Can God’s law settle this debate?
It has become more and more popular to adopt the moon-sabbaths instead of the continuous weekly sabbath (Friday evening to Sabbath evening). Many have used historical sources for this way of keeping the sabbath, and some have been convinced because of the argumentations used.
«Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth» is a statement credited to Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Using a historical source here and there does not make something a Biblical truth. It does not matter have many believed something in the past or if they had titles or not. Even if they were in majority or minority. Nothing of this can change a lie to truth.
Every day of age has people that go their own way. If we traveled hundred years into the future and wanted to quote someone living today to back up a belief, there would be no problem finding some professors, some religious leader, or anyone who can back up our belief in some way. Humans act the same way now as in the past. If we look for someone defending or keeping a certain practice then, we will most likely find it.
Time does not magically make everyone in the past in agreement. They disagreed as much then, had fractions and groups then as they do now. And those who were wrong in the past, are still wrong today.
That is why we need to let the Bible tell us what the truth is or isn’t in this matter. We have to let the law explain itself. (Isa 8:20). The law is under attack, let it defend itself.
The idea behind the moon-sabbaths is that we should count our way to the sabbath from the new moon, just like we count our way to the Biblical feasts. This means that the weekly sabbath lands on different weekdays every month. If the new moon is on a Wednesday for instance, you are to keep the sabbath on a Tuesday for that entire month only to start counting again from the next new moon and landing on a different day of the week. Inbetween you then get a couple of days that do not belong to any full seven day week cycle.
The origin of starting counting the weekdays from the new moon stretches all the way down to Babylon.
“Counting from the new moon, the Babylonians celebrated every seventh day as a “holy-day”, also called an “evil-day” (meaning “unsuitable” for prohibited activities). On these days officials were prohibited from various activities and common men were forbidden to “make a wish”, and at least the 28th was known as a “rest-day”. On each of them, offerings were made to a different god and goddess, apparently at nightfall to avoid the prohibitions: Marduk and Ishtar on the 7th, Ninlil and Nergal on the 14th, Sin and Shamash on the 21st, and Enki and Mah on the 28th. ..The lunation of 29 or 30 days basically contained three seven-day weeks, and a final week of eight or nine days inclusive, breaking the continuous seven-day cycle.”
(wikipedia/ Pinches, T.G. (1919). “Sabbath (Babylonian)”. In Hastings, James (ed.). Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics. Selbie, John A., contrib. Charles Scribner’s Sons. pp. 889–891)
In ancient times all the different kingdoms played with different ways to measure and organize time. For instance, Egypt tried a ten-day week. It fitted with their solar and moon zodiac. Then you got exactly three weeks in every month and the weekday cycle was not broken within that system. Babylon kept the seven-day week and then added to the last week what remained of the month before the new moon.
Many who keep the moon sabbaths today claim the Jews kept the same practice of counting from the moon-phase as they did in Babylon. And I am sure you will find Jews that continued the Babylonian practice just like you have people that once kept the Saturday sabbath who now are persuaded to keep the moon-sabbath in its place. Or protestants who did not want to be under Papal rule yet still continue to keep the papal instituted Sabbath-Sunday with its holy days.
We know historically that just because you “leave” a church or a kingdom does not mean you won’t still be influenced by them in some way. It is the same situation with some of the jews after the Babylonian captivity. Some Babylonian month names even remain on the Jewish calendar to this day. Some jews in the past kept moon-sabbath while official Judaism and the majority kept the sunset Friday to sunset Saturday sabbath. Today Jews keep this sabbath. Truth is not established by the majority or minority which is why we need to let the Bible reveal if the moon-sabbath is correct or not.
Usually the new moon-sabbath movement differ from the Babylonian way by having four seven-day weeks and then having a couple of days (it changes) between the end of one month and the beginning of the next. The month starts everytime on what they call a new moon sabbath, and then they count to the next sabbath. In this way their sabbath always lands on the 1st day, 15th day, 22nd and 29th day of the moon-month.
The seven days cycle.
According to the Bible, the origin of the seven-day cycle comes from Creation. It is an unusual division because it does not fit perfectly into either the month or the solar year. Therefore the seven-day week has puzzled many researchers up throughout time and many have tried to change it for something they consider “better”.
A month is around 30 days and if you divide 30 days with 7 you get an uneven number. So surface logic would have made a ten-day week, or even a five-day week, more suited. Soviet tried to enforce a five-day week for a period of time and under the Frech revolution, they experimented with the Egyptian ten-day week. All ended up going back to the seven-day week.
