The Last Countdown

Originally published on Monday, September 27, 2010, 8:01 pm in German at www.letztercountdown.org

I would like to invite you once more to go with me on a journey that will lead us almost 2000 years back in time to the year AD 31, the year that we all know and learned to love in Adventism as the year of Christ’s crucifixion. This is not a journey only in time, but it also leads us to a certain place we all know from the Gospels: the garden of Gethsemane, where our beloved Lord Jesus sweated blood for us as our sins were placed upon Him. After Jesus held the Last Supper with His disciples in the evening, they set out to go to this garden. This was, in our Adventist understanding and according to our usual day, reckoned as the evening of Thursday going into Crucifixion Friday. According to Jewish reckoning, where the day starts at sunset and does not begin at midnight, this was already Friday.

Ellen G. White began Chapter 74, which is titled Gethsemane in her wonderful book The Desire of Ages, with the following words:

In company with His disciples, the Saviour slowly made His way to the garden of Gethsemane. The Passover moon, broad and full, shone from a cloudless sky. The city of pilgrims’ tents was hushed into silence.

What most of us take for a seemingly poetic description of the circumstances of Jesus’ arrival in the garden of Gethsemane contains so much dynamite that this bomb is about to explode the whole of Adventism. You will surely wonder how this could be.

An Open Letter

To understand this, we need to read an open letter against our Adventist church(es) that is circulating around the Internet at the moment. It was published on March 6, 2009 on the scribd document platform under OPEN LETTER to CLIFFORD GOLDSTEIN and is addressed to the former Jewish author Clifford Goldstein, who converted to Adventism, and who is well-known for his Adventist books, like America in Prophecy; thus, it is indirectly addressed to all Adventists. The title is:

OPEN LETTER to CLIFFORD GOLDSTEIN: The CROSS was NOT in AD 31.

In the introduction, we can already read the following strong words:

If the Seventh-day Adventist calculations of Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 Weeks leading to the Cross at Passover on Friday Nisan 14 in 31 AD are not correct, then . . . the entire premise for the foundation and existence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is demolished.

If the middle of Daniel’s 70th Week does not end at Jesus’ Crucifixion at Passover on Friday Nisan 14 in 31 AD, then the Decree to rebuild Jerusalem was not given to Ezra by Artaxerxes Longimanus in 457 BC. Neither do the 2,300 evenings and mornings end in 1844 AD. The Day-Year Principle is shown to be false. There is no “Investigative Judgment”. Babylon is not yet fallen, and the 3 Angels’ messages remain to be preached by the 3 Angels.

This would be reason enough to call into question the foundation of the SDA organization, and to terminate its continued existence. This would force us to question just exactly what else, if anything that Adventism teaches, can possibly be true, if they have gotten something so very elementary, so absolutely wrong!

This church which claims to preach the 3 Angels’ messages, and to be the repository of Truth For Our Time, would have been based on a transparent lie.

This church’s prophet would be proven to have taught a false message, negating her claim to the title of a true prophet of God. Could the Holy Spirit have “shown” her such a false doctrine? Only false prophets preach false messages, and we must flee from them.

As for the multitudes of educated Adventist scholars since Ellen G. White, who have endorsed and reinforced her doctrines does not – their silence on this most fundamental and crucial issue, also speak volumes for their faith, their standards, their integrity?

Does this not mean that the Seventh-day Adventist Church would have been founded on an insupportable, reprehensible lie?

Would not this church then have been preaching a lie since 1844?

A lie that no angel, nor Jesus, nor the Holy Spirit ever spoke.

Anyone who regards these statements as exaggeration finds a friend in me. Even so, I thought this was a mere hyperbole when I read it for the first time. But then came long studies of the different Jewish calendars and the biblical rules for the feasts, since I wanted to counter the lunar Sabbath keepers and had to trace their studies, and the understanding of these calendars brought me back to astronomy (not astrology, as some want to foist on me) and to a startling conclusion: We actually have a problem with the year AD 31 in Adventism.

According to our current knowledge and with all recent scientific and astronomical evidence, there could not have shone a full moon in the year AD 31 over the crucial scene in Gethsemane on a Friday, as we Adventists preach it. Why not? Because every Passover must fall on a full moon (or the day after), but if the Passover in AD 31 was in March or April, then the full moon of Nissan 14, if it was the 27th of March, fell on a Tuesday, and if it was the 25th of April, fell on a Wednesday, but never on a Friday!

Just above, however, we read that Ellen G. White stated: “The Passover moon , broad and full, shone from a cloudless sky.

In her writings, furthermore, we find on several occasions a clear reference to the fact that Jesus died on the cross in the spring of AD 31:

In the spring of A. D. 31, Christ the true sacrifice was offered on Calvary. {DA 233.2}

Two other similar statements are in The Great Controversy, and one each in Spirit of Prophecy, Prophets and Kings and The Faith I Live By.

And it is confirmed by her that Jesus died on a Friday:

Trouble seemed crowding upon trouble. On the sixth day of the week they had seen their Master die; on the first day of the next week they found themselves deprived of His body, and they were accused of having stolen it away for the sake of deceiving the people. {DA 794.2}

I was shocked and touched to the quick in my Adventist heart. Could it really be, that perhaps I had believed a lie all these years? Was it possible that the prophecies of Daniel had not been fulfilled? Or did we Adventists only have the wrong year—but then how could 1844 still be true? Ellen G. White also confirmed October 22, 1844 many times! Was she, then, really a false prophet? Terrible! Unbearable! That would really be the end of Adventism—without exaggeration!

But of course, I thought... calm down first, read carefully, check everything...

This is what I would like to do now, together with you...

The 70 Weeks

The author of the open letter continues and explains how we as Adventists understand the fulfillment of the prophecy of the 70 weeks of Daniel 9. Anyone who doesn’t know this yet should first have a look at our basic doctrine in this regard. This can be done in a very nice way at Cyberspace Ministry. Everything is biblical and beautifully prepared.

Anyone who knows it already and just wants to see an overview, here is the basic diagram of our interpretation of the 70 weeks of Daniel:

The 70 Weeks

Hence, in the middle of the seventieth week we come exactly to spring AD 31 and the crucifixion of Jesus. The author of the open letter is absolutely right. Like this, and in no other way, is how we as Adventists teach it.

The author continues:

SDA theology states, apparently without having resorted to the most elementary expedient of actually checking a calendar, that Jesus was crucified at Passover on Friday, Nisan 14, A.D. 31. This doctrine is the fulcrum on which rests the validity of their interpretation of the 70 Weeks prophecy, which to them, is fulfilled in the Messiah being “cut off at the middle of the 70th Week”.

