Thursday, August 22, 2013

Can Saturday as the 7th Day Sabbath Be Found on Yahweh's Calendar?

“Six Days Shalt Thou Labour…”

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (Exo 20:8-11)

Midnight in the Calendar Wars

This paper is directed specifically to those that are observing, or have returned to observing the Appointed Times or Feast Days of Yahweh, as detailed in the Torah, but at the same time are keeping Saturday on the Gregorian Calendar as the 7th Day Sabbath. Problems that are encountered when following this format are generally out lined in this paper.

In the ongoing study of Yahweh’s Torah, specifically His Calendar and 7th day Sabbath, there are many differing positions. One of the biggest questions raised is this; is the 7th day Sabbath found on the Creator’s Lunar-Solar Calendar, or is it found on the Papal Gregorian Calendar. To put it another way, is the 7th day Sabbath determined by the moon each month, according to the Torah, or is it on Saturday on the popular calendar in use since 1582? There are folks keeping it both ways today. But which one is correct? What happens when you impose Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath on the gregorian calendar, and instead place it within Yahweh’s holy days on His luni-solar calendar?
The purpose of this paper is to address only a couple of aspects of these questions.

The Problems

The Saturday Sabbath

Let’s begin with the first of these anomalies, Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath. Those who adhere to Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath on the Papal Gregorian Calendar generally observe Sabbath from sundown Friday evening until sundown Saturday evening. They believe they are keeping the 7th day of the week as the 7th day Sabbath. But are they?

Since Saturday Sabbath keepers observe their Sabbath by pointing to the roman gregorian calendar for the day, why don’t they observe time by the same calendar? Saturday on the roman gregorian calendar begins, and ends, at midnight; midnight to midnight. Period.

Since most, if not all, Saturday Sabbath keepers begin their Sabbath the night before at sunset Friday, they are actually keeping their Sabbath partially on Friday and partially on Saturday; according to the calendar they are using.

So they, Saturday Sabbath keepers, are not actually keeping Sabbath on the 7th day of the week at all. At least not all of it. They are keeping it partially on the 6th day, or preparation day (of their calendar), and only partially on the 7th day. This according to the calendar they claim they are keeping Sabbath on.

Let’s follow up this thought about part of one day and part of another. Saturday Sabbath keepers, by observing sunset to sunset of the biblical Hebrew day, are actually beginning their “Sabbath” on one calendar, the lunisolar calendar of scripture, and ending their Sabbath on another calendar, the roman gregorian. It is the blending of more than one system, in several ways. But there is a catch here. If the Saturday Sabbath keepers are ending their 7th day Sabbath at sundown Saturday, they are not  keeping the full Saturday Sabbath, which according to the calendar they are using, would not end until midnight Saturday.

We’ll leave this “conumdrum” for now, for you to ponder. If you are observing 7th day Sabbath from sundown Friday until sundown Saturday, are you truly keeping the 7th day sabbath, as Yahweh intended?

The Six Day Work Week Problem: Feasts Days and Saturdays Don’t’ Mix  Observing Yahweh’s Feast Days and the Papal  Saturday

There is a hidden problem here for those folks that are observing and keeping Yahweh’s Holy Days or Feast Days, and at the same time keeping the 7th Day Saturday on the Papal Gregorian Calendar. The problem makes itself known usually twice during the scriptural year; once in the spring during the Days of Unleavened Bread, and again in the fall during the Days of Tabernacles. Most times it happens twice in a year, but sometimes only once. The Torah says “six days shalt thou labour…” but are these adherents in harmony with the scriptures? Lets take a look.

The first problem during the year occurs during the Days of Unleavened Bread. The first day of Unleavened Bread occurs on the 15th day of the biblical month, and is the “chag” or feast described in scripture. Although the 15th day is the only “chag” or feast described in this scenario, there are a total of 7 days that Unleavened Bread is to be consumed. See Leviticus 23 and others pinpointing this “chag” (feast) on the 15th day.

The Feast of Unleavened Bread occurs on the 15th day, and unleavened bread is eaten for 7 days; the 15th through the 21st.

7 Days of Unleavened Bread

The first day of unleavened bread is the 7th day Sabbath. The next 6 days are the six work days of scripture; “Six days shalt thou labour…” The next day following the six work days is the 7th day Sabbath of scripture, the 22nd day of the month. All 7th Day Sabbaths in scripture are found on four (4) specific days; the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th days of the lunar calendar month. With the Days of Unleavened Bread, we find the 7th day Sabbaths, 15th and 22nd, as bookends to the 6 day work week.

Enter the problem. What happens when Saturday, posing as the 7th day Sabbath, falls on one of the 6 work days during the days of unleavened bread? The answer is simple. You no longer have 6 work days in that week.

Days of Unleavened Bread (1st month of biblical year)

This same problem occurs during the Days of Tabernacles in the fall of the biblical year. At times, Saturday falls on the same days as the 15th and the 22nd, so it does not make the case for interrupting the 6 day work week. But it is the exception and not the rule. Most of the time, Saturday will fall on one of the 6 work days during either the Days of Unleavened Bread, or the Days of Tabernacles.

There are several groups observing this arrangement today, that of keeping the Feast Days according to the lunar-solar calendar, and at the same time, observing Saturday, presenting itself as the 7th day Sabbath. They include some Messianic groups, some Church of God groups, Several SDA groups and others. But because they are so large in number, does that make them right. Are they observing scripture to the fullest?

If we are going to follow our Creator fully, we need to put all of His Feast Days, including the 7th Day Sabbath, on the same calendar; the lunar-solar calendar of scripture. Leviticus 23 makes it very clear that the 7th Day Sabbath is the first of these Feasts, or appointed times. The 7th Day Sabbath should not be ripped out of the Leviticus list and placed errantly on the papal gregorian calendar. It is blasphemy of the highest order. Does Saturday then become the “golden calf” of modern Israel?

Paul W Puckett
August 2013

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