This is the first thing we need to note, the moon-cycle and sun-cycle matched together do not give us a continues seven-day-week if they are used to establish the week. If you go either with the past 360 days a year or the 365 days a year, you will never be able to divide it with 7 evenly. This is why when you keep the moon-sabbath it will land on a new weekday every month. The seven-day cycle does not match the moon or the sun cycle or will either go independently of them or have to be broken and restarted.
This brings us to the first thing in the Bible that exposes the concept of the moon-sabbath.
1. Creation, God as our example.
At creation, God placed the moon on the fourth day. But at this point, the weekday count had already started. The starting point or “sign” for the counting to the first sabbath was therefore not the moon but when God said: «Let there be light» (Gen 1:3). The time to count from was from God’s spoken word about the light.
Interestingly enough, in the New Testament «the word» and the «light» are also Christ: «In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was at the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men» (Joh 1:1-4)
So New Testament speaking, the seven-day week started with Christ’s lighting up planet earth. If we do not wish to see it that way, then at least we have to see that the counting to the sabbath started with the light of God or the “word of God”. The concept of Christ being the light is revisited in the book of Revelation: “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof” (Rev 21:23)
The moon is a light that cannot in any way be compared to the light of God.
On the fourth day the moon was created and with the moon, the purpose of the moon. «And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years» (Gen.1:14)
God’s seasonal times, the yearly cycle, the monthly cycle, and His feasts are all established on the fourth day. Counting years was important for the seventh year and the year of jubilee.
From the fourth day, the sign to countdown God’s other times was put in place.
Three days later came the first sabbath, but the first sabbath is according to the law also tied to the six working days. God’s commandment was both to work six days and to rest the seventh. And so there need to be six working days before the sabbath. This again ties the first sabbath to «the word and the light» and not to the moon at all. The moon could not the first week signalize the six working days.
It is important to understand the logic of creation week. God prepares the earth, made it habitable, created food supply and everything needed before creating any creatures, animals, and mankind.
The very first sabbath man had just been created and did not need a rest. But they still had to rest that first sabbath because God had worked on their behalf for six days. God made the sabbath for man but ultimately it is a blessing given to man because of God’s work. So the first Sabbath was man resting with God after all God had done for them the past six days. It mirrors Christ’s salvation for us when we are saved by His works and not our own. The first Sabbath represents a gift and a blessing.
And from the next day started the counting to the next sabbath.
The second sabbath was after man had worked in the Garden for six days, it was their rest for their sake. But never was the sabbath rest for man unconnected to God’s rest. God served the example for man’s rest, and they entered into His rest when they followed the example He had created. This all started with the origin of all life, God Himself. Or if you believe the New Testament, it started with Christ: “These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” (Rev.3:14) The countdown started with Christ bringing light to our planet and starting the work.
The sabbath was before sin, it is unrelated to sin, it was not given because of man’s transgression. Sabbath was given because of our connection to God, the giver of all life. It showed God’s rest after making provision for man’s physical needs, giving him life and companionship.
The fourth day introduced God’s other feasts and seasons. They too originated from God, but God created the moon and the sun to be calendar guides for these times. The sabbath followed the big «light», the seasonal feast followed the «lesser lights». It did not make them lesser important, but the symbolism and their function are different.
So how is this connected to the moon-sabbath theory? Because the whole concept of the sabbath is following Christ’s example (and/or God’s example), and He did not use the moon and so neither should we.
In the ten commandment law, it is argued that keeping the sabbath is really about following God’s example in His honor. And so He had to be an example we could follow. He did not use the moon as a sign for the start of the week. He was the sign.
When Christ rose again on a Sunday, the first day of the week, again “the word and the light” resurrected and started the week count once again, to be followed by us. When Christ rose on a Sunday He mirrored creation week and confirmed the week still started with Sunday as before.
What is the difference between the Sabbath and the feasts?
God’s feasts determined by the new moons were humans celebrating God’s yearly provision of fruit, grain, and other good things. The feasts in the first month were tied to the barley harvest, the feast of Pentecost to the wheat harvest. And the feasts in the seventh month, the fruit harvest. These are seasonal and the different harvests are dependent upon the solar, moon, and rain cycles. If you did not plow, sow and harvest the right times the crops would be destroyed if they even grew. With the feasts as markers of God’s blessings, they would always know the times. The plowing and sowing season started after the Feast of Tabernacles only to be followed by the early rain. The latter rain came in the first month maturing the crops for harvest to the feast of Unleavened Bread. Because God’s feasts are harvest feasts they have to follow the seasons. This is not the case with the weekly Sabbath, its purpose is different and it is tied to something else.
