Eighteen Reasons - Part 2

Scripture: Exodus 20:8-11, Matthew 3:15, Matthew 5:17
Can we be sure that the seventh-day is the same day in our present time as it was a few thousand years ago? Changes were made, but the weekly cycle was never changed. There has never been a change that has impacted the days of the week. But we do know that the day Jesus worshiped is the day as in our time.
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One of the most frequent questions raised about the keeping of the seventh-day Sabbath concerns the authenticity of our present calendar. It is believed by many that somehow, somewhere, time has probably been lost in the centuries since calendars were first invented. This does raise an interesting issue, and one that should be explored thoroughly. If the days of the week have been confused and the weekly cycle changed, then it would be impossible to discover the true seventh-day Sabbath as the one specified by the Ten Commandments. So in today's broadcast we'll just answer questions that have been raised by those who seek to discredit the observance of a certain day of the week for the Sabbath. In particular I'll consider actual objections that have been made to the keeping of Saturday, the seventh day of the week on our present calendar.

This is more than a passing interest since there is presently a world opinion move to seek a complete change in the calendar. But does this move reflect upon the accuracy of our calendar? Has time possibly been lost or confused in the recording of days, weeks, and years? Let's briefly examine the origin of our Gregorian calendar. The calendar was first invented, at least the one upon which our present calendar has been based, by Julius Caesar before Christ was born. This calendar was made up of 365 1/4 days. This was giving room for the leap year that comes every fourth year. Actually, however, instead of being exactly 365 1/4 days in length, the year was approximately 11 minutes less than that. So in the course of a few centuries the calendar was not in harmony with the solar system. That may not seem like very much time, but over a period of hundreds of years, it would accumulate in the numbering of the calendar and throw it out of harmony with the stars and the heavenly bodies.

By 1582 the numbering of the calendar was out of harmony with the heavenly bodies by ten days, so Pope Gregory XIII adjusted this condition by calling October 5th the 15th. Let's try to imagine a calendar for a moment. It's Thursday, October 4, 1582. The next day, of course, should be Friday, October 5th, but instead of making Friday the 5th, it was called the 15th instead; so ten days were dropped from the numbering. Great Britain made this adjustment in 1752 and it was necessary to retrench 11 days at that time, making September 3rd, September 14th. Under the present plan we retrench a day once every 129 years. Notice that the weekly cycle is not affected by the change that was made. It was only in the numbering of the calendar. Friday still followed Thursday. Saturday still followed Friday. The weekly cycle remains historically as it always has, there has never been a change to affect the order of the days of the week, or the weekly cycle itself.

Somebody says, "Time has been lost, surely, in these countless generations." But can we be sure of that? How do we know that the real seventh-day Sabbath of today on our calendar is the very same one, for example, that Jesus kept, and the very same one that was sanctified at the time of creation? A great many have wondered about this. No, time has not been lost and we can be sure of the right Sabbath today. Now follow closely and let's prove this point. The Bible says that in the beginning God made everything in six days and rested the seventh day. There we have the origin of the week. God made the weekly cycle, and woe to the person who tampers with anything God made. After two thousand years roll by, we come to the time when God is leading His people from Egypt to the promised land. During their sojourn in the wilderness for forty years God poured out manna or bread from heaven every day of the week except the Sabbath. Surely God knew which day was the Sabbath then, and it was the very point on which he tested the people. There's no chance of a day or any time being lost down that far, because God Himself was handling the situation.

Then at Mt. Sinai God wrote the Ten Commandments on tables of stone for the children of Israel and He said in Exodus 20:8-11: "Remember the sabbath day...the seventh day is the sabbath...For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,...wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it." Another two thousand years rolled by and the Son of God was born into the world. He surely would know which day is the Sabbath and whether any days had been lost or added. In Luke 4:16 we read that He kept the Sabbath "as his custom was." No time has been lost thus far. Even Joshua commanding the sun to stand still could not confuse the Son of God as to which day the true Sabbath was. Anyway, God blessed the seventh day and not just the seventh part of time. Some folks say, "He just blessed one day in seven. If we keep that, it's quite sufficient and acceptable." But no, that's not the way the Bible reads, and dare we change or modify any part of God's Holy Scriptures? It says, "the seventh day is the sabbath."

