Sifting the "Wheat" from the "Chaff"
We print the following article, not because we agree with it, but as an exercise in helping our readers analyze Bible teachings and find error. Richard Scott, the author of this article, imitates many of the methods used by Herbert Armstrong and his followers (Scottsí magazine is called The Pure Truth). The article starts by putting down the readers and threatening them with eternal death if they do not understand the Bible the way that Richard Scott understands it. The article also denounces peopleís Sabbath-keeping as "prideful and self-serving" when most people who do keep the Sabbath are doing it in the way they believe to be biblical.These things sometimes stir up fear in readers and often prevent the reader from thinking logically. There are clear and obvious biblical answers to this article. Can you figure them out on your own? óNorman Edwards
Counting the Scriptural Sabbath
...When IS It?
The trouble with most supposed "sabbath-keepers" today is that they have evidently forgotten how to count to seven; and therefore they actually violate the sabbath commandment, even as they try the hardest to obey it!by Richard Scott
Areyou a "sabbath keeper" who actually breaks the sabbath commandment? Do you really know when the sabbath is commanded to be kept?!? Donít be too sure that you can answer these questions before youíve considered the following evidence, as set forth in this article, or else you could be counted among the deceived and the outcasts on Judgment Day who thought they had it made, salvation wise, whoíll learn to their sorrow just how wrong they were!
There are many prideful, self-serving religious beliefs, and none are more so than those that purport to teach the revealed scriptural sabbaths. How much faith should we put into any of these attempts to explain the sabbath commandment in the guise of the modern week, and in the light of popular religious dogma and traditions of the past and present? What does scripture alone teach us?
A Historical Perspective
Putting aside for now the question about whether or not the annual Feast sabbaths are still commanded to be observed today, letís simply put ourselves back in time to the very moment when the Ten Commandments were first given to the children of Abraham, as they assembled together before the smoking, cloud-enshrouded Mount Horeb. Letís imagine ourselves standing there in their midst, on that frighteningly glorious day, and letís try to understand the fourth commandment as they had to understand it, in the light of the yearly Feast sabbaths.
For the sake of argument letís even assume that the modern week, with its pagan planetary and false idol names for the seven days, actually existed then, and furthermore letís assume that we are keeping a specific sabbath some time following the giving of the Ten Commandments, and that this sabbath also happens to fall on the day we call "Saturday" today. Finally, letís also assume that the next day is the Feast sabbath known as Pentecost (since the Feast sabbaths were commanded to be observed then, see: Exodus 12, 34:18, 22-23; Leviticus 23), which for the sake of our assumptions would put this Feast sabbath on a "Sunday."
Based on these given assumptions, can you determine when the very next sabbath should be kept, based on the sabbath commandment alone? If you are to remain true to that commandment, could the next regular sabbath possibly be, as everyone automatically assumes today, the next Saturday, six days following the Feast sabbath? Is the next Saturday the seventh day, according to the sabbath commandment?
Defining the Sabbath
The word "sabbath" means "to rest," or "desist from exertion," or "stop working or playing" in plain English (see: Strongís Exhaustive Concordance Hebrew Dictionary listings #7673, 7676 & 7677). The sabbath, or rest day, was a certain identifiable day, a specific time period when this ceasing from work and play was commanded to be observed. This includes the annual Feast sabbaths, which are also commanded sabbath periods of rest or repose (see: Leviticus 23:4-39; esp. verse 32).
When does the sabbath commandment specifically tell us the next sabbath following Pentecost must be observed? Notice: "the seventh day is a sabbath" (Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14). This regular sabbath recalls the seventh (Strongís Hebrew listing #7637) day of creation (see: Genesis 2:2), when our Creator rested from all of His creative work (Exodus 31:17).
But is that ALL there is to this commandment? Or is there something elseósome vital missing keyóthat has been lost and must be restored, which helps us define and pinpoint exactly which day the next true sabbath is, without which we cannot know or discover the regular sabbaths?!?
What else does the sabbath commandment say? Notice: "six days you shall labor and do all your work" (Exodus 20:9; Deuteronomy 5:13). Letís look at this part of the sabbath commandment a little closer, and examine it to see exactly what it really means.
Counting the Sabbath
First, it should be obvious to anyone who knows how to count to seven that without six work days there can be no seventh day of rest. Six days of work are the required foundation or prerequisite for every regular seventh-day sabbath. You simply cannot have one without the other!
