The Samoan Sabbath Dilemma — 422 Comments

  1. I think our observance of Sabbath must be within the context of culture and relative to the culture's determination of Sunday versus Sabbath. The Sabbath is a sign that our Creator God sanctifies us. It is the culmination, rather than the beginning, of the week.


  2. Karl is bang on. Sabbath, a day of rest, not the (Sunday) beginning of the week.

  3. "The mind of Christ..." Jesus told us that we would know "them" by their fruits.

    One of the things that has been quite overlooked (or hurriedly glossed over) in the quest to prove what day is right and whose eternal math or counting methodology is correct, is that of Christian deportment.

    Throughout the entire course of human history, one key thing has always been useful to help identify those who were doing the will of God at any given moment, vs those who weren't -- even when comparing two parties belonging to the same religious system.

    The identifier is this: Who is exemplifying the mind of Christ? Whose behavior is like that of the Lamb?

    Since this entire conflict is ostensibly about commandment keeping, it would do us well to look at two verses: Revelation 14:12 and Revelation 12:17

    As this situation continues to unfold, all of the concerned parties need to prayerfully consider which part they are playing as it pertains to these two verses, and what their selected role says about their source and spiritual leadership.

    HINT: The mind of Christ is only in one of these roles...

  4. In Tonga Seventh day Adventists have been going to church on Sunday's for many decades, due to a similar change in the dateline.
    Tonga is on about the same longitude as Samoa.
    It is logical therefore that Seventh day Adventists should be going to
    church on the same day (ie Sunday) in both countries.

    • Thank you for your comment, Richard.

      Would you be so kind as to document when this re-alignment with the dateline took place in Tonga? (My searching has not turned up any evidence of such a change. Could you at least give us a date when this happened?)

      And if it is "logical" to go to church on Sunday in Tonga and Samoa, why not in New Zealand or Australia? What is the logic for making a distinction?

      Perhaps I should ask a bigger question: God said that His Sabbath is a sign between Him and His people that He is the Lord who sanctifies them. (Ezekiel 20:12, 20) How does that sign stand out when those who profess to be God's remnant people worship on the day that is the mark of Rome's power?

      • Without having read all of the posts,just the main dilemma. Out side of the fact that there had been a previous time change, I think that continuing the present day cycle is the obvious answer. Even if it would now be and ended up as the first day of the week. It's not the name that man has placed on that day but the name that God had originally given. Sabbath

    • Thanks Richard,

      Hawaii, American Samoa and Western Samoa last year (2011) have been going to church (SDA) on the same day; all 3 countries have been doing this for more than a hundred years.

      In Western Samoa (so as Hawii and American Samoa) this year the SDA leaders and church family are still following that winning formula of keeping every 7th day according to the holy bible (Exo 20:8-11), BUT there are those who want to change this winning formula which God has given us. They claim that the SDA church should not follow the bible’s winning formula BUT follow a NEW FORMULA (unbiblical formula) which is “FOLLOW SATURDAY (Sabbath) ONLY”

      Even though the bible from Genesis to Revelation doesn’t say that the Sabbath should be on SATURDAY ONLY, they still quote bible verses such as Luke 23:52-24:1 and Matt 28:1-6 to support a Saturday Sabbath ONLY. What do we say/think of those who are misquoting the bible this way?

      You said “It is logical therefore that Seventh day Adventists should be going to church on the same day (ie Sunday) in both countries.vv” and let me just add on to that by saying that it is VERY LOGICAL to follow the bible’s winning formula of going to church every 7th day, not going to church every Saturday because the holy bible NEVER says that.

      God bless

      • Dear Viliami,

        Richard argued in favor of Sunday keeping on the basis of the tradition of Sunday keeping on the Tongan islands. You appear to be agreeing with Richard, but I don't see you documenting when this re-alignment of Tonga with the date line occurred. Could you document this for us?

        Until you do, I have to believe what I have read -- that the first missionaries who came from America didn't accept the local Tongan reckoning of time. (A similar mistake seems to have been made by E.H. and Ida Gaves when they visited Samoa. See Ulrike's comment above.) The first missionary couple mistakenly taught the Tongan people that Sunday is the seventh day of the week. In other words, the Tongan people were never taught the full Seventh-day Adventist message before being baptized.

        Don't you think it's about time the Tongan people got to hear the full message?

        Keeping the seventh day of the local week, as those keeping Saturday in Samoa are doing is not a new thing. It is simple obedience to the command to observe the Sabbath of the Lord according to the commandment. (See Ex 20:8-11) While the seventh day is called "Saturday" in English, it is called the equivalent of "Sabbath" in many current and ancient languages of the world -- testifying to the ancient history of the true Sabbath of the Lord.

        You might consider keeping Sunday a "winning formula," but it is not keeping the seventh-day Sabbath. Creating a special Adventist calendar that makes Sunday appear to be the seventh day of the week, because Samoa re-aligned itself in regard to the date line, doesn't make it the seventh day of the week. It is still the first day of the week.

        And even if those who worship on Sunday in the South Pacific call it "the seventh day," they are still worshiping a day later than all other Seventh-day Adventists around the world. While Seventh-day Adventists worshiped on March 10, the "seventh-day" Sunday keepers, worshiped on March 11. And next week, seventh-day Sabbath keepers will worship on March 17, while "seventh-day" Sunday keepers will worship on March 18, and so on -- always a day late.

      • Dear Inge,

        You are right, Tonga has never moved the IDL.

        You said “that the first missionaries who came from America didn’t accept the local Tongan reckoning of time.” I believe you may have been misled, and may be let astray by a false idea? Let me explain. When the first missionaries came to Tonga they TOTALLY ACCEPT the local Tongan reckoning of time, for they call Tokonaki (Preparation day) Tokonaki according to the local calendar. They call Sapate (Sabbath) Sapate, Monday Monday, Tuesday Tuesday, Wednesday Wednesday Thursday Thursday and Friday Friday. Did the missionaries ever call Tuesday Monday or Sapate (Sabbath) Tokonaki (Preparation)?

        So my question is: how did you come to the conclusion “that the first missionaries who came from America didn’t accept the LOCAL Tongan reckoning of time.”? Can you show proof of this?

        Remember, that no government have any right to tell us (people) who (how, when) to worship. Even in the great USA, whether you are a Moslem, SDA, Catholics, LDS, Atheist, Buddhist, etc you are free to worship whoever, whatever and whenever you want. I believe this is the first deception that one MUST believe, before accepting and declaring others. The deception “that the first missionaries who came from America didn’t accept the local Tongan reckoning of time.”

        You also said “A similar mistake seems to have been made by E.H. and Ida Gaves when they visited Samoa.” I just wanted to know whether you have consider that maybe, just maybe E.H. and Ida Gaves were right all these years, after all they were filled and let by the Holy Spirit to spread God’s messages/TRUTHS (not lie) across the Pacific. That God through E.H. and Ida Gaves left us a blue print or “winning formular” to follow? That the great leaders of the Samoan Mission, SPD and GC may be right because they all are being let by the same Holy Spirit which let the early missionaries of the past?

        I believe that the Spirit that is leading President Uili Solofa and the Samoan Mission today is the very SAME Spirit that has let E.H. and Ida Gaves more than 100 years ago in the very same region.

        God surely works in mysterious ways, for just like the great missionaries of the past (more that 100 yrs ago), the leaders of today are still being chosen and let by God don't you think? I suggest that perhaps the MISTAKE doesn’t lie with the missionaries and leaders of the SDA church, but somewhere else?

        I wonder if you are still holding on to the idea (not biblical) that the Sabbath cannot be any other day, but the day before Sunday? For you said, the “seventh day is the day before SUNDAY, ACCORDING to Matt 28:1-6.”

        Let me ask you: Which/what bible says that the “7th day is the day before SUNDAY?” for I believe this is one of the ways (deception) Satan has been so successful, because he (Satan) has convinced certain sections of our SDA members that the holy bible really teach that the SABBATH has to be on SATURDAY or the day before SUNDAY. I believe that once anyone believes this deception (Sabbath on Saturday ONLY), other deception is not so hard to accept.

        God bless

        • Dear Viliami Latu,

          Was God leading the Millerite movement when it came to the conclusion that Jesus was coming in the 1843/44 timeframe?

          Was God leading His people when the early Adventist believers originally kept Sabbath from 6pm to 6pm -- for 10 years?

          Does God leading people mean that zero mistakes will be made or that no incorrect conclusions can be reached by those people at any time, or for any duration?

          You have repeatedly attempted to use Sis White as validation for the Sabbath being on a day understood to be Sunday by everyone else. Does the fact that Sis White repeatedly refers to the false Sabbath as "Sunday" have no bearing on your acceptance of that day for worship as it is understood by the local populace? She distinctly ties "first day" and "Sunday" together on quite a number of occasions. Does this not bear any weight in this matter? If the false Sabbath is labeled Sunday, would not the true one always be labeled Saturday (for English speakers, at least)?

          Here are a few quotes:

          The law for the observance of the first day of the week is the production of an apostate Christendom. Sunday is a child of the papacy, exalted by the Christian world above the sacred day of God's rest. In no case are God's people to pay it homage.... {CCh 317.4}

          Dear Brethren and Sisters: I have been much burdened in regard to movements that are now in progress for the enforcement of Sunday observance. It has been shown to me that Satan has been working earnestly to carry out his designs to restrict religious liberty. Plans of serious import to the people of God are advancing in an underhand manner among the clergymen of various denominations, and the object of this covert maneuvering is to win popular favor for the enforcement of Sunday sacredness. {R. & H. Extra December 24, 1889}

          Many who are working for Sunday enforcement have never understood the claims of the Bible Sabbath, and the false foundation on which the Sunday institution rests. And they are blinded to the results of Sunday legislation. They do not see that it would be a blow against religious liberty. But any movement in favor of religious legislation is really an act of concession to the Papacy, which for so many ages has steadily warred against liberty of conscience. Sunday owes its existence as a so-called Christian institution to the "mystery of iniquity;" and its enforcement will be a virtual recognition of the principles which are the very corner-stone of Romanism. {ST, November 28, 1900 par. 4}

          There are many, many more statements of this nature which can be found by searching the site. Why did God impress upon His servant to use the term Sunday each time?

        • Dear Viliami,

          If I am understanding correctly, the (Asian) week first introduced to the Tongans by the original (non-Adventist) missionaries from the London Missionary Society went like this:

          First day (called Seventh day by Viliami) -- Sapate (Sabbath)
          Second day (called First day...) -- Monday
          Third day (called Second day...) -- Tuesday
          Fourth day (called Third day...) -- Wednesday
          Fifth day (called Fourth day...) -- Thursday
          Sixth day (called Fifth day...) -- Friday
          Seventh day (called Sixth day by Viliami) -- Tokonaki (Preparation)

          I am using the day number that would correspond to the position of each day in the Asian week, since Tonga is generally recognised as lying to the west of the IDL. However, I am also noting the day numbers which I believe you are using. Am I correct?

          Our readers may note the obvious bias (and I'd say deception) inherent in this system, introduced by those first non-Adventist (Sunday keeping) missionaries. They called the day after Friday (which I believe is the true Sabbath) "Preparation," and the day before Monday (i.e. Sunday) they called "Sabbath!"

          Viliami, you say that the first Adventist missionaries totally accepted these names for the days of the week, and were not trying to push the American week on the Tongans at all. If this were true and correct, then the actions of those first Adventist missionaries to Tonga in accepting and promoting Sunday observance (on the day before Monday), would have been far, far worse than a mere blunder, I must say.

          When we say that those first (American) Adventist missionaries to Tonga were trying to teach the American week to the local society, we are giving those missionaries the benefit of the doubt -- putting the best possible construction on their motives -- and calling their actions a massive (but relatively innocent) blunder. I feel it is my Christian duty to view things in this way, in the absence of conclusive evidence to the contrary.

          Our first Adventist missionaries to Tonga should have accepted the Asian week, and taught the people that Friday is really Tokonaki (Preparation), and that the day after Friday is really Sapate (Sabbath). As I see it, their mistake will still have to be corrected, sooner or later.

        • Viliami,

          The Bible says Jesus was crucified on preparation day -- history proves that was Friday. He was in the tomb during Sabbath -- we know that was what we now call Saturday. Christ rose early on the first day of the week - to deny that the resurrection day was what we now call Sunday, is to place yourself in the realm of fairy tales.

          Inge was right saying the first SDA missionaries did not accept the local reckoning of time. If they did, they would never have reported that Samoa was observing the seventh day Sabbath but calling it "Sunday."

          How do you explain why the majority of your SDA countymen and women living outside Samoa, believe the Samoas-Tokelau Mission has made a mistake by keeping Sunday?

      • I approve on the following of the seven day cycle. I think that the change would be that instead of following another part of the world into a Sabbath they would actually leading the other part of the world in a Sabbath. It is the seven day cycle that is paramount. In this discussion not the name of the day. It would still be called the Sabbath.

      • Viliame and Gerald,

        How do you know that the day the Sunday-keeping missionaries named “Sabate” is the actual Sabbath of the Lord? It is clearly “Sunday” in the rest of the world. (Compare the Tongan calendar with any other calendar in the world, where Sunday-keeping is prevalent.)

        Viliame, the main thing wrong with your "winning formula" is really that it's not found in the Bible. Please point me to any place in the Bible that points to an "unbroken cycle" rather than the "seventh day." I can't find any.

        The commandment in Exodus simply refers to “the seventh day.” The seventh day of what? Wouldn’t it be the seventh day of the week? And, because we have no way of counting back to creation, it is practical to trace the days of the week back to the time of Christ. We know there has been no break in the weekly cycle since then.

        What was the seventh-day Sabbath in the time of Christ? Was it not the day before the day now called “Sabate” in Tonga — the same day called Sunday in the rest of the world? It really doesn’t matter what that day is called in your language, but it is still the seventh day of the week, wherever you are. (In most English-speaking nations, it is called Saturday.)

        An “unbroken cycle” for the seventh day is a man-made rule, not a biblical one. And when it results in people who call themselves Seventh-day Adventists worshiping on the first day of the week, it’s not hard to see that there’s something wrong with that rule.

