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Refuting the Lunar Sabbath

Posted in Calendar Studies

I’ve occasionally received inquiries about where I stand on the Lunar Sabbath concept. As far as I can see, it is nothing but one fatal error after another, the work of the enemy to keep God’s Sabbath keepers from keeping the true 7th day any way he can.

In a nutshell, the theory is that the 7th day Sabbath is counted from the moon phases, not every 7th sunrise/sunset day.

Fatal errors include, but probably are not limited to the following: (Remember that any one of these alone is sufficient to disprove the theory.)

1) You would have to believe that God hung the moon mid-phase on the 4th day when it was created, which doesn’t seem like the orderly, reasoning God I worship.

2) You have to believe that the “first” day in Scripture was really the second day, the “second” day really the third, the “third” really the fourth, etc, because the “seventh” day of creation is clearly marked as the Sabbath, but according to the Lunar Sabbath theory, the Sabbath is always either the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th day of the month. You’re effectively calling Moses (and God who inspired him) a liar for calling the days by the number that he did.

3) You cannot possibly count 50 days from FirstFruits to Shavuot without coming up with illogical gyrations so as not to count three extra days. To accept the Lunar Sabbath theory, you need to say that what is a day on earth, is not always a day on the calendar, not part of the 50-day count. Not all days are days? Not logical to me.

4) Leviticus 23 is very specific to state that the Feast of Unleavened Bread, on the 15th of the month, is a Sabbath. It would be redundant to have to mention that if indeed the 15th of every month was a Sabbath. The same is true of several other of the annual Holy Days that fall on the 15th or 22nd. Why specify these days as Sabbaths if those days were always Sabbaths? The Lunar Sabbath therefore robs you of total number of Sabbaths per year compared to using the 7th day (modernly known in English as Saturday, but as derivatives of Sabbath, such as the Spanish "sabado", in many languages). Here you have two issues: 1) Redundancies that 2) actually decrease the number of holy days in any annual cycle which steal days of worship from God’s people. Rather than 52 weekly and 7 annual Sabbath, for a total of 59, you are left with 52 weekly, and two extra (Shavuot and Trumpets) annual, for a total of 54 a year. This theory steals five full worship days per year.

5) When Yahshua walked the earth 2000 or so years ago, there is no indication that he corrected calendar errors, and no calendar changes have affected the 7th day counting since his time, so keeping Sabbath on what is currently the 7th day on our calendars has been endorsed by the King and Creator of the Universe.

6) If the 15th was always a weekly Sabbath, on the first month of the year, it would be both the weekly and annual Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Same for Trumpets on the 1st and Tabernacles on the 15th. You would only have two Sabbaths in one week at Shavuot and Yom Kippur. Luke 6:1 is clear there were two Sabbaths in one week (“the second Sabbath after the first”), possibly two days in a row were Sabbaths in this text, although that isn’t fully clear. You would never have two Sabbaths back-to-back on a Lunar Calendar, and only twice a year would you have two Sabbaths in one week.

7) Although Luke 6:1 is not conclusive since it doesn't identify the first Sabbath, there is a clear contradiction with respect to the First Sabbath of Unleavened Bread during the crucifixion week. Mark 16:1 says that the women purchased the spices after the (it would have to be annual) Sabbath, and Luke 23:56 say that the women prepared the spices before the (it would have to be weekly) Sabbath. The only way these two verses can be in harmony is that both of the following statements are true: 1) the 15th of the month was not the weekly Sabbath, and 2) the crucifixion did not take place on Friday, because there had to be a day between the two Sabbaths. For more on the real timing of the crucifixion, please see my article titled The Sign of the True Messiah.

8) Because of the 29.5 day rotation cycle, the moon phases are not always exactly seven days from new to quarter to full to three quarters and back to new. It is astronomically possible to have a full moon on the 14th or the 16th of the month.

9) They count the “new” moon from the dark of the moon, and when the first glimpse of the new moon becomes visible, they already consider it the 2nd or 3rd day of the month. When using such calculations rather than visual sighting of the moon, you would never have a situation where you were to watch for the new moon to know when it appears. The day of Trumpets is supposed to be something you watch for, not something you can calculate days, months, even years in advance. New moon calculations should be based on sight, not modern mathematics which are not discernable by a little child. UPDATE: A new theory of proponents of the lunar sabbath is that the full moon is really the new moon. So they now believe that when it reaches its largest point and starts to recede, that is "new". This is completely opposite of everything on earth. Can you give any example of anything on earth that is "full" at its smallest and growing point, and "new" at its largest state when it begins to decline?

10) The moon takes 29.5 days to travel in its path. That leaves 1.5 days every month that, like at the time of Shavuot (Pentecost), are “days that aren’t days”. Every month, you have “left over” days that are not counted into the seven day cycle, meaning that there are two different problems that could come with this theory. You would either have times when there are up to nine days between one 7th day Sabbath and the next, which contradicts verses that tell us that six days we labor, and the 7th is rest. Never are there seven or eight days of labor before the next rest. Or, if they want to count the 1st day of the month as a non-Sabbath rest day, there wouldn’t be eight days unbroken by a rest day, but you would have a 7th day Sabbath, then one or two work (or rest?) days, a new moon rest day, and six working days, still leading to more than seven days from one 7th day Sabbath to the next.

11) Another fine tuning point with regard to the counting of Shavuot: If the 15th was always a Sabbath, God certainly used ambiguous language if he meant that Firstfruits was always the 16th. Same with the day of Shauvot. If it was always the 6th day of the 3rd month, why not say so? Why give exact dates for most of the holy days, but give a calculation that is unnecessary for the other two dates? The only way the wording makes sense is by waiting until the 7th day (Saturday) Sabbath during Unleavened Bread, and counting the morrow after it to begin and end the seven week period. (See a detailed study of the timing of Shavuot here.)

12) If the Lunar Sabbath is true, then Saturday Sabbath keeping is a counterfeit of the enemy. If he was already successful in obfuscating the “true” (assuming Lunar) Sabbath from long before the death and resurrection of Yeshua, with the 7th day Saturday, why did he also bother with a “second” false Sabbath of Sunday after the resurrection? True Sabbath Keepers (weekly and annual) were not fooled by the false Sunday, so the lunar theory had to be concocted by satan to knock some of the true (Saturday) Sabbath keepers off of the correct dates.

13) Another recent "new" teaching of lunar sabbatarians is that a day begins at dawn. So when God said "the evening and the morning were the first day", that really meant "the afternoon and the morning were the first day" and the dark part of the day is not part of the calculation. In other words, God thinks afternoon should logically be listed before the morning that it follows. The reason they had to come up with this upside-down thinking was in order to side-step a passage that would prove their theory wrong if they didn't invert the start of the day. For an entire article on this theory, please click here: http://nailedtocross.com/index.php/articles/calendar-studies/84-when-does-a-day-begin-in-the-bible

I would implore you not to be deceived by this wind of doctrine. Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to show you His Truth. I bet he WON'T show you that afternoon comes before morning and the seventh day is the eighth day, and that some days aren't days, and that the moon isn't new when it starts to fade away from fullness.

For a very detailed look at Lunar Sabbath teachings and why they are in error, please visit www.clearbibleanswers.org/the-challenge?showall=1