Christian Churches of God

No. 132





The New Moons of Israel

(Edition 2.0 19950826-19990918-20080104)


This paper carries on from the first paper, The New Moons (No. 125), and deals with the spiritual significance of the New Moons. The keeping of the New Moons by the Church over the centuries is also examined.




Christian Churches of God

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(Copyright © 1995, 1999, 2008 Wade Cox)


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The New Moons of Israel


The New Moons have been developed in the first of the series entitled The New Moons (No. 125). This paper commences to explain the spiritual significance of the New Moons. The Church has kept the New Moons over many centuries and in what are termed eras. The Apostolic Church kept the New Moons. Paul said that: “no man should judge another in questions of food and drink or Sabbaths or New Moons or Feasts” (Col. 2:16). We know without doubt that the Jerusalem Church was Sabbath-keeping up until the fourth century, as Bacchiocchi has demonstrated. Paul would not have made the statement if the various types of observances were not being kept. The New Moons fell into disuse, as did the Feasts, prior to the Council of Nicaea in the general church. However, that does not mean that they were not kept.


The New Moons were last kept in Europe in the Hungarian and Transylvanian Churches, as recorded by the Chief Rabbi of Budapest, Rabbi Samuel Kohn (DIE SABBATHARIER IN SIEBENBURGEN: Ihre Geschichte, Literatur, und Dogmatik, Budapest, Verlag von Singer & Wolfer, 1894; Liepzig, Verlag von Franz Wagner). The New Moons were of such importance that the Feast of Trumpets was not listed in the Old Sabbath Songbook under its own Feast. It was dealt with as a New Moon which, from its treatment, indicates that the New Moons were considered by that Church to take precedence over the Feasts. That is the way that the New Moons have been listed. They are generally listed biblically in order of precedence after the Sabbath and before the Feasts (see 1Chr. 23:31; 2Chr. 2:4; 8:13; 31:3; Ezra 3:5; Neh. 10:33; Isa. 1:13,14; Ezek. 45:17 (reverse order); 46:3; Hos. 2:11 (reverse order and generic term)). The New Moons were established in the Tabernacle, the Temple under Solomon, and in each restoration, as we see from these texts. No restoration was complete without them.


On pages 62-67 of Kohn’s work, it is said of the hymnal that:

The hymnal was written in Hungarian by [Andreas] Eossi, Enok Alvinczi, Johannes Bokenyi. Thomas Pankotai, & Simon Pechi. ... It consisted of 102 Hymns: 44 for the Sabbath, 5 for the New Moon, 11 for Passover and Unleavened Bread, 6 for the Feast of Weeks, 6 for Tabernacles, 3 for New Year, 1 for Atonement, 26 for everyday purposes. (This material is extracted by Gerhard O Marx in his paper Beliefs and Practices of the Church of God in Transylvania during the period 1588-1623).


Kohn observed that these Churches:

… restored the original and true Christianity, in that they actually accepted and practised Jewish religious customs and statutes which the Old Testament prescribes and which original Christianity observed as binding and only later discarded (Kohn, p. 8).


Andreas Eossi became the leader of the Unitarian Church on the death of Francis Davidis in 1579. Davidis had established the Unitarian Church in Transylvania in 1566 from Hungarian elements of the Unitarian Church called Waldensians. Eossi was converted and became a Unitarian in 1567. Similarly, to the western Waldensians at the commencement of the Reformation, the East European Church split into Sunday-keepers and Sabbath-keepers from the death of Davidis, and Eossi became leader of the Sabbath-keepers.


The Church of God actually came to be opposed by these Sunday Unitarians who were used by the establishment. The lure of the power of the Protestant system was the prime cause.


We also see subtle distinctions arise from the opposition to Davidis by Faustus Socinus (1539-1604) at the behest of the Piedmontese George Blandrata, who had become the head of the Reformed Church Unitarians in 1558 after the movement had established itself at its synod of 1556. The Dutch Anabaptists, under David Joris of Delft (1501-1556), were also Unitarians, as we know. The Anabaptists diverged from the Lollards from the fifteenth century.


