SDA Church Dispute Heads to Court
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SDA church at Matatufu

SDA church at Matatufu

Last month leaders of the SDA church in the South Pacific Division (SPD) met again in Australia with pastors from Samoa and Samoan pastors representing Samoan churches in New Zealand and Australia. The bible conference discussed the impasse in Samoa which is detrimental to a fundamental doctrine of the SDA church where there are now two seventh-day Sabbaths, some worshipping on Saturday and the majority worshipping on Sunday.

An outcome of the meeting is the matter to be referred to the Biblical Research Committee of the South Pacific Division for further research.

But in Samoa, the local church administration has instructed the law office of Schuster-Betham-Annandale to write to the Leauva’a-uta SDA members who are worshipping on Saturday to refrain from using the church facility there. The letter dated 6th February warns that failure to comply within 7 days will result in the matter been taken to the High Court for an order regarding ownership, demolition and removal by the church of assets.

Leauvaa-uta Sabbath keepers now have exclusive use of their church building for seventh-day Sabbath worship

Leauvaa-uta Sabbath keepers in front of their church building.

The letter from the lawyer however states that the church does not dispute the land belongs to the title Sala (held by Fonoti Peteli). This is further confirmed in a letter from the Register of the Lands and Titles Court stating the ownership of the land known as Laumasa is with Sala Fonoti Peteli and is not being disputed. The Register however goes further advising the parties involved to seek legal advice from lawyers in regards to dividing of church assets.

The SDA Sabbath dilemma in Samoa today centers around which day is the seventh-day of the week after the IDL change in 2011, the second time Samoa has changed its location to the IDL. Is it Saturday or Sunday?

Seventh-day Adventists keep the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week which is Saturday like everywhere else in the world. Most Christian churches in Samoa however also call Sunday the Sabbath but for a different reason – to commemorate the day of Jesus’ resurrection which falls on Sunday, the first day of the week.

On the TVNZ program Tagata Pasefika last year, President of the SDA church in Samoa, Pastor Uili Solofa stated that “now in Samoa, the seventh-day falls on Sunday.” The same argument was published in the Samoa Observer 1st July issue saying, “The practical result in terms of Sabbath keeping is that Sunday not Saturday has become the seventh day of the week.”

In a document dated 29th December 2011, Pastor Uili Solofa wrote,

“The majority of church leaders, worshippers and villages (in Samoa) are not saying they are happy that Seventh-day Adventists are keeping Sunday, instead what they are saying is that – we are going to keep the Sabbath of the Seventh-day Adventist church; praise God!”

In a separate correspondence, Pastor Uili Solofa also wrote, “You have to know that all the other Christian religions in Samoa have publicly testified that they have moved to keep the seventh–day Sabbath of the Bible.”

Catholic Chancellor Ono does not appear to share that view. Asked about casinos opening on Sunday, Father Ioane says that personally, he had no problems with it. “For Catholics or any Christian for that matter, Sunday is a day of rest, a day of giving thanks and praise to the Lord. It is also a day of joy and celebration because for the Catholic Church, Sunday is the day of resurrection of Jesus.” (Samoa Observer, March 12, 2013)

Such statements by SDA leaders in Samoa and the Pacific that Sunday is the “seventh-day” in Samoa today appear to contradict the reason Christian churches worship on Sunday, the first day of the week, to commemorate the day of Jesus’ resurrection.


Also see related articles: Leauvaa-uta Official Opening and  Leauvaa-uta Church Members Continue to Meet on Sabbaths Despite Opposition

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SDA Church Dispute Heads to Court — 163 Comments

  1. I find this mind-boggling: A church authority sends a letter to one of its constituent member churches warning “that failure to comply within 7 days will result in the matter been taken to the High Court for an order regarding ownership, demolition and removal by the church of assets” — especially when the order concerns meeting on the seventh-day Sabbath in a church for worship.

    I’m glad to see that this threat has not yet been carried out. But I wonder what kind of power threatens demolition of a church building if worshippers will not stop worshipping in it?

    Is this the voice of the dragon or the Lamb?

    Would any church authority following in the footsteps of Christ ever threaten to demolish a church standing on private property because the worshippers “stubbornly refuse” to bow to its authority?

    Or is this the voice of the dragon?

    Would Christ approve of uttering such a threat even against Muslims worshipping in a former Adventist church?

    Is this not the use of force to control conscience? Is that ever justified, according to Bible principles?

    On a practical basis, I wonder if Samoan law would allow such damage to private property — for surely the demolition of a building results in considerable damage. I suppose clean-up and landscaping after demolition would repair the damage. But I imagine it would require a quite an outlay of capital to accomplish demolition, clean-up and landscaping — just to “punish” fellow believers who do not agree that the Samoan government “renamed the days of the week.”

    Perhaps some Samoan brothers and sisters can shed light on this?

    • Very well put.
      I also find the complexity of Adventist believer’s response to the government’s label change on the sequencing of the 24 hour period also puzzling. The scripture commands us to commemorate God’s creation of six days on the seventh day, sequentially from the time of creation.
      Yet, a smaller minority of believers in Samoa wants to meet on the 24 hour period labeled by the Government as “Saturday” and by the believers as “Sabbath” according to the label/name. While a larger majority of the believers want to meet on the sequential seventh day(24 hour period) which has been labeled by the government “Sunday”.

      In my understanding the majority is maintaining the Scriptural mandate, the Truth. Maybe we should add an other letter to our acronym SDA to Sequential Seventh Day Adventist SSDA. Just kidding. But seriously, Should the majority, that is keeping the truth, be so hearthless, and devoid of the Loving Spirit of Jesus and threaten the minority of the believers? Has the spirit of the Lord departed from both the minority for paying attention to the Label/Name and from the majority as evidenced by lack of Love?

      • Neven, I believe you are buying into some very false arguments.

        Is the “Scriptural mandate” not to keep the seventh-day Sabbath holy? And did Jesus Christ our Creator not know which day was the correct Sabbath? He kept the Sabbath on the day before the first day of the week, now commonly known as Sunday. The seventh day He kept we know as Saturday.

        On either side of the dateline, Seventh-day Adventists keep the seventh day of the week, according to the local calendar, and it is commonly known as Saturday.

        On each side of the dateline, Saturday can be traced back to the day our Lord kept while on this planet, even in the tomb.

        The only exception to this are a few thousand Seventh-day Adventists on the western side of the dateline who have been directed to keep Sunday as the Sabbath. But Sunday is not the seventh day of the week and never will be. Sunday is the first day of the week which other Christians keep in honor of the resurrection.

        The tale of the government renaming the days of the week is a bunch of nonsense. And the tale of the government “changing the calendar” is another bunch of nonsense.

        In Samoa, the calendar is exactly the same as it was before the dateline re-alignment. And the days of the week are the same as well.

        The only difference is that each day, including the seventh-day now begins in Samoa, rather than ending there. It is exactly the same Sabbath around the whole world.

        Joining other churches in keeping Sunday may seem like a friendly gesture, but it is not Sabbath keeping and never will be.

        There’s no complexity at all in continuing to keep Saturday, the seventh day of the week, as Sabbath. Complex explanations are only required of those who attempt to maintain that Sunday is the seventh day of the week by ignoring the reality of the dateline.

        • With a spirit of independent and arrogance, one is spiritually blinded and believing he/she is wise when in fact the vail of deception is cast over the self made wisdom. Humble before Humble before The Lord and fear God and bring all your tithes to the organized Body of Christ.

        • Jesus was not resurrected on the first day of the week. He was buried shortly before sunset, was in the tomb for three days and three nights and he was resurrect 72 hours later before sunset shortly before the 7th Day Sabbath ended. Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath and he was resurrected on the Sabbath too.

          • Hello Micky,
            If we read Mark 15:42 it states that the Sabbath Day was after preparation day, Friday and in Luke 24:1, it states that the Sabbath Day, Saturday was before the 1st-day of the week, Sunday. It also states in Luke 24:7 that Jesus would be delivered into the hands of men, crucified and arise on the 3rd-day. Therefore, He was buried before sunset on Preparation Day, rested on the 7th-Day and was resurrected on the 1st-day of the week. God bless, ulalei letele

  2. Malo Inge,

    The situation today in Samoa where SDAs are worshipping on two Sabbaths is already a huge embarrassment and something people are openly joking about.

    Church asset disputes:
    The actions by the STM to engage a lawyer to instruct the Leauva’a-uta sabbathkeepers to refrain from using the church or else go to court to divide up church assets with the option of demolishing the church is a bigger embarrassment to the SDA church.

    Going to court will only open up all the cans of worms for the world to see; the media will have a field day. With Samoans around the world, the media will be circulating far and wide.

    If the STM is successful and the Leauva’a-uta sabbathkeepers decides to take the church down and split the building materials. How does that look for the SDA church when Catholic, EFKS, Methodist, LDS, AOG and more are popping up everywhere. Another bigger story for the media. By the way most of these denominations own TV and radio stations ………….

    Should sabbathkeepers be disfellowshipped:
    Many of the families on whose lands the churches stand have generally contributed the lion’s share to the building of the churches. Thus they should justifiably retain the “lion’s share” of the assets, should they not?” It’s time to go to court …..

    So what’s stopping sabbathkeepers from making a claim on all SDA church buildings that they contributed financially to? This will translate to more court cases! More embarrassing media coverage and more damage to the SDA church in Samoa.

    Alofa atu,

    Pa’u ****

  3. I want to make some comments regarding the letter by the Samoan Mission. The church will only be successful if the legal title to the land and property is held with the church. If it is held by someone else, the church should simply move on. In the Pacific with the exception of few countries like PNG, Solomon Islands and Fiji, the legal title to most or all properties of the church is in an entity called ACA (Australasian Conference Association). If the legal title to the church that is debated on this page is with ACA, the local congregation will not win the case in court.

    From a person point of view, if the Samoa Mission has written a letter to the local church, they will not do this without knowing the legal title to the church. They would have seek clarification from SPD regarding the title to the property. What the Mission is doing is to make it clear that either you are with the Seventh Day Adventist Church or not. There is nothing wrong with the Mission action. Any denomination nowaday will defend its right. The local congregation of this church is causing problems to the church. They are using the church name which is a registered name in Samoa for their own benefit. This is like trading in business using another company’s name. The law prohibit this behaviour. If the local congregation persist in their belief, they should register their own business name and operate under it.

    Thanks.

    Tukia.

    • Hi Tukia,
      You wrote:

      What the Mission is doing is to make it clear that either you are with the Seventh Day Adventist Church or not. There is nothing wrong with the Mission action.

      What the mission is doing is making it clear that you either worship on sunday or we will spend mission tithes and offerings on legal fees in order to destroy your church, (because the Saturday Sabbath keepers are blamed for the unease that is growing among churches in their continued sunday worship in these end times) The apostacy of convenience and compromise will never be comfortable, because the Spirit of God will keep prompting against it.
      We are plainly told in 1 Corinthians 6 not to sue the brethren, not to present court cases in front of unbelievers. When will a sleeping church mission wake up and realise that they are fighting God and HIS eternal truth in their human nature.

      They are using the church name which is a registered name in Samoa for their own benefit. This is like trading in business using another company’s name. The law prohibit this behaviour. If the local congregation persist in their belief, they should register their own business name and operate under it.

      Has the church become a business? What is it trading in? Demolition materials or souls for God’s eternal kingdom?

      We read the old testament and the stories of the Israelites — time and time and time again over and over, God’s chosen people turn their backs on God. Reading we wonder at their stupidity. (How could they live through all the miracles? How could the leaders lead them into famine and war?) All they had to do was love and worship the only true God of the universe and they would live in HIS blessings. But, no, they wanted to be like the other nations, they put worldly priorities ahead of their relationship with God.

      The exact same attitudes and priorities override Gods blessings today, business and sport can be embraced ahead of God on HIS Sabbath day, and a people follow like sheep because the church has endorsed it. The Israelites persecuted and killed the prophets because they made them feel uncomfortable in their sins. How will the sunday worshipping Seventh-day Adventists stand when sunday laws are introduced? At the close of probation how many will change their whole life styles to honour and worship on God’s sign between HIM and HIS remnant people? Big decisions are ahead for a lot of people here in the islands,

      • Hi Lance,

        How do you resolve this issue if the local church in Samoa is so determined in there minds and hearts to oppose the decision made by the controlling body of the church. There is no other way but to separate and the matter may have to be resolved in a court of law if it has to.

        You may disagree but the church is run and operate like any other organisation. The SDA Church is run and operated under certain regulations, policies and principles. For your information, the church in Australia (and will happen in the islands) have been incorporated as a company and its conduct is governed by the companies ACT of Australia. The church may not be selling a physical product but it is selling a service to its members.

        The decision made by the SPD was not done without consultation. Before the actual event happened, certain officers of the SPD went to Samoa to discuss the issue with the administrators of the church in Samoa. The decision was also supported by the General Conference. It was a careful and thoughtful decision based on the teaching of the bible to keep the 7th day of the week as the sabbath day rather than the name of the day as most of you are holding on to.

        If the church has to go to court to resolve this issue so what. The advice in the book of Corinthians can only work if the opposing group is willing to co-operate. From the information I read on this site the legal title to the local church in Samoa is not with the church and therefore, the church should move on because they will not win. However, if the SDA church in Samoa decide to disconnect itself from this local church base on legal matters, the local congregation cannot continue to use the name Seventh Day Adventist. They will have to use a different name to operate.

        My suggestion, if the members of this church determined not to support the decision made by SPD, they should join another denomination or form their own church.

        • Hi Leny,

          I very much doubt that the church would want to take the issue of who are the real Seventh-day Adventists in Samoa (The Saturday Sabbath keepers or the Sunday “Sabbath” keepers) to a court of law.

          As many would be aware there has been discussion of registering as a separate entity by a few of us Sabbath keepers. These discussions have been opposed by most. Advice is that a court case would be very positive for Saturday Sabbath keepers but it would cause major bleeding and media embarrassment to a church that we love.

          Our purpose for standing for God’s true Sabbath was never the destruction of and pain to God’s end-time church.

          You wrote:

          “The decision made by the SPD was not done without consultation. Before the actual event happened, certain officers of the SPD went to Samoa to discuss the issue with the administrators of the church in Samoa. The decision was also supported by the General Conference. It was a careful and thoughtful decision based on the teaching of the Bible to keep the 7th day of the week as the Sabbath day rather than the name of the day as most of you are holding on to.”

          I was here in Samoa and heard the one-sided argument presented to the churches of the Samoan mission. The 7-day cycle since creation was a major selling point. The group of palangi scholars, who portrayed that they had studied this issue for 8 years, were not up-front that the Sabbath here in Samoa was in truth only in a 7-day cycle since 1892, when a day was added to one week. (IT’S NOT THE 7-DAY CYCLE SINCE CREATION.) In all the confusion and misunderstanding I asked Paul Cavanagh a question. “If the date line and meridian line are man-made, can we trust in promoting God’s Sabbath to now be Sunday? His answer was that the meridian line was God-inspired because God is a God of order. After that meeting my mum now believes that the meridian line was set in place by God at creation.

          Understandably, most SDA church members (including my mum) can’t accept that the SPD could be wrong, and they grasp at every silly little reason that is presented to cover up obvious error.

          You wrote:

          “The SDA Church is run and operated under certain regulations, policies and principles. For your information, the church in Australia (and will happen in the islands) have been incorporated as a company and its conduct is governed by the companies ACT of Australia. The church may not be selling a physical product but it is selling a service to its members.”

          THe SPD has lost its way. They think like a company and they act like a company. It seems to me that what they have done to Samoa and the islands is apostasy and is totally against God’s will. God is in control and HIS will be done.

          I know the leaders in the Samoan mission who were railroaded into this apostasy, and I feel sorry for them.

          • Hi Lance,

            We can continue to argue who is right and will never end. I support if you want to register your own organisation so you can freely worship your God with free conscience. The “Independent” has done this in the past and the church has come through a number of legal case and still come out winners. In this case the church cannot win the right to the property of the local church in Samoa but they can defend the right of this local church in Samoa to use the name “Seventh Day Adventist Church” which is a legal name.

          • Hello Leny,

            It comes back to who are the real Seventh-day Adventists in Samoa: Are they the ones that choose to worship on Sunday, the first day of the week, along with the Catholics, the Methods, the Baptists, etc., or are they the ones who worship on Saturday, the seventh day on the local calendar, as do the members of the world-wide Seventh-day Adventist church?

            Are the real Seventh-day Adventists the ones who worship on Saturday, March 30 (nearly 20 millions of them), or are they the ones who worship on Sunday, March 31 (less than 10,000 world-wide).

            Who are the real “independents” in this case?

            What do you suppose a court would decide?

            (It seems that now even SISDAC members are more in line with the Seventh-day Adventist Church world-wide than are those who worship on Sunday.)

        • Hi Leny Tukia,

          You wrote:

          You may disagree but the church is run and operate like any other organisation. The SDA Church is run and operated under certain regulations, policies and principles. For your information, the church in Australia (and will happen in the islands) have been incorporated as a company and its conduct is governed by the companies ACT of Australia. The church may not be selling a physical product but it is selling a service to its members.

          Now that the SPD is run like a company I would have to ask how well is it run. A successful company would always have its goals to work towards.

          As a Seventh Day Adventist I would say that the aim of the church is to reach as many souls as possible before the unification of churches and the false revival headed by the son of perdition. To present to the world the 3rd angel’s message, and to fund this through the tithe and offerings taken from members of the church.

          IF THE CHURCH NOW AS A BUSINESS COMPANY HAS OTHER GOALS PLEASE MAKE THESE KNOWN TO US SATURDAY SABBATH KEEPERS AND THE CHURCH AS A WHOLE!

          A successful company will never try and force change and will always realise the importance of man management. Let’s just look at a few business decisions made to date.

          (1)The whole basis of this church business has been to tell the world that Gods Sabbath needs to be honoured, and that Sunday worship is the devil’s alternative (fail). The SPD is now enforcing Sunday worship.

          (2)The 3rd angel’s message is to be preached to all the world, calling people out of Babylon (fail). How can you preach the 3rd angel’s message when the mission itself is worshiping on Sunday?

          (3) When there is a difference of opinion in this church business, get the parties together and the resulting dialogue will bring compromise and insight (fail). The day that the Saturday Sabbath Keepers stood for God’s true Sabbath, they were barred from their churches, told they were worshiping another god and that they would receive no pastoral care. (Bad for the tithe take)

          (4) Now the SDA business executive tells other churches in Samoa that they are now worshiping on the true Sabbath (fail). Why go to an SDA church when a Catholic or EFKS church is closer and it doesn’t take all day? (Not good for the tithe take)

          (5)Now that the tithe take is right down, the church business sends out legal letters threatening to demolish churches if Saturday Sabbath church members continue worshiping in them on Saturday (fail). What on earth is this church business hoping to achieve?

          (6) Threaten to sue members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who are in reality worshiping on and standing for God’s end-time sign between HIM and HIS remnant people (fail). What a waste of tithe take that is disappearing fast, because the church has decided to become a business.

          The church business needs to stand again in God’s truth, confront the mistakes made 100 years ago in Tonga. Stop amalgamating with the devil’s false worship. Stop watering down God’s end-time message! Stop hiding behind some so-called group of scholars who were paid for 8 years to put together such a proposal so full of errors and so destructive to the church missions.

          This would never have been allowed to happen in Australia or New Zealand.

          Leny Tukia, I am sorry I am at a disadvantage with yourself as I have no idea who you are or how you fit into the whole big picture. Maybe you don’t, and are just like so many who believe that the SPD could never get this so wrong.

          Blessings from Samoa,
          Lance Cutts

          • I cannot continue to argue with you because your theology is totally wrong. The church members in Samoa are not worshipping on Sunday as you mentioned. They worship on the 7th day of the week which is the sabbath day. The bible is very clear on this. We are to keep the seventh day of the week as the sabbath day regardless of its name. Remember Samoa miss one day (Friday) when it jump from a Thursday to Saturday. This is how it happenned.

            1st day – Sunday(25/12/11)
            2nd day – Monday(26/12/11)
            3rd day – Tuesday(27/12/11)
            4th day – Wednesday(28/12/11)
            5th day – Thursday(29/12/11)
            6th day – Saturday(31/12/11)
            7th day – Sunday(1/1/12)

    • Yes, Tukia, this also happened a long time ago, when the “church” was the nation of Israel. Another leader, Ahab by name, made it clear that another dissident, called Elijah the Tishbite, was making trouble for the church. Hmm…

      • Hi R G White,

        I think you are using the story of Ahab out of context here. There is nothing wrong with the decision made by SPD. Basically, your sabbath is based on the name of the day rather than the 7th day of the week.

