“In spite of all of our dickerings with the calendar, it is patent that the human race never lost the septenary [seven-day] sequence of week days and that the Sabbath of these latter times comes down to us from Adam, through the ages, without a single lapse.”
Dr. Totten of New Haven, Connecticut,
Professor of Astronomy, Yale University
Is the above statement true? Can it be proven? If so, how? At the end of the creation week in Genesis 1, God finished His activity with a special creation: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made” (Gen. 2:1-3).
Twenty-five centuries later, at Mt. Sinai, God gave the Ten Commandments to the nation of ancient Israel through Moses. The Sabbath command in Exodus directly referred to the creation account of Genesis 2. It states, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord your God…For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is” (Ex. 20:8-11).
These are very plain, clear verses. But for the sake of discussion, we will continue with several basic facts. God made the Sabbath. He rested on it. He sanctified it (set it apart). He blessed it. He made it to be the seventh day of a seven-day cycle.
This booklet is not primarily written to prove that the Sabbath should be kept. The many Bible proofs of this command require a book of much greater length. Our purpose here is to prove that the weekly cycle has never changed since creation. Many suppose that it has. If this cycle has been either broken or lost, there remains no further obligation for mankind to observe the true Sabbath of the Bible. It is that simple. If the weekly cycle has been broken, the Sabbath is lost to history and cannot be in effect today!
Keeping Track of the Sabbath
People often ask, “Well, I know God created the Sabbath, but how do we now know which day of our week He made holy?” or “Hasn’t mankind changed the calendar?” And further, our seventh day, Saturday, was named after the pagan god Saturn, and some question whether this had an effect on the Hebrew calendar. Others ask about what has been called “the long day of Joshua” or traveling around the world and “gaining a day” or “losing a day.” Many naturally wonder what possible effects any of these issues may have had on the weekly cycle.
Before addressing the concerns raised in this series of questions, a point must first be acknowledged.
Consider! These questions, while individually important, collectively represent a single great question. Is the all-powerful God of the universe capable of creating, hallowing, sanctifying and blessing the seventh day of the week, yet, at the same time, incapable of keeping track of this day throughout history? Would God command people to “remember” the Sabbath only to forget that He must preserve it for this to be possible? The idea is absurd. It insults God’s power by making Him appear to be a doddering old man who is so disorganized and forgetful that He cannot keep track of what He has created or commanded!
While mankind seeks excuses not to keep the Sabbath, some actually dare to blame God as the reason this is no longer possible, then reasoning that if He forgot to preserve the weekly cycle, mankind no longer needs to observe the Sabbath.
This world’s professing Christianity—Catholicism and the many branches of Protestantism—keep Sunday. It has been the Roman Catholic Church that has preserved Sunday as the day of worship. Notice the following stunning admission from a letter by James Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore (1877-1921). While it also makes a statement about how Sabbath obedience was exchanged for Sunday observance, this quote demonstrates the importance of the preservation of Sunday observance for Catholics throughout the centuries. This is only one of many similar quotes:
“Is Saturday the seventh day according to the Bible and the Ten Commandments? I answer yes. Is Sunday the first day of the week and did the Church [Roman Catholic] change the seventh day—Saturday—for Sunday, the first day? I answer yes. Did Christ change the day? I answer no!…Faithfully yours, J. Cardinal Gibbons.”
No one ever seems to question that the first day of the week is Sunday! Two billion professing Christians assert that they keep Sunday in commemoration of Christ’s supposed resurrection on that day—the first day of the week. It is unthinkable to suggest that so many people would either purposely, carelessly or inadvertently be keeping “their day,” the first day of the week, Sunday, on the wrong day! Right? But Jews are no less certain that they are keeping the Sabbath on the true seventh day of the week. The Jewish people have been responsible for “keeping track” of their day, the same day kept by Jesus and the apostles, for many centuries longer than Catholics have been tracking “their day.”
The point is this: Each group (Catholics and Jews) knows full well which day is which—and neither would dare suggest the other does not!
The Manna Miracle Reveals the Sabbath
It has been established that God gave the Sabbath to ancient Israel through Moses. Why did God do this? He had to! Israel had just spent nearly two and a half centuries in Egypt, with most of that time in slavery. They had not been permitted to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—their forefathers—for all those years. At the time that God liberated them, they had forgotten the identity of the true God and His Sabbath.
