Christian Churches of God

No. 125

 

 

 

 

The New Moons

(Edition 3.0 19950708-19990810-20070912)

 

The biblical importance of the restoration of the New Moons and the basis of the festivals under the Law are examined in this paper. The early rabbinic practices are examined, as are the texts from which they worked. The New Testament adherence to the New Moon festivals is a matter of fact.

 

Christian Churches of God

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(Copyright ă  1995, 1999, 2007 Wade Cox)

 

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The New Moons

 


The year was made to commence in the month of sacrifice, which represented the Passover sacrifice of Messiah. This month commenced the harvest, which was also the first of the harvest sequence, namely the barley harvest. God then carried on the process of harvests through each of the phases, which are three harvest periods. These are the Passover and Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), and the Feast of Tabernacles or Ingathering. The Feast of Weeks symbolises the harvest of the Church before the return of Messiah. This is an ongoing process.

 

Thus, Pentecost is a commencement of a sequence, which follows through five moons from Sivan to Tishri, even though there are seven in the sequence from Nisan to Tishri. These five New Moons are also represented by the stones David drew from the brook (see the paper David and Goliath (No. 126)). They also represent the five successful Churches. Sardis and Laodicea are eliminated. However, the five are continuous as the succession of months. Sivan commences the brick making of the Temple of God. The sequence then involves rebirth (Du-uzu: Tammuz), the torches (Abu: Ab) or candles of the Church and the purification (Elulu: Elul) of the elect. Hence the months from Simanu (Sivan) to Teshritu (Tishri) are accounted for in Christian symbolism thus eliminating the Babylonian. The torching of 9-10 Ab was seemingly allowed because of the idolatry of Israel to Babylonian practice.

 

The relationship is predicated on the function of the intercalary month as it occurs with the twelve normal months. Israel represents this system through the tribes. Israel has twelve tribes. From the north these are: Dan, Asher Napthali, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Reuben, Simeon, Gad, Ephraim, Manasseh and Benjamin (see Num. 10:11; cf. Ezek. 1:4ff.). The tribe of Levi is centred on or around the Tabernacle. Thus there are twelve tribes, but Joseph has the birthright and is effectively divided into two shares to make twelve tribes, with the tribe of Levi relinquishing its share to perform the function of the priesthood. Thus, the blueprint for the function of physical Israel was set in the stars at the creation. Adar II represents the priesthood as the thirteenth month and tribe. This month occurs seven times in a cycle.

 

This cycle represents the seven spirits of God as they perform their duties under the angels of the seven Churches. This problem cannot be solved or understood without the understanding of the New Moons.

 

General historical position

 

The New Moon Festival, known to the Jews as Rosh Hodesh, occurred on the first of the month, on the appearance of the first phase of the moon (Hayyim Schauss, The Jewish Festivals  History and Observance, tr. Samuel Jaffe, Schocken Books, New York, 1938, p. 275). It is thus tied to the appearance of the New Moon.

 

There was a time when Rosh Chodesh was a major festival, much more important than the weekly Sabbath ... One reason for its importance resided in the fact that the date of all the Jewish Festivals depended upon the New Moon (ibid., p. 274).

 

This contention is supposition. The Bible indicates it was as important but not more so than the Sabbath. However, it was more important than the Feasts as we will see.

 

The Bible clearly equates the New Moon with the festivals (Num. 10:10). The Festival of the New Moon was a feast day and it was celebrated on the day after the New Moon was sighted (New Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, McGraw Hill, NY, 1967, p. 382).

 

In early rabbinic times the day of the New Moon was established by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, after accepting the evidence of eye witnesses who had claimed to see the new moon. Sometimes the rabbis would deliberately postpone Rosh Hodesh so as to prevent the Day of Atonement from falling on a Friday or a Sunday. The permanent calendar was fixed by Hillel II in 358 CE and this provided the exact date of each Rosh Hodesh based on astronomical and mathematical calculations (The Ency. of Judaism, Geoffery Widoger, Macmillan, NY, 1989, p. 502).

