Watchman Willie Martin Archive

                                                                              The Sabbath

For many years most States had laws called Blue Laws. Which forbade most from doing business on Sundays, but few Americans ever really knew why.

The answer is found in part: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates." (Exodus 20:8-10); "Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant." (Exodus 31:16)

The Weekly Sabbath

When the Israelites of old were in Egyptian bondage, God Almighty told the prophet Moses to have the Israelites kill their Passover lambs at a specific time on a particular day. Besides the witness of Moses, what other Biblical character could provide an absolutely factual testimony as to that exact day and hour?

Now consider this: A very special guest is coming to your home for dinner. You have decided to serve a whole roasted lamb. To be assured that the lamb will be fresh, you have decided not to have it killed until the last minute. At what time should you have the lamb killed so that you can serve your special dinner guest the roast lamb at 6 p.m.? The answers to these questions are found in the Holy Writ and are critical elements in determining which day of the week is the Sabbath and at what time of day the Sabbath begins.

Part One: From When to When? "Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed." (Exodus 31:15, 17) The purpose of Part I of this study is to establish solely from the Holy Bible; which we believe to be the inspired Word of God, the time of day for the beginning and ending of each weekly Sabbath.

Part II will deal with which day of the week is the Sabbath.

Part III will answer some potential objections to these conclusions. The Holy Bible gives us many examples and warnings that we are to follow and apply in our lives today.

In Matthew 15:9 - Christ told us: " vain do they worship me, teachings for doctrines the commandments of men."

In Matthew 15:1-9 - Christ calls the Pharisees hypocrites. In verse 6 he tells them that they have, "...made the commandments of God of none effect by your tradition." {which are the traditions of men}.

In Titus 1:10-16 - The Apostle Paul tells that there are: "...deceivers, specially of the circumcision: whose mouths must be stopped..."

Paul went on to tell us in verse 14 not to listen to or follow: "...Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth..."

Those same teachings of "Phariseeism" which Christ and Paul warned us about are being taught today by the "deceivers of the circumcision" who worship in "synagogues" and teach the "traditions of men" and call those traditions "the commandments of God." Make no mistake about it those deceivers are spreading their "Jewish fables" and are "turning from the truth" millions of people in regards to the true Sabbath of Scripture and are causing people to follow their "Jewish traditions," thereby profaning God's true and holy Sabbath. In this study we will learn from the Scripture when God's true weekly Sabbath begins and ends.


To start this portion of the study, we must first define the meanings of words and of the idioms and expressions used by the people in Bible times, not in todays language. We must also learn of the warnings of the Scripture which applied to the people in those days as well as to now, so that we will be able to properly understand what we are being told in the Bible.

Day: First let us establish what is meant by the word "day." There are two primary periods of time that are called "day." There is the 24 hour period of time that it takes for the earth to make one complete rotation of the sun. "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day." (Genesis 1:19) Notice that the  evening comes first, and morning came second. This is consistent throughout all the Genesis One accounts.

Secondly, there is that period of time when the sun lights any given face of the earth, which we call daytime. "Jesus answered, are there not twelve hours in a day?" (John 11:9) " Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." ( Matthew 12:40)

In these passages, Christ is clarifying the fact that there are two separate and distinct periods of a 24 hour day; light, which is called "day" and "darkness," which is called "night."

    Evening and Morning: There are two other periods of time in a 24 hour day whose duration never changes; they always remain a 12 hour period. These 12 hour periods are called "evening" and "morning." The Bible tells us: "The evening and the morning were the fifth day." (Genesis 1:23) "Evening" is the 12 hour period that starts when the sun is at its highest point, which is called the "apex" or "meridian." Colloquially, people often say "high noon" or "12 o'clock noon." Immediately after that point, the sun starts its decline or descent (which in the Scripture is called "the going down of the sun") and ends 12 hours later at the time that we call "midnight."

"Morning" is the corresponding 12 hour period that starts at 12 o'clock midnight and ends at 12 o'clock noon; i.e., when the sun again reaches its meridian.

Therefore the 12 hour period that is called "evening" is referred to as "p.m." which means "post meridiem" (afternoon) and the 12 hour period that is called "morning" is referred to as "a.m." which means "ante meridiem" (before noon).

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines the following: "even" (as a noun): "1). The decline of the sun..."; "decline" (verb intransitive): "To lean downward; to bring down; 2). To bend to one  side; to move from a fixed point or right line." Here we see Webster defining "even" as "the decline of the sun:" the time when it moves from a fixed point directly perpendicular to the earth, which is called a "right line" or "right angle" and "bends down" toward the earth.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines: "even" (the adverb): 2). "noting equality or sameness of time..."

Here we see an "equal" period of time before and after "even." When the sun is at its apex, which is at 12:00 o'clock noon, the daylight portion of a day is divided into two "even" parts. The time from sunrise to noon is equal to the time from noon to sunset. We hear the following expressions almost daily: "At 2 o'clock this morning, I heard a strange noise outside, so I got out of bed to see what it was."; "Wake me at 3:30 in the morning so we can get an early start on our trip."; "The next time my son stays out until 1:00 in the morning, he will be punished severely."; "Will you meet me at 11 o'clock this morning for an early lunch?"; Please wake me at 6:30 this morning so I won't be late for work."; "Will you pick me up at 5 o'clock this evening (or this afternoon)?"; "Dinner will be served at 7:30 this evening; don't be late."

