Isa 40:22 It is he that sitteth <yashab> upon the circle <chuwg> of the earth, <‘erets> and the inhabitants <yashab> thereof are as grasshoppers; <chagab> that stretcheth out <natah> the heavens <shamayim> as a curtain, <doq> and spreadeth them out <mathach> as a tent <‘ohel> to dwell in: <yashab> {It is…: or, Him that}






From H2328; a circle: – circle, circuit, compassive

Total KJV occurrences: 3



The first line of Isaiah 40:22 reads, “It is he [i.e. God] who sits above the circle of the earth.” Some have argued from this that Scripture teaches the earth to be a flat disc, rather than a globe. However, even if the original Hebrew is correctly understood to refer to a circle, this doesn’t necessarily indicate something flat; a sphere appears as a circle when seen from above—and indeed from whatever direction it is viewed. Moreover, there is good reason to believe that the word translated ‘circle’ might be better translated ‘sphere’.


There is good reason to believe that the word translated ‘circle’ might be better translated ‘sphere’.


The Hebrew word in question is khûg (חוּג) which is also found in Job 22:14 where, in many Bible versions, it is translated ‘vault’. For example, the New American Standard Bible reads, “Clouds are a hiding place for Him, so that He cannot see; and He walks on the vault of heaven.” Clearly ‘vault’ carries the sense of something three-dimensional and is given as the primary meaning of khûg in the well-known Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon.1 In modern Hebrew, a sphere is denoted by khûg, along with kaddur, galgal, and mazzal.2 In Arabic (another Semitic language), kura means ball and is the word used in the Van Dyck-Boustani Arabic Bible (1865) to translate khûg in Isaiah 40:22.


Clearly ‘vault’ carries the sense of something three-dimensional and is given as the primary meaning of khûg in the well-known Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon.


A case can also be made from modern European terms denoting sphericity. Philologists have discovered a number of Indo-European words that appear to be related to Semitic words, whether of shared origin or having been borrowed in the distant past.3 While there is no specific evidence confirming a link in the case of the Hebrew word khûg, it may be significant that, in Indo-European languages, there are similar-sounding words that definitely refer to a spherical object, examples being kugel (Middle High German), kula (Polish), kugla (Serbo-Croatian) and gugā (their Proto-Indo-European root).


Various sixteenth century Latin Bibles indicate that medieval scholars understood khûg in Isaiah 40:22 to refer to the sphericity of the earth. For example, Santes Pagnino translated this sphaera, and Benedictus Arias Montanus and François Vatable globus. The seventeenth century Giovanni Diodati Bible also used globus and the eighteenth century Dutch Hebraist Campeius Vitringa used orbis.7 More recently, the Spanish Jerusalem Bible used ‘orb’ and the Italian Riveduta Bible ‘globo’.


While most modern Bible versions translate khûg as ‘circle’, a good case can be made that ‘sphere’ was the sense intended by the original Hebrew. Historically, scholars have often taken this view, preferring the Latin words sphaera, globus and orbis. The recent preference for ‘circle’ may have arisen from the belief that people living in Isaiah’s time were too primitive to realise the true nature of the earth. This would seem unlikely, however, as Job 26:7, probably written several centuries before, states that God “hangs the earth on nothing,” indicating that the ancient Hebrews had quite a sophisticated understanding of cosmology.


Everyone is in agreement that khûg carries the sense of roundness, and common usage makes clear that this can refer to either a two or three dimensional geometry. Hence, it cannot be argued that Isaiah 40:22 clearly teaches the earth to be a disc. Moreover, even if khûg does refer to a circle here, this doesn’t necessarily indicate flatness as a globe appears as a circle from whatever direction it is viewed.


Deuteronomy 29:29: The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.


When God is seen as He is, the blessed truth shines with a new and clearer light. That which kept the mind in perplexity is cleared away by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. And yet there are many things we shall not comprehend; but we have the blessed assurance that what we know not now, we shall know hereafter.– Letter 15a, 1890.


I have been shown that it is the device of the enemy to lead minds to dwell upon some obscure or unimportant point, something that is not fully revealed or is not essential to our salvation. This is made the absorbing theme, the “present truth,” when all their investigations and suppositions only serve to make matters more obscure than before, and to confuse the minds of some who ought to be seeking for oneness through sanctification of the truth.–Letter 7, 1891.


