Christian Churches of God

No. CB134

 

 

The New Moon Sacrifices

 

(Edition 1.0 20090216-20090226)

 

In this lesson we will review the commandment to keep the New Moon, see the historical significance of the New Moon and see symbolic meaning when we add together the number of Holy Days, New Moons and Sabbaths.

 

 

 

Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,WODENACT 2606,AUSTRALIA

 

E-mail: secretary@ccg.org

 

 

 

(Copyright © 2009 Christian Churches of God, ed. Wade Cox)

 

 

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The New Moon Sacrifices

 


Introduction to the New Moon

In the Bible, the word for new moon is chodesh (SHD 2320).It means the first day of the month, as outlined in Godís Calendar in the Bible.

1Samuel 20:5 David said to Jonathan, "Behold, tomorrow is the new moon [chodesh], and I should not fail to sit at table with the king; but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field till the third day at evening. (RSV)

 

Each New Moon is a Sabbath day of rest.It is interesting that the word chodesh is taken from chadash (SHD 2318): 1) to be new, renew, repair. So we see even the original meaning of the word for the New Moon is a time for renewing or returning to the One True God and His Law. It is amazing that with the start of each new month we are reminded to renew our relationship with our creator.It is another time Eloah has blessed us with a special time set apart to worship Him and learn more of His ways.

 

In Godís Calendar, each month begins on the New Moon.Therefore, in the Bible, the word moon and month are almost interchangeable.That is why the majority of the time, chodesh is translated as month.

Genesis 8:13-14In the six hundred and first year, in the first month [chodesh], the first day of the month [chodesh], the waters were dried from off the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.In the second month [chodesh], on the twenty-seventh day of the month [chodesh], the earth was dry. (RSV)

 

It is a very different concept from the Gregorian calendar that we all follow today. The Gregorian calendar is an arithmetical calendar and it does not take into account the New Moon when calculating the beginning of the next month.It is completely different from the original calendar established by God.The New Moon can fall on any day of the week, therefore we have to watch Godís Calendar to know when this day comes, so we can prepare in advance. Godís ways are simple. He does not use pagan names for His months or days of the week; they are simple numbers from one to seven for the days of the week and one to thirteen for the months of the year. For more information on the calendar and the various names that are used see Hebrew and Islamic Calendar Reconciled (No. 53).

 

It is interesting that most people in todayís world know what a full moon is, yet many people, especially those in developed countries, are not aware of what a New Moon is. If we all followed Godís Calendar we would all be aware of when each New Moon was and what it looked like because it would be the start of the next month.

 

The scientific definition of the new moon is:

1: the moon's phase when it is in conjunction with the sun so that its dark side is toward the earth; also : the thin crescent moon seen shortly after sunset for a few days after the actual occurrence of the new moon phase 2: the first day of each Jewish month marked by a special liturgy

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/new%20moon

 

Here we see a few key points:

1.      The moon is in conjunction with the sun and earth.

2.      The dark side of the moon is towards the earth.

3.      A thin crescent is visible a few hours or days after the New Moon.

4.      The Jews have a special service for the New Moon.

 

Let us continue to try to understand some of the language relating to the New Moon.

 

Conjunction: Astronomy

a) the meeting of heavenly bodies in the same longitude or right ascension, b) the situation of two or more heavenly bodies when their longitudes are the same Ė they appear to be in line with each other. (Macquarie ABC Dictionary, 2003)

 

A new moon conjunction occurs when the moon is between the earth and sun and the three are all in a line.The moon is ďdarkĒ and can not be seen unless we are able to see a thin round circle of light showing around the outside of the moon. (This is rare to see in a city and conditions would need to be just right to make this type of setting even in remote areas). We have also learned the crescent moon follows the New Moon.

 

Eloah tells us that the sun and moon were created for the seasons (Gen. 1:14; Ps. 104:19).

Genesis 1:14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years (RSV)

 

Psalm 104:19 Thou hast made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. (RSV)

 

This means we need to use the sun and moon in determining the calendar. Different religions use the sun, moon or sun and moon to determine their calendars.The Gregorian calendar uses both the sun and moon like the biblical calendar, but the end result is very different from the calendar that God shows us in the Bible.

 

Typically there are Twelve New Moons in a biblical year or a prophetic year.However, seven times in every nineteen years there is a Thirteenth New Moon. The Thirteenth New Moon is added to keep the Calendar in its season and assures that the first month of each new biblical year is in the spring.With Godís Calendar, the sun assists in keeping the calendar so the Passover is at the correct time of the year.

