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The Samoan Sabbath Dilemma Revisited — 214 Comments

  1. Where do you stand? Are you with the SDA mission in keeping the old Seventh DAy Sabbath or with the new group keeping the new so called sabbath day. The day that people called sunday is the True Seventh Day Sabbath from the beginning for the Samoan SDA people. The change now did not come from God, we all know that it came from men using by the enemy to confuse Gods people in these last days.

    • Dear Elena,

      The “old seventh-day Sabbath” is Saturday, as it has always been within the Seventh-day Adventist church. And, yes, that is what we are affirming.

      Most Seventh-day Adventists in Samoa now keep “Sabbath” on Sunday, which is out of harmony with the rest of the Seventh-day Adventist church, being on a different day of the week and a different day of the month.

      Sunday keeping is “justified” by pretending to be on the other side of the date line on weekends, where Samoa used to be located, and that’s probably why you call it the “old Sabbath.” Unfortunately, keeping the Sabbath of a different time zone results in keeping the first day of the week, which other churches celebrate in memory of the resurrection. It is not the biblical Sabbath.

      When Sunday-keeping missionaries first came to Tonga and Samoa, they mistakenly named the first day as “Sabbath” because it was common in those days to apply the Sabbath commandment to Sunday. However, most churches know better now and recognize that Saturday is the biblical Sabbath. That may in part be due to the publicity on the topic generated by Sabbath-keeping Christians. However, in Samoa the Christian world is thrown into confusion by the “Adventist” claim that Sunday is really the biblical Sabbath.

      It seems to me that we ought to stand for simple truth rather than confusion.

      Also please see Error Is Never Harmless. It is our aim to combat errors surrounding the seventh-day Sabbath as we recognize them.

  2. Dear Elena,

    The 7th-day Sabbath is clearly stated in Genesis 2:1-3. It comes after preparation day and before the 1st day of the week, as stated in Mark 15:42-42 and Luke 24:1-7. The global 7th-day Adventist family follows the current calendar that shows the 7th day is the 21st of April, this coming weekend.

    If you Google the world time it shows what day and time it is anywhere in the world, and it will show it is Saturday, INCLUDING Samoa. To your point, “Where do you stand?” based on God’s Inspired Word, it is a very good question.

    Where do YOU stand, and others of the same notion that Sunday, the 1st day of the week, is the 7th day Sabbath? Where in God’s Word does it support what you say? Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t!

    God bless you as you allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to the truth, as it is told to us in God’s Word, and not as men mistakenly interpret it, as is the situation with the Samoan Sabbath SUNDAY, the 1st Day of the week.

    • Ian, according to that country’s regulations the 7th day does fall on what we call the first day!

      Isn’t this a possible situation where men seek to change time and laws? I have not commented until now because it is the most intriguing situation that I have ever seen. It is extremely complicated. We should obey laws only when they are not in conflict with God’s laws. Given this subject is very complex and CONFUSING.

      I am very sad and I cannot imagine how these dear brothers and sisters feel being abruptly thrust face to face with such a soul tearing choice. The world has come to such a time as this that we all will have to face if we live long enough. Extraordinary… I do not find many comments with a definite position for a particular time.

      Most of us seem to make abstractions, not daring or not knowing what to do. The problem is the “before and after” the arrival of the SDAs in that country I think. How can anyone accord that with the present situation? Isn’t the GC position reconciling with the past?

      Doesn’t it seem logical? On the other hand it opens the Pandora box of “Sunday” and “1st day of the week”. It’s like letting in the “horse of Troy” onto our precious centuries-conserved holy day.

      Oh I pray that our heavenly Father saves us in his omniscience, for helpless we come to Him.

      • Dear Ginger,
        Yes, the much talk can make it seem very confusing. You ask some important question and maybe I can help by giving a few answers.

        1. men seek to change time and laws?
        Time really has not changed at all in this situation.
        From New Zealand and on across Asia, Europe and the Americas, every Seventh-day Adventist has kept the same seventh-day Sabbath — on Saturday — as they have since Adventists existed.

        What Samoa has done is to stop being the tail of the day (keeping the Sabbath as it comes to them from America) and aligning itself with New Zealand at the start of the day.

        2. “I do not find many comments with a definite position for a particular time.”
        Yes, there is a definite time —
        The Bible makes it clear that Christ rose on the 1st day of the week after the Sabbath. We all know that day was Sunday. Christ rested in the tomb on the Sabbath. The day BEFORE Sunday is Saturday.

        The only reason its confusing in some of the Islands in the Pacific is because NOBODY knows where exactly in the Pacific GOD placed the “dateline”. The numbering of the meridians is purely a man made decision. Nowhere in the Bible do we find Greenwich, England called the center of the earth.

        The most logical way to go is for those Islands in the Pacific to line up with the countries close to them and with whom they regularly associate.

        3. “The problem is the “before and after” the arrival of the SDAs in that country I think.”
        That’s a very good observation. And history shows that both Tonga and Samoa were following the Asian time reckoning. Missionaries (Sunday keeping missionaries) arrived about 100 years prior to Adventists and they brought with them the same day count as Australia — that is — they are the first to begin a day on this round earth.

        In 1884 there was a meeting in Washington where MEN decided that Greenwich, England would be a good place to start the 0 count on longitudes. That’s the first time in history (though it was never passed as a law) that 180 decrees from Greenwich should be recognized as a dateline.

        Tonga and Samoa were both PERCEIVED, by some, now as being “on the wrong side” as far as the way they counted their days were concerned.

        We see this in some of the correspondence by Adventists who visited the Islands around 1896. They wrote stuff like “all the other churches are worshiping on Sabbath but they think its Sunday”.

        Tonga never did change — they stayed with the same time as New Zealand and Australia, which they had been following for years prior. BUT the Adventists decided to follow the American time reckoning (America being the last to receive each day) and thus got those Islands worshiping on Sunday.

        Samoa did change in 1892.
        In 1892 they had TWO July 4ths (in honor of joining the American time reckoning).
        Thus in 1892 Samoa celebrated an eight day week. Now they were no longer the first to start a day on the round world, but the last.

        Now in 2011 Samoa subtracted a day from their week and went back to join the Asian time count. Now once again they are the first to start a day on the round world.

        But Adventists say — wait — and start thinking the 180th meridian, and Greenwich as the center or Prime Meridian, somehow goes back to creation, when in fact it was MEN who decided on it in 1884 and caused the confusion in those Islands back then.

      • Dear Ginger,

        Thank you for your participation in this discussion. I can understand how these things may sometimes seem complicated and confusing. I hope that you will find this suggestion helpful.

        The General Conference has not taken a position on Samoa, as of yet.

        The South Pacific Division has taken the position of promoting a theory which would make out Sunday (the generally accepted 1st day of the week) to be the true 7th-day Sabbath in Tonga, Samoa, and on certain other islands. Based on Ellen White’s inspired counsel, I believe it would be wisest not to give any such ideas “the least credence.”

        From there, I believe the matter really becomes quite simple, as Ian and Ulrike have suggested. It’s not really a matter of “changing times and laws.” Samoa has every right to choose to align its dates with New Zealand, rather than with the USA. After all, the day has to start somewhere. So, let’s honour God by keeping His Sabbath whenever the 7th day (Saturday) arrives, wherever we may happen to be.

        May God richly bless you.

  3. Elena,

    Are you a First-day Adventist who keeps Sunday, or a Seventh-day Adventist

    who keeps the Sabbath on Saturday?

    • I would like for you to read what E.G.White said about the IDL. It is the snare of the devil to confuse Gods people. The Sabbath day the Samoa Tokelau mission is keeping is the true sabbath day of the LORD thy God. That is the sabbath from the beginning. God is allowing that event to test the faith of Gods people in Samoa. Praise God for the faithfull ones who are still trusting God in this time of testing and keep the same sabbath day.

      • Elena, it is quite clear that Ellen White was not referring to the IDL as the “snare of the devil.” Instead, she was referring to a “day line theory” which would result in some people keeping Sunday as Sabbath:

        Now, my sister, … I write … to tell you that we are not to give the least credence to the day line theory. It is a snare of Satan brought in by his own agents to confuse minds. You see how utterly impossible for this thing to be, that the world is all right observing Sunday, and God’s remnant people are all wrong. This theory of the day line would make all our history for the past fifty-five years a complete fallacy. But we know where we stand….(Selected Messages III, p. 318, from a letter written in 1900.)

        The “day line theory” was being agitated agitated at the time, and you can find out a little more about it an “The Eden Day-Line Theory,” an article in the Bible Echo shortly thereafter.

        It is apparent that the “day line theory” to which Ellen referred was a “day line” to be used specifically for the purpose of deciding which day is the Sabbath. The “day line theory” taught that, for Sabbath keeping purposes, the date line recognized by local island governments was to be ignored. Does that sound like something being taught in the South Pacific today? The issue was agitated for some years, as is evident by another article written on the subject in 1906, entitle, “A False Issue – The Day-line.

        So what teaching is now resulting in some people observing Sunday as the Sabbath? What teaching is “a snare of Satan”?

      • Elena, I do want to join you when you write, “Praise God for the faithful ones who are still trusting God in this time of testing and keep the same sabbath day.” These are the 300 or so faithful Seventh-day Adventists who are still keeping the same seventh-day Sabbath on Saturday, June 15, like Seventh-day Adventists in the rest of the world, while most of the church is keeping Sabbath on Sunday, June 16. The faithful 300 are keeping the same Sabbath on Saturday as did the early pioneer Sabbath keepers in Samoa who gave up much to keep God’s true Sabbath on Saturday.

        It takes courage and faith to stand against the majority – both in the church and outside of it. By contrast, keeping Sabbath on Sunday takes neither courage nor faith, because it is very convenient, allowing people to engage in the sports prominent on Friday evening and Saturday, and allowing them to do their shopping on Saturday. It does not take faith to follow the majority.

        It does take faith to stand apart and endure not only inconvenience, but the loss of friends, family and pastoral care because of the Sabbath truth that the Seventh-day Adventist church teaches, as stated in the 2010 Church Manual, p. 138:

        The Sabbath holds a special place in our lives. The seventh day of the week, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday (Lev. 23:32), is a gift from God, a sign of His grace in time. It is a privilege, a special appointment with the One who loves us and whom we love, a sacred time set aside by God’s eternal law, a day of delight for worshipping God and sharing with others (Isa. 58:13). We welcome the Sabbath with joy and gratitude.

  4. Dear Ginger,
    Thanks to God’s Grace we are already saved, if, we believe in Jesus. The great good news of the gospel tells us so in John 3:16.
    In regard to the Samoan SDA Sabbath dilemma the truth is in God’s Word. If you read Genesis 2:1-3 it tells us clearly that God rested from All His work on the 7th Day, sanctified it and made it Holy.
    Then read Mark 15:42 and Luke 24:1-7 and it tells us that the 7th day Sabbath is before preparation day, Friday and the 1st day of the week, Sunday, when Jesus arose from the grave. This day as we know it today is Saturday.
    Now if you pick up any calendar or Google World Time, you will find that the day/date are the same world over. If you check today, it was 21st April, Saturday, when the majority of SDA global family fellowshipped together. Tomorrow is the 1st day of the week, Sunday, the 22nd April. This is the same calendar we all use including Samoa.
    So, if you believe God’s Word and accept the global calendar, which 99.99% of the world uses to tell the day/date, then the situation is not at all complex or difficult to understand.
    I urge you to read God’s Word, forgive me for my presumption, but there is not Pandora’s box or horse of Troy, just God’s Word, to guide, lead and protect us! God’s Rich Blessings with you Ginger.

  5. The name ‘Lighthouse’ is an apt name for the Sabbath Keepers who are
    standing up to worship on the ‘true Sabbath-7th day of the week in
    Samoa calendar’ as opposed to the SPD’s recommendation to worship on
    Sunday. Jesus Christ is the Light of the World and He came to bring
    light. The Sabbath, the 7th day of the week is God’s Emblem that He is
    the Creator God who made the heavens and earth and all that is in it.
    Man complicates, God simplifies-He is the Creator God, we are to
    worship Him on that 7th day Sabath Day.

    Thank you to the Sabbath Keepers’ Network and this website that
    informs and gives a forum to read and comment. I appreciate the
    information in here which explains the history and the changes and the
    implications of these in Samoa which has brought about the confusion
    over the Sabbath matters in Samoa. Praise God for He is not a God of
    confusion. Upon reading the explanations and comments here, I too now
    understand the situation. Thank you and Praise God for accessibility
    to internet which makes one’s research easy to access information on
    this matter. Thank you to all involved and passionate for God’s
    honour. Praises to our Eternal Creator God’s Faithfulness to all His
    people throughout all generations. Shalom!

  6. If the government starts calling Wednesday Sunday, does that make it the first day of the week. Where in the Bible does it mention that Sunday is the 1st day and Friday is the 6th day. The only day that has a name in the Bible is the 7th day and it is called Sabbath. It is for us to know by God’s instructions how to recognize the days of the week. Man has made it so simple for us that we don’t have to depend on God but that is the Devil’s trick to have us all not depend on God.

    When the Seventh Day Adventist Church discovered the Sabbath truth in the 1800’s the next step was to discover how to recognize the 7th day. The church has been failing to do so for the hundred and more years and that is why the people of Samoa is now having that confusion. It will not stop with them. What will the rest of us do should the World Calendar be made law. Wouldn’t we be in the same predicament as our brothers now in Samoa. The church needs some truth bearers to teach its members how to recognize the true 7th day and no matter if the world calls it Wednesday, or Sunday, or Saturday, it would be the 7th day as instituted from creation.

    • Dear Phyllis,
      There seems to be no confusion in the world over which day is Sunday. It is recognized as the day of the resurrection, and it celebrated as such in almost all Christian churches.

      Knowing that Sunday is the day of the resurrection, the Bible tells us clearly that Sunday is also the first day of the week because Jesus rose on the first day of the week. (Mark 16:9)

      And what is the day before Sunday, the first day of the week? If we didn’t know any other way, we would know from Matthew 28:1 that the day before the first day of the week (Sunday) is the seventh-day Sabbath.

      It’s really not that difficult to recognize the true seventh day!

      If the world should ever adopt a calendar not based on a seven-day week, we would, of course, have a problem. But we have no business “borrowing trouble” that does not now exist.

      • Let’s look at Samoa beginning week July 3, 1892
        Had there been no change With change
        1st day July 3 = Sunday 1st day July 3 = Sunday
        2nd day July 4 = Monday 2nd day July 4 = Monday
        3rd day July 5 = Tuesday 3rd day July 4 = Monday
        4th day July 6 = Wednesday 4th day July 5 = Tuesday
        5th day July 7 = Thursday 5th day July 6 = Wednesday
        6th day July 8 = Friday 6th day July 7 = Thursday
        7th day July 9 = Saturday 7th day July 8 = Friday

        As we can see the 7th day was renamed Friday.
        – Was Friday the 7th day of the week, July 8, 1892, the 7th day Sabbath?

        1st day July 10 = Sunday 8th day July 9 = Saturday
        2nd day July 11, = Monday 1st day July 10 = Sunday

        Looking at the calendar for Samoa during the above week would clearly show that calling a day by a name does not make it the first nor the seventh day. Samoa had a week of EIGHT DAYS to make the change to the American calendar. After Monday July 4, the days of the week were renamed (as per the existing calendar): the 3rd day of the week (usually called Tuesday) was also called Monday, and so the 7th day of that week was called Friday (was it still the 7th day Sabbath?), 8th day was called Saturday (was this the new sabbath? or was it still the 1st day of the week), before going back to the next day calling it Sunday the “1st day of the week” and thereon it continued until it was changed again in December 2011.

        Giving two consecutive days the same name Monday and Monday does not make them the same day because the sun would have set and risen between those two days as it does between every other days. And erasing the name or changing it (as calling 6th day of the week Friday December 30, 2011, (as per calendar again), Saturday “7th” day of the week,December 31, 2011) does not mean that that day was destroyed. The days of the week are not as having seven bottles on the stand, side by side, and then one day we decide to destroy bottle number 3 or number 6, and the bottles readjust themselves so bottle number 7 becomes bottle number 6 and we add one bottle at the end of the line to compensate for bottle number 7.

        I believe there are only seven days of the week and as per scripture, the 1st day of the week comes after the 7th day and the 6th day comes before the 7th day, but I’ll maintain that calling a day Friday does not mean it is the true 6th day of the week nor calling a day Saturday makes it the true 7th day of God’s week. All the Bible told us is that the 7th day is called Sabbath and the 1st day comes after the Sabbath and the 6th day comes before the Sabbath. Am I to take it that which ever day man calls Saturday I must accept that to be the 7th day? In Samoa, the 6th day (Friday December 30, 2011) in effect was called Saturday December 31, 2011. Was that Saturday the 7th day of the week or was it Saturday the 6th day of the week? Had I been in Samoa, should I have observed that day as the Sabbath? Why not, after all it was called Saturday, and all Saturdays are supposed to be the 7th day of the week. Is that so?
        My conclusion is that we’ll all be wrong once we are following man’s calendar. We need to look to the Bible and go back to creation and observe God’s monthly calendar, which cannot and have not be altered by man nor the international date line. The more I read about the different calendars over the hundreds and thousand of years, and how they have changed from one to the next, and the international date line; (today I can carry western time and tomorrow I can carry eastern time) the more I am convinced that something is wrong with our modern Sabbath day observance. Our worship is a worship of convenience and it may have no bearing on the true 7th day Sabbath. After all isn’t that what the devil wants?

        • Dear Phyllis,
          There is one important point to clarify and that is there is Asian and American time, Asian +24hours ahead or +1day, of American time. So simply put, while we who live in Asia are enjoying the 7th-day Sabbath on Saturday, those living on American time are enjoying Preparation day or Friday, -24hours behind.
          When the first time change was made from Asian to Amercian; July 4th, 1892, was repeated or Monday as it is called. Therefore, a one-time 8-day week adjustment was made, but importantly, the calendar date and day name remained the same whether on Asian or American time.
          The same can be said of the 1-7-day week, it remains the same as for Asian as for American, except that Asian is +24hours ahead of American.
          On December 29th, 2011, Samoa changed back to Asian time and made a one-time 6-day adjustment, or -24hours on American time, to realign to Asian time. Here again, there was no recalculating of dates or renaming of days, simply an adjustment to keeping Asian time which is +24hours ahead of American time. The date and day sequence remained exactly the same as the global calendar the world uses today. God’s rich blessings with you and yours!

          • I believe the 7th day is the Sabbath Day and I also believe that man does not have the authority to increase nor decrease the number of days that make up a week. If I am observing the 7th day sabbath every consecutive 7th day and the government decides to increase a week to EIGHT DAYS, then in effect the 8th day is the first day of the week because the Bible says that the first day comes after the 7th day. If I am to compare the members who are observing the 7th day on Sunday today, then going back to 1892, the then members should have been observing the 7th day sabbath on Friday of that week and continuing thereafter every consecutive 7th day which would have been Friday, because Sunday, Monday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday puts FRIDAY AS THE 7TH DAY OF THE WEEK and the 7th day of the week is the SABBATH and SATURDAY WAS THEREFORE THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK AND HAS BEEN SO UP UNTIL IT WAS CHANGED ON DECEMBER 31, 2011 AS SEEN IN Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday, Saturday in a SIX-DAY week, and having SUNDAY as the 7th DAY. BUT as I said since Saturday became the first day of the week effectively from 1892, checking from Saturday, Sunday, Monday Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday (ending December 31, 2011)the week went back to what is was before the change in 1892 and therefore Sunday became again the first day of the Week and Saturday the 7th day.

            I would hold that had there not been that 8 day week in 1892, (which was not biblical), I would support a 7th day Sunday Worship today. But trying to make something right from what is already an error is only causing confusion. We made an error in 1844 with the Investigative judgment, and corrected it, and so those in Samoa who are still worshiping on Sunday believing it to be the 7th day should acknowledge that the 8 day week of 1892 changed the sabbath from Saturday to Friday and worshiping on Saturday up until December 24, 2011 was in effect worshiping on the first day of the week and that was an error. The week has been corrected and therefore they should be now worshiping on Saturday.

            About the proposed World Calendar: After the sixth month, June 30th Saturday the 7th day of the week, the next day WILL BE CALLED “W” DAY AND NOT SUNDAY THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK. Wouldn’t that change the week for Sabbath Keepers who believe that the Sabbath comes every 7th day?

    • Hi Phylis
      Do you think God or satan wants us amalgamated with all the churches of false man made worship?

      I want to be very clear in my stand for my precious Saviour. When HE comes back, my banner will be clear, I will be standing on the day that HE sanctified and made Holy. The early Samoans came from Asia and kept their days in line with NZ and Australia. It was the missionaries coming from America that brought the early confusion of days. Then in 1892 the Samoan govt under persuasion of American traders added an extra Monday to make an 8 day week to align with America.

      The 7 day cycle since creation is a deception, the cycle in Samoa is only 120 years old. The islands shut down on Sunday and this convenience has worked into the hands of Satan in lulling a sleeping church into Sunday worship.

      I know without any doubt which day God has called me to worship here in Samoa, I see what being obedient has brought to my life and I praise Jesus for HIS continual development in my relationship between HE and I.

      But I also know that my God has a big picture, a huge plan, and as special as my relationship with HIM is, I am only a small part of this plan and in no position to judge or know HIS plan or relationship with anyone else. I know HE wants myself and the group that I worship with to stand and be a light in obedience to the day HE sanctified and made Holy.

      I couldn’t agree with you more that the church needs truth bearers to stand in the testimony of Christ and shine a light in this dying world about Gods Holiness and HIS real and loving relationships (Eternal ones)
      REMEMBER because HE knew the majority would be deceived and would conveniently forget!

      • If I lived in Samoa and had knowledge of the pre 1892 sabbath observance but was led to believe because of the 8 day week, that “Saturday’ was the 7th day, then in all fairness I’ll accept that I was worshiping on a day that was not the 7th day, as from that 8 day week 1892 Friday was the 7th day and every Friday thereon was the 7th day. And now that the days have been changed back to when it was before July 4, 1892, then it would be correct for me to now worship on what is now called Saturday as of January 7, 2012. To continue worshiping on Sunday would be to continue in the error of July 4, 1892. This sounds confusing and that’s exactly where the devil would like to have us. So going back to God’s calendar is the best thing. It is a hard choice but when we learn to depend on God and know how to observe the moon as per days, and know when a month begins, then we’ll have a true Sabbath. How can the Samoa Sabbath keepers worshiping on Sunday in 2012 preach to the those who worship on the Same Sunday believing it to be the first day of the week. I guess there is no need to preach anymore, for they are all one and the same. How convenient!

        • Dear Phyllis,
          You are 110% correct on all counts! But remember my comments in my previous response to your comments, regarding Asian time being +24hours ahead of American time. And the calendar date and day name, remain the same.
          You also hit the nail on the head, by obeying the 7th-day Sunday worship, is it possible that the same day can be a sign of God’s people and the mark of Babylon?

  7. Dear Phylliss,
    I thought I would add further clarity to your comments about the 7th-Day Sabbath and Saturday, as distinct from the 1st-day of the week, Sunday.
    You mention where in the bible does it mention that Sunday is the 1st day of the week and Friday the 6th day. Well, we know that God created the world and all that is in it, in 7-days; Genesis 1&2:1-3. So there is a sequence of 1-7days which today as it relates to the global calendar are named as 1st-Day Sunday, 2nd-Day Monday, 3rd-Day Tuesday, 4th-Day Wednesday, 5th-Day Thursday, 6th-Day Friday, 7th-Day Saturday.
    It is important to know what God’s Word says about the sequence of the 1-7-day cycle and where the 7th-Day Sabbath is relative to preparation day and the 1st day of the week:
    • Mark 1:42 “Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath”
    • Luke 24:1-7 “Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
    The names of these days are as follows:
    • Preparation Day – FRIDAY in the current world calendar
    • 7th-Day Sabbath – SATURDAY in the current world calendar
    • 1st day of the week – SUNDAY in the current world calendar
    As you quite rightly point out, and based on God’s Word, it is important to know that the 7th-day Sabbath, is the day after preparation day and before the 1st-day of the week, and that this day is named Saturday based on the global calendar we all follow today, world-over.
    God Bless and may the Holy Spirit continue to guide us to His Truth so there is no mistaking His 7th-day Sabbath which is known as Saturday.

  8. I believe that, before we can draw any conclusions in regard to the right or wrong of things, or as to which day is truly the 7th-day Sabbath in a country or island group where a date line shift has taken place, we must first of all understand what has happened.

    The existence of a date line (or even a change in it) is not a trick of the devil! Some kind of “de facto” day line is an inevitable necessity on a round world where a weekly cycle is kept. Yes, it was God who made the world round and commanded us to keep the week.

    Each country or island group has always been free to choose its own orientation relative to where the weekly cycle was created. When, as has now happened twice in Samoa, a change is made between Asian time (where a country is deemed to lie east of the true orient) and American time (where it is deemed to be west of the orient), this does not represent a calendar change, nor a renaming of days. It is the functional equivalent of traveling across the date line. A day is dropped from one’s reckoning (as with Ellen White sailing to Australia) or added to it, in order to be in sync with the weekly cycle that has been kept, since creation, on that side of the date line.

    So, when we start talking about days having been renamed, or suggesting (for instance) that Friday could possibly be something other than the 6th day of the week, are we not operating on mistaken assumptions? Friday is, after all, the 6th day by definition.

    Let’s not outwit ourselves. Civil governments have the right to effect date line shifts. They are not messing with the calendar, much less with the weekly cycle! When the sun sets on Friday, that’s when the Sabbath begins. Aren’t you glad it really is that simple?

  9. This week we saw one of the first manifestations of evil from the Sunday keeping dilemma in Samoa. I hope that those worshiping in Samoa will start to wake up!

    Last week my family, a visiting Samoan pastor from Australia, and a friend from New Zealand visited and spent Sabbath with a family in Savaii, who are the first family on the island to stand for the Sabbath and leave Sunday keeping. We had a blessed Sabbath and traveled home on the 4 pm ferry. Early this week we were informed that since the SDA church in their village now worships on Sunday, as do all the other churches, this family has now been banned by the village council from holding worship services in their own home on Saturday.

    The devil has used confusion, convenience and compromise right throughout history to try and destroy God’s truth, and in these end times it is no exception.

  10. Hi guys….. June, July, August, September, October……. I think we have received answers through our prayers and petitions that the Lords day falls on Sunday…..

    • Dear King (is that really your name??)
      You have much company, of course, in believing and asserting that the Lord’s Day falls on Sunday. Almost all Christians believe the Same – all except for a tiny minority of Christians who call themselves Seventh-day Adventists. Very early in their movement they were introduced to the biblical seventh-day Sabbath, which falls on Saturday, as can be easily determined by the fact that resurrection day is still recognized as being on Sunday by all the world. And the Bible tells us that the Sabbath came just before the resurrection. That is, the biblical Sabbath is the day before the resurrection.

      Most of Christianity, except for Sabbatarians, including Seventh-day Adventists, celebrate the day of the resurrection on Sunday, rather than the biblical Seventh-day Sabbath.

      What is utterly astonishing is that there are Seventh-day Adventists in the South Pacific who are joining their Christian neighbors in celebrating the resurrection as the “Lord’s Day” but privately calling it the Seventh-day Sabbath.

      The Lord called the Sabbath a “sign” between Himself and His people. Where is the “sign” for those who choose to believe that resurrection day is the seventh-day Sabbath day?

  11. Dear Inge,

    King is really my name… You might be thinking why they name me King,lol…. I was born in Hawaii and my Samoan parents named me after King Kamehameaha of Hawaii.

    I wanna thank you and R.G White for the wonderful comments.

    I live in American Samoa and a full time servant for Jesus in my church and at work. I thank God for the 3 Angels Message that saved a sinner like me. Just thinking about God’s grace for us through his son Jesus and how he died on Calvary for our sins brings tears of humility to my eyes knowing that I am nothing without his love. If it wasn’t for the full gospel of his love through the 3 Angels Message I would be subconsciously lost through my old ways of living. I have learned to be in love with the word of God knowing that there are Gods people in all churches in Samoa including my LMS, Mormon, Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, Jehovah Witness, Assemblies of God, Samoa Independent Seven Day Adventist Church, Baha’i, Methodist, Anglicans, and even my dear SDA brothers and sisters that should still hear the Gospel of Jesus through the three Angels Message.

    I came to study that the Seventh Day Adventist Church is the True Remnant church having the Law Of God and the Testimony Of Jesus Christ which is the Spirit of Prophecy, knowing that there will be wheat and tares in the fold. I am home-sick for Heaven, that at this very moment I’m writing this comment I am shedding tears just thinking about how throughout history God had given His all, to save us all, not willing that anyone of us would perish.

    I’ve read most of the comments and thoughts people expressed on this site and it made me cry because of what’s going on in Samoa. I cry because of my love for the souls of my people and the whole world. Each one of us are so special and unique in our own ways to our Heavenly Father because there is only one of us there will ever be, and if we are lost because of disobeying God on the wrong day, we will be lost forever. I ask humbly for your prayers for our family, especially myself. God saved me for a special mission in our Island, to teach and win souls for His kingdom. At first, it wasn’t clear but he had to mold me slowly into his righteousness, and everyday I need Him even at this very moment. I’ve learned to die daily in his love and came to know that I can’t obey Him until I have knelt down on my knees, broken hearted because of my sins asking for His forgiveness and accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior throughout the day.

    Inge, your thoughts on the real Sabbath might be right or wrong but as for me, I have chosen The Seventh Day, which is now called Sunday that our people for the last hundred plus years have kept as the Sabbath. Christ is near. We know he’s in the heavenly sanctuary pleading for us each and every day before our heavenly father, but until it all fulfills, when the first and second beast comes together and the seven plagues falls on earth and our Lord and Savior appears, then we will know who is right and wrong. If I am not caught up in the air on that day or being resurrected on the second resurrection after the thousand years in heaven I will know the reason why I didn’t make it to heaven, because I have knowingly accepted Sunday as the Seventh Day Sabbath only in Samoa and rejected Saturday as others kept it in Samoa. I will bow down on my knees looking towards the holy city coming down from heaven saying Just and True are your ways oh God for you are a righteous Judge. I will look up at that city of fire coming down to planet Earth on the last phase of Judgement, and I will Cry out “Inge Anderson, you were right that Saturday in Samoa is the real Sabbath day and I knowingly disagree with your view on it when I read it on this site.” God with those great big arms stretches out and embraces me one last time and in this embrace I will feel the love that I have rejected because He said “if you love me keep my commandments,” and I will say ”just and true are thy ways oh God, ” and there will be a unanimous decision to destroy the wicked including myself.

    God then rebuilds planet Earth, and the Bible says “from Sabbath to Sabbath we will worship God,”you want to know why?….. because just as Israel was commended to keep the Sabbath as a commemoration of their delivery from captivity, so we will ever keep the Sabbath as a reminder of our deliverance from this Earth….. I want to be in Heaven Inge…. God has a plan for our people in Samoa and let’s pray to God to teach us and our people what it means to love Him and to serve Him and to go into this world showing the lost the way to salvation………

    Homesick For Heaven,
    King Brown

    • Dear King,

      What a beautiful comment, praising our Lord and Saviour for His great salvation! It was with wonderment that I read your description of the possibility of being eternally lost because Inge had told you which day is the Sabbath in Samoa, but you had knowingly disagreed. This fills my mind with questions.

      1) Do you believe that God will sentence anyone to eternal death, just because that person had made an honest mistake?

      2) Do you think it could be a sin for anyone (you or me) to disagree with Inge, or do we need to base our decisions on the authority of the inspired writings?

      3) If you pray for God to show you, personally, which day is the Sabbath in Samoa, and if you diligently seek for the answer, do you believe that God will make it clear to you — or do you think it is His will for you to gamble by choosing one position or the other on the basis of inclination or convenience?

      Please, brother, God is not willing that any should perish — not you, nor others whom you may cause to stumble by adopting the wrong position. Make sure work, for the honour of God’s name. He will help you!

    • Talofa King

      I’ve read your postings with great interest and am particularly interested in your following comments;
      1. “I live in American Samoa…”
      2. “…I have chosen The Seventh Day, which is now called Sunday that our people for the last hundred plus years have kept as the Sabbath”.

      Kindly clarify for me:
      (a). When did the Seventh Day in AMERICAN SAMOA become SUNDAY?
      (b). Other than noted in (c) below, I thought ‘our people’ both in American Samoa and Samoa for the last hundred plus years kept the Sabbath Day on the SEVENTH DAY of the week which for both Samoas fell on SATURDAY. I thought ‘our people’ in American Samoa have continued to do so to the present time including the Sabbath tomorrow (20 Oct 2012? Have I wrongly assumed this?
      (c). I have checked an official calendar for SAMOA and found that the FIRST DAY of the week is still SUNDAY and the SEVENTH DAY of the week still falls on SATURDAY not withstanding the realignment of the IDL in Samoa on 29 Dec 2011. Is this incorrect – ie the 1st day and the 7th day of the week in Samoa at present still fall on Sunday and Saturday respectively?

      I admire your passion for the truth, and that is why I’ve asked the above questions as I too am searching for the truth.

      Have a great day.

      Enoka

    • Dear King,

      Thank you for explaining about your name. It makes this discussion so much more interesting when contributors tell a little bit about their background. :)

      I am moved by your testimony, but I am concerned about part of it. You seem to suggest that if someone should keep Sabbath on the wrong day after hearing good reasons presented for the “right” day, that that would automatically exclude that person from heaven. I have noted similar arguments from both sides of the argument-those favoring Sunday as the “real” Sabbath and those continuing to keep the local seventh day, Saturday, as Sabbath.

      It concerns me, because such a belief misrepresents the God I serve. Even you seem to suggest that there may be people in a saving relationship with Christ in other denominations. Thus how can you believe that you would be lost by keeping a day different from the one we promote? Or did I misunderstand that?

      I believe that none of us will be saved by what we do – whether we keep the “right” day or the “wrong” day. Instead, it is only the sacrificial life and death of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, that saves us. We are clothed in His righteousness when we accept Him as Saviour and Lord of our lives. When we do that, He will effect a transformation of our hearts, so we will do His will. Of course, this is not automatic. We need to consciously choose Him as Lord every day, and we need to spend one-on-one time with Him so that we may recognize His voice. It is a daily matter, and it is a growing matter. We grow in our devotion and love to our Lord as we spend time with Him.

      When we are in that kind of a relationship with Christ His righteousness covers us, whether or not we have come to a full understanding and practice of the truth as it is in Him. Sunday keepers can be saved in such a relationship. And Sabbath keepers can be lost if they do not have such a relationship.

      As I have noted the reasons why people have continued to keep Saturday as Sabbath, it seems to have been from a deep sense of conviction, rather than any arguments. I remember some of them saying that they could not refute the arguments presented in favour of Sunday keeping, but they were convicted about the importance of continuing to keep the same seventh day, known as Saturday, as they had always kept. They are keeping Sabbath on Saturday to honour their Lord and Saviour.

      On the other hand, I’m sure there are many among Sunday keepers who sincerely believe they are keeping that day to honour their Lord, and I believe that the Lord accepts the intent of their hearts as obedience. The day doesn’t count nearly as much as the submission of the life and heart to Jesus. The day is only a sign of this. After all, the Lord has said, that the Sabbath is a sign between Him and His people that He is the Lord who sanctifies us.

      It also seems to me that in order to be a “sign,” the Sabbath has to be a mark of distinction from the rest of society around the believer. Thus the same day that everyone else keeps and that is commanded by civil law (as in Tonga) is not likely to be the Lord’s sign. (See Ex. 31:13, for example.)

      What do you think?

      May the Lord bless you and keep you and prepare you to see His face in heaven :)

      In Christian love,
      Inge

  12. Inge
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject. I am a Tongan and also an SDA member. I just want you and all who will read this to know that Tonga SDA didn’t keep Sunday because of a civil law. The Constitution of Tonga was passed in 1875 and a part of it is for the people to keep Sunday as the Sabbath. The king of Tonga George 1 wanted to follow all what the Bible is teaching and he was baptized by immersion around 1831. There is nothing in the Constitution to say that no one is allowed to keep any other day as their Sabbath.

    The reason why SDA in Tonga keep Sunday comes from a mistake done by Early missionaries (LMS – 1797 & Methodist 1826). They came from England and Australia to the pacific bring with them their time (day sequence).

    After 1884 the consensus about the dateline for the changing of days in the 180 degree median with the exception of islands of one country to have the same day like Fiji, New Zealand, Alaska etc.

    Samoa corrected this mistake in 1892 by adding a day and the day of the seven-day cycle that was used to be Sunday was called Saturday. Cook Islands corrected their sequence of days in 1899 and the day that used to be Sunday was changed to Saturday. Tonga didn’t change but continued with the mistake done by LMS & Methodist missionaries in calling the day Sunday. Historian Wood stated that Tonga continued with Eastern Hemisphere time was for trade & commercial with New Zealand & Australia.

    SDA missionaries arrived in Tonga from USA in 1891 and about to worship on Saturday (Sabbath) which they noticed it was locally called Sunday. They called the day Sunday because of the mistake that I mention above.

    Merritt Kellogg, E. Hilliard & Edwin Butz dialogue about this problem with John Andrews (GC President) and Stephen Haskell (Avondale lecturer) and others between 1893-1900. There were many suggestions made; John Andrew suggested for 168 degree median for the dateline; Stephen Haskell suggested to keep Saturday & Sunday; etc but the solution for the problem was the 180 degree median dateline to be used. Countries to the west of the line observe eastern (Asiatic) days, while countries to the east follow western American) days.

    More than 100 years passed, we start to discus the same problem again. The Church on all levels has discussed this and come to the same conclusion. The STM, TPUM, SPD & GC BRICOM committee all agreed on this issue.

    Love from your SDA Brother in Christ – Happy Sabbath for those in the Eastern Hemisphere like me.

    • Dear Steve,

      I trust that Inge will have a reply for you. Nevertheless, I hope you will not mind if I share my understanding on a few of the matters which you have raised, as at the moment I may be a bit less busy than she. ;)

      You wrote:

      “The reason why SDA in Tonga keep Sunday comes from a mistake done by Early missionaries (LMS – 1797 & Methodist 1826). They came from England and Australia to the pacific bring with them their time (day sequence).”

      I find it interesting that you have called this a “mistake.” In order to really be a mistake, what the LMS and Methodist missionaries did must have been in conflict with the existing day line, at the time. Fortunately, by working backward from subsequent history, we can have a very good idea of where the day line actually was in 1797 and 1826. Here is how that goes:

      In the period immediately after 1884, several island groups shifted the day line westward across their territories. At a minimum, these would have included Samoa (and American Samoa), Kiribati, Wallis/Futuna, and the Cook Islands. So, in 1826, the day line must have lain to the east of those island groups. Also, the day line lies to the east of Tonga today, and no changes have ever been made there. In 1867, the day line was shifted westward across Alaska, and in 1844 eastward across the Philippines.

      Therefore, as a rough idea of where the day line was in 1797 and 1826, it would have passed down the border between Alaska and what was declared to be British Columbia in 1840. From the end of the Alaska panhandle, the day line would have moved out into the Pacific, passing to the west of Hawaii, but to the east of Kiribati, the Cook Islands, Samoa, and Tonga. From there, it would have crossed westward to pass between Borneo and the Philippines, and then eastward to pass to the east of New Zealand.

      This existing day line would not have been in the path of the LMS and Methodist missionaries on their way to Tonga from the direction of Australia — unless they psssed to the east of the Philippines, thus crossing the day line twice — once in each direction!

      Now, I understand that, prior to the arrival of those LMS and Methodist missionaries, Tonga had not been following the 7-day week at all. However, as the original Tongans evidently came from the direction of Asia, it would have been the Asian week that had since been forgotten or abandoned.

      So, whether we say that Tonga should still have been on the Asian week, or whether we say that the orientation of Tonga’s week was “up for grabs,” either way it would not be fair to say that the LMS and Methodist missionaries made a mistake in using the Asian week in Tonga. I perceive that you must have been saying this on the basis of some kind of “natural” 180-degree meridian day line theory. Your comments in regard to Samoa and the Cook islands correcting a “mistake” must have been based on the same theory, but where can we find any validity for such a theory?

      Your account of the consultations that took place between 1893 and 1900 is very interesting. Assuming it to be accurate, I find it almost incredible that the discussion should have centred on the question of where to “place the day line,” as if churches or individuals had any right or power to do this for themselves. I can only think that this must have been a reflection of the great ignorance then pervading American society in regard to the nature of the day line! Such ignorance, of course, would not have been primarily the fault of our intelligent, God-fearing, and well-meaning pioneers! One might wish that our pioneers had been able to see that any day line theory of their own would necessarily be doomed by the same fatal flaw as the Eden Day Line theory to which Ellen White had said we must not give “the least credence.” See “The Eden Day Line Theory,” as published in The Bible Echo in 1901. and Ellen White, Selected Messages, Vol 3, p. 318.

      No doubt our pioneers did their best to get it right. However, we do not want to be like the Lutherans, who persist in keeping Sunday just because Martin Luther never had the light on the Sabbath. God expects us to do what our pioneers would have done had they enjoyed the same light and privileges that are now shining on our pathway.

      If we follow the spirit of Ellen White’s counsel by not giving “the least credence” to the 180-degree meridian day line theory, then past day/date line shifts made by various governments become neutral — neither mistakes nor corrections — and of course it was no mistake for the LMS and Methodist missionaries to establish Tonga on the Asian week. We just need to keep the 7th-day (Saturday) Sabbath accordingly.

      I encourage you to prayerfully consider this matter.

    • Dear Steve,

      Thank you for your contribution to the dialogue.

      I did not mean to imply that Tongan Seventh-day Adventists worship on Sunday because of the draconian “Sabbath laws” surrounding Sunday observance in Tonga. (I read some of the laws and have never heard of stricter ones.) However, I did and do suggest that keeping Sunday like all the rest of the nation can hardly constitute a “sign” of God’s people.

      A sign is normally interpreted as something clearly designating a place, relationship or time. But if there is nothing to distinguish one entity from another, there is no “sign.”

      As for the history to which you refer, I don’t think that at the moment I can add anything to what R.G. White wrote. The way I understand it, what he wrote is exactly true.

      It seems that the early missionaries made a mistake because there was some confusion over the date line at that time – not just among Adventists but among other Christians as well. Many expected Tonga to move to the other side of the date line. But that never happened. And thus Seventh-day Adventists were left to worship on Sunday right along with the rest of the churches. So it seems to me that most Tongan Seventh-day Adventists have never really experienced what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist in today’s Sunday-keeping society.

      In other parts of the world people risk their lives by keeping the seventh-day Sabbath holy. Some have died because of their faithfulness. But things are easy in Tonga: Just keep the same day as everyone else.

      Please understand that I’m not saying that’s how Tongan Seventh-day Adventists feel or think. I’m just saying that’s how things are because of the practice of Sunday keeping.

      I highly recommend prayerfully reading the last chapters of the Great Controversy, beginning with Chapter 35 or thereabouts. Then tell me whether you can still believe that the Lord’s Sabbath can be Sunday anywhere in the world.

      After reading this, do you suppose all Tongans are part of God’s remnant people because they keep what you regard as “the seventh day?”

      We believe it is time that Tongans learned the significance of the full Three Angels’ messages. (See Rev 14:6-13) The Lord is coming back soon, and He wants to have a people that will be a Sabbath witness for Him in Tonga as in the rest of this world. (By the way, we understand that there are small groups of seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) keeping Adventists even in Tonga. So the light of the true Sabbath is beginning to shine there too.)

      The Lord loves the people of Tonga. He loves you, and He will convict you of His truth if you are willing to do His will when He shows it to you. He has promised this. (See John 7:17) In your case I believe that translates into being willing to keep Saturday in Tonga if He should convict you of it. It’s a matter between you and the Lord.

      The folks in Samoa who have remained steadfast in seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) keeping in the face of opposition from the family and the church report experiencing a closer walk with the Lord that they would not exchange for any worldly rewards.

      O taste and see that the Lord is good!

  13. Inge
    Thank you for the response and I am glad to search more for solution to this problem.

    I grew up in Tonga and worship God on His holy Sabbath (7th-day) from sunset on Saturday to sunset on Sunday. I was still a “sign” to the rest of the other Christians who were keeping the Sabbath from 12 mid-night. I knew than that we were the only country who kept Sunday, I also knew than the reason why. Throughout the 121 years of SDAs keeping Sunday in Tonga, many times leadership of the SDA church in the CPUM (TPUM-now), SPD & GC tried to sort out this issue and every time they came to the same conclusion that Tonga is right. The first time was in 1897 – (Merritt Kellogg, Edwin Butz, E. Hilliard, B. Cady, John Andrews, Stephen Haskell…etc)…The last time was 2005 – Tonga Mission, TPUM, SPD & GC BRICOM, this process was completed after 4 years, in 2009. The conclusion was the same; Tonga is keeping the 7th Day (right day) of the Western hemisphere where they are located. We call the day locally “Sapate” – that’s Sabbath.

    Sunday in Tonga = Saturday in American Samoa = Saturday in Independent Samoa (before 29 Dec 2011) = Sunday in Independent Samoa (after 29 Dec 2011). All the days above – is the same 24 hours of the seven-day cycle. They all go to church on the same time and same day (even though the name is different in Tonga & Independent Samoa – for commercial reason).

    These are few things for you to read:
    “When the Seventh-day Adventists subsequently went to Tonga from America they did not need to change the day, and so continued the observance of the day already observed, which is really Saturday, the seventh day of the week.”
    “A Pacific Cruise”, Sir Thomas Henley KBE, MP (1930) p 45

    When the Europeans who followed the missionaries came to these islands, they found the days wrongly named. And they corrected the names of the days in Tahiti, and then did so in Samoa. But in Rarotonga, Niue and Tonga, they still observed the wrong time, until the beginning of the year 1900, and then corrected the error in Rarotonga and Niue; so in Tonga only, the days are still wrongly named.”
    Pr E S Butz, – in Tongan Tract on “Sabbath Observance in Tonga and the Day Line” (1905)

  14. Hi Steve,
    The dialogue here has been very interesting.

    You have obviously been observing the western “Sabbath” on the eastern “Sunday” with conviction that it is the right way.

    For me the concern is a broader implication which the precedent of Tonga observing Sunday has brought to the Pacific Islands. As the day line moves further and further back to its pre-1890’s position, more and more Islands are observing Sunday as their Sabbath. This has raised concern among Adventists who see Sunday worship as the issue in the last day crises.

    You mentioned J.N. Andrews and Merritt Kellogg. I have the written dialogue between the two posted on my website. This occurred in 1871 before the International Meridian Conference of 1884 chose Greenwich as the Prime Meridian. At that time there was no official mathematical date line. Countries in the Pacific had accepted the week count as it was brought to them either from Australia or from America. J.N. Andrews suggested the “natural” date line would run straight through the Bering Straits which would be about the 167W longitude.

    We need to remember that another serious issue arising and plaguing the Adventist church as some zealous members began promoting an Eden Day line Theory that claimed the Day line (Dateline) should run through the Middle East where they thought the Garden of Eden was once located. This would put the whole Eastern World one day out, implying that the whole Eastern world was keeping the wrong Sabbath and should start observing Sunday as the true seventh day according to the Eden Dateline.

    Merritt Kellogg began having serious doubts as to whether there was a definite Sabbath Day. J.N. Andrews was able to convince him that there was.

    J.N. Andrews died in 1883 so he was never part of the Tonga discussions or had no knowledge of a 180th meridian being the converging point of eastern and western hemispheres as that was yet future.

    Of course when Merritt arrived in Tonga and found Butz and Hillard observing Sunday he was troubled.

    Now we must remember that the 1890’s were a time of uncertainty in the Pacific islands. Colonialism was at a height with Germany, England and America all fighting for a piece of the Pacific Islands. Nationals were not all that highly respected by the colonialists. The 180th, though never officially declared a terrestrial (land) dateline was being pushed on the Islands.

    By the way the 180th was only accepted as the nautical date line for ships on high seas in 1917, it was NEVER accepted as a terrestrial (land) date line, the countries being allowed to choose their own position to the date line. However, the colonial mindset was to get all the Islands to comply. Thus you see the phrases in old publications saying they had to be “corrected,” “they had the wrong day names,” etc. No, they weren’t wrong. Their “day line” was established in a different place than the colonialists decided it should be. There was a unity of time amongst the islands that was broken by the implementation of the 180th. Samoa did comply in 1892. Tonga refused.

    So of course the Adventist church was in dilemma, as they were from America and their thinking was influenced by the trend of the day. The situation as to what day it was on the Islands was very uncertain due to the agitation for them to line up with the new system with some Islands switching, while others (Tongan Islands) didn’t.

    So I can empathize with the early Missionaries trying to find some stability. However, once it became plain that Tonga was not going to let itself be pulled into the western hemisphere by outsiders, it seems to me that Adventists should have respected that decision and adjusted to eastern time.

    The same sacred hours observed in Fiji (which is only one hour different) would have been observed in Tonga. It’s the same 24 hours.

    Right now, if all the Islands back on Eastern Time would keep the same Sabbath, there would be great unity in the South Pacific. True, American Samoa would be the odd man out, but by far the unity between the islands keeping the same day under the same sun would be greatly enhanced!

    How many of those countries that were shifted into the western time, are now back in eastern time?

    • Dear Ulicia,

      Your remarks are so interesting and informative! You make an excellent observation when you say:

      “Right now, if all the Islands back on Eastern Time would keep the same Sabbath, there would be great unity in the South Pacific. True, American Samoa would be the odd man out, but by far the unity between the islands keeping the same day under the same sun would be greatly enhanced!”

      Of course, if your suggestion were followed, it would make another very important difference. The “line” which determines the “odd man out” would then be the International Date Line, which respects the legitimately chosen local reckoning in every country, rather than the currently used 180-degree meridian, which is a mere theoretical or private day line leading to the observance of Sunday in some places — the very danger which moved Ellen White to warn us not to give “the least credence” to the Eden Day Line theory.

      To my mind, this moves your suggested changes from the “good idea” category to the “absolutely imperative.” How else are we to agree with J.N. Andrews that there is a definite Sabbath?

      God bless!