This is one reason that the Sabbath command begins with the words “Remember the Sabbath day”—Israel had forgotten it. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had kept God’s law (Gen. 26:5), but the knowledge of the Sabbath had become lost through the centuries.
God decided to make the Sabbath command clear to Israel while they were in the Wilderness of Sin (Zin). Israel had left the “flesh pots” of Egypt behind and grumbled to Moses because they lacked food. God had to test whether they would obey His law. This was a specific test designed to teach Israel the uniqueness of the Sabbath’s holy time. The account is found in Exodus 16. It illustrates that people can find themselves thinking that “time has been lost.”
The Old Testament story about God feeding manna (and quail) to Israel is well known. Notice: “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no” (vs. 4). “And Moses said, This shall be, when the Lord shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the Lord hears your murmurings” (vs. 8).
The test had begun: Would Israel keep God’s law—keep His Sabbath? Would they walk in His law or not?
The context continues, “And Moses spoke unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the Lord: for He has heard your murmurings. And it came to pass, as Aaron spoke unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud…And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host” (vs. 9-10, 13).
It is important to realize that the quail did not come up until after dusk (sunset). Also, Israel was assembled as a congregation on the Sabbath day. They were gathered for a religious service. The quails appeared when the Sabbath was over, and people were permitted to gather them for the evening meal.
The next morning was the first day of the week and the first time that manna appeared. People were instructed to only gather enough for each day, or it would breed worms and stink (vs. 20). The people disbelieved Moses and attempted to gather extra manna. Just as God said, it bred worms and stank. However, verse 22 explains that on the sixth day of the week they could gather twice as much, so they would have food for the Sabbath, and it would not breed worms and stink. God said this because “Tomorrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord” (vs. 23).
As is always the case, some did not believe God and attempted to gather manna on the Sabbath—the seventh day (vs. 27). Just as God had said, they found none. How quickly some become confused about time! These Israelites must have thought “time had been lost” and that the manna would be there even though God had told them it would not. Others thought the manna could be held over on days other than the sixth day when it could not. God’s response to those who became confused was, “And the Lord said unto Moses, How long refuse you to keep My commandments and My laws? See, for that the Lord has given you the sabbath, therefore He gives you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide you every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day” (vs. 28-30).
Set confusion and disobedience aside. The sole purpose of this test was to show that God made a specific time holy—the seventh day!
Christ Kept the Sabbath
Fifteen hundred years after the account in Exodus 16 is the example of Christ. He had no doubt which day was the Sabbath.
Mark 2:27-28 records Christ talking to the Pharisees: “And He said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” If Christ were Lord of the Sabbath, He would have known when it was! Luke 4:16 says that Christ’s custom was to enter the synagogue every Sabbath.
In A.D. 69-70, all Jews were driven from Palestine and dispersed into nations around the world. Through the last 19 centuries, they have never become confused about which day was the Sabbath. Remember, Luke 4:16 (and 17, 20) actually showed Christ meeting with the Jews in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Again, the Jews had not become confused about which day it was when Christ was alive.
Today, if time had been lost, we would expect that Jews, scattered around the world and no longer in communication with one another, would be keeping different days. However, today they are all in unity—in agreement—on which day is the Sabbath.
An historian once said, “More than the Jews having kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jews.” This is true! Modern Jews have never lost their identity because they have never lost track of the seventh day Sabbath!
There is no doubt that the Sabbath was kept intact through the 1,500 years until Christ’s time. He was certainly not confused and knew when to keep it. There is also no doubt that the Jews have kept it intact ever since. We will momentarily consider other proofs of the period after Christ, but first we must examine an event prior to Christ’s life.
Joshua’s Long Day
Christ’s obedience to the Sabbath established its continuity throughout His lifetime. So, while there should now be no need to look backward in time, we will consider one other objection that arises. Some argue, “What about Joshua? Didn’t he have some kind of ‘long day’ in the Old Testament? Didn’t that day throw time off and make Sunday the seventh day of the week?” Is this true? We must carefully consider this account, from Joshua 10.
