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MODERN CALENDAR REFORM MOVEMENT

The movement to reform the Gregorian calendar has never died out.  In 1975, when Jimmy Carter was running for president, he stated that he was running for peace in the Middle East and the World Calendar.

At the time calendar reform was first proposed in the 1920s, there was wide-spread concern among Christians and Jews because the World Calendar disrupts the continuous weekly cycle of the Gregorian calendar.  (For a detailed explanation of how the World Calendar works, see Calendar Change Threatens Religion, published around 1944 by the Religious Liberty Association.) 

This is a subject which everyone should know and thoroughly understand because it is not going to go away.  Currently, there is a growing movement to implement the World Calendar in 2012.  The history, philosophy and goals of the World Calendar can be investigated at their official website: www.TheWorldCalendar.org

The World Calendar is popular because of its simplicity and perpetually regular quarters and years.  Dates would no longer float through the week, because each date would always fall on the same day of the week.  Every year would start on Sunday and each quarter of the year would be identical.  The very simplicity of the World Calendar is one of its main attractions to financial and banking institutions. 

However, for Christians who believe that the Creator has the right to establish the day on which His creatures are to worship Him, it presents a very real problem.  According to a reliable source in the General Conference, the World Council of Churches is currently studying the World Calendar and how the proposed change would affect the current weekly cycle and its Sunday worship. 

When the Christian world was first confronted with the new calendar proposal, there were differing reactions.  Many leaders of every denomination saw no problem in changing the calendar.  The more conservative, however, balked at a change in a weekly cycle they assumed had come down uninterrupted since Creation.  An interest in time and how it is calculated was generated because of the push for calendar reform.

During this period, God designed to reveal to people His original method of calendation: luni-solar time. 

Different periods in the history of the church have each been marked by the development of some special truth, adapted to the necessities of God’s people at that time . . . The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency.  Who dare refuse to publish it?  (E. G. White, The Great Controversy, 609.)

The knowledge of the Biblical, luni-solar calendar was the “special truth, adapted to the necessities of God’s people at that time.”  When the church could not or would not see that the Sabbath by the Biblical calendar falls differently than by the pagan/papal calendar, they were unprepared to meet the emergency.  In His mercy, God held back the winds of strife and the agitation for calendar reform died out in the 1950s.

It is not going to die out this time.  The pope has made it clear that he wants to permanently to fix Easter.  Most people do not understand just what that entails.  There are only three ways to “fix” Easter:

  1. Tie Easter to a specific date, regardless of the
    day of the week.  An example of this is
    Christmas, December 25, which can fall on
    any day of the week. 

The pope will not fix Easter this way, because “Easter Sunday” is his main reason for changing the Biblical Sabbath to the “Lord’s day” – to honor the day on which he claims Jesus arose from the dead.

   2.  Tie Easter to a specific day, regardless of the date.
        An example of this is Thanksgiving in the United
        States: it falls on the second to last Thursday of
        every November. 

This is not an option because this is the way Easter is tied to the calendar now: it is already tied to a specific day.  Because the date of Easter floats through the Gregorian calendar, most people do not understand how it is calculated.  Easter is tied to the vernal equinox (officially, March 21.)  Therefore, it always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox. 

The first two methods of fixing Easter being exhausted leaves only one way: changing the entire calendar. An old proverb says: "He, who controls the calendar, controls the world." Anciently, computation of the calendar was the job of the priesthood.

As the sign of the authority of the Catholic Church, papist writers cite “the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of; . . . because by keeping Sunday, they acknowledge the church’s power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin.”—Henry Tuberville, An Abrigdment of the Christian Doctrine, page 58.

. . . The Roman Church has not relinquished her claim to supremacy; and when the world and the Protestant churches accept a Sabbath of her creating, while they reject the Bible Sabbath, they virtually admit this assumption.  They may claim the authority of tradition and of the Fathers for the change; but in so doing they ignore the very principle which separates them from Rome—that “the Bible and the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants.”  The papist can see that they are deceiving themselves, willingly closing their eyes to the facts in the case.  As the movement for Sunday enforcement gains favor, he rejoices, feeling assured that it will eventually bring the whole Protestant world under the banner of Rome (The Great Controversy, 448.)

In 1937, Dr. Jean Nussbaum, a Seventh-day Adventist greatly disturbed by the growing support for the World Calendar, conducted a series of interviews with leading men in Paris and Rome.  After interviewing the Rector of the Biblical Institute in Rome, Dr. Nussbaum recalled that he “sees no difficulty in accepting the calendar reform . . . He feels that the [Roman Catholic] Church has the necessary power to make this change” (Rome, 1937.)

