Timeout: “The Smoke of Their Torment”


Continuing the discussion from Timeout: “The Smoke of Their Torment”:

Dear Professor Tonstad,
I truly appreciate your intelligent and thoughtful treatment of these subjects, and your impeccable reasoning in regard to the futility of a theodicy defending God against 0arbitrary despotism–by using an argument of an arbitrary law! (I always did question the appeal of that line of reasoning; and thanks to you now its logic too as touches SDA theology.)
In my lay person’s opinion, here’s where the Deuteronomic repetition of the Sabbath commandment comes in to clarify and enhance the meaning. God-with-us rejoicing in the creation when “it is finished” --becomes God our Redeemer rejoicing in liberating His enslaved people from Egypt and giving them rest in the wilderness (Jer.31)–becomes Jesus Christ God Incarnate rejoicing in liberating the prisoners of sin and freeing the humans He touched from every bodily restriction and ailment, including, as you mentioned, in particular deliberately on the Sabbath–becomes the Godhead rejoicing at the Second Coming in delivering their own who are faithful like Jesus to their trust in God–becomes God-with-us again rejoicing fully when the tabernacle of God is again with men in the heavenly feast of jubilee, in the eternal Sabbath ‘rest.’
That is why we have this most blessed Sabbath message of freedom. We are free to spend time with Deity all day on the Sabbath because our work week “is finished;” free to contemplate the wonders of Creation and the marvels of Redemption; free for God to “restore our soul;” freed for fellowship with family, friends, church family; freed from all the mundane cares of this secular world in the knowledge that God “has performed for us all our works.” The Sabbath is indeed time carved out by the Creator in His wisdom; but its meaning is far from arbitrary. Far from being a painful restriction or an onerous burden, the Sabbath is a high privilege and a great blessing. The Sabbath is very good news! and part of eternal gospel-rejoicing. Hallelujah!


The Pope’s message is very timely and well accepted with more focus now on mindfulness, withdrawing from stress and electronic devices, and enjoying family life on Sabbath. (I liked his focus on “play.” :relieved::slightly_smiling_face:)

Why aren’t we leading this discussion around the world on the fabulous quality of life that includes a Sabbath? :thinking::thinking::face_with_raised_eyebrow:

(Cfowler) #169

Does it have to be Saturday?

(Johnny Carson) #170

Good question, Carol…

I’ve seen modern, printed scrolls that claim the validity of a unbroken 7-day weekly cycle since antiquity, and I’ve also seen evidence presented that the Calendar has bounced all over the place throughout recorded time. And even if we consider either side of that to be true, does it really make a difference? I was taught since childhood that it a requirement for salvation, that once a person has that “light” and goes back on it they are doomed to the fire. I just have to wonder why it is that some humans insist on holding this power play over others, because when you strip it all away, that’s what it is, a power play.

(Robert King) #171

the cycle of seven would never ne altered. It will always be the seven day , which we call Saturday.

(Cfowler) #172

Are you saying that Saturday on our Gregorian calendar is the exact same 7th day from creation?


And since the Sabbath starts on sundown Fri, why aren’t the rest of the weekdays treated the same within SDA? (evening-to-evening)


Dear cfowler,

One argument which, I believe, nullifies the so-called “lunar Sabbath” theory is the creation account of Genesis 1 and 2 :

Day 1: God created light and separated the light from the darkness, the day from the night.
Day 2: God created the firmament and separated the waters from above and from beneath.
Day 3: God separated the dry land from the seas and created the vegetation.
Day 4: God created the Sun, the Moon and the Stars “to rule over the day and over the night” which were created on day 1.
Day 5: God created creatures to fill the seas and the air which were created on day 2.
Day 6: God created the land animals as well as Adam and Eve on the dry land full of vegetation which was created on day 3.
Day 7: God blessed and sanctified the seventh day Sabbath and rested on that day with his complete and perfect creation.

The Sabbath marks the end of the creation week, and that is restated in the Decalogue (Ex 20:11).

The weekly cycle established by God himself is totally independent from the moon, since the literally new moon was created on day 4.

In Hebrew, the names given to the days of the week are simply : day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, day 5, day 6, day 7 (or Shabbath). The new moons cannot change how the days are ordered.