Now starting from our assumed Feast sabbath of Pentecost (a yearly sabbath day, commanded to be kept or observed on the same annual date every year, regardless of which day of the modern week this happens to be), that falls the day after our assumed Saturday sabbath, exactly when would the next sabbath be? Can it possibly be the very next Saturday? In other words, does the week as we know it today go all the way back to creation, in an unbroken chain of seven-day sabbath weeks, so that the very first sabbath (when the Creator rested from all His creative work) was provably a Saturday?
Letís see. Since Pentecost is a Feast sabbath when no work is allowed (Leviticus 23:16, 21), it therefore cannot possibly at the same time be called a "work day" at all! So since Saturday, in our example, follows this Feast sabbath only six days later, how can it possibly be the "seventh" day following "six work days," as commanded?!?
Remember, without the foundation (six commanded days of work) by which the sabbaths are set apart and defined, it is impossible to call the sixth day, in this case, "the sabbath," without violating or breaking the sabbath commandment!
The Seventh Day or Not?
Calling the sixth day (or any day other than the seventh day) a "sabbath" is ludicrous, and totally violates the sabbath commandment. But for the sake of those who are too dazed to get the significance or truth of this assertion, letís be the Saturday-keepersí advocate, and ask: Why isnít the following Saturday a sabbath in this case? Isnít it the "seventh day" following the prior sabbath?
However, the answer must be: No, not at all! Since one of the intervening days is a sabbath day (a special yearly Feast rest day sabbath), that same day therefore simply cannot also be counted as one of the six commanded work days, attempting to determine or prove when the next regular sabbath must be observed! And why not?
Simply because work days and rest days are complete opposites, are totally incompatible concepts, and therefore cannot ever be confused, if we truly desire to learn the real pure truth about this matter. If you are still confused about all this, try asking any child of reasonable intelligence to explain to you whether a rest day can also be a "work day" at the same time, in order to correctly determine when the next sabbath day must be kept.
The answer should be obvious to you (unless you reject what the scriptures say, and are determined to interpret away the meaning, in order to follow a preconceived but false doctrinal stand learned from a deceived and equally false faith). The next regular sabbath after a yearly Feast sabbath (Sunday, in our example) must be seven days later (Sunday again), and not the following Saturday (only six days later, in this case)!
There absolutely must be six consecutive days of work observed (see: Exodus 23:12, 31:15), before there can be another seventh day sabbath rest!!! There is no possible way to get around this iron-clad scriptural fact, no matter how you try to slice it. Anything less than the seventh day is keeping a false day! Thatís the way it was in ancient Yasrael, and that is also exactly the way the sabbaths are still commanded to be kept today. Are you breaking the Sabbath Commandment?
So then, if the next sabbath really is seven days after an intervening Feast sabbath, as per our example, why doesnít this "break" the sabbath week? If the sabbath week must always be from one Saturday to the next, this is just what it does. However, where IN scripture can you find even one verse, one word, or one syllable that tells us anything about saturday having ever been the sabbath?
Where does scripture ever tell us that the seventh day of the scriptural week is Saturday?!? Admit it. Havenít you just always assumed that this was true, perhaps because somebody else told you this? But exactly how did they prove this to you? Did they prove it with scripture alone? Or did they instead point to some religious tradition to support what is in fact an UNscriptural teaching and belief (or some historical reference to the same thing), as some sort of supposed "proof" of their claim?
But what if that religious tradition is false and cannot be proved scripturally? What should you believe; unprovable religious tradition, or scriptural fact! Does it somehow "violate" or "break" the sabbath commandment not to observe Saturday as the regular sabbath (or Sunday, for that matter), or does it only violate some false religionís unproven, unscriptural suppositions?
The Annual Sabbaths Are the Key!
If you throw out the yearly calendar revealed by the annual sabbaths, or refuse to keep and observe the yearly Feast sabbaths, then you no longer have any basis for proving and knowing when to keep the true scriptural seventh-day sabbaths either. If one is to be kept then, by necessity, so must the other; for the regular sabbaths cannot exist or even be known without the yearly Feast sabbaths.
This is precisely why no prior sabbath is indicated in the sabbath commandment, before the six commanded days of work, though the commandment presupposes that the prior day must also be a sabbath. The question of whether this can be an annual Feast sabbath is answered by this unacknowledged supposition, by virtue of these also being commanded sabbaths of rest.