The Unitarian movement derived the name Socinians from Faustus Socinus. As we know, he opposed Francis Davidis who headed the more militant section concerning the nature of Christ. Perhaps the opposition was on the grounds of appeasement in order to appeal to numbers, as has been the case in the last two centuries. Davidis was imprisoned in the castle of Deva for refusing to pray to Christ, and he died there in November 1579. He was succeeded by Eossi. Of course, the Church of God was not known by the term Unitarians as that term was not coined as a word until used by Melius, and first appeared on a document in the decree of the Synod of Lecsfalva in 1600. It was formally adopted by the Roman Church in 1638. The disagreement between Socinus and Davidis seems to be centred on the exact position of Christ. Both were Unitarians. Davidis rejected all forms of cultus addressed to Christ. Socinus admitted the term God to Christ in a subordinate sense. It is this sense of the subordinate God, the deuteros theos, that we derive from the works of Irenaeus. Andreas Eossi, from the death of Davidis and with the removal of the pro-Sunday elements, was able to restore the European Church to its more pure, earlier, and original form.


This structure involved the New Moons as an integral part of the Faith. The New Moons were considered at least equal to the Holy Days. The Feast of Trumpets was not listed separately, as we see from the hymnal, but rather was treated as a New Moon, which it is, being the New Moon of the Seventh month, or Tishri. There was thus in the mind of the European Church a spiritual significance to the New Moons which placed an importance on them that represented in like form, and did not impinge upon, the significance of the Messianic Advent as we see in the Feast of Trumpets.


We have seen from the first paper (No. 125) that the New Moons are established from the Pentateuch. They were held in at least equal significance to the weekly Sabbath (Hayyim Schauss, The Jewish Festivals History and Observance, tr. Samuel Jaffe, Schocken Books, New York, 1938, p. 275; and J. Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Israel, 1885, p. 113). No trading was done on either New Moon or Sabbath (Amos 8:5). We will see from this and the subsequent paper (No. 120) that the New Moons are integral to the Plan of Salvation. The New Moons do not only have spiritual significance in relation to the position of Israel in the Plan of Salvation; they also represent the completed sequence of the sacrifices which determine not only the validity of the central Churches of God but also the composition of the 144,000, and demonstrate the significance of their composition both structurally by tribes within Israel, and also in the extended sense as the government of the nations. The New Moons also are essential to an explanation of the sacrifices involved in the New Temple of God, which commenced from the Incarnation and Resurrection of Messiah. Without the New Moons there can be no complete restoration. Elijah will also restore the New Moons, or he will not have restored all things (Mal. 4:5; Mat. 17:10-11). “From New Moon to New Moon and from Sabbath to Sabbath all flesh shall come and worship before me”, says the Lord (Isa. 66:23). That is the true restoration. That restoration will commence before the coming of Messiah and will continue until the nations are all subjugated and converted.


To suggest that the Feasts have to be kept and not the New Moons is to misunderstand the significance of both, and the intention of God. If the Holy Days stand with the Fourth Commandment then so also do the New Moons.


Let us now try to extract the full significance of the New Moons in the Plan of God.


Genesis 1:14 shows that God set the lights in the heavens to determine the days and the nights, and as signs and for seasons. The New Moons determine the order and timing of the Feasts and logically precede the Sabbath, which represents the act of completion as the seventh day, whereas the Moons commenced from the fourth day. The lights are to separate light from darkness (Gen. 1:18). The moon demonstrates the light of the world within the darkness that rules it. The sun is used to depict Christ (Mal. 4:2).

Malachi 4:2-5  But for you who fear my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. 4 "Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. 5 "Behold, I will send you Eli'jah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes. (RSV)

Here the sun is Messiah, and the fear of the Lord is the remembrance of the Law of God.


The sun, who is Messiah, first rose on Jacob (Gen. 32:30-31).

Genesis 32:30-31 So Jacob called the name of the place Peni'el, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved." 31  The sun rose upon him as he passed Penu'el, limping because of his thigh. (RSV)

Here he saw the elohim of Israel face to face. This elohim was Messiah.