  5. The article was very confusing to me in that it seemed that the first half of it made a case for following the government and then the application at the concluded the opposite. It said in the first half, “Therefore, I cannot escape the conclusion that the promised Sabbath blessing is bestowed on the basis of our willingness to obey and our sincerity of purpose. Hence, I believe that we need to follow the principles of Romans 13…” Then it qualified that statement with, “going along with the government as long as they are not asking us to do anything wrong.” Is the “government” asking them to worship on “Sunday,” the first day of the week or are they simply saying that Saturday now matches the Saturday of Australia not the Saturday of the U.S.?

    Another point that is confusing is that the article stated, “The Mission administration, after considering the matter, had decided to begin observing Sunday (from sunset to sunset, of course) as the Sabbath.” Did they really do this? Are they keeping “Sunday” as the first day of the week or the new “Saturday” as the 7th day of the week. As far as the people of Samoa are concerned don’t they consider that it is “Saturday” and not “Sunday.” It seems pointless to say they are “keeping Sunday” when the people consider it Saturday.

    The part about this that I find disturbing if it is true, is that they are being asked to “withdraw their membership” (from the e-mail by the SSNET Editor on this) for following their conscience in this? It seems to me that there must be far more than just this issue involved here. When does a church ask you to “withdraw your membership” and for what reasons? Normally the process is dropping their membership by disfellowshipping them which would be done for apostasy or openly living in sin. Are they being accused of “apostasy” for this? I would hope not.

    • Dear Rob,

      Some of the discussion following the article probably made some things clearer, but you can't be blamed for not having read all of it yet. But please do go back and read some more. Some very important details emerge.

      The people who are being asked to withdraw their membership are worshiping on the day that is Saturday according to local time. (That was on March 3, 2012.) Lance Cutts lives in Apia, Samoa, where the Samoan Mission office is located. He shared this information
      in a brief comment. Click here to read it.

      More than 95% of Samoan Seventh-day Adventists in Samoa are now worshiping on the local Sunday. If you'll read the earlier comments you will see the reasons given for worshiping on Sundays are that it is important to continue the weekly cycle from before the IDL change of 2011. (Yet there was a previous change in 1892.) Proponents of Sunday worship also argue for consistency in regard to counsel given to islands lying eat of the 180th Meridian. Unfortunately this results in inconsistency with the teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist church world-wide as well as inconsistency with the practice of Adventists during the rest of the week. (They recognize New Zealand days the rest of the week.) Those arguing for worshiping on Sunday consider that it is the new seventh day. Thus they believe they are worshiping on the "correct" day.

    • Dear Rob,

      I am sorry that you have not found things as clear as you might wish them to be. I thought it important to open the subject by writing an article on a timely basis, but subsequent study and interaction have definitely deepened my own understanding of the issues involved.

      Please let me respond to your questions, one by one. I believe that Satan's strategy here (and our biggest potential pitfall) is to lead people to fear a government conspiracy where none exists. What the Samoa government did was really quite harmless, merely shifting the date line -- choosing the Asian week over the American one, where either choice would be valid and entirely within reason under the circumstances. The government was indeed "simply saying that Saturday now matches the Saturday of Australia, not the Saturday of the U.S." Hence, I believe that the principle of Romans 13 applies here.

      As incredible as it may seem, the Samoas-Tokelau Mission leadership (urged on by the South Pacific Division leaders) really did adopt the keeping of "Sunday," the first day of the week, while promoting a theory that would make it the true seventh day. I, for one, cannot give the least credence to their theories.

      As for those who will not go along with this decision, but who insist on continuing to observe the Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset, yes, they are clearly being accused of apostasy. And just what is the "sin" of which they are guilty? They are not bowing down to the misguided opinions of the church leaders in the region. Thus I have referred to them as a "Mordecai at the gate."

      • Rob, as a church, this is our biggest potential pitfall. It is the soft underbelly of the church, and it's worrisome to me. I cannot tell you how prevalent conspiracy theories are in the pulpits where I live. They are taken as being synonymous with the spirit of prophecy; and there are few who resist.
        Sometimes--just sometimes--church can feel lonely because of this.

        • Hi Andrew,

          Ultimately, we need to make our calling and election sure with God. Fellowship is important, but a right relationship with our Savior, and harmony with His commandments is even more important. He will not only be a friend to us, He can connect us with the right people, too...

    • The day to the world would be Sunday but to a Sabbath keeper it is still the Sabbath. In all actuality Many of the Seventh Day Adventist church don't use the word Saturday on Sabbath,they use the name that comes from the Bible, Sabbath.

      • Gerald,

        Whether or not members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church use the word Saturday in conjunction with the Sabbath, can you tell me anywhere on the planet where the 7th day is understood to be different from what an English speaker would call Saturday?

        Also, in what way is Sabbath-keeping a memorial of the 7th day, if it is celebrated on what everyone else knows to be the 1st day?

  6. My Brothers and Sisters

    Are we creatures of habit and tradition? Or do we follow the simple beautiful teachings of Jesus. If we allow the enemy to divide us on this point, the house will not stand. What is Friday night begins the Sabbath through Saturday night. . The Sabbath is Gods mark which we must keep.

    Simply observe Saturday the day of Sabbath.

  7. Quote from Andrew Baker: "The identifier is this: Who is exemplifying the mind of Christ? Whose behavior is like that of the Lamb?"

    Revelation 13 depicts a system that shows some characteristics of the Lamb, with lamb-like horns--in profession pure, gentle, and harmless-- that speaks as a dragon.
    What is the characteristic that makes it speak like a dragon? Forcing worship?

    When sanctions are imposed on those who refuse to worship on Sunday (that's how we've always understood it)

    So if we follow the above counsel -- which side is following the true LAMB? And which side is professing to be lamb like while threatening action against those who don't worship according to the decision that Sunday is God's day?

    Something to think about.

  8. Legalism has always been rampant in the Adventist religion and always seems to claim a prestigious position in the forefront. Perhaps we should read Pauls writings again where the love of our Lord Jesus comes first. If you love him, you will keep the 7th day Sabbath. The I'm right and you're wrong attitude has been with my fellow Christians all my life because they try so hard to attain perfection. The day we worship on sets us apart because of our LOVE for our Lord. The Seventh Day has been blessed and hallowed, never the first.

    • According to the church members, they are worshiping on the true seventh day--regardless of what the world says or calls it.
      I think we as a church have painted ourselves into this corner by ourselves, because we have lost (if we ever knew) the meaning of the Sabbath day a long time ago.
      The day that the Sabbath became all about us (and how peculiar/faithful we are), was the day we headed down that pathway.

      I think we should just leave things be; and create a foundation for the next generation not to make such a mistake again. But imagine that--these people were misled (in my humble opinion) by their own piety; which give you insight into our church's peculiar proclivities. Our church always, when it falls (more often than not) falls down here.

      • We've painted ourselves into corners by spending too much time trying to prove our faith with spurious reasoning, rather than relying upon the simplicity of the gospel and the clearest evidence from God as to what is right and what is wrong.

        If the folks in Samoa have decided to ignore the dateline change, then how do they behave when they visit another location which is *now* on the same side of the dateline as they are, but would have been on the other side pre-2011?

        • We’ve painted ourselves into corners by spending too much time trying to prove our faith with spurious reasoning, rather than relying upon the simplicity of the gospel and the clearest evidence from God as to what is right and what is wrong.

          I agree completely.

  9. There is no known connection between the current Sabbath day and the day that was blessed by God as the Sabbath of Genesis 1,2. As a result the argument over which day is the pure Sabbath is a legalistic argument that makes no sense. The British Calender Act of 1751 declared that 11 days would be dropped from the calender so that the British would adopt the Gregorian calender which the French had long adopted as their own. The Gregorian calender, commissioned by Pope Gregory in 1582, sought to make corrections in the difference between the movement of the earth around the sun and the days of the week. The Gregorian calender was a correction of the Julian calender which was off by 11 1/2 minutes a year. Over time, the Julian calender was off by 10 days, so that there was a disconnect between the movements of the earth and how days were counted. From the Gregorian calender, we cannot trace back which is the "real" Sabbath, as days were arbitrarily dropped to make the calender whole. We are admonished to keep the "Sabbath" holy. We know that what we call the Sabbath has had many different days of the week, but the admonition remains the same.

    • Days of the week did not change in the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. "Britain and the British Empire (including the eastern part of what is now the United States) adopted the Gregorian calendar in 1752, by which time it was necessary to correct by 11 days. Wednesday, 2 September 1752 was followed by Thursday, 14 September 1752."

      Note that Wednesday was followed by Thursday in the above quote.

    • Sorry to be picky, but it is 10 minutes and 48 seconds. Those 32 seconds will add up over time.

    • The statement by Henry Felder “From the Gregorian calender, we cannot trace back which is the “real” Sabbath, as days were arbitrarily dropped to make the calender whole.” is incorrect. While ten days were dropped from the calendar, the sequential days of the week remained unchanged. Besides that, when in doubt, all one has to do is inquire from the Jewish community as to which day of the week it is, as they would have no regard to any other worldy calendar that did not retain the same seven day week cycle. The Sabbath remains the same and is traceable.

  10. I am sorry but, after reading all of the above article and comments that followed, I am still unable to clearly "label" each persons comment as pro or con in this very "human" conflict. I call it a human conflict because God is way above all our thoughts and battles. It seems to me that God has paid an enormous price to give us freedom and assure us of our on going freedom clear into our future eternity. Freedom from what? Freedom from the accusations from our brothers and sisters in church and freedom from our fellow man's attempt to force our behavior and ultimately freedom form the "accuser of our brothern," the devil. So to me the line is very clear. Does God or the devil force us to do anything? Our Sovereign God has all the power and authority to "command" anything he wants and even enforce it but, God's demonstrated behavior throughout the bible seems to indicate that he wants to win our allegiance not force our allegiance. Does the devil want to force our allegiance? So are we "Christ like" or are we "devil like" in the way we try to force or manipulate others to behave the way we think they should. In the end of time does not "force" set the demarcation between the antichrist and the true Christ?
    At some very human level, why do we feel our selves under some kind of a threat over the Sabbath. Is Sabbath observance really a heart issue or is it a communal Church issue. Would any of us be lost if we ever had to change the name of our Church from the "Seventh-day Adventist" Church to some other named banner that might better underscore our immense desire to have deep and heart level, even an intimate relationship with Our Heavenly Father?

  11. I have recently returned to the SDA faith after a 38 year absence and had left the church at about 9 or 10 years of age. I am being feed milk as a new christian and not meat as I learn and feed on Gods word.
    This is food for thought and something to ponder on.
    We can worship our Creator on everyday of the week and we should be, even Sunday. The Bible tells us that the whole world will be forced to worship the image of the beast. The antichrist is going to pick a day and it will be inforced around the world crossing international date lines even with changes such as in Samoa. We will know then, when it is being enforced which is the real Sabbath day. But as I said before we should worship our Creator everyday and yes he made the Sabbath day extra special by blessing and hallowing it. But what if there was an antisabbath law, in this day of globalisium and the forming of what is termed a New World Order or One World Order, we are told we have to work together for the common good. What if the real issue is about having to work on the Sabbath day which the Lord has asked us not to. In the Bible when Gods people rebelled and were taken captive they were forced to labour on the Sabbath to make bricks and collect straw etc, you could possibly say that there was an antisabbath law.
    Let's say we were forced to worship on everyday of the week which shouldn't be to much of a problem, as that should be what all true Christians are doing except for the fact that God would never force anyone, he gives us free will and asks us and draws us to worship him. Would we then be breaking any commandments if we were forced to worship on everyday of the week which includes Sunday? My understanding is no, but as I mentioned at the start I am a new Christian so if anyone can show me from the Bible and the Bible ownly anything different, please do. What if you were told you had to work on the Sabbath for the common good, wouldn't that then be breaking God's commandment and could that be the issue at the end of time. As I said food for thought?

  12. I really dont know what the problem is , 99% of the church in Samoa do not have a problem with the change ,the people overseas are the one's making a big fuss. The Samoan Government changed the international dateline, not the church, meaning the church still worships on the biblical sabbath, seventh day which is Sunday in the new reckoning/calendar. Everyone should be happy that "Sunday Worshipers" of the old reckoning are now worshiping on Gods Sabbath. It saddens me that this whole issue has gone out of hand, all over the internet and as well the Samoan media, the samoan people (who are not adventist) are quite confused at the whole thing due to this media outburst by people who say they are members of the church, but do not keep the sabbath holy ?.... People in the church should just concentrate on their relationship with God and put there trust in God with the ministry in Samoa, and stop this whole sabbath nonsense ..

    • So now, a conflict about the Sabbath is "nonsense"?

      And since when, as Seventh-day Adventists, do we accept that something is right because the majority is in favor of it? (Ignoring, for a moment, that the majority of Samoan believers doesn't not constitute a majority of world believers)
      Lastly, what have we ever read in the Bible that would cause us to believe that everyone else is going to end up worshiping on the correct day -- inadvertently?

      There's a saying that if everything seems to be coming your way, you should be careful, as you might be facing oncoming traffic...

  13. To those who wish to count every seven days, How do you know when to start the counting? I doubt that the Island of Samoa existed pre-flood. My personal conviction is that those islands did not come into existence until a century or more after the flood. So, how do you pick "day 1"?

    To those who say we have no way of knowing which is the true Sabbath, I point to the example recorded in the gospels where the Divine God we call Jesus kept the Sabbath in and around Jerusalem. Historically this can be traced unequivocally to the day we now call Saturday as it unfolds in and around Jerusalem.
    Here in Seattle I am either 10 hours behind or 14 hours ahead of Jerusalem. I chose to accept the local convention of being 10 hours behind (which may change tonight as we leap ahead one hour – depending on whether Jerusalem also observes the fallacy called “Daylight Savings Time.”

    This next week will be one hour shorter than the previous week. Do I need to adjust my personal counting to retain that one hour?

    Samoa just switched by being 13 hours behind to now being 11 hours ahead of Jerusalem (again depending on who observes DST and when that begins and ends). When Samoan time is adjusted back to Jerusalem time (either backwards or forwards) you will find that no day was lost. It may feel like it locally in Samoa, but the continuum remained unbroken for the world clock (UTC).

    As a person who changes time-zones knows, you have to adjust all time zones to/from UTC. It becomes very confusing to attempt a direct correlation between two time zones otherwise. Unless you have frequent experience in both. Such as I know that where I will be next week is currently 16 hours ahead of me. However, next week the difference will be only 15 hours and it is I who will be ahead of my friends in Seattle.