In the Gregorian calendar of 2019, the first day of the month falls on a Tuesday in January, a Friday in February, a Monday in April and a Saturday in June. A new month will not transform a Tuesday into a Sunday.

Likewise, the first day of a month in the lunar calendar can fall on day 3, day 6, day 2 or day 7, but a new moon will not transform day 3 into day 1!

In conclusion, the idea that the seventh day sabbath should be reckoned from the new moon is pure and simple nonsense.

The Sabbath is very relevant in a time such as ours with the ever growing support for the theory of evolution which denies the existence of the creator God of the Bible : “Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” (Rev 14:7).

The Sabbath is a sign of God’s authority as creator of all things and a sign that He alone is worthy of worship. The Bible says that the Sabbath was made (Question: when was it made? Answer: Gen 2:1-3) for man, and that Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28).

The Bible predicted that a blasphemous power would rise out of the ruins of the Roman empire and would think to change “times and laws”. This power boldly asserts that it has the authority to transfer the sanctity of the Sabbath to the Sunday. It is a persecuting power and it will remain until the seven plagues of Revelation and the second coming of Jesus.

Whether you like it or not, the Sabbath has become a sign of allegiance : to whom authority will you submit? Whether you like it or not, the seven last plagues will fall on Babylon and those who will not come out of her in spite of the warnings.

The biblical and historical proofs identifying the blasphemous horn of Daniel and the harlot of Revelation are very clear. The protestant reformers correctly identified the anti-Christ many centuries ago thanks to Bible prophecy. The early church Christians understood that pagan Rome was the power withholding the anti-Christ mentioned by the apostle Paul (2 Thessalonians 2:6).


Would it be even more convincing if the devil himself made the confession ?

Since it is very relevant to what comes next, I will first give a quick description of the dress code for official meetings with the Pope. The following quotes are from the Roman Catholic website aleteia:

“For women: Shoulders and the décolleté should be covered. Dresses and skirts should fall just below the knee. Shoes should be closed-toe. A black veil or mantilla is recommended. Jewelry should be discreet.
It’s recommended that women wear black, but there are a handful of women who have the “privilege du blanc,” that is, women who because of their role and status, are allowed to wear white.
This privilege is for queens of Catholic countries, or in some cases, the wife of the head of state of a Catholic country.”

So, during official meetings with the Pope, women must wear black except for those entitled to the “privilege du blanc” who can wear white.

Now, in 2011 the singer Nicki Minaj revealed that she had a new “alter-ego” called Roman Zolanski, a boy ‘conceived out of rage’ and ‘living inside’ her.

At the 2012 Grammy Awards, Nicky Minaj walked on the red carpet holding the arm a man dressed like the pope and guess what was the color of her dress… scarlet!

“And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication; And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.” Revelation 17:4-6

Pure coincidence? Wait, there is more :

At the same event (2012 Grammy Awards), Nicki Minaj performed her song called ‘Roman Holiday”. The setting was a Roman Catholic church with priests holding censers to exorcise her while she was chained to a wooden board singing:

“Take your medication, Roman
Take a short vacation, Roman
You’ll be okay
I know how bad you need a Roman holiday (Roman holiday)
A Roman holiday “

“… none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.” Daniel 12:10

(Cfowler) #176

Thanks for responding.

I know that there is a lot of occultic/satanic symbolism in pop culture/music these days. It can and does get very dark and disturbing to say the least. We could have a very long list of these things…it is mainstream now.

(Cfowler) #177

I appreciate your reply.

I, of course, disagree with most of your points, particularly in regards to the Sabbath. The lunar calendar topic has been discussed so many times here, and I’m not in a place right now to do it again.

I’m very aware of the points in your post, and maybe at a later date (for me) this will be revisited on the forum.



Sorry but I really wanted to put the nail in a sure place :slight_smile:

I did some research and I must admit that I was wrong in thinking that the way of reckoning lunar sabbaths just came out of the blue. In fact, there are some well documented cases in ancient history where the weekly cycle was indeed reset every new moon, BUT, as I explain below, lunar sabbaths have a pagan origin and they are incompatible with the way of reckoning the 7th day sabbath of the Bible.

I first want to share another reason (beside the creation week) why lunar sabbaths contradict the Bible, and that is Leviticus 23, the chapter where God instructed the Hebrews concerning all their feasts and holy convocations - including the 7th day sabbath - with extreme precision and details.