Placing all their faith in the calculations of the pagan Ptolemy, SDAs assure themselves that, since 486 ½ years (69 ½ Weeks) from the year 457 BC (when Artaxerxes Longimanus, they say, gave his decree to rebuild Jerusalem), brings them to the year A.D. 31, they have thus conclusively proven that their method of Bible eisegesis and interpretation, is watertight, unimpeachable, infallible, inviolable. They are convinced beyond argument that this is correct, and do not wish to be confused with facts.

Unfortunately for this doctrine, it is demonstrably false. I have never encountered any SDA proof of this date for the Cross, possibly because, being precipitately convinced of its accuracy, everybody deemed it unnecessary to check this crucial detail.

And unfortunately, I must also admit that I had never previously seen or heard about any SDA verification of the date. I have to admit, too, that I had not really researched it either. The first time I read any criticism of our teaching in this regard came from the followers of the lunar Sabbath doctrine. But more about that later.

If one reads the next 16 pages of the document of the author of the open letter, who calls himself “Jerushah” in his profile, one is confronted with a fairly detailed introduction to the Hebrew calendar in the way the author imagines the current calendar at the time of Jesus. Jerushah in no way exposes the fact that there are big disagreements and dissensions about exactly how the Jews calculated their festivals 2000 years ago. The true solution to the “year 31 problem” will also show what calendar was really in use at that time.

Actually, what the author and many others who are attacking our church(es) in the same way are doing is fairly simple. They take the moon phases that today are easily predictable and verifiable scientifically and compare them with the weekdays of the eligible months that could have been candidates for the Passover in AD 31. We should do the same—perhaps even with a more developed program than Jerushah had. He will let me get away with it, because at first glance his results will be confirmed and that will certainly please him. But not us!

What we need is a program that tells us something astronomically accurate about the moon at that time, but first we should ask ourselves the question: “Why is the moon so important?”

The Moon Determines the Beginning of the Month

What we know for certain and what is undisputed is the fact that the ancient Israelites kept lunar months and determined their feasts accordingly. This is biblically proven, and no one can deny it. Where we find small differences of opinion is in the question of when, exactly, the Jewish month started: on the astronomical new moon, or on the first crescent moon, the first small visible sickle.

But we know pretty surely that in Jerusalem a special guard was placed on a hill, whose job was to watch at the time of sunset (the biblical beginning of the day) to see if after the new moon the first small crescent would become visible. If that was the case, this new day that had begun at sunset was declared as the first day of the month. This first crescent, which we will abbreviate with “FC” from now on, determined the beginning of the month. Of course, there could possibly be delays, if for example bad weather with clouds prevailed or the lighting conditions were too unfavorable. I want to emphasize—and will come back to it—that we should not use these possible delays to explain the differences of our doctrine to the astronomical results which will soon be shown, because that would only lure us into another trap.

There are also other groups who like to set the beginning of the month with the astronomical new moon. When no crescent is visible, the new moon can last 1-3 days, so this method would result in discrepancies in the determination of which of the new moon days the month would really have started on. Therefore, that method was most likely never used. The further we come in the study, the clearer it will be that we, by discovering certain harmonies, will have rediscovered even the true biblical calendar and the exact rules for the determination of the months and years.

Even today, the camp of the lunar Sabbath keepers is strongly divided because they are in dispute with each other as to when exactly the beginning of the month should be. As they celebrate their new Sabbath on the first day of each month, which can therefore fall on any day of the week and is different every month, and keep this weekday holy as the Sabbath day for the rest of the month, various groups of the lunar Sabbath keepers are keeping their Sabbath on different days. Since we know how important the sanctified day of God is, one can tell from the strife among the lunar Sabbath keepers that something must be wrong.

Probably few know that in the Arab world the beginning of the religious months and the fixed prayer times are still being determined exactly according to the FC moon even today, and since Islam is very strict and the Muslims have to follow the prayer times that apply to their places of birth, even on journeys, they provide the best downloadable programs on the Internet for determining the FC moons and prayer times. We will use one such program for the entire series of articles, because it provides very nice pictures and will help us to learn a lot more about our future than just to solve the issue of the year AD 31.

Anyone who wants to check these studies should go ahead and download the program Accurate Times from International Astronomical Center and verify that I am not doctoring the data. Of course, you can recalculate the data with any other planetarium program too. They all provide pretty good results that differ very little from each other. Another program that is able to give us very accurate simulated views of the moon as observed directly from a hill at Jerusalem in any given year is Redshift. It is available in several languages and the program costs about US $75 and is probably the best you can currently obtain on the market at this price. They have placed particular emphasis on carrying out an absolutely accurate lunar calculation, as it is not that simple, mathematically/astronomically, because the moon does not move along a uniform orbit, but “lurches” somehow. The official homepage is www.redshift-live.com. (No, I am not an affiliate there.)

Moreover, we will discover later that for our solution to the year 31 issue, it is irrelevant whether the moon was calculated according to the new moon (which one?) or the FC moon, because we know that Ellen G. White saw a full moon in the garden of Gethsemane on Nisan 14. She would be a false prophet if there were no full moon on the Friday of the crucifixion in AD 31. I will deliberately deal with Ellen G. White very strictly.

The Jewish Day: From Evening to Evening

The Jewish day began at sunset and went until sunset. From the creation account, this can be clearly seen in the Bible:

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:3-5)

There is another verse that also gives a clear confirmation:

It shall be unto you a sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your sabbath. (Leviticus 23:32)

Here again, Rome introduced confusion and moved the beginning of the day to midnight. We must always think deeply if we use Roman calendar dates, because part of the Roman day is still in the old Jewish day (midnight to evening) and another part in the next Jewish day (evening until midnight). This can cause quite a lot of confusion. The meaning of Babylon is “confusion” after all.

Was Yom Kippur really on the 22nd of October 1844?

I would like to show you a controversial example that nicely illustrates how the calculation of the beginning of the month is done in a modern way. Since there is much dispute over our “Adventist birthday”, October 22, 1844, at this point I would like to check if Ellen G. White, who has often affirmed this date, is right or—as many offshoot sites claim—erred “again”. So, first we must determine when the first crescent moon was visible, prior to October 22. This would be the beginning of the 1st of Tishri, the seventh Jewish month, of 1844. Then we have to count until the 10th of Tishri to get the date of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) in 1844 because the Day of Atonement always takes place on the 10th day of the seventh Jewish month.

