WEEK 17 (10th to 16th of Elul, the 6th Month, in the Hebrew Religious Calendar)
Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”
Is Sabbath or Sunday the Real Day of Rest?
This issue can be a bit shocking for many followers of Yahusha who have been taught by their teachers to adhere to 2 paradigms that were introduced almost 2 millennia ago and 3 centuries after the apostles’ time. But we cannot disregard evidences that our Savior did resurrect on the Sabbath and not on the First Day, what many now call the “Lord’s Day” and their preferred day of worship. Yet, we need to reinforce the fact that the day began with the rising of the Sun, not at Sundown or at Midnight. Hence, we will show how this question — or confusion — caused the shift from Sabbath to Sunday as the day of rest. So, why should the Sun mark the start of the day? “Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of Yah.
His going forth is established as the Morning . . . .” (Hosea 6:3)
The illustration above of Day 4 shows the Sun just created, after 3 days of “Evening and Morning” periods had already gone by. If we assume that each day started at Evening, then it follows that with the Sun now giving Light instead of the Ruach, it would be anticlimactic for the Creator to set such a magnificent star up in the Heavens as the source of Light and Life for the whole Earth and counting the Evening first then the Morning after and applying that counting also for the Fourth Day. It makes more sense to say that with the Sun’s Light, the day started with the rising of the Sun at 6 AM (leftmost phase of the Earth). Light began Creation; the Sun began the day. And as we said, if Evening began the first day the moment Elohim had proclaimed “Let there be Light!”, that would require us to conclude that the day began 12 hours even before the Light came on! It would also, therefore, mean Day 4 began at Evening (lower half of the drawing above).
Notice, however, that that entire 12-hour Evening phase puts the Eastern Hemisphere right smack in front of the Sun (starting at 6 PM — rightmost phase until 6 AM when the real or biblical Morning arrives)! For that is supposed to be the “dying” or waning phases of the Eastern Hemisphere, being the start of the Evening (and the start of the Morning on the Western Hemisphere at the opposite side).1 This concept is not consistent with the obviously organic sense of the day breaking out in glorious beginning at Sunrise. (Psalm 108:1-6) In fact, the gospel writers counted the hours of the day beginning at Sunrise; thus, 6 AM was the first hour, 9 AM the 3rd hour, and so forth till the 12th hour at Sundown or 6 PM. On the other hand, the four watches of the Night were 3-hour periods covering 6-9 PM, 10-12 PM, 1-3 AM, and 3-6 AM to guide the Night-watchers of the city. (Giving us the words “watch” and “wristwatch”, from the Old English form of “wake” or to “keep awake”.) Sadly, counting the day from Sunrise is not the case at all for many today. Why?
The present convention of starting the day at Evening or at Midnight is counterintuitive, illogical and even unbiblical. But there are historical reasons for these misplaced practices. And all those reasons disregard the primary fact that the point or place where the Earth meets the Sun’s brilliant Light has great spiritual, geographical and historical significance. We have touched on this. However, it is worth mentioning again that the Sun rose up upon the place where Elohim placed the pristine home of the first humans: in Paradise or the Garden of Eden. Every aspect of Creation: The Light, the Firmament, the Land, the Plants, the Sun and stars, Animal Life, and Human Life where meant to provide their abundant benefits right where the Divine Seed of Life would sprout. And where Elohim Themselves would descend and meet with humans before leaving all of Creation under the care of the first humans. The Hebrew word yanah, from the word “nuach” (i.e., Noah), means exactly that: to rest from, or set aside, as in cease from creating and putting aside what has been done. (Ex. 20:11) That, Elohim did on Day 7.
Yes, Day 7 and the idea of Rest or, more properly, Completion and Perfection of Creation referred to the inauguration of Divine Presence in the Universe at a particular place where Universal Life and Eternal Life were granted to created beings. And that place is, as we said, in the Orient or the East, and where the OWR (Hebrew for Light) or the Golden Morning Light first shone from Day 1 to Day Present (Today). The word for East in Hebrew is qedem, meaning “in front of” or “facing” the Sun, not to mention the Creator. Even the City of Yerushalem faced the East for it signified the entrance of the Holy Presence of Yah through the Eastern Gate. (Ezek. 44:1-2) It was, in fact, called the Golden Gate or Beautiful Gate. (Acts 3:2) Finally, the meaning of East includes not only the direction toward the Sun’s birth (East) but also a particular location (the “East corner” of the Earth, or the Eastermost part of the Land which Elohim had created).2
Dividing the Earth into Hemispheres
The division of the Earth into two Hemispheres using the Prime Meridian (Longitude 0°) and Anti-Meridian (Longitude 180°) in 1884 established a global standard; whereby, Greenwich, London was chosen as the beginning point at Longitude 0°. Hence, East of the Prime Meridian is the Eastern Hemisphere and West of it is the Western Hemisphere. (Watch this video at Britannica’s website.) It became necessary to provide a standard Meridian for all countries; whereas before, they chose any arbitrary Meridian to set the East-West separation in the absence of a common reference, especially during much of the era of European colonization of the world that began in the 15th century. (To fully understand the meaning of these technical terms, please visit the references beneath.)