Today, in the Deep South of the United States many people still say: "Have a good evening" any time they greet someone after 12 noon. To properly understand the Bible, it is vitally important that we recognize that the periods of time that are called "day," "night," "evening," and "morning" are four separate and distinct periods of time, and that they refer to four separate portion of the 24 hour day.

To properly understand the Bible, it is even more important that we understand and realize that the 24 hour period that we call a "day" starts at 12 o'clock noon, and that the daylight portion that is called "day," (as opposed to "night") starts at sunrise. You will find there is a day portion of evening and a night portion of evening; also that there is a night portion of morning and a day portion of morning which are separate and distinct portions of the 24 hour day. Notice in that "Day" (which is referring to the daylight portion) is divided into two equal or even parts (high noon) and this division is often referred to in the Bible as "even." We see this in the following verses: "...David said unto Jonathan...let me go that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even...It came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David..." (1 Samuel 20:5, 35); "...the children of Israel...kept the even..." [even: #6153] (Joshua 5:10); "...Israel shall kill [the Passover] in the evening." [evening: #6153]. (Exodus 12:6); "...there thou salt sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun..." (Deuteronomy 16:6)

Equinox: Day and night are of equal length. March 21st & September 23rd - Webster's 1828 Dictionary. John 11:9 - Christ said: "Are there not twelve hours in the day?"

Matthew 12:40 - Christ said: "For as Jonahs was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the son of man be three days and nights in the heart of the earth."

We see by the Scriptural verses that Jesus Christ recognized that there is night and that there is day, and also that there are twelve hours in the day. If there are 24 hours from sun to sun and if there are, as Christ said, "...twelve hours in the day" then we know that there are also twelve hours in the night. Technically, this only applies to two days out of the year: spring and fall 'equinox,' when day and night are of equal duration. We all know that in the summer the daylight portion is much longer than the dark portion of the day and that the reverse is the case in the winter."

We see also in John 11:9 and Matthew 12:40 that Christ was saying that He was going to spend three days of 12 hours each for a subtotal of 36 daylight hours in the grave and three nights of 12 hours each for an additional 36 hours, not Friday night to Sunday morning as most preachers teach from their pulpits. " the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him." (Judges 16:2); "...David said unto Jonathan...Let  me go that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even." (1 Sam. 20:35); "Wherefore now rise up early in the morning with thy master's servants that are come with thee; and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart." (1 Sam. 29:10); "...the priests...killed the Passover...and they roasted the Passover with fire according to the ordinance...and divided them speedily among all the people...the priests... were busied in offering of burnt offerings and the fat until all the service of the Lord was prepared the same day..." (2 Chron. 35:10-16); " the morning, rising up a great while before day, [Jesus] went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." (Mark 1:35); " soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away..." (Genesis 44:3); "...when the morning is light, they practice [iniquity]..." (Micah 2:1); "...they abused her all night until the morning: and when the day began to spring [#5927; to ascend], they let her go." (Judges 19:25)

Even and Evening: The reason that there is so much confusion about the words "even" and "evening" as they are translated in the Bible is because there are over 40 different Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek words which are all translated as "even" or "evening," {six of which refer to a time of day} and some of these words are translated as both "even" and "evening" which further adds to the confusion. Therefore, we must look at the words "even" and "evening" each and every time it is used and then check the original word to see what is meant and how it applies in the context of that particular Scriptural passage.

Days: God gave us the lights of the heavens; the sun, moon and stars to help us to determine seasons, days and years. We are told in Genesis 1:14-19 that: "...God said let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years...and it was so..."

In Psalms 104:19 we learn that God "...appointed the moon for seasons..." Astronomers determine YEARS by the position of the stars; seasons by the moon; and days by the sun.

God gave us the sun to tell us when our 24 hour day is to begin. Astronomers around the world use the sun, when it is at its "meridian," which is what we call "high noon," to set the clocks of the world. Why do they always use high noon? Because high noon never changes. No matter where you are on the face of the earth, on any and every day of the year, the sun always reaches its "apex" or "meridian" at 12 o'clock noon. Everyone can tell when it is noon by observing the sun, and thereby knowing that a new 24 hour day has begun.

Even: The going down of the sun: In figure #4 you will see that at sunrise the sun is in its ascent or is climbing. It continues to climb until it reaches high noon, at which time it starts its descent or starts going down. This descent is often referred to in Scripture as "even, the going down of the sun." Examples are: "...there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun." (Deuteronomy 16:6-7); "...[King Ahab] died at even...and there went out a proclamation...about the going down of the sun..." (1 Kings 22:35-36); "...the king of Israel stayed...up in his chariot...until Even; and about the time of the sun going down he died." (2 Chronicles 18:34)

The sun starts going down at about 12:01, just after noon. More examples are as follows: "And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him." (Genesis 15:12); "...there thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even [Strong's 6153], at the going down of the sun...and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents." (Deuteronomy 16:6-7); " came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark [i.e., shaded] before [i.e., at the front of] the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath..." (Nehemiah 13:19); "And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun...they took off of the trees... And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king...he...destroyed..."