If you are using the program “Accurate Times” for the first time, you first need to enter the location of “Jerusalem” because all calculations are based on the old temple site in the city where Jesus preached and outside the gates of which he was crucified. In this Arab program, the location is not available by default (no surprise).

A new default location can be added with the “Location” button. The coordinates for Jerusalem are 35° 13’ East (E) and 31° 47’ North (N). The time zone is +2 east and the elevation 630m. The “Refraction” does not interest us particularly (I have: temperature: 17° C, air pressure: 914 mb), nor are we interested in the “City Settings”. For the prayer times, you can leave 15 km.

Now enter a name for the new default location: “ISRAEL Jerusalem” and press the “Add” button. Now you’re set.

First let’s look at the moon phases for October 1844. Click on “Moon Phases”. Always use “local times” and “topocentric” calculation, because it is more accurate. Now just enter 1844 in the “year” field and click “Calculate”. After a short calculation time, a moon phase table for the entire year of 1844 will appear. Look in the “New Moon” column for the first date before October 22, 1844. Did you find it? It is the 12th of October, at 0:41 hours. Redshift says 1:25 hours. I believe Redshift, but the small difference is not relevant for our research.

The astronomical new moon, when not even the smallest crescent was visible, took place on October 12, 1844, shortly after our beginning of the day (midnight). Now we need to determine on which day at sunset an observer on a hill in Jerusalem could have spotted the first small crescent. This would be the biblical beginning of the month and this evening would be the biblical beginning of the first day of the new month. Here it can already be seen that the theories of some brethren, who send me strange studies saying that the biblical beginning of the day is not at sunset but in the morning, are complete nonsense. We need to understand exactly how these calculations were then carried out, otherwise we will never discover what God in His wisdom has prepared for our time in the shadows of the ceremonial law.

Now we come to the main task of the program “Accurate Times”, which is designed specifically for this very question: the determination of when the first crescent moon was visible. Close our moon phase calculation with “Close” and on the main menu click “Crescent Visibility” (visibility of the crescent moon). We will use Roman dates in all our calculations in this series because we are accustomed to thinking and counting with them. Therefore, we first mark “Gregorian Date” in the new dialogue window. Now enter 12 for “Day”, 10 for “Month” and 1844 for “Year”.

The other settings should always be:

  • “New Crescent (Evening)”
  • “Topocentric Calculations” (but works also with “geocentric”)
  • “Time of Calculation: Sunset”

Whenever a new date has been entered, we must first click on “Preview”. Then the program automatically calculates three possible days for the visibility that are closest to our specified date, and then we can click the red button “Crescent Visibility Map”.

The program first suggests the 11th of October, 1844, and we click “Draw” to draw the visibility map. The result looks like this:

Moon Visibility 1844 10 11

The legend for the map tells us that white and red areas indicate that it is impossible to spot the crescent moon. So, the evening of October 11, 1844 is ruled out completely. The astronomical new moon did not even occur before midnight of the 12th, so that is logical!

The 12th of October looks like this:

Moon Visibility 1844 10 12

There is a red area right above: impossible. A white area: no way. A blue area in which optical devices for spotting the crescent would have been necessary. We will exclude these blue areas from all calculations, since the ancient Israelites did not have such devices and therefore these areas cannot mark the beginning of the biblical month. We will also exclude magenta areas, where a sighting with the naked eye is theoretically possible with extremely good weather conditions but for only such a brief moment during the sunset that it also seems impossible. I set up Redshift to simulate all this for me, and the results are incredibly beautiful. One feels transported back to those years. In magenta areas, at the moment when the sun has not fully set, there is just a short flash of a “crescent” so tiny that it cannot have been valid.

The case is quite different in green areas. On the map above, we find such a green area, and that is what we are looking for. Here, in accordance with the scientific criteria for the calculations, it is most likely that a sighting would occur. However, the green area on the map above does not cover Israel and Jerusalem in this case, which means that the sighting of the FC moon at sunset of October 12 was not possible.

Let’s turn to the 13th of October:

Moon Visibility 1844 10 13

Now we’ve found what we’re looking for! The green area clearly covers all of Israel, and hence Jerusalem, on the evening of October 13 at sunset. What does this mean? Which day is now the 1st of Tishri, the 1st day of the seventh Jewish month?

We want to count to the 10th of Tishri now. To make it easy, we could use one of the many available calendars on the Internet. I like to use UleDoc, but even if we simply add 9 days to the 14th of October, which we already detected as the 1st of Tishri, we come to the day on which the ancient Israelites would have celebrated their Day of Atonement in 1844.

And according to Cocker, that would be: 14 + 9 = 23. The 23rd of October 1844.

Wait a minute! In Adventism we still teach that the Yom Kippur day of the year 1844 fell on the 22nd of October and that the Millerites were expecting the second coming of Jesus on that very day. Now it is all of a sudden the 23rd instead of the 22nd? Is everything wrong in Adventism now?

No, calm down and think!

The Millerites and the “Movement of the Seventh Month”, of course, did not have such programs as we have today, and there was no way for them to observe what could have been seen on those eligible days at sunset in Jerusalem. Furthermore, it was not clear by what criteria the new month has to be determined. Without going too deep into detail, let us ask Ellen G. White herself, who was an eyewitness of those events on the day of the “great disappointment”, what really happened and at what time they expected Jesus:

With bated breath the Adventists, no less than fifty thousand and probably nearer one hundred thousand scattered largely across the northeastern portion of North America, arose to greet the eventful day, Tuesday, October 22, 1844.

Some sought vantage points where they could peer into the clear heavens, hoping to catch a first glimpse of the coming of their returning Lord. When would Jesus come? The morning hours slowly passed and noon came, then midafternoon; finally, darkness settled upon the earth. But it was still October 22, and it would be till midnight. At last that hour came, but Jesus did not come. The disappointment was almost beyond description. {1BIO 53.2–3}

According to our very exact calculation we come to the conclusion that the Millerites and the whole Advent movement, who had calculated this “very last date” for the coming after the previous “little disappointment”, actually had been waiting a day too early for the coming of the Lord. But they had made a biblically accurate calculation of this “last possible date of the coming”, very similar to the way the Jewish Karaites do it, by determining the spring barley harvest of the Jewish year.