You are saying that EGW material was edited, here is a scanned letter from her writing:

“God is perpetually at work in nature. She is His servant, directed as He pleases. Nature in her work testifies of the intelligent presence and active agency of a Being who moves in all His works according to His will. It is not by an original power inherent in nature that year by year the earth produces its bounties and the world keeps up its CONTINUAL MARCH AROUND THE SUN. The hand of infinite power is perpetually at work guiding this planet. It is God’s power momentarily exercised that keeps it in position in its rotations. The God of heaven is constantly at work. It is by His power that vegetation is caused to flourish, that every leaf appears and every flower blooms. It is not as the result of a mechanism, that, once set in motion, continues its work, that the pulse beats and breath follows breath. {Ms4-1882}


About the earth being a globe here another of her writing scanned from her handwriting:

“Now here we can see our appointed work. When Christ went away, He left His blessing upon those He left behind. He was parting from them, and He gave them to understand that their field extended to the uttermost parts of the world. They were not to confine their labors to their own home or to their own country, but they were to widen until it should COMPASS THE GLOBE, it should go to the uttermost parts of the earth.. {Ms21-1887}”


I wish to see Jerusalem when the fires of the last great day shall have cleansed it from all sinful defilement. Jerusalem is now no more sacred to me than any other PLACE ON THE GLOBE. {Lt44-1894}


God furnished the matter and the properties with which to carry out His plans. Nature is but the Lord’s agency. The hand of God is continually GUIDING THE GLOBE IN ITS MYSTERIOUS MARCH AROUND THE SUN. {Ms92-1898}


Missionaries are raised up in those dark quarters of the earth, and they teach their own people the gospel of Christ. Light begins to shine in all parts of OUR GLOBE. {Ms157-1907}


Sister uses the word round and globe interchangeably in her own signed letters which have been scanned and is available.

All these truths are immortalized in my writings. The Lord never denies His Word. Men may get up scheme after scheme, and the enemy will seek to seduce souls from the truth, but all who believe that the Lord has spoken through Sister White, and has given her a message, will be safe from the many delusions that will come in in these last days. {Lt50-1906}


“That which the FATHER  and SON ALONE  can reveal is A KNOWLEDGE OF GOD , and THIS KNOWLEDGE OF GOD , IS THE SEAL  placed IN THE FOREHEADS  of the chosen generation.  The seal then is the KNOWLEDGE  of the TRUE GOD ,  and THIS , JEHOVAH has placed in His Sabbath. “Hallow My Sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between Me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.”  …..This seal is a sign of sanctification, and it is a sign forever.” —  {SSP 132.2}”



With this is issue being agitated I thought to start assembling some quotes as we seek to know the truth


It is better to pray and humble the soul before God and let the world, ROUND OR FLAT, BE JUST AS GOD HAS MADE IT. Try most earnestly by faithful continuance in welldoing to seek for a clear title in the inheritance in the earth made new. BETTER LEAD THE FLOCK OF GOD TO DRINK AT THE HIGHER STREAMS; BETTER BY PRECEPT AND EXAMPLE SEEK GOD WHILE HE MAY BE FOUND. Call upon Him while He is near. There is a revival needed in the church. When the teachers are drinking fresh draughts from the well of Bethlehem, then they can lead the people to the living stream. My soul is weighed down with the burden of the condition of things in New York. May the Lord raise up helpers, men whom He can teach, humble men whom He can lead to bear a clear, sharp testimony in faith. God help you to seek His face, to walk carefully, to put self out of sight, and exalt Jesus. {21MR 413.2}


I HOPE BROTHER WILCOX WILL BE A TRULY CONVERTED MAN. This is his great need at the present time. He wants meekness, he wants humility, he wants genuine piety, and without it he is as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. His soul and your soul need the indwelling of Jesus. WHETHER THE WORLD IS ROUND OR FLAT WILL NOT SAVE A SOUL, BUT WHETHER MEN BELIEVE AND OBEY MEANS EVERYTHING. –Letter 43, 1887.


I am pleased to tell you the Lord strengthened me on Sabbath to bear a decided message. To His name be all the glory. I know the impression was made by His Holy Spirit. On Sunday afternoon I urged the truth with more decided firmness and power. A MAN WAS PRESENT WHO HAD EXPRESSED A DESIRE TO SEE ME AND TALK WITH ME IN REGARD TO THE ROUND AND FLAT WORLD. I sent him a message that when Christ gave my commission to do the work, He had placed upon me, THE FLAT OR ROUND WORLD WAS NOT INCLUDED IN THE MESSAGE; the Lord had taken care of His house, His world here below, better than any human agency could care for it, and until the message came from the Lord, SILENCE WAS ELOQUENCE UPON THAT QUESTION. {21MR 414.2}




