The Last Countdown

Originally published on Tuesday, 28 September 2010, 01:01 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 to the year A.D. 31, the year that we all know and learned to love in Adventism as the year of Christ's crucifixion. This is not just a time travel, but it also leads us to a certain place we all know from the Gospels. In the garden of Geth­se­ma­ne, where our beloved Lord Jesus sweated blood for us, as our sins had been placed on Him. After Jesus held the last supper with His disciples in the evening, they set out in order to go to this garden. This was in our Adventist understanding and after our usual day, reckoning at the evening from Thursday to the Crucifixion Friday. According to Jewish reckoning, where the day starts at sunset and does not begin at midnight, this was already Friday.

Ellen 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 as much dynamite that this bomb is about to explode the entire Adventism. You will surely wonder, what this could be.

An Open Letter

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

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

And just in the intro we can 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 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.

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 followed long studies of the different Jewish calendars and the biblical rules for the feasts, because I wanted to counter the moon Sabbath keepers and had to trace their studies and the comprehension 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 A.D. 31 in Adventism.

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

But just before, we read that Ellen White stated: "The Passover moon, broad and full, shone from a cloudless sky."

And in her writings we find on several occasions a clear reference that Jesus died in the spring A.D. 31 on the cross: "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. Was it really possible that I would have 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 how then could 1844 still be true? Ellen White confirmed also the 22nd of October 1844 many times! Then she really would be a false prophet? Terrible! Unbearable! That would be actually the end of Adventism. Without exaggeration!

But of course I thought ... calm down first, read exactly, check all ...

This is what I would like now to do 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. Who does not 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. All is biblical and beautifully prepared.

Who knows this already and only wants to get an overview, here is the basic diagram of our interpretation of the 70 weeks of Daniel:

The 70 Weeks

Hence we come exactly in the middle of the seventieth week to spring A.D. 31 and the crucifixion of Jesus. The author of the open letter is absolutely right. Exactly in this was how we teach it as Adventists.

The author speaks on:

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

If you read 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 a way like the author imagines the current calendar at the time of Jesus. In no way Jerushah exposes that there are big disagreements and dissensions about, exactly how the Jews 2,000 years ago have calculated their festivals. The real solution to the "year 31 problem" will also show which calendar was really in use at that time.

Actually, what the author and many others who are attacking in the same way our church(es) are doing, is fairly simple. They draw a comparison between the nowadays easily predictable and verifiable scientific moon phases with the weekdays of the eligible months, which could have been candidates for the Passover in A.D. 31; and we should do the same. Perhaps with even a better 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 this time. But first we should ask ourselves the question: "Why is the moon that 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 festivals depending on them. This is biblically proven, and there is no denial. Where we find small differences of opinions, is the question of when exactly the Jewish month started: The astronomical new moon or the first crescent moon, the first small visible sickle.

But we know pretty sure that in Jerusalem a special guard was placed on a hill, that had the task to watch at the time of sunset (the biblical beginning of the day), if after the new moon the small first crescent became visible. If that was the case, this new day that had begun at sunset, was declared the 1st 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 occur possible delays, if for example bad weather with clouds prevailed, or the lighting conditions were very unfavorable. I want to emphasize, and will come back to it, that we should not use this possible delays to explain the differences of our doctrine to the astronomical results which soon will 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 by the astronomical new moon. Since the new moon can last 1-3 days when no crescent is visible, this method would result in discrepancies of the determination at which of the new moon days the month would really have started. Therefore, this method was most likely never used. The further we come in the study, the clearer will be that we, by discovering certain harmonies, will also have re-discovered even the true biblical calendar and the exact rules for the determination of the months and years.

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

Probably only a few know, that even today in the Arab world the beginning of the religious months and the fixed prayer times are still being determined exactly after the FC moon and since Islam is very strict and the Muslims have to comply with the prayer times which apply to their places of birth even on journeys, they have provided the best downloadable programs for the determination of the FC moons and prayer times on the Internet. We will use one of these programs 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 A.D. 31.