  15. Ulicia
    Thank you for responding and it is truly interesting to search for solution to this issue.

    I am giving you these quotes to see that the 180 degree meridian was used for travel long before 1884. It was only in October 1884 in that meeting in Washington represented by (25 or 27 countries) that they found out that this was the best for the world to use.

    “In crossing the 180 degree Longitude east from Greenwich, the day was, therefore, changed, and put back: the week was made to consist of eight days, having two Tuesdays in it.” The Morning Post (London, England), Saturday, July 30, 1827.

    “The group of islands known under the general name of New Zealand is situated to the left of the westward of the 180th degree of west or east longitude and between the 34th and 48th parallels of south latitude.” The Cornwall Royal Gazette, Falmouth Packet and Plymouth Journal (Truro, England), Friday, September 20, 1839.

    I mention John Andrews in the dialogue because what he had written about the day-change line in “The Definitive Seventh Day” Pacific Publishing in 1871 was used by the pioneers in trying to solve the Tongan issue. It was solved by using the 180° meridian.

    At the moment SDA in the Pacific are keeping the same Sabbath (7th day) of the hemisphere they are located no matter what the day is called. The church uses the reference point 180° meridian (except for islands of one country to have the same day – like Fiji) for consistency in keeping the Sabbath in the Pacific. All changes will be done to the dateline in the future will not affect Sabbath keeping in the Pacific. I believe that if the dateline will be somewhere else in the globe, the problem will be worse (just something to think about).

    The church is encouraging the SDA members to keep on observing the 7th day of the week in unbroken succession. The week in Samoa was broken when Friday 30th December was removed from the Calendar, which makes Saturday the (6th – day) and Sunday the (7th – day).

    If we do not change, but continue observing Sabbath on Saturday simply because the government has changed the day, it will demonstrate to other Christians that we are not serious about identifying the true ‘seventh day’ Sabbath. They will know that we are compromising because of convention. They will know that we are really worshiping on what will continue to be the sixth day of the western hemisphere where we are located.

    So the issue here is not “Sunday worship”. The issue is true 7th-day Sabbath observance.

  16. Thanks, Steve, for your reply.

    I’m afraid that for me, the issue of true 7th day Sabbath observance, and not observing Sunday is one and the same thing.

    But let’s go back to the 180th question.

    Both the quotes you gave came from England!

    Now we know major decisions usually have some history to them, so when the delegates arrived in Washington at the International Meridian Conference in 1884 they all had ideas based on some substantial reasoning as to where the Prime Meridian was to be placed.

    The concept of longitudes was definitely not new. But there is no natural starting position for longitude. So they had to come to an agreement which meridian was to be chosen. It was popular for different countries to use their nation’s capital as the starting point, but other significant locations were also used. So yes, British cartographers tended to use the Greenwich meridian in London. England was at the height of its colonialist glory — the period between 1815 and 1914. Historians often refer to this period as Britain’s “imperial century”, and Britain claimed “the sun never sets on the British Empire!”

    We read about Britain in encyclopaedias– “Unchallenged at sea, Britain adopted the role of global policeman, a state of affairs later known as the Pax Britannica”.
    So is it a surprise that British cartographers won the day at the 1884 convention?

    However, prior to 1884 there was no such thing as an INTERNATIONAL Prime Meridian, and definitely no such thing as an INTERNATIONAL dateline.

    CONSISTENCY

    I realize the church in the South Pacific claims “consistency” due to the 180th Meridian. But I wonder, is basing the Sabbath on a meridian, consistency in truth, or in error. If I was convinced that a meridian identifies the Biblical Sabbath, I would have to choose Jerusalem as the Prime Meridian. And interestingly there was a time in history between 1844 and 1867 when countries had aligned themselves (without decree or official ruling) so the dateline pretty much ran about 180 degrees from Jerusalem (when Alaska and most of the islands were in the eastern time zone).
    But back to the Islands–it seems more consistent to have all these Islands on the same day, as they once were prior to the IMC. Governments have returned the same day and time to most of these Islands now. They could all be on the same day both by calendar, day count, and Sabbath!. All these Islands are under the same sun. Why shouldn’t the same sunset bring the same Sabbath to all these Islands – Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Guinea, New Zealand, Australia, Wallis, The Phoenix and Line Islands of Kiribati? AND I just read an article by an Hawaiian official, Rep. Gene Ward, suggesting Hawaii should be in the eastern hemisphere! And who knows, American Samoa may soon find it awkward to be a day out, and agitate for a shift as well.

    There is no Biblical reason why an arbitrary date line should divide these Islands in the Pacific. The official nationally recognized dateline allows most of these Islands to worship on the same day – the same sacred hours, under the same sun — the seventh day, called Saturday, recognized by the world church as Sabbath.

    The trend is for the dateline to move east, (back to where it was before being disrupted by 180th promoters). If it continues and the South Pacific church continues its present policy, soon most of the Pacific Islands will have converted Adventists into Sunday observers. I see this as a much greater possibility than the dateline moving again for Samoa.

  17. Ulicia
    Thanks for replying and it is good for us to discuss this issue that troubles a minority in the South Pacific. I still believe that the issue is the 7th day Sabbath observance, not Sunday worship. The question should be: What is the 7th day of the week? Let us ignore the name Saturday & Sunday, let us focus on figuring out the right 7th day Sabbath of the Lord. This is holy hours that God blessed and sanctified.

    Thank you for the information about the dateline and I believe that the decision they made in 1884 was a good one, 0° meridian in Greenwich, London & 180° Meridian in the Pacific for changing of days (we all know the exception for this).

    The reason why we discuss this for a long time is because the Bible does say where the day should begin. I wish that God said, “Let there be light…and the day line will begin here…” But that is not the case, the best we have now is the 180° meridian and it has been there for more than 185 years in England & more than 127 years after the 1884 meeting. I believe that God was with these people as they made that major decision in 1884 that affects everyone of his children.

    Samoa has changed the dateline twice in 119 years, in 1892 & 2011. Is it logical for someone to say that there is “a much greater possibilities (for the dateline to move east) than the dateline moving again for Samoa?”

    It was the Missionaries from England (LMS & Methodist) that gave the names for the days in the Pacific Islands like Tonga, Samoa, Cook Islands & Tahiti. Saturday was mistakenly called Sunday. Tahiti, Cook Islands & Samoa corrected this after the 1884 meeting at Washington. Tonga did not change for commercial reasons. Let me give you these quotes:

    TONGA DID NOT CHANGE AFTER 1884 FOR COMMERCIAL REASON
    “The day is rightly called Wednesday in Samoa, while in Tonga it is called Thursday, owing to the fact that, as Tonga’s commercial dealings are chiefly with Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, it observe the same days with those countries.” History and Geography of Tonga, A. H. Wood (1932) p70.

    “Tonga starts the world’s prayer. Actually it is on the eastern side of the International dateline and should observe American time, as does Samoa; but as its commercial relations are almost entirely with Fiji, New Zealand and Australia it observes the time kept by countries on the western side of the line.” “A Pacific Cruise”, Sir Thomas Henley KBE, MP (1930) p 45

    KIRIBATI CHANGED IN 1995 TO BE THE FIRST TO ENTER THE NEW MILLENIUM
    “How did the Republic of Kiribati become the first country to enter the new millenium? By shifting the International Date Line more than 2,000 miles east. So that it will be 2000 in Kiribati while it’s still 1999 in Hawai’i.” Honolulu Magazine, “Millenium” Aimee Harris, August (1999) p20.

    SAMOA & TOKELAU CHANGED IN 2011 FOR COMMERCIAL REASON
    The Pacific island nation of Samoa and its even tinier neighbor Tokelau are skipping Friday this week, jumping westward in time across the international date line and into the shifting economic balance of the 21st century. The time change, officially decided in June, is meant to align Samoa with its Asian trading partners;

    “In doing business with New Zealand and Australia, we’re losing out on two working days a week,” Mr. Tuila’epa said. “While it’s Friday here, it’s Saturday in New Zealand, and when we’re at church on Sunday, they’re already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane.”
    The New York Times “Samoa Sacrifices a Day for Its Future” Seth Mydans, 29th December 2011.

    SAMOA KEPT THE RIGHT SABBATH (SATURDAY) ON THE 7TH DAY FOR 119 YEARS. AFTER THE CHANGE ABOVE WHEN FRIDAY (6TH-DAY) 30 DECEMBER 2011 WAS REMOVED FROM THE CALENDAR, THE WEEKLY CYCLE WAS BROKEN AND SATURDAY TAKES THE PLACE OF (6TH – DAY) & SUNDAY TAKES THE PLACE OF THE (7TH – DAY). THOSE WHO OBEY THE SDA LEADERSHIP AND KEEP THE 7TH DAY (IT IS NOW CALLED SUNDAY – FOR COMMERCIAL REASON) THEY ARE KEEPING THE SAME 24 HOURS THAT THEY & THEIR ANCESTORS HAVE KEPT HOLY FOR THE LAST 119 YEARS. HOW CAN WE CHANGE GOD’S HOLY 24 HOURS WHEN A COUNTRY WANTS TO CHANGE THE ORDER OF THE DAYS FOR BUSINESS REASON?

    • Dear Steve,

      I trust that Ulicia will have a reply for you, but please allow me to respond to some of what you have said. You wrote:

      “I still believe that the issue is the 7th day Sabbath observance, not Sunday worship.”

      Of course I am disappointed that you are still in favour of seeking a theoretical 7th day. However, I understand that it may take time for us to cover all the angles.

      Perhaps the problem here is the question of authority. You have quoted several eminent men who clearly believed that anything out of harmony with the 180-degree meridian day line theory was simply and entirely a mistake. We have examined this question together, and have seen that the actual land-based day line, which has been in development ever since creation, has never been located at any particular meridian — although it could be argued that the 1884 Meridian Conference implicitly established a nautical day line at 180 degrees from Greenwich.

      Shall we accept the theory of a land-based day line on the 180-degree meridian because so many of our pioneers appear to have believed in it?

      What is the essential difference between Roman Christianity and Protestantism? As I understand it, the most basic point of departure is the issue of authority. Protestants will accept only the inspired Scriptures as their rule of faith and practice. Catholics, on the other hand, accept the idea that the church has power even to change God’s law.

      You will see this in the fact that Roman Catholic leaders have often stated quite frankly that the practice of Sunday (1st day) observance is nowhere endorsed in the Scriptures — that the Bible actually enjoins the observance of the 7th day (Saturday) as the Sabbath. However, Sunday observance is consistent with their (Roman) view that the church is above the Bible.

      Right now, I can see a similar crisis developing within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Pacific. We have had so many church fathers, as well as current pastors and administrators, endorsing the idea that Sunday keeping can be O.K., provided we have a good enough theory to “prove” that it is really the 7th day! On the other hand, we have Ellen White (whom we know to be inspired) testifying in the strongest possible terms that the world cannot be “all right in keeping Sunday” anywhere in the world. In other words, the name “Sunday,” along with the day number (1st day) which it implies, is the deciding factor with her. A theory (the Eden Day Line theory) which would lead to “Sabbath keeping” on the day called “Sunday” is, in her words, a “snare of Satan.”

      Thus we see the sharpest disagreement between the teachings of many of our church fathers and present-day administrators, on the one hand, and the ringing testimony of the Spirit of Prophecy, on the other. Which shall we heed? Is church tradition our highest authority, or does inspiration have ultimate authority over the church?

      I believe that this question is at the very heart of the matter, dear brother Steve. Please do not decide in haste.

      The great obstacle both to the acceptance and to the promulgation of truth is the fact that it involves inconvenience and reproach. This is the only argument against the truth which its advocates have never been able to refute. But this does not deter the true followers of Christ. These do not wait for truth to become popular. Being convinced of their duty, they deliberately accept the cross, with the apostle Paul counting that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” with one of old, “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” 2 Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 11:26. {GC 460.1}

  18. Thanks, Steve for sharing the history of the dateline shifts. I think we agree on a number of things like the need for a dateline on a round world, and that there have been numerous changes to the dateline in the past couple centuries. We also agree that it is important to worship on the day that God sanctified and blessed.

    I have read the papers supporting the Sunday decision, but in honesty I must confess it raises more questions than it answers.
    I fear that we may go round and round in circles here. Because, in the end, it seems it’s all based on whether we accept the 180th meridian as counted from Greenwich being the Prime meridian, as being God’s divine divide of time. You apparently feel confident that it is so. I have major questions on that point.

    It is true Samoa changed twice. But we must ask WHY?

    1) 1892 Because of colonist pressure and their zeal to make the British nautical dateline the terrestrial dateline, Samoa consented to the pressure and moved a day behind her neighbors of Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand etc. (Other Islands, like the Cook Islands, were also “adjusted” in this way)

    2) 1922 Samoa, now under New Zealand “protection” wanted back into the eastern Time Zone but America objected

    3) 2011 Samoa, now independent, made the legitimate choice to return to eastern Time Zone.

    I don’t see this as an arbitrary movement by the Samoan’s themselves. I see this as a country taken out of their natural time by the imperial colonists and trying to get back – and finally achieving their goal.

    Samoa was riddled with strife in the 1890’s and accepted foreign intervention.
    Tonga on the other hand was much stronger and held to time that was more natural to their position.
    I see no reason why Samoa would “change again”, for they are back on a time count that “makes sense’ and is in line with most of their neighbors. American Samoa may well change as they are the “odd man out” now. But I fear that would only create more Sunday observers under the present policy.

    Also we need to look at the 180th more closely.
    Your statement: ”it has been there for more than 185 years in England & more than 127 years after the 1884 meeting.”

    Actually, English cartographers tended to use the Greenwich meridian in London as the Prime Meridian prior to 1884 for their maps to be used in sea travel. It was not something officially imposed on any country to determine their time. It was a navigational tool. A tool to locate land masses on a map. So there was no 180th dateline even in England for that many years. Even the convention left it open for countries close to the 180th to choose their time count.

    The English missionaries who arrived in the early 1800’s or late 1700’s did not “unknowingly” cross an established dateline when they came to the Islands. They travelled there by ship, yet the ship’s captains apparently didn’t even know they had crossed any “dateline”. Why? Because none was established.

    Why did the 1884 convention choose Greenwich as the Prime Meridian?

    Let me share a quote from:
    International Conference Held at Washington for the Purpose of Fixing a Prime Meridian and a Universal Day. October, 1884. / Protocols of the Proceedings (Kindle Location 2122).

    “It is simply a question of practice—of convenience. We all bowed to the rule of convenience in selecting the meridian of Greenwich. And why? Because seven-tenths of the civilized nations of the world use this meridian, not that it was intrinsically better than the meridian of Paris, or Washington, or Berlin, or St. Petersburg. Nobody claimed any scientific preference among these meridians. It was simply because seven-tenths of the civilized world were already using the meridian of Greenwich.”

    And why were so many looking to the meridian of Greenwich by which to count longitudes for map making? Remember, the sun never set on the British Empire, and the English were masters of the seas, which was due in part to their many accurate maps, during that time period.

    So the meridian was set – because of convenience. Just as Tonga, for convenience choose to remain on Eastern Time when the pressure came to adapt to the new system. And as Samoa, who was “inconvenienced” for 120 years by being put on a day system out of sync with its bigger neighbors, now for convenience returned to the Eastern Time count.

    So basically, we still haven’t arrived at an answer to your very important question on figuring out the right 7th day Sabbath of the Lord for the Islands of the South Pacific.

  19. Dear Ulicia & R G White
    Thank you continuing in this journey with me; sorry this will be a bit longer because I would like to address both your comments.

    While much of Western culture still names Saturday the 7th day, that has not been the case in Europe since the early 70s. In European calendars the seventh day is named Sunday. What then do Adventists do? Why do they not meet on Sundays for corporate worship if the culture and government has named it the seventh day?

    The answer is simple. What matters here is the sequence of days. In biblical based counting the day named Sunday is not the seventh day. The calendar change in the 70s switched the numbering. So, the Adventists, like Jews, still keep to the seventh day, counted on the basis of how the Sabbath was calculated in times past, as attested by history, going back to the time of Jesus and his apostles. History affirms that we in Europe have celebrated the Sabbath on the seventh day in an unchanged sequence of days since Jesus.

    R G White, this is why I am saying that the issue is 7th day Sabbath observance. The only correct and consistent biblical equation for Sabbath is: SABBATH = 7TH DAY OF THE WEEK (Genesis 2, Exodus 20 etc).

    In the Pacific, when Sabbath arrives, we are awake and ready, and where possible, we gather to sing and listen to God’s Word on the new Sabbath. In most places that happens on the week day which in our calendars is called Friday. Now, in Samoa as it has been for some time in Tonga, we welcome the Sabbath on Saturdays. But the name of the weekday is not important. What matters in Samoa, (as in Europe after the calendar change), is the sequence of the days. The Sabbath day they are keeping now in Samoa together with the leadership of the STM, is exactly the same Sabbath day they have kept in the last 119 years. American Samoa is keeping that same Sabbath too.

    I agree with you that an actual land-based day line (from creation) has never been located at any particular meridian. I said before that I believe that the 180° meridian is the best for us to use now and that’s what the leadership of the church are doing.

    R G White you said:
    Shall we accept the theory of a land-based day line on the 180-degree meridian because so many of our pioneers appear to have believed in it?

    No. We accept this because this is the best that we can use now, it is logical and consistency will be maintained in keeping the Lord’s Day. We will not skip from one 24 hours to another whenever a country decides to move the dateline (as you mention that every country has a right to join any hemisphere of their choice). Kiribati did that in 1995 to be the first to reach the new millennium. When that was done, they figure out the sequence of the days and continued to keep the 7th day Sabbath on the day locally called Sunday now because of the change of hemisphere. They were glad to continue keeping God’s holy 24 hours Sabbath on the 7th day, what they have done for more than 65 years.

    We are not talking about Roman Christianity (Bible & Tradition) & Protestantism (Bible Only) here. We (SDA) have no tradition here about the 180° Meridian. We are dealing with something that there is no “THUS SAYTH THE LORD” solution to (no Bible instruction of the whereabouts of the dateline). This is the best to our knowledge that we are doing right now.

    It appears to me that you two have a solution to this problem. When someone argues about something that it is not right, they must have the right answer for the issue. R G White & Ulicia can you please give us the answer. I know that you know where the dateline should be and we can put everything to order.

    Thank you for the information on Samoa’s change of dateline. History tells us that the change in 1892 is to put them in their right hemisphere to the 1884 dateline & for business with America. The move in 2011, the prime minister of Samoa tells us is for business with New Zealand & Australia. I don’t see it as “a country taken out of their natural time by the imperial colonists and trying to get back – and finally achieve their goal.” What about Tahiti (French Polynesia), Rarotonga (Cook Islands), American Samoa, Hawaii etc…are they going to get back too?

    Your question about the dateline whether it is God’s divine divide of time or not. I don’ know the answer for that, God through the Holy Spirit can work in you & me, even in those representatives (25 or 27 people) in the meeting at Washington in 1884. But this dateline is the best that I choose now. When you or someone else will discovers a better way for reckoning of time and the right location to the dateline, than I will move to that.

    You said this:
    Also we need to look at the 180th more closely. Your statement: ”it has been there for more than 185 years in England & more than 127 years after the 1884 meeting.” This is why I am giving you this quote again:

    “In crossing the 180 degree Longitude east from Greenwich, the day was, therefore, changed, and put back: the week was made to consist of eight days, having two Tuesdays in it.” The Morning Post (London, England), Saturday, July 30, 1827.

    R G White & Ulicia, let us continue to pray and dialogue, I know that we can come to an agreement in the issue.

    God Bless from Your SDA Brother in CHRIST

    • Dear Steve,

      Thank you for continuing to engage us in conversation, as we seek a mutual understanding. I’ll not try too hard to distinguish between your response to Ulicia and your reply to me. ;) Rather, I shall try my best to address what you have said in a way to help us understand each other.

      You speak of the ISO calendar. My sense is that this comparison is invalid. Simply moving the days around on a calendar does not change anything at all. It does serve to illustrate the importance of the names of the days in helping us keep track of their true numbers. Legitimately moving the day line is quite another matter, in which the government-initiated changes are real.

      You have done a great job, Steve, of making it clear that you personally do not see any actual validity in the 180-degree day line theory — but that you nevertheless favour its use as a private Seventh-day Adventist day line because, in your words, “this is the best that we can use now.”

      I will seek to show that:
      1) Use of the 180-degree meridian, as a private SDA day line, is not even an option for us, and
      2) There is a better solution to the problem.

      Firstly, as a church, we do not even have that option. The use of any private day line, in opposition to the generally accepted International Date Line, must result in our regarding as the 7th day, and observing as our “Sabbath,” a day which the general public believes to be either the 6th day or the 1st day — in some part of the world. Worse than that, the reckoning of the general public is based on a legitimate choice, made by their properly constituted civil authorities, between two legitimate options. In other words, our private day line will lead us to place our “Sabbath” on what really is the 1st day or the 6th day. This is obviously unacceptable. Also, if churches or individuals could choose their own Sabbath, then the Law of God, which specifies a certain day as the Sabbath of Jehovah, would be made of none effect.

      Secondly, there is a better solution, and that is to accept the real day line, which is defined by the aggregate of the legitimate choices made by the world’s societies as represented by their governments, and which is known as the International Date Line. What are the objections which have been made to this one acceptable course of action? I can think of three, the first of which may be easily dismissed:

      1)“We cannot let government decide our Sabbath for us. We might get the Mark of the Beast.”

      As intelligent Christians, I think we know that we must be a bit more thoughtful and discerning than that! We cannot honour God, nor do His will, by blindly opposing whatever our government does, even if it does have an incidental effect on our Sabbath observance. The fact is that, as Seventh-day Adventists, we believe the Beast is a church, not a government, so it would seem to make more sense to be careful in regard to the possibility of blindly following our church leaders. Yes, we must respect them, but we must FOLLOW only Jesus.

      2)“When a government moves the IDL, that action breaks the weekly cycle.”

      No, it does not break the weekly cycle, from a global perspective. The 7th day before the change and the 7th day after the change can both be traced back to Creation Sabbath in an unbroken cycle, in accordance with the officially chosen orientation, and that’s what counts. A one-time long or short week is something that we accept whenever we travel across the IDL. When our government moves the IDL, it travels across us, but the effect is the same.

      3)“If we change our Sabbath every time the IDL moves, we shall be making fools of ourselves.”

      This is simply not true. The general public, especially in a country next to the IDL, mostly understands the nature of an IDL shift. Accepting the change of reckoning is not making a change in our Sabbath. All other denominations make the adjustment, so we are really making ourselves look like rigid Pharisees if we ourselves seem unable to make the adjustment. Worst of all, the way I read my Bible, we really are acting like rigid Pharisees, and are not following the teachings of Jesus regarding the flexibility of the Sabbath which was “made for man.”

      So, if none of the objections to using the real day line are valid, what is the real problem? Here are a few suggestions:

      1) For our church leadership, correcting such a long-standing error, after 120 years of trying to justify it, will be a very humbling move indeed.

      2) For our Tonga members, who have been taught the 180-degree meridian day line for all of their lives, it cannot be easy to completely shift their thinking in order to adopt another approach to Sabbath keeping in their island group. Furthermore, the Tongan public will see that the Adventists now admit that they had gotten it all wrong for the past 120 years. This too will be a very humbling move.

      3) Some may feel that such a self-correction will hurt the credibility of the church and its message. I think it will actually help our credibility, but some may see it differently.

      4) Unless and until our church leaders change their minds, any group or individual who chooses to use the real day line must stand in opposition to them. We must all admit that there is a time for everything, as Solomon has said, but this choice could be very difficult, especially for individuals whose culture has taught them to highly respect their church leaders. Following culture, in this respect, is right, as long as we do not put our respect for church leaders ahead of our respect for God’s law and our concern for the salvation of others.

      I will close with an Ellen White quotation which I feel bears repeating.

      The great obstacle both to the acceptance and to the promulgation of truth is the fact that it involves inconvenience and reproach. This is the only argument against the truth which its advocates have never been able to refute. But this does not deter the true followers of Christ. These do not wait for truth to become popular. Being convinced of their duty, they deliberately accept the cross, with the apostle Paul counting that “our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” with one of old, “esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.” 2 Corinthians 4:17; Hebrews 11:26. {GC 460.1}

      The matter seems quite clear to me, Steve, but I recognize that you must act according to your own convictions.

  20. Steve,
    It is good to have a conversation with someone supporting the STM & SPD decision to keep Sunday in Samoa and other nations. We haven’t had many opportunities.

    There are so many problems with Adventists keeping Sunday.

    Let me list a few:

    1. Each generation of SDAs will have to be taught the reasons that Seventh-day Adventists keep Sunday (the first day of the week everywhere in the world). The only reasons given have been faulty — such as “the government changed the calendar and renamed the days.” This is untrue. The calendar used in Samoa is the same as it was before. We have documents from the Samoan government saying that Sunday is still the first day of the week. So who changed it? It didn’t change itself.

    2. The SDA Church has taught for a century that the mark of the beast of Revelation prophecy will be fulfilled when the authorities enforce Sunday sacredness. We never dreamed that those authorities would include our very own SDA Church!

    3. The 180 meridian may have been presented by SPD as the SDA Church’s date line, but where did they get such authority to observe a different date line to that of the nation? Not from Scripture. The Bible’s complete silence on the date line is a clear notice that the church has no authority to make such decisions. However, Romans 13:1-7 is very clear that we should:

    “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

    “Custom to whom custom” is an interesting term. We know that the only reason to resist the government is when they step over the line and make laws that interfere with our relationship to God. Shifting the date line does nothing of the sort. The day which was skipped is not “lost” or “stolen.” It was a correction much like a leap day, Feb. 29, every fourth year. A leap day does not make the length of the year any longer; it is a correction to make up for the discrepancy caused by the extra quarter of a day on top of the 365 days which every year contains.

    The skipped day (Dec. 30, 2011) did not change the length of the week; it was a simple correction which simply moved independent Samoa from a time zone closer to America’s to one more favourable for doing business with Australia & New Zealand. Even though a day is 24 hours long where each person lives, it takes at least 48 hours for every person in the world to experience that day (two rotations). Samoa moved from the later part to the earlier part. If you will study into the matter, I believe you will find that this is a fact.

  21. John Wallace
    I am glad to respond to your comment. Firstly to be accurate to your opening statement in Biblical language; I AM SUPPORTING the STM & SPD decision to keep the 7th DAY SABBATH in SAMOA & other nations.

    First, you mention about keeping Sunday (first day of the week). It appears to me that you are more concern with the name SUNDAY than the 7th-DAY of the week & SABBATH. Brother, I believe that we all cover this topic from all angles. We understand that the dictionary meaning for Saturday is the 7th day of the week; we understand that the dictionary meaning for Sunday is the 1st day of the week. We are discussing here a problem in the South Pacific (ONLY) for some of the countries that are close to the date line. I wish that the DATE LINE change was passed to be in your COUNTRY so you can deal with this ISSUE. I know you can deal with IT better than we here.

    We know that we need a DATE LINE to bring order and harmony among the nations in a round world. We know that the BIBLE does not give any information of HOW and WHERE the DATE LINE should be. We read in history of the Prime Meridian Conference in Washington in 1884 (October 14). The Meridian of Greenwich was adopted with 88% COUNTRIES in favor of this. It was the best of all the other Meridians and they (England) traveled more than any other country. There were 14,000,000 tons of shipping using the Meridian of Greenwich & only 1,733,000 tons using that of Paris (The Sheffield Independent (Sheffield, England), Saturday, October 18, 1884; p 16).

    Now almost 100% OF THE WORLD ARE FOLLOWING THE MERIDIAN OF GREENWICH – 0° and the International Date Line half way around the world – 180° Meridian in the PACIFIC (THIS IS UNIVERSAL). We all know that there are exceptions to this rule and every country (close to the date line) is free to choose the hemisphere they would like to join. Because of the NATURE of the DATE LINE, NOT STABLE and CAN CHANGE ANYTIME, I believe that the best way to deal with it as a church, who is trying our best to follow the BIBLE, is to take the UNIVERSAL MERIDIAN – 0° Meridian in Greenwich & 180° International Dateline. Also Remember that the SUN does shine to the world in STRAIGHT line NOT ZIGZAG. ALL THE COUNTRIES on the LEFT of the 180° Meridian keep the SAME SABBATH & ALL THE COUNTRIES on the RIGHT of the 180° Meridian keep the SAME SABBATH. We will have UNITY here and NOTHING will ever change our 7th DAY SABBATH. Sometimes the day will be called SATURDAY and sometimes it will be called SUNDAY, this is because of the NATURE of the dateline (MOVABLE & CHANGEABLE). But the question is, am I keeping God’s HOLY 7th-DAY SABBATH? The issue is not “SUNDAY OBSERVANCE” – THE ISSUE is to keep “GOD’S 7TH DAY SABBATH HOLY.”

    God created this world in SIX (24 hours) DAYS, on the 7th DAY (24 hours) he RESTED, BLESSED & SANCTIFIED it. We are still keeping the SEVEN-DAY CYCLE from creation, Moses & Israel kept it, Jesus & the apostles kept it, Independent Samoa kept it in the last 119 years. In December 2011 this SEVEN-DAY CYCLE was BROKEN when the FRIDAY 30th DECEMBER was REMOVED from the CALENDAR (to join Eastern Hemisphere). When FRIDAY was REMOVED, 24 HOURS was REMOVED from the SEVEN-DAY CYCLE WITHOUT A SETTING OF THE SUN. Because of that, SATURDAY took the place of FRIDAY as the 6th DAY, and SUNDAY took the place of SATURDAY as the 7th DAY of a CONTINUOUS SEVEN-DAY CYCLE of the week from CREATION.

    Let me ask you a question here, WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF SATURDAY 31 DECEMBER 2011 WAS THE DAY TO REMOVE FROM THE CALENDAR?

    I have seen that the arguments that are given against the decision of the SDA church depend on these arguments. Saturday = 7th day & Sunday = 1st day. This is what the dictionary gives and observes by many, but that’s not always the case. Many in EUROPE have SATURDAY as the 6th DAY, and SUNDAY as the 7TH DAY. This is why it is better to keep to GOD’S WAY of calling the DAYS. Why don’t the Adventists in these areas keep SUNDAY to obey the GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES? Because they know from HISTORY that that’s not the SABBATH of the SEVEN-DAY CYCLE that they have KEPT since CREATION.

    WHY MORE THAN 97% OF THE SDA MEMBERS IN INDEPENDENT SAMOA ARE KEEPING THE 7TH DAY SABBATH ON THE DAY LOCALLY CALLED SUNDAY NOW. BECAUSE THEY KNOW FROM HISTORY THAT THAT IS THE 7TH DAY OF THE SEVEN-DAY CYCLE THAT THEY HAVE KEPT FOR MORE THAN 119 YEARS NOW. THIS (24 HOURS) DAY TRACED BACK TO CREATION, GOD BLESSED & SANCTIFIED IT.

    John you mention the “MARK OF THE BEAST” that the church have taught for centuries. I see what you mean but it is more important for us to know “GOD” & keep “HIS HOLY 7th DAY SABBATH” than to focus on the “BEAST & THE MARK OF THE BEAST.” There are more in the 28 FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS of the CHURCH to focus on.

    I believe that the SDA CHURCH has followed the instructions of the BIBLE and E G WHITE in the process of dealing with this issue. There is nothing given in the Bible about the date line.

    Brother what you mention that happened in SAMOA was a CORRECTION and much like a LEAP YEAR, Feb. 29, every four years. THIS IS VERY WRONG, A LEAP YEAR DOES NOTHING TO THE SEVEN-DAY CYCLE OF THE WEEK OR THE SABBATH. You also said it was a CORRECTION. DO YOU SAY THAT INDEPENDENT SAMOA KEPT THE WRONG SABBATH IN THE LAST 119 YEARS?

    You said that:
    “Even though a day is 24 hours long where each person lives, it takes at least 48 hours for every person in the world to experience that day (two rotations). Samoa moved from the later part to the earlier part. If you will study into the matter, I believe you will find that this is a fact.”
    BROTHER CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE STATEMENT ABOVE TO ME; I WANT TO STUDY MORE INTO THIS MATTER.

    THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS FROM YOU SDA BROTHER IN CHRIST

  22. Hello R G White
    Thank you for continuing to communicate with me in this issue. I believe that we are trying our best to cover all angles in this topic to help us and others who are troubled with this issue.

    Thank you for addressing the ISO calendar. What I was trying to say that the Government Authorities (EUROPE) changed the numbers connected to the name like; Saturday = 6th DAY, Sunday = 7th DAY, this is not the normal numbers that we associate with the days of the week. SDAs in these areas are not keeping the Government’s 7th day, they are keeping the 7th day that they have kept in HISTORY and traced back to CREATION.

    This is why I am in favor of the 180° Meridian. We know that the BIBLE does not give any information of HOW and WHERE the DATE LINE should be. We read in history of the Prime Meridian Conference in Washington in 1884 (October 14). The Meridian of Greenwich was adopted with 88% of the delegates from 25 COUNTRIES in favor of it. It was the best of all the other Meridians and they (England) traveled more than any other country. There were 14,000,000 tons of shipping using the Meridian of Greenwich & only 1,733,000 tons using that of Paris (The Sheffield Independent (Sheffield, England), Saturday, October 18, 1884; PP). It appears to me that GOD was leading in this Congress, in was a major decision that affects His people. Almost 100% of the world is using the Meridian of Greenwich now. This is a UNIVERSAL MERIDIAN, it gives where the location of the 0° and that of the 180° – we know the exceptions to this rules.

    God created this world in SIX (24 hours) DAYS, on the 7th DAY (24 hours) he RESTED, BLESSED & SANCTIFIED it. We are still keeping the SEVEN-DAY CYCLE from creation, Moses & Israel kept it, Jesus & the apostles kept it, Independent Samoa kept it in the last 119 years. In December 2011 this SEVEN-DAY CYCLE was BROKEN when the FRIDAY 30th DECEMBER 2011 was REMOVED from the CALENDAR (to join Eastern Hemisphere). When FRIDAY was REMOVED, 24 HOURS was REMOVED from the SEVEN-DAY CYCLE WITHOUT A SETTING OF THE SUN. Because of that, SATURDAY took the place of FRIDAY as the 6th DAY, and SUNDAY took the place of SATURDAY as the 7th DAY of a CONTINUOUS SEVEN-DAY CYCLE of the week from CREATION.

    Let me ask you the same question that I asked John Wallace, WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF SATURDAY 31 DECEMBER 2011 WAS THE DAY TO REMOVE FROM THE CALENDAR?

    I know the constituted civil authorities that determine the hemisphere that Samoa joins. This same government have made two changes already to the Dateline (1892 & 2011). The probability of them changing the date line again is far far more than a change in the location of the 180° Meridian. That’s why I said that I believe that this is the best for us to follow. We are not lawyers to argue from the LAW BOOK, or the DICTIONARY, We are a people who are trying to follow the BIBLE to the Best of our knowledge. We believe that God created this world in 6 (24 hours) days and he rested, blessed and sanctified the 7th (24 hours) Day. This day is not movable from one 24 hours to another 24 hours, we have been keeping the 7th day Sabbath since Creation, and up to Moses & Jesus (we confirm this from history).

    Brother, again I think that we should not let the “BEAST” and the “MARK of the BEAST” determines our obedience to GOD. If the “BEAST” decides to keep the 7th DAY SABBATH – ARE WE GOING TO CHANGE TO ANOTHER DAY TO BE DIFFERENT FROM THEM?

    THIS IS MY OWN THEORY
    In Israel, God told them to build cities that were called CITIES OF REFUGE for the Israelites to run to in order to save their lives. Tonga for more than 121 years has been a COUNTRY OF REFUGE for Adventists if they have problems with SUNDAY LAW. Because the membership of the SDA increases a lot, now we have more that 16 million members. We need more COUNTRIES OF REFUGE, KIRIBATI is one, SAMOA & TOKELAU join now. If membership will continue to grow than we will need more COUNTRIES OF REFUGE.

    R G White I think we need to look at ourselves again and pray a lot to see what is the problem. In Tonga now we have a young king, KING TUPOU VI; he has made many many changes to the Kingdom of Tonga. WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF HE WILL INCLUDE SHIFTING THE DATELINE TO WHERE IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE, AND PUT TONGA ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE?

    Brother, I am praying for you and please pray for me, GOD WILL REVEAL TO US HIS WILL SOON – VERY SOON. Remember to think and use BIBLICAL LANGUAGE in talking about the days of the week & REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY, SIX DAYS YOU SHALL WORK… BUT THE 7TH DAY IS THE SABBATH OF THE LORD YOUR GOD.

    GOD BLESS FROM YOUR SDA BROTHER IN CHRIST

    • Dear Brother Steve,

      I appreciate your efforts to work with me in an effort to reach consensus. Your latest words show me that there are still more angles for us to cover, as well as previous angles that may be in need of greater clarity.

      I can see your point about the ISO calendar. We do need to resist any attempts to assign abnormal numbers to the days of the week. The ISO calendar appears to have assigned the number 7th to the day called Sunday (meaning the 1st day), in those countries where it is used. To my mind this is very similar to what our church leaders have done in certain countries, such as in Tonga and Samoa. Have they not also assigned the number 7th to the day called Sunday? It is true that the makers of the ISO calendar appear to have no reason for what they have done. Our church leaders do give a reason, the desire to use the 180-degree meridian as a day line. Is this really a good enough reason?

      It is true that the Bible is silent concerning a fixed location for the day line, but as we have seen, it is not entirely silent on issues related to the day line’s development. Is it possible that the Bible does not fix a location for the day line because God does not intend for its position to be fixed? As we have seen, countries and societies will change their local reckoning from time to time. If God had commanded us to observe a fixed day line, this would have forced us to keep our own reckoning in certain places, one which is out of harmony with that of the general public. My sense is that this would tend to cause confusion, at least among the uninformed whom we are seeking to reach with the message of truth. The Bible says:

      ”For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” I Corinthians 14:33 NKJV

      Could this be the reason why God has not fixed a location for the day line? The Bible also says:

      Surely the Lord GOD does nothing,
      Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.
      Amos 3:7 NKJV

      I understand this to mean that, if God had wished to fix a location for the day line, then He would have told His servants the prophets, so that they could have told us. We’d not have been left to speculate in regard to the matter. Do you agree that my understanding of this is correct?

      You wrote:

      ”Let me ask you the same question that I asked John Wallace, WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF SATURDAY 31 DECEMBER 2011 WAS THE DAY TO REMOVE FROM THE CALENDAR?”

      I will answer this with Scripture.

      ”… God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13

      I am thankful that God has not permitted such a perplexing scenario to confront His obedient children. God daily gives us the needed grace for each day’s trials and perplexities.

      ”Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11 NKJV

      I do indeed pray that God will open our understanding to reach a consensus in this matter. May you be blessed, beloved brother.

  23. Dear Brother R G White

    Thank you responding and I totally agree with you that there are still more angles for us to cover & need of greater clarity.

    Brother, I thank you for your point about the ISO calendar. It appears to me that your concern is the DICTIONARY meaning for the days of the week (with heathen origins). The BIBLICAL 7TH DAY SABBATH is more important than these heathen names. The Sabbath of the Lord is the 7th DAY of the week in the seven-day cycle. Calling the SABBATH DAY by any other name for any reason will not change it from being the 7th DAY of the week. Call ROSE by any other name will not change it from being a ROSE.

    I have given you historical quotes and geographical quotes about the reckoning of days in Tonga. All of these historians agree that Tonga has wrongly named the days of the week. They call Saturday, Sunday & call Sunday; Monday etc …THIS IS WHY THE SABBATH IN TONGA IS CALLED SUNDAY LOCALLY. The SDA leaders have nothing to do with this at all. I gave you all the quotes from missionaries who arrived in Tonga between 1891 and 1900 who stated what they saw. They found out that Saturday was wrongly called Sunday. WHAT MORE DO I NEED TO SAY ABOUT THIS.

    I am not happy with some comments in this forum (not by you brother) about the reasons why Tonga keep Sunday as the Sabbath. They said it was the SDA missionaries that wanted to be in line with the Tongan Constitution in 1875 (the Sabbath law) and keep Sunday. I would like to have the sources that these people collected their information from. I would like to read them.

    It is true that in Tonga the shops, schools, work places, airports, wharves and sports are all closed. This is a day for church only & family. There is nothing in the Tonga law about not allowing anyone to keep another Sabbath. There was a church in the 70s that kept Saturday in Tonga, it was called the World Wide Church of God, with 20 members than. Now they have no (0) members. There are about 5 people keeping Saturday now in Tonga, I don’t know what will happen in the future.

    I gave the UNIVERSAL reckoning dateline, 0° meridian in Greenwich & 180° Meridian in the Pacific. We know the exceptions to this rule were just for all countries to have one day like Fiji, NZ etc… All countries are also allowed to choose which hemisphere they would like to join. I also pointed out that the sun does not shine to the earth in zigzag. I believe that using the 180° Meridian is the best for us today.

    R G White, You said that:
    “Is it possible that the Bible does not fix a location for the day line because God does not intend for its position to be fixed?”

    I believe that the bible is silent in the topic of the location of a dateline but I don’t believe the statement above. I am giving you the text you gave, ”For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” I Corinthians 14:33 NKJV. God does not want us to be confused in moving from one 24 hours of the seven-day cycle to another 24 hours to keep our SABBATH. WHEN WE DO THIS, WE ARE SHOWING OTHERS THAT WE DO NOT BELIEVE THE CREATION STORY IN GENESIS 1 & 2. God created this world in 6 (24 hours) DAYS and HE rested, blessed & sanctified the 7th (24 hours) DAY.

    Is it your intention to say that we don’t need to keep the Sabbath “which is out of harmony with that of the general public…that this would tend to cause confusion, at least among the uninformed whom we are seeking to reach with the message of truth?”

    Brother, I don’t think that we need to keep a day or not keep a day because of the perception of the general public. We to keep a day because we know that that’s the right day to keep. We can reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You said that “if God had wished to fix a location for the day line, then He would have told His servants the prophets, so that they could have told us. We’d not have been left to speculate in regard to the matter. Do you agree that my understanding of this is correct?”

    Brother, I am in 45% agreement and 55% disagreement. What I mean is that in the Bible God called a prophet to bring His people back to the RIGHT WAY from the WRONG WAY. Tonga has been keeping the Sabbath for 121 years & the last process in discussing this issue was completed in 2009. IF IT WAS WRONG, GOD WOULD HAVE CALLED A PROPHET TO CALL US TO THE RIGHT WAY. THIS HAS NOT HAPPENED YET.

    I wrote this before:
    ”Let me ask you the same question that I asked John Wallace, WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF SATURDAY 31 DECEMBER 2011 WAS THE DAY TO REMOVE FROM THE CALENDAR?”

    This was your response:
    I will answer this with Scripture.
    ”… God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13
    I am thankful that God has not permitted such a perplexing scenario to confront His obedient children. God daily gives us the needed grace for each day’s trials and perplexities.
    ”Give us this day our daily bread.” Matthew 6:11 NKJV

    THE ANSWER PRESENTED HERE SHOWS ME THAT THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE AGUEMENTS PRESENTED. LET ME ANSWER MY OWN QUESTION. IF THE DAY THAT WAS REMOVED IN DECEMEMBER 2011 WAS SATURDAY 31, THEN THOSE WHO ARE KEEPING SATURDAY WILL WAIT FOR TWO WEEKS FOR THE SABBATH (one week with no Sabbath). THIS IS A BIG PROBLEM AND IT DOESN’T MATTER WHICH DAY THAT THE GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO REMOVE, THE SEVEN-DAY CYCLE WILL STILL BE BROKEN.

    THE ABOVE QUESTION FOR THE 97% WHO ARE FOLLOWING THE SDA LEADERSHIP AND KEEP THE DAY LOCALLY CALLED SUNDAY. THE SEVEN-DAY CYCLE STILL CONTINUES, THEY ARE STILL KEEPING THE 7TH DAY, THE DAY THAT THEY KEPT FOR MORE THAN 119 YEARS, THE DAY THAT THEIR ANCESTORS HAVE KEPT, BUT THE DAY IS LOCALLY CALLED SUNDAY NOW FOR BUSINESS REASONS.

    GOD BLESS, FROM YOUR SDA BROTHER

    • Dear Brother Steve,

      I thank you for your efforts, and for your Christian love.

      Yes, you have done a fairly good job of answering your own question, Steve. In the unlikely event that a government should choose to shift the day line eastward by skipping a Saturday, yes, that country would miss a Sabbath. You seem to be suggesting that this means we cannot ever accept that a country has shifted the day line. I believe this assumption is unwarranted.

      A similar situation could result merely from an individual crossing the day line going westward, and I don’t think we must therefore conclude that we can never accept the fact that an individual has crossed the day line.

      Perhaps you only mean to suggest that this is a good reason for creating a fixed day line at or near the 180-degree meridian. If every country’s government could agree on that, then I should make no objection to it. However, I must strongly object to the suggestion that a church or individual has any such option.

      Here is my hypothetical scenario. No Sabbath keeper would wish to travel across the ocean on the Sabbath, but I think we can all agree that there is a time for everything, depending on the need.

      Let’s say that I live in western Washington State in the USA, and the ox has fallen in the well, so to speak. I must immediately travel to Japan, in the Tokyo region. My flight, taken during the winter months, will be from Seattle/Tacoma to Tokyo Narita. The scheduled departure time is 3:00 on a Friday afternoon, with an estimated next-day arrival time of 6:00 p.m. That’s 10 hours of flying time, plus a 17-hour time zone difference. We are “chasing the sun across the sky,” so to speak, but we’ll be falling behind and landing after sunset.

      Let’s say the skies are clear, and by watching the shade of colour on the ocean I am able to see when the sun sets on the ocean below me. By watching a real-time seat-back map, I am also able to tell when I cross the day line. In this scenario, the sun sets directly under my airplane, the best I can tell, at the same time as we cross the day line. What had been a pending Friday sunset suddenly becomes an actual Saturday sunset. I have entirely missed the Sabbath for that week.

      So, yes, it could theoretically happen that a country’s day line shift, or just an individual’s crossing the day line, might result in the Sabbath being missed for one week. Personally, I see no need to stumble over such manufactured difficulties. I call it a “manufactured difficulty” because I know of no historical record that a Saturday has even been dropped from a nation’s reckoning. As I said before, Jesus will enable me to cross every bridge as I come to it, and God obviously intended for us to have a day line, with all of its attendant ramifications.

      Love and blessings to you, dear brother.

  24. Dear Steve,
    I sense a deep conviction in your heart that the Sunday/Sabbath the people in Tonga have been observing is the correct 7th day Sabbath. It is difficult for you to understand why people would question it.

    Let me try to explain a few points:

    You wrote:

    “It appears to me that your concern is the DICTIONARY meaning for the days of the week (with heathen origins). The BIBLICAL 7TH DAY SABBATH is more important than these heathen names. The Sabbath of the Lord is the 7th DAY of the week in the seven-day cycle. Calling the SABBATH DAY by any other name for any reason will not change it from being the 7th DAY of the week. Call ROSE by any other name will not change it from being a ROSE.”

    Answer:

    Let’s go back in history a bit. We agree that God numbered the days 1 to 7.

    Noah carried this creation week to the post flood world.

    The people following the Babel religions wanted to distance themselves from the Creator God so they renamed the days of the week after planetary “gods”. The first day being dedicated to the “sun god”, the second, to the moon, etc. We find the week still intact in ancient Babylon. Other pagan countries left the seven day week, though the planetary week never disappeared altogether.
    Also, the 7 day week was maintained by God’s chosen people.

    When we come to the time of Christ and the years after, we find letters written by early Christians explaining to the Romans what day they observe. Some were trying to distance themselves from the Jews. They would distinguish the days by defining the first day of the week as the day you call Sunday, or the seventh-day as the day you call Saturn’s day, etc.

    It becomes obvious that Sunday and the 1st day of the week were the same day. And the seventh day had been named by the pagans “Saturn’s day”. Now I agree with your statement that the Sabbath, or seventh day by any other name does not change the 7th day. Thus having the pagans identify the 7th day as “Saturn’s day” does not change the fact that it is still the seventh day, Sabbath.

    It’s like Daniel and his three friends in Babylon, they were given Babylonian, pagan names, but that didn’t change who they were. Daniel was given the name of Belteshazzar; and Hananiah, became Shadrach; and Mishael, became Meshach; and Azariah, became Abednego.

    Now Daniel and Belteshazzar were one and the same person, just like the 7th day, and “Saturn’s day” are one and the same day. One is the God given name, the other the pagan name, but both refer to the same thing.

    If a person were to say, “Shadrach is really Daniel; after all, the pagan names don’t identify the person; the guy you call Shadrach is really Daniel” — no, it would not be true, because Shadrach is really Hananiah, not Daniel.

    In the same way were we to say Sunday is really the 7th day, with the excuse that the pagan name doesn’t really identify the day, we would be doing the same as thinking Shadrach is really Daniel. But no, Sunday is really the 1st day of the week.

    – – – – – – –

    You wrote:

    I have given you historical quotes and geographical quotes about the reckoning of days in Tonga. All of these historians agree that Tonga has wrongly named the days of the week. They call Saturday, Sunday & call Sunday; Monday etc …THIS IS WHY THE SABBATH IN TONGA IS CALLED SUNDAY LOCALLY. The SDA leaders have nothing to do with this at all. I gave you all the quotes from missionaries who arrived in Tonga between 1891 and 1900 who stated what they saw. They found out that Saturday was wrongly called Sunday. WHAT MORE DO I NEED TO SAY ABOUT THIS.

    Answer:

    Yes, I have read the old accounts. When, in the 1890’s the pressure was on to get the Islands lined up with the “newly devised” nautical day line, there was talk about the Islands counting time on the “wrong” side of the date line.

    But the DAYS were not wrongly named. The days follow the Eastern Hemisphere time.

    I’m curious — living in Tonga, don’t you LIVE the whole week just like anyone else following the Eastern Time Zone?

    In Tonga, what day do they celebrate Christ’s Resurrection? What day is celebrated as His death?

    In Tonga, on what day does the work week begin and end?

    What days are considered the “weekend?”

    On what day do all the Catholics and Protestants go to church?

