(Waco TX) Questions Answered on Sabbath Observance--part #3
Unpublished (July, August 1958)
Vol. 13 The Symbolic Code Nos. 9, 10
JULY - AUGUST, 1958
QUESTION ANSWERED ON SABBATH OBSERVANCE PART 3
-- DOES LUNAR CALENDAR OR WEEKLY CYCLE GOVERN SABBATH? (CONT.)
-- ONE THOUSAND YEARS SABBATH!
Printed July - August, 1958
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As for a lunar calendar, let us not lose sight of the fact that Moses and the people that he led out of Egypt were all born and raised in Egypt; that they knew of no other than the Egyptian calendar. And what was it? -- History gives the answer in the following paragraphs:
"We know from the Latin writer Censorinus that the first day of the Egyptian calendar year coincided with the rising of Sothis in A.D. 139 and it must therefore have done the same thing 1460 solar years earlier and so on, i.e. in 1321 B.C., 2781 B.C., 4241 B.C., 5701 B.C. etc. ...Egyptologists consequently date the introduction of the calendar to 4241 B.C. or to 2781 B.C. according as they believe the Pyramids to be earlier or later than the latter date. A still higher date, e.g., 5701 B.C., is hardly likely.
"...Twelve nominal months of 30 days each gave 360 days, and the missing 5 days were added on at the end under the name of 'days additional to the year.' The months were grouped into three sets of four, the first four forming the inundation season, the second four the winter or sowing-time and the third four the summer or harvest." -- Encylopedia Britannica, 1950 edition, Vol. 4, pp. 576, 575. Subject: Calendar, -- Egyptian.
While history points out that the Egyptian month consisted of thirty days, Moses reveals in his writings that the Noatic month likewise was thirty days long. (See Gen. 7:11 and 8:3, 4). The only change God made in the Egyptian calendar was: "This month [Abib] shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you." Ex. 12:1, 2.
Since Moses and the people whom he led out knew of no other than the Noatic and Egyptian calendars, and since God corrected only the time in which the year was to begin, He thus revealed that, aside from the time in which the new year was to commence Egypt's measuring time was to be theirs too. He even approved of the Egyptian names of the months as it is seen from the fact that "the month Abib" (Egypt's name of the month), the day it began and the day it ended), was chosen to be their first month of the year (Ex. 12:2; 13:4). Moreover, the Jews also used in their calendar the Medo-Persian or Babylonian months in place of the Hebrew numbers of the months. The Medo-Persian Nisan (Egypt's Abib) the Jews took for their year's first month, Iyar for the second, Sivan for the third, and so on four of which are recorded in the Bible. They are: Abib (Ex. 13:4), Zif (1 Kings 6:1), Ethanim (1 Kings 8:2), Bul (1 Kings 6:38). The Jews could not have used the Egyptian and the Medo-Persian names of the months interchangeably if the months were not parallel with the Hebrew months. Furthermore, we have already seen from history's record, too, that Egypt's week was the same as the Hebrew week. This being so, the Lord said nothing about the week or the month.
Still further, the calendar which the prophets used in both the Old and New Testaments was not lunar, but solar: For example, in Noah's time 150 days equaled five months, 30 days to a month, (Gen. 7:11; 8:3,4). In Daniel 7:25 and 12:7, also in Revelation 12:14, "time times, and the dividing of time," -- three and a half years -- are interpreted in Revelation 12:6, and 13:5 to be 1260 days, or 42 months, thirty days to a month. Heaven's way of measuring time is, therefore, not lunar, but solar.
When God created the moon He appointed it to rule the night (Gen. 1:14-18), not the day. Not the moon alone, therefore, but both the sun and the moon jointly He appointed "for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." Gen. 1:14.
It is in 1 Samuel 20:5, in King Saul's day that the Bible first mentions celebrating new-moon-days and it is perhaps the only Bible statement upon which the lunar-time theorists have based their faith in lunar calendars.
Celebrating a new-moon-day does not prove that the months began with the new moon. Moreover, if they had to celebrate the day on which the month began, then why not cerebrate the day on which the week began, and also the day on which the year began?
Some take 1 Samuel 20:27 as proof that the months began with each new moon, but when one stops and thinks, he discovers that if the months had begun with the celebration of the new-moon-days, then it would have been needless for King Saul to point out that a day after the celebration was the second day of the month; such a statement would indeed have been superfluous if the celebration was invariably followed by the second day of the month. The Scripture, therefore, rather than proving that the months began with a new moon, it proves that they did not, but that it so happened that in that particular year the day after the celebration was the second day of the month. This is what the Scripture actually points out and nothing more.