The heavenly bodies differ in glory as the bodies are used to denote different states.

1Corinthians 15:40-50  There are celestial bodies and there are terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42  So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. 43  It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44  It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. 45  Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46  But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual. 47  The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. 50 I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (RSV)


The moon is used to denote both Israel as the nation and Israel as the Church. He, Israel, shall rule as God (elohim).


The first usage we get of the illustration applied to the tribes is that found in Genesis 37:9, with Joseph.

Genesis 37:5-11  Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they only hated him the more. 6 He said to them, "Hear this dream which I have dreamed: 7 behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf arose and stood upright; and behold, your sheaves gathered round it, and bowed down to my sheaf." 8  His brothers said to him, "Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to have dominion over us?" So they hated him yet more for his dreams and for his words. 9 Then he dreamed another dream, and told it to his brothers, and said, "Behold, I have dreamed another dream; and behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me." 10  But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, "What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?" 11  And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind. (RSV)


The significance of the sheaves is found in the symbolism of the ‘general harvest’. Here we see the dominion of Joseph is as part of the harvest. Within this system we see that the symbolism is extended to embrace sun, moon and stars. Jacob becomes the sun as the progenitor of Messiah. His nation is called: he shall rule as God or Israel. His wife is represented as the moon because, as the mother of Israel, she also represents the nation. The wife of Messiah or the bride of Christ is also the Church, as we see from the New Testament.


The tribes are the stars of the Host. They are the eleven stars, with Joseph as the twelfth star.


Thus we can now proceed to Revelation 12:1-17.

Revelation 12:1-17 And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. 3 And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. 4  His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; 5 she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days. 7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8  but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world -- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. 10  And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11  And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. 12  Rejoice then, O heaven and you that dwell therein! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" 13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had borne the male child. 14  But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15  The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with the flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river which the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17  Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. (RSV)


Here the woman is clothed with the sun, and the moon is under her feet. On her head is a crown of twelve stars. The symbolism is that Israel grew out of the nation and became the Church. Physical Israel became spiritual Israel. The birthright of the nation and the tribes is to become the adornment of the Church. This process occurs over that period referred to in this chapter. The nation and the Church are persecuted after she had brought forth the manchild and he was taken up to God and to His Throne. After this period the accuser of the brethren was thrown down. The angels here refer to the elect as their brethren. Thus we are talking of a family relationship which includes the angelic Host.


Here we see that the offspring of the woman are those who keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus, so that the nation here becomes the Church and therefore opens to embrace the Gentiles as part of Israel. Thus, the offspring of Israel are persecuted for a time, times and half a time, or 1,260 prophetic year-days. This period ended, as we saw, in 1850. However, there is another period that then ensues which involves the wars of the end under what is termed the empire of the Beast. This period covers the time until the final sealing of the saints mentioned in Revelation 14. From this time, the Gospel of the eternal Kingdom of God is spoken and the Babylonian system is destroyed (Rev. 14:8).


Regardless of the time-frames involved in the process, the sun, moon and stars represent both the woman who gave birth to Messiah and also the offspring of the woman, who is the Church and the bride of Messiah.


The moon is used to denote the nation Israel and also the Church because the moon possesses no light of its own. It is given the light that emanates from the sun, which is a star of the first system. This sun is also the star that shall come out of Jacob (Num. 24:17). Hence, we have a star of the primary system, which lays aside the rank and becomes the salvation of the new system. Through his activity, new systems or stars are created through the woman, who is the nation and the Church. Having no intrinsic power she is reliant on the power given to her from the sun, who is a factor of the Creator. Thus God is pre-eminent in the activity of the sequence.