    In the rest of the world Christ’s death is celebrated on a Friday.
    His resurrection is celebrated on a Sunday.
    The work week begins on a Monday.
    The weekend is considered to be Saturday and Sunday.
    And the Protestants and Catholics go to church on Sunday, while Adventists and Jews go to church on Saturday.

    Do you follow all the above, except the last point — instead of going to church on Saturday, Tongan Adventists go to church on the same day as the Protestants and Catholics?

    The biggest question however, is if the people REALLY believed the days in Tonga were wrongly named, and the world’s “Sunday” was really “Monday” in Tonga, would Protestants and Catholics have consented to keeping the “Jewish Sabbath?”

    Council of Laodicea, A. D. 364, The twenty-ninth canon of that council reads thus: “Christians ought not to Judaize and to rest in the Sabbath, but to work in that day; but preferring the Lord’s Day, should rest if possible, as Christians. Wherefore if they shall be found to Judaize, let them be accursed from Christ.”

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    You wrote:

    “God called a prophet to bring His people back to the RIGHT WAY from the WRONG WAY. Tonga has been keeping the Sabbath for 121 years & the last process in discussing this issue was completed in 2009. IF IT WAS WRONG, GOD WOULD HAVE CALLED A PROPHET TO CALL US TO THE RIGHT WAY. THIS HAS NOT HAPPENED YET.”

    Answer:

    There are many issues in which Ellen White did not give the solution, rather she told the people to study and pray about it.

    I do know she wrote this powerful statement:

    “I [EGW] write . . . to tell you that we are not to give the least credence to the day line theory. It is a snare of Satan brought in by his own agents to confuse minds. You see how utterly impossible for this thing to be, that the world is all right observing Sunday, and God’s remnant people are all wrong. This theory of the day line would make all our history for the past fifty-five years a complete fallacy. But we know where we stand. . . . {3SM 318.4}

    In other words – any date line theory that causes God’s remnant people to worship on Sunday, thinking it is the Sabbath, is a “snare of Satan.”

    She also wrote:

    “We must take a firm stand that we will not reverence the first day of the week as the Sabbath, for it is not the day that was blessed and sanctified by Jehovah, and in reverencing Sunday we should place ourselves on the side of the great deceiver….” {LDE 133.2}

    And bro., the seven-day cycle is “broken” every time you cross from Tonga to Fiji. Your Adventist administrators from Australia or New Zealand who visit the churches in the Islands of the South Pacific have to be adding or dropping days continually to match local time. I would wager that some may have even missed a Sabbath one or two times, or more probably experienced two Sabbath’s in a row as they would attempt to visit the churches on different Islands on their Sabbaths.

    Yet the seven day cycle is NOT broken when viewed from a global perspective. And that is the important part. The world wide Sabbath is Saturday. And the next Sabbath will be November 3, 2012.

    _ _ _ _ _

    Islands of refuge. That’s a nice thought. Even right now, with snow swirling outside and freezing temperatures, a refuge in Tonga sounds very inviting! But I’d be afraid, that simply going to a country where Adventists sanction Sunday keeping, when the issue of remembering God’s Sabbath or the papal Sunday becomes a crisis, would be compromising and only finding an excuse to render obedience to the papal Sunday.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Prayers and blessings.

  25. Hi Steve,

    The 48-hour length of a day can be understood when you think about American Samoa as compared with independent Samoa. When the sun goes down on Saturday evening in independent Samoa it is only Friday evening in American Samoa. The earth completes another revolution before it is Saturday evening in American Samoa. That is why we say it takes 48 hours to complete that Saturday (or any day). Each of us only notices 24 of those hours where he or she lives, but there are two different days being observed somewhere in the world at the same time because the world is a globe and every day takes 48 hours to complete. I think God has a great and complicated sense of humour.

    What Samoa did was move from the second half of the 48 hours to the first half, requiring the so-called “skipping a day.” Sadly, the SPD & STM somehow missed the 48-hour length of a day and believe that a day was removed from the calendar by the government.

    The SPD can repeat that Sunday is the seventh day of the week as often as it likes, but that isn’t actually the truth anywhere in the world. This is an invention of Adventists who want to keep Sunday. The fact that the day names are pagan is completely irrelevant. The days must have names so everyone can know what he’s talking about! Sunday happens to be the number one pagan day of worship (the sun is their major object of worship) but if God had told us to keep it, I would! He didn’t.

    We cannot attempt to separate the number of the day from its name and remain credible in the world. Seventh-day Adventist evangelism already suffers from huge stigmas without us being so far outside of the normative understanding of time reckoning. It is difficult to get people to listen to our message now, without having to explain why we preach that Sunday is the false Sabbath while, at the same time, we are keeping it in some parts of the world!

    The Bible is our final authority on any issue.

    The Bible says at the end of Luke that Jesus died on preparation day and rose on the first day of the week, His body resting in the tomb during the Sabbath in between. In Tonga and Samoa the Sunday-keeping Christians worship on resurrection day, so Sabbath must be the day before it, Saturday.

    The reason I said the skipped day (Dec 30, 2011) was a correction is that it is a correction made necessary when a government moves the date line from the Western to Eastern side of its country as Samoa did. A leap day (Feb. 29) every fourth year is a correction also. A leap day does not change the length of a year. A skipped day, upon date line redrawing, does not change the length of a week. It only brings the country back into sync with the world’s universal time-keeping. There is a simple one-off correction, then it can be forgotten. Instead the SPD has landed the church in an ongoing trauma which is dividing families and congregations every Sabbath and has turned Seventh-day Adventists into Sunday-keepers!

    The 180 meridian is not the date line. SDAs cannot use it as a date line unless they intend to live in a separate world to everyone else! We are supposed to be the salt of the earth! How can we witness to anyone if we don’t even recognise the calendar and time zone of the people we live with!?

    You said, “The sun does not shine to the earth in zigzag.”
    Yes it does, because the land is not flat. A person in a valley will always see the sun set earlier and rise later than a person on the mountain nearby, sometimes by hours. Therefore the sun is not a completely reliable determinant of the end/beginning of a day. You need a date line and time zones. These must be universal, not optional!

    Did you know the sun rose two days earlier than usual in Greenland this year because the ice had declined so much? If Adventists were calculating Sabbaths by the sun in Greenland we would be two days out!

  26. Dear Ulicia
    Yes, I believe in my heart that the Sunday/Sabbath the people in Tonga have been observing is the correct 7th day Sabbath. There was a time in history (about 1900-1995) that only Tonga in the Pacific that locates on the right side of the 180° Meridian (UNIVERSAL RECKONING OF TIME) that used the Eastern Hemisphere time (FOR COMMERCIAL REASONS). This is why ONLY the SDA Tongans kept the 7th Day Sabbath on the day locally called SUNDAY.

    I agree that God numbered the days from 1st, 2nd, 3rd…7th – Sabbath and God’s chosen people maintained that seven-day cycle of the week from creation. I understand that pagan names were used to identify the days of the week just like how the Babylonians gave Daniel and his friends’ pagan names. I know that the pagan names given to these Hebrew men didn’t change anything in their relationship with God. I believe that the pagans’ names given to the days of the week should not change our relationship to God and His 7th Day Sabbath. If it is the 7th Day of the week, don’t let the country or business or the name Sunday change our obedience to God.

    You stated that “the DAYS were not wrongly named. The days follow the Eastern Hemisphere time. I’m curious — living in Tonga, don’t you LIVE the whole week just like anyone else following the Eastern Time Zone?”

    I agree that we live like those who are in the Eastern Hemisphere BUT we are not located there, Tonga is in the Western Hemisphere.

    You ask me questions about the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection. I do not celebrate these days, I only figure out the 7th day of the week from the seven-day cycle to know my Sabbath. In Tonga, week end is Saturday & Sunday.

    I know that Protestants and Catholics go to church on Sunday together with Adventists in Tonga. If the Government will change the dateline in Tonga now (that can happen any time) to the UNIVERSAL 180° Meridian, Catholics & Protestants will gladly move to the new SUNDAY. Adventists will still keep the “OLD SUNDAY” of the seven-day cycle which will be called “SATURDAY” after the change.

    IF CATHOLICS & PROTESTANTS KEEP THE SABBATH ON THE 7TH DAY OF THE WEEK, ARE WE GOING TO CHANGE TO ANOTHER DAY?

    I am glad that you mention E G White in your comments; it will be good for us not to be selective in how we use her writings. You pick the quote that she talked about the Eden Day line, what about what she wrote about the International Dateline & Samoa. I believe that what she wrote about Samoa and the Dateline is closer to what we are discussing here than the Eden Day line.

    God Bless, Your SDA Brother in Christ

    • Greetings Steve,

      Thanks for your reply. I’ll try to keep this short and just answer two questions in your last post to me.

      In my last post, I asked about the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection because it is very much part of the Protestant and Catholic traditions — and gives us a sense of where we are in the week.

      You asked:

      “IF CATHOLICS & PROTESTANTS KEEP THE SABBATH ON THE 7TH DAY OF THE WEEK, ARE WE GOING TO CHANGE TO ANOTHER DAY?”

      My answer:

      If they kept the actual 7th day — the day that can be counted as every seventh from the day after “Good Friday” and the day before resurrection Sunday, (the day the UNIVERSAL calendar calls Saturday, Nov. 10, or 17, or 24, 2012) then truly they would be keeping the 7th day Sabbath and we could join them in observing that day as the Sabbath. But if they observed a weekly “7th day” which falls on Easter Sunday, and is called Sunday, Nov. 11, 18 or 25 on the UNIVERSAL calendar, well then it’s not the right day.

      You wrote:

      “I am glad that you mention E G White in your comments; it will be good for us not to be selective in how we use her writings. You pick the quote that she talked about the Eden Day line, what about what she wrote about the International Dateline & Samoa. I believe that what she wrote about Samoa and the Dateline is closer to what we are discussing here than the Eden Day line.”

      My answer:

      The quote from 3SM page 318 is speaking directly of the relationship of the date line to Sabbath Keeping and addresses the issue of some misguided people thinking Saturday is the wrong day and they should be worshiping on Sunday because they thought the actual day line was not in the right place.

      And you are correct — she was discussing the Eden Day Line Theory.

      The quote you are referring to comes from EGW’s travel diary when she sailed from America to Australia. She simply records the event when the American ship she was traveling on dropped a day from their count.

      All it really proves is that the ship’s crew were following the marine’s convenient practice that ships on high seas made this change as they crossed the 180th. It was not a prophetic message stating that’s where God showed her the land-based line must be, nor did she make any comment that Samoa was on the wrong day — not at all. And, as R.G. White has pointed out, the 180th was not a date line for the Islands. Nothing in the convention had taken away their right to choose — though in the subsequent reality, pressure was put on them to accept American time. Ships and their crew, rather than imposing their time on the Islands, were supposed to honor the local time when they came close to these Islands or countries.

      One thing I sense is that this goes far beyond a theological discussion.

      How much easier it would have been if, back in the 1880’s and 1890’s, everyone had simply accepted the week as it had naturally come to these islands, instead of trying to impose a dividing line and causing half of the islands to change! If this division had not been attempted, we’d not have had Islands switching and then going back to their old time count, and we’d not have all this confusion. Both Tongan and Samoan Adventists would have observed the 7th day Saturday along with Adventists in NZ and Australia, etc. All around the world Adventists would be worshiping on the 7th day (Saturday) November 10, 2012.

      But “what ifs” are, sadly, not reality.

  27. Dear Steve and Ulicia,

    This is just a short note. There is really no such thing as “Eastern Hemisphere Time.” The division of land-based time is indicated by the land-based day line (now called the International Date Line) which predates, and is completely unrelated to, the meridians that define the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.

    The meridians were not really defined until 1884, yet we have historical records showing deliberate adjustments having been made to the existing day line, by Alaska in 1867, and by the Philippines as early as 1844!

    Unlike the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the Eastern and Western Hemispheres are defined only by those artificial meridians. They are defined by absolutely nothing in nature! As I see it, they are totally arbitrary, merely an abstract concept of highly questionable usefulness. Even after the longitude of Greenwich had been chosen as a prime meridian, longitudes could just as easily have been measured from there in only one direction — had the world been able to agree on which direction that would be! Just read the proceedings of the 1884 Meridian Conference. They seriously talked about doing just that! Then what would have become of the Eastern and Western “Hemispheres” in which people seem to put so much stock today?

    The two orientations of the weekly cycle, which are divided by the day line (the IDL) — and which indeed define it — are the easterly migrant week and the westerly migrant week (from our common point of origin, the site of ancient Babylon). As far as I can see, there is absolutely no reason why Tonga — or any other country far around the world from Babylon — may not properly use the easterly migrant week, which Tonga has actually been using ever since first being reintroduced to the 7-day week in the early 19th century. Indeed, it seems Tonga was first settled by easterly migrants! I believe the Eastern and Western “Hemispheres” are totally irrelevant here.

    God bless!

  28. John Wallace, you gave me this statement:

    “The 48-hour length of a day can be understood when you think about American Samoa as compared with independent Samoa. When the sun goes down on Saturday evening in independent Samoa it is only Friday evening in American Samoa. The earth completes another revolution before it is Saturday evening in American Samoa. That is why we say it takes 48 hours to complete that Saturday (or any day). Each of us only notices 24 of those hours where he or she lives, but there are two different days being observed somewhere in the world at the same time because the world is a globe and every day takes 48 hours to complete. I think God has a great and complicated sense of humour.”

    Brother, I am not totally agreed with you in the explanation that you gave in the above paragraph. I believe that there are two different days being observed somewhere in the world at one time BUT the total hours around the world should be 24 HOUR ONLY. Midnight starts from 180° Meridian (Pacific). After a complete turn to the dateline it will be midnight the next day. Is it like that or not? I am not an expert in this area.

    Brother, when you look at the International Congress in Washington in 1884, we get from it the UNIVERSAL reckoning of time. 0° Meridian in Greenwich (Mid-day – 12pm) & 180° Meridian in the Pacific (Mid-night – 24pm). We know there were exceptions for countries close to the date line to have the same day like Fiji, NZ etc. We also know that countries close to the dateline are free to join which side of the date line they would like to join. Throughout the years countries change from one side to another & change again.

    I believe that the decision of the leadership of the SDA church is the best in this issue. We take the UNIVERSAL reckoning of 0° Meridian & 180° Meridian. When we do this we will be in unity & consistent & unchangeable in how we keep the Lord’s 7th Day 24 hours Sabbath.

    If we do what you suggests John, we will keep this 24 hours Sabbath for some years, if the government will change it again in the future, we will move and keep a different 24 hours. Remember God blessed & sanctified only 24 hours. Don’t worry when the day for the 7th Day Sabbath is not called locally Saturday. That’s ok, if the day is the 7th day of the week according to the Universal Meridian – that’s the Sabbath.

    John, we can’t account for days without the date line. If you know a better way for reckoning of days in a round world that let us know. You have said that what the leadership of the SDA church hath given is wrong, what will be the right thing to do?

    God Bless from Your Brother in Christ

    • Sorry Steve, there is no “universal meridian” to determine days; only the date line is universal. So, saying the seventh-day Sabbath is Sunday in Samoa is a deception, because the only people believing that are those Seventh-day Adventists who are keeping Sunday and those who suggested it from Australia.

      I agree with your statement: “We can’t account for days without the date line.” Further, the SDA Church cannot determine its own date line to account for days in contradiction to the rest of the population.

      The Lord did not make the seven day sequence sacred. He blessed the seventh day. A one-off six day week is required to adjust for date line realignment. This does not violate the Lord’s commandment but brings the nation back into the correct seven day sequence.

      You should study the 48 hour principle further. It’s true.

  29. Dear Brother Steve,

    I’m sure John Wallace will explain to you about the time it takes, from a global perspective, for each day to complete its mission on earth. The period is actually at least 49 hours, from beginning to end, based on local time, as I know there are 25-hour time zone differences in our world. So, 24 hours for a local day plus 25 hours in maximum time zones difference equal 49 hours that a given day is in existence somewhere on earth. Samoa has indeed moved its 24-hour participation in each day from the latter portion of that period to the earlier portion.

    It is true as you have pointed out, Steve, that there is a worldwide system of time keeping, called UTC, which was recommended by the 1884 Meridian Conference. It is not true that there is any connection between this system and the universally accepted day line, called the “International Date Line.”

    I have read through the proceedings of the 1884 Conference. See “1884 Meridian Conference Record.” The concept of a day line was alluded to on a couple of occasions – probably with reference to a nautical day line. However, the Meridian Conference delegates did not explicitly recommend any particular day line – either nautical or land-based – nor did they enter into any such discussion, because that would have been outside the purpose of the Conference.

    There was some discussion in regard to the possibility of recommending the use of standard time (i.e. time zones), as this was already being used successfully in North America. However, this suggestion was also rejected by the delegates as unnecessary, and as being outside the purpose of the Conference.

    The term “International Date Line” is nowhere to be found in the records of the 1884 Meridian Conference. The participants made no attempt to say anything about the existing land-based day line, nor did they make any recommendations to influence its ongoing development in any way.

    Based on the records of Bible and secular history, there was already a day line long before 1884, which had been in development throughout human history, and which had sometimes been shifted by government action — since 1844, some forty years before the Meridian Conference was convened.

    I know that there was a failed attempt to integrate the day line system into the system of UTC and the meridians, but the records of the Meridian Conference reveal nothing concerning this. I can only conclude that it was a unilateral attempt on the part of the USA. Evidence of this effort is seen in the sheer number of island groups whose governments took action, in the period between 1885 and 1910, to actually shift the day line in the direction of the 180-degree meridian. Samoa’s case is especially instructive, as they doubled their participation in Monday, the 4th of July, in 1892.

    I believe Tonga was well within its rights to resist the pressure of the USA to change their reckoning of the 7-day week. Their easterly migrant week would have been the very reckoning which had been forgotten by your ancestors, Steve.

    Who were the westerly migrant Americans to come over and effectively (though not in these exact words) tell Tonga the following?

    “You’ve got it all wrong! You must use our reckoning of the week! We Americans have drawn a line on our maps, and you are on our side of the line!”

    Had the Tonga government gone along with the American pressure and actually moved the day line, there would have been nothing wrong with that. But the worst of it is this: Our missionaries to Tonga, perhaps not fully realising that they were taking over what was the prerogative of government, decided to implement the American idea on their own, as our own private day line for Sabbath keeping purposes – to take what had always been the 1st day in Tonga, and to unilaterally call it the 7th day. As Ulicia has pointed out, Shadrack was not Daniel, and Sunday is not the 7th day.

    I feel fairly sure, Steve, that God is not an American. Are you? ;)

  30. R G White,
    Thank you for giving me the proceeding of the Meridian Conference. I have copied the FINAL ACT from this important meeting to remind us what happened. I have written few words under every paragraphs or sentences just to highlight important things.

    FINAL ACT
    The President of the United States of America, in pursuance of a special provision of Congress, having extended to the Governments of all nations in diplomatic relations with his own, an invitation to send Delegates to meet Delegates from the United States in the city of Washington on the first of October, 1884, for the purpose of discussing, and, if possible, fixing upon a meridian proper to be employed as a common zero of longitude and standard of time-reckoning throughout the whole world, this International Meridian Conference assembled at the time and place designated; and, after careful and patient discussion, has passed the following resolutions:
    (TO FIX A MERIDIAN & STANDARD TIME – WHOLE WORLD)

    I.
    “That it is the opinion of this Congress that it is desirable to adopt a single prime meridian for all nations, in place of the multiplicity of initial meridians which now exist.” This resolution was unanimously adopted.
    (ADOPT A SINGLE PRIME MERIDIAN)

    II.
    “That the Conference proposes to the Governments here represented the adoption of the meridian passing through the centre of the transit instrument at the Observatory of Greenwich as the initial meridian for longitude.” The above resolution was adopted: Ayes, 22; noes, 1; abstaining, 2.
    (GREENWICH MERIDIAN ADOPTED)

    III.
    “That from this meridian longitude shall be counted in two directions up to 180 degrees, east longitude being plus and west longitude minus.” This resolution was adopted: Ayes, 14; noes, 5; abstaining, 6.
    (180 DEGREES MERIDIAN)

    IV.
    “That the Conference proposes the adoption of a universal day for all purposes for which it may be found convenient, and which shall not interfere with the use of local or other standard time where desirable.” This resolution was adopted: Ayes, 23; abstaining, 2.
    (UNIVERSAL DAY)

    V.
    “That this universal day is to be a mean solar day; is to begin for all the world at the moment of mean midnight of the initial meridian, coinciding with the beginning of the civil day and date of that meridian; and is to be counted from zero up to twenty-four hours.” This resolution was adopted: Ayes, 15; noes, 2; abstaining, 7.
    (TIME COUNT FROM – ZERO-0 to TWENTY-FOUR-24)

    VI.
    “That the Conference expresses the hope that as soon as may be practicable the astronomical and nautical days will be arranged everywhere to begin at mean midnight.” This resolution was carried without division.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17759/17759-h/17759-h.htm 98/108

  31. R G White & John Wallace
    Thank you for continuing to discuss this issue with me and I believe that we have covered a lot of things. I have given you the FINAL ACT of the Conference in Washington in 1884 so we can see the goal they were trying to achieve. TO FIX A MERIDIAN & STANDARD TIME FOR THE WORLD (UNIVERSAL). They adopted the Meridian of Greenwich 0 & 180 degree Meridian (UNIVERSAL). The adopted a UNIVERSAL DAY – START FROM 0 – 24 hours (UNIVERSAL). ALL OF THESE ARE MARKED IN THE WORLD MAP – WITH FEW EXCEPTIONS. ALMOST ALL THE WORLD ARE USING THIS NOW.

    All the countries locate on the Eastern Hemisphere (left of the 180° Meridian), are ONE DAY AHEAD of the countries of the Western Hemisphere (right of the 180° Meridian). I use the 180° Meridian because this is the UNIVERSAL ONE, when we read books and articles about this subject; the only numbers that we encounter most is 180° or 0°.

    Brothers, I am still confused with the 48-49 hours a day principle that you gave. I told you I am not an expert in this area but I have asked many experts in this area, including NASA, and all of their answers were no way near 48-49 hours for one day. All their answers were between (23 Hours & 56 Minutes) to (24 Hours). Let me try to explain how I understand it now after I talked to these experts.

    The left of the 180° Meridian (Dateline) is one day ahead of those on the right. Let us use Sunday in this example: One complete turn is about 24 hours (1 DAY), when Sunday Starts on the Dateline after one hour (there is Sunday 1 hour & Saturday 23 hours left); after 2 hours (Sunday 2 hours & Saturday 22 hours left); after 3 hours (Sunday 3 hours & Saturday 21 hours left); after 4 hours (Sunday 4 hours & Saturday 20 hours left);…after 20 hours (Sunday 20 hours & Saturday 4 hours left);…after 23 hours (Sunday 23 hours & Saturday 1 hour left); after 24 hours (Monday 0 & Sunday 24); THIS IS MID NIGHT – ONE COMPLETE TURN OF THE DATELINE. After one hour (there is Monday 1 hour & Sunday 23 hours left); after 2 hours (Monday 2 hours & Sunday 22 hours left);…etc THE TOTAL STILL HAVE TO BE 24 HOURS. What we know that there are two days reckoning on earth at the same time, one starts while the other is finishing off, we can travel from one day to the other in few minutes when we cross the dateline.

    When it is Monday morning in the left side of the 180 degree meridian, it is Sunday morning in the right side. Why it is like this? I don’t know. If the Dateline will be somewhere else, we will experience the same problem & may be worse, especially those who are close to the line.

    John Wallace & R G White, I just wish that the Dateline will be moved to your city. I know everything will be fine & we will live happily ever after.

    God Bless From Your Brother in Christ

  32. Dear Steve,

    Thank you for spelling out for us exactly what was resolved at the 1884 Meridian Conference. What I find most noteworthy here is what people think happened, but which did not happen at all!

    I can see nothing in the articles of resolution, concerning a day line or a date line, and this is confirmed by a reading of the actual proceedings. Article V, in the resolutions, has nothing to do with any day line. It is talking about the “universal day,” or “cosmic day,” which they were recommending be set up at Greenwich, to be counted from 0 to 24 hours, starting from midnight there, and used as a reference for time keeping everywhere in the world. For a very long time, this was known as “GMT,” but now we know it as “UTC.”

    The timing of any event happening in the world can now be pinpointed by saying, for instance, that it happened at 21:20 UTC on Monday, November 5, 2012. Also, although the delegates specifically declined to take any action recommending the use of time zones, UTC does make time zones easy to describe. For instance, Samoa’s time (which is on year-round daylight saving time) is described as UTC+14. New Zealand is UTC+13.

    So, the Meridian Conference recommended a very neat system, for both navigation and time keeping, which is being used everywhere today.

    Now, I ask this:

    Where is the resolution for a day line at the 180-degree meridian? And where are the “exceptions” about which we all supposedly know so much? Where are these written down, so we can verify that, yes, there is an exception for Siberia, there is one for the Aleutian Islands, there is one for Fiji, but there is no exception for Tonga? Where is all of this documented, so that we can see evidence of a “universal meridian” for dividing one day from another?

    As far as I can tell, nothing like this took place at the 1884 Meridian Conference, and even if it had, the delegates would have had no authority to tell non-participating countries like Tonga or Samoa what to do. The delegates didn’t even have the authority to bind their own governments!

    You wrote:

    “When it is Monday morning on the left side of the 180 degree meridian, it is Sunday morning on the right side. Why it is like this?”

    Actually, that’s not the way things work at all. The International Date Line — which is but the latest development of the ancient day line, and completely unrelated to the meridians — marks the place where it is Monday morning on one side, and Sunday morning on the other side. The 180-degree meridian doesn’t do that, except for ships on the open seas.

    That brings up the fact that there are actually two completely different ways of determining where each day begins.

    Long before 1884, England was the undisputed queen of the seas, and the British navy, using Greenwich as the beginning point for numbering meridians, determined to use the 180-degree meridian as the place to begin a new day on the open waters. By accepting the Greenwich prime meridian, the 1884 Conference certainly made it easy for that maritime practice to continue. However, it seems that they themselves took no action concerning either the meridian-based nautical reckoning or the unrelated land-based day line. The day line was, and still is, determined by individual nations. Currently, on the high seas, ships still use the 180-degree meridian as a day line, but they are supposed to switch to the unrelated land-based reckoning of days whenever they get within 12 nautical miles (about 22 km) of land. See “International Date Line.”

    I feel for you, Brother Steve, and for the rest of Tonga’s Adventists. I fear that the evident confusion arises, not from any proximity to the day line, but from the ongoing mistakes of, first our pioneer missionaries, and now our church administrators in the South Pacific region. These were/are Americans and Australians, much like John Wallace and myself. In other words, we are the ones who have troubled you!

    Please accept my heartfelt sympathy and Christian love.

  33. To R G White & John Wallace
    I am just giving you these quotes to see why I always use the word UNIVERSAL in our dialogue. The Universal Meridian is 0° in Greenwich & 180° in the Pacific. The Universal time starts from 180° Meridian that is ZERO and after a complete turn (360°) that’s TWENTY-FOUR, and the start of the new day. This TIME is UNIVERSAL, use by almost everyone in the world. There are exceptions like big countries that covers more than one time zone, they just use one time to be easy for them.

    “The Prime Meridian Conference at Washington today adopted the Greenwich line as the Universal Prime Meridian.” Aberdeen Weekly Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland), Tuesday, October 14, 1884; Issue 9259

    “The International Conference which was convened in Washington for the purpose of adopting a Universal Prime Meridian has paid England the very great honour of selecting for this purpose the Meridian of Greenwich.” The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, England), Wednesday, October 15, 1884; Issue 14515

    “The Prime Meridian Conference in Washington has decided in favour of a Universal day, it is to be a mean solar day, commencing at mean midnight of the Universal Meridian, counted from zero up to twenty-four hours.” The Leeds Mercury (Leeds, England), Wednesday, October 22, 1884; Issue 14521

    “Universal time (UT), the international time standard common to every place in the world, it nominally reflects the mean solar time along the earth’s prime meridian. In 1884, under international agreement, the prime meridian was established as running through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, setting the standard of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). In keeping with tradition, the start of a solar day occurred at noon. In 1925 the numbering system for GMT was changed so that the day began at midnight to make it consistent with the civil day. Some confusion in terminology resulted, however, and in 1928 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) changed the designation of the standard time of the prime meridian to universal time.” Universal time. Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 11/1/2011

    “While the world is divided into 24 time zones, there has to be a place where there is a difference in days, somewhere the day truly “starts” on the planet. Thus, the 180° line of longitude, exactly one-half way around the planet from Greenwich, England and 0° longitude is approximately where the International Date Line is located. Cross the line from the east to the west and a day is added. Cross from west to the east and a day is subtracted.” International Date Line. By Matt Rosenberg (http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/idl.htm)

    R G White I would like to thank you for your words expressing your feeling toward me and the Adventists in Tonga. Brother, I feel for you too and pray that God will lead us to His will. In 1914s there was a man (David Nield) wrote so many letters to A G Daniels, President of the SDA General Conference arguing that Sunday was the 7th Day Sabbath in New Zealand. The church position on the issue was Saturday the right day, this man & his followers were wrong.

    Brother, you know the decision of the SDA church. Remember E G White advice on making decision for the church, one or few men’s minds are not enough. Remember that the 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord. If we will not follow the Universal Meridian 180 degrees – the governments of this world will decide the Sabbath for us. When one government decides to have business with USA – we follow them and change our Sabbath. When they decided to change and have business with Australia – we follow them and change our Sabbath. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE HOLY 24 HOURS OF THE SABBATH OF GOD?

  34. John Wallace & R G White
    These are few quotes that might be useful in the Sabbath issues.

    INDEPENDENT SAMOA
    “In the latest files of the ‘Samoan Times’ appears the Royal Proclamation: “Whereas through an error in reckoning the people of these islands have hitherto been using the wrong day and date as judged by our true position in longitude; Now, therefore, to rectify this error, and in accordance with the express desire of the Municipal Council of Apia and my Government, it is hereby proclaimed and ordered that Tuesday, the 5th of July next by present reckoning, shall be called Monday, the 4th of July, and the days and dates in the future shall be reckoned in succession from that day. That is, there shall be two days next month called Monday, the 4th of July. Malietoa, King of Samoa, Mulinuu, June 16th, 1892.” Taranaki Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 9481, 29 August 1892, pg. 2.
    “Sometimes ago the inhabitants of Samoa and Rarotonga were observing Saturday, which they believed to be Sunday.” Is Saturday or Sunday the Sabbath in New Zealand? Auckland Star, Volume XXVIII, Issue 225, 28 September 1897, pg. 2.

    This change in 1892 CORRECTED THE ERROR and people were worshiping on the right days. Seventh-day Adventists were keeping the 7th Day (SATURDAY) Sabbath & other churches were keeping SUNDAY.

    SAMOA & TOKELAU CHANGED IN 2011
    “The Pacific island nation of Samoa and its even tinier neighbor Tokelau are skipping Friday this week, jumping westward in time across the international date line and into the shifting economic balance of the 21st century. The time change, officially decided in June, is meant to align Samoa with its Asian trading partners;”

    “In doing business with New Zealand and Australia, we’re losing out on two working days a week,” Mr. Tuila’epa said. “While it’s Friday here, it’s Saturday in New Zealand, and when we’re at church on Sunday, they’re already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane.” The New York Times “Samoa Sacrifices a Day for Its Future” Seth Mydans, 29th December 2011.

    This change put back Samoa where they were before July 4, 1892. What Malietoa called an “ERROR IN RECKONING” of the days. In this change, Friday 30th December 2011 was removed from the calendar. After Thursday 29th December 2011, than Saturday 31st December 2011. This week was only 6 days, we know that God’s week is 7 days. The weekly seven-day cycle was broken. This change made Satuday the 6th Day & Sunday the 7th Day. Read again the 2nd paragraph above where it says that “the inhabitants of Samoa and Rarotonga were observing SATURDAY, which they believe to be SUNDAY.” This is the same as today in Samoa.

    People in Samoa are keeping Saturday as the 7th Day Sabbath (the Government of Samoa changed the name to Sunday now for commercial reasons). They moved the day reckoning to be the same with New Zealand & Australia for the reasons given by Mr Tuila’epa (Premier) above. Samoa is still in the same location, next to American Samoa, on the right side of the Universal Meridian 180° where they have been since the beginning. Let us look at how Jews & Jews Rabbi addresses the Sabbath in Samoa. You can read the whole documents in the website given.

    JEWS & JEWS RABBIS CONTRIBUTIONS
    “At present, Lapushin only knows of two other Samoan Jews — both Peace Corps volunteers — who were on vacation this week. If he’s correct, it would make him the only Jew present on the Samoan mainland when the island nation turned the clock forward.”

    “While The Associated Press reported that the Seventh Day Adventist parish in Samatau village will continue to observe Saturday as the Sabbath, Radio New Zealand International indicated that most Seventh Day Adventist churches will adopt Sunday as the new day of rest.”

    “I will follow their lead and light Shabbos candles on Saturday night,”
    Lapushin told JTA.” With Samoa calendar change, question for Jews: When is Shabbat? By Adam Soclof • December 30, 2011

    Lapushin, this Jew in Samoa in the quote above is keeping the Sabbath from Saturday evening to Sunday evening. He states that he will “light Shabbos candles on Saturday night.” THESE CANDLES ARE LIGHT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SABBATH.

    “Rabbi David Shapira opined that the date line is approximately 135°, or 9 hours, east of Jerusalem. This would make the date line approximately 170° east of Greenwich, which is only 10° off the International Date Line. According to R. Shapira, however, the line zigzags, slanting toward the Siberian coast as it goes through the Bering Straits, and then through the Pacific at 177°. Then it turns east of New Zealand.”

    “we say that the date line is 135° east of Jerusalem, then it runs to the west of Fiji. This means that until now the Sabbath in Samoa was on Saturday, but from now on it will be on Sunday.” The Sabbath, the International Date Line and Jews Law, “How does the change in Samoa affect the Sabbath for the local Jews?” By Yehuda Shurpin

    This well known Rabbi gave an answer in the website given and states that “until now the Sabbath in Samoa was on Saturday, but from now on it will be on Sunday.”

    Samoa kept the right Sabbath (Saturday) on the 7th Day for 119 years. After the change above when Friday (6th Day) 30 December 2011 was removed from the Calendar, the weekly seven-day cycle was broken. Saturday now moves in to take the place of the 6th Day & Sunday takes the place of the 7th Day. Those who obey the SDA Leadership and keep the 7th Day Sabbath (it is now called Sunday for commercial reasons), they are keeping the same 24 hours Day that they & their ancestors have kept for the last 119 years. HOW CAN WE CHANGE GOD’S HOLY 24 HOURS WHEN A COUNTRY WANTS TO CHANGE THE ORDER OF THE DAYS FOR BUSINESS REASON?

    Let us pray and asked God to help us at this difficult time. I know that change is always difficult to encounter but let us think again with open minds. The Sabbath of the Lord is the 7th Day of the week (in a seven-day cycle week), in many places it is called Saturday. But for those who are close to the Dateline, like me, we encounter this problem. We have to call the 7th Day with a different name, Sunday.

    The change of the reckoning of days in Tahiti about 1825, many people were angry & sad, today everything is ok. The change for Rarotonga in December 1899 caused a division in the church “the old and new Sabbathites.” Now everything is alright in Rarotonga. Now the change in Samoa, my brothers & sisters; KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON THE LORD OF THE SABBATH, JESUS CHRIST. Soon and very soon everything will be OK. Love from your SDA brother in CHRIST.

    More Jews Websites given below
    http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-trav-dateline.htm#_ftn14

    http://betweenjerusalemandtelaviv.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/dateline-and-halacha.html

    http://www.totallyjewish.com/tradition/ask_the_rabbi/?content_id=16339

    • Thank you, Steve, for this valuable bit of research. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the confusion regarding the date line in the late 1800’s, and perhaps it provides a clue to the reason Seventh-day Adventist missioaries in Tonga opted for Sunday as the seventh-day Sabbath. Perhaps they were persuaded that Tonga was on the “wrong side of the date line” and would soon switch to the right side??

      I also note that your first quotation lacks the introduction:

      King Malieton, of Samoa, is following the example of Pope Gregory XIII in the rectification of the calendar. In the latest files of the Samoa Times appears the royal proclamation: — “Whereas through an error in reckoning the people of these islands have hitherto been using the wrong day and date as judged by our true position in longitude; Now, therefore, to rectify this error, and in accordance with the express desire of the Municipal Council of Apia and my Government, it is hereby proclaimed and ordered that Tuesday, the 5th of July next by present reckoning, shall be called Monday, the 4th of July, and the days and dates in the future shall be reckoned in succession from that day. That is, there shall be two days next month called Monday, the 4th of July. Malietoa, King of Samoa, Mulinuu, June 16th, 1892.”

      Pope Gregory XIII?! What did he have to do with “the rectification of the calendar” and why?

      It will take time to work through all the material you presented and see how it all fits together. Again, thanks much for putting this information together for us.

      We can argue back and forth, but to me, the bottom line is which way of reckoning is most likely to be a distinctive sign of obedience to God? Is it still a “sign” when we keep the very same day which the church of Rome claims as a sign of its authority?

    • Dear Brother Steve,

      Thank you for sharing the results of your excellent research. What you have now shown is that the Americans were successful in persuading the King of Samoa that there are a right way and a wrong way, and that the American week is the right way for Samoa.

      What the documentation does not demonstrate is any good reason for him, for them, or for anyone else to think that way. Obviously, the King of Tonga was not convinced, and where is the evidence to prove him wrong?

      It was right, no doubt, for Samoa’s Adventists to accept the 1892 change, and to observe the Saturday Sabbath for those 120 years, as the King of Samoa had the authority to do what he did, regardless of how mistaken may have been his reasons. In the same way, we must respect the 2011 decision of the Samoa government, and not be so arrogant as to believe we have the right to chooose our own day line for Sabbath keeping.

      Can you not see the irony, if our attitude resembles the ways and claims of the papacy, and then it also just happens to lead us into “sabbath” observance on their day? One must admit that our thinking we have the right to choose our own Sabbath is very much like the thinking of the papacy, although our purported reasons certainly differ somewhat. To me, the call for dissidents to lay aside their convictions and get in line with the majority, just because “the Church has spoken” seems eerily similar. In fact, the church has not spoken until the General Conference delegates have had opportunity to consider the matter.

      I don’t believe that there is good reason for us to follow the lead of Jews who do not believe in Christ!

      “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20 NKJV

      You have been doing a great job, brother Steve, of documenting people’s opinions back in the 1890s. It’s fascinating reading.

      However, so far, it’s quite clear to me that there is no “right” or “wrong” way for South Pacific nations to orient themselves in relation to the day line. Governments are free to choose, and we are not.

  35. “Brother, you know the decision of the SDA church. Remember E G White advice on making decision for the church, one or few men’s minds are not enough. Remember that the 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord. If we will not follow the Universal Meridian 180 degrees – the governments of this world will decide the Sabbath for us. When one government decides to have business with USA – we follow them and change our Sabbath. When they decided to change and have business with Australia – we follow them and change our Sabbath. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE HOLY 24 HOURS OF THE SABBATH OF GOD?”

    The false idea of an unbroken 7-day cycle since creation was sold to Samoans as a reason for keeping Sunday when this agenda was pushed on them late last year. (In reality, the 7-day cycle is the same either side of the date line.) You will notice that no one proclaims this any more. WHY??? Because the truth has been plainly revealed that California traders succeeded in changing the weekly cycle in 1892, adding 2 x 4th of Julys, adding 2 Mondays to make an 8-day week to bring Samoa as a business partner into line with the American week.

    The STM now are happy to state that the Mission observes the Sabbath on Sunday because Samoans have been worshipping on this day for 120 years.

    HOW LONG IS 120 YEARS TO GOD???

    It is the devil who wants God’s people muddled and silent, compromising and complacent! It is inconvenient to worship on Saturday in Samoa because Samoa is busy on Saturday and for a long time now has closed down completely on Sunday.
    God wants to be the centre of our lives, HE wants to be more important in our lives than any and all weekly distractions.

    We serve an amazing God who wishes to pour out HIS blessings and HIS Spirit on every one of HIS people. It is HIS people that block the blessings. They decide which day is convenient for them to worship on, they decide how much TIME they can spare.

    When the South Pacific Division leaders of God’s church make it easy for the majority to choose compromise and convenience in a culture that really respects its leaders, standing for God’s Sabbath (and HIS end-time sign betweeen Him and HIS people) is always going to get the false accusation of rebellion.

    The reality is that through obedience, the blocking of blessings is taken away so they flow freely. Now our prayer is for Christ to circumcise our hearts and continue to show and take away any other obstacles in our lives that would block HIS latter rain.

  36. To Inge Anderson, R G White, John Wallace & Lance Cutts

    It is great to continue this discussion with you all on the subject. I know that God is good and will continue to lead us, we only need to be open minded and he will help us to be a blessing to others.

    Inge Anderson, thank you for your observation on the quotes that I gave and how Pope Gregory XIII was mentioned. He had nothing to do with what Malietoa did in 1892, he died in 1585. This was a figure of speech on how Pope Gregory XIII changed the calendar in 1582 from the Julian Calender to his own calendar. This was to say that Malietoa in 1892 changed the calendar of Samoa by adding another Monday 4th July to change their reckoning of days from the WRONG one to the RIGHT.

    R G White, I would like to ask you a question concerning the quote that I gave about Malietoa, king of Samoa. Where in this quote that shows something about America? It was just Malietoa proclaiming that Samoa was “USING THE WRONG DAY AND DATE” and he was CORRECTING THE ERROR in 1892. I am giving you what happened in Cook Islands and how they corrected the error.

    COOK ISLANDS CHANGE
    “A Bill has been before the Legislature of the Cook Islands to alter the present Sunday to the proper day in longitude 180 east. At present…we are keeping the WRONG DAY, the mistake having been introduced by the EARLY MISSIONARIES, and never rectified. In order to effect this change the act fixes that we are to keep two days, as December 25 (Christmas Day), thus we will have two Mondays…The Roman Catholic community have ALWAYS KEPT THE RIGHT DAY since their inauguration at the group.” Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXIII, Issue 210, 18 September 1899, Pg4.

    The last sentence of this quote tells us that the Roman Catholic community were keeping Monday as their Sabbath before the change in 1899 to fix the ERROR.

    LEEWARD ISLANDS CHANGE
    “On the first Sabbath in May we changed the SABBATH to MONDAY through the Leeward Islands: all harmonised. We kept both the OLD and the NEW Sabbath at the beginning, and the natives say that the change was scarcely noticeable. The British Consul was very active in promoting the change.” Launceston Examiner, Saturday 14 October 1854, pg 3.

    TAHITI CHANGE
    “Their Sabbath is now observed upon the CORRECT DAY, or that according with the meridian of the island, which was not the case in 1814 when Sir T. Staince visited the spot, and found John Adam and his small community preserving Saturday as the day of rest; AN ERROR which had arisen from the circumstance of the BOUNTY having made the passage from England to Tahiti in the eastern route, without any correction of time having been made to allow for the day, apparently gained be this course.” Bennett’s Whaling Voyage Round the Globe, The Times (London, England), Thursday, Jun 25, 1840; pg. 6; Issue 17393.

    I would like to point out that many of these changes were done many many years before 1884, the conference in Washington.

    Brother, I would like to ask you to read what you wrote in this paragraph & think about it again.
    “It was right, no doubt, for Samoa’s Adventists to accept the 1892 change, and to observe the Saturday Sabbath for those 120 years, as the King of Samoa had the authority to do what he did, regardless of how mistaken may have been his reasons. In the same way, we must respect the 2011 decision of the Samoa government, and not be so arrogant as to believe we have the right to choose our own day line for Sabbath keeping.”

    Do you mean that we have to change our Sabbath, from one 24 hours to another, every time a Country decides to change their reckoning of days for Business reasons? This way, the Governments of the countries in the Pacific will decide the Sabbath for the church. The Sabbath will change from one 24 hours to another 24 hours every time they have a change. If we keep to the Universal Meridian 180°, everything will be fine except for countries that need to have one day like Fiji, New Zealand etc…

    You said that;
    “I don’t believe that there is good reason for us to follow the lead of Jews who do not believe in Christ!”
    “For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20 NKJV”

    Brother, we followed the Jews (people of the Word) in tithes, offerings, food, Sabbath etc…Why you don’t want to follow them now when they say that the Sabbath in Samoa should be Sunday? Most of the Jews Rabbis are agreeing with the leadership of the SDA Church in this for us to keep the 7th day Sabbath now in the day that is locally called Sunday. We know that most of them do not believe in Jesus but some do.

    Hello Lance Cutts, let me ask you a question. Do you believe that the Sabbath now that we are keeping is the same 24 hours of the 7-day cycle that God blessed and sanctified? I will continue to discuss this with you after you give me your answer for this.

    This is a good quote that we need to think about from our Sabbath School lesson for this week:
    “There is no question that we are all different people, and we have different views regarding many things, views that can at times make unity difficult. Though stresses and strains are inevitable at every level of the church, we all need to keep an attitude of humility, self-denial, and a desire for a good that is greater than ourselves. So many of the divisions that arise do so because of selfishness, pride, and a desire to exalt oneself and one’s views over others. None of us has it all right; none of us understands all things perfectly. Whatever the inevitable differences that will arise, were we all to daily take up our crosses, daily die to self, daily seek not only our own good but the good of others and the good of the church as a whole, so many of the problems with which we struggle and which hinder the work would vanish.” Sabbath School Lesson, Wednesday, November 21 2012.

    May God bless you all; Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all your work: But the 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God:

  37. Dear Brother Steve,

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply, as well as for the information which you have shared. You are definitely filling in some of the gaps in my knowledge concerning the history of the day line.

    You wrote:

    R G White, I would like to ask you a question concerning the quote that I gave about Malietoa, king of Samoa. Where in this quote that shows something about America?

    My answer is that it is in the part about repeating the 4th of July. Nevertheless, I’d like to go a bit deeper into this with you, if you don’t mind. I think the reason for your questioning the American influence behind Samoa’s 1892 day line shift is you wish to assert that the change would have been necessary, regardless of any other country’s influence, because it was the correction of an error. You have indeed shown that King Malietoa believed he was correcting an error — and that the Nelson Evening Mail in the Cook Islands believed that their day line shift was a necessary correction – but you have not shown that they were not simply mistaken in this belief.

    You wrote further:

    I would like to point out that many of these changes were done many, many years before 1884, the conference in Washington.

    I can see that. However, in cases where the change was well before 1884, it seems that the British were the ones behind the change, or were at least the ones who considered the change to be a necessary correction. It is a fact that the British were already using Greenwich as their prime meridian, and what you have now shown is that some of them, at least, were bigoted enough to say that their 180-degree meridian was the only “right” place for the world’s day line. Again, you have not shown that they had any good reason for believing that!

    You wrote:

    Brother, we followed the Jews (people of the Word) in tithes, offerings, food, Sabbath etc.

    No, Steve, we did not follow the Jews; we followed the Lord Jehovah. Had we been following the Jews, we should have rejected Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah!

    Seeing that “God made His Sabbath for a round world,” yet never revealed to us through His prophets or apostles any set location for the day line, it would seem strange indeed for Him to suddenly tell us in the late 19th century that the existing day line was all wrong – that it was supposed to be at a longitude 180 degrees from Greenwich! I can see some very serious problems with this idea:

    1) This revelation did not come to us through the prophets, whom God had explicitly promised to inform, if He were actually going to do anything. [See Amos 3:7 (NKJV).] Instead, we are expected to allow our church leaders to speak on God’s behalf? If that were acceptable, then we all ought to be Roman Catholics, in which case we could all agree to keep Sunday.

    2) For most of earth’s history, the Greenwich observatory did not exist, would-be Sabbath keepers had no way of measuring 180 degrees around the globe from anywhere, nor did they have anyone to tell them where the day line was supposed to be. So, if the 180-degree meridian from Greenwich were an absolute God-ordained day line, as has been suggested, then it would have been impossible to determine the true 7th-day Sabbath in parts of the world, and God’s law would have been asking the impossible. Any Sabbath keepers in Alaska prior to 1867, for example, could not have known which was the true 7th day.

    I can only conclude that the “natural” or “absolute” 180-degree meridian day line is a myth at best.

    You wrote further:

    Do you mean that we have to change our Sabbath, from one 24 hours to another, every time a Country decides to change their reckoning of days for Business reasons? This way, the Governments of the countries in the Pacific will decide the Sabbath for the church. The Sabbath will change from one 24 hours to another 24 hours every time they have a change. If we keep to the Universal Meridian 180°, everything will be fine except for countries that need to have one day like Fiji, New Zealand etc.

    I am really glad that you asked that! You see, I spent over 5 years living in South Korea – over 6 years in Asia altogether. Besides traveling there from North America and back, I visited North America five different times during my sojourn in Asia, returning to Korea each time. This means that I crossed the International Date Line 12 times during a 6 1/2-year period, experiencing either a 6-day or 8-day week each time. Because I never traveled during the Sabbath hours, I always had one 24-hour Sabbath each week.

    I was well aware that, wherever I was, the 7th-day Sabbath was specifically determined by the choice which had been made by the government of the country in which I was observing it. Sometimes, it fell 6 days or 8 days after the previous Sabbath, because the government of South Korea (or Malaysia) had chosen to be on one side of the day line and the government of British Columbia (or Saskatchewan) had chosen to be on the other side. I knew that those governmental choices had not been motivated by any desire to manipulate my Sabbath observance. I also knew that God expected me, as a Christian, to respect the choices of the civil authorities acting within their legitimate sphere. At least I wasn’t violating God’s law by choosing my own Sabbath. And, since I always observed the Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday, I didn’t have to worry about the effect of my influence on others!

    No, brother, I don’t see any problem with adjusting for every government-initiated day line shift that could possibly come our way. I do see a problem with keeping Sunday!

    By the way, are there any Roman Catholics keeping Monday now, or was that just a one-time mix-up?

  38. Hi Steve,

    You ask me:

    “Do you believe that the Sabbath now that we are keeping is the same 24 hours of the 7-day cycle that God blessed and sanctified?”

    My humble answer is I have no idea and I don’t believe it is relevant.

