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God’s Appointed New Moon

by Richard Billingsley
5/8/2016 (Updated 6/6/2018)

In the beginning, God appointed the Sun, Moon, and stars to as signs of the times and seasons.  

Genesis 1:14
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

Historically our translators and teachers assumed this was talking about Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  But as we approach the end of this age and the restoration of the Jewish people our understanding of these scriptures has taken on a broader and more significant meaning.  

When we understand the full meaning of these words, we discover that these “signs” in the heavens also means signals to alert us that something is about to happen, like the recent four blood moons that occurred over the past couple of years.  And the word “seasons” is the Hebrew word “moed,” which mean an appointed time set by the Lord or a special time of meeting with Him.  Many Christians are unaware that many of these “moeds” point to the Festivals of the Lord such as The Passover, Festival of Trumpets, Festival of Tabernacles.  But there is one “moed” or appointed Festival chosen by God that is mostly unknown.  

For most of us, the mention of a New Moon means the time when the moon is blacked out, but that is not what the Bible is referring to.  The New Moon mentioned in the Bible is the first sliver of light that appears at the end of the New Moon phase, which can last for up to three days.  In the Bible, this first sliver of light is the Crescent New Moon and the beginning of a new month.  The Bible teaches us that everything must be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  Historically witnesses would watch to see the crescent moon appear then run and report it to the high priest, after two reports, would sound the trumpet, announcing the beginning of the new month.

In the Bible God has set this as an appointed time of celebration for His people to seek His face and receive a blessing.  Until now Christians have been mostly ignorant of the appointed times of God.  But God is now bringing the Final Restoration mentioned in Acts 3:21 and other scriptures to our attention.  And with that restoration, He is calling us to return to His ways of doing things and meeting Him at His appointed times.  

In the early Church, Christians followed all the festivals of the Lord and His specials days.  Until Constantine, the Emperor of Rome declared Rome a “Christian” nation.  But he hated the Jews and turned his back on the ways of God in the Bible and introduced his celebrations patterned after his own pagan beliefs, but called them Christian.  The emperor outlawed the Jewish festivals threatening to kill or imprison anyone who followed the appointed feasts of God in the Bible.  He created a new religion of replacement theology, converted even person including pagans into Christians with the stroke of his pen, not the repentance of heart. 

However, this was not the first time this has happened as the Bible tells this exact same story beginning with the death of king Solomon in 1 Kings 11.  Solomon’s heart was turned from the Lord by his pagan wives, and God sent a prophet and anointed Jeroboam as king over ten of the tribes of Israel.  God promised to establish Jeroboam kingdom if he followed the ways of the Lord.  But when Jeroboam acquired those ten tribes, he broke all ties with Israel, rejecting the temple of God and setting up new gods and new festivals turning the heart of the people away from God.  When Jeroboam did this God cursed him and his descendants swearing to wipe his heritage from the earth.  If God is that jealous of His ways to curse the king and his family, it tells us just how vital these festivals are to God.

Many Christians spend their lives seeking the presence of the Lord asking Him for a favor or blessing in many different ways.  God has shown us in His word that He has already set appointed times when He has promised to meet with His people and bless us.  And if God has done this, then why are we struggling for His favor when He has already told us He will meet with us at those appointed times of His blessing?

Here in lies an extraordinary revelation.  All of these appointed times and festivals are found only by our desire to seek out when they will occur because each of them happens based upon the lunar cycle.  If we genuinely want the blessing of the Lord, to be there when the King is waiting to meet with us, can’t we make a little effort it takes to seek to be there when He appears?  These appointed times happen upon the lunar calendar; they change from month to month and year to year.  We reveal our passion for Him by seeking to know those appointed times and being there ready to meet Him and receive His blessing.  We have but to ask ourselves, are we going to continue seeking God’s blessings under our effort or are we going to win the King’s blessing by being there at His appointed times?

The Lord has revealed the importance of these things in:

Isaiah 58:13-14
If you keep the Sabbath with care, not doing your business on my holy day; and if the Sabbath seems to you a delight, and the new moon of the Lord a thing to be honored; and if you give respect to him by not doing your business, or going after your pleasure, or saying unholy words; 14 Then the Lord will be your delight; and I will put you on the high places of the earth; and I will give you the heritage of Jacob your father: for the mouth of the Lord has said it.

If God has promised to bless us for keeping His holy days, why would we ignore them?  We have a guaranteed blessing, all we have to do is show up.

These things will also be celebrations in the Millennial kingdom.

Ezekiel 46:1
This is what the Lord has said: The doorway of the inner square looking to the east is to be shut on the six working days; but on the Sabbath it is to be open, and at the time of the new moon it is to be open.

Today (Sunday, May 8, 2016) is one of those days.  It is Rosh Chodesh the Crescent New Moon, the beginning of the new month.  The time of God’s appointed celebration to bless the Lord and be blessed by the Lord.  It is a time of celebration with family and friends and looks forward to the favor of God in the coming month.  To thank the Lord for His blessing at this time the Jews have a prayer praising the Lord.

“Praised are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who created the skies with his word, and all heaven’s host with the breath of his mouth. He gave them appointed times and roles, and they never miss their cues, doing their Creator’s bidding with gladness and joy.  He is the true creator who acts faithfully, and he has told the moon to renew itself.  It is a beautiful crown for the people carried by God from birth, who will likewise be renewed in the future in order to proclaim the beauty of their creator for his glorious majesty.  Praised are you, O Lord, who renews new moons.”

Take this time as an opportunity to worship the Lord and to join with family and friends for a celebration meal.  For the Lord has blessed you and given you a new month of favor and blessing to be poured out on you, because you have met Him at His appointed time and honored Him by keeping His Holy New Moon.

Each Crescent New Moon begins on the evening of the day before the first day of the next month on the Jewish calendar, as each Jewish day starts at evening or sunset of the day prior, not midnight as the world counts days.  You can celebrate God’s New Moon on either day and churches can honor them on the Saturday or Sunday closest to the New Moon.

Live in God’s Love!

Richard Billingsley