Arguments For Keeping Sunday as Sabbath in Samoa Examined — 39 Comments

  1. Thank you, Robert and John, for the excellent analysis. I’ve noticed that some people seem to develop the idea that the days in Samoa have been renamed, even though no one may have actually suggested it to them. So I’ve been doing some thinking about why this might be.

    Clearly, we are on a 7-day week, and God commanded it to be so. I perceive that this is the only reason why a day is considered to be “the same day” as the one that came seven sunsets before it. That’s the general rule: Count seven sunsets and you are back to the same day.

    Nevertheless, I see that there is an exception to this rule. When I have flown out of Seattle at 12:30 on a Tuesday afternoon (Day 3) in the middle of winter, directly to Tokyo, I have experienced a very long afternoon. The sun is high in the sky throughout the entire ten-hour flight. When I land, it’s about 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon (Day 4). Counting back through the seven most recent sunsets of my personal experience would bring me to a Tuesday (Day 3), yet no days have been renamed. When I land in Tokyo, it really is Day 4. For once in my life, the day of the week truly is the same day as it was six sunsets ago.

    Does God intend for there to be such exceptions? Of course He does, or He would not have made the world round.

    What about an exception to the rule, when the government of a country (such as Samoa) intends to effect a day line shift? I cannot find any basis to form an opinion on whether or not such day line shifts are a part of God’s ideal for our world. But then, does the answer to such a question really matter? What we really want to know is God’s will for us, in the actual circumstances of our lives!

    That day line shifts have taken place many times in the past seems undeniable. The Europeans who migrated “en masse” to the Americas unknowingly effected a huge day line shift, all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and yet we have had no warning from any of God’s prophets that we must take this into account, refusing to go along with the change, in order to avoid being tricked into observing the wrong day as the Sabbath. The same is true of the additional day line shifts that have taken place in Alaska, the Philippines, Hawaii, and in many other Pacific island groups — sometimes before the 1884 Meridian Conference, sometimes unrelated to it, sometimes because of it, and sometimes in spite of it.

    Indeed I find complete silence, in the inspired writings, as to any divinely fixed location for the day line — except for warnings from Ellen White not to listen to any such theories. Furthermore, Ellen White, by both precept and example, taught us to observe the Sabbath according to the local orientation wherever we may happen to be. Thus, whether or not day line shifts are a part of God’s ideal, I certainly do know that (when I am affected by one) He intends for me to make another exception to the 7-day rule, just as if I had traveled across the day line.

    In short, it’s not that the day coming seven sunsets after an earlier Sabbath (in Samoa) was renamed Sunday. It really was Day 1, the first day of the week! That might be enough to give anyone pause…

  2. When we approach any issues that concerns our Salvation, we must go before God in humility of heart and our pride will be drowned up with the the grace of God that will bringforth the understanding we need. This so called IDL is an invension of man and all the details that entails. God is not a God of confusion but a God of power and love. I beleive by the mercy of God Almighty, He will not allow the Enemy to go to certain extents. This issue from God’s point of view, a 6 years old child will comprehend it. The 7th day is still in plain view and that, we must continue to honour. In fasting and praying we can find God, and the cloud of perplexity and confusion will vanish from sight. The power of Holy Spirit of God is so amazing and powerful it eclipse our human intelligence. FEAR GOD AND UNITE WITH HIM DAILY AND LEAN NOT TO YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING.

  3. What a beautiful sentence:

    When we approach any issues that concerns our Salvation, we must go before God in humility of heart and our pride will be drowned up with the the grace of God that will bringforth the understanding we need.

    I believe that is so true. (You write like a poet. 🙂 )

    I also agree that God is not a God of confusion. That’s why I believe that God has the same Sabbath on the same day all around the world — and not a Sabbath a day later in the South Pacific.

    Be blessed 🙂

  4. Yes sir,
    I really recommend all the Saomoans SDAs in Samoa to go back to the Sabbath as we were taught in the beginning.
    When you were first born or converted to this church, what day was it as the Sabbath? Friday or Saturday? Why you did not change to worship on Fridays as you are now from the beginning before the dateline changed? Who changed the dateline to want to proceed with the world’s trading, God or man? Think twice, soia le valea.
    If the gorvernment of Samoa change the dl again, are you going to change again? what a fool!!
    I really support Uili Solofa and the Samoa Mission for standing up for our Lord’s real Sabbath.
    You know, when the Samoan LdS pastors and LMS pastors who are our friend here in Utah heard the dateline issue, they did not like it.
    They said this means that all the congregations of Samoa are worshiping the SDA church Sabbath its not fair.Even the 6 yr olds born in Samoa know the change is no more Sumday as usual.It is changed to Satrday.If the Samoa Mission is doing a calendar beginning on Monday, that is true Monday now, and the day is really Sunday the beginning of the week to Friday now some called the Sabbath. and the country Saturday which is the real Friday.

    • Dear Madam, here’s the irony with the comment re your LDS friends. They presently worship there in the USA on a sunday known there as the first day of the week. If they traveled to Samoa they would worship as per normal worldwide on a sunday, the first day of the week. If they traveled down here to NZ they would also worship on a sunday, the first day of the week. All 3 calendars are the same. The govts of all concerned have not altered their calendars. They’re the same yesterday, today and no doubt tomorrow. The problem has occurred because the STM has been bullied (with wool) and bamboozed by the SPD and their counsel that the 7th day is now sunday, resulting in a new ‘calendar'(devised by STM) that SDA sunday worshippers adhere to.

      So now the STM calendar has a weekend for their people that consists of sunday and monday. Without doing any homework just looking at that, just looks
      If the likes of Tufanua Iata are consistent, next time they travel here to NZ,(since Samoa is now aligned re timezone with us here in NZ) then like Mr Tufanua’s LDS friends they will join them also in Sunday worship.

      Stop beating around the bush and justly and rightly give the 7th day the name its known worldwide, for centuries and centuries..SATURDAY.

