The Lunar Sabbath Deception

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A new theory about the Lunar Sabbath is gaining popularity among Sabbath keepers and is causing them to question if we are truly keeping the Biblical Sabbath.
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The Lunar Sabbath Deception

by Lex Meyer

There is a new source of confusion among believers about when we should keep the Sabbath. Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Messianic believers all agree that Sunday is NOT the Biblical Sabbath. There is no dispute about this among preachers, scholars, historians, or theologians. It is a well documented fact that Sunday church was instituted by the Roman Empire and the Catholic Church 300 years after Yeshua ascended. We know for a fact that Sunday is not, and never has been the Sabbath.

However, there is a new theory about the Sabbath that is gaining popularity among Sabbath keeping believers that is causing them to question if we are truly keeping the Biblical Sabbath as commanded by God. This theory has caused much confusion and division among Sabbath keepers, and is a subject that needs to be addressed to avoid any further confusion.

What is the Lunar Sabbath?

The Lunar Sabbath theory suggests that the weekly cycle resets each month based on the new moon, and ignores the current weekly uninterrupted 7 day cycle. They argue that the Sabbath will always fall on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th day of every lunar month. They selected these dates because they saw that the Feasts of Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles begin on the 15th and end on the 21st, and the Bible says that those days are to be treated as days of rest (like a Sabbath). However, the Sabbath theory people claim that the 15th and 21st are always Sabbath days, so they build their calendar around those two dates, and force their theory to fit that premise. (There is also a small minority who teach that the lunar Sabbath falls on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th days of the month.)

This theory would be great if there were only 28 days in a lunar cycle, however, we know for a fact that the moon is on a 29.53059 day cycle (29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes). This means we will always have more than 28 days in a lunar month, which makes this theory very problematic.

When looking at the lunar sabbath “evidence”, at first it sounds like it might actually be correct, and many sincere believers have been misled into following this pattern for their Sabbath observance. However, when we compare the Lunar Sabbath calendar with Scripture, we will quickly see that it does not line up with the Biblical Sabbath.

The following is an example of what the Lunar Sabbath schedule would look like each month. One thing to make note of is that the 1st day and the 30th day of the month are neither work days or Sabbath days, but are treated as “transition days” or “non-days”, which should already send up red flags in our mind as we examine this calendar. I was told by one lunar sabbath keeper that only when the moon is visible is it considered a day, so when the moon is hidden or dark, they are neither work days nor sabbath days, but are simply considered “non-days” or “reset days”.

Lunar Month
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

There are three specific weeks that are given to us in the Bible that will easily show the error in the Lunar Sabbath calendar. God established the Sabbath during Creation week to provide us with a pattern, then He reminded us of this pattern when He established the Manna Week cycle, and we see the pattern again during the Feast of Weeks when seven weeks are counted to reach the 50th day, the day after the seventh Sabbath. These three Biblical weeks provide more than enough evidence to disprove the claims that are being made about the Lunar Sabbath being the “true Sabbath”.


Creation Week

When studying the Sabbath, the best place to start is in the Beginning, when God established the Sabbath. It is important to notice that the Sun, Moon, and Stars were not even created until the 4th day, so we are already running into some problems with this theory that the Sabbath is based on the moon phases. However, as we examine it even closer, we see that God rested on the 7th day, but the Lunar Sabbath calendar says the 8th day of the month is the Sabbath. God would have had to skip day 1, and began creating on day 2 for this to work according to the Lunar Sabbath theory.

Here is a calendar that illustrates the error of the Lunar Sabbath according to the Biblical record of creation week.

Lunar Creation Week
1
Light
2
Heaven
3
Land, Plants
4
Moon
5
Fish, Birds
6
Animals, Man
7
Sabbath
8
Lunar Sabbath
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Since the moon was not created until the middle of the week, we can safely assume that the first Sabbath was not based on the moon.

Below is a calendar that illustrates what the Bible actually says about creation week.

Biblical Creation Week
1
Light
2
Heaven
3
Land, Plants
4
Moon
5
Fish, Birds
6
Animals, Man
7
Sabbath
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Manna Week

In all reality, Creation week has already given us good reason to doubt this Lunar Sabbath theory, but lets continue to see if there is more solid evidence to prove its error.