Who wants to check these studies should now download the program "Accurate Times" at IcoProject and verify that I am not fiddling. Of course you can recalculate the data with any other planetarium program too. They provide all 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 being observed directly from a hill at Jerusalem at any given year is "Redshift". It is available in several languages and the program costs about 75 US$ 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 this is mathematically/astronomically not that simple because the moon moves not on a straight orbit, but somehow "lurches". The official homepage is www.redshift-live.com. (No, I am no affiliate there.)

Moreover, we will discover later that it is irrelevant for our solution to the year 31 issue, whether the moon was calculated after the new moon (which one?) or the FC moon, because we know that Ellen White saw a full moon in the garden Geth­se­ma­ne at Nisan 14. She would be a false prophet, if in A.D. 31 there would have been no full moon on the Crucifixion Friday. I will deliberately deal with Ellen White in a very strict way.

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. Gen 1:3-5

Another verse gives also 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 profoundly, 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 confusion. Yet the meaning of Babylon is "confusion".

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

I would like to show you a controversial example, by which nicely can be illustrated how the calculation of the beginnings of the months is done in a modern way. Since there is much dispute about our "Adventist Birthday", 22nd of October 1844, I would like to check at this point if Ellen White, who has often confirmed this date, is right or - as many offshoot sites claim - erred "again". So we must first determine when the first crescent moon prior to the 22nd of October was visible. This would have been the beginning of the 1st Tishri, the seventh Jewish month, of 1844. Then we would have to count until the 10th of Tishri and would get the date of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) in 1844 because the Day of Atonement always takes place at the 10th 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 was crucified outside of its gates. In this Arabic program, the location is not available by default (wonder why).

A new default location is added by the button "Location". 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. And you're set.

Let's look first at the moon phases for October 1844. Click at "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 appears a moon phase table for the entire year 1844. Seek out in the column "New Moon", the first date before 22nd of October 1844. Did you find it? It is the 12th of October, 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 at 12th of October 1844 shortly after our beginning of the day (midnight). Now we need to determine at 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 the biblical beginning of the first day of the new month. Already here it can be seen that the theories of some brethren, who send me strange studies that the biblical beginning of the day would not be 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 has prepared in His wisdom in the shadowy ceremonial law for our time.

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 click on the main menu "Crescent Visibility" (visibility of the crescent moon). We will use in all calculations of this series roman dates because we are accustomed to think and reckon with it. Therefore, at first we 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 which are closest to our specified date and we can click the red button "Crescent Visibility Map".

First, the program 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 of the map tells us that white and red areas indicate, that it is impossible to spot the crescent moon. So the evening of 11th of October 1844 is ruled out completely. The astronomical new moon did not even occur before midnight of the 12th. 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 this blue areas from all calculations, as 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 at extremely good weather conditions but for only such a brief moment during the sunset, that this also seems impossible. I set up Redshift to simulate all this for me. The results are incredibly beautiful and one feels transported back to those years. But in magenta areas there is just a short flash of a so tiny "crescent" at the moment when the sun has not fully set, that this cannot have been valid.

This 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 criteria for the calculations of scientists,  it is most likely that a sighting would occur. But the green area on the map above does not cover Israel and Jerusalem, that means that the sighting of the FC moon at sunset of the 12th of October was not possible.

Let's turn to the 13th of October:

Moon Visibility 1844 10 13

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

Now we want to count to 10th of Tishri. To make it easy we could use one of the many available calendars in 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, at which the ancient Israelites would have celebrated their Day of Atonement in 1844.

And that would be according to Cocker: 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 this very day. Now it is at once the 23rd instead of the 22nd? Is everything wrong now in Adventism?

No, calm down and think!

Of course the Millerites and the "Movement of the Seventh Month" did not have such programs as we have it today and there was no way for them to observe what could have been seen at those eligible days at sunset in Jerusalem. Further, it was not clear by what criteria the new month has to be determined. Without going too deep into detail, let us ask Ellen 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. {1BIO 53.2}
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 53.3}

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 their calculation of this "last possible date of the coming" biblically accurate and very similar to the way how 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 at this purely Jewish site, which normally does not deal anyhow with other religions, surprisingly links to sites with the Adventist debate. Once to a site of adversaries of Adventism and once to the Adventist response which is very well-founded at http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/karaite-reckoning-1844.htm. But in this discussion it is not about the exact day - as here - but about whether the month would be correct because the Jews celebrated their Yom Kippur already at 23rd of September in this important year 1844.