It is true that the proposed World Calendar is much simpler and easier to use than the Gregorian calendar.  Many sincere people have worked and are working to promote what they believe will bring only good to the world.  However, they do not see where this movement will end.  If the Catholic Church is not at the fore-front of this movement, it is because she sees that she does not need to be.

Marvelous in her shrewdness and cunning is the Roman Church. She can read what is to be.  She bides her time, seeing that the Protestant churches are paying her homage in their acceptance of the false sabbath and that they are preparing to enforce it by the very means which she herself employed in bygone days. Those who reject the light of truth will yet seek the aid of this self-styled infallible power to exalt an institution that originated with her. How readily she will come to the help of Protestants in this work it is not difficult to conjecture. Who understands better than the papal leaders how to deal with those who are disobedient to the church?  (The Great Controversy, 580.)

On July 5, 1998, Pope John Paul II published the apostolic letter, Dies Domini.  At the time, it excited quite a bit of comment among sabbatarians who quickly perceived that it was a call for increased reverence for Sunday observance.  The letter included statements in favor of Sunday Legislation which made those who remembered history, uneasy. 

One aspect of the letter, however, that no one commented on was the passage that referred to Sunday as the eighth day.  Lacking an understanding of the Biblical calendar, as well as a knowledge of the World Calendar, this part of the letter went unnoticed at the time. 

Sunday is not only the first day, it is also “the eighth day”, set within the sevenfold succession of days in a unique and transcendent position which evokes not only the beginning of time but also its end in "the age to come" (Dies Domini, Ch. II, sec. 26.)  (See also Ch. II, sec. 23.)

This is very curious wording.  No one knew what it meant when Dies Domini first came out.  However, with an understanding of the principles of Biblical calendation, it now appears ominous.  On the Biblical calendar, every month began with a worship day: New Moon day, the 1st of the new month.  The next day, the 2nd of the month, was the first of the six work days.  Consequently, the seventh-day Sabbath always fell on the 8th, the 15th, the 22nd and the 29th of the month.  The calendar for each month appeared thus:         

                                               1
 2     3     4      5      6      7     8
 9     10   11   12   13   14   15
 16   17   18   19   20   21   22  
 23   24   25   26   27   28   29
(30)

The World Calendar bears a striking resemblance to the Biblical Calendar, so far as the dates of the worship days are concerned.  On the World Calendar, each year and each quarter begins on Sunday.  Therefore, the calendar for the months of January, April, July and October all appears like this:

1     2     3     4     5      6      7
8     9     10   11   12   13   14
15   16   17   18   19   20   21
22   23   24   25   26   27   28
29   30   31

In both calendars, the respective worship days fall on the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th days of the month.  Another similarity is the translation day at the end of the luni-solar month.  It has its counterpart in World Day, the last day of the year on the reformed calendar, which is not counted as a day of the week nor given a date (i.e., a number.)

Seventh-day Adventists have long believed that the final show-down between the people of God and Babylon (a term used in Revelation to symbolize false religion) would be over the true Sabbath versus a false day of rest.  Now a much larger confrontation is emerging.  It is a battle between God’s luni-solar calendation and the calendar that has passed from Babylon and Egypt to pagan Rome and on down to the papacy.  With this larger view in mind, it would be good for all to reread the chapter, The Final Warning in Great Controversy. 

The whole conflict is over worship.  This is a subject that concerns everyone living on the face of the planet; because the Creator has the right to decide when He shall be worshiped, the day on which you choose to worship is a sign of loyalty to your God/god.  Your day of worship reveals whether you are worshiping God the Creator or that power which was revealed in Daniel 7:25 as wanting to set himself up in opposition to God by thinking “to change the calendar and the ordinance” (Daniel 7:25, Knox translation.)

Study these issues out for yourself so that you may know what is truth.  God is again restoring to His people the truth about how His Sabbaths are to be calculated.  Let us “fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment is come and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7.)


“He shall insult the Most High, he shall torment/wear out the holy ones of the Most High, and he shall attempt to change the calendar and the ordinance” (Daniel 7:25, Knox translation.)

www.TheWorldCalendar.org

Interviews on Calendar Reform

Dies Domini

Comments on Dies Domini

The Final Warning

The Battle of the Mo'edim

Sabbath a Sign of Loyalty

God’s Law Immutable