If we open the web site of the Karaites www.karaite-korner.org, we find on this purely Jewish site, which normally does not deal at all with other religions, surprising links to sites with the Adventist debate—once to a site of Adventism’s adversaries, and once to the Adventist response at Pickle Publishing, which is very well-founded. This discussion, however, is not about the exact day—as here—but about whether the month was correct, because the Jews already celebrated their Yom Kippur on September 23 in that important year of 1844.

What causes this discrepancy of exactly one month? The seventh Jewish month is the seventh crescent moon calculated from the first FC moon, which of course depended on when the Jewish year had begun and when the first month was determined. We still have to talk in detail about how the first biblical month was really determined, because there is a lot depending on it. For now, just note this: There are at least two groups of Jews: the Rabbinical who determine their beginning of the year according to the Rabbi Hillel II calendar, and the Karaites who set their beginning of the year in a more biblical manner—so they say—according to the barley harvest alone. I will explain these two methods of determining the Jewish beginning of the year in detail, and you will recognize very soon that... both are flawed!

Many are blaming us Adventists now, however, saying we have errors in our calculations. The worst thing is that they accuse Ellen G. White, because her visions confirmed the date, and if it were not correct, she would be exposed “once again” as false prophet.

First, we must understand that the level of knowledge of the biblical truths and the biblical ceremonial law was still very low at that time. The Sabbath had not yet been recognized, and even less the beginning of the Jewish day at sunset. All this would be discovered years later. So, for example, for 16 years, Jesus did not deem it necessary to explain to Ellen G. White that the biblical beginning of the day for Sabbath observance is not at 18:00 hours, but at the moment of the sunset. However, if Jesus did not consider it to be important at that time, that does not mean it is as unimportant for us nowadays. Knowledge is growing, and my findings in the Jewish ceremonial law and the shadow services and feasts would not have been possible without an accurate understanding of the truly biblical calculation of the beginnings of days, months, and years.

Let us examine the statements Ellen G. White made about October 22, 1844 and what she says exactly:

So history records these miraculous events in Sweden for later generations to recall, lest the Adventists forget or deny the mighty power of God at work in the Advent proclamation of the 1840’s and the significance of the judgment that began in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary October 22, 1844. {EGWE 108.5}

When exactly did the Yom Kippur day begin? At the evening of the 22nd of October to the 23rd of October, 1844, at sunset. Ellen G. White’s statement is absolutely right. The judgment began exactly at the evening of the 22nd of October 1844! It did not begin on the 23rd of October, because that would be about 6 hours late. Our moon calculations confirm exactly this date.

In her biography, we read:

Also she was shown that they were at the beginning of a path, rather than at the end of it, as they had supposed. {1BIO 59.3}

It is about the beginning of the judgment, and again this was exactly on the 22nd of October, as our calculation shows: sunset at the evening of the 22nd of October 1844 to the 23rd of October.

In Early Writings, we read about the shut and open door, the true event that took place at this sunset of the 22nd of October: Jesus concluded the service in the Holy Place and went on to serve in Most Holy Place. No contradiction—all correct!

The only slightly problematic comment from Ellen G. White that I could find is from the Great Controversy:

The tenth day of the seventh month, the great Day of Atonement, the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which in the year 1844 fell upon the twenty-second of October, was regarded as the time of the Lord’s coming. This was in harmony with the proofs already presented that the 2300 days would terminate in the autumn, and the conclusion seemed irresistible. {GC 399.4}

By our definition, the Day of Atonement in the year 1844 would not have fallen upon the 22nd of October, but upon the 23rd; but anyhow, this Day of Atonement was never really kept in any place in the world. On the Karaite website, we can read that they would not have held their Day of Atonement on this day. (I will show later why they think so.) It is true, however, that the Day of Atonement began on the 22nd of October 1844! It is a purely dialectical question, because in truth, part of Yom Kippur fell upon the 22nd of October and another part upon the 23rd of October. This is not enough to reprimand Ellen G. White as a false prophet! However, we learn from this how important it is to understand these issues well, in order to meet our opponents with the truth.

At the end of our short trip to this topic, I want to give the counsel that we should be very careful in our articulation. The properly calculated Day of Atonement would have fallen upon the 23rd of October, but Jesus definitely went into the Holy of Holies on the 22nd of October, 1844, and the Great Judgment Day in heaven began at sunset on the 22nd of October 1844 according to the Gregorian calendar. The pioneers had identified the new moon of October 12 as the beginning of the month, and not the first crescent, like how they later also mistakenly thought the Sabbath would begin at 18:00 hours. However, Jesus tells us through the prophet Daniel:

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Daniel 12:4)

The Biblical Year

In this series, nobody can get around having to deal with the unusual Jewish calendar and the complicated-looking feasts. The Bible is full of it, and that has a reason that has not yet been recognized. Therefore, here is a little more about the Jewish calendar calculations. We now know that the Jewish month begins with the first crescent (FC) moon, and this is the same every month. Now we want to find out when the Jewish year begins or began.

First of all, there are two theories and calendars. Our “Jerushah” used only one of them, and moreover, the one that was probably not in use at the time.

To get into this issue, we need to understand that spring in ancient Israel began with the equinox in March, like in our culture. Given the shifts in time of the last 2000 years, the spring equinox was around the 23rd of March (Julian calendar), whereas today it is around the 20th of March. By the way, all my dates will be given in Gregorian (after AD 1582) and Julian (before AD 1582) terms. The programs I recommended automatically apply the conversion. It is just important for you to know that with the introduction of the Gregorian calendar, the order of the sequence of days did not change, and that is what it is mainly about, because we want to know whether it was possible that Jesus indeed died on a Friday in the year 31, spent a Saturday in the tomb, and resurrected on a Sunday morning, as we have always been taught.

By the 4th century (there is also a lot of dispute about when exactly, but everyone agrees that it was centuries after Christ), we know that a famous Rabbi Hillel introduced a calendar that determined the first Jewish month, “Nissan”, so that it began with the FC moon that was closest to the spring equinox. Some call this calendar “Hillel II”, and they call the previously existing calendar “Hillel I”, but of course that is not quite right because Hillel was not even born yet. Nevertheless, I would like to stay with this nomenclature too, because it is so beautifully simple.

Some are now assuming that before Rabbi Hillel and his Hillel II calendar, the Jewish rule for the beginning of the year was to use the first FC moon after the spring equinox or falling together with the spring equinox. As we shall see, the advocates of this theory have come very close to the truth, but there is still something missing.

So, there are two possible calendars that depend entirely on the spring equinox (March 23 at that time, March 20 today), and one of these was provably introduced centuries after Christ. Exactly that one is the one that our Jerushah uses in his open letter... and that is where he made his first big error, and many others do the same.