What causes this discrepancy of exactly one month? The seventh Jewish month is the seventh crescent moon calculated from the first FC moon and this 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 really was 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 after the Rabbi Hillel II calendar, and the Karaites who rely on their beginning of the year in a more biblical manner - as they say - to the barley harvest alone. I will explain to you these two methods to determine the Jewish beginning of the year in detail and you will recognize very soon that ... both are flawed!

But now many are blaming us Adventists and say we would have errors in our calculations. The worst is that they accuse Ellen White because her visions would have confirmed the date and if it would not be correct, she would be "once again" exposed as false prophet.

First we must understand that the knowledge of the biblical truths and the biblical ceremonial law was still very low at that time. The Sabbath had not yet been recognized, even less the beginning of the Jewish day at sunset. All this should be discovered years later. So, Jesus for example for 16 years did not estimate it necessary to explain to Ellen White that the biblical beginning of the day for the Sabbath celebration is not at 18:00 hours but at the moment of the sunset. But if Jesus at that time did not consider it to be important, that does not mean that it would be as unimportant for us nowadays. The knowledge is growing and my findings in the Jewish ceremonial law and the shadows 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 of Ellen White about the 22nd of October 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 108.3}

When exactly did Yom Kippur day begin? At the evening of 22nd of October to the 23rd of October 1844 at sunset. Ellen White's statement is absolutely right. The judgment began exactly at the evening of the 22nd of October 1844! It did not begin at 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 at the 22nd of October, as our calculation shows: sunset at the evening of 22nd of October 1844 to 23rd of October.

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

The only slightly problematic comment from Ellen 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}

After 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 at this day their Day of Atonement. (I will show later why they think so.) But it is true that the Day of Atonement began on the 22nd of October 1844! It is a purely dialectical question, for in truth, a part of Yom Kippur fell upon the 22nd of October and another part upon 23rd of October. This is not enough to reprimand Ellen White as a false prophet! But 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 went definitely at the 22nd of October 1844 into the Holiest of Holies and the Great Judgment Day in heaven began at sunset of 22nd of October 1844 after the Gregorian calendar. The Pioneers had identified the new moon of 12th of October as the beginning of the month, and not the first crescent, as they later also mistakenly thought the Sabbath would begin at 18:00 hours. But Jesus tells us by 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 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 hitherto not been recognized. Therefore, 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 every month the same. Now we want to find out when the Jewish year begins resp. began.

First at all there are two theories and calendars. Our "Jerushah" used only one of it, and moreover, one that was provably not in use at this 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 equinox of spring then was around 23rd of March (Julian calendar), and today is around 20th of March. By the way, all my dates will be given in Gregorian dates (after 1582 AD) and Julian dates (before AD 1582). The programs recommended by me, 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 it is mainly about this, because we want to know, whether it was possible that Jesus in the year 31 indeed died on a Friday, 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 all agree that it was centuries after Christ), we know that a famous Rabbi Hillel has introduced a calendar that determined the first Jewish month, "Nissan", in the way that it began with the FC moon that was closest to the spring equinox. Some call this calendar "Hillel II" and the previously existing "Hillel I", which of course is not quite right, because Hillel was not even born at that time. But I would like to stay also with this nomenclature because it is so beautifully simple.

Some are assuming now 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 lacking something.

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. And exactly this is the one that our Jerushah uses in his open letter ... There he is committing his first big error and many others do the same.

So you think we just need to use the Hillel I calendar and everything is hunky-dory? Far from it! But first let us summarize the possibilities for the beginning of the year we have found 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 would be anything included in the biblical feast days for us as last generation, we have first to recognize that it was none other than Satan, who has created so much confusion and we now are having the task of bringing order out of chaos.

We have found so far four different ways in which the Jews in the year 31 might have determined the beginning of their first month "Nissan". Those methods are used by many web sites interchangeably and everybody is assuming the method that supports better the ideas of the author.

