How Healthy is Adventist Eschatology? A Missiological Imbalance (Part 6)


#121

Carol,

Sure, I’d like to follow up…


(Sirje) #122

@Nymous
You certainly are accommodating. A couple of decades ago it was rumoured that the calendar was about to be changed, making Monday the first day of the week. Panic ensued briefly. Then there’s the kerfuffle in the Pacific when they zig-zagged the date line.

The official story is that someone has been counting by sevens since creation week; and we are keeping the same exact day in a series of sevens as did Adam and Eve, except there’s no mention of the Sabbath in the entire book of Genesis - not even by God. The reason this is a big deal is that the entire end time scenario the church puts out is about keeping the right day numbered seven. The entire Protestant world is “wandering after the BEAST” who tricked them into worshipping on the wrong day.

Since the camel venders didn’t give out calendars back then, the only things that moved, in regular intervals above their tents, was the sun and the moon. That is how everybody kept up with the passage of time; and the new month with day #1 started when they saw the sliver of the moon again. Makes sense to me.


(Steve Mga) #123

Sirje –
It is my understanding that they had “watchers” around Israel in the very olden days.
Probably most of them were self appointed. Each would have a pile of material to light.
The FIRST ONE to see the moon sliver would light his fire, blow a horn [animal horns
are VERY LOUD, VERY SHRILL] and the other “watchers” would then do the same.
Light their fire on their hill, blow their horns. And the message spread all over Israel
this way.
The New Month has begun!


(George Davidovich) #124

As long as we observe what the entire world knows as the 7th day of the week, which is also called Saturday, Sábado, Sabato, Sabatton, Samstag, Etc. we are obeying the original blueprint as you call it. Now if I decided that because it is inconvenient for my job to observe it as a holy day of rest I will just switch churches to a more "understanding" church that opens its doors on Sunday (or any other day), or similarly, if I make excuses for myself as to why the original commandment does not count anymore then I am openly violating or disobeying - regardless of which exact 24-hour cycle we are on.

Now, can anyone actually confirm that the actual Sabbath that just started here on the East Coast is the exact same unbroken day sequence when God first rested (save for the difference in time)? I think it is not implausible, I think we can track it with Scriptures back to the Exodus.


#125

Are you talking about tracking the exact day back to Exodus?


(George Davidovich) #126

Steve,
Just want to ensure we are not being to broad about these definitions: In the verses I presented God COMMANDED the people to keep the Ten commandments written in stone tablets, which of course inclued the 4th, but the ceremonials laws were “taught” to them by Moses, not God.


(George Davidovich) #127

Not that accommodating…God judges our hearts right? (1 Sa. 16:7) Based on our knowledge, we can’t possibly be responsible for the things we can’t possibly know or learn about, only for those we can; which brings out your potential scenario of moving the week forward one day, we would then “know”. Tough scenario, would God test his people like that? Only He knows, but keep in mind we would still have the choice of observing no day of the week, and also not only a new 7th day but a new 6th day as observed by Muslims, and a new 1st day, as observed by Catholics. I think this is a more important choice.


(George Davidovich) #128

If you are asking me whether we can count the number of revolutions of the Earth around its own axis since then, I would not know, but if you ask me we can ascertain that the Sabbath that was observed during the Exodus was an uninterrupted weekly sequence of sevens I would say yes.


(Sirje) #129

So, This Godless world determines which day is holy for the people of God?

The point is, the “entire world” does not know that Saturday is the seventh day of the week. Jews have been practicing both sides for centuries. They use the Jewish calendar for their feasts, but the Gregorian calendar for daily business.

@niteguy2

Psalm 81:3 describes how the trumpet was to be blown at the time of the “new moon,” and also at the full moon. Yes, the new month began when the first sliver of the moon was seen. This was communicated to the high priest who declared it official. That precipitated day #1 of a new month. It was also a (new moon) Sabbath (Lev.23:24-39), followed by Sabbath on the 8th, 15th (full moon), 22nd, 29th.

So who cares. As you have said, we have a calendar today that is followed today, and it has a 7th day at the end of each week, so that’s the Sabbath. That 7th day was arbitrarily determined on the Gregorian calendar. It is not the Sabbath Moses brought down from the mountain. So the question is - what is HOLY about the Sabbath - any 7th day, no matter when you begin counting; the rest every 7th day, no matter when you start counting; the hours of the 7th day beginning the night before, or the hours as calculated by a clock today? Why start at sundown the night before rather than at midnight as the modern calendar assumes? The answer might lie in the fact that the Egyptians used the sun to tell time; and the Israelites were to use the moon. No Sabbath keeping for the slaves in Egypt, or any where before Moses came down from the mountain.This gets complicated if you’re trying to obey the letter of the law.