So, do you think we just need to use the Hillel I calendar, and everything will be hunky-dory? Far from it! But first, let us summarize the possibilities we have found for the beginning of the year so far:

Four Methods

Thus, we already see from the analysis of the various theories of the beginning of the biblical month and year that there are some inconsistencies and uncertainties. If there is anything included for us, as the last generation, in the biblical feast days, we first have to recognize that it was none other than Satan who created so much confusion, and we now have the task of bringing order out of chaos.

So far, we have found four different ways in which the Jews might have determined the beginning of their first month “Nissan” in the year 31. Those methods are used interchangeably by many websites, and everybody adopts the method that better supports the author’s ideas.

  1. Beginning of the year (Nissan 1) at the astronomical new moon which is closest to the spring equinox.
  2. Beginning of the year (Nissan 1) at the astronomical new moon which is after the spring equinox or falls upon it.
  3. Beginning of the year (Nissan 1) at the FC moon which is closest to the spring equinox.
  4. Beginning of the year (Nissan 1) at the FC moon which is after the spring equinox or falls upon it.

Jerushah picked just one of these four methods, the Hillel II method (no. 3), and this method is very unlikely to be the correct one, since we know that Rabbi Hillel introduced the calculation with the FC moon closest to the spring equinox centuries after the year AD 31.

The Karaites

We cannot get around this group of Jews either, when we are considering what the true calculation of the biblical beginning of the year probably was. They claim—and this apparently honest—that they try to reverse the Jewish calendar that was reformed by Rabbi Hillel and return to the observance of the original biblical calendar required by Jehovah. Therefore, they completely exclude the use of the astronomical new moon, because they understand that God showed Moses something in the night sky when he said to him:

This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. (Exodus 12:2)

The word for month is “hodesh” and it actually means “new moon”. So, if God wanted to teach Moses the beginning of the month, then He pointed to the first crescent, because if there had been nothing (an astronomical new moon), He could not have been showing something. I agree with these Karaites, and therefore we will put aside the astronomical new moons in the future, which sometimes even last for 2 or 3 days, and would cause other problems in determining the beginning of the month. Only in the calculation of the possible weekdays for the Passover in the year AD 31, we will still use it for completeness.

I would now like to briefly present what the Karaites think. On Nissan 16, the 16th day of the first Jewish month, a certain ceremonial sacrifice has to be offered: the waving of the sheaf of firstfruits.

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. (Leviticus 23:10,11)

According to the Jewish tradition, the sheaf of firstfruits consists of the first barley, since barley ripens first among all grain crops, about one month earlier than the others. Unfortunately we do not have many other Bible references, but it is a logical conclusion that a problem must arise for this spring feast, the second day after the Passover, if there simply isn’t any ripe barley available, right? How should the Jews “wave the sheaf” if they could not find any ripe sheaf of barley?

This apparent problem led to the very correct assumption that the beginning of the year would have to be postponed if no ripe barley (abib) was available at the end of the 12th month. In this case they had to wait for the next FC moon. But in this way, they at least knew two weeks before the Passover feast whether the sheaf could really be waved on Nissan 16 or not. In the Jewish culture, there is no leap year with an extra day every four years, as we know it, but there is a 13th month, a leap month. And how this should be determined is again, of course, heavily discussed.

The Rabbinic Jews have a permanent system that intercalates a leap month every 19 years (which incidentally leads to very interesting mathematical problems and a gradual shift of the beginning of the year in comparison with the real solar year), while the Karaite Jews determine their leap month by the abib (which simply means “ripeness”) of barley, which makes far more sense in view of the Bible:

This day came ye out in the month Abib. (Exodus 13:4)

Observe the month of Abib, and keep the passover unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night. (Deuteronomy 16:1)

But what about the equinox? This question is completely ignored by the Karaites. At the end of their 12th month, they just look for the abib, and if they find it, the next crescent moon immediately marks the 1st of Nissan. If they cannot find it, they intercalate a 13th month, and at the end of this month they search again. The beginning of the year for the Karaites is therefore only indirectly dependent on the sun, since it gives light and warmth for plant growth. Their determination is more agricultural and less astronomical.

If we now add the Karaite calculation of the beginning of the year to our list of four methods, we already get five ways the Jewish beginning of the year could have been calculated. Do you see how much confusion was brought in?

  1. Beginning of the year (Nissan 1) at the astronomical new moon which is closest to the spring equinox.
  2. Beginning of the year (Nissan 1) at the astronomical new moon which is after the spring equinox or falls upon it.
  3. Beginning of the year (Nissan 1) at the FC moon which is closest to the spring equinox.
  4. Beginning of the year (Nissan 1) at the FC moon which is after the spring equinox or falls upon it.
  5. Beginning of the year (Nissan 1) at the FC moon if the abib could be found.

After the “first disappointment” of 1843, the Adventist pioneers began to teach in the summer of 1844 that Jesus would have to come back “at the latest” on the 22nd of October 1844, if this year were preceded by a leap month because of the absence of the abib. (The 13th month, of course, always belongs to the previous year.) We shall see that they were absolutely right!

To the interested reader who would like to delve deeper into this subject and know more details, I would like to especially recommend the website of the Karaites www.karaite-korner.org and the very informative text on Pickle Publishing. I will limit myself here to presenting only the facts that are important to understand the solution. I don’t want to make it too long.

It will therefore be our task to find out which of these methods is correct, and that is certainly not an easy task, as no one has solved this problem before us. The amazing fact about the solution will be that none of the methods will turn out to be completely wrong, but not completely right either. In this first part of the shadow series, we will find the true biblical method that was still in use at the time of Jesus, and only with this knowledge were the amazing calculations of the third part possible, which will reconfirm our findings from the first part in a marvelous way.

The Passover Feast

According to the Bible, the Passover festival takes place on Nissan 14, in the first Jewish month. That is why it is so important to find out when the Jewish year begins. And of course the other spring and autumn feasts also depend on it. Generally, the belief is that the Israelites were just looking out for the crescent moon before or after the spring equinox or searching for the abib, and if the crescent was visible at sunset, they knew that this was that the beginning of the first day of the month Nissan. Then they were able to solemnly proclaim this throughout Israel, and the people had almost two weeks’ time to travel to Jerusalem and to gather there for the preparations of the Passover, which began with the removal of leaven from their houses and the sacrifice of the Passover lamb.