  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 out 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 just centuries after the year A.D. 31.

The Karaites

We also cannot get around of this group of Jews, when we are considering what was probably the true calculation of the biblical beginning of the year. They claim - and this seemingly honest - that they would try to reverse the Jewish calendar which was reformed by Rabbi Hillel and to return to the observance of the original biblical calendar demanded by Jehovah. Therefore, they exclude completely 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 actually it means "new moon". So if God wanted to teach Moses the beginning of the month, then He pointed to the first crescent, for if there would have been nothing (astronomical new moon), He could not have been showing something. I agree with these Karaites and therefore we will put aside in the future the astronomical new moons, which last sometimes even 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 A.D. 31, we will still use it for completeness.

I would now like to present in brief form what the Karaites think. At Nissan 16, the 16th day of the first Jewish month, there has to be offered a certain ceremonial sacrifice: the waving of the sheaf of first fruits.

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 first fruits consists of the first barley, since barley ripens first of all grain crops, about one month earlier than the others. Unfortunately, we do not have many other biblical references, but it is a logical conclusion that there has to come up a problem for this spring festival, the second day after the Passover, if there simply wouldn't be any ripe barley available, isn't it? 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 at the end of the 12th month, no ripe barley (Abib) was available. In this case they had to wait for the next FC moon. But in this way they knew at least two weeks before the Passover festival, whether the sheaf could really be woven at Nissan 16 or not. In the Jewish culture, there does not exist a leap year with an extra day every four years, like we know it, but a 13th month, a leap month. And of course it is heavily discussed again, how this should be determined.

The Rabbinic Jews have a permanent system that intercalates every 19 years a leap month (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, what makes far more sense in the 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. They just look at the end of their 12th month for the Abib and if they find it, the next crescent moon marks immediately the 1st of Nissan. If they can not 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 just 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 get already five ways how 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.

The Adventist pioneers after the "first disappointment" of 1843 began in the summer of 1844 to teach that Jesus would have to come back "at the latest on 22nd of October 1844, if this year would have been 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 recommend especially the web site of the Karaites www.karaite-korner.org and the very informative text on http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/karaite-reckoning-1844.htm. I will limit myself to present here only the facts that are important to understand the solution. I do not 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 this problem before us no one has solved. The amazing fact about the solution will be that none of the methods will result as completely wrong, but neither as completely right. In this first part of the shadow series, we will find the true biblical method which was still in use at the time of Jesus and only with this knowledge the amazing calculations of the third part have been possible, which in a marvelous way will re-confirm our findings from the first part.

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 also the other spring festivals and the fall feasts depend on it. Generally it is believed that the Israelites were just looking out for the crescent moon before or after the spring equinox, or sought 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 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 unleavened bread, would have been a ceremonial day of rest (Sabbath) that fell in this year 31 exactly upon a Seventh-day Sabbath. Therefore, it would have fallen a ceremonial Sabbath "accidentally" 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. Lev 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. Lev 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 Feast Passover (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 Rest Waving of the Sheaf of First Fruits (Lev 23,10-11) at 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 courts follow, and Jesus is crucified and dies before the end of the day at the 9th hour.

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

Jesus rests from His work in the tomb. Jesus' resurrection at 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 Feast Passover (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 courts follow, and Jesus is crucified and dies before the end of the day at the 9th hour.

Before sunset of 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 Feast 1st 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 Feast 2nd Day of Unleavened Bread
Ceremony (Type) Waving of the Sheaf of First Fruits (Lev 23,10-11) at 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 the Jewish inclusive calculation, Jesus spent the predicted three days in the tomb. A small part before sunset on Friday (1st day, 14th of Nissan), the entire Sabbath (2nd day, 15th of Nissan) and the night from sunset on Sabbath until Sunday morning (3rd day, 16th of Nissan). The sacrifice of the first fruits, the waving of a specific type of grain, according to the ceremonial law had to take place the day after the "Sabbath".