 

Note this was in early rabbinic times, and well after the fall of the Temple in 70 CE. Thus, the rabbinical manipulation of the New Moon was enshrined in the Hillel Calendar from 358 CE. It has no biblical authority.

 

There is no doubt that the New Moon was anciently at least as important as the Sabbath.

 

The New Moon festival anciently stood at least on a level with that of the Sabbath (J. Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Israel, 1885, p. 113).

 

The New Moon was definitely holy time and, if we are to believe some modern scholars, was celebrated on the day after the sighting of the New Moon. This is conjecture based on later rabbinical propaganda. It was not done that way. This fresh beginning was marked by special sacrifices (Num. 28:11-15) over which the trumpets were blown (Num. 10:10; Ps. 81:3). Normal work was not done.

 

The New Year on the New Moon of the First month, Abib, was of special significance (Ps. 81:3-5; cf. The Moon and the New Year (No. 213) ). The New Moon of the Seventh month was also especially sanctified (Lev. 23:24-25; Num. 29:1-6).

 

2Kings 4:23 suggests that both New Moon and Sabbath were regarded as providing opportunity for consulting the prophets, and Ezekiel marks out the New Moon as a special day of worship (Ezek. 46:1,3).

 

Psalm 121:6 suggests that the moon was capable of affecting the individual, perhaps from the association with the mind as we understand the term lunacy. The Encyclopedia Judaica and modern Judaism assert that:

Originally, the New Moon was allegedly not fixed by astronomical calculations, but was solemnly proclaimed after witnesses had testified to the reappearance of the crescent of the moon. The rabbinical authorities hold that on the 30th of each month, the members of the High Court assembled in a courtyard in Jerusalem, named Beit Ya'azek, where they waited to receive the testimony of two reliable witnesses; they then sanctified the New Moon. If the moon's crescent was not seen on the 30th day, the New Moon was automatically celebrated on the 31st day. To inform the population of the beginning of the month, beacons were kindled on the Mount of Olives and thence over the entire land and in parts of the Diaspora. …

 

Later, however, the Samaritans began to light misleading beacons, and the High Court dispatched messengers to far-removed communities. Those Jews who lived great distances from Jerusalem always celebrated the 30th day of the month as the New Moon. On those occasions when they were informed of its postponement to the 31st day, they also observed this second day as the New Moon (RH 1:3-2:7). By the middle of the fourth century, the sages had established a permanent calendar and the public proclamation of the New Moon was discontinued. A relic of the original practice is, however, retained in the synagogue custom of announcing the New Moon on the Sabbath preceding its celebration (Ency. Judaica, Vol. 12, p. 1039).

 

It became fashionable with the advent of sociology and the study of developing religions to treat the biblical requirements for the Sabbaths and New Moons as competing elements for the loyalties of the Hebrew peoples – the New Moons being treated as the vestigial remnants of the cult of the worship of the moon god. Schauss was of this view when he wrote The Jewish Festivals (see p. 274). He also treats the Pentateuch as being written in two parts, the older part being written before the Babylonian exile, and the later part after the return. He claims that the older part has no mention of the festival. He draws this conclusion from the fact that the New Moons are not mentioned in neither Exodus 23:14-19, 34:17-26, Deuteronomy 16, nor in Leviticus 23. He thus deduces that the Book of Numbers must be a later part. He advances no evidence for this conjecture. That is the sort of argument typical of modern apologists. The real reason for this position is that the return from the exile did not effect a full restoration.

 

After the return from the Babylonian exile a compromise was reached; Rosh Chodesh was not recognised as a full festival, during which labour was forbidden, but special sacrifices were arranged on that day in the Temple.

To this day Jews perform a special ritual to welcome the new month: there is a special prayer in the synagogue on the sabbath before the New Moon, and there is a ceremony sanctifying the New Moon by a special benediction to be recited in the open air when the New Moon appears (Schauss, p. 274).

 

It came to be taken for granted that the decline had occurred, yet the explanation could not be fully given. An example is seen in the following references from The Hebrew Concept of Time and the Effect on the Development of the Sabbath, by Diana R. Engel.