Notice: “Then spoke Joshua to the Lord … before the children of Israel…Sun, stand you still upon Gibeon; and you, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed…So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day” (10:12-13).
The scripture states that the sun stood still for “about a whole day.” We will later demonstrate that God defines a normal day as about twenty-four hours.
A clever argument has been used to teach that Joshua’s long day caused Sunday to become the new seventh day of the week. Carefully following the logic of this argument, it is best summarized in this way: “The week in which Joshua’s long day occurred contained an extra twenty-four hour period. This would be the period described as ‘about a whole day.’ If Joshua’s battle occurred, for instance, on a Thursday, then there were eight twenty-four hour periods in the week of Joshua’s long day instead of seven! Since Thursday would be about forty-eight hours long, it would now also include Friday. The following day, Friday, would then become the day that was Saturday. And Saturday (what would have been the seventh day of this week) would become Sunday.”
This faulty logic would then continue by concluding that “the seventh day has been Sunday ever since.” Of course, this means that people have been keeping the Sabbath on the wrong day for over 3,400 years! For this argument to be true we must ask: Was Thursday really Thursday and Friday—or was Thursday merely a long Thursday?
Here is the problem with the logic of this argument. Those who espouse it do not understand the Bible definition of a day. Let’s keep this matter straight. We must let the Bible, and the Bible alone, define a day! Men have endless ideas about things they think the Bible says. We must examine what it actually says—not what people with preconceived ideas think it says.
Men try to say that Joshua’s long day was two days of twenty-four hours each. This is what is necessary to move the seventh day of the week forward into what is now Sunday. Return to Joshua’s account. Does God refer to this day as two days? Here is His answer: “And there was no day like that before it or after it” (10:14). Did you catch the “it”? God refers to this period as a “day,” and “it” (twice). God uses the singular, not the plural. It says day, not days!
Make no mistake. This was not an ordinary day! This much is certain. God says, “there was no day like…it.” It was only one day—and this does not mean “two days in one.” It was a single, unique day in the course of human history, and perhaps all time. This was a tremendous supernatural event demonstrating the great power of God. The universe is a finely tuned mechanism, functioning like a giant Swiss watch. Astronomers agree that it is all interdependent and moves together. Literally, it required God to halt the entire heavens (remember, this miracle included the moon) for about twenty-four hours in order to make the sun “stand still.” To use this event as an excuse to disobey the Sabbath is to trivialize one of the greatest miracles of all time!
The following diagrams depict the error of the clever argument that we have described. The first diagram is the wrong view of the week, and the second is the correct view.
How the Bible Defines a Day
Men may decide that a day is twenty-four hours by the clock—but that is not what God says. We must understand why God could correctly describe Joshua’s approximately forty-eight hour day as one day.
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Incorrect View of Joshua’s “Long Day”
This graphic shows the incorrect view of Joshua’s “long day” as two 24-hour days. The result is that the first day of the week (Sunday) becomes the seventh day of the week, thus allowing the true Sabbath to be lost.
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Correct View of Joshua’s “Long Day”
This graphic correctly show the week of Joshua’s “long day.” The true Sabbath still occurs on the seventh day of the week.
In the creation chapter of Genesis 1, God gives His definition of a day. God says that He “divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening (darkness) and the morning (light) were the first day…And the evening (darkness) and the morning (light) were the second day…And the evening and the morning were the third day” (vs. 4-13) and so on through the first week. From this account, we see that days are comprised of evenings and mornings. Despite the common perception, a day is not merely the daylight portion of a twenty-four-hour period. It is, in fact, the entire period between sunsets.
This is the Bible definition of the length of a day! What could be more plain?
Further, we must go to Leviticus to see what God says is the starting point of each day. Notice that “from even unto even” (23:32) is how God instructed that the Sabbath be observed. The word evening is derived from the word even. For several hundred years after the death of Christ, the general practice was always to begin days at sunset, not at midnight. Any encyclopedia will explain this and Luke 4:40 and Mark 1:32 show that days begin and end at the time of sunset.
Joshua’s long day consisted of a twelve-hour evening and about a thirty-six-hour “morning.” But this did not make it two days—it was just one very long day.
