A Challenge to Lunar Sabbath Believers!!!

c9aacc0c0d92d5d7de1c790f81624a2bI was given this quote from a person who keeps the lunar Sabbath recently.  Just briefly for those who do not understand.  A lunar Sabbath keeper is one who uses the new moon to calculate the weekly Sabbath.

What is the Belief of a Lunar Sabbath Keeper

A Lunar Sabbath Keeper believes that every New Moon, which is approximately every 29.5 days, when the first visible crescent appears on the moon.  That at this time they begin to count their weekly seven day cycle.  And at the end of four cycles of seven there usually is one or two days remaining before the next new moon, and then the count would start again.

I want to talk just briefly about the history of this.  And then issue a challenge to all lunar Sabbath keepers.  A new moon historically was an assembly kept by the Jews (Num 10:2, 3, 10, 28:11) and will be kept by God’s people in all ages when we come to the tree of life each month in eternity. (See Isaiah 66:22, 23, Revelation 22:1-3, Col 2:16, 17)

However, is it historically true that the weekly cycle was ever dependent on the lunar cycle? I was recently given a quote that says it was.   But there are some major problems with this quote as I will document.

Uncertain About the History of the Sabbath?

Let’s examine.  Firstly this quote is from the twentieth century.  And it says this.

“The New Moon is still, and the Sabbath originally was, dependent upon the lunar cycle.” (Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, article: “Holidays,” by Max Joseph).

This is the historical proof given by a lunar Sabbath keeper to prove that it is true.  This quote is from an author who wrote about this in 1906.  And this man is making some massive ASSUMPTIONS as we shall see.

Secondly Note: The same author wrote in another article: “The origin of the Sabbath is obscure.” (Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, article: “The Sabbath,” by Max Joseph).

Does this sound like a trustworthy source on the history of the Sabbath to you?  But furthermore thirdly you will notice what else this author writes… While reading this, ask yourself if Max Joseph is sure he knows, or if he really is UNCERTAIN on the matter.

The origin of the Sabbath, as well as the true meaning of the name, is uncertain…. It was probably (Creation???) originally connected in some manner with the cult of the moon, as indeed is suggested by the frequent mention of Sabbath and New-Moon festivals in the same sentence…. (This is his proof? Because New Moon is mentioned with the Sabbath in some verses)  The Sabbath depending, in Israel’s nomadic period, upon the observation of the phases of the moon, it could not, according to this view, be a fixed day.(Is he convincing you? I certainly hope that we are seeing an issue here) When the Israelites settled in the land and became farmers, their new life would have made it desirable that the Sabbath should come at regular intervals, and the desired change would have been made all the more easily as they had abandoned the lunar religion.” (Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, article: “The Sabbath”). (Brackets added)

Doesn’t it sound like this author is UNSURE of what he believes????  PROBABLY Connected he says?  His reasoning for believing the cycles of the Sabbath and New Moon are connected is because they are mentioned frequently in the same sentence.   This is not historical evidence.   This guy is unsure.

So now we have a GIANT conundrum for any brother or sister who is saying that the lunar Sabbath is a real issue.   That problem is this:

There seems to be no historic evidence of a change from the lunar Sabbath to Sunday.   Particularly by the Papacy. (Daniel 7:25)

So what is the CHALLENGE.   The challenge is to bring forth historical documentation showing.

1.  When and where in history did this change from a Lunar Sabbath take place?
2.  Did the Papacy make the change?
3.  Show at least 2 quotes from before other than the few after 1900 of this change in history, preferably documentation from the early church fathers since we need two or more witnesses to establish something.

But really we need history to show us where this change took place.

Sabbath’s and New Moon’s in Scripture

In the last chapter of Isaiah we are told that when we come into the New Heaven and Earth we will all be coming to worship on the New Moon Days and on the Sabbath Days.

Isaiah 66:22-23  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.  (23)  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.

This is something to look forward to, and it is confirmed in the book of Revelation that we will come up to the throne to worship every month at the tree of life.  The word month is actually derived from the term moon, and that is how the early apostles understood the term month.  It actually meant moon, and a new moon in the days of the apostles was a new month.   There was no Gregorian calendar to disassociate the moon from the month.

The months of the Gregorian calendar have also been named after Pagan Gods, Roman pagan emperors, and other pagan practices and objects.   The weekly cycle we know has been named after other objects of worship such as Saturday being Saturn, Sunday, being the day of Sun Worship and Monday named after the moon.

This remained until the Romans changed the weekly day of rest from the Seventh-day commonly known to begin Friday night and run through Saturday to Sunday.   But please be careful to note that history does document the Papacy making a change.   And it is well documented.

Sabbath Change Documented in History

This change is well documented in historical records.  The change happened in the early third century, and the history of how this took place can be found in many books and records of the early church.  The change started with the Passover Sunday being observed once a year, to finally every Sunday, the first day being observed every week by many of the early Christians and even finally enforced by law.

The Bible says in the book of Daniel that the Papacy would “think to change times and laws”  (Daniel 7:25)  I want to discuss some history in this document.   Firstly some documented history and that is the following.