We have often been misled into thinking that the "going down of the sun" always means "sunset," because some Hebrew and Chaldee words that do mean "sunset" have been translated "going down of the sun." But in all the above cited cases it is a different Hebrew word, and it means "noon." In the Hebrew lexicon of Strong's Concordance under word #6153, "evening," we find: "The Pharisees...and the Rabinists considered the time when the sun began to descend to be called first evening...and the second evening to be the real sunset..."

From this we can clearly see that the word "evening" can and is used to indicate both high noon and also sunset. Definition Conclusions: We now come to the point where we can capsulize our definitions.

Day: A 24 hour period of time; also, sunrise to sunset.

1). A 24 hour period of time starting at 12 o'clock noon and ending at 12 o'clock noon the following day.

2). The daylight portion of a 24 hour period of time starting at sunrise and ending at sunset.

Night: Sunset to sunrise. The dark portion of a 24 hour period of time starting at sunset and ending at sunrise.

Evening: 12:00 noon to 12:00 midnight. The ever constant 12 hour period of time that starts at 12 o'clock noon (the beginning of the Biblical day) and ends at 12 o'clock midnight.

Morning: 12:00 midnight to 12:00 noon. The ever constant 12 hour period of time that starts at 12 o'clock midnight and ends at 12 o'clock noon (the end of the Biblical day).

Even: 12:00 noon. The point in time of a 24 hour day when the daylight portion of that day is divided into two equal or even parts: thus the term "even." This equal division  always occurs at 12:00 noon at any place throughout the world.

The Going Down of the Sun: At even; 12 o'clock noon. The point in time when the sun reaches its apex, its highest point; immediately after which it then starts its decline or when it starts going down.

Warnings for Christians against the Doctrine of men and Jewish Fables: It is a good thing that Christ, Paul and the other apostles warned us about wolves in sheep's clothing and false teachers that would come into our midst and even spring up from our own church bodies to lead people away from the truth. There is a group of people today who follow the doctrine of teachings of men; people who practice the teachings of ancient Phariseeism, the Phariseeism that Christ accused the Scribes and Pharisees of his day of practicing: "...[Jesus] answered and said unto [the Scribes and Pharisees], why do ye also transgress the commandments of God by your tradition?...Ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your vain they do worship me teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Matthew 15:1-9 & Mark 7:1-9)

This modern day Phariseeism is called "talmudism" because these people use the Talmud: the writings of those whom they call "the learned elders of Zion," as their bible. The Talmud is the foundation of their Babylonian religion. These writings called the Talmud are bound in approximately 63 volumes. In the book, The Pharisees, written by Louis Finkelstein, the Provost and Solomon Schecter Professor of Theology at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, wrote in the Forward to his first edition on page xxi: "Phariseeism became Talmudism, then became Medieval Rabbinism, and Medieval Rabbinism became modern Rabbinism. But throughout these changes of name...the spirit of the ancient Pharisee survives unaltered. When the Jew... studies the Talmud, he is actually repeating the arguments used in the Palestinian academies."

These modern day Pharisees, who follow the teachings of Talmudism, say that they are "God's Chosen People." They call their religion "Judaism" and call themselves "Jews" (Judahites), but they do lie and are of the "synagogue of Satan" as Christ told John in the Book of Revelation: "...I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews [Judahites], and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan." (Revelation 2:9; 3:9); "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews [Judahites], and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee." (Revelation 3:9)

These people who call themselves "God's Chosen People," but do lie, begin their day at sundown and have deceived millions and millions of people in Christendom to follow their traditions and "commandments of men." Christ warned us about these people when He told us: "...beware of the leaven [doctrine] of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." (Matthew 16:6-12; Mark 8:15)

Christ also said of these people: " are of your father the devil...he...abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him." (John 8:44)

The Apostle Paul warned us in Titus 1:14 not to give, "...heed to Jewish fables and commandments of men, that turn from the truth." Again Christ warned us: "...they shall deceive the very elect." (Matthew 24:24)

Starting the weekly Sabbath at sundown is following a "Jewish fable," a tradition of Judaism, which is taught in the Talmud, the bible of Judaism. This Jewish fable has deceived millions of people and has led them away from the truth of God's true Sabbath.

Confusion: "...God is not the author of confusion..." (1 Corinthians 14:33)

To say that the day begins at sundown is confusion. Consider the fact that no other day of the week starts at sundown. Consider also that sundown changes daily at any given location on earth. On some days of the year the sun rises very early and sets very late, making the daylight hour as long as 16 to 23 hours. At other times of the year, the sun rises very late and sets very early, making the daylight hours as short as one to eight hours. The time of sunset is always changing. Not only is sunset changing daily but sunset can be at a different time of the same day between communities as close as five to ten miles apart, particularly in mountainous regions; thereby causing neighbors to start their days at different times; this is certainly confusion. Attempts have been made to hide this confusion by picking a time, such as 6 p.m. as the time to start the Sabbath, knowing full well that time is not really sundown. This is just another one of those commandments of men; the commandment of God is still being ignored.