The sabbath-day pointed back to God and the beginning of creation and was to witness God’s rest from His work FOR us. It pointed back to that first day after creating man, where God and man fellowshipped and bonded over His gifts to mankind. He then made the day a memorial so that man would never forget: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made” (Gen.2:3) Man was forever to be reminded that although they work and deserve rest, the greater work in their behalf was and still is done by God. It was to create an unbreakable bond between man and God: “And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God” (Eze 20:20).
Sabbath is an ongoing cycle since creation, God’s people following in God’s footsteps, preserved by God and His chosen people throughout time, to point back to «the word and the light». The start of everything. It is not a yearly or monthly event, like the other feasts, it is a weekly event. It is not tied to the seasons or harvests. It does not need a sign from the seasonal times to be kept. If it did, it would take away the Sabbath from its greater “light”, its example, and its function as a witness. The purpose of the Sabbath is gone if it points back to the moon rather than back to God’s light. The cycle that points to the Creator is broken, and the honor is then given to the “lesser light” as the starting point of Creation. Even worse, the moon has no light in itself. It is lighted by the sun shining upon it. And so the moon-sabbaths is really a “sun-sabbath”. Rather than pointing to God’s light at the beginning of Creation, it is pointing to the moment the sun can be seen lighting up the moon at the new moon. And so the sabbath cycle is no longer following God’s example, the bond is broken. And the glory and witness of God is then given to the sun. And in this sabbath observance, we follow the sun as the start of all things and not God.
God’s real sabbath points back to God.
The reason the seventh day can not be divided evenly within a solar year was that they were never meant to. While God’s feasts are always a yearly match. On the first week of creation, they did not match either, as the sabbath cycle and the moon phase started at different times.
When we start counting to seven from the day after new moon we are monthly forced to break God’s cycle. This brings us to the next problem with the moon-weekly sabbath.
2. Forced to break the Sabbath once every month.
God’s law is clear: «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» (Exo 20:8-10)
If we count to the sabbath from the new moon we have to break God’s law at least once every month. In the law God let us know that there is a continuously seventh day and a continuous six days before it. When keeping a moon-weekly sabbath you will have four sabbaths and then a short week with added days. So there will always be a week where you do not work six days or where you do not keep «the seventh day». Because every month starts with a sabbath the principle of working before sabbath is lost every time a new month starts.
The moon phase takes 27.3 days to orbit the earth but 29,5 days to change from the new moon to the next new moon (you have the same problem if you follow full moon to full moon which is also something some groups do).
So a workless first sabbath + four seven day weeks makes 29 days:
7 +123456 7 + 123456 7 + 123456 7 + 123456 7 = 29 days.
That leaves you with extra time every month. If you ignore it, you will disrupt both the moon cycle and the yearly cycle. If you do not you will disrupt the seven day week.
This is why the moon-sabbath is rarly on the same day from one month to the other.
This means following the moon-sabbath is an attack on God’s fourth commandment.
This commandment does not refer to the moon as the origin to count to the day, but to God’s «light and word». The law tells us there will always be six days and a seventh, for if there is not you can not keep the law at all times. There is no permission given in the law to remove or add to the six days to get to the Sabbath or to break the cycle once a month.
So the conclusion is if you keep the moon-weekly sabbath you never keep the seventh day or the workweek, consistently. “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to it…” This is exactly the case, the moon-sabbath is a rejection not only of God’s command, the possibility of keeping it consistently but also of God’s example given as reasoning to keep it. And as mentioned, it will no longer point back to creation and God as the light.
Feast of Weeks: A law protecting the Sabbath day.
The feast of weeks is the only feast that has a similarity to the weekly sabbath in how it is counted towards. All the other feasts of God are on the exact same date every year. Passover is every year on the 14th of the 1st month. Feast of Trumpets is always on the 1st day of the seventh month. Yom Kippur is always the 10th day of the 10th month. The Feast of Tabernacle is always on the 15th day of the 7th month. They never change because they and God’s month are tied to the moon cycle.
Many feel God’s feasts move around in time but that is just because we compare them to the modern calendar. The Biblical calendar and the modern Gregorian do not match and so we get confused when figuring out the dates for God’s times if we use the Gregorian. God’s times would be very easy if only the Biblical system was followed.