The moon is also symbolic because it is in phases. The New Moon represents the beginning of the activity of each cycle. There are twelve months in the year (apart from intercalation) (1Kgs. 4:7; 1Chr. 27:1-15). They are generally reckoned to be 30 days in length (Gen. 7:11; 8:3-4; Num. 20:29; Deut. 21:13; 34:8; Esth. 4:11; Dan. 6:7-13). These months are:

1. Nisan (March-April) (or Abib: Canaanite)

2. Iyyar (April-May) (or Ziv: Canaanite)

3. Sivan (May-June)

4. Tammuz (June-July)

5. Ab (July-August)

6. Elul (August-September)

7. Tishri (September-October) (or Ethanim: Canaanite)

8. Marcheshvan (October-November) (or Bul: Canaanite)

9. Chislev (November December)

10. Tebeth (December-January)

11. Shebat (January-February)

12. Adar (February-March)


The Babylonian equivalents are:

1. Nisanu: the month of sacrifice

2. Ayaru: the procession month

3. Simanu: the fixed season or time of brick making

4. Du-uzu: the month of Tammuz, the god of fertility

5. Abu: the month of torches

6. Elulu or Ululu: the month of purification

7. Teshritu: the month of beginning

8. Arah-samna: the eighth month

9. Kislimu: of uncertain meaning

10. Tebitu: the month of plunging (into water)

11. Shabatu: the month of storms and rain

12. Adaru: the month of the threshing floor.


The cycle of twelve lunar months (354¼ days) falls short of the solar year (365¼ days). Because the spring Passover-Mazzoth festival, which begins the cycle of agricultural Feasts, needed to be kept at a set time in the year it is obvious why the intercalary month is placed in Adar at the end of the year. The Passover must coincide with the first harvest, and thus the commencement of the year is dependent upon the location of the moon for that period in which the barley harvest occurs. The spiritual symbolism is paramount. The Feasts are dependent upon the New Moons and not the reverse.


The name of the intercalary month is WeAdar (and Adar) according to M. Ned VIII.5 (see Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 1, p. 487). The rabbinical calculations show seven out of every nineteen years have an extra month, which we term Adar II.


The New Moon is the “beginning of the lunar month, namely the period between one conjunction and the next, the length of which has been accurately calculated in the astronomical schools” (Judaeus Philo, The Special Laws, II, XXVI, 140, F.H. Colson, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1937).


In addition to this quote there is another text regarding the New Moons and their determination that deals with the exact day of the New Moon.



In dealing with the Feasts under the Commandments we read what Philo has to say about the Fourth Commandment inter alia in The Specials Laws:



{**Yonge's title, A Treatise on the Special Laws, Which Are Referred to Three Articles of the Decalogue, Namely the Third, Fourth, and Fifth; About Oaths, and the Reverence Due to Them; About the Holy Sabbath; About the Honour To Be Paid to Parents.}


[Yonge's translation includes a separate treatise title: To Show That the Festivals Are Ten in Number. This "treatise" begins with roman numeral I (= XI in the Loeb), enumerates each of the ten festivals individually, and extends through Loeb number 214. The text follows the Loeb numbering.]

XI. (41) Now there are ten festivals in number, as the law sets them down.

The first is that which any one will perhaps be astonished to hear called a festival. This festival is every day.

The second festival is the seventh day, which the Hebrews in their native language call the sabbath.

The third is that which comes after the conjunction, which happens on the day of the new moon in each month.

The fourth is that of the passover which is called the passover.

The fifth is the first fruits of the corn--the sacred sheaf. [Note the Wave Sheaf is one of the Ten festivals of the Temple period]

The sixth is the feast of unleavened bread, after which that festival is celebrated, which is really

The seventh day of seventh days.

The eighth is the festival of the sacred moon, or the feast of trumpets.

The ninth is the fast.

The tenth is the feast of tabernacles, which is the last of all the annual festivals, ending so as to make the perfect number of ten. We must now begin with the first festival.


[Note: Philo here combines the Last Great Day with the Feast of Tabernacles, thus making Ten instead of Eleven.]


We notice here that in the introduction in dealing with the third Feast, namely the New Moon, Philo uses the term which has been rendered after the conjunction and some others have rendered as following in the sense of “according to” or “as determined by” the conjunction. However, he qualifies this matter by saying which happens on the day of the New Moon in each month. The text is thus quite clear that the New Moon is the day on which the conjunction occurs. In the later explanations Philo then goes on to state that the month is from one conjunction to the next as determined in the astronomical schools, as was quoted above.


