The Sacred Year


IAUA God's Sacred Calendar
IAUA End Time Ministry
Preparing for the End of Time
(Book Contents) Home

Chapter Contents

The equinox of the sun signals the time for the beginning of the year. The Bible clearly states the year begins in spring.
3 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
Exodus 12:2
Jewish tradition in general and Catholic tradition in particular preserves for us the specific determination. The pagan New Year’s Day is the first day of the pagan first month but God’s New Year’s Day is the first yearly Sabbath. This is the simple rule of determination. The first yearly Sabbath is the first full moon after the equinox. This is the “Spring Passover” rule.

This is the more precise way to state the rule. The first yearly Sabbath begins at sunset the evening at the end of the first 14th day (approximately the full moon) of a month when the sun rises at Golgotha (Jerusalem) after the spring equinox. Sunrise on the 14th day marks the beginning of the 15th day about 12 hours in advance of its coming to Jerusalem. The first yearly Sabbath occurs within about thirty days immediately after the signal of the spring equinox. It is not to be more than a month away, as the drifting popular calendar has it in some years.

A year is the period of the earth's orbit around the sun. The rotation of the earth about its axis has a specific tilt relative to its orbit around the sun. The astronomical equinox occurs when the earth's axis is exactly at a right angle to the sun and the sun is directly over the equator. The equinox occurs twice a year. The vernal equinox occurs at the time of spring for those who are north of the equator (about March 20) and the autumnal equinox occurs at fall (about September 22).

It is important to understand this point. The equator is the only place on earth where the sun is directly overhead at noon at the equinox. A person can easily approximate the equinox only at sunrise/sunset from most locations on the earth. The concept of east and west becomes fuzzy near the poles of the earth.

English derives the name equinox from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because of the idea at equinox the night and day are equally long. This is actually only approximate and not scientifically correct based on the definition of sunset.

If you live with no contact with civilization and the calculated time of the spring equinox is not available, you can approximate the beginning of the year by observation of the position of the sun. This is difficult to do without training and planning.

You cannot trust a compass to mark directions with a high level of precision. In the Northern hemisphere, the direction of the North Star astronomically determines north. You can verify the direction of north because the star at the north moves very little as the earth rotates. You can mark east/west as a right angle to the north.

Millerite Year Determination

There are those who believe the first day of the first sacred month must be after the spring equinox. This is the "Spring New Moon" Rule. This belief is based on the fact the Millerites used this method to determine the Day of Atonement in 1844 as October 22. You can determine with a simple internet search, there are many who recognize October 22 was not the Day of Atonement in 1844 (or any other year).

It is surprising some use those who never observed God's Sacred Calendar as witnesses in determining the Calendar. They were correct in recognizing it was the 10th day of the seventh month on God's Sacred Calendar. They were correct in the beliefs and meaning of the day. They made an error and selected the wrong date on the Gregorian calendar. A Jewish adviser who did not know the truth or simply lied probably misled them.

A simple Calendar determination error by those who had no background in Calendar determination does not negate any of the other truths they taught. In the same way, a failure to recognize the Calendar or the importance of the entire Law of Moses (the statutes) does not negate all the truths taught by the Adventist Church.

Any one who thinks recognizing the error in the setting of a date, based on a lack of understanding of a truth not revealed at that time, justifies or means any other truth does not apply is wrong. Anyone who is afraid to admit an error for fear of losing confidence is wrong.

I have read statements by others, which say accepting October 22 was not the correct Day of Atonement would also exclude any other relative beliefs and doctrines associated with the date. They further stated it would lead to discarding other beliefs and on and on the tumbling of beliefs would go.

This is called the "domino effect" and is the basis of many arguments by those in the Adventist church against accepting any "New Light". I acknowledge there are some issues so central they would lead to the destruction of other beliefs. The simple error of picking a wrong date on the Gregorian Calendar by those who are not intimately familiar with God's calendar is not the basis for dismissing everything they said. The Millerites did not even accept the Sabbath and we do not hold it against the teachings they began.

If a person's belief system is so weak, they are unsettled by the correcting of a simple error, what will happen when the time of trouble comes!

Ellen White's Silence

The primary justification among Adventists for this choice of determination is Ellen White never spoke against it. It is important to remember she did not begin her prophetic ministry until after the date was past. Believers had not yet accepted even the weekly Sabbath until years later. The Adventist Church never recognized God's Sacred Calendar in the time of Ellen White and still does not recognize or follow the Calendar.