    Now, if Jerusalem decides to move from UTC+2 to UTC-22, then we’d have something to talk about.

    • Dear Steve,

      We don’t pick “day 1”. God has already picked it for us. Jesus (God) confirms "day 1" in Jerusalem by keeping it holy. In Western Samoa God picked it for us through the missionaries and pioneers he sent there more than 100 years ago.

      Let me just mention a few names and years.

      • 1888 - George Tenney
      • 1891 – Ellen G White (on Samoan water)
      • 1891 - Joseph Marsh (on Samoan land)

      Just like today, these pioneers kept holy the bible 7th day, on a day Samoan then called Sunday.

      God bless

      • >>1891 – Ellen G White (on Samoan water)

        Repeating this often doesn't make it any more true. There is absolutely no record that can be produced which suggests that Ellen White actually kept the Sabbath, on Sunday, in or around Samoa.

        • Dear Andrew,

          I invite you to please go over my previous comments, for I have clearly shown there that Ellen G White actually worship (Sabbath) on the day Samoan call Sunday (according to local calendar) while on her way from America to Hawaii to Samoa to NZ to Australia in 1891.

          If you still have any doubt or still could not understand my previous comments, please let me know for I am more than happy to start all over again from the beginning. 🙂

          God bless

  14. I received an email that highlighted the fact that an SDA organization is asking its members to worship on Sunday instead of the Sabbath day. That caught my attention. As we are not living in the area involved, we should not comment based on hear say.
    However, what I would like to do instead is highlight the fact that the Sabbath Day (the 7th day of the week) is set apart or Holy, becos God set the example for Adam & Eve, and ceased (rested) His creative work. As such, as Pastor Stephen Bohr wud say, "It is an impossibility, to keep the Sabbath on any other day, except the 7th day." As this was and is the day, which God rested and gave it as a sign between us and HIM. If u are able to listen "Hidden Sabbath Truth" by Ps Stephen Bohr, it wud greatly help in appreciating that this is the only day that God blessed and hallowed.

  15. Is there a definite 7th day Sabbath that God blessed, hallowed and set apart for as holy time (Sanctified)?

    Or is Henry's statement true?
    "There is no known connection between the current Sabbath day and the day that was blessed by God as the Sabbath of Genesis 1,2. As a result the argument over which day is the pure Sabbath is a legalistic argument that makes no sense."

    If Henry is correct, then we as Seventh-day Adventists have been chasing the wind and causing ourselves untold hardship by setting apart the day known as "Saturday" as holy time, in opposition to the norms of the rest of the Christian world.

    This is a serious question, and one I believe has eternal consequences.

    Henry points us to --
    "The British Calender Act of 1751 declared that 11 days would be dropped from the calender so that the British would adopt the Gregorian calender which the French had long adopted as their own.... . From the Gregorian calender, we cannot trace back which is the “real” Sabbath, as days were arbitrarily dropped to make the calender whole."

    But the question we should ask is:
    Did this "dropping of days" change the seven day week cycle?
    The answer to that is "no"
    Neither the seven week cycle nor the names of the days of the week were affected. The only thing that changed was the monthly numbering.

    The change simply looked like this:

    October 1582
    Sun Mon Tues Wed Thur Fri Sat

    As you can see there was absolutely no change to the week.

  16. I meant the whole issue raised is nonsense, why? because i strongly believe our church administration in Samoa have made the right decision. I am speaking on view of a member of the church in Samoa. It may seem new for now, but after a while everyone will move on its always the case.

    • Neo Lauvai,

      So, once the furor dies down, and the decision is "accepted", then it's all good?

      Why do you believe that the decision is the right one?


      • [Moderator note: This comment appears to come from the same person who previously posted under a pseudonym and whom we asked to use his real name. We are publishing this essentially "anonymous" comment because we want to allow our readers to address the questions raised, irrespective of origin.]
        What you mean by when furor dies down??. Here in the island as i am 99% of church members are worshiping the Lord in one Spirit and in peace. I dont know where this fury comes from as you questioned. As one previous comment by Lauvai said only the overseas people are making a big fuss about this issue when local members are following with open heart and with Faith the leadership of its leaders in the Local Mission, the SPD and GC. God is in control of the situation in Samoa and members are just followed with Faith. We believe this is the correct decision by the church so it doesnt matter what sort of theories overseas people come up with. You need to come to Samoa and witness for yourself the situation in the island before drawing judgement. God bless.

        • Hi Hamo,

          I agree with you. All the Sunday churches are worshiping in spirit and in peace. I must say that most of them run bingo at nights, and the Samoan Mission has not introduced that yet, so that would set them apart.

          I don't think the Sabbath keepers would register a percentage at all in the big picture of worship.

          There is a big movement in America for the unification of churches. I cant help but wonder where the mission will be when this is introduced to Samoa as part of the fast approaching NWO, because if we don't want to be unified with false religion, on what grounds can we say we are different?? -- besides bingo, of course.

        • Hi Hamo,

          You mention faith in the leadership, when I was hoping to see faith in God. You also indicate that 99% are fine with the issue. I won't quibble with your percentage, although I have heard other numbers, but I will ask you this. If numbers are so important in this issue, and indicate "rightness," have you considered that the entire membership of the South Pacific Division is 400,000 members, whereas the entire membership of the world-wide Seventh-day Adventist church is over 17 million? Thus, the 99% that are allegedly in support of this, represent but a tiny fraction of those who probably don't. (Even if the 99% included the entire South Pacific Division.)

          Additionally, as we are a part of a worldwide movement, we cannot act as though things that affect a part do not affect the whole. This is not a local issue, but one of worldwide import. How effective can our message be to unbelievers when we don't even have clear agreement about such a foundational aspect of that message?

  17. I'm sorry, but in all humility I cannot accept the justifications for Samoan (or Tongan) SDAs to keep the Sabbath from sunset on Saturday until sunset on Sunday. I believe it is a trick and a trap of the Enemy to cause disunity and dissension in the Church. Remember, the Devil knows scripture too. After all he has been fighting its message ever since it was written and whenever he can, he will use it to twist the Lord's message to us and his subtlety is sufficient to use scripture against us if we let him. Pray for guidance, not from church leaders who are, after all, only men too. Pray for guidance from the one who is Author and Creator of all that is, including Man and the Sabbath. Search His word in prayerful humility and humble prayer. We know the true Sabbath because our Lord kept it while He was on Earth and the count has not been lost since then. No amount of playing with numbers or fancy logic can alter the fact that the Sabbath begins at sunset on what English-speakers call Friday and ends at sunset 24 hours later. Samoa has crossed the International Dateline. Adapt to that. You may be sincere, but remember, the Sunday keepers in the other churches of the world are also sincere. They are just sincerely wrong. Pray.

  18. If the Samoan Govt. have shifted the International date problem.
    The week will still have seven days, one of which will be the Lord's Day; so our bro. and sis. can worship
    On that day --according to their calenders. Their focus must be on the present.

  19. Totally agree with you Carey......
    I was born & bred in the Kingdom on Tonga right on the Date line....I grew up to know of Monite which is Monday in English as the 1st day of the week, Tusite, Pulelulu, Tu'apulelulu, Falaite & Tokonaki before Sapate translation is Sabbath in Tongan which is the 7th day of the week. preparing/preparition for Sabbath. I assumed Tonga was classed together with Samoa at the other side of the Dateline because as far as I remember Sabbath in NZ & Australia were always a day ahead.
    It was not till I migrated to Australia at 16 that I found out that Sunday is the 1st day of the week i/o Monday which we've always observe in the Kingdom.
    I am migrating with my family back to Tonga and was so looking forward to back in serenity & peacefull way of life in the Kingdom and away from all the hussle & puzzle of a big city.

    • Peti,
      Could you tell us more? What did you do when you found out Sunday is the first day of the week? What will you do when you go back to Tonga? We find our Tongan church members living here in New Zealand have great difficulty keeping the Sabbath because to them, Saturday is a work day. They tend to isolate themselves and I think it is because they have been isolated from the world SDA church because they keep the wrong day, placing them outside the fellowship. Many Tongans don't feel part of the world-wide fellowship. They prefer to worship with other Tongans of any persuasion.

  20. I fully understand the dilemma of the Samoan SDA congregation. And I also agree with Michael Matthias that the shifting of the International dateline by the Samoan Govt. shouldn't be a matter of concern. The congregation can still observe the Sabbath hours from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset according to their local time. I live in the West now but I come from the East having a 13 hours of difference. And I still go to church on the Sabbath and observe the day according to the local time and calender. Experiencing this change in the beginning may seem strange but continue to keep your faith in God and He will direct your path.

  21. Is the day that *was* Saturday, now called Sunday? Or did the names stay the same? What day are the Sunday keeping churches keeping? Monday? or are they worshiping on the (new) local Sunday? It would seem, that then the Adventists would, or should, worship on the (New) Saturday/Sabbath. In other words, keep whatever day others are keeping on that side of the date line.

    Just a silly question, if you were sailing across the date line in either direction, if you kept your original weekly cycle, when you got to your destination you'd be a day off. On a round world, you have to make the change somewhere, it's no big deal, really....

  22. Satan has fought Gods things from day one. And Satan can use the so called Seventh-day Adventists to fight the very church they go to. But in all the wars Micheal (Christ) has fought he has always been victorious. So in hard times the church faces he will fight for his/her.

  23. Dear friends,

    SENARIO 1: Country A, has a weekly cycle of 10 days. [This actually happens to France in the past]

    For example: 1Sunday, 2Monday, 3Tuesday, 4Wednesday, 5Thursday, 6Friday, 7Saturday, 8Octaday, 9Nonaday, 10Decaday.

    Question: How do we work out which day is the Sabbath day?

    SENARIO 2: The whole WORLD, has a stand alone day every year, and that day doesn’t have a name.

    For example, the last Sunday of December is NOT follow by Monday, but a day with no name. Monday is 2 days from the last Sunday of December.

    The first year this calendar starts will be ok, but the 2nd year we have an extra day with no name.

    If one is to follow the name Saturday, there will be no problem, BUT if one is to follow the 7-day cycle of creation, then there will be a very big problem. For example, on the 3rd yr of this calendar, the Sabbath will fall on a Monday, and on the 4th yr the Sabbath will fall on a Tuesday.

    There is a real possibility that this will just be the case in the near future. Check out the links.

    Question: How do we work out which day is the Sabbath day?

    God bless

    • I suppose that such a thing could happen in the future, and then we'd have to deal with it. However, I do believe we need to be very clear that this is not what has happened in Samoa. It was merely a harmless shifting of the date line, to which I perceive we may easily (and reasonably) adjust.

      As for what happened in France, thankfully it didn't last long. I think it would be a big mistake to look for a conspiracy where none exists.

    • Dear Viliami Latu,

      The scenarios you reference with other countries employing other calendars, is not an accurate match for the situation found in Independent Samoa today. It's not as though the government of that country has adopted a calendar that is out of sync with everyone else. Instead, they have aligned themselves with a set of countries whose reckoning of time is already accepted by Adventists in those countries. Not only that, but it was the reckoning of that same country some 119 years previous. This is not an issue about the introduction of a new calendar, so arguments about how one would deal with a new calendar are not really relevant.

      While that might be a valid future problem, it has no bearing on the situation currently under discussion. Rather than confuse all of these issues, or inadvertently bundle them under a single banner, let's deal with the primary issue, and then deal with the other issues separately.

    • I've only asked a very simple question. It's not that hard, is it?

      Question: How do we work out which day is the Sabbath day?

      God bless

      • The seventh day is Saturday, the day after preparation day (Friday) and the day before Sunday (the day of false worship) which we have been warned about for years. The midnight hour is upon us, we ARE living at end of this dying world, the devil is trying every avenue to weaken and immerse God's people in the world, and we as Seventh-day Adventists have to stand strong against this. Living the testimony of Jesus does not mean following after the man-made worship of the world.

        The reasons why this amalgamation and dumbing down of our end-time message has occurred are many, but mainly because egos and culture have been put above what God really is in our lives.

        Praise God that another church in Samoa has decided to honour God on the true Sabbath. There will be a combined service for the Lighthouse group and the Samatau group at the Laulii church on the 24th of March, next Sabbath.

        No matter what the devil tries to achieve through confusion, God will always have HIS people who stand strong in HIS truth.

        And no, Viliami, it is not hard at all. THE SABBATH IS SATURDAY AND THE SEVENTH DAY OF THE WEEK, in whatever time zone you live in. The Sabbath is an end-time symbol of those who choose to stand for God even if we, like Noah, are the small minority.

        • Thanks Lance,

          Just one question: Does the holy bible say “THE SABBATH IS SATURDAY AND THE SEVENTH DAY OF THE WEEK” or is it just Lance saying this?

          God bless

    • Dear Viliami,

      I suspect that the previous correspondents recognized the obvious answer you were fishing for but responded to the implied conclusion that that is the only way to figure out which day is the Sabbath.

      So I will answer as directly as I can:

      1) In a society with a seven-day week, we know which day is the Sabbath by seeing which day is the seventh day of the week (or the day before Sunday) in our society. That would be the local seventh day, not the day on the other side of the date line, whether far or near.

      2) In a genuine calendar change (which is not what happened in Samoa), we would, of course, have to keep track of the genuine seven-day week and keep counting every seventh day -- even if the local society switched to an 8-day or 10-day week.

      However, judging by the end-time scenario we have been given through God's messages to His last-day church, this is not likely to happen world-wide.

      The end-time scenario includes the seventh-day Sabbath as an outward sign of inward loyalty to God versus the mark of Rome's authority. Thus keeping the first day of the week as "Sabbath," as mandated by Rome, puts us on the side of Babylon in the final conflict.

      That said, it really doesn't matter which day you keep, unless the Lord Jesus Christ is fully Lord of all of our lives, including the other six days of the week. An outward "sign" means nothing if the heart does not belong to Him.

      And before I leave this subject, we all need to remember that the Lord has many faithful followers in Sunday-keeping churches -- whether Adventist or not.

      If we believe that the coming of the Lord is near, this is clearly the time to come out of the confusion that is Babylon and to reject the mark that comes with it. It is not the time to advise yet another country to go along with the mark of Rome's authority.