No trading took place on the day of the new moon (the day after the first crescent appeared in the sky). The offerings for the new moon, in fact exceeded those for the Sabbath (Num. 28:11-5; Ezek. 46:4-7). However the religious importance of the new moon declined while that of the Sabbath increased (The American University, Washington, 1976, pp. 69-70).

 

Further example of the inexplicability of the decline is seen from Widoger.

It is not clear when or how the New Moon lost its festive character. This had happened by the time the Jews returned from exile at the end of the sixth century BCE. It was no longer a full holiday, but a semi-holiday, like Hol ha-Mo'ed (the intermediate, working days of Passover and Sukkot) when the rabbis discouraged all but necessary work and women were to have a holiday from their sewing and weaving. More stringent economic conditions were probably the reason for the downgrading of the New Moon, particularly since there were no religious or historical reasons for stopping work on that day. In the course of time, even this minor holiday status disappeared and it became a normal working day like any other, except for certain liturgical variations (Widoger, op. cit., p. 502).

 

Yet the Jewish people did keep the New Moons as did the Church. The general populace was spasmodic, however, and looked to trade as they also did with the Sabbaths and the Feasts, as we know.

 

When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain?

And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale. (Amos 8:5)

 

To the Jews, the Sabbath became the most important day in the year. In fact, Diana Engel says that the Sabbath day became

 

… more than just another day or another commandment. It epitomised for them much of what they believed in and stood for. ... It is impossible to overemphasize how much the Sabbath meant to Israel, how they looked forward to it and glorified it. (p. 83)

 

But they did not really understand it! They did not understand the spiritual significance of the Sabbath as they did not understand the New Moons. The New Moon had to be reduced in importance by rabbinical Judaism because it threatened the postponement system itself. It could not be removed completely as the Bible is too clear on the subject and thus it had to be reduced in importance so the false calendar could be introduced. This was all done after the Temple was destroyed.

 

According to The Lion Handbook of the Bible (eds. D & P Alexander, Lion Publishing, 1984):

“The Orthodox Jewish Calendar is of twelve months beginning with each new moon (visible crescent)” (p. 112).

 

No evidence is cited for this statement regarding the visible crescent. Most Judaisers, and seemingly a large amount of twentieth-century scholarship – contrary to the evidence we have and their own practice and common sense – look to the New Moon as a crescent. That was never the case. The Samaritan calendar, which is still in existence today, proves this to be false.

“The second Hebrew term for month, hodesh, properly means the 'newness' of the lunar crescent.” (Encyc. Brit., 15th edition, Vol. 15, p. 465)

 

The term chodesh does not have anything to do with the lunar crescent. The lunar crescent is another system of worship addressed to the god Sin and the Baal/Ashtoreth system and human sacrifice (cf. the papers The Golden Calf (No. 222) and The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)). Its linguistic base means to be concealed. The Britannica continues this (only partially true) statement, which is contrary to the Hebrew concept conveyed in the symbolism of the words.

 

“In the religious calendar, the commencement of the month was determined by the observation of the crescent new moon, and the date of Passover was tied in with the ripening of barley” (ibid.).

 

“... the first crescent is thus the rebirth or replacement of the old by a new moon (ibid., p. 573).”

 

About 344 CE and certainly with the Hillel calendar of 358, the visible observation of the New Moon was supplanted by secret astronomical calculations. Modern tables ensure absolute and accurate placement.

 

“The (Jewish) calendar is thus schematic and independent of the true New Moon (Encyc. Brit., op. cit., p. 466)”.

 

The real reason is that the Jews had to introduce observation until they could get a new system of calculation (cf. the papers God's Calendar (No. 156) and The Moon and the New Year (No. 213)).

 

The Biblical Position

 

The Feast of the New Moon is one of the Feasts of the Lord. It is listed at Numbers 10:10.

Numbers 10:10  Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God. (KJV)

 

The sacrifices were fulfilled in Christ. The Feasts or Sabbaths themselves were not eliminated.