In Adventism, it is believed that the 14th of Nissan of the year 31 was a Friday, and the 15th of Nissan, the first day of the seven days of the feast of unleavened bread, would have been a ceremonial day of rest (sabbath) that fell exactly upon a seventh-day Sabbath in this year 31. Therefore, a ceremonial sabbath would have “accidentally” fallen upon a seventh-day Sabbath.

Let’s read God’s instructions for the Passover:

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD'S passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. In the first day ye shall have an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. But ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days: in the seventh day is an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein. (Leviticus 23:5-8)

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall wave it. (Leviticus 23:10,11)

At this point I’d like to create a small table to give you some help. The table also includes the days of the week as we Adventists teach them. This table reflects exactly what we find in our Adventist Bible Commentary.

Jewish DateNissan 14Nissan 15Nissan 16
Name of the FeastPassover (Lev. 23:5)1st Day of Unleavened Bread (Lev. 23:6)2nd Day of Unleavened Bread
Ceremony (Type)At the 9th hour (15:00 hours) the lamb was slain and eaten at sunset (next day)Ceremonial Sabbath - Day of RestWaving of the Sheaf of Firstfruits (Lev. 23,10-11) on the third day after Passover
Jesus - the true Passover Lamb (Antitype)Jesus has the Last Supper with his disciples at sunset on Thursday and then goes into the garden of Gethsemane, where He is arrested. After this the night and day trials follow, and Jesus is crucified and dies before the end of the day at the 9th hour.

Before sunset on Friday, the beginning of the Sabbath, Jesus is laid in the grave.

Jesus rests from His work in the tomb.Jesus’ resurrection on the morning of the third day.
Weekday (as taught by Adventists)Sunset Thursday -
Sunset Friday
Sunset Friday -
Sunset Saturday
Sunset Saturday -
Sunset Sunday

At this point I’d like to create some small tables to give you some help. The tables also include the days of the week as we Adventists teach them. These tables reflect exactly what we find in our Adventist Bible Commentary.

Jewish DateNissan 14
Name of the FeastPassover (Lev 23:5)
Ceremony (Type)At the 9th hour (15:00 hours) the lamb was slain and eaten at sunset (next day)
Jesus - the true Passover Lamb (Antitype)Jesus has the Last Supper with his disciples at sunset on Thursday and then goes into the garden of Gethsemane, where He is arrested. After this the night and day trials follow, and Jesus is crucified and dies before the end of the day at the 9th hour.

Before sunset on Friday, the beginning of the Sabbath, Jesus is laid in the grave.

Weekday (as taught by Adventists)Sunset Thursday -
Sunset Friday
Jewish DateNissan 15
Name of the Feast1st Day of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:6)
Ceremony (Type)Ceremonial Sabbath - Day of Rest
Jesus - the true Passover Lamb (Antitype)Jesus rests from His work in the tomb.
Weekday (as taught by Adventists)Sunset Friday -
Sunset Saturday
Jewish DateNissan 16
Name of the Feast2nd Day of Unleavened Bread
Ceremony (Type)Waving of the Sheaf of Firstfruits (Lev 23,10-11) on the third day after Passover
Jesus - the true Passover Lamb (Antitype)Jesus’ resurrection at the morning of the third day.
Weekday (as taught by Adventists)Sunset Saturday -
Sunset Sunday

According to Jewish inclusive calculation, Jesus spent the prophesied three days in the tomb: a small part before sunset on Friday (first day, 14th of Nissan), the entire Sabbath (second day, 15th of Nissan) and the night from sunset on Sabbath until Sunday morning (third day, 16th of Nissan). The sacrifice of the firstfruits, the waving of a specific type of grain, had to take place the day after the “Sabbath” according to the ceremonial law.

Now, the Passover falls upon a Friday only in certain years in which the ceremonial sabbath (Nissan 15) falls upon a real seventh-day Sabbath. In the year of the crucifixion of Jesus, that was exactly the case.

We know this from John 19:31:

The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

The expert opinion that is most likely completely correct is that a so-called “high Sabbath” or a “great Sabbath” existed whenever a ceremonial sabbath fell upon a real seventh-day Sabbath. Of course, there again is discussion in Christian circles, as obviously everything that is expressed in simple form in the Bible must be questioned. But it is certain that here in the Bible, a very special feature of this particular Sabbath is mentioned, which can be found nowhere else in the Bible. If we could prove that Jesus actually died on a Friday in AD 31, then this would also be the proof that “high Sabbath” means the coincidence of a ceremonial Sabbath with a seventh-day Sabbath. This will become very important in the third part of this series.

If we were to find out that it was impossible for Jesus to have died on a Friday in AD 31, that would be the worst-case scenario for Adventism. The question would then be a matter of “life or death” for us as Adventists!

Therefore, it is now time to calculate the year AD 31 with the five methods mentioned above, to see if the Passover of Nissan 14 perhaps could have fallen upon a Friday in AD 31...

The Verification

For the calculation with the first four methods, we must know the date of the spring equinox. Redshift gives the answer: March 23, AD 31, 6:24 hours, Jerusalem time.

Now we have to look for the astronomical new moon before the spring equinox. Redshift says: March 12, AD 31, 0:23 hours.

And the astronomical new moon after the spring equinox: April 10, AD 31, 13:37 hours.

The astronomical new moon closest to the vernal equinox is that of March 12 (11 days difference). The astronomical new moon of April 10 has a distance of 18 days.

According to method 1, beginning the year with the astronomical new moon that is closest to the vernal equinox, the Passover would have fallen on March 25, AD 31. Let us quickly look up in the weekday calculator which day of the week that was: Sunday. Unfortunately, not a Friday.

According to method 2, beginning the year with the astronomical new moon that is after the vernal equinox or coincides with it (April 10), the Passover would have fallen upon April 23, AD 31. Let us again quickly look up in the weekday calculator which day of the week that was: Monday. Unfortunately, this was not a Friday either.

For method 3, beginning the year with the FC moon that is closest to the vernal equinox, we first have to use “Accurate Times”. If you want to check the results, please repeat the exact steps that I showed you with the example of 1844. Just enter March 12, year 31 as the date. To shorten the process, I will only show the visibility map for March 12 and the “fulfillment day”.

First sunset of March 12:

Moon Visibility 31 03 12

The area that covers Israel is blue, and optical instruments would have been necessary to discover this FC moon. Those instruments did not exist in AD 31. Excluded!

Now March 13, AD 31:

Moon Visibility 31 03 13

Green! This is the sunset with the FC moon we are looking for. The program tells us that this was a Tuesday evening... So, the 1st of Nissan would have been Wednesday, March 14, AD 31. Let’s quickly add 13 days in the date calculator, and we come to Nissan 14: Tuesday, March 27, AD 31. Again, not a Friday!

