Should we abandon the pagan holidays and keep the pagan calendar? The Gregorian Calendar we use in Western Culture today is only 433 years old and is Catholic in origin. It is based on the Roman calendar of Julius Caesar (Julian calendar) which is truly pagan. The Gregorian didn't exist in the time of Messiah (appeared on the scene about 1500 years after Messiah). If you want to keep a pagan calendar's Saturday Sabbath because you believe Messiah did, shouldn't you be doing so by the Julian calendar? Religion is hiding the Sabbath. The Biblical reality here is that Israel kept a luni-solar calendar, and observed the New Moon as a Feast (Appointed Time) which began the counting of days towards the weekly Sabbath.
Having been a Saturday Sabbath keeper, I know all too well that Saturday Sabbath keepers are not deliberately apostate (at least not always). They are often deceived themselves, and subject to the traditions of men, as we all are. The "Hebrew Roots" movement (a false restoration) is judaizing His Word to conform to the rituals, and culture of the Canaanites occupying Palestine (the nation state of Israel). Sadly, Saturn's Day (Saturday) Sabbath is the calling card of this false movement. Today these Canaanites use a severely compromised New Moon observance to determine the Feasts, but then use the calculated Babylonian calendar (Hillel II) to determine their Sabbath. They have divorced their months from their days somehow. Likewsie, those in the Hebrew Roots/Messianic movement in the U.S. use the same format, but instead of the Babylonian calendar thes use the Catholic Churche's (Pope Gregory XIII) Gregorian calendar.
Then the Father said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; Genesis 1:14
When the Father created the earth He set in motion the cycle of Sabbaths. For the unstable in thinking, there is a rather bizarre conclusion that because the moon didn't exist until the fourth day, there is no way that the Sabbath could start from the new moon. Correct, and yet wrong. First of all, there was both day and night (light and dark) BEFORE the creation of the celestial bodies which He created to rule over them. The moon is NOT a sign for Him, it's a sign for US! He does not need a sign, does He? No matter how hard the churches/doctrines try to hide it, it’s always visible in His creation simply by “looking up for the answer". Nature is the first Gospel. The irony is that men trust their own systems more than the Father’s. This is why "science" and "reasoning" are the test of Truth for the weak in Faith.
Then at the beginning of each of your months (Chodesh - New Moon) you shall present a burnt offering to the Father: two bulls and one ram, seven male lambs one year old without defect; Numbers 28:11
So day one of the MONTH (New Moon) is an Appointed Time in which sacrifices were made (NOT a weekly Sabbath or a work day). Where in scripture do you see all of Israel making sacrifices on a work day?
New Moon day is not counted as one of the 6 working days neither is it the seventh-day Sabbath; the new moon day starts the month as day 1 making the weekly Sabbaths to fall on 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th of the Lunar month (not the Gregorian month). (See Ezekiel 46:1, Amos 8:5, 2Kings 4:23, and Isaiah 66:23.)
The Julian, Jewish, and Gregorian calendars do not overlap at all. Which Saturday would you pick from this lineup?
All Julian calendars date from the time of Augustus (63 B.C. – 14 A.D.) to Tiberius (42 B.C. – 37 A.D.) If somehow Saturn's Day (Saturday) is the Biblical Sabbath because the weekly cycle was not interrupted at the calendar change from Julian to Gregorian, than this should be easily proven from the early Julian calendars still in existence. An example of a Julian calendar is preserved on these stone fragments and provides the second, confirming piece of the puzzle in establishing the truth of calendar history. The eight-day week is clearly discernible on them verifying that the eight-day week was still in use by the Romans during and immediately following the life of Messiah.
It is important to remember that the Biblical week as an individual unit of time defined in Genesis 1, consisted of only seven days: six working days followed by a Sabbath rest on the last day of the week. The eight-day cycle of the Julian calendar was in use at the time of Messiah. However, the Israelites would not have kept the seventh-day Sabbath on the eight-day weekly cycle of the Julian calendar. This would have been idolatry to them. Even when the Julian week shortened to seven days, it still did not conform to the weekly cycle of the Biblical week nor did it resemble the modern week in use today.
When Christians also adopted the Julian calendar for worship, the pagans could see little difference between Christianity and their own Mithraism, other than the Christian refusal to burn incense to the emperor, which was viewed as treason. Another quote by Tertullian is very significant, again revealing the differing practices among Christians, with some worshipping on Sunday, others on Saturday which he shows to be a deviation from Judean practice (the apostolic Christians at this time were still keeping the Sabbath by the Biblical calendar):
We shall be taken for Persians [Mithraists], perhaps . . . The reason for this, I suppose, is that it is known that we pray towards the east . . . Likewise, if we devote the day of the Sun to festivity (from a far different reason from Sun worship), we are in a second place from those who devote the day of Saturn, themselves also deviating by way of a Jewish custom of which they are ignorant.10
This quote is fascinating because it affirms that worship on Saturday was itself a deviation from the Judean custom of worship on Sabbath by the original calendar.