Melrose, Mass., Sunday, August 28, 1904: I speak to the people that shall assemble in the tent meeting in Melrose. My mind is deeply exercised this morning. I HAVE HAD MATTERS PRESENTED TO ME TO GIVE TO OUR PEOPLE. AN URGENT REQUEST CAME TO ME FROM A MAN WHO DESIRED TO DISCUSS WITH ME IN REGARD TO THE ROUND WORLD–TO HIM A VERY IMPORTANT MATTER. My answer was, “I have a message to this people in regard to the life they must live in this world to prepare them for future life which measures with the life of God. WE HAVE NOUGHT TO DO WITH THE QUESTION WHETHER THIS WORLD IS ROUND OR FLAT. [The important thing] is to serve God with full purpose of a renewed heart, sanctified and made holy by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.” {21MR 421.3, 4}


God has qualified His people to enlighten the world. He has entrusted them with faculties by which they are to extend His work until it shall ENCIRCLE THE GLOBE. In all parts of the earth, they are to establish sanitariums, schools, publishing houses, and kindred facilities for the accomplishment of His work. [CME 30.1]


As the rays of the sun penetrate to the REMOTEST CORNERS OF THE GLOBE, so God designs that the light of the gospel shall extend to every soul upon the earth. If the church of Christ were fulfilling the purpose of our Lord, light would be shed upon all that sit in darkness and in the region and shadow of death. Instead of congregating together and shunning responsibility and cross bearing, the members of the church would scatter into all lands, letting the light of Christ shine out from them, working as He did for the salvation of souls, and this “gospel of the kingdom” would speedily be carried to all the world. [MB 42.3]


THE HAND OF GOD IS CONTINUALLY GUIDING THE GLOBE IN ITS CONTINUOUS MARCH AROUND THE SUN. The same hand which holds the mountains, and balances them in position, guides and keeps in order the respective planets. All the wonderful glories in the heavens are but doing their appointed work. Vegetation flourishes because of the agencies employed by the great and mighty God. He sends the dew and the rain and the sunshine that verdure may spring forth, and SPREAD ITS GREEN CARPET OVER THE EARTH; that the shrubs and the fruit – trees may bud and blossom and bring forth fruit. It is not to be supposed that a law is set in operation for the seed to work of itself, – that the leaf appears because it must do so of itself. It is through the immediate agency of God that every tiny seed breaks through the earth, and springs into life. Every green leaf grows, every flower blooms, through the working power of God. [Christian Educator April 1, 1899, par. 5]


THE CULTIVATION OF CERTAIN FACULTIES TO THE NEGLECT OF OTHERS MAKES BRO. ANDREWS A ONE-SIDED MAN. When on the subject of the ROUND WORLD, Bro. Andrews could scarcely think or talk without dwelling upon this subject. HE CARRIED THIS MATTER TO EXTREMES. He wearied the readers and listeners to his lengthy arguments upon that subject. Precious time was used up in talking and writing upon that subject, WHICH NEEDED TO BE CANVASSED, BUT DID NOT REQUIRE SO GREAT THOROUGHNESS. Bro. Andrews was wearying himself and others, and at the same time was leaving undone the weightier matters. And more recently, months of precious time have been used up in wearisome labor, CHASING AFTER THE DISHONEST QUIBBLES OF A MAN WHO ONCE KEPT THE BIBLE SABBATH, BUT AFTERWARD REJECTED IT. HIS OPPOSITION IS SO GREAT UPON THE SABBATH QUESTION THAT HE IS INSANE UPON THE SUBJECT. THE TIME SPENT IN FOLLOWING [PREBLE] SO CLOSELY AND THOROUGHLY HAS BEEN A MISTAKE. The readers of the Review have become wearied with the subject. A set of quibbles have been furnished the readers of the Review of NO SPECIAL WEIGHT ONLY TO DECEIVE AND DARKEN MINDS. In these things, Bro. Andrews could not see his failings. He has pursued the subject with the greatest satisfaction to his own mind. Bro. Andrews has needed the help of his brethren. He should have had their counsel. They should have supplied his deficiency by their more equally balanced minds. When Bro. Andrews gets upon a train of thought following a subject, HE KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT LEAVING OFF WHEN ALL HAS BEEN SAID THAT IS REQUIRED, AND THAT IS PROFITABLE. The people of God are suffering for the truth which he should bring out at once upon the history of the Sabbath. {PH159 188.1}


In every place [are] God’s memorials of His Sabbath and of His glory in creating the heavens and the earth. God rested on the seventh day, and set it apart for man to observe in honor of His creation of the heavens and the earth in six literal days. He blessed and sanctified and made holy the day of rest. WHEN MEN ARE SO CAREFUL TO SEARCH AND DIG TO SEE IN REGARD TO THE PRECISE PERIOD OF TIME, WE ARE TO SAY, 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. In the countries where there is no sunset for months, and again no sunrise for months, THE PERIOD OF TIME WILL BE CALCULATED BY RECORDS KEPT. But God has a world large enough and proper and right for the human beings He has created to inhabit it, without finding homes in those lands so objectionable in very many, many ways. {Lt167-1900}