 

The offerings required were altered in their necessity to that of spiritual offerings each day of the Holy Day sequence, from Sabbaths to New Moons to Feasts. The sacrifices under the Law were provided for from a special levy allocated under the responsibility of the national authority. The Prince’s levy is examined in the paper Tithing (No. 161).

 

Ezekiel 45:14-17 Concerning the ordinance of oil, the bath of oil, ye shall offer the tenth part of a bath out of the cor, which is an homer of ten baths; for ten baths are an homer: 15 And one lamb out of the flock, out of two hundred, out of the fat pastures of Israel; for a meat offering, and for a burnt offering, and for peace offerings, to make reconciliation for them, saith the Lord GOD. 16 All the people of the land shall give this oblation for the prince in Israel. 17 And it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and drink offerings, in the feasts, and in the new moons, and in the sabbaths, in all solemnities of the house of Israel: he shall prepare the sin offering, and the meat offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings, to make reconciliation for the house of Israel. (KJV)

 

This offering was a tithe of a tithe of oil and a half tithe of the tithe for the meat offerings. The Prince collected this for the sacrifices on Sabbaths, New Moons, Holy Days and offerings. Thus, it is incorrect to claim that the tithe was eliminated with the sacrifices because they were obviously provided for separately. This text also concerns the first-fruits from Ezekiel 44:29-30 and the orders are made for the restoration of Israel in its lands. Messiah will thus set up the system that he is alleged to have done away with from his crucifixion and Scripture cannot be broken. This will be for the mental healing of the nations, but this matter will be examined separately.

 

The Feast of the New Moon was treated as a Shabbatown or Holy Sabbath. Sacrifices were offered as a memorial, as we see above.

Numbers 28:11-15  And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the LORD; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot; 12 And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram; 13 And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD. 14  And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year. 15 And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto the LORD shall be offered, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering. (KJV)

 

We see from this text that the New Moons were to be on every month throughout the months of the year. The same requirements apply to the New Moons as they do to the other Feasts and Sabbaths.

1Chronicles 23:31  And to offer all burnt sacrifices unto the LORD in the sabbaths, in the new moons, and on the set feasts, by number, according to the order commanded unto them, continually before the LORD: (KJV)

 

We see that the New Moons are in fact intermediary between the Sabbaths and the Feasts. Like the Feasts and the Sabbaths, the nexus between the sacrifices and the New Moons was fulfilled in Messiah, however, the observance of the moons themselves was not eliminated.

 

This observance is not to be construed with the worship of the moon, which is expressly forbidden.

Deuteronomy 4:19  And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. (KJV)

 

Deuteronomy 17:3  And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; (KJV)

 

The observance of the Sabbaths and New Moons together with the set Feasts is given to mark the Plan of God and the flow of the cycles of the creation. The solar calendar does not perform this function.

 

From the restoration of the Passover of Hezekiah after the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Hezekiah restored the New Moons as well as the Feasts. No restoration will be complete until the New Moons are correctly restored to their rightful place in the system (see Prove All Things, Church of God, In Truth, Vol. 2, Issue 1, p. 6).

2Chronicles 31:3  He appointed also the king's portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD. (KJV)

 

We also note that the New Moons were restored under Ezra (Ezra 3:5). Thus, both major restorations involved the restoration of the New Moons.

Ezra 3:5  And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD. (KJV)

 

The New Moon is the beginning or the first day of the month (Num. 10:10; 28:11). No system that bases itself on the relocation of the beginning of the month is valid. The Hillel calendar is invalid because of this fact.

 

The lunar calendar is the mark of the Holy People. In its notation to Exodus 12:2, the Mekilta states that “the nations” reckon by the sun, but Israel by the moon.

 

The feasts of PASSOVER and BOOTHS were not set simply by the general lunar calculation, but on the basis of the appearance of the new moon of the month in which they occurred, PENTECOST depending on Passover in this respect ... Though it is impossible to document this fully, it seems probable that the sabbath was originally also part of this natural cycle of time, related to the phases of the moon, and that, following its separation the Feast of the New Moon continued as a separate observance (The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 3, article ‘New Moon’, p. 544).