In the Biblical calendar, the feasts never change their dates except two connecting feasts. These are the feasts of Firstfruits that are bonded with Pentecost, also called the feast of weeks. The word “Pentecost” is greek for the 50th. Perhaps God did something different with these connecting feasts to protect the weekly sabbath from theories such as the moon-weekly sabbaths.
Interestingly enough this feast that changes dates is the one you count using the number 7. God’s number 7 is consistent in many of the feasts, for instance, you count to seven twice to get to Passover. But God tells us to count to 14. Then you count another seven for the duration of the feast of unleavened bread. Then you count seven months. In the seventh month, you first count to 10, then to 5 and then to 7, and then 1. However, all these dates are fixed dates. It does not matter if you count or not, as long as you know when the month starts then you know the date.
But with the feast of firstfruits, you do not know (I am using the Karaite method here, not the rabbinical, as the Karaite is the only one that fits the law in the Bible). This feast lands on the first day of the week within the week of Passover/unleavened bread. And then you have to count past 7 sabbaths to get to the 50th day which is Pentecost. God does not tell us to count from the moon, but from the first day after the sabbath. And so these feasts are counted to by using the sabbath rotation. In this way, the feast clings itself, beginning to end, to God’s continuous sabbath cycle. So the feast depends on the sabbath, but the sabbath is also confirmed through the feast.
First fruit and Pentecost are similarly tied in a bond as Sabbath is tied to «the word and the light». One is linked to the other.
Now the fascinating thing about these feasts is that they have to land on a specific day and not a specific date, just like the weekly sabbath. “And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath …Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath” (Lev.23:15-16) So both have to end on the weekday “the morrow after the sabbath”.
And so according to the Bible, both of them have to land on a Sunday morning. Those who keep moon-feast will say it can land on any day of the week as long as it is a sabbath tied to the new moon. But I will explain why that is impossible. Why did God give specific dates on all other feasts except the Feast of Weeks? I think God did this in His law to have a witness protecting His weekly sabbath, which followed a similar pattern. For God said in the law that the morning would be the 50th day after the Feast of First Fruits. But He also said 7 sabbaths would pass before getting to that 50th day. Now, remember the moon cycle, it does not fit evenly with 7. The feast of weeks, however, does fit evenly with a sabbath cycle that goes independent of the moon cycle.
If you keep a moon-weekly sabbath it is impossible to have both 7 sabbaths and landing on the 50th day after the last of those 7 at the same time. Do the math, it will never add up with the moon-weekly sabbath. It is impossible to get the morning the 50th day after 7 sabbaths unless you use the continuous workweek and sabbath.
If you keep the Friday-Saturday sabbath you will get exactly 7 of those sabbaths if you count from the morning after one sabbath and to the morning after the seventh, the 50th day will be the Feast of Pentecost. A perfect match.
And so in God’s law, God exposes that the sabbath cycle does not follow the moon phase. He exposes this by having one feast that follows the sabbath cycle. It is like the sabbath “bodyguard”. Those who keep the moon-weekly sabbath then have to divide the 7 sabbaths from the 50 days. And they will then claim that you only have to follow one of them and never both at the same time. The last theory presented by this group is that you first count seven sabbats and then you start counting 50 days which then places the feast in the middle of summer. They have no other option but to divide the two from each other. But God has other times that again protect the principle of the Feast of Weeks. And so the Feast of Weeks protects the sabbath, but another event protects the concept of the feast of weeks. I will show which one, but first, let us explore the reason why the feast of weeks was chosen to protect the sabbath cycle from becoming moon-weekly sabbaths.
Not only do you not keep God’s fourth commandment when you fail to have a continous a six-day week and a seventh-day sabbath, but you can never follow the command to keep Pentecost as the law instructs either.
This has a lot of irony in it. For both, the feast of Firstfruits and Pentecost are connected to Christ’s resurrection and the outpouring of His Spirit upon His people. Christ rose on the Feast of First Fruits and gave the outpouring of the spirit on the connecting feast on the 50th day. Peter said about this outpouring: «And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him» (Act.5:32). Jesus was the originator of this claim: «If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth» (Joh 14:15-17)
So the very feast day that is a celebration of God giving the Holy Spirit is given on condition of obedience, and it is impossible to keep it without respecting God’s sabbath correctly. You do not get correctly to «Pentecost» or «the outpouring of the spirit» with the moon-weekly sabbath. You have to choose between either counting to 50 or counting 7 moon-sabbaths or do them after each other. Then you will end up with a different date.