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

If we would have to find out that Jesus in A.D. 31 impossibly could have died on a Friday, that would be the worst case scenario for Adventism. The question would then be a "life or death" issue for us as Adventists!

Therefore, it is now time to calculate the year A.D. 31 with the above-mentioned five methods, and to see if the Passover of Nissan 14 perhaps could have fallen upon a Friday in A.D. 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, A.D. 31, 6:24 hours, Jerusalem time.

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

And the astronomical new moon after the spring equinox: April 10, A.D. 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 even a distance of 18 days.

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

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

For method 3, beginning of the year with the FC moon which is closest to the vernal equinox, we have to calculate first with "Accurate Times". If you want to check the results, please repeat exactly the steps that I have shown you at the sample with 1844. Just enter March 12, 31 as the date. In order to shorten the process, I only will show the visibility map of March 12 and the "fulfillment day".

First sunset of March 12:

Moon Visibility 31 03 12

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

Now March 13, 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 first Nissan would have been Wednesday, March 14, A.D. 31. Let's add quickly 13 days in the date calculator to come to Nissan 14: Tuesday, 27th of March A.D. 31. Again not a Friday!

But we have still two chances left!

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

Moon Visibility 31 04 10

No, this is impossible. Let's check the other day:

Moon Visibility 31 04 11

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

For, if we examine now method 5 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 this date we already calculated: Tuesday, 27th of March, A.D. 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. Also this Passover, we have already calculated: Wednesday, 25th of April, A.D. 31.

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

Is it over now with Adventism, as "Jerushah" states fervently?

Let's listen to some isolated voices in our midst, who try to defend us against this apparently fatal attack ...

Pathetic Attempts To Explain

At http://www.freedisc.org/z/?p=2026, 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 before. He tells us that there is a terrible attack against Adventism because we would not be able to solve the A.D. 31 problem with the Friday. He remarked sadly, that he has been a pastor for decades and even he would have been shaken in the very foundations of his creed. He asked at the outset that no one should leave the room, because he first would have to show that it is really so bad with Adventism, but at the end of his short sermon - that even does not 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 probably never would return to Adventism, missing the solution of the problem.

Despite of my super slow internet connection here at the country side, I watched the whole sermon, which arrived stop-and-go and heavily interrupted for over two hours, with bated breath and high suspense. I wanted to know what the solution to this seemingly irresolvable problem was ...

I saw the time counter of 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 sermon of February 13, 2010:

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 far, the well-intentioned attempt to explain of this certainly pleasant pastor. At first, I thought this would have been something new that he had discovered by himself through severe study of the subject. Later however, I noticed that he indeed only repeated what was already written long time 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).

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

But nobody can accuse our scholars and say that we Adventists would have never reviewed a calendar. In our Bible Commentary you can read on many large pages printed with small letters (p. 251-266) about an exact 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 previously never heard about this problem through a pastor or elder, and therefore did not know that we since the beginning of Adventism do very well know about the "year 31 issue" and are satisfied with a solution "due to human error".

If you read our Bible Commentary, and find in the appendix on this topic even letters of astronomical institutions from the 1950s, it can happen at some point, that 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!" Afterwards you switch off the bedside lamp and try to recover your brain in sleep. Honestly, I tended to react exactly like this....

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 White in "The Desire of Ages" to 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? Was it still a full moon for you? Please, observe this next month, or get yourself this "Redshift" program, which is able to simulate even the "full moon" of the year A.D. 31 on Friday, April 27.

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

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

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

Another problem. If we allow such big errors in the calculation of the FC moons, we can actually refrain from studying prophecy which is based on the festivals, because all of it depend on the FC moons. If this would be the solution, then, dear brothers and sisters, our Lord in A.D. 31 was not crucified according to the astronomical rules He had setup by Himself as the Creator. Then it was not the intention of Jesus to rest on a prophetically and astronomically predictable Seventh-day Sabbath in the grave. Then the connection between astronomy and prophecy, and also the possible real explanation for the many lunar Sabbaths in the Bible cannot be found. Then Christ just knew before that the guards in A.D. 31 would be drunk and nothing has to do with the astronomical determination of the festival dates. And then we can also forget that the following Bible verse would contain any reference to a prophetic significance of the moon and the sun:

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)

And this kind of mindset was probably the reason that no one in 166 years since the existence of our community really started to ponder about the problem, prayed over it and finally found 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 A.D. 31 is astronomically wrong and that on this wrong Friday no full moon was shining in Geth­se­ma­ne, as claimed by Ellen White. Who helps us out of this trouble?