 

The conjecture regarding the Sabbath and New Moon is perhaps based upon the system of observance that we see in the paper The Works of the Law Text - or MMT (No. 104) which Strugnell and Qimron have translated from the DSS (see Bib. Arch. Review, Nov.-Dec. 1994). All historic Jewish rites for the announcement of the New Moon from the preceding Sabbath contain a prayer of eschatological content. The rationale for the observance was God’s creation of the moon as a “sign” of the unbreakable covenant with Israel, the “times” of whose cultus it decreed (Ps. 104:19; Ecclus. 43:6-8) (Int. Dict., ibid., see also Ber. R. 13d). The calendar is thus an inseparable part of the covenant with Israel.

 

The New Moon was noted as significant for the giving of visions and prophecy, perhaps from 2Kings 4:23 but certainly from Ezekiel 26:1; 29:17; 31:1; 32:1 (cf. Isa. 47:13; Hag. 1:1). This directly refuted the astrologers and stargazers of the Babylonian system, as we see from Isaiah 47:13.

Isaiah 47:13  Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. (KJV)

 

The monthly prognostications were done on the phases of the moon, thus perverting the system.

 

The Sabbaths and the New Moons both enjoined rest from work, as we see from Amos 8:5. It was a day of rejoicing. The mirth intended for the Holy Days was removed from Hosea 2:11.

Hosea 2:11  I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts. (KJV)

 

This was because of unfaithfulness and idolatry. God destroys His people because they do not keep His Laws. The end result is that He destroys the wealth of the nation.

Hosea 2:12  And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, whereof she hath said, These are my rewards that my lovers have given me: and I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall eat them. (KJV)

 

Fasting and mourning were suspended on the New Moons. We know that this occurred throughout Israel up until Messiah from the Apocrypha (Jth. 8:6). The ceremonies were proclaimed with trumpets (Num. 10:10; Ps. 81:3).

Psalm 81:3  Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. (KJV)

 

From these texts we see that the New Moon of significant months is especially kept.

 

1Samuel 20:6  If thy father at all miss me, then say, David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family. (KJV)

 

The New Moon of Nisan was significant; also the New Moon of Tishri was itself the Feast of Trumpets (see also the paper Trumpets (No. 136)).

Ezekiel 45:18-20  Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the first month, in the first day of the month, thou shalt take a young bullock without blemish, and cleanse the sanctuary: 19 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court. 20 And so thou shalt do the seventh day of the month for every one that erreth, and for him that is simple: so shall ye reconcile the house. (KJV)

 

The cleansing of the sanctuary commenced on the New Moon of the First month (Nisan) beginning the Sacred Year (cf. Sanctification of the Temple of God (No. 241)). This cleansed the inner court, which was to represent the elect as the inner wheel of Ezekiel’s vision. The cleansing of the simple and the erroneous was effected from the seventh of the First month or Nisan. The priesthood had prepared themselves and the nation.

 

The New Moon of the Seventh month was also important.

Leviticus 23:24  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation. (KJV)

 

Nehemiah 8:2  And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. (KJV)

 

The New Moon of the Seventh month thus commences the restoration through the Reading of the Law, which occurs every seven years of the Jubilee cycle over every day of Tabernacles (cf. also Reading the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah (No. 250)).

 

Deuteronomy 31:10-12 And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, 11  When all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12  Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: (KJV)

 

Nehemiah 8:18  Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner. (KJV)

 

The symbolism here is that the seventh or Sabbath year represents the millennial cycle of one thousand years, which commences with the return of Messiah, who issues the Law from Jerusalem. The Law then spreads throughout the world from the subjugation of the nations. The reading on the Feast of Trumpets, in the restoration of Nehemiah, was to point towards the restoration of Messiah and from Trumpets (cf. also the paper Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272)).

 

From the wilderness of the dispersion God will then deal with Israel and restore it. The elect of Christ are part of Israel and are dealt with as the nation.