        • Hi Leny,

          I find your assumptions to be false. I have carefully examined this question from seemingly every possible angle, and I have found that the Sabbath of the LORD does indeed fall on Saturday (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) everywhere in the world. This is no thoughtless assumption, on my part, but a studied conclusion, and not so very difficult to see.

          1) The names of the days of the week imply numbers. That is, calling a day “Saturday” also amounts to calling it the 7th day of the week.

          2) The whole world — to the extent that it speaks English — decides which day to call “Saturday” (the 7th day) in any island group, on the basis of the International Date Line.

          3) The SPD Sunday advocates decide which day to call the 7th day (i.e. the Sabbath) on the basis of a private day line, the 180-degree anti-meridian.

          Therefore, if correct Sabbath observance necessitates using the meridian as a private day line, then the true Sabbath cannot always be what the whole world calls Saturday. However, if in fact correct Sabbath observance requires us to honour the International Date Line, then the true Sabbath must always be Saturday.

          God made His Sabbath for a round world, which means that He really created the day line. He did not fail to anticipate any of the developments which have taken place in our world. Rather, it is evident that He chose to let the day line of His own creation develop naturally, and that He intended to allow today’s governments to determine its location by their collective decisions.

          Insisting on using the 180-degree anti-meridian as a private day line, as the SPD has done, strikes me as a blatant (if well-intentioned) attempt at playing God. After all, who but God has the authority to overrule government decisions? It seems some people are SO VERY UNHAPPY with God’s decision NOT to impose a fixed location for the day line, that they intend to do it for Him. And, in doing so, not only have they sought to use church authority to essentially choose their own Sabbath in certain island groups, but that “Sabbath” has turned out to be the false sabbath of the very papal power whose principles they seem to have adopted.

          So you see, sometimes the simple and obvious answer actually turns out to be the right answer. I find the Ahab parallel quite valid indeed. Samoa’s Saturday Sabbath keepers have not troubled the church. The SPD leadership has troubled the church by pushing their own policy-driven agenda.

          • I find it very troulbing to know that a SDA church has decided to worship on sunday the first day of the week.My thing is even if you change the name of the day or ommit a name like leny did then number one your playing GOD for you own convinience but also we cant change time so even if they did do what lenny said they would still find themselves going to church on saturday the true sabbath. R G White holdon to that truth cause some of us seem to be forgetting our beliefs.

          • Monday as the first day of the week is also common on European calendars.

            However, I am not aware that this ever caused any confusion regarding which day is the Sabbath. After all, you can print almost anything on a calendar. ;)

  4. Jesus said by the “fruit” we can know if something or someone is true to God. The decision to keep Sunday in Samoa has born fruit that has turned a church-planting denomination into a church-demolishing denomination. Hopefully this decision will be reversed before the demolition starts! We need to pray . . .

    • John Wallace, the only “fruit” that has been produced from this issue is the devision and separation in the body of Christ brought about by those claiming the 6th. day instead of the 7th. day in Western Samoa or Upolu and Savaii. We must be very careful not to support our own self beliefs for by promoting such beliefs and lead the Unlearned and the Feeble Minds into the hand of the Enemy, God will not take that lightly. God will consume such person at the end. Repent and turn from our wicked ways and God will hear from heaven and He will forgive and restore to us Life Eternal.

      • Dear Asoleiuga,

        I confess that your comment seems more than a little confusing. You say that the division is caused “by those claiming the 6th day instead of the 7th.” I wonder if you could point to a group that claims the 6th day as the Sabbath in Samoa?

        Looking on from the outside, I see two groups: Those claiming that first day of the Samoan week as the true Sabbath and those claiming the seventh day of the Samoan week as the true Sabbath. I see no one claiming the 6th day (Friday) as the Sabbath, unless they be Muslims, and surely they cannot create a division in the body of Christ.

        Those claiming the first day of the local week as the Sabbath are at odds with the greater body of Seventh-day Adventists around the world who keep the seventh day of the week, according to their local calendars, which is the same as the world calendar and the same as the Samoan calendar. Only certain islanders, encouraged by the SPD, are keeping Sabbath a day later than all other Seventh-day Adventists. If there are any who are engaged in division and separation, it would appear to be those who keep a different day from the world-wide church, even if they have been persuaded to do so by certain people in leadership.

        That is the way it looks from the outside — as Adventists outside Samoa and as Samoans outside the Sunday-keeping Seventh(?)-day Adventist Church in Samoa.

        Oh, and as for fruit, I find Doug Tasi’s report interesting.

      • Hi Asoleiuga,
        You wrote

        We must be very careful not to support our own self beliefs for by promoting such beliefs and lead the Unlearned and the Feeble Minds into the hand of the Enemy, God will not take that lightly. God will consume such person at the end. Repent and turn from our wicked ways and God will hear from heaven and He will forgive and restore to us Life Eternal.

        Is this a message from God or just sarcasm in human nature?

        The Spirit of God is being lifted from stubborn hearts, who obviously find themselves defending Sunday worship. This is God’s refining work in these last days. I personally don’t think the decision will be reversed. God is asking who loves HIS truth enough to stand outside their comfort zones in order to uphold HIS Sabbath. Many like yourself will be attack and intimidate, holding the belief that hollow words and hell fire threats will alter God’s plan.

        True peace and eternal security are found in God and HIS end time message. Our God is huge and HE wishes to bless everyone, it is only ourselves that block these blessings!

        • Dear Lance,

          As you know, I greatly respect your views and opinions, and especially your courageous stand for the Lord and His truth.

          So I hope you will not mind if I express my belief that the decision will eventually be reversed. I still believe that God has a church in this world, and that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is it. During the time when Eli’s sons were doing their thing, matters must have appeared rather hopeless. Nevertheless, God had His own way planned for working things out at the right time.

          For us, it’s only this life that’s involved anyway, not the life to come. For God’s church and work, we need not fear. Jesus has the wheel.

          There is no need to doubt, to be fearful that the work will not succeed. God is at the head of the work, and he will set everything in order. If matters need adjusting at the head of the work, God will attend to that, and work to right every wrong. Let us have faith that God is going to carry the noble ship which bears the people of God safely into port. When I voyaged from Portland, Me., to Boston, many years ago, a storm came upon us, and the great waves dashed us to and fro. The chandeliers fell, and the trunks were rolled from side to side, like balls. The passengers were frightened, and many were screaming, waiting in expectation of death. After awhile the pilot came on board. The captain stood near the pilot as he took the wheel, and expressed fear about the course in which the ship was directed. “Will you take the wheel? asked the pilot. The captain was not ready to do that, for he knew that he lacked experience. Then some of the passengers grew uneasy, and said they feared the pilot would dash them upon the rocks. “Will you take the wheel?” asked the pilot; but they knew that they could not manage the wheel. When you think that the work is in danger, pray, “Lord, stand at the wheel. Carry us through the perplexity. Bring us safely into port.” Have we not reason to believe that the Lord will bring us through triumphantly? {RH September 20, 1892, par. 13}

          • Hi Mr White,
            You wrote

            So I hope you will not mind if I express my belief that the decision will eventually be reversed. I still believe that God has a church in this world, and that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is it. During the time when Eli’s sons were doing their thing, matters must have appeared rather hopeless. Nevertheless, God had His own way planned for working things out at the right time.

            Yes I agree that God can reverse this decision, I and the people that stand here in Samoa for Gods truth will not be deviated or disheartened either way! We praise God for HIS peace and for HIS outpouring of HIS Holy Spirit when we meet to worship HIM. God never promises the road to be easy, HE just promises HIS presence when our territory becomes HIS territory. We would never ever worship on Sunday. It may be easier for business or sport but why would you ever replace blessings with the hollow comforts of the world?

            Our prayer when we first came back to God in 2006, was that God would make us part of HIS endtime message and we would not feel the discomfort of just warming the pews on Sabbath. Praise God for answered prayers!

  5. Talofa Tukia

    You noted “The church [Samoa Mission] will only be successful if the legal title to the land and property is held [by] the church. If it is held by someone else, the church should simply move on”. By letter dated 04/04/2013 (meant to be March 4, 2013), Samoa’s Ministry of Justice and Court Administration confirmed to the disputing parties that the land in issue is owned by Chief Salā Fonoti Peteli P. For your further information, the property is neither licensed nor leased to the Samoa Mission either. Therefore, the Samoa Mission does not have legal title or occupational rights to the property, and as you stated, should move on.

    As you would no doubt be well aware, the name Seventh-day Adventist is the global name for the church – not just in Samoa. The Saturday Sabbath-keepers in Samoa are members of the Samoa, American Samoa Tokelau Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Accordingly, the Saturday Sabbath-keepers in Samoa are locally and globally Seventh-day Adventists. Therefore, they have the legitimate and lawful right to be called Seventh-day Adventists and to use the church’s official name.

    By the way, these church members are observing Sabbath on the 7th day of the week (which falls on Saturday) in obedience to God and in compliance with the global church’s position stated by General Conference in Session as recorded in the Church Manual and the church’s Fundamental Beliefs. The General Conference in Session as you would be aware, is the highest authority of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church

    • Hi Tasi,

      Thank you for clarifying the legal title to the property. In that case, the church in Samoa should move on but this will be a lesson to them to ensure that local property are either registered under the SDA Church name or leased.

      In my point of view, I will not call the saturday sabbath keepers Seventh Day Adventist Church members because they are determine to oppose the decision made by the controlling body of the SDA Church in the South Pacific. They should join another denomination or form their own church so they can do what they believe in.

      If the SDA Church has to disconnect itself from this local church legally, they cannot continue to use the name Seventh Day Adventist Church.

      • Dear Leny,

        I appreciate your forthright approach. On the other hand, are you quite sure that the two sides in this disagreement are both so deeply entrenched that reconciliation is impossible? So far, Samoa’s Saturday Sabbath keepers have been able to retain their denominational membership, notwithstanding they are denied any of its present benefits. Are you advocating that the church organisation take the fatal step of formally throwing them out?

        If so, I have two questions for you:

        1) If Samoa’s Saturday Sabbath keepers were completely pushed out the door of the SDA Church, so to speak, do you think that only the Samoa membership would be affected?

        2) Where does God fit into the picture, in your view? How do you view His relation to the church? Is yours a Roman Catholic kind of view, that church leaders may do as they please and God must abide by their decisions, or is it just possible that He might be offended by their actions?

        • Hi R G White,

          How sure you are that the situation in Samoa will be solved easily. From all corresponds on this page, it appears the local church in Samoa is determine not to surrender. Unless they show some signs that they support the administrator of the church in Samoa, I don’t see any reason why they should remain part of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. They are causing problems to the Samoa Mission and they will continue to cause more problems in the future. The only solution is to cut all connection with them.

          My answers to your questions

          1. It may affect some members of the Adventist Samoans overseas but it will be the best thing for the Samoa Mission to do. The SDA church has encountered so many opposition in the past and it still stand today. For example, the “Independant group”. When this problem started people even adventist members were so supportive of this group and thinking the SDA Church will fail. After so many years from now, the SDA Church is still operating and growing in numbers but I haven’t heard the independent is growing. This is one of many example. The church may be affected in some way but not in a significant way.

          2. Let me remind you that the church leaders are not doing as they please. They based their decision on the bible. It is only you and others who think the decision made by the SPD is wrong. If the church has to cut all connection, it will be to the good of the SDA Church worldwide because the church need unity.

          • Dear Leny,

            Again, I appreciate your frankness, if not your position. You speak of “independent groups.” However, I believe that this is a rather shallow comparison which (intentionally or unintentionally) overlooks one vitally important difference.

            The “independent groups” of the past have, I believe without exception, been founded on false doctrine and a spirit of disaffection toward the main body of believers which make up the church. Therefore, they have had little power to prevail against God’s church.

            What I believe we are now seeing in Samoa is of an entirely different character. In this case, the very leadership of the church has adopted a mistaken view and practice in regard to one of the Ten Commandments of God. Therefore, those who see the matter in its true light have been conscience bound to do what they know to be right, and to leave the consequences with God.

            This brings me to the fact that you really have not answered my second question. In your view, where does God fit into all of this? Therefore, I shall give you my answer.

            While I have no doubt that disloyalty to the church (of which you continue to falsely accuse Samoa’s Saturday Sabbath keepers) would constitute disloyalty to God, I am equally sure that loyalty to God constitutes loyalty to His church. Therefore, I believe that you are suggesting the church cut itself off from many of its most loyal members — in Samoa, and perhaps elsewhere. If your suggestion were to be followed, little could any of us anticipate the likely consequences of the Seventh-day Adventist Church thus cutting itself off from Christ, in the person of His saints.

        • my real question is why are the first day worshippers allowed to keep the SDA banner behind them in this lawsuite they are obviously going against one of our mainbeliefs that sets us apart from the catholic influence and identifies us as the remnant church of GOD.

  6. I truly agree with all the posts above. I cannot even begin to image how a leader who is supposed to represent our churches by standing for the TRUTH and nothing else but the TRUTH, can openly and embarrassingly open his mouth and utter disturbing words quoted as “The majority of church leaders, worshippers and villages (in Samoa) are not saying they are happy that Seventh-day Adventists are keeping Sunday, instead what they are saying is that – we are going to keep the Sabbath of the Seventh-day Adventist church; praise God!” The biblical cycle has never changed despite man playing around with dates.

    Many are called but a few are chosen. Just because the majority have decided to bow down to the idle with the blessing of the leader(s) does not mean that they are right before the eyes of God. Daniel 7: 25 says “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time”.

    When times and laws are changed, it is the very time when Christian Sabbath keepers should stand firm and hold on to THE TRUTH and not be bullied into keeping the wrong Sabbath which is not according to God’s weekly cycle.

    With regards to the building being demolished, I surely think its a step gone too far. This just shows you that the bible is true when it says ” many are called but a few are chosen” – Out of that big church, only a handful faithful people are willing to stand for the truth while the majority blindly follow an endorsement by the leaders.

    It’s not the leaders who will get you a place in heaven. Salvation is personal and I pray that the leaders will re-think and enquire from God alone to reveal to them the truth in order for them to go back and tell the people the truth.

    Let them take the building or even destroy it but one thing they should know is that this is The Church of God – not the leaders or the other members who are now in error about the TRUE Sabbath day. The fact is one day they will harvest the fruits of retribution for no man can trample upon His church.

    God is seeking TRUE Christians, who are followers of God’s Word.

    • Pray that the cloud of perplexity and the vail of deception be removed from sight so we may not be destroyed by the beguilements of the Enemy. The apple of God’s eye is still in His sight.

  7. The SDA Church is experiencing the first strokes of Elohim’s judgements and this is simply a foretaste of the SHAKING that is already rumbling within the walls of this church denomination. During the past few years, countless many people have been proclaiming to delegates of the church and to the laity the world over that the sabbath cannot be found on the pagan/papal man-made calendar of Rome but upon His calendar of Appointed Times as revealed in Leviticus 23. Sadly, these faithful messengers of Elohim have been reviled and mocked for the unpopular truth that they have borne to the church and they are labelled “Lunatics,” “Lunar Sabbatarians” etc.

    The truth of the matter is, this message is the message that was to select the wheat from the chaff and gather it for the heavenly garner. The SDA Church had corporately rejected the message as in 1888 and now the Church in Samoa is embroiled in a legal battle which could have been avoided had the message been embraced with joyful thankfulness…

    A worse situation is coming to SHAKE the church and the whole structure will crumble. A Papal Calendar Reform Decree establishing a Common/Fixed Date for Easter is in the works, and when the decree goes forth, the new Sunday will fall where Saturday currently stands….creating a worse dilemma for the worldwide church which has rejected the light on the true Sabbath, because this will be the prophesied MARK OF THE BEAST, which will unite Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox and other Sabbatarian groups including SDA’s under ONE ecumenical worship day…ON SUNDAY!

    The church rejected the sealing message and Elohim will let all rejectors of light to bare the consequences of not receiving His Sabbath Seal.

    In His Love & Service

    • I am not a calendar expert but have read some of the issues involved regarding the lunisolar calendars. Firstly lunisolar calendars were used by a number of cultures throughout history, usually in association with agriculture. The Jews did keep a lunisolar calendar. However, if I read secular sources correctly it would appear that the weekly cycle was separate to the lonisolar calendar. In fact some effort was made to ensure that events associated with the lunisolar calendar did not conflict with the Sabbath.

      While I think that the lunisolar calendar issue deserves some further study, my guess is that it has little impact on the timing of Sabbath keeping in general.

    • We have received a number of comments on this site recommending a luni-solar calendar as the solution to the South Pacific Sabbath Dilemma. It seems to be to us an indicator of the confusion caused by the arguments published on the SPD site which includes claims that Saturday is not the correct Sabbath in the South Pacific, with complicated arguments to support the claim.

      In fact, there appears to be a movement within Adventism to institute a type of lunar Sabbath calendar.

      It seems to us that an excerpt from the M. L. Andreasen letter to the study committee that favored the adoption of a luni-solar calendar has a lot of merit today. He wrote:

      The seventh-day Sabbath is clear and distinct. A child can understand its computation. Let not the people observing God’s holy day sponsor a calendar that means confusion, and make our work unnecessarily hard. For while the proposed scheme does not in any way affect the succession of the days of the week, and hence does not affect the Sabbath, nevertheless if the people observing the sabbath also advocates the new scheme of calendation, the resulting confusion will not be of any help to us. (M. L. Andreasen, as accessed on March 28, 2013 at http://www.4angelspublications.com/pdf/HowTheMilleritesChoseOct.pdf)

      Please note that, aside from the plea for simplicity, which is equally applicable to the South Pacific Sabbath Dilemma today, the luni-solar calender considered by a committee of Seventh-day Adventists chaired by L.E. Froom in 1939 did not “in any way affect the succession of the days of the week” and thus did “not not affect the Sabbath.” Thus the current appeal to a supposed Seventh-day Adventist luni-solar calendar that would result in a different day of worship than currently observed in the Seventh-day Adventist church world-wide is a false appeal.

      For Seventh-day Adventists world-wide the day of worship is the seventh day of the week, commonly known as Saturday, except for some islands in the South Pacific Division for which some leaders of the Division are advocating Sunday observance.

      It is our considered opinion that these leaders and the people who follow them do not represent the Seventh-day Adventist church world-wide and that those who keep the seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) on these islands are actually the people who can most believably claim to be Seventh-day Adventists, rather than First-day Adventists.

      Finally, while the luni-solar calendar discussion is appropriate for this site, and we will eventually address it, it is not appropriate for the subject of this post, and thus no further comments on the matter will be published under this post.

  8. our GOD is not a God of disorder –I shall send you the comforter who shall lead you in all truths ..those who worship Him in spirit and truths are the ones whom He looks for

  9. Hi Inge,

    The answer to your question who are the real Seventh Day Adventist is a matter of legal issue because the name Seventh Day Adventist is a legal name of which the SPD and Samoa Mission is under. If the SDA Church decide to cut off relationship with this Saturday sabbath keepers in Samoa, you cannot continue to use the name “Seventh Day Adventist” in any dealings because it will be a misreprentation in a court of law. It does not matter if you think you the Saturday sabbath keepers are the real Adventist. The law does not think that way because the organisation called “Seventh Day Adventist” is a global name registered in every country its operate around the world.

  10. Hi R White,

    I don’t know what else the SDA Church can do to persuade the Saturday sabbath keepers to believe what the SPD has recommended. There is no point arguing over this because it will not get anywhere. The fact is simple, why don’t you and your Saturday sabbath keepers move out and start your own church. It seem you have not addressed me on this directly. If you think the SPD is wrong, move out and start your own church and see if you will be successful. Stop criticising SPD because there decision was not made alone, it was made with support from the GC. This issue was discussed during the Mini Bible Conference at SPD and there was no solid evidence to convince the SPD to reverse the decision made in Samoa.

    • Dear Leny,

      You wrote:

      It seems you have not addressed me on this directly.

      Actually, I have. That was the intent of my question in regard to where God fits into the picture. Those few SPD leaders who are advocating Sunday observance cannot convince us that they are right, for the simple fact that they are clearly mistaken. Those few men do not constitute “the SDA Church,” as you seem to be suggesting.

      For those who are standing up for the seventh-day Sabbath as distinguished from Sunday, there seems little point in your inviting them to leave God’s church and start their own. Such a move would seem far more appropriate for those who are advocating Sunday as the “Sabbath.”

      You have been making such statements as “the SPD decision was based on the Bible” and “there was no solid evidence to convince the SPD to reverse the decision.” I have not directly addressed these kinds of statements, simply because no sound biblical basis has ever been shown for the SPD decision, and much solid evidence against it has already been presented. Thus your statements strike me as somewhat absurd.