The establishment of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) as International Time Standard later on, as a result of the 1884 designation of Greenwich as point of reference, would have deep political, religious, historical and economic significance that extends to the present era. However, as we have discussed partially, such a division was never contemplated by the Creator, even after the Flood when Noah divided the Land between his 3 sons. As a catastrophic result of the judgment upon humans and all living beings, the geological structure and geophysical features of the Post-Flood Earth would drastically change and would define the historical events in the next several millennia up to the present. Much of what we have shown and presented during Creation, in short, would no longer exist and apply, in general.
Surveying the Word and the Earth
One primary aspect we have mentioned concerns the dynamic forces that would alter the size or the radius of the Earth from that of the beginning (Days 1-2) to that of Day 3, and, finally, to that period after the Flood up to the present. We illustrated our belief that during Creation, before the Land appeared, the radius of the Earth might have been much smaller than it is now. From a much smaller planet, it grew slightly through the breaking up of the ancient single continent of Pangaea when Elohim formed the Sea. (Gen. 1:9-10) The break-up of the Land or the primeval Pangaea came with the initial expansion of the Earth, thus, producing the Sea on Day 3 and increasing the radius of the old Earth to 3,036 kilometers, which is about 48% of the present radius of 6,325 kilometers. This means there was a huge difference in the circumference of the Old (Pre-Flood) Earth of Noah’s time and the New (Post-Flood) Earth by about 20,655 kilometers.
Doing some calculations, and assuming that we reduce the Atlantic and Indian Oceans to a minimum width such that they would practically form the ancient River Systems referred to in Genesis, their total mean width measured along the Equator of 16,316 kms will be subtracted from the difference between the new and old circumferences of the Earth of 20,655 kms. The remaining width of 3,738 kms will then be subtracted from the present width of the Pacific of 16,770 kms to give its ancient width before the Flood of 13,032 kms. And so, the picture directly above hopes to show how the smaller Earth would have had only one smaller Sea while the rest of the Earth or Land was broken only by the river systems that would eventually form the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. (Please watch this video of God Culture below, giving evidences of the ancient rivers and the location of Eden.)
With one Sea and one undivided continent, the idea as to the meaning of the “ends of the Earth” (Isa. 24:16 NKJV) or the “uttermost parts of the Earth” (Psa. 2:8) becomes clear. We could as well refer to the other side across the Great Sea as the “end of the Earth” but not the “farthest” parts. In reference to the location of ancient Sumeria, which many consider as the seat of the first civilization, that would not be the case. The Western shores of the American continent is considerably closer to the Mesopotamian Valley than Asia is. We conclude, therefore, that the Bible writers understood this ancient geography of the Earth and wrote in a way that we now plainly see accordingly.
It appears that the very placement of Eden, the primeval home for humans on Day 6, was not a haphazard decision but an intentional plan meant for humans and the creatures to receive and savor Creation that Elohim had created in the beginning. Elohim Themselves “planted a garden East of Eden”, which was a specific enclosure for humans which sustained their lives. As proof of this divine act, we have evidences from experts that the highest biodiversity in the world in terms of plant and animal life can only be found in Southeast Asia, and in some cases, the Philippines. (Watch this video from God Culture.)
Where was the Beginning of Humans? Where is Eden? What Does East Signify?
What this means is clear: Life, and Light, began at this archipelago which dwellers refer to as the “Lupa ng Silanganan” or “Land of the Morning” (also, literally, “Land of the Birth”). The ancient dwellers of these islands knew it so well and called it Pearl of the Orient Seas. And they had so much gold which they casually picked like pebbles from the shallow river waters. Digging for the “good” and abundant gold of Havilah (the land of Havah’s sufferings) mentioned in Gen. 2:11-12 was not necessary; for there was gold for everyone, even for the lowliest person, not just the rich ruling class. The colorful illustrations of the natives wearing so much gold as shown in the Boxer Codex published in the 16th century by the Spanish undeniably serve as graphic and historical proof of this fact. And these islands were the same islands where the navies of King David, King Hiram and King Solomon sailed to and procured Ophir gold. It is also the same archipelago from where the Spanish would establish the Galleon Trade to ferry its gold and other goods for 3 centuries to Spain via Mexico. These historical facts are true and proven; however, they have been sidelined or intentionally hidden from mainstream media, society and academia.
Creation contained all the goodness that pleased even the Creator. It is no surprise that humans would also be awed and attracted to the wealth They had placed in particular places where Noah and his descendants would live before and after the Flood. Where do you think Noah and his descendant, then, chose to live after the Flood if not where Adamah and Havah had lived in abundance? And that is exactly where the children of Yoktan, the great-great-grandson of Shem, chose to live, namely, Havilah, Ophir, Sheba, and their relative Tarshish. All the resources they needed were present in the place where Eden once existed; hence, they went and lived there. All this historical review we have touched on earlier has relevance to the issue on hand. Noah gave Rest to the world through the Flood; that is, Yah completed His decision to cleanse the world of the corruption and violence brought about by the Nephilim (children of fallen angels) who were hybrid humans preying on animals and humans as slaves or food. The plan to save humanity and all living beings stemmed from this abysmal fall of the Earth into wickedness and decay.