In fact, this is the only legitimate, scripturally provable way to determine when the regular sabbaths must be kept, since the annual Feast sabbaths are the only rest days specifically pinpointed by date in the sacred calendar that is revealed in the pages of scripture. Once we know the correct dates for the annual sabbaths (of which the first day of the year must, be necessity, be one; cf. Exodus 12:1; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4, 8:13, 31:3; Ezra 3:5; Nehemiah 10:33; Isaiah 1:13-14; Ezekiel 45:17, 46:3; Hosea 2:11), then and only then can all the regular sabbaths thereby also be discovered, known and observed on the correct days.
Hereís another vital missing key: So-called "new moons" are a blatant mistranslation and incorrect traditional supposition! The Hebrew merely says: "new" or "new cycle" (Strongís Hebrew listing #2320; a word totally unrelated to the Hebrew word for "moon," cf. listing #3391) in reference to these days, and so the moon cannot be proven by scripture alone to have ever had anything whatever to do with determining the beginnings of monthly cycles in the inspired sacred calendar revealed in scripture!
Furthermore, in the only places in scripture where lunations are specifically mentioned by name, they are obviously something entirely different from the new cycle months which are always numbered and never named in the context of the same verses of scripture where both are mentioned together (cf. I Kings 6:37, 38, 8:2). The scriptural new-cycle months began on a specifically commanded day, such as the spring and fall equinoxes (Hebrew: tequphah, Strongís Hebrew listing #8622; cf. Exodus 12:2, 34:22). Why did Moses have to be told when the first day of the new year must be? Simply because he would not have known it otherwise! The Pure Truth!
Hereís a shocking conclusion that we must draw from these facts, if we are to accept only what scripture reveals to us as the pure truth on this subject: The true sabbaths were lost centuries ago, and have not been accurately kept by anyone in all those years, simply because false religious traditions have led us all astray from the simple, provable, incontrovertible pure truth revealed in scripture!
This is exactly what the Old Testaments prophets foretold would happen (see: Isaiah 1:13; Lamentations 2:6; Ezekiel 20:13, 16, 21, 24, 22:8, 26, 23:38; Hosea 2:11)! Yet if you believe those who claim that the sabbaths go all the way back to creation, in an unbroken chain of "Saturdays," then all of these scriptures must by necessity be wrong, and the prophets who wrote them must also therefore have all been falseprophets.
But were they? Or are all those who teach "Saturday sabbaths" false teachers instead?!? The Savior Himself prophesied that a time would come, just before His second coming in the last days or end time, when all things would need to be restored, and ancient scriptural truths would seem different or "wrong" compared to the popular but false religious teachings of the day (see: Matthew 17:11; Mark 9:12; cf. Malachi 4:6; Luke 1:16-17).
We are living in that very time, right now today! It is a time when we must look back to and remember the decrees and laws given to Moses at Mount Horeb; the Ten Commandments (Malachi 4:4). It is an age that has completely forgotten the primary duty of humanity is to fear their Creator and to keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13)! Nowhere is this fact more evident than in the glut of false religions that for centuries have choked off all true knowledge of those commandments, even while laying claim to upholding and obeying them perfectly, by substituting wicked false teachings in place of The Pure Truth!
A Call to TRUE Repentance!
Isnít it high time you stopped in your tracks, and carefully considered the direction you have been going spiritually? Isnít it time you gave up all the vain, unprovable, false beliefs you have followed all your life, and made up your mind to find real salvation while it is still available? There remains only a brief window of time, before great tribulation and terrible judgment finally strikes this earth, in just retribution against all who utterly refuse to give up their criminal anti-commandment religious pursuits, in violation of the sacred commandments of Creator Yahveh!!
Shouldnít you be following only the true Creator of heaven and earth, instead of false "ministers" who refuse to hear or to learn about the mighty truths they simply cannot successfully gainsay, refute or disprove? If it isnít yet clear to you, it soon will be; all those who take away this pure truth from scripture by adding to it their own peculiar, false, unprovable teachings, are under a mighty curse for having done so (see: Revelation 22:18-19)!!
Will you follow these accursed individuals and religions, and receive all the plagues that they will eventually receive, simply because you closed your eyes and stopped your ears, to prevent yourself from seeing or hearing the real truth, in order to follow some unscriptural heresey instead? Why should you continue carrying on the cursed practices and teachings of the ancient rebellious Ysraelites, who always refused to obey, observe and keep sacred the real sacred sabbaths that Creator Yahveh commands you to keep and observe today?!?
Yahveh help you to see the pure truth about the sabbath commandment, and to follow only his revealed will on this, and all the rest of His sacred commandments; all of which are still in force and effect today (Matt 5:19-20)![see comment below] &