      Lets continue to pray for all concerned. Pray earnestly for our brethren sunday keepers. Pray for our sabbath Saturday keepers. Pray for our leadership (shepherds).

      Leiataua Tavita

  5. Dear Tufanua,

    Malo le Soifua ma vi’ia le Atua.

    Manuia le Sapati. Happy Sabbath.

    It sounds from your comments that you are residing in Utah, USA. For me here in Singapore, the Sabbath is Saturday, 28 July. I believe this is also the case for you there in Utah. It is also the same for my mother and family in Australia and New Zealand.

    For the majority of our Global 7th-Day Adventist Family, today, Saturday, 28th July, is also the Sabbath-Day. In fact this represents approximately 97% of our church membership. So my question to you is; why would it be different for Samoa? Why would the South Pacific Division and the Samoan Tokelau Mission church leadership direct our Samoan Seventh-Day Adventists families to worship on Sunday, 29th July? Isn’t the calendar that you follow there in Utah and I follow here in Singapore and my family follow in Australia and New Zealand, the same as that followed in Samoa?

    I believe you will find if you Google world time, or compare the global calendar no matter where we live in the world, you will discover that we all follow the same calendar and that the 7th-Day Sabbath is the 28th July.

    God’ rich blessings with you Tafuna and your family there in Utah as you worship on the Sabbath-Day, 28th July, and not Sunday, 29th July.

    Your brother in Jesus. ulalei

  6. Dear Madam Tufanua,

    Why do so many like yourself, who ‘once were 7th day sabbath keepers’ supporters, come to the table of discussion and bring words of ridicule only, and nothing of substance to support your argument. I look at your statement/s and it’s no surprise at all that you offer no evidence of your stance, no sign of research, no Biblical support, no words of encouragement, no words of prayer, no nothing, just empty words.
    So in your own words, let me, a ‘fool’, explain why sunday worship in Samoa is wrong.

    1.I quote from the Samoan Observer a statement by Uili Solofi, the Samoan Tokelau Mission President, “the practical result in terms of Sabbath Keeping is that Sunday not Saturday has become the Seventh day of the week. If scripture is to be followed that is also Sabbath day”.

    2.I refer to Genesis 2:1-3 God rested from all His work on the 7th-Day and bless and made it holy.

    3.I also refer to Mark 15:42 where preparation day was before the Sabbath day

    4.I refer to Luke 24:1 where it refers to the first-day of the week

    5.So God’s Word says that the 7th-Day Sabbath was after preparation day and before the 1st-day of the week.

    6.So comparing Pastor Uili Solofi “practical” statement and that founded on God’s Word there is a glaring discrepancy where he is saying that the 7th-Day Sabbath is sunday whereas in the context of God’s word, it is the 1st-day of the week.

    7.So, I quote 2 Timothy 3:16, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

    8.Who should we believe and follow; God’s Word or man’s folly?

    9.What the South Pacific Division, Samoan Tokelau Mission and Trans-Pacific Union Mission are mandating as the 7th-Day Sabbath, Sunday, I believe is apostasy.

    10. Who changed the calendar in Samoa? Did the government of Samoa change it? No! The Samoan calendar has not changed. Saturday is still 7th day of the week and sunday still the first day of the week. But watch this! If you’re a SDA sunday worshipper, apparently they have a calendar that their leadership has changed which reads sunday now as the 7th day of the week….lol. Didn’t the Word warn us of a ‘beast’ that would dare to change laws and times. I have to now go back and re-study that passage as I wasn’t expecting that ‘beast’ to emerge within the ‘remnant’.

    11. The only thing the Samoan govt did Dec 2011 was switch time zones (or jump the IDL fence) and it is now inline with us here in Aus and NZ…where if you do your research, Samoa was originally over a 120years ago.

    In closing, dear Madam, let me share some Word with you; 1 Cor 1:27 “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;” so if you are truly ‘wise’, be careful who you call ‘foolish’.

    With respect, I encourage you to study God’s Word, I encourage you to pray for the Holy Spirit to shed light on your path of seeking understanding. I will also offer your name and others with a similar stance in prayer. James 1:19-20, tells us to be slow to speak and quick to listen. This is wise counsel for us all.
    Good bless you and your family. Much love from here in NZ..the ‘Promise Land’. lol.

    Leiataua Tavita.

  7. Thank you Leiataua for the Holy Spirit inspired clarity of thought and correction. May God’s Word continue to be our guiding light unto our path and sword of righteousness for declaring God’s truth. May the Holy Spirit lead us daily in love and obedience. ulalei

  8. Talofa Tufanua,

    “Soia le valea” is a very strong statement, usually used by those in the know (backed by facts to admonish those who do not know). In fact, those who are in the know would not use such language but are humble after knowing all the facts. It does appear, however, that firstly you do not have facts to support your words. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

    Tufanua, scientifically you are incorrect. You may need to look. Anthropologically, you are also very wrong. Theologically, there is no biblical support for Sunday worship.

  9. Talofa again Tufanua,

    Without S.T.M knowing the theological ramifications of its new Sunday Sabbath move in Samoa, and its calender change, STM has now unknowingly introduced new biblical doctrines into the Christian world. They are quite disturbing and anti-gospel.

    The STM’s new Calender is inconsistent and full of scientific holes. Nowhere in the world does a country or a Church use two Calenders in order to defend its teachings. Tufanua, that is an embarrassment to the world Adventist Church. The STM uses two calenders to try and make sense of the nonsense. The STM’s new Calender runs Mon – Thurs, then Friday, Saturday, then Sabbath. There is no Sunday. Then the calendar reverts back to Monday.

    Tufanua, here is where STM introduces new doctrines into the Christian Bible. If the new Calender does not have a Sunday (Resurrection day), then STM’s new doctrine suggests that Christ never rose from the dead and is still in the grave, because it has removed the resurrection day (Sunday). All other Christians Churches would now like to know what STM has done with the Sunday.