The Flood completed the renewal of the Earth for Noah and his 3 sons to repopulate it. The New Heaven and the New Earth were given rest from sins and spiritual pollution. It is proper then that the work of rehabilitating the world would again begin in the East, the place of the Sun’s birth. Noah and the Ark would land on the mountains of “Ararat” when he and his family would come out on a Sabbath, as mentioned by Moses. Whether it was Noah himself counting the days (he never counted weeks but only days from specific events, such as building or entering the Ark, etc.) or Moses later on, we do not know for now. Noah did provide the details of his log, as we can all read, and Moses worked out the days based on the weekly reckoning the Hebrews had inherited from the Egyptians and the Babylonians much earlier on before his birth. And so, today, we have a complete record of Noah’s work of redeeming Creation, as well as Moses’ work of redeeming the chosen nation of Yah. Who do you think will save the world today in these “Noah’s Days Part 2”?
How the Records of the Old Testament Prophets Served the Apostles
Fast-forward to the time of Yahusha and the apostles, what we saw, therefore, was a continuation of the original plan to complete the Establishment or Creation of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth using the specific time-and-place signature set in the beginning. And it follows, working on what had gone on before meant the intention was to COMPLETE the original work according to the original plan from the very beginning. Thus, when Elohim “rested from” or “completed” their work on Day 7, Their work of Creation was done; however, there were still other contingent tasks (because of the Fall) to be undertaken until another and final “rest” or “completion” could be undertaken. And that almost-5,800-year work nears its completion. Yes, we are on “Day 6” going into the Eternal Rest promised to us from the beginning. Understanding the full meaning of Day 7 or the Perfection and the End of all things in relation to divine and human labor requires serious and thorough study.
What if We Have Been Confused?
Could it be possible that we got confused and, thus, conflated the verses about the Sabbath and the timing of the day, having assumed they referred to one and the same period and, therefore, assumed they form one single idea? It seems like it. Here is what we mean below:
- Elohim defined the “appointed times” on Day 4 when They created the Sun, stars and planets.
- Based on the movements of the Earth, the “time duration” for the day was established as one full orbit around its axis; 360 days of one revolution around the Sun, and 30 days for the Moon to revolve around the Earth. Hence, the length and the meaning of the day served as the main cause or the foundation for all the related “appointed times”, not the effect or result of some Bing Bang chance. For how can the Sun or stars be greater than what came before them in Elohim’s grandiose designs and for which they were made to serve?
- On Day 7, Elohim “rested” or “completed” all Their work. This is where the confusion arises. At what point did Elohim finish Creation? When They created Adamah whom They created on Day 6 or after They had given him instructions to name all the animals living on the Land, the air and, perhaps, the Sea?
The confusion, it seems, arose from the assumption that all the work of Adamah was finished on Day 6 and that meant Elohim, therefore, completed Their work by the close of Day 6 at Midnight, that is, 6 hours before the Sun rose on Day 7. This seems illogical, if not, improbable. Could one man have finished doing all that work in one day considering so many kinds of animals in the world? And if Havah was made also on Day 6, as it appears to say in the narrative, was it after Adamah had supposedly finished his work or before? Would Elohim have then lingered around watching Adamah doing his work and seeing if he was doing good and feeling content beyond Day 7? For They had done Their work but could have stayed until our parents’ apprenticeship was completed. What would have stopped Them from spending enough time to orient and train them on so many aspects of Life. For instance, who else could have taught them to speak a language, pick and eat fruits, plant seeds, care for animals, and, most of all, multiply their own kind? Yes, such a vital process required not just learning how to do the act but also how to prepare for the consequence of it 9 months later. But even before that, it was possible that, perhaps, after naming 20 or 50 animals or so, Adamah was contently naming animals when he finally noticed each one of them were in pairs! Did he suddenly cease his work and realized he was the only one without a “proper mate”?! “Hey, there is something wrong here!” We know what happened next.
So, the most likely scenario is that the first humans did not work during Evenings but somehow stopped and, most likely, “rested” for a while; hence, they only had 12 hours of daylight in which to do all that work. Makes us wonder if they also rested the next day, being Day 7 — probably not! Most probably, their work was a continuing process that took a long time to accomplish with Elohim teaching them each step of the way. Hence, what Genesis 2 merely conveys is the general idea of what Elohim and humans were doing on Day 6 as the start of human stewardship over Creation.
The main question we raise is that when Elohim “rested”, did They spend the whole day at “rest”? Obviously not! That is because the real idea is that of completion of Their work of Creation. The narrative simply says They finished creating ON THE SEVENTH DAY. Or more, precisely, AFTER THE SIXTH DAY. And if our reckoning is right, Day 6 ended at dawn of Day 7 or just before Sunrise of Day 7. We could even say, without being wrong that Elohim “were at rest” on the 8th day, the 20th day or the 1,000th day; not to mean They were idle or relaxing, but the fact that Their work of Creation was done by then and ever after. With Creation finished on Day 6, Day 7 became a divine “holiday” to be kept solemn but only for a future day. Besides, the narrative does not talk of any Time duration but merely of a general Time reference in relation to the first 6 and the following days or months or years after. Today, we say Day 7 was about 5,784 years ago and the Old Creation has been completed for those so many years since. What Elohim does with Creation since the Fall is, as we appropriately say, redeeming it for Themselves from those who had captured it. Yet, Creation remains as it had been from the beginning, albeit in a greatly degraded condition. In fact and again, as bad as, or even worse than, during Noah’s days.