Phileo Judaeus who says that the seven day cycle has never had an interval of 8-9 days but rather a regular interval of seven days which dates back to creation.  This is a quote lunar Sabbath keepers have tried to use to prove their view and that they have historical evidence.  However notice carefully this sentence.

“…the nation of the Jews keeps every seventh day regularly, after each interval of six days, (97) and there is an account of events recorded in the history of the creation of the world, comprising a sufficient relation of the cause of this ordinance; for the sacred historian says, that the world was created in six days, and that on the seventh day God desisted from his works, and began to contemplate what he had so beautifully created.” (Philo Judaeus, The Decalogue, XX, p. 526).

Creation is where this seven day cycle originated.  The cycle does not begin again at each new moon.  Some of the early Christians who made the change, understood well what the Jews were keeping and what it was changed from.

The Sabbath was the end of the first creation(Seventh-day-Saturday), the Lord’s day was the beginning of the second, in which he renewed and restored the old in the same way as he prescribed that they should formerly observe the Sabbath as a memorial of the end of the first things, so we honor the Lord’s day as being the memorial of the new creation(First-day-Sunday)” (Athanasius On Sabbath and Circumcision 3 [A.D. 345]).(Brackets added for clarification)

We also have much documentation of a Pentecost controversy, which would call into question when the 50 day count to Pentecost would start.  The controversy had to do with whether the count would start from the day after the weekly Sabbath which could fall on any day of the month such as the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, etc.  or did the count start on the day after the annual Sabbath, the day after Passover which was always the 15th.

Lunar Sabbath believers have come to believe that the weekly Sabbath always falls on the 15th of the month since the count begins at one on the new moon day.  But if that were true there would never have been a Pentecost controversy in the early church as to when to start the count to Pentecost.

The Pharisees held, that the time between Easter [Passover] and Pentecost should be counted from the second day of the feast; the Sadducees insisted that it should commence with the literal “Sabbath” after the festive day” (Alfred Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, p. 220).
There is much documentation of this controversy taking place even in the time of Christ implying that they definitely could not have been keeping the Lunar Sabbath in the time of Christ, that it did not always fall on the 15th from the new moon, and furthermore, that would imply that Christ was not a Lunar Sabbath Keeper Himself.

Is the Eighth Day A Sabbath?

Josephus documents that the Jews would never pursue aggressive warfare on the Sabbath.   However, on the eighth day he documents that they did and won.  This implies that the eighth day historically was sometimes not a weekly Sabbath, and furthermore, since it isn’t then this would imply that historically the Jews were not keeping the Lunar Sabbath.

“So the Jews went on pursuing the Romans as far as Antipatris; after which, seeing they could not overtake them, they came back, and took the engines, and spoiled the dead bodies, and gathered the prey together which the Romans had left behind them, and came back running and singing to their metropolis; while they had themselves lost a few only, but had slain of the Romans five thousand and three hundred footmen, and three hundred and eighty horsemen. This defeat happened on the eighth day of the month Dius, [Marchesvan,] in the twelfth year of the reign of Nero.” (Josephus, The Wars of the Jews, Book II, Ch. XIX, Sect. 9).

According to Lunar Sabbath believers, this could not have  happened since it would have been a Sabbath if the Lunar Sabbath was the truth.

Dead Sea Scrolls Document that the Weekly Sabbath didn’t Fall on the 1st, 8th,15th, 22nd, and 29th of the month.

The Dead Sea Scrolls

Mishmarot texts or the Priestly Service Texts. “Mishmarot” is a Hebrew term meaning “watches,” and is used in this instance as a reference to the twenty-four watches or “courses” of the Levitical priesthood.

“[On the first {day} in {the week of} Jedaiah {which falls} on the tw]elfth in it {the seventh month}….”

“On the fifth {day} in {the week of} Immer {which falls} on the twe[n]ty-third in the te[nth {month}.”

“On the fou[r]th {day} in {the week of} Jeshua {which falls} [on] the twentieth in the second {month}.”

TONS OF EVIDENCE THAT WEEKLY SABBATH DIDN”T FALL ON THE 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th of the Month

This article is in no way exhaustive, in fact it is barely started, and I have yet to look at the Bible evidence that shows that the weekly Sabbath is not always on dates coinciding with the  New Moon.  But rather the opposite.

I understand that some will hold to a doctrine through thick and thin, often because of pride keeping them from admitting a wrong.   However, our Father is calling for humility in order to enter His kingdom.  His word is all we can trust, and the Lunar Sabbath has led many away from the word.  We need to truly study to show ourselves approved or we may be among those who have been tricked into trampling upon the Sabbath.

Let’s examine any historical evidence that there is.  If it does not hold up to investigation, let us discard it.  Please do not post the unreliable quotes from Max Joseph or quotes from later than 1900 under this post.   And if this doctrine will not stand an investigation.  Let us humble ourselves and confess we have been wrong and turn and accept and honor the truth.   That the weekly cycle has been a continuing unbroken cycle from the creation of the world.   Blessings, DB

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