The problem gets worse when you then label those who go to church on the first day of the Gregorian calendar, rather then the seventh - and you base your entire interpretation of the scriptures on this one day as we do. This obsession then excludes the point of it all - REST. The old covenant (deal) was made with Israel; the second (new covenant) was made at the cross. This made the covenant whose requirements were hewn in stone, obsolete as they were written, since they are now written in the heart of believers. (Hebrews 9-ff) - not by memory verses from Exodus and Deuteronomy; but from experience at the cross.

When we “witness” the cross, we ask - “How then shall I live?” To answer that, do we go back to chiseled stones, or do we follow our heart? The letter of the law is cold, but efficiently legal; the heart needs more nuanced attention to the Holy Spirit.


(George Davidovich) #130

There is a lot to consider in your post, I don’t want to misstate what you are trying to say but if I am reading your position correctly, you point is: since we can’t tell for sure which is the 7th day of the week, or when it starts and ends why worry about it at all, no day can be holy, and to observe one is obsessive in nature/character and legalistic in purpose (at least for those who single out Sunday keepers), so let’s not worry about observing one at all.

I never said that, I do care, about the order which God instituted: 6 days for work, 1 day for rest/communion with Him (the 7th), but as posted earlier, I haven’t met or read of the person who can disprove that the 7th day Sabbath we have today (yes Gregorian calendar) is not the same that was instituted at creation (not Mount Sinai as you said).

Some points to consider from your post:

  • the “entire world” does not know that Saturday is the seventh day of the week - how do you then account for this day having a linguistically similar meaning in at least 30 world languages, and for eastern cultures such as Hindus and Chinese having a 7-day calendar week from time immemorial?
  • “That 7th day was arbitrarily determined on the Gregorian calendar. It is not the Sabbath Moses brought down from the mountain” – Can you prove this? What is so especially evil about this calendar? Other than correcting the leap year error, it did not change the day sequence from its predecessor, the Julian calendar, nor the Julian from the previous Roman calendar.

What calendar did Jesus use when He observed Sabbath? Should not this be a good enough example? Sorry but for me the point appears to be the opposite of what you stated, those who reject that a calendar-based Sabbath observance still is binding are the ones who seem obsessed or consumed with disproving it


(Sirje) #131

No, why do you automatically assume that this means we don’t need to observe any? Paul said :

One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord …"

The ore amusing one comes before this one:
"One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only."
(Romans 14)

A Christin keeps all days as holy, created by God and blessed. SDAs don’t keep the Sabbath. The Bible gives specific instructions for keeping the Sabbath - we follow none of them, not even the “rest” part - look in the kitchen during pot-luck.:tired_face:!

Yes, Jesus kept the Sabbath, and he presumably kept it according to the Lunar calendar since the Roman Sabbath didn’t become official until the 400’s. AD.

Well, Moses didn’t come down with a calendar - just laws that told them when and how they were to observe the various holy days etc.

Big surprise!

I have observed the Sabbath according to the Roman calendar for decades. I can’t bring myself to condemn the Catholics or other Protestants for keeping Sunday. The SDA faith loses much of basic Christianity by making one commandment the focal point of its teaching - a commandment we, ourselves, can’t keep.

The title of this post is “How Healthy is Adventist Eschatology” and I’m saying, not very.


(Tim Teichman) #132

Historically neither Saturday nor Sabbath have anything to do with the seventh day of the week.

When Jewish leaders were forced to “pick a day of worship” on the then-modern Roman calendar in the second or third century, the use of which the Emperor was enforcing through military power throughout the empire, they picked Saturn’s day because Sun’s day was the day of worship for the Pagans and Christians.

At the time Saturn’s day was the first day of the week with Sun’s day as the 7th. There is nothing special about the position of the days on a grid we call a week, which wasn’t a concept in the bible.

The command in the bible is to work no more than 6 days in a row and then have a day of rest. It is to rest at least every 7 days, not to rest on the seventh day of the week. This is true if for no other reason than the ancients at the time of Moses and through Jesus time did not have weeks on their calendar. The Jewish calendar to this day does not include the concept of weeks.

Saturn’s day - Saturday - is never mentioned in the bible because it didn’t exist. Sabbath existed, starting in Exodus. Saturday didn’t.

For reference here is the original command, removing the mention of creation which was added only in later manuscripts:


“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."


Note that the command is to rest, not worship.
The sabbath was a gift of rest, to avoid the unceasing labor of a slave. This is clearer in the Deuteronomy version:


“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day."