    Tufanua, as you can see, not only is STM’s error embarrassing, it is offensive to Christians of all faiths to tamper with the calendar because the Scripture clarifies that the day between the Friday (preparation day) and first day (Sunday, the resurrection day) is rest day (Saturday Sabbath). Other faiths keep resurrection day as their Sabbath all around the world, and they surely cannot all have the day wrong. They should know because the resurrection is why they worship on Sunday, and their worship day is the same all around the world, including Samoa.

    Secondly, we understand that the seventh-day Sabbath is the sign of the Creator God, as embedded in the fourth commandment. It distinguishes the people of God from those who worship on the day instituted by Babylon. How can that sign of God remain visible if everyone is worshiping on the day instituted by Babylon?

    Third, there is only one 7th day in a round planet whether you are in Samoa or wherever.

    So, science confirms that Saturday is the 7th day of the week anywhere on the planet. Theologically, all other faiths worship on resurrection day (Sunday, the first day), leaving Saturday as the 7th day Sabbath. For STM to say that the whole world is now joining them to worship on its (STM’s) Sabbath (Sunday) is quite an embarrassing claim. Anthropologically, Samoa knows what the 7th day is, only STM does not. Politically, the Samoan Government confirms Saturday is the 7th day.

    Tufanua, can you honestly say that the whole world is wrong about the days of the week, and only the STM is correct?

    Alofa atu and remain blessed

  10. The argument put forth by STM President Solofa and others, that the official dateline is not to be relied on because it zigzags, is specious because even with a straight date line the sunset would be affected by land elevation. Also it can be safely stated that God anticipated a zigzag dateline when He called the Sabbath a “holy convocation” or “sacred assembly.” How can you have the 180 meridian as a dateline when it would slice right through some villages, creating two different dates for Sabbath in one community of believers? What STM & SPD have done has had the same negative effect.

  11. Just wanted you to check your article where several times you refer to the length of a day as being 48 hours. I think you just got confused as you were writing it and repeated the mistake a few other places. Otherwise, great article which made the issue clearer for me. My biggest concern was the fact that Saturday was kept in the past and that the shift in days would make it appear as if they were actually keeping the wrong day then.

    • Dear DJ,

      Thank you for your input. May I try to help you with this? From the time that any given day begins, just west of the date line, to the time when it ends, just east of the line, covers a period of 48 hours. Back in 2011, Samoa was participating in 24 hours of each day, from the latter portion of that period — along with Hawaii. Since making the adjustment, Samoa now participates in 24 hours from the earlier portion, along with Fiji.

      I believe the main point is that sovereign governments (especially those whose territory lies near the existing date line) have the legitimate right to choose between those two options. On the other hand, individuals (and their churches) have no such authority to choose a reckoning for themselves, differing from that of the society around them.

      Therefore, Saturday (as defined by legitimate civil authority) has always been the true Sabbath in Samoa — and everywhere else, for that matter. When the appropriate civil authorities act to shift the date line, the resulting changes — though not physical — are nonetheless real!

      According to Romans 13:1, God is the One who has ordained those authorities to act within their legitimate sphere (which is what the Samoa government was doing, in shifting the date line for their own secular purposes), and I believe He expects us to yield them our respect and submission.

      The teachings of Jesus in regard to the Sabbath, as recorded in Mark 4, make it clear to me that there is a place for such “exceptions” as a one-time 6-day or 8-day week, as needed in order to keep our Sabbath observance on the day that everyone around us knows to be the 7th day of the week. In fact, we accept this as individuals whenever we cross the date line. Does it really matter whether we are crossing the date line (as in traveling from the U.S.A. to Korea) or if the date line crosses us (as in Samoa’s date line shift)? The effect is the same, either way.

      Let us enter the kingdom of heaven as little children. After all, the real test is obedience — the obedience of always observing the 7th day (i.e. Saturday) as the Sabbath, not the supposed technical correctness of always counting seven days between Sabbaths without exception.

      Does this help?

      • RG,

        Could I clarify when you refer to a day as 48 hours? Whilst it appears this way, a day really is only 24 hours, but it depends on whether you are living on the Eastern hemisphere which is 24 hours ahead, or the Western hemisphere which is 24hours behind. Thus, how one can say a day is 48 hours? Is this correct? Blessings

        • Thank you, Ian, for the excellent point. This really could use a bit of clarification.

          There is a 25-hour time zone difference between Kiritimati (Christmas Island) and Pago Pago. This is possible because the International Date Line bends and turns as it makes its way between those island nations which use the Asian reckoning of time and those using the American reckoning. Because every government has the sovereign right to choose which reckoning shall be employed within its territory, even larger time zone differences, between localities, would be possible.

          Of course, the day is only 24 hours long in any one place. But, if we add to that the 25-hour total time zone variation, we find that it is Sunday, 26 August, 2012 somewhere on earth for a total of 49 hours. So the figure is actually more than 48 hours altogether.

          Now, a country such as England has its 24-hour participation in each day right about in the middle of the 49-hour total period. Their government really has no options at all, as to how to properly reckon the days of the week. However, countries that lie close to the existing date line have their 24-hour participation in each day either in the earlier portion of the 49-hour total (like Fiji) or in the latter portion (like Hawaii), depending on what their respective civil authorities have chosen.

          In the last week of 2011, Samoa’s 24-hour participation was moved from the latter portion of each day’s total period to the earlier portion. As a result, it was necessary for them to skip their participation in just one particular day, which by their government’s choice turned out to be Friday, December 30. However, it would not be fair to say that this one day did not exist. It was dropped from Samoa’s reckoning, much like a day is dropped from one’s individual reckoning when traveling from Canada to Japan. Nevertheless, that Friday did still have its existence somewhere on earth for the full 49 hours.

          Thus, there is no basis for supposing that Sunday has now become the 7th day of the week, anywhere on earth. Saturday is still the 7th day, by definition, and Samoa’s Saturday is the same as that of Fiji or New Zealand, where our Seventh-day Adventist churches still meet for worship every Saturday morning.

