FRIDAY MORNING MANNA  

Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE- Part XLIX

The Three Sabbaths

There are generally three “sabbaths” over which Judeo-Christianity is still currently divided over. These do not include the ceremonial “new moon sabbaths” which were celebrated monthly, not weekly or yearly as with the seven annual sabbaths under the ceremonial law. The new moon sabbaths were based on a lunar calendar. It’s interesting to note that the Islamic Lunar calendar has 12 months also. Both the sun and the moon are described as “calculating devices” for the people (Quran 2: 189). Thus, they use the sun for determining times of prayer, and their daily activities and in clocks worldwide, the lunar calendar is used to determine the times for Ramadan and Hajj. (see www.ramadan-islam.org/ramqadan/12months.html

The sun, moon, and stars were created on the fourth day of creation. Gen. 1: 14-19. The moon, “the lesser light,” whose muted light is a mere reflection of the light of the sun, was the chief luminary ordained by the Creator “to rule the night” (Gen. 1: 16; Ps. 136: 9) and mark off certain time periods (Gen. 1: 14, 16). The Hebrew calendar, like that of most ancient nations, was based on the repeated circuit of the moon around the earth as marked off by successive new moons (see Month; Year).  In ancient times idolatrous moon worship was practiced almost universally by the peoples of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Palestine. In Babylon prognosticators, such as Nebuchadnezzar’s magicians and astrologers, attempted to predict future events on the basis of lunar phases (Isa. 47: 13, RSV). The “crescents” (RSV) or “round tires like the moon” (KJV) of Isa. 3: 18 were associated with moon worship.

Toward the close of the divided kingdom between the ten northern kingdoms of Israel (under apostate king Ahab and his heathen, wicked wife-queen Jezebel) and the southern tribes collectively called Judah also apostatized and adopted moon worship (2 Kings 21: 5; Jer. 8: 1, 2). Idolatrous priests were appointed to burn incense to the moon. In Job’s time the moon was adored by the kiss of the hand (Job 31: 26, 27). Among the ancient Hebrews the day of the new moon, or the first of the month, was set apart as a day for special worship and feasting (1 Sam. 20: 5). Trumpets were blown to announce the day (Ps. 81: 3; cf. Num. 10: 10).  Ordinary labor was suspended (Amos 8: 5), thus a, sabbath not the Sabbath, and additional sacrifices were prescribed (Num. 28: 11-14). The new moon of the seventh month was the civil New Year’s Day. See Trumpets, Feast of. Source: SDA Bible Dictionary, Commentary Reference Series, Vol. 8, art. “Moon.”  ee also ”Moon Gods and Goddesses” by N.S. Gill, Ancient/Classical History Expert at: ancienthistory.com/of/polytheisticreligions/tp/MoonGods.html.

Like all the other Old Testament types of the Mosaic dispensation that were nailed to the cross, to resume celebrating these ceremonial, shadowy “new moon sabbaths,” which some are currently urging, is adding to the special types of false doctrines adapted to confuse “if possible even the very elect” in these last days.      

I. THE LORD’S DAY (Google search Lord’s Day Alliance)

Charles S. Longacre, in his The Church and Politics, Review & Herald Publishing Asso., then Gen. Secretary, Religious Liberty Association and editor of Liberty, a magazine of religious freedom, published at Washington, D.C., 1927, wrote:

     “The name of the American Sabbath Union was changed to the Lord’s Day Alliance. The former name was a continual reminder that the first day of the week is not ‘the Sabbath of the Lord.’ The object of the Lord’s Day Alliance is to compel all people to observe ‘the first day of the week as a time set apart for rest, worship, religious education, and the service of God.’ p. 21.  Sun-day was referred to in 1888 and onward as “the Christian Sabbath,” “the Lord’s Day, “the American Sabbath, misnomers all of the true creation seventh-day Sabbath. Notice he following:

     “Under the general heading of ‘Atheists,’ recorded in the ‘Proceedings of the National Reform Convention,’ for the adoption of a Christian amendment, deists, Jews and Christians sects who observe the seventh day of the week as holy time instead of Sunday  are all placed in one class as dangerous persons. From these ‘Proceedings’ we quote:

         ‘These all are, for the occasion, and so far as our amendment is concerned, one class. They use the same arguments and the same tactics against us. They must be counted together . . . .The atheist may live . . . but, God helping us, the taint of his destructive creed shall not defile any of the civil institutions of all this fair land! Let us repeat, Atheism and Christianity are contradictory terms. They are incompatible systems. They cannot dwell together on the same continent!’ – pp. 62, 63.