    • Dear Viliami Malo Lelei and Talofa to my Brother In Christ,

      I have followed your postings with interest because the logic used does cause me to think long and hard about my belief as a Seventh Day Adventist and the reason for my keeping of God's 7th Sabbath Day. I must admit I am not as learned about the various day cycle theories and different calendars you share so I thought to focus solely on God's Scripture, the basis of our shared belief. If we use Genesis 1 and 2 as the absolute direction of God's Word and Guidance on the 7-day cycle, this is all we need - wouldn't you agree? In regard to where the Sabbath Day lies in the sequence of the 7day cycle, Mark 15 and Luke 24 clearly state that the 7th Day Sabbath is between the 6th day, (Preparation Day) and the 1st Day of the week. Therefore as we know it today, using the names of the days we ascribe to the 7day week, Preparation Day is Friday, Sabbath is Saturday and the 1st day of the week, Sunday. Now, I think you would agree if we accept this, any other explanation outside of God's Word is irrelevant, particularly as it relates to the current dilemma caused by the SPD edict to the Samoa SDA's to worship on Sunday, or the 1st day of the week, Sunday.

      I believe the real issue that has created the current Samoan Sabbath Dilemma is validating Samoa 'reckoning of time' prior to the establishment of and global acceptance of the IDL in 1884 and King Malietoa Laupepa decision in 1892 to align Samoa with the USA 'reckoning of time' that was at that time, aligned with Australia and New Zealand. Therefore in straight-forward terms, the Samoa government re-alignment of the 'reckoning of time' in December 2011, reverted back to what it was prior to the 1892 'reckoning of time' change, when it was keeping time with Australia and New Zealand.

      Now, if we apply what we agree as being the 7day cycle and 7th Day Sabbath according to Genesis 1 and 2, and Mark 15 and Luke 24, then clearly in the case of Samoa and in the context of the pre-1892 IDL time change, this is Samoa original 'reckoning of time' and therefore the 7th Day Sabbath is Saturday, as we know it to be today.

      The SPD edict for the Samoa SDA’s to worship on Sunday, because they believe the 7day cycle should be unbroken, is incorrect because the unbroken 7day cycle based on Samoa original ‘reckoning of time’, pre-1892, is Saturday. Another way to think about this is, given the original ‘reckoning of time' change in 1892 and that Samoa was keeping time with Australia and New Zealand, to maintain an unbroken 7day cycle would have resulted with Friday as the Sabbath Day. However, we know SDA's from July 1892- December 2011, worshipped on Saturday which meant they accepted this 1-time 8day week adjustment, either by purpose or default.

      So in conclusion, I think we are on the same page as per God's Word in regard to Genesis 1 and 2 and Mark 15 and Luke 24 and there is no misunderstanding of His 7th Day and Sabbath Day rest and in the context of the corresponding days these are referred to today, e.g. Sunday to Saturday. What I believe is the basis of the misunderstanding and therefore SPD incorrect premise of the unbroken 7day cycle and incorrect edict of Sunday as the Sabbath Day is, Samoa original 'reckoning of time' pre 1892; which was the same as Australia and New Zealand.

      My daily prayer is that our Lord and Saviour will with the agitation of the Holy Spirit, impress on the SPD leadership to reconsider their decision, based on His Word and within the context of the correct (and historical) facts pertaining to Samoa original 'reckoning of time' pre-1892.

      God's Blessing with you and your Aiga.

      Ian Letele

  24. It is a good thing to hear all the comments from brothers around the world. Yes, we will comment and give our input according to what we have read and what we understand. What I want to point out is that our intelligence, knowledge, and how much we have read the spirit of prophecy and history will not save us.



  25. "local members are following with open heart and with Faith the leadership of its leaders"

    How many people in earth's history will be lost because they just "followed the leadership" without question?

    Could this text still apply?
    Jere. 50:6 My people have been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.

    Also I'm reminded of a book called "The Ecumenical Plan for Unity: An Actual Possibility" main author, Karl Rahner JS.
    He presents several Thesis like

    Thesis I --Build a Community of Faith
    "The community therefore assumes primacy over the individual in the realm of Christian faith because the recipient and carrier of the original message was from the very beginning a ‘people' of believers and not an isolated individual." p.13

    But the one I'm thinking of primarily right now is Rahner's stunning foundation statement:

    "With respect to ecclesiastical leadership the average congregation in the Protestant churches in fact usually practices the kind of obedience to their church leaders that is customary in the Roman Catholic church. Therefore one should not overestimate the danger of a rebellion at the grass roots against their ecclesiastical leaders' decisions regarding unification. On the basis of their theological expertise and their religious conscience, the representatives of this ecclesiastical leadership can decide in favor of church unity, and can also work with sufficient zeal among the church members to gain their understanding for this decision" p. 54

  26. As concerning the THE BENEDICTINE PERPETUAL CALENDAR, I don't think it will happen. From what I see it's mainly a group in Australia promoting it --hardly a world wide thing, nor is it promoted in any way by Pope Benedict.

    Do we believe the prophetic revelations given to our church? If we do we will know that Sunday will be exalted and enforced.

    Some posts have appeared to imply that the Catholic system doesn't really care what day they call the "Lord's Day". It's hard to accept that idea after one has read the strong positions given by church fathers and popes as to why Sunday is the Lord's Day. They call it the first day of light and the eighth day of salvation's completion, the day of resurrection etc. and they highly emphasize this.

    I think the churches know exactly what day is Sunday.
    Those reports that European missionaries to the Islands had all the native population worshiping on the "right" seventh day prior to 1892 but called it "Sunday" is the strangest argument yet. Do you really think the Catholic missionaries (or the London Missionary Society for that matter) instituted worship on what they have always scorned as "the Jewish Sabbath" when they came to those Islands? Hardly!!! They came from Europe traveling East to the Islands and set up Sunday worship in perfect alignment with the countries immediately surrounding them. They were operating in the eastern hemisphere and counted time accordingly.

    When short term (as in a few months) Adventist missionaries, like E.H. Gates and his wife, Ida, came in 1891 -- NOTE THIS IS ONE YEAR PRIOR to Samoa aligning with American time, they were already in the confusion of dateline transfer. Being American they favored American alignment.

    The bottom line questions, as I see them, are:

    1. Is the 180 decree longitude a Divine statute?
    I know that neither governments nor other people think it an absolute -- but only a general indicator. Nor do I see scripture telling anyone it is an absolute. All we really know is that God orchestrated history in such a way that we can know the day begins and ends somewhere in the Pacific. That same history had those Islands in the eastern hemisphere prior to 1892 and I see absolutely no moral reason why they can't go back.

    2. Is there a special significance to Sunday that we are to avoid? What is it about Sunday to make it the opponent to God's holy day? An opponent so powerful that the endtime crisis will revolve around it?

  27. Dear Viliami Latu,

    I believe I have seen your earlier comments, including the various conclusions you have reached, but I have been unable to find the reference to any document which shows when Sis White actually celebrated the Sabbath in Samoan waters, as you indicated.

    You have repeatedly used this particular statement (an appeal to authority) to bolster your argument, and given its importance, I would like to be able to evaluate it for myself. Thus far, I have been unable to find such a statement.


  28. Samoan Humour:

    On Judgement Day the Lord turned to Lance & the Samoan Sabbath Keepers, "Why did u keep the Sabbath on Saturday & not the Sunday as ordered by the Samoa Mission?"

    Lance replied, "We would rather obey You than man."

    The Lord then asked Mr. & Mrs. Sunday Keeper, "Why did you keep Sunday & not the Sabbath as I commanded?"

    They replied, "Becos the Pastor said so."

    The Lord then asked the Pastor, the Samoa Executive & the Samoa President, "Why?"

    They all said, "It was the SPD."

    The Lord then asked Barry Oliver & the SPD, "But why?"

    Barry Oliver & the SPD said, "Lord, it was only a recommendation, not a commandment."

    I don't blame some of the Samoan grassroots members for getting confused by the IDL & by the false teaching by the SPD to cover up the Tongan Blunder (both the IDL & the tsunami happen once in a lifetime), but in Tonga they are on the same side as NZ & Australia & (no IDL change) yet they worship on Sunday. How did it happen?

  29. I have read the above comments with great interest and I thank the recent change in Samoa for bringing back this issue to the attention of the world church community because Tonga has never really resolved the issue why we worship on "Sunday". For a simple lay member like myself who don't really understand much about dateline, etc, the issue of Tonga worshiping on a different day with countries that share the same calendar with us (e.g. Fiji & New Zealand) is indeed confusing. These countries are a few hours apart from one another and share the same calendar yet we worship on different days.

    Today, a growing number of Tonga's SDA community, myself included, have been debating whether we are worshiping on the right day or not. The church's position has always been worshiping on "Sunday" in Tonga is ok and those who teach otherwise are frowned upon. In fact one of our Church Ministers questioned Tonga's day of worship and claimed that Sabbath was Saturday and not Sunday. He was dismissed from the Tonga Mission for his actions and treated as a heretic! Today, this ex-Minister resides in New Zealand with his family and is happily worshiping God on Saturday! So the question is, who was right?

    The Sabbath issue and the different days of worship of countries who are just a few hours apart has the potential to divide the church in Samoa and Tonga and make members question the fundamental teaching of the church regarding the Sabbath. In fact I would like to ask why is the day of worship so important if it will split the church?

    The book of Acts chapter 15 gives an account of how the early church settled the issue of circumcision which threatened to split the church in Antioch, Cilicia and Syria. Some Jews wanted Gentile converts to circumcise before joining the church...(similar to the issue under debate). I guess the Christian Jews generally believed that circumcision of their Gentile brethren was a prerequisite to obtaining salvation. As a result, the church administration in Jerusalem intervened in order to prevent conflict and schism and resolved the matter in a most effective manner, which is described in Acts 15:28-29:

    "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things."

    I am not sure why the church places so much emphasis on the Sabbath, especially now that there is no real consensus over the day Samoa and Tonga should observe. What if the omission of Sabbath keeping in Acts 15:28-29 (as a prerequisite) means that we are placing an unnecessary "burden" on members? The churches in the first century received specific instructions from the church administration in Jerusalem in matters of doctrine and their instruction was final and the members accepted it. The fact that there is debate on this matter tells me that the GC has failed to address this controversial issue far too long. A Minister has lost his career over this issue and the recent changes in Samoa will reactivate the debate. I think the GC needs to communicate more on this issue and issue a statement that will help put this matter to rest. Their silence will only encourage the debate and division in the church in Samoa and Tonga.

    God bless.

    • It's great that you are studying and finding out for yourself which day is the true Sabbath. But don't let fear of "division" stop you from stepping out when scripture and the Holy Spirit say, "This is the way, walk ye in it."

      One fact of living in a world of sin is that -- Truth will always bring division. Jesus said in Matthew 10:34-36:

      Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

      Strange words from "the Prince of Peace!"

      The principle of the ecumenical movement is to put aside anything that causes division, even if it means putting aside doctrinal truths in the scripture. In this way all churches can unite.

      BUT is this the message we find in scripture?

      No, scripture plainly shows that those who took the stand to be true to God, no matter what, were often persecuted and even killed.

      God's saints are defined as "those who keep God's commandments and have the faith of Jesus." (Rev. 14:12)

        The Sabbath is the fourth commandment --
        It did NOT go away any more than -- thou shalt not kill, steal, bear false witness -- went away.
        It alone, of all the commandments, has God's seal stamped upon it, thus showing this whole law comes from God.
        He is the one with all authority BECAUSE He created all.
        His domain is heaven and earth.

      So the Sabbath should bring to the minds of every true Sabbath observer:

      1) That we acknowledge God as our Creator.
      2) That we praise God for His deliverance from (Egypt) -- from sin's power.
      3) We rest in Him, and forget the rat-race of earning and maintaining earthly things, for one day a week.
      4) We rest in Him in anticipation of the glorious day when He will deliver His saints from the earth and take them to His glorious home.

      It is the day to remember!

      Does it matter which day?
      There is only one day that the Lord our God blessed and sanctified, and asked us to remember, and that is the 7th-day Sabbath. The day that comes before Sunday.
      Sunday only has the blessings of the RC church, seconded by many "Protestant" churches.

      As far as being a "burden,"
      True Sabbath keeping is a delight -- delighting ourselves in the Lord. If it is a burden, then a person hasn't found the joy of the Lord in the Sabbath.

    • Hi Sione,

      To start revival in a sleeping church God has to split a church. I believe here in Samoa God has led different people onto different sides of this debate. If everyone followed the same path the church would carry on in its slumber. Worshiping on Sunday is so convenient here in the islands; because Sunday laws basically exist, everything shuts down on Sunday. Very few shops are allowed to open and no one mows their lawns. I guess that must be the same in Tonga. People worshiping on Sunday over here are explaining how they now have others worshiping with them who found it inconvenient to worship before because they had businesses they wanted to run on Saturday.

      For years we have shared with others how important our Sabbath is to God. When we have been given truth, we have also been given a responsibility to uphold what God since the beginning of the plan of redemption has made HOLY and non-negotiable. It is a sign between HIM and HIS remnant people.

      The Pacific island people are an amazing people, I would even go to say the most Godly and generous people and culture in the world. Western society is very secular and selfish. I know, because I am a Palangi who has all the attributes of how I was brought up, and I have experienced generosity and kindness that is mind blowing to me (especially at the drowning of my little 2-year-old princess in October last year).

      This confusion over the date line is of the devil. He has been around for 6000 years and because of the Godly lives lived in the Pacific, he through economic reasons has bought confusion. Back in 1892 a day was added on the 4th of July to make an 8-day week. This was a debated issue at the time, but when the Adventist missionaries came in 1895, they taught the people to worship on the local Saturday rather than the Sabbath from the other side of the date line.

      Now we get to Dec. 2011, and a one-sided agenda is sold to the Samoan people 1 or 2 months before the date line change, the decision is made to worship on Sunday, and a SDA calendar is produced. The big reason being sold to everyone is that worshiping on Sunday will keep Sabbath keepers worshiping in the 7-day cycle since creation. When the dateline in 1892 is questioned, the catch phrase answer is that God was in control of the dateline. HE is a God of order.

      No information was given about the added day in 1892 because this would have destroyed the 7-day cycle since creation story.

      You mentioned the pastor in Tonga who stood up for the Sabbath in Tonga and was treated as a heretic there, having to move to New Zealand.