          I hope this helps, and may God bless.

  12. Hi Ian,
    We always try to use the term “global” day with the 48 hours. Of course a day is 24 hours, one rotation of the earth, for any location on earth, however taken in total, each day takes 48 hours to travel around the earth. The time it takes from sunset, Friday, 31 August, in Apia (Independent Samoa) to sunset Saturday, 1 September, in Pago Pago (American Samoa), is 48 hours.

  13. Dear, all brothers and sisters on Earth from fast and present who is generated from Adam and Eve-I personally strongly believe that GOD has programmed this IDL at the moment in nano second time He created this Universe as He said in Old testament(THORATH and INJEEL ) and in Holl quran that there are only 12 months for an year and 29 0r 30 lunar days in a Month and God created this Universe within 6days and 7th day He was on His Place- and -These days and date changes are Essential at a place Like IDL along with each 15degree time zone not only for the time or day or date. It keeps changing the “seasons” in different timing as well and in dates and days-so that people can get crops transferred from country to country in all season, availability of water through rain,air oxygen,co2 and makes us living ,and also different animals, birds ,reptiles fish,mammals living and migration and make a pleasant world for all Gods creations until the ends of this world

    So I strongly suggest that we should not change, individuals time zone like Sun rise and sun set and number of Sun rise and set in a week and sun,Moon,Earth conjunction in a Month, and in years and Seasons -So let the date and day go according to natures programme and we are not Authorised for such change

    • Dear Dr. Abdulrahiman,

      You are certainly correct in saying that God must have invented the day line during creation week, as He put us on a round world, in the beginning, and immediately commanded a universal week.

      We must observe that He has not told us exactly where that day line must be. A close look at the matter quickly reveals the reason for this silence. The nature of the day line is such that it initially had to separate those societies established by easterly migration, from those established by westerly migration. And so, the day line had to develop naturally.

      I can see that, once the day line (now known as the IDL) is known and established, it would be nicer and easier if it were not moved anymore. However, each society (as represented by its government) has the right to choose its orientation relative to the day line. Therefore, as worship groups or individuals, we have no power or authority in such areas — except as we may be able to influence the decisions made by our respective governments.

      I believe that, if our government chooses to move the day line, and if we resist the change, we are in danger of being found in rebellion against the legitimate authority which God has vested in the civil powers.

    • I came across this channel by accident, as I was searching for an answer to my question in Google -MY question was this, “why Samaoa and Fiji is 24 hrs different even though they are very close to Each other in time zone and around the Earth’s globe? They are hardly 2hrs difference, but in Astronomy they are still 24hrs different, why?

      I could not get the correct Answer. But I was thinking My self, and I asked My friend in Calicut, Kerals an Astronomer Mr Suresh. He gave me the Answer like this, He asked me to think about a watch 24hrs 00-15 Mid afternoon with over head Sun the date has changed at UTC 12-15 am – and other side is still previous day. But I am still confused in that, as the celestial objects keep on orbiting in Time zones why there should be 24hrs difference. Is it man made calendar or Nature’s?

      • As-salamu alaykum,
        Nice to meet you Dr Abdulrahiman. I believe you were seeking an answer as to why Fiji and Samoa were 24hrs difference when they in fact sit side by side to each other.

        Firstly, I noted the date you posted the question is 14 Oct 2012. As such, the question is therefore incorrect, because the difference is now only 1hr in 2012 since 31/12/2011.

        Secondly, if you asked the question before 29/12/2011, then that would be correct. Here is why.

        “It was simply because the dateline back then before 31/12/2012 ran between Fiji and Samoa. The dateline as of 31/12/2012 now runs between west of American Samoa and east of Samoa.”The dateline as of 31/12/2012 now runs between west of American Samoa and east of Samoa. Why a dateline? We must bear in mind that the planet as created by the God of Creation is round and in any spherical object or laws of creation or physics and science, if we want to count a sperical object’s revolutions, we must have a reference point to start and end. Our round planet is in fact revolving on its axis, so by default in complying with laws of creation or science, we have no choice in the matter but we on earth must have a reference point to the start and end of each day). So Fiji being at the front of the dateline(a day ahead of Samoa(24hrs)) and Samoa being behind at the end of that dateline(1 day behind of Fiji) up until 29/12/2011.

        However, this is no longer accurate after 29/12/2011(which Samoa woke up on the 31/12/2012), the dateline is now to the east of Samoa. That means the time difference now between Fiji and Samoa, at the time of writing this, say on Monday 15/10/2012 is only 1hour(Fiji 0925hrs and Samoa 1025hrs because Fiji and samoa are now on the same side of the dateline. That is because Samoa is now at the front of the line(so to speak) and Fiji is now 1hr behind of Samoa, on the same side of the dateline. That’s all it is. The scientific adjustment to our reference point on earth will not and has not changed anything just like when we travel and cross the dateline(we just add or deduct a day like we do)

        So it is like us travelling from Australia to the US. When we cross the dateline signifying that we either add or subtract a day depending on the direction you are travelling.(Travelling to one direction you will be heading towards a different day but going the other direction you will be going back into the previous day(same day)).

        I hope I haven’t confused you more.

        Peace be upon you.

        Malopa’upo Isaia

    • Dear Dr Abdulrahiman,

      First of all, if you will examine the animation near the top of this article, you’ll see why a dateline is necessary. But God did not establish time zones. They are an invention of man and for the convenience of man. Neither is there any evidence that God establish a specific line as a date line, although there obviously has to be a point where one day ends and the other day begins.

      If we believe the account of the great flood that destroyed the surface of the planet some time after creation (must cultures have such stories), then we must realize that the surface of the planet changed a lot, with land masses shifting, as testified by science. (Even now, land masses are gradually moving on their tectonic plates.) Realistically speaking, we have no way of knowing where the “original dateline”or “creation dateline” was.

      We believe that God gave certain responsibilities to the governments of the earth. And the definition of the place where one day ends and the other day begins is one of these. The exact placement of the date line is decided by the governments of people who live in the Pacific Islands. They can choose whether to align themselves with the Asian day or the American day.