Now we must restate a previous point. Remember that Christ was not confused about the Sabbath, and that He kept it on the proper day over 1,400 years after “Joshua’s long day.” To believe that the long day of Joshua altered the weekly cycle, thus losing a day, it is necessary to believe that Christ Himself did not adjust for this “long day.” Then one must believe that Christ was “off” by one full day in His calculation of which day was the Sabbath—and so were the Jews.
Now think! If Christ was incorrect in His calculation of the Sabbath, then He broke the Sabbath—He sinned—and mankind has no Savior! But Christ did not sin by breaking the Sabbath or in any other fashion. And mankind does have a Savior.
Finally, it is interesting to note that even those who reference Joshua’s account always call it “Joshua’s long day”—not “Joshua’s long days.” The whole argument of trying to compress two days into one, to escape the command to keep the seventh day Sabbath (today’s Saturday), seems rather silly, doesn’t it? Do not be fooled by the clever arguments of men.
Can Days Be “Gained” or “Lost”?
Because the earth is round, days are determined by the rotation of the planet on its axis. This rotation is measured in relation to the sun. It is the same with the Sabbath. Sundown—at any given place on Earth—determines the beginning of the Sabbath or any other day. Whether one is in New York, Manila or Paris is irrelevant. A day is from “even [sunset] unto even [sunset]” (Lev. 23:32). The beginning of any day is determined based on where someone is when the sun goes down.
The International Date Line was established so that men could know where their travels would require them to add or subtract a day—depending upon whether they were traveling east or west. Except for a couple of isolated South Pacific islands, this location was ideally placed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean because it does not permit people in different parts of the world to keep any day (including the Sabbath) on two different days. People in Japan start the Sabbath before those in India—who start it before people in Jerusalem—who start it before those in London—who start it before people in Chicago—who start it before those in Honolulu. However, all keep it on the same day!
Do not be confused by people who say that traveling around the world can cause one to “gain” or to “lose” days. Clever statements are often made about gaining hours while traveling west or losing hours while traveling east. This is not reality, but rather a perception of reality.
Here’s how to prove it! If one starts in London and travels non-stop westward around the world, returning to London, will he arrive one full day behind everyone who never left London? Has he traveled backward in time and “gained” twenty-four hours? Conversely, if one did the same thing traveling non-stop eastward, would he arrive in London a day before everyone that had remained there? Has he traveled forward in time and actually “lost” twenty-four hours?
The idea is silly! Yet this is how some people reason. If this were true, two separate people, one traveling non-stop eastward and the other traveling non-stop westward, would both arrive in London at the same time and yet be two days apart in time. If two people did this over and over, one would become younger while the other would be aging at a faster rate. How ridiculous to consider this! Yet this argument fools some people.
There is a slightly different, but related, point to be considered. It seems that there are never-ending ways that people devise to believe time can be lost. What would have to happen—exactly—for time to truly be lost in such a way that the whole world would lose it? Another way of asking this question is: What would it take today for over seven billion people on Earth to all lose track of time?
We have all known people who forget where they are, fall asleep or “lose track of time,” when they are supposed to be somewhere or do something on a schedule. Perhaps this has happened to you several times. So, it is admitted that individuals can certainly “lose track of time.” However, someone would have to be knocked unconscious or fall into a coma to lose track of time so that, when they awaken, they are unable to know how much time has passed—days, weeks, months, or even years! But, they would merely ask how long they had been “out” and the answer would reorient them.
Let’s carry this further. What would be necessary for all people on Earth to lose track of time? The following would have to happen (I am being facetious): Simultaneously, everyone on Earth, for an extended period of time, would have to be knocked unconscious, fall asleep or fall into a coma! Presumably, if everyone then regained consciousness, there would be no one left to ask how much time had passed while everyone was “out cold.” If even one person remained conscious, he could tell everyone what had happened. Everyone would be reoriented to the proper time.
Can you see the absurdity of such shallow, deceptive arguments about “gaining” or “losing” time?
The True Church Proves Time Has Not Been Lost
The true Church of God has always kept God’s Sabbath—Saturday. Just as Jews know the correct day, so also do true Christians.