After God led the people out of Egypt, He wanted to remind them of His Sabbath, and he established a pattern that was to guide their Sabbath observance for the next 40 years as they lived in the wilderness. God established this pattern by supplying manna for 6 days, then no manna on the 7th day.

“Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, there will be none.” Exodus 16:26

We are also told that on the 6th day there was extra manna for the people to store up and eat on the Sabbath.

“See! For the Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days. Let every man remain in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” Exodus 16:29

This was the pattern that would solidify Israel’s Sabbath observance for the next 40 years and beyond.

“And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.” Exodus 16:35

Now, lets examine how the Lunar Sabbath theory compares to the Biblical record concerning the pattern of manna that God provided each week. We know that God began giving them manna on the 16th day of the second month, because the people were complaining about having no food on the 15th day.

“And they journeyed from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came to the Wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they departed from the land of Egypt. Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.” Exodus 16:1-2

If we look at the Lunar Sabbath calendar for two consecutive months according to the instructions regarding the giving of manna, we should immediately start to ask questions about the 1st and 30th days of the month.

  • Should these days be treated as work days or Sabbath days?
  • Was manna provided on the 1st and 30th of each month?
  • Was there an expectation that 4 days of manna would be stored up on the 28th day of the month?
  • Were those days meant to be fasting days?

It seems that God must have forgotten to mention those details concerning the “transition days” between each new Lunar month.

1st Lunar Manna Month
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
161 172 183 194 205 216 227
231 242 253 264 275 286 297 30?
2nd Lunar Manna Month
1? 21 32 43 54 65 76 87
91 102 113 124 135 146 157
161 172 183 194 205 216 227
231 242 253 264 275 286 297

If we examine what the Bible actually says about the manna cycle, we can easily see the pattern that was established in Scripture. Notice that the pattern below is a seamless and continuous 7 days cycle that causes no questions about what to do when the month cycle starts over. Also, notice that this pattern looks identical to our current calendar.

1st Biblical Manna Month
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
161 172 183 194 205 216 227
231 242 253 264 275 286 297
301
2nd Biblical Manna Month
12 23 34 45 56 67
71 82 93 104 115 126 137
141 152 163 174 185 196 207
211 222 233 244 255 266 277
281 292 13 24 35 46 57

The Feast of Weeks

The Lunar Sabbath theory says that all of the appointed times are based on the moon, but that is not correct. While it is true that we are told to use the moon for some of the Appointed times, we are also told to count days for other Appointed times. For example, Passover is the 14th day of the first month (moon), but we are told to count 7 Sabbaths (49 days) to Shavuot (Pentecost), which is on the day after the 7th Sabbath (day 50). If Yahweh wanted us to keep Shavuot on the 15th day of the 3rd month, then He would have commanded us to do so, but that is not what He said. He told us to count days.

In fact, counting the days to Shavuot is another way to see that it is a continuous seven-day cycle that does not reset each month. Counting seven Sabbaths must always equal 49 days because Shavuot is always on day 50. Yahweh could have simply told us to celebrate Shavuot on the 15th day of the 3rd month, but that is not what He said. We were instructed to count days.

The Lunar Sabbath people know this is a huge problem, but to work around it, they count seven sabbaths then count 50 more days on top of that, placing their Shavuot about seven weeks later than everyone else. However, when they do this, they do not land on the day after the seventh Sabbath, and in most cases, they do not land on the day after any Sabbath. This is a huge problem because the Scripture specifically says it is on the day after the seventh Sabbath.

"And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord." Leviticus 23:15-16

The Sabbath command is not based on the lunar cycle, it is found by counting. We are told to work 6 days, and rest on the 7th. If Yahweh wanted us to rest on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th days of every month, He would have told us to do it that way. However, He did not give us specific days of the month to be our Sabbath, He told us to count days.

“Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, there will be none.” Exodus 16:26
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work…” (Exodus 20:9-10)
“Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest…” Exodus 23:12
“Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord…” Exodus 31:15
“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest…” Exodus 34:21
“Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the Lord…” Exodus 35:2
“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest…” Leviticus 23:3
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God…” Deuteronomy 5:13-14

People who claim that the Sabbath is connected to the moon are ignoring the commandment to work six days and rest on the seventh.

I hope this study will help to put an end to any confusion that has been caused by the Lunar Sabbath theory.

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