 

Islam uses only the moon and believes that their months should start with the crescent moon instead of the New Moon. Because they only use the moon for determining their calendar and do not intercalate and do not have the Thirteenth Month, the beginning of the year progressively moves forward each and every year.(For a more complete description of Godís Calendar see Godís Calendar (No. 156), Godís Sacred Calendar (No. CB20) and How to Determine God's Calendar (No. CB020b)

. For the exact dates of the New Moons, Feasts etc. see New Moon and Holy Day Calendar (No. C3)).

 

Who has kept the New Moons and How?

From scriptures, we know the New Moon is to be kept under the law.

Numbers 10:10 On the day of your gladness also, and at your appointed feasts, and at the beginnings of your months, you shall blow the trumpets over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; they shall serve you for remembrance before your God: I am the LORD your God." (RSV)

 

Numbers 28:11-15 "At the beginnings of your months you shall offer a burnt offering to the LORD: two young bulls, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish; also three tenths of an ephah of fine flour for a cereal offering, mixed with oil, for each bull; and two tenths of fine flour for a cereal offering, mixed with oil, for the one ram; and a tenth of fine flour mixed with oil as a cereal offering for every lamb; Their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine for a bull, a third of a hin for a ram, and a fourth of a hin for a lamb; this is the burnt offering of each month throughout the months of the year. for a burnt offering of pleasing odor, an offering by fire to the LORD. Also one male goat for a sin offering to the LORD; it shall be offered besides the continual burnt offering and its drink offering. (RSV)

 

2Chronicles 2:4 Behold, I am about to build a house for the name of the LORD my God and dedicate it to him for the burning of incense of sweet spices before him, and for the continual offering of the showbread, and for burnt offerings morning and evening, on the sabbaths and the new moons and the appointed feasts of the LORD our God, as ordained for ever for Israel. (RSV)

 

(See also 1Chr. 23:31; 2Chr. 8:13; 31:3.)

 

For ages and ages people have kept Eloahís Laws. Eventually, they chose to rebel and disobey God. The New Moons become part of the restoration as in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah. Each time that one of Godís servants restored Israel to the way of God, it included observing the Sabbaths, New Moons, and Holy Days as God instructed.

 

Historically, ancient Israel kept the New Moons (Isa. 1:13-14; Ezra 3:5; Neh. 10:33; Ps. 81:3; Hos. 2:11). The New Testament Church also kept the New Moons with the Sabbath and Holy Days (Col. 2:16). The Bible also tells us the New Moons will be kept in the restoration under Messiah as a Sabbath.

 

Isaiah 66:23From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the LORD. (RSV)

 

(See also Ezek. 45:17; 46:1.3.6.) For more information see The Statement of Beliefs (A1).

 

Since we know the New Moons were kept by ancient Israel, and we know that Jesus and the apostles kept the law (including the New Moons), and God tells us that we are going to keep them in the future. It only makes logical sense that God desires for us to keep them too.

 

What activities were done on the New Moons that were not done on other days? Clearly we have seen the New Moon is a Sabbath. No distinction is made between the New Moon and the weekly Sabbath. Both days are holy and no trading is permitted on either day

 

Amos 8:5 "When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great, and deal deceitfully with false balances (RSV)

 

The New Moons are special Sabbaths. Historically, the prophets were consulted on the New Moons.

Ezekiel 46:1 "Thus says the Lord GOD: The gate of the inner court that faces east shall be shut on the six working days; but on the sabbath day it shall be opened and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened. (RSV)

 

(See also 1Sam. 20:5,18; 1Kgs. 4:23.)

 

Ezekiel tells us that the sacrifices on the New Moon were greater in number than those of the weekly Sabbath (Ezek. 46:4,6).

 

Two Special New Moons

There are two extra special New Moons in the lunar year: the first New Moon and the seventh New Moon. The New Moon clearly marks the beginning of each month. The first New Moon of the year (sometime in March or April) begins the New Year in Godís Calendar.This first New Moon is a different date each year because the calendar that the world follows today does not start each month on a New Moon. Sometimes the first new moon is in March and sometimes it is in April. Godís New Year begins near the spring, a time when a regeneration of plants and animals occurs on the planet.So we can see the New Year of 1 January, as most of the world celebrates, has nothing to do with Godís Calendar.For more information see Satan's Days of Worship (No. CB23)

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The Seventh New Moon is special because it is the Day of Trumpets (Lev. 23:24; Num. 29:1-6). This is one of Godís annual Holy Days and is explained further on in this paper. (See also Trumpets (No. 136); The Shofar and the Silver Trumpets (No. 47) and Trumpets (no. CB85).)

Significant First New Moons of the Year

From the Bible we know that many important events happened on the first day of the first month. The restoration of the earth under Noah, when the waters dried up after the Flood, cleansed the earth from the Nephilim and all the people that were evil.