Most theologians and religionists have long admitted that the true Sabbath of the Bible is the seventh day. However, they will not obey it. Saturday, not Sunday, is the seventh day of the week. Even a good dictionary explains this. You have already seen several scriptural references to the Sabbath. God hallowed it at creation—long before there were any Jews or Israelites to keep it.
God told ancient Israel, “Moreover also I gave them My sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them” (Ezek. 20:12). One of the single greatest keys that identifies the true Church, the one founded by Jesus Christ, is the sign of God’s true Sabbath.
The quote, “More than the Jews having kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept the Jews!” could as easily have been said of the true Church, which has been under siege throughout the ages—partly for keeping the Sabbath. The church at Rome, in A.D. 363, decreed the death sentence on all that continued to observe the Sabbath.
Christ kept the Sabbath. A Christian is one who follows—who copies—Jesus Christ’s example in his own life. His example was Sabbath observance! Therefore, for 2,000 years, the New Testament Church has always kept God’s Sabbath. The record of history is that God’s Church has remained faithful to the Sabbath command despite intense persecution. It has remained a sign between God and His people. (To learn more about this command, read our books Saturday or Sunday – Which Is the Sabbath? and The Ten Commandments – “Nailed to the Cross” or Required for Salvation?)
What About Changes to the Roman Calendar?
What about the important question of changes to the Roman calendar? There were two important changes (actually one change that occurred in two stages) to two different Roman calendars. These changes are acknowledged. But what were the nature of these changes? Did they affect the weekly cycle? They did not! Neither of the two changes affected the days of the week. This has not kept people from saying that these changes broke the weekly cycle. This reasoning continues with the claim that this has caused time to be lost—and thus the certainty of when to observe the Sabbath is gone.
Some understanding of history is required. Most are unfamiliar with the fact that today’s calendar is called the Gregorian calendar or that the Julian calendar preceded it.
Most are familiar with the famous Roman emperor, Julius Caesar. He devised the first Roman calendar—called the “Julian calendar.” Our month of July still carries the stamp of his name. His calendar dated from 45 B.C. and continued to A.D. 1582—spanning over 16 centuries. A Greek astronomer named Sosigenes calculated the calendar in 46 B.C., which Caesar adopted.
The first change to the calendar occurred in 1582 and was decreed by Pope Gregory XIII (1572-1585). From this point, the calendar has been known as the “Gregorian calendar.” One hundred and seventy years later, in 1752, another change was made. Both involved dropping days from the calendar to correct for previous errors in construction and computation. What had caused the problem?
Over the centuries, astronomers had come to greater precision in understanding how to compute and devise a more exact (solar) calendar. The Julian calendar lacked this precision. It was based on the belief that a solar year was exactly 365 1/4 days long. Hence, the calendar added one extra day every four years to the month of February. Astronomers learned in time that the solar year was actually 12 minutes and 14 seconds shorter than previously believed. This caused the spring equinox to fall backwards on the calendar until it eventually fell on March 11th instead of March 21st. This required that ten days be dropped from the calendar.
Bear in mind that days were dropped from the month—in October 1582—and not from the week! The following diagram shows how this was done:
The first week of October went from Thursday, October 4th, to Friday, October 15th. The two Sabbaths on either side of this change were still seven days apart. The Sabbath remained unaffected. The weekly cycle was not broken. Because it was the Catholics who made the change, it is they who possess the best historical record of how they did this. The official change took place in Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Apparently, there was much debate about how and when to make the change. Notice the following two quotes: “Thus, every imaginable proposition was made, only one idea was never mentioned, viz., the abandonment of the seven-day week” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 9, p. 251, article “Lilius”). (It was Lilius who actually proposed the change that was finally accepted.)
Also, “It is to be noted that in the Christian period, the order of days in the week has never been interrupted. Thus, when Gregory XIII reformed the calendar in 1582, Thursday, 4 October was followed by Friday, 15 October. So in England, in 1752, Wednesday, 2 September, was followed by Thursday, 14 September” (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 3, p. 740, article “Chronology”).