LET THOSE WHO ARE PRESENTING THEORIES AS TO WHETHER THE EARTH IS ROUND OR FLAT LEAVE THIS QUESTION—FOR GOD HAS NOT GIVEN IT TO THEM TO SOLVE—AND EARNESTLY INQUIRE: “WHAT SHALL I DO THAT I MAY HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE?” Let them heed the answer: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Nonessential questions will be brought in by those who do not purify their souls by obeying the truth. They fall far short of the standard of loving God supremely and their neighbor as themselves. I am bidden to say that sophistries will be brought in to take the place of the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. THE MESSAGE IS GIVEN, “SOME WILL DEPART FROM THE FAITH, GIVING HEED TO SEDUCING SPIRITS AND DOCTRINES OF DEVILS.” This word has been fulfilling among our people. {Lt280a-1904}



1) All the other planets are round and there is no reason for Earth to be any different. They are all governed by the same laws of physics.


2) Times zones are only possible on a round earth. Flat earthers say the sun has a lamp shade focusing light only on one area at a time and goes in a circle overhead. You cannot argue with insanity so do not try.


3) The Coriolis effect. The rotation of the Earth causes an interesting phenomenon on free moving objects on the Earth. Objects in the Northern Hemisphere are deflected to the right, while objects in the Southern Hemisphere are deflected to the left. This is ONLY possible on a GLOBE and that is spinning.


4) An equilateral triangle. If you walk 10,000 KM one direction and then turn exactly 90 degrees and walk another 10,000 KM, and then turn 90 degree and walk another 10,000 KM, you will end up where you started. And yet any geometry student knows and equilateral triangle has 3 angles at 60 degrees totalling 180 degrees. This is ONLY possible due the curvature of the earth and it been a Globe!


5) The sun gets lower and lower in the sky as you travel away from the equator. You can also use this to measure the earth’s curvature. Again, only possible on a Globe!


6) The stars change in the sky as you go North or South. Orion would be upside down in Australia in comparison to the Northern hemisphere. And you cannot see the North star from the Southern hemisphere and you cannot see the southern cross from the Northern hemisphere. This is only possible if the earth is a Globe.


7) If you circumnavigate the Earth on the equator for instance by heading west, you will eventually come back to where you started and still heading west! And if you did this, you would observe one less sunrise than the person who stayed at home.


8) Sailing on the ocean. As you approached a city, you would see the tops of the buildings first and see lower down the buildings as you get closer due to the curvature of the earth. There would not be horizon in which things could disappear on a flat earth.


9) During a lunar eclipse, the shadow of the earth on the moon is curved.


10) The moon appears inverted from the Northern to Southern Hemisphere. Again, only possible if this earth is a Globe!


11) All planets have to be a Globe because their gravitational field acts as though it originates from the centre of the body and pulls everything toward it. With a large body and internal heating (we do have volcanoes don’t we) a planet behaves like a fluid, and over long periods of time succumbs to the gravitational pull from its centre of gravity. The only way to get all the mass as close to planet’s centre of gravity as possible is to form a sphere. The technical name for this process is “isostatic adjustment.”


12) If the earth were flat, it would have very weak and unusual gravity. Gravity always pulls to the centre of the mass. So on a Globe, the gravity pulls equally downward no matter where you are on this Globe. But if the earth was flat, as you moved further from the centre of the so-called disc, gravity would be trying to pull you back towards the middle of the disc. It would like standing on a steep hill. The farther away from the centre and towards the edge you went, the steeper that hill would seem to grow. At the very end, it would feel like a nearly vertical wall. So in essence, a flat Earth would feel like a bowl-shaped Earth. Equal gravity pulling downward is only possible on a Globe!


13) If the sun was orbiting over head as flat earthers claim, it would vary noticeably in size as it went around overhead. But it does not because of the real distance of the sun from the earth and because it is not orbiting overhead as claimed.


14) Anyone can get permission to send up a high-altitude balloon and see for themselves. Altitudes of 77,429 feet (23.6 kilometers) have been achieved doing this. As long as your balloon has a payload of less than four pounds, there are hardly any restrictions on launching it. Just call the Federal Aviation Administration ahead of time to make sure you’re not headed into restricted airspace. So there is NO excuse for flat earthers NOT to produce a picture of their so called flat earth that mocks and insults God. But they never do and never will. You cannot produce what does not exist! So it is easy to prove the Earth is a Globe if you really wanted to and see for yourself.