There can thus be no error. The New Moon is on the day of the conjunction as determined by the schools from Jerusalem. To postpone the New Moon as is done by Judaism is to postpone all the festivals and make them of no value. It is simply thumbing one’s nose at God and His Laws. On the New Moon hang all the subsequent festivals.


Yonge’s translation lacked part of 140 and the texts of 142-144 (which is supplied here) and explains the timing and the theology behind the New Moon and why it runs according to the conjunction and the New Moon day is the day of the conjunction.



XXVI. (140) Following the order which we have adopted, we proceed to speak of the third festival, that of the new moon. First of all, because it is the beginning of the month, and the beginning, whether of number or of time, is honourable. Secondly, because at this time there is nothing in the whole of heaven destitute of light. (141) Thirdly, because at that period the more powerful and important body gives a portion of necessary assistance to the less important and weaker body; for, at the time of the new moon, the sun begins to illuminate the moon with a light which is visible to the outward senses, and then she displays her own beauty to the beholders. And this is, as it seems, an evident lesson of kindness and humanity to men, to teach them that they should never grudge to impart their own good things to others, but, imitating the heavenly bodies, should drive envy away and banish it from the Soul. {17}{sections 142-144 were omitted in Yonge's translation because the edition on which Yonge based his translation, Mangey, lacked this material. These lines have been newly translated for this volume.} (142) The fourth reason is that of all the bodies in the heaven, the moon traverses the zodiac in the least appointed time: it accomplishes its orbit in a monthly interval. For this reason the law has honored the end of its orbit, the point when the moon has finished at the beginning point from which it began to travel, by having called that day a feast so that it might again teach us an excellent lesson that in the affairs of life we should make the ends harmonious with the beginnings. This will happen if we hold the reins on our first impulses with the power of reason and do not permit them to refuse the reins and to run free like animals without anyone in charge of the herd.


Therefore, months are determined by the New Moons, and the entire Plan of Salvation is demonstrated from each New Moon through the calculation of the Feasts and their demonstration in the cycle of the actual physical harvests.


God dealt with the Egyptian system and its gods through the Exodus. God dealt with the Babylonian system through the proper establishment of the Calendar and the Church. Note the Babylonian system began the year from the month of beginnings, Teshritu or Tishri. From this month Messiah will establish the New Beginning, which is symbolised by the Feasts of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles.


Tishri is determined by the New Moon which is Trumpets. The month of beginning was made the seventh moon which represents the seven phases of the seven Churches. Each New Moon represents the phase from Messiah through each Church to the return of Messiah in the Advent. Thus the New Moons are themselves representative of the Churches. As near as can be determined, only two Church eras have not kept the New Moons at some stage in their history. These are what can be called the Sardis and the Laodicean eras. One of these is dead, and the other is spewed out of God’s mouth.


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, that is, 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, 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 are the stones David drew from the brook (see the paper David and Goliath (No. 126)). Sardis and Laodicea are eliminated. 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 allowed because of the idolatry of Israel to Babylonian practice.


The months are twelve in all with a thirteenth month seven times every nineteen years. The nineteen years mark the complete cycle. This period is determined by the moons themselves, as they rotate through the seasons. There are nineteen years in the cycle


The sacrifices are: the fifty-two Sabbaths, the seven Feast Holy Days and the twelve New Moons, together with the Wave Sheaf Offering (Lev. 23:9-14). Trumpets is a double sacrifice, being both Feast and New Moon (Num. 29:1-6).


Here we will deal with the significance of the moons to Israel. 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, Benjamin (see Num. 10:11; cf. Ezek. 1:4ff.). The tribe of Levi is centred 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.