      • Hi R G White,

        You can continue to present your view but nothing will be changed. SPD is the body that control the work of the SDA Church in the Pacific and GC is in full support of the SPD stand. The message is very clear. If you are unhappy look for another church. Those of you who are supporting the Saturday sabbath keepers are the minory. You are not in control of the organisation called SDA Church so you are fighting a losing batle. You are the one that should be leaving because soon or later the Samoa Mission will cut off any relationship with the Saturday sabbath keepers.

    • Dear Brother Tukia,

      I read and mulled over the theme of your recent posts that amount to an ultimatum for those of our Brethren who before December 29, 2012, were happy in unison with Jesus and ALL who obeyed His commandment and kept the Seventh-Day Sabbath, and, who in the minority today, stand for what they believe to be truth continuing to keep the Seventh-Day Sabbath Holy. Now, because of the SPD sunday-worship edict, your advice to these people, in essence is either accept “SPD way or the highway”, which deeply saddens me because I believe Jesus, in spite of the current state of confusion as a consequence of the SPD edict, will NOT give up on His people.

      I say this in reference to this past week’s Sabbath School lesson and God’s persistent pursuit of His wayward children of Israel, who rightly deserved in our human judgment, to be left to their own devices and perish for their unfaithfulness, BUT, incredibly, He never gave up on them! In the beautiful verse from Hosea 2:14, God in His love for His children, appeals to them, woos them, takes them to a quiet place so He can “speak comfort” to them. Now, given that God looks over His children in Samoa, whether Seventh-Day Sabbath keeper or sunday-worshiper, and I believe, showing His mercy as God’s Word tell us here in Hosea, should you or me, also a child of God, act with any less compassion, in spite of our differences? I think not, BUT, that whilst in open and transparent God inspired dialogue, should fall on our knees in prayerful pleading, daily, for His Holy Fire and Holy Mercy, for restoration and unity, in obedience to God’s Word.

      Hosea 2:14
      God’s Mercy on His People
      14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
      Will bring her into the wilderness,
      And speak comfort to her.

      There is as we ALL know, only one Seventh-Day Sabbath, as Genesis 2:1-3 tells us and this is found after preparation day; Mark 15:42, and before the 1st-day of the week; Matthew 28:1. Now according to how we, today, globally, measure the days of the week and call these days by name, these days are in sequence according to God’s Word; Preparation Day – Friday, Sabbath Day – Saturday and the 1st-day of the week, Sunday.

      My question to you is, why should the SPD and supporters of sunday-worship, employ a double-standard both in terms of how you interpret God’s Word and how the week is measured by day and name, for the majority of the Seventh-Day Adventists global community, who in unison worshipped on the Seventh-Day, today, Saturday, 6th April and for the very minority of our brethren in Samoa, Tonga and other such Pacific Islands, force them to worship on Sunday, 7th April and call it the Seventh-Day Sabbath? This is what the SPD sunday-worship edict amounts to, what do you think?

      God’s rich blessings to you and us ALL as we seek God’s leading and restoration of His Children in Samoa, for His glory and according to His will.

      ulalei

  11. What I read above is rather disturbing to me.

    One comment:

    “Those of you who are supporting the Saturday sabbath keepers are the minory. You are not in control of the organisation called SDA Church so you are fighting a losing batle. You are the one that should be leaving because soon or later the Samoa Mission will cut off any relationship with the Saturday sabbath keepers.”

    For years people have been sending me material that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is on the wrong track and when the final crises comes it will promote Sunday and give up the Sabbath. For those same years I have defended the church believing it would be the Laodicean members that would give up the Sabbath and be sifted out of the church and accept Sunday, but that the church itself would go through.

    Even now in the Samoan Issue, my comfort was the belief that the General Conference did NOT endorse the Sunday worship in the Islands, though they left it for the SPD to sort out.

    It has always been my hope and prayer that the GC (maybe at the next GC session when delegates from all over the world will be assembled) will stand up and hold the Sabbath banner high (Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) and we as a Sabbath keeping church will all keep the 7th-day Sabbath (Sunset Friday to Sunset Saturday) all over the world.

    But now I read that the GC stands behind the Sunday keeping in the Islands? Is that really true?

    You see, this isn’t just a Samoan problem. There are people who are not Samoan who are watching as this PRE-TEST evolves. Where will the organized church stand? Will they hold the 7th-day Sabbath banner high, or will they be uplifting the papal banner with SUNDAY as the sabbath?

    Will they set forth the 7th-day Sabbath as Holy unto God. Or will they slowly allow leadership to impose, encourage and enforce Sunday worship in various regions where ever they can try to form a logical reason for doing so?

    Will my church stand strong and uphold the seventh-day Sabbath (Friday sunset to Saturday Sunset) or will they join the other denominations and impose, enforce and encourage Sunday worship?

    So you see — statements saying the organized church is enforcing Sunday as the sabbath is a very troubling issue — and when this is coupled with statements that they have the power to do this and expect all to comply with Sunday worship, or to leave the church it is quite troubling.

    To say that those who observe the 7th-day Sabbath need to leave and give up the name “Seventh-day Adventist” — is very frightening indeed.

    Isn’t that what the last day crisis is all about?

  12. It’s OK, the end time persecution will come and all the nominal SDA’s will soon fall away like so much chaff from the wheat. Come Lord Jesus.

  13. The longer the keeping of Sunday continues in the Pacific, the deeper the hole that the SPD is digging for itself.
    The first question a court would ask when trying to decide who are the real Seventh-day Adventists is: “Which day do they observe as the Sabbath, Saturday or Sunday?”
    I say bring it on.

    • The SPD’s answer to that question would be; “the 7th day of the week on the calendar that is a government property. The longer this people oppose to the right decision made by the SPD, the deeper the hole they are currently in and eventually will be impossible to digg their way out when they finally come to their senses. Now is the time to set aside the pride and political correctness and let the Holy Spirit rule in the mind. It takes a big heart to recognize and make a humble u-turn.

      • Malo Asoleiuga,

        You have made an interesting statement in writing that the SPD would argue that “the 7th day of the week on the calendar that is a government property.”

        I agree that it is up to the government to determine on which side of the dateline a country is to be aligned. In that sense, the government does determine the 7th day of the week.

        However, after the government has determined which day is the seventh day, then God says to keep that seventh day holy to Him as a sign between Him and His people. After all, Jesus taught that the Sabbath was made for man. He didn’t teach that it was made for the rocks and the dirt on this planet. ;)

        So it seems to me that it is the SPD which has dug the hole and then fallen into it. Those Samoans who keep the seventh day according to the local calendar are aligned with millions of Seventh-day Adventists world-wide who keep the same day.

        Those Adventists (now First-day Adventists) who keep the first day according to the local calendar have abandoned the sign of God’s people, choosing instead to adopt the day that is the mark of the authority of Babylon.

  14. Hi Leny Tukia

    again in promoting the 7 day cycle since creation deception you wrote

    1st day – Sunday(25/12/11)
    2nd day – Monday(26/12/11)
    3rd day – Tuesday(27/12/11)
    4th day – Wednesday(28/12/11)
    5th day – Thursday(29/12/11)
    6th day – Saturday(31/12/11)
    7th day – Sunday(1/1/12)

    What you forgot to include was the week in 1892
    1st day sunday (3/7/1892)
    2nd day monday (4/7/1892)
    3rd day monday (4/7/1892)
    4th day tuesday(5/7/1892)
    5th day wednesday(6/7/1982)
    6th day thursday (7/7/1982)
    7th day friday (8/7/1982)
    8th day saturday (9/7/1982)

    Now which is the 7TH DAY SABBATH SINCE CREATION is it the 7th day that was before a day was added in July 1892 or is it the 7th day of the week after July 1892( which would make it 120 years old.

    Lets remember that both of these 2 weeks in reality had 7 days (not 8 or 6) The adjustment is in the daylight hours compared to the hours of darkness in each day.

    Does God want us worshipping on the Saturday Sabbath and as a peculiar people we witness our relationship with HIM,or does God want us amalgamated with the world with no different endtime message to share.

    A lot of people every week are returning to Gods true Sabbath but sadly the mission and the SPD will only publish one sided facts and you will

    • Hi Lance,

      In 1982 the sabbath day will be the Friday 8/7/1982. The bible is very clear on the sabbath. The 7th day of the week is the sabbath day. We must count to number 7th and that is the sabbath. Again your theology is wrong.

      • Leny, are you seriously saying that in 1982, the Sabbath was on Friday? And you say the Bible is clear on that?

        Now, even if that was a typo and you meant 1892, that still means you are saying that for 120 years the church in Samoa should have been keeping Friday. And, by your reasoning, those who are keeping Saturday today are keeping the correct Sabbath.

        Any child can count to 7, but that doesn’t fix the Sabbath date. What matters is on what day you start counting. So how do you know on which day to start counting?

  15. Brother Lance Cutts,

    This is what you mention above:
    “What you forgot to include was the week in 1892
    1st day sunday (3/7/1892)
    2nd day monday (4/7/1892)
    3rd day monday (4/7/1892)
    4th day tuesday(5/7/1892)
    5th day wednesday(6/7/1982)
    6th day thursday (7/7/1982)
    7th day friday (8/7/1982)
    8th day saturday (9/7/1982)

    Brother, it appears to me that you are confused. You started with 1892 and ended up with 1982.

    My comment for your example above is, because it was to CORRECT AN ERROR like what Malietoa stated in the many many quotes I gave before, the two Mondays (July 4 & July 4) should not be 2nd day & 3rd Day (this is WRONG). It should be 2nd day & 2nd day (just like Monday & Monday; and 4th July & 4th July).

    The CORRECT one to CORRECT THE ERROR should be:
    1st day sunday (3/7/1892) – STILL IN ERROR
    2nd day monday (4/7/1892) – CORRECTION
    2nd day monday (4/7/1892) – CORRECTION
    3rd day tuesday(5/7/1892) – CORRECT DAY NOW
    4th day wednesday (6/7/1892) – CORRECT DAY NOW
    5th day thursday (7/7/1892) – CORRECT DAY NOW
    6th day friday (8/7/1892) – CORRECT DAY NOW
    7th day saturday (9/7/1892) – CORRECT DAY NOW

    After this change, THE ERROR WAS CORRECTED. The day that used to be called Sunday before July 4 1892 was changed 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.

    The change of December 2011 REVERSED what happened in 1892.

    God Bless…brother Steve

    • Dear Brother Steve,

      I find it interesting how you use the names of the day of the week and align them to the corresponding dates, as you correct brother Lance, yet when it comes to qualifying the keeping and measuring of the 1-7-days according the universal calendar, which identifies the names of the days of the 1-7-day week, you conveniently discard it to suit your argument. I also find that your supporting of the names of the days of the 1-7-day week and dates, actually validates that whether keeping Asian and American time-reckoning, is in fact accordingly to the universal calendar, thereby refuting the authenticity of the SPD imposed calendar. In doing so, you are agreeing with the fact that the Seventh-Day Sabbath this past week globally, was Saturday, 6th April, which repudiates the SPD sunday-worship edict that promotes error insisting that sunday 7th April, the 1st-day of the week, as the Seventh-Day Sabbath.

      In your obvious haste to point out brother Lance’s typing error of the year e.g. 1982 instead of 1892, you said, “Brother, it appears to me that you are confused. You started with 1892 and ended up with 1982”. Indeed, I do wonder as to who it is that is confused about the truth of God’s Word regarding the Seventh-Day Sabbath and the ease of your inconsistency with the application of the measure of the 1-7-day week and the corresponding names and dates of these days; according to the universal calendar.

      Blessings, ulalei

      • Brother Ulalei,

        Thank you for your comments and information about the universal calendar.

        Your arguments in regards to the Universal Calendar is like the dialogue about the TRINITY. You are saying 1 + 1 + 1 = 3 BUT I am saying 1 + 1 + 1 = 1 (Father + Son + Holy Spirit = ONE GOD).

        Enough said, God Bless…brother Steve

    • In response to Brother Steve’s argument, I am waiting to see any evidence that there was ever an “error” to correct — not evidence that the king of Samoa believed that he was correcting an error in 1892, but evidence that he really was correcting an error.

      Quite obviously, the whole notion of an “error” is based on the assumption that the correct reckoning of the days, in any given place, is dependent on the longitude of that place, and in which “hemisphere” it is found. However, my own review of the facts of law and history finds that this notion was never anything more or less than a popular misconception. Neither God nor international law has ever specified a fixed location for the day line — at the 180-degree anti-meridian or anywhere else. Therefore, the correct reckoning at any given place is based upon the decision of the society actually inhabiting that place, as represented by its duly appointed civil authorities, pertaining to its orientation relative to the day line.

      • Brother White,

        Brother, if you have not seen the evidences of the “ERROR” in all of the many many many historical records that I gave you before than you just don’t want to SEE THEM.

        The Lukewarm Church

        14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

        ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

        • Steve Teaupa wrote:

          Brother, if you have not seen the evidences of the “ERROR” in all of the many many many historical records that I gave you before than you just don’t want to SEE THEM.

          I am surprised that a Christian brother would thus venture to surmise my motives. Nevertheless, believing that he is really trying to understand, I shall explain.

          All of those historical records indicate and prove just one thing: Very many people believed that the 180-degree anti-meridian is the true day line. However, it is entirely possible for popular misconceptions to exist. Mere opinion, no matter how popularly held, does not equal truth.

          Today it has become rather obvious that the 180-degree anti-meridian and the International Date Line are two different things. Indeed, it is not at all difficult to research the respective origins of the two, and as it turns out, they are essentially unrelated to each other.

          While the Greenwich observatory had already been in place for some time, and was already being used by the British and others as a prime meridian, it was the 1884 Meridian Conference that gave impetus to the eventual international acceptance of the Greenwich prime meridian. Thus, the meridian 180 degrees from Greenwich is also of rather modern origin. Nor is there any evidence in the Meridian Conference proceedings that ANY meridian was expected to be accepted as an international land-based day line.

          Indeed, the facts of history make it crystal clear that the day line (known today as the International Date Line) was already known to have been in existence at least since Magellan’s crew first discovered the concept. The day line is defined by the composite of the reckonings followed in the various societal locations, and therefore must always have existed in some form for as long as there has been a 7th-day Sabbath.

          So, it doesn’t matter what strange opinions may have become popular in the 19th century, what failed efforts may have been made to move the day line to the location of the 180-degree meridian, nor how firmly the King of Samoa may have believed that he was correcting an error.

          The facts speak for themselves. I am astonished that Steve would expect me to be impressed by mere opinions and popular misconceptions, no matter how well documented.

    • Hi brother Steve,
      I feel so bad, and I just had to reply to say sorry. I can see how confusing it must be that I wrote 1982 instead of 1892. I being a just an old plumber my writing can get wayward when I rush things.
      I do have a question if you dont mind.
      Who ordered the correction in 1892? Was it the meridian club?
      The 17 business men (traders) sent from California to influence Samoan leaders in 1892, did they want Samoa in line with their time for trading reasons?
      Why was this a correction? Why was it not a time zone change for economic reasons just like Dec 2011 was?
      In a court of law would you be able to call one a correction and easy to obey, while the second was a time zone change, which is totally different?
      It is so easy to label something with intent to disguise and present it is alignment to suit ones arguement.
      The simple facts in my eyes are that souls are being lost, our SDA churches are amalgamating in so many ways here in Samoa. Sunday law has been enforced in the islands for years now, God doesnt call us to take the easy road of compromise and complacency, HE calls us to stand firm in HIS truth and shout from the roof tops that HE is Lord of the Sabbath, and the Sabbath is HIS endtime seal.
      Steve your motives may be to protect members who have chosen sunday worship through direction from a scholars and leaders, but the arguements for sunday worship are getting weaker and weaker and stubborn leaders are doing no salvation favours to islanders who respect leaders so much in their culture.
      Blessings from Samoa
      Lance Cutts

      • To brother Lance Cutts,

        I am so sorry for making you feel so bad with my comments about 1892 & 1982. I was just using them as a joke to you brother. I used 1884 & 1844 before in my comments. I used swimming, fishing & sharks too. But I am sorry again for what I said.

        To answer your question of, “Who ordered the correction in 1892?”

        THE ANSWER: It was King Malietoa & the Government of 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.

        God Bless…brother Steve

        • Thanks Steve God bless you!
          I have just got back from another blessed Sabbath, worshipping together with Gods people at our Saturday Sabbath Multiculture Church. We were blessed today with visitors from Wellington and Napier.
          I have been given permission to announce the process has started for the return of 2 more churches in Savaii to Gods true Sabbath.(More details later) Amalgamation without Gods Spirit is uncomfortable for many caught in the easy road, and though the odds have been stacked against Sabbath keepers here in Samoa they are now starting to even up.
          Pastors here in Samoa and mission workers have always had the added weight, of having their income threatened when they stood against the mission and its introduction of the sunday apostacy. As of tomoro a committee will be in place dealing with any pastors and their flocks as and when they return to Gods endtime remnant Sabbath. These pastors have families to feed and bills to pay!
          Many of our sunday churches here in Samoa have begun amalgamating with other faiths in holding galas and money raising events together on the Saturday Sabbath, the joining and amalgamation is growing stronger and the introduction of sunday laws is getting closer and closer.
          Already through human nature and the embarassment of being wrong Saturday Sabbath keepers have experienced anger along with physical and verbal abuse, the other sunday churches (outside oue SDA church) do not yet think of the Sabbath keepers as a nuisance yet, but when they do and sunday laws are enforced will the Sunday keeping seventh day adventists be at the front of the persecution?
          It has become obvious that few stubborn SPD and STM leaders still dont see the apostacy that they have entrenched Gods Samoan and Tongan people in, a call is going out for Tongans strong in Gods truth to make a stand for Gods endtime Sabbath in your homeland. The road is never easy but the eternal reward is great, and the power of God is made known in standing for HIS truth.
          God is in control and in these trying times HE is purging a lot of us with HIS Holy fire.
          On a personal note tuesday Sabbath school lesson this week cut right to my heart and opened up more understanding for me. The E G White quote “All who in this world render true service to God or man, receive a preparatory training in the school of sorrow. The weightier the trust and the higher the service, the closer is the test and the more severe the discipline.” Two months before we stood against this 2011 sunday apostacy in Gods church , Elena Grace Cutts my beautiful 2 year old baby drowned in our fishpond, my heart still breaks everyday when I remember finding her, but I know God has an eternal plan and all understanding I leave with HIM. Till the day that the angel brings my princess back into my arms I and my family will stand against the odds for HIS eternal truth.So many who stood in support of our loss and sorrow stood on the side of the sunday sabbath, but I see the Spirit of God working on many and all hearts. The big decision is will we put business or sport before our stand for Gods Holiness and HIS true nature displayed to a dying world!TIME IS SHORT!
          Blessings from Samoa

        • Something to think about: Just because King Malietoa was persuaded that “the people of these islands have hitherto been using the wrong day and date” doesn’t mean that there was really anything wrong with the calendar previous to 1892.

          After all, there’s no reason to consider his opinion to be more “correct” than that of Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, the current prime minister. ;)

          And I don’t think it matters one way or another. Jesus said that the Sabbath was “made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” I believe that the most obvious way to interpret this is that the Sabbath was made for humanity, that is human society, and it is to be kept in a manner that benefits man and honours God in human society.

          Thus, in order to keep the seventh day holy, it must be the seventh day that is recognized as such in that society. To keep the first day of the local calendar is not keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, no matter how many arguments are advanced in favour of such a plan.

          • Inge wrote:

            Thus, in order to keep the seventh day holy, it must be the seventh day that is recognized as such in that society. To keep the first day of the local calendar is not keeping the seventh-day Sabbath, no matter how many arguments are advanced in favour of such a plan.

            Amen! Does God expect every one of His people to understand and obey complicated arguments? The truth must be simple enough for a child to understand.

  16. SDA is a church made up of members who select the leaders and not the other way round.

    No members, no church, no Leaders.

    Most Leaders tend to forget that the power is with the people, (members) and not the leaders, but the way they behave and govern they think they have the final say and what they say, goes.

    SPD / STM behave as such forgetting that whoever is in office now will be replaced by someone else when the members go to vote.

  17. Leny,

    Why are you so adamant that the Saturday Sabbath Keepers are to move out of the church?

    They belong here -this is their home and church.

    There’s a lot that you dont know about the history of Samoa, the Adventist church and the negative effect on the church by the poor decision by the SPD.

    The so-called “minority” that you referred to in Samoa is not a minority as they represent the Global Samoan Adventist Family (NZ,OZ,Hawaii,USA,DUBAI) as well as the Global Seventh-day Adventist Family worldwide.