Making Day 7 the Sabbath Law
When Moses finally commanded the observance of Sabbath as a memorial, it was not in the same essence or meaning as the rest of Elohim. In the same way that Passover was a real and factual event in Egypt and turned into a yearly feast, the completion of Creation by Day 7 also became a memorial for the Hebrews of Elohim’s work of Creation. Lest they or we all forget that crucial fact and turn away to idols! Which they did so many times, even for many people until now. To “make Sabbath holy” is to honor Elohim for Their work and gifts to humans. Resting and focusing on those blessings help us to remain in Their grace. For the Hebrews, when their weekly quota of work was finished, they stopped working on the Sabbath. Yet, work still awaited them come the following week, as Elohim would continue working on behalf of humans.
Work is good and necessary; Elohim showed its value through a perfect Creation. But the work of slaves required by wicked masters and the work of sinners required in living within a cursed Earth were the kind of work that truly required rest for tired laborers. Elohim did not “rest” as a slave nor as a sinner. We rest because we are practically slaves and sinners due to the curse. However, Sabbath signifies not merely relief from painful or heavy work but ultimate release from the curse and the accompanying punishment of burdensome work. The Final Rest is the whole goal and purpose of making the seventh day “separate” from the rest. We reconnect with the Creator through fellowshipping with Them again in the “coolness of the Garden”, as our first parents did on Day 6 and many days after. Oh, how we wish we could recover that precious privilege! Nevertheless, They have become our Father, Savior and Teacher through faith in the Pure Sacrifice on Calvary, which gave humans rest from sin and death. Today, we await only the Final Rest.
Should We Still Set Aside the Seventh Day?
The issues of whether the Sabbath still applies and when it must be held remain vital questions for many, no matter how we might explain the true significance of Perfection and Completion through Yahusha’s sacrifice, since it has become an entrenched tradition and belief. According to Moses’ Law, the Sabbath was to be held beginning on the Evening of the seventh day, since the Jews began the day at Sundown. And most likely, Lev. 23:32 refined the law by stating it was to be held from “Evening to Evening”. This is where our understanding of the timing of Sabbath gets muddled. Whereas we said the organic day starts at Sunrise, as supported by John in John 20:1, the Law said Sabbath was to be held Evening to Evening. There is no inconsistency there actually. The misconception of the church authorities, who wanted to diligently follow Moses while disregarding the apostles’ statements and practice, brought about this theological tussle and puzzle. And the key lies in the fact that the Sabbath, as a day of rest for the Hebrews slaves, was a literal rest or stoppage from work for the purpose of regaining strength and to devote time to worshipping Yah.
Elohim must have set apart Day 7 as an important event to be remembered when the time would come for humans to rest from the slavery of sin and the curse. In essence, Day 7, as we had said, was a prophetic declaration in the event that humans would commit sin and Elohim had to apply Plan B to redeem humans from the curse. But with the curse taken away, the burden of work disappeared. However, it does not seem that way at all to us. We behave and still remain practically slaves of and to work, although presumably not of the curse. Many even look at work as if it were alcohol or a drug, that is, a means to get a high or get ahead in life and of others.
But, in general, we do need rest for our bodies and souls. Having a literal day of rest, therefore, gives us the option to choose the best time to avail of it, which would be in the Evening, right after doing a hard day’s work. As such, a gathering was commanded by Moses at Sundown to worship and thank Yah for a week of work and for the following day of rest. They then slept through the Evening and did no work or travelling the following Morning. Hence, One Evening and One Morning. That was HOW the Sabbath was to be commemorated, as a law. But that law or pattern had nothing to do with how the day was established in the beginning! The Light came in the Morning, starting the day; and darkness came in the Evening to make one full day of 24 hours.
Most likely, in their desire to strictly follow the Creation narrative stating one day was Evening and Morning, as well as to abide by the Sabbath commandment, the Israelites chose to count the day beginning at Sundown until next Sundown – “Eve to Eve’. But John is clear about the reckoning of the day beginning at Sunrise. And we have also illustrated how John’s statement is consistent with the process of Creation. Therefore, Sabbath could still have been observed “Eve to Eve” but it did not have to mean it was and it had to be within one synchronized-day “called Sabbath” but within the span of 2 days from Sundown of the previous day to Sundown of the following day (using the organic day-keeping). In fact, we could even interpret “Eve to Eve” as from Sundown of the previous day to Sunup of the next day. Meaning, the total time of rest allowed for the Hebrews lasted for 1 Evening plus 1 Morning, and 1 more Evening – 36 hours all in all! What better way to recover from a week’s work than to have that much time away from work and to be with one’s family and Yah?
Sabbath is rest and it was a law, alright. No issue there at all. The Law even tells us that the day before Sabbath was the Day of Preparation. It was necessary to spend one whole day prior to Sabbath to do all tasks necessary, such as cooking all the food for the entire Sabbath when work was not allowed. And what about other tasks, such as feeding animals, cleaning, harvesting, buying things and visiting the sick and relatives in need? The phrase TGIF may have been invented by hardworking people looking forward to a fun-filled, Friday night; but it could also apply to the Hebrews who looked forward to a needed long rest and meaningful reconnection with Yah. The difference is that the Hebrews spent Friday night together as a family in solemn devotion to Yah.
