Many people are coming to the conclusion that the Sabbath day is valid and are keeping it every week. But for some, that day was “changed” from the seventh day of the week (Saturday) to the “first” day of the week (Sunday) and that error has been exposed and dealt with many times, not only on this site, but from many sources. However, there is another error that is being taught in some circles and that is the teaching called “The Lunar Sabbath.”
This teaching says that once you sight the new moon every month, it is called “New Moon Day” and the next day is day “one” and you count seven days and the seventh day is the true Sabbath, which is really day eight. Then the 15th, 22nd and 29th day are “sabbaths” or some variation of that. The truth is, this Lunar Sabbath teaching finds no scriptural support. The followers of this false doctrine rely on the writings of men for their support. But, we should use the Word of God for our support, not commentaries, Jewish or non-Jewish encyclopedias, or other things for our support if it contradicts the Scriptures.
We know some of the proponents of this doctrine and they all have a serious misunderstanding of the Scriptures in many ways. Some are new to the faith and false teachers got into their heads at an early stage and indoctrinated them in many errors and some are false teachers themselves who we have dealt with personally. They are the ones who never saw a wrong doctrine they didn’t like, as long as someone listened and gave them some sort of support. They write books, go on the radio and the internet and appear knowledgeable, but they are hidden reefs and clouds without water.
So, this question is going to come up among Sabbath observers, so we are going to briefly deal with it here. This will help you identify and confront this error with simple, biblical truth. To test this doctrine, one needs only to consult the Word of God, and the Lord gave us an answer to this false teaching in Genesis 1. The first day of the week was day “one” of creation (Gen 1.1-5). God sanctified the seventh day as the Sabbath (Gen 2.1-3), independent of the lunar cycle because the moon wasn’t created until the fourth day (Gen 1.14-19).
If the Sabbath is to be reckoned from the sighting of the new moon, called a “Lunar Sabbath” then why did the Lord rest on the seventh day of creation and not day 11? Proponents of the lunar sabbath say that the new moon is also a Sabbath day of rest, but if it is, why didn’t the Lord rest on day four when he created the moon? The truth is, the week began without a moon, so the week is reckoned independent of a new moon (day 4). The Lord said in Exo 20.8-11 says that we are to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. We are to labor six days, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day and we are not to do any work. Then it says in v 11, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day (Gen 2.1-3); therefore the Lord blessed the seventh day and made it holy.”
We are to follow his example. We are to have six days of labor between seventh day Sabbaths, not seven or eight like Lunar Sabbatarians. This concept is inconsistent with the scriptural mandate for determining the festival of Shavuot, or Pentecost. The count to Shavuot is to begin “on the morrow after the Sabbath” and it is to contain seven Sabbath days until you reach 50 days.
Another scriptural way of disproving the Lunar Sabbath theory is the collection of the manna in the wilderness. God sent manna for six days and did not on the seventh day Sabbath. Israel has kept track ever since. There is not one shred of evidence that disproves that Israel has been keeping the wrong Sabbath day. In fact, the false religions of the world know when the Sabbath day is because they changed it to another day in order to not be identified with the Jewish Sabbath (See our teachings on Replacement Theology on this site for more detail).
Some Lunar Sabbatarians say that after the Babylonian Captivity, the Jewish calendar was changed from a lunar calendar to the current calendar due to pagan influence, but that isn’t true either. Yeshua and the first century believers kept the same Sabbath day as everyone else. He would not have participated in a pagan calendar that diverted from the biblical calendar that he created, because he was there at creation, so he should know when the Sabbath day was, and he endorsed the seventh day calendar by observing it. We could go on and give you other reasons, but these are enough to disprove this theory. No serious consideration should be given to the Lunar Sabbath teaching.