But we have still two chances left!

Let’s check method 4. According to this method, the beginning of the year (1st of Nissan) falls on the FC moon that follows the vernal equinox or coincides with it. In Accurate Times, we therefore have to use the astronomical new moon date of April 10, AD 31 to find the FC moon.

Moon Visibility 31 04 10

No, impossible. Let’s check the other day:

Moon Visibility 31 04 11

Yes, Israel is green! A Wednesday, April 11, AD 31. So, Nissan 1 would be Thursday, April 12, AD 31. And Passover? Wednesday, April 25, AD 31. Again, not a Friday, and now it will be a tight squeeze!

If we examine method 5 now and follow the rules of the Karaites on their own website, the abib is first checked in March. If they would have found it in March, the Passover would have taken place after the FC moon of March, and we already calculated that date: Tuesday, March 27, AD 31.

And if we would assume that they couldn’t find the abib in March, we automatically get to the next FC moon in April. We already calculated this Passover too: Wednesday, April 25, AD 31.

Five different methods and none of the Passovers falls on a Friday. What a shame!

Is it over now for Adventism, as “Jerushah” fervently states?

Let’s listen to some lone voices in our midst who try to defend us against this apparently fatal attack...

Pathetic Attempts to Explain

On YouTube, we can see and hear a nice sermon of the Adventist pastor Michael Kunz, which represents the “ultimate” of Adventist answers to this dilemma. I first heard this sermon with great joy, but then I noticed something perturbing.

Michael Kunz explains there basically the same facts that I told you already. He tells us that there is a terrible attack against Adventism because we would not be able to solve the AD 31 problem with Friday. He remarked, sadly, that he has been a pastor for decades, and even he was shaken to the very foundations of his faith. At the outset, he asked that no one leave the room, because he first had to show that it really is so bad with Adventism, but at the end of his short sermon—which does not even last half an hour—he would show everybody the solution to this problem. He stressed so much that no one should leave the conference before the end of his sermon because otherwise the person would probably never return to Adventism, missing the solution to the problem.

Despite my super slow Internet connection here in the countryside, I watched the whole sermon—which was arriving stop-and-go and heavily interrupted for over two hours—with bated breath and high suspense. I wanted to know what the solution was to this seemingly irresolvable problem...

I saw the time counter on the sermon reaching the last three minutes... And he was still talking about how bad everything was. But then it finally came! And the solution was so simple. We are all just too blind...

Giving the gist of the speech, this is what Pastor Michael Kunz said in his February 13, 2010 sermon:

Indeed, the problem is not whether the Passover fell really on a Friday astronomically! The real question is whether it could have fallen on a Friday, according to a human perspective, and by taking into account all errors, which at that time in A.D. 31 could have been possible with the observation of the new crescent moon.

All the world believes that the Passover would have fallen on Wednesday, April 25, as this was the only date astronomically correct and in accordance with the rules of the prevailing Jewish calendar [presumably Hillel I, new moon after the vernal equinox] of that time. But the Jews of that time put on guards to discover the first small crescent ...

So, what if the guards did not discover the very first crescent at sunset on Wednesday, April 11, A.D. 31? Then the 1st of Nissan would have been delayed by one day. And if the bad weather conditions lasted even longer, then there could have been a delay of even another day. After a human perspective, an error of two days at that time without astronomical calculation programs and computers cannot be excluded.

Go home tranquil now! Adventism is not dead, for it was possible that the Passover would have to fallen on a Friday because of human error.

So much for the well-intentioned attempt of this certainly pleasant pastor to explain it. At first, I thought this would have been something new that he had discovered by himself through intense study of the subject. Later however, I noticed that he indeed only repeated what was already written long ago in our Adventist Bible Commentary.

On page 252 volume 5 of the Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, we read under the heading “Possible Years for a Friday Crucifixion”:

b. The month beginning three days and about four hours after the new moon of April, A.D. 31 (approximately April 14), if reckoned by a somewhat longer but possible interval after the astronomical new moon (the 14th being Friday, April 27).

In other words, this is exactly what Pastor Michael Kunz explained to us. You just have to “cheat” a little and it fits perfectly. Let us just simply assume that the guards were drunk on the first day and there was bad weather on the second day, and we have eliminated the problem.

Nobody, however, can accuse our scholars by saying that we Adventists have never reviewed a calendar. In our Bible Commentary you can read on many large pages printed with small letters (p. 251-266) about a meticulous analysis of this problem, and this is the first slap in the face of “Jerushah”, who, while attacking Adventism, does not know anything about our basic writings and declarations. But I admit that even I never previously heard about this problem through any pastor or elder, and therefore did not know that we have known very well about the “year 31 issue” since the beginning of Adventism and are satisfied with a solution “due to human error”.

If you read our Bible Commentary and even find in the appendix on this topic letters from astronomical institutions in the 1950s, it could happen that at some point after so many quite difficult-to-digest readings, you snap the commentary shut and say, “Well, these are all experts. They certainly know what is correct!” Then you switch off the bedside lamp and try to let your brain recover in sleep. Honestly, I tended to react exactly like that....

But then the Holy Spirit didn’t let me rest anymore. An internal struggle took place in me, and this led me again and again to the garden of Gethsemane, and to the introductory words of Ellen G. White in “The Desire of Ages” in the chapter “Gethsemane”:

In company with His disciples, the Saviour slowly made His way to the garden of Gethsemane. The Passover moon, broad and full , shone from a cloudless sky. The city of pilgrims' tents was hushed into silence.

Have you ever seen the moon two days after the full moon? Did it still look like a full moon to you? Please, look at it this next month, or get yourself this “Redshift” program, which can simulate even the “full moon” of the year AD 31 on Friday, April 27.

No, it is easy to distinguish, and you can clearly see that this is no full moon anymore! And now comes the problem: Ellen G. White has always said that she was shown these crucial scenes in vision. She saw the full moon in the garden of Gethsemane, there with Jesus and His disciples!

So, if we allow human error in the sighting of the new moon and thus leave aside the astronomical calculations, we automatically make Ellen G. White a liar, because on April 27, AD 31, there was definitely no full moon visible in Gethsemane.

And if we ourselves make Ellen G. White a false prophetess, then Adventism has come to even more of an end.

