Frequently the question is asked, "Would Yahuwah really allow the knowledge of His Sabbath to be lost?" The answer as given in Lamentations 2:6 is: yes. "Yahuwah hath caused the solemn feasts (mo'edim) and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion."
This theme is expanded upon in Hosea, chapter two. Here Yahuwah is likening His people to an unfaithful wife who has gone whoring after other lovers. Yahuwah's people have been an unfaithful bride to their Master. The prophecy of Hosea applies to Yahuwah's people today. We like to quote the beautiful promises in the second half of that chapter as applying to Yahuwah's people. These promises are precious. However, they must be looked at in context, and they are given in the context of Yahuwah's betrothed having been unfaithful to Him. Therefore, the punishment is: "I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts." (Verse 11)
The "new moons" is a clear reference to the calendar by which the Sabbaths are figured, just as in Isaiah 66:23: "And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Yahuwah." The Seventh-day Adventist church has used this text to prove that the Sabbath will be kept in the new earth. More than that, this text proves which calendar will be used throughout eternity, because on the pagan, solar Gregorian calendar, the new moons are not even noticed and definitely do not begin the months.
It was by compromise with paganism that the early Christian church lost its apostolic purity. This opened the floodgates to all of the deceptions of Satan. By not valuing and preserving the truth, the people of Yahuwah lost it. When the truth of heaven is not cherished as it should be, Yahuwah removes it; He causes it to be forgotten.
Hosea 2:14+ reveals just how we have forsaken our heavenly Husband. It is by taking the names of Baal into our mouths and letting the worship of Baal structure our lives.
Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her . . . And it shall be at that day, saith Yahuwah, that thou shalt call me Ishi;1and shalt call me no more Baali.2For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. And in that day will I make a covenant for them . . . And I will betroth thee unto me forever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgement, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know Yahuwah. . . And I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my Eloah.3
If "each of the ancient prophets spoke less for their own time than for ours, so that their prophesying is in force for us"4then it is vital to look at this passage in light of the modern world. No one runs around claiming to be worshipers of Baal anymore. Verse 17 gives a clue just how this is to be applied: "For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name." The names of the weekdays: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc., are named after the planetary gods.
It is a curious fact of calendar history that the pagan, planetary week originally began on Saturn's day (dies Saturni). That was the highest day of the week. It was followed by Sun's day (dies Solis), Moon's day (dies Lunæ), etc. The pagans worshiped the seven planetary gods in the order they thought those planets orbited in relation to the earth. They thought that Saturn was furthest from the earth, so it held the preeminent position of importance, as the first day of the planetary week.5
In this Roman stick calendar from the Baths of Titus,6the days of the pagan, planetary week are represented by drawings of the seven planetary gods. The first was Saturn's day which Sabbatarians have assumed corresponded to the seventh and last day of the Biblical week, the Sabbath. It was only later that the days of the week were rearranged with Sunday as the first day and Saturn's day as the seventh. The twelve signs of the zodiac can be seen in the circle in the middle, and they stood for the twelve months of the year, six of which were also named after pagan gods. 7
The months of the Gregorian year and the days of the planetary week are irreparably pagan. It is these to which the passage in Hosea is referring. When Christians arrange their lives and their worship days by a pagan, planetary calendar, the names of Baalim are taken into their mouths. It is impossible to find the correct Biblical Sabbath on a pagan, Gregorian calendar and in this the Creator is forgotten.
By restoring to the final generation the knowledge of His true method of calendation, Yahuwah is bringing them back to a primitive piety. He says, "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her." What wilderness? The answer is found in Revelation 12. Here is given a depiction of the true church, the Bride of Christ, as a woman who has to flee into the wilderness.8"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of Yahuwah, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days." (Verse 6)
When the pure church accepted the practices of paganism, the long night of the Dark Ages fell on her. The true church fled into the wilderness and there, after experiencing the desolation that comes from accepting other lovers, Yahuwah began to allure her back. The Protestant Reformation began restoring to her the light that had been lost. "The truth is an advancing truth, and we must walk in the increasing light."9 The Father will advance no faster than His people can follow. Ever since the days of the Protestant Reformation, Yahuwah has been "alluring" His bride (the church) back to Him, winning her heart to her True Love by showing her His beautiful love and care for her.10
The knowledge of the luni-solar Sabbaths is now being restored to the remnant church. This understanding should affect any preconceived ideas of the time of trouble. The one belief shared by both liberal and conservative Seventh-day Adventists is that the United States government will be foremost in making an image to the beast (the Roman Catholic Church.) In simple terms: all are looking for a Sunday law. Keeping in mind that Ellen White was bidden to write Great Controversy in such a way as "to trace the history of the controversy in past ages, and especially so to present it as to shed a light on the fast-approaching struggle of the future," 11 is it possible that the Sunday law will again come disguised as a calendar change law?