    These special people are 3rd and 4th generation Adventists. Their forefathers are Adventist pioneers who accepted the Sabbath truth from God through the missionaries. They are Sabbath legends, heroes and warriors who were very brave to accept the Sabbath message, worship God on Saturday when everyone else in Samoa kept Sunday. They know what it’s like to be like Daniel – a lone Adventist family in the whole village or district surrounded by Sunday keepers of different faiths who ostracised, dished out daily verbal abuse, slashed their taro and banana plantation, toilet in their drinking pond, even drumming up false charges and took them to court becos of the Sabbath Truth. Disowned by families becos of the Sabbath, even been threatened. The word ” Sapati” “Sabbath” was a swear word to a lot of Samoans.

    For over 100 years that these Legends toiled and kept the faith, the Samoan people not only respected and accepted the honesty, faithfulness and commitment of these Sabbath Keepers but have accepted the Sabbath truths becos of the work done by the Holy Spirit through the lives of these Legends.

    The Keepers of the faith were the same people that stood against the “Independent Church” becos of Leadership issues are also the same people who are standing against the Sunday Movement initiated by SPD/TPUM/SPD on the Sabbath Issue which does not affect only the Adventist church in Samoa but also the Seventh-day Adventist Church globally.

    You referred to the ACA or a legal entity – nothing new; its been around for years. We own the ACA, Sanitarium & the lot.

  18. [Editor's note: Please use first and last name when posting comments on this site.]

    The whole issue is really a non-issue to anyone who can use the power of reason. The Bible assumes a flat Earth, and does not propose an International Date Line. It does not provide an objective way to calculate Sabbath anywhere. So when we start and finish it, is always a man-made decision. Think of areas beyond the polar circle, like Siberia, Alaska, or northern Sweden, where it is dark for 6 months and then the sun won’t set for another 6. Celebrating a Sabbath “from sunset to sunset” would mean a whole year of Sabbath – but only every 7 years! In Samoa we have another absurd situation – islands on both sides of the IDL on the same day can have two different dates (and days of the week). I think the SDA church should reconsider its principles, as some of them do not belong in the modern world. When you decide to keep your Sabbath just doesn’t matter – if only because you cannot objectively prove that your idea is right.

    • You make a good point regarding having to use common sense in determining the Sabbath. However, your statement that “the Bible assumes a flat Earth” is no more than an urban legend.

      In Isaiah 40:22 we read that “It is He [God] who sits above the circle of the earth,” demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of the spherical nature of the earth. Furthermore, the oldest book of the Bible, in Job 26:7 refers to “He [God] stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.” This further demonstrates a basic understanding of the earth floating in space.

      As I understand it, in the polar regions, people figure the beginning and ending of the Sabbath according to the sun’s lowest point on the horizon — which is just another way of identifying “sunset.”

      I take issue with your statement that “when you decide to keep your Sabbath doesn’t matter” because the command for keeping the Sabbath is embedded in the heart of the Law of God.

      Just a question: Do you believe it possible to know which is the first day of the week?

      If you can tell which is the first day of the week, then knowing which is the seventh day of the week, isn’t all that difficult, is it?

      • First of all, apologies for not using the full name previously – I was imply not aware of the rules.
        Flat earth is not an urban legend. It is clearly assumed by all biblical writers. In the Bible the Earth is flat, immoveable,covered with a solid, colander-like firmament, and it rests on pillars (perhaps over empty space, as in Job). What the writers don’t seem to agree on is whether it is a circle (a circle is flat, the Bible never calls the Earth a sphere), or a square. The Sabbath-keeping conceived as keeping a particular seventh day (as opposed to resting just any 7 days) also required a flat earth. Not sure what you mean by “sun’s lowest point on the horizon”. Beyond the polar circle the sun sets and remains set for 6 months before it rises and remains over the horizon for another 6. So “from sunset to sunset” would mean a seventh-day for a year every seventh year. The official recommendation and practice of the SDA church is simply to ignore the Bible, follow the local time reckoning, and have a Sabbath from 6 pm to 6 pm on the local Saturday, regardless of the position of the sun. It is not my mission to tell any church how and when to rest, I just can’t keep silent when people argue over what is deeply absurd. The creation story is not literal history, as it would never have been possible to have 6 literal days of creation and 1 literal day of rest on a spherical Earth – simply because where there is middle of the day in Europe, it is middle of the night around the IDL, and whether it is the day before or after Europe is something only locals can decide. So Samoan SDA’s simply argue over a non-issue. Not surprisingly, the rest of the community just shrugs their shoulders and gets on with their lives.
        Yes, it is possible to know which is the first day of the week – the one we, the society, decide it is. There is no other good answer, Even if you were living in Jerusalem the Bible does not tell you how to decide which day of the week it is. We are all relying on a human tradition. Just imagine you are shipwrecked on a desert island, you wake up and decide you were unconscious for a long time. Will God, the Bible, or anything else tell you which day of the week it is if there is no society around you?

        • Hi Jag,
          You wrote

          The creation story is not literal history, as it would never have been possible to have 6 literal days of creation and 1 literal day of rest on a spherical Earth – simply because where there is middle of the day in Europe, it is middle of the night around the IDL, and whether it is the day before or after Europe is something only locals can decide. So Samoan SDA’s simply argue over a non-issue. Not surprisingly, the rest of the community just shrugs their shoulders and gets on with their lives.

          So if God didnt create the world in 6 days, what hope can we have on HIS return that HE can instantly raise the dead in Christ to meet HIM in the air. (some of these dead being dead 6000 years and long forgotten by everyone except God)
          This creation mixed with evolution is just a byproduct of modern SDA’s trying to explain things in their own human understanding and not really having faith in the fact that our God is huge and all scripture is inspired by God.

          The Sabbath keepers in Samoa have argued against the false doctrine of keeping to the 7-day cycle since creation. It is really simple, a no-brainer – The Sabbath is the 7th day of the week in the time zone where you live. The confusion is from the devil and in this Laodicean state of our SDA church, the Sunday apostacy has been embraced so easily. Driving to church yesterday and passing by the mission compound, it was like a gala day. The Samoan fun run now starts from the compound (9am saturday morning). The SDA church here in Samoa after a year of apostacy is no different from any other sunday church. Roles are declining, the mission is not an upholder of the end time message.

          The Saturday Sabbath keepers welcome another church (Fogapoa in Savaii) which has returned to God’s true Sabbath. The delegation of the mission president, the mission secretary, and the mission treasurer visited this village last week. While the donation of T$2000 was great for the village, the Sabbath is not for sale. Every Saturday Sabbath keeper who has returned from the Sunday apostacy has had his character attacked, so the verbal attack on Pastor Paulo Pelenato to the village is another tactic that the mission has to stop. If the STM leaders continue in their reactive human nature ways and continue to leave God out of the big picture, the future of the mission will grow dimmer and dimmer.

          The STM leaders need to ask themselves
          (1)Is the mission stronger in Gods truth more than one year on from the dateline change?
          (2) Is God lifting HIS Spirit from a hard hearted people just as HE did to Israel?
          (3) 25 people baptised in the Apia church last year and promoted as a church still alive why are none of them left in the church?
          (4)Do Seventh Day Adventists in Samoa and Tonga really want to be worshipping on Sunday (same day as all the other Sunday churches ) when Christ returns?

          God is in control and He wants to pour HIS blessings on all people. Temporarily the devil has been able to block these blessings but he is a defeated foe!
          Sorry Jag but your beliefs are on the other side of what is happening in the SDA church. Satan is working in all universities trying to mix truth with error. The creation story does need faith, and faith is exactly what God asks from us before HE can work HIS eternal work in us.

        • Hello Jag,

          Thank you for your reply, but it seems to me that your faith in the argument that the Bible was written from a flat-earth point of view is unfounded. The “flat earth” was invented by others, long after the Bible was written. For more details, please see “Who Invented the Idea of a Flat Earth?” To argue contrary to this article, you would have to come up with equally good documentation, rather than your mere statement that it is so.

          You also wrote

          The creation story is not literal history, as it would never have been possible to have 6 literal days of creation and 1 literal day of rest on a spherical Earth

          Since our earth is still spherical, I suspect, my question to you is whether or not it is possible to have 6 literal days on our spherical earth today. If it is possible to have 6 literal days today, why not some thousands of years ago. ;)

          Thank you for your reply to my last question. It is much appreciated, being an example of plain common sense – which is often the best kind of “science”:

          Yes, it is possible to know which is the first day of the week – the one we, the society, decide it is. There is no other good answer, Even if you were living in Jerusalem the Bible does not tell you how to decide which day of the week it is. We are all relying on a human tradition. Just imagine you are shipwrecked on a desert island, you wake up and decide you were unconscious for a long time. Will God, the Bible, or anything else tell you which day of the week it is if there is no society around you?

          Seeing that Jesus taught that “the Sabbath was made for man,” it seems to me that the collective decision of a local society regarding the days of the week is the most appropriate indicator of which day is the first day of the week. So, if society knows which is the first day of the week, Sabbath keepers should have no trouble knowing which is the seventh day of the week. :)

          An attempt to tie the Sabbath to a particular area of rock and dirt on this planet and ignoring societal standard seems absurd at best – especially when such a decision eliminates the distinction between Sabbath keepers and Sunday keepers. After all, God said that the Sabbath was to be a “sign” between Him and His people. And the day that is kept by all the surrounding society cannot possibly be a “sign” of God’s people, or can it?

          • Thanks Inge. Unfortunately your link is not very helpful (and it is sometimes misleading). For biblical cosmology, and by that I mean the ideas that ancient Hebrews borrowed from Babylon, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_cosmology

            My answer is that is not possible to have literal days over a spherical earth, because when it is day in Samoa, it is night and Europe. Not to mention that Samoa and American Samoa on the same day have two different dates – and different days of the week. That is the whole point. I fail to see what the difference between “Sabbath keepers” and “Sunday keepers” is – unless all you are trying to do is see what the Sunday keepers do and pick the previous day. But rest assured, the Sunday keepers don’t care what day they call Sunday, because they don’t have to live as if the planet was flat.

          • Hi Jag, why do you consider the article I referenced as “not very helpful”? Because it doesn’t agree with your view? It is the understanding of all reputable bible scholars, after all. Not just that, but even an author posting on a popular evolutionist site recognizes that creationists do not generally believe in a flat earth. He merely writes about the “Flat Earth Society.” (Interestingly enough, the leader of the society actually believes in evolution and thus does not believe the biblical account of creation week. According to you, may we conclude from that that all who believe in evolution believe in a flat earth?)

            I believe our differences probably arise from our view of Scripture. Both sides posting on this site regarding the Samoan Sabbath issues hold to a very high view of Scripture, as do I. The Wikipedia article is written by volunteers, as you know, and it represents a largely secular viewpoint or a very low view of Scripture.

            All the supposed “support” for a “flat earth” in the Bible is taken from poetic language. Doing a similar exercise on the literature of today would represent us as believing in some very strange concepts indeed. We don’t even have to go as far as poetry: According to the English language, we believe that the sun goes up and down every day, as does the moon. Have you ever spoken of “sunrise” and “sunset”? A rather primitive viewpoint, wouldn’t you say?

            As for a literal day on a spherical planet, you ignored my question: I asked you whether it is possible to have a literal day/week on this planet today. If we recognize a literal week today, why can we not apply the same reasoning to creation week? The mental construct that does not allow you to believe in a literal week some thousands of years ago is your own; it is not in the Bible.

            But we are getting far off the topic of the discussion and away from the purpose of this site. So will not likely publish further comments that have little or nothing to do with Sabbath issues.

            By the way, I believe you are likely mistaken in your idea that devout Sunday keepers do not care what day they keep. They keep the first day of the week in honour of Christ’s resurrection, and your notion that it has anything to do with not believing in a “flat earth” is nonsensical. The weekly cycle has not been interrupted by calendar changes since the time of Christ, and thus recognizing Sunday as resurrection day is perfectly legitimate.

            It seems to me that determining the seventh day of the week by the local calendar is quite biblical, since Jesus said that the Sabbath was “made for man,” (Mark 2:27) which the CEB translates in modern terms as “made for humans.” And I take that to mean, among other things, that it was made for human society, not for the rocks and dirt that compose our planet. Being made for human society would necessarily make it dependent on human calendars.

    • Jag,
      Seventh-day Adventists don’t the consider the Sabbath “ours.” It is God’s, as He says in the commandment. On whose terms is honor (worship) given? Not on the terms of the one giving honor but the one being honored. Adventists don’t keep Saturday just to be different, God said the seventh day is the Sabbath. Nobody seems to have difficulty identifying the first day of the week so it isn’t hard to identify the seventh.

      • “Nobody seems to have difficulty identifying the first day of the week so it isn’t hard to identify the seventh.” Really? This is exactly what I mentioned a few times before. Picking a day just before the day that the Sunday keepers keep is a rather silly and immature method if deciding what the “seventh day” is. It’s not that nobody has difficulty identifying the first day of the week – it’s that nobody cares which day we pick as the first day.

  19. Arguments like “X is from devil” are always used by those who have no other arguments. I prefer people presenting their views and defending them in a rational manner. You have offered views radically different from mine, thank you for that. But I tried to explain the reason why I said what I did. Do you have anything to support your views, apart from blind faith?

    Let me present you with another argument why I think it doesn’t matter which day the Samoans pick. Imagine two people keeping the Jewish Sabbath in Jerusalem, They then travel towards Samoa, at the same speed, except one travels west and the other east. While travelling, they keep the same seventh day. But when they both arrive in Samoa, they realise they rest on two different days of the week! Whatever you think about this, the truth is that the Bible did not predict the IDL and it was written from the flat earth point of view. So if you want to believe in a fiat creation 6,000 or so years ago and that it matters which day you worship on, be consistent and believe in a flat earth as well, as all those beliefs belong together. If one falls they all fall I’m afraid.

    • Hi Jag

      Yes the dateline issue is about whether you travel in the same rotation as the sun or whether you travel in the opposite rotation of the sun and how many daylight hours this adds and subtracts in a day. The arguments can get real silly, that is why we as SDA’s need to stick to worshipping on the 7th day or Saturday of the time zone we live in. We are on the same page except your conclusions that it doesn’t matter is where we differ. God calls for HIS remnant people to stand in HIS worship which HE made Holy. To be a peculiar people set apart from the false worship of the world.

      • Yes, the argument can get really silly, and already has. When you say that “SDA’s need to stick to worshipping on the 7th day or Saturday of the time zone we live in” so you realise that the zones are man-made and not God-made? And are you saying that the only way to decide which day is the seventh day os watch what the Sunday-keepers do and just pick one day ahead of them? To me that is what is silly. The rationa thing to do would be to realise that there is no divine method to decide which day to pick, and it is ultimately up to us.

    • Dear Jag,

      You say that the Bible did not predict the IDL. If, by that, you mean that it did not explicitly tell us that a day line would be necessary, nor specify any fixed location for it, then what you say is true. However, I believe it is quite another matter to say that the biblical Sabbath was made for a flat earth. Here’s why.

      Who created the biblical Sabbath? Did the Bible writers invent it? If they did invent the Sabbath themselves, would it not follow that they also invented the God of the Bible, and He doesn’t really exist either?

      My point is that, in addition to their testimony concerning a literal 6-day creation, the prophets tell us that it was Jehovah Himself who created the Sabbath — the God who knows everything, including the future.

      So, as I see it, either we believe the prophets or we don’t. If the prophets are to be believed, then it was the same God who made the world (as a sphere, if science means anything) who also created the Sabbath. Therefore, God must have made His Sabbath for a round world. Regardless of what the prophets themselves may have thought (and I believe Inge has a good point that they probably were not so ignorant after all), God Himself certainly knew the earth was a sphere when He created the Sabbath.

      Therefore, although God did not specify any fixed location for the day line, He nevertheless created it (in concept at least). Really, it’s not hard to see why it would not have made sense for God to have fixed a location for the day line. His instructions would have been largely ignored by an unbelieving world, and Sabbath keeping for believers would have been a confusing mess.

      By leaving it to societies and their respective civil authorities to collectively place the day line — and by asking Christians to respect such civil authorities — God has made it very easy for us determine which day is the 7th of the week, in a cycle unbroken since creation, anywhere on the globe. Just look at the reckoning of the week being followed in every place, and draw a line on the map, dividing those societies following the week of the westerly migrants from Babel and those following the easterly migrant week.

      Thankfully, this has already been done for us. The resulting line is called the IDL, and all we have to do in order to find the true Sabbath is respect that line. Yes, there is a definite Sabbath.

      • I applaud your enthusiasm, however saying that “although God did not specify any fixed location for the day line, He nevertheless created it (in concept at least)” is one thing, proving it is another. Unless you can provide sufficient evidence for it, I can only consider this claim as highly absurd.

        • Hi, Jag!

          I am absolutely fascinated by your reply. Here is my statement which you have questioned:

          … although God did not specify any fixed location for the day line, He nevertheless created it (in concept at least).

          This is not something to be proven by finding information from obscure sources or long-neglected Bible verses and/or making complicated arguments. It’s just a matter of thinking through what we already know. That’s why I find it so interesting that someone like you could think it “highly absurd.” We must have really needed a crisis like this to stir up our minds.

          Of course, whatever I say is predicated on the idea that the Bible prophets are to be believed — that whatever they have written for us is fact. Now, let’s get started.

          Magellan’s crew, with their experience of circumnavigating the globe and finding their meticulous day count off by one, proved two things.

          1) That the world is round (spherical), and
          2) That a round world implies or necessitates a day line.

          The Bible is quite clear that God (and specifically Jesus Christ) is the Creator of everything that exists. That would include our spherical world. Moses lays out some of the details of how God made something beautiful and wonderful out of this planet in six days, and then blessed and sanctified the 7th day, thus setting up the 7-day week in perpetuity.

          While mankind, just emerging from the Dark Ages, was seemingly surprised that a round world would necessitate a day line, we needn’t think that God failed to anticipate the consequences of placing man on a round world and requiring the universal observance of every 7th day. Indeed, by these very actions, He created the need for a day line — and arguably the day line itself.

          Think about it. What if Adam had left Eve alone in the Garden, to travel westward around the world by himself? While he was gone, both would have been counting the days and observing the Sabbath, yet upon his return on (say) the 5th day of Eve’s week, Adam would have only been on the 4th day of his week. He would have had to drop a day (the 5th) from his personal reckoning.

          So what had happened, in our hypothetical story? Adam had crossed the day line. Where was that day line? Arguably, its exact location was undefined, or perhaps better yet, we could say it was a very broad “line” which Adam began to cross at the outset of his journey and finished crossing upon his return.

          We know little about the development of human habitations before the flood, but we do know that (in a kind of day line reset) the human race was again reduced by the deluge to a single location. From Babel, the Bible records that God scattered the human race over the entire globe. Obviously, some went westward while others went eastward. Had all been keeping the weekly cycle and the true Sabbath, and had they immediately met up on the other side of the world, a day line would have been readily apparent between their respective habitations.

          But isn’t that just it? Few ancient civilizations even followed the 7-day week. This fact, combined with the absence of global travel, could easily explain the lack of awareness of any day line. In today’s world, now that missionaries and colonialists have reintroduced the entire world to the 7-day week (to say nothing of the Gregorian calendar), the day line has become quite apparent, and has been informally renamed the International Date Line.

          As for God not having specified any fixed location for the day line, the Bible is our canon. If it’s not there, it doesn’t exist. We can easily see that the world’s civil authorities are regulating the IDL, and that this is within their proper sphere of authority. Also, the Bible urges us to respect the authority of our civil rulers, as appointed by God. So God’s will for the day line seems quite apparent to me. He’s kept the determination of the true Sabbath day quite easy for us, if not quite up to the technical prowess which some might have preferred.

          • Thanks, though I’m afraid I still see more holes in your reasoning that in a piece of Swiss cheese! First, for any particular day to be differentiated from the others you would have to know the point of reference. Let’s assume that the 7-day creation story is to be taken literally. Where was God during that week? At a particular place on Earth? Or everywhere? Also, the IDL being where it is is a result of the British – as a colonial imperial power – deciding where the prime meridian was – of course in their capital city! Why not in Jerusalem? Or anywhere else? Are you saying that the prime meridian being in Greenwich (and as a result the IDL being where it is) is a divine decree? And has God decided that the IDL should not be a straight line but one twisted here and there? Both the prime meridian and the IDL could be anywhere people decided. So is the Sabbath reckoning absolute or relative? Whatever your answer, a lot will result from it.

          • Don’t worry, Jag. I never expected to explain everything in one comment. Thanks for your good questions. Let me take them in order.

            First, for any particular day to be differentiated from the others you would have to know the point of reference. Let’s assume that the 7-day creation story is to be taken literally. Where was God during that week?