And so the Feast of first fruits and the feast of Pentecost, when following the continuous Sabbath lands on Sunday, and it confirms and establishes the Friday-Saturday continuously sabbath cycle. Why did God make Christ’s resurrection and the Feast of Pentecost land on Sunday and not the Sabbath? This is like asking why God did not make the Sabbath to land on the first day of Creation. The Sabbath is tied to the end of a workweek. God’s work for us, not the start of the week. Christ resurrected on Sunday perfectly mirrors Creation. When Christ was in the grave there was spiritual darkness, just like the earth was dark. He who formed everything on the earth had been killed by His own creation. The light that once shined was put out. The word was buried. Then on the first day of the week, the “light” came back to us, “the word” resurrected. When God commanded Christ out of the tomb, it mirrored that first day of Creation when the light came to this world to form it. The beginning of Creation, life, came with it. Light shined in the darkness. And by Christ’s resurrection comes the promise of our resurrection and life. The start of creation and the resurrection happened on the same day. Both brought the light and life forth. But this did not make that day the sabbath, it made it the beginning. Just like the first day of creation was not a sabbath, neither was the first day of resurrection.
If you think you can, as many do, pick between seven sabbaths or fifty days, God has another witness. Firstly the law says the morrow after the seventh sabbath IS the 50th day: “Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days” (Lev 23:16) Still many think they can be divided. However, God has more chosen times counted with the number seven that force the fifty together with the seven.
The feast of Weeks (Pentecost) is also mirrored in God’s year of Jubilee. Just like Pentecost, the year of Jubilee came after counting to 50. One counting years, the other counting days. Pentecost has 7 sabbaths before its feast and the year of Jubilee has 7 years of release before its year.
In addition to the weekly sabbath and yearly feasts, God had set aside every 7th year as well. This 7th-year cycle was to give the earth and soil rest, and the poor would be given access to everything that was growing naturally. (Exo.23:10-11; Lev 25:4-7). But it was also a time for release: «At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’S release» (Deu 15:1-2).
So the release happened at the end of the seventh year and they could start their life over the eighth year. The seventh year was a year of rest also for the slaves and their freedom and new life came at the end of it not beginning. Most likely because God wanted to give them rest before starting their new lives. I am sure you see the parallel of the end and the beginning principle. Notice how the seven years cycle is mirroring the seven days cycle. Then to do your first rest, then start afresh. Christ was in the tomb the sabbath day and started a new era on the first day, giving the first work assignments on this day.
On the fiftieth year, after seven such sabbath-year cycles, every man was to be given back his land, to be realized from his bonds.
«And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.
Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family» (Lev.25:8-10)
Again the pattern is the same as with the sabbath, this is a continuous rotation that can not be broken or you will not have seven sabbat-years adding up in the following 50th year. And the Feast of Weeks explains that the filthiest should come in after the 49, and the Jubilee explains that the feast of weeks had both 7 sabbaths and 50 days. And the Feast of Weeks protects the Sabbath and proclaims they can’t follow the new moons. The law backs up itself, the law explains itself, the law protects itself from falsehood.
And so the weekly sabbath, the feast of the seven weeks, the seven years are all going in rotation, for if broken the principle does not work.
The difference and similarity between the feasts and the sabbath
The law tells us to keep the Sabbath because of God’s example. He says: «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…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 20:8-10 & 11).
So God tells us to follow His example, He did it the first week and we took part in His rest even though man had not worked the six first days. And then we continue the cycle. He says “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD” and so God not using the moon makes any sabbath using the moon not “His sabbath” The command reveals it perfectly. If God used the moon (the sun gives the moon its light) as a sign of when to start working and subsequently rest, the sun would be God’s lawgiver. The sun would be God’s guide. That is placing the sun as a ruler over God. When God in the command says it is His day brought as rest because of His work, Him being the beginning of everything, His sabbath can not be determined by the moon/sun.
The feasts are different in the way that they cycle different events. The Bible does not tell much about them before they are introduced in Egypt. On the other hand, the Bible is quiet in regards to the weekly sabbath from creation and until they have left Egypt. It does not mean they weren’t kept, it just means we are not told about how they were kept. All we know is that God ordained them at creation. Both the feasts and the sabbath were later connected to their release from Egypt (Deu.5:15). And so when God sanctified the sabbath we also learn about the feasts, and when the Bible is silent on the sabbath it is also silent about the feasts. And then after Creation, the feast is addressed before the sabbath is. In the same way, the seasonal feast is mentioned in creation before the sabbath is, as one is mentioned on the fourth day of creation and the other on the seventh day. And when they are both spoken off again, they are both tied to something new. In the beginning, they were tied to the seasons and weekly rest, to God’s work, and the giver of earthly blessings. Now when they are again mentioned they are tied to our redemption, our atonement, and then later the priestly service.