The Solution of the Moon Sabbath Keepers

In this dire hour, the Moon Sabbath Keepers who have been trained on this problem for many years by the Grace Amadon Collection, are offering themselves as Saviors of Adventism and are reaching out their hands to pull us out of the "quicksand of time". 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 for decades the biblical calendar, and had come to the (wrong) conclusion that the true Seventh-day Sabbath would be depend on the crescent moon. The General Conference respectively the Biblical Research Institute has never confirmed that this would be true, but it has also failed to study the true meaning of the festivals which indeed depend on the FC moons, and this negligence is the reason why these studies come up again today and are in process to deviate many of our members from keeping the Seventh-day Sabbath on Saturday and want to "convert" the whole Adventist Church to this new system. They call it "The Great Calendar Reform" or "The Great Sabbath Reform."

The solution to the A.D. 31 problem of the Moon Sabbath Keepers is as simple as striking:

As mentioned earlier, most of them look like the Jews for the first crescent moon (with different criteria, but that should not bother us) and begin with it their Sabbath-counting method. This first day of the lunar month is the first Sabbath! Some groups, however, keep the astronomical new moon as Sabbath, which can last from one to three days. So, one has to pre-cook a lot as a Lunar Sabbath Keeper, if the new moon Sabbath lasts for three days. Then they continue to count beginning with the first Sabbath and keep their Sabbath every seven days. 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 would have rested in the grave on a "Sabbath" no matter what weekday he would have died. The First Day of Unleavened Breads that always follows the Passover is according to Exodus 23:7 a ceremonial day of rest (in Hebrew "Sabbath") and always falls on their Lunar "Seventh-day Sabbath". Thus type and antitype would have been fulfilled perfectly even if Jesus would have died on Wednesday, 25th of Apri A.D. 31 because for them Thursday would have been a "Seventh-day Sabbath", Nissan 15.

For them, every festival which is described in the divine orders 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 be.

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 observe if there is the small crescent visible. And then we tell our employers that we would stay at home every month on different weekdays and this will make them surely very glad.

No, friends, it is not that simple! Indeed, the festive Sabbaths have a very complicated rhythm and they do not all have exactly a distance of seven days. In the spring festivals, we also find the rule to count after the First Day of Unleavened Bread seven times seven days to come to the day before Pentecost, and that each of these seventh days is again a ceremonial Sabbath. And this count covers three full months and already in the second month your "Seventh-day Sabbaths" are out of rhythm with this divine order. Another problem for you is that Nissan 16, the day of the First Fruits one day after the First Day of Unleavened Breads was also declared a Sabbath. What is the meaning of all this? Exactly this, no one of you is able to explain 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 would be the explanation of the above discrepancies of the three-day Sabbath in a row (Passover, Unleavened Breads, First Fruits) because the new moon could last up to three days. No, it can not 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 brings it into deeper trouble.

The only thing you can explain regarding the festivals, is that Jesus, according to your theory,  could have died in any given year at any given month in spring at any weekday, and would have rested automatically at a ceremonial Sabbath in the grave. But with this you do 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 festivals should prophetically be fulfilled. For you, every ceremonial Sabbath is automatically a fulfillment. You eradicate the real Seventh-day Sabbath and declare the ceremonial Sabbath to 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 deviating us from keeping the real Creation Sabbath and make us sin. And so, we would all perish and Satan would have achieved his goal.

The Choice

Hence, we may choose between the following possibilities:

  1. We admit that we were wrong with the 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 out "of human error" was crucified on a Friday. This implies, however, that Ellen White has been 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 from now our Sabbaths according to the crescent moons each month on a different weekday.

What option do you prefer? All are leading to the end of Adventism, as we know it.

Or do you want to see now the real solution?

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

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