            By this, I understand you to be suggesting a geographical point of reference, such as an Eden day line. Firstly, it doesn’t matter where God was because the Sabbath was made for man. Secondly, your quest for such an absolute reference point seems to be based on the idea that the Sabbath is a technical phenomenon for us to figure out.

            God could indeed have created a technical Sabbath, had He so chosen, and tied it to a piece of real estate as a point of reference. As the world and its rulers went their own way, God’s people would have been left with the complicated job of figuring out and keeping track of which day is the Sabbath, everywhere on earth. It could have been a test for us, to see how badly we really wanted to keep the true Sabbath, to see if we were willing to go to the trouble of dealing with the confusing mess. However, this does not appear to be the case. Rather, we are being tested for humility, faith, and simple obedience.

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

            So, if the command for a fixed day line isn’t in the Bible, that’s because God has never chosen to give us one. The wisdom of God may appear foolish to men, but His “foolishness” shows itself wiser than our “wisdom,” if we really stop to think about it. Evidently, God has chosen a social and anthropological Sabbath, leaving the migrations and collective decisions of man to determine its reference point (the day line).

            Also, the IDL being where it is is a result of the British – as a colonial imperial power – deciding where the prime meridian was – of course in their capital city! Why not in Jerusalem? Or anywhere else? Are you saying that the prime meridian being in Greenwich (and as a result the IDL being where it is) is a divine decree? And has God decided that the IDL should not be a straight line but one twisted here and there? Both the prime meridian and the IDL could be anywhere people decided.

            It was God who first introduced a 7-day week on a round world, requiring by His sanctification of the 7th day that one day be distinguished from another. Therefore, from that time on, a day line (dividing one day from the next) must have existed in some form, as an anthropological phenomenon necessary to the keeping of God’s law. By the early 19th century, with much of the world back on the 7-day week, and with travel and communication much improved, that day line was becoming more apparent and was well known to world travelers. As early as 1844, it was intentionally adjusted by the Philippines.

            The meridians are another matter altogether. The British prime meridian (based on a 17th-century observatory) was formally recommended for worldwide use by the 1884 Meridian Conference, along with UTC, the other meridians, and our two-way longitude counting system. However, nothing was said concerning the existing land-based day line, which was essentially an unrelated phenomenon, and clearly outside the purpose of the conference.

            It is true that popular enthusiasm, not unmingled with popular misconceptions, afterward led to an attempt to shift the day line (the IDL) to a location at or near the anti-meridian. However, any potential success in this endeavour was entirely dependent on the willingness of the affected governments to go along. Notably, Tonga bucked the trend, and the IDL never did really get connected to the meridian at all. Today’s IDL trend seems to be in the opposite direction, away from the 180-degree anti-meridian.

            Today’s twisted line is, I believe, a result of God’s decision to leave the placing of the day line to the collective choices of the world’s civil authorities. Although such a line may not suit our personal tastes, it does not represent any practical difficulty. Neither does the fact that the line gets moved from time to time. That is really no harder to handle than a journey across the IDL. As a practical matter, finding the true Sabbath is as easy as asking what day is Saturday. Again, the foolishness of God is wiser…

            So is the Sabbath reckoning absolute or relative?

            I must confess that the meaning and significance of this question elude me. When the Pharisees condemned the disciples of Christ for working on the Sabbath, by plucking and winnowing the grain in their hands, were they arguing for an “absolute” Sabbath? When Jesus justified the actions of His disciples by citing the act of David and his men in eating the show bread, was He arguing for a “relative” Sabbath?

            That was about how to keep the Sabbath, but perhaps a similar error is possible regarding when to keep it? God made His Sabbath for a round world, and when the 7th day arrives with Friday sunset wherever I am, that’s when I intend to observe it. If I am in the Arctic, during a portion of the year when the sun does not rise and set each day, I’ll calculate actual (mean) noon for the winter or actual (mean) midnight for the summer, the times when (with a reasonable degree of accuracy) the sun comes closest to the horizon. God must have known this would be necessary, when He made the Sabbath in the first place.

          • Thanks, and yet again the weakest pint of your argument is iin this sentence: “Therefore, from that time on, a day line (dividing one day from the next) must have existed in some form, as an anthropological phenomenon necessary to the keeping of God’s law.” That’s a serious claim, and it comes with no evidence. All your argumentation would be perfect if you were advocating that we keep every seventh day – any seventh day n fact. But as soon as you are trying to say that a particular seventh day is more correct than another seventh day, your argument collapses. As I pointed out before, if you were shipwrecked you could not objectively decide the “correct” sabbath either. Same if you are beyond the polar circle or in outer space (and at least one Adventist has been in outer space). So if sabbath is made for man, then let’s be consistent and admit that it is also up to man to decide what we call our sabbath.

          • Jag, I cannot see why you have trouble with RG’s statement that God must have established a place where one day changes to another.

            If He had not done so, we’d still be on Day One, wouldn’t we? It seems to me that soon as the Bible mentions “the second day,” there must have been a place where the first day changed to the second day.

            Or how do you see it?

          • Dear Jag,

            You wrote:

            All your argumentation would be perfect if you were advocating that we keep every seventh day – any seventh day n fact. But as soon as you are trying to say that a particular seventh day is more correct than another seventh day, your argument collapses.

            As I read it, the very wording of the 4th Commandment requires the observance of a definite Sabbath, “the seventh day.” At the same time, the silence of the prophets in regard to a fixed reference point, or day line, clearly shows that God expects us to keep a particular day without the benefit of such a changeless, absolute point.

            You have questioned this statement of mine, made with reference to the creation of the Sabbath:

            Therefore, from that time on, a day line (dividing one day from the next) must have existed in some form, as an anthropological phenomenon necessary to the keeping of God’s law.

            You say that I have made this statement without evidence. However, I believe that my hypothetical story of Adam traveling around the globe is evidence, albeit analytical.

            I acknowledge that a known, fixed reference point, or day line, might have been necessary in order to observe a particular day with the kind of technical perfection which your way of thinking seems to demand. However, as shown by the example of Christ, His disciples, and the Pharisees, God’s purposes for the observance of His holy day do not necessarily accord with our way of thinking.

            I believe that Jesus cared, at least as deeply as the Pharisees, about how the Sabbath was to be kept, but they were demanding an “absolute” approach that actually undermined the Sabbath’s true purpose.

            In the same way, I believe that we proponents of the Saturday Sabbath care, at least as deeply as anyone, about when the Sabbath is to be kept. However, it seems to me — to us — that the kind of “absolute” approach that demands (and perhaps even postulates) a fixed reference point or day line also undermines the true purpose of the Sabbath. That is, the day we observe is to be a sign to those around us that we belong to Jehovah God, and we believe that this purpose is best served by staying with the 7th day of the week, as determined by the chosen day line orientation or reckoning of the society in which we find ourselves (i.e. Saturday in English).

            Furthermore, we do not see this as a mere option for us, but as a requirement of God’s law as correctly understood, and as interpreted by the Scriptures as well as by the facts of science and history.

          • Inge,
            Either “God … established a place where one day changes to another” (and failed to inform us where it is), or God had not established such a place. There is no practical difference between the two for us.

            RG White,
            I’m not arguing for or against a definite “seventh day”, however, as I see it now, it is very similar to what I said above. If God established a particular day as the seventh day, there should be an objective way of establishing when it falls. So far the only method that makes sense is the one proposed by “lunar Sabbath” advocates, but their Sabbath is not always a weekly one, as each month there are some extra days, so the weekly order is not fixed.
            Luckily Jesus lived in the Palestine, so he did not have an issue deciding which was the Sabbath day, but can you prove what he would do if he went to Samoa? I find it hypocritical (something Jesus took a strong stance against) when people don’t look for an objective way to determine the Sabbath but just look at what the Catholics do and pick the day before (and I’m not referring to anyone personally here).

          • Jag, in Eden, the place where the day changed from one to the other would be any place except where the first couple lived. Their day changed at sunset.

            As humanity spread across the globe, they took their sunset-to-sunset day with them. As cultures met on the other side of the globe, they would find their time keeping a day apart. That place of meeting would be equivalent to the “day line.”

            The way to know which day is the Sabbath is to consult the local calendar. The seventh day, named Saturday in the English-speaking world, is it. It has nothing to do with whether or not Catholics keep the following day. However, in practical terms, it will mean that it is the day before the day the Catholics keep, because they keep the first day of the week in honour of the resurrection.

            It really isn’t that complicated until you try to tie time keeping to a specific spot of dirt on the planet. As long as it is tied to society, it’s quite simple. And Jesus did say that “the Sabbath was made for man,” not “the Sabbath was made for the rocks and dirt.”

          • Dear Jag,

            I believe Inge said it perfectly:

            Jag, in Eden, the place where the day changed from one to the other would be any place except where the first couple lived. Their day changed at sunset.

            This would imply a day line (or whatever term might better describe the reality at that time) which would have been broadly defined, not by where it was, but by where it was not. It did not pass through the Garden of Eden.

            Although the dispersion of human habitations around the globe has narrowed the phenomenon down to a line, I believe its definition remains essentially the same. For instance, by observing the respective reckonings currently being followed in Samoa and American Samoa, we can use the process of elimination to detect a day line between them. Apply this to the rest of the inhabited world, and we could easily draw our own line on a world map.

            A question may arise here. What about Antarctica and the open ocean far from land? Why does the IDL, as seen on the map, follow a particular line there, the 180-degree anti-meridian?

            Here is my answer. Cartographers seem to love a well-defined line, but the anthropological or people-based day line (the IDL) is actually broad or relatively undefined with respect to uninhabited places. So the evident practice of cartographers is to revert to the unrelated nautical day line there. And the generally accepted nautical day line, thanks to British influence, is indeed the 180-degree Meridian.

            The result is a line, on our maps, which is really a conglomerate of two unrelated phenomena. If we understand this, it can help us to avoid confusion. Unless we are aboard ship on the open seas — or exploring Antarctica — the (180-degree meridian) nautical day line has no effect on our Sabbath observance — while the far more significant, and far less straight, land-based IDL has a long history predating (and essentially independent of) the invention of the meridians.

            This “long history” of the day line, by its very nature and definition, necessarily goes back to the creation of the weekly cycle some 6,000 years ago, and includes those periods when perhaps no one on earth was aware of its existence.

          • Inge,
            Not sure I understand – “in Eden, the place where the day changed from one to the other would be any place except where the first couple lived. Their day changed at sunset.” Those two sentences are self-contradictory. If the day “in Eden” changed at sunset, then it would actually be where they lived, not “except” where they lived. You can use your “sunset to sunset” day reckoning – unless you live outside the polar circle, but it does not help you in any way to decide when the “correct” Sabbath is. You method seems to be – just see what day people call Saturday. That means that your Sabbath is not a God-given absolute, but a product of a human compromise. That’s fine by me – just don’t claim that this day has any divine authority – it doesn’t. I am NOT arguing that Sabbath is not made for man, so not sure why you keep repeating this. You are just proving that Sabbath can be any day we decide should be Sabbath, and it could be two different days on two neighbouring islands that lie on different sides of the IDL. What would you do if you were living beyond the polar circle? You could still use the local calendar, but your “sunset to sunset” method would go out the window. But I guess it would not be a problem, once we get rid of the God-given absolute, we are free to do what we want, after all Sabbath is made for man. This is not the problem, the problem is that you will always have people who agree with you and those who have an alternative method. How do you bring those people together? The arguments I have seen here, brought up by both sides, do just the opposite.

            RG White,
            Of course, if you had people living in just one spot on the planet, the location of the IDL would not matter. What would matter, though, is the location of that spot! What if the original Eden (if there was one) was in Samoa?

          • Hi Jag,

            I hope you don’t mind if, in addition to what you have written to me, I also respond to some of what you have addressed to Inge. She will answer you herself, I’m sure, but grappling with ideas fascinates me. Besides, there’s an overlap.

            So, let’s go back to the time when the entire human race was living in one place, the Garden of Eden. Sunset was circling the globe continuously. Every time it arrived at the Garden, it was introducing the next day. Therefore, it (sunset) must always have crossed what would later come to be called the “day line” during its passage around the rest of the world.

            Now, that day line was not a physical thing, to be found in any particular place. Nor was it tied to any geographical feature, as the silence of the prophets (combined with Amos 3:7) shows us that God did not intend to fix its location. Rather, it was a social and anthropological phenomenon, created by God’s decision to mandate a 7-day week on a round world.

            This being the case, the absence of any human population on most of the planet would have left the day line without anything to precisely define it — except with respect to the Garden of Eden where people actually lived. When I say that the line did not pass through the Garden, this simply means that the entire Garden was on one day at a time, except for what must have been an extremely brief period while sunset was making its way across it.

            While real, the day line is nevertheless an abstract concept. It started out extremely broad, taking in all longitudes but those passing through the Garden. Later, as the human population spread around the world, the day line was gradually narrowed down to something more closely resembling an actual line. Its presence today can be detected by a one-day difference in the reckoning of neighbouring societies.

            Had Adam and Eve started out in Samoa, then the day line would have begun as something located at all longitudes but those passing through Samoa. However, the development of today’s day line (or IDL) was not affected by the location of man’s first home after creation. Rather, its development began with man’s first home after the flood, and continued with the patterns of man’s worldwide migrations from there. Then, as few ancient societies had retained the 7-day week, the day line’s further development was greatly affected by patterns in the way the 7-day week was reintroduced to most of the world. That is how it ended up being in the vicinity of the Pacific when awareness of its existence began to dawn in the modern era.

            It is not necessary for everyone to fully grasp these rather abstract concepts. All we have to do, as Inge has suggested, is observe the 7th day (Saturday) of any place in which we find ourselves. This does not remove the authority behind the Sabbath, as you have suggested, because as human beings, we are not all in an equally non-authoritative position.

            I find the Bible quite clear that God has ordained the civil authorities for a purpose, and that He expects us to respect the authority which He has delegated to them. We understand that, when government begins to mandate or prohibit religious practices, or to trample on the rights of individual conscience, it steps outside its legitimate sphere of authority. However, regulating the keeping of time, by collectively setting the day line (in the absence of any divine directive) is something which I find to be well within their purview, where the Christian is required by God to show proper respect, and to submit to the decisions of government. Thus, there is real God-given authority behind, not only the choice of the 7th day of the week as a Sabbath, but also behind the determination of which day is the 7th in any given society.

            While human beings in government do have the power to indirectly choose which day is the Sabbath, in much of the world, their legitimate choices are necessarily limited to two. Even far around the world from the true orient, there are only two possible reckonings of the weekly cycle that can be traced back to creation in an unbroken cycle — the reckoning of the easterly migrants from Babel, and that of the westerly migrants.

            Aside from government, “we” — as churches, church denominations, groups or individuals — have no right or power to choose our own Sabbath, except perhaps in extreme situations such as space travel. Even in the Arctic, I believe there is only one correct method to approximate an actual sunset as closely as possible. May I ask, do you have any actual experience with the Arctic summer or winter?

          • RG White,

            I really appreciate your contribution. I am trying not to take sides here, but if I did, I feel that your arguments would be easily demolished. I’d like to suggest an exercise to you: try for a moment to argue for “the other Sabbath”, and I’m sure you will see that using your method you will be able to do it just as convincingly (or unconvincingly, depending on the point of view). All it takes is a lot of unproven assumptions. One of them is linking the Sabbath to Eden. This is a strange assumption: you can’t be sure whether literal Eden existed, or where it was. And remember – one of the Ten Commandments traditions links the Sabbath to the exodus rather than creation, which would make the “biblical prime meridian” in the Middle East instead of London – and obviously during the estimated time of Exodus there was a long established human civilisation in Australasia. The only good model that an absolute Sabbath fits in is the flat earth – one that does not allow for a IDL or a polar circle – just like the it is discussed in details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_cosmology. The way I see it as soon as you accept spherical Earth, there is no room for a universal sunset-to-sunset weekly Sabbath. As for the polar circles, I come from one of the frosty countries – not as close to the pole as to experience polar night and day, but close enough to know that months can pass between one sunset and the next: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_night
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Midnight_sun

            As for the civil authorities, it’s again an argument that doesn’t work to support your claims. It is not the role of civil authorities to tell you which day to worship on. You can pick your own, and the governments should accept it. Otherwise they would be discriminating, and wherever Christians – including Adventists – are discriminating, they protest loudly.

        • Dear Jag,

          Thank you for the well-intended suggestions. Truly I think that, in principle, I ought to return them to you for your own consideration. This would include:

          1) A deliberate effort to open your mind to new ideas,

          2) Prayerful reflection,

          3) Going back over the answers we have given to your questions, in order to comprehend their true import and meaning.

          There are several factors in your latest response that frankly amaze me:

          1) Your assumption that we have not looked at the matter from every angle, and especially from the other side. This conversation has been going on far longer than you have been a part of it, and we could not have answered you as we did, had we not previously considered the matter rather thoroughly.

          2) Your continued suggestions that the history and facts of the Bible cannot be taken literally. To me, that kind of thinking would make this entire discussion meaningless.

          3) Your evident failure to grasp the fact that today’s IDL has developed from the location of man’s first home after the flood, the following migration patterns, and then the way in which the 7-day week was reintroduced to most of the world. Even J. N. Andrews understood it was mere happenstance that the IDL and the 180-degree meridian both ended up in the Pacific at all.

          With this, I’ll not try to explain things to you further at present, unless you have additional questions. Thank you for the opportunity to put into words, one more time and in a slightly different way, the things which we most surely believe.

          If you find yourself going over my answers, in particular, and if you wish to see actual Bible verses to support what I have said is in the Bible, I shall be happy to oblige.

          • Dear RG White,

            I never said that you did not look at the matter from every angle. I’m sure you have, in fact – and so have those who have come to very different conclusions from yours. I suppose the reason why is that different (and just as impossible to prove) assumptions had been made. And, in fact, I had to open my mind to new ideas, previously impossible to imagine. One of them was to re-examine the interpretation of the Bible, and I have discovered that its literal interpretation often leads to absurd conclusions. I probably have to agree with you that unwillingness to consider different views and changing our own renders any discussion meaningless. As to your claim that “today’s IDL has developed from the location of man’s first home after the flood, the following migration patterns, and then the way in which the 7-day week was reintroduced to most of the world”, as far as I can see, has no basis in reality. The IDL is where it is for one reason only: it is the least populated part of the world – and even then the line is not straight but bent here and there to make people’s life easier. What is absurd in this case is that people in Samoa and American Samoa (or any other islands on opposite sides of the IDL should celebrate the Sabbath on two different days. I accept that you believe what you believe, but surely you cannot expect everyone to take something as truth just because you believe it? You belief may be true or not, it’s just that there is not enough evidence to support it, which makes differing views just as plausible (if not more). If I am wrong, then feel free to provide biblical verses to support your views – or any rational and objective evidence.

          • Dear Jag,

            I sense that you do not recognize that a de facto international date line existed a long time before modern nations ever agreed on an IDL. The people groups who migrated from Asia kept Asian time, and when the missionaries came from the same direction, they fortuitously re-instituted the 7-day week according to Asian time.

            The Americas might have kept Asian time, except that European settlers in relatively modern times instituted their local calendar there. (If the Americas had kept on with Asian time, the current IDL would be in the Atlantic, rather than the Pacific.)

            At any rate, upon the adoption of European time in the Americas, there was a de facto date line in the Pacific whether it was officially recognized or not. Traveling from the Americas, mariners would eventually run into populations that were on Asian time.

            You are correct in that the modern agreement on the IDL that curves around islands and other land masses is a convenience. It has been adjusted several times for convenience. However, it is also a necessity on a round world, in order to have any meaningful calendar.

            It seems that you may not understand that the current dispute over Sabbath keeping in Samoa has nothing to do with the belief in a biblical seventh-day Sabbath. Both sides profess to agree that the seventh day is the Sabbath.

            However, one side defines the seventh day according to the local calendar — as do over 99.9999% of the world’s population, including Seventh-day Adventists in the rest of the world. The only folks who do not define the seventh day according to the local calendar are Tongan Adventists and certain administrators in the South Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists and the few islanders in Samoa and elsewhere whom they persuaded to follow their recommendation.

            So the dispute is basically over who has the right to determine the location of the International Date Line. A related question is whether or not a country may legitimately re-align itself in respect to the date line.

            If the church has sovereignty over the date line, then it can arbitrarily decide where the date line ought to go, and the SPD has essentially done this, decreeing that the 180th Meridian is the only “correct” date line. That’s neither founded in the Bible nor in history or international agreements. It is a completely arbitrary decision.

            We have seen arguments that imply that nations do not have the right to re-align themselves in respect to the date line, but those argument are essentially irrelevant because the SPD accepts Samoa’s re-alignment in 1892 – except that they call it a “correction,” thereby asserting that the 180th Meridian is the only “correct” date line. That same reasoning has sanctified first-day keeping for Seventh-day Adventists in Tonga which never experienced an IDL shift.