    The reason I mentioned the 7-day cycle since creation was because this was the big (HUGE) selling point of the SPD and STM. My Samoan friends I discussed the issue with constantly gave the 7-day cycle since creation as the reason it was so important to accept worshiping on Sunday.

    As people became aware of the added day in 1892, and the fact that it was impossible for Sunday to be in the 7-day cycle since creation in that way, the whole argument changed. The president of the STM has been on television (Tangata Pacifica) stating that the change is 120 years old. The change in 1892 is now used as an argument that the Sabbath has been changed twice in 120 years.

    The reason I stand strong and will never worship on Sunday is because I see the end-time events evolving all around the world. I see what the Bible and E. G. White have been prophesying for years happening and escalating everywhere.

    The Sabbath is a sign between God and His remnant. The devil attacks it because he knows the importance of it.

    As we head toward the revelation of the son of perdition, disguised as an angel of light, disguised as Christ himself, we need to be a peculiar people, not mingled with the world, especially in our worship.

    We have had visiting literature evangelism leaders last week telling us that Jesuits have infiltrated the Samoan government, and that the prime minister of Samoa changed the date line because he is a Catholic and he wanted to test the resolve of Seventh-day Adventists. The arguments for compromise and convenience are really getting quite silly, but it seems they have to be presented because so many people rely on the SPD and the STM for their livelihood.

    Just like with all Sunday worshipers, the time in earth’s history has not arrived where false worship will be the mark of the beast. But, sadly, on that day of probation ahead of us all those worshiping on Sunday will have to make full lifestyle changes in a small period of time in order to be saved. Sadly, many won’t, and they will be lost.

    The biggest indication of the fight between good and evil is that most of God’s people in Samoa now worship on the “sabbath” of man. Our biggest witness will be in the persecution that comes from standing for Christ and His Sabbath.

  39. Dear Brother R G White,
    Thank you for continuing to dialogue with me in this topic. I am glad that we can fill in the caps in our knowledge in our discussions.

    Brother, I believe you and I am following Jehovah as well, very closely. But Jehovah gave the message in the Hebrew language to the Jews and I am a Spiritual Jew today. We are lucky that Jesus opened the door for us to be a part of His children.

    You said this,
    “Seeing that “God made His Sabbath for a round world,” yet never revealed to us through His prophets or apostles any set location for the day line,”

    R G White, God did not give us any instruction about any dateline because He knew that we can work it out. He does not ask us to do something that is impossible. I would like to ask you about this sentence “it would seem strange indeed for Him to suddenly tell us in the late 19th century that the existing day line was all wrong.” What’s this EXISTING DAY LINE? Where is the location of this day line so we can solve this problem?

    Brother I am glad that you crossed the date line 12 times, I have crossed the dateline more than 20 times and I experience the same. Sometimes I have 6 days and other times I have 8 days in a week. This is what happens when we travel from one country to another and because we live in a rotating globe. Tonga & Samoa should not have this experience because they have not moved or travelled from where God put them. Tonga in about 175° longitude west of Greenwich & Samoa at about 168-172° west of Greenwich. They both locate at the right side of the UNIVERSAL DATELINE that I gave you on my comment in November 3rd.

    Brother, I see a big problem in moving from one 24 hours to another 24 hours, this shows that we are confused. The Sabbath of the Lord is the 7th Day from sunset to sunset, it is unchangeable. Saturday & Sunday is from 12 midnight to 12 midnight.

    Commonsense tells us that when (6th day) FRIDAY 30th December 2011 was removed from the Calendar without a setting of the sun. Saturday replaced the (6th day) & Sunday became the (7th Day) in a continuing seven day cycle.

    STM (Samoa), TNM (Tonga), TPUM (Fiji), BRC (Australia), SPD (Australia), BRICOM (GC-worldwide), many Jews & Jews Rabbis are all agreed that the 7th Day Sabbath in Samoa is in the day locally call Sunday.

    The issue here is not Sunday worship it is keeping the 7th Day Sabbath Holy.

    God Bless from Your Brother in Christ

  40. Hi Lance Cutts,
    Thank you for the humble answer that you gave to my question: “Do you believe that the Sabbath now that we are keeping is the same 24 hours of the 7-day cycle that God blessed and sanctified?” You said that your “humble answer is I have no idea and I don’t believe it is relevant.”

    I believe that this is very important. If we have no idea, than we don’t need to discuss this because we are not sure whether we are keeping the Sabbath or not. I believe that God created this world in six (24 hours) days and he rested, blessed & sanctified the 7th day (24 hours). Adam kept the Sabbath, Abraham, Moses, Israel, Jesus & the Apostles and it is still continuing till today. While Jesus was here more than 2000 years ago, he kept the Sabbath, if it was a wrong day He would have corrected it then, but he did not. Since that time Jews continued to keep the Sabbath until today.

    Brother the issue is not Sunday worship BUT keeping the 7th Day Sabbath Holy.

    Lance, I would like to invite you to read again the quotes that I gave about the change of Sabbath in Samoa in 1892, Rarotonga in 1899, Leeward Islands in 1854, and Tahiti about 1840. All these changes caused them to move their Sunday to the place of Monday, and all other days followed. This means that their Saturday after the change, was in the place of Sunday before. That’s why Saturday was the Sabbath in Samoa for 119 years, now SDA in Samoa are still keeping that same day (but it is locally call Sunday now after the change in December 2011).

    Brother I really respect your belief, and I believe all the “28 fundamentals beliefs of the SDA church,” I believe that the Sabbath is a sign of God’s people. What we are dealing with here is something that the Bible does not give a clear “thus says the Lord” to it, this is the Dateline. We need the dateline in a round world to account for days; the location of a dateline is not mention in the OT or the NT (Bible).

    We know that in 1884 there was a Universal Meridian adopted by many countries represented in the Washington Conference. Almost all the world is following this now. I mention in my comments before about how E G White recognized the dateline on her way to Australia via Samoa and her way back to USA. At both times she stopped over in Samoa and noted the dateline. I question sometimes why she did not stopped over in Tonga (my country) but only Samoa. It appears to me that God knew that we will discuss Samoa today and He made her stopped over there twice.

    Brother, the issue here is not Sunday Worship; it is keeping the 7TH DAY SABBATH HOLY. It is sad that because of where we are (close to the dateline) that we have this problem to call our 7th Day Sabbath – Sunday because our countries wanted to do business with Australia & New Zealand. But we will not change our Sabbath to another day to be different from the Catholics & other Protestants. The 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord our God.

    God Bless from Your Brother in CHRIST

    • Hi Steve,

      My question now has to be if the “7-day cycle” is salvation important.

      1) Were the Samoans worshiping on the 7-day cycle before 1892 or were they worshiping on the 7-day cycle after the 8-day week in 1892?

      2) As a Tongan, can you explain to me how the SDA church in Tonga started worshiping on Sunday? My present understanding is that the Wesleyan missionaries were very involved with the royalty of the kingdom before the SDA missionaries showed up, and the Tongan royalty only wanted one kingdom and one religion. Our early missionaries were not strong enough nor did they have enough trust in God to stand against this decree. (I can add a little understanding here, since they were white men in a strange land, and the world events that we witness occurring in these end times were not happening then.)

      3) Would the devil want the SDA church worshiping on Saturday or Sunday when he promotes his false form of worship in the near future?

      4) In your opinion, Steve, do you think there may be a possibility that, as false worship is promoted and enforced in the near future, our Sunday-keeping friends inside and outside the church will face more confusion and soul searching?

      5) Is there a possibility that God’s people, standing strong for the sign between God and His remnant, will (as a peculiar people not amalgamated with the world) shine in God’s truth and display His nature as E. G. White portrays will happen in the midnight hour? OR am I just some romantic dreamer who reads too much into what God’s Holy day is all about?

      I remember when the date line was first discussed and the SPD’s one-sided position was presented. In human nature my first thoughts were: Great! My son (an excellent little athlete) could now play rugby or soccer on Saturday! Wow! This is really cool because, this is what the church is promoting, so it must be right! It wasn’t till I got on my knees to ask for answers, that I and my wife started feeling really badly about it.

      I am not God and I don’t know the big picture, so I can’t judge that God has not influenced others to the other side of this debate. I can only personally testify to God’s blessings and abundant presence since we stood for His Sabbath.

      Steve, you have probably noticed I don’t much get into all the technical jargon of this debate. It is the power of a mighty and real God that drives me to stand firm against a world progressing into amalgamation and unity, in all aspects preparing itself as a majority to be fooled by the false Christ.

      Second Thessolonians 2:3-4 says:

      “Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God, in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

  41. To Lance Cutts,

    Thank you for continuing in this discussion with me. You gave the question, “My question now has to be if the “7-day cycle” is salvation important.” Lance, our salvation is through Christ. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” We are saved by grace. Does this mean that we are free to break God’s law? Remember that the 4th Commandment is the Sabbath one.

    You asked, “Were the Samoans worshiping on the 7-day cycle before 1892 or were they worshiping on the 7-day cycle after the 8-day week in 1892?” In Samoa there were people worshiping on the 7-day cycle in 1828 (Methodists), 1830 (LMS), 1888 (Mormon), all worshiping on Sunday. George Tenney and his family on travelling to Australia and then NZ noticed on 19 May 1888 people in Samoa observing Sunday worship on the 7th day Sabbath. E. G. White’s record indicates it was Friday November 27th 1891… But according to the time count ashore it was Saturday November 28th 1891. The days were changed and corrected by Malietoa in 1892, and when SDA missionaries settled in Samoa in 1895, they didn’t have to worry because the days were changed and they worshiped happily on Saturday, the 7th day after 4th July 1892.

    Tonga is the only island group that has not yet readjusted its time count following the introduction of the incorrect calendar reckoning by early missionaries. The LMS arrived in 1797, the Methodist in 1822, they all kept Sunday as the Sabbath like Samoa & the other islands. SDAs arrived in Tonga in 1891 and noticed the same thing that George Tenney & E. G. White noticed in Samoa. So they decided to keep Sunday for Saturday. In other words, those who go to church on Sunday, Tongan time, are really worshiping on Saturday. They decided to keep the correct day even though locally it looks like they are Sunday keepers. If the Tongan authorities will decide to change and correct the calendar reckoning, this problem will be solved. It will be solved by adding another day, the Adventists will remain and worship on the same day which will be called Saturday. Other churches will move to the new Sunday, on the next day.

    I understand our SDA theology and how we preached about the Sabbath, and who changed it to Sunday. I preached about the Beast and the Mark of the Beast. But this problem is faced by only us in the Pacific. In reading the history of how they supported the Pacific for the Dateline, I was not happy because they said it is a good location because only savage people live there and have no idea of time.

    Even though they said that, I still believe that where the date line is in right now is the best. If it will be in Jerusalem or Israel it would cause far more problems than the current location. It will cause great confusions for Sabbath-keepers all along the line from Russia in the North to the lands of Africa in the South. You will keep the Sabbath on your house while the opposite side of your street is Friday. If I am busy this week, I will cross the street and keep the Sabbath on the next day. This will make our church gatherings a nightmare.

    Brother, we in the Pacific are doing our best to follow God to the best of our knowledge. The SDA leadership agreed with what we are doing, many Jews and Rabbis agreed with what we are doing (see my comment on 15th November 2012). For more than 120 years GC, SPD & our Tonga mission addressed and re-addressed the issue and came to the same conclusion every time; we are keeping the right day.

    Brother, I really admire your understanding, I know that God can work through you; he can work through me as well. The best we can do now is to pray for God’s leading at this time.

    Change is always difficult; the change of Sabbath in Rarotonga in 1899 caused a division in the church that lasted for many years. But we should rest assured that Christ is still the Captain of our Ship. He will direct us at this difficult time.

    God Bless from your Brother in Christ

  42. Hi, Steve. You quote:

    In Samoa there were people worshiping on the 7-day cycle in 1828 (Methodists), 1830 (LMS), 1888 (Mormon), all worshiping on Sunday. George Tenney and his family on traveling to Australia and then NZ noticed on 19 May 1888 people in Samoa observing Sunday worship on the 7th day Sabbath. E. G. White’s record indicates it was Friday November 27th 1891… But according to the time count ashore it was Saturday November 28th 1891. The days were changed and corrected by Malietoa in 1892, and when SDA missionaries settled in Samoa in 1895, they didn’t have to worry because the days were changed and they worshiped happily on Saturday, the 7th day after 4th July 1892.

    The simple fact is that anyone traveling from America, especially in the old days of date line ignorance, would automatically suggest and think that days would line up with American dates. (To use this as a suggestion to justify Sunday worship is false. Methodists, Mormons and LMS were all worshiping on Sunday in the time zone of Samoa. American Adventists traveling from America claimed they were worshiping on the American Sabbath. The devil is very clever; he has been setting up this whole confusing situation for years now. It is the devil that wants God’s remnant weak and amalgamated.

    After 100 years of SDAs worshiping on Sunday in Tonga, how is the state of the church? Why is there no literature evangelism in Tonga?

    God is softly calling His people away from complacency and convenience, but He is also letting the devil work his deceptions to sort the sheep from the goats. The eternal marriage to the bridegroom has to be close and personal, not based on the habit of going to church, and in this case letting leaders make decisions on salvation issues.

    God is speaking to every heart. Some are hardening, some are feeling discomfort and others are experiencing the power of the Holy Spirit in a real and growing way!

    Blessings from Samoa, my brother in Christ!

  43. Hi, Lance. You wrote:

    “The simple fact is that anyone traveling from America, especially in the old days of date line ignorance, would automatically suggest and think that days would line up with American dates. To use this as a suggestion to justify Sunday worship is false. Methodists, Mormons and LMS were all worshiping on Sunday in the time zone of Samoa. American Adventists traveling from America claimed they were worshiping on the American Sabbath. The devil is very clever; he has been setting up this whole confusing situation for years now. It is the devil that wants God’s remnant weak and amalgamated.”

    Brother, this is very wrong. The reckoning of days was in accordance to the date line of England –- Greenwich — not America. The 0° meridian is in Greenwich & the 180° Meridian in the Pacific – UNIVERSAL PRIME MERIDIAN (see my comment from November 3, 2012). It was adopted by many countries in 1884 but used by many more than that 100 years before. Almost all the world are using it now; this is UNIVERSAL.

    You wrote:

    “After 100 years of SDAs worshiping on Sunday in Tonga, how is the state of the church? Why is there no literature evangelism in Tonga?”

    Brother let me humbly talk to you about the history of the SDA in Tonga & Samoa. In 1900 there were 12 members in Tonga & 8 members in Samoa, I will give you every ten years and the percentage of the SDA members as we compare it with the total population. 1900 (Tonga .06% & Samoa .02%); 1910 (Tonga .05% & Samoa .01%);1920 (Tonga .12% & Samoa .05%);1930 (Tonga .20% & Samoa .05%); 1940 (Tonga .33% & Samoa .23%); 1950 (Tonga .54% & Samoa .46%); 1960 (Tonga .90% & Samoa .61%); 1970 (Tonga 1.79% & Samoa 1.29%); 1980 (Tonga 2.52% & Samoa 2.07%); 1990 (Tonga 2.95% & Samoa 2.98%); 2000 (Tonga 1.82% & Samoa 2.52%); 2010 (Tonga 2.34% & Samoa 4.09%). This is from the Record archives in the SPD. You can access it online.

    You can see that the percentage of Samoan SDA members, in comparison with the population, only increased between 1990 & 2010 (after 100 years) when you compare it with Tonga (SDA started in Tonga in 1891). Also remember that people of both countries move overseas for a better life in education & employment.

    Let me give you these facts; (1) There are more Tongan SDA pastors in the USA than in Tonga; (2) There are more Tongan SDA pastors in New Zealand than in Tonga; (3) There are more Tongan SDA pastors in Australia than in Tonga; (4) The biggest SDA Tongan church is in Auckland; (5) The second biggest SDA Tongan church is in Los Angeles, USA. (6) There are more Tongan SDA members overseas than in Tonga. (7) There are about 200,000 Tongans & about 400,000 Samoans in the world today.

    Brother, please get you facts right before you talk about another country. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, six days you shall labour and do all your work but the 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. Sabbath = 7th day.

    God Bless from your brother in Christ!

    • Dear Steve,

      Thank you for your insight regarding the Samoa and Tonga Church membership growth as well as the Tongan Pastors – impressive! Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit guiding and counselling is indeed evident. Your sharing of these statistics peaked my interest and so I took a look at the SPD archives that you mentioned and thought to add to your perspective and for the wider benefit of our readers. However, I looked at the most recent 1-10-years record (the latest statistics published) and identified the following interesting trends:

      The global Seventh-Day Adventist compounded average growth rate 2000-2010 was +4.5%, by comparison for the same period Samoa’s was +10.5% and Tonga’s +4.2%.

      The Samoa Tokelau church growth per annum, 2004-2010 (when the Samoa Tokelau statistics were combined) show single digit positive trend as does Tonga 2005-2010 (when the statistics did not include Niue).

      However, what I believe is more pertinent to the debate is reaching out and touching that one “lost sheep” and returning it to the fold.

      God’s rich blessing this Sabbath Day, 24th November, 2012. ulalei

      • Hi Ulalei,

        Thank you for the comment and I am glad that you have looked at the statistics. It is great that we see growth in both countries, “Samoa’s was +10.5% and Tonga’s +4.2%.”

        I believe that it tells us that we in Tonga need to work more to win souls for God and His kingdom.

        Niue has been in and out of the Tonga Mission for sometimes, may be they used to join New Zealand ( I am not sure).

        God Bless.. Steve

  44. Dear Brother Steve,

    Thank you for your kind reply. I pray that God’s Holy Spirit may continue to lead us into better understanding and agreement. You wrote:

    I would like to ask you about this sentence “it would seem strange indeed for Him to suddenly tell us in the late 19th century that the existing day line was all wrong.” What’s this EXISTING DAY LINE? Where is the location of this day line so we can solve this problem?

    That is an excellent question. I have touched upon it in earlier comments, but it seems a more thorough explanation is now in order. I have been asked to submit this explanation as a separate post, so here is a link to it.

    “Where Did We Get Our IDL?”

    I shall touch on just a few more items. You wrote to Lance:

    Tonga is the only island group that has not yet readjusted its time count following the introduction of the incorrect calendar reckoning by early missionaries. The LMS arrived in 1797, the Methodist in 1822, they all kept Sunday as the Sabbath like Samoa & the other islands. SDAs arrived in Tonga in 1891 and noticed the same thing that George Tenney & E. G. White noticed in Samoa. So they decided to keep Sunday for Saturday.

    E. G. White did indeed write in her diary that she arrived in Apia harbour on a ship on Friday, November 27, 1891. Seeing the ship left Apia harbour at 1:00 p.m. on the same day, that would seem to have been a rather brief stop. I think it might be a bit of a stretch to suggest that Ellen White actually visited Samoa on that occasion. I understand that she did not even go ashore. It must have been Saturday, November 28 onshore. But where is the evidence that Ellen White herself so much as “noticed” this discrepancy? Even if she had noticed it, would she not have been right to respect the authority of her ship’s captain to say what day it was on board the ship? Of course, the ship crossed the British nautical day line — not the land-based day line — between Samoa and Auckland. (See “On the Way to Australia.”)

    Do you mean to suggest that E. G. White was in agreement with those who “decided to keep Sunday for Saturday?” If so, how can you reconcile this with what she had to say about the Eden Day Line theory and that theory’s endorsement of Sunday keeping in parts of the world? She called that “a snare of Satan!” (See “The Day Line.”)

    You wrote to me:

    Common sense tells us that when (6th day) FRIDAY 30th December 2011 was removed from the Calendar without a setting of the sun. Saturday replaced the (6th day) & Sunday became the (7th Day) in a continuing seven day cycle.

    I don’t think so, brother. Given the nature of the day line, Saturday did not replace Friday. Rather, Samoa merely followed the westerly migrant Thursday with the easterly migrant Saturday — much like what you or I might do upon crossing the IDL. Otherwise, all of the day line shifts of history, including Samoa’s 1892 change, would presently represent a huge problem as well!

    You also wrote:

    The issue here is not Sunday worship; it is keeping the 7th Day Sabbath holy.

    Personally, brother, I believe it’s both.

  45. Dear Brother Steve,

    I believe the context of Brother Lance time reckoning relates to when Samoa was positioned west of the IDL before the first time change made by King Malietoa before the 4th July, 1892, and kept Asia time reckoning – as did Australia and New Zealand.

    After the 4th July 1892, Samoa was positioned east of the IDL and kept American time reckoning because of trade and economic reasons. This resulted with Samoa keeping a 1-time 8-day week, (Monday 4th July was repeated) to adjust to American time reckoning, but importantly, maintaining the same universal calendar keeping the same year, month, day and naming of days, as they did when keeping Asia time reckoning.

    This being the case, the 7th-Day Sabbath, whether keeping Asia or American time reckoning, the name of the day and the date remain constant, e.g. today is the 7th-Day Sabbath, 24th November, in Singapore (where I live), Samoa, Australia and New Zealand, countries that are positioned west of the IDL and keep Asian time reckoning, is the same as those living in countries east of the IDL or keep American time reckoning, generally speaking, 24hours behind.

    Let me ask you a question, given whether someone is located west or east of the IDL and they follow the universal calendar i.e. year, month, day and naming of days, is the 7th-Day that we worship God, Saturday or Sunday? In this context could the 7th-Day Sabbath ever be on Sunday? Given that the global Seventh-Day Adventist community follow the universal calendar, is the 7th-Day Sabbath, 24th November, Saturday or another date/day?

    God’s rich blessing. ulalei

    • To Ulalei:

      Thank you for your insights. Just allow me to respond to your comments. The problem that we are dealing with is in connection with the date line. There is need for a date line on a round world. God did not give us any information in the Bible about the date line and its location.

      Many countries had their own concepts and locations for the date line — like France, Belgium, Israel, England etc. — but the Meridian Conference of 1884 in Washington agreed to adopt the Meridian of Greenwich England as the Universal Prime Meridian (this was the best & used by many); almost every country uses this today. I know that God can work through us & He can work through others as well, like those delegates in the Meridian Conference in 1884. See the quote below:

      “The Prime Meridian Conference at Washington today adopted the Greenwich line as the Universal Prime Meridian.” Aberdeen Weekly Journal (Aberdeen, Scotland), Tuesday, October 14, 1884; Issue 9259

      The Universal Prime Meridian is in Greenwich, England — 0° & in the Pacific Ocean 180° — if we will keep to these Universal Meridians than we will not go wrong in our reckoning of days and keeping of our 7th-day Sabbath (this is a holy 24 hours if we believe that God created this world in six 24-hour days). We have our Universal Time from these meridians; midday in Greenwich 0° Meridians & midnight in the Pacific 180° Meridian.

      The International Date Line can be changed anytime by any country for any reason, by those countries that are close to it. We see this in Kiribati & Samoa in the quotes below:

      “How did the Republic of Kiribati become the first country to enter the new millennium? By shifting the International Date Line more than 2,000 miles east, so that it will be 2000 in Kiribati while it’s still 1999 in Hawaii.” Honolulu Magazine, “ Millennium” Aimee Harris, August (1999) p20.

      “The Pacific island nation of Samoa and its even tinier neighbor Tokelau are skipping Friday this week, jumping westward in time across the International Date Line and into the shifting economic balance of the 21st century. The time change, officially decided in June, is meant to align Samoa with its Asian trading partners;

      “’In doing business with New Zealand and Australia, we’re losing out on two working days a week,’ Mr. Tuila’epa said. ‘While it’s Friday here, it’s Saturday in New Zealand, and when we’re at church on Sunday, they’re already conducting business in Sydney and Brisbane.’”
      The New York Times “Samoa Sacrifices a Day for Its Future” Seth Mydans, 29th December 2011.

      We see the reasons why Kiribati & Samoa shifted the date line in the quotes above. For Kiribati they removed Sunday, 1st January, 1995 from that week, after Saturday, 31st December, 1994. Then the next day was Monday, 2nd January, 1995. After Saturday, the 7th day, the next day was Monday, taking the place of Sunday as the 1st Day, Tuesday 2nd, Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th, Friday 5th, Saturday 6th, Sunday 7th Day of an unbroken seven-day cycle. The SDA members in Kiribati understood the change, figured out their Sabbath, and are keeping the 7th-day Sabbath on the day locally called Sunday.

      For Samoa they removed Friday, 30th December, 2011 from the week, after Thursday, 29th December, 2011. Then the next day was Saturday, 31st December, 2011. After Thursday the 5th day, the next day was Saturday, taking the place of Friday as the 6th Day, Sunday 7th, Monday 1st, etc. of an unbroken seven-day cycle. More than 95% of the SDA members in Samoa understood the change, figured out their Sabbath and are keeping the 7th Day Sabbath on the day locally called Sunday. Many Jews & Jews Rabbis agreed to keep the Sabbath on Sunday. See the quotes below from Jews & Jewish Rabbis:

      “While The Associated Press reported that the Seventh-day Adventist parish in Samatau village will continue to observe Saturday as the Sabbath, Radio New Zealand International indicated that most Seventh-day Adventist churches will adopt Sunday as the new day of rest.”

      “’I will follow their lead and light Shabbos candles on Saturday night,’ Lapushin told JTA.” See “With Samoa calendar change, question for Jews: When is Shabbat? By Adam Soclof • December 30, 2011.”

      Lapushin, this Jew in Samoa in the quote above is keeping the Sabbath from Saturday evening to Sunday evening. He states that he will “light Shabbos candles on Saturday night.” These candles are lit at the beginning of the Sabbath.

      “Rabbi David Shapira opined that the date line is approximately 135°, or 9 hours, east of Jerusalem. This would make the date line approximately 170° east of Greenwich, which is only 10° off the International Date Line.

      “This means that until now the Sabbath in Samoa was on Saturday, but from now on it will be on Sunday.” See “The Sabbath, the International Date Line and Jews Law, ‘How does the change in Samoa affect the Sabbath for the local Jews?’ By Yehuda Shurpin.”

      The argument from the Jews is that God’s week is 7 days; there can be no 6-day or 8-day week. When Friday was removed, they counted from the previous Sabbath; the 7th day next was Sunday. Jesus said in Matthew 5:20, “For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

      http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-trav-dateline.htm#_ftn14
      http://betweenjerusalemandtelaviv.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/dateline-and-halacha.html
      http://www.totallyjewish.com/tradition/ask_the_rabbi/?content_id=16339

      I believe that the best for us to use is the Universal Meridians for the reckoning of days, 0° in Greenwich (mid-day) & 180° in the Pacific (mid-night). Those countries on the left of the 180° Meridian all keep the same Sabbath & those countries on the right of the 180° Meridian all keep the same Sabbath. There will be consistency here, and no country or government will be able to change our Sabbath from one 24 hours to another 24 hours (for business reasons or any other reasons).

      You ask this question, “Let me ask you a question, given whether someone is located west or east of the IDL and they follow the universal calendar i.e. year, month, day and naming of days, is the 7th-Day that we worship God, Saturday or Sunday?”

      I think I have given you my answer already and I am not concerned with Saturday, Sunday or even Wednesday (these heathen names) –- as long it is the 7th Day of the week that will be the Sabbath of the Lord to me. I told you that I use the Universal Meridian and there is more probability of the International Date Line changing than this Universal Meridian (it has not changed yet since 1884). The International Date Line changed in 1892 (Samoa), 1899 (Cook Islands), 1995 (Kiribati) and 2011 (Samoa again). I will not count my 7th-day Sabbath by a date line like this. I will keep to the Universal Meridian until God reveals to me another better way.

      God Bless from your SDA Brother in Christ,
      Steve

      • Dear Brother Steve,

        Thank you for your in-depth response.

        Putting aside the science and history for one moment, and taking into account the time and day in which we live today, I presume you follow the same universal calendar that our global Seventh-Day Adventist community use to mark the year, month, and day and upon which we also keep time. I would like you to consider the following:

        I am in Shenzhen China and it is Saturday, 8th December, so I went to church because it is the 7th day of the week.

        In Auckland New Zealand, it is also Saturday, 8th December, and my brothers also went to church because it is the 7th-day Sabbath.

        In London UK, it is also Saturday, 8th December and my sister if she were still an Adventist, would also be attending church because it is the 7th-day Sabbath.

        In Los Angeles USA, it is presently Friday, 7th December, soon to be Saturday, 8th December and my dear friend, Pastor Meshach Soley, will lead out at his church(es) because it will be the 7th-day Sabbath.

        For those of us Seventh-Day Adventists keeping time west of the IDL, today is Saturday, 8th December, and for those east of the IDL, at some point in the ensuing 24-hours, it will be Saturday, 8th December and we will all have fellowshiped and worshiped at church because it is the 7th-day Sabbath.

        Now in summary, and in the context of the Seventh-Day Adventist global community, we all will have worshiped on Saturday, 8th December because it is the 7th-day Sabbath.

        May I ask you the question, why would the 7th-day Sabbath in Tonga and Samoa be Sunday, 9th December, the first day of the week? Irrespective of whether Samoa is west or east of the IDL, they also follow the same universal calendar the rest of the Seventh-day global community does. So why do they not keep the 7th-day Sabbath the same as the global community does, which is Saturday 8th December?

        Therefore, whether 24-hours in advance or in arrears, west of or east of the IDL, would not the 7th-day Sabbath today, following the universal calendar, remain constant and be Saturday, 8th December? What do you think?

        God’s rich blessing on you and yours this 7th-Day Sabbath, Saturday, 8th December.

        Ulalei

  46. Dear Steve,
    You wrote: “they all kept Sunday as the Sabbath like Samoa & the other islands. SDAs arrived in Tonga in 1891 and noticed the same thing that George Tenney & E. G. White noticed in Samoa. So they decided to keep Sunday for Saturday.”

    Yes, the Methodists and Catholics etc. all kept Sunday, the first day of the week. That part is correct.

    But E. G. White never, ever said Sunday keeping in Tonga was the right thing to do. To imply that she did is not “getting the facts right”.

    Simply refering to her account of a ship crossing the marine dateline, (its true that ships from America and England adjusted time at the 180th meridian) is no evidence whatsoever that Adventists living in Tonga (or Samoa) should keep Sunday and ignore the land dateline established and acknowledged by the world.

    Remember EGW said, a dateline theory that caused people to say its all right to observe Sunday was a snare of Satan.
    See {3SM 318.4}

  47. Hello Ulicia,
    Thank you for responding to my comment and it is always interesting to continue the discussion on this topic. We are seeking a solution for a difficult issue.

    I mention George Tenney & E G White on my previous comment just to confirm that their reckoning of days was not the same with those in Samoa. When they thought it was Saturday, it was Sunday onshore. E G White did not mention this in her writings but because they arrived there before July 4, 1892, we know that that was a fact. There were many as well who had the same experience in Tonga, I gave that on my previous comment on 20th October.

    Ulicia, it is true that E G White did not say anything about Tonga keeping the 7th Day Sabbath on Sunday. She did not even travel to the islands of Tonga. She only traveled to Samoa and I think it is very important for us to see what she wrote;

    “Between Samoa and Auckland we crossed the day-line, and for the first time in our lives we had a week of six days. Tuesday, December 1, was dropped from our reckoning, and we passed from Monday to Wednesday.” Bible Echo and Signs of the Times, January 1, 1892

    If we are to follow her writing in solving this issue than why we have to take the date line from the location that she stated; BETWEEN Samoa & Auckland.

    You gave this quote “Remember EGW said, a dateline theory that caused people to say its all right to observe Sunday was a snare of Satan.” See {3SM 318.4}

    E G White wrote this about the Eden day-line theory and the Bering Strait’s day-line theory. She accepted the 180° Meridian day-line between Samoa and Auckland, New Zealand. She took note of the two times that she crossed the dateline. I have read all she wrote about the day-line theories and it appears to me that God did not give her lights on this subject.

    “But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” John 16:13

    God Bless from your SDA brother in Christ

  48. To Brother John Wallace

    2 Chronicles 7:14
    14 If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

    Exodus 20:8-11
    8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
    10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
    11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

    Have a Great Sabbath…from your brother in Christ

    • Hi Steve,

      2 Chronicles 7:14

      If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

      Exodus 20:8-11

      8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
      9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
      10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
      11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

      With these 2 precious Scriptures in mind, I could never join the world and worship on Sunday.

  49. Dear Brother Ulalei,

    Thank you for your great response.

    Ulalei, I follow the universal calendar for reckoning of year, month, day and time. When it is mid-day in Greenwich, England 0° meridian, it is mid-night in the Pacific 180° meridian. When it is Sunday on the left side of the IDL, it is Saturday on the right side of the IDL. We cannot deal with this issue without science, history & common sense. We are dealing with God’s holy time; He did not bless & sanctify the name of the day, He blessed & sanctified the time (24 hours) of the day.

    It appears to me that many of the arguments given in this forum is based on this formula; Saturday = Sabbath (7th day) & Sunday = (1st day). I agree that this is the dictionary definition for Saturday & Sunday and correct to most of the world. But this is not correct when we are dealing with Tonga, Kiribati & Independent Samoa (that are close to the dateline). I will explain to you what I mean; I have all the sources to support my arguments.

    Tonga did not want to correct their reckoning of days in the 1880s because of trade with Australia, New Zealand & Fiji. Because of this, Saturday in Tonga is called Sunday locally. The king of Tonga George Tupou IV did not want to do anything with it because he loved his kingdom to be the first every year to see the New Year. Tonga for more than 100 years holds the title “the land where time begins.” A hotel in Tonga is named the International Dateline Hotel to mark this important title. Do you think that these are good reasons to keep the day locally called Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath?

    Kiribati wanted to take the title of “the land where time begins” from Tonga in 1995. King George Tupou IV argued with them in this matter but Kiribati won the battle. They shift the dateline 2000 miles east. Because of this strange change, the day that used to be called Saturday is now called Sunday locally. Do you think that this is a good reason to keep the day locally called Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath?

    Samoa wanted to change their reckoning of days for business reasons, because of trade with Australia & New Zealand in 2011. They shift the dateline east from the left side of the country to the right side. Because of this change, the day that used to be called Saturday is now called Sunday locally. Do you think that this is a good reason to keep the day locally called Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath?

    The SDA Church leadership have given the direction to the SDA church membership in these countries on keeping the 7th day Sabbath holy on the same 24 hours that they have kept since the arrival of the SDA missionaries. It is sad that because of TRADE & PRIDE that these countries have to change the name of the days, Kiribati in 1995 & Samoa in 2011. Remember it is not the name of the day that God blessed and sanctified, it was the time (24 hours). We should not allow the government or the parliament determines the Sabbath for us. What about if the government will decide to change it again next year? Are we going to change our Sabbath again?

    It is encouraging to know that majority of the Jews agree with the SDA leadership, 99.9% of the Tonga SDA membership agree, 100% of the Kiribati SDA membership agree & more than 97% of the Samoa SDA membership agree.

    Let me give you these facts;
    1. Sunday in Samoa now is exactly the same 24 hours that the SDA members have been keeping for more than 119 years (it was called Saturday before December 2011).
    2. American Samoa is keeping the 7th day Sabbath on Saturday at the same 24 hours with Independent Samoa (but it is called Sunday there now after December 2011).

    Let us continue to pray (just like what I gave in my comment on October 28) because God will show us His will very very soon. I am giving here an encouragement to all who will read this comment. Whatever your belief in this issue, just don’t break the 7th day Sabbath of God in Samoa in the day that is locally called Sunday now for business reasons since December 2011. This is holy 24 hours and it is NOT WISE for anyone to break it.

    God Bless from your brother in Christ… Steve

    REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY, SIX DAY YOU SHALL LABOR AND DO ALL YOUR WORKS BUT THE 7TH DAY IS THE SABBATH OF THE LORD

    • Dear Brother Steve,

      I have replied to your comments in CAPITAL letters in direct response to your comments. God bless you and yours on His Sabbath-Day.

      Dear Brother Ulalei,

      DEAR BROTHER STEVE,

      Thank you for your great response. THANK YOU ALSO FOR YOUR ONGOING DIALOGUE.

      Ulalei, I follow the universal calendar for reckoning of year, month, day and time. When it is mid-day in Greenwich, England 0° meridian, it is mid-night in the Pacific 180° meridian. When it is Sunday on the left side of the IDL, it is Saturday on the right side of the IDL. We cannot deal with this issue without science, history & common sense. We are dealing with God’s holy time; He did not bless & sanctify the name of the day, He blessed & sanctified the time (24 hours) of the day.

      IF, AS YOU SAY, YOU FOLLOW THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR, THEN WE BOTH ACCEPT THAT WHETHER WEST OR EAST OF THE IDL, THE YEAR, MONTH, DAY AND TIME IS THE SAME EXCEPT FOR A 24-HOURS TIME DIFFERENCE. THEREFORE, IF AS IT IS HERE IN CHINA TODAY, THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH IS SATURDAY, 15TH DECEMBER, THEN IT WILL ALSO BE FOR THOSE COUNTRIES EAST OF THE IDL WITHIN THE FOLLOWING 24-HOURS.
      INSOFAR AS KEEPING GOD’S HOLY TIME, BY FOLLOWING THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR, SHOWS IT IS THE SEVENTH-DAY OF THE WEEK, DECEMBER 15TH, SATURDAY, WHICH THE GLOBAL SEVENTH-DAY COMMUNITY RECOGNIZE AS GOD’S SABBATH DAY. GIVEN THAT YOU ACCEPT AND FOLLOW THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR, I PRESUME YOU AGREE WITH THIS STATEMENT?

      It appears to me that many of the arguments given in this forum is based on this formula; Saturday = Sabbath (7th day) & Sunday = (1st day). I agree that this is the dictionary definition for Saturday & Sunday and correct to most of the world. But this is not correct when we are dealing with Tonga, Kiribati & Independent Samoa (that are close to the dateline). I will explain to you what I mean; I have all the sources to support my arguments.

      THE “FORMULA” THAT YOU SPEAK OF IS NONE OTHER THAN THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR. ACCORDINGLY, TODAY IS DECEMBER, 15TH, AND THE NAME OF THE DAY IS SATURDAY. WHETHER LOCATED EAST OR WEST OF THE IDL, THE YEAR, MONTH, DAY AND TIME REMAIN CONSTANT, BUT FOR THE 24-HOURS TIME DIFFERENCE.

      Tonga did not want to correct their reckoning of days in the 1880s because of trade with Australia, New Zealand & Fiji. Because of this, Saturday in Tonga is called Sunday locally. The king of Tonga George Tupou IV did not want to do anything with it because he loved his kingdom to be the first every year to see the New Year. Tonga for more than 100 years holds the title “the land where time begins.” A hotel in Tonga is named the International Dateline Hotel to mark this important title. Do you think that these are good reasons to keep the day locally called Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath?

      Kiribati wanted to take the title of “the land where time begins” from Tonga in 1995. King George Tupou IV argued with them in this matter but Kiribati won the battle. They shift the dateline 2000 miles east. Because of this strange change, the day that used to be called Saturday is now called Sunday locally. Do you think that this is a good reason to keep the day locally called Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath?

      Samoa wanted to change their reckoning of days for business reasons, because of trade with Australia & New Zealand in 2011. They shift the dateline east from the left side of the country to the right side. Because of this change, the day that used to be called Saturday is now called Sunday locally. Do you think that this is a good reason to keep the day locally called Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath?

      ON MONDAY, 4TH JULY, 1892, KING MALIETOA MADE THE DECISION TO POSITION SAMOA EAST OF THE IDL FOR ECONOMIC REASONS AS AMERICA WAS IT MAIN TRADING PARTNER AND THEREFORE SWITCHED TO KEEPING AMERICAN TIME. IN SO DOING, SAMOA REPEATED MONDAY JULY 4TH, THEREBY ACCEPTING A 1-TIME 8-DAY WEEK. NOTWITHSTANDING, SAMOA CONTINUED TO FOLLOW THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR, BUT 24-HOURS IN ARREARS OF WHEN IT WAS WEST OF THE IDL.

      ON THURSDAY, 29TH DECEMBER, 2011, THE CURRENT SAMOA GOVERNMENT MADE THE DECISION TO RE-POSITION SAMOA WEST OF THE IDL AS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND HAD NOW BECOME ITS MAIN TRADING PARTNERS AND THEREFORE SWITCHED BACK TO ITS ORIGINAL TIME KEEPING, PRIOR TO MONDAY, 4TH JULY, 1892. BY DOING SO, SAMOA ACCEPTED A 1-TIME 6-DAY WEEK BUT IMPORTANTLY, CONTINUED TO FOLLOW THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR, BUT 24-HOURS INADVANCE OF WHEN IT WAS EAST OF THE IDL.

      HOWEVER, IT IS IMPORTANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE, SAMOA MADE TWO TIME CHANGES, NOT ONE. THE FIRST ON MONDAY, 4TH JULY, 1892 AND THE SECOND ON THURSDAY, 29TH DECEMBER, 2011. THEREFORE, ACCORDING TO THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR, AS AN SAMOAN ADVENTIST WHO ACCEPTS THIS “FORMULA”, THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH WAS SATURDAY BEFORE AND AFTER THE FIRST CHANGE. NOW MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, IF AS YOU SAY YOU ACCEPT AND FOLLOW THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR, WHY WHEN SAMOA HAS RETURNED TO ITS ORIGINAL POSITION WEST OF THE IDL, SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS WHO WORSHIPPED ON THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH ON SATURDAY BEFORE AND AFTER JULY 4TH, 1892, AND CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THE SAME UNIVERSAL CALENDAR TODAY, NOW CHANGE TO WORSHIPPING ON SUNDAY?

      The SDA Church leadership have given the direction to the SDA church membership in these countries on keeping the 7th day Sabbath holy on the same 24 hours that they have kept since the arrival of the SDA missionaries. It is sad that because of TRADE & PRIDE that these countries have to change the name of the days, Kiribati in 1995 & Samoa in 2011. Remember it is not the name of the day that God blessed and sanctified, it was the time (24 hours). We should not allow the government or the parliament determines the Sabbath for us. What about if the government will decide to change it again next year? Are we going to change our Sabbath again?

      ACCORDING TO ROMANS 13:1-7, GOVERNMENTS HAVE THE LEGITMATE RIGHT TO GOVERN AND WE ARE SUBJECT TO THEIR LEADING. AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT CONFLICT WITH OUR DUTY TO GOD. THEREFORE, IT IS THE SAMOAN GOVERNMENT PREROGATIVE TO DECIDE TO POSITION SAMOA EITHER EAST OR WEST OF THE IDL. NEVERTHELESS, THEY HAVE NOT CHANGED THE NAMES OF DAYS OR KEEPING OF TIME BUT CONTINUE TO ADHERE TO THE SAME UNIVERSAL CALENDAR THAT YOU ACCEPT AND FOLLOW. THE DIFFERENCE AFTER THE SECOND CHANGE ON DECEMBER 29TH, 2011, IS THE ADVANCEMENT OF TIME BY 24-HOURS WHEN IT WAS EAST OF THE IDL, IN ORDER TO KEEP THE SAME TIME AS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND FOR THE REASONS ALREADY MENTIONED.

      AS WE BOTH AGREE, THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH IS ENDURING, WHETHER WEST OR EAST OF THE IDL AND GIVEN THAT THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR IS ACCEPTED AND FOLLOWED BY THE GLOBAL SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST COMMUNITY, ACCORDINGLY, THE SEVENTH-DAY IS NAMED, SATURDAY, NEVER SUNDAY.

      It is encouraging to know that majority of the Jews agree with the SDA leadership, 99.9% of the Tonga SDA membership agree, 100% of the Kiribati SDA membership agree & more than 97% of the Samoa SDA membership agree.

      Let me give you these facts;
      1. Sunday in Samoa now is exactly the same 24 hours that the SDA members have been keeping for more than 119 years (it was called Saturday before December 2011).

      IT WAS ALSO CALLED SATURDAY BEFORE MONDAY, 4TH JULY, 1892. REMEMBER THERE WERE TWO IDL POSTIONAL CHANGES MADE BY THE SAMOAN GOVERNMENT, NOT ONE. THEREFORE, IF IT WAS CALLED SATURDAY BEFORE AND AFTER THE FIRST CHANGE, WHY WOULD IT BE CHANGED TO SUNDAY AFTER THE SECOND CHANGE, ON THURSDAY, 29TH DECEMBER, (WHICH IS ALSO SAMOA ORIGNAL IDL POSITION PRIOR TO JULY 4TH, 1892?).

      2. American Samoa is keeping the 7th day Sabbath on Saturday at the same 24 hours with Independent Samoa (but it is called Sunday there now after December 2011).

      IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE THAT AMERICAN SAMOA IS POSITIONED EAST OF THE IDL WHEREAS SAMOA IS ON THE WEST. THEY BOTH FOLLOW THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR THAT FOR EXAMPLE SHOWS THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH, IS THE 15TH DECEMBER, NAMED SATURDAY. THEREFORE, BY SAMOA KEEPING (SUNDAY) THE SAME DAY THAT AMERICAN SAMOA KEEP AS THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH, NAMED SATURDAY, SHOWS THAT SAMOA IS FOLLOWING AMERCIAN TIME-KEEPING, EAST OF THE IDL, WHEN IN FACT IT IS WEST OF THE IDL. THIS IS A CONFUSING SITUATION AND CONTRADICTION OF ACCEPTING AND FOLLOWING THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR. THE REALITY IS WHILST BOTH COUNTRIES ARE 24-HOURS APART, FAITHFULLY FOLLOWING THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR WOULD SHOW THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH IS SATURDAY, 15TH DECEMBER, 2012. IT WOULD NOT BE SUNDAY, 16TH DECEMBER, FOR SAMOA.

      Let us continue to pray (just like what I gave in my comment on October 28) because God will show us His will very very soon. I am giving here an encouragement to all who will read this comment. Whatever your belief in this issue, just don’t break the 7th day Sabbath of God in Samoa in the day that is locally called Sunday now for business reasons since December 2011. This is holy 24 hours and it is NOT WISE for anyone to break it.
      God Bless from your brother in Christ… Steve

      REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY, SIX DAY YOU SHALL LABOR AND DO ALL YOUR WORKS BUT THE 7TH DAY IS THE SABBATH OF THE LORD.

      I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOUR COMMENT ABOVE FOUND IN EXODUS 20:8-10. HOWEVER, IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO APPRECIATE THE CONTEXT OF WHERE THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH IS POSITIONED IN THE 7-DAY WEEK CYCLE. ACCORDING TO MARK 15:42 AND MATTHEW 28:1, IT IS FOUND AFTER PREPARATION DAY AND BEFORE THE 1ST-DAY OF THE WEEK. ACCORDING TO THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR, THE NAME OF THE RESPECTIVE DAYS ARE FRIDAY AND SUNDAY. THEREFORE THE SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH IS POSTIONED BEWTEEN FRIDAY AND SUNDAY AND ACCORDING TO THE UNIVERSAL CALENDAR, IS NAMED SATURDAY.

      God’s rich blessing, ulalei

  50. Dear Steve,

    A few months ago I made comments which I believe are in line with what I think you are trying to say. That the Sabbath is the 7th day and no government can change the order of the days as ordained by God. But I went further backward to 1892 when the Samoa government,as far as my knowledge can attest from history, with the American influence introduced two Mondays, two 4th of July 1892, and made that week 8 days; therefore based on that history, the 7th day of the week there forward would have been called Friday. But everyone skipped that 7th day Sabbath (called Friday), and celebrated the sabbath on the 8th day which was in fact the 1st day, because it was then called Saturday. And as we know God’s week has only 7 days, no more, no less, and the government changing the week to 8 days or 6 days does not and cannot change God’s 7 day week. Having said this, I think you should recalculate again which day the 7th day is now called.

    If I am to only used December 2011 to indicate that the 7th day is now called “Sunday”, I’ll agree that we should observe that day as the sabbath. But the problem is that history has shown that the week went through various changes in man’s lifetime, in various countries, information which I have provided in an earlier comment. If we are to be moving back and forth every time a government shifts the names of the week, and we shift the sabbath to suit then we are not grounded on sound doctrine. I have looked at the Bible a little bit closer and I am convinced that true Sabbath observers need to return to the original calendar of God; that calendar that man can not alter; the calendar that controls the sum and moon and stars. The Bible says they are there for seasons and times, and that’s the calender we should be looking to.

    All we are doing here about this sabbath issue is just going around the bush. Let us study again the Bible and comprehend once again God’s instructions. Put aside all man made calenders and ask your self: How can I know which day is the 7th day.

  51. The SPD/STM theory of “its not the name of the day thats important but the number of the day” is false on two counts.

    First for the theory to stick the SPD promoted a lie that the govt of Samoa changed the Calender to make Monday the first day of the week -SPD forgot that Samoa has a govt and that it needs to be law before any such thing can happen – the Samoa Calender is still Sunday the first day – Saturday is still the Seventh Day of the week (this is where the SPD number theory came unstuck).

    The second – The SPD are keeping to the name of the day which is really the AMERICAN SATURDAY which falls on Sunday (opposite of the half-truths they are promoting)-they are not keeping Sunday as the ressurection day like Catholics etc. they are keeping the American Saturday as commanded by the SPD.

    It’s very simple, when Samoa was in partnership with the US, the people of Samoa kept the Sabbath together with American Samoa.

    Now that the Independent govt of Samoa, for trade reasons, chose to partner with NZ & Oz, its people will keep the Sabbath with churches in NZ & OZ -very simple – the govt & people of Samoa have the right to do so – keep the Seventh Day of the week which is also on Saturday.

    – why it became a problem when the SPD interfered & ordered STM (by using falsehoods -“GC endorsed Sunday & the Govt of Samoa changed the Calender” )to still keep the American Saturday which falls on Sunday & then start promoting falsehoods to make it stick.

    Locally we r seen as hypocrites – in the weekend Sunday Adventist keep American time, Monday -Friday they revert back to Samoa time – otherwise our Adventist will be out of jobs trying to keep the American times in a Samoan country which is always running 1 day behind.

    We honour God not Man -our guide is the bible -like one elderly Samoan Legend once said if these lines are not in the bible then they cannot be used as guide.