We already said that Elohim never named the days, other than the numbering used, First Day, Second Day, up to Seventh Day. Did They leave the counting after that to humans? They did! That is why we have so many kinds of calendar, remember? They merely said for humans to keep the seventh day separate. They did not name it Sabbath. Neither did Moses mean Sabbath was the name of a day but only intended it for the act of resting, as well as a commemoration. Elohim knew beforehand that there was still so much to be done with Creation; and They were right. However, if humans had not sinned, They needed not to be the Ones to do any more work of creating but humans themselves. Meaning, if we had remained holy and proven ourselves to be worthy and righteous children, we would definitely be so divine-like and so enabled we would have the power to create as well.
Are we not made in the image of Yah? If so, what should stop us from acting like Him? And that is exactly what Yah wants us to do in Eternity. What shall we do in the Presence of Elohim? Sing and praise Them? Of course; but we have been promised mansions and towns or cities to rule over. Does that include creating things in accordance to a new grand design of cities totally unlike the crude, crowded and corrupt cities we have today? Why not? What would limit divine beings living with Yahuah, who have attained perfection – meaning, completion of their work on Earth? Yes, that is the meaning of the Final Rest Paul talked about. (Heb. 4:1-10) Did Paul sound like he was still burdened by the requirements of the Law regarding the Sabbath? Not if we fully appreciate and apply his messages in the Book of Hebrews. And yet, not so many really do. They are still stuck in law-keeping and ritualistic adherence to traditions that keep them chained to vain and meaningless practices and beliefs, thinking they truly worship Yah through those ordinances.
Why Do We Start the Day at Midnight?
Aside from the Hebrews’ practice of starting the day at Sundown, the convention of starting the day at Midnight has added to the confusion regarding the celebration of Sabbath and other vital matters. Based on that Midnight day-start, the resurrection of Yahusha might have occurred on the first day (if He arose after Midnight and before the Morning), the day after the seventh day. And even the Sabbath – or what we call Saturday – would start after midnight of Friday Evening or the start of Saturday before dawn). This has led the whole of Christian religion to call Monday as Lord’s Day, which is contrary to the testimony of John, as we said. This practice is further supported by the ancient habit of the early believers to assemble “on the first day of the week.” This has all but made this practice the go-to and the be-all and end-all regarding the first-century acts of the ekklesia or call-out. However, such a time reckoning is not only unbiblical but is steeped in pagan and even occult beliefs.
The Romans established the Gregorian calendar, which is what we use today, in AD 1582 to replace the inaccurate Julian calendar. They had also been using the time-keeping methods of ancient Egyptians by beginning the day at Midnight, whereas the ancient Babylonians started their day at Sundown which the Hebrews inherited. The Egyptians, who were Sun-worshippers, built their architecture, customs and their beliefs around the Sun, their adored god, Ra. Being at Latitude 30° North of the Equator, particularly the Great Pyramid in Giza, the location of Egypt allowed the Egyptians to build pyramids based on their notion that when the Sun was directly at the zenith (that is, its highest point of dominance or reign as god over the nation), there was no shadow cast by a vertical stick on a ground. They considered Noon, therefore, as the base for measuring the length of the day, although they did not use it as the start; for that would have divided Ra’s rule over the day and their lives.3 (See the short video below to get an idea of how the pyramid at Giza looks from the top, as well as the fact that it is an octagonal pyramid (with 8 faces, each side concaved slightly by 8°, perhaps, to take advantage of the play of Light and shadows on the structure during the day and at certain seasons of the year in order to tell Time.) They, therefore, decided that opposite the Noon at the nadir or back of the Earth, 12 hours away, was Midnight. And so, they set Midnight (dividing the night in the middle) to mark the end of one day and the start of a new day. This has remained up to our times and has even surpassed the practice of the Hebrews, while totally disregarding the testimonies of Moses, John and the Creator Himself.4
If you think of it from the point of view of a child, why would a day begin with Evening or with Midnight when it is the Sun that gives meaning and essence to the day? And that is what exactly what Elohim did on Day 1 and Day 4. Even David intoned these prophetic words: Awake, lute and harp! I will awaken the dawn . . . . Be exalted, O Yah, above the Heavens, and Your glory above the Earth!” (Psalm 108:2, 5) We awaken to the Light of the Dawn and then greet the Morning. Even roosters know this fact instinctively but crow in vain at humans; for many still sleep. For Creation itself awakened at the Light of the Sun rising above the “farthest ends of the Earth” in the East and proclaiming the establishment of the Morning. (Hosea 6:3) The angels rejoiced at this proclamation of Elohim and gathered themselves to sing, just as David would also visualize through his meditations many years later as a young shepherd. Yes, King David was both retelling the story of Creation and declaring the covenant Elohim had made when They bequeathed Creation to humans. Moreover, he was also prophesying the coming rising of the Morning Star Who will establish the Kingdom of Light which David sought to serve and proclaim through his life, his psalms, and his glorious reign as King of Israel.