In Revelation 18:4 we are told to come out of Babylon (which means "confusion"). When we use sunset (which is constantly changing) to determine when our day is to begin, we find ourselves in confusion (Babylon). Isn't it wonderful that God gave us a time of day that never changes which can be determined by everyone, even the uneducated? Yes, high noon is always the same, because God gave us the sun to determine when our day is to begin.(Genesis 1:14) A Look at Scripture: Now let us take a look at some Scriptural commands in regards to observing certain days, commands given to us from God Himself.

In Deuteronomy 16:1-8 we are told when to kill the Passover, how to cook it and when to return home: "...thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun...thou shalt roast it...and thou shalt turn in the morning, and go unto thy tents."

In Exodus 12:1-51 we have the detailed account of the first Passover and its detailed instructions: "...take...a lamb...without blemish, a male of the first year...from the sheep, or from the goats...Israel shall kill it in the evening [Strong's #6153, this is the same word translated 'even in Deuteronomy 16:6 above]... they shall eat the flesh in the night, roast with not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; and that which remaineth of it until the morning ye shall burn with one house shall it be eaten: thou shalt no carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof."

Exodus 34:25 tells us: "...neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of Passover be left until the morning."

We are also told in Exodus 12:29 that, " came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land."

In the above passages we can see that a fair amount of time will have elapsed from the time of killing the Passover at "even," at the going down of the sun, (12 Noon) and the burning of the leftovers, which must be completed before midnight. Why must the left-overs be burned before midnight? Because God had commanded them to return to their tents "in the morning" (which commences at midnight). (Deuteronomy 16:7)

Midnight is the time when the Lord smote all the firstborn of Egypt. Israelites were to be in their houses with the blood of the lamb smeared on the doorposts and lintel.

Let's take a look at what must be done and the approximate length of time it would take to do it.

1). They must kill, skin and clean the lamb. (Estimate: one hour).

2). They must roast it until it is completely done, not raw. Today if you roast a turkey that weighs 20 to 25 pounds in a modern oven, it will take between six to eight hours to roast. We have no idea how much longer it took in their ovens or fire pits. (Estimate: 6-8 hours).

3). They are not to eat it. (Estimate: 1/2-1 hour).

4). They are now to burn with fire everything that is left over. (Estimate: 1/2-1 hour). Total elapsed time: 8-11 hours. After looking at the things that are required to observe the Passover, it becomes quite clear that it could not have been accomplished if it had been begun at sundown.

The day before the Day of Atonement: In Leviticus 23:32 we are commanded: "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."

In this passage, all three of the words that were translated as "even" are Strong's #6153, the same as in Deut. 16:6, and means "noon."

At the time of Nehemiah: A few Israelites of old were carried off to Babylonian captivity, and after 70 years God allowed about 50,000 of those who wanted to, to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and the city. After the walls were rebuilt, the Israelites started to profane the Sabbath as their fathers had done before them. This was the main reason for their captivity in the first place. The prophet Nehemiah became very angry when he learned what the Israelites had been doing in his absence and he upbraided them severely, as recorded in Nehemiah 13:15-22. In verse 19, we learn that: " came to pass that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark [shaded] before [at the front of] the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath." In this passage the word that is translated "dark" is Strong's #6751. it is used only twice in scripture, and it means "to shade." The main gate in Jerusalem faces east, and just after the sun reached the apex (noon), a shadow was cast on the main gate. It was at that time that Nehemiah ordered that the gates were to be shut to commence the Sabbath.

Saul is King of Israel: During King Saul's reign over Israel, he became jealous of David and sought ways to kill him. Saul's son, Jonathan, was David's faithful friend who warned him of Saul's plans to kill David. In 1 Samuel 20:5 we learn; "...David said unto Jonathan...let me go, that I may hide myself in the field unto the third day at even." (Strong's #6153)

Later on in 1 Samuel 20:35, we find that Jonathan went out in the morning and met David at the time appointed, which was at noon, or "even." " came to pass in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David..."

In the first passages we see that David appointed a time to meet, which the Bible calls "even," on the third day. In the second passage we see that they met at the "appointed time" which was "even." When we look closely, we see that Jonathan went out into the field in the "morning." That means he went out sometime between "midnight" and "noon," and met him at the appointed time, which it now becomes obvious was noon or shortly thereafter.

Morning: In the gospel of Mark, chapter one, verse 35, we read that Christ got up "a great while" before daylight to pray, but it was already "morning" when he got up: " the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."

Translators Inconsistent: The above example clearly illustrate that there are times, as recorded in Scripture, when the words "even," "evening" and "the going down of the sun" mean 12 noon. There are many other times when this is the case. There are also numerous times that the same words (even, evening, going down of the sun) do not mean 12 noon.

Therefore, we must always, as we have stated before, check the context of each passage where those words occur. We must not blindly assume that if it means "noon" in one verse that it always means "noon," or if it means "sunset," in a particular verse, that it always means "sunset." I repeat: Always check the context.