  52. Dear Brother Ulalei,
    I am surprise that this forum allows you to give your comments in CAPITAL letters. My comments before were not allowed to put in this forum because I used CAPITAL letters, anyway I am still glad as a faithful SDA member to continue in this ongoing dialogue.

    Ulalei, if you read my comment on November 3 there is a Universal Prime Meridian that the world follows & there is an IDL. I and my church (SDA) follow this Universal Prime Meridian.

    I understand the Universal Calendar and the name for the days of the week (the heathen names). I understand that the days of the week start from MID-NIGHT to MID-NIGHT. I understand that your time is figured out from the 0° Meridian & 180° Meridian (Universal Meridian). I also understand that this Universal Meridian has not changed since 1884 (and since 1700s for England & many countries). I keep the 7th day Sabbath of God in accordance with this Universal Meridian and no country or government in the world will be able to change my Sabbath from this 24 hours to another (this is God holy time).

    Brother, thank you for your information about 1892 & 2011 of how you explain “Samoa was position east of the IDL” & “Re-position west of the IDL.” I just want to remind you that Samoa has been positioned by God in its location (latitude and longitude is 13° 35 S and 172° 20 W) and it is still there now. Samoa government changed the IDL twice to correct an error & for BUSINESS.

    Brother Ulalei, please read again these quotes that I gave in my comment – November 15, “In the latest files of the ‘Samoan Times’ appears the Royal Proclamation: “Whereas through an error in reckoning the people of these islands have hitherto been using the wrong day and date as judged by our true position in longitude; Now, therefore, to rectify this error, and in accordance with the express desire of the Municipal Council of Apia and my Government, it is hereby proclaimed and ordered that Tuesday, the 5th of July next by present reckoning, shall be called Monday, the 4th of July, and the days and dates in the future shall be reckoned in succession from that day. That is, there shall be two days next month called Monday, the 4th of July. Malietoa, King of Samoa, Mulinuu, June 16th, 1892.” Taranaki Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 9481, 29 August 1892, pg. 2.

    “Sometimes ago the inhabitants of Samoa and Rarotonga were observing Saturday, which they believed to be Sunday.” Is Saturday or Sunday the Sabbath in New Zealand? Auckland Star, Volume XXVIII, Issue 225, 28 September 1897, pg. 2.

    Brother thank you for the Biblical texts and I believe all of those texts, It is also important that we obey God rather than man. The problem that we deal with here is because Tonga & Samoa are so close to the Universal Meridian & IDL. The church in the SPD has made a decision to keep to the Universal Meridian. WHY?

    • Dear Brother Steve, Happy Sabbath to you, today the last Sabbath of 2012, Saturday, 29th December!

      If as you say you understand and accept the principle of the universal calendar, I presume that you keep the Lord’s Sabbath according to the 7th-day stated in the universal calendar. For example, today in Samoa it is 29th December, the 7th-day of the week, the Lord’s Sabbath Day. Currently in American Samoa it is 28th December, the 6th-day of the week and they will also acknowledge the 29th December, as the 7th-day of the week, the Lord’s Sabbath Day, according to the universal calendar. The time difference of 24-hours demarcated by the international dateline, but, it remains constant and therefore the Lord’s 7th-day Sabbath is the 29th December, 2012.

      If you believe the Bible references about where the 7th-day Sabbath is found in the sequence of the 1-7-day week cycle that according to Mark 15:42 and Matthew 28;1, it is found after preparation day and before the 1st-day of the week, why, according to the universal calendar, would it not be the 29th December? The very same day the global Seventh-day Adventists acknowledge as the 7th-day Sabbath, according to the universal calendar, which you also follow.

  53. To Phyllis,

    Thank you for your contribution but I would like to ask you to read my comment on November 15. This is a part of what I wrote:

    “In the latest files of the ‘Samoan Times’ appears the Royal Proclamation: “Whereas through an error in reckoning the people of these islands have hitherto been using the wrong day and date as judged by our true position in longitude; Now, therefore, to rectify this error, and in accordance with the express desire of the Municipal Council of Apia and my Government, it is hereby proclaimed and ordered that Tuesday, the 5th of July next by present reckoning, shall be called Monday, the 4th of July, and the days and dates in the future shall be reckoned in succession from that day. That is, there shall be two days next month called Monday, the 4th of July. Malietoa, King of Samoa, Mulinuu, June 16th, 1892.” Taranaki Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 9481, 29 August 1892, pg. 2.
    “Sometimes ago the inhabitants of Samoa and Rarotonga were observing Saturday, which they believed to be Sunday.” Is Saturday or Sunday the Sabbath in New Zealand? Auckland Star, Volume XXVIII, Issue 225, 28 September 1897, pg. 2.

    This change in 1892 CORRECTED THE ERROR and people were worshiping on the right days. Seventh-day Adventists were keeping the 7th Day (SATURDAY) Sabbath & other churches were keeping SUNDAY.

    Thank you for your comment on June 2 about the days before & after 1892. I have copied a part of what you wrote here;

    Let’s look at Samoa beginning week July 3, 1892
    Had there been no change With change
    1st day July 3 = Sunday 1st day July 3 = Sunday
    2nd day July 4 = Monday 2nd day July 4 = Monday
    3rd day July 5 = Tuesday 3rd day July 4 = Monday
    4th day July 6 = Wednesday 4th day July 5 = Tuesday
    5th day July 7 = Thursday 5th day July 6 = Wednesday
    6th day July 8 = Friday 6th day July 7 = Thursday
    7th day July 9 = Saturday 7th day July 8 = Friday

    My comment here is because it was to correct an error like what Malietoa stated in the quote above, the two Mondays (July 4 & July 4) should not be 2nd day & 3rd Day. It should be 2nd day & 2nd day (just like Monday & Monday; and 4th July & 4th July).

    After this change, the day that used to be called Sunday before July 4 1892 was change to Saturday, to correct that error of reckoning of days. That same 24 hours that was called Sunday before July 4 1892 was called Saturday after July 4 1892.

    God Bless from your SDA brother in Christ

  54. Dear Brother Ulalei,

    Happy New Year and thank you for continuing to dialogue about this important subject.

    I believe that we cover all that we need to cover on the subject already. I know your position and the minority who cannot accept another name than Saturday for Sabbath. It appears to me that if the Government of Samoa will decide to change Wednesday and call it Saturday, you will keep that as Sabbath.

    Why Kiribati and its 2,200+ SDA membership understood the change that they had in 1995 and continue to keep Sabbath on the same 24 hours (7th day) even though the name is locally called Sunday?

    Why Independent Samoa and its 7,000+ membership understood the change that they had in 2011 and continued to keep the Sabbath on the same 24 hours (7th day) since the arrival of the SDA church, even it is called Sunday now?

    Ulalei, what will happen if the Parliament of Samoa will decide to change the IDL again in 2015?

    I would like to make an arrangement with you to go to Samoa soon and I will set up a program for us to follow. That program I will follow it on Saturday in Independent Samoa and you will follow it on Sunday. This is a draft of the program: 6am – exercise with pop music; 7:30am breakfast; 9am go fishing; 1pm lunch taro & fish (raw for me & cook for you); 2:30pm plant taro & banana; 5pm BBQ for dinner; 6pm play volleyball till sunset. We can add more to the program for Friday night & Saturday night as we come close to the set time like swimming pool & bowling etc.

    God will reveal to us His true Sabbath after that. If you will like this arrangement, I am willing wholeheartedly to go to Independent Samoa for this.

    God Bless from you Brother in Christ

    • Malo e lelei Steve,

      There seems to be a fixation on your view and those supporting the decision by STM for SDAs to worship on Sunday on the notion that the names of the days have been changed in Samoa. I’ve picked up in your earlier postings the same said of Tonga and Kiribati.

      I’ve written numerous times to the STM President Pr. Uili Solofa and copied SPD President Dr. Barry Oliver, Dr. David Tasker and just about all church administrators (including Dr. Limoni Manu) to provide proof that the 7th day in Samoa today is Sunday. No one has provide any evidence to date. But maybe you can for having such a strong stand that Sunday is the 7th day in Samoa. Please email me proof to my email address edwin@puni.co.nz

      Will you agree with me that when the sun set on Thursday 29th December 2011, it was the start of Friday 30th according to how God counts the days?

      Then at 12 midnight the Samoa government moved the location of Samoa from the IDL (for the second time) using the universal time; effectively moving Samoa to Saturday 31st December.

      On new year’s eve Monday 31st December, all SDAs in Samoa had a special service at sunset to welcome the new year. Why didn’t the STM instruct its members to be consistent with its unbroken 7 day week argument and wait until Tuesday the 1st January to mark new year’s eve? Today in Samoa they continue to have mid week prayer meetings on Wednesday. Why didn’t the STM instruct its members to be consistent with its unbroken 7 day week argument and wait until Thursday for the prayer meetings…..

      You see Steve, having the STM, TPUM & SPD reasons for the Sunday change tested and found wanting, it is imperative for the Samoan church, if it wants to be true to the SDA theology, hermeneutics, and identity, and if it is to remain faithful to the SDA world church message and mission, to return to the Saturday Seventh-day Sabbath observance.

      The Samoa church must change accordingly, in the same way the SDA world church has changed its emphasis on the Sabbath doctrine through the years as ‘new’ understanding is revealed and accepted. For as Ellen G. White once counselled, “If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it.”

      You do know that it is the observance of the Sabbath on Saturday as opposed to Sunday that is officially recognized as the test of loyalty during the final crisis on earth?

      The decision by the STM through recommendation of the SPD for SDAs in Samoa to now worship on Sunday has provided a real opportunity for SDAs in Tonga to really look at its current Sunday practice as ‘new’ understanding is revealed.

      My brother Steve, the Sabbath in Samoa will be corrected in God’s time. I know the same will happen for Tonga, Kiribati, also Wallis & Futuna. I know there are many that are sincerely seeking God and in his own time, truth will be revealed.

      ‘Ofa atu,

      Pa’u
      (Samoan / Tongan)

      • Thank you Pa’u, I agree that change back to true Sabbath-keeping is inevitable. This decision to keep Sunday affects the world SDA Church. They may not realize it yet, but when prospective Adventists attending evangelistic meetings in USA or Sao Paulo begin pointing to SDA practice in the Pacific and asking how preachers can say that Sunday is the false Sabbath and the mark of the beast, there will be have to be a change. The SDA Church can truly be accused of being neither cold nor hot. Of keeping two Sabbaths in the Pacific, even in the same time-zone. We’re just fortunate we haven’t had more bad press on this inconsistency.

  55. Dear Steve,
    Yes, Malietoa, King of Samoa was persuaded by foreigners that his country was counting their days wrong. I agree it was because several countries got together to agree on counting meridians in a certain way that this King of Samoa was persuaded to adapt to their demands. That is history.

    But was it actually “correcting a mistake”?
    Why was it a mistake to count days in the same manner as the Islands just west of them?

    I don’t think it was a mistake at all.
    The meridian counts were set up by people nearly six thousand years after Creation (hardly a creation happening) and then pressure was put on these Islands by foreigners to line up to the newly thought out (though never legally imposed) idea.

    The question revolves around an arbitrary line SOME map makers and sailors, beginning in the 1800’s, looked to for convenience in counting time, and ascribing that as a Divine line heralding back to Creation.

    Then using reasoning based solely on arbitrary human decisions Adventists upset the weekly occuring seventh-day Sabbath which marks the end of six working days (between Friday the 6th day and Sunday the 1st day) in Samoa, and institute the keeping of the 1st day of the week in its place.

  56. Talofa Pa’u,

    There seems to be a fixation on your view and the minority supporting you to worship on the day locally called Saturday now in Independent Samoa as the Sabbath.

    Before I answer your question “to provide proof that the 7th day in Samoa today is Sunday.” I would like you to answer these questions:

    1. Do you believe that the day is locally call Saturday now in Independent Samoa is the same 24 hours of the seven-day cycle that Seventh-day Adventists in the islands have kept before 30th December 2011 (or in other words – in the last 110+ years)?

    2. Do you believe that American Samoa Seventh-day Adventists are keeping the right Sabbath?

    3. Why Independent Samoa is different now from American Samoa? Was it a theological reason, business reason, or any other reason?

    4. What will happen if Independent Samoa will decide to change the dateline again in 2014? (this has happened twice in Samoa 1892 & 2011)

    5. Do you believe that God created this world in six (24 hours) days and rested on the 7th (24 hours) day?

    My answer for you question is that the day (24 hours starting mid-night to mid-night – not sunset) calls Sunday is the 1st day of the week for Independent Samoa. My concern with the majority of the Adventist members is the reason for the change; why Friday 30/12/2011 was dropped without a setting of the sun? That week was only six days. How many days for God’s week?

    You argued that “the Samoa government moved the location of Samoa from the IDL.” Samoa has not moved from where it was located in the last 400 years. It is still there now like Tonga, American Samoa, Fiji, Kiribati etc. Independent Samoa needs to improve their business with Australia and New Zealand, that’s why they moved the dateline. Samoa has not moved yet from its location, I believe it will move in the great earthquake before Jesus 2nd Coming.

    It is true that this is a “pillars of our faith” but a pillar is not to be moved or changed. The Sabbath that you decided to keep and support has moved from one 24 hours to another 24 hours. The government of Samoa is able to move that around. What will happen to the pillar? Did God blessed and sanctified two (2) – 24 hours or only one 24 hours? Just remind you that the day (24 hours) that you decide to keep now is not the same with the day SDA members of Independent Samoa kept in the last 119 years. That day, American Samoa is still keeping it.

    I agree with you that God will correct the Sabbath in His own time. He has not corrected the Sabbath in Tonga since 1891 (the arrival of SDAs). He has not corrected the Sabbath in Kiribati since 1995 (changing of the dateline). Let us be still and see, God will intervene and change it if the Sabbath that the SDA church members in Independent Samoa are keeping is wrong.

    From your Tongan brother in Christ – Steve

    • Malo steve,

      As expected, you could not “provide proof that the 7th day in Samoa today is Sunday,” because Sunday is still the 1st day of the week in Samoa and everywhere in the world including Tonga. Very sad, this ‘white lie’ by the SPD, TPUM & STM has now misled many….

      Your questions have been answered numerous times in this forum but here it is again:
      1. Samoa today is keeping the Sabbath in the Asian time; the same day before it was changed in the last 120 years.
      2. On the other hand, American Samoa is keeping the Sabbath in the American time.
      3. For the same reason why Samoa moved in 1892.
      4. Does it matter? Saturday on both sides of the IDL is the 7th day.
      5. You only need to read Genesis to know the answer.

      Steve in your reply you said “Why Friday 30/12/2011 was dropped without a setting of the sun?”

      Are you saying the sun did not set on Thursday? Let me recollect your memory, the Samoa IDL change happened on midnight Thursday. Please think again before you answer because the sun did set on Thursday 29th December, so there was a Friday (in biblical terms)!

      To the contrary, the actions of the ‘minority in Samoa’ who have demonstrated their love and respect for God by obeying all His instructions including the Sabbath on the 7th day of the week from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday are inline with the ‘majority’ SDA family world wide (except for Tonga, Kiribati, Wallis & Futuna). Their actions comply with the same instructions reiterated by the General Conference in Session as recorded in the Church Manual and in the Exposition of the Church’s Fundamental Beliefs authored by the General Conference.

      So in reality, those who are keeping the Sabbath on Saturday in Samoa are part of the ‘overwhelming majority’ of the SDA church worldwide.

      Please note the name of the country is Samoa not ‘Independent Samoa’, otherwise you can say ‘independent’ Samoa.

      While Samoa as a country has moved on, embracing and accepting the necessary adjustment that come with their move from one side of the IDL to the other, the Adventists are left following an invalid calendar with an abstract and arbitrary seven-day week because of the failure to understand the function of the IDL. There is a good article on this site in understading the IDL.

      There is a strong longing by Samoans all over the world on both side of the Sabbath debate for this issue to come to an end. There is a Samoan saying, “Fofo alamea.”

      You see, the people in Samoa may just be church members in this impasse, but they are parents, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and families to us Samoans regardless if you live on island or overseas. They are of our flesh and blood whose salvation is at stake while the SPD continues its propaganda campaign to try and justify their actions, or more precisely to cover there actions ……..

      We continue to pray for the very few in Tonga today, like Daniel and his friends, who continue to keep the 7th day Sabbath. I’m sure in God’s time our people in Tonga will eventually get to experience true Sabbath keeping.

      Steve, change is coming to Samoa today in God’s unconventional way. Its not about having God on our side, its about our willingness to be on God’s side.

      ‘Ofa atu faifekau,

      Pa’u ****

  57. Malo Pa’u,

    Thank you for your response and I am glad to continue discussing this issue with you in this forum. The 7th day in the Independent State of Samoa today is the Sabbath (not Saturday or Sunday) of the Lord just the same with American Samoa; the 7th day is the Sabbath. The question that you are asking has nothing to do with the issue that we are discussing. The heathen names that we have and we know for the days of the week, is correct with your arguments and the dictionary meanings; Sunday 1st, Monday 2nd, Tuesday 3rd, Wednesday 4th, Thursday 5th, Friday 6th, Saturday 7th. We use this in the world today.

    The issue that we are discussing here is about countries that are close to the dateline (IDL). If the dateline was located somewhere else in the globe, the problem will be for those countries and will be worse. Some people will have opening Sabbath in this side of the street while the opposite side of the street are closing the Sabbath. I wish God gave us in the Bible instruction of how to deal with this problem.

    The IDL has been changing many times and that affected how countries call the days of the week. Countries close to the IDL have the freedom of changing that around. That makes them change from one 24 hours to another 24 hours in reckoning of the Sabbath. The UNIVERSAL MERIDIAN 0° – Greenwich & 180° – Pacific is the best to follow in reckoning of our holy 24 hours Sabbath. It has not changes since 1884 & since 1600s for England. Those on the left of the 180° Meridian keep the same Sabbath & those on the right keep the same Sabbath. There will be consistency here and no country can change the Sabbath from one 24 hours to another.

    These are your answers for my questions and I add to it my comments:

    1. “Samoa today is keeping the Sabbath in the Asian time; the same day before it was changed in the last 120 years.” (This 24 hours IS NOT THE SAME with what SDAs kept in the last 120 years)

    2. “On the other hand, American Samoa is keeping the Sabbath in the American time.” (American Samoa is still keeping the 24 hours that BOTH Samoans kept in the last 120 years).

    3. “For the same reason why Samoa moved in 1892.” (Malietoa’s change in 1892 to correct an error)

    4. “Does it matter? Saturday on both sides of the IDL is the 7th day.” (It matters because God blessed time (24 hours) not any name of a day – like Saturday or Sunday).

    5. “You only need to read Genesis to know the answer.” (Yes, I know the answer from Genesis, God blessed and sanctified 24 hours (the Sabbath) and it is unchangeable from one 24 hours to another. The Independent State of Samoa kept the Sabbath for 119 years in one 24 hours, after December 2011 a MINORITY decided to keep a different 24 hours)

    You said that “Are you saying the sun did not set on Thursday? Let me recollect your memory, the Samoa IDL change happened on midnight Thursday. Please think again before you answer because the sun did set on Thursday 29th December, so there was a Friday (in biblical terms)!”

    Brother, please think again, I think you are confused. If you are saying that there was a Friday (in biblical terms) when sunset on Thursday 29th December 2011, why that Friday only went from 7:57PM (sunset) till 12:00 Midnight. That Friday supposed to go from 7:57PM (sunset Thursday 29) till 7:58PM the next day. All Samoan news at this time mentioned that a DAY was DROPPED.

    I believe God will show us the truth in this matter soon, very soon. I am just advising those who are in the Independent State of Samoa to Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your works but the 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. There is blessing for those who keep the Sabbath and curse (even death) for those who break it.

    God Bless from your brother in Christ Steve

    • Malo faifekau Steve,

      I can certainly detect the “obey the leader’s” syndrome in your arguments. I think you are not spending enough time checking the facts and ‘new’ understandings including the wrong SDA Sabbath on Sunday precedent in Tonga.

      For as Ellen G. White once counseled, “If the pillars of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it.”

      Faifekau you said “Why Friday 30/12/2011 was dropped without a setting of the sun?”. Here are the facts again: (1) The whole population of Samoa including the STM leaders saw the sun go down on Thursday 29th December. Technically in biblical terms. it’s the start of another day being Friday. (2) The Samoa government (representing the people of the land) by legislation moved Samoa’s position to the IDL at middnight Thursday back to its original position (before 1892) using the world time (clock). (3) Moving across the IDL requires losing a day or adding a day. This has been explained numerous time in this forum.

      Your continuous reference to the last 120 years (before the first IDL change in 1892) in your questions and views highlights a key flaw in the argument of the SPD, TPUM & STM. Here’s 2 questions for you:

      1. Did the Sabbath only exsist in Samoa in the last 120 years?
      2. Because the SDA church only came to Samoa in the last 120 years, does that mean there was no Sabbath in Samoa before 1892?

      Faifekau, we can be very sure when the Sabbath is in Samoa today:
      1. Using the time of Jesus as a certain reference point. Jesus kept the Sabbath.
      2. Identifying the Sabbath from Creation to the time of Jesus, can be followed through with people’s migration. Samoa and the Pacific migrated from Asia (same time as New Zealand and Australia).

      Here are the facts:
      1. Samoa kept the Asian time up to 1892.
      2. The reason for the first IDL change in 1892 to move to the American time is for trading purposes. To then quote that it was to correct time keeping (as in some reports) is colonial arrogance. Who gave the reporter the right to say that Samoa was keeping the wrong time? Samoans had enough of ‘colonial administration’ deciding what is right and what is wrong for Samoa culminating in becoming independent in 1962.

      Sadly, there is a stain of ‘colonial’ arrogance in this impasse.

      All the half truths being used by SPD, TPUM & STM to justify the change of Sabbath to Sunday in Samoa today is based on the outright lie that “Sunday is now the 7th day in Samoa today” with the IDL change in 2011. SPD, TPUM, STM and yourself have failed in providing any proof!

      What’s the cover up? The failure of the SPD leadership to admit that SDA Sabbath keeping on Sunday in Tonga is wrong. Instead the SPD was so confident that with Samoa the next to toe-the-line without any questions like the small islands of Kiribati and recently Wallis & Futuna, the wrong in Tonga will disappear for ever.

      You said, “There is blessing for those who keep the Sabbath and curse (even death) for those who break it.” I agree, and it’s worse for those that choose the Mark of The Beast (Sunday keeping) according to the third Angel.

      Faifekau, having the STM, TPUM & SPD reasons for the Sunday change tested and found wanting, it is imperative for the Samoa (and the rest of the Pacific including Tonga) church to return to the Saturday seventh-day Sabbath observance.

      ‘Ofa atu,

      Pa’u ****

      Note: Pa’u Fereti Puni is my real name and I reside between Samoa and New Zealand. Is Steve your real name and are you a pastor in Tonga or overseas?

    • Talofa Steve,

      I would like to give my views on a point you have made above. You asked why the IDL was changed in the first place. When given the answer from Pa’u “For the same reason why Samoa moved in 1892.” You replied with “Malietoa’s change in 1892 to correct an error.” In 1892 the American trading was strong in the Samoan islands. Therefore prompting them (Americans) in a selfish act, to move the IDL to the west of Samoa. Hence Samoa celebrating the American national holiday “Independence Day” twice. I believe this is what Pa’u meant by “For the same reason why Samoa moved in 1892.” The Samoan Prime Minister stated near the time of changing the IDL in 2011, that Samoa was moving east of the IDL for trading purposes. So to answer and correct your ongoing mistake as to why the IDL was changed, I want to clarify. The IDL was change because of the selfish acts of men, NOT to correct a wrong! I asked a lay minister of the church a while ago pertaining to this matter. I asked if he was for or against worshiping on Sunday, he replied “It is not a matter of for or against,rather a matter of understanding.” If that is the case please do help me understand: If the TPUM and the SPD support the idea of Sunday worship (because there’s no other way of putting it), Why are they still worshiping on Saturday?

      Thank you,

      Fonomaali’i M. Mataele

      • To Fonoma’ali’i M. Mataele,

        Just give you these quotes and you can read the rest in all my comments above:

        “In the latest files of the ‘Samoan Times’ appears the Royal Proclamation: “Whereas through an error in reckoning the people of these islands have hitherto been using the wrong day and date as judged by our true position in longitude; Now, therefore, to rectify this error, and in accordance with the express desire of the Municipal Council of Apia and my Government, it is hereby proclaimed and ordered that Tuesday, the 5th of July next by present reckoning, shall be called Monday, the 4th of July, and the days and dates in the future shall be reckoned in succession from that day. That is, there shall be two days next month called Monday, the 4th of July. Malietoa, King of Samoa, Mulinuu, June 16th, 1892.” Taranaki Herald, Volume XLI, Issue 9481, 29 August 1892, pg. 2.

        “Sometimes ago the inhabitants of Samoa and Rarotonga were observing Saturday, which they believed to be Sunday.” Is Saturday or Sunday the Sabbath in New Zealand? Auckland Star, Volume XXVIII, Issue 225, 28 September 1897, pg. 2.

        God Bless…Brother Steve

      • Brother Mataele, SDAs worship on the 7th day of the week. For most parts of the world church that day is called “Saturday.” However, for places in the pacific, like Samoa and Tonga (among others) the 7th day falls on what is locally called “Sunday.” What is important is that the Sabbath falls on the 7th day of the week and not any other day. It appears the general misconception is that “Sabbath” must always fall on “Saturday.” There is no biblical evidence for this assumption. There are no references in Scripture that use the terms “Saturday” or “Sunday.” The biblical count is always numerical.

  58. Malo faifekau Pa’u,

    Brother, we are all faifekau because we all have a message to tell the world. I believe that we both understand what we believe in this issue and we should leave the rest for God to deal with. We still have another 27 fundamental beliefs of our church to discuss and think about.

    As you know that I am a Tongan, born in the 60s and kept the Sabbath on Sunday throughout my entire life. I was told why we are keeping Sunday and not willing to change in the 1880s – 1890s after the Meridian Conference because of Business with NZ & AUS. A US Company in the 1982 was drilling oil in Tonga & requested to continue working on Sunday. King George Tupou IV told them to continue because it is not the Sabbath. Sunday in Tonga is the Adventists Sabbath. This same King argued with Kiribati for the change that occurred in 1995. The reason was, he did not want Kiribati to take the title “Where time begins.” Tonga holds this title since 1880s. This is why the King & Government never agreed for a change in the IDL. Sunday in Tonga is actually Saturday. This is why we keep Sunday.

    Whatever your belief about this issue, you hold on to that. I have my own belief and I will hold on to that. But if you will go to Samoa soon brother, don’t go fishing or swimming on Sunday.

    ‘Ofa atu,
    Steve ****

    My name in English is Steve, in Samoan is Skivi, in Tongan is Sitiveni Teaupa and reside in Australia & I am a faife’au like you. The Bible tells us that we are all priests.

    • Steve,
      If Sunday is the Sabbath of the Seventh-day Adventists, do the other Christians keep Monday? As you know they believe the first day of the week is the Lord’s day commemorating the resurrection.

      • Brother John Wallace,

        Thank you for your contribution. Brother, before 1900, the Cook Islands Catholics were keeping Monday as the Sunday Sabbath. After the correction of the error in reckoning of days, like what happened in Samoa – 1892, than they changed to Sunday.

        God Bless…Brother Steve

        • Hello Steve,

          I am intrigued by your statement that the Catholics kept Monday “as the Sunday Sabbath” before 1892. Could you please supply credible documentation for that?

          Thanks.

          Inge

          • Inge Anderson,

            COOK ISLANDS CHANGE
            “A Bill has been before the Legislature of the Cook Islands to alter the present Sunday to the proper day in longitude 180 east. At present…we are keeping the WRONG DAY, the mistake having been introduced by the EARLY MISSIONARIES, and never rectified. In order to effect this change the act fixes that we are to keep two days, as December 25 (Christmas Day), thus we will have two Mondays…The Roman Catholic community have ALWAYS KEPT THE RIGHT DAY since their inauguration at the group.” Nelson Evening Mail, Volume XXXIII, Issue 210, 18 September 1899, Pg4.

            The last sentence of this quote tells us that the Roman Catholic community were keeping Monday as their Sabbath before the change in 1899 to fix the ERROR.

            God Bless…brother Steve

          • Looking at the time frame helps us understand what was going on the Cook Islands.

            Pre-1884 All these Islands were following eastern time (matching Australia) introduced to them by European missionaries traveling to the Pacific Islands via Australia.

            1884 — date of the Prime Meridian Conference which started the tendancy of foreign countries putting pressure on the Pacific Islands east of the 180th to change their week to match America.

            1892 — we know Samoa made that change.

            1893 Adventists first establish on the Cook Islands — these Islands were still on the old time (matching Australia)
            Adventists kept Sunday along with the London Mission Society Church.

            1894 the first Catholic Priests with helpers arrive on Cook Island.
            They lost no time in endeavouring to persuade leading citizens to change the weekly worship to the “American” Sunday as other Islands in the Pacific lying east of the 180th had done.

            1899 the shift was made.

            So can we really say the Catholics were “always” keeping “monday” — well there were five years when they were doing everything in their power (and finally succeeding) to shift the country to the American side, so they were very likely holding to the “American” week all that time.

            And what was the #1 reason they were lobbying for change?

            Father Bernadine Castanié with other foreign
            residents, presented their signed petition to the parliament on Tuesday 20 July 1897. It requested members to adjust the week so the Cook Islands would be more in harmony with other countries (since most of the other Islands east of the 180th had adjusted their week) and trade could be conducted smoothly.

            The next two years the pressure mounted.
            Adventists were in agreement with the change, however they were speaking out urging the people to continue to observe the SAME day and not worship on Sunday, for the seventh day was the Bible Sabbath.

            By August 1899 the decision to switch was made — to become effective Dec. 25, 1899 “The Christmas Act” (two Christmas days in one year).

            Woven into the The Christmas Act was a Sunday law!

            It was legally prohibited to work on Sundays. Anyone disregarding this ruling would be fined, or forced to do several days of hard labor. Was that law already in force prior to the change over, but not a problem as Adventists also kept Sunday?

            According to one website (www.answers.com) on “blue laws”:
            In the Cook Islands, blue laws were the first written legislation, enacted by the London Missionary Society in 1827, with the consent of ariki (chiefs).

            After 1899, Adventists and those whom they had influenced, found themselves outside the accepted religious community.

            It’s again the story of the confusion brought in when an arbitrary line (180th) was chosen to mark the dateline, and these Islands were pressured to readjust their week.

    • Malo faifekau (pastor) Sitiveni,

      You said, “Brother, we are all faifekau because we all have a message to tell the world.” I totally agree although you are a church pastor and I am a layman who is a Samoan ‘matai /matapule’ who is also proud to be part Tongan with roots to Hapai.

      You said, “I believe that we both understand what we believe in this issue and we should leave the rest for God to deal with.” Again I totally agree but the facts remain with the ‘half truths’ being used to promote the decision for Seventh-day Adventists in Samoa to worship on Sunday:

      (1) “The Samoa Government changed the calendar and renamed the days (Sunday is now the seventh day of the week)”. This claim is not true. Sunday in Samoa is the first day of the week and the seventh-day Sabbath is on Saturday, both before and after the IDL change.

      (2) “Sunday Sabbath in Samoa was endorsed and supported by the General Conference (SDA world head office in America)”. We know there is no documented action by the General Conference endorsing or supporting the action of the Samoa SDA administration to change its Sabbath day of worship to Sunday.

      (3) “This issue was studied by the SPD BRICOM for a period of five years (prior to 2010)”. This cannot be true for Samoa because the International Date Line Act only came into existence in June last year. The SPD BRICOM did study Tonga, Kiribati, and Wallis Futuna, but not Samoa thus the application of their findings from these other countries around the IDL on Samoa is questionable.

      You said, “We still have another 27 fundamental beliefs of our church to discuss and think about”. In other words you are saying, not to worry about the 4th commandment as long as we keep the other nine comandments.

      You said, “But if you will go to Samoa soon brother, don’t go fishing or swimming on Sunday”. Let me remind you of the two powerful statements of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in pointing out which day is the Sabbath:

      (A) The Church Manual Revised 2010 (18th Edition), p. 138. “The Sabbath holds a special place in our lives. The seventh day of the week, from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday (Lev. 23:32), is a gift from God, a sign of His grace in time.”

      (B) The Seventh-day Adventists Believe (An exposition of the fundamental beliefs of the SDA Church), 2005 Edition, page 296 and 297 states: “The Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday evening and ends at sunset Saturday evening (see Gen 3:15; cf. Mark 1:32). Scripture calls the day before the Sabbath (Friday) the preparation day (Mark 15:42) – a day to prepare for the Sabbath so that nothing will spoil its sacredness. Similarly, they should mark its close by uniting in worship towards the close of the Sabbath on Saturday evening, requesting God’s presence and guidance through the ensuring week.”

      Faifekau, the next time you phone or visit the SPD office, can you do me a favor and find out how I can join you at the propose Bible Conference on the 11 & 12 February at Wahroonga? Interesting there is very little information about this conference, yet the SPD have set a deadline for papers!

      “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

      ‘Ofa atu faifekau,

      Pa’u ****

      • Brother Pa’u,

        Thank you for responding and I really respect you and your views. I keep God’s Law (not perfectly) including the Sabbath on the seventh-day here in Australia on Saturday.

        I am a servant of God as a faife’au BUT not in a position to be in this Committee. I am not a part of this Conference and my contribution to this topic is only in this forum.

        I would like to thank those who are controlling this forum in allowing me to give my views on this important topic.

        God Bless brother, love from your brother in Christ Steve

  59. I am a Seventh-day Adventist. I was born into the Faith, so to speak, I grew up as one, was educated as one and chose to live as one. From the church and reading the Bible I believe that the Sabbath is the 7th day of the week (Ex. 20:8-11). I live in the Eastern Caribbean and here, I was taught, following the Gregorian calendar, that Sunday is the first day and Saturday is the 7th day (with exception for us Seventh day Adventists that Sabbath starts at sunset Friday the 6th day of the week). Here, everybody follows that Sunday is the 1st day of the week and Saturday is the 7th day of the week. Now, if for some economic reasons my government decides to change the week to begin Monday as the 1st day of the week, probably because most citizens here are non Sabbath Keepers and they work 6 days per week Monday to Saturday, and it would be more economical to run the week beginning Monday as the first day, to coincide the “7th day” with the general day of worship of Sunday as a rest day. Most business places and government offices are closed on Sunday in any case.
    Now as a Seventh-day Adventist, should I go along with Monday as the first day of the week and celebrate the Sabbath on this “new 7th day” (according to the government) which will be called Sunday, or should I continue worshiping on the day I grew up knowing as the Sabbath the 7th day which was called Saturday but is now listed on the government’s calendar as the 6th day of the week?
    The point I want to make is that we all know that the Sabbath is the 7th day, but the question is: Which day is the 7th day. Man’s calendar changes as man suits for economic reason, but does God’s 7th day Sabbath change to suit? If we believe that the 7th day Sabbath is a perpetual 7th day from creation then we need to go to our Bible and start again from Genesis chapter 1 when there was only God’s calendar of the Sun, moon and stars. From the last time I checked, the Sun, Moon and Stars are still with us. Right through the Bible unto the New Earth the Sabbath and the New Moon are linked. Here are two passages of scriptures to think about. There are many more and they are easy to find considering that we all have the internet.
    “When will the New Moon be past, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may trade wheat?” (Amos 8:5, NKJV)
    Isaiah 66: 22 – 23 “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the LORD, “So shall your descendants and your name remain.
    23 And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another,
    all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD.

    As Seventh-day Adventists we like to quote Isaiah 66:23 to prove that the Sabbath will be observed in the New Earth, but why don’t we teach also the significance of the New Moon and its relevance to the Sabbath?
    I still observe the Sabbath according to the Gregorian calendar, because that is what I have and I’m yet to understand how to observe the Sabbath without using Man’s calendar, but I am convinced after being on this forum and reading more of the Bible, that man’s calendars whether, Samoan, Gregorian, Julian, Jewish or otherwise are not consistent with God’s instructions for his people. Some of us have lived to see man’s calendar changed and others have read the history. I born and met January 1 as the beginning of the year, but was it always so? No! I born and met Saturday as the 7th day, but was it always so? No!
    I think this Saturday/Sunday issue should rest and our focus should be to rediscover when is the 7th day and how, putting aside all man made calendars, can we know for surety when is the 7th day and learn how to unlearn what we have been taught in error (if it’s an error) and learn and accept the truth for what it is. Anyone? Taking a stand for truth against the majority is never easy. You only have to read the heroic stories of the Bible to know that: Elijah on Mount Carmel, Daniel in the lion’s den, the three Hebrew boys, Stephen standing for the early Christian Church, John the Revelator being burnt alive, and I can go on and on. It would be a very sad day to discover that what we teach as the 7th day is a far cry from what God instituted at creation and we are no more wiser than those who observe the 1st day of the week.

    • Malo Phyllis,

      You said, “The point I want to make is that we all know that the Sabbath is the 7th day, but the question is: Which day is the 7th day?”

      I’m sure you will agree with me that the seventh-day Sabbath is the day after the preparation day (Friday), and the day before the first day of the week (Sunday). In other words the seventh-day Sabbath is the 24 hour time period starting with Friday sunset and finishes with Saturday sunset.

      The Sabbath Jesus kept in His time was Saturday, and it’s the same Saturday that we observe today. You see dates and days of the week go together. December 31, 2011, globally and in Samoa was Saturday, the seventh-day, the Lord’s Sabbath.

      Here are historical facts:
      (1) When the IDL was moved from the east to the west of the Samoa Islands in 1892 thus adding two July 04 to the calendar (this was an eight day week), Saturday was still the seventh day.

      (2) When Samoa shifted the IDL to the east of the country in 2011 (creating a six day week), Saturday remained the seventh day.

      (3) The seventh-day of the week east or west of the IDL is always Saturday. The seventh-day Sabbath in Samoa has always been Saturday, even today.

      Alofa atu,

      Pa’u ****

      • My basic maths tells me that in 1892 where the week was counted as:
        SUNDAY, MONDAY, MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, AND WHERE THE WEEK WAS COUNTED AS HAVING EIGHT DAYS, SATURDAY CAME AT THE END OF THAT EIGHT-DAY WEEK AND THEREFORE SATURDAY WAS THE EIGHT DAY.

        IN DECEMBER 2011, WHERE THE WEEK BEGAN WITH
        SUNDAY, MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, SATURDAY, ENDING WITH A SIX-DAY WEEK. THIS IS BASIC MATHS. HOW COULD ONE HAVE A 7TH DAY IN A SIX DAY WEEK?

        I will maintain that calling a day Saturday or Sunday does not make it the 7th day nor the 1st day. The Bible speaks of the 7th day, the 1st day, and preparation day. These are the days we need to know. Man calling a day Saturday does not make it the 7th day. And with Saturday being changed by the whims of governments, should alert us that something is not doctrinal with those changes and we need to study our bibles more.

        • Spot on Phyllis, as SDA’s we are only safe when we trust God and His Word. The “Sabbath” is always the 7th day of the week irrespective of what it may be called.

          • Dear L Manu,

            In Mathew 28:1 God’s Word states, “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn”. In Mark 15:42 God’s Word states, “Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath.” Therefore, the 7th-Day Sabbath comes after Preparation Day and before the first day of the week.

            I presume you, as do the majority of the Seventh-Day Adventist global community, follow the universal calendar, to determine what year it is, what month it is, the name of the day and the corresponding date. Therefore, what God’s states in Matthew 28:1 and Mark 15:42 and according to the universal calendar, the 7th-Day Sabbath this week is Saturday, 16 February, 2013.

            You said, “The “Sabbath” is always the 7th day of the week irrespective of what it may be called,” is misleading because if we accept God’s Word about which day of the 1-7-day cycle it is found, according to the universal calendar the name of that day, is Saturday. Never is it called by another name of the week.

            The acceptance of the use of the universal calendar by countries in either the eastern and western hemispheres shows that irrespective of timezone differences, the year, month, day and date is the same. By advocating that in Samoa Sunday is the 7th-Day Sabbath, is contradictory to God’s Word and according to the universal calendar.

            The Seventh-Day Adventist global community accept the principal of God’s Word and following the universal calendar, therefore, today is the 7th-Day of the week, Sabbath, which is Saturday, 16 February, not Sunday the 17 February.

          • Thanks for your comments brother Ulalei.

            I could not find a reply button to your post below so I will reply here.

            The biblical passages you cited from the gospels are not in dispute. Neither is the keeping of the 7th day Sabbath. What is in dispute is whether the bible:
            (a) Allows for a six or eight day week as implied in your arguments!
            (b) Do we go along with government IDL changes every time it happens!
            (c) Do we keep Sabbath in Samoa based upon the day called “Saturday.”

            The history in Samoa clearly testifies that relying on the Samoa government respectively to decide which day we keep as the “Sabbath” is unreliable. Why? Because the Samoa government has historically made two changes to the IDL! What will stop the Samoa government from making future changes to the IDL? In that sense, SDA Sabbath keeping should NOT and CANNOT be based upon a changeable IDL. Because, God does not allow for such an action in Scripture.

            On the hand, it is clear to all serious bible students that the words, “Saturday,” “Sunday,” or “Monday,” are not biblical terms. They are never used in the bible. When the bible talks about the Sabbath it always refers to the 7th day of the week. This fact is undisputed. We can twist or misconstrue as much as we like but serious thinking SDA members will know that to argue otherwise is not a biblical teaching.

            Regarding the universal principle of the calendar! Yes, you are correct that all thinking and serious SDA members worldwide will agree:
            (a) That if all countries in the world accepted the universal principle of the Gregorian calendar for the naming of days!
            (b) But, likewise, that all nations of the world also abide by their universally geographical locations as per the 180 degrees meridian as adopted by all nations! Meaning, that Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, and others, are all situation in the Western hemisphere.

            Only then can there be consistency in the name days to the weeks kept by all countries according to those used in the Gregorian calendar. Thus, the arguments used can ONLY be true if all countries of the world abided by the above universal principles. If some countries are out of sync with the universal principle than the comparison is absurd and wrong.

            Notably, some countries in the pacific are out of sync with the universal principles stated above. Samoa was out of Sync at one time and they corrected that in 1892. In 2011 Samoa decided to change their IDL positioning therefore the change has resulted in them being out of sync again with the universal principle back to their original position pre 1892. The cook islands at one time was out of sync but corrected that. However, the only country that has never corrected its position and remains out of sync to the present day is Tonga. Therefore, Tonga has kept what is locally called “Sapate” corresponding to “Sunday” of Eastern hemisphere. If Tonga had changed its positioning and accepted the universally adopted principle, the 7th day in Tonga would be called “Saturday.” But, because Tonga continues to remain out of sync with the universal principle adopted by all nations, they keep “Sabbath” on the day corresponding to “Sunday” of eastern time.

            This is the same situation in Samoa today when Samoa in 2011 chose to shift its IDL making it out of sync with the universal principle of the 180 degrees meridian. So the comparison regarding the use of the Gregorian calendar and arguing that the “Sabbath” in Samoa must be the day called “Saturday” is in correct. Blessings.

  60. Phyllis,
    Is it possible to have Sunday as the seventh day and Saturday as the seventh day at the same time?
    How can you possibly know when the seventh day is without knowing its name?
    The Samoan government has officially stated that it never changed the names of the days.
    If Samoa was an unentered territory and Adventist mission pioneers arrived there today, which day would they teach the Samoan people to keep?

    • It is not possible to have the 6th day of the week and the 7th day of the week in the same 24 hour day, neither is it possible to have the 1st day of the week and the 7th day of the week in the same 24 hour day.

      As far as the Bible truth stands, there is no where in the Bible one can find the names of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Genesis chapter 1 tells us that the days are first day, second day, third day, fourth day, fifth day, sixth day, and seventh day. The bible also tells us that the seventh day is called Sabbath, and the sixth day is referenced as the preparation day.

      So the question rightly asked is, how can we by following the Bible, know which day is it. The children of Israel knew each day of the week, and the Sabbath, when God instructed them to collect manna, for they collected a double portion on the sixth day in preparation for the seventh day Sabbath, and there is nothing in the Bible to tell us that they were following names like Friday… and Saturday.

      So my brothers and sisters, Sabbath Keepers, did God change His calendar from the time of the Israelites to our time? Let’s put aside all man made calendars, read our bibles from cover to cover and discover God’s calendar and then we’ll know which day is the Sabbath by knowing which day is the 7th day.

      Question: October 22, 1844 is an important date in Bible prophecy, as taught by Seventh day Adventists. But do we know which calender those pioneers used to arrive at that date?

      • Phyllis,
        You said, “So the question rightly asked is, how can we by following the Bible, know which day is it.”

        As you rightly said, the Bible does not tell us which named day is the seventh (except that it states clearly in Luke that Preparation day precedes Sabbath which precedes the first day of the week – Luke 23:52-24:2).

        If this passage leaves you still in doubt that Jesus died on Good Friday and rose on what we now call Sunday, with the Sabbath in between, there is only one Biblical position you can take:

        Follow Paul’s counsel in Romans 13:1-7

        “Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.
        Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.
        That’s also why you pay taxes—so that an orderly way of life can be maintained. Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes, pay your bills, respect your leaders.” (Message Bible)

        and Peter’s in 1 Peter 2:13-17
        “Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.” (Message Bible)

        Money, the dateline and day names are government property, not church property. The government-owned money that we use to pay tithe and offerings we consider sanctified by God when we place it in the church coffers. Why can’t we have the same respect for government owned day names and the dateline?
        The Samoas-Tokelau Mission has shown contempt for the Samoa government by denying the names of the days and denying the dateline shift. This is exactly what Paul was warning against above.

    • Brother Wallace, the biblical “day” in Scripture is determined by the “sun” (Gen. 1:16, 18). Each setting sun, from “evening to evening” (Lev. 23:32, NKJV) marks the end and the beginning of each new day. So, when Samoa dropped a day in their calendar of 2011 to readjust to eastern hemisphere time, that final week of 2011 only had six days. Clearly, the bible has not given any provisions for a six, eight, or nine day week. The Sabbath always falls on the 7th day.

      • Dear L Manu,

        I would like to add further clarification to the Bible references you refer to and the ‘Biblical day’ must also be understood in light of Genesis 1:18. There is also a ‘day and night’ that constitutes 24-hours. Because we know the earth rotates from East to West during this period, the end of the day in the East is the beginning of that same day in the West, 24-hours in arrears. For example, today in Singapore, in the East where I reside, is Saturday, 16 February and it is the 7th-day Sabbath. Whereas in American Samoa, which is located in the West it is Friday, 15 February, the Eve of Sabbath.

        The Biblical provision you refer to where it is possible to recognize the same 7th-day Sabbath Day but either 24-hours in-advance or in-arrears whether located in the East or West, is as God created the ‘evening to evening’ and ‘day and night’ during Creation 1-7-day Week that continues, today.

        When you refer to, “So, when Samoa dropped a day in their calendar of 2011 to readjust to eastern hemisphere time, that final week of 2011 only had six days”. You acknowledge this Biblical provision because for Samoa to adjust from the western to eastern hemisphere, which in the context of Genesis 1:16, 18 is 24-hours in-arrear in time-keeping and by following the same (and universal) calendar, would have to make the adjustment by accepting a 6-day week. We know from history that when Samoa made the decision to change from keeping eastern to western hemisphere time in 1892, it accepted an 8-day week by repeating Monday, 4 July, twice.

        It is important to note that Samoa continued to maintain the universal calendar prior to and after the adjustment from eastern to western hemisphere in 1892 and such is the case, prior to and after the adjustment in 2011. The ‘Biblical’ 1-7-day week is constant, as represented by the universal calendar whether it is eastern or western hemisphere.

        • Thank you for your response brother Ulalei.

          It surprises me that you try to deny the historical accounts regarding the decisions made in Samoa in 1892. The Samoan historical sources show that the 1892 change was to correct Samoa’s time reckoning to be in line with universal standard time. Others on this forum have provided that historical information. Here, you are trying to reinterpret history and rewrite one of your own! The 1892 IDL change is a non-issue.

          For arguments sake, let us say you are correct! In that case, there would be several serious implications:
          (a) SDA’s in Samoa have been keeping the wrong Sabbath for more than 100 years!
          (b) It gives the impression that the early SDA missionaries did not know what they were doing!
          (c) It also indicates that God, who is head of the SDA movement, made a terrible mistake in Samoa and other parts of the pacific!

          Unfortunately, I do not subscribe to the above possibilities or believe your arguments carry weight. God is in absolute control. God knows what He is doing. God has a track record of perfection. We can trust Him and His leading in Samoa, Tonga, and rest of the pacific.

          You say: “When you refer to, “So, when Samoa dropped a day in their calendar of 2011 to readjust to eastern hemisphere time, that final week of 2011 only had six days”. You acknowledge this Biblical provision because for Samoa to adjust from the western to eastern hemisphere, which in the context of Genesis 1:16, 18 is 24-hours in-arrear in time-keeping and by following the same (and universal) calendar, would have to make the adjustment by accepting a 6-day week.”

          Wrong. That is exactly opposite to what I am saying. What I am saying emphatically is that the Bible does not provide or allow for a six, eight, or nine day week. The biblical week is always 7 days. God does not allow us as SDA’s to have a short week of 6 days in 2011 just to accommodate a change in the dateline in Samoa because government has decided to change. What then if government decides to make another change in 2014 back to time of western hemisphere? Will SDA’s than need to have a week of 8 days to readjust? What does that do with Sabbath? And, what does that show of ourselves as Seventh day Adventists? It has simply made Sabbath keeping subject to our preferences, culture, and government regulations. But, additionally, it gives the impression that we do not know what we believe regarding the biblical 7th day Sabbath!

          In any case, the 1892 IDL change in Samoa is irrelevant to the whole discussion. Why? Simply because the SDA Church and work was established in Samoa post 1892 by Dr and Mrs. F. W. Braucht on Oct. 22, 1895 (SDA Encyclopedia, p. 1273). The 1892 IDL change therefore is a non-issue.

          Your arguments regarding the universal calendar being used in Samoa prior to and after the 2011 change will only be true if Samoa had remained with the universally accepted 180 degrees meridian adopted universally by all nations of the world. Because Samoa has chosen to change its IDL positioning in the pacific (which it has every right to do), it is out of sync with the universal principle. Therefore, the arguments you push holds no ground. Blessings.