      There has to be a hidden agenda within SPD, and I believe God will expose it. There is no doubt that we are living in end times; now of all the times in history is not the time for God's remnant to be worshiping on the false day of worship.

      It is so easy to say, "I am not a pastor, and I only follow what the pastors do and what the learned scholars have told us to do." BUT Christ calls us to do more than that; HE calls us to live HIS testimony; HE calls us to be a people set apart and honouring what HE made HOLY. HE never promises us the easy road, but I can vouch for the fact that living in Christ's pathway is a blessed way to live.

      Christ never took the easy road. In Philipians 2 HE lowers Himself in 7 different ways to end up nailed in excruciating pain on a cross. HE expects the same from HIS remnant. My mother still thinks I am a heretic because she can never believe that anybody should go against our church, and the SPD will have to answer for that on judgement day as well.

      Stand strong, Sione, because when God is with us who can be against us?!

      • Dear Lance,

        Thank you for sharing so much of yourself on this blog.

        While grieving for the loss of your precious little girl, you must look forward to the Second Coming with great anticipation -- the day when the angels will place your beautiful Elena back in your arms.

        I especially appreciate your reference to the example Christ set for us -- the example of total self-surrender that resulted in allowing Himself to be nailed to the cross to die in agony, when He could have called ten thousand angels to set Him free.

        In this day of pretty gold and silver crosses, we have little conception of what Christ meant when He said, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." (Luke 9:23) To get some idea, we need to remember that when He said this, the cross was something any normal person would want to avoid at all cost. No one would sing "I will cling to the old rugged cross"! It was the cruelest form of deat the Romans could devise for the worst of criminals.

        So why did Christ say that following Him would involved taking up a cross? Surely He meant to tell us that following Him would not be convenient. It wouldn't mean just coming to church for good fellowship and a lunch following. It would mean doing what would be against our normal nature, against all our normal desires. It would mean dying -- dying to self and selfishness. And none of us want to die.

        Perhaps the Lord has allowed this crisis to come to Samoa that His people might be purified as they learn to take up their cross and follow Him, because no one will be saved by just going to church and following tradition.

        May God bless you as you share with those whose lives you touch that Christ calls for us to die to self -- and that in only as we die to self can we experience the joy of the Lord. Without this total surrender that the cross implies, it really doesn't matter which day we choose for worship.

  30. Jenkins doesn't blame our Samoan members for being confused, and neither do I. Evidently, the local Samoan names for the days of the week do not necessarily correspond with our usual "Sunday to Saturday.” And the current local names do not seem to match what was used in 1891. It must be difficult for the locals to sort things out. Thanks to Lance Cutts and others who are trying to help.

    Jenkins then asks how, in the absence of an IDL change, our Tongan Adventists ended up worshiping on Sunday. A clear picture may be emerging from this discussion.

    Apparently, the London Missionary Society gave Tonga its week. Five days (Monday to Friday) were named according to the Australian week, but Saturday was called “Preparation,” and Sunday was called “Sabbath” in harmony with their belief that Sunday is the Christian "sabbath." From a Biblical perspective, of course, that would be a fiction.

    When SDA missionaries arrived, they evidently saw fit to renumber the days according to the American week. Thus an additional error was introduced on top of the previous one of naming the local first day "Sabate." Now the local Sunday, already called "Sabate," became the 7th day of the week, but only according to the Adventists. They also called Monday the 1st day of the week, Tuesday the 2nd, etc. Thus, the original Sunday keeping, introduced by the LMS missionaries, was "justified" by the SDA missionaries, as though everyone in Tonga were truly keeping the 7th-day Sabbath. Moreover, all 7 days of the Tongan week, as interpreted by the Adventists, had now become thoroughly confused.

    And, of course, Seventh-day Adventists in Tonga have been keeping the same first-day "sabbath" ever since, and calling it the 7th day. Yet in local society, and according to the local calendar, it is the very same Sunday as in Australia and New Zealand (the day before Monday). Such have been the results of trying to keep the 7th-day Sabbath from the other side of the date line.

    I believe the real confusion is over authority. I’m sure those first SDA missionaries were led by God in many ways, but is it safe to assume that they could make no mistakes? Seventh-day Adventists are Protestants. We do not believe church leaders are inerrant or infallible. The Bible is our ultimate authority, and we are to listen to Ellen White as God’s messenger. We also believe God intends our General Conference delegates, meeting in regular session, to have authority -- but we have been warned not to give any such power to one man or to a small group of men. (See Gospel Workers, page 490.)

    Did those LMS missionaries have authority to call Saturday the "Preparation" day or Sunday the "Sabbath?" Did the SDA missionaries really have the authority to accept this, and then renumber the days of the week? Once all 7 days of the Tongan SDA week had thus been confused, did the SPD leaders really have the authority to give it God's stamp of approval?

  31. I do not have a masters degree nor a PHD but simplicity was how Jesus taught while on earth. My simple logic of understanding the situation.

    When the whole nation of Samoa skipped Dec 30th, 2011 which fell on Friday (Day 6) of creation, it didnt mean there was no Day 6 (Creation Day) - Samoa changed its name to Saturday and make it become Dec 31, 2011. This means Saturday becomes Day 6 in Samoa and Sunday becomes the Seventh Day.

    Which means the so called current Saturday Sabbath Keepers are Day 6 keepers and the Sunday (Day 7) keepers (All Samoan religions including the SDA Mission) are now the true sabbath keepers. You move away from this simple logic and you'd be saying that the church in Samoa had been worshipping on the wrong day pre Dec 29, 2011.

    I feel from reading most of your comments that our patriotism of and selfishness over the sabbath as if it is a SDA property is blinding us from the greatest thing that has happened to the church worldwide. A whole nation now worshipping God's Sabbath - minus the Day 6 Keepers!

    Complication and confusion is the way of the devil. Think tower of Babel.

    Manuia le Sapati.

    • Dear brother Siamani,

      Thank you for your input to this discussion. I appreciate your desire for simplicity. I do not believe that the lack of a master’s degree or PhD should be a problem – at least I hope not, as I too suffer from this. 🙂

      I believe God has made it very simple for us to know which day is the Sabbath. Wherever we happen to be, when the sun goes down on what everyone around us knows to be the 6th day of the week (usually called Friday in English), we may begin our Sabbath observance.

      For those who nevertheless wish to delve deeper into the matter, I do think that we need a global perspective. I am sorry that this is not as simple as we may like it to be, but we must deal with the reality of the way each day circles the globe. To oversimplify is to guarantee a wrong answer, is it not?

      So, if you wish for a thorough explanation (I hope), simplified as far as I thought possible, while maintaining reasonable accuracy, I invite you to go to the comment which I posted a few minutes ago. It shows that Day 6, Friday, December 30, 2011 existed for the same length of time as every other day. Samoa simply chose not to participate in Day 6, during that one special week.

    • Hi Siamani,

      Just some other food for thought, now that all the churches are worshipping on what the mission and the SPD have sold as being the true Sabbath. That must mean they are all Sabbath keepers! We know that we as Adventists give 50% of tithe to the world church for outreach etc., but we also are aware that churches in Samoa have built huge monuments to worship in, and the people with their limited incomes are struggling to finance these debts. The other Sunday sabbath keeping churches (that you say have seen the light now and worship on the Sabbath) keep all their money within the church and, if they can keep their leaders' spending under control, find paying for their churches much easier.

      As this apostasy develops and SDAs become more familiar with sharing the sabbath with other churches, why will the people continue to stay with the debt burden when they can worship on sabbath in other churches?

  32. True Christians knew this, and it's not strange. My message to those who are harrowing the true Sabbath in Samoa is that those who will persevere till the end, the same will be saved.

    • Is it okay for the church magazine "RECORD" to present a one-sided argument (just like the presentations here in Samoa in November last year, a month before the dateline change), and after many responses are sent from so many people, to then have Barry Oliver not want the responses printed? Isn't that called propaganda?

      Is there something to hide here? Does the SPD want everyone to believe that Sunday worship is all good and flourishing in the islands?

      Shutting down the media just leaves so many questions.

  33. Samoans call Saturday "Aso To'ana'i" (preparation day for Sunday worship & lunch) That didn't stop The early Adventists who believed & stepped out in faith to worship on the Sabbath (Saturday, as we are reminded by J. Wallace, the day between Friday & and the first day, Sunday).

    According to a reliable source, the early Adventist missionaries were told that there was only one day of worship in Tonga (Sunday), so I guess the early Adventists went along with it.

    Samoa's case is simple -- the SPD has a hidden agenda -- they have made a BIG BLUNDER, and have led the majority of the Adventist members to worship on Sunday, through the pressure they put on the local mission.

    If this was a government department or a business organisation, both the SPD & the SM presidents & boards would have been replaced or asked to resign -- after all, you cant play with people's lives & most important, their salvation.

  34. As John Wallace has pointed out, from the time that each day begins, just west of the IDL, to the time when it ends, just east of the IDL, is a period of about 48 hours. Perhaps it will be helpful if I explain this in more detail.

    First, I must mention some complicating factors that exist:
    1) The IDL is not necessarily a straight line at the 180th meridian. Consequently, the total global period of each (24 hour) day is actually more than 48 hours, and IDL changes can be effected without any land actually moving from its place.
    2) The world’s time zones are not neatly divided halfway between the every-15-degree meridians of the globe.
    3) Daylight saving time is used at some times and in some places.
    4) Not every country is small enough, and so situated, as to fit neatly within one time zone.
    5) For Sabbath keeping, we must use the real Biblical sunset-to-sunset day, not the generally accepted midnight-to-midnight one.

    For the sake of simplicity, in making my charts and explanations, I shall pretend that none of these complicating factors exist (and that IDL changes have always been due to major earthquakes). This will result in some minor inaccuracies. However, if anyone spots a major inaccuracy, please do let me know.

    For the purposes of my charts, the days of the week are as globally understood by Seventh-day Adventists. I believe that they have come down to us right from Creation Week (without the Roman names, of course).

    Day 1 = Sunday = Sun. = false sabbath
    Day 2 = Monday = Mon.
    Day 3 = Tuesday = Tues.
    Day 4 = Wednesday = Wed.
    Day 5 = Thursday = Thurs.
    Day 6 = Friday = Fri.
    Day 7 = Sabbath = Sab.

    As stated, each day spends 48 hours completing its “assignment” on Earth. Each country participates in 24 of those 48 hours. Here is a chart, illustrating this for part of a week.

    Day 5 (Thursday) ends, Day 6 (Friday) continues, Day 7 (Sabbath) begins
    **24 hours pass, with Day 6 (Fri.) & Day 7 (Sab.) both existing on the globe
    Day 6 (Friday) ends, Day 7 (Sabbath) continues, Day 1 (Sunday) begins
    **24 hours pass, with Day 7 (Sab.) & Day 1 (Sun.) both existing
    Day 7 (Sabbath) ends, Day 1 (Sunday) continues, Day 2 (Monday) begins
    **24 hours pass, with Day 1 (Sun.) & Day 2 (Mon.) both existing
    Day 1 (Sunday) ends, Day 2 (Monday) continues, Day 3 (Tuesday) begins

    You can see that, at any given time, there are two different days in existence somewhere on Earth. Some countries are participating in one day while other countries are participating in the other day. The details, of which countries are participating in which day, change on an hourly basis. Some countries, such as New Zealand, participate in the first 24 hours of each day’s 48-hour life span. Some, like the United Kingdom, participate in the middle 24 hours. Others, such as American Samoa, participate in the last 24 hours.

    So, here is the same chart again, with the particulars of New Zealand added in.

    Day 5 ends, Day 6 cont., Day 7 begins [NZ ends Day 6 & begins Day 7 Sab.]
    **24 hours pass, Day 6 (Fri.) & Day 7 (Sab.) both existing [Day 7 Sab. in NZ]
    Day 6 ends, Day 7 cont., Day 1 begins [NZ ends Day 7 Sab. & begins Day 1]
    **24 hours pass, Day 7 (Sab.) & Day 1 (Sun.) both existing [Day 1 in NZ]
    Day 7 ends, Day 1 cont., Day 2 begins [NZ ends Day 1 Sun. & begins Day 2]
    **24 hours pass, Day 1 (Sun.) & Day 2 (Mon.) both existing [Day 2 in NZ]
    Day 1 ends, Day 2 cont., Day 3 begins [NZ ends Day 2 Mon. & begins Day 3]

    Again, here is the same chart for the UK.

    Day 5 ends, Day 6 (Fri.) cont., Day 7 (Sab.) begins [It’s Day 6 Fri. in UK]
    **12 hours pass, Day 6 (Fri.) & Day 7 (Sab.) both exist [Day 6 Fri. in UK]
    [UK ends Day 6 Friday & begins Day 7 Sabbath]
    **12 more hours pass, Day 6 & Day 7 (Sab.) both exist [Day 7 Sab. in UK]
    Day 6 ends, Day 7 (Sab.) cont., Day 1 (Sun.) begins [It’s Day 7 Sab. in UK]
    **12 hours pass, Day 7 (Sab.) & Day 1 (Sun.) both exist [Day 7 Sab. in UK]
    [UK ends Day 7 Sabbath & begins Day 1 Sunday, false sabbath]
    **12 more hours pass, Day 7 (Sab.) & Day 1 (Sun.) both exist [Day 1 in UK]
    Day 7 (Sab.) ends, Day 1 cont., Day 2 begins [It’s Day 1 Sun. in UK]
    **12 hours pass, Day 1 (Sun.) & Day 2 (Mon.) both existing [Day 1 in UK]
    [UK ends Day 1 Sunday & begins Day 2 Monday]
    **12 more hours pass, Day 1 (Sun.) & Day 2 (Mon.) both exist [Day 2 in UK]
    Day 1 ends, Day 2 (Mon.) cont., Day 3 (Tues.) begins [It’s Day 2 in UK]

    And, here is it again, for American Samoa, using the standard English names for the days of the week, except Day 7.