15) We know the earth is round because we have photographic evidence. The deceived say it is faked and that NASA lies. You do not need NASA to know this Earth spins on it axis or that the world is a globe! There are hundreds of satellites in space owned by different companies from different countries around the Globe. Weather satellites, pay TV satellites, communications satellites and many more. Many have live feeds you can watch. There is over a hundred thousand staff involved with these companies, and yet we are expected to believe that in the last few decades, not one of these staff members ever spoke of a so-called conspiracy. Also, to fake the footage from these hundreds of satellites would cost billions of dollars a day in total, which could never be afforded and would bankrupt anyone one of these companies instantly!


In Defense of the Faith – THE SABBATH ON A ROUND WORLD

Refuting – Sabbath Claims with





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Section Titles

The Date Line, or Day Line

Lost Time

“Days Change in Traveling

In the Land of the Midnight Sun


A disputed quote:

  • In every place are God’s memorials of His Sabbath and of His glory in creating the heavens and the earth. God rested on the seventh day, and set it apart for man to observe in honor of His creation of the heavens and the earth in six literal days. He blessed and sanctified and made holy the day of rest. When men are so careful to search and dig to see in regard to the PRECISE PERIOD OF TIME, we are to say, 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. In the countries where THERE IS NO SUNSET FOR MONTHS, and again NO SUNRISE FOR MONTHS, the period of time will be calculated by records kept. But God has a world large enough and proper and right for the human beings He has created to inhabit it, without finding homes in those lands so objectionable in very many, many ways. 15LtMs, Lt 167, 1900, par. 3


Mr. Canright the Baptist raises the old objection to the seventh-day Sabbath, that it cannot possibly be kept on a round world. Concerning this, he says:


  • “The stubborn facts nearer home show that God’s children do not, and cannot, all ‘observe the same period together.’ Everybody knows that it is Saturday in India some twelve hours sooner than it is here, and that it is Saturday here twelve hours after it has ceased to be Saturday there. In Australia the day begins eighteen hours sooner than it does in California. So the seventh-day brethren in California are working nearly the whole time that their brethren in Australia are keeping Sabbath! Come even nearer home than that. The sun sets about three hours later in California than it does in Maine. So when the Seventh-day Adventists in Maine begin to keep the Sabbath at sunset Friday evening, their own brethren in California, where the sun is yet three hours high, will still be at work for three hours! So, very few of them on this earth, ‘observe the same period together.’ While some of them are keeping Sabbath on one part of the earth, others of them are at work on another part of the earth.”—Seventh-day Adventism Renounced, p. 174.


So there we have it. The world being round, it is impossible to obey God’s law in respect to the Sabbath, says Mr. Canright. Strange that God should have made a Sabbath for a world which He knew to be round, isn’t it? But there is a still stranger thing. That is, that this very same identical earth that is so round, and which rotates so fast that one cannot possibly keep the Sabbath, presents no difficulties whatever to the person who desires to keep Sunday! This we also are taught by Mr. Canright, for in the same chapter in which he attempts to prove that on account of the earth’s being a globe the Sabbath cannot be kept, he confidently informs us that Sunday can be kept. Note his teaching on this point:


  • “Under the new dispensation of the gospel, other circumstances have arisen plainly and grandly marking another day as the all-important day in Christian memory—the resurrection day.”—Ibid., p. 176.


He further says:

  • “The essential idea is that we should devote one day in seven to religious duties. To secure the highest good, all should unite in observing the same day. From the days of the apostles the Christian church has, with one consent, observed the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, the first day of the week, or Sunday.”—Ibid., p. 181.
  • He explains that the difficulty about keeping the Sabbath is the existence of a “day line,” and that this jumps about so from place to place that “there is no possible means of fixing the day of the original Sabbath.”—Ibid., p. 184.


Surely this reasoning is more profound than enlightening. Just how it is that Saturday cannot possibly be kept on a round world, but Sunday can be, is, to say the least, a bit confusing. Does he perhaps mean that on Sunday the earth flattens out, and thus the difficulty is overcome for the day, and that it then resumes its globular form until the next Sunday rolls around? Or does the day line stay fixed on Sunday, so that the particular day can be located, and move about only on Saturday, making it impossible for that day to be found? In any event, there is evidently no difficulty experienced in locating Sunday in any part of the earth, for, according to Mr. Canright, “from the days of the apostles the Christian church has, with one consent, observed the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, the first day of the week, or Sunday.”


“From the days of the apostles.” This covers a period of nineteen hundred years. And, says he, during this period Christians have kept Sunday. They have done it, he claims, “with one consent,” that is, Christians in America, Europe, Australia, China, wherever they have been found during these nineteen hundred years, have all agreed on the question of which day was Sunday. They have done it “with one consent,” with no mix-up over a round world, a day line, lost time, or any of these scary hobgoblins; they all agree that Sunday, the definite day upon which our Lord was raised, can be found, yea, has been found, and is everywhere known. Upon this all have been agreed for nineteen hundred years; and yet, would you believe it? the seventh day can neither be found nor kept! The world is too round; time keeping has not been accurate enough; day lines move about so; the north and south poles present serious obstacles; and there are so many reasons—not the least of which is the fact that men invent such arguments for the express purpose of getting rid of a plain command of God with which their lives are not in harmony.