The calendar that is used today is the same as the one that was used in Christ's day except that one slight change we mentioned a moment ago which did not affect the weekly cycle at all. What is more, how could the whole world lose or gain a day when it is impossible for even one family to get confused without their neighbors soon setting them straight? The Jewish race is the most powerful evidence that the Sabbath has never been lost. They've observed every seventh day from the time of Abraham. How could a whole nation lose track of counting time? It would be impossible unless the whole nation just slept over an extra twenty-four hours and then no one ever put them straight about it afterward. But that could never, never happen.

Just in case you still have a question, let me read you some statements from great astronomers of the world. First of all from Edgar Larkin, who is the Director of the Mt. Lowe Observatory. Here's what he said in answer to a letter: "Astronomers dare not depend upon any human device nor human chronologies save as they are attested by the movements of the time pieces in the sky. Our days, weeks, and years only exist as unit measurements in computing the unerring revolutions of the heavenly orbs. Lost or changed time would be instantly detected by the modern astronomer." So you see, no time could ever be lost. If it were, these men would know about it and they would tell us; but on the contrary, they tell us it has never been lost.

Here's a statement from THE NEW ASTRONOMY by Dr. Todd. "The uniformity of the earth's rotation has been critically investigated by Newcomb and no change in the length of the day as great as one one-thousandth of a second in one thousand years could escape detection. For more than three thousand years science has gone backward and with profound research reveals the fact that in that vast period the length of the day has not changed by the hundredth part of a single second of time." That's pretty conclusive, isn't it?

And now a statement by W. W. Campbell, Director of Lick Observatory in Hamilton, California. "The week of seven days has been in use ever since the days of the Mosaic Dispensation and we have no reason for supposing that any irregularities have existed in the succession of the weeks and their present days from that time to the present." I think that's quite sufficient to show that there has been no astronomical loss of time, none whatsoever.

Now we'll move on to another objection that is sometimes raised. Somebody says the law was fulfilled by Christ and we don't have to keep it anymore. How many people have been deceived by this argument! They think Christ kept the law and that ended it for them, they don't have to worry about it at all. Many a sincere person has accepted that kind of reasoning. Let me ask you a question: What kind of person would want to do away with a law that's holy, spiritual, perfect, righteous, truthful, and unchangeable? All these words are used in the Bible to describe the Ten Commandments. And who would want to live in a country where there is no law? In Matthew 5:17 Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

What does it mean to fulfill, friends? Some folks think that means to bring it to an end, but notice Matthew 3:15: "And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." There's the same word, even in the original, the word "fulfil." What does it mean? "Fulfil all righteousness" means to obey or fill it up with obedience, that's what it means. It doesn't mean to bring to an end. You'll find that Jesus put emphasis upon the idea that the Law could never be changed or destroyed. In fact He said that whoever would think of breaking even the least of those Ten Commandments and would teach others to do so, would be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19.)

Now we ought to examine one more argument that is often used. And that is that we only have two commandments to go by now, love to God and love to man. This reason is often given for not keeping the Sabbath. A minister once said that Jesus did away with the Ten Commandments and gave us only two. But let's look at Matthew 22:37, 39. Jesus said that the first and great commandment is to love God with all thy heart, soul, and mind. And the second is like unto it, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Now verse 40: "On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets." In other words, the Ten Commandments hang on these two great principles, love to God and love to man. It says they're all hanging there, friends. That means the Sabbath commandment must be hanging there among them. If we love God with all our heart, soul and mind, we'll surely want to keep the first four of the Ten Commandments because they have to do with our relation to God. And if we love our neighbor as ourself, we'll want to keep the last six as the standard of a Christian as it relates to our duty to our neighbor. Remember what Jesus said, the first and great commandment is to love God. If a person loves Jesus, he'll want to worship Him, and that's why the Sabbath was given. That's why it is so very, very important to remember.

The Sabbath is a great, wonderful gift from Heaven to us, that we might remember the fact that God created us and that He created all of this world in six days. It verifies week by week the story of creation as found in the Bible. The Sabbath is written into the very heart of the Ten Commandments by the finger of God Himself.

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