The tribes then proceed to the spiritual phase as a priesthood entire. Thus it would appear that, in order to allow Levi to assume its normal duties as priests of Israel in conjunction with the others, Joseph should simply resume its allocation of one tribe, with Levi making the twelfth. That is not in fact what happens. The birthright promises to Joseph are also maintained in a significant way. We see the structure from an examination of the 144,000. The tribes are allocated the elect of the 144,000 on another basis than 12,000 to a tribe. Joseph in fact become a combination of Ephraim and Dan and not the usual Ephraim and Manasseh. Joseph is only ever used to denote a composite tribe and that which holds the birthright.


The allocations are found in Revelation 7:1-8.

1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. 2 Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, 3 saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads." 4 And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel, 5 twelve thousand sealed out of the tribe of Judah, twelve thousand of the tribe of Reuben, twelve thousand of the tribe of Gad, 6 twelve thousand of the tribe of Asher, twelve thousand of the tribe of Naph'tali, twelve thousand of the tribe of Manas'seh, 7 twelve thousand of the tribe of Simeon, twelve thousand of the tribe of Levi, twelve thousand of the tribe of Is'sachar, 8 twelve thousand of the tribe of Zeb'ulun, twelve thousand of the tribe of Joseph, twelve thousand sealed out of the tribe of Benjamin. (RSV)

Here the four angels given power to harm the Earth are told not to harm it until the servants of God are sealed. The number here was 144,000. These are sealed in twelve tribes. It should be noted from this list that Levi takes 12,000, which is abnormal in that Levi is not numbered in the land and inheritance distribution among the twelve tribes. However, this sealing is for the elect who have been redeemed as kings and priests to God (Rev. 5:9-10). Thus Levi correctly takes its place. Instead of Manasseh merging with Ephraim to form Joseph, here we find instead that Dan merges with Ephraim to form Joseph. Thus Dan and Joseph become an entity. Manasseh becomes an entity in its own right. It should also be remembered that Manasseh, Reuben and Gad take their physical inheritance outside of Israel before the crossing of the Jordan; they also went into captivity before Israel proper. It is considered that these activities prefigure the activities of the Last Days.


The sealing of the priesthood here in the tribes follows also the concept of the twelve tribes having a thirteenth element, which in this case is Dan and not Levi. This then commences the fulfilment of another prophecy found in Genesis 49:16.

Genesis 49:16-17  Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that his rider falls backward. (RSV)


This prophecy shows that Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. This did occur under Samson, a Danite Judge of Israel. However, the judgment has not been given to Dan as a tribe. The Danlaw or Danelaw became a system of law within common law among the English-speaking peoples, but this appears to have another significance which has as yet been unfulfilled. The use of Dan in a fashion similar to Levi, given the irregular nature of the allocation of the 144,000, may in fact be the system inferred here in Revelation 7. Whether Joseph here includes simply Ephraim and Dan, or whether Dan is set in accordance with his birthright to the judgment as it proceeds from Jerusalem under Messiah, has yet to be determined. All that can be said is that Scripture cannot be broken and Dan will judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. The most likely scenario is that Dan assumes judgment under Messiah and the twelve Apostles who are allocated the twelve tribes of Israel in judgment (Lk. 22:30). Thus the tribes continue on as a spiritual element of the nation incorporating the Gentiles.


What we can see clearly is that the system of the twelve – and the thirteenth representing the regulatory system of the world through the tribes of Israel as a nation and as the priesthood of the world – is set in the heavens as an unbreakable covenant with God’s people. This system was declared from the beginning. It was marked by the moons in their sequence. Without the New Moons there can be no detailed understanding of the Plan of Salvation. God declares the end from the beginning. God is thus Alpha and Omega, being both beginning and end (Rev. 1:8; 21:6; 22:13). He has put eternity in man’s mind yet [in such a way] so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end (Eccl. 3:11).

Ecclesiastes 3:11  He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man's mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (RSV)


Whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God has made it so in order that men should fear before Him. That which is already has been, and that which is to be already has been, and God seeks what has been driven away (Eccl. 3:14-15).

Ecclesiastes 3:14-15  I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. 15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. (KJV)


The New Moons stand for eternity under Messiah and his elect.