The two are connected in the way that the reason for the blessings God gives (after sin) is now tied to our need for an atonement, a priest to represent us. At first, mankind enjoyed God’s times as people without sin, blessed by God. After sin, the same blessings and even sabbath peace could only be given us through the blood of the sacrifice and because of the priestly service.
And this is why God’s times and even Sabbath contained sacrifices and rituals when the Bible speaks of them again after Creation. What was once ours are only now ours through the blood of the substitute. That which was given Adam without cost, His peace, rest, and prosperity, could no longer be given freely. A price had to be paid, the blood of the substitute.
Before Christ came and died, God illustrated this point through the sacrificial system. But after Christ died and was resurrected for us, we get these blessings through Christ. The same blessings. The same Sabbath rest as before sin, the same feasts as before sin, only now through Christ. And in the sabbath and the feasts are two different blessings.
The sabbath blessing:
The sabbath blessing is a communion with God, a renewal of His Spirit and His word to us. Every sabbath in the Tabernacle service the priest would sacrifice but he would also change the showbread. Again the symbolism is tied to Christ being our sacrifice, but also both the bread and the word. On the weekly sabbath, God blesses His people especially spiritually. He increases our knowledge of Him. He feeds us something else than bread. Like Jesus said: «It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God» (Mat.4:4 ). We can only keep Sabbath properly today through the atoning blood of Christ, through sacrifice. It is not possible to get the Sabbath blessing, communion with God, without “sacrifice”. Although this was not the case in the beginning before sin, it is the case after sin. We are only granted the gift of God’s rest through Christ’s work for us, through the blood. This is why the sabbath and also the feasts, when mentioned again in the Bible, were now connected to the sacrifices. It is the same blessings, only now they are offered to us through “sacrifice”. The sacrifical laws were added to God’s blessings and holy gatherings to make them possible.
The feast blessings:
The feast points to the different harvests. As already mentioned, the first-month feast is the barley harvest, the feast of Pentecost is the wheat harvest and the feasts in the seventh month is a feast of gratitude from all the fruit harvests. And then after this month, the cycle continues again with plowing and sowing which would result in another harvest the next first month. These feasts are tied to the physical bread, God’s provision for the human family. “And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end” (Exo 34:22) Sending rain in its seasons, sun, and protecting the land from insects destroying the crops. The feasts represents God blessing the earth, giving us our daily needs to stay alive and be healthy.
«The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season» (Deu 28:12)
“That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.
And I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle, that thou mayest eat and be full” (Deu 11:14-15).
When Adam and Eve sinned they lost the right to live, but God made the first sacrifice and clothed them. He provided for their daily bread outside Eden. However, we must understand that God’s continuous care to keep man alive was now completly dependent on atonement.
In Deuteronomy, we learn more about the blessing and the curse. Here we learn that the condition for God to bless their land, their crops, their farm animals, and everything else they needed, depended on them keeping God’s law. If they did not “then the LORD’S wrath be kindled against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain, and that the land yield not her fruit” (Deut.11:17)
God said that everything depended upon our obedience. But God’s people were sinners, we all are. So either God would have to abandon us or He had to come up with a solution. The only way God could continue to bless as before was through the atoning blood. Sin had to be atoned if God was to bless. This lead to the introduction of the sacrificial system on the feast days. The feast days representing the blessings and the sacrifice represented the only way God could continue to give them these blessings. It all symbolized Christ’s atonement and that all our blessings after sin is given through His sacrifice.
It is because of His death for mankind, we still have rain to grow our food, to sow, and harvest. Everything the feasts represent is now connected to the “blood”.
In this way, the feasts are about two things, God’s provision through His son’s blood. And they are celebrated together in a union. The same happened to the weekly Sabbath. On the first sabbaths before sin, there was no sacrifice. The Sabbath after sin had its sacrifices. This did not turn the Sabbath or the harvest feast into sacrificial laws rather it was the other way around. They were not sacrificial laws, rather the sacrificial laws were given in order for us to continue having the blessings they represented from Creation. If we do not understand these principles, we will drift away from God’s law.