      The 15-degree lines of longitude or meridians are an invention of cartographers. Much of the world uses these lines as approximations for a way to establish time zones, in order to stay aligned with the sun being at its height at noon. Not all societies do this. China is one of them. The whole country adheres to China Standard time, which is natural time to Beijing. (Since the country spans nearly 60 degrees of longitude, it covers parts of 5 natural time zones.) Thus when the sun is directly overhead on the easternmost border of China (natural noon or 12:00), the sun is very low in the sky or has not yet risen on the westernmost border of China, natural time being equivalent to 7:00 in the morning.

      Thus it is evident that time zones around the globe are quite flexible at any particular latitude. The “date line” is just another time zone differentiation, although the impact is greater, because it divides one day from another at midnight, rather than just one hour from another.

      The discussion on this blog really hinges on the question whether or not individual religious entities may create a calendar, for purposes of religious observance, that is different from the calendar of the nation in which they reside.

      In Samoa, a small group of Seventh-day Adventists has chosen to continue to keep the seventh day of the local week, known as Saturday, as the Sabbath. By contrast, the main body of the church has chosen to create its own calendar strictly for religious observance, while the national calendar is used for all other purposes.

      Both the small group of Seventh-day Adventists who still keep Saturday and international observers find this to be an inconsistent position. The argument that Samoa “renamed the days of the week” seems ludicrous to all who understand the function of the date line.

  14. There is no international agreement about where the dateline is. Governments are free to make their own choice about which side of the date line they prefer to be. In fact the so-called international dateline is a cartographers’ reflection of what governments have decided rather than a mandate as to which side of the line countries or islands belong. The Fijian and Samoan governments are separate entities. In fact the State of Samoa and American Samoa are different governments and we now have the situation where they have separately determined their sides of the dateline.

  15. I believe that the worldwide consensus of the International Dateline passed in 1884 is the best way for us to account for days. In that meeting in Washington DC represented by about 27 countries, agreement to establish the prime median 0° at Greenwich in England and the 180° for day change half way around the world in the Pacific. The exception was to ensure that all islands of one country had the same day, the British Admiralty authorized the Dateline to deviate on the Pacific for the sake of Fiji, New Zealand, New Caledonia & Alaska.

    We know that the dateline is not an international agreement but most of the world recognize its importance and follow it. We also know that governments close to the dateline are free to make their own choice for which side they prefer to be (Western Hemisphere – USA side or Eastern Hemisphere – NZ side).

    As there is no clear instruction from the BIBLE for the establishment of the dateline and the keeping of the Sabbath around the dateline, it is important to listen to the local Seventh-day Adventist community and its leadership, STM, TPUM & SPD and the General Conference BRICOM committee.

    Where the SDA leadership stands I believe is the best (using the 180 degrees median – with the exceptions shown above). No matter what any government will do with the dateline, SDA in the Eastern Hemisphere will all worship on the same Sabbath; SDA in the Western Hemisphere will all worship on the same Sabbath. That shows that we are serious with keeping our Sabbath and live to our name 7th day.

    Let us not change from one day of the seven-day cycle to another because a Parliament, like Samoa, change the dateline for commercial reasons or any other reasons.

    Saturday now in Samoa is not the same day of the seven-day cycle with Saturday before 29 December 2011. There was a change in the seven-day cycle when Friday 30 December 2011 was dropped.

    What will happen if Samoa parliament will change the dateline again next year? Are we going to change the Sabbath day again? Just let the other churches change from one day to another because Sabbath is not important to them.

    Tonga is totally in the Western Hemisphere nevertheless follows Eastern Hemisphere time. That is why the Sabbath in Tonga is called Sunday (Eastern Hemisphere name). Samoa’s move in December 2011, dateline change, put them in the same situation with Tonga. The Sabbath in Samoa now is call Sunday (Eastern Hemisphere name). Remember that Samoa is in the Western Hemisphere like American Samoa and Tonga etc.

    On Sabbath when they sing their first hymn, Samoa, American Samoa & Tonga will sing at the same time. If they will be connected live with SKYPE, all three islands can sing the same hymn before the first prayer. In Samoa & Tonga the day is called Sunday – for commercial reasons; in American Samoa the day is correctly called Saturday.

    God Bless You All from Your SDA Brother in Christ

    • Dear Steve,

      I understand you wrote this comment prior to my earlier reply. Nevertheless, I’d like to briefly address each of your above points.

      You wrote:

      “I believe that the worldwide consensus of the International Dateline passed in 1884 is the best way for us to account for days.”

      The 4th Commandment in God’s law does not say, “Remember a Sabbath day to keep it holy.” In fact, it says, “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God.” This means that, in any place on earth, there is only one day of each week which can properly be observed as Jehovah’s holy Sabbath. As churches, and as individuals, we have no right to choose our own day. And, by extension, if there is only one Sabbath day, there can only be one day line. We can’t be choosing our own day line either.

      A thorough review of the nature and history of the day line will reveal that it coincides with today’s International Date Line. It has nothing to do with any 180-degree meridian.

      You wrote further:

      In that meeting in Washington DC represented by about 27 countries, agreement to establish the prime median 0° at Greenwich in England and the 180° for day change half way around the world in the Pacific. The exception was to ensure that all islands of one country had the same day, the British Admiralty authorized the Dateline to deviate on the Pacific for the sake of Fiji, New Zealand, New Caledonia & Alaska.”

      I have read all of the proceedings of that 1884 Conference in Washington, D.C., comprised of many meetings. If the agreement in regard to the Greenwich prime meridian implied anything at all regarding a day line, it could only have been a very subtle implication — and then it would have had to do only with the nautical day line.

      What you seem to be saying in regard to an agreement on a land-based day line, with exceptions, etc., is not to be found anywhere in the record of the proceedings. Nothing at all was said about the British Admiralty nor about allowances for any deviations. The previously existing land-based day line was simply not a topic for the 1884 Meridian Conference at all.