Catholic scholars themselves have always known the truth. As Patrick Madrid stated in the radio interview:
The calendar that we follow, including Seventh-day Adventists, is not only a calendar that was devised by the Catholic Church, but also it is a calendar that’s based upon the solar year, not the lunar year. And the Jewish calendar that was observed in the time of Christ . . . follows a lunar calendar, which is several days short of the solar year. So the great irony is that even the Seventh-day Adventists themselves are not worshipping on exactly the same Sabbath day as the Jews of the time of Christ.6
Philo’s writings about such things as the Priesthood, festivals etc. are in complete harmony with the Bible as we read it today. At one point in his writings he did make mention that some states or provinces were keeping only one Sabbath per month counting from the New Moon, whereas we know all four should be observed. Here is Philo on this issue:
THE DECALOGUE, XX (96) It says,
”The fourth commandment has reference to the sacred seventh day that it may be passed in a sacred and holy manner. Some states keep the holy festival [the Sabbath] only once in the moon, COUNTING FROM THE NEW MOON, as a day sacred to the Father; but the nation of the Jews KEEP EVERY SEVENTH DAY REGULARLY, after each interval of six days”.
Notice carefully what Philo wrote above. First, one must realize that Philo understood that the New Moon was a festival ALL BY ITSELF and was not one of the six ordinary working days (Ezekiel 46:1-3).
Only through Scripture.
From one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another, all mankind will come and bow down before me,” says the Father. Isaiah 66:23
The New Moon festival marked the consecration to the Father of each new month in the year. New Moon festivals were marked by sacrifices, the blowing of trumpets over the sacrifices (Numbers 10:10), the suspension of all labor and trade (Nehemiah 10:31), and social or family feasts (1 Samuel 20:5).
But you have borne the tabernacle of your moloch [king] and Chiun your images, the star of your G-d which you made for yourselves. Amos 5:26
Chiun is the Hebrew word for Saturn. Here Amos sees a day where Israel worships a star-god that they would make for themselves. Stephen, in Acts 7:43 quotes Amos and is translated as Remphan, which is Greek for Saturn. Israel honored Chiun/Remphan on Saturday because Saturday is Saturn's Day.
So David said to Jonathan, "Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I ought to sit down to eat with the king. But let me go, that I may hide myself in the field until the third evening (1 Samuel 20:5).
No. The Canaanites who created the pagan Saturday Sabbath have convinced the Hebrew Roots acolytes that the Biblical Calendar is "pagan". Meanwhile, they offer no explanation for how their months are named after Babylonian months:
They say His Word is a lie (Isaiah 66:23) and that Saturday is the true Sabbath. Yes, Babylon kept a luni-solar calendar. Israel once ruled most of this world. It stands to reason that remnants of the Israelite culture and their influence are found in all manner of apostate systems and cultures (like the modern heathen nation state of Israel). Jeroboam thought he could honor days according to his customs as well. That doesn't make it right. For an explanation on the parallel, I will defer to this account:
Jeroboam and the Hillel Calendar
Jeroboam son of Nebat was an Ephrathite, which is distinct from Bethlehem Ephrathah. His name means He who fights the battles of the people or the people will contend (SHD 3379) (1Kings 11:26-27). He fled to Egypt because Solomon sought to kill him (1Kgs 11:40).
The book of Kings is not as clear but the Septuagint states that Jeroboam succeeded in conscripting 300 chariots. The rebellion failed and Jeroboam was forced to flee to Egypt.
Jeroboam was the Lord’s anointed. Solomon had become an idolater and his line was punished. The Eternal wrenched the kingdom from Solomon’s son Rehoboam (1Kings. 12:1-15).
The condition of Jeroboam’s kingship was loyalty to God and His laws. Jeroboam was the logical successor and the one to unite the tribes under Ephraim, but God knew he would fail. Nevertheless He set him as king (1Kings 12:21-24).
Jeroboam decided to re-introduce a religious system that was in fact idolatrous. The centre of the system of worship was based on the symbolism of the golden calf, which was the pedestal upon which God stood.
It appears that Jeroboam obtained the sanction of the Sanhedrin, because all the actions he took were based on the view of tolerance of religion implicit in the calve system as opposed to the Torah (cf. the paper The Golden Calf (No. 222)).
The Levites recorded that Jeroboam posted guards to stop on pain of death, the pilgrimages to Jerusalem. The people, even the king’s son, disobeyed the orders.
Jeroboam decided to move the feast from its original position in the seventh month, to a position in the eighth month. The lesson for the modern-day Church is that God does not condone systems of worship that have an idolatrous centre or that change the feasts to later times, away from the set months. God’s Calendar does not depend on human calculation or on human observation. The New Moon is the conjunction of the sun, moon and earth and is able to be precisely measured to the second over centuries.
The Samaritan System
The Samaritans and the Sadducees both determined the calendar according to the conjunction and the festival was determined in accordance with the conjunction. The Samaritans still determine according to the conjunction to this day (cf. the paper God's Calendar (No. 156),1999 edition).
If you are still curious about this, or if you need more understanding this link below is a great study on the matter.