The sabbath is now forever tied to the sacrifice, for without the atonement of Christ we would lose our communion with God, our sabbath blessings. Even sabbaths in heaven will be a blessing because of the blood. There will never be another sabbath day or feasts of the Lord’s provision that is not sprinkled with the blood of Christ. And so this is why the harvest feasts of the Lord were full of sacrifices in both the Old Testament and the New. The feast of unleavened bread had the blood of Christ, the feast of Pentecost when Christ outpoured His spirit was also sprinkled with the blood of Christ. The day of atonement, the feast of tabernacles, any of God’s feasts after the cross, are all sprinkled with the blood of Christ to continue to exist with its needed blessings. And I mean symbolically speaking of course. It is why we still have bread on our table.
Neither blessings were removed when Christ died, they were established and made possible to us through His death. For God’s times are tied to blessings, our spiritual bread, and our physical bread.
God’s enemy wants to take away from us this blessing claiming the blood annuls what it’s meant to protect. He wants to separate the blood from the blessings. But if we have the blessings we do not need the blood. And if we have the blood but not the blessings, the blood is given in vain. It is not for man to separate what God has united. This is how the feasts and the sabbath follow the same law. The law of the blood. These are their similarities.
In the book of Revelation, we see plagues coming over the people on earth. All of these are consequences mention in the law, curses, for rejecting God’s law. (To see the references read this article: https://thirdangelsmessage.com/wordpress/the-ark-the-plagues-the-curse-and-the-sunday-law/ ) If the plagues are poured over the earth it means that the inhabitants on earth have rejected the law and the blood. Their resources and protection are removed from them. God no longer can sustain them (Heb.10:29).
God has separated the sabbath from the yearly feasts, as they serve two different purposes. If we do as the moon-weekly sabbath followers, we blend the two together and reduce the sabbath meaning and the witness God has placed in the sabbath day. Not just the witness but also the special blessing only connected to the weekly sabbath.
Did God encourage Israel to break the Sabbath?
Not only does the feast of Pentecost, the feast of weeks, reveal the true sabbath day to be Friday/Saturday, the exodus also gives us a clue.
When many think God first introduced the sabbath He said the very first week that it was kept: «And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?» (Exo.16:28)
Either God is extremely impatient and makes such a statement the first sabbath, or it was not the first sabbath at all. They had to have kept the sabbath before in order for God to make this statement. The reason behind the statement was the giving of Manna. God said He would let it rain for six days and nothing on the Sabbath to teach them to respect His sabbath. Still, people went out to look for manna on the first sabbath after manna was given.
God made the sabbath day «holy» from creation, which means it was holy before this week of manna. God would not have them work that day or carry any burdens.
However, according to the moon-weekly sabbath followers, the sabbath landed on the 15th of the first month that year. (Because they believe the first day is a Sabbath, the Sabbath will always land on the 8th day and the 15th).
This means that the day they carried all their heavy luggage, gold, animals, and many possessions with them was a Sabbath day. It means God had them walk day and night on the sabbath day. Now if God commanded them to disrespect and break the sabbath during the exodus, his statement a little later when some went to gather manna on the sabbath would have been strange indeed. First He commands them to break it in such a big way and then He is furious because some pick manna on the sabbath the following weeks.
It does not make sense because God is not inconsistent. The sabbath was already law as God told Moses before Sinai. It was already holy. The breaking of the law is a sin. God does not tell people to sin.
It says Israel left Egypt on the 15th of the first month and then they walked at least a day and a night if not more when they were told to make their first camp. This happened before they came to the Red Sea. «And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness» (Exo 13:20)
So if God was teaching them to keep His Sabbath and respecting His own law the day they camped in Etham had to be the sabbath or the next place they camped. Most likely the sabbath was at the camp in Etham because when they leave there they are fleeing for the first time with the Egyptian army after them. Christ himself lead them and His principle is for no one to have to flee on the sabbath day (Mat.24:20). So by using God’s own law and Christ’s own principle their sabbath could not be while they were moving and not when they were fleeing. Leaving only the camp at Etham or the camp after they crossed the Red Sea as the first sabbath since before they left Egypt.
Again «to the law and to the testimony», the law reveals that the day they left Egypt could not have been the sabbath day. Instead, it was a feast day, a day celebrating their release and God’s provision.
If the day they left Egypt was NOT a sabbath day, then the moon-feasts fall apart completely. For if you count to the weekly sabbath from the first new moon, it has to land on the day they carried all their things and started their long walk to their first campsite. If the moon sabbaths are correct, God told Israel to break the law of the sabbath. In this way, the moon-weekly sabbath cycle is exposed by the law itself.
Did this convince you?
Will this article help someone you know who keeps the moon-weekly sabbath?