Surely this kind of reasoning answers itself. What candid person would say that Sunday can be kept on a round world that has a day line, but that Saturday cannot? What advantage could one day possibly have over another in this respect?


Seventh-day Adventists have never claimed that the Sabbath could be kept in all parts of the world at the same moment of time. They may be illiterate, as Mr. Canright tries to make them appear, but their ignorance does not quite reach to the point where they fail to recognize that each day of the week travels around the earth, and that the Sabbath therefore does not come to people in all places at once, and therefore cannot be kept by all people at the same time. What they do claim is that wherever one may be, in the Orient or Occident, he can keep exactly the same day as his fellow Christians keep on the other side of the world, but his keeping of the day must be at the time when the day comes to him, and has no relation to the question as to when it comes to those in other countries.


When God made the Sabbath, He made it for a round world, and made the sun “to rule the day.” Genesis 1:16. Therefore, as an obedient child of God, it is my duty to keep the day when in the divine order it comes to me, without finding fault with God’s arrangement.


As has been pointed out, Seventh-day Adventists have missions and missionaries in almost every land of earth, the “Land of the Midnight Sun” not excepted, and never yet have we heard from one of them or from their converts any complaint about not being able to find the Sabbath because the world is round, or for any other reason. Sabbathkeepers are in no difficulty on this point. The difficulty, when it arises, is always in the mind of someone who desires to oppose and discredit the Sabbath, and never in the mind of one who desires to keep it.


The Date Line, or Day Line

 Discussing the so-called lost-time question and the date line, in an article in Present Truth, published in Washington, D.C., in its issue of July 15, 1926, Mr. C. P. Bollman, associate editor of that periodical, said:


  • “Considerable dust has been thrown, in the study of this subject, by introducing the question of the date line, which the Standard Dictionary (article, ‘Date;’ subtitle, ‘Date Line’) defines thus:
  • “ ‘An imaginary line fixed upon as the point where the reckoning of the calendar day changes: in nautical practice, the meridional line 180° from Greenwich, but practically running through Bering Strait and irregularly through the Pacific Ocean. East of this line the day is dated one day earlier than on the west of it.’
  • “This location of the day line, or date line, is not an arbitrary human arrangement, as might at first thought seem to be the case. Its establishment in the Pacific Ocean was clearly due to the position of the continents and the divine plan for peopling the earth. It is conceded by all that Asia was the cradle of the race. Spreading naturally from their original home, the children of men carried the day and week with them to the eastern confines of Asia, and to adjacent islands. But even before this was accomplished, the course of empire had begun to run toward the west, and so continued until the westward and higher tide of settlement and of civilization met the conservatism of the East in the Pacific Ocean. Thus God by His providence established the date line in the only place possible, all things considered. Man did not establish, but simply discovered, this line in the place where the Creator by His providence had put it when He made the world and formed man upon it.
  • “Technical questions as to the identity of the week and of the weekly Sabbath are never raised, except as an excuse for not obeying the fourth commandment just as it reads,—‘The seventh day is the Sabbath.’ Nobody has any difficulty in identifying any day of either the month or the week in any part of the earth, except the seventh day.
  • “Large bodies of Christians, as the Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Methodists, etc., emphasize just as strongly the importance of keeping the definite first day of the week, as do the Sabbatarians the obligation to observe the definite, identical seventh day. Such technical questions are raised, not because of practical difficulties encountered in identifying the Sabbath in any part of the world, but only when an excuse is sought for not complying with the plain and explicit terms of the fourth commandment. The question is not only an impeachment of the intelligence of the great majority of both first-day and seventh-day observers, but infinitely worse yet, it charges the Almighty Himself with folly in giving to the race a commandment that in its very nature could not be obeyed. All the other days can be clearly defined, but the Creator’s memorial of His finished work is so illusive, some would have us believe, that it cannot be identified!
  • “The fact is that not the Jews only, but the whole world, in the providence of God, have the weekly cycle, to which no reasonable or probable origin can be assigned other than the Mosaic and other ancient and similar accounts of creation. The Creator says in His law: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…. The seventh day is the Sabbath.’ Ex. 20:8-10.”