 

Genesis 8:13 In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. (RSV)

 

Then we see Moses setting up the Tabernacle on the first day of the first month making Godís Dwelling place on earth functional.

 

Exodus 40:2 "On the first day of the first month you shall erect the tabernacle of the tent of meeting. (RSV)

 

Also, Ezra set out to restore the law on the first day of the month.

 

Ezra 7:8-9And he came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king; for on the first day of the first month he began to go up from Babylonia, and on the first day of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, for the good hand of his God was upon him. For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach his statutes and ordinances in Israel. (RSV)

 

This was a restoratation after the people and priests lapsed into idolatry and disobedience.

 

Significance of numbers associated with the New Moon

When we count the Sabbaths within a month there are typically four weekly Sabbaths. When we add the New Moon we have five days in a typical month that are set apart as holy time. We know that five is the number of grace. (For more information see Symbolism of Numbers (No. 7).) By the grace of God we have been called and God has given His Plan of Salvation to us. It is through the renewing of our relationship with Eloah at the New Moon observance that we more fully understand His Plan and are more able to correctly keep His Laws.

 

There are many Churches of God today that keep the Sabbaths and annual Holy Days, but neglect to keep the New Moons.They are missing a vital piece of the symbolic meaning tied to the days in which God outlines as special days of sacrifice and worship.At first we may not always understand everything that God tells us to do, yet we need to obey God regardless and He will direct our thoughts (Prov. 16:3).

 

When we look at the number of Sabbaths, New Moons, and Feasts, interesting things become clear through the numbers. Let us total the number of Sabbaths, New Moons, and Feasts within a given year. This will assist us in seeing all the times Eloah has set apart in each year as holy time for us to draw closer to Him.

 

We have:

        52 weekly Sabbaths in a normal year from vernal equinox to vernal equinox.

        12 New Moons in a typical year

        1st day of Unleavened Bread

        Wave Sheaf

        Seventh day of Unleavened Bread

        Pentecost

        Trumpets

        Atonement

        First day of Tabernacles

        Last Great Day

        Total = 72 days.

 

Though Wave Sheaf is not a commanded Sabbath Day, it is a day we are commanded to be together to commemorate and remember the Wave Sheaf offering. In 30 CE this was the Sunday morning Joshua the Messiah ascended to his Fatherís Throne and was accepted as the first of the first-fruits as the perfect acceptable sacrifice to restore man and Host back to the Father. (For more information on the Wave Sheaf see Wave Sheaf and the Count to Pentecost (No. CB137), Messiah the Perfect and Complete Sacrifice (No. CB120), and Who is Jesus? (No. CB2).)

 

Once we add the Wave-Sheaf Offering into the count of the Sabbaths, New Moons and Feasts of God we see we have the number 72.This is the number of the Council of God including the 70, Jesus Christ and God. See Lesson: The Creation of the Family of God (CB4_2)).

 

Remember, Moses ordained the Seventy (Num. 11:26) + Eldad and Medad which equals seventy-two. Christ re-established this system of the Seventy (Lk. 10:1ff. (really listed as 72). The Seventy were ordained and sent out two by two. It was established in order to occur over 2,000 years or 40 jubilees. Since Eloah is perfect, unchangeable and all-knowing He has given us many examples of His Plan of Salvation in many ways over the ages. Even Numbers 29:12ff. states that the number of bull sacrifices for Tabernacles totals seventy. Seventy sons came from Jacobís loins (Ex. 1:5); just to name a few of the references to seventy and seventy-two.

 

Remember also that Messiah was crucified in 30 CE and the Church was started at Pentecost in 30 CE. Messiah is our High Priest seated on the right hand of the Father (Col. 3:1). He is directing the Church through the Holy Spirit from the Third heaven. This period of time correlates to the Forty years that Israel wandered in the wilderness. Yet for the Church it is forty jubilees.Each jubilee is 50 years so that 50 times 40 Jubilees equals 2000 years to be wandering in the spiritual wilderness of the Babylonian system.

 

If we multiply the 2000 years x 72 sacrificial offerings of the Holy Day system, we arrive at the number 144,000. From scripture (Isa. 56:5; 62:2; 65:15) we know the servants of God receive a new name. Revelation 15:3 tells us they sang the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb, and a song that only the 144,000 knew (Rev. 14:3). They are the inner wheel of the council of Eloah Ė refer back to the lesson on the Family of God. God created all things and by Him all things exist. He is a God of Law and order. He allotted responsibilities to the four Covering Cherubs, Twenty-four Elders etc. For more information see The Family of God (No. CB4).