Nevertheless, careful examination of her words contradicts this determination and shows the truth. Passover follows equinox, which is about March 20.

The time of the Passover corresponded to the close of March or the beginning of April… {DA 75.2} Also {PP 537.3}

If October 22 was the Day of Atonement, then Passover would have been about May 4. This is clearly outside the scope of her statement no matter how non-specific it is.

The Holy Spirit chose not to make this an issue and create unnecessary confusion and dissension. Those who have learned to follow all of God's Law and the Calendar should take careful note of this example. She said, God reveals His truth in stages.

No truth is more clearly taught in the Bible than that God by His Holy Spirit especially directs His servants on earth in the great movements for the carrying forward of the work of salvation. Men are instruments in the hand of God, employed by Him to accomplish His purposes of grace and mercy. Each has his part to act; to each is granted a measure of light, adapted to the necessities of his time, and sufficient to enable him to perform the work which God has given him to do. But no man, however honored of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or even to a perfect appreciation of the divine purpose in the work for his own time. Men do not fully understand what God would accomplish by the work which He gives them to do; they do not comprehend, in all its bearings, the message which they utter in His name. {GC 343.2} {GC88 343.2}

Those who follow this method of determining the calendar also point to this statement added to the Appendix by the editors in a book published in 1884, which was later edited and became the 'Great Controversy' in the 'Conflict of the Ages' series.

The Spirit of Prophecy Volume Four (1884)
Appendix
NOTE 4. PAGE 241.--THE YEAR 1843, DURING WHICH ADVENTISTS AT FIRST EXPECTED THE COMING OF CHRIST, WAS REGARDED AS EXTENDING TO THE SPRING OF 1844. THE REASON FOR THIS, BRIEFLY STATED, IS AS FOLLOWS: ANCIENTLY THE YEAR DID NOT COMMENCE IN MID-WINTER, AS NOW, BUT AT THE FIRST NEW MOON AFTER THE VERNAL EQUINOX. THEREFORE, AS THE PERIOD OF 2300 DAYS WAS BEGUN IN A YEAR RECKONED BY THE ANCIENT METHOD, IT WAS CONSIDERED NECESSARY TO CONFORM TO THAT METHOD TO ITS CLOSE. HENCE, 1843 WAS COUNTED AS ENDING IN THE SPRING, AND NOT IN THE WINTER.
{4SP 497.2}
This quote is from the edition of the 'Great Controversy' published in 1888.
The Great Controversy (1888)
Appendix
THE YEAR 1843 WAS, HOWEVER, REGARDED AS EXTENDING TO THE SPRING OF 1844. THE REASON FOR THIS, BRIEFLY STATED, IS AS FOLLOWS: ANCIENTLY THE YEAR DID NOT COMMENCE IN MIDWINTER, AS NOW, BUT AT THE FIRST NEW MOON AFTER THE VERNAL EQUINOX. THEREFORE, AS THE PERIOD OF 2300 DAYS WAS BEGUN IN A YEAR RECKONED BY THE ANCIENT METHOD, IT WAS CONSIDERED NECESSARY TO CONFORM TO THAT METHOD TO ITS CLOSE. HENCE, 1843 WAS COUNTED AS ENDING IN THE SPRING, AND NOT IN THE WINTER.
{GC88 681.4}

It is important to note these quotes are both from the Appendix to the books and cannot be found in any other writings. It is unlikely Ellen wrote the contents of the Appendix. This is particularly true considering the fact this topic was removed from the 1911 edition which Ellen herself reviewed.

The introduction to the current edition of the Appendix says "REVISIONS ADOPTED BY THE E. G. WHITE TRUSTEES NOVEMBER 19, 1956, AND DECEMBER 6, 1979". They would not have so freely modified and removed material written or approved by the author.

These differences in determining the start of the year are significant. In years where the methods disagree, it delays the start of the year by an entire month. I am sure God does not condemn those who are following the best they understand.

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
Acts 17:30

Affirmations

It is important for us always to seek a greater knowledge of the truth of God.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
Hosea 4:6
We have several witnesses to help select between these two methods of determining the Calendar.

Catholic Witness

The Roman Catholic Church has been the most powerful witness to preserve elements of the Calendar. The Catholic Church has a very strong commitment to preserve some true elements of the Calendar. Despite the errors and apostasies of the Gregorian Calendar, it has preserved some elements. It is amazing how God has used the great apostate church to preserve some elements of truth in the midst of apostasy.