Secular History Findings: We found it quite interesting to learn that the secular world also started and ended the day at 12 o'clock noon. In the third edition of Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia we find (pp. 1691-1692) under the heading "Time," the following: "From the earliest recorded history the...sun has been adopted as the clock for regulating human affairs, and the apparent [visible to the eye; obvious] solar day is the interval of time between successive passages of the true sun across a local meridian. For many centuries upper culmination, or apparent noon, marked the beginning of an apparent day and local apparent time was the hour angel of the true sun. In 1925, to bring the apparent day into synchronism with that used in civil life, the beginning of the apparent day was transferred to lower culmination, or midnight, and the local apparent time defined as the hour angle of the true sun plus 12 hours...Prior to 1925 the mean solar day began at upper culmination (mean noon) and the civil day began at midnight."

In the New English Dictionary under the word "day," we are told: "The solar day is the fundamental unity of time...being determined by observations of the sun [day], is taken to begin with the passage of the mean sun over the high noon...while the civil day begins at midnight."

In the United States Department of Agriculture book "A Walk Through Time," we find: "During Saxon times, simple sundial forms place above the doorways were used to identify midday..."

This way the early Saxons - our Israelite ancestors, knew when to stat their day. According to the archaeologists, the Umbri of Italy are the direct descendants of the Israelites of Scripture. We found in the "Encyclopedia of English Law," under the title "day," the following: "...the Umbri in Italy began [the day] at midday...the Egyptians and Romans at midnight..."

In the United States Constitution one will find under Article XX:

"Section 1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3rd of January..."

"Section 2. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meetings shall begin at noon..."

Conclusion - Part I: After a thorough search of the Holy Scriptures and then checking secular history to see what actually took place, we have come to the conclusion that the "weekly Sabbath" of Scripture starts at 12 o'clock noon at the end of the sixth day and continues until 12 o'clock noon at the end of the seventh day.

This changing of times is nothing but fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 7:25: "...he [the fourth beast] shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws..."

Part II: The Weekly Sabbath - Which Day of the Week? " shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all His commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy god...the Lord shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways. And all the people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the Lord; and they shall be afraid of thee." (Deuteronomy 28:1-10)

It is the purpose of Part II of this study to determine on which day of the week the Sabbath begins. Since Scripture does not tell us directly which day is the Sabbath we must look to prophecy and its fulfillment to determine the specific day that is the Sabbath day.

Shortly before his death, Moses, the prophet of God, told the Israelites the blessings and the curses that Almighty God had assigned to His people, the sons and daughters of Jacob/Israel. You can read about them in Deuteronomy, chapters 28 through 34. There you will learn to whom they apply, and in 28:46 you will learn how long those blessing and curses will be in effect: "...they shall be upon thee for a sign and a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever."

You might be wondering at this point; what has all this to do with which day of the week is the Sabbath. Our answer is "Everything!" As you read on, you will be seeing the fulfillment of this prophecy right up to the present day. Moses made this prophecy before the Israelites entered into Canaan land. As we read the books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah and all the other prophets, we find that whenever the Israelites obeyed God's commandments, which includes keeping His Sabbath, that none of their enemies could stand before them, and their prosperity was beyond comprehension to the nations around them. The most famous account, of course, was that of King Solomon, of whom it is written: "...King Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and wisdom. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart." (1 Kings 10:23-24)

As you read the history of Israel in the Bible, you will see that as long as Israel obeyed God's laws, and kept His Sabbaths, they prospered; but when they disobeyed and violated His Sabbaths and went a-whoring after other gods, then the curses of Deuteronomy 28 were again showered upon them and they prospered.

This was no accident, but only God fulfilling His promises. This up and down, roller-coaster prosperity that followed the Israelites has been going on now for over 3,000 years. This might seem like a long time, but when you re-read the prophecy you will notice that the blessings and the curses will follow the Israelites and be "...upon thy seed for ever."

Prophecy Fulfilled In America: Sometime around 1611 A.D., a group of Israelites left the shores of Europe and headed west. Their written and expressed intentions and beliefs were that they were the blood/genetic descendants of Jacob/Israel and that they were going to the New Canaanland that God had told King David that He would ordain for them, a place from which they would never have to move again. "Moreover I [God] will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime." (2 Samuel 7:10); "Also I [God] will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more: neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning." (1 Chronicles 17:9)

Can you not see, God told David, while he was in his home in Jerusalem, in the Promised land that He [God] would move the Israelites to another place, which would be their home forever. They arrived at a place they called "Plymouth," and there set up their community; they covenanted together to abide by the laws of God. They kept His Sabbaths; they punished or executed those persons who disobeyed God's laws. Other Israelites came from all parts of Europe and from around the world: Anglo-Saxons, Germans, Scandinavians, Celts and other kindred people who are the blood descendants of Jacob/Israel today.

They built the greatest nation on earth; in the history of the world; they prospered beyond any nation in history. They were the most loved, respected and feared nation in the world. Their might and power were unmatched throughout the world. Why? That question is probably best answered by the statement of a French philosopher who came to America to find out why America was so great. After searching out the country's industry, commerce, agriculture, etc., yet he could not find the answer. The he visited America's churches and across the land he heard ministers on every Sabbath preaching obedience to God's laws. He returned to France and wrote: "...America is great because America is good, but when America ceases to be good, she will cease to be great..."