    Day 5 ends, Day 6 cont., Day 7 begins [AS ends Day 5 & begins Day 6 Fri.]
    **24 hours pass, Day 6 (Fri.) & Day 7 (Sab.) both exist [Day 6 Fri. in AS]
    Day 6 ends, Day 7 cont., Day 1 begins [AS ends Day 6 & begins Day 7 Sab.]
    **24 hours pass, Day 7 (Sab.) & Day 1 (Sun.) both exist [Day 7 Sab. in AS]
    Day 7 ends, Day 1 cont., Day 2 begins [AS ends Day 7 Sab. & begins Day 1]
    **24 hours pass, Day 1 (Sun.) & Day 2 (Mon.) both exist [Day 1 Sun. in AS]
    Day 1 ends, Day 2 cont., Day 3 begins [AS ends Day 1 Sun. & begins Day 2]

    Now, here is a chart for all Samoa (including what is now AS) for part of the special week of Monday, July 4, 1892.

    Day 6 ends, Day 7 cont., Day 1 begins [Samoa ends Day 7 & begins Day 1]
    **24 hours pass, Day 7 (Sab.) & Day 1 (Sun.) both exist [Day 1 in Samoa]
    Day 7 ends, Day 1 cont., Day 2 begins [Samoa ends Day 1 & begins Day 2]
    **24 hours pass, Day 1 (Sun.) & Day 2 (Mon.) exist [Day 2 Mon. in Samoa]
    Day 1 ends, Day 2 cont., Day 3 begins [Samoa repeats Day 2 Monday]
    **24 hours pass, Day 2 & Day 3 exist [Day 2 Mon. in Samoa, AGAIN]
    Day 2 ends, Day 3 cont., Day 4 begins [Samoa ends Day 2 & begins Day 3]

    You will notice that Samoa participated in the full 48 hours of Day 2 (Monday) just once.

    Finally, here is a chart for (independent) Samoa for part of the special week including Friday, December 30, 2011 – again using the standard English names for the days of the week, except Day 7.

    Day 4 ends, Day 5 cont., Day 6 begins [Samoa ends Day 4 & begins Day 5]
    **24 hours pass, Day 5 (Thurs.) & Day 6 (Fri.) exist [Day 5 Thurs. in Samoa]
    Day 5 ends, Day 6 cont., Day 7 begins [Samoa ends Day 5 & begins Day 7]
    **24 hours pass, Day 6 (Fri.) & Day 7 (Sab.) exist [Day 7 Sab. in Samoa]
    Day 6 ends, Day 7 cont., Day 1 begins [Samoa ends Day 7 & begins Day 1]
    **24 hours pass, Day 7 (Sab.) & Day 1 (Sun.) exist [Day 1 Sun. in Samoa]
    Day 7 ends, Day 1 cont., Day 2 begins [Samoa ends Day 1 & begins Day 2]

    As you can see, Day 6 (Friday, December 30) existed for its full 48 hours, but for just one week Samoa did not participate in Day 6.

    • Hi R.G.,

      I just realized something: the Adventists of Independent Samoa have chosen to operate outside of the valid units of time for the entire globe, and are blaming it on their government.

      Here's the long version...
      I was thinking more about this as I looked through the chart, and it hit me rather directly: It is not the government of Samoa that changed the calendar for the Adventists in Independent Samoa, but the SPD that has changed the calendar for the Adventists there.

      As John Wallace has indicated several times, the government of Independent Samoa has not changed the calendar. They have elected to operate within another perfectly valid portion of the same calendar.

      As R.G. notes, each day lasts for a total of 48 hours as it traverses the entire globe. Any single location can operate within one of the 24 hour blocks that make up that time. In 2012, Independent Samoa is operating in a different, but still valid 24 hour block, while the Seventh-day Adventist churches there have officially decided to operate outside of the valid blocks which make up the 7th day of the week (by choosing one of the 24-hour blocks from the 1st day of the week).

      The arguments about 10-day weeks and 8-day weeks don't come into play here, because their government did not pick anything that is not already in use elsewhere on the planet. They did not change the calendar, so much as change their place within it. And the new place is a valid one.

      • Dear Andrew,

        I'm glad to see someone receiving a benefit from my charts. I was afraid that they might be a little too hard to follow, even though I did try to simplify things as far as possible.

        You said,

        "It is not the government of Samoa that changed the calendar for the Adventists in Independent Samoa, but the SPD that has changed the calendar for the Adventists there."


        You said,

        "As John Wallace has indicated several times, the government of Independent Samoa has not changed the calendar. They have elected to operate within another perfectly valid portion of the same calendar."

        Amen again.

        You also said,

        "The Adventists of Independent Samoa have chosen to operate outside of the valid units of time for the entire globe, and are blaming it on their government... The Seventh-day Adventist churches there have officially decided to operate outside of the valid blocks which make up the 7th day of the week (by choosing one of the 24-hour blocks from the 1st day of the week)."

        Blame it on my poor charts, I guess. The time period officially chosen as the "Sabbath" by our churches in Samoa is not outside the valid blocks which make up the 7th day of the week. At any given time, there are two different days operating simultaneously on the globe, so it is possible (in some countries) to choose a 24-hour block that falls within the valid blocks for both the 7th day and the 1st day. This is what I believe we are seeing here. However, there is another reason why the official (Sunday) "Sabbath" in Samoa is invalid.

        God has made us subject to the civil authorities, as long as those authorities are operating within their legitimate sphere. As you pointed out, the Samoan government was electing to operate within another perfectly valid portion of the same calendar. It was within their proper prerogatives to do this, which means that their decision carries the authority that God has given to civil government. In other words, whatever 24-hour day the Samoa government says is the 7th day in Samoa (within the 7th day's legitimate 48 hours), IS the 7th day in that country. The day which the Samoa government says is the 1st day (within the 1st day's legitimate 48 hours), is the 1st day. It cannot be called the 7th day!

        The Adventist perspective on prophecy seems to have made us well aware that we are going to have to (humbly) defy our governments someday, because those governments will require us to violate one of God's express commands. What too many of us seem to have forgotten is that this will be the exception to the rule! It doesn't take anything away from the authority that God has given to civil government to rule within their proper sphere.

        Siamani thought that the day declared by Samoa to be the 1st day (i.e. Sunday) must be called the 7th day (Sabbath), because Day 6 had otherwise gone missing for one week. I perceive that news reporters have sensationalized their articles, in order to attract attention and readership, by stating that Friday, December 30, 2011 did not exist in Samoa. However, when we lift our eyes from just Samoa, to take in the whole (global) picture, we see that Day 6, Friday, December 30 was really no different than any other day. It's only that Samoa deliberately and legitimately chose to forego its usual participation in Day 6, for only that one week, in order to effect an IDL shift, according to their internationally recognised right to do so.

  35. The Millerites worshiped on Sunday for how many years? Did the Lord turn His back on the Millerites during that time? Who determines the time of the countries of the world as it relates to the IDL?

    • Dear Delroy,

      Thanks for your three good questions. Here are my three answers.

      1) I don't know exactly how many years the early Adventists worshiped on Sunday. I suppose the movement started around 1833 and adopted the 7th-day Sabbath around 1850.

      2) I believe our concern should be less about whether God will turn His back on us, and more about our glorifying His Name, and not turning our backs on Him.

      3) The time of the countries of the world, relating to the IDL, is determined by the countries themselves, severally. That is their right, and I know of no international (or divine) law to the contrary.

      God bless.

  36. It seems that the main point on which the decision that has caused such a debacle in Samoa is based, is the idea that one must keep one’s personal weekly cycle intact. Much time and effort have been put into the process of showing that the Dateline is the cause of the problem, not the decision makers.

    In order for Samoan Adventists to preserve their seven day cycle, they have been required to change their day of worship to Sunday –- the first day of the week. When church Administrators from America come to Australia (which has the same effect on their week as the Dateline change had on Samoa) do they preserve their seven day cycle by going to church on Sunday while in Australia?. If they return to America via England, do they continue to worship on Sunday when they return to America? Has anyone observed them so doing? If not, why impose such a requirement on the Samoan Seventh-day Adventists? Conversely, when Australian delegates go to the General Conference in America, they are faced with an eight day week. If obeying the rule handed down to Samoa, they would need to make Friday their Sabbath in order to maintain their seven day weekly cycle. From what can be observed, they seem to disregard the ‘seven day cycle rule’ and attend church on Saturday with the other Adventists in America. Why has Samoa (and it may a be that Kiribati is included) been singled out to suffer under a rule which is not obeyed by the Administrators, Officers and members who live in the remainder of the world? It seems to have overtones of Matthew 23:4, does it not?

    “For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.”

  37. Since the Sabbath was proclaimed from Sinai, wouldn't it be valid for it to be used for zero longitude, which would put the International Date farther east? Then the various Pacific nations would go with Australia. Besides, Samoa used to be with Australia before going with the United States. So, why not go back, instead of clinging to being with the U.S.

    • There is no reason to assume Sinai is significant. We also do not know where the day began on the 4th day of creation. Until we know that, any line drawn on the map will be arbitrary. Perhaps it is time for all of Samoa and all of Tonga to come together and ask God to show which day is to be kept. I don't think it matters what method we use - sacrifices doused in water, fleeces, budding rods, or tossed coins can all be used by God - as long as we let God choose. While we rely on our own logic, we are likely to go astray. And let us all pray very sincerely he gives the same answer in both places 🙂 Both sides are mixing together arbitrary lines (IDL and 180) and biblical principles. We all agree that the 7th day is the Sabbath, we all agree that in most of the world Sabbath falls between what is called Friday and Sunday in English. I believe most of us agree that the Sabbath Jesus kept in Palestine is the same Sabbath observed in Eden. What we don't agree on is which arbitrary line the church should follow when it comes to Sabbath. The arguments for and against both are not hard to fault. The truth is that we do not know for sure what God thinks of either line.

      Most Tongans and Samoans are willing to believe that God has spoken through the church leaders, some are not. I have spent enough time reading SDA history, and the related original documents, to know both sides have reason for their faith or lack of faith. Our church has at times been remarkably led by God, at other times we have been remarkably stubborn in our refusal to follow God. Who is on which side this time? I don't know - I am firmly convinced that 1) we need to keep the true 7th day Sabbath, regardless of its name or who else is or is not keeping it; and 2) we don't really know when that it for most points on the earth.

      But the more I read of the responses, the more I am led to believe that both sides should beware of lightning bolts and the earth opening. If we cannot conduct this discussion as Christians, without accusing (explicitly or implicitly) sincere fellow believers of apostasy, ignorance or lack of discernment, does it really matter which day we keep? Haven't we learnt anything from 1888? Being right about details is irrelevant if we lose our Christianity in the process. As someone else said, that is the besetting sin of the SDA church: to become so caught up in proving we are logically and theologically right (or in harmony with 'the world church') that we destroy fellow believers and trample central biblical principles in our rush to claim the prize of correctness. I don't believe God awards it on that basis.

      • Dear Kevin,

        Welcome to the discussion. I appreciate the reminder that we must always love one another, seek to agree as far as possible, and maintain a vital connection with Christ, which will positively affect our deportment at all times.

        I do have a few questions, in response to your comments, if you don't mind.

        1) You have suggested that all Tonga and all Samoa (and I'd say the world church) ask God to miraculously show us which day is the Sabbath. Do you think a fleece would be the best approach, or might the answer already be in the Bible and the writings of Ellen White, for the Holy Spirit to help us understand?

        2) I agree with you that our reliance must be on God's Spirit, rather than on our own intellect. What do you see as the appropriate place for logic in determining what is truth?

        3) You have suggested that we all agree on an arbitrary date line for our Sabbath keeping, and I think we should. Is it necessary that we use the generally accepted IDL for this, or are we free to choose another line, with the result that Friday or Sunday observance will be required in some parts of the world?

        4) You have stated that we don't really know what day is the Sabbath, in most parts of the world. If this were true, then what would that say about the character of God, who requires us to observe the correct Sabbath day or face the fearful judgments to be poured out on those who receive the Mark of the Beast? Also, how are we to preach end-time Bible prophecy to others?

        • We assume Jesus kept the correct Sabbath. I find that to be a very safe assumption. There is no evidence that the Sabbath has been lost sight of, so we can assume the Sabbath the Jews and SDAs keep in Jerusalem is the same one Jesus kept. So that day is the Sabbath, but it must begin and end somewhere. We don't know where that somewhere is, so we can make informed guesses at where it may be, but unless God tells us, we can't be sure. There is always a place for logic, as long as we recognise it's limitations. I don't believe logic can solve this problem, as both sides have made logical inferences from biblical principles. I know of no text in the Bible or Ellen White that tells us where the day begins. Nor any text that tells us that the IDL or the 180 line is the correct place to start the day. I believe logic tells us that when the sun first rose on day 4 of creation its light hit the earth in a straight line rather than a meandering line like the IDL. I do see a problem with defining Sabbath by other days rather than other days being defined by the Sabbath. If days are something the government can legitimately define, why not also the beginning and end of each day? Should we allow the government to determine which is the 7th day, why not also accept that the day begins at midnight as most governments propose? I believe God has to lead us to an answer because simply reading the Bible, or Ellen White, and applying a bit of logic will not lead us all to the same answer. The Sabbath is a central doctrine, and central to our eschatology, which is why we need to rely on God to help us solve this. He may have led the early missionaries to make the right choice, but I don't think we should assume that. What really matters is what God wants us to do now. As this issue seems to be becoming a world-wide issue, maybe it is time to allow the GC to settle it. The only thing that worries me about that is how long it takes them to solve anything. But, with God all things are possible, so I have to believe that the GC making a quick decision is possible.

  38. In addressing the issue of
    First day (Sunday)called Sapate (Sabbath)
    Second day — Monday
    Third day — Tuesday
    Fourth day — Wednesday
    Fifth day — Thursday
    Sixth day — Friday
    Seventh day — Tokonaki (Preparation)

    This is really not surprising, nor is it any proof that Sunday is the "real" Sabbath.
    Consider that the London Missionary Society originated in England.
    Puritans and Presbyterians in England firmly attached the name "Sabbath" to Sunday soon after the main reformers had broken away from the Catholic Church.
    These protestants had rejected Catholic Tradition and were claiming sola scripture for all their doctrines. This placed them in a dilemma concerning their "Lord's Day" Sunday. To get around this dilemma they claimed the sanctity of the scriptural Sabbath was transferred to Sunday.
    Basing their "Sabbath" Sunday observance on the 4th commandment they originated the seventh-part-of-time theory, by which the creation Sabbath is dropped out of the fourth commandment, and one day in seven slipped into its place, allowing them to count seven from the resurrection; a doctrine most opportunely framed at the very period when nothing else could save the venerable day of the sun.

