How to Observe the New Moon Day
Not too long ago COGWA stated that the Bible does not instruct us in how to keep the new moon day, and so they reject any attempt at keeping it. Obviously they have made no effort to see what the Bible does say about how to observe the new moon day, so I present this study into the matter.
THE NEW MOON DAY
We are commanded by God to use the LIGHT of the moon to establish the timing of the Festivals of God, and since the Festivals are set on specific days of months, that required set the months to be set by the first light of the moon, Gen 1:14.
Going by the lunar conjunction contradicts the command in Deuteronomy 16:1: “Observe the month [chodesh, new moon] of Abib and keep the Passover…” Here, the word “observe” is the Hebrew word “shamar” and means “look narrowly for, search for” (No. 8104 in Strong’s).
The Holladay Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon defines it, as watching in the sense of looking for. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words includes the definitions “mark, watchman, wait, watch, look narrowly.” The command is to look for, wait for, watch for and mark the new moon.
You cannot see a moon that is completely black or dark, as it is during a conjunction! It just is not there in terms of being visible!
To send out watchers on the night of a conjunction to look for a moon they cannot see; accomplishes nothing except to confirm that the moon was not seen that evening.. To visually confirm the new moon there must be something to see, to identify.
Obviously, the invisible conjunction does not meet the biblical criteria of a VISIBLE LIGHT in the heavens.
Philo was a prominent Jewish leader who lived in Alexandria from about 20 B.C. to about 50 A.D. and was a contemporary of both Christ and Paul. He was aware of what Jesus and His followers considered was the new moon. In his Treatise on the Special Laws, Book II, XI (41), Philo discusses the Biblical observances.
Note how he describes the new moon:
“[The new moon] is that which comes after the conjunction, which… [is] the day of the new moon in each month.” In his detailed discussion of the new moon, Philo describes what constitutes a new moon: “…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.”
There is absolutely NO DOUBT, and it is absolutely beyond question; that from Moses until well after the Roman destruction of the temple and the destruction of the Mosaic Pharisees in Judea; the months were sanctified by the actual sighting of the first visible light of the moon.
Until modern times, the beginning of each lunar month was decided by two eyewitnesses testifying to having seen the first visible light of the new moon. They would calculate when they should begin looking for it, but it was the actual sighting of the light that was the important thing.
Knowing that the moon’s cycle was 29 and 1/2 days, meaning that no month could be fewer than 29 or greater than 30 days, each month they counted 26 or so days after the previous new moon sighting, and then began to look for the new moon each evening at sunset.
That is the extent of the calculations before the fifth century AD. If the light of the moon was not seen at the end of the 29th day then the end of day 30 automatically began the new month since no month can exceed 30 days.
No, calculations were never used to confirm the sighting; the calculations only gave a approximate time to begin looking!
As Philo noted, the new moon follows the conjunction but it is not the conjunction itself. His observation reveals to us what was considered the new moon in the temple period and what Christ [the very Creator of this calendar] and his disciples also observed as the new moon. That is all we need to know to realize what still constitutes the Biblical new moon today.
NEW TESTAMENT DISCIPLES
The New Testament disciples who remained true to the Word of God and the teachings of Christ, continued to honor new moon days as well as observe Feast days in the New Testament, Acts 18:21; 27:9; and 1Corinthians 5:7-8.
The Hebrew word translated as worship, means to bow down before, or to prostrate oneself at the feet of another. It means to voluntarily place oneself at anothers feet; acknowledging subjection to the person as in authority over us and accepting to serve and obey him.
The meaning of the word worship, in this case worshipping God; is to serve and obey God, and to subject oneself to his authority! It follows then, that we would DO what he commands.
shâchâh (^[Strong’s\ #7812]^) This term literally means to depress or prostrate oneself; is translated in the King James Version of the Old Testament as “worship” (100 times), “bow down” (54 times), “do obeisance” (9 times), “do reverence” (5 times), “fall down” (Psa 72:11; Isa 45:14;), “crouch” (1 Sam 2:36), “humbly beseech” (2 Sam 16:4), or “make to stoop” (Pro 12:25).
Associated with: âbad (^[Strong’s\ #5647]^) This term literally means to work in any sense, but by implication to serve in total subjection to another like a slave captive or purchased [redeemed] person.
1 Cor 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. 24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
Strong’s Hebrew H7812: to bow down, prostrate oneself
before a superior in homage
before God as an admission of total subjection, to God and his word
The KJV translates Strongs H7812 in the following manner: worship (99x), bow (31x), bow down (18x), obeisance (9x), reverence (5x), fall down (3x), themselves (2x), stoop (1x), crouch (1x), misc (3x).
Strong’s Greek 4352 proskynéō (from 4314 /prós, “towards” and kyneo, “to kiss“) – properly, to kiss the ground when prostrating before a superior; to worship, ready “to fall down/prostrate oneself to adore on one’s knees” (DNTT); to “do obeisance” (BAGD).
It is from this Greek word that the idea of kneeling on one knee before rulers, and on both knees before God in prayer comes in western society..
This idea of being at the feet of someone as a sign of complete subjection and subjection, is presented in Daniel 11:43 where: . . . the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps. That is, they shall be subject to the power, the authority of this beast.
Likewise Ruth lay at the feet of Boaz, indicating her voluntary and complete submission and subjection to him.
To worship God does not mean, having a church service together with an appearance of getting along with other human beings, while tolerating a diversity of doctrine, and so NOT getting along with or submitting to the whole word of God!
Worshipping God means to be completely and totally submissive to, and subject to; God to LEARN and KEEP the whole word of God!
To keep the whole word of God, necessarily requires that we LEARN the word of God! To learn the whole word of God so that we may keep it, is one of the primary purposes of assembling BEFORE GOD on the Sabbath and the New Moon Day!