Another problem. If we allow such big errors in the calculation of the FC moons, we can actually refrain from studying prophecy that is based on the feasts, because it all depends on the FC moons. If this were the solution, dear brothers and sisters, then our Lord was not crucified in AD 31 according to the astronomical rules that He Himself set up as the Creator. Then it was not the intention of Jesus to rest in the grave on a prophetically and astronomically predictable seventh-day Sabbath. Then the connection between astronomy and prophecy cannot be found, neither the possible real explanation for the many lunar sabbaths in the Bible. Then Christ just knew beforehand that the guards would be drunk in AD 31 and nothing has to do with the astronomical determination of the feast dates. Then we can also forget that the following Bible verse contains any reference to a prophetic significance of the sun and moon:

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: (Genesis 1:14)

This kind of mindset was probably the reason that no one in 166 years since the existence of our community really started to ponder over the problem, pray over it and finally find the real, beautiful, and harmonious solution.

We are in a terrible dilemma, brothers and sisters! So far, we only know that Friday, the 27th of April, AD 31 is astronomically wrong and that on this wrong Friday no full moon was shining in Gethsemane, as Ellen G. White claims. Who can help us out of this trouble?

The Solution of the Lunar Sabbath Keepers

In this dire hour, the lunar Sabbath keepers, who have been trained on this problem for many years through the Grace Amadon Collection, are offering themselves as saviors of Adventism, reaching out their hands to pull us out of the “quicksand of time”. Anyone who does not know what the Grace Amadon Collection is should know that this is a huge collection of studies that was presented to our General Conference in the early 1930s. Grace Amadon was the daughter of one of our pioneers and had studied the biblical calendar for decades and had come to the (wrong) conclusion that the true seventh-day Sabbath depends on the crescent moon. The General Conference, namely the Biblical Research Institute, has never confirmed it to be true, but it has also failed to study the true meaning of the feasts, which indeed depend on the FC moons. This negligence is the reason these studies come up again today and are in the process of turning many of our members away from keeping the seventh-day Sabbath on Saturday. They want to “convert” the whole Adventist Church to this new system. They call it “The Great Calendar Reform” or “The Great Sabbath Reform.”

The lunar Sabbath keepers’ solution to the AD 31 problem is as simple as it is striking…

As mentioned earlier, most of them, like the Jews, look for the first crescent moon (with different criteria, but that should not bother us) and begin their Sabbath-counting method with it. This first day of the lunar month is the first Sabbath! Some groups, however, keep the astronomical new moon as the Sabbath, which can last from one to three days. So, one has a lot to cook in advance as a lunar Sabbath keeper, if the new lunar Sabbath lasts for three days. Then they continue to count beginning with the first Sabbath and keep their Sabbath every seven days thereafter. In this way, they keep their Sabbaths in a certain month at intervals of 7 days, but the day of the week varies according to the FC moon (or astronomical new moon) because it falls on different weekdays according to the beginning of every new month. They claim to have found the true biblical Sabbath and to be the only true and genuine seventh-day Adventists.

Hence, they state that Jesus rested in the grave on a “Sabbath” no matter what weekday he died on. The first day of the feast of unleavened bread, which always follows the Passover, is a ceremonial day of rest (“sabbath” in Hebrew) according to Exodus 23:7, and always falls on their lunar “seventh-day Sabbath”. Thus, type and antitype would have been fulfilled perfectly, even if Jesus had died on Wednesday, April 25, AD 31, because for them, Thursday would have been a “seventh-day Sabbath”, Nissan 15.

For them, every feast which is described in the divine rules like this: “[this day] ye shall have an holy convocation, ye shall do no servile work therein” is automatically a Sabbath. And as the day after the Passover was anyhow declared a Sabbath, it is totally irrelevant which day of the week it would fall on.

Wow, thank you very much, dear lunar Sabbath keepers! Now you have saved Adventism, and we can all sleep calmly again. From now on, we will all use the “Accurate Times” program and watch the sunset skies to see if there is the small crescent visible. And then we will tell our employers that we will stay at home every month on different weekdays, which will surely make them very happy.

No, friends, it is not that simple! Indeed, the feast sabbaths have a very complicated rhythm, and they do not all have a spacing of exactly seven days. In the spring feasts, we also find the rule to count seven times seven days after the first day of the feast of unleavened bread to come to the day before Pentecost, and each of these seventh days is also a ceremonial sabbath. This count covers three full months, but in the second month your “seventh-day Sabbaths” would already be out of rhythm with this divine order. Another problem for you is that Nissan 16, the day of the firstfruits, one day after the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, was also declared a Sabbath. What is the meaning of all this? Exactly this: not one of you is able to explain it precisely.

Oh, I can almost prophesy that those lunar Sabbath keepers among you who prefer to use the astronomical new moons will now argue that this explains the aforementioned discrepancies of the three-days-in-a-row Sabbath (Passover, the feast of unleavened bread, firstfruits) because the new moon could last up to three days. No, it cannot be, because the Passover feast is always on Nissan 14, which always falls on a full moon and not on the new moon. Forget it! Your explanations will not save Adventism but bring it into deeper trouble.

The only thing you can explain regarding the feasts is that Jesus, according to your theory, could have died in any given year at any given month in spring on any weekday, and would have automatically rested on a ceremonial Sabbath in the grave. But this does not save Adventism, because we clearly teach that Jesus died on a Friday.

You are not able to explain how the other sabbaths of the spring feasts should be fulfilled, prophetically. For you, every ceremonial Sabbath is automatically a fulfillment. You eradicate the real seventh-day Sabbath and declare the ceremonial sabbath as its own fulfillment. So, everything fulfills at any given point in time and in every single year. This is pure nonsense and has no significance!

What you offer as an apparent support leads to the complete destruction of Adventism because you are turning us away from keeping the real Creation Sabbath and making us sin. Thus, we would all perish, and Satan would have achieved his goal.

The Choice

Hence, we may choose between the following options:

  1. We admit that we were wrong with Friday and that Jesus was not crucified on a Friday. So, we would prove “Jerushah” right.
  2. We accept the Bible Commentary solution and declare that Jesus was crucified on a Friday out “of human error”. This implies, however, that Ellen G. White was misled with the full moon and is not a true messenger of God.
  3. We accept the solution of the lunar Sabbath keepers and forget the Saturday Sabbath and start keeping our Sabbaths on a different weekday each month according to the crescent moons from now.

What option do you prefer? They all lead to the end of Adventism as we know it.

Or do you want to see the real solution now?

In this case, please read on at Full Moon at Gethsemane - Part II.

< Prev                       Next >