Thursday, November 20, 2014

Changing "Times and Law" - Calendar "Reform"

"He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time" (Daniel 7:25).

This post is not about the Hebrew calendar and the issues some who claim to be part of the Church of God make about the calendar. It is about the fulfillment of prophecy about changes that may come about, made by the beast power and false prophet, to this world's calendar.

There may come a time, at the end of this age before the return of Christ, when this world's calendar will be changed in a way that will make it more difficult for God's people to keep the weekly Sabbath.

Many years ago, more than forty I think, I read an article from a group advocating reform of this world's calendar (this group had nothing to do with the Church of God or any religion as far as I know).

They proposed a scheme that would simplify the way weeks would fall in the months and in the quarters.

As I remember it, with their calendar, every month would have exactly four or five weeks, and every quarter of the year would have exactly 13 weeks. Two of the months of each quarter would be exactly four weeks and one month of each quarter would be exactly five weeks. So, for example, the first quarter of the year could have January with exactly four weeks (giving January 28 days), February with exactly four weeks (giving February 28 days), and March with exactly 5 weeks (giving March 35 days), total = 13 weeks for the first quarter of the year, and so on for the other quarters.

Every month would start with the beginning of a week so the first day of a month or of a quarter or of a year will always be the first day of a week.

Any particular yearly date, such as July 4, would always fall on the same day of the week every year.

The way they presented it, their calendar would vastly simplify business and accounting practices just by making the weeks fit evenly into the months.

From the world's point of view, this might be very logical.

There is one problem with what I have described so far, and they propose one more change that would solve that problem.

The number of days in the year is usually 365. Divide that number of days by seven to get the number of weeks in a year, and you get 52 weeks plus one day left over. 52 times 7 equals 364. You need one more day to make 365. If you went with a 364 day year, the seasons would change so that in about 180 years the seasons would be reversed - you would have snow in July and heat in January. So you need an extra day to keep the years accurate.

So what will they do with that extra day? They want to call it a "World Day", which would not be counted as a day in the week.

Once a year, twice during leap years, there would be a "World Day", a holiday, not counted by the world as a day of the week.

For perhaps the first time, the weekly cycle the world observes would be broken.

The World Day would come after the last day of a week and before the first day of the next week.

So the week begins with Sunday and ends with Saturday. Let's say the time comes in the year for a "World Day", probably at the end of the year. You have Saturday. Then you have "World Day". Then, under this new calendar idea you would have Sunday as the next day after "World Day."

But then, as God counts the days from creation, that Sunday would no longer be the first day of God's week. It would be the second day.

World Day would be the first day of the week that year as God counts time because it would follow the seventh day, Saturday, of the previous week. Sunday would become the second day of the week, as God counts time, that week and every week till the next World Day. In other words, the world would call the real second day of the week "Sunday", not Monday. The world would think of Sunday as being the first day of the week, but God would count it as the second day in the weekly cycle from creation. And since Sunday would be the second day of the week as God counts days from creation, Saturday would be the first day of the week, as God counts the days from creation. But this world will still call Sunday the first day of the week and Saturday the seventh day of the week. Which day would be the real seventh day, God's Sabbath day? FRIDAY!

So for the following year, what this world would call "Friday" would be the real seventh day of the week, God's Sabbath from sunset Thursday to sunset Friday.

So if you are working for a year, you will have to tell your boss, "I can't work Friday". Then, at the end of the year, another World Day would come, not counted by mankind as a day of the week (but counted by God as a day of the week), and the days would get shifted again, so you would have to tell your boss, "This year I can't work on Thursdays". Then the next year, "This year I can't work on Wednesdays".

In leap years, there would be two World Days, probably six months apart.

Would that not make Sabbath keeping more difficult?

I do not know if this is what Bible prophecy is referring to when it speaks of a horn intending to change times and law (Daniel 7:24-25). But I think it is a possibility.

Probably there are many ideas for calendar change floating around. What I have described may be just one example.

But from the world's point of view, any major calendar reform makes no sense if it leaves each month with an uneven number of weeks and if the first day of a month (or accounting quarter or year) is not also the first day of a week - otherwise, why change what we have? But any change to even out the number of weeks in each month would have to involve breaking the weekly cycle which has been unbroken since creation.

It would amount to the same thing even if the details of a future calendar are different from what I have described. To even out the weeks with the months, quarters, and years, you have to break the weekly cycle. And the day of the week, as mankind names the days of the week, that is truly the Sabbath in God's eyes would vary from year to year.

The movement of the earth around the sun and the rotation of the earth on its axis make it impossible to keep the weekly cycle unbroken yet make each year an exact number of weeks.

And the beast and false prophet can say to the Church of God, "Sure, you can have your Saturday Sabbath. But you have to accept this new calendar. We define when the week begins and ends."

This may be one way that the powers and authorities of this world, led by Satan, will make Sabbath keeping more difficult for God's people in the future when the beast power dominates the world.

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