Advocates of the lunar sabbaths teach that the weekly cycle was reset every new moon and that lunar sabbaths fell on the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th day of each month (the 1st day of each month being a new moon holiday). So any remaining days at the end of a month were ignored and the weekly cycle was reset the next month.

However, Leviticus 23:16-17 tells us that the feast of Pentecost was to occur exactly 50 days after bringing “the sheaf of the wave offering”, and it also tells us that the period of 50 days corresponds exactly to the completion of seven weekly sabbaths: that would be impossible if the weekly cycle was reset every new moon!

“And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord.”

The seven sabbaths obviously spaned over at least two consecutive months, yet there is no such thing as the weekly cycle being reset at the beginning of a new month: 7 sabbaths <=> 7 weeks <=> 49 days ==> lunar sabbaths are incompatible with the Bible!

Another point that I find very interesting is the fact that in Lev23:3 the 7th day Sabbath is set apart from all other feasts and holy convocations.

In verse 2, Moses is instructed to proclaim the feasts and the holy convocations, but in verse 3 Moses only proclaims the 7th day sabbath.
In verse 4 however, Moses is instructed to proclaim the feasts and the holy convocations in their seasons then he lists all the remaining feasts and holy convocations : Passover (14th day of the 1st month), day of atonement (10th day of the 7th month), etc…

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” (Gen 1:14)

To summarize, in Leviticus 23, God set the 7th day sabbath apart from all the other feasts. The 7th day sabbath is determined by a weekly cycle of seven days composed of six days of work followed by the sabbath of rest while the other feast are determined by the seasons (new moons).

The feast of Pentecost occurred 50 days after the wave offering (firstfruits), and in Leviticus 15-16 this period of 50 days (spanning over at least two consecutive months) is said to correspond exactly to the completion of seven weekly sabbaths: that would be impossible if the weekly cycle was reset every new moon ==> lunar sabbaths are incompatible with the Bible!

I believe that God, in his wisdom and foreknowledge, proclaimed the feasts of Leviticus 23 in such a way as to reveal that lunar sabbaths did not come from Him.

So where did they come from?

I did some research and I found that some ancient Babylonian cuneiform writings reveal that: ancient Babylonians followed a lunisolar calendar (with lunar month), they had a seven-day week cycle which was reset every new moon and they observed sabbaths (which were in fact called “evil days” and I did not expect less from a counterfeit religion inspired by Satan himself!) which fell on the 7th, the 14th, the 19th, the 21st and the 28th of each months.

The Babylonian cuneiform writings were found in Nineveh in 1869 and they were drawn in this book : “The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia: Vol. IV: A Selection from the Miscellaneous Inscriptions of Assyria” (1875, 2nd Edition: 1891 / 1909) , H. C. Rawlinson

I found another book entitled “Cuneiform Parallels to the Old Testament”, R. W. Rogers, (also available online) which addresses the Babylonian “sabbaths texts”. Below are some interesting quotes :

The month in Babylonia was a lunar month, and the year was a lunisolar year. Unlike the Egyptians, who passed from moon- to sun-reckonings before the dawn of history, the Babylonians always retained the primitive lunar calendar, harmonized with the solar year by the crude method of intercalating an extra month at the necessary intervals. As in all lunar calendars the month began with the visible new moon.” (p. 226)

“In the year 1869 the late George Smith, well known as a pioneer student of Assyriology, discovered among the cuneiform tablets in the British Museum “a curious religious calendar of the Assyrians, in which every month is divided into four weeks, and the seventh days, or ‘Sabbaths’, are marked out as days on which no work should be undertaken.” Six years afterward Sir Henry Rawlinson published this calendar in the fourth volume of his standard collection of cuneiform inscriptions. It appears to be a transcript of a much more ancient Babylonian original, possibly belonging to the age of Hammurabi, which had been made by order of Asshurbanipal and placed in his royal library at Nineveh. The calendar, which is complete for the thirteenth or intercalary month, called Elul II, and for Markheshwan, the eighth month of the Babylonian year, takes up the thirty days in succession and indicates the deity to which each day is sacred and what sacrifices or precautionary measures are necessary for each day. All the days are styled “favourable”, an expression which must indicate a pious hope, not a fact, since the words ud-khul-gal or umu limnu (“the evil day”) are particularly applied to the seventh, fourteenth, nineteenth, twenty-first, and twenty-eighth days.” (p. 222-223)

