Christian Churches of God
God’s Sacred Calendar
(Edition 4.0 20020131-20050212-20061224-20121114)
The One True God has always existed. He created a system in the heavens for us to know when to keep His appointed Feasts. This paper will review the basic points of God’s method of keeping time.
God’s Sacred Calendar
We know we cannot have two Passovers in one year. We know the first New Moon of the year is the month of Abib (the northern spring) or Nisan. This month is that of the “green ears.” The barley in Palestine is green and beginning to fill out for ripening at this time. The first New Moon of the year (in the northern hemisphere) can occur before the vernal (spring) equinox, but the First day of Unleavened Bread, the 15th of Abib, cannot precede the Equinox. If the 3 p.m. sacrifice of the 14th of the First month precedes the vernal equinox, we know we need to add a 13th month (called Adar II) to the year.
Every 19 years the path of the sun, moon, and Earth almost match (they are off by about 2 hours). This is often referred to as the Metonic cycle after the Greek Meton, but its understanding long preceded him. During the 19-year period there are seven years that need to have a 13th month added to keep the system balanced. The Babylonians were aware of this cycle and recorded it in their cuneiform (wedge-shaped) writing.
We see this from the restoration of the Law with Ezra and Nehemiah where they began to read the law on the first New Moon of the Seventh month which is the Day of Trumpets. It was read until its completion on the 21st day of the Seventh month which is the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Nehemiah 8:1-2 When the seventh month came and the people of Israel were settled in their towns, all the people gathered together in the area in front of the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Instruction scroll from Moses, according to which the Lord had instructed Israel. 2 So on the first day of the seventh month, Ezra the priest brought the Instruction before the assembly. This assembly was made up of both men and women and anyone who could understand what they heard. (CEB)
Here we see that God's people were obeying the commands of the Seventh year and the law of God was read. The reading of the law is commanded by God so that we all may hear and learn to fear the Lord our God, and observe all the words of His Law (Deut. 31:12).
1984, 1991, 1998 and 2005 were Sabbath years. Then as the cycle continues we see 2012, 2019 and 2026 are also Sabbath years.
As we have seen, Pentecost means to count 50, and we have seven complete weeks from Wave Sheaf to the day of Pentecost, the same applies to the Jubilee year. We have seven complete Sabbath years, which equal 49. In the 49th year on the Day of Atonement a ram's horn or Shofar is blown to signal the Jubilee Year. The horn signifies that we are to hallow the 50th year and proclaim liberty throughout the land (Lev. 25:10). From the blowing of the horn signaling the Jubilee year all the lands are returned to their rightful owners. Therefore, we do not plant or harvest, but we may eat of the land that which grows by itself (Lev. 25:11-12). See the paper Law and the Fourth Commandment (No. 256).