    So you will find Sunday called "Sabbath" in much of their literature, and it is not at all surprising that missionaries from England who brought the week to Samoa called Sunday (Sabbath). However, they were Sunday observers and were quite opposed to the "Jewish" Sabbath, making it very clear in their literature that these "Jewish" things were changed.

  39. Wow!!!!, my head spins. Are there any religious Jews/Rabbi living in this area? how are they handling this situation?
    I like the points that Kevin Riley brought up. While we discuss, deliberate, elucidate and frustrate each other, time moves on. The bible says yea and nay. How long has this discussion been going on? Has anything changed? Can anything be done about the situation? The congregation/body of Christ has been divided, are they still loving each other? or are they now hating each other?. The devil has had years of practice causing friction and strife. We are no match for him outside of Christ. My sincere prayer is that we are all still loving each other instead of killing each other to prove who is right and who is not. Can there be collaboration/discussion with a Jewish synagogue in the area to work this situation out?. Surely they are having the same issues too.
    Andrew S Baker said it in a nutshell on March 11th at 10:49AM.

    • I believe the Jewish advice is to avoid visiting Samoa on weekends. Their advice elsewhere where the IDL is a problem is basically for a traveller to observe Shabbat on the day they would at home, while avoiding breaking Shabbat on the local 'Saturday', or whenever the local Jews observe Shabbat. The local day is whatever the majority of Jews living there agree to. But a visitor is counselled to observe the majority day, while also not breaking Shabbath on the minority day. This may lead to a Jew at least partially observing 3 Shabbats while travelling, if local Jews are divided on which day is Shabbat. But some Jews place their IDL 90 east of Jerusalem, thus making Jerusalem the centre of the day or night. New Zealand and Japan are thus on American days, even though orthodox Jews in NZ observe Shabbat on Saturday. Others believe it is exactly opposite Jerusalem. They do agree in having all of a country keeping the same day as Sabbath. There are a number of different opinions as to where the dateline runs. It is much more complicated than for us. You can find a fairly simple explanation here : The main thing we could perhaps learn from the Jews is to show respect for the beliefs of other Sabbath keepers while following our own. In the case of Samoa and Tonga that would mean a visitor (and perhaps locals) should keep the Sabbath they believe is 'correct', but also not do anything that would break the Sabbath of the other group.

    • Dear Paulette,

      Thank you for participating in this conversation. You asked an interesting question.

      "Are there any religious Jews/Rabbi living in this area? how are they handling this situation?"

      I think you may be surprised at my answer. As Seventh-day Adventists, we have the Testimony of Jesus (in the writings of Ellen White). Here, I believe Jesus has told us exactly what to do and what to avoid. Here is what to do:

      God made his Sabbath for a round world; and when the seventh day comes to us in that round world, controlled by the sun that rules the day, it is the time in all countries and lands to observe the Sabbath. 3SM 317.1

      I do not think that anyone will have any difficulty, in any country or land, finding out (from the local people) when the seventh day is coming. We need only be aware of the "Monday to Sunday" trend, which is out of harmony with the history of the weekly cycle.

      Here is what to avoid:

      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... to confuse minds. You see how utterly impossible for this thing to be, that the world is all right observing Sunday... This theory of the day line would make all our history... a complete fallacy. But we know where we stand... 3SM 318.4

      From the quotation it seems that the "day line theory" would have made Sunday observance all right in some areas, and research confirms its claims would do just that -- in many countries and lands, including Tonga and (now) Samoa.

      Of course, this is where Jesus differed markedly with the Jews who did not believe in Him. To them, the Sabbath was technical. I believe this idea is shown in the desire to observe Sunday, January 1, 2012 as the "Sabbath" in Samoa because it is seven days after Saturday, December 24, 2011. Arguably, it is strictly or TECHNICALLY the same day!

      On the other hand Jesus, as I see it, taught that the Sabbath is a social institution -- all about the covenant relationship between Himself and His community of believers. I believe we see this in the desire to observe Saturday, December 31, 2011, as the Sabbath in Samoa, because a social change (which did not move any day outside of its usual 48-hour global time frame) has made IT the same day as Saturday, December 24.

      Unbelieving Jews may regard the 7th-day Sabbath as a sign of their personal righteousness. On the other hand, fervent believers in Jesus, as I see it, regard the 7th-day Sabbath as a sign of their personal loyalty and devotion to their Lord and Saviour. Isn't it interesting how it can end up making a difference regarding which day we choose...

  40. Dear Viliami Latu,

    Regarding your recent question about the Biblical name/definition of the Sabbath, the Bible neither says "Saturday is the Sabbath" nor does it say "The definition of Sabbath is 7 days after the previous one." The Bible simply says, "The 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God."

    We know from studying the Bible that some information is handed to us directly (build the sanctuary like so; build the ark like so), while other principles must be derived from all the information provided over a period of time (day/year principle, church organization, christian attire, stewardship, the Godhead, etc). A holistic view of the scriptures, with no man-made theories, makes it clear which day is the Sabbath day because the Sabbath has the following Biblical characteristics:

    -- It is the seventh day in the week. (Gen 2:2-3; Exodus 20:8-11)
    -- It is surrounded by the preparation day and the 1st day of the week (Matt 28:1; Mark 16:2)
    -- It is the memorial of God's creative power (Gen 2:2-3; Rev 14:6-7; Exodus 31:12-17)
    -- It is the visible sign between God and His people (Exodus 31:12-17)
    -- It has a counterfeit, and is clearly distinguishable from it (Deut 12:30; Ezekiel 8:15-18; Rev 13:13-16)
    -- The counterfeit is the day of the sun (Ezekiel 8:15-18)
    -- It was observed by Jesus and the apostles (Luke 4:16; Luke 6:6; Acts 13:14; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4)
    -- It was mentioned by Jesus as something we would continue to observe (Matt 24:20)
    -- It will be celebrated again in the New Earth (Isa 66:23)

    Based on just this information from the Bible, it is easy to see what day the Sabbath is, relative to every single location on earth. Add in the holistic information from the Spirit of Prophecy, and we even get the bonus identification of the counterfeit sabbath using its contemporary name.

    Absolutely no man-made theories are necessary to come to the conclusion about which is the day to keep and which is the day to avoid.

  41. Dear Viliamai L,
    Perhaps your question could be reframed to read - Does the Bible say "THE SABBATH IS SUNDAY AND THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK.' It has been pointed out previously that different countries call the days of the week by different names. Even today the Greek calendar calls the seventh day 'Sabbaton'. The Jews called then by number with Day 5 followed by 'Preparation' for day 6 and then 'Sabbath' for day 7. At times we have been somewhat hard on the Jewish people accusing them of being fanatical regards the Sabbath. To them were 'commuitted the oracles of God' and after 4000 years from Moses, they still call the day we name Saturday as the Sabbath of God - and they live on both sides of the Dateline. Jesus, Himself, kept what we call Saturday as the Sabbath while on this earth (even resting in the tomb on that day) and He is to be our example in all things. We wouod be wise to follow His example

  42. Dear Brethren,

    God's Blessing on us all and the Church leadership. I thought to share some communication between our family, those that live and worship in Samoa, and trust that it helps to contribute to a clearer understanding of my perspective of the subject and consequently, I maintain an error in judgment was made to edict Sunday as the Sabbath Day of Worship in Samoa. I also Pray for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us all to show humility and love as children and followers of Christ Jesus.

    Dear xxx & xxx,

    Happy Sapati to you both and our beloved families there in AKL!

    The subject continues to play on my mind so I thought to share with you the following "food for thought".

    I teased my sister last evening about which day she was worshipping today there is AKL! I believe the one thing we all agree and (it is 1 of 2 key reasons) why we are Seventh Day Adventist is:

    • In Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, God created our beautiful world in 6 days and rested on the 7th Day, blessed it, hallowed it and made it a day of special remembrance of His Love for Us and why we worship Him
    • Confirmation of the Seventh Day Sabbath is found in a number of Scripture references but Mark 15 & Luke 24 suffice, where it states that Christ was crucified on the eve of the 6th Day -- known as Preparation Day, He rested on the 7th Day -- the Sabbath Day and arose from the grave on the 1st day of the week, thus reinforcing 7th Day Sabbath worship

    These 2 key references we all agree is according to God’s WORD. So far so good, yes!? In today’s reference to the 1-7 day cycle, we refer to as Sunday to Saturday, but that the unbroken 7day cycle remains as per Genesis 1 and Genesis 2. So in the context of the South Pacific Division decision to endorse Sunday as the Sabbath Day I accept the logic why, based on the unbroken 7day cycle, so are we still on the same page at this point, yes!?

    However, the point at issue where we differ is our understanding of Samoa time reckoning at the time of the 1st known change of its position relative to the international date line, in 1892. This has an important bearing on the SPD decision today to edict Sunday as the day of worship for SDA’s in Samoa, remember, I accept the logic of the 7day (unbroken) cycle and why this is so. But, the nagging doubt I have about this decision stems from recognizing Sunday as the Lord’s Day, Sabbath. So to satisfy myself, I thought about the date when the 1892 timezone change was made relative to the IDL. Clearly, it is a known historical fact that King Malietoa Laupepa made a decision to align Samoa calendar with the US for trade and economic purposes, I think we all agree with this point. So Monday, July 4, 1892, was repeated twice to align the days/date/time with the US, so there was a 1-time 8day week, as a result of this decision. So when you think about this clearly, prior to Monday 4 July, 1892, Samoa timezone was the opposite of the US and in fact, was aligned with that of New Zealand and Australia, yes?, I think we agree this logically makes sense.

    I am also researching some other historical dates points of reference to support the time period of King Laupepa and I came across, ‘The Storm at Apia, Samoa, 15-16 March 1889’. I want to quote direct from the article:

    Report of Rear-Admiral L.A. Kimberly

    APIA, SAMOA, March 19, 1889.

    SIR: It becomes my painful duty to report to the Department the disastrous injury and loss sustained by the vessels under my command in the harbor of Apia during the hurricane which swept these waters March 15 and 16. When the gale commenced there were in the harbor the following men of war: U.S. ships Trenton, Vandalia, and Nipsic; H[er].B[rittanic].M[ajesty's]. ship Calliope, and H[is].I[mperial].G[ermanic].M[ajesty's]. ships Addler, Olga, and Eber. There were also a few merchant vessels and small craft. The Nipsic had the inner berth, and the Trenton (last to arrive) had the outer berth.

    Indications of bad weather appeared during the forenoon of Friday, March 15, and at 1 o'clock on that day I commenced preparations to meet a gale by sending down the lower yards [that carried sails] and housing topmasts. Fires were lighted [in the ships' propulsion boilers] and steam raised.

    Please note that A. Kimberly report states Friday, March 15, 1889. When I cross referenced this day/date/time with the 1889 New Zealand calendar, they were the same day. So this confirmed in my mind that Samoa and New Zealand/Australia were keeping the same timezone. Remember, I am still researching additional dates to further support this claim, based on historical activities of the period in question, 1800-1900. So I will provide a further update when I have these to hand.

    So what is my point here, very simple, there are two very clear dates that validate that the original timezone prior to the IDL being introduced in 1884, was the same as New Zealand and Australia. Therefore the 7day (unbroken) cycle in this context would have recognized Sunday to Saturday corresponding as such; day1 - Sun, day2 - Mon, day3 - Tues, day4 - Wed, day5 - Thurs, day6 - Fri, Day7 - Sat, the Sabbath Day. So if we accept this logic, you have agree it makes sense, yes?!

    I think it is also important to note, that in all of the material I have read on the pros and cons presented about this debate on the Samoa Seventh Day Sabbath and Sunday, none have validated the original start point of Samoa timezone position prior to 1892 and the introduction of the IDL in 1884. I have, at this point, validated 2 dates that support Samoa timezone as being that with New Zealand/Australia.

    So, what’s the big deal here? Well for one, if we subscribe to the unbroken 7day cycle to when King Malietoa Laupepa 1892 edict to align with the US timezone, west of the IDL, then the Sabbath at that time would have fallen and should have been recognized as Friday. We know however, this wasn’t the case because from 1892-2011, SDA’s worshipped on Saturday, therefore accepting the 1-time 8day week and aligning with the US timezone and 7th Day Sabbath Keeping, on Saturday. Therefore, if we accept this to be the true situation, (and it makes logical sense), Samoa decision in December 2011 to revert to the timezone position prior to 1892, west of the IDL, the same as New Zealand and Australia, then the 7th Day would return to Saturday, the original Sabbath Day kept at that time.

    Where I believe the misunderstanding has arisen and the basis of our disagreement lies is:

    • When the timezone change was made from 1892-2011, SDA’s accepted a 1-time 8day week to align itself with the US timezone and adjusted the 7th Day cycle to the corresponding calendar, thus the 7th Day and Sabbath on Saturday. They did not maintain an unbroken 7day cycle that would have resulted with the 7th Day Sabbath as being Friday
    • The SPD it would appear did not validate the day/date/time prior to 1892 to confirm Samoa original timezone position, which in fact was aligned with New Zealand and Australia and carried forward the misunderstanding of using the 1892-2011 period, as the original timezone position, when it fact it was be pre-1892

    Therefore, if we are to maintain an unbroken 7day cycle, according to Genesis 1-2 and also accept that the 7th Day Sabbath is between the 6th day (or Preparation Day) and the 1st Day of the week, Saturday, within the context of Samoa original timezone pre-1892, then the 7th Day Sabbath is Saturday, as it was originally, NOT Sunday, as is the case in Samoa today.

    I have thought about the points of view put forward about the early LMS and Wesleyan missionaries in Samoa, circa 1828-1830’s, where they purportedly used the London, UK timezone, (their home), to keep day/date/time, that was East of the IDL, not West, Samoa timezone position at that time.

    So, notwithstanding the fact that prior to the IDL being universally recognized to determine day/date/time globally, we all accept Scripture as the ultimate authority of God’s Will and therefore, are on the same page with Genesis 1-2 and Mark 1/Luke 24 regarding the 7th Day Sabbath and (unbroken) 7th day cycle and which day the 7th Day Sabbath falls, in-between the 6th Day (or Preparation Day), Friday and the 1st Day of the week, Sunday. Where we are in disagreement is our understanding of the reference point of Samoa original timezone position prior to 1892 timezone change by King Malietoa Laupepa and which is fundamental to whether the 7th Day Sabbath falls on Saturday or Sunday. I think it is also important to recognize that the emphasis I place on the 1-7days is as per Creation and not, the names of the day, but that in this instance, it is the order in which the 1-7days are named and therefore, irrelevant to God’s 7 Day cycle of Creation.