      You wrote:

      “We know that the dateline is not an international agreement but most of the world recognize its importance and follow it.”

      This is true. However, you are here referring to the so-called International Date Line, which is not the same as the 180-degree meridian.

      Again, you wrote:

      “What will happen if Samoa parliament will change the dateline again next year? Are we going to change the Sabbath day again?”

      If churches or individuals were free to choose their own day line, and therefore their own Sabbath, such considerations might indeed be pertinent to this discussion.

      If there is one thing that is crystal clear to me, from the writings of Ellen White, it’s that the day of God’s choosing will never be Sunday, as observed by the church of Rome and its admirers and imitators.

      God bless!

  16. R G White
    Thank you for responding and addressing the points that I gave. I totally agree with everything that you have given from the Bible. I believe all of those, that’s why I am a SDA member and love it (God’s church) with all my heart.

    The problem that we are facing is because the Bible, however, contains no statements regarding the dateline and the challenge of keeping the Sabbath around the dateline. The dateline which is necessary because the earth is round is not established by any divine principle, but solely on the basis of historical and practical human considerations.

    The Seventh-day Adventist pioneers coming to the Pacific understood, however, the 180th meridian to be the natural dateline and chose to keep the Sabbath in accordance with that. They observed that the sunset moved in a consistent line across the globe, without any random deviations, and the setting of the sun implied to them a biblical principle.

    R G White, if you know the solution for this problem than let us know so we can move on to discuss the rest of our fundamental beliefs.

    Have a great Sabbath…I will have my rest now for Church. God Bless

    • Dear Steve,

      Thank you for your courteous reply. Here are my responses to the points which you have made.

      You wrote:

      “The problem that we are facing is because the Bible, however, contains no statements regarding the dateline and the challenge of keeping the Sabbath around the dateline. The dateline which is necessary because the earth is round is not established by any divine principle, but solely on the basis of historical and practical human considerations.”

      While it is true that the Bible specifies no location for the day line, I believe that, correctly understood, the Bible is not entirely silent on the subject. For instance, the 1st two chapters of Genesis record the fact that God, in the beginning, placed us on this world (which we now understand is round), and immediately set apart the 7th day of each week. From this, I believe we can understand that God intended for there to be a day line.

      Why was no particular location specified? Farther along in Genesis, we read about the great flood, which destroyed all but 8 people, thus once again narrowing down the bounds of human habitation to one place. Then, we read about how God confounded the language of mankind, in order to scatter us over the face of the earth. From the nature of the day line, I think we can see why no set location for it could have been set. The day line had to develop naturally, at first, as the result of migration patterns. Later, it had to follow the course set by the collective decisions of the world’s civil governments.

      You wrote further:

      “The Seventh-day Adventist pioneers coming to the Pacific understood, however, the 180th meridian to be the natural dateline and chose to keep the Sabbath in accordance with that.”

      I’m afraid that it might be more accurate to say that those well-meaning pioneers misunderstood the 180-degree meridian to be a “natural” day line. The problem, of course, is that there is nothing in nature to tell us where the day line should be. The sunset circles the globe continuously, and there is nothing in either the sun or the earth to tell us when Thursday sunset suddenly becomes Friday sunset. This can only be determined by the local reckoning, anywhere on earth, and it is a simple fact that local governments have the right to choose between two possible orientations in determining that reckoning.

      Therefore, what our pioneers to the South Pacific actually did, in their relative ignorance, was to choose a theoretical day line of their own, rather than follow the local reckoning in Tonga. I do not criticize our pioneers for doing this, as there were a number of factors which may have led them to believe that this choice was entirely justified. Nevertheless, with the benefit of hindsight, we can clearly see today that this was a mistake, as it led to Sunday keeping in Tonga — the very practice against which Ellen White was inspired to solemnly warn us. Please see Ellen White, Selected Messages, Vol. 3, p. 318

      You have asked for a solution to the problem. I’m sorry that it may not be easy to put into place, but I am sure that we must do it sooner or later–so why not now? We must return our Seventh-day Adventist churches to Saturday Sabbath observance everywhere in the world. Right now, this will mean a change in Tonga, Wallis/Futuna, Kiribati, and Samoa/Tokelau. This will not be consistent with our past practices. However, once the change is made, our practice in these island nations will then be truly consistent, not only with our worldwide practice, but with the inspired testimonies.

      God bless!

  17. There are many Bible passages which point that the Sabbath and the new moon are related, but today most Sabbath keepers do not see nor understand the link. Even Isaiah 66:23 speaks of the new moon and the Sabbath in the New Earth. I have listed some verses here. Could you Bible Scholars out there share some light on these verses and explain to me why the church is not teaching the observance of the Sabbath in relation to the new moon?

    2 Kings 4:23
    And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.
    2 Kings 4:22-24 (in Context) 2 Kings 4 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    1 Chronicles 23:31
    And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD:
    1 Chronicles 23:30-32 (in Context) 1 Chronicles 23 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    2 Chronicles 2:4
    Behold, I build an house to the name of the LORD my God, to dedicate it to him, and to burn before him sweet incense, and for the continual shewbread, and for the burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts of the LORD our God. This is an ordinance for ever to Israel.
    2 Chronicles 2:3-5 (in Context) 2 Chronicles 2 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    2 Chronicles 8:13
    Even after a certain rate every day, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the solemn feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles.
    2 Chronicles 8:12-14 (in Context) 2 Chronicles 8 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    2 Chronicles 31:3
    He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD.
    2 Chronicles 31:2-4 (in Context) 2 Chronicles 31 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Nehemiah 10:33
    For the shewbread, and for the continual meat offering, and for the continual burnt offering, of the sabbaths, of the new moons, for the set feasts, and for the holy things, and for the sin offerings to make an atonement for Israel, and for all the work of the house of our God.
    Nehemiah 10:32-34 (in Context) Nehemiah 10 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Isaiah 1:13
    Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
    Isaiah 1:12-14 (in Context) Isaiah 1 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Isaiah 66:23
    And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
    Isaiah 66:22-24 (in Context) Isaiah 66 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Ezekiel 45:17
    And it shall be the prince’s part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel.
    Ezekiel 45:16-18 (in Context) Ezekiel 45 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Ezekiel 46:1
    Thus saith the Lord GOD; The gate of the inner court that looketh toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the sabbath it shall be opened, and in the day of the new moon it shall be opened.
    Ezekiel 46:1-3 (in Context) Ezekiel 46 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Ezekiel 46:3
    Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the LORD in the sabbaths and in the new moons.
    Ezekiel 46:2-4 (in Context) Ezekiel 46 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Hosea 2:11
    I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.
    Hosea 2:10-12 (in Context) Hosea 2 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations
    Amos 8:5
    Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?
    Amos 8:4-6 (in Context) Amos 8 (Whole Chapter) Other Translations