Thus, in return for his faithfulness, Yahusha honored David by reigning on his throne at His death and upon His resurrection. He died at Calvary with the prophetic title nailed on the cross: “King of the Jews”. And Peter would later declare that He was sitting at the right side of the Father in Heaven as of Pentecost Day as reigning King, Yah (Lord) and Masshiak. (Acts 2:32-36) Yes, those we often mock and reject could just be what they claim to be. John would also use that picture of the “Bright and Morning Star” to prophesy the return of the King of Kings at the final judgment of Creation on the Last Day – the Day before the Final Rest in Eternity. (Rev. 22:16) Morning was established on Day 1 and began the First Day of Creation; and the Eternal Morning will also begin our Everlasting Day in Heavenly New Yerushalem.
The Last Day, by all accounts, will end at Sundown (or the falling of the Sun?) when all of Creation will be “burned with fervent heat”, as Peter prophesied. (2 Pet. 3:10) That fiery judgment, we presume with adherence to what Peter pictures for us, will be overshadowed by the glorious appearance of the Bright and Morning Star Who will proclaim the start of Eternity and the opening of the Pearly Gates of Heavenly New Yerushalem where “there is no night”. (Rev. 22:5) We live our existence and practice our devotion to the Creation using so many erroneous and corrupted concepts, beliefs and traditions that we have failed to seriously consider and weigh through the Revelation of Ruach, Who delivered Yahusha message with faithfulness and clarity. He is the Sole Teacher we need and have; and yet, we have failed to listen to His pleadings. (1 John 2:20-27) We have instead followed teachings of corrupted systems and false principles for so long that what we have are diversely-segregated and hopelessly-divided faith-systems that vie for attention and prominence in media and society today. And a few rose to such power and financial position that their clout and influence reach to the farthest corners of the globe. Creation groans under the heavy stomping of these corrupt and overbearing leaders working in tandem with equally-corrupt political systems.
We have shown the framework and foundation of what has caused our times to be “Noahs’ Days Part 2”. There is no denying this fact. From our review of Creation through the arduous journey of Noah and his family during the Flood, we now clearly see how blindly we have missed the original patterns and precepts revealed and recorded by the prophets. Unless we discard all the erroneous notions we have inherited, we will not be able to weather the onslaught of the coming devastating demonic invasion of Creation, which has already begun and which is just the massive revival and continuation of what Noah and his generation experienced prior to the Flood. The children of the fallen angels rule this age. We need to understand who they are, what they have done and what they are doing or planning to do if we are to overcome.
Lord’s Day not the Sabbath?
In Rev. 1:10, John mentions his being “in Ruach on Yah’s day”. What or when then is the “Lord’s Day” according to John’s statement?5 Obviously, he was in a vision and “found” or “saw” himself in the presence of angels and Yahusha in Heaven. If he was in a vision, then, he was neither in the body nor on the Earth but in a spiritual realm where Universal Time does not apply. That means he was not referring to any day on Earth but in another time dimension where Yah reigns. Otherwise, he would have said “On Yah’s day, I was in spirit” instead of “I was in spirit on Yah’s day”. So, how does this visionary narrative affect our quest regarding Sabbath and Yah’s Day as traditions? If Yahusha arose on the Sabbath Rest, why is the First Day called the “Lord’s Day” and the new day of rest for most of believers today? This is indeed confusing but worth resolving for the sake of unity, if not for the revealed truth delivered by the apostles.
As we have seen, Sabbath was less a means to call or identify a day than to require rest from work and, eventually through Yahusha’s sacrifice, provided a sign of Yah’s triumph against His enemies. His resurrection meant He had destroyed sin and death and opened wide the gate to the grace of Abba for those who believe in His Son. For having done His work of redemption, the whole of Creation was freed from the curse for those who will enter His Kingdom of Life and Righteousness. The Promised Rest from sin and the curse in the Garden can only be acquired within His Kingdom. On the First Day, therefore, when He showed Himself to His disciples, He was the Triumphant Savior and the Would-Be Glorified King in Heaven. Those 40 days of teaching, fellowshipping and finally bidding farewell to Creation (once more) and His followers and the 10 days left till Pentecost Day, were momentous days of preparation and reformation for that eventual moment when Ruach Hakodesh will be poured out upon humans and the seated King of Heaven and Earth, Yahusha Masshiak, will be revealed to the Jews in Yerushalem. (Heb. 9:6-10) For Pentecost Day, held on the First Day, paralleled the appearance of Yahusha to humans as Risen Savior, but now proclaimed and acclaimed as Reigning King of all! Hence, He was Lord before He died, when He died, when He arose during the Sabbath, when He walked again with His friends, and when He ascended and sat on His throne.
The so-called Lord’s Day today is actually and essentially the day Yahusha revealed Himself as such, the resurrected Savior, to humans. It does not necessarily mean He arose on the First Day; He was already risen when the First Day had come, the Second Day, the 40th Day, Yesterday, Today and Forevermore! If the early disciples had named the First Day the Lord’s Day, which they did not, it was more because they saw Him alive again that day, even knowing He had arisen on the Sabbath. In fact, being Jews, they remained obedient to the Sabbath Law and still observed it. However, they did not stop there. As believers, they met every day or at any opportunity they could. (Acts 2:46-47) It was only much later on when believer’s started calling the First Day as Lord’s Day; and it has become the standard among believers to gather on that day, a day devoted to worship and even a day off work. They can keep calling it and celebrating it as the day He arose for good reason; but that does not change the fact that He claimed back His earthly life and pure body on Sabbath, as prophesied.