    So I hope and pray and with the many other Brethren of our Faith, Seventh Day Adventists, that the Holy Spirit will Lead us all to enlightenment as this issue, the Samoa Seventh Day Sabbath Dilemma, is not only central to our ‘Christ’s Walk’, but critically fundamental to our Salvation. I respect and appreciate that you like me and the many other SDA’s caught up in what is becoming a worldwide debate for the above reasons, that we reach a speedy resolution that only prayer and humbling ourselves to God’s leading and guidance can bring. I also pray for our Leadership that God’s Word and Holy Spirit is front and forward in their consideration of the dilemma their decision has placed our Samoan Brethren.

    I love you both and our family very much hence my persistence about the subject, because it for me, just doesn’t feel right that as a Seventh Day Adventist, Sunday is the right reference for our 7th Day Sabbath worship, but that as worshippers of the 7th Day Sabbath being Saturday, sets us apart as clear witness to Sunday worshippers and non-believers in Christ.

    I trust my outline above makes sense and I do welcome your point of view for our further enlightenment, to reaffirm our Love and Faith in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. ula xox

    • Before any of the Polynesian countries changed to western time, the missionaries - either resident or visiting - kept Sabbath on the local Sunday, believing that it was really Saturday east of 180. When the countries one by one changed to western days, it was the Sunday keeping churches who had to change, and some found that difficult. For SDAs, what was now Saturday came 7 days (including the extra day) after what had previously been Sunday. To continue to keep what is now Sunday according to eastern reckoning, but Saturday according to western reckoning, is our original position. It may or may not have been the best decision then or now, but it has been our consistent position since the beginning. You cannot accuse either SPD or S-TM of introducing a novel idea last year. They merely confirmed the decision reached initially in the 1880s and confirmed whenever the issue has been brought up since.

    • -------
      Concerning Ian's post, I'd just like make a little clarification that might help:

      I have thought about the points of view put forward about the early LMS and Wesleyan missionaries in Samoa, circa 1828-1830’s, where they purportedly used the London, UK timezone, (their home), to keep day/date/time, that was East of the IDL, not West, Samoa timezone position at that time.

      London is actually roughly the same distance from Samoa -- whether going east or west.

      As to their reckoning of time -- the London Missionaries came to Samoa by traveling around Africa -- thus they did NOT cross the IDL and as they were traveling east they were in the eastern hemisphere time zone when they arrived in Samoa. (Same time as Australia and New Zealand) They did not cross the Pacific Ocean. It is only when people cross the Pacific Ocean that a day is added or subtracted.
      Thus it was only when Americans (who crossed the Pacific) started visiting Samoa that the issue of the IDL even arose.

      It makes all the difference whether they traveled to Samoa going east around Africa or going west across America.

  43. From what I've read, outside of the denomination there is a Samoan Independent Seventh Day Adventist Church which is of enough size to have congregations in AU/NZ/US, and they had decided to adopt the new Saturday, am I correct? Can someone enlighten me whether they are the larger force of Asian Saturday keepers than the denomination's Asian Saturday members?

  44. >>Between Samoa and Auckland we crossed the day-line...

    I notice that those using Sis White's quotation about crossing the date line are only using a part of the quotation.

    The full quotation is as follows:

    Between Samoa and Auckland we crossed the day-line, and for the first time in our lives we had a week of six days. Tuesday, Dec. 1, was dropped from our reckoning, and we passed from Monday to Wednesday. {RH, February 16, 1892 par. 13}

    Seems like Sis White didn't have a problem with a short week, which would undoubtedly interfere with any definition of the Sabbath as being "7 days after the previous one."

    While one could argue whether or not she knew where the dateline was for herself vs being told about it by someone else on the ship (like the Captain), the larger implications of the quotation are this:

    -- She accepted that a dateline must exist in a round world
    -- She accepted that crossing it results in a shorter or longer week, depending on direction.

  45. Dear contributors.
    The debate and sharing through this forum has been quite interesting and intellectual. The reflection below which I have just received hits home for me the core essence of all this - it's about people's souls and love for Jesus. I thought you may be interested in reading this too. It seems to me that the most important message from this reflection is an urgent call - ARE THERE BOLD LEADERS OF GOD OUT THERE WHO WITH THE GRACE AND POWER OF THE LORD COME FORWARD AND LEAD A GENUINELY GOD INSPIRED RESOLUTION TO THIS IMPASSE BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE?
    Enoka Puni

    "Talofa All
    Greetings from Ground Zero:

    1 Two thousand and twelve is a special year
    For all Samoans living far and near
    As we prepare for the 50th celebration
    The anniversary of our independent nation
    It’s also been a year of sad separation
    Of God’s church with its small population
    The "Keep Sunday" ruling made by our leaders
    Caused a huge split among our members

    2 We continue to keep the seventh day sacred
    On which God rested and consecrated
    Forbidden to worship in a church building
    Under trees we pray with our voices ringing
    For our church services, we hire a tent
    Chairs and tables each Sabbath we rent
    Happiness and peace flood each soul
    Eternal life is our ultimate goal

    3 Some members travel from Anoamaa
    ` To worship with us at Vailoa, Faleata
    Their old pick-up may squeak and sputter
    They’re the first to arrive before the worship hour
    They travel all the way from Solaua
    Their joy is endless, their hearts are pure
    Quietly they endure mockery and scorn
    Looking to God to lead them on

    4 I worshipped with the Samatau group
    A country church of my childhood
    Old and young, fellowship warmly
    With joy I feel the spirit of belonging
    On the Sabbath issue, they cast their lot
    Choosing bravely to obey God
    When all seemed lost they stood their ground
    Allowing no one to push them around

    5 Animosity Lord is hard to bear
    We’re neither Job nor species rare
    Intimidation and aggravation
    Fill us with exasperation
    May we continue to turn the other cheek
    When we’re tempted not to be meek
    May we be kind one to another
    And gently enlighten a befuddled brother

    6 “Bind us with cords that can not be broken”
    Is a favourite song we sing quite often
    Sadly, Lord, Your church is divided
    Scattering souls – scared and frightened
    Families are broken, churches are divided
    Friendships have ended, plans discarded
    We have to act quickly for our people’s sake
    Hard choices now we all must make

    7 While leaders argue and deliberate
    The devil is busy sowing seeds of hate
    Spirits are weakened, hearts are hardened
    Souls are confused and very discouraged
    Folks stay home, people have grown cold
    Church members, Lord, are leaving the fold
    If we continue to squabble and wait
    Saving these souls may be too late

    8 How long can the weary souls hold on?
    How long will the leaders' meetings prolong?
    With Your grace, dear Lord, we’ll carry on
    Relying on Your Spirit to lead us on
    But Lord, what about the baffled soul?
    Struggling alone Thy will to know
    They may be someone’s son or daughter
    Blindly led like lambs to the slaughter

    9 Lord may we labour hard and long
    For all these people, to Thee belong
    We’ll help them on the journey home
    Don’t let us waver, delay or roam
    The sabbath truth to all explain
    So they can choose to retain or refrain
    Tomorrow may be someone’s last time
    It may be theirs – it may be mine

    10 We lay our burdens at Thy feet
    Until on heaven’s shores we meet
    May our foundation be secure in You
    May we forever to Thee be true
    With courage we will continue to stand
    To keep the light burning in our homeland
    We will press on, we will stand tall
    Till You welcome us to the celestial hall

    11 For us You paid the ultimate price
    For me You made the supreme sacrifice
    We won’t give up, we won’t surrender
    We want to live with Thee, forever
    May we advance with surety and dignity
    Until at last we reach eternity
    When death’s curtain is forever drawn
    Please turn the darkness into glorious dawn

    12 To all God’s people who support our stand
    In keeping the Sabbath in our motherland
    Your voices strong ring loud and clear
    Supporting our belief with hearts sincere
    You lifted our spirits, strengthened our hope
    You kept us going and helped us cope
    Please accept our profound gratitude
    For giving us strength and fortitude

    13 For us, continue to say a prayer
    It’s great to know that you all care
    Please remember the sabbathkeepers
    The confused members and church leaders
    Those on both sides and in the middle
    Don’t let the devil, with our souls fiddle
    Each day the sun sets in someone’s life
    While the church is divided with internal strife

    14 For peace which passeth all understanding
    For His promises on which we are standing
    For family and friends, for pastors and members
    For people overseas who are standing together
    For strength, courage and determination
    For the love and support of God’s congregation
    Cheering us on to victory and jubilation
    We say ‘faafetai tele’ and heartfelt appreciation

    Emoni T Tesese
    Apia and Samatau Sabbathkeeper
    March 2012"

  46. Enoka Puni
    Your poem is beautiful.
    May God continue to bless you as you stand up for your convictions.

  47. I think the decision is clear because Samoa miss one day but the Church is the Seventh-day Adventist Church so seventh day is the Sunday and those who keep saturday now in Samoa should be called the Sixth-day Adventist Church because Samoa miss a day in the later date of 2011 and everybody knows it even God knows it and He knows that you keep that seventh day if it is called by the world (samoa) sunday but to God and His people it is the seventh-day so dont be afraid to keep it for we have plenty of witnesses to it. Keep it for God is our witness.

  48. One of the interesting facets of the human mind is its ability to rationalise. I feel that the more emotionally attached we are to an argument, the greater the chance of this happening. If pride kicks in at this point, heaven help us. We have a tendency to try to strengthen a position we have based on emotion by trying to build logical arguments from what evidence we can find to support our view. I know I have been guilty of this many times. What makes it worse is that sometimes we do get it right when using this technique and this can justify the method. The dangers of doing this sort of thing though is that it muddies the waters for us, often to the point where we become confused in our thinking. It can also confuse the thinking of others who read or hear what we have to say. The more subtle the arguments we use, the greater the chance of this happening. Not everybody has the same level of discernment.

    God did something really special for me a number of years back when I didn’t know which direction I needed to go. I was self-employed and things were not going to well. I had decided to look for employment elsewhere and I had heard of possibilities that I followed up on.

    The first possibility was a company that, I had heard on the grape vine, needed someone with my skills. I rang them and got turned down flat. They were not advertising the position yet and may not because they already had people in mind for the position.

    When I followed up on the second possibility, there were a large number of other people who were also applying for the position. I was called up for an interview and put on the short list. I was interviewed again and then found out that this company had narrowed the list down to three possible candidates of which I was one. At this point I wasn’t sure. This is when I knelt down and prayed about it seriously. I had been praying before this. But this time I wanted to be sure from God where He wanted me to be. I was on my knees for half the night praying and right there while on my knees, God revealed to me what His plan was. God was arranging employment for me. I was not going to get that job that was looking so good. This job was not for me. He revealed to me that I was to get the job where originally I was turned down flat. I had no idea how this was to happen but I left it in God’s hands.

    A couple of weeks later I got a phone call from the first company. They told me the position was available and that they had heard in the industry that I was the best person for the Job. They wanted me to take it.

    God leads. God answers prayer. I think it is time for us pray, and really listen for his answer. Let’s leave our positions and then kneel before the Throne of Grace for guidance.

    • Dear Owen,

      God bless you for your insight and I totally agree that whilst we have been focusing on rationalizing positions, factually and emotionally, we do need to have Faith in our Lord and Saviour and Pray to for Him for His Will, His Guidance and Leadership. Pray & Faith go hand in hand and we need to do this diligently, fervently and with Love & Understanding in our hearts. There is much that we don't see but the Lord does and Faith in our Prayers of Gratitude and request for His help, will resolve the Samoan Sabbath Dilemma. Sooner than we think.

      God Bless.

  49. More and more I see God in the big picture of this debate, more and more I see that God has led HIS people to different sides of this argument. This actually kept me awake most of last night.

    I remember the night just before the change, as I was reading Desire of Ages and I felt God's presence and so strongly that I called Merita into the room. I felt the impression "that we were to honour the Sabbath on Saturday, but not to worry about debating who was right and we would see miracles happen."

    At that time when Merita backed me up instantly, we thought we were totally in this alone and we had no real understanding on any issue to do with the dateline other than what had been presented to us one Sabbath afternoon by Paul Cavanagh.

    Well, within a week of that decision we began to get e-mails and reports backing up the decision that God had so strongly imprinted on my mind that night.

    God blessed us with the gov't prayer house to worship and meet up with the very special people that is the Lighthouse group now.

    BUT I have disobeyed God and HE has brought this to my attention. Many times I have debated the point in human nature, in much the same way as the mission leaders. I in human nature have had a need to be right, and a need to prove others wrong. God has pointed out the futility of this arrogance. I know there is more power on my knees than any argument I could ever win in my own strength.

    I have voiced to the Lighthouse group that we want to be a group free of condemnation, full of the Holy Spirit, a place where Christ can send in trust any seekers, or people praying for truth to come and worship. No more Holy Spirit hospital to travel to every Sabbath to get their little spirit fix to keep the habit going.

    I truly believe I and those who I am blessed to worship with in sincerity and love will see the power of God as we step back and humble ourselves, understanding that anything said and done in our own strength will only impede what God can do through those who are faithful to HIM.

    Again I state that revival is going to come from both sides of this debate!

    • Thank you for this message, Lance.

      I believe the Lord has been impressing a number of us at the same time that it is time to stop "proving" and start praying. To that end, comments on this particular post have been closed for now. (If you have something important to add, you can always reach us through the Contact link under "About" in the menu bar.)

      I would like to appeal to
      all who love the people of Samoa and other islands in the South Pacific,
      all who love the Seventh-day Adventist church,
      all who love the Sabbath and the Lord of the Sabbath
      to pray that the God of Elijah will reveal Himself in a mighty way
      and take charge of the situation in the South Pacific
      so that all true followers of Jesus among Seventh-day Adventists
      may be united under the banner of the Lord of the Sabbath
      in order that a clear testimony might be given to a world that needs it so desperately.
      May the God of Elijah provide a clear testimony that will reach the hearts
      of the population of Samoa and other islands in the South Pacific.

      Let us pray -- not just today, but every day. Not just once a day, but several times a day.

      May God bless all our readers and fill them with His Spirit.

      Inge Anderson
      Editor of Sabbath School Net.