When you study deep into the Calendar and compare it with the Gregorian Calendar, you can make some fascinating discoveries. God's Holy Days on the Calendar always occur on the same day of the month or with a specific count of days. The weekly Sabbath occurs every seven days no matter the day of the month. Pentecost Sabbath always occurs fifty days after the first Unleavened Bread Sabbath, which is not always the same day of the month.

Most Catholic holidays occur on the same day of the month but some occur on different days of the month. It is amazing to discover why this occurs. The Catholic holidays of Easter and Pentecost are based on God's Sacred Calendar! Easter is an apostate adaptation of a pagan celebration, which the Catholic Church ties to the Passover! The Catholic Church freely acknowledges the connection to Passover. Remember that Passover is always a full moon.

Easter was celebrated in Rome and Alexandria on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox Catholic Encyclopedia: Easter

The reason for this is clear. Easter Sunday observance is claimed to be observing the resurrection of Christ. The Bible clearly records His resurrection was on a Sunday. The apostasy from the Calendar was to observe the resurrection always on the Sunday following Passover Eve instead of on the second day after Passover Eve referred to as the Wave Sheaf, which would be approximately the day after the full moon based on the definition of the Calendar.

The controversy over the change of Passover observance to Sunday probably predates the change of Sabbath to Sunday. The SDA Bible Commentary documents this controversy.

A letter of St. Irenæus ... shows that the diversity of practice regarding Easter had existed at least from the time of Pope Sixtus (c. 120). Catholic Encyclopedia: Easter Controversy

Therefore, Catholic tradition specifically preserves for us Passover Eve is the first 14th day of a month on or after the spring equinox. Sunrise the day of Passover Eve occurs immediately following the spring equinox. The determination of which month is the first month of the year is found after determining which 14th of a month is Passover Eve. The determination of Passover Eve is not found by determining the first month.

Jewish Witness

We also have the witness of the traditional Jewish Calculated Rabbinical Calendar (CRC) for determination of Passover. This witness is weaker because the CRC has known major flaws and deliberate errors. It is still a valuable traditional guide. We can scientifically correct the CRC to overcome almost completely the flaws and errors.

The witness of the CRC contradicts those who believe the first day of the month after the spring equinox is the start of the year. Even though the CRC causes the year to start later as the centuries go by, it still has the first day of the month before the equinox in some years. Careful comparison with a corrected CRC shows there is approximately a 14-day average difference with the first day of the month sometimes occurring before the equinox. This matches with Passover occurring immediately after the equinox.

Roman Witness

Even the ancient Roman Calendar on which the Gregorian Calendar is based, has a weak witness for placing Passover Eve on or after the equinox instead of the first month. The Roman Calendar descended from the Sacred Calendar. The seventh month was called September which means Seventh Month in Latin. There is not an exact correspondence but most of the seventh month of God's Calendar on average occurs during September.

Placing the first day of the month after equinox, causes most of the seventh month to occur on average during October. Placing Passover Eve on or after the equinox causes most of the sacred seventh month to occur in September. The name October means Eight Month in Latin. In the same way, November means Ninth Month and December means Tenth Month in Latin.

It is interesting to note, when using these witnesses, the days of the month in September (Seventh Month) 2008 exactly matched the seventh month of God's Sacred Calendar. This can never occur when using the Millerite determination for the start of the year. This matchup can occur about every thirty years. It is also interesting to note, 2008 was apparently a Sabbath year.

Counterfeits and Apostasies

The Gregorian Calendar is the greatest counterfeit and apostasy of the Calendar. While it does preserve some elements, it corrupts others. In keeping with pagan concepts, the beginning of the year was moved from near the spring equinox as God commands to being near the winter solstice. The year was then fixed to the solar cycle. The days in a month and the number of months were fixed to unchanging values.

The Jews corrupted the calendar by abandoning astronomical observation to follow a formula. Small errors in this formula mean Passover comes later and later in the year as the centuries go by. This formula was adopted after the destruction of Jerusalem and the disbanding of the Sanhedrin about the third century. The Sanhedrin had taken to themselves the authority for determining the first month of the year and the beginnings of the months. The formula was chosen in order to preserve the Jewish Calendar without a central authority.

The Sanhedrin had already abandoned astronomical observation by using the observation of the ripening of the barley crop at Jerusalem to determine the start of the New Year. Some among the Jews and others attempting to follow the Calendar still insist on this method.

(Book Contents) Next: The Yearly Sabbaths


Revised 2012-11-23