on this day, as I have said, to amongst other things hear the prophets. Many believe that in the Garden of Eden, this is the Day that Yahweh came and spoke directly to Adam and Eve (as also on each Sabbath). Day #8 is always the 1st Sabbath of the Month. Day #15 is the 2nd Sabbath (7 days later), Day #22 is always the 3rd Sabbath (7 days after the 2st Sabbath), and Day #29 is always the 4th Sabbath (7 days after the 3rd Sabbath). And then, depending on whether it is a 29- or 30 day-long month the next month and Rosh Chodesh begins the following day or two days later. Thus the calendar is reset each month at Rosh Chodesh making Rosh Chodesh pivotal in knowing the dates of the true Sabbath. (In the illustration given above a crescent moon is visible on Day #29 which means this would be a 30-day month, the new moon 'appearing' on Day #30).
How does this relate to the Roman Calendar we are familiar with? We will take an example, namely, Roman March 2001:
On this particular month the Sabbaths happen to fall on the Roman Saturday but another month (e.g. June 2007) might be completely different:
Here two different Biblical Months are in operation during this Roman one. In the first half of the Roman month, the Sabbath day falls on Roman Wednesday and in the second half, on Roman Saturday.
Though Rosh Chodesh is not a Sabbath, many believers who follow this calendar treat it as a non-work day when not in assembly while others return to work.
This was how the Israelites calculated their calendar in respect of Sabbaths so whatever the Romans may have been doing (before the Talmudic Rabbis adopted the Roman system) was not necessarily what the Hebrews were doing. And a Roman Saturday was not usually a Hebrew Sabbath even though occasionally it was.
What, then, are we to do? For most people with regular jobs, expecting an employer to give them different days off each month is to invite losing your job. The only real solution is self-employment. The same problem exists with schools and the only real solution there is homeschooling...if it's allowed. That the divine system has to be restored into Messianic life somehow is not denied but effecting it, especially in a time of recession, presents numerous obstacles to which we presume Yahweh must be sympathetic, given that this system was orginally instituted for use within a Theocratic Nation where these moedim were national law, a situation which does not yet obtain today but obviously will in the Millennium.
At this point in time it is the position of this ministry that each individual and family must act according to their conscience and as they feel the Ruach (Spirit) is leading them, and without finger-pointing. What is important is that you know these things and realise that the controversies, debates, arguing and finger-pointing between Messianics and Messianics, and between Sabbatarians and Sunday-Keepers, are quite meaningless and pointless in the light of these truths. What you do with this information, and what will follow, is entirely between you and Yahweh.
We will have a new calendar up in the spring showing the lunar-solar system. In the meantime may Yahweh bless you as you seek to honour Him!
Continued in Part 2
 Moshe Eliyahu, Restoration of the Scriptural Sabbath Day and the Lunar Solar Yearly Calendar - not all the views of this ministry are shared by Messianic Evangelicals.