Sunday Rest Put into Law in AD 321
Given then that the Romans followed the Egyptians’ practice of starting the day at Midnight, we can be certain that their time-reckoning was nowhere near nor even remotely close to either the Jewish tradition of Sundown as Hour Zero and the biblical practice of Sunrise as Hour Zero. From Beginning to End, from Eden to Eden, from East to East, from Morning to Morning, and from Light to Light, the pattern of Yah remains. Three seemingly innocuous moments of the day to choose from in which we begin the day but which have caused so much controversy for millennia until now. And in terms of observing a day of rest, the Romans, through Constantine, eventually decided to set the First Day (Sunday, named after the Sun-god) as the official day of rest. For prior to that law, Sunday was a day of work and even of bloody gladiatorial fights, both of which were prohibited on that day. The law stated clearly that on “the venerable day of the sun” all judges, city people, and craftsmen were to rest from their work, with the exception of agricultural workers. He even declared Sunday as market day, which is quite common today in small and big towns and cities.
The most affected by the Sunday Law were the believers who kept their “Sabbath” as a tradition they had inherited from the apostles. Note then, that although we are referring to Gentiles, in general, those believers were following the apostles’ example of “keeping the Sabbath” as an ordinance. However, we also said many of the believers in Yerushalem met every day for spiritual devotion, although Sabbath was still their “legal” or “standard” day of rest. The pressure put upon those believers must have been great, especially since they worked or held business on Sunday but now had to rest for 2 days-in-a-row away from their livelihood. Because Constantine became tolerant to all forms of beliefs, he finally granted Christians rest from intense persecution.
We see now why we ended up with the 2-day weekend. And for the enterprising believers, it taught them to adapt and work around the law, perhaps, by spending Sunday as work-at-home day. If you were a carpenter, sewer or a shoemaker, what will stop you from working at home and delivering goods to neighbors, or selling your goods from door-to-door? And since agricultural workers were exempt, many probably went into farming and related works. Besides, how many today really keep Saturday as rest-day religiously or otherwise? As we said, the Final Rest has a greater significance than the fulfilled Sabbath Law of Moses. Acts 12:22-29 closes the door to this issue through the apostles’ decree written in Jerusalem: No Sabbath law was imposed upon Gentiles.
However, for the many believers who lived under the Roman empire, the issue of keeping the Sunday Law was only the beginning of many more gradual and drastic changes in the character of Christianity as an official religion of the expanding civilized world. Many would soon compromise their faith as a result of Constantine’s reforms and his public image as defender of the faith. Unknown to many, however, he kept hidden from the people his real motives and his devotion to the cult of Mithraism, which was based on the Iranian worship of Mithra, known in 2nd-century Rome as Mithras, a Sun-god at par with or, perhaps, replacing Apollo. Thus, Constantine, as emperor, would eventually blend Roman, Mithraic and Christian motifs to promote himself as a Christ-like figure tasked to spread his hybrid teachings over all the world. He certainly has succeeded, For to his credit, the celebration of December 25 as the birth of the Masshiak he took directly from Mithraism. using the old practice of celebrating the Sun-god’s birth on that day (when the Sun returned after winter) to accommodate both believers and those who kept pagan rites. Do we wonder why the “Yuletide” is such a well-accepted tradition even among non-believers today? (Watch the video below to appreciate more the real contribution of Constantine to modern Christendom.)
The gradual imposition of Sunday as day of rest on a global scale all but threw political, cultural, religious and commercial activities within a foreign paradigm detached from both the Jewish and the early disciples’ traditions. With the Roman church becoming more influential and powerful, other areas in the lives of members were limited or guided by edicts and canons passed by the leaders of the church. That included the times and the forms of public worship, celebration of religious feasts, giving of financial support to the clergy, and so many others. In short, the recognition of Christianity as the official religion of Rome solidified religious and political supervision of citizens within the hands of the government and the church officials. The rest and relief from burdensome work which the apostles delivered to the disciples had been turned into a formal observance of religious duties and obligations completely distinct from and incompatible with the intents of the Yah of the Rest.
What Yahusha, therefore, had tried to correct and eliminate in Yerushalem, even through the destruction of the Temple, had been transplanted in other cities where His name and authority were being used to enslave humans through pagan and unbiblical principles and practices. We know that the descent into utter corruption and depravity would lead to the Reformation Movement well within a thousand years or so later. But so many of those who broke away from the Roman umbrella merely retained and perpetuated certain practices that we said did not follow the teachings of the apostles. And that includes the day of rest or worship which, anyway, many believers observe ritually and not organically or spiritually.
We need to emphasize the fact that when Magdalene went early on the First Day of the week, “while it was still dark”, the tomb was already empty (John 20:1). Was it already Sunday while it was still dark, that is, before Sunrise? We said the other 2 gospels mentioned she and Mary went to the tomb “early in the Morning”, giving the sense that their intention was not to break the Sabbath Rest when the day changed between Dawn and Sunrise. That should be very clear now. But exactly what time is “early in the Morning”: after Sunrise or before? It is only John who revealed that it was “while it was dark”, putting Magdalene, perhaps, in a compromising situation and throwing the interpretation of many into the air.