        • Thank brother Ulalei,

          The biblical day of Gen. 1:18 is not in dispute.

          What makes the date in Eastern (Initially Western) Samoa, Saturday 16 of February and American Samoa Friday, 15 February? Simply, it’s because of the IDL change of 2011. Otherwise, both East and American Samoan would still have the same day name and time count, Friday, 15 February. Eastern Samoa did not move an inch from its geographical location when it adopted time of eastern hemisphere in 2011. It simply shifted the demarcation mark of the IDL to include itself with eastern hemisphere time reckoning. However, geographically, Samoa is located clearly in Western hemisphere. In order for Samoa to make that change and adjustment it dropped a day in 2011.

          The problem then with the whole argument you use is that, the IDL is totally different to the “Sabbath.” What we do with the IDL is our prerogative as humans or governments. But, the Sabbath belongs to God. We cannot do with the Sabbath the same as we do with the IDL. Yes, we can change the IDL as often as we can. But, we cannot meddle with the Sabbath of God. God, who owns the Sabbath says, It must be the 7th day of the week.

          What I know, and SDA members in Samoa will testify to this fact, that when they slept on the final Thursday of 2011, they woke up to the day locally called in Samoa “Saturday” because government had dropped “Friday” to readjust time. So, even though SDA’s in Samoa woke up to the day called “Saturday,” their day count was day six (6). SDA’s did not skip a day in their counting. They continued to count the week days as they had usually counted so over 100 years. And, according to their count, the 7th day now fell on what is locally called “Sunday” because of the IDL change.

          So, contrary to the arguments you suggest, I do not acknowledge that the IDL change in Samoa justifies for a one off six day week. Absolutely, not, I have consistently argued that a biblical week has and will always be made up of 7 literal days. The Sabbath is the 7th day of the week. That does not change. So, even if the IDL changes and changes again, the keeping of the Sabbath must always be according to the biblical rhythm of 7 days. Blessings.

        • Thanks Ulalei,

          I posted up two previous responses to your post but lost both. Not sure what went wrong! I am writing this response to that post here.

          You pointed out that a “day” (Gen. 1:18) was made up of 24 hours both in the East and Western hemispheres. No one disputes that truth. However, if what you assert is true, than a week of 7 days would be 168 hours in total made up of 7 x 24 hours. The last I calculated, the last week of Dec. 2011 only had 144 hours. This clearly shows that the last week of December 2011 only had six days. Friday which usually was the sixth day in 2011 was dropped from the calendar and by “Saturday.” “Sunday” than in the new calendar became the 7th day of the week.

          Your perception that I acknowledged that the Bible provided for a one off six day week in order for “Saturday” to remain the 7th day of the week is NOT correct. I have emphatically stated that the Sabbath is always the 7th day of the week. The Bible does not allow for a shorter or longer week that the weekly rhythm of 7 days. Blessings.

          • Manu O’Uiha on Feb. 16, 2013 at 1:50 said: “…This clearly shows that the last week of December 2011 only had six days…”

            I am sure you know that the Eastern hemisphere had a full week’s count of seven days and that the western hemisphere had a full week’s count of seven days in the week under discussion.

            When Independent Samoa legally moved the date line from one side of the Island to the other ( 2 times once either direction) it did not drop or add a day to the week – it simply adopted the seven-day week practiced in the hemisphere that it joined by the change of the location of the date line. In order to adopt the week of the hemisphere it joined, it necessarily abandoned its adherence to the week of the hemisphere it abandoned.

            This is exactly what any person or group of persons does when crossing the date line. In effect he or they abandon the week of the hemisphere they leave and adopt the week of the hemisphere they enter. There is no other rational way of relating to the date line.

            Just imagine the confusion if travelers insisted on keeping their original weekly cycle when they cross the dateline. This confusion sounds just like the Sabbath dilemma as introduced by church leaders in the South Pacific by their refusal to recognize the legal date line and substituting their own.

            I notice that when Samoan Sunday-sabbath keepers travel or move to Australia, New Zealand etc., they have no problem abandoning the weekly cycle that they so tenaciously hung on to against their own nation’s law which sets the weekly cycle. They do this to be in harmony with the calender of their new location relative to the date line.

            To reject one’s own nation’s weekly cycle while willingly adopting the weekly cycle of another nation seems like hypocrisy, shortsightedness or just plain self-deception.

            One other point must be cleared up: The “international date line” identified as the 180th Meridian of longitude is applicable only to ships on the high seas — i.e. it is a marine date line. Since the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not a marine organization and STM is not a ship on the high seas, the marine date line cannot be legitimately appealed to by either.

            The legal International Date line deviates from the 180th Meridian when it affects national lands it intersects or island nations lying near to it. This is the internationally accepted understanding. Each affected island nation has the right and the responsibility to determine in which hemisphere it is to calculate its weekly cycle. It is the duty of the church to be an obedient institution in the nation in which it is located.

            May God bless all who prayerfully consider this issue.

          • Thanks Andy,

            The comparison on Feb. 17 between a person in transition or while traveling to a country adopting time of a different hemisphere is incompatible! For one, a country does not travel in space or moves an inch when adopting time of a different hemisphere.

            No one disputes the right of governments to adopt time of a different hemisphere as Samoa has done on two occasions, in 1892 and 2011. But, to try and base “Sabbath” practice on the IDL changes is not a biblical teaching.

            The reality for SDAs on the ground in Samoa when the IDL switch took place in 2011 is that they did not experience a time lapse. Time in their reality count and Sabbath simply came as a consistent rhythm in the week’s usual cycle of 7 days. The comparison of one travelling was not the reality in Samoa in 2011.

            What really is hypocritical is when we claim to be Seventh day Adventists and are prepared to compromise the keeping of the 7th day to accommodate for an IDL change. It’s surprising that when it comes to the IDL we are prepared to sacrifice the 7th day Sabbath and to opt for a one off 6 day week or one off 8 day week. This is hypocrisy.

            While you argue for Sabbath to be based on a changeable IDL, the SDA Church on the contrary prefers the 180 degrees for its consistency. This is because the 180 degrees meridian does not change and is consistent to the principles taught in the Bible regarding the Sabbath. The changeable nature of the IDL is incompatible to the Biblical teaching of 7th day keeping. Just imagine what the world will think of Seventh day Adventists regarding “Sabbath” if we continually keep changing with the IDL?

            True, while each government or country has the right to change its IDL positioning, this is not the determining factor for “Sabbath” keeping. If SDA’s base Sabbath practices on what government decides, then our absolute loyalty is to earthly governments and not God. God does not require us to render absolute loyalty to governments when they insist of laws or regulations that contravene the clear teachings of the Word of God (see, stories in Scripture like Dan 3, 6; Rev. 13 and others). Our absolute loyalty and obedience is to God and His Word. Blessings. LMO.

          • Greetings L Manu. Thank you for your prompt response!

            Whether the date line passes over or under your vehicle of transport or over the island you live on has the identical effect. It is changing your position in relation to the date east to west or vice versa that we are talking about, not the physical moving of the island. Thus my comparison is logically compatible.

            Thus on December 29 the independent Nation of Samoa said good-bye to the Western Hemisphere and its week and on December 31 adopted the Eastern Hemisphere and its week. There was no loss of a day because they were immediately in the week of the eastern Hemisphere, that is Australian time. The loss of a day is a faulty way of talking about it because it only reflects the thinking of one who has not yet worked it out in his mind. It’s like a person who slept through a flight from New york to London and woke up in London thinking he was still in New York. Takes a little time to wake up for some people.

            I will respond to your other points later.

            May God Bless you and yours, Andy.

          • Thank you Andy for your remarks on Feb. 17.

            The main point being stressed in this discussion is that the IDL is an UNRELIABLE basis for “Sabbath” practice. Simply because the IDL changes as governments wish to do so. The “Sabbath” on the contrary does not change. We may rationalise as much as we can arguing that we can accommodate for a day being dropped from the week “like a person who slept through a flight from New York to London and woke up in London thinking he was still in New York.” But the reality on the ground in Samoa is totally different. People in Samoa in December of 2011 did not get on a flight to New York. The comparison is incompatible.

            Brother, you continue to argue that “there was no loss of day because they (people in Samoa) were immediately in the week of the eastern hemisphere, that is Australian time” with the switch of IDL. However, the facts you cite totally contradicts your alleged presupposition. You say, “Thus on December 29 the independent Nation of Samoa said good-bye to the Western hemisphere and its week and on December 31 adopted the Eastern hemisphere and its week.” No one disputes that fact. BUT WHERE IS DECEMBER 30? No serious thinking person will buy into the notion that a day was not dropped off the last week of December. And, the independent Nation of Samoa claims it has. See “Friday’s cancelled: Samoans lose 24 hours of their lives as island jumps over international dateline” in ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2080211/Samoa-calendar-change-Samoans-lose-24-hours-island-moves-international-dateline). So, it is your word against the testimony of the independent Nation of Samoa. The Samoan government does not deny dropping a day from the last week of December 2011.

            This is the whole point being stressed. Yes, the government of Samoa has every right to drop a day or even drop eight if they wish to. But, this has nothing to do with the Sabbath of God. God’s day of rest will always remain the 7th day of the week. The biblical week is 7 days. God does not allow for any additions or subtractions to the weekly cycle. A week was made up of seven literal days (Gen. 2:3; Ex. 20:11; Deut. 5:13, 14). Therefore, individual SDA’s in Samoa will have to choose if they go with the new week and keep “Saturday” after the government had dropped a day (December 30, 2011) to readjust to time of eastern hemisphere, OR to remain faithful to God and keep the 7th day as it comes in a full week of 7 days, meaning that now the “Sabbath” in Samoa falls on what is locally called “Sunday.” The choice is an individual matter. Having said that, sincere SDA’s who take the Word of God seriously will remain faithful to God and His Sabbath. Blessings. LMO.

          • L Manu
            I guess you didn’t appreciate my illustration of sleeping on a flight between New York to London and waking up thinking you’re still in New York.

            I was only using the illustration to point up some people’s inherent resistance to accepting change. This is not one of my shortcomings! I’ve never considered that I lost or gained a day as I crossed the dateline in my travels. I just accept that I’ve entered a “new” time frame with a day that is a one-number change of the calendar. So if I went to sleep on Dec. 29, 2011, in independent Samoa (which is Dec. 30 in New Zealand) and the IDL passes over the Island at midnight, I would wake up in the new reality of the eastern hemisphere and enjoy Sabbath Dec. 31, 2012. Praise the Lord! The eastern hemisphere has not lost a day. The western hemisphere has not lost a day. All is well in God’s world.

            The Sabbath day in the Eastern Hemisphere is just as sacred as the Sabbath day in the Western Hemisphere. I know no gain nor loss.

            Now I could have related to this negatively and with a critical eye said, “I’m losing a whole day! This is going mess up my count of the week days. My Sabbath is going to have to fall on Sunday. This is going to put me out of sync with what I was used to. Well, I’ll just have to cope; I’ll go along with the change for the work and business week. After all, I’ve got to make a living, but I’ll have my own private calendar and Sabbath school lesson so it will harmonize with my Sunday Sabbath. Oh! That will put me out sync with the rest of the world’s seventh-day Sabbath keeping! Oh well, I must do what I must do.”

            I could go on adding a lot more “I’ll do’s,” some of them not so nice but true to what is happening right now in Samoa. Don’t you think there are way too many “I’ll do’s” to this negative approach?

            The sad thing is this would not be the case except for the negative propaganda blitz that certain church administrators used to prejudice the Samoan Adventists against the IDL change. From what I know I would guess that the Samoan people respect authority, and if it hadn’t been for the propaganda blitz which came largely from outside Samoa, we would be looking at a far more positive and Godly outcome than we see today.

            I remain a prisoner of hope.
            Andy

            P.S. None of God’s days are ever lost.

      • Pr Manu, the day is also determined by the dateline, not only the sunset. The sunset must cross a legitimate, universally accepted boundary line for society to function. Groups claiming different boundaries between days is called anarchy. The SDA Church in Samoa is functioning in contempt of the Samoan government. Fortunately they are good humored and gracious. I guess they just think we’re simple folk who only need a dose of common sense. How sad that they consider us so insignificant that our contempt for their dateline change doesn’t even raise any response from them. Thank God for that. Hopefully it will be corrected soon so the SDA Church can resume preaching the Sabbath truth without any confusion.

      • “On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

        “Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
        and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
        So the sun stood still,
        and the moon stopped,
        till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

        The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!” -Joshua 10:12-14

        Limoni,
        How shall we account for this lost day in the old testament?
        Where is the biblical discussion regarding the six (or is it eight) day week Joshua instigated?
        This is the only real “lost day” in history because the world must have stopped turning for the sun and moon to stand still! Alas, no prophet came along to tell the nation of Israel to move their calendar one day back or ahead because “God doesn’t have six or eight-day weeks”. It seems to me that God does have the occasional week that is not the standard length of 168 hours.

    • Hi John Wallace, your last question is an interesting one. And, the response is simple. If you go back to the accounts of EGW’s visit to Samoa, she counted her days according to the 180 degrees meridian universally accepted by all nations of the world. In this regard, Samoa is located in the Western hemisphere and her “Sabbath” will therefore be together with America, namely, called “Sunday” locally. This is clear in the accounts of EGW’s diary and the observations of the early SDA missionaries to Samoa. Samoa in 2011 has gone back to the same day sequence when EGW and the early missionaries first visited there and observed the anomaly in the week cycle.

      • @ L. Manu O’Uiha who wrote:

        If you go back to the accounts of EGW’s visit to Samoa, she counted her days according to the 180 degrees meridian universally accepted by all nations of the world.

        This statement appears to be erroneous on two counts:

        1. The 180th Meridian is not “universally accepted by all nations of the world” as the International Date Line. It was not so accepted in the 1800’s, and it is not now, as is easily seen even in the fact that neither Samoa nor Tonga recognize the 180th Meridian as the Internatioal Date Line.

        2. Ellen White did not “visit” Samoa on her voyage to Australia. The ship only briefly anchored in the harbor of Apia, and Ellen White remained on board. In her diary entries, she entered the date as it was counted on board the ship which naturally kept time by marine reckoning and according to the marine date line. Thus her diary entry cannot be used to indicate that she “observed the anomaly in the week cycle.” She said nothing at all about it!

        • Thanks Inge.

          Your arguments are based on semantics (understanding of words).

          (a) What alternative are you suggesting for the 180 degrees meridian? It is the most practical solution nations have developed and adopted since 1884. While the acceptance of the 180 degrees meridian was gradual by nations of the world (See “Meridian International Conference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Meridian_Conference), all nations of the world embrace the relevance and principles of the meridian for time coordinates and world standard time. Failure to embrace the outcome of the 1884 Meridian Conference exacerbates the confusion which existed prior to the unification of 1884. True, both Samoa and Tonga have decided to swerve the IDL for their economic gains. And, that fine. The 1884 decision allows for such actions in order to minimise disruptions within a country having two separate times (like Fiji). But, what has this got to do with keeping the 7th day Sabbath? The IDL and the “Sabbath” are two separate issues. And, the “Sabbath” is NOT subject to the IDL.

          (b) “November 26, the day before we reached Samoa, was my birthday.” (BEcho January 1, 1892, par. 13). “Between Samoa and Auckland we crossed the day-line, and for the first time in our lives we had a week of six days. Tuesday, December 1, was dropped from our reckoning, and we passed from Monday to Wednesday.” (BEcho January 1, 1892, par. 14). “At daylight of December 3, the coast of new Zealand was in sight, and about noon our boat reached the dock at Auckland.” (BEcho January 1, 1892, par. 15). “We entered Sydney harbor at seven o’clock on the morning of December 8.” (BEcho January 1, 1892, par. 17).

          We agree that EGW did not go ashore while in Samoa. Her count on ship was in line with time of western hemisphere as per divisions of the 180 degrees meridian. On land in Samoa, they kept time together with eastern hemisphere because the change did not take place until 1892.

          So, while EGW did not say anything regarding the anomaly on land in Samoa in is clear in her writings that that was the case. EGW recognised the 180 degrees as they crossed it between Samoa and New Zealand. Therefore, it is clear that in her mind time in Samoa was together with America. The argument of silence is not the most convincing. Blessings. LMO.

        • Hi Inge,

          A second response to your remarks of February 17.

          EGW’s visit to Samoa in 1891 demonstrates her views of Samoa’s geographical location.

          “On Friday, Nov. 27, we reached the Samoan Islands, after a pleasant voyage of seven days from Honolulu. We had expected extremely hot weather in passing through the tropics, but in this we were happily disappointed. Only a few days were uncomfortably warm. On Tuesday, Nov. 24, when we crossed the equator, the air was so cool that we found our wraps needful on deck.” (BEcho, January 1, 1892 par. 8).

          EGW was aware of crossing the equator and Samoa’s geographical location in the pacific.

          “Between Samoa and Auckland we crossed the day-line, and for the first time in our lives we had a week of six days. Tuesday, December 1, was dropped from our reckoning, and we passed from Monday to Wednesday.” (BEcho, January 1, 1892 par. 14)

          EGW was aware they had crossed the day line (180 degrees meridian) on her way to Auckland, NZ.

          (a) It is clear that EGW was recording time in her diary together with America (Western hemisphere). She notes their arrival in Samoa on Friday, Nov. 27, 1891. We know that EGW had visited Samoa before King Malietoa Laupepa in 1892 shifted the IDL to adopt time together with America.

          (b) Therefore, while EGW had recorded her visit to Samoa as Friday, Nov. 27, it was in fact Saturday, Nov. 28 local time. This would be the same time kept in Samoa today after the IDL shift of Dec. 2011.

          (c) Hence, if EGW stayed longer in Samoa and observed the “Sabbath,” it would have been “Saturday,” Nov. 28, 1891 (on her records), BUT on land in Samoa, it would have been “Sunday, Nov. 29, 1891.”

          (d) If EGW had stayed a day longer in Samoa she would be keeping the 7th day Sabbath on the same Sabbath day (Sunday on land in Samoa) corresponds to time now kept in Samoa post IDL change of 2011. The anomaly was also noticed by John Marsh and his colleagues when the Pitcairn arrived in Apia on 02 Aug. 1891. The LDS were keeping the 7th day Sabbath but called it Sunday.

          SDA’s have not made a mistake as some suggest. God was NOT caught unaware of the Sabbath issue in Samoa. God is still in absolute control of the events that transpire both in the world and in His Church. We can have absolute confidence in His leading. Our duty is to obey the 7th day Sabbath as it comes to us according to the weekly rhythm God ordained when He created the earth. Blessings. LMO.

        • Hi Inge,

          A second response to your remarks of February 17.

          EGW’s visit to Samoa in 1891 demonstrates her views of Samoa’s geographical location.

          “On Friday, Nov. 27, we reached the Samoan Islands, after a pleasant voyage of seven days from Honolulu. We had expected extremely hot weather in passing through the tropics, but in this we were happily disappointed. Only a few days were uncomfortably warm. On Tuesday, Nov. 24, when we crossed the equator, the air was so cool that we found our wraps needful on deck.” (BEcho, January 1, 1892 par. 8).

          EGW was aware of crossing the equator and Samoa’s geographical location in the pacific.

          “Between Samoa and Auckland we crossed the day-line, and for the first time in our lives we had a week of six days. Tuesday, December 1, was dropped from our reckoning, and we passed from Monday to Wednesday.” (BEcho, January 1, 1892 par. 14)

          EGW was aware they had crossed the day line (180 degrees meridian) on her way to Auckland, NZ.

          (a) It is clear that EGW was recording time in her diary together with America (Western hemisphere). She notes their arrival in Samoa on Friday, Nov. 27, 1891. We know that EGW had visited Samoa before King Malietoa Laupepa in 1892 shifted the IDL to adopt time together with America.

          (b) Therefore, while EGW had recorded her visit to Samoa as Friday, Nov. 27, it was in fact Saturday, Nov. 28 local time. This would be the same time kept in Samoa today after the IDL shift of Dec. 2011.

          (c) Hence, if EGW stayed longer in Samoa and observed the “Sabbath,” it would have been “Saturday,” Nov. 28, 1891 (on her records), BUT on land in Samoa, it would have been “Sunday, Nov. 29, 1891.”

          (d) If EGW had stayed a day longer in Samoa she would be keeping the 7th day Sabbath on the same Sabbath day (Sunday on land in Samoa) corresponding to time now kept in Samoa post IDL change of 2011. The anomaly was also noticed by John Marsh and his colleagues when the Pitcairn arrived in Apia on 02 Aug. 1891. The LDS were keeping the 7th day Sabbath but called it Sunday.

          SDA’s have not made a mistake as some suggest. God was NOT caught unaware of the Sabbath issue in Samoa. God is still in absolute control of the events that transpire both in the world and in His Church. We can have absolute confidence in His leading. Our duty is to obey the 7th day Sabbath as it comes to us according to the weekly rhythm God ordained when He created the earth. Blessings. LMO.

      • Hi Andy,

        Another response to your views of February 17!

        Just imagine what would have happened if the Samoan government had chosen not to drop “Friday December 30, 2011” but instead dropped “Saturday December 31, 2011” and people in Samoa woke up the next day to “Sunday 01, 2012”? Which day would SDA’s in Samoa have kept as the Sabbath? Definitely, SDA’s as they have done post 2011 will keep “Sunday” as the Sabbath. It would have been the same thing. The 7th day “Saturday, December 31, 2011” was dropped and it would have been replaced by “Sunday January 01, 2012.” It would not have made any difference for Bible keeping Seventh day Adventists. However, for those arguing against this, it would be a major problem.

        If we go along with the arguments of some on this forum to stick to the day called “Saturday” SDA’s would have waited another week to celebrate the Sabbath. In fact they would not have had a “Sabbath” at all in the last week of 2011. That is why we cannot go by the IDL or literally stick to the day called “Saturday” when it comes to Sabbath keeping. If the Samoa government had chosen to drop “Saturday December 31” instead of “Friday December 30,” the next day would have been “Sunday 01, 2012.” That would have been the 7th day of the week. Those, arguing that Sabbath only falls on “Saturday” will have to go without a “Sabbath” altogether that final week in Samoa waiting for the next “Saturday” a fortnight later. Even the idea of this happening is preposterous. Blessings. LMO.

        • L Manu, Greetings from the land of ice and snow.

          In response to your “what if” post:

          The Samoan government did not choose to make the change on the Friday night, thus not affecting the Sabbath as Samoa adopted the Eastern Hemisphere’s reckoning. It would be interesting to know the reasoning for this decistion. It seems logical that Dec. 30 or even 31 would be the choice. I speculate that choosing Thursday night was meant to accommodate both those who worship on the Sabbath and those who worship on Sunday.

          Would to God that our church leaders would have thanked the government for their considerate decision and taught the members of the church to respect the government’s legitimate law which, in effect, reversed the earlier IDL change. Instead the church recommended disrespect by a partial rejection of the IDL move. Now the church gives a weekly testimony of showing disrespect for the law dealing with the IDL by pretending that they are still on the other side of the IDL. This in turn causes the people who are supposed to be God’s remnant church to be looked at as “slightly out of touch with reality.”

          No, Manu, I won’t take your bait to speculate. It didn’t happen that way because we have a good God and Samoa has an honorable government which is apparently much more respectful and synpathetic than some of the Adventist leaders and people.

          I remain a prisoner of hope,
          Andy.

          • Greetings brother Andy,

            Thank you for your response of February 18. And, thank you to our moderators for allowing transparency in an open dialogue.

            My response to the “what if” is that it is the same as trying to base “Sabbath” practice on the IDL. The “what if” are simply meant to help us realise that the IDL arguments are very subjective and cannot be the basis for any biblical “Sabbath” practice. Any authentic Sabbath keeping must be based on the Bible and its clear teachings. The Bible is not ambiguous when it comes to Sabbath.

            As EGW herself has clearly stated:

            “The seventh-day Sabbath is in no uncertainty. It is God’s memorial of His work of creation. It is set up as a heaven-given memorial, to be observed as a sign of obedience.” (Ellen G. White, “The Day Line Problem,” Letter 118, 1900 in Ellen G. White Statements Bearing On the Question of the Day Line: http://www.whiteestate.org).

            We must learn to trust God. He knows what He is doing even though it defies human reason. We can continue to argue and rationalise but remember, God does not always provide “proof” for everything He commands us to do. Where “proof” falls short and things do NOT make sense, FAITH kicks in. We take God at His Word.

            So, if Sabbath practice in Samoa and Tonga do not make sense, our responsibility is to TRUST GOD. HE is leader of the Adventist movement. Let not argue with God and make a fuss about our inability to understanding His workings! If we do, we cast doubt on God’s leading in Samoa over a 120 years. We imply that God does not know what He was doing in Samoa and that we know better than Him. This is all presumptuous thinking on our part.

            As noted in my previous posts, the SDA church respects the government of Samoa. SDA’s in Samoa by keeping the 7th day Sabbath, now locally called “Sunday” after the IDL Change, have NOT broken any government laws in Samoa. SDA members in Samoa are law abiding citizens. But, SDA’s in Samoa on the other hand will not change to follow suit with government IDL change and contravene the clear teachings of the Bible regarding the Sabbath.

            And, brother Andy, my purpose in writing is NOT to bait you as you imply. Rather, the purpose of this dialogue is to help all the readers of this forum see things from a different perspective. For more than a year now, some writers in this forum have said terrible things against the SPD, TPU, STM, and individuals (myself included) making unfounded allegations and accusations about introducing “Sunday” worship in the pacific. It is important that we continue to allow a fair dialogue in an open and Christian manner so that the readers may be able to evaluate the truth for themselves.

            SDAs in the pacific, in Tonga, Samoa, Kiribati, and others do sincerely believe in the 7th day Sabbath as taught emphatically in the Bible. They do not believe that the Sabbath should be based upon any IDL that has proven itself very unreliable as it continues to change. SDAs believe that the Sabbath is constant, each week it comes to us consistently, on a weekly cycle and rhythm of 7 days irrespective of IDL, governments or cultures.

            While some individual members in Samoa or around the world may see differently we do not need to bash each other up. If we are serious about truth, we need to humble ourselves and take time to search, study, and understand the Bible and SOP on the issue of the Sabbath. Only then can we come eye to eye on this vital truth. Blessings, LMO.

      • Brother Andy,

        Your illustrations re the IDL passing over while sleeping in Samoa does not change the facts as publicly acknowledged by the Samoa government that a day had to be dropped in order for Samoa to adopt eastern time.

        So, the point about flying or the IDL passing over does not change the fact that a “day” (December 30) was indeed dropped from the Samoa calendar in order for Samoa to be in Sync with eastern time. To argue otherwise is nonsensical.

        Unfortunately, the Bible does not allow for a dropping or adding of a day to the 7 day week. Unless if you are able to provide any biblical evidence the arguments you use are redundant.

        You argue:

        I could go on adding a lot more “I’ll do’s,” some of them not so nice but true to what is happening right now in Samoa. Don’t you think there are way too many “I’ll do’s” to this negative approach?
        The sad thing is this would not be the case except for the negative propaganda blitz that certain church administrators used to prejudice the Samoan Adventists against the IDL change. From what I know I would guess that the Samoan people respect authority, and if it hadn’t been for the propaganda blitz which came largely from outside Samoa, we would be looking at a far more positive and Godly outcome than we see today.”

        Response:

        (a) I am not sure I follow your “I’ll do’s”? I really do not know what you mean here! If you are saying people are only following “Sabbath” for fear of reprimand, I really do not believe that is the case. It may be true for some but not for all. I personally keep the Sabbath based upon what I see is the clear teachings of Scripture. If I am convinced that the “Saturday” in Samoa today post 2011 was the correct Sabbath and the current practice in Tonga and Samoa was wrong, rest assured, I will be raising all the issues on the Sabbath and will not rest until something is done. In fact, I WILL BE PREPARED TO RESIGN FROM SDA CHURCH EMPLOYMENT FROM THE NORTH NEW ZEALAND CONFERENCE IN OPPOSITION TO THE POSITION TAKEN BY THE CHURCH. I assure you brother, I am personally not afraid to lose my employment for the sake of truth. However, I do not believe any of the arguments raised so far in opposition to the current practice in the pacific holds any true value in Scripture. In fact, all the arguments presented so far in opposition to that taken by the Church, does not stack up. No serious SDA biblical scholar will take on this battle because it will not stand. You must remember, the teachings of Adventism regarding “Sabbath” keeping is deeply rooted in Biblical theology studies by hundreds of SDA theologians and biblical scholars for over 150 years. The Sabbath has been kept in Tonga and Samoa for about 120 years. If you seriously believe that this “Sabbath” teaching in the SDA church is wrong, it will take a lot of prayerful study to disprove the well-established teachings of the SDA Church.

        (b) You argue that “church administrators” used “negative propaganda blitz” “to prejudice the Samoan Adventists against the IDL change.” This is an assumption on your part. This gives the impression that SDA members in Samoa are not given an opportunity to think or decide for themselves! This is not what is obvious in the current Sabbath practice in Samoa. It is clear that SDA Samoans in the homeland have accepted the Bible teaching that Sabbath comes to them each week on the 7th day as clearly taught in the Bible. They only need to count the setting sun and on Thursday Dec. 29 they knew according to their count that it was Day 5 in the biblical week. When the IDL switch over and “Saturday, Dec. 31 replaced Friday Dec. 30; the day count for our SDA members in Samoa was Day 6 of the biblical week. For them, Day 7 of that week count was “Sunday, January 01, 2012. Our SDA members in Samoa did not blindly adopt the “Sabbath” blindly as some suggest or indicate. It was a deliberate choice on their part knowing that Sabbath was a TEST of faithfulness to GOD and NOT the IDL or government laws and regulations. Unfortunately, some are insisting otherwise. And, those who do so, think they speak for the SDA Church in Samoa. This is wrong.

        (c) I will agree with you that our SDA members in Samoa “respect authority.” And, for them, the “authority of God and His Word” is more important that the IDL. As you noted in your P.S. “none of God’s days are ever lost.” Likewise, the “Sabbath.” It is not lost. Even when IDL changes from east to west or west to east, the “Sabbath” consistently remains the 7 th day of the Week as determined by God in the beginning.
        Blessings. LMO.

  61. Brother Wallace, you seem to promote absolute obedience to governments as a reason why SDAs in Samoa need to keep the day called “Saturday” as the Sabbath! What happens than in situations where governments, such as ours in NZ, currently attempt to legalize gay marriages? Do we as Adventists render absolute obedience? Clearly not; our absolute loyalty is to God and His commandments. Therefore, where government laws contradict the clear teachings of the Bible, sincere Seventh day Adventists will uphold the Word of God. The Bible teaching regarding the 7th day Sabbath is clear. The creation account in Gen 1 and 2 does not allow for a six, eight, or nine day week. The Sabbath of Yahweh also falls on the 7th day of the Week. We simply count the setting sun each day and the setting sun on day six welcomes the Sabbath of God.

    • Brother O’Uiha, you have unfortunately failed to show that the Samoan law that moved the country across the date line “contradicts the clear teachings of the Bible.”

      And if the 2011 legal re-alignment of Samoa to the date line could be demonstrated to “contradict the clear teachings of the Bible,” surely the original re-alignment of Samoa to the American side of the date line would be just as clearly in contradiction to “the clear teachings of the Bible.”

      The irony is that Sunday-keeping Adventists in Tonga and Samoa adhere to the local Tongan and Samoan calendars, which are the same as the international calendar world-wide, on all week days except Saturday and Sunday. It seems that they keep Sabbath on Sunday, a day later than Adventists keep Sabbath in the rest of the world. For instance, in Canada, we just kept Sabbath on Saturday, February 16, 2013, but Sunday-keeping Adventists in Tonga and Samoa are observing their sabbath on Sunday, February 17, 2013.

      • Thanks Inge,

        How does a government move itself across the dateline? A country does not literally move. What the Samoan government simply did was swerve the IDL so that the country could keep time together with countries in the eastern hemisphere as per divisions of the 1884 Meridian International Conference.

        The point to underscore is: the IDL is an unreliable basis for “Sabbath” keeping irrespective of where we are on the face of the earth. If for example, the United States decides to move the IDL so it can keep time together with the east, will SDA’s in America than change its Sabbath practice? And, who says the Sabbath in Samoa or Tonga will not change again in the future! Samoa has demonstrated that it can change the IDL as it desires and rightly so. Therefore, to make the IDL the reason for us having to readjust our “Sabbath” practice by dropping a day from the weekly cycle to accommodate the IDL is of human origin.

        You argue that I have not shown how “the Samoan law that moved the country across the date line” contradicts the clear teaching of the Bible. This is not the point I am stressing. On the contrary, I am saying that Samoa has every right to do so. However, when Seventh day Adventists try to drop a day from the 7 day week to fit into the IDL change, that contradicts the teaching of the Sabbath in Scripture (Gen. 2:1-3). Because the Bible does not allow for a shorter week of six days nor for a longer week or eight or ten days. The Biblical week of Gen. 1 – 2 is always and permanently 7 days irrespective of IDL, governments, or any other. Blessings. LMO.

    • L Manu O’Uhiha on Feb. 13,2013 at 4:03 am said, “Brother Wallace you seem to promote absolute obedience to governments as a reason why SDAs in Samoa need to keep the day called “Saturday” as the Sabbath!”

      A review of John Wallace’s post reveals that he does not promote absolute obedience to governments. Wallace plainly limits that call to obedience to legitimate governmental laws, dealing with money and time as it relates to date line issues. These are legitimate governmental issues that do not encroach on God’s domain. In fact they facilitate an understanding of what day is the Sabbath in any given area.

      Perhaps you read Wallace’s quoting Rom. 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17 as though it were his own thought and words. If so, you were inadvertently arguing against the Apostles Paul and Peter for making such strong statements about the Christians’ need to be obedient to their governments.

      Be that as it may be. What you used is a cheap trick – by overstating what Wallace said you opened the way for you to introduce a highly emotionally charged New Zealand law legalizing same-sex marriage, so as to discredit Wallace’s appeal to obedience to a specific and legitimate law. Over here we call this setting up a straw man and then shooting it down as if you were actually dealing with your opponent’s argument. Let’s keep our discussion free from this type of illogic and trickery.

      I submit that Wallace’s appeal to obedience to the Samoan law regarding time and the IDL is legitimate and appropriate — especially so for Samoan citizens who would honor God’s direction as expressed by the Apostles Paul and Peter and Christ, who said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.” It is evident that God made a round world and gave us the weekly cycle as well as other times and seasons to be remembered, such as months and years. All of this requires a date line. So obviously God expects mankind to function with a date line. It logically follows that the determination of the dateline would rest with the governments of the world since God ordains them to keep order on this earth. The date line is of no private interpretation. It is a hands-off issue for those who would respect God’s ordaining of governments to perform their responsibilities.

      May this help us all to respect and honor God’s will.

      Your brother in hope, Andy.

  62. To Ulicia & Phyllis,

    Thank you for your comments and thank you for bringing lights to our dialogue in this important topic.

    May God continues to bless you and all of us as we search to do His will to the best of our ability.

    God Bless from brother Steve

  63. L Manu O’Uiha,

    Thank you for your contribution to the dialogue and I totally agree with your comments on this subject.

    Lapushin a Jew who was in Samoa in December 2011 when Friday 30th December was removed from that week. He counted 7 days from the previous Sabbath (Saturday 24th) and the 7 days from this date was Sunday the 1st January 2012. He kept this day as his Sabbath.

    Thank You & God Bless…brother Steve

  64. Thanks Steve,

    I sincerely appreciate all your valuable insights and contribution to the forum. And, thank you sincerely to all the moderators of this forum for being transparent and for publishing both views to the IDL Sabbath issue in Samoa. Such transparency provides opportunity for all readers to see arguments from both sides and to consider for themselves the “truth” regarding the Sabbath situation in Samoa based upon the study of God’s Word. Blessings.

  65. Andy Anderson

    I would like to respond to your comment on 17th February 2013. You states that “when Independent Samoa legally moved the date line from one side of the Island to the other (2 times once either direction) it did not drop or add a day to the week.” Brother this is VERY WRONG, Friday 30th December 2011 was removed & there were two Monday 4th July in 1892. This is dropping a day and adding a day. Samoan news on TV all mentions the dropping of a day in December 2011.

    You gave an example to support your view of a person crossing the dateline, “they abandon the week of the hemisphere they leave and adopt the week of the hemisphere they enter.” This is RIGHT for a person who travels to another country BUT how can we take that as an example for a country that cannot travel or move from its location. Samoa has been in its present location for more than 1000 years.

    Please read my previous comments about the UNIVERSAL MERIDIAN 180 degrees & IDL. The UNIVERSAL MERIDIAN has not changed since 1884 for the world and since 1600s for England. The IDL has been changing many many times throughout the years like 1892 in Samoa, 1899 in the Cook Islands, 1995 in Kiribati, 2011 in Samoa again etc. The world (including all these countries that moved the dateline) all use the UNIVERSAL MERIDIAN for reckoning of time for AM & PM.

    If we use the UNIVERSAL MERIDIAN (180 degrees) for reckoning of our 7th Day Sabbath, all those in the Eastern Hemisphere will keep the same (24 hours) Sabbath and all those in the Western Hemisphere will keep the same (24 hours) Sabbath. NO COUNTRY WILL BE ABLE TO CHANGE THE SABBATH FROM ONE 24 HOURS TO ANOTHER). Remember that God in the beginning gave only one 24 hours as our Sabbath.

    If we use the IDL – International Dateline for reckoning of our 7th day Sabbath. WE WILL CHANGE OUR SABBATH FROM ONE 24 HOURS TO ANOTHER WHENEVER A GOVERNMENT DECIDES TO CHANGE THE DATELINE AROUND. This is what we see in Independent Samoa today. They change for Business Reasons that is trade with NZ & Australia.

    I know all your arguments about the Sabbath and I am keeping Saturday here in Australia, where I live, as my Sabbath. The issue that we dialogue about is about the few islands that are close to the 180 degrees (UNIVERSAL MERIDIAN). They have the freedom to change from the left to the right of the 180 meridian. ARE WE GOING TO CHANGE OUR SABBATH EVERY TIME THEY DECIDED TO MOVE THE IDL?

    God Bless…brother Steve

    • Hello Steve,
      It seems that you missed my points on at least two counts: First I did not say the island was moved; no one moved the Samoan nor any other island nation for that matter. So your rebuttal on that count was not necessary. We all know it was the IDL which was moved by vote of the government in Independent Samoa.

      Secondly, you challenge my statement that there is no dropping or adding of days when the dateline is crossed. As I said, the western hemisphere had a full weekly cycle that week and so did the eastern hemisphere have a full weeks cycle. There was no day lost in either hemisphere. The idea of a lost day is just a mental way of adjusting to the change from one hemisphere to the other. The only people who don’t seem to get it are the ones who do not wish to acknowledge the reality of the change from one side of the date line to the other. To get through the experience of crossing the dateline one must adopt the weekly cycle of the place you go to and at the same time abandon the weekly cycle of the place you left. This is true for travelers as well as for the population of an island country that chooses to move the date line to the other side of the island.

      There was no lost day on either side of the dateline. It is just a perception of anyone who does not accept the reality of having left one side of the IDL for the other. The fact is when you cross the date line or, rather, the date line crosses you as it did in Samoa, you move to the next day as you adopt the week of the Eastern Hemisphere.

      The only sizable group of people in Samoa that have a problem with the change are those Seventh-day Adventist who do not accept the government’s directive for the weekend while they accept it for the rest of the week. They have become Sunday/first-day keepers. This is their witness to all the peoples of Samoa.

      I believe, as many others around the world believe, that the Samoan SDA,s would not have moved to Sunday if some of the church’s division, union and mission leaders had not done a major propaganda blitz to persuade them to change to Sunday keeping. So here we are with a Sabbath dilemma that has been tolerated first in Tonga for over 100 years and now has been foisted onto Samoa by some leaders of the church who are in position where they are expected to uphold the 28 fundamental beliefs of the church.

      You cannot have two seventh days with differing dates in one week on this earth. Either the few Sunday “sabbath”-keeping Adventists in the South Pacific are right and Seventh-day Adventist Church members in the rest of the world keep the wrong day, or the World SDA Church is keeping the true seventh day and the Tongans and other Sunday “sabbath” keepers in the South Pacific are in error. For Christ and his faithful people this error must be removed.

      A prisoner of hope, Andy.

      • Hi Andy,

        A response to aspects of your remarks to Steve on February 18.

        You argue that:

        “There was no lost day on either side of the dateline. It is just a perception of anyone who does not accept the reality of having left one side of the IDL for the other. The fact is when you cross the date line or, rather, the date line crosses you as it did in Samoa, you move to the next day as you adopt the week of the Eastern Hemisphere.”

        Are you suggesting we live a dreamlike land? That those in Samoa slept on Dec. 29 and woke up on Dec. 31, and believe they did not lost a day? This argument is nonsensical. Secondly, it contradicts documented articles and records by the Samoa government itself that they HAD TO DROP A DAY (Dec. 30, 2011) in order to make the adjustment and for Samoa to share eastern time.

        You also note:

        “I believe, as many others around the world believe, that the Samoan SDA,s would not have moved to Sunday if some of the church’s division, union and mission leaders had not done a major propaganda blitz to persuade them to change to Sunday keeping. So here we are with a Sabbath dilemma that has been tolerated first in Tonga for over 100 years and now has been foisted onto Samoa by some leaders of the church who are in position where they are expected to uphold the 28 fundamental beliefs of the church.”

        The above belief is a personal matter and every person may have different perceptions. That’s fine. However, that is not what SDAs believe and teach regarding 7th day Sabbath practice. Seventh day Adventists have consistently taught the unchangeable nature of the 7th day Sabbath and this has been the practice worldwide. Sabbath practice in Tonga and also the rest of the pacific has consistently been the 7th day together with Sabbath in America (in the Western hemisphere). Even though in some places it is called “Saturday” and in others it is called “Sunday.”

        You argue that we “cannot have two seventh days with different dates in one week on this earth.” And, I agree with you partially. There cannot be two seventh days. Either “Saturday” or “Sunday” in Samoa post IDL change is the 7th day of the week. According to my last count, and for the majority of SDA’s on the ground in Samoa, it is now the day called “Sunday.”

        However, as for “dates” so long as all countries follow the universally accepted 180 meridian the dates will be the same. But when countries like Samoa and Tonga choose to be out of sync with the general principle, it does not apply. The dates of course will be different.

        I would be interested to know what you would have done if the United States decided to shift its IDL to adopt eastern time and dropped a day in its calendar? Would you go by the change introduced by government or stick to the instructions of Scripture regarding the unchangeable nature of the Sabbath? Thanks for your contribution. This whole discussion is given SDA around the world to sincerely search the Scriptures to ensure that what they believe is indeed a Scriptural teaching. Blessings. LMO.

      • Brother Andy, Wallace, White and all Brothers & Sisters,

        Please prayerfully read these few quotes with open minds and humble hearts before we continue with our discussion;

        Refers to the Harvey Islands – (Cook Islands) – Rurutu & Mangaia. “All the people of the island, as well as those in the other islands of the group, keep the seventh-day Sabbath, though they call it Sunday.” E H Gates, ADVENTIST REVIEW & SABBATH HERALD – June 23, 1891. “News From the PITCAIRN.”

        “Leaving Samoa June 8, we were three days beating against a heat winds before reaching the Friendly Islands…As with the LAST TWO GROUPS VISITED, the people all keep the true Sabbath in the islands.” E H Gates, ADVENTIST REVIEW & SABBATH HERALD – October 20, 1891. “From the PITCAIRN.”

        The”LAST TWO GROUPS VISITED” in the above paragraph was the Cook Islands & the Samoa Islands. It tells us that Cook Islands, Samoa Islands and Tonga Islands were all keeping the right Sabbath (the 7th day) on the day that was locally called SUNDAY.

        Cook Islands corrected their day reckoning in 1899 and Samoa corrected theirs in 1892. Tonga has not corrected their reckoning of days yet, that is why Tonga still keeping SUNDAY as their Sabbath. (Sunday in Tonga is actually SATURDAY if they corrected their reckoning of days to its right Hemisphere).

        In Tonga “all the natives keep the Sabbath of the Lord, though calling it Sunday.” E H Gates, ADVENTIST REVIEW & SABBATH HERALD – July 5, 1892. “The Gospel in Different Island Groups.”

        “GOD OVERRULED matters to preserve a knowledge of His Sabbath in these islands. This seems PROVIDENTIAL, as the natives scarcely any literature, would not be capable of weighing arguments on the Sabbath question, since they all suppose the seventh day, which they keep, to be Sunday. E H Gates, ADVENTIST REVIEW & SABBATH HERALD – July 12, 1892. “The Gospel in Different Island Groups.”

        If you have time than please read the articles in the link below:

        https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1966/January/why-seventh-day-adventists-keep-sunday-in-tonga

        http://docs.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH18710307-V37-12__B.pdf#view=fit

        God Bless…brother Steve

        • Thanks Steve,

          The facts provided in your post of February 18 are very enlightening. Especially for those who are interested in seeking the truth about the 7th day Sabbath in the Islands of Samoa, Tonga, and the rest of the Pacific.

          God, undoubtedly, had things under control. We really need to trust Him with regards to His leading in the work in the pacific. To argue otherwise is to cast doubt on God, His Church (SDA Church), and the way He planted the SDA message in the pacific.

          I personally have a lot of confidence in God and His leading. I cannot imagine God making a mistake in Samoa regarding Sabbath keeping. It would be absurd to even think that God allowed a mistake like Sabbath keeping to go on in Samoa and Tonga for over 120 years. The very notion of this is contrary to the Biblical teaching regarding God and His nature. Blessings. LMO.

          • Dear brother O’Uiha,

            I cannot forbear to address your fascinating remarks, as recorded here. You wrote:

            It would be absurd to even think that God allowed a mistake like Sabbath keeping to go on in Samoa and Tonga for over 120 years.

            It seems the long-term error was in Tonga alone. In any case, your idea would of course be a matter of opinion. Nevertheless, I believe it bears some examination. Do we really believe the testimony of the True Witness to the church at Laodicea? Furthermore, do we really understand what happened at and around the General Conference session in Minneapolis in the year 1888? And lastly, have we any true concept of what it would mean to “repent” of our backsliding, and yes, our fondness for the law apart from Christ?

            As I read my Bible, it would not be at all out of character for God to simply let us go on in the way which we had chosen, waiting for an opportune time to bring us to repentance. An example of this is found in Isaiah 57:16-18. Here it is, from the KNJV:

            For I will not contend forever,
            Nor will I always be angry;
            For the spirit would fail before Me,
            And the souls which I have made.
            For the iniquity of his covetousness
            I was angry and struck him;
            I hid and was angry,
            And he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
            I have seen his ways, and will heal him;
            I will also lead him,
            And restore comforts to him
            And to his mourners.

            As our dear pastor Rimoni has so aptly explained in his paper, the South Pacific Sunday “Sabbath” arguments are very rigid and legalistic in their essence. Could it be that God allowed us to commit such a massive blunder, and to carry on in our error for 120 years, for the very purpose of helping us see our deeper need today?

            Surely, if we truly love Jesus, we cannot now continue in this error, for the sake of saving face, satisfying our legalistic urges, or whatever, and at the cost of failing to give the trumpet a certainty in the sounding of the third angel’s message!

        • Dear Steve, It seems to me that Ulicia answered your concerns earlier in this thread at http://sabbathissues.org/2012/04/samoan-sabbath-dilemma-revisited/#comment-39 I have copied the pertinent portion below for your conventience:

          [Ulicia writes] You ask some important question and maybe I can help by giving a few answers.

          3. “The problem is the “before and after” the arrival of the SDAs in that country I think.”
          That’s a very good observation. And history shows that both Tonga and Samoa were following the Asian time reckoning. Missionaries (Sunday keeping missionaries) arrived about 100 years prior to Adventists and they brought with them the same day count as Australia — that is — they are the first to begin a day on this round earth.

          In 1884 there was a meeting in Washington where MEN decided that Greenwich, England would be a good place to start the 0 count on longitudes. That’s the first time in history (though it was never passed as a law) that 180 decrees from Greenwich should be recognized as a dateline.

          Tonga and Samoa were both PERCEIVED, by some, now as being “on the wrong side” as far as the way they counted their days were concerned.

          We see this in some of the correspondence by Adventists who visited the Islands around 1896. They wrote stuff like “all the other churches are worshiping on Sabbath but they think its Sunday”.

          Tonga never did change — they stayed with the same time as New Zealand and Australia, which they had been following for years prior. BUT the Adventists decided to follow the American time reckoning (America being the last to receive each day) and thus got those Islands worshiping on Sunday.

          Samoa did change in 1892.

          In 1892 they had TWO July 4ths (in honor of joining the American time reckoning).

          Thus in 1892 Samoa celebrated an eight day week. Now they were no longer the first to start a day on the round world, but the last.

          Now in 2011 Samoa subtracted a day from their week and went back to join the Asian time count. Now once again they are the first to start a day on the round world.

          But Adventists say — wait — and start thinking the 180th meridian, and Greenwich as the center or Prime Meridian, somehow goes back to creation, when in fact it was MEN who decided on it in 1884 and caused the confusion in those Islands back then.

    • Hello Steve,

      Your last question above, “Shall we keep changing our Sabbath in line with the changes relative to the IDL?” Definitely needs consideration! An understatement if ever there was one.

      Lets look at the various factors that should play in the resolution of your question.
      1.We are dealing with only two legitimate hemispheres. This means there are only two legitimate times to keep the Sabbath – the Eastern when the new sabbath day begins its trip around the world or Western when the Sabbath day ends its trip around the world, beginning about approximately 24 hours later, but on the same calendar date.

      2.We live in a world that is the theater of the great controversy between Christ and His kingdom and Satan and his rebellion against God. Since the seventh-day Sabbath is the sign or mark of loyalty to God while Sunday, the first day of the week, is the sign of loyalty to rebellious man’s cause, these two days are extremely important. There can be no confusion of the identity of these days as to when they occur in the week in the land of one’s citizenship or occupancy. Satan’s organized forces, which the Bible calls Babylon, know which day is their day and that is a big reason why there is a universal recognition of one accepted week in this world. We, as the keepers of God’s sign, the Sabbath, should also know and protect the one day of the week which is commonly known as Saturday, the seventh day. Other languages will have their own word for the Sabbath but it is and must be the same day. Any thing else makes for confusion and cannot be a sign of loyalty to our God.