The calendar for Elul II contains specific directions for the observance of the five "evil days", in each case the same except for differences in the names of the deities. The regulations for the seventh day read as follows :

"An evil day. The shepherd of great peoples shall not eat flesh cooked upon the coals, or bread of the oven. The garment of his body he shall not change, he shall not put on clean [garments]. He shall not bring an offering. The king shall not ride in his chariot. He shall not speak as -a ruler (?). The priest shall not give a decision in the secret place. The physician shall not lay his hand on a patient. To issue a malediction it [the day] is not suitable. At night the king shall bring his gift before Marduk and Ishtar, he shall offer a sacrifice. The lifting up of his hands will then be pleasing to god." (p. 232)

It’s truly amazing that the Babylonians “evil days” are almost identical to the lunar sabbaths:

  • Babylonian “evil days” : 7th, 14th, 19th, 21st, 28th of each month (new moon)

  • Lunar sabbath : 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th of each month (new moon)

It is also interesting that the way of reckoning lunar sabbath is found nowhere in the Bible not even in Leviticus 23 which describes all the Jewish feasts very precisely, yet it is found in ancient Babylonian writings with almost the same level of precision and attention to details that is found in Leviticus 23 with only an offset of one day.

The Jewish Encyclopedia’s entry on the Jewish week indicates that lunar sabbaths may have been used by some Jews some time in the past but the text does not specify when, where and by who was this custom adopted, and there is zero source/evidence to substantiate the assertion. Moreover, there were often controversies among Jews about worship and doctrine (Elijah vs prophets of Baal, Jerusalem vs Samaria, Jesus vs Pharisees/scribes, Pharisees vs Sadducees, Karaite Judaism vs Rabbinic Judaism, etc…) and they often apostatized and corrupted the plain teaching of the Bible with fabricated traditions or pagan rites and customs.

So, if the lunar sabbaths were ever prescribed among some Jews at some point of time in the past, which is possible, I would not be surprised if it was among some of the Jews exiled in Babylon, who would have incorporated Babylonian customs into their own religious practices. It would not have been the first time such thing had happened after all (there were Jews who bowed down and worshiped the “image” set up by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon).

It is also interesting that, even today, the Jews use Babylonian names for their months. In the Bible only four months of the calendar are identified by name while the others are simply numbered (even the Jews do not know the original Hebrew names for those months):

The 1st, 2nd, 7th, and 8th month of the calendar are called Aviv, Ziv, Eltanim, and Bul in the Bible, while today the Jews call them Nissan, Iyar, Tishrei and Cheshvan which are Babylonian names.

All in all, it would not be surprising that some Jews adopted not only the Babylonian way of naming their months but also the Babylonian way of reckoning their sabbaths.

To conclude, I think it is obvious that lunar sabbaths did not come from God as they clearly contradict the Bible. Rather, it is very likely that they came strait from Babylon.

So, there are three sabbath options (only two in fact):

  • The 7th day sabbath of the Lord made in Eden (Gen 2:1-3, Mark 2:27-28)

  • The Lunar sabbath (“evil days”) of ancient Babylon

  • The Sunday sabbath of modern Babylon which is papal Rome (and her daughters): MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (Rev 17:5)

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Revelation 18:4-5

(Michael Wortman) #179

How over the top can one be? When Jesus stated what the essence of keeping His commandments was; what was required and honored in a healthy relationship with Him and other humans, the word “love” took precedence. I don’t see much tolerance or love toward fellow Christian humans who happen to worship on Sunday in your selection from Revelation 17 and your application of its meaning.


I have so much tolerance and love towards my fellow Christians humans that I am trying to warn them of calamities that are about to fall on a corrupt system and those who will choose to pay allegiance an homage to it rather than God.

“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people , that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” (Revelation 18:4-5)

(Frankmer7) #181

So, Nicki Minaj is the woman who rides the scarlet beast in Revelation. Lol!


(Cfowler) #182

Let’s not forget Katy Perry at the Super Bowl a few years ago…:scream:

(Spectrumbot) closed #183

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