Lost Time

 Speaking to the question of a proposed thirteen-month calendar, in the House of Representatives, June 11, 1929, Mr. Sol Bloom, a member from New York City, said this concerning the possibility of losing or gaining time in travel:


  • “When we speak of losing or gaining a day in travel, we are really giving a new definition of the word. We are defining days, not in terms of the journey of the earth on its axis, but rather in terms of the journey of human beings around the earth, which is quite a different thing. The trouble, of course, grows out of the fact that the traveler moves from the given point at which he began to measure the day. If days be defined in terms of man’s journey around the earth, without making allowance for his changing point of measurement, then the most unbelievable possibilities arise. “Let us imagine an airplane capable of traveling a thousand miles an hour. A man starts westward in such a plane at noon Sunday. The sun is always overhead, because he travels westward at the same rate as the sun. Twenty-four hours later—that is, on Monday noon—he reaches again the spot whence he started, and still the sun shines overhead. When he alights from his machine, would he be correct in declaring that it was still Sunday noon?


“Days Change in Traveling

  •  “When a person travels, his days are of abnormal length.
  • “For example, the New Yorker who travels westward across the United States finds it necessary to set his watch back one hour on three different occasions in order that the time by his watch shall correspond with the true course of the day. Otherwise his watch will register 3 P. M. when the California sun is only at high noon.
  • “Pursuing such a course westward at a thousand miles a day will bring the traveler back to his starting place in twenty-four days—estimating the world’s circumference at exactly 24,000 miles, for the sake of the illustration.
  • “But each of his twenty-four days has been twenty-five hours long. Therefore in his trip around the world he had accumulated a total of twenty-four extra hours. If he has not already dropped them an hour at a time, he must finally drop the whole twenty-four at once, if he wishes to keep his reckoning correct. Now twenty-four hours equal one day. Therefore he drops a day. But is a moment really stricken from his life on that account?”


To say that “the Sabbath cannot be kept at the same identical moment of time in different time belts,” is to assume a difficulty which does not exist. As Mr. Bloom says:

  • “Neither the Sabbath command nor the Bible anywhere speaks of time belts, or of keeping the Sabbath at the same identical moment of time. The Good Book tells us that we should keep the seventh day, and that we should keep it ‘from evening to evening.’
  • “Mr. Speaker, God does not ask man to base his obedience upon what other men in other parts of the world may be doing.”


All of this is good, sound common sense, and moreover is in harmony with the Scripture.

The human family, in God’s providence, began to make its circuit of the earth from Western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. One portion of mankind went eastward through Asia into the fringe of islands on that side of the Pacific, carrying the reckoning of time. Another portion of the human family journeyed westward, across Europe and into the New World of the Americas and the island fringe beyond, carrying the reckoning of time. There is exact agreement the world over. In God’s providence the westward and the eastward marches of civilization meet in the mid-Pacific, and there, as we have already seen, His own providence, in the history of the human race, fixes the day line.


A just solution to this day-line round-world problem, therefore, shows that no real difficulty exists in the matter of keeping the Sabbath, and that as a matter of fact any day can be found on any part of the earth, and observed by those who are disposed to observe it.


True, those who keep the Sabbath cannot begin its observance simultaneously in all parts of the world, for, as has already been shown, the day does not begin on all parts of the world at the same time. One cannot begin to keep the seventh day until that day comes to that part of the world where he is. It is not one-seventh part of time, a specific, uniform twenty-four-hour period to be kept by all at the same identical time, that God has hallowed and sanctified, but the seventh day. It matters not to the Sabbath observer in China whether or not his brethren in America start and close the Sabbath just when he does, but he is particular about keeping the same day that they keep when it comes around to him. The Sabbath is none the less sacred to him because of the fact that it is not observed at the same identical instant of time by others in other lands.


No one in New York or Chicago would refuse a Monday morning’s paper because in Berlin or London the people have had their Monday’s paper hours before. We each take up Monday’s duties when Monday comes, wherever we are. All the Lord asks of man is that he shall keep the seventh day holy when that day comes to him. And it will come. The sun is the divinely appointed timekeeper for man (Genesis 1:15-18), and it never fails. When the holy day comes, keep it.


The Sabbath comes to the East before it comes to the West; but as it passes around the world, it is the same blessed, holy day everywhere.


The day line in the Pacific Ocean, which is offered as evidence that the Creator made a world and a Sabbath which do not fit together, is in itself an absolute answer to the argument that the fourth commandment means only that one day in seven should be kept. It is said that Sunday is a seventh part of time; and so Sunday, the first day, will do as well as Saturday, the seventh day. But the fact that every traveler must change his own reckoning of time by one day in crossing the Pacific in order to keep the true sun time, which marks the days for all nations, forever dispenses with this “seventh part of time” theory. The trans-pacific traveler could not follow the “seventh part of time” theory and still keep his Sunday. For in traveling one direction he would have a week of only six days, and the other way his week would have eight days. Thus if he stuck to Sunday, he would find himself observing either one-sixth part of time or one-eighth part of time during the week in which the line is crossed, depending upon the direction traveled. But no such dilemma ever confronts the Sabbathkeeper. He observes a day, not a certain part of time. Wherever he finds “the seventh day” or wherever the seventh day finds him, he keeps it.