As stated, two changes occurred to the calendar that were really one change occurring in two stages. This bears explanation. When Pope Gregory decreed the change, the British would not comply. They retained the old Julian calendar until 1752—thus remaining ten days behind the newly established Gregorian calendar! Obviously, Sabbath-keeping remained undisturbed in British areas for these 170 years.
The British finally determined to make the change. With the passing of 170 years came an additional “drift” in the calendar of one more day. Now it became necessary to drop eleven days to catch up with the spring equinox, instead of the previous ten! The change was effected in September of 1752. Instead of dropping ten days, between a Thursday and Friday as in 1582, the British chose to drop eleven days between a Wednesday and Thursday. The previous diagram explains what happened. Once again, Sabbath-keeping continued undisturbed during the seven-day period spanning the change.
Actually, there was even a third stage to the calendar changes described above. The Russians refused to make the change until 1907! Their calendar had now fallen thirteen days behind everyone else’s. It was not until 1907 that they synchronized with the rest of the world by dropping thirteen days from their calendar. Before and after this change, Sabbath-keepers in Russia observed the same day that Sabbath-keepers everywhere else in the world observed. Certainly the same practice applied to all Sunday-keepers.
No one can dispute these basic facts of recent history!
The View From Scientists, Historians and Astronomers
Have you ever asked yourself where the different terms day, week, month and year originated? Consider the year. What is it? How was it derived? Men determined that it is the exact amount of time necessary for the earth to revolve around the sun one time. Astronomers and scientists were able to determine the length of a year through precise mathematical computation. Their calculations cannot be disputed!
What about a month? The same is true. The word month is a shortened version of “moonth.” Men determined that it is the exact amount of time necessary for the moon to orbit or revolve around the earth. Astronomers and scientists were able to determine the length of a month through precise mathematical computation. Their calculations cannot be disputed!
What about the day? What is it? Again, the same is true. Men determined that it is the exact amount of time necessary for the earth to rotate on its axis one time. Astronomers and scientists were able to determine the length of a day through precise mathematical computation. Their calculations cannot be disputed!
None of the above calculations required a revelation from God. All of the computations and calculations could be performed by men. They cannot be “interpreted” otherwise. The evidence has been long established! (Our booklet The Truth About God’s Calendar brings more detail about this subject.)
Now consider who determined that a week contains seven days. Did scientists—astronomers—mathematicians—historians—Popes or other religious authorities? What exact mathematical computation would have guided men to a seven-day conclusion for the length of a week—in the same way that the year, month and day were derived? Astronomy and math have nothing to do with the length of a week! So, why doesn’t the week have five days? Why doesn’t it have eight days or ten days? This question of “why the seven-day week?” has always loomed before all men.
The only correct answer to this question is that God divinely revealed the week to mankind! No other solution fits and the seven-day weekly cycle is universally accepted around the world!
Many experts have spoken about the unbroken continuity of the weekly cycle from creation. Their testimony represents its own towering authority attesting to the sanctity and divine origin of the seven-day week.
Consider the following powerful quotes:
“The week is a period of seven days…It has been employed from time immemorial in almost all eastern countries” (The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition, Vol. 4, p. 988, article, “Calendar”).
In the 1920s and early 1930s, the League of Nations was considering altering the Gregorian calendar. Many ideas were considered and debated. In the League’s official “Report on the Reform of the Calendar,” published at Geneva, August 17, 1926, are the following statements by noted astronomers:
“The week has been followed for thousands of years and therefore has been hallowed by immemorial use” (Anders Donner, “The Report,” p. 51. [Donner had been a professor of Astronomy at the University of Helsingfors.]).
“I have always hesitated to suggest breaking the continuity of the week, which is without a doubt the most ancient scientific institution bequeathed to us by antiquity” (Edouard Baillaud, “The Report,” p. 52. [Baillaud was Director of the Paris Observatory.]).
“There has been no change in our calendar in past centuries that has affected in any way the cycle of the week” (Dr. James Robertson, personal letter, dated March 12, 1932. [Dr. Robertson was Director of the American Ephemeris, Navy Dept., U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C.]).
“As far as I know, in the various changes of the Calendar there has been no change in the seven day rota of the week, which has come down from very early times” (Frank W. Dyson, personal letter, dated March 4, 1932. [Dr. Dyson was Astronomer Royal, Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London.]).