            On this site, we have taken the position that God gave the Sabbath to man, i.e. society, and not to the land. Therefore a nation’s re-alignment to the IDL is not a problem. Seventh-day Adventists still keep the seventh day according to the local calendar, i.e. the seventh day in their society.

            To argue otherwise, one must assume one of two things:
            1) That God established the IDL at the 180th Meridian, which is pure fiction.
            2) That the Sabbath is tied to the land (which SPD representatives have argued) and thus no local calendar that is the result of re-alignment to the date line is recognized for Sabbath-keeping purposes.

            Currently those Samoan Seventh-day Adventists who follow the directive of the SPD keep Sunday, claim it to be the “real seventh day” because of its continuity with the Sabbath on the other side of the date line or “the same Sabbath” which they used to keep. There’s just a little flaw with that reasoning: In their society, the day they “used to keep” is Saturday. Now they keep Sunday. So for all practical purposes it’s not the same day at all. They are keeping Sunday, which is the Sabbath on the other side of the date line, while ordering their lives according to the local calendar the rest of the week.

            We believe that the simplest solution is generally the correct one. And we believe that God has not made it difficult to determine which day is the seventh day that His people are to keep as a sign of their covenant relationship with Him. It’s simple indeed when one consults the local calendar.

            (Your repeated assertion that it depends on which day the Catholics keep ignores the fact that there is a local calendar that is coordinated with the world calendar and not owned by any church group. So you may stop repeating that argument.)

          • Dear Jag,

            If we are serious about learning the truth, I’m afraid that our bigger problem is often not what we don’t know, but it’s the things we think we know that aren’t so.

            “No international organization, nor any treaty between nations, has fixed the straight line segments and their junctions of the International Date Line drawn by cartographers.” (See “IDL.”)

            So, the so-called International Date Line is not the result of any convention or international agreement. If we accept this as fact, then that leaves open the question of just what is the nature of the IDL, as well as exactly where (and on what authority) cartographers get the information that goes into their drawing of it on the map.

            Searching the internet for answers, we run across a lot of questionable information. We read things like, “The IDL generally follows the 180-degree meridian, with allowances for twists and turns where the meridian crosses land.” Many people interpret such statements to suggest, contrary to what we have already accepted as fact, that some sort of international convention or agreement ties the IDL (at least loosely) to the meridian, and that said agreement also specifies the conditions for any exceptions to that supposed connection. However, this entire idea seems to be an “urban legend” or popular misconception. Where is any record of such an agreement to be found? It’s not in the proceedings or resolutions of the 1884 Washington Meridian Conference. We may read right through those, and find only the barest of mentions concerning a day line, and even that does not seem to be a reference to our population-based (IDL) day line, but rather some kind of nautical convention for ships. The resolutions themselves recommend only a prime meridian with its UTC (a.k.a. “universal day”), a bidirectional longitude counting system from there, and a meridian at every 15 degrees around the globe. Even recommending the use of standard time (time zones) was rejected as outside the purpose of the conference, while no day line or IDL was even so much as suggested or discussed! (See “Meridian Conference Proceedings.”)

            What we see, when we view the IDL on the map, appears to be a combination line. Far from any inhabited lands, the cartographer’s IDL seems to be the (180-degree meridian) nautical date line used by certain navies and as a suggestion for sea captains. If not, it is merely an arbitrary line chosen by the cartographer. (See “Nautical Date Line.”) Nearer land, we are seeing the actual International Date Line (unrelated to the nautical date line and/or the meridian) which the government of any nearby country can unilaterally alter, while cartographers and the international community simply accept and recognise the change.

            This raises the question of where the IDL came from in the first place, in the absence of any convention or agreement to bring it into existence. The Bible actually lays the foundation for us to discern the answer, provided we follow the generally accepted SDA method of Bible interpretation — to take everything literally to the extent that it is not obviously intended to be otherwise.

            Genesis, chapters 1 & 2, tell us in some detail how God made the world (which we know to be round) in six days, and rested on the 7th, blessing the 7th day and making it holy. Exodus 20:8-11, the 4th Commandment, specifies the implications of this, revealing that God requires His people to keep a definite Sabbath day on the 7th day of every week. At the same time, the Bible is utterly silent in regard to any fixed global reference point for determining where each day (including the 7th) is to begin for the planet. Moreover, Amos 3:7 makes it clear that, if God had established any such fixed reference point (or day line) He would have revealed the fact to His servants the prophets.

            So, in point of fact, what have we established so far? God has asked us to keep the definite 7th day of the week, everywhere in the world, but has declined to fix the necessary point of reference for us. The only reference point we have, that has any authority behind it at all, is the IDL. Yet the IDL itself is based on no international agreement or convention, but each country’s government is free to change it at will. Moreover, I don’t think it’s too big a stretch to say that the origin of the IDL is exactly the same as what determines its location today — each society choosing its own orientation (easterly migrant or westerly migrant from Babel, which Genesis 11:8 gives as our common point of origin) for its reckoning of the 7-day week.

            I trust you see the problem here. We cannot simply say that we are each free to choose our own Sabbath — that there is no authority behind any particular day — because God explicitly requires the keeping of a definite day (the 7th of the week) everywhere in the world, on penalty of sin. At the same time, we may search in vain for Him to directly specify for us the reference point (the day line) necessary to our obedience to His command.

            The only real solution I can find to the dilemma is this:

            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. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:1-2 NKJV

            With this Scripture passage, God has clearly placed us all, as individual Christians or as churches and denominations, under the authority of the civil rulers, provided they are ruling within their proper sphere of jurisdiction. Setting the day line (or IDL), for the purpose of keeping order in the reckoning of days and dates, is in my view quite clearly a public and basically secular matter. Its effect on our Sabbath observance is merely incidental to its inherently secular purpose. Therefore, it seems God has chosen to use the governments of the world, collectively, to give us a reference point (the IDL) which we must respect in our Sabbath observance.

            So, Jag, do you see any problems with any of my specific assertions, or with the specific reasoning which I have employed? If so, do you have any better ideas? Given the divine authority behind the command to observe a particular day as the Sabbath of Jehovah, simply saying we are free to choose our own day is not really an option, is it? Allowing the SDA Church administration the power to choose a day for us hardly seems any better. If we were willing to allow the Church to choose our “Sabbath,” I’d say we might as well be Roman Catholics and keep Sunday everywhere in the world, not just in a few countries.

        • Dear Inge,
          Thank you for your lengthy explanation.
          You are correct – I do not recognise that there was an IDL before the IDL. People lived where the IDL now is for thousands of years and kept their local calendars. The western calendar is a result of the colonial period – whoever dominates, can impose their calendar. We are all victims of this. Do you really mean to say that people in Samoa and in American Samoa should have their Sabbath (or Sunday, if they are Sunday keepers) on the same day? Please answer with a yes or a no.
          I think we are unnecessarily mixing the question of determining the Sabbath with the question of calendar. The calendar we use has nothing to do with biblical reckoning of time (except for a seven-day week). I am not arguing for or against keeping the Sabbath here, what I have been talking about is a way of determining when the Sabbath is. Are you saying that the Sabbath is depending on the local calendar? If so, if the government changes the reckoning of the days of the week (like recently) does it mean that the Sabbath day changes as well? This would mean that the Sabbath is not the seventh day, or at least no always. Or does it mean that the Sabbath until the change of date was kept on the wrong day? Either solution casts a big shadow on how you understand how God works. I don’t think your argument about 99.9999% of the world’s population is valid at all either. That percentage does not live anywhere close to the IDL, so they simply do not have the dilemma that Samoans (and some other Pacific Islanders) do.
          Also, I really don’t think that, as you put it, “the dispute is basically over who has the right to determine the location of the International Date Line”. Not at all, I don’t think anyone questions that the state powers can regulate this. They could even introduce a 10-day week if they wanted to. This should not in any way determine when religious believers keep their holy day. Think about it – despite the same official calendars the Catholics, the Orthodox and the Jews living in the same country keep their own, separate ways of determining when Easter/Passover is. In fact, it only makes sense to keep a day because it is a special day, and not because of a government legislation.
          Your claim that “God gave the Sabbath to man, i.e. society, and not to the land” has some validity. But that means that there is no objective way to determine when the real Sabbath is. How do you propose to resolve this? By a majority vote? By allowing each church member to keep the day they are convinced is correct? Because if there is no objective way, if the society decides, then you will always have differing opinions. That the Sabbath in most places is called Saturday seems to be a coincidence to me. It could as well be called Sunday, Wednesday, or any other name. Are you a Sabbath keeper or Saturday keeper?
          And finally, I still have not heard your answer to my question about being shipwrecked on a desert island having lost count of time. Your “local calendar” argument suggests that in such a situation you would be free to pick any seventh day as your Sabbath. Is that correct?
          I will try not to repeat the argument about picking one day before the Catholics, but I have to repeat that we would have no dispute here if biblical authors have predicted a spherical Earth instead of believing in a flat one.

  20. I think many of us on here Adventists MISUNDERSTAND Tukia. I admire those who defend Saturday as the Seventh day of the week – which is true for the rest of the world BUT not here in Samoa!!!

    I hope that you’re aware of the change of DAYS that was implemented by the government of Samoa in 2011 to suit “business trading hours” with NZ etc. This Sabbath-keeping issue is for Samoa alone and does not affect elsewhere in the world unless a government decides to change the days/dates to suit “business trading hours” like Samoa did.

    Samoa made this effective at the end of 2011. I too myself was confused because I visited Samoa 2 years ago when everyone (SDA) was observing the same Sabbath – Saturday. Today, I dread to see our members being divided by this CHANGE! One group upholds the same Saturday (before the change) and the other accepts the new Saturday (after the change). Hence this change made by the government wasn’t made because of the earth’s rotation whatsoever, this change was made to suit the Samoan economic system – man made change. Therefore nothing was changed in the church if you guys are following. The Saturday 2 years ago, is still the SAME Saturday we Adventists in Samoa observe TODAY. I hope you guys understand that. The SDA church here did not change the Sabbath to a Sunday we chose to remain firm to the ORIGINAL Saturday which now is a SUNDAY (sadly) because of the change of days/dates made by the government in 2011!

    This decision made by the government really tested the Adventist belief! Please understand that the SDA church did NOT change anything! The government did! Remember that! We all worshiped on the same Saturday 2 years ago and we still worship on that same Saturday today only now that it’s a Sunday because of the change!! Don’t be misguided by false changes! The devil knows of course that Sunday is the very day that we Adventist strongly preach against as a day of worship. Do you see how clever he is! He wants to confuse us with our very own teachings. He still finds ways to confuse us! We were targeted and we were separated! All I pray is for the government to put God first before MONEY and restore the original days of the week! If not, we all know the truth in our hearts and we must maintain it for generations to come!

    The new Saturday today now falls on a Friday. Our Saturday keepers believe they are observing the Sabbath which was actually a Friday before the change! All I see here is the devil trying to deviate us from the true Sabbath! So why not Friday?! Are you following? Sunday, Friday any day except Saturday! We are so consumed into this idea of SUNDAY being the 1st day of the week etc etc which was true before but not anymore here in Samoa! God did not say “remember SATURDAY as the Sabbath day” God who knows beyond our imagination said “REMEMBER the 7th day” YES! – and this day we’ve observed all our lives was changed by man in 2011!!!! God knew this would happen! The devil is so clever guys! His plans to confuse us, turn us against one another and separate us because we are the only truth that exist today! Isn’t that good news! We’re on the right track people. But when we wander an inch far from the light of his word the devil attacks and we are divided and DIVIDED WE FALL.

    The Sunday today has replaced the original Saturday. The SDA church here remains true to the ORIGINAL Saturday! This change made by the government was not RIGHT!!! I ask our Saturday keepers don’t be fooled by the name SUNDAY….this is where we go wrong!! Didn’t we all observe the same Saturday before the change? So why adopt the new change imposed by people who really don’t give a damn about the Sabbath! Hold on to the principles established by God and his people from the very BEGINNING and we can’t go wrong with changes made by the devil today! HERE IN SAMOA the days of the week come in two now! Its either you choose to follow the original days or the NEW days of the week. I’d stick to the original because of the SABBATH and I can promise you no matter how hard the devil tries to change things the TRUTH will never change! Like I said this Saturday-keeping is true for the rest of the world BUT not here in Samoa! Well not anymore not until the original is rightfully restored!

  21. Teau Puna, I couldn’t said it any better. Praise God for your genuine concern and sharing. My prayer is for us to diligently seek God for the power to enabled us to humble ourselves before the Lord to give us a heart of flesh and rid of the heart of stone. Thank You Jesus.

  22. Dear Teau,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings regarding this issue. I can understand the confusion which many of you in Samoa are experiencing. I believe you are correct in saying that this situation tests our beliefs as Seventh-day Adventists. It forces us to step back and consider the question of how we may correctly determine which day is the true 7th-day Sabbath anywhere in the world.

    Here are my observations:

    1) As you said, the devil is very clever. You may feel that the Samoa government’s decision to move the International Date Line is to blame, but we (the church) already had a serious problem in Tonga for a long time before that. It’s just that most of us were unaware of what was happening there. Thankfully, if we trust in the Lord, He will help us to overcome the devil’s wiles.

    2) Based on a thorough analysis of this whole question, made in consultation with many others who appear to be free from any potential conflict of interest in the matter, I have concluded that the old Saturday in Samoa no longer exists.

    While it is clear that God created the day line (now known as the International Date Line) it is equally clear that He did not specify a fixed location for it. He has allowed the IDL to develop naturally, and has left it to the prerogative of the civil authorities of each country to decide its course. Therefore, the Samoa government had the God-given authority to do what they did in moving the IDL, and the old Saturday truly no longer exists.

    Since the old Saturday in Samoa no longer exists, the attempt to observe it — even with the very best of intentions — actually becomes a fiction. It is really Sunday keeping, even though you do not know it.

    It’s a little bit like the story of the emperor’s new clothes. Everyone had been tricked into thinking that the emperor was wearing beautiful new clothes, but he was really naked. Once the emperor understood that, he quickly found a more private place to go and get some clothes on.

    In the same way, once you see that the old Saturday no longer exists, and that the day you are observing as a “Sabbath” is really Sunday, I believe that you will be quite eager to join the Saturday Sabbath keepers in observing the new (now the only) Saturday.

    God bless you!

    • R.G. White, Your comment and long reply further complicate this issue and false details on the IDL a creation of God? I pray that we are not being sincerely believing in our own selfwisdom but rather the the God given wisdom that will simplified this issue and all other issues as well. We must be very careful of our attitudes when it comes to these matters for we can lead the unlearned and the feeble minded astray into the hand of the enemy, and God will not take that lightly for He is the only true Shepherd and He gave His life for His Sheeps. Arrogance and pride will play a vital role in preserving the cloud of perplexity that will harden the heart to repent when the truth is apparent to the understanding. We must recognize and act immediately with the humbleness and humility of heart and be saved to Life Eternal. Remember, God the Son did not consider the shame on the cross but gladdly endure the cross so we might have Eternal Life. Thank You Jesus. Cheers!!!

  23. Brother R. G. White & Others,

    I would like to invite you and all those in this forum to PRAY for me (Steve) here in AUSTRALIA & another 27 evangelists who are about to start a series of Evangelistic Meetings here in SYDNEY. There are 28 venues that covers SYDNEY and the programs will start soon on 3rd May 2013. This is the website for this program:

    http://www.lastempire.com.au/web/

    We need your prayers for the Holy Spirit to help us and also work in the hearts of people so many will come to know Jesus, our Creator & Redeemer, through these meetings.

    Jesus is Coming soon. Let us work in unity for the night is coming.

    Thank You & God Bless…SDA brother Steve

    • Hi Steve,

      This series has been already added to our prayer list, saw this on Facebook on pastor Lloyd’s profile. Thank you for the request for prayer and the reaching out in recognition that the Samoan Saturday Sabbath keepers are still part of God’s end-time church.

      You guys in Australia must be happy to hold missions and not have to give the extra explanations of why the Sabbath has been changed to Sunday!

      God’s blessings from Samoa,
      Lance Cutts

      • To Lance Cutts,

        Thank you for adding us to your prayer list. Let us continue to pray for one another for God to intervene and save souls to His kingdom.

        God Bless…brother Steve

  24. Amen! And may our evangelists soon be able to preach the same message in Tonga, Samoa, and in all other places.

  25. Hi Jag

    I looked through your posts and it seems that you present yourself to be too clever for faith. I do understand where this mentality comes from. Western society has almost done away with God in all levels of education and sadly this vital relationship ingredient is missing in many Seventh-day Adventists as well.

    I have faith to believe that God created stars in order to reach me and amaze me with HIS handiwork. I have faith to believe that God created this world in 6 literal days. I have faith to believe that my little 2-year-old daughter who drowned just before the dateline change will be raised when Christ returns. I have faith to believe that others who have been dead and forgotten for thousands of years will also be resurrected at Christs return.
    I come from western society where the spiritual pollution of evolution mixed with Bible truths is prevalent in people who pride their intelligence above the faith which God calls us to have in HIM.

    Living here in the islands I am blessed to be dwelling with a people not tainted with the superior intelligence pride syndrome, a people that find it easy to have faith in God.
    I believe that this is why Satan has attacked God’s Sabbath so strongly in the islands, because islanders with their faith and generosity are able to form a real bond with God and have HIS power released in their lives because of it. Sadly God’s leaders in the island culture are wrongly exalted, along with God, and this has led to the apostacy now prevalent in Samoa and for a long time in Tonga.

    Jag, a mix of truth and error (Bible and evolution) is apostacy as well. The devil also knows the Bible from cover to cover. It is the faith ingredient that allows God’s power to ignite in our lives, standing for HIS truth opens up the blessings from heaven.

    Your words, although put together with obvious intellect, ring hollow because they lack an evidence of faith in God. Give your heart over to God not just your mind!

    • Lance Cutt, when a person is deceived he/she will not realize he/she has been deceived. Is only by the power of God by the Holy Spirit will break the chains of deception and free the person one again. The details in your comment are totally misleading and further more confuse the issue. May we humbly go before the Lord in humility and diligently seeking His face so the scales on our eyes be removed. Western Samoa and the church administration are on the mark, and i pray every day for the discernment we need and our Leaders in the Samoa Mission and SPD that God will continue blessing them with gift of discernment to lead the Samoa mission members.

      • Hi Asoleiuga
        Keep praying bro, it is going to get harder and harder to stay Spiritually alive, while staying immersed in the false worship of the world.

        Prayer will be the big thing that gets us through. Church leaders don’t hold our salvation, that is all about prayer and how long we take to listen. Blessings and have a happy Sunday!

        • This issue is already resolved by the ordained bodies (SM & SPD) with much prayers and the directing arm of the Holy Spirit. It has now made transparently clear the true intension of the opposing party and it is now in God’s mercyful hand to sift the true ones that will put down the prideful shackles and return to the fold. With further dialogue on this issue will only further deepened the complexity of minds. May our hearts sincerely yerns for the Holy Spirit’s continue abidence in our hearts daily.

    • Lance, I believe deeply in freedom of religion, and even though I disagree with many manifestations of various religions, I never claim to know better or be more intelligent than my opponents. However, I have seen people accusing me of being “of the devil” just because they could not find arguments to counter mine. I do not consider such a position to be a Christian one. In this discussion all I expect is consistency, rational reasoning and honesty. I hope this is not too much to ask?

      • Hi Jag
        You wrote

        However, I have seen people accusing me of being “of the devil” just because they could not find arguments to counter mine. I do not consider such a position to be a Christian one. In this discussion all I expect is consistency, rational reasoning and honesty. I hope this is not too much to ask?

        Yes I did talk about the devil knowing the Bible cover to cover. If you have this quarter’s lesson, sunday’s lesson from the book of Amos is thought provoking. Hate evil and Love good. The creation story definitely requires faith to believe that God is so big and amazing that He was able to speak this little old earth into existence in 6 literal days. The devil would have us believe this is not possible and he presents his own concept of evolution.

        All of Gods truths and HIS law have been attacked by compromise. Nothing is different in your presentation of a mix of evolution and creation. You label a belief in creation as “Blind faith.” Real Faith is not easy to explain, and it is relationship that makes it clear, so if this does not fit into your rational reasoning, then it is something I cant explain to you and I would never be able to explain to you why it is so important, especially in these end times to stand for HIS true Sabbath as a sign to the world of what HE made Holy at the beginning of creation (not evolution)

        My big question would have to be “How can you ignite the power of Christ in your life when you cant fully trust in HIS creation and redemption Biblical accounts?” I am sorry but I don’t comprehend why people want to do God in halfs, instead of totally believing and submitting to HIM!