 

Hosea 2:14-23  Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her. 15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt. 16 And it shall be at that day, saith the LORD, that thou shalt call me Ishi; and shalt call me no more Baali. 17  For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name. 18  And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely. 19  And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20  I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the LORD, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; 22  And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. 23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. (KJV)

 

The planting of the nation here is as the vineyard of the Lord, which is the whole House of Israel (Isa. 5:7). The mercy of God is the restoration under Messiah both through the Holy Spirit and of the Millennium.

 

The New Moons were kept in the Christian Church both under the Apostles and in the dispersion. The method of keeping them is not a matter for judgment.

 

Colossians 2:16-17   Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (KJV)

 

The Church kept them in the dispersion, and they were still being kept in Europe in the seventeenth century (see General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122); and The Sabbatarians In Transylvania by Samuel Kohn (1894), (English translation published by CCG Publishing, 1998). The New Moons were determined by actual observation until the Hillel calendar ca. 358 CE. After the destruction of the Temple, it was a function of the Supreme Rabbinic Council to designate the date. The special Torah reading for the day is Numbers 28:1-15, with Psalm 104 also read. The Hallel is also chanted to denote the festivities. Since the sixteenth century, the day preceding the New Moon has been a fast day for the Jews called a little yom kippur (Interp. Dict., ibid.). There is no doubt that the New Moons are still to be kept, and that Judah knows that they are still to be kept. However, here is no biblical sanction for the fast.

 

The postponements of the Hillel calendar and this prior fast day ensures Judah is actually fasting on the New Moon, which was forbidden during the Temple period.

 

The final restoration will be completed under Messiah at his return, as we see from Isaiah 66:20-23. All of Israel will be restored and brought out of the nations in this last Exodus at the return of Messiah.

Isaiah 66:20-23  And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD. 21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD. 22  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23  And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. (KJV)

 

This restoration of the Sabbaths and New Moons will be accompanied by the restoration of the Feasts.

Zechariah 14:16-19  And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18  And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. (KJV)

 

Thus, there shall be no restoration that is complete until the New Moons are restored together with the Feasts. In this modern society that will be very difficult indeed. That is why Messiah will tear down this world’s system at his return. The nations will be restored under the Law that will emanate from Jerusalem.

 

The New Moons are necessary for man’s wellbeing. They have been replaced in the so-called civil calendar by the pagan days of human sacrifice. In the USA, the civil calendar has its major holidays on these pagan days. This should not be overlooked.

 

The Sabbaths and the New Moons were treated in the same way for the conduct of business. The conduct of commerce or of buying and selling is and was prohibited on both the New Moon and the Sabbath.

Amos 8:4-6   Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, 5 Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? 6 That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat? (KJV)

 

This restriction is a serious problem to modern day Israel. However, there is in fact no exception that seems to enable the Sabbath to be divorced from the New Moons, other than with the Feasts through distinction from the Ten Commandments, as Shabbatown. However, all must be kept. No restoration is, or can be, complete until the New Moons are restored.

 

Amos goes on to pronounce sentence upon Israel for the failure to keep the Sabbaths and the New Moons correctly.

Amos 8:8-12  Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day: 10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. 11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12  And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. (KJV)

 

The direct punishment for not obeying the word of God is that what we have is removed. The famine of the word comes as punishment for disobedience. The profaning of the Sabbath and the New Moons by traffic and commerce in dishonest breach of the Law is the prime cause. The House of Jacob was dispersed for these offences yet they were kept and not lost, as corn is sifted through a sieve.

Amos 9:8-15  Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD. 9  For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. 10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.

 

It should be noted that the people of Israel, who say that the evil shall not overtake them, will be destroyed. This period is at the end as the Last Days noted as the Day of the Lord. This activity is immediately prior to the Messianic restoration. This restoration follows the holocaust of the world war, which we anticipate as the global thermonuclear holocaust of World War III.

 

11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. 13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. 14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God. (KJV)

 

This horror can be avoided through the implementation of the Plan of God upon repentance. The New Moons symbolise that system, as together with the Sabbath and the Feasts they illustrate the Plan of God.

 

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