Most likely not. But never lose hope in anyone. When you have left the truth and the light, and the law, to keep a lie, you are enshrouded in darkness thicker than anyone who has yet to see the light. For every step taken away from «the light» is hardening of the heart to the truth. It is rejecting every attempt the Spirit has done at that point to convince them otherwise. When we approach someone like that, where the holy spirit has not been successful, we should not flatter ourselves we can reach them by “an argumentative” approach. We have to wait until they are open to the word of the spirit and until they are tired of “the darkness” they are in. We can pray for them. Only a few will walk out of the darkness, and most likely it is the ones who never had peace in the decition they made, who never silenced the whisper of the Holy Spirit. Or if they lacked knowledge at the time when they made their decition. Remember no one is open to the truth if they do not see God’s love in it. If they work to save themselves, they have lost sight of God’s love. Many struggles with understanding the concept of law and mercy. But we must never separate the blood from the laws.
Many feel condemned and have daily struggles trying to please God. Such will never have rest from their burdens. Christ said the burden, that we are to follow, is easy. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mat 11:28-30) Often we struggle because we do not understand. If God’s law is a burden, we might not understand the purpose of it correctly. For all of God’s laws were created to take care of us, to our benefit, to give us blessings, not to make us into slaves trying to please an easily angry master with a whip.
The sad situation is that once you have defended false teaching and felt superior doing so, it is very hard to go back and admit fault. So is the case with many moon-weekly sabbath keepers. They will reject any evidence that does not speak in their favor and continue as before. But you do not have to follow their lead. And so this article was first written to those who are confused by their many words and their use of scripture with their added assumptions.
God’s enemy wants you to think it is too hard for you to respect God’s law. With the confusion around the moon-weekly sabbath’s people have been lead to believe that it’s hard just knowing how to keep the law. Some become so confused by the two different directions that they think it is not possible to know when the real sabbath is. And if it’s not possible to know for sure, then surely you can not be held responsible for breaking it?
But the law itself defends itself. Whenever there is deception regarding one law, the law has another law that will defend it from the attack. Such as how the Week of feasts defends the weekly sabbath. And because of that God still holds us accountable, for the truth is not hidden. It is people that hide God’s clear spoken word with assumptions and ideas. They twist scripture to make it fit their agenda. Those who are unlearned follow them. When we understand the reason behind both the Sabbath and the feasts, we will see a bigger picture.
Many preach God’s law as commands that if not followed, we perish. And so they keep the “letter” and do not keep it in “spirit”. For the law was not given to make our lives difficult or as a threat against us. These laws are meant to help us, protect us, and guide us. To bless us. And the bloodshed is just to witness the price God paid to do all these things for us. We don’t keep the sabbath to be saved. We keep the sabbath because God saved us. We do not keep the sabbath to atone for our sins, we keep the sabbath because God atoned for our sins. If we are among those keeping the feast it is the same principle. Do not keep the feasts in some attempt to be saved by it. They witness that God’s blessings on earth, to feed and clothe you, are done through Christ’s sacrifice. It is a gift. It was a gift in the beginning before sin and it is a gift now.
The sabbath was not made for the sacrificial law, the sacrificial law was made to give us the sabbath back. It was made to witness the price God pays to continue to give us according to our needs. If we turn it around and make it about us trying to fulfill God’s needs, we are deceiving ourselves and missed the whole point.
God’s sabbath is not a secret, it is a miracle. Not only did God create the week, but He has preserved it for 6000 years spite humans’ attack on it by many different concepts. The Bible witness, and Revelation, that He has always had a people who has preserved it for Him. Truly, keeping the sabbath is having faith in God. Walking in His footsteps, from that first day of creation and from that first day of resurrection, counting to seven and resting with God every seventh day from that day. Bonding with God through the sacrifice and blood of Christ.
God’s week always starts with Christ’s work for us and ends in His rest. Even the fulfillment of the seven feasts. Christ works for us as our High Priest and in the seventh-month prophecy of His release, He gives us peace. That is why the trumpet of release in the fiftieth year was to sound in the seventh month and not the first. That is why the cleansing of the sanctuary happened in the seventh month and not the first.
That is how all of our weeks should be like. We start with Christ and work with Him and then continue with him to the last day where we commune and rest with Him on the sabbath. Then we are followers of Christ, we follow His example and lead.
The temptation many have to make the first day of the week, Sunday, holy because of its special beginnings, is not following Christ. We can not switch the seventh day with the first without destroying God’s system.
The cross did not abolish God’s times, it gave them to us without condemnation. It gave back to us what sin had taken from us. God’s blessings.