    • Dear Phyllis,

      The word translated “Sabbath” actually means “rest.” So on the seventh day of creation week God “sabbatized” i.e. rested.

      So perhaps you can understand that every time the word “Sabbath” is used in the Bible, it does not necessarily refer to the seventh-day Sabbath. There were quite a number of rest days/i.e. sabbath days in the Jewish sanctuary calendar distinct from the weekly Sabbath.

      If it were true that the seventh-day Sabbath depended on the new moon, surely we should find such an understanding among the Jewish people who observed the seventh-day Sabbath for thousands of years, don’t you think?

      As for the monthly “new moon” celebrations – as far as we know they were sacred occasions particularly focused on the family, somewhat like the yearly Yom Kippur for the nation. They were a time to settle grievances, make things right and come into full family harmony with each other and with God. Thus such occasions were not lightly missed by family members. They were a means to strengthen family bonds.

      With this understanding, try reading the texts again to see what they mean in such a cultural/religious context. Please notice that the texts do not indicate that the sabbaths and the new moons were dependent on each other. But they were both sacred occasions.

  18. Too much precious times are being wasted away with this issue but rather on soul saving efforts. Just what Ellen White warned against this IDL issue. When we ignore and oppose to the leaders who were ordained by God through His church, perlplexity and confusion resulted and will lead to division and the spirit of independant with in the Body of Christ. If our appointed leaders and the current administrations falter, God will expose it and bring it to His body the light of the truth for Christ promised He will never leave nor foresake us like Orphans. I believe that God will revealed where the right from wrong at His time on this issue, but in the meantime we must continue to remain together in the Organized Body Of Christ and carry out the Great Commission God entrusted to us for the salvation of this lost world. Allow the Holy Spirit to do His mighty work and let us not complicate it or interfere with it, for the days are bad and the time is running out. I hate to see God raise up these rocks to finish His Work. In context God will finish His work of Salvation with or without us. Self must die in order for us to posess the power of Christ in us and make us Victors of this Great Controversy. My prayer is for all of us to come to true repentance before God that we may be saved. CHEERS!!!

    • Dear Asoleiuga,

      Your zeal for evangelism is commendable, and especially your longing that we might die to self that the power of Christ might rest upon us. I share these sentiments wholeheartedly.

      I also agree with you that much of the attention which has been given to the issue of the Sabbath in the South Pacific has indeed been a waste of time. On the other hand, I could wish that far more attention were given to the matter, in the right way, and that all of our members around the world were aware of what is happening, especially in Samoa. Why do I feel this way?

      Jesus came all the way from heaven, leaving the 99, to save the one lost sheep. How much more precious to us must be God’s faithful 7th-day (Saturday) Sabbath keepers in Tonga and Samoa! Oh, I’m not saying that our other members there are not just as precious, but who is holding up the torch of the Sabbath truth in those islands? Yet these have been denied access to their church facilities, denied pastoral care, branded as disloyal and trouble makers, even denied the right to meet together in their own homes on Sabbath morning in some of their villages.

      As our SDA Church leaders in the region double down on their misguided efforts to promote Sunday observance and to stifle dissent, our Samoan Saturday Sabbath Keepers are definitely at risk. How can we who deeply believe in their cause do nothing? Yes, God is in control, and He is certainly capable of handling the situation without our help, but is that the way in which He has chosen to work?

      ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the angel of the LORD, ‘Curse its inhabitants bitterly, Because they did not come to the help of the LORD, To the help of the LORD against the mighty.’ Judges 5:23 NKJV

      Evidently, when we see that the cause and people of God are threatened, He expects us to fight His battles, humbly and in the strength and wisdom which only He can provide. So, what do you think, Brother? Shall we heed the calls to keep silent at this time, and not come to what we believe is the help of Jehovah?

    • Dear Brother,

      There are some 8000 Seventh-Day Adventists in Samoa that in my mind are souls worth saving, AND, who are worth every moment of our “precious times”, sharing God’s Word and His truth don’t you think?

      The leaders of the SPD and STM were ordained by God to do His bidding, not perpetuate the lie that Sunday worship is the 7th-Day Sabbath. I asked you the question in a recent exchange of postings, if you could provide biblical references that support Sunday worship. I also asked the same question of the SPD leadership, as did others in opposition to their position, and to date neither they nor you have provided an answer to this question. Therefore I and many like me, must rely on God’s leading and His inspired Word, to provide the answer, in prayerful leading by the Holy Spirit, NOT man — as represented by the SPD or STM or any other source that misrepresents God’s Word and His truth.

      I would still appreciate you sharing your thoughts to support Sunday worship and where this may be found in God’s Word.

      Your brother in Jesus,

      • We are 7th Day Adventists and not Saturday Adventists or Sunday Adventists. God will judge us by the number of the day and not by these Pagan names of the weekdays given by the Papacy. I know without a doubt that God will not allow the numbers nor the weekly cycle to be vanished from our sights. Pray that you will not fall into temptations. With much love for the brothers in the Hood. CHEERS!!!