This is just another indication of the blessings of Deuteronomy 28 that God put upon the "seed of Israel" according to His promise. The Sabbath Observed in America: For centuries, until 1925, the United States and most of the rest of the world started and ended their day at 12 noon. On Saturday at noon businesses closed, the post office shut down, all government offices closed until Monday morning. This included the military.

The people stopped their work and began their Sabbath rest. They took their Saturday night bath; they attended church services the following morning. After church services were over and the Sabbath was at an end, they would go home or visit friends for their Sunday dinner. After dinner they relaxed or played games or sports for their recreation (re-creation and rejuvenation). They could also water and feed their animals without breaking Gods Sabbath, thus bringing down the death penalty upon themselves.

This is how the weekly Sabbath was observed, in general, throughout the United States. It was during this era - while the Israelites of this country were obeying God's laws and keeping His Sabbaths - that our country was blessed and prospered to become the mighty nation that it was - still another example of God keeping His promises of Deuteronomy 28.

The Curses: Just like their fathers of old, these modern Israelites just couldn't stand all that prosperity; so, like their fathers of old, they started whoring after other gods; the god of money, the god of materialism, the god of sex and fornication, the god of baby sacrifice in the abrotitoriums, the god of sodomy and lesbianism - need I go on? Now, mind you, it didn't all happen at once. No, it was very gradual and very subtle. Most preachers today will tell you it was the work of the devil, but Scripture tells us it is the evil lusts of our own hearts. (James 1:12-15; 1 John 2:16-17; Romans 1:24; 2 Timothy 4:3; 1 Peter 4:2 to name just a few)

It started out by ignoring some little laws. That didn't seem too bad, so a few more laws were ignored. We changed the time of starting the day and gradually drifted away from observing God's true Sabbath, and started profaning it by letting stores stay open on Saturday afternoon. We stopped executing the death penalty for crimes worthy of death. We then allowed businesses to stay open seven days a week, and we Christians patronized them. We allowed freedom of choice for those who wished to kill their unborn babies. We accepted the sodomite life style as an alternative in our government employees as well as in private life. The alleged Christian churches condoned sodomy and they ordained sodomites into the ministry.

Today, the highest office in the land, the presidency of the United States, is held by a male who, along with his wife, promote this detestable, degenerate, abominable life style. And what has happened to our nation's wealth, its might, respect, morals, etc.? They have reached their lowest point in history, in direct proportion to our disobedience to God's laws.

The worst part of it all is that we have professing Christians who have been deceived into believing that God doesn't mind if we start His Sabbath on just any day of the week, or on a Wednesday, or Friday night, or Sunday morning. they expect God to pour out His promised blessings upon us. They just can't understand why God doesn't bless them as He did before.

Not Till We Obey: No, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow Israelites, don't expect our heavenly Father to honor His part of the covenant in regards to His blessings, until we do our part by keeping His weekly Sabbath as we did in days gone by: from 12 o'clock noon, the beginning of the seventh day; which we call Saturday noon, 12 o'clock noon the following day, which we call Sunday noon. Then we need to study God's laws diligently and see how there were very few laws that were done away with by Christ's death (the blood ordinances and Levitical rituals, etc.). Then we must put those laws into practice. Then, and only then, will God look upon our affliction, see that we have repented, and start again to pour out His blessings upon us, and start to heal our land as He promised in 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

The Bottom Line: Most of you who have read this study:

1). Love and worship the only true God.

2). Don't have any idols you bow down to and worship.

3). You don't take God's name in vain.


5). You honor your fathers and mothers.

6). You don't commit murder.

7). You don't commit adultery.

8). You don't steal.

9). You don't bear false witness against your neighbor.

10). You don't covet your neighbors wife or goods.

How about #4, the one that says "keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee?" God set aside a specific 24 hour period each week, that He wants us to set aside out of our work week to keep holy unto him. You now know that 12 o'clock noon is when God says we are to begin our 24 hour day.

You now know that God's weekly Sabbath begins at 12 o'clock noon on the day that we call Saturday, and it ends at 12 o'clock noon on the day that we call Sunday. The final question is, will you "keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee?"

Part III: Yes, But What About...?

Right now, many of you may be saying: "This all sounds pretty convincing, but I know of a passage or several passages that appear to contradict the belief that the Bible Sabbath starts at 12 o'clock noon on Saturday and ends at 12:00 o'clock noon on Sunday."

Matthew 28:1: One of the most common passages that seems to be contradictory is found in the gospel of Matthew chapter 28, verse 1, which states: "In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre."

Let us start with the very first word: "In." "In" is word #1722 in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, it is: "A primary preposition, denoting a fixed position in time..." This word (#1722 has been translated as 35 different words, which means it can have many different meanings, depending on the context in which it is being used. It has been translated as: "toward" and "before" on at least four occasions. We believe that either "toward" or "before" would have been a more correct translation because the context of the passage so indicates. It says further on in this passage: "...As it began to dawn toward the first day of the week..." The word "toward" here very clearly tells us that it was not yet the first day of the week, but that that time was soon coming.