So:

  • Work six days (or less) and then take a break.
  • Keeping the Sabbath holy is always defined, in all three versions of the commandments, as resting - and not working. Never as a day of worship.
  • Saturn’s day is never mentioned nor was it ever used as a day of worship until Jews were forced to ‘pick a day’ in the 200’s or 300’s.
  • Previous to that time Jews used their own calendar to determine the Sabbath days each month, a calendar which didn’t have the concept of weeks. And still doesn’t.

Here’s more on how the Jewish calendar worked:

Note that the 29th of the month was a Sabbath, then either the next day or two days later was Shabbat Rosh Chodesh, at the start of the month. There was no continuous 7-day cycle.


#133

Gadamer & hermeneutics:


Bowing to the Golden Calf
(Cfowler) #134

Okay…to bullet point what I’m saying about the Sabbath

1.The Sabbath was given to Israel as the sign of the Covenant He
made with Israel. This is stated many times in the OT

Exodus 31:12 And the Lord said to Moses, 13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. 14 You shall keep the Sabbath, because it is holy for you…17 It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel

Now that the OC (Mosaic Covenant) is fulfilled by Jesus (and abolished), Christians aren’t part of that Covenant, which means we aren’t part of the sign of that covenant.

2.Israel determined the days, seasons and years, by the sun, moon and stars. Clearly the month ( and starting the counting of the days as well) would be determined by the moon. This is how the ancients marked time. We have to divest of ourselves of our 21st century thinking

Gen 1:14 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

So if keeping Saturday is “practical”, that’s fine…but, it isn’t the Sabbath, the way Israel was instructed to keep it. If you are going to make the Sabbath a test for the end times, and condemn Christians as being deceived (or purposely rebelling against God), then you should be far more scrupulous and beyond reproach, on this issue.

Yes, they were keeping the 7th day…not on the Gregorian calendar, but on (as some call it) God’s calendar.


(Frankmer7) #135

This entire discussion reveals why Paul called the entire calendar of holy times, including the Sabbath, shadows of things to come… but the reality is Christ! We’re locked up, like his congregations were, in trying to prove correct timing, and arguing over ritual observance, while the Holy Spirit is calling us to worship Jesus, regardless of the day.

That is what the testimony of Jesus really is. This is also what the reality of the New Covenant experience truly is… to which the Old and its shadows are simply a pointer.

Thanks…

Frank


(Sirje) #136

I feel I need to write this last post at the end of yet another long back-and-forth about the Sabbath. I’m sure we’re all getting tired of hearing about the lunar Sabbath etc. Each time we do this I determine not to go there again, but how do you not, when you’re dealing with a denomination that is fixated erroneously on the original Bible Sabbath.

I reread the article that precipitated this, and I want to add something. The issue is the “relevancy” of SDA eschatology. Adventist preoccupation with keeping Saturday instead of Sunday is its “end time” message to the world - like a “last will and testament” - just before the close of history. That’s sad - and it’s wrong. If all we have to say to a dying world that’s gone off the tracks is warning of a forensic judgement based on what day people are to pray and worship together, we have got to rethink our whole identity and mission.

We are so infatuated with our special knowledge through prophesy that we can’t see the forest for the trees. None of God’s gifts are an end in themselves; and God’s “last day” message is not about the messenger that’s delivering the message, while the culmination of every Bible study and Missionary “effort” we schedule is the identity of the “remnant” - that’s supposed to be us. Our message needs to reach beyond ourselves and needs to quit being self-serving.

The exact time for the Sabbath is relevant only if we’re saved by keeping it - PERFECTLY. According to Adventist interpretation of the Gospel - “Three angels of Revelation” we are the ones keeping it. That’s definitely debatable. If our message is not about Christ and him crucified we have missed the point.

@frank_merendino
@gdavidovic
@cfowler
@timteichman
@Nymous


(Frankmer7) #137

Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
"We do not preach ourselves, but we preach Christ Jesus, and ourselves your servants for his sake."

Along with preaching Christ crucified, I’ve always thought that this puts it all in perspective.

Thanks…

Frank


(Tim Teichman) #138

Seconded.


(Cfowler) #139

All so very true, Sirje. You have well stated the issue!

The message for a Christian church is to be Christ, the Gospel. This is the commission given to Christians. Not a day! If a church doesn’t have that right, they have missed the boat, lost the plot, taken a very wrong turn. I’m afraid this has been so from the beginning of the SDA church. Jesus is somewhere in the mix, but He is far from being the Main Thing.


(Tim Teichman) #140

So the very most important thing isn’t to be right? Damn.