        • “God will judge us by the number of the day and not by these Pagan names of the weekdays given by the Papacy.”

          Of course, I should hope that God’s judgment on us as individuals will take much more than just this into consideration. Even His judgment on our obedience will, I believe, largely depend upon the love which motivates it.

          That said, let’s just take a quick look at what you have said in regard to the matter of name versus number. Personally, I feel quite willing to at least temporarily set aside the names of the days of the week, for purposes of analysis, but here’s what’s interesting. All of the names, by definition, imply numbers. Did you know that?

          So, whenever we might have said “Saturday,” we must now say “the 7th day” which the name implies. Whenever we might have said “Sunday,” we must now say “the 1st day” which that name implies. Making this substitution, here is a short summary of the situation in Tonga and Samoa.

          When our pioneer missionaries first arrived in Tonga, they found strict laws enforcing “Sabbath” rest on the 1st day of the week. However, using the 180-degree meridian as their day line, instead of accepting the local reckoning, they declared that the 1st day in Tonga is really the 7th day.

          When Samoa shifted the International Date Line at the end of 2011, the Samoa Tokelau Mission leaders declared that the 1st day of the week in Samoa is now the 7th day, the Sabbath. Thus, the majority of Adventists in Samoa now worship together every week on the 1st day. Nearly all SDA churches in Samoa are now closed on the 7th day of the week, so the 7th-day Sabbath keepers have been forced to worship wherever they can find a place to meet. Those who persist in keeping the Sabbath on the 7th day, contrary to the wishes of the STM executive, are now deemed to be disloyal members, working against the church.

          Correctly substituting numbers for the names of the days of the week doesn’t do much to justify the course of our church leaders in the South Pacific, does it?

        • Sunday is the first day of the week everywhere in the world so how can Adventists in Samoa and Tonga honestly call themselves SEVENTH-day Adventists when they keep Sunday?

    • Dear Brother Asoleiuga,

      Too much precious times are being wasted away with this issue but rather on soul saving efforts.

      Who is wasting the time? The true Sabbath keepers are busying themselves with sharing God’s truth with those around them. However, contrary to your suggestion, God’s time is now. When the leadership of God’s people teach the flocks assigned them to turn from the clear path of duty, God intervenes by sending a person or persons to bring out the truth and help God’s people to get back on track. A few examples – Elijah, Nehemiah and Amos. Notice that these were not from the established leadership. God often gets His work done by people who seem to come out of nowhere. And they were looked on as “troublers” of Israel, i.e. “trouble makers.” If I were you I would be careful not to dismiss those who are standing up for God’s true Sabbath and God’s true Sabbath Keepers. You may well find yourself fighting against God.

      Just what Ellen White warned against this IDL issue.

      It is evident that you do not fully understand what Ellen White warned against. If you did you would see that her warning points to the SPD’s actions rather than to the Seventh-day (Saturday) keepers. I’m surprised that you who keep the same Sabbath on the same date as the whole world church cannot see the error of teaching people to keep Sunday as sabbath on a different day and date.

      When we ignore and oppose to the leaders who were ordained by God through His church, perplexity and confusion resulted and will lead to division and the spirit of independent with in the Body of Christ.

      The apostle Paul commends the Berean Christians for their willingness to hear his message and then go home and study to see if what Paul preached was true. Apparently you have a differing concept of the member to leader relationship. You would do well to study about the biblical teaching of the priesthood of all believers, as well as remember that the Holy Spirit is the personal teacher of all true believers. Each member is responsible to work out his own salvation. We cannot safely leave that to leaders. They are people just like anyone else; they can be wrong. After all, it was the spiritual leaders of God’s church who crucified His Son. The Bible teaches us to respectfully check them out – hold on to the good and reject the false.

      If our appointed leaders and the current administrations falter, God will expose it and bring it to His body the light of the truth for Christ promised He will never leave nor forsake us like Orphans.

      That is what God is doing right now, and He’s using people to do it, as He has throughout history. This is too serious a matter to wait while Satan takes hold of a whole generation of your fellow Samoans. If you can’t bring yourself to support God’s truth, I respectfully suggest you get out of the way.

      I believe that God will revealed where the right from wrong at His time on this issue, but in the meantime we must continue to remain together in the Organized Body Of Christ and carry out the Great Commission God entrusted to us for the salvation of this lost world. Allow the Holy Spirit to do His mighty work and let us not complicate it or interfere with it, for the days are bad and the time is running out. I hate to see God raise up these rocks to finish His Work. In context God will finish His work of Salvation with or without us. Self must die in order for us to possess the power of Christ in us and make us Victors of this Great Controversy. My prayer is for all of us to come to true repentance before God that we may be saved. CHEERS!!!

      Amen to that!

      Your brother in Christ (at least I hope so),

        We must be very careful of our self righteousness, for God wIll cast a strong delusion over them and cause them to believe in a well fabricated lie by the enemy, and will lead to a denial of The Power thereof. This is DECEPTION at its best. When a person is decieved, such individual will be totally blinded of his/her condition. Only by the power of God through The Holy Spirit can removed the veil of DECEPTION. Jesus warned us in the Gospels, Beloved, let no one DECIEVE you by any means. Satan is aware of this and he’s using this method today to destroy many who denied the Power thereof. Bare in mind all Jesus’s warnings are directed to the Believers especially in this day and age we’re living in. Let us come before the Lord with contrite hearts and respectfully invite the Holy Spirit to work and to do His Will in us. We must posses a true living experience of God and not just a form of Godliness, to enable us to withstands Satan’s darts of DECEPTIONS that will destroy our hope of ETERNAL LIFE with Jesus in Heaven. He that exalt himself will be humbled, and he that humble himself will be exalted. Much love to you all and wishing you all a delightful 7th. day Sabbath just around the corner. CHEERS!!!

  19. The fact that some of these discredited SPD arguments are no longer used by the SPD deserves examination and exposure. If their base arguments are false, their conclusion and recommendation to keep Sunday cannot be supported by facts.

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