Remember, the Roman practice of starting at Midnight was not yet in use by that time in Judea. So, which will ultimately decide the truth for us? Is there such an absolute standard?
Based on the Jewish tradition, it was still Sabbath “while it was dark”. The very reason for John and the other writers mentioned the seemingly incidental moment the women went to the tomb was to give us a precise record of the most important event in all of Creation and of human history: the Resurrection. Otherwise, we would not be talking about this. In short, based on the Roman tradition, it was already the First Day “while it was dark”, making Sunday the day of resurrection. But what if Yahusha rose between Sundown and Midnight of Saturday or before Sunday started at Midnight, which would still be Saturday based on the Roman timing? Do we see some kind of accommodation here by church authorities to justify their position? And do we see now why people would change the timing of the day in violation of the establishment of the Morning and the Day by Elohim? Was the change to honor the “venerable” Sun-god then and not Elohim and the Risen Savior? That is the grave consequence we see here. Let us not fall into their deadly traps.
Ultimately, the Sabbath, although it derived from the seventh day of Creation, has been fulfilled at Calvary and, as such, no longer has reference to any day, whether the first, the second or the fourth. We can best regard it as an unfulfilled prophecy of the completion of the 6,000th-year (MillenYom) day ending on the Final Day. That is, the day before the Eternal Day begins after the Judgment. Almost all the prophecies of the apostles in their letters and of John in Revelation have been fulfilled, except for some that will occur from now to the End of Time. This is a reliable statement if we are to believe his claim that his visions were “things which must quickly or swiftly (from Greek, tachos) take place”. (Rev. 1:1) And if there are about 200 years indeed left in this Final MillenYom, we will surely see the literal unraveling or unsealing of remaining prophecies and events right before our eyes as we approach the Final Rest.
And so, whatever your beliefs and practices today with regard to this age-old issue are, we feel it is best to see them within the picture we have presented, not based on any personal interpretation but on the Revelation of the Word of Ruach, as well as the evidences in the documented history of the world. If we can rely on the archives of historians with enough credence, the more we should give credence to the testimonies of the prophets and the apostles. We leave it to the reader to study and prove these things for themselves.
1We realize this discussion can be truly wieldy and even confusing. This is due to the fact that when Morning begins on one side or hemisphere of the Earth, Evening begins on the other side or hemisphere. But if we follow closely the discussion while looking at the illustrations, it will all boil down to 3 choices: The day begins either at Sundown (6 PM), at Sunrise (6 AM), or at Midnight (12 MN). That is what we try to resolve through this lengthy article. Have patience, please.
2The Hebrew word for “corner” is pinah or pina and also keren, meaning nook, side, foundation, boundary or beam. The more modern idea of corner as an angle or meeting of 2 lines certainly does not apply to the configuration of a sphere or globe. Hence, we must see the use of the word East as both a direction and a location, not as the literal shape of a place.
3 The Egyptian pyramids were monuments to their Sun-god Ra, aside from serving as tombs for pharaohs. The positioning of its base is precisely oriented according to the 4 directions, facing East, West, North and South, respectively. At the top is a pyramidion (small pyramid cap) made of electrum, a natural alloy of gold and silver. With its orientation, the structure also served as a giant Sun-dial visible from afar as the reflected rays landed on the ground at certain calibrated spots or smaller structures designed to catch the reflected ray, perhaps a temple, an obelisk or other markers for the purpose of Time-telling. With its average angle of 51° relative to the base, light rays coming straight down from the zenith (at Noon) may have been aimed at and reflected to certain designated points to commemorate the height of the Sun’s position, perhaps, to help Sun-worshippers to gather and pause and honor Ra. The same could have been one of the main uses of obelisks whose pyramidion cap was angled at 60° to the base. This illustrates without doubt how the Egyptians devoted their resources, days and lives to Ra. In fact, when Constantine erected his own monument in Constantinople, he incorporated some Egyptians beliefs and practices and mixed it with his own religion Mithraism (Roman religion which worshipped Mithras (equal to Apollo) as its Sun-god. And we know that there are obelisks standing in Rome, Paris, Washington and London, perhaps, as relics, if not, as signs of the continuing connection to pagan beliefs and deities by the nations represented by these cities that once ruled and still do so today, in no uncertain terms, as colonial powers.
4It appears that while Moses’ writings give us the details of the 6 days of Creation, he was using the convention of his day to reckon the Time-sequence of each day in Creation. Thus, he states and describes each day as being the “Evening and the Morning” and not “Morning and Evening”. Notice that he is not quoting Elohim when he writes this phrase, but only summarizing each phase of Creation by applying his cultural habit of reckoning the passage of days. This could explain our confusion as to why he would do so in spite of the evidences we have presented.
5A scholarly, grammatical analysis of the Greek rendition of “Lord’s Day” points to a mistranslation of the phrase, which is worth considering. (Click this article from Logos Apostolic) However, we sought to use other compelling evidences to support the conclusion that the phrase is inherently inaccurate.