WEEKLY SABBATHS DETERMINED BY THE MOON?
by Keith Hunt
I have been with and around Sabbath keepers since the winter
of 1961/62. I have encountered a lot of "different" doctrines
from fundamental Protestants of North America, to Mormons, to
Jehovah Witnesses, to all the differences within the 7th day
keeping Sabbath observers, in all those years.
Recently, in the fall of 2008, I have encountered what I
consider one of the "strangest" and "off the wall" doctrines, and
that is the teaching that the weekly Sabbaths are governed by the
I have a book on the subject, and it is full of "technical"
arguments from the technicality of the "calendar" to ... well all
kinds of "tech" stuff, trying to prove the weekly Sabbath can
move from this day to that day, within the calendar, structured
by the moon.
It never seases to amaze me, that people can sit down and
spend hours upon hours coming up with technical arguments to try
and prove a point that perhaps no one else has ever thought of in
the centuries past.
This particular subject of the weekly Sabbath being governed
by the moon, is really so bazaar a teaching, it hardly warrants
much reply to, and so I will not even try to answer the arguments
put forth from the teachers of this doctrine.
I will give the SIMPLE answer of the truth of the matter.
Before I get to that answer, I will say again (as I've said a
number of times on this Website) that a child can come to the
BASIC truths of the Bible, by reading from cover to cover. I will
say again, that God wants you to KNOW these basic truth doctrines
of His word, and indeed the 4TH COMMANDMENT - the observing of
that Sabbath day, is ONE of those basic truths. The Eternal has
MADE IT VERY easy in the main to KNOW the truth of the weekly
Sabbath commandment! You do not need a degree in "theology"
(probably better to NOT have one) - you do not need to understand
Hebrew or Greek - you do not need to know the technicalities of
the "calendar" issue.
You do need to read your Bible as a child would read it, and
you do need to use some common sense and a realization that
people from the nation of Israel, in particular, the tribe of
Judah, are scattered on the face of the earth, with some no doubt
living in your town or city.
You do not need to bother yourself with the time age BEFORE
Moses and the children of Israel that he led out of Egypt under
the power of God. The time age before Moses, God will take care
of. You do not need to bog yourself down with the technical
arguments these "moon Sabbath" teachers get into, for the age
Let's use some simple logic.
For sure God told Israel under Moses what day the weekly
Sabbath was on, or if the moon was to play a part in figuring out
the weekly Sabbath from month to month, as to what days the
weekly Sabbath was to fall on. So with that simple logic we can
say that for centuries Israel knew this truth. So, after the
division of the nation into the House of Israel and the House of
Judah, Israel fell away and finally God had to deport them out of
their land by the Assyrian power, from 745 B.C. to 718 B.C. The
House of Judah remained faithful to the Lord, for a while. But
even they went astray, and God took them out of their land to
Babylon by the mighty Babylon power. They were there for 70
years. After 70 years some of them came back to Judah/Palestine
under Ezra and Nehemiah. They started to serve and obey God once
more. In fact, because they knew that one of their past sins was
Sabbath breaking, which led to them being punished in captivity
in Babylon, many of them became fanatical Sabbath keepers,
inventing all kinds of rules for Sabbath observance.
From out of the people who came back to Judah under Ezra and
Nehemiah, arose the sects of the Sadducees and Pharisees, and as
time went on some smaller sects like the Essenes. These people
should have been able to know from the past, or from new recent
revelations from God, the correct way to figure when the weekly
Sabbath day should be observed.
So with that in mind, we move down to the time just before
Jesus started His ministry. We had the sects of Sadducees and
Pharisees in existence. They had some "theological" DIFFERENCES -
some we see in the New Testament Gospels and some as recorded by
the Jews in their writings and history. But, can we find ANYWHERE
where those two main sects of Judaism EVER differed on WHEN to
observe the weekly Sabbath - when the actual day of the week was
the weekly Sabbath? NO WE CANNOT FIND THAT THEY DIFFERED ON WHAT
DAY OF THE WEEK TO OBSERVE THE WEEKLY SABBATH!
Now, we move into the time Jesus is preaching and teaching,
for THREE and ONE HALF years in His ministry. When you read
through the Gospels, you will find He CLASHED with the Pharisees
and Sadducees, on "theology" understanding, at times. BUT you
will NEVER FIND where He clashed with them on WHICH DAY was the
weekly Sabbath. He clashed with them on HOW TO OBSERVE the weekly
Sabbath, but HE and those two Judaism sects, DID OBSERVE THE
WEEKLY SABBATH on the SAME DAY!