Consider this: It is just beginning "to dawn;" it is "before" "the end of the Sabbath." The time of the year is shortly after the "spring Equinox" when daylight and dark hours are nearly equal, therefore "dawn" is around 6:00 a.m. There are still six more hours to go before 12:00 o'clock noon, (when the first day of the week will begin). This is the hour that the two Marys went to Christ's sepulchre. The Sabbath has nearly ended and the first day of the week is near. We believe this will clear up the confusion brought about by the old English style of writing found in the King James Bible.

Exodus 16:19: In Exodus, chapter 16, we learn that God gives the Israelites "manna" to take the place of grain for their main staple of food. Moses told the people not to leave any of the "manna" till the morning. We find this in Exodus 16:19: "And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till morning." We learned in Part I that morning begins at midnight, so we see here that Moses is telling the people not to keep the manna overnight.

Each morning they were to gather as much manna as they would need to eat for their meals that day, but they were not to try to save any overnight, except on the sixth day, when they were to gather twice as much, which was to last them through the Sabbath, since there would be none to be gathered on the Sabbath. The day starts as 12:00 noon. Midnight comes 12 hours later. Sunrise comes at about the 18th hour of the 24 hour day. Noon comes at the 24th hour and another day begins.

When Moses told the Israelites to gather a double portion of manna on the sixth day, he was referring to the 18th hour of the sixth day. This double portion would then provide them with the anna that they would normally have gathered on the seventh day, around the 18th hour. By the 18th hour of the FIRST DAY of the week, they would again find manna in the fields.

The Last Supper: Many people say that the last supper of Christ which was the Israelite Passover does not support the "noon to noon" belief. Let's go to the Scripture and see if that statement is true or not. We don't believe that anyone will deny the fact that Christ knew when the Passover was to be killed and eaten; nor is it likely that anyone will deny that Christ and His apostles kept the Passover according to the law given to Moses for the Israelites.

We will start by reading the pertinent facts of the "last supper," starting in the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 14, verse 12: "...The first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the Passover, [Christ's] disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go and prepare that thou mayest eat the Passover? And he sendeth forth two of his disciples...And they made ready the Passover. And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And...they sat and did eat..."

Here we see in verses 12 through 16, that the two apostles prepared the Passover. To prepare the Passover they had to get a lamb; they had to kill the lamb and drain the blood; they then had to skin it. Next they had to roast it with fire until it was completely cooked because the law forbade them to eat it raw. All this takes at least five to six hours. In verse 17 we learn that Christ and His apostles came and sat down to eat the Passover "in the evening." This word "evening" is the Greek word #3798 in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance and it means: "Late afternoon or nightfall." The Israelite Passover comes two weeks after the "Spring Equinox." That is the time of the year when nightfall comes around 6:00 o'clock p.m. Now remember, the "two apostles" didn't "prepare" the Passover at 6:00 p.m.; they ate the Passover with Christ at 6:00 p.m. Simple arithmetic will tell anyone that if they ate the Passover at 6:00 p.m., and if it takes about six hours to make all the preparations for the Passover to be eaten, then we must realize that the "two apostles" started the preparations around 12:00 o'clock noon: which was the start of the Israelite Passover day.

Christ: Our Passover Lamb: Numerous Scriptures tell us that Christ is our Passover Lamb. (See 1 Corinthians 5:7; 1 Peter 1:19; John 1:29, 36; Revelation 5:5-14; 7:9-14; 21:14) Some people say that Christ's death does not coincide with the "noon to noon" belief. We will now go to the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 27, and Mark, Chapter 15, to see if the above statement is true or not. Matthew 27:1-2 tells us: "When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor."

The above-stated "morning" is the morning after Christ had eaten the Passover; prayed in the garden; was arrested and taken before Caiaphas and falsely judged by him. Now we will go to the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 15. Here we learn in verses 15 through 37; the sentence by Pilate; the hour when Christ was nailed to the stake; the hours of darkness and the hour of His death. (Mark 15:15, 25, 33-34, 37) "...Pilate... delivered Jesus, and when he had scourged him, to be crucified...It was the third hour, and they crucified him...And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice...Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost."

To understand what we are being told in the above passages we must first understand that at the time of Christ's crucifixion, the Israelites were under Roman rule, and the Pharisees were in charge over Israel on a local level.

At that point of time in history the Pharisees had already changed the time when a day was to begin. Instead of having the day start at noon, the Pharisees changed it to start at sunset. Because sunset is always changing, they settled on 6:00 p.m. as the start of their day. (In The Encyclopedic Dictionary by Robert Hunter and Charles Morris, printed in 1896, we read on page 1450 under the word "day:" "Among the Jews the day began at sunset...")

The Jews divided their day into two 12 hour periods. The first 12 hour period started at sunset and went to sunrise and was called the "first" through the "twelfth" hour. At sunrise they start their second 12 hour period. This second half of the Pharisees' official day started at 6:00 o'clock in the morning. Therefore, 7:00 o'clock was their "first hour," 8:00 o'clock was their "second hour." 9:00 o'clock was their "third hour," and so on. Therefore the terms; third hour, sixth hour and ninth hour were terms used in the gospel accounts.