          ‘We want state and religion, and we are going to have it. It shall be that so far as the affairs of state require religion, it shall be religion—the religion of Jesus Christ.’ –Id. p. 60.

     Longacre continues: “If these statements were merely the expressions of some insignificant sect or religious society, we would not deem them worthy of mention in this connection, but the National Reform Association claims it is the official mouthpiece, or agency, speaking for more than a dozen leading and popular Protestant denominations. It is one of the most active ‘reform’ organizations in America. It holds national and international conventions, with the legislative objective of ‘making Christ the civil Governor of all nations,’ and ‘the will of God the supreme authority in civil affairs,’ as the rule of conduct for all men, thus enforcing religious obligations by penal code.

    “Reformer’s Legislative Program. The first legislative program which the national Reform Association attempted to put through Congress was definitely launched in 1888. At that time the American Sabbath Union, later transformed into the Lord’s Day Alliance, claimed to be an auxiliary of the National Reform Association, and functioned for it on the exclusive topic of Sunday legislation. The American Sabbath Union, composed entirely of the same constituent membership as the National Reform Association, framed a compulsory Sunday observance of the ‘Lord’s Day,’ ‘as a day of religious worship,’ and Senator H.W. Blair, of New Hampshire, introduced it at their request in the U.S. Senate, May 21, 1888.

      “Four days later, on May 25, 1888, Senator Blair, at the request of the National Reform Association, introduced a ‘joint resolution proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Respecting Establishments of Religion,’ requiring that all public school children should be ‘in the common branches of knowledge, and in virtue, morality, and the principles of the Christian religion.’ If such an amendment had been enacted, it would have meant the legal establishment of Christianity as the national religion of the U.S.

     “Both the Lord’s Day bill, and the resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution requiring the State to define and to teach ‘the principles of the Christian religion’ failed to pass Congress. So on Dec. 9, 1889, Senator Blair, at the request of both these ‘reform’ organizations, reintroduced both the joint resolution for the proposed ‘Christian amendment,’ as it was then called, and the Lord’s day observance bill, with a few slight changes which did not in the least alter the religious features in the measures. The bills created quite a stir throughout the nation, and hundreds of thousands of protests were sent to Congress by those who believed that this proposed legislation would establish a dangerous legal precedent, and would be followed up by still more intolerant laws resulting in a renewal of the old-time religious persecutions.”- Ibid, pp. 16-18

II. The Jewish Sabbath

In the time of Christ, the Jewish nation was still the preserver of the knowledge and oracles of God. They were the keepers of the law. The seventh-day Sabbath memorial of creation specified in the fourth commandment of the Decalogue, as originally written by the finger of God on two tables of stone, were given to Moses on top of Mt. Sinai to give to Israel for Israel give to the world. But in Christ’s day the religious legalists, who taught that salvation is by the law, added to the fourth commandment of the Decalogue more than 450 Sabbath day restrictions which the Creator had never given nor sanctioned. Jesus Christ totally ignored and even swept aside these man-made prohibitions because they were in direct conflict with the spirit and purpose of the Biblical Sabbath. God intended the Sabbath to be the highest day of the week, a spiritual blessing and continual delight to His people, not a day of gloom loaded down with burdensome and meaningless forms.  This was the reason why the Sabbath was later hated as a “heavy yoke,” and merely intended for the Jews only, not for mankind. The Jews had turned it into a day of mourning while the pagan day of the sun was a day of feasting! The rest is history.