After the time of Christ, as the NT church was progressing
in the first century A.D. the fact of the New Testament and
Jewish secular history, shows the NT church did NOT DIFFER with the main
body of Judaism on WHICH day to observe the weekly Sabbath. So
from Christ, the apostles, and all the NT church, there is NO
DISPUTE on which day of the week was the weekly Sabbath!
You will also remember that Jesus, in Matthew 23 DID ADMIT
that the Pharisees sat in Moses' seat - which means they did have
SOME authority over some "theological" issues. I go into that
aspect more deeply in my studies concerning the "calendar" topic.
The POINT IS VERY CLEAR from the NT, there was NO ARGUMENT,
NO DIFFERENCE, on the right day to observe the weekly Sabbath,
between Christ, the NT church, and the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Now, all you need to do is a little history reading, say in
the Public Library, or go to the orthodox Jews in your area, and
you will see that todays orthodox (and "reformed") Jews, who
earnestly practice their religion, ARE THE VERY DESCENDANTS in
"theology" from the Pharisees of the first century. Further, if
you can find ANY "Jewish sect" that teaches and practices the
weekly Sabbath governed by the moon, please let me know. If there
is such a group in the world, it will be so small, so un-known,
from the main body of Pharisee descendant Jews, that it truly
will be of no significance in proving anything.
Jesus walked and talked and spent His Sabbaths in the
synagogues of His day. And they were all governed by the Pharisee
sect. It was the Sadducees who administered the Temple service.
The MAIN BODY OF RELIGIOUS JEWS TODAY ARE FROM THE PHARISEE
That is simply the plain truth of the matter.
AND THOSE JEWS, JUST AS THEY DID IN THE FIRST CENTURY, HAVE
ALWAYS OBSERVED THE WEEKLY SABBATH ON THE DAY WE CALL SATURDAY!!
That body of religious Jews GO BACK TO EZRA AND NEHEMIAH, AND
HENCE BACK TO MOSES!
Certainly from the time of Moses, those Jews from the House
of Judah, have NEVER LOST THE WEEKLY CYCLE AND THE CORRECT WEEKLY
DAY TO OBSERVE THE WEEKLY SABBATH ON, FROM WEEK TO WEEK FOR THREE
God has MADE SURE through the main body of religious Jews,
that the CORRECT DAY OF THE WEEK, EACH WEEK, FOR OBSERVING THE
4TH COMMANDMENT, HAS NEVER BEEN LOST!
You can argue over the calendar, the moon, the sun, the ...
whatever you like, but the 4th commandment, the correct day of
each week to observe the Sabbath, is written in STONE, written in
the very lives of the scattered religious Jews, who CAN NEVER BE
WIPED OFF THE FACE OF THIS EARTH, though some have tried to do
so. The JEWS are LIVING WITNESS, that the correct weekly Sabbath
day HAS NEVER BEEN LOST since the days of Moses.
Christ never lost that day, the apostles never lost that
day, the NT church never lost that day, and the Jews never lost
that day. In fact they ALL AGREED on what day of the week was the
7th DAY, week after week, month after month, year after year,
millennium after millennium.
WHEN THE WEEKLY SABBATH, ON WHAT DAY IT IS, HAS BEEN
PRESERVED BY THE RELIGIOUS JEWS, AND THE "CHRISTIAN CHURCH" IN
GENERAL (yes the Roman Catholic church goes back to the first
century A.D.) and all admit the seventh day of the week is
Saturday, that Sunday is the first day of the week, and all
admit, the 4th commandment is about the weekly Sabbath, observing
it. The RC church may say they had authority to CHANGE that day
from the seventh to the first day, but the fact is all of Judaism
and Christianity have, from the time of Christ, preserved the 7
day cycle, and all KNOW on which day of the week Jesus observed
the weekly Sabbath during His three and one half years of
Yes, it is just THAT SIMPLE! Yes, a child can come to
understand it. With Jesus I say, "Thank you Father that you have
hidden these things from the wise and prudent, and have REVEALED
THEM UNTO BABES!"
Amen and Amen!
Written and entered on this Website February 2008