Think about it. Satan's main target is Sabbath keepers. Everyone knows about Sunday closing laws and all have assumed that is the form the Sunday law will take. But if you were Satan, and your #1 enemy was expecting that plan of attack, would you not try and slip it past without their notice? Ellen White warned the church to be aware of Satan's devices. Just as soon as people become aware of one device, the father of lies gives it a new twist. It is vitally important that the church today be aware of Satan's deceptive devices because the final generation is charged with a special commission; a commission Satan is desperate to keep them from doing:
They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in. (Isaiah 58:12)
Christ Himself, shortly before His death, also referred to this special group of people. The last chapter of the last book of the Old Testament contains this admonition:
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant . . . with the statutes and judgements. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of Yahuwah: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse (Malachi 4:4-6.)
The disciples knew this prophecy. After Christ was transfigured and Moses and Elijah appeared with Him, Peter, James and John questioned: "Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come?"12In other words, "If you truly are the Messiah as we believe, why didn't Elijah come first?"
Yahushua's response is very intriguing.
And Yahushua answered and said unto them, "Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them." Then the disciples understood that He spake unto them of John the Baptist. 13
In this exchange, the disciples and Christ were both referring back to the prophecy of Malachi which promised the coming of Elijah before "the great and dreadful day of Yahuwah." The disciples assumed He was speaking solely of John the Baptist, but actually "[Yahushua] makes a distinction between the Elijah who is yet to come, and John who came already (Matthew 17:11.)" 14
The Elijah that was yet future to Christ's day would do something very important: he would "restore all things." (Verse 11) Restore what things? The answer is found again in Malachi 4: "Remember ye the law of Moses . . . with the statutes and judgments." (Verse 4) The repairers of the breach restore the law of Moses: it's statutes, judgments and principles of calendation.
Many people assume that the word "statute" applies strictly to sacrificial offerings that were done away with at the cross. However, a careful search of scripture reveals that the word "statute" is never used to apply to offering a sacrifice. On the other hand, it is frequently couched in the following phrases: "it shall be a statute forever," "it shall be a perpetual statute," and "this shall be an everlasting statute."
The work of restoration and reform carried on by the returned exiles, under the leadership of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, presents a picture of a work of spiritual restoration that is to be wrought in the closing days of this earth's history . . .
The spiritual restoration of which the work carried forward in Nehemiah's day was a symbol, is outlined in the words of Isaiah: "They shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities." "They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in." (Isaiah 61:4; 58:12.)
The prophet here describes a people who, in a time of general departure from truth and righteousness, are seeking to restore the principles that are the foundation of the kingdom of [Yahuwah]. They are repairers of a breach that has been made in [Yahuwah's] law – the wall that He has placed around His chosen ones for their protection, and obedience to whose precepts of justice, truth, and purity is to be their perpetual safeguard.
In words of unmistakable meaning the prophet points out the specific work of this remnant people who build the wall. "If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on My holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of Yahuwah, honorable; and shalt honor Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: then shalt thou delight thyself in Yahuwah; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of Yahuwah hath spoken it." (Isaiah 58:13, 14.)
In the time of the end every divine institution is to be restored. The breach made in the law at the time the Sabbath was changed by man, is to be repaired. [Yahuwah's] remnant people, standing before the world as reformers, are to show that the law of [Yahuwah] is the foundation of all enduring reform and that the Sabbath of the fourth commandment is to stand as a memorial of creation, a constant reminder of the power of [Yahuwah]. In clear, distinct lines they are to present the necessity of obedience to all the precepts of the Decalogue. Constrained by the love of Christ, they are to co-operate with Him in building up the waste places. They are to be repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in. 15
May Yahuwah's people today restore "every divine institution," including His calendar, that the beauty of His law might be displayed before the world.
2My Lord, a generic title for God or Baal.
3Hosea 2:14, 16-20, 23
5For a much more in-depth look at how the pagans assigned each of the 24 hours of the day to a planetary god based on their supposed position in relation to the earth, see How Did Sunday Get It's Name? by Robert L. Odom, Southern Publishing Association, 1972.
6R. L. Odom, How Did Sunday Get It's Name?, Southern Publishing Association, 1972.
7July and August were named after Julius Cæsar (who established the Julian calendar) and Augustus Cæsar (the Roman emperor mentioned in Luke 2:1-7.) September, October, November and December were number words: "seventh", "eighth", "ninth", and "tenth", respectively, as the Roman calendar originally began in March.
8A woman is always the symbol of a church. A whore is a corrupt church; a pure woman is the true church.
9E. G. White, Councils to Writers and Editors, 33.
10Revelation 12:1 provides a fascinating symbolic description of the true church. She is standing upon the moon. Feet are a symbol of possession (see Job 1:7 and Ruth 4:7 & 8). The significance of this text is very beautiful: the church is once again in possession of the knowledge of the true Sabbath and it provides her with an unassailable foundation.
11Ellen G. White, Great Controversy, xi, emphasis supplied.
14Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, KJV, footnotes to Malachi 4, by Spiros Zodhiates.
15E. G. White, Prophets & Kings, 677-678, emphasis supplied.