In verse 25 above, we are told that Christ was actually nailed to the stake at 9:00 a.m., which was their third hour. Christ then hung on the cross from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Verse 33 tells us that from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. "...There was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour." [3:00 p.m.] It was during this period of time that the prophecy of Isaiah 53:8 was fulfilled: "He was taken from prison and from judgment... for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken." At 3:00 p.m. Christ cried with a loud voice, gave up the ghost and died. We find in verse 34 and 37: "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice...Jesus cried with a loud voice and gave up the ghost."

We can plainly see by the above passages that Christ was killed shortly after 12:00 noon, (which in the Old Testament is often referred to as: "even, the going down of the sun") which is in keeping with the law as spelled out in Deuteronomy 16:6: "...Thou shalt sacrifice the Passover at even, at the going down of the sun..." 

There were other ways that Christ could have been executed, but to fulfill prophecy, Christ had to die by crucifixion, which is a slow and very painful death. It was finally completed by 3:00 p.m., not at sunset as the modern day Jews (Pharisees) would have us believe.

The High Sabbath of John 10:31: Many people read John 19:31 and say: "See, it is very clear that the Sabbath was to begin at sundown." Those people are absolutely correct. As we pointed out earlier in Part III: the Pharisees - under Roman rule - were in charge of the Israelites. Also, we pointed out that the day began at sunset for the Pharisees (the Jews): "Among the Jews the day began at sunset..." Therefore the high Sabbath day which followed Christ's crucifixion was to begin at sunset, because it was the Jews' (Pharisees') time to start their day. I repeat: sundown is the beginning of the Pharisees day and the beginning of the Pharisees Sabbath and it was the Pharisees Sabbath that John was recording in this verse. This is what John 19:31 says: "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain on 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."

This Sabbath day, which was the Pharisees' "high day" was another of the Pharisees' perversion of God's law: specifically the law which is recorded in Exodus, Chapter 12, which was given to the Israelites before the first Passover. In Exodus 12:15-16 we read: "Seven days shall ye eat unleavened bread; even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses...In the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you."

In verse 16 we see that the first day of "unleavened bread," when the Passover is to be killed, is to be an "holy convocation," which is a "sacred meeting." The first day of unleavened bread is also to be a Sabbath of rest wherein no work, except food preparation, is to be done. We pointed out in the section entitled "The Last Supper" that Christ and His apostles did, on the first day of unleavened bread, prepare and eat the Passover, according to the law.

You will see by the following verses that the Pharisees started the preparation for their Passover at a different time than Christ; and that the Pharisees also had their "holy convocation" which they called a "high Sabbath day" on the second, not the first day of unleavened bread as was required by law. Let us now turn to the Gospel of John, Chapters 18 & 19 for confirmation of this truth. John 18:28 tells us: "Then led they [the Pharisees] Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment [where Pontius Pilate judged]: and it was early; and they themselves [the Pharisees] went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover."

Here we learn that Christ, who had already eaten the Passover the night before, was brought before Pilate, but the Pharisees refused to enter the judgment hall because if they had, according to Pharisee law, they would have been defiled and would not have been able to eat their Passover. John 19:13-14 tells us: "...Pilate...brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat...and it was the preparation of the Passover..."

Here we have a second witness that the day that Pilate judged Christ was on the Pharisees’ Passover preparation day. Later on, after Christ's death, we are told in 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...they might be taken away."

We see here that it was still the Pharisees' Passover preparation day and that the Jews (the Pharisees) wanted the bodies to be taken off of the crosses before sundown when the Pharisees' high Sabbath day was to begin. Remember, this was not the weekly or seventh day Sabbath, but it was a special "high Sabbath."

There are several other "high  Sabbaths" or holy convocations in Scripture and they can be found in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 28 and 29. It now becomes very clear that the "high Sabbath day" of John 19:31 was not the Sabbath of Israel, but it was the "high Sabbath of the Pharisees" and therefore, because the Pharisees started their day at sunset, they also started their "high Sabbath" of John 19:31 at sunset.

If you check with any Jewish synagogue today you will find that they still follow this same Pharisaical practice of starting their weekly Sabbath and their Passover Sabbath at sundown, simply because they are following the same teachings as the Pharisees of Christ's time.

Scriptural Warnings: The Pharisees of Christ's time and the Pharisees of today, whom we call "Jews," did not then, nor do they today, start their "day" according to Scripture; they do not start their "Sabbath" according to Scripture; and they do not observe "the Passover" according to Scripture. Therefore Christians of today should look to the Jews of today for nothing, absolutely nothing! Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, please remember Christ's warning to His disciples: "...Take heed and beware of the leaven [doctrines or teaching] of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees." (Matthew 16:6, 12)

And finally, remember Paul's warning to us as recorded in the Book of Titus, Chapter 3, verse 14: "...not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth."

When you go to the Jews or Jewish writings, you will get nothing but "Jewish fables," and where you spend eternity may lie in the balance.

Epilogue: The Christian Bible Sabbath begins at noon on Saturday and ends at noon on Sunday. The Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday night and ends at sundown on Saturday night. Which one will you choose? May the God of Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob bless you and

encourage you to diligently search the Scriptures to see if what we tell you is true. (Acts 17:11)

Reference Materials