Christ’s 3 ½ -year work of redemption on earth included restoring the Sabbath day to its original purpose and primeval glory. Yet the gospels record this fearful history: Christ showed the Jews the original and true nature of Sabbath keeping, He ignored the legal restraints which Jewish rulers and priests had placed on it. This is what prompted them to take His life. They actually plotted to kill Him on a Sabbath day! Matt. 12: 8-14; Luke 6: 5-11. They finally secured His condemnation of breaking their Sabbath rules and had Him crucified by their hated Roman masters in the prototypical union of church power and state power which will be repeated antitypically in the final enactment and enforcement of the mark of the beast by the beast that begins with two lamb-like horns but turns into one “speaking like a dragon.” Rev. 13: 11-17.

Indeed, the Jewish nation as the chosen people, descending from the loins of Abraham, kept the correct day, the seventh day of the week as “the Sabbath of the Lord thy God” specified in the fourth commandment (not the third in the altered version of the Church of Rome), but they corporately rejected and crucified the Messiah who “was raised from among them,” the very “Lord of the Sabbath!” Matt. 12: 8; Mark 2: 27, 28; Luke 6: 5, 6. Thus: “He came to His own but His own received Him not. But to as many as received Him to them He gave authority to become sons of God.” John 1: 10-12.

III. The Bible Sabbath

Of the Ten, only the fourth commandments begins with “Remember.” All others begin with “Thou shalt not.” Man created in the image of His Creator is commanded to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. In Ezekiel 20: 12, 20 God calls it the “sign between Me and My people.”This day is, like the rest of the days, is 24 hours, a night and a day. The only difference between it and the other six is that during creation week God created the world in six literal days and when finished, He rested from His completed work and blessed, and sanctified (or hallowed) the seventh day as the only weekly memorial day of creation—not His resurrection. This was before the fall of man. All the rests of the monthly and annual sabbaths, feasts, system of sacrifices, earthly priesthood, and ordinances were given as object lessons after the fall of man, all pointing forward to “better things to come” in Christ where type would meet antitype.

The late Samuelle Bacchiocci, Ph.D, associate professor of church history, Andrews University, in an address to the Lord’s Day Alliance said: “The essence of the Christian life is a relationship with God—a relationship that grows and becomes more intimate especially through the experience of worship and service provided by the Sabbath day. Consequently a proper observance of God’s holy day reflects a healthy relationship with God, while disregard for it bespeaks spiritual decline or even death. James P. Wesberry, executive director of the Lord’s Day Alliance, states this truth emphatically in his book When Hell Trembles. He says: ‘The Sabbath…..is heaven’s milestone along the highway of time . . . God has never repealed this law and if we disregard it, we will decay spiritually.’ – Page 33. Bacchiocci continues:

     “Christ inaugurated His public ministry on a Sabbath day in the synagogue of Nazareth by applying to Himself the sabbatical passage of Isaiah 61: 1. Through the words of Isaiah, Jesus said that he had been ‘anointed,’ that is, officially sent, ‘to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives . . . to be set at liberty whose who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ (Luke 4: 18) Practically all commentators agree that the ‘acceptable year of our Lord’ is the sabbatical, or jubilee, year. This was the time when the Sabbath became the liberator of the oppressed of the Hebrew society: the poor could freely gather the produce of the land, the captives were released, the slaves set at liberty. Jesus must have astonished His congregation that Sabbath morning when He affirmed briefly but emphatically: ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’ (verse 21, R.S.V.). In other words, the promises of liberation that the Sabbath contained and proclaimed, now, Christ said, were finding richer fulfillment in His saving ministry.” Archives(https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/)    

      “The Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty, for it is the point of truth especially controverted. When the final test shall be brought to bear upon men, then the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve Him not. While the observance of the false sabbath in compliance with the law of the state, contrary to the fourth commandment, will be an avowal of allegiance to a power that is in opposition to God, the keeping of the true Sabbath, in obedience to God’s law, is an evidence of loyalty to the Creator. While one class, by accepting the sign of submission to earthly powers, receive the mark of the beast, the other choosing the token [symbol, sign] of allegiance to divine authority receive the seal of God.”- E. G. White, Great Controversy, 1911, p. 605.

Now, which day do you keep? How? And Why?

(Continued next week)