In the Land of the Midnight Sun

 But can the Sabbath be found and kept in the Land of the Midnight Sun, where it is six months day and six months night? We will permit Mr. Canright to reply to this objection. The following paragraphs were printed by him before he rejected the true Sabbath and while his vision was still clear:


  • “It is claimed that at the north pole there are several weeks when the sun does not set at all; and again there are weeks when it is dark all the time. How can the seventh day be distinguished and kept there? …
  • “Frequently those who raise this objection are strict observers of Sunday, the first day of the week. If there is any force in this objection, it comes with equal weight against Sunday keeping. How can they keep the first day there? If they can find the first day, cannot we find the seventh? If they can keep Sunday, cannot we keep the Sabbath? But there is no trouble in either case. The days of the week are plainly marked there as well as here. Read the travels of Drs. Kane, Hall, and others who have been there. Did they experience any difficulty in keeping the reckoning of the days? None whatever. The days are marked off by the revolutions of the earth, which are there, as well as here, indicated by the position of the sun. The most of the year, the sun rises and sets there the same as here; that is, as far north as men have ever penetrated. [Or, in other words, as far north as there are human inhabitants.] So far, there is no difficulty, of course. In midsummer, for a short time, the sun is above the horizon all the time. Being so far north, a person can see the sun in its entire circuit around the earth, day and night. But it is easy to tell when it is overhead at noon, when it is going down in the west, when it is directly underneath at midnight, or when it is rising in the east in the morning. Can we not tell the time of day here by the position of the sun in the heavens without seeing it rise and set? Certainly. Then if we could see it all the way around, could we not tell just as well as when we see it only part of the way around? Of course; and so those testify who have been in the arctic regions….
  • “But how is it in the winter when it is night for weeks together? I believe there is no time that rays of light cannot be seen in the south at noon of each day. This would be sufficient to mark each day. But the revolution of the earth can be as plainly and as easily told by the position of the stars at night as it can by the sun at day. Any one accustomed to observing the stars knows this. They appear to rise and set and to go around the earth the same as the sun. Indeed, astronomers always reckon the day by the stars. Read the following letter which I received from an eminent astronomer touching this point:
  • “‘Ogden, Utah, Sept. 24, 1873.
  • “‘Elder D. M. Canright: By observations of the stars, the time can be found out at any time, day or night. Knowing the time at which any star ought to be in the meridian, we find the difference between noon and the observing time, or the local time. Stars being visible in the daytime and at night, on all places of the earth, it is possible to determine the time without seeing the sun.
  • “(Signed,) ‘DR. F. Kampf,
  • “‘Astronomer of the U. S. Corps of Engineers.’
  • “So, then, the exact time of day can be told by the stars, and they can be seen in the absence of the sun. Hence this objection is without foundation….
  • “Those who keep Sunday live in all parts of the earth, and have traveled all around it both ways. Do they find any difficulty in keeping the first day? Not in the least. This objection is all imaginary; for, practically, no one ever had any such trouble. Seventh-day Adventists and Seventh-day Baptists are scattered nearly around the globe; and yet they find no difficulty in keeping the seventh-day Sabbath….
  • “The Lord commands His servants all around the world to keep the seventh day. Each one is to keep it when it comes where he is, not when it comes where some one else is. When it comes to those in Asia, they can keep it. Several hours later, it comes to England, and then they keep it, and so on around the world.
  • “This is sufficient to show that there is no such difficulty as this objection supposes.”—The Morality of the Sabbath, pp. 80-87.


“And now to trace you round this rolling world,

An eastern and a western route you’ve twirled,

And made out nothing by the spacious travel,

But what I call a wretched, foolish cavil.


And now to make you clearly understand

That Sabbath day may be in every land,

At least those parts where mortal men reside

(And nowhere else can precepts be applied),

There was a place where first the orb of light

Appeared to rise, and westward took its flight;

That moment, in that place the day began,

And as he in his circuit westward ran,

Or rather, as the earth did eastward spin,

To parts more westward daylight did begin.


And thus at different times, from place to place,

The day began—this clearly was the case.


And I should think a man must be a dunce

To think that day began all round at once,

So that in foreign lands it doth appear,

There was a first day there as well as here.


And if there was a first, the earth around,

As sure as fate the seventh can be found.


And thus you see it matters not a whit,

On which meridian of earth we sit,

Since each distinctly had its dawn of light,

And ever since, successive day and night;

Thus while our antipodes in darkness sleep,

We here the true, primeval Sabbath keep.”


—William Stillman, quoted in Review and Herald, Feb. 3, 1852.




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