 

The 72 x 2000 equals 144,000 sacrifices over 2000 years of the Church. We may speculate that there are seventy individuals called out of the world each year Ė some years more, some years less. The prophets of old will make up some of the 144,000 since they had the Holy Spirit and did the work of the One True God yet they came before or preceded the Messiah. The New Moons are essential to the understanding of the Council and the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1) that are in addition to the Great Multitude of Revelation 7:9-17.

 

The year 2028 represents the 2,000th anniversary of the ministry of Jesus Christ and the first year of the new millennial Jubilee. The Seventy-two constitute or make up the sacrificial offerings of the Holy-Day system. The New Moons must be kept together with the Sabbath and the Feasts in order to be part of the 144,000. The restoration is the same law given to Moses and to us as the Church. The New Moons are central to the understanding of the Council and the 144,000 (Rev. 7:1-8; 14:1), which are additional to the Great Multitude of Revelation 7:9-17. Let us look at both groups now in more detail.

 

144,000 and the Great Multitude

The Saints of God are those who keep the Commandments of God and Testimony of Jesus (Rev. 12:17; 14:12; 22:14).

 

Revelation 14:12 Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. (RSV)

 

Since the creation of the world there have been faithful servants of God that have died in faith never receiving the promises (Heb. 11).These individuals and many nameless saints of Eloah make up the 144,000.

 

Time is drawing near and there is not much longer till Messiah returns to the earth when the Seventh Trumpet sounds. Revelation 7:3-4 tells us that will not happen until the last of the 144,000 have been sealed.

 

Revelation 7:3-4 "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads." And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel (RSV)

 

Most of the 144,000 have already been martyred. Only a few remain to the Last Days. Although tribulation and difficult times come against the followers of Christ, the Bible tells us that the reward is great. This final harvest of God continues until the wrath of God subdues the earth. There are seven angels released that effect retribution or consequences on those who take the mark of the Beast. The General Multitude then constitutes the remainder that enters the Kingdom of God in the First Resurrection. From Revelation 7:9ff., we learn who make up the Great Multitude and what awaits them.

Revelation 7:14-17  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

 

The Beast that is to rule the earth comes from the kings that this Whore has set up (Rev. 17:14). This church has killed many of the elect on religious grounds. It is powerful and exercises authority over a system which itself is blasphemous and against Eloah (Rev. 17:3-6).

 

The General or Great Multitude is made up of those who make their robes white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14). They are baptised through grace in Jesus Christ. Many are in this group through martyrdom from the false religious system. All have been persecuted by it. Both groups keep the Commandments of God and the Testimony of Christ that are the two essential elements for determining the elect (Rev. 12:17; 22:14).

 

The ďMarriage Supper of the LambĒ includes both the 144,000, as the bride (Rev. 7:4-8, 14:1-5), and the Great Multitude as the guests (Rev. 7:9-17; Rev. 19; Mat. 22). Anyone trying to say one group is better than the other is leading us into a self-righteous attitude. Whatever our role or job in the Kingdom is with Eloah, it is better than anything we can imagine. We each have different tasks and responsibilities.

 

Remember, ďIt is better to be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than one thousand days withoutĒ (Ps. 84:10).

 

From the redemption of the 144,000 to the Lamb, the Gospel is preached throughout the earth (Rev. 14:6). Then the Babylonian system shall fall (Rev. 14:8-10).

 

We know that the 144,000 are given the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb (Rev. 15:3) For more information on the Song of Moses see The Song of Moses in Exodus 15 (No. 79), The Song of Moses (No. CB98) and The Song of Moses Colouring Book (No. CB98_2).

 

Revelation 7:1-17 shows how the Twelve judges of the Twelve tribes will function under Messiah within the 144,000. The 144,000 function as the inner wheel of the administration of Eloah. (For more information see The Family of God (No. CB4).)

 

In summary

The New Moons and the Feasts serve as markers for the elect in their relationship with God and are direct extensions of the Fourth Commandment. The Church of God has kept the New Moons with the Feasts and Sabbaths up until the nineteenth century (Col. 2:16).

 

The significance of the sacrifices in regard to the New Moons relates to the Church and the councils of Israel. Unless the New Moons are kept, it is impossible to understand Godís Calendar or grow in grace and knowledge through the renewing of the Spirit of God.

 

We know the New Moons were kept historically by the prophets and patriarchs, Messiah, the apostles and the Church and they will be kept in the Millennium.

 

We see understanding being revealed as we keep the New Moons.

 

Let us each be faithful servants of the Living God and keep all of His Holy Days.

 

The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever (Isa. 40:8, NASV). Let us be counted worthy to stand with Messiah and the Saints of Eloah by keeping all of the One True Godís Laws and Commands.

 

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