The meaning of “Worship”, is to learn of and to keep the whole word of God; and we are told to assemble before God on the Sabbath and yes the New Moon Day to ”Worship” God; that is to assemble before God and learn of HIM!
Num 28:11 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;
Remember that the burnt offering is a type of Christ-like passionate zealous wholehearted service to God; in all things at all times! Therefore it is commanded to do what this sacrifice is symbolic of, and appear before God to rededicate ourselves to his service.
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.
As the grain offering was commanded to be made; we are to internalize the Bread of Life and the holy oil of the spirit of God by assembling together and learning of him.
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.
The drink offering of wine pictures the outpoured blood of the Lamb of God who died fo rthe sins of the world; and reminds us of Christ and our need for total dedication to him and the Father and of what they have done for us.
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.
A sin offering is also made on the new moon day.
Everything about the new moon day is about renewal; first a renewal of the light of the moon, then a rededication of the brethren in their spiritual relationship with, and submission to God.
Wherefore it is expedient that we offer the sacrifice of our presence and to internalize the word of God in organizational studies on the new moon day; and if we are going to teach all humanity to do this in the millennial kingdom, it is appropriate that we set an example of doing so ourselves.
It is prophesied that it is God’s will that we assemble before him on the new moon day to sanctify the beginning of the new month, and to rededicate ourselves to wholehearted Christ-like service to God! To appear before God in response to the trumpet call; to present ourselves to him in total submission, to learn of him!
THE NEW MOON PROPHECIES
Let us now take a look at two scriptural prophecies of that God wants in his millennial kingdom.
Ez 46:3 Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the door of this gate before the Lord in the sabbaths and in the new moons.
Isaiah 66:23 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.
1. God wants ALL humanity to come before him! To assemble before HIM on the Sabbath and the new moon day!
2. God also wants us to worship him on the Sabbath and the new moon day!
3. Notice that the new moons are to be kept along with the Sabbath [except that the Sabbath is holy time on which no work of any kind may be done, but the new moons are Appointed Times and not Sabbaths].
We are commended to come and assemble before God on the new moon day in the same way that we are to do on the Sabbath!
The burnt offering represents the total wholehearted passionate service to God!
Ez 46:4 And the burnt offering that the prince shall offer unto the Lord in the sabbath day shall be six lambs without blemish, and a ram without blemish.
5 And the meat offering shall be an ephah for a ram, and the meat offering for the lambs as he shall be able to give, and an hin of oil to an ephah.
6 And in the day of the new moon it shall be a young bullock without blemish, and six lambs, and a ram: they shall be without blemish.
Trumpets are to be sounded on the new moons over the burnt offerings. The trumpet blast is to announce the presence of God, and to call the people to assemble before God to acknowledge the Eternal as God, and to present themselves in complete submission [which is to learn of him; and is true “worship”] before him.
Numbers 10:10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn [Sabbaths and High Holy Days] 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 [to bring to remembrance] before your God: I am the Lord your God.
On the new moon day:
1. We are to acknowledge God as Creator of the new month
2. We are to bow before God and his word accepting God’s total authority over us, to learn of the word of God
4 We are to REPENT and renew our pledge to serve and obey God, to keep his word as Christ did; and NOT to stand on our own ways any longer
5 We are to receive instruction from God and his servants; which is called SERVICES or Bible Study today.
God has not commanded any specific time to assemble on the Sabbath, and the Sabbath sacrifices are made ATFER the morning daily offering. This means that while it is quite acceptable to assemble after Friday sunset for the Sabbath, it is also quite proper to meet on any other time of the Sabbath day.
The same thing is true about the new moon day. We announce the new moon immediately after sunset in Judea as it is seen, however the special new moon sacrifices were made AFTER the morning daily sacrifice. We are told to worship God [learn of him] on the new moon, but there is no command about when to assemble on that day; we could assemble and have our study at any time during the new moon day.
It is most convenient to assemble after sunset beginning the new moon, because that is after work, however in the summer there is no need to wait until 10 pm and then start a study when the sun sets very late; one can also have their study during the daylight part of the new moon for a variety of reasons; it is quite acceptable to assemble during the daylight part of the new moon day.
In short, one can have an assembly and Bible Study to learn of God, at any time during the new moon day.
The New Moon is NOT a holy day, it is still a commanded assembly and time of worship! It is an Appointed Time like Passover.
Remember that “WORSHIP” means obedience! To fail to do these things is rebellion against the word of God.
In a very real sense; the COG organizations do NOT worship God at all; since they do what is right in their own eyes, and refuse to keep the whole word of God. That is not worshipping God, even if they do pay lip-service to him in services!
Mark 7:6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied [Isaiah 29:13] of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit in vain do they [claim to] worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men.
There is no doubt that it is God’s will; that we appear before him:
1. to acknowledge our complete Christ-like submission to God the Father;
2. to learn of him,
3. to rededicate ourselves to his wholehearted service;
4. to set an example for all those who will live on into the millennial kingdom,
5. to establish a habit of obedience,
6. to begin to fulfill the prophesies of the millennial kingdom and God’s will.
7. to learn to keep the whole word of God, and to exult the Eternal and his word ABOVE the teachings, ways and traditions of men.
8. to consecrate God’s biblical months, to set the Biblical calendar, and the Festivals and High Days according to the Word of God,
9. and to let the light of our example shine forth brightly for all the earth to see!
No wonder that most religious organizations hate God’s Biblical Calendar and New Moons; so much, that they will even lie rather than accept it!
Observing them requires submission to God and his word, and a turning away from our own false traditions and our selfish desire to go our own ways and to do as we think right!
We would rather make idols out of the enemies of Christ, than to keep the word of Christ! What does that say about our spiritual condition?