Bible commentators generally hold that sometime after the Hebrews went out of Egypt they began to use lunar time, but no one knows exactly when and by whom it was commanded. Suppose it is true that the Jews kept lunar time. It is no sign that we should follow their un-Biblical example, for their constant insubordination caused them to do many things which they had no business doing.
Finally, since Moses and the prophets after him are entirely silent about a lunar calendar, then why should we to our own damnation add strange sparks, sparks of our own devising, to the light of God?
"Yea, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine." Job 18:5. "Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of His servant that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow." Isa. 50:10, 11.
Since this is the only light which the Bible sheds on the subject, the lunar calendar theory, therefore, appears to be only conjectural, and not at all Biblical. Consequently, "it is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord" (Lam. 3:26), not to run ahead of Him. We can thus avoid presenting strange fires before Him. Nadab and Abihu were unmindful of God's command not to meddle with His statutes, "and there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them,..." -- Lev. 10:1, 2. "Be not," therefore, "carried about with divers and strange [un-Biblical] doctrines." Heb. 13:9.
Take your hands off the ark of God; the ark is to be supported by only Him Who knows how, when, and by Whom.
And now we come to still another ism, to the illusion of a ONE THOUSAND YEAR SABBATH!
There is no more fantastic a Sabbath theory than that which holds its victims captive in the belief that the Sabbath is 1,000 years long, erecting its wildly fanciful claims upon the bald assumption that the seven days of creation were each a period of 1,000 years! Absurd as the theory is, yet it goes on and on, when but scarcely more than a glance through the record of creation is needed to convince any objective reader that those days of creation were 24 hours long. The record, "And the evening and the morning were the first day" (Gen. 1:5), dissipates any possibility other than that the day was in two parts -- one part dark (night), the other part light (day). And since the same statement, "the evening and the morning," was repeated with each succeeding day of creation, Inspiration thereby definitely certifies that each day in the week of creation was 24 hours long -- twelve hours of night and twelve hours of day (John 11:9).
If these seventh-day Sabbath evaders believe what the Bible teaches, then why do they not ask themselves what "the evening and the morning" would be other than a night and a day -- 24 hours? Would they dare tell us that the night and the day were each 500 years long! If so, then how did vegetation and animal life thrive or even survive 500 years at a time without sunshine and heat, and 500 years at a time without rest from the blazing light and heat of the sun? Moreover, if such were the case then, why is it not such now? Who recreated time and conditions?
As this theory is wholly contrary to Scripture, the Devil has therefore of necessity put his hammer of pseudo science into the hands of this particular class of Sabbath dodgers to help them drive their canopy stakes into falsehood. For he well knows that all evaders of Truth prefer to place greater confidence in so-called learned men than in the Spirit of God Who Himself was present at creation and by Whom "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1:21.
But do these millennium-long-sabbath theorists appeal to no Bible at all in support of their way of reasoning? O, yes! They, too, have their Bible test, and here it is:
"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." 2 Pet. 3:8.
They construe this scripture as proof that where the Bible says a day It means a thousand years, and that therefore each of the seven days of creation were of a thousand years duration, and the complete work of creation seven millenniums long! last of which is supposed to have been the seventh millennium, the Sabbath.
What! Do they mean to say that the Lord was 3,000 years in the heart of the earth instead of three days and three nights (Matt. 12:40)? Evidently according to their logic that is what they must say.
Now let us study this scripture to determine what it actually says and means. Note that it does not say that a day is one thousand years, but rather that a day is "as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day." Plainly, it does not either say or mean that one day is a thousand years long -- no, not any more than it says or means that, conversely, one thousand years are one day long. It in no wise says or means either the one or the other, but is simply illustrating that with eternal God one thousand years are as short a period of time as is one day with us mortals. Why is this illustration used? Because scoffers were to arise saying: "...Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation" (2 Peter 3:4) and still He has not come. Over against this short-sighted reasoning by earth-bound mortals, the Divine comparison in the illustration in question underwrites God's promises as timeless, as immutable, and as sure as God Himself. The great lesson which the illustration teaches is that with Him time does not mean what it does to us mortal men who come and go "as a shadow that passeth away" (Ps. 144:4) and "as a tale that is told." -- (Ps. 90:9).
Inspiration thus reveals that Sabbath-evasion victims who continue in their plight after having been shown the truth of the Sabbath are either unsound or insincere, or both.
The fact is now fully evidenced that Satan has something to suit the taste of everyone who does not himself dig down deep into the wells of salvation, does wickedly and does not believe exactly what the Bible says.