“The week of seven days has been in use ever since the days of the Mosaic dispensation, and we have no reason for supposing that any irregularities have existed in the succession of weeks and their days from that time to the present” (Dr. William W. Campbell, Statement. [Dr. Campbell was Director of Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton, California.]).
“For more than three thousand years science has gone backward, and, with profound research, reveals the fact that in that vast period the length of the day has not changed by the hundredth part of a single second of time” (General O.M. Mitchell, Astronomy of the Bible, p. 235).
“By calculating the eclipses, it can be proven that no time has been lost, and that the creation days were seven, divided into twenty-four hours each” (Dr. Hinckley, The Watchman, July, 1926. [Dr. Hinckley was a well-known astronomer of a half a century ago.]).
“The continuity of the week…has crossed the centuries and all known calendars, still intact” (Professor D. Eginitis, Statement [Dr. Eginitis was Director of the Observatory of Athens, Greece.]).
Then this longer quote:
“It is a strange fact that even today there is a great deal of confusion concerning the question of so-called ‘lost time.’ Alterations that have been made to the calendar in the past have left the impression that time has actually been lost. In point of fact, of course, these adjustments were made to bring the calendar into closer agreement with the natural [solar] year. Now, unfortunately, this supposed ‘lost time’ is still being used to throw doubt upon the unbroken cycle of the Seventh-day Sabbath that God inaugurated at the Creation. I am glad that I can add the witness of my scientific training to the irrevocable nature of the weekly cycle.
“Having been time computer at Greenwich [England’s Observatory] for many years, I can testify that all our days are in God’s absolute control—relentlessly measured by the daily rotation of the earth on its axis. This daily period of rotation does not vary one-thousandth part of a second in thousands of years. Also, the year is a very definite number of days. Consequently, it can be said that not a day has been lost since Creation, and all the calendar changes notwithstanding, there has been no break in the weekly cycle” (Dr. Frank Jeffries, Statement [Dr. Jeffries was Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and research director of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England.]).
Finally, consider the following extraordinary admission by the Sunday-keeping Presbyterian Church:
“Yet this singular measure of time by periods of seven days may be traced not only through the sacred history before the era of Moses, but in all ancient civilizations of every era, many of which could not possibly have derived the notion from Moses. Among the learned of Egypt, the Brahmins of India, by Arabs, by Assyrians, as may be gathered from their astronomers and priests, this division was recognized. Hesiod (900 B.C.) declares, ‘The seventh day is holy.’ So [also] Homer and Callimachus. Even in the Saxon mythology, the division by weeks was prominent. Nay, even among the tribes of Devil-worshippers in Africa, we are told, that a peculiar feature of their religion is a weekly sacred day, the violation of which by labor will incur the wrath of the Devil-god. Traces of a similar division of time have been noticed among the Indians of the American continent.
“Now, on what other theory are these facts explicable, than upon the supposition of a divinely ordained Sabbath at the very origin of the race?” (A Series of Tracts on the Doctrines, Order, and Polity of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America; With Several on Practical Subjects, released by the Presbyterian Board of Publication).
Time Has NOT Been Lost
This booklet has addressed whether the Sabbath has been lost in the time since creation. You have seen that it has not. No amount of deceptive trickery or clever “sleight of hand” has been sufficient to overthrow the truth about when God’s Sabbath should be observed. God never requires people to discern for themselves what to obey—only whether they will obey.
You have now seen proof that the weekly cycle has been kept intact for nearly 6,000 years. What will you do? In the conclusion of his booklet Has Time Been Lost?, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:
“Would God set apart a certain day, put His blessing on it (Gen. 2:1-3), make it holy time, command that it be kept holy forever, and then let that holy time become so lost we cannot tell when to keep it?
“Time lost? If so, then you and I are lost souls, for it is sin to profane God’s Sabbath! That is the 4th point of the Law.
“Sin is the transgression of the Law, (I John 3:4) and if we break only one of its points—any one—we are guilty sinners (James 2:8-11). The very last recorded words of Jesus say: ‘Blessed are they that do His [His Father’s] Commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life’ (Rev. 22:14).”