      3.The Island nations you refer to are not as capricious in changing their relation to the dateline as Sunday-sabbath Adventist are reporting. Samoa is now neutral, for it has reversed its first change so you have only Tonga, Kiribati, Wallace and Fortuna. Perhaps there are others with a change or two in the last 120 plus or minus years. And remember they have only two options, both of which preserve the universal week.

      4. There is a movement for the past 120 years or more that is perhaps unwittingly trying to develop another mini “hemisphere” which allows them to have the best of the two options. They argue for a variance because of their perceived unique circumstances in being close to the IDL. They’ve gathered “evidence” to support their claim, historical tradition being at the top of the list.
      The results of this movement’s aggressive expansion into Samoa are horrendous — in damage to the formerly close-knit churches and damage to the families, not to mention credibility for the Seventh-day Adventist church. I could go on to talk about persecution and more. People have joined other fellowships, seeking Christian fellowship and a place to honor God’s holy Sabbath on the seventh day of their nations calendar. Others formed congregations or companies so as to be able to have fellowship and uphold God’s true Seventh day Sabbath along with the world church from which they have been virtually ostracized by the STM and the Sunday-sabbath Adventist membership. They have lived in hope that the church they love will return to its loyalty to God’s seventh-day Sabbath.

      It is time to abandon this false Mini-Hemisphere movement and bring the island nations into harmony with the world church of Seventh-day Adventists and get on with following Christ in the war against Satan and the salvation of souls.

      I know this will be hard to do, humility and surrender are not easy, but the way of the cross leads Home!

      Still a prisoner of hope, especially on this issue.
      Your brother in Christ, Andy.

      • I appreciate your excellent observations and recommendations, Andy. I would only point that, not only is Samoa “neutral” now, having changed their reckoning in 1892 and then reversed the change in 2011, but Tonga is also “neutral,” never having changed their reckoning of the weekly cycle since they were first reintroduced to the (Asian) week of their ancestors.

        Of course, such neutrality is not an issue. Governments have the right to make such changes, for their own secular and anthropological reasons. We need only comply.

  66. Greetings all,

    I have not said much lately, on this website, because this seems to be an endless discussion, and I do not wish to contribute to the impression that the matter of the Sabbath in the South Pacific islands is a difficult one to resolve. I believe it is really quite simple.

    However, I see that our dear brother Manu has been setting forth a number of arguments here, and I wish to respond to just a couple of his points.

    1) Manu emphasizes the fact that, in the last week of 2011, Samoa did not physically move, so that one day simply followed another, and he argues that proper Sabbath observance would therefore require an unbroken 7-day count.

    I would respond that the IDL has no physical reality, even when we travel across it. Nevertheless, a day line must exist somewhere, and in order to avoid confusion when we cross it, we necessarily abandon the weekly cycle on the previous side of the line, and adopt the cycle on our new side of the line, as Andy Anderson has so aptly pointed out. Brother Manu has acknowledged the right of governments to shift the IDL for their own secular purposes. Therefore, when the IDL is shifted across our location, we must also abandon the weekly cycle on our old side of the line, and adopt the cycle on our new side of the line, as if we had traveled across it, in order to avoid being the cause of confusion, of which God is not the author. To insist upon recognizing only the physical reality, while ignoring the ”people” reality, as brother Manu has done, would in my view mean going contrary to Jesus’ teaching that the Sabbath was made for man. The earth was also made for man. Neither the Sabbath nor man was made for the physical earth.

    2) Manu contends that adjusting our Sabbath observance, in order to take into account legitimate shifts in the IDL, which is of human origin, contradicts a Scriptural command because the Bible allows only for a 7-day week.

    My answer would be that the IDL is not of mere human origin. By creating a universal weekly cycle, and commanding the observance of the 7th day of the week by all mankind, God made necessary (or implied the existence of) a day line. Today’s International Date Line is but the latest development of this ancient day line, which by definition must have existed since Creation Week. From the total silence of God’s word, in regard to any specific location for the day line, it seems clear that God intended to allow it to develop naturally, in accordance with human migration, and even human (governmental) decisions. Actually, Jesus was not entirely silent on this matter. He told us that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. In the immediate context of this statement, Jesus explicitly endorsed David’s eating of the show bread, for which the Law had made no provision. From this I understand that Jesus would also endorse our observing a one-off 6-day or 8-day week, as necessary when we cross the IDL, or as necessary when the IDL crosses us (as has happened twice in Samoa).

    How inconsistent and hypocritical it would be for us to demand that our Samoan brothers and sisters rigidly count every seven days, ignoring the reality of the IDL, and yet not do the same when we personally travel across the date line!

    Had God specified a fixed location for the day line, human societies and governments doubtless would have “done their own thing” anyway, leaving God’s people in a confusing mess, in their attempts at proper Sabbath observance. As it is, God has kindly allowed us to keep it simple, observing the 7th day of the week (called Saturday in English) as generally accepted around the world. As a result, we are able to give the trumpet “a certain sound,” in calling people away from their observance of the false (Sunday) sabbath, to give honour and glory to the Creator instead.

    Why should we wish to create a private 180-degree “IDL” of our own, just so we can have a fixed day line for our Sabbath keeping — in order to satisfy our legalistic urges (?) – creating the inconsistencies and confusion which God would have had us avoid? Again, if we choose our own day line, even as a church denomination, is that not tantamount to choosing our own “Sabbath” in parts of the world? Isn’t this the very thing which the papacy has done, all over the world, and for which it stands condemned by Bible prophecy?

    3) Did Ellen White, by her example, endorse the 180-degree meridian as a fixed day line for Sabbath observance? If she had done so, she would obviously have been endorsing Sunday observance in a part of the world, as a practical matter. But what was her response to the Eden Day Line theory, which would have done just that?

    Now, my sister, … I write … to tell you that we are not to give the least credence to the day line theory. It is a snare of Satan brought in by his own agents to confuse minds. You see how utterly impossible for this thing to be, that the world is all right observing Sunday, and God’s remnant people are all wrong. This theory of the day line would make all our history for the past fifty-five years a complete fallacy. But we know where we stand…. {3SM 318.4} ”See day line theory.”

    That settles it for me.

    • Greetings White,

      Thank you for allowing both sides of the arguments to be presented. I am pretty sure people will draw their own conclusions as they prayerfully study of the Word of God. We do not need to influence them by our own views.

      As EGW underscores:

      “The Word of God does not give license for one man to set up his judgment in opposition to the judgment of the church, neither is he allowed to urge his opinions against the opinions of the church.”—3T 428.

      You have drawn our attention to several very significant issues in your response of February 18. I will answer some of the issues separately to maintain the posts at a readable length.

      (a) In both your arguments and that of Andy, it appears you both promote absolute obedience to government laws and regulation which resulted in the shift of the IDL in 2011. No one disputes that government has a legitimate role to play in human life and practice. The Samoa government has every right to change the IDL as it chooses and it has done so in 1892 and again in 2011. Who says they will not change again 10 or 20 years time! So what then is the overall teaching of the Bible regarding respect for governments and legislation as noted in Rom. 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17? Does it mean that Christians must obey government legislation if it contradicts the clear teachings of the Bible? Certainly not!

      (b) What cause of action will we take as SDAs in response to the push by different governments for the legislation of gay or lesbian relationships, even defining them as “marriage” on equal par to that of a “woman and man?” Do we endorse government legislation and recognizes premarital partnership relationships or embrace gay marriages? SDA’s would adamantly argue that these relationships are clearly forbidden by the Scripture and that we should not and must never endorse or obey governments with this regard!

      (c) However, when it comes to the “Sabbath” some SDAs are happy to go into bed with government and argue TOTAL submission to the Samoa government legislation regarding the IDL? For one, the Samoa government has clearly declared the IDL legislation as primarily for economic reasons and not for religious purposes. And, secondly, the Samoa government legislation has nothing to do with religion nor is it intended to dictate religious obligation. So, why do we use the IDL shift as an excuse to change the Sabbath?

      (d) Therefore the reasons why SDAs would not abide by government legislation regarding partnership relationships or gay marriages are the same reasons why SDAs remain faithful to the keeping of the 7th day Sabbath in Samoa. It is because the 7th day Sabbath is NOT subject to human laws but rather is deeply entrenched into the 10 commandments.

      (e) Dan. 7 and Rev. 13 tell us clearly that eventually government legislation will enforce the laws of worship which will prohibit us from keeping the 7th day Sabbath. But, until that time comes, SDA’s still have the freedom to remain faithful to keeping the Sabbath of Yahweh without breaking any government law. Only after government legislation enforce the keeping of a spurious Sabbath will the “mark of the beast” be placed upon unbelievers.

      Thank you again for allowing me to stress our role as SDAs to government and absolute allegiance to God. The Sabbath is GOD’S REST DAY, GOD’S BEST DAY, GOD’S BLEST DAY, AND GOD’S TEST DAY. And, the Sabbath of Scripture is the 7th day of the Week. Blessings. LMO

      • Dear Brother Manu,

        Truly, it was not my intent to become involved in a dialogue. Nevertheless, seeing that you have addressed me directly, I shall make a brief response. Please do not mistake my brevity for any intentional lack of courtesy.

        1) I do not accept the proposition that your opinions, though supported by a few men in key positions, represent the opinions of the church.

        2) In response to your rather disingenuous charge that we are teaching absolute obedience to government, I will refer you to Andy’s answer. I do not see any “clear teachings of the Bible” that would forbid a one-off 6-day or 8-day week in the event of an IDL shift. Rather, you seem to be ignoring the clear teaching of Christ that the Sabbath was made for man, and that necessary exceptions are acceptable (as in David eating the show bread, contrary to the Law). When you cross the IDL in your travels, do you make the necessary adjustment, or do you rigidly count every seven days?

        3) Your question regarding homosexuality was based on the false assumption that someone is teaching absolute obedience to government, even when government acts contrary to God’s law. In the case of Samoa’s IDL shift, the government was acting properly within its legitimate sphere.

        4) The fact that the Samoa government was not acting for religious purposes is actually a powerful reason why we need not (and ought not) flout its God-given authority. The IDL is real, and so was the change in it. Therefore, Saturday remains the 7th day of the week. Those who have moved to Sunday observance are the ones who are trying to change the Sabbath.

        • Brother White,

          Thank you for your response of February 19.

          No one mistakes your “brevity for any intentional lack of courtesy.” I do respect your views as it is clear from your posts that you do have much to say.

          You say:

          1) I do not accept the proposition that your opinions, though supported by a few men in key positions, represent the opinions of the church.

          Response:

          The Church in Samoa has spoken. Contrary to the understanding of some who disagree with the position taken by the Church in Samoa, the majority of SDA Samoan members have supported the position taken by the Church. Actions do speak louder than words.

          You say:

          2) “I do not see any “clear teachings of the Bible” that would forbid a one-off 6-day or 8-day week in the event of an IDL shift.”

          Response:

          Unfortunately, this is your personal opinion. No serious SDA biblical scholar will agree with you on this point. I will be interested if you would be able to cite one serious SDA scholar who will agree with you on this point. Additionally, one biblical support for a one-off-6 day of 8-day week. Christ did not mean that we could do with the Sabbath as we please when He said the Sabbath was made for man. To use this as a biblical support is to misuse the Bible. Why not say, we can go fishing or working on Sabbath as well? Considering it was made for man. On the contrary, Jesus is talking about the relevance and benefit of the Sabbath for us as human beings. He did not intend for us to do as we please with the Sabbath contrary to His clear commands regarding honouring the Sabbath (Ex. 20).

          You say:

          3) Your question regarding homosexuality was based on the false assumption that someone is teaching absolute obedience to government, even when government acts contrary to God’s law. In the case of Samoa’s IDL shift, the government was acting properly within its legitimate sphere.

          Response:

          On the contrary. What I am saying is that, just as we cannot support homosexuality because there is no biblical base, we in like manner will not support a one-off- 6 day week as the Sabbath simply because of the Samoa IDL shift for commercial purposes. The Bible teaching regarding both are clear.

          You say:

          4) The fact that the Samoa government was not acting for religious purposes is actually a powerful reason why we need not (and ought not) flout its God-given authority. The IDL is real, and so was the change in it. Therefore, Saturday remains the 7th day of the week. Those who have moved to Sunday observance are the ones who are trying to change the Sabbath.

          Response:

          I beg to disagree. While the Samoa government has every right to change the IDL. The IDL has nothing to do with Sabbath keeping. Serious Bible students will keep Sabbath according to the clear teachings of the Bible and not base their Sabbath rest on the IDL or government regulations for that matter. Our absolute loyalty is to God and His Word.

          Blessings. LMO

          • Dear brother Manu,

            Thank you for the reply. The nature of your reply really illustrates why I have been so hesitant to engage you in any real dialogue. Please allow me to explain.

            1) You had quoted Ellen White to the effect that God will not allow one man to set up his opinions in opposition to the opinions of the church. Apparently you thought that this quotation might have an application to my case. Fair enough. I countered that suggestion by pointing out that I do not believe that your opinions are the opinions of the church, notwithstanding they are supported by a few men in key positions. I believe that was also fair. Your response now is to point out that a majority of our members in Samoa are on your side? Is this fair? Is the position of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church now to be determined by the relative popularity of a particular practice among a local group? I think you should know that the only action which can be considered the position of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is one that has been approved by the General Conference delegates meeting in regular session.

            2) In regard to my point that nothing in the Scriptures would forbid a one-off 6-day or 8-day week in the event of an IDL shift, you wrote:

            Unfortunately, this is your personal opinion. No serious SDA biblical scholar will agree with you on this point.

            Do you consider this to be a fair and reasonable response? I had already shared Scriptural support for my position, in the clear teaching of Jesus that necessary exceptions to the letter of the law are permissible. If you therefore wish to disagree with my position, you must demonstrate that a one-off 6-day or 8-day week is unnecessary in the event of an IDL shift. I believe it has been shown that the need to avoid Sunday keeping, which is the mark of man’s authority, and the need to clearly give the third angel’s message everywhere in the world without confusion, do indeed necessitate treating an IDL shift much like a journey across the IDL. Also, I had specifically asked you in regard to how you personally handle the situation when your travels take you across the IDL. You seem to be ignoring my question. It is a highly pertinent question, given your position that the Scriptures cannot allow for any exceptions to the 7-day count under any circumstances. I am also puzzled to understand how you can read such an absolute requirement, to always count seven days, into the Bible when it comes to Samoa’s 2011 IDL change, but not apply the same principle to the 1892 event. It appears like an attempt here, to use the Bible to justify a foregone conclusion.

            3) You had been falsely stating that we are teaching absolute obedience to the government, no matter what. Now it becomes apparent that our real difference is over the question of whether the Samoa government was acting contrary to God’s law in its action of shifting the IDL in 2011 — even though, curiously, no such question has ever been raised in regard to its similar action in 1892. This is an easy question to answer, as it is manifestly plain that nowhere in God’s word is a fixed location specified for the day line. Therefore, a modern-day government may lawfully and legitimately use its God-given authority in shifting a line which God has clearly left to be defined by just such anthropological developments. Thus, there is no imperative to lead us into civil disobedience in this case, and the Scriptural requirement that Christians yield to the civil authorities applies here in full force.

            4) You wrote:

            The IDL has nothing to do with Sabbath keeping. Serious Bible students will keep Sabbath according to the clear teachings of the Bible and not base their Sabbath rest on the IDL or government regulations for that matter. Our absolute loyalty is to God and His Word.

            This creates a false conflict between the IDL and the Bible. No such conflict exists, simply because the Bible specifies no fixed day line for the IDL to oppose. Rather, the Bible clearly implies that God created a day line on the 7th day of Creation Week, and then left it to develop naturally. Our present IDL is but the latest development of the day line which God first created and then left to develop as it has, in accordance with human migrations and governmental decisions.

            The real conflict is between the internationally accepted day line (the IDL), which has developed naturally, and the imaginary day line which certain of our church leaders are seeking to impose on the Seventh-day Adventist Church at the cost of endorsing the papal sabbath in some countries. Therefore, if you wish to argue against the use of the IDL in Sabbath keeping, you will have to show where God has placed His absolute authority behind the use of the 180-degree Meridian as an alternative day line. Considering what Ellen White had to say about day line theories that would lead to “Sunday” keeping in any part of the world, I don’t believe that such a position is sustainable.

            Good day!

      • L Manu

        You are misrepresenting and overstating what Ron and I have stated as you did to John Wallace, and then setting up the same straw man that you might demolish it and with it our argument. Sorry it won’t work! People may be fooled by that once but not the next time.

        As I suggested before, your argument is not with us but with the apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter and with Jesus.

        You accuse us of advocating absolute obedience to government laws, when that is falsified by the very post you refer to.

        By your reasoning (which is not mine I could say you are an advocate of rebellion against all governmental authority. I’m not making that charge, but I am saying that using your type of argument and your manner of criticizing us, it would be legitimate to say that you are advocating rebellion against all governmental authority.

        Once again a prisoner of Hope.

        Andy

        • Hi Andy,

          In your response of February 19, you accuse me of misrepresenting your arguments regarding obedience to governments but those reading your arguments understand you insist on SDA’s following the Samoa government regulation of IDL change and therefore the “Sabbath.” Please, correct me if I am wrong.

          There are only two sides to the arguments here: (a) We either go along with the Samoa IDL regulations, OR (b) we follow the Bible teaching regarding Sabbath keeping. All the other things, like paying taxes, keeping road rules, etc. are side issues to the current Sabbath discussion.

          I understand you saying that SDA’s need to follow the government of Samoa and go along with the IDL change hence keep “Saturday” even though it is evident Samoa had to drop a day from the last week of December 2011 to make adjustment. Please, correct me if I understand you wrongly. I really do not wish to misrepresent your arguments as you suggest.

          If what I understand you saying above is correct, my arguments are:

          (a) SDA’s in Samoa are law abiding citizens. They obey the Samoa government and accept the IDL change that the government has put in place. This is evident in the fact that SDAs in Samoa have not made a protest to government regarding the IDL change.

          (b) However, in saying that, SDA’s at the same time, will not compromise the keeping of the 7th day Sabbath simply because of the IDL change. The Samoan government has not made the IDL change a religious matter nor have they dictated which day of worship is to be kept by people in Samoa. SDAs in Samoa continue to embrace the keeping of the “Sabbath” consistently kept by all Samoan’s for 120 years now without change. I do not see that hypocritical or a matter of surprise. What becomes hypocritical is if we change our Sabbath practice to accommodate the IDL.

          My apology if you feel I have misconstrued your intent. Please, show evidence and explain the issues again if I have misunderstood you. My intention is not for a debate, nor to simply argue for the sake of arguing but rather to help the readers of the forum take more serious interest in what the overall arguments of the Bible and EGW say regarding Sabbath keeping.

          If the readers feel I am overstepping my boundaries and wish I stop writing please let me know. I only thought readers will be interested to understand more about why SDA’s in Samoa and Tonga currently keep the day locally called “Sunday” and not “Saturday” as some have insisted we keep. If the readers are not Interested in hearing the alternative view I will be happy to stop.

          Thank you brother Andy for your patience and understanding. Blessings. LMO.

    • Brother White,

      Here, I respond to your remarks of February 18. This is response no. 2 specifically addressing the issue of the IDL.

      You contend:

      “From the total silence of God’s word, in regard to any specific location for the day line, it seems clear that God intended to allow it to develop naturally, in accordance with human migration, and even human (governmental) decisions.”

      Response:

      That is why SDA’s respect the universally recognised 180 degree meridian adopted in 1884 for the unification of travel and time in the world. If individual nations were to please themselves with regards to the IDL than we would retract to the chaos that existed before 1884. The exception to this general principle or rule, of course, is for countries close the 180 degrees like Samoa and Tonga. Yes, both countries choose to swerve the IDL so that they may share time together with eastern hemisphere. Nevertheless, because of the continual shifting and changing of the IDL, it is not the best basis for Sabbath keeping. Simply because it contradicts the principle of permanence attached to the 7th day Sabbath. That is why the 180 degrees meridian is preferable as it is consistent. This consistency harmonizes with the Biblical teaching of the Sabbath.

      You argue:

      “Actually, Jesus was not entirely silent on this matter. He told us that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. In the immediate context of this statement, Jesus explicitly endorsed David’s eating of the show bread, for which the Law had made no provision. From this I understand that Jesus would also endorse our observing a one-off 6-day or 8-day week, as necessary when we cross the IDL, or as necessary when the IDL crosses us (as has happened twice in Samoa).”

      Response:

      I am glad you acknowledge the above understanding is yours and not that of the SDA Church. Your understanding is “Jesus would endorse our observation of one-off 6-day or 8-day week, as necessary when we cross the IDL.” True, when individuals cross the IDL they have no choice and cannot avoid having a one off lesser or more days week. But, a country does not get in a plane and travel the same way. People on the ground in Samoa have not moved an inch. Their reality is the “sun” which rises each day and sets marking the beginning and ending of each day. For them, the Sabbath is always the 7th day.

      You argue:

      That the shifting and changing IDL by the governments of this world (including Samoa) is a safe basis for “Sabbath” keeping.

      Response:

      The Bible should be our basis for Sabbath keeping. Keeping Sabbath based upon a changing IDL is like building a house on a foundation of straw. Similar to the parable of Jesus’ of a man who built his house on sifting sand! Why? Because the IDL continues to change with the economic tide and winds of change! The IDL should be the basis for Sabbath keeping. We are only safe when we uphold the teachings of the Bible that the Sabbath is rooted in God’s creative purpose in Gen. 1 – 2. And, the call in Ex. 20 to remember the “Sabbath” of creation.

      I am surprised that people have used this argument for “Sabbath keeping.” That we can have a one off 6 day or 8 day week. Where is the Scriptural evidence for this? This teaching contradicts SDA Theology and beliefs regarding the 7th day Sabbath.

      It is risky to allow our personal opinions, guesswork, or convictions regarding Sabbath keeping to mislead others regarding the Sabbath truth. “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death” (Prov. 14:12 NIV). As frail human beings we may only be safe when our conscience is guided by the sure Word of God (Isa. 8:20). It is critical that we “find out what pleases the Lord” (Eph. 5: 10) regarding Sabbath observance.

      Thank you for allowing this discussion of opposing views and for allowing individuals the opportunity to evaluate the truth for themselves. Blessings. LMO.

      • Dear Brother Manu,

        Again, I do not covet a dialogue. Nevertheless, here is a brief reply.

        1) I suppose that you have not read the entire proceedings of the 1884 Meridian Conference. I can assure you that the purpose of the conference was strictly limited to the adoption of a Prime Meridian, along with settling the question of how to count meridians from there. The adoption of any day/date line was completely outside the purpose of the conference, and was not even addressed. The IDL was already in existence before the conference, and it was unchanged afterward. The conference had no binding authority of any kind, even over its (relatively few) participating governments. Any subsequent changes to the IDL came about only as the result of individual government decisions. It appears that your “universally recognised” 180-degree meridian date line is pure fiction — except possibly as a maritime day/date line. As for a changeable day line not being the best, it is the only method that will allow us to completely avoid Sunday observance, as per the Lord’s clear warnings, through His servant Ellen White.

        2) The IDL is just as real when it crosses us, due to an IDL shift, as it is when we cross it, and the effect is the same. Secondly, it bears pointing out that we are a Protestant denomination, meaning that the Bible is over the church, not the church over the Bible. We must follow the teachings of Christ. The Sabbath was made for man, so we cannot simply ignore anthropological realities, in favour of our own theories and preferences, in its observance.

        3) Your unsparing criticism of the IDL, as a basis for deciding which day is the Sabbath, strikes me as a negative reflection on the way in which God has clearly chosen to set things up. It says that, if you were God, you would have clearly defined a fixed day line for purposes of Sabbath observance. Indeed, it appears that you (and your colleagues in church administration) have chosen to act as the vicars of Christ, by imposing your own 180-degree meridian day line, supposedly on the basis of church authority. How ironic that the adoption of such Roman Catholic principles should be used in the attempt to justify the observance, by Seventh-day Adventists, of all people, of the Roman Catholic sabbath!

    • Brother White,

      Thank you for the opportunity to dialogue. This is response No. 3 to your remarks of February 18.

      You note:

      “How inconsistent and hypocritical it would be for us to demand that our Samoan brothers and sisters rigidly count every seven days, ignoring the reality of the IDL, and yet not do the same when we personally travel across the date line!”

      Response:

      Why don’t you blame God for what appears to be “inconsistent” and “hypocritical?” Because, it is God who demands our Sabbath keeping to follow the pattern of His creative week in Gen. 1 & 2. I think it is more hypocritical when people try to argue that you can drop a day or add a day to the week with no biblical support and use that as an argument for the Sabbath to be relative to our human needs!

      The gospel preached by Adventist since 1844 is a call to worship God who created heaven and earth (Rev. 14:1-). It is a call to the worship of the Creator God. The use of “Saturday” vs. “Sunday” in SDA literature and likewise the writings of EGW has always been in the context of “Saturday” being the 7th day of the Week and “Sunday” being the 1st day of the Week. It is in that context that SDA literature should be understood. Hence, in cases, like in Samoa and Tonga where “Saturday” is NOT the 7th day, SDA’s do not worship on that day. They worship on the 7th day of the Week, now “Sunday” in both Samoa and Tonga.

      You Quote EGW and say that settles it for you:

      Now, my sister, … I write … to tell you that we are not to give the least credence to the day line theory. It is a snare of Satan brought in by his own agents to confuse minds. You see how utterly impossible for this thing to be, that the world is all right observing Sunday, and God’s remnant people are all wrong. This theory of the day line would make all our history for the past fifty-five years a complete fallacy. But we know where we stand…. {3SM 318.4} ”See day line theory.”

      Response:

      EGW wrote the above statement on August 2, 1900. She was writing to a woman confused about which day to keep as the Sabbath because of the day line. People were using the day line to argue for keeping “Sunday” as the Sabbath. The context underscores that the 7th day Sabbath was “Saturday” and NOT “Sunday.” This is not the case in Samoa and Tonga. So, sorry brother White, this does not settle it for you.

      You have not read the full statement! EGW continues to say:

      “Is it possible that so much importance is clustered about those who observe the Sabbath, and yet no one can tell when the Sabbath comes? Then where is the people who bear the badge or sign of God? What is the sign? The seventh-day, which the Lord blessed and sanctified, and pronounced holy, with great penalties for its violation.”

      “The seventh-day Sabbath is in no uncertainty. It is God’s memorial of His work of creation. It is set up as a heaven-given memorial, to be observed as a sign of obedience. God wrote the whole law with His finger on two tables of stone…. Now, my sister,… I wrote… to tell you that we are not to give the least credence to the day line theory. It is a snare of Satan brought in by his own agents to confuse minds. (Emphasis supplied).”

      IT IS CRITICAL TO ALWAYS READ EGW AND LIKEWISE SCRIPTURE WITHIN ITS TOTAL CONTEXT. Failure to remain faithful to the overall context of Scripture or EGW results in eisegesis. When EGW is correctly understood, there is no contradiction between what she has written and the teachings of the Bible regarding the Sabbath. In this statement, EGW was addressing the attempts of some who were trying to justify “Sunday” observance because of the day line. In this context “Sunday” was the first day of the week. This is not the case in Samoa.

      EGW points out that keeping “Sunday” as the Sabbath “ would “make all our history…a complete fallacy.”

      For her, there was no guess work when it came to Sabbath keeping. We must follow the biblical blueprint established by God in the creation of the world. The creation account of Genesis 1 and 2 are of uttermost importance when it comes to Sabbath practice. For EGW the creation week is like a measuring rod for Sabbath keeping. For most parts of the world, “Saturday” is the 7th day Sabbath and that day of rest cannot be replaced by “Sunday.” However, in areas of the world, like Samoa and Tonga, where they are out of sync with the general principle because of the IDL, our count for Sabbath is the 7 day week. Nothing less. Hence, in Samoa and Tonga, Sabbath for Adventists remain the 7th day locally called “Sunday.” Blessings. LMO.

      • Dear brother Manu,

        Again, here is a brief reply.

        1) I do not blame God, because I do not believe that He is responsible for the unwise administrative decisions which have led to the present inconsistencies and confusion. Indeed, I understand that, if matters need adjusting at the head of the work, God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong. God has never demanded that we be legalistically rigid in our observance of His holy Sabbath — and especially not at the cost of virtually abandoning our God-given purpose as a people. If I were in your position, Manu, I should be very afraid.

        2) I suggest that you study into the details of the Eden Day Line theory, so you will know how to interpret Ellen White’s comments, in their context. In principle, the theory which she called a “snare of Satan” was the same as the theory which you are now promoting. Sunday keeping, in only a part of the world, would have resulted from the adoption of a theoretically fixed day line.

        3) The inconsistencies and confusion created by your very arguments are what would create, in people’s minds, the impression that we cannot know with certainty which day is the Sabbath. Had you kept the matter simple, by recognising the God-given right of government to determine the relation of its territory to the day line, there would not have been the need for anyone to even question which is the 7th day. However, you (and your colleagues) have insisted on imposing your own personal views and preferences, regardless of the anthropological realities involved — apparently in order to avoid having to correct the Tonga Blunder. Someday, I believe, you will see what you have been doing.

        4) You wrote:

        EGW points out that keeping “Sunday” as the Sabbath “would make all our history…a complete fallacy.”

        So then, you do acknowledge that the Sunday-keeping practice in Tonga, Samoa, and other island groups, which you are trying to defend, will, if it is continued, make all our history as a people a complete fallacy. How can you continue to support such an error?

      • Pr Manu,
        Ellen White said she experienced a six-day week for the first time in her life. Did she reject that idea and demand a seven-day week instead? No. She accepted it as we should. It is a simple correction which is universal when the dateline is moved or crossed. The six-day week in Dec 2011 did not change the length of a week. The one-off dropped day simply returned Samoa to the correct seven-day week. A necessary adjustment every time the dateline is crossed.

        The Jordan River is the boundary between two countries and bodies of land which do not move. However the river has changed its course over the centuries taking land from the western side and placing it on the eastern side. The river, though moved, is still the boundary between the countries.

        The IDL is no different. Seventh-day Sabbath-keepers cannot keep the seventh day on Sunday because it is the first day of the week everywhere in the world. Ask any government.

  67. Dear Manu
    I am interested in which is the correct 7th day Sabbath since creation. Is it the Sabbath before 1982, when a day was added to make an 8 day week? Or is it the Sabbath after 1892, that is only 120 years old, and that the South Pacific Division has used (intentionally or unintentionally ) to promote Sunday worship within God’s end-time church?

    Obviously, 100 years ago no one in Tonga had the courage or the trust in Christ to stand up to the Wesleyan missionaries and the government of the time, and they amalgamated with Sunday worship back then.

    There is humour in the fact that the SPD now use a Tongan to argue the case of Sunday worship, now disguising it as seventh-day worship.

    When I read the first chapter of the Great Controversy, I see many Jews in the same situation as some of you leaders in the church today, knowing that they had just made a huge mistake and killed the Messiah. Yet they were standing in complete error, defending the damage they continued in the name of the church. Slowly, yet surely, God’s Spirit was withdrawn, and they more and more argued and lived by their own human nature.

    Our church has been preaching and teaching for years that the devil will use every ploy to promote Sunday worship and weaken the stand of God’s remnant for HIS Sabbath, that sets HIS people apart.
    For those of us standing against this Sunday delusion, promoted by yourself and the stubborn few in the SPD, the blessings have been abundant and clear. I suppose in reality we should be thanking you for the chance to stand against apostasy, (a Sunday-worshiping apostasy that is developing in this dying world at a fast pace).

    In finishing, Manu, I have a few questions:
    (1) If Saturday was the same in Samoa as in America before 1892, why did they add an extra day?
    (2) How long is 120 years to God?
    (3) Would God rather we were a peculiar people standing for HIS seventh day Sabbath, or would HE rather we were immersed and amalgamated with Sunday worship just like everyone else?
    (4) Is there any literature Evangelism work in Tonga after these 100 years of amalgamation?
    (5) Do you think the Samoan mission should be sending our Saturday Sabbath Keeping churches legal letters telling them to vacate churches on Saturday within 7 days?
    (6) Can you give me some pastoral advice on how you suggest we should react to these legal demands, as we are told in 1 Corinthians 6 not to sue the brethren?
    (7) In this latest legal act of human nature, is this more evidence of the withdrawal of God’s Spirit from a people who have embraced convenience and compromise?

    Prayerfully your brother in Christ,
    Lance Cutts

    • Hi Lance,

      Thank you for all the questions you have raised. All the questions gives an opportunity for an alternative answer to the usual arguments promoting “Saturday” keeping in Samoa.

      In this first response I will highlight the unchangeable nature of the creation Sabbath.

      We know for certain that God established the 7 day week cycle in Genesis 1 & 2. And, God has always had a remnant of faithful people keeping the Sabbath in the OT. In Exodus 20 God reiterated the keeping of the Sabbath to Israel. And, all through the OT we understand the Jews to be ardent keepers of God’s law and the Sabbath. Even when in bondage in foreign nations, like in Babylon, God had a faithful people who upheld his Laws and Sabbath, like Daniel and others. This tradition of Sabbath keeping was carried into the NT period.

      Jesus (Matt. 12:8; Lk. 4:16; 6:5) and the apostles (Acts 7:2; 20:6-7), the Pharisees of the NT all kept the unbroken 7th day Sabbath of creation. (“Fundamental Beliefs,” Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2012, in http://www.adventist.org ). Cf. Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32. And, we know that even post NT period, God has always had a faithful remnant who carried to touch of Sabbath keeping throughout the Christian period. The keeping of the 7th day Sabbath has not been lost. Likewise the 7 days weekly cycle.

      But, history also records nations who have tried to improve on God’s time and introduce a week system of their own. The ancient Egyptians and the French (during the Revolution), used a 10-day “week.” The Mayans used a 13 and 20-day “week” calendar. The Soviet Union used both a 5-day and a 6-day week. And, the Lithuanians used a 9-day week (“Our Seven-day Week” in: http://www.webexhibits.org).

      The Julian calendar was used during the time of Jesus and for more than 1,500 years. It was introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 B.C. Around this time it was assumed by the Romans that a day was 365.25 days long. So, the Julian calendar was adjusted every four years by adding a day to the month of February. However, in 1582 it was discovered that the year was in fact almost 11 minutes shorter which results in a drift of about three days in every 400 years (“Julian Calendar” in Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia, 2013: http://en.wikipedia.org ).

      On February 24, 1582, Pope Gregory XIII signed a decree to update the Julian calendar by adding 10 days. The updated calendar, called the Gregorian calendar after Pope Gregory XIII, did not alter the weekly cycle. In fact, the biblical week of 7 days is the only week calendar that has endured the test of time. The Catholic Encyclopedia confirms that “we can divide all time into weeks, and it is to be noted that in the Christian period the order of days of the week has never been interrupted.” (“General Chronology” in Catholic Encyclopedia, 2009: http://www.newadvent.org)

      The following statements also testify about the unbroken weekly cycle:

      “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, though the ages, without a single lapse.”—Dr. Totten, professor of astronomy at Yale University.

      “There has been no change in our calendar in past centuries that has affected in any way the cycle of the week.”—James Robertson, Director American Ephemeris, Navy Department, U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C., March 12, 1932.

      “It can be said with assurance 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, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and Research Director of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, England. (This selection of testimonies has been taken from “The Weekly Cycle has Never Changed” in The Seventh-day Sabbath: http://www.seventh-day.org).

      So, my advice is to follow the instructions of EGW:

      Do not allow your mind to wonder from the main point of the truth for this time, to grasp unimportant theories and problems. If any one gives you unessential problems to solve, tell him that God has placed in your hands a work to be done. Tell him you are doing a great work, and cannot come down to try to solve the problem of the day line. You have the message for this time, –the third angel’s message, –to give to the people. This is your work. Hold the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end. The truth is to be repeated, line upon line, precept upon precept. (Ellen G. White, “The Day Line an Unessential Problem” Letter 11, 1901 in Ellen G. White Statements Bearing on the Question of the Day Line: http://www.whiteestate.org).

      By the way, you might know where the above statement comes from and its purpose! EGW was writing to Dr Merritt Kellogg who had previously been working in Tonga and was raising a lot of questions regarding the day line and the Sabbath issue in Tonga. EGW wrote this letter to him in 1901. Her advice was not to be side tracked by unessential problems of the day line. They were “unimportant theories and problems.”

      As you may be aware, most of the theories regarding the IDL today and where it should be have all been around for a while, even during EGW’s time. EGW rejected all of those theories. In all EGW’s counsel regarding the day line, her emphasis of the Sabbath was always the Sabbath in the Context of Creation, the 7 day weekly cycle.
      Blessings. LMO.

      • Dear Brother O’Uiha,

        You’ve very nicely demonstrated why Seventh-day Adventists still keep the day before Sunday as the Sabbath, just as the Jews and the first Christians did in the time of Christ. It demonstrates why we do not keep Sunday.

        Thank you!

        Since you also just now brought up the Merritt Kellogg letter in which Ellen White references “the problem of the day line,” this is a good time to investigate what that “problem of the day line” was.

        Unfortunately we do not have Kellogg’s letter to which Ellen White responded, so the good people at the White Estate tell me. However, we do have some other contemporary publications that tell us what “problem of the day line” agitated our pioneers back then. You will find a couple of these articles reproduced on this web site. One is an article by W. A. Colcord about “The Eden Day Line Theory.” It was published on January 28, 1901, the very year of the Kellogg letter. It clarifies what Ellen White was addressing in Selected Messages when she wrote of “the day line theory,” but I did not notice till you mentioned the date of Kellogg’s letter that it also very likely explains her remarks to Merritt Kellogg. Being an intellectual young doctor, he was very likely puzzling over this issue as well. As I understand it, there was still some confusion over just where the “day line” or “date line” should properly be placed. Colcord’s article explains quite nicely why we need a day line, and it explains why it should not be near Mt Ararat. He gives the very good reason that the theory cannot be correct because it would cause a lot of people to keep Sunday as the Sabbath, rather than Saturday. (Also check out the footnotes which reference some other interesting contemporary publications.)

        Another article A False Issue – The Day-line, by T. Whittle, was published on November 26, 1906. That gives us some idea regarding how much agitation there was over “the day line.” If there had been a settledness among Christians on the date line, as there is now, proponents of the “Eden Day Line” would not have gained so many followers and attention.

        I got the impression that the first missionaries to Tonga were well-intentioned and chose what they considered to be the seventh day — which they probably considered would be soon ratified by Tongan law — because there was still some confusion. Some islands had switched to the eastern side of the date line, and it might have seemed probable that Tonga would do so as well. Besides, most people did not really understand the import of the 1884 Meridian conference. Americans liked to say that it meant the island states east of the 180th Meridian should correctly be placed in the American time zone, but the conference made no such determination. Yet the claims and counter claims caused much confusion, not just among our people, but in other churches as well.

        That’s why I can understand how Seventh-day Adventists in Tonga ended up keeping the first day of the week as the Sabbath.

        But the time for confusion is long past. The nations of the world have agreed on how to deal with the date line, leaving the determination of where the date line ought to go in respect to island nations to the governments of said nations. Ships on the high seas observe the 180th Meridian as the date line until they come close to an island nation that has chosen to have the date line bend around it. Then the ships switch to island time while in island waters.

        It’s been a very long time since anyone in Tonga was confused over the date line. The government did not move the date line to the east of the Tongan Islands, and it is not likely to do so now. The government knows which day is the first day of the week, the Catholics know, the Baptists know, the Mormons know. They all keep the first day of the week in honor of the resurrection.

        Why do the Seventh-day Adventists not know which day is the seventh day of the week, seeing it comes before the first day?

        As you have said before, it cannot be that there are two seventh-day Sabbaths in this world.

        This coming Sabbath falls on February 23, 2013, all around the world. Yet most Adventists in Tonga and Samoa will celebrate Sabbath on February 24, the first day of the week. It seems to me that they are thus not Seventh-day Adventists, but First-day Adventists. I’m sure God winks at the ignorance of those who keep Sunday thinking it is God’s Sabbath — whether they call themselves Adventists, Baptists or Methodists. We have a very gracious God!

        But a time is coming when every soul on this planet will have to decide whether to adopt the sign of God’s authority or the mark of man’s authority. The question of which day is the true Sabbath will have to be settled before then even in the South Pacific Island nations. One day cannot be both the mark of man’s authority and and the sign of God’s authority! It is one or the other.

        I can appreciate that it would be very difficult for Tongan Adventists to join the Seventh-day Adventist church world-wide in keeping the day before Sunday (resurrection day) as Sabbath. Tongan “Sabbath laws” are truly draconian! But then, God’s people in other parts of the world have lost their lives for taking their stand for the Sabbath. God will honour those who honour Him.

        Is there even one strong leader among Tongan Adventists who will take his stand for God’s seventh-day Sabbath, the day before the resurrection? Perhaps God will again transform someone like Saul the Persecutor into Paul the great Apostle. I believe it will take something like that to break the Sabbath/Sunday impasse in the South Pacific.

        I pray that it will be soon!

      • Hi Lance,

        Response No. 2 to your reply on February 18.
        You claim:

        “Obviously, 100 years ago no one in Tonga had the courage or the trust in Christ to stand up to the Wesleyan missionaries and the government of the time, and they amalgamated with Sunday worship back then.”

        Response:

        Your assumptions are wrong. True, the Sabbath was introduced to Tonga by our early SDA pioneers. But you have forgotten several important things:

        (a) Our early SDA pioneers were not as naïve as some think today. They came out of the great disappointment of 1844 and took the study of Scripture seriously. Most of the SDA fundamentals that we understand today, including the 7th day Sabbath, were formulated and established by our early pioneers after much study and prayer. The early missionaries knew what they were doing and kept an accurate record of their travels, like EGW to Samoa, and knew when to keep the 7th day Sabbath. Some on the forum seem to imply that the early SDA missionaries did not know what they were doing!

        (b) God was at the head of the work and mission in the pacific. You must remember that the early missionaries to the pacific were commissioned by the General Conference. The General Conference [of S.D.A. Daily] Bulletin, of 1889. Pp. 59, 71, notes that the General Conference Session of 1889 took a deliberate action to build the ship Pitcairn and commission missionaries to the pacific islands. The missionaries reported back issues to the General Conference. Hence, the Sabbath practice in Tonga was discussed at the General Conference and they decided to follow the teachings of the Bible regarding Sabbath practice. I do not think you are suggesting that God was not involved in the whole process, are you?

        (c) Today, SDAs in Tonga celebrate 122 years of Sabbath observance. The keeping of the 7th day of the week as the “Sabbath” unto the “Lord thy God” (Ex. 20:10) is deeply engrained into the psyche of SDA Tongans. For them, the Sabbath was concreted into the weekly cycle of seven days when God created the world in Genesis 1. God does not allow for any additions or subtractions to the weekly cycle. A week was made up of seven literal days (Gen. 2:3; Ex. 20:11; Deut. 5:13, 14).

        (d) SDA Tongans believe firmly that: God was deliberate. He had a plan, purpose and design in creation. The sun, moon, and stars, locked into the “vault of the sky” (Gen. 1:14) on the fourth day of creation, reveals that God was not dependent upon these celestial sources of energy. God had put them there “to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years” (Gen. 1:14, NIV, emphasis supplied). The sun was to “govern” or to determine “the day” (Gen. 1:16, 18). The setting sun, from “evening to evening” (Lev. 23:32, NKJV) marked the end and the beginning of each new day. Like an unbreakable measuring rod, the Sabbath comes to us each week as “God’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people.” A Joyful observance of the Sabbath “is a celebration of God’s creative and redemptive acts (“Fundamental Beliefs,” Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2012, in http://www.adventist.org (accessed January 25, 2013). Cf. Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; 58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, 20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)

        So, brother Lance, please forget about the personal attack. Speak to the issues and not personalize the issue of Sabbath practice. This is serious stuff. Contrary to the cynicism and humour, Tongans do take the Sabbath seriously. For them, what is of uttermost importance is the Word of God. Truth is not determined by passion, culture, or IDL. The Sabbath of God is determined by the Scripture.

        SDA Tongans sincerely believe:

        (a) That God is control of His work in Tonga, Samoa, and the pacific at large.

        (b) That God does not make mistakes as some have suggested on this forum.

        (c) That some may make fun of or criticize the actions of the Church not realizing that by doing so, they inadvertently are pointing a finger at God, who is Head of the Work in the pacific region.

        (d) That the current Sabbath practice in Samoa is the will of God just as He had guided Sabbath practice in Tonga.

        (e) That if Sabbath practice in Tonga was wrong God would have corrected it long ago.

        (f) That if Sabbath practice in Tonga was wrong EGW would have corrected it. She was heading the work in the pacific region when the work in Tonga was established. At the time EGW was living in Australia.

        Blessings. LMO.

        • Brother Manu wrote:

          The General Conference [of S.D.A. Daily] Bulletin, of 1889. Pp. 59, 71, notes that the General Conference Session of 1889 took a deliberate action to build the ship Pitcairn and commission missionaries to the Pacific islands. The missionaries reported back issues to the General Conference. Hence, the Sabbath practice in Tonga was discussed at the General Conference and they decided to follow the teachings of the Bible regarding Sabbath practice. I do not think you are suggesting that God was not involved in the whole process, are you?

          What a fascinating question! Was God closely involved in the entire process of what the General Conference was doing in 1889 and thereafter?

          Did the General Conference listen to God in 1888? I think we all know the answer to that. What happened to ancient Israel when they refused to listen to God? Leviticus has quite a bit to say about that, but it does not leave backsliding Israel utterly without hope.

          ‘But if they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their fathers, with their unfaithfulness in which they were unfaithful to Me, and that they also have walked contrary to Me, and that I also have walked contrary to them and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if their uncircumcised hearts are humbled, and they accept their guilt — then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham I will remember; I will remember the land. “Leviticus 26:40-42 NKJV”

          I notice that God specifically made a condition that the children of Israel confess that they had walked contrary to God, and that He had walked contrary to them. Only then could He bless them.

          Are we not in the same position today? We have walked contrary to God by cherishing our fondness for the Law apart from Christ, and He has walked contrary to us by allowing our leaders to make a big mistake in regard to the Sabbath, and by letting it go uncorrected for the past 120 years.

          What course of action shall we now pursue? Shall we make humble confession to God, and thus clear the way for Him to bless us, or must we persist in believing that we are “in need of nothing” until it is forever too late?

      • Limoni,

        You said, “So, the Julian calendar was adjusted every four years by adding a day to the month of February.” This situation still stands.

        Question: Does the extra day in Feb every 4 years make the length of a year any greater?

        I will resume the conversation when I get your considered reply.

        Anyone can give their answer to the question.

        • Brother Wallace,

          You asked: Does the extra day in Feb every 4 years make the length of a year any greater?

          Response:

          1. “It was a reform of the Roman calendar introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC (708 AUC) to commence in 45 BC (709 AUC). The calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months, as listed in Table of months. A leap day is added to February every four years. The Julian year is, therefore, on average 365.25 days long.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_calendar.

          You can read the whole history of the Julian calendar online. But several significant points on the above quote:

          (a) Julius Caesar’s reform in 46 BC was to the Roman calendar: “The ordinary year in the previous Roman calendar consisted of 12 months, for a total of 355 days. In addition, a 27-day intercalary month, the Mensis Intercalaris, was sometimes inserted between February and March. This intercalary month was formed by inserting 22 days after the first 23 or 24 days of February; the last five days of February, which counted down toward the start of March, became the last five days of Intercalaris. The net effect was to add 22 or 23 days to the year, forming an intercalary year of 377 or 378 days.” (Ibid).

          (b) The reform by Julius Caesar however resulted in a year on “average 365.25 days long.” (Ibid).

          2. In 1582 Pope Gregory VIII decided to reform the Julian calendar. Why?

          “The motivation for the Gregorian reform was that the Julian calendar assumes that the time between vernal equinoxes is 365.25 days, when in fact it is almost 11 minutes shorter.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregorian_calendar.

          (a) So, the reform by Pope Gregory was necessary to make correction to the calendar by Julius Caesar.

          (b) The calendar by Julius Caesar was 11 minutes shorter. This resulted in the reform by Gregory.
          “The discrepancy results in a drift of about three days every 400 years. At the time of Gregory’s reform there had already been a drift of 10 days since Roman times, resulting in the spring equinox falling on 11 March instead of the ecclesiastically fixed date of 21 March, and moving steadily earlier in the Julian calendar. Because the spring equinox was tied to the celebration of Easter, the Roman Catholic Church considered this steady movement in the date of the equinox undesirable.” (Ibid).

          3. However, ALL OF THESE CHANGES DID NOT AFFECT THE 7 DAY WEEKLY CYCLE.

          “In addition to the change in the mean length of the calendar year from 365.25 days (365 days 6 hours) to 365.2425 days (365 days 5 hours 49 minutes 12 seconds), a reduction of 10 minutes 48 seconds per year, the Gregorian calendar reform also dealt with the accumulated difference between these lengths. Between AD 325 (when the First Council of Nicaea was held, and the vernal equinox occurred approximately 21 March), and the time of Pope Gregory’s bull in 1582, the vernal equinox had moved backward in the calendar, until it was occurring on about 11 March, 10 days earlier. The Gregorian calendar therefore began by skipping 10 calendar days, to restore March 21 as the date of the vernal equinox.” (Ibid).

          (a) Adjustments were made to the Julian calendar to make up for the accumulated difference in time.

          (b) The Gregorian calendar skipped 10 days to restore the shortfall in the Julian calendar.

          “Gregory dropped 10 days to bring the calendar back into synchronization with the seasons. Lilius originally proposed that the 10-day correction should be implemented by deleting the Julian leap day on each of its ten occurrences during a period of 40 years, thereby providing for a gradual return of the equinox to 21 March. However, Clavius’s opinion was that the correction should take place in one move, and it was this advice which prevailed with Gregory. Accordingly, when the new calendar was put in use, the error accumulated in the 13 centuries since the Council of Nicaea was corrected by a deletion of ten days. The last day of the Julian calendar was Thursday, 4 October 1582 and this was followed by the first day of the Gregorian calendar, Friday, 15 October 1582 (the cycle of weekdays was not affected).” (Ibid).