  26. Steve,

    Don’t be surprised if a Samoan ask why Adventists in Samoa now keep Sunday & not Saturday.

    Talofa All,

    It seems to me that the SPD had plans to pull Samoa into Sunday Keeping to cover Tonga’s Sunday keeping long before the IDL change.

    In the first IDL change, Samoa aligned with America & kept the American Sabbath, in the second IDL change Samoa aligned with NZ & OZ and should be keeping the NZ Sabbath, not the American Sabbath.

    Please note :

    *The Independent State of Samoa has the legitimate right to move the IDL like any other World government.

    *Whether the IDL is moved East or West Saturday is still the Seventh Day and not Sunday.

    * The Sunday keeping Adventists movement in Samoa will may grumble and disagree.

    * Whenever I’m in Samoa I will keep the Seventh Day Sabbath which falls on Saturday.

    *In recent posts from TK he suggested that the Seventh Day Sabbath should be on Friday – then why did the SDA church Missionaries keep Sabbath and not Friday or Sunday?

  27. Jag,
    You ask for Biblical verses to support the Saturday Sabbath-keepers’ position but in fact the Saturday Sabbath-keepers don’t need to do that because theirs is the orthodox Seventh-day Adventist position which has a multitude of Biblical texts to support it.
    Those who believe Sunday-keeping is acceptable in the Pacific are the ones who need to come up with Biblical support for keeping the first day of the week while the Bible commands us to keep the seventh day over and over again. Can you help with Bible texts to that effect?

    If the Sunday-keeping Adventists in Samoa were to appear in the courts of the land to defend their claim to being Seventh-day Adventists, the first question would be, “Which day do you keep?” Would the courts accept their theory that Sunday is really the seventh day of the week in Samoa and Saturday is really Friday? I don’t think so.

    • Did I really ask for verses supporting Saturday Sabbath keepers position? Think I may have been misunderstood. I was looking for some kind of support for a view that people on two neighbouring islands should celebrate their sabbath on two consecutive days instead of one. As to your court argument, I am not familiar with Samoan legal system, but in a modern democracy I would not exect the court to be able to tell any church what calendar to use. Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Orthodox Christians, Jews and many others use their own traditional calendars for religious purposes while harmoniously living in the same society and following a civil calendar as well.

      • Hi Jag,

        If we take the reality of the date line seriously, then when churches on neighboring islands on different sides of the date line celebrate the Sabbath on the same day of the week, such as Saturday (or Sunday), they are celebrating it on the same day. (Please forgive the redundancy.)

        When one church celebrates the Sabbath on Saturday and the other on Sunday, then they are celebrating the Sabbath on two consecutive days. We do not support such a practice.

        Your question is not just applicable to Sabbath keeping. It is also applicable to every other day of the week. And, frankly, if you cannot understand why the days of the week are not the same on neighboring islands on separate sides of the date line, I’m not sure we have a good foundation for an intelligent discussion. Yet I believe this is where much of the problem in the Sabbath discussions comes from – an inability or unwillingness to recognize the date line as something real and necessary. “Real” would imply that the days really are different on different sides of the date line.

        • You’ve nailed it! If we take what you say to the logical conclusion, then it is OK for France and Germany (2 neighbouring countries) to celebrate their sabbath (or have any other day of the week) on the same day, but for an unexplained reason it is not OK for Samoa and American Samoa to do exactly the same thing. Sounds a bit like worshipping a different God, or at least God has different requirements in different parts of the world, if you excuse a bit of innocent sarcasm. I accept that this is what you and some others believe, but there are people who think differently. And honestly, I do not expect one side to convince the other. There is no right and wrong here, just different assumptions and different resulting beliefs.

          • Jag, I’m afraid that what I said and what you say I said are two very different things. Your response appears to totally ignore the reality of the date line.

            I regard the date line as real – which means that it is a genuine dividing line between days. And the seventh day on one side is the seventh day on the other side as well. And on each side, the seventh day is called Saturday.

            The analogy of Germany and France to Samoa and Western Samoa is absurd in this context. There’s no date line between them.

            No, God does not have different requirements on different sides of he date line. They’re exactly the same on each side.

            I believe you are right about “different assumptions,” but these assumptions ought to be testable.

            We assume that a date line is both necessary and real on a spherical planet. We further believe that Christians should live in harmony with the society around them as long as this is not out of harmony with God’s law. Thus we accept the international date line, as agreed on by the nations of the world. We accept it as the dividing line between days. And this acceptance is based on a solid scientific foundation – seeing there has to such a line somewhere.

            We believe that the assumption that the 180th Meridian is the “real dateline,” as proponents of regarding Sunday as the seventh day in certain islands claim, is not logical, does not accord with history, international conventions, law, science or the Bible.

            In your previous comment you essentially asked a basic question as to why there are different days so close together on different sides of the date line. (It doesn’t matter whether the question concerns Sunday or Saturday or Monday or Friday.) So I’m giving you some links for you to investigate:
            How the International Date Line Works on Youtube is very helpful, and it’s worthwhile watching several times. Note that for a very brief time each day, both sides of the date line are on the same day. The video demonstrates quite clearly how Sunday or Monday is the same day on each side of the IDL, even though it may look like different days. Same is true for any other day of the week, including Saturday, the seventh day. It’s just one of the phenomenon we live with on a spherical planet.

            Related to the IDL is an explanation of Time Zones, also on Youtube. You just have to remember that the explanation is very simplified, since time zones zig-zag, just like the IDL does. But it helps to understand the concept of time on a spherical planet.

            Also note the explanation an the illustration at Arguments For Keeping Sunday as Sabbath in Samoa Examined. It uses the illustration from the Wikipedia article.

            Where Did We Get Our IDL? is RG White’s explanation in more detail.

            And if you’re interested in such things, there’s quite a bit of history associated with the IDL.

          • Jumping into this discussion, there are a couple of statements Jag has made that I makes me curious as to your reasoning. One is:

            Jag: “What is absurd in this case is that people in Samoa and American Samoa (or any other islands on opposite sides of the IDL should celebrate the Sabbath on two different days.”

            Why do you find this “absurd”? If a line, albeit arbitrarily placed, makes it two different days then why would they not keep the Sabbath accordingly?

  28. We have been trying to show, by combining pertinent Bible verses with the facts of the International Date Line and with careful reasoning, that God requires the keeping of a definite Sabbath — and that this definite Sabbath is Saturday (sunset Friday to sunset Saturday) everywhere in the world. Another way to say this is that God’s Sabbath commandment requires us to respect the IDL (as the only reference point with any God-given authority behind it) in our Sabbath observance.

    I thought for a moment that Jag was tacitly admitting that we had succeeded in this endeavour. ;) As for making a distinction between successfully supporting the Saturday Sabbath (which I hope we have done) and showing that the keeping of the true Sabbath will happen nearly 24 hours earlier in Samoa than in American Samoa on the other side of the IDL, I believe that they are one and the same. Friday sunset comes nearly 24 hours sooner in Samoa than in American Samoa. This difference is due to the respective decisions of the civil authorities of the two countries, to whom God has asked us to be subject. To arrogate IDL setting authority to ourselves, as a church, is out of harmony with the Scriptures, and it sets up a conflict of interest by the fact that we are effectively choosing our own sabbath day — a practice for which we tend (hypocritically?) to vilify the Roman Catholic Church.

    Thank you, Inge, for the links to the explanatory videos regarding time zones and the IDL. They are quite effective in sharing the concepts. However, as you mentioned, a part of that effectiveness seems to come from oversimplification of the facts for greater clarity. As a result, not everything said in the videos is quite accurate. Here are two necessary corrections (there may be others):

    1) The actual IDL does not follow the 180-degree meridian. It goes wherever the collective decisions of the world’s governments place it — passing between those countries choosing the eastward migrant (from Babel) week and those choosing the westward migrant week. As J. N. Andrews pointed out, it is mere happenstance or coincidence that the 180-degree meridian and the IDL are even both in the Pacific.

    2) There is never a time when the whole world is on one day. In fact, there are times when three days are happening simultaneously in different places. This would necessarily be the case for biblical sunset-to-sunset days (except twice a year), even if the IDL were a straight line, because sunset arrives at a seasonally changing angle. (See “Sunset animation.”) This may not be all nice and neat, to our way of thinking, but it presents no practical difficulties for Sabbath keepers. Even the problem of the “midnight sun” is far from insurmountable, provided we understand that it was all a part of God’s plan from the beginning.

    May God work for the advancement of His truth, and uphold His humble, obedient children in their walk with Him.

  29. “To arrogate IDL setting authority to ourselves, as a church, is out of harmony with the Scriptures, and it sets up a conflict of interest by the fact that we are effectively choosing our own Sabbath day — a practice for which we tend (hypocritically?) to vilify the Roman Catholic Church.”
    -Thanks for that brilliant statement RG, how incredible to think this could happen in this enlightened age!

    • …except that this is that both camps are doing in Samoa! The Catholics admit they chose the day they liked, it’s time for Adventists to admit the same.

      • Not sure I understand your statement as to Catholics and Adventists doing the same in Samoa?

        The Samoan government chose to go back to Australian time. Catholics were worshipping on Sunday before the change and they continue to worship on Sunday after the change. They, along with the Methodists and Presbyterians etc. simply accepted the IDL as it was officially placed.

        The Catholics changed centuries ago from worshipping on Saturday to worshipping on Sunday, (from the seventh to the first day). They chose to worship on the official first day of the week as it came on the official calendar.

        Adventists, on the other hand, reject the official dateline, and due to this rejection and claiming a different line as the dateline, they excuse their keeping of Sunday — the same day everyone else goes to church.

        They are going to church on the Catholic “Lord’s day” right along with the Catholics and Protestant Sunday observers.

        So actually I agree, these Adventists need to admit they chose their own day, Sunday, the same day as the Catholics.

        • Worship on the 7th. day which is called Sunday in Western Samoa by the change made by the Government of Western Samoa. The SM & the SPD remained faithful to the 7th. day that was called Saturday before the change. The calendar is a property legally own by any government around the globe and the government have all the rights to change it as they please. We as the faithful followers of Christ will recognize these changes and if in anyways alter our faith in God, than we will not honor such change. This issue a 6 year old child of God free from special interests and political correctness will understand it. Humble ourselves before the Lord for the gift of discernment comes from the Lord. Cheers!!!

          • Hi Asoleiuga,
            I realise how annoying we Saturday sabbath keepers can be! Sunday laws are just around the corner. Where will you stand when we become the troublemakers to all the sunday churches. Will you feel that we are like 6 yr old children and that we are deceived and politically correct with heaps of special interests. We have definately seen the bad side of the mission since we made our decision to stand for Gods truth. Your insults are nothing compared to what is ahead. But our banner will be clear when Christ returns as King of Kings!

  30. The Government of Samoa only moved the IDL to align Samoa and NZ for trading purposes.

    The Samoa Mission changed the Calender (week starts Monday and ending Sunday) The Samoa calender still starts with Sunday first day and Saturday as the Seventh Day.

    The STM is the only organisation both Private & government to have a calender starting with Monday & ending on Sunday

    The STM is *Inconsistent* – following part of their calender then reverting back to the Samoa Calender for most of the week

    The STM promotes *Half Truth* – When they first promoted the Sunday Sabbath in all their media releases they blamed the Samoa Government for changing the Calender & yet it was they who changed the calender

    The only prophecy that points to a change in calendar is the small horn in Daniel.

    Visit Samoa and you will know the difference.

    I wonder — with SPD Pastors visiting Samoa and operating in Ozzie time — when they arrive in Samoa do they continue with the Ozzie time which is now the same as the Samoa Calendar or do they operate in the STM time calender which their superiors (SPD) initiated, which is the American Calender, or will they, like the STM, use both Calendars for convenience?

    Samoans have moved on, no one talks about the IDL any more. everything is normal, on Saturday only a few but growing number of Adventists go to church, on Sunday almost everyone goes to church, because all Sunday churches and now Adventists are keeping Sunday.

    If Sunday law is enforced, will it be the current Sunday or the Sunday before the IDL change?

    Pr Tapunuusa Sioeli Puni baptised 19 precious souls in 2 baptisms a few weeks ago and there’s another baptism today May 11 – the Word on the street in Samatau.

    Members have rediscovered the joy of true Sabbath keeping on Saturday and families are rededicating their lives and are making a stand for God and have planted another new church in Manono Village.

    • What a joy to be part of another Holy Spirit filled Sabbath! Today the Multicultural and Fogapoa churches joined Samatau in witnessing the baptism of another 5 people and also the wedding of 2 couples. Pastor Paulo shared another inspiring and unifying sermon.

      Pastor Soeli has been God’s servant at Samatau and people continue to give their lives over to stand for truth and the true Sabbath of God.

      Fogapoa are just beginning their journey in returning to the Saturday Sabbath but it was inspirational to see some more God-inspired people willing to stand for truth till Jesus returns.

      Thank you, Jesus, for your guidance and for the pathway of special blessings through standing against the majority here in Samoa for Your eternal kingdom.

  31. This whole dialogue simply shows the shakiness of the whole seven-day creation and cycle – at least our traditional beliefs. We argue ourselves into nonsense. The fact is there isn’t a validate way to manage this against our calendar construct. We are either committed to a seven-day cycle or we are not. The names of the modern weekdays cannot be traced to the Moses narrative so let’s stop that nonsense. I see in the earlier posts mythical stories of Adams world journey and having to drop days. I see modern people having the exact same issue.

    The only real practical take away for me is that God desires that we routinely rest on a weekly cycle and that rest can be transformative in our lives, bring us to awareness of him, and give us time to serve. There is no holiness in a modern calendar day, but in most spaces we ascribe our rest on Saturday, but this may or may not be practical in all cases. To me, in all cases, we are fulfilling God’s wishes for us. In all cases where we fight, bicker, sue, proof text, etc we are definitely not fulfilling God’s wishes for us.

    • Dear Kim,

      To me your comment illustrates the importance of avoiding controversy wherever possible. Quite simply, people are bound to misunderstand. The 4th Commandment clearly specifies the seventh day as the Sabbath (or rest day) of Jehovah, so there is no doubt in my mind that the particular day matters to Him. In fact, He has called it a sign.

      The details of the controversy may cause it to appear that this is a complicated and difficult matter, but it’s really not. Wherever we are, everyone around us knows which day is Saturday, and most everyone knows that Saturday is by definition the 7th day of the week. So, when that 7th day arrives with sunset the night before, that’s the time for Sabbath observance.

      That’s how simple the matter is, and by God’s grace I intend to keep it that way for the remainder of my earthly sojourn.

      If anyone needs an explanation on any point, I rejoice to be in a position to go into things as deeply as necessary. But no one should think that makes the whole thing complicated.

      God bless!

    • >>We argue ourselves into nonsense.

      Good evening, Kim. Of all that you have said, I can agree with this statement. We do argue ourselves into nonsense, and I believe it is because we often stray away from the simplicity of the Gospel and try, very hard, to prove things by non-biblical means.

      For example, while it is a common practice in many evangelistic campaigns, I do not see why it was ever necessary to try and prove that Sabbath has never moved since Eden. I don’t believe that it has, but I don’t see any way to reasonably prove it, so it need not be said.

      All that we need is to know what day Jesus kept — which would have been the right day, and we have enough records to see that it has been kept since then. (We also know that Moses was given the right day, but it is not any more necessary to have this marking point than the First Advent.)

      By not recognizing the “for man” aspect of the Sabbath, we’ve gotten ourselves into a predicament where the Sabbath is aligned with the dirt and not the people on the dirt.

      Throughout the entire world today, if I tell you the DATE, you can tell me what the DAY is. Except, of course, in a small section of the Pacific, where the DAY and DATE are not aligned with anywhere else, but only from the perspective of a few SDA believers (few in the context of the world church, not in the context of their local area).

      That seems to be the worst kind of confusion, and should indicate the very wrongness of the decisions that have put them there.

      Matthew 24 is being played out before our very eyes…

      -ASB: http://XeeMe.com/AndrewBaker

      • Andrew wrote:
        “All that we need is to know what day Jesus kept — which would have been the right day.”

        Amen, brother!

        Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath day!
        The Bible makes it clear that Jesus rested in the tomb on Sabbath, and rose the next day which was the FIRST day of the week.

        And yes, there is plenty of historical evidence that these days have come down to us intact — there is no need for confusion for those who truly want to honor their Creator on the day He set aside as holy.

        May 14, 2013 is Tuesday the world over (even for Adventists in Samoa and Tonga) yet for some strange reason on May 18, 2013 (Saturday) when the rest of the Adventist world will be celebrating the Sabbath day, the “official” Adventists in Tonga and Samoa will treat it as a secular day, and wait for May 19, (Sunday) when mainline Christianity the world over go to church, and call that the sabbath.

        No sophisticated philosophical reasoning can hide the simple fact that the “official” Adventist church in Tonga and Samoa has accepted and is promoting another sabbath.

      • I think I know what reason is, and to my mind it seems quite distinct from skepticism. God has a law, and that law calls for the observance of a particular Sabbath day everywhere in the world. Furthermore, that day is not difficult to determine, no matter what anyone says.

        The more deeply the question is examined, the more clearly we can see that the simple and obvious answer is actually the right one.

    • Some questions for those who believe that any cycle of 7 days is fine:
      1) Is there ever any reason to worship on a different day from the rest of the world? Shouldn’t we all just worship on Sunday?
      2) The Sabbath commandment does not specify a 7-day cycle, but “the seventh day,” and if we cannot take it literally, why not pick every 6th day, or 8th day, or 10th day, for that matter?

  32. To those who believe that Sunday in Samoa is the 7th day sabbath, how would you present the 3 angels message when all the other denominations worships on the same day as you? And when it comes to the time of the sunday law enforcement, where is the test of faith for you because you’re are already worshiping on sunday, which is the same day as the rest of the false denominations. Just a thought. Think about.

  33. Hi Caroline,

    If you go on this website : http://www.adventist.org.au/site_data/90/assets/0037/9860/The_Seal_of_God_and_the_Mark_of_the_Beast.pdf

    You’ll find answers to some of your questions. I’m an adventist living in American Samoa and every time I would visit Western Samoa I too worship on the Seventh Day Sabbath which is on Sunday. I did a little study on my own and came to conclusion that I would stick with the Church decision. For a hundred plus years, My brothers and sisters in Christ worshiped on the same Sabbath. When it is Sabbath in American Samoa, It is Sabbath in Western Samoa for the past hundred plus years before the dateline change. Now, after the change, when its Sabbath in American Samoa, some of my brothers and sisters in Christ in Western Samoa doesn’t worship on the same 24 hour Sabbath that we use to worship together when I first converted as a Seventh Day Adventist. Now, whats going to happen if the government of Western Samoa decides to change the dateline again? Then the Saturday Sabbath Keepers will be keeping the same twenty four hour sabbath that American Samoa is keeping right now. Now, I know theres been so many disputes and confusion between the church members, but I pray that God will give us Adventist humble hearts to come to one conclusion. Saturday Sabbath Keepers are my brothers and sisters in Christ. I have nothing against the church members of the Saturday Sabbath Keepers in Samoa but if they don’t agree with the Samoa mission, SPD and the many reasons why the Seventh Day falls on what is now called Sunday then the Saturday Sabbath Keepers will be another offshoot. Theres only one remnant church. At the end of the day,We can’t obey our loving Savior until we have knelt, broken hearted because of our sin, and accepted Him as our Lord and Savior. Love for Jesus provides both the motive and power to fulfill His word. Under the strength of that loving relationship will help us follow Jesus into service as a member of the true remnant church.

    Homesick for Heaven,
    King.

    • For some of us it’s not enough that a decision appears to have been made by the church, and that there is a website with an explanation. To my mind those explanations do not pass the test of biblical evidence and reason.

      It is impossible for every neighbouring country to observe what appears to be the same day. (Western) Samoa, no longer on the same day as American Samoa, is now on the same day as Fiji. Samoa’s Saturday Sabbath keepers are not an offshoot. The worldwide church generally keeps Saturday, and in fact that is our doctrinal position.

      I join you with all my heart in praying that we as a people can be humble and can reach a unified conclusion. I pray additionally that it will be a conclusion that honours our Father in heaven.

    • King,
      I appreciate your loyalty to our beloved SDA Church. I share it.
      BUT
      If Western Samoa had never yet been entered by Seventh-day Adventists and our evangelists went there today to preach the gospel, which day would the evangelists tell the locals to keep? Same goes for American Samoa. They would look at the calendar and show the people that Sabbath is Saturday, the seventh day of the week, and Sunday is the false Sabbath. That is the truth today, not just hypothetically.

  34. King Brown

    My parents were some of the early Samoan Pioneer ministers in American Samoa 1960 -1966 Satala SDA church along with other Legends who kept the Sabbath (American time).

    My dad the late Pastor Tasi Tesese was a graduate of the LMS Malua Theological College but became an Adventist becos of the Sabbath Message.

    Western Samoa kept the same Sabbath (American time zone) with Pago Pago until 2011 when it decided to align itself with its trading partners NZ n Australia n start keeping their timezone .

    The Seventh Day Sabbath falls on Saturday -American Timezone after the first IDL change 1892 -2011 ,The Seventh Day is still on Saturday NZ & Australian Time Zone after the second IDL change (reversal) 2011.

    On the SPD website Pr Hay who supports Keeping Sunday in Samoa himself wrote that countries living close to the Dateline can choose which side to belong to (American or the NZ Timezone -Sabbath falls on Saturday not Sunday,

    SPD’s problem is that they are inconsistent, they recognise the IDL when it suits,ignore when it doesnt . SPD ignore the God given right of the local church member -as a Samoan I have the same right as Americans,Kiwis etc to decide according to God’s Spirit n the sound mind hes blessed me with to worship on the local Seventh Day.

    To the leaders both SPD n STM stop wasting church resources and members hard earned funds, do the right thing let Samoa worship on God’s true Sabbath.

    • Before the change in 2011, when one travel from American Samoa to Upolu (Western Samoa), leaving Tutuila (American Samoa) on a Friday morning, he/she will arrive in Upolu (WS) on the same day, which is Friday. Now after the change Upolu (WS) made in 2011, when one made the same airplane trip, leaving Tutuila (AS) on a Friday morning he/she will arrive in Upolu (WS) on Saturday. It is very simple a 6yrs old will comprehend the deception embedded in this issue. Ellen White in her book Selected messages adviced us about these so called IDL issues, it is an ensnarement of Satan. When we go into technical details about it, Satan will lure us in to more perplexities and eventually will destorys our faith and understanding. The Samoan Mission and the SPD recognized the truth on this issue and made the God fearing decision for the lovely Bride of Jesus. Jesus did not consider shame when He gave up His Glory and took up a form of a slave to come down to this gloomy doomed world and victoriously restored to us Eternal Life and defeated Eternal Death. We made wrong choices, but when we recognize our imperfections we must immediately humble ourselves and turn from our errors and obey the right one for it is the Will of God. Don’t let our self pride and arrogancy of personal statuses and human titles overwhelm your view of the truth. May the Cross of Calvary and the lovely peace of God’s Holy Sabbath bring us the confidence we need in times like these. Trust and Obey for there’s no other way to be happy if Jesus but to trust and Obey. Cheers!!!

      • What was it that Ellen White actually said in Selected Messages?

        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…. (See “Day Line Theory.”)

        As we can plainly see, the “snare of Satan” of which she warned us was a theory that would have made Sunday the 7th-day Sabbath in a part of the world. It appears that we have now fallen headlong into that snare with respect to Tonga, Wallis, Futuna, (Western) Samoa, and Tokelau.

        • The snare of satan EGW is refering to, is the attempt to confuse the 7thDay by the shuffling of manmade titles or names of the weekdays and this so called manmade IDL. Our loving and merciful God will never allow satan to cause the 7thDay to be lost out of sight of His faithful children. All these attempts of satan to distort and confuse the true 7thDay Sabbath is elementry to God’s faithful children. R.G. White, you’re misinterpreting Ellen W.’s quote in Selected Messages.

      • Dear Asoleiuga,
        Your comments reflect a deep love for Christ, but I would like you to consider the following.

        Before the change in 2011, when one travelled from Fiji to Upolu (Western Samoa), leaving Fiji on a Friday morning, he/she will arrive in Upolu (WS) on Thursday, which is a day before Friday. Now after the change Upolu (WS) made in 2011, when one made the same airplane trip, leaving Fiji on a Friday morning he/she will arrive in Upolu (WS) on Friday. The day remains the same. The Saturday Sabbath is the same on both Island groups.

        Or lets go back to July 1892. Before July 2, 1892 a person could leave Fiji early Friday morning and fly (if they had airplanes back then) to Tonga, or Samoa (AS or WS) and it would still be Friday. It was the same day on all these Island groups. All these Islands shared the same Saturday and the same Sunday.

        But after July 2, 1892 a person leaving Fiji on Friday morning would find the Samoans saying it was still Thursday. Somehow (by a government decision) they had fallen a day behind!

        The snare of Satan is to use a THEORY of the dateline that causes people to worship on Sunday, while ignoring the actual dateline that determines what day it actually is.

        • Thank you, Ulicia. Had Ellen White been warning us not to recognise the actual day/date line as determined by the authority which God has given to the civil governments of the world, as Bro. Asoleiuga seems to be suggesting, one has to wonder what she would have been urging upon us.

          It seems that would certainly have forced us to resort to some kind of theoretical day line, with Friday or Sunday observance in some part of the world being the inevitable result. To suggest that the Spirit of Prophecy was not trying to warn us against Sunday keeping is to ignore Ellen White’s plainest words.

          As for refusing to allow governments to move the International Date Line, we simply have no grounds for doing so, seeing the Word of God nowhere specifies any fixed location for it. Nor is the inconvenience of a one-time 6-day or 8-day week too much for our conscience to handle, as we prove every time we travel across the IDL. Rather this appears to be one of those “manufactured difficulties” to which Ellen White sometimes refers.

  35. Aso

    Every 6 yr old will understand that although the Samoa Islands are only a couple of hrs apart by air ,they are govern by two diferrent governments and operate in two diferent timezones.

    American Samoa is a territory of the USA (American Timezone).

    Independent state of Samoa have decided to keep the NZ timezone.

    Please note

    * Samoa has the right to choose either the American or the NZ timezone .

    * Although Samoa decided to keep the NZ Timezone Sabbath is still on the Seventh Day (Saturday)
    * Just becos Samoa is not keeping the American Sabbath doesnt mean they have broken the 4th Commandment.
    * IDL is real,legit & is recognised by governments globally ,something the SPD and STM forget
    * Take both lines away,No IDL or Meridian, WWJD “What will Jesua Do -He worships on the Sewventh Day Sabbath -What Day is that in Jerusalem Sat or Sunday.
    * Sad but Silly is the fact that Non Adventists Samoans in Samoa & Abroad know that Sabbath always fall on Sat n are finding it strange and confusing that SDA are now very agressive in keeping Sunday when for over 100 yrs they were willing to lay everything on the line for Sabbath (Sat) even their lives.
    * More and more Samoans are returning to Sabbath keeping and even non Adventists are finding the Sabbath message refreshing -just need to look at the Samatau Baptism Apr /May 28 souls were baptised into Jesus.

    • We will never see the truth on this issue, as long as we harbor our preconceived opinions and favor of men. Lets have a genuine yerning of hearts that God will see from heaven and bless us with the truth on this issue and every other issues. Jesus is soon to come and we all must be found clothe with His robe of righteousness. Satan will appear as an angel of light and will not be powerful enough to deceive those that are sealed with Jesus righteousness. Cheers!!!

  36. Hi, I am from Australia and I wondered what the outcome of all this Sabbath is, or is it still ongoing? Also I am a little confused. I thought all churches were paid for and owned by the SDA church, have I got that wrong? Anyway I am interested for reasons that are a little long to explain here, so hope you would not mind filling me in on how it all pans out and anything else.
    Thanks Pauline

  37. Hello my beloved.This goes for everyone here and in Samoa.Saturday and Sunday are not the real sabbath day of The Lord.You have to follow the luni solar calendar that Moses,Yahushuwa ha Messiach followed.It is 12 hours sun 12 hours moon.when the new moon comes you shall count from their seven and you shall find the true holy sabbath.That god allmighty blessed and Santified for us to worship him.Here is the thing.The Catholic Church is Evil.In revelation 13thru 17 it talked about this pagan Sunday worshipping church.That is the mark of the beast Sunday or Saturday pagan days.This Gregorian calendar is no good.Satan has been successfully surpressing the true sabbath day of our Lord.He is very cunning,deceitful ness,lieing.You have to read history and do research now more than ever.use the internet.now you can get information from thousands of years ago.Go to this website.www.the world last chance.Please be open minded and don’t lisen to the Cathlolic church its practices are evil pagan.Satan is protecting that church please stay away.May The Lord bless all of you in seeking the truth.He is calling his people with commandments to come out of these churches.

  38. I feel for the brothers and sisters who are faithful sabbath keepers in Samoa. Our prayers are with you through these difficult and trying times your church is facing. Continue the good fight and your reward is near!”Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life,…may the grace of our Lord be with you all. Amen” Rev.22:14-21

  39. I believe the simplest answer to this problem is to look to Jesus. How did He determine what day was Sabbath when He was on earth? If I were with the folks in Samoa my concern would be what God thinks and what He wants not anyone else.
    I found it very interesting that the day of the week and the denomination figured centrally in the dispute and nothing was said about the God these people in the Samoan SDA church worship.

    Jesus should–must be first.

    • Thanks for your comment, FOJ.

      However, it seems to me that the dispute is precisely over which day Jesus would keep. The South Pacific Division administrators appear to argue that Jesus would try to calculate which day is the seventh day stemming from Eden. Of course, that doesn’t solve a thing, because it depends on which direction you are going to calculate – going east or going west. For that matter, we have no way of even knowing where Eden was, since the world went through catastrophic upheaval during the Noachian flood. So it’s all rather complicated.

      By contrast, a small group of Seventh-day Adventists on the Samoan Islands believe that the dateline is necessary on a round world as a dividing line between one day or another – especially in a world where we travel a lot. And they believe that God has given the government the authority to determine how a country in the South Pacific should relate to the date line. Thus, they keep Sabbath on the day that is currently the seventh day on the Samoan islands. For most people it’s just common sense, but it also in harmony with Christ’s saying that the Sabbath was made “for man.” It was not tied to a specific stretch of dirt. ;) Thus, in a society where everyone regards Saturday as the seventh day of the week, and most Christians go to church on Sunday in honor of the resurrection, Seventh-day Adventists keep Saturday as the Sabbath in honour of their Creator and in recognition of the rest He has given them from their own works.

      I believe that the small group who keep the local seventh day as the Sabbath have it right. :)

  40. The original title of this post, “SDA Church Dispute Heads to Court,” was legitimate in light of the fact that the letter from the law office of Schuster-Betham-Annandale, dated February 6,2013, warns that “failure to comply within 7 days will result in the matter been taken to the High Court for an order regarding ownership, demolition and removal by the church of assets.”

    Since that letter was sent more than a year ago and the Leauva’a-uta Seventh-day Adventist members are still worshiping in the church on Saturdays, is it safe to assume that the matter will not “head to court” after all?

    Any clarification from the people in Samoa would be helpful.

  41. I lived in the Marshall Islands when they decided to move the dateline over the Kwajalein Atoll after RMI became an Internationally recognized sovereign country in 1990.

    As A Seventh Day Adventist the congregation on the island of Ebeye had a similar problem as did Samoa when the dateline moved. Similarly RMI choose to re-synchronize the weekly cycle by eliminating a Friday one week. So in essence if we kept every 7 days we would have started worshiping on Sunday from then on.

    However, the location of the international dateline is man made. That is because God did not specify where the 0 degree longitude should be. Therefore man’s government has the prerogative to move the dateline as they see fit. It could be argued that the 0 degree longitude should be at Jerusalem thus making the International dateline farther East than it now is. However, Christ said render to Caesar what is Ceasor’s and to God what is God’s. That reasoning led us to obey man’s IDL designation and re-set our calendar and keep Saturday holy from then on.

    It was difficult that week because there never was a saturday, we decided to keep Sunday morning as a day of rest that one week which followed the actual Friday Sabbath Evening which we also kept holy. A Similar thing happens to individuals traveling across the international dateline routinely.

    Often individuals traveling past the IDL can miss a Sabbath or indeed have an extra Sabbath depending on which direction they are traveling and when. Those individuals do not keep every 7 days otherwise it would get very confusing.

    I would not condemn the Samoan churches for the decisions they made with respect to Keeping Sunday or Sabbath, although I would recommend those that decided to keep Sunday to reconsider that position in the light of what SDA’s did on Kwajalein atoll and the biblical and geographic reasons for that.

    However I would strongly advise the SDA’s keeping Sunday to reconsider their legal action against the SDA church that is now keeping the seventh day of the week in Samoa.

  42. I understand the SDA temple says no work on Saturday period.

    God also decreed with the Children of Israel that on the eighth day of the birth of a newborn male that he was to be circumcised. Suppose this circumcision lands on the Sabbath? How do you reconcile this? John 5:18 KJV, “Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. He healed on the Sabbath,

    Do you people on the Sabbath visit prison inmates on Saturday? Suppose a person needs a tire change on the Sabbath.

    I can go to church every day, but I also follow a new testament command to lay aside tithes on the first day of the week or Sunday Morning. I go to church on the first day of the week–don’t worry, I am not possessed by the devil, because the Lord arose on the 1st day of the week. The Holy Ghost descended on the day of Pentecost. The first church sermon was on the first day of the week.

    Furthermore, the Sabbath belongs to the nation of Israel. Exodus 30:13, “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel,saying Verily my Sabbaths, ye shall keep:for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations;that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people…..” And then it says in verse17, “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 18, “It is a sign between me, and the children of Israel forever———”

    In all actually we are Gentiles, and the Sabbath dose not belong to you and me, it belongs to Israel. I know your angry at me and that you will not allow this to be posted. That’s fine, I don’t care. At least the Holiest of Hollies has not been cut off from anyone desiring salvation.

    The world is very close to Revelation chapter 5,and I believe the seven churches in Revelation are local new testament churches that attitude problems.

    • Charles,

      “Sabbath” means “rest.” And in my Bible I read that at the end of creation week, God “rested” (Gen 2:2-3) and he “sanctified” it. To “sanctify” something generally means to set it aside for a holy purpose. In the Bible it usually means to set something aside for God’s use. So God set aside the seventh day of the week for a holy purpose long before there was a nation of Israel. I believe He set it aside for our first parents as a special day of rest and communion with Him.

      And in the middle of the Ten Commandments (the fourth), God asks us to “Remember the Sabbath day” as a memorial of creation. (Exodus 20:9-11) I don’t know how you see it, but I believe God created this planet for all mankind, not just for the Jews. If that’s the case, He also created the Sabbath for all mankind, not just for the Jews.

      And so we keep the seventh day holy as a memorial of creation. To us, it is also a symbol of our rest in Christ – resting from our works and accepting His righteousnes in our place.

      Please check out the post, “The Sabbath in Light of the Cross” and “The Sabbath a Sign of Faith and Grace.” I think you will find that they address a number of issues about the Sabbath.

      Any further discussion on this particular topic might be better continued under one of those articles.

  43. Wonderful, we have just been shown how we all pick and choose when it comes to the Bible. Three different sets of 10 commandments in the Bible, and 2 different justification. It’s impossible not to pick and choose under the circumstances.

    • Jag, that is likely when you see the Christian bible as a set of rules from which you may pick and choose. But we see the Bible as a record of God who is love seeking to draw humanity back to Himself. For an overview of the “law of God,” please see “God’s Law: The One, the Two, the Ten and the Many.” I apoligize for its lengthiness, but I hope you will understand a little more about how we view the law of God by reading it. For comments on that subject, it would be better to comment there than here.

    • According to a brother of mine, the Hebrew Kathubym/writings are “not democratic”; but they are self-interpreting.

      The 10 Words/Sayings (often referred to as the 10 Commandments) are in the heart of YHUH’s Torah/Instructions; it appears focusing narrowly on these Sayings is a convenient way of dismissing the rest of the Torah: e.g., tithes as food would really undermine the “business”. Yet, in Brshyt/Gen 26:5, Abraham (who precedes Ysrael) obeyed all Ysrael was reminded to keep later on: YHUH’s voice, charge, commandments, statutes, and torath/instructions.

      YHUH refers to Sabbaths, plural in Lev 23; including the weekly Sabbath. Anyone can be part of the family of Ysrael as long as they accept Salvation through YHUSA and obey YHUH’s instructions (found in the Torah).

      YHUH’s set apart times (Moadym) in Leviticus 23 are not “Jew-ish” or Hebrew Ysraelite; but belong to and are set by YHUH for the observant as a sign between us and YHUH. This INCLUDES the weekly Sabbath of ceasing from the labor and cares of this world and entering into YHUH’s complete rest; which was made for Adam/Mankind; not just Ysrael.

      The only part of the Torah that appears to have changed was the temporary solution to a permanent problem: the need for the Lewite Administration of the sacrifice of animals to pay for error/sin; this was a placeholder pending YHUSA’s ultimate sacrifice and appointment as our High Priest of the Melchi-Zedek order which preceeded the Lewites.

      Yhusha administers Absolute Salvation and enables us to obey YHUH by the YH’s Ruach/Spirit. This is YHUH’s permanent gift and means of cleansing the conscience and for the eventual redemption of the physical body when YHUSA returns.

      YHUH’s 10 Saying are referred to and repeated throughout the Torah and not necessarily in order; but proactively or pre-emptively mentioned based on questions and/or situations as they arose.

      Also, if the rest of the set apart times are void then so is the weekly Sabbath. Either YHUH’s words are eternal and correct or man is.

  44. I am greatly disappointed to see this happening amongst SDAs; but it is inevitable that scripture must be fulfilled.

    I wonder if the SDAs realize that the unchangeable word of YHUH is more important than anything else? Men lie; YHUH does not.

    How is it that so many in that religion are incapable of recognizing this part of the lie Shaul/Paul refers to? They excuse themselves and follow the red herring of official man-devised church-approved schemes proving that many of them are not faithful obedient followers of YHUH; nor are they saved by grace in Yahusha; instead as a result of their lack of loyalty they hang him on the tree yet again.

    Incredibly it is simply “business” as someone here has so proudly trumpeted. Business? are you serious? This makes SDAs no different than all the other daughters of Babylon who have been sanctioned by the MARK of the beast.

    “he will think to change TIMES and the torah”…does that not resonate with any of you?

    Ellen White (who is an inspired writer not just for SDAs) is right; WHOLE conferences will be lost. I now see why.

    I wish Shalawm to true followers of YHUH amongst SDAs who are saved by grace in Yahusha and filled with the Ruach of YHUH. Don’t worry; it is almost over; our Mashiach Yahusha will appear soon.

  45. Talofa to all,
    It saddens me very much to see that what should be a relatively simple discussion has turned into such a debate. My family were among the first Adventists in Samoa after arriving from Tahiti, the Sabbath being the outstanding point of difference. Adventists were well accepted and the church grew with God’s blessing. Let’s put away all this nit picking and open our eyes to see that Saturday IS the Sabbath and can be nothing else. The devil is at work here and is deceiving the ‘very elect’! I pray for the faithful but also for those who cannot see!!! Blessings

  46. I just want to help my Samoan SDA brethren that the true sabbath of God is now Saturday not Sunday. (THERE IS NO EXCUSE WHATSOEVER). The history confirmed that the dates were changed by Malietoa on Monday 4th July 1892. So on that same year, Samoa had for first time in history of the world, that they had two Mondays, different from any countries, nations or islands of the world that God create. But God’s foreknowledge prepared the SISDAC for 30 years to uphold his sabbath because he knew whats gonna happened when he put Samoan dates back to his creation from the beginning. He knew already that the SDA in Samoa will betrayed Him and worship on Sunday. Question: How many Samoan accept the SDA movement in those days? So we can’t blame our forefather in 120 years ago because when Malietoa changed our dates, SDA church just arrived in Samoa for few months. So maybe only one or two Samoan family accepted the true sabbath of God and it was very easy to changed the day of worship in those days. Now we are approaching the eleventh hour, God used Tuilaepa to put Samoa days back from the beginning of His creation, when He assured that his remnant people the SISDAC is strong enough to uphold his true sabbath for His chosen people. Think the SDA leaders were disfellowship our forefather when they were begging for a Samoan Church in New Zealand, for our people who don’t understand their language, but they didn’t worship on Sunday, or do any evil things according to God’s standard. To me, I think it should disfellowship the SPD and all those who made that decision to worship on Sunday the Mark of the Beast instead the true sabbath of God. Need more proof: Go on google and search for Jerusalem dates and time today. Friday 12pm in Jerusalem will be 12a.m midnite on Friday in Samoa, before Tuilaepa changed the date it was 12 midnite on Thursday in Samoa. Thank you Lord for calling SISDAC to uphold the truth in our country. So for our brothers and sisters who search for the truth, check the hsitory and read the Bible about God’s calling in Revelation 18:4 to His own people who now drifted in Babylon.

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