          (a) The change to the Gregorian calendar did NOT in any way affect the weekdays.

          (b) The weekly cycle of Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 remained intact.

          (c) THIS IS NOT THE CASE WHEN SAMOA SWITCHED IDL SIDES TO ADOPT EASTERN TIME.

          Blessings, LMO.

          • Limoni, you didn’t really answer the question.
            The fact is that a leap day, every four years does not change the length of a year. It is always 365.25 days (give or take a few seconds or minutes – not a whole day) For exactly the same reason, the skipped day experienced by Samoa in Dec 2011 does not change the length of a week.

            What is the reason?

            They are both necessary corrections to bring the community back into proper synchronization with the universal calendar. What the SDA Church has done in the Pacific is to remain out of sync with the universal calendar and the world community because it refused to accept a simple, single correction. Now Seventh-day Adventists are keeping the papal Sabbath; the leadership is locking Seventh-day Adventists out of churches on Saturday; Sabbath dates in Samoa are different from the rest of the world; dates on Sabbath School lesson pamphlets had to be changed, and SDA Church members keep Saturday and Sunday in the same country, and on and on it goes . . .

      • Hi Manu
        Please tell me whether the adding of a day on 4th july 1892 is the same as the subtraction of a day on dec 30th 2011. Why make a case for why the earlier date change can be vindicated, and then stand against the later date change?

        Our biggest witness in the coming battle against God’s Sabbath-keeping people will be in the persecution of those who honour the seal of God. From within God’s end-time church we are seeing attempts by some of its leaders to promote Sunday worship. At the time of the date change the devil found it easy to push this agenda. No one was sure of facts and with Sunday shutting down in the islands, Sabbath keepers were missing out on sport and the biggest business day, Saturday.

        NOW to keep on embracing and promoting this apostacy is to stand against the true Sabbath.

  68. JUST FOR ALL OF US TO READ

    Mark 4:9 – Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

    Revelation 2:29 – He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

    SPD – South Pacific Division has spoken.

    BRI – Biblical Research Institute has spoken.

    TPUM – Tran Pacific Union Mission has spoken.

    STM – Samoa-Tokelau Mission has spoken.

    TM – Tonga Mission has spoken.

    KM – Kiribati Mission has spoken.

    Many Jews Rabbis have spoken.

    97% of SDA members in Samoa have spoken.

    99.9% of SDA members in Tonga have spoken.

    100% of SDA members in Kiribati have spoken.

    Historical records in the SDA church & from outside of the church have spoken.

    Few brothers & sisters in the “Sabbathissues” forum have spoken.

    Luke 16:31 – “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

    God Bless…brother Steve

    • Dear Brother Steve,

      99.97% of the Seventh-Day Adventist global community, living in either the eastern or western hemispheres, worship on the 7th-Day Sabbath, following the same calendar, either 24-hours in-advance or 24-hours in-arrears, of each other.

      Accordingly, this coming Saturday, 23 February, 2013, they will ALL follow God’s Word in honour of Genesis 2:1-3 and as He commanded us in Exodus 20:8. We know the name of the 7th-Day Sabbath is Saturday because according to Matthew 28:1 and Mark 15:42, it is found after Preparation Day and before the 1st-day of the week. The names of these respective days are, Friday and Sunday.

      Samoa by legitmate means, adhere to eastern hemisphere time-keeping, followng the universal calendar, will as for ALL 7th-Day Sabbath Keepers who faithfully obey God’s Word and commandments, will worship God on the 7th-Day Sabbath, Saturday, 23 February, not Sunday, 24 February, the 1st-day of the week.

      Think about this, 99.97% of the Seventh-Day Adventist global community will get it right this coming Sabbath, Saturday, 23 February according to God’s Word, yet nearly 0.03% will not?

      Blessings ulalei

      • Brother Andy,

        A brief response to your post of February 18 regarding obedience to government and the IDL in Samoa. You take the same arguments as brother Wallace.

        You say:

        I submit that Wallace’s appeal to obedience to the Samoan law regarding time and the IDL is legitimate and appropriate — especially so for Samoan citizens who would honor God’s direction as expressed by the Apostles Paul and Peter and Christ, who said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.”

        Response:

        The instructions of both Paul and Christ does not mean absolute obedience. When legislation of governments contradict the teachings of Scripture, Adventist have a choice to follow either government or God.

        Regarding the Sabbath in Samoa, SDA have chosen to follow God and the clear teachings of His Word. It is clear, you insist otherwise. And, that is your choice but NOT that taken by SDAs in Samoa. Blessings. LMO.

        • L Manu, Greetings to you and all,

          It seems to me that the shifting from the Western to the Easter Hemisphere legislated by the Government of Samoa has no conflict with the law of God. Even the day the government chose to make the change was chosen so as not to interfere with church services of all denominations. Do you have any evidence to prove otherwise?

          The Sabbath day, that is Saturday, the seventh day of the week, remains the same on both sides of the IDL. Thus there was no calendar change on either side of the IDL. All that happened was that the populace left the Western Hemisphere where the day ends its circuit around the earth and adopted the Eastern Hemispheres where the day begins its circuit around the earth. They immediately kept the same Sabbath that the American Samoans would keep 24 hours later as it finished its circuit around the world. There is no conflict with God’s order in that. There is just a conflict with misconceptions of how things work in God’s round world.

          I have a few questions you may help me with:
          Does Tonga use the same calendar as Australia and New Zealand today, or is the Tongan calendar different? If it is different, how is it different?
          A second question: Did the first missionaries introduce Tongans to the seven-day weekly cycle with the same calendar as is used today, or did the Tongans already have a calendar of their own? How did Tongans keep time before the arrival of the missionaries?

          When I was much younger than I am (72 soon to be 73) all the missionary and other stories I heard seemed to paint a picture of very primitive, savage, uncivilized people with no cultural institution. But time and better sources of information lead me to believe that these stories reflected more on the missionaries’ fears and uninformed perceptions than the reality. Maybe they were given a little to much to embellishing their stories. Enlightenment can’t help but make one a little skeptical of even supposed historical accounts.

          Thank you in advance for the answers.

          Your’s in hope, Andy.

          • Thanks Andy,

            I sincerely appreciate the sincerity of your questions.

            (a) No one has argued about the right of the Samoa government to change the IDL. It has every right to do so. However, the IDL is not the basis for Sabbath keeping. The Sabbath was established by God in creation (Gen. 1-2; Ex. 20).

            (b) While the calendar is used in both western and eastern hemispheres. In order for Samoa to adopt eastern time, it had to drop a day from that calendar. THE BIBLE DOES NOT ALLOW FOR US TO DROP A DAY FROM THE 7 DAY WEEK.

            (c) You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will not find the use of “Saturday” or “Sunday.” Not one verse in the Bible. The biblical week has always been Day 1-7. So, while it is true that “Saturday” coincides with the 7th day for most parts of the world, it is NOT true for Samoa and Tonga because of the IDL.

            (d) The calendar used in Tonga is unique. Monday in Tonga is the first day of the week. There is no “Saturday” in Tonga. The fifth day in Tonga is “Friday.” And, the six day in Tonga is called “Tokonaki” meaning “preparation day.” Day 7 in Tonga is “Sapate” literally translated “Sabbath” coinciding with Sunday of eastern time and “Saturday” of western time.

            (e) When the early missionaries arrived in Tonga people were already keeping the 7 day weekly cycle but keeping “Sunday” (together with the east) as “Sabbath” not realising that it was the 7th day. SDA arrived and worshipped on the same day because it was the 7th day of the week. Tonga is the only island of the pacific that has not corrected its weekly cycle to world standard time.

            Blessings. LMO.

      • Brother Ulalei,

        In your response to Steve on February 19 you continue to argue unconvincingly about the Gregorian calendar used both on the east and western hemispheres. The comparisons are only legitimate when used against a certain standard.

        For example:

        (a) We can argue until the moon turns blue about the Sabbath. But, how do we know the biblical Sabbath? We test it against the clear teachings of the “Standard,” in this case, the Bible and the 10 Commandments. So, any “Sabbath” practice worldwide, in Samoa, or Tonga must be tested against this standard. And, the last I checked, the Standard confirms observing “Sabbath” on the 7th day of the week.

        (b) When we compare the use of the Gregorian calendar in both hemispheres, there must be a point or standard for comparison. In that case, it is the universally accepted 180 degrees meridian which separates the two hemispheres. When countries like Samoa or Tonga choose of their own volition to swerve the IDL, they are clearly out of sync with the standards. And, while they have all the legitimate right to do so, it nullifies the validity of the comparison used for the calendar. The calendar comparison in that sense is not a valid one because both Samoa and Tonga are out of sync to the standard.

        (c) The IDL is a variable and not an absolute teaching of the Bible. Like any variable teaching of Scripture, it should not be used as the standard by which we keep the Sabbath. The Sabbath will always be defined by God Himself as stated clearly in Genesis. It is not defined by “Saturday” or “Sunday” but rather the 7th day in literal week.

        Blessings. LMO.

      • Dear Brother Ulalei,

        Thank you for your response to my comment and just allow me to give you my view on this;

        You states that “99.97% of the Seventh-Day Adventist global community, living in either the eastern or western hemispheres, worship on the 7th-Day Sabbath, following the same calendar, either 24-hours in-advance or 24-hours in-arrears, of each other.”

        1. 99.97% of the Seventh-day Adventist global community that you refer to are not living close to the Universal Meridian (180 degrees) or the IDL. It is not a logical argument to make.

        2. The Universal Calendar you refer to is correct for 99.9%?? of the world but not the .1% countries that are close to the Universal Meridian & IDL. It can change anytime when a government decides to change it. Samoa did it for Business & Kiribati did it for Pride. We follow it in everything we do except for keeping of our Sabbath (this 24 hours is important, holy, sanctified and it is not something to change from one 24 hours to another when the IDL changes).

        3. When Independent Samoa keeps the Sabbath on SUNDAY, in exactly the same time American Samoa is keeping the Sabbath on SATURDAY. We can watch the Apia church service (Sunday) live on TV in Pago Pago on Saturday.

        “Think about this, 99.97% of the Seventh-Day Adventist global community will get it right this coming Sabbath, Saturday, 23 February according to God’s Word, yet nearly 0.03% will not?”

        I would like to ask you to read again your statement above and tell me how you think of it.

        God Bless…Steve

        • Dear brother Steve,

          It is not my intention to become involved in this particular dialogue, yet I can’t help but notice that your recent arguments all seem to be of the “ad populum” variety. In other words, they are fallacious. “See argumentum ad populum.” It doesn’t matter how many of our Adventist leaders and missionaries may have believed that there was a universally accepted 180-degree day/date line. The historical fact is that no such thing actually existed. It was only ever a popular misconception and wishful thinking at best.

          It doesn’t matter how many people may think that the 1884 Meridian Conference invented the IDL and placed it at 180 degrees longitude with certain exceptions. The fact remains that the 1884 Conference, even with its limited power, never even mentioned or addressed the matter of the land-based IDL. “See Meridian Conference Proceedings.” It also remains an historical fact that the IDL existed prior to the Conference and was unchanged by it.

          Thirdly, it doesn’t matter how many professed Seventh-day Adventists in the South Pacific believe that they have a valid excuse for accepting the papal sabbath. Scripture, science, and history, with one voice, all say otherwise.

          God bless!

          • To Brother White,

            Thank you for your comments and it appears to me that you have not read all the Historical facts that I have given in my many previous comments.

            I gave you the Historical records for the UNIVERSAL MERIDIAN that everyone use for reckoning of time for AM & PM. This is the line that I believe that no one can be able to change (only God can). 0 degrees meridian – Greenwich & 180 degrees meridian in the Pacific. That is why I use this for reckoning of my Sabbath.

            IDL can change anytime by the government, when that happens we have to change our Sabbath.

            I gave you the Historical records from our Early SDA Missionaries to the Pacific of how they found the islanders keeping Saturday and calling it Sunday.

            I gave you Historical records from outside of the church that shows the same error in reckoning of the days, many islands keeping Saturday as Sunday.

            I gave you Historical records of how Samoa, Cook Islands, Pitcairn, Tahiti etc corrected their reckoning of days.

            I also gave you Historical records that only Tonga did not correct their reckoning of days. That’s why they keep Saturday but call it Sunday.

            It appears to me that all our Pioneers were wrong, all the historical records are wrong, the Current leaders of our church are wrong.

            Brother White you know what’s right for us to do. As a servant of God searching for the truth, please give me the answer for this issue so we can live happily ever after.

            God Bless…brother Steve

          • Dear brother Steve,

            I don’t believe the problem is that I am unaware of the historical facts which you have shared. Rather, it seems to be a problem of interpreting those facts. In regard to the alleged universally accepted 180-degree meridian day line, you have merely demonstrated what a popular misconception it really was, especially among Adventist leaders and missionaries at the time — and most especially among those traveling on the Pitcairn!

            You seem disappointed that I don’t appear sufficiently impressed by the force of your arguments. Truly, dear brother, that works both ways. ;)

            Your main point seems to be a question in regard to how so many people, in such important leadership positions in the church, past and present, could be wrong. But that was what they asked about Jesus.

            Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? John 7:48 NKJV

            Ellen White also had a few words to speak concerning this problem.

            But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines, and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority — not one or all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in its support. See “Voice of the Majority.”

            It is quite clear to me that no one has so far been able to produce a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in support of using the 180-degree meridian as our own private day line, for Sabbath observance, in opposition to the real, universally accepted International Date Line. All I’ve seen are vague allegations about how “unreliable” the IDL is — certainly nothing to offset the multiplicity of evidence which I have seen, from the Scriptures, from the Testimonies, from science, history, and just plain common sense, that Sunday keeping is always wrong.

            Therefore, I conclude that our present difficulty will not be resolved until the true 7th-day (Saturday) Sabbath is restored in the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide.

            God bless!

    • Thanks brother Lance,

      This is response No. 3 to your specific questions.

      (1) If Saturday was the same in Samoa as in America before 1892, why did they add an extra day?

      Response:

      You only need to go back to historical sources from Samoa to understand that it was for the purpose to aligning Samoa with World Standard Time and correcting a mistake. Or do you deny this historical fact? It appears some on this forum are trying to rewrite history! I do not need to cite those sources as you know them well and others on the forum have posted them earlier.

      (2) How long is 120 years to God?

      Response:

      The question is obvious. If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, than the Sabbath he established in the beginning (creation in Gen. 1 & 2), and likewise Sabbath practice in Samoa when the SDA work was established there, is endurable and does not change like the God who established it. Nothing, not the IDL, or the insistence of any person will change the Sabbath of God. The Sabbath will always be the 7th day.

      (3) Would God rather we were a peculiar people standing for HIS seventh day Sabbath, or would HE rather we were immersed and amalgamated with Sunday worship just like everyone else?

      Response:

      1 Samuel 15:22 – But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. “

      The question is: Why all the big fuss about the Sabbath because of the 2011 IDL change? Have we doubted that God was in control of the work in Samoa and that He knows what He is doing! Are we saying that God was caught unaware of the IDL changes? We need to learn to trust God and His leading in the Church.

      (4) Is there any literature Evangelism work in Tonga after these 100 years of amalgamation?

      Literature evangelism work has nothing to do with the “Sabbath.” The fact is the work in Tonga is growing. There are more SDA Tongans in NZ, Australia, the US, and other parts of the world than there is in Tonga itself. God has worked in miraculous ways in the past and continues to do so today.

      (5) Do you think the Samoan mission should be sending our Saturday Sabbath Keeping churches legal letters telling them to vacate churches on Saturday within 7 days?

      What they do in Samoa is not my business. The fact is, there cannot be two groups of people keeping two separate Sabbaths and both claiming to be Seventh day Adventists. Either the small of who persist on keeping “Saturday” after the IDL change of 2011 are correct or the SDA Church at large who now keep the day locally called “Sunday” is right. There cannot be two groups calling themselves SDA and keeping two different Sabbaths. Which group is correct will be determined by the Scripture and the weight of evidence of the overall teachings of the Bible. You have to choose.

      (6) Can you give me some pastoral advice on how you suggest we should react to these legal demands, as we are told in 1 Corinthians 6 not to sue the brethren?

      Question six needs a more elaborate response:

      The Bible and EGW give us certain principles to follow when dealing with issues of contention in the family of God and how they should be resolved.

      1. Jesus counsels “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector” (Matt. 18:15-17).

      The procedure is clear: (a) Step 1 – one on one; (b) Step 2 – take one or two others along; (c) Step 3 – take it to the Church; (d) Step 4 – treat as an unbeliever (disfellowship). This biblical procedure ensures that family matters are dealt with in the family and that the internal matters of the family are not broadcast to the world. In real life practice, when our own family has problems, we do not advertise or splash those problems at will and make ourselves a public spectacle to unbelievers but rather work through the issues in the home. It is the same with the family of God, the Church.

      2. Paul in 1 Corinthians 6 deals with an interesting issue of lawsuit among members of the family (the Church). He says: “If any of you has a dispute with another, do you dare to take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the Lord’s people? 2 Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, do you ask for a ruling from those whose way of life is scorned in the church? 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother takes another to court—and this in front of unbelievers! (1 Cor. 6:1-6).

      The principles underscored by Paul in 1 Cor. 6:1-6 are:

      (a) Issues in the family (Church) should be handled by the Lord’s people and not the ungodly.

      (b) When we seek a ruling on family matters by those whose life is scorned in the Church we make a mockery of ourselves to those in the world.

      (c) We should be ashamed of ourselves if as Christians we display family issues before unbelievers.

      3. Why did the apostle give such counsel? Apparently, it appeared to be quite a practice among the believers in Corinth. But, the counsels are also intended to protect the family from reproach among unbelievers. For to display the internal problems of the family to unbelievers would not only result in belittling oneself and the gospel but also make a mockery of ones’ own family to the ungodly.

      4. For similar reasons Paul when dealing with issues of foods sacrificed to idols in 1 Cor. 8, he cautions the Church to: “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols?” (1 Cor. 8:9-10).

      Paul is simply saying there may be nothing wrong or sinful if one chooses to eat foods sacrificed to idols, because we know idols are dead wood anyway, but we must be careful that the exercise of our freedom does not result in the stumbling of someone who is not as strong as us.

      “So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ” (1 Cor. 8:11-12).

      The principles here are:

      (a) Whatever we do in the exercise of our rights, freedom or duty, it is important to remember that what we do has some influence upon others for good or bad. No person is an island floating in isolation from the rest of the world.

      (b) Be careful that the exercise of your freedom does not result in others stumbling from the truth of God.

      (c) If the exercise of freedom results in others turning away from truth we sin against Christ.

      “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall” (1 Cor. 8:13). Paul, is making a commitment that if the exercise of his personal freedom or convictions results in others being misled than he will refrain himself from exercising that freedom (the eating of meats sacrificed to idols) altogether.

      5. EGW in her counsel to disgruntle members who refuse to return tithes to the Church has this to say:

      “Some have been dissatisfied, and have said, “I will not longer pay my tithe; for I have no confidence in the way things are managed at the heart of the work.” But will you rob God because you think the management of the work is not right? Make your complaint, plainly and openly, in the right spirit, to the proper ones. Send in your petitions for things to be adjusted and set in order; but do not withdraw from the work of God, and prove unfaithful, because others are not doing right” (GW 226.4).

      The principles highlighted here are:

      (a) If members of the family are “dissatisfied” or “have no confidence in the way things are managed at the heart of the work” there is a procedure to follow.

      (b) Being dissatisfied with the work of God should not result in us being unfaithful in returning to God what is due to Him.

      (c) The procedures for correcting wrong is: (i) Step 1 – Make you complaints plainly and openly, (ii) Step 2 – In the right spirit and to the proper ones (leaders or members), (iii) Step 3 – Send in your petitions for things to be adjusted and set in order, (iv) Step 4 – Do not withdraw from the work of God or prove unfaithful by others are doing right.

      Therefore, genuine love for unity in the family (Church) should not result in separation or a Church split but rather members of the family should come together to work through the situation and find a solution. The solution must be based upon the pure teachings of the Bible. And, each member of the family will strive for unity in the body of Christ. And, the way to accomplishing this is not by worldly standards, courts, or methods but by respect for one another as valuable members of the Church.

      (7) In this latest legal act of human nature, is this more evidence of the withdrawal of God’s Spirit from a people who have embraced convenience and compromise?

      Response:

      Interesting question! Take counsel from EGW:

      “Brethren, we must sink the shaft deep in the mine of truth. You may question matters with yourselves and with one another, if you only do it in the right spirit; but too often self is large, and as soon as investigation begins, an unchristian spirit is manifested. This is just what Satan delights in, but we should come with a humble heart to know for ourselves what is truth. The time is coming when we shall be separated and scattered, and each one of us will have to stand without the privilege of communion with those of like precious faith; and how can you stand unless God is by your side, and you know that he is leading and guiding you? Whenever we come to investigate Bible truth, the Master of assemblies is with us. The Lord does not leave the ship one moment to be steered by ignorant pilots. We may receive our orders from the Captain of our salvation.” (1888 547.6).

      EGW underscores several important points:

      (a) We must sink the shaft deep into the mine of truth, the Bible.
      (b) We must be humble in seeking truth.
      (c) Satan delights in the manifestation of an unchristian spirit among us.
      (d) The time is coming for a separation and scattering.
      (e) God is the Master of assemblies with us, (the remnant church).
      (f) God does not abandon ship, He is captain of the SDA movement.
      (g) We only receive orders from the Captain of our Salvation. And, He does not order us to start up any new movement or organization apart from the remnant people He established.

      Let us continue to dialogue as SDA brothers who are passionate for understanding truth from Scripture. Allow the evidences of the Bible and the writings of EGW to speak for themselves. God, undoubtedly, can be trusted. He has a track record of perfection. And, the work in the pacific for more than 100 years is a testimony to God’s leading. Let us not cast doubt on the way God has led and blessed His work in Samoa or Tonga over the years.

      EGW counsels that we will have confidence and certainty of the future only as we learn from the way God has led us in the past (paraphrase). Blessings. LMO.

      • Hi Manu

        (1)You only need to go back to historical sources from Samoa to understand that it was for the purpose to aligning Samoa with World Standard Time and correcting a mistake. Or do you deny this historical fact? It appears some on this forum are trying to rewrite history! I do not need to cite those sources as you know them well and others on the forum have posted them earlier.

        So California sent 17 traders over to Samoa in 1892 to convince Samoa to align with World standard time? True history would suggest that traders have no interest in world standard time but only with countries aligning themselves for trading purposes.

        (2)The question is obvious. If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, than the Sabbath he established in the beginning (creation in Gen. 1 & 2), and likewise Sabbath practice in Samoa when the SDA work was established there, is endurable and does not change like the God who established it. Nothing, not the IDL, or the insistence of any person will change the Sabbath of God. The Sabbath will always be the 7th day.

        Pastor this 7 day cycle since creation (the main selling point to an unaware people in Samoa at the time of the date change) is total error. Fact is if you add a day you break the cycle that you are upholding, the 7-day cycle broken in Dec 2011 is factually only 120 years old.

        (3)1 Samuel 15:22 – But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. “
        The question is: Why all the big fuss about the Sabbath because of the 2011 IDL change? Have we doubted that God was in control of the work in Samoa and that He knows what He is doing! Are we saying that God was caught unaware of the IDL changes? We need to learn to trust God and His leading in the Church.

        I have no doubt God is totally in control of this dateline confusion, HE is calling HIS people to obey and be blessed in a real relationship with HIM. On the other hand HE is giving the opportunity for people to choose convenience and compromise and to follow in the worship of the world.

        (4)Literature evangelism work has nothing to do with the “Sabbath.” The fact is the work in Tonga is growing. There are more SDA Tongans in NZ, Australia, the US, and other parts of the world than there is in Tonga itself. God has worked in miraculous ways in the past and continues to do so today.

        Literature evangelism has everything to do with the Sabbath. I find it hard to believe that a pastor could make that statement! And I am not at all surprised that there are so many SDA Tongans overseas. I witness daily the confusion and Spiritual attack that the embracing of Sunday worship has done to the SDA church in Samoa

        (6)5. EGW in her counsel to disgruntle members who refuse to return tithes to the Church has this to say:

        “Some have been dissatisfied, and have said, “I will not longer pay my tithe; for I have no confidence in the way things are managed at the heart of the work.” But will you rob God because you think the management of the work is not right? Make your complaint, plainly and openly, in the right spirit, to the proper ones. Send in your petitions for things to be adjusted and set in order; but do not withdraw from the work of God, and prove unfaithful, because others are not doing right” (GW 226.4).

        I never mentioned anything about tithes and offerings. Why would you bring that up?
        Lastly

        Let us continue to dialogue as SDA brothers who are passionate for understanding truth from Scripture. Allow the evidences of the Bible and the writings of EGW to speak for themselves. God, undoubtedly, can be trusted. He has a track record of perfection. And, the work in the pacific for more than 100 years is a testimony to God’s leading. Let us not cast doubt on the way God has led and blessed His work in Samoa or Tonga over the years.

        WE serve the same amazing God, Pastor, and we both want the best for the Pacific. God is wakening HIS people to stand and be counted.

    • Dear brother,
      I see nothing in Moses and the prophets that tell us to observe Sunday, the first day of the week.

      Yet I see much in the prophets warning us that mainline Christianity will disregard God’s law be appearing to enforce it, and it will be all about getting people worshipping on Sunday rather than on God’s Holy Day.

      I know this quote has been presented several times, but to me it is the KEY to this whole problem.

      “I write . . . to tell you that we are not to give the least credence to the day line theory. It is a snare of Satan brought in by his own agents to confuse minds. You see how utterly impossible for this thing to be, that the world is all right observing Sunday, and God’s remnant people are all wrong. This theory of the day line would make all our history for the past fifty-five years a complete fallacy. But we know where we stand.” {3SM 318.4}

      I see it as clearly stating, that Satan has and will use “dateline” theories (theories that the actual recognized dateline is not correct) to get people to worship on Sunday.

      • To Ulicia,

        I am glad that we are still continuing in this journey. I would like to ask you to please read my comments on 20th February 2013 @ 4:13pm.

        God Bless…Steve

  69. Steve,

    You are right all sinful men have spoken in support of Apostasy against God’s true Sabbath and only a few in Samoa and many more SDA’s of Samoan and; non-Samoan ethnicity heeded God’s calling to keep God’s true Sabbath and stand up for the right. If you doubt my word let’s put it to a vote (referendum) — let the people speak.

    Lance

    Adventist church of Old was for building God’s kingdom on earth, investing in people’s lives.
    Adventist Church of today is in business of Money & property.

    The church refrained from going to court & will settle out of court (SDA NZ vs SISDAC 1980)

    Now the church is taking its members to court for buildings and land that are not even theirs, it belongs to the people.

    Good Luck to whoever the top lawyer from OZ or the US that will represent the SPD. Samoa has the toughest land law on earth – land belongs to the people of Samoa .

    SDA Church vs SDA Members Court case will be a media circus (Samoa, Pacific and Mainstream Media will have a party)

    It’s OK for the Church leadership in Australia to give out these decisions and enjoy life as normal while our Samoan Leaders and members face the consequences.

    • Hi Jenkins

      A local lawyer has been hired by the STM( I know him well), Raymond Schuster was on the Robert Louis school board with me a couple of years back.

      I think the mission will start to think very carefully on a court case of who are the real SDAs in Samoa, half truths and propaganda do not hold up in court.

      We are told in 1 Corinthians 6 that we should not sue the brethren and take our cases before unbelievers. This is obviously showing the true heart of SPD and the leaders in STM that continue to embrace error and react in human nature.

      When the SPD and the STM begin to handle this in a Godly manner we will embrace that. Until then we will continue to expose the true hearts of leaders who think the church can be promoted by aggression and legal bullying.

      We are no longer just a bunch of Saturday worshiping rebels who have been kicked out of our churches, clinging to the hope that each rigged meeting that the SPD arranges (to present that they are sorting this Sabbath issue) will be for real. We are a registered church and in all things we seek God’s guidance as we refuse to worship on Sunday and stand firm as true Seventh Day Adventists.
      God is a God of miracles, HE leads and HE blesses as we follow HIS lead. It is time to call apostacy what it really is and stand against it!

      • Lance,
        Who is hiring the lawyer?
        Does this mean there may be a court case or does it mean the STM is investigating its legal position?
        I believe this is a positive move either way because, as you say, half-truths and propaganda do not hold up in court. The other thing positive about this is:
        What evidence would one give to claim they are the real SDA Church? Probably the first evidence would be which day they keep! Will an imaginary seventh day called Sunday stand up in court?
        Hopefully the STM and SPD will see their error soon and save the church some serious embarrassment in the media spotlight. How we have escaped it so far is a miracle!

        • Hi John,

          Pastor Uili has engaged a lawyer who has written a letter to Leauvaa church telling them to vacate the church on Saturdays and telling them the church and chattels (that they own on their land) are the property of the mission.

          1.Multicultural, 2.Fasitootai, 3.Leauvaa and 4.Faleula, have registered as the Samoa Saturday SDA Church (SSSDAC).

          We held off registration till the threatened legal action arrived.

          We all live in hope of the soon return of Jesus Christ, but we can not keep living in hope of the return of the church back to the 7th day sabbath in Samoa, and have taken note of Barry Oliver stating that “even if this Sabbath issue is proved wrong, there will be no returning to the Saturday Sabbath.”

          We will take no legal action against the mission because we are told not to sue the brethren. But we will actively defend any legal action taken against us.

          We are blessed to have the Samoa college hall free till August, and at a God-given reasonable rent after that, to worship in. We have the hall for church camp the whole of Easter holiday weekend for the many visitors visiting Samoa over this time. Right next to the university we have a large group of visiting students from Fiji, Tonga and Papua New Guinea making our church their home away from home.

          Even though a year ago we were kicked out of our churches, and began worshiping in tents, God has provided in Bibles, hymn books, projector, piano, guitar and lap top, plus ordinance utensils.
          We asked for a pastor but received a letter from Pastor Uili stating that we were serving another God and the pastors only worked on Sunday. God has provided us with his faithful servant Dr. Jerry Puni, donating his time and resources in looking after our spiritual needs.

          Living in God’s foot print and standing for HIS end-time truth and HIS eternal Sabbath is an honour and a blessing. The Holy Spirit is abundant and evident in our worship and testimonies are many. Not many Sabbaths go past without the overwhelming emotions and tears from being touched by the Spirit.

          With how the STM and the SPD have handled this Sabbath issue, along with the threats, distortion of truth and the one-sided propaganda, we are often asked by visiting pastors or SDA members how we are holding up. Our only real and honest reply is that we are feeling blessed, spiritually alive and that God is very real.

          So if the mission persist and there is a court case we feel totally at ease that God is in control and HIS Sabbath will continue to be presented before all people.

  70. To Lance & Ulalei,

    Please prayerfully read these few quotes with open minds and humble hearts before we continue with our discussion;

    Refers to the Harvey Islands – (Cook Islands) – Rurutu & Mangaia. “All the people of the island, as well as those in the other islands of the group, keep the seventh-day Sabbath, though they call it Sunday.” E H Gates, ADVENTIST REVIEW & SABBATH HERALD – June 23, 1891. “News From the PITCAIRN.”

    “Leaving Samoa June 8, we were three days beating against a heat winds before reaching the Friendly Islands…As with the LAST TWO GROUPS VISITED, the people all keep the true Sabbath in the islands.” E H Gates, ADVENTIST REVIEW & SABBATH HERALD – October 20, 1891. “From the PITCAIRN.”

    The”LAST TWO GROUPS VISITED” in the above paragraph was the Cook Islands & the Samoa Islands. It tells us that Cook Islands, Samoa Islands and Tonga Islands were all keeping the right Sabbath (the 7th day) on the day that was locally called SUNDAY.

    Cook Islands corrected their day reckoning in 1899 and Samoa corrected theirs in 1892. Tonga has not corrected their reckoning of days yet, that is why Tonga still keeping SUNDAY as their Sabbath. (Sunday in Tonga is actually SATURDAY if they corrected their reckoning of days to its right Hemisphere).

    In Samoa, Saturday was called locally SUNDAY before July 4 1892. In 1892 Samoa add another Monday 4th July to correct their reckoning of days:
    Before; SUN, MON, TUE, WED, THURS, FRI, SAT, SUN, MON, TUE, WED,
    After;;; SUN, MON, MON, TUE, WED, THUR, FRI, SAT, SUN, MON, TUE,
    The day (24 hours) that used to be Sunday before the change (extra Monday) was corrected to become Saturday. This is why Samoa kept Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath for 119 years till December 2011.

    Since December 2011, Samoa changed back to their reckoning of days before July 4 1892. This change make them exactly the same 100% with Tonga.

    More quotes:
    In Tonga “all the natives keep the Sabbath of the Lord, though calling it Sunday.” E H Gates, ADVENTIST REVIEW & SABBATH HERALD – July 5, 1892. “The Gospel in Different Island Groups.”

    “GOD OVERRULED matters to preserve a knowledge of His Sabbath in these islands. This seems PROVIDENTIAL, as the natives scarcely any literature, would not be capable of weighing arguments on the Sabbath question, since they all suppose the seventh day, which they keep, to be Sunday. E H Gates, ADVENTIST REVIEW & SABBATH HERALD – July 12, 1892. “The Gospel in Different Island Groups.”

    God Bless…brother Steve

  71. Limoni,

    Could you tell me why does the SPD insist on closed-door last minute meetings when this Sabbath Issue is now in the public domain-why not have a public debate inviting ministers and lay members. After all, the church doesn’t belong to ministers only.

    It will be nice to have a face to face meeting rather than hiding behind a computer .

  72. L Manu O’Uiha on February 19, 2013 wrote:

    SDA Tongans sincerely believe:

    (a) That God is control of His work in Tonga, Samoa, and the pacific at large.

    (b) That God does not make mistakes as some have suggested on this forum.

    God does not make mistakes, but His people often do. Just a brief reading of biblical history should confirm this.

    L Manu O’Uiha also wrote:
    (c) That some may make fun of or criticize the actions of the Church not realizing that by doing so, they inadvertently are pointing a finger at God, who is Head of the Work in the pacific region.

    The prophets did it all the time. We’ve just been reading through the minor prophets and major prophets of biblical times in the Bible, and these writings are full of criticizing “the actions of the church.”

    Were they “inadvertently pointing a finger at God, who is the Head of the Work” world-wide –not just now, but in the past and in the future as well?

    God’s people make mistakes, and God does not usually step in directly to correct the mistakes. But He does provide enough instruction for them to be obedient and correct their mistakes.

    Regarding all past actions as God’s actions results in a religion based on tradition, rather than God’s Word. Seventh-day Adventists specifically reject tradition as a source of truth in direct opposition to the teachings of the church of Rome.

    L Manu O’Uiha also wrote:
    (d) That the current Sabbath practice in Samoa is the will of God just as He had guided Sabbath practice in Tonga.

    That is an opinion that is not necessarily backed by the facts. In fact, I believe that this opinion is wrong. Space does not permit me to state all the reasons here, but they have been repeatedly stated on this site.

    L Manu O’Uiha also wrote:(e) That if Sabbath practice in Tonga was wrong God would have corrected it long ago.

    That belief is based on the false assumption that God does not allow people the freedom to make mistakes.

    The argument for slavery as God’s will is much stronger than the argument for Sunday keeping in Tonga. God Himself was incarnate in Jesus Christ, and He did nothing to abolish slavery when He walked this planet about 2000 years ago. Should I therefore conclude that it is right for me to keep slaves if I can afford them? Is it therefore right for the strong to make slaves of the weak?

    Now, I believe that the Bible teaches that slavery is wrong. Jesus taught the principles, even though He did nothing directly to abolish slavery.

    However, by your reasoning, you should accept slavery as God’s will. Do you? If you do not, how do you defend your proposition that God would have corrected the Tongan Sabbath practice long ago if it were not His will? It seems to me that consistency demands that you do one or the other:
    a) accept slavery as God’s will
    b) accept that long-standing practice does not necessarily demonstrate God’s will. (Slavery was practiced by Christians for much longer than 120 years.)

    L Manu O’Uiha also wrote:
    f) That if Sabbath practice in Tonga was wrong EGW would have corrected it. She was heading the work in the pacific region when the work in Tonga was established. At the time EGW was living in Australia.

    The same principle applies here as the one above about Christ not abolishing slavery. It is also wrong to imply that Ellen White was directly involved in the establishment of the mission in Tonga. She was not.

    God gave freedom to His people in Ellen White’s time as well as in earlier and later times. He provided principles by which to make correct decisions, and He gave freedom to follow those principles or to ignore them.

    The bottom line is that the appeal to tradition is only acceptable in some churches who regard tradition as equal in authority to Scripture. The Seventh-day Adventist Church does not so regard it. If truth be truth, it must be defensible today by Scripture, nature or logic — which are generally in harmony with each other.

    Thus I sincerely believe that all except the first two of the sincerely held Tongan beliefs you enumerate are incompatible with the Bible and with Seventh-day Adventist beliefs.

    I pray that the Lord will enlighten our minds that we will understand the truth for this time that will prepare us for the crisis that will soon be upon us.

  73. Concerning Adventist Voices:

    This was written in the Australian Signs of the Times Magazine Nov. 26, 1906 (p.583)
    Addressing the dayline controversy.

    I’ll just quote two paragraphs.

    “It will be seen that, under an apparent stickling for a conscientious exactness as to the true day, the enemy cleverly changes the issue of the question involved in the last message, from being one of worship and loyalty to God, or obedience to and worship of the church of Rome, under the symbol of the beast and his image, to that of a merely technical question of exactness, involving no principle of choice between two rival powers, and totally eliminating the Romish element, and of conflict with the beast and his image, which is the very essence of the prophetic warning. It completely changes the purport, scope, and nature of the last movement of the closing reform from a grand principle, and narrows it down to a technical quibble under the guise of a conscientious scruple for the honour of God….

    “In this last great closing’ movement the issue is clear-cut—the beast and his image or the commandments of God. All that needs to be decided in any locality is, Which day does Rome honour as a sabbath? The answer is invariably, ” Sunday.” Then, in order to embrace the third angel’s message, loyalty to God calls upon us to keep the day which precedes the Roman festival, that is, Saturday. The question of exactness as to the place of the beginning and ending of the first day is a totally distinct question which has never been raised by divine authority nor introduced by Scripture. The present condition of things concerning the days of the week is accepted and recognised by all properly constituted authorities, and under this condition of affairs the issue can be clearly ascertained and decided, which is, God or Rome?” “first day or seventh day?” Keep the day immediately preceding that one which Rome honours, and you are safe in this matter.”

    By T. Whittle

  74. To my brothers & sisters in Christ,

    SDA MISSIONARIES NOTICED ERROR IN RECKONING OF DAYS IN SAMOA

    In reference to the Cook Islands, “All the people of this island, as well as those of the other islands of the group, keep the SEVENTH-DAY SABBATH, though they call it SUNDAY. The old missionaries who first preached the gospel here, coming from England by way of Australia, brought their East Longitude reckonings with them into West Longitude, and so found themselves keeping the true SABBATH on this side of the day line.” E H Gates, ADVENTIST REVIEW & SABBATH HERALD – June 23, 1891. “News From the PITCAIRN.” VOLUME 68, No 25, Page 394.

    http://docs.adventistarchives.org//docs/RH/RH18910623-V68-25__B.pdf#view=fit

    “Leaving SAMOA June 8, we were three days beating against a heat winds before reaching the FRIENDLY ISLANDS…As with the LAST TWO GROUPS VISITED, the people all keep the true SABBATH in the islands.” E H Gates, ADVENTIST REVIEW & SABBATH HERALD – October 20, 1891. “From the PITCAIRN.” VOLUME 68, No 41, Page 646

    http://docs.adventistarchives.org//docs/RH/RH18911020-V68-41__B.pdf#view=fit

    The”LAST TWO GROUPS VISITED” in the above paragraph was the Cook Islands & the Samoa Islands. It tells us that Cook Islands, Samoa Islands and Tonga Islands were all keeping the right SABBATH (the 7th day) on the day that was locally called SUNDAY.

    THE GOVERNMENT OF SAMOA & KING MALIETOA NOTICED THE ERROR IN 1892
    THE GOVERNMENT OF SAMOA & KING MALIETOA CORRECTED THE ERROR 4 JULY 1892

    “In the latest files of the ‘Samoan Times’ appears the ROYAL PROCLAMATION: “Whereas through an ERROR in RECKONING the people of these islands have hitherto been using the WRONG DAY and date as judged by our true position in longitude; Now, therefore, to RECTIFY this ERROR, and in accordance with the express desire of the Municipal Council of Apia and my Government, it is hereby proclaimed and ordered that Tuesday, the 5th of July next by present reckoning, shall be called Monday, the 4th of July, and the days and dates in the future shall be reckoned in succession from that day. That is, there shall be two days next month called Monday, the 4th of July. Malietoa, King of Samoa, Mulinuu, June 16th, 1892.”

    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=TH18920829.2.4

    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=EP18920809.2.56

    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=AG18920818.2.5

    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=TC18920815.2.19

    http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=THD18920826.2.40

    GOVERNMENT OF SAMOA IN 2011 REVERSED THE CHANGED IN 1892 BY KING MALIETOA FOR BUSINESS REASONS

    “Friday’s cancelled: Samoans lose 24 hours of their lives as island jumps over international dateline”

    “Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi told Radio New Zealand that the drastic move would lead to major improvements in trade and tourism.

    ‘No longer shall we have people ringing us up from New Zealand and Australia thinking it is Monday when we are closing our eyes and praying at churches,’ he said.

    ‘And vice versa on our Fridays when we ring up and already our contacts are holidaying on their Saturdays.”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2080211/Samoa-calendar-change-Samoans-lose-24-hours-island-moves-international-dateline.html

    IT IS GOOD TO NOTE THAT ALL THESE ISLANDS INCLUDING SAMOA CORRECTED THEIR RECKONING OF DAYS ALREADY EXCEPT TONGA;

    1. Cook Islands in 1899-1900
    2. Pitcairn in 1889-1890
    3. Tahiti in 1839-1840
    4. Hawaii about 1843
    5. Leeward Islands 1854
    6. Samoa in 1892 (UNDO IT IN 2011)

    TONGA IS STILL IN ERROR OF RECKONING OF DAYS; THAT’S IS WHY TONGA KEEPS THE SABBATH ON THE DAY LOCALLY CALLED SUNDAY. I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND YOU AGAIN THAT SUNDAY IN TONGA IS ACTUALLY SATURDAY (IN ITS RIGHT HEMISPHERE).

    THE CHANGE OF DECEMBER 2011 FOR SAMOA MADE THEM EXACTLY 100% SAME WITH TONGA.

    God Bless…Steve

    • Dear brother Steve,

      Thank you for the historical notes. I only question your interpretation of them. Just because any number of people may have believed something, that doesn’t make it so. Quite obviously, King Malietoa was deceived into believing that there was an error to be corrected by shifting the IDL in 1892 — deceived perhaps by those who believed it themselves.

      Our Adventist missionaries to the South Pacific, with one accord, seem to have believed that there was an error to correct, and that only Tonga failed to correct it. Then again, the Pitcairn situation seems to indicate a possible conflict of interest in the case of these missionaries. They had evidently already sent out their exciting report that the Pitcairn islanders had been found keeping the true 7th-day Sabbath after having nothing but the Bible to teach them! It is good that you admit, brother Steve, that those Pitcairn islanders had been keeping Sunday, not Saturday as our missionaries had mistakenly believed.

      I do not intend to suggest that our missionaries on the ship Pitcairn were intentionally dishonest. However, it would have been awfully hard for them to have corrected their reports to admit that the Pitcairn islanders had been Sunday keepers prior to their discovery, after all! Self-deception is not a clearly intentional thing. Truth to tell, even the final (mistaken) conclusion of our missionaries — that the Pitcairn islanders had been keeping Saturday by mistake — never seems to have reached us North American church members. Even that would have spoiled the story.

      We clearly know by now that our missionaries on the Pitcairn dogmatically believed in the 180-degree meridian as an absolute day line. However, the fact that they may have believed something is no reason for us to believe it today. If you want us to believe that God has set the 180-degree meridian as a fixed day line, then kindly give us your strong reasons.

      God bless!

      • To Brother White,

        Thank you for your comments and contributions on our discussion of this important issue. May God be with you (and all our brothers and sisters in this forum) as you continue to humbly seek His will in this important subject.

        God Bless…Steve Teaupa

    • Hello Steve,
      Thank you for gathering the documentation in your various reports which you are convinced supports Sunday keeping in the pertinent South Sea Islands.

      The problem is that, contrary to the general feeling that there was a mistake amongst the Island peoples in their keeping of Sunday as the first day of the week, the mistake was made by the Adventist Missionaries and the traders from America who all felt that that these Islands were on the east side of the 180th Meridian and thus should be in Western Hemisphere time. Evidently the King of Samoa was persuaded by all the pro-180th Meridian lobbyists, mainly coming from America, to switch the island’s relationship to the other side of the perceived date line, that is the 180th Meridian of longitude. And thus when Seventh-day Adventists came to Samoa, they kept Sabbath on Saturday, the seventh day of the week according to American time.

      But what we fail to factor into the solution is the fact that the island nations had been reckoning their time as part of the eastern or Asian Hemisphere and rightly so. They had come from the East, and the early Protestant missionaries coming to them via Australia and New Zealand confirmed their keeping of the Eastern Hemisphere’s week. The citizens were correct in their Sunday worship as the first day of the week. The American missionaries had not done their homework, they were the ones in error.

      And this is how the SDA missionaries made their mistake: They were misinformed about the date line issue. There was no international legal or even by consensus acceptance of the 180th Meridian as the date line. The mariners had used the 180th Meridian for nautical time keeping but even that was not by international law, but by British custom.

      The Meridian Conference of 1884 only established the Prime Meridian at Greenwich.

      As such the term ‘International Date Line’ is thus in fact a misnomer. Its exact course was never defined by any international treaty, law or agreement. At the end of the 19th century, George Davidson (1825-1911), the pioneer scientist and surveyor of the American West Coast, summed up the situation as:

      “There is no International Date Line. The theoretical line is 180° from Greenwich, but the line actually used is the result of agreement among the commercial steamships of the principal maritime countries.” (Quoted in The International Meridian Conference (1884) and Afterwards Accesses 4:20 GMT, February 27, 2013. )

      That was at the end of the 19th Century. In fact, as time went on, each island nation in the area of the 180th Meridian chose where to place the date line in relation to itself, and ships respected the local time when they entered island waters, while recognizing the 180th Meridian on the high seas.

      It would have been much better if the American SDA missionaries had taken time to figure this out by a little research and less of the superior spirit common in the American psyche. (And, by the way, I’m an American.) Now we are faced with the problem that the most prominent teaching and practice of our church and message is being compromised by the SPD directive to keep Sunday instead of Saturday. Saturday is the seventh day of the week for the world church. The choice of the Sunday-keeping churches, including the Catholic church, to worship on the day following Saturday is confirmation that Saturday is, in fact, the seventh day of the week.

      It is high time for the leadership of the SDA church at all levels to draw up a confession of error and make apology to those island nations and especially the SDA members for having made them Sunday Adventist. To be faithful to God’s word these church members will have to reject over one hundred years of tradition which is now known to be wrong and accept the Lord’s true Sabbath. This I know will not be easy, but by God’s grace it will happen.

      A prisoner of Hope, Andy.

      • To Andy & my brothers & sisters in Christ,

        Thank you for your comments and contributions in our dialogue. I still have more Historical records to support the SDA Pioneers & other Historical records from England’s old newspapers achieves to support them “THAT THE RECKONING OF DAYS WAS WRONG IN THE PACIFIC.” (THAT IS WHY THE ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC CORRECTED THEIR RECKONING OF DAYS) But I believe that the time is not right yet for that.

        Brother, may God bless you and all our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us humble ourselves as we continue to seek God’s will in this important subject.

        God Bless…Steve Teaupa

  75. Limoni wrote:

    “While the calendar is used in both western and eastern hemispheres. In order for Samoa to adopt eastern time, it had to drop a day from that calendar. THE BIBLE DOES NOT ALLOW FOR US TO DROP A DAY FROM THE 7 DAY WEEK.”

    This is one of the many weaknesses in the SPD argument that even Limoni supports.
    Inconsistency…
    … or is it “move the goal posts to suit the situation?”

    Limoni said above, “THE BIBLE DOES NOT ALLOW FOR US TO DROP A DAY FROM THE 7 DAY WEEK,” and the same Bible I believe “will not ALLOW US TO ADD A DAY TO THE 7 DAY WEEK.”

    It seems that Limoni and the SPD support the IDL change, plus 1 Day in 1892, but are dead set against the IDL minus 1 day in 2011.

    Your thoughts?

  76. Dear Steve,

    I really appreciate all the historical documentation you have provided for us. It helps us to understand the social milieu and political at the time Adventist missionaries entered islands of the South Pacific. And thus it helps us to understand why the first missionaries to Tonga could choose to teach the first Adventists to worship on Sunday. They deemed it to be the *true* seventh day.

    However, what this documentation has so far failed to address is whether the basic question of a “true” dateline was a right question. In other words, is there such a thing as a “true” date line that is different from the date line chosen by individual island nations and respected in the rest of the world?

    If there is no such thing as a “true” date line that differs from the date line chosen and accepted by the nations of the world, all arguments based on such an assumption fall — no matter how much documentation is provided to demonstrate that people held such an assumption and acted on it.

    In order to demonstrate that keeping Sunday today on Tonga, Samoa and several other South Pacific islands is correct, it would have to be demonstrated that there is a date line established by God that is different from that accepted by the nations of the world. It is, after all, on such an assumption that Sunday keeping by Adventists in the South Pacific rests.

    If God has not established a date line separate from that established by the nations of the world, then Adventists that keep Sunday are keeping the first day of the week, rather than the seventh-day of the week, which the fourth commandment enjoins.

    I have not seen the assumption of a divinely